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Nutrition & Fitness Newsletter

Tasty Substitutions for Holiday Cooking

For some of us the holiday celebrations are a minefield of foods that add to the waistline and make you feel poorly.  Here are a few navigation tips on how to save calories and modify meals to make them healthier.  Check out how these small changes can make a huge difference without sacrificing taste.
  • Change the Fat -   When cooking, substitute a portion of the butter with olive oil.  You’ll have the buttery flavor while consuming less saturated fat and more healthy fats.  For every tablespoon of butter substituted with olive, will save you 5 grams of saturated fat.  Saturated fat is the bad fat that promotes inflammation and raises bad cholesterol.

  • Get More Antioxidants -  Try having mashed sweet potatoes instead of regular white mashed potatoes or add mashed cooked cauliflower to the potatoes. Colorful vegetables have more antioxidants. Even though cauliflower is white it belongs to the family of cruciferous vegetables that have phytonutrients and potent cancer fighting properties.

  • Save on Calories -  Holiday shopping is all about finding the best deal.  How about finding the best deal calorie-wise?  If you are preparing the traditional sweet potato/yam recipe, skip the marshmallows and use apricot or peach jam for the added sweetness.  1 cup of miniature marshmallows = 150 calories vs. 1 tablespoon of fruit juice sweetened jam = 37 calories.  The jam goes a long way in adding sweet fruit flavor without the refined sugar in marshmallows.  Serve up one less cup of mashed potatoes– this will save you 210 calories!  Replace sour cream in recipes with low fat or non fat Greek yogurt—save 100 calories for every cup.

  • Fill-up on Protein -  Choose lean protein such as white meat poultry or heart healthy fish to improve satiety (the feeling of fullness).  Or have plant-based protein such as legumes (beans: garbanzo, black beans, kidney, lentils), nuts and seeds.  Yum to hummus, other bean dips and nut sauces!  You’ll feel more satisfied and have less room for higher calorie carbohydrates such as breads and sugary desserts.

  • Try Healthier Desserts -  There are many new options for healthier desserts such as baked or poached fruit, brownies made with black beans, chocolate cakes made with avocado or tofu.  A quick internet search will provide you with recipes for these healthy substitutions.  Don't worry chocolate is still in the mix.  You'll still get a dose of healthy antioxidants and polyphenols from chocolate.  Dairy substitutes such as nut milks are replacing cow's milk and cream to give you the same creamy mouth-feel without all the saturated fats.  Give them a try you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Here are few reasons to see a nutritionist/personal trainer/health coach: improve exercise performance, sleep quality, improve mental clarity, improve digestion and nutrient absorption, establish long-term healthy habits, meal planning for a whole foods diet and eat in a way to sustain the planet.  Please consider Sheri for nutrition counseling and/or fitness appointments to help you develop a healthier lifestyle for you and the planet.  


Oil Wastewater Used to Irrigate California Crops

With the long term drought in California, farmers needed to find alternative sources of water for their crops.  This water could potentially be tainted with toxic chemicals, according to an analysis provided by Environmental Working Group.  The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has appointed a food safety panel to study whether the pollutants in the water and soil can build up in the crops.  The findings will not be available until next year.  Meanwhile, this irrigation water source will continue to be used.  The big surprise, this has been going on for 40 years!  To read more visit:

Sheri is a Certified Nutritionist with a master's degree in nutrition, with over 14 years of clinical counseling experience, an ACE-certified Personal Trainer with advanced certifications in medical exercise and health coaching.  All nutrition consultations include exercise guidance, dietary analysis and meal plans to meet your individual lifestyle, calorie and nutritional needs.

Free introductory 15-minute appointments are also available.

To schedule an appointment with Sheri Mar, email:  or call:  206.789.6440

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