May 29, 2024

Avoid Winter Weight Gain by Gen Preece

Make this Winter your healthiest and happiest yet with these easy tips on staying trim:
When the days get shorter and the weather colder, it’s no wonder we crave hot ‘comforting’ heavier foods to warm us up. Light refreshing summery salads just aren’t enough and can even leave us feeling cold!

Learn from last year
Think about what you did this time last year and how you felt. Did you over-indulge to the point of needing a new wardrobe? Or did you have a plan? We often reflect during significant times of the year, so trying to learn from past behaviour can only lead to a better outcome.

Understanding why
The underlying reason behind these food cravings is that we were once preparing to hibernate. Dense foods kept us alive through harsh winters, while food sources were scarce. Although on cold winter mornings, many of us wish we were still hibernating (getting dressed under the covers anyone?) this leads to the next point:

Our choices
Start by reading food labels. It is not just about avoiding the usual culprits (refined sugar, wheat, dairy, chemicals…) but having alternatives ready in their place. For example, winter vegetables roasted in coconut oil are an amazing alternative to white potatoes or dishes with heavy sauces. Check out my favourite easy winter soup also. The more your body gets used to receiving nutrient-dense foods, the less it craves unhealthy stuff! A lack of raw fibrous vegetables can cause feelings of lethargy, congestion and even depression. I therefore recommend a mixed salad before your hot dinner. This will also aid digestion and stop you feeling bloated. Keep up your fibre throughout the winter

Warm yourself healthily
Using warming spices is a great way to heat up, as well as encourage your body to burn fat. A few of my favourite ingredients are Turmeric, Cinnamon, Cayenne Pepper and Curry powder. I also add Ginger to my green smoothie and drink at room temperature.

Morning Warm Lemon Water
If you’re a tea drinker, warm lemon water cleanses your liver and perks you up in the morning, without the post-caffeine crash. Warmed unsweetened almond milk with cinnamon is a delicious alternative to lattes. You could even add a teaspoon of raw cacao for a healthy hot chocolate!

So listen to your body and enjoy your seasonal adaptations!

Gen Preece
FASTER Personal Training Southampton

Fresh Herbs: Great for the Body! By Lori Rosenthal, MS, RD, CDN

Fresh Herbs: Great for the Body and the Taste Buds

Fresh herbs contribute mouth-watering flavor to dishes without adding salt. But their usefulness doesn’t stop in the kitchen. Since ancient times, herbal remedies have been used to treat all sorts of ailments. Herbs contain antioxidants, substances with disease fighting properties. Antioxidants protect our bodies from cell damage caused by free radicals, which contribute to heart disease and cancer. In addition, certain herbs may soothe muscle spasms, reduce inflammation and fight infections.

With so many potential benefits, why wouldn’t we want to incorporate them into our diet. Start by adding fresh herbs to your favorite recipes. From salads to entrees, adding fresh herbs can make an ordinary dish extraordinary. Experiment with fresh herbs in homemade marinades and rubs. Basic marinades are comprised of herbs, spices, condiments, oils and an acid such as citrus fruit juice, vinegar or wine. Rubs can either be wet or dry and are a great way to infuse meat, poultry or fish with flavor. Try various combos of fresh herbs. Create flavors that excite the taste buds, but don’t overpower the other ingredients. An added bonus, homemade marinades and rubs do not contain the high levels of sodium, sugar and preservatives found in packaged products.

Use fresh herbs when making dressings, dips and sauces as well. Pesto is one of my all time favorites. This is my personal pesto recipe, so feel free to adjust it to your taste. Combine the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until it reaches a paste consistency. Freeze some in an ice cube tray for later use (freezes better without the parmesan). Pop out a cube, heat it up and add it to any dish for a quick, preservative free meal.

Basic Pesto
2 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup parsley
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 handful of pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan

This Italian salsa verde recipe was a staple in my house growing up. It pairs well with meat, poultry, fish or vegetables. Use it as a dipping sauce or condiment. I suggest trying it with salmon.

Salsa Verde
(Adapted from Bon Apetite)
1 1/2  cups chopped parsley
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped scallion tops (AKA: The green part)
1/4 cup drained and rinsed capers
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbs minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp chopped fresh sage

Whether home grown or store bought, fresh herbs are not to be missed. Start taking your dining experience to the next level today. Your taste buds and body will thank you.

Lori Rosenthal, MS, RD, CDN
Bariatric Dietitian
Department of Surgery
Montefiore Medical Center
Follow Lori on Twitter via @LoRoRD

Are you setting a healthy example? Insight from Tanya Memme.

Tanya Memme, Producer/Co-Host of the Emmy nominated, A&E’s Sell This House and Sell This House Extreme, offers her advice how to manage the challenges of raising healthy children.



How do you set a healthy example for your child?

The only way to have a healthy, happy child is for YOU to set an example for them. At about 11 months or sooner, babies start to imitate everything they see! They want to taste the foods we eat, play with the clothing and jewelry we wear, go outside when we do etc. Without them knowing it, our lifestyle becomes theirs, because its all they see and know.  They only see the world through the experiences you set for them. With my daughter Ava, I take her on at least one outdoor excursion a day. We walk, hike, play at parks, she has music and jungle gym classes, soon to take swimming lessons etc. She loves being outside if even to play on the swings. She loves being active because I love to be active with her. When it comes to food, I try to make sure she gets fruits, veggies and a protein everyday at every meal. I NEVER eat fast food, so she doesn’t either. I love my steamer! Everyday I have either brown rice, quinoa, millet or beans cooking with little to no effort. I haven’t exposed her to juices and sugary foods or treats so when she is given them by other people, she tends to shy away from them. She doesn’t like sugary foods because her body craves the good stuff. We eat the same foods and we eat together when I’m not shooting. Its imperative to teach your kids what a vegetable, protein and a healthy fat is and what it does to the body. Education is the first and most important step to being healthy for Mom, Dad and the kids.
Instead of sugar snacks or juices, here are some healthy alternatives:
1) Banana Popsicles with protein. I love Isagenix protein and so does Ava! Take one scoop of Vanilla protein and a banana, add water and blend! Then pour into Popsicle molds.
2) Take any fruit blend it up with water, pour into ice trays and put the fruit ice cubes into a mesh soother. You can buy them at Babies R Us! I love doing this with watermelon!
3) Try vegetable juice, you might be surprised! Every morning on our walk to Whole Foods I get a green vegetable drink with a pineapple or apple juice base and pour it into Ava’s sippy cup! She loves it!
You can also use green juices as Popsicles.
4) Instead of water all the time I take herbal tea, strawberry, cherry etc…..and make iced tea! It tastes great, there’s no sugar in it and Ava loves it!

How do you broach “touchy” subjects of body image/weight loss with your child?

I believe that again, setting a good example for your child is key. Mom shouldn’t talk about herself being fat or thin, but rather talk about bring healthy and happy as an individual. Also don’t judge other women/men in front of your kids. Instead, point out the nice qualities in other people and have them focus on appreciating others as a person. This pulls focus away from body image and directs it to appreciating others in what ever shape or size they come. Kids, especially girls, get ENOUGH pressure to look a certain way, and I think its up to us as parents to make them feel good about themselves. Have plenty of outdoor activities to focus on and expose them to good healthy food. Focus on total health instead of just physical image! Let a doctor or healthcare practitioner mention a noticeable weight issue to your kids, it shouldn’t come from Mommy and Daddy especially if Mommy and Daddy also have a questionable weight issue. Personally, I’ve never been seen as “skinny” and in the past I won Miss World Canada and now have a wonderful career on TV! I tell teenage girls that all the time.

What have you found works best to encourage healthy eating in your child?

The absolute best way to encourage healthy eating to your child is to make the healthy food taste good! There are many recipe books or online publications that give GREAT ideas to spruce up whole foods and make them burst in flavor! Its best for you to eat the same foods and eat with your child. Again, nothing encourages healthy eating more than the example you set for them.

Do you ever feel guilty about taking time away for your own workout? How do you overcome this?

Yes, and its something all moms go through for a while. I also travel a lot, so when I’m home I spend as much time as possible with my daughter Ava, and the thought of leaving for “ME” time is sometimes heartbreaking!  Im a better mom because I’m a happy mom. Taking time to work out or do something for me is medicine for the soul and is necessary for all mom and dads.
You’ll be happier and so will your kids!

What have you found is the best way to improve self esteem in your child/young people in your life?

Kids get enough negativity outside of the house so the last thing they need is to hear it from their Mom and Dad. I often give motivational speeches to kids and teens and I tell mom and dads to support anything your child finds important to them, even if its the last thing you want to do! Accept them for who they are. I learned this from personal experience. At 11years old I told my dad I wanted to be an actress in Hollywood. As I’m sure this was the last thing he wanted to hear, he and my mom supported me 100%. They helped me set small goals and reach them to get to the big ones. I felt very confident in myself and believed I could do anything. My mom and dad taught me how to work hard, set goals, and believe in myself. They came to every dance recital, every school play and fashion show, every pageant. They encouraged me to strive for my dreams with confidence knowing that along the way they would always be there to catch me if I fell.

Tanya Memme is the Producer/Co-Host of the Emmy nominated, A&E’s Sell This House and Sell This House Extreme.  She is a new mom, pet lover, travel enthusiastic & lifestyle expert.