Kids and Breakfast:  What are your kids eating each morning?  By: Joella Baker


By Joella Baker

My summer camps have been very busy.  Serving nearly 250 kids this summer, I have a great opportunity to talk to the kids about what they eat and when they eat.  In fact, I went as far as to bring a nutritionist in to several of my camps to discuss nutrition and its importance in everyday life and their sports performance.  [Read more…]

A New Celiac’s Fight for a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving


By:  Joella Baker

This will be my first holiday going gluten-free.  I’m actually excited about the naturally gluten-free items that I plan to include in my Thanksgiving.  I love food and I love to eat and I especially love my Thanksgiving favorites. Just because now I’m gluten-free doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy the holiday like everyone else.  I just may have to be a little more careful.  [Read more…]

Staying Fit when You’re Back in School 


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By:  Joella Baker


Staying active throughout the school year is tough for those kids who don’t participate in organized sports.  Summer is a great time to be out swimming, riding bikes and just being outside. [Read more…]

Exercise and Diet: Myths and Facts to Help You Succeed

By:  Joella Baker

I’m always hearing people talk about the different diets they are trying and ways they plan to lose weight, lose it fast and keep it off.    The truth is there is no easy way to do this.   If you really want to lose weight and have it last, it takes the following… [Read more…]

The Worst Holiday Foods to Eat

banner By:  Joella Baker

For most of us, food is one of the center points of the holiday season.  It’s so tough to have the willpower to say no.  Worst of all, we always think that we will just have a small piece and it won’t be too bad.  Unfortunately, the holiday favorites are by far the most calorie, fat and sugar packed foods we will have in front of us all year.  If you choose to indulge, then I recommend you have a solid exercise plan in place to burn the extra calories.

Ten common holiday foods you should eat or drink sparingly or try to avoid completely this holiday season: 

  1. Pecan pie:  One of the most fattening foods on our list. One slice is more than 500 calories, 37 grams of fat, and 26 grams of sugar. Try pumpkin pie instead, it is much lower in overall fat and calories, skip the whipped cream and it’s even lower. 
  2. Spinach and artichoke dip:  A staple at most holiday parties, has two very nutritious veggies, spinach and artichokes but also has mayonnaise, sour cream and cream cheese.  By making a few changes to the recipe, you can cut the calories by almost half.  Use low-fat cream cheese and skip the sour cream all together and add in some goat cheese. Use carrots and celery to dip and you have a great alternative. 
  3. Candied Yams:  Sweet potatoes are a superfood. Unfortunately, adding a couple cups of sugar to candy the yams and a ton of butter and you add over 400 calories to your plate. Trim down the sugar and butter by half.  You’ll still have a sweet treat and you can actually taste the sweet potato.
  4. Cheesecake:  Cheesecakes are a heart attack on a plate.  The average cheesecake has 700 calories and 29 grams of fat. You would need to hike vigorously for two hours or take a hard one-hour spin class to get rid of the calories in one slice.  Go back to the pumpkin pie or even apple pie. 
  5. Glazed ham:  Ham is a vitamin-rich lean meat. It’s also one of the most sodium-rich foods on a Christmas menu.  Six ounces of ham contains 1,760 milligrams of sodium and six grams of sugar.  Just take one slice instead of the 3 or 4 you typically put on your plate. 
  6. Sugar cookies:  You can’t have a Christmas without buttery sugar cookies.  They are Santa’s favorite and most kids favorites.  So adults, save the cookies for the kids and other adults and make another choice. Choose some fresh fruit and walk away from the cookies.
  7. Fruitcake:  A good fruitcake is an incredible treat, but extremely high in sugar.   Fruitcake can be very filling, so take a very small piece and enjoy every bite.  It will be tough not to go back for seconds, but that would require you to walk another hour to lose the calories. 
  8. Prime rib:  Unfortunately, it comes from the fattest part of the cow.  One piece of prime rib is around 750 calories and 45 grams of fat.  An eight-ounce serving also has 450 milligrams of cholesterol.  Opt for the beef tenderloin instead.  It’s leaner and lower in fat and just as good. 
  9. Green bean casserole with fried onions:  Green beans are great for you until you add cream of mushroom soup and those crunchy onion rings.  Once you do that, forget about the nutritional value.  One full batch has 785 calories and 4,128 milligrams of sodium.
  10. Dark-meat turkey with skin:  Turkey is usually a leaner and better choice than a lot of other meats.  Dark meat with skin has 70 more calories and three times more fat per serving than plain white meat without skin. The skin alone can hold up to 44 grams of total fat. So don’t eat the skin and eat the white meat instead. 

This holiday season, make sure every food you eat is worth the calories you’re ingesting.  If you really splurge, then make sure you’re exercising enough to burn off those extra calories.

Reference: and their 50 foods you shouldn’t eat over the holidays.