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 or fill out the form below.

Person Receiving Massage Newtown

Massage Benefits

Wellness Week at Urban Allure Salon & Spa begins April 8! If you are hesitant to book your first massage, read below to learn more about how it will benefit your mind, body and well-being.

What is massage?

Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure. There are many different types of massage, including these common types:

  • Swedish massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.
  • Deep massage. This massage technique uses slower, more-forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.
  • Sports massage. This is similar to Swedish massage, but it’s geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.
  • Trigger point massage. This massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.

Benefits of massage

Massage is generally considered part of complementary and integrative medicine. It’s increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.

Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.

While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found massage may also be helpful for:

  • Anxiety
  • Digestive disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia related to stress
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain

Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of caring, comfort and connection.

Despite its benefits, massage isn’t meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you’re trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.

Risks of massage

Most people can benefit from massage. However, massage may not be appropriate if you have:

  • Bleeding disorders or take blood-thinning medication
  • Burns or healing wounds
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Fractures
  • Severe osteoporosis
  • Severe thrombocytopenia

Discuss the pros and cons of massage with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant or you have cancer or unexplained pain.

Some forms of massage can leave you feeling a bit sore the next day. But massage shouldn’t ordinarily be painful or uncomfortable. If any part of your massage doesn’t feel right or is painful, speak up right away. Most serious problems come from too much pressure during massage.

What you can expect during a massage

You don’t need any special preparation for massage. Before a massage therapy session starts, your massage therapist should ask you about any symptoms, your medical history and what you’re hoping to get out of massage. Your massage therapist should explain the kind of massage and techniques he or she will use.

In a typical massage therapy session, you undress or wear loose-fitting clothing. Undress only to the point that you’re comfortable. You generally lie on a table and cover yourself with a sheet. You can also have a massage while sitting in a chair, fully clothed. Your massage therapist should perform an evaluation through touch to locate painful or tense areas and to determine how much pressure to apply.

If a massage therapist is pushing too hard, ask for lighter pressure. Occasionally you may have a sensitive spot in a muscle that feels like a knot. It’s likely to be uncomfortable while your massage therapist works it out. But if it becomes painful, speak up.

The take-home message about massage

Brush aside any thoughts that massage is only a feel-good way to indulge or pamper yourself. To the contrary, massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for another stress reliever. You can even learn how to do self-massage or how to engage in massage with a partner at home.

Blog written by the Mayo Clinic – for more information on massage benefits visit

If you have questions or would like further information please fill out the form below and visit Urban Allure Salon & Spa’s website here.

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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!



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


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.



(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: 

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: 

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

Stress Management Newtown PA

10 Ways to Reduce Stress

April is Stress Awareness Month which means taking time to unwind and educate yourself on ways to improve your stress management tactics.

While you can’t avoid stress, you can minimize it by changing how you choose to respond to it. The ultimate reward for your efforts is a healthy, balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun. Here are some tips on how to manage it:

  1. Eat and drink sensibly. Alcohol and food abuse may seem to reduce stress, but it actually adds to it.
  2. Set realistic goals and expectations. It’s okay, and healthy, to realize you cannot be 100% successful at everything at once.
  3. Sell yourself to yourself. When you are feeling overwhelmed, remind yourself of what you do well. Have a healthy sense of self-esteem.
  4. Exercise regularly. Choose an exercise and set reasonable goals. Aerobic exercise has been shown to release endorphins (natural substances that help you feel better and maintain a positive attitude).
  5. Examine your values and live by them. The more your actions reflect your beliefs, the better you will feel, no matter how busy your life is. Use your values when choosing your activities
  6. Assert yourself. You do not have to meet others’ expectations or demands. It’s okay to say “No.” Remember, being assertive allows you to stand up for your rights and beliefs while respecting those of others.
  7. Stop smoking or other bad habits. Aside from the obvious health risks of cigarettes, nicotine acts as a stimulant and brings on more stress symptoms. Give yourself the gift of dropping unhealthy habits.
  8. Study and practice relaxation techniques. Relax every day. Choose from a variety of different techniques. Combine opposites; a time for deep relaxation and a time for aerobic exercise is a sure way to protect your body from the effects of stress.
  9. Take responsibility. Control what you can and leave behind what you cannot control.
  10. Reduce stressors (cause of stress). Many people find that life is filled with too many demands and too little time. For the most part, these demands are ones we have chosen. Effective time-management skills involve asking for help when appropriate, setting priorities, pacing yourself, and taking time out for yourself.

There are several other methods you can use to relax or reduce stress, including:

  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Mental imagery relaxation
  • Relaxation to music
  • Biofeedback
  • Counseling, to help you recognize and release stress
  • Ask your healthcare provider for more information about these techniques

Blog written by the Clevland Clinic, for more on stress management visit

At the NAC, we know the importance of balanced physical and mental health, which comes from nutrition, exercise and stress management together. The HealthyCare Program helps manage stress, creates a personal fitness plan for you, meal planning, group support sessions and more. If you are interested in taking the next step towards a healthier you, please fill out our form below.

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physical therapy newtown pa

Knee Pain & Aquahab Physical Therapy Benefits

Have you been experiencing knee pain? The source of your pain may lie in your hips.

People who have knee pain likely have a hip weakness which is a cause or contributing factor to their knee issues. Knees and hips have a close biomechanical relationship and when hip strength is impaired in the gluteus medius and maximus, this relationship is affected and there is increased strain through the knee joint. It has been found that prescribed hip strengthening exercises combined with stretching are a useful technique to improve knee pain symptoms.

Vice versa, if knee pain goes unaddressed and you continue to push through the pain you can end up compensating your gait, squat, or running mechanics. Through your movement dysfunction, you can consequently develop hip pain, especially if you already have a pre-existing hip weakness.

If you are suffering from knee or hip pain and think that you might benefit from physical therapy to address your symptoms, you can stop inside the Aquahab Physical Therapy Clinic located across from the indoor pool for a scheduled 15-minute screen free of charge.

If you are interested in learning more about Aquahab Physical Therapy, please fill out the form below.

1) Hip Strength and Knee Pain in Females. N Am J Sports Phys Ther. 2007 Aug; 2(3): 164–169.
2) The role of hip muscle function in the treatment of patellofemoral pain syndrome. Am J Sports Med. 2006 Apr;34(4):630-6. Epub 2005 Dec 19.

Doctor and Nurse

New Capital Health Primary Care Office Opens in Newtown

Capital Health Medical Group, Capital Health’s network of more than 250 physicians and other providers who offer primary and specialty care, has opened a new primary care office in Newtown.

The new Capital Health Primary Care – Newtown office, located on 3 Penns Trail Road (a half mile away from Newtown Athletic Club), features five board certified doctors and a nurse practitioner who are available for appointments to provide check-ups, sick visits and preventive care for children and adults (including care that’s specific for women and older adults).

Capital Health Primary Care – Newtown is led by board certified physicians Dr. Robert Remstein, Dr. Jane Abdalla, Dr. Harmony Bonnes, Dr. Kelley Vandergrift, and Dr. Stephen Vanni, as well as certified nurse practitioner Angela Marchesani. NAC members are invited to a community open house on Thursday, March 28 from 5 to 7 p.m. to meet the team and tour the new facility.

All Capital Health Medical Group offices use a shared electronic medical records system, which allows providers to access medical records on a secure network, making it convenient for patients to continue their care across our network of primary and specialty care providers. Patients can also manage their health easier using our Capital Health Medical Group patient portal, which allows patients to conveniently access information about any of their office visits online.

Office hours at Capital Health Primary Care – Newtown are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and Wednesday (8 a.m. to 7 p.m.). To make an appointment, call 215.504.1761 or learn more by visiting

Please fill out the form below if you’re are interested in learning about future events sponsored by Capital Health.

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!


  • 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


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.

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.


Five Fun Ways To Get Kids Exercising

With the era of technology continuing to grow- parents are finding it more difficult to get kids up and moving every day! Each tablet, iPhone, and all other electronics seem to get in the way of kids going outside and getting proper exercise. Here are five simple ways to productively get kids out moving everyday:

1. Make the playground your outdoor fitness center. Challenge your kids through jumps, climbs, runs and different obstacles on the play structure. Think America Ninja Warrior and create circuits using the mini rock climbing areas, pull up bars, tunnels and monkey bars to create a fun challenge for your kids, even you can join in on the fun!

2. Dance, move, and boogie! Check the Top 40 Disney songs and hit shuffle! Now bring on those moves! Dance is a fun effective way to bring on an aerobic workout, and who can resist those catchy songs? Whether it is hip hopping in the kitchen or break dancing in the living room- dancing is always a fun way to get in exercise and you will make amazing memories with your kids!

3. Buddy up. Kids love hanging out with their friends, so invite a buddy along for a bike ride or a swim in the pool! A play date will bring out their social side and make it fun to run around all day!

4. Games games games! Some of the most enjoyable memories from childhood are the wonderful games we get to play with our friends. Have your child ask around the neighborhood and see if any neighborhood kids would like to play! It could be capture the flag, tag, kickball, and so many more! The possibilities are endless when you have a group of kids and a place to play!

5. FUNctional fitness. If you are looking for your chores to be done, look no further. Ask your child to be a good helper and get to it! Have your kid join you for lawn work, walking the dog, cleaning, or anything you need done! This will get them up and active; and will help you in return-just remember to do it with them!

Be sure to always motivate your child to get up and move, kids love activity and it is important for their health. Take away that iPad and get up and move!