I Loved the Keto Diet — Until My Skin Fell Victim to This Uncommon Side Effect

1566485611-16x9-stocksytxpb6ef28a5ieq200large1083177.jpgHello, lovelies! The ketogenic diet has been a hot topic this year and I’ve been interviewed on the topic many time. Basically, the keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that is designed to get the body into a metabolic state of ketosis. A ketogenic diet is designed to help your body use fat for fuel, reducing the need for blood sugar as an energy source.

So just how low carb is the keto diet? Generally, limiting carbohydrate intake to 20 to 50 grams per day can stimulate ketosis. (For reference, there are about 60 grams of carbs in your average bagel.) Depending on gender, weight, and level of physical activity, [reducing daily  carbohydrates to about] 50 grams may be necessary to prompt the body to use fat as a fuel source for weight loss.

Plus, unlike other low-carb diets, like Atkins®, the keto diet takes things a step further by adding a specific ratio of macronutrients, which has been found to achieve and maintain ketosis. For optimal results, approximately five to 10 percent of your daily calories should come from your net carbs, with 30 to 35 percent from protein, and 55 to 60 percent from fat. This can vary based on a person’s overall calorie intake. To put this in perspective, most Americans get 50 percent of their daily calories from carbohydrates, which equals roughly 250 grams if you eat 2,000 calories a day.

Clearly, carbs are mostly a no-go, but there is still plenty you can eat. The keto diet should focus on fibrous vegetables such as celery, greens, cucumbers, and summer squash, as well as lean protein like fish, poultry, various meats, or soy. It’s also important to supplement the diet with fatty foods, including avocado, olives, MCT [medium-chain triglyceride] oil, coconut oil, and other oils. Remember, you’re aiming to get up to 60 percent of your daily calories from fat, so don’t shy away from these good fats!

Ultimately, success on the keto diet requires avoiding foods with a high glycemic load. These are foods with a concentrated amount of carbohydrates in a small portion. These include dried fruit, candy, sweetened foods, yogurts, desserts, and (of course) starches in general.

I was interviewed by TheSpotlyte.com on what the Keto Diet is, what foods to eat and avoid and more. To read the full article, please click here.

Eat healthy! Be happy! Xo Nicolette

Healthy Meal Hacks for Hectic Households

iStock-180837057.max-784x410Imagine life with three or more kids, all involved in extracurricular activities well into the evening — and maybe one spouse travels. It’s unlikely there’s much time for meal prep and family dinners during the week. The reality for many families is that some nights there is barely a half-hour for dinner. Luckily there are some easy hacks to help provide healthy meals and snacks anyway.

Variety is key to keeping meals healthy and fresh, so look for ways to update the classics to make them healthier and keep them easy. Peanut butter and jelly can use different nut butters, whole fresh fruit slices, and nutritious bread. Mac and cheese, which can be packed with calories, can take a variety of cheeses and and sneaked-in vegetables such as zucchini or broccoli, and chicken for protein.

Salads are never easy to get a kid to eat, but if you deconstruct them with the components that they do like, this is the perfect way to turn them on to eating healthy and trying new things. For example, a bento box approach using fruits, vegetables, or nuts kids already enjoy as snacks.

Several snacks add up to one delicious and nutritious meal. Think small portions of olives, carrots and celery with dip, berries, nuts, hummus and crackers, cheese, tuna, avocado, dark chocolate. Your children can guide you or even help you create this lunch option.

Read the full interview on the Cheapism Blog on healthy meal hacks here.

Eat healthy! Be happy! Xo Nicolette

5 of the Best Recovery Drinks to Fuel Your Sweat Sessions

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These days, everyone is looking for water that has super powers. Sure, H2O is fine and delicious on its own, but this humid heat wave—combined with the fact we’re getting workouts in—calls for a little something extra: recovery drinks that have added benefits to just hydration.

Drinking traditional sports drinks—for the sake of electrolytes—isn’t the only way to get the good stuff that you need. Now, the recovery drink market is filled with plant-based electrolyte and magnesium tablets, more bioavailable hydration powders you swirl into your water, hydrogen water packets, and more. The end game of each of these is to fuel your body, without the added sugar.

Read the full interview on Well + Good on recovery drinks here.

Eat healthy! Be happy! Xo Nicolette

Unusual Snacks for Weight Loss

190630-HealthSnacks-1068x534.jpgAre you bored of hummus and carrots? Yeah, us too. Healthy snacking is tough when your cravings hit, but it’s possible to get creative with your taste buds and keep trim.

The key is to give your tastebuds a trip while keeping the calories in check. Add a healthy dose of protein to the mix, and you’ll not only be satisfied, but you’ll curb hunger pangs and cravings. While it may seem counterintuitive to snack when trying to lose weight, it can often lead to quicker pounds shed if done right.

So girl put those potato chips down and let’s get real for a second. We need to fuel your body right. And hey, when the occasional craving hits, you’re welcome to a cookie or two, but we’re going to bet on the fact that you’re not going to be craving unhealthy snacks after fueling yourself with these healthy bites.

I recommend the usuals like baked kale, sweet potato, and zucchini chips, but I’m also a big fan of lupini beans. If you haven’t heard of these yet, try them out in your snack routine, just make sure to prep them properly by rinsing them well. Traditionally, they’re eaten pickled in the Mediterranean basin and Latin America. Another favorite? Popcorn with hot sauce!

Read the full interview on YouBeauty.com on unusual snacks here.

Eat healthy! Be happy! Xo Nicolette

Summer Nutrition & Type 3 Diabetes

3378675+ThinkstockPhotos-589415708.jpgLearn summer nutrition tips, the benefits of eating pineapple, why juicing is overrated, and what exactly IS Type 3 Diabetes (hint: it involves your brain health) in my latest interview for iHeartRadio. I speak with Fearless Fabulous You Host, Melanie Young on these topics and more to help you make informed choices about the foods you eat and how to enjoy them.

Listen to the full interview here. Eat healthy! Be happy! Xo Nicolette

Shocking Things You Never Knew About Grocery Store Produce

cut-fruit-760x506.jpgThe rainbow of colors will seem a little less dazzling when you read these surprising facts.

If you want the freshest fruits and veggies—that is, the ones that were set out for customers most recently—you may have to do a bit of work. Newer expiration dates are placed in the back of shelves, so if you need a longer shelf life, check the back of the shelf.

I was interviewed for Reader’s Digest about grocery store secrets. You can read the full article here.

Eat healthy! Be happy! Xo Nicolette

Typically Meat-Heavy Keto Diet Is Going Vegetarian

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By now, you’ve probably heart of the ketogenic, or “keto,” diet.

It’s a very restrictive regimen of low carb, high fat foods with some similarities to the Atkin’s diet.

But what if you don’t eat meat? Now, a plant-based keto is catching on.

That’s right, keto is going vegetarian.

Typically, when we think of the wildly popular diet, we think heavy on the protein and animal fats, making it appealing to meat eaters.

The strict combination of “low carb, high fat, high protein” will force the body into a state of ketosis, meaning it burns fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. The end result: You can lose more weight, faster.

Enter the ketotarian diet, which is now a refangled version of the ketogenic diet. Avocados, olive oils, nuts and olives… are your fat choices in ketotarian.

Learn more about the Keto Diet by watching my interview in the full TV segment for CBS New York here.

Eat Healthy! Be Happy!

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Decoding Food Labels

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While you may think you’re making some healthy choices at the supermarket by picking products that say “all natural” or “lightly sweetened,” such claims can be misleading.

One thing is for sure: Consumers seem confused when it comes to food labels.

Marketers are very, very clever. What they do is catch trends… and they know what sells.

According to a recent survey by the International Food Information Council, 80 percent of grocery shoppers say information on packaging seems conflicting.

It’s really the front of the box versus the back of the box.

The front of the box is all marketing. The back of the box is “where the real nutrition information is.

Learn more about how to decode food labels by watching my interview in the full TV segment for CBS New York here.

Eat Healthy! Be Happy!

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