August Newsletter   

In This Issue
Back to School Survival
Fueling Properly When Training
Upcoming Events
Nutrition Energy
& TeamCindy Run for Research

Join the Nutrition Energy team for a virtual 5k run/walk on 
September 12, 2020! 

Nutrition Energy 2019 Team

Nutrition Energy is excited to have formed a team for the 7th Annual TeamCindy Run for Research 5K to benefit the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, which honors the life of Cynthia Lynn Sherwin. 

Nutrition Energy Founder, Lauren Antonucci, knew Cindy well, and is excited to again join the race this year to honor her.  For anyone who would like to join the NE team, please sign up HERE.  

Race Details: 
Please sign up as a virtual participant and get a virtual bib, an event face mask, and a chance to win sponsored prizes. Prize categories include: most funds raised, team captain with the most members, and a random lottery-based drawing just for participating! Individual winners only.

Run/walk on or before September 12 as a virtual participant and share your pictures on social media using #TeamCindyRun2020. 
We will also be hosting a live awards ceremony immediately followed by a virtual dance party featuring a live DJ on September 12, starting at 12:30pm ET
Nutrition Energy

Due to the Coronavirus, Nutrition Energy is excited to offer phone and virtual appointments to all our clients!

Working in collaboration with our professional colleagues, including physicians, coaches, and therapists, Nutrition Energy is available to any individuals who may desire/require nutritional counseling or medical nutritional therapy during this difficult time.  

We completely understand how challenging  it can be right now to buy food, plan meals and snacks, cook, and know when we want or need to eat. Some people tend to not be hungry under times of uncertainty or stress, while many others may turn to food during emotional times or when bored. We are here to help you navigate those challenges, and since we are doing phone and virtual video sessions right now, we can do virtual sessions with you right from your own home or even your kitchen. Let us help you listen to and acknowledge your hunger, or create a schedule for shopping, meal planning, cooking and snacking during this unprecedented time. 

If you, your family, or friends need help managing your blood sugar, cholesterol, or just need help figuring out meals in the kitchen please schedule a virtual appointment by contacting our office!

Nutrition Energy

57 W 57th St, Suite 1211
New York, NY 10019

55 Broadway, Suite 201
New York, NY 10006

Phone: 646-361-6803
Fax: 212-759-7400

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Issue: #126
August, 2020

Back to School Survival

Just as we're finally getting used to quarantine life, a new school year is upon us, which for any of us who are parents, teachers, students or in any way associated with anyone who is, will undoubtedly upend any sort of routine we've established over the past few months. Usually, as a new school year begins, parents everywhere breathe a sigh of relief, as their beloved children once again head back into classrooms, into the hands of capable teachers - but not this year. Everything from back to school shopping (do we really need to do any?), when/where/how kids will learn (anyone else in the midst of buying and putting together new desks for home learning?), to how and where our children get their lunches (oh no, we haven't even begun to think about that yet!), will look quite different this year. If you're feeling uneasy about all of this uncertainty, you are definitely not alone...but we are here to support you!
The Nutrition Energy team of Dietitians have put our heads together to help you save time and reduce stress surrounding food choices and feeding yourself and your families as school resumes and beyond. Over the next few newsletters, we'll help you figure out how to get your children involved in the kitchen (in a truly helpful and even educational way), and share our best tips on how including your family members in food shopping, prep and cooking will actually reduce stress around feeling both you and your family well, and encourage them to try new foods.
Pro Tip: Not every meal has to be perfect!
On top of quarantining and social distancing, you may also feel pressure to feed your kids (and/or yourself), "perfectly". Well, we're here to say that there is no such thing as a perfect meal AND even if there was, not every meal needs to be perfect. Despite our best intentions, at the end of a busy day, many of us are just too tired to go to great lengths to get a full and balanced meal, complete with fruits and vegetables, into our children. This can be especially true for families in which you need to engage in negotiation, hiding produce in other foods, or some other creative methodology to get your family to eat their dinner. It is perfectly okay to "downgrade" your expectations. If you're helping your kids to eat and enjoy ANY fruits and vegetables throughout the day and week, and you're keeping yourself and your children safe and sane, you're doing a great job!
Pro Tip: Use food prep as play and hands-on education
While buying and preparing food can seem like a monotonous task to be finished as quickly as possible, and the thought of slowing down and involving children in the process seems counter-intuitive, there are many lifelong benefits to pausing for teaching moments. Even the smallest children can learn from observing your behavior and helping in the kitchen, while older children can learn to perform more highly skilled tasks that will actually cut down your prep time. If you're at home with children, we urge you to use this opportunity not only to bond with your child, but also to teach them valuable health lessons. There are plenty of ways to incorporate play and learning when it comes to food shopping and preparation that will help your child develop the skills, knowledge and behaviors necessary to eat well.
Below are some grade appropriate ideas to try. *Note: We have divided them into rough grade categories, but of course, you know your child best, and should choose and adapt these ideas based on your comfort and your child's interests and developmental stage.
Preschool-Early Elementary
Bring out their inner Picasso! Have your child draw a rainbow with crayon or markers and then have them search (in picture books, magazines or online with your help), for a corresponding fruits and vegetables of the same color that they would like to try. Next time you shop, you and your child can select some of the fruits and vegetables they drew and want to eat.

Keep them entertained! While unpacking groceries, have your child sort the produce by category; fruits vs vegetables, color, size, etc. Including them keeps them out of trouble and peaks their interest in helping further.

Put your kids to work! Kids love to wash fresh fruits and vegetables and arrange them in a bowl. This fun activity works well with fruits including grapes, berries, or larger fruits you've pre-slices or veggies such as carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes. You save time and they can feel proud of themselves.

Play with fruits and veggies! Engage your child(ren) in exploring each fruit or vegetable you take out while preparing a meal, and ask them to use all five senses. Can they describe how each fruit or vegetable feels (smooth or rough?), smells, tastes, looks (color, texture), etc. Discuss the different ways each one can be prepared and how it changes after preparation (ie. a potato is hard and becomes soft when you boil it).
Mid-Elementary-Middle School
Sneak in a math lesson! For children who claim they hate math, sneak in some math by asking them to double or halve recipes. This works great for pancakes, cookies, and muffins-anything they are excited to make and eat.

Bonus: let children choose whether they want bananas or blueberries in the batter and sneak in an extra serving of fruit.

Feeling adventurous? Try carrots or zucchini to sneak in extra veggies!

Slice and dice! With supervision as appropriate for your child, have them help you with slicing and chopping. Start with easier items (slicing a banana with a butter knife), and move up to dicing, julienne, mincing as they are ready.

Executive Function Training! Together, select simple recipes made with real, whole ingredients, for your child(ren) to read through, gather, measure, and follow instructions step by step. Simple recipes include smoothies, hummus, guacamole, tuna salad, vegetable quesadilla, omelettes, or sandwiches/rollups with their fillings of choice. These recipes include minimal use of kitchen tools and are easy enough for them to quickly advance to making on their own.
Middle School-High School

Try a family meal challenge! Have your child select one meal per week that they are responsible for entirely. You support them, but they are in charge. This is a great exercise that will help your child develop their research, critical thinking, and problem solving skills-and possibly take the pressure off you for one night each week. As appropriate they can take on:

Researching recipes online or in books/magazines

Paying close attention to writing all ingredients for the shopping list

Tracking prices and determining cost of ingredients for the meal

Finding substitutions for ingredients you don't have in your pantry (or forgot to add to the shopping list!)

*Bonus: Teach your child about the concept of balanced meals that include vegetables, carbohydrates, fats and protein!

**Again, one fav is taco night. This popular and relatively easy meal involves cooking meat (or beans or tofu crumble), and making rice, plus adding (?heating) tortillas, and toppings, such as shredded cabbage or lettuce, diced tomatoes, rinsed and drained canned beans, and guac or cheese.
As your child embraces being in the kitchen you can provide them with more responsibilities! While all these tasks may take longer to begin with, your time is not wasted. Your children will gain confidence, and a sense of independence, and pride as well as skills that will help them become better eaters for life.

Fueling Properly When Training...Even When There's No Finish Line in Sight

When you're training for a 5k, Tough Mudder, marathon, or any athletic event, you likely begin preparing far in advance. Some of you may already be tuned into the importance of carving out time for adequate sleep, fueling your body, and consistent training, to help reach your strength, endurance, and speed goals. Having a race date generates excitement and creates structure for your training and fueling plan.
Since 2020 has thrown us for a loop in so many ways, athletes have seen races and events cancelled or pushed far into the future, leaving many grappling with how to focus on training and fuel adequately when there's no finish line in sight. We have seen among our Nutrition Energy clients that many have entered an "off-season" mindset and find training less rewarding...and therefore less likely to happen. Others are training even harder and/or haphazardly to combat boredom, stress, and anxiety. Wherever your mindset is or your exercise routine (or lack thereof) has landed, your BODY doesn't know the difference between "training for an event" and training for life. We are here to remind you to please fuel, rest, and hydrate!
Fueling for success:
Before you hit the pavement, bike, or training mat, you'll want to make sure you have enough fuel and energy to power through your workout! For a wide variety of endurance activities and also for short bursts of high intensity workouts, you'll need:
-Carbohydrates - Make an effort to consume enough lower fiber carbohydrates, such as a bananas, pancakes, breads, applesauce, rice, or noodles to fuel your muscles and power your workout and brain!
-Protein - You may want to consider including protein in your pre-workout snack. Good examples include Greek yogurt, turkey jerky, or an egg.
-Water - Drink at least 1-2 glasses of water or electrolyte drink prior to your training session to decrease risk of injury and help you feel your best.
Keeping up with expended energy:
During your training sessions, your nutritional goals are first and foremost to stay hydrated and second to take in enough carbohydrate calories and sodium to power you through. A complete sports nutrition plan often includes a combination of sports drink + gels + salt tabs or salt packets for optimal fueling and hydration. Please do yourself a favor and do not wait until you are feeling hungry, dizzy or exhausted to start fueling. For most athletes, this means:
-Fluids and Sodium - Practice carrying and drinking at least 24 oz of fluid for each hour of activity. For training sessions lasting over 1-2 hours, and especially while the weather is still hot and humid, choose an electrolyte beverage with at least 200-300mg sodium per 8oz.
-Carbohydrates - If your training session lasts 1-2.5 hours, you'll also want to consume 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour. For >2.5 hrs of activity you may want to take in up to 90 grams of carbohydrate/hr. 
Examples of this:
-16 oz sports drink + 1 energy gel packet (~50 grams of carbohydrate)
-2 Gu packets + 1fig bar (60-80 gm of carbohydrate) + 16-24 oz water
-8 oz sports drink + 1 Clif bar (60 gm carbs) + 16 oz water
Rest and Recovery:
You've heard this before but we'll repeat: Gains are made in recovery!

One main goal of sports nutrition is to help our bodies recover quickly and build back stronger. Whether you are training for a virtual race, or training for life, your muscles will thank you! To optimize muscle protein synthesis and recovery and restock your glycogen/energy stores, you'll need both protein + carbohydrates, and fluids as soon as possible (within 30 minutes) after you finish your session. 

-Fluids - Replenish fluids by drinking at least 8-16 fluid oz post workout. Better yet, complete our sweat rate worksheet and then meet your individual fluid replacement needs.
-Sodium - Include fluids or foods that contain sodium to help you rehydrate. Examples include V8 juice, pickles and/or simply adding salt to your food.
-Carbohydrates - For starters, aim to consume half your body weight in grams of carbs immediately post training sessions. For even longer training sessions, your carb restoration needs only go up from here. Good examples include bagels, oatmeal, burritos, pasta, rice and beans or potatoes.
-Protein - Include 20+ grams of protein in your post training meal or snack. Examples include fish, turkey, red meat, tofu, tempeh, yogurt or cheese.
Finally, we remind you to pay attention to how your body responds to different fueling strategies and that you may need to \ adjust your training and fueling strategy throughout your athletic career, especially during an already stressful period. Practice truly listening to your body. Make small changes and adjustments as needed. If something isn't working, it's time to change it up! As we say frequently, just because something works for somebody else, doesn't mean it will work or is the right plan for you!
For those of you who are looking for a goal race or challenge to increase your motivation or give you a purpose, there are plenty of virtual races happening.
We at Nutrition Energy have already participated in several, such as the ADA 5k and Point of Pride 5k, which support causes we are passionate about.

Upcoming Events

Nutrition Energy will be participating in a few upcoming events, and would love for you to join us!
  • TeamCindy, a virtual 5k walk/run on September 12, 2020 that supports Brain Aneurysm Foundation.  Join our team!
  • NYC Marathon - November 1, 2020
For more ideas, check out these links:
As always, Nutrition Energy Dietitians are here to help athletes of all ages and abilities to better understand and meet their nutritional needs for athletic events and beyond. If you'd like to speak with one of our Registered Dietitians to help you ensure you're meeting your nutritional needs for training, fueling for life or specifically during the global COVID-19 pandemic, please reach out - we'd be happy to help!

A Note from Lauren...

With Labor Day weekend around the corner, back to school plans being made, and the constant questions regarding what to expect the next few months with Covid, stress levels are at an all-time high.  We hope some of the tips discussed above help with reducing some of this stress and make food planning/prepping fun.  When kids are involved in making a family meal, not only is it a great time to bond and make memories, but they learn valuable skills that will help them throughout their lives.

As we begin to enter the fall months, our endurance training has looked a little different this year.  While we may not be all together running in the streets and parks, we can still support our favorite charitable groups and fundraisers by participating in virtual events.  Not only are we challenging ourselves and continuing to work towards physical goals, we will bring awareness and financial support to important causes.  Check out the list we included above and find one (or many!) to participate in this year!

Please continue to reach out to us via email:, by phone: 646-361-6803, or on social media: @Nutritionenergy on Instagram   @Nutritionenergy on Twitter, and Facebook, to let us know what you need to hear about, and we will include it in our next newsletter.  We appreciate everyone who has sent us ideas of topics to address and recipes to share - please continue!  We LOVE hearing from our clients and friends!!

As always, the Dietitians at Nutrition Energy are here to support you during this difficult time, and continue to offer telehealth nutrition sessions, (as video and phone sessions), for both existing and new clients in order to help support you continuing (or beginning) to work towards your health and fitness goals in the best way possible. If you, a friend, or family member could use some additional and individualized help creating healthy nutrition, exercise and mindfulness habits right now, we are here to help!

Lauren Antonucci, Director
Nutrition Energy