Posts tagged "nutrition"

Tip the Balance of Calories in Your Favor



You have probably heard that the key to weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume; but have you thought about how much activity it actually takes to work off your favorite foods? Of course it depends on the type of activity you do and how long you keep doing it. For example, if a 150 pound person consumes a junior cheeseburger that contains 290 calories, it would take approximately 33 minutes of biking at 12 miles per hour to burn it off.  If the same 150 pound person ate that burger and then sat back in the recliner to read a book, it would take 7 hours and 36 minutes for those calories to be utilized. Keep in mind, these numbers are for comparison only, the actual amount of calories you exert is also dependent upon other factors such as your individual body weight. For example, the more you weigh the more calories a specific activity will burn.


            Thinking about how long and hard you may need to work to burn off an additional treat, like another cookie or an extra scoop of ice cream, may make those tempting foods seem less appealing.  Just remember there are about 3500 calories in one pound of fat. In order to lose one pound a week, you must burn 500 calories more per day than you consume. This can be done through a combination of decreasing calorie intake while increasing activity. Reducing portion sizes, steering clear of sugar-sweetened drinks, altering recipes to cut the calorie content, and leaving off cheese and high calorie condiments, like mayonnaise, are steps in the right direction toward limiting calories.


In addition, making a conscious effort to move more, even in the smallest activities, can make a big difference over time in the weight control battle. For example, instead of burning just 2 calories letting the dog out the back door, actually take the dog for a 30 minute walk and burn 125 calories. Instead of lounging on the couch and burning 4 calories while you talk on the phone for 30 minutes, take the call standing up and burn 20 calories. Instead of burning 0 calories on yard work by hiring a lawn service, do 30 minutes of gardening and 30 minutes of grass cutting and burn 360 calories. Do the math, if you start taking opportunities to eat a few less and to burn a few more calories here and there, it can lead to gradual, but significant, weight loss. Don’t miss these chances to tip the balance of calories in versus calories out in your favor. For more information on balancing calorie intake and output check out these websites:

Savoring the Flavor while Decreasing Sodium

Sodium, although an essential nutrient to the body, is often over- consumed in the American diet.  Sodium causes fluid to remain in your body, which causes your blood pressure to rise.  When your blood pressure is high, the chances of coronary heart disease and stroke are elevated. According to the American Heart Association, the average American consumes 3,400 milligrams of sodium daily and the recommended intake is 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.  While the salt shaker may contribute to your intake of sodium, it’s not the only source.

Oftentimes the foods that add the most sodium in our diets are breads and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, soups, and sandwiches. Overall, sodium can be limited by making whole food choices instead of processed foods and comparing the food labels to choose lower sodium foods. 

Sodium can also be lowered by cooking with other spices and ingredients during meal preparation to add flavor.  Try adding onions, garlic, fresh rosemary, thyme, chives, basil, lemon juice or vinegar to recipes for added flavor. 

Check out this Spring recipe that adds flavor while also limiting the sodium.

spring peanut pad thaiSpring Peanut Pad Thai

by: Alexandra Caspero, MA, RD 


  •  8 ounces flat rice noodles (brown rice preferred)
  •  ¼ cup low-sodium creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  •  1 tablespoon brown sugar
  •  3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) rice vinegar
  •  1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) sesame oil
  •  ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  •  ¼ cup (60 milliliters) hot water
  •  1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) canola oil
  •  ⅓ cup scallions, chopped, including white and green parts
  •  2 cloves garlic, minced
  •  2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  •  8 ounces trimmed asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  •  1 cup frozen peas
  •  1 large lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons / 30 milliliters juice)
  •  ½ cup roasted peanuts, lightly salted, roughly chopped
  •  ¼ cup cilantro, chopped


  1. Prepare rice noodles according to package instructions. Pour noodles into a colander and let drain.
  2. Meanwhile, make sauce by whisking peanut butter, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and crushed red pepper flakes in a medium bowl.
  3. Slowly whisk in hot water and stir until sauce is blended. Set aside.
  4. In a large wok, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add scallions and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in eggs and stir to scramble for about 2 minutes or until soft. Add asparagus and peas and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until asparagus is tender.
  5. Add drained noodles and sauce and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, tossing until the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in lime juice.
  6. Transfer cooked noodles and vegetables to a large platter or bowl and garnish with peanuts and cilantro. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Cooking Note

This dish comes together quickly, so be sure to chop and prep all ingredients before cooking.

Nutrition Information 

Serving size: 2 cups (350 grams) 



The American Heart Association website: Sodium and Salt.

Recipe Source: Food and Nutrition. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Alexandra CasperoMA, RD is a Stone Soup blogger and author of

Photo by: Scott Payne



Slow Down & Savor the Flavor

I'm Blogging National Nutrition MonthMarch is National Nutrition Month®. This is a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of making healthy nutrition and lifestyle choices.  Join us to “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.”  How, when, why and where you eat is just as important as what you eat. It’s all about finding ways to enjoy making healthier choices. After all, if you don’t like doing something, you are not as likely to stick with it.

Make a point to slow down and savor each eating experience. Take time to sit down at the dinner table to eat and make the environment pleasant. Things like setting the table, playing soft music, or lighting a centerpiece with candles helps focus attention on the meal. Believe it or not, this can help you manage your weight. When you eat too fast, it is easy to consume more calories than you realize. If you are not paying attention, you can quickly eat a large meal and still not feel satisfied. It really is true that it takes several minutes for the brain to receive fullness signals from the stomach. Rushing meals, eating in front of the TV, or anything that causes distractions while eating, can lead to overconsumption of calories and weight gain.

Do you or your family do things to make mealtime special? We would love for you to post your ideas.

*Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is hosting the National Nutrition Month Event


Welcome to Nourish

We are very excited to share with you our new blog!  We will be discussing various nutrition topics in relation to wellness, health, and working out.  We hope to also provide you with easy recipes.  Please leave us a message in comments regarding any topics you would like more information about.  We hope to nourish your mind with great nutrition topics, so you can nourish your body to stay healthy and well.

April Wiles MA, RD, LDN

April-WilesIt has been my pleasure to work for Watauga Medical Center and Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) since May, 1995. I earned my Master’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with concentrations in Foods and Nutrition and Education in 1994 from Appalachian State University. Prior to becoming a dietitian, I was a teacher. I taught for a short time in the public schools and was later an instructor in the Family and Consumer Sciences Department at ASU from 1994-1999. I became a Registered Dietitian in 1995. During my employment with ARHS, I have had the opportunity to serve patients, residents, clients and their families in a variety of settings. In the past I have worked with participants in cardiac rehabilitation, medical and radiation oncology and kidney dialysis. I have also obtained a level 2 Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management and a Certificate of Training in Childhood and Adolescent Weight Management from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

In 2011, I became the Clinical Nutrition Director for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. In addition to management duties, I continue to provide Medical Nutrition Therapy in a various settings including acute care, long-term care, employee wellness, community weight management, and the Diabetes Self-Management Program.  I also provide nutrition classes for kids in our Ad-Fit Summer Camp. I have enjoyed working in each of these areas. I especially like helping people with diabetes and those with weight issues learn to incorporate healthier habits into their everyday lives.

In addition to being a full-time dietitian, I am also a full-time wife and mother. My wonderful husband and I were married in 1993. He is a special education teacher. We have been blessed with two beautiful teenage daughters. Our family also includes four dogs, two cats, a hedgehog and a variety of fish. My favorite activities involve spending time with my family.  We enjoy serving our church, going for walks with the dogs, riding bikes, taking trips, etc. I treasure every moment with my family, and I also love helping other families become healthier through better nutrition.

Heather Casey MS, RD, LDN

Heather-CaseyIn 2007 I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at Appalachian State University.  I also received a Master’s Degree in Nutrition from East Carolina University in 2010 and afterwards, completed my Dietetic Internship through the University of Delaware. 

I have worked for the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System for over 8 years, serving first as a Nutrition Therapy Assistant and currently as a Clinical Dietitian and Director of the Adolescent Fitness Program (Ad-Fit).  During my time here at ARHS I have worked with many nutrition programs including Cardiac-Pulmonary Rehab, Employee Wellness, Thrive, the Seby B. Jones Cancer Center and Ad-Fit.  I continue to work with many of these programs and devote a large amount of my time to working in Medical Nutrition Therapy at Watauga Medical Center. 

In addition to patient care and outpatient programs, I also am a professor at Appalachian State University, where I teach Nutrition Counseling and Nutrition Assessment.  Over the last 8 years, I have enjoyed sharing my knowledge and experiences with a large number of Exercise Science and Nutrition and Dietetic undergraduate and graduate interns.

In my leisure time, I enjoy being active through hiking and running, and enjoy participating in, and watching sports.  My ultimate joy comes from being a mom of two amazing little boys.  My desire as a Registered Dietitian is to help teach, encourage and motivate each individual on their journey towards wellness. 

Allison Caudill MA, RD, LDN

Allison-CaudillI became a member of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System in September 2013. Prior to coming to work here, I worked as a clinical dietitian in Elkin, NC. I graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and 2004 with a Master’s Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis in Foods and Nutrition from Appalachian State University. I recently completed the second level of the Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management.  I have over 11 years of experience in the field of nutrition in various areas including; management, acute and long-term care, kidney dialysis, oncology, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, and weight management. I have also been an adjunct instructor for Appalachian State University. 

I am currently involved in the Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and the Thrive Fit for the Future programs here at the Wellness Center. I enjoy meeting new people and I am committed to helping people make lifestyle changes that promotes overall health without feeling deprived. It is a rewarding experience when I am able to be a part of helping other people meet their personal goals and become healthier.

In addition to being a registered dietitian, I am a wife and mother and have been married since 2002.  I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, being outdoors, hiking, photography, and leading worship at church.

Laura Shroyer, RD, LDN

Laura-ShroyerI have worked for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System since 2006 and I have over ten years of experience in the field of nutrition. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at Appalachian State University and completed a graduate internship and coursework at Meredith College.

Prior to obtaining my RD license, I worked as a Registered Dietary Technician for five years dedicating my life to the dietetics field and to the well-being of the Appalachian community. During this time, I also directed healthy cooking classes at the YMCA, taught Zumba and obtained my CNA license. 

I am currently involved in a variety of community nutrition programs throughout ARHS including; Cardiac-Pulmonary Rehab, Thrive, and the Seby B. Jones Cancer Center.  I also devote a large portion of my time working in Medical Nutrition Therapy at Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital.

I relocated to Boone in 2002 from my hometown of Troy, Ohio. My family and I love the Appalachian Mountains and the scenery that surrounds the high country.  I am thrilled to be doing what I love while helping to make my community a better place.