Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

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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Last Minute Gifts Ideas for the Health Guru In Your Life

Posted by deborah neiman on Thu, Dec 19, 2013 @ 01:48 PM

Need last minute gift ideas? We are here to help!  Wellnessmama.com has unique gift ideas for the Health Guru in your life. Enjoy!

describe the imageWake Up Light Alarm Clock: A natural wake up light can make a big difference in waking up and energy levels throughout the day. Basically, it is an alarm clock that gradually brightens with a daylight-type bulb and nature sounds instead of a blaring horn sound.

This particular one is recommended by the National Sleep Foundation and waking up gradually and naturally can have a big impact on energy levels and proper hormone production throughout the day.

 

Rumble Roller great gift idea for men deep tissue massage at home 150x150 resized 600Rumble RollerThis is one of my favorite gifts of all time too. Basically, it is a deep tissue massage at home, so it is a lot cheaper than regular massages in the long run.

It doesn’t take up much room and it is wonderful for sore muscles! I use this regularly and it has made a big difference in my muscle tension. Plus, it looks manly and tough, so men don’t mind using it. Here is the Rumble Roller I got and there are two different sizes and firmness levels.

Earthing Mat great gift idea to improve sleep and reduce stress 150x150 resized 600Earthing Mat: I’ve written about Earthing before and how an earthing mat helps me sleep a lot better. The basic concept is that it electrically grounds your body to help reduce inflammation, improve sleep, and even stops snoring!

Here is the one we use, and it comes with a book about the benefits of Earthing, and an outlet checker to check the ground of your outlet.

 

Squatty Potty for better digestion and health weird but it works 150x150 resized 600Squatty Potty: This would definitely be a gift for someone you have a special relationship with who won’t take it the wrong way! ASquatty Potty is a special stool that stows under the toilet and lets the user sit in a more natural “squatting” position when doing his business.

As an added plus, the Squatty Potty doubles as a great stool for potty training, so it gets a lot of use at our house!

41uzhmSPqgL 150x150 resized 600Minimalist Shoes: Barefoot shoes like Vibram Five Fingers have gained popularity lately, as they are supposed to help improve your running form, help with posture and sore joints, and just be really comfortable. Yes, these are those shoes with toes!

I have a pair of the Women’s KSOs and I LOVE them. They can be tough to run on really hard surfaces with if you heel-strike when you run, but they are very comfortable and I wear them all the time.

In an attempt at style, Vibram has recently released some hot pink versions of their shoes, as well as some that look more like women’s flats.

 

http://wellnessmama.com/12988/top-healthy-christmas-gift-ideas/

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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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8 Holiday Treats Under 80 Calories

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 @ 02:43 PM

We have been loving Health.com this holiday season with great tips on staying healthy. Check out this article for delicious holiday treats under 80 calories!

With the holidays just around the corner, breaking a diet could happen easily. Stay on track with these festive treats that are shockingly light.

Mulled wine

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From Health magazine

79 Calories

3 ounces red wine simmered with 3 cloves and 1 thin orange slice

Rosy red bites

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44 Calories

Red velvet mini cupcake with cream cheese frosting and cherry (bakedbymelissa.com)

Grizzly treat

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58 Calories

Lindt Milk Chocolate Bear

Minty musts

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68 Calories

Peppermint malted milk balls(nutsonline.com)

Gingerbread cookie

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57 Calories

3- by 2-inch cookie, 1 teaspoonvanilla icing, and 3 Wilton Cinnamon Drops

One for the crunch

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73 Calories

3 Pieces peanut brittle (1/2 ounce)

Truly truffle

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63 Calories

Fig Truffle (bissingers.com)

Breath-freshening sweets

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70 Calories

Peppermint Puffs(hammondscandies.com)

 

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20543961_last,00.html

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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