May Newsletter


In This Issue
The Wonders of the Microbiome!
Pocket Guide to Skipping (Kidney) Stones
A Note from Lauren...

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  How Taking Beet Juice Shots Before A Race Might Help You Land A PR
Lauren Antonucci, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDE, CDN
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Lauren Antonucci, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDE, CDN

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Issue: #91 May 2018

Summer is Finally Here!

The sun is out, pollen is definitely bursting from those flowers, and I  know  you are already planning your next BBQ after our first tastes of summer outdoor meals this past Memorial Day weekend. Planning, attending and eating our way through summer festivities can be fun and exciting, and we at Nutrition Energy are here to remind you that with just a little bit of effort, we can stay healthy and fit  while  enjoying the summer!

Everything Starts with Breakfast...
We all know the saying, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day"! Well we'd like to shift that slightly to help us recognize that breakfast sets us up for the rest of the day. Let's take a look back to that BBQ on Memorial Day weekend. What did your breakfast that day look like? Was it a plate of pancakes and syrup? Sausage and eggs? Waffles, croissants, maybe a pastry? Especially on days of a BBQ when you know you might eat a little more than normal, it is a good idea to eat a more balanced, less carb heavy breakfast. Something such as eggs, fruit, and avocado toast is easy to make and a great way to start your day! We also love to make omelets with our favorite veggies tucked inside (leftover veg from grilling the day before?). We also love putting fruit- bananas or blueberries are two of our fav's - on some toast with nut butter. By balancing your breakfast and including protein and healthy fats you can still have some sweets and a delicious breakfast and start your day off feeling great!

The Grill!
While those BBQ ribs and marinated steaks may be the first things that come to mind when you think of firing up the grill, we would like to remind you pair them with colorful veggies! BBQs tend to conjure up images of meat, meat, and more meat! Add some beautiful veggies in between those chunks of meat on the kababs. Corn on the grill is also one of our favorites! Some other vegetables that are perfect for your BBQ include asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, onions, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and tomatoes. These hearty vegetables complement your BBQ meat perfectly so take advantage of that! *Bonus points for you if you grill extra to eat later in the week!

Can't Resist the Appetizers and Sides!
We all know the chips and dip are going to be there right next to the potato salad, pasta salad, coleslaw, and cornbread. We would never ask you to take any of these favorite dishes away, but we will encourage you to add a few extra ingredients to create healthier options. A MUST DO is to cut up/put out raw veggies to scoop up your dip with. Fav's include carrot and celery sticks, cucumbers and red pepper slices. Make your usual dip with low-fat sour cream and also add hummus and guacamole to the table. Bonus points if you make either yourself! 

Time For Dessert!
You get to the point in the day when all of the food is finally put away...and then here comes the dessert! Often you may already be so full that you think you, "can't eat another bite", but then you see "IT" and  have  to try "IT" (Fill in the blank here: Uncle Joe's famous apple pie!?) You certainly can and deserve to allow yourself to taste it if you think it will be delicious. But we encourage you to ask to take a piece home or wait a little while before you eat again if you are still full. If you wait and (gasp) it ends up being 100% eaten by others, we assure you there will be another potluck to try it (or something just as good) soon. We also encourage you to grill seasonal fruits such as peaches or plums -with cinnamon on top. A fruit salad with melons and berries is also something you can make ahead and take with you to a gathering, and is both refreshing and simple. Bonus points (and extra fun for you!) if you find a way to get in some physical activity. Play some catch with your friends, start a basketball game or organize a family relay race! You will laugh so hard you will almost be able to count it as an abdominal workout-and you won't be thinking about food while moving and trying to beat your opponents. 

Keep Moving, Stay Hydrated
As mentioned above, after a long day of eating and chatting, some family/friend yard games are great to help your digestion. And while we are speaking of moving, you are going to want to stay hydrated! Of course we don't mean sugary or alcoholic beverages- we are speaking about water here. It is very easy to become dehydrated when you are in the sun all day, which can lead to headaches, cramping and even fainting. So make sure you are drinking water throughout the day (not just relying on thirst), especially if you are being physically active (which we know you will be!).

Let's get More Veggies onto Your Grill and into Your Life!!!
(8-10 servings)

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed
  • 3 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into ½ inch thick pieces
  • 3 eggplant, sliced lengthwise into ½ inch thick pieces
  • 3 onions, sliced into ½ inch thick pieces
  • 4 bell peppers, seeded and sliced into 6 equal pieces
  • 1 broccoli head, cut into florets
  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into florets
  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder (optional)
  • Smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  1. Prepare the grill on medium-high heat.
  2. In a large bowl, coat the vegetables with the oil. Sprinkle the spices and toss until combined.
  3. Place the vegetables on the grill or in a BBQ grill basket (for onions, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and tomatoes) and cook until lightly charred. Flip the vegetables halfway through cooking. Asparagus, onions, and tomatoes cooks in about 4 minutes; zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms about 7 minutes; peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts about 8-10 minutes. Remove from grill.
  4. Sprinkle the fresh herbs on top and serve. 

All Day Summer Hydration; Let's Talk Mocktails!!

Now that it is finally warm enough to want to stay outside all day long, we hope you are taking advantage of some of that time to get additional outdoor exercise/activities into your day. One problem we heart our clients speak of at this time of year is the opportunity and desire to drink more alcoholic beverages as the days are longer. People tend t o start drinking earlier and continue until later. You know you need to drink more water/fluids in order to hydrate when out in the sun all day, but alcoholic beverages are dehydrating (not to mention high-calorie). When you are in the mood for some fun and hydrating drinks, we suggest you consider the first recipe below for an anytime beverage treat and a the next two recipes for your pre-workout and post-workout go-to's.
All Day Hydration
*Lauren's Favorite - The Mojito:
(Serves 3)
  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 fl oz lime juice
  • 5 fl oz of fruit puree (choose orange, watermelon, pineapple, mango, açai, etc.)
  • 18 fl oz Soda water 
  1. Muddle the puree, mint and lime juice, in a shaker. 
  2. Pour into a pitcher 1/3 filled with ice.
  3. Top with seltzer and garnish with mint.
Hopefully you plan on working out before heading to your next summer BBQ (hint, hint!), or after a fun afternoon of socializing or family time. If so, here's an easy pre-workout drink recipe to boost your energy and keep you hydrated before you head out the door.
Not so Arnold Palmer
Serving size: 1
  • 1 tea bag (black or tea of your choice)
  • Lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 10 fl oz water
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • Ice
  1. Bring the water to a boil. Place the tea bag, lemon zest, and salt in a heat proof glass.
  2. Pour the water into the glass and steep for about 10 minutes. Refrigerate until cool.
  3. To serve, add ice cubes and stir in lemon juice and honey.
When you plan to fit in your workout before heading directly over to a BBQ you will want to whip up and bring this tasty post-workout smoothie. The protein powder or Greek yogurt provides protein to help repair your muscles. The fruit and coconut water or almond milk give you carbs your muscles crave. The spinach adds a vitamin and anti-oxidant boost. It is a drink that eats eats more like a snack and will replace what your body needs while also ensure you are not arriving at the BBQ/food event starving and ready to eat everything in sight!
Recovery Berry Colada
Serving size: 1
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 2 frozen strawberries, halved
  • ¼cup frozen blackberries
  • ¼ cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 handful raw spinach
  • 1 scoop of protein powder/5 oz Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup almond milk/coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter (peanut/almond/sunflower/cashew/etc.)
  1. Put ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 
*You can mix and match different fruits. It is best frozen before blending if you want a thicker consistency like ice cream (freeze the night before). 
Don't hesitate to try these fun recipes! Some of them may become your favorite go-to's and it is the perfect way to get into the summer mood. We encourage you to keep these tips throughout the summer and even for the months beyond.

A Note from Lauren...

Mother Nature has been late with our spring weather this year.  With the weather changing back and forth between beautiful sunny days and colder, cloudy days - you never know what you're going to get when you wake up in the morning!  

I like taking advantage of these cloudy days and do some spring cleaning - going through closets, organizing papers, and readying my kitchen & recipe books for summer foods.  With kids finishing school and preparing for summer activities - the days and weekends go by very quickly.  I like being prepared for those last-minute BBQs or outdoor parties with a fun, fresh recipe that's easy to make, is colorful, and tastes great.  

I also love finding new ways to change up my summer beverages - which is why we included my favorite healthy take on a mojito in the article above.  It's fun to play with new flavors on an old favorite!  There are countless was to incorporate fresh, seasonal ingredients in your drinks and summer salads.  Get inspiration by taking advantage of your local Farmer's Market!

These are just some of the ways I build healthy choices into my life.  Making small changes here and there might not seem like they will make a big difference - but it does over time.  If you can make it fun - the more you look forward to it and the longer those changes last!

Need some 'Spring Cleaning' motivation?  Stuck in a rut - just like this weather?  Contact us to schedule an appointment!  Do you have favorite summer recipes or go-to seasonal markets with your favorite produce? Tweet us @NutritionEnergy or let us know on  Facebook
Lauren Antonucci, Director
Nutrition Energy