Don’t Let the Flu Catch You: TOP Tips to Avoid the Flu

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Flu season is here.  Why wait until it creeps up on you when you can follow some key strategies to help avoid it. Having a strong immune system can help reduce your risk of getting sick.  So plan your strategy and do your best to stay well this season. Getting sick means missing work, having to cancel upcoming social activities and impending travel plans. So make the right food and lifestyle choices and stay healthy. Here are four tried and true tips for beating the nasty flu. To your health!

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1. Eat foods that boost your immunity. Foods that will help keep the flu away include almonds, mushrooms, fruits high in vitamin C such as strawberries, tomatoes, mangoes, oranges and grapefruits, fermented foods, which contain probiotics, such as yogurt with live cultures, kimchi or miso, green tea, kombucha, and pickles. Include at least a few of these foods in your daily diet. At breakfast, enjoy an orange or a small pink grapefruit along with your cereal or yogurt. At lunch, try an almond butter sandwich with an orange and a cup of green tea. At dinner, a grilled portobello mushroom burger or a bowl of steamy mushroom soup with an avocado and tomato salad are two great ways to wind down your day.

2. Get enough zzz’s! Sleep impacts your immunity, so don’t try to cut your sleep time short. Teens need 9 to 10 hours of sleep daily while adults can manage well with 7 to 8. Just like you would put work and the gym on your daily schedule, don’t forget to pencil in sleep!

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3. Exercise! A good workout will reduce your chances of getting sick. Aim to exercise at least four times per week. If you can’t get to the gym, workout with an app or grab your pedometer (aim for 10,000 steps per day) and go for a walk.

4. Wash your hands. Keep germs at bay by washing your hands frequently throughout the day.

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is an award-winning Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is passionate about helping people transform their lives with optimal nutrition. She received the 2015 Outstanding Dietitian of The Year from the New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Lisa is an entrepreneur, speaker, private practitioner, and writer. She consults with food startups and restaurants to help put health on the menu. Lisa is the author of the ebook The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press 2014) and The Teen Eating Manifesto (Nirvana Press 2012). In her private practice she specializes in teen and adult weight management and diabetes. Lisa received her two degrees in Nutrition from New York University. She consults with clients in Huntington, New York, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and virtually. To find out more about Lisa or to book an appointment, please visit here.

Staying Trim on Summer Vacation

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As the weather starts getting warmer, you may be looking to plan a summer getaway. Before you set off on your summer excursion, make sure to follow some of the tips below to stay fit and trim on your vacation. With the many options at restaurants and all of the snack temptations around, you may find that it may be easy to over-indulge. However, the key to staying trim and fit on vacation is to eat in moderation. When you get home, you will feel recharged and not have to worry about any of the decisions you made while you were away. Eating in moderation still allows you to enjoy the local foods but also helps you keep healthy habits!

Travel Tips:

  • Know your portion sizes. Don’t be afraid to ask to have a portion of the meal boxed up to take back to your room for later. You can also split an entree with a friend and save money at the same time!
  • Opt for healthy fats. Instead of eating deep-fried and buttery foods, order foods rich in unsaturated fats like nuts, olives, and local seafood.
  • Customize you meal orders. Request to change a side order of fries to a salad, order sauces on the side, and opt for whole wheat bread instead of white bread.
  • Exercise regularly. Walk to attractions whenever possible, go swimming, use the hotel gym, or go on a local hike. Find time every day to be active.
  • Drink enough water. Traveling may dehydrate you a little extra during the summer. Make sure to drink enough every day by keeping a refillable water bottle with you wherever you go.
  • Eat in. You don’t always have to go to restaurants to eat every meal. Visit local markets and buy breakfast supplies that you can toss together in your hotel room. Buy local fruits and vegetables for snacks to take with you throughout the day to satisfy your hunger.
  • Eat comfort-style foods in moderation. You do not have to cut yourself completely off from trying local rich foods, but limit your intake so you can still enjoy the foods, while staying trim in the process.
  • Drink Sparingly. Though it is expected that alcohol may be consumed, avoid consuming sugary alcoholic drinks, and limit consumption to one or two drinks. Wine or a wine spritzer are two good choices.
  • Make meals more satisfying by focusing on consuming fruits and vegetables. Adding at least five portions of fruits and vegetables per day will keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day and provide the fiber necessary to maintain digestive health.
  • Savor your meal time. Though you may be eating on the way to the next destination, try to eat a sit-down meal instead of eating fast food or eating while traveling. This way, you will enjoy your food more, and feel more satisfied throughout the day.

Keep these tips in mind on your summer trip to ensure a healthy getaway!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the The 2015 Outstanding Dietitian of The Year by The New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a speaker, blogger, entrepreneur and innovator who is passionate about spreading the message of healthy eating for optimal health. To help restaurants improve upon menu choices and food preparation, Lisa recently founded Eat Well Restaurant Nutrition where she collaborates with chefs to get healthy meals on the table. She is the author of the “The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad,” (Nirvana Press 2014) and the widely-acclaimed “The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy,” (Nirvana Press 2012). In her private practice, with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Lisa specializes in weight managment, travel nutrition and diabetes for teens and adults. For more info, contact Lisa via email or visit here. Special thanks to Social Media Intern Anita Renwick for writing this blog.

The BEST Healthy Travel Apps

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One of the great things about traveling is that it can help you escape your daily routine. It’s great to explore new places and leave the usual daily grind behind. And feeling great while you travel is a no-brainer. Feeling well will help you enjoy everything your destination has to offer. If you want to have a stress-free vacation and come back home feeling relaxed, planning out most of your trip in advance can make things run smoother. Booking train and museum tickets will help you spend less time on line. And the play you were dying to see–you don’t want to find it’s now sold out when you drop in to buy tickets. Restaurants that you definitely want to try? Book your reservation on Opentable before you leave home. In addition to the “before you start your travels” tips, there are a wide range of health-related apps to help make your trip a great success.  Using apps available on your smartphone when you travel can definitely enhance your travel experience.

Here are some TOP apps to help  you eat healthy, stay fit and feel sane while traveling. Enjoy your trip and come back home feeling healthy, relaxed and energized! Bon voyage!

Healthy Eating Apps

– Happy Cow (free for iPhone): Essentially a “Yelp” for meat-adverse diners – gives options for vegan, vegetarian, and vegetarian-friendly restaurants in your area, rates them by price, and details the type of food and what animal products are offered/omitted. Provides reviews and pictures, so you can browse the menu and decide on what you want on the ride over!
http://www.happycow.net/mobile.html

-Eat Out Well (free for iPhone): From The American Diabetes Association and Hope Warshaw, RDN. Excellent app for searching menu items and their nutrition facts at multiple chain restaurants across the U.S.

–  Food Tripping (free): This app finds your location (in America) and gives you suggestions on healthy food places around you. You can search for Farmers Markets, coffee and tea places, food and drink artisans, eateries, and juice joints. You never have to settle on a fast food salad again!
http://www.shft.com/foodtripping

– My Fitness Pal (free): This app is also very helpful to research calorie counts on popular foods and recipes from other cultures. Calorie counts are verified by their Registered Dietitian, so you know that what you enter into your food log is guaranteed to accurately keep you on track!
https://www.myfitnesspal.com

– CDC’s Travwell (free): Looks at different countries around the world and offers traveling suggestions to be the healthiest as possible for your trip. This includes vaccinations and medicine advice, and lists of over-the-counter medicines and first aid supplies. This is super helpful to stay on track with eating healthy during your vacation, because the better you feel, the more motivated you’ll be to stay healthy the whole trip!
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/apps-about

– Can I Eat This? (free): This is an app also created by the CDC that helps prevent contracting a food borne illness in an international country. By being ahead of potentially debilitating symptoms, you can stay healthy with smart food choices and lots of walking around your city!
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/apps-about

Relaxation Apps
-Insight Timer (free for iPhone) Unwind with this meditation app. A variety of guided meditations to choose from. Select the length of time you wish to meditate.

Fitness Apps

-Simply Yoga (free for iPhone)  A variety of yoga exercises with audio and instructor. A great way to start or end your day.

-MapMyWalk and MapMy Run (free for iPhone) ) Whether walking or running, these apps will keep track of your route, speed and distance.

-Track Your Steps: iSteps ($0.99) iPhone Works like a pedometer! Counts your steps, distance, average speed and calories burned. You can wear it around your waist or carry it in your hand. Great and easy way to get fit so press start and get moving!

-7 Minute Workout (free for iPhone).  Quick and effective full-body workout that only takes seven minutes to complete. Great for travelers!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the 2015 Outstanding Dietitian of the Year by the New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Her passions include traveling the world and experiencing new foods and cultures. She is the author of the ebook The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press 2014) and The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012).. Lisa maintains a nutrition practice in NYC and Huntington, Long Island. Lisa is also the CEO of Eat Well Restaurant Nutrition where she collaborates with chefs to get healthy dishes on the menu. For more info on Lisa, visit here. Special thanks to Samantha Marks, BS, DTR for her input on this post.

Three Reasons To Visit Lake Como

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Lake Como in northern Italy is truly one of the most breathtaking spots on the planet. Just picture a large lake surrounded on one side by spectacular mountains coupled with winding roads and exhilarating hairpin turns lined with homes painted in various hues of terra cotta. Complete this vision with a beautiful green lushness of trees and flowers. Exquisite sums it up. Lake Como is a great place to slow down, unwind and just take in the beauty. In addition to the postcard views, there are three other great reasons to visit this town. These include 1. fabulous food (this is Italy–there is always delicious food!), 2. shopping (Lake Como is famous for its’ silk–they even have an excellent silk museum that is definitely worth the visit) and 3. a terrific place to unwind and relax. It has a slow pace which is ideal when you need to lower the stress level from daily living back home.

Things to do

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1.Take the boat taxi that will take you around the lake to each town. You can get a day-pass and get on and off at your leisure. A great way to see Lake Como. Make sure to visit the magnificent town of Bellagio. Great shops, restaurants and fabulous lake views.

2. Visit the Silk Museum. Lake Como is the silk capital of Italy. The museum captures the history of silk making through the ages. From the cocoon through the finished product, you will walk away with an understanding of the background of silk. Fascinating.

3. Town of Como–quaint shops and outdoor cafes combine to be a great place to stroll and spend a nice afternoon. Many stores offer gorgeous silk ties and scarves.

Great Places to Eat

Restaurants

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Acquadolce–Located on Lake Como in the town of Cernobbio. The restaurant is situated cliffside with dramatic views of the lake. And the food is wonderful. Delicious choices include chickpea soup with squid and pasta with baby artichokes. Wonderful grilled vegetables.
Ristorante Rico–What a wonderful gem hidden in the village of Como. Go for the delicious truffles, pasta and fresh seafood. They also serve an array of wonderful vegetable side dishes (also know as contorni).

Staying Healthy and Fit While You Travel

It’s great to come back from vacation and not gain weight. So how can you do this? There are two simple tips to implement:1. Fill up on vegetables. Order a grilled vegetable plate at lunch. Or enjoy a salad with legumes or seafood. A grilled vegetable sandwich is also served regularly on the menu in northern Italy. The vegetables here are amazing, so take advantage. At dinner, again focus on vegetables. Have them as a main course or as a side dish. Do enjoy the pasta and pizza. They are great. But don’t have them everyday.  2. Walk. It’s amazing how much you can walk when you are sightseeing. All the steps you take while traveling will help you come home feeling great. On my recent trip to Lake Como, we walked over 14,000 steps each day, without even realizing it. Use the outdoors as your gym!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is based on Huntington, Long Island and New York City. Her expertise is in weight management and travel nutrition. She was recently honored as the 2015 Distinguished Dietitian of the Year Award by The New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. To find out more about Lisa, visit here.

Four Tips to Avoid the Flu

Orange picFlu season is here! Why wait until it creeps up on you when you can follow some key strategies to help avoid it. Having a strong immune system can help you feel great and stay healthy. So plan your strategy and do your best to stay well this season. Here are four tried and true tips for beating the nasty flu. To your health! 1. Eat foods that boost your immunity. Foods that will help keep the flu away include almonds, mushrooms, fruits high in vitamin C such as strawberries, tomatoes, oranges and grapefruits, fermented foods such as yogurt with live cultures, kimchi or miso, green tea, kombucha, and garlic. Include at least a few of these foods in your daily diet. At breakfast, enjoy an orange or a small pink grapefruit along with your cereal or yogurt. At lunch, try an almond butter sandwich with a cup of green tea. At dinner, a grilled portobello mushroom burger or a bowl of steamy mushroom soup are two great ways to wind down your day. 2. Get enough zzz’s! Sleep impacts your immunity so don’t try to cut your sleep time short. Teens need 9 to 10 hours of sleep daily while adults can manage well with 7 to 8. Just like you would put work and the gym on your daily schedule, don’t forget to pencil in sleep! 3. Exercise! A good workout will reduce your chances of getting sick. Aim to exercise at least five times per week. If you can’t get to the gym, workout with an app or grab your pedometer (aim for 10,000 steps per day) along with your dog and go for a walk. 4. Wash your hands. Keep germs at bay by washing your hands frequently throughout the day. Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is the author of the new e-book The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press 2014) and the widely-acclaimed book The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012). Lisa is a nutrition specialist in weight management and diabetes for teens and adults. She is in private practice with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Contact Lisa at eatwellrd@yahoo.com or for more info: www.lisastollmanrd.com.

Be the Best YOU Can Be in 2015!

yoga-3As 2015 begins to roll out, take this time to think about the person YOU want to be and the accomplishments you aim to achieve. It helps to first reflect on 2014’s past successes, achievements, and best moments and use them as fuel for the upcoming year. In order to be your best self, you must be healthy in all facets: emotionally, physically and socially. I challenge you to take on these 7 steps for your best year yet! Do more for YOU. Taking care of YOU will help YOU live life to its fullest!

1. Drink more water. Our bodies are approximately 70% water. Most of us do not drink nearly enough. Hydrate your cells and your outward appearance will glow. Your body runs best on all levels when properly hydrated. And if you are drinking more water, naturally you will be drinking less sugar-sweetened or artificially-sweetened beverages that your body has no requirement for.

2. Eat more whole, plant-based foods. Plant foods are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and beans. These are the foods that grow from the ground. If you are eating more plant-based foods, then you will naturally be taking in more fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, heart-healthy fats and less bad fats and sodium. Think of antioxidants as anti-aging, anti-disease, anti-damage to the body. Plant-based foods help lower the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and many types of cancer. So make plant foods the bulk of your diet in 2015.

3. Sleep more. Get -7-8 hours most days of the week. Most of us do not get adequate sleep and we probably don’t realize how tired we actually are. Get the recommended 8 hours a couple days in a row and see how good you feel. It’s wonderful.

4. Exercise. Exercise helps you feel and look better–mentally and physically. Walk your dog, sign up for classes at your local gym, put an exercise App on your smart phone or iPad. Get a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps per day (5 miles). Just MOVE!

5. Stimulate your brain. Read more. Travel to new destinations. Take an art or cooking class. Sign up for a 5K. Start a new business you are passionate about. Find activities that make you happy.

6. Get more sunshine. Vitamin D plays numerous roles in our body and more of us are deficient than realize. Vitamin D is found in very little food sources, with the exception of mushrooms and fortified dairy and non-dairy milk. So our body has this amazing ability to synthesize it with exposure to the sun as it absorbs into our skin. Furthermore, getting more in touch with nature has stress-lowering effects beneficial for overall health.

7. Laugh more. Laughing lowers stress. When you start to laugh more you may start to see certain situations aren’t as bad as you think. Share more laughs with friends and family.

So make this your year of YOU! Put in the effort to be healthy and happy so YOU enjoy your life more. Happy 2015!!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is the author of The Trim Traveler and The Teen Eating Manifesto. She is a nutritionist and writer based in Huntington, Long Island and NYC. Lisa specializes in weight management and diabetes for teens and adults. Visit Lisa’s website for more information.

Enjoy and Stay Trim this Holiday Season

christmas-tree-wallpapers_25871_1680x1050The holiday season is upon us and with this time of year comes an array of parties and events to attend, and any excuse, let’s be honest, to cook up or, simply, eat lots of tasty holiday treats. Cookies, cake, pie galore! During this season we are tempted with so many decadent spreads of food. According to a study done by the National Institutes of Health the average weight person typically gains only a pound over the holiday season. However, overweight and obese people tend to gain five pounds during this time! The big problem is that most people don’t lose the weight gained, thus the pounds obtained over the winter holidays accumulate year by year. This doesn’t have to be YOU! Know that you can enjoy the holidays and maintain your weight and healthy habits. Whether traveling or enjoying the holidays at home, maintenance is KEY. Don’t look to lose weight over the holidays (but if you do, that’s awesome!). Here are a few tips to keep you on track:

1. Follow your meal routine. Eat every three to five hours. Avoid skipping meals. Skipping meals so you can indulge later typically backfires. You may end up eating more than you usually do and your desire to make healthy decisions will go out the window. Tip: eat a healthy snack or meal before you go out so you don’t overindulge at the party. Try to combine some protein with a complex carbohydrate and you may feel full longer. Think a small handful of nuts or a KIND bar and a fresh fruit. Or a peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole grain bread.

2. Balance your plate. For the party meal, think MyPlate guidelines: ½ of the plate should be non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts or salad, ¼ of the plate can be from protein sources like grilled salmon, sautéed tofu, beans or chicken breast and ¼ starch consisting of pasta, rice or sweet potatoes. Add in small serving of dessert or very small portions of several desserts. Think volume for the vegetables and portion control of the more decadent sides and desserts.

3. Don’t drink your calories. We all love those holiday punches, ciders, cocktails and hot comforting drinks but know what is in your glass before indulging. Always start the party off with water or a glass of seltzer. If you want to get or remain svelte, stick with water or seltzer! If you must imbibe, one to two glasses of wine or 2 oz. of vodka , gin or rum with seltzer or a splash of juice should be your limit. Just an FYI: Egg Nog is one of the richest holiday drinks, containing 350 calories, 19 grams of fat and 22 grams of sugar per serving! CalorieKing (www.calorieking.com) is great website (and FREE app) for nutrition information on drinks and food.

4. Buy healthy whole foods so you eat well at home. Purchase fresh fruit and vegetables, beans, hummus, tofu, fish, chicken, lean meat, nuts and nut butters, whole grains, such as couscous and quinoa, whole grain pasta and cereals and popcorn.

5. Maintain your exercise routine. Exercise helps prevent weight gain and relieves holiday stress. Walking at a brisk pace just 20 minutes every day is beneficial.

6. Aim to maintain weight, not lose it. Enjoy the holiday season and the time you spend with with friends and family. You will get more enjoyment out of laughing with those you are closest to than indulging in unhealthy party foods. Do not let the buffet table become your focus!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is the author of the new ebook The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press 2014) and The Teen Eating Manifesto (Nirvana Press 2012). She is a nationally-recognized Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a specialty in teen and adult weight management and diabetes. Lisa received her B.S. in Food and Nutrition and her M.A. in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She consults with clients in Huntington, New York and on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. To find out more about Lisa or to book an appointment, please visit: www.lisastollmanrd.com