Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Corinne Chou, MSN, NP-C

Recent Posts

Turkey time tips

Posted by Corinne Chou, MSN, NP-C on Wed, Nov 22, 2017 @ 11:47 PM

Happy Thanksgiving! The most notorious “pigging” out day is finally here. But don’t let that derail your weight loss progress.  Check off some of these turkey time tips this year.

thanksgiving dinner.jpg

Hosting. Are you the cook? Try revamping some of your key dishes with less sugar and fat. Use sugar substitutes in desserts, fat free broth in gravy, or try fat free yogurt/sour creams in creamy dishes such as mashed potatoes or dips.

Dress for the part. A less form fitting outfit is by far more comfy.  However, a form fitting outfit will help minimize overeating by causing you to feel uncomfortable more quickly as you eat.

Eat first. Don’t sit at the table hungry. One hour before mealtime, have a snack that is nutritious and filling. Another option, snack on the veggie appetizer platter while you are in nibble mode.

Pick an indulgence. Time to choose, sweets or alcohol? drinks and desserts.jpgBoth are heavy hitters in the calorie department and in the over indulgence department. Choose one and in a portion controlled serving.

Wrap it up. Complete your meal with a “finisher.” Something that guarantees no more picking. Try a breath mint, reapplying lipstick, even some water on your plate to prevent third and fourth servings.

Best helper. Be the first to help with the clean up. Clearing and washing dishes or the walk back and forth to the kitchen are extra calories used that sitting won’t burn.

Pump it up. Physical activity shouldn’t be far from your mind. Before or after the big meal are great bonding times with the family. Take a stroll around the block. How about a little touch football?

family touch football.jpeg 

General tips:

Half your plate should be vegetables, one quarter protein, one quarter fat/carbs.

Drink lots of water.

Savor each bite and don’t forget to put your fork down between bites.

Try for weight maintenance during this stressful holiday.


Wishing you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving!

help the weight "fall" off

Posted by Corinne Chou, MSN, NP-C on Mon, Oct 16, 2017 @ 11:37 PM

Summer is out and Fall is here. Now is the perfect time to “step up” and start again and continue with your weight loss goals.

    • Fill out your fall meals with roasted vegetables, salads with fresh apples, or heartier stews with turnips, squash, or sweet potatoes. Cooler weather is the perfect excuse to bring out the slow cooker. Leftovers are easily turned into new dishes for the next meal, or it can guarantee healthier, more filling dinners.
  • fall root veg.jpgSometimes weight loss is just about getting on a schedule and sticking to it. Back into the swing of things with school, work, or weekend activities? Schedule in some wellness time, 30 minutes of walking, pre-work gym workout, or even setting the goal of meal planning and prepping. Routines form habits, and habits (especially the healthy ones) help with weight loss. Don’t forget to get enough hours of sleep. Regular sleep and wake times helps the body to sleep better, and that can help avoid adding pounds.
  • fall walking.jpgFall cools down the weather and make it tolerable to get outdoors to active. The best motivator? Fall foliage! Enjoy the outdoor scenery around the neighborhood, at the local park, or a weekend getaway. No time for that? Remember, even chores like raking leaves can count as physical activity.
  • Not sure how to get into a physical activity program? Set a goal and work towards it. There are plenty of charity runs and 5Ks (ie: A local turkey trot in November) that can give you an easy goal to try to achieve in a short amount of time.
  • Stay hydrated. Bored of the water? Cooler weather is the perfect time to incorporate herbal teas. Just watch the calorie loaded coffee drinks (like pumpkin spiced lattes!) tea.jpg

Summer Fun

Posted by Corinne Chou, MSN, NP-C on Wed, Jul 19, 2017 @ 11:54 PM

The heat is here! Longer days, and plenty of opportunity to squash those excuses from winter. “I’ll walk when the weather is nicer” or “when it’s warm outside I’ll get out more.” Do these sound familiar? If they do, it’s time to check in and see if you are actually taking advantage of that warm weather.

If the word “exercising” makes you cringe, you might be thinking of the most horrid activity from your childhood gym class. Thus, finding many reasons (aka excuses) to justify NOT exercising. “It’s too hot,” “I’d rather sip on some cocktails” or “I’m so much busier now, the weekends are completely filled” may be a running dialogue. Instead, embrace this time and find an activity that will be fun for you (and just so happens to also be active!)

1)Walking! Always my number one activity. Take your pet for a walk, do an extra lap before and after getting the mail, get to an appointment early and walk beforehand! If you don’t have time to do 30 minutes in one chunk, split it in 2 and get twice the fun. A “before your day gets started” 15 minute walk, and “end of the day” 15 minute walk can be energizing, yet still short and sweet. (30 minutes burns 150 calories)


2) Dance. Whether you do it in the privacy of your own home with music blasting and no one looking, or venturing out to a ballroom or ballet dance class, this is a great way to add in physical activity and have fun. 10 minutes (or 3 songs) can take off 150 calories.

hiking.jpg3) Hiking. A great way to spend time with friends and enjoy the scenery. Landscapes can vary from easy paved roads, to more challenging terrain. Some local spots include Jockey Hollow or Hacklebarney State Park, to slightly farther but still close Delaware Water Gap or the Catskills. (30 minutes burns 230 calories)

4) Swimming. Is the back hurting? The knees aching? Non-weight bearing exercises can be a solution, and swimming is perfect. A local community pool, traveling and visiting a hotel pool, or going to the beach or lake, all provide that ideal opportunity to enjoy the weather and to incorporate some physical activity. (220 calories)

5) Water sports: Have access to a beach or lake and are willing to try something new? Kayaking, paddleboarding, or even snorkeling are fun water activities that burn 150-250 calories.paddleboardings.jpg

Physical activity doesn’t have to be boring or painful. Whatever activity you find enjoyable and interesting is what you should do. The most important part is to do it and keep up with it!


Check us out on Facebook, and our #fitnessfriday ideas

Seven Summer Tasty Tips

Posted by Corinne Chou, MSN, NP-C on Thu, May 25, 2017 @ 11:52 PM


With the unofficial mark of the summer just around the corner, it’s time to review some summer tips to stay healthy and on track. Here’s how to avoid some unwanted pounds and maintain your wellness goals:                                                              veg kabob.jpg

1) Add fruit and veggies to your plate and eat those items first. Try a vegetable kabob on the grill for a tasty complement to your protein of choice.

PORTION TIP: ½ of your plate should be veg, ¼ protein, ¼ grain

2) Leaner and portion size are key to picking proteins. If you are willing to try something other than turkey or chicken, a bison burger is a nice flavorful option that is lower in calories. Or opt for a Portobello mushroom and replace that meat altogether.

FOOD FACT: Bison burger is 143 calories, 43% total fat, 2.4g fat vs Beef burger 283 calories, 46% total fat, 8g fat.

3) Just because “salad” is in the title of a dish, that does not automatically equal "healthy." Creamier salads, like macaroni and potato salads are loaded with extra calories, higher saturated fats and carbohydrates. Instead, stick with the basics, and the greener the better.

FOOD FACT: 1 cup of potato salad has 357 calories, 20g fat, 1300mg sodium.

drink.jpg4) Eat (not drink) your calories. Alcoholic and fruit drinks can be huge culprits for unwanted calories. Pass on the sugary mixes, syrups, or frozen drinks. Choose those with lemon, lime, or seltzer water. Drink water in between your drinks and set a limit.

PORTION TIP: 12oz light beer, 5oz wine, ½ oz of distilled spirits (only 1-2 drinks per day)

5) Be a thoughtful guest. Just because you may not know what’s on the menu doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. Instead, offer to bring a dish. Take the opportunity to ensure that you will have a healthy, filling meal while still staying within your goals.

6) Have one, not all. If you feel that you absolutely, cannot pass up on a dish: choose a spoonful not a scoopful of potato salad, one piece of BBQ slathered protein, and the rest leaner meats, or half a slice of cake instead of the whole.

TIP: Limit yourself to one plate of food and once that's done, no seconds.

7) Don’t sit! Instead of sitting and munching away while you’re socializing, grab a friend and go for a walk, or engage in a game of corn hole or horse shoe. A half hour of active playing (and not just sitting between turns) can easily burn 100 calories and give yourself a little room to indulge at the same time.cornhole.jpg

As always, weight loss and management relies heavily on preparation and planning. Have a back-up plan and no excuses.

More than mother's day brunch

Posted by Corinne Chou, MSN, NP-C on Sat, May 06, 2017 @ 05:15 PM


Roses are red, Violets are blue

Without our Moms, what would we do?

How do we say all things unsaid,

to show our gratitude and love widespread?

Perhaps a celebration keeps Mom fed.

With big brunch buffets or dinners with bread. 

There are many ways to say “thank you”

With gifts that Mom will surely say woohoo!

Rather than serving a high calorie spread.

Why not say “I love you Mom” with these ideas instead?

So a very Happy Mother’s Day to you this year

And to all your loved ones you hold dear!

Enjoy being with your Mom wherever you tread

In health and wellness from StepAhead!


  • image-1.pngFrom a fellow StepAheader, Chelsea Charles “Count me Healthy” bracelets are an inconspicuous way to lead a healthier lifestyle. These bracelets have beads that can only be moved by the wearer. They are a great way to count goals: from glasses of water to blessings each day. These are a fashionable gift any mom can use. Prices start from $45
  • FitBit tracker: a more traditional health tracker that can measure steps, heart rate, and sleep to name a few features. It can also connect to your smartphone, track your food calories, and allow you to compete with your friends. It comes in a variety of options, starting at $60.
  • Can’t get away from the sweet tooth? Try to pick a dark chocolate that’s lower in calories and sugar and take advantage of the its healthy antioxidant benefits. Or you can pair it with a fruit arrangement so everyone can enjoy.
  • For the cook: Pair a healthy cookbook with a kitchen gadget. With summer coming soon, a grill pan or vegetable steamer canZoodles-Shrimp-Pasta-2-web.jpg come in handy. An oil mister will aid in healthier cooking. Another StepAheader uses a vegetable spiralizer to turn her healthy plate of vegetables into more creative dishes.
  • Try a new physical activity together: yoga, Pilates, Barre, or even a spin class. What better way to show Mom how much you care than by putting her health first? Or for the less adventurous take advantage of the outdoors and get extra steps in before you go out to eat. Head out for a walk to a local arboretum and enjoy the flowers, or take a stroll at Duke Farms to get those steps in.

However, you choose to spend Mother's Day, let your wellness progress be enhanced and incorporated into your life (and those around you) instead of letting it be a bump in your road to success!

Tags: Mother's Day Gift