February Newsletter


In This Issue
'V' = loVe For Yourself!
February Citrus Challenge
Announcing the Return of Vanessa Chalmé!
A Note from Lauren...

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Issue: #100 February 2019

This Valentine's Day, Let the 'V' = loVe For Yourself!

February in New York brings to mind a few things, most notably cold weather and Valentine's Day, a holiday that some dread and others embrace. This Valentine's Day, regardless of your stance on the holiday, vow to accept and love one person. Let that person be you. In certain realms of psychology, including positive psychology, which according to Psychology Today , "examines what gives our lives meaning and purpose," self-acceptance is a prerequisite for change (nutrition and exercise habit changes are most certainly included here). We often hear how we must first love ourselves before we can be loved by anyone else. Self-acceptance and self-love are totally in our control; let's use Valentine's Day as a reason to begin practicing!

The path to self-acceptance may seem daunting, but as with anything worthwhile, it takes time and practice. Start simple -for an exercise example, go on a short walk each day this week (no need to sign up to run a marathon just yet!). Each journey begins with a single step. Start your journey and see where it takes you.

On the food and nutrition side, let's work together to find an alternative to the tempting pint of ice cream that is all too easy to turn to whenever we have a less than perfect day. If you find yourself feeling some Valentine's Day related heartache, we recommend coming up with a list of 3-5 things you can do to pamper and love yourself. Sure, the desire to chomp on every heart chocolate you can find might be there, but don't you deserve better? We say yes! Wouldn't you rather treat yourself to a manicure or massage or a yoga class? How about lighting a scented candle and playing some relaxing music or taking a warm bath with lavender smelling soap or salts instead?!!

At Nutrition Energy, we believe we owe it to ourselves (and deserve) to make proper nutrition and exercise a priority in our busy lives. This Valentine's Day, vow to accept yourself and to not only allow yourself to make choices aligned with your goals, but also to enable you to better help and love those around you. Let' s explore a situation in which self-love can triumph.

Scenario: It's one of "those" mornings.
You slept through your alarm, missed your workout class and now have only 20 minutes to spend at the gym. In times like this, a bad mood and frustration with the faulty alarm, (or fact that you hit snooze too many times), feel all-consuming, and we often dismiss the workout session altogether, then double it with a rushed and unhealthy breakfast. Heeding the path of self-pity and morning moodiness is often our default but is also one of self-spite. It's common to feel that there's no reason to even exercise if there isn't " sufficient" time; however, 20 minutes at the gym, even 10 minutes, is definitely better than nothing! Embrace any opportunity to move and feel proud that you made the effort. If you're 10 minutes late to work, will it really matter? *Our apologies to all teachers and those who cannot be late...but to the rest of you, will it REALLY matter? Get out there and totally rock your 20 minutes-you will be happy you did! Like the great Michael Jordan said, "Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it." Once you get your workout in, treat yourself with one of the healthy and fun breakfasts below!
Post-Workout Fueling Treats:
  • Valentine's Day Smoothie: ¼ cup Greek yogurt, ½ cup almond milk (or milk of choice), ¼ cup frozen banana, 1/3 cup frozen raspberries (or strawberries), 1-2 Tbs cocoa powder.
  • 2% plain Greek yogurt (6oz), topped with a handful of the best-looking berries you can find +1 Tbs each ground flaxseeds, chia seeds and mini chocolate chips + cinnamon
  • Ezekiel bread topped with avocado (¼ - ½), drizzled with olive oil & sea salt
  • 2 Hard-boiled eggs sprinkled with sea salt + chocolate dipped strawberries
We all have days in which we eat an excess of sugary (or salty) foods-say the box of heart chocolates on Valentine's Day, way more chips than we care to think about at a party or numerous cookies at the office meeting. Situations like these can leave us feeling guilty, like we've failed our bodies and ourselves. We're left disappointed in our inability to practice better self-control and may feel resigned to the fact that a "healthy" day of eating is ruined. Rather than letting it go and getting right back on track, it's common to continue choosing these processed foods, vowing to start fresh tomorrow (or next week, or next month, or next year!). This is a different line of thinking from the way we make decisions in the rest of our lives. For example, when you're driving on the highway and miss your exit, you don't keep driving the wrong way until you reach the next state and then turn around, you instead get off at the next exit and right your path. When you feel "you've gone off the deep end nutritionally," please try not let it distract you! Practice self-acceptance by realizing this happens, it's normal, and simply refocus your day's food choices back to whole, real foods. In Michael Pollan' s book In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, he writes, "He showed the words 'chocolate cake' to a group of Americans and recorded their word association. 'Guilt' was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: ' celebration.'"
If you are finding this rings bells for you, we recommend starting to treat yourself with yummy, healthy alternatives to the snacks and sweets that leave a guilty aftertaste.
  • Air-popped popcorn with olive oil & sea salt (add your favorite spices, or make it sweet by sprinkling cinnamon)
  • Hummus with carrots, celery, cucumber, tomatoes...hummus welcomes all vegetables
  • Carrots, celery or banana dipped into almond or peanut butter (stick to jars with only 1 ingredient...almonds or peanuts)
  • Coconut Chocolate Energy Balls
  • Raw Date and Hazelnut Brownies

February Citrus Challenge

Quick nutrition pro quo:
How many different citrus fruits can you name off the top of your head?
How many different citrus fruits have you EATEN this month?

While February is a month in which we at Nutrition Energy are touting self-acceptance, it is also a month in which citrus is in season and at its best. Treat yourself to one of each different type of delicious citrus fruit you can find-you will be happy you did! If you look closely, you can probably find a wide variety of citrus at your local market. This is the time to buy a few-especially those which you haven't yet tried, and challenge yourself, your friends and family to a game of "guess the citrus."

We have done a citrus taste test several times in our apartment. We peel and present as many citrus fruits as we can find, then play the game of guessing which-is-which, and discuss which we like best (which is difficult to play because they all taste sooooo delicious)! Here are a few varieties to look for in your local market. Post a picture of yourself and your citrus with the hashtag #NutritionEnergy on Instagram-we'd love to see what you find.

In the spirit of Valentines and loving ourselves we leave you with one final quote. As Audrey Hepburn once said, "For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."
Happy Valentine's Day from Nutrition Energy!

Announcing the Return of Vanessa Chalm é!

After taking time off since having her third child, we are excited to announce that Vanessa Chalmé has now returned to Nutrition Energy!

Vanessa Chalmé is a Registered Dietitian in NYC since 2009, studying nutrition at NYU after moving here from France in 2001. Firmly believing in lifestyle choices and moderation, Vanessa's enthusiasm, French flare and vast nutrition knowledge offer her clients the ideal partner to guide them toward their nutritional goals.

Read more about Vanessa and schedule an appointment with her at NutritionEnergy.com!

A Note from Lauren...

When the cold weather drags on and the days are overcast, I find this is the best time to indulge in some self-care (not that you need an excuse!).   For me, I look forward to a nightly cup of hot tea, a good book, and a warm bath.  Just a few moments to myself to relax, process the day, and lose myself in a story.  Other days, I take a yoga class - which helps me relax through focused breathing and body movement.

The main idea is to find something which provides self-care (face mask? massage? cozy slippers?) and also allows you the time to take time for yourself to relax and decompress.  While treating yourself can include a sweet treat or fun beverage, don't indulge so much that you overdo it and get too far off track of your nutrition and health goals.

We understand life can get in the way of your goals, but the RDNs at Nutrition Energy are educated, dedicated, and motivated to help you through the challenges and successes of change.   As always, find us on Twitter  @NutritionEnergy , Instagram ,  or  Facebook  for fun updates, recipes, and inspiration!
Lauren Antonucci, Director
Nutrition Energy