Advice for avoiding a spring break diet disaster

A vacation doesn't have to derail your healthy eating habits. Photo credit: Brobible.com

A vacation doesn’t have to derail healthy eating habits.
Photo credit: Brobible.com

It’s Spring Break season, and with so many folks hitting the beach, there’s no better time for some smart vacation eating tips from celebrity nutritionist and dietitian Lisa DeFazio.

Sure, you can hit the gym and watch what you eat before vacation, but when your flight is delayed or you’re faced with an all-you-can-eat (and drink) option at the hotel, temptation sets in. Here, Lisa tells us how to stay on track during that next trip without wasting your pre-vacation hard work.

Kinetic Fix: Lisa, I’m good all year ’round; won’t watching what I eat on vacation take all the fun out of my trip?

Lisa DeFazio: No! It’s not about watching what you eat the entire vacation, it is about choosing when to splurge and balancing daily food choices to help you look and feel your best! You also do not want to overeat every day consuming high fat, high sugar foods, as you will have less energy to enjoy the trip, not to mention you may not feel like wearing your bikini after a high fat high sodium meal!

KF: Ok, so say I’ve got an unexpected flight delay and will be stuck eating a meal the airport; what do I do?

LD: Many airports have better choices now, like sandwiches with fruit or a grilled chicken salad, but it’s always a good idea to pack some snacks in your carry-on to be sure you don’t end up with a slice of pizza and an ice cream cone during your flight delay. I recommend Special K Popcorn Chips [DeFazio has partnered with the brand to offer guilt-free snacking options] — with 120 calories per serving of 28 chips, this guilt-free snack is perfect to munch on at the gate.

KF: What’s the best approach if I’m on a cruise with that infamous all-you-can-eat buffet?

LD: First, look over the entire buffet to see what your choices are. Fill half your plate with salad, vegetables and fruit, choose lean grilled or baked chicken or fish, and rice pilaf or baked potato. Choose one splurge dish like mac and cheese or creamed spinach. Share dessert and drink water or diet soda.

KF: Easy enough. But what about the opposite – on a road trip – how can I eat healthy amid gas stations, convenience stores and diners?

LD: My gas station top picks are pretzels, yogurt, protein bars, vitamin water and nuts. At diners it’s a good idea to choose a turkey sandwich, grilled chicken sandwich, turkey burger or veggie burger and ask for fruit instead of fries.

KF: And if I’m on a budget, can I still eat out and stay healthy without breaking the bank?

LD: Go online and search for coupons at your favorite restaurants, research restaurants near you that offer better choices and compare prices. It is easier now with menus, calories and prices all online! You may be surprised that many healthier restaurants are not as expensive as you think!

KF: But if I do happen to indulge (or imbibe!) a bit more than usual, can I minimize the damage?

LD: Yes, many people have one splurge meal or day per week but just be sure you get back on track the next day. On the days before and after a splurge load up on fruits, veggies and protein, include high fiber carbs like sweet potatoes or brown rice, drink plenty of water and exercise!

KF: Finally, any quick tips on how to ease back in to healthier habits when I get home?

When you get home go to the supermarket and stock your fridge with fruits, vegetables, yogurt, lean protein and better-for-you foods! Stock the pantry with smart snacks like Special K Popcorn Chips, which pair nicely with protein-packed hummus or zesty salsa. Walking and drinking plenty of water will get you back into your routine. Take it slow, and do what you can!

10 hot nutrition trends for spring

strrawberry-stand_large_eatrightdotorg

Spring is a great time to kick-start healthy eating habits.
Photo credit: EatRight.org

We wrote previously about tips for spring cleaning your workout routine, but that’s only half the equation for healthy living; feeling (and looking!) good requires a balanced diet in addition to regularly moving your body.

So for some ‘food for thought,’ below are 10 of the most buzz-worthy nutrition trends for spring, care of the folks at Western Athletic Clubs.

1. The Paleo Diet means eating only what people did in Paleolithic times, including a whole-food diet of fruits and vegetables, animal proteins, nuts and seeds – but no processed foods, dairy or gluten

2. Hunting/Foraging is for those who want to know exactly where their food comes from (the farm, soil, etc.) and can take the form of gardening, preserving, hunting and more

3. Acidic/Alkaline nutrition opts for a less acidic diet by maintaining a neutral pH level of 7.4. This is achieved by increasing vegetable intake and decreasing processed sugars

4. Coconut Oil is a saturated fat with properties, such lauric acids, that aid in digestion and in the protection of the body against fungus and bacterial infections

5. Coconut Water is unlike coconut milk or oil in that it has no fat, few calories and is very high in potassium. Many athletes use it as a replacement for sugary sports drinks

6. A Low Inflammatory Diet eliminates certain foods that can cause inflammation of the body, affect weight, joint pain, hormones, digestion and autoimmune issues

7. The Grass-fed Beef movement means eating meat from cows that are 100 percent grass fed (no corn) because it is lower in total fat and has a high Omega-3 profile

8. Eating right for Your Digestion can help people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), for example, by decreasing sugar to limit bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine

9. A Low Fructose diet is popular with people combating weight gain, diabetes and inflammation because it eliminates high fructose corn syrup and similar processed foods

10. Finally, Gluten-Free diets eliminate gluten that’s found in wheat, barley and rye for individuals with allergies to it, as well as people who are experiencing related inflammation, poor digestion and weight gain

6 ways to spring clean your workout routine

spring-fitness

Spring is in the air, and there’s no better way to kick off a healthy start to the season than by getting some new gear, revamping your diet and freshening up that stale winter workout routine. Here are six tips to get you started.

  • Set your baseline. Only about 20 percent of Americans get an annual check-up, but it’s critical to keep tabs on things like blood pressure, cholesterol and vitamin deficiencies before diving into any new workout program.
  • Shake things up. The best way to bust out of a rut is to turn an old habit on its head; swap evening sweat sessions for early morning exercise, try playing with portioning instead of calorie counting, etc.
  • Clean out the fridge. Toss old, expired items, then keep a critical eye out for anything low in nutritional value (soda, processed meats, ice cream). And while you’re at it, raid the cupboards to rid yourself of unhealthy holiday leftovers.
  • Try a new workout. Now’s the perfect time to pick a new program that will really challenge your body and prevent plateauing. But keep it simple; if you subsist solely on cardio, add some weight training – or start a 60- or 90-day program, such as Les Mills Combat, for example.
  • Commit to a race. Adding a goal gives workouts a greater purpose than losing weight or fitting into skinny jeans. Research local road races, and start with a beginner-friendly 5K distance (see Cool Running’s Couch-to-5K program here for inspiration)
  • Get some new gear. Spring is also a great time to update your workout wardrobe. Replace worn-out items with shorts, tanks and tees in breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics. And don’t overlook sports bras, which only have a life span of about six months.