September Newsletter

In This Issue
Wonderful Watermelon!
NYC Meal Delivery Services (Part 2)
NYC Meal Delivery Services (Part 2)
A Note from Lauren...
Nutrition Energy
In the News!

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

Skinnygirl Daily
Vanessa Costa, MS, RDN, CDN
Lauren Antonucci, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDE, CDN
Lauren Antonucci, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDE, CDN

**Upcoming Events**

Nutrition & Fitness for Moms
When: Tues, Sept 29th
Time: 6-8pm
Where: Athleta, 
UES: 85th & 3rd
Lauren Antonucci, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDE, CDN

Nutrition and Hydration Strategies for Marathoners
When: Wed, Oct 7th
Time: 6:30pm
Where: JackRabbit Sports, UES
Lauren Antonucci, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDE, CDN

Marathon Nutrition Clinic, Hosted by Empire Triathlon Club
When: Tues, Oct 13th
Time: 8-9pm
Where: NY Running Company, Columbus Circle
Lauren Antonucci, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDE, CDN

Click the links below to learn more about these great organizations:

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Issue: #59September 2015
Pickles!  The History, The Nutrition, and Making Them at Home with The Quick Pickle Kit!
Pickles are everywhere!  Though commonly made from cucumbers, pickles can be made from an endless variety of vegetables, along with fruits and even fish! You can find an assortment of salty, sweet, spicy, and sour flavors, or a combination.  Everyone loves a good pickle at a BBQ-right!?...but do you know the history of pickles?  Neither did we, so we did a little research.  

Pickles have been around for thousands of years, dating as far back as 2030 BC, when cucumbers were brought from their native country of India to pickle in the Trigris Valley.  They are mentioned in the Bible, in Shakespeare's stories, and Cleopatra attributed her good looks to the pickles in her diet.  Christopher Columbus brought pickles to the new world, Napoleon fed them to his armies, and many sailors avoided scurvy due to their nutritional benefit of having Vitamin C.

The English word "pickle" comes from the Dutch 'pekelmeaning a solution, such as spiced brine, for preserving and flavoring food.

According to the NSDA, sour cucumber pickles contain a variety of micronutrients, such as iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, vitamin B-12, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin K.  Pickles can be a good source of antioxidants, can encourage healthy bacteria growth in our digestive systems (probiotic bacteria), and studies have shown that consuming vinegar based pickles improves hemoglobin levels in diabetic patients, which in turn helps in controlling diabetes.

Our Nutrition Energy Director, Lauren Antonucci was recently bequeathed a Quick Pickle Kit and asked to try to make pickles at home. Here is Lauren's experience with the Quick Pickle Kit: 

"I was, at first, both excited and daunted by the task of making pickles. I had never made them before, but love eating them, especially after a long or strenuous ride or run. I also love the idea of making them myself and being able to control the flavorings. Finally, I thought it would be a great way to have ready to eat veggies on hand (cucs, carrots, beets, cauliflower), so I was ready to try. Andrea Wasko, the developer of the Quick Pickle Kit, assured me it would be easy, and my good friend Erica Agran, had tried and loved it, so I was in. I diligently read through Andrea's history and making of pickles book in one evening and headed to buy veggies the next morning. I purchased cucumbers a cauliflower, carrots and green tomatoes from my farmers market. The woman there was excited for me and asked me to tell her how my pickles turned out!  I headed home and began chopping. After that the rest was history. I put the veggie in as instructed (heavier ones on bottom), add the enclosed salts and seasoning included in the Quick Pickle Kit and vinegar as instructed. Then I heated the entire jar on my stove, let it cool, and put it in the fridge for three days. I felt a bit like a kid 3 days before Christmas, excitedly looking and checking on my pickles-to-be in my fridge. On day three I served them at dinner and they were a hit! My husband could not stop raving about them, the kids liked the cucumber "pickles" and I loved the cauliflower best. Overall it was a fun and easy way to make and now eat veg. I love that they are so many recipes included and that I can pickle several veggies at once. More bang for my pickling buck. We are still eating through this large jar, but I will definitely make them again. Thanks to Andrea for sending us the Kit...and for introducing us to pickling!"

One final note about Pickles: Almost all pickles contain high amounts of salt (not only adding to the taste, but helping in preservation keeping away unwanted bacteria, fungi, and yeast), so those with heart conditions, such as hypertension and congestive heart failure, should avoid eating pickles or limiting to only occasional consumption.  However, for those who are losing salt in their sweat (such as athletes!) and need re-hydrating, the salt in pickles can be especially helpful.

If you want to try making your own pickles at home you can find The Quick Pickle Kit on Facebook or Happy Pickling!!! ;)

The Importance of Salt with Exercise...and a Great Product (and Discount!)!

As fall approaches, there is one thing on every Nutrition Energy Sports Dietitians mind, and that is fueling athletes for the upcoming flurry of fall marathons, including our very own NYC marathon. At this time of year we are always speaking about, and reminding people to supplement with, electrolytes/salt during long training runs. To that end, we often use both sports drinks AND additional salt tabs/packets. 

This fall, the kind folks at Salt Stick have provided us with samples and a 20% of discount code for all Nutrition Energy clients and friends to use.  Please visit their website ( HERE) to learn more about this great product, and use the following discount codes to purchase (HERE):
  • ENERGY20 = 20% OFF
  • ENERGY360 = 3 bottles of Caps 100ct for $60
A bit of education/reminder about sweating/sweat rates and hydration...and the importance of replacing sodium during and after exercise.
  • Sweat helps the body stay cool, which keeps us from overheating. However sweating for prolonged periods of time, (as in during endurance exercise), can lead to dehydration-which slows you down and can also lead to unwanted side effects including slowed motor skills, muscle cramping, headache and overheating. Replacing fluids lost to sweat during exercise is of utmost importance! 
  • It is important to replace the fluids - and also electrolytes - lost in sweat. The most important electrolyte to replace during exercise is sodium. The addition of sodium to your drinks/hydration plan helps stimulates thirst, which will help you voluntarily drink adequately while sweating. Additionally, taking in sodium while exercise will help keep your blood balanced, and prevent hyponatremia, a dangerous condition in which the sodium concentration of your blood dips below normal to unsafe levels. 
  • To ensure proper hydration, you should drink fluids throughout the day, and check to see that your urine color is pale yellow, not dark (apple juice color). During exercise/long runs plan to drink early and often, every 15 minutes or so. Use sports drinks as your first choice for hydration during your marathon training, as they contain the fluids, carbohydrates AND sodium you need to continue to feel your best up to the end. Supplement with salt tablets/packets, etc. as needed and as practiced in training-generally 1-2 times per hour during a marathon, or at least 2 times. 
  • We like to have our athletes conduct periodic sweat tests, in which you weigh yourself before and after your workout and then multiply the weight lost during that run (which is all water lost due to sweat) by 16oz/pound lost.  Once you have this number, you can use it to determine your fluid needs during your next workout.
If you are still unsure of your hydration and sodium needs during your long runs, and for your upcoming marathon or other endurance event, please reach out to us ASAP so that we can help you get what you need to feel your best. You can email us:, or tweet us @NutritionEnergy with a quick question.

NYC Meal Delivery Services (Part 3): Providing all the enjoyment with none of the work

We have two more meal delivery companies this month, Fresh Direct and Ritual:

Fresh Direct:
Not only can you get your groceries, but you can also get a wide variety of ready-to-heat meals, meal kits, and fresh salads straight to your door. No matter your food preferences or dietary needs, there are meals for everyone from vegans to meat lovers and everything in between.  This is especially helpful with families being busier now kids are back in school.  There are healthy prepared meals for your busiest school nights, salads for mom and dad for work, and fresh fruit for anytime snacks!  Remember to order a variety of fruit so you not only have an assortment of colors and nutrients, but you have some you need eat quickly (berries, melons, etc.) and seasonal fall fruits that will keep to the end of the week (apples, pears, etc.) so you never run out!
Why we like it: All nutrition information is readily available, including ingredients. Each meal offers nutrition claims to guide you in making the right choices for you. For example, the Chicken, Feta & Tabouleh frozen meal is high fiber, contains 2+ vegetable servings, and no hydrogenated oils. All allergens are noted, most commonly wheat, soy, dairy, shellfish and nuts.
Keep in mind: Most meals have nutrition claims, some of which are not supported by the FDA, like sodium-conscious for example. Also, there is no mention of a Nutritionist/Registered Dietitian on staff so take caution in the claim "Nutritionist Recommended."
Delivery details: Fresh Direct delivers to all 5 boroughs, as well as Long Island, Westchester, parts of New Jersey and the Hamptons in the summer. There is a $30 minimum plus a $5.99 delivery fee. You can choose from any two-hour delivery window between 6:30am - 10:00pm any day of the week, and they let you know if your delivery is running late.
Pricing: Meal kits and ready-to-heat meals range from $6.99 - $15.99. Special deals and coupons are always available. 

Ritual is a meal kit delivery service with mostly organic and local ingredients that come washed, chopped and pepped. Recipes are chef-designed and are of restaurant quality. Meals are intended for dinner but can be consumed for any meal of your choosing. Each meal is available in 1, 2, or 3 portions and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Why we like it: There are 5 different menus to choose from depending on your preferences: omnivore, pescetarian, vegetarian, vegan and paleo. When you create an account, you create a dietary profile so you can easily find meals that suit you. All ingredients and allergens are listed. Recipes are designed to use minimal equipment. All dressings, sauces, and condiments are made in-house with no additives or preservatives. Jars and coolers that the food comes in are reusable - just rinse and return them at your next delivery.

Keep in mind: Nutrition information is provided for each meal but carbohydrates are not so this service may not be ideal for diabetics. They send you everything you need to make the recipes except for salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Delivery details: There is no delivery minimum. Meals are hand-delivered in Manhattan and Brooklyn so you do need to be home to receive them. They come in insulated containers. There is a $10 re-delivery fee if you miss the delivery. Deliveries occur Sundays and Mondays within 2-hour windows.

Pricing: Every meal is $17.50 per serving. 

Stay Tuned for our next set of reviews! 

A Note from Lauren...

We are now close to the end of September, and that means the NYC marathon is right around the corner.  If you haven't yet made or finalized your nutrition plan for the marathon, or any events yet this year, make sure you do soon!  
If you need any help with creating or altering a nutrition plan, please contact us via email or call the office at 646.364.6803 to schedule a consultation and we will get you on the right track!

Lauren Antonucci, Director
Nutrition Energy