Ask the Nutritionist | Melanie Beasley, RD, LD

By Jackie Cartier
March 7, 2017

An ongoing theme in our blog is asking our knowledgeable nutritionists their tips and tricks. Everything from how they make real food fast, easy and delicious, to the best success stories they've been a part of. Anything you'd like to ask a nutritionist? Let us know in the comments below! In the meantime, take a look at what Melanie, our newest Nutritional Weight & Wellness nutritionist, had to say!

bios_Melanie_Beasley_Large.jpgWhen did you realize the power of real food?

There was a turning point in my life where seeking wellness, health and just plain relief became my focus. This journey began the year that I had five surgeries that started with a ruptured disc and continued with a battle with cancer. I was very sick with chronic infections, migraines, exhaustion, urinary tract infections and acid reflux. I was on a cocktail of prescription medications. They continued to treat the symptoms without finding the cause. When I was finally diagnosed with a multitude of food allergies and an intolerance to sugar I was relieved...and then a bit panicked about what to eat. Here I was, a dietitian allergic to wheat, gluten, chocolate, soy, corn, cow's milk (dairy), goat milk and some tree nuts. I took the challenge and removed the allergens from my diet, began eating simple food and found relief! I was off three prescription medications in just six weeks! I continue to be gluten, dairy and chocolate free eating the Weight & Wellness Way.

What is your food struggle? What tricks do you use to avoid that issue?

My biggest food struggle is appetizer dips at parties. If I start eating those junkie snacks it takes me several days to eliminate food cravings. I have learned to just not go down a long trail of poor eating. It only results in pain and illness for me. I treasure feeling energetic and healthy!

5-questions-melanie_sidebar.jpgWhat is the most frequent question you hear from clients?

I encounter so many clients who are overwhelmed with changes in their dietary patterns. I tell them it is like eating an elephant, strange metaphor but stick with me – it seems overwhelming, but one bite at a time and you have him eaten. If they plan for success they will be successful. As their health improves from the simple foods they are eating, then they can then make some creative meals. Until then don't get complicated, keep it simple.

What do you do for an easy grab and go meal when you're pinched for time?

My easy grab and go snack is a frozen smoothie. I triple the smoothie recipe and add three cups of kale or spinach leaves. Then I split the smoothies up into mason jars and put them in the freezer. I use them for icepacks in my lunch and by the time it is snack time, they are thawed and ready to drink.

What's one of your favorite client success stories?

I had a client that came in with a recent 50-pound weight gain, skin rashes and tremendous anxiety. We removed gluten, dairy and sugar from her diet, the sources of her food intolerances. We also problem-solved eating in balance with her busy lifestyle. She began to cry... with happiness! She said it was the first time she felt heard and had hope. What a privilege to be a part of my clients' health journey.

Thanks for sharing, Melanie! Read what our other nutritionists share what they wished more people knew about nutrition, why slow weight loss is best and so much more. If you want to start your own success story, we encourage you to make a nutrition counselling appointment today.










About the author

Jackie Cartier is Content Strategy Manager for Nutritional Weight & Wellness. She was once a client, seeking natural solutions to her achy runner knees and hormonal imbalances. From then she was hooked and eventually ended up on their team, spreading the real food message on the blog and through social media. 

View all posts by Jackie Cartier


Hi my boyfriend and i live a 2nd shift life. He works until midnight then wants a big dinner when he comes home and even though I'm a homemaker I keep the same hours. Because he also wants a big meal before he starts work and goes to sleep shortly after "dinner" (usually 130/2am) I find us both getting heavier. I'm wondering what lighter types of dinners I can make that will fill you and promote weight loss during sleep?
March 16, 2017 at 9:25 pm


Eating a large meal before bed can take a toll on good quality sleep. It is a little known fact that gravity and movement after a meal are important for proper digestion.  A large meal that incorporates meats and other proteins can “energize” us and for some create sleep disturbances.  I would recommend the larger meal or “dinner” if you will would be eaten a few hours before your boyfriend comes home (packed for work) and a light snack together such as berries and real cream or a small apple with peanut butter would be the bedtime snack you share together.  Living the second shift can be challenging nutritionally for many people.  If you find yourself gaining weight due to life circumstances I would suggest an appointment with one of our nutritionists to dig a little deeper into the root causes and solutions.

Hi. I have a question in regards to nutrition on a vegan diet/ lifestyle. I understand that b12 is an essential vitamin for good health and wellness. The only "natural" source source of b12 is through bacteria, and is found in dirt and soil. Over the many years of sanitization, there is not a very easy way of getting b12 without consuming meat and dairy. In fact, farm animals themselves get b12 from supplementation, and sometimes from eating their own feces. I was wondering if it would be safe and effective to just take a supplement instead of taking in this meat/dairy products long term since farm animals basically only have adequate levels of b12 because of supplementation themselves. Thank you so much for your time.
May 21, 2017 at 6:22 pm


It always wonderful to see a listener that is doing her research and taking such a wonderful proactive stance in their own nutritional wellness. In regards to B12 I would agree with you that it is an essential vitamin for good health.

The best source is of course grass fed meats, organic eggs and dairy products.We always encourage food first as the proper micro and macronutrients are packed in our quality food sources.There are so many additional nutrition benefits to getting our B12 from food verses supplementation.  

As far as the supplementation for those individuals that are Vegan a Methylated B12 is an activated form that is readily available to the individual who has good gut health and require an additional amount of B12.

I hope this answers your question!

Melanie Beasley

Is it possible to take too much vitamin D3 per day by using supplements? Some friends at my gym use CLA + Carbitine, a weight-loss dietary supplement, that calls for 1 scoop (serving) in the morning and one at night. I'm reading up on it, and the product has 10,000 IU of vitamin d3 per serving. What is too much, and what should you be targeting for vitamin D consumption?
June 18, 2017 at 8:53 pm


It is possible to get too much vitamin D in supplement form. We recommend to get your vitamin D levels tested routinely and based on the results, supplement accordingly to maintain a level close to 50. 

We know that if your D levels are too low or too high, you can have some negative symptoms. A typical maintenance dose would be 5,000 IU daily in the winter and 2,000 IU daily in the summer. Depending on what your current levels are, the 10,000 per day might be too much to take everyday. I hope this helps. 


I have two questions. I read that it is better to eat a whole baked potato than the same potato mashed (no added butter, etc.) because mashing it releases sugar. Along the same line, I know it is better to eat fruit than to drink the juice alone. I make smoothies with frozen blackberries and skim milk plus sweetener. Is it seriously better to eat the berries? There is nothing left over and I still have the seeds and pulp in the smoothie. I am a diabetic and also trying to lose weight. Thank you so much.
August 17, 2017 at 4:48 pm


I am so happy to hear that you are looking for ways to improve your diet and blood sugar control.  As a diabetic I am sure you understand the importance of maintaining healthy blood sugar balance through nutrition. 

Keep in mind that by the time we chew a bake potato  thoroughly we have essentially “mashed” the potato with our teeth.

These are great but very complex questions and I would recommend a consult with one of our nutritionists.  

Amber Johnson
I'm in healthcare and spend the majority of my day in the car driving from patient to patient. I'm interested in finding a meal plan that accommodates that sort of lifestyle and if you knew of any resources I could look at? I'm trying to lose weight and it's difficult to pack lunches when I have no access to a microwave and limited cooler space. Thanks!
August 19, 2017 at 9:20 am


Thank you for reaching out to Nutritional Weight & Wellness! Finding a meal plan that works with a traveling profession can be challenging! However, we have several clientele with similar careers that have received excellent ideas and counseling from our nutritionists.  

Being a healthcare professional I am sure you are aware of the critical need for a wellness lifestyle. Prepping and preparing meals and snacks is essential for a healthy nutrition plan. If you need help with ideas hear are a few.

  • Use a large soft cooler that will accommodate a day of meals and snacks.  Such as Trader Joes.
  • Cook up a large batch of chicken breasts that have been cut into bite size pieces and frozen in 4 ounces freezer bags.
  • Raw veggies, olives and deli meat roll ups (with cream cheese and pickles) can be added to the cooler.
  • Small apples with baggies of nuts or sunflower seeds are a great grab and go snack.
  • Keep wet whips and several bottles of water in the car for easy clean up.

Need more ideas you can search or Podcasts on Dishing up Nutrition.  Since you are in your car it is a good reminder while you are traveling to care for others that your health is important too!

Every time I try to move away from carbs and eat meals that are full of veggies, I get awful bloating. I often forget that it will happen, and wonder why I appear to be gaining weight when I switch breads out for cauliflower. Then I will remember, and once I cut out the veggies, the bloating subsides. How can I eat for long-term health (less carbs) if the veggies I eat to fill me instead just make me constipated and bloated? (I am eating protein, but I want something besides just chicken or tofu in my meal, thus the veggies.)

September 14, 2017 at 8:17 pm


It is great that you are trying to eat more vegetables! Vegetables can be a little bloating at first due to the fact that they are high in fiber and feed our natural probiotics that exist in our gastrointestinal tract. Usually when some begins adding vegetables and fibrous foods some gas and bloating is to be expected. However, it sounds like this has been an ongoing struggle for you and some digestive issues may be a problem. I would strongly suggest you make an appointment with one of the nutritionists here at Nutritional Weight & Wellness to help you find some solutions.  

I know that green tea is effective in helping to burn unwanted fat, I see all these things about green tea diets but what is the best way to drink green tea? Is it best to drink it once in the morning to start your day, or is it best to drink green tea throughout your day? Also how much should I drink and does it make a difference whether you drink it cold or warm?
September 21, 2017 at 12:29 pm


Three cups of organic green tea per day may facilitate the burning of body fat. Green tea studies suggest it promotes the body’s ability to burn fat through thermogenesis and fat oxidation. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found the combination of polyphenols and caffeine from an extract of green tea resulted in a “significant increase” in energy used by the body.

Some studies show green tea improves insulin sensitivity and may help protect against diabetes and blood sugar imbalances. Keeping in mind a wellness eating plan is critical. A nutritionist at Nutritional Weight & Wellness can help with a balanced eating plan.

Green tea is a delicious, healthy drink that can be part of your daily diet. Its health benefits may be best realized when served hot with lemon but it can be enjoyed chilled or even iced. Remember it has some caffeine so it is best consumed before early afternoon to ensure it does not affect sleep!

In college we dont have a lot of fruits and vegetables so I have been supplementing with V8 smoothies. The only problem is that there is a lot of sugar in them- should I stop drinking them and basically lose my vegetable/ fruit intake?
September 29, 2017 at 12:53 pm


Hi, I understand how difficult it can be for a college student to shop and carry quality ingredients in your busy schedule. You are right, many of the convenience vegetable drinks are very high in sugar and will cause inflammation and suppress immunity. However, stopping at the grocery store and making a few portable snacks would be in your best interest for your overall health. Portable fruits and veggies such as carrots, celery, small oranges and apples would be a better choice. Some small baggies of nuts and beef jerky (MSG free)  would also be some better options to offset hunger on campus.  Good luck this year with your college studies!

LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! The Dishing Up Nutrition podcast! I've been hooked on it now for almost a year and it has totally changed the way I eat. About 2 months ago my husband was diagnosed with diabetes and he to now is eating the health and wellness way. His blood A1C went from over 13 where he was having vision problems and other symptoms to 6.5 and he has lost 30 pounds. I'm so proud of him! (He is also on Metformin which his doctor may take him off.) One of the things I have never heard talked about on the program is BUCKWHEAT. I am on a kick with it myself, eating Bob's Mill organic hot creamy buckwheat cereal. I have also been buying buckwheat flour to make muffins and other treats to enjoy occasionally. (for a sweetener I use Stevia).
Was wondering if you could please shed some light and thoughts on buckwheat? Also, I've never seen any of your recipes include buckwheat.
Thank you so much,
September 30, 2017 at 8:53 am


Wow! It is so exciting to hear the wonderful impact Dishing Up Nutrition has made in you and your husbands health!  Congratulations on the changes you both have made! Buckwheat is a wonderful seed that is often overlooked. It is has no relation to the wheat we are so familiar with and is actually gluten free. This makes buckwheat a wonderful alternative for people who are gluten and wheat sensitive. It is rich in many trace minerals, including manganese, magnesium and copper. It is also a good source of the B vitamins: B6, pantothenic acid, niacin, folate, thiamin and choline. Studies have shown it has been helpful in lowing blood sugar. Because it is not an ingredient we have not included it in any recipes but it is great to hear you have made it one of your favorite ingredients.

If you would like to save a little money and make your own porridge here is one of my favorite recipes:

Buckwheat Porridge:


  • 1 cup raw buckwheat groats
  • 3 cups water
  • Liquid stevia
  • Powdered cardamom


  • Place buckwheat and water in a 1-quart sauce pan.
  • Heat on low 45 minutes or until a porridge-like consistency is reached.
  • Add stevia and cardamom to taste.
  • Serve plain or with unsweetened flax milk or unsweetened coconut yogurt.

I recently went vegetarian and want to make sure I’m getting my nutrition right. I’ve tried taking a B12 supplement a few times, but always get a headache right away. I do drink fortified soy milk. Is it possible that the headache is from too much B12 and that I get all I need from the soy milk? I want to make sure I don’t end up with a deficiency, but really don’t want to have to endure the headaches to get it.
October 2, 2017 at 8:00 pm


Taking B12 is an excellent idea! Especially if you are avoiding the high quality protein we get from meat and fish.  I would make sure you are getting a quality well absorbed B12 supplement. Since B12 occurs naturally in our bodies it would be very rare to get a headache from the B12 itself.  Many supplements contain fillers that people are sensitive to, so be sure you are taking a good well absorbed one.  Soy milk can also have some poor additives and supplementation that could be causing a problem. Soy is one of the top 8 allergens in our country so perhaps remove that milk as well and see if you have relief.  Getting enough macro and micronutrients as a vegetarian can be a challenge!  I would recommend making an appointment with one of our nutritionists to ensure your diet is sufficient for health and wellness.

If a calorie counter that looks at height, weight, sex, lifestyle says I should be eating 1.5k calories daily to lose a pound a week, can I achieve this number by eating over that and subtracting with exercise to that number or should I only be eating 1.5k calories plus exercising?
October 5, 2017 at 12:57 am


That is a very common question for people who are on calorie counting programs. Theoretically you can eat more calories if you exercise. Calories counted using calibrated programs and Apps are only as good at the source they were programed from and should never be the only consideration for healthy weight. 

However, at Nutritional Weight & Weellness we do not encourage calorie counting as much as the quality of foods you are eating and blood sugar balance for overall health. I would suggest you listen to our podcasts on weight reduction that can be found on our website under Dishing Up Nutrition.

I'm a 63 yr old woman and would like to know why eating anything with refined sugar gives me hot flashes. Otherwise, I do not get them. Thanks!
October 9, 2017 at 2:59 pm


A great question! This article, Hormones, Hot Flashes and Holiday Fare will help explain that as will this Dishing Up Nutrition podcast Menopause: Moods, Memory & More. 

I am a 26 yr old male seeking some advice on a sleep/nutrition question. I wake up at nearly the same time every morning (4:15 AM). I exercise 5 days/week and stick to a strict diet (fats before noon, carbs after noon/around workouts). I eat 4 meals/day, + a post exercise shake; approximately 2200 cal total. I have gone over all my supplements and the few meds I take with an MD sleep doctor, but we did not discuss diet. I can't help but wonder if an insulin/blood sugar shift is waking me up each morning. I have tested the idea and find that I am in fact able to sleep longer if I put some carbs and fat into my body 30 min before bed. I am finding it difficult to get a straight answer on what the best macronutrient combination is to keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the night, some have said healthy fats with carbs, others said protein with carbs, some say carbs with fiber, some just say straight protein. I'm also concerned that the wrong foods will put on unwanted weight. Can you shed some light on this for me? Perhaps provide me with an example?
October 16, 2017 at 11:12 am


I would agree that there is very conflicting advice for nutrition and especially nutrition and sleep.

The first thing I always suggest is eating a bedtime snack that includes a healthy fat and a carbohydrate source (such as strawberries with cream or perhaps a half an apple with some almond butter, or half an avocado with some salsa). If your blood sugar crashes while you sleep, it can wake you from a sound sleep, but the combination of fat and carbohydrate will keep your blood sugar stable all night long. For some people animal proteins can be energizing at bedtime so I would suggest avoiding them after dinner.

If the bedtime snack is not enough help, I suggest you take 400-600mg of Magnesium Glycinate. Myself or one of our nutritionists are always available for an appointment should you need further support.


I'm a 20 year old female and I would like some help with understanding my metabolism. I am 5'5 and 135 lbs. I have an athletic body type with an average amount of body fat and more than average muscle than most women my age. I exercise about 5 times a week for at least an hour and also get 8 hours of sleep on average. I was wondering how it is possible that I eat so much. I can eat 2500-3000 calories a day and spend an enormous amount of money on groceries (about $500/month) without buying expensive foods. I eat very healthy and track my macros but I'm concerned with the amount that I eat. I don't seem to have one of those naturally super skinny body types that can eat anything and everything they want without gaining weight because I am not as lean as I could be for the amount of training I do. I usually eat 4-5 meals a day and every time I eat it is because I am truly hungry. Why is it so hard for me to hold myself back from eating food when it seems like I am really eating too much for a person my size and I continue to not lean out?

Thank you,
October 22, 2017 at 4:15 pm


Wow, you sound extremely committed to your work outs and your overall health! In reading your question it sounds like you are expending quite a bit of energy in your work outs and your body needs the fuel from food to continue such a rigorous lifestyle. Here at Nutritional Weight & Wellness we encourage eating several times a day to keep your metabolism and energy in good working order. However, it is the type of food and the combination of protein, vegetable carbs and healthy fats that determines the outcome in health and energy. I would suggest an appointment with me or one of the nutritionists here at Nutrition Weight & Wellness, we do phone or in-person nutrition consultations, to evaluate and possibly make some suggestions to your lifestyle and intake. Congratulations on taking such a proactive interest in your health. Making a few changes will only further your progress.

I mostly only eat poultry. If I am going over to somone house and they cook pork or beef, I don't want to be rude so I have a very small portion. Should I be taking an Iron supplement? Thank you
November 6, 2017 at 5:40 pm


That is a great question and it is frequently asked by individuals who do not eat red meat.

There are two forms of dietary iron: heme and non-heme. Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin. It is found in animal foods that originally contained hemoglobin, such as red meats, fish, and poultry (meat, poultry, and seafood contain both heme and non-heme iron). Your body absorbs the most iron from heme sources. Most non-heme iron is from plant sources.

 Good sources of heme iron that are not red meat include:

  • 3 ounces of clams, mollusks, or mussels
  • 3 ounces of oysters
  • 3 ounces of canned sardines, canned in oil

 Very good sources of non-heme include:

  • 1 cup of cooked beans
  • 1 ounce of pumpkin, sesame, or squash seeds
  • 1/2 cup of canned lima beans, red kidney beans, or chickpeas
  • 1 medium baked potato
  • 1/4 cup of wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup of cooked split peas
  • 1 ounce of peanuts, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, roasted almonds, roasted cashews, or sunflower seeds
  • 1 medium stalk of broccoli
  • 1 cup of raw spinach

Some foods can help your body absorb iron from iron-rich foods; others can hinder it. To absorb the most iron from the foods you eat, avoid drinking coffee or tea or consuming calcium-rich foods or drinks with meals containing iron-rich foods. To improve your absorption of iron, eat it along with a good source of vitamin C, such as orange juice, broccoli, or strawberries, or eat non-heme iron foods with a food from the meat, fish, and poultry group. You can also cook your acidic foods like spaghetti sauce in cast iron skillets to increase the iron content of foods.

If you are having difficulty getting enough iron through food you made need supplementation. However, always speak to your doctor about being tested first.  Minimal amounts of iron are excreted from the body and can become too high with supplementation. Although iron toxicity from food sources is extremely rare. If you have any further questions or nutritional needs, it is good to speak with one of our nutritionists who are happy to help you to achieve nutritional wellness!

Susan Pickus
Have you heard of Step One Foods? And if you have do you recommend them?
November 7, 2017 at 4:13 pm


Our nutritionist had never heard of them, but did a quick search and the ingredients look OK, but it would still be considered a processed food. Best to stick to as much real food as possible. 

Yen Doan

I am doing a persuasive speech on why people should eat breakfast for my public speaking class.
I would love to know your input on this question!

Should breakfast be eaten if someone wants to lose weight? If so, why?

Thank you!
November 27, 2017 at 9:51 pm


That is a great question many people overlook in the discussion of weight loss.

Research has found that skipping breakfast is associated with obesity. Skipping breakfast leads to low blood sugars in the brain. When this happens, your brain tells you to eat and eat now so you essentially feel out of control and make poor dietary choices. This often leads to eating something high in sugar or processed carbs, or eating uncontrollably, until our blood glucose is rebalanced and we feel comfortable when the blood sugar comes back within normal range.

Eating breakfast not only balances your biochemistry, it also provides a great start to a day of great meal choices.  A good source of protein, healthy fats and some complex carbohydrates make for balanced blood sugar and essential nutrients.  A good breakfast might include scrambled eggs in butter with onions, green peppers and mushrooms. Studies show that animal protein not only stabilizes blood sugar but it offsets hunger and increases your metabolism for over an hour.

Is salmon good or bad for you? I’ve been a vegetarian for 4 years, but have recently been considering adding salmon back into my diet for the omega-3 and vitamin b12 benefits, so I began doing some research, several articles claimed salmon was a superfood that lowers cancer risk, and cholesterol, but some articles said that salmon is way worse than any plant-based omega 3source, and puts you at risk for colon cancer mestasitis and diabetes, and also leads to the loss of bone density. I know there are risks with farmed salmon, but now I’m confused about freshly caught salmon as well! Should I encorporate slamon in my diet, or am I better off being 100% vegetarian?
December 12, 2017 at 10:46 pm


Salmon is one of the many superfoods that “Do a body good." When choosing to add a quality protein back into your diet, wild-caught salmon is one of the best choices. Here are the reasons why we give it a five star rating:

  1. Salmon is a high-quality complete protein source. Protein helps repair, nourish and create neurotransmitters for overall health.
  2. Wild-caught salmon helps maintain Vitamin D levels in the body. This is important as low levels are linked to everything from cancer to arthritis and heart disease.
  3. Wild-caught salmon is high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is ant-inflammatory and helps keep osteoporosis and joint pain at bay.
  4. Omega-3 rich foods such as wild-caught salmon are important for brain function. Studies have shown it aids in diminishing depression, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
  • It is always important to choose wild-caught salmon to avoid deadly toxins used in farmed fish such as mercury, pesticides, dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls.

I was 600+ pounds a year and a half ago and I had a consultation with my doctor and I began the process to lose weight.I had to hit 500 pounds to do bariatric surgery and I did and and had a successful roux Y gastric bypass operation. As part of the weight loss I now have a gym membership and get out to the gym a couple of times a week and I follow the plan given to me by my doctor. My weight loss has slowed down now at 250 pounds by the way I am 5 foot 2 inches tall and male. Some of the guys at the gym have started talking to me about a thing that they do called intermittent fasting. At first I pshawd at the idea because fasting seems so taboo in todays culture. But I was curios and I started looking into it and watching some videos and reading a bit about it online and I am starting to think that it may be worth a shot. I wanted to get a nutritionists opinion about weather this is some fad or if the science is truly solid. Thanks!
December 29, 2017 at 5:51 pm


Wow! Congratulations on your successful surgery and subsequent weight loss!  I want to congratulate you on getting to the gym and continuing to pursue wellness.

Intermittent fasting has become an increasingly popular way to try to boost metabolism.  There is some research that shows it is effective when done properly.  That being said, I would advise avoiding intermittent fasting for anyone who has had any type of bariatric surgery.  The nutritional risk and blood sugar balance for clients such as yourself is critical. A plateau can be frustrating and here at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we work with clients to break through plateaus.  We also have many experienced nutritionists who have great success with individuals who are post bariatric surgery patients.

Again congratulations on your success! Happy New Year!


I see instructions not to rinse rice and Asian information, that you rinse it, but not till water is clear, and other info that you should rinse till water is clear

What is the correct procedure when preparing rice?
April 5, 2018 at 6:27 pm


The information is conflicting on rice preparation. Recipes call for rinsing rice to remove the excess starch that makes the rice sticky and clump. However, basmati brown rice and wild rice are less likely to clump without any rinsing.

The problem with rinsing rice before cooking is that it also reduces niacin, thiamine and folate levels. However, it also reduces arsenic levels which is a good thing!

Our best recommendation is keep rice consumption to a small portion (1/2 cup). Purchase organic rice to keep arsenic and pesticides out of your diet. Also try cooking rice as you would pasta and this will reduce the arsenic level as well. Simply cook in a large pot of water and drain when it is cooked. No rinsing required!

Megan C
On January 29th this year, I started exercising and eating better, both to improve my overall health (I have Sjögrens Syndrome and spinal arthritis) and to lose weight. I worked my way up to burning 625 calories every day on my recumbent stationary bike, and I've seen some results, but I assumed that I was consuming 2,000 calories a day. Over the last week, I've counted my calories and discovered that I usually only consume between 1,600 and 1,700 calories per day. My question is this: Have I been putting my body into "starvation mode" all this time? Or is it okay for me to keep going as I have been? Thanks!
June 4, 2018 at 5:45 pm


Great to hear that you are taking charge of your health by eating better and moving your body! Calories are often misleading - a calorie of a nutrient dense food is very different than a calorie from processed foods - not to mention each person's individual biochemistry uses calories differently. All of that to say, don't put a lot of stake in calorie counting. Knowing that you have an autoimmune condition, I would encourage you to focus on getting enough nutrients to keep your immune system strong and to support your metabolism. When you are eating quality protein, veggie and fruit carbohydrates, and healthy fats you are able to support your overall health and come to a healthy weight. If you feel like you would do best with an personalized meal plan, let one of our experienced nutritionists help you put together a plan to support your unique needs.

Is using accent seasoning bad for someone with high blood pressure?
June 20, 2018 at 1:17 pm


Accent is both high in sodium and MSG.

MSG intake has been shown to have many adverse effects. Raising blood pressure especially among women and those taking hypertension medications. Here at NWW we recommend avoiding MSG containing foods and opting for more flavorful seasonings that come from herbs and vegetables.  If you love Accent I would recommend the following blend as a substitute.

Seasoning salt free:

5 Tbsp. cayenne pepper

3 Tbsp. black pepper

3 Tbsp. onion powder

3 Tbsp. garlic powder

3 Tbsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. thyme

1 Tbsp. sweet basil

1 Tbsp. bay leaf


Mix all ingredients in a blender until it is small enough granules to shake from a shaker bottle. This mix is salt free and concentrated so use sparingly. Enjoy!

I starting changing the way I ate on 4/9/18 weighing at 180 pounds. I cut my carbs down really low and just eat healthy with no certain diet. I go to the gym 6 days a week and do intense training.I am now down to 164 pounds but I have been 164 pounds for weeks! I can't seem to lose another pound so i have been doing research and am considering counting macros. I have used to formula and for my weight it suggests 1796 calories, 123 grams of protein, 57 grams of fat, and 197 grams of carbs per day. My only concern is changing things up and gaining weight. Any suggestions?
June 24, 2018 at 8:02 pm


Wow! Congratulations to you! Taking your health into your own hands and making some changes to increase your wellness is a wonderful way to improve your life!  When clients hit a plateau in their weight reduction I look at a few things.

  • Are they keeping their blood sugar in balance by eating enough protein, healthy fat and non-starchy veggies?
  • Have they removed chemicals, additives, and soy from their daily intake? (These can slow metabolism)
  • Are they over eating some of their whole food choices such as nuts, fruits or dairy?

Typically we do not look at the calories someone is consuming as we now know from research that calories are not as impactful as much as the quality and combination of macronutrient sources. Your exercise and whole food approach to the success you have had is an awesome start! If you need further support why not schedule an appointment with one of the nutritionists?

Hello, I'm trying to gain weight in a healthy way. I have a high metabolism and burn calories very rapidly. I would like to incorporate a high protein shake after my morning workouts, but I can't seem to find a recipe that I like. Can you please help with a recipe that tastes good which includes the following ingredients:

- Chocolate Protein Powder
- Vegetables (Kale, Avacado, or Spinach)
- Flax Seeds
- Fruit
- Anything else that is good for me

Thank you so much!

June 25, 2018 at 12:24 pm


As we all know taste is very individual but I understand the desire to add a cool summer protein shake to your day.  I have a few of my favorite shakes that I rotate through my menus.  Keep in mind you can add chocolate protein powder to any of these as well as flax seed. ( I add that too! )

My newest is the following
1 scoop protein powder
A handful of frozen kale
Coconut milk ¼ cup
½ cup frozen sweet cherries (no sugar added)
2 T flax seed ground 

I hope you find one you enjoy in this mix!  

Do "good" fats count toward my daily limits? I am a 115 pound woman, not sedentary, but not super active either. Calorie counters tell me to eat about 1250 calories per day and 41 grams of fat. On most days, I can stay within the calorie limits, but I am almost always over on the fat. Some fats I eat aren't great (cheese), but others are from foods that I think of as healthy (fresh ground peanut/almond butter, avocado, eggs, olive oil, seeds). If I'm eating these types of fats, should I still be trying to stick within the fat limits? Note that I am a vegetarian, so it's hard to find lean sources of protein and filling foods. Thank you!
August 12, 2018 at 6:39 pm


It is always challenging to get enough protein in for our clients that are vegetarian. Here at Nutritional Weight & Wellnness we count cheese as a protein not a fat although it does contain quite a bit of fat as well. I would recommend you concentrate more on eating in balance and eating real foods rather than counting fat grams and calories. Generally when an individual focuses on eating real foods in 5-6 small meals a day the weight is stable.

Consider using a full fat yogurt, cottage cheese and ricotta as excellent protein sources. Your healthy fat choices are excellent, just keep them to a small portion as a flavor enhancer to plenty of vegetables that are lower in carbohydrates. Keep up the good work!

Anisa eka
Hello, I really love to read your writing. May I ask your suggestion?
Actually , I have a irregular period since 2 months ago, So I am trying to lose weight for 1 year by running 6-10 miles in a day. But, I also cut my calories below my bmr. So,I am scared right now. Do you know what I should do?
How's if I eat according to my bmr or exceed 200 calories with propotions more carbs from vegetable or fruit than protein and I also eat some herbs & a little fat and I run for 3 miles . Is it okay for my body? Can I get period faster with still running or I have really have to stop it?

Thank you
September 7, 2018 at 10:08 pm


It sounds like your question is too complicated to answer without knowing more about you and your health history. I would highly suggest making a one on one appointment with one of our nutritionists. We do phone and Skype appointments if you don't live in the Twin Cities. By the end of your appointment, we'll have a plan put together that addresses your health concerns and goals. 

My husband had an ishemic bowel issue last year and was told one thing he should not eat is corn. My question is.....any form of corn? Of course he did don’t question it
September 13, 2018 at 1:16 pm


I am so sorry to hear about your husband's diagnosis.  To answer your question properly I would need to understand your husband's health history as Ischemic bowel is very complicated.  That being said I am assuming the doctor is removing foods that are difficult to digest.  As we know corn often passes directly into the stool and cause some inflammation in certain individuals.  Many times clients can consume corn flour without issue unless there is a sensitivity issue.  I would encourage avoiding corn and concentrating on the allowed vegetables that have a great nutritional impact on healing. There is a considerable amount of help diet can provide in the healing process.  A one-on-one nutrition consultation with a nutritionist may be tremendously beneficial.  

Type 1 Diabetic manages sugar with alot of refined sugar; drinks like gatorade and minute maid lemonade, chocolate muffins, smoothies, chocolate covered pretzels.

I am pushing complex carbs; sweet potatoes, real fruit juice portion control, whole wheat muffins, jasmine rice, berries.

Am I correct in thinking that complex carbs will metabolize in a way that will provide a longer lasting and more steady release of glucose rather than refined sugars in liquids and sweets that will give a sharper spike in levels, resulting in a more sever 'drop'? /\/\/\ versus ~~~~

thanks for any insight
October 2, 2018 at 10:35 pm


I agree that more complex carbohydrates are a better choice for blood sugar balance.  I would definitely  remove the refined sugar sources from your diet.  Not only are the inflammatory, they wreak havoc on blood sugar balance and overall health.  Some good advice is to only eat foods you can find in a farmer's field and always have a good source of animal protein and fat with each meal and snack.

I have a question about pre and post workout meals. I play basketball before I lift weights. I eat beans and brown rice. I play basketball for about an hour and a half. So do I need to eat another pre workout before I lift weights or is the beans and brown rice still in my system. I dont understand how long it takes the body to burn food.
November 5, 2018 at 9:55 am


Your pre-workout beans and rice will work for the entire workout (basketball and weightlifting). Digestion is different for every person and the food eaten and can take 30 minutes to several hours to digest. I would add a good source of protein and healthy fat to the beans and rice for optimal energy during the workout. Make it a nice balanced pre-workout snack/meal. You could eat half of the snack/meal before the workout and the other right after if that works better for your digestion. Here is another great article on Myth-Busting Sports Nutrition.

Sheryl Goins
I am obese and am trying to change what and how I eat. It is very confusing and overwhelming. My diet now consist of eggs, egg and cheese omelettes, market side sante fed salads, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, Brussel sprouts, creamed cauliflower with heavy whipping cream, chicken breast, cheese, mushrooms, cream cheese, some almonds and cashews, unsweetened tea, ground beef, pork, tomatoes, cucumbers,bell peppers, watermelon, grapes, cantaloupe, water, lettuce and cabbage. My question are these foods, basically all I eat, good for someone trying to lose over 100 pounds?
November 10, 2018 at 3:39 am


Hello, It sounds like you are making good food choices, the key for a lot of people is finding the right balance of proteins, fats, and healthy carbs like vegetables and fruits. Meeting one on one with one of our nutritionists in person, or by phone or skype to customize a food and supplement plan to meet your health goals might be best. You can also listen to these Dishing Up Nutrition podcasts to help give you some guidance.

I have a quick question that I was hoping I could get a very detailed answer on... What is your opinion on intermittent fasting? I currently do the 8 hour eating window plan. There is a lot of research out there saying there is virtually no disadvantages to it other than you'll be hungry and it takes a lot of self control. Others say eating 5-6 times a day is the way to go. I have also seen a lot of credible sources listing the health benefits of doing a pattern of eating that institutes some sort of fasting. What is your opinion on all of this?
July 25, 2019 at 3:09 pm


It really depends on the individual person what is the best way of eating. For some people intermittent fasting messes with their blood sugar and it’s not good if you are starving and ignore that to keep fasting, that’s very stressful for your body. For menstruating women intermittent fasting can throw off hormone levels. To determine what’s best for you individually I’d recommend setting up a one-on-one consultation. We find that most of our clients do best eating 4-6 times per day.

Hello! Question: if a steamed artichoke is around 25 calories, why would a restaurant grill it and list the calories at over 1,000? Certainly grilling, even with a little seasoning or oil, would not add over 900 calories, would it?
January 23, 2020 at 5:41 pm


It sounds like the restaurant is inaccurate in their estimation of the dish. Perhaps it includes the entire meal.

It’s every restaurant. If you look at all restaurants that offer grilled artichokes, the calorie count is over 1000! They are offered as appetizers, so there’s no meal or sides that come with it. I’ve emailed The Cheesecake Factory but they have ignored me. So frustrating!
January 28, 2020 at 5:29 pm


We would have to see the recipe but that seems very high!

I’m contemplating starting a diet that I thought of on my own. It consist of cutting out different food varieties on different weeks so it doesn’t get boring. Week one I cut out sugar, week two I cut out bread and pasta week three I cut out meat and alcohol and week four I cut out all dairy. This repeats month to month. The weeks can be stacked differently if needed. Is this a good idea for weight loss and healthier eating? Do you see any red flags of flaws in the plan? If it is successful I will call it the Rotation Diet.
February 21, 2020 at 9:37 am


That’s an interesting idea! Ideally we should be eating balanced meals and snacks each consisting of good quality proteins, healthy fats, and fruit and vegetable carbohydrates each time we eat. I would recommend limiting sugar, breads and pastas as much as possible, but not limiting meat as that is our best source of protein. If you’re looking for more information about eating real foods in balance I would encourage listening to our radio show/podcast, Dishing Up Nutrition. You can also explore our website for blog posts and recipes for more inspiration.

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