For the Win!

After Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest “eating” day in America. Wings, pizza, beer, chips and dips, chili — you name it and you’ll probably be eating it. It’s not uncommon to get caught up in the excitement of the game, food, commercials or let’s be honest, the halftime show. With the right game plan you can have fun and retain that healthy lifestyle you’ve been working so hard to maintain. Remember these 3 tips to skip the belly bulging foods.

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  1. Plan to win: Hosting a game day party at your house? Taking some goodies to a potluck? Don’t expect healthy options from everyone else in attendance. Whether you are in control or simply attending as a guest, a sure way to avoid caloric sabotage is by making healthier options a part of the spread. We recommend taking sliced veggies like carrots, cucumbers, celery and broccoli. You can use these high fiber and low calorie options to dive into dips that would otherwise be consumed with bread or salty chips.
  1. Start your day right: Anticipating a Super Bowl feast? Your first instinct may be to starve yourself until game time and that’s not a good idea. This would lead you to consume a larger volume of food at one time, which will not only leave you bloated but will take longer to digest. Maintain small portions by snacking between meals and drinking lots of water. Beer might be a requirement in some households but remember to start and end your Sunday with a warm glass of lemon water to help with digestion.
  1. During the game: Mingle, watch the game, and socialize! The worst thing you can do is hang out by the food or alcohol or sit for hours. By staying around these items you are more likely to keep grazing on calories you are not even aware you are having. Eliminate the temptation by watching the game, being attentive and mingling with other guests. Standing, walking around, and staying as active as you can will help reduce temptation and keep your body burning calories.

When in doubt think about how you will feel Monday morning at the office. There is nothing worse than feeling stuffed, bloated, and a little hungover. Stop this before it happens by preparing in advance and being mindful.

Wishing you a Sunday fun day no matter who you may be rooting for!

 

Power of Bacteria

blog 1-29Our bodies, our digestive systems and specifically our guts are filled with living bacteria. But all bacteria is not bad. Healthy bacteria exists and has many benefits including decreasing inflammation and helping to create a healthy environment for our gut to efficiently absorb nutrients and digest foods. When we don’t take proper care of the bacteria in our gut, we are at a higher risk of inflammation that can lead to disease and other health concerns. Use the tips below to create a healthy gut environment!

Stimulation is key: Gut bacteria plays a vital role in digestive health. In order to do so, it needs to be constantly stimulated by the right foods.  Leafy greens, colorful fruits and vegetables, and natural whole grains are always the best way to go. They stimulate the gut bacteria for healthy digestion. When gut bacteria goes unstimulated, they can eat away at our intestinal walls which weakens the lining and leaves us at high risk of inflammation and immune concerns.

Sugar, fat and all that: Try to avoid refined sugars and processed foods as they digest without stimulating your gut bacteria. I recommend consuming whole grains which will stimulate your healthy gut bacteria to function at its fullest potential.

Probiotics: Probiotics also play a critical role in gut health. By consuming probiotics found in, yogurt, kefir and kimchi –to name a few, you will replenish gut flora. Gut flora decreases bloating and boosts immune health. *Fun fact: Probiotics also contain live bacteria cultures that maintain healthy gut integrity.

Relax: Last but certainly not least, if you find yourself often stressed or irritable, this can result in digestive inflammation. When we get stressed out, our bodies respond which can take a physical toll on our health, specifically our digestive lining. It is important to calm down and try filling up on healthy foods so we can function better in our day to day lives. By doing this, you won’t just be more at ease, but you will be able to better manage your weight, decrease bloating and most importantly stave off potential diseases. *Just remember if something is eating away at you, bacteria will eat away at your gut.

For better immune health, stimulate your gut and your mind by making healthy choices.

Ask The Nutritionist

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I have been getting so many great questions from our clients that I’m doing this week’s post as an FAQ section. I hope that no matter what concerns you may have regarding your weight, or healthy eating habits, I can help you find a solution.

“I haven’t lost any weight this week! What can be happening?”
Many clients start The Fresh Diet with the goal of losing weight. Our programs are calorie and portion controlled, and we have different caloric ranges to fit your specific needs. However, it is not uncommon for your weight to plateau after a certain point, so it is important to remember a few things: muscle weighs more than fat; medications and hormones can impact the rate of weight loss; and cheating on “treats” can add up in calories as well as consuming any high calorie beverages.

So, don’t panic if you do not lose the same amount of weight every week. Take these things into consideration and if you still find yourself having trouble, I’m here to consult with you and help you find the specific cause and get you back on track.

“What can I drink while on The Fresh Diet?”
It is best to stick with water when it comes to staying hydrated within your caloric range. Alcohol and sugary beverages can add up to empty calories that can greatly impact your weight loss.

“How much weight can I lose in a week?”
Each individual is different, however the recommended and safe weight loss equals about 1-2 pounds a week.

“What can I do to lose weight faster?”
To help accelerate your weight loss while on The Fresh Diet program, here are some easy tips: adding a cup or two a day of plain green tea or lemon tea is said to help increase metabolism which helps with weight loss. Also, incorporating physical activity into your routine can also help you burn additional calories.

“What should I do if I have no choice but to eat out one day?”
It is inevitable that we will be forced to eat out for one reason or another. In this case try and opt for vegetable heavy dishes; choose an entree from the appetizer section as they tend to be smaller portions; share a meal with someone else; and avoid items which are fried or have a cream base.

“Do I have to exercise?”
Exercising has many health benefits including disease prevention. Therefore regular physical activity cannot only accelerate your weight loss, but it will also be beneficial to your health.

“I hate eating breakfast, what should I do?”
Consuming a healthy breakfast helps kick start our metabolism in the morning, but many people are either not used to eating breakfast or simply are not hungry that early in the day. In this case I recommend starting with a little something whether it’s a cup of yogurt, a glass of milk, or a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning. This will help kick start your metabolism and you can have your breakfast an hour or two later.

“I exercise daily and I’m trying to gain weight, can I do this on your program?”
We offer four caloric ranges and for those clients trying to gain weight and gain muscle I usually recommend the 2200-2400 caloric range. If you are exercising and lifting weights, it is important to make sure you are consuming more calories than you are burning to ensure you reach your desired results.

If you have any questions not covered above, please feel free to send me an email at: tjoshi@thefreshdiet.com

3 Tips for Your Road to Resolution

3TipsImageWe’re halfway through January and we know it’s tempting to slip back into your old routine and eating habits. But we’d hate to see you undo all the progress you’ve made this far and know you will too. We’ve dug into our archive to find our top 3 tips to help keep you motivated!

Write down the top reasons you want to eat healthier – Keep a small note in your wallet, on your fridge door, on your closet door, or any other place that reminds you why you’re making the change in your diet. Know that you have the power to change your habits and Fresh Diet will be here to help along the way.

  1. Develop a support system – Sharing your healthy eating goals will have two important advantages when trying to stick to your resolutions: First, you’ll feel more accountable knowing that others are aware of your journey and secondly you can often find a lot of support by telling others you want to change. Whether you only tell your closest friends or you share it with the entire office, having at least one person aware of your resolution is a great way to stay motivated. It’s possible they are also working towards a new goal so the two of you could talk about your journeys to motivate each other. Even if they don’t share your same resolutions, they may offer encouragement and advice that will be invaluable in your progress.
  2. Make use of our resources – If you need additional guidance, set up an appointment to speak with our Lead Nutritionist, Trishna Joshi*. Email tjoshi@thefreshdiet.com or call 1-866-FRESH-50. Trishna is happy to answer your questions and help keep you motivated throughout your journey.

*Find more tips from Trishna by searching the hashtag #TrishnaTweets on Twitter!

Destination Health

AirportFoodsImageNourished, hydrated and de-bloated are not usually terms we associate with traveling but they can be. With the long weekend approaching we want to help you avoid airport and traveling traps to keep you on track towards your healthy eating goals. Prevent yourself from feeling lackluster by using these tips to keep you in line when hunger strikes and to stay feeling your best when traveling.

  1. Hydrate! It’s no surprise that hydration is imperative for skin health, but when travelling we tend to reach for what’s easy and available: Coffee, soda, cocktails- you name it. But we’re here to tell you to stick with water. ALWAYS. Not only does this help your skin from becoming dried out on the plane but it also helps cleanse our bodies, and ultimately fight off pollutants that may lead to breakouts and dull skin.

Off the rocks please! Next time you find yourself on a plane faced with the question “May I offer you something to drink” be sure to not only choose water but get it without ice. In Ayurveda, it is a common practice to consume warmer beverages with food to help the stomach digest its contents faster. Cold fluids change the temperature of the stomach causing digestion to take 30-60 minutes longer which can lead to bloating. Maintain your body temperature and stay hydrated to improve bowel movements, improve your skin, and maintain a healthy weight.

Prepare! Eat a solid and healthy plant-based meal prior to going to the airport. This will help you fill up on fiber to maintain energy. Take some nuts, chia seeds, dried coconut or dried fruit. These are things you can travel with and keep in your bag without having to worry about making a mess or spoiling fast. Having something to eat every 2 1/2 to 3 hours helps maintain metabolism which is important for weight loss.  Don’t get side tracked by waiting too long to eat or being tempted to grab junk food at the airport. You can also research your airport terminals in advance to see what they offer.

No choice? When you forget to pack a snack or security takes away your bottle of water, don’t stress. Many airports have started carrying healthier options for those hunger emergencies. Hummus with pita chips, veggie cups, fresh fruit, trail mix and salads have become staples at many kiosks. Remember to stay plant-based. You literally are what you eat and when we eat clean foods and hydrate we feel better and more energized. When we fill up on unhealthy options we feel heavy and lethargic. No one wants to feel that way, especially when traveling.

Skip the salt! Excess sodium can leave us feeling dehydrated and bloated from water retention. Stick with simple plant-based options with lean proteins and lots of water to avoid these discomforts. Also be sure to stretch and get up once or twice if possible to move around and get the blood circulating. This in addition to the tips above will help you avoid feeling lackluster and looking and feeling amazing.

Workout Worries

FitnessImageSummer bodies are built in the winter! Make your resolution a solution that’ll stick around for a lifetime. Healthy eating, healthy habits, de-stressing and creating a mind-body connection are all critical to long-term success.

Exercise is also pertinent to a healthy body. Whether you workout to lose weight, tone up, or build muscle, it is no surprise that January is the busiest month for gyms and workout studios. Feeling strong and energized is imperative to improving workout performance. Perfection lies in the details so I’ve compiled a list of my top client questions concerning nutrition when working out.

  1. Does nutrition and what I eat really matter when I workout?

Yes! What we eat helps fuel us, increase our energy, rebuild muscles and helps us reach and maintain a healthy weight. On the flip side, if we aren’t fueling our bodies with healthy and nutritious foods we can feel weak and lack energy, especially during a workout. Maintaining energy is critical for physical performance and maximizing your calories burned during a workout.

What do I eat before a workout?

The nutritional goal is to enhance your workout performance, stay hydrated and maintain energy. Carbohydrates help to fuel us during a workout and combine with protein so our bodies are able to maintain muscle growth. You can have a meal like Greek yogurt with berries, salmon with sweet potatoes, and a quinoa bowl with veggies and light dressing 2-3 hours before your workout. If you’re crunched for time try a snack size portion about an hour before your workout instead. Also be sure to drink lots of water throughout the day to maintain hydration pre and post workout!

Why do I feel weak when I workout?

Weakness can result from a number of reasons such as intensity, not having a rest day, over-training, blood sugar levels, lightheadedness and dizzy spells, to name a few. These issues are common outcomes of poor diet and not having that correct nutrients pre and post workout. Consuming a combination of carbohydrates and protein will help avoid the weakness relating to glucose levels and the protein aids in muscle recovery.

Eating before a workout makes me feel nauseous. What do I do so I still have energy to get through my workout?

This is a question I get often and personally experience as well. To avoid feeling nauseous and ensure you are energized enough to power through a workout, have a snack portion of a combination of carbohydrates and protein about an hour before a workout. A few good pre-workout snacks are yogurt with fruit, trail mix, peanut butter toast, and cheese and crackers.

Why am I supposed to eat after a workout if I am trying to lose weight?

Post workout nutrition should focus on recovery, rehydrating and replenishing muscles. Muscles store excess energy from glycogen, which is broken down during a workout. Consuming protein post workout helps with replenishing glycogen, soreness, and muscle breakdown.

Foods for Good Fortune

With a new year comes new goals, resolutions and fresh starts in all aspects of life. This is a great time to reflect on all the positive things that have happened this year and how we can improve and enrich our lives in the new year. Many cultures celebrate a number of traditions for prosperity, health, fertility and happiness.

We have listed some of our favorite healthy New Year’s traditional foods.

Lucky Lentils: In Brazil and Italy, lentils are seen as a symbol of money and have been consumed for luck since Roman times due to their coin like appearance. Not only are lentils a healthy protein option for those looking to declutter their diet of processed foods and meats, but they are also great for maintaining glucose levels, heart health, and are packed with folic acid.

Greens: Consuming leafy greens is said to bring luck in regards to prosperity due to the leafy greens resemblance to paper money. Spinach, collard greens, kale, or cabbage – whichever green you opt for only will not only fill your body with nutrients but also invite in prosperity into your new year.

Circular shaped foods: Baked goods in ring shaped pans, bagels, or even vegetables cut into circular shapes – you name it – as long as it’s circular, it is a great option to invite in good fortune. It is seen as a symbol of coming full circle and a symbol of unity.

Pork: Cow’s stand still, chickens scratch backwards and pigs root forward. This is why pork is said to be a luckier protein choice for New Year’s as it symbolizes moving forward.

  1. Fish: The scales on fish resemble coins and prosperity in addition to swimming in schools which symbolizes progress and forward motion. It is best to keep the fish whole during cooking.
  1. Noodles: These are a symbol of longevity in many Asian countries. The key is to try not to break the noodle while cooking!

Remember to not get caught up in the pressure and negativity of everyday life but to start your year surrounded by those who will empower and encourage you to be your best you. Focus on the positive and create a personal mantra to keep you in a positive space during negative moments.

We wish you a year packed with an abundance of positivity, health and happiness.

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Mediterranean Philosophy: Long-term Lifestyle Transformation

The Mediterranean diet is a combination of ingredients, which have been scientifically proven to help reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes, several types of cancers and improve long-term weight loss success.

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It incorporates plant-based principles including:

  • -An assortment of seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables
    -Focus on whole grains and healthy fats including olive oil
    -Healthy proteins including seafood, poultry, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds while limiting red meat
    -Limited intake of processed foods
    -Incorporates flavorful herbs and spices

Among the countless benefits of the Mediterranean diet, recent research has also confirmed how this diet helps with Dementia, Breast Cancer and Cardiovascular disease in the following ways:

        • Dementia and Cognitive Health
          -Reduces the rate of cognitive decline
          -Reduces risk of stroke
          -Healthier Blood Vessels
          -Improved tissue growth
          -Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease

          • Breast Cancer
            Olive oil proven to reduce risk of malignant breast cancer
            Anti-inflammatory properties offer additional protection
            Antioxidants combat oxidative stress

            • Cardiovascular Health
              -Plant based diet benefits for heart health and function
              -Improved blood vessel function improving blood flow leading the healthier blood pressure and -decreased cholesterol
              -Increased fiber intake from whole grains resulting in stabilized glucose reducing negative effects of     Diabetes

To maximize the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, we recommend adopting additional healthy habits from quitting smoking to increasing physical activity and managing stress. In combination with a healthy diet you are sure to reach your fullest and healthiest potential!