June 2018 Newsletter

June is Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Month!
Therefore, this newsletter is about why fruits and vegetables are so important and the recommended amount to eat.

A great way to find organic, fresh and colorful produce, is visiting a Farmer’s Market. Stay tuned to find helpful links to find your nearest farmer’s market.

Lastly, who doesn’t love a good salad? Hopefully you will love the recipe of the month, a simple but adventurous, nutritious and delicious hearty salad.


Why Fruits and Vegetables?

These inspiring foods: ¨Are full of vitamins and minerals to help you feel healthy and energized.

¨  Have fiber, which fills you up and helps your digestion.

¨  Reduce disease risk, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer

¨  Are nature’s convenience food – easy to prepare and eat

¨  Add variety and color to your plate


How many Fruits and Vegetables?

Maybe you’ve heard all the reasons before, but Americans are still not eating enough fruits and vegetables. Here is what to aim for:

¨1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit per day . This is about 3 servings of fruit daily

¨Try ½ cup blueberries with breakfast, 1 peach at lunch, and

½cup strawberries in the evening

¨2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day. This is about 3 servings of vegetables per day

¨Try ½c up spinach scrambled with an egg for breakfast,

½ cup carrot and pepper slices in the afternoon, and 1 to 2 cups of colorful mixed green salad (with dark lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and more) with dinner.

watermelon vs banana

Have you visited a farmers’ market lately?


There are a number of reasons why Farmer’s Markets are a great idea to both the consumer and the producer. The main one being that these smaller companies cannot afford to got through organic certification, so they do not label their produce organic. … but their farming principles are by true definition, organic”

Here are a few other wonderful reasons to visit a local farmer’s market:

SNAP and WIC cards are accepted at most farmers markets.

You can try a new fruit or vegetable!

Have you ever tasted gooseberries or rhubarb? Many farmers markets offer lesser known fruits and vegetables, providing a variety that can be both tasty and nutritious.

Farmers often have good recommendations on ways to prepare their products.


Farmers markets can be important anchors for vibrant communities.

Meet your local farmers, learn about foods grown in your area and catch up with friends and neighbors while stocking up with local goods. Supporting your local farmers market strengthens your community.

It’s a great way to get kids involved.

Let them pick out something new to try, then they can help prepare a meal or snack.

Shopping at farmers markets supports your local farmers and keeps the money you spend closer to your neighborhood.

Freshly picked ripe food is at its peak in flavor and nutrition.

Stop by your local farmers market today, learn about where your food comes from, and enjoy some delicious and nutritious food.


The United States Department of Agriculture can help you find the nearest farmers’ market!

Visit           http://search.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets


Wash fruits and vegetables correctly.


Tips to washing produce (as recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA))

  • Wash produce. Many pre-cut, bagged produce items like lettuce are pre-washed. If so, it will be stated on the packaging. This pre-washed, bagged produce can be used without further washing.
  • As an extra measure of caution, you can wash the produce again just before you use it. Pre-cut or pre-washed produce in open bags should be washed before using.
  • Begin with clean hands. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce.
  • Cut away any damaged or bruised areas on fresh fruits and vegetables before preparing or eating. Produce that looks rotten should be discarded.
  • All unpacked fruits and vegetables, as well as those packaged and not marked pre-washed, should be thoroughly washed before eating. This suggestion includes produce grown conventionally or organically at home, or produce that is purchased from a grocery store or farmer’s market.
    Wash fruits and vegetables under running water just before eating, cutting, or cooking.
  • Even if you plan to peel the produce before eating, it is still important to wash it first.
  • Washing fruits and vegetables with soap or detergent or using commercial produce washes is not recommended.
  • Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush.
  • Drying produce with a clean cloth towel or paper towel may further reduce bacteria that may be present.



hearty salad


  1. Combine washed salad greens, chopped red cabbage, fresh basil or cilantro, and a variety of sliced vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, snow peas, carrots, onions, cucumbers, and more.
  2. Top with your favorite protein, such as grilled steak, rotisserie chicken, cooked shrimp, garbanzo beans, tempeh, walnuts or edamame.
  3. Toss with a light dressing or a simple vinaigrette of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.


confused weights


  1. Set goals

Start with simple goals and then progress to longer range goals. Remember to make your goals realistic and achievable. It’s easy to get frustrated and give up if your goals are too ambitious.

For example, if you haven’t exercised in a while, a short-term goal might be to walk 10 minutes a day three days a week. An intermediate goal might be to walk 30 minutes five days a week. A long-term goal might be to complete a 5K walk.

  1. Make it fun

Find sports or activities that you enjoy, then vary the routine to keep you on your toes. If you’re not enjoying your workouts, try something different. Join a volleyball or softball league. Take a ballroom dancing class. Check out a health club or martial arts center. Discover your hidden athletic talent. Remember, exercise doesn’t have to be drudgery — and you’re more likely to stick with a fitness program if you’re having fun.

  1. Make physical activity part of your daily routine

If it’s hard to find time for exercise, don’t fall back on excuses. Schedule workouts as you would any other important activity. You can also slip in physical activity throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk up and down sidelines while watching the kids play sports. Pedal a stationary bike or do strength training exercises while you watch TV at night.

  1. Put it on paper

Are you hoping to lose weight? Boost your energy? Sleep better? Manage a chronic condition? Write it down. Seeing the benefits of regular exercise on paper may help you stay motivated.

You may also find it helps to keep an exercise diary. Record what you did during each exercise session, how long you exercised and how you felt afterward. Recording your efforts can help you work toward your goals — and remind you that you’re making progress.

  1. Join forces with friends, neighbors or others

You’re not in this alone. Invite friends or co-workers to join you when you exercise. Work out with your partner or other loved ones. Play soccer with your kids. Organize a group of neighbors to take fitness classes at a local health club.

  1. Reward yourself

After each exercise session, take a few minutes to savor the good feelings that exercise gives you. This type of internal reward can help you make a long-term commitment to regular exercise. External rewards can help, too. When you reach a longer range goal, treat yourself to a new pair of walking shoes or new tunes to enjoy while you exercise.

  1. Be flexible

If you’re too busy to work out or simply don’t feel up to it, take a day or two off. Be gentle with yourself if you need a break. The important thing is to get back on track as soon as you can.

Now that you’ve regained your enthusiasm, get moving! Set your goals, make it fun and pat yourself on the back from time to time. Remember, physical activity is for life. Review these tips whenever you feel your motivation slipping.







Spring is in the air…  baseball fans are excited about the new season, all the teams have just completed their spring ball and have begun their regular season. Now the games count. Hopefully the previous newsletters have you transitioning into a good groove.  And like baseball, I hope you are in “full swing” to a newer and better you.  Now the pre summer plans count !!


Spring also translates to allergy season, so first tip of the month:

How to Keep Your Immune System Strong

 strong girl1

In 2013, over 70% of Americans turned to nutraceuticals for help to boost the immune system.  But most dietitians and Nutritioninsts will attest that the number 1 reason why people get ill is due to a poor diet.

Here are some immune boosting properties found In eating everyday foods:

–        Vitamin C (OJ – immune booster)

–         Probiotics (yogurt – healthy   bacteria)

–        Mushrooms (selenium –  antioxidant)

–        High fiber grains (antimicrobial capabilities)

–         Vit E (for antibodies)

–         Zinc (beef & beans – white blood cell production)

–         Garlic (antil-viral/bacterial/fungal)

–         Omega 3 fatty acids (fatty fish –  reduce inflammation).

apple ruit




Delectable Wraps

Tired of the same old lunches…try some of these refreshingly healthy wrap ideas:

  •  Sliced turkey breast, avocado,  tomato, mixed salad greens, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard
  •  Shredded chicken, tomato, fresh basil,  mayonnaise, lettuce
  •  Tomato, sliced mozzarella, roasted peppers, pesto, arugula
  •  Hummus, roasted vegetables (try peppers, onions, zucchini, and eggplant)
  •  Grilled chicken, hot sauce, celery leaves, lettuce, blue cheese dressing

REMEMBER: Try to use low fat Or Non Fat mayonnaise, and only use a little!

EVEN BETTER : Use GREEK Yogurt instead of mayonnaise – you will be amazed !!




Road Racing

Normally around this time Road Races start to heat up. No matter if you are a seasoned veteran or want a fun new outdoor activity, there are races that support a good cause that you can be a part of. It’s the best of both worlds; you get to be active and help those in need as well. To find a race near you, or even perhaps take part in a rewarding fundraiser visit www.active.com.  Not only will you boost your own body composition goals, but you will feel a sense of intense accomplishment while doing it!!


10 Tips that $ave You Cash-o-la

confused weights

Next time you plan on doing some grocery shopping, incorporate some of these ideas into your routine to help keep your money where it belongs….in your pockets!

10 . Make a Shopping list

9.    Staple Food Stock-Up

8.    Check Expiration Dates of Your Food

7.    Pack Sack lunch (1-3/week)

6.    Avoid shopping when hungry

5.    Purchase Store Brands

4.   Minimize purchase of  convenience  foods

3. Shop the Specials and Maximize Your Coupons

2. Eliminate Impulse Buys


And the number 1 tip for this time of year

When you go to the store, stock up on different fruits to keep your fruit bowl full. Not only will this satisfy sweet cravings, but buying “in season” produce saves on both money and “fat”.





When you’re hungry between meals, choose a high-fiber snack, such as a small handful of fiber-rich nuts or whole fruits, such as apples, oranges, plums, or bananas.

Healthy snacking is good for your body. It keeps your metabolism high and provides vitamins and minerals to keep you strong.


eun pic

Cardio workouts  – get some intervals in for leaner, faster results

Interval training is associated with fat burning is because the higher the intensity the more likely the physiological response is to overcome lipogenesis sensitivity (in layman’s terms, fat storage mode). To keep it simple, the mechanism is related to how the different hormones bind to either alpha or beta receptors. Before going into a physiology dissertation, in its simplicity, high intensity can overcome problems associated with alpha-receptor dominance in stubborn body fat. Well, why not keep the intensity high all the time, you may ask. The answer is that while high intensity can break down fatty acids in the cell, it does not burn fatty acids as a fuel, so that’s where the intervals become important. Switching between high and low creates that magic bullet.

Treadmill – 35 minute work out – grade intervals

Choose a challenging pace yet still able to keep long safe strides (correct pace is about right before you feel like you need to jog)

Mins and Grade %

0 – 2  : 0%

2 – 10 : 4%

10 – 18 : 6%

18 – 24: 8%

24 – 28: 10%

28 – 30: 12%

30 – 35 : 2% (cool down)


Till Next time then,

dog joy         ILANA



Another great muffin recipe from my sports nutrition kitchen:




OATMEAL, DRY regular or instant 1 cup


SUGAR, BROWN packed 1/2 cup





SALT 1 tsp


CARROT grated 1 ¼ cups


MILK, 1%  3/4 cups






EGG WHITE 1 large

EGG whole 1 large

strong girl


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Combine all wet ingredients in another bowl. Mix well.

4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add wet ingredients and mix


5. Spray a muffin tin with Pam and fill to 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and enjoy!


Makes 2 dozen.

1 serving (1 muffin)=156 cals, 4g protein, 28g carbs, 3g fat, 179mg sodium

Triathlete Nutrition Plan: For Your Skin?

As triathletes we are constantly abusing our skin with hours in chlorine filled pools and hours of sweating in the hot sun.  We KNOW you are diligent with the sunscreen but what else can you do to protect and improve your skin?

While sunscreen, beauty creams, microdermabrasions and other high priced spa treatments for skincare are all good, they are not the only way to keep your skin vibrant and constantly younger looking. Similar to your heart, your skin is another organ in the body that requires good nutrition for its upkeep. In fact, it’s the largest organ and although it’s an external one, its care comes from the inside.

The top skin care nutrients include:

  • WATER:

Hydration is essential for maintaining strong and vibrant skin, improving its main function as a protective barrier to the rest of the body. Water alone can give you  a more younger, radiant and blemish free look.


UV rays penetrate skin, even through the best sunscreens available, causing cellular and tissue damage, increasing premature aging and the risk of skin cancer. Scientifically based evidence exists to show that the antioxidants in lycopene (found in tomatoes) protect the skin’s inner layers from harmful UV exposure.


Omega 3 fatty acids are required by every cell in the body, including every cell in the skin, for flexibility and function. It is important to ensure omega 3’s are a part of  your diet, because the body cannot make them. Essential fats are found in flaxseed meal, chai seeds, hemp seeds, kiwi fruit and black raspberry and many fish sources such as salmon, tuna, mahi mahi, etc.


Not only does vitamin A have antioxidant capabilities but it also has specific functioning in the skin’s repairing and inflammation processes. Good sources of vitamin A include carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, melons, spinach and organ meats, such as liver.


While many vitamins offer antioxidants and other benefits to the skin, like Vitamin A, vitamin B has specific functionality in the skin for repair and healing. Good sources of vitamin B are red meat, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chile peppers, tempeh, beans, nutritional yeast, brewer’s yeast, and molasses.

The worst substance for your skin:


It causes the skin’s blood vessels to narrow and thus impairs blood flow to the skin, resulting in decreased oxygen and vital nutrients,  thus accelerating the aging process. Nicotine further damages collagen and elastin, reducing the elasticity and skin strength.

Don’t forget to include regular exercise to compliment these results. Regular exercise can reduce weight fluctuations which reduce the skin’s elasticity. Exercise also increases circulation enhancing delivery of vital nutrient to the skin and removal of damaging toxins. Furthermore, exercise is known to reduce stress and reduced stress means less hormonal flair ups often evident in the skin.

Increasing the best and reducing the worst nutrients and substances for your skin can improve luster and vitality.

Go with your Gut   –   GI Distress from a different perspective

Ilana Katz MS, RD, CSSD

Since a big part of my work with athletes involves reducing the risk of Gastrointestinal (GI) distress I thought a different perspective of the GI environment and how to nurture it would be rather informative.  The organisms and their metabolic processes themselves, the majority of which live in the colon, are referred to as microbiome and they dramatically effect human health in general, not just for athletism. The microbiome is made up of trillions of microorganisms ranging between bacteria, fungi, viruses, and others., all of which impact the immune system.

The microbiome multitasks between maintenance of immunity, digestion, hormonal and nutrient balance by:

  • maintaining optimal gut flora (by fighting pathogens and embracing working microorganisms)
  • activates anti-inflammatory responses1
  • uptake of hormones2
  • detoxifies environmental negatives (such as drugs, chemicals, unnatural “food” items eg. artificial sweetener, sugar alcohols, etc.)1
  • synthesizes essential nutrients (particular to the gut are biotin, folate and vitamin K)1.

Inflammation and digestion, and most other functions mentioned above, differs greatly between individuals, and is mostly influenced by stress, age, past infections (antibodies), gender (and within gender experience of natural birth, breast feeding, etc.), medications, lifestyle habits (smoking, alcohol, etc.). and most importantly, diet3.

It is thus safe to say that almost every chronic (and probably acute too) inflammatory response is affected by changes in the microorganism composition of the gut. There is no blueprint for an ideal breakdown of gut microbiome but the diversity of the microorganisms has shown an increase in symbiosis – the mutually beneficial relationship between them.

Lower level symbiosis results from higher than necessary caloric intake, highly processed foods, saturated fat, refined sugar, and soda (chemicals) whereas microbial diversity and therefore increased likelihood of positive symbiosis result from dietary intakes such as coffee, tea, red wine, fruits and vegetables, nuts and buttermilk.4   Stress would be the biggest contributor to low diversity and reduced symbiosis as well as high triglycerides, irritable bowel symptoms (diarrhea) and intestinal inflammation.5

In research on dietary effects of microbiome, the summary states that eating plant-based foods and nuts are related to reduced bowel inflammation and aid in healthy cholesterol management5.  The typical American diet of low earth based nutrients, high saturated fats, high refined sugars and high in processed animal proteins negatively reduces gut microbial diversity, symbiosis and overall gut health.

So what is it about the earthy foods that assist in a positive microbiome? Simply, the content of fiber. Why? Because although fiber is the undigestible carbohydrate for humans it provides the gut microorganisms with essential “food” for them to produce enzymes. These enzymes in turn, breakdown these undigested carbohydrates in process of fermentation.6 Fermentations’ end-product is butyrate, the preferred food-source for cells in the large intestines. The healthier cells are then able to maintain the intestinal wall health, reducing risk of other major chronic disease states such as colon cancer, colitis and Chron’s disease.

Why then are people with a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Chron’s and colitis advised to keep their diet lower in fiber?  It may be a case of which came first, their dysbiotic colons, or the fact that fibrous foods can cause abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, diarrhea, and obstructions.7   Symptoms of IBD could then be reduced by limiting fiber however the vicious circle of health impacted colon and dysbios will ensue. It is therefore in the best interest of a person struggling with GI distress to seek professional help within the dietetic realm to work on tolerance of fiber. Because GI distress should not mean a low fibrous diet, dietitians will often teach such patients to increase fiber progressively, maintain excellent hydration processes and learn new techniques such as juicing, blending, other cooking methods to pre-breakdown tough fibrous skins of earthy produce, and removing completely undigestible seeds.

So far, I have focused mostly on the digestion of fibrous carbohydrates. But when talking about microbial flora it is important to consider that some undigested animal protein lands up in the colon too. Unlike plant based proteins, the fermentation of animal protein does not result in butyrate and the formation of healthy enzymes, instead they are fermented by colonic bacteria and produce potential toxins such as ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide.8    These toxins inhibit butyrate formation that would otherwise protect the colon lining from harmful entry of microbial invasion. The toxic gases thus increase inflammation responses further risk GI distress and chronic bowel diseases.  Not only do they inhibit the growth of anti-inflammatory bacteria, but they also support the growth of pro-inflammatory bacteria3.  Furthermore, hydrogen sulfate results in foul smelling gas, a common side effect of high protein, low fibrous diets. From a dietetic standpoint, if the diet is high in meat, by simply adding a variety of colorful, and fibrous vegetables could reduce the protein fermentation.

In summary, whether you are an athlete looking to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal distress while training/racing, or an individual wanting to reduce irritable bowel syndrome, or just an individual trying to keep the gut healthy, diet is the major factor determining microbiome make-up. The best diet for a healthy flora in the colon is simply a whole food diet with a variety of non-processed macronutrients (fibrous carbohydrates, lean protein and unsaturated fat), favoring plant-based more than animal proteins, non-excessive alcohol (favoring red wine) and the elimination of refined and processed sugars, artificial sweeteners and sodas.


  1. Gut Microbiome for health. http://www.gutmicrobiomeforhealth.com/en/about-gut-microbiome-info/
  2. Camilleri MD., Serotonin in the Gastrointestinal Tract. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2009 Feb; 16(1):53-59.
  3. Brown K, et al. Diet-induced dysbiosis of the intestinal microbiome and effects on disease. Nutrients. 2012;4:1095-1119.
  4. Conlon MA, Bird AR. The impact of diet and lifestyle on gut microbiota and human health. 2015;7:17-44.
  5. Zhernakova A, et al. Population-based metagenomics analysis reveals markers for microbiome composition. Science. 2016;565-569.
  6. Rose DJ, et al. Influence of dietary fiber on inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer: importance of of fermentation patterns. Nutr Rev. 2007:65:51-62.
  7. Limdi et al. Dietary practices and beliefs in patients with IBD. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2016:22:164-172.
  8. Yao CK., etal. Insights into colonic protein fermentation and its health implications. Ailment Pharmoco ther. 2016;43:181-196.