Postino Wine Cafe

Ok my foodie friends! Time for another one of my FAVORITE local eats. Today I’m going to talk a little about Postino Wine Cafe. If you are wanting a little fun and funky atmosphere, some amazing small bites or unique and fresh entree options, and of course a glass of wine or two… this is your spot!

While this brand is growing and more locations are popping up throughout the valley, my favorite is still the Arcadia branch, located on Campbell and 44th Street. I think the reason I tend to go to this location is because it truly has the local, quaint feel that I love in a restaurant. With an indoor/outdoor vibe, wine bottles throughout the seating area, and a unique menu that has a little something for everyone, I could spend hours here people watching and enjoying a local, fresh bite to eat.

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Now, what makes their menu so unique? Besides the fact that there are plenty of healthy gluten-free, vegetarian, or health conscious options, their pick-4 bruschetta board can truly make anyone get excited for their food to come. Talk about options! I remember the first time I sat down with a friend and she asked if I wanted to split the board, I couldn’t understand why she was so excited? Now, having tried a variety of their choices I see why she had the reaction she did.

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Each flavor combination is better than the next…. seriously! With options like Sweet & Spicy Pepper Jam with Goat Cheese, Ricotta with Dates & Pistacios, and not to mention the variety of seasonal options available, how are you supposed to choose just four?! If you choose to check out this local favorite, I beg you to try this board. I promise (well… I am 99.9% sure) that you will fall in love with the unique flavors that this cafe has been able to create.

If you enjoy a glass of wine, obviously they offer a variety of choices, as well as a few local and craft beers. This is a charming and cute spot for a relaxed date night or just a night out with the girlfriends! I brought a friend here during her visit last month, and I think she was entirely pleased!

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I just want to leave this post with something a little personal about me and my transition through “healthy eating”. When it comes to eating out, I thoroughly enjoy trying new things and new places. Obviously I love eating local, but something that has changed a lot with me over the past few years is the types of foods that I “allow” myself to eat. I quote that, because over the past few years I have adapted a better concept of being “balanced” with my eating. I have learned that if I want to try something that may have a few more calories than my typical salad or bun-less veggie or turkey burger, I should not hesitate to do it!

It is OK to enjoy the experience of trying new foods or eating out at one of your favorite restaurants. One special meal will not ruin your health efforts! Something that I do to help me moderate my portions when we are eating a special meal or trying something a little more calorie dense is split the meal with my husband. Bless his soul that he has become more open to doing this with me so that we can enjoy these experiences together and both get to try something new! If he really doesn’t want to split something (there are those times when his appetite is bigger than I can keep up with!), I will usually stop eating the second I feel sensations of fullness and box up the rest of my meal for leftovers. It is that simple! I hope you can use some of these tips to help you do the same and enjoy your experiences with eating out and trying new foods!


4 Signs You Actually May Not Be Eating ENOUGH

Trends in dieting and desire to lose weight can cause emotional struggles in even the most confident people. In my last post, I talked about why weight loss can be so grueling, but do you ever actually think about eating too little? Are you counting calories for general weight management or to lose weight? How did you come to your calorie count?

Often times, people shoot too low when they start counting calories. Weight loss aside, your body needs a certain amount of calories per day for basic functioning. There are many different way to figure out that exact number, but often times the most accurate ways are the most costly. I remember getting to try a few fancy machines when I was in college and learning my own BMR (basal metabolic rate). I was discourage to find that it was just over 1,200 calories per day, but with the high levels of physical activity that I try to maintain, this gives me some wiggle room. I also do light activity by moving around at work, walking up and down stairs, going for walks on my lunch break, and just trying to break up sedentary time in general. With activity, my needs increase to around 1600-1800 kcal/day. This number also varies depending on whether or not I am training for something or just doing my weekly workouts.

Side Note: I just used some words that I want to explain a little further. Sometimes I say the word “calorie” and just assume that it’s well know what a calorie is. Calories are the building blocks of food and your metabolism. The amount of calories in a food vary based on the ratio of macro-nutrients found in that food (macro-nutrients: carbs, protein, fat). Every person needs a certain amount of calories per day. This number can vary on a variety of things including sex, level of PA, percentage of lean body mass, height, weight, etc. This brings me to my next word to explain: BMR. BMR or basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories needed for ones body at complete rest. This means if I laid in bed all day and did not move once, my BMR would require me to eat ~1,250 calories per day to live. Many things can effect BMR as well such as age AND extreme dieting. When people cut huge amounts of calories from their diet, their BMR can eventually adjust, causing weight gain to come back in more extreme amounts once the dieting phase is over. Sometimes people do more harm than good when they decide to follow vey low-calorie diets.

So why do I bring this up at all? You’d be surprised how many people actually don’t eat enough calories, which causes some of their health goals to come to a halt. Whether you are trying to lose weight, maintain a healthy body weight, train for an upcoming athletic event, or just work on “eating healthier,” it is just as important to not under eat as it is to not over eat.

Here are 4 signs that you may be falling into this low-calorie slump. Of course each person may have a different experience, especially when weight loss is your goal, but these are things that I commonly see or talk with my patient’s about when we discover that they are in fact under-eating.

1. You have hit the plateau. Do you ever hear people talk about doing so well with weight loss and then all the sudden the weight loss stops? Like mentioned earlier, your metabolism is an amazing thing and learns to adjust with changes in your eating habits or general calorie intake. If your body feels deprived, it will start to store energy and save it for when it’s really needed. Weight loss will come at first with calorie depletion, but expect your body to adjust to your new ways and for the loss come to a screeching halt. The bad part about this? Increasing calories may in fact cause your weight loss efforts to reverse and weight gain to re-occur. This is why dieting can be so discouraging for many people and why I always recommend talking with a dietitian or using a fairly accurate app to help estimate the appropriate amount of calories you need per day for safe weight loss.

2. Your workouts are SO hard. Not only are they hard, but the next day you wake up feeling like you were hit by a truck in your sleep. I have fallen guilty to under-eating when training, and I speak from experience when I say you feel like absolute crap. Even if you are eating well, choosing nutrient dense foods, and having balanced meals, your body may be at a time where your needs are heightened due to more physical activity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, etc. Do your muscles feel sore even on days when you didn’t work out? This is another common sign that you may need to re-adjust your meals and snacks to not only add in more calories, but a little extra protein as well.

3. You experience frequent headaches and exhaustion. So many people that I see complain of fatigue. This is such a vicious cycle because feeling tired causes many people to not exercise or make food choices that they normally wouldn’t make to give them a little boost. Have a snack with a little carb and protein combination (such as an apple with peanut butter, raw nuts with a few raisins, a few pieces orfdeli turkey with crackers) and not only will you give your body a healthy source of fuel, but you will notice those headaches begin to fade and clearer thoughts arrive. Don’t forget to also drink plenty of water!

4. Those stubborn areas will not go away!!! Is there an are of your body that you feel self conscious about? Everyone has that one stubborn area, such as their tummy or arms, where no matter what they’ve done they just cannot tone up! Remember my comment about your body preserving energy? Of course the foods you choose will highly influence areas such as the stomach when it comes to losing fat and building muscle, but your body also needs to have enough energy to actually use it during a work out!

If reading these things makes you think, “hm, I may actually fall into this category,” talk with your doctor about meeting with a Registered Dietitian or look into a free app that helps calculate our your calorie needs. MyFitnessPal is a great app that I used in the past to keep myself on track and is user friendly and free of cost. Keep in mind when putting in activity levels that many people do not fit into the top two categories, Active or Very Active. If you get up from your desk at work often or have a job where you are standing more than sitting, you are most likely in the Lightly Active category. If you have an active job and are also completing the recommended 150 minutes of moderately-intense physically activity per week, then you can probably put yourself in the Active category. As always, never hesitate to contact me as well with questions or concerns! Happy Monday everyone!


What did I think of the Whole 30?

Ok, so I announced a few weeks ago that I was doing the Whole 30, but I never mentioned if I finished or how it went. All of these thoughts and feelings are my own. You or someone you know may have had a completely different experience.

To answer the first question of did I finish? No. I did not finish the Whole 30 for a few reasons. First, I want to say it drove me nuts that I stopped. I am a person who loves a challenge, and I like to see things all the way through. So, even though I started to have poor feelings about what was happening to my body and started to question some of the concepts, I still didn’t like that I was stopping.

I stopped the Whole 30 at day 13. In those 13 days I lost approximately 6lbs. I was currently 5’2″ and 112 lbs, so this brought me down to 106 lbs. I really didn’t want the weight loss to continue, but I was at a loss of how to increase my calories without drowning myself in even more nuts, avocado, and eggs than I was already having. Red meat is something I never really had in my diet (I grew up not eating it!); I’m allergic to fish/seafood; and I was already having 2 servings of chicken per day and 1 serving of eggs per day. I felt a little stuck.

Besides the weight loss, I also didn’t like the way I started to think about food. I never think obsession is a good thing when it comes to healthy eating. I have never been a restrictive person with what I eat. That is not how I choose to live my life, and trying this diet just enforced my belief in this concept. I didn’t want to develop a poor relationship with food… everyone has their limits, you just need to know when to recognize yours. This was a big eye opener for me that I needed to continue the way I have always lived my life and keep food something that is enjoyable and a part of my life…. but not my whole life.

Some positives from this experience:

  • I realized how many foods actually contain added sugar. Even as a dietitian who chooses a lot of plant-based foods, does a lot of home-cooking, and tries to eat whole foods frequently, I was shocked as I dug a little deeper into some of my basic kitchen staples. I was amazed to find sugar in my pasta sauce, canned tomatoes, and even in a jar of organic salsa. I have chosen since stopping the Whole 30 to make a conscious effort to continue to monitor my sugar intake and look for foods with minimal, whole ingredients.
  • I realized what an impact reducing sugar had on my skin. I have always struggled with keeping my skin clear. Cutting back on the quantity of sugar I had in my diet helped tremendously!
  • I realized that as a dietitian, my credentials and education have given me the true tools to living and teaching how to live a healthy lifestyle. I can’t stress enough that if you have any type of body issues, whether that be the desire to loose weight, gain weight, maintain weight, or just feel good in your own skin and reduce your risk of health problems, go see a dietitian. Dietitians are trained to meet you where you’re at in your life and create a plan that is best for you, your every day life, and your desires. Dieting is something that is short term in terms of happiness. What I mean by that is seeing the scale go down by a few pounds may be satisfying now, but as soon as the diet is over it can cause feelings of disappointment, sadness, and even depression when he weight trickles back in. A dietitian can help you create a better lifestyle for yourself so that happiness and healthy living is long term.

So in short, would I recommend the Whole 30? I think the decision is up to you. I highly recommend that you know yourself and pay attention to your body if you do choose to try it. I recommend you seek advice from a Registered Dietitian on how to modify the concepts of the Whole 30 to better fit you, your lifestyle, and your goals. Eating a diet that focuses on more fruits and vegetables, proteins, healthy fats such as nuts and avocado, and eliminating added sugars is something that I support. Just remember to give yourself a break, don’t deprive yourself, and know when restriction becomes obsession. Lastly, carbs are not evil. Learn to moderate and choose the right carb sources, and I promise you, you won’t blow up like a balloon after one meal containing whole wheat pasta. 🙂

 

For any additional questions regarding my experience or thoughts about this process, feel free to email me @ chelseamrd.1@gmail.com. Thank you!