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.
If you, your family or friends need help managing your blood sugar, cholesterol, or any other medical condition, 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!
Like us, your daily routine is most certainly not what it was a week or 2 ago. We are all adapting to daily changes, working from home, children home from school and activities being cancelled left and right. This is a challenging time for all of us, and for many good reasons.
In speaking to our clients this week, as well as taking a deep dive into what we can each do from home to keep ourselves and our families healthy, on a routine and sane, we have decided to create and send out a weekly (rather than monthly) Nutrition Energy newsletter during this time.
For this, our first weekly addition, as well as each subsequent additional newsletter, we will focus on three key areas; nutrition, movement and mindfulness/mental health. We have invited other experts to chime in and will share it all with you.
Let's start with the basics!
Maintaining structure and routine in your day-to-day in the face of uncertainty and stress is essential to staying grounded. With the rapidly changing recommendations by the CDC, WHO, and Department of Health, and in an effort to contain the Coronavirus (COVID-19), you might feel it challenging to maintain your normal diet, exercise and sleep routine. We, at Nutrition Energy, are here to support you during these unprecedented times and to help you continue to work toward your health and fitness goals. Let's take this opportunity to find a new daily routine, support our community, and try alternative ways to accomplish our goals. We are all in this together!
The following are the 3 pillars of health we value here at Nutrition Energy, and would like you to consider during this hectic period of our lives:
Part 1 - Nutrition
5 Nutrition Tips for Health At Home:
Food is not only a source of physical nutrition, but can also become a source of anxiety at a time like this; Will the grocery stores be stocked with food? Will they even remain open? For many of us, stress eating happens during times of anxiety, sadness, boredom and worry. Ask yourself, 'am I hungry, stressed or bored?' If you are hungry... you should eat. If you feel stressed or bored, refer to the 2nd and/or 3rd pillars below for ways to manage these emotions.
1. Eat a nutrient dense diet.
Focus on buying and eating whole, nutrient dense foods. Our immune system relies on nutrients to function well and fight infection, and knowing this and eating this way can help reduce our stress as well. Aim for 2 servings of fruits and at least 3-5 servings of vegetables (1 serving = ½ cup cooked) daily. Include a variety of these foods to maximize vitamin and mineral types. Remember that fresh, frozen and even canned are all nourishing... in fact, frozen fruits and vegetables may be more nutritious than fresh since they are picked at their peak, blanched and then frozen, keeping their nutritional profile intact.
2. Eat three regular meals, at regular times each day.
Being home, working from home, trying to balance children's learning and other family members at home, can certainly be challenging. That said, we all thrive with routine. Set up a calendar for all to see, with work time, play time and also with meal times noted for all to see. Try to include who will be cooking/prepping each meal and who will be eating together. Cooking and eating together will give us time to be with our family in a meaningful and purposeful way. Include everyone in the process! Even very young children can wash fruits and veggies or arrange things on a plate. Older children can take on more responsibilities as age appropriate. More experienced "chefs" can teach other family members what they know.
3. Include specific helper foods:
Try your best to buy and incorporate foods that offer antimicrobial properties, including garlic, leeks, onions and herbs, into your dishes to give your immune system an extra boost.
4. Make time for snacking too!
Just as teachers list "snack time" on the daily calendar for their classroom, so too should we. List snack time on both your work and family calendar, and try to make sure you stop working to feed yourself a nourishing snack between meals when they will be > 3-5 hours apart. Scheduling snack time can also help us avoid mindless or "boredom snacking" -snacking when we are not actually hungry, but really just need 5 min of downtown or a break from the day (see section 3 of this newsletter below, for more on this important topic!)
5. Be realistic!
Those of you who know us at Nutrition Energy are already familiar with our science based, but practical approach to nutrition. Acknowledge that this time is different, and may be stressful, as we adjust to the many changes being thrown upon us, and that each of us have habits for how we have managed that stress over the course of our lives. Please do allow yourself some treats, and do not feel badly when you do. One idea might be to plan baking your own treats with your family members one day per week, and turn in into a meaningful activity, rather than a mindless snacking situation.
In summary (for today at least), many of us may find ourselves working all day from the kitchen table rather than our office desk, which can either lead to good habits...or less desirable ones, depending on our intentions and planning. Let
s use this opportunity to take time to roast veggies while we take a work call, or dust off that crock-pot and make an easy, nutritious meal the whole family can enjoy. We especially like this Mediterranean Chicken and Orzo because it
s easy to prep and incorporates all food groups!
We are also sending you a really simple pizza recipe to try out. This can be fun to make with kids - have a make-you-own pizza party and get creative with the different topping varieties. Adding veggies and protein to the pizza is also a great way to make the meal balanced and satisfying!
We hope you make one or both of these tasty recipes this week-
and when you do, tag us on Instagram (@NutritionEnergy)
and let us know what you think!
Mediterranean Chicken and Orzo
(Courtesy of Eating Well)
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence.
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¾ cup whole-wheat orzo
- ⅓ cup quartered black or green olives
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Cut each chicken breast half into 4 pieces. Combine the chicken, broth, tomatoes, onion, lemon zest, lemon juice, herbs de Provence, salt and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cook on High for 2 hours or on Low for 4 hours. Stir in orzo and olives; cook for 30 minutes more. Let cool slightly. Sprinkle with parsley.
- Pizza dough, frozen pizza crust, tortillas, English muffin, bagels or any other base you think you might enjoy that is lying around your kitchen/pantry (If your local pizzeria is open, feel free to purchase dough from them!)
- Tomato sauce, olive oil or pesto (store-bought or homemade)
- Leftover protein in your fridge
- Leftover, frozen or canned veggies
- Shredded cheese of your choice
- Herbs and spices of your choice
Preheat oven to 375-500 degrees depending on what base you chose (English muffins/bagels can be baked at 375-degrees, while pizza dough will need to be baked at 500-degrees). If using a store bought pizza crust, follow instructions on the box. Add your sauce of choice to the your dough of choice and then top with veggies, protein and cheese. Play around with different combinations and have a make-your-own pizza party with your kids! Add herbs and spices for extra flavor and nutrition.
Part 2 - Daily Movement
Your daily routine may have included going to your local gym or pool, or attending a group fitness class. While these are not an option for most of 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, and stick to a time for your daily movement -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). Beginning next week we will bring in personal trainers and coaches to give you specific and professional advice! For starters, this week's challenge is to try an
'At-Home Tabata Workout
' with your family, friends or kids! If you have never heard of a Tabata workout, it simply means short intervals of high-intensity work, followed by brief rest. Of course we can adapt our own Tabata workout to whatever intensity is best for us. Simply choose 5 exercise you can do indoors, or outdoors as able -and since getting outdoors will feel free great right now, please do so if you are able to find a less populated area. Write down the 5 exercises you plan to do, then do each for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat your circuit, ideally at least 4x or for up to 20-30 minutes depending on your chosen exercises and intensity. For example, you may choose squats, push ups (against a wall, on your knees of full push-ups as able), jump rope (or jumping jacks), walking lunges and dips. Of course you can include these moments as part of a regular walk or run too if you prefer. As always, before performing any new exercises, please check in with yourself and your medical doctor as needed to ensure you are healthy and medically able to perform these exercises.
Part 3 - Mindfullness/Mental and Emotional Health
As a team of Dietitians/Nutritionists, we certainly speak a lot about food and food choices with our clients. Another topic that comes up often is mental/emotional health, and how stress, anxiety, boredom, excitement (basically any emotion or situation), can change our desire to eat, and/or the types of food we choose. Paying attention to the links between situations, emotions, feelings and food intake can be really rewarding. To that end, mindfulness and meditation can play a big role in the reduction of stress and anxiety.
For this week's Mindfulness/Mental Health Tips, we turn to our good friend and psychotherapist
Dayna M. Kurtz.
(@daynam.kurtz / http://www.daynamkurtz.com)
A few years ago, I took my son to the planetarium at the Museum of Natural History. In the dark, we listened to Neil deGrasse Tyson narrating a program about black holes and dark matter. At some point, fairly early on I realized I had stopped listening. This was not from lack of interest; it was from an inability to take it all in. Like the universe itself, these ideas were too big, too vast and too abstract to absorb.
This strange feeling, the one that often accompanies something beyond our comprehension, may be similar to what many of us are experiencing now. Our lives have been upended in myriad ways, with no end-date in the foreseeable future.
And yet, even within the discomfort and uncertainty, we can still choose to make the situation more manageable. Just as it is critical right now that we try and preserve our physical health with "social distancing," nourishing foods, sensible movement and rest, it is equally important that we tend to our psychological wellbeing. As a matter of fact, an experience like the one we 're having now affords us the opportunity to grow emotional resilience; a particular brand of mental strength that makes us better able to move through the world, whatever might come our way.
Here are five quick tips you can try right now, to give yourself a mental boost:
1) Turn off your TV (and your phone, and your laptop, etc.):
There's an expression in journalism: "If it bleeds, it leads." News is a business and bad news, like a global pandemic, can make for good business where the media is concerned. Consider titrating the pace of your information input by placing some boundaries around how often you check your news feed. Set a timer for ten minutes at each meal-- breakfast, lunch and dinner-and then shift your focus. That should be enough to keep you up to date, and might keep you from feeling quite so overwhelmed.
2) Think about Thankfulness:
In times of struggle, making a conscious effort to reflect on what we
have to be grateful for, can be very therapeutic. If you already keep a gratitude journal, consider spending more time writing in it. If you don't, now is a great time to start. Each day, write down 5 nouns (people, places or things) for which you feel appreciative. You can make a bulleted list, or include a few sentences of description for each item.
3) Recalibrate Your Expectations:
We are not living life as usual, nor will we be for some time. Reconsider the expectations you have for yourself and others. Take some time to devise a game plan for the "new normal." This might include changing up who does the usual chores around the house, how you share technological resources and, if you are parents of school-age children, who is going to take on which parenting responsibilities and when. We're all stretched thin; a little generosity and thoughtfulness will go a long way.
4) Stay Present:
Focusing on our senses and deep breathing are two ways we can interrupt the pattern of intrusive or upsetting thoughts. If you find your mind racing with "what-ifs" about Covid-19, try this simple sensory exercise (notice I wrote "simple,"-not "easy.") Close your eyes. Take a deep breath in through your nose to a count of 4, then exhale slowly through your mouth to a count of 8. Feel your feet on the floor. Open your ears up to the sounds around you, and notice any smells wafting your way, without comment. Take another deep inhale and exhale. Open your eyes.
5) Use Technology, Smartly:
Some of the same technology that overwhelms us with information, also allows us to stay connected-for the better. Reserve at least 30 minutes a day to Skype or FaceTime with someone you care about. And when you do, be sure to expand the conversation beyond the Coronavirus. Take this opportunity to learn something new about your friend. Ask about favorite books, movies or meals. Ask about favorite memories. Ask about an accomplishment that has brought the greatest pride. You might be surprised how much you have to share beyond the obvious.
Dayna M. Kurtz is a psychotherapist in private practice in New York City and the former Director of the Anna Keefe Women's Center at the Training Institute for Mental Health in Manhattan. She is the author of Mother Matters: A Holistic Guide to Being a Happy, Healthy Mom (Familius Press), The Total Body Cure for Women (Hearst,) and is a contributor to The Doctor's Book of Natural Remedies (Rodale). Dayna's writing has appeared in The Washington Post and The Huffington Post and she has been consulted as an expert for media outlets including The Boston Globe, The Today Show and Sirius XM radio.
A Note from Lauren...
We hope you have enjoyed this first weekly installment of our COVID-19 home health weekly newsletter. We will continue to try our best to put this together weekly, rather than monthly right now. Please reach out to us (via email:
, by phone: 646-361-6803 or on social media: @Nutritionenergy
on Twitter, and
, 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 are offering 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. 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