- 26 February 2015
- Nutrition Blog
With Memorial Day right around the corner, we asked Theresa Shank, our registered dietitian what she recommends clients to have in their kitchens to help them lose unwanted winter pounds. Here is what she had to say:
There are many items that are important to have in a healthy kitchen while trying to lose weight, but I won’t bore you with that and just keep it simple by recommending my “must haves.”
Fresh Fruit: Don’t over fruit. Even though fruit is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, its natural sugar content can be troubling for weight loss. I recommend limiting fruit intake to 1- two servings per day. My favorite picks are apples, grapefruit, blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and pears.
Fresh seasonal vegetables or frozen vegetables: the more vegetables you eat the leaner you will be, so aim for at least 5 servings a day. * One vegetable serving counts as a ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw.
Chia or Hemp Seeds: These seeds are good sources of Omega 3’s and fiber. Try adding to salads, oatmeal or smoothies. * Omega 3 fatty acids aid in decreasing cholesterol, depression, joint pain, diabetes and improve the health of your skin and hair.
Greek Yogurt: Fage and Siggi’s are my favorite brands. I always recommend Greek yogurt because it is higher in protein, making it more satiating than other yogurts. Siggi’s is the only flavored yogurt that I recommend because of its low sugar content in comparison to other flavored yogurts. For example, Siggi’s vanilla flavored yogurt contains just 9 grams of sugar, that’s only 2 more grams of sugar than Fage’s plain Greek yogurt. Can’t beat that!
Grains: Incorporate grains into your meals to help keep you feeling full longer. Grains provide nutrients such as B vitamins, folic acid, fiber and protein. I recommend limiting grains to 1-2 servings (think the size of your fist) per day. My go to grains are quinoa, black or wild rice and oats (make sure they are hand rolled, never instant)
Sprouted Bread: Sprouted grain bread vs. store bought whole wheat bread has higher nutrients such as niacin, B6, folate and protein. Some sprouted grain breads are also noted to contain less carbohydrate than the average slice of whole wheat bread because some of the carbohydrate content is lost in the sprouting process; making it an all-around better choice.
Lean Proteins: Organic poultry, eggs, and wild caught fish are a must in my kitchen. If you are a vegetarian, I caution you to leave the overly processed “meat substitutes” alone! Instead, try tofu, seitan or tempeh, which lend themselves well to various vegetarian dishes such as homemade burgers, stir-fry’s or veggie chili. The possibilities are endless! * I encourage clients to consume fish at least 3-4 times per week during weight loss efforts.
Olive oil and nut butters: Don’t let the myth that nut butters and oils make you fat, stop you from incorporating these essentials into your diet. Instead, limit you intake of added fat to 1 tbsp. per meal to insure your body the healthy fat it needs while preventing the excess intake that causes weight gain. If you are feeling adventurous try substituting coconut oil, cashew oil or grape seed oil the next time your dish calls for olive oil.
- 26 January 2015
- Fitness Blog
1. Morning Commute: Each morning we usually take public transportation or drive into the office. In order to burn some early morning calories, park a few blocks away from the office so that you can get in a quick walk. Bike to work if you are in biking distance and if you take public transportation, get off at an earlier stop than usual and walk the remainder of the commute.
2. Glute Seat Squeeze: While sitting at your desk, you are able to get in a silent glute workout in without anyone even noticing! To start, simply squeeze the buttock, hold for 10 seconds and release. Repeat 3-4 times. This one is a lot harder than expected!
3. Triple “T”: Tone Those Thighs: If you are looking to tone your inner thighs, grab an extra ream of paper lying around the office, place between the inner thighs and squeeze in for 30-60 seconds and release. This office exercise will have those inner thighs in shape in no time!
4. The Rolling Stone: During those winter months, it is very hard to get outside and walk around during your lunch break. Until then, take a break every 2 hours or so and walk around the office. Catch up with a team member in person rather than sending that long email you had written or walk over to a new employee and welcome them to the office.
5. Lunch time Crunch Time: Right as your lunch break starts, you have plenty of time to work on some desk crunches. Yes, I said it: desk crunches. It’s possible, believe me. Place both elbows on your thighs and curl your chest in towards your legs but be sure to resist with the arms. Hold for at least 10-15 seconds, release and repeat 8-10 times.
- 26 January 2015
- Nutrition Blog
The days are cold, the skies are gray, and the motivation to eat healthy and exercise is harder and harder to find. Staying on track during the winter months is always a challenge, but one that you can conquer if you create a healthy plan and stick to it. Here are some tips for healthy eating and exercise to help you stay on track during the seemingly endless winter season.
· Think Ahead: Before starting another hectic week, take a few minutes to plan ahead for the meals and snacks you are going to eat that week. Create a shopping list, and hit the grocery store to stock up on everything you will need.
· Cook Ahead: Now that you have all of the healthy ingredients, make as much food as you can while you have some extra time to ease the stress of weeknight cooking.
· Get Creative: Find new recipes, try new dishes, and turn the same old veggies and protein into something new and exiting.
· Find a Friend: If you feel your motivation waning, recruit a friend to join in the challenge of staying healthy. Motivate one another and find the fun of healthy living once again.
· Purge Your Kitchen: Before we know it, unhealthy food has crept back into our pantries. Take a few minutes to purge your kitchen of all the junk, and start again with a clean slate of only healthy options.
Here’s a hearty and healthy chili recipe to help inspire some creative cooking.
Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili with Avocado
Modified from Cookie and Kate
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 small butternut squash (1½ pounds or less), peeled and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ground sea salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½+ Tbsp chopped chipotle pepper in adobo* (start with ½ tablespoon and add more to taste)
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, including the liquid**
- 4 cups cooked black beans or 2 cans, rinsed and drained
- 14-ounce can (about 2 cups) vegetable broth
- 2 Avocados
· In a 4 to 6 quart Dutch oven or stockpot, sauté the chopped vegetables (onion, bell pepper, butternut squash, garlic) in one to two tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat. You’ll need to stir the ingredients every few minutes so they can cook evenly.
· Once the onions start turning translucent, turn the heat down to medium-low. Add all of the spices and canned ingredients, and stir. Cover for about one hour, stirring occasionally. Taste test for spice level and add more chipotle if desired.
· By the time your chili is done, the butternut squash should be nice and tender and the liquid should have reduced a bit, producing the hearty chili consistency.
· Serve the chili in individual bowls with plenty of diced avocado. You can add a little sprinkle of red pepper flakes and cilantro to garnish (optional).
· Try Something New: Find a new class to try, jump on a new machine at the gym, or maybe hop in the pool to help spice up your workouts. Just when you are getting bored with your current routine, find something new to get you motivated once again
· Ditch The Excuses: Don’t let the never-ending list of excuses get in your way. Ignore that little voice in your head that is always making up reasons not to workout.
· Make Workout Appointments: Set aside specific time every day in your schedule, literally block it out on your calendar, for exercise, making it a priority each and every day.
· Find a Friend: When you know your friend is waiting for you at the gym, you are more likely to get there. Find a friend to hold you accountable and try new workouts together.
· Set An Event Goal: Sign up for a race a few months away, (The Broad Street Run, for example) and use that as motivation to get training. When you have a goal in the future and a reason to workout every day, you are more likely to stay on track.
Here’s a workout you can do right in your living room. You don’t even have to leave your house!
- 25 jumping jacks
- Go up and down your stairs
Workout: 10 reps of each exercise as many times as you can in 30 minutes
- Tricep dips on your coffee table or couch
- Sit ups
- Lateral lunges
- 02 January 2015
- Nutrition Blog
Start this New Year off right by purchasing kitchen tools that support healthy cooking and eating. Our registered dietitian, Theresa Shank, has shared her favorite kitchen must have for 2015 to keep your motivation for healthy eating strong and your belly full of wholesome nutrition!
This simple kitchen tool is the latest gadget taking healthy kitchens by storm! The spiralizer can turn vegetables such as zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, or squash into spaghetti “noodles”.
Whether you are a vegetable lover, a low carb monitor, paleo fanatic, or have gluten intolerance, you’ll want to purchase this tool for your healthy kitchen!
The spiralizer can be found at most kitchenware stores such as William and Sonoma or on websites such as Amazon.
Try one of my favorite recipes using a spiralizer from SkinnyTaste.com
- 02 January 2015
- Fitness Blog
Exercise: An Immune Booster
Your immune system is the body’s natural defense against infection. It helps fight viruses and diseases that you are exposed to regularly. Exercising for 30 to 45 minutes a day can improve your chances of warding off viruses such as colds and may lower your risk of developing heart disease and certain types of cancer. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, exercising regularly can help to flush bacteria from the lungs.
For example, during moderate exercise, the body increases the amount of macrophages, which are the cells that attack bacteria, temporarily. During exercise, the body also circulates immune cells throughout your system more efficiently. After exercise, the immune system returns to normal, but habitual exercise may be able to make these changes long lasting.
Everything in Moderation
Working out at an intense level (such as marathon running or intense gym training) is okay from time to time, but is not recommended for daily practice. Intense training may cause a decrease in the amount of white blood cells circulating in the body which in turn will make you more vulnerable to contracting a cold or virus. Remember, the body needs a period of time to recover from workout routines.
Exercising when you are sick is okay if your symptoms are mild, but pushing too much can be dangerous especially if your symptoms are more severe. Be sure to always consult with your primary care provider to learn what level of activity is safe.
Let’s Get Moving
To improve you’re immune system and decrease your chances of getting sick it’s important to incorporate the right amount of exercise into your daily routine. Light to moderate exercise a few times a week can be useful, while intense workouts can be detrimental. Talk to your doctor about what level of physical activity is right for you, especially if you are feeling under the weather.
Now, let’s get moving!
- 02 January 2015
- Internal Medicine Blog
2015 has made an arrival and now is the time to consider making some resolutions. These goals will help you focus on a healthier you in the new year.
1. Be informed about what you are consuming
If you are not in the habit of reading food labels I highly recommend it. Many people underestimate calorie, fat, and sodium content and overestimate portion size. Even with reading individual labels it can be hard to keep track of your total consumption throughout the day. Keeping a food diary can make this easier and there are many websites and apps that make it less time consuming and more informative. Livestrong.com and Sparkpeople.com are two popular sites that also have phone apps.
2. Start moving
You don’t have to join a gym or start running marathons to be healthy. Take a class, do an exercise video at home, or walk on your lunch break. As a general goal you should aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day but this can be broken up into three 10-minute sessions if you don’t have 30 minutes in a row available. Weight training is an important part fitness and weight loss plans. Meeting with a personal trainer can help you learn what weights and exercises will best help you meet your goals.
3. Eliminate tobacco
If you don’t smoke, don’t start. “Social smoking” still counts as smoking; consider making this the last year you light up when having a drink. Even those occasional cigarettes add up over time. If you are not ready to quit right now at least pause to consider it – is there a goal time, even if it is far in the future, you would like to be quit by (ie your wedding or a child’s graduation)? What would change in your life if you were no longer smoking? Just thinking about quitting can bring you closer to being ready. If you are ready to quit and would like some help please come in and see us. Even if you aren’t able to stay quit you are still better off than if you didn’t try.
4. Increase your water intake
Most of us don’t drink enough water. The Institute of Medicine determined that adequate daily intake for a woman is 2.2 liters, which is just a little more than the classic “eight 8-ounce glasses” or 64 ounces. You need more when you are exercising, sick, pregnant or breastfeeding, or in a warmer climate. Staying well hydrated helps your skin and other important organs and can fight off fatigue and hunger. Count up the amount of non-caffeinated fluid you are drinking in a day – how close to 64 ounces are you?
5. Get enough sleep
Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep, six is generally not enough. Getting a good night’s rest can help you function better in every aspect of your waking life. Cutting out some screen time or having the kids help more around the house can help get you into bed earlier. Make this the year you seek help if you suffer from chronic insomnia or anxiety that prevents you from getting sleep.
6. Moderate caffeine intake
A moderate amount of caffeine is 200 to 300 milligrams (mg) or about two to four 8-ounce cups of brewed coffee a day. Don’t forget to count caffeine in tea (black, green, or iced tea), soda, and hot chocolate. Because caffeine can interfere with your sleep cycle even if you do not have problems falling asleep, I recommend finishing your last caffeinated beverage at least eight hours before you go to bed.
7. Moderate alcohol intake
If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Moderate intake for a woman is one drink a day. One drink is considered 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
8. Manage stress
Stress symptoms can affect your body, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Stress can cause many physical symptoms including headaches, digestive issues, chest pain, memory problems, and eczema, to name a few. Stress that is left unchecked can contribute to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Managing your stress is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise, particularly yoga and tai chi, getting enough sleep, practicing relaxation techniques, and maintaining a good social support system can help reduce stress. Many people benefit from professional counseling to find stress management strategies that work for them.
9. Stay up to date with routine screening tests
Depending on your age and other risk factors this may include PAP smears, mammograms, colonoscopies, cholesterol screening, etc. Not sure if you are due for anything? An annual physical provides a good opportunity to review current screening recommendations and get up to date.
10. Be an active participant in your health
Learn what you can about any health conditions you have and stay informed about what conditions run in your family. Know what prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, and supplements you are taking and what they are for. Keep track of the dates of your most recent screening tests and any abnormal results. We are always happy to provide a copy of your labs to you and to go over anything you may have questions on – just ask!
- 25 November 2014
- Internal Medicine Blog
I often tell patients to wait for the first cold week of the fall/winter season to stop their allergy medications. And while that works for a lot of people, I am forgetting that the holidays can also be a source of allergy flares. This is due to exposure to mold, dust mites, seasonal greenery/decorations live and artificial and foods .
During the holiday season the weather gets colder so we tend to keep the door sand windows shut more than in the other seasons, so the usual indoor allergens (pet dander, mold and dust mites may be higher). Another reason is that during this time of the year pets tend be indoors more increasing our exposure. Also we are bringing in live plants/trees that may have mold spores and mildew which thrive in the damp evergreens. The sap on the aromatic evergreen trees can also be source of skin irritation. When opting for the artificial decorations, keep in mind that these are also often stored in dusty/moldy basements which can be a problem for those reasons. The sometimes potent Potpourri aromas can also be a problem for asthma patients. Also keep in mind that those beautiful Poinsettia’s are in the rubber family and can cause problems for us who have latex allergies. When warming up by the wood burning fireplaces don’t forget that they can be sources of a lot of ash and smoke which may cause problems for you and your guests. And we often overlook the effects of stress which can also trigger asthma symptoms for some of us.
One other big group that causes problems this time of the year is food allergies. Often times, we do not want to disappoint friends and relatives by not trying the home made foods, but before doing so, do not forget to ask if the ingredients include something you are intolerant or allergic to. These can include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shell fish, soy and wheat. These 8 groups account for 90% of food allergies.
There are things we can do to reduce our exposure so we can still enjoy the holiday season without a trip to the doctor or ER. When handling any live trees you may want to throw on Latex free gloves so you do not come in contact with the sap from the evergreen trees. You may also want to water the trees down with your garden hose or blast them with the leaf blower before bringing them in. When handling the artificial decorations, make sure you dust them off and maybe wear a mask when doing so.
If all else fails, thankfully there are medications that can help. Antihistamines like,Benadryl, Zyrtec, Claritin and Allegra often are enough. Hydrocortisone creams can help with skin irritations also. Patients who have asthma should make sure their Albuterol inhalers are still good. Also, if you have food allergies make sure your Epipen is not expired. Sometimes, though, if you have tried a thing or two you may still need help from your doctor or need to see an allergist, so do not feel like you need to treat on your own.
- 25 November 2014
- Nutrition Blog
Halloween candy, Thanksgiving feasts and holiday parties; the last couple of months until the end of the year can test the limits of even the most disciplined weight watcher. Our dietitian, Theresa Shank, has provided us with simple tips to avoid weight gain during the holiday.
Try to remember that the holiday season is about more than just food. Next time you go to a holiday party, take time to admire the decorations. If there is entertainment, be sure to enjoy it. Focus on visiting with friends and family whom you haven’t seen in a long time. That said, be honest and acknowledge that it would be unrealistic not to indulge in some holiday treats. The key is to do it mindfully, and in moderation.
Do Not Show Up Hungry
Indulge with a purpose. Do not show up to the party starving. Some people will skip breakfast and lunch because they want to save calories for their holiday feast. This is a big mistake because most people are then ravenous and end up eating more than they typically would. I encourage clients to eat something small as opposed to skipping an entire meal. Try having a yogurt with fruit and nuts for breakfast and a protein shake blended with fruits and veggies, this way you can get in your fruit and vegetables before carbohydrate and sweet overload.
Plan Your Plate
Set boundaries. Do not go on autopilot the moment the food is on the table; instead survey your options before piling up your plate. Once you observe your options, choose two options from the less healthy dishes and for the rest of your meal stick to healthier options, such as lean meat, complex carbohydrates and vegetables. To ensure that there is a healthy option available, offer to bring one yourself such as a salad with root vegetables or a side such as quinoa or roasted sweet potatoes.
The holidays are a time for cheering and making toasts. I am not suggesting that you do not drink but I do encourage clients to limit themselves to two drinks per gathering. Two drinks average anywhere from 200- 250 calories, which is the amount I suggest for snacks. Once you hit 3-4 drinks you are hovering close to 500 calories, which doesn’t account for the calories that are coming from your food indulgence. Be smart and drink less. Alcohol causes hangovers, which may cause you to skip the gym the next day. It’s a horrible cycle that can be avoided with control.
- 24 November 2014
- Fitness Blog
1. Get a flu shot – The flu is a surefire way to immediately put your workout on the backburner. It is far worse than the common everyday winter’s cold and with symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough, you can almost guarantee you will throw off that perfect schedule you have been dedicated to the past few months. Once your routine has been sidetracked, we all know how hard it is to get back into your daily grind. If you are looking to keep your exercise routine on track this winter, get a flu shot so that you can avoid being out of commission for a week (or longer).
2. Try something indoors – Winter is not an easy time to exercise outdoors. If you prefer to workout indoors during the winter try out that new DVD you have been eyeing up on Amazon, check out the class schedule at your local gym or the Bikram (Hot Yoga) class you have been putting off for the past few months. Trying something new and exciting that you enjoy will definitely keep you more motivated!
3. Try something fun outdoors – Running outdoors during the winter can be a recipe for disaster if you are not accustomed to it. There are many winter activities that can torch those holiday calories quickly. Ice skating is notorious for burning major calories. One full hour of moderate ice skating can burn up to 500 calories! Why not bring your significant other with you to the new Dilworth Plaza Skating Rink for a fun night out on the town with the added benefits of exercise?! If you are more adventurous and like to go skiing or snowboarding, this can burn anywhere from 500-630 calories per hour and you will get to workout those muscles you often forget about.
- 27 October 2014
- Fitness Blog
Keep your fitness gear in sight
You know the old saying, out of sight, out of mind? Well, if your yoga mat is tossed in the back of your closet, then you’re less likely to attend class, right? Simple visual cues can serve as a reminder to keep fitness a priority. Try placing your gym clothes next to your bed or weights close to your door.
Recall a positive memory
Remember the time you ran that extra mile, nailed your core workout, or logged in an extra hour at the gym? Positive memories can be utilized to boost your motivation levels. Studies have shown that individuals who recall positive memories are more likely to exercise than those who don’t. So the next time you’re on the verge of skipping a day at the gym, take a stroll down memory lane.
Keep track of your progress
One of the most discouraging aspects about exercising is you don’t physically notice the results right away. Keep a fitness calendar or journal to track your progress. This way you can actually see the work you’re putting into each routine.
And remember to always reward yourself!