Nutrition Energy Virtual
19 vs. 19 Challenge
When: Friday, 4/24
What: A virtual
'move-a-thon' to raise money for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle
follow @BeccasFitnessMind on Instagram
Lauren Antonucci MS RDN CSSD CDE CDN
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!
57 W 57th St, Suite 1211
New York, NY 10019
55 Broadway, Suite 201
New York, NY 10006
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Hello Nutrition Energy Friends!
Now that most of us are finding ourselves with more time than we are generally used to, you may have noticed your mind going places you didn't expect. Last week, we began our 7-day
#NutritionEnergymindfulchallenge. Were you able to find a moment each day (or any day!) to take a moment for yourself? If not, it's never too late to start, and always worth another try. Your brain and your body will thank you for any and every small moment you take to hit pause and recharge.
This week, we turn to addressing something we
've been asked about a lot in recent days; food safety amongst a global pandemic. As dietitians, our food conversations with clients often take interesting twists and turns, and we thought there wasn't a food question we haven't heard before - until COVID-19 crashed the party.
Whether you've been ordering your groceries online or braving the market in person, the question of whether it's safe to eat the beautiful foods you just purchased may have entered your mind. We've done a deep dive into the current guidelines from both the CDC and the FDA and will outline appropriate ways to store, handle, wash, and cook foods to keep you and your family safe
and also help calm your nerves.
Part 1 - Nutrition
First off, let
's clear up any confusion about the difference between a virus and a food-borne illness. A virus is an infectious agent that requires a living host to multiply in order to survive - they cannot live on your fresh produce for very long. Food-borne illness occurs as the result of eating food that's been contaminated with bacteria, parasites, or toxins (think raw/under-cooked foods including eggs, meat/poultry, cookie dough). As long as proper safety measures are taken, contracting a food-borne illness is very rare.
The CDC and FDA confirm
there is no evidence that food or food packaging has been linked to getting sick from COVID-19 (phew!), meaning that the virus cannot infect an apple, because an apple is not a live host. While this is a novel virus, there are many other viruses circulating all the time, and we should all know how to safely handle and cook our foods. This is why the FDA always stresses these 4 general steps to food safety: clean, separate, cook, and chill.
- as always, wash your hands, utensils and surfaces often. With soap and water, scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails for at least 20 seconds. Give fruits and vegetables a rinse under running water before putting them in the refrigerator or pantry to wash away any excess dirt. Meat, poultry, eggs, or bagged produce marked "pre-washed" can just be put away.
- don't cross contaminate. Use separate cutting boards and plates for produce, meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. Raw meat, poultry, and seafood should be placed in their own containers or sealed plastic bags. Again, this should be done all the time anyway, pandemic or no pandemic.
- refrigerate (again, to 40ºF or below) and freeze (to 0ºF or below) perishable food within 2 hours. Note: bacteria that cause food poisoning multiply quickest between 40°F and 140°F - this is known to us dietitians and foodservice professionals as the temperature danger zone. Stay out of the danger zone!
Going back to combating viruses, the main takeaway is that getting sick from the food you eat should not be a concern. The FDA stresses that foodborne exposure is not known to be a route of transmission for COVID-19. Even if you did ingest the virus somehow, the low pH from the acid in your stomach is very likely to kill it, so the chances of it making you sick are extremely low - stomach acid never sounded so appealing!
To reduce your risk of infection, the CDC maintains the same guidelines we
've been hearing from the beginning of this pandemic:
- Order online or use curbside pickup to limit contact.
- Protect yourself while shopping by staying at least 6 feet away from others and wearing a face mask.
- Use hand sanitizer when you leave the store and wash your hands when you get home for at least 20 seconds (again,you should be washing your hands all the time anyway).
- When accepting deliveries and takeout orders, limit in-person contact - pay online or over the phone if possible, and ask for deliveries to be left in a safe spot outside your house like the front porch or lobby.
- Wash your hands after accepting deliveries and wipe down any surfaces.
's Dr. Sanjay Gupta has recommended some precautions, when ordering food from a restaurant when you want a break from cooking and/or support your local businesses (both of which we fully support!). Try to take out some of the packaging outside when you first receive the food. Leave it there then go inside to enjoy your meal. Once inside, wipe any surfaces in the remaining packaging and then obviously wash your hands. These easy precautions will help keep you and your family safe and together we can #flattenthecurve!
Tanya Mezher is a Registered Dietitian who earned her Master
s degree in Nutrition Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is passionate about empowering her clients to prioritize
self-care in an often busy and stressful dynamic of balancing personal and professional goals and responsibilities. Whether you are seeking nutrition therapy for a medical concern or diagnosis such as type 2 diabetes (T2DM), gestational diabetes (GMD), gastrointestinal disorders (IBS, celiac disease, allergies/intolerances), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or just need help navigating a complex food environment and circumstances - Tanya is enthusiastic about helping you attune to your body and needs to achieve your goals while enjoying food and life. Tanya, like all Dietitians at Nutrition Energy, is currently available for telehealth sessions-which are generally covered by insurance. Allow her to help you navigate this incredible tricky time in terms of shopping, cooking and eating, and working on your relationship with food.
Maghmour (chickpeas and eggplant stew)
Sometimes called Lebanese Moussaka, this simple dish is a comforting stewy dish; serves well with a side of pita bread or over a grain of choice, or on its own!
- 1 large eggplant - cut into 2 inch cubes
- 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I used dried, cooked in advance)
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- Kosher salt to taste
- 15 ounce canned tomatoes (or 2 cups fresh cut)
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ - ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 1 TBSP dried basil or mint
- 1-2 cups vegetable stock (or water will do)
- Toss the cubed eggplant with about ¼ cup of the olive oil.
- At 400 degrees, bake the eggplant for about 20-30 minutes until browned.
- Meanwhile, in a medium pot, heat the remaining olive oil and cook the onions over medium heat, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook additional 3-5 minutes until onions are translucent.
- Add paprika, cayenne pepper and dried basil as well as tomato paste. Allow to brown 1-2 minutes.
- Add salt and tomatoes, stir well. Add the chickpeas, roasted eggplant, and 1 cup of stock - mix well and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Add additional stock as desired to maintain stew-like consistency.
- Serve warm or allow to chill and serve cold - brings out different flavors!
Cara Dubinsky is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and New York State Certified Dietitian Nutritionist. She holds a Master
s of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from New York University and completed her clinical training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Cara offers practical nutritional guidance and specializes in creating individualized plans for each of her clients. She prides herself on developing creative, simple, healthy and exciting meal ideas and recipes that meet her clients specific lifestyle and nutritional needs. Cara utilizes her extensive clinical nutrition background and knowledge combined with real life practical tricks (which she developed not only in her clinical training but also as a working mom of three!), to help her clients make lasting lifestyle changes. Cara
s expertise includes weight management, cardiovascular disease, diabetes management,
, and feeding children with special needs.
As a mom of three young children, Cara understands the importance and emotional challenges of providing balanced nutrition for a family. She has a unique interest and experience in working with families and children with special needs, and has both clinical and personal experience and compassion for working with pediatric gastrointestinal disorders, autism and selective eating.
Cara understands the crucial relationship between nutrition and gastrointestinal health, has been successful in helping her own daughter, who suffers from gastrointestinal intolerances, and enjoys helping other families in similar situations find more peace in their kitchens and in their homes.
Cara's Shirataki Noodle Bowl
It has been more than 40 days (and over 600 total meals made and eaten) since my family of five started our quarantine. With remote learning and all the new added responsibilities we all have, it has definitely been a challenge to continually prepare healthy, exciting meals that are enjoyed by all. Here is one recipe that can quickly and easily be made for either lunch or dinner. It's been a favorite in my home during this time, and all the more reason to stock up on frozen vegetables and other foods!
Cara, like all Nutrition Energy Dietitians at Nutrition Energy, is currently available for virtual Nutrition appointments, and is available to help you plan healthy meals for you and your family and address any of your specific nutrition needs.
1 package of House Foods Traditional Shirataki Noodles (angel hair pasta, udon noodles, rice noodles, etc. will also work!)
1 bag of frozen steamed dumplings
1 bag of cut broccoli or 2 cups of fresh broccoli
1 cup of snow peas
Soy sauce to taste
Olive oil spray (2-3 sprays)
1-2 teaspoons of minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté the vegetables in olive oil and garlic.
Steam the frozen dumplings.
Drain the water from the Shirataki noodle package and rinse well under hot water. Microwave for 1 minute or parboil for 2-3 minutes and pat dry well. Place the noodles in a hot pan with a little olive oil and heat over medium high heat until you see water steaming out.
Add the vegetable saut
to the noodles.
Add soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
Part 2 - Daily Movement
First, for this
s movement section we
re literally leading you through a 19-minute at home workout through the 19 vs. 19 Challenge!
Nutrition Energy Director, Lauren Antonucci, is completing a Live 19-minute workout on Instagram today,
, at 12:30pm EST
to help promote and endorse the Challenge with its co-founder, Becca Tolkoff (
). If you can't catch it live, click HERE for details.
But you better hurry, it will only remain posted for 24 hours-so get moving now!
Second, for those of you who have seen Vanessa Chalm
, Cara Dubinsky, Carmine Ingenito, and
/or Tanya Mezher in our downtown office, you may recall that we are in a suite with Spring Forward Physical Therapy. While we all continue to navigate working and exercising from home, here are some helpful tips from the physical therapists at Spring Forward designed to help you maintain healthy body mechanics while working and training from your home.
SFPT's tips for home workouts:
- Form is key! No matter what exercise you are performing, check in with your form at each body part.
- Neck and spine should be in "neutral", stacked alignment
- Shoulders should be down and back, not hiking up towards ears
- Core should be active and belly button pulled in towards spine
- Low back should avoid over-arching or over-rounding
- Knees and ankles should stay straight and stable, no collapsing inward or rolling outward
- Don't forget to stretch! Before a workout, warm up with some active movements like jumping jacks, high knees, mini squats, or downward dog. After workouts, cool down with static stretching (i.e. traditional quad/hamstring/calf/piriformis stretches), holding stretches for 20-30 seconds at a comfortable range. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a detailed list of stretches!
- Tight, achy muscles may benefit and relax with heat, while achy joints feel better with ice. Apply as needed for 10-15 minutes. Remember, if a body part is red or swollen, always ice!
SFPT's tips for setting up an ergonomic home workspace:
- Top of the monitor should be at eye level. Gaze down from this position to keep the neck in neutral alignment.
- Chair should support the natural curves and neutral alignment of the back. Head in line with neck and shoulders.
- Upper arms supported and comfortable. Elbow angle set from 90-110 degrees.
- Sit all the way back in the chair, thighs fully supported.
- Feet rest comfortably on the floor.
- Desktop computer angled slightly upwards at a 10-20 degree tilt. *For laptops, slightly prop up the screen using an item like a rolled-up towel.
- Gaze downward with your eyes and avoid rounding your neck.
- Wrist straight (neutral), not bent.
- Hips at 90-110 degrees while seated (knees at hip height or lower than hips).
- Keyboard, mouse, phone, etc. all positioned within easy reach.
**Avoid working from the couch or bed, this can lead to poor posturing and pain. It is easiest to have a proper set up utilizing a desk or dining room table.
Spring Forward Physical Therapy, P.C., is a boutique style physical therapy practice with locations in NYC's Midtown East (30 E. 60
) and the Financial District (55 Broadway). Spring Forward PT specializes in orthopedics and sports and we work with patients to recover and rehabilitate from injuries, acute or chronic aches and pains, musculoskeletal conditions, and pre/post-surgical conditions.
At this time, Spring Forward PT is offering
telehealth (video based physical therapy sessions) to both existing and new patients. Telehealth allows patients to participate in physical therapy via PT guided exercise, ensuring that patients continue to progress towards their goals! Spring Forward PT accepts insurance and checks each individual insurance plan prior to a patient beginning PT. To learn more, head to
, call 212-996-9700 or email
for an appointment.
Part 3 - Mindfullness/Mental and Emotional Health
First, we want to check in and see how your #NutritionEnergymindfulchallenge is going. Are you getting in a groove of hitting pause for a few minutes every day (or a few times a week) to bring your focus inward? If you're still not sold on it, don't give up! It can take a while for some individuals to get used to a new habit and feel like it's truly part of a daily routine.
This week, we want to remind you that mindfulness can be found in many different places and activities,
and give you some alternative ideas to the usual mindfulness practice if you want/need to think outside of the proverbial box. As an example, some of us find peace and clarity in running along the road step after step and breath after breath, while others find peace in drawing, playing an instrument or gardening. If you cannot immediately think of where and when you feel most present, most in the moment, we challenge you to pay attention to that over the course of this week. Notice when you find yourself fully engrossed, engaged, and not thinking about a million things, but only about the one activity or task at hand- and that is mindfulness.
Beginning here today, and continuing in subsequent weeks, we
'll be introducing some of the various forms mindfulness can take, and we will continue to invite you to take a stab at giving some (or all if you're up for it!) a try. If something on the list speaks to you before we talk about, or if you think of something that we didn't mention, try it and keep it up. We will get you started thinking of a few ideas here, with some activities you can easily do alone, or with a significant other, child or entire family if that works for you.
- Art, including coloring, drawing, painting, clay sculpting
- Music, including playing an instrument, singing, listening to classical music
- Journal writing
Unless you are an artist at heart, coloring may not be something you think of adults doing on an everyday basis, but there is a reason why children love coloring and no reason why we adults should miss out on the fun. There are tons of coloring books specifically for adults, often with pictures of flowers, nature scenes or abstract designs to color in at will. The practice isn't new, but skyrocketed a few years ago when adults realized that coloring can be a fun and relaxing activity to enjoy anytime. Coloring books for adults can easily be purchased on Amazon and bookstores (we like this
from Amazon). But really the sky is the limit in terms of coloring; you can find coloring books all about cats or dogs or even Harry Potter. Of course you can always just start doodling on a piece of paper or print out shapes or images from the web and start coloring.
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
Lauren Antonucci, Director