Ballard Naturopathic Blog | weight loss

Stone Turtle HealthNaturopathic Medicine and Massage Therapy for the Whole Family

6204B 8th Ave NW Seattle, WA 98107 Work (206) 355-4309

Stone Turtle Health Blog

Spring? Summer? Food!!

May 2, 2014

Wow! 80+ degrees outside, 2 days in a row and it's not even August! Here are some great, simple recipes to keep you out of the kitchen and cooled down.

Dijon-marinated Root Vegetables

2-3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-3 inch sticks (about the size of a finger)

2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-3 inch sticks

1 medium onion (Walla Wallas are best), cut into wedges and separated

2-3 med potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and chopped into quarter-sized pieces

-        Cover all vegetables with olive oil and spread into a single layer on 1-2 baking sheets. Roast at 350, turning once with a spatula, until tender, approximately 20-25 minutes. Transfer to bowl and cool to room temperature

Honey-Dijon Marinade:

1 ½ c of olive oil

½ c Dijon mustard or whole grain brown mustard

¼ c. honey

1 tsp minced garlic or garlic paste

Salt & pepper, to taste.


-        Combine dressing ingredients in bowl or using blender to fully blend. Pour over root vegetables. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator. Serve chilled.


Cold Noodle Salad with Beef or Shrimp

½ package whole wheat spaghetti or soba noodles, prepared and tossed with small amount of olive oil

1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cooked OR 1 lb of steak, marinated in olive oil & garlic, broiled & thinly sliced- chilled

Rice Wine Vinegar- 1 1/2 c

Sweet Chili sauce- ½ c

1-2 cloves of garlic, minced

½ red onion, thinly sliced and finely minced

¼ c roughly chopped cilantro or basil

½ head iceberg lettuce, chopped

Tomato wedges, as desired


-Combine vinegar, sweet chili sauce, garlic and minced onion. Combine remaining ingredients (may need to make more dressing if using steak instead of shrimp, as it soaks up more dressing). Top with dressing and chill. Serve cold. 


Homemade Ranch Dressing

A great way to get more veggies!

1 cup mayonnaise

2 cups plain Greek yogurt

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp salt

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives


Blend all ingredients. Chill, serve as garnish for carrot and celery sticks, cucumber slices, and radishes, or as salad dressing (may want to thin with milk if using as dressing).


Grain Salad with Shrimp, Feta, and Pine Nuts

1 c. brown rice or pearled barley.

½ lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, cooked and roughly chopped

1 block of feta roughly chopped or one container of crumbled feta

Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

½ c pine nuts, toasted

¼ c cilantro, roughly chopped

1-2 finely minced green onions

¼ c olive oil

-Prepare grains as directed on the box, rinsing well and adding 1-2 drops of olive oil to water, which will keep the grains fluffy.  Once fully cooked, fluff with a fork and allow to cool to room temperature as you prep the other ingredients.  Add all and combine well. Chill and serve cold. 


Serve these dishes with one of the drinks below:


Sparkling Honey-Ginger Lemonade

1 c lemon juice

1/2 c honey

1/2 tsp ground ginger

6 c seltzer water, divided into 1 1/2 c, poured over cups full of ice

- Combine first three ingreients in saucepan, warm steadily until honey and lemon juice easily combine into syrup. Pour 1/4 c of syrup over each cup, stirring to mix. Serves 4, with some syrup leftover.


Sangria/Virgin Sangria Spritzer

1 jug of rose (pink wine) (or light fruit juice for virgin drinks)

1 liter of plain seltzer

1 orange, sliced into rounds

1 lemon, sliced into rounds

1 lime, sliced into rounds

1 c raspberries, fresh or frozen

1/4 c agave nectar

-Combine all ingredients in large pitcher, place in refrigerator to chill. Serve with ice. Makes a little more than a gallon.

 Looking for a quick, easy way to increase your water intake this summer. Try adding lemons, limes, mint, or even cucumbers. They add flavor to "boring" water.. Also, if you are prepping carrots and celery sticks for easy lunch prep, store them in water in the refrigerator to keep them crisp. Drain off some of the water to drink. It will be quite refreshing!

Food Revolution Day 2013

May 9, 2013

You all should know by now how much I love Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution, promoting healthy foods in schools and communities. May 17th is the date for his Second Annual Food Revolution Day, a worldwide grassroots effort to provide fun and education experiences around food to local communities. I love what he is doing for so many reasons: healthy kids are better learners, healthy families can work together to make changes in their communities, and healthy communities can provide better support for those who need it most. I strongly encourage my readers to attentd or even host a Food Revolution Day activity in their neighborhood, even if it's as simple as hosting a vegetarian potluck or barbecue for their friends and neighbors. Check out a book about food from the library and read it to your children. Reach out to the local food bank and donate or volunteer to provide more healthy food to their customers. Visit your children's school to see what their school lunch program offers. Try a healthy new dish from a cuisine you aren't familiar with. There are TONS of ways we can improve our diets and our family's lifestyle, from meatless Fridays to making sure we "eat a rainbow" every day. We have the tools within our reach to fight the epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses that are distinctly related to our lifestyles. This is one thing that we can do something about. Viva La Revolution!


Winter Comfort Foods- Lightened Up!

January 21, 2013

This great post on HuffPo shows you ways to lighten up those lovely, tasty, heavy winter comfort foods. 

Some other great ways to make your favorite foods healthier:

1. For breads, like banana bread or pumpkin bread, try adding apple sauce or smashed banana in place of oil.

2. Use this list for sugar substitutes in baking: zylitol, honey, agave nectar, succanat/rapadura, barley malt, brown rice syrup, corn syrup (NOT HFCS), sorghum, blackstrap molasses, stevia. For many of these, you can find conversion charts online as they don't always translate directly to an equal amount of granulated (white) sugar. With liquid sweeteners, you may need to compensate by lowering the amount of liquid or increasing the total amount of solids in a recipe.

3. To thicken soups or sauce, add cooked, pureed califlower, potato, or zucchini

4. Lots of dairy in the fridge from the holidays or parties? Add it to soups for more flavor and to minimize the amount you'll get in each serving. I did that last weekend and came up with Baked Potato Soup, Split Pea & Bacon Soup, and Broccoli Cheese Soup. While butter, bacon, heavy cream and cream cheese don't need to be in your diet on a daily basis, this is a great way to use them up if you already have them and don't want to waste money by throwing them al out. Plus, adding a small amount of fat can increase satiety, making you more full from eating less.

5. Avoid dairy (if you don't have the problem in #4) by using stocks and broths for liquids instead of milk or cream. 

6: For richness in vegetarian dishes without adding meat, use 1 tsp of miso paste instead. It contains glutamate, which triggers the "umami" tastebuds that tell us when something tastes rich or full (which usually requires meat or butter).

Winning by losing

May 7, 2012

A new article on Newsweek's website: Why The Campaign to Stop America's Obesity Crisis is Failing talks about the same things that our friends over at The Metabolic Effect have been talking about for years! Namely, all calories are not created equal. Calories affect insulin levels differently. Insulin unlocks the door to fat cells, allowing them to uptake blood sugar and store it, making themselves (and the humans who have them) larger over time. 

This is why the basic principles of the Metabolic Effect diet (eating whole foods that do not significantly spike your blood sugar, and therefore your insulin) are sound principles to live by. Eating lean proteins and complex carbohydrates from fruits & vegetables are two very good ways to do this. The low glycemic index food, as they're called, are much preferable to the empty calories of refined and processed sugars and carbohydrates.

Another point to make is to look at "real" foods versus low-calorie or low-fat foods. Our bodies know how to process the proteins, fats and sugars found in whipped cream, for example, including our satiety sensors, which tell us when we're full. But what does our body do with the list of water, hydrogenated vegetable oil, high fructose corn syrup, sodium caseinate, natural and artificial flavors, modified food starch, xanthan and guar gums, polysorbate 60, sodium monostearate, sodium polyphosphates, and beta-carotene. Many of these are naturally-derived ingredients, like guar gum and beta-carotene, but what the heck is a polysorbate 60? And how does it affect insulin and our fat cells.

My first rule of food is: If I can't picture it growing, I don't want to eat it. Now, I know there are no marshmallow bushes, but I've made marshmallows myself and, as long as the ingredient list only has ingredients I used at home, I'm fine eating it. No, I ENJOY it. 

Healthy Fall Recipes

October 14, 2011

As the days get cooler, many people are becoming less active or are worried about putting on weight with holiday food. Tailgating for football games can be damaging to your waistline, too. It all begins with what you put in your mouths, what your options are, and what you provide for your family. Here are some healthy recipe links that run from less processed, homemade sweets for Halloween to healthy and delicious Sunday dinners that are seasonal and easy to prepare.


Burnt Sugar Lollipops

Chocolate Bark with Pistachios and Dried Cherries

Apple "Bites"

Melon Brain

*recipes from www.FamilyFun.Go.Com and


Tailgating Recipes:

Guacamole with Chipotle Tortilla Chips

Spicy Black Bean Hummus

Cajun Oven-Fried Chicken

Roasted Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing

Homemade Chunky Chicken Chili


*recipes from and


Sunday Dinner:

White Bean Soup with Kale and Chorizo

Roast Chicken with Wild Rice Stuffing

Poached Pears in Merlot with Figs and Hazelnuts


Poached Pears in Merlot

4 large pears

1/2 c. hazelnuts, chopped

1/2 c. dried figs, chopped

2 c. Merlot

1 glass baking dish



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Core pears, leaving skin on and removing core & seeds. Combine nuts and figs and stuff pears, standing them upright in glass dish. Pour Merlot over tops of pears, cover with foil. Cook at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until pears are cooked and easily pierced with fork. Serves 4 (try adding non-fat vanilla yogurt on top for a decadent twist).


*recipes from and Stone Turtle Health




Not just heart disease anymore..

September 8, 2010

An article in the Telegraph, a prominent UK newpaper, states that the rate of throat cancer in men over 50 has increased by over 67% since the mid-80s. Being overweight is a significant risk factor for adenocarcinoma, the type of throat cancer studied by Professor Janusz Jankowski, a Cancer Research UK funded clinician at the Barts & The London School of Medicine & Dentistry in England.

The full article on increased rates of throat cancer  goes on to state that, while it is the 9th most common cancer in the UK, it is the most difficult to detect and treat, with only an 8% survival rate after 5 years.

Since cancer seems to be a bogeyman for so many people (wherease diabetes, heart disease, and other sequelae of poor lifestyle choices and obesity seem to elicit a resigned shrug), maybe this article, and the study, will garner more widespread attention to the difficulties ahead for overweight and obese people and help to motivate changes in lifestyle, diet, and exercise.



June 16, 2010

Today marks the beginning of my 6th week on the New ME Diet's Fat Loss program. Exactly nine days prior to that, I began doing weigh-ins for a local company's corporate weight loss competition. Exactly two days prior to that, I decided to weigh myself. On the fancy fat-measuring scale. While my weight was within the low end of my "normal" range, the fat percentage was through the roof. As I leafed through the instruction manual, seeking out justifications for a "miscalculation", it dawned on me that the scale might be right. If I was comfortable enough using its measurements for the company participants, why did I think I was immune to its cold, objective calculations?

Knowing that I have relatively healthy eating habits (aside from the occasional seven course meal at my favorite Italian restaurant), I knew it had come to this: If I wanted to lose weight, I needed to move. The thought of exercise conjures up images of being dragged around the track an extra lap because my gym teacher didn't believe I'd gone the full mile. Of working out with a personal trainer who would mock the way I was doing exercises rather than asking why I was favoring one side or correcting my form in a positive way. Of all the dread and embarrassment that came from being the misfit who didn't know the rules to games everyone else seemed to know how to play. Of being picked last for kickball, the cliche of cliches. Exercise was Not My Thing.

So, I turned to my social network, including Facebook friends who would cheer me on and hold me accountable and to my live friends who could be counted on for support when we got together for salads, not dessert or for tea, not beer. And to my family which, given the delectable manner of cooking they participate in, can't really be faulted for not understanding what on earth had come over me when I refused free-form cherry cheesecake, homemade gravy, and other tortures.

In particular, one former classmate of mine, Dr. Jillian Sarno-Teta, a naturopathic physician and bodybuilder, has been my rock. And she's responsible for introducing me to the program that has turned my "normal" weight on its head. Jillian's husband and brother-in-law (both also naturopathic doctors) have co-authored the best-selling "The New ME Diet" and are the creators of the Metabolic Effect 10-Week Fat Loss Program. Jillian was kind enough to get me started with some tips until my book arrived.

My goal: to drop 20 pounds in 10 weeks. This would put me where I was after my 3 month session with a personal trainer back in 2004. In the first week, I dropped a few pounds, but the main difference was in my waistline: 1 1/2 inches in the first 4 days. Since the beginning, my waist measurement has dropped a total of 3 1/2 inches and my weight has dropped over 10 pounds. I've been sleeping like a log and the exercise takes only 30 minutes 3 times/week (walking 30-60 minutes on off-days). Initially, I had to squeeze time into my day, but now that I'm sleeping better, my body has been waking me up naturally (without exhaustion) a good 30 minutes earier, giving me plenty of time to work out before getting ready for my day.

I spent the first 3 weeks standing in front of the mirror, just making muscles and admiring myself. Not out of any sense of vanity, but more out of a sense of wonder and playfulness. If I could have done this so easily, what else could I accomplish? Could I actually grow a few inches? (Answer: well, technically, no, but working out the kinks in my spine and improving my posture has me back to a "real" 5'9"). Could I really lose weight by eating 6 meals a day, all of them containing meat?

The past 2 weeks, I've been incorporating my "reward meals", mainly to make social interactions easier. The first was a yes to fettucine in gorgonzola cream sauce (no to dessert), the second on a date where I had pretty much what I would have eaten anyway (meat and vegetables), but with a coconut daquiri, beans and rice, and plantain fritters with garlic sauce. I've also been getting more creative with my planned meals, expanding from the simple chicken breast with broccoli and sweet potato or salmon burger with sauteed mushrooms and spinach to orange-chili glazed chicken stir-fry and cumin-scented turkey burgers with baked sweet potato fries.

Since I've been so happy with this program, Stone Turtle Health has become an affiliate clinic (Metabolic Effect is based in one of the Carolinas, I can never remember which one). I'm looking forward to providing my patients with free weekly weigh-ins and free entrance to my monthly Healthy Shopping on a Budget classes as part of their enrollment fee into Metabolic Effect's Fat Loss Program. I'm looking forward to having more partners in crime and creating a support network of patients to provide long-lasting changes in their health.