Weekly Healthy Working,

Learning, & Living

from Home Survival Guide   

In This Issue
Part 1 - Nutrition
Part 2 - Daily Movement
Part 3 - Mindfullness/Mental and Emotional Health
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: #122 May 15, 2020

Hello Nutrition Energy Friends!

Spring is finally in the air. We don't know about you, but the warmer temps, sunshine and scent of spring rain has us at Nutrition Energy burning up with spring fever. Have you taken advantage of the (slowly) rising temperatures to do some spring cleaning? We've found that doing a seasonal purge of all the things you don't need or use any more can be quite therapeutic - it's like hitting refresh and starting anew. It's also a great activity to do while in quarantine when you need something to do!
Last week, we discussed getting fresh produce from local farmers through CSAs. This week we will continue along the lines of fresh produce and herbs, but shift to speaking about growing your own garden at home. Spring has us all feeling festive, so let 's embrace it!

Part 1 - Nutrition

Indoor Gardening

Some of you may be wondering if it's feasible to grow your own vegetables at home. Anything is possible (even for those of us who live in small NYC apartments)! Having an indoor garden doesn't have to require as much space as you might think. If a windowsill or tiny terrace is all you have to work with, you can still make it work! For those lucky enough to have larger outdoor access, starting indoors can still be good practice, or a way to get things started sooner.

In case you need greater motivation to get this indoor garden started, let us remind you that plants help cleanse your household air, which is especially beneficial when you're inside a lot more during the winter months (or during a pandemic). They filter the air around them, absorbing gases and keeping your home fresher and cleaner. Indoor gardening can also be an educational opportunity for you and your family, as together you learn about how plants thrive in different levels of light and water.
Before you get started, here are three must-do tips to ensure your garden thrives.
  • Find the right lighting. Different plants require different amounts of light, so check out both your space and growing instructions for each plant before you commit. For starters, finding the spot with the most sunlight may be your safest bet (if possible). If you live in a true New York City apartment, you may not have copious amounts of sunlight pouring through your windows, and that's ok - you can purchase some grow lights to help you (and your plants) out.
  • All purpose potting mix will help your plants grow like they should.
  • Leave room for drainage either with stones in the bottom of the pot or use a pot with holes on the bottom (don't forget a shallow drainage container, though!).
What to Plant??!!
If you plan to have a smaller garden in your windowsill, consider planting the following:
  • Loose leaf lettuce. Lettuce doesn't require a sunny window and grows very easily
  • Carrots are another great choice because of their versatility in cooking and because they also grow nicely in a small space
  • Sprouts may be the easiest plant to grow, as all you need for these little guys is a quart jar, a few tablespoons of sprouting seeds and water
  • Micro-greens are perfect for a windowsill garden.
  • Besides vegetables, you can never go wrong with herbs including chives, basil, cilantro, and mint to pep up your dishes.
  • For those of you who have floor space for larger pots, tomatoes are a great choice. Go for smaller varieties (unless you want to turn your home into a forest), and make sure they get plenty of sun.
  • Spice up your life with some chilies (make sure the pot is at least 8-10 inches deep) if your space is sunny and warm.
  • Fruits can be invited to the party, too! If you have the space, fruit trees (dwarf varieties) can give a fantastic aroma along with their tasty produce. Just keep in mind it might be a while until they start to sprout. Meyer lemons and mandarin oranges are two great indoor fruit to nurture. We hope this has inspired you to exercise your green thumb and try growing some produce at home with the family!
Recipe Corner
For this week's Recipe Corner we're turning again to Nutrition Energy Registered Dietitian, Carmine Ingenito. As you may remember from Carmine's last recipe/video,
Carmine specializes in both sports nutrition and culinary nutrition. Growing up in his family's restaurant business with his dad as the chef, Carmine was emerged in cooking and able to learn the "tricks of the trade" from a young age. He loves sharing his passion for food, nutritional balance and cooking with others. As always, Carmine emphasizes nourishing, nutrient dense meals and is currently offering virtual sessions. Let him help you fuel your next athletic endeavor and/or navigate your pantry to make cooking for yourself and your family more fun with less stress!
Stuffed Eggplant
Makes 6 halves

We often balance meals by adding a side of veggies to whatever we are eating. Why not put it all together and actually use vegetables as a base (two for one!). It cuts down on cooking, prep, and clean up time (yay to less pots and pans in the sink!). Stuffed eggplant can be a simple and tasty weekly meal!
Home-Cook Power Tip:  Try stuffing other veggies such as cabbage, peppers, and tomatoes!
  • 3 large eggplants
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey (can also use beef or go meatless)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt and pepper
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (or any cheese)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 4 sprigs parsley, chopped
  • Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
  • Add oil to a pot on medium heat and cook the onions until translucent.
  • Add the ground turkey and tomato sauce, cooking for 10-15 minutes. Season with first teaspoon of salt and pepper.
  • Set the meat aside in a bowl and add the cooked rice.
  • Add the eggs, cheese, spinach, and parsley to the bowl of meat and rice, mix well.
  • Cut the eggplant in two (length wise) and partially scoop the middle of each one.
  • Dice the scooped portion into small pieces and add it to bowl.
  • Spread the second teaspoon of salt and pepper evenly on top of each scooped out eggplant half.
  • Add the meat and rice mixture inside each eggplant half.
  • Put the halves on a sheet-pan and cover with aluminum foil. (Line the sheet pan itself with foil for easy clean up).
  • Cook for 30 minutes covered and another 15 minutes un-covered.
Tomato soup with halloumi croutons
Serves 6
Source: Feasting at Home

This glowing soup is perfect for those rainy nights not uncommon during spring, and the halloumi croutons give it a fantastic grilled cheese and tomato soup vibe. This is another great bulk recipe that you can freeze for when you want a night off from cooking and have lots of tomatoes to use up in your home garden!
  • 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, halved and cored (if small, ok to leave them whole)
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced into rings
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, whole
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or oregano
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 cups broth - vegetable or chicken
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped or sliced into ribbons
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2-1 cup plain greek yogurt or drizzle of olive oil
Halloumi croutons (optional):
  • 1 6-8 ounce block halloumi cheese, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  • On parchment or foil lined sheet pan, spread out tomatoes (cut side down), onions and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until onion is tender and tomatoes have just begun to caramelize at their edges. When done, remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  • While the tomatoes are roasting, if using halloumi, cut it into small 3/4 inch cubes. Pat dry. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and sear the halloumi on two sides, until golden, not over crowding and turning heat down if necessary. Place on a paper towel lined plate.
  • When the tomatoes are cooled, blend them along with all of their flavorful juices from the sheet pan using a blender with the cold stock, working in small batches. If you have an immersion blender, you use that as well. Blend until creamy and smooth. Place in a pot over low heat, add salt and pepper to taste and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir in basil, saving some for garnish. Simmer for 10 minutes until soup reduces a bit and flavors meld.
  • Swirl in 1/2 cup yogurt or olive oil to the pot of soup. Taste and adjust salt as needed. Add more yogurt or olive oil if you prefer a creamier soup.
  • Serve soup in bowls with a little swirl of yogurt. Top with halloumi croutons and garnish with basil.

Part 2 - Daily Movement

This week we turn to Nutrition Energy friend Vikash Sharma, owner of Perfect Stride Physical Therapy who wrote a great piece on rules for working out during the coronavirus outbreak and has shared it with us.

6 Rules for Smart Workouts During the Coronavirus Outbreak
By Vikash Sharma, PT, DPT, OCS

It has been several weeks since all non-essential businesses closed their doors here in New York City leaving everyone stuck at home. Because of this, there has been an uptick of online training programs and live fitness workouts flooding your feeds.

The amount of support and help trainers and physical therapists are offering right now is downright amazing. But with everyone offering various online training programs and live streaming fitness classes it can be a lot to take in.

You are probably trying to figure out how you are going to continue working out effectively while at home, and rightfully so, it is a major outlet for emotional and physical well-being.

Prior to this, you probably didn't have a "real fitness plan." Generally speaking, most people don't. You may bounce around from fitness class to fitness class or follow some generic workout on the internet. This may be fine, but most of us don't pay enough attention to our training volumes, intensities, recovery, or the fitness components targeted on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis (cardiovascular, strength, fat loss, mobility, etc...).

Here are some ground rules to follow ensure you are getting the most out of your workouts during this outbreak and beyond.

Rule 1: You do not need to do a HIIT style workout every single session.
This may seem like the lazy, cop-out answer for someone who doesn't like to exercise and it definitely can be. But we aren't saying don't work hard. We just want to make sure you are training intelligently and are accounting for recovery.

If every exercise is putting you on the floor, switch it up. Keep HIIT workouts to 1-2 times a week (depending on how many times a week you are training) and make sure you are focusing on your recovery. Eating well, sleeping well, and staying hydrated are low hanging fruits that we should all be crushing right now.

If you're working from home or out of work; you now have time to cook, drink water, and to ensure you're getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Don't waste this precious time home (for those of us who have it) continuing the bad habits that we blame on our busy schedules.

Rule 2: Put a focus on mobility weekly.
The number one reason our clients don't perform their home exercise program is because "they don't have time." For those of us who are considered non-essential workers and working from home, this really isn't an excuse anymore.
The best part is you don't have to dedicate a lot of time to mobility. Consistently spending 5-15 minutes a day can go a long way to creating adaptation to the body.
Rule 3: Go for a walk.
With states asking us to only leave our house for essential tasks we are still allowed to go out to get fresh air and exercise. Take advantage of this! Being confined to your home 24/7 is not good for you. Get up and go for a walk to get some air and sunshine in your life.

This may not seem like a workout to you, but walking does offer health benefits and it fits nicely into your routine as a recovery day and offers us a low-intensity, low-impact option for exercise.

Rule 4: Try something new.
Humans are creatures of habit. With all of the free live streams out there, try a new form of fitness. Whether you take your first yoga class, pilates class, mobility class, or strength workout, doing something new can help you identify different ways of working out that you may find enjoyable. It also allows you to work on different areas of your fitness that you may have been neglecting (knowingly or not).

Rule 5: Own your bodyweight.
We believe that everyone should own their bodyweight. Everyone should be able to perform bodyweight squats and lunges with ease. You should also be able to do push-ups, planks, bear crawls and a host of other bodyweight exercises with solid technique.

Rule 6: Follow a plan.
For best results with any training program, following a singular plan is better than bouncing around all over the place. If you set goals and create an exercise program based around them big things can happen.

This is why we offer online training programs. These are 4-week training programs that are designed to consider all aspects of your health and fitness based on YOUR movement capacity and YOUR goals. Fill out the form below to inquire about more information on how we can help you reach your fitness goals.

Perfect Stride
Vikash Sharma, PT, DPT, OCS graduated from Elon University of North Carolina with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Exercise Sports Science and a minor in Philosophy. He went on to receive his Doctor of Physical Therapy from The George Washington University and has since completed his orthopedic residency at Temple University. He is a Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS). Vikash has undergone rigorous training and testing to achieve his Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist (COMT) designation through Maitland Australian Physiotherapy Seminars. He is also a certified Running Coach through The Road Runners Club of America and The United States Track and Field Association. He is the physical therapist for ShadowBox Fitness Boxing.

Vikash is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and The United States Track and Field Association. Vikash has been an avid runner and weight trainer for most of his life and competes in local road races. He also loves to play golf, hike, skateboard, meditate and pretend to be an iron chef in the kitchen.

Part 3 - Mindfullness/Mental and Emotional Health

In keeping with the topic of spring this week, the rising temperatures may bring a bit of emotional sunshine as well for many, but with it, some hesitation about spending more time outside. We at Nutrition Energy want to remind you that whatever you are feeling, that's ok.  Be mindful of what your body is telling you by taking a moment to listen. As we've been discussing for the last few weeks, for some of you that may look like focusing on your breath in meditation. For others, mindfulness comes in the form of coloring, improv, or journal writing. This week, we will discuss mindfulness in the form of yoga.

Most people we know have heard of yoga, and may think of it either in terms of exercise and strength building, improving flexibility, stress reducing...or a combination of all three. Practicing yoga can helps us relieve stress, sharpen attention and concentration, and calm and center the nervous system. Yoga 's mental health benefits have become so widely accepted that it's used as a tool in psychotherapy and eating disorder treatment as a way to help improve symptoms of depression and sleep disorders. Whether you're just getting started or are well versed in the yoga tradition, we think it's always great to have someone to follow. Gaia is one of our favorite online options. This platform provides tons of online classes for you to choose from based on style, level, duration, focus, and teacher. Packages are as low as $8.25/month and they offer a free trial, so you have nothing to lose. Also, Lululemon global ambassador and founder of Girlvana, Ally Maz leads this 45-minute Vinyassa flow class on YouTube that's great for all levels. Roll out the yoga mat that's been hiding in your closet (or a towel if you don't have a mat), play soft music, light some candles, and press play on an online class!

A Note from Lauren...

We hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy at home, and have enjoyed our eighth weekly installment of our COVID-19 home health weekly newsletter.  Thanks to Nutrition Energy Dietitian Carmine for his recipe, and to all of you who reached out to us last week with questions you wanted us to cover in future newsletters.

We have successfully sent out this newsletter for the past 8 weeks during the initial stages of the Stay-At-Home order.  Due to the amount of work needed to devote to these weekly newsletters, we hope you understand as we take a step back and will instead send out newsletters every other week.  Please continue to reach out to us via email: [email protected], by phone: 646-361-6803, or on social media:  @Nutritionenergy   o n 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.

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