Category Archives: Nutrition

Incredible story from our corporate wellness director Keven Burdorf and our friend Sherri!

When Sherri began working with PTI in 2016 she was mentally stressed out by being overweight. She expressed that she did not feel good physically but even more did not like who she saw in the mirror. She had thrown in the towel on her weight and felt that working with us was her last resort. It did not take long for her to find a passion for running. It started out slowly but over time she was able to run faster and for greater distances. In class she was exposed to what a balanced diet is supposed to look like and she immediately began implementing it at home with her family. After 9 months Sherri was almost a completely different person physically however her mental attitude had done a complete 180. She was all smiles and energy, she had found her happiness again.

Recently I was contacted by Sherri and asked to run a 5k with her, her first one ever. I was honored by the request and accepted. Since I had not seen her in several months I was unprepared for the Sherri that I met at the race. She had smashed her weight loss goal out of the park and had kept faithful to her new found lifestyle. She now looks amazing and is looking to run more races now that she knows she has trained properly for it. We are so proud of Sherri and all that she has accomplished.Keven & Sherri!

Top 5 Ways to Fight Winter Weight!

Survival of Winter Weight Gain!!!!

Oh the weather outside……is anything but delightful, rather a major deterrent of outdoor workouts and the gym is so packed with New Year’s “Resolutioners” that we cannot even fathom going there….

The winter weight gain dilemma is twofold, psychological and physical so we stop enjoying being outside and eat foods that make us feel warm and comforted.  I believe that with some preparation and a shift in environmental mindset that we can go through the winter months and only be healthier come spring and summer bathing suit season.  Here are 5 tips to help get you started!

  1. See your normal everyday environment as a workout zone. Body weight exercises are the next big push for what to do to stay fit, so incorporate them into your everyday life at home, work or wherever you may frequent most. Not sure how to achieve this? Spend one hour with a PTI trainer for ideas on what to use at home before you make a home gym investment and get form help with exercises for a great, safe full body, bodyweight workout.

  1. Research what foods you can eat the most of that will have the least caloric impact on your body so when you are unmotivated and just feel like eating, you will at least have a list of safe options to over eat or make you feel full.

  1. Find healthier options for the got to comfort foods you enjoy and make meals ahead of time so you won’t just eat whatever you can find first. This normally equals portions high in carbohydrates and low in fiber and proteins.

  1. Change your mindset once munchies or sugar cravings hit. Often times all we need to do is stay aware when triggers happen and use something to divert out attention away from food into something else. A walk around the house during commercials breaks, 5 pushups off of the couch, a counter top, steps or washing machine, plank holds or core work for a count of 25-100.

  2. Have a directed shopping list for every store you visit and DO NOT shop while hungry!

Breakfast for Dinner – How to eat healthier and maintain weight

Breakfast for Dinner!
The idea is eat light, especially if you have to eat late, and don’t gain weight!

“The reasons are endless, but let’s start with digestion! Proper digestion is critical for absorbing the nutrients in what we eat and discarding the stuff we don’t.

Eating late can  worsen acid reflux, a fairly common (around 40% of Americans have it) condition that causes everything from heartburn and indigestion to coughing, hoarseness, and asthma.


Why Dinner Is To Blame….

Our bodies aren’t designed to eat a big meal and collapse on the couch or the bed afterwards. Sitting upright helps us digest — it lets gravity do the work of keeping the contents of our stomach down. In people with heartburn, laying down can cause the acid in the stomach to leak out into the esophagus, or “foodpipe,” causing reflux.

Since the stomach takes about three hours to empty itself, waiting at least this amount of time before laying down or sleeping is a good idea.

Here’s how to do it: Start small. If you normally don’t eat a whole lot during the day, it might help to start snacking (healthily!) so you don’t overeat once you get home.

Next time you know you’ll be home late, try this: Have a small, high-protein breakfast and don’t skip lunch in the afternoon. No time to cook in the morning? Keep hard-boiled eggs handy, or microwave a packet of instant oatmeal and stir in a few nuts. Keep it light at first so your body can adjust to regular mealtimes. Around 1pm (or about 4 hours after breakfast), grab a light meal like a salad with fish or chicken.

When you get home, you’ll be less famished and more conscious about what you’re putting into your body. Avoid indigestion after dinner with some light activity: Do the dishes, wash some laundry, or take a walk around the block. Your body will thank you.”

Halloween Mayhem

We might not want to admit it, but when it comes right down to it, nothing sabotages our health or a great eating plan like SUAGR!!!!!! But we love it and let’s face it, most people aren’t willing to give it up, so let’s look at some sugars and figure out how to have our cake and eat it too!


Coconut Sugar- Clinically has proven to be diabetic safe and just as sweet as brown or white sugar. So rich you can cut the amount the recipe calls for and not miss a sweet thing!


Stevia- A natural, plant based sweetener that not only has a negligible effect on blood sugar but is cost effective being 150 times sweeter than sugar! Use a little taste a lot!


Sorghum- This flavorful and more than nutritious liquid sweetener must be used sparingly, but its flavor screams so loud you won’t feel you are skimping when using less. And although its byproduct Molasses gets more attention and richness,  1tbl of Sorghum yields 30mg calcium, 20 magnesium, and 200mg potassium (equivalent to ½ of a banana)


Apple Sauce or Banana Puree- Both the best for baking and keeping moisture in cookies, cakes, and puree’s- no sugar added for the apple sauce and mash and or puree your own bananas to be sure there are no sugars or preservatives added as well for a sweet piece of mind!


FALL Into Food

Fall is a great time for food from pumpkin and winter squash to hot drinks and holiday fav’s!  To help with the onset of the Holiday season, here are a few go to ideas for filling up on some great tasting seasonal foods before going crazy starting on Halloween! These are tasty and healthy enough that you can “Fall Into Food” and still fit into your pants!

*Squash-Butternut, Acorn, Pumpkin- full of vitamins and minerals as well as a great source of carbohydrate and fiber that will fill you up and satisfy your appetite.

*Fruits-Apples, Pears, Cranberries- Natural sugars help to make these fun to add to any meal and a decent amount of fiber to counter the sugar. *Avoid sugar added cranberries, boil and simmer your own for a great sauce starter and well and desert topping.

*Nuts/Seeds: Pumpkin Seeds, Chest Nuts- Raw or roasted you cannot go wrong with these two.   Add to cold or hot dishes, or just keep on hand having a quick energy hit anytime anywhere.

*Veggies-Parsnips, Brussels, Broccoli- The heart of the meal at any time during the day. Combine with Olive oil cooked or raw to help your body get all the benefit it can from the vitamins and minerals in these amazing veggies!



Why Spaghetti Squash?

This mild squash can be roasted as-is, stuffed, or used as a substitute in thin noodle recipes, from Asian to Italian. Yes, really! Once cooked, the flesh can be separated into long strands with a texture similar to angel hair pasta — chewy, tender and slightly fragile. Top with marinara sauce or olive oil and lemon juice. Or use in place of rice under curries, stews and beans.

















Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Almond Curry




  • 1 small (2 1/2 pound) spaghetti squash
  • 1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond butter
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • 3 cups thinly sliced greens, such as baby kale or spinach


Directions:  Preheat the oven to 375°F. Halve squash lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out seeds and discard. Place squash cut-side down in a 9×13-inch baking dish.  Pour 1 cup water into the dish and roast until squash shells are tender when pressed with your finger, about 30 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle. Leave oven on.


Meanwhile, pour tomatoes into a strainer set over a bowl. Set tomatoes aside and pour juice into a blender. Add almond butter, curry powder and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and blend until smooth.


Rake a fork back and forth across squash to remove flesh in strands, keeping shells intact. Transfer squash to a bowl and toss with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Return shells cut-side up to the baking dish. Spoon one-third of the squash into shells, dividing evenly. Top with half of the tomatoes and half of the greens, then drizzle with about one-third of the almond sauce. Repeat the layering. Top with remaining squash and sauce. Roast until filling is heated through and greens have wilted, about 15 minutes.


Nutritional Info:

Per Serving: 290 calories (160 from fat), 18g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 370mg sodium, 29g carbohydrates, (9 g dietary fiber, .11g sugar), 9g protein.

Serves 4, high fiber, dairy free, wheat free, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian



Healthy Weight Loss

When you want to lose weight, the pounds never seem to come off fast enough. But it is important for long-term success in keeping the weight off to have a slow and steady approach to weight loss. Extreme diets leave you starving and cranky, sluggish and drained, and set you up for failure. Remember that you have to find what works for you and you should focus on losing 1-2 lbs/week at the most. Some guidelines for healthy weight loss are that it needs to be a lifestyle, not a short-term diet. Find support from friends and family to help you in your journey. Set short-term goals to help keep you motivated through the process. And use tools, such as a food diary, to help track your progress and keep you on track. Below are some tips on how to succeed on your weight loss journey and stay happy and healthy in the process.

1. Avoid common pitfalls. Don’t cut out entire food groups and don’t severely cut calories. Your metabolism with slow down and the weight will come back on quicker if you do this. Also, don’t give up if you splurge or give in to a temptation. Keep your head and get back on track. And don’t give in to diet companies and their promises…you will only be disappointed and dissatisfied.

2. Stop emotional eating. Recognize your emotional triggers and respond with healthier choices. When you are bored, stressed or lonely, find other ways to de-stress and reward yourself, such as reading a book, taking a bath or calling a friend.

3. Tune in when you eat. Pay attention while you are eating and avoid distractions when you eat. This can help prevent you from overeating.

4. Fill up on fruits & veggies. High-fiber foods are higher in volume and take longer to chew, but they also take longer to digest so you feel fuller, longer. Fruits & vegetables have a high fiber and water content which makes them hard to overeat or eat too many calories. Try adding fruit to cereal and veggies to your omelet. Fruits & veggies to consume in moderation: breaded or fried, salads drenched in dressing, dried fruit and fruit juice.

5. Indulge without overindulging. Combine your treat with other healthy foods, i.e. ice cream with fruit. Schedule your treats and make your indulgences less indulgent, i.e. swap butter and oil for applesauce when baking. Make sure you engage all your senses when eating your treat! And don’t ban any foods because it will set you up for failure.

6. Take charge of your food environment. Set yourself up for success by controlling when you eat, how much you eat, and what is available to eat. Serve yourself smaller portions, cook your own meals and don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry.

7. Make healthy lifestyle changes. Get plenty of sleep (shoot for 8 hours) and plenty of exercise (30 min/day – break it up into 10 min increments). Drink more water because thirst can be confused with hunger. And try turning off the TV!

Other things to consider are taking care of yourself by controlling your stress and taking time to relax and recharge. Stress can sabotage weight loss because stress hormones can cause your body to store fat. Find ways to de-stress to help you stay healthy and sane! Good luck!

Grocery Shopping 101

When you are trying to eat healthy, you don’t want to go to the grocery store without a list or when you are hungry! Set yourself up for success! Here we will discuss ways to choose healthy items at the grocery store and what healthy items you can find in each aisle.

The first thing to remember is to shop the perimeter and spend most of your time in the produce section! The aisles in the center of the store contain all the snacks & “junk food” that are high in calories and low in nutrients. When you are in the produce section, choose a rainbow of colorful fruits & vegetables. Make a goal to try a few new fruits & veggies each week to get an assortment of antioxidants, vitamins and lots of fiber!

When you get to the meats section, remember to choose the lean cuts of meats (round, top, sirloin, tenderloin) and avoid poultry with skin. Also try to include lots of fish (frozen is just as good as fresh) to get omega-3 fatty acids.

Dairy foods are a great source of calcium and vitamin D and you can avoid lots of fat by choosing the low-fat or non-fat options. Try to get 3 servings of dairy a day and if you’ve never tried Greek yogurt, you’re missing out! Greek yogurt contains twice the amount of protein as regular yogurt and has no artificial sweeteners. It has a thicker consistency and there are tons of fruit varieties.

When you get to the breads, cereals & pasta, you want to focus on the whole grains and avoid the highly processed items. Try oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, barley and whole-wheat breads & pastas. Look for items that have 4 g of fiber per serving.

You can get into trouble in the canned foods aisles if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Canned fruits, veggies and beans are good to have in your pantry to add to salads, soups, pastas or rice dishes. But you want veggies that have no salt added and fruits that are in their own juices (not syrup)! Tuna is another great canned food that is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids and low in calories.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re at the grocery store:
– Convenience is worth the extra cost (i.e. pre-cut fruits and veggies).
– Choose real foods (i.e. 100% whole grain or 100% fruit juice).
– Avoid foods that contain more than 5 ingredients.
– Stay clear of foods with cartoons on them.
– Choose cereal on the top few shelves. They have less sugar and are higher in fiber and protein.

Remember, plan ahead and take a few hours on the weekend to cook meals for the week. It will help you be successful in eating healthy. Now make a list and get to the store!