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Nutrition & Good Eating

Four Letter Words: Food, Pain, Love, Hope

A Quick Fix

Do you ever wish you could wave a magic wand to make your bathing suit fit better? Or help you run those 2 miles or 2 flights of stairs without getting winded? Sure, it would be great to know a few secret short cuts to lose weight and keep it off, but how realistic and long lasting would this quick fix be? If it takes years or at least several months to gain weight, why do people believe in the weight loss industry, which is now a billion dollar market? With all of the fad diets, meal replacements, exercise programs and expensive, exclusive classes and clubs, not to mention the surgical procedures, why are we in the midst of an obesity and diabetes epidemic? Well, if it was that easy to lose weight, I’m sure Oprah and thousands of others would have figured it out by now. But even if you have a personal chef, a personal trainer and someone to do all your errands for you, something can still be getting in the way of your goals. What is getting in your way and what are some quick and easy “fixes”, or better yet, “real life changes” you can make starting today?

Let’s take a quick look inside the book, “Changing For Good”, written by Prochaska, et al.  There are 6 Stages of Change, and first you have to know where you are, aka Awareness. The stages are:
  1. Pre-contemplation – Resisting Change
  2. Contemplation – Change on the Horizon
  3. Preparation – Getting Ready
  4. Action – Time to Move
  5. Maintenance – Staying There
  6. Termination
Are you planning to start a new way of living, or did you already start?  Are you in contemplation, knowing you are stuck but determined to find a way through the muck.  Are you in the Preparation Stage, and letting your friends and family know your intentions, asking for help, going grocery shopping, browsing through recipes, or looking at your favorite take out restaurants to see what the lunch options will be today.  In this stage it’s also crucial to prepare for obstacles and plan courses around them.  As you can see, the Action step is #4, so don’t feel bad if you are not in action yet, equally important is setting yourself up for success.  The key at any step is forward movement, you know the one step at a time, one foot in front of the other, slow and steady wins the race, fail to prepare then prepare to fail.

Time to Jump In: So if you are Ready for Action...

There is no better time than the present. If you are living in the moment, than this is your moment. Don’t wait for tomorrow, for Monday, for after the test or work assignment, or kids to go to camp, or in-laws to leave. Start now and stay focused!

The first thing you need is a goal. Be specific. Is it a weight loss goal, fat loss percentage goal, get off medications goal, improve blood pressure goal? What do you want to do and by when? Is this achievable, realistic and relevant to who you are and what your values are?  What are the obstacles that may stand in your way and how will you knock them out? Again, be specific. If you are going out with your friends who like to eat and drink too much, what you are going to do? Make a game plan that is non-negotiable and stick to it. Reward yourself after with some loving kindness, gratitude and strength.

Quick Tips

I've created a list below with some goals ideas. Pick and choose what might work for you but don’t feel that you need to choose any if they don't align with what you want to accomplish. I like to be as individualized as possible with people because everyone is different. If these don’t work, brainstorm some ideas that will work for you, and pick a few to start.
  1. Don’t eat processed food.
  2. Eat a fruit and/or veggie at every meal.
  3. Eliminate white sugar and flour and foods containing them.
  4. No desserts (unless it’s a fruit or other naturally sweet food).
  5. No Carb Dinners.
  6. Exercise 30 minutes a day.
  7. Bring lunch with you to work.
  8. Cook and cut up veggies on the weekend for the week.
  9. Make snack packs for the week (I like nuts and dried fruit, sometimes I add a little high fiber cereal or dried coconut). 
  10. Eat 25-35 gms/ fiber/ day.
  11. Drink a glass of water before every meal or snack.
Ok – I know what you are thinking, really, that’s so basic and so easy. Anyone can do that. But that’s what it’s all about. In this age of technology, processing, speed, multitasking, take time for the simple things in life and you will be amazed at how much more time, energy and love you will have. Breathe, relax, rest, and repeat. 

With Love and Gratitude,

Naturally Sweet Desserts

  • A banana with peanut butter and a drizzle of honey.
  • Apples dipped in yogurt and cinnamon.
  • Frozen grapes with a handful of almonds.
  • Cubed melon with low-fat cottage cheese.
  • Low fat or skim milk (or non- dairy substitute) and graham crackers.
  • Sliced oranges a handful of walnuts.
  • Strawberries and yogurt – blend it and eat very cold.

No (processed) Carb Dinners

Avocado, strawberry, spinach salad with poppy seed dressing
  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1-2 avocados, diced
  • 4 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
Poppy seed dressing:
  • ½ cup avocado or olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • Pinch of ground mustard (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
Directions: Toss all of the ingredients together with desired amount of dressing until combined. Serve immediately. Serves 2-4 people.

Cilantro and Lime Salmon
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • ½ jalapeno, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 pound salmon fillet
Directions: Puree the oil, lime juice and zest, cilantro, jalapeno, and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Place the salmon on foil on a baking sheet, pat dry, season with salt and pepper, spread on the cilantro and lime mixture and bake in a preheated oven at 400 F until just cooked, about 10-15 minutes. Serves 2.
I have a new website!
Please visit to learn more about my practice. And if you have any comments, feedback, thoughts or questions, please email

Carena Lowenthal, MS, RD, CDN
(917) 882-5033 |
Copyright © 2015, All rights reserved.

Carena Lowenthal is a Registered Dietitian and is Certified in Adult Weight Management by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a consultant to physicians and clients specializing in health and wellness, weight loss, pre- diabetes, diabetes, and heart disease.  Carena is passionate about helping people make lasting lifestyle changes for a more fulfilling, healthy, happy and complete life.


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Today is: April 19, 2019 - 5:01pm
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