Mark Your Calendar


Don’t forget we would love to have you join us for 2 upcoming Healthy Steps events…


Walk with the Doc: April 23 @ 5:30-6:30p

Tara Firma Farm Tour: May 2 @ 1:00-2:00p

**Please call or email to sign up so we can count on you   OR    707.546-7900


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Good Better Best : Calories + Weight Management


“Be specific in choosing the types of proteins and carbohydrates you eat, because these little things might make a big difference in your weight loss or weight gain later on.” (Medicaldaily)

Tafts University recently came out with a study proving what Dr. Woodbury has been teaching his patients for years. It not just about calories in and out (which is a big part of it!) but it also matters what types of foods you are eating. Some calories are more nutrient dense than others and those are the ones you want to choose more of.

So let’s play a game. Good > Better > Best.

Categorize the following foods from good, better to best.

Q: Hot Dog, Salmon, Ground Turkey




A: Good: Hot Dog,     Better: Ground Turkey,     Best: Salmon

A hot dog is a processed food. This make the hot dog a less desired choice of your calorie intake vs. a fresh caught, cooked to perfection piece of salmon. The salmon makes for a great choice because it is filled with good omega-3’s to fight inflammation and boost cellular health. Be aware, one is more than ok to eat a hot dog but often times there are additives, preservatives and other ingredients that your body does not need. Ground turkey is a great protein option as it is low in saturated fats when compared to red meat but fish reigns to be king per its omega content.

Ok how about another.

Q: Greek Yogurt, Brie Cheese, Ice Cream



A: Good: Ice Cream     Better: Brie Cheese   Best: Greek Yogurt

At Healthy Steps we believe in “food in moderation”. This means take a few bites of the highest quality ice cream. Savor it and enjoy it but eat a moderate amount. But going back to our game, brie would be the next choice on the nutrition scale. Brie cheese is cultured, enzymes are added to coagulate and form the texture and is aged to promote healthy bacteria formation. This cheese should be eaten within a moderate amount due to high fat calories. The best choice of the 3 is the Greek yogurt as far as nutrient content. Greek yogurt is typically low in sugar, high in protein and has living probiotics to boost gut health and immunity making this the best choice of them all. Be sure to read the labels of your yogurt as the varietals will really vary in amounts of sugar and protein. Look for a high protein, low sugar option.


“Our study adds to growing new research that counting calories is not the most effective strategy for long-term weight management and prevention,” said Dariush Mozaffarian, senior author of the study, in the press release. “Some foods help prevent weight gain, others make it worse. Most interestingly, the combination of foods seems to make a big difference. Our findings suggest we should not only emphasize specific protein-rich foods like fish, nuts, and yogurt to prevent weight gain, but also focus on avoiding refined grains, starches, and sugars in order to maximize the benefits of these healthful protein-rich foods, create new benefits for other foods like eggs and cheese, and reduce the weight gain associated with meats.” (Medicaldaily)


Read the full article HERE, it’s worth your time.



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Move it or Lose it


Sitting. It’s what we all do. But are you doing too much of it? “Sitting is the new smoking” states Dr. James Levine. Research is showing that you need plenty of exercise to pay off your “chair debt”. (The Huffington Post)

If your job requires that you sit a lot, we can’t stress enough how important it is that you get up and move. Why you ask?

Researchers have found that prolonged periods of sitting increases the risk of developing illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes (Huffington Post). Dr. Levine has a new book called “Get Up!”, a jovial tale of how he came to the scientific conclusion that our chairs are killing us and what can be done to stop the threat. Sitting all day was not what we were created for and is to blame for all kinds of ailments including obesity. (LA Times)

So this is a call to action: use it or lose it, so get up and MOVE IT!


Huffington Post Full Article: “Sitting is the New Smoking”

LA Times Full Article: “‘Get Up!’ or lose hours of your life every day, scientist say”

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Ways to Save at the Grocery Store


We all know it is way too easy to spend extra money at the grocery store. We know we have all been there.

Sometimes we go to the store hungry. That never ends well because “everything looks so good” and there it goes, right into your basket. Or maybe you came without your list being that you didn’t preplan your menu for the week. Well that too can be costly for additional things can end up in your cart because you came without a plan.

We recommend the following tips when grocery shopping to keep you budget friendly:

  • Don’t shop while hungry.
  • Come with a list of what you need. Don’t deviate from your list.
  • Buy items that are in season. They will not only be richer in nutrients but also a better bang for your buck.
  • Go Generic. Getting off-name brands can really save you some cents.
  • Head right to the bulk isle. Bring your own bag/jar. This way you buy what you
  • Before you head to the check out stand, revisit the items in your basket. Ask yourself, do I need this? Was this on my list? Is it good for me?

AND…check out these tips for those of you out there shopping at Whole Foods to keep it from consuming your “whole paycheck”.



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Back on Track (May 2015) with Sharon McKenzie

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“Olive Oil Offers Unique Cardiovascular Protection” – LifeExtension Aricle Review


LifeExtension published an article in their April 2015 issue that we just had to share with you. Time and again studies have shown that olive oil is a healthy fat and here is more science to prove it…

“Olive oil has been pinpointed as a major source of the cardiovascular benefits long associated with a Mediterranean diet.1,2 A recent study of a healthy Mediterranean population showed that olive oil consumption accounted for as much as a 44% reduction in cardiovascular deaths compared to those who didn’t use olive oil…..The benefits of olive oil not only come from its rich profile of monounsaturated fatty acids, but most likely even more so from the natural compounds, including polyphenols, that olive oil maximally possesses when unrefined.

Studies have shown that polyphenols in olive oil, including hydroxytyrosol, can help reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol, thus helping to protect against atherosclerosis. Olive oil polyphenols have also been found to increase HDL cholesterol levels and improve its ability to remove cholesterol from arteries for transport to the liver and eventual elimination through the bile.

Adding another layer of cardiovascular support, polyphenol-rich olive oil has been found to improve the function of the endothelium of arteries, increasing release of nitric oxide, which signals blood vessels to relax and helps lower blood pressure. Research also suggests regular intake of high-polyphenol olive oil may help reduce requirements for blood pressure medication.

Because olive oil is a natural product, its polyphenol content is dependent upon a number of factors such as the age of the olives used, growing conditions, processing conditions, soil, temperature etc. Since extra virgin olive oil is the first pressing and uses the finest olives, it is assumed that this type of oil contains the highest polyphenol content.”

(Source LifeExtension’s Article: Olive Oil Offers Unique Cardiovascuclar Protection”)

Read the whole article HERE.


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Tara Firma Farm Tour – sign up today!

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Cooking with Herbs

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Author: Healthy Steps’ Nutritionist Lindsay Pasdera (more on her blog HERE)

 Health Benefits of Cooking with Herbs

  • Herbs are amazingly concentrated sources of antioxidants (cancer-fighting and anti-aging compounds). Even a tablespoon of chopped herbs added to your meal adds a big dose of antioxidants to your day.
  • Like all plant foods, each herb contains a unique set of phytonutrients with a range of health benefits including anti-inflammatory properties and better blood glucose & blood pressure regulation, all of which lower risks of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Herbs are essentially calorie free, yet add amazing flavor to food.
  • Cooking with herbs creates dishes with more complex and intense flavors. This stimulates the brain in a way that we get more mental satisfaction out of less bites of food. For example, I enjoy both plain scrambled eggs and scrambled eggs with herbs. Even though they’re both delicious to me, I naturally eat less bites of the herb version. The intensity and complexity means I’m satisfied with less. Try this out for yourself with your favorites–it works!

Cooking with Herbs

If you haven’t played around with herbs much, it can be intimidating to get started. What herbs go best with what dishes? Here’s some tips for those of you new to cooking with herbs:

  • Parsley- Chose flat-leaf Italian parsley. Rinse and chop finely. Add as the finishing touch to sauces and soups. Or tie whole stalks of parsley in a bundle with thyme and a bay leaf and drop in when you begin simmering soup or stew (remove the bundle, or “bouquet garni” before serving the soup).
  • Basil- Basil can be added early in the cooking process. Simmer chopped fresh basil (1/4 cup) & a bit of chopped fresh oregano (1 TBSP)  in your tomato sauce for authentic Italian flavor.  Other dishes are great with uncooked basil: add chopped basil to your green salad for a pleasant surprise, layer between sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella for a delicious Caprese Salad, or sprinkle over finished dishes before serving.
  • Thyme- Pairs fabulously with chicken or pork. Add a bit to your eggs or toss with your vegetables before roasting. Pull the thyme leaves off any tough stems by pulling the stem through two fingers. Chop the tender leaves and add at the beginning of cooking.
  • Rosemary- Has a strong flavor that always reminds me of fall and winter. Amazing with lamb, turkey, potatoes, or to make flavored oils or butters. Rosemary and garlic make a great team. I love rosemary garlic olive oil: add 6 cloves of garlic (cut in half lengthwise) and 1 TBSP chopped rosemary leaves to 3/4 cup olive oil in a heavy bottom sauté pan over medium-low heat. Stir often. As soon as the garlic becomes golden, remove the garlic and throw it away. You now have garlic & rosemary infused olive oil!
  • Dill-Use fresh to add interest to sauces for fish or chicken. Pairs well with dijon mustard and lemon. My mom makes a great “double dill” potato salad: chopped dill pickles and chopped fresh dill mixed with boiled new potatoes, chopped celery, crumbled hard boiled egg, mayonnaise and dijon.
  • Tarragon- The French use tarragon a lot. I love it’s subtle licorice flavor. Pairs beautifully with chicken, as in my favorite: shallots, grapes and chicken in a tarragon cream sauce. Ooh La La!
  • Oregano- Classic Mediterranean flavor. Oregano is potent, so add a small bit of chopped fresh oregano leaves early in the cooking process. Adds authentic flavor to your Italian tomato dishes or your Greek protein dishes. One of my favorites is marinating shrimp in lemon, olive oil, garlic and oregano for Grilled Greek Oregano Shrimp.
  • Chive- Chives offer a lovely delicate onion flavor, and should be added fresh at the end of preparation (the flavor of most delicate herbs is lost in cooking). I love chives in my eggs, but classic chive pairings include creamy tangy items like goat cheese or sour cream, added to herb butter, and mixed in chicken or potato salad.
  • Sage- A classic in Thanksgiving stuffing, Sage is a staple in my kitchen all autumn. It pairs beautifully with onions (sage & onion stuffing), apples (apples, onion and sage are great with pork), and I love it with autumn’s squash: butternut, acorn, pumpkin, etc. One of my fall favorites is homemade butternut squash soup over cubed fontina cheese and then topped with fried sage. Autumn in a bowl


For Lindsay’s “Lemon & Herb Pork Tenderloin – click HERE! Here is your first chance to cooking with more herbs!

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“Mediterranean Diet Cuts Risk of Heart Disease Nearly in Half” – CBS News

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A recent study out from CBS New states that closely following the Mediterranean diet can significantly lower your risk of heart disease, possibly by 47 percent. Heart health, management of diabetes and control of hypertension and inflammation have been proved to be direct benefits of those following the diet.

What the Mediterranean diet consists of: fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, fish and olive oil.

For more on this article, click HERE!

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8 ways to drink more water – Article from Honestly

Honestly recently wrote an article called “8 Ways to Drink More Water” regarding ways to spice up your plain old water into something tasty and refreshing with added health benefits.


The Honest Blog recommends the following mix-ins:

  1. Cucumber & Pomegranate: helps with managing stress and bloating
  2. Strawberry, Basil, & Lemon: helps boost immunity (and is super tasty)
  3. Blueberries & Orange: promotes healthier skin and helps clean free radicals out of your system
  4. Grapefruit & Rosemary: tastes like a fancy cocktail infusion, but has tons of vitamin C which helps your body turn fat into fuel
  5. Pear & Ginger: aids in digestion
  6. Blackberry & Sage: supports total relaxation
  7. Pineapple, Orange, & Mint: helps stabilize blood sugar and reduce inflammation
  8. Raspberry, Mango, & Lime: aids in disease prevention

*For more about this article and a video, click HERE.

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