Thursday, December 24, 2009


We wish everyone a safe, healthy, and happy holiday!

Remember it doesn't matter what you eat or how you train between Christmas and New Years.

It matters how you eat and train between New Years and Christmas!

All the best for 2010! YOU win in 2010!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Multi-Vitamins For FREE!!

Whew! It's always a little crazy here at Rialto Wellness the week after Thanksgiving. Everyone wants to get back on track after taking a few liberties during the Holiday weekend ;-)

So today we don't have very much time to write to you - at all. But as a proud Prograde Nutrition partner we had to let you know that their Whole Foods based multi - VGF 25 + -is now available on a trial basis.

Yes, it's made from 25 veggies, greens and fruits. Hence the name, VGF!

It contains 7 nutrient classes:

Amino Acids
Essential Fatty Acids
Micro AND Macro Vitamins and Minerals

Again, what's really cool is you can try Prograde's VGF 25+ for FREE! (There's just a small S & H charge)

Ok, gotta run. Talk to you soon.

PS - You can see all the natural ingredients they use to make VGF 25+ by clicking here!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Delicious Protein Pancakes Recipe

It's been a great year here at RIALTO WELLNESS. And we're very grateful for you being a part of that success. This week being Thanksgiving we want to make sure we're showing you how grateful we are.

But before we do...

Let's get serious for a moment. You're going to eat a LOT of food this Thursday. You know it. We know it. And that's ok. We're sure you've been working out just a little bit harder to prepare for it, right? ;-) And we know you're going to get a good workout in on Thursday before you chow down, right?

Now, besides that, we also want to remind you one thing you do NOT want to do on Thursday is skip meals so you can stuff yourself with one big one. That's a no-no.

You still need to start your day right by boosting your metabolism with a solid breakfast. So to help you out with that I've got a gift for you from us and Prograde Nutrition. It's a delicious Protein Pancakes recipe.

Thanks to the protein in the recipe your blood sugar won't go crazy like it can just by eating a huge stack of pancakes with sugary syrup. Nope, this recipe will fill you up, nourish your body and give your metabolism just the boost it needs.

You can get the Protein Pancakes recipe by clicking here!
Be sure to let us know how you like it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

PS - Seriously, have a nutritious breakfast this Thursday and your body will thank your for it on Friday. ;-)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Recipe Day!! White Chicken Chili

We love Cook's Illustrated. If you don't subscribe to the magazine, it's basically "America's Test Kitchen" where they figure out the best way to make something - so the test a ton of different combinations to avoid dried out chicken or bland sauce. Today's recipe is courtesy of them.

White Chicken Chili

Adjust the heat in this dish by adding the minced ribs and seeds from the jalapeño as directed in step 6. If Anaheim chiles cannot be found, add an additional poblano and jalapeño to the chili. This dish can also be successfully made by substituting chicken thighs for the chicken breasts. If using thighs, increase the cooking time in step 4 to about 40 minutes. Serve chili with sour cream, tortilla chips, and lime wedges.

Makes about a serving of 12

3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves , trimmed of excess fat and skin
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium jalapeño chiles
3 poblano chiles (medium), stemmed, seeded, and cut into large pieces
3 Anaheim chile peppers (medium), stemmed, seeded, and cut into large pieces
2 medium onions , cut into large pieces (2 cups)
6 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
4 scallions , white and light green parts sliced thin

1.Season chicken liberally with pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook without moving until skin is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, turn chicken and lightly brown on other side, about 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate; remove and discard skin.

2.While chicken is browning, remove and discard ribs and seeds from 2 jalapeños; mince flesh. In food processor, process half of poblano chiles, Anaheim chiles, and onions until consistency of chunky salsa, ten to twelve 1-second pulses, scraping down sides of workbowl halfway through. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Repeat with remaining poblano chiles, Anaheim chiles, and onions; combine with first batch (do not wash food processor blade or workbowl).

3.Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from Dutch oven (adding additional vegetable oil if necessary) and reduce heat to medium. Add minced jalapeños, chile-onion mixture, garlic, cumin, coriander, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat.

4.Transfer 1 cup cooked vegetable mixture to now-empty food processor workbowl. Add 1 cup broth and process until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add vegetable-broth mixture, remaining 2 cups broth, and chicken breasts to Dutch oven and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until chicken registers 160 degrees (175 degrees if using thighs) on instant-read thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes (40 minutes if using thighs).

5.Using tongs, transfer chicken to large plate.

6.Mince remaining jalapeño, reserving and mincing ribs and seeds (see note above), and set aside. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces, discarding bones. Stir shredded chicken, lime juice, cilantro, scallions, and remaining minced jalapeño (with seeds if desired) into chili and return to simmer. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and serve.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Recipe Of The Week!

Jules Basic Guacamole

2-3 RIPE avocados (if you do not know how to pick out a ripe avocado, google it, or ask your friendly produce person)

(Here is where you could just add a few scoops of the above mentioned salsa, and be done with it, or you could hand chop the ingredients as follows for a more rustic guac)

Juice of 1-2 limes
About 1 tablespoon of cilantro (more or less to taste)
About 2 tablespoons chopped onion (red or white)
1 finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1 roma tomato, deseeded and chopped
1 finely chopped clove of garlic
A little sprinkle of cumin (optional)

Mash all together with a fork. If you are making earlier in the day and serving later, take plastic wrap and place it directly on the guac. This will help prevent browning. We personally LOVE to add some adobo sauce (the sauce contained in chipotles in adobo) for some extra zing.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bananas Aren't Your Only Potassium Source...

NorCal Strength and Conditioning (Nicki Violetti and husband Robb Wolf's box) posted a pretty insightful blog about potassium. Ask anyone who gets muscle cramps what food they reach for, and the answer is pretty unanimous: bananas of course!

However, bananas also have a whopping dose of sugar (yes it's a naturally occuring sugar, but it's still sugar).

So what to do? How to get potassium? Get your guac on, and get some avocados!

Here's the blog posting from NorCal and a nifty recipe to go with it:

(note: in their recipe they reference 1/4 cup orange juice...again, make sure this is the fresh-squeezed stuff, not from concentrate).

Orange & Avocado Salad with Jicama
4 oranges, peeled and sectioned
3 avocados peeled and sliced
1 jicama, peeled and cut into strips
1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing (preferably homemade)
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tbsp orange zest
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Toss oranges, avocado and jicama in a large bowl. Mix dressing and orange juice and pour over salad. Sprinkle with cilantro and orange zest. Serve immediately! I served this with grilled burgers.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Recipe Day - Vegetarian Mexican Salad

This recipe makes for a great dinner, however, it can be
used as a lunch meal.

Dinner: Calories 353, Fat 11gr, Carbohydrates 44gr, Protein 25gr

Mexican Salad
3/4 cup Black Beans (canned, low
4 cups Salad greens- romaine lettuce or
mixed field greens (bagged and
3 sprigs Cilantro chopped
1 Tbl. guacamole/ avocado
1 Tbl pumpkin seeds
1 Tbl. Green onion
½ cup fresh tomatoes diced or salsa for
salad dressing
1 oz- Vegan Cheese (no casein) “Follow
Your Heart Cheese”

Chop lettuce, cilantro, green onion, and
tomatoes in bowl. Add cooked black
beans, guacamole, pumpkin seeds, and
crumble cheese on top.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Vegan Recipe Of The Week!


1) 4 to 6 oz. sun-dried tomatoes
2) 2 to 3 fresh tomatoes
3) Fresh Italian Herbs, such as basil or oregano, to taste
4) 1 tsp Himalayan salt
5) 1 Tbsp. olive oil
6) 1 soft date, pitted
7) 3 to 5 garlic cloves
8) 1 to 2 cups of pine nuts, macadamias, or Brazil nut
9) 2 bunches of spinach leaves

Blend sun-dried tomatoes with fresh tomatoes, herbs, 1/2 tsp salt, olive oil, date,
2 to 3 cloves garlic

Process or blend nuts, 1/2 tsp sea salt and 2 to 3 cloves garlic. Allow to remain slightly chunky.

In a glass dish, layer spinach leaves, sauce(can add shredded carrot, zucchini and red bell peppers as layers or in to the sauce), then cheese. Dehydrate for 1 hour until warm.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Recipe Of The Week!!

Sydneys Coconut and Chicken Curry

2 chicken breasts, sliced
2 tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbs red curry paste
1 tsp turmeric, ground
400ml coconut milk
12 bay leaves

Heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a wok or fry pan, add chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from pan. Place remaining oil into the pan and fry onion and garlic until slightly browned, add red curry paste and turmeric and stir for 1 minute. Add coconut milk and bay leaves and leave to simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

PS - Check back next week for an entire week of Vegetarian Meal Suggestions.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Recipe Of The Week!

Sauteed Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Veggies

Here’s a spin on this recipe, adapted from Eating Well magazine. You’ll note that this recipe has a hefty portion of veggies to boot. Don’t like red peppers or asparagus? Go with onions, broccoli, tomatoes, whatever suits your fancy!

Serves 4.
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large red bell peppers, diced
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound raw shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth (make sure it’s gluten-free!)
1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, asparagus, lemon zest and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 6 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl; cover to keep warm.

2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add broth and heavy whipping cream to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the sauce has cooked through and the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Stir in lemon juice and parsley. Serve the shrimp and sauce over the vegetables.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Recipe Day!!

Lemon, Tomato, And Olive Chicken Pilaf

Mediterranean flavors take this chicken and rice combo to a whole new level. Nicoise olives are small and black. Feel free to substitute another type if they're not available.

Serves: Prep: 15minCook: 25min Total: 40min

1 tablespoon canola oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup white rice
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper add to shopping list
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons pitted and chopped nicoise olives
1 tablespoon fresh basil, cut into ribbons


1. HEAT the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 4 minutes, turning once, until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate. Stir the rice, onions, pepper, broth, wine, lemon zest, and lemon juice into the skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, olives, and basil. Top with the chicken. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of a breast registers 160°F and the juices run clear.

Nutritional Facts per serving CALORIES 369.3 CAL

FAT 6.4 G








Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Top 5 Eating Out Tips!

Top 5 Tips to Tighten Your Waist at Your Favorite Restaurant!

1) Hold the Bun to Look Better & Sexy: When ordering any sandwich on the menu, ask your server to “hold the bun”. Eliminating excess starches in your diet forces your body to burn more unwanted body fat for fuel 24-7. The result- leaner legs, a tighter butt, and a flatter tummy!

2) Upgrade Your Salad to Burn More Calories: Anytime you eat, your metabolism increases as you burn calories from the digestion, absorption, and storing of nutrients from food. This is called the thermic effect of feeding. Furthermore, research shows that the thermic effect of protein is roughly double that of fat or carbohydrates. So, boost your metabolism by adding lean proteins sources such as chicken, steak, salmon, or shrimp to any of your favorite salads.

3) Dip Your Fork to Drop Some Pounds: Dressings can easily contain several hundred hidden calories in the form of refined sugar or excess fat that can go straight to your gut. So the next time you order a salad, simply ask for the “dressing on the side” and dip your fork in it with each bite. You’ll keep the flavor your taste buds crave without any of the guilt!

4) Go Green to Be Lean: To make any entrée a belly fat-burning treat, replace any starch-based sides like fries or bread with sautéed, grilled or steamed vegetables. Better yet, opt for green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, green beans, or asparagus as much as possible since they have the highest amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for optimal health. Furthermore, green veggies are loaded with fiber and thus help fill you up faster and keep you fuller between meals.

5) Make Your Dessert Guilt-Free: You don’t have to be perfect all the time… just most of the time! In other words, if you eat well and exercise regularly 80-90% of the time, you can afford a tasty treat in moderation. Studies show that if you eliminate temptation you can avoid its pitfalls. But studies also show that flexibility is the key to long-term weight loss success. So first get rid of any sweets you may have at home and then limit dessert to once or twice per week when eating out. You can even go one step further by cutting the calories in half by splitting a dessert with a friend or family member.

The tips above will put your nutrition on track. Now, check out the resource below to put your workouts on track.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Recipe Of The Week!

Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes

1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
3/4 cup fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries

1. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg in a small bowl. Whisk ricotta, egg, egg white, buttermilk, lemon zest and juice in a large bowl until smooth. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
2. Brush a large nonstick skillet with 1/2 teaspoon oil and place over medium heat until hot. Using a generous 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake, pour the batter for 2pancakes into the pan, sprinkle blueberries on each pancake and cook until the edges are dry and bubbles begin to form, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining oil, batter and berries, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning.

Serve these light pancakes with our Chunky Blueberry Sauce, maple syrup or honey. Sprinkling the berries on top of the cooking pancakes ensures even distribution. Keep finished pancakes warm in a 200°F oven, if desired, while cooking the rest.

Makes 4 servings, 2 pancakes each

238 calories; 8 g fat (3 g sat, 3 g mono); 68 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrate;
12 g protein; 3 g fiber; 334 mg sodium; 128 mg potassium.

Nutrition bonus: Selenium (24% daily value), Calcium (16% dv).

Friday, July 10, 2009

Recipe Time!!

Mediterranean Tilapia (adapted from Eating Well)

1 cup quartered cherry or grape tomatoes
1 1/2 cups diced summer squash
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup pitted and coarsely chopped black olives
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon capers, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 pound tilapia fillets, cut into 4 equal portions

1. Preheat grill to medium. (No grill? See Oven Variation, below.)

2. Combine tomatoes, squash, onion, olives, lemon juice, oregano, oil, capers, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

3. To make a packet, lay two 20-inch sheets of foil on top of each other (the double layers will help protect the contents from burning); generously coat the top piece with cooking spray. Place one portion of tilapia in the center of the foil. Sprinkle with some of the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, then top with about 3/4 cup of the vegetable mixture.

4. Bring the short ends of the foil together, leaving enough room in the packet for steam to gather and cook the food. Fold the foil over and pinch to seal. Pinch seams together along the sides. Make sure all the seams are tightly sealed to keep steam from escaping. Repeat with more foil, cooking spray and the remaining fish, salt, pepper and vegetables.

5. Grill the packets until the fish is cooked through and the vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes. To serve, carefully open both ends of the packets and allow the steam to escape. Use a spatula to slide the contents onto plates.

Oven Variation: Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix vegetables as above. Assemble packets (Steps 3-4). Bake the packets directly on an oven rack until the tilapia is cooked through and the vegetables are just tender, about 20 minutes.

Approximately 24g of protein and 7 net carbs per serving (yields 4 servings total). If you’re not in the mood for tilapia, try some catfish or maybe even salmon.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Recipe Time!!

Steamed broccoli can get really old really quickly. Aside from doing some sort of saute' or stir fry, have you ever tried roasting your broccoli? Roasting intensifies flavors, also adding a bit of near carmelization to the veggie. Good stuff I say! And added benefit of broccoli and cauliflower are the many nutrients contained, and the low caloric value (1c. of broccoli is only 54cal, 1c. cauliflower is about 38).

Give this one a shot with broccoli (or cauliflower is great too). Oven roasting veggies is a great way to cook up a bunch of veggies at one time without having to stand over the stove stirring something.

Oven roasted broccoli (for cauliflower I suggest dropping the temperature by 25-50 degrees, and no need to peel the stalk of the cauliflower)

1 large head broccoli (about 1 3/4 pounds)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves fresh garlic, minced or crushed
Ground black pepper
Lemon wedges for serving

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place large rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Cut broccoli at juncture of florets and stems; remove outer peel from stalk. Cut stalk into 2- to 3-inch lengths and each length into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Cut crowns into 4 wedges if 3-4 inches in diameter or 6 wedges if 4-5 inches in diameter. Place broccoli in large bowl; drizzle with oil and toss well until evenly coated. Sprinkle with pepper and garlic to taste and toss to combine.

2. Working quickly, remove baking sheet from oven. Carefully transfer broccoli to baking sheet and spread into even layer, placing flat sides down. Return baking sheet to oven and roast until stalks are well browned and tender and florets are lightly browned, 9 to 11 minutes. Transfer to serving dish and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

FYI - cauliflower usually cooks best if you first cover it with aluminum foil for about the first 5-10 minutes of cooking, then flip pieces over and cook another 5 or so until done.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

10 Nutrition Myths That Won't Die!

Old myths die hard. And when it comes to diet and health, the misconceptions are endless. Some myths have been around for decades ("vitamin C prevents colds"), while others are relatively new ("drink green tea to ward off cancer"). And, with all that conflicting research out there, it's hard to know what to believe and what not to believe.

Granted, it's not that these beliefs are dead wrong. More often, they're promising theories that are backed by too little evidence. Or they're outdated ideas that have crumpled under the weight of recent research. Today we'll look at the first 5 assumptions that people rarely question.

1. Soy foods prevent breast cancer - Most women will do whatever they can to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Maybe that's why they're so willing to believe that the plant estrogens (phytoestrogens) in soy can keep the disease at bay. Yet so far, the evidence is weak.

Researchers in the Netherlands recently reviewed 13 studies -- largely from China and Japan -- that looked at soy and the risk of breast cancer (Breast Cancer Res. Treat. 77: 171, 2003). "Overall, results do not show protective effects, with the exception maybe for women who consume phytoestrogens at adolescence or at very high doses," concludes Petra Peeters of the University Medical Center in Utrecht.

The bottom line: It's still too early to say whether soy -- or other phytoestrogens -- might protect the breast.

What about prostate cancer and hot flashes? Soy's impact on the risk of prostate cancer is still muddy, in part because most Americans eat too little soy for studies to detect any lower risk. However, researchers have tested soy's impact on PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels, with mixed results.

In a recent study, soy grits (about 2 ounces a day) lowered PSA by 13% in eight men with prostate cancer (Urology 64: 510, 2004). In studies on healthy men, though, PSA didn't budge (Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 13: 644, 2004). And experts are now questioning whether small changes in PSA levels matter.

As for hot flashes, so far, well-designed studies have found that soy (or plant estrogens from supplements like red clover) has little impact on hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. Researchers at the University of Minnesota recently examined 20 trials on menopause and soy foods, beverages, powders, or extracts. Nearly all came up empty (Obstet. Gynecol. 104: 824, 2004).

"The available evidence suggests that phytoestrogens available as soy foods, soy extracts, and red clover extracts do not improve hot flushes or other menopausal symptoms," conclude Minnesota's Erin Krebs and colleagues.

The bottom line: Soy foods do seem to lower cholesterol, so they may help protect your heart. But whether they do more is a question mark.

2. Olive is the healthiest oil

Fish oil is probably the healthiest, but you can't pour it on your salad or cook with it. Olive is certainly one of the good oils. Whether it's the best is unclear.

"Canola is probably better than olive oil because it's lower in saturated fat," says Alice Lichtenstein of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston. "What's more, canola has more polyunsaturated fat than olive oil, "and polys lower LDL ['bad' cholesterol] more than monos."

So why not stick with soy and canola? Both have more of a polyunsaturated fat called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) than olive. ALA is an omega-3 fat that may help lower the risk of heart disease. But if preliminary studies hold up, ALA may also raise (slightly) the risk of prostate cancer. Right now that's a big if.

And there are other ways to cut back on ALA. "Red meat and dairy fat are also sources of ALA, and they have been more consistently related to higher prostate cancer risk," says Ed Giovannucci of the Harvard School of Public Health.

Our advice: at home, switch off between canola and olive.

4. If your blood sugar, triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood pressure aren't high, you don't have to worry.

Even before you hit "high," you hit trouble. Your risk of a heart attack, stroke, or diabetes doesn't jump from low to high when your number crosses a sharp cutoff. It's gradual. That's why experts keep ratcheting down what's "normal." For example:
Blood sugar. In April 2004, the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) announced that 40% of U.S. adults have "pre-diabetes," which means their fasting blood sugar is between 100 and 125. (Over 125 is diabetes.) Using the old cutoff (110), only 20% of adults had pre-diabetes.

Blood pressure. In May 2003, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) declared that an estimated 22 million Americans have pre-hypertension -- that is, blood pressure over 120 (systolic) or over 80 (diastolic). (Another 25% have hypertension, or high blood pressure, which starts at 140 over 90.)

Triglycerides. Triglycerides under 200 used to be "normal." Now normal ends at 150, and "borderline high" ranges from 150 to 200, says the NHLBl.

HDL ("good") cholesterol. The lower your HDL, the higher your risk of heart disease. "Low" used to be 35 or below. Now it's 40 or below (for men) and 50 or below (for women).

LDL ("bad") cholesterol. A "borderline high" LDL is 130 to 160. But 129 isn't ideal. So NHLBI now makes it clear that only LDLs under 100 are "optimal." An LDL between 100 and 129 is "above optimal."

Why do the numbers keep shifting? Studies show that people in that gray area between "low" and "high" are at risk. Take blood sugar. Many people with pre-diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years. But not if they do something about it.

"Research has clearly shown that losing 5% to 7% of body weight through diet and increased physical activity can prevent or delay pre-diabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes," explains NIDDK director Allen Spiegel. "The emphasis has shifted from treatment to prevention," says Tufts's Alice Lichtenstein. And most people can prevent illness with diet, exercise, or other lifestyle changes.

5. People gain a lot of weight over the holidays.

Office parties, neighborhood gatherings, family celebrations -- from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, most Americans are surrounded by luscious, tempting, irresistible food. So the conventional wisdom -- that most of us start the new year about 5 pounds heavier -- seems reasonable. Reasonable but not necessarily true.

In 2000, researchers tracked 200 people from late September to early March, and, in some cases, into June (New Eng. J. Med. 342: 861, 2000). On average, they gained only about a pound during the holidays. But that doesn't mean you can live it up from turkey to eggnog:

  • You might not lose what you gained. In the study, most people lost little weight after the holidays, whether they tried to or not. And 1 pound is half of what the average person gains in a year. Those 2 pounds may not seem like much, but after 10 years, they could easily move you from trim to chubby.

  • You may not be average. Among the overweight or obese participants in the study, 14% gained more than 5 pounds. What's more, the participants may not be typical.

"The study followed employees of the National Institutes of Health, an upscale, professional, health-conscious bunch if ever there was one," notes Susan Roberts of the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.

"Weight gain is a likely consequence of overindulgence," she cautions. "It's always easier to overeat than to lose weight, because our bodies don't seem to count a few thousand extra calories, but start screaming hunger if we cut a few thousand."
  • Source: Nutrition Action Health Letter (remaining myths to come in a day or two...)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Recipe Day!! - Breakfast & Lunch!

Cheese Pancakes (yum!)

4 pancakes
Makes 8 pancakes total.

¼ cup flour
1 cup 2% cottage cheese
1 cup egg substitute
2 Tsp. canola oil
2 cups mixed berries - divided


Mix up and pour onto griddle to cook. Top each serving with 1 cup of mixed berries. May be sweetened with 1 tablespoon agave syrup.

Wicked Good Chicken Salad (great name!)

(Makes 3, protein wraps)

1 Can of All White Meat Chicken In Water (12oz)
½ Avocado Diced
½ Tomato Diced
2 Tbsp Diced Onion
1 clove of Garlic, Diced
1 Tbsp Mustard
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
Green Leaf Lettuce (optional)

Open and Drain Chicken. Rinse Chicken under water to help remove salt. Add all ingredients into mixing bowl and mix until all ingredients are blended together. Wrap the chicken salad in the lettuce, low carb wrap, or small pita. Balance with a side salad and a piece of fruit. Eat and enjoy a healthy lunch or dinner.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What Type Are You?

It's easier than ever to eat healthy. But with so many smart philosophies out there, it's not always easy to find the right approach for you. Here's how four top athletes get the fuel they need...

The Locavore - If you've ever compared a tomato ripe off the vine with one of those mealy, mass-produced, flavorless ones, you know the superior taste that just-picked food delivers. The locavore aims to capture that flavor difference and promote sustainable, community-based agriculture by favoring "low-mileage" foods over ones that have traveled long distances to arrive at your plate.

The Omnivore - At the core of the omnivore's philosophy is this fact: As long as you don't overindulge, no food is off limits. That means food some might consider forbidden, such as red meat, cheese and oils, are part of the ominvore's diet - in moderation. Allowing yourself a range of options is the strategy of this eater.

The Vegetarian - When it comes to being a vegetarian, there are a few hard and fast rules. Some eat no animal products at all, while others may eat dairy, eggs or fish. Regardless of where you draw the line, a vegetarian diet can provide healthy fuel for athletes. Studies show that vegetarians have a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. They also tend to be leaner than meat eaters. Just be sure you're getting these four crucial nutrients: iron, calcium, Vitamin B12 and Omega-3 fatty acids.

The Foodie - In the world of the "Foodie," eating is an experience to be savored - from selecting top-notch ingredients, to cooking the meal, to relishing each bite. It's about slowing down and taking the time to cook and try new things. When you get pleasure out of food, you slow down and are more satisfied - meaning you eat less. Just be sure you try new foods to ensure a healthy balance, use spices to add more health benefits and focus on quality of food, not quantity.

Which one describes your style of eating? Or, do you have one of your own you'd like to share? Enligten us!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Famed Fruits...And Why They Are


Why: Delicious, sweet and oh-so-low in calories.

Health Perks: Fifteen cherries have only 64 calories and more than 10 percent of the daily value for vitamin C. They are also rich in vitamin E, contain two grams of fiber and are a good source of potassium, magnesium, iron and folate.

Cherries contain a pigment called anthocyanin (responsible for their color), an antioxidant linked to a variety of health benefits including reduction of risk for heart disease and cancer. Additionally, cherries are one of the few food sources of melatonin, shown to aid in sleep.

Nutrition: Serving size: 15 cherries (102g), calories 64, total fat 0.2g cholesterol 0mg, sodium 0mg, total carbohydrate 16.3g, dietary fiber 2.1g, sugars 13.1g, protein 1.1g.

Seek Out: High-quality cherries are firm and dark red, with bright, lustrous, plump-looking surfaces and fresh-looking stems.

Avoid: Soft, shriveled or blemished cherries. Green also suggests avoiding dark or brittle stems.

Storage: Remove any that are soft or split, says Green. Then refrigerate. Check the fruit occasionally and remove any that have gone bad. You can freeze cherries (with or without pits) by rinsing and draining them thoroughly, spreading them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and placing them in the freezer.

Interesting: Seventy percent of the cherries grown come from four states (Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Utah).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Your Continued Monthly Eating Guide...

Most fruits and vegetables are available year-round. Buy in-season, however, and you get produce at its peak of flavor and nutritional value. Here's a guide to what's in season and at its peak for the next few months...

FRUIT OR VEGETABLE: Salad greens (radicchio, mache)

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Richly colored, non-wilted leaves

REAP THE BENEFITS: A two-cup serving supplies more than 400 percent of for vitamin A, 100 percent of folate, and a wealth of minerals, such as magnesium and potassium


WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Deep-red fruit, without mushy or spoiled spots; smaller are often sweeter

REAP THE BENEFITS: One cup fulfills your daily vitamin C needs and contains the cancer-fighters ellagic acid and anthocyanins.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Rich orange-colored fruit that is slightly soft, indicating tree-ripened

REAP THE BENEFITS: Three apricots pack more than half of the DV for vitamin A, 15 percent of fiber, and tons of potassium.

Boot campers! Welcome to Rialto Boot Camp and to the Nutrition Blog. We try to give you the latest and most informative news about nutrition and how to fuel your body for optimal performance during your workouts. But we are always open to new ideas and, of course, questions. If you have any tips, blog ideas or questions about nutrition, please feel free to post them here. We'll try to get back to you as soon as we can! Good luck in BC!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Recipe Day!!

Cheese Pancakes - 4 pancakes (makes 8 pancakes total)

¼ cup flour
1 cup 2% cottage cheese
1 cup egg substitute
2 Tsp. canola oil
2 cups mixed berries - divided

Mix up and pour onto griddle to cook. Top each serving with 1 cup of mixed berries. May be sweetened with 1 tablespoon agave syrup.


Simple Smoothie

1/3 banana
1 cup strawberries - diced
1 cup plain soy milk
2 scoops Protein Powder

Put in blend and blend till smooth
Your choice of two yummy breakfasts!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Breakfast - Why It's The Most Important Meal

Without question, breakfast is the meal that makes champions. Unfortunately, many active people follow a lifestyle that eliminates breakfast or includes foods that are far from champion-builders.

Breakfast for Losing Fat - If you want to lose fat, you should start your plan at dinner, not at breakfast! For example, do not eat a meager bowl of Special K for your "breakfast." You'll get too hungry later in the day and crave sweets.

A bigger breakfast (cereal + toast + peanut butter) can prevent afternoon or evening cookie-binges. An adequate (500 to 700 calorie) breakfast provides enough energy for you to enjoy your exercise, as opposed to dragging yourself through an afternoon workout that feels like punishment. If you are trying to lose fat, you should target at least 500 to 700 calories for breakfast; this should leave you feeling adequately fed. To prove the benefits of eating such a big breakfast, try this experiment:

1. Using food labels to calculate calories, boost your standard breakfast to at least 500 calories. For example, add to your english muffin (150 calories): 1 tablespoon peanut butter (100 cal.), 8 oz. orange juice (100 cal.) and a yogurt (150 cal). Total: 500 calories.

2. Observe what happens to your day's food intake when you eat a full breakfast vs. a skimpy "diet breakfast." The 500+ calorie breakfast allows you to successfully eat less at night and create the calorie deficit needed to lose fat.

Remember: You want to fuel by day and lose fat by night. Successful "dieters" lose fat while they are sleeping; they wake up ready for another nice breakfast that fuels them for another high-energy day.

If you exercise first thing in the morning, you may not want a big pre-exercise breakfast; too much food can feel heavy and uncomfortable. However, you can likely tolerate half a breakfast, such as half a bagel, a slice of toast, or a banana before your workout. Just 100 to 300 calories can put a little carbohydrate into your system, boost your blood sugar so that you are running on fuel, not fumes, and enhance your performance.

You'll likely discover this small pre-exercise meal adds endurance and enthusiasm to your workout. In a research study, athletes who ate breakfast were able to exercise for 137 minutes as compared to only 109 minutes when they skipped this pre-exercise fuel.

Breakfast for the Noon-time, Afternoon and Evening Exerciser

A hearty breakfast is important for people who exercise later in the day. It not only tames hunger but also provides the fuel needed for hard workouts.

Research has shown that athletes who ate breakfast, then four hours later enjoyed an energy bar five minutes before a noontime workout were able to exercise 20% harder at the end of the hourlong exercise test compared to when they ate no breakfast and no pre-exercise snack. (They worked 10 percent harder with only the snack.)

Breakfast works! Breakfast + a pre-exercise snack works even better!

What's for Breakfast?

One of the simplest breakfasts of champions is a wholesome cereal with soy/organic milk, fruit and orange juice. This provides not only carbohydrates to fuel the muscles, but also protein (from the milk) to build strong muscles, and numerous other vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium, vitamin C, iron (if you choose enriched breakfast cereals) and fiber (if you choose bran cereals).

The Bottom Line

Breakfast works wonders for improving the quality of your health. That is, eating breakfast results in less "junk food" later in the day. Breakfast also enhances weight control, sports performance, daily energy levels and future health.

Sample Grab-and-go Sports Breakfasts
  • Craver (Almond, Peanut Butter or Spurlina) Bar

  • Small bran muffin plus a sugar free yogurt and a packet of Splenda

  • Peanut butter-banana-honey sandwich (add cottage cheese or some type of protein)

  • Pita with one to two slices of lowfat cheese plus a large apple

  • Baggie of lowfat granola with a handful of raisins (preceded by 8 oz. soy/organic milk before you dash out the door)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Eat Right Fitness Flash!!

Use your UFOs! - Do you have a UFO (underutilized food object) in your fridge? Trying to figure out whether to toss it or make some strange concoction that might turn out very wrong? Why not try the recipe search tool at Type in the food or spice and the tool will create a list of recipes that include that item. Whip it up without worry because all of the site's recipes have been kitchen-tested.

Cuisine cure - Many of you are battling the cold and flu bug that are going around, or you may be just getting over an illness. You may not feel ike chowing down when you're sick, but your body needs food to get well, research from USF in Tampa shows. Cutting food intake by 30 percent made the immune systems of mice less effective at battling germs, the study showed. If the only thing you can handle is soup, spoon it up!

Go green! Sipping green tea may help you bounce back after a tough workout. Taking in the equivalent of three cups a day reduced cell damage from resistance exercise, a study in the journal of Nutrition reports. Brew a fresh mug to get the most antioxidants.

Weight worries :( - Feeling fat could be as bad for you as actually being overweight, note researchers from Columbia University in NYC. Stressing about your size may increase levels of brain chemicals linked to diabetes and high blood pressure - the same conditions obese people are more likely to face. To be healthy, focus on eating right rather than making weight loss the sole goal.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Recipe Day!!

Grilled Tofu and Chicken Pad Thai

6 oz. Chicken Breast
2 oz. Rice Noodles, Dry
8 oz. Extra-Firm Tofu
1/3 cup Chopped Green Onions
2 tsp. Garlic, Minced
2 cups Sprouted Mung Beans (Optional)
1 tsp. Ancho Chili Powder
2 tsp. Olive Oil
1 T. Brown Sugar
1 T. Fish Sauce
1/8 cup Natural Peanut Butter
1/8 cup Tamarind Pulp or Paste
1/8 cup Rice Vinegar
1 Raw Lime, Grilled
1/4 cup Cilantro, Minced

Grill or broil the Chicken and Tofu with cooking spray (olive oil), then cut into thin slices. Heat 2 tsp. Olive Oil in a medium saucepan. Add 1/2 the chopped Green Onions and the Garlic, cook until soft. Add the Ancho Chili Powder and cook for 10 seconds. Add the Tamarind Pulp, Rice Vinegar, Fish Sauce, Brown Sugar, and Peanut Butter and bring to a boil. Place the cooked Noodles, Tofu, and Chicken in a large bowl. Pour the boiling sauce over the noodles and toss gently. Fold in the rest of the Green Onion with the Cilantro and Bean Sprouts. Serve with cut Limes on the side.


1)Tamarind Pulp can be a difficult item to find. If you cannot find it, use a scant 1/8 c. lemon juice and 1 tsp. of sugar instead.2) Fish sauce is at any Vietnamese or Thai grocery.3) This recipe keeps well in the refrigerator. I suggest packing one for lunch and reserving the other for dinner.

Lots of ingredients in this one, but it's a keeper.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Get Dressed Up!

Salad bars have sprouted up everywhere these days - from urban street corners to posh, "green" restaurants that also serve wine and cheese. Growing demand for healthy, unprocessed food has spurred a huge growth in supermarket sales of salads, as well - especially pre-bagged leafy greens and accompaniments.

The popular ingredients of salads - from tomatoes, red peppers and shredded carrots to arugula and watercress - are loaded with vitamins and minerals. They provide fiber that keeps our systems functioning. And they are rich in antioxidants, particularly carotenoids.

So, what could possibly be wrong with this development? For one thing, many salad savorers think they are doing themselves a favor by opting for dressings with low or not fat, or no dressing at all. The truth is that you need some fat to extract the nutrients from salads, especially those carotenoid antioxidants. At the other extreme are those who take their salads with prepared or commercial dressing. But most of those dressings, even in health food stores, are made with inferior and even unhealthy fats.

The secret to good salad dressing is a good oil. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is, literally, the gold standard. Nut oils - walnut oil, hazelnut oil - are delicious too, with a more delicate flavor. Commercial dressings almost invariably rely on cheap soy oil, which - aside from its tastelessness - oversupplies mega-6 fats to bodies and brains that need omega-3 fats instead. So, turn over a new leaf and start preparing your own salad dressings!

Here is one that takes about two minutes to prepare and you could add tons of extra(curry paste, blue cheese, using sesame oil instead)...

Basic Vinaigrette

Ingredients: 1/2 cup EVOO, 3 Tbsp. quality balsamic vinegar, sherry vinegar or fresh lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. powdered mustard, 1 tsp. sugar or sugar substitute and salt and pepper to taste.

Directions: Put dry ingredients in small bowl or jar. Add a few drops of oil and mix to a paste, then stir in the rest of the oil. Add vinegar or lemon juice. Stir well to mix and then shake. Refrigerate after using.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Eat Right Flash!

These nutrition and fitness flashes from Self magazine are meant to keep you reaching for your goals while giving you a boost about all the things you are doing right!

1) Number crunching - There is more to weight loss than calculating your calories, recent studies show. Women who added apples or pears to their daily nutrition lost more pounds than those who added oat cookies, even though all three are about 200 calories, a study in the journal Appetite shows. Fruit has fewer calories per bite, so women munched on larger servings. This may have helped them eat less during the day.

2) Full factor - Spoon yogurt, don't sip it and you'll feel more satisfied, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity. Thicker liquid-based foods are more satiating than their watery counterparts. So, opt for choices like low-fat Greek yogurt, which is more solid than most types.

3) Appetite turnoff - Feasting in front of the TV can lead to overeating after the credits roll, a study from the University of Birmingham in England shows. People who chewed and viewed during the day took in more calories than those who didn't, although all had identical lunches. Distracted diners may not recall how much they munched, making them likely to eat extra later.

4) Lookin' good! - A healthy nutrition plan could aid your eyes. People with the lowest amounts of antioxidants in their bloodstream were more prone to retinal deterioration, which can dull vision, an analysis of more than 4,000 people in the Archives of Opthalmology reports. A sight-saving salad with vitamin C from oranges, lutein from dark leafy greens and vitamin E from sunflower seeds is a great start.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hmmmm...Bedtime Strawberry Delight!

Super Easy Bedtime Strawberry Delight


1 cup Frozen Sliced Strawberries
½ packet Splenda
¼ cup 2% cottage cheese or skim ricotta
Fat Free Whip Cream


Place Frozen Sliced Strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle just a dash of splenda on top. Place it in the Microwave for 30 seconds then take out mix together, add cottage cheese or rictta and put a dollop of Fat Free Whip Cream on top. If you prefer to not have them a little frozen and more like room temperate then place back into the microwave for 15-20 more seconds. It’s a delicious way to end a great day!

Boot campers! If you have any recipes or tips on eating that you'd like to share, we'd love to hear about 'em!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Food RX: Eating For Injury Prevention

As I nurse a tweaked knee this month - wondering if it's an injury or just old age (ha!) - this article by Liz Applegate, Ph.D., of Runner's World gave me some hope of recovery...

As I write this, I'm in a wheelchair. It's the latest result of numerous knee surgeries to repair my cartilage. I wish I could say that I injured my knee doing something athletic and impressive, such as running a killer speed workout, squatting six times my body weight at the gym, or even winning the three-legged race at a summer picnic. But I did it in my kitchen. I slipped on a phantom slick spot that mysteriously evaporated within seconds. I landed on my knee hard. I didn't know it at the time, but that quick, hard fall punched a hole in my cartilage.

Ever since, I've been researching every conventional (and unconventional) way to heal my knee. I've had state-of-the-art surgery. I've taken supplements that I use to scoff at...and realize that they work. I've changed my eating habits. (No, I didn't give up chocolate.) In the process, I've made some startling discoveries about nutritional remedies that can help heal injuries and even prevent them in the first place. Here's what's been working for me.

Eating for Injury Prevention

There's no doubt that smart training helps prevent injuries. But so will a wholesome nutrition plan, filled with foods that will enable your body to mount a strong defense against muscle strains and tears. Here are three nutritional strategies to prevent injuries:

1. Eat more. If you followed Survivor: The Australian Outback TV series, you may have noticed how gaunt the participants appeared after subsisting for weeks on daily rations of rice. This type of chronic malnutrition puts your body in prime "injury-waiting-to-happen" mode. So, how do you know if your body needs more calories? Keep track of your weight and eating patterns. If your weight fluctuates for no apparent reason, or if the quality of your eating is sporadic and generally unhealthful, you should consider a slight increase in high-quality calories.

2. Pile on the protein. True, a high-carbohydrate diet will fuel your running. But many runners take this advice to the extreme, living on bagels, pasta, and energy bars. Besides carbohydrate, you also need 80 to 100 grams of protein a day to maintain your muscles and other soft tissues. A small 3-ounce serving of chicken provides about 25 grams of protein, a glass of milk 10, a soy burger 14, and a hard-boiled egg 6. If you're only eating one protein source a day, you're not consuming enough. Try to include some protein in every meal.

3. Don't forget zinc and iron. Athletes often skimp on these two important trace nutrients found predominantly in red meat. Though research hasn't linked zinc and iron deficiency with increased injury rates, I've noticed the connection when working with injured athletes, and so have many of my sports-nutrition colleagues. You need 15 milligrams of zinc and 18 milligrams of iron a day. Foods that are good sources of both zinc and iron include lean beef, poultry, seafood, and lentils.

Dining During Downtime

If you get injured, the length of your downtime is determined by the severity of your injury, and the degree to which your body is nutritionally prepared to handle this new stress. If you have a severe injury, you're probably wondering: "How can I avoid gaining weight?"

Relax. Even though you're not running, you're still burning calories between 5 to 15 percent more than usual to repair your tattered body. Also, for most injuries, total downtime usually lasts about 2 weeks. After that, you might not have the green light, but you may be able to do other forms of exercise, such as swimming or pool running.

But if you restrict your calories too much during this initial 2-week period, you might lengthen your recovery because your body won't have enough protein to both repair your injury and carry out typical bodily functions. Don't cut back more than 500 calories a day. And if you notice that you're losing more than a desired weight, start eating more immediately.

4. Calcium: If you have a stress fracture or a broken bone, your body really needs this important mineral. You should take in up to 1,500 milligrams a day. If you don't eat dairy products, take a supplement, or drink calcium-fortified juice.

5. Vitamin A: Your body uses this vitamin to make new skin and other tissues that are vital to your healing. New research shows that your body isn't as efficient as we thought at converting the carotenes from fruits and vegetables into vitamin A. This means you need to eat even more of them. You should have two servings of leafy greens and yellow and orange vegetables every day during your recovery. Drinking vitamin A-fortified milk is also a good idea.

6. Vitamin C: Your body needs this antioxidant to make collagen, an adhesive-like protein found in your bones, connective tissues, and blood vessels. When you're injured, collagen is the substance that glues the injured area back together. Women need 75 milligrams of vitamin C each day, and men need 90 milligrams. If you eat a diet rich in berries, cantaloupe, oranges, and other fruit, you'll easily meet this requirement.

7. Other supplements If you've been given the green light to start training again, you may want to add a supplement to the mix. Once you've injured a joint, you're at higher risk for developing osteoarthritis (a degenerative joint condition not uncommon among aging athletes). Fortunately, the supplements glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have been shown to help decrease inflammation and improve mobility in people with osteoarthritis. You can also find many of these vitamins in a gender specific multi-vitamin.

These two supplements may also help promote cartilage growth. But it's not certain whether glucosamine, an amino sugar, and chondroitin, one of the substances that make up cartilage, work alone or need to be taken together. So for now, take 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams of each, three times a day. Why so often? These supplements don't last long in your body, so frequent supplementation ensures that they're present at all times to nourish your joints. (Warning: If you take blood thinners such as Coumadin, do not take chondroitin.)

The better you feed your body, the more likely you'll remain injury-free, and the faster you'll bounce back if you do happen to get injured. Just be patient. You'll be training again in no time.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Eat Like An Olympian

By Aaron Brock - Head Athletic Trainer for U.S. Men's Olympic Volleyball Team

While many factors need to be considered when discussing an athlete's performance-- nutrition is among the most important variables. Research clearly demonstrates the beneficial effects of good nutrition on athletic performance. Here are some simple ways to work good nutrition into your daily life.

1. Devour Breakfast!

Your mother was right: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Don't start the day with an empty fuel tank. The Men's Olympic Volleyball Team practices every morning and lifts weights in the afternoon. If the players don't eat an adequate breakfast, they will not have enough energy for a quality practice.

Replenish your energy stores to ensure adequate fuel for competition or training. Have both carbohydrate and protein in your breakfast. Protein will help maintain your glucose levels throughout the morning and stave off hunger, while carbohydrates will provide needed energy.

Some healthy options include:

-Low fat yogurt and fresh fruit
-Smoothie made with fruit and low fat yogurt
-Whole grain cereal with skim milk and fruit
-Vegetable omelet with whole wheat toast and orange juice
-Scrambled eggs and one-half of whole wheat bagel

2. Smart Pre-workout Nutrition

This concept goes hand in hand with the importance of eating breakfast, depending on the time of day you practice. If training is in the afternoon--perhaps several hours after your last meal--your pre-workout nutrition becomes even more vital.

Any fruit: celery, apples, applesauce, pears, oranges, melons, berries, grapes, tomatoes, smoothies

Light sandwich: turkey (hold the mayo), chicken, peanut butter and jelly, etc.

Grains: cereal, bagel, English muffin, tortillas, pita pocket.

Sports drinks or light fruit juice.

Other: skim milk, low fat yogurt

3. The Powerful Powers of Protein

Athletes need high levels of protein (15 to 20 percent of daily caloric intake) to help repair and rebuild muscles broken down by physical activity and to aid in carbohydrate storage. An athlete's elevated protein requirements can usually be met by a well planned diet (supplements are not typically necessary, however, this can vary on the individual):

Excellent protein sources include poultry, turkey, beef, pork, fish, low fat cheese, legumes (black, kidney, pinto beans, and chickpeas), egg whites, and soy products such as tofu

Although adequate levels of protein are important, keep in mind that excess protein is simply extra calories either burned for energy and used to build leaner muscle tissue.

When it comes to fuel, protein is less efficient than carbs. Get enough protein from your diet so your body doesn't break down muscle to use the protein for fuel.

Protein from both food and supplements increases your need for water. Since your kidneys require more water for protein metabolism, individuals with liver or kidney problems are susceptible to negative effects of excessive dietary protein.

4. Be Smart About Supplements

Use healthy high grade gender specific supplements. (i.e. EFA's, Multi-Vitamins)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Feeling Like A Steak This Weekend?

The Rialto food detectives - recently visited Outback Steakhouse and has given it his stamp of approval...

On his last journey he found the protein portion sizes daunting. This time, although the steak sizes range from 8 ounces to a staggering 18 ounces, he was able to construct a meal that was a bit more moderate in size. He sternly reminded people in his party who chose the massive amounts of protein to check the size and thickness of the palms of their hands.

There are more healthy carbohydrate side dishes than in the past, including fresh steamed veggies, fresh steamed broccoli and fresh green beans that make it easy to construct a nutritious meal. As always, ask for extra vegetables if potatoes or rice come with the meal.

In a protein palace like Outback, sometimes it might be best to order an appetizer with a couple of veggie sides. Shrimp on the Barbie or Seared Ahi Tuna are suggestions. A Chicken or Shrimp Caesar Salad or a Queensland Salad with fresh chicken breast are also good choices.

Outback also offers “Simply Grilled” entrees, which are billed as “simple and sensible … these dishes are classically grilled.” Diners can choose medallions of chicken or shrimp or Chicken on the Barbie.

Another menu category is Straight from the Sea, which includes Atlantic grilled salmon, fresh fish of the day, lobster tails (have one; bring one home) and Alaskan king crab, (again with plenty to take home).

For fancier fish dishes: Royal Port Fresh Catch, topped with a blend of crawfish, shrimp, mushrooms, green onions and a Creole sauce; and Hearts of Gold Fresh Catch, topped with artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, green onions and a light lemon sauce. Hearts of Gold is also offered with chicken instead of fish.

We recommend diners stay away from the Baby Back Ribs, watch protein portions, have a couple of sides of vegetables and pass on the Aussie Chips. Those are the clues needed to stay in the best nutrtitional shape at Outback Steak House.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Recipe Day!!

This one takes a little skill in the kitchen, but it sounds like a challenge you can handle...

Apple-Cinnamon Crepes
Servings: 2 servings of crepes


2 whole eggs
6 ounces deli ham, diced fine
1/3 cup soy flour
1 cup 1-percent milk
1 red Delicious apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup cooked oatmeal
2 2/3 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


In a small mixing bowl, combine eggs, soy flour and milk to form a batter. This amount of batter will make four crepes. Pour 1/2 teaspoon oil into a nonstick saute pan or crepe pan. When the oil is hot, add a quarter of the batter to pan. Cover pan with another saute or crepe pan. Cook on medium-high heat until bottom is set and crepe will move easily in pan. To turn crepe over, securely place second pan over first and turn pan over. The crepe will then be in the second saute pan. The second side of the crepe should cook for only a minute or so to color it. Transfer crepe to serving plate and repeat process to make three more crepes. (If you need more oil in the crepe pan, omit oil from crepe filling and use it for cooking the crepes.) Place apples, applesauce, oatmeal, 2/3 teaspoon oil, ham and cinnamon in another saute pan to form crepe filling. Using low heat, cook mixture until apples are tender. When ready, divide filling amount between the four crepes by placing it in a line along the center of each crepe. Fold over the sides to make a trifold. Serve immediately, two crepes per plate.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Weekly Nutrition Notes

In Season:
Passion Fruit

That wrinkly purple-fleshed fruit in the produce section is worth a second look. It's as sweet and tasty as it is odd looking. Plus, passion fruit is loaded with fiber, potassium and vitamins A and C. One-half cup provides about 115 calories. This tropical fruit native to Brazil is ripe when its leathery skin is deeply wrinkled. Before it ripens, keep it at room temperature. Add passion fruit to salads and smoothies for a flavor boost, or liven up grilled chicken or fish with a generous spoonful.

Craving Something Salty?

Go ahead. Give in. Salty snacks like chips have no more sodium than a slice of wheat bread--certainly no more than most restaurant or processed food. But don't let that be a license to overindulge. Keep your salty snack small and avoid anything with trans fats or more than 3 grams of saturated fat. Here are some top picks:

EDAMAME BEANS IN THE POD: One-half cup with a sprinkling of salt provides approximately 100 calories, 145 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 0.5 g saturated fat and 8 g protein.

POPCORN: 6.5 cups microwave popcorn, a whole grain, averages approximately 110 calories, 220 mg sodium, 4 g fiber and 0.5 g saturated fat.

MIXED NUTS: A 1-ounce serving contains heart-healthy fats and approximately 190 calories, 60 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 2.5 g saturated fat and 7 g protein.

TRISCUIT THIN CRISPS: Made of whole wheat, a 1-ounce serving (15 crackers) contains 130 calories, 180 mg sodium, 3 g fiber and 1 g saturated fat.

Did You Know?

If you don't eat enough fat, you may be setting yourself up for a sports injury, suggests a recent article in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Among 86 female runners, those with the lowest fat intakes were the most likely to get injured. The researchers hypothesized many possible reasons including inadequate calorie consumption, lower intakes of fat-soluble vitamins and poorer energy supplies leading to fatigue while running. To make sure you consume the most healthful fats, choose fatty fish, nuts, oils and avocado.

A Healthy Read

Pick up The Jungle Effect by Dr. Daphne Miller and learn about the world's healthiest diets--and how to improve your own. Miller travels the world in search of the foods that have protected populations from disease for generations. She visits Crete, where heart disease is rare; Okinawa, Japan, recognized for its low rates of breast cancer; and Iceland, where few people suffer from depression despite long, dark winters. To get you started on a healthier path, Miller provides plenty of tasty, authentic recipes. $23,

Happy Travels

It may be to your advantage to skip the crummy airport food on your next trip. A recent study published in the journal Science suggests that avoiding breakfast and lunch prior to the flight and eating upon arrival may fend off some of the problems associated with jet lag. Your brain's circadian clock responds to light and controls the desire and ability to sleep, wake and eat. But when food is scarce, a "food-related clock" jumps in and overrides the "light clock."

Friday, February 27, 2009

The New Rule Of Hydration

Remember when the only guideline for staying hydrated during exercise was to drink--and drink often? And plain water took the podium as the perfect sports drink? Thanks to new insights on how our bodies process fluids and other nutrients while we're working up a sweat, the conventional wisdom on when and what to drink is evolving. And although the rules may have changed, the objective remains the same: improved performance and optimal health. Here's a look at the old and new views on hydration.

Old: Drink ahead of your thirst.
New: Drink according to your thirst.

For years, sports nutrition experts advised athletes to drink "ahead of thirst," that is, to drink before getting thirsty and more frequently than what thirst dictated during exercise. Experts warned that by the time you feel thirsty, you've already become dehydrated. However, recent studies show that being in this state of slight dehydration has no negative impact on performance or health.

"The idea that thirst comes too late is a marketing ploy of the sports-drink industry," says Tim Noakes, M.D., a professor of sport and exercise science at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. While thirst is not a perfect indicator of hydration status, it does appear to be a good indicator of the optimal drinking rate during exercise, according to Noakes. "The answer is just drink as your thirst dictates."

Old: Aim to completely prevent dehydration.
New: Aim to slow dehydration.

You've probably been told to drink enough fluid during exercise to completely make up for what you lose through sweat. In other words, the goal is to weigh the same before and after your workout. But the latest research has revealed problems with this advice.

The recommendation to drink enough fluid to prevent weight-loss is based on the false assumption that all the weight lost is from body fluid evaporating as sweat. However, recent studies show that a significant amount (as much as 60 percent) is actually due to the loss of water stored with fat and carbohydrate molecules, which is released from the muscles when these stores are converted to energy. So, instead of drinking to completely replace the fluid you sweat out during exercise, aim for keeping thirst at bay. Respond to your thirst right away with small amounts of sports drink, but don't allow your thirst to build to the point that you're forced to guzzle down a full bottle at one time. Taking a few sips about every 10 to 12 minutes will help you stay hydrated and avoid stomach upset.

Old: Use either a sports drink or water for hydration.
New: Use a sports drink instead of water.

Prior to 2003, USA Track & Field's hydration guidelines suggested that water and sports drinks were equally good choices for hydration during intense physical activity. But, based on new research concerning the risks of blood sodium dilution, the USATF revised its hydration guidelines stating, "A sports drink with sodium and other electrolytes is preferred." Athletes in other sports are now following these guidelines as well.

In short, sports drinks simply hydrate better than water does. Your body absorbs fluids through the gut and into the bloodstream faster when their osmolality, the concentration of dissolved particles in a fluid, more closely matches the osmolality of body fluids such as blood. Because a sports drink contains dissolved minerals (key electrolytes such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphate) and carbohydrates, it's absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly than water, which has fewer or no dissolved particles.

Water is fine for short (less than an hour) workouts of easy to moderate intensity in which you don't sweat a lot. But in any workout where sweat losses are substantial, and especially in warm weather, use a sports drink.

Old: Caffeine exacerbates dehydration.
New: Caffeine does not affect dehydration.

Caffeine is a known diuretic, which means it increases urine production and has a dehydrating effect. But research has also shown that during exercise, the body is able to circumvent the diuretic influence of caffeine, which can boost athletic performance by stimulating the nervous system and reducing perceived effort.

A new study conducted at the University of Birmingham in England found that caffeine increases the rate at which supplemental carbohydrates (those consumed during the workout as opposed to those already stored in the body) are burned during exercise. In the study, cyclists received either a 6 percent glucose solution or a six percent glucose solution plus caffeine during a two-hour indoor cycling test. The rate at which the supplemental carbs were burned was 26 percent higher in the cyclists receiving carbs with caffeine, concluding that the caffeine may have increased the rate of glucose absorption in the intestine. By providing fuel to working muscles at an accelerated rate, caffeine helps athletes work harder for longer periods of time.

But don't overuse it. Reserve caffeine consumption for races and occasional high-intensity workouts. "The best use of caffeine as an ergogenic aid [energy booster] is prior to competition," says Jose Antonio, Ph.D, author of Supplements for Endurance Athletes. "The beneficial effects of caffeine on athletic performance are reduced with habituation, so the more often you rely on it, the less it will do for you."

Although no major sports drink brand contains caffeine, some flavors of sports gels do, such as Gu Chocolate Outrage, Strawberry Clif Shot, and Chocolate Accel Gel.

The Cardinal Rule

One principle of proper hydration hasn't changed: Practice makes perfect. Experiment with various hydration strategies to learn what works best for you. Try different sports drinks in varying amounts, and hydrate at different times during your workout to discover the optimal mix.

So, thoughts on this new hydration research anyone? What do you drink during your workouts and why?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Recipe Day!!

Yes, we've moved recipe day to Thursday this week. We like to keep you guys guessing. This one has a quirky name and it sounds tasty too. Planning to try it this weekend (and of course double it, so I can have leftovers!)...

Chicken Zoneitorri

3 oz Skinless boneless chicken breast
1 Tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Large Green Pepper, chopped
1 Medium Red Pepper, chopped
1 Medium Onion, coarsely chopped
2 cups Fresh Mushrooms, sliced
1 15 oz. can Stewed Tomatoes
¼ cup dry White Wine
1 Tsp. Italian Seasoning
Dash of Salt and Pepper


Lightly salt and pepper chicken pieces. Using a large skillet, brown chicken pieces on each side in olive oil on medium-low heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan, cover and keep warm. Add peppers and onions and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, then add mushrooms and garlic. Continue cooking another 5 to 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, wine, and 1 tsp. of Italian seasoning. Place chicken pieces back in skillet, cover and simmer about 15 minutes turning once. Serve chicken pieces with vegetables.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Common Nutrition Mistakes and How To Fix Them

Nutrition may be your missing link in training. Here are some common nutrition mistakes many athletes make with tips and recipes for how to solve them.
Post-exercise Food

At the end of a hard workout, you haven't finished your training until you have refueled. Don't rush off to work or school, with "no time to eat" as the excuse.

Solution: Plan ahead, so you have recovery foods readily available. Even in a time-crunch, you should be able refuel your muscles properly. "No time" is no excuse.

Recovering With Both Carbs + Protein

Recovery foods should offer a foundation of carbs with protein as the accompaniment. A reasonable target is about 240 calories of carbs (60 g carb) and about 80 calories (20 g) of protein. Some popular choices include Greek yogurt with honey, chocolate milk and oatmeal with protein powder and fruit.

Note that recovery foods can be eaten pre-exercise. That is, a pre-exercise yogurt gets digested into amino acids and glucose; those food components will be ready and waiting to be put into use when you stop exercising. In a 10-week study with recreational body builders, those who consumed a protein-carb supplement both immediately before and right after the mid-afternoon strength training session gained 2.3 pounds more muscle and 7 pounds more in strength (as measured by bench press), compared to the group without the pre- and post-exercise fuel. (2)

Adequate Fluids

Athletes who stay well hydrated can train harder and perform better. For each one percent of body weight lost via sweat, your heart has to beat three to five more times per minute (4). This creates needless fatigue.

Solution: If you are well-hydrated, you will need to urinate every two to four hours, and your urine will be a light color. If you are sweat heavily, you really should learn how much sweat you lose (and thereby need to replace) during a workout. Do this my weighing yourself naked before and after exercise. For each pound (16 oz.) of sweat, you should drink at least 16 to 24 oz. of fluid.

Rest Days for Muscles to Refuel

Rest is an important part of a training program; muscles need time to refuel and heal. Depleted muscles may need more than 24 hours to replace glycogen stores. Hence, rest days with little or no exercise enhance a training program.

Athletes who want to lose weight commonly hesitate to take a rest day; they fear they will "get fat." These athletes need to understand:

1) On a rest day, they will feel just as hungry because the muscles need food to refuel.

2) They will gain (water) weight. For each 1 oz. of glycogen, the muscles store about 3 oz. water. This water gets released during exercise; it is beneficial.

Solution: Plan one to two rest days a week. Notice how much better you are able to perform the day after a rest day.

Boot campers! Keep these in mind when planning out your eating (and water drinking schedule) for the day. It will give you optimal results!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Recipe Day!!

Grilled Chicken with Tomato-Avocado Salsa

This recipe serves: 4
Preparation time : 20 minutes
Cooking time : 15 minutes


For the salsa
4 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped or 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeño chili pepper, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 avocado

For the chicken
1/2 cup non-fat, plain yogurt
1/2 small red onion
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 4 to 6 ounces each salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Instructions

For the salsa:
1. In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, red onion, pepper and cilantro.

2. Chop the avocado and sprinkle it with 2 tablespoons of lime juice to keep it from browning. Add the avocado and remaining lime juice to the bowl and toss to combine. (This can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.)

For the chicken:
1. In a small food processor, puree the yogurt, red onion, lime juice and cilantro to make a yogurt marinade.

2. Transfer the marinade to a shallow bowl or a plastic bag. Add the chicken and coat well with the marinade. Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

3. Preheat the grill to medium-high.

4. Remove the chicken from the marinade, discard the remaining marinade and season the chicken with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken on both sides until it is cooked through, about 6 minutes per side.

5. Serve the chicken with tomato-avocado salsa.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 chicken breast with salsa
Amount Per Serving

Calories 283
Protein 43 g
Total Carbohydrate 16 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Soluble Fiber 0 g
Insoluble Fiber g
Sugar 8 g
Total Fat 6 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Purchase Produce At Its Peak!

Almost every fruit and vegetable is available year-round. But if you buy in-season, you get produce at its peak of flavor and nutrients. Here's a month-by-month guide to the best of the fresh.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Fruit heavy for its size

REAP THE BENEFITS: 35 percent of Daily Value (DV)
for vitamin C and a wealth of folate, a heart-healthy B vitamin.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Vibrant leaves (not wilted); firm stalks

REAP THE BENEFITS: A cup of braised chard is big on fiber, calcium, and carotenes.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Firm stalks the width of your little finger

REAP THE BENEFITS: 1 cup steamed provides 100 percent of DV for vitamin K (great for bone health) and 65 percent of folate.

FRUIT OR VEGETABLE: Salad greens (radicchio, mache)
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Richly colored, nonwilted leaves

REAP THE BENEFITS: A two-cup serving supplies more than 400 percent of for vitamin A, 100 percent of folate, and a wealth of minerals, such as magnesium and potassium.

That gets you through the first few months of the year, so load up on these veggies when they're at their peak. We'll give you more in a few months, when it's closer to summer. In the meantime, here is more on this month's pick - Rainbow chard...

Chard’s leaves can be prepared like spinach. In fact, its leaves serve as a good substitute for spinach in most recipes, but they will need to be cooked slightly longer.

Chard may be steamed, sautéed, or braised, and it can be added to soups, stews, and casseroles. The leaves and stems may be cooked and served together, or prepared separately as two different vegetables. The Italians make an egg frittata with chard.

Like other leafy vegetables, chard needs to be thoroughly washed before cooking since sand and other debris tend to nestle in its leaves. Instead of using a colander and running water over the leaves, the best way to remove debris from leafy greens is to dunk and soak them in plenty of water. Place the leaves in a large bowl, pot, or sink filled with cold water. Agitate the leaves one by one, then remove individual leaves by hand and place them in another container. Pour out the water and repeat the procedure until the water is free of debris. If you will be using the greens in a salad, dry them in a spinner.