Healthy BBQ Eats

Watermelon-Slices-1024x1024With Memorial Day kicking off, summer is officially here. So I thought it would be wise to offer some advice on how to eat well at the endless array of BBQs destined to mark your calendar during the upcoming summer months. These gatherings are a great way to get together with friends and family, enjoy the weather, relax and just enjoy life in general. You will typically be faced with a smorgasbord of food options, so trust that you can still get your fill and also feel good about what you are eating. Here are a few tips for you to take to your next gathering.

On the grill: Lean proteins are always the better choice. So if available, choose chicken breast, turkey breast or fish. For an even healthier option, enjoy a grilled veggie burger, portobello mushroom or soy hot dog. But let’s be honest, lower fat options at your typical gathering (unless it’s your casa) are often slim. More likely it will be hamburgers and traditional hot dogs. Remember you don’t have to try everything just because it is there. Select what you really like, enjoy it and aim to just have one serving. You can always make a meal from grilled vegetables and salad.

Condiments: Go easy with the mayonnaise, creamy dressings and cheese you consume. For a healthier alternative, try a couple slices of creamy avocado. Bulk up your burger or sandwich with as much lettuce, onions, tomatoes, pickles as you desire.

Sides: Go heavy on the salsas and fresh vegetable options; go lighter with the mayonnaise-based sides, such as macaroni salad and dips. Limit the amount of chips you consume because these are empty calories that won’t fill you up. Opt for crackers, pretzels or even baked chips and aim for one handful. If raw vegetables are being served, indulge in them. They are always the BEST choice!

Desserts: Limit to one (very) small portion if it’s a decadent dessert. If there is fresh fruit, that’s– hands-down– the better choice!

What to bring: A watermelon (everyone will love this!), vinegar-based coleslaw, bean salsa dip, hummus, raw vegetable tray, a tomato, cucumber, chickpea and red onion salad, salad with fresh nuts and berries with your favorite vinaigrette or fresh fruit salad (this is my personal favorite!). While these are all healthier options, if it tastes good, people will eat it.

Above all else, enjoy your time, focus on your friends and family and don’t let the food become your reason for attending. Enjoy summer. Cheers!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is the author of the widely-acclaimed The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012). Lisa is a specialist in weight management and diabetes for teens and adults and the Founder of Lisa Stollman Nutrition with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Contact Lisa at eatwellrd@yahoo.com or for more info: http://www.lisastollmanrd.com. Look for her new ebook The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press 2014) this June.

Spring Clean Your Pantry

My pantry IMG_0148Spring is in the air. So what better time than now to spring clean your pantry! Stocking your kitchen with healthy essentials ensures you have the staples to make healthy meals and snacks. Get ready to enjoy the benefits of good nutrition.

Here are the steps:

Step 1: Remove everything from your kitchen cabinets. Yes, everything- we are going to clean the cabinets and throw away old spices and oils. Oils do have a shelf life. The length of shelf life depends on the type of oil, how it is stored and when it was opened. How to tell if oil has spoiled? Color, texture and smell all change with age so if the oil develops a wine smell than it has gone bad. Look at the best before date, determine the number of months since then, follow this link for average shelf life depending on the type of oil http://www.eatbydate.com/other/condiments/how-long-does-oil-last/ and toss it if the oil has expired. Spices have a much longer shelf but still have the potential to expire and this will alter the taste of your dishes. Follow this link for information on spices http://www.eatbydate.com/other/spices/how-long-do-spices-last/ . On average, dried spices and herbs last 2-3 years after their best by date while fresh only last 5-7 days past the date. Now wipe your cabinets clean.

Step 2: Time to stock, take an inventory of what you have and compare to this essentials list:

Oils: For low heat cooking: Olive oil for making salad dressings or sautéing over medium heat. Skip olive oil when cooking on high heat because it has a low smoke point and with all oils it is important to not allow the oil to reach this smoke point. If brought to too high a heat, beneficial compounds in the oils degrade and turn into potentially harmful compounds. Coconut oil has a very low smoke point as well, slightly lower than olive oil but can be used in baking at temperatures less than 350 if choosing unrefined oil. For high heat cooking: Organic canola oil, peanut oil or refined safflower oil for temperatures above 375 degrees F. Refined safflower oil has a very high smoke point but unrefined should be used more like olive oil.

Baking essentials: Baking soda and baking powder Cocoa powder, unsweetened Cinnamon (use frequently to “sweeten” oatmeal, yogurt, baked goods) Vanilla extract

Additional pantry items: Vinegars- balsamic and red wine (great for sautéing or making homemade salad dressings) Spices – Italian spices oregano and basil are versatile Lemon pepper is great on chicken or fish Chili powder or red pepper flakes if you like spicy foods Pepper- freshly ground, black or white Powders – garlic and onion can be used in most all dishes Sweeteners- local honey, raw cane sugar or Stevia are healthy. For good health, use honey or sugar in moderation.

Whole Grains: Quinoa – whole grain, complete protein and excellent source of fiber this ancient grain can be substituted for rice in savory dishes, added to soup and salads or mixed with oatmeal and flavored with cinnamon and vanilla for breakfast Old fashioned oats- for oatmeal or to make oat flour (just place oats in food processor or blender) and sub in for recipes where flour is called for just keep in mind the texture will be denser. Cereal- stock your pantry with a whole grain cereal, low in sugar; either mix in with a sweetened cereal or add natural sweetness by topping it with berries, bananas, raisins and a drizzle of honey. Uncle Sam’s is a great choice and one of the few cereals that provide omega-3 fats, essential for heart and brain health. Pasta- whole grain pasta, any variety, will be denser than white pasta but this only means more nutrition! Snacks: Popcorn- unsalted, unbuttered, this is a whole grain snack. To flavor try garlic powder, oregano or even hot sauce! Crackers- Engine2 are a delicious whole grain choice. If you have Ritz crackers or even Cheez-its, toss them these products still contain trans fats. Sweets- dark chocolate, the higher the percentage the more bitter but less sugar helping to curb your sweet tooth without triggering more sweet cravings.

Seeds (an easy way to add tons of nutrition to your meals): Ground flaxseed- a rich source of essential fats, ground flaxseed is found in most grocery stores on the baking aisle. Sprinkle on oatmeal, yogurt, or use as an egg substitute in baked goods; flaxseed lends just a slightly nutty flavor. Chia seeds- nutrient powerhouses these seeds do not have any flavor to them so they can be added to most any dish. Add into smoothies to thicken the consistency, mix into yogurt, oatmeal or sprinkle on cereal. You can even make your own homemade pudding with these seeds.

Nuts: Walnuts- one of the few nuts that are a relatively rich source of omega-3 fats these are great as a snack, or addition to morning oatmeal or cereal, salad or mixed into muffins or breads Almonds- cocoa roasted almonds offer a slightly sweet, chocolaty taste making these a great snack to hold you over until the next meal. Including plant fats is a key weight loss tool. Nut butter- natural peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter, etc. makes for an easy sandwich or snack or mix-in for a smoothie to add some healthy fats and protein.

Beans/legumes: Dried, whatever your preference- more time consuming to prepare, cook a bunch at once and freeze for leftovers. These are a great source of plant protein, cholesterol-lowering fiber and low in fat and calories; pair with brown rice/quinoa as a main course. Or have as a side, add to soups, topping for a salad or filling for a burrito. Canned – have a few on hand for when crunched for time, these only take minutes to prepare and are a great way to add fiber and protein to soups. They are packed with salt, so rinse them well.

Dried fruit: Raisins- unlike most dried fruits, raisins do not have any sugar added and make a great addition to dried cereal, oatmeal, baked goods or paired with nuts and dark chocolate for a snack.

Frozen Produce:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Berries- I like to stock my freezer with berries for yogurt, oatmeal and smoothies. Frozen berries, in addition to fresh, are an excellent source of antioxidants, protecting your body from free radical damage. Vegetables- whatever your preference as long as the package does not contain added butter or sauces. Now just stock your refrigerator weekly with fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, herbs, milk, cheeses, eggs, fresh salsas, breads, hummus and fresh meats  or vegetarian protein sources (tofu, seitan, tempeh) for the week!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is the author of the widely-acclaimed book The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012). Lisa is a specialist in weight management and diabetes for teens and adults. She is the Founder of Lisa Stollman Nutrition with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Contact Lisa at eatwellrd@yahoo.com or for more info: www.lisastollmanrd.com. Look for her new e-book The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press 2014) later this spring.

Enjoy the Benefits of Whole Grains

 

20140330-143653.jpg

When it comes to good health, whole grains can’t be beat! In addition to providing a great source of fuel to keep our bodies moving throughout the day, they are packed with a vast number of nutrition benefits. Whether you are trying to lose weight, lower your cholesterol, improve your digestion or manage your blood glucose levels, whole grains can help in all of these areas. Unfortunately, whole grains continue to get a bad rap. Surely you’ve had friends tell you they don’t eat bread or avoid eating pasta because they want to lose weight. However this is just another perpetuated myth! Eating whole grains can keep you trim plus provide an excellent source of energy during your spinning class or daily run. With all foods, when it comes to weight management it’s all about portion sizes. If you eat too much of any particular food, you can gain weight. When a major food group such as whole grains, which includes breads, cereals and grains such as whole wheat, buckwheat, corn, quinoa, millet, amaranth and brown rice provides SO many nutritional benefits, it’s a good idea to include them in your daily diet. I am so proud to be serving as a Whole Grain Ambassador on April 2nd for Whole Grain Sampling Day.  Read on for the top four nutrition benefits and simple ways to get your daily dose of whole grains.

20140326-211557.jpg

Four Top Nutrition Benefits of Whole Grains

1. Regularity–Whole grains are packed with fiber which helps avoid constipation by keeping food moving through the digestive tract. On the flip side, refined grains such as white bread, rice and pasta have had their fiber removed during processing. To keep the fiber moving down your gastrointestinal tract, it’s always a good idea to drink at least 1 cup of fluid with each meal or snack. Dietary fiber from whole grains may help reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

20140330-143627.jpg

2. Nutrients–Whole grains are naturally higher in vitamins and minerals than refined grains. Important nutrients in whole grains include several B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate) and minerals (iron, magnesium, and selenium). Here’s what these nutrients do for YOU:

*The B vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin:   Play key role in metabolism  as they help the body release energy from food.  Also essential for a healthy nervous system.
*Folate (folic acid), also a B vitamin: Helps the body form red blood cells. Women of childbearing age should consume adequate folate from foods plus 400 mcg of folic acid from fortified foods or supplements. This reduces the risk of neural tube defects during fetal development.
*Iron: carries oxygen in the blood. Many teenage girls and women in their childbearing years have iron-deficiency anemia. They should eat foods high in heme-iron (animal) or non-heme iron  (plant) along with foods rich in vitamin C, which can improve absorption of non-heme iron. Whole grains are major sources of non-heme iron in American diets.                                    *Magnesium:  Required for building bones and releasing energy from muscles.                    *Selenium: protects cells from oxidation. Required for a healthy immune system.

3. Weight management— Fiber-containing foods such as whole grains help provide an earlier onset of fullness (as opposed to refined grain), which can help you eat less. Because whole grains take longer to digest due to their fiber content, you may feel full longer than when you eat refined grains. Thus, whole grains can help you eat less overall, resulting in weight loss.

4. Blood glucose management–Because whole grains take longer to be digested, they may slow the release of carbohydrate into the bloodstream. Thus your blood glucose should rise slower and stay stable for longer than if you were to eat refined grains. Refined grains may cause your blood glucose to rise quickly and then drop down faster. A drop in blood glucose can lead to a feeling of hunger and the need to eat again, resulting over time in possible weight gain. Weight gain can increase blood glucose.

Three Tips to Get Whole Grains on Your Plate

1. Breakfast: Start the day with a bowl of whole grain cereal (try Barbara’s Cinnamon Puffins) or 2 slices of whole grain toast with peanut butter.

2. Lunch: Make a sandwich with 2 slices of whole grain bread. or if your in a restaurant, order your sandwich on whole grain toast instead of the refined white bun.

3. Dinner: Have a side of quinoa or brown rice cooked in vegetable broth with mushrooms and onions.

Disclosure: I received a selections of whole grain products to sample but was not compensated for this post.  All opinions are mine. These pics are some of my family’s faves from the Whole Grain Sampling Box!     20140330-143637.jpg

 

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is the author of the widely-acclaimed book The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012). Lisa is a specialist in weight management and diabetes for teens and adults. She is the Founder of Lisa Stollman Nutrition with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Contact Lisa at eatwellrd@yahoo.com or for more info: www.lisastollmanrd.com. Look for her new e-book The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press 2014) later this spring.

Beat Prediabetes

walking oicHave you recently been diagnosed with prediabetes? Don’t feel you are alone. Over 79 million people in the United States have this condition. Although prediabetes can increase your risk for developing diabetes in the future, making positive changes in your food choices, weight and exercise habits can reverse this condition.  Prediabetes is that sweet spot (no pun intended!) that is between having a slightly-elevated blood glucose and full-blown diabetes. A HgbA1C (Hemoglobin A1C ) of 5.7 to 6.4 (which is a three-month average of your blood glucose) or a fasting blood glucose of 100 to 125 is diagnostic for prediabetes. Research shows that by losing weight and increasing your exercise, you can lower your risk for developing diabetes by 58%. So if have prediabetes, where do you begin?

1. Become knowledgeable about the added sugar and carbohydrate content of your diet and make an effort to limit added sugars as much as possible.  Eating less sugar can help reduce your blood glucose levels. Added sugars are found in soda, candy, ice cream, sweetened-yogurt, cakes and pies, tomato sauce, cereals, cookies, energy bars, breads and crackers. Although 100% juice doesn’t contain added sugars, it’s smart to avoid juice as it can raise your blood sugar. Instead of juice, eat fiber-rich whole fruit. Vegetables, fruit, whole grain breads and cereals, beans and milk are healthy carbohydrates and are the foundation of a healthy diet.

2. Lose weight.  Losing just 7 to 10 % of your current weight can significantly lower your blood glucose levels. If you weigh 200 pounds, losing just fifteen pounds can help lower your risk for developing diabetes.

3. Exercise. Moderate exercise, such as brisk walking just  30 minutes a day, five days a week can lower your blood glucose and help you avoid developing diabetes.

4. Make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). They have extensive training in nutrition, weight management and glucose metabolism and can help you reverse prediabetes and decrease the potential for developing diabetes in the future. You can find a RDN  in your area on the website of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Click on “Find a Registered Dietitian” on the upper right-hand corner.

 Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is the author of the widely-acclaimed book The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012).  Lisa is a specialist in weight management and diabetes for teens and adults. She is the Founder of Lisa Stollman Nutrition with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Contact Lisa at eatwellrd@yahoo.com or for more info: www.lisastollmanrd.com. Look for her new e-book The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad later this spring.

Celebrate National Nutrition Month

Grocery bagMarch is National Nutrition Month (NNM). Now more than ever are we recognizing the power in prevention. Optimal nutrition play a key role in reducing risk for many lifestyle-related diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and even dementia. But the interesting part of all this is that a diet good for the heart is also good for the brain, blood sugar control and weight management. A healthy diet has the ability to reduce risk factors associated with all these chronic diseases aforementioned. This year for NNM the theme is “Enjoying the Taste of Eating Right.” Appropriately so because research shows taste is the number one determinant for our food choices. So if we don’t really know how to make a healthy dish taste good then, if taste is our deciding factor, we are always going to choose the loaded hamburger and fries! That is when a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) comes into play. A RDN is a food and nutrition expert, trained through an accredited university nutrition curriculum and supervised internship. In addition they maintain yearly educational credits to practice. With this expertise, a RDN can help individually-tailor a nutrition plan for you based on your unique needs. And an RDN can also teach you how to make healthy food taste good! Let’s face it—there is a lot of confusing information out there when it comes to our food. A RDN can simplify all the confusing research to make eating right easier, practical and enjoyable for you. Here is a list of what a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist can do for you!

1. Ensure your diet is providing adequate calories, protein, carbohydrate and fat plus vitamins and minerals to meet your personal needs. Several variables go into determining an estimation of daily nutritional needs so this assessment is all individualized.
2. Help you achieve weight loss through sustainable lifestyle changes that work rather than the latest fad diet to hit mainstream media. A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist serves as your personal coach, teacher and motivator every step of the way. There is such a thing as a healthy rate of weight loss versus an unhealthy rate- let your RDN teach you the difference.
3. Reduce risk factors for a variety of chronic diseases and/or help manage current health conditions. These include but are not limited to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, prediabetes and diabetes, anemia, just to name a few. It is amazing the effect a good diet can have on managing these conditions.
4. Provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary to help you follow a meal plan that meets your individualized needs.
So take a step towards preventive health and contact a RDN! To find one in your locale, visit www.eatright.org and click on “Find a Registered Dietitian” at the top right-hand corner.

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is the author of the widely-acclaimed book The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012).  Lisa is a specialist in weight management and diabetes for teens and adults. She is the Founder of Lisa Stollman Nutrition with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Contact Lisa at eatwellrd@yahoo.com or for more info: www.lisastollmanrd.com. Look for her new e-book The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad later this spring.

Take 6 for Heart Health

valentine_heart_29-1979pxFebruary is American Heart Month. Most of us have heard that heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans for both men and women alike. Unfortunately these types of statistics tend to fall on deaf ears. Our health is often taken for granted until it is threatened and our natural way of thinking is: “it won’t happen to me.” Heart disease is a chronic disease that develops over years, so living a healthy lifestyle plays a critical role in prevention.  Show some love for your heart! In honor of American Heart Month, I encourage you to “Take 6 for Heart Health.”

1. Exercise

A sedentary lifestyle is one of the 5 risk factors for heart disease. The benefits of exercise are extensive and don’t fall anywhere short when it comes to heart health. For one, exercise helps prevent endothelial dysfunction and reduces inflammation- two factors that can contribute to heart disease. Exercise assists with weight loss and has an overall blood pressure lowering effect, reducing another risk factor. Exercise also helps increase HDL, the protective cholesterol, reduces risk for diabetes and assists with blood sugar control for those who are either prediabetic or diabetic. Prediabetes and diabetes are both major risk factors for heart disease. Aim to get at least 30 minutes (60 minutes is ideal!) of moderate exercise most days of the week.

2. Stop Smoking

It is no secret smoking is an unhealthy behavior but did you know smoking is also one of the 5 risk factors for the development of heart disease? Smoking leads to alterations in endothelial function; it hinders the ability of the arteries to fully dilate and increases blood pressure which is also a major risk factor for heart disease. So take effort to stop smoking for your health.

3. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fats

Omega-3s help to reduce inflammation, stabilize heart rate, reduce blood pressure and possibly reduce risk for depression. Additionally, these fats are protective for bone metabolism and the brain. Diets with higher amounts of these fats are associated with reduced risk for dementia and cognitive decline. Excellent sources of omega-3 fats are found in fish and plants. The richest sources of omega-3s in the form of DHA/EPA are wild caught salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout and herring. Most fish will provide some omega-3 fats but these contain the most. Walnuts, avocados, ground flaxseed, chia seeds and soy are also rich plant sources of omega-3 fats in the form of ALA.  The plant sources also provide plant protein, fiber and are packed with nutrition. Try to get at least one good source of omega-3 fats in your diet every day.

4. Cut out candy, soda, cakes and added sugar

Cutting out simple sugars is a way to increase HDL, the good protective cholesterol, and decrease inflammation. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a serving of fresh fruit or a small portion (1.5 ounces)  of dark chocolate instead. Think red fruit for heart health. Fruits rich in the color red contain a high amount of the compound anthocyanin. This compound has been shown to reduce inflammation, a marker for heart disease, and is a rich source of natural antioxidants. These fruits also contain a lower glycemic index which is helpful in reducing waist circumference, another risk factor for heart disease. You can easily add these fruits to your morning oatmeal, cereal, salads or side dishes. Choose dried, fresh or frozen without added sugar. Dark chocolate is also good for your heart, but do you know why? Cocoa is rich in phytonutrients (“phyto” meaning plant in Greek), particularly flavonoids. These chemicals, although not essential for keeping us alive, have been shown to strengthen the body and ward off disease. Flavonoids act as antioxidants, improve blood flow, and reduce blood pressure and the possibility of plaque build-up. Look for dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa.

5. Embrace Meatless Monday

Decreasing your red meat intake is an excellent way to protect not only your heart, but your overall health. Eating less red meat (which includes beef, lamb, pork and veal) has been shown to significantly reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes and several types of cancer. Red meat is high in saturated fat, a dietary precursor for heart disease. If you find that you are eating red meat most days of the week, start by eliminating red meat on Mondays. You can find recipes for great meatless meals at Meatless Monday and Vegetarian Times. Excellent plant sources of protein include tofu, edamame, quinoa, beans and nuts. Once you see how delicious meatless meals can be, you may be motivated to include meatless dishes on a regular basis.

6. Replace refined grains (white) with whole grains

Instead of white bread choose whole grain, instead of white rice choose black, brown or wild rice, instead of highly processed cereals choose oats, barley, etc…you get the point. Whole grains are less processed and contain fiber. Including fiber in your diet helps to lower cholesterol and high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. Soluble fiber in particular binds to cholesterol, lowering overall cholesterol in the blood. Fiber also aids in digestion and assists with weight loss by keeping you feeling full longer post-meal. Furthermore, whole grains contain antioxidants, B vitamins and magnesium, all good for heart health.

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is the author of the widely-acclaimed book The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012).  Lisa is a specialist in weight management and diabetes for teens and adults. She is in private practice with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Contact Lisa at eatwellrd@yahoo.com or for more info: www.lisastollmanrd.com. Look for her new e-book The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad later this spring.

Four Tips to Prevent the Flu

Citrus_paradisi_(Grapefruit,_pink)Flu season is here! Why wait until it creeps up on you when you can follow some key strategies to help avoid it. Here are tried and true tips for staying healthy and beating the nasty flu. To your health!

1. Eat foods that boost your immunity. Foods that will help keep the flu away include almonds, mushrooms, fruits high in vitamin C such as strawberries, tomatoes, oranges and grapefruits, fermented foods such as yogurt with live cultures, kimchi or miso, green tea and garlic. Include at least a few of these foods in your daily diet. At breakfast enjoy an orange or a small pink grapefruit along with your cereal or yogurt. At lunch try an almond butter sandwich with a cup of green tea. At dinner a grilled portobello mushroom burger or a bowl of steamy mushroom soup are two great ways to wind down your day.

2. Get enough zzz’s! Sleep impacts your immunity so don’t try to cut your sleep time short. Teens need 9 to 10 hours of sleep daily while adults can manage well with 7 to 8. Just like you would put work and the gym on your daily schedule, don’t forget to pencil in sleep!

3. Exercise! a good workout will reduce your chances of getting sick. Aim to exercise at least five times per week. If you can’t get to the gym, workout with a DVD or grab your pedometer (aim for 10,000 steps per day) along with your dog and go for a walk.

4. Wash your hands. Keep germs at bay by washing your hands frequently throughout the day.

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is the author of the widely-acclaimed book The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012).  Lisa is a specialist in weight management and diabetes for teens and adults. She is in private practice with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Contact Lisa at eatwellrd@yahoo.com or for more info: www.lisastollmanrd.com. Look for her new e-book The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad later this spring.