Amy Stephens


Licensed dietiTian

specializing in sports nutrition and diabetes

Study shows twice as likely to lose weight by meeting with Dietitian-Nutritionist

Two year study published in Managed Care, January 2013 with 1,400 participants with either receiving nutritional counseling or dieting on their own.  Participants who met with dietitians were two times as likely to lose weight and increase exercise than no nutritional counseling.


Bottom line:  Make biggest impact with your weight loss efforts by working with a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist.  Skip the misinformation and inappropriate dieting techniques and obtain guidance by an educated professional.


Managed Care Article, 2013

Vanilla-Almond Chia Breakfast Pudding

Recipe by Renee Blair.

Once the ultimate energy food for ancient Mayans and Aztecs, chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants, omega-3s, calcium and fiber. Plus, they absorb over 10 times their weight in water, which makes them an unlikely hydration source too. In this recipe, chia seeds are soaked in almond milk, which transforms them into a luxurious and creamy tapioca-like pudding. Top this easy-to-make chia pudding with some fresh seasonal fruit, and you have yourself an incredibly nourishing breakfast.

Photo by Renee BlairPhoto by Renee Blair 

Vanilla-Almond Chia Breakfast Pudding

Yields 2 servings

Prep time: 5 minutes
Soak time: 1-8 hours

The Skinny

Per serving (without fruit):

  • 280 calories
  • 7 g fat
  • 45 g carbs
  • 12 mg sodium
  • 29 g fiber
  • 15 g protein


2 cups unsweetened almond milk, homemade or store bought (see recipe for homemade almond milk below)
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or raw honey
Seasonal fruit for topping (blueberries, peaches, figs and plums are pictured here)
Almonds or other nuts for topping


  1. Combine almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla and sweetener in a bowl. Mix well until combined and the mixture begins to thicken. Store covered in the refrigerator overnight or for at least an hour.
  2. Stir well before serving and add a bit of water to the pudding if it becomes too thick. Top with fresh fruit and nuts of your choice.
    Note: This recipe makes enough for two large servings, but feel free to double the recipe and keep it in your refrigerator so that you have breakfast for a few days in a row. It will keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Bonus Recipe:

Homemade Unsweetened Almond Milk

Yields 1 quart

Prep time: 5 minutes
Soak time: 3-8 hours

What You’ll Need

1 cup raw almonds
4 cups water

What to Do

  1. Put almonds in a bowl and cover them with water. Let them soak in the water for at least three hours, but preferably overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse the almonds and put them in a blender with 4 cups of water. Blend on high for one minute.
  3. Strain the almond milk through a fine mesh strainer or a nut milk bag into a container of your choice. Cover and refrigerate for up to five days.

For more recipes from Renee, visit and follow her on Facebook.


Chia Seed Jam

I found this great recipe for chia seed jam at  This recipe shows how easy chia seeds are to use as a thickening agent.

Chia seeds are:

  • high in protein
  • high in fiber
  • source of iron
  • source of calcium & magnesium


I love that you can make any kind of jam healthier by adding chia seeds.








Soak the chia seeds in water for 10 minutes.





Meanwhile, rinse your raspberries.



Pop everthing into a blender and whiz until the chunks of raspberry are smooth and that’s it! Pour it into a glass jar. I bought a set of 3 jars at the dollar store for $2.



The whole process takes less than 20 minutes and the result is something worthy of spreading on some toasted Ezekiel or on Mary’s gluten free crackers.







Raspberry Chia Seed Jam


  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds + 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp honey (try local!)


  1. Soak chia seeds in water for 10 minutes
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined
  3. Store in a glass jar in the fridge




Mercury in Fish

Fish is great source of omega-3 fatty acid which has been shown to promote brain development.  This article published in the New York Times entitled, “Sorting Out the Risks of Fish” discusses overall health benefits of fish outweigh the risk of low-moderate mercury containing fish.  Check out the link on comprehensive mercury list, has a chart that shows which fish are highest to least mercury content.   Choose fish from the low-moderate columns to get best source of omega-3’s with least amount of mercury.


NY Times Article on Mercury in Fish


Comprehensive list of mercury content of fish