Ask Dr. Everett

Dear Dr. Everett,

I have heard so many things about the health benefits of chia seeds and flaxseeds. Which one do you think is more nutritious? 

Chia Seeds

Chia, it's not just a pet anymore.

Chia, it’s not just a pet anymore.


The Chia Pet was a novelty item in the mid 80’s and early 90’s. Since then it has emerged on the health and wellness scene as an add in to cereal, salads and smoothies. Once the little black seeds are added to liquid they form a gel,  adding volume to soups and stir frys. Two tablespoons has:

69 calories

4.4 grams of fat

2.3 grams of protein

6 gram of carbohydrate

Chia seeds have a recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 20% of fiber  plus many essential vitamins and minerals:

Calcium – 9% RDA

Phosphorus – 12% RDA

Magnesium – 12% RDA

Potassium – 2% RDA

B1 – 6% RDA

The seeds do not have a taste and some anecdotal reports by runners claim that the seeds help provide energy for long distance runs.



This seed doesn't take any flax!

This seed doesn’t take any flax!


Flaxseed has been getting a lot of positive press as a food that can help improve heart health. The seed has a hard hull and has to be ground before using (please make sure you use a different grinder than the one you use for coffee beans). Any unused ground flaxseed must be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator to stay fresh.

Two tablespoons have:

75 calories

6 grams of fat

2.6 grams of protein

4 grams of carbohydrate

Flaxseeds have a RDA of 15% of fiber

Calcium – 4% RDA

Phosphorus – 9% RDA

Magnesium – 14% RDA

Potassium – 3% RDA

B1 – 15% RDA


The Winner Is….


Both seeds have valuable nutrients that can help supplement a healthy eating plan. The high fiber content can act as a natural laxative, so start with a teaspoon or two per day before adding two tablespoons to your diet. The slightly higher RDA of vitamins and minerals along with it being deemed a “functional” food places flaxseed as Dr. Everett’s favorite.



Ask Dr. Everett!

Dear Dr. Everett:

Which eating plan is better for weight loss, low fat or high fiber?

Which one comes out ahead for nutrition and weight loss?

Which one comes out ahead for nutrition and weight loss?

If you made a list of resolutions for 2015, chances are weight loss is at the top. Working out three to five times a week will help you increase your lean muscle mass and improve cardiovascular endurance, but to lose weight you have to (gasp) eat less. Yes folks, you have to diet. With so many diets out there, it is hard to pick one that is effective and doesn’t transform you into a cookie craving monster. Just this week US News and World Reports published the top diets of 2015. Many of the diets are variations on low fat or high fiber plans, but which one is most effective for weight loss?

Low Fat Diets

Let’s review a little basic nutrition first:

  • Protein – 4 calories per gram
  • Carbohydrates – 4 calories per gram
  • Fat – 9 calories per gram

Over the years fat has earned a bad reputation by clogging the arteries of cheeseburger lovers and creating a niche market for high waisted leggings. Learn the difference between fats that help your body function properly and those that raise your blood cholesterol levels before you slash all fat from your diet. 20 to 35 percent of your calories should come from fat, so a 1200 calorie diet would have about 240 to 420 calories from fat a day. By choosing lean cuts of meat, lower calorie dairy products, (read the label to make sure that it does not have added sugar) small amounts of plant based oils and learning to love avocados (healthy Tex-Mex anyone?) you can lose weight and help improve your cholesterol level.

Choose lean protein and vegetables for a lower fat meal.

Choose lean protein and vegetables for a lower fat meal.

High Fiber

Fiber or roughage is the insoluble part of food that helps you digest food efficiently and effectively. It helps lower cholesterol and can control blood sugar levels. As a weight loss plan, high fiber is lower in calories and can help you feel full. That feeling of fullness, or satiety can help you stay on track and avoid dieting mishaps.

Examples of high fiber foods:

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Lentils
  • Almonds
  • Carrots

A high fiber meal may consist of a bowl of black bean soup, steamed broccoli and a scoop of Greek yogurt with a cup of raspberries.

Blueberries add antioxidants and fiber to your breakfast cereal.

Blueberries add antioxidants and fiber to your breakfast cereal.

The Winning Loser

Dr. Linda Everett says, “It is easier for most people to lose weight by cutting fat calories, but many times they end up consuming more sodium and sugar, especially if they rely on processed foods. A high fiber diet is a plan that can be more nutritionally sound and also lead to more permanent weight loss. Psychologically, a high fiber diet is more manageable  because you are adding a variety of high fiber foods to your menu instead of eliminating foods that are high in fat. “

Speed Jump Rope Review

When Natrualico offered me a speed jump rope at no charge in exchange for a review, I jumped at the chance. I love jumping rope because it is a very effective and intense workout. Ten minutes burns 150 calories! Add that to rounds of push ups and squats for an awesome total body workout.

The rope is 10 feet long with four metal ball bearings in the handle which helps the rope turn faster and comes with a handy mesh carrying bag.


I’m going to list the pros and cons of the rope, then give my final thoughts.


Rope can be easily adjusted for any height.

Very lightweight.

Does not get tangled up if you throw it in your gym bag.

Handles turn quickly.


The rope is a little too lightweight.

Handles could be slightly larger.

When I first started using the rope it took a few adjustments to get the perfect length. I noticed that I seemed to be gripping the handles tightly, which I realized was because the handles are small in width, but got used to it after a few minutes.

The rope is great for speed jumping and doing tricks such as crossovers and double unders. The light weight is fine for an experienced jumper, but a novice could probably benefit from a slightly heavier rope.

All in all, I did enjoy using the Naturalico speed jump rope and recommend it for seasoned jumpers.


Goddess Rash Guard Review

Upon first glance you may think this is a review about a fancy topical cream for irritated skin! A rash guard is a long sleeved athletic shirt that is traditionally worn under a wetsuit to prevent chafing or alone to prevent sunburn and abrasions.  I received a Goddess Rash Guard at no charge from Legend to review.

I always wear sleeveless tops when I work out and teach classes, so I was curious to see how it would feel to wear long sleeves. I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable I was during my dance class; my upper body movements were not  restricted!


Love the white! I look like an ice skater!

Love the white! I look like an ice skater

The Goddess Rash Guard is made from a moisture wicking material, so it was not soaked after I finished teaching dance class. I also took a hot  yin yoga class at Priya Hot Yoga while wearing the rash guard and was very comfortable as I moved around on my mat.

The shirt is treated with UPF 50+ which will help protect my skin from sun damage when I start training for 5K races on Kelly Drive. The shirts are made in the USA, have a money back guarantee and a lifetime warranty! You can order a Goddess Rash Guard on Amazon.

Adventures in Hot Yoga

In the 90’s I used to take yoga at least two to three times a week. Yoga was a good counterbalance for all of the cycling, aerobics and strength classes that I taught (as many as 20 per week). The other thing that I loved was that I was able to slow down completely focus on myself for a change! Since then I am lucky if I take one or two classes a year.

I recently started renting space for personal training sessions at Priya Hot Yoga in my neighborhood. The studio is owned by three lovely gals: Eve, Katie and Kristin.

grand opening

Last week I finally decided to take a class. (Check out the details/benefits of hot yoga here.) I signed up for the introductory special – 30 days of unlimited classes for $40. After that, Priya has a selection of class cards and memberships. They are also part of the ClassPass network.

I wear glasses 95% of the time, but popped in a pair of contacts in anticipation of many downward dog poses. The class had six other participants in the beautiful studio. The front wall was a collection of multicolored distressed wood, a departure from the typical mirrored wall. I think that the lack of reflective material would make newcomers and yoga neophytes more comfortable.


Our instructor led us through a series of Vinyasas featuring Warrior and Triangle variations. I found the flow to be challenging and enjoyable. The warm temperature was surprisingly soothing and seemed to enhance my performance. Yes, as a fitness professional I do have fairly good flexibility and range of motion, but only in certain muscles and planes. My body’s theme song would be “Hips Don’t Lie”!

We finished on the mat with a few hip (yes!) stretches before final meditation. Again, the warm temperature allowed me to relax, something that I was not always able to do at my gym’s yoga classes because the air conditioning would sometimes kick in unexpectedly.

If you are hungry or thirsty after class, Priya sells healthy goodies from Pure Fare and Down Dog Healing Cafe.


So far I have taken five classes, all of them challenging but enjoyable. My goals are to prevent lower pain from scoliosis and to be able to gracefully hop from position to position!

Have you tried hot yoga? Please share your experiences in the comments!

The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Mystery

Before I talk about everyone’s favorite seasonal beverage from everyone’s favorite coffee shop, let’s learn more about the pumpkin.

photo 1 (3)

The pumpkin is a fall favorite that is grown for ornamentation and savory dishes. What other vegetable can decorate your porch and plate?

photo 2 (7)

One cup of mashed pumpkin has 49 calories, is low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol and sodium, a good source of fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C. It also doesn’t have much taste (in my opinion. I’m more of a sweet potato gal myself, especially in pie). I think that the flavors people love is the combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and let’s face it folks….. sugar.

photo (7)

Think about it: do you think customers would be frothing at the mouth for a piping hot beverage that tastes like vegetable soup? Doubt it.

A buddy of mine LOVES the Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) from Starbucks.

photo 3 (1)

At least she did until she read an expose by a healthy food blogger this summer. By now she would have had at least 50 PSLs, but has only consumed one this season.

The blogger revealed what was within the mega franchise’s signature white cup: NO REAL PUMPKIN!!! I was not shocked. Nor was I surprised to learn of the artificial colors, additives, etc. Did people think their Grandmother was in the back of the store whipping up homemade elixirs from her secret recipe box?

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By now I think that all of the PSL fans have forgotten about the nutritional controversy, or figured out how to recreate a more natural recipe at home!

Have you ever stopped eating/drinking something once you learned the caloric or nutritional value? Share your experiences with us in the comments!

Ask Dr. Everett: Paleo Diet vs. South Beach Diet

Remember The South Beach Diet?


The popular weight loss plan was the brainchild of Dr. Arthur Agaston and named for South Beach, a hip and trendy area of Miami, Florida. The plan is lower in carbohydrates and higher in heart healthy fats (Dr. Agaston is a cardiologist) and protein than other lower calorie diets. The balance of the latter plus carbohydrates that have a lower glycemic index (foods that do not cause a dramatic spike to your blood sugar) is purported to be a plan that you can realistically follow for weight loss and to maintain a healthy weight for a lifetime.

The South Beach Diet debuted in 2003. In 2014, we have the Paleo Diet. This eating plan is inspired by prehistoric eating habits.


A Paleo eating plan includes lean organic meats, vegetables and fruits, omega-rich fish, nuts and seeds and oils from nuts and seeds. Paleo enthusiasts do not consume dairy products, grains, legumes, sugar, salt potatoes and generally eschew all processed foods. The theory is that our bodies did not completely adapt to the modern diet which was created by farming, and that the “caveman menu” is better for preventing disease and obesity.

I asked Dr. Linda Everett of Everett Medical her opinion of the two diets.

The South Beach Diet

Dr. Everett likes the flexibility of the tropical inspired diet. “This plan offers more choices which makes it ideal for carnivores and vegetarians alike. Observational studies have shown that lower fat dairy products can help people lose weight and maintain weight loss. When people learn how replace high glycemic foods with lower glycemic ones, they are able to have more success dieting due to fewer cravings.”

The Paleo Diet

Dr. Everett feels the Paleo Diet has merit as well. “Some individuals have food allergies such as lactose-intolerance and gluten sensitivity, so eliminating dairy and grains from their diet can provide welcome relief from any negative symptoms from consuming those foods. However, the Paleo diet may be too restricting for some. Personally, I like to alternate between the South Beach and Paleo Diets. I may have a chicken breast with mango jalapeño salsa for breakfast, a whole wheat pita with hummus, sprouts, tomato and spinach for lunch and salmon with roasted Brussels sprouts for dinner. A piece of extra dark chocolate satisfies my sweet tooth.”

If thats’s what the doctor ordered, I will take two!