5 Tips for a Healthy Memorial Day

happy-memorial-day-from-briggs-freeman-sothebys-international-realty-1With Memorial Day kicking off this weekend, summer is officially here. So I thought it would be wise to offer some advice on how to eat well at the endless array of BBQs destined to mark your calendar during the upcoming summer months. These gatherings are a great way to get together with friends and family, enjoy the weather, relax, and just enjoy life. You’ll typically be faced with a smorgasbord of food options, so trust that you can still get your fill and also feel good about what you are eating. Here are five tips for you to take to your next gathering.

  1. On the grill: Plant-based proteins are always the better choice. If available, enjoy a grilled veggie burger, portobello mushroom or veggie dog. If plant-based options aren’t on the menu, choose lean proteins such as fish or chicken . But, let’s be honest! Low fat options at your typical gathering (unless it’s your casa) are often slim. Most likely it will be hamburgers and traditional hot dogs. Remember– you don’t have to try everything just because it’s there. Select what you really like. Enjoy it and aim to just have one serving. You can always make a delicious meal from grilled vegetables (if they are available) and salad.
  2. Condiments: Go easy with the mayo, creamy dressings and cheese you consume.     For a healthier alternative, try a couple slices of avocado. Bulk up your burger or sandwich with as much lettuce, onions, tomatoes and pickles as you desire.
  3.  Sides: Go heavy on the salsas and fresh vegetable options; go lighter with the         mayonnaise-based sides, such as macaroni salad and dips. Don’t overdo the chips, as they are empty calories that won’t fill you up. Opt for crackers, pretzels or  baked chips and aim for one handful. If raw vegetables are being served, indulge in them. They are always the BEST choice!
  4. Desserts: Limit to one small portion if it’s a decadent dessert. If there is fresh fruit, that’s– hands down– the better choice!
  5. What to bring: A watermelon (everyone will love this!), vinegar-based coleslaw, salsa, hummus and raw vegetable tray, chickpea salad, salad with fresh nuts and berries with vinaigrette or fresh fruit salad (this is my personal favorite!). While these are all healthier options, if it tastes good, people will eat it.

Above all else, enjoy your time with your friends and family. Enjoy summer!

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, food influencer, 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.

Six Tips for Staying Trim During the Holidays

Christmas tree NYC 2015

Thanksgiving just passed and the holiday season is now quickly upon us. With this time of year comes an array of parties and events to attend, and any excuse  to cook, or simply (let’s be honest!) eat lots of tasty holiday treats. Cookies, cakes and pies galore. Oh my!!! During this festive month we are tempted with so many decadent spreads of food. According to a study, by the National Institutes of Health, the average weight person typically gains one to two pounds over the holiday season. And people that are overweight tend to gain five pounds during this time. The real issue is that most people don’t lose the weight gained, thus the pounds obtained over the winter holidays accumulate year by year. But with the right knowledge, you don’t have to join the group of “weight-gainers.” 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 six 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. When you skip a meal your blood sugar level may drop. This can lead to intense hunger. You may end up eating more than you usual 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 a 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 a small serving of dessert if you so desire 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 the two aforementioned beverages! 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 1 cup (8 ounce) serving! CalorieKing (www.calorieking.com) is a great website (and FREE app) for nutrition information on drinks and food.

4. Fill your kitchen with 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 and whole grains, such as quinoa, whole wheat pasta and couscous, 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 daily, is quite beneficial.

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

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the 2015 The 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 plant-based eating and optimal health. To help restaurants improve upon menu choices and food preparation, Lisa recently founded Eat Well Restaurant Nutrition where she collaborates with chefs. She is also the author of the 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). In her private practice, with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Lisa specializes in weight managment and diabetes for teens and adults. Contact Lisa here or visit here for more info.

Make 2016 Your Healthiest Year Yet

Happy New Year pic

2016 is literally right around the corner and you’ve thought seriously about your resolutions for the upcoming year. With a new year comes a clean slate and a newfound determination to really stick with your goals this year. And this year, if health and taking care of yourself is on your list (as it should be!), take the time to make this year your happiest and healthiest yet!

Here are some tips on making 2016 your healthiest year ever:

  1. If you’ve had trouble in the past with staying true to your exercise goals, find a professional that can help keep you on track. This can mean investing in a personal trainer, registered dietitian nutritionist, or even making friends with the group fitness class instructor. When you have someone to report to, who has appropriate perspective on the topic, you will be more likely to stay focused and will receive input from someone who was trained to discuss these things with you. For more individualized nutrition and wellness help, consult with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.
  2. Wait a few days after January 2nd to hit the gym. In this first week, everyone will be diving into his or her new fitness resolutions and the gym will be crazy packed. A packed gym usually means frustration and diminished motivation – that’s no way to start your own resolutions! Stick with at-home or outside workouts in this first week. Allow the crowds to die down before you start your new year as a gym rat.
  3. Don’t compare your progress with others. Some people will just drop the weight more quickly than you, or have the time to try out more recipes, or will just be carefully advertising only the highlights in their lives. As long as you’re making progress, you should feel proud and motivated to continue. You are your own competition.
  4. Stay mindful on finding ways to make healthy changes throughout your day. This can mean taking the stairs, using nonfat milk in your latte, standing/walking when you’re on the phone, switching to whole grain bread, opting for alcohol-free coworker bonding after work, or snacking on fiber- and protein-filled foods (not chips) when your energy is draining. Making little tweaks can begin to show in how healthy you feel. Then the healthier you feel, the more motivated you’ll be to make more changes!
  5. Yes, New Years is Day 1 of the 365-page book of 2016. It’s important to start strong, but it is just as important to keep that momentum going. Every first day of the month, review the goals you’ve made and how much you have achieved them. This will keep you responsible for your commitment to your resolutions and remember the determination you had when you first made them.
  6. Find a friend to help you can carry out your resolutions. Discuss your “no excuses” list together, compare your ways  of becoming healthier through your day, and always support each other to keep going. And remember to only say to yourself the things you would say to someone else – always keep it positive!

 

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. She is also the author of the e-book 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 and diabetes for teens and adults. For more info, contact Lisa via email or visit here. Special thanks to Samantha Marks, Dietetic Intern, for her fabulous contributions to this post.

 

 

Six Healthy Eating Strategies For Holiday Parties

 

Family celebrating Christmas at home and eating together delicious sweets, cookies and desserts, top view

The month of December is a time to celebrate your accomplishments of 2016, welcome the winter weather, and observe the holidays festivities,  all while enjoying the sparking lights around town. Unfortunately for many, it is also a time where healthy eating is thrown to the wind and a balanced diet is replaced with an overloaded plate of decadent meals and desserts. While “treating yourself” every now and then is perfectly fine, there is likely some room for improvement in, at least most people’s, December diets. Below are some tips and tricks to make this holiday party season your healthiest!

  1. When you arrive, take a lap or two around the spread of food before picking up a plate and loading it up. When you are ready, fill 1/2 of your plate with things you really want (and don’t usually get to eat), and the other half with salad and/or vegetables.
  1. To avoid going crazy on one extreme, whether gorging on treats or trying to 100% omit them all night, allow yourself to enjoy a couple small desserts. Let this be your indulgence, and savor it slowly to enjoy it and make it last longer. By practicing this mindfulness, you can enjoy the treats even more and save plenty of calories.
  1. Fill up on fiber-rich foods first, so you have less room later for the gravy-covered meats and dense desserts. Look for fruits and vegetables, or bring a platter of either to guarantee you have these options. Plus, the fiber in fruits and vegetables will also help fill you up with the “good stuff.” Sorry, mystery holiday loaf, there’s no room for you this year!
  1. Go easy on the alcoholic beverages. Not only do they add on the calories, they can lower your blood sugar (thus making you hungry) and cause you to overindulge on more food. So try to limit the drinks to one or two. Have a glass of wine, spritzer or a martini. Steer clear of the sugary drinks.
  1. Stay standing while mingling at the party – by avoiding the couch, you will be burning more calories while strengthening your muscles. It’s also harder to continuously nibble on food while standing and moving around.
  1. If you have health- or weight-related New Years resolutions brewing in your mind, write them down now and practice them before the holiday season is in full swing. You’ll avoid packing on the holiday pounds, plus you’ll feel more motivated come 2016, knowing this was your healthiest holiday season yet!
  1. Be MINDFUL. Remember that you are in complete control of everything you eat and drink. Remind yourself of that as much as you need.

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the 2015 The 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 plant-based eating and optimal health. To help restaurants improve upon menu choices and food preparation, Lisa recently founded Eat Well Restaurant Nutrition where she collaborates with chefs. She is also the author of the e-book 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 and diabetes for teens and adults. Contact Lisa at eatwellrd@yahoo.com or visit here. Special thanks to Samantha Marks, Dietetic intern, for her contributions to this post.

6 Tips for Staying Trim and Enjoying This Holiday Season

Christmas NYC 2015

In the blink of an eye, the  holiday season is now upon us. With this time of year comes an array of parties and events to attend, and any excuse (let’s be honest!) to cook, or simply eat lots of tasty holiday treats. Cookies, cakes, pies galore. Oh my!!! During this festive month we are tempted with so many decadent spreads of food. According to a study, by the National Institutes of Health, the average weight person typically gains one to two pounds over the holiday season. And overweight and obese people tend to gain five pounds during this time. The real issue is that most people don’t lose the weight gained, thus the pounds obtained over the winter holidays accumulate year by year. However with the right knowledge, you don’t have to join the group of “weight-gainers.” 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 six 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 the two aforementioned beverages! 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 1 cup (8 ounce) 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 and whole grains, such as  quinoa, whole wheat pasta and couscous, 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 daily, is quite beneficial.

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

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the 2015 The 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 plant-based eating and optimal health. To help restaurants improve upon menu choices and food preparation, Lisa recently founded Eat Well Restaurant Nutrition where she collaborates with chefs. She is also the author of the 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). In her private practice, with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Lisa specializes in weight managment and diabetes for teens and adults. Contact Lisa at eatwellrd@yahoo.com or visit here.