Its April, and that means warmer temperatures. With the change of season, we are soon going to be experiencing the heat and humidity. Well, what does this mean in the world of nutrition?  You got it, the importance of hydration!! Not that hydration is less important in winter, however, with the heat it is often more difficult to stay hydrated.  My main point is, do not rely on thirst as an indicator

You should become accustomed to consuming fluids without feeling “thirsty”. Enough fluid should be consumed so that your urine is a clear color. Dark yellow, means drink more, and brown, means see your physician.



Prescription for Life

Water is without a doubt the most important component in our diet. Proper hydration not only allows the body to maintain structural and biochemical integrity, but it also prevents overheating, through sensible heat loss (perspiration). Many physically active people may have experienced the affects of acute fluid deficiency on a hot day, better known as heat exhaustion. Dehydration can furthermore, be a long term problem.


Fitness Corner

If you have been to the stores recently,  I am sure you would have noticed that bathing suits, tanks, and shorts are covering the mannequins!

The feeling ofspring fever is certainly enduced! So, why not take advantage of your lunch period, grab a few co-workers, and get some vitamin D in the sunlight? Take 15 – 30 minutes of your lunch break and sneak in some walking! Moving about will help re-energize your body and brain to burn calories and be more productive when you return to your work.

It’s not too early to start hitting the pools, either. Get bathing suit ready before the outdoor pools open.

Swimming has some great benefits: 

S       Aerobic exercise without heavy impact on the joints and skeletal system

S       Increases muscle strength and tone through resistance

S       Has been shown to improve bone strength, especially in post-menopausal women

S       Utilizes full range of motion for increased flexibility

S       Gives your heart a great workout which, in turn, helps increase circulation

S       Burns calories to help you maintain or lose weight

S       Can help reduce exercise-induced asthma for some

S       It can improve cholesterol and lower the risk of developing diabetes

S       Causes the body to release endorphins which make you feel good

S       Can create the same relaxation that yoga does as it focuses on breathing

S       Can activate a process in the brain that allows the brain to replace cells destroyed by stress

Most club pool facilities offer a variety of swimming activities so you can find one that suits you, such as: laps, open pool, and water aerobics.

Interested in some group training, and setting some ultimate or “bucket list” goals?

Now is a great time to join a sports club… so many options available.


April is Also Alcohol Awareness Month

Spring fever also induces the joy of sitting on an out door deck, enjoying a Rita or two…

Keep these tips in mind, when approaching temptation:

S       Moderate consumption provides little, if any, health benefits to younger people

S       The risks of alcohol abuse increase when drinking starts at an early age

S       Drink in moderation: no more than 1 drink/day for women and 2 drinks/day for men.

S       Alcohol is considered dangerous when consumed in excess

S       One drink a day may increase the risk of breast cancer

S       According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, alcohol consumed during meals may promote overeating

S       Consumption may increase triglycerides in the blood

S       For those with diabetes or reactive hypoglycemia and other conditions, consumption can cause low blood sugar

S       For athletes, alcohol consumption after a workout may diminish protein synthesis leading to decreased muscle growth

S       In general, alcoholic beverages contain little beneficial nutrients but plenty of calories


Calorie Corner

How do you take your coffee? You might be surprised how those calories can add up from sugar, cream, milk, flavored syrups, etc. when you order your latte at your favorite coffeehouse. The next time you order, here are some tips to help you get a delicious flavor without all the extra calories:

S       Ask for non-fat milk (or soy milk if you cannot drink milk)

S       Consider ordering something the size of a Grande or smaller.

S       Not only are you watching calories but maybe expenses so choose certain days of the week as your coffeehouse days.

Consider only getting specialty coffee on M/W/F or T/Th/Sa to save you time, money, and calories.

S       Always skip the whip

S       If you are ordering a flavored latte, consider asking for:

  • 1 pump of syrup in a Tall (they usually get 3 pumps)
  • 1 – 2 pumps of syrup in a Grande (they usually get 4 pumps)
  • 3 pumps of syrup in a Venti (they usually get 5 pumps)

S       Different syrups at different coffeehouses have different amounts of calories. At Starbucks:

  • 1 pump flavored syrup = 20 calories
  • 1 pump mocha = 25 calories
  • 1 pump Pumpkin Spice syrup = 38 calories
  • 1 pump white mocha = 60 calories

S       Let’s compare:

1   Regular Tall Pumpkin Spice Latte with 2% milk and whip cream on top: 1 Tall   Pumpkin Spice Latte  with non-fat milk,   no whip cream, and only 1 pump of syrup:
= 300   calories = 130   calories
Drink   it every day of the week Drink   it every day of the week
= 2100   calories = 910   calories

S       That’s over 1,000 calories saved by cutting down on the added sugar and fat.

[The information related to the coffee choices was provided by a future dietitian who really loves her coffee and her figure at http://mindofhealth.wordpress.com/]


Recipe Selection of the Season

         Spring Raspberry Sensation

1 pt. (2 cups) raspberry sorbet or sherbet
1 cup cold fat free milk
1 pkg. Sugar Free Vanilla Instant Pudding
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP FREE Whipped Topping, thawed
1 cup raspberries


LINE 9×5-inch loaf pan with foil. Spoon sorbet into pan; freeze 10 min.

POUR milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spread pudding mixture over sorbet in pan.

FREEZE 3 hours or overnight. To unmold, invert pan onto plate; remove foil. Top with raspberries just before serving. Let stand 10 to 15 min. to soften before cutting into 12 slices.

Per serving: Calories100; Protein 2g; Fat1g;

Carbohydrates 15g; Sodium 130mg; Saturated fat 1g; Cholesterol 0mg

baywatch 1        ILANA




March is National Nutrition Month. This means the American Dietetic Association focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

Are you still keeping your January New Year resolutions? Don’t be too hard on yourself if you answered no… statistics show that unfortunately most people fail at keeping them for more than two weeks.

For National Nutrition Month perhaps set one realistic, measurable goal. For example, lose six pounds in three months. Keep it simple! Set yourself up for success!

National Nutrition Quiz

1. In addition to Walnuts, which food is  a good source of omega-3 fatty  acids?

A. Spinach             C. Flaxseed

B. Peanuts              D. Apple

2.  Which of the following has the  least amount of calories per  serving?

A. 1 med apple        C. 1 oz cheddar

B. 1 slice bread        D. 4 ripe olives

3.  Americans tend to underestimate the amount of food consumed by what %?

A. 25%              C. 50%

B 40%               D. 75%

4. Eating a colorful range of fruits and vegetables ensures a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals to stay fit and healthy?

(True or False)

5.  Vegan diets are appropriate for  Children.

(True or False)

 Answers to Quiz:

1. C  – Flaxseeds (also known as linseed) are rich in heart healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acids

2. D  – 4 ripe Californian olives contain 24 cals per serving and 2.5 g of healthy mono-

unsaturated fat. (apple = 80 cals, 1 oz cheddar = 80  cals , 1 slice bread = ~ 80 cals)

3. C  –  Many people have no idea what constitutes a standard serving size. The result is

decreased attention to hunger cues, and inability to regulate appropriate intake.

4. T – Researchers have begun to uncover the value of pigment- related phyto (plant)

nutrients. A recent study showed that “blue/purple” such as blueberries, eggplant, fresh

plums, and purple cabbage within a lowfat diet aided in memory function, healthy

aging, healthy urinary tract, and  helped lower risk of cancer.

5. F –  General vegetarian diets that include lacto (milk) and ovo (egg) sources can

accommodate the needs of growing children, however, strict vegans should consult a

medical professional or RD to ensure they are getting enough calories and nutrients

such as Vitamin B12, zinc, iron, and calcium needed for growth and development.


  Did you know – there is a day dedicated to the harvesting of pecans.

Pecan Day (March 25)

Pecans are source of protein, potassium, zinc, vitamin E, magnesium, carbohydrates, and folic acid. They contain mainly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat — the type considered “heart healthy.” A handful of nuts a day, such as pecans, can help you stay on a diet by contributing to satiety. This means they will help you feel full longer.


Notes on working with egg whites.

Before you start, remove eggs from refrigerator and let them come to room temperature. (A couple of hours will do, or if you are rushed for time, immerse them in warm water for 10 minutes.) Make sure that all bowls, hands, and utensils that might touch the eggs are clean and free from oils. To separate the whites:  crack them in half and gently move the yolk from one egg shell half to another, allowing the egg white to drip down into a clean container.


 1 cup whole pecans

3 egg whites

Pinch salt

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vinegar


1 Preheat oven to 300°F.

2 Place pecans in zipper baggie and beat them with a wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Set aside.

3 Put egg whites into a standup mixer bowl. Add salt. Start the mixer speed on low, gradually increasing the speed until soft peaks start to become visible and the egg white bubbles are very small and uniform, about 2 to 3 minutes.

4 Increase the speed to medium-high, and slowly add the sugar to the egg whites. Continue to whip the eggs and sugar for a few minutes. Then add the vinegar to the bowl. Increase speed to high and whip the egg whites until they fluff up and become glossy, and stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 4-5 minutes.

5 Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the pecan pieces. Drop by teaspoons onto a cookie sheets that have been lined with wax paper.

6 Put the cookies sheet in the 300°F oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Leave them in the oven overnight. In the morning they should be ready – crisp on the outside, light and airy on the inside. If they are a little marshmallowy or chewy on the inside in the morning, just let them dry out for a few more hours.



Turning what we eat into optimal fuel

Great Cardio workouts

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.

 Elliptical, treadmill and stationary bike rotation  – 1 hour and 15 minute work out       (starts with treadmill, then elliptical, and ends with bike)

 Repeat this rotation twice:

Treadmill:  10 straight minutes.

Form: long stides and squeeze glutes at end of each stride.

Min 0 – 5:       set at a pace of ~ 4.0 at 0% grade.

Min 5 – 10:    12% grade and pace at ~ 3.5, maintaining stride form

Elliptical:  16 minutes.

set program that is most like a consistent running stride.

Set level (resistance) at moderate (should be about 160 – 180 strides per min)

Cycle: 10 minutes

manual setting 3. Pedal hard (feel your hamstrings) for straight 10 minutes

After 2 rotations: THEN     Cool down on cycle for 3 minutes




 Lazy Sunday Guiltless Pancakes

 On Sunday, I was just in one of those moods, its been years since I had a pancake for breakfast. I sifted through what I had available in my fridge and grocery cupboard, threw some ingredients in my blender and made some delicious, perfectly-pancaked textured, low-cal, low-fat, health-packed  pancakes. I thought this would be a great choice for the pecan addition of my newsletter, as guess what a perfect addition to these panckes would be?? Yeah – you got it – yummy, fresh pecans !!

  (makes 5 servings)

1 scoop vanilla whey protein

1 cup raw oats

6 egg whites

1 cup low fat cottage cheese

2 T silken tofu

1 T  wheat germ

Optional – ½ cup chopped pecans

Optional – TRUVIA  to taste

Blend all ingredients in a blender. Spray skillet with pam. Pour ½ cup batter in pan. When batter bubbles, flip until both sides golden brown. The recipe makes about 12 – 15 pancakes, 3 pancakes = 1 serving.

1 serving (without the pecans) = 135 cals, 20g pro, 12g carbs, 3g fiber, 200mg sodium. 




protein cookies


1 c (4 scoops) vanilla whey protein powder

1 c almond flour

1 c almond butter

1½ c unsweet applesauce

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

sweetener optional, and for taste: Recommend to use a stevia based one and about 1 Tbsp is perfect amount for the recipe.

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Use as a batter and shape into cookie size on a baking sheet (3″ diameter, can roll into a ball and press slightly down to flatten).

Bake at 350 for 5 – 6 minutes, right as turning dark tan color.


Hyponatremia: Signs, Symptoms and Warnings

Ilana Katz MS, RD, CSSD

Hyponatremia tends to be mostly associated with athletes who participate in long duration sports such as marathons and triathlons. Endurance athletes taking in water during training or an event can develop hyponatremia, a potentially life threatening condition that occurs when sodium levels drop to a dangerous low in the blood stream (below 135 mmol/L (of blood). Early symptoms may include nausea, drowsiness, confusion, headache and fatigue. These can quickly progress to seizures, coma and death if not resolved in time. Importantly, athletes are not the only population that needs to be aware of this deadly phenomenon.

Dilution of sodium can result, as mentioned, from over-drinking, but also from water retention (often a side effect of various medications). Sodium can be lost in various ways other than dilution which include urination, perspiration and gastrointestinal distress (vomiting/diarrhea). Furthermore certain medical conditions such as congestive disease, kidney dysfunction and ineffective ant-diuretic hormones are known causes.

Since hyponatremia has usually been associated with endurance sports, those who engage are much more well-informed than in the past, and emergency staff who treat athletic stress conditions are also far better educated to recognize and manage symptoms, and even play a role in prevention. The sports medicine community has been helpful in raising awareness about risks and signs of over-hydration. However, with obvious evidence that there are many other populations at risk for hyponatremia, it is vital to recognize these so that all health care professionals are on the leading edge of avoidance and if necessary, acute care.

Some examples of patients who may be eligible for high alert:

  • Psychiatric patients with a syndrome known as psychogenic polydipsia, meaning they drink excessive amounts of water..
  • Multi-pharmocological patients (especially elderly). Why, well because many medications have potential risks.
    • Diuretics deplete electrolytes, including sodium
    • Antidepressants increase level of antidiuretic hormone
  • Patients being administered intravenous hypotonic fluids: hypotonic fluids contain a lower concentration of sodium than blood and thus excessive quantities at high entry rate can dilute sodium.
  • Tube fed patients: proper fluid levels and electrolyte balance must be continuously monitored and orders adjusted based on results of consistent blood work.

There is also the all controversial sodium debate to consider. Researchers and health practitioners often have opposing arguments as to whether dietary sodium should always be strictly conserved. While lowering sodium is unarguably beneficial for those already diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure), increasingly conservative recommendations for the average population is often contested. The argument being that too little sodium can lead to other health problems, the main one being hyponatremia. Interestingly, the dietetic community are in agreement that avoidance of dietary sodium is unlikely to cause hyponatremia. Even a very low sodium diet of 500 – 1000 mg/day should maintain adequate levels under normal circumstances. It is the complexity of what defines “normal circumstances.”

In summary, with regards to controlling appropriate levels of sodium in the blood and avoidance of hyponatremia, not only athletes should be aware of hyponatremic signs and symptoms. For those with a normal blood pressure, eating patterns and water intake should be developed based on clinical judgement, guidelines and scientific evidence.

glass of ice blue





The month of February triggers ideas of Valentine’s Day, love, and hearts. So in honor of your heart, feed your body heart healthy foods for a stronger and longer life. Heart healthy diets include a large variety of fruits and vegetables, extra fiber, omega-3 fats, low amounts of saturated and trans fat, and limited cholesterol. Read up for tips, facts, and fun!


Red wine and other alcoholic beverages have been the subject of heart disease research. While the answers aren’t yet conclusive, it appears that moderate alcohol consumption may help reduce heart disease risk. This potential benefit is not a reason to start drinking. The research reports that moderate amounts of alcohol, one to two drinks per day, can help increase HDL cholesterol and may slow formation of LDL, the bad cholesterol. Alcohol consumption was part of a routine that included a low-fat eating plan and regular physical activity, two habits anyone can benefit from. Alcohol has its negatives too – increases the risk of cancer, and furthermore, be a spoke in the wheel to weight loss goals.


More and more research is looking at compounds in foods that may maximize health. Until research makes a positive conclusion, don’t deviate from the tried and consume a wide variety of natural foods meaning fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein.


Here’s the NEWS:

A fact is a fact, and an important fact to note is that heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women today in the United States.

Many factors play a part of heart failure, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, lack of exercise, diabetes, alcohol abuse, and smoking.

Guess what?? These are all factors that you can help tackle in your daily agenda to strengthen your heart. By making a few adjustments, you can add years on to your life. Be conscious of the foods you choose to eat, quit smoking, and drink only 1-2 drinks per day at the most. Choose red wine instead of a beer, which will provide antioxidants to your diet.  Instead of eating fast food on lunch break, pack a healthy delicious lunch, and ride a bike around the park instead of going to the movies and eating a bucket of popcorn.

Olive Oil

When one typically thinks of “fat”, misconstrued thoughts come to mind. In fact, the body needs fat, and we all know that food tends to taste better with a little added fat. When cooking, replace your butter and margarine with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and receive not only a tasty product, but also essential fatty acids that the body needs.

Olive oil is a natural juice and can be directly consumed after being pressed from the fruit. It has a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidative substances thought to decrease the bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol offering protection against heart disease.

Key Nutrients and Food Sources:

  • Omega 3 (Salmon, flaxseed, walnuts)
  • Vitamin C (Oranges, apples, etc.)
  • Fiber (whole wheat, brown rice, cereal, broccoli)
  • B Vitamins (Meats)
  • Flavonoids (antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, and wine)


Studies show that by exercising for as little as 30 minutes a day, you can decrease risks of having heart problems!!

Your heart rate is the key to exercising at the right intensity (heart rate zone).

Some heart rate zones are more effective for burning fat, others for improving performance and stamina. Once you determine your fitness goals, a heart rate monitor will allow you to achieve them by helping you stay in your best heart training zone.

A general formula

for fat-burning mode:

75% – 80%  of  (220 – your age)

eg. For 33 year old:  mid of range:

220 – 33 = 187;  

75% of 187

 is  140 beats/min


Need a Quick Snack?

Make your own TRAIL MIX, and pick your own ingredients for a healthy on-the-go snack with protein, healthy fats, antioxidants. Add:

  •  1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds 1 cup peanuts,
  •  1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, prunes, pears, etc.)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup DARK chocolate chips.


Heart Healthy  Delicious Recipe

It’s recommended to eat fish at least 2 times per week to lower blood pressure and triglycerides.

Salmon with Cilantro Pesto

  • 4 Salmon Filets, rinsed and patted dry
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds


  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free garlic-herb seasoning blend


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or lightly spray with cooking spray.   In a food processor or blender, process the pesto ingredients for 15 to 20 seconds, or until slightly chunky. Place the fillets about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Spread the pesto evenly over the top of the fillets. Sprinkle almonds on top.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Nutritional Content Per Serving:

206 Calories, 9.5 gm Fat, 28 gm Protein, 66 mg Cholesterol, 129 mg Sodium


Decadent yet still healthy Dessert

(Chocolate Dipped Strawberries)


1 lb of medium-sized whole strawberries

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

Microwave chocolate in a glass bowl, stopping after 30 seconds, then every 10 seconds until almost melted. Stir until smooth and glossy. Wash strawberries and pat them dry (any moisture from the fruit will spoil the texture of the melted chocolate).Dip each strawberry into the melted chocolate, covering the lower half of the strawberry. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Per Strawberry:    Calories 48,  Fat 2g,  Sat Fat  1.1g, Chol 0mg, Sodium 0mg. Carbohydrate 6.8g, Fiber 1.1g, Pro 0.5


Cook a simple but special low fat dinner for your Valentine instead of eating a high-fat, high calorie meal at an expensive restaurant. It’s well known that it’s easier to cook low fat at home than it is to eat low fat at many restaurants.

But if you’re a little nervous about making a special meal for your loved one, just remember to keep things as simple as possible. Valentine’s Day is probably not the best time to see if you can flambé bananas or try your first ever soufflé. Take advantage of the fact that many appetizers and desserts can be prepared ahead of time, so you don’t have to feel under so much pressure. If your sweetheart truly loves you, then serving his or her favorite (low fat) home-style dish by candlelight, with some mood-enhancing music in the background, may be all that’s needed for a memorable evening. (Follow the simple, healthy, delicious recipes in this addition to help complete the purrr-fectt,  heart healthy meal.