Author Archives: Kati

About Kati

Kati Mora, RD is a private-practice dietitian in Michigan. She has a master's degree in nutrition and dietetics. Kati specializes in realistic nutrition guidance for weight management, diabetes, cardiovascular health, and HIV/AIDS management. She is a proud mom to two little boys.

Phase Diets Increase in Popularity With the New Year

With the new year upon us, you may be considering a wide array of diets to help accomplish the healthy living resolution you will soon be setting. Although it seems like endless diet possibilities exist, most are built around similar principles. Some involve strict, automatic changes to your current way of eating while others involve a progression of stages. Although diets that work in stages might seem like a better option than a one-step plan, they too often result in only short term weight loss success.

For example, take the newly launched PINK Method. This diet is a phase diet – one that involves multiple stages of eating behavior. Those who embark on this diet will find that they must first start with the PINK Reset – a short term detox diet that is meant to jump-start your metabolism. This stage of the diet is then followed by the PINK Primary stage where participants are given a little more leniency, but still must follow a fat-fighting diet that reintroduces the body to high-energy foods. After this stage is complete, dieters will then move on to the last stage of the diet where weight management becomes key. As you can see, this progression hopefully leads to a lifetime of dietary changes after a rebooting of the system takes place.

Other diets are similar. Both the 17 Day Diet and the South Beach diet work in much the same way. Although each of these diets has the potential to result in successful weight loss, more often than not, this success is short lived because of how hard  it is to move beyond the strict early phases. Failure to comply with these stages often results in feelings of discouragement, guilt, shame, and failure. Instead, individuals who attempt to utlize these types of meal plans should focus on what they can do in the early stages instead of what they can’t do. Even if an individual is unable to comply to all the rules, many of the small changes they are able to make will have positive long-lasting effects on overall health. (more…)

Focus on Better Habits Instead of Short-Term Weight Loss in the New Year

We’ve all heard there is no quick fix for weight loss. From diet pills to diet books, making drastic dietary changes typically only results in short-term weight loss success. Much can be said about the habits you pick up in the midst of following a new eating plan, diet or not, and although changing the way you eat often results in weight loss, only focusing on this outcome can often also result in disappointment, discouragement, and even failure. Instead, focusing on developing healthy habits as opposed to losing weight can help you feel great about your accomplishments and result in long-lasting health benefits.

For example, following a weight loss plan for four to six months as part of your New Years resolution often results in improved cholesterol levels, decreased inflammatory tone, and decreased heart disease risk even if you don’t keep off the weight. Although initial weight loss may play a role, the healthy habits you learn while making those dietary changes may be just as important, if not more so, in achieving long-term health success.

Focus on these positive changes instead of the numbers on the scale to ensure successfully fulfilling your New Years resolution.


Americans Only Hitting MyPlate Nutrition Goals One Week a Year

Earlier this year the USDA unveiled the MyPlate icon, replacing the MyPyramid graphic in an effort to simplify dietary recommendations for the American public. Yet despite the early excitement surrounding its unveiling, it appears not many Americans are choosing to implement the MyPlate guidelines.

In fact, most Americans are only meeting the MyPlate guidelines an average of one week out of the year. And this probably isn’t altogether that shocking given that most Americans fail to include vegetables or dairy at most meals. Additionally, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the recommendations visually depicted by the MyPlate icon, often require more than three meals to be eaten each day in order to be achieved which can also prove difficult for individuals who don’t snack in between meals.

So are the MyPlate guidelines really a diet in disguise that most people can’t stick to for longer than a week? Not exactly. The guidelines behind MyPlate result from years of study and observation of eating behaviors among thousands of Americans. These guidelines outline a lifestyle, not a diet, however without proper guidance they can be just as difficult to stick to.

When implementing the MyPlate guidelines, it’s important to know where to start and to have a little background information on what these guidelines mean. This, of course, requires you to go beyond the plate and develop your own MyPlate-based plan that works over the long-term. And although it’s easy to say this is something you want to do, actually doing it is a lot harder.


Talking to Kids About High Calorie Drinks Curbs Consumption by 40 Percent

With a potential for 300 calories or more coming  from your child’s sugary drink, it’s no wonder studies are being undertaken to find ways to decrease this type of beverage intake in adolescent populations.

Yet decreasing the amount of calories adolescents drink on a daily basis doesn’t have to be that difficult. Simply letting kids know what those calories mean may be all it takes.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health recently reported in the American Journal of Public Health that providing African American adolescents with the facts about some of their favorite high-calorie drinks dramatically reduced how much they drank by 40%. Even better, letting the kids know how much physical activity it would take to burn off one drink resulted in a 50% decrease in high-calorie beverage consumption.

Apparently, adolescents, just like adults, want to better visualize what’s in their food. By showing the impact calories play on our daily lives, its much easier to see why getting just the right amount is important.


Teach Your Kids How to be a Healthy Eater by Eating Like a Kid

Research has shown that children imitate their parents’ eating habits from a very early age. Although this may seem intimidating, modeling healthy eating behaviors can often be as simple as incorporating the advice you give to your children on a daily basis into your own life.

Becoming a Healthy Eater by Eating Like A Kid

Keep Sweets in Moderation. Sweets taste great, but you would never let your child eat unlimited amounts of them. The same should apply to you. Keep your sweets in check and look to indulge your sweet tooth in more creative ways. Many fruits, nuts, and spices can add a hint of sweet to some of your favorite dishes. This will help save you many empty calories in the long run and give you the opportunity to seek out more nutritionally dense foods when hunger strikes.


Creative Ways to Start Talking with Your Kids About Nutrition

Most parents understand the importance of incorporating healthy foods into their child’s day; however, raising healthy eaters often takes more than just providing the foods you know are good for them on a regular basis.

To teach your children healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime, it’s important to include them in the process. Let them help you plan the menu, cook in the kitchen, and experiment with the ingredients you have stocked in the kitchen. This will create opportunities for you and your child to openly discuss the food they eat and why they eat it. It’s also a great way to spend some quality one-on-one time with your child.

Not all parents find this discussion easy to start. Some may not even enjoy incorporating healthy foods into their daily meal plan or the process of cooking. If this is the case, you may find that making nutrition a priority for your children becomes a family affair. To help you and the rest of your family take the leap into a nutritious state of mind, try the following:


Boost Your Health With Holiday Spices

If you’re looking to eat healthier this holiday season, you may not need to look further than your spice rack. Not only can some of your favorite seasonal spices add a little holiday cheer to your favorite dishes, they can also increase the nutritional benefit of each bite that you take.


Historically, ginger has been credited with settling an upset stomach; however, the benefits of ginger go far beyond occasional stomach relief. In fact, ginger contains very powerful anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These compounds have been shown to reduce pain in those with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis when consumed regularly. Gingerols may also help inhibit the growth of human colorectal and ovarian cancer cells.

To get more ginger in your diet, try Broiled Nectarines with Ginger Syrup


Nutmeg is a flavorful herb that enhances the flavor of potatoes, chicken, fish, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage dishes. In a recent study, nutmeg has been shown to play a role in tooth decay prevention due to its antibacterial properties.

To get more nutmeg in your diet, try Greek Yogurt with Honey Roasted Figs


Mid-Morning Snacking May Hinder Weight Loss

Although snacking has been shown to be beneficial for many trying to lose weight, timing and snack quality play a large role in how beneficial snacks can be when weight loss is desired.

A 12 month long study found that overweight to obese postmenopausal women dieters who ate a healthy breakfast followed by a mid-morning snack lost 7% of their body weight while those who did not snack in between breakfast and lunch lost, on average, 11% of their body weight by the end of the study. This may make it seem like the effects of snacking are time dependent; however, that is not necessarily the case. In fact, why you eat when you do may be more important then the actual time of day you decide to snack.

This makes sense because, in reality, snacking doesn’t have to be a stumbling block. In fact, this study went on to show that while mid-morning snackers may not lose as much weight as their snacking counterparts, those who snacked in the afternoon were more likely to consume more fruits and vegetables and those snacking two times or more a day were able to get more fiber than others.


Avoiding the Holiday Vacation Food Trap

Along with the holidays often comes the joy of traveling. Although holiday travel may be a fun break from routine, it can also cause a major road block on your path towards better eating. To help you avoid the holiday vacation food trap, here are a few simple tips to keep you eating well as you make a trip to spend time with loved ones.

Avoiding the Holiday Vacation Food Trap

Plan Ahead

You probably already have a travel itinerary for where you plan to go, who you plan to visit, and what you plan to do. Why not also think in advance about what and where you are going to eat? Use the Internet to seek out your healthy eating options before you leave or ask the friends and family you are visiting what restaurants offer the most nutritious meals in their area.

Pack Snacks

Whether you are traveling by train, car, plane, or even boat, grab and go foods seem to always be available to curb mid-travel munchies. Instead of relying on what your mode of transportation has to offer, come prepared with your own healthy snacks. Veggie strips, baked chips, granola, fresh fruit, and almonds all make great travel options.


Shop Hard, Eat Smart this Black Friday with The Fresh Diet

Looking for a holiday gift that gives back? Then you might be interested in The Fresh Diet and the gourmet meals and snacks they deliver right to your door. Founded in 2005 by a Le Courdon Bleu trained chef, this Florida-based company creates mouthwatering dishes for its clients to help them eat better without sacrificing taste.

Each dish is based on a balance of 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 30% “good” fats; however, clients have total control over what dishes make it onto their own daily menu. Once clients decide what foods they want to incorporate into their day, The Fresh Diet’s team of chefs whip up their daily set of meals and deliver it fresh. In fact, this  meal planning service  prides itself in never serving frozen, freeze-dried, or vacuum packed meals. This means you can expect great taste every time a meal shows up on your doorstep.

If that’s not enough, nutrition professionals are available to help clients with more specific nutrition needs. In fact, they will work with you to develop dishes that meet your unique needs and still satisfy your hunger.