NAC kombucha cocktail

Ginger Lemon Kombucha Cocktail

Our kombucha kick is still going strong! We found even more ways to sneak this yummy fizzy tea and gut healthy drink into our diet – make it your Saturday night cocktail. Low calorie & delicious!

Ingredients:

2 ounces vodka

4 ounces ginger lemon kombucha

1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

Ice

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake, then strain into two glasses. Garnish with lemon slices and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts:

NAC Ginger Lemon Kombucha Cocktail Nutrition Label


Want to learn how to incorporate healthy food and beverages into your meal routine? Schedule a nutrition counseling session by filling out our form below!

Quinoa Enchiladas

Written by NAC Registered Dietitian, Lisa James.

On Sundays, I like to make big pots of stuff that my family and I can simply reheat during the week after a long day! It’s a simple way to meal prep. Proteins like tofu, chicken and beef and grains like quinoa, bulgur and wild rice keep my family happy and nourished.

Try my amazing Quinoa Enchilada recipe that’ll leave you and your family satisfied and nourished. It offers a good balance of protein, fiber, carbohydrates and antioxidants!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of pre-rinsed quinoa
  • 1 can of drained, rinsed black kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup of red enchilada sauce
  • 4 diced bell peppers
  • 1/4 diced red onion
  • Kosher salt, pepper

Directions

  1. Bring to boil 2 cups of quinoa; 4 cups of water; let simmer
  2. Mix all other ingredients into the pot; salt and pepper to taste
  3. Serve; refrigerate leftovers

Nutrition Facts

Agua Fresca Sports Drinks

We love this content so much, we are sharing it from Kelly Jones MS, RD, CSSD, LDN blog!

Agua frescas are typically light, non-alcoholic drinks made from blending fruit with some sugar and water. While they seem refreshing and delicious in the summer in the heat or after a long run, they could use the addition of one nutrient to adequately re-hydrate you during and after a workout.

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Adequate Re-hydration for Exercise

That missing nutrient I mentioned was sodium. While engaging in moderate to high intensity exercise or when doing low-moderate intensity movement in the heat, sodium is lost as you lose fluid through sweat. Some people are bigger sweaters than others and on top of that some are naturally greater salt sweaters. You know who you are if you’re the latter as you’ll taste salt on your lips and may even notice a “sandy” texture on your skin when you’re sweating.

If only fluid is replaced after exercise, but not carbohydrate and sodium, re-hydration won’t be as sufficient. This is why I typically don’t advocate for electrolyte tabs without ingestion of other carbohydrate, or coconut water over a sports drink unless you add in sodium (a dash will do). The study I linked to above also showed that inclusion of electrolytes other than sodium does not help in recouping hydration status any more than when sodium is used alone. Still, since potassium is such an important part of our fluid balance mechanisms with sodium, and most Americans don’t consume enough, its presence in the fruit as well as the optional coconut water is helpful for overall wellness.

 

Which Fruit Should You Use?

The type of fruit you use in your agua frescas may depend on your goals with exercise.  The intensity of your exercise, your need for quick recovery, and whether your activity requires high intensity and long duration also play a role. When I’m working with professional baseball players who have long games in the summer heat with heavy clothing, even though their exercise intensity is lower, I encourage them to take in adequate carbohydrate, fluid and sodium before the game, not just during and after. The same may go for a distance runner, while someone engaging in an hour of interval training or heavy lifting may not need to ingest any additional carbohydrate and electrolyte until after their workout.

Watermelon agua fresca may be your best bet if you’re having this drink pre-workout. Watermelon contains a compound called citrulline which may have the ability to enhance endurance exercise performance by improving oxygen delivery to muscles.

If you’re looking to recover from an intense workout or heavy lifting session, pineapple agua fresca may be your pick. An enzymatic compound in pineapples called bromelain has been found to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage and inflammation, meaning it has the potential to enhance and speed up recovery. Add in some ginger root and you can be aiding in the  reduction of inflammation even more!

Now when it comes to the kiwi agua fresca, you’ll want to reach for this after long runs or rides when training for a marathon, cycyling race, or triathlon. Since there is extra stress on the lungs with these longer and high intensity races, there’s also a higher risk for an upper respiratory infection afterwards. By ingesting more vitamin C, which kiwis are a very potent source of, there is a lower risk of developing these infections and keeping the immune system healthy when training and racing.

Agua fresca sports drinks

Recipe Notes:

  • Depending on the fruit you use, some agua frescas will have a bit more pulp and texture than others. Consider this if you want a more smooth agua fresca, or strain the pulp with cheesecloth. Note though that this removes some of the fiber, an important nutrient.
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices. I enjoy mint or basil with the watermelon, paprika or ginger with the pineapple, and basil with the kiwi.
  • If you want to bring your drink with you to your workout, I recommend having it in a squeeze type bottle. For rehydration after a hike, keep it in a mason jar with a screw top in a cooler in your car. Pair with food containing protein and more carbs for recovery.

Agua Fresca Sports Drinks

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup chopped fruit, such as watermelon, pineapple, or kiwi
  • 1 Cup water or 1/2 Cup coconut water and 1/2 Cup water
  • Juice of 1/2 of a lime
  • 2 teaspoons honey or maple
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Optional: herbs or spices such as mint, paprika, or basil

Directions

  • In a blender, combine all ingredients and puree until fruit is completely blended, about 30-60 seconds depending on blender power.
  • Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator and shake or stir before serving.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market, with whom I will be showcasing this recipe. Ingredients may be purchased at any store to make on your own, and all opinions are my own.


For more information on nutrition and nutrition coaching, complete the form below to connect with our Registered Dietitian!

Mixed Spring Greens with Beets, Goat Cheese and Nuts

Recipe from Newtown Athletic Club registered dietitian, Lisa James on her website.

Root veggies are often thought of during the fall and winter months, however, beets are a perfect late spring, early summer vegetable. They are easy to make, full of flavor and packed with health-promoting phytonutrients!

Give this amazing beet salad a go, it’s sure to be a favorite!

Spring Greens with Beets, Goat Cheese and Nuts

Ingredients

1 pound of spring mix

¼ cup of unsalted mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, pecans)

1 cup of crumbled goat cheese

3 medium sized beets (cooked, cooled and sliced)

Dressing

1 tsp spicy brown mustard

¼ cup of EVOO

2 tbsp of white wine or balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp of agave nectar

¼ tsp of kosher salt

Directions

Roast or steam beets. Let cool and slice.

Whisk together mustard, EVOO, vinegar, agave nectar and salt.

Mix it all together and enjoy!


To book your nutrition counseling session with Lisa James, please fill out the form below!

Processed Foods Increase Hunger Hormones

Study shows that people who consumed a heavily processed diet ate more and gained weight, compared to when they followed a whole foods diet.

Ultra-processed foods are engineered to not only have a long shelf life, but to also have an irresistible concoction of salt, sugar, fat and other additions that make you fat. This is according to a study published this month in the journal, Cell Metabolism.

Foods like breakfast cereals, muffins, white bread, sugary yogurts, low-fat potato chips, canned foods, processed meats, fruit juices and diet beverages cause a rise in hunger hormones compared to a diet of minimally processed foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, grilled chicken, fish, beef, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

In this small, yet intense study researchers at the National Institutes of Health recruited subjects who agreed to live in a research facility for four weeks where they would consume a whole foods diet or an ultra-processed one. The diets were comparable in calories, carbohydrates, fats and proteins. For example, the processed diet offered Honey Nut Cheerios with whole milk and added fiber and the whole breakfast consisted of a greek parfait with strawberries, bananas, walnuts, salt, olive oil, apple slices and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Among the most remarkable findings, was that while on the ultra-processed diet subjects consumed 500 more calories a day, which amounts to an average of two pounds of weight gain in two weeks.

“Though we examined a small group, results from this tightly controlled experiment showed a clear and consistent difference between the two diets,” said Kevin Hall, the study’s lead author. This is the first study to demonstrate causality – that ultra-processed foods cause people to eat too many calories and gain weight.”

What can you do?

Whole foods can be more expensive and less convenient than highly processed foods. Albeit, with a little extra thought you can cook and prepare meals at home that do not take a lot of time or money. Pre-cut fruits and veggies save time, and are minimally processed, as is a loaf of whole grain bread. When fresh fruits and veggies are not readily available, frozen veggies are an excellent option. Over the weekend think about your weekly meals, cook in bulk and use coupons. This will ensure a great start to your and your family’s week!

Blog written by NAC’s Registered Dietitian, Lisa James, MS, RD.


To book your nutrition counseling session with Lisa James, please fill out the form below!

Lentils Wrap Newtown PA

In with Protein, Out with Fat

Need more PROTEIN and less FAT? NAC’s Registered Dietitian, Lisa James, knows you’ll love her Lentil Lettuce Wraps! One cup of cooked lentils contains 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber! Try these for your next meal plan!

INGREDIENTS
– 1, 1 lb bag of lentils
– 1 red onion
– 2 TBSP EVOO
– 1 can garbanzo beans
– Kosher salt to taste
– 2 cloves of fresh garlic
– romaine lettuce leaves
– 1/3 cup oyster sauce

PREPARATION
– Throw it all in a pot! Bring to boil, and turn on low.
– Scoop it on a lettuce leaf, add a little hot sauce.


Learn more recipes like this at Lisa’s Meal Prepping Event this Saturday, May 4 at 10:00 AM.

Fill out the form below to reserve your spot!

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Can what you eat affect how you feel?

Nutrition Therapy to Manage Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety disorders in the United States are the most common mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. That’s 40 million adults or 18 percent of the population who struggle with anxiety and depression. What’s more, numerous studies show a strong correlation between obesity and mental health. Managing these symptoms through counseling and medication is often effective, however, eating better can also ease depression and anxiety.

Guidelines and Foods to Ease Anxiety and Depression

A balanced diet of whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables rather than processed foods and simple carbohydrates will help stabilize your blood sugar and balance your natural hormones. Eating scheduled meals and snacks – at least every four hours – can also help improve your mood and keep your blood sugar from dropping to low.

What about omega-3s?

Found in salmon, mackerel and other fatty fish as well as walnuts and chia seeds, numerous studies show that omega-3s are helpful in fighting depression and anxiety. These specific omega-3 fatty acids known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are thought to have the most potential as a treatment option for both adults and children.

Some studies have shown that a deficit in the amino acid – tryptophan – has been linked to anxiety. Your body uses tryptophan to help make serotonin – sometimes referred to as the “happy chemical.” Foods highest in tryptophan include meat turkey, spinach, bananas, dates, oats and eggs.

A study on mice showed diets low in magnesium were found to increase anxiety related behaviors. Eating magnesium-rich foods may help to ease irritability and depression. The best sources are dark green vegetables, legumes, cereals, wheat bread, fish and nuts.

It’s important to make the distinction between everyday stress and anxiety and chronic severe depression, which is a recognizable medical condition. Even if your doctor recommends medication, it’s worth considering changes to your diet as an additional treatment therapy.

Article written and published by NAC Registered Dietician, Lisa James. Visit Lisa’s website, here.


If you would like to book a nutrition session with Lisa, or would like information about nutrition programs offered at the NAC, please fill out the form below.

Nutrition Tips

13 Nutrition Tips for Everyday Health

Keeping yourself up to date on the latest nutrition news is nearly impossible if you’re not a health professional – and you might find yourself stressing over what to prioritize as you try to maintain a balanced diet.

Wherever you are in your own health journey, these 13 nutrition tips from NAC Registered Dietitian, Lisa James, are great starting points for anyone looking to improve their nutrition and overall health.

  1. Protein doesn’t need to come from an animal or shake! Nuts, beans, lentils and tofu also great sources of protein.
  2. Reset your internal hunger cues! Eat at least every 4 hours a day and try to not eat more than every 2 hours.
  3. Want to improve your triglycerides and HDL levels? Cut back on processed carbohydrates and increase protein!
  4. Your body needs fat to support cell growth, protect your organs and keep your body warm! Chose healthy fats such as nuts, plant oils and fish.
  5. Consume at least 25 grams of fiber a day!  Fiber is key to weight loss. Pears and artichokes are great options!
  6. Eating a protein-packed breakfast like eggs or greek yogurt will keep you full and help you eat fewer calories throughout the day.
  7. If you opt for meat, select lean cuts of beef and pork especially “loin” or “round” cuts.
  8. Eat fish often! It’s best broiled, roasted or grilled.
  9. Swap store-bought salad dressing for homemade dressing. Olive or flaxseed oil are excellent ingredients to add into the mix!
  10. Reduce your sodium intake by swapping your salt for herbs, spices, garlic, onions, lemons or limes!
  11. Over doing the post workout fuel? If you worked out for less than an hour, rehydrating with water might be enough!
  12. Are you a positive role model for your children? Make breakfast a habit – even if it’s on the go!
  13. What carbohydrate keeps hunger and blood sugar levels in check? Fiber, that’s right – it’s a carbohydrate! Whole grains, fruits and veggies.

Interested in learning more about nutrition and what foods fuel your body?

At the NAC, we know that to be successful in reaching your health goals, your nutrition plays an important role. For that reason, we have a Registered Dietitian on our staff to better serve you. Our Registered Dietitians provide you with complimentary nutrition classes, included in membership at the NAC, and seminars as well as fee-based personalized nutrition coaching to support your fitness in any stage of your life. Nutrition services may be covered by your insurance and are eligible for HSA coverage.

Our next HealthyCare session begins May 14. To learn more about our 13-week program & nutrition plan that has helped many participants “lose an average of 15 pounds,” contact lisajames@newtownathletic.com or fill out the form below.

3 O’Clock Energy Bites

Easy to transport, satiating and nutrient dense! When your energy level dips late afternoon, give yourself a boost with one of our easy to make energy bites!

Prep time: 10 minutes | Total time: 20 minutes | This recipe makes 12 bites!

 

INGREDIENTS:         

14 medium size dates

1/2 cup of walnuts

1/2 cup of steel cut oats

1/2 cup of peanut butter

1 T. of chia seeds

1 T. of honey

1 T. of vanilla extract

2 T. of cacao powder

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

PREPARATION:

Soak dates for 8 – 10 minutes before chopping. Chop walnuts into small pieces. In medium size bowl, mix all ingredients together.

Roll into small balls. Freeze or refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before eating.  Store bites in fridge or freezer for up to one week.

 

NUTRITION FACTS:

(Amount per serving)

Calories: 200

Protein: 4 g

Total Fat: 6 g

Saturated: 0 g

Fiber: 4 g

Cholesterol: 0

Carbohydrate: 30 g

Sugar: Added sugar: 0 | Natural sugar: 19 g

Sodium: 215 mg

*Nutrition Analysis by DietMaster Pro

Recipe by NAC RD, Lisa James. 


 

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