Tag: healthy

Nutrition and Weight Loss

Let me ask you a couple questions: Where are you with the term ‘weight loss’? Happy with your weight? Want to lose? Want to gain? What’s your history of dieting? What’s in it for you if you are successful at changing your body weight? Is it the number on the scale or is it something more? Do you understand the connection for you between nutrition and weight loss?

As a registered dietitian, I get a LOT of questions about weight. Clients wanting to lose weight and clients wanting to gain weight. Body weight is a challenging subject – it’s hard to make your body get to a different weight because there are so many factors at play, many of them critical to survival. For example, in ancient days (or even now when so many people in the world actually don’t have enough food), the body has to be able to survive fasts and times of the week, month or year with little to no food. This is the reason we’re able to go into ketosis and this is the reason that metabolism slows down when our bodies think they’re starving (aka: dieting). There are some amazing adaptations in place regarding nutrition and weight loss – the body is incredible – but in order to purposefully change your weight now, you have to understand what you’re up against.

I get asked almost daily, “well isn’t it just calories in vs calories out?” If you eat 3500 calories you’ll gain a pound and if you burn 3500 calories you’ll lose a pound, right? Nope. Not so fast. It’s much more complicated. I also get asked “isn’t there a pill I can take?” Again, no – you’ve got to do the work and I’m here to help!

Nutrition and Weight Loss

My theme this month on Champagne Nutrition® is all about weight and dieting. This topic deserves a lot of discussion as well as individualized, personal care. If you or someone you know needs support with their weight, I’m here to help – just hit me up here on my contact page.

As far as nutrition and weight loss, I sure wish I had a simple answer for you. I wish I could say that it is easy. But it really depends on your body – how much muscle mass you have, how much fat mass – and it depends on your level of physical activity and how much you naturally move in a day. It depends on genetics (and guess what? I’m rolling some genetic testing out into my practice in the coming month so stay tuned for updates there!) and it depends on hormones. Hormones regulate how hungry or full we feel all day, every day. Finally, it depends on your metabolism and guess what? The more you diet and restrict calories, the more the body digs in its heels and hangs on desperately to fat stores, worried it might be going into a time of food scarcity. Yup: metabolism actually slows down greatly every time you diet or cut calories.
If you and I ate the same amount of calories every day for a year, we’d be different weights, not exactly the same and that’s because of all these factors. Changing your weight is a lot of work; nutrition and weight loss is complicated. The first thing I want to know when I’m working with a client is why? Why do you want to lose weight? Do you have a positive relationship with your body and with food or could that part use a little work? Can you be healthy at the weight you are now? What else needs to change in your lifestyle whether or not your weight ultimately changes? These are important aspects to explore because, as a registered dietitian, I’m all about your health ultimately. And I see weight as a bit of a different subject than health. I’ve seen people lose weight successfully. It’s a lot of work and I’m here to help. It can be done for most people – I believe that.
Nutrition and Weight Loss
Everyone wants to know what’s best for them regarding nutrition and weight loss but the answer is: it depends. As a fitness professional in addition to being a registered dietitian, I always talk about exercise in the weight loss conversation. This is absolutely critical for losing weight as well as keeping it off. And as a dietitian who practices with an integrative perspective, you’re not getting out of a consult with me without discussing your sleep and stress levels, too, because these also make it nearly impossible to lose weight if they’re not addressed. SO much to discover when it comes to you and your weight. If you meet anyone who says it’s easy or simple, run the other way.
There are so many factors when it comes to nutrition and weight loss. I’m sharing articles about changing your body’s weight all month long on my Facebook, on my Twitter, and of course, on Champagne Nutrition so I hope you’ll get the chance to stop by and join me in part of the conversation.

I do a lot of interviews about nutrition and weight loss so here are some of my favorite and most recent:

This is a complex topic so please drop me a question or a comment about nutrition and weight loss below so we can continue the conversation. If you want more updates from me at Champagne Nutrition that include my monthly themes (protein is up next!), make sure to join my very non-spammy mailing list.

The post Nutrition and Weight Loss appeared first on Ginger Hultin MS, RD, CSO.

Nutrition for Fitness

A lot of people ask why I became a dietitian. I’m obsessed with being a nutritionist and I actually came to it a bit later in my life; a ‘second career’. The reason for this incredible career came out of necessity and ethics actually. I wanted to share my story with you below but in short, my history as a trainer and in the fitness industry really fueled my passion for helping my clients with nutrition for fitness.

As a younger person, I was a personal trainer at a big Seattle gym years ago. I loved working with my clients and I believe deeply in the power of physical activity but trainers had to meet sales goals selling supplements. My manager told me to put “nutritionist” on my business cards because “anyone can say they are one”. I remember feeling so uncomfortable, barely making it through the script we were required to sell people on multivitamins and other energy enhancers. After failing to meet my goals a couple months in and seeing trainers doling out nutrition advice to their clients right and left, I just knew that it wasn’t sitting well with me. I remember thinking that nutrition for fitness sounded so interesting but knowing that I didn’t have any training in the subject. That’s right all – people without any training at all are in the market of selling you nutrition advice. I knew it was wrong so I started looking into what it takes to actually know about nutrition.

The answer is that it takes years of professional medical training, a degree in nutrition, hours of supervised practice and a nationally certified exam. So I started the long, slow process to taking all my prerequisites in chemistry, anatomy and physiology and psychology. I got into the masters program at Bastyr University and I spent two years there basically getting my butt kicked by school. I moved across the country to Chicago to train at a huge VA hospital – a year of supervised practice with a variety of registered dietitians in clinical, community and food service settings. I’m so, so proud of what I’ve done and I am 100% confident now that I can talk supplements, I can help with your disease state, I can make you feel better and I can definitely talk nutrition for fitness.

That’s why the theme this month on the blog is Nutrition for Fitness – I’m getting back to my roots! Not surprisingly, I do a lot of interviews about this and I talk a lot about it with my clients. For many (not for all), talking about fitness is a critical piece of their health and I’m happy to go there with most of my clients depending on their needs and interest.

Nutrition for Fitness

I’m still really into fitness, myself. I have blog posts for you about my journey – “I did Crossfit for a year and this is what happened” and “I did Orange Theory for a year and this is what happened” because I love the group fitness aspect. Not everyone does but it worked for me. I’m on to F45 now in Seattle – a HIIT-based circuit workout and all in 45 minutes. Shorter is best for me and my schedule. I’d love to know what you’ve tried lately and what you’re passionate about with your fitness.

Articles for you on Nutrition for Fitness

If you need more specifics about your nutrition for fitness questions, I’m interviewing about it all the time – I’ve got you! Here are some of my favorites. I’m featuring these and many more on my facebook and my twitter accounts this month so please follow me there to stay part of the conversation:

King 5 TV – pre and post-workout snacks
Runner’s World – how to calm stomach upset while running
Reader’s Digestweight loss myths busted!
Prevention– carb cycling for exercise
Men’s Health– fueling pre-workouts

Please let me know what you think in the comments! I’d love to hear your questions about physical activity. If you want to better understand how to fuel your workouts or even how to find your passion around working out, hit me up and see if working together might make a wonderful difference in your life.
And please sign up for my newsletter so that you can follow along with important topics like this one in the future!

The post Nutrition for Fitness appeared first on Ginger Hultin MS, RD, CSO.

No Noodle Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna with Quinoa and Spinach

It’s comfort food season in the Pacific Northwest, there’s no doubt about that. We plunged from the upper 90’s right down into the 40’s and we’ll be here for the next several months. When I look outside, I just see cloud…I live in a cloud. It’s pretty much what you think it would be like – drizzly. Moist. Hard to see when you drive because you live inside a cloud. So I’m seeking all the comfort food and I made you a No Noodle Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna with Quinoa and Spinach.

I’m kind of obsessed with lasagna – I have some awesome lasagna rolls up on the blog – but this one is interesting because of the quinoa and eggplant. The flavors blend so well together and it has a really nice texture. We devoured it for dinner and then also had leftovers for work that I think will keep very well.

Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna

Whenever I use marinara sauce it reminds me of my friends over at tomato wellness because they’re obsessed with all things cooked tomato because of the versatility and health benefits. Marinara sauce is particularly high in lycopene – an antioxidant that has unique anti-cancer effects, especially for prostate cancer. It also contains vitamins A, E, K and b-vitamins, and minerals like potassium and copper. Quinoa is a wonderful high-protein grain that I also often like to make for breakfast. Eggplants have some unique nutrients; whenever you see that blue/purple color you know that you’re getting the antioxidant anthocyanins. Eggplant also contains fiber, potassium and magnesium – as does spinach. I use lots of herbs in this dish, too for flavoring. You can definitely use fresh, too if you prefer. You know me, I’m all about easy and quick with my recipes. This No Noodle Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna with Quinoa and Spinach saved me all week with leftovers that were perfect for busy work days.

I hope you’re enjoying your fall and that you get to try this awesome No Noodle Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna with Quinoa and Spinach recipe!

No Noodle Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna with Quinoa and Spinach
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time60 minutes


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Slice off top and bottom bits of eggplant and cut into 1/4-rounds. Arrange on baking sheet then brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper then roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

  3. Bring quinoa and 1 3/4 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and add spinach. Blend together, cover and let rest for an additional 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk eggs and add oregano, basil and parsley. Add egg mixture to quinoa spinach mixture and blend well. Blend 1/2 the mozzarella and 1/2 the Parmesan into the ricotta.

  4. In a 13×9 glass baking pan, spread 1 cup of marinara sauce evenly. Layer half the eggplant slices in the bottom of the pan (about 6 large pieces). Spread quinoa mixture evenly on top. Dollop ricotta mixture on top of the quinoa mixture so it is spaced evenly around the casserole. Add another layer of eggplant on top. Cover with remaining marinara sauce then remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Serve hot. Also makes great leftovers.

The post No Noodle Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna with Quinoa and Spinach appeared first on Champagne Nutrition.

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