Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

TODAY IS "GIVE-AWAY" WEDNESDAY AT STEP AHEAD!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Mar 26, 2014 @ 12:00 PM

Wednesday is “GIVE-AWAY” DAY at Step Ahead!

 

oranges resized 600

 

Come in for a weigh-in, personal training session, or check
in with the Doctor and Registered Dietitian and leave with these

DELICIOUS MANDARIN ORANGES

Great source of vitamin A & C.

Call Erica at 908-440-2235 to schedule your appointment. 

 Don’t delay… offer is good for today only and while supplies last.

We hope to see you today!!

 

For more information on all the weight loss programs we
offer, visit us at www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.

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Gluten Free: Can it Help Weight Loss?

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Mar 10, 2014 @ 09:10 PM

Gluten free diets have traditionally been recommended for those individuals suffering from Celiac Disease.  Celiac is an auto- immune disease in which the body forms inflammation against the lining of the small intestine and it is prevented from absorbing gluten containing foods properly.  Gluten, which is a protein, is found primarily in foods that come from grains.  Therefore, people who are eating foods with grains do not absorb the nutrients from these foods and are often diagnosed with severe deficiencies in iron, fat stores and proteins. 

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Recently, studies have been done to show that people who struggle with excess weight may also have excess inflammation in their GI tracts.  Although they may not officially have Celiac disease, their bowels may react similarly when eating foods rich in gluten.  They may still absorb the nutrients but the exposure to the gluten causes excess inflammation and can lead to symptoms of bloating, a lack of fullness after eating and an increase in cravings.  Decreasing gluten intake can lower the inflammation in the bowel and can help with weight loss.  A recent study showed that individuals that avoided gluten containing foods – those made from grains(breads, pasta, many cookies, etc), can improve their weight loss goals significantly(greater 10%).  Also, limiting gluten can improve their sense of well-being by decreasing the inflammation and can make their weight loss process easier to stick with over time. 

Even though gluten-free diets seem to be the “craze” of late, some of these recent studies may shed light on the advantage for some people, with or without Celiac disease, to avoid these high gluten foods.  

If you think you may be sensitive to foods rich in gluten, then it may be worthwhile to work with a dietician or your physician to come up with a gluten free meal plan that may fit your needs.  At the very least, it will not hurt you, and it may end up helping with your weight loss and improving your sense of well -being.  The new studies suggest, it can’t hurt to try! For more information on how Gluten Free could help you lose weight, schedule a consultation in our Far Hills, NJ office. Call today! 908-470-2235.

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WINTER SPORTS = CALORIES BURNED PER HOUR

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Dec 11, 2013 @ 06:39 AM
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Take advantage of the winter weather! Get outside and enjoy some snow activities to burn calories and strengthen your muscles.  See chart below for winter sports calorie burn for one hour of the following activities!  And then get outside and enjoy the activities.
 
For more fit tips contact our fitness director, certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  For our latest weight loss offers, go to www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com
 
 

Winter Sport

120-lb woman

150-lb woman

Skiing

273

340

Snowboarding

273

340

Snowshoeing

382

476

Cross-Country Skiing

436

476

Ice Skating

327

408

Ice Hockey

436

544

Winter Hiking

327

408

Shoveling Snow

273

340

Sledding

327

408

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Recipe Corner: Very Veggie Tostadas

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Sep 11, 2013 @ 05:05 PM

tostadaYou can have your carbs and eat them too with this delicious "open faced" Mexican sandwich. This 15 minute recipe delivers heart healthy fats and plant protein. Broiling the tortillas make a crispy shell for a veggie filled nutritious filling.

Bon Appetit!

Comments/Questions? Email sari@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Makes 4 servings. Serving size: 1/2 tostada =318 calories

Ingredients:

2 (10-inch) 98% fat-free flour tortillas

1 (16-ounce) can fat-free refried beans

2 tablespoons enchilada sauce

2 cups gourmet salad greens, divided

1 cup diced plum tomato, divided

1/4 cup chopped green onions, divided

2 tablespoons sliced ripe olives, divided

1 peeled avocado, cut into 12 wedges, divided

1 tablespoon finely chopped bottled jalapeño pepper, divided

1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese, divided

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Place a tortilla on a baking sheet, and broil for 1 minute on each side or until lightly browned. Repeat procedure with remaining tortilla.

3. Combine beans and enchilada sauce in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat until hot. Spread half of bean mixture over each tortilla; top evenly with remaining ingredients.

Adapted from cookinglight.com

 

 

 

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Recipe Corner: Black-Eyed Peas, Tomato & Egg Salad

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 @ 04:00 PM
black eyed peasIf you need an easy recipe for entertaining this Labor Day Weekend, here's a delicious protein & fiber-packed winner. In the South, black-eyed peas, also called cow peas are traditionally eaten as the first food of the New Year to bring good luck and prosperity. The best part is you probably already have all the ingredients on hand in your kitchen! This recipe also serves well for celebrating upcoming Jewish New Year!

Questions/Comments? Email sari@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

1/2 cup no salt added black-eyed peas, cooked (Rinse and drain canned beans to remove 40 percent of the sodium)

1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon reduced-fat feta cheese

1 hard-boiled egg, chopped

 

Mix all ingredients and enjoy. Serves one as a main meal or 4 small appetizers.

1 1/4 cup = 219 calories, 12g protein, 5g fiber

Appetizer serving size: 1/3 cup = 55 calories, 3g protein, 2.5g fiber (serve over mixed greens)

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, meal plans, Sari Greaves, rosh hashana, healthy eating, Dr.Oz, prevention, summer weight loss, beach season, high protein, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Bridal Boot Camp, Healthy Meals, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition, Heart Disease, Prevention Heart Disease, online nutrition, beach body, OptiFast, healthy labor day recipes, low calorie vegetables, low carb, wellness, healthy entertaining, jewish new year

Recipe Corner: Strawberry-Avocado Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 @ 01:43 PM
strawberry salsa ck lHealthy snacking is a great way to combat hunger in between meals. The trick is choosing a snack that is satisfying and under 200 calories. This recipe is the perfect solution for a  sweet & crunchy craving. The fruit-avocado salsa is jam-packed with vitamin C and heart healthy fats. Makes 12 servings (serving size: 6 chips and 3 tablespoons of avocado salsa = 138 calories)

Make the chips in advance, cool completely, and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. Questions/Comment? Email sari@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com


    • 2 teaspoons canola oil
    • 6 (6-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped peeled ripe avocado (about 2)
    • 1 cup finely chopped strawberries
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
    • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
    • 1. Preheat oven to 350°.
      1. 2. To prepare chips, brush oil evenly over one side of each tortilla. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over oil-coated sides of tortillas. Cut each tortilla into 12 wedges; arrange wedges in a single layer on two baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until crisp.
      2. 3. Combine avocado, 3/4 cup strawberries, cilantro and lime juice; stir gently to combine. Sprinkle salsa with remaining 1/4 cup chopped strawberries. Serve with chips.
      Adapted from cooking light.com
    • HUNGRY FOR MORE? CALL STEP AHEAD WELLNESS CENTER TODAY: 908.470.2235 TO LEARN ABOUT OUR FAST-TRACK WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAMS, EXERCISE CLASSES, AND MORE...

    Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, diet, jumpstart diet, Sari Greaves, swimsuit season, fruit recipes, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, Dr. Neiman, Dr.Oz, prevention, summer weight loss, beach season, high protein, Cooking Classes, Fitness, Bridal Boot Camp, Healthy Meals, Physician Weight Loss, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition, Prevention Heart Disease, lose weight, bootcamp classes, online nutrition, beach body, health, Step Ahead, wellness, healthy entertaining, lose weight fast, sharecare

    Recipe Corner: Easy Italian Shrimp

    Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Aug 16, 2013 @ 04:21 PM
    skillet shrimp oh 1896045 lPreparing shrimp on the stove top creates a fast fabulous ending to a day at the beach or pool. Pair with mixed salad greens lightly dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Questions/Comments? Email: sari@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

    Makes 5 servings: (serving size: 5 ounces shrimp and about 1 tablespoon sauce: 161 calories per serving)
    Ingredients
    • 3/4 cup fat-free Italian dressing (such as Wish-Bone)
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire ground black pepper blend (such as McCormick)
    • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
    • 2 pounds large shrimp with tails intact
    • 5 lemon wedges

    Preparation

    1. 1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large skillet; bring to a boil. Add shrimp; cook 6 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring occasionally. Serve with lemon wedge.

    recipe adapted from cookinglight.com

    Tags: Weight Loss, diet, jumpstart diet, meal plans, Sari Greaves, vegetarian, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, Dr. Neiman, Dr.Oz, summer weight loss, beach season, high protein, summer sandwiches, Healthy Meals, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition, Heart Disease, lose weight, online nutrition, beach body, health, Step Ahead, low calorie vegetables, low carb, wellness, summer recipes, healthy entertaining, lose weight fast

    Recipe Corner: Insalata Pizza

    Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jul 31, 2013 @ 12:42 PM

    insalata pizza ck 630188 lSavor the tastes of Italy by serving individual pita pizzas loaded with fresh vegetables, melted cheese, and a cider vinegar sauce. It's a one-dish meal that's sure to please. Questions/Comments? Email sari@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

    Makes 4 servings, 319 calories per serving (serving size: 1 topped pita)

    • 4 (7-inch) pitas
    • 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
    • 1 cup (4 ounces) pre-shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced Vidalia or other sweet onion
    • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    • 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
    • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
    • 4 cups packaged gourmet salad greens

    Preparation

    1. Preheat oven to 475°.
    2. Place pitas on a baking sheet. Spread 1/2 teaspoon garlic on each pita. Sprinkle each pita with 1/4 cup cheese, and divide onion evenly among pitas. Bake at 475° for 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cheese is bubbly.
    3. While pitas bake, combine vinegar, oil, and pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in tomatoes, olives, and basil. Add salad greens, and toss gently to coat.
    4. Place 1 pita on each of 4 plates; top each pita with about 1 cup salad. Serve immediately. Recipe adapted from cookinglight.com

    HUNGRY FOR MORE? CALL STEP AHEAD WELLNESS CENTER TODAY: 908.470.2235 TO LEARN ABOUT OUR SUMMER WEIGHT LOSS SPECIALS, YOGA CLASSES, AND MORE!

    Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, Weight Loss, HubSpot Tips, diet, jumpstart diet, meal plans, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, Dr.Oz, prevention, summer weight loss, beach season, high protein, summer sandwiches, Bridal Boot Camp, Healthy Meals, Physician Weight Loss, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition, Heart Disease, Prevention Heart Disease, lose weight, bootcamp classes, online nutrition, beach body, Step Ahead, low calorie vegetables, low carb, wellness, summer recipes, healthy entertaining

    Recipe Corner: Grilled Zucchini & Summer Squash Salad with Citrus Splash Dressing

    Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Jul 26, 2013 @ 05:45 PM
    squash salad ck 222864 lMake the most of summer produce with this easy
    flavor-packed vegetable recipe! Questions/Comments: sari@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com
    • 2 tablespoons grated orange rind
    • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice (about 3 oranges)
    • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
    • 3 tablespoons honey
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    • 2 red onions
    • 4 zucchini, each halved lengthwise (about 1 1/4 pounds)
    • 4 yellow squash, each halved lengthwise (about 1 pound)
    • Cooking spray
    • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
    1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Peel onions, leaving root intact; cut each onion into 4 wedges. Add onion, zucchini, and yellow squash to bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning bag occasionally.
    2. Prepare Grill. Drain vegetables in a colander over a bowl, reserving marinade. Place vegetables on a grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill for 8 minutes or until tender; turn and baste occasionally with 3/4 cup of the marinade. Place the vegetables on a serving platter; sprinkle with the basil. Serve the vegetables with the remaining marinade.

    Makes 4 servings (serving size: 2 zucchini halves, 2 squash halves, 2 onion wedges, and 3 tablespoon citrus dressing): 168 calories

    Recipe adaprted from cookinglight.com

    Tags: Weight Loss, diet, meal plans, Sari Greaves, vegetarian, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, Dr. Neiman, Dr.Oz, summer weight loss, beach season, summer sandwiches, Cooking Classes, Fitness, Bridal Boot Camp, Healthy Meals, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition, Heart Disease, online nutrition, beach body, OptiFast, health, Step Ahead, low carb, wellness, summer recipes

    HOW DOES HEAT AFFECT YOUR WORKOUT? Find out here...

    Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Jul 26, 2013 @ 12:52 PM

    describe the image

     

    Exercising in warm weather is challenging. Whether you’re exercising
    indoors in a room that’s too hot or outside, heat makes the experience more
    unpleasant. The real question is how does heat affect your workout? Why are
    workouts in the heat more challenging and will the heat cause you to fatigue
    faster?

    How Your Brain Responds to Exercising in the Heat

    When muscles contract, your body produces more internal heat during
    exercise but it has evolved a number of mechanisms that allow it to control
    body temperature and keep it within a relatively narrow range. The “master
    regulator” of body temperature is a portion of your brain called the
    hypothalamus. One of the many jobs of the hypothalamus is to keep your core
    body temperature within a certain range. It’s the anterior part of the
    hypothalamus that responds to a rise in core body temperature, while the
    posterior hypothalamus regulates heat when temperatures are cold.

    When you exercise in a hot environment, receptors on your skin detect an
    increase in temperature and send a signal to the hypothalamus. When the
    hypothalamus gets the message, it initiates a series of events to help maintain
    core body temperature. The way it does this is by activating sweat glands and
    dilating blood vessels to help release heat. Blood flow also increases to the
    surface of the skin to help release heat.

    This feedback system works well, but when you’re working out in a humid
    environment or doing high-intensity exercise, the system may not be able to
    “keep up.” As you know, sweating releases heat and a humid environment can
    interfere with the ability of sweat to evaporate, making it harder for your
    skin to release heat. That’s why exercising in a humid environment can be
    particularly challenging and even dangerous.

    Exercise Performance in Hot Environments: Does Heat Cause
    You to Fatigue More Quickly?

    Exercising in hot weather poses challenges from a heat control standpoint
    but how does it impact performance? Not surprisingly, you become fatigued
    earlier when you’re exercising in a hot environment. Why might this be?

    One theory is when your hypothalamus senses a temperature rise, after being
    alerted by feedback from skin receptors, it sends less nerve stimulation to
    your muscles to contract so fewer motor units are activated. At the same time,
    your perception of how hard you’re working goes up. There’s more “perceived
    effort” and you’re likely to consciously reduce your exercise intensity.

    Another theory is that when you exercise in heat, your muscles produce more
    free radicals and these free radicals contribute to muscle fatigue. Some
    research also shows that glycogen stores are depleted more rapidly when you
    work out in a hot environment. When muscle glycogen levels drop, fatigue sets
    in.

    Likely, it’s a combination of a number of factors – both central feedback
    from the hypothalamus and peripheral influences like free radicals that cause
    you to fatigue more quickly in the heat.

     When Does Temperature Become a Limiting Factor?

    Interestingly, research shows that most athletes become exhausted and have
    to stop at a core body temperature of just below 40 degrees centigrade. This
    temperature is lower in untrained people who exercise in the heat. This may be
    a protective mechanism since heat stroke typically occurs at around 42 degrees
    centigrade. If you’ve been exercising in heat for several weeks and your body
    has become heat acclimated, it’ll take you longer to reach this core body
    temperature since your body is better at releasing heat, so you’ll be able to
    exercise longer in the heat without being limited by fatigue relative to
    someone who isn’t heat acclimated.

    How Does Exercising in the Heat Affect Your Heart?

    As your body diverts more blood flow to your skin to release heat, the
    amount of blood your heart pumps with each beat (stroke volume) goes down. At
    the same time, your heart rate goes up to compensate for the decrease in stroke
    volume. Since muscles need more blood flow during exercise and so does your
    skin, the two are essentially in competition with each other. This puts greater
    demand on your heart to meet the needs to both skin and muscle. At some point,
    the demands become so high that not enough blood flow reaches the skin and heat
    can’t be released as readily. At this point, your body temperature can rise to
    the point where heat stroke occurs.

    Tips for Exercising in the Heat

    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Performance declines once you’re 3% dehydrated.
    Water is fine if you’re exercising for less than an hour. An electrolyte-rich
    drink is best for longer periods of exercise.

    Exercise during the coolest time of day. Avoid working out in a hot
    environment that’s also humid whenever possible. First thing in the morning is
    usually when it’s coolest.

    Wear light-weight clothing that’s light in color that “breathes” so your
    body can more readily release heat. Save the tight spandex for cooler days.

    Give your body about 2 weeks to acclimate to exercising in the heat. Until
    then, reduce the intensity of your workout and take frequent breaks. Once your
    body has acclimated to the heat, you’ll begin sweating sooner and more
    profusely, making it easier to release heat. Plus, plasma volume, the portion
    of your blood made up of water and proteins, increases and this helps your
    heart maintain a higher stroke volume. Once you’re acclimated, you also lose
    less electrolytes like sodium and potassium when you sweat.

    The Bottom Line?

    Heat has a definite impact on exercise performance. In general, you’ll
    fatigue earlier, especially if you aren’t acclimated. Take it a little easier
    when you’re exercising in a hot or humid environment. Push fluids even if
    you’re not thirsty and dress lightly. Fortunately, your body has the ability to
    acclimate to exercising in the heat and you won’t overheat as quickly once it
    does.

    For more fit tips, contact our fitness director/certified personal trainer,
    Noelle Lusardi, at stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.

     

    Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, diet, swimsuit season, fitbit, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, summer weight loss, beach season, Cooking Classes, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Delicious Desserts, Fitness, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, toning classes, Step Ahead exercise classes, Bridal Boot Camp, Physician Weight Loss, Nutrition, lose weight, bootcamp classes, online nutrition, beach body, Physician Weight Center, OptiFast, personal training, kickboxing, toning, toning walk, muscle conditioning classes, Yoga classes, health, Step Ahead, low calorie vegetables, exercise classes, group exercise, kickboxing classes, lose weight fast