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One-on-One Nutrition

by Meghann on November 4, 2011

Located inside the Westlake Four Seasons is the California Health and Longevity Institute .

Did anyone watch Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition? If so, you’re probably already familiar with what the institute has to offer.

It’s a beautiful private facility that focuses on helping individuals with their health and overall wellness goals. They offer unique programs and plans that include everything from cooking classes, to life coaches, to nutrition consultants, and more. They also have a health spa and specialize in acupuncture, hypnotherapy, and wellness exams.

We had a mini tour of the facility and I was impressed with how vibrant and health focused everyone was. It was very Southern California and it was very refreshing.

As part of the Dole Health Summit we were given the opportunity to select one of the many individual health consultations that the California Health and Longevity Institutes offers.

I was tempted by the acupuncture or hypnotherapy, but the one-on-one nutrition consultation with a registered dietician seemed like it would be the most beneficial to me at this time. I’ve never met with an RD for a personal consultation before and was really curious with what advice she had to offer with regards to my eating habits and active lifestyle.


First of all, Erika was great. She was sweet, kind, and overall very excited and knowledgable on all things nutrition.

I gave her my weight loss background, explained my recent weight gain struggles, took her through a sample day of eats, and discussed some of my struggles with making sure I’m eating enough calories to maintain my active lifestyle while trying not to go overboard. She listened, commented, and never made it seem like I was talking to anyone other than a good friend.


Erika complimented my overall knowledge on health and wellness, but gave me a few pointers to keep my weight (and pants size) in check

  • My lunches and dinners should be 50% produce with one cup of vegetable protein (or 4oz of meat protein) and one cup of whole grain carbohydrates.
  • Each meal should have a healthy fat.
  • The star of breakfast should be the protein and not the carb. Erika recommended starting my day with an english muffin smeared with nut butter and a piece of fruit or having the greek yogurt be the base of my morning breakfast bowl and using cereal as a topper instead of vice versa.
  • In the afternoon she suggested grabbing a bag of pre-portioned nuts or hummus and veggies as a snack instead of my go-to granola bar.
  • Sweets should be limited to twice a week and sugar intake needs to come down. (sniff)
  • Weekends and dining out are currently my main weakness (especially when traveling). I just need to remember to stick with my health goals during those times. It’s ok to have a treat of indulge on new things every once in a while, but it doesn’t take long for those weekly/ daily indulgences to become a bad habit.
  • Because of my active lifestyle she didn’t want to take any of the bulkness of my meals away, she just wants me to re-direct those calories towards vegetables, protein, and whole grain carbs instead of sugar and junk.

A few of the things she suggested were things I already knew, but I had been slipping off the wagon this year. It was all just a great reminder to re-invest in those habits and continue with my commitment for a healthy lifestyle. I’ve already seen a difference with that recommitment and have dropped 5 pounds over the last month and a half. A good sign that I’m on the right track.   

Erika also commented that I shouldn’t set any ‘goals’ for myself and instead keep up healthy habits and just see where my weight levels off naturally. She reminded me that I’m healthy, fit, and at a good size for my body. If my body can run marathons, bounce out of bed at 5am without the need for coffee, and keep up with a regular fitness routine, then I must be doing something right.

I really enjoyed everything Erika had to say and can’t wait to continue on my health-focused journey through life. 🙂

Following our individual consultations, all of the bloggers were treated to one of the spa treatments at the Four Seasons. I indulged in a body exfoliation scrub and emerged with soft, luxurious skin.


The farewell dinner was simple and casual at the Oynx Restaurant located inside the Four Seasons.

I had ordered some sparkling water at first, but quickly changed my mind when I saw the bartender mixing up dirty martinis. I immediately ordered one. Extra dirty.


I’m not a big cocktail drinker because all of the sugary drinks always leave me with a tummy ache, plus I just plain don’t like the taste of liquor. Yuck. However, the dirty martini is my one weakness. It’s salty instead of sweet and goes down just like water. I have to remind myself to take it slow with tiny sips, otherwise I’ll go from sober Meghann to drunk Meghann in 15 minutes (and 2 drinks) or less.


I was good and stuck to one. There is that pesky marathon I’m running on Saturday after all. 😉

While we sipped on cocktails, two plates of appetizers were set out for us to enjoy. I had one of the shrimp and a pice of the tuna sashimi.

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Our dinner dinner menu was a pre-fixe showcase of all of the Onyx best sellers.


We all started with a ginger salad and miso soup.


Next was my favorite dish of the evening – the brown rice risotto. The creamy risotto could have easily been my whole meal, I wanted all of it.

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The entrees were served family style and featured:

Char-Grilled Tofu


Miso-Marinated Black Cod


And Coconut Curry Chicken


I loved it all. The coconut curry chicken was particularly spicy and flavorful.



For dessert, mango sorbet with grilled pineapple and dark chocolate. The grilled pineapple wasn’t my favorite, but I did polish off the sheet of dark chocolate in the back.


One last group shot before we said our good-byes.


Such a fun day!

A thousand thanks to the folks at Dole for inviting us all on this fantastic trip and sharing a little piece of the company with us. It was really refreshing to interact with the faces behind the brand who live, breathe, and truly love the company they work for. <3

1 Tia November 4, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Looks like so much fun!

2 Army Amy* November 4, 2011 at 9:09 pm

The RD consultation sounds cool. I want one now!*
Army Amy* recently posted..Loves

3 Liz November 5, 2011 at 2:06 am

The consultation with the RD sounds very cool! I really should go do that myself – I think my health insurance will even pay for it. It must feel good to know you’re mostly doing the right thing, with just a little calorie redirection needed – way to go 🙂

4 melissa November 5, 2011 at 8:36 am

As someone who’s struggling with a few pound weight gain right now, I really like the sentiment of what the RD said – “don’t set weight goals, keep up healthy habits and see where your weight levels off.” I NEED to keep this in mind.

5 katie November 5, 2011 at 10:58 am

I’m sorry…I thought you did consult with an RD when you first experianced problems with your period?

6 Meghann November 7, 2011 at 10:31 am

I consulted with someone online, but not face to face.
Meghann recently posted..Stretch It Out

7 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife November 5, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Very cool that you could consult with an RD–always nice to get some education into thinking about diet/changes.

What a lovely dinner–I LOVE grilled pineapple!

BEST of luck with the marathon 🙂
Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife recently posted..Kids’ Between-Meal Snacks

8 mel November 5, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Very good advice from the RD…which I myself could use!! I eat dessert every night, usually in the form of dark chocolate with popcorn or a little bit of ice cream. I don’t think two days a week would work for me because I love my dessert, but I do think because of this I need to lower my sugar throughout the day- like flavored greek yogurt only a few times per week, s bucks sugary drinks once per week, and no added sugar to my foods. However, I don’t think you should limit your fruit intake or skip on a small dessert if you cut it down elsewhere during the day. I think the protein additions are a good idea and I always have a protein source with b fast, whether it’s greek yogurt, an egg or two, protein powder, etc. You are doing great and look great! Keep it up! Good luck on your marathon

9 MyThy as in "Mighty" November 6, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Look! It’s Kristen from Iowa Girl Eats!
I’ve always wanted to talk to an RD and pick their brains about my diet & exercise levels. So cool they offered the opportunity for you!

10 Emily November 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm

One on one with a RD. Definitely sounds like something EVERYONE can benefit from. How about 2 eggs for breakfast and half cup of cereal? then you’ll be getting a dose of protein, plus healthy fats to keep you full? That’s my fave breakfast. 🙂
Emily recently posted..NoJoMo–Day 6

11 Sarah November 8, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Hey Meghann!

I was wondering a couple things:

– do you find it hard to stop eating the way you ate during training once your race is complete? I’m having a hard time right now after training for my 1/2 marathon to give up junk food…I was doing so well then started eating it again and can’t seem to keep it away from myself.

– what is your go-to snack mid afternoon? This seems to be the time I look for something junky to fill the void before dinner!

Congrats on Savannah by the way! I’d love to train for a marathon.

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