In the health and wellness world, March is the month dedicated to nutrition awareness and at exhale we decided to celebrate with a day of awareness entitled NUTRITION INTUITION.
I was joined by two of exhale’s healers: Laura Benge, our National Spa Director and Rachel Lustgarten, R.D. nutritionist, Keri Glassman, nationally recognized nutrition expert, Katie Lee, Cookbook author and lifestyle expert, and Jeremy Bearman, Executive Michelin- starred Chef of Rouge Tomate NYC for a panel discussion on how to incorporate good nutrition, simple cooking and tasty food into your life on a daily basis.
We spoke on the difficulties of maintaining a healthy lifestyle day to day and some takeaways on solving those challenges; tips like how to cook a nutritious meal in less time than ordering delivery! Prepare raw foods as soon as you bring them home from the market: clean the greens, wash the lettuce, chop the vegetables and store them in containers to be used during the week as dedicated meals or reliable sides for chicken or fish.
Keri made the point that a holistic lifestyle is key to a lean, sexy, happy body. And that it’s not just the food that you eat but your sleep, stress reduction techniques and peacefulness of your home space will all factor in to maximizing health and wellness. According to Keri, a spritz of lavender in the bedroom is a great start to a sleep worthy space! Katie suggested to start your week with a good nutrition plan and if you cheat a little on the weekend, you can start again on Monday. She also shared that preparing foods in advance, like boiling a pot of rice, quinoa or lentils, or steaming a bunch of broccoli and refrigerating are easy ways to stay on track.
In the 1990’s we were a fat phobic society. Happily eating fat free muffins, fat free ice cream, fat free cheeses and not giving a second thought to the fact that these items were chock full of sugar, calories and preservatives. Then came along the Atkins generation and all of a sudden we were scared to death to put any carbs into our mouths. Instead, without an ounce of guilt we feasted on fatty meats and cheeses, glad to see a dip on the scale but not realizing what these foods were doing to our cholesterol and arteries, let alone fueling our brains inappropriately.
I see it everyday. People come to me for nutritional counseling, confused as to how they should lose weight, maintain their weight or how to eat a healthy diet. And you know what? I don’t blame them for being confused! There is a lot of information floating out there, and a lot of it is misinformation.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be so complicated. However, I will tell you this; to successfully lose weight and maintain, it’s not about going on one of these fad diets you read about, or doing a cleanse that everybody at work is talking about. Yes, the end result may be that you lose weight, but you will not maintain it. The only way to do so is by making a lifestyle change, one that is permanent with lasting benefits. Drinking spinach juice with a touch of wheatgrass is not a realistic meal plan for the rest of your life, nor would you want it to be! Where is the pleasure in that?
A basic principle of weight loss and maintenance is that the majority of your calories should come from lean protein. This includes all animal protein like chicken, fish, beef, eggs, meat and soy protein as well. Your carbohydrates should be coming mostly from vegetables and a small amount of fruit. It’s important not to cut out fats all together- healthy ones found in foods like olive oil, egg yolk, nuts, avocado and omega-3 are actually good for you and weight loss.
Foods that are the main source of weight gain are bread, pasta, cereals, corn products and rice. White bread/pasta or whole-wheat bread/pasta are pretty much nutritionally identical; the same goes for white and brown rice. The only difference is that whole wheat bread and brown rice are less processed, and won’t cause your blood sugar to spike and crash as dramatically. These are foods that are often referred to as “simple sugars” or “simple carbohydrates”.
Losing weight doesn’t have to be about starving yourself (and most certainly shouldn’t be), but rather, learning how to make better choices. It takes effort to make those lifestyle changes but you’re worth it!
|Lana Levy is a nutritionist specializing in taking a holistic approach towards healthy eating, not only to help her clients achieve their goals, but also help them maintain a healthy lifestyle. Lana has also incorporated her passion for yoga into her services for her clients, as a way to stay fit, and create a balance between the body and the mind.Lana received her degree from Columbia University, where she completed her Masters in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. In 2010, Ms. Levy became a Registered Yoga Teacher through an intensive training with YogaWorks here in New York City. In 2011 she completed a Prenatal Yoga Certification.With a background in nutrition and yoga, Lana works with her clients to create customized nutrition plans and yoga sequences that are specifically tailored to their needs. Whether the goal is weight loss, healthy weight gain, energy improvement, pre and post natal health, relief from various gastrointestinal ailments, Just For Today can provide you with tools to make a change for life!|