Thursday, April 29, 2010

Liquid Motivation

Man, have I been drowning when it comes to finishing my article. If you don't recall, I am a huge Starbucks Junky who has a research article problem! ; )

Well, seriously...I am currently researching nutrition labeling laws and the implementation of nutrition programs in non-chain restaurants [as I have previously mentioned] and need SOMETHING to motivate me to write!! So, my professor and I have made a personal deadline for final edits before submitting to a journal, set for May 1st! Hello, that came fast!

Do you ever find that getting out of your house or office and finding a "remote location" gives you more motivation to work?

Well, my thought was get up, go to Starbucks and what better motivation than liquid motivation; consisting of a Grande Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte? um, sinless, tasteful treat in a cup : )

The Skinny: 16 fl oz sticks you with only 130 calories, 0 gm fat, 12 gm protein and a generous 40% helping of calcium...hiiiyo!
It even held me over for lunch so I could wait until I got home. Double whammy!
My banana and Kashi TLC bar will hang in the bag for another working day.

So I fulfill my Starbucks needs and get underway on my article while watching my waist line and well, only hurting my wallet ; )

Nutrition credit: Starbucks website

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Peek at the Downtown Raleigh Farmer's Market

Hey guys! I made it out to the farmer's market this afternoon and so did everyone else in the area. That place was PACKED!

I went with a couple of gym buddies; Mary Beth, my gym/spin partner and Elena, one of my rpm/ bodypump instructors! We made sure we got some great pictures in the midst of the chaotic, windy scene:

They had sample strawberries. They were so juicy, ripe and fresh, definitely not store bought [you could tell]! We wanted to buy some after lunch but by the time we got back...they were sold out! :(

All in all, the market was fun but very small! There was only a handful of vendors and amongst the handful of them most carried the same products.
We saw fresh baked goods, tons of greens and the only fruit were these juuuuuuicy strawberries!
It's no wonder they sold out!

Not only was it so crowded we didn't get anything but we couldn't even get to the pit BBQ (which was a special pig pickin' kick off event). So, we ventured off the beaten path to a local sushi spot:

It may have been the excellent lunch specials that swayed us ;)
9 bucks for soup, salad and special roll! Hiiyo!

I got miso soup, garden salad and the dancing eel roll!
(dancing eel roll- california roll with eel and avocado on top! This roll is approximately 400 calories)

Although the Farmer's Market was packed and I didn't leave with anything. I will definitely be going back. I think it was just the hype of the kick off event!

Did you find your local farmer's market?

Elena, Mary Beth and I just can't seem to get enough of eachother! We have a bodypump date this evening at the gym; well, Mary Beth and I are taking our usual Wednesday night class with Elena :)
Seeeeeeeee ya!

For the Locals

If you live in the Raleigh or surrounding areas be sure to stop at the downtown Raleigh City Plaza where the twenty-seven week inaugural season of the Farmer's Market kicks off today, April 28th from 10am-2pm (and then every Wednesday until October 27th)

"The Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market, a program produced by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, brings the highest quality local growers and food artisans together for a Raleigh audience. Our vendors include North Carolina farmers, ranchers, fisherman, nurserymen, bakers, cheese makers, and specialty foods producers."

Get out there and support your local farmers; eat good, healthy, local foods.
-It's healthier
-It's fresh
-It supports a healthy environment
-Makes for more local spending, keeping the money circulating in your community
-It tastes better; it doesn't need to travel thousands of miles to get to your plate

I hope to see you there :)

Not in the Raleigh area? I encourage you to search for your local farmer's market. It's the perfect week to get there!

There really is NOTHING like farm fresh veggies!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

'Skinny Fat'

On the Today Show this morning they had a 'Skinny Fat' segment (check out the segment below). It touches on the importance of staying healthy by consuming a healthful diet and maintaining a physical activity regimen. Kind of like one of my first posts, with an emphasis on the inside as oppose to the outside of your body. I am a true advocate of this 'Skinny Fat' revelation.

People start to get flushed with numbers [when thinking about weight management]; on the scale, Body Mass Index, Clothes sizes but maybe these numbers arn't the true tell all when it comes to your disposition of developing obesity related health conditions (i.e. diabetes, high blood pressure, etc).

You may be within the healthy weight range (Body Mass Index- 18.5-24.9) however, be aware: some people fit into this category but pose a threat for weight-related problems because their body fat is higher than muscle mass. A number that may be of more concern is your body fat percentage.

Case in point: your weight on the scale may not always be the best indicator for your health. Check other numbers like your body fat percentage (Women body fat percentage recommendation is below 25% and men is below 18%)

Along with body fat percentage another number to familiarize yourself with is your waist measures. According to the American Dietetic Association, health risks go up as waist size increases. Current recommendations: Women: waist is equal to or below 35 inches, Men: equal to or below 40 inches

Segment: Woman fights ‘skinny fat’
April 26: TODAY’s diet expert Joy Bauer shares one woman’s battle to trim her unhealthy body fat percentage, despite her healthy appearance.

Special Birthday today...Happy Birthday Mom!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

For a Fan

Happy Sunday! Hope your enjoying your weekend! I know I am.

I just recently received a SS Fan question about supplementing a particular nutrient. Check it out...

You asked: I take Biotin pills for my hair and nails. Don't really know what Biotin is though, can it be found in foods you eat or are there foods that are particularly better that help your hair look thicker and silkier and help your nails grow?

Your Smart Snacker weighs-in: So, let's start with the basics! The Biotin nutrient helps your body produce energy in your cells and helps metabolize proteins, fats and carbohydrates from food. Biotin helps your body use your food for fuel! What a smart little nutrient!
Biotin can be found in a wide variety of foods. According to the American Dietetic Association, it is found in:
-liver (eeek, no thanks!)
-yeast breads
(above are among the best sources)

-cottage cheese

It is rare for a healthy person to not get enough Biotin if consuming a healthful diet because your body also produces biotin in your intestinal bacteria (or flora). As a result deficiencies are rare. On a similar note, consuming excess amounts of biotin is uncommon. In accordance with the American Dietetic Association, the Adequate Intake (AI) for biotin is 30 micrograms (mcg) daily for adult males and females including during pregnancy. Need an idea of how much this is?
1 large egg has 11 mcg
1/2 cup of peanuts has 5 mcg
1/2 cup cottage cheese has 5 mcg
1 slice of whole grain bread has 2 mcg

Keep the questions coming! Feel free to leave one on a comment or email your SS at

See ya fans!

Friday, April 23, 2010


Hello, Hello! I just got in from my rpm-plus class. Just a little recap- it's a 60-minute cardio-muscle strength and endurance building, calorie scorching workout! It has tons of great coreography and mixed with the high-energy from the's a workout that you cannot miss!

So, in this workout tonight, according to my polar heart rate monitor, I burned a whopping 750 calories [cool-down included]! WOW! and man do I FEEL a 100 bucks :)

You know I am only human too, even this healthy lifestyle preacher has trouble, believe it or not, and so often times I find myself struggling with my weight, looking for extra motivation and ultimately, a gym buddy! 
That's why I choose classes like this rpm-plus class. Group fitness at your local gym is a great way to stay motivated!
-You have a ton of "workout buddies." Everyone is working just as hard as you are, keep up the hard work...don't be the only one who gives up!
-Get to know your instructors. For me this is a huge motivator; they know my name and start to look for me; now they hold me accountable when I tell them..."See you tomorrow!" (at least I like to think so)
-The great music keeps me going and keeps my mind off the pain. I have started singing along, it makes it more fun and it really flies by...and I know I'm not the only one singing ;)
-You burn a TON of calories. Proof shown above...I didn't do that on my own, with the high-energy of my classmates I pushed myself and was able to burn those calories!

With a little accountability, motivation and determination, you WILL meet your goal! Do it today!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fruit for Everyone

Hey guys, you know busy I can't even get a blog in!

As you know I have been working like a dog in Northern Va. with ARAMARK. I always love going back to a place where everyone is so welcoming...and were they have some of the greatest perks...

Like free fresh fruit ALL day...

Along with oranges they have bananas, grapes and apples.

I mean, hello! How hard could it be to not smart snack in an establishment such as this?

More exciting news will come tomorrow. My best friend from college is in town!

We'll catch ya later!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

100th for SS

It's about that time...Smart Snacker is posting the 100th post today! What a long way we've come... :)

What a better way to mark the 100th with a road trip! Yes ladies and gentlemen, your Smart Snacker just trekked about 5 hours Northbound on route 95. My ARAMARK gig in Nothern VA has got me traveling this week for my site visit. I do a site visit every 3-4 months to ensure proper recipe and portion adherence protocol are being followed in the facility thus ensuring my nutrition information I provide is accurate! So....since I was traveling I had to be snacking...right?

Friday, April 16, 2010


Happy Friday!

I started my morning bright and early with my friend at the gym! We got up before our internship interview day and did a nice 45-minute cardio sweat session with some abdominal work afterwards. Man, it was nice to have a gym buddy again! I like getting my workouts in, in the morning [when possible]...especially on Fridays this way, once work is done...I can relax!

Usually I would do the hour-long RPM class Friday evenings but I was told today that I have impromptu plans so I won't be attending (good thing I got my workout in this morning, yikes)!
Side note for all you fellow Lifestyle Family Fitness go-ers: Our Friday night class is sufferring because the attendance is low (and obviously, I am not helping out like I need to be with a ton of traveling lately it's been hard to commit) but together let's try and kick up the attendance so our favorite classes stick around!

Incase you're interested...
Today's Cardio Workout (on the Elliptical)-
0-5 min: warm-up
5-10 min: resistance 4
10-15 min: resistance 6
15-20 min: resistance 8
20-25 min: resistance 10
25-30 min: resistance 8
30-35 min: resistance 6
35-40 min: resistance 4
40-45 min: cool down
*try and keep the same pace throughout (even on the hardest resistance)
More resistance= more calories burned
(approx. 350 calories burned, based on the machine
- I was not wearing my HR monitor, sorry!)

So, as I said I have last-minute plans! I am going with a group of friends to a Carolina Mudcats Game! Fun, right? Believe me, this trip to the baseball stadium will definitely prompt a "Smart Snacker meets Stadium."

Stay tuned for navigating your way through the stadium and see how your Smart Snacker takes on this colossal food challenge ;)

See ya, ball fans!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Coffee Fanatics!

Visit your local Starbucks today with your favorite reusable travel mug and receive a free brewed coffee!

Gotta love freebies!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rare Review

Hey guys...I have for you the next product found among the Napa Valley travels...

So I found this "hint" water schtuuuff.

I tried the pom-tangerine flavor
which is on the far left and missing the first bottle on the rack ;)]
t sounded so refreshing and flavorful which is what I was needing to start my day off right (and something that would properly hydrate for a day a wine tasting)!
Smart Snacker weighs-in: Now I am coining this post as a rare review because I'd imagine it will be...I ended up not diggin' this H2O and yes, that's rare!

This was a naturally flavored water with a
zero in all categories...from calories to sugar (nutritional bliss)! However, the flavor of the pom and tangerine was insipid and well, dull!
I hate to say it but it needed a little something MORE. I would rather just have a bottle of regular water sans flavoring. I wonder how the other flavors stand against this one? I won't stop here, I will definitely try another in my future..I can see myself sipping something like this beside a pool...;)

Have you had this H2O before? What's your favorite flavor?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Reality Check

Have you ever had such a great vacation you didn't want to come back to reality? ugh, I am so suffering from that feeling right now. I am definitely not in Napa Valley anymore :( 

My mind is working at a mile a minute...I have so many things to share with my Smart Snackin' blog friends! Where to staaaaart?

Note worthy: I would like to term California as the "land of new food finds!"
A Smart Snackers playground. What a great selection of interesting, organic, all natural, raw, you name it foods. I would move there for the simple fact: there is something new to try everyday!

...So here was my next find!

The name is what really won me over!
I LOVE it!

So this my friends is exactly what it says...FIGS in a dark chocolate coat with almonds! Sounds delicious right?

Your Smart Snacker weighs-in: Although it is like a
health-nut meets sweet tooth dream...this bar didn't have the "whole package" for me. It lasted me a good 4 days (which I didn't mind); it is something that I could take a bite and be done with.
It satisfied the sweet tooth, but the whole thing would have been too much.
As for the flavor profile? A touch of tart cherry, along with silky dark chocolate and crunchy almonds. As is reads, "All natural, low fat, high fiber and high in antioxidants!" yes please!

The Skinny: as per the label...1 bar serving.
150 calories, 4g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 28g carb, 4g fiber, 19g sugar, 2g protein, 6% calcium, 2% iron

Guys don't get me wrong...this is definitely a snack-worthy bar!
Now get out to Napa and find one ;) We wish...right?!


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Chippin' Out

Hey friends! Sorry, long time no blog...that's the price for vacation time. It's hard to blog in the midst of the Napa Valley scene; wine, food, wine and more food!

Although I am quite busy enjoying myself I have found another Smart Snacker blog-worthy find! While cruisin' down route 29 (the main road through "the valley") we came across "Oakville Grocery." This hot spot known in Napa for it's great gourmet, eclectic finds; it's an awesome deli, espresso bar, wine retailer and grocery store all in ONE. I was beside myself with excitement; I found tons of neat new food finds. While shoppin' mom and I came across these little crispers...

Raw Kale Bites
serving size reads 6 g (like we can weigh it out...) but I had about 5 leaves worth...

36 cal, 2 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 61 mg sodium, 4 g carb, 2 g protein and the show stopper....

85% of your Vitamin A and 46% of your Vitamin C

Hail mighty kale bites.

These tasty little guys are a great partially-salty snack with a ton of crunch and flavor! A great HEALTHY alternative to it's potato chip counter-parts

Could not be paired better with anything other than a glass of chardonnay. We got a bottle of wine, some cheese and crackers and these kale bites for our own little happy hour back in the hotel. What fun!
Our lemon was picked from a lemon tree at one of our wine cool is that?

Interested in more info about the almighty kale bites? click here!

See ya soon wine-o's!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Grow Your Own!

A couple of weeks ago (on the first day of spring, to be exact), I ventured out to the Farmer's Market. If you can remember it was the first beautiful day in a while and what a better day it was to spend at the market and well, eat a Rita's slushie!

I love going to the farmer's market and supporting all the local farmer's. I especially love finding new fruits and vegetables that I have yet to try (like a purple sweet's true)! This time was a different kind of trip...I decided to buy some plants in an brave attempt to grow my own produce [too]. 

Growing your own produce has several benefits; it can shave some bucks off you grocery bill, it is a great hobby and it ensures healthy eating habits! I have found myself just enjoying my deck even more now that I can watch my produce grow :)

Top pot: two strawberry plants
Little blue pot: pepper plant

The big guy: tomato plant

*The pepper plant was a gift from a dietitian for finishing my internship! Thanks Tiff! You know me too well :)

It's hard to believe these little guys are growing the best of all!

Do you have a garden? If so, what are you growing?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Smart Snacker meets Continental Breakfast

To gear up for my big vacation this week I thought it would be fit to do a navigation series about your typical continental breakfast while staying in a hotel!
 I will be leaving this Thursday for a 6 day, 5 night vacation in which I will be staying in all different hotels. Obviously, I am going to enjoy myself on my trip but I don't want to come back 5 pounds heavier either! So, stick with your Smart Snacker as I take you through the quick tips to navigate [healthfully] through your typical continental breakfast...

-Protein powerhouse hard-boiled eggs
-Fresh Fruits (whole or cut)
-Low fat yogurts
-Hot cereal (oatmeal or grits)
-Scrambled eggs
-Wheat Toast or english muffins
-Omlete bar (load on the vegetables, ask for egg beaters of egg whites when available)

-Assortment cereals (be weary of the sugar-loaded favorites like frosted flakes). On the up-side, these are usually pre-packaged and are good for portion control.
-Bagels (split with a friend)
-Make-your-own waffle (split with your other friend)
-Homefries (be the judge of these...sans oil please)!

-Baked goods (muffins, scones, donuts, danish's and pastries)

Whatever you do, don't skip breakfast (that too is a rookie mistake)! It is the most important meal of the day. It will jump-start your brain, energy and of course, your metabolism! Let it revvvv!

I haven't been in a hotel in a while, is there anything I am missing?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Q&A has brought another question...

Q: My doctor recently diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes. I know it is important to watch my sugar intake. Is sugarless candy really sugarless?

A: Oh my is the sugar-free market a tricky thing!  For type 2 diabetics the important thing to watch your intake of is your CARBOHYDRATES (that's the magic word). Your carbohydrate is the macronutrient that is going to turn into to glucose (sugar) once it hits your blood stream and raise your blood sugar levels. Forget SUGAR...and think "Carbs!"

Sugarless candy may not have sugar but it definitely has carbohydrates. Usually the sugar is replaced with sugar alcohols and artificial sugars. These substitutes will not have calories but may have carbohydrates.

Case in point: Pay attention to carbohydrate intake as oppose to your sugar intake!

Friday, April 2, 2010

For the LOVE of BREAD

Guys, I found the greatest place on Earth for just about anyone [who loves bread]…Great Harvest Bread Co.

They bake tons of fresh breads daily- even a gluten-free bread! Upon your arrival they greet you with a sample from their "Sample Board!" What's not to love, right?

When I went I sampled their Blueberry Extravaganza and a Blueberry Cream Cheese Teacake. Both of these recipes were melt-in-your-mouth delicious and featured the antioxidant-laden blueberry and sweet/savory cream cheese! A bite of each was just enough...I don't know If I could have a whole loaf of it around the house...that just screams, "Danger, Danger!"

Along with fresh breads they have fresh muffins, cookies, scones and a coffee bar! I could totally see myself grabbing a muffin and coffee and sitting with a good mag for a couple hours in their cozy little atmosphere however, when I went it was post-workout so I just did a "grab-and-go!"

I grabbbbbbbed: a fresh loaf of honey whole wheat bread, medium regular coffee and a raspberry bran muffin.

Nutrition for 1 slice of honey whole wheat:
120 calories, 0 gm fat, 24 gm carbs, 3 gm fiber, 5 gm protein

Nutrition for 1/2 bran muffin:
130 calories, 1 gm fat, 29 gm carbs, 4 gm fiber, 12 gm sugar, 4 gm protein

*the best part is all of the ingredients are legible and whole foods.

Visit a local Great Harvest near you and if your interested, check out the skinny on the bread you may be eyeing...

Oh and did I my house smells of wheat and yeast as if I am the baking god...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Free Ticket to Healthy Eating…While Dining out!

Yes, I said it...healthy eating while dining out! Heres how...

The work has been done for you all you have to do is enforce it! Your area dietitians (RDs) have been working hard to provide you with the right tools to make informed dietary choices when dining out!

"Healthy Dining Finder" is a database online that has "dietitian-approved menu items" at your local restaurants. Simply enter your city, state and budget and with the click of the [enter] button you have endless options at your finger-tips!
(Thank you to my fellow Dietetic Intern/ Classmate (Ashley) whom brought this to my attention)

-->Now as you'll search be mindful of the suggested serving sizes; ie. I saw PF. Changs (one of my favorites) has a lot of their dishes that are "approved" however, they say that it serves a whopping 5 servings but only 1 serving is approved!

Check it out and let me know what you think...?

Tonight I am going to California Pizza Kitchen with a friend, for a girl's night out! You better believe I have already researched the nutritional information and have decided to go with one of their "Small Cravings" dishes.
These dishes are new, sort of like a tapas theme. I'm diggin' it because otherwise I would be dipping into some extremely caloric entrees and salads!
The mediterranean plate is what I am eyeing...What do you think?

It has 398 calories and 3 gm of fiber although, it sure does have a load of sodium (827 mg).

My philosophy is if I am preparing for this sodium-laden meal later in the day, I will just watch my sodium throughout the day to make sure I am at an appropriate level to take on this 827 mg.

CPK Nutrition Source