April Newsletter


In This Issue
Seasonal Allergies Giving You the Sniffles?
Revving Up Your Post-Race Recovery with Proper Nutrition
Welcome Caitlin Mattina to Nutrition Energy!
A Note from Lauren...
Nutrition Energy
In the News!

Lauren Antonucci, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDE, CDN 

What Nutritionists Eat When They're Craving Something Sweet
Limor Baum, MS, RDN, CEDRD

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Nutrition for Triathletes
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When:  Thurs, April 27
Time:  6 :30 PM
Columbus Circle, Central Park
Lauren Antonucci, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDE, CDN

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Issue: #78 April 2017
Seasonal Allergies Giving You the Sniffles?

Nutrition Energy RD's help you reduce their intensity with food modification
       As anyone with seasonal allergies can already attest, spring is finally here! While we are thrilled to see flowers blooming and leaves filling the trees, for many, this beauty can also mean a frustrating experience in seasonal allergies. While we were happy with milder winter months while they occurred, this also means trees pollinate sooner - have you noticed your allergies arriving earlier in recent years?
       Before we jump into possible food interactions with seasonal allergies, here's a little background. Allergies are experienced when our immune system reacts to specific substances that it mistakenly identifies as a foreign invaders. In response to this invasion, our body releases histamine and allergy symptoms arise. Symptoms typically include itchy or watery eyes, scratchy throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, or cough. These symptoms can occur seasonally, when pollen counts are higher, but can also be brought on by mold, animal dander, smoke, and dust, and for some, can linger all year.
       You may reach for over-the-counter and/or prescription anti-histamine drugs and nasal sprays to help prevent your immune system from responding to environmental triggers, but have you thought about how foods may play a role as well?
       There are many foods that may worsen your allergy symptoms and cause additional itching or swelling in the mouth and throat area. If you've been tested for allergies, and know what you are allergic to, that information can be very helpful, as some foods are known to cause cross-reactions and provoke allergy symptoms. A cross-reaction occurs because the proteins found in those foods are very similar to the pollen, and your immune system reacts to both as if they were allergens. Below is a list of foods that correspond to different seasonal allergies, which yo may want to avoid during peak allergy season to assess reduction in symptoms.
  • Birch pollen: Avoid apple, almond, carrot, celery, cherry, hazelnut, kiwi, peach, pear, plum
  • Grass pollen: Avoid celery, melons, oranges, peaches, tomato
  • Ragweed pollen: Avoid banana, cucumber, melons, sunflower seeds, zucchini, chamomile.
       Not all allergy suffers will find cross reactions with food, but it is worth a trail period to find out. For example, in individuals with a Birch allergy, up to 50-75% of people have a reaction to apples and celery, Cooked or baked the fruits may help-so try eating backed apples for dessert instead of raw for a snack if you find this to be true for you.
       When it comes to supporting immune system function, certain foods may help boost immunity. Many studies have indicated the benefits probiotics (live microorganisms that contribute to healthy immune system function). Probiotics are naturally found in fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, natto, miso and lassi. These foods can be found in your local health food store, or you can readily make them at home with a little time and desire.
       Preliminary research on vitamin C has been shown to reduce histamine production - the chemical secreted during an allergic reaction. Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables, but is especially high in citrus foods, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and red bell peppers. Add orange slices to a kale salad and double your dose of vitamin C!
While the jury is still out on it, it is possible that locally sourced honey can help improve allergy symptoms. How? The idea is that locally sourced honey has been produced by bees who pick up pollen and plant nectar from the various flowers they visit and bring it back to their hive where it's deposited. When we eat the honey, we are repeatedly exposed to the pollen, in tiny amounts. Over time, our body adapts and builds immunity towards the pollen. Farmers' markets around the city carry locally produced honey, (click on this link here to find a Farmer's Market near you!), some of it made right here in New York City, We hope you continue to enjoy this warming weather and take a stroll in a nearby park, to watch as the flowers bloom and plants and animals slowly emerge, and hope that some of these tips ease your allergy symptoms so you can enjoy being outside!

Revving Up Your Post-Race Recovery with Proper Nutrition

    You 've likely read about and tried to implement many nutritional strategies surrounding your pre-race and race-day nutrition and hydration...but do you have a nutritional strategy following your hard efforts, and races? This past week, we Nutrition Energy Dietitians have been helping our marathon clients recover from the 26.2 miles they ran during the Boston marathon, and figured there are many more of you out there who would love to know more about the ins and outs of post-race nutrition as well...so here you go!
    First and foremost you will want to take in 15-20 grams of protein and about 1/2 your body weight in grams of carbohydrates within the first 30-60 minutes after completing your race. You may be starving after you cross the line...but you also may not feel like eating or drinking at all. If you fall into the former category then great, eat and drink up and recover quickly. Something along the lines of 1/2 bagel, banana and a yogurt would work well here. Maybe a protein bar if you need to stash it in your bag from before the race. If in the later group, focus on getting in a salty beverage/recovery drink first. You are likely behind in both fluids and salt after your hard effort, and replacing those two things first will help decrease any nausea you might be feeling and allow your body to equilibrate and your hunger to return. Try a Recovery drink such as Gatorade Recover or ENDUROX, or another drink of choice.
    Two hours later, aim to take in another 15-20 grams of protein and 1/2 your body weight in grams of protein once again. This should look like a balanced meal with carbs, protein, salt and some fat. Ex: would be 4 oz fish, 1 cup rice and beans, 1 slice bread, saut √©ed veg and 1 fruit. This combination purposefully includes veggies high in potassium, good fats from the avocado and anti-inflammatory omega-3's from the fish, to further facilitate recovery.
    For about ten days thereafter, the goal is to continue providing adequate protein, vitamins and minerals for muscle repair. You will also want to support your immune system since such a long race produces exercise-induced stress, which temporarily suppresses immune function. Ever experienced a post-race upper-respiratory tract infection? You 'll want to incorporate immune boosting FOODS, specifically ones containing vitamins C and E, that also act as anti-oxidants.
    Great vitamin C sources extend to more than just the citruses, which include oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. They also include apples, which contain up to 15% of our daily recommended value, red and yellow bell peppers (perfect as veggie sticks with protein pumped hummus), tomatoes, berries and dark green vegetables, especially kale, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
    Vitamin E is highest in nuts and nut butters, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, and whole grains. Last month we talked about nuts and nut butters, so for some ideas on how much to portion out and how to conveniently get those into your day, check out our March newsletter here .
    Be sure you continue to hydrate well during your marathon/race and also re-hydrate thereafter, and consider including tart cherry juice -to help lower levels of inflammation. You will also want to include anti-oxidant containing foods, such as prunes, berries, and cherries, but not antioxidant supplements, as the jury is still out about how antioxidant supplementation affects muscle recovery, and some may work against you more than for your recovery
    Another category of anti-oxidants are foods that contain carotenoids-the plant pigment that gives fruits and vegetables their red, orange and yellow colors. These compounds may also help reduce inflammation and can be found in carrots, tomatoes, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash, as well as spinach and broccoli
    As for protein, aim to eat lean protein 3-4x/day for the full duration of recovery (this goes for during all of your heavy training blocks as well) Remember that foods such as hummus, yogurt and nuts do contain protein, and should be included, however we recommend also including salmon and sardines or eggs, red meat, bison or ostrich meat during your peak recovery phase.        
    During training, most runners experiment with fueling up before and during their race to figure out what works on race day. By now, you understand the equally important role of post-race recovery and are well equipped with what nutrients to incorporate and where to find them. As part of your nutritional strategy, you can bring this aspect into your next training round and evaluate what foods you like best and can prepare in advance for your recovery period.  

Welcome Caitlin Mattina to our Nutrition Energy Family!

   We are thrilled to welcome 
Registered Dietitian, Caitlin Mattina, to our Nutrition Energy team.   As a New York native and resident Manhattanite, Caitlin understands the challenges that many New Yorkers face when try ing to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Time constraints, uncertainty over popular diets, and a heavy reliance on dining out are just a few of the obstacles that Caitlin helps her clients successfully navigate, working with them to meet their nutrition goal s without drastically modifying their current lifestyle.
     Caitlin is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and New York State Certified Dietitian Nutritionist who is passionate about helping her clients achieve their nutrition goals through sustainable behavior change. S he is also a Certified Diabetes Educator and specializes in diabetes care. Caitlin is also experienced in weight management and women's 
health issues - including fertility nutrition, prenatal nutrition, and gestational diabetes, and holds a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management.

    Caitlin loves cooking with her husband in their small one-bedroom apartment (and proves that where there is a will, it can be done!), hiking around Central Park, and exploring the different neighborhoods, museums, and restaurants that New York has to offer. She enjoys group cycling classes, strength training, and practicing yoga and mindfulness meditation.  Caitlin  brings a balanced approach when counseling clients at Nutrition Energy, and utilizes multiple nutrition  therapy techniques to support her clients in becoming experts in their own health management.  We are very excited to have her on the Nutrition Energy Team!

A Note from Lauren...

Spring has come to NYC - you can feel it in the air!  The temperature is slowing increasing and people are getting outside more (which is great!)...and the tourists...well, their numbers have increased too.  It's time to go out and explore, whether just around the city, the surrounding boroughs, or beyond!

I just recently returned from an exploration trip myself!  My husband Russ and I, along with some friends, hit the trails for some running and hiking in the Grand Canyon.  What a great way to not only have an active, healthy adventure but also enjoy the stunning views and be surrounded by nature!  You can read about our adventure on my friend Erica Agran's blog!

Let us know about your own Spring adventures!  Tweet us @NutritionEnergy or let us know on  Facebook.  Need some ideas for active adventures?  Come see the dietitians here at Nutrition Energy - we have plenty to keep you busy!
Lauren Antonucci, Director
Nutrition Energy