Tag Archives: weight loss

Day 3 of Julie’s SNAP Challenge

This morning I could definitely feel the hunger catching up to me! I was famished when I ate my scrambled eggs and toast with milk. This time, the meal didn’t quite satisfy me, and I was left thinking of ways I could have bought more food for my $32. One way, would be to purchase some of my food at a local farmers market, where they often match EBT funds to double your budget, so that overall you can buy twice as much food! Now I really wish I had done that this week…. I didn’t because I wanted to see if I could eat a good meal plan without having to use the bonus money from the farmers market. Now I see that it is possible, but I just don’t get as much to eat.

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You Can Change Your Body!

Hi there! My name is Julie Knopp and I am a Dietetic Intern at Virginia Tech, working this month with the Family Nutrition Program. I would like to talk to you about something near and dear to my heart: Exercise. Physical activity. How do you feel when you hear those words? Do you feel a sense of guilt or dread? Or perhaps you feel satisfied knowing that you are already getting regular activity in your daily life. Whatever the case may be, exercise is an important part of life. It doesn’t matter if the exercise is intense or moderate, short or long. Anything counts! Once you start exercising, your body will change to become faster, stronger, and healthier.

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Try to Ch-Ch-Chia!

Written by Hunter Meakin
Part of National Nutrition Month 2014

almond milk pudding

Do you want to add more proteins and minerals to your meals without changing the flavor? Would you like to reap multiple health benefits by adding one ingredient to your every day foods? If you answered yes to these questions, then you should consider adding chia seeds to your everyday diet. Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family that is native to Mexico and Guatemala (Coles, 2013).

Not only do chia seeds contain many vitamins and minerals, they also provide numerous benefits for the body such as:

It is very easy to incorporate chia seeds into your diet. Chia seeds have a nutty flavor but their flavor is so mild that it doesn’t compromise or alter the flavor of the dish you add them to. Chia seeds can be added into essentially anything but I would recommend adding them to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, on top of salads, in salsas and in pudding.

Chia Pudding

  • 2 TBSP of Chia Seeds
  • 1 Cup of Almond nut Milk
  • 2 TBSP of Sweetner (Honey, Maple Syrup or Agave, Cane Sugar)
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla

Mix all ingredients together and stir every ten minutes for an hour. Refrigerate overnight until pudding forms.

Have you ever tried chia seeds before? How will you use them in your next recipe?


Coles, T. (2013, June 3). Chia Seed Benefits: 10 Reasons to Add Chia to Your Diet. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/06/03/chia-seed-benefits-_n_3379831.html
“What are Chia Seeds?” (April 2013). Retrieved from http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442472548&terms=chia%20seeds

Wow, Water for Weight Loss?! Why it’s Wise to Wet your Whistle!

It seems that almost every day we hear of a new crazy way to lose weight – especially this time of year as people begin to struggle to stick with their New Year’s Resolutions. If you’re trying to get healthy and shed some pounds, you might find it hard to sort through all the fads. Lucky for you, the answer is closer than you think and is always available through your kitchen sink!

Behold the power of water! Did you know that drinking two 8-oz glasses of water before each of your 3 meals can actually help you lose more weight? Researchers at Virginia Tech found that people who drank the water before each meal lost more weight than those who didn’t. Read more here.

Remember that everyone needs to stay hydrated to be healthy, including older adults and those who are exercising.  Swapping out sugary drinks like soda, sweet tea, and juice for water can help you lose weight and feel better.

We know that there are so many benefits of drinking water, so why aren’t we doing it? “Bottled water is expensive!” “I don’t like the taste of water – it’s so bland!” Ever heard these phrases or felt this way before? Well, you’re not alone. Consider these tips for jazzing up your tap water:

  • Make unsweetened green, herbal, or black tea with tea bags
  • Add seasonal fresh or frozen fruit to a large jug of water in your fridge
  • Herbs from your summer garden can add great flavor, too!
  • If you’d like to sweeten up your flavored water, add a small amount of honey, sugar, or your favorite artificial sweetener

Blog Post - Drink More Water PhotoTry this quick recipe at home:

Ingredients and Tools:

  • 1 of each: orange, lime, lemon
  • Ice
  • Tap water
  • Pitcher
  • Wooden Spoon

Directions: Wash fruit thoroughly. Cut orange, lemon, and lime half, then slice into semi-circles. Add fruit to pitcher and smash lightly with the wooden spoon to release some of the juices. Fill the jar with ice, pour in water to the top, and stir. Chill in the fridge and drink over the next few days – the flavor gets stronger the longer it sits!

The combinations of fruits/vegetables/herbs you can use are endless! Other examples include raspberry and lime, pineapple and mint, berries and sage, watermelon and rosemary, cucumber and mint, etc. Use your creativity to come up with your own recipe using the same technique described above, and feel free to share below.

Now let’s drink [WATER] to better health! Cheers!

Eat Smart, Move More, Slim Down

How many of you made a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight this year? If you’re like the average American, about half of you readers want to lose weight in 2014. Well, I have great news for you. The Family Nutrition Program has a newly redesigned program to help you meet your weight loss goals called Eat Smart, Move More, Slim Down.

Weight control program from Virginia Family Nutrition Program

Contact us to find a program in your area

In this program, you’ll learn strategies to make small changes to help you look and feel your best. Each session focuses on both basic nutrition concepts and a proven tactic to help you in your weight loss journey.

These tactics include:

The most exciting addition to the Eat Smart, Move More, Slim Down program is our new online support and two free follow-up sessions with a Registered Dietitian.

We created a new Eat Smart, Move More, Slim Down Facebook page so that you can be a part of the online community of other Virginians working to lose weight and get in shape. Here you can ask for advice, share your successes and receive more helpful tips and advice for living a healthier life. We will also be sharing sample meal plans using FNP’s low-cost, tasty recipes as well as short, but effective, exercise routines for beginners.

Each Eat Smart, Move More, Slim Down graduate will also have the opportunity to speak with a Registered Dietitian for expert help in meeting weight loss goals. This can be done over the phone, by Skype or Google video chats, or whatever works best for you. (Due to the high cost of travelling across the state, we cannot offer in-person visits.)

If you are ready to live your dream and tackle your 2014 weight loss resolution, we can help! Contact us by phone at 1-888-814-7627 or by finding a Program Assistant near you to ask about joining the Eat Smart, Move More, Slim Down program.