Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Stay Pain and Injury Free with These Snow Shoveling Tips!

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Jan 03, 2014 @ 07:01 AM

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With between 6-10 inches of snow, many of us will be outside shoveling today.  To avoid pain and injury, follow these tips from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:


  • Dress appropriately by wearing slip-resistant shoes and light,
    layered, water-repellent clothing that provides both ventilation and
    insulation.

  • Warm up with some light stretch exercises.

  • Push snow. And if you have to lift snow, use the stronger leg
    muscles for support, not the back.

  • Do not throw the snow over your shoulder or to the side because
    the twisting motion may stress your back.

  • Shovel early and often. The amount of snow that has to be
    removed is less and keeps it from freezing or partially melting and becoming
    harder to remove.

  • Use a proper snow shovel with a pole that is longer, adjustable,
    and curved to decrease the amount of bending needed to lower your risk of
    muscle injury. More user-friendly shovels are typically made of lighter
    materials such as plastic or lightweight aluminum. 

  • Pace yourself and take frequent breaks. Don’t shovel more than
    30 to 60 minutes, just like you would during a regular exercise session.

Step Ahead Wellness Center’s fitness director/certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi,  recommends drinking plenty of water before, during and after any winter activity.  “It’s
very important to stay hydrated in cold weather because even though it’s cold out, the body still loses water during exercise.”  Lusardi also recommends taking 5 to 10 minutes to stretch your muscles upon completing any winter sport or activity (including shoveling).  And be sure to
slather on some sunscreen if the sun is out..  always protect the skin as well! 

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, jumpstart diet, how to lose weight with diabetes, Diet and Nutrition, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Physician Weight Loss, online nutrition, Physician Weight Center, OptiFast, lose weight in 2014, diabetes and weight loss, lose weight fast, Step Ahead Wellness Center

Best Foods to Stockpile for an Emergency

Posted by deborah neiman on Thu, Jan 02, 2014 @ 11:57 AM

Check out this great article from realsimple.com.

Natural disasters—a flood, hurricane, blizzard—often come with little or no warning. Stocking up now on the right nonperishable food items will help you weather the storm with less stress.

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Fueling your body during an emergency is very different from your everyday diet. Because you’ll probably expend more energy than you normally would, you should eat high-energy, high-protein foods. And because you’ll have a limited supply, the higher-quality foods you eat—and the less of them—the better. “In a disaster or an emergency you want those calories,” says Barry Swanson, a food scientist at Washington State University. “You want some nutrients and some fiber—something to keep your diet normal.”

 

“In an emergency, generally you tend to think of meeting more basic needs than preferences and flavors,” says Elizabeth Andress, professor and food safety specialist at the University of Georgia. “But if you plan right, you can have a great variety of foods and nutrients.” Here, Andress and Swanson weigh in on what items you should include.

 

 

What to Always Keep in Your Pantry

These items have lengthy expiration dates, so you can stash them away for long periods of time. Make a list of everything in your stockpile and check expiration dates every 6 to 12 months to keep things fresh. And don’t forget to have a can opener on hand at all times—all that food won’t be of any use if you can’t open it.

Peanut butter
A great source of energy, peanut butter is chock-full of healthful fats and protein. Unless the jar indicates otherwise, you don’t have to refrigerate after opening.

Whole-wheat crackers
Crackers are a good replacement for bread and make a fine substitute when making sandwiches. Due to their higher fat content, whole-wheat or whole-grain crackers have a shorter shelf life than their plain counterparts (check the box for expiration dates), but the extra fiber pays off when you’re particularly hungry. Consider vacuum-packing your crackers to prolong their freshness.

Nuts and trail mixes
Stock up on these high-energy foods—they’re healthful and convenient for snacking. Look for vacuum-packed containers, which prevent the nuts from oxidizing and losing their freshness.

Cereal
Choose multigrain cereals that are individually packaged so they don’t become stale after opening.

Granola bars and power bars
Healthy and filling, these portable snacks usually stay fresh for at least six months. Plus, they’re an excellent source of carbohydrates. “You can get more energy from carbohydrates without [eating] tons of food,” says Andress.

Dried fruits, such as apricots and raisins
In the absence of fresh fruit, these healthy snacks offer potassium and dietary fiber. “Dried fruits provide you with a significant amount of nutrients and calories,” says Swanson.

Canned tuna, salmon, chicken, or turkey
Generally lasting at least two years in the pantry, canned meats provide essential protein. Vacuum-packed pouches have a shorter shelf life but will last at least six months, says Diane Van, manager of the USDA meat and poultry hotline.

Canned vegetables, such as green beans, carrots, and peas
When the real deal isn’t an option, canned varieties can provide you with essential nutrients.

Canned soups and chili
Soups and chili can be eaten straight out of the can and provide a variety of nutrients. Look for low-sodium options.

Bottled water
Try to stock at least a three-day supply--you need at least one gallon per person per day. “A normally active person should drink at least a half gallon of water each day,” says Andress. “The other half gallon is for adding to food and washing.”

Sports drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade
The electrolytes and carbohydrates in these drinks will help you rehydrate and replenish fluid when water is scarce.

Powdered milk
Almost all dairy products require refrigeration, so stock this substitute for an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D when fresh milk isn’t an option.

Sugar, salt, and pepper
If you have access to a propane or charcoal stove, you may be doing some cooking. A basic supply of seasonings and sweeteners will improve the flavor of your food, both fresh and packaged.

Multivitamins
Supplements will help replace the nutrients you would have consumed on a normal diet.

Check out more great winter storm articles on, http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/shopping-storing/emergency-foods-00000000038238/

Tags: HEALTHY DIET SHORTCUTS, healthy winter foods, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, winter storm foods, Physician Weight Loss, lose weight, weight loss goals, Weight Loss Center, diabetes and weight loss, wellness, healthy entertaining, lose weight fast, Step Ahead Wellness Center

Make AND Keep Your New Year's Resolution with Step Ahead Wellness Center

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Dec 31, 2013 @ 06:39 AM

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New Year’s resolutions are a bit like babies: They’re fun to make but extremely difficult to maintain.

Each January, roughly one in three Americans resolve to better themselves in some way. A much smaller percentage of people actually make good on those resolutions. While about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half (46%) are still on target six months later, a 2002 study found.

It's hard to keep up the enthusiasm months after you've swept up the confetti, but it's not impossible.  Two of the most popular resolutions are "lose weight" and "exercise more."  Some people make these same resolutions year after year but hardly every stick to it. 

If you're one of these people, let Step Ahead Wellness Center help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals in 2014.  We offer personalized diet plans as well as OptiFast.  Additonally we have an on site personal training room, we hold a variety of small group exercise classes each week and we have a Bridal Bootcamp program sure to knock your socks off and get you ready for your big day.

 

For more information about our programs and staff, visit www.stepaheadwellensscenter.com.  Be sure to take advantage of our holiday special!  Or call us and speak with Erica at 908-470-2235.

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, HEALTHY DIET SHORTCUTS, how to lose weight with diabetes, Diet and Nutrition, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Noelle Lusardi, Physician Weight Loss, Prevention Heart Disease, Physician Weight Center, personal training, Weight Loss Center, holiday weight loss, diabetes and weight loss, holiday weight gain, exercise classes, Step Ahead Wellness Center

Post Holiday Gain? Here Are Ways to Recover...

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Dec 27, 2013 @ 12:27 PM

 

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How to get back to your healthy habits after the holidays. Painlessly.

Article By: Erinn Bucklan

"By adding just 500 calories per day, or three homemade sugar cookies and a glass of low-fat
milk, you could gain two pounds in two weeks over the holidays," says Jenna Bell-Wilson, PhD, RD, LD, a board certified specialist in sports dietetics.

Now the merriment has ended, here's how to get back on track to healthier habits in the New Year.

Up your fruit and vegetable intake

Ideally, you should consume at least five fruit and vegetable servings per day now. These vitamin-rich foods boost your fiber and antioxidant intake and help you feel full. A tip: Replace that midafternoon 16-oz. cola (200 calories) with an orange (65 calories) as a nutritious snack.

Pre-arrange exercise time

You'll stick to a regimen if you schedule exercise ahead, says Brad Cardinal, Ph.D., associate professor of sport and exercise psychology at Oregon State University. Try to get in 30 minutes almost every day. Wear a low-cost pedometer (it counts footsteps) or sign up for a charity walk/run to stick to a plan.

Resist depriving yourself

Focus on what you're going to eat rather than what you're not. "It sounds indulgent," says Colleen Thompson, R.D., a nutritionist at the University of Connecticut. "But concentrate on ways to feed
yourself now. It helps you to stick to healthy eating habits." For example, don't skip a nutritious, fiber-rich breakfast, like oatmeal or a half of a whole-wheat bagel with peanut butter. It can help prevent overeating later.

 

For more tips, or for more information about Step Ahead Wellness Center’s weight loss
programs, visit us at www.stepaheadwellnescenter.com or call 908-470-2235.  Let us help you
get back on track and reach your weight loss goals in 2014!

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DON'T DRINK YOUR CALORIES THIS HOLIDAY SEASON... Check out our low-cal cocktail tips!

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Dec 20, 2013 @ 01:17 PM

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Low-Calorie Holiday Cocktails

With so many holiday parties and festivies, alcohol consumption increases this time of year.  But have no fear, Step Ahead Wellness Center is here with tips on how to curb holiday cocktail calories.  Holiday cocktails don’t have to be a diet downer.  With a little planning this season, you can avoid alcohol diet disaster, and there are some drinks that are relatively low in calories.

Know the Culprits:

  • Mixers, syrups and sodas can turn an innocent
    cocktail into a dessert.
  • Higher proof alcohols contain more
    calories.  For example, 100-proof Vodka =
    82 calories/1 oz
  • Super-sized drinks.  Magaritas with double shots and extra mixers could add up to 1,000 calories or more in 1 mug.  A TGIFriday’s frozen mudslide contains 1,100 calories!  Most glasses of wine contain 120-150 calories, but that can double depending on the size of the glass and how full it is.  One bottle of wine serves 5, 5-ounce servings = 600 calories).
  • Beer can range from 64-198 calories per 12 ounces.  Dark beer contains more calories than pale beer.

Cut Some Alcohol Calories:

  • Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails.
  • Choose wine, light beer or simple cocktails made with low-calorie mixers.  Just as you might order a salad with dressing on the side, don’t be shy about asking for your cocktail your way.
  • Skip the mix altogether.  Try ordering your favorite liquor on the rocks.  Infused vodkas are popular because they are not flavored but infused.
  • Dilute your drink with club soda or sparking water.

Lastly and more importantly, be sure to appoint a designated driver to get your to/from holidays parties safely.

For more healthy holiday weight loss tips, contact Step Ahead Wellness Center at www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com or call 908-470-2235.  Let us help you reach your weight loss goals in 2014 with our healthy weight loss programs.  One on one personal training and small group exercise classes are also available on site with our certified personal fitness trainer, Noelle Lusardi.

Have a safe and holiday season!

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CARB BLOCKING SUPPLEMENT Now Available at Step Ahead Wellness Center!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Dec 18, 2013 @ 01:23 PM

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If you've been battling carb cravings, Step Ahead Wellness Center can help!  We are thrilled to announce a new carb blocking supplement called CARB CHECK designed to stop cravings for empty carbs that sidetrack your healthy eating goals.

Empty carbs can sabbatoge your healthy weight loss plans and keep you off track.  This new supplement can help you block your cravings for empty carbs thus allowing to stick with your healthy eating plan optimizing nutrition, keeping your sugar levels steady and allowing you to feel energized all day long.  Additionally

Carb Check contains a northern white bean that inhibits the breakdown of starch in the intestinal track, thus alleviating cravings for empty carbs. By blocking these empty carbs, you're energy/sugar levels remain steady throughout the day thus making it much easier to stick with your healthy eating plan, and your execise regime!

In addition to Carb Check, Step Ahead Wellness Center offers many other healthy doctor supervised weight loss plans including OptiFast, on site one on one personal training and small group exercise sessions also on site.

 Let us help you stay on your healthy weight loss track this holiday season and beyond!  Call today to learn more about Carb Check, and all of our weight loss programs:  Call 908-470-2235 or email drneiman@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

 

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Step Ahead's Health Tip for Today... Drink Water!

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 @ 06:47 AM

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For more information on Step Ahead Wellness Center's healthy weight loss program and/or personal training/fitness programs, visit www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  Be sure to click on our special Holiday Giveaway! 

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15 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Dec 16, 2013 @ 10:26 AM

Is it possible to celebrate the season without packing on pounds? You bet! We found 10 simple strategies for preventing holiday weight gain (plus a painless way to actually knock off weight).

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Beware the festive 15!

Even if you have superhuman willpower, the holiday season is challenging for everyone. Staying on track can seem so daunting, you feel like swan-diving into the eggnog and sending your sensible routine into hibernation until the New Year. But, as we all know, excess pounds don't disappear along with the decorations. And nobody wants to start the new year in the hole, body-wise. 

Turns out, there's no need to. "You can have fun without throwing away your healthy habits," says Elisa Zied, RD, author of Nutrition at Your Fingertips. Check out our 15 rules for a no-gain season. You can indulge and still wake up the same size (or less!) come New Year's Day.

Weigh yourself twice a week

That's often enough to make sure you stay on track, but not so often that you take all the fun out of holiday noshing, says Michael Dansinger, MD, an assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. Step on the scale first thing in the morning when your stomach is empty.

Start your day with a bang

Exercising in the morning can help ensure better behavior all day long, according to a study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 

Using brain scans, researchers found that when women worked out in the a.m., they not only moved more the rest of the day, but they also responded less to pictures of tempting food compared with the days they didn't do a morning workout. The upshot: fewer cravings for high-fat fare.

Be picky, picky, picky

Peruse the buffet before you load your plate to avoid foods you don'treally want, suggests obesity expert Tim Church, MD, a professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University. If, for instance, you could take or leave sushi but adore sliders, don't start with the tuna rolls hoping to be able to resist the two-bite burger. 

"If you pick the stuff you really want and have it in moderation," Dr. Church notes, "you'll stave off those cravings that can get you in trouble later on."

Just say no—everywhere

Willpower is like a muscle: Work it and you get stronger. What's key is to practice keeping yourself in check in non-food situations, too. "Whether you're driving in rush hour traffic or dealing with a temperamental kid, there are challenges that require self-control," Dr. Dansinger says. 

Succeed in not honking at that rude driver, he explains, and you'll be better able to resist dessert at the party.

Avoid banking calories

Cutting back all day so you can indulge at an event that night only sets you up for a pig-out. 

Why? You're freaking starving! "It's easy to get out of control when you're faced with high-calorie choices," says Tanya Zuckerbrot, RD, author of The Miracle Carb Diet. 

Be sure to eat your three squares and a couple of snacks. Aim for lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean protein.

Concentrate your workouts

So what if you can't get to your favorite yoga class or find time for the treadmill? "Even just 15 minutes can help you maintain your fitness level," Dr. Church says. For example, jumping rope for 15 minutes torches about 190 calories; a quick yoga sequence at home can help you stay flexible.

Don't swear off desserts

But practice the three-bite rule to keep your sweet tooth in check. "You'll get that amazing first taste, a satisfying middle one, and then a lingering third bite," Zuckerbrot says.

Avoid morning-after food

Have the night of your life, then send guests home with food-filled Tupperware. "It's the leftovers that do you in," says Lauren Slayton, RD, founder of Foodtrainers in New York City.

Drum up some willpower

Under the spell of that peppermint bark you co-worker brought to the office? Before you succumb, try this simple trick: Place the thumb and fingers of one hand on your forehand, a half inch apart. 

Tap each finger one at a time, once per second, telling yourself, "Hold on." Wait 15-20 minutes (return phone calls, check email), and the craving will disappear, according to Tufts University Research. Sounds crazy, but it works.

 

Repeat after us: Out of sight, out of mind...

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Cut back on diet soda

In fact, any bubbly beverage can lead to belly bloat, explains Zuckerbrot. "The carbon dioxide trapped in the bubbles of fizzy drinks causes a buildup of air, which can lead to gas.

Eat your H20

Instead of trying to down eight glasses of water (near impossible when you're busy), have a green salad with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette and a few slices of avocado. "These water-rich foods help keep you hydrated, so that everything moves through your system faster," Zied says.

Brew up a pot of peppermint tea

Research shows peppermint can help calm stomach muscles and reduce gas. Not a fan? Try chamomile, suggests Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD, author of Read It Before You Eat It.

Chew slowly

We know: When your to-do list is never-ending, it's hard to make yourself downshift, even at mealtime. But eating fast is a quick recipe for an expanded waistline. 

Here's why: "The more air you swallow, the more bloated you'll get," Taub-Dix notes.

Get plenty of potassium

The nutrient counterbalances sodium, so you retain less water, Zuckerbrot explains. Our favorite potassium possibilities: bananas, papayas, kiwis, strawberries, and cantaloupe. 

Or serve up some asparagus or dandelion greens to get the bonus of a natural diuretic.

Keep calm and kick cravings

Stressed by the sight of that holiday spread? Take deep breaths before you grab a plate. Research suggests that women who practice stress reduction techniques are able to prevent weight gain. 

Close your eyes and focus on your reaching for 30 seconds. Then reevaluate whether you really want to fill your plate; chances are you don't.

by Alyssa Shaffer
From Health magazine

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20646043_last,00.html


Tags: diet, HEALTHY DIET SHORTCUTS, diabetes recipes for the holidays, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Doctor, Desserts under 200 Calories, holiday weight loss, diabetes and weight loss, holiday weight gain, healthy holiday recipes, healthy entertaining, Step Ahead Wellness Center, healthy cocktails

Sari's Skinny Eggplant Parm Recipe

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 @ 01:54 PM

Skinny Eggplant Parmigiana Sandwiches

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Makes 4 sandwiches.  The skinny per sandwich: 302 calories

You can use leftover baked eggplant from this recipe as a side dish (97 calories for 2 slices). Simply double the ingrdients for the “Baked Eggplant” recipe below, if using the whole eggplant.

Part I: Baked Eggplant

1 eggplant, sliced into 16 rounds—You only need 8 slices for this recipe (1/2 of a 1 lb eggplant)
¼ cup egg beaters
2 teaspoons olive oil
2/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
Nonfat cooking spray
Part II: The Sandwich
4 multigrain Arnold sandwich thins (or “120 calories” of whole grain bread)
4 teaspoons grated parmesan
1 cup pre-washed baby spinach
2 Tablespoons part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup pasta sauce
1. Rinse & slice eggplant. Place eggplant slices in colander; sprinkle with salt. Place colander over large bowl; let stand at least 30 minutes to draw out the water. Rinse & dry eggplant slices to remove excess salt.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
3. Beat egg beaters in bowl. Arrange bread crumbs on shallow plate. Dip each eggplant round into egg and then coat with bread crumbs. Arrange breaded eggplant slices on foil sheet.
4. Drizzle oil over eggplant and bake for 30 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
5. Combine spinach and ricotta cheese. Heat for 1-2 minutes on nonstick skillet, until spinach wilts. Set aside.
6. Arrange 2 slices of baked eggplant on each sandwich thin. Top each sandwich with ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, 1 teaspoon parmesan, ¼ of the ricotta-spinach mixture and ¼ cup sauce. Bake sandwiches in oven until cheese melts, about 3 minutes.

 

Tags: diet, HEALTHY DIET SHORTCUTS, diabetes recipes for the holidays, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Healthy, healthy eggplant parm, Physician Weight Loss, Physician Weight Center, diabetes and weight loss, healthy entertaining, Step Ahead Wellness Center, healthy cocktails, skinny recipes, eggplant parm recipes

Holiday Food? I'm the Boss

Posted by deborah neiman on Thu, Dec 12, 2013 @ 02:19 PM

Check out this great article from Diabetes Forecast magazine-

This time of year, the festive foods can be a challenge for those of us with diabetes. When faced with holiday indulgences, I try to keep these questions in mind:

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  1. Is it truly delicious?

    I'd rather spend my calories and carb grams on something that is wonderful. Because I have to take insulin before I eat, there's a pause-and-reflect that helps me decide whether the bite is bolus-worthy. A bolus is a dose of fast-acting insulin I deliver with my insulin pump by typing in the number of carb grams I estimate I'll swallow. But too many extra boluses means I'm probably overeating—something I need to watch along with my blood sugars. For people not using insulin, the pause-and reflect tends to require a decision about what to swap for the treat—passing on the dinner roll and mashed potatoes and instead choosing a slice of pie, for example.
  2. Can I chew it?

    To each her own, but I prefer to chew my calories rather than spend them on drinks.
  3. Am I hungry or just bored?

    It's easy to focus on food, yet there are so many non-caloric joys to be found this season. Entertaining my cats, a board game with my son, a quick walk outside—they're all calorie-free!
  4. Did I exercise today?

    Getting at least 30 minutes of movement can help balance out a few extra munches.
  5. Are vegetables involved?

    Reminding myself to work nonstarchy veggies into my holiday eating helps me to manage calories and carbs and feel good about the fiber, vitamins, and minerals I'm feeding myself. Dips taste just as good on crunchy carrot or celery sticks as they do on chips, for example. Sometimes, of course, the chat about food choices moves out of my head and into the area of conversation with family and friends. Preparing for the inevitable "Can you eat that?" comments comes in handy.

 

By Kelly Rawlings, Editorial Director
http://www.diabetesforecast.org/logbooks/Healthy-Holiday-Guide.html

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, diet, jumpstart diet, how to lose weight with diabetes, diabetes recipes for the holidays, living with diabetes, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Doctor, Weight Loss Center, diabetes articles, diabetes and weight loss, healthy entertaining