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Week 12 of 12 Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle!

Posted on 1 April, 2014 at 11:49 Comments comments (98)

Whoo hoo!  Week 12 of 12 Steps to Getting Healthier is Here!   Congrats!  We’ve made it this far!  Even if you haven’t made any changes and are just thinking about it, congrats to you too, make changes when YOU are ready to make changes!  

 I figured this week would just be a review/checklist to make sure that you are eating a healthy diet:   

 Have 1-2 fish meals per week

 Make sure that most of your grains are whole grains, not refined flour (you should be eating mostly whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, oatmeal, whole grain cereals, whole grain crackers, etc) 

Make sure you have 2-3 fruit servings per day (different colored fruits)

Make sure you have 3-4 vegetable servings per day including leafy greens, orange carrots, red tomatoes (yes for right now I am putting it under vegetables), minimum.  Of course, if you go above that, that is wonderful.

Have at least one meatless meal per week.

Limit your red meat to no more than once  a week, or once every other week

Make sure you get 2-3 servings of lowfat dairy per day to protect the bones (lowfat milk, lowfat or nonfat yogurt, reduced fat cheese).

Also, last but not least, if ok with your doctor get in at least ½ hour of exercise daily.

And above all else, enjoy that food!  Always serve yourself in a plate or bowl at the table.  See and taste what you are eating!

Great job!!!!  I will still be posting tips of the week every week so keep checking in!!!!    

Also, if you would like a personalized appointment for more nutritional guidance, meal planning/grocery shopping help or a personalized cooking demo I would be happy to help! (908) 285-4537  

Week 11 of 12 Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

Posted on 25 March, 2014 at 13:25 Comments comments (101)

Its time for the 11 steps out of 12 steps for healthy lifestyle!  We've made it this far!  Whoo hoo!
 Today's lesson is.....
A little bite here, a little bite there…
Guess what?  It all adds up! 
What am I talking about?  When you are making yours or your kids’ breakfasts or lunches all those little "tastes" can add up to 100’s of extra calories in the day!
My advice?  Keep a food journal.  Log what you eat.  Then you are accountable, for every little bite.   Also, what you might think are little bites can be lots of extra calories.
This is a great way to easily chop a couple hundred extra calories you may be eating during the day.  That could amount to losing a half a lb.  to one lb. per week!
Also, those little bites fall into the “mindless eating” category, now don’t they?  I mean are we really enjoying it when we are standing up stuffing food in our mouth with the spreader knife in the other hand?
So, keep meals and snacks to the sit down meals at the table.  That way, you know what you are eating, and can remember it.  


Week 10 of 12 Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle- Portion Patrol!

Posted on 18 March, 2014 at 12:26 Comments comments (0)

Hi everyone!  Welcome to week 10!  You really deserve a pat on the back for following all or some of the recommendations, or just for reading this!  Rock on!

Anyway, let's check your portions.  

When you eat a portion of meat of fish with a meal, it should be about the size of your fist, or a deck of cards. 

Pancakes should be about the size of a CD

1 serving of rice,pasta or grains is 1/3 cup

1 serving of oatmeal is 1/2 cup

1 serving of beans is 1/2 cup

2 Tbsp. peanut butter is 1 serving (size of golf ball)

1 oz. cheese (4 dice) = 1 serving

a mini bagel is 2 servings of bread

When buying baked potatoes, buy the smaller ones, not the huge ones.  

8 oz. or 1 cup is a serving of milk

a medium size apple is a serving

17 grapes is a serving 

3/4 cup blueberries or blackberries is a serving

1 1/4 cup whole strawberries is a serving

My advice?  Start out with a smaller plate, with smaller portions.  Eat slow.  It will take awhile for your stomach to fill up after a meal (about 20 minutes).  We can trick our brain into thinking there is more food there by using a smaller plate.  Fill up half the plate with colorful fruits and vegetables so it looks appealing.  Use a small amount of fat when cooking or on salad (olive oil).  

If you want more, have another helping.  Just start off with the smaller amounts, and take your time. 


Week 9 of 12 Steps to Healthy Lifestyle!!! Omega 3's!!!

Posted on 11 March, 2014 at 10:37 Comments comments (224)

Week 9 of 12 steps to healthy lifestyle - Omega 3's!

OH-Mega 3’s!   What are these, you ask?  What do I need? How much?   

You can get Omega 3 fatty acids from fish and also ground flaxseed, ground chia seeds, to name a few.   

 Why have them?  They may help reduce inflammation and may improve your mood.  They may also help at protecting your heart.   

 Your goal for this week is to add at least one fish meal to your dinners.  If you are already having one fish meal, increase it to two this week!    

 Here is a laundry list of the many things Omega 3's may help with:   

cardiovascular disease-some studies show that taking at least a gram per day can help to lower your triglyceride levels, by as much as 8%!
 high blood pressure
 joint pain
 arthritis and more!       

You can get Omega 3's  from salmon, tuna, sardines,mackerel cod, flounder, flaxseed, linseed, green leafy vegetables, tofu, winter squashes, soybeans, navy beans, kidney beans, canola oil, soybean oil, olive oil and walnuts.

How do you know how much you are getting?   The Omega 3’s in fish are more biologically available to your body than the ones in the plant based choices.  However, if you cannot eat fish, I highly recommend the plant based sources- they have many other health benefits as well.    

 a 7 oz serving of flounder = 1 gram Omega 3's
 4 oz. canned white tuna= 1 gram Omega 3's
 4 oz. of salmon or mackerel can have up to 2 grams of Omega 3's!
 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed has 4 g fiber, 4 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein and 2400 mg omega-3 fatty acids. 

   The American Heart Association recommends 1 gram per day of Omega 3's(should contain EPA and DHA)  for people at risk of cardiovascular disease. It is recommended that you talk to your physician if you decide to take any Omega 3 supplements.   There may be some drug-nutrient interactions or side effects.  If you are not currently at risk for cardiovascular disease the recommendation is to eat fish at least twice per week. 

Here is a link to a  list of eco-friendly fish

   There currently exists  no established dosing information for children.  Some infant formulas contain fatty acids.        


Week 8 of 12 Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

Posted on 4 March, 2014 at 11:17 Comments comments (0)

Hi everyone!  Thanks for reading!  This is week 8 of 12 steps to a healthier lifestyle!

I still want to continue with the subject of  emotional eating.  For this week, try and work on not making food comments to anyone – including your family and friends.    What do I mean? How?

 Let’s start with the Division of Responsibility, created by dietitian, social worker, and author, Ellyn Satter.  You are responsible for what you put on the table,  a meal for your family.  All family members are responsible for WHAT  they eat and HOW MUCH.    Please remember this :  children are still learning to get in touch with their hunger and fullness signals.  This starts as soon as they are a baby.  

The more you try and intervene (and I know, best intentions) the less the children will learn to trust themselves and their body.    For instance, if your child takes too much food and cannot finish it, you will need to accept the losses (wrap it and save it) and know that when they say they are done, their body is telling them they are done.  If a parent intervenes and states, “Can’t you eat a little more” or “you took all that food, now finish it”  fullness signals get ignored.   

Ways to resolve this? (I know, not easy to not make these comments- but it is all a work in progress- do your best!).  Serve everyone family-style.  Let children learn to trust how much they may eat (gentle reminders are ok- “don’t take more than you think you can eat”…etc. )   That way they can get used to how much they will eat.  It won’t be perfect every time.  From time to time, everyone takes too much!  At least there is such thing as leftovers! 

Remember no one is perfect.  As a parent, we are all tired after a busy day and can say things about eating that we may regret.  The important thing is that you develop an awareness to these comments.  You can work to improve.  Not every meal will go smoothy but some of my tips should certainly help!

 On the same note, try and not make food comments to other family members and friends.  It is not your job or responsibility to monitor what they put in their bodies (i.e., “You’re really going to eat all that?”  Or “why don’t you eat more food- you are so tiny! “ “I can’t believe how much you can eat”.  All these comments do is upset the other person so please try your best to refrain from making inappropriate food comments .  This can give you an opportunity to be mindful with your own eating and trust your own hunger/fullness signals.  

The takeaway for today?   Remember food is meant to be enjoyed by everyone!  The best conversation you can have is about everyone’s day at school, at work, at home, etc.        


Week 7 of 12 Steps to Healthier Lifestyle! Mindful Eating!

Posted on 25 February, 2014 at 17:18 Comments comments (0)

Hi everyone!  Week  7 here!  If you have been following this program every week, great!  If not, you can start now!  

 This week I am going to talk about something called Mindfulness and Mindful Eating.    What does this mean?  It means being present in what you are doing.  If you are eating and watching tv or doing work and eating you are not practicing mindfulness.  In fact, you might even eat more because you are not paying attention to the fact that you are eating!  

 “How do I eat mindfully”, you ask?  Here is my advice.  In order to eat mindfully,  you must first always ask yourself before eating, “Am I hungry right now?”  Pay attention to how  your body feels.  Are you emotionally hungry, or hungry for a meal?    If you are truly hungry, sit down and eat your meal.  Portion your meal out on a plate.  Enjoy every bite of what you are eating.  Try and eat slowly.   Stop halfway through your meal and check in with yourself, "do I feel satisfied now"?  Stop eating before you are stuffed.  It will still take your stomach about 20 minutes to feel full.    Notice how you feel after your meal. 

I advise you to check in with yourself every time before you eat.  Ask yourself if you are truly experiencing regular hunger or emotional hunger.  If you just ate a big meal and go into the pantry to snack shortly after the meal you are probably emotionally hungry. 

Tip:   Start journaling and recording your feelings.  Remember to eat slow, portion out your foods, notice what you are eating, and stop before you are stuffed. You can use the hunger scale to determine your level of fullness.  1 is extreme hunger, 7 is eating to satisfaction, 10 is overstuffed (can’t keep pants buttoned- you don’t want to go there!)  Try and stop at a 7. Journal any thoughts and feelings that come up related to food.   

And most importantly, ENJOY your food!

Week 6 of 12 Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle!

Posted on 18 February, 2014 at 10:20 Comments comments (102)

Ok, you know what’s coming.  Exercise.   Yes.  If you have the ok from your doctor it is time.   If you are doing nothing, even 5 minutes is something.  If you are doing 20 minutes of exercise, add 5 more this week!  

 The important point is to get into the habit of exercise.  Start small, build up gradually.  No one expects you to suddenly be able to run a marathon or do a ton of time on the treadmill at the gym.  

 Some questions to ask yourself:  

  • Do I prefer to exercise alone, or am I more motivated with a partner?    

  • Do I prefer exercise classes, or exercising alone (running, walking, treadmill, elliptical, etc.)

  • Can I go out my door and exercise or do I need to join a gym?

  • Will I use exercise dvds and do some exercise in my home, or use some of the programs my digital cable provider offers on demand (check- you may have this on your tv and not even know it!)?

  • Do I need a personal trainer?   You can find one at a gym or sometimes there are personal trainers who will come right to your home!  Just make sure they are ACE certified (American Council on Exercise).  This means that they have gone through the necessary training to guide you through the exercises.

These are all very important questions to ask yourself.  Once you have made up your mind, start!  Even a 5 minute walk around the block is better than no walk.    

Have joint problems?  Talk to your doctor about getting help.   Make that call this week.  

Once you start, the endorphins that you get from exercise will help you to feel better, and as a result you may be more motivated to eat healthier. 


Week 5 of 12 Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle!

Posted on 11 February, 2014 at 9:21 Comments comments (0)

Today we are talking about doin’ the Dairy!   Most of us need at least 3 servings of lowfat or nonfat dairy per day.    How???  

 If you like yogurt have one for a morning snack or with your breakfast.  There are so many tasty yogurt selections.  The Greek yogurts pack an extra punch- they will also give you some protein.   Be sure to keep it to lowfat or nonfat to avoid those saturated fats that we don’t want. 

Have 1 or 2 of part skim mozzarella or reduced fat string cheese with your afternoon snack- maybe with some whole grain crackers- Triscuits, Wheat Thins, to name a few.   Or, you could have another yogurt with some fresh fruit for a snack.  

Skim and Lowfat milk are also excellent ways to get your dairy.  In addition, most of the soymilks and almond milks now have calcium added to them (sometimes more than milk- check the label!)  Stick to about 8 oz. for a serving.   Bonus:  the amount you put in your cereal or oatmeal counts as part of this 8 oz.   

 You could also drink calcium fortified orange juice- also keep this to 4-8 oz.         So, no excuses- there are many ways to get your calcium.  Just remember to get at least 3 per day, that’s the Magic Number.  

And, if you want to get technical, most of us need somewhere from 1000-1500 mg. per day.  Trick- when reading a label and it lists calcium as a percentage (i.e., 30%) just add a zero and that is how many mg. Calcium is in that serving.  This only works with calcium, not the other contents on the label.  Just a little trick for you!


Week 4- Keepin' It Real, Keepin' It Lean!

Posted on 3 February, 2014 at 13:37 Comments comments (0)

Ok everyone, we are into week 4 of 12 steps to a healthier lifestyle! 

 What to work on this week? Keep it real, keep it lean!  What does this mean? 

When you choose your protein choose less processed, less fat.  For example, choose baked, stir-fried or grilled chicken, without the skin.  Have baked, pan sautéed or grilled fish.    

 Please please limit your intake of sausage, bacon, pepperoni, salami and ham as these are highly processed meats.   They are high in saturated fat (harmful fat for the heart) and many contain nitrates  (harmful preservative).   

 Have 4 oz., tofu, ½ cup beans  or a veggie burger patty in place of higher fat meats.    Try turkey or chicken sausage (much less fat than the regular). 

 Also, you can use ground turkey in place of ground beef in dishes.    When you do have red meat on occasion, choose flank steak or tenderloin.  These are the leanest cuts available for beef.  When buying ground beef, buy 95% lean.   If you follow these tips, you will be on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

Remember, you rule!!!  You can do this!

Step 3 to Healthier Lifestyle!

Posted on 28 January, 2014 at 18:28 Comments comments (0)

Hi everyone!  We are in week 3 of my 12 steps to a healthier lifestyle.  

First, I recommended 1 non meat meal per week.  Second, I made some recommendations for adding whole grains into your diet.    

This week I would like to mention adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet.  How to do this?  Read below to find out!!!  

Try and get in as many different colors of fruits and vegetables per day in order to get the most antioxidants and vitamins.  As an added bonus they also contain fiber, which will keep you full longer! 

For breakfast, try adding ½ cup of berries to your cereal,  cut up a medium sized banana, or have an orange.  

Throw an apple or grapes into your lunch.  Put some shredded carrots , cucumber slices, tomatoes and lettuce in your sandwiches and wraps at lunch.   

For dinner, always have a salad with your meal.   There are many prepared salads available to save you time.  No time to chop?  Buy frozen veggies- sometimes the frozen ones are better than the fresh since they are frozen right after being picked.   Make a stir fry with many different fresh or frozen veggies along with chicken or a non meat source such as tofu, beans or seitan.  

Since fruits and vegetables contain fiber, I recommend gradually adding more and more into your diet.  Maybe this week add a couple and add a couple more next week.   With all these small changes you are on your way to a healthier  lifestyle!!!