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March 2021
March 21, 2021 | Issue #132
National Nutrition Month
March is National Nutrition Month, and this year’s theme is one we at Nutrition Energy can really get behind; Personalize Your Plate. Those of you who know us already know that we do not believe in fad diets or one-size-fits-all nutrition advice, because you are each your own unique individual whose genetics, past medical history, lifestyle and other factors need to be taken into consideration when thinking about fueling and meeting your specific needs.
           The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2021 National Nutrition Month advice is broken down into 4 parts.
           Part one emphasizes the importance of including a wide variety of foods from all food groups, staying hydrated and enjoying the foods you eat. All three of these points are among the many things we frequently discuss with clients as well as when speaking to groups. We put emphasis on the world ENJOYING here, as the more we take time to build balanced and delicious meals and snacks that we actually look forward to and enjoy, the easier it will be to reach ALL of our health and nutrition goals, be that lowering blood sugar/managing diabetes, lowering blood lipids/cholesterol levels, improving your relationship with food and your body and/or reaching sports performance goals.
           Part two stresses the importance of planning! We know this one is true, as we spend a good amount of time in sessions with our clients helping them create grocery lists, looking at menus in advance of ordering take-out (or getting back to outdoor or indoor dining in 2021), preparing and simplifying weekday lunches, dinners and snacks in between. I am sure moist of you will agree that being prepared is a cornerstone to success in all aspects of life-and nutrition is no exception.
           Part three is a bit more nuance, but is equally as important. It stresses the importance of sharing a meal with others -even if that continues to be on zoom at this time, as well as trying to reduce food waste and trying new flavors and foods. Eating with others is an often overlooked, but very valuable activity. Chatting, laughing and sharing conversation with another over a meal can increase enjoyment of the meal and help to decrease stress and anxiety. We are very used to doing meal support with clients and have continued to do so virtually throughout this pandemic. We also LOVE trying new foods and recipes, and aim to send you one or several each month to help you expand your repertoire. Please email us anytime if there are specific foods, ingredients or types of recipes you’d like us to include in future newsletters.
           Part 4 encourages you to seek out personalized nutrition advice in order to help you meet your individual goals. If you are receiving this newsletter you likely already know and have experienced the benefit of working with an RDN 1 on 1 at some point, and as always we continue to be here to help you though any nutrition challenges and help you reach all of your nutrition and health goals. To that end, we have a wide variety of specialties that we can assist you with, inducing but not limited to: heart health, diabetes (DM1, DM2, GDM), food allergies, IBS/IBD, weight management, improving your relationship with food and your body, eating disorders and disordered eating recovery, sports nutrition and more.
           We wish you and your a Happy and Healthy National Nutrition Month.
-The Nutrition Energy Team :)
Meet Nutrition Energy's Newest Dietitian!
We are excited to announce Christina Constantinou MA, RDN, LD has joined the Nutrition Energy family!

Christina Constantinou is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for supporting others in taking control of their health and nutrition goals. Christina grew up in the NYC/NJ area, studied at Rutgers University, then relocated to St Louis to pursue her Master’s degree in Health Communication. Christina began her career as a Registered Dietitian in St Louis, practicing as a Clinical Dietitian at St Louis University Hospital, and recently relocated back to NYC where she spends her days practicing as a Clinical Dietitian at Jamaica Hospital, helping individuals learn to manage their medical conditions including Diabetes, Hypertension and Heart Disease, weight management, GI disorders, oncology conditions, etc., and evenings working with clients at Nutrition Energy.

Call the Nutrition Energy office at 646-361-6803 to schedule an appointment with Christina!
Everything you need to know about Iron
+ High Iron Foods for Athletes
What exactly does iron do for us?
Iron is a mineral that is naturally present in many foods and certain enriched food products and is an essential component of hemoglobin in red blood cells. As such, iron is important in oxygen transport from the lungs to other tissues throughout the body in order to produce energy. Additionally, iron is found in myoglobin, which is a protein that provides oxygen specifically to the muscles. Unfortunately, many individuals fall short of obtaining their daily recommended amount of iron. When deficient in iron, the body’s iron stores become depleted, decreasing the amount of iron transported to various tissues. As a consequence, there is a reduction in oxygen transport capacity, leaving many tissues lacking in adequate iron. This reduction in iron may impede normal cellular functioning, resulting in fatigue, weakness, and difficulty in maintaining body temperature.
What are the two forms of iron found in food?
Iron exists in both heme and non-heme forms. Animal products, such as meat, fish and poultry provide heme iron -which is more efficiently absorbed by the body. Non-heme iron is found in dairy products, eggs and plant foods, including green leafy vegetables, beans, seaweed, nuts, dried fruit, whole grains and iron-fortified products. Non-heme iron is not as well absorbed by the body. To give you an idea, roughly 5% to 35% of heme iron is absorbed from a single meal, whereas approximately 2% to 20% of non-heme iron is absorbed. Despite this decreased range, an appropriately planned and well-balanced vegetarian diet can be adequate in total Iron and maintain adequate iron status. 

How much Iron do you need each day?
  • Males (ages: 14-18): 11 mg
  • Males (ages: 19+): 8 mg
  • Females (ages: 14-18): 15 mg
  • Females (ages: 19-50): 18 mg
  • Females (ages 51+): 8 mg
**The recommended iron needed for women of child-bearing age is higher when compared to men because the loss of iron is greater among women due to menstruation.
**Athletes may need to up 10&% DV for Iron to accommodate increased training needs for Iron

Who’s at risk for iron deficiency?
Athletic individuals, and young and menstruating female athletes, are more likely to develop an iron deficiency. Lack of iron can profoundly alter physical performance via a decrease in oxygen transport to exercising muscles, leading to a reduced VO2max. Endurance performance at reduced exercise intensities may be due to decreased tissue iron concentrations and its inability to maintain prolonged submaximal exercise. Endurance athletes, especially female, are more at risk for reduced iron stores and anemia. Intense training increases iron demands, resulting in a depletion of iron stores through increased red blood cell production and destruction of red blood cells within the foot during high impact, such as running. Vegetarians and vegans may need to consume 1.8 times more than the recommended daily amount due to the decreased absorption rate of non-heme iron foods. 

High Iron Foods for Athletes
Animal Sources    Mg of Iron
-Oysters                    8 mg (3oz)
-Beef                           5 mg (3 oz)
-Liver                        5 mg (3oz)
-Clams                    3 mg (3.5oz)
-Sardines                  2 mg (3oz)

Plant Sources          Mg of Iron
-Tofu                    3 mg (½ cup)
-Sweet Potatoes        1 mg (½ cup)
-White beans        3.3 mg (1/2 cup)
-Black beans      12.8 mg (1/2 cup)
-Quinoa      1.4 mg (1/2 cup cooked)

Veggies/Fruits Mg of Iron
-Tomatoes                2 mg (½ cup)
-Green Peas             1 mg (½ cup)
-Broccoli                    .5 mg (½ cup)
-Strawberries            .5 mg (1 cup)
-Spinach, cooked in oil, 6.4 mg (1 cup)

Nuts/Seeds Mg of Iron
-Cashews                     2 mg (1/4 cup)
-Pumpkin seeds           2 mg (3 Tbs)
-Sesame seeds              1.3 mg (1 Tbs)
-Sunflower seeds         1 mg (3 Tbs)
-Hemp seeds              2mg (3 Tbs)

*Always pair an iron rich food with another food that is high in Vitamin C (not with a supplement of Vitamin C, but basically any fruit or veggie of your choice)
Recipe: NE Iron Bites
A fun way to add some extra iron into your day!

Yield: 12-13; ~1.5 mg Iron per bite

  • 2 Tbs molasses
  • 3 dates
  • 6 dried plums  
  • 3 Tbs choc chips
  • 1/4 cup almond nut butter
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut flour
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup coconut

  1. Combine all ingredients into a blend or food processor and process until well mixed.
  2. Shape into balls (will be very sticky!) and place in fridge to set for at least 1 hour.
  3. Store in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months. Enjoy!
Empire Tri Club Beginner Program
As many of you know, we have made a lot of friends in the running and triathlon community over the past 20+ years. Alison’s Kreideweis is one such friend. Alison is the Co-Founder and Head Coach of the Empire Triathlon Club and she has some exciting news and promotions to share with our Nutrition Energy community today. 

The 2021 Empire Tri Club beginner tri program starts on Monday, March 29th and ends with the Wyckoff Sprint Triathlon on June 20th.. This 12-week program includes a training plan, group workouts, coach support, clinics, shopping events, a team communication app and more, to help athletes prepare for their first triathlon:
https://empiretriclub.com/product/2021-beginner-tri-program-1/. We are happy to share this code: 50offBP for $50 off this program
For the month of March The Empire Tri Club is also including a FREE club membership for anyone who signs up for the silver coaching package: 1 on 1 coaching packages: https://empiretriclub.com/shop/triathlon-coaching/ 

Since they cannot currently offer their usual group swim classes as most pools do not allow coaches on the pool deck at this time, they started offering virtual swim lessons: https://empiretriclub.com/product/virtual-swim-lessons/ ! 

Lastly, the club's spring season kicks into full swing on March 29th! Here's info about our membership options: https://empiretriclub.com/join-today/ (1 free month if you join before 3/31 - no code needed). 
A Note From Lauren
For those who have been interested in tackling a triathlon, I highly recommend reaching out to Empire Tri Club. I have worked with this organization for years and love the camaraderie and support you receive, which is especially important when you're a beginner in general or new to biking or swimming races. Starting to train for a race can be daunting, so surrounding yourself with beginners as well as approachable coaches makes all the difference! Also, take advantage of those discount codes!

What are your plans for races or training this year? Have you joined a team or have a group of friends to train with? Tag us in your social media updates or let us know on Twitter @NutritionEnergy, Instagram @NutritionEnergy and @NutritionEnergy_Fuels, or Facebook!

Lauren Antonucci
Nutrition Energy