Category Archives: Nursing Moms

Chance to win free copy of Phase 1 New Mommy Makeover

New Mommy Makeover was recently reviewed on  Read what a real mom had to say about her experience with New Mommy Makeover, and enter to win a free copy of Phase 1 New Mommy Makeover!  go here now:

Yours in health,




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Filed under colleen riddle, Fat loss, Healthy lifestyle, healthy moms, New Mommy Makeover, New Moms, Nursing Moms, Post pregnancy weight loss

7 Foods to Make You Smarter

If the rapidly approaching school year has you scrambling for tips on how to move your kids to the head of the class, or if you’re looking for ways to increase your own productivity, start by examining your diet. Studies have shown that certain foods act like fuel for our brains by increasing concentration and memory function. Some foods have even been shown to slow down the mind’s natural aging process.  Combine these foods with other good habits, like working out and you’ll soon find yourself at the head of the class—at any age.                                                

Spinach. At only 40 calories a cup, a serving of spinach contains almost half your daily requirement of folic acid, an essential nutrient for cell growth, blood production, and preventing memory loss. And spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available—just 1 cup contains all your body’s daily requirements of vitamins A and K, plus most of the folate and manganese you need each day. These nutrients improve brain function and slow down the effects of premature aging by preventing the negative effects of oxidation on the brain.

Smart Tip: Try replacing iceberg lettuce with spinach leaves in your next dinner salad, or add fresh spinach to an omelet.

Oatmeal. As a strong source of insoluble fiber, oatmeal provides a stable energy that helps your brain maintain consistent focus and concentration. Eating oatmeal can also slow down the digestion of starch, reducing the frequent spikes in blood sugar that usually occur after a big meal.

Smart Tip: Avoid the instant flavored packets, which are loaded with sugar, and stick with the plain, slower-cooking kind—it still cooks up in the microwave in just 2 or 3 minutes.

Fish. Many studies have shown that eating oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids can boost memory, concentration, and mental acuity. Omega-3 acids also appear to strengthen the brain’s synapses that are directly related to learning and memorization.

Smart Tip: Watch mercury levels when choosing fish, and consider wild salmon, albacore tuna, and mackerel, which all contain omega-3s with minimal environmental contaminants.

Walnuts. Eating just a handful of these nuts every day can prevent the decline of cognitive and motor function, increase brain resiliency, and improve cell functioning. Walnuts are loaded with protein and omega-3 fatty acids that balance the unstable neurotransmitters that can cause depression and other mood swings.

Smart Tip: Sprinkle a handful of chopped walnuts on salads or fill a travel container for a healthy on-the-go snack. You’ll feel full longer, reducing the temptation to binge between meals.

Berries. Many types of berries, especially blueberries and strawberries, contain flavonoids, which have been linked to brain cell growth and improved memory. Berries with the darkest, richest colors offer the most nutritional value. The antioxidants, vitamin C, and anti-inflammatory properties in berries have been shown to preserve brain function and are a factor in the prevention of  dementia.

Smart Tip: Sprinkle berries on salads, cereal, or yogurt, or make yourself a fresh berry fruit smoothie.

Yogurt. Widely known as a top calcium source for bone development and strength, yogurt also contains enough protein and carbohydrates in just one serving to keep both the body and the brain energized throughout the day. Yogurt also contains amino acids that encourage the production of neurotransmitters, and enough vitamin B to encourage—along with the protein—the growth of brain tissue while slowing down the aging process.

Smart Tip: Eat yogurt topped with berries for breakfast or lunch, or if you’re having a salad, nix the bottled dressing and make your own by mixing a quarter of a cup of plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt with fresh herbs.

Eggs. These low-calorie, nutrient-dense wonders are rich in protein as well as choline, an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain and nervous system by acting as a messenger between muscles and nerves. If you’ve been avoiding eggs because you’re worried about your cholesterol, take note: Numerous research studies have shown that eating eggs as part of a healthy diet is not a contributing factor to heart disease.

Smart Tip: Enjoy an egg and spinach omelet for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

By Suzy Buglewicz

Yours in health,


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Filed under childhood obesity, colleen riddle, Fat loss, healthy children, Healthy lifestyle, healthy moms, New Mommy Makeover, New Moms, Nursing Moms, obesity, Post pregnancy weight loss, weight loss

Diet Sodas Linked to Premature Births

A study recently published in the American Society for Clinical Nutrition showed premature births and regular consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks could be linked. The study, which was commissioned in Denmark, looked at 60,000 pregnant women births and their consumption of diet soft drinks.  They discovered that women who had a higher intake of diet soda had a significantly higher risk of delivering their babies preterm.  Women who consumed one diet soda a day had an increased risk of around 38%, than woman who had none at all.  What’s even scarier is they found that women who had four or more diet sodas per day increased their risk by 80%.
Now this study only links premature births and artificially sweetened sodas, not regular sodas. This would suggest the link lies in the commonly used artificial sweeteners in soft drinks and not with sugar.  Aspartame and saccharin are the artificial sweeteners that are typically used in soft drinks to make them taste sweet, but aspartame seems to be the most popular.  I don’t think it would be much of a stretch to say foods that are sweetened with these artificial sweeteners can’t be much healthier.  What do you think?  Alarming is the ability aspartame has to break down in the body to other toxic compounds like formaldehyde (put into dead bodies) and formic acid.  The recommendation has always been that consuming these artificial sweeteners in moderation during pregnancy was acceptable, but I think this new study may prove otherwise.  So, if this study has you looking for a healthier alternative, you can’t go wrong with good old fashioned water sweetened with a splash of cranberry juice.  And now for those of us who are saying, “I’m not pregnant, nor do I plan on getting pregnant,” you’re not out of the woods either.  If these artificial sweeteners are actually causing premature births, what effects do you think they are having on your health?  Something to think about!

Yours in health,



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Filed under childhood obesity, colleen riddle, Fat loss, healthy children, Healthy lifestyle, healthy moms, New Mommy Makeover, New Moms, Nursing Moms, obesity, post pregnancy, Post pregnancy weight loss, weight loss

Weight-loss Pills, are they Worth It?

I was watching the news last night and there are two new weight-loss drugs up for review with the FDA.  This fact did not surprise me.  What did surprise me is that one of the drugs contained some of the same ingredients that were in Fen Phen.  This was the weight-loss drug taken off the market for increasing your chances of heart failure.  Kind of an oxymoron, lose weight to be in better health, but your heart gives out instead.  That’s a pretty big price to pay for a small waistline.   Being healthy is more than just losing weight.   It’s about being balanced with yourself and your surroundings.  This includes mentally, emotionally, and of course physically. I think you know which one I’m going to talk about here (ha!ha!)   I like to think the physical piece improves the other two pieces of the pie.  Have you ever noticed how good your day is when you feel positive about yourself?  You tend to hold your shoulders back, head up high, feel more confident, and your brain is sharper too!  This is what the physical part of the pie contributes to the whole balance of your life.  Sure you can try these new drugs and maybe lose a little weight, but you will be missing out on the many other contributions to the balance of your life.  “But, if I lose weight wouldn’t I still feel better about myself?” you might ask.  This fact may be true to a point, but how good would you feel knowing you may increase the likelihood of a heart attack.   Another question this also raises is, “Do you want to take a short cut though life?”  The luster quickly tarnishes on things that are attained without much effort.   Creating balance in your life is work; it’s supposed to be.…but aren’t you worth it?  I’m not sure who said it but we think it applies here “It’s supposed to be hard, because if was easy everybody would do it!”  So the next time you see an ad for the magic pill that just melts fat away, ask yourself, “Do I want to take that short cut to life, or am I worth the effort?”  I know you are, but this question is for you to answer.

Yours in health,

Colleen Riddle

AFPA Certified Pre/Post Natal Exercise Specialist

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

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Filed under colleen riddle, Fat loss, Healthy lifestyle, healthy moms, healty moms, Nursing Moms, post pregnancy, Post pregnancy weight loss, weight loss

Stop Feeling Guilty

Have you ever attended a party or gathering where someone has made you feel guilty for making healthy choices?  I had a few clients bring this to my attention recently, so I wanted to address this issue. I have also had this happen to me.  Usually it goes something like this,”Colleen is here so we can’t eat the___________(insert unhealthy food).” The funny thing is I’m busy looking for healthy choices, enjoying everyone’s company, and not paying attention to what others are choosing.  I would dare say my clients are probably doing the same. These comments usually come from the guilt people feel for the choices they are making and have nothing to do with you.  The simple explanation could be,  “misery loves company.”  These people are not happy with themselves, so they project their guilt to make you feel bad for trying to better yourself.  It may even go a little deeper…maybe they won’t or can’t make the commitment to themselves, and your success makes them face this fact.  Now I don’t think these people do this to hurt you intentionally, but it can still make you feel uncomfortable.  Do not let these situations get you off track.  You have decided to give yourself the best gift of all, the gift of health, and you should never feel guilty for that.  I just want you to know that you are not alone on your journey to a healthier you and I’m here to help however I can.

Yours in Health



One way to stay on track is my Coaching Program. Here is what one client had to say about her experience.

“Whether you want to get your fitness program started, back on track, or kicked up a notch, Elite Physique’s coaching program is for you.  I not only lost weight and inches, I also gained a renewed appreciation for what good nutrition and exercise can do for your both personally and professionally.  Partner with Elite Physique to discover your bestself.”

Leigh G.

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Filed under Fat loss, healthy children, Healthy lifestyle, healthy moms, New Mommy Makeover, New Moms, Nursing Moms, obesity, post pregnancy, Post pregnancy weight loss, Uncategorized, weight loss

3 Must Knows About Alcohol and Your Diet

Alcohol and Your Diet

I have received some questions from my readers about alcohol and how it affects our diet.  Since I have been talking about nutrition I thought this might be a good time to discuss how alcohol adversely affects our diet plans.  Now, some alcohol in moderation can be good for us (lower blood pressure).  If, however, you are exceeding one drink daily, you might be sabotaging your weight loss plans. Below is an adapted article from by Liz Noelcke.

1) Alcohol is metabolized differently than other foods and beverages. Under normal conditions, your body gets its energy from the calories in carbohydrates, fats and proteins that need to be slowly digested in the stomach. When alcohol is consumed, it gets special privileges and needs no digestion. The alcohol molecules diffuse through the stomach wall as soon as they arrive and can reach the brain and liver in minutes. This reaction is slightly slowed when there is also food in your system, but as soon as the mixed contents enter the small intestine, the alcohol grabs first place and is absorbed quickly. The alcohol then arrives at the liver for processing. The liver places all of its attention on the alcohol. Therefore, the carbohydrates (glucose) and dietary fats are just changed into body fat, waiting to be carried away for permanent fat storage in the body.

2) Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, which is detrimental to your diet plans. Alcohol actually stimulates your appetite. While you might be full from a comparable amount of calories from food, several drinks might not fill you up. On top of that, research shows that if you drink before or during a meal, both your inhibitions and willpower are reduced. In this state, you are more likely to overeat—especially greasy or fried foods—which can add to your waistline.

3) What are more important, calories or carbs? You might think that drinking liquor is more diet-friendly because it has no carbohydrates, while both wine and beer do contain carbs. But dieters need to watch calories, and liquor only has a few calories less than beer or wine. Plus, it is often mixed with other drinks, adding even more empty calories. Hard liquor contains around 100 calories per shot, so adding a mixer increases calories even more. If you are going to mix liquor with anything, opt for a club soda, instead of fruit juice or regular soda.

The list below breaks down the number of calories in typical alcoholic drinks. Compare some of your favorites to make a good choice next time you decide to indulge in a serving of alcohol.

Drink Serving Size Calories
Red wine 5 oz. 100
White wine 5 oz. 100
Champagne 5 oz. 130
Light beer 12 oz. 105
Regular beer 12 oz. 140
Dark beer 12 oz. 170
Cosmopolitan 3 oz. 165
Martini 3 oz. 205
Long Island iced tea 8 oz. 400
Gin & Tonic 8 oz. 175
Rum & Soda 8 oz. 180
Margarita 8 oz. 200
Whiskey Sour 4 oz. 200

Keep the great emails coming!

Yours in health,



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Filed under Fat loss, Healthy lifestyle, healthy moms, healty children, healty moms, New Mommy Makeover, New Moms, Nursing Moms, obesity, Post pregnancy weight loss, Uncategorized, weight loss

Food Myths Debunked!

It seems most of the emails I receive deal with confusion about nutrition.  With this in mind I wanted to attack some of these myths or wive’s tales if you will. Here are 3 common myths that I see all the time. These were taken from Spark and if you would like to see more click on

Certain foods, like celery, have ‘negative’ calories:

Truth: The idea that there are negative calorie foods–foods that are so low in calories that simply digesting them burns more calories than they contain–is nothing more than wishful thinking. Certain low-calorie, water-rich foods like celery or cucumbers are often touted as negative-calorie foods. However, digesting and absorbing everything you eat each day uses just 10% of your total calorie intake each day (about 180 calories for someone who eats 1,800 calories per day). It is great to include low-calorie, high-fiber, and water-rich foods in your daily diet; these foods add nutrients, bulk, and volume to your diet, but they still contain calories and should always be included in your calorie count. No food is a “free” food. Eating too much of any food can cause weight gain or inhibit weight loss.

When going to a restaurant, the best choice for weight loss is usually a salad.

Truth: Salads can run the gamut of healthiness, depending on what is in them. Although that big bowl of greens may be packed full of antioxidants and fiber, it can also be laden with fat, cholesterol, and sodium–not to mention an overabundance of calories. Some restaurant salads can even contain more calories than a cheeseburger! That means ordering salad is no guarantee that you’re eating a healthy meal.

Bananas are so high in sugar that they cause weight gain.

Truth: One medium banana (approximately 7 inches long) provides 0 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber, 105 calories, and 27 grams of carbs—and it’s cheap. Those specs mean that bananas make great snacks, even for people with diabetes who need to follow special diets.   Why bananas are being called “fattening” or high in sugar compared with other fruits is a mystery. They do have a few more grams of carbohydrate than apples and oranges, but that does not mean they should be off limits!

Thank you for being my loyal readers and I hope this helps.  Keep the great emails coming!

Yours in health,


P.S. Look for me on the Ann Varnum Show on WTVY this Sunday, 4/18/10 at 9:30-10:30 central time.

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Filed under healthy moms, healty children, New Moms, Nursing Moms, post pregnancy, Post pregnancy weight loss, weight loss