Holiday Survival Guide Nutrition Tips

Thanksgiving meals (turkeys made of butter), holiday decorating, epic meals, parties and special traditions… year-end routine disruptors can make skipped workouts, overeating, and weight gain feel inevitable.
Good news: Holiday nutrition doesn’t have to be a disaster.
Look through the tips below to help you eat and move more intentionally during the holiday season. I promise you’ll be feeling strong, confident, and in control no matter how frenzied your days may be.
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​​Holiday Survival Tip #1​:​

Eat slowly and to “satisfied” instead of “stuffed”
The most effective (and sanity-preserving) tool for holiday eating may also be the simplest one:
Eat slowly. (And stop at “satisfied”, instead of “stuffed”).

This strategy helps you avoid overeating for two main reasons:

Physiological
It takes 15-20 min for your digestive system to let your brain know that you’re satisfied. Slowing down a meal allows that to happen before you overeat.

Psychological
When you slow down, “sense into”, and savor your food, you feel content with much less. This means you’ll eat less but enjoy what you’ve eaten more.
Indeed, when eating slowly (and stopping at “satisfied” instead of “stuffed”) you can try all the delicious foods on Grandma’s buffet without guilt or “working it off later.”
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Holiday Survival Tip #2:
Sneak in quick, effective workouts over the holiday season
​It’s one of the most common patterns we see among our Nutrition Coaching clients: People who want to get (and/or stay) fit will exercise diligently for months, only to get derailed by the holidays and “fall off the wagon” and get stuck off the wagon.

​Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the thought of an hour-long workout (or even a half hour), do 10 minutes here…10 minutes there, etc. It WILL add up!

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Holiday Survival Tip #3:
​Eat well on the go.​
​The end of the year has most of us bouncing around among errands, tasks, and special traditions – much more than usual.

When you’re on the go, it can feel like navigating a nutritional minefield: Hunger signals overpowering, junk food everywhere, little time to sit down and eat your veggies​ or protein​.

Challenging, of course, but not impossible.
With smart strategies you can eat well on the go no matter where life takes you.​
  • ​Planning to be on the go for several hours? Eat something satisfying first so you don’t find yourself hungry and reaching for junk.
  • Pack a mini meal. Consider a soft cooler bag and ice pack for perishables
  • Aim for better, not perfect. ​ This helps you avoid the f*ck it mentality. Sometimes a convenience store is your only option. No big deal. Look for fresh fruits, greek yogurt, hard boiled eggs, jerky, edamame, string cheese, oat based bars, hummus, mixed nuts
  • Remember, hunger is NOT an emergency. It’s OK to feel hungry for a couple of hours if you don’t like your food options.
  • Think ahead and check your head. Decide whether you’ll stick to your healthy habits or take a temporary detour. Either way is fine as long as it’s a conscious choice.

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Holiday Survival Tip #

Your hand: The best portion control guide​
​Want to get through the holidays without losing strength? Without gaining extra weight and body fat? That’s all possible.

Sure, it’ll feel difficult with all that calorie-dense food in front of you. But your health can survive another year of ​mom’s mostly-butter mashed potatoes and Aunt Marie’s pumpkin bourbon cheesecake if you just eat slowly and pay attention to portions.

No, no… not calorie counting. That’s often annoying, impractical, and inaccurate, especially at Christmas dinner. So try our “hand measure” system instead.​
​Protein

Females: 1 palm (~ 20-30g of protein)
Males: 2 palms (~ 40-60g of protein)

Carbohydrates
Females: 1 cupped hand (~ 20-30g of carbs)
Males: 2 cupped hands (~ 40-60g of carbs)

Fat
Females: 1 thumb (~ 7-12g of fats)
Males: 2 thumbs ( ~ 15-25g of fat)

Vegetables
Females: 1 fist

Males: 2 fists​
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​​​Holiday Survival Tip #5
​Prep your veggies
​Another effective strategy to avoid gaining weight and body fat during the holidays? Eat lots and lots of veggies. They’re water-dense, calorie-sparse, and full of the nutrients you need to keep your energy and mood up for holiday party #17.

The only problem? ​Veggies tend to get a bad rap – especially compared to ultra-palatable holiday food.

The challenge?
  • Choose a veggie that you’ve avoided in the past (or have been afraid to try). Research actually shows that vegetable distaste is REDUCED with exposure. It can take 3-4 tries to start liking something you originally didn’t at first.

Try spicing things up. Literally. Play around with different spices (pepper, ginger), sour flavors (like lemon), salty (like mustard).

And experiment with different cooking methods. Don’t like steamed asparagus (neither do I), try tossing them in the oven instead!

Want help becoming the healthiest, fittest, strongest version of YOU (even during the holidays)? Set up a free consultation call at www.salusnj.com/nutrition.
This is your chance to change your body, change your mind...and change your life.

Eating Out and Staying In Control

eating out

Eating Out and Staying In Control

Once you’ve made the decision to eat clean, dining out can be a minefield, and can often stir up some anxiety. In attempt to help you from freaking out when you’re eating out, I’ve outlined some simple tips below. Try it at your next business lunch, family celebration or date night.

Ready? Let’s Order.

Eating Out: Navigating Restaurant Emotions

First, accept that you just might be considered “that person.” You know, that one who asks all the questions about the menu, make some substitutions and still might have to send something back.

Yup, that might be you.

If you’ve made a commitment to make smarter choices about what you’re eating, you need to do some due diligence. So, instead of sitting back and feeling self-conscious about your new lifestyle, own that shit.
Hopefully you’ve already had the conversation with those you’re dining with, but if you haven’t, let them ask you some questions and answer in a positive light (saying things like “I choose to have xyz” rather than, “I can’t have xyz”).

Also, instead of judging what they choose to order, lead by example.
So, before you start listing off your questions and substitutions, let your server know that you have a few special requests but you’re willing to wait patiently for the changes and that you really appreciate their help. The more they feel your appreciation, the more they’ll show you the same courtesy.

Do Your Research Before You Go

If you know where you’re going ahead of time, do your homework about the menu. Browse through their online menu and take note of any table-temptations (like warm bread or chips and salsa) so you can be mentally prepared. These temptations can also be avoided by my eating something little before you go so you’re not hangry while you’re waiting for your food.

If you have more time, call the restaurant and ask about the oils they use for cooking. This can help you decide which meals have the red light. If you’re on a roll and have their attention, why not ask about how their ingredients are sourced. Do they use a local farmer or a distributor? What about their meats – are they organic or conventionally farmed? If you’re headed to a restaurant that features local or organic, they’re going to be more than happy to share that information with you.

Once you pick a few items on the menu that look promising, take a look at their nutritional value. My Fitness Pal has a decent database to help you navigate eating out. You can either choose by GPS location or search the restaurant name.

Pick Your Protein First

When you find a grass-fed burger or organic, free-range chicken, it’s time to celebrate and bookmark that restaurant as a favorite. But, when you’re eating out, you’re going to find that most restaurants use conventionally-sourced (factory-farmed) meat. In that case, use this as a guide to help you navigate your choices.

  • Your best bet is to choose steamed or grilled fish or lean cuts of red meat. Aim for as lean as possible to avoid fat-stored toxins consumed by factory-farmed animals.
  • Your next best choice is going to be grilled chicken without the skin or a no-bun-burger or even eggs (depending on the oil used). Often, you’ll have no choice but to be at the mercy of vegetable oils. Even high-end restaurants cook with it. Learn to navigate smarter options that require no oil (or less of it), and you’ll set yourself up for success.
  • Finally, the avoid at all costs protein choice when eating out: factory-farmed pork in any form (this includes bacon, sausage, hot dogs), anything skin-on, fried or swimming in sauce.

Be Meticulous

Don’t be embarrassed to take an extra few minutes to read over the menu, if you didn’t have a chance to do it beforehand. Ask questions about the cooking methods before you choose your meal.

  • When possible choose grilled or steamed foods. These will be your safest choice.
  • Sauteed dishes are cooked in fat (and most restaurants cook their vegetables this way). Ask for them to be steamed and served undressed.
  • Roasted might sound like a good choice, they’re just cooked in an oven, right? Wrong. These dishes are usually blasted with fat (not the good kind) to keep them from drying out.
  • Fried. No chance. Moving on….

Focus on What You CAN Control (not what you can’t)

Eating out doesn’t have to be stressful, but it takes a little more work.

Progress, not perfection. That’s our mantra right now.

Do what you can to make the smartest choice and keep your meal compliant. And, even if you can’t control the menu, you can control your portions. Use your hand a guide to help you from going overboard.

Then, it’s time to enjoy your company. Remember to also show your appreciation with a tip for your server, too.

 

If you have any questions about your individual needs, set up a free 15-minute consultation to learn more about our one-on-one nutrition health coaching with Angela.

Clean Eating Meal Prep

clean eating meal prep

On an epic hunt for healthy food every time you’re hungry? Find yourself scrounging through the kitchen feeling like you could eat anything in sight? This clean eating meal prep plan will give you the structure to make your own system work with your goals…not against them.

Because, when you have access to clean, healthy food, and it’s conveniently around you…you’re more likely to make healthy choices and stick to your plan all week long.

Enter: Clean Eating Meal Prep

If you’re looking to maximize performance, increase energy, reduce stress and just finally feel organized for your week, you need to meal prep. Whether you’re paleo, vegan or eating for performance, clean eating meal prep simply means you’ll be setting aside some time to prep clean, healthy meals in advance so it’s ready and conveniently available whenever you need it.

Here’s what you need to do.

1. Make the Clean Eating Meal Prep Plan

    • Look at your upcoming weekly schedule and see what’s on the calendar.
    • Choose 1 day a week (or two) to do your meal prep.
    • Put it on your calendar. (And don’t cancel on you).
    • Set aside about 2 hours to make your list, shop, cook and clean.
    • The more you do this, the faster the process will become. Promise.

2. Identify Challenges

      • Looking at your calendar, what is life about to throw your way? Can you foresee any nutrition challenges (see below gif) that might pop up?
      • Is there a day that you might need some special preparation (party, night out, traveling)?
      • Being prepared is half the battle.

3. Make a Meal Prep Menu

      • Create a general menu for the next few days. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or in-depth (in fact, it probably won’t be).
      • Build a grocery shopping list from that menu. Make sure you have lean proteins, vegetables and carbohydrates listed on that menu.
      • Consider some easy one-pot meals that can be slow-cooked (such as soups, stews, curries, chili), then divide those into containers to be frozen or refrigerated.
      • Don’t forget about meal-prepping for breakfast and/or lunch, too!
      • Now, when you hit the grocery store, you’ll be less tempted to buy random (ie: goal sabotaging) things.

     

    4. Shop for Meals

          • Stock up on the items you’ll need for the week.
          • Maybe even grab a few extras… those “just in case” items, such as A Dozen Cousins 90-second rice, Kevin’s Chicken, frozen vegetables, nuts, grab-and-go fruits or other easily-stored healthy options that you can use in a pinch.

    5. Cook Up Clean Meals

            • Time to start meal prepping and cooking.
            • Grill or roast your choice of lean protein, wash and chop veggies, cook up a batch or brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc.
            • Divide your meals out and freeze/refrigerate for the rest of the week.

    Remember, when you take the time to plan ahead with these clean eating meal prep ideas, the rest of the week will seem so simple, plus you’ll stress less about your clean eating decisions.

    Do you have more nutrition questions….we’ve got your nutrition answers. Just reach out!

Nutrition for Teens

Tired of trying to get your teens to eat healthy? Whether your child is a competitive athlete, recreational athlete, student (or all of the above), nutrition for teens can be tricky.

Nutrition for Teens: Fueling Your Young Athlete

From sidelining sugar to sleeping for strength, nutrition and lifestyle factors play a huge role in improving athletic performance. Being the best athlete isn’t just about how much you train in the gym or on the field. Your young athlete, whether they are competitive or recreational, will have an edge over their competition if they eat, drink and recover the right way.

At Salus Nutrition, our focus is on education and prioritizing real food (while acknowledging that hey – they’re kids and might want a treat here and there). Keeping nutrition for teens as natural as possible is key, but balance is also important. Of course, homemade foods are always preferred to packaged foods, but we know convenient foods are going to happen. So, we’ll help your teen navigate through the maze to choose their best options for fueling their bodies.

Choosing the right, quality foods is only half of the battle. Knowing what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat it also plays a role. Game day nutrition matters, but it’s what they eat every day leading up to game day that matters most.

Carbohydrates, proteins, fats all work together like a team. Those macronutrients are essential, along with their teammates: vitamins, minerals, fiber and water. It’s important for your teens to get in the habit of reading nutrition labels and recognize ingredients worthy of putting in their bodies.

Give Teens the Direction the Need to Reach Their Goals

At Salus Nutrition for Teens, we take into account their goals, interests, personal preferences, likes and dislikes, hobbies and history to create an individualized action plan. From the winning pre-game meal to the rebuilding recovery meal, we’ll help them recognize smart choices, read nutrition labels and figure out how to choose the right foods for their game plan.

Your teen will meet on a regular basis with Coach Angela (also via text, email or phone) to review progress and encourage small, gradual changes week-by-week. Rather than focus on calorie counting, Coach Angela will help them understand food choices and healthy, sustainable habits for life.

Take the stress out of trying to get your teen to understand how to eat. By reviewing progress, listening to their challenges, and celebrating wins along the way, Coach Angela will work with your teen to come up with an actionable plan for improving and maintaining healthy habits to reach their goals.

Find out more by about our coaching services at www.salusnj.com/nutrition or by contacting Coach Angela at nutrition@salusnj.com.

Resources

Healthy Snacks for Kids (and Adults). We Call them “Mini-Meals”

Hydration for Young Athletes

Flexibility for Young Athletes

How much sleep do you really need?

Looking for Healthy Alternative to Your Favorite Recipes?

Check out these healthy meal makeovers that taste good, too at https://salusnj.com/faq/where-can-i-find-approved-recipes/ 

 

Want to RESET Your Mindset About Food? Ask Yourself This Question

take 5 seconds

Want to reset your mindset about food? Ask yourself this question and you’ll change the way (and the why) you eat.

“Why did you eat today?”

We know, that might sound like an odd question. And for some, the answer is obvious: “Uh, because I was hungry?”

But, how true is that really? Think back over the course of your day – or even the past week. Every time you reached for food, did you do it because you truly felt hungry?

If your answer is no, you’re not alone.

RESET Your Mindset About Food

Much of our day-to-day activities are routine, almost automatic. We eat because it’s a lunch meeting or a dinner with coworkers. We eat because we’re craving sweet/salty snacks. We eat because we’re tired, sad, mad, happy, stressed, frustrated, bored… the list could go on.

Sometimes when we eat, we don’t even taste the food on the plate…and then of a sudden, the plate is cleared. And then… we’re stuffed.

All this mindless way of eating is why we’re asking the simple question of why.

When you take the time to look at why you’re eating, you’ll begin to unload the biggest culprit of a toxic diet:

emotional eating.

Overcoming Emotional Eating- AKA Stress Eating

Stress eating, or emotional eating, refers to consuming food for the purpose of regulating your emotional state. These foods are commonly high in sugar and fat. Sure, they may improve our mood temporarily, but that very short-lived comfort comes at the cost of mental and physical health issues.

At Salus Nutrition, we believe small shifts in habits can lead to lasting lifestyle changes.

Take Five Seconds

So, how do you stop stress eating?

Realize that this is not an overnight fix. And it’s not a simple task. But the more you think about why you’re eating, you’ll begin to identify patterns that allow you to anticipate similar situations. This will help to put yourself in a position of control.

Next time you reach for the bag of chips impulsively or you’re in the middle of stress-eating a batch of cookies (or your choice of comfort food), take a moment (five seconds, actually) to hit pause, take a breath, be present with your body’s hunger cues and determine if there are any underlying factors, like stress, at play.

Recognize the Moment. Remember the Moment.

You may truly be hungry – or worse, hangry (but that’s another topic) or you may realize that you don’t even want to be eating what’s in front of you.

Try not to overthink the moment (which can cause guilt, more stress and lead to more emotional eating). But, when you come across those conscious ah-ha situations, celebrate the awareness and remember that moment so you’re better prepared for the next time those cravings hit.

Master Your Mindset About Food with Salus Nutrition Coaching

We realize everyone has unique situations that may play a role in why they eat. Some athletes may need to eat more for performance reasons or to support strength gains. But for most of us (athletes, too), mindless eating is just getting in the way of our goals.

Read more about mindful eating and how to reset your perspective on why you’re eating and contact Coach Angela or Coach Camilla at nutrition@salusnj.com with any questions.

Looking for Healthy Alternative to Your Favorite Recipes?

Check out these healthy meal makeovers that taste good, too at https://salusnj.com/faq/where-can-i-find-approved-recipes/ 

Don’t Fall for the Quick Fix or Fad Diet

You want results. We get that. But be careful not to fall into the trap. Don’t fall for the quick fix or the next diet fad. Why?

It won’t last.

Buzz Words Are Confusing

Trending diet words like Keto, macros, intermittent fasting, flexible dieting, paleo can be overwhelming. Confusing. Frustrating. With one search on Google, we’re faced with hundreds of options to help us get results.

The problem?

Promising unrealistic, unsustainable results, most fads are marketed as a quick fix and do not provide the long-term lifestyle changes you really crave. Before you respond with, wait Coach, I thought you counted macros. Yes, I do. But here’s the thing (and I’m pretty sure you’ve heard me say this before):

What’s right for them, may not be (and probably is not) right for you.

Looking at the above list, of “trending diet words,” it’s important to note that they have their purpose for some individuals. A cancer patient, for example, may benefit from eating Keto. A competitive athlete may benefit from counting macros. But, I’ll repeat this again: What’s right for them may not be right for you.

Sure, jump on any new diet trend for a few weeks and you’ll probably lose a few pounds. But you have to ask yourself if that way of living is sustainable. If not, you can expect that weight to creep back on (and then some).

So, what’s a confused goal-seeker to do?

Identify Your Goals and Motivation to Get There

The biggest driver to change is finding your motivation. Why do you really want to XYZ (lose weight/gain muscle)?

Is it to feel healthy? Look good? Perform better?

You cannot achieve any of these goals on a quick fix. Identify your long term goal and determine the things you can do today, this week and even this month to accomplish that goal?

Fine Tune Nutrition Habits for the Long Haul

What behaviors can you fine tune to better your chances at staying on track with making better food choices? For example: make time to meal prep, get enough sleep, meditate, etc.

Create a sustainable plan that you and the entire family can embrace. After all, YOU are the one setting an example for your children. What habits do you want them to develop as they grow up?

And remember to be patient with the process. You’re creating new habits: for life (not just for spring break).

Ready to Nix the Quick Fix and RESET Your Habits?

Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Staying focused on one new goal at a time will help you stay committed and keep the momentum going strong. Take this 6-week plan for example:

  1. Week one, start with a kitchen clean out to reset your eating habits. Get in the habit of reading labels – or better yet, choose foods that don’t have a label.
  2. Next, in week two, add on portion awareness. Focus on eating a balance of carbs, protein and fats at every meal and mini meal. This week you can also focus on the importance of staying hydrated.
  3. Week three is all about sleep. This is perhaps one of the most important factors (that most of us neglect). But, it’s not just about how many hours you log in bed, it’s also about what you do before you go to bed to destress.
  4. In week four, consider bumping up your movement. CrossFit, running, biking, weightlifting. Whatever you love to do…do that! And then some.
  5. Week five is a good time to dial in on your mental health – which can translate to physical health. Discover new stress reduction tips so you have an arsenal of strategies to pull out no matter the stressor.
  6. Finally in week six, it’s time to put it all together and really dial in on recovery and self care habits. What will make you a better version of yourself?

Remember, small habit changes really add up and can result in huge changes – even in a small amount of time.

Nutrition Challenge Rules

Welcome to the 3-Week RESET Nutrition and Healthy Habits Challenge!

This is a 3-week challenge designed to build on healthy habits you can sustain for LIFE.

  1. First, we focus on Nutrition Quality – this includes WHAT you’re eating. It’s time to clean out the kitchen cabinets!
  2. We also add on Nutrition Quantity. This includes how much you’re eating (portions) and drinking.
  3. The Movement task is designed ensure you make the time to move your body even on your recovery days.
  4. Finally, we address Sleep and Recovery. These two go hand in hand and are very influential on your success. So, we’ll be tracking how much you sleep and taking time to recover your body.

How to Join

  1. Register with your gym: Salus or Andare and tell a friend!
  2. Download the App: Wodify Rise (Google Play StoreApple Apps)
  3. Read the rules (below) and print out the food list to get prepared for week 1.

Printable rules can be found here.


NUTRITION QUALITY 

  • LEVEL 1: Make one positive change today. (1 point)
  • LEVEL 2: Stick to the food list for at least two meals and two mini-meals/snacks. (2 points)
  • LEVEL 3: Stick to the food list for all meals and mini-meals/snacks. (3 points)

Rules:

Eat only whole (unprocessed), nutrient-dense foods from the food list. This will be entered in the “food journal” section where you can snap a picture of your plate or write what you ate in the comments.

Note: for youth, we want the focus to be on adding in nutrient-dense foods and using this as an opportunity to teach them about healthy replacements. For example, encourage them to try a new vegetable at dinner (level 1) or to replace their morning cereal with eggs and fruit.

NUTRITION QUANTITY: PORTIONS 

  • LEVEL 0: no score- you kinda went out of control today
  • LEVEL 1: Make one positive change today (1 point)
  • LEVEL 2: Stick to the portion guidelines for all but one meal. Did not pick in between meals. (2 points)
  • LEVEL 3: Stick to the portion guidelines all day.  Did not pick in between meals.(3 points)

Rules

Follow portion guidelines

Eat 3 scheduled meals and 2-3 planned mini meals/snacks (**no mindless picking when you’re bored) and eat only to satisfied, never stuffed.

What if I’m following macros?

For those of you who are already weighing/measuring your food and following prescribed macros under the guidance of a nutrition coach, you are encouraged to continue doing that during the nutrition challenge. If this is the case, your scoring will look like this:

  • LEVEL 0: no score- you kinda went out of control today
  • LEVEL 1: You are within + or – 15 grams away from any planned target ranges (1 points)
  • LEVEL 2: You stay within + or – 15 grams of protein & carb macronutrient target. And within + or – 10 grams of fat macros (2 points)
  • LEVEL 3: You stay within + or – 10 grams of protein & carb macronutrient target. And within + or – 5 grams of fat macros (3 points)

SLEEP 

  • LEVEL 1: Sleep within 1 hour of recommendations (1 point)
  • LEVEL 2: Sleep within 30 minutes of recommendations and turn off electronics 15 minutes before bedtime (2 points)
  • LEVEL 3: Sleep according to the recommendation and turn off electronics 30 minutes before bedtime (3 points)

Rules:

Follow sleep guidelines for your age range. Note: this will be scored for the NIGHT BEFORE.

See sleeping tips and bedtime routine tips on our blog.

RECOVERY (for mind and/or body)

  • LEVEL 1: Destress* (stretch and/or do meditate) for at least 5 minutes. (1 point)
  • LEVEL 2: Stretch and/or do meditate for at least 20 minutes. (2 points)
  • LEVEL 3: Destress for 20 minutes AND limit recreational screen-time to less than 1 hour each day. (3 points)

Notes:

Stretch/roll for specified time. Mobility, stretching, myofascial release, etc., can alleviate ‘everyday’ aches and pains as well as improve our body awareness & performance. 

Implement stress-relieving techniques to take better care of your mind, body and spirit. This can be meditation, yoga, taking a bath, walking, organizing a messy area, talking to a friend, drawing, getting a massage, taking a nap, etc. Everyone is affected by stress differently, so try a variety of strategies to discover which ones are the most effective for you. 

Screen-time, for the purpose of this challenge, is referring to time spent on devices such as a smartphone/tablet doing recreational activities such as gaming, mindlessly scrolling…aka: getting sucked down the social media rabbit hole, etc. This does not include reading on a kindle or time spent working.

EXERCISE

  • LEVEL 1:  Make one conscious positive change today (like standing up during a conference call or parking further from the door). (1 point)
  • LEVEL 2: Complete at least 20 minutes of physical activity. (2 points)
  • LEVEL 3: Complete at least 45 minutes of physical activity (if it is your recovery day, this means adding in a low intensity 45min workout, like a walk) (3 points)

Notes:

Dedicate time in your schedule each week to make exercise and manage stress a priority. Remember, a little bit of activity goes a long way. Whether it’s a walk outside or a superset of pushups and sit ups, any exercise is better than no exercise. That’s why getting up and moving around is a big component of our challenge. 


Decide- Make a decision that your health is worth it and attack your goals head on!

Commit- Tell your friends and sign up for the challenge together for the ultimate level of accountability.

Attack- Join as an induvial or partner up with a friend. But, remember – everyone is on their own journey, so you have options! Choose a level for each goal and challenge yourself to make at least one positive change every day. They all add up!

IT’S THAT SIMPLE.

SIGN UP TODAY!

Looking for Healthy Alternative to Your Favorite Recipes?

Check out these healthy meal makeovers that taste good, too at https://salusnj.com/faq/where-can-i-find-approved-recipes/ 

How to Safely Cut Weight Before a Weightlifting Meet (Preview)

How to Safely Cut Weight Before a Meet

By Angela Salveo, Sports Nutrition Coach

Below is a snippet of an article that Angela Salveo, Salus Nutrition Coach, wrote an article for the Catalyst Athletics Performance Menu Magazine. To get the full guide, fill out the form below.

Cutting Weight Like A Pro

Just like your training and nutrition needs, cutting weight for a meet is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. And, surprise… it’s not for everyone.

Since some competitive weightlifters train slightly heavier than their weight class, cutting bodyweight without sacrificing performance for competition day becomes a matter of planning strategically and flexing some willpower muscles.

As you’re aware, the rules of a weightlifting meet require athletes to weigh in one or two hours before the start of the competition. With such a small window of time to rehydrate and replenish energy stores, your weight cut needs to be realistic and safe.

Are you ready to get started?

These tips will help you get organized for your weight cut, but you need to be prepared for some mental challenges along the way.

Do you know what weight class you’re choosing (see below guide in kilograms)? Before we dive in to weight-cut strategies, it’s important to set yourself up for success in the months ahead.

Get the Full Guide

Months ahead into the Week Before Competition: What is An Attainable Goal?

So, let’s say you trimmed down the fat, but you’re still not quite there. How much weight can you expect to cut in that final week…

Last Minute Techniques

Most of the weight that is lost for weigh-in day will be due to lowering glycogen stores and losing water weight. But, realize that everyone has individual differences that is going to affect how they lose fat, body weight, water weight and how it affects their performance and training load. That’s why it’s best to do a test cut and approach it with the guidance of a coach…

After the Weight Cut & Before Weigh-In

After the weight cut, you need to rehydrate properly and choose fluids wisely…

Get the Full Guide

Is it Possible to Get Enough Protein as a Vegetarian?

Did you know that the typical adult in North America gets 27 percent of their energy — about 900 calories a day — from animal products. Only 9 percent comes from vegetables, fruits, and beans… combined.

In general, vegetarians are plant-based eaters and don’t eat meat. However, some may consume animal products such as eggs and dairy. The below only paints a partial picture, but can provide an overview of the many types of plant-based eaters.

Chart from Precision Nutrition www.precisionnutrition.com

As a vegetarian, eating a diet rich in plants isn’t just about eating more fruits and vegetables. “Plants” also includes grains, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, and plant-derived fats.

Is it possible to get enough protein as a vegetarian?

Contrary to popular belief, many plant foods have a decent amount of protein.

Check out how these proteins stack up:

Animal-based protein sources equal to 100 calories

  • Skinless chicken breast 21
  • Cottage cheese 12
  • Greek yogurt, plain 14
  • Shrimp, cooked 24
  • Eggs 9

Vegetarian protein sources equal to 100 calories

  • Banza Chickpea Penne Pasta 7.4
  • Oatmeal 3.5
  • Mushrooms 14.1
  • Broccoli 8.2
  • Edamame 9.8
  • Pumpkin Seeds 5.2
  • Almonds 3.7
  • Cashew Yogurt 2.9
  • Vega Sport Pea Protein 20

Complete Proteins Contain All 9 Essential Amino Acids

But, it’s important to note that not all plant-based proteins are complete proteins. A complete protein refers to protein sources that contain adequate amounts of all nine essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins).

  1. histidine
  2. isoleucine
  3. leucine
  4. lysine
  5. methionine
  6. phenylalanine
  7. threonine
  8. tryptophan
  9. valine

Animal products like chicken, beef, fish, and eggs contain enough of every one of these essential amino acids, so they’re considered complete proteins.

Select Vegetarian Sources That Are Complete

Most plant sourses of protein, on the other hand, are missing one or more of the essential acids, so they’re considered an incomplete protein. However, a select group of foods are considered vegetarian AND a complete protein:

  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Edamame, Tofu
  • Amaranth
  • Ezekiel Bread
  • Hemp & Chia Seeds

Combination Vegetarian Sources to Make a Complete Protein

Interestingly, you can combine certain incomplete vegetarian sources of protein to make a complete protein.

For example, rice is too low in lysine to be considered a complete protein. But, by also eating beans, which are high in lysine, it then becomes a complete protein. Some examples of vegetarian combination foods include:

  • Rice and Beans
  • Whole Wheat Pita and Hummus
  • Peanut Butter on Wheat Bread
  • Chickpeas and Sunflower Seeds (think salad topping)
  • Refried Beans and Whole Wheat Tortilla
  • Lentil Soup and Whole Grain Crackers or Roll
  • Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Pumpkin Seeds
  • Wild Rice with Peas

Of course, there are aisles of packaged plant-based alternatives, too. With the rise of these processed products, it’s important to remember that the main goal is still to stick to whole, unprocessed, plant-based foods.

Want to go plant-based but feeling confused about how to do it and what to eat?

Your Next Steps

If you want to learn whether a vegetarian diet is right for you or how to move more towards a plant-based diet, schedule a consultation with one of our nutrition coaches at nutrition@salusnj.com. We’ll help you find the right strategy to meet your goals.

Maintaining Your Health & Nutrition During Travel

Vacations and traveling can put a damper on our health and nutrition goals in more ways than one. From added stress and interrupted sleep to more time seated and limited healthy food options, it’s frustrating to lose all the momentum you’ve gained recently.

Don’t let one week undo all your progress and detour you from your goals. Maintaining health and nutrition during travel is easier than you may think.

How? You just need to get a little creative with your choices and (gasp) be OK with plan B.

Here are a few travel tips to help you stay healthy, keep stress low and actually enjoy your time away.

Exercise (Or Not?)

If traveling tends to create a lot of stress for you (packing, airport security, delays, etc.) adding in high intensity exercise may not be the best idea. Vacations are an optimal time to take a recovery week, not the time to compromise sleep just so you can squeeze in an before sunrise workout.

But, if your schedule is flexible and you’re not under a lot of stress, I recommend making your workout a priority!

When you’re out of your normal routine, this is a great opportunity to switch things up and get creative. Add in more body weight movements, drop in a a local box or add in more mobility work. Additionally, you can go for a jog to familiarize yourself with the area, get your blood flowing and enjoy some fresh air, which can all help you reduce stress.

Recovery

Mentioned above, time away is a good opportunity to get the quality rest that your body needs and deserves. As you’re aware, quality sleep is essential for the basic functioning of your neurological, immune, digestive and endocrine systems. It also does wonders for your hormones…which is directly related to weight-loss goals, performance goals and so much more.

If you’re in a hotel room, blackout the windows as much as possible, bring your eye mask, unplug any unnecessary alarm clocks and nightlights, keep the room temperature cool and unplug from your phone and TV at least an hour before bed.

Stick to your normal bedtime routine – that means if you normally shower, read and stretch before bed at home, you should do that in your hotel room as well.

Traveling is also an optimal time to focus on mobility and lots of stretching. Check out MobilityWOD, GOWOD Mobility First or RomWod if you need some guidance.

Reduce Jet Lag

If you’re traveling to a different time zone that last longer than one week, consider moving all of your activities, such as meals and bed times, up by an hour for a few days before your departure date. For any shorter trips that last shorter than a week, try to stay on your home time zone as much as possible.

Stay hydrated (even more than usual) – that means avoiding caffeine and alcohol.

Once you arrive to your destination, try to get exposure to early morning sun, which helps to rest your body’s circadian rhythm.

Nutrition On-The-Go

Airplane food is never optimal if you’re focused on quality nutrition. To ensure you get sufficient fuel, prepare plenty of healthy and convenient snacks and a to-go meal.

I typically pack:

  • Crudites (carrots, celery, cucumber, peppers, snap peas)
  • Fresh fruit (apples, oranges, grapes…also very hydrating)
  • Jerky (ex: Epic Bars)
  • Protein Powder in zip lock bags (remember your shaker bottle)
  • Bars (ex: RXBar, Lara Bar, Joes)
  • Nuts and dried mango (no sugar added)
  • Tea bags (herbal and green)
  • Reusable water bottle to fill up after I get through security

If I’m traveling during a mealtime, I usually pack a big salad with chicken to eat on the plane.

Tip: if you toss in frozen veggies, like peas, that will help to keep the meal chilled until it’s time to eat.

Eating Once You’re There

Before your trip, do your research to map out healthy restaurants near you. Having a plan of attack before you land will help to reduce any anxiety about where to eat and what to eat on vacation. Search on Google for keywords like “healthy,” “paleo,” “local,” “gluten-free,” etc. Scope out menus in advance and even call the restaurants to see what substitutions they are willing to make.

Consider a trip to a nearby grocery store or market to pick up healthy snacks and mini-meal options. Or check out if AmazonFresh or InstaCart will deliver to your area.

Be OK with Plan B

Your brain likes a plan, but there’s only so much you can control when you’re traveling. The best thing you can do is go with the flow and be OK with plan B (and C & D). Don’t stress about being perfect with your nutrition when traveling or fitting in your workout.

Stress, by the way, is one of the biggest causes of digestive problems. That means that even if you’re eating clean, but you’re stressed out of your mind, you’re hindering the absorption of vital nutrients you’re attempting to get from a whole food diet.

A few years ago, we went on a “vacation” to Disney World with our 8 year old twins. For those of you who have been to Disney, know it’s not much of a relaxing vacation (at all). One big thing I learned on this trip is not to not allow the weight of the things we cannot control to hold us back. There’s freedom and there’s power in letting go.

Instead, I focused my energy on the things I could control. The chaos, the rain, the lines…those were all OUT of my control. I stayed the course with my nutrition as much as possible, got super creative with my choices and was very selective with any indulgences. Mickey waffle with fake syrup? No thanks. Chocolate covered strawberry? Yes, please! 

Listen, when you’re out of your routine, you’re presented with a unique temptation to give in, but I encourage you to hang in there and be selective of what you choose to indulge in. You’ll have more energy and be much happier when you get back. And while you’re away, strive for progress… not perfection, remember to keep celebrating small victories and be thankful for the challenges — as they are opportunities to learn and improve.