November Newsletter

In This Issue
The Wellness Contest is Back!
Nutrition for the Holiday Season
Bone Health
NYC Meal Delivery Services (Part 5)
A Note from Lauren...
Nutrition Energy
In the News!

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

Skinnygirl Daily
Vanessa Costa, MS, RDN, CDN

Skinnygirl Daily
Vanessa Costa, MS, RDN, CDN
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Issue: #61November 2015
Nutrition Energy's 2nd Annual Wellness Contest
Nutrition Energy is holding its second Wellness Contest, and we invite you to join! Starting December 7th and concluding January 18th, this six week challenge is just what you need to turn this holiday season into a health success!
How to Join:
Call today to schedule an appointment with one of our Dietitians from Nov. 30-Dec 7th to set your individual goals for the Contest. We will work with you to develop personalized goals that will work for you and promote a healthy lifestyle. Examples of goals may include minutes exercised, adding healthy foods, or trying a new food.
Contest Rules:
From Dec. 7th-Jan 18th, you will track your accomplishments each day. You must meet with a Dietitian before the start of the contest to enter. You can continue to meet with your Dietitian as often as needed throughout the Contest, and will check in at weeks two and four and at the end of the Contest. You will track your goals and submit your progress weekly. Based on a points system, we will calculate scores for each participant.  Up to 6 points can be earned each day: 1 for each of your 5 nutritional goals you will set with your Dietitian and a 6th for posting on social media (Twitter or Facebook) with the hashtag #NutritionEnergyWellness.  The top three participants will be awarded a monetary prize. 
What You Win!
The entry fee is $30. The first prize is $200, second is $150 and third is $100.  Should there be more than 15 entrants, the prize amounts will be higher, as all entry fees will be split by the top three winners!!  People involved in a group challenge like this tend to be more motivated and successful in their wellness goals, so make the commitment!
Proper Nutrition and the Holiday Season Do Go Together...and We Will Show You How!

by Lauren Antonucci and Nutrition Energy Intern, Marina Mattson
The "most wonderful time of year" is quickly approaching yet again. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and the rest of the holiday season is close behind. For most of us, this time of year brings back fond memories of hot chocolate by the fireplace, fresh baked pumpkin pie after a Thanksgiving feast...or other versions of happy food indulgences! Many people think of the entire time spanning between Thanksgiving, (or Halloween!), and New Year's Day as a "black hole" when it comes to weight maintenance, weight loss and nutrition. While it is certainly acceptable to indulge in holiday treats, it is also equally as important to remember that just because we are in the mood for sweets doesn't mean nutrition conscious eating has to go out the window for a full 6+ weeks!

You can start setting the tone you want to follow by consciously deciding to eat presently and not write off the entire holiday season food and drink wise. We at Nutrition Energy are here to get you started with some tips for enjoying Thanksgiving Day and the rest of the holidays, while still keeping your health in mind and your goals on target. Follow our advice below the best you can this season, and start off AHEAD of the nutrition resolution game on New Year's 2016.

1. Start your day with some physical activity
Physical activity is important every week of the year, but even more so on holiday "food" weeks such as Thanksgiving! SCHEDULE exercise as an important appointment-because it is. On Thanksgiving Day, take a walk in the morning or after dinner, or up the ante and sign up for a "Turkey Trot". Whether you have family visiting or are with friends, start a new tradition and design fun outdoor activities that get everyone moving before or after the big feast.

2. Eat breakfast
Even though you are likely to eat more than usual during a holiday party or meal, it is always important to start the day off with a good nutritious breakfast.! Eating a breakfast that contains protein and fiber, (think cottage cheese and fruit or eggs and veggies), can help you feel less hungry the rest of the day, and will help you overindulge less on at holiday meals.

3. Prepare a healthy side dish
Traditional side dishes such as stuffing, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes are a must for Thanksgiving. However, not all side dishes have to be high-calorie or "unhealthy." Start new traditions to accompany the old.  Prepare at least one healthy pure-veg side at Thanksgiving and every holiday meal; try roasted Brussels Sprouts, kale chips, or a simply cooked broccoli or green beans (without the can of mushroom soup!). Bake delicious sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes or candied yams this year-you'll be glad you did.

4. Divide your plate well
Even on Thanksgiving, you should aim to fill half your plate with vegetables, a quarter with protein (tasty turkey!) and the rest with starches, such as potatoes and stuffing. This way, you can "have it all" and keep your nutrition goals on target. You CAN...( be healthy...loose weight...stick to your nutrition plan)... while still enjoying Thanksgiving classics.

5. Keep portion size in mind
When it is time for dessert, be sure to enjoy a slice of pumpkin or apple pie. This is another time to be mindful and not just "throw in the towel" and load some of everything onto your plate. Choose some fruit if available- better yet offer to bring a fruit try to ensure it is an option! Keep your portion size of high-cal items such as pie small by either serving yourself or passing half immediately to another person. Interestingly, studies show that we humans seem to enjoy the first and the last bite of a dish the most, with relative enjoyment decreasing during the middle bites. Maximize your enjoyment and minimize the calories by savoring fewer bites.

6. Leftovers
One of the best parts about Thanksgiving is having tasty leftovers. However, it seems that we end up snacking on left over potatoes, stuffing and pies rather than vegetables and turkey. This year, keep balanced meals a priority by making extra turkey and vegetables so that you can pair these with leftover starches. Our family actually cooks an extra turkey DURING Thanksgiving dinner to ensure leftovers to accompany the starchy side.

7. Enjoy!
At Nutrition Energy we feel that the Holidays are a time to be Thankful, to enjoy family and friends, and to feel GOOD about ourselves. By using the above tips you really can have it all; a delicious Thanksgiving meal,  a great walk that leaves you energized and feeling great, a slice of pie and healthy, balanced leftovers (no cooking!) for a few days thereafter. The idea is to plan for success and make it happen and then not to feel guilty about indulging in a few Thanksgiving treats.
Of course, our tips apply to Thanksgiving Day and every holiday thereafter, so be sure to save this article to read over and over again as reminders are needed (which is totally normal and ok!). 

Nutrition Energy wishes you a happy Thanksgiving and joyful start to the holiday season! 
Milk Really Does the Body Good!
by Nutrition Energy Intern, Sonal Agarwal

We know that many of you have heard that saying since you were a kid, but have you ever wondered whether it was really true...and why?
Calcium from milk and other sources is critical to the formation of bones in children and teenagers, and becomes equally important to help rebuild the bone mass that we lose as we age. Just 1 cup of milk provides 30 percent of the daily value of calcium, a mineral that helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth. To get that amount of calcium from other foods you'd have to eat, just for one example, more than 7 cups of raw broccoli! Milk is also a good source of Vitamin D-another essential aspect to maintaining good bone health and increasing calcium absorption. Today, all commercial milk sold in the United States is fortified with vitamin D. This is not necessarily true for other dairy products. Not just that, 1 cup of fat free milk will give you 8 grams of protein and 12 grams of carbohydrates and a total of 80 calories. Add some fruit to it and you have a great snack! (See the Green Tea, Blueberry, and Banana Smoothie recipe below)
The two most common areas we Dietitians see calcium deficiencies are:
  1. Osteoporosis- 1 in 3 American women will suffer a fracture during her lifetime due to osteoporosis. Inadequate calcium intake during childhood, adolescence and up to the age of 30 can lead an increased risk for osteoporosis. Calcium makes up a large portion of our bone content and an inadequacy can decrease bone formation as we age.  Women are at a greater risk due to drop in estrogen during menopause when bone demineralization increases significantly.
  2. Female athlete triad- a syndrome in which low-energy availability, (with or without disordered eating behavior), disturbed menstruation, (including amenorrhea, or absence of menstruation for 3 months or more or failure to begin menses by age 15), and bone mineral density (BMD) decline, and risk of developing osteoporosis increases. Inadequate overall calorie intake and inadequate calcium intake have been linked to decline in bone mineral density. Estrogen levels are also often low when calorie intake is inadequate because calcium is leeched from the bone in order to maintain normal levels of calcium in the blood and perform important physiological functions in the body. It is particularly important for young female athletes, (and their parents),  to take it seriously if menstruation is delayed past 15yo or  2-3 cycles are missed, because up to 90 percent of peak bone mass is reached by age 18.
While it is true that most bone building occurs before age 30, it is never too late to start paying attention to your calcium intake! How much is enough? Recommended calcium intake are listed in the following table:

Age Group
Recommended Dietary
Allowance (mg/day)
1-3 years old
4-8 years old
9-13 years old
14-18 years old
19-30 years old
31-50 years old
51-70 year old males
51-70 year old females
>70 years old
14-18 years old, pregnant/lactating
19-50 years old, pregnant/lactating

While the recommendation may seem like a large number, it is relatively easy to reach if we know what to reach for.
  • 1 cup of milk contains 300 mg of calcium
  • 2 cups of raw kale contains 201 mg of calcium (also rich in other bone-building nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, manganese and boron)
  • 1/4  cup of almonds has 100 mg of calcium
  • 1 cup of calcium fortified orange juice contains 349 mg of calcium
  • 1/2 cup canned salmon contain 200 mg calcium
Start your day or end your workout with a healthy milk smoothie!

Green Tea, Blueberry, and Banana Smoothie
*Antioxidant-rich green tea makes this smoothie a nutritional powerhouse.

  • 3 Tbsp water 
  • 1 green tea bag
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1� cup frozen blueberries
  • � med banana
  • � cup fat-free milk (soy milk or almond milk*)
  • � tsp vanilla
1. BOIL water until steaming hot in a small pan. Add tea bag and allow to brew 3 minutes. Remove tea bag. Stir honey into tea until it dissolves.
2. COMBINE berries, banana, vanilla and milk in a blender with ice crushing ability.
3. ADD tea to blender. Blend ingredients on ice crush or highest setting until smooth. (Some blenders may require additional water to process the mixture.) Pour smoothie into tall glass and serve

* soy milk and almond milk are calcium fortified and are great alternatives to milk.

NYC Meal Delivery Services (Part 5): Providing all the enjoyment with none of the work

We have two more meal delivery companies this month, Plated and Portable Chef:

Plated is subscription meal service in which you receive a weekly box of fresh and seasonal pre-portioned ingredients to create chef-designed recipes. There is no subscription or membership fee to join, you can choose how many meals you want per week, and you can cancel or change your subscription plan at any time. Each week the chefs create nine options for veggie, meat and seafood lovers. You can choose your recipes from available selections or let the chefs choose based on your taste preferences. Nutrition information is available for each recipe at the bottom of the FAQ page.
Why we like it: All ingredients are fresh, all meats are raised without antibiotics and all seafood is sustainable. All ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible. Ingredients are pre-portioned to reduce food waste and over-eating. Each recipe notes the difficulty level and preparation time, another indicator you can use when choosing meals. 
Keep in mind: They do not supply you with every single thing required for the recipe. You will need to have the basics like olive oil, canola oil, salt, pepper, etc. Each recipe tells you exactly what you will be shipped, what you need to have on hand, and what equipment is necessary. According to Plated, recipes under 600 calories are considered "low-calorie" and are labeled as such, but a true "low-calorie" meal is under 400 calories.
Delivery details: Delivery is available throughout NYC up to four days a week. Deliveries come in refrigerated boxes to keep ingredients fresh for up to 24 hours and boxes are 100% recyclable. You do not need to be home to receive your boxes, but most are delivered by 8:00pm on your expected delivery date. Deliveries are free for orders over $50, otherwise there is a $6.00 fee.
Pricing: Plates start at $12, but there is a four-plate minimum. Pricing depends on the number of meals and number of people per week. For example, three meals for two people comes to $72 per week. In order to receive the minimum and get free shipping, add on a dessert for $4 and the fee is waived.
Portable Chef
Portable Chef is a custom farm-to-table meal delivery service and makes meals to cater to individual preferences and needs. Meals are delivered fully cooked and ready to reheat. While you can get customized meals, there is also a standing menu that changes monthly based on what is in season. No nutrition information is available, but if you want to lose weight they offer 5- and 7-day meals plans for just that.  
Why we like it: They ask you about your tastes, dietary needs and goals, and budget in order to create the best meals for you. It is very individualized. Everything is sourced locally and regionally when possible. All meats and produce are sourced from producers who grow their ingredients organically.
Keep in mind: While Portable Chef caters to everyone's individual needs, there is no Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist on staff to help suit specific dietary requirements. It is run by a self-taught chef with a finance background, which is not to say he doesn't know what he is doing, but it is something to consider.
Delivery details: They deliver to all of Manhattan below 125th St. and parts of Brooklyn and Queens with a delivery fee of $22.
Pricing: Breakfast is $20 per meal, lunch and dinner are $32 per meal, and snacks are $8 per meal. A full day of 3 meals and 2 snacks is $92. 

Thank you for reading our reviews!  We hope to continue this in the future!

A Note from Lauren...

I want to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to 4 amazing companies;  PROBAR, Salt Stick, VEGA Sport and Boulder Salt, for their amazing support of my recent Hiking Trip in Peru. 

I used the Bolder Salt packets every morning and evening on my breakfast and dinner, to help ensure I was keeping up with my higher than usual sodium/electrolyte needs while hiking for days at altitude. I shared a few with fellow hikers when they needed a boost, and had not known to pack (or think about) supplementing sodium. The PROBAR BOLT chews were so easy to take in between gulps of air and with water, as we hiked high and higher in the hot sun, and really helped keep my energy up between meals. The PROBAR BASE bars were an easy to take in and tasty source of much needed additional calories and protein between meals or in the early morning before breakfast. I used the Salt Stick caps with caffeine several times each day, to help add additional sodium and electrolytes when I was drinking lots of water from my camelback and knew I needed more sodium to go with it. I liked using the ones with caffeine, and so did my husband, as we were all getting headaches due to the combination of hiking at altitude and lack of ordinary caffeine intake-my tea, my husband's espresso-at home. The VEGA bars was amazing too! Especially for me, a less-adventurous eater, who was not really daring enough to try alpaca or ginea pig meat on the hike (or at all). I was able to easily eat a VEGA protein bar with or after any meal that I choose not to eat the protein source, or a few times when we were too nauseous from altitude and tired from hiking to really eat. The VEGA bars were delicious and very easy to eat. Even with 15 grams of protein in each one, they were very soft and easier to chew than many other protein bars I have tried.                   
So a HUGE thank you again to VEGA Sport, Salt Stick, Boulder Salt and PROBAR for keeping me well fueled and hydrated/salted on my amazing trip and hike. It would not have been as much fun without you! 
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