You are 7 days into the Healthy Steps ONE HUNDRED MILE CHALLENGE!!

(A refresher on the Walking Challenge HERE)

Last week:

Week 1 was completed, therefor 49,000 steps / 25 miles walked.

This week: February 14 – 21

The month of February is American Heart Month so lets focus on taking care of your HEART.

Heart Healthy Fruits and Vegetables in season NOW:

  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Clementines
  • Tangerines
  • Grapefruit
  • Pear
  • Kale (all varieties)

Some Easy Tips to LOVE your HEART

(as recommended by the America Heart Association)

  1. Control your portion size ~use a small plate, don’t go for seconds
  2. Fill up on heart healthy vegetables
  3. Sleep yourself well ~ Less than 6 hours is not a heart healthy habit , 7-8 is recommended
  4. Avoid Trans Fat ~ remove any foods from your diet that contain the word “hydrogenated”. Common hydrogenated foods: margarine, processed nut 
butter, coffee creamers, foods fried in hydrogenated oils, cookies, doughnuts
  5. Use the healthy fats like Olive Oil and Nut Oils
  6. Reduce sodium (salt intake) ~ The American Heart Association recommends 2300mg 
of sodium a day for healthy adults, 1500mg if you have Diabetes
  7. Load up on foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids ~ Salmon, Sardines, Halibut, Herring 
Mackerel, Tuna (fresh) , Trout, Nut butter, Pumpkin Seeds, Flax Seeds, Walnuts, Chia Seeds

Lindsay Mazur, MS RDN

Posted in Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition | Leave a comment

Take the HEALTHY STEPS ONE HUNDRED MILE CHALLENGE – 30 days to complete 100 miles

Join us on our HEALTHY STEPS ONE HUNDRED MILE CHALLENGE. Those of you who participate on this journey will walk ONE HUNDRED MILES IN JUST THIRTY DAYS!

Those who complete the 100 mile challenge will be entered into a raffle for a Nordic Track activity tracker ($200 value).


February is American Heart month and a healthy heart is the perfect gift for your loved ones. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States so of course we take this seriously.

Before getting started, take a peek into your actual heart age [] and then let’s get to work!

The Challenge


3.3 miles a day for 30 days = 100 mile goal


7,000 steps a day (approximately) for 30 days = 100 mile goal


  1. Make sure you have good walking or workout shoes
  2. Document your journey! Take a picture daily of your tracking device and save the record.
  3. Bring your 100 mile victory to our office (with proof of your daily tracking).
    • The 30 day challenge will end on March 16th. You have 1 week to get your results in, by March 23rdWe raffle for the winner on Friday, March 24th.
  1. We will enter your heart healthy victory into a raffle for a Nordic Track activity tracker ($200 value). The winner will be announced on 3/24/17!

** Remember to DRINK water -8 large glasses a day **

Recommended activity trackers:

MISFIT FLASH: $11.99 –


FITBIT ZIP: $59.95 –


We will be checking in weekly and will look forward to hearing about your progress!

– Lindsay Mazur MS, RDN

Posted in Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition, Obesity | Leave a comment

Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl

Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl

Author: Healthy Steps

Serves 2



Sushi Rice:

1 cup cooked brown rice

1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar


Marinated Ahi:

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

¾ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon toasted black sesame seeds

2 green onions, thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

8 oz. sushi-grade Ahi tuna, cubed (Salmon is a good substitute)


Poke Bowl Fixings:

2 green onions, thinly sliced

½ avocado, thinly sliced

½ cup edamame, shelled

1 carrot, cut into matchsticks

2 Persian cucumbers, cut into matchsticks

seaweed (dry or fresh)

pickled ginger




  • Sushi Rice:

Cook 1 cup of brown rice according to the package’s directions. Once cooked and still hot, mix in 1 Tablespoon of rice wine vinegar and set aside.


  • Marinated Ahi:

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, 2 Tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, green onions and red pepper flakes. Cut the ahi tuna into ¼” cubes with a sharp knife. Gently stir the ahi into the marinade. Chill in the fridge for 5 minutes.


  • Poke Bowl:

Thinly slice the green onions, avocado, carrot and cucumbers. Assemble the poke bow placing a ½ cup of rice per serving in the bottom of the bowl, top with the poke fixings and enjoy!

Posted in Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition | Leave a comment

Does Gluten-Free = Weight Loss Friendly?

Many people who cut gluten out of their diet end up spending a fortune of gluten-free products that are highly processed, packed with refined carbohydrates and sweeteners, and cost a fortune. I like the quick tips in this article for sticking to a gluten-free eating plan in waist-line friendly way. All of the meal plans at Healthy Steps are compatible with gluten-free eating, and emphasize real, whole food instead of processed substitutes. If you’d like some individualized support, we’re happy to help guide you in managing your weight and your gluten intolerance. Call us today to schedule an appointment!
Lindsay Pasdera, MS RDN
Posted in BMI, Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition, Obesity | Leave a comment

Day 19 of the 21-Day No Added Sweetener Challenge

We’re coming to the finish line of our 21-Day No Added Sweetener Challenge! How did you do? How did it feel? What did you notice about your cravings, your hunger level, your energy level or your weight?
Remember that by decreasing your intake of added sugars, research indicates you are lowering your risk of weight challenges, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, and depression. (Check out the research studies here.) While the Challenge officially concludes this Sunday, why not continue reading food labels for these ingredients and limit or avoid added sweeteners most days of the week? By avoiding or limiting added sweeteners most days, you can continue to have those great health benefits all year long! If, after having a slice of cake at a birthday party or enjoying chocolates over Valentine’s Day, you find your motivation to get back to low-sugar eating waning, remind yourself of the core values you identified. And most importantly, know we are hear to support and guide you whenever you need. Call our office anytime to schedule a one-on-one appointment with our weight loss and healthy eating experts. We’re here to help!
Congrats on your success thus far and wishing you even more health and happiness!
Lindsay Pasdera, MS RDN
Posted in Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition | Leave a comment

Day 15 of the Healthy Steps No Added Sweetener Challenge

Two weeks down, one to go! You’re almost there!

Sweetened beverages are one of the major sources of added sweeteners in America. Did you know that, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (1), Americans drink about 45 gallons of sugar-sweetened beverages per year? Sugary drinks account for almost half of all added sugars consumed in the American diet. A typical 20-ounce bottle of soda contains nearly 15 teaspoons of sugar!! And many people switch away from sugar-sweetened beverages to beverages sweetened with non-caloric sweeteners, like diet soda. (Remind yourself why you should limit your intake of non-caloric sweeteners here.)

So what exactly should you drink if you’re trying to avoid added sweeteners? Here are some of our favorite ‘no added sweetener’ beverages:

  • Purified Water (always the best!)
  • Herbal Tea, from tea bags (hot or iced)
  • Sparkling Water (flavored is ok, but check the ingredient list: things like carbonated water and natural flavor are allowed, but look out for sweeteners like Sucralose, aspartame, or acesulfame K).
  • Homemade Fruit-Infused Water: float slices of lemon, lime, orange, strawberries, cucumber, whole raspberries, or chopped mint in a big pitcher of filtered water and leave in your fridge. Every time you drink some, you’ll taste a hint of whatever you’ve infused.
  • Green Tea, from tea bags (hot or iced; limit to 2 servings caffeinated beverages per day)
  • Coffee (add a splash of milk if you like, but avoid all those other additives; limit to 2 servings caffeinated beverages per day)
  • Milk, unsweetened (cow, almond, soy, coconut, hemp, etc…just UNSWEETENED!)
  • Vegetable juice (made with no fruit; be aware of the sodium content)
  • Wine, dry, red or white (if you consume alcohol, limit to 4 small servings per week; avoid most cocktails, dessert wine and champagne due to sugar content)

A good goal is to consume at least 64 ounces of fluid per day (don’t count caffeinated or alcoholic beverages toward your fluid ounces). Try some of the above out if you’re getting bored and craving some of your old sweetened beverages again.

Keep up the great work!

Lindsay Pasdera, MS RDN



Posted in Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition | Leave a comment

Day 11 of the Healthy Steps No Added Sweeteners Challenge

You’re well into your second week without added sweeteners now! How is your motivation going?  If you need a little boost, consider spending a few minutes listing your core values. Research shows that doing this can greatly increase long-term motivation to change behavior. Recently, research has shown that individuals that clarify and focus on their core values lose more weight than those who do not. (1)

So what are core values and how can they help with your motivation? Core values are those qualities that you hold as precious and supremely important. Examples of core values include growth, happiness, authenticity, independence, security, family, honesty, kindness, self-respect, achievement, etc. Once you create a list of the values that define you (try to stick to a handful of “Highest Priority” values), then you can use those values to help with your motivation. Here’s how: see if you can find a connection between the behavior you are working on (for us, it’s limiting added sweeteners, but you can use this technique to support any behavior change) and one of your top 5 core values. For instance, if I chose family as one of my core values, I might realize that my children might naturally eat less added sweeteners if I limit my own consumption. Given that the average American child under age 12 eats 49 pounds of sugar per year (!!!), raising their risk of obesity, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease, I can definitely feel that this one behavior change could make a huge difference in the quality of life of my family. Since I’ve now mentally connected my behavior (limiting added sweeteners) with my core value of family, I am much more likely to stick with it when the going gets tough. See how that connection thing works?

Now that you understand how to use your core values to motivate yourself, start making your connections today. If you’d like support identifying your core values or making connections between them your health behaviors, give us a call to schedule an appointment today!

Lindsay Pasdera, MS RDN



Posted in Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition | Leave a comment

Day 8 of the Healthy Steps No Added Sweetener Challenge

You’ve survived a whole week without added sugars! Congratulations! Here’s some more motivation to keep you going:
The mot prevalent types of added sugar Americans consume contain two monosaccharides, glucose and fructose. It’s useful to understand the physiologic response of the body to each.
When you eat a food prepared with added sugars, the physiologic response starts with the first bite of food in your mouth. Taste receptors stimulated by intense sweetness signal the reward center of the brain, which releases pleasure neurotransmitters like dopamine via the mesolimbic pathway. The more frequently you consume added sugars, the less dopamine you get in response (this is known as “tolerance” in the addiction model), meaning you need more sugar to get the same amount of pleasure. And there are a few other similarities to the addiction model…the more added sugar you eat, the more you’ll crave it and the less you’ll feel able to resist it, partly in response to serotonin depletion. (1)
Once you swallow, those added sugars will move to your stomach and then to your intestine, where they will be absorbed into the blood stream as glucose and fructose. Glucose does not need any processing and will raise your blood sugars immediately. The body then releases insulin to help normalize blood sugars. Insulin lowers blood sugars by moving the glucose into cells and glycogen stores as needed, and then moving the rest into fat cells for storage. If blood sugar levels spike (as they can be if you ate a large portion of added sugars), then insulin levels will spike too. Too much insulin often leads to low blood sugar levels within the first 2 hours after eating, which turns on the hunger cue. This means you eat lots of calories, store much of them as fat, but end up quickly ravenous and need to eat even more calories…leading to weight gain and obesity.
Another important thing you should know about insulin: it prevents us from accessing and using the energy stored in our fat cells. The more hours of the day that your insulin levels are HIGH, the less hours of the day you can burn your fat stores. So even if you restrict calories overall, if many of the calories you do get come from added sugars, you can’t access the energy in your fat stores. This leads to a slow down in metabolic rate to compensate for the decreased calories INSTEAD of the desired fat loss. Lastly, chronically high insulin levels leads to insulin resistance, which leads to even higher insulin levels in the future. So to sum up, the metabolic impacts of elevated blood glucose include:
  • elevated insulin levels—> fat storage, hunger and increased calorie intake, inability to use existing fat for fuel, insulin resistance
Now what about the fructose that enters your blood stream after eating foods prepared with added sugars? Fructose must be processed in the liver. These are the metabolic impacts of the liver having to process a lot of fructose:
  • decreased circulating leptin (satiety hormone) —> increased portion sizes, overeating (2)
  • elevated triglycerides, lower HDL (good cholesterol) and elevated VLDL —> elevated risk of cardiovascular disease (2)
  • Hepatic De Novo Lipogenesis (the liver makes new fat molecules out of the fructose) (3)
  • Storage of fat in the liver itself —> Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (3)
As you can see, overconsumption of added sugars creates a cascade of negative impacts for your health and weight…but none of that is happening in your body while you’re on the challenge!
For more information on how dietary choices impact your body, call to schedule an appointment today!
Lindsay Pasdera, MS RDN
Posted in Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition | Leave a comment

Day 5 of the Healthy Steps No Added Sugar Challenge

After 5 days of working to cut out added sweeteners to your diet, have you been surprised at how many places sugar is hiding in processed foods? One common culprits that can impact lunchtime is store-bought salad dressing. Of course sweet dressings like Raspberry Vinaigrette or Asian Dressing can be packed with added sugar, but I was surprised to find that sugar was the fourth ingredient in one popular Ranch dressing brand. Ranch isn’t even sweet!! Here are two healthy homemade dressings that are delicious and completely free of added sugars. You can make them over the weekend and enjoy them on your salads all week long!
Lindsay Pasdera, MS RDN
Greek Yogurt Ranch (No Added Sugar)

1 cup buttermilk
2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Combine buttermilk and minced garlic in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer gently for 5 minutes (don’t let it boil!). Pour hot buttermilk mixture into a medium bowl and cool in fridge for 30 minutes. Whisk remaining ingredients into cooled buttermilk mixture. Store in refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Raspberry Vinaigrette (No Added Sugar) 

1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries 
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 cup olive oil 
1/8 teaspoon salt

Blend all ingredients together in a blend. Store in refrigerator for up to 10 days (re-whisk before using).
Posted in Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition | Leave a comment

Day 3 of the Healthy Steps ‘No Added Sweetener Challenge’

“Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.” – Hippocrates

If you’ve joined us on our ‘No Added Sweetener Challenge,’ congratulations on going two full days without any added sugar or sugar substitutes! (Remind yourself of which foods to avoid here.) Many people notice a feeling of fatigue the first few days, but it will start to get easier with every passing day from now on. And before you know it you’ll be even more energized than you’re used to. So don’t give up yet!

Here are some tips for when cravings come up:

  • It’s ok to enjoy whole fruit when you’re hungry and craving something sweet. Pair it with a small amount of protein (like a string cheese or some almonds) if you’re using it as a snack, or enjoy it for dessert after a meal.
  • Try unsweetened hot or iced herbal tea, or drink water infused with mint, a citrus wedge or raspberries.
  • If you’re not hungry, treat yourself without using food: give yourself a hand massage with your favorite scented lotion, curl up with a good book, watch a funny YouTube video or call up a friend.

Many people find that accountability makes the difference between success and failure during a period of behavior change. Cutting back on added sweeteners is so beneficial, but it’s hard! Please call us today to schedule an appointment for one-on-one support including a full personalized weight loss meal plan and healthy eating guidance.

Lindsay Pasdera, MS RDN


Posted in Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition | Leave a comment