Category Archives: Guest Bloggers

Diabetes Resources from Jill Weisenberger

Diabetes Weight Loss – Week by Week, a new book by Jill Weisenberger, will take the anxiety and confusion out of weight loss. You will develop a personalized weight loss plan that works for you and your diabetes.

• Prepare to be successful by learning the keys to goal setting and maintaining motivation.

• Choose from dozens of positive habits to build on.

• Work at a reasonable pace with chapters that are set up week by week and month by month.

• Be inspired by the success stories of real people who have lost weight.

• Chart your progress.

• Eat healthy using a week of wholesome sample menus and 21 delicious recipes.

• Diabetes or not, this book is for you. Those with diabetes will learn about managing blood glucose while losing weight and other diabetes-specific concerns. Those without diabetes still learn the weight loss principles and will develop the skills to lose weight and keep it off.

Jill posts nutrition and diabetes tips on her website. In this video, she explains why it is important to eat white fruits and vegetables and remember that they are part of the whole rainbow of fruits and vegetables.


Visit Jill’s website for more great diabetes resources.

About the Author:

Jill Weisenberger is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator in SE Virginia. She is the author of Diabetes Weight Loss – Week by Week. Follow Jill on Twitter @nutritionjill.


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Gluten-Free Travel Tips from a Globetrotter

A longtime fan of NuGo bars, which coincidentally I first came across while traveling, I was happy when they asked me to write a post for their blog – on, you guessed it – traveling as someone with both celiac disease and a severe food allergy to shellfish.

First of all, a celiac or food allergy diagnosis is initially overwhelming. I mean we have all been there and it does throw a bit of a wrench into your lifestyle until you get up to speed. There is a learning curve for the newly diagnosed but I am proof positive that it does get easier as time goes on.

Traveling can seem like a daunting challenge because not only do you have to deal with eating out in a new location that may be unfamiliar, but there’s also the getting there and back which depending on where you are going could prove to be a significant chunk of time. So, with Celiac Awareness Month upon us and the summer travel season about to kick in, I thought I would share a few tips and tricks that I have picked up as I have literally circumnavigated the globe as a celiac and food allergic traveler.

The most important tip that I can give is to plan before you go. This will help to alleviate unnecessary stress when you arrive at your destination. I like to go online and get a lay of the land if you will of where I will be visiting. I look for restaurants and grocery stores near where I’ll be staying that are gluten-free friendly. Be sure to also check out any local celiac or food allergy support groups that might have websites as they often provide a host of information at the local level. Trust me, having a lay of the land before you go will make your trip all the more smoother. When you arrive at your destination, talk to the hotel staff or concierge for local recommendations. You’d be surprised what great local tips they can provide and I have even run into a few that were fellow celiacs and had some fantastic recommendations for me.

Planning also involves looking at things like airlines and hotels as some do a better job in catering to travelers with dietary restrictions. If you are flying, go to the airline’s website or call them to find out if they offer a gluten-free (or other special meal type) before you book. This is a must on long-haul and ultra long-haul flights and less important on shorter domestic hops. At the hotel level, more and more hotels are catering to guests with dietary restrictions and a few even have formal programs in place to ensure that guests with special needs can dine without worry. Fairmont Hotels with their Lifestyle Cuisine Plus program does a particularly good job.

Packing is equally as important as planning in my book – and by packing I mean in the food/snack department. Tip number two is to always take along what I like to call a gluten-free contingency pack. This usually contains a range of food items that I can snack on if I am delayed, my gluten-free meal on a flight didn’t make it onboard or is not really to my liking, or I just feel like a treat while enroute to or at my destination. I typically include things like pretzels or chips, something sweet, and of course snack bars – guess which ones you’ll always find in my bag? The good thing about a contingency pack is that you can tailor it to your specific trip and make it more comprehensive for longer journeys and smaller for quick hops. I also like to throw some larger snacks or treats in my checked bag to enjoy at the hotel when I arrive at my destination. More often than not you’ll be able to find a host of great items at your destination but sometimes you might just feel like relaxing after a long journey and it’s nice to have something ready to nosh on.

The final tip that I can offer is to get out there and enjoy yourself. Do not let celiac or another food restriction limit your lifestyle. Will everything always go as planned – likely not. Even those of us that have been doing it for a while still have things go wrong from time to time but look at them as learning experiences. The more often you get out on the road, the more comfortable you’ll become traveling with special dietary needs and it will just become second nature.

About the Author:

Michael De Cicco-Butz

Hailing from New York City, Michael is perhaps best known as his gluten-free alter ego Gluten Free Mike a global advocate for celiac disease who pens a very popular eponymous gluten-free website and blog. He and his site have been featured on and the discussing luxury travel from a food allergic perspective. Michael has made it his personal mission to share his experiences on his gluten-free journey to help others navigate and make the most of their own journeys. Diagnosed with celiac disease more than ten years ago (and shortly thereafter developing severe shellfish allergy), when the gluten-free landscape was very different, he understands how confusing, overwhelming, and isolating it can be when first diagnosed.

He lives by his mantra of Living Well, Gluten-Free, No Apologies and does not let celiac or his food allergies limit where he goes or what he does. He has travelled the globe as a celiac taking full control of his food restrictions proving that by making smart choices and asking the right questions anyone can get out there and enjoy all the fabulous tastes and places our world has to offer — just gluten-free.

A foodie through and through, you’ll often find him dining out at both gluten-free and non-gluten-free restaurants and has created a Quintessentially New York Gluten Free dining guide on his site that follows him dining gluten-free at some of the most iconic restaurants in New York City. He also loves to cook and has adapted many of his favorite recipes to be gluten-free.

Read Mike’s blog, Gluten Free Mike, follow him on Twitter @glutenfreemike and Pinterest, and like his Facebook page.




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Tips for Hiring a Personal Trainer

Have you been thinking about hiring a personal trainer? Are you wondering how to find the right personal trainer for you? Then, watch this video from Pamela Hernandez, an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer.


About the Author: 

Pamela Hernandez is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, an ACE Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach, and the owner of Thrive Personal Fitness in Springfield, MO. For additional tips and tricks to help you get healthy and fit in the real world, check out her blog, like her facebook page, and follow her on Twitter @ThriveFit.


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Top 14 Reasons to Consult a Sports RD

Happy Registered Dietitian Day! March 14th celebrates all of the hard work and dedication that registered dietitians throughout the country do to make our society a healthier place. Registered Dietitians are the nutrition experts, specializing in many different areas such as weight loss, pediatrics, food allergies, and chronic diseases. Although I have experience counseling patients for a variety of conditions, my true passion in nutrition lies in sports nutrition. The Board Certification as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) credential is the premier professional sports nutrition credential in the United States. CSSDs are registered dietitians who provide safe, effective, evidence-based nutrition services for health, fitness and athletic performance. The best way to locate a sports dietitian closest to you is to contact the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN) group at

Therefore, in honor of RD Day, I have compiled the “Top 14” reasons to consult a sports dietitian, whether you are a weekend warrior, daily gym rat, or competitive athlete.

1. You want to improve exercise or sports performance.

2. You desire to gain muscle mass or lose body fat.

3. You want to gain muscular strength and power.

4. You want to increase stamina and endurance in your sport.

5. You want ideas for food to eat before, during, and after exercise or sporting event.

6. You want to choose the best fluids to drink before, during, and after exercise and sport to stay adequately hydrated.

7. You want to make better food choices and need ideas for buying and preparing food.

8. You have food allergies and intolerances and want to know the best choices for your condition and how food and medicine interact.

9. You experience gastrointestinal problems that keep you from performing at your best and you want solutions.

10. You are an athlete or active individual who has a medical condition, for instance, diabetes, cardiovascular risk factors, compromised bone health, abnormal iron status food allergies, or gastrointestinal problems such as gluten sensitivity, and need nutrition guidance and a personalized meal plan.

11. You want to speed your recovery following intense training, competition, surgery, illness, or injury.

12. You want to develop lifelong nutrition strategies to complement annual preparation, competition, and off-season plans.

13. You want to learn how to choose, store, and prepare healthy foods to fuel your body.

14. You feel the need to have someone assist you in the management of your body weight and body composition.

The key to optimal meal planning for athletes is individualization. Contact a registered dietitian for personalized nutrition plans and advice. Remember to demand experience, demand excellence, and demand a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics!

About the Author: 

Ashley Acornley, MS, RD, LDN is a clinical and sports dietitian, certified personal trainer, and blogger/writer originally from Philadelphia, PA. Ashley earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences with a minor in Kinesiology from Penn State University in August 2008. She completed her Dietetic Internship and received her Masters of Science degree in Nutrition from Meredith College in December 2011. Ashley is an AFAA certified personal trainer and has been motivating clients since 2007.

She is very sports-minded and stays active by participating in 5Ks, triathlons, half marathons, and other competitive events. She also practices boxing, yoga, tennis, and strength training at her local gym. Besides physical activity, she has found a new interest for cooking and baking and writes about it in her food blog, “Fresh From the Farm.” Ashley is currently a private practice dietitian at Triangle Nutrition Therapy in Raleigh, NC. Triangle Nutrition specializes in individualized counseling for a variety of populations and health conditions. Ashley enjoys teaching her clients how to stay healthy, motivated, and physically active!  

Ashley can be found by visiting Triangle Diet or by checking out her blog.


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5 Reasons You Need Yoga!

Yoga is the physical, mental, and spiritual discipline originating in ancient India. Yoga in the West is typically associated with Hatha yoga. The practice of Hatha yoga is to achieve balance between body and mind through postures, breathing exercises, and meditation.

Here are five reasons why everyone needs a little yoga in their life:

1) Improve Strength and Flexibility:

A consistent yoga practice will improve your strength and flexibility. Many people don’t try yoga because they think they aren’t flexible enough, have bad balance, or can’t endure an entire class.

We are all a combination of strength and flexibility. You may be very flexible in one posture, but lack the strength to hold in the posture. Conversely, you may hold a pose forever with excellent muscular strength and endurance, but lack the flexibility for full posture expression. Yoga helps you find the balance between strength and flexibility.

2) Keep Your Heart Happy:

Yoga has been shown to improve heart health. M.Mala Cunningham, Ph.D., counseling psychologist and founder of Cardiac Yoga, says yoga can help prevent or reverse heart disease. Yoga can decrease blood pressure, increase lung capacity, improve respiratory function and heart rate, and boost circulation. You can even find a yoga instructor specializing in cardiac medical yoga. Check out

3) Decrease Stress:

Yoga can help you combat daily stresses. Breathing exercises, or pranayama, should be part of your yoga practice. Pranayama teaches you to breathe more slowly and deeply. Learning to control and become more aware of your breath can help relax your body and clear your mind. You will experience more inner peace, better sleep, better memory, and better concentration.

4) Assist in Weight Loss:

Yoga can help an individual lose weight when used in combination with cardiovascular exercise, weight-training, and a proper nutritional program.

As mentioned above, yoga can reduce stress. Stress is a known contributor to weight gain. Excess of the stress hormone cortisol can slow down your metabolism. Stress can induce cravings for more salty, fatty, and sugar-filled foods. Practicing yoga will help reduce cravings and decrease cortisol levels.

Yoga can also improve sleep and increase energy levels. Better rest and more energy will fuel your workouts, enhance recovery, and help you stay consistent with a fitness program.

5) Cultivate Mindfulness:

One of my favorite quotes is from Thich Nhat Hanh in the book True Love,Without mindfulness we live like the dead.”

Yoga is all about mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of bringing the body and mind back to the present moment without judgment or criticism. You become more in touch with your thoughts and actions. The mind-body connection will enable you to make better decisions. You will gain emotional strength and confidence. Reactionary and mindless actions are replaced with loving kindness and awareness of yourself and others.

Yoga is for everybody! No matter what you bring to the mat, yoga will greatly benefit your life. If you are new to yoga, try a few different styles before you settle into a yoga practice. Grab a buddy and go on a yoga adventure! Are you an experienced yogi? Continue to broaden your practice by trying a new style, new studio, or a new teacher.

Bring an open heart and open mind to the mat. Get ready to reap the endless benefits of yoga!

About the Author:  

Jessica Roberts is a nutrition and health coach specializing in vegan nutrition. She is a Certified Health Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, and Bikram Yoga Instructor. She is also a small animal veterinarian and currently pursuing her Registered Dietician certification. 

A long-time vegan, Jessica’s passion is teaching people the value and practicality of adding delicious, nutrient-dense plant foods into their daily diets. As a veterinarian, she has a deep understanding of animal-welfare and food safety issues. She plans to combine her veterinary background and her RD to provide the community with a unique approach to veganism. Visit, follow @NavaLightJess on Twitter, and like her Facebook page




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