National Nutrition Month!

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Get to Know Us and Join the Celebration!

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? While we believe that every month should be celebrated in good health, this month in particular let us help elevate your health education to a new level! Our team of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists at Elizabeth Baron Cole & Associates are among the top qualified experts who provide reputable advice and practical methods to improve our individual and collective medical, health, dietary and fitness status. Learn more about our individual dietitians by clicking here!

For over thirty years, our practice has served our Westside and Santa Monica community for the better, and since 1930, our parent organization, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, has promoted well-being to the population at large. Every March, dietitians all around the country celebrate the benefits of proper nutrition. This month, we have put together a few of our favorite ideas to help influence your health for the better. Remember, small changes all add up to create a lasting effect! Follow along below for our simple suggestions to guide you on the path of well-being.


The following tips scratch the surface of the vast depth and breadth of knowledge we provide our patients on a regular basis:

1)    Make Healthy Substitutions Whenever Possible

  • Unsweetened sparkling water or decaf, unsweetened iced tea, instead of soda
  • Vegetables, legumes or whole grains instead of processed, white starchy foods
  • (make ½ of your plate veggies)
  • Use olive oil or avocado puree in place of butter
  • Low-fat plain Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise
  • Nuts (in moderation) instead of croutons in a salad

2)    Eat Natural Foods Colorful Selections

  • Minimize processed foods, sweets, candies, beverages
  • Opt for whole foods ex) whole grains, plain Greek yogurt, hummus, nuts and seeds, and legumes

3)    Make Your Plate Colorful

  • Colorful foods optimize nutrient density and disease prevention
  • Incorporate a large amount of colorful vegetables (and a modest amount of fruit) to make your plate attractive and to ensure consumption of a wide spectrum of nutrients

4)    Add Variety to Your Protein Choices

  • Every protein source has its benefits and pitfalls.  Incorporate different forms of protein to decrease taste bud boredom and increase the benefits of each individual source
  • To add fiber, B-vitamins, and iron: choose legumes
  • To add heart healthy oils: choose fatty fish
  • To add iron and B-vitamins: choose lean poultry and grass-fed red meats
  • To add calcium, Vitamin D, B12, and phosphorus: choose low fat dairy
  • To add lecithin, Vitamin E, and choline: choose eggs

5)    Create a Positive, Healthy, Eating Environment

  • Ensure your meals are taken in a relaxed, pressure free environment.
  • Take time to slowly savor and chew each bite, allowing your body to sufficiently digest your food and reflect fullness cues.
  • Avoid eating in from of the television or computer, as this may lead to mindless eating and overconsumption

6)    Start Your Meals with an Advantage

  • Add a salad, veggies, or veggie-based soup, and 8 oz. of water before your entrée. This ensures low-calorie, healthy options will be eaten first and will fill you up, allowing for easier weight control.

Try to focus on just one of these tips per week, incorporating multiple ideas as the weeks go on.


Celebrations: The Gift of Health

Celebrations: The Gift of Health

We celebrate many traditions over the holidays, but how about celebrating personal accomplishments such as mastering challenges and attending to your own health, weight and fitness goals?  The following tips can help you succeed in minding your health this holiday season.  Celebrate your "self-care" efforts.   Aren't you worth it?

See Your Success

Visualize how you intend to handle potentially precarious eating situations.  Write, review, and post your plans days before arriving at holiday gatherings to make it easier to implement your ideas.

Burn Calories

Walk, hike, bike, garden, or exercise in other ways the day before, the day of, and the day after parties and holiday meals.  Strive to exercise at least 30 minutes, 5 days/week.

Buffer Hunger

Arrive at gatherings without being over hungry.  Snack one hour before the event.  Try moderate portions of veggie soup, veggies, low fat cheese, cottage cheese, hummus, nut butter, or nuts.

Alcohol Effects

To avoid overconsumption, keep from drinking alcohol on an empty stomach. Snack at least 15 minutes before drinking alcohol.

It's Just Another Meal

Consider holiday gatherings as "meals" rather than as "feasts".  Serve yourself modest portions.  Eat mainly protein and veggies with a hint of starch.  Select only samplings of your favorite indulgences to avoid deprivation but allow for progress.  If you sense that samplings will trigger overeating, stay away from them entirely.

Feeding Physical Hunger

Before eating, try to distinguish physical from emotional hunger.  Serve yourself only the amount of food that will satisfy your physical hunger.  When you're comfortably full, stop eating.

Suspend Seconds

Wait 10 to 20 minutes before going back for small portions of "seconds".  It takes your brain this long to register fullness.

Mindful Eating

Be conscious, not passive. Eat slower, chew well, focus on the taste and texture of the food. Aim for comfortable fullness and satisfaction instead of becoming overfull.

Patience Wins

Be patient with your efforts.  Small positive changes are better than none.

Sampling Counts

While in the kitchen or at gatherings, be mindful about "sampling" food.  Small bites can add up to a full meal of calories in no time.


Frosting= 60 cal. per Tbsp
Chocolate Chips= 100 cal. per 2 Tbsp
Candy= 100 cal. per piece
Cookie Dough= 120 cal. per bite
Cookie= 150 cal. per medium size

Olives= 50 cal. per 7 whole Olives
1 Cracker with cheese= 55 cal.
5 chips with dip= 130 cal.
Peanuts= 100 cal. per 20 pieces
6 hours d'oeuvres = 500 cal (average)


Each Item Below is Approximately 100 Calories

Meats, Eggs, Cheese

Shrimp Cocktail............16 pieces
Sushi............3-4 small pieces
Cheese Cubes............1"x1" piece
Turkey............2 oz.
Deviled Egg............2 halves
Quiche, cheese & bacon............2"x2" piece
Lean roast beef............1 1/2 oz


Truffle or See's Candy
............1 piece
Cookie............1 small
Pecan Pie............1.5"x1.5" piece
Pumpkin Pie............2"x2" piece

Veggies, Dips, Nuts, Chips, Crackers, Bread

Veggies (raw)............4 cups
Guacamole or Hummus............4 Tbsp.
Ranch Dressing............1 Tbsp.
Dinner roll............1 small


Apple Cider............6 fl. oz
Hot Cocoa............4 fl. oz
Wine............3 1/2 fl. oz
Gin/Vodka.Run............1 1/2 fl. oz
Beer............8 fl. oz
Eggnog............3 fl. oz
Mixers: Tonic Water, Coke, Fruit Juice............10 fl. oz, 8 fl oz, 6 fl. oz


Spring into Summer Health

Spring into Summer Health

Quarterly Resolutions Review

Spring is here, to be enjoyed in full measure.  On the horizon is summertime swimsuit season.  Now is a good time to reflect on the resolutions you made at the start of the year.  Without judgment, review the goals you made in January.    See which ones may be working favorably and which ones need readjustment.  The following tips may help you reach your goals more easily.

Plan then Act

Write down the goals you wish to accomplish including practical, feasible dates by which you plan to achieve them.  If your goals are health or weight related, change may occur more easily if you become accountable to yourself through a tracking system.  Record your food intake, exercise, energy and other features that help you recognize smooth as well as tough spots.  Reinforce positive progress.  Integrate new strategies to make tough spots easier.  Reach out for help if you find yourself stuck or frustrated.

Small Changes, Big Success

To make progress easier, take the stairs rather than the elevator; swap out soda for water flavored with fresh fruit; snack on crunchy veggies instead of chips; have fresh or frozen fruit or yogurt instead of ice cream or cookies; prepare or purchase veggie laden meals to have wholesome food within reach; eat regularly to discourage voracious hunger; eat at home more often than dining out to keep temptation and portions in check.

Exercise Essentials

To succeed make yourself, your health and your body priorities.  Schedule your workouts as essential events in your calendar.  Exercise in enjoyable, practical ways, thirty to sixty minutes, five days weekly, whether at home, outside, in a studio, gym or your office.  Contact us if you’re having trouble getting started, staying consistent or falling short of seeing the results you expect. 

Reward Yourself

Preplanned rewards can help you stay focused and speed your progress.  Indulge in healthy rewards to celebrate your hard work.   Buy a new fitness outfit or sneakers, book a personal training session, go to a museum or the theatre, treat yourself to a massage or pedicure, plan a getaway, visit a loved one.

Reach Out For Success

Sustainable change takes time.  Try to be patient.   If you get stuck or frustrated, reach out for the support, strategies, accountability or personalized programs that will get you where you want to be.  We can help you.

Valentine's Day: Beyond the Sweets

Valentine's Day: Beyond the Sweets

Valentine’s Day is synonymous with chocolates, candy and decadent desserts.  Yet there are plenty of ways to show your love without giving overindulgent sweets.  Express your affection while supporting your sweetheart’s health and well-being by using the following refreshing tips.

Time is the Essence   

Quality time spent together expresses love in cherished ways that candy can’t.   This could be the sweetest gift of all providing precious meaning and memories that last years longer than edibles.

Gifts of Active Time  

On Valentine’s Day, make time to get active together.  Depending on your mutual interests and levels of physical fitness, go for a good walk, hike or bike at a beach, marina, park, favorite neighborhood or mountain trail.  Offer to play tennis, golf, miniature golf, kayak, bowl, roller-skate, horseback ride, or take a yoga or spin class.

Gifts of Recreational Time

Show your love by spending time together engaging in favorite recreational activities.  Go to a museum, gallery, zoo, botanical garden, vintage book or antique store, performance, nursery, amusement park, pet store, outdoor adventure, cooking or dance class, seminar, etc.  Or, stay home and enjoy favorite pastimes: garden, cook together, frame photos, or have fun with household projects, painting, puzzles, arts and crafts, etc.

Gifts of Peaceful Pleasures  

People rarely give themselves the gift of peaceful pleasures.  Give a gift that fulfills your sweetheart’s desire for relaxation:  spa treatments such as massage, facial, manicure or pedicure, a gift box of various teas and an attractive tea cup, a good book, magazine subscription, or theatre or movie tickets.

Light Hearted Sweets

If you choose to give sweets, offer lighter options: fruit dipped in dark chocolate or sweets make from seasonal fruit with pink, red or blue Valentine’s themed hues: gelato, sorbet, parfait, low sugar cobbler, frozen yogurt, or smoothies made of berries, cherries, pomegranate, acai or watermelon.

 Shape Food With Heart

Simple changes can make homemade Valentine’s Day meals feel special.  Shape food to fit the day.  Use heart shaped cookie cutters for whole grain sandwiches, quesadillas, wholesome pancakes, waffles, French toast, fish or chicken filets or veggieburger, turkey or meat patties.  Arrange veggies or fruit in the shape of a heart. 

Teach Love Without Sweets

Teach others the true meaning of this day as a celebration and gift of love rather than focusing on merely giving chocolate and candy.  Help children see other ways of giving their love by making homemade Valentine’s cards using thoughtful words, poetry, colorful paper, glitter, and crafts. Decorate old shoe or gift boxes to fill with Valentine’s stickers, notepads, books, pencils, gift certificates or other fun surprises.

Spread The Love 

The act of giving induces a sense of well-being for the giver and receiver.  Volunteer, alone, as a couple or family, at a local charity, shelter or food bank.  This may be the sweetest inedible and most memorable gift of all.      

 Love Yourself

Give yourself the gift of your own positive recognition.  Take a few minutes to reflect on your life and things you appreciate about your body and yourself.   Consider writing down your thoughts and feelings and post them or keep them with you in your wallet as a friendly reminder of self-appreciation. 

Putting New Habits in Motion

Putting New Habits into Motion

January is a time to reset the unhealthy habits acquired during the holiday season and is a time to forgive yourself for any setbacks experienced during these treat-filled times.   In these times of change, remember the famous saying of Alexander Pope, “to err is human; to forgive, divine.”

  1. Establish an exercise routine
    Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.  Daily movement will help shed any of the holiday weight gain, and will ensure you are developing healthy habits to keep up for the entire year.
  2. Clean up your diet
    If you are easily tempted by holiday treats, clear them out of your house.  Throw out any food that will not provide healthy nourishment.
  3. Be forgiving of yourself
    Having one unhealthy meal in a day is no reason to give up on your health for the day.  Instead, vow to eat more veggies than normal the next day and make sure to drink plenty of water. 
  4. Stay hydrated
    Often we mistake our thirst for hunger.  Buy a colorful reusable water bottle to remind yourself to drink more water.  Drink a glass as soon as you wake up, one before every meal and one before you go to sleep at night.  See how much more energy you have when you are hydrated and notice how you skin glows when you drink more water. 

The whole year is ahead of you.  This leaves ample time to make small changes to equate to a long-term lifestyle change.  Rome was not built in a day; neither will all unhealthy habits diminish overnight.  This year, write down one goal per month you wish to work on and build on these goals every month.  By the end of the year you will have 12 new healthy habits that will seem second nature.

We encourage you to be open-minded to change and to be patient with your hard work.  We promise it will be worth your while.