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

veg-stand-2-montreal

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!

strawberry-salad

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!

salad-nicoise-montreal

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.

Smooth Travels: Don’t Let Constipation Hinder Your Trip

Petaluma food pic

Traveling not only opens doors to new experiences and cultures, but also offers you the pleasure of trying new foods that you’ve probably never tasted before. You should take some time to enjoy the new foods and flavors that are at your destination. Quite often the  wonderful food will be a major highlight of your trip. However, as you may unfortunately already know, dining out daily while traveling can lead to a variety digestive issues, including constipation.

Why does this happen?  Many restaurant meals can be lacking in dietary fiber, which we need to keep things moving along in the intestinal tract. Think about it. How often are you served fiber-rich foods when you travel, such as whole grain breads, vegetables, fresh fruit, nuts and beans? Probably seldom. Often the breads and other grains served abroad (and in the U.S.) are refined, meaning they have had the fiber removed. And the vegetables served with a meal are very sparse. It can be much easier to consume foods with fiber at home.

Paris 2 produce stand

 

Becoming constipated when you travel can put  a damper on your trip.When you travel you want to feel good so you can enjoy your time exploring your new surroundings. You don’t want to be troubled with constipation. So making an effort to get adequate fiber should be at the top of your list. According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, fiber recommendations are 25 grams per day for woman and 35 grams per day for men. If you have been plagued by intestinal issues in the past when traveling, or want to avoid a potential problem, check out these tips.

Amsterdam grilled veg sw

4 Tips to Help Avoid Constipation While Traveling

1. Bring along some high fiber bars for your trip.  KIND and Kashi bars are smart choices. Bring enough to have two per day, if you need it. If you find that the breakfast options where you are traveling are low in fiber, add a bar to your breakfast. They also come in handy for a mid-afternoon snack. Look for bars that contain at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. These are great

2. When you dine out, ask for whole grain bread. Have a salad and/or a serving of vegetables at lunch and dinner. Order high fiber soups, such as Lentil or Minestrone. Try something new like a veggie burger or a grilled vegetable sandwich. Craving pasta? Think Pasta Primavera with extra veggies. And ask for whole wheat pasta–they might have it! For dessert, request a dish of fresh fruit.

3. Make an effort to drink fluids. Aim for at least 8 cups per day. Be eco-conscious and bring your own water bottle from home. Drinking helps keep you hydrated and helps the fiber move through your intestine. Inadequate fluid can lead to constipation.

4. Plan ahead and do an Internet search for farmers’ markets where you will be traveling. Plan a trip to the market and purchase fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts to keep in your room for snacks. If your destination does not have a marketplace, visit the local grocery store and stock up on produce, nuts and whole grain cereals.

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is an award-winning Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is passionate about helping people improve their health 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.

5 Things You Can Do To Be a Mindful Traveler

Paris produce stand

Those who love to travel are quite often people seeking adventure. To enjoy new scenery, different cultures, interesting cuisine, breathtaking art and architecture, and so much more. Yes, traveling can be thrilling. But it’s also a gift to have the means to travel and something that should be not taken for granted. In this crucial time of protecting the planet, we need to be mindful when we travel as well as when at home. Read below how you can put being a mindful traveler into practice.

Paris 2 produce stand

5 Things You Can Do To Be A Mindful Traveler

  1. In hotels, practice sustainability. If you are staying in the same hotel room for a week or less, use the same bath towel and request that your sheets not be changed until you checkout.  Do your part to save water.
  2. In restaurants, order only the amount of food that you will eat. Food waste is huge!   If you want to try a variety of dishes, share with your dining companions. If you can bring leftovers back to your room for breakfast, do it! Approximately 1/3 of the food produced in the world for human consumption each year, which is about 1.3 billion tons, is wasted. Even if just 25% of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world.
  3. Bring your own water bottle  when you travel. Jut refill from the room faucet. You will save many bottles from ending up in a landfill or the ocean.
  4. Try to walk more or rent a bike when you travel. Either way, it’s so much better to explore a city or village by foot or bike. You will truly see the sights when you avoid traveling by car. And you will be reducing your carbon footprint. A “win-win.”
  5. To take care of our planet and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, eat more fruits and vegetables and less meat. Order more salads, pasta with vegetables, vegetable soups. Think grilled vegetables for a main entree. This is a practice you can also follow at home. Shifting diets away from meat could decrease by 50% per capita greenhouse gas emissions related to eating habits worldwide. Decreasing greenhouse gas emissions can also help limit additional deforestation — a major contributor to climate change.

References

  1. Key facts on food loss and waste you should know! | FAO | Food and …
    http://www.fao.org/save-food/resources/keyfindings/en
  2. Studies Show Link Between Red Meat and Climate Change | Climate …
    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/studies-link-red-meat-and-climate-change-20264

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is an award-winning Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is passionate about helping people improve their health 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.

Eating Healthfully in Amsterdam

A beautiful city rich in history, art, culture, architecture and canals, Amsterdam, if you haven’t been, is a magical place you should add to your bucket list. Its a great walking city with so much to see and do. Try to visit in spring so you can catch the gorgeous tulips in full bloom. Walking along the canals and viewing the beautiful houseboats is a great way to spend an afternoon. It’s also a great way to build up an appetite. Amsterdam is a melting pot of ethnic  cuisine, with a lot of Asian influence, due to it’s history as a major trading port.

Amsterdam houseboats

Although never thought of as much of a food town, Amsterdam is slowly coming into it’s own. One of the wonderful things we noticed on our recent trip was the delicious variety of vegetable-laden dishes offered on many menus. Unlike many eating places, where vegetables take up just a small  spot on the plate, restaurants here placed the vegetable front and center. After a beautiful morning visiting the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, a delicious lunch was had nearby at Warsteiner, a cute pub that dates from 1753. Order a vegetable omelette and be pleasantly surprised. Loaded with an abundance of fresh vegetables and salad, this glorious egg dish was a lovely light meal to fuel lots of walking.

veg omelette Amsterdam

For a delightful dinner, I highly recommend Humphrey’s, where the menu is heavy on plant-based fare. The Eggplant Sushi was terrific. We will definitely be going back there on our next trip.

Amsterdam eggplant sushi

There are also delicious ethnic places to choose from. Sir Hummus is a wonderful hummus and falafel spot and a great choice for lunch. Probably some of the best hummus I’ve ever tasted outside of Tel Aviv.

Amsterdam hummus

Stepping into a tavern to escape the afternoon rain was also another experience for another tasty lunch. Nieuwe Zijde is a cozy wine bar with great food. This delicious Grilled Vegetable Sandwich was a standout.

Amsterdam grilled veg sw

 

Last, but not least, do try to enjoy a favorite local Indonesian meal known as Rijsttefel, which literally means “rice table.” It’s approximately 44 courses (give or take) of small plates composed of Asian vegetable dishes with chicken, meat, fish or tofu. And served along with a bowl of steamed white rice. It can be quite spicy. If you love Asian food, don’t miss out. And a great place to give it a try is Sampurna.

 

Amsterdam rijsttafel

It was such a great experience, to not only explore all Amsterdam has to offer in art and history, but also to savor delicious cuisine. We will be back!

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 ebook 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.

6 TOP Travel Snacks

photo-9Traveling makes healthy eating a bit more challenging. Whether you go by car, train or plane, when you aren’t in your normal environment, it’s just easier to get off track and forget about your meal routine. And while you shouldn’t try to lose weight when on vacation, you don’t want to backtrack either. So taking a few minutes to pack snacks for your trip will help prevent you from stopping at the corner stop for a candy bar or pulling into the fast food lane for a milkshake and fries. That being said, some convenient stores and airport vendors do have healthy snacks to choose from. You just have to choose wisely. Here are a few suggestions for healthy snacks to bring along on your trip.

  1. Nuts: Great source of healthy omega-3 fats, fiber and plant proteins. Nuts are also calorie dense, so just a small handful (1/4 cup) can be pretty satisfying and hold off your hunger for your next meal. Choose any kind you want- roasted peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, etc or make a variety pack. Measure them out and put in baggies.
  2. Fresh Fruit: Choose less perishable fruit, such as bananas, grapes, apples, plums and apricots. Fruit is hydrating, full of nutrients and low in calories, so it can be a good way to satisfy the munchies that pop up during a long trip.
  3. Raw Vegetables: Great for a road trip. If you can bring along a cooler, pre-wash and cut veggies such as radishes, carrots, fennel and celery. Place all in a plastic bag and put on ice. These make a great dipper for hummus or homemade ranch using plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
  4. Popcorn: Popcorn is actually a whole grain. Pop up a batch and flavor it yourself with garlic powder, onion powder,rosemary, oregano, pepper, sea salt or even hot sauce for a kick. Or to keep it simple, pick up the 100 calorie bag servings at the grocery store for built-in portion control.
  5. Trail Mix: Make your own! Mix together a whole grain cereal such as Wheat Chex or plain Cheerios, nuts, dried fruit and dark chocolate pieces. Place in individual baggies.. This snack doesn’t require refrigeration so can last the length of your trip.
  6.  Energy Bars: Choose those with few ingredients, low in added sugar ( 6 or less grams of sugar per serving), contain some protein (more than 3 grams) and fiber (at least 3 grams per serving). Kind Bars and Lara Bars are excellent choices because they are satisfying, tasty and contain more “whole food” ingredients. If you don’t pack ahead, good news! Most of the aforementioned items can be found at most convenient stores or airport vendors. Happy snacking!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is an award-winning Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, author, blogger and speaker. She 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.). Lisa is the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Dietitian of The Year from The New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Her expertise includes teen and adult weight management, travel nutrition and diabetes. Lisa loves to ignite passion in her clients for the taste of delicious and healthy plant-based foods. She consults with clients in Huntington, New York and on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. To find out more about Lisa or to schedule a nutrition appointment, please visit here.

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.

Healthy Eating Abroad- When in Rome

rome-restaurantRome, where civilization and religion essentially began, is a place everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Enter a place where beauty is at every corner and one can spend hours admiring the craftsmanship put into a single building, a piece of artwork or a pasta dish that has been perfected over the years. The cuisine is something not to miss and as much a part of the experience of Rome as any other. When you experience a meal in Italy, you experience traditions that have been passed down for generations and embedded in every Italian. Meal time is family time and the typical Italian meal spans the course of 2-3 hours. There are also certain dining etiquettes one should be aware of beforehand. Check on dining etiquette in Rome. The traditional Italian meal consists of five courses. The first being an antipasti dish such as a charcuterie board or bruschetta. The main course is divided into 2 courses, the first called primo which is a pasta or rice dish, the second called secondo piatto is a meat or fish dish and contorni or side dishes may be ordered al-la cate. Dessert or dolce concludes the meal. So how does one not expand their waist line with a food culture characteristic of pizza, pasta, cheese and gelato? Here are a few tips that will allow you to enjoy the cuisine without overindulging.
1. For breakfast, order the cornetto semplice (similar to a croissant) without the fruit or cream filling. These cornettos are typically made with more sugar than croissants thus yielding a sweeter product to begin with. Biscotti are another lighter choice compared to other pastries as they typically do not contain butter. Also, opt for standing at the espresso bar to keep yourself on the go, to avoid additional charges that incur when sitting at a table and mingle with the locals.
2. Don’t feel pressured to order every course. Skip the antipasti and choose either a pasta or meat/fish course or chose to share one of each. Red sauce pastas are lighter than the cream based but there are just some dishes one must try while in Rome, Cacio e Pepe being one. Made with only butter, pecorino cheese, pepper, and pasta, the result is decadent and if done correctly the true test of Italian cuisine. Share this with your fellow diner.
3. Eat the bread with the meal not as a means to fill up before the meal arrives. Italians use the bread as an accompaniment to the meal, to scoop up the extra sauce but the bread is typically delivered to the table before the order is even placed. So you can cut an easy 200 calories by not eating 2 slices of bread before the meal.
4. Add in a hefty serving of vegetables. Artichokes and tomatoes in Rome are delicious! Order a salad and choose vegetable side dishes to accompany the main course. Or have them as your meal. For pizza and pasta, choose vegetarian.
5. Skip the dessert at lunch and dinner but enjoy single serving of gelato during the day when you are more active. Gelato is often enjoyed on-the-go by Italians. So have your sweet treat mid-day as you are walking around the city.
6. Engage in the Italian approach to mealtime. Italians eat leisurely, enjoying both the food and company. As a result they eat more slowly and allow themselves to experience the feeling of satiety before they over eat. It takes about 20 minutes for our brains to actually register that we are full. So, when you eat slowly, you will likely eat less.
And above all else, enjoy the Italian cuisine as it is not one to miss. Just keep portion sizes and moderation in mind. Buon appetito!
Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN. CDE, CDN is a nationally-renowned teen and adult weight management expert with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Lisa is the author of 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), the premier guide on healthy eating and weight management for teens. She loves to share her enthusiasm of eating healthy, traveling and staying fit. To find out more about Lisa, visit her website.

Stay Trim and Eat Healthy in China

china_food

To truly immerse yourself in a culture, especially one that is far removed from your ow,n is the true definition of traveling. Whether you travel to the exhilarating Machu Pichu or soak up the rays in Turks & Caicos, there’s one factor in vacation destinations that can’t be ignored: the food. Depending on one’s taste buds and food preferences, that can dictate travel excursions. No matter how much you factor in food, China should definitely be at the top of your list of travel destinations!

You should head to China with a few ideas of where you want to go and how to best enjoy the food. Although making healthy food choices when traveling is probably not on your radar, you don’t want to end up feeling sick  when you are away. You want to feel GREAT so you can enjoy your experience. So let’s review Chinese cuisine!

Chinese soup

Here are some smart tips for healthy eating in China:
1. Limit fried foods.
2. Choose more vegetable dishes.
3. Go easy on refined carbohydrates: rice, noodles, dumplings, and sticky buns
4. Eat with chopsticks. Not only will it slow down intake, but locals will be more likely to give you menu and meal suggestions when they see you immersing in the culture.
5. Try a bit of everything, but don’t eat everything. Having a couple bites can help limit overindulging while getting the exposure to different flavors.
6. Cold beverages are deemed harmful to digestion of hot foods, so hot tea or hot water are served with meals. Tea is believed to help with the digestion of greasy foods.
7. Food is often prepared and served on small plates, “family style.” Be ready for direct pick-up and communal eating.

China-meal

While China can be divided into 57 cuisine regions, below are four of the more popular regions:
Szechuan (Sichuan): known for spicy, hot flavor; uses a great mixture of poultry, pork, beef, fish, vegetables, tofu in combination with pepper and chili; fast frying is most commonly used method
Cantonese: characterized by tender, slightly sweet taste; sauces are often light and mellow, including hoisin, oyster, plum and sweet and sour sauce; often see spring onions, sugar, salt, rice wine, corn starch, vinegar and sesame oil used; garlic can be heavily used; prefer stewing, sautéing or braising food, which helps to preserve the flavor
Hunan: “land of fish and rice”; fresh vegetables cooked “al dente”; favors steaming, stir frying, smoking and sautéing; special seasonings include soy sauce, tea seed oil, Chinese red pepper, fennel and cassia bark and spicy oil
Jiangsu: moderate saltiness and sweetness; places emphasis on the making of soups; abundant in freshwater fish and seafood from the Yangtze River and Yellow Sea

More to know about Chinese meals:
Desserts are less common, with sweet foods introduced during meal. For example, basi fruit and sizzling sugar-syrup coated fruits are eaten with other savory foods.
If dessert is served at the end of the meal, often times it is fresh fruit.
Soup is often served at the end of the meal to satiate appetite.

For any of you that have traveled to China, what other tips can you share? It’s hard to give specific “restaurant recommendations” as a lot of the great food is on the street kiosks and depending on what flavors you’re looking to try! Remember, when traveling, go in with an open mind and have fun! What regional cuisines are “must eats” for you?

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 travel nutrition, 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. This blog was written by my nutrition blogger intern and world traveler Nikki Nies.

Eating Vegan While Traveling Abroad

IMG_2605Following a vegetarian, vegan or plant-based lifestyle has become extremely popular in today’s culture. Whether for health, sustainability of the planet or animal rights, the number of people adapting a plant-based diet is at an all time high. If you are a vegetarian, it is usually not difficult to consume a nutritious diet as you can omit the meat in restaurants, but still include dairy foods, such as milk, cheese and yogurt and eggs. If you adhere to a vegan diet, it can be a little tricky to meet your nutritional needs, especially when traveling, without some careful planning. People that are vegan do not consume any foods derived from animals. That means no meat, dairy or eggs. Many vegans also exclude honey from their diets.

If you follow a vegan diet and enjoy eating in restaurants, you may become familiar with the various establishments in your locale that offer vegan menu options or will oblige special requests and modify dishes to meet your needs. However, when you travel abroad you may find it difficult to find restaurants that will satisfy your vegan preferences. Google websites for vegan restaurants where you are traveling. You should find this quite helpful. Also be aware that you can order a vegan or vegetarian meal for your flight, but do so at least 48 hours in advance. You should be able to do this on the airline’s website.

If you follow a vegan diet exclusively, you should be aware that there are a handful of nutrients that you need to pay special attention to so you don’t develop a deficiency. These nutrients include protein, Vitamin B12, zinc, iron and calcium. Almost all foods except for alcohol, fruit, sugar, and fat provide some protein.

Protein’s role in the diet is to repair cells and make new ones. Protein is also important for growth and development in children, teens, and pregnant women.Vegan protein sources include: lentils, chickpeas, tofu, peas, peanut and other nut butters, soy milk and protein-fortified almond milk, almonds and other nuts, peas, seitan (wheat gluten), edamame and tempeh.

Vitamin B12  is required for the formation red blood cells, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. Vitamin B12 is predominately found in animal foods. It can be difficult to get sufficient amounts from plant-based foods. If you are traveling, it may be wise to bring a package of Red Star nutritional yeast that you can add to foods for protein and Vitamin B12. Two tablespoons of nutritional yeast contains only 45 calories, but has 6 grams of protein and 100% of the RDA for Vitamin B12. If you bring a small container of it to restaurants, you can add it to soups, pasta, rice and stews.

Zinc has many important functions in the body.  It’s needed to maintain the body’s immune system. Zinc is also required for cell division, cell growth, wound healing and the digestion of carbohydrates. Zinc is also essential for both smell and taste. During pregnancy, infancy, and childhood the body needs zinc to grow and develop properly. Plant-based food sources of zinc include white beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas, zinc-fortified breakfast cereals, wheat germ and pumpkin seeds. While traveling, try to  order entrees which include beans when dining in restaurants.

Iron’s role in the body is to carry oxygen to all of the cells. Iron sources for vegetarians and vegans include iron-fortified breakfast cereals, spinach, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, turnip greens, molasses, whole wheat breads, peas, and some dried fruits (dried apricots, prunes, raisins). For vegetarians, egg yolk is also a good source of iron.

Calcium is the most plentiful mineral found in the human body. The majority of calcium is found in the teeth and bones. Nerve cells, body tissues, blood, and other body fluids contain the rest of the calcium.  In addition to building strong bones and teeth, calcium also helps blood to clot, sends and receives nerve signals, and maintains a normal heartbeat. Calcium food sources for vegans include calcium-fortified soymilk, calcium-fortified breakfast cereals and orange juice, almonds, tofu made with calcium sulfate, and dark-green leafy vegetables, including broccoli, collard, turnip and mustard greens, bok choy. Vegetarians can get adequate calcium from milk, cheese and yogurt.

If you are a vegan and traveling, don’t forget to bring a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement that is 100% of the Daily Value (DV). Taking a daily multiple vitamin/mineral supplement that provides sufficient amounts of Vitamin B12, calcium, zinc and iron is a good way to ensure adequate nutrition while you travel.

Some helpful tips for ordering vegan meals in restaurants abroad include:

1. If the restaurant doesn’t have a vegan option, request a vegetable plate.
If there is a salad that includes meat or cheese, and no vegan option, request that the meal and cheese be omitted. Ask for beans and/or avocado to be added.
2. Bring packets of oatmeal, bags of nuts and vegan protein bars from home when you travel.
3. Download Happy Cow, the free app for iPhone, to find vegetarian and vegan restaurants around the globe.

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: http://www.lisastollmanrd.com