Erika Brown, MS, RDN
Erika hails from the beautiful state of Texas (but now lives in CO) where she received her Bachelor's and Master's degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Sam Houston State University. She is passionate about preventing chronic diseases and helping people achieve their overall wellness goals. She works to integrate healthy lifestyle changes that suit each individual's needs and desires.
When thinking of healthy food choices or the path to weight loss, many people immediately think of protein. Protein is one (1) of three (3) macronutrients that our body needs to survive and is an important part of a healthy diet.
Proteins are made up of chemical 'building blocks' called amino acids. Your body uses amino acids to build and repair muscles and bones and to make hormones and enzymes. Many may ask…are all proteins the same? The answer is NO!
When you eat protein, it’s broken down into amino acids which are then used to help your body with various processes such as building muscle and regulating immune function. There are essential and nonessential amino acids. Nonessential means that our bodies produce an amino acid, even if we do not get it from the food we eat. Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body. As a result, they must come from food. These include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. The best sources of essential amino acids are animal proteins like meat, eggs and poultry, as well as plant-based sources such as quinoa, buckwheat, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and spirulina. Other foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, grains and veggies are considered incomplete proteins because they are missing one or more of the essential amino acids. If you are vegan, vegetarian, or just trying to decrease your animal protein consumption, it is important to eat a variety of plant proteins throughout the day to obtain all 9 essential amino acids.
Protein needs depend on a variety of factors including weight, height, activity level, and nutrition goals. Most Americans eat more protein than we necessarily need. The general guidelines for the amount of protein most healthy people need are:
Below is a list of foods, serving sizes, and their protein amounts. Happy eating!
Below is a sample list of foods, serving sizes, and their protein amounts. Happy eating!
Julie Harris, MS, RDN
Julie is an accredited Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with American Dietetics Association. She promotes healthy lifestyle choices to meet each individual’s wellness goals. She specializes in Diabetes care and education, Cardiovascular disease, and chronic disease prevention.
March is National Nutrition Month! One great way to celebrate is by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet.
Diets rich in vegetables and fruits can have many positive effects on your health. Some benefits include a reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers, lowering blood pressure, decreased risk of digestive issues, and a positive effect upon blood sugar. Eating non-starchy vegetables and fruits is a way to add fiber to your diet which can promote weight loss.
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of your diet. As a group, they contain over 25,000 phytonutrients which can help prevent disease and keep your body working well. No single fruit or vegetable provides all of the nutrients you need so eating a wide variety is important. Aim to eat a rainbow of colors of fruits/vegetables a day.
Fruits and vegetables add flavor, variety, and texture to your meal. Build a healthy plate by making half your plate fruits and vegetables. Make 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables your daily goal.
Tips to Increase Fruits and Vegetables Daily
Looking for more ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet?
Contact us today to schedule a one-on-one with a Registered Dietitian!
Becky Agard, MS, RDN
Becky earned her Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Center College in Danville, KS and the Coordinated Master's Program in Dietetics at Colorado State University. As a Registered Dietitian, Becky enjoys teaching nutrition classes and working with patients one-on-one to help people discover healthy choices that work for them.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Love is in the air, and although Valentine’s Day might not be everyone’s favorite holiday, I’ve come embrace it as a way to celebrate all the things I love – my family, my friends, myself, and the planet!
Incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet is a great way to show yourself and the planet some love. Research has shown that a plant-based diet can help with weight loss, and lower your risk for developing heart disease, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cognitive decline. People who follow a plant-based diet also have smaller environmental footprints. By eating more plant foods and less animal foods, you reduce greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and land used for factory farming, which are all factors in climate change.
With that in mind, here’s a super-easy, super-delicious plant-based dessert. So easy, I made it in my college dorm room for my first Valentine’s day with my partner. So delicious, he gobbled it up and then said, “I can’t believe that was tofu.” This dessert will surely be a hit, however you decide to celebrate. So enjoy and have a happy Valentine’s, Galentine’s, Palentine’s or even Meowentine’s Day!!
· 1 package silken tofu
· ½ cup chocolate chips
· 2 tablespoons liqueur of your choice or 1 teaspoon flavor extract (vanilla, almond, etc.)
· 1 cup crushed cookies
· Optional toppings: fruit, sprinkles, nuts, etc.
1. Puree the tofu in a food processor or blender until silky smooth.
2. Melt the chocolate chips on the stove using a double broiler or in the microwave for 30 second intervals until melted.
3. Add the melted chocolate and liqueur to the blender and blend until thoroughly mixed.
4. Scoop a layer of the mousse into a small glass or martini glass. Top with a layer of cookie crumbles. Continue to alternate layers until the glass is full.
5. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to let it thicken up.
Looking for more ways to incorporate plant-based foods into your diet?
Contact us today to schedule a one-on-one with a Registered Dietitian!
Liz Graham, RDN, CDCES
Liz is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is passionate about providing nutrition counseling/education for kidney and liver transplant, diabetes, digestive health, heart disease, and overall wellness. She is also credentialed as a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists.
Happy New Year!
Did you know that year after year the most common New Year’s resolutions focus on exercise, eating healthier, weight loss, and saving money? If you are one of those people who makes New Year’s resolutions, you probably have already started. Did you also know that studies show that less than 10% of people actually stick with their resolutions? Most Americans discontinue following their resolutions by the 2nd or 3rd week of January. As we are heading into the 2nd week of January, where are you with your New Year’s resolution? Let us help you make this year different and guide you into making S.M.A.R.T resolutions that stick!
S.M.A.R.T goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time based. Changing your resolutions. S.M.A.R.T goals increase the likelihood you will maintain them until the goal is met.
S: Specific – Describe Who? What? Where? When? Why? – What do you truly want to focus on this year? Your goal should be clear and simple.
M: Measurable –This critical step is often left out of resolutions. How will you know when your goal is accomplished? For example, instead of saying “I want to lose weight” – how much weight do you want to lose?
A: Achievable – How attainable is this goal? Maybe you want to lose 25 pounds, but losing the 25 pounds in 2 months might not be realistic. A realistic goal for weight loss often is losing about 1-2 pounds per week for men and 0.5-1 pound per week for women.
R: Realistic - How realistic is this goal? If you feel short of breath after walking 2 blocks, don’t make your resolution to run a marathon by the end of the year. Start with something achievable like working up to walking a 5K.
T: Time based – a deadline gives you something to work towards. Remember, it can take up to 30 days to form a habit and make your goal a routine. Stick with it and don’t punish yourself or give up if at first you don’t succeed.
In conclusion: Instead of making your resolution of “I am going to lose weight.” Make it a S.M.A.R.T goal. For example, “I am going to lose 10 pounds over the next 3 months” or instead of “I will work out more” try “I will work out 3 days per week by walking for at least 30 minutes over the next 6 months”
If you need a little extra help and motivation to keep those healthy eating and exercise resolutions this year, reach out to your Sodexo Wellness and Nutrition Registered Dietitian.
Bunny Foxhoven, RDN, CDE
Bunny is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is a Certified Diabetes Educator with the American Association of Diabetes Educators. She currently serves as the Director for Sodexo Wellness and Nutrition with headquarters in Englewood, CO. Bunny specializes in Diabetes care and education, Cardiovascular disease prevention and Sports Nutrition.
Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us! Family, fun, festivity, and food. Temptations abound. Get togethers, parties and travel can disrupt your daily routines. And, it lasts for several weeks!
So, how can you cope when everyone around you seems to be splurging? Here are some things that you can do:
1. Set yourself up for success. You may not be able to control what food you’re served and you’re going to see other people eating tempting treats. Meet these challenges head on with these tricks:
2. Enjoy the foods that you love.
"Don’t skip meals to save up for a feast"
3. Outsmart the Buffet- When you face a spread of delicious holiday food, make healthy choices easier:
4. Stick to your exercise routine. it can help make up for eating more than usual and reduce stress during this most stressful time of year. Get moving with friends and family, such as taking a walk after a holiday meal.
Kari Schoen, RDN
Kari is a Registered Dietitian accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is currently practicing in cardiology, oncology, kidney and liver transplant, and general wellness with Denver area hospitals and providers.
Ever hear of the term "Freshman 15"? This is an informal term which refers to the average amount of a weight many new college students gain in their first year of school. The quarantine 15 is a similar concept...15 pounds in the first year of a pandemic! While this is not technically an actual medical term, this weight gain phenomenon is the most common complaint I hear from patients, friends, and co-workers. It's not surprising. Our lives have been disrupted in major ways, which means normal routines have changed including eating and exercising patterns.
Although studies on the impact of COVID 19 on weight gain or weight loss are just starting, it appears that for many, this is a real concept. According to Yale Medicine, this year is especially challenging for people who struggle with their weight. John Morton, MD, MPH, MHA, medical director of bariatric surgery at Yale New Haven Health System, says he has seen patients in telehealth appointments who have gained five, 10, and even 30 pounds.
Why is this happening?
What can I do about it?
Here are some recommendations to get you back on track.
> Infant (4-11 months): 12-15 hours > Young Adult (18-25 years): 7-9 hours
> Toddler (1-2 years): 11-14 hours > Adult (26-64 years): 7-9 hours
> Preschool (3-5 years): 10-13 hours > Older Adult (65 and older): 7-8 hours
> School-age (6-13 years): 9-11 hours
Let’s chat about fiber!
The Sodexo Wellness and Nutrition team of registered dietitians will be posting regular health tips to keep you and your families healthy during these trying times. We will focus on the areas that the CDC and other health experts are recognizing as special areas of importance to stay well. We encourage you to share these tips on nutrition, physical activity, stress management, sleep, food safety and overall well being with your loved ones. Remember, a strong body has a much better chance of fighting off this microscopic enemy.