A Review of Freshly by a Registered Dietitian

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Meal delivery services are all the rage right now! I mean who doesn’t like having food for the week delivered to their door?

By this point I have tried them all, and while a meal delivery service is a “nice to have” I have not found that it is a forever fix for many of my clients. That being said, it is great for a busy week, the first week back from vacation, or even if you are traveling for work and have a kitchenette where you are staying!

The latest meal delivery service I have tried is Freshly, and I have to say I really liked it! The main reason Freshly appealed to me is for my really busy professional clients who sometimes just don’t have time to make dinner. Their meals are gluten free, focus on using whole foods, and their nutritionals check out with what I recommend for my clients. The best part? You don’t have to cook! The biggest thing I always said about other meal delivery services is that the nutritionals were almost just as unhealthy as dining out, yet I also had to make it. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to eat my day’s worth of carbs in one meal, I want someone else to make it for me 😂 Freshly is a balance between a delivery service with the ingredients to make a meal, and meals from the frozen aisle of the grocery store. They are made with fresh ingredients, and you can just pop them in the microwave or toaster oven. They are obviously better tasting and quality than frozen meals, and their calories are more optimal  too. Is anyone really ever satisfied from a 250 calorie frozen meal? I think not.

As I mentioned above, the nutritionals really check out, and many are carbohydrate controlled, and the saturated fat is pretty low. They are also very moderate in sodium (which is rare for prepared meals) and I love this about Freshly – they give you seasoning options right on the package!

Keep reading for a glimpse into my first week of the Freshly meal delivery service!

NOTE: Just like any other meal delivery service it auto renews and until you manually cancel they will keep delivering and keep charging you. You can skip several weeks at a time, but it’s something to be conscious of! 

IMG_4245MOROCCAN CHICKEN with Cauliflower Couscous

I think this was our favorite meal of the week! The cauliflower couscous was very rustic, and had a lot of texture. The sauce had amazing flavor and the chicken was very moist.

 

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CHICKEN & RICE PILAF with Green Beans & Carrots

The chicken was also very moist, and the veggies were very tasty all mixed in with the sauce.

 

IMG_4251GRILLED CHICKEN RISOTTO with Spring Peas

This was the meal that was probably the highest and saturated fat and carbs, however that was to be expected with risotto! The rice was very creamy, and the chicken was moist. Being a dietitian I really wanted a non-starchy vegetable with this one!

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SAUSAGE & PEPPERS with Tomato Rice

My husband had this one, and I didn’t get to try it, but it wasn’t as good as the Moroccan chicken he had the day before. The vegetables seemed overly cooked and he didn’t love the tomato sauce.

 

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BUFFALO CHICKEN BREAST with Loaded Cauliflower

I LOVE the idea of loaded cauliflower than potatoes here, and it keeps the carbs down and keeps the nutrients high (though the saturated fat is higher from the bacon and cheese here). The chicken left some to be desired though, as it just tasted like hot sauce on chicken – but maybe that’s because it’s not fried (which is a good thing).

 

 

 

IMG_4265ROASTED TURKEY with Quinoa Stuffing

WhileI had this meal in May and not around the holiday’s, it was very enjoyable! I loved the quinoa stuffing and the green beans were very crisp. The turkey was also moist and had a great texture and quality to it, and the gravy was good but not too much (I don’t typically like gravy).

 

 

 

Overall? I would recommend this to someone who is struggling to cook for one person and is trying to avoid eating out, or for someone who is looking to get through a tough week of work /travel stress. They were very good and the nutritionals really check out on this one!!

Have questions? Let me know!

 

Establishing Healthy Habits for Life

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Have you ever found yourself saying “I know what to do, it’s just making myself do it”?

Here are 5 easy tips to establish healthy meal planning and a consistent exercise habits now, to give you the results you have always been looking for. After reading this blog post, write down one thing that you would like to implement right away!

1 – Lifeong Habits Take More Work Than a Fad Diet

Congratulations on saying “no” to the yo-yo dietiting and “yes” to developing healthy habits that will last a lifetime! The secret to wellness is not only making changes you know you can hold on to, it’s starting slow, and building up. It’s going to be harder than following someone else’s rules for 21 days or 30 days – but the results will last longer too.

2 – Make Time for Wellness

It’s true – there are just not enough hours in the day and wellness doesn’t often just “happen.” There is no perfect time for weight loss, so make a commitment NOW to invest in yourself – whether it is through meal planning, exercising, or just taking time to do something for you. Establishing new habits, and avoiding going back to what’s easy takes time and dedication. Schedule an appointment with yourself in your phone, in your planner or on your family calendar to carve out this time and start to create a new healthy habit.

3 – Meal Plan the Easy Way

Meal planning does NOT mean that you have to plan for 21 meals including 7 dinners. Dinner is typically where we tend to end up in the drive thru line, or on the phone with the pizza place. Try planning for just 3-4 dinners and include leftovers into the plan. Many of my clients love meal delivery services, and this utilizes that same concept, but you will save even more money, and cook healthier! Start by putting your “events” in your calendar, and then build healthy meals and snacks around them!

4 – Schedule Your Workouts On Sunday

Take a look at your week ahead and schedule your workouts in your planner ahead of
time. Write it down in your planner and reschedule if you have to – just like you would a
doctor’s appointment.

5 – Be Realistic

It’s about progress – not perfection. This is a time to accept a broader form of excellence
rather than a narrowly defined one. We are not aiming for A+ on a test here, in all reality we are aiming for a really solid B. Did you set a goal to workout 5 times per week but have only gotten in 3? Congratulations you got in 3! Celebrate that win, and consider re-adjusting your goal to build up to 5 times per week – you might need to change up your schedule or ask for some help with your to-do list. Think about what needs to be done to get there, start slow, and build. Remember – you have the rest of your life to build these healthy habits and nothing ends in 21 or 30 days – it’s forever. Focus what works for YOU!

Want to know more? Your first 15 minute phone appointment is FREE! Contact
me here.

Nominated for 2018 Best of the Upstate “Best Weight Loss Services”

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Blush Nutrition has been nominated for “Best Weight Loss Services”!

Brittany L. Jones, MS, RD, LD is the ONLY Registered Dietitian on the ballot, and casting your vote for Blush Nutrition will send the message that Greenville is looking for a sustainable weight loss service, and not a quick fix. At Blush Nutrition, my focus in on healthy small lifestyle changes, customized to each client, and everything I do is backed by research.

What’s the difference between a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist?

Simply said, all dietitians are nutritionists, but not all nutritions are dietitians. A Registered Dietitian has additional qualifications that must be met, which include:

  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree with course work including food and nutrition sciences, food service systems management, business, economics, sociology, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology and chemistry
  • Completed an accredited dietetic internship
  • Passed the national Registered Dietitian examination
  • Completes continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration (75 every 5 years)

Click here to cast your vote for Blush Nutrition – click on the “Health & Beauty” page and scroll down for Best Weight Loss Services.

Thank you Greenville for this nomination, I am honored!

Nutrition Tips for Your Healthiest Summer Yet

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Summer is almost here! That means lots of BBQs, weddings, vacations and more. Wondering how your healthy lifestyle fits into your busy and very fun summer schedule? Check out my top nutrition tips for summer – including healthy grilling, managing parties, staying on track on vacation, and more.

1. Use the Portion Plate at BBQs & Buffets

Make half your plate non-starchy vegetable at lunch and dinner – it’s easier than counting calories! This will keep the carbs and lean meat to the other side of your plate, keeping calories low and nutrients high. Keep in mind if you don’t use your carbohydrates for energy, they will get stored as fat.

2. Meal Plan for Success

Summer schedules are BUSY! With vacations, work events, and kids being out of school it seems like the summer just flies by. Choose a day on the weekend to take 10 minutes to look at your week ahead. See what days you have an event going on and work backwards to see which days you will want to plan healthy meals for.

3. Use the 80/20 Rule

Focus on functional foods 80% of the time, and give yourself 20% of the time to enjoy the fun foods of summer! The most important part is that after the party/BBQ is over, that you just jump right back in where you left off. There is no falling off the wagon when you are focusing on building healthy lifestyle habits.

4. Fire Up the Grill

Focus on lean meats (chicken, fish, bison burgers) to focus on getting as much protein as possible, and also prevent grill flare ups. Grill vegetables whole or use a grilling basket for a healthy side!

5. Maintain Don’t Gain on Vacation

Let’s be honest – no one expects to lose weight on vacation (what fun is that?). Enjoy yourself while keeping your healthy habits in mind by utilizing the portion plate when dining out and finding a way to incrorporate movement into your day (walk, local gym, swimming, and more).

6. Alternate Alcoholic Drinks with Water

Keep hydrated and keep the calories low with this trick. Even better, choose a low calorie drink like a spiked seltzer over a beer.

7. Cut Out Sugary Drinks

This includes sodas, sweet teas and juice. Cutting out two sugary drinks per day could result in losing over half a pound per week. Remember, these count in the carb portion of your plate. Try regular, or infused or sparkling water for best results!

8. Schedule your workouts on Sunday

Take a look at your week ahead and schedule your workouts ahead of time. Write it down in your planner and reschedule if you have to – just like you would a doctor’s appointment.

9. Let your hunger and fullness drive your choices

Recognizing your hunger and fullness cues is the key to dining out on vacation and eating at BBQs/weddings. On a scale of 1-10 try to eat when you are at a 3-4 and eat until you are a 6-7. Avoid being ravenous going into a meal, this will put you at risk for overeating.
Want to know more? Your first 15 minute phone appointment is FREE! Set up your appointment here.

Calling All Teachers!

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School is out and Blush Nutrition is offering a new package designed specifically for teachers looking to focus on their health and wellness during the summer months!

This package is perfect for developing healthy habits and continuing them throughout school year. The Healthy Lifestyle Package is a 3 month plan, which includes nutrition coaching and meal planning. I am currently offering 10% off for teachers (new clients only) until June 30th!

The Healthy Lifestyle Package is designed to take you from June through September to kickstart healthy habits now establish a plan for a healthy school year!

Blush Nutrition loves teachers, and we can’t wait to help you make this summer the best yet! Click here to set up your first 15 minute appointment for free.

Should I Buy Organic?

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Should I buy organic, and is it worth the investment?

This is a question that I am asked all the time as a Registered Dietitian. Organic produce is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, and research has shown that it has higher cancer fighting potential because of this. It’s true – buying all organic produce can be pricey – so I tend to recommend following the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” when my clients ask me about purchasing organic and sticking to a budget. This is also what I use when writing the grocery lists for my clients’ customized meal plans.

The “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” are two lists of produce to help you choose which foods to buy organic, or conventional. Note: this list changes yearly. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit organization which determines the list each year, and updates it based on new findings in pesticide use, and contamination of certain foods. The “Clean Fifteen” is made of the top 15 foods which are grown using the least chemicals and pesticides, while the “Dirty Dozen” is made of the 12 foods grown with the most amount of pesticides. If possible, I recommend purchasing the the produce on the dirty dozen list as organic to keep pesticide levels down. As you can see from the list below, the dirty dozen are often things where we eat the skin and the fruit/vegetable, whereas on the clean fifteen the skin is not consumed.

  • Within the Dirty Dozen, the EGW uncovered a few surprising facts. Strawberries, spinach, peaches, cherries, and apples all were found to have traces of at least one pesticide residue. Strawberries were found to have at least 20 different forms of pesticide residue (definitely buy these organic if you can!).
  • In the Clean Fifteen, avocados and sweet corn were found to have less than 1% of any form of pesticide residue, and not one fruit on the Clean Fifteen was found to have more than four types of pesticide residue.

With that being said, it is always better to have fresh produce than no produce.

There is not a drastic nutritional difference between organic and conventional foods, and there are TONS of vital vitamins and minerals within conventional, non-organic produce. Also note that there are many other fruits and vegetables which fall in the middle of the two groups, such as bananas or kale. For these “inbetween foods” I recommended shopping by the season. Organic strawberries will always be more expensive in the fall as compared to organic apples, since they are in season. Therefore, shop around for seasonal, fresh produce to fit your budget and keep the nutrition level high!

Print out this 2018 Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list to bring on your next shopping trip!

The 2018 “Dirty Dozen”

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Grapes
  6. Peaches
  7. Cherries
  8. Pears
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Celery
  11. Potatoes
  12. Sweet Bell Peppers

The “Clean Fifteen”

  1. Sweet Corn
  2. Avocados
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Sweet peas frozen
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangos
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew Melon
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Grapefruit

Using the “Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen” while shopping is a quick and easy way to save money, while still getting the highest amounts of cancer fighting potential from produce and keeping pesiticide levels down. Keep the list on your phone, or a piece of paper in your purse/wallet for easy access during grocery shopping! Want to know more? Contact me.

Citation

  • Environmental Working Group. “EWG’s 2018 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™.”EWG, www.ewg.org/foodnews/full-list.php.

-Written by Abigail Palmquist, Blush Nutrition Intern and Brittany Jones, MS, RD, LD, owner of Blush Nutrition

 

Millenials: Prevent Alzheimer’s Now

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Did you know that Alzheimer’s can start developing as early as your 30s?  Women make up about 66% of those affected by the disease, and as a Registered Dietitian focused on prevention the Today Show segment this morning really caught my attention.

You can watch the full video here, and below is a summary of how to make healthy lifestyle changes NOW to ensure your brain is healthy in the future:

1 – Exercise regularly

Experts recommend exercising at high intensity for at least three hours a week to prevent Alzheimer’s, with two hours being from cardio and one hour from strength training. Ok great, but what does that look like? It could mean three Orange Theory Fitness workouts per week, or running for 30 minutes followed by 15 minutes of body weight strength trianing four times per week. Whichever work out you choose, I always recommend to my clients that they schedule it in advance! Book an appointment with yourself (or sign up for classes ahead of time) and if you need to move it that’s totally fine, just be sure to reschedule that time with yourself on your calendar to get in your three hours.

2 – Get at least 7.5 hours of sleep every night

I often set goals with my clients to use the bed time function on their iPhone clock app to ensure that they get enough sleep every night. Simply put in the time you need to wake up, and work backwards at least 7.5 hours to see what time you need to go to bed. Your phone will remind you 15 minutes before, indicating that it’s time to start getting ready to go to sleep! While that does include brushing your teeth and starting your anti-aging night time regime (yes, I’m 30 now so this is a daily thing for me), but it also means turning off/silencing all electronics to avoid bright lights from screens, and also dimming the lights in the bedroom to boost melatonin.

3 – Eat a diet high in antioxidant foods

This means focusing on vegetables, fruits and whole foods at every meal. I encourage all of my clients to make half of their plate non-starchy vegetables, and to choose carbohydrates that are whole food such as fruits, sweet potatoes, beans or legumes. All Blush Nutrition meal plans are naturally high in antioxidants and good fats because they focus on eating whole non-processed foods throughout the day.

4 – Know your numbers

It might seem silly to start checking your blood sugars, cholesterol and blood pressure in your 20s and 30s, however I can’t stress enough how important it is to know your numbers. With a background working as a Registered Dietitian in advanced testing for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, I have seen first hand how checking your labs, and checking them early, can affect the outcomes for the rest of your life. Alzheimer’s has been called “type 3 diabetes” for a reason and there are things that you can do now to prevent health troubles down the line! If you don’t have a primary care physician and are in Greenville, SC I highly recommend one of my partners The Brio Internal Medicine as they are also focused on prevention.

Want to know more about disease prevention, brain health and how your diet can help? Message me!

Healthy Sushi Class at Plate 108!

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SAVE THE DATE

May 16th 6:30PM

Join Registered Dietitian Brittany Jones of Blush Nutrition for a healthy sushi class at Plate 108!

Chef Shannon will be teaching us how to make sushi with some healthy touches from the dietitian such as brown rice for added fiber, fish and coconut aminos as a gluten free option to soy sauce. Brittany will be offering healthy meal planning tips for the group as well!

Each participant will make:

  • Brown Rice Veggie Roll
    Brown Rice Spicy Tuna Roll
    Pan Fried Vegetable tempura

HURRY space is limited to 12 people and this class will fill up FAST!

Purchase tickets here.

 

Meet the Blush Nutrition Summer 2018 Intern!

 

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Thank you to the students who applied for the Blush Nutrition summer internship. I was fortunate enough to interview several students, and after careful consideration, I am very excited to introduce you the Blush Nutrition Summer Intern, Abigail!

Abigail’s studies in both nutrition and phsychology, combined with her experience in fitness and overall wellness made her a perfect fit for this position. She is energetic, eager to learn, and super social media savvy. Read more about her below!

Where are you enrolled in college and what are you studying?

Abigail: I attend Clemson University where I’m currently majoring in Food Science Nutrition with a concentration in Dietetics, and a minor in Psychology. I’m very involved in my sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, the Nutrition Club, and I’m currently working with the Clemson Football Performance Nutrition Team. I’m also a group exercise instructor at GHS YMCA!

What is your dream job?

Abigail: My dream job would have to be eventually opening up my own wellness center where I work as a dietitian, teaching people how to live a healthy lifestyle. I would also love to offer various types fitness classes, since exercise is such a big part of my life as well!

Why did you choose the dietetics field?

Abigail: I chose the dietetics field because I’m super passionate about the effects of eating whole, healthy foods on our body.

I also love working with people, and I wanted to combine these two passions into a career of helping others eat right in order to be the best version of themselves as possible.

You live a healthy lifestyle everyday and also love fitness. Tell us about becoming an ACE certified fitness instructor.

Abigail: I became ACE certified last June and have been teaching group exercise classes since then! Becoming ACE certified has been one of the best decisions I’ve made yet, because now I’ve found another outlet to help people grow, but now it’s through exercise and fitness! I teach all different types of classes, such as barre-style, TRX, spin, and HIIT to name a few.

What is your favorite dish/recipe?

Abigail: I’ve actually been a pescatarian for almost two years now, so I’ve loved experimenting with different types of fish and vegetables in order to make sure I’m getting a balanced amount of nutrients. My favorite dish would have to a one pan meal where I bake salmon, sweet potatoes, and asparagus, and drizzle the whole meal in a honey-coconut amino glaze! It’s super quick, healthy, and so easy I make it in my college dorm.

What are you most looking forward to this summer?

Abigail: I’m SO excited and thankful for the opportunity to intern with Blush Nutrition this summer! I want to learn more about goes into being a Registered Dietitian, and running a dietetic business, as this is the career path I want to take post-graduation!

Please join me in sending a warm welcome to Abigail!

Meal Planning Struggles Solved!

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Does the idea of meal planning for the next 5-7 days terrify you? Do you have no idea what this Thursday will bring and wonder how can you possibly plan for that?

No worries!

Even if you feel like your life is hectic and chaotic – I promise meal planning is something that will work for you. Today I am here to solve your meal planning struggles!

Your Meal Planning Struggles Solved

  1. Plan for 3-4 dinners. Meal planning does NOT mean that you have to plan for 21 meals including 7 dinners. Thinking of it this way can be very daunting and might have you throwing in the towel on the whole thing. Dinner is especially where we tend to end up in the drive thru line or on the phones with the pizza place. Try planning for just 3-4 dinners and include leftovers. It’s better to have the healthy ingredients in the house at the beginning of the week, instead of waiting until the last minute when your hunger is in control and you might not be interested in shopping AND cooking.
  2. Take it one day at a time. You don’t have to commit to a day when you are eating these yummy and healthy meals! Think of it like a meal delivery service – they typically send you the incredients for 3 meals but YOU choose when to have them. It might depend on your cravings that day, the weather, or even the time it takes to cook. Just be sure to plan for these meals ahead of time, so you can have the healthy ingredients on hand.
  3. Create a folder of go-to healthy recipes. Start now! Try out 3-4 recipes this week and keep the ones that are a hit in a physical or digital (i.e. Pinterest) folder. Every week try one new recipe. Not sure where to start? Check out my dietitian approved recipes for 2 or 4 servings here. Each week it will become easier and easier to take on that dreaded Sunday afternoon task. Just think, if you start today, by July you will have at least 15 new tried and true recipes in your folder!

There you have it – your Sunday meal planning scaries solved! Have more meal planning questions? Contact me.