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 Virtual Sports Clinic for Brooklyn Tri Club

When: Tuesday, 4/28
I. Sports Nutrition For Triathletes/Endurance Athletes 
II. Quarantine Nutrition
III. Intermittent Fasting and other diet trends
Presented by: 
Lauren Antonucci MS RDN CSSD CDE CDN

Please RSVP to:
info@nutritionenergy.com to be added to the Zoom invite list!
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: #118 April 2020

Part 1 - Nutrition


Hello again, Nutrition Energy friends!

Another week of quarantine life has gone by, and with each passing week we may find ourselves pondering many things we didn't find time to contemplate when our lives were spinning forward at their usual rapid pace.

Last week, we discussed how even trips to the grocery store look and feel different than they did just over a month ago. This week, we continue that theme and delve a little bit deeper; into the topic of taking in adequate vitamins and minerals to stay healthy, especially during this turbulent time. Talk of the possible need for and benefits of taking supplements have been coming up more and more in our sessions with clients and in internet searches, as people are both thinking more about boosting immunity and wondering how to fill in gaps left when supplies of fresh fruits and vegetables run low between grocery store trips.

At Nutrition Energy, we always recommend eating a wide variety of colorful and tasty foods first, but understand that it 's not always feasible for everyone - ourselves included. Some basic supplements people have been asking us about recently include calcium, magnesium, and fish oil.

Calcium is necessary to build and maintain strong bones and for communication between the brain and various parts of the body. It's found in many foods like dairy products, small fish, and green leafy vegetables.

Magnesium is another essential mineral that enables your body to work effectively. Health benefits include proper nerve and muscle function, detoxification, energy production, and a healthy immune system. Rich sources include nuts, seeds, whole grains, and greens.

Fresh fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important components of cell membranes and can help keep your heart and brain healthy. Some of you may not be a fan of eating fish and others may not be able to find it readily in your markets at this time. Either way, your omega-3 levels may be suffering. Add some flaxseed meal (easier to digest than whole flaxseeds) and/or chia seeds to your oatmeal or nut butter toast for good sources. Walnuts and soybeans are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and great additions to many recipes.

If you think you are falling behind on your nutritional needs in any of the above, we have included a delicious recipe below that includes spinach, quinoa and canned salmon and another for fudgy black bean brownies, both of which contain calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Do you remember how we discussed the many health benefits of spices last week? Well we are here to remind you again to remember to spice up your foods-both for flavor and health reasons.

As we shift to discussing supplementation, please remember to check in with your doctor, (telehealth and email are great options right now!), before adding any medical or nutritional supplement to your regimen - especially if you are taking a blood thinner or any prescription medications

MEND + Physical Activity = Better Healing & Well-Being
Since we 're talking about supplements, and many of us are feeling like we need a boost right now, we wanted to introduce you to MEND clinical nutrition.  Our director, Lauren Antonucci, has been involved with them since their inception, and was integral in their initial product formulation. As we know, there is significant evidence that shows how nutritional deficiencies can compromise healing and optimal functioning of the body, and MEND has several evidence based products backed by clinical trials to help you fill any gaps and maximize your nutritional status.

Two of the MEND products we think will most likely help our Nutrition Energy clients are Orthopedic, which is utilized by over 20 professional sports teams (NBA, NFL), major Orthopedic Hospitals, and the US Special Forces, and Regenerate, which is used by hospitals and individuals alike to support bone fracture healing as well as wound and tissue repair. Both contain the BCAA leucine, which is integral for muscle recovery both in athletes and post injury. BCAAs, (leucine, isoleucine, valine), are the building blocks of muscle protein, and ingesting them immediately after an intense or prolonged workout helps reduce muscle protein breakdown and improve muscle building over other proteins or delaying ingestion of protein intake completely.

MEND Orthopedic is NSF certified, and is a good choices for athletes of all types. It is designed to support healing and recovery after orthopedic surgery/injury or the repetitive tissue stress and chronic inflammation from sports and training. Its high in much needed protein (including glutamine, leucine next HMB), and also boasts zinc, vitamin D, Calcium, Iron and vitamin C -a great combination of muscle recovery agents and immunity boosters. Plus the addition of both turmeric root powder and black pepper (to increase the absorption of the turmeric) to help reduce inflammation post exercise.

The BCAA complex in MEND Regenerate helps promote maximum muscle regeneration, protein synthesis and increased muscle mass. Regenerate has a plethora of nutrients to support muscle health and well being, combat oxidative stress, support a healthy gut and to help reduce low level inflammation. It 's gentle on the digestive system, which is something we can all appreciate considering 60-70 million Americans suffer from a digestive disease. Additionally, it contains CoQ10, an enzyme your cells use to produce energy for cell growth and maintenance, and acts as an antioxidant to protect the body from harmful substances.

Relating this all back to food, Selenium is another powerful antioxidant which is found in Brazil nuts, walnuts, and some fish including yellowfin tuna and sardines, and also in Regenerate. Historically, we would have gotten adequate selenium by consuming several servings of both fruits and vegetables from rich soil each day, but unfortunately that 's not the case anymore, so Regenerate can help bridge that gap. Artichokes are another food that are not only delicious, but also contain much needed fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, antioxidants, and polyphenols that help the body fight disease. The added digestive enzyme blend in Regenerate aids in the absorption of nutrients (including the ones in artichokes!) to maximize your intake. Finally, MEND Regenerate also boasts reservatrol (the substance found in grapes and red wine which put it on everyone's health radar), which is known for its ability to provide resistance against oxidative damage.

Finally, when you are able to pump some iron, or get in some pushups, lunges and a Tabata workout at home, MEND Regenerate contains a comprehensive range of B vitamins which active individuals need more of, to help their bodies counter the stress of exercise. MEND is currently offering Nutrition Energy friends and clients a special offer of 10% off all orders via www.mend.me with discount code NutritionEnergy10 .

Recipe Corner
In last week's newsletter we discussed how to swap protein sources when you can't find what you want in your grocery store. Following along those lines, we love the following recipe because the canned salmon not only keeps on your kitchen shelf for a while, ready for when you need a quick meal/protein source, but also contains high quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids. The spinach is rich in fiber, vitamin c, carotenoids, calcium and potassium, while quinoa is a good source of fiber, protein, Iron, Magnesium and Zinc.
Alaskan Salmon with Black Quinoa and Spinach
Serves 2
Source: Wide Open Eats
  • 1 cup black quinoa
  • 1 can Alaskan pink salmon, drained
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cayenne chili, minced
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch coarse salt
  • Pinch freshly ground pepper
  • Cook the quinoa in boiling water until they burst and become little spirals, about 15 minutes. Drain if needed and return to pot.
  • Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cayenne chili, and sauté until softened and starting to brown, 6 minutes.
  • Add onion mixture to the pot with the quinoa, along with the salmon and spinach. Toss to combine. Give a good pinch of salt and pepper to the mix. Spritz with lemon.

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

Thanks to Nutrition Energy Dietitian, Melissa for finding and taste testing this delicious and fudgy black bean brownie recipe. It is definitely going to be a staple in our freezers (and Melissa tells us it tastes great with peanut butter on top!).

Melissa Gallanter, RDN, loves to help clients find balance in their diets and achieve their health goals while maintaining (or building) a positive relationship with food. Before moving back home to the NYC-area and joining the Nutrition Energy team, Melissa worked and lived in both Boston and New Orleans. She uses her background in public health nutrition to help break down the many barriers that often make reaching health goals much more challenging than they need to be. Melissa has been spending her quarantine taking online HIIT dance classes, reading great books, and watching her 18-week old niece giggle and grow. She is currently available for video sessions through telehealth (which is often covered by your health insurance!), and she would love to meet and work with you right from your own home/kitchen. 

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies
Yield: 16 2-inch brownies
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract, optional
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil or coat an 8 x 8-inch.
  • Place the black beans in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, oil, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, peppermint extract (if desired), baking powder, and salt and process until smooth. Add ¼ cup of the chips and pulse a few times until the chips are incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a rubber spatula, and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before slicing into 2-inch squares.

Part 2 - Daily Movement

As we progress further into quarantine and social distancing, almost all of our regular routines have experienced some sort of adjustment. Our exercise regimen is no different. Fitness classes are not echoing of a rambunctious instructor yelling out words of motivation and gyms have gone silent of weights crashing on the floor. We've brought our normal sweat sessions home and our creative juices have been running to keep our workouts interesting and fruitful.

On that note, Nutrition Energy is supporting the  19 vs 19 Challenge. For this Challenge participants complete 19 days of 10-minute workouts and ask friends or family to join in the action or support them. This is a movement that promotes positivity, health and fundraising for Disaster Relief and Feeding America, two 501(c)3's fighting COVID-19. Nutrition Energy Director, Lauren Antonucci, will be going Live on Instagram on Friday April 24th at 12:30pm to help promote and endorse the Challenge. She will be helping 19 vs 19 co-founder Becca Tolkoff lead a 19-minute bodyweight workout. You can join them Live on Friday, April 24th at 12:30pm EST by visiting @BeccasFitnessMind. Consider joining them in their workout, donating, or participating yourself. Click HERE for details.
If being locked out of the gym and our favorite fitness classes are good for one thing, we think it's to reflect. Why do we train and work so hard to begin with? We all have our own reasons for doing so, and now is a great time to think about those reasons. Below, Nutrition Energy Dietitian Melanie Klesse, MS, RDN offers her own narrative on altering her running regimen to fit in with her quarantine schedule.
Why We Train
By Melanie Klesse, Nutrition Energy Registered Dietitian

With so many spring half and full marathons cancelled or postponed (which included my own New Jersey half marathon), it's made me think more deeply about why we train. To me, most of us train for more than just the race. We train/we run to get through life's uncertainties and show ourselves that though we doubt ourselves at times, we can get through and we can complete the challenge. For this reason, I have chosen to  #trainon  for my 1/2 marathon distance.
Guidelines from experts have said it's safe to run outside, however here is what I've been doing on my runs to help  #flattenthecurve :
  1. For those in metropolitan areas, map your runs so that you DON'T go along very high-trafficked running paths so you can maintain #socialdistance. For me in #hoboken that means avoiding the popular running path along the water. Basically, I avoid the most pretty paths that I would have run on pre-pandemic and chose less scenic (and thus much less crowded!) running routes. Find those routes near you and run there now.
  2. Since my race is postponed anyway, I've been doing slightly less distance for my long runs than scheduled to maintain my fitness level without putting undue stress on my body. For example, today I was scheduled to do 8 miles and I did 6.5 miles.
  3. Wash your hands thoroughly when you get home.
  4. Avoid touching the traffic buttons. Maybe I'm overthinking this, but I'm using this time to build up my patience. Relax and wait for the light.
  5. Wear a mask if you can't run without getting 6 feet from others. Think of it as breath control training.
  6. Eat a recovery meal that includes both protein and carbohydrates when you come home. If you end your run and can't get a meal in immediately (within 30-60 min), have what I call a "bridge snack" until you can: @skratchlabs recovery mix, chocolate milk, toast with nut butter, rice cake with hummus, fruit with @good_culture cottage cheese, etc. This helps you recover more quickly and offset some of the stress to your immune system post-run.
What about you? Why do you  #trainon ? We love hearing from you!

Part 3 - Mindfullness/Mental and Emotional Health

Many of you might not be used to hitting pause and meditating during your normal life, and that's totally OK. In your usually busy, hectic lives, you may not have prioritized the need to sit down and focus inward - or have not understood the profound benefits of what may seem like simply sitting and "trying not to think" or "staring into space" for an allotted amount of time. Maybe now you are beginning to realize that stopping to check in with your mental/emotional health is just as important as eating a healthful diet, making sure you are on top of your medications, and squeezing in a workout before work.

Just as you may recognize that your body needs a water break during an intense workout, your mind needs a break between all of its busy thoughts too, even if it is simply looking out the window and staring at the rain. Especially now, when our days are different and going back into the office or sending the kids back to school never sounded so good, making time for yourself is essential. You have to be a little selfish to be the best version of yourself so you can be the person your family needs.

In past newsletters, we 've mentioned some easy tips for you to try to give you a little mental boost. Maybe you've tried them and have seen the benefits (keep it up!), or you're still struggling to see what the fuss about meditation is about - don't give up! We at Nutrition Energy think loosening the definition of "meditation" might be helpful. It can be quite intimidating to a first timer, which can dissuade you from giving it the old college try. We suggest starting by thinking of it more as quiet time and zoning in on the present moment or on your breathing, or something simple and calming like the sunset, or the rain falling outside your window. If you're still on the fence, about whether you can do it or whether you should, we again remind you there are many meditation apps. Available that make getting started simple. Stop, Breathe & Think and Insight Timer are great FREE apps that work well for beginners. Mindfulness pros guide you through the basics, and offer different ways to bring your focus inward with music and visuals.

Still not sure meditation is for you?
What if we challenge you?

Let's all try a 7-day Nutrition Energy Mindfulness Challenge together! Beginning today, and for the next 7 days, vow to take 10 minutes to be mindful. We will be posting pictures and words of mindfulness motivation on social media, so you can follow along with us (on Instagram @NutritionEnergy, and Facebook), as we too carve out time each day to be still. We'd love to see your pictures and thoughts as you take on this challenge - share your favorite mindfulness practices.

A Note from Lauren...

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