Boom! Potstickers for dinner? I'll take it. We are all on the search for easy family dinner options, especially during the busy seasons. We love this idea because A) All the veggies incorporated (and yes you can choose whatever blend you like!) B) ONE POT. C) Easy clean up.
You must take a moment to read Aaron’s story. He has been such an inspiration to us at My Nutrition Studio and to others, and we are honored to be a part of his journey.
"So, this post is over a year in the making. Over the past 15 months I have lost 203 pounds! 200 down was the big goal I had on my mind back on May 15th, 2020, the day I decided to change my life. Technically I have reached my goal, but I’m not done! This post is the first time I have displayed my lifestyle change to the public, and my hope is that it motivates or inspires others looking to make that doable change in their life. Please share my story if you feel compelled.
I have struggled my entire life with obesity, I can honestly say, before this year I literally did not know what it felt like to be healthy and in shape. I have always been “active” and enjoyed moving, but my food habits were horrendous, to put it nicely. To put it simply, I was ADDICTED to sugar and food. I’ve used to always use food to fill a void of a happiness that I had always yearned for. I used food as a coping mechanism, and by the time HS it, food was always on my mind. I have always been known as the “happy” friend who always is willing to listen and talk to people, so for so long I coped with food when life got tough in order to maintain that image of happiness and strength everyone saw. I love making people happy, so I have always subconsciously put others in front of myself thus not allowing myself to deal with the problems in my life. Anyone who knows me will tell you I have always been extremely confident in my abilities (maybe too much sometimes lol), but I have never been confident in myself or in my image. Post college, my parents began going through a very difficult situation that took an ugly toll on my family. At the height of this situation, I had to physically restrain my father, which did major phycological damage to my brain. Again, I had to put other in front of myself, but this time it was my students. My students deserved to see an enthusiastic Coach O, they didn’t deserve to have a teacher who wore their baggage to class. So, instead of getting therapy, I resorted to my old coping mechanism of eating, and eating, and eating. This time was different though, I exploded to a massive 445 pounds. I didn’t even recognize who I was in the Mirror. I didn’t enjoy going out anymore, basically all the things that used to bring me joy were becoming non excitable. I only looked forward to what I going to eat at night. The crazy thing is, I did even want to eat, I was just addicted, I had to eat. I had accepted the reality that I was going to die early. I knew I was killing myself, but I couldn’t get myself to care. I was that depressed. Then, one day everything changed.
The day after these “before” pics were taken at the river, I woke up with an eye floater. I have never had eye issues, so, understandably I was concerned. I made an appointment with the eye doctor, and he ordered a MRI because he saw blood and was worried I might be bleeding from the brain. Thank God, all X-rays came back negative, but it was the wake up call I needed. My Dr. informed me that my blood pressure had spiked that particular day causing the eye floater. He also informed me that I was pre-diabetic and was tiptoeing the line of diabetic. He told me that at that moment I didn’t need any medication and could reverse it naturally, but he probably wouldn’t be able to say the same thing in a few months or a year if I continued down the path I was on. God had given me a second chance at life, and I wasn’t about to pass it up. I called my buddy Coach Allen, explained my situation and just asked for help (which was hard for my ego). He created a meal by meal weekly menu for me to follow. I began walking a mile and cut out all drinks except water. The first month was extremely hard. I had to break my sugar addiction. My roommates would walk in with fast food, and it would take all my will power to get my keys and go indulge. That first month I could barely walk a mile much less do any intense workouts, But I persevered, and all of a sudden I had lost 40 pounds and it was month two. I hired a nutritionist, named Jennifer (she’s amazing) began tracking my macros, and began doing workout videos from home on Team Body Project with Daniel Bartlett (I highly suggest them) . Every day, week, month, I could feel myself getting smaller but stronger! I had become addicted to the progress, to the results, to the feeling of hitting mini goals. It no longer felt like a diet and weight loss plan, I was crating a lifestyle change and I was loving it! I started this journey by walking and doing wall pushups, I now go to the gym six times a week always looking for ways to challenge myself. I also have educated myself, and continue to educate myself, on the foods we put in our bodies. Today I allow myself to eat what I want, but in moderation. I’m in a place where I’m very confident in myself, but I’m not content with my progress, which we should never be! I want to continue to become stronger physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
I have now realized, I can still make people smile and happy, but also be aware of my own depressions and anxiety’s. I Learned I am worthy of truly loving myself and worthy of true happiness. Learning that being confident in my abilities and being confident in myself were two different things changed the ball game. I do deserve happiness, and so do you. I have learned you can still put yourself first sometimes while still being a selfless person. I have learned that discipline is more important that motivation! Motivation will always run out. I have grown a love to move, because we get to move! We were blessed with working legs, some people pray to just have the ability to walk. Just know you are worth it you can do this! I hope this story find you well and shows you that the thing you believe is too hard or impossible is achievable if you’re willing to go get it!
Throughout these 15 months, I didn’t post one status or picture of my journey on social media, because I wanted to do this for me and no one else. With that being said, I did have pods of close friends and family help keep me accountable. Thank you to those who have supported me though out this journey especially my roomate Tyler who changed his eating habits to support me and coach Allen for getting me started those first 2 months; I love y’all more than words can express."
We are so fortunate to get to work with so many amazing people in this community. If you have your health and wellness story to share, we'd loved to listen!
Have you ever struggled with your relationship with exercise? Such as using it as a weight loss tool, burning off “bad foods”, or to punish yourself for over eating? If this is you, then physical activity may not be your favorite thing to do. Rather than being a pleasurable activity, or a tool for taking care of your body, exercise probably feels more like a miserable chore. If this is you, consider exploring what we call joyful movement.
Savor the tastes of summer with our favorite seasonal recipes to whip up at home. Need help with meal planning? We gotcha covered.
As nutrition professionals, we are asked quite frequently about the resources out there regarding health, nutrition, and lifestyle change. We listed a few of our favorites and encourage deep diving if you have some extra time this summer!
At My Nutrition Studio, we are passionate about taking care of your health in the long-term, not just short-term. With this being said, our healthy habits we build must remain consistent. This can get tricky if we don’t have the tools to practice steady self care. We shared a few tools below that can get you thinking--
1) Let the Perfectionism Go
With knowledge and practice, we can allow for flexibility rather than try to eat perfectly. A diet culture mindset around eating perfectly actually makes it more difficult for you to simply eat well because it often puts you in the all-or-nothing mindset. All-or-nothing mindset can lead to “falling off the wagon”, cheat days, and then eventually throwing in the towel.
2) Dismiss Food Rules
Too many food rules can be entirely overwhelming and not appropriate for you! An example of a food rule would be “no carbs for dinner” or “don’t eat after 5pm”. After working with a nutrition professional, you have a better understanding of what you need to do for yourself. Let’s not get distracted by short-term fixes or keeping up with the latest trends.
3) Focus on How you Feel
After practicing wellness routines to better our health, we notice how much better we feel when it’s consistently implemented. Fueling well can support our energy, emotional wellbeing, and clarity. What type of eating habits support the best version of you?
Are you the person who has multiple cans of chickpeas in your pantry with good intentions? No need to make hummus... Try this super simple recipe for a fun high protein-packed snack or bowl/salad topper! The spice blends you can choose from are endless- Cajun, Indian, chili powder, cumin...
One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
Spice blend of your choice (we used Garam Masala)
Preheat oven to 400F. Drain the can of garbanzo beans in a strainer and rinse with water. Place garbanzo beans on cookie sheet and dry off with a paper towel. Drizzle olive oil and toss beans to coat. Roast for 30-40 minutes until the beans are a deep golden brown and crunchy. Season with sea salt and spice blend.
FYI: These are best when eaten right away!
My Nutrition Studio celebrated PB and J day with a twist! These Almond Butter & Jelly Banana Bread Bars are fun to make with the kids and a delicious balanced breakfast or snack option. Check out Rachel Miller's demo on how to make them, and let us know if you try!
It may sound very obvious, but your hunger and fullness cues are there for a reason - for your body to communicate roughly when to start eating and when to stop eating. Consulting with a dietitian is helpful when navigating your hunger cues. We can help you process this information to better understand your energy needs for your best health!
Those concrete fad diets out there make it seem like there is a very exact amount of calories that your body needs, but in reality, your metabolism changes from day to day based on a variety of factors - physical activity, hormonal changes, how much you ate, stress, sleep, etc. Listening to your hunger and fullness cues will help you appropriately respond to these changing needs. Our hunger scale is a tool to reconnect with your body and practice intuitive eating. To better understand these levels, check out our hunger scale tool below!
There are so many reasons to see a Registered Dietitian! From digestive troubles, abnormal bloodwork, to optimizing your health with preventative action… the list goes on! If you are thinking about working with a dietitian or already having something in the books, check out our tips on how to prepare for your consultation!
Even though the holidays may be different this year, we are still whipping up our favorite holiday goodies here at My Nutrition Studio! Check out our signature holiday bark and. unique veggie dish below!
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY HOLIDAY BARK
1 lbs dark chocolate (we used Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bar)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup dried blueberries
Chop chocolate into small 1/2" pieces. In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate in 20-30 second intervals (stirring between each interval) until melted. Do not burn! Once melted and glossy, pour most of the chocolate (leaving a tad behind for drizzling) onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle almonds, pecans, coconut, and blueberries onto the chocolate. Press down gently to make sure toppings stick. Drizzle remainder of chocolate over the bark. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Remove and cut with a knife or break into desired pieces.
3 yellow squash
2-3 roma tomatoes
1-2 tbsp olive oil
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1-2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to season
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Clean all vegetables and slice them finely into equal round slices the best you can. Align the slices tightly alternating with each vegetable. Sprinkle dish with fresh thyme, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Cook in oven for 30 minutes. When ready, sprinkle fresh parsley over tian and serve immediately!
We all know how important nutrition is during pregnancy, and most expectant moms ensure that they’re meeting their nutrient requirements, as well as avoiding foods that may be unsafe. But what about postpartum nutrition?
If you are expecting a baby or have just had a baby, let’s not overlook the nutrition support needed after delivery. An adequate diet is especially important for recovery, and to supply you with the energy necessary to care for your new baby.
Check-in with these tips as part of your postpartum journey--
1) Hydrate—It’s crucial that you stay hydrated, both to maintain healthy digestion and to help establish and maintain the proper milk supply. Drink frequently and proactively (before you feel thirsty) to avoid dehydration. Adequate hydration also supports energy, so treat yourself to a fun water bottle!
2) Make convenient snacks available— especially those that you can eat one handed like bars, whole grain muffins, and energy bites. Finding your groove with a new baby doesn’t always align with your typical eating schedule, so hearty snacks will keep you going like these Chewy Granola Bars.
3) Accept help! It’s essential that you have some healthy home cooked meals ready to heat up post-delivery. Most moms would agree that the best gifts post-delivery are home cooked meals. This allows you to relax/get in more shut eye, support an adequate caloric intake, and alleviates the stress of feeding the family. This recipe for Green Goddess Enchiladas is the perfect example for a nutritious casserole waiting to be reheated.
For customized plans to support you further, schedule an appointment with one of our dietitians at My Nutrition Studio!
We wanted to share some tips to ensure you are fueling your body at your best! Lunch is one of those missed opportunities for nourishment, especially if you are in a rush- either skipping entirely or opting for drive-thru options with no intention.
We had to share this granola recipe immediately because it's THAT GOOD! Light, crispy, and full of nutritional value with nuts and seeds. Some shifts from your usual granola recipe is that we are using olive oil, resulting in the best texture and an optimal fat profile. The addition of freeze dried fruit is another texture element that gives granola a new light.
A popular goal amongst our clientele is to add more cruciferous vegetables or leafy greens daily, so try this if you need a boost! Saag Paneer is a dish that I usually grab for take out at Tarka, but I figured I could make something close, or at least similar at home. Saag paneer is a classic Indian dish of cooked spinach studded with cubes of seared cheese.
The spices in this dish will get you out of a meal planning rut. Consider it a "plan B" meal if you don't have time to defrost a protein for dinner- the paneer cheese is already waiting for you in the fridge... Here it goes!
Did you buy the cherries and just snacking on them? Try them in your next meal instead! We love this recipe because it screams seasonal produce, flavor, and summer.
One of the most common mistakes we see when making changes to our overall intake is under fueling- meaning not eating often enough during the day. This leaves us coasting with a low blood sugar which can affect us mentally and physically... eventually to a restrict/binge cycle way of living. These DIY protein bars can keep you on point with your meal pattern, so give this recipe a try if you have some protein powder in your pantry.
You may be cooking A LOT more than usual with the new normal of shelter at home. We can use this as an opportunity to make your kitchen skills stronger and YOU being far more confident in the kitchen. Consider these creative ways to use pantry staples to reinvent a meal or two!
With practice, a leftover protein can be repurposed into an entirely different entree. Using leftover chicken, this Thai Chicken Salad is great example of this. Roasted chicken is a family favorite, so there is most likely shredded chicken in the fridge about twice a month. The secret to this salad is the peanut dressing, and there's nothing better than a lunch with tropical vibes. Let's get out of our comfort zone and try it!
Your basic apple and peanut butter snack can be transformed into something as fun as this "apple cookie" combo. With apples non-traditionally sliced into circles with seeds removed, have fun with adding any nut butter and following toppings for a fueling snack...
Let us help you put your nutrition foundation into practice! Creating healthy habits to honor your body requires ACTION, and we are here to provide you with ideas and inspiration to support your journey.