Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog


Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Feb 02, 2015 @ 07:49 AM

Need to lose a few pounds before Spring but the long, cold winter days are leaving feeling unmotivated and “blah”?  There is a way out!  Get yourself on track to a happier, healthier you this winter by setting short-term goals for yourself. 

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Be realistic, your ultimate goal is making lifestyle changes, not just temporary adjustments.
Giving yourself plenty of time to accomplish your goals will allow you to adjust to one change before diving into another, therefore breaking up one big challenge into several smaller ones. This makes it easier for you to commit to your new lifestyle without feeling overwhelmed.

Your first goal may be to exercise regularly and drink more water.  Keeping up the motivation
to exercise on a cold winter day instead of curling up under a warm blanket on the sofa can be difficult.  However, in addition to losing pounds, regular exercise will help you lose the winter blues as well.  Exercise is proven to improve mood, mental clarity and emotional well-being. 
So don’t let the weather slow you down… get out from under that blanket, and keep moving!  Participating in the 10,000 Steps Program is an example of ensuring you get enough exercise each and every day.

A second short-term goal example is eating cleaner.  Cut out some refined sugar and eat more fresh fruits, vegetable and whole grains.  Eating clean will give you the energy you'll need to stay in motion and beat the winter blues.  Unsure about how to prepare fruits/vegetables during the winter months when they are not as fresh and plentiful, consider scheduling a consultation with a Registered Dietitian.  He/she can give you some great tips/recipes that will both warm you up and trim you down this winter.

Keeping a food and exercise journal is another great short-term weight loss goal.  Whether it’s a video journal, online journal, or a spiral notebook, keep track of your goals and your time frames. This will help you stay organized and will remind you of your focus. The journal will also allow you to look back at previous mini-goals so that you can see the progress you have made.  And you can write down future goals to stay motivated and excited to tackle your next challenge/goal.

The best part of setting short-term goals...REWARDS.  Besides being proud of yourself for setting and accomplishing your goals, you should also treat yourself every single time you successfully accomplish your goal!  You earned it!!!  Your reward should not be food-related, but instead something that will make you feel pampered. If you reached your goal of toning your arms, buy yourself a sleeveless top.  If you drank 8 glasses of water each day, go get a manicure.  You get the idea!  Your rewards should be tailored to fit your needs. They should be something that will drive you to work harder and then make you feel as though it was worth all of the work. Great rewards will motivate you to stick to your diet and exercise goals, and they will make the road to your overall success even sweeter.

As you accomplish goal after goal, the only thing you’ll “gain” is a healthier, better, stronger and more successful YOU!  You  have nothing to lose but old habits and extra pounds!  If you want to try working with short term goals this winter and can procrastinate until Feb 16th, consider our 10 POUND TAKE DOWN WEIGHT LOSS CHALLENGE.  Give us just one month and we’ll melt up to 10 pounds off of  your body and put you on the fast track to lean, healthy and magnificent…
quickly, safely and naturally with no gimmicks!  You’ll receive a customized diet plan and weekly personal training sessions as well as all support from our certified staff.  Click the link below to sign up!

10 pound take down challenge

Don’t want to wait until Feb 16th, we can offer you a customized program anytime so you can get started Today!  Learn about Step Ahead Wellness Center's personalized weight loss plans created by a medical doctor, registered dietitian, and certified personal trainer.


Get Started Today!





Dr. Deborah Neiman MD, Sari Greaves, RDN & Noelle Lusardi, CPT


49 U.S. Highway 202 Far Hills, NJ 07931 908-470-2235

Tags: jumpstart diet, beat winter blues, medically supervised weight loss center, Physician Weight Loss, personal training, lose weight fast

Good Mood Foods To Beat Winter Blues

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jan 07, 2015 @ 01:40 PM

You probably have heard the expression “you are what you eat.”  If you find yourself cranky and tired, you may be able to boost your mood by changing what you eat and when you eat. Certain foods are key components in the manufacture of powerful brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine may jog your memory, improve performance, improve sleep and boost your mood.

The following mood-boosting strategies will help jump start your new year health resolutions.

Get Started Today!

1. Limit refined carbohydrates.

Refined white starch like white bread, crackers, bagels and rice are digested quickly, leading to a dip in energy and rebound hunger a few hours later. Concentrated sources of sugar like soda, candy, fruit juice, jam and syrup can also create radical spikes (and drops) in your blood sugar, which leave you feeling cranky and tired.

Good mood foods: To lessen volatile blood sugar swings, include high-quality carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruit, legumes, brown or wild rice and oatmeal. High quality carbs trigger the release of serotonin which enhances calmness, improves outlook, and may lessen feelings of depression. Foods rich in soluble fiber such as flaxseeds, oats, barley, apples, pears, sweet potatoes, peas and beans help slow down the absorption of sugar in your blood, potentially lessening mood swings.

2. Incorporate protein with meals.

The addition of protein to a meal or snack will help slow the absorption of carbohydrate in the blood. Dopamine and norepinephrine are released after eating protein, making you feel more alert and focused for hours after eating.

Good mood foods: Choose heart-healthy lean protein such as skinless poultry, seafood, round or loin cuts of red meat, tofu, quinoa, eggs, and low-fat dairy.

3. Boost your intake of Omega-3's.

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can be mood-lifting.

Good mood foods: Choose oily fish (salmon, Atlantic mackerel and sardines), ground flaxseeds, walnuts, canola oil, soy nuts and omega-3 fortified eggs. Wondering whether or not to take an omega-3 supplement? It's always best to get your nutrients from whole foods as a first-line approach to staying healthy.  Always check with your doctor before starting a dietary supplement. For omega-3's, look for supplements that contain 650mg of EPA and DHA combined.

4. Get your B-vitamins.

Folate and vitamin B12 may influence mood by playing a role in serotonin production. Studies have shown that low blood levels of these vitamins are sometimes related to depression.

Good mood foods rich in folate: fortified whole grain breakfast cereals, lentils, black eyes peas, soybeans, oatmeal, mustard greens, beets, broccoli, sunflower seeds, wheat germ and oranges.

Good mood foods rich in vitamin B12: shellfish, wild salmon (fresh or canned), fortified whole grain breakfast cereal, lean beef, low-fat dairy, and eggs.

5. Don't forget about vitamin D.

Although a link between vitamin D and seasonal affective disorder (winter blues) is still speculative, don't discount this sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D may increase levels of serotonin in the brain.

Good mood food sources of vitamin D: fish with bones, low-fat milk, fortified soy milk and egg yolks. Because vitamin D rich foods are limited, it may be beneficial to take a daily multivitamin to reach the recently updated goal of 600 International Units. Check with your doctor before starting a dietary supplement.

6. Stick to a Good Mood Food Eating Pattern.

Eating every 4 to 5 hours throughout the day provides your brain and body with a constant source of fuel. This eating strategy can dramatically prevent dips in your blood sugar and it's easy to do! Eat breakfast within 90 minutes of waking up, lunch, an afternoon snack, and a sensible dinner.

Limit short-term mood boosters such as coffee, chocolate, tea, and energy drinks which deliver a quick energy surge followed by a crash. The energy boost you may feel is often short-lived. Additionally, many commercial energy drinks are loaded with added sugar and can be quite calorie-laden.

7. Stay hydrated and exercise.

Dehydration and fatigue go hand-in-hand. The solution is simple- drink plenty of water (fruits and vegetables count towards your daily fluid intake!) or other unsweetened beverages at regular intervals. Studies indicate that regular exercise can relieve depression and trigger physiological changes that make more energy available throughout the day.

If this type of eating pattern is new to you, keep in mind that improvements in your mood may take a few weeks....but you will ultimately feel better!

Make your new year's health resolutions come true. Learn about Step Ahead Wellness Center's personalized weight loss programs created by a medical doctor, registered dietitian, and certified personal trainer.  


Dr. Deborah Neiman MD, Sari Greaves, RDN & Noelle Lusardi, CPT

49 U.S. Highway 202 Far Hills, NJ 07931 908-470-2235

Tags: beat winter blues, good mood foods, personalized weight loss