Season 11 Nutrition Tips & Recipes from Our Dietitians

Each week, Registered Dietitian Christy Bahan, RD LD will share nutrition information, tips, and recipes here throughout the season.  We'll provide them in PDF format so they are easy for you to download and share with family and friends.

Welcome to Season 11!  Back to Basics!   This is the Dietitian's corner!  My name is Christy Bahan, RD LD & I am one of the "Solid Gold" team RDs.  I am not able to attend most of the weigh-ins, so I will be coordinating the posting of weekly recaps from the nutrition/behavior class.  As a group we plan to provide additional information that we hope you will find helpful, like recipes!  The information is geared towards: current participants who want a "recap", alumni who want a "refresher", but also for those of you out there trying to do it on your own!


Last words of wisdom for the year: If you ever feel like you are stuck, struggling, or back-sliding, PLEASE :

1. Reach out to someone; don't stay hidden.

2. Review all the great information on this website!

3. Set a reasonable goal with specific strategies & put your effort into consistent follow-through.  The results will happen!


Needing TIPS for the HOLIDAYS?

Consider reviewing the topics of Managing Cues (week 5) & Mindful Eating (week 7) for behavioral tips to get you through the holidays.

For nutrition tips, consider reviewing My Plate/Portion sizes (week 2) & Meal Planning (week 4).  Remember food is fuel first & just because it's in front of you, doesn't mean you have eat it!

This handout talks about the health benefits of your favorite Thanksgiving foods!

This handout can help you choose healthier food swaps during the holidays:

Here are some Soup recipes to get you through the winter:

Don't forget to continue to exercise during the winter!  It's harder to get moving when it's dark & cold.  Find a buddy to help keep you on track!  Here is an article to help keep you motivated!


MOVING ON BEYOND this season (7/14/18)

So what now?  Whether you are a past participant reflecting back on this season, or someone following from afar; you may be wondering: "What now?!"  For more information as to what participants are encouraged to do, please click on the following link:  A New Beginning

The final recipe of the season has summer grilling in mind!  The recipe is for a Greek Gyro-Style Turkey Burger!  You can consider substituting low fat Greek-style yogurt to replace the mayo & the whole fat yogurt in this recipe:


Week 15 (7/9/18)

The final week is here!  Can you believe it?  Time flies when you are having fun!

This week's class topic was Personal Responsibility presented by Sonja Lingo, Behaviorist.  For more information on this topic, click on the following link:  Personal Responsibility

This week's recipe is for a Southwestern Chopped Salad!


Week 14  (7/2/18)

This week all of the FWSW Dietitians gathered to answer questions from this season's participants.  To see what questions were asked & how the RDs answered them, click on the following link:

Q & A with FWSW Dietitians 2018

Also, there were some great questions last year, so if you want to see more great questions, click here: 

Q & A with FWSW Dietitians 2017

This Recipe this week is for grilled chicken & vegetable kabobs.  This is another video I collaborated on for work & it not only tasted very good, it is so colorful!  Enjoy!

This week's Habit from Zonya Foco, RD is: Every Day Exercise

Regular, consistent exercise is crucial to maintaining your weight loss!


Week 13  (6/25/18)

This week, FWSW's one & only Behaviorist, Sonja Lingo presented the topic of Making Changes with the participants.  For more information on this topic & Sonja's discussion, click on the following link:  Making Changes

The Recipe this week is for Grilled Asparagus.  The link is to a video I collaborated on through my workplace & I am so excited to share it with you!  (And, yes, I did the write-up to go with the video!)


Week 12   (6/18/18)

This week, the whole group was treated to a fancy meal at Eddie Merlot's!  We can not THANK Eddie Merlot's, Chef Edwin, & Chef Jeffry enough for providing this experience for the participants! The chefs went above & beyond to show how a fancy meal can be made with healthy, yet simple ingredients from the grocery store, or even your own garden as some ingredients were fresh picked that morning!  This was not only a great compliment to the Dining Out topic, but a wonderful experience for all!  Please check out the FWSW's Facebook page for all of the wonderful pictures of the food & all of the participants dressed up (thanks to Michael Thena & Lennart Karlson)!

This week's Recipe is geared towards what many people treat themselves to when dining out: steak!  Also, it answers a common question Dietitians often get asked during weight loss: "Can I eat something for protein other than chicken or fish?"  Yes!  Red meat is a great source of iron.  The key is choosing a lean cut & a healthy cooking method.  Please refer back to the Dining Out week for additional tips!  The recipe below originally appeared in Cooking Light.  Consider boosting the veggies in this recipe by adding red onion & summer squash.  Enjoy!


Week 11  (6/11/18)

This week, Colleen Incremona, RD from the Blue team talked to the group about Smart Snacking & Recipe Modification.  Each team had to bring in a recipe to practice modifying!

For more information on Smart Snacking, click here:

For more information on Recipe Modification, click here:  Healthy Alternatives

This week's recipe is a modification for ice cream!  You can make ice cream from one ingredient: Fruit!  Check out the following links for a healthy, yet yummy substitute for ice cream!


Banana ice cream with 4 additional flavor options:

Banana ice cream with 10 additional flavor options:

This week's Habit from Zonya Foco, RD is: Eat Until No Longer Hungry 

This habit was covered by Sonja in week 7.  Check out week 7 for more information on Eating Mindfully.


Week 10   (6/4/18)

This week, Abigail Creigh, RD from the Green team helped the group learn about "Spicing Up" their foods.  The goal of this program is for the participants to prepare the majority of their own meals/snacks.  Spices & Herbs are a great way to add flavor without a lot of sodium or fat when preparing your own meals.  There are two handouts in the Lutheran Nutrition Packet on this topic: page 18 is a handout on Herbs & Spices & page 19 is a handout on Salt Substitutions.  

Click on the following link for:    Herbs & Spices

Click on the following link for the full nutrition packet & scroll down to page 19 for Salt Substitutions

In addition, while we are on the subject of cooking at home, the above link to the full nutrition packet has some additional helpful handouts:

- Basic Kitchen tools considered "must -haves" for healthy cooking, see page 9

- Tips for stocking your pantry, see pages 11-12

This week's Recipe incorporates the spice of Ginger with fruit.  The following link not only has the recipe, but includes a video showing how to prepare:

This week's Habit from Zonya Foco, RD is: Replace Processed Foods with Wholesome.  

Whole foods provide more fiber & nutrients.  Processed foods have more chemicals, fat, sugar, & sodium.  This habit highlights the foundation of the Fort Wayne's Smallest Winner Nutrition guidelines as well as the theme for Season 11!


Week 9  (5/28/18)  Happy Memorial Day!  Yes, the participants still had class today!  This week, Stephanie Robbins, RD from the Blue team helped the group learn how to navigate restaurant eating more healthfully.  Pages 13-14 of the Lutheran Nutrition Packet has a month of tips for "Eating on the Run".  For a shortcut to this handout, click here:

The following handout gives ideas on what you can do before & during the meal to stay on track with your meal plan:  Dining Out. 

This week's Habit from Zonya Foco, RD is: Find the Fat

After reviewing the above handouts on Dining Out, do you feel like you can "find the fat" hidden within various descriptions on a restaurant menu?

The recipes this week have in mind the unofficial start to summer!  Grilling can be a lean way to cook not only meat, but veggies, & fruit too!

Appetizer: Rainbow Veggie Skewers!

Entree: Grilled Chicken on Cabbage Salad with fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette!

Dessert: Grilled Peaches with Honey & Yogurt!


Week 8  (5/21/18)

This week the participants went grocery shopping with their team Dietitians!  A huge THANK YOU to Kroger for partnering with FWSW to allow this experience for our group for the 3rd year in a row!  Page 7 of the Lutheran Nutrition Packet provides tips for each department of a grocery store.  Some additional tips include:

  • Don't shop while hungry.
  • It's a good idea to not only have a list, but we encourage you to map out your meals beforehand!
  • Save money by not only buying items when on sale, but also buying fresh produce that is in season.
  • When comparing food items, not only look at the Nutrition Facts panel, but the ingredient list as well.  Whole foods (the least processed) have either less ingredients or no label at all and are the better choice.
  • Shopping the perimeter can be a great tip when you are short on time; however, we want participants to feel comfortable navigating each aisle for better choices among food items.  For example, if you stick to the perimeter, you might miss healthy whole grains like quinoa, but be tempted at the deli/bakery.

For tips on Healthy Eating on a Budget, click on the following links:

For more information on what produce is considered "in season" & therefore, price more economically, click on the following link:

This week's Nutrition Challenge is: limit intake to 2000 mg Sodium.  If you track intake online or with an app, this is an easy thing to check daily.

Recipe of the week:  Chicken Fajitas!  The first is done using a sheet pan & the other is done in the crock pot!  Pair with a starch (tortilla or rice) & you have a balanced meal!  I encourage you to skip the high calorie extras such as sour cream & regular fat cheese.  Instead, I encourage you to garnish with: salsa, cilantro, &/or some squeezes of lime!  If you feel the need to add additional fat, I recommend either a little avocado or a small amount of low-fat cheese.  Enjoy!


Week 7  (5/14/18)

This week, FWSW's one & only Behaviorist, Sonja Lingo presented the topic of Mindful Eating with the participants.  For more information on this topic & Sonja's discussion, click on the following link:  Mindful Eating

This week's recipe uses a spiralized zucchini to boost vegetable intake.  Just about any vegetable can be spiralized!  I have a hand-held spiralizer that did not cost much & does not take up much space in my kitchen.  Spiralizing vegetables has become so popular that recipes can be found online & even in cookbooks!  If you haven't tried this yet, give this recipe a try!    Basil Pomodoro Zucchini Pasta with Chicken

Now is the perfect time to mention Farmer's Markets as some open Mid-May!  There are many benefits to choosing produce from farmer's markets!  For more information, click on the following links:

Fort Wayne's Farmers Markets:

Benefits of shopping at a farmers market:


Week 6  (5/7/2018)

This week in Nutrition class, Jenny Gotsch, RD from the Red team taught the participants about Macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, & fat) and why they are all important for a healthy eating plan.  To test your own knowledge of Nutrients, click on the following link:    Nutrient Quiz

To see the answers & explanations from the Nutrient Quiz, click on the following link:    Nutrient Quiz Answers

This week's Habit from Zonya Foco, RD is:  Tame Your Sweet Tooth

This week's Nutrition Challenge is:  7 Ingredient Challange.

The goal of this challenge is for you to look at the ingredient list of any packaged foods that you buy & if it has more than 7 ingredients, do not eat it this week.  We bet that you will be surprised at how long some ingredients lists are!

Recipe of the week:  This recipe was chosen with the Nutrition Challenge & Weekly Habit in mind.  It is for a No Sugar Oatmeal Cookie!  It has 7 ingredients & will hopefully help you tame your sweet tooth!


Week 5  (4/30/18)

This week, FWSW's one & only Behaviorist, Sonja Lingo presented the participants with their first behavioral topc: Managing Cues. Learning to manage our behaviors is what allows a person to go from knowing what to do to actually doing it!

There is a lot of important information covered this week, so there are two handouts!  The first handout gives you information on the topic, along with tips.  The second handout has 2 different graphics discussed in the first handout.

Managing Cues

Hunger Scale & 100 Things To Do Beside Eat

Question of the week:  How do I celebrate without food?  (Ex: holidays, etc)

Answer: Getting away from the idea of food being the reason for a get-together might be a new perspective for some of you, but an important one.  Some tips:

-  Eat before you go &/or take food with you that is allowed on the meal plan.

- Keep the focus on socializing with others - away from the food.

- Encourage others to do something active with you.  it could be as simple as a walk or make it fun by engaging others in an active game.

This week's recipe is for Kale Chips!  It provides crunch along with boosting your intake on non-starchy veggies - not to mention a lot of vitamins & minerals!  It can not only be a great snack by itself, but you can pair with a meal (such as a sandwich or soup).  This recipe is by Dietitian Joy Bauer & uses cooking spray to decrease the calories & fat compared to chips in a bag!  Enjoy!

The link below provides some excellent tips to keep in mind when making kale chips!


Week 4  (4/23/18)

This week in Nutrition Class, Jen Hollman, RD from the White team covered the very important topic of meal planning.  As you will see, this builds upon what was learned in Week 2 (A balanced plate, Serving sizes).  For information on meal planning, including how, why, & tips, click on the following link:

Meal Planning Guide

For a sample template to use, click here:  Meal Planning Template

This week's Habit from Zonya Foco, RD is: Eat Often

Timing of meals is very important for weight loss.  You should have a goal to eat every 3-5 hours.  This helps to ensure that you do not get over hungry & reach for the quickest thing - which is not always the healthiest.

This week's Nutrition Challenge is: Eat 3 servings of non-starchy veggies daily.

Recipe of the week:  "Six Steps to Better Stir Fries" by Cooking Light.  Once you click on the link below, you can either scroll through or click on "view gallery", then go through each slide.


Week 3  (4/16/18)

This week the participants attended a cooking demo at the University of St. Francis.  We thank the generosity of the University ( & Olive Twist (  This would not have been possible without the hard work & coordination of Bev Moellering & her dietetic students!  

Cooking meals can be an overwhelming idea for some of the participants - let alone the idea of cooking healthy foods that taste great.  The idea behind the cooking demo class was to show participants that they can prepare healthy meals that are full of flavor without being overly elaborate & complicated.  Why is cooking at home important?  Click on the following link for an infographic & a link to a video explaining more about it: Cooking at Home

One of the demo stations was: How to Pack a Salad in a Jar.  The station had not only a food sample, but recipe card for the salad & the salad dressing.  For more information & recipes for a "Salad in a Jar", click on the following link:

One tip commonly given for homemade salad dressing is this:  Normally it is a 2:1 ratio of oil to vinegar.  For those that like vinegar (tartness), you can do a 50:50 mix or even flip the ratio to 1:2 oil to vinegar to save calories!  Here is a nice infographic with 3 recipes:


Week 2  (4/9/18)

This week in Nutrition Class, Amanda Langan, RD from the Red team talked to the participants about the importance of knowing: Serving sizes vs Portion sizes; reading Food Labels, & how to build a balanced plate using My Plate guidelines. For more information on this week's topics, click on the link below:

My Plate, the Nutrition Facts Panel, & Serving Sizes

The way the food label appears on packages will change, but that date keeps getting delayed.  For information on how the new label will look, click on the link below:

This week's Habit from Zonya Foco, RD is: Include Breakfast.  This week's Nutrition Challenge is: Eat 2 servings of fruit each day.

For tips to incorporate fruit at breakfast, click on the following link:

Recipe of the week:  Quinoa Oatmeal Bake with dried fruit:


Week 1  (4/2/18)

The 25 participants kicked off week 1 with their 1st weigh-in & Nutrition class. "Solid Gold" team RD, Bev Moellering explained guidelines for the meal plan that they are to follow over the next 15 weeks.  She also spoke to the importance of logging their intake.  For information about the meal plans, food logs, & tips for building a healthy meal, click on the following link:

FWSW Meal Plan Basics

This year Bev added a new component to her discussion: Inflammation.  The foods you eat can either help fight inflammation or feed inflammation.  Inflammation has been found to be a contributing factor to many diseases & is not limited to those with Arthritis.  So what foods help fight inflammation & what foods feed inflammation?  

Foods that have anti-inflammatory properties & should be eaten often: Vegetables, Fruits, Fatty Fish, Whole Grains, Nuts/Seeds/Legumes, Spices/Herbs/Tea.

Foods that have pro-inflammatory properties & should be limited or avoided: Sugar, Refined Carbohydrates, Trans Fat, Saturated Fat, Processed Meats, Food Additives.

For more information on eating to reduce inflammation, click on the following links:

Also new this year: more nutrition challenges & a mention of 8 Habits recommended by Zonya Foco, RD in her novel: Water with Lemon & her program: Diet Free.

This week's Habit covered is: Drink Water.  The Nutrition Challenge is: Drink at least 64 oz. of water per day.  For tips on boosting water intake, click on the following link:

Recipe of the week: the following recipe is one of Rick's favorite ways to start his day!  Click on the following link for 3 ways to enjoy Oatmeal!

RECIPE: Oatmeal



Spring is a time for new growth!  It is the perfect time to set new goals & get "back to basics"!  There is so much excitement leading up to orientation & even more anticipation leading up to the first official day of the program!  Before these new 25 participants begin their journey, there are a few things they need to do in preparation for the coming week's start.  One of those things is getting into the right mindset.  Gold team Dietitian, Bev Moellering will cover ABCs of Behavior Change next week.  The ABCs stand for: Attitude, Belief, & Consistency of action.  For more information as to why this is vital to their success, click on the link below: 

Getting into the Right Mindset

Another way the participants can prepare is to start thinking about what they will be eating.  The #1 question the Dietitians get asked is: "So, what does a good day of eating look like?"  There will be more information to come over the next couple of weeks, but for now, here is a link to a "No Sugar Added" day from Eating Well to get you started: