Six Fun Foods to Eat if You are Trying to Lose Weight
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Readers DigestRead my quotes from an interview that I did with Readers Digest about top foods for weight loss:


Hungry for a meal-time makeover? There’s a new menu of healthy, tasty, weight-loss friendly foods getting plenty of buzz. Andrea Holwegner, a Calgary-based registered dietitian and president of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting, helps us serve up the delicious scoop.

By Jackie Middleton for readersdigest.ca

1. Healthy Pizzas

pizzaIt’s time to get the skinny on pizza. The thick crust variety loaded with excessive cheese is getting a makeover. “Thin crust pizzas are the trend versus the traditional thick, deep dish pizza,” says Holwegner.

In addition to the thinner crusts, restaurants are covering their pizzas with stronger, more flavourful cheeses in smaller amounts – less cheese means fewer calories. Chefs are also adding healthier toppings such as arugula to their pizzas giving diners more nutritious options.

2. Chia and Hemp Seeds

Move over flax and sunflower seeds. Chia and hemp are elbowing their way onto our plates. Nutritious and portable, seeds are a popular dietary staple – and for good reason.

Chia and hemp seeds are naturally packed with fibre, protein, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. A serving of chia seeds contains even more omega-3 fats than a single serving of salmon, good for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower cholesterol.

Holwegner says that adding these nutritional super foods to your diet is easy. “Stir them into oatmeal, smoothies, and yogurt,” she says. “Or sprinkle them into your baking.”

3. Cherries

If you’re feeling blue with the berry craze, here’s another super fruit clamouring for your attention. Cherries contain plenty of vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants. In fact, the red fruit rivals blueberries for antioxidant content.

“Really bright coloured fruit tends to be loaded with antioxidants that protect us from cancer and heart disease,” says Holwegner. She suggests adding fresh or dried cherries to salads, baked goods, and smoothies.

4. Almond Milk

Bored with skim, or 2% milk? Not keen on soy, or rice milk? Try almond milk. “It’s a great substitute for a calcium-rich beverage to put on cereal,” says Holwegner. “Many people like the flavour.” Almond milk boasts calcium, vitamins D and E, plus it contains less sugar and fat than regular 2% milk.

The downside? “There’s very little protein in it,” says Holwegner. “People think because it’s nut-based it should be, but almond milk isn’t huge on protein.” Still, almond milk is ideal for individuals with lactose intolerance, or dairy allergies.

5. Share Plates

Restaurants are starting to take portion control seriously. Many establishments are embracing share plates – a tapas-style dining experience where people share different appetizers or small meals.

“People can get their tastes met through sampling a variety of different things without the giant portion sizes of the past,” says Holwegner. Leading the charge – ethnic cuisine especially Asian, Indian and Spanish restaurants.

6. Black Rice

A yummy side dish doesn’t have to be void of nutritional value. Chock full of iron, antioxidants, fibre and minerals, black rice is getting plenty of well-deserved buzz. This whole grain rice with its distinctive nutty flavour has numerous health benefits: decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

And for individuals watching their calorie intake, black rice – unlike white rice – will keep hunger pangs at bay. “You feel fuller because of the extra fibre,” says Holwegner. Our bodies digest high fibre slowly, so you won’t feel hungry, nor will you experience dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar.

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Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. They really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
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Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

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