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A Guide to Hunger

November 18th, 2013 by Yolanda

How to know when you’re hungry and avoid overeating.

With the holidays just around the corner, many of us have already started planning elaborate meals and baking delicious treats for our friends and family.  But, for those trying to lose a few pounds, this time of year can pose a real challenge.  I mean, who can resist all that yummy, coma-inducing food?  It’s pretty darn hard, BUT, if you follow these simple guidelines to help you figure out if you’re eating because you’re truly hungry, or just because the food is there, you can save yourself thousands of calories.

Ok, I’m going to really break this down for you because even with consistent use of SENSA, many of us do not know when we are truly hungry, so I’m going to give you a scenario and a suggested solution for each level of hunger.  If you follow these suggestions and sprinkle SENSA, you might even lose a pound or two over the holidays! (It’s totally possible)


Level 1: Cravings

You just ate breakfast, but you can’t stop thinking about those tasty cookies you baked the other day.  The cookie is invading your thoughts and the more you tell yourself no, the more you want it.

  •  Hunger Tip: If you’re thinking about eating something specific, then you’re probably not actually hungry.  When you pass up an apple for the cookie, you’re simply having a craving, because when you’re actually hungry, you will eat whatever is in front of you.  These cravings are usually the result of stress, boredom, an emotional response, and even thirst, not hunger.  Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry right now?” Once you realize you aren’t actually hungry; wait out your craving, which should pass within 15 minutes or so.  In the meantime, keep telling yourself that succumbing is not worth it.  Remember, every time you resist emotional eating, you are building up will-power and confidence in yourself.  We all know how we feel when we give in…guilty, like we failed ourselves.   Another neat trick from SENSA Founder Dr. Alan Hirsch, MD, is to trick your brain into thinking it’s getting what it wants with a sweet or savory-scented candle.  Since about 90% of taste is actually smell, if you continually smell something that smells like chocolate or another food, your brain interprets it as taste….cool right?


Level 2: Hungry

So, you resisted the urge to snack, but now its lunch time and you feel like you HAVE to eat.  Everyone has different hunger signals, but many times, it comes in the form of headaches, low-energy, or Hanger (Hungry + Anger).

  • Hunger Tip: Time to load up on energizing food that will also keep you feeling satisfied for a few hours.  Fresh veggies and lean proteins, with a small serving of low-glycemic carbs will do the trick.  Fill up on the veggies, which are packed with essential vitamins and nutrients that help your body run efficiently, which gives you energy for the rest of your day. If you’re still feeling hungry, wait 20 minutes before eating more, as it usually takes that long for your body to recognize it’s full.   If you are still hungry, instead of going back for a plate of food, grab a handful of pistachios in the shell.  A 2011 study published in Appetite found that people consumed fewer calories (86 to be exact) and were more satiated when they had to remove pistachios from their shells.  Keep a pile of those shells as you snack as a visual reminder to how much you’re eating.  Mandarin oranges are also a great sweet snack that’s about 50 calories, easy to peel, and loaded with stress-fighting Vitamin C.


Level 3: Ravenous

You skipped lunch so you can finish running errands and prepping for your elaborate family meal, but now, you feel you could eat somebody’s arm, you’re so hungry.  Your attitude is bad, you have a headache, and you can’t concentrate.

  • Hunger Tip:  This is a crucial time when your energy is too low to hunt down healthy food and you’re looking for a quick fix that’s probably loaded with sugar or caffeine.  But, just because this is your natural response, it doesn’t mean you have to give into it.  When you realize you’re on a dangerous path leading to an over consumption of fat and sugar, take a moment and center yourself.  Stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath, and think about the immediate consequences of gorging on a box of cookies or eating a whole bag of chips, like stomach ache or guilty feelings.  Then, find yourself something on the somewhat healthy side to eat.  This way, you’re not running on autopilot, you are consciously and actively making healthy decisions, which make you feel empowered, boosts confidence, and help you reach your long-term goals.


Level 4: Satisfied

This is what you’re aiming for…satisfaction.  I know figuring out when you’re satisfied isn’t easy, but with practice, you will become more mindful of the fact that you’re NOT thinking about or wanting food.

  • Hunger Tip:  According to Dr. Hirsch, “Hot food has a greater odor and therefore better flavor”.  It also helps you to eat slower which will help you better realize when you’re full.  It’s not necessary to finish your plate to feel satisfied either.  Many people think that the last bite will be the best.  Well, here’s another Dr. Hirsch random fact for you.  “So much of the sensory experience of the food is in that first bite.  Your sense of smell drops down with each subsequent bite. If you’re eating a steak and someone swaps it out for horse meat halfway through, you might not notice the difference.”  After 20 minutes or when you start to feel satisfied, put your fork down, and stop thinking about your meal.  You’ll be surprised at how much less you start to eat.


Level 5: Stuffed

You have to loosen your belt or unbuckle your pants and you feel like you want to fall into a turkey induced sleep…YOU. ARE. STUFFED!  Put the fork down and follow these next steps…

  • Hunger Tip: This is when you know you have overeaten.   Stay awake and upright.  Going to sleep right after a heavy meal slows digestion so sit up, stand up, or go for a walk to help your body flush out your meal.  Rubbing your belly gently in clockwise circles relaxes your abdomen and aids in digestion too.  Just remember, you have full control over food, not the other way around.  You can resist overeating if you truly want to.  During the holidays, instead of putting every single piece of food that’s being served on your dinner plate, use a salad plate and load it full of veggies and lean meat, but only a little of the usually starchy, fatty sides.

I hope these guidelines help you get control over your eating.   It’s easy to gain one or two pounds over the holidays but it’s much harder to take those pounds off.  With practice and will-power, you will figure out a healthy way to fight your urges.  And SENSA makes it so much easier!  Make sure you sprinkle SENSA on every meal and snack to help you overcome the urge to overeat even more.  I know you can do it!  Good luck!



Spicy Edamame Guacamole

November 13th, 2013 by Guest Blogger

Spicy Edamame Guacamole

















This delicious recipe comes from MySENSA Community User LindaMM gal

Pack some more protein into party food by adding in edamame. Serve it with fresh, crunchy veggies like sliced peppers, carrots, celery, or cucumber to keep it under 200 calories .

1 medium ripe avocado
1 cup shelled frozen edamame
2 cloves of garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, washed and seeded
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves (approx 5-6 sprigs)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper

In a medium saucepan, boil the frozen edamame for 4-5
minutes, until bright green. Drain and set aside to cool (you can skip this 
step if you decide to use fresh edamame instead). In a food processor, combine garlic cloves, cilantro, jalapeno and lime juice and puree. Add cooled edamame and puree until smooth. In a mixing bowl, add avocado flesh to the edamame mixture and mash to combine thoroughly. Serve chilled with fresh

Per serving (1/2 cup):
110 calories
6.3g fat
5.3g fiber
6.8g protein

Makes 4 servings

Skinny Soups You’ll Love!

October 28th, 2013 by Yolanda

Hey Sprinklers!

green soupIT’S FALL!  I’m super excited since that means I get to break out my cute boots and trench coats to help make those chilly days a little warmer.  When I think of fall, I also think about hearty soups and stews that will help fill me up and keep me warm.  But did you know that eating soup can actually help you lose weight too?  I know many of you have heard of or even tried eating soup to lose weight with the cabbage soup diet and other fad weight loss programs, only to find that the weight you may lose comes back on pretty fast and usually brings a few friends with it.  That’s because you are ONLY eating soup, which is not a realistic way to lose weight.  You have to eat to lose weight…no way around that, and eating soup 3 times a day isn’t giving you enough calories to burn for energy throughout the day or nutrients for sustainable weight-loss.  So, instead of trying to lose weight quickly by eating soup, try switching out one meal a day with a soup that is chock full of nutrients, low in calories, and heavy on the greens.

What are the benefits for eating soup to lose weight?  Soup helps you feel full faster, which stops you from overeating throughout  the day.  You’ll also notice that the right soup will help improve your digestion and hydrates your body since it is usually broth or water based.  If you’re trying to lose weight and get rid of belly fat, avoid soups that are cream based or uses lots of cheese, as these soups contains tons of saturated fat or calories.  Or, if you just must have a creamy soup, try using Greek yogurt instead of cream or cheese.  If you are going to make a Green Soup, make sure to include olive oil, as your body needs to the fat to absorb the nutrients in the greens.  Here are a couple of amazing soup recipes courtesy of Pinterest.  Check out our Soups and Stews board for more yummy, belly-fat busting recipes.  Have a soup recipe of your own you’d love to share?  Please share it in the comments below.  Enjoy!

DETOX GREEN SOUP-Pureed Asparagus, Broccoli, and Kale


CLEANSING GREEN SOUP- Peas, Dark Leafy Greens, Dried Seaweed, and Miso


GREEN SOUP WITH GINGER- Chard, Spinach, Leeks, Ginger


TOMATO, BASIL, AND CHEDDAR SOUP- Tomatoes, Greek Yogurt, Basil, and Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese 


ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP- Chicken breast, Spinach, Whole-Wheat Pasta

Maintenance at its best!

October 18th, 2013 by Coach Miriam

Maintenance at its best!

Many of us want to know, when we reach our goal weight with SENSA® then what? Is there a maintenance program after this? The answer is yes but it depends on how ready you are to maintain your goal weight you have achieved. Mike Ditka says it best, “Some people are willing to pay the price and it’s the same with staying healthy or eating healthy. There’s some discipline involved. There’s some sacrifices.”

SENSA® is a six month weight-loss program. In that amount of time we learn many valuable lessons; listening to our body when it starts to feel full and stop eating, balancing our diet with nutritional food, exercise to fight fatigue and boost our energy, and portion control.

You know as well as I do old habits are hard to break and new habits take time to establish. Many times we find ourselves returning to our old way of eating and thinking about food. We get excited that we have finally reached our weight-loss goal and decide to celebrate our success. The question is; are we celebrating in a way that is productive for long-term sustainable weight-loss?

If we find ourselves slipping into unproductive eating patterns, I find we do one of two things; we either blame SENSA® for not doing what we believed it was supposed to do or we blame ourselves for not being able to ever keep our weight off no matter how hard we try. Do we see the missing link in our thinking? SENSA® is a tool to curb our appetite, diminish our cravings and teach us portion control. Our job is to come to an understanding of what it will take for us to maintain our weight-loss success. Where are you in this process?

Let’s examine ourselves and see if we are ready for maintenance.

What was your reason for starting SENSA?

Many of us have tried diets that may have given us a fast weight-loss but little time to change any habits. Some diets we have used have been time consuming, counting calories to weighing food.  Some have come in pill form that has given us a rapid heartbeat and costly side-effects. SENSA® on the other hand allows us to eat what everyone else eats while curbing our appetite; diminishing our cravings and helping us learn portion control. The process is easy and allows the body to gradually adjust to smaller portions, making it easier to practice moderation which helps us achieve long-term sustainable weight-loss.

How long have you been on the program?

Giving ourselves time to adjust to a new product is very important but many of us want instant gratification which translates into fast weight-loss. The National Institute of Health recommends aiming to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week for safe, sustainable weight-loss.  SENSA® recommends we stick with the system and we will lose weight. They also advocate a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and portion control.

What have you learned since you have been on your weight-loss journey?

Old habits are hard to break and new habits take time to establish. There are many things that might stop this process, so learning about you and what triggers you is essential for your success. Are you an emotional eater? Does boredom give you cause to eat? Do the stressors in your life cause you to comfort yourself with food?  As you can see it takes time to give you a long-term sustainable weight-loss if these issues are not dealt with over time and practical steps to help you.  The SENSA® Community is a great place for support, encouragement and tips, with people much like you.  Many are finding success at overcoming these areas of weaknesses with SENSA® and the support of one another.

Are you ready for maintenance?

After processing all the questions that are necessary for success to maintain your new found weight-loss; are you ready for maintenance? SENSA® is a tool to help you as you continue on your journey of breaking the old habits and empowering you to establish portion control, healthy living, and a regular exercise routine. This is a decision that only you can make in continuing with the aid of SENSA® or branching out with all you have learned to live maintenance at its best!

Good Luck to you all!

* Responders avg. weight loss using SENSA® was 9.5 lbs in 6 months.  Weight lost with SENSA®. Compensated for excellent results. SENSA® Coach.

How important is it for me to Lose Weight?

October 3rd, 2013 by Coach Miriam


I hear many people say that they are too embarrassed to tell others that they have started a weight-loss program. Or if others do find out and accept them being on “another” weight-loss program, they may say, if you lose weight I might give it a try. Can you relate to this?  The real question is, how important is it for you to lose weight? That is the real consideration here and the motivation in most cases for us to press forward.

I love this statement given by a mother speaking to her daughter about why she should see the importance of losing weight. “These are your good years, treat it like it’s your last, and cherish it because you only get one body, one mind and one soul. This is the time you can have fun, enjoy your new life and look HOT while doing it.”

As you can see from this powerful statement, this is about you and nobody else. Are you ready to get your life back and look Hot while doing it?

Here are 4 tips for you to begin this process.

  1. Ask yourself, how important is it for me to lose weight?

Make a list of how this question applies to you. On one side of a piece of paper write down the pros on what it would mean to make a weight-loss change, and on the other side write down the cons of staying  or gaining at your present weight.

  1. Ask yourself, how much opposition will I get in making a weight-loss change?

On one side of a piece of paper write the positive remarks and on the other side the negative remarks others might make. Beside each negative remark write down how you might handle it. If you are embarrassed to use the product in front of others, we recommend putting SENSA in an unmarked container; but make sure it is opaque and airtight to maintain its quality.

  1. Decide to join the Mysensa.com Community Support group.

In order to arm ourselves with the encouragement and support needed to make a positive change, we need like-minded people. This requires people that understand our struggles, who have fought some of the same battles and have had success with SENSA®.

  1. Be consistent and stay focused.

SENSA® used correctly will bring you success. Sprinkling SENSA® on everything you eat except liquids will help diminish your cravings and teach you portion control. Remember this is a 6 month program and breaking old habits and reducing the weight we have gained, takes time.

I realized for me, that it was very important to lose my weight. The weight I was carrying was hurting my knees and feet. I was tired and hated to look at myself in the mirror. I lost 45lbs on SENSA® in 7 months and went from a size 14 to a 4. Guess what, I look HOT! I am enjoying life and having fun. Won’t you join me today on SENSA’S® weight-loss program; you deserve it!

*  Responders avg. weight loss using SENSA® was 9.5 lbs in 6 months.  Weight lost with SENSA®. Compensated for excellent results. SENSA® Coach.

What are you reaching for and why?

October 3rd, 2013 by Coach Miriam


 Zig Ziglar said, “If you want to reach a goal you must see the reaching in your mind before you actually arrive at your goal.” This statement is what makes us or breaks us. Having a picture in our mind of what we hope to accomplish is a recipe for success. On the other hand, having a picture of where you have been and what has not worked for you in the past, is a recipe for failure.  So let’s clear our mind for a moment and start focusing on what brought you to the point of trying again.

I know for me I had been on many diets and most of them were met with excitement but ended in defeat due to all the restrictions and the disappointment of gaining my weight back. Did I say gaining my weight back? Yes! And it just kept coming. I found that my body was reacting to the extra 45 pounds I was forcing it to carry. As much as we find some things in our lives to be things we hate, they can also be the motivation to give us a push in the right direction. In my case I needed to find the “why” in my pursuit of trying to reach my goal weight.

You might say your body hurting should have been enough. Well it was but I needed more. I have the privilege of raising three grandchildren and living a healthy and long-life to enjoy everything about them was enough to move me forward.   The question was: What am I going to do this time that would be different and that would bring about a life-long healthy change.

That was when I found SENSA®. The ease of SENSA’s 6 Month Weight-loss Program made my journey a realistic, measurable, attainable and tangible journey.  SENSA® is all about a healthy lifestyle, with regular exercise and portion control.  I know that many of you can say that you dieted for all of the reasons I just mentioned and none of them worked. The difference with SENSA®, is it removes the measuring, weighing and numerous restrictions you find in a diet program and it makes it simple, safe and effective without much effort on your part.

Let’s look at what SENSA® and your efforts can offer you in reaching your weight-loss goals.

How much are you reaching for?

Do you need to lose weight and if so how much? Start by finding your body mass index (BMI). You can check with your doctor or you can find helpful tools online that can measure your body fat based on your height and weight and age. Take your measurements of your upper arms, forearm, chest, hips, waist, thighs and calves. Weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything.  Continue to take your weight weekly and remember if the scale does not move you are still making progress.

Why do you want to lose weight?

Think about your health, family, friends, and responsibilities. Get a picture in your mind of what you are trying to achieve and work towards it. Put up a picture of what you used to look like, an outfit you would love to wear or just a picture of your family. Whatever will motivate you let that be your inspiration. You are worth it.

How can you achieve your goal weight with SENSA®?

There are many methods to losing weight and only you can determine what is best for you. In order to make this a good and successful experience, make it realistic for you, make it doable. Stay focused on your goal, and when you reach it, if you want to lose more, set another goal.

When it comes to weight-loss with SENSA® there is no “typical” timeline for losing weight. Although many people lose weight in the very first month, everyone experiences weight-loss differently.  The National Institute of Health recommends aiming to lose 1-2 pounds per week is safe, sustainable weight-loss.  SENSA® advocates a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and portion control. The key is being consistent with shakin’ SENSA® and you will find it curbs your appetite, diminish your cravings and help you shake off the inches and pounds.

Also you might add the SENSA® CHEWS which will help you feel fuller, eat less, take in fewer calories and help you enhance your weight-loss results.

Try the SENSA® QUENCH drink. The ingredients have shown to increase your metabolism and as many users have reported, it enhances weight-loss results.

Add to your routine the SENSA® Complete Nutritional Supplements. They are designed to provide balance for vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and therogenics your body needs to influence metabolism, will power, overall well-being, cravings and to perform at peak levels for reaching your weight-loss goals.

The SENSA® SNACK BAR is a delicious filled with peanut butter and chocolate chips that provide a great source of protein, fiber and sprinkled with SENSA®.

How can I keep my mind on reaching my goal?

Join the SENSA® Community at mysensa.com. It is filled with like-minded people who are ready to give you great tips, support and encouragement. Need a good picture of success? Read the success stories and interact with those that have had challenges, success and maintained their weight-loss with SENSA®.  You can do this and the members on the community are there waiting to help you be a success too.

I am so glad I took the challenge of figuring out what I was reaching for and why. I was a woman in my 60’s weighing in at 175 when I started with SENSA® and 7 months later I was 130 pounds. I went from a size 14 to a 4. Now that is quite a transformation and the best part I feel good and love playing and doing things with my husband and grandchildren.  I wish you the best on your journey with SENSA®.

*  Responders avg. weight loss using SENSA® was 9.5 lbs in 6 months.  Weight lost with SENSA®. Compensated for excellent results. SENSA® Coach.

Do This for You!

October 3rd, 2013 by Coach Miriam

Do This for You!

Most of us, including myself, have lived most of our lives making choices to please others. We try to be perfect and keep it up forever, only to find ourselves worn-out, depressed and losing hope. Bill Cosby says. “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

Just recently I received a message from someone struggling with this very thing. She said, “My bigger issue is sprinkling in front of people. I work with professional people and I do not want them to see what I am doing. I take my lunch somewhere else and sprinkle before I return to the lunch table. It has become inconvenient and so I finally just quit sprinkling SENSA. It’s probably the failure factor. Ugh! I am stuck and would appreciate any suggestions.”

If you can identify with this then what I have to say will help you too.

1.  Who are you losing weight for?

You are valuable and worth giving yourself every opportunity you can to achieve your personal goals.+

2.  How much weight would you like to lose?

Look at your overall weight-loss goal. Break it down in small increments of 5 or 10 pounds and celebrate each victory.

3.  When do you find yourself struggling to stay on task?

If you are struggling to use SENSA® in front of others here is a great tip: Use an unmarked container but make sure it is opaque and airtight to maintain quality. Tell others it is a special seasoning you like to use on your meals.

4. Where can you get support to keep you focused and strong in reaching your weight-loss goals?

Go to the mysensa.com community. You will find like minded people on the same journey and willing to give you great tips, support and encouragement.

5.  What will it take for you to reach your weight-loss goals?

Be consistent with shakin’ SENSA® on everything you eat except liquids. Eat until you START to feel full and STOP. Take your weight and measurements and enjoy the results.

Dear friends this is something you have to want to do for you! I echo what William J. H. Boetcker said, “That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong.” I stepped up to the “plate” and did what was right for me; I lost 45lbs in 7 months and went from a size 14 to a 4 by using SENSA®.

When I realized how hard I had worked at trying to control my weight and the reasons behind it, I became upset. This was a real turning point for me in my permanent weight-loss. My success was going to come from me cheering me on and obtaining my weight-loss goals for me and not for others.

I had to believe in myself and do this for me. My success came from me believing in myself and knowing this is something I wanted for me. Are you willing to do this for you? I look forward to your weight-loss success with SENSA®!

*  Responders avg. weight loss using SENSA® was 9.5 lbs in 6 months.  Weight lost with SENSA®. Compensated for excellent results. SENSA® Coach.

Chilled Healthy Fruit Salads For Summer Weather

October 3rd, 2013 by Guest Blogger

Fruit is healthy, and several servings per day should be part of a balanced diet. Before I share recipes for healthy fruit salads, following are a few of the countless nutritional benefits for common fruits:

Many fruits contain antioxidants which help protect our body. Some fruits are hypoallergenic (not likely to trigger allergic reactions), can help if you have a sore throat, have anti-cancer properties and assist regulating our blood. They also contain fiber, Calcium, Iron, Vitamins A (good for eye health) and C (great for lessening colds). Fruits can also reduce your blood cholesterol, decrease inflammatory processes, help to build strong bones and combat cellular damage—which may lead to cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Others, like grapefruit, contain the antioxidant lycopene which possess anti-tumor properties,

helps with constipation and burns fat. Some also help prevent kidney stones and prostate cancer. Coconuts contain lauric acid which has anti-bacterial and anti-viral benefits. Bananas are good for your diet, because they contain potassium and dietary fiber. Potassium strengthens bones and helps control blood pressure.


 Now, here are a few of my favorite recipes for chilled hot weather fruit salads.

 Easy Summer Fruit Salad


·         1 pint cleaned and sliced strawberries

·         1 pound of halved seedless grapes

·         3 peeled and sliced kiwis

·         3 sliced bananas

·         1 can quartered peaches with natural juice


 Combine peaches (and its juice), strawberries, grapes, kiwis, and bananas in a large bowl. Chill 1 hour before serving.


 Lemon Instant Pudding Fruit Salad


·         1 box instant lemon pudding

·         1 large can of pineapple chunks

·         1 large can of peaches

·         5 sliced bananas

·         1 can mandarin oranges

·         1 pkg. mini marshmallows

·         I cup seedless Maraschino Cherries


Drain juice from all canned fruit. Save. Mix juices with instant pudding. Dice peaches. Add all fruit and marshmallows to pudding. Mix and refrigerate before serving.


Vanilla Yogurt Fruit Salad


·         1 large peeled and diced Delicious Apple

·         1 large peeled and diced orange

·         1 cup (sweet) seedless green or red grapes

·         1 cup fresh blueberries

·         4 oz. Vanilla Yogurt (Add more for desired consistency)


Mix all fruit with Vanilla Yogurt in bowl. Chill before serving.


Honey Lime Fruit Salad


·         2 sliced large bananas

·         16 oz of fresh sliced strawberries

·         1/2 lb fresh blueberries

·         2 tbs. honey (more to taste)

·         Juice of 1 fresh lime

·         1/3rd cup shelled pine nuts


Combine bananas, blueberries and strawberries in a bowl. Drizzle honey and lime juice over fruit. Then gently stir to coat. Sprinkle with pine nuts.


Always use seasonal fresh fruit for your salads, when available. Select canned fruits with natural juices and not syrups. If recipes call for yogurts, select either fat-free or non-fat. Then your chilled summer fruit salads will have maximum nutritional benefits as well as ideal for managing your weight.
Lisa DeFazio,MS,RD

Media Nutritionist,Dietitian & Host




Follow me on twitter @lisadefazioMSRD

Bagging A Nourishing Lunch For Grownups

October 3rd, 2013 by Guest Blogger

Preparing a nourishing brown bag lunch for either play, school or work is the best way to save. Consider being old school about it too. I remember when either my mother or grandmother would make a tasty lunch for me and then put it in a brown paper bag. We never used artistic, fancy lunch boxes or oversized thermal bags either. It was simple, and she even wrote my name on the bag!

Let’s start off with what a healthy lunch should include:

·         Make sure your lunch is balanced by including both carbs and lean protein. You’ll need plenty of carbohydrates to keep you going through the afternoon.

·         For sandwiches, consider using either pitas or whole grain breads. Then fill them with either tuna, egg salad or a lean meat—such as barbecued chicken or sliced mesquite turkey. Then lace them with either a low-fat mayo or a lite salad dressing and your favorite veggies.

·         Use leftovers, such as pastas from the previous night’s dinner. Add a slice of wheat bread (if carbs are missing), some vegetables and a piece of fruit to these.

·         Since most offices and school vending machine rooms have microwaves, you can always plan on heating up your lunch—when necessary.

·         Do not rule out packing diet frozen meals or low fat canned soups—which can also be heated.

·         Barbecuing over the weekend? Throw extra chicken or some salmon on the grill, freeze and then thaw for your brown bag lunches later.

Here are a few ideas for balanced healthy lunches!

-Pita bread stuffed with grilled chicken, lettuce and a lite dressing. Hand full of carrots and

an apple

- Tuna salad in a pita. Side of cucumber and tomato salad with olive oil and lemon. Portion of raw broccoli and a piece of fruit.

- Tortilla wrap (wheat) stuffed with hummus, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, feta cheese and black olives. Portion of fresh seasonal berries and container of fat free yogurt.

- Vegetarian refried beans, salsa, lettuce and shredded cheddar cheese in a whole wheat pita.

-Few slices of peeled apple


Banana & Peanut Butter Sandwich


2 slices whole grain bread
2 tbs. natural peanut butter

1 sliced banana
1 tbs. Honey or Agave nectar


Toast bread and then spread peanut butter on both slices. Place sliced bananas on the bread and drizzle with either honey or Agave nectar. Don’t forget to bring a carton or thermos of chilled low fat milk and some veggies too.


How to keep your lunch chilled and prevent spoiling:

Remember that lunches which have dairy, fish, poultry or meat need to remain chilled until you eat them. If your destination does not have a refrigerator, invest in a container or insulated bag for placement of ice packs. If you are a brown-bagger, large zip locks work great for holding items requiring refrigerating and ice packs! Don’t forget to place your name on the bag too.


Lisa DeFazio,MS,RD

Media Nutritionist,Dietitian & Host




Follow me on twitter @lisadefazioMSRD

Nutritious Halloween Treats For Big People’s Parties

October 3rd, 2013 by Guest Blogger

Autumn leaves are falling and Halloween is here again. Trick-or-treaters will be knocking on doors and going to school in their favorite costumes. And many adults will be having Halloween parties too. Because it is jack-o’-lantern time, you can plan to have wholesome treats instead of unhealthy snacks for your next get-together. Here a few suggestions for serving your guests other than candy, fattening foods and calorie loaded drinks. These will satisfy their appetites and sweet tooth too.

  • Every party should serve string cheese—which is low in calories and filled with both protein and bone building calcium. One stick of mozzarella or a mozzarella-cheddar cheese mix contains 80 calories and fulfills 20 % of the daily recommended serving of calcium in a 2,000-calorie diet. The protein and fat in string cheese slows down the metabolism of sugars and carbohydrates found in treats such as candy and starches.


  •  Many of us love to munch on nutritious trail mixes—which come in many varieties. Remember, only one ounce of a trail mix with almonds, cashews, peanuts, raisins and sunflower seeds will give you 8 % of your recommended daily intake of protein. Trail mixes are also low in carbs and loaded with both essential minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. And giving your guests just one ounce with chocolate chips added will also provide them 10 % of the copper, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus needed for adults’ diets


  •  Set out some multigrain and whole wheat sandwich crackers. Then layer a variety of them     with a cheddar cheese spread, an onion, low fat, lox-cream cheese and a natural smooth peanut   butter.


For your main course, make some wraps with ether flour tortillas or whole-wheat flatbread. Then spread with either hummus or layer thinly sliced mesquite deli turkey. Add avocado, tomato, shredded cheddar and fresh raw spinach leaves. For dressings, use either a lite Cesar or low-fat mayo. Then roll them up and slice into sandwich size servings. You can also make separate pitas filled with lettuce, tomato, tuna salad and sliced avocado.


For desert, my father prepares this to-die-for raspberry sorbet in champagne glasses and then drizzles strawberry liquor over the sorbet. Next, he stores the glasses in the freezer, before presenting these frosty goblets to guests. Sorbets are fat free and rich in rich in antioxidants, carotenoids, fiber and essential vitamins.

And lastly, be creative when it comes to presenting a punch bowl! This is one of my favorites. I mix two parts tangerine juice, one part orange juice with pulp and one part pineapple juice. Then I add several splashes of Angostura bitters to taste. For sweetening, if necessary, I prefer to use one that is natural like either Agave syrup or coconut sugar. Shots of either vodka or a dark rum are optional. Then, when guests arrive, throw in lots of ice cubes. Your witch’s brew will be loaded with antioxidants, fiber and Vitamin C.

Excuse me, I hear the door bell ringing. “Trick-or-treat, we’re hungry!”


Lisa DeFazio,MS,RD

Media Nutritionist,Dietitian & Host




Follow me on twitter @lisadefazioMSRD