Posts Tagged ‘healthy eating’

A Better Kind of Tortilla

tortillaI’ve been on the lookout for a better option to a flour tortilla.  Most often I try and stay gluten free but once in a while it’s nice to have a yummy quesadilla or breakfast burrito.  I’ve also had clients looking for a better option as well.  I’ve tried homemade options and corn shell options. Whether it’s due to time constraints or flavor, nothing seemed to be a good option.

My husband came back from the store the other day with a grin on his face and a great find.

Of course the first thing I did was turn it over to look at the ingredients list.   I was pleasantly surprised.  Because they aren’t fully cooked, they don’t have preservatives!

INGREDIENTS: Wheat Flour, Water, Canola Oil, Salt, Sugar.

They have a corn option as well as one with flax seed in them.

This option may take an extra three minutes to finish them off on a skillet but I’ll take that over eating an ingredients list that looks like this any day (which is a typical tortilla):


Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Modified Wheat Starch, contains 2% or less of: Brown Sugar, Flaxseed, Salt, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate and/or Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Calcium Sulfate), Vegetable Shortening (Interesterified Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Soy and/or Cottonseed Oil, Palm Oil), Wheat Starch, Soy Lecithin, Wheat Fiber, Guar Gum, Preservatives (Calcium Propionate, Sorbic Acid and/or Citric Acid), Dough Conditioners (Fumaric Acid, Sodium Metabisulfite, Distilled Monoglycerides), DATEM, Enzymes, Canola Oil, Triglycerides.

See what I mean?!  Give them a shot and see what you think.

Portion Control

Anyone who is trying to watch their weight will tell you that portion control is one of their best allies.  But what is portion control?rasp

By definition: Portion control is understanding how much a serving size of food is and how many calories or how much food energy a serving contains.

It’s very evident that the American diet no longer consists of true portions.  A perfect example would be an order of pasta.  Today’s average serving is enough to fill a 10 to 12 inch plate or bowl.  Even just 10 to 15 years ago, the same order would be equivalent to a side order portion today.

Also consider that it’s not just at a restaurant or at home that portions can sneak up on you.  When you read labels and see the information given, make sure to look at the serving size and how many servings are in the container.  It might say it’s only 50 calories in a serving but there may be 2 to 3 servings per container.

Some people find that actual measurements help keep them in line where others prefer a visual to compare to.  I’ve put together a list of both measurements and visuals to help guide you to better portion control.

Of course these examples are just averages.  For more accurate readings use a calibrated kitchen scale (I purchased a cheap one at Target) or measuring cups and spoons.

  • Fist = 1 Cup of rice, pasta, fruit or veggies
  • Palm = 3 ounces of meat, fish or poultry
  • Handful = 1 ounce of nuts, seeds or raisins
  • Thumb = 1 ounce of hard cheese or nut butter
  • Thumb tip = 1 teaspoon of oil, butter or sugar
Other serving size references:

1 serving:

  • 1/2 cup, cooked pasta
  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup cooked vegetables
  • 1 cup ( 4 leaves) lettuce
  • 1 medium apple
  • 1/2 grapefruit
  • 1/2 mango
  • 1/2 cup berries
  • 1 cup yogurt or milk
  • 1 1/2 ounces of cheddar cheese
  • 1 small chicken breast
  • 1/4 pound hamburger patty

Stuck on Cilantro

I am in LOVE with Cilantro!  I love the spiciness of it as well as the texture. And check out all of the added benefits Cilantro in your diet can provide!

It is such a versatile herb.  Here are a few of the ways I’ve been using it this summer:cilantro

  • In a marinade (Awesome for grilled chicken)
    • Olive oil
    • Agave
    • Salt and Pepper
    • Cilantro
    • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Hummus – Find your favorite Hummus recipe and throw in some Cilantro.  It’s awesome!
  • Juicing or smoothies – I know, it sounds weird but it is so refreshing.
  • In a salad – This is the easiest of them all.  Throw in a handful of leaves into your next salad be wowed by the punch of spice that it brings.  It’s perfect with a sliced apple on top.


drinking-water If I could ask my clients to make one change to their lifestyle, do you know what I would suggest?

Although all small changes really do have an impact on your health, there is one thing in particular that I think EVERYONE could work on…HYDRATION.

Did you know that the average human body is made up of 60% water?  That’s a lot of water!  And consider this; as stated on, “People feel thirsty when they have already lost around 2-3% of their body’s water.  Mental performance and physical coordination start to become impaired before thirst kicks in, typically around 1% dehydration.”

It is thought that nearly 75% of Americans are dehydrated on a daily occurrence.  This can lead to many side effects, including:

  • Mood change
  • Exhaustion
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Palpations
  • Inability to sweat

By observing the slightest changes in your body, you can beat dehydration before it reaches impairment levels.  These are symptoms to be aware of:

  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
  • Thirst
  • Decreased urine output — no wet diapers for three hours for infants and eight hours or more without urination for older children and teens
  • Few or no tears when crying
  • Dry skin
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness or light-headedness

Lack of hydration is an easy issue to remedy.   Drink more water!  Not pop or most teas and juices, plain water.  Of course, you could always seep cucumber, berries or herbs in your water.  As long as it is high quality, filtered water.

That is where the easy answer ends.  In research, there are many equations and guidelines mentioned as to how much of it to drink.  I found this website questionnaire to be the most precise.

How Much Water Do You Need?

After going through and answering all of the questions it brought me to an answer that is the same as I would have gotten by just following this advice.

Take your weight, divide it by two, and that is the amount in ounces that you should be drinking per day.

Dehydration leads to a slew of physical and mental impairments.  Let’s take an easy preventative step and work on staying hydrated.  Have a water bottle with you at all times.  Soon enough it will be a habit!

Package Price Changes

Wow!  Where is time going?  I can’t believe it’s already been 8 months since I started Achievable Health.  To say the last 8 months have been a learning experience is such an understatement.

In many ways, I’ve met very little resistance as I’ve made my way through the weeks.  In fact, most of the resistance has been ME!  I’m learning pretty quickly to just get out of my own way and enjoy the process as the business has been growing and changing.

There is one area of change that is in need of some revamping that I wish I didn’t have to deal with, price changes.bigstock-Green-field-at-sunset--24967112 smaller

Over the last few months, I have begun working with more couples and families on top of the individual clients.  Working with families and couples has been such an amazing experience.  Seeing them acknowledge their goals, work through the challenges and exceed their goals together has been incredible.

I’m finding out quickly that while working with multiple clients in one package, I’m spending more time with them on location as well as at home doing notes and research.   Because of this, I have decided to re-price the packages accordingly for those who choose the packages as a couple, group or family.

I’ve thought very hard about this price increase.  I would love to work for free and I truly hope someday I am in the position to do so.  Right now, however, I need to act as a business owner and take this advised action.

Effective August 15, 2013, the package prices will be as follows:

Package 1 – Heart of the Home
  • Single $125
  • Couple/Family $125
Package 2 – Kick Start Your Health
  • Single $125
  • Couple/Family $187.50
Package 3 – Compact Journey
  • Single $350
  • Couple/Family $525
Package 4 – Confidence in Commitment
  • Single $575
  • Couple/Family $850

The Nut Butter Debate

nut butter I can about guarantee that most of you, if not all of you, have some sort of nut butter sitting on your shelf.  Nut butters are a great source of protein and a healthy snack option.  But not all nut butters are created equal.

Let’s dig deeper in to the most popular of the nut butters, peanut butter.  I grew up on Jif’s Creamy Peanut Butter.  Let’s just say, I’m glad I know now what I didn’t know then.


That’s a lot of oil!  At least there’s a better choice of peanut butter out there these days.  In fact, this is my choice of readily available peanut butter; Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter.


Now, you might wonder why I choose the natural over the organic option that Smucker’s has.  It’s all in the ingredients.  The organic option’s first ingredient is ROASTED ORGANIC PEANUTSTo roast the peanuts, unless it says dry roasted, they have to use oil.  It doesn’t say what type of oil they use.  Tricky, I know!!

There are great options available made from other nuts as well.  I love to splurge and get sunflower seed butter once in a while.  But I also like to keep it simple.   I figure, any nut butter is a high fat food.  If I’m going to splurge and eat it, I want to know exactly what I’m eating.

With all of the options out there these days, you really have to be cautious of what you’re buying.  Here’s an example of tricky marketing.  This is what some companies are trying to pass off as healthy these days.  Sorry, Nutella, I’m going to pick on you.


Hazelnut is the third ingredient!  And I guess they didn’t think hazelnuts were oily enough; they had to add palm oil.  Not to mention the worst phrase ever: artificial flavor.  No thank you.

Let’s also take a look at PB2.  I wish I could say I like this product but I have a few issues with it.


There’s that word again, ROASTED.  Not to mention they had to throw sugar into the mix.

This is what it boils down to; if you want to splurge and eat a high fat treat such as nut butters, look at the ingredients list not the nutritional values and enjoy it in moderation!  Or, there are local stores in the area that have machines available to make your own nut butter.  Go for it!  Then you’ll really know what it’s made of!

Information Session in Ankeny

Round Two – Information Session at Back to Wellness Chiropractic in Ankeny

Well, the first round didn’t kill me so how about a round two!  I may just start to like doing these 😉

Session #2 Marketing Poster for B2W - Copy

Whole-Wheat Waffles

My hubby made me this yummy weekend breakfast treat!

Whole-Wheat Waffles

whole wheat waffles


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ¾ cups almond milk
  • ¼ cup oil (I used coconut oil, make sure to heat it up a bit so it’s not solid going in)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Warmed 100% pure maple syrup or agave for serving

Fresh fruit for serving (Blueberries or strawberries would be great in or on top of these)


  1. Preheat your waffle iron.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, honey, cinnamon, and baking soda until well combined.
  3. Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk together just until the large lumps disappear.
  4. When the waffle iron is hot, dab it with a little butter or spray and then ladle some batter onto the center of the iron.  Follow the instructions that came with your waffle maker to know how long it should be cooked (mine takes about 3 – 4 minutes each).
  5. Keep waffles warm until you finish cooking all of them. Top with pure maple syrup and fruit. Enjoy!

Do You Know What You’re Eating?

plums There is something to be said about turning a blind eye and staying naïve to keep a positive attitude.   I have just one problem with that… I’m too inquisitive!

So I’m walking along the produce isles, taking in the beautiful array of colors in front of me.  But then my curiosity and slight OCD take over and I start thinking about how many other hands have touched the same apple and cucumber that I just picked up.  That’s where it all starts…

Here’s some thought provoking information about the produce you buy.

Did you know that most of the produce that you buy at a grocery store could have been harvested weeks and months if not almost a year ago?

It is a common practice for most produce to be harvested early and finished with a chemical spray called ethylene gaswhile in transit.  Yes, produce does emit ethylene naturally while ripening.  But, chemists have taken this natural gas and turned it into a liquid form to spray on early harvested produce.  It is in this form that it’s harmful to us.

Did you know that even some organic apples have a wax coating on them?

This is where it gets tricky.  Many would say that wax has no place being on food.  But consider that some produce naturally has a coating or “wax” on it to help protect it and keep it moist.  The most common types of wax are actually a derivative of animals, minerals or vegetables.  So now it becomes a matter of choice.

Or, how about the fact that produce is handled by many sets of hands that may or may not have been washed after their last trip to the bathroom.

Enough said.

Needless to say, by thinking that buying organic will solve all of the chemical and bacterial issues that consumers need to be aware of is just not going to cut it.  Best bet, by local and in season.  Then, when you get your produce home and begin to prepare it, follow these guidelines to prevent as much chemical and bacterial contamination as much as possible.

  • Soak produce in a 5:1 water to white vinegar ratio for about two minutes
  • For denser produce, scrub the outsides with your hands or a clean cloth
  • Drain and rinse for a good 30 seconds to a minute in clean, running water
  • Store in a clean container different than the one it came home in

Informational Session!

The time has come for me to face a HUGE fear!  I have always had a hard time getting up in front of a group of people and speaking.  But now I need to face the fear and do it anyway.

Please join me at my very first Information Session!  I decided to start with an overview of Health Coaching and its benefits and then move on to more challenging topics at later sessions.

If you are able to make it, thank you for being my guinea pigs!  If anything it will be very entertaining.  Bear with me and let’s hope my face doesn’t stay the shade of red that I’m sure it will be turning .

Session #1 Poster for Website & Newsletter
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