Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Medical Weight Loss: Quick Weight Loss vs. Healthy Lifestyle

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Oct 06, 2014 @ 09:31 AM

The best weight loss programs take into account your diet, exercise, and pre-existing medical conditions.Every day, from coast to coast, Americans struggle with losing weight. Bombarded with TV, radio, and even internet ads that promise “quick weight loss,” many people entrust their health to extreme diets in order to shed as many pounds of fat as possible. However, quick weight loss does not necessarily equal a healthy lifestyle.

The problem with many extreme diets that promise staggering weight loss quickly is that losing weight and getting healthy aren’t always the same thing. There are times where it is actually unhealthy to lose too much weight too fast, especially when the weight loss program isn’t being tailored to your body’s actual physical needs or being monitored by a physician.

What are the Problems with Losing Weight too fast?

Shedding pounds quickly sounds like a good idea, and it may even be recommended for cases where a patient is extremely obese to the point where it is causing health complications (under careful supervision by a doctor, of course). Despite this, there are many problems with trying to lose too much weight too fast.

First and foremost, shedding weight very quickly requires an extreme effort from the person on the diet. How much effort, you ask? Well, because one pound of fat contains 3,500 calories, you would need to burn at least 500 more calories per day than you took in to lose one pound of fat per week. That sounds simple enough, right? But, when your goal is to lose 5 pounds in a week, then meeting that goal becomes much more difficult (2,500 more calories burned over intake each day). Trying to keep up with unrealistic goals can quickly become discouraging, making it more difficult to stay motivated.

The second problem with this is that when your body is trying to burn fuel for nutrition, fat isn’t the easiest material for it to break down into fuel. The result? Instead of burning fat on your extreme diet, you actually end up “burning” water weight and what would have been healthy lean muscle mass, while the fat remains. Once the extreme diet is over and you start eating the bare minimum amount of food necessary to support lean muscle mass, you start recovering that muscle mass, which shows up as weight gained.

Worse yet, some extreme diets deny your body the bare minimum amount of nutrition that it needs to function properly, which can lead to severe side effects on your health such as muscle weakness and fatigue.

Slow and Steady Really Does Win this Race

Taking your weight loss step by step, slowly but steadily produces more consistent, longer-lasting results.Instead of risking your health on an extreme weight loss program, consult with your doctor and explore reliable healthy lifestyle changes and medical weight loss programs that provide safer, more reliable results. After a consultation, your doctor can identify your specific metabolism, nutritional needs, and health factors that may affect your ability to lose weight.

Using this information that is specific to you and only you, your doctor can create a personalized plan for your weight loss to help keep you on track to shed pounds at a steady, but safe, pace. From making changes to your diet to creating an exercise regimen that will improve your cardiovascular health while burning fat, your doctor can make a superior weight loss program that accounts for your unique needs.

Under a medical weight loss program such as the OPTIFAST plan, you benefit from the knowledge and experience of a trained medical doctor, one who understands that weight loss is about more than just being able to squeeze into a tighter pants, it’s about being healthier (although being able to fit into skinny jeans and look great is nice too).

The benefits of losing weight by making healthy lifestyle changes as a part of a medical weight loss program such as OPTIFAST are numerous:

1: It’s Easier to Keep Weight off

Unlike an extreme rapid weight loss program, where much of the weight you lose may not even be fat, a doctor-supervised program burns fat while preventing the loss of lean muscle mass. This prevents the sudden ballooning of weight after the end of the diet from the recovery of said muscle, because the weight you’re losing is fat, not muscle.

On top of that, becoming accustomed to healthy lifestyle changes over the course of a longer, less stressful diet program makes it easier for you to keep up a healthy lifestyle after the fact. Many people, after weeks of self-denial and hunger when on an extreme diet, relapse into their old, pre-diet habits once they’ve met their weight loss goals. After a period of hardship, it’s tempting to want to get “back to normal.” On a slower, steadier weight loss program based on making healthy lifestyle changes, the diet habits become “normal” for the dieter, lessening the temptation to go back to old habits.

2: It’s Safer

We cannot stress enough how important it is that a weight loss program has the appropriate doctor supervision. Under a program without supervision by a trained physician, it is far too easy for someone with a severe medical condition to suffer a complication related to their condition. With doctor supervision, a weight loss program can be crafted around the physical limitations imposed by a medical condition.

3: Goals are More Realistic and Achievable

Under a medical weight loss program, your weight loss goals are set based on a professional’s assessment of your condition and how much weight you can safely lose in a given period of time. These goals, even when set to an aggressive pace, are achievable for you when they’re set. This makes meeting goals easier and more realistic.

When goals are achievable, it’s easier to stay motivated as you continue to meet them.

4: These Programs are More Flexible

As your weight loss program progresses, your needs may change. With a premade extreme diet, there is no one there to watch for these changes in your metabolic rate or health, so you end up following the same, inflexible program from day one to the end. With a doctor supervised weight loss program, your doctor can monitor changes in your condition as you lose weight, and make revisions to your weight loss regimen as needed, including changing your nutrition intake, prescribing appetite suppressants, or altering your exercise regimen.

Start a Doctor-Supervised Medical Weight Loss Program Today!

Overall, a doctor supervised weight loss program that helps you lose weight safely over time is more effective than extreme diets. Here at Step Ahead Wellness Center, we're dedicated to helping you lose weight at the pace that's right for you.

Learn more about medical weight loss programs today and see if a personalized weight loss program is right for you at the link below.

Do You Need a Personalized Weight Loss Program?

Tags: Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Healthy, weight loss goals, best weight loss

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

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 @ 12:17 PM

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

 

 

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

Step Ahead Customized 100 calorie packs.
Enjoy only 65 calories of veggie sticks and 35 calories of popcorn for a delicious 100 calorie snack!


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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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

Step Ahead Wellness Center Brings You CARB CHECK... Carb Blocking Supplement

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Dec 10, 2013 @ 03:11 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.
 
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 exercise regime!
 
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.comwww.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

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Check Out This Killer Indoor Leg Work Out!

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Dec 09, 2013 @ 06:50 AM

While the weather outside is frightful, indoor workouts are delightful!  Check out this killer leg workout you can do wherever, whenever!  No equipment is needed.

 

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Let Step Ahead Wellness Center meet all your fitness, healthy weight loss goals... See our website at www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com for our latest special weight loss offer.

 

Email our fitness director, certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com for more fit tips.

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8 Steps to Surviving Holiday Weight Gain

Posted by deborah neiman on Sat, Dec 07, 2013 @ 10:48 AM

Check out this great article from Cleveland Clinic on how to avoid holiday weight gain.

Get a head start this year and schedule a consultation with Dr. Neiman TODAY! (908) 470-2235.

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How to avoid holiday weight gain

It seems to happen every holiday season.

You attend parties and office gatherings to share a few festive moments with family, friends, colleagues and lots and lots of food. But when the holiday season is finally over, the bathroom scale reveals that you’ve gained some weight again, much to your chagrin.

Research studies show most adults gain some weight over the holidays. But don’t despair because this year can be different.

“I recommend to my patients that they just try to keep their current weight, as opposed to focusing on losing weight,” says Julia Renee Zumpano, RD, LD, registered dietitian, Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation. “Even though it’s hard to resist temptations all around you, there are simple steps you can take that can keep the extra holiday pounds off.”

How can you try to maintain your weight and heart-health during such a tempting time? We’ve conjured up these tips to surviving the holiday hoop-la that is sure-fire success – this season and in the future ones to come.

1. Get moving

One of the most effective ways to maintain or lose body weight is to engage in regular, sustained aerobic activity (*).To burn off those extra calories, kick up your exercise. If you exercise for 30 minutes a day, increase it to 45 minutes. If you exercise three times a week, move it up to five times a week.

Exercise is a great way to burn those extra calories you may be taking in this time of year (remember those iced reindeer cookies you had with lunch?). Here are some ideas to get you moving:

  • If you have a stationery bicycle or treadmill at home, dust it off and put it in front of the television or radio for some background entertainment while you’re exercising. Why not watch your favorite television show and exercise at the same time?
  • Go to the library and get a book on tape or CD, listen to it and read (so-to-speak) as you exercise.
  • Haven’t used your gym-pass in awhile? Hire a personal trainer to teach you effective calorie-burning techniques, or join that kick boxing class you’ve always wanted to try.
  • Go for a morning or evening walk alone or with a friend.
  • Put a little kick in your cleaning technique. Fire up some music and dance while you clean. Who ever knew cleaning could be so fun?
  • Have bad knees or other joints? Don’t worry – water aerobics or swimming is your answer! The water prevents your weight bearing down on the joints and is an effective way to burn calories.

(*) If you haven’t exercised in at least 6-months, check with your doctor first before starting.

2. Aim for seven-a-day

Making sure you eat seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day is a great way to help fill-up your stomach but not your calorie level. When compared to other snack foods like chips, crackers and cookies, gram for gram, fruits and vegetables contain fewer calories and tons more nutrients. What’s more – the fiber in fruits and vegetables fill you up faster than traditional snack foods. Pack your refrigerator with bags of cut-up vegetables and whole or cut-up fruits. Grab a bag while on the go or at work. Make a pact with yourself that you’ll eat your five-a-day before you snack on any cookies or other holiday treats. You’re sure to take in fewer calories overall.

3. Control the risk for temptation

Controlling even the slightest chance of coming in contact with ‘tempting’ foods is one way to effectively reduce your intake. While you won’t be able to control all situations, focus on the many ones you can. For example, do you keep candy or cookies at your desk or workspace? Do you frequent the dining room table or pantry where you store all your holiday goodies? Make a mental note of tempting places and try to control them. For example, make a pact with co-workers that goodies will be kept solely in the break room, not at the front desk or in various offices. Mentally plan out how you will avoid tempting situations. If you can’t avoid them entirely, see number 4.

4. Limit to one-a-day

While you can’t control every situation, you can control how much food goes into your mouth. If you are constantly bombarded with holiday parties and displays of desserts or candies you can still effectively help prevent overeating and weight gain. One way is the one-a-day method. Allow yourself one small serving of a cookie or piece of candy each day during the holiday season. Remember that you may have to compensate for it later in the day by reducing your total caloric intake or by burning a few extra calories while exercising. If you aren’t confronted with holiday foods that day, just skip your one-a-day – but don’t compensate and double-up on your serving the next day.

5. Always plan ahead – Never go to a party hungry

Before you go to a holiday party, eat a healthy snack such as a serving of your favorite fruit, fat-free yogurt or a low-fat, whole grain granola bar. When you arrive at the party, you won’t be craving hors d’oeuvres.

“If you’re going to a potluck dinner, bring a healthy dish to share such as a salad, veggie or fruit tray, or a low-fat pudding, Jell-O or fruit dessert,” says Zumpano. “That way, you’ll know you have at least one healthy item on the table spread.”

6. Be in charge of your party choices:
  • Small plate, please
    Be wise when choosing appetizers – a small portion of some appetizers may help you from overeating at dinner.
    “Pick up a small plate, and stick with vegetables, but limit or avoid the creamy dips,” advises Zumpano. "Restrict your intake of butter crackers, chips, cheese and meats. If you must have a deep-fried appetizer, eat only one small serving. Never go back for seconds. For dinner, fill half of your plate with salad and vegetables, one quarter with meat, and the final quarter with starch,” Zumpano says.
  • Avoid the sauce
    Avoid sauces made from cream, half-and-half or meat drippings. For salads, use oil and vinegar, vinaigrette or low-fat dressings. Broth -based or vegetable sauces are fine.
  • What about desserts?
    The best low-calorie choices are fruit, Jell-O, pudding, an unfrosted mini muffin, shortbread cookies, ginger snaps or angel food cake. If you must have a dessert with frosting, butter cream, cream cheese, or chocolate chips, limit yourself to one small cookie or one thin slice of cake.
  • Watch the drinks
    “Besides restricting your alcohol to one or two servings, you also need to restrict the type of alcohol,” says Zumpano. “For example, instead of high-fat eggnog, have a light beer or wine. After that, stick with calorie-free drinks such as water, unsweetened ice tea, hot tea or coffee.”
7. Say No Politely

Many times you feel forced to eat foods because people keep putting it in front of you. Learn to say no politely, such as "No thank you, I’ve had enough. Everything was delicious", or "I couldn’t eat another bite. Everything tasted wonderful". You’ll find saying no isn’t so hard to do after all.

8. Focus on socializing

Don’t stand around the food table when you are at a party – focus your energies on making conversation with others instead of focusing on foods. Conversation is calorie-free.

Remember, the holidays are meant to celebrate good times with family and friends. Enjoy the holidays and plan effective strategies to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Achieving what you sought out for will give you one more good reason for holiday cheer! Happy Holidays!

 

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/prevention/nutrition/holidayeating12_01.aspx

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, diet, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Step Ahead exercise classes, healthy thanksgiving recipes, Healthy, Healthy Meals, Physician Weight Loss, Healthy Recipes, Prevention Heart Disease, online nutrition, Physician Weight Center, OptiFast, Doctor, motivation, holiday weight loss, Healthy Halloween, wellness, healthy entertaining, Step Ahead Wellness Center

Sari's Guiltless Grilled Cheese Recipe

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Dec 06, 2013 @ 01:13 PM

GUILTLESS GRILLED CHEESE

 

Indulge in this sweet variation of grilled cheese.

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Makes 4 servings
8 slices light whole-wheat bread
1 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup fig jam or grape jelly
4 ounces thinly sliced Havarti or Monterey Jack cheese
1 small pear, thinly sliced

1. Brush one side of each slice of bread lightly with olive oil. Turn over four of the slices and spread with jam. Top with cheese and pear, then remaining bread slices, oiled side up.

2. Lightly coat a griddle or large skillet with cooking spray. Preheat over medium heat. Add sandwiches and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until cheese is melted, turning once to brown both sides.

Nutrition Facts per sandwich: 302 calories, 9 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 16 g fat (1 g saturated), 4 g dietary fiber

Tags: meal plans, Sari Greaves, healthy grilled cheese recipe, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, Dr. Neiman, summer sandwiches, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Healthy, Physician Weight Loss, Healthy Recipes, Prevention Heart Disease, lose weight, Physician Weight Center, low calorie vegetables, healthy entertaining, lose weight fast, Step Ahead Wellness Center

Daily Turkey Day Tip

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Nov 22, 2013 @ 03:05 PM

Skipping breakfast and lunch is a sure recipe for overeating at the Thanksgiving table.  Our bodies aren’t meant to handle 2,000-3,000 calories all at once and will store excess calories as fat.  Better to eat smaller amounts and drink lots of water throughout the day and really enjoy a healthful dinner.

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Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, Weight Loss, diet, meal plans, thanksgiving diet, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, prevention, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Fitness, Noelle Lusardi, turkey day recipes, Healthy, Healthy Meals, Physician Weight Loss, Prevention Heart Disease, online nutrition, Physician Weight Center, OptiFast, Doctor, motivation, low calorie vegetables, healthy entertaining, lose weight fast, thanksgiving tips, healthy cocktails, turkey day tips

Daily Turkey Day Tip

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Nov 19, 2013 @ 09:45 AM

Noelle's daily Turkey Day tip:

Be active: Go for a bike ride, a long brisk walk, a run or spend at least one hour at your local gym to burn calories before the big Thanksgiving meal.  Check your local newspaper, town website for various outdoor activities such as 5k Turkey Trots, etc.  It's a great way to rev up the metabolism before the big family meal.  Once the meal is over, go back outside and take a stroll or get the entire family involved in some sort of outdoor fun: ie: pick up basketball or soccer game.. not only will you burn off extra calories, you'll feel lighter and more energized as well!

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Tags: diet, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, Dr. Neiman, prevention, Fitness, Noelle Lusardi, healthy thanksgiving recipes, Healthy, Healthy Meals, Physician Weight Loss, Nutrition, Heart Disease, Prevention Heart Disease, Physician Weight Center, OptiFast, Doctor, healthy thanksgiving, healthy thanksgiving tips, health, healthy entertaining, Step Ahead Wellness Center

Countdown to Thanksgiving

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Nov 18, 2013 @ 12:59 PM

Look for us at Step Ahead to help you get through the holidays with less pain and gain!  We are offering you a DAILY TIP to get through Turkey Day,

Either a calorie burner or a calorie builder- yes, exercises and recipes to help make this day more enjoyable and easier for you and your family.

 Today, we will start with one of our fabulous recipes from our dietician, Sari Greaves, who has unique recipes to add spice with very little calorie price!

Turkey with Herbes de Provence and Citrus

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1 (14 to 15-pound) turkey, neck and giblets reserved 
1 orange, cut into wedges 
1 lemon, cut into wedges 
1 onion, cut into wedges 
6 fresh rosemary sprigs 
6 fresh sage sprigs 
6 fresh oregano sprigs  
2 tablespoons herbes de Provence 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 
6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth (approximate amount) 
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour

To make the turkey: Position the rack in the lowest third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

Rinse the turkey and pat it dry with paper towels. Place the turkey on a rack set inside a large roasting pan. Place the orange and lemon wedges, onion, and 2 sprigs of each fresh herb in the main turkey cavity. Tie the legs together to hold the shape of the turkey. Stir the herbes de Provence, oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of each the salt and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat just until the butter melts. Rub the mixture all over the turkey and between the turkey breast meat and skin. Place the turkey neck and giblets in roasting pan. (Recipecan be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before roasting.)

Cover the turkey breast with foil. Roast for 20 minutes. Pour 3 cups of broth into the pan and stir to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining sprigs of fresh herbs to the pan. Roast the turkey for 40 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.  Pour 1 more cup of broth into the pan. Continue roasting the turkey until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F to 175 degrees F or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 1 hour and 30 minutes longer. Transfer the turkey to a platter and tent with foil. Let stand 30 minutes while preparing the gravy.

To make the gravy: Strain the turkey pan juices from the roasting pan through a sieve and into a 4-cup glass measuring cup; discard the solids. Spoon off the fat from atop the pan juices. Add enough chicken broth, about 1 to 2 cups, to the pan juices to measure 4 cups total. Add the whole wheat flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the broth. Simmer until the gravy thickens slightly, whisking often, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the turkey with the gravy.

Serving: 3 oz (white meat-very lean meats)

Calories: 105

Protein: 21g

Fat: 3g

 

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