Tasty Recipes By Nutritionist Felicia Newell!

Low Glycemic Index Recipes

April 16, 2017

Felicia Newell, RD(c), BScAHN, MScAHN(c)


For the past 6 months I have been working on a 107 Recipe Low Glycemic Index eCookbook – Everyday Cooking for Health and today I’m giving you a sneak peak! The eCookbook is to help people reach sustainable healthy eating based on low glycemic index foods with down-to-earth, easy-to-follow, quick-to-prepare recipes.

I’ve picked 5 recipes to highlight in this blog post, although it was hard to choose which ones!

The power-packed collection of healthful recipes will help you eat to feel great. You’ll be able to maintain a healthy weight, lose weight, reduce the risk of and better manage diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and so much more. Best of all, you will still enjoy your food!

All recipes include nutritional info for: calories, carbohydrates, net carbohydrates, protein, fats, saturated fats, net carbs, sodium, sugar and fibre!

But first you may be thinking… “What the heck is the glycemic index, and why is it important to my health?”

You may have heard that low carbohydrate diets are good for us. People rave about low carb diets like they are the best thing since…sliced bread (sorry, couldn’t help myself). “Carbs are evil.” “Carbs wreak havoc on our health.” You hear it all. However, you may also start to see more and more health professionals stand up for carbohydrates. Carbohydrates alone do not wreak havoc on our health. What does tend to wreak havoc, is the OVER-consumption of calories in general, but in particular, refined carbohydrates (e.g., white flour, sugar, etc.), that tend to be high on the glycemic index (GI).

The Glycemic Index

The GI is a list of carbohydrate-containing foods and how quickly they are processed through our bodies and thus raise blood glucose (sugar) levels compared to a standard food. Foods that are high on the GI scale produce a large fluctuation in our blood glucose levels.  When our glucose levels spike, our bodies have to work extra hard to get them back into balance. Foods high on the GI scale also tend to be high in calories and low in nutrients…which is what we call empty calories, and something we don’t want to be eating too much of. They also tend to be very easily accessible, and highly palatable (aka tasty), which is why we have to be mindful of not over-doing it.

Low GI foods, on the other hand, produce a slower and more even rate of absorption when digestion occurs, which means the foods are more gradually broken down in our digestive tract. This is typically because there are more nutrients in these foods, such as protein and/or fibre (and other nutrients as well) Low GI foods include things like fresh veggies, eggs, lean meat, whole grains, and many fresh fruits. As a rule of thumb, you want to have low GI foods most of the time, medium GI foods sometimes, and high GI foods occasionally.

For more information, check out my e-Cookbook!

Here are 5 recipes from the book!

Breakfast Casserole

Serves 6


  • 1 cup milk of choice

  • 6 large eggs

  • 3 egg whites

  • 3/4 cup cheese

  • 2 slices 100% whole wheat whole grain, or sprouted grain bread, cubed

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 teaspoon regular mustard

  • 1/4 cup green pepper, diced

  • 1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped

  • 1 cup onion

  • 1 tsp oil of choice, or nonstick cooking spray


Whisk together milk, eggs and egg whites. Add remaining ingredients and pour into an 8×8 pan that has been lightly coated with oil or nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories: 267 | Carbohydrate: 10g | Sugar: 4g | Fiber: 1g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 16g |

Sat Fat: 7g | Net Carbohydrate: 9g

Garden Fresh Vegetable Pizza

Serves 4


  • 4 whole wheat pitas or ‘Flat Out’ wraps

  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed

  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (preferably light)

  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (preferably light)

  • 2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced

  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

  • 1/4 teaspoon each: fresh or dried basil, oregano, and parsley


Preheat oven to 425°F. Sprinkle cheeses and garlic over whole wheat pitas. Add garlic, then layer tomato, zucchini and red onion. Top with Parmesan cheese and herbs. Bake for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories: 274 | Carbohydrate: 20g | Sugar: 2g | Fiber: 4g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 13g |

Sat Fat: 6 | Sodium: 631mg | Net Carbohydrate: 16g

Simple Nicoise Style Salad


  • 1 can light tuna (or black beans)

  • 1 hard boiled egg, chopped

  • 2 small new potatoes, cooked

  • 2 small tomatoes

  • 1 cup green beans, lightly steamed or cooked

  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, or mixed greens

  • Optional: Any other veggies or low calorie topping of choice, e.g. olives


  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 tbsp cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic, minced


Prepare vinaigrette by mixing vinegar, mustard and garlic.  Slowly drizzle in olive oil until smooth. For salad, place lettuce on 2 plates and place remaining ingredients in small groups on top. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories: 381 | Carbohydrate: 30g | Sugar: 6g | Fiber: 5g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 18g |

Sat Fat: 3g | Sodium: 543mg | Net Carbohydrate: 25g

Knock Your Socks Off Chili

  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef, chicken or turkey (omit beef to make vegan)

  • 4 cans tomatoes (with green chilies if desired)

  • 1 can tomato sauce

  • 2 cans low sodium black beans (e.g. Eden foods), drained and rinsed

  • 4 medium zucchini, diced

  • 1 medium green pepper, diced

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 4 stalks celery, diced

  • 2 containers low sodium beef, or vegetable broth

  • 1 tablespoon cumin

  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic

  • 3 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


Brown meat, onion, pepper, celery and garlic. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer until veggies are tender. Serve with a side green salad for added fullness and a complete meal.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories: 306 | Carbohydrate: 27g | Sugar: 9g | Fiber: 8g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 10g |

Sat Fat: 3g | Sodium: 650mg | Net Carbohydrate: 1g

Balsamic-Marinated Chicken with Sautéed Mushrooms

Serves 4


  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 4 four ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ¼” thick

  • 2 cups mushrooms, halved

  • 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme


In a plastic bag, mix 2 tablespoons vinegar, mustard and garlic. Marinate for

2 hours.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil on medium heat to hot but not smoking. Add chicken and sauté until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to platter and cover to keep warm. Heat remaining oil in skillet; add mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes. Add broth, thyme, and remaining vinegar. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are cooked and sauce has reduced by half. Serve chicken topped with


Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories: 290 | Carbohydrate: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Fiber: 0g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 1g | Sat Fat: 3g | Sodium: 413mg | Net Carbohydrate: 5g

Easy as Pie Applesauce Cake

Serves 8


  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

  • 1/2 cup SPLENDA® or Truvia® no calorie sweetener, granular

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons oil of choice

  • 1 cup applesauce


Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat cake pan with oil or nonstick cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl. Mix them together (do not over stir).  Spoon into prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories: 154 | Carbohydrate: 21g | Sugar: 3g | Fiber: 4g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g |

Sat Fat: 0g | Sodium: 295mg | Net Carbohydrate: 17g

For access to all 107 recipes with nutritional info get the e-Cookbook here!

Felicia Newell is a Nutritionist, Dietitian-Candidate, Food and Nutrition Expert, Health Coach, and a mom of 4 boys under 6! She is also the owner of Sustain Nutrition. Felicia wears many hats, and knows what it is like to try and live healthy in a busy world, where our environments aren’t always supportive of making healthy choices.

Life is busy, confusing at times, and full of contradictions, especially in the world of health and wellness. Felicia is passionate in helping others fight through the misinformation out there, and to navigate life and health, but most importantly, to enjoy it while doing it.
She has over 11 years of education and experience in Nutritional Sciences. Between completing her Bachelor and Masters in Nutritional Sciences, working at a research center, teaching university courses, years of nutrition counseling helping people crush their goals, and being a busy mom of 4 young boys, she has the passion, skills, education, and experience to help you reach your health and wellness in a way that works for YOU.

NEM Leader Transformation Winner: Kristi Queen of Culpeper, VA

My name is Kristi Queen and I am a leader of the Culpeper, Virginia No Excuse Mom group. When I started this 12 Week Challenge, it was not only a challenge for a change in myself, but a challenge to prove to my NEM girls that there are NO excuses!
During this challenge, I’ve battled new diagnostics of depression and anxiety, I started new medication that is known for weight gain, I started a new job, I had a breast cancer scare with multiple doctor visits and biopsies, I got engaged and have been wedding planning all on top of being a mommy to my three year old daughter. Add in to that that I jumped into this challenge with no gym membership, no shakes or programs, and no fancy home equipment. Determination was my key accessory. So, with my meal plans, dumbbells, and trusty water bottle, I set off to prove that changes are made with a determined mind.
My goals on this journey were to eat breakfast every day, drink 70 oz of water daily, exercise 5 times a week, limit my sugar consumption, and add strength/muscle. I did a lot of meal planning, tracked what I ate, and tracked every day I exercised to keep me accountable. Of course I had hiccups along the way, but with motivation from my family and NEM group, I did not let those bumps set me off-track.
My biggest struggle during this challenge was the scale. I really had to learn to practice what I preach as far as not relying on numbers on the evil contraption to show my progress! I limited my trips to scale and truly focused on my nonscale victories. I have lost TWO pant sizes, FIVE inches off my waist, THREE inches off my hips, an inch off each thigh, and a grand total of THREE pounds lost. Yes, only three measly pounds off the scale. But more importantly, I have GAINED muscle, definition, stamina, strength, confidence, and respect for myself for sticking through the 12 weeks and making a change! It was a true eye-opener of what my body could accomplish regardless of what the scale says. I am on a journey to be STRONG and treat my body right. I am not letting the scale hold me back.
I am walking away from this challenge with much more love and respect for myself and my body. I have fought every hiccup and obstacle against me and came out stronger both physically and mentally. I hope that my accomplishments will help other NEM ladies know that you do not need expensive programs, a gym membership, or a ton of free time to make a change. If it is a priority, you can and will make it happen.

NEM Leader Transformation Winner: Jennifer Dillon of Tewksbury, MA!

In September 2016 I gave birth to my 2nd baby. As soon as I got doctor clearance to work out again I hit the ground running thinking I’ve done it before, this will be easy! The pounds flew off the first 2 months and then.. it stopped.
By January the scale still hadn’t moved, I still had 8lbs left to get back to my previous weight and I still wasn’t even coming  close to fitting in any of my pants.
The NEM leader challenge came at the perfect time for me. I had plateaued and my body was not changing so I used the challenge as my excuse to really step it up.
I went from working out 2-3x a week to 6x a week, including leading my local NEM workouts on Sunday’s. I had to find time in my busy days now with 2 children to care for. I had to dig deep to go back to waking up early and working out before work (which most days was the only time I could squeeze in exercise). I used my vision calendar and marked a big check for every day I did something active and leaving a day without a check just wasn’t acceptable to me. I was no longer making excuses for not finding some time in each  day to exercise. I even ran a 5k in the snow in 10 degree temps (with a cold) with other moms from my group!
Halfway through the challenge I had only lost a pound or 2. I was discouraged and thought I was failing. But when I tried on some pants I had been avoiding I realized I could actually start to button them when in January I could barely get them over my hips! I was excited and kept pushing myself.
Had you told me at the beginning of this challenge I was only going to lose 4lbs total I probably would have cried and thought it was a huge failure. But today, and for the first time in my life, I’m actually witnessing first hand the reason everyone says GET OFF THE SCALE!
Finally the pants I could not even get over my hips earlier this year, the pants I envisioned every workout while I was pouring sweat and thought I could not keep going, now fit me perfectly! I really never would have thought a 4lb weight loss could look so drastic. I am never going to make weight centered goals again.
In 12 weeks I lost 2 inches from my waist, lost 3% body fat, but more importantly I shaved 3 minutes off my fastest mile, I can do 8 more push-ups, 5 more pull ups, and hold a plank for 2 minutes longer than I could! This is what I am proud of.
So goodbye scale!
And thank you No Excuse Moms!

NEM Leader Transformation Winner: Danielle Woodring of Chicago!

Congratulations Danielle! We are proud to have you as our leader in Chicago!
Here is her incredible story:
I have always been active. I always considered myself an athlete. But that didn’t mean I was healthy. From dance as a child, to cross country in high school, and even rowing in college, I hadn’t been in a “healthy BMI” since middle school.
My whole life was a struggle with weight because I wanted to “look hot and feel sexy”. But then I had my son, Luke, and learned that I actually wanted to “live long and be healthy”. THAT’S when the weight dropped.
My son was the motivation to get my 10,000 steps in and hit the gym even when I was tired and to track every single bite I put in my mouth for a year. Within 8 months I dropped the 40 pounds I gained during pregnancy and ANOTHER 35 pounds on top of that.  I also built enough muscle to run a Spartan Super race (10 miles plus tough obstacles) by the time my son turned 1
February 2016 we found out we were pregnant with our second child. I continued to workout and eat healthy, and couldn’t believe how much better this pregnancy went compared to the first.
Around the same time I entered my third trimester, though, life seemed to start falling apart:
I began having trouble working out because of the baby’s position with her head in my pelvis.
My son turned 2, and with that came many new changes in his behavior. A few weeks later, my young brother-in-law tragically passed away. One month after that I was diagnosed with peri-natal anxiety, and was put on medication
Once my daughter was born, we started the difficult transition to life with two kids. I was overwhelmed at every turn, diagnosed with post-partum depression, and began therapy. Taking care of my health moved to the back burner.  Once I was cleared by my doctor, I began attending and teaching our weekly NEM workouts…but that was all I did for my health.
This challenge couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. It was time to take back some control in my life, and remember that I was doing this for the sake of my family. Since the start of this challenge, I lost 2.5” in my hips, 2.5” in my waist, as well as in my chest. I’m down 10 pounds.  My overall muscle tone increased, as did my flexibility; my resting heart rate decreased and my energy increased. I was practicing yoga multiple times per week, working out with my father three times per week, drinking more water, tracking my food, tracking my steps daily, all while being a stay-at-home mom (and breastmilk machine!) to my two amazing kids
I stand before you today at a healthier body composition than I ever had before kids. I am so grateful to my son and daughter for giving me the motivation to care about myself and be their good model of how a healthy life should be lead.

No More Excuses Spring Challenge 2017 3rd Place Winner is……

Congratulations to Larissa Croghan for coming in 3rd place!
Here is her story:
In 2013, shortly after the birth of my second daughter, I had a breast cancer scare. Thankfully, the mass was benign. My experience led me to begin encouraging my mom to go in for a mammogram. She finally caved and the scan found a tumor that turned out to be malignant. Due to a strong history of breast cancer in our family, her oncologist recommended she pursue genetic testing prior to deciding between a bilateral mastectomy (removing both breasts) and lumpectomy (removing just the cancerous mass). The genetic testing revealed that she carries a gene mutation, which increases a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer in her lifetime to 87%. That’s a terrifying number.
I decided to pursue genetic testing for myself and learned that I am also positive for that mutation. After receiving my results, I met with a genetic counselor who encouraged me to have risk reducing surgery, to significantly lower my risk of developing cancer. I plan to have a surgery to fix it when I am closer to 35-40 years old and, I will have my ovaries removed as well, as the gene increases the risk of ovarian cancer. I feel that knowing about my gene mutation empowers me to be proactive in my health, but the first step in my journey is to get myself to a healthy weight. Bilateral mastectomy is a major surgery and being at a healthy weight will not only reduce the chance of complications, but it will also help with my recovery. I have been overweight for as long as I can remember.  I didn’t want to be, but I lacked the knowledge to get started. Everyone says something different and it was all overwhelming.  Eat this.  Don’t eat that.  Do this exercise.  Don’t do this exercise.  It seemed so hard.  Now I am nearly 28 years old with three young daughters (ages 6, almost 4, and 1.)
Not only do my girls look up to me and need me to model a healthy lifestyle for them, but they need their mama to be alive and well.  I want to be here to see them get their driver’s license, take pictures of them in their prom dress, see them graduate high school, go to college, get married, and have babies of their own.  It’s time for me to show up for myself, and for them. During this 12-week challenge, I lost a total of 15 pounds and 3.75”
in my waist. I feel like I’ve finally found the balance that I need to continue this journey without the
constant on and off the wagon.  I will reach my goal of being a healthy weight.  Not only for myself but for my girls.

No More Excuses Spring Challenge 2017 1st Place Winner is…..

Congratulations to Nikki Hill for winning the No More Excuses Challenge! We had so many great entries this quarter and it was really a difficult choice. Thank you to our panel for making this hard decision, with summer around the corner, everyone who completed the challenge is a winner in our book!
For winning, Nikki will receive:

  • $500 Gift Certificate to her favorite store
  • Terra-Core home trainer
  • Tiger Fitness Exclusive Vitamin/Supp Stack
  • 3 PT sessions w/ Vanessa Campos
  • Official NEM Apparel
  • Signed Belly Ball
  • X Bands Exercise KitHere is her story!

At age 21, and 320 pounds, I had my most successful weight loss at 110 pounds in 8 months. Yes, you read that right… I did it by cutting calories to 1200 and working out 3 hours a day. 1 year later, I found myself 23 and 305 pounds. Needless to say, quick fixes are a BAD IDEA.
What did it for me you’re wondering? What made me turn my life around? The answer is my kids.
My motivation is to make my kids childhood easier than mine. I struggled with bad habits at an early age. Snacking all day, eating when I wasn’t hungry, and let’s not forget drinking 2-3 sodas a day. I was never taught proper nutrition and fitness, so I’m learning about it now and leading by example so my kids grow up with it as their norm. My kids also motivate me to work on my endurance so I can keep up with them (ages 2 & 4) I get up at 4:30am 6 days a week (was 3-5 before this challenge!). When I started this challenge I thought my endurance was fine, but then I realized I couldn’t do 5 minutes at level 3 on the Stairmaster. Now I can do 60 minutes at level 5!
My strength is found by trying to do better than I did last week. Strength is an amazing feeling, I’m addicted to the sweat, and another rep. I went from hating to do squats in general, to squatting with 145 pounds on my back.
My vice is that darn scale. I recently learned when I see a number on the scale, it does something to me, whether it’s higher or lower, it doesn’t matter, that scale is 0 motivation, and provides an incredible amount of discouragement. To combat this, I don’t step on the scale more than once a month. I still use it as a tool, but every time I step on it, it’s along with measuring my body fat percentage and my measurements, which consistently go down, so the scale is at best an interesting gauge to how much muscle I’ve gained.
What I’ve learned about my body is it is incredibly strong. In 12 weeks, I went from doing 20 push-ups to 50. A 52 second plank, to 90 seconds, a 14:23 mile to 11:44. I went from 95 pound deadlifts to 135 pounds, 100 pound squats to 145 pounds, 95 pound bench press to 115 pounds, and I even got up to 420 pounds on the leg press!
The biggest thing I’ll take away from this 12-week challenge is to track my progress in all areas, not focus on the scale, and take pictures! I am a rock star, and while pounds may not be falling off, the fat around my waist, legs and arms sure are, take a look at the before/after, a picture is worth a thousand words, even though I can only write 500! ?

Fitness Mother’s Day Gifts!

Mother’s Day is around the corner so we got our favorite companies to add some discounts and free shipping to some of the best fitness products on the market focusing on core, massage and balance training. If you order before May 10th you will receive before Mother’s Day! Forward this to your partner!

Destress and feel awesome with the all-inclusive, head-to-toe Ultimate Massage System! The Spot-On Neck and Back Massager is ideal for releasing knots in hard-to-reach areas of the body. Simply hook it over your shoulder and enjoy the feeling of tight, overworked muscles being released. But don’t stop there! The Foot Massager is ideal after a long day on your feet. It was designed to follow the natural contour of the foot to roll away tension and help alleviate pain caused by common foot ailments and uncomfortable shoes. Finally, the Massage Stick rounds out the assortment. It is perfect for pre and post workouts and rolling away tension in larger muscle groups. No matter where you feel tension, the Ultimate Massage System products and recovery guides will help you destress and unwind.

ORDER NOW: FREE SHIPPING using code: Free Shipping
Comes with a Core workout DVD, Ebook and 8lb, belly-friendly ball. The belly ball massage helps stimulate digestion, eliminate bloating, strengthen core muscles, relieve cramps and decrease uterus size in post-pregnant women.

ORDER NOW: 10% off using code: NO EXCUSES
Suspension straps are perfect for body weight training and can be attached anywhere, from doors, walls and park equipment. This package also include a booty band starter kit and
a long resistance band perfect for assisting pullups!

ORDER NOW: 56% off using code: NOEXCUSES ($157!)
It’s a Stepper. It’s a Bench. It’s the best surface ever devised for crunches and your pushups will never be the same. It’s an air-filled, core building and multifaceted balance machine. It comes with a DVD and exercise poster (you can perform over 250 exercises on this!) and is great for balance, stability and core training.

Order Now: Free Shipping using code: FREE SHIPPING
We hope you will support any of these companies as they support our nonprofit! Our organization has monthly operations for our insurance and web/online/regional management!
Thank you and Happy Mother’s Day to you all!

Top 9 Diet Mistakes

Dieting is a multi-billion dollar industry that grows every year — right along with a large majority of the population’s waistlines. Something is wrong with that, wouldn’t you say?
What’s going on? Why do millions of people desperately want to lose weight, but fail?
In most cases, they’re making some of the following diet mistakes. Learn to not make these mistakes, and you’ll be on your way to weight-loss success.
 Mistake #1: Is following any type of extreme diet. This would be your typical low-fat, or low-carb, or extreme low-calorie diet that we hear so much about. Weight loss may be a side effect of a short-term diet, but diets can have detrimental effects on long-term health. Furthermore, many people gain back the weight they originally lost and more. This is why people should learn how to implement healthy strategies for a lifestyle, not just as short-term fix. The healthiest diet of all is one that can be maintained over the long haul and has you eating real food that doesn’t eliminate any of the three macronutrients: Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat. For weight loss, it is still important to find out what your daily estimated energy requirements are and eat below that amount, but again eliminating any particular food group is not necessary and can actually be detrimental to long-term, and many times even short-term success.
Mistake #2: Taking on too much, too soon. This is the single biggest reason why most people fail in their diets. They become so excited about starting a diet that they give up all their favorite foods on the first day. Then they grow discouraged and give up. To avoid this, try to slowly adapt yourself to new eating habits. After a month, you’ll have changed your diet drastically without experiencing the shock of a complete turnaround.
Mistake #3: Eliminating fats. In fact, you need healthy sources of fat to maintain essential body functions, sustain energy levels, slow digestion and feel fuller longer. For years, nutritionists and doctors have preached that a low-fat diet is the key to losing weight, managing cholesterol, and preventing health problems. But that actually proved to be a big fat lie (pun intended). It’s more than just the amount of fat; it’s the types of fat you eat that really matter. Despite what you may have been told, fat isn’t always the bad guy in the waistline wars. Bad fats, such as trans fats and saturated fats, are guilty of the unhealthy things all fats have been blamed for—weight gain, clogged arteries, and so forth. But good fats such as the monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3s have the opposite effect. In fact, healthy fats play a huge role in helping you manage your moods, stay on top of your mental game, fight fatigue, and even control your weight. Including healthy fats in your diet is good for you and can actually help you lose weight. Healthy fats include: vegetable and nut oils, nuts, seeds, avocado, fish and tofu.
Mistake #4: Eliminating carbohydrates. Carb-free diets are popular because of the dramatic weight loss that can occur. But this is typically due to several reasons. First, most of the weight lost is from water, not fat. Second, when you’re on a carb-free diet, most processed foods are eliminated — and these are the foods that tend to add the most calories. Once you return to your old eating habits, the water weight returns, as do those high-calorie processed foods that lead you to gain weight. Complex, high-fiber carbohydrates like brown rice, beans and lentils should be part of any diet regimen.
Mistake #5: Reducing calories too much. This often leads to yo-yo dieting. When you follow an extreme diet, you’ll lose a lot of weight at first — but then your body will catch on and lower your metabolism to accommodate the reduced supply of fuel. Then, when you return to your normal diet — wham! You regain that weight because you’re now consuming more calories.
Skimping on calories ultimately decreases metabolic rate as the body tries to conserve energy. This is why low-calorie eaters may feel lethargic. Furthermore, as metabolism slows, the body subsequently burns fewer calories, leading to a greater susceptibility for weight gain when more calories are inevitably consumed. To keep energy levels high and metabolism revved up, it’s important for people to meet their daily calorie needs. And since the body uses energy-yielding carbohydrates, protein, and fat in very specific ways, consuming each in proportion to the other is essential to ensure sufficient energy to complete daily tasks, feel good, and to maintain an optimal state of health.
Mistake #6: Eating too much healthy food or choosing incorrect portion sizes. Eating too much of anything leads to weight gain. No matter how healthy the food is, a calorie is still a calorie. To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your body burns, no matter the source. Also, many people aren’t aware of what an appropriate portion size really is. They eat much larger portions than they need to, which inevitably leads to weight gain.
Mistake #7: Skipping exercise. Many people are trying to lose weight — but only 15 percent exercise regularly. Clearly, there’s a disconnect here. You may not enjoy exercise very much — but if you want to lose weight, you simply have no choice.
Mistake #8: Consuming too much alcohol. Many people believe that alcohol doesn’t contain a lot of calories. This is especially the case with red wine. In fact, alcohol is loaded with empty calories (for example, five fluid ounces of red wine contains 125 calories). Limit your intake and include the calories in any alcohol you consume as part of your daily calorie count. Sorry — there are no freebies!
Mistake #9: The “one-size-fits-all” approach.  Don’t assume that what worked for Jim or Jane will work for you. Dave may be able to eat dessert after every meal without gaining a pound, while Mark gains three pounds just looking at a piece of cake. Melissa may be able to fast all afternoon with no cravings, while Judy craves sugar on the three-hour mark after her last meal. When it comes to our unique bodies, metabolism and genetics, we aren’t all created equal. What works for someone else may not work for you. Also know that people often post their successes MUCH more than they post their struggles. Just because the struggles and ups and downs aren’t posted about as much, doesn’t mean that every single person doesn’t face them. So understand there might be some trial in error and figuring out what works for you with your weight loss journey, and that is okay!
Felicia Newell, BScAHN, MScAHN(c), RD(c)
Official NEM Nutritionist
For the past several years, Felicia has been working at a university research centre with a focus on food security (Food Action Research Centre), and has taught university level nutrition courses. Her passion lies in working toward a future where everyone has access to enough affordable, healthy, safe and culturally appropriate food, that is produced, processed and distributed in socially, economically and ecologically sustainable ways. Felicia has recently published a paper in the Canadian Journal of Public Health titled, ‘Is the Minimum Enough: Affordability of a Nutritious Diet for Minimum Wage Earners in Nova Scotia’.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FeliciaNewellNutrition
Instagram: @felicianewellnutrition

2016 NEM Pot Challenge

Are you ready for some serious motivation???
On September 5 we are beginning our 3rd annual international pot transformation contest with all our No Excuse Moms! For 12 weeks, we are asking you to eat healthy, get active and be purposeful in your daily intentions. This was created to connect us as No Excuse Moms, motivate us before the holidays and transform us in a limited period of time. Contest Ends November 26th *all pictures are due by that date, which lands on Thanksgiving!
If you lose a healthy average of 1-2lbs/week for the next 12 weeks, you will be 12-25lbs lighter in 12 weeks! If you are heavily overweight, you will lose more weight. Click here to submit payment and receive an application via email.
Our Guidelines are based upon Maria Kang’s book, The No More Excuses Diet, which is also the book that launched our Facebook group page. It is available at all book retailers and is currently on sale via Amazon here.
1. Drink only water, black coffee/tea
2. Eat balanced meals comprising of 30% lean protein, 30% healthy fats, 30% carbohydrates. The last 10% goes towards a small treat or protein/fat (for rest days) or carbohydrates (for training days).
3. Track your calories. If you are trying training for weight loss, lower your intake by 300 calories every few weeks.
4. Enjoy 1-2 treat meals a week.
5. Perform cardio 4 times a week for 20-30 minutes. (the shorter your cardio time the more intense it should be).
6. Perform strength training 3 times a week for 30-40 minutes.
7. Stretch daily.
8. Take a Selfie monthly (in workout clothes/swimsuit)
9. Participate and connect with your local NEM group either online or in person.
10. Identify your Target Heart Rate: 220-age * 60-85% =
11. Create a 12-week Fitness Calendar. For tips and downloadable calender click here.
12. Find accountability partners: Mentor (group leader), Supporter (friend) and Follower (someone you can guide). Find your regional leader here.
13. Be a member of our online NEM Facebook group
Contest Rules:
1. $25 opt-in payment to place into the pot.
2. All application will be emailed after payment is received and must be submitted by September 10th to your regional manager or online manager.
3. Submit before and after pics and story by November 26th
4. Must connect with closest NEM group (via online or in person). Identify your local leader.
5. Must follow NEM guidelines. No extreme dieting, diet pills, detox plans allowed.
Winners will be judged by Maria Kang and a NEM panel.
Criteria will be based upon:
40% Transformation
30% Personal Story
30% Participation
The pot money will be divided between 17 winners:
1. FIFTEEN Regional winners (including our Canada, Europe, Asia, NZ/Australia and Latin America NEMs)
2. ONE National winner
3. ONE NEM admin/leader
The way we will divide prize money will be:
30% NEM Winner
30% NEM Admin/leader Winner
30% NEM Regional Winners
10% Misc Fees and NEM Charity Bucket (everything will be accounted for and transparent for everyone to see)
For Example, if we have 500 entries this will be the breakdown:
$10,000 POT MONEY
$3000 Overall NEM winner
$3000 NEM Admin/leader winner
$200 (15 Regions: $3000) Regional leader
Leftover is $1000 which will go towards any paypal fees and the NEM charity bucket (i.e. sponsorship races)
Important Dates
Start Date: September 5
Last date to join: September 15th
Pot Announcement: September 25th
End Date: November 24th (Thanksgiving!)
Winners Announced: December 10th
1. Do I need to count calories?
No. We provided a general guideline for those who want to know how to get started.
2. How do you define Detox?
We don’t recommend any program that allows less than 1200 calories/day. This was a general term used to avoid quick fix dieting. (which is detrimental in the long term)
3. I am pregnant, can I still join?
YES! To be fair, you can either use a before picture at the same time you were pregnant prior (if this is your second child) to demonstrate a healthier pregnancy. If this is your first time, please just provide your most recent picture. (BTW: we’ve had a pregnant mom grace the pages of our swimsuit calendar)
4. Can I use a ‘before’ picture that was taken earlier this year?
Please provide the picture taken this month (August 2015). Please submit two photos. One holding a daily newspaper and one without. You can also include a picture taken prior but it will not be used in the final judging.
5. Do I need to be a mom?
No! Stepmoms, grandmothers, mom of doggies…are all able to join!
6. Do I HAVE to join a local group?
Yes – you can either create your own (if there is no one next to you) or join the closest group either online or in person. The reason why this is required is to align you with positive people and create lasting, healthy friendships.
7. Will I know the total pot money?
Yes! On Sep 15th we will announce how many people have entered and what is up for grabs! We will also announce pot updates the weeks leading up.
8. What does participation entail?
Posting online, commenting and supporting other participants, attending meetups and/or hasthtagging on social media streams. If you do not live near a local NEM group, join your nearest location by searching Facebook or our online locations page here.
9. There is no leader near me and I’m interested in becoming one. How do I get started?
Email us at noexcusemoms@gmail.com

6 Tips for Self-Motivation

One of the very first (and most difficult) steps to making a lifestyle change is finding the motivation. Without it, we may know the ‘right’ things to do, but not quite be able to put that into practice.
You, like many others, might struggle with self-motivation from time to time. This means you may have a hard time getting yourself to your regularly scheduled workout, or will try and find more and more reasons to stray away from your healthy changes.
But guess what? You won’t be alone! We all struggle with motivation sometimes, but here are some tips that can help you self-motivate and reach your goals.

A healthy dose of motivation coupled with determination will get you almost anything in life (again sometimes it just takes time and effort to find it). So how do you know if you’re genuinely motivated?

  • Motivation will tell you to get to your workout no matter what.
  • Motivation will nag you to put down the doughnut.
  • Motivation makes passing on fries a reflex.
  • Motivation makes a sweat drenched workout exciting.
  • Motivation constantly reminds you why you do what you do.

The key to staying motivated is similar to fuel in a car—you don’t need the motivation tank to be full to drive, you just need to prevent it from running empty. Do not waste precious time and energy on staying highly motivated because motivation has a natural rhythm. Most people see a drop in motivation as a signal of failure, but it’s not. Weight loss and lifestyle changes are not a linear process; it is an up and down roller coaster ride – as with success in anything in life.
Self-Motivating Tip #1: Find Your Motivator.
Motivation stems from having a goal. What is your goal? Why do you want to get into great shape and/or make a lifestyle change?
Once you uncover your personal motivator you’ll find that motivation flows quickly your way.
Take a minute to really uncover the reason that you want to lose the weight. Don’t say something vague like you want to ‘Be thinner’ or ‘Look more attractive.’ Dig deeper – there is a very specific motivator in your life, you simply need to uncover it.
Here are some possible motivators…

  • I want to have more energy to keep up with the kids.
  • I want to improve my health through weight loss to extend and improve my life.
  • I want to lose 15 pounds before my vacation.
  • I want to restore my confidence to wear sleeveless shirts.
  • I want to regain my figure to impress and attract my significant other.

It’s great that you have the family wedding to motivate you in the meantime, but try and find some other motivators so that when the wedding has come and gone, you will still have that drive and determination.
Keep reminding yourself why you started in the first place, and that continuing to push forward in any way will get you further 3 months, 1 year, 5 years from now. Many people find asking the following questions help:

  • If I stop making changes, how will I feel in six months or one year from now?
  • If I stop making changes, what will my health be like?
  • If I stop making changes, how will my family and friends be affected?

Self-Motivating Tip #2: Make It Official.
When you write something down it tends to feel more official. Write down your motivator for getting into great shape, and post it where you will see it often—next to your alarm clock, on the bathroom mirror, or in your car.
Each time you see your written motivator take a moment to visualize yourself accomplishing your goal. Try to make the scene as clear in your mind as possible. This is a powerful tool for maintaining your focus and direction.
Even posting on Facebook your plans and goals can be a huge motivator – the more you tell people about your goals, the more drive you will have to achieve them.
Self-Motivating Tip #3: Be Practical.
It’s game plan time. You know what you want, and now you need to map out exactly how you’ll achieve it. It is important to be practical in your planning, rather than throwing out ideas that you know you won’t stick with. The secret to success is to break down your healthy living goals into mini goals that are easy to manage. Start with one small, clear goal that is right for you. This is often referred to as developing ‘SMART’ goals. SMART stands for goals that are: specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time-framed. Setting “SMART” goals can also help you achieve bigger goals you may want to set for yourself over time. For more info on SMART goals, visit here.
With any weight loss goal it is important to 1) maintain a healthy diet, and 2) participate in a consistent and challenging exercise program.
Plan a routine that will fit into your schedule and you’ll be more likely to stick with it. It is important to sit down and find the best days and times to fit it in. Then write it in a schedule and treat it like a an important commitment!
Self-Motivating Tip #4: Call For Backup.
Enlist the support of your friends, family and co-workers if you can. Tell everyone about your goal to lose weight and get fit, you’ll be surprised how supportive most people will be. By being open about your goals you’ll likely be an encouragement to others to make healthy changes in their own lives. And if they don’t that’s okay! But finding at least one person and supporter could help significantly. Even an online community such as a local free ‘No Excuse Mom’ group, or the larger ‘No Excuse Moms’ Facebook support group could help you stay motivated.
Self-Motivating Tip #5: Be Easy on Yourself.
If you notice that your motivation is waning, give yourself a break from your diet or exercise plan for one to three days. The problem with motivation is that the more people try to ‘catch’ it, the more elusive it becomes; by allowing it to run its natural course and at the same time having a set of habit-changing skills (such as a meal plan for the week), you’ll stay on track and your motivation levels will run their natural course.
Self-Motivating Tip #6: Practice Integrity in Other Areas of Your Life.
For example, clean out your closet (finally), pay off your debts, make good on your promises to friends, family, or co-workers. Practice sticking with promises or commitments you’ve made in other areas of your life in order to strengthen your own subconscious belief that you are able to uphold the promise of losing weight that you’ve made to yourself.
If you need help with developing SMART goals, finding your motivation, or someone to provide you with the knowledge and support to help you with your journey, I now offer 25% off my services for NEM members (use the promo code NEM25). Click here to see an overview of the services I offer. All counseling programs include a customized meal guide (breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks), calculation of Total Estimated Energy Expenditure (daily caloric requirements to reach your goals), continuous one-on-one counseling and support, recipes, progress assessments and plan adjustments (if necessary), and more.
– Felicia Newell, BScAHN, MScAHN(c), RD(c)

Felicia Newell is our Official NEM Nutritionist and has a Bachelor of Science in Applied Human Nutrition, as well as a Master of Science in Applied Human Nutrition. For the past several years, Felicia has worked at a university research centre with a focus on food security, food access, and policies relating to food; she has taught university level nutrition courses; and she is currently working at a large chain grocery store helping her community make healthier choices. One of Felicia’s passions is helping others fight through the confusing misinformation that is out there in the ever-changing and growing world of food and nutrition. Another one of her passions lies in working toward a future where everyone has access to enough affordable, healthy, safe and culturally appropriate food, that is produced, processed and distributed in socially, economically and ecologically sustainable ways. Felicia has published a paper in the Canadian Journal of Public Health titled, ‘Is the Minimum Enough: Affordability of a Nutritious Diet for Minimum Wage Earners in Nova Scotia’.
Read more about her story here, and on her Facebook page, or follow her on Instagram: @felicianewellnutrition. Click here for more NEM experts.