Improving Health


Marla Richards, MS, RD, LD

Marla has a longstanding passion in wellness and healthy living. After graduating from the University of Central Arkansas and completing the dietetic internship in 2011, she embarked on her professional career in wellness, working for an integrated health and wellness facility in Northwest Arkansas.
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Recent Posts

Healthy Snacks Ideas with Avocados

Posted by Marla Richards, MS, RD, LD on July 14, 2016

When you feel starved even though you just ate, you're likely lacking substance in your meal. Not just any substance, but specific foods that keep you full. 

It's always important to have a balanced meal, but it's also important to supplement with healthy snacks. We can't go back and adjust our meals and make them right, but we can learn from the mistakes we made.

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Post Topics Healthy Eating

Great Success Requires Great Support

Posted by Marla Richards, MS, RD, LD on July 7, 2016

Challenges are very common with every profession known to man. I may not know the exact challenges that people go through in their jobs, but I know they exist. In a perfect world we would wake up knowing that each day will work in our favor with no downfalls. But, the reality of it is that we all face battles in our job each day that passes.

The majority of my daily trials are linked to the few clients who are non-compliant with their goals. The true challenge is when a client admits to me that they weren’t able to meet their goals because they receive no love or support from their husband or wife. If anything, the journey towards weight loss becomes more of a trial, more of a forced effort, more of a battle than it should be.

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A Healthy Breakfast is the Best Start to Your Day [Recipe]

Posted by Marla Richards, MS, RD, LD on June 7, 2016

I’m sure you’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and there is reason for this. It’s not a myth! 

Breakfast really does serve as the best meal of the day, because without it your body wouldn’t have the fuel it needs to jump start your metabolism for the day. Your body doesn’t receive fuel while you’re sleeping, so it’s important to provide energy upon awakening in the mornings.

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Quick, Healthy Pepperoni Pizza [Recipe]

Posted by Marla Richards, MS, RD, LD on May 24, 2016

Pizza has always been extremely tasty in my opinion, but after traveling to Italy, pizza stole my heart! You may be thinking, "How does a Dietitian love pizza?" The truth about pizza is it doesn’t have to be unhealthy – in fact, it can actually make for quite the healthy dish.

If you break down the components of pizza, you will find it to be healthy ingredients. Pizza consists of crust, sauce, cheese, meat, and the occasional pizza will have vegetables on it. All these ingredients can be healthy if chosen with care.

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Post Topics Healthy Recipes

Fiber-Filled Fiesta Wrap [Recipe]

Posted by Marla Richards, MS, RD, LD on February 2, 2016

Mexican food can be quite the healthy meal depending on how the meal is cooked and what it consists of. Think about it, many of the food items are filled with fiber e.g., black beans, tortillas (if using wheat or whole grain of course), vegetables, and many more!

Fiber is a big component that we often neglect, but any meal or cuisine from any culture can be filled with fiber, it’s all in the choices of food we make. The beauty of fiber is that it helps us reach satiety quickly and it does not affect blood sugar levels.

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Post Topics Healthy Recipes

Butternut Squash Soup [Recipe]

Posted by Marla Richards, MS, RD, LD on December 31, 2015

Squash is often thought of as a summer vegetable, but it’s actually a year-round vegetable. There are two different types of squash, summer and winter, and both make for excellent squash soup.

Soup can be paired with a main entrée such as chicken, beef, or fish to complete the meal. The best part about squash soup is that it can provide you with your vegetables.

Vegetables may not be a favorite among some, but since they’re a must in the healthy world, it’s best to find ways to add them to your meals. My personal favorite is squash soup made with butternut squash. It’s an easy fix and a tasty dish!

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Post Topics Healthy Recipes

5 Simple Tricks to Eat Healthy Throughout the Holiday Season

Posted by Marla Richards, MS, RD, LD on December 17, 2015

Christmas is, in my opinion, the most joyous time of year. Everywhere you look there’s some type of Christmas cheer around. 

Ribbons and lights are wrapped around every pole and building, reds and greens are staple clothing colors, and food is constantly being placed in front of you.

Although fun and joyous, even if you want to avoid them, holiday parties are a must — and are sometimes even placed on your calendar without your consent.

Parties are fun, but are always linked to food. Holiday food can be linked to enjoyment, which often leads to overeating and weight gain.

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Post Topics Healthy Holidays

Warm Up Your Winter by Dusting Off Your Crockpot

Posted by Marla Richards, MS, RD, LD on December 10, 2015

Did you know that crock pots save lives? (Okay, maybe not lives, but they can save dinners!) There have been many times I had to rely on my crockpot for dinner meals. Not only are they convenient, but they require very little effort to produce a delicious meal.

There is something about the way the Crockpot merges all the food together, where all the sauces and seasonings collide to produce an amazing flavor and aroma.

You really don’t need a guide on how to prepare crockpot meals, just as long as you can adjust the setting to set the temperature and time for your meal. The secret to crockpot cooking really comes down to one thing — time.

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Post Topics Healthy Eating

Avoiding Food Temptation During the Holiday Season

Posted by Marla Richards, MS, RD, LD on November 19, 2015

Every day we have air to breathe is a day that food temptations exist. Whether we’re at an event or in our home, unhealthy foods are accessible. Our surroundings are filled with toxic foods that stimulate the mind.

Foods that we crave are often available, making it close to impossible to pass up. If you are trying to make a food change in your life, but your surroundings are filled with unhealthy restaurants, ice cream joints, and bakery shops, don’t cave into your cravings.

It’s easy to always do what you’ve always done, but that will only result in the same type of progress. If the food that you love the most is unhealthy, but it’s the food that’s most available, then you have no choice but to challenge yourself and say no.

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How to Snack Smarter + 5 Quick Healthy Snack Ideas

Posted by Marla Richards, MS, RD, LD on November 12, 2015

Snacking has always been labeled the "bad guy" in the food world. It’s often the result of the munchies or boredom; humans are wired to gravitate towards “junk” when a craving comes on strong. Most of us have been trained to munch on chips or cookies between meals.

Snacks aren’t inherently bad — in fact, they’re key to preventing overeating. However, if they don’t consist of a healthy balance of food, then they won’t do you much good.

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