Friday, November 28, 2014

Tis the Season: Table Scrap Safety for Dogs

The holidays are a time of gathering while fighting weight gain.  Those of us who are “dog parents” are more likely to exercise and meet the federal criteria for regular exercise.

As we are approaching that time of year, our homes welcome in visitors or we are guests at someone else’s home.  By the time you sit down, you may be welcomed by an eager canine who wants a treat.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has holiday recommendations that you and your guests should heed when it comes to Fido’s safety.

The Society recommends avoiding the following:

Chocolate—may cause vomiting, fever, seizures, abdominal pain, and possibly death.

Grapes and raisins—are associated with kidney failure with some dog breeds.

Macadamia Nuts—can cause tremors, weakness, and fever.

Onions, garlic, shallots, and scallions—these aromatics can damage red blood cells.

Raw bread dough or raw cake batter—will cause pain and bloating to the animal and may require surgery.
Regarding cake batter, dogs can become sick from salmonella.

Turkey—a few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, may not cause a problem but don’t allow your dog to eat too much as it can cause Pancreatitis.

Try your best to keep your dog (and maybe yourself too) on a normal diet during the holidays.  If you’re feeling guilty, consider giving your pet a new chew toy or take them for an extra-long walk to tire them out before guests arrive.  When in doubt, don’t feed dogs table scraps.  If your new four legged friend is guilt tripping you, ask the host for a dog approved treat to give.  

Gina (Lesako) Volsko is a Columbus, Ohio based RD and the SCAN blog coordinator.  Contact her at to be a SCAN blogger.  You can find her blogging at Sport2Fork.

Monday, November 24, 2014

SCAN Dietetic Internship Award: Deadline is December 5th

Designed to support SCAN student members in the completion of their dietetic internship, the SCAN Dietetic Internship Award provides funds for up to ten SCAN student members each year. Students are eligible if they are a SCAN member at the time of time of application submission and remain a member during the year funds are received.

For additional information on applying click here

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Protein Consumption, Physical Activity, and Obesity: A New Study Reports the Role of Combining All Three

A recent study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology examines the role of combining whey protein, resistance training, and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in obese individuals.  The study looked at the role of timed-ingestion of supplemental protein (20 g servings, 3 times per day) added to the diet of overweight/obese adults.  They were randomized to receive whey protein, protein and resistance training, or whey protein and a multi-mode exercise program (PRISE, Protein, Resistance, Interval Training, Stretching, Endurance training). 

Body composition, visceral adipose tissue, lipids, adipokines* and insulin sensitivity were examined.
The researchers examined obese individuals over a 16 week period.  Results are as follows:
·         The PRISE exercisers lost the greatest amount of body weight 2.6% versus the protein and resistance training group and fat mass, 6.6% versus the protein/resistance training group. 
·         There was a 14% decrease in fasting glucose along with improvements in insulin sensitivity (HOMA-IR).

Researchers found “evidence to support exercise training and timed-ingestion of whey protein added to the habitual diet of free-living overweight/obese adults, independent of caloric restriction, on total and regional body fat distribution, insulin resistance, and adipokines” (Arciero, et al, 2014). 

*Adipokines (or adipocytokines) are cytokines (cells that signal proteins) that are secreted by adipose tissue; some research suggests they can also be added to adipose-derived hormones. 

Gina (Lesako) Volsko is a Columbus, Ohio based RD and the SCAN blog coordinator.  Contact her at to be a SCAN blogger.  You can find her blogging at Sport2Fork.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Why Be a SCAN contributor?

We all have different hobbies.  We might read, exercise, or cook.  Others may travel...while some have an itch to write or blog.

What are the benefits of blogging for RDNs (or students)?

  • You'll become a better writer.  Dream of a career in public health or owning your own business?  You'll need communication skills as a foundation. This leads to...
  • You might just become a better thinker and learn more.  Always wanted to tackle a tough subject?  Blogging gives you an opportunity to learn and share that with others. You may succeed, you might fail.  But you'll learn about yourself in the process. 
  • You'll meet some new people.  Networking easily fits into social media by providing others with a glimpse of you on the internet.  
  • Promote your area of expertise.  Do you have a passion to share?  Identify yourself as the expert.

Why blog for SCAN?
  • Increase your online presence from a respected nutrition website.
  • Shameless self-promotion! SCAN reaches a large audience of people from wellness professionals, health professionals, and regular people. 
  • There's no contract or deadlines.
  • If you already have a blog and want to increase your exposure, you're welcome to 'recycle' previous posts.  
For additional information contact Gina, 


10 Reasons You Should Start Blogging

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Marathon Season: Recovery 101

You just ran a marathon. Congratulations! Now it’s time to focus on recovery. Nutrition plays a key role in mending your marathon-weary body and getting you back into running and other activities sooner rather than later.

Post-race nutrition should focus on replenishing glycogen stores, rehydrating, and muscle repair. In conjunction with proper sleep and easing back into running, proper nutrition is a vital piece of the recovery puzzle.

Directly after the marathon
As soon as you finish, you will feel exhausted and may not have much of an appetite. Every runner tolerates different foods or drinks after the marathon. Within 30-60 minutes following your 26.2, focus on a combination of protein and carbohydrate, whether it be in the form of a drink or food.  Aim for approximately 200-400 calories of carbohydrate along with 10 grams of protein for this immediate post-marathon snack.[i] Remember to eat or drink slowly to give your gut time to adjust. Ideas include:

*Chocolate milk may be a welcome change after downing fruit-flavored sports drinks during the race.  It’s a cheaper post-workout option vs. recovery drinks sold in health or drug stores. 
* Greek yogurt with granola or cereal mixed in.
*A bagel topped with cheese, whipped cottage cheese, or peanut butter and jam.
*My personal favorite: 1 large egg cooked in a pan, 1 slice cheese, and mixed greens on a whole grain roll or English muffin plus one serving pita chips.

Days following 26.2
The recovery period following your marathon is just as crucial as your eating during training. Here is a list of great foods to jump start your eating routine in the days following your marathon.

*Tart cherry juice, loaded with anthocyanins, may be a great recovery booster.  Some studies have linked drinking tart cherry juice with reduced inflammation following a marathon and other forms of exercise. [ii][iii]   Try adding tart cherry juice to a blended juice drink or drink it straight.
*Apples have quercetin concentrated in their skins, which is shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.[iv]  Try apple slices with peanut butter, or chop apple into your oatmeal and cook with low-fat milk for a carbohydrate and protein boost.
* Healthy fats (mono- and polyunsaturated fats) such as grilled salmon for dinner, sliced avocado on a sandwich, or sprinkle mixed nuts in cold cereal or oatmeal.
*Pumpkin, acorn and butternut squash not only provide a great source of fiber and vitamin A, but also potassium,  an electrolyte that is depleted along with sodium during your marathon.4 Instead of mashed potatoes, try mashed squash. Bake cubes of butternut squash, add some milk, 1-2 teaspoons of butter, salt and pepper to taste, then puree in a food processor or mash with a handheld masher for a rough texture.

Remember that hydration is the number one priority in the hours and days following your marathon. So don’t just eat up, but drink up!

Alison Barkman, MS, RD, CDN is an adjunct professor for nutrition undergraduates at LIU/Post in Brookville, NY. She is starting a sports nutrition practice in Garden City, NY, and is available for nutrition counseling, sports nutrition clinics for athletes, and nutrition communications consulting.  She can be reached at or 516-220-9320. 

[i] Clark, N. (2007). Recovering from Exhausting Training. In Nancy Clark's Food Guide for Marathoners (p. 98). Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK).

[ii] Connolly DA, McHugh MP, Padilla-Zakour OI, Carlson L, Sayers SP. Efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in preventing the symptoms of muscle damage. Br J Sports Med. 2006;40(8):679-83.

[iii] Howatson G1, McHugh MP, Hill JA, Brouner J, Jewell AP, van Someren KA, Shave RE, Howatson SA. Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010 Dec; 20(6):843-52.

[iv] Coleman Collins, S. (2014, October 1). Healthful Fall Snacks. Today's Dietitian, 54-59.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Weight Loss as Preventative Medicine

We as Registered Dietitian-Nutritionists understand the importance of healthy weight.  At times the medical community feels uncomfortable with addressing obesity.  The Mayo Clinic's Nutrition Wise blog cited the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Alliance for Obesity.  

They found that nearly 90% of doctors feel it is their responsibility to help their patients lose weight.

Unfortunately, 72% feel that no one in their practice has been trained to deal with obesity.

When surveying obese patients, only 39% of obese adults were ever told by a doctor or health care professional that they were obese.  

90% were told to lose weight but weren't given any instruction on how to go about it. 

We as health professionals frequently neglect weight as a foundation for health.  Cancer, heart disease, respiratory illnesses are just a few conditions that are all exacerbated by excess weight. 

New research from the Mayo Clinic demonstrates the importance of weight loss in managing cardiovascular disease.  

In a recent article, Pack, et al. did a "systematic review and meta-analysis of the prognostic effects of weight loss in patients with Cardiovascular Disease (CAD)."  Studies taken into consideration covered 49 years of research from 1964 to 2013.  

The research team reviewed 1218 abstracts for a total of 35,335 patients with an average age of 64 years.  
Intentional weight loss in subjects is associated with lower clinical events.    

We just got through October and breast cancer awareness but how many times did you see people discuss weight?  Early detection is critical with breast cancer but what have we looked at regarding possible prevention?  

The Journal of Cancer Research, recently published: "Weight loss prevents obesity-associated basal-like breast cancer progression: Role of hepatocyte growth factor/c-Met."  That sounds complicated but researchers concluded that weight loss reversed "obesity-driven tumor aggressiveness promotion and blunted the obesity-responsive" tumor growth pathway while improving multiple metabolic and inflammatory risk factors. 

These are just three recent articles on the effects of weight and illness.  To learn more about talking about obesity visit:

Gina (Lesako) Volsko is a Columbus, Ohio based RD and the SCAN blog coordinator.  Contact her at to be a SCAN blogger.  You can find her blogging at Sport2Fork.