Showing posts with label nutritionist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nutritionist. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Your Body is a Garden

By Marissa Winters, MA, RDN
Integrative Nutritionist

Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade” ~ Rudyard Kipling

The body is often described as a machine. We say the heart is a pump; the kidneys and liver are filters. If a part wears out, for example, a knee or a hips, we replace it. The mechanistic point of view sees each of us as made of individual units. Many of us take an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach, waiting until a health challenge arises before we consider adjusting our diet or activity.
This perspective does us a disservice. We are not machines. We are more like gardens.  Gardens are composed of different parts, all with their function, but all contributing to the health of the whole.  If a part of the garden is out of synch, the whole garden is affected. If the soil is missing nutrients, the plants are unable to reach their full beauty. Gardeners know that keeping the components of the garden in balance supports the whole system. Sometimes things must be added; sometimes things must be pruned away. But always, the whole garden is considered.

Gardens also operate within the cycles of nature. There are times to prepare the ground, and times to trim back the bushes. No garden could thrive if it tried to do every part of the cycle at the same time. Being aware of what part of the cycle you are in can help focus your attention and actions to have the best result with the least effort.

The benefits of working with an integrative health practitioner is the broader focus on all critical aspects of your life – mind, body, and spirit. Integrative practitioners help you see what is supporting and what is undermining you, and the team works with you to drill down to the root cause, not just manage symptoms.

Now is the time to start working on the garden that is your life.  How will you nurture yourself? What will you do to care for your garden? Be realistic; be honest with what you are able to implement within the boundaries of your other responsibilities. What things do you want to encourage to take root? What things need to be curtailed? This is your garden, you get to decide what you want to grow. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Managing Resistance to Change

By Marissa Winters, MA, RDN
Integrative Nutritionist

“What you resist, persists” -Ancient Wisdom Tradition proverb

Change can be hard, really hard. Even when you are very motivated, it can be difficult to stop doing those things you do that keep you stuck. Here are some strategies which can help when your inner saboteur comes out:

1. Remember change is a process. It is learning and practicing new responses to the same old conditions and circumstances.

2.  Shift your focus. Instead of telling your “story”, become an observer. What is really going on here? For example, if you decide you want a brownie even though you have committed to avoiding sugar in your goal of living a healthier life, say so. What is going on is,I want a brownie. It’s not that I have no willpower, and this always happens, and I was so motivated and now there’s this brownie! Instead, stop, take a breath, observe what is happening, and then, proceed. Put some distance between yourself and your trigger. This may require stepping away from the situation for a brief time.

3. Remind yourself of the value or feeling you are bringing into your life. “I want to have more energy,” or “I want to feel confident in my clothes”. Now you have a benchmark against which to measure if the action you are considering will bring you closer to your desires.

4. Ride the urge. When faced with a craving, it is easy to forget that like all things, cravings end. When you’re in the ocean, and a big wave comes at you, what do you do? If you stand your ground, you’re likely to get knocked around.

Instead, you go under the wave and let the rough surf pass over. When faced with a craving, simply notice the sensations you are feeling. You may feel uncomfortable, but you don’t need to do anything. It will pass. Cravings crest, just like waves, and then subside, just like waves.

This is more effective than trying to use your willpower to fight the urge. Some research indicates we have the equivalent of about 15 minutes worth of willpower, and the more it’s challenged, the faster it wears down. Resistance is not an effective strategy. Instead, take a pause, honestly state what you are feeling, and remind yourself of your goals. These steps allow you to take action, rather than react to challenging situations.

Our team in the Integrative Health & Medicine practice can support you with tools and techniques to keep you heading in the direction you really want to go. Call 732-994-7855 to make an appointment with me directly!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Tell Me What You Eat and I Will Tell You Who You Are

By Mary Brighton, M.S., RDN
Integrative Nutritionist 

You have probably heard the adage “You are what you eat,” but did you know this proverb came from France? In 1825, the French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin published this now celebrated quote in his masterpiece book Physiology of Taste: “Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es” which translates to "Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are." The French still take their food seriously and this “you are what you eat” theme still holds true today, in France, in America and worldwide.

What you may not know is that how you eat has an influence on your health. Mr. Brillat-Savarin knew this too, and if you delve into his “meal process adds to life’s happiness” attitude you will see trends that we incorporate here at Hackensack Meridian Integrative Health & Medicine. Mindful thinking and eating, living with a purpose, and life enjoyment are interrelated with food and meals. What better way to feel part of a social relationship than sharing a meal around a table? And is there nothing better to wind down from a busy day than enjoying a home-cooked meal? The meal process is as important as what foods you put into your body. Eating mindfully and with pleasure can help your whole body and overall health.

Here are a few ideas to add mindfulness around your meals: turn off screens, sit around a table, light a candle and dim the lights. Take a moment to feel gratitude for the positive parts of your day and sip and savor your dishes. Even the simplest foods can be pleasurable if we have a mindful attitude. Enjoy the meal process, just as Mr. Brillant-Savarin said, "The pleasure of the table belongs to all ages, to all conditions, to all countries, and to all areas; it mingles with all other pleasures, and remains at last to console us for their departure.”

To learn more about nutrition and our Five Pillars of Health & Wellness, contact me at 732.994.7855 or visit our website at

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

An Integrative Approach to Clean Eating - Part 3

By Nicole Cerillo, RD, LDN
Integrative Medicine Nutritionist 

The last few nutrition posts have been all about clean eating and making the commitment and New Year’s resolution to eat clean for 21 days. If you missed any of these posts you can find them here - An Integrative Approach to Clean Eating - Part 2 and Committing to Clean Eating.

Now that you have read through the introduction and the guidelines, I am sure you are thinking something like, "this sounds great—but what do I eat!?"

To keep it super simple, just eat FOOD! A whole lot of real food! Eat fresh and organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, wild fish, dairy, meats, oils, and whole (unprocessed) grains…that’s it! Let’s look into each group in more detail.

Non-Starchy Vegetables
Vegetables are your main source of nutrient dense vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Shoot for 6 cups of non-starchy vegetables each day. Non-starchy vegetables include mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, onions, kale, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, cucumbers, etc.

Starchy Vegetables & Legumes
Starchy vegetables are also nutrient dense and are high in fiber. Include 1 or 2 servings per day (1 serving = 1/2 cup) of starchy vegetables such as pumpkin, summer and winter squash, red or white potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, peas, beans, and lentils, which also count as a starch.

Fruits contain a high amount of antioxidants due to their bright colors and deep pigments which scavenge free radicals and can prevent against many types of cancer. Aim for 1 to 2 servings of fruits per day (1 serving = 1/2 cup berries, 1 medium apple or orange, half a grapefruit, 1 kiwi, 1 small banana, etc.)

Limit any processed dairy and switch to grass-fed butter, ghee, and unsweetened nut and seed milks (such as almond, cashew, hemp, flax, coconut, and hazelnut).

Enjoy grass-fed, organic, sustainable raised lamb, beef, bison, venison, organic chicken, duck, turkey, and pasture-raised eggs.

Fish & Seafood
Eat wild fatty fish such as sardines, mackerel, herring, black cod, and wild salmon. Shellfish, including clams, oysters, mussels, wild shrimp and scallops, and crab should be enjoyed in moderation. Avoid farm raised fish and fish high in mercury.

Nuts & Seeds
Include nuts such as almonds, macadamia, cashews, walnuts, coconut, pecans, and Brazil nuts. Include seeds such as hemp, chia, pumpkin, sesame, and flax. Nut and seed butters are also great options as long as they don’t contain added sugars or refined vegetable oils. Include 2 to 3 servings of nuts and seeds per day (1 servings = ¼ cup seeds, 1 ounce or about 22 almonds or walnuts, and 1 TBSP nut butter).

Whole Grains
Whole grains are complex carbohydrates that have abundant fiber and nutrients. Include gluten-free whole grains in moderation such as organic jasmine rice, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, arrowroot, and oats in their pure and unprocessed form.

Good Fats & Oils
Include healthy fats such as avocado, pure 85% organic dark chocolate, and olives. Increase consumption of healthy oils such as organic virgin cold-pressed unrefined coconut oil, organic extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil, MCT oil, organic flax seed oil, organic expeller-pressed refined avocado oil, walnut oil, pumpkin seed oil, pistachio oil, and hemp oil. Aim for 1 to 2 servings per meal of healthy fats (1 serving = 1 TBSP oil, ¼ avocado, 1 ounce or 1 small square dark chocolate, and 8-10 olives).
*Portion and serving sizes may vary depending on specific body composition, energy needs, and your goals. If you have specific health goals, please make an appointment for optimal results.