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

 

Blush Nutrition is Looking for an Intern!

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Blush Nutrition continues to grow and I am looking for a summer intern to help take the business to the next level. The intern can assist me in continuing to deliver the highest level of service, support and nutrition education! Candidates must:

  • Currently be enrolled in a Didactic Program in Dietetics or have a B.S. or M.S. in Nutrition
  • Plan on applying to a dietetic internship in the next 1-2 years
  • Be available to work in Greenville, SC at least 1 day per week (other work can be done virtually)
  • Be available April 9th – July 31st

Any candidates that are interested please send an email to BrittanyJonesRD@gmail.com with your resume and a cover letter indicating why you would be interested in working with Blush Nutrition by Friday March 23rd.

5 Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips

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Grocery shopping: You either love it or you hate it 😳

Whether you are a fan of the store or not, it is true that to be able to stick to your healthy meal plan you have to have the correct healthy food in the house. Check out my grocery shopping tips to help you meet your weight loss goals AND keep the grocery bill down!

5 Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips From a Registered Dietitian

#1 Make a list! Not only is grocery shopping more stressful without a list, you will likely forget something you may need to make another trip. Start with your meal plan on Saturday or Sunday, and make a grocery list from there. The next step is to STICK TO IT! Decrease impulse buys and stick to your budget by only buying what is on your list. Grocery store marketing is a real thing and those candy bars are calling your name because the candy bar company paid a lot of $$ to put them there!

#2 Shop the perimeter! Everything you need is around the perimeter of the store *NOT* in the aisles. This is where you will find all of your fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, fish and dairy. Try to choose only 1-2 aisles to go down – this will help you save money, time and meet your weight loss goals!

#3 Avoid shopping at peak hours. If anyone else shops at Trader Joe’s you know that this means Sunday afternoon 🙋‍♀️ Typically Saturday mornings, Sunday afternoons and right after work (5:30-6:30PM) are the busiest and least enjoyable times to shop. Try to shop outside of these hours if you can to ensure you have everything on your list without the stress!

#4 Avoid shopping when you are hungry, tired or stressed. This will make it even harder to say “no” to those impulse buys. Try having a snack before you go grocery shopping, or opt to go right after a meal so you aren’t tempted to buy *all the things.*

#5 Say “no” once at the grocery store, or say no every 24 hours at home. If you don’t buy it – it can’t come home with you! Remember this tip for those trigger foods – it might be hard to say no at the grocery store, but think about how much harder it is going to be to say no every single time you walk by the pantry and you see your favorite cookies.

Did you know that I offer grocery lists with each Blush Nutrition meal plan? Schedule your FREE 15 minute appointment and find out more!

Understanding The 80/20 Rule

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Today we are talking about the 80/20 rule. Not sure what that is? It is the concept that instead of “eating perfect” 100% of the time, it’s the idea that you can eat fun foods 20% of the time and still meet your goals. This is something that I practice with my clients on a regular basis.

A healthy lifestyle is all about balance and knowing that you don’t have to give up burgers for the rest of your life.

So what does 20% work out to? Well, if you consider that you eat 21 meals in a week, this would come out to be about 4 times per week that you can flex on fun foods. But what exactly does that mean?

Here are some tips on finding 20% balance in your diet:

  1. Eliminate the all or nothing mindset. A healthy lifestyle is not about depriving yourself of the things you love. Find ways to incorporate “fun foods” in a way you are comfortable with.
  2. Stop using the word “cheat.” When I hear someone say this I ask “who are you cheating on??” This can imply that healthy eating is a punishment and cheating is a reward…and that’s not how it works in a healthy lifestyle.
  3. Ask yourself: what does the food do for you? Maybe a wine and cheese night with the girls is something you need to feed your soul – foods can be nourishing in other ways and it’s important to remember this.
  4. Stick with the foods you really love. I encourage my  clients to make conscious choices when it comes to their 20%. Think less “this happened so I had to eat a buger” and use your meal planning time to make these conscious choices ahead of time. Try changing this to “we went out to see a band and I chose to have a fried chicken salad as a part of my 20%.”
  5. Find a balance within your 20%. While this shakes out to be about 4 meals per week, it’s important to plan out what that might look like for you. Instead of fried mozzarella sticks as an appetizer, fried chicken parmesan with pasta, and a gelato for dessert- consider focusing on one part of that meal. In this scenario consider ditching the mozzarella sticks for a salad, going for the chicken parmesan and pasta, and opting for some mint flavored gum after dinner. Small choices like this can help you feel satisfied without negating all of your hard work.

Have questions about finding a healthy 80/20 balance? Set up your first FREE 15 minute initial appointment by clicking here!

Wedding Registry Picks For A Healthy Kitchen

Wedding Season is almost here, which means that bridal shower season is upon us! I get a lot of questions from my wedding wellness clients about my favorite kitchen tools for a healthy home – which prompted me to make this list.

If you are engaged, here are my 25 Registered Dietitian approved registry picks for a healthy life together! (PS if you’re already married and you didn’t get these for your wedding, it’s not too late! They also make great birthday, holiday and anniversary gifts too.)

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  1. Food Scale. THE key to a healthy balance. You don’t have to weigh everything, but it’s always super handy to have a food scale on hand to measure oz of meat, nuts, vegetables and more. Also it doubles as a mail scale to make sure your invites don’t need extra postage…
  2. Salad Spinner. Buying whole heads of lettuce and cutting it or fresh salad greens is WAY cheaper and healthier than buying the prepackaged bag stuff. A salad spinner can save you a lot of money and help you eat healthier!
  3. Sous vide. This cooking technique has been called the most percise way to cook. It cooks without any oil or fat, and all of the food is melt in your mouth good.
  4. Spiralizer. Chances are you have seen zoodles or sweet potato noodles on Instagram (unless you have been living under a rock). A spiralizer can help you eat more vegetables by turning them into pasta!
  5. Herb Keeper. Cook without salt by adding lots and lots of fresh herbs to your dishes! This herb saver can keep all of your parsley, cilantro, rosemary, mint and more fresh for weeks – it’s a must have!
  6. Herb Scissors. The easiest and most effective way to cut green onions and more!
  7. Citrus squeezer. Get fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice without all of the preservatives of the bottled stuff with this awesome gadget.
  8. Garlic press. If you made any of my recipes, you know I love cooking with garlic! It adds lots of flavor (and smells amazing) without adding a lot of salt. I love this press because it bascially cleans itself.
  9. Salad dressing shaker. Avoid the high sugar dressings in the grocery store and make your own! I love this shaker because it has recipes on it to give you some inspiration as well.
  10. Small food processor. This 4 cup processor is perfect for making your own sauces (think low salt and low sugar), chopping nuts and also comes in handy for my avocado mousse recipe!
  11. Tea kettle. Herbal tea on a cold night is one the most comforting things – it also is low in calories. Try having a hot cup of tea when you’re on the couch instead of snacking during your favorite show – you might find it very satisfying!
  12. Air popper. Air popped popcorn is a very high fiber and healthy snack! Not to mention it is less expensive than buying prepared popocorn.
  13. InstantPot. Not only does this gadget combine a slow cooker and a pressure cooker – it cooks whole grains VERY fast! It has been a great addition for our kitchen, mainly for making quinoa quick.
  14. Vacuum sealer. Keep your lean meats long with a vacuum sealer. Purchase them on sale, seal and freeze. It’s also great for leftovers!
  15. Thermometer. Cook your meats to the correct internal temperature to avoid food poisoning. I love this thermometer because it is magnetic and is easy to find on the fridge, and the probe is very easy to clean.
  16. Pasta measurer. Stick to 2oz portion of pasta per serving with this gadget!
  17. Kitchen Mat. Cooking at home will not only save you money, it is also going to help you eat healthier. Of course this also means more dishes. I love this kitchen mat for time spent at the kitchen sink – my feet and back never feel tired with it!.
  18. Small liquid measuring cup. Measure oil, lemon juice and vinegar for recipes in an accurate way in a liquid measuring cup. I actually have 2 of these because I use them all the time!
  19. Sheet pan. You need a good sturdy sheet pan with great sides for lots of healthy and easy sheet pan dinners!
  20. Le Cruset Essential Oven. This is the best for one pot dinners, soups and the high sides make it perfect for sauteeing a large amount of vegetables!
  21. Avocado slicer. Stop cutting your hand when you’re trying to cut an avocado. This tool can cut, remove the pit and slice an avocado – making it the perfect addition to your kitchen.
  22. Pepper mill. Keep the salt low in your cooking and pump up the flavor by adding fresh ground pepper! Not only is it beautiful, it’s also so fun to use.
  23. Muffin tin. These are not only for whole grain muffins – you can also use them for healthy grab and go breakfast egg muffins!
  24. Small collander. A necessity for your kitchen to rinse and wash berries or to strain and rinse a can of beans. I use mine all the time!
  25. Water bottle infuser. Bored with the taste of water? Add in some fresh fruits or herbs into the infuser and flavor your water the healthy way.

Want to know more? Head over to my wedding wellness page!

Brittany L. Jones, MS, RD, LD is a Registered Dietitian, newlywed and overall wedding wellness expert located in Greenville, SC. Be your healthiest self as you say “I do” and every day into your new life with Blush Nutrition! Offering meal planning, grocery shopping, nutrition counseling and more for brides, grooms and their entire wedding party.