I’m thrilled to share the story of an inspiring woman who has set a goal to #moveitorloseit for all the right reasons. Check out our interview below to see why my RD colleague and Twitter friend, 37 year-old Alexandra Lautenschlaeger (@alexikscott) from Spartanberg, South Carolina and Frankfurt, Germany is the #moveitorloseit Model of the Month for February: 








What is your fitness goal and why did you decide to tackle it at this point in your life?

My goal was to finally relieve myself of grief from losing my fiancé four years ago from complications with diabetes. I did not treat my body well and gained weight and went on blood pressure medication. As a dietitian, I felt like a failure. In 2011, I started keeping track of my exercise, but that only helped me maintain my weight. Finally I decided that I wanted to take up running to get my body back in shape and shed some weight. I chose a training program on the RunKeeper app to do a sub 65 minute 10K.

Are you planning to run the 10K solo or with others?

I have a “team” on my RunKeeper App, but I found a friend and dietitian who also wanted to do achieve the same goal. We decided our goal this year was to join a running training program. The partnership and the program help me stay accountable. I run solo, but it is nice to know that the App and my friend are great reminders to keep at it and stay focused.

What does your weekly workout routine look like?

According to the App program, I run Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sunday with a long run. Eventually I will do intervals to increase the length of time and speed at which I run.

Have you experienced or do you anticipate any obstacles that will challenge you while training (and how have you/what will you do to overcome them)?

I was laid off from my previous job, which was an hour commute each way. Now that I am in a new job, and while it’s a 45-minute commute, I now have 30 minutes extra to get to the things I need to do and fit fitness into my plan. My new year’s resolution was to be happy and good to myself, so no matter what, I will make this work. There may be times I run slow, but I think, “at least I am doing it no matter how much it hurts.”

How does exercise/fitness/physical activity make you feel? What’s in it for you?

Besides the fact that my training will help me stop gaining weight (and may even help me lose some), it gives me instant gratification and it helps relieves some of the stress under which I have lived for far too long. I have noticed small results already and most of all, am so happy that I am sleeping so much better.

What would you say to inspire others to set a fitness goal or simply become a regular exerciser?

Fitness can become a way of life, but you have to start small. So many people join the gym at the beginning of the New Year and overdo it in the beginning and then fall off the wagon soon after. I am very impatient, so it was a challenge for me to pace myself. We all want results yesterday, so it is important to set a good pace that will allow you to continue. It is not always pretty, but exercising and having a great goal, whatever that is, really does make you feel so much better.

If you’d like to be my #moveitorloseit Model of the Month (or would like to nominate someone who inspires you), email me at elisa@elisazied.com.

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Do you want to eat more fish but don’t know where to begin when it comes to cooking it? Here are four tips from The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook to help you gain fish-cooking confidence:

Grill it. While you can get a special fish basket for the grill, you don’t need one as long as you use the proper technique. First, preheat your grill and make sure the grate is clean and dry. Then oil the grate and your fish. When the fish is done cooking, it will release when gingerly nudged by your spatula. If it does not release from a clean well-oiled grill, then it’s simply not ready! Give it a little more time; the fish will release easily when done.

Saute it. A nonstick skillet will allow you to get a crispy, golden brown sear on your fish. Yes, you’ll still need a spritz of oil, but nothing beats a nonstick skillet when it comes to cooking fish on the stovetop.

Broil it. All you need to do is coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray, place your fish on top, season, and broil. It’s quick easy, and leaves no scent behind. The rule of thumb for cooking fish is 8-10 minutes for every inch of thickness.

Get the right tools. Let’s face it, fish has a different texture from other proteins, which is part of its appeal, but that’s why it may be a bit challenging in the kitchen. I’m not one for unnecessary gadgets, but a fish spatula is a good investment. It’s extra flexible, which means you can really get under

Here’s a delicious recipe to help you put your fish-cooking skills to the test:

Arctic Char with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 (6-ounce) Arctic char fillets

3⁄4 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper, divided

4 garlic cloves, halved

3 pints multicolored cherry tomatoes

1⁄4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

2 shallots, thinly sliced


1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle fillets with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Add fillets, flesh sides down, to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Place pan in oven; cook at 400° for 3 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.

3. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium-high. Add tomatoes; sauté 2 minutes or until skins blister, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat. Sprinkle tomato mixture with remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper, basil, and shallots; toss to combine. Serve with fish. Serves 4 (serving size: 1 fillet and about 3⁄4 cup tomato mixture).

Sustainable Choice: If Arctic char is not available, substitute frozen wild Alaskan salmon.

Nutrition info:

CALORIES 380; FAT 20.4g (sat 3.8g, mono 11.7g, poly 3.6g);  PROTEIN 31.4g; CARBOHYDRATE 20g; FIBER 2.9g; CHOLESTEROL 65mg; IRON 2mg; SODIUM 514mg; CALCIUM 49mg

Source: The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook (Oxmoor House, December, 2012) by Janet Helm, MS, RD and the Editors of Cooking Light Magazine.

What’s your favorite fish? How do you like to prepare/eat it?


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The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook: Great Food & Expert Advice That Will Change Your Life (Oxmoor House, 2012) by the Editors of Cooking Light and Janet Helm, RD–my colleague and friend (and the popular creator of nutritionunplugged.com and co-creator of healthyaperture.com), is a real gem. It can be a great asset to anyone who has set New Year’s resolutions to improve the way they cook, shop, eat, and live. Here are three of the many reasons I love it so:

1) It’s gorgeous to look at. The photos of the recipes show you how healthful foods can be appealing. Images of real people, including those who are in need of new habits (eg the “time-pressed professional” and the mom of a “snack-happy family” plus the many experts (including several colleagues and friends) add a lot of warmth and character–and relatability–to the book.

2) It’s a positive, can-do type of food and nutrition cookbook. Unlike books that tell you what not to eat, this book takes a cup half full approach to convey science-based but practical, useable food and nutrition information and cooking advice. It’s broken down into 12 healthy habits–be portion-aware, eat mindfully, and veggie up and more–which makes it easy for readers to use. They can pick and choose the sections they read (and act on!) based on their unique dietary and lifestyle challenges and food preferences. The book incorporates hundreds of practical tips to help you make better food choices when food shopping, improve your cooking techniques, and incorporate more healthful foods into your diet and that of your family. It’s the kind of book that is likely to stay on your kitchen counter rather than collect dust on your bookshelf.

3) Diet? What diet! Unlike many of the food/nutrition/health books you’ll no doubt see stacked up at bookstores and hyped online at this time of year, this one doesn’t have the word “diet” in it–so there’s no risk of insulting anyone when you give them a copy as as a gift!

I give this book two enthusiastic thumbs up–way up–for you, your family, and anyone you love who loves food but wants to enjoy it without sabotaging their health.

What habits do you want to improve this new year?


Full disclosure: I received an advance copy of the book from the publisher.


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As parents, we’re all overstretched and time crunched–not just during hectic holiday time, but year-round. For many of us–even those who have nutrition degrees!–feeding ourselves and our families in a healthful way sometimes takes a back burner to more pressing things, like going to basketball practice, getting to dance class, or doing something as simple as taking a shower! Fortunately, we don’t have to sacrifice all to get nutritious food on the table–all it takes is a little bit of planning and some help from the pros.

To the rescue is culinary dietitian Michelle Dudash. In her terrific new book, Clean Eating for Busy Families, Dudash helps families whip meal times–and tasty meals–into shape with practical, time-saving ideas. Here are some highlights from our conversation.

EZ: As a mom, what do you see as the biggest challenge parents face when trying to get meals on the table for their families?

MD: I think the biggest challenge parents face when it comes to family meals is trying to fit everything in during the mad early evening rush. The kids need to get picked up or dropped off. Little ones need bathing. Parents want to squeeze in their workout. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared for mealtime by having a stocked pantry and fridge with the staples and simple go-to recipes that produce excellent results with minimal clean up and prep time.

EZ: What do you personally find to be the biggest challenge when feeding your family?

MD: The number one challenge I face is getting dinner on the table at a reasonable time. I try squeezing in a few workouts during the week at the end of the workday, and also pick Scarlet up from school. The smoothest sailing, relaxing nights are those that include meals made in the slow cooker (like my Slow Cooker Beef & Vegetable Tacos), ready to pop into the oven (like my Skinny Chicken Parmesan with Spinach), or the delicious leftovers from the night before (Sizzling Sesame Noodles with Pork, Cabbage & Scallions).

EZ: What advice–or first steps–do you recommend to overextended parents who don’t think they have enough time to prepare healthy meals for their families?

MD: My advice for busy parents is to take three simple steps:

1. Properly stock your kitchen. In the time that you would call in your takeout order, drive in traffic, wait in line and pay, get in and out of your car and back home, you could have prepared a fresh meal at home, provided that you had the needed supplies standing by. My book Clean Eating for Busy Families offers weekly, monthly and quarterly shopping lists, breaking grocery shopping down into manageable pieces to provide healthy meals. I also recommend always having a piece of paper stuck to the fridge where family members can jot down things they need from the store. It’s a running list that is ready when you are.

2. Plan meals ahead and have a go-to recipe arsenal. Planning ahead can be as detailed as writing out a monthly or weekly calendar of dinner menus, or as free-spirited as simply having three fresh proteins and vegetables on hand for the week for dinnertime. So, plan your meals out Saturday, do all of your shopping on Sunday and as soon as you get home, you’ll be ready to get dinner going.

3. Make one-dish or make-ahead whenever possible. One-dish meals that contain a vegetable, protein and starch (complex carbohydrate) are lifesavers..and dish savers! Recipes that you can make ahead in the slow cooker or have ready to just pop in the oven open up space during the mad evening rush.

EZ:Which recipe (or recipes) in your book are your favorites and why?

MD: While I love all of the recipes in the book, my favorites are those that are my husband’s and 3-year-old’s favorites! Scarlet’s favorite recipe is Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Dill Dip (we call chicken nuggets), which tastes even better than deep-fried versions. She also loves the Scarlet-Approved Lemon Cilantro Edamame Hummus. When I gave her a taste, she said, “I want more” and ate it by the spoonful. She also loves the Turkey, Vegetable & Oat Mini Meatloaves with Marinara Sauce (we call them meatballs, since I cut them up for her). When she tried the Toasted Sesame Salmon Nuggets with Sweet-Savory Scallion Sauce, she thought they were chicken nuggets, so of course, she devoured those.

EZ: How does your daughter like to help you in the kitchen? How can families involve their kids in the cooking/prepping process and what do you think the benefits of involving kids in the kitchen are?

MD: Scarlet absolutely loves to help me in the kitchen. She asks, “Can I help?” I let her break eggs (a bit of a mess), stir ingredients, flip pancakes and quesadillas (with my hand over her hand, being very careful), sprinkling cheese and spreading almond butter on toast. Scarlet is now 3 years old. She is better at stirring and aiming ingredients into the bowl. She wants to be so independent and wants to do everything.

I really think kids can be a great help in the kitchen and can save you time, too. Little ones can wash and spin vegetables and set the table. Scarlet recently set the table for the first time—yes! Older kids can chop, clean up, and cook things. When kids help in the kitchen, they feel empowered and are excited to eat things that they make. They love to be helpful and it builds their confidence.

Where can people find your book?

Visit my website www.michelledudash.com for direct links to online stores where you can purchase now, or find the store nearest you like Barnes and Noble, Whole Foods, and independent book stores.

So what are you waiting for? Dudash’s book makes a great holiday, birthday, or hostess gift–or gift for yourself! Check it out!

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If you’re a modern-day parent like me, you’ve likely fed your kids–and yourself–a fair share of chicken tenders. For a delicious, nutritious twist to this often calorie- and fat-laden staple, culinary dietitian Michelle Dudash has whipped up her own unique version for her delectable–and practical–new cookbook, Clean Eating for Busy Families. These chicken tenders make a great lunch or dinner treat, whether served fresh from the oven or cold–the way I like ‘em best!

I’ll admit it. I love to eat breaded, deep-fried chicken strips dipped in creamy ranch dressing, and on rare occasions, I will order them while out running errands all day. I prepare this recipe at home after a decent lapse since my last fix.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings, 2 to 3 tenders each (with 2 tablespoons  dip)


For chicken:

½ cup pecans

1/ 3 cup whole-wheat flour

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons dry mustard

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon expeller-pressed canola oil

½ cup panko bread crumbs

1 large egg

1 pound chicken tenders, larger pieces cut in half lengthwise

For dip:

¼ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

¼ cup light mayonnaise

1 teaspoon lemon juice

¼ teaspoon dried dill

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon onion powder

1 pinch salt

1 pinch freshly ground black pepper


To make the chicken: Preheat oven to 475°F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Whirl pecans, flour, paprika, dry mustard, garlic and onion powder, salt, and pepper in a food processor until pecans are ground to a powder, about 30 seconds. Drizzle in the oil with the motor running, blending completely. Transfer mixture to a shallow dish and stir in the panko bread crumbs.

Beat egg in a second shallow dish and add chicken tenders, coating them completely. Transfer each tender to the breading, turning to coat evenly. Arrange chicken on the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and nearly firm, 8 minutes.

To make the dip: Stir all the dip ingredients together in a small bowl.

Enjoy the cooked chicken immediately with the dip.

Recipe note:

Chicken tenders come from the undersides of chicken breasts and are naturally portioned into strips, saving you time in cutting them. If you don’t have chicken tenders, substitute chicken breasts cut into 4 x 1-inch strips.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 418 calories; 20 g total fat; 3 g saturated fat; 34 g Protein; 23 g carbohydrate; 4 g dietary fiber; 120 mg cholesterol.


Reprinted with permission from Clean Eating for Busy Families: Get Meals on the Table in Minutes with Simple and Satisfying Whole-Foods Recipes You and Your Kids Will Love, by Michelle Dudash, RD (Fair Winds Press, December 2012).

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It’s been one year since I took my last sip of Diet Coke (you can read about why I gave it up on Fooducate). I gave up Diet Coke not because I thought it was the devil, but because I was simply drinking too much of the artificially sweet stuff.

Over the first three months, I pretty much went cold turkey. I initially felt the loss in my energy level, especially because (except for chocolate) I had no other source of caffeine in my diet. Although the initial fatigue eventually ended (thankfully!), I realized that what I missed most was the psychological lift—and the happiness—that Diet Coke brought to my life. I sound like a commercial, I know, but that’s really what I missed most. For some, it’s wine, for others it’s a martini or a coffee. For me, it was diet soda. And I know I’m not alone—so many of my friends also have (or had) a thing for Diet Coke or some other diet soda. It’s kind of sad that when we reminisce about our times drinking it, it’s like we’re talking about a dear departed friend.

When people ask me if I feel any different after having given up Diet Coke—and all diet soda, for that matter—my honest answer is NO. If anything, I don’t feel quite as satisfied, especially when I write for hours on end and need a lift or pick-me-up. Call me crazy!

Although I’ve tried several unsweetened teas, I don’t rely on them for my fix, especially because I prefer them with a little artificial sweetener sprinkled in. I don’t think artificial sweeteners are going to kill us, but I rather keep my intake of them low just to play it safe. I do drink Diet Snapple on most days, but I have much less of that than I used to have Diet Coke. I have even gone up to 10 days at a time without any caffeinated beverage when on vacation, though I’ll admit that on my caffeine-free days I definitely feel like I’m missing something.

Here are 4 Stressipes to help you curb or quit your habit once and for all. It won’t be easy–it certainly wasn’t for me–but it can be done if you choose to do it.

1)   Taper your intake. Instead of going cold turkey, make gradual cutbacks in how much you consume. For one week, keep a record of how much and when you have the diet soda and set a goal to gradually decrease each week. This will help you minimize headaches or dips in energy.

2)   Plan your fix. If you don’t want to give diet soda up altogether, try to figure out what time of day it means the most to you and have it then. If you know you like to have it early in the day when your colleagues are enjoying their coffee, that’s the time to enjoy it. Or you may find you rather have it when you’re out with friends at a restaurant or a party. When you do choose to have it, order or buy just enough to get your fix without going overboard. (Having a lot of ice in it can also help you have less but think you’re having more.)

3)   Drink by day. If you know you want at least some diet soda each day, try to have it before mid-day (12-2 pm, for example) so that it doesn’t interfere with your sleep. Having it too close to bedtime can theoretically keep you awake longer or not be able to sleep as soundly (not to mention you may need to wake up to go to the bathroom).

4)   Find alternatives. You may find you can swap the diet soda and feel satisfied with sparkling water with lemon or lime squeezed in, or with some fresh fruit slices or 100 percent fruit juice splashed in. Just be mindful that if you replace diet soda with something caloric (like fruit juice or a laced coffee beverage), you’ll have to cut calories elsewhere to maintain a healthy body weight. There are many tasty brands of unsweetened iced tea that you may like, but you may need to try a few before you find one you like—especially if you rather not use artificial sweeteners or real sugar to boost the flavor.

 (Read more about my thoughts on diet soda right here.)

Have you kicked the can? What strategies worked for you?



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“If you’re like most Americans who want to stay fit and active, there’s a good chance that if you haven’t already (or recently) joined a gym, the thought has likely crossed your mind—especially as the new year approaches.” Read more of my blog post for US News & World Report’s Eat + Run.

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In this monthly post, I highlight one person who embodies the concept of #moveitorloseit –a concept I share proudly on both Twitter and Facebook. To me, #moveitorloseit is not at all about moving it in order to lose weight…it’s about staying active and fit consistently, regularly, and enjoyably to stay sane and centered despite—and in the face of—the curve balls life throws you. It’s about not wasting the ability to use your body, and about strengthening (or at least preserving) your muscles and bones, and at the same time, keeping your mind sharp.

In November, 2012, my #moveitorloseit model was 40 year-old Aaron Flores, an LA-based registered dietitian. Read on to see what Aaron’s #moveitorloseit fitness goal was and how he planned to accomplish it–and then see what he has to say now, after meeting his goal!



"This is picture of me after my most recent training session. What I love about it is seeing how much I sweat after a workout. My sweaty shirt is like a badge of honor for me! I'm so proud that my body can move the way it does!"











What is your specific #moveitorloseit goal, and when do you plan to accomplish it?

My #Moveitorloseit goal is to run the 2013 LA Marathon. It’s my first ever marathon, and I would love to finish in under 5 hours if possible. I run/walk and try to stay at a pace of about 11:00 minutes per mile. In the end, I know I’ll be happy to just finish!

Why did you choose this particular challenge? What will it mean to you to complete the marathon?

Why did I choose to do a marathon? Maybe it’s because I just turned 40. I felt the need to challenge myself. I completed a 100-mile bike ride almost 10 years ago, and that experience taught me that I respond very well to challenges. I also know that staying motivated to exercise on a regular basis is difficult for me.

Having struggled with weight for all of my adult life, I understand how important it is for me to stay active. But to be honest, I get bored unless I change my routine every couple of years. So my latest change came in 2011 when I started running. I found that I really enjoyed it. I ran a couple of 10Ks that year, but never anything longer. I’ve also always been fascinated, inspired and in awe of anyone who ran a marathon. In my head it’s always been the holy grail of races. I used to sit alongside the LA Marathon route and literally be in tears watching people run the race. I was so amazed and inspired that the participants could challenge themselves both physically and mentally.

So it was almost a perfect storm that took place: I’d been running and enjoying it, I’ve always loved the idea of doing a marathon, I needed a new challenge, and I was turning 40.  So after watching the 2012 LA Marathon, I said to my wife, “I’m going to run the 2013 Marathon next year,” and hear I am!

Have there been any bumps in the road so far? What has made training difficult or challenging, and what (or who) helps you stay motivated to continue?

The hardest part of my training so far is that I’ve had some issues with tendonitis in my feet and a sprained ankle that laid me up for about three weeks. It was early enough in my training that I knew that if I just kept my endurance up, I’d be OK. So I dusted off my bike and started riding again which really helped.  I forgot how much I love riding!

The other challenge that always comes up is self doubt. I doubt myself every night before my long run of the week. I think, “Can I really run 10 miles tomorrow?”  But in those moments, what I try to do is remember that my real goal is not just the marathon. It’s something bigger than that. I’m trying to enjoy the process of training and not just the end goal. I try to remember that 15 years ago, at 300 lbs, I could not have run a quarter mile and now I can run ten! That’s amazing right there! I remember that exercising helps reduce my stress, it makes me a better man, father, employee. It’s not about the calories that I burn, it’s about the way moving makes me feel.

What really keeps me going though is the image I have of myself crossing the finish line. I’m sure there will be a few tears of joy shed on that day.

What advice do you have for others thinking of running their first marathon?

Well since I’m a dietitian, I of course would stress good nutrition. Beyond that, my advice would be to turn off that voice in your head that says, “I can’t!” If you continue to doubt yourself, you’ll end up believing it. I believe in the power of positive thinking and if you are going to run a marathon, you have to be positive. The other thing that keeps me going is to remember that my goal is to finish.  Not to win but to finish. It’s not about the time I clock; it’s about the journey.










Congrats on your first marathon!! Describe your marathon experience and what it taught you.

“I can finally say, “I did it!” After months of training, miles of running and many early mornings, I can now say I am a marathoner. Finishing the LA Marathon was something that I thought would literally never happen.  I’ve been asked what was the hardest part of the Marathon and I have to say it wasn’t any specific mile or event on the day of the run. The hardest part was the self-doubt before. I honestly never thought that I could complete the run as I was training. It was not until the morning of the race that I really knew that no matter what, I was going to cross that finish line. I wish I was faster, but I was not. I hoped for a better performance but it was not meant to be.  But despite that, I had a smile as I ran across the finish line. Even two weeks later, I am still amazed at what I’ve done. I am in awe of what I have accomplished and it all seems like a dream.  But this is not a dream. I am a marathon finisher and only because I committed to the journey. It is a choice I made. I chose to Move It so I won’t Lose It! If I can do it, so can you.”

Inspired by Aaron? How could you not be?! If you’d like to share your journey towards fitness and be a future #moveitorloseit Model of the Month, please email me your story (with a photo of yourself doing the activity/activities) at elisa@elisazied.com.

What inspires you to #moveitorloseit ?

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When you have diabetes, it’s hard enough to deal with that, let alone worry about your weight. Thankfully, a new book by registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator Jill Weisenberger called Diabetes Weight Loss: Week by Week is here to help. Check out my interview with Jill about her book below:

EZ: What makes this book different from other books that are aimed at those with diabetes?

JW: Diabetes Weight Loss Week by Week doesn’t give a prescribed diet. There are many paths to a healthy plate. Since everyone’s diabetes, medications, food preferences and life are different, the diet should be different too. Instead of following rules and relying on willpower, my readers develop skills and learn to rely on these skills and strategies. The book spans a full year to give support and structure long enough for the reader to fully integrate their new plan.

EZ: Why is it crucial for those with diabetes to lose weight? What’s in it for them?

JW: The underlying problem behind type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance—when the body doesn’t use insulin efficiently. Weight loss improves insulin resistance. Dropping a few pounds helps people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes prevent or delay complications. Besides, losing weight just makes us more energized. The good news is that even small amounts of weight loss improve health and in a number of ways. It’s far better to lose 10 pounds and keep it off than to lose 50 pounds and gain it back.

EZ: Your book provides a one-year plan to help those with diabetes lose weight. What would you say to those who are anxious to lose weight and think a one-year time frame for doing so is just too long?

JW: Weight loss should never be a race. The one-year plan is important for the structure it offers. Losing weight is just plain hard, and the more structure and support dieters have, the more successful I expect them to be. Weight loss and the lifelong maintenance of that weight loss require lifelong behavior change. Rapid weight loss does little to help people develop the skills necessary for that.

EZ: What would you say to people who think they need to avoid all sugar or starchy foods if they have diabetes?

JW: They will be so happy to know that’s not true. The overall amount of carbohydrate is far more important than the type of carbohydrate. Make an appointment with a registered dietitian skilled in diabetes management to learn how to balance the whole diet without banning any food forever.

EZ: What are 3 takeaways from the book for those with or without diabetes who want to lose weight and keep it off? 

JW: (1) Set behavioral goals. Focus on changing your behavior and the weight loss and health improvements follow. (2) Understand that weight loss is not a race. (3) Expect that sometimes you won’t want to do this anymore. Plan for that now. To build motivation, make a Motivation Kit.  Collect those things that motivate you and keep them handy in a box or notebook. Add to it often. You might collect your list of reasons to lose weight, photos, magazine articles, inspirational quotations, affirmations, a picture of what you plan to reward yourself with— anything and everything that motivates you.

Full disclosure: I received a review copy of Diabetes Weight Loss: Week by Week from the publisher.


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Here’s a delicious recipe from the latest cookbook, 1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes, by culinary dietitian, Jackie Newgent. (And just think–the book packs in 999 others that will likely please your palate and those of your friends and family!)

This is one of my go-to recipes—for myself and for guests. The full-on Asian sensation of sweet heat turns angel hair into a high-flavored entrée topped with a confetti of crisp veggies. The cilan­tro finishes it with fresh aromatic appeal. It’s delicious topped with thinly sliced grilled chicken, too.

Makes 4 servings: 1 1⁄2 cups (1 cup pasta and 1⁄2 cup vegetables) each


8 ounces whole-wheat or other whole-grain angel hair or capellini pasta
3 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 1⁄2 tablespoons naturally brewed soy sauce
1 1⁄2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
1 tablespoon freshly grated gingerroot
1 serrano pepper with seeds, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1⁄2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
1 cup snow peas, ends trimmed, thinly sliced lengthwise
1⁄2 cup matchstick-size sliced purple or white cauliflower or jicama
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, honey, ginger, serrano, and garlic in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl. Set aside.
3. Drain the pasta, add to a large bowl, drizzle with the oil, and toss till coated. Add the sauce mixture and scallions and toss again.
4. Just before serving, top with the snow peas, cauliflower, and cilantro. Serve warm, at room tem­perature, or chilled.

Nutrition information per serving: 300 calories, 6g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 350mg sodium, 55g total carbohydrate, 9g dietary fiber, 12g sugars, 10g protein

Recipe reprinted with permission from 1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes by Jackie Newgent, RD (Wiley, 2012).

Full disclosure:  I received a review copy of 1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes by the publisher.

What’s your favorite way to eat angel hair?

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