Monday, July 27, 2015

Weight Management With A Spiralizer

I just bought a 4-blade Paderno Spiralizer from William Sonoma! It’s very cool! One dish I heard of, but never made was Zucchini Pasta. Dinner was served in 30 minutes, clean-up was a breeze (one pan)! And my wrestler was happy, nourished, and full!

Since my son is managing his weight for the 2015 wrestling season, I thought the Zucchini Pasta would be a great low calorie meal. Fueling a teen athlete who is maintaining a weight cut is not easy. I hear too many parents tell me that their son didn’t eat last night or all day so they could make weight. How do you have the strength to compete if you are not eating correctly. One thing is for sure, that’s the fastest way to getting injured!

This year, John is eating through all his matches. After the first two years, we learned quickly how to balance calories while packing in nutrient dense foods to provide energy for schoolwork, training, practices, muscle endurance, strength, repair, and recovery. Zucchini Pasta with grated Pecorino Romano cheese is a great source of energy packed carbs, protein and healthy fats. Besides …It’s easy to make,  it doesn’t take long to make, And more importantly, it's really tasty! Zucchini Pasta is a great vegetarian meal to work into your weekly repertoire of Meatless Mondays or Veggie Fridays. So here’s my recipe…
Serves Four To start, there is only have 8 ingredients, seven of which I keep on hand at all times:
• Three medium zucchini
• ½ yellow onion
• 6 cloves of garlic
• 2 Tbs Olive Oil
• ¼ Cup low Sodium Vegetable Stock
• 1 can (28 oz) of Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
• ¼ cup freshly chopped/torn basil
• ½ cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Gather all your ingredients, pull out a 12” non-stick fry pan, and fit the mid-sized blade onto your Spiralizer. Thinly slice 1/2 yellow onion, diced six cloves of garlic. Fry the onion and garlic in the 2 Tbs of olive oil (two turns around the pan - I use my 12" fry pan). After the onion and garlic get a tiny bit browned, add 1/4 cup low sodium vegetable stock. Keep frying on a medium heat until the onions are transparent. While the onion and garlic were frying, I Spiralized three medium zucchini (with skin). I chose the next to the largest Spiralizer blade so the zucchini spirals could withstand being tossed with the tomato sauce. I put all of the Spiralized zucchini in the new pasta bowl that my children got me for Christmas this year.

Next, pour one can (28 oz) of Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, with juice, over the into the frying pan, right over the sautéed garlic and onion. Keep the heat on medium to soften the tomatoes.

Every once and awhile, smash down the tomatoes with a spatula to form more of a sauce-like texture.

Once the sauce became a little thicker (by cooking about 15 minutes), turn off the heat, grab your bowl of Zucchini Pasta, and pour the sauce over the zucchini. Next, add the fresh basil, and toss with some Pecorino Romano cheese (skip if you want to go totally vegan - but then you may need a dash of salt). Serve with a salad full of escarole, romaine, sliced red peppers, shredded carrots, lemon juice and 2 Tbs of basil infused olive oil and you have one delicious, low calorie meal!

 About the Author
Elizabeth Candela is a graduate of Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science. Her studies at Rutgers led Elizabeth into employee health and safety, and she worked several years as a Safety Engineer in Risk Management. In 2007, after achieving a Master of Art from Montclair State University, Elizabeth taught high school Biology, Environmental Science and Physics. Then, in 2009, Elizabeth developed a portable core fitness device, and since has secured a United States Patent. The development of this device drew her into the Exercise and Nutrition field, so she left the teaching profession to pursue postgraduate courses in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. Since then, Elizabeth has achieved her New Jersey Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Certification, as well as her American College of Sports Medicine Exercise Physiology Certification. By maximizing her training and fitness through sound nutritional principles, Elizabeth continues to challenge herself physically and nutritionally through her commitment to run a half marathon in every USA state, and six World Marathon Majors.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

MLB Performance

Hitting a towering homerun or pitching a 95 mph fastball requires strength, power, and velocity. But it also requires healthy eyes.
Vision training drills on a computer or machine are common among Major League Baseball (MLB) teams. For pitchers, these drills can help with control. For hitters, they can increase reaction time and help them determine whether a pitch is a fastball or a change-up.
More recently, MLB players have turned to the nutrients, zeaxanthin and lutein, for the competitive edge. These nutrients are found in your retina, the part of your eye that forms a visual image. This makes them crucial for healthy vision. In fact, a diet rich in these nutrients can reduce your risk of cataracts.1 Additionally, a large study called the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), has shown that supplementing with lutein and zeaxanthin can slow the progression of macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss.2
These nutrients are found in dark green leafy vegetables and other foods like eggs. Your body cannot make the zeaxanthin and lutein it needs, making dark green vegetables essential to good nutrition.
The majority of MLB clubhouses today are taking zeaxanthin and lutein in supplement form. ZeaVision the parent company of EyePromise sponsored the Arizona Fall League, a training ground for today’s top baseball prospects, exposing all 30 MLB teams to the EyePromise product.
The company worked with the University of Georgia to publish a study on the impact of paprika-derived zeaxanthin on visual processing speed.3 The study included 64 young, healthy subjects who were randomly divided into one of three groups for four months. The first group received a placebo, the second group received zeaxanthin at a daily dose of 20 mg, and the third group received 26 mg/day of zeaxanthin, 8 mg/day of lutein, and 190 mg/day of omega-3 fish oil. It was found that supplementing with zeaxanthin alone or combined with lutein and omega-3 fish oils increased visual motor reaction by 10% compared to the placebo.

These results can translate to on-field performance for baseball players.
There is also increasing interest in ZeaVision among prospects in other sports such as hockey and golf.
Gavin Van De Walle holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition and is a certified personal trainer. He is a Master of Science candidate in exercise physiology at South Dakota State University. Contact Gavin at
1. American Optometric Association: “Adding powerful antioxidants to your diet can improve your eye health.”
2. National Institutes of Health: “NIH study provides clarity on supplements for protection against blinding eye disease.”

3. Bovier ER, Renzi LM, Hammond BR. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effects of lutein and zeaxanthin on neural processing speed and efficiency. PLoS One. 2014;9(9):e108178.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Nutrition Bytes: Nutrition and Fitness Podcasts

Summer is a great time for road trips and playlists.  Check out some of these podcasts that cover everything from nutrition, fitness, vegetarian lifestyles, and athletes.  Share your thoughts or your favorite podcasts below!

The Nutrition Diva—Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS keeps you abreast of the latest bits of nutrition information and includes links to references in the show notes. 

Lift Like A Girl—Nia Shanks is a coach, health/fitness writer, and owner of Lift Like A girl.  She is a huge believer of eating whole foods, moderation, and balance while tackling her own struggles with food and fitness.

No Meat Athlete Radio—Matt Frazier and Doug Hay covering topics like vegetarian and vegan nutrition, running, healthy lifestyle advice, and motivation.

TedTalks Health—From way-new medical breakthroughs to smart daily health habits, doctors and researchers share their discoveries about medicine and well-being onstage at the TED conference.

Dishing Up Nutrition—Offering up information from dietitians, licensed nutritionists, and educators from Nutritional Weight and Wellness to look at the connection between your food and its effect on the body.

Greatist had a post here which included Paleo podcasts, meditation/mental health, and more fitness podcasts.  

Monday, July 6, 2015

Motivational Interviewing Basics Part I

Nutritional Counseling isn’t easy.  It can seem like a tug of war or you feel like someone’s mother “eat your vegetables” on repeat.  One challenging aspect is knowing exactly what the client needs (perhaps a daily Frappucino habit is not helping their blood sugar control or weight issues) but the client not perceiving that as the problem. 

Please note that a significant amount of this information comes from chemical dependency and substance abuse counselors and researchers but can be effectively applied to many areas of practice.  These are examples and considerations for dietetic practitioners meant to help with any challenging clients you face. 
The following definition and bullet points come from Case Western Reserve’s Center for Evidenced-Based Practices (CEBP)

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an evidence-based treatment that addresses ambivalence to change.

•Discover their own interest in considering and/or making a change in their life (e.g., diet, exercise, managing symptoms of physical or mental illness, reducing and eliminating the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs)
•Express in their own words their desire for change (i.e., "change-talk")
•Examine their ambivalence about the change
•Plan for and begin the process of change
•Elicit and strengthen change-talk
•Enhance their confidence in taking action and noticing that even small, incremental changes are important
•Strengthen their commitment to change

MI is challenging but successful for counseling based practitioners.  On the practitioner side, it can be a challenging to focus on listening to the client versus constantly “fixing the problem.” This post will focus on the core principles of MI (as adapted from Case Western):
·         Expressing empathy
·         Rolling with the client’s resistance to change
·         Developing discrepancy
·         Supporting self-efficacy

Going back to the Frapuccino example, from a client centered approach, one needs to look at the real reason why they’re going daily.  The client can say they have no time to make breakfast, they may want a treat, or this might just be a habit.  Once they’ve identified the barrier they may want to change it or they might want to “fix” another area of their diet for example (maybe this client is more willing to cut out a bi-weekly happy hour or quit snacking after work).  Another goal of the practitioner may be to support the client in self-efficacy as in an “I can do this” mentality.  Changing diet/lifestyle is challenging for anyone but adding compassion and support to allow the client to “sort this out” allows for the client to find solutions to their own problems and develop a better relationship with their practitioner. 

Extra Credit Reading
Training Dietitians in Motivational Interviewing: A Pilot Study of the Effects on Dietitian and Patient Behaviour:
Motivational Interviewing in Primary Care Reduces Obesity:

Have you heard of or utilized motivational interviewing in your practice? Share or comment below.