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Remembering the Exodus

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Health & Wellness

A New Year, A New You!

As we enter into a new year, for me this has several meanings.  First it’s the Jewish New Year, which is a time for retrospection and renewal, a look into what happened last year that went well (or not), and thinking what do I want for this year.  Then it’s the start of the school year for the kids; new teachers and new kids in their classes, new after school activities and new challenges.  For me it’s also a new set of classes in Health and Wellness, a path to leading and guiding others in a meaningful way.  For my father, he just had another birthday, so a new year of life for him, and for all of us to enjoy our time with him.  The seasons just turned to fall, which means the leaves are changing colors and will soon fall, it’s time for apple and pumpkin picking.  The days are getting shorter, and the snow will be falling soon enough.  What does the New Year mean for you?

For your health and wellness, what are some steps you can take to making your life more complete?  Eating well, exercising, sleeping enough, reducing stress, and doing some type of meditation are all important components.  Eating well might mean changing the way you eat, limiting certain foods such as those high in sugar, trans- fats, and white flour, and adding others such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and good sources of protein.  Starting with breakfast, “the most important meal of the day”, what can you improve on?  Some good options are a whole grain, high fiber cereal with skim milk, fresh berries with non- fat yogurt, an omelet with veggies, or a smoothie with fruit, yogurt, milk, ice and natural peanut butter.  If your usual breakfast is a bagel with cream cheese, a donut or a Danish, it’s time to change.  It might take more planning especially if that bagel is grabbed on the run, but it’s worth it.

Lunch and dinner kind of go along the same lines.  Have a salad with grilled chicken or shrimp, have a salmon filet with broccoli and a small salad, or have a small steak with asparagus and quinoa.  The options are endless, but may take some planning, like making a shopping list, prepping vegetables on the weekend, looking at menus before you go out for meals, and packing a lunch during the week.  If your usual go to lunches and dinners are pizza, pastas, Mexican and Chinese Food, it’s time to change.  There may be healthy options at your favorite restaurants but you will need to know how to choose appropriately and consistently.  Once in a while is ok, but the majority of your meals should be “healthy” and of a moderate portion size.

This next part is hard for many people to get used to, but it involves sweets and alcohol.  I group these together because they are both “extra’s”.  Both are extra calories that can and will turn to extra fat, and provide no nutritional value.  Empty calories are full of false promises.  A night out drinking with friends sounds fun but the next day (or several days) you will be less likely to exercise and eat well.  Plus all those extra calories of the alcohol and the food that often goes along with it when your defenses are down add up.  Eating too many sweets because you are happy, sad, bored, lonely, nervous, or “it was there” also doesn’t amount to anything of significance, except for a few seconds of perceived pleasure.  After a few weeks without these “extra’s”, you won’t miss them and will feel lighter, brighter and more awake and alive.

Sleeping is so important but we often try to burn the midnight oil, cram in the last few emails or texts before we drift off, or watch one more episode.  In turn we are less productive and more cranky and stressed.  Get more sleep, go to bed earlier, and see how you feel.  Take some time to unwind by unplugging, spending time with friends and family, going for walks, and doing some type of meditation.  There are so many ways and types of meditation but just sitting and concentrating on your breath for 5 minutes will be a good start. 

Now that you’ve heard these suggestions, what will you do?  I bet most people that have read this far have heard all or most of this advice before, but if you are reading it again, perhaps you are looking to make one small change this year.  What will it be, what will you be, what will you do?

My easiest go to recipes:

Morning Smoothie – 1 banana, ½ cup blueberries, 3 Tbsp. non-fat vanilla yogurt, ¾ cup skim milk, 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter and ice, blend and enjoy for 2 people.

Lunch omelet – sauté some onions and peppers in a teaspoon of olive oil on medium heat in a small nonstick pan.  Mix 3 eggwhites with 1 yolk of an egg, 2 Tbsp. skim milk, salt and pepper then add to the pan.  When almost done add chopped tomatoes and 1 oz. of cheese.

Snack – apple or handful of almonds or walnuts

Quick dinner –  Salmon with broccoli and a small salad.  Take one portion size of salmon (4-6 oz. uncooked), put on tin foil with olive oil, wrap up and put in toaster for 15-20 minutes at 350 F.  When done unwrap and put salt, pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice on it.  Steam the broccoli.  For the salad, use your favorite green leaves (spinach, romaine, kale, arugula) and add cut up tomatoes, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, and anything else you can think of and have around (beets, corn, radish, red onion, celery).  Use a salad dressing with an olive oil base, not a cream base.  Enjoy!

Dessert – Greek Yogurt – so many flavors to choose from.

Call or email today to set up a free consultation for Health and Wellness Coaching

Carena Lowenthal, MS, RD, CDN   ---   917-882-5033   ---   carena@carenalowenthal.com

 

Today is: October 18, 2017 - 1:59am
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