May Newsletter


In This Issue
The Traveler's Guide to Healthy Eating
Resting Metabolic Rate: What is Yours and Why is it Important to Know?
Welcome Erin Melting to Nutrition Energy!
Product Review: ProBar Organic Nut Butters
A Note from Lauren...
Nutrition Energy
In the News!

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

**Upcoming Events**

Nutrition & Hydration Clinic for Triathletes
Hosted By:  
TNT Tri Club - All are Welcome!
 to RSVP)
When:  Tues, May 23
Time:  6 :30-7:30 PM
Central Park
Lauren Antonucci, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDE, CDN

Nutrition & Hydration Clinic for Triathletes
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Brooklyn Tri Club - All are Welcome!
(call to RSVP: 347-223-4072)
When:  Thurs, June 22
Time:  6 :30-8:00 PM
Priority Fitness, Park Slope - 411 7th Ave
Lauren Antonucci, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDE, CDN

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Issue: #79 May 2017
The Traveler's Guide to Healthy Eating

How to maneuver healthfully around food choices available in airports and on airplanes
Written by Erin Melting, MS, RDN

Have passport, will travel. That is a motto I live by. As much as I love it, traveling is excitement and stress rolled up into one. For someone working on making lifestyle changes towards leading a healthier life, traveling poses potential road bumps in maintaining those goals. Flight delays lead to waiting around in an airport, overwhelming food choices in the airline lounges/restaurants can be difficult to navigate, and limited food choices on the plane can cause one to lose site of the eating habits they have worked so hard on. In this article I will help you maneuver through traveling and maintaining healthy habits simultaneously.

Airport Restaurants, Markets and Lounges
Phew! You made it to the airport...through the traffic...past the long security lines, and are ready to travel! Before you grab the first food you see, walk around and survey the restaurants and vendors that are available in your terminal. Try to find restaurants or markets that provide a variety of salads, snacks and sandwiches. Be a nutrition detective, and look for veggies and lean protein. Try it-you can do it! I tend to prefer to buy a large salad filled with protein and bring that on the plane with me. My go to snacks for longer flights are the mini packs of hummus and pretzels, string cheese, guacamole and chips or the occasional protein bar. When looking at protein bars, pick ones with more than 6 g of protein and at least 150 calories if it is a snack. If it is to replace a meal (you are really time crunched making this plane!), then pick a more calorically dense option. If eating at an airport restaurant, look for options that are baked, not fried and have vegetables for sides. Don't forget you can always substitute out french fries for a salad-yes, even at an airport. If you have the luxury of relaxing in an airline lounge, there tend to always be enticing options that can tempt you to begin your trip on the wrong foot. Remember, just because food is FREE, does not mean that you want to eat it. Look for the snack bar that contains vegetables, pita and hummus. If soup is available, look for one that is broth (not cream) based. If you are on an early flight and options are scarce, look for a market that may be selling hard boiled eggs and fruit or Greek yogurt with some granola. It is a quick and easy way to get protein and carbohydrates in. If you are in a lounge, instead of reaching for that tempting bagel and cream cheese, try the freshly made oatmeal or Greek yogurt and top it off with some fresh fruit.
Airplane Food Options
Once you are seated comfortably on the airplane taking you to an exciting destination you have more food options to navigate. If you are in first or business class, you are in for a treat, not only do you get to lie down to sleep, you have a large assortment of options for meals. I would recommend choosing your options prior to the flight, so that any potential stress of going through the airport or other traveling issues you may have incurred do not have the power to influence your food choices. If offered bread, don't go overboard, but don't deprive yourself. If the flight attendant comes around and offers you a second serving, politely say no. After the meal, comes dessert, if having dessert fits within your goals, enjoy! If it does not, ask for a piece of fruit instead. Second reminder here; free does not mean we must take it. For travelers in economy, you may be offered a small free snack, and option to purchase a meal or snack box. Good news for economy travelers is that if you have to pay for it, it will help you really decide whether you are truly hungry and want it. If salads with protein are available, enjoy! If not, try a sandwich that appeals to you. While you are eating that sandwich it might just be a great time to remind yourself that it will be 100% worth it to plan and pack snacks before your next trip.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Something I have struggled with when traveling is staying hydrated. If you are a window seat lover like I am, you know the struggle of drinking plenty of water and then asking your fellow travelers to get up for you to use the bathroom. Staying hydrated is a crucial function of our body and with pressurized cabins and stale air, our skin and body crave fluids. Something that has motivated me to stay hydrated when traveling is the new appreciation airports have for people who bring their own water bottles. From New York to San Francisco, water bottle filling stations have popped up overnight. Before your flight, start to increase your water consumption and before boarding fill up your water bottle one last time. Throughout your flight if the flight attendants offer water, say yes and if the offerings are few and far in between utilize your filled water bottle. By the time you land you will look and feel fresh faced and ready to go!

Physical Activity
As research has shown, sitting for long periods of time is not beneficial to our health and our bodies. This is something most don't think of when flying. Make sure you get up to stretch and walk the aisles at least once every 2 hours. You can also try some seat yoga/stretching and at least bend and flex your legs to keep the blood flowing. Many airlines now have recommended seat exercises in their magazines in the front compartment of your area - look through it and try some out. This will help reduce stiffness, back pain and fluid retention in your legs, and ensure you are fueled, hydrated and ready to enjoy your destination as soon as you land.

Resting Metabolic Rate: What is Yours and Why is it Important to Know?

      Have you ever wondered how many calories your body really needs each day to maintain (or lose...or gain as desired) weight? Why is it that some people seem to be able to eat more and others need less? We all have a baseline metabolism which is called our Resting Metabolic Rate, and this number tells us how many calories are expended in a day to carry out basic body functions. 
      Resting Metabolic Rate is a measure of your body 's daily energy needs for basic physiological functioning, including breathing, circulation, brain activity and body temperature. This number is different for everyone and is affected by age, genetics, muscle mass, dieting and meal pattern frequency. There are numerous online resources that will walk you through a calculator in which you plug in your age, sex, height and weight to calculate your predicted metabolic rate-but these may be far from your true number. Better yet, there are ways to actually measure your metabolic rate rather than simply calculating it. Here at Nutrition Energy, we test our client's Resting Energy Expenditure (REE), in order to help them better understand their body's baseline needs. Over time, we can re-test and see how that number is influenced by current eating patterns and exercise levels, and can help guide clients to change their eating to improve their REE and meet their overall goals.
      The machine we use in our office is based on a very simple and accurate method: Indirect Calorimetry. This science measures the volume of oxygen consumption of the individual taking the test, (breathing into the mouthpiece attached to the machine), then uses the measured values in an equation to calculate Total Energy Expenditure (TEE). This tells us how much energy, or how many calories, are expended by your body for daily functions. We then take this number
 and adjust it depending upon your goals, whether you want to lose, gain or maintain weight, or even adjust calories based on your activity levels (do you exercise 30 minutes a day, or are you training for a marathon?).
       As you can see, directly measuring your respiratory oxygen exchange (by measuring the oxygen you breathe), is MUCH more accurate than any online calculator can ever be, as it is a direct measurement of your individual gas exchange.
       So what does this test exactly look like for you?         Prior to arriving to the office, we 'll ask you to abstain from
 food, caffeine, and exercise for four hours. You'll be seated and given a disposable mouthpiece that's hooked up to a
 small machine and will breathe into and out of it, calmly, for 15 minutes. Your results are calculated immediately and from there, we'l l tailor your nutrition plan to your goals. Knowing YOUR specific Metabolic Rate can help us to help you balance your meals and snacks so you feel energized and comfortable eating adequately for all meals throughout your day and don't feel like you're going to crash and burn or defeat your day's hard work by the time dinner (and dessert) roll around.

       Those of you who know us well , know that the Nutrition Energy Dietitians are generally not advocates of calorie counting but instead help our clients to focus on eating balanced what do we do with your RMR after we've measured it? Well, here are a few common goals it's used for:

Weight Loss
     Very often we meet clients who have struggled to lose weight despite counting or reducing their calories in the past. Engaging in extreme calorie restriction means we rapidly lose protein, followed by fat. When we lose protein, we lose muscle, and maintaining muscle is key to maintaining a healthy metabolic rate. Knowing your RMR will help us guide your snacks and meals to ensure your energy intake is substantial enough to keep your metabolism at an optimal rate while also targeting weight loss. Remember, men lose weight faster than women, and someone who is heavier will lose weight more rapidly than someone who many only need to lose a few pounds.
      For weight loss, calorie ranges for meals would likely be between 350-500 calories, while snacks should be around 1-100 however, these numbers can be finely-tuned with an accurate RMR reading.When eating out, calorie counts on menus can be helpful, as well as 100 calorie snack packs for in between meals. We typically recommend a piece of fruit, snack sized hummus with raw veggies, individual nut packs, or single serve plain yogurts for a satisfying snack.
      Under-fueling can occur due to accidental or purposeful caloric restriction, and doesn 't have to always be associated with an eating disorder. Calculating RMR will tell us if your rate is below average, which may be caused by under-eating and can be improved by changing eating patterns. Undernourishment alone, or combined with intense activity levels, can disrupt other bodily functions, such as neurologic and hormone changes, bone mass density levels (which can cause osteoporosis), and overall weakness, which can be worsened by a slow heart rate and low blood pressure. Other long-term side effects can include elevated cholesterol, fatigue, constipation/diarrhea, anemia, and menstrual irregularity or even absence of menstruation, called amenorrhea.
      Our dietitians have worked with a range of clients who may find it difficult to eat balanced snacks and meals throughout the day and teach them how to feel confident about their decisions while still hitting their goals. We 'll always recommend someone from our team who is best suited for your concerns.
       Athletes can also experience undernourishment if they are not eating enough calories to meet energy expenditure, which would also cause their RMR to decrease. Athletes might burn an extra 30% more calories compared to an average person due to activity levels, increased muscle mass, tissue repair, and strength maintenance.
       Many of the athletes we see often complain of being hungry "all the time", which could be due to under-eating or not eating the correct balance of macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat). The results of the RMR will help us determine caloric needs, which will be used - based on the level and type of training - to adjust the macronutrient intake of meals and snacks so energy needs are adequately met throughout the day and hunger is satisfied without forced eating (or having to eat copious amounts of food).
       Hopefully you now understand how the results of the RMR test can be used to determine your individual caloric needs rather than on online calculator which provides generalized information.  Whether your goal is to gain, lose, or maintain weight, or fuel your training, an RMR test and guidance from one of our Nutrition Energy dietitians can help fine tune your meal plan. We look forward to helping you develop a plan that leaves you feeling energized and satisfied with every bite!
Welcome Erin Melting to our Nutrition Energy Family!

    We are excited to welcome Erin Melting to our Nutrition  Energy family!  
    Erin  is a Registered Dietitian; with a passion for helping
 others achieve a balance between achieving and following a healthy lifestyle and living. She began her career helping  individuals with
eating disorders in Elmira, NY. Erin helped to develop a successful program which allowed individuals to reemerge back into healthy living outside of treatment by teaching them coping mechanisms and healthy choices. Erin continues this philosophy with her clients at Nutrition Energy, and works with individuals to help streamline everything from meal prep and smart snacking, to grocery shopping and eating out.  She counsels clients with health conditions including diabetes, cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases and helping individuals develop a better relationship with food and their bodies.  

Erin found her passion for nutrition while growing up in California.  Her involvement with competitive sports helped her make the connection between food and optimal performance.  Erin treats her clients as teammates and emphasizes the importance of working together to strategize goals that work best for their body and individual nutrition needs. Open communication is key and Erin fosters a judgment free environment.  Erin lives by the words "love the life you live" and enjoys spending time with her husband and friends trying out new restaurants, art galleries and all that New York City has to offer. You can find her biking around Central Park, getting lost in a French Impressionist painting at The MET or sweating it out in a barre/yoga class.

Erin looks forward to working with you, or your friends and family, at Nutrition Energy soon!

ProBar Organic Nut Butters: A Perfect Go-To Snack!

ProBar sent over samples of their new organic nut butters for us to taste test - and we are in love!  These nut butters are packed full of flavor and energy, and perfectly potion-controlled.  They are great for travel, especially on a long hike or run!  Peanut Butter Siracha had a nice kick while Peanut Butter Chocolate was a creamy treat.  We highly recommend trying some today!  Which flavor is your favorite?  Let us know at @NutritionEnergy.

A Note from Lauren...

Wow - how has the summer come so fast?  School is out - or soon to be - and the temperatures are rising.  Go out and enjoy the beautiful weather before the heat and humidity set in!

During the summer, we tend to eat out more - BBQs, picnics, etc...and often not realize how much we eat.  Overeating when the weather is warm is common and those extra calories can creep up on us.  Rather than focusing on when you over-indulge (such as ice cream and cold caloric drinks!), concentrate more on summer exercise and adventures!  Experiment with grilling new foods and trying new flavor combinations.  Keep your foods light and remember to hydrate!

Have a great go-to summer recipe?  Tweet us @NutritionEnergy or let us know on  Facebook .  Need some new ideas?  Come see the dietitians at Nutrition Energy and we'll help you put together a meal plan or recipe guide!
Lauren Antonucci, Director
Nutrition Energy