Tag Archives: weight loss

variety of healthy foods on wooden background

Healthy Food or Healthy Diet?

Sometimes our efforts to eat smart miss the forest for the trees. We spend a lot of time wondering if individual foods are healthy. But we don’t always pay the same attention to our overall diet pattern. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines and MyPlate have helped to shift the focus from nutrients and food groups to healthy eating patterns. This makes sense, because we eat meals, not just protein and Vitamin A or chicken breast or butternut squash. It also helps remind us that everything we eat or drink matters. And those choices day by day can impact our health over a lifetime. There are many ways to eat a healthy diet. Your own eating pattern reflects your taste, culture, traditions, and budget. So how can you shift your thinking from eating smart foods to eating a smart diet? Continue reading

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!