Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

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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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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“Chew your food more before swallowing.”

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 @ 11:34 AM

Did you know that chewing more may be one way to reduce food intake and potentially help with weight management? Check out this great article below for the scoop.

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Chewing More Could Mean Eating Less

Author Info

Reviewed by: 
Joseph V. Madia, MD By:

Chewing food more was shown to reduce total food intake in a group of normal weight and overweight people

November 14, 2013

(dailyRx News) When midday hunger hits and it's time to eat, you might not be thinking about how much you chew your food. But by doing so, you could end up eating less.

 

A recent study found a significant decrease in the amount of food eaten when people chewed their food more.

The authors of this study noted that chewing more may be one way to reduce food intake and potentially help with weight management.

Chew your food more before swallowing.

This study was led by James H. Hollis, PhD, of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University. The research team examined whether increasing the number of chews before swallowing food affected meal size in normal weight, overweight and obese people.

Dr. Hollis and colleagues analyzed data from 45 people between the ages of 18 and 45 in Ames, Iowa.

People were excluded from this study if they had previously used or were currently using tobacco products, were underweight, had a history of gastrointestinal disease, were on medication that altered appetite, were dieting or restricting calories, were allergic to the test foods or were pregnant or lactating.

At the beginning of the study, participants were given five servings of Tostino’s pizza rolls and asked to report how many times they chewed their food before swallowing. A researcher sat with each participant to confirm this number.

After this assessment, participants attended three test sessions during their usual lunch time. Each test session was seven days apart.

On each test day, participants were asked to eat their usual breakfast and to avoid alcohol or strenuous exercise for 24 hours before the test session. They were also told not to eat or drink any food after breakfast, with the exception of water, until the test session began.

During the test session, each participant was given 60 Tostino’s pizza rolls. They were told how many times they had to chew before swallowing. Some participants were told to chew their food the same number of times that they chewed at the beginning of the study, some were told to increase their number of chews by 50 percent and some were told to double their number of chews.

Food intake, meal duration, average eating rate and appetite ratings were recorded at the end of every meal for all test sessions.

The researchers found that participants who increased their number of chews by 50 percent ate 9.5 percent less than participants who were told to chew their food the same number of times.

Participants who doubled their number of chews decreased their food intake by about 15 percent compared to those who were told to chew their food the same number of times.

The researchers also found that increasing the number of chews increased meal duration and reduced eating rate.

The researchers did not find a significant difference, however, in appetite ratings between the groups.

The authors of this study noted that normal weight participants had a slower eating rate than overweight and obese participants, which supports previous research. They concluded that more studies are needed to determine the long-term effects of increased chewing on body weight.

This study was published on November 9 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The study authors reported no competing interests.

http://www.dailyrx.com/chewing-food-more-was-shown-reduce-total-food-intake-group-normal-weight-and-overweight-people

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FDA to Ban Trans Fat in Foods

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Nov 08, 2013 @ 10:40 AM

FDA to Ban Trans Fats in Foods

The artificial additives are linked to heart trouble, doctors say

U.S. health officials announced Thursday a plan to phase out heart-harmful trans fats in processed foods and restaurant fare.

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U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said the proposed restrictions on the use of trans fats could prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths.

"The agency has made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils, a major source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not generally recognized as safe for use in food," Hamburg said during a morning news conference. "This is an important step for removing harmful trans fats from processed foods."

Many food companies and restaurants have eliminated trans fats over the past decade, in part because of FDA nutrition label changes enacted in 2006. And some local governments, including New York City, already prohibit their use.

These restrictions have helped reduce trans fat intake among Americans from 4.6 grams daily in 2003 to about 1 gram a day in 2012, the FDA said.

Even so, Hamburg said trans fats "remain an area of significant public health concern." Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The Institute of Medicine concluded that trans fats provide no known health benefits and there is no safe level of consumption of trans fats, Hamburg added.

The medical community welcomed the news about trans fats.

"This represents a very important move by the FDA to help further reduce trans fat dietary intake and improve cardiovascular health in the United States," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, spokesman for the American Heart Association and a cardiology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Many cookies and other baked goods, some microwave pizzas, ready-to-eat frostings and a host of other everyday foods contain trans fats, which are often labeled partially hydrogenated oils.

Trans fats raise total blood cholesterol levels even more than saturated fats, which can lead to heart disease, Fonarow said. They also raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol when used instead of natural oils, he said.

Clinical trials of diets containing trans fats have shown an increased risk of heart attack and premature cardiovascular death, Fonarow added.

Currently, trans fats fall in a category of additives "generally recognized as safe" by the FDA. Under the new proposal, they would be removed from that list and food manufacturers would need to petition the agency before using them. But FDA approval of such petitions is considered unlikely.

Widely used to improve the shelf life, flavor or texture of foods, trans fats are made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil to solidify it.

Many restaurant chains no longer use trans fats, but smaller restaurants may still get trans fats-containing foods from suppliers or use the fats for frying.

The FDA said it would take public comments for two months before setting a timeline to complete the phase-out. "We need to know how much time would be needed for industry to remove partially hydrogenated oils from processed food products should this preliminary determination be finalized," Hamburg said.

Dr. Kenneth Ong, the interim chief of cardiology at Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City, said there are "only a couple of reasons manufacturers use trans fats -- maybe the taste and perhaps the cost. But I am not familiar with any health benefits. In fact, there is much more data to show the opposite."

Samantha Heller, senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, said the only real way to know if a food contains trans fats is to look at the ingredient list for "partially hydrogenated" oils. "This means there are trans fats in that food. Put it back on the shelf and find another option," she said.

Added Rebecca Solomon, a clinical nutrition coordinator at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City: "Nothing good can come from people consuming trans fats. At the end of the day our food technology is sophisticated enough that there are healthier alternatives."

By Steven Reinberg and Margaret Farley Steele
HealthDay Reporters

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about trans fats.



SOURCES: Gregg Fonarow, M.D., spokesman, American Heart Association, and professor, cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; Kenneth Ong, M.D., interim chief, cardiology, Brooklyn Hospital Center, New York City; Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., senior clinical nutritionist, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City; Rebecca Solomon, clinical nutrition coordinator, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City; Nov. 7, 2013, news conference with Margaret Hamburg, M.D., commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

http://m.healthday.com/iphone_article.htm?CID=0B3F45B2&NFID=C&articleId=681939

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The five R's of Motivation

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Nov 06, 2013 @ 09:44 AM

Getting Motivated to Change

If you are struggling to follow your weight management program, it may be because you are having difficulty maintaining motivation and commitment to weight control. Understanding the process required to increase your motivation may help you put your knowledge into action.

Motivation is more complex than simply wanting to do something. Your motivation to pursue a particular behavior is a reflection of your biological programming and psychological factors, such as your value system and the price you attach to success.

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The Five Rs of Motivation help you determine how motivated you are to lose weight. Ask yourself:

  1. Relevant – How is weight management relevant in my life?
  2. Risks – What are the risks in my life if I do not manage my weight?
  3. Rewards – What are the rewards if my life if I manage my weight?
  4. Roadblocks – What are the roadblocks to weight management in my life?
  5. Remove – How can I remove the roadblocks in order to manage my weight?

It’s important to acknowledge the cost of making a change so that it does not subconsciously undermine your motivation to change. It’s even more important, however, to focus on the value of the change in terms of your overall lifestyle. Motivation needs to be combined with readiness to change in order to stimulate action. Change rarely occurs in a straight line, and you may move back and forth through stages of readiness to change before you commit to making a lifestyle change. There are five stages of readiness for weight control – precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. These stages of readiness can be helpful to long-term weight management and lapses.

Lapses are a normal and common part of changing behavior. The important thing is not to give up simply because you’ve had a setback. Every step, even a step backward, is informative if you analyze and learn from it, using it to help you move toward the point where you can maintain your commitment to weight control.

*from the OPTIFAST Lifestyle Education Series™ 'Motivation to Change'

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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)

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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
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    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

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    Recipe Corner: Cheesy Mushroom Quinoa

    Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jul 17, 2013 @ 03:13 PM

    quinoa mushroom pilaf

    Packed with nutrition and a garlicky cheese flavor, this vegetarian recipe will even please carnivores. Questions/Comments? Email Sari Greaves, RDN: sari@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

    1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

    2 teaspoons vegetable oil

    1 head baby bok choy, chopped

    Handful washed kale leaves, stems removed

    1 cup portabella mushrooms, chopped

    1 (15.5 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

    3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

    3/4 teaspoon coriander

    1/4 cup nutritional yeast* or 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheese

    black pepper to taste

    1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.

    2. In a large wok or pan, add the oil, bok choy, kale, mushrooms, beans, garlic powder, and coriander. Saute over medium heat for several minutes, or until kale is wilted and the mushrooms and bok choy are softened.

    3. Add the cooked quinoa and nutritional yeast into the wok and stir. Add black pepper to taste.

    Serves 6 as a side dish.

    Serving size: 3/4 cup: 165 calories, 10 grams protein

    Adapted from Food & Nutrition Magazine, July/August 2013

    *Nutritional yeast doesn't taste like yeast (you know, that strong, beer-like flavor). It comes in both powdered and flaked forms, and tastes nutty, cheesy and delightfully creamy. Many vegans use it as a cheese flavoring substitute, adding it to gravies, sauces, and mac n' cheese dishes. Vegetarians also take advantage of its great nutritional profile. At 60 calories per 2 Tbsp., nutritional yeast is an excellent source of protein, containing essential amino acids; it's full of vitamins, especially B-complex vitamins. You can find nutritional yeast in most grocery or  health food stores, but if it's not available in your area, there are great online sources: Bob's Red Mill or KAL-Yeast Flakes.

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    summer weight loss promotions!


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