Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD

Molly KimballMolly is a Registered Dietitian and specialist in sports dietetics. As a columnist for The Times-Picayune newspaper, she covers the latest trends in nutrition and fitness. She is an expert contributor for New Orleans’ ABC affiliate WGNO with a weekly segment on “Good Morning New Orleans, Get the Skinny with Molly.”

Dietary Step to Reduce the Risk of Inflammation
We often think of inflammation as the pain, swelling and stiffness associated with post-workout soreness or conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. But the causes of inflammation are not always as obvious. Chronic inflammation at the cellular level can be linked to a host of serious health problems.
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For Weight Loss, Start Organizing Your Kitchen
We all know that a cluttered work space can interfere with our productivity and hinder creativity. Turns out, the same is true for the kitchen, where we plan and prepare meals, and store our supplies. As a registered dietitian, I’ve had many clients who were so overwhelmed with the clutter in their homes that it interfered with their ability to incorporate healthful changes into their eating habits and lifestyles. Here’s a sampling of simple changes for streamlining your kitchen.
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Mexican Restaurant Food – The Healthy Kind
Do you love Mexican food but don’t want to wreck your diet? Fortunately, it is quite possible to indulge in the ever-growing array of Mexican cuisine without creating a complete nutritional disaster for yourself. Here are a few picks for delicious as well as nutritious Mexican fare. You might be surprised at just how many healthy options are out there.
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Questions About Wine Your Didn’t Know Anyone to Ask
There are countless opinions and myths about wine, many of which are unproven or outright false. But straight answers can be hard to come by if you don’t know whom to ask. To get to the bottom of some of the most common questions and misconceptions that surround wine and winemaking, I talked with a winery owner owner and his winemaker.
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How Much Water Do You Really Need?
Eight 8-oz. cups of water has been the standard hydration rule for decades now, but the reality is that hydration requirements can vary widely depending on body weight, activity level, and the rest of your diet. A more accurate way to determine how much in fluids your body requires is to divide your weight (in pounds) by two – and that’s approximately how many ounces you should drink daily.
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Build a Better Salad
If a salad is your choice for lunch or dinner, you are probably trying to do something good for your body and make a conscious effort to eat on the lighter side. But even the most seemingly health-promoting salad can be crazy-high in calories, packing in the equivalent of more than five hamburgers.
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Resolution Reboot
It’s Memorial Day and summer is just around the corner. So it’s time to store away sweaters and boots and fill your closet space with tank tops and flip-flops. But not everyone is ready for bikini season just yet, especially not if the New Year’s weight-loss resolution fizzled out too soon. If your good intentions are nothing more than a distant memory, here are five no-fail steps for a “resolution reboot” to maximize your get-fit motivation.
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The Hidden Calories of Alcohol
Nutrition Facts labels provide us with information about many nutrition-related questions: How many calories has that slice of yummy cheesecake? Or, how much sugar is really in that chocolate chip cookie? But if you’re relying on a nutrition label to help you decide if that frozen daiquiri is worth the extra calories, or how many grams of carbs are in that glass of wine or Margarita – well, you’re on your own.
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Nutrition by the Numbers
With the proposed changes to the familiar and decades-old nutrition facts label, it seems like an appropriate time for a nuts-and-bolts-type analysis of how much we actually need of each macronutrient – protein, carbohydrate, and fat – along with how many calories and how much fluid to aim for every day.
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8 Habits of Highly Fit People You Can Incorporate In Your Life
Throughout my years as a registered dietitian, I’ve worked with thousands of clients and have had the opportunity to witness countless success stories and transformations, both physically and mentally. From the outside, maintaining their newly found level of wellness and fitness may appear to be practically effortless for these individuals, but I’ve noticed that very fit people share many of the same behavioral patterns that play a key role in their continued success.
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Want to Eat Right, Lose Weight, Feel Better? There’s an App for That
Losing weight, increasing your energy and feeling healthier still comes down to putting the right food in your body, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. While technology can’t do all these things for you, a number of smartphone apps can make it easier to monitor your behavior, recommend improvements, and provide guidance along the way.
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Not Your Grandmother’s Crock Pot
Slow cookers make it a cinch to prepare wholesome, diet- and budget-friendly home-cooked meals. Unfortunately, many older slow cooker recipes call for fatty cuts of meat, cream-based soups, and lots of starchy carbs – not good for those looking to keep their weight (and cholesterol and blood sugar levels) in check. Here are five easy ways to help you make healthier slow-cooked meals with diet-friendly recipes.
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Slashing Trans Fats from Your Diet
Overall consumption of trans fats has dropped significantly over the past decade as food manufacturers have reformulated their products to reduce trans fat content. But now, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced it will remove trans fats from its “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) list, meaning that food makers would have to get special permission to continue using them.
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Make a Healthier Pizza at Home
Pizza tops the list of crave-worthy indulgences, but just a few slices can mean as many as 1,400 calories, not to mention a day and a half’s worth of saturated fat and two days’ worth of sodium. That’s hardly what you would call diet-friendly. And while there may be times when pizza’s gooey goodness is just oh-so-worth-it, if you’re looking to lighten things up a bit, there’s our step-by-step guide to building a better pizza at home.
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How to Stock the Perfect Dorm Room
From fast food to coffee drinks to late-night pizza, college life is filled with loads of temptations. To reduce the odds of completely falling off the wagon, it helps to surround yourself with more nutritious options, making it easier to pick better meals and snacks. Because smart eating improves your health and increases your energy, it can mean better grades and can help to fend off the infamous “Freshman 15.” But with a tiny fridge and limited shelf space, it can be essential to think strategically when stocking your dorm room.
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Sleep Your Way to Weight Loss?
Researchers have found that we eat more when we’re sleep-deprived – as much as 549 extra calories a day, in fact. That’s probably because skimping on sleep increases levels of a hunger hormone called grehlin that can affect our appetite and cause cravings for carb-rich foods. And even when we do cut back on our calorie intake, sleep deprivation may still inhibit our ability to lose weight.
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Myth-Busting Nutritional Hype
A number of nutrition-related fallacies and misperceptions have been passed along for decades, repeated so often that they’ve been accepted as fact. I asked my registered dietitian colleagues for their input on some widespread inaccuracies they would like to be put to rest once and for all. Here are eight of their top picks for myth-busting.
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How to Build a Better Hamburger
During the summer months, Americans fire up the grill. Hamburgers are always a crowd-pleaser. Fortunately, indulging in a juicy homemade burger doesn’t have to mean wrecking your diet. You can try one – or all – of these ingredient swaps and add-ons for a burger that’s big on flavor but easy on the waistline.
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Yogurt and Beyond
Probiotics are clearly a hot topic in the food and nutrition world these days, with specialty products like cereals and smoothies, and even candy bars and cookies, all promising to deliver “beneficial cultures.” Unfortunately, not all are as nutritious as they might appear, since there isn’t an official legal definition for the word “probiotic.”
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Common Food and Drug Interactions
Your doctor and pharmacist likely know about the medications you’re taking, but chances are they don’t know everything you’re eating and drinking. Your nutritional habits may not seem like critical information, but just as there are countless combinations of drug-drug interactions and supplement-drug interactions, there are also a number of food-drug interactions with potentially serious negative side effects.
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Whole Grain or Whole Wheat Labels Can Be Misleading
It is common knowledge that whole grains are more nutritious than refined grains. They still contain all parts of the grain, including the germ and bran, and they have more antioxidants and phytochemicals. Plus the fiber keeps you feel fuller longer, which helps with weight management. Unfortunately, whole grain food products are not always easy to identify. Even if they are labeled “100 percent whole grain,” that doesn’t mean you get only whole grains.
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A Super Bowl Fare that Won’t Wreak Havoc on Your Waistline
Super Bowl Sunday ranks second only to Thanksgiving as our nation’s biggest food fest, posing yet another challenge to our willpower and waistline. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy ways to make improvements to your party platters. While not everything has to be perfectly nutritious or low in calories, there are ways to lighten up game day favorites without sacrificing flavor or fun. You may be surprised how appreciative your friends will be to have healthful options available for the big game.
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The Perfect Kitchen for Weight Loss
Even if you’re not one to make New Year’s resolutions, you may still try to shed a few excess pounds from the holidays. Set yourself up for successful weight loss by choosing nutrient-rich and weight-friendly foods. Here’s a list of kitchen staples to keep on hand, so you are prepared to whip up a good-for-you meal or snack anytime hunger strikes.
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Holiday Cocktails That Won’t Blow Your Diet
The season’s endless temptations of rich party foods and decadent sweets can make it a challenge to keep extra pounds at bay, and adding holiday cocktails into the mix doesn’t make it any easier. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with just sparkling water and diluted spritzers if you want to keep weight in check.
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Eat to Beat the Cold and Flu Season
No one wants to miss out on holiday festivities – or any fun event for that matter – because of not feeling good. But the bustle of the holidays often means less sleep, more travel, and more time spent in closer-than-usual quarters with family and friends, all of which can increase the likelihood of getting sick.
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21 Ingredient Swaps for ‘Good-for-You’ Holiday Favorites
When it comes to lightening up holiday favorites, there are the obvious recipe swaps: Reduced-fat versions of ingredients like cheese, cream cheese, and cream-based soups, along with using whole wheat flour, brown rice and sweet potatoes in place of their white counterparts, which doesn’t do much in the way of slashing carbs or calories, though it does help to boost the fiber, vitamin, and antioxidant content of a dish.
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What and What Not to Eat to Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer
One out of every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her life. It’s a disconcerting statistic, especially considering there are so many risk factors that are completely beyond our control, like age, genes, gender and family history. But we can shift the odds more in our favor with key lifestyle modifications, including these eight top strategies that have been shown to help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
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Will New Menu Labeling Requirements Reduce Bulging Waistlines?
Starting this week, McDonald’s will post calorie information on all of its menu boards, including at drive-thrus. The company is getting a jump-start on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) upcoming menu labeling requirement that restaurant chains with at least 20 establishments disclose calorie counts on menus and provide more detailed nutritional information upon request.
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Pack a Nutritious Lunch with These Mix-and-Match Ideas
Packing a lunch for your kids (or yourself) can be good for your budget. Plus, you know exactly what you’re getting. To ensure a wholesome, nutrient-rich lunch that extends far beyond sliced bread and cold cuts, simply mix and match foods from the following categories.
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12 Diet-Friendly Swaps for Game-Day Favorites
Fall means football, and for diehard fans, life – and diet – as they know it will change for the coming months. From tailgating outside the stadium to catching the game at a friend’s house, the common theme of any game-day is food and drink – and plenty of each. Resisting the temptation to indulge can challenge even the strongest will, especially when hanging out for hours while under stress about the big game. Here are some ways to cope.
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Eight Foods That Can Boost Your Brain Power
We know that diet can affect nearly every part of our bodies, inside and out. It turns out that what we eat also just might make us smarter. From memory to attention span to the ability to learn new skills, what we consume can help us stay sharp and perform our best at work and school.
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When Nutrition Labels Are Less Than Accurate 
If it seems too good to be true, it just might be. As a case in point, the “Today” show reported the results of its own lab tests on nine “diet” frozen desserts. If what seems to be 500 calories worth of foods like cereals, crackers and yogurt is actually 600 calories, that extra 100 calories per day can translate to a gain of 10 pounds a year, particularly for those who rely on tracking calories for weight loss or weight maintenance.
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The articles written by guest contributors are the sole responsibility of the individual writers in terms of factual accuracy and opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher of this blog.

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