Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Staying Healthy in Vegas? It's 100% Possible!

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. However, I have some tips and tricks for a healthy Vegas vacation that should definitely be shared!

Yes, staying on track in Vegas is 100% possible, and probably easier than you thought. While it's totally fine to let loose a little on vacation, it doesn't have to become a complete free-for-all. If you do a little planning ahead of time, it doesn't have to be something to stress over once you're there.

While it might not seem like the place for healthy living, beyond the night clubs and flashy lights
Las Vegas has endless options to help you work up a sweat. Whenever I book a hotel, I always check to see if they have a gym in the building. Some of them require you to pay for a day pass, while others are free. A simple call to the hotel can clear that up for you.

Fitness

Not only do most of the major hotels have gyms, but they also have fun classes that can add some spice to your normal routine. Here are some hotels that go above and beyond:

Cosmopolitan: Fitness center with state of the art equipment, tennis court, personal training and Sweat 60 (a boot-camp type class).

Aria: Fitness center spanning 6,000 square feet with just under 100 pieces of cardio equipment, weights, stability balls, stretching center and more. All while overlooking the the hotel's beautiful pools (there's 3!).

Wynn and Encore: Two fitness centers, personal training and classes including yoga, total conditioning, kick-boxing, indoor cycling, and more!

Mirage: Not only do they have regular and poolside yoga classes, but you can take a yoga class alongside the underwater dolphin viewing area! Fitness facility too!

The Venetian: Fitness center, classes AND a rock climbing wall at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub.

If your hotel doesn't happen to have a gym, you can save/screen shot some body weight work-out routines from a reliable source on Instagram or Pintrest. Or, here's a great hotel room workout by my brother, Kevin Neglia, NSCA-CPT, FRCms, USAW-L1:

"Ladder to the Stratoshpere Workout"

Warm up your body then set a timer for 20 minutes. Then repeat the following until time runs out!*

1 burpee
2 Walking Lunges
4 Air Squats 
2 Burpees
4 Walking Lunges
8 Air Squats
3 Burpees
6 Walking Lunges
12 Air Squats

*Follow pattern, increasing reps by 1, 2, and 3 respectively until the time runs out

@kevinneglia

Not into going to the gym while your away?  Dancing, swimming, and walking along the strip definitely count. Here are some other fun ideas for those of you that like a little adventure:

Guided Hike and Bike Tours: Be one with nature just 25 minutes outside of the Las Vegas strip with All Mountain Cyclery.

Love horseback riding? Try a Wild West Horseback Adventure trail ride with the perks of visiting a cowboy town and a petting zoo!

You can find all sorts of fun activities in Vegas (who knew?!). For some great deals, check out Las Vegas Deals!

Food:

As far as food goes, I rarely find it difficult to find healthy options while eating out. Yes, there will be some restaurants that you will visit to really experience the menu and cuisine. So my advice would be: pick and choose your indulgences. For the other "less special" meals, make more nutritious choices to balance it all out. Here's a few options that are healthy AND delicious:

ProteinHouse:  Founded by a bodybuilding couple, ProteinHouse offers healthy options from salads and wraps, to burgers and protein pancakes. They even list their nutrition information on their site!

Side Note: I would avoid the juices and acai bowls. Look at the information on the site to determine which meals would best suit your needs.

EATT: Influenced by French cuisine, this healthy eatery also has vegan and gluten free options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They have pictures of their food on their website that are drool-worthy. And the chef is nice on the eyes as well ;)


Canyon Ranch Grill: Located inside Canyon Ranch SpaClub in the Palazzo, I can say from experience that this place is LEGIT. Start with an egg white omelet or tofu scramble for breakfast and come back for a roasted veggie salad with protein topping of your choice (tofu, salmon, chicken, or shrimp). They have vegetarian and gluten free options, and provide stevia as a sweetener for coffee/tea!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Don't forget the alcohol. You don't have to forgo it completely, but just understand that a few drinks a day can add up to another meal. Steer clear of any fancy frozen or mixed drinks. Distilled liquor on the rocks or with soda water is your best bet. You can also go with wine or light beer.  And HYDRATE!!! Have a glass of water in between each drink.

Snacks and Such: Stock your hotel mini fridge with yogurt, cottage cheese, fruits, veggies, and plenty of water. If you need some options for on the go (including the plane ride!) I like KIND bars (including their Popped!, Strong and KIND, and breakfast bars), Quest bars, Glenny's Soy Crisps, Enlightened Crisps, Oatmega Bar, RXBar, Nugo Slim Bar, Think Thin Lean Protein and Fiber bar, and Good Greens Wellness bar.

Finally, if you want the ultimate wellness package, consider a Stay Well Room (offered at the MGM grand or at 6 different Marriott properties). These rooms come with air purification, a natural foam memory mattress, a shower infuser to keep hair and skin stay soft and smooth, circadian mood lighting, aromatherapy and more!

In closing: stay active, mind your alcohol, and pick and choose your indulgences!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

How NOT To Freak Out About Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: The time of year that we come together and celebrate with food. So many of my clients have a lot of anxiety leading up to this holiday. They don't want to ruin their hard earned progress, or the idea of celebrating a holiday that revolves around food is scary to them. Add on the stress of traveling, cooking the turkey, or dreading the conversation at the dinner table (How's school? How's work? Why are you still single?...You get the gist) and it can all feel very overwhelming. 

 But, you shouldn't freak out. Why? Because one meal is not going to ruin your progress. Plus, as much as people like to bad-mouth Thanksgiving food, many of the traditional foods served are very nutritious. And guess what? You can have these foods whenever you want. In fact, there's a sandwich shop in NYC that has a Thanksgiving sandwich on the menu. All year round. And stuffing is always in the grocery store. So if you fear that you will go overboard because it'll be another year before you can have these foods, keep in mind that you can have turkey and stuffing any time you want. 

A big  mistake a lot of people make it that they skip breakfast or don't eat all day to "save" their calories for the big meal. This is NOT a good idea because you will most likely overdo it later on. Have a high fiber, high protein breakfast to kick start the day and to keep your blood sugar levels in check. Think of Thanksgiving dinner as any other dinner: protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates. They are just in different forms than the usual. Would you skip meals on a non-holiday day? No. So don't do it on Thanksgiving either. 

Don't deprive yourself. If you're dying for Grandma's stuffing, put it on your plate. If you tell yourself you can't have something you'll want it even more, and may wind up overdoing it in the end because you won't feel satisfied. Leave what doesn't really interest you (don't put the potatoes on  your plate if you're not really into them). Same goes for dessert. Take a small dessert plate and fill it with desserts that you really enjoy. Then move on.

Don't get so caught up in the food that you forget the real reason you're gathering for this holiday. It's a time to make memories with friends and family, It's a time to celebrate, and to express gratitude and thanks. You can get back on track at your next meal. 




Sunday, November 13, 2016

iHeart Radio Health and Wellness Expo 2016

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel along with Dr. Oz, Jeanette Jenkins, Carlo Filippone, Autumn Calabrese, Dr. Mike, and Mike Woods at the iHeartRadio Health and Wellness Expo in New York City.  
 


I wanted to share one of the questions that I was asked by our commentator, Shelli Sonstein of Q104.3:

"What is one thing you would tell someone that wants to lose weight?"

Loaded question. But the one thing I would tell anyone who wants to lose weight is DO NOT DIET. Do not follow the latest fad diet or the meal plan in your favorite magazine. Here's why:

Diets are temporary ways of eating that yield temporary results. They always backfire.

Even if someone loses some weight in the beginning, they gain it back (and then some!). Dieting makes us forget what normal eating is and puts us out of touch with our innate ability to regulate food intake. Think about when you were a child. You ate when you were hungry, and stopped when you were full. Amazing, right?

Diets make us question ourselves. Diets make us categorize food as "good" or "bad". Diets ultimately destroy our relationship with food.

Everyone has that friend that eats whatever he or she wants, but still stays thin. I can bet that that person has never dieted. They eat when they want when they want it, so their body feels satisfied. They don't feel guilty after eating. They eat for fuel and move on with their lives. When we deprive ourselves because we are trying to follow a diet, it's hard to feel satisfied. So we keep looking for more food. This may cause us to binge, or eat more than we would have if we just ate what we truly felt our body wanted.

The major thing that I think people don't realize is that you don't have to drastically cut your intake or limit your food options to lose weight. In fact, it's not healthy to do that. The main goal is to lose weight while keeping your intake up as high as you can. For example, for someone that usually eats 2700 calories a day, it would be totally unnecessary and unhealthy to cut back to 1200 calories a day.

For anyone that wants to lose weight, I would tell them to assess where you're at. Be honest with yourself. Keep a three day food record. Ask your self how you can modify things to cut your intake a bit (Midday fancy coffee drink? Office candy?). Choose to to change something that feels realistic. Make a new goal for yourself each week. Be patient and kind to your body. It's the only one you've got!

And of course, if you're totally unsure where to start, ask a dietitian for help. At Brown and Medina Nutrition, we offer one on one counseling in office or through Skype!
 

 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pumpkin Flavored Everything


The pumpkin craze is at an all time high. The food industry has been keeping up with the demands to pumpkin-ize almost everything from Pop Tarts and bread to yogurt and coffee. While it's increasingly becoming an obsession all year round, pumpkin is truly in season from September to November.


Pumpkin is a type of squash with a bright orange color that comes from it's rich source of beta-carotene. Beta carotene is an important flavonoid compound with antioxidant properties. Our bodies convert beta carotene into Vitamin A which aids vision and supports eye health. Pumpkins are also a great source of fiber, potassium (1 cup of cooked pumpkin has more potassium than a banana!) and Vitamin C. 

However, just because a food is pumpkin flavored, it does not mean that you will receive the same health benefits. In fact, many flavored foods are often artificially flavored, high in sugar, and offer little to no nutritional value.

We've rounded up a few of the healthier pumpkin-flavored food options to get your pumpkin fix:

Siggi's Pumpkin & Spice 2% Yogurt: With real ingredients, 14 grams of protein, and less sugar than most, this yogurt is good grab. Even better, buy a plain Greek yogurt and stir in canned pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

Kashi Crunchy Granola Bars Pumpkin Spice Flax: Crunchy and satisfying, these bars are lower in sugar and more portion controlled than grabbing a few handfuls of granola.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (Modified): While making your own version at home with pumpkin flavored coffee is probably your best bet, every once and a while a little help from Starbucks won't hurt. Just ask your barista to use non-fat milk, hold the whipped cream, and use only one pump of syrup for a grande size. These small changes can save calories and about 13 grams of fat (8 g of which are saturated!).

Pumpkin Bagels: While neither are 100% whole wheat, Trader Joe's and Thomas' are two of the best options if you're craving a pumpkin bagel. While they do not
have much fiber (2 grams fiber per bagel), they are portion controlled and contain 8-9 grams of protein per serving. Another option: Buy the 100% whole wheat versions of these brands and spread them with low-fat cream cheese, a light spread of real pumpkin butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon!

Pumpkin Puffins Cereal: Barbara's Puffins are lower in sugar, has real pumpkin in the ingredient list, and is only 110 calories per serving.

Slow Churned Dreyer's Pumpkin Patch Ice Cream: Not exactly a nutrient packed snack, but it's one of the better options with half the calories and fat and less sugar than other competing brands.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Trader Joe's Food Haul: My Favs

Trader Joe's has a way of making my life easier and tastier :)

I'm so excited that a new Trader Joe's opened up just walking distance from my apartment. I dropped in a few days ago and wanted to share some of the items I purchased along with ideas on how to use them.

Cauliflower Rice: I was making cauliflower rice before it was cool, and now it's EVERYWHERE! Now, Trader Joe's does most of the work by ricing the cauliflower for you. Use it for cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza, cauliflower pancakes, cauliflower bread, and cauliflower oatmeal! Not only is it easier than doing it yourself, it's also cheaper than buying a head of cauliflower.


Trader Joe's Sprouted Wheat Bread: Basically a cheaper version of Ezekiel bread. It's hearty and delicious, and perfect for avocado toast! 


Trader Joe's Meatless Meatballs: I'm not vegetarian, but I do like vegetarian food. These are by far the best vegetarian meatballs I've ever had. My favorite way to eat them is with spaghetti squash and tomato sauce.



Trader Joe's Cilantro and Jalapeno Hummus: I usually just go regular, but wanted to try this flavor to spice things up. Use it on sandwiches, as a topping for chicken, as a dip for veggies, or even as a "dressing" for salad!

Trader Joe's Sweet Basil Pesto Smoked Chicken and Turkey Sausage: Healthier substitute for regular sausage! I love using this in stir-fries, pasta dishes, and even sandwiches (with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella- YUM). This is great to have on hand for quick meals.


Bagged Arugula and Spinach: I use spinach almost daily in my eggs, and was really feeling arugula for my salads this week!

Pastrami Smoked Atlantic Salmon: Smoked salmon can get pricey, but TJ's keeps it affordable. I used this in a giant salad with lots of veggies and goat cheese the day I bought it, then used the leftovers on TJ's Sprouted Wheat Bread toast with low-fat cream cheese!

I also loaded up on some essentials such as veggies, fruit, and eggs! What's some of your favorite products from Trader Joe's?