The Ultimate Tailgate Healthy Eating Guide

 I don't know if you're a big football fan or not, I consider myself a medium fan-one that can watch the game but prefers to just hangout at the tailgate, but chances are you'll probably be heading a football game at some point this year.

And, typically when you head to a game, you're likely going to a tailgate too!

And what is there at a tailgate?

FOOD and the opportunity for you to feel like you're going to fall off the wagon. Most people will feel overwhelmed with the (most likely) not as healthy options that are available there , which you feel like you'll fall victim to.

But, this year, I am not going to let that happen to you. I am not going to let you feel like just because you had one day of fun that all your efforts have melted away, because you deserve better.

I know that feeling, that contemplating eating another wing because you're hungry but have the deep fear that you'll mess everything up.

I get that. I know that feeling.

But this year, kiss that feeling good bye because I got a nifty tip sheet for you! If you follow me on Instagram, you know what I am talking about!

Let's stop wasting time and check it out!

Really, this is exactly what I practice and what I share with my clients every week. It can be that simple.

Here's the gist

-Try going with lighter beers throughout the day tailgate and game to minimize your risk of hangover and to lighten up the calories. Another great idea is to go with vodka and soda water with fruit or a glass of wine


-Make and have your potato or pasta salad as an oil based salad. You'll cut down on saturated fat and calories, while still enjoying a treat. You can even make your pasta salad with whole wheat pasta or a bean based pasta to improve the protein content to fill you up more!


-Wait and see if you're actually hungry for dessert. Most times, you won't even be hungry for the excess empty calories when you choose a higher protein snack or meal to have there!


-Pulled pork or chicken is a lean and tasty way to get some protein in which not going crazy on calories! Put the sauce on the side so you can control how much you're having.


-Make some roasted chickpeas in the oven or in the Air Fryer for a protein and fiber packed snack that is lower in calories and fat than salted nuts!

So, I am going to challenge you to give this a shot this weekend. Make these small swaps, eat more mindfully of how you're feeling, and just enjoy the time.

Please don't wake up the next day mad at yourself that you had fun. That you enjoyed some heavier foods or wasn't as active as you usually are. Forgive yourself. Enjoy the day and have fun.

Self Care that is Free!

Self Care

When was the last time you did something for yourself?

It's no lie that the "treat yourself" movement is huge right now. I've seen people whip out their  credit cards and spend $500 at target on crap they don't need and yell TREAT YO'SELF!

But, in my opinion, that type of treating yourself, buying more junk you don't need, don't help to bring you piece of mind, solace, or help you relax, doesn't get us anywhere near calm. If anything, it creates more anxiety over how you're going to pay for it.

Treat yourself and self care doesn't have to mean you're throwing your money down the drain on things that don't serve you from feeling and being a better version of yourself.

Self care means to listen to your body. It means caring for yourself, inside and out.

So, when can we practice self care? I would say daily! If you can do something to help you wind down, get back to your purpose, de-stress and find peace, then let's do it daily.

If your schedule is hectic, I get it. Even if you can set aside 15 minutes a week, its better than neglecting yourself.

Here are some ideas!
Reading a book
Take a Nap
Take a Bath
Go on a Walk
Cook your favorite meal
Drink a glass of tea
Make a special coffee
Go to bed early

Really, it can be anything that you love to do!

Self care is SUPER important when you're on a weight loss journey as well.

It's so easy for us to get lost in the pursuit of it all, to get sucked in tracking, over exercising, and have tunnel vision that we forget about what makes us happy and lessens our stress. If our cortisol levels are high, the body does not prioritize weight loss.

Control your stress, practice self care and believe yourself.

You can do it! I am rooting for you!

How long have you been trying to lose weight?

How long have you been trying to lose weight but not succeeding?

Has it only been a recent endeavor for you? Maybe within the past 6-12 months or so?

Or has it been years? Maybe 5 years or 10 years?

Or as long as you can remember?

I had a new client this week tell me that she has perpetually been trying to lose weight for the last 10 years. The last 10 years of her life has been dedicated to eating less to hopefully weight less.

I've had clients say that they have been trying to lose weight since they were a child. They were put on weight loss drugs before they turned 10. Their families put them on diets to get them to lose weight. They were told they needed to lose weight, even before they could fully mature into their bodies.

How sad, really, to be told by your family that you need to lose weight at such a young age and to be put on medications while you're still growing.

The biggest mistake I see people making, as well as diet culture in general making, is spreading the belief following it that you need to eat only 1200 calories to lose weight.

For reference, that's how many calories a 12 year old should be eating, not a full grown man or woman.

So, when we spend YEARS at 1200 calories or less trying to lose weight, our bodies have to make some changes. We are designed to live off a lot more than 1200 calories a day. so when we under feed it to a max of 1200 calories a day, we need to make some changes.

What are those changes? Our bodies become REALLY good, I mean crazy good, at sparing as much energy it can, cycling back our calorie burn and storing as much fat as possible. That's why you're not seeing any weight loss at 1200 calories a day and also why you're seeing a weight gain.

Our metabolisms literally think you're starving. And when we go into starvation mode, we start storing as much energy as we can.

So, what should we do? I know this will be a controversial answer, but start eating more. Focus still on eating nutrient dense foods, but start eating more. Add in about 200 calories every 2-3 weeks until you get to a maintenance, level, typically 1800-2600 depending on who you are.

That could be adding in a snack sometime or increasing to size of one of you meals. Really, that is where you should start.

Once you get to a maintenance level, you really should stay there for 3-4-5-6 months to help your body heal and recognize that you're not trying to starve yourself. Need help with that? Send me a email!

But really, those are the first steps.
That's it!

How long have you been dieting? Are you stuck in a rut and only eating 1200 calories? Let's change that.  Let me know in the comments your thoughts!

What should I eat before a workout?


Are you someone that works out a lot but are never sure what you should be doing as far as your nutrition with exercise?

Trust me, I get it and you are not alone! I get asked A LOT by my clients as well as my Facebook community members (click here to join!) and on Instagram how to fuel up for activity!

This was something that always confused me, too before I finished school and my Master's degree. But, don't worry! My Master's degree in Sports Nutrition and Exercise Science serves me well and it's about to serve you, too!

I would first not eat anything, thinking that if my goal was weight loss, then I probably wouldn't want to add calories in. Then, I would fuel up for everything, like pilates  and yoga too, and that was unnecessary!

So, for what, when,  and why should we fuel up for exercise? Let's get started!

It's true that your body has energy stores in it's muscles that make you prepared to move and exercise whenever you choose, but, sometimes you need that little extra umph to get you going!

Why kind of activity warrants a pre-exercise meal/snack?
Think longer activity, typically lasting at least 60-90 minutes that is at a high intensity. Exercise that really gets your heart pumping and you're recruiting more muscle groups! Running is a great example, HIIT training, moderate to high intensity strength training, biking and such. These activities are PERFECT to fuel up for!.
What shouldn't you need to fuel up for?
Think shorter activity, one that you're only doing for 20 minutes or so, that you're not breaking a sweat in. Kind of like Pilates and Yoga. You wouldn't need to fuel up before going on a short walk (30 minutes or so) either. Our bodies store up enough energy that will last us about 2 hours of low to moderate intensity activity!

Why should we fuel up for these harder and longer exercises?
In our muscles, we store carbohydrates, also known as glycogen for activity and to keep up running! When we are working out for an extended period of time, we are engaging in aerobic activity, which means we are relying on our stores as well as oxygen to keep up moving and functioning. When we fuel up, we are adding more available energy for our bodies to utilize during activity to keep up at the top of our game.

So, what should we be having?
About 30 minutes to an hour before strenuous activity, you'll want to dig into a simple carbohydrate rich snack. Simple carbohydrates can get broken down very easily and fast to be able to utilize them for energy. Simple carbohydrate snacks include: Pretzels, dried fruit, whole fruit, fruit juice, toast, oatmeal, simple yogurt, or simple granola bar.   All of these snacks are higher in simple carbs and low in protein and fat to prevent upset stomach! Having a snack high in fat and protein will take the body LONGER to digest and utilize their energy, plus they also can cause upset stomach and nausea as they sit in the stomach for longer!

I hate to say it, but you really don't need to be drinking gatorade as you're on the elliptical for 30 minutes. Sports beverages are really only warranted when you're exercising for at least 60-90 minutes at moderate to extreme intensity, PLUS, if you're a heavy sweater. And, gatorade and powerade aren't the best things you could be having, as they are lower in sodium than they should be and lower in sugar than they should be to be a refuel beverage. Your best bet is to just stick to water!

What's your usual fueling routine for exercise? Can you eat before exercise?

What produce is in season right now?


The fall is the PERFECT time to start incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet!

Actually, fresh vegetables, when they are grown and picked in season, have the best nutrient quality than any other time throughout the year. When the produce is homegrown (typically within 50 miles of selling) there is less of a loss of nutrients due to transportation and the produce sitting for a while.

Although the Driscoll berries typically look pick and bright red, they usually don't have the best taste, nor are they the sweetest. That's because they are grown out of season, and if you live on the east coast, they are transported across the country to your grocery store.

So, the produce that is in season now and homegrown is going to have THE BEST nutrient quality and amount. These in season produce options will have greater amounts of micronutrients, which means, more nutrient dense!!


So, what is in season right now??

Greens (swiss chard, romaine, spinach)
Brussel Sprouts

And this is just a short list!

So what do you do if it's not season? I urge you to buy it canned or frozen

Why? Because the canned and frozen versions are also picked at the peak of freshness and flash canned or frozen! They will also have a great nutrient profile and even be better than if you bough the "fresh version" that was shipped in across the country.
Rinse the canned vegetables to reduce up to 40% of the sodium content too! Both are great options!

So, I want to know...

What's your favorite in season vegetable? Let me know in the comments!

Is Keto the best way to lose weight?


I'm sure that question has crossed your mind a few times

Especially if you've been trying to lose weight for a while and have about had it with dieting it self.

Trust me, I get it!

Keto seems to be an easy way to shed pounds FAST and get you looking like a god or goddess in no time. Or so it seems.

But, the keto diet that you're seeing on Instagram, facebook, Pinterest and in the media is not what the ketogenic diet is.

It really isn't as easy as cutting out all your favorite carb foods like apples (some keto-ers consider apples evil because of the carbs), bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and every other carb-y goodness food you could ever want.

Sure it sounds easy to say okay to ditching all those great foods, but it's not as easy as you think.

First, let's talk about what a ketogenic diet is, who it is supposed to by and it's uses.

The Ketogenic diet was originally made for children who have epilepsy issues who's symptoms and disease have not been able to be managed with medications. It is sometimes seen as the last ditch effort to help suppress the seizures as it helps to alter the genes involved in energy metabolism which then helps to stabilize the neurons in the brain to stop the seizures.

The ketogenic diet that is prescribed to children is very strict and the children must be admitted to the hospital to be closely monitored as they transition into ketosis (the process of making ketone bodies and using them for energy within the body). Their labs need to be perfect and the diet is completely controlled.

The diet prescribed to the children is a 4:1:1 ratio of Fat to protein and carbohydrates. Like 100g of fat, 25g protein and 25g carbohydrates a day. Protein must be limited as protein can very easily be turned into glucose within the body through gluconeogenesis and prevent ketosis from occurring. Think like drinking heavy cream instead of milk, adding butter to EVERYTHING, and trying to eat avocados all the time.

These children continue to be CLOSELY monitored by their doctors and dietitians throughout the entire process and don't stay on the diet forever.

Yep, you read that right.

The child really only stays on the ketogenic diet for 2 years max. If it doesn't help them by then, then they are transitioned off. If the diet does help them, they are still transitioned off around 2 years later and continue on with normal life!

So, then what is the issue with the "keto" diets people are using for weight loss?

First, we still don't know the long term effects of being on a very high fat diet. We are starting to see more and more people end up in the hospital with heart issues and elevated blood fat panels after following a keto diet.

Second, the keto diet people on  right now is not a true ketogenic diet. These modified keto diets are too high in protein to allow the body to go into ketosis. Their diets are primarily fatty meats, chicken and fish, 2 of the 3 are lean proteins.

Those lean proteins have more protein than fat in them, which is then broken down and turned into glucose, preventing ketosis.

So, why are people seeing such a drastic weight loss?

When you cut major sources of carbohydrates out of your diet, your body is forced to use the carbohydrate stores that are in your muscles. When you use those stores, your body also releases the water that is stored with the carbohydrates in your muscle, thus resulting in a fast "weight loss" within a few days that is really only water weight lost.

Essentially, over time you're starving your body and making it use the protein stores as well as the fat stores in your body to keep its energy going. Which can also result in weight loss, however, if you're wanting to preserve your muscle mass, then you really shouldn't be dabbling in this.

More times than not, after a few weeks or months, the person will find themselves in a situation where there's carbs that they have been restricting for a while, everywhere, and they can't do anything other than eat them all.

The cycle of restriction gets broke with a binge on foods you've told yourself are bad and that you cannot have.

Then you're feeling bad about yourself and what you've done and see the weight come right back on.

You'll often see that once someone decides that they are done losing weight on keto and transitions off, they first don't know how to start eating again. And then, find that they've added more weight back on.

That's the problem with diets, once you're done losing, what are you supposed to do the keep the weight off? They surely don't tell you that!

If you haven't learned yet, I am not a fan of restriction. Therefore, any diet that tells you you cannot have something is not my first go to.

But, I want to know your opinions? Have you tried keto? Was it successful for you? Are you still doing it?

Let me know in the comments!

Also, if you want to read more on the flaws of the keto diet that celebrities are pushing? Click here and check out this article I've been featured in!

What Foods not to Eat for Healthy Skin

Our nutrition has more impact on our health that we realize.

Besides increasing our risk for chronic disease when we make bad nutritional choices, our choices can also have a negative impact on our skin!

So, let's cut right to the chase. What should we be doing and what should we be avoiding?

Fried Foods-  When cooking oils are heated to a high temperature, they release free radicals which can cause damage in the body, as well as speed up the aging process. So, you're trying to minimize those wrinkles, step away from from the fried food and start baking your fries!

Highly Processed Meats (deli meats)- Highly processed meats, especially deli meats often contain high levels of sodium, fillers, and sulfites which can dry out the skin. But, let's not ditch out meat, its a great source of protein and collagen which can aid in developing healthy skin!

Margarine- Back in the 80s and 90s, we were all scared of fat. Which brought the advent of margarine. The lower fat, butter alternative came to market. However, it can be loaded with trans fat, the artery clogging fat that can also increase UV exposure causing damage to your skin! Use real butter!

Excess Sweets- I am not talking the occasional dessert or chocolates you have. I am talking extra sugar all the time. Excess sugar can also accelerate the aging process and damage the collagen in the skin as well. Swap your nightly gigantic bowl of ice cream with a bowl of frozen berries every once in a while!

I am not saying that we need to cut out all of these things completely in our lives, but we do need to be more conscious of what we eat and how it's prepared.

All foods can fit but remember moderation.

What do you think? Are these things part of your regular diet? Let me know in the comments!

Who is a nutrition professional I can trust?

Would you believe me if I told you that most of America gets their nutrition information from the internet? More specifically, social media?

Well, it's true. A study was recently released that said 90% of nutrition info that you see on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, PINTEREST, and TWITTER is WRONG.

Why the heck is the happening? I am sure you're probably thinking that!

Well, that's because nutrition is the wild west. There's people like myself, a Registered Dietitian, who have years of schooling, degrees, residency, national board exam, licensure and continuing education to legally be able to practice nutrition. The mission of a Registered Dietitian is to Protect the Public and provide Evidenced Based Nutrition Advice.  And then there's everyone else, the nutritionists that may not have the extensive schooling, no legal backing, no national boards exams. Yes, there are some that do extensive studying of nutrition that do give out sound advice and help people. But, there are far more out there that don't.

Every dietitian is a nutritionist, but not every nutritionist is a dietitian.

There are far too many social media "influencers" that do not have ANY nutrition training and give out advice based on what worked for them.

Newsflash! What works for you, won't work for everyone!

What you need, if you want to reach your goals sustainably, is a routine that is designed for you and you alone. Goals that are for you, and you alone. Support and accountability that is just yours.

That lady on instagram may have a big booty and small waist, meanwhile doesn't have any nutrition or personal training credentials, but she likely doesn't know how to help you get there, while overcoming stress, balancing hormones, and fitting it into your life. She will probably just tell you to drink some shake and eat chicken and rice for dinner.

That is what I am talking about! We have to create the awareness of where our nutrition advice is coming from and what the background of the person is. Do you research before you act!

So, where do you go for nutrition information? Is it your friendly, neighborhood RD or is it Suzy Q with the big butt? Let me know in the comments!

Should I eat Gluten Free to lose weight?

I am sure you've asked that before!

Gluten free has been a craze for a while and I have been asked that question a lot, is it really worth it for weight loss? Let's break it down first by learning what is Gluten and who should go Gluten free?

What is Gluten?
Gluten is a mix of proteins, prolamins and glutelins, found in wheat products and is responsible for the elasticity of the dough, especially when making bread products. Gluten can lie dormant in wheat products, meaning that it will not cause the allergic reaction to those who have Celiac's Disease, unless it is combined with yeast, which actives gluten.

What is Celiac's Disease?
Celiac's is an autoimmune disease where the body has an immune reaction to gluten in the system, this causes inflammation, damage to the intestinal tract, nausea, vomiting, cramps, bloating and diarrhea.

So what is Gluten Free?
Gluten Free means that the product has less than 20 parts per million of gluten in the product. So it may have a trace of gluten in it, but not a lot. Most companies are now labeling any of their products that are gluten free, even if it never would have had gluten in it! This is sometimes used as a marketing ploy because if it's gluten free, it must be healthier (not true!).

Should we be eating Gluten Free for Weight loss?
Unless you have a gluten allergy or intolerance, then there is no need to cut out gluten for weight loss. Eating gluten does not cause you to gain weight or causes the inflammation, unless you have Celiac's Disease. You may have seen people going gluten free for weight loss, losing weight and blaming it on the gluten. In reality, they lost weight because they cut out a major source of nutrients for the body, not because of the gluten.

Going gluten free does not mean you will automatically lose weight and it is not necessary for weight loss.

Plenty of my clients eat gluten every day and still lose weight.

I only recommend gluten free if you do have Celiac's Disease. Going gluten free for the fun of it with the thoughts that you'll lose weight is really putting you at risk for a micronutrient deficiency. Gluten Free products do not need to be enriched or fortified with the B vitamins, as well as other vitamins. Grain products are our primary sources for the B Vitamins, therefore, cutting out gluten just to lose weight can be harmful.

What you really should do is eat more whole grains and whole wheat products. When you eat whole grains and whole wheat, you get more naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, as well as more protein, fiber and heart healthy fats that regular, enriched white grains do not.

So, what do you think? Should you be going Gluten Free just to lose weight?

Do you know people that are Gluten Free just for weight loss?

Let me know in the comments below!

What is the Nourished with Emily 1:1 Nutrition Coaching Program?

What is Nourished with Emily and the 1:1 Nutrition Coaching program?

I get asked that question a lot, on Instagram and on Facebook and even in my emails!

The first time I was asked that, I really had to think, too.

It's certainly not a diet, no. Because diets are too aggressive, restrictive and don't really foster a lifestyle change.

It's not a challenge, no. Because challenges have an end point and nutrition is really for life, not 30/60/90 days.

It's not a meal plan, no. Because meal plans are strict and don't allow for you to always eat what you like.

So, if it's none of those, then what exactly is it?


It's a program build on habit changes and fostering a new, healthier lifestyle that can last a lifetime. It's learning how to eat without feeling restricted. It's eating foods you love and still seeing results. It's a program built for you for lasting results.


Watch this short video and see what I mean!