Total Nutrition Technology


Archive for November 2014

Turkey & Squash Soup

This Southwestern-inspired turkey and squash soup is the perfect recipe to help you use up some of that left over turkey from Thanksgiving.

Makes: 6 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 leeks, trimmed, chopped and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, (1 small to medium), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 pound turkey cutlets, cut into 1/2-by-2-inch strips
2 cups frozen corn kernels
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leeks and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in broth, squash, thyme and cumin; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
Add turkey and corn; return to a simmer and cook until the turkey is just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Add lime juice and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper.

Per serving: 231 calories; 3 g fat (0 g sat, 1 g mono); 30 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 24 g protein; 6 g fiber; 550 mg sodium; 692 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (260% daily value), Vitamin C (120% dv), Folate (21% dv), Iron (20% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 very lean meat

Source: Eating Well

Black Friday Deals 2014


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Creamy Cauliflower Mash

R.N. and TNT Health Educator Susan Connor has a favorite low-calorie alternative to mash potatoes - Cream Cauliflower Mash.  Infused with a little garlic, buttermilk and a touch of butter, this mash is perfect for the holidays ahead!  And as a bonus...this recipe has about one-quarter the calories of traditional mashed potatoes.  Enjoy!

Makes: 4 servings, 3/4 cup each

8 cups bite-size cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk (see Tip)
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Snipped fresh chives for garnish

Place cauliflower florets and garlic in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover and steam until very tender, 12 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, place florets and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 cup water, cover and microwave on High for 3 to 5 minutes.)
Place the cooked cauliflower and garlic in a food processor. Add buttermilk, 2 teaspoons oil, butter, salt and pepper; pulse several times, then process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garnish with chives, if desired. Serve hot.


Tip: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.


Per serving: 107 calories; 7 g fat (1 g sat, 4 g mono); 3 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 5 g protein; 4 g fiber; 339 mg sodium; 288 mg potassium.

Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 1/2 fat

Source: Eating Well

The Best (And Easiest!) Sweet Potato Recipe Ever

By:Kim Norton - TNT Health Educator

TNT Health Educator, Kim Norton shares her FAVORITE sweet potato recipe. This fast, easy and healthy recipe is perfect for any day of the week and would even taste amazing as part of your Thanksgiving meal!

After washing ingredients, simply cube sweet potatoes and apples and thinly slice onion.

Toss everything in 2- Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Spread on baking sheet and salt lightly with seas salt.

Bake at 400 degrees for 60-80 minutes - toss every 20 min.  Enjoy cold or warm!

6 sweet potatoes
2 large vidalia onion
2 granny smith apples
sea salt

1. Pre Heat oven to 400
2. Wash and cube potato and apples, keeping the skin on.  And then thinly slice onion.
3. Toss together, add EVOO lightly until coated
4. Spread onto 1 or 2 baking sheets
5. Lightly add sea salt
6. Bake 60-80 mins at 400.  Toss every 20 mins

***Can eat cold or warm***

Exchanges:6 ounces/approx 1 cup = 1.5 starch, .5 fruit, .5 fat


About Kim Norton

Co-owner of Balance Fitness Studio for 12 years and a 4th year Health Educator for Total Nutrition Technology (TNT), Kim is a Licensed Athletic Trainer through NATABOC, a Certified Personal Trainer through National Council of Strength and Fitness, and Certified Nutrition Specialist through the American Academy of Sports Dietitians and Nutritionists.

Kim is the Head Athletic Trainer and Health Educator for the Charlotte Copperheads Professional Lacrosse team and focuses on lifestyle management for both male and female clients ages 12-75, including; sports performance, rehabilitation, weight management, overall health and wellness and customized meal plans.

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Just a Little Punny Thanksgiving Parady!

Upcoming holidays have you a little stressed? Stop what you're doing and watch one family's hilarious Thanksgiving-themed parody of Meghan Trainor's "All about That Bass."

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TNT Workout Wednesday - Jump Rope

4 Tips Healthy Eating on the Road

By: Total Nutrition Technology

Winter, summer, spring or fall, there is ALWAYS some reason that we have for traveling. Whether for business or pleasure, a short road trip or a long vacation, this can be a challenging time for your eating plan but it CAN be done with some knowledge and planning ahead.

As you know, just like when you are eating in a restaurant at home, you need to watch out for the same things when you are eating in restaurants in other cities
-          watch your portion sizes (you can probably split an entrée with family member or friends since you won’t be taking home left-overs)
-          Look for low-fat preparation methods – grilled, steamed or broiled without butter, baked or stir-fry with minimal oil
-          Choose lean meats and avoid cheeses (these will almost never be low fat cheeses in restaurants)
-          Avoid sauces/gravies on dishes by asking for them on the side
-          Ask for dressings on the side and don’t be afraid to ask for toppings that you don’t want (cheese, butter, sour cream, etc) to be left off of side dishes
-          Watch out for foods described as “crispy”, “smothered”, “sautéed”, “au gratin”, “aioli”, or “crusted”
-          Try a clear soup, salad with dressing on the side, shrimp cocktail or hummus and pita chips for an appetizer as opposed to most other choices as these will likely be fried foods or high-fat dips

Another thing that can derail your efforts is forgetting to eat every 3 hours. When we are not in our usual settings/environments and patterns, we tend to get off track but remember that skipping these snacks in between meals can often lead to excessive hunger and over-eating when the meal time does arrive so plan ahead to have your snacks with you (more on that in the next section)

Also, don’t forget about your water! Remember that our body gives off the same signals as hunger when we may really just be dehydrated so DO continue to make a good effort to get your recommended amount of fluid in each day even on vacation.

What if you are eating at a friend’s house and don’t have choices with the foods? The same rules apply as if you are eating out – try to avoid cheeses and sauces as much as possible as these are MAIN calorie /fat offenders in many dishes. If a higher-fat food is absolutely unavoidable, try to control your portions as much as possible and try to fill up on salad or other veggies being served (as long as they are not drenched in heavy sauces)

If there are hors d’ourves, again, try for the vegetable tray, shrimp cocktail or chicken skewers as opposed to those puff-pastry or fried pieces.

Do some research! With the internet at our fingertips, it is often possible to look for surrounding restaurants ahead of time to get some good ideas about where to eat. Going one step further, it may even be possible to pull up the actual menu ahead of time and discuss with your health educator what options to pick when you are at that location – no guesswork involved J

Pack snacks! It is terrific if you are comfortable eating in restaurants and feel confident in your choices for meals but don’t forget about those snacks. Depending on where you are going, you might want to pack some of your favorite granola bars or other snack packs so that you can carry them with you. As mentioned above, one of the challenges is remembering to eat in between meals but the NEXT challenge is eating the best choice when you DO remember so bringing your own snacks along with you in your pocket or purse is the best way to avoid stopping in a store/booth/gas station for something that may be much higher in fat and sugar than you would really want to eat.

Practice eating out at home before you go! If eating in a restaurant is intimidating, you may want to try it a few times before you leave on your trip so you can practice making your food choices and then can discuss it with your health educator in your sessions before you go. As they say, practice makes perfect! If you don’t eat out often, you may be more tempted once you are actually IN the situation so doing this once or twice before you leave will help you make good choices and feel comfortable ordering menu items prepared in the manner that you prefer.

Airports can be particularly dangerous for weight-conscious travelers but healthy choices ARE available. Unfortunately they are often not as readily accessible as the pizzas, hot dogs, and other fast food items. 
The best strategy is to travel with your own snacks by planning ahead. Look at the time of day you are going to leave your house…. Is it first thing in the morning? Will you have time for breakfast before you leave? Will you be able to grab lunch before you get on the plane? How long is the flight and will you need a snack during the flight? In order to be prepared, you need to first think about how long you will be away from your house/hotel so that you can pack as many snacks and/or meals as you will need.
Some great portable snacks are:
  • Baggies of carrot sticks or other sliced vegetables
  • Granola bars (Kashi, Nutrigrain, Health Valley, etc)
  • Fresh fruit (like apples that won’t get squashed) or small portions of dried fruit (1/4 cup)
  • 2 tsp peanut butter on 1 ½ sheets graham crackers
  • String cheese stick and a small handful of reduced fat crackers
Remember, these snacks can be important not only while you are waiting in the airport, but also while you are on the flight!
But if you get caught in the airport without a stash of snacks on hand, create your own healthy meal or snack! It IS possible to buy fresh fruit, low fat yogurt and even low fat string cheese now in the Charlotte airport – cool! If you need a meal you could look for salads with some lean protein (but watch the fatty dressings) or a grilled chicken sandwich or turkey sandwich without cheese and bottled water, skim milk, or crystal light.
If you're on one of the increasingly rare flights that serve food, order a vegetarian meal or Kosher meal. You can also call ahead of time and advise the airline of any special dietary needs you have or ask if they have a lower-fat, or lower-cholesterol option available.
If you are taking a long road trip, consider packing a cooler with some fresh fruit, low fat string cheese snacks, lean deli meat sandwiches, baked chips or pretzels and plenty of fluid. YES, it is annoying to have to pull over for frequent bathroom breaks on the road but, not only is it good for your circulation to stop and stretch every few hours, it is important NOT to avoid drinking because that dehydration can fake you into thinking you are hungrier than you really are J
If you have exhausted your pre-packed snacks and are stopping at a fast food chain, remember the same restaurant rules apply, go for a grilled chicken sandwich (without mayo, dressing, cheese) and a side salad or fruit (almost every chain has some kind of fruit side dish now instead of fries) OR a grilled chicken salad without the higher-fat toppings (nuts, seeds, tortilla strips or Asian noodles, cheese and dressing) Again, most fast food chains will have a low fat dressing option AND most of these toppings come on the side so they are easy to omit. If you are at a deli-type of restaurant, stick to a small or 6-inch sub on whole wheat with lean ham or turkey, no cheese and no oil but load up on vegetables and maybe some baked chips or fruit on the side.

If you haven’t booked your hotel yet, look for one that has some fitness facilities or group activities that you might like so that you can incorporate your workouts into your day.
If you’ve already booked a hotel, you will probably be able to look at your hotel ahead of time on the internet to check out their fitness facilities so it’s just up to you to remember to pack those sneakers and exercise clothes.
If being in a gym is not your idea of being on vacation, take a long walk on the beach or explore a new town (and try not to stop too often to shop J ) or even find some stairs or hills to walk/run up and down.

1) Make a list of 3 different snacks you will pack to prevent buying higher sugar/fat foods on the road.

2) Try to look up at least 1 restaurant you may eat in while on vacation and what your food choice would be

3) Make a plan for your exercise ahead of time

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#MondayMotivation - The Mind Is Everything

7 Tips For a Healthier Weekend

By: Total Nutrition Technology

We all know how things can go.  You work hard and stay on track all week - making smart food choices, avoiding temptations and getting in your workouts. But then the weekend hits and somehow your willpower starts to wavier.  You meet up with friends for a beer or a glass of wine to unwind from the long week.  Next thing you know that table is full of the types of snacks that commonly go along with that beer and wine.  Sound familiar?

The weekend can bring a lot of challenges to staying on track to meeting your goals.  It's easy to see really.  During the week we are generally more wake up, go to school or work, eat a pre-planned snack and lunch, schedule in your exercise, eat a planned dinner and get to bed at a decent hour so you can do it all over again the next day! 

For many, the weekend is usually a time to decompress.  Have a lazy day -- no set schedule. And this can also lend itself to being lazy about your healthy habits.  But it doesn't have to be that way.  Here are 7 healthy weekend tips can help you stay healthy and on track over the weekend.

1. Go outside!
Sadly we are spending more time indoors.  Most of us work inside during daylight hours. And with the cold weather comes a shorter day and less daylight.  So take the weekend as an opportunity to plan your activities around the outdoors!  Instead of going shopping or watching a movie, take a hike or simply a walk. Just get outside and play!  In addition to benefiting your physical health, you will see that connecting with nature will improve your mental health promoting a little relaxation.

2. Hit the gym...a little longer
Take advantage of not being on a schedule over the weekend and squeeze in 15 more minutes of your workout.  Take a lull in the day and throw on those running shoes and get in a 30 minute run.  Take the day to try a new class at the gym.  Use the weekend as a chance to mix things up with your workouts!

3. Sleep!
Changing your sleep patterns could throw off your schedule and could also interfere with weight loss. In fact, there have been several studies linking less sleep to extra body weight.  The benefits of sleep are undeniable.  So use the weekend to recharge your batteries.  

4. More water than alcohol
It's important to remember that drinking your calories can add up quickly.  According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 5% of the average American’s calories come from alcohol. That might not sound like a lot, but let's do a little math. If a person consumes a 2,000 calorie diet, that’s over 36,000 calories per year. That's 36,000 empty calories -- and thus not providing any essential vitamins, minerals or other nutrients. So remember, replacing a few alcoholic beverages with water will help improve your diet and your overall health.

5. Eat like it's a weekday
When you thing about it, Saturday and Sunday are just two more days in the week.  So why do we treat them so differently when it comes to our eating and exercise habits?  Make it a point to stay on schedule with just a couple aspects of your day - meals and exercise.  Make sure you don't skip a meal.  And keep healthy snacks pre-packed in your pantry and car so they are ready to grab and go.  These little things will help minimize those temptations that the weekend can bring. 

6. Schedule a Monday weigh-in
If you need a little extra help staying accountable, schedule your weigh-in for Monday morning.  Knowing that you will be stepping on the scale can help keep you motivated and aware of your weekend choices.

7. Plan for the week ahead
The weekend is a great time to plan ahead.  Things are typically not as rushed.  We have the time to sit down and plan out meals.  Use the weekend to prepare healthy food options in advance.  Pre-pack snacks and keep them ready to go in the fridge and pantry.  This way when the busy week starts you have everything ready to go so you can stay on track with ease.  Set yourself up for success!

Use these ideas to stay on track this weekend, and revisit this list to have healthy weekends moving forward!

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6 Simple Rules for Amazing Health

By: Nate Questelle - TNT Health Educator

Being healthy doesn't need to be difficult. These are 6 simple rules we should all be aiming for for optimal health:

1. Sleep Better.
This is when your body recovers from all the stress you have put it through during the day. Especially during Deep Sleep, muscles and tissues are rejuvenated and new cells are regenerated during this phase of sleep. Sleep deprivation can also inhibit the production of hormones and offset their effects on the body. If you are not getting at least 7 hours of restful sleep per night, most of your efforts with diet and exercise are going out the window.

2. Clean up your diet.
EAT REAL FOOD It is as simple as that. What is real food? Food that is not overly processed. If there are ingredients on the label that you can not pronounce are have no idea what they are…good idea not to eat it. Choose whole, nutrient dense food. You can choose these by, first off, shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store. This is the Produce section, Breads (whole grains, in moderation), Meats (Beef, Chicken, Pork, Fish), and Dairy/Eggs (Eggs, Cheese, Milk or Almond Milk (if no nut allergies), Yogurt, and all natural butter(choose grass fed or pastured when possible for all dairy, eggs, and meat) Look for GOOD FATS. Olive Oil, Avocados, Nuts, Coconut Oil, etc…

Basically if “food” can sit on a shelf without refrigeration or being frozen and not spoil or rot…leave it alone!

3. Increase Water Intake.
Choose filtered water whenever possible. The less Chlorine the better, and shoot for half your body weight in ounces. Example: You weigh 200lbs you divide in half 200/2 = 100…so try and drink 100 oz. per day. Our bodies are almost 60 % water. We use water for temperature regulation, nervous system protection, cushioning joints, keep skin moist, and rid the body of waste. Even mild dehydration can have significant effects on you. Two noted side effects are fatigue and feeling of hunger…two things you definitely do not want while trying to exercise and manage your weight.

4. Walk outside, often.
Straightforward. Shoot for 30 minutes per day. Work up to this if just starting out. Vary your terrain and your speed to challenge yourself. The benefits of walking are numerous ranging from improved cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and reducing risks of certain cancers, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis…just to name a few. It is also a known endorphin releaser that helps elevate your mood and just make you feel better…we can all use that.

5. Stress Management and Social Engagement.
Again, straightforward…manage your stress or it will manage you. A certain amount of stress is OK and can actually be a good thing. It is a Motivator, when you have that deadline at work or you are cramming for a test. It is also a Cognitive Enhancer. Studies have shown it aids in memory and recall. Finally, it gives us that adrenaline surge when in danger to save ourselves. But long term or chronic stress, left untreated can lead to a whole host of health issues from the initial tense muscles and head aches to the far end of the spectrum of stomach ulcers, heart disease, and cancer. Stress is also hard on your digestive system, as it affects which nutrients your intestines absorb, influences how quickly food moves through your body, and can provoke you to eat more or less than you normally do or should. Researchers also find that people with strong social connections have less stress-related health problems, lower risk of mental illness, and faster recovery from trauma or illness. All of us need other people in order to be well and thrive.

6. Resistance Training.
Lift something heavy at least twice per week. The benefits of resistance training are right up there with walking. Protects bone health and muscle mass, makes you stronger and fit, improves body mechanics, boost metabolism, helps prevent disease and again elevates mood!

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10 Essential Keys to Intuitive Eating

When it comes to the way we eat, particularly how we work to uphold a healthy eating lifestyle, there is a term that pops up..."intuitive eating".  Have you ever heard of it?  Well the overreaching goal of "intuitive eating" is to achieve a healthy relationship with food and throw out the notion of dieting.  

We've put together 10 essential keys to achieving intuitive eating to help you achieve your healthy relationship with food:

1. Reject the diet mentality- Throw all those diet books and magazine articles out the window. They do nothing more than give you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily and permanently. Even more absurd, they are often not based on science but on unproven myths, unrealistic rules, and some can actually be harmful and do permanent damage.

2. Listen to your body and honor your hunger- keep your body biologically fueled with all the macronutrients. Remember, calories = energy. Don’t wait till you become famished. This will trigger the primal drive to overeat. Once that happens, all desire to stick to intentional portion sizes and balance will be fleeting and irrelevant. Addressing the first signs of hunger will give you a head start to setting the pace for your biological urge to eat.

3. Make peace with your food- give yourself permission to eat. Eliminate phrases like, “I can’t “, or “I shouldn’t”. Stop referring to foods as “Good” or “Bad”. This can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings that could lead to binging. This, in turn, can lead to strong feelings of guilt.

4. Lose the food police – Watch out for the voice in your head that says you are “Good” for eating under 1000 calories, or “Bad” for eating a piece of chocolate cake. That is the voice that monitors the unrealistic “Rules” that dieting has created. The jail is housed deep within our psyche and it’s time to set you as the prisoner free. This is a critical step towards becoming a

5. Respect your fullness – Listen to your body for signs of fullness. Pause during a meal and ask yourself, “are you comfortably full yet?” Also ask, “How does the food taste?” Learn to assign numbers to your level of fullness where you feel like stopping. (for example a 7 out of 10). Practice using your body signals to stop at that same point for other meal times.

6. Discover the satisfaction factor- Don’t overlook the experience of pleasure when eating. In our efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle we often forget that eating is designed to be enjoyable. When you eat what you really want in an environment that is inviting and conducive, it will become a powerful source of feeling satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself you will find it takes much less food to feel satisfied.

7. b- Find other ways to comfort, nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food. We all experience fear, anxiety, hurt, loneliness, boredom, anger and guilt from time to time. They each have their own set of triggers and their own appeasement. Food may comfort, distract, even numb in the short term, but it will never be a permanent solution. Eating for an emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. Accept the feelings and learn to resolve them in a more productive way.

8. Respect your body- Accept your genetics as it relates to the size and shape of your body. Just as someone who wears a size 9 shoe, would not expect to squeeze into a size 6 shoe, it is equally uncomfortable and unrealistic to have the same expectations about your body. This is not to say change is not impossible, just make sure to have realistic expectations when it comes to body change. Instead, try to respect your body for what it can do, how it feels, and what you like about it. This type of respect will help you feel less critical about body shape and better about who you are inside of that body.

9. Exercise- Just get active and feel the movement. Shift your thought pattern from “How many calories am I burning?” to “How does this type of movement make me feel?” More importantly, do not forget to focus on how you feel afterward. If you focus on how you feel afterward, such as energized, it will be a lot easier to get out of bed early in the morning for that brisk walk. If the only goal is to burn calories to lose weight, how easy will it be to hit the snooze alarm?

10. Honor your health- Make your food choices ones that honor your health and your taste buds.

Remember that you do not have to eat perfect to be healthy. You will not suddenly get nutritional deficiency or gain weight from one snack or one meal. It is consistency over time, progress, not perfection, that counts.

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Adapted from “Creating a healthy relationship with food, mind, body”, Authors Evelyn Tribole MSRD and Elyse Resch MS RD FADA.

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