Foods for our Moods

November 21st, 2019
As the days get longer and the temperature gets colder it’s inevitable that our moods will be altered. Food can be a powerful medicine in supporting this transition….here are a few of my favorites….

Sweet Potatoes: My children’s elementary school recently had a nutrition tasting and on the menu was roasted sweet potato chips-sliced thin with a mandolin, drizzled with olive oil and salt…a great after school snack! Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin B6, manganese, magnesium, and copper. Magnesium especially can help manage symptoms of anxiety and depression

Eggs: Eggs often get a bad reputation; truth is, they are one of my favorite foods to recommend! Eggs (the yolk, not the white) are an excellent source of choline; choline is needed to produce acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter for memory, mood and muscle control.

Bell Peppers: Green and red peppers are packed with Vitamin B6, an essential nutrient for normal brain development and function; Vitamin B6 helps the body make the hormones serotonin, norepinephrine, and  melatonin–which help manage stress and sleep; both of which are essential during these fall into winter months. Try slicing raw peppers and dipping them into hummus, or stuffing them with your favorite Spanish rice.

Chocolate: All of us at some point have thought about eating chocolate when we are feeling a little down…but does it really help? Scientifically speaking yes! Chocolate has been shown to improve depression and anxiety; flavonoid and methylxanthines are the key nutrients. Choose dark chocolate over milk because it has a higher percentage of cocoa; add a spoonful of natural peanut butter for a savory combination!

October 2019 Newsletter

October 23rd, 2019

The leaves are falling, the temperatures are dropping, and our taste buds are changing! I love all 4 seasons but Fall has so much to offer….especially when it comes to food! With every season the supermarket isles are changing and we get the chance to expose ourselves and those around us to different flavors.

APPLES

A fall staple…I recently took my elementary school aged children apple picking…they ran through the orchards trying all the different varieties of apples. At home we made apple crisp, baked apples, and added them raw to our lunches. My favorite ingredient to include when baking apples? Pecans….

PUMPKIN

It’s everywhere! I was recently at Trader Joes and an entire section was dedicated to pumpkin! My son’s favorite cereal bars had a pumpkin flavor, ice cream has been infused with pumpkin, even granola and pancake mix had a pumpkin flavor. And don’t forget about the pumpkin seeds and pie! Pumpkin is even full of Vitamins A, C, and E-Bring on the antioxidants!

SQUASH

So many different varieties to try! Do u like spaghetti? Or maybe the butternut variety? Winter or acorn? Do you prefer your squash pureed in a soup or roasted with brown sugar and toasted nuts? And interestingly enough, pumpkin is also a type of squash!

Desserts is Stressed Spelled Backwards

March 28th, 2019

My two young children were recently watching the kids baking championship when the hosts mentioned what desserts spelled backwards read. Their response to me: “What is so stressful about desserts?” Ah, the innocence of elementary school aged children. Why do desserts stress everyone out anyway? The dialogue that we have to put our minds though to make a decisions as to whether to eat the ice cream or chocolate cake–or fruit–creates such unwanted anxiety and…stress.

Back to my children who asked me why desserts are so stressful? Such a difficult question to address to a 6 and 9 year old. Below are some reminders and strategies to help create a positive relationship with desserts and other stressful foods:

  • Try not to use food as a reward or punishment either for behavior of completing a meal
  • Have dessert as part of your meal routines–some family choose certain days of the week to have dessert, others choose to provide dessert when asked
  • Remind your family to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full and to honor their cravings
  • Modeling is your best guide when creating healthy behaviors

A final thought: What if we just all ate dessert when we wanted it?I bet we would enjoy it more and not overeat it. And I bet desserts would make us a lot less stressed.

January, 2019 Newsletter

January 9th, 2019

In the News

Happy new year! I hope 2019 brings you good health and balanced nutrition! Resolutions are all over the news during these first few weeks of the year; brainstorming realistic goals for ourselves and our desire to lead a healthy lifestyle should always be on our minds-both short term and long term. As 2018 ends and 2019 begins lets always remember to constantly re-evaluate our goals to make them manageable, realistic, and positive!

Goals
Keeping our nutrition goals positive for 2019 is a key to a balanced lifestyle. Its easy to focus on the negative and all the foods and habits we want to eliminate from our lifestyle. I recommend to keep all goals positive; to focus on the foods we want to add and behaviors we want to enhance. Think about your goals, write them down, constantly evaluate and change them!

To get to know a little bit more about me, I thought I might tell you some of my nutrition goals for 2019…
Family Meals: I love cooking and trying new restaurants with my family; We don’t eat together every night, but those nights we get to are unforgettable! My goal is to keep it up–and chasing after a husband, 8 year old son and 5 year old daughter will definitely make it a challenge!
Balanced Diets: One of my favorite household sayings! Making sure my house is full of yummy fruits and vegetables as well as cookies and ice cream is a must! As parents, being positive role models for our children is the best food advice around. I eat ice cream, so my kids should too! And nothing beats a good salad topped with goat cheese, walnuts and an asian peanut dressing.
Eat When You are Hungry and Stop When You are Full: If you read my newsletter you know this is my favorite saying! My goal is to continue to honor my intuitive cues and cravings.
Exercise: We all need to find time to move our bodies and find a type of movement that we connect to. There are too many types of exercise out there to love–do not do anything you hate! You can find me on my yoga mat, spinning, and on the tennis court.

I can’t wait to read about your goals in 2019!

December 11th, 2018

In the News

Happy Everything! Whether you celebrate Hannukah, Christmas, something else or nothing at all, December can be an exciting, fun, festive and stressful time of year. As the weather gets colder (in the Northeast!), we could all use a little more balance in our lives. This months newsletter will feature two very different ways we can apply balance into our days. Enjoy!

Wishing all my readers a happy, healthy, and balanced New Year!

How can we be more balanced in our lives: #1 Food

Whether it’s February, July or December, food is everywhere–we can’t avoid it! Nor should we…leading a balanced life starts with food–this of course coming from a nutritionist! So what do I recommend? Balance! Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, chocolate, cheese, whatever you crave and desire! Below are a few key points…

  • Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full
  • Honor your cravings-sooner the better, and be as specific as you can with giving yourself the foods that you want
  • Never say no–to yourself, to your loved ones-deprivation simply leads to increased cravings and eventually over eating
  • practice mindful eating techniques–slow down the chewing process, and be aware and present when you are eating

How can we be more balanced in our lives: #2 Tea

Teas come in so many different flavors and can really balance our lives. Below I have outlined a few of my favorites and their unique characteristics. Enjoy the hot versions on a cold winter day, or an iced tea when the weather gets hot!

  • Green tea: Green tea has been shown to improve blood flow, lower cholesterol as well as improve blood sugar levels in those with diabetes.
  • Black tea: Black tea is known to banish fatigue, stimulate mental alertness, and raise energy levels. It has been shown to reduce stress hormone levels and acts as a nerve sedative, frequently relieving headaches
  • Mint tea: Examples includepeppermint and spearmint; they are 100% naturally caffeine-free and traditional herbal remedies for digestion
  • Chamomile tea: Chamomile is a flowering plant in the daisy family. It is 100% naturally caffeine-free, and traditionally used as a sleep aid and help with relaxation