Posts Tagged ‘diet’

Carbohydrate Reduction for Weight Loss!

By Marie Veselsky, RD, LD, BC-ADM 


What Level of Carbohydrate Reduction is right for you?

What type of diet should you be on for desired weight loss?  Current research indicates that reducing the total amount of carbohydrates that you take in daily can help not only with weight loss, but also help reduce your risk for future chronic illnesses such as diabetes. If you think of our earliest ancestors, the only carbohydrates they had were fruit, vegetables, raw nuts, and occasionally honey.

Carbohydrate-Restricted Diet.  The USDA recommends 130 grams of carb each day for male and female adults, but according to some nutrition researchers, the daily carbohydrate requirements recommended by the USDA can be defined as a high-carb diet. Nutrition researchers Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff S. Volek, authors of “The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living,” explain that many people, especially overweight and diabetic women, as well as those with polycystic ovarian syndrome, benefit from reducing their carbohydrate intake below daily recommendations.

Many credentialed health care professionals that believe in a healthier approach to pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes and weight loss (through exercise, carb counting and other lifestyle changes such as stress reduction) may recommend carbohydrate intakes below 130 grams a day depending on the patient. According to research, low-carb diets can help stabilize blood sugar levels and facilitate weight loss. Integrated Optimal Health’s AADE Accredited Diabetes Center can help you determine if you are a good candidate for this type of supervised meal plan on its own, or in addition to your diabetes medications as per your MD. Research shows that diet, individualized exercise, lifestyle changes & stress reduction work best for stopping progression of your pre-diabetes or diabetes type 2.

A typical low-carb diet would include some form of animal protein at each meal with non-starchy vegetables and fat from sources such as olive oil, avocado and nuts. Participants usually are instructed to avoid or restrict grains, sugars and legumes, and to reduce starchy vegetables and fruits to keep their carb count within the established target range. A typical day may include a cheese and broccoli omelet for breakfast with a small tangerine, a chicken salad with a low-carb salad dressing for lunch, grilled salmon with non-starchy vegetables stir-fried in coconut oil for dinner, and almonds, walnuts and olives as snacks. Worst, better, best for carb would be bready processed carb (worst), fruits and starchy vegetables (better) and non-starchy vegetables (best) respectively.

So what is Your Individualized Carb Number for Weight Loss? At Choice Center for Diabetes and Weight Loss we assess each person’s carbohydrate need individually, depending on the need for blood sugar control and/or weight loss.  It works! Then we provide exercise programs and stress reduction programs to get you fit and strong! One step at a time!

Anyone who is on a lower carb diet should not do it on their own, especially if you have diabetes, but instead be supervised by a licensed credentialed Registered Dietitian who is certified in diabetes education. We will work with your MD!

At Choice Center for Diabetes and Weight Loss we are credentialed health care providers practicing a more holistic approach to diabetes, weight loss and other chronic illnesses. We provide individual appointments and group programs to help you reach your optimal health.

We also provide individual appointments. Most Insurance accepted! Call 603-770-4856!

Call to make an appointment to get your individualized carb amount for weight loss!

It’s Your Health and Your Choice! R


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It is Time for Healthier Choices!

It is Your Health and Your Choice®!   Choose Health!


March 12, 2016 by Marie Veselsky RD, LD, BC-ADM

As a Registered Licensed Dietitian, I am always going to recommend a more holistic approach such as diet and lifestyle changes first, or in addition to any prescription drug you decide to take. You should always work with your doctor and weigh the risk with the benefit of any medication!

Facts on people’s current health in the United States: 

  • 50% have a chronic condition
  • Over half of American adults have Pre-diabetes or Diabetes
  • 67% overweight or obese
  • Nearly 70% of Americans are on at least one prescription drug with 50% on two

I have found that the best outcomes for people happen when they play an active role in their own health management. As a credentialed licensed Registered Dietitian, I understand that people are alive right now because of the advances in medicine and medications. A good example is insulin and how it has saved many lives, but also there are medications being taken as if they are a “magic bullet.”  The person feels they don’t need to make diet and lifestyle changes if they are on that drug!

Diabetes is a prime example of the above.  All these years we have been “managing” the symptoms: hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and the metabolic syndrome . . . primarily with drugs while only giving lip service to food and exercise.  The cost of diabetes drugs has reached outrageous amounts. 

Diet (lower carb, functional foods), Exercise, Stress Reduction and Weight Loss are the “best meds” and it is not as hard as it sounds! One just needs a health coach to get them going in the right direction! Many of my clients that were proactive and thus successful in their own health improvements have said “I had a gut feeling I needed to make a change and that is why I showed up at your office door.” 

Evolved Medicine – Research shows that “Diet and Exerciseare most effective for preventing pre-diabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes. A major study in 2002 found that the combination of diet and exercise reduced the odds of pre-diabetes becoming diabetes by 58%, compared with 31% among those using the common diabetes drug metformin.

Yearly sales of diabetes drugs has reached over $23 billion according to the data from IMS Health, a drug market research firm. This is more than the combined revenue of the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. In addition, people with diabetes spend an average of $6,000 annually for the treatment of their disease, according to a recent report by Consumer Reports Health. Many are on two or more diabetes medications, but yet do not exercise or watch their carb intake, and are not actively trying to lose weight. From 2004 to 2013, none of the 30 new diabetes drugs that came on the market were proven to improve key outcomes, such as reducing heart attacks or strokes, blindness and other complications of the disease, per an investigation by MedPage Today and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Diet, especially carbohydrate reduction, exercise, weight loss and lifestyle changes should always be used as the first line of defense for elevated blood sugars associated with insulin resistance and being overweight for your height. If your doctor feels you need a diabetes medication, then diet, exercise and weight loss should always be used in conjunction with the medication.

The good news is, as I like to tell my clients, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life. You can’t go back and start over, but you can start from here and have a better future.” It is never too late to make changes. Research as of 2016 shows that if you hang in there and get the support you need, you can be successful!









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High Cholesterol? High Blood Pressure? Pre-Diabetes? Diabetes Type 2? Diet, Exercise, Weight Loss and Lifestyle Changes Will Get to the Root of the Problem!

Best Plan! Follow Your Assessed Individualized Carb # for Weight Loss!

Let 2019 be the year that you start taking the necessary steps toward a healthier you!

The best way to prevent or stop progression of chronic diseases such as diabetes type 2 , high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and even most sleep apnea, is through diet, lifestyle changes, exercise and, yes, weight loss. This should be the first step in addition to any prescription medication you are prescribed by your health care provider.

As a Registered Dietitian for over 20 years, working in various hospital settings and also traditionally educated, receiving my Bachelors and Masters from the University of New Hampshire, I consider myself middle of the road when it comes to health care approach. I know from my many years of working with patients/clients that no massive amount of “health food” supplements or any specific diet is going to cure your auto immune disease or cancer. On the other hand, I also know that many people are relying too heavily on medications for chronic diseases that diet, lifestyle changes, exercise and weight loss can help best.

I actually remember the time when the National Instuitues of Health cholesterol guidelines mandated that changing diet should be tried for three months as the first step in treating high cholesterol before putting anyone on drugs. I was reminded of these treatment guidelines from the past when I read a recent article by a Cardiologist actually trying to get some of her patients off statins or cholesterol lowering drugs. As she stated in her article, current treatment guidelines, representing the standard of care, only pay lip service to nutrition. Most preventative prescription medications are just covering up the downstream effects of poor diet and lifestyles. They will not cure or get to the root of the actual problem.

Low Carb Cooking Class

I actually remember the time when the National Instuitues of Health cholesterol guidelines mandated that changing diet should be tried for three months as the first step in treating high cholesterol before putting anyone on drugs. I was reminded of these treatment guidelines from the past when I read a recent article by a Cardiologist actually trying to get some of her patients off statins or cholesterol lowering drugs. As she stated in her article, current treatment guidelines, representing the standard of care, only pay lip service to nutrition. Most preventative prescription medications are just covering up the downstream effects of poor diet and lifestyles. They will not cure or get to the root of the actual problem.

Here are some of the essentials to help you be successful at becoming a healthier you! 1) Eat more like our earliest ancestors and use more lean meats, fruits, vegetables and raw nuts and avoid processed foods, especially too much processed bready carb. Processed foods are where you are going to find the chemical food additives, bad fats and salt. 2) For weight loss, work with a Registered Dietitian and follow your individualized daily carbohydrate number assessed for weight loss and distribute the carb evenly throughout the day. 3) Again for weight loss, accurately track your carb intake using an easy method such as a carb counter. 4) Get accountability through visits, weigh-ins and measurements with a credentialed health care provider. 5) Get continued education, reinforcement and support for your specific medical nutrition therapy (MNT) needs by working with a Registered Dietitian. Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is covered by most insurance. 6) Individualized exercise as able and OK’d by your Nurse Practitioner or MD.

So again, let 2019 be your year to take the first steps necessary to reach your Optimal Health!

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FAT – Friend or Foe – for Heart Health and Weight Loss

The decades old recommendations that “fat” is bad for your heart and is the main culprit for obesity still lingers today with some of my new clients. They are still “fat phobic” even after all these years.

Some still continue behaviors like removing the skin from their chicken before cooking, avoiding red meats except three times a week, and using “egg beaters” instead of real eggs.  They still think that processed low-fat, low calorie foods like rice cakes, crackers and pretzels will help them lose weight.

I have to remind them of the results of avoiding all fat – that low-fat diets have been tied to increasingly poor health outcomes and actually increasing obesity and diabetes rates for Americans.

The truth – fat is necessary, useful and efficient, but how much do you need? The answer depends on what type of fat you are talking about.

Your body stores or makes fat because your body needs fat to function and fat is a form of storage fuel for your body in case you ever need it. Fat cells fill up by siphoning free floating dietary fats directly out of the bloodstream, but they also are capable of manufacturing fat directly from excess glucose (too much carbohydrate) in the blood. That is why the old low-fat, high carb foods like Snack-Well products probably increased the rates of obesity.

Types of fat – fats come from plants, animals and test tubes. Plant fats generally come from seeds, nuts, vegetables and even fruits. A mango contains omega-3 fatty acids (that are truly good for the heart) just like tuna does. Animal fats come from the adipose tissue of dietary meats. Dairy such as cheese and milk are animal by-products. Artificial fats (trans-fats) are produced in factories and have more in common with petroleum than with biology. They are not natural but man made.

All fats are defined as either saturated or un-saturated, a scientific classification based on the chemical structure of the fat molecules.  At room temperature, saturated fats are soft solids, while unsaturated fats are liquids.

Most experts no longer consider saturated fats the evil they were once thought to be. It used to be believed these fats would raise bad cholesterol because saturated fat triggers cholesterol production by the liver, but research is challenging that long held belief. Saturated fats are needed for the construction of cell membranes, organ padding and nerve sheathes. They also play an important role in hormone production and are required for the proper absorption of some minerals and fat-soluble vitamins including A, D, E, and K.

Unsaturated fats boost artery-cleaning good cholesterol (HDL), lower triglycerides, regulate blood clotting, help maintain a healthy blood pressure and are key players in proper brain function. Some examples of unsaturated fats that are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and good for your heart health:  Salmon, Herring, Mackerel, Halibut, Tuna, Cod, wheat germ oil, walnuts, flax meal, olive oil and mango.

There is still one bad fat! There is one fat that the body apparently does not need – a special subset of saturated fats called trans-fat and you should avoid it! Trans-fats are the test tube fats.  They have been strongly linked to an increase in heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Trans-fat wipes out healthy cholesterol (HDL) and greatly increases the bad cholesterol (LDL).  A trans-fat is manufactured by taking a healthy unsaturated fat and forcing hydrogen atoms into its molecules using heat and heavy metals such as palladium, therefore transforming the liquid into a solid. And where is it found? Mostly, in processed bready carbohydrates which causes weight gain if taken in excess of needs.

A question I get asked sometimes when I recommend a lower-carb, higher fat diet (minus trans-fats), “Won’t increasing my fat intake increase my cholesterol?”  I tell the client that it has been my experience through seeing cholesterol lab profiles improve, that for the most part eating less carb (especially processed carb) and increasing fat (especially good fats) lowers the bad cholesterol and increases the good cholesterol. This reduces risk factors for heart disease.

A research study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) compared a low-fat diet to a low carb, high-fat diet and the results showed that the group eating more fat and fewer carbs lost more weight.  Even more the low carb, high-fat diet followers lowered their risk factors for heart disease by improving their cholesterol profile even though they ate more than 40% of their total daily calories from fat!

So how much fat do you need?  None of the trans-fats, avoid them!  You should put the product back down on the shelf at the store if it has the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredient list. Saturated fat and un-saturated fat are an important part of a healthy diet and needs should be assessed individually.

A real food diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and high omega-3 sources such as olive oil, fish and nuts and an individualized exercise program is the way to go for your future heart health. For weight loss use the real food diet as your base and follow a lower carb meal plan based on your individualized needs.  You don’t have to be on an Atkins diet with extremely low daily carb amounts to lose weight, but just get your individualized carb number for weight loss determined by a licensed credentialed Registered Dietitian.

Come learn the essentials for successful weight loss and get your individualized carb number for weight loss determined at Integrated Optimal Health, Choice Center for Diabetes and Weight Loss, or, call 603-770-4856.

At Choice Center for Diabetes and Weight Loss we provide programs that help you reach your “Optimal Health” such as individual and group weight loss programs for accountability and support, movement camps that help improve flexibility, balance, core strength and stress reduction,  diabetes self-management programs (DSME) that are covered by most insurance.  We have been an AADE accredited Diabetes Center since September 2014! Most insurance accepted!





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Success Is Not a Straight Line When It Comes to Weight Loss

Success Is Not a Straight Line

If there is one thing I know for certain from working many years in the health care field, it is that with most client’s quest for significant weight loss SUCCESS is truly not a straight line.

Not a day goes by that I don’t have at least one client that comes in for reinforcement and accountability that doesn’t feel that they should have done better with their weight loss that week.  I tell them that a few weight points does not signal that they are doing poorly, it is the big picture that counts. I reinforce with them that if they hang in there they will be successful!

As a Registered Dietitian, I reinforce the essentials for successful weight loss, including using a professional grade scale that tracks the client’s weight and graphs it over weeks and months for accountability. Most people do not lose weight in a straight downward line. It is more in a stepwise manner, with sometimes a few steps back before going forward again. There is nothing more satisfying for both the client and me then to look at their weight and body fat % graph after weeks or months and see the big picture of SUCCESS!

It is the same with every aspect of your health.  From lowering your blood sugars to improving your fitness level. It is those individual steps pointed in the right direction and hanging in there that really totals up to success.  It is not straight and easy, but instead remembering to start again if you take a step or two backwards, never forgetting your long term goal. You may not see success in the moment, but if you hang in there and look at the big picture, over time you will see it!

November is National Diabetes Month and research shows that for many it is their high body fat % that is causing their elevated blood sugars due to insulin resistance. It is never too late to make changes that can keep you from going on to have complications from high blood sugars, but it is not a straight line. You have to set your realistic weight goal with the help of a credentialed health care provider and keep at it and not base success on a day to day basis.  Research shows that once a person with Diabetes Type 2 starts exercising, reduces their carbohydrate intake and loses some weight, it can take up to a year to see a significant difference in blood sugar levels!  Research also shows that if you hang in there you will achieve success. What else are you doing with the rest of your life! Accept the challenge!

The seven essentials for successful weight loss are:  1) first decide that you want to take action – that is the first step 2) an individualized lower carb meal plan that works long term 3) accountability – weigh-ins 4) reinforcement/education by a licensed credentialed health care provider 5) support 6) individualized exercise 7) food and fitness tracking.

So don’t think day to day but think of the big picture and start again!

Individual Appointments: Marie is licensed to practice Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) and specializes in MNT for adults and children including: pre-diabetes, diabetes type 2, gestational diabetes, diabetes type 1, desired weight loss, obesity, metabolic syndrome including high blood pressure & high cholesterol, food allergies, gluten intolerance and sports nutrition.

Group Programs: diabetes self-management training, weight loss support, individual & group exercise/movement classes for core strength, flexibility, balance, & stress reduction.

Upcoming Diabetes Education Presentation – FREE:

November is National Diabetes Month!

Free presentation on “Diabetes Survival Skills” Tuesday 11/7/2017, 2:00pm @ Cornerstone Wellness Center Community Room, Auburn, Maine.

Starts 2:00 pm: Know Your Diabetes Medications, Carb Counting, Glucose Monitoring – hands on learning.   Low Carb Snacks.  

Marie L. Veselsky, Bachelor’s of Nutrition/Exercise Physiology,   Master’s of Adult Education/Nutrition

Call Choice Center for Medical Nutrition Therapy at Integrated Optimal Health at 207-402-3804 or 603-770-4856 for an appointment today. Most insurance accepted.  It is your health and your choice!



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“Fat” is not a bad word when it comes to diet and nutrition.

By Marie Veselsky, RD, LD, CDE, BC-ADM



Your body must have “fat” the healthy kind, for many processes and to maintain overall good health. Good fats are anti-inflammatory and most disease processes start with inflammation.

Good fats are a “functional food.” What are functional foods? Functional foods are foods that also provide some health benefit. Whatever was meant to sustain us or benefit us was put on this earth to begin with. So examples of functional foods would be herbs, spices, fresh fruits, vegetables and yes, “fats,” such as meats and plant based fats such as raw nuts, avocado and coconut.

Fat is a macronutrient necessary for many body functions such as maintaining healthy skin and hair and yes…even a healthy brain and heart. Unfortunately, “fat” has been made the villain for years by many health care professionals.

Healthy fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are found primarily in plant foods – nuts and nut butters, seeds, avocados and vegetable oils as well as fish. These fats are good for your heart; they lower LDL (the bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (the good cholesterol). Diets high in Omega fatty acids possess anti-inflammatory properties that help ward off disease.

Even “saturated fat” has been unfairly vilified. Saturated fat which is found naturally in animal products is actually part of a healthy diet. It is when you over do the saturated fat that it becomes a problem. As a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), I feel that the epidemic of obesity and especially Diabetes Type 2, is actually linked to eating way too much carbohydrate (processed carb) and avoiding fats of all types. I can’t even count the number of times I have had clients say “I can’t eat nuts or eggs they are high in fat!” Some fat is a very important part of a diabetic diet to help control blood sugars as well as any weight loss diet. You actually need some fat “to stick to your ribs” to help slow down the absorption of glucose. This allows you to go longer without feeling hungry and thus you avoid overeating.

Trans-fat is truly the “bad” fat and has been linked to a higher risk of serious chronic illness. This fat increases LDL cholesterol which contributes to small-particle plaque formation in the arteries and results in occlusion that restricts blood flow to the heart, brain and other organs. Industrially produced trans fats found in processed foods that contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (the hydrogenation process turns the oils from liquid to solid) is linked with abnormal cholesterol levels and a higher risk of heart disease and is considered the unhealthiest type of fat. A company can claim something is trans-fat free if it is less than a certain percentage per serving, but if it says the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredient list, it has trans-fats in it. There really is truly no safe intake of trans-fats.

Thus, when it comes to making a choice for fats to combine with your “healthy carbs” (fruits, vegetables) there is always a 1) worst 2) better 3) best. Worst would be trans-fats and should be avoided. Better would be saturated fat and should be used in moderation. BEST would be the good fats! Sources of healthy fat or good fats are: olive oil, nuts, avocado, fish (salmon, herring, and trout) walnuts, flaxseed (ground) and flaxseed oil.


It’s Your Health and Your Choice! ™



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The Cornerstone of All Treatment for Pre-diabetes and Diabetes is Lifestyle Modifications

At the top of any diabetes care guideline sheet your health care provider uses to help determine the best treatment for elevated blood sugars, is some variation of the following statement:

Counsel on lifestyle modifications, such as consuming a healthy diet, weight loss and the importance of exercising.

Research shows that lifestyle modifications work best for stopping the progression of your pre-diabetes or diabetes type 2, so that is why it is the cornerstone of any treatment regime. Lifestyle and diet modifications should be used as the first line of defense for pre-diabetes and in addition to any medications or insulin your healthcare provider may prescribe for you for diabetes type 2.

There are 29.1 million people in the United States that have diabetes and 8.1 million are undiagnosed. The CDC estimates that 1 in 3 adult Americans will have diabetes by 2050.

Pre-diabetes or diabetes type 2 is when the pancreas is producing insulin, but the amount is not adequate, or the insulin is not effective in lowering blood glucose because the cells are resistant.  Being overweight plays a role in many cases. With insulin resistance, the pancreas produces more insulin than usual, but the cells are unable to use the insulin because there are fewer receptors. Diabetes type 2 onset is possible at any age, but is more commonly diagnosed after age 30.

The treatment for diabetes type 2 is done in phases or stages; nutrition therapy and exercise, and oral medications and/or insulin.

Research shows that once a person with pre-diabetes or diabetes type 2 starts exercising, reduces their carbohydrate intake and loses some weight, it can take up to a year to see a significant difference in blood sugar levels! People need to be reinforced that they will see many good changes right away, but that they will need to hang in there to see all the changes they need. It is not easy but worth it!

I tell my clients that “I need to keep them accountable” by having them come in every 1-2 weeks in the beginning for reinforcement, further education and weigh-ins. We track their progress on a professional grade scale and software program and even measure them so that they can see that the combination of diet and lifestyle changes does work if they hang in there.   We have one-on-one personal diet and fitness training to keep them motivated.

Finding out your individualized carb number for weight loss and better blood sugar control (15 grams of carb can raise your blood sugars 30-40 points), replacing trans-fats with good fats such as olive oil, avocado, raw nuts, fish (all anti-inflammatory) and finding an exercise program that is individualized for you (walking 30 minutes can lower your blood sugars 30-40 points) is the way to go.

Choice Center for Nutrition & Choice Center for Diabetes & Weight Loss, Integrated Optimal Health, has been an AADE Accredited Diabetes Center since September 2014.  Most insurance accepted. Locations in New Hampshire at 30 Pleasant Street, Conway, NH & in Maine.

Marie Veselsky, MS, RD, LD, CDE, BC-ADM is the owner and coordinator of Choice Center for Nutrition and the accredited diabetes center, Integrated Optimal Health, Choice Center for Diabetes.

Call “Choice Center for Diabetes and Weight Loss” at 603-770-4856/1-888-444-1204 or on-line

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Functional Foods.

Marie L. Veselsky, Licensed Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator; Dustin Forrest, MSN, RN, Nurse Practitioner.

Functional Foods are foods that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition.

National nutrition guidelines stress the importance of consuming a wide variety of food.  Good old fashion oatmeal is an example of a functional food because it naturally contains soluble fiber that can help lower cholesterol levels. Spices are examples of functional foods. Spices have been used for centuries, not only to give food flavor, but also for their health benefits.  The spice Turmeric is a functional food because research shows it is naturally anti-inflammatory and a slight blood thinner.

Here are 12 Functional Foods that Boost Immunity!

  1. Yogurt – live active cultures found in yogurt help keep the GI tract free of disease causing germs.
  2. Oats and Barley – these grains contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber with antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities.
  3. Garlic – this potent onion relative contains the active ingredient allicin which fights infection and bacteria.
  4. Shellfish – selenium, plentiful in shellfish such as oysters, lobsters, crabs and clams, helps white blood cells produce cytokines – proteins that help clear flu viruses out of the body. Salmon, mackerel, and herring are rich in Omega-3 fats which reduce inflammation.
  5. Chicken Soup – home made – can help you get over a cold sooner – the amino acid cysteine, released from chicken during cooking, may explain the results.
  6. Tea – people who drank 5 cups a day of black tea for 2 weeks had 10 times more virus-fighting interferon in their blood than others who drank a placebo hot drink in a Harvard study.
  7. Beef – zinc deficiency is one of the most common nutritional shortfalls among American adults, especially vegetarians. Zinc in your diet is very important for the development of white blood cells.
  8. Sweet Potatoes – for your skin to stay strong and healthy, your skin needs Vitamin A which sweet potatoes are known for.
  9. Mushrooms – our earliest ancestors ate a lot of mushrooms. For centuries people around the world have turned to mushrooms for a healthy immune system. Shiitake, Maitake, and Reishi mushrooms appear to pack the biggest immunity punch!
  10. Turmeric – a spice that has been found to be anti-inflammatory in general and is a slight blood thinner.
  11. Cinnamon – has anti-inflammatory and blood thinning properties. In one study 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon a day was found to lower blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.
  12. Ginger – ginger’s most well-known medicinal use is as a digestive-aid to relieve stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea, but just like cinnamon and turmeric, it is also an anti-inflammatory.

And guess what?  All the above are food and are considered safe. As always if you are on any prescription medication check with your MD before adding anything new into your diet.  There can be food/drug, herb/drug interactions.

Integrated Optimal Health’s Choice Center for Nutrition and Choice Center for Diabetes & Weight Loss approach the patient as a whole for diabetes, weight loss and other chronic illnesses. We provide education on options, advocate healthier choices and provide access to programs needed to help each person better manage their own disease state and reach their optimal health.

Call 603-770-4856 in NH and 888-444-1204 in Maine!




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Accountability is an Essential for Successful Weight Loss in 2017!

challenge accepted.

Having a licensed, credentialed health care provider weigh you on a consistent basis can help you be successful in achieving weight loss in 2017!

You need more than just one visit to be successful. You need ongoing accountability through weigh-ins, education, reinforcement and support!

Recent research indicates that 1/3 of Americans are considered obese. Being significantly overweight can increase your risk for many chronic diseases and some cancers. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association guidelines indicate that even a 3% weight loss among overweight and obese individuals can improve risk factors for chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and diabetes type 2.

As a Registered Dietitian that practices a more holistic approach, I am not a strong proponent of gastric bypass surgery unless the benefit far outweighs the risk. That said, there have been a lot of good studies that have come from data on gastric bypass patients.  The American Medical Association Analysis of 136 gastric bypass studies where the patients lost significant weight indicates that 77% of participants eliminated their elevated blood sugars, 62% eliminated their high blood pressure, 70% eliminated their high cholesterol and 86% eliminated their sleep apnea. This shows weight loss is key in improving outcomes of many chronic illnesses.

The most successful weight loss treatments include elements of monitoring as a means to increase self-awareness. Especially powerful is having a licensed, credentialed health care professional weigh you on a consistent basis and provide reinforcement of healthy choices.

Integrated Optimal Health’s Choice Center for Nutrition and Choice Center for Diabetes and Weight will help you achieve your weight loss goals through providing education, reinforcement and ongoing support as well as group and individual exercise programs. It is easier than most people think. There is no “magic bullet” for weight loss, but knowing your individualized carb number for weight loss, which we determine for you, and getting the education and support you need is pretty close!

Many people do not realize that their health insurances covers preventative care.  It is Your Health and Your Choice. Choose Health!

Call 888-444-1204 to find out about the group and individual programs. Most insurance accepted!

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Always Weigh the Risk with the Benefit of Any Drug You Take!

Use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or what many refer to as heartburn/acid reflux drugs may be linked to long-term kidney damage, according to a study published online January 11 in JAMA…and this study suggests that up to 70% of these prescriptions are without indication and that 25% of long-term PPI users could discontinue therapy without developing symptoms.  As a Registered Dietitian, I am always going to recommend a more holistic approach to GI issues such as diet and lifestyle changes. If you need a drug you need a drug, but you should always be on the least amount of meds possible.

While study can't prove cause-and-effect, increasing damage seen as dose rises

While this study can’t prove cause-and-effect, increasing damage is seen as dose rises. Researchers found that PPI users were more likely to have health issues, such as obesity and hypertension. Use of the medications was associated with an increased risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) over 10 years. The researchers also compared patients using the medications once a day with those who used them twice a day. They found that twice-daily use was associated with a 46% increased risk of CKD, versus a 15% increased risk in those taking on daily dose.

Please work with your doctor on any changes of medications that you would like to make. There are some people who may need these drugs to help prevent severe damage to their esophagus.

After talking to your doctor about this and the decision is to wean off the PPI what can you take?

DGL Licorice chewable form is a good natural alternative, especially to help you wean off the PPI.   You can buy it in most health food stores, and unless you have significantly high blood pressure, taking other medications that may interact with it, or have a specific intolerance to licorice itself, it is considered relatively safe in the amounts you would be taking. Licorice helps to soothe irritated mucous membranes and stimulates mucus secretion to coat the stomach wall.  Always check with your MD and your Registered Dietitian to investigate any possible interaction between licorice and any medication you may be on.  A good brand would be chewable, gluten free, and with no added or artificial sugars. In addition, Ginger is a good spice that will help with stomach upset.

Image result for pictures of DGL chewable licoriceImage result for pictures of ginger



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