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Nutrition Services Blog

  • By: Maria Manunta, MS, RDN, CDCES, CDN, CHC
    Registered Dietitian / Nutritionist

    As March unfolds, we enthusiastically welcome National Nutrition Month, a time dedicated to savoring the joy of mindful eating and its profound impact on our health. This year, the theme for National Nutrition Month is "Beyond the Table," inviting us to explore the broader impact of our dietary choices on our well-being and the world around us. This annual celebration is not just about learning but also about embracing healthier lifestyles with a sense of excitement. Let's unite to celebrate the beauty of nourishing our bodies, minds, and souls through good nutrition.

    The theme invites us to reflect on how our nutritional decisions affect our health and have broader implications for the environment, sustainability, and community well-being.

    Celebrating Nutrition Month is an invitation to savor the joy of eating well. It explores the vibrant colors, flavors, and textures that wholesome foods bring to our plates. By choosing nourishing options, we fuel our bodies and embark on a journey of self-care and liveliness.

    "Beyond the Table" encourages us to appreciate the diversity of diets worldwide. Whether exploring plant-based cuisines, traditional recipes passed down through generations, or the latest culinary trends, this month provides an excellent opportunity to broaden our culinary horizons and discover the richness of global nutrition.

    Nutrition is a journey we all share, and this month is a perfect time to strengthen the bonds within our community. We invite everyone to participate in events promoting healthy living, such as group fitness activities, community cooking classes, and friendly nutritional challenges. Together, we can create a supportive environment that fosters positive habits and a sense of belonging.

    As we celebrate Nutrition Month, let's empower ourselves with positive and achievable intentions for our well-being. Whether incorporating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, or being mindful of portion sizes, these small changes can significantly improve our health and vitality. By setting realistic goals, we pave the way for sustainable habits and feel motivated to continue our journey beyond this month-long celebration.

    Through a collaborative approach, individuals can work with healthcare professionals to develop personalized nutritional plans that align with their health goals. Together, let us embrace the power of nutritional wellness to enrich our lives and navigate toward a healthier, happier future.

    Celebrating Nutrition Month is a collective acknowledgment of the profound impact that conscious eating has on our lives. It reminds us that every meal is an opportunity to nourish our bodies, support our health, and indulge in the pleasure of good food. Let's embark on this journey together, celebrating the art of nourishing lives and fostering a culture of well-being extending far beyond March. Here's to a month of joyful, mindful, and delicious celebrations of nutrition!

  • Back to school means back to busy schedules, and when we’re busy we need lunch ideas that are easy and convenient. Often healthy eating goes by the wayside, replaced by fast food. With minimal planning, eating healthy can be easy. And when we eat better, we feel better! Eating a well-balanced lunch helps pave the way for the rest of the day and also helps overcome that midday slump. Having a good balance of complex carbohydrates, protein, and good fat brings greater satisfaction and more energy. Things to keep in mind for kids include awareness of food allergies, knowing which foods they are more likely to eat, and choosing non-perishables for field trips. When packing your own lunches, consider whether your office has refrigeration, microwave, or toaster oven.

    The following are some basic lunchbox basics.

    • In addition to lean meats, alternative healthy proteins include hardboiled eggs, tuna fish, Greek or regular yogurt, nut butters, nuts and seeds, cheese, edamame, meat alternatives (seitan, tempeh), and veggie burgers. 
    • Vegetables are nutritious and loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Add celery or tomatoes to your chicken salad, load your wrap with spinach and sprouts, or add roasted cauliflower, fennel, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, or broccoli to salads, grains, or sandwiches. Brined raw vegetables are delicious with a dip, but limit to 2 Tbsp as they can be high in calories.
    • Fruits help satisfy your sweet tooth, and vegetables can help meet 20% of your hydration needs. Be creative and try something different; star fruit, papaya, mango, dragon fruit and Asian pears can help add variety and be fun to eat. 
    • Add whole grains crackers, wraps, or bread for a healthier carbohydrate. Quinoa, barley, brown or wild rice, and farro are great ways to incorporate healthy complex carbohydrates into your day. When reading food labels, aim for 3 grams of fiber or more per serving. 
    • Fats are essential and will keep you satisfied. Use an olive oil mayonnaise on your sandwich or try dipping vegetables in hummus or guacamole. Avocado is a great in wraps, salads, or spread on whole grain crackers. Nuts and seeds are not only a good source of protein, but also good fats. 
    • Treat yourself to a small piece of dark chocolate, cocoa dusted almonds, or whole grain cookie, once or twice a week. Remember, these don’t need to be included daily.
    • Don’t forget to bring water! Flavor it with cucumbers and mint; lemons, limes or oranges; or even apples and cinnamon to change it up. 
    • Have fun, enjoy planning, and involve the whole family in the shopping and preparation. 

    Kelly Cardamone, MS, RDN, CDCES, CDN, IFNCP, is a Nutrition and Diabetes Program Manager, practicing at General Physician, P.C. She sees patients at 3980A Sheridan Drive, Suite 200 in Amherst, 1091 Main Street, Suite 301 in Buffalo, and 705 Maple Road, Suite 300 in Williamsville. For nutritional counseling appointments or more information, call 716-631-8400.

  • The Summer season is finally here! While many people have been emotional and stress-eating, as well as skipping physical activity during COVID-19, warm weather, sunshine, and fresh produce of the season offer you the perfect opportunity to make positive, healthy lifestyle changes.  

    Now is the perfect time to retrain your body and taste buds, particularly if you have been munching on sweets and snack foods like chips or pretzels over the last few months. Take advantage of the abundance of in-season fruits and vegetables, aiming for 1-2 pieces of fruit and at least 2-3 cups of vegetables a day. Fruit is a naturally sweet snack that comes with unique health benefits and phytonutrients. This time of year, WNY farms are brimming with U-pick strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. The summer months also boast an abundance and variety of homegrown vegetables. Try incorporating 2-3 vegetarian dinners a week. Not only is it a good way to take advantage of fresh produce, but it is an easy, healthier, and less expensive meal to prepare.  

    To help keep your weight, blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, and overall health in check, get out and walk! Even 15-20 minutes a day can make a big difference. Whether you are walking or participating in another outdoor activity you love, try to go early in the morning or in the evening to prevent overheating and avoid prime time sun exposure. Getting outside can also boost your mood and vitamin D levels adding additional health benefits. 

    Hitting the great outdoors has many health benefits, but it is essential to stay hydrated to keep your body functioning optimally. Aim for 48-64 oz of water every day. If you are active, your intake of water needs to increase. The rule of thumb is for every pound lost by sweating drink an extra 16 oz of water. 

    Decide today that the changes you make this summer will last all year. Write them down, use an app, find someone or something to make you accountable! Most of all, get outside, move your body and enjoy all that summer has to offer.

  • By: Julie Baudo, RDN, CDCES, CDN
    Registered Dietitian

    Our kidneys play a vital role in protecting our overall health. These bean-shaped organs perform many essential functions, including filtering blood, regulating fluid and blood pressure, activating vitamin D for healthy bones, removing waste products from the blood, and helping make red blood cells. A fun fact about these amazing organs is that they filter about 200 gallons of blood daily to create 1-2 quarts of urine!  When the kidneys are not working well, they don't filter blood properly, which means harmful substances can accumulate in the blood. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 15% of adults have chronic kidney disease (CKD), or roughly 37 million people, and many don't realize they have it. The leading causes of kidney disease are high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. Common symptoms of kidney disease include swelling of hands, face and feet, foamy urine, puffy eyes, increased thirst, and fatigue. The good news is that changing our lifestyle can prevent or slow the progression of kidney disease.

    Dietary changes can greatly impact kidney health, giving you the power to protect your kidneys. See below for some important and easy ways to help maintain kidney health.

    1. Reduce sodium. Eat less salty snacks, limit convenience foods and prepare more homemade meals.

    2. Incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet. Diets high in animal proteins from red meat may harm the kidneys. Plant-based foods like dried beans, nuts, seeds, tofu, and vegetables can protect your kidneys and provide excellent nutrition and fiber.

    3. Drink more water! Proper hydration keeps your kidneys working efficiently. Sugary drinks like specialty coffees and energy drinks are both high in calories and sugar, so make water your main drink of choice.

    4. Consider following the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. The diet is designed to help lower blood pressure. It is rich in fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, fish, and poultry. In addition, the diet is low in salt, added sugars, and red meats.

    A  registered dietitian, your trusted guide, can help develop an eating and exercise plan that considers individual food preferences, lifestyle, level of physical activity and special needs to help accomplish disease management goals. The dietitian's goal for their patients is to enhance their quality of life while protecting their kidney function. Discuss this with your physician and ask for a referral!



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