Realistic Resolutions for the New Year

Eat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley

Coborn's Blog: AshleyAshley Studniski: Supermarket Dietitian, RD, LD
Originating from the St. Cloud area Ashley
is no stranger to the Coborn’s family.
Ashley’s college degree and experience in
Nutrition and Dietetics is a great match up with Coborn’s.


Hello Everyone! I am the new Supermarket Dietitian for Coborn’s! I am very excited to begin this new adventure! I will be doing grocery store tours, cooking demos, and nutrition education classes on various topics including chronic diseases, proper portions, label reading, and much more! Find more information about my events at I will also be doing individual consultations and store tours to meet your individual needs. You can contact me directly to set up a meeting. Simply email me at

I will be starting a monthly blog on a broad range of topics, all of course relating to healthy eating and better lifestyle practices. Be sure to check back here every month.  I promise it won’t be boring!  Oh and one little secret, ahem, this is my first blog, so try not to be too harsh on me…

For January, of course, the topic is “New Year’s Resolutions.” So when your relatives and friends ask you that oh so redundant question, “What are your New Year’s Resolutions?” you can answer confidently, without stressing about what you should do. That’s because I’ve already done the work and put together a plan just for you.

These are the resolutions that I plan to stick to and ones that I know everyone can benefit from. Nonetheless, these are just suggestions and, of course, you’ll want to personalize them to fit your needs. I do encourage you to remember that although it is good to challenge yourself, do so in moderation so that these “new” habits can be maintained throughout the year. For example, obviously it would sound fabulous if you told your peers that you will be climbing Mount Everest this summer, even though you have never hiked the hill across your street. Don’t get me wrong, I love ambitious people, but I think we all can agree that we also have to have a sense of reality.  The same works with food and nutrition.  If I told myself I was going to have just one Ghirardelli dark chocolate truffle once a month, I would fail miserably.  Anyone that knows me would tell you that.  In fact, I’m reaching for the bag sitting right next to my computer…as I type this.


All of you who are up for our group resolutions here we go.


Coborn's Blog: Limiting SodiumChoose plain and unseasoned canned, fresh and frozen vegetables.  Be aware that canned foods often contain high amounts of sodium.  However, you can purchase “no added salt” or “low sodium” versions of these food items.  You should also rinse your vegetables before preparing them.  This will remove any excess salt and help to decrease your daily sodium intake. Many processed and packaged convenience food items are loaded with sodium as well.  One way to decrease your sodium intake is to avoid these foods as much as possible.  Read the nutrition labels to choose healthier version of those foods. In addition to looking at the nutrition label, you can also refer to the NuVal number. The NuVal score takes into account sodium as well as 29 other nutrients.  When searching out “better” food choices, it is a good practice to refer to the nutrition label for sodium and the NuVal number for overall healthiness.  For example, choosing the “no salt added” canned version of green beans has a NuVal score of 100, while the regular can of green beans is only a 55, due to the sodium content. You’ll be surprised to learn that all canned vegetables without sodium score the same as their fresh counterparts!


The reason I chose limiting sodium in our diet as the number one resolution is that a diet high in sodium/salt is a major contributor to high blood pressure, which can and many times does, lead to heart disease.  Salt causes our bodies to retain water.  The more water and fluid we retain, the harder our heart has to pump to push all of that fluid throughout our bodies, causing an increase in blood pressure.


Coborn's Blog: Eat GreekSwitch to a low fat or fat free version of Greek yogurt. If you don’t already include yogurt in your diet, start now.  It is a great snack or addition to a lunch or breakfast. It is a good source of protein and it has Calcium and sometimes Vitamin D, which provides the building blocks for strong bones and teeth.  Yogurt is also a source of Probiotics, the “good” bacteria that aid in digestion.

Greek yogurt is higher in protein than other yogurts.  Increasing lean protein in your diet helps to add lean body mass. The more lean body mass you have, the more calories you are able to burn throughout the day. Protein also keeps you fuller longer, preventing you from reaching for those “not-so-healthy” snacks. Be conscious of the NuVal number as you choose a Greek yogurt. For the average person that doesn’t have a specific health condition, the higher the NuVal score, the better it is for overall health and wellness. The plain, fat free Greek yogurts will have the highest NuVal number, around 93.  However Greek yogurts can score as low as 23 due to added saturated fats and sugars. If you’d like to add extra flavoring without compromising the NuVal score, consider adding fresh fruit and granola. Fresh fruit provides many vitamins and minerals as well as sweetness in flavor. And granola is a great way to increase fiber, protein and whole grains. When choosing a granola, remember to keep in mind the NuVal number as well.


Coborn's Blog: Increasing Your Activity levelNotice I didn’t label it “EXERCISE?” Add more activity to your life! Increase your physical activity to a higher level than what you are currently doing. Park further away from the door at the mall or at your work and lift weights, even if they’re just soup cans while watching TV in the evening. Or maybe it is working out an extra night each week. Perhaps even consider working with a personal trainer. Maybe that sounds too intense.  Even a brisk walk around the mall a few times after doing some shopping is good exercise.

Okay, stop, can I make a confession? I really, really, really don’t like to exercise, especially when it involves going to the gym.

Instead of focusing on the things I don’t like, I focus on the things I do. That’s why I mentioned shopping. I LOVE SHOPPING. I don’t care if its grocery shopping or window shopping. Did I say I love shopping? When my pants are feeling a tad bit tight, especially during the holiday season, I go shopping a little more often.  And since I went out into the cold and I am in a warm inside the mall, I’d like to stay a little longer before I go out in the cold again, so I’ll walk a few more laps.   I believe you can go to the mall around 8:00 am and the doors will be open so you can just walk laps.  I know a few people that do that, including my grandparents. Who knows? You just might see me there next Saturday.

When I’m at the gym, I try not to do the same thing every time.  Some people prefer that.  I personally do not. I get way too bored for that. Before I know it, I am not working out to my fullest potential.  It’s as if I am on autopilot, just to check “Went to gym” off my to-do list. So, on Monday’s, I run. Tuesday’s, I lift weights. Wednesday’s, I’ll take a break because I made it half way through the week.  Then it’s Zumba classes on Thursday (SUPER FUN, if you haven’t tried it!) Friday’s, I do a spin class and then it’s the weekend, which is when I take it a bit more easy.

I know this is going to sound crazy, but once you start going to the gym and it becomes part of your routine, you actually crave going to the gym.  Honest!  Your body releases chemicals called endorphins which promote positive feelings. Endorphins decrease your perception of pain and you feel a “runners high”, described as the good-mood-positive-and-energizing-outlook-on-life you get after a good workout. You see, exercise is good not only for your body, but for mental health as well. That’s my focus. YOU. The whole YOU.  Not just your heart.  Not just your body shape.  Not just your weight. YOU!


Coborn's Blog: Watching What You EatWhatever exercise level you decide to start at, maintain or jump to, it is important to remember that you must burn the calories you take in each day in order to maintain your weight. If you are looking to lose weight, it is important to burn more calories than you are taking in. You need to burn 3,500 calories in order to lose one pound of fat. Even though that seems like a lot, consider burning 250 to 500 calories by exercising.  Then eat proper portions and cut back on some of the “not so healthy” foods and make some substitutions.  You will be surprised at how quickly you begin to shed the extra pounds.  Weight loss involves a lifestyle change, both eating right and exercising and being active on a regular basis.  Remember to start off with small to moderate changes in order to maintain your New Year’s resolutions. GOOD LUCK!

On a personal note, just because I am a dietitian and have studied nutrition for the last five years doesn’t mean these resolutions are any easier for me. Has anyone heard of never-ending food cravings for junk food? Or the feeling of being a bottomless pit? Or a day when you just want to sit on the couch and not move? That’s me, like every day, literally. So that’s why we are in this together! I’ll try to be the encouragement more often than not! BUT, when it comes to my chocolate addiction, I will rely on you.  Just kidding, I will be the source of encouragement every day! That said, if you would like a personal consultation please don’t hesitate to contact me at or (320) 203-6201 extension: 705

 As always, I look forward to working with you!

Peace and Wellness,
Coborn’s Registered Dietitian


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