Portions, portions, portions….How much to eat?

Portion vs. Serving size: A serving size is what is labeled on the food package, however this may be more or less than what you should be eating at one time. For example, sometimes I eat 2 servings of pasta for dinner and sometimes I eat half a large apple before a run. To figure out what you “should” be eating either try “the plate method” or go to Food Tracker.

The Plate Method (aka the simple method)

In general, I like sticking to plate size of about 10-12 inches in diameter. This tends to be significantly smaller than many plates. Try looking for “salad” plates or medium sized plates. Note: don’t go to small or you’ll be tempted for seconds and end up over eating.

The Basics

  • 10 inch plate
  • 1/2 vegetables and fruit
  • 1/4 protein
  • 1/4 carbohydrate/ starch


P.s. I like these Corelle divided plates. They also keep you foods from touching each other, if you like to keep your foods separate.

What about weighing food?

Do I weigh my food? No. Should you? You can, if you wish, but I think the plate method is a simple way to get portion sizes under control. Weighing food does work. You’ll know exactly how much you are eating, but I think its important to include some balance.


SCAN Symposium 2016

Hey All,

I’m currently attending the SCAN Symposium 2016!


  1. To exhibit (see disclosure statement).
  2. To be empowered food and nutrition professional (see picture).
    • Through the dietetic practice group, SCAN,  I continue to learn and earn continuing education especially in the sports nutrition area.

Look forward to some exciting information, helpful tips, and emerging research in the upcoming weeks!


Emily (mid-run along the Portland Riverfront)



Airport Food= Gross & unhealthy, right?

Wrong! Much to my pleasant surprise, I have recently found some great healthy food at airports. Don’t get me wrong, I still carry my own food (bars, fruit, and veggie snacks). Sometimes its nice to get a warm meal while waiting for your flight.


My biggest tip is to do your research. Look at restaurant choices and menus, before your trip. This will save you time at the airport and make sure you don’t end up with an unhealthy choice. Warning the following options I chose include lots of deliciousness and nutrition (vegetables, fiber, protein and more)!

Meals I’ve enjoyed

  1. PHX: La Grande Orange– Spicy Chickpea Lettuce Wrap (see pic below)
  2. ORD: Frontera Grill– Mushroom Tortas sans bread
  3. BWI: Chipotle– classic options, but don’t forget this is one of the only ones that has Breakfast!


Things to look for:

  1. Vegetables! Maybe chose a salad as a base and start there.
  2. Beans? Are there beans? Beans can fill you up and provide protein and fiber.
  3. Fruit– Maybe you didn’t bring you own fruit. Most cafes/ kiosks have fruit or a fruit salad.

Things to watch out for:

  1. Smoothies- some of those smoothies are large portion sizes and can contain a lot of sugar.
  2. Bars- Not all bars are created equal. Look for bars made with whole foods and a small amount of added sugar.
  3. Drinks- Don’t splurge (calories or your moo-la) on a drink. Most airports have water bottle refilling stations. Bring an empty water in your carry-on to fill up after security.

Peace. See ya in a few East Coasters!



Vitamin D, Vitamin D for Me!

Vitamin D is my number 1 supplement! Another winter in the midwest, where the sun doesn’t shine has left me with suboptimal Vitamin D levels. Yes, I went to my  doctor and got a blood test. My levels were considered to be suboptimal. 😦

Why?!? Living in a northern state is a risk factor for becoming vitamin D deficient. The most common way to get Vitamin D is through the sun. There’s little sun to be found here in Chicago during the winter months.

Fun Fact: The body area that absorbs Vit D (from the sun) the best is the stomach! (Guess its time for a trip to the beach!)

Since, I would like to avoid becoming Vitamin D deficient, I’ve upped my vitamin D intake. I regularly eat foods fortified with Vitamin D such as milk, orange juice, tofu, and cereal; but apparently this was not enough for me. During the winter months, I’ll have to take a Vitamin D supplement. I have found that I like the chewy gummy options; they’re like candy. 🙂

Why is Vitamin D important? Vitamin D is necessary for proper bone growth. It also helps maintain calcium levels and assists in the bone remodeling. Not having enough Vit D3 can increase the risk of autoimmmune diseases, and nonskeletal chronic diseases. More concerning is that Vitamin D can also impact immunity, muscle function, and inflammation status.

How much? Most sources recommend supplementing with around 1,000-2,000 IU, but be sure check with your health care provider.Good food sources of vitamin D include egg yolks (see the omelette), dairy, orange juice, and cereals.


More Vitamin D Reading: NIH and EatRight

References: Dunford M, Coleman EJ. Ergogenic aids, dietary supplements, and exercise. In: Rosenbloom CA, Coleman EJ, eds. Sports Nutrition: A Practice Manual for Professionals. 5th ed. Chicago, IL: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; 2012:128.



Soulcycle= Spin for the Soul

Boutique fitness studios are becoming increasing popular. Barre, HITT, and Spin studios are popping up all over the place. Over the weekend, I got the chance to try out Soulcycle courtsey of Target- not once, but twice. #SoulcyclexTarget Here are my thoughts:

Loved: Format of HITT cardio, wonderful instructors, energy of the experience

Ehhh?/ Love to Hate: Loud music, variety of instructors, Upper Body Strength, the feeling that you have to exactly the same as everyone else.

Conclusion: If you love spin class, want a great workout, love loud music, and are willing to do upper body strength, then Soulcycle is the fitness studio for you. If not, do your thing- whether it’s strolling the neighborhood, running for your life, or pounding some weights- STAY ACTIVE!

Want to know more? Just ask. Meanwhile, I’ll be at gym or maybe another Soulcycle class.

Balance? Story of a Recovering Snapchaddict

Balance, I thought I had it. Sure, a few people have recommended that I need some more balance in my life. Work, running, and food are my 3 main things in life. I occasionally added in some yoga and sleep for “balance.” I thought I had balance with my typical day…

A typical day looked like this: Wake up, do yoga, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, snack, workout, dinner, and bedtime.

This is what I left out of the above schedule: my newly found communications habit. 2016 was the year- the year of me connecting with everyone- friends from the past, new friends, etc. So at breakfast- I’d shoot a few texts (or snaps), maybe do some texting on the way to work, answer a few texts at lunch time, and then when I came home- the texting game was really on. If I’m being honest, I spent a few hours texting, Snapchatting, and using other apps for a few hours every evening. I was ok with this- I figured it seemed more beneficial than a Netflix Binge and I was still getting in my fitness (see above schedule for reference of yoga and running!). How could it be so wrong to use for phone to communicating with people? How many Snaps is too many? 10 snaps a day seems reasonable to friends, right?

Well, I’ll share with you how it went wrong…

After about a month of increased phone communications, my neck and shoulder starting hurting. I assumed I slept “funny” so I briefly let the pain linger. After about week, I finally went to the doctor.  What was my diagnosis, you ask? “TEXT NECK!”

Sure, I had heard of “text neck.” It was a disease that plagued teenagers glued to their phone 24/7. Not me, it couldn’t happen to me. I exercise, I stretch, and I eat healthy! I only use my phone moderately for the most part (except for those binge sessions every evening). Clearly, I have a problem and need to fix and prevent text neck from ever occurring again.

My Game Plan is as follows:

  1. Continue to see the doctor and get some trigger point therapy to deal with acute pain/ situation
  2. Continue stretching and doing yoga at home
  3. Limit Snapchat usage to once daily for maximum of 30 mins and delete extraneous apps (p.s. 5 days into Feb and I think I am doing rather well)
  4. Turn the phone off and some enjoy some Netflix bingeing (suggestions welcomed)

Yes, I am embarrassed about my current situation, but I’ll continue to share, because I do not want it to happen to you. Text neck, don’t let it happen to you or your friends! Don’t become a snapchaddict. Just in case, you do get it here are some great stretches.

Happy stretching and powering down! Hope you find your balance,

Emily (Snapchat Username: keannutrition for delicious food and other healthy snaps)


Sugar, Spice, & Everything Nice

“Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice. Those were the ingredients chosen. To create the perfect little girls.” Growing up, I loved the Powderpuff Girls such powerful feminine role models. Sure, sometimes they were silly, but they still fought evil like a boss.

Today, finally the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines were released. Hip-Hip Hooray!

Most important for general healthy individuals, I think the recommendations for limiting added sugar is most important. While limiting added sugar should be done, its also important to remember that some added sugar is acceptable. In fact, the guidelines say 10% (or less) is okay-so enjoy some added sugar. Don’t worry, I had my chocolate chip cookie today.

What is added sugar? Essentially, its sugars that are added to sweeten foods. For example:

  • Table sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Honey
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

Added sugar can be hiding in your diet in places such as your breakfast cereals, cookies, breads, and yogurts.

Remember the Dietary Guidelines are just recommendations, please reach out to a registered dietitian and your medical providers before making changes to your diet.

Sandwich in Moderation

“Everything in moderation.” I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, but in practice what does it mean? For me and my life, it means eat and living healthfully most of time. I indulge occasionally. For example, I am currently treating myself to some Panera Bread. I ate a light lunch (funi cabbage salad-recipe to come later), so I can indulge this evening. My favorite item at Panera is the Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich. Sure, the sandwich has a few questionable ingredients (stabilizers, etc.), but I don’t eat it everyday (or even every month).

  • Reasons, I like it- a decent amount of healthy veggies (lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes) perfectly sandwiched between savory tomato basil bread with cilantro jalapeno hummus.
  • Reason to enjoy in moderation= 94 grams of carbs and 1430mg of sodium is high.

So..what’s a girl to do? Enjoy half the sandwich with a side of salad. This way I can still enjoy the  yummy sandwich, while still being health conscious. Yummy sandwiches for dinner, once in awhile. Balance is key. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll enjoy some cake in moderation (along with lots of veggies, fruits, nuts, and grains) – who knows what tomorrow brings?

Note: Recent studies and articles have claimed that eating “everything in moderation is killing people.” These are referring to studies in which the people still ate a significant amounts of junk food. Consuming soda, chips, and other snacks in large amounts means that you have less room in your stomach to eat healthy foods- fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and lean proteins. By including copious amounts of junk food in your diet, you are leaving out necessary nutrients and the health benefits of whole foods. Focus first on eating whole foods and meals, then enjoy junk foods in moderation. #sandwichinmoderation

Food Trends 2016: Want to be trendy? Here’s how…

Six easy steps to a trendy 2016!! From fermented foods to fresh florals-2016 looks great! Please complete these 6 steps, to be on top of all the trends. Be a real 2016 foodie!

Step 1: Drink Kombucha or some other probiotic carbonated drink option. Make sure to drink it really fast so the bubbles come back through your nose.

Step 2: Go the ocean. Find some seaweed for a quick snack.

Step 3: Full fat is back= eat an entire stick of butter (and nothing else).

Step 4: Fresh florals such as lavender can make great meals. Eat an entire floral meal. Don’t just garnish with the flowers, only eat the flowers.

Step 5: Sautéed Vegetable leaves are a great way to reduce waste. Buy the whole sweet potato plant, cook the leaves, and toss the rest of the plant.

Step 6: Kale remains king of all vegetables (with the queen being Sweet potatoes). Eat kale all day, everyday!

Note: This are all sarcastic recommendations. Please do NOT attempt. I mean you may certainly try some of these food options, just don’t over do it.

Looking forward to what other trends 2016 has to bring! In all seriousness though, feel free to go to your local grocery store, perhaps Trader Joe’s and check out new food offerings.

Photo cred: Myself– The above photo is an example of what an actual “trendy” dish could look like. A mixed green salad (with baby kale & red kale) topped with tuna salad.

Links: http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Markets/What-are-the-top-10-specialty-food-trends-for-2016