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!

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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: #116 April 2020

Hello Nutrition Energy Friends!

Good day Nutrition Energy community!

As we continue with social distancing and juggling our different schedules with working from home, home-schooling, working in small spaces or whatever it may be, we at Nutrition Energy will continue to bring you health and wellness tips each week that can easily be incorporated into your day to day.   And while not every day will go as planned and some may be more hectic than others, remember that we are all in this together.

Part 1 - Nutrition

5 Spices to Optimize your Health:
While on the surface it might seem as if we should have more time to accomplish everything we'd like to each day, in reality we may be finding that this is not the case every day.   Whether you took on the role of teacher or caretaker or just have a lot more going on in general, life is certainly different, and might even seem busier than before. One quick and easy way to make your usual meals more exciting, while at the same time, boosting our immune system, is through spices. Spices have been used for thousands of years in traditional Eastern healing practices, not just for their flavor, but also for their medicinal purposes. We have listed some of our favorite spices below and provided tips to incorporate them with minimal effort into your diet.


1. Turmeric

While Turmeric is a spice that has been used in South Asian cuisine for years, it has recently made its way mainstream due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It's main ingredient, curcumin, is responsible for this, as well as giving the spice its vibrant color. Turmeric has also been shown to stimulate your immune system and possibly boost your memory and mood. It contains bioactive compounds that have medicinal properties ranging from powerful antioxidants to alleviating digestive discomfort. Fun fact - this mustard color spice is also a member of ginger family.
Meal tips: Goes great with roasted vegetables. Or if you have a few minutes in the morning, make a turmeric tea with 1 tbsp ground turmeric, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp honey over boiling water, let steep for 5 minutes.

2. Black Pepper

You probably have black pepper sitting innocently alongside the salt in your kitchen because it is used in so many recipes. Well you'll be happy to know that black pepper contains anti-inflammatory properties and boosts the bioavailability of many nutrients so there's no time like the present to dust off that black pepper container if you haven't already. Its active ingredient, piperine, may also protect cells against damage and act as an antioxidant.
Meal tips: Add to any dish during or after cooking. Ground black pepper is particularly delicious on top of a salad or pasta dish. Or if you want to boost the bioavailability of that turmeric tea you just made, add ½ tsp ground black pepper to it. For added flavor and health benefits: add a black or green tea bag.

3. Fresh Garlic/Garlic Powder

Garlic or garlic powder is another ingredient you likely have at home. It contains the compound allicin, which is responsible for giving garlic antibacterial and antiviral properties. Garlic is also a species of the onion family that contain many compounds that may have anticancer effects.
Meal tips: Chop/mince and sauté in olive oil with any vegetable or pasta dish. Only have the powder? No problem - sprinkle on your veggies before roasting or sautéing them.

4. Cumin

Cumin is one of the main components of curry powder in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. For those who've never heard of this spice, it is part of the same flowering plant as dill, caraway and parsley. Cumin helps with digestive function and nutrient absorption. It contains key nutrients such as iron, calcium and magnesium, which are necessary to keep our immune system functioning at its best.
Meal tips: Goes great with bean dishes, like lentil soup or chili.

5. Cinnamon

Cinnamon, one of the oldest spices known to mankind, conjures up images of apple pie and pumpkin spice lattes. It is mainly used in America to sweeten baked goods, but Middle Eastern dishes actually use this spice in their savory meat dishes. Not only may it play a role in insulin activity, but also it has powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties due to its bioactive compound cinnamaldehyde. A win when trying to keep your immune system in tip top shape. Cinnamon is the dried inner bark of evergreen trees.
Meal tips: Sprinkle in oatmeal, yogurt, or on top of an apple for a delicious snack.
Just as we are told to "eat the rainbow," and include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables into our diet, the same saying can be said about spices. Each spice has a unique profile that plays an important role in our health. The wider variety of spices in our diet, the greater the health benefits. Give your immune system the tools it needs to perform its best.
Today we are sharing 2 delicious powerhouse recipes that are quick and easy to make at home. Our go-to roasted cauliflower recipe harnesses the power of turmeric and black pepper for a quick side dish, while our lentil soup combines cumin, turmeric and garlic for a meal that can be enjoyed immediately or frozen for later. Enjoy, feel good and stay healthy!
Don't forget to share your final product with us on Instagram and tag us @NutritionEnergy! Feel free to also submit ideas of what recipes you would like to see in next week's newsletter!
Turmeric-Spiced Cauliflower
  • 1 whole cauliflower (Or any vegetable you have on hand)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Turmeric
  • Paprika 
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Wash, dry and cut cauliflower into florets.
  3. Simply sprinkle olive oil and all spices (play around with different proportions of spices depending on your taste) on top of the florets and mix up on the baking pan.
  4. Roast for 40-50 minutes, until slightly golden.
Lentil Soup with Kale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger minced
  • 1 tsp turmeric ground
  • 1 tsp cumin ground
  • 4 carrots diced
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 5 cups stock
  • 1 1/2 cup red lentils dry
  • 1 medium zucchini chopped (~2 cups)
  • 2 cups kale or spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper ground
  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add onions sautéing until translucent, usually around 3-5 minutes. Add carrot and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until tender.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric and cumin and sauté until fragrant, usually around 30 seconds.
  3. Next add the canned tomatoes, stock, and red lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for about 8 minutes, then add the chopped zucchini. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until lentils are tender and have broken apart and the zucchini is cooked.
  4. Add kale and turn off the heat. The kale does not have to cook (just wilt if using fresh). Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as necessary. Remove from heat.
  5. To serve squeeze lemon juice over individual servings of soup, and top with a dollop of plain yogurt, and chopped cilantro or parsley if desired.

Part 2 - Daily Movement

Like us, you may be feeling that while your normal daily routine included going to your local gym or pool, or attending a group fitness class, you are left at a bit of a loss for what you can safely do at home right now.  While the above group activities are not an option for us for the time being, it's important to schedule time to move every day.  Mild to moderate exercise (30-45 minutes) helps to boost the immune system...and our mood!  Choose low intensity exercise or skip the session/day entirely if you are feeling run down, as that can lower your immune defenses. On other days, schedule time for your daily move MTA-you will be glad you did!  

Each week we will try to bring you new and interesting ideas for working out at home (or outside as able). This week we turned to our good friend, trainer and coach, Ben Kessel for at home workout tips and advice. Below are two workouts you can try. Feel free to choose either the beginner or the more advanced options as you feel you suits you best, or mix and match some exercises from each depending on your strengths. Ben has created a video of the beginner moves for us to share with you (Thanks, Ben!). Ben and his team of trainers/coaches area currently available as virtual coaches and for remote training sessions, so please reach out to him if you are looking for more individualized programming. Enjoy!!!

My name is Ben Kessel. I am the founder/owner of Priority Fitness (est 2008), a Brooklyn based fitness studio that focuses on strength & conditioning for endurance athletes. I have been a Strength & Conditioning coach since 2004 and an endurance coach since 2009. I coach multiple endurance clubs throughout NYC and am the current President of the Brooklyn Tri Cl ub. I coaches individuals from all backgrounds (recreational to professional) in performance/endurance training and general training health and wellness. I am also an Ironman finisher who represented Team USA in the ITU age group world championships in 2019 and in the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championships a week later.

I have a fantastic team of trainers who work collectively with me-most of whom are available for virtual training sessions at this time.

Below are two routines that you should be able to do safely on your own, and with no equipment necessary!

As you may already realize, t
he benefits of exercise are incredibly crucial during these new times. We have the standard positive biophysical responses such as stimulating your metabolism, strengthening your body to move more efficiently and powerfully, etc. With this new way of life as of late, I think it's also important to use exercise as a tool to break up your day if you're working from home, reduce anxiety during these trying times, and perhaps the most important, strengthen your immune system. 

Keeping the last point in mind, now is not the time to push yourself to extreme exhaustion as that can result in a temporary weaken of your immune system until you recover from the workout (up to 72 hours). That doesn't mean you shouldn't get a good sweat :) , you should just not try to find new limits in your workout. If you haven't been exercising consistently, start with the Beginner (no jumping) routine. If you've been in a good exercise rhythm for a while, feel free to try the Advanced (jumping) routine. If you have any questions or would like more support/guidance with your exercise/fitness, you can reach me and my staff at info@priorityfitnesstraining.com

Beginner Workouts 

Beginner: Bridge Hip Raise, 10-20 reps x 3
  1. Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Allow your arms to relax on the floor by your sides.
  3. Squeeze your glutes and press into your heels while raising your hips until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  4. Pause at the top and slowly lower back down to the starting position.
  5. Be sure to keep your core tight and neck/head relaxed.
  6. When you are ready to advance, add a weight or small child to your 
  7. lower hips.
Beginner: Deadbugs, 45 sec x 3
  1. To do the classic dead bug exercise start on your back. Bend your knees and lift your legs into the air with your knees bent at 90-degree angles. Shoot your arms straight into the air with your wrist above your shoulders. This is your starting position.
  2. While you're here think about drawing your shoulders to your hips to create internal trunk tension.
  3. Keep your arms and legs engaged (imagine shooting fireworks out of your hands and feet) and inhale as you lower opposite arm and leg toward the floor. "Your appendages are playing a tug of war," explains Kast.
  4. Take four slow counts to lower and go as low as you can. If your lower back arches you've gone too far.
  5. Exhale, pressing your low rib cage against the floor, and take four slow counts to return to your starting position.
  6. Start with 10 reps on one side before switching to the next side.

Beginner: Walking Lunges, 10-20 reps x 3
  1. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart.
  2. Step forward with one leg and lower your body to 90-degrees in both knees.
  3. As you push up, drive through your front heel.
  4. Slowly step forward with your back foot to the next lunge position.
  5. Repeat, walking forward for all reps.
  6. Be sure your upper body does not lean forward and stays centered throughout the entire exercise.
  7. Be sure you step out just enough so that your front knee does not extend past your front toes.
  8. Add a dumbbell, barbell or small child for added weight. 
Beginner: Wall push-ups, 10-20 reps x 3
  1. Keep your hands under your shoulders and lower toward the wall.
  2. Push off from wall to the starting position and repeat.
  3. Be sure to engage your core and ensure your elbows stay close to your body.
  4. When you are ready to advance, move to a coffee table or chair and then to the floor.  If necessary, start on your knees and work your way to your toes.
Beginner: Elbow Plank, 30-60 seconds x 3
  1. Start facedown on the floor, on your elbows and knees.
  2. Push off the floor, rising up off your knees and onto your toes, resting on your elbows.
  3. Contract your abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button to your spine.
  4. Ensure your body remains in a straight line from head to toe - do not let your lower body bow downward and prevent your buttocks from sticking up.
  5. Be sure your elbows are underneath your shoulders.
  6. Keep your head looking straight down.
  7. Remember to breathe and avoid holding your breath.

Beginner:  Squat, 10-20 reps x 3
  1. Start with your feet slightly wider than hip width.
  2. Shift your weight into your heels, hinge at your hips and keep your chest up.
  3. Bend your knees to 90-degrees or as low as you can go while maintaining proper form.
  4. Be sure your knees don't buckle inwards - they should remain in line with your shins.
  5. Use your core to keep your back long and straight - do not arch or tuck your pelvis.
  6. Drive through your heels (you should be able to wiggle your toes) as you push upwards and squeeze your glute muscles.
  7. Add a dumbbell, barbell or small child for added weight

Beginner: Tricep Dips with Bench, 10-20 reps x 3
  1. Sit on the edge of a chair, table or couch with your hands just outside of your hips, fingers forward.
  2. Rest your feet on the floor, keeping your legs straight.
  3. Bend your elbows to 90-degrees or as far as you can go, keeping your hips parallel to the chair.
  4. Press your body up by extending your elbows.
  5. You may bend your knees if keeping your legs straight is too difficult.
  6. Be sure not to shrug your shoulders.

Beginner: Step Ups, 10-20 reps x 3
  1. Stand in front of a bench or step.
  2. Rest your hands on your hips or by your side.
  3. Set your L foot on the step, push down through your heel and lift yourself up until your leg is straight.
  4. Bring your R foot next to your L foot.
  5. Step down with your R foot and then your L foot.
  6. Be sure to keep your head tall and your chest and shoulders back.
  7. Keep your knee in line with her shin and make sure it does not bow inward.

Advanced Option

Advanced: Single Legged Hip Raises
  1. Lie faceup on the floor with your R knee bent and L leg resting straight on the floor.
  2. Keeping your L leg straight, raise it up to a 45-degree angle so that it is in line with your R leg.
  3. Allow your arms to relax on the floor by your side.
  4. Squeeze your glutes and press into your R heel while raising your hips until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  5. Pause at the top and slowly lower back down to the starting position.
  6. Be sure to keep your core tight and head/neck relaxed.
  7. Repeat this movement until all reps are complete and then switch sides.

Advanced: Split Jumps, 10-20 reps x 3
  1. Begin in the lunge position and jump up with both feet in an explosive movement
  2. Land softly with opposite leg bent in a 90-degree angle.
  3. Keep your body in a straight line as you jump and land.
  4. Be sure your front knee does not extend past your toes when bent.

Advanced: Push-up with leg raise, 10-20 reps x 3
  1. Place your feet on a coffee table, chair or medicine ball if available.
  2. Begin in a plank position with your. Lift up one leg keeping the core engaged.
  3. Lower your chest to the ground, keeping the leg up.
  4. Return to starting position and repeat with other leg.

Advanced: Elbow Side plank hip lift, 30-60 seconds x 3
  1. Start in a side plank on your elbows with feet stacked and hips/shoulder square.
  2. Slowly raise your hips up and down focusing on using you're your obliques and other lateral stabilizer muscles.
  3. Push off the floor, rising up off your knees and onto your toes, resting on your elbows.
  4. Hold the top position for 2-3 seconds and then lower in a controlled manner.
  5. Make sure you keep your body in a straight line from head to toe

Advanced: Bulgarian Split Squat, 10-20 reps x 3
  1. Stand in front of a bench or step.
  2. Choose a weighted dumbbell that will be challenging if you like.
  3. Place one leg propped up behind you.
  4. Lunge up and down with the front leg slowly.
  5. The movement is an up/down movement. Think about using your hips to raise and lower your body. Your body weight should primarily be in the front leg.
  6. Make sure to not lunge forward too much bringing your knees too far past your toes.
  7. When lunging up make sure to push through the whole foot (not just your toes).
  8. Repeat sets on one leg in a row and then the other

Advanced: Jump Squat, 10-20 reps x 3
  1. Start with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Bend your knees into a squat position as you reach your arms forward.
  3. Drive through your heels and explosively jump upward leading with your chest.
  4. Allow your arms to swing back as you jump.
  5. Be sure your knees don't buckle inwards as you jump and land back into a squat position.

Part 3 - Mindfullness/Mental and Emotional Health

This week we have spent a lot of time discussing both nutrition and movement, so we'll keep the mental health side short until next week, and leave you with 5 quick but important reminders for your week ahead.
  1. Check in on your mental and emotional health. Do not ignore or push away your feelings. Acknowledge them and as able, keep a journal and/or speak to someone about how you are feeling.
  2. Do what you need to do for yourself and your family to manage stress and anxiety during this time-take much needed "me time" to do something just for you!
  3. Give yourself a break if the day doesn't go as planned. We hear you and are right there with you.
  4. Try meditation using one of our suggested apps we mentioned last week 
  5. Use family and friends for support - add a FaceTime or Google Hangout date to your schedule
We wish you a healthy week ahead!

A Note from Lauren...

As always, we encourage you to reach out to us (via email: info@nutritionenergy.com, 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 what you'd like to hear about in our next newsletter. 

Remember that our Dietitians at Nutrition Energy are here to support you during this difficult time, and are offering both phone and video sessions to 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. And it may even be covered by your health insurance. If you, or a friend or family member could use some additional and individualize help creating healthy nutrition, exercise and mindfulness habits right now, we are here to help!

Lauren Antonucci, Director
Nutrition Energy