Debra Wein Pic
Friday, January 18, 2013
This Week's Topics
Mediterranean Salmon Baked in Foil
Worthwhile Links
Stressed Kids Eat More Junk Food
Gaming and Burning
Measure YOUR Metabolism!

Mediterranean Salmon Baked in Foil



Olive oil cooking spray

2 4-oz boneless salmon fillets (wild)

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved

3/4 cup diced zucchini

1/2 cup cooked or BPA-free canned chickpeas

1/4 cup chopped yellow onion

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp crumbled low-fat feta cheese

2 tbsp chopped fresh basil



Preheat oven to 425F. Cut two 14-inch squares of foil and mist tops of each with cooking spray. Place one piece salmon on each piece of foil. (NOTE: If using skin-on fillets, arrange skin side down.) Season salmon with salt and pepper.

In a medium bowl, combine garlic, tomatoes, zucchini, chickpeas, onion and lemon juice. Spoon mixture over salmon, dividing evenly. Bring all sides together over top of salmon and fold over to form a sealed packet.

Transfer packets to a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for five minutes before opening. Carefully open packets. To serve, sprinkle with feta and basil.


Nutrition Analysis

Per serving (1 salmon fillet and 1 cup vegetable mixture): Calories: 275, Total Fat: 9 g, Sat. Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g, Omega-3s: 1,990 mg, Omega-6s: 560 mg, Carbs: 18 g, Fiber: 4 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein 29 g, Sodium: 431 mg, Cholesterol: 65 mg



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The flu! It seems to be everywhere. Here in Boston, the mayor even declared a public health emergency.


Here is a useful website for tips on managing the flu if you have it, and preventing it if you don't. 


Have a (hopefully!) healthy week!



Stressed Kids Eat More Junk Food

For many people, high stress means more junk food. We have all been in situations where our bodies and minds are tired and overwhelmed, and perhaps we just don't have the energy or willpower to make healthful choices. Junk food, with its temporary soothing effect seems like the best option. Of course, we all know that making unhealthful choices time and time again can lead to weight gain and a number of diseases.


To date, most research on the food/stress response has been in adults. However, in an interesting study published in the journal Appetite, researchers looked at the effect stress has on children's food choices. Researchers found that when children are faced with stress they too eat more, particularly foods that are higher in fat.


Four hundred thirty-seven children ages five to twelve completed various stress questionnaires regarding stressful situations -- from emotions (happy, sad and angry) to problems (emotional or peer-related). In addition to stress levels, the children also provided data about their eating habits: frequency of fatty foods, sweet foods, snacks (fat and sweet), fruits and vegetables. 


At the end of the study, the researchers found that stressful events, negative emotions, and problems were positively associated with emotional eating. Specifically, when a child reported problems, for example emotional or peer-related, they also reported an increase in both sweet and fatty food consumption. Overall, stress was associated with emotional eating and an unhealthier dietary pattern which, the researchers point out, could lead to weight gain and weight-related problems.


Bottom line: High stress levels in all ages can lead to over consumption of unhealthful foods. To combat this, identify the situations that cause you to overeat and try to find some other way to relax -- perhaps going outside in the natural sunlight for a nice walk or performing a few simple stretches.



Gaming and Burning 

Many video games require nothing more than alertness and fast fingers; neither activity burns many calories or increases one's energy level. There are, however, a set of active video games that really require the user to move. This is great news for physically inactive children, but do they really work to burn calories? Researchers at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) were determined to find out. 


The researchers recruited 104 kids in grades 3 through 8 from a public school in the District of Columbia. The researchers wanted to see how traditional Physical Education (P.E.) activities would stack up against Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) and another active video game called Winds of Orbis: An Active Adventure (Orbis).


The kids in the study reported to their regularly scheduled physical education classes but were randomly assigned to three, 20-minute sessions of DDR, Orbis or their usual gym class. Kids playing DDR dance along to electronic music in ever-increasing and complicated patterns. Those using Orbis play the role of a virtual superhero that climbs, jumps, slides and has other sorts of active adventures. The testing was supervised by a researcher who measured each child's energy expenditure during the study sessions.


Not surprisingly, the researchers discovered that, on average, kids expended more energy when they participated in the P.E. activities. What was interesting was that for children in grades 3 through 5 the active video games moved enough to meet the government recommendations for "vigorous activity." The researchers feel this is especially important for children who live in areas where public park/playground access is limited.


Bottom Line: Childhood obesity, which now affects an estimated 17 percent of all U.S. children and teenagers, is a serious problem. Moving more, even using video games, helps and can set children up for a healthier lifetime of movement.



About Sensible Nutrition 

How is YOUR metabolism? 

Ever wonder if your metabolism is keeping you from reaching your weight goals? Let a Sensible Nutrition RD measure YOUR metabolism and tell you the truth! Call 781-741-5483 or send an email to to schedule your appointment.  


About Sensible Nutrition

Sensible Nutrition is a consulting firm established in 1994 that provides nutrition and fitness services to individuals, universities, corporate wellness programs and nonprofit groups. SN's client list includes the United States Coast Guard, Blue Cross Blue Shield, EMC, Putnam Investments, Corcoran Jennison, Harvard Business School, the Boston Ballet and Children's Hospital. For more information about our corporate wellness services, please check us out at


SN services: One-to-one counseling, fitness counseling and training, group lectures, metabolism measures and more! Let the Sensible Nutrition staff develop a nutrition program to help you finally reach your health and weight goals! Gift certificates are available!


Debra Wein, MS, RD, LDN,  President and Co-Founder writes a regular nutrition column for the National Strength and Conditioning Association's  Performance Training Journal, has been quoted in Family Circle, Muscle & Fitness, Shape, Self, Men's Health, Allure and Prevention and has appeared on Fox 25, Channel 56, Channel 5, New England Cable News and several radio stations.


Contact us at or 781-741-5483.

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