Consult the Dietitian

My name is Lisa Tillinger Johansen and I’m a Los Angeles-based registered dietitian. I’m also author of the award-winning book FAST FOOD VINDICATION and STOP THE DIET, I WANT TO GET OFF!. I counsel my patients and clients on how to eat for a healthy life.  With a background that includes teaching posts at Southern California’s largest hospital network, federal grant programs, and community outreach endeavors, I apply my years of clinical and health education experience toward helping others achieve their nutrition goals. And now, I’d like to spread my reach even further!
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A Healthy Lifestyle without Exercise?

Is it possible to stay healthy eating nutritious diet but without regular excercise? Eating a healthy diet goes a long way towards helping us to maintain our health. But exercise does that too. So by doing both you’re strengthening your... read more

Advantages to a no-starch diet?

Are there any nutritional disadvantages to following a strict no-starch diet? I would recommend choosing making better starch choices like whole grains that contain fiber and monitoring portion sizes. read more

Is meat fattening?

Is eating meat fattening? We can certainly make better choices among the food groups. When eating meat, choose lean cuts and limit red meat. Remove the skin of poultry and enjoy fish several times per week. Meat should take up about one-quarter of the plate. Portion size is important for everything. Overeating isn’t good. Nutritious choices are... read more

How to stick to eating healthy?

How do I stick to a healthy eating plan? If you’re loading up on less nutritious items because you’re hungry then one strategy might be to increase your fiber intake. Fiber fills. Aim for at least 25 grams of fiber per day. We should only be eating for hunger, so if you are doing so because of something else like stress, sadness, boredom, etc. then I suggest you come up with strategies to combat these triggers. Some things we can do are take a 10 minute walk, call a friend, and get involved in a hobby among other things. It’s certainly fine to have a splurge now and then. If we don’t, we may feel deprived. If you’re finding it hard to ignore the treats in the house and are having them daily, then regardless of the other members of the house, it makes sense to not keep your trigger foods so close by. It would also be healthier for your family members to improve their diets. We are, after all, a product of what we... read more

Diet & Exercise Plan?

Can you recommend a diet and exercise plan? If you’re already consuming a healthy diet with adequate calories, then I would recommend taking a look at your exercise. When we hit a plateau, employing the FIT principle can help jump start things. “F” stands for frequency. If you’re walking 3 days per week, add another day or two. Or you could tackle the “I” which stands for intensity. If you’re walking 3 mph, try for 3.5 mph or walk uphill. Then there’s the “T” which stands for time. If you’re walking for 30 minutes, up it to 45 minutes or an... read more

Is Saturated Fat Bad?

Is saturated fat a bad fat? Yes. Saturated fat can raise cholesterol levels. This can increase the risk for stroke and heart disease. Sources of saturated fat include whole milk dairy products, the skin on turkey and chicken, palm oil and coconut oil, hydrogenated fat and beef, lamb, pork and other meats and meat... read more

Healthy Food Habits?

What are some of the healthy food habits that will help in the long run • Don’t skip meals. • Follow the healthy plate in which one-half of the plate is non-starchy veggies, one-quarter of the plate is starch and the other quarter is lean protein. Fruit and nonfat/low fat dairy are outside the plate. • Prepare food in a healthy manner like baking, broiling, steaming and roasting. • Limit concentrated sweets and high fat foods. • Monitor sodium intake. • Don’t drink your calories. • Read nutrition facts labels. • Keep a food diary. • Allow for treats, but don’t overdo... read more

Why are starches important?

Why are starches important in a healthy, balanced diet? Whole grains have among other things the very important fiber. Fiber can help lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar, keep us regular and relieve constipation and keep us full. It’s important though to monitor portion sizes. Starch should only take up one-quarter of the... read more

Low-Carb Fruits?

What are the low carb fruits? All fruit is carbohydrate. There’s no “low-carb” fruit. It’s the serving size that makes it high or low carb, not the type of fruit. read more

Skipping meals to lose weight?

Should I Skip Meals To Lose Weight? I don’t recommend skipping meals for weight loss. This includes intermittent fasting. Balanced meals, healthy methods of food preparation, appropriate portion sizes, limiting high fat foods and concentrated sweets, consuming low calorie beverages and exercise are the ticket for healthy eating and managing weight for... read more

The paleo diet?

What’s the Paleo Diet all about? The Paleo diet is a fad diet and is about excluding food groups. It’s basically a high protein/low carbohydrate diet. It doesn’t include any grains or dairy among other things. I recommend a more balanced approach and not eliminating food groups. I suggest the healthy plate in which one-half of the plate is non-starchy veggies, one-quarter of the plate is starch and the other quarter of the plate is lean protein. Fruit and low fat/nonfat dairy are outside of the plate. Monitor portion sizes and prepare food in a healthy... read more

Healthy part of an egg?

What part of the egg is healthy? Both the white of the egg and the yolk have healthy properties. Unfortunately, the egg yolk has close to a whole day’s worth of cholesterol in it. That doesn’t make it the best choice. I recommend having egg whites most of the times and limiting egg yolk... read more

Good dieting foods?

What are some good dieting foods? Whole grains, lean proteins, non-fat/low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, water and other low calorie beverages are all good choices. Look for balance and monitor portion sizes. Limit concentrated sweets and high fat foods. Prepare food in a healthy... read more