February Newsletter

In This Issue
February Is...
Winter Workout Checklist
A Note from Lauren...

Nutrition Energy

In the News!


Smart Snacking


Lauren Antonucci, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDE, CDN

 Protein Primer

Skinnygirl Daily

Vanessa Stasio, MS, RDN, CDN

**Upcoming Events**

Postponed due to weather, will announce a new date soon!
Where: UWS location: 140 West 72nd St 
Presenting: Lauren Antonucci, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDE, CDN

Follow us on Twitter to receive nutrition & health tips as well as information about upcoming events! 


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Issue: #52February 2015
Show Your Heart Some Love!


February is Heart Month! The American Heart Association tells us that a healthy diet and lifestyle are our best weapons to fight cardiovascular disease, which includes a suite of symptoms such as high cholesterol and hypertension that can put you at risk for heart attack, stroke, or heart failure. Take a look at our recommendations for a healthy heart and make sure you're showing yourself some love this month (and always!).


Eat fruits and vegetables- Not only do they make for a pretty plate, but fruits and vegetables also are key for a healthy ticker. Fruits and veggies, when eaten in their whole form with the skin left on, are filled with fiber that can help reduce cholesterol levels. Also, eating fruits and vegetables that are high in potassium, such as sweet potatoes, squash, bananas, broccoli, and leafy greens, can help balance rising sodium levels that contribute to high blood pressure. If you find yourself far from meeting the recommendation of eating 4-5 servings a day at this moment, that's okay! Start making small changes, such as trying one new color each week, adding more vegetables to foods you already love, or adding fruit to dessert.


Healthy fats for all- Not all fats should be demonized as unhealthy. Polyunsaturated fats, such as omega-6s and omega-3s, are helpful in lowering total and LDL cholesterol, and reducing the risk of high blood pressure and inflammation. Incorporating fish into your diet at least two times a week has been proven to benefit anyone at risk, or who already has, cardiovascular disease. Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and trout, are especially high in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and are low in saturated fat. A heart healthy diet also means selecting liquid cooking oils such as safflower, sunflower, canola, and olive oil.


Avoid processed and refined- Have you ever wondered why that pound cake tastes so good? Or why you can't seem to eat only one snack chip? Those lingering, but un-satiating, sweet and salty flavors are the result of heavy processing and refining that leave little nutritional value to our foods. The added sweeteners and white sugars in pastries, candies, and soda lead to high levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, while actually lowering the more beneficial HDL cholesterol. Trans fats, from those chips and fried foods, are also known to decrease HDL cholesterol, thereby increasing inflammation in our delicate arteries. Remember, when cutting out foods high in saturated and trans fats replace them with foods high in protein, fiber, and/or unsaturated fats, not refined carbohydrates!


Be active- Thirty minutes a day, five times a week! Physical activity is anything that makes you move your body and burn calories. Aerobic activities that are somewhat more vigorous, such as running, biking, and swimming, are especially beneficial for those already at risk for heart disease and would benefit from lowering their blood pressure and cholesterol.


Less stress- Not only can stress feel like an emotional burden, but it can affect you physically as well, especially your heart. For many people, a stressful situation often leads them right into the arms of their comforting bad habits, whether that be eating ice cream, staying in to watch movies, smoking, or drinking alcohol. These detrimental behaviors can cause increased blood sugar levels, raise cholesterol, and promote blood clotting. It is also thought that the chemical changes, such as increased adrenaline, that occur in our body during times of stress raise blood pressure and inflammatory markers that contribute to heart disease. Healthy strategies for stress could include: talking with family, going for a walk, laughing, and getting enough sleep. How do you manage stress?


Here's an elegant recipe, including healthy fats and vegetables that can easily be whipped up. Your heart will thank you!


Almond and Lemon Crusted Fish with Spinach

Courtesy of eatingwell.com

Makes: 4 servings 

Active Time: 25 minutes 

Total Time: 25 minutes


  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon, divided
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 1/4 pounds cod (see Tip) or halibut, cut into 4 portions
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 1 pound baby spinach
  • Lemon wedges for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Combine lemon zest, almonds, dill, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Place fish on the prepared baking sheet and spread each portion with 1 teaspoon mustard. Divide the almond mixture among the portions, pressing it onto the mustard.
  4. Bake the fish until opaque in the center, about 7 to 9 minutes, depending on thickness.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not brown, about 30 seconds. Stir in spinach, lemon juice and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the spinach is just wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Cover to keep warm. Serve the fish with the spinach and lemon wedges, if desired.


Nutrition Information

Per serving: 249 calories; 13 g fat (1 g sat, 8 g mono); 46 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 28 g protein; 4 g fiber; 496 mg sodium; 1025 mg potassium.


Winter Workout Checklist



It's been a snowy, slushy, and icy few weeks here in the city thanks to Snowstorm Juno- we hope everyone has stayed safe and warm! And speaking of safety, how have all of you winter workout warriors been managing in these cold conditions? Cold temperatures, slick roads, and less sunlight are all concerns to take into consideration during the winter months, sometimes convincing people to abandon their exercise goals. But if you're well prepared, there's no reason why you can't plow through your workouts outside safely and enjoyably. 


Here's a quick checklist for working out outdoors:

  1. Warm up before heading outside. Stretch, do jumping jacks, or jump rope- moving around indoors will get your blood moving and gradually raise your heart rate, making for a smooth start to your outdoor workout.
  2. Dress warmly. When you're dressed appropriately and moving easily, your body will produce plenty of body heat to offset the cold. It's very important to cover your nose, fingers, and ears, as these are the parts of your body most vulnerable to frostbite first. Merino wool is a highly recommended fabric that traps warm air and is comfortable to move in. When it's snowing or raining, a well-ventilated shell will protect you from the elements, as well as let your sweat escape.
  3. Effort over speed. When there is snow and ice on the ground, don't worry so much about your speed. Find a pace that feels comfortable for you and remind yourself of the extra effort your calves are giving to provide more stable footing!
  4. Don't forget to hydrate. Research says you feel 40 percent less thirsty in the cold than when you're warm, but remember to keep sipping when you're working out! Even if you don't see or feel it, you are still sweating and losing water when exercising out in the cold, so it's important to remain hydrated throughout the day.
  5. Get out of those clothes. No, we don't mean to run in your birthday suit! After your workout, remove damp clothes immediately and get warm by taking a hot shower or slipping into a warm sweater. Wet clothes increase heat loss, which is the last thing you want after working out so hard!

As long as you're dressed well, listening to your body, and paying attention to the weather forecast, there's no reason why those little white flakes should get in the way of a safe and gratifying workout. 


Congratulations to our RD Elizabeth Tripp!


Congratulations to our dietitian Elizabeth Tripp on her first publication in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism!  For the past 3 years, Liz has been involved in researching how the consumption of Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE's) lead to increase risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer Disease.


Congratulations to her and her fellow researchers on this wonderful achievement!


A Note from Lauren...


As a mom myself, I understand the challenges faced with balancing work, kids, and our own personal health.  Moms in Training is a great organization focused on helping moms get in shape with other moms while supporting cancer research.  Starting April 20, I will be coaching sessions for Moms in Training on Friday mornings beginning at 9:30am.  We will meet at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park (off 72nd Street).  I hope to see many moms there!


If you would like more information on this wonderful organization, please see their website HERE.


Have a question for one of our Dietitians? Shoot us an email or give us a call at 646.361.6803.   


Lauren Antonucci, Director
Nutrition Energy