What started out as 2 moms who wanted fit back into their pants led to the creation of a community of fellow moms who wanted to be healthy without feeling deprived. In short, we still wanted to include chocolate! Though Teri and I felt good about our healthy meal plans, as we’ve grown this community, we wanted to get backing from an expert that what we put together was actually healthy.

Enter our very own brand new Eat the Chocolate Nutritionist, Lynne Hutchison!

Lynne has worked hard to help tweak our original recipes and meal plans. What’s more, she has even come up with a signature New and Improved Eat the Chocolate Formula. This formula follows the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and is now the backbone of every Eat the Chocolate Meal Plan. It ensuring that all the recipes within the our meal plans fit into a healthy, well-balanced meal plan.

We sat down with Lynne and asked her a to share a few things about herself. We just know you’ll love her as much as we do!

How did you get interested in nutrition?

My mother has always been an avid reader and always tried to learned the latest updates about healthy living. She worked hard to provide well-balanced meals, promote a ton of physical activity, and always leave room for healthy treats! It wasn’t until a few years ago that I truly saw the importance of these healthy habits and the importance of instilling these habits in all our children at a young age, helping them grow up happy, healthy, and loving life!

What interested you about getting involved with Eat the Chocolate?

The chocolate, of course!  I have always had a sweet tooth…I even earned myself the nickname “Candy, Gum, Cookies” as a child. The beautiful part about Eat the Chocolate’s meal plans is that they incorporate all these wonderful pleasures as part of a balanced and nutrient-rich meal pattern.

What did you do before becoming a nutritionist?

Before my career change into the nutrition field, I was a middle school science and language arts teacher and track coach. The amazing part about the nutrition field is that it combines both my favorite things…teaching and nutrition!

What has been the biggest surprise you’ve found in how people eat? 

As a water lover, I think my biggest surprise was learning how many sugar-sweetened beverages other people drink! The number of calories people ingest just from pop, juice cocktails, and fancy coffee beverages is the number one reason people gain weight. Replacing just half of these beverages with water would help with weight loss and overall health.

What is one common “myth” you think most people believe when it comes to food?

That low-fat is beneficial for weight loss and health. We’ve had decades of professionals telling us that fat is bad for us. We’ve only now begun to realize that fat is a necessary component of our bodies and it’s the type of fat that really matters. Saturated and trans fats are the fats to avoid while unsaturated fats actually help support our body and lower our “bad” LDL cholesterol. We also have to start avoiding “low-fat” products and stick to smaller portions of the full-fat versions. Low-fat products have had the fat removed and replaced, usually, with sugar, which we have now found to be more detrimental to health than fat.

kids cooking, healthy kids, What’s the biggest problem you see in American diets?

Excess…too many food choices, too many processed ingredients, too much intake, and too much food waste. We all need to start being more mindful of how much we are buying, eating, and throwing away, and allow our bodies to take back control of when and how much we eat. Once we become more in tune with our natural hunger cues, everything else will fall into place.

What’s something most people are already doing that they should keep doing when it comes to food?

Most people I come in contact with are already working to form better habits when it comes to eating fruit and vegetables.  The message is out there and many are working hard to boost their consumption of the rainbow. While many of us fall short of the recommendations, every little bit of these nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables help us get closer to our health goals.

What’s your #1 tip for people who want to eat healthier?

This is a tricky one…there are so many awesome first steps that people can take to become healthier and many times these depend on what habits are already in place. First, I’d say to eliminate all packages items with unrecognizable and unpronounceable ingredient names. Once you’ve eliminated these chemical additives, boost your intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy foods…with some chocolate thrown in for good measure! And second, don’t go it alone. Find and use resources like Eat the Chocolate Meal Plans and Meal Planning Boot Camps and join in online communities of people who are also trying to be healthy!

For more tips and tricks from Eat the Chocolate Nutritionist, Lynne Hutchison, be sure to stay connected and subscribe to our blog!

Subscribe to Eat the Chocolate!

[mailpoet_form id=”5″]