Nutrition Month tips from Ciara Beck, MS, RD

March 21st, 2018


There is no better way to celebrate National Nutrition Month than with a spring cleaning!  This weather may still be cold and gloomy, but these 5 tips will not only brighten up your day, but get you on track for a healthier, happier Memorial Day Weekend!

Polish your Pantry- This not only includes trashing ½ eaten bags of chips and crackers, but taking inventory on non-perishable staples that you need to restock.  This includes oatmeal, nuts, dried fruit, whole grain cereal, crackers, and pasta, brown rice, and low-sodium canned items, like chickpeas, black beans, and tuna.  And while you’re at it, why not open that refrigerator and toss all expired condiments.  Trust me, you’ll feel like 10lbs of salad dressing has been lifted off your shoulders! Want a sneak peek into a dietitian’s pantry??  I have almost every single flavor of rice cakes imaginable, both sweet and savory.  Try topping the chocolate rice cakes with 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter, or the tomato basil rice cakes with avocado or hummus. YUM!

Keep the Glass Glistening…. with water (and other calorie free beverages)!  It’s not the best idea to ‘drink your calories’ because it’s a major contributor to weight gain.  Think about it… people usually eat the same amount of food whether they are drinking zero calories or 300 calories.   With the weather becoming warm, stay clear of sugary beverages including soda, lemonade, iced tea, coffee drinks, and alcoholic beverages.  If you choose to drink these, adjust your food intake!     

Dust off your Dumbbells- Seriously, you know they’re just collecting dust in the basement or under your bed.  Don’t psych yourself out; you don’t need to dedicate an hour a day to exercise and ladies, you will not bulk up by picking up a weight.  Even 15 minutes a day adds ups to almost 2 hours per week! Pair it with a little cardio and you have a perfect routine to time-warp you into summer.  Not sure what to do? Head over to for sample workouts and exercises.      

Freshen Up Your Food Scale… and by ‘freshen up,’ I mean GO BUY ONE!  Most range from $20-$40, but it is one purchase you will not regret.  There’s a huge calorie difference between 8 ounces of chicken vs. 4 ounces of chicken (about 200 calories!).  However, they appear pretty similar to most people. Same goes for peanut butter.  A heaping tablespoon is the same as a level tablespoon, right? Nope!  So, “treat yo’self”… not with cookies, but with the best tool your kitchen has seen since a Keurig. 

Sweep away the Sweets- Wherever you stored those cases of Girl Scout Cookies (trunk of your car?), it’s time to sugar detox.  Purge it all! Out of sight, out of mind.  And don’t let that furry Easter Bunny sabotage your progress.  If you need to bring candy into the house, choose the ones you don’t like.  Flash forward a few months and fresh blueberries, strawberries, and peaches will be there to satisfy that sweet tooth!  For now, be strong!

Interested in a one-on-one nutrition consultation?  Call or e-mail Ciara Beck, Wellness Dietitian, at 609-677-7008 or

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