Healthy Concepts
Kim Stoeger, MS, Clinical Nutritionist

Kim Stoeger, MS, Clinical Nutritionist

Kimberly Stoeger, MS, is the clinical nutritionist and owner of Nutritional Healing, LLC. Her passion lies in supporting people’s health through evidence-based medicine (risks versus benefits of medications) and healing therapies through nutrition. Kimberly has her masters of science in human nutrition degree, and experience working with clients regarding weight and fatigue issues, sports nutrition, food sensitivities and allergies, and general health concerns such as high blood pressure, high glucose levels, high cholesterol/triglycerides, migraines, thyroid conditions and gut dysfunction. To learn more, call 920-358-5764 or email [email protected]

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 14:50

Sweet and Sour Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

2 large cucumbers

1 small onion

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white vinegar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 clove fresh garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dill

1 teaspoon dried cilantro

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

½ to 1 tablespoon powdered stevia

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

Toast sesame seeds in pan for a minute or two. Be careful because they cook fast! Then set aside.

Spiralize or cut your cucumber and onion into small chunks. Put into a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, lemon, garlic, spices and stevia. Mix it up and taste to see if you need to add anything.

Toss the dressing over the cucumbers and onions and add the toasted sesame seeds at the end.

Fresh cilantro would be tasty addition with this recipe, as well as red pepper flakes to add some spice! The recipe tastes great if it sits for a bit!


 

Monday, 24 August 2015 19:50

Bruschetta

Ingredients:

2 tablespoon olive oil

3-5 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

½ large red tomato

3 small/medium heirloom tomatoes (or 2 pints of cherry/grape tomatoes)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

15-20 fresh basil leaves

1 teaspoon salt (you may not need a whole teaspoon, the cheese will give it a salty flavor too)

¼ teaspoon pepper

Fresh grated parmesan cheese

Ezekiel low sodium gluten-free bread (this crisps up awesome — no need for regular French bread!)

Directions:

Take a few slices of the bread and cut them in half from top to bottom and set aside for now.

Finely chop the garlic. Add the olive oil to a pan and cook the garlic so it becomes fragrant and lightly golden in color. Set aside and let cool just a bit.

Chop the tomatoes into small bite sized pieces. Add garlic and tomatoes to a medium sized bowl. Add the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Finely mince the basil leaves and add to the mixture. Let this mixture sit for an hour or two to allow all of the flavors to come together.

Now add the olive oil to a pan and rub the pieces of bread around so they all get lightly coated in the oil. Keep the heat at medium to medium/high so they do not burn. They should take around 5-10 minutes or so to get nice and crispy. Toast each side.

Spoon the mixture on a piece of bread and sprinkle on some of the cheese. It is delicious!


 

Tuesday, 28 July 2015 20:28

Does your diet need a name?

A lot of people are talking about the benefits of The Paleo Diet. All diets sound convincing at first, but before you start eating mostly meat and giving up on your carbohydrates, I invite you to consider the following:

1. Not all carbs are your enemy.

As humans, we actually need complex carbohydrates for brain health, muscle energy and emotional health. And women in particular will feel the urge for carbs at different times throughout their cycle. These cravings don’t mean you are bad and out of control; they mean your body needs something specific for nourishment. The carbs you don’t want are the simple carbs and those in processed food. Passing on the sugar, cookies and bread to avoid the refined carbs is a healthy choice for sure — but that doesn’t mean you need to stop eating all carbs.

2. Our quality of meat is questionable.

The Paleo Diet is based on our heritage of being hunter/gatherers. The problem is, the meat we eat today is very different from the meat our ancestors used to hunt. Back then, cows were not roaming the woods. Factory farm animals are high in toxins and very inflammatory to the body. Unless you have access to completely grass-fed, free-ranging meat or wild game, it’s best to stick to predominately plant-based sources of protein and fish low in mercury. The philosophy to take away from the hunter/gatherer approach is to eat seasonally and locally for the best quality of nutrients.

3. Whole grains and legumes also go way back in history.

Avoiding all starch may lead to quick weight loss at first, but it’s not what’s best for your long-term health. So often as a nutritionist I see people struggle to omit food groups and instead end up binging on them when they no longer can do the strict diet plan. Choosing starches from whole grains and root vegetables can be very nourishing for your sweet tooth, not just your body. Grains, legumes and root vegetables have been sustainable dietary choices for centuries.

4. The most important thing to remember is how you eat does not have to have a name.

Diets that take a rigid approach to eating don’t work long term because they are “static,” and you are a living organism. They don’t take into account how your daily life changes last minute or how your body needs different foods at different times. Sometimes your body will need more complex carbs. Other times it will need more healthy fats. Sometimes it will need more protein. At least everyone agrees on eating more vegetables and avoiding processed foods.

Letting your body guide you is much healthier than letting a diet guide you. Remember, a one-size-fits-all approach does not truly fit all. It doesn’t even fit you all of the time! Sustainable weight loss happens when you focus on health first. What foods are you not eating that could benefit you? Take that approach versus what to eliminate!


 

Monday, 29 June 2015 21:05

Apple Cinnamon Cake

Looking for an easy breakfast option not loaded with sugar? Try our protein-rich Apple Cinnamon Cake! This perfect alternative will give you about 11 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per serving!

Ingredients:

1 19-ounce can of chickpeas

4 eggs beaten

2 tablespoons powdered stevia

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 medium apple grated through a fine grater

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

(Makes 4 servings)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Drain and rinse chickpeas and process them until smooth in a blender or food processor. Spoon the puree into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients, stirring until fully combined. The mixture will be runny. This is normal.

Grease an 8x8 cake pan. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting into squares. Enjoy!


 

Wednesday, 27 May 2015 13:02

Blueberry Fruit Dip

One of the most difficult food groups to eat each day are legumes, or as we more commonly refer to them, beans. With the upcoming summer months ahead, we know life is going to be busy with traveling, tailgating, vacations, graduation parties, weddings and so on. Beans are a food that just does not pop up while we’re out and about. Something fun and tasty to make ahead of time and bring along to many of these social events is Blueberry Fruit Dip.

Not only will you be tackling the challenging food group of beans, but your guests won’t even know that it’s good for them! This delicious dip is a great way to get in fruit and beans, and enjoy their health benefits all at once!

Ingredients:

1 container of blueberries (approximately 1.5 cups)

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed well

2.5 teaspoons powdered stevia

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in food processor until well blended. (Add more beans if you want it thicker). Serve with slices of fruit!


 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015 13:41

Eliminate pain with food

We have all experienced the uncomfortable pains of overeating in our lives, but could what you eat really be the culprit of arthritis, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, digestive and skin disorders as well? Yes, in fact, it can be to blame. Scientists are making a strong link between our food choices and pain. Over 70 percent of our immune cells are in our digestive system, making direct contact with the food we enjoy every day. If the immune system is triggered by bacteria in food, flags a food as an allergen, or has an imbalance of important hormones such as insulin, it can set off the red alert of inflammation.

Inflammation is a major underlying factor in chronic conditions such as arthritis or poor digestive health, resulting in serious discomfort and a limited lifestyle. In other instances, inflammation is a periodic byproduct of stress and the proverbial wear and tear of living. At times we tax our bodies excessively, causing joint pain and decreased mobility. And yet, there are occasions where the stressful demands of work and family — the unexpected obstacles that are symptoms of financial and personal hardship, unhealthy diet and too little sleep — manifest themselves through inflammation.

Persistent, systemic inflammation also increases a person’s risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and an assortment of other problems that become more likely as we age. More disturbing is the rise in the use of prescription drugs — many of which have serious long-term side effects — as a response to the growing threat of inflammation. Bottom line? Inflammation is the root of all chronic disease. How inflammation becomes visible in our own health will depend on the person.

There are immediate steps we can all take to reduce inflammation, starting with improved eating habits. Sufficient rest, moderate activity and a strong immune system also complement our dietary choices so that we can better control inflammation when it strikes. Diet is critical! Amidst the far-too-numerous types of processed foods, sugary drinks and oversized meals, we must seize any chance to embrace the benefits of sound nutrition. When you eat foods you’re sensitive to (especially over and over each day or week), it causes an inflammatory reaction in your body and your health declines. And an important fact to note is that healthy foods such as squash, turkey, beans and apples, for example, may be your “personal poison” foods causing the inflammation.

The easiest way to discover your food sensitivities is a food sensitivity lab test. It’s a blood test that challenges the part of your immune system responsible for food sensitivities against different foods to determine your immune response. The strength of the response tells if you have a severe, moderate or mild sensitivity or none at all. You can choose to test up to 200 different foods, with results listing all your sensitive foods, the degree of sensitivity and your safe foods. It’s that simple. Imagine how long it would take to test that many foods on an elimination diet! It is not a matter of whether a person has food sensitivities. In my experience, how many and which foods are what the blood test results show. The solution to pain is choosing to support your immune system with your next meal. We eat numerous times throughout the day, every day. Your next bite of food has the power to help, or the power to heal. Which would you prefer?


 

Tuesday, 31 March 2015 14:15

Chicken Pad Thai with Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup bok choy (diced)
  • 1 cup carrots (thinly sliced)
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup no-salt-added chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Bragg liquid aminos
  • 1 red chili pepper

Garnishes

  • 2 tablespoons peanuts, chopped
  • Green onions (chopped)
  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Directions

Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. If you are having difficulty cutting it, try microwaving it whole for a minute or two. Scrape away the seeds. Place squash on a foil-covered cookie sheet and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for 40 to 60 minutes. Remove, let sit for 5 minutes, and then “shred” the squash with a fork.

In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, sauté garlic for 1 minute. Add the bok choy and carrots and sauté over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Remove and set aside on a plate.

Add chicken broth, peanut butter, Bragg liquid aminos, rice vinegar and red chili pepper to skillet. Heat until smooth. Return veggies to the pan, as well as the spaghetti squash. Add in chicken and heat over medium heat for 5 minutes or until sauce has coated all.

Divide among 2 plates/bowls and top with peanuts, cilantro, green onion and lime wedge.


 

Monday, 23 February 2015 22:17

Twice Baked Breakfast Sweet Potatoes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • Sea salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • 4 small eggs

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Poke sweet potatoes with a knife a couple times then place directly onto oven rack. Cook for 40-45 minutes until soft. Remove and let cool.
  2. In a large skillet, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil, stirring for about 1 minute. Add spinach and cook for about 5-7 minutes until onion is translucent and spinach is soft.
  3. Once sweet potatoes are cool, cut lengthwise then scoop out the middle of the sweet potato. I used a knife to cut about ¼ inch away from the skin all the way around, then I cut the middle into 3 pieces. This makes it easier to remove the middle without breaking the skin.
  4. Mash sweet potato into skillet. If it is a little undercooked, cover and cook for 10 more minutes.
  5. Stir in salt and pepper. Place sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  6. Scoop mash into potato shells then create a large divot for the egg. You will want to make sure the divot is big enough to fit the egg.
  7. Break 1 egg into each divot. Cook for 15 minutes or until yoke is set.
  8. Enjoy!
Monday, 26 January 2015 21:50

Snacking and weight loss

Many times we are told to eat three small meals a day and snacks in between. It keeps your metabolism going and controls cravings until your next meal. However, eating the wrong foods during snack time could significantly obstruct your goal to weight loss. Sugars, artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, fats and refined carbs love to hide in foods disguised or packaged as “healthy.”

Here is a list of snacks that will not help your waistline:

Trail mix/granola bars

A serving of store-bought trail mix is a measly ¼ cup, a serving size that roughly no one will stick to. Granola bars sound super healthy and from nature, but unfortunately even the health aisle products are just not good for you. Plus, the processed milk chocolate and random high glycemic fruits in them aren’t doing you any favors, either. Even varieties without chocolate still are loaded with hidden sweeteners and unnecessary oils. Instead, make your own energy mix with raw nuts and dehydrated fruits. Sticking to a ¼-cup serving size of this simple mix will ensure that you’re getting nutrients your body needs instead of empty calories that won’t even fill you up.

Pretzels

These classic snacks are high in sodium — almost 20 percent of your daily intake is in one serving of pretzels. Too much sodium leads to increased water retention, which can lead to bloating and puffiness, and too much sodium over time can lead to heart disease. Opt for some salted and shelled pistachios instead. They contain almost double the protein and three times the fiber of pretzels, which means they’ll keep you full much longer than pretzels will.

Diet soda

Removing the sugar from a soda does not turn it into a health food. Artificial sweeteners can make you feel full and keep cravings at bay, but they also have a negative effect on your metabolism. Not to mention the amount of chemicals that you are consuming which the body doesn’t even recognize. This leads to cravings later in the day for real calories and food. Eliminating diet soda (and caffeine) can be difficult at first, but in the end is completely worth it. Try drinking sparkling water flavored with a little added stevia or fruit.

Banana chips

Banana chips also may seem like a good idea because they are primarily bananas, right? Wrong. They are usually fried, which means they are high in saturated fat. And when you think about the number of banana chips you’d eat compared to a real banana, it’s pretty eye-opening how much natural sugar you’re taking in. Instead, go for the obvious substitution here: a fresh piece of fruit! Fresh fruit is nonprocessed, full of vitamins and phytonutrients, and has a healthy dosage of fiber!

Rice cakes

Rice cakes are commonly perceived as healthy foods because they are low in calories and contain no fat, but they are also incredibly high on the glycemic index. Pure sugar has a rating of 100, and rice cakes have a rating of 82. Again, these snacks are highly processed and full of empty calories that will not get you to your weight loss goals. Try popped amaranth or roasted chickpeas for a healthier crunchy snack.

Flavored yogurts

All flavored yogurts are typically going to be loaded with real sugar or packed with artificial sweeteners for flavoring. Instead of falling for the “low calorie,” or “low sugar” marketing these products advertise, opt for plain Greek yogurt and add your own fruit; it’s low in sugar and contains healthy proteins to fill you up.

Bottom line: Don’t be fooled by clever product marketing and advertising. You will never fail in health when you give your body real, whole food!


Your new diet and fitness routine had you dropping pounds and looking and feeling good — until it suddenly just stopped. Now what?

So, you think you’ve hit a “plateau”? A plateau is essentially a point in your health where things just need to be adjusted. Health is an ongoing journey, and should never been viewed as a destination point.

Having a stretch where your weight loss slows to nothing is a natural phenomenon, so do not get discouraged. You’re consuming fewer calories than you used to, so your metabolism has slowed down to conserve them. Keep in mind that as long as you stick with your workouts and healthy eating, you’ll typically start losing weight again after about three weeks.

It’s also important to measure success through other positive changes to your body, like a smaller waist and hips from lost inches. You also want to measure success by noticing your body becoming more toned through lost inflammation and maintenance of lean tissue. If you don’t want to wait for the plateau to end on its own, there are things you need to ask yourself if you want to jumpstart your losing streak.

1. Are you keeping track of your daily calories?

In all honestly, plateaus are somewhat of a myth, and what tends to be happening is someone claiming to have hit one isn’t paying enough attention to detail. When you first start a diet and fitness program, you make drastic changes — maybe you gave up soda, sugar, fast foods — your body responded to that and you lost weight fast.

To continue to lose weight, you’ll need to create a consistent calorie deficit, which means you’ll need to start paying attention to what really matters: how many calories you’re consuming, where those calories are coming from and how many you’re burning. Multiples studies have shown that the more regularly someone keeps a diet/exercise log, the more weight they will lose. Pay attention to those dietary details because it will help you realize how many calories you burn on a day-to-day basis. Many people don’t realize that they truly aren’t eating enough!

2. Are you trying to lose vanity pounds?

If you’re only trying to lose 5, 10 or 15 pounds, you’re in a different place than someone who wants to drop over that amount, or well into the triple digits. You’re not necessarily considered obese, and these pounds are connected to simply wanting to look better.

The human body doesn’t want to be carrying around excess weight, so it will respond to diet and exercise. When you have a smaller amount of weight to lose, your body is already healthy, which makes it tougher to lose weight. What people in this situation often do is cut more calories or increase their time at the gym — but this method will not work. All that does is slow your metabolism down and send your body into starvation mode. The best quick fix is to give your body a little more food so it feels secure. Varying your calorie intake and the specific foods that you’re getting your calories from is a great way to switch things up for your body.

3. Do you need to change up your workout?

If you’re overweight (not trying to lose vanity pounds), tracking the foods and calories you eat every day, and still not shedding any weight, here’s what you need to do: Switch up your workout. You might not realize this, but your body will adapt to any type of exercise. The first time you go run a mile, it is probably going to be rough. But by the 40th time you run a mile, it’s a lot easier, right? As you get used to a type of exercise, it becomes less challenging and, as a result, less effective. That’s why it’s so important to mix it up. Change your workout routine by type, frequency, time or intensity.

4. Do you have a hormone imbalance or underlying health concern?

If you’ve followed everything above and nothing has worked, there’s one last thing that might be causing your plateau: inflammation, hormone imbalance or an underlying health condition. For example, food sensitivities, thyroid disorders, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome — they could all be making your body hold onto pounds.

Don’t immediately assume this is the problem, but if you have truly tried everything else, it might be worth getting specialized blood work done and working with someone who can evaluate you personally.


Kimberly Neher, MS, is the clinical nutritionist and owner of Nutritional Healing, LLC. Her passion lies in supporting people’s health through evidence-based medicine (risks versus benefits of medications) and healing therapies through nutrition. Kimberly has her master of science in human nutrition degree, and experience working with clients regarding weight and fatigue issues, sports nutrition, food sensitivities and allergies, and general health concerns such as high blood pressure, high glucose levels, high cholesterol/triglycerides, migraines, thyroid conditions and gut dysfunction. To learn more, call 920-358-5764 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 
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