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Archive for July, 2009

Many people get sticker shock when they look at the prices of food in a mini-fridge, but registered dietitian, Ashley Koff, got label shock – as in nutrition label- and decided it was time to do something about it. “Like my clients, when I travel, I never assume that hotel mini-fridges offer anything nutritionally – that they are just a money and a nutrition disaster. But, the popularity of my flight and travel snack tips, helped me realize the opportunity for better quality snacks – that are still tasty and fun and portable – to exist in hotel rooms. I anticipate that as we’ll roll the program out to more hotels, mini-fridges will become a much relied upon source of quick, easy, AND good quality snack options.” Koff stated. With the help of several great brands – AKA launched the first dietitian endorsed mini-fridge at The Surf Lodge – a summer hot spot in Montauk, NY.

Hamptons Mini-fridge

See more photos on Facebook:
http://bit.ly/1aoQDT

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I am often asked about what supplements one should take for bone health. Before providing an answer, I begin by defining “supplement” – as in addition to – to make the point that supplements alone isn’t the answer. The right diet is (+ highly absorbable quality supplementation too).

Here’s a quick run through of bone-building nutrients and the foods which contain them. Keep in mind, AKA recommends organic (all) and wild (fish)

Vitamins:
B12 (if a vegan, you need to supplement) – eggs, salmon,sardines, beef
K – spinach, chard, cabbage (fermented is great because you also get probiotics), turnip and collard greens
A- orange fruits and veggies like carrots, yams, apricot, and spinach (not orange but rich in vit A)
B6 – carrots, spinach, avocado, beans, sunflower seeds, walnuts, cantaloupe
Folic acid – green veggies (greens greens greens!)
Vitamin D – mushrooms only (this is a key one to test and supplement http://www.vitamindrevolution.com for test strips)
Vitamin C- lemon, orange, peppers, cauliflower, tomatoes

Minerals:
Potassium: coconut water, potatoes, banana, raisins, prunes, acorn squash
Copper: raisins,beans,nuts
Zinc: beans, peanuts
Boron: F + V (all (real)fruits and veggies, man!)
Silica: F + V (and coffee, but because of acid factor and caffeine factor, I don’t include coffee in bone builders)
Manganese: (re-read: this is not magnesium) avocado, seeds, nuts (esp hazelnuts and pecans)
Flouride: potatoes, carrots, beans, decaf tea, toothpaste (some) only if you eat it
Magnesium: soybeans (or edamame) and whole foods made from them (tofu, tempeh, soy milk), nuts, beans, leafy greens, whole grains (is not the same necessarily as whole grain flour), tomatoes

Ohhh, did I forget calcium 😉
Remember, bone nutrition is not calcium alone. And calcium is also found in several non-dairy choices, naturally. Dairy, sesame seeds, spinach, soybeans all contain calcium naturally

***Also note the bone-deductos – like caffeine, alcohol, smoking, sugar and some prescription drugs – which can work against bone building at any age.

**AKA recommends Osteo Calm (www.petergillham.com) as an example of an excellent supplement to a healthy bone-building diet

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This blog goes out to several of my clients and friends who in recent months have wrestled with short-term pain (twists, pulls, and breaks) as well as those dealing with long-term or chronic pain. And what I want to focus on is the role that pain can play in derailing our nutrition for optimal health efforts.

I like to describe it like this: normally, without pain, we each start our day on a # reflecting our anxiety level: mellow? maybe we start at 1 or 2, a little wound up? Maybe a 5or 6. Regardless of where we start – adding pain to the mix means adding 3-5 points to are starting #.

Here’s the issue. For anyone who is a stress / emotional eater, hitting a 7 or greater on the anxiety scale makes it pretty tough to turn back from those foods or beverages we PERCEIVE to soothe our angst, or those that despite knowing they aren’t soothers do just make us feel better (even if its only for the moment).

So, take a pain pill to avoid overeating or eating the wrong choices or drinking too much? It might not be that easy. For many, pain pills numb the senses; and, we can’t stay on pain pills forever. I’ve had too many patients tell me that in these pill-induced numb moments their ability to resist temptation or rationalize against it gets numb too.

A rock and a hard, painful place.

Some thoughts:

  1. Incorporating relaxation and soothing efforts into the day can help keep your starting anxiety # as low as possible: are any of these – a bath, a massage, a swim, a coloring book, a drop the dog AND the kids off at daycare day options?
  2. Try incorporating magnesium (like Natural Calm), chamomile, mint, turmeric, and possibly Traumeel or soma creams to help the body soothe inside and out.
  3. Keep house and office (if possible) safety zones. No sugar or alcohol readily available will mean having to move to get it – in a pain-state, this may be just enough intervention
  4. Enlist a support system: when in pain, we want to just cry! Sometimes we eat when we can’t / don’t want to cry. So as not to burden one friend or one loved one, create a pain unloading system complete with pets, stuffed animals, emails, online communities – share your pain equally and you are less likely to feel like a burden and more likely to feel supported.
  5. Cut yourself some slack – pain hurts, do you really want to add self-inflicted bruises too? So you overate? So you had some sugar? Go to bed, try to sleep, and the sun will come up tomorrow with a new chance to feel a little better

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My friend just sent me an email: “summer lovin’ had me a blast…and now I have a UTI – help?!”

After I stopped laughing, I decided that she might not be alone as summer flings, hanging out in bathing suits beach / poolside and working out in hotter temps can each / all set the stage for bacterial and yeast infections. So, what does one do?

In this month’s Natural Health magazine, my advice is matched with that of two other health practitioners for how to heal a UTI.

Here I will recap, with a nod towards prevention, and with advice for yeast infections too:

  1. I discuss hydration often (see blogs), and in the summer, when we swim, when we workout, when we play – hydration (soo much more than ‘just drink water’) is key
  2. Good vs bad – one way to keep the bad at bay is to make sure we have enough good guys …probiotics (good bacteria) and beneficial yeast (sacromyces boulardii) help limit the space available for the bad ones.
  3. Hospitality – to thrive, the good guys need a good home. Follow the tips for more alkaline choices (see blog) and limit immune suppressors like sugar and alcohol (I said limit, it doesn’t me totally avoid unless that is you already have an infection in which case avoid)
  4. Spice it up! Most spices have anti-microbial properties meaning they are natures anti-biotics / anti-yeast / anti-fungals…suddenly the song lyrics “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme” take on new meaning as they help prevent infections.
  5. Seek medical attention: an infection does need to be treated and it is up to you and your choice of healthcare practitioner to decide what course of action to take
  6. Dress for success: try wick-away materials for workout clothes and stash a change of underwear in your gym bag; bring a sarong and a change of underwear to the beach and pop into a cabana for a change post-swimming; try to urinate as soon as possible after and wipe front-back following sex.

Here’s to lovin’ summer – infection-free!!

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Wow! Did this week in Montana manage to challenge my preconceived notions about Montana living and dining.

I expected to find fresh produce and an interest in living off the land – and the fresh fish, game (yes, I tasted bison and antelope), fresh laid eggs, garden fresh radishes hit the spot! (more…)

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Consider these summer standouts for your holiday bbq!

Hydration cocktails – a great way to balance the effects of alcohol and sodium

Coconut Bliss Ice Cream: a sure crowd pleaser! No one will notice they aren’t having dairy or refined sugar!

Organic Berries: Organic matters – try frozen organic if fresh isn’t available or too pricey

Follow Your Heart – for an array of healthier spreads and dressings, check out these options at the store

Make Veggie Chips – check out Recipes for IBS to learn how to make delicious chips from radishes, zucchini, etc that everyone will love

Remember nutrient balance: choose your carbs, protein, fat – see the AKA menu worksheet – if you want the corn, skip the potato salad etc

And enjoy!!

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