Nutrition Blog

How to Fuel Your Body for the Broad Street Run

By: Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitian 

With the Broad Street Run coming up, it’s important to properly fuel your body. Everything you eat and drink leading up to the run has a direct impact on performance. In order to help you better prepare,  our dietitian, Theresa Shank, RD LDN has outlined the best advice to strengthen your body for this year’s race.

Because of the high level of exercise your body is about to endure, hydration is key to regulating body temperature throughout the race. Not only is body temperature a concern, but also without proper hydration your body may experience muscle cramping, which can make for a very unpleasant Broad Street Run.

: Drink at least 16 ounces of water or sports drink an hour or two before the race.

During: Drink 5-12 ounces of water or sports drink every 15-20 minutes during your run.

*Don’t drink TOO much. If you start to hear “sloshing” in your stomach or nauseous then wait at least 15 minutes before drinking more.

Post exercise: Drink 16-30 ounces of water or sports drink.

*Because you are running 10 miles, a sports drink with 5-8% of carbohydrate (Look at Daily Value Percentage) is appropriate for achieving proper hydration and replenishing of glycogen stores.

Pre-Exercise Nutritional Goals: 
It is important to prepare your body with adequate nutrition in the hours leading up to your 10 mile run. Two-three hours before the race, eat a full meal with at least 50 grams of carbohydrate.

Example: A bagel with a tablespoon of peanut butter

Pre-Exercise Fuel (30 minutes – one hour before): 30 grams of Carbohydrate

You want to eat a snack in at least an hour before the race that contains carbohydrates, protein, and a little bit of fat to power through your run.


·          6 ounces of Greek yogurt w/10 almonds and ½ cup fresh/frozen berries

·          2 slices of whole wheat bread with 1 Tbsp. of peanut butter and 2 tsp. of fruit preserves

·          1 hard-boiled egg, a slice of whole wheat toast and a small piece of fruit

·          1 English muffin with ½ banana and 1 Tbsp. of almond butter

·          8-ounce smoothie with 1-cup plain Greek yogurt, ½ banana, 1 Tbsp. peanut butter, ½ cup orange juice or low-fat milk, and ½ Cup ice. (blend together)

Post Exercise Fuel:

After the race, your body is continuing to burn calories. You must ensure proper nutrition after the event to replenish your body with the energy it lost. Focus on eating a small snack with a 4:1 carbs to protein ration within the first 15 minutes after your run. Choose a snack low in fat and fiber to insure proper digestion. Later, within two hours after your run eat a balanced meal.

Post Workout Snack Examples:

·          1 Cup of oatmeal with ½ cup frozen berries or ½ banana

·          8 ounces Greek yogurt with 1 piece of fruit

·          1 slice of whole wheat bread with 2 slices of turkey and 1 slice of low-fat cheese

·          Sweet potato with lean protein

·          8 ounces low-fat/non-fat chocolate milk

What’s in a Registered Dietitians Kitchen?

By Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitian

With Memorial Day right around the corner, we asked Theresa Shank, our registered dietitian what she recommends clients to have in their kitchens to help them lose unwanted winter pounds. Here is what she had to say:

There are many items that are important to have in a healthy kitchen while trying to lose weight, but I won’t bore you with that and just keep it simple by recommending my “must haves.”

Fresh Fruit: Don’t over fruit. Even though fruit is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, its natural sugar content can be troubling for weight loss. I recommend limiting fruit intake to 1- two servings per day. My favorite picks are apples, grapefruit, blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and pears.

Fresh seasonal vegetables or frozen vegetables: the more vegetables you eat the leaner you will be, so aim for at least 5 servings a day. * One vegetable serving counts as a ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw.

Chia or Hemp Seeds: These seeds are good sources of Omega 3’s and fiber. Try adding to salads, oatmeal or smoothies.  * Omega 3 fatty acids aid in decreasing cholesterol, depression, joint pain, diabetes and improve the health of your skin and hair.

Greek Yogurt: Fage and Siggi’s are my favorite brands. I always recommend Greek yogurt because it is higher in protein, making it more satiating than other yogurts. Siggi’s is the only flavored yogurt that I recommend because of its low sugar content in comparison to other flavored yogurts. For example, Siggi’s vanilla flavored yogurt contains just 9 grams of sugar, that’s only 2 more grams of sugar than Fage’s plain Greek yogurt. Can’t beat that!

Grains:  Incorporate grains into your meals to help keep you feeling full longer. Grains provide nutrients such as B vitamins, folic acid, fiber and protein. I recommend limiting grains to 1-2 servings (think the size of your fist) per day. My go to grains are quinoa, black or wild rice and oats (make sure they are hand rolled, never instant)

Sprouted Bread:  Sprouted grain bread vs. store bought whole wheat bread has higher nutrients such as niacin, B6, folate and protein.  Some sprouted grain breads are also noted to contain less carbohydrate than the average slice of whole wheat bread because some of the carbohydrate content is lost in the sprouting process; making it an all-around better choice.

Lean Proteins: Organic poultry, eggs, and wild caught fish are a must in my kitchen. If you are a vegetarian, I caution you to leave the overly processed “meat substitutes” alone! Instead, try tofu, seitan or tempeh, which lend themselves well to various vegetarian dishes such as homemade burgers, stir-fry’s or veggie chili. The possibilities are endless! * I encourage clients to consume fish at least 3-4 times per week during weight loss efforts. 

Olive oil and nut butters: Don’t let the myth that nut butters and oils make you fat, stop you from incorporating these essentials into your diet. Instead, limit you intake of added fat to 1 tbsp. per meal to insure your body the healthy fat it needs while preventing the excess intake that causes weight gain. If you are feeling adventurous try substituting coconut oil, cashew oil or grape seed oil the next time your dish calls for olive oil.

Staying Motivated Through The Winter Months

By: Audrey Hasse, Registered Dietitian

The days are cold, the skies are gray, and the motivation to eat healthy and exercise is harder and harder to find.  Staying on track during the winter months is always a challenge, but one that you can conquer if you create a healthy plan and stick to it.  Here are some tips for healthy eating and exercise to help you stay on track during the seemingly endless winter season.

Healthy Eating

·          Think Ahead:  Before starting another hectic week, take a few minutes to plan ahead for the meals and snacks you are going to eat that week.  Create a shopping list, and hit the grocery store to stock up on everything you will need. 

·          Cook Ahead:  Now that you have all of the healthy ingredients, make as much food as you can while you have some extra time to ease the stress of weeknight cooking. 

·          Get Creative:  Find new recipes, try new dishes, and turn the same old veggies and protein into something new and exiting.

·          Find a Friend:  If you feel your motivation waning, recruit a friend to join in the challenge of staying healthy.  Motivate one another and find the fun of healthy living once again.

·          Purge Your Kitchen:  Before we know it, unhealthy food has crept back into our pantries.  Take a few minutes to purge your kitchen of all the junk, and start again with a clean slate of only healthy options.

Here’s a hearty and healthy chili recipe to help inspire some creative cooking.

Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili with Avocado

Modified from Cookie and Kate


  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash (1½ pounds or less), peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ground sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½+ Tbsp chopped chipotle pepper in adobo* (start with ½ tablespoon and add more to taste)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, including the liquid**
  • 4 cups cooked black beans or 2 cans, rinsed and drained
  • 14-ounce can (about 2 cups) vegetable broth
  • 2 Avocados 


·          In a 4 to 6 quart Dutch oven or stockpot, sauté the chopped vegetables (onion, bell pepper, butternut squash, garlic) in one to two tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat. You’ll need to stir the ingredients every few minutes so they can cook evenly.

·          Once the onions start turning translucent, turn the heat down to medium-low. Add all of the spices and canned ingredients, and stir. Cover for about one hour, stirring occasionally. Taste test for spice level and add more chipotle if desired.

·          By the time your chili is done, the butternut squash should be nice and tender and the liquid should have reduced a bit, producing the hearty chili consistency.

·          Serve the chili in individual bowls with plenty of diced avocado. You can add a little sprinkle of red pepper flakes and cilantro to garnish (optional).


·          Try Something New:  Find a new class to try, jump on a new machine at the gym, or maybe hop in the pool to help spice up your workouts.  Just when you are getting bored with your current routine, find something new to get you motivated once again

·          Ditch The Excuses:  Don’t let the never-ending list of excuses get in your way.  Ignore that little voice in your head that is always making up reasons not to workout.

·          Make Workout Appointments:  Set aside specific time every day in your schedule, literally block it out on your calendar, for exercise, making it a priority each and every day.

·          Find a Friend:  When you know your friend is waiting for you at the gym, you are more likely to get there.  Find a friend to hold you accountable and try new workouts together.

·          Set An Event Goal: Sign up for a race a few months away, (The Broad Street Run, for example) and use that as motivation to get training.  When you have a goal in the future and a reason to workout every day, you are more likely to stay on track.

Here’s a workout you can do right in your living room.  You don’t even have to leave your house!

Warm up

  • 25 jumping jacks
  • Go up and down your stairs
Repeat 4 times

Workout: 10 reps of each exercise as many times as you can in 30 minutes

  • Squats
  • Pushups
  • Lunges
  • Tricep dips on your coffee table or couch
  • Sit ups
  • Lateral lunges

Theresa's Healthy Kitchen 'Must Have' 2015

By: Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitian

Start this New Year off right by purchasing kitchen tools that support healthy cooking and eating. Our registered dietitian, Theresa Shank, has shared her favorite kitchen must have for 2015 to keep your motivation for healthy eating strong and your belly full of wholesome nutrition!

The Spiralizer

This simple kitchen tool is the latest gadget taking healthy kitchens by storm! The spiralizer can turn vegetables such as zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, or squash into spaghetti “noodles”.

Whether you are a vegetable lover, a low carb monitor, paleo fanatic, or have gluten intolerance, you’ll want to purchase this tool for your healthy kitchen!

The spiralizer can be found at most kitchenware stores such as William and Sonoma or on websites such as Amazon.

Try one of my favorite recipes using a spiralizer from

Tips To Avoid Weight Gain This Holiday

By: Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitian

Halloween candy, Thanksgiving feasts and holiday parties; the last couple of months until the end of the year can test the limits of even the most disciplined weight watcher. Our dietitian, Theresa Shank, has provided us with simple tips to avoid weight gain during the holiday.

Stay Mindful
Try to remember that the holiday season is about more than just food. Next time you go to a holiday party, take time to admire the decorations. If there is entertainment, be sure to enjoy it. Focus on visiting with friends and family whom you haven’t seen in a long time. That said, be honest and acknowledge that it would be unrealistic not to indulge in some holiday treats. The key is to do it mindfully, and in moderation.

Do Not Show Up Hungry
Indulge with a purpose. Do not show up to the party starving. Some people will skip breakfast and lunch because they want to save calories for their holiday feast. This is a big mistake because most people are then ravenous and end up eating more than they typically would. I encourage clients to eat something small as opposed to skipping an entire meal. Try having a yogurt with fruit and nuts for breakfast and a protein shake blended with fruits and veggies, this way you can get in your fruit and vegetables before carbohydrate and sweet overload.

Plan Your Plate

Set boundaries. Do not go on autopilot the moment the food is on the table; instead survey your options before piling up your plate. Once you observe your options, choose two options from the less healthy dishes and for the rest of your meal stick to healthier options, such as lean meat, complex carbohydrates and vegetables. To ensure that there is a healthy option available, offer to bring one yourself such as a salad with root vegetables or a side such as quinoa or roasted sweet potatoes.

The holidays are a time for cheering and making toasts. I am not suggesting that you do not drink but I do encourage clients to limit themselves to two drinks per gathering. Two drinks average anywhere from 200- 250 calories, which is the amount I suggest for snacks. Once you hit 3-4 drinks you are hovering close to 500 calories, which doesn’t account for the calories that are coming from your food indulgence. Be smart and drink less. Alcohol causes hangovers, which may cause you to skip the gym the next day. It’s a horrible cycle that can be avoided with control. 

Ultimate Smoothie Components

By: Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitian 

Don't give up your morning smoothie because temperatures are dropping! Smoothies are a great way to consume more fruits and vegetables during the day. Registered Dietitian, Theresa Shank, recommends following 's structure for incorporating a well balanced smoothie into your daily routine! 

Liquid - 1/2 cup: You’ll need some liquid to get everything whirring in your blender, but choose wisely. Skip juices—they’re high in sugar (even when they’re 100% fruit juice).

  • Try these: Unsweetened almond milk or other unsweetened nondairy milks (soy, rice, hemp), low-fat milk, coconut water, water.
Frozen Banana - 1 cup: For natural sweetness and always rich, creamy (not icy) body, frozen banana slices are a must. Another bonus: bananas are a relatively inexpensive fruit.

Frozen Fruit - 1/2 cup: Frozen fruit makes a frosty smoothie without added ice (some blenders can’t handle ice cubes). Buy already frozen fruit or freeze your own.

  • Try these: Blueberries, cherries, strawberries, pineapple, mango, apples, raspberries, blackberries, grapes.

Protein - 1/3 cup: To give your smoothie staying power, add protein. Protein slows the digestion of carbs, keeping you full longer.

  • Try these: Nonfat or low-fat plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, silken tofu.

Greens - 1 cup: Add 1 cup of greens to help meet your daily veggie quota without overpowering your smoothie.

  • Try these: Baby spinach, kale (stemmed and chopped).

Health Bonus - 1 Tbsp.: Throw in chia seeds or flaxseeds, for a boost of omega-3s and fiber. Or add nut butters for healthy fats and a little more protein.

  • Try these: Chia seed, flaxseed, hemp seed, peanut butter, almond butter.

Optional: Have a sweet tooth? Add up to 2 tsp. liquid sweetener like maple syrup or agave.

Protein Energy Bites

By: Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitian

Don't get caught in a snack time rut! Try these natural protein balls from health coach Jessica Wyman for a quick energy bite pre- or post-workout. 

Theresa recommends that you try to incorporate some source of fuel 30 minutes to one hour before exercise. Two to three of these balls have enough satiating protein to get you through your workout. You can also pop a protein ball after your workout to hold off your hunger until your post-workout meal; which should be consumed no later than an hour after exercise to gain muscle-replenishing benefits.   

Raw protein energy bites

Yield: 48 servings

  • 2 cups rolled oats, thick
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. In a large mixing bowl, fold all ingredients together. Mix thoroughly.

2. Using your hands grab some of the mixture and start rolling together in about one inch balls. Squeeze them firmly to help everything stick together.

3. Place the rolled energy balls on a cookie sheet.  You can place them in the freezer for a couple minutes to help them get firm.

4. The peanut butter will start to dry out, so this needs to be done fast. It is helpful to have two people or consider doing a half batch, which really makes it more fun. I do such a large batch because once I make them they are gone pretty fast. 

How to Give Your Midday Sweets Craving a Healthier Tweak

By: Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitian

Throughout my years of practicing as a registered dietitian, I have been presented with numerous healthy lifestyles and/or weight loss questions, one of the most common being “why do I crave chocolate after a meal and how can I control this habit”. My response usually to this question is that our bodies crave sweets for several biological, psychological and lifestyle-related reasons such as low serotonin levels, an unbalanced diet high in carbohydrates, fat restriction, or purely psychological conditioning such as a dessert is what signifies the end of a meal. Regardless what the reason behind your sweet craving is, if you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle or possibly your goal is to lose weight, you’ll have to curb (not eliminate) your daily indulgence.

So let’s be honest, any alternative that truly satisfies a sweet tooth is not going to be the epitome of a healthy snack, but my suggestions could shave off some calories (all suggestions are under 150 calories!),fat and sugar in your afternoon indulgence or late night trip to the candy drawer or freezer. 

·         3 cups of air popped popcorn with 2 tbsp of Bell Plantation, PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter Chocolate ( 138 calories)

·         4 Hershey Kisses ( 100 calories)

·         1 Small Chocolate Covered Banana: I love this recipe from (100 calories)

·         20 Blue Diamond, Oven Roasted Dark Chocolate Almonds ( 132 calories)

·         1, 5.3 ounce ChobaniSimply 100, vanilla yogurt with 2 tbsp of Bell Plantation, PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter Chocolate or 1 piece of Dove, Promises Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate. ( 145 calories)

·         1 Enlightened, Fudge Bar ( 70 calories)

·         ½ Quest, Chocolate Brownie Protein Bar ( 85 calories)

·         24 Annie's Chocolate Chip Bunny Graham cookies (140 calories)

Roasted Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Kale Salad

Yield: 6 servings

Recipe inspired by Two Peas & Their Pod and Eat Yourself Skinny


·         2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

·         1 Tbsp olive oil

·         1 tsp. garlic powder

·         1/2 tsp. onion powder

·         1/2 tsp. oregano

·         1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder

·         1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

·         3 cups kale or mixed greens

·         1/4 cup dried cranberries

For the dressing:

·         1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

·         1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

·         2 Tbsp olive oil

·         1 tsp. minced shallots

·         1 1/2 Tbsp honey


1.     Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2.     Rinse and peel sweet potatoes, chopping them into 1/4 inch cubes. Toss with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and chipotle chili powder until completely coated. Spread sweet potatoes out on prepared baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, flipping them once.

3.     While sweet potatoes are roasting, using a mesh strainer, thoroughly rinse the quinoa. Add a 1/2 cup of water to a small saucepan and add rinsed quinoa. Bring quinoa to a boil, cover and reduce heat and simmer for about 13 minutes. Remove from heat, keeping quinoa covered, and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes then fluff quinoa with a fork.

4.     Combine kale, quinoa and cranberries in a large bowl and toss with dressing. Fold in roasted sweet potatoes, serve and enjoy!


Serving Size: 1 cup • Calories: 204 • Fat: 7.6 g • Carbs: 31.4 g • Fiber: 3.3 g • Protein: 3.8 g • WW Points+: 5 pts

- See more at:

How To: Keep Summer Celebrations Healthy

By: Theresa Shank, Registered Dietitan 

July 4th and other summertime celebrations are meant to be celebrated and enjoyed, but you don’t have to sacrifice your health or beach body every time you attend a BBQ or picnic this summer.

Use these helpful tips from our Registered Dietitian to keep your health and body in check during your summer time celebrations.

1. Use small plates

Studies have clearly shown that by eating off of smaller plates you are likely to consume up to 50% less calories than you would consume by eating off of a larger size plate. Try borrowing a plate from the kids table or the dessert tray to slash your calorie intake in half.

2. Eat the healthy options first

Fill up on fruit salads or veggies tray options before heading over to the grill for a hamburger or hotdog. Fruits and vegetables have lots of fiber, which is a nutrient that keeps you feeling full longer and more satisfied. After you get your dose of fruits and vegetables, choose a lean protein such as grilled chicken or tuna salad to reduce your intake of saturated fat, because ladies, we all know, saturated fat is not our friend!

3. Skip the refined carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates are the worst things you can eat because they offer little satisfaction and loads of calories. BBQs are filled with wonderful food, so do yourself a favor and save your calories for the really good stuff.

Not saying that you have to eat your burger without a bun, but pass on the pointless chips and other snacks that lure you when you’re not thinking.

4. Watch your toppings!

Skip toppings like cheese, mayonnaise and bacon on your favorite grilled options and choose healthier toppers such as Dijon mustard, avocado or sliced tomatoes and lettuce.

5.  Bring a healthy version of your favorite July 4th dessert

Everyone loves brownies or strawberry short cake to end their July 4th meal, but why not be the friend that brings a crowd pleasing dessert that doesn’t hurt the waistline? Try our registered dietitian, Theresa Shank, favorite July 4th dessert recipe for a healthy ending to your celebration.

This flag cake recipe has less saturated fat and calories than regular versions. Theresa enjoys this recipe because it replaces some of the butter with healthy oil and uses reduced fat cream cheese and Greek yogurt to replace full fat cream cheese for the delicious frosting. Enjoy!  Recipe is from

Flag Cake Recipe

Makes: 20 servings

Serving Size: 20 servings

Active Time: 1 1/4 hours

Total Time: 3 hours


  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature (see Tips)
  • 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (see Tips) or all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  • 12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced

1.     To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper; coat the paper and sides of the pan with cooking spray.

2.     Beat granulated sugar, oil and butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just incorporated.

3.     Whisk whole-wheat (or all-purpose) flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Combine buttermilk, lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons vanilla and almond extract in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl alternately with the buttermilk mixture, beating just until incorporated after each addition, scraping down the sides as necessary. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

4.     Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 28 to 34 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out onto the rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

5.     To prepare frosting: Beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a mixing bowl until smooth.

6.     To decorate: Invert the cake onto a platter. Spread the frosting over the top and sides. Mark 3 horizontal lines for the white “stripes” and a rectangle in the upper lefthand corner for the “blue rectangle.” Gently pat berries with a paper towel to dry. Make 3 “stripes” of raspberries on the marked lines. Place half of the blueberries in the “blue rectangle,” leaving space between each berry. Sift the remaining 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar over the raspberries and blueberries to make them the white “stripes” and “stars.” Fill the rest of the “blue rectangle” with the remaining blueberries. Place strawberries between the rows of raspberries as the red “stripes.”

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