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Living a healthy lifestyle is central to maintaining wellness throughout your lifetime. In fact, healthy habits not only help you to feel good and manage illness today, they can also help prevent future disease. There are many behaviors that influence your health - what you eat, how you sleep, if you smoke, how active you are, how you manage stress - to name just a few. You can improve your quality of life by making simple, positive changes to your daily routine.
Where to start?
We've collected useful facts and tips to inform, motivate and support steps towards a healthier lifestyle. Remember, small changes are powerful. Start today!
With August as National Peach Month, lets celebrate by putting the spotlight on this delicious summer fruit. Despite being known as very juicy and sweet, peaches are loaded with nutrients, and can satisfy your sweet tooth without forgoing your healthy diet!
Low in fat and calories, this fuzzy fruit is packed with fiber and vitamins and minerals. Peaches are full of antioxidants, notably vitamin C, and other minerals including iron and potassium. Potassium is essential in regulating blood pressure and electrolyte levels, which become even more important to monitor with excess sweat or water loss during the hot summer months!
Peaches are available year round, but are especially fresh during the summer harvest! Find them at your local farmers markets and enjoy their naturally sweet, decadent aroma. When choosing the most delicious peach, opt for a firm fruit with a rich orange color and slightly white ‘bloom’ on the surface, indicating freshness.
After rinsing in cold water, enjoy a large, juicy bite or pre-slice this fruit as an easy ‘on-the-go’ snack. Also enjoy peaches as part of a low-glycemic snack paired with a protein, such as a nut butter or crumbled feta cheese. This sweet fruit is a great complement to summer desserts, and filled with natural sugars, can be prepared simply grilled or used to make the perfect, sweet summer jams!
With hot, humid weather upon us, cold treats including ice cream, frozen yogurts, and ices, are often a 'go to' to hit the spot! With these tips, cool down this summer without filling out!
One serving of ice cream, which is generally only half cup, is packed with heaps of sugar that promote inflammation within the body. Put your health first and choose wisely by following these tips!
- Check the Nutrition Facts label. Opt for frozen desserts with LESS than 2.5 grams of saturated fat per serving.
- Beware of portion size! Use caution when visiting your local ice cream shop and indulge in moderation. Scoop sizes may vary and can end up at double or triple the recommended serving size!
By opting for sweet treats with a natural fruit base, let the fiber and natural sugars fill up your stomach without filling out your waistline!
There are plenty of healthy, sweet alternatives to sugar-laden ice cream and frozen yogurt...
- Make your own smoothie, with three simple ingredients. Blend your favorite fresh or frozen fruit with low- or non-fat milk of your choice and a scoop of protein powder! This creamy and delicious treat will satisfy your sweet tooth, excluding excess sugar and fat!
- Consider sherbets and ice pops, which have less milk-fat, and are loaded with frozen fruit! If you are looking for frozen treats with minimal sugar, opt for no sugar added ice pops that come in a variety of flavors, or 100 calorie bars as great options.
- Looking to channel your creative side? Give these cost effective, 'do it yourself' options a try! Pour natural fruit juices in ice trays or plastic cups, and place in your freezer until frozen solid.
- Have excess fresh fruit around? Throw any fruit in your freezer to keep them delicious and safe for longer and enjoy on a scorching summer day.
- Try adding frozen fruits to a portion of Greek yogurt for a healthy combination of fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals!
These cool treats contain over half the amount of fat and calories of ice cream per serving, and are guaranteed to cool you off this summer without filling you out!
Don't let summertime activities sabotage your healthy diet!
Family outings, such as picnics, can be a great activity during the summer months! Make sure to keep the food safe by following temperature guidelines, and storing hot food warm and cold food chilled until ready to eat.
Make this an opportunity to indulge in this summertime fruit! Check out your local farmers market for healthy, seasonal options. Watermelon, a picnic 'classic', is an excellent source of lycopene, an antioxidant that may help prevent some cancers. This fruit is naturally fat-free, low in calories, and nearly 90% water, which will help to increase your fluid and electrolyte intake.
Lemonade and iced tea are summertime favorites but can be loaded with both calories and sugar. A single cup serving (8 oz) of iced tea can have as many as 100 calories and 24 grams of sugar. Instead, opt for freshly brewed iced teas or homemade lemonade with small amounts of added sugar. If you are looking for a refreshing, hydrating drink, simply slice up a cucumber or citrus fruit and let it sit in a pitcher of water overnight!
Whole grains are key to a healthy diet. People who need to consume a gluten-free diet can still eat whole grains. Opt for brown rice, whole grain corn, sorghum, millet, quinoa, and amaranth as the perfect complement to the grilled protein of your choice!
With the summer nearing an end and another school year upon us, prep for a healthy fall with these snacking tips!
Snacking tends to get itself a bad reputation, especially if highly processed and full of added fat, salt, and sugar. Opt for these healthy snacks for optimal cognition and focus throughout your busy day, and maintaining your blood sugar and energy levels!
These tips are ideal to be enjoyed on the go! Prep some for yourself and for your children. Doing this weekly activity together can be a great use of time spent together, and delight kids with feeling proud of making their own delicious, healthy snacks!
Consider some simple steps to have yourself a tasty, crunchy, wholesome treats:
- Nuts – Look for raw or roasted nuts with no salt or oils added. Consider peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, and pistachios as all great choices. These plant-based protein snacks are loaded with heart-healthy unsaturated fats, and will keep you and your child feeling satiated between meals!
- Seeds – A great nutritional addition (or a substitute for nuts if your child’s school is a nut-free zone), seeds can add some fun texture and help to bump up the protein, iron, and magnesium in your mix. Seek out seeds that are raw and unsalted, keeping unnecessary additives low. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are awesome options, or consider sesame seeds, flax seeds, and hemp seeds for a change!
- Dried fruit – Opting for high-quality dried fruit is key. When the fruit gets dried in processing and the water is removed, you’re left with a little, deliciously rich source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. Some brands, though, coat this healthy treat with added sugar and preservatives. Look for something that’s unsweetened and unsulfured and enjoy in moderation! Some great choices are dried apples, raisins, cranberries, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, goji berries, apricots, dates, figs, banana chips, mango, and pineapple bits.
- Extras – Here is where you can really make your mix unique. Spices, grains, and sweet snacks can add some fun flavors and textures to keep your child (and you) coming back for more. Place your ingredients in a plastic bag or tupperware, throw in some spices, and shake for that added boost of flavor!
- Spices: Decide if you want to go sweet or savory and then have fun combining some of the following: sea salt, chili powder, curry powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, and cardamom.
- Grains: Reach for whole grains that are minimally processed for some extra crunch and fiber: Pretzels, popcorn, granolas, whole-grain cereals, and puffed rice are all great choices.
- Sweets: Add sweet snacks sparingly to keep your snack healthy. Chocolate chips, cacao nibs, chocolate or yogurt-covered raisins, M&Ms, mini marshmallows, and coconut flakes are all delicious.
What will the dietitian and I talk about during a nutrition assessment?
What is Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT)?