Biggest Loser: Bernie’s Book

By Carlene Helble-Elite Nutrition Intern

We are sending a big “Congratulations!” to Rebecca’s Nurture Principles speaking partner, Bernie Salazar! He just completed Monstercise, his first children’s book, which hits stores in 2011.  In an interview with Extra Bernie said “It’s about getting America’s children nice and healthy using their imagination, playing a lot more.” See his interview and get inspired to get you and your little ones moving!

We can’t wait to see more and hope you keep a look out for it in 2011!

FNCE Recap Day 2: Vitamin D, Biggest Loser, Social Media and Socializing

If you like food, nutrition, and helping people live well you should be at FNCE!

Day two (Sunday)  was so much fun! I love nutrition, talking about nutrition, and I really LOVE hanging out with other people who do too. My day started off with a wake-up workout with my two counterparts in my Peer Support Group Wendy Jo – Fuelin’ Roadie and Leslie Schilling. Now, these girls are married to some seriously athletic men. One is a Navy Seal and the other is a top exercise science speaker and professor. Bottom line: They know their way around a weight room. They gave this runner a serious butt-whooping.

We then headed for a full recovery breakfasts – eggs, bacon, toast, juice. It was so filling — and thank goodness because my lunch ended up being tiny exhibit floor tastes. They’re good, but at this event, you need energy to get your body and brain through the long day.

Vitamin D – Where is the Sun?

The first session I attended was the lecture on vitamin D. It was awesome. Here’s the bottom line outcome from the talk

  • Vitamin D deficiency should not be a problem in the U.S. but it is.
  • Increased use of sunscreen and decreased sun exposure are the main reasons for vitamin D deficiency over the years. (we make vitamin D from sun exposure)
  • Get a blood test to determine your vitamin D levels (you have to ask your Dr.)
  • If vitamin D is below 35 ng/dl Dr. Hollick recommends you need a supplement.
  • He suggested 2000 IUs a day for adults and 1000 IUs a day for kids.
  • Vitamin D deficiency is linked to increased risk for diseases and conditions

Companies, Companies Everywhere

Then I hit up the exhibit floor for a couple hours. I stopped by many of the booths. I loved that Laughing Cow worked with Patricia Bannan (an amzing RD who recently published a book “Eat Right When Time is Tight”) and California Strawberries worked with David Grotto, one of our rare male RDs. Yes, I played the booth game and I AM smarter than a GUY-it-itian! (lol). I enjoyed meeting with the dietitian for Welch’s and learning about their farmer-owned company and the latest research on grapes. My favorite was recording a video with Avocados From Mexico and Cheryl Forberg. Watch the video here.

I am looking forward to the exhibit hall again to meet some more great people at great companies.

Working the NE Booth

I spent a few hours talking up the benefits of Nutrition Entrepreneurs dietetic practice group. I can’t tell you how much the membership means to me. The listserv alone is worth the inexpensive $30 annual fee.

Social Media

I ended up getting to attend an afternoon session on social media with Health Castle and Patricia Bannan. I loved how they related social networking to being at a party. Don’t be a wallflower. They also said don’t be a nutrition robot. You have to be YOURSELF on social media. Good advice. I would also add. Show up and do something. You don’t have to have the perfect plan. If you want to know what RDs are saying on Twitter use #RDchat or join our live chats first Weds of each month. Thanks to Janet Helm for starting those.

Socializing with The Nutrition Twins

The night ended with a nice dinner to some awesome and successful RDs — The Nutrition Twins. They just launched a new website and they have a great book out “The Secret to Skinny”. We chatted about the nutrition field and opportunities for professional success. It was very inspiring and of course – fun!

Having a great time here at FNCE and wish YOU were too!




Speaking on a Big Stage

Yes, it’s true. Public speaking is feared more than death. Now, for me, I come alive on a stage. But don’t get me wrong. I’m really nervous and want to puke up until I hear the “Please welcome…”

In two weeks, my speaking partner and I, Bernie Salazar (NBC’s Biggest Loser Season 5 at-home winner) will be headed to New Orleans for some shrimp po’ boys and a major talk with families living with hemophilia.


See Us @ “Living Fit” Summit November 12, 2010 New Orleans

Sponsored By:

Thanks to Bayer for bringing the Nurture Principles message to families attending the National Hemophilia Foundation’s Annual Meeting.

Check out the postcards Bernie will be signing at the booth!


We’re also doing food demos and exercising with the whole conference room! Looking forward to meeting hundreds of people and changing some lives. Love me job!!!!!

Cheryl Forberg Discusses “The Biggest Loser: 6 Weeks to a Healthier You”

I had the great pleasure to sit down with superstar dietitian Cheryl Forberg, RD, who just so happens to be a professional chef and the nutrition expert behind the wildly successful weight loss on NBC’s The Biggest Loser! She talked with me about her latest book, The Biggest Loser: 6 Weeks to a Healthier You, which released yesterday. Plus, read on to see how you can win a copy for yourself!

Rebecca: Cheryl, you’ve authored several wonderful books for Biggest Loser so far and I was personally a big fan of Biggest Loser Simple Swaps, what makes The Biggest Loser: 6 Weeks to a Healthier You different than other books?

Cheryl: There are many books on the market catering to dieting and weight loss. One of the distinctions of The Biggest Loser eating plan is that the quality of the calories is as important as the quantity. Our eating plan has evolved since we began 10 seasons ago, and I’m happy to say that it’s continually improved in terms of including less and less processed food choices.

You won’t find any artificial sweeteners in the Ranch kitchen these days – no fat-free whipped toppings, etc. It’s all about whole foods/whole grains, lots of lean protein and good fats. The recipes in the new book reflect that. The other distinction is that this book includes 6 weeks of menu plans. It’s easy to tell/teach people which foods to choose, but it’s not so easy to put it into practice, especially when you’re busy, as most of us are. We’ve made it easy for you by providing 6 complete weeks of menus and recipes to help you with meal planning as well as shopping.

Rebecca: Wow, Cheryl! It’s like having you for a personal chef for 6 weeks! I see a huge value in that. I agree that it is about the quality of the foods you eat most of the time. I’m sure readers will be excited to know that the book will emphasize high quality whole foods.

I think a lot of people who are fans of the show watch and get inspired, but sometimes may feel like they won’t be as successful as contestants. How does this book help fans on the show with their weight loss journey?

Cheryl: You’re right, people sometimes hope for dramatic results as seen on the show. Though this IS a reality show, it’s NOT realistic to expect similar results at home. The contestants are sequestered away from their families, friends, jobs, school, etc. Their FULL TIME job is losing weight. They have the luxury of time, personal trainers, fabulous food, a registered dietitian, and our occasional guest chef, Curtis Stone, helps provide cooking instruction (as do I when I’m at Ranch for my assessments). This book reminds readers that a slower, more gradual weight loss is perfectly fine and not to expect the same results as what they see on the show.

Rebecca: That’s a good point. Viewers can get the book with the confidence that the meal plans are similar to the show and realistic for healthy weight loss, but they should not feel obligated to focus on nutrition and exercise full time. Slow and steady progress will still get them to their goal.

Is there something special about 6 Weeks to a Healthier You? Why not four or eight weeks?

Cheryl: Most books that provide menu plans may give you a week, 2 weeks, 10 days or a month! Six weeks is really an added dose not only of more menus to help you find your groove to stick with it, but each week also provides additional health tips and info. Overall, 6 Weeks to a Healthier You focuses on nutrient-dense high quality foods – but we also share the health benefits that these ingredients confer to make your choices and the recipes, even more seductive

Rebecca: Ohhhh…. seductive! I like that. I don’t know why people sometimes think eating healthy is boring! I also like that you give the education in weekly “bits” so they don’t have to take on too much, too fast.

As a successful chef and Biggest Loser nutritionist, what words of wisdom do you have for anyone who is struggling with healthy lifestyle changes?

Cheryl: Most people have fallen into an unhealthy rut over time, not overnight. Don’t place high expectations on yourself to reach your goals overnight either. Start with small approachable steps and build week by week. There’s less chance you’ll get overwhelmed and more chance that you’ll see slow, steady results making this plan seductive
and easy to stick with.

Rebecca: Excellent advice! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me and best wishes with this book and The Biggest Loser!

Eat Like Bernie: Southwest Turkey Burger with Avocado

Bernie Salazar, at-home winner of The Biggest Loser (season 5) delivers this guest blog and video. Together with our resident nutrition guru, Rebecca Scritchfield, Bernie motivates audiences to make positive changes through The Nurture Principles.

Hey, hey! Bernie Salazar here… I’m so excited to share this video blog with you on one of my favorite foods I’ve been eating since losing 130 pounds on The Biggest Loser, The Amazing Avocado!

Watch me turn one of my old meals – burger and fries – into a delicious and nutritious Southwest Turkey Burger.

I love the creamy texture of avocados on my burger. Three slices have only 50 calories! Find out how else I incorporate avocados into my well-balanced eating plan in this video. Then, leave a comment and tell me how you like your avocado

Read more: Eat Like Bernie: Southwest Turkey Burger with Avocado