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Spring Cleaning for the Body.

I started my cleanse yesterday.  It is a yearly ritual for me.  I don’t stop eating, I am just very particular about what I let enter my body.  Spring is a common time to cleanse.  According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Spring is related to the element of wood.  It is also tied in with the organs, the Liver and the Gallbladder.  This is why liver cleansing is such a great idea for the Spring!  The liver is such a busy, powerful organ.  It spends all its time filtering toxins out of our blood.  When eating with the seasons we know that winter is a time for eating heavy, yummy comfort foods.  This causes our liver to get a bit rigid (much like wood) and we must cleanse it so it can gain flexibility again (remember wood can be flexible).  An emotion that is tied to the liver is anger.  Allowing our liver to be cleansed and more flexible can help us to not anger so easily and feel more patience.  I will be updating you with little tips around cleansing and would love to offer support or answer any questions for those of you who want to take advantage of the spring season and cleanse along with me! 

The basic guidelines of my cleanse are NO processed foods.  NO commercial meats or farm raised fish.  Lots of Kitchari (recipe to follow), organic vegetables and berries, all things bitter, supplementation, and lots and lots of water.  Move my body everyday, be gentle and loving with myself and implement A LOT of self care!!!!  I will share details as I go.  You can follow me on facebook, twitter and/or instagram

Juicing vs. Blending 101

Juice bars are the latest of health trends to take the city by storm. It seems like every New Yorkcorner is sprouting a juice bar these days. Between Juice Generation, Juice Press,Organic Avenue, Liqueteria, The Butcher’s Daughter and others, this trend is becoming impossible to ignore. 

Here is the breakdown: 

Juicing:

Extracting the juice of the fruit removes most of the fiber as well as some nutrients such as antioxidants, protein, and essential fatty acids. Fruit juice has been touted for lowering risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s, helping with weight loss, providing a glow to skin, and aiding with detoxification. Experts believe that this concentrated form of nutrition makes vitamins, minerals, and enzymes easier for the body to absorb, although there is little scientific evidence to support this belief.

Pros

  • Requires minimal effort to digest, therefore providing quick delivery of nutrients to the blood stream and giving the digestive system a break.
  • Is a helpful way to increase intake of fruits and vegetables for people who do not consume enough on a daily basis, which is most people!
  • Is useful for people sensitive to fiber (especially insoluble fiber that acts as a “mild laxative”) since most fiber is left out.

Cons

  • Removes most of the fiber (except some soluble fiber) and 10-20% of the antioxidants.
  • Allows fast delivery of sugars to the blood stream, drastically affecting blood sugar levels, and is therefore not recommended for diabetics or those at higher risk of developing diabetes.
  • Is not usually satisfying as a meal or snack.
  • Juicers are expensive, ranging anywhere from $200 - $500 dollars, and readymade juices can cost anywhere from $6 - $12 for a 16 oz juice! 
  • Is time consuming to prepare and typically involves extensive cleanup time.

Blending:

Blending or emulsifying uses the whole fruit or vegetable, along with some liquid, to form a puree. You get everything the whole food has to offer including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.

Fiber has been proven to reduce the risk of CVD, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and certain gastrointestinal disorders (reflux, ulcers, constipation, etc). Higher intake improves total and LDL cholesterol, blood glucose, and insulin sensitivity both in children and adults. Most people consume less than 50% of their recommended fiber quantity!

Pros

  • Expedites delivery of nutrients to the blood stream without significantly spiking blood sugars because of the natural fiber content.
  • Requires only a small amount of digestion, giving the digestive system a break.
  • Makes more nutrients available to the body because the whole plant is being consumed. For example, vegetable and fruit skins contain some of the highest concentrations of nutrients.
  • Blenders, even including new machines like NutriBullet, only cost between $20 - $120,
  • Allows for faster preparation and easier cleanup than juicing.

Cons

  • Can cause bloating and gas, especially if you are sensitive to fiber or not accustomed to much fiber in your diet.
  • Can make taste and texture difficult to manipulate.  
  • Might decrease naturally-occurring enzymes because some blenders create too much heat if left to blend for too long. 

Whether blended or juiced, a liquid diet is NOT usually a balanced diet. Fruits and vegetables have little to no protein or fat, and therefore should not be your sole source of nutrition. I would not follow a strictly liquid diet for more than 2-3 days, maximum!

In my opinion, blending is higher in nutrition and a more efficient source of energy. In addition, it doesn’t spike blood sugars so drastically and helps increase fiber intake, which has been chronically low across all ages. 

Bottom line: juicing or blending can be a part of a healthy diet if followed in moderation. Indulge in an 8-oz juice or smoothie when you have a sweet craving or make it a part of your mid-morning or afternoon snack. Even better, replace your sweetened beverage (coffee, energy drink, soda) with a small juice or smoothie.

Stay tuned for Part II!

Originally posted on NYHRC Tumblr 

Written by Alanna Cabrero, MS, RD

References:
Juicing: Your Key to Radiant Health. Mercola 
To juice or to blend? NutriBullet Blog
AndersonJW, Baird P, et al. Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutrition Reviews 2009. The Pros And Cons Of Juicing. Food Republic

Edited by TCabrarr 

Spice Up Your Guac!

Avocados are my favorite fruit. I honestly can eat them with anything (or even on their own). That said, I can’t get enough guacamole! So, I decided to break down the infamous guacamole recipe.

Spicy Guacamole

Servings: to share.

Ingredients:

  • 4 avocados
  • 1/4 white, medium-sized onion (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 1/2 limes
  • 1 handful of cilantro
  • 1/2 medium-sized tomato (preferably organic or local)
  • 1/2 - 1 red chile serrano (optional, but delicious!)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Step 1: Mince white onion and red serrano. Place in a cup. Ahem, the Mexican flag with veggies…

Keep reading

During Women’s Health Week, starting on Mother’s Day, celebrate yourself, your mom, your sister, your aunt, your friends, colleagues, and loved ones by reminding them about the five step checklist for better health.

National Women’s Health Week is coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the purpose of promoting and empowering women to make their health a priority. Women often act as caregivers for their families, putting their personal needs and well-being on the backburner. Whether the checklist helps to remind you about your yearly mammogram or encourages you to eat an extra serving of vegetables, take this week to reevaluate and go through the five steps to lower your disease risk and improve your overall health.

Step 1: Visit your health care professional. Depending on your age and family history, you may need to receive yearly checkups or go for preventative screenings. Check out this interactive screening chart, which goes through bone, breast, diabetes, heart and reproductive health, specific to age. 

Step 2: Get moving. 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and physical activity per week such as walking, bicycling, ballroom dancing and moderate housework provide tremendous health benefits. Short activities can also add up. Walk 10-minutes during lunch hour or take the stairs instead of the elevator and make every step count! 

Step 3: Eat healthy and balance your diet. A recent study found that over time, a mere 100-calorie reduction per day may help maintain a healthier body. Therefore, small changes can make all the difference. Some ideas on how to eat healthier:

o   Eat more vegetables. Most women should have about 2.5 servings of vegetables a day, where 1 serving= 1 cup raw, cooked or frozen, 1 cup vegetable juice or 2 cups raw leafy greens.

o   Don’t drink your calories. The Nurses’ Health Study found that, on average, women who reduced their intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (coffee, tea, energy drinks, soda, juice) cut their daily caloric intake by 319 calories!

Step 4: Pay attention to mental health. We often forget how day-to-day activities affect our health, such as lack of sleep or the stress we encounter every day. Here you will find information about mental health issues and links to the best resources.

Step 5: Practice healthy behaviors. Avoid harmful behaviors such as smoking, binge drinking, not wearing a seat belt, bicycling without a helmet, and texting while driving (or walking!). 

What step will you start with during women’s health week?

Originally posted on NYHRC Tumblr

References:

Office of Women’s Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Environmental Nutrition Archives. Environmental Nutrition.  

Edited by T Cabrarr 

Get Up & Walk

April 3rd was National Walking Day. The day is a call to action from the American Heart Association (AHA) to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Walking is an inexpensive and humble exercise that has proven to lower anxiety, improve mood, reduce the risk of dementia, increase heart health, and aid sleeping patterns. Walking also makes for an entertaining and environmentally conscious way to explore New York City. For many of us who appreciate all that New York has to offer, walking is the perfect way to engage in the unique neighborhoods, people-watching, and urban scenery. Not to mention, it’s an ideal way to walk off all the excellent varieties of Big Apple cuisine!

recent campaign from the NYC Health Department encouraged New Yorkers to consider how far they would need to walk in order to burn off the calories from consuming just one sugary drink. The results showed that an average-sized person, about 160 pounds, would need to walk three miles at a leisurely pace to burn off a 20-ounce soda. Drinking a medium frozen vanilla coffee, would require an eight mile walk – that would be like walking from the Goethals Bridge to the Verrazano Bridge – the equivalent of a whopping 650 calories from just one drink!

For those of us living in New York City, a good rule of thumb to remember is: one mile = six long crosstown avenues or 20 streets.

This kind of nutrition and exercise visualization has proven useful in other instances. A recent study involving 800 participants showed that by converting what people ate into the amount of exercise they would need to do led to a decreased caloric intake of 200 calories a day per individual! 200 calories a day may not seem like much, but over the course of a year the results add up tremendously.

So, how much walking is recommended?

The AHA suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise. I like to remember it as at least 30 minutes a day of active movement five times a week. But if your schedule doesn’t allow for such structured workouts, you can nonetheless experience the benefits of exercise if you divvy up your walking time into 10 or 15-minute segments throughout the week. Smaller people tend to burn fewer calories while bigger people burn more. For instance, not taking into account any additional factors such as age, body composition and age, a person weighing about 150 pounds walking at 2.5 mph on a flat surface burns approximately 204 calories/hour.

New York is a walking city. Follow the below tips to increase your walking time and burn off those extra calories

- Remember to properly hydrate throughout the day, especially in warmer weather

- Wear comfortable shoes

- Take a quick walk on your lunch break

- Longer walks (more than an hour) require a carbohydrate-protein snack

- Take the subway, especially when you need to transfer or take the stairs. In addition, get off one or two stops earlier and walk more

- Even if you can’t find the time to walk off that whole slice of pizza, it is better to try to burn off some of it rather than none

- Make a resolution to see more of the city by foot

- Create your own walks on Map My Walk 

If you are interested in personal health and nutrition counseling, contact me here. 

Originally Posted on NYHRC Tumblr

References: Walking for Fitness. Walking Off the Big Apple.;Tread Lightly: Labels That Translate Calories into Walking Distance Could Induce People to Eat Less Scientific American.; Health Department Launches Campaign Showing How Drinking Just One Soda a Day Equals 50 Pounds of Sugar a Year. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene 

Edited by TCabrarr

While Traveling à la Pinterest

I recently went on vacation. My husband and I wanted to do it as the Europeans do it… so went for three weeks!

On our time off we visited inspiring places, breathed in the old (very old) and the new, and tried traditional as well as fusion foods. 

I also wanted to keep a mental and visual list of things we can all do while on vacation to fully experience each place (including all the rich foods and sweets drinks) without falling off the proverbial wagon of healthy eating or regular exercising. 

The following are some of the highlights with a few theories inserted in between.

(For more tips visit my "While Traveling" Pinterest page, which is sort of new and which I’m loving.)

Tip 1. Only eat two meals per day- indulge in a substantial breakfast and an early dinner- and feel free to try important local delicacies in between. When we travel, we tend to overeat. If you only eat two meals per day, you give yourself the opportunity (and space) to try regional foods without feeling overly stuffed. Important to note, this rule does not apply if your “delicacies” are a sundae at McDonald’s. 

Tip 2. Somewhat related to tip 1, but in order to “have your cake and eat it too” you need to 1.) have the smaller portion and 2.) share (your cake) whenever possible. 

Tip 3. Always take healthy snacks with you, or else you’ll end up with little to no choices. 

Tip 4. Drink water whenever you can. Try not to fill up on empty calories and save your calories to try new foods!

Tip 5. If you follow tip 1, your early dinner will provide more than enough time to walk after your meal. There is no better way to digest than walking and giving your body a time to catch up. Try to avoid eating too late, which will only disturb your sleep and make you feel bloated in the morning. 

For more tips, click here! 

I hope you’ve been enjoying the new Bushwick Nutrition. It is a practical, exciting, fun, tasty, and affordable tool to help you learn to love healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. 

NEW!! Follow me on Pinterest as I plunge into the complicated world of healthy eating while traveling. Expect a lot of olive oil and fresh food while I drive a rental Fiat through Italy and Greece! 

Tumblr posts will reconvene October 2nd. Subscribe to email notifications of new posts or simply through the RSS reader. The twice-a-week posts are short, informative and fun! 

In addition, starting in October, Bushwick Nutrition will be available for individual nutrition counseling at the Bushwick office or from the comforts of your own home, office, or by phone/gchat. Stay tuned for special fall program promotions!  

See you on Pinterest and stay healthy! 

Oh Canola Canola

So, initially, I was a huge supporter of canola oil because it’s one of the healthiest choices in terms of fat breakdown. It’s a good source of monounsaturated fats that can help reduce “bad” cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease. It’s also the richest cooking-oil source of ALA, the omega-3 fat that has been linked to heart health. But most importantly, it was my “go-to” oil since it is so versatile- the taste is neutral, it has a medium-high smoke point (meaning I can cook it above 300F unlike olive oil), and I could use it for baking as well as sautéing! But, when I finally got around to doing my research, I discovered a few disappointing facts:
  1. Canola is not a seed, plant, or nut; it’s a made up word composed from “Canada” and “Oil” i.e. Canadian Oil.
  2. It is, however, made from the rapeseed plant (part of the mustard family), which by nature can be toxic in large quantities, and engineered to be “canola.” Granted, since 1991, rapeseed production has shifted to rapeseed “double zero” that has low content of the toxin erucid acid. And canola oil is not genetically engineered like soy or corn oil, but selectively bred to enhance certain desirable traits, much like Fuji apples.
  3. Manufacturers say it is safe to use, but it has been linked to respiratory distress, constipation, anemia, irritability, and even Mad Cow Disease (rapeseed was being given as animal feed, until humans started getting sick). The research is a little iffy on this, so it’s simply speculation, but still!
  4. Rapeseed oils have been naturally used for industrial purposes such as insect repellent, lubricants, fuel, soap, plastics, and synthetic rubber. Yet canola is altered rapeseed oil.  
WHAT TO DO? I honestly do not buy canola oil anymore. This decision has led me to venture out and try other, more natural oils. If you have canola in your cupboard, don’t throw it out, but think about a healthier alternative on your next cooking oil-run. The below are equally versatile, healthy oils. They are listed from high (>400F) to medium smoke points:
  • Almond (high smoke)
  • Avocado (unrefined raw)
  • Hazulnut (very nutty)
  • Sunflower (high oleic)
  • Peanut (perfect for stir fry)
  • Sesame (nutty, keep refrigerated)
  • Walnut (high in omega-3)
  • Flaxseed (*no heat oil!) 

If you are interested in a 10-minute complimentary consultation, contact me at bushwicknutrition@gmail.com. Include your name, number, and best time to reach you. 
SoyaTech Cleveland Clinic  EatingWell The Skeptic Detective 
Burger Revamped

We technically have six more weekends of Summer, which means, we have six more weekends of BBQ’s. So, instead of feeling guilty about the occasional burger, I just made it work for me.

Below is a very simple recipe that only requires 6 ingredients including salt & pepper.

Why, you ask, do I not feel the pang of guilt? These burgers…

  • have more fiber
  • are lower in saturated fat and total calories 
  • are juicier (since vegetables naturally have more water capacity than meat)
  • and they are cheaper!

Serving: 10 4oz burgers

Calories: ~165 calories w/o bun or condiments

Ingredients:

  • -2 pounds of 95% lean ground beef
  • -1 small sweet potato, minced
  • -1 small onion, white or red, minced
  • -1 TBS of vinegar
  • -salt & pepper to taste
  • a few pieces of jalapeño (optional)

Mince sweet potato and onion. Place vegetables in a bowl and add vinegar. Make sure to mix well. The vinegar will help soften the cell walls of the vegetables as well as tenderize the meat. Add salt and pepper. Last but not least, combine with ground beef. Once all ingredients are mixed well, make 4 oz patties (approx. about the size of your palm- including width).

Happy BBQing!