Omega 3s Newtown PA

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 Monday, April 15. 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. Learn more about Lisa: https://www.lisasjamesnutrition.com/ 


If you’re interested in learning more about nutrition, we might have the right program for you. The NAC HealthyCare program is a nutrition plan & fitness coaching program all-in-one!

It starts with a comprehensive health and fitness assessment that includes blood work to test blood sugar and cholesterol. For 13 weeks you will meet in a group for two hours at the Newtown Athletic Club. Hour one is comprised of nutrition, behavior modification or stress management education and hour two is fitness education and exercise. This is not a diet or a strict workout plan. You will leave with the knowledge and confidence to manage your nutrition and fitness going forward. Learn more about HealthyCare: https://newtownathletic.com/healthy-care/ 

Ready to feel your best? Fill out the form below to see if our 13-week program could be covered by your insurance…

Tahini Chickpea Dip

Tahini Chickpea Dip

Did you know that February American Heart Month? Heart disease is the cause for 1 out of every 4 deaths, every year in the US, according to the CDC. Learning about healthy alternatives and improved nutrition can help prevent heart disease.

Check out this Tahini Chickpea Dip recipe for American Heart Month! This recipe, by our Registered Dietitian Lisa James, is chock-full of heart healthy ingredients. Tahini, chickpeas and more!

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup of tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 TBSP of lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP of lime juice
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper

Directions:

Mix it all together and dip in!

Carrots, celery or pita are a delicious choice but make sure to watch your portions.

 

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 Registered Dietitians 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.

 

Complete the form below to learn more.

southwest soup recipe

Zesty Southwest Soup (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Posted by NAC Registered Dietitian, Kelly Jones on EatRealLiveWell.com

While you’re prepping other items for the week (like baking sweet potatoes & roasting veggies in the oven and hard boiling eggs) you can make this big batch of southwest inspired soup with bold and zesty flavors.

zesty southwest soup newtown pa

It’ll carry you through at least two meals for a family of four and plenty more if there are less people in your house. You can always double the recipe to freeze some for another week, too! Whether fridge or freezer, I like to store my soups in 2 Cup sized glass Pyrex containers so they’re already portioned out.

While the whole grain rice and beans together provide sufficient protein, I do recommend boosting it with some nutritional yeast when you serve it if you’re dairy free, and some sharp cheddar if you’re a dairy eater. For a sour-cream like taste, add a dollop of Greek style almond yogurt or actual Greek yogurt, too. I like to throw some avocado on top sometimes as well! If you’re an athlete and require more energy, you can obviously just listen to your body and have a bigger portion or, pair with some bean chips for another protein boost and some crunch.

Zesty Southwest Soup

Vegan, Gluten-free

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeños, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots, diced
  • 1 large or 2 small celery stalks, diced
  • 1 quart vegetable broth (+ 2 cups if you prefer a broth soup)
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 4 oz can green chiles
  • 1 Cup short grain brown rice
  • 1-2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Cilantro to garnish

Directions

  • To a large stockpot, add avocado oil over low-medium heat. Add the garlic and jalapeños and stir, letting cook about 1 minute.
  • Add the onions, carrot and celery, stir and cover, letting cook 3-5 minutes.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes and green chilis and bring to a boil.
  • Add the rice and let cook approximately 15 minutes before adding black beans and seasonings. Cook an additional 5 minutes, or longer depending on rice cooking instructions.
  • Let cool and serve or store in refrigerator or freezer.

 

To learn more about NAC membership, complete the form below.

sweet potato snickerdoodle recipe NAC

Sweet Potato Snickerdoodles

Posted by NAC Registered Dietitian, Kelly Jones on EatRealLiveWell.com

Sweet Potato Snickerdoodle Cookies Recipe

Makes 15-18 cookies; Vegan
Prep time: 5 minutes
Chill time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Total time: 33 minutes

Ingredients
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sweet potato purée
1/4 cup vegan buttery spread (or butter)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 Cup organic cane sugar or beet sugar
1 1/4 cups + 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cane sugar + 1/2 tbsp cinnamon, mixed in a small bowl

Directions
Mix melted butter with sweet potato purée and vanilla extract in a medium bowl

In another bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder

Add sugar to the wet mixture and beat with a mixer or, mix well with a whisk

Add the dry to the wet and mix until well incorporated

Let sit, covered, in refrigerator for at least 45 minutes or, in the freezer for 20

Set oven to 350 degrees

Spoon heaping tablespoons full of the cookie dough into a ball shape before dipping into the sugar and cinnamon mixture

Place onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet

Bake 8 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes on baking sheet before serving

 

vegan-snickerdoodle

I’ll be the first to admit, I did not grow up much of a snickerdoodle fan. Chocolate chip cookies will always be my #1, but with snickerdoodle being Tim’s favorite, I’ve found myself making them and actually enjoying them, too!

Recently I bought a can of sweet potato puree, just to experiment. Well, when I wanted to make pumpkin pancakes and was out of pumpkin, that can came out of the pantry to make some pancakes rather than experiment! Since I had some leftover, and was not in the mood to add it to oatmeal, these cookies were born.

The first go I used all sweet potato and no butter – as expected, the texture was a bit off. I gave it few tweaks and after several tries, these snickerdoodles are the best ever!

While these were not created to be a “healthy cookie”, they do provide a bit of vitamin A and carotenoids from the sweet potato. Since they are vegan, they are also low in saturated fat. If you’re at all concerned with your sugar intake whether due to blood sugar fluctuations impacting your mood, stomach during exercise, or diabetes, pair one cookie with protein and fat (ex: eat nuts with it or have after you snack on a hard boiled egg with veggies and hummus) to limit blood sugar spikes.

If sugar doesn’t negatively impact your gut health when eaten before exercise, these can actually be a great pre-workout snack in place of fruit every once in a while! I still will opt for these fluffy pumpkin chocolate chip ones before I head to sweat, but you can take your pick.

Notes:
You can sub the canned sweet potato puree for the flesh of a well-baked sweet potato, or for canned pumpkin puree.

Sugar suggestions in the recipe are provided to allow those following a vegan lifestyle to choose vegan sugar.

I use a food scale when baking, so measurements are very precise. With flours, I recommend that the measuring cup is loosely filled vs. firmly packed.

I used Earth Balance buttery spread sticks. If using their spread, add an extra teaspoon. Butter can be subbed 1-1. Comment below if you try with coconut oil!

 

Complimentary nutrition classes are included in your Newtown Athletic Club membership. To learn more about NAC membership, complete the form below.

Fiber Chocolate Marshmallow Treat Recipe

Fiber Chocolate Marshmallow Treat 

Fiber Chocolate Marshmallow Treat – Lisa’s Recipe! NAC Registered Dietitian.

  • Ingredients:
    • 1/2 Stick of Butter
    • 5 cups of Fiber One Cereal
    • 1 cup of Mini Chocolate Chips (to taste)
    • 1 cup of diced dry fruit (your choice)
  • Directions:
    • Melt butter
    • Mix in cereal
    • Mix in the rest
    • Spread out on greased cookie sheet
    • Freeze/refrigerate
    • Cut, and serve.

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 Registered Dietitians 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.

Learn more by completing the form below.

RD Approved: Treats & Sweets for Fall

The holidays are a time to enjoy friends, family & food. To keep on track with your wellness & nutrition goals this holiday season, our Registered Dietitian, Lisa James, has provided three quilt-free recipes to try this fall! Can you guess our favorite? 

  • Peanut Butter Cups with Cacoa Powder, Coconut Oil and Himalayan Salt
    • Ingredients:
      • Coconut Oil – Boost your HLD Cholesterol! Yes, it’s full of saturated fat and MCTs (medium- chain triglycerides) which help to balance hunger hormones! 
      • Cacoa Powder (raw, pure form of chocolate) – Excellent plant-based source of fiber and magnesium.
      • Crunchy Peanut Butter  – Protein packed necessity! 
      • Himalayan Salt – Mined in Pakistan, with trace amounts of calcium, potassium and magnesium. Great alternative to table salt. 
    • Directions
      1) Melt 1 and 3/4 cup of coconut oil
      2) Mix 1 cup of cacoa powder, 6-7 TBSP of agave nectar or other liquid sweetener
      3) Pour mixture into mini greased muffin pan
      4) Drop small scoops of peanut butter
      5) Sprinkle with salt and freeze
  • Strawberry Muffin in a Mug Grab and Go, Microwave Ready!
    • Ingredients:
      • 1 TBSP Butter
      • 2 TBSP Strawberry Spread (use what you have, applesauce will also do).
      • 1 Egg
      • Vanilla Extract to taste
      • 1 tsp maple syrup 3 TBSP Almond Flour
      • Cinnamon to taste
      • 1/8 tsp baking powder
    • Directions:
      • Melt butter in microwave
      • Add/whisk together strawberry spread, egg, vanilla and maple syrup
      • Add almond flour, cinnamon and baking powder
      • Microwave for 1 min and 10 seconds! ENJOY!
  • Fiber Chocolate Marshmallow Treat – Lisa’s Recipe!
    • Ingredients:
      • 1/2 Stick of Butter
      • 5 cups of Fiber One Cereal
      • 1 cup of Mini Chocolate Chips (to taste)
      • 1 cup of diced dry fruit (your choice)
    • Directions:
      • Melt butter
      • Mix in cereal
      • Mix in the rest
      • Spread out on greased cookie sheet
      • Freeze/refrigerate
      • Cut, and serve.

Interested in learning more about nutrition and what foods fuel your body? Your club offers a nutrition & fitness coaching program all-in-one. Powered by NAC Registered Dietitian, Lisa James, our 13-week HealthyCare program, may be what you’re looking for.

Learn more about HealthyCare.

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Women’s Health: Diabetes and Exercise

Approximately 14.9 million U.S. women aged 18 and older have diabetes. Of that number, 11.7 million have diagnosed diabetes, and the other 3.2 million have undiagnosed diabetes. A woman’s risk of diabetes increases if she smokes, has overweight or obesity, has high blood pressure, is physically inactive, and/or has high cholesterol and high blood sugar (CDC 2017).

The NAC HealthyCare 13 week program helps guide members and non members to lead a healthier, movement-oriented lifestyle. The program has eye opening results: averaging 15 lbs of weight loss, dropping 37 triglycerides points, 11 blood pressure points, 15 cholesterol points and an average of three inch waist reduction.

Your health insurance could cover the cost of this program. Click here to book your Health Risk Assessment and join our September programs!
Monday Nights at 6:30 PM (Start Date: September 24th)
Wednesday Mornings at 9:30 AM (Start Date: September 26th)

The below excerpt is from the article “Research Update: Explore the Value of Exercise for Women’s Health” which focuses on type 2 diabetes and the benefits of exercise.

Diabetes and Exercise

Diabetes is a disease that limits the body’s ability to either produce (type 1) or respond to (type 2) the hormone insulin. This leads to an undesirably altered metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood. Of the estimated 30.3 million adult cases of diabetes in the United States, 90%–95% are type 2 diabetes (CDC 2017).

Approximately 14.9 million U.S. women aged 18 and older have diabetes. Of that number, 11.7 million have diagnosed diabetes, and the other 3.2 million have undiagnosed diabetes. A woman’s risk of diabetes increases if she smokes, has overweight or obesity, has high blood pressure, is physically inactive, and/or has high cholesterol and high blood sugar (CDC 2017).

An American Diabetes Association (ADA) position stand states that, in people with type 2 diabetes, regular exercise improves blood glucose, helps promote weight loss, reduces cardiovascular risk factors (which are associated with type 2 diabetes) and boosts well-being (Colberg et al. 2016). The position stand further states that since blood glucose management varies with the type of diabetes and the presence of diabetes-related complications, exercise recommendations should be tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual.

Exercise Guidelines

The ADA exercise guidelines for people with diabetes include the following two overarching recommendations (Colberg et al. 2016):

Exercise every day or at least every 2 days. This recommendation is aimed at increasing insulin sensitivity. One goal is that a person who is insulin-sensitive will require smaller amounts of insulin to lower blood glucose levels.

Perform both aerobic exercise and resistance training. Women with type 2 diabetes should do both aerobic exercise and resistance training for optimal blood glucose control and health. For clients with type 1 diabetes, the recommendation is to engage in aerobic exercise. Because the effects of resistance training on type 1 diabetes are currently unclear, resistance training for persons with type 1 is encouraged but not specifically recommended.

Training tip: When aerobic and resistance training take place in the same session, the ADA advises doing resistance training first, as this sequencing results in more stable blood glucose control.

Primary aerobic exercise guidelines. Women with diabetes should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-high volumes of aerobic activity 3–7 days per week. This amount is associated with a substantially lower risk of cardiovascular disease and early mortality. In addition, high-intensity interval training has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and cardiorespiratory fitness in people with diabetes.

Training tip: The ADA suggests progressing clients to vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise as long as there are no complications (Colberg et al. 2016).

Primary resistance training guidelines. ADA recommendations call for a minimum of 2 nonconsecutive days of resistance training each week, eventually progressing to 3 days each week. Exercise programs should include 8–10 exercises to target the major muscle groups of the body. Fitness pros are advised to start clients with single-set training, progressing to 3 sets per exercise. Intensity should begin at a moderate load, 10–15 reps per set, progressing to 8–10 reps per set (heavier load), then 6–8 reps per set (heavier again). All sets are performed to near fatigue.

Balance and flexibility exercise guidelines. The ADA recommends flexibility and balance training 2–3 days per week. Clients should stretch to the point of mild discomfort and hold the stretch for 10–30 seconds, repeating stretches 2–4 times. Balance training, which can reduce fall risk, may be of any length and should focus primarily on clients’ specific balance goals and needs (Colberg et al. 2016).

Want to know your risk for diabetes? Click here to book a Health Risk Assessment with a member of the NAC’s Health & Wellness team.