May 24, 2024

Eat On-The-Go Healthy!

Rushing here, rushing there! Late for this appointment, need to return that phone call! Everyone is busy, busy all the time! Rest assured, eating healthy on-the-go IS possible. All it takes is a little planning ahead. Having healthy food convenient is key.

Join #HealthyWayMag Fitness Chat this Monday 5pm(Pacific)/8pm(Eastern) on Twitter and pick up healthy eating tips, nutritious snacking ideas and on-the-go best food choices!

Here’s how to join:

Log onto your Twitter account and follow @HealthyWayMag to see the chat questions. Questions for discussion will be posted as Question 1, “Q1″, Question 2, “Q2″ and so on. Contribute your answer and experience via answers to Question 1 noted as “A1″, designating your answer to Question 2 as “A2″ and so on. Interact with others, chat, exchange ideas, training tips and have fun!



Monday September 28, 2015 #HealthyWayMag Fitness Chat welcomes Co-Host Helen Agresti, R.D:

Helen is the founder of Professional Nutrition Consulting and The 24_7 Dietitian app. She’s a mom of 5, contributor for the Huffington Post, triathlete, and chocolate lover. Helen is passionate about educating families on how to cook healthy meals and snacks at home. You can now receive Helen’s Personal Nutrition Coaching thru her 24_7 dietitian app-available on iOS and android. Go to for more info.

How to Eat Clean While Eating Gluten-Free by Gretchen Scalpi, R.D.

How To Eat Clean While Eating Gluten-Free

Clean eating is a lifestyle from the 1960′s that revolves around eating whole foods that are minimally processed or refined.  It sounds easy doesn’t it?  Sadly so much of our food now is overly processed or handled that adopting this lifestyle can take some work.  However, if you must eat gluten-free clean eating can be a natural progression.

Clearly you must avoid processed foods along with preservatives, artificial ingredients, trans fats and chemicals.  Add more dishes that include raw and fresh fruit and vegetables.  Base your diet around vegetables, fruits and gluten-free grains, beans, legumes, lean or vegetarian proteins and fats.  Add unprocessed nuts to salads and use them as snacks.

With clean eating you don’t try to eat less… you strive to eat more.  Eat three full meals and at least two snacks a day.  The goal is to keep yourself full of healthy, clean and gluten-free food so that you keep your energy level throughout the day.

Choose organic food as much as you can find and afford.  Go to farmer’s markets on the weekend and look for fruit and vegetables that is grown without pesticides.  Be brave and add new fruits and vegetables to your diet as often as possible.

Ditch refined sugar by eliminating soda, candy, baked goods and ice cream.  Use honey or maple syrup in recipes where sugar is included.  If you must use artificial sweeteners choose a product with stevia in it.

Drink water all day long while avoiding fruit juices, soda, sweetened coffee drinks.  You can also drink tea, coffee and milk but minimize how much coffee drink.  Reduce or eliminate alcohol.

Consider taking your own food to gatherings or eat before you leave. Avoid fast food and fried food. If you must eat on the go without packing a meal then go for a salad and ask for no croutons and use an oil and vinegar dressing.

Try keeping snacks on hand that fit both your gluten-free and clean eating lifestyle and are easy to eat.  Some of our favorites are bananas, nuts, hard boiled or deviled eggs, bell pepper slices, carrots, apples and celery with nut butter, popcorn, pumpkin seeds, Edamame, roasted chick peas and tuna packed in sunflower oil or water.

To optimize your gluten-free clean diet start exercising every day.  If you are out of shape start by adding walking to your day and move up to more vigorous exercise when you are ready.  As always consult your physician before making any dietary or exercise related changes in your life.

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, author and Certified Wellcoach® who has celiac disease and know the challenges of eating right with this condition. Gretchen is pleased to announce her new online program “Gluten-free Bootcamp”, designed to help those who need to follow the gluten-free diet. If you are new to the gluten-free lifestyle for medical or health reasons, you’ll want to attend Gretchen’s new free webinar “Five Things You Should Know Before Going Gluten-free

Healthy Eating for Life by Gretchen Scalpi, R.D.

Strategies to Help You Stick with a Healthy Eating Plan for Life

How many times have you started a healthy eating plan only to have your good intentions gradually slip away? When that happens, you may find yourself back where you started and frustrated with your lack of ability to keep on track. Most people know how to eat right, but maintaining what you have started is another matter.

Here are five strategies to help you make healthy eating habits stick.

Set reasonable, attainable goals:

Decide what your most important goals are and write them down. Goals need to be specific and measurable. Spell out what you will do, how often and when.

Learn from others:

Changing lifestyle habits are often easier said than done. One way to come up with goals that will work for you is to discuss your goals with a nutrition professional. Choose someone with the experience and educational credentials that makes them a nutrition expert, such as a Registered Dietitian.

Keep a journal:

When learning new skills, write down what you are doing. Keep a written journal of what you eat and review your journal at least once daily. Writing it down as you go lets you know exactly what you are eating and gives you quick insight into what areas need improvement.

Accept that you will have some setbacks:

It’s human nature to revert back to old behaviors, especially when social occasions or unexpected events occur. Accept the fact that sometimes life gets in the way of your plans! Don’t take the “all or nothing” outlook, and feel as though you have failed simply because you had a setback. If you have a setback, decide upon a time in the very near future to resume your plan, then just start again.

Check in with your progress:

The only way to know how well you are doing, is to keep track of your progress and see how far you have come. Besides keeping a food journal, it can be helpful to make a list of the improvements you have actually made along the way. Seeing your “improvement list” validates all the little things you have already done and is a great way to keep yourself motivated.

People that have a well thought out strategy for making healthy lifestyle changes are the ones who realize success. Lifestyle changes take time, but a systematic approach will help you maintain what you have changed. Give it a try!

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Wellcoach. She is the author of “The EVERYTHING Guide to Managing and Reversing Pre-Diabetes 2nd Ed.”, “The EVERYTHING Diabetes Cookbook 2nd Ed.”, “Virtual Grocery Store Tour: Getting The Most Nutrition Out Of Your Food Shopping”, “Pre-Diabetes: Your Second Chance At Health”, “The Quick Start Guide to Healthy Eating”, “The Quick Start Guide To Pre-Diabetes” and “Quick Start Recipes For Healthy Meals”.  Read her articles, recipes and blog at and learn more about her books at

Greek Yogurt or Regular Yogurt: Which is Best? By Gretchen Scalpi

It only takes a stroll down the dairy aisles of the supermarket to realize that there are literally hundreds of yogurt brands to choose from.  Not too long ago one manufacturer produced the familiar fruit on the bottom yogurt. Now yogurt has expanded to endless brands, consistencies and flavors.  Yogurt seems to dominate the dairy aisle these days.

Over the last few years Greek style yogurts have gained in popularity and for some very good reasons. Greek yogurt has a thicker, creamier consistency (even the fat free versions) as compared to the standard yogurts that most of us are familiar with. Greek yogurt is thicker because is strained an extra time in the yogurt making process. This lowers the water content and results in a thickness similar to that of sour cream or pudding.

Aside from the consistency factor, side by side comparisons of Greek and regular yogurt show that there are some nutritional similarities as well as some differences between the two.   A quick check of the nutrition facts label will provide you with carbohydrate and sugar content in various yogurt products.  Understand that if enough sugar  or fruit flavoring is added to yogurt for sweetening, the calories can be as high as 250 calories per 6 oz. cup for either version, so it pays to check those labels. For the person counting their carbohydrates, Greek yogurt can work out very well as a healthful snack, as long as the selections do not have a large amounts of added sugar.  Some of the more popular Greek yogurts we have compared contain about 7 grams of carbohydrate for the plain, and 12-22 grams for the flavored varieties.  “Light” yogurts are comparable in this regard.

The biggest difference between Greek and regular yogurt really comes down to the protein content. Regular yogurts typically have 5 grams of protein per 6 oz. cup while Greek yogurts boast 14-15 grams of protein:  that’s comparable to the protein content of 2 whole eggs.  The higher protein content can be more filling and satisfying for someone watching their calories, especially when used as a between meal snack. Calorie comparisons of “light” vs. Greek nonfat yogurts are pretty close: about 110-140 calories per serving for either.

Both types of yogurt are good sources of calcium and provide pro-biotics.  The various strains of pro-biotic found in yogurt with active cultures help to maintain or restore healthy bacteria to the intestinal tract.  Many people with digestive problems have discovered that regularly including yogurt helps to diminish the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea or constipation.  Pro-biotics are an essential restorative factor after someone has been on antibiotic therapy.

Whatever type of yogurt you decide to eat, your choice to include yogurt routinely in your diet is probably a good one. Do some taste comparisons, cost comparisons and if you’re so inclined, try incorporating yogurt with a meal or as a snack often!

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Wellcoach®. She is the author of “The EVERYTHING Guide to Managing and Reversing Pre-Diabetes 2nd Ed.”, “The EVERYTHING Diabetes Cookbook 2nd Ed.”, “Virtual Grocery Store Tour: Getting The Most Nutrition Out Of Your Food Shopping”, “Pre-Diabetes: Your Second Chance At Health”, “The Quick Start Guide to Healthy Eating”, “The Quick Start Guide To Pre-Diabetes” and “Quick Start Recipes For Healthy Meals”.  Read her articles, recipes and blog at and learn more about her books at

Holiday Party Know-How by Helen Agresti, R.D.

5  Ways to Control Calorie Intake at Holiday Parties

1.  Be a smarty before you party.  When we go all day without eating or skip lunch prior to a party, this usually leads to unhealthy choices throughout the remainder of the day.  Make time for a cup of soup, small salad with vegetables and black beans or a few whole grain pita slices with hummus.

2.  Choose foods with power! Foods that contain a high content of protein, fiber and water (fish, lean meats, beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables) have the highest satiating power.  Simple carbohydrates and high fat foods (cookies, cakes, breads, and cheeses) have a lesser effect on our sense of “fullness.”

3.  Give yourself 20.  Practice good portion control by waiting 20 minutes in between visits to the buffet table.  This gives our bodies time to recognize the satiating power of the food we just ingested.

4.  Hydrate and deflate.  Beer, wine, and sugar-laden drinks are high in calories and have zero nutritional value.  Naturally, the more we drink the more we visit the restroom.  For every alcoholic beverage, drink one glass of water.  Staying hydrated will decrease the likelihood of headaches, fatigue, and feeling bloated the next day.

5.  Do yourself a favor and enjoy the flavors.  Socialize away from the food.  Mindless eating often occurs when we’re engaged in conversion and food is close at hand.  Always eat sitting down and enjoy your holiday meal

Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 5 children.  For more Nutrition advice and healthy recipes follow her on twitter @HelenAgresti and on the web

Breaking a “No Fat” Mindset By Laura Maydak

Weight struggles may create somewhat of a “dietary fat phobia”, but it’s important not to let a low-fat mindset become a no-fat mindset.  The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend healthy adults consume 20 – 35% of their daily calories from fat.  These recommendations aren’t made without reason, so let’s focus on why we need fat in our diet – and how to choose the best sources.


Key Functions of Fat:
•      Digestion, absorption, and utilization of fat-soluble vitamins and phytonutrients (who knew that consuming fat with fruits and vegetables was so important?)
•      Delayed gastric emptying, making us feel fuller longer (meaning fat can be good for weight loss)
•      Providing a concentrated source of energy
•      Proper cell functioning
•      Hormone production
•      Regulation of body temperature
•      Cushioning of organs and bones
•      Providing flavor and texture to food

Types of Fat
The “Good” – Unsaturated fats
- Monounsaturated fat
•      Benefits: may lower total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and triglycerides when substituted for saturated fats
•      Sources: olive oil and other vegetable oils, nuts and nut butters (especially peanut), avocado

- Polyunsaturated fat
•      Omega-6 benefits: may lower LDL cholesterol when substituted for saturated fats
•      Omega-6 sources: corn oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, nuts, seeds
•      Omega-3 benefits: may lower triglycerides when substituted for saturated fats
•      Omega-3 sources: Fatty fish (such as salmon), flaxseed, canola oil, walnuts

The “Bad” – Saturated and trans fats

Note the word “substituted” – adding unsaturated fats to an already high-fat diet is not beneficial.  If you’re unsure of a food’s fat content, read the nutrition facts panel to see the amount of saturated, unsaturated, and total fat per serving.

Smart Swaps
•      Guacamole instead of cheese-based dip
•      Nut butter in place of cream cheese on toast
•      Replace high-saturated fat condiments on sandwiches with avocado
•      Use vegetable oil instead of butter to sauté
•      Substitute avocado for butter or shortening while baking (1:1); vegetable oil may also be used (ratio is a little less than 1:1)
•      Choose fatty fish instead of red meat

Laura Maydak has a B.S. in Clinical Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Pittsburgh, and is currently a graduate student in the school’s Coordinated Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics program on her way to become a registered dietitian.  Aside from school, she is an avid runner, fitness enthusiast, and wanna-be chef.  Connect with Laura on twitter (@lmaydak) for motivation and tips for living your healthiest, happiest life – all given with a healthy dose of humor.

One-Dish Wonders! By Helen Agresti, R.D.

This time of year brings shorter days and less time to prepare healthy meals at home.  Without proper planning, home cooking doesn’t always happen. I wish I could use the most common excuse of not having enough time in my day but let’s face it, there’s plenty of time in our day for something this important.  Especially on Sundays, there’s sufficient time to execute a game plan for the week ahead. There’s nights during the week that are filled with client meetings and kids activities which makes the idea of ordering out very enticing.  Convenience food is everywhere and it certainly contributes to the rising rates of obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and other health related disorders.

With that in the forefront of our minds, here are a few one-dish wonders that will satisfy you and your healthy family:

Healthy Baked Chicken Marsala


No-stick cooking spray
4 chicken breasts
1/4 c white cooking wine
1/4 c marsala cooking wine
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon sea salt


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2.  Spray casserole dish with no-stick.
3.  Pour half the white and marsala wine in the casserole dish.
4.  Sprinkle half the onion, garlic, rosemary, and salt on top of wine.
5.  Place chicken breast on top.
6.  Pour the remainder of the white and marsala wine over top of
7.  Sprinkle the remainder of the onion, garlic, rosemary, and salt on
8.  Bake 20-25 min. or until internal temp of chicken reaches 165 degrees F.

*If you have time, allow the chicken to marinate in a Ziploc bag with all the ingredients prior to baking.


Waist Slimming Quinoa Salad


3 cups Quinoa, cooked
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
1/2 c seedless cucumber, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 mango, diced
1/3 c cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt


Combine all ingredients. Serve warm or cold.


Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 5 children.  For more Nutrition advice and healthy recipes follow her on twitter @HelenAgresti and on the web

Organic Produce: Worth the Extra Cost? By Gretchen Scalpi

Is Organic Produce Worth The Extra Cost?

We all know it’s better to eat more fruit and vegetables.  But concerns about the safety of conventionally grown produce versus organically grown always comes up as well.

When produce is organic, it means that it has been produced without using chemical fertilizers or pesticides. There are some compelling reasons why people choose to buy organic produce.  The main reason to eat organic produce is to avoid the pesticide residue left on foods.  Hands down, organically raised food is better for the environment. Absence of pesticides results in healthier soil, water, and wildlife. Buying organically grown produce supports small farmers and contributes to biodiversity.

Some people choose organic produce because they believe it has a higher nutritional value than commercially grown produce. The comparisons of nutritional content between food organically grown and conventionally grown produce, however, shows little difference. Consider also that much of the produce we buy today is not always locally grown. We have many fruits and vegetables to choose from year round because they have been shipped from other parts of the country (or the world.)  The fact that a fruit or vegetable is organic does not necessarily translate to nutritional superiority simply because it’s organic. If shipped from far away, it may already be past its nutritional peak.

For many health conscious families, the purchase of organic produce is cost prohibitive.  As much as they would like to eat more organically grown food, they simply cannot afford the higher cost.  Most of us have a food budget and have to make choices about what we buy, and perhaps a compromise is what’s called for. There are two things you can do to take advantage of organically grown produce as much as possible.

Buy local organic produce when it’s in season.  In many parts of the USA, that means taking advantage of certain fruits and vegetables during the warmer months when available.  Freezing or canning local organic produce is a possible option for when those items are out of season.

Buy conventionally grown produce from the “Clean 15″ list, and organic only for those foods that are on the “The Dirty Dozen” list.   The Dirty Dozen are the fruits and vegetables which have the largest amount of pesticide residues, and the Clean 15 have the least amount.

The “Clean 15″:

Sweet corn
Sweet peas
Kiwi fruit
Sweet potatoes
Sweet onions

The “Dirty Dozen”:

Domestic blueberries
Sweet bell peppers
Spinach, kale and collard greens
Imported grapes

When the warm weather arrives again, make a habit of visiting your local farmers’ markets and buy local organic produce throughout the season.

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She is the author of “The Quick Start Guide To Healthy Eating”, “The Everything Guide to Managing and Reversing Pre-Diabetes”, “The Everything Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd ed.” and “Pre-Diabetes Your Second Chance At Health”.  Use your organic produce in the recipes from her book “Quick Start Recipes For Healthy Meals” available at

Too Much of a Good Thing? By Gretchen Scalpi, RD

Too Much of a Good Thing:  Check Those Portions

Every week I meet at least a few new clients who are having trouble losing weight, despite making healthy food choices. When it comes to those food choices, you can get too much of a good thing.

Being able to recognize what makes a normal portion is essential if want you to maintain your health and your weight. Some people are just eating too much, or at least, enough food to keep their weight right where it is… not budging at all!

It really is about how much you eat of any food.

One quick and easy way to determine portion size is to use what is known as the “plate method.”

This method has received a lot of attention recently and it is one of my favorite ways to show clients how to zero in on those portions.

My Plate is the new guide for healthy eating. To use the plate method:

Start by dividing your plate in half.  Fill half of the plate with vegetables or fruit. Divide the remainder of your plate into two quarters.

One quarter of the plate is used for a protein food (meat, fish, beans, etc) and the other quarter is used for a whole grain or starchy food (potato or rice.)

Visualizing the plate in this way makes it easy to learn about healthy portion sizes, especially for those who don’t want to measure their food.

One thing you must consider, however, is how big are your plates? It is not unusual for standard size dinner plates to come in sizes of 10 inches or more. A nine inch plate used to be the standard. Unfortunately, if you start with a larger plate, the tendency will be to fill it up. Portioned food on a large plate looks like you aren’t getting enough food! So if you have large plates, think about scaling down to a 9 inch size.

Besides using the plate method, weigh or measure your food portions from time to time. Big portions are everywhere, and we get used to seeing too much food on the plate no matter where we go. It’s easy to lose sight of reasonable portions. I recommend getting a food scale or using measuring cups every few months to “revisit” portion control.

Here are some basic guidelines for correct portion sizes:

*Protein foods: (such as lean meat, fish or poultry): 3-4 ounces
*Vegetables: 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked (try to eat at least 4-5 portions daily!)
*Fresh fruit: 1 piece is one serving. Berries or Melon: 1 cup.
*Juices or canned fruit: 1/2 cup.
*Starchy foods or whole grains: 1 portion is usually 1/2 cup or 1 oz. if a bread
*Non-fat milk or yogurt: 1 cup
*Fats: (oil, butter, mayonnaise): 1 tsp.

Maintaining reasonable food portions, and “checking in” on the amount you put on your plate from time to time is one of the most effective ways to get back on track with weight loss. If you eat healthy but your weight is stuck, check to see whether you are getting too much of a good thing!

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She is the author of the books “The Quick Start Guide To Healthy Eating”, “The Everything Guide to Managing and Reversing Pre-Diabetes”, “The Everything Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd ed.” and “Pre-Diabetes Your Second Chance At Health”.  Purchase her book “Quick Start Recipes For Healthy Meals” for .99 cents via Amazon.