Healthy Shopping List

IMG_0150Whether your grocery shopping for home or the AirBNB you’ve reserved in Tahiti, buying nutritious food will keep you feeling well and ready to conquer the world. Below find my guide to some of the best foods in the local farmer’s market or grocery store. Try to include them as part of your daily diet. Eating well can help prevent disease and enhance the quality of your life. Choose whole foods which include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean meats, poultry, and fish, beans and tofu, nuts and high-calcium foods, such as milk, yogurt, calcium-fortified almond milk, almonds,broccoli and bok choy. Healthy fats and oils, such as avocado, nuts and olive oil should be consumed in moderation daily.

Healthy Shopping List
Cereals: should have 6 grams or less of sugar per serving and least 3 grams dietary fiber per serving. Good choices = plain oatmeal, Cheerios, MultiGrain Cheerios, Kashi Heart to Heart, Kashi Autumn Harvest and Barbara’s Cinnamon Puffins. Limit serving to 1 cup.
Breads: whole grains are best. Look for the word “whole” in the beginning of the ingredient list. Whole grain breads should have at least 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Milton’s is an excellent brand.
Starches/Grains: These complex carbohydrates include beans, sweet and white potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, barley, whole wheat couscous, amaranth, buckwheat (or kasha) and whole grain pasta.
Soups:  Amy’s and Dr. McDougall’s– great-tasting vegetarian soups; low in sodium/ high in fiber, broth- based vegetable and bean soups are also good.
Best oils/fat: Monounsaturated and omega-3 fats. Mono = olive oil, olives, canola oil, nuts, nut butters, avocados and olives. Omega-3 = fish oils, nuts and ground flax seed.
Heart-healthy fish: wild salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, sardines, bluefish—aim for 6 oz. per week. Fatty fish contain omega-3 fats.
Milk: organic skim milk or calcium-fortified soy or almond milk.
Yogurt: good brands = Stonyfield, Horizon, Chobani, Ziggi’s, So Delicious, Colombo and Dannon. These yogurts contain live cultures. The healthiest flavor is plain. If you are vegan, try soy yogurt.
Cheese: low fat is best (3 grams fat per ounce). Good brands = Cabot’s and Jarlsberg Lite. Use whole fat cheese (9 grams saturated fat/ounce) in moderation. One ounce of cheese = 9 grams of saturated fat.
Proteins: include more vegetarian proteins in your diet such as tofu, beans and nuts/ nut butters. Limit red meat (beef, lamb, pork and veal) to three times per week (3 ounces cooked per meal) or less. Eat more veggie burgers, beans, fish and chicken instead.
Fruits: have at least 3 servings per day. Organic, fresh whole fruit is best. Avoid juice as it doesn’t contain any fiber.
Vegetables: aim for a minimum of 2 cups or more per day. Organic is best.
Snacks: limit to 200 calories per snack. Good choices=KIND bars, Kashi granola bars, fresh fruit and 1 ounce protein such as low fat cheese or 10 nuts or 6 to 8 oz. nonfat plain yogurt plus 1 fruit.
Healthy sweeteners: sugar, stevia and honey in moderation. 1 packet sugar has 16 calories and 4 grams carbohydrate. Limit to 1 teaspoon per meal or less. Stevia is a healthy herbal sweetener.
Best beverages: water, seltzer, coffee, green, matcha and white tea. Drink at least 8 cups daily to stay hydrated. Limit coffee to 2 to 3 cups per day if it bothers you. Use stevia or 1 packet of sugar if you want your beverage sweetened.

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 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, travel nutrition and diabetes for teens and adults. For more info, contact Lisa via email or visit here.

Healthy Travel Tips For Before You Go Abroad

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Getting ready to travel abroad for even a few days can be truly exasperating. From making sure your passport is ready to-go, to making sure your hotel  (and for some, school courses) is confirmed and any required vaccinations are up-to-date. There are SO many loose ends to pull together, it can make your head spin. But don’t fret. Make a list of what you need to have done, so by the time you get comfortable in your plane seat, all of your to-dos will be checked off. Keeping a list and checking it off as you finish a task will help you reduce any stress. If you want to keep a list online in one convenient place, try the Finish app (available for free) in the Apple store. You can list your “to-dos,” set deadlines, and check them off as they get completed.

Order Your In-Flight Meal
If you aren’t usually fond of the typical airplane fare, or have special dietary requests, you can order a special meal usually up to 48 hours before you depart. Many airlines will let you order your special meal request online. There’s a vast variety of meal selections to choose from. If you have any allergy or intolerance such as celiac disease, you can be assured that you can find dairy-free or gluten-free  in addition to a host of other diet modifications.  To find the list of available meal selections, visit your airlines website and do a search for special meal requests.

Familiarize Yourself in the Local Food Culture
Familiarize yourself with the local cuisine where you will be traveling. Learn the  names of popular dishes and what is in them. Becoming familiar with the food will help you when dining in restaurants. You can check the Internet for the cultural foods at your destination country. Then you’ll be aware of the foods offered on local menus, whether you’re grabbing a meal at the hotel cafe or fancy restaurant. It’s also wise to plan ahead and check out the menus online of any restaurant you plan to visit. This way you’ll know if you should make a reservation or find another spot. Especially if you have food allergies or intolerances, you need to be informed in advance of the local cuisine and the potential allergens or ingredients it may contain.

Pack Some Food
Quite often when we are overwhelmed with just the thought of travel, we somehow forget about the food. You don’t want to get to the airport and take for granted that you will get a delicious meal served to you inflight and will find all the foods you love at home, when you get to your destination. So what should you do? Plan ahead! Staying well-fueled with good food will keep you feeling healthy and energized. Buy some healthy foods that are portable to bring along with you on the plane. Healthy granola bars, such as KIND or Kashi, are great for a snack or have two for breakfast! Bags of nuts and dried fruit are also good choices. Trader Joe’s sells large bags of individually-wrapped trail mix that’s great for traveling abroad. You can also pack a couple sandwiches for the flight. Peanut butter and banana on whole grain bread is a healthy sandwich to bring along. Also hummus, avocado and tomato on whole grain bread is delicious and quite portable.
Food To Bring
1 to 2 sandwiches for the plane
Fresh or dried fruit
Energy bars
Trail Mix
Individual bags of nuts

Bon Voyage!

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.

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.

How To Eat Well In An Indian Restaurant

Indian meal VeraswamyWalk into an Asian Indian restaurant and the rich aroma will warmly welcome you in. The mingling of exotic spices such as curry, cardamom, clove and turmeric propels Indian food into a unique and distinctive flavor unlike any other. The rich bouquet of this cuisine permeates the delicious dishes resulting in a wonderful culinary experience you won’t forget. If you’ve had the pleasure to enjoy Indian food, you know what I mean. If you have not had the pleasure, you are truly missing out on a real treat. Don’t be afraid to try this cuisine because you don’t fare well with spicy food. Simply ask for your food to be prepared “not spicy.” Unlike many ethnic cusines, Indian food can be ordered to the degree of spiciness you prefer. So definitely put this cuisine on your bucket list and GO!

Below you will find an overview of a standard Indian menu along with how this cuisine can fit into a variety of diets.

Overview of an Indian Restaurant Menu

Appetizers
Onion bhajia:  A mixture of gramflour, onions, fresh coriander and cumin deep fried.

Aloo channa poori: Spicy chickpeas & potato served with tamarind chutney & a poori.

Samosa: Vegetable or spiced minced lamb deep fried pastry parcels

Prawn Poori: King prawns in a light sauce served wth a poori

Haryali tikka: Chicken marinated in green herbs and hot spices cooked in the tandoor.

Sheekh kebab: Lean minced lamb spiced with green chillies and onions grilled in the tandoor.

Chicken Saslick: /Chicken breast pieces cooked with peppers & onions in the tandoor

Mains Dishes

Murgh Tikka Masala:  Chargrilled chicken marinated in fresh ginger & garlic then simmered in a sauce of tomatoes, butter and cream

Murgh Jalfrezi: Chicken breast pieces stir fried in special hot spices, with onions, tomatoes, green & red peppers

Murgh Korma: Chicken in a mild cream, coconut & cashew sauce

Murgh Chilli Masala: Chicken in a tomato sauce with ginger, garlic & shredded fresh green chillies

Nilgiri Murgh: Tender Chicken pieces cooked in fresh coriander, mint, garlic & ginger sauce

Saagwala Gosht: Lamb cooked with garlic, ginger, onions & spinach

Garlic Chilli Prawns: King Prawns in a chilli & garlic sauce with spring onions

Goan Fish Curry: Tilapia fish curry cooked in a hot spicy coconut cream sauce

Karai Paneer: Juicy chunks of paneer in a tomato, onion & green chilli sauce with green herbs

Tarka Daal: Lentils tempered with onions & spices

Daal Makhani: Black lentils simmered slowly with kidney beans & cream

Biryanis: An elaborate dish of rice with spiced lamb, chicken or vegetables with nuts & sultanas, sprinkled with saffron. Served with yogurt or vegetable sauce. May be made with either chicken, lamb or vegetable.

Sides
Channa Masala: Chickpeas with ginger, garlic & spices

Saag Paneer: Paneer (similar to large curd cottage cheese) with finely shredded spinach

Aloo Ki Subz: Potatoes in an onion & tomato sauce with cumin

Brinjal Aloo: Eggplant and potatoes with cumin & fennel seeds

Rice & Breads
Naan: Traditional leavened bread baked with refined flour, eggs and milk.

Garlic naan:  Traditional leavened bread baked with refined flour, eggs, garlic and milk.

Peshauri Naan: Stuffed with ground almonds, cashews & coconut

Tandoori Roti: Light unleavened bread

Paratha: Layered flat bread made with whole wheat flour and butter.

Pilau Rice: Basmati rice seasoned with cloved, cinnamon, mace & cardamoms

Saffron Rice: Basmati rice flavored with saffron

Meal Suggestions For Your Special Diet

  1. Diabetes-Friendly Dishes: Limit your intake of rice to one cup or less. One cup of rice is 45 grams (or 3 exchanges) of carbohydrate. Try the daal, which is made from lentils and is high in fiber. The vegetable, fish and chicken dishes are all great choices. If you order bread, limit to one or two small servings.
  2. Heart-Healthy Dishes: Choose any of the vegetable, chicken or fish dishes. Ask for your entree to be made without cream or ghee.
  3. Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly Dishes: Choose any of the vegetable dishes if you are vegetarian. For those who are vegan, request that your vegetable dish be made with out ghee, cream or cheese (paneer). Chana masala and daal are terrific dishes for plant-based eaters. It’s so easy in an Indian restaurant!
  4. Gluten-Free: Most dishes are gluten-free. Avoid the naan, paratha, roti and other breads and desserts made with wheat flour.

Five Tips for Eating Well in an Indian Restaurant

  1. Limit the rice to one cup or less at your meal.

2. Ask that your food be cooked without ghee (clarified butter) to reduce calories and saturated    fat.

3. Enjoy a variety of vegetable dishes for healthy fiber and enhanced satiety.

4. Have a soothing cup of tea for dessert. If you desire something sweet, share it with your companions.

5. As long as you go easy on the rice and bread, Indian cuisine is quite healthy. Enjoy!

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 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). Lisa is a nutrition specialist in weight management, travel nutrition 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 visit here.

 

Cutting The Salt When Traveling Abroad

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Whether you should reduce your salt intake due to high blood pressure, congestive heart failure or you’re just simply “salt-sensitive,” meaning after consuming a salty meal you have a spike in your blood pressure which then levels out to your normal, you should be aware of the salt content of your food. Even if your blood pressure is controlled with medication, excess sodium can hinder their effectiveness.  Overtime, either spikes or a consistently high blood pressure can cause damage to your arteries. In actuality, all of us would benefit from some salt (aka sodium chloride) reduction in our lives, especially if our diet is largely composed of processed, pre-packaged foods or if we eat out often. Quite often when people travel, they tell themselves they’re on vacation and let their diet restrictions fly out the window. And eat whatever their palate chooses. But you want to enjoy your trip and feel well at the same time. Who wants to end up sick and, heaven forbid, at the hospital while on a trip? Don’t cut your trip short because you don’t feel well. Taking care of your health should be something you do daily, not only at certain times of the year. Traveling the world while eating less salt may seem utterly impossible. But it can be done. All types of cuisines have regional dishes that are delicious, but lower in salt.

Sodium is a preservative so it will be found in higher amounts in canned foods, convenience foods, and the majority of boxed, pre-packaged food as opposed to fresh foods. When you eat meals out, you have little control over the ingredients used or cooking methods. The majority of fast service restaurants receive ingredients frozen and pre-seasoned, thus equating to high sodium content. The answer then lies in preparing most of your meals at home using fresh, minimally processed ingredients. Easy to do at home, more difficult when you’re traveling. Breakfast is one meal that is easy to have less salt. Think fresh fruit, yogurt or peanut butter, whole wheat toast and soft-boiled eggs. Try it next time at the hotel buffet!

 Here are a few tips to help you cut the salt while traveling:
1. Choose local restaurants. Avoid the chains. Luckily in Europe this is an easier task than in the states. Local restaurants are more likely to serve fresh produce and meats, perhaps even locally sourced. Local restaurants are more likely to cook to order so the chef has more leeway in how the food is prepared and will be more accommodating to special requests you make to cut the salt.
2. Make special requests when ordering. Ask for sauce to be served on the side so you have control over the amount. For salad dressings, opt for olive oil and vinegar or lemon (which in Europe is most often the main option). Ask for no salt added during the preparation of your meal. Choose freshly baked, grilled, broiled meats instead of casseroles which are pre-made and likely contain salt added as a seasoning. For an even healthier option, order a grilled vegetable plate as your main course.
3. Choose side dishes such as fresh vegetables, fruit, baked potatoes or salads. Avoid sides coated in sauces, fried or casserole-like such as macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, etc. When traveling abroad, take the time to learn key phrases to use when ordering. For one it’s a sign of respect and your requests will more likely be met.

Additional Tips Based on Country
Italy:
For salad dressing, eat like the Italians and simply use olive oil and lemon or vinegar. Same goes for condiments; olive oil is really the only condiment to accompany meals. Bread is served before the meal is delivered, but Italians eat the bread with the meal so you should, too. This will help reduce your intake.

Foods to include: Fresh salads, Caprese salad,  grilled vegetables. Fresh fruit.  Pasta Primavera. Fresh pasta with Marinara sauce (tomato sauce), pesto or garlic and olive oil. Grilled fish and seafood. Grilled lean meats and chicken.

Foods to avoid or minimize: Cured meats. These include dried sausage, sopressa, prosciutto, mortadella, salt pork, spalla, lardo, pancetta, spec, culatello. You will see an abundance of these cured meats all over the menus in Italy, so either avoid or just eat very small servings. And go easy on the cheese for pasta and pizza.

Spain:
The culinary traditions of Spain include locally grown produce, ham, seafood and fish, eggs, beans, rice, nuts (almonds), cheeses and bread (crusty white bread). Food is often prepared using olive oil and garlic.

Foods to include: Fresh salads. Use olive oil and lemon for dressing. Paella is a popular Spanish stew-like dish composed of rice, broth, onion, garlic, wine, sweet peppers, saffron and a variety of mix-ins such as shellfish, chorizo (sausage), vegetables, chicken or rabbit. When choosing this dish, avoid the chorizo to cut the salt. Gazpacho  (cold tomato soup),  Tortilla Espanola (Spanish omelet), grilled fish and shellfish are all excellent choices.

Foods to avoid or minimize: jambon (ham), cheeses, bacalao (dried salted fish) olives (healthy but high in salt. Go easy!)

Greece:
The bulk of the diet is fruits, vegetables, grains, potatoes, seafood and bread. Due to the long coastline, the Greek diet is heavy in fish and seafood with meat typically used as an ingredient rather than the focus of the dish. As you move inland the diet becomes heavier in meats and cheeses. Some staples include olives, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach, lentils, beans, lemons, nuts, honey, yogurt, feta, eggs, chicken and lamb. Olives and feta are quite salty, so limit the amount you consume.
Foods to include: Dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice and/or lamb), Greek salad, Horiatiki salad (cucumbers and tomatoes), Gigante beans, Hummus, Gilled octopus, Horta (dandelion greens), Spanikopita (spinach pie), Grilled fish and shellfish, Moussaka (meat and eggplant dish), Souvlaki (lamb or chicken on skewer), baklava (nut and honey pastry in layers of thin dough called phyllo. For the healthiest dessert, fruit is the best option.

Foods to avoid or minimize: Feta cheese is high in salt, so go easy. Casserole dishes may be high in salt. The olives are delicious, but also high in salt so limit your intake.
France:
Fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, grains, cheese and meat make up the bulk of the French diet. The baguette – a thin loaf of crusty bread is a staple. Crepes (thin pancakes) would be a low sodium option.On the coastline seafood makes up many dishes such as mussels, oysters, clams, shrimp, squid. Escargots (snails) cooked with butter, garlic; rabbit and roasted duck are characteristic of French cooking. Choose these fresh meats over the casseroles or cheese-laden dishes.

Foods to include: Fresh salads, Salad Nicoise’, Goat Cheese salad, sautéed vegetables, Grilled and sautéed fish and shellfish, Coq au Vin (chicken cooked in wine), Roasted chicken. Lower sodium cheeses, such as Goat cheese, Brie and Mascarpone are fine.

Foods to minimize or avoid: La choucroute (cabbage dish with sausage) will be high in sodium due to the sausage. Mussels and oysters are delicious in France, but they are high is sodium. So, again, go easy. Share a dish with your mate.  Cheese, which is usually high in sodium,  has a important role in most meals so try to limit your intake. If eating fondue, skip the cheese course.

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. She loves traveling the world and experiencing new foods, cultures and meeting interesting people. 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: 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 where she specializes in weight management, diabetes and travel nutrition. 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 Lauren Zimmerman, MS, RDN for her contributions to this blog post.

Airport Nutrition 101: How To Make The Best Choices

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You may feel that once you hit the entrance of the airport for vacation, you’ve got a pass to indulge in all food that comes your way. However, we all know you’ve worked so hard to maintain a healthy weight, you don’t have to throw it out the window for a cinnamon bun, ribs and draft beer in one sitting. With simple strategic tips, you can kick off your vacation, yes, still at the airport, without overloading on calories, excess sugar and fat. In addition, since traveling can cause an increased risk of dehydration, constipation, circulatory problems and added stress, it’s more imperative than ever to be more mindful of how to select healthier options.

While each airport prides itself on their unique layout, many airports share the same staples of restaurants and food options, which is great for us, as a lot of the following tips can be used for domestic and international airports. Instead of just providing broad suggestions, we’ve taken a closer look into some fliers favorite go to kiosks, providing suggestions on how to opt for the less guilt free version of foods.

Tips for healthier airport beverage options:

• At Starbucks, skip a 16 oz. Caramel Frappuccino Blended Beverage with caramel sauce, milk, ice and whipped cream and opt for Caramel Frappuccino Light Blended Beverage with ice and milk, this will slash more than half the calories

Caramel Frappuccino Blended Beverage

Caramel Frappuccino Light Blended Beverage

Calories

410

140

Carbohydrates

37 g

29 g

Fat

3g

0g

Fiber

0g

0g

Protein

6g

3g

Sodium

100 mg

0 mg

Or, better yet, just drink it black (5 calories!).

Smart Tips For Healthy Airport Eating

1. When choosing salads, ask for the dressing on the side, or better yet, stick with olive oil and vinegar.

2. Choose fiber rich fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants. Many airport kiosks offer bananas, oranges and/or apples to go. Fresh fruit is a great airplane snack.

3. Prior to heading to airport, research airport’s website for the best place to grab a healthy meal. If you’re short on time for searching, Starbuck’s usually has healthy options.

4. Bring healthy, portable snacks with you to enjoy on your flight (i.e. apples, peanut butter sandwiches, carrots, nuts, dried fruit, etc). This is truly the best option if you have the time to pack up some food.

5. Before picking the first restaurant you see at the airport, take a lap around the terminal and check out what’s offered. Who knows, you may find a new favorite.

6. Stay hydrated by purchasing bottled water or unsweetened iced tea.

7. Avoid rich, greasy, fried foods as it can trigger acid reflux (also known as GERD) or an upset stomach on flight.

8. Aim for lower salt foods to avoid feeling bloated during your flight. Good choices to bring along include fresh fruit, cut up raw vegetables and unsalted nuts.

If you’re looking for a bit more direction in what to eat, look no further than your smartphone! With the Calorie King app, created and maintained by registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs), it identifies menu options and their nutrition facts from over 200 chain restaurants, so you can make the best choices, whether traveling or at home. By using the above tips, your next flight and vacation should go smoothly, with a bit of healthy flavor, too!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the 2015 Outstanding Dietitian of the Year by the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is the author of The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad. For more info on Lisa, please visit here.  Special thanks to Nikki Nies for helping with the writing of 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.

Hydration Tips For Traveling Abroad

bottled-water

Drink up. Staying hydrated is imperative for good health whether home or abroad. But when traveling, we should be even more aware of it. Being away from home often throws off daily habits and drinking fluids is usually one of them. Our bodies are constantly losing water through perspiration and even breathing. Proper hydration supports the heart and all muscles to work more efficiently. After all, we are composed of approximately 70% water, so no wonder we wouldn’t survive more than a few days without it.

Fluid Facts You Should Know

1. Fluid needs vary from person to person. Various factors influence fluid needs such as climate, activity level, clothes, body build and age. Lean body mass is composed of more water than fat tissue, so those leaner with greater muscle tone require even more water than their not so lean counterpart. Certain health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, may elevate fluid needs as well.

2. Thirst often indicates we are already dehydrated. So the goal should really be to avoid this, so you don’t end-up playing catch-up. The color of your urine is an easy indicator of hydration status: clear, light yellow indicates hydrated while dark yellow means drink more water. An outward sign of dehydration is dry skin while some symptoms may include dizziness, headache, or fatigue. Also, be aware that you may feel hungry when you are thirsty as the sensation for thirst is the same as hunger. So to keep your weight down, drink up.

3. For every pound of sweat lost, it takes a pint of water (16 ounces) to replenish. Water, seltzer, unsweetened coffee or tea really should be the beverage of choice. Alcohol can have a diuretic effect, so drink water along with any alcoholic beverage and drink moderately. Sports drinks aren’t necessary unless you are exercising at high intensity for more than 90 minutes. The extra sugar can be tough on the stomach if dehydrated and eating meals and snack throughout the day is sufficient to provide electrolytes.

Is the Water Safe to Drink?

Before you leave on your trip, find out if the tap water is safe to drink. This is a biggie. Water is obviously the best beverage to hydrate, but only if it is purified. If the water is unsafe to drink, so too may be the fresh produce. Just keep this in mind. When purchasing bottled water, make sure the caps are attached to the ring to guarantee you are in fact receiving purified water. Depending on your frequency of travel and length of stay, if the water is unsafe, it may be more economical to purchase a UV purification water bottle. CamelBak makes an All Clear

Bottle for $99 that utilizes UV technology to neutralize microbiological contaminants to EPA standards and has a built-in LCD to confirm purification results.

Hydration Travel Tips

  1. Fruits and vegetables have high water content so snacking on fruits such as apples, pears, and oranges and including salads and vegetables with lunch and dinner can up your water intake for the day.
  2. Always start the day off with a few glasses of water before hitting the pavement.
  3. Keep a water bottle with you as you explore your new surroundings.
  4. Pay attention to the type of climate in which you will be traveling. Hot environments will increase water loss. Lower humidity and higher altitudes will also accelerate water loss. Airplane cabins have very low humidity levels, typically 10-20%, whereas the humidity level in most indoor areas is 65%. So when flying, especially on long international flights, you should make a conscious effort to drink plenty of water and pay attention to any symptoms of dehydration. Try to avoid alcohol on the plane.
  5. Moisturize your skin to help retain moisture, especially in dry atmospheres. Pack a carry size so that you always have moisturizer on you. Spritzing your face can also help reduce the rate moisture leaves your skin.
As always, it’s best to be prepared. Happy travels!
An award-winning nutritionist, Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the 2015 Distinguished Dietitian of the Year by the New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Lisa is the author of the ebook The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad and The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy. Her private practice is based in Huntington, Long Island and NYC. Lisa specializes in travel nutrition, weight management, and diabetes for teens and adults. To find out more about Lisa, visit here.