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Struggling to Find Balance?
I help people who are frustrated with dieting change their relationship with food in order to lose weight once and for all. I teach my clients how to rediscover the joy of eating through guided nutrition coaching, mindful eating exercises, personalized meal planning, and weekly support. My goal is for you to develop long-term, sustainable lifestyle habits, no deprivation required.
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Get started with a free phone consultation, where we’ll talk more about your challenges, your health and nutrition goals, and what I can do to help you. Together we will decide which of my programs is right for you.
In our first session, we’ll spend an hour together talking about your health and nutrition history, your needs and your goals. Together we will develop an action plan to help you reach both your short term and long term goals.
Behavior change doesn’t happen overnight. We will meet on a regular basis to work on your action plan and goals, step by step. I’ll be there for ongoing support and accountability as you make sustainable nutrition and health changes.
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“Best thing, I don’t feel like depriving myself, having to eat in a way that I can only do for a limited period of time, or having to count calories, nutrients. Frankly, I feel my focus shifted to eating more: e.g., what healthy fats or proteins I can add to meals to make sure that I don’t have to feel hungry.”
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“As someone who likes to eat out and is frequently on the go, I knew I needed help figuring out how to navigate my eating around my busy lifestyle. Alissa was perfect for this! With her guidance, I was able to develop a customized eating plan that was specifically designed to meet my needs. She is the perfect coach and balances encouragement with accountability.”
—Michelle H., Connecticut
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From The Blog
This is a guest post written by Rachel Bliss, an intern with Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness.
Training for my first marathon, I spent months waking up early, pushing myself to run 10, 15, 20 miles through total downpours, 90 degrees+ temperatures, and even snow…all for one day. But that one day makes all of the breathless miles more than worth it. Marathon day.
When looking back on my 26.2-mile journey for the Boston Marathon, there are many training decisions I am proud of, and I few I wish I could do over. If you’re training for a marathon, read on to find out what went well about my training and race-day, and what I would have done differently.
What To Do During a Marathon
Invite family and friends to support you around mile 18.
I broke the 26.2 miles into two sections. The first section was mile one to mile 18, where my family and friends awaited my arrival. This way every time I thought, “I can’t do this” I responded to myself by thinking about how amazing it was going to be to see the smiles, signs, and cheering of my supporting family and friends. After reaching them, it was only 8.2 miles to the finish line, where other friends and family awaited my finish.
Don’t try new nutrition supplements the day of the race.
For every long 13+ mile training run, I acted like it was the day of the marathon. I stuck to the same nutrition my body was used to and never tried anything new. Training is the time to practice your nutrition and hydration strategies, finding out what works (and what doesn’t work) for you. Then when it comes to race-day, you just have to implement your training.
Listen to your body
I never fully understood the importance of this until I hurt my knee during training. I experienced days of depressing, discouraging thoughts while pushing myself and training with a swollen knee. It was then I realized that taking a couple of days off now would be better than continuing to injure my knee, and not be able to run the marathon. I also had days when I set out for my long run, only to realize within the first mile that my body wasn’t up for it. Instead, I took that day as a rest day and waited until my body felt better.
Take the race mile by mile
At mile 14, when I realized I still had over 12 more miles to go, my mind began trying to convince me that I wouldn’t be able to finish the race. Not willing to let my mind get the best of me, I began to look at the race mile-by-mile, rather than being intimidated by the bigger picture. I would motivate myself to get to the next mile marker, where I allowed myself to walk to drink the water and Gatorade, and then run to the next mile marker, all the way until the finish.
Remember that it is ok to walk
The best advice a friend gave me the day before the race was, “don’t be afraid to walk, 26.2 miles is a very long distance.” Without this advice, I would have seen walking as giving up. Walking is not giving up, you are simply listening to your body. I let myself walk during hydration stops, while I sipped Gatorade or water.
What I Would Have Done Differently
Turn down my music
I decided to run with my headphones in, as I couldn’t imagine the thought of 26.2 miles with no music. Unfortunately, the music covered the sound of spectators cheering. Plus, I almost missed hearing and seeing my friends at the finish line. My tip: turn down the music, or remove your headphones, and let the cheering of the crowd motivate you across the finish line.
Get to know the coaches and runners from my charity team
I trained for this race with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training Program. The coaches and other runners are amazing people, and I wish I had made a bigger effort to connect with them before the race. I would’ve loved to know the other runners wearing LLS purple along the race, as it would have been fun to cheer each other on and provide motivation.
Do more hill training
I did not put enough emphasis on hill training and felt it during the race. Even if you can’t train on the exact hills that will be on the course, find a training run with a similar elevation. If there are hills at mile 15 of the marathon, run a similar long-run with hills at the end of the run. Trust me, running up hills after two miles is much different than running them after nine or 18 miles.
Pay attention to your posture
Most people see their good running posture dissolve once they start to get tired. I didn’t pay enough attention to this, and by the end of the race, my shoulders were hunched so far over that I felt a lot of pain. Check in with your body and form throughout the race, and reestablish your good posture. This will save you from discomfort and pain later on.
Have you run a marathon before? What are some things that went well, or what would you have done differently? Share with us below!
Workout supplements aren’t just for serious athletes or guys who hang around the weight room. The American College of Sports Medicine estimates that 40-50 percent of recreational athletes take vitamin and mineral supplements to help improve exercise and training outcomes. The most common: antioxidants including vitamins A, C and E and the mineral selenium. But does mixing antioxidants and exercise help your goals, or hinder them?
First, what’s an antioxidant?
Antioxidants are substances that help fight free radicals, a byproduct of oxidation, a normal chemical process that occurs in the body every day after exposure to pollution, cigarette smoke, stress, or in this case, exercise. Free radicals have been linked to many chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Research suggests that a diet rich in foods naturally high in antioxidants, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains, is associated with better health outcomes.
So what’s the deal with antioxidants and exercise?
Working out puts stress on the body and can damage muscle tissue, leading to an increase in free radicals. Research on the effects of antioxidant supplements — such as vitamins A, C and E — on muscle damage shows that these supplements may decrease oxidative stress. This has lead many in the exercise community to believe that antioxidant supplementation post-workout may result in quicker recovery and less muscle soreness.
Two recent studies suggest that antioxidant supplementation after exercise could delay recovery and may even lead to muscle injury.
A 2014 study looked at 54 healthy men and women, who had been running or cycling recreationally between one and four times per week for 6 months, and divided them into two groups. One group received daily supplementation with 1,000mg of Vitamin C —the same amount found in one packet of Emergen-C— and 235mg of Vitamin E, while the other group received placebo pills. The study found that those who received the antioxidants had smaller endurance gains compared to those who received the placebo.
A similar response was shown in a study that looked at the effect of antioxidant supplements — same dosage of vitamins C & E as the study above — after 10 weeks of progressive strength training. At the end of the study, all 32 participants showed an increase in muscle size, but the antioxidant group made fewer strength gains than those who received the placebo.
What’s the deal?
Researchers aren’t sure why antioxidants affect your body’s reaction to cardio exercise or weight training, but they suspect that there may be a difference between free radicals generated by exercise and those generated by, say, pollution. The latter is definitely harmful, but it may be that exercise free radicals are actually essential to improving your fitness level.
So, to supplement or not to supplement?
I vote no. While these studies were small, there doesn’t appear to be any benefit to supplementing in an attempt to maximize your workout gains. The best advice: focus on consuming a varied diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and leave those antioxidant bottles on the shelf.
In theory, smoothies are the perfect breakfast or mini-meal: quick to make, portable and an easy way to use up any slightly-past-its-prime produce you’ve got in the fridge. But any time you’re just “throwing” things together, calories, fat, and sugar can add up fast, which means you may end up drinking something that more closely resembles a milkshake. Delicious? Yes. Good-for-you? Maybe not. But, if you follow this recipe for building the perfect smoothie, I guarantee you’ll get it right every time.
Here are the five steps to building the healthiest smoothie.
Step 1: Measure your fruit
Fruit certainly has a lot of health benefits, but as with any food, it’s possible to overdo it. Too much of any sugar — including the natural sugars found in fruit — causes an uptick in insulin, the hormone responsible for fat storage. To keep insulin levels steady, you need to pull out a measuring cup.
Build it: Add 1 cup of fruit or mixed berries. That should be enough to sweeten your drink without adding too much sugar to the mix. If you really like your smoothie sweet, add no more than 1 tablespoon of honey. But try making one without the honey and see what you think. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that it’s sweet enough with just the fruit.
Step 2: Pick a green (or two)
Pump up the antioxidant content of your smoothie and get half your recommended daily intake of vegetables in one go by throwing in your favorites. Vegetables help to balance out the sugar from the fruit while adding fiber, which will help you feel satisfied and energized.
Build it: Add 1-2 handfuls of vegetables. If the whole greens-in-your-smoothie thing seems suspect, start with spinach. It’s virtually flavorless so you won’t even taste it. Other vegetables that work well: any other dark leafy green — kale, swiss chard, etc. — cucumber, celery, beets and carrots.
Step 3: Choose a protein
Protein helps to slow digestion, keeping your blood sugar and energy levels stable throughout the day. Without protein, your smoothie is really just a juice, which is OK if you’re planning to eat something in addition, but if this is breakfast, you need the protein to jumpstart your day.
Build it: Add 4-6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt or soy yogurt, cottage cheese or tofu, or 8 ounces of soy or cow’s milk. Note: nut milk (cashew, coconut, almond) are usually very light on protein, containing only about one gram per cup.
Step 4: Add healthy fat
Fat not only boosts satiety, it’s essential for vitamins A, D, E and K to be absorbed. These important nutrients are found in fruits and vegetables and won’t be fully absorbed by the body unless some fat is present.
Build it: Include 1-2 tablespoons of nuts (walnuts, almonds, nut butter) or seeds (flax, hemp, chia), or toss in a few slices of avocado. If you went with a whole-milk dairy for your protein choice, stick to 1 tablespoon of nuts or seeds as you’re already getting some fat from the milk or yogurt.
Step 5: Sprinkle on some spice
Take your smoothie up a level, by adding spices or extracts. It’s a good way to mix up the flavor while still using the same ingredients, plus spices contain nutritional benefits of their own.
Build it: Sprinkle in ground spices like cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg and cardamom, or toss in fresh ginger for a digestive boost. Extracts like vanilla or almond bring out a natural sweetness, with no added sugar. Start small, with 1 teaspoon or less, and add more to taste.
Looking to up your smoothie game even more? Check out these delicious and nutritious smoothies:
- Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Smoothie from my kitchen
- Salted Decadence Chocolate Almond Butter Smoothie from Katie Cavuto at Nourish Breathe Thrive
- Sweet Potato Banana Smoothie from Shannon at Kiss in the Kitchen
- Peanut Butter Maca Smoothie from Regan Miller Jones at Healthy Aperture
- Wild Blueberry Tropical Smoothie from Ann Dunaway Teh at My Menu Pal
- Strawberry Banana Green Smoothie Bowl from Rachael at Avocado A Day Nutrition
- Vegan Energy Boosting Smoothie from Kara Lydon at The Foodie Dietitian
- Berry Green Dream Smoothie from Meme at Living Well Kitchen
- Superfood Smoothie from Kristina LaRue at Love and Zest
- Rose Avocado Smoothie from Roxana at The Delicious Crescent
- Carrot Cake Smoothie from Holley Grainger, MS, RD
- Pumpkin Spice Smoothie from Elizabeth Ward from Better is the New Perfect
- Sun-Kissed Strawberry Beet Smoothie from Meal Makeover Moms
- Super Greek Yogurt Smoothies from Sara Haas, RD, LD
- Banana Date Smoothie from Dixya at Food Pleasure and Health
- Powered Up Smoothie Bowl from my kitchen
- Blueberry Peach Squash Smoothie from Amber at Homemade Nutrition
- Green Goddess Smoothie from Sarah Koszyk at Family Food Fiesta