Vietnamese Spring Roll Salad

On a daily basis, I talk to clients who do not drink enough water because they simply do not enjoy the taste. A common reply I hear when asked about how much water they consume is, “when the ice melts in my drink.” Summer is here and most of us do not consider the impact the heat has on our hydration needs. So grab a glass of ice cold water and read on.

Did you know that 60% of your body is made up of water? We can conclude then, that water impacts many functions within our body. Drinking fluids serves a variety of purposes, such as eliminating waste through urine; regulating body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure; and maintaining a healthy metabolism.

This week, we invite you to evaluate your hydration habits with the provided questions below:

  • How many different sources of fluids do I consume that hydrate me?
  • Do I know how much fluid I should be drinking each day?
  • Am I able to recognize the signs and symptoms of over-hydration and dehydration?
  • Can I identify the functions within my body that water affects?
  • Am I willing to choose water over other fluids to ensure proper hydration?

Being aware of signs/symptoms of dehydration is important when trying to maintain proper nutrient balance within the body. Common signs/symptoms include dark-colored urine, salty sweat, thirst, flush skin, increase in body temperature, dizziness and rapid breathing or pulse. Take a break, check your pulse….. have you been sipping on fluids while reading this message, or water?

You may be wondering what counts toward your fluid intake. We identify it best in a liquid form, but hydration can also be found within the foods we eat. The proportion of water that comes from beverages and food varies with the proportion of fruits and vegetables in the diet. According to USDA National Nutrient Database, the water content for selected foods was as follows: water at 100%; melon, cabbage, celery, lettuce at 90-99%; fruit, cooked broccoli at 80-89%; avocados, cottage cheese, baked potato, shrimp at 70-79%.

Salads, while hydrating as they are, happen to be left as forethought or a side dish for most people. We would like to show you how to hydrate with food and, in fact, make salad the shining star. Our recipe this week is inspired by the ingredients found in Vietnamese spring rolls and the fresh explosion of flavors that they offer. This Vietnamese Spring Roll Salad is designed to be an all in one entrée, perfectly orchestrated to include starch, fruit, protein, and fat needs.

Vietnamese Spring Roll Salad
Type: Entree
Prep Time:  15 mins
Total Time:  15 mins
Serves: 4
  • • 4 ounces vermicelli rice noodles, cooked as directed on package
  • • 2 cups skinless cold rotisserie chicken breast—shredded
  • • 2 cups Boston lettuce, torn
  • • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • • 2 green onions, sliced
  • • 1 cup fresh papaya, cubed
  • • ¼ cup basil, torn
  • • ¼ cup cilantro, torn
  • • ¼ cup mint, torn
  • • ¼ cup unsalted, dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • • 1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced
  • • ½ teaspoon oil
  • • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • • 1 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • • ¼ cup water
  • • ½ teaspoon fish sauce or low-sodium soy sauce
  • • ½ teaspoon brown sugar
  • • 1 fresh lime, juiced
  • • 1 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce
  1. Assemble the salad, toss in dressing and enjoy.
  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until it thickens, about 2 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 390 Fat: 12g Carbohydrates: 44g Sodium: 200mg Fiber: 5g Protein: 30g Cholesterol: 60mg
For more on Jan Tilley, check out her website at
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Eat Smart with Jan Tilley

We are so pleased to announce our newest guest blogger Jan Tilley, MS RD LD. Jan will be contributing her vast food and nutrition knowledge to our new Eat Smart with Jan Tilley. We send these messages to help you and your family make healthy food choices over the weekend and beyond. With Jan’s help, we will now include easy-to-follow and delicious recipes that anyone can implement. Jan’s advice extends beyond the kitchen to helpful blogs on topics like resisting your sweet tooth to taking charge of your taste buds to getting more vitamins and nutrients into your diet.

“Combining Jan Tilley’s nutrition knowledge with our wellness solution was an obvious choice,” stated Sam Rosario, Vice President of Sales at Walkingspree. “We share the same mission of providing a lasting solution to create good health; it’s as simple as that. Jan Tilley’s reputation and experience is unparalleled and partnering with her takes our healthy eating advice to the next level.”

Jan Tilley is a highly respected clinician, nutrition expert, corporate health and wellness expert and motivational speaker. She is a national leader in nutrition consulting, dietary wellness and medical nutrition therapy. Jan holds a MS in Nutrition and has over 20 years of experience in the food and nutrition industry. She enjoys speaking to a broad audience of clients on finding motivation to make small changes that bring BIG results in creating good health.

Jan’s latest cookbook Healthy Meals for Hurried Families offers recipes that are quick, simple and satisfying. In addition, she authored Getting Your Second Wind inspiring a path to wellness through physical activity and healthy eating. Getting Your Second Wind has encouraged thousands of individuals and given them a fresh start toward creating a positive attitude and balanced lifestyle.

For more on Jan Tilley, check out her website at

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Exercise Motivation: 6 Tips You’ve Never Heard Of

The most popular day to exercise is “tomorrow.”

To pump up your motivation, we know the classic tips: find a workout partner so you’re accountable, make your intentions known so you feel social pressure, set a deadline like running a 5K or your 20th reunion. Now, it’s not to say that these tips don’t work. They do. It’s just that we’ve heard them before.

So how about six tips you’ve never heard of? For all of us whose favorite curls are the cheese kind, here are six ways to get a running start.

Tip #1: Remember a good exercise experience.
A brand-new, 2014 study found that you can use memory to enhance motivation. Study participants who described a positive exercise memory were not only more motivated to exercise, they actually exercised more over the next week than those who weren’t prompted to remember. So stash your medal from the 5K when you ran your personal record with your exercise clothes, pack your power walking playlist with songs from the wedding where you danced all night, or tape a picture of the view from the summit of your favorite hike next to your boots. The good memories may pave the way to a good sweat.

Tip #2: Don’t aim to “exercise;” instead, play a sport.
A 2005 study found that when participants were asked about reasons for playing a sport, they thought of intrinsic reasons, like enjoyment and challenge. Reasons to “exercise,” however, were extrinsic and focused on things like appearance, weight, and stress management.

Psychology 101 will tell you that intrinsic motivation makes you more likely to start and stick with a new habit. So sign up for softball, join the masters’ swim team, play ultimate Frisbee, or simply tweak your mindset: your Saturday afternoon bike ride suddenly becomes the sport of cycling.

Tip #3: Don’t work out next to the fittest person at the gym.
A creative 2007 study examined how your fellow gym-goers affect your workout. Researchers hung out around the lateral pull-down machine at a college gym. When a woman started using it, a super-fit female confederate started using the next machine over. Half the time, she wore a tank top and shorts. The other half of the time, she wore pants with extra thigh padding and a baggy sweatshirt. In a third control condition, the confederate didn’t work out at all.

What happened? Women working out next to the tank top used their machine for a shorter amount of time than the other two conditions. And, when researchers later approached and asked women to take a short survey, they reported lower body satisfaction. By contrast, women working out next to the baggy sweatshirt exercised longer and didn’t suffer the same hit to body image.

What does this mean for women? Run on a treadmill behind a 19-year-old in size 0 booty shorts and you’ll probably leave sooner and feel bad about yourself. Run on a treadmill behind an average-looking person and you’ll likely leave after a good workout with your body image intact.

Tip #4: Don’t motivate yourself by thinking about your muffin top or flabby abs.
Yes, you heard that right. Both men and women often motivate themselves to exercise by thinking about their appearance. But it turns out this approach backfires.

A 2014 study found that frequent exercise goes along with a positive body image, which was defined as appreciating one’s body, focusing on how it feels, and being satisfied with what it can do. Makes sense so far. But, for gym bunnies whose main goal was just to look hot, all three components of positive body image weakened no matter how much they exercised. The take home? Consider changing your focus to something other than your thighs or tummy.

Tip #5: Customize your workout in little ways.
The power of small choices was demonstrated in a brand new 2014 study where participants who chose the sequence of their exercises did more sets and reps than those who were given a predetermined sequence. So don’t just slavishly follow the order on your lifting log or go down the line of weight machines. Think about what you want to do and you just may find yourself doing more.

Tip #6: Stop thinking of yourself as lazy.
Think of yourself as someone who exercises, or someone who is healthy, or whatever exercise-friendly identity you’d like to adopt. The human psyche goes to great lengths, sometimes unconsciously, to be consistent with one’s identity. So thinking of yourself as a harried, stressed-out person creates a self-fulfilling prophecy with little room for exercise. But thinking of yourself as a really busy healthy person might create just the tweak your mindset needs.

So even if you’re someone who thinks running late counts as exercise, try out your favorite of these six tips. We’ll be on our way to being healthier before we can lift another cheese curl.

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3 Signs You Could Be Eating Too Much Protein

It seems food companies are trying to sell us on more protein in just about every aisle of the grocery store. The average adult needs about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight a day, which comes out to roughly 56 grams of protein a day for men and 46 for women, according to the Institutes of Medicine.

But despite protein showing up on more and more food labels, we’re already getting way more than our 46 or 56 grams. In fact, men ages 20 and over get an average of 98.9 grams of protein a day, and women ages 20 and over get 68 grams, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest What We Eat In America report.

Getting protein is, of course, an important part of a balanced diet. For starters, our bodies simply wouldn’t be able to build and repair its cells without the stuff. We know that high-protein breakfasts can help us keep unhealthy snack urges in check. And according to a new analysis, a diet higher in protein, especially from fish, seems to lower stroke risk.

However, more isn’t necessarily better. “[B]ecause Americans consume so much protein, and there is plenty in foods from both plant and animal sources, and there is no evidence of protein deficiency in the U.S. population, protein is a non-issue,” Marion Nestle, Ph.D, MPH, Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, tells The Huffington Post in an email. “Why make it into one? The only reason for doing so is marketing. Protein used as a marketing tool is about marketing, not health. The advantage for marketing purposes of protein over fat or carbohydrates is that it’s a positive message, not negative. Marketers don’t have to do anything other than mention protein to make people think it’s a health food.” (Case in point: A serving of those new protein-packed Cheerios also contains 16 or 17 grams of sugar, depending on the flavor.)

In some cases, more protein can even be problematic. Nestle points out that much of the research is “conflicted and uncertain”, but there are a few things we know so far. Here are three signs your diet might be too heavy-handed on the protein.

You’re gaining weight.
protein weight gain
If you’ve bulked up on the protein in your diet without cutting calories in other areas, you may find yourself gaining weight. In a 2012 study, researchers found that people assigned a high-protein diet gained the same amount of fat as people assigned to a low-protein, high-fat diet, when both groups overate. The high-protein eaters gained more lean body mass, like muscle, as well, TIME reported.

You have kidney problems.
The kidneys take care of some filtering of waste products made when our bodies digest protein, and there’s some evidence to suggest that diets higher in protein put a greater strain on the kidneys to do this crucial job. A 2003 study found that the damage was only noticeable among people with early stages of kidney disease, particularly harmful because these people often are not aware their kidneys are affected, WebMD reported.

You’re dehydrated.
protein dehydration
One of the waste products created by the kidneys during the filtering process is blood urea nitrogen. Researchers and physicians use blood urea nitrogen levels to evaluate kidney function, and it’s also a measure of how hydrated a person is, WebMD reported. In a 2002 study, as protein intake went up, hydration went down, likely because the body has to use more water to flush out that additional nitrogen, Monica Reinagel, MS, LDN, CNS, told HuffPost in 2013. Dehydration isn’t necessarily a reason to avoid extra protein as long as water intake is increased simultaneously, she said.

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Losing Weight May Require Some Serious Fun

If you are aiming to lose weight by revving up your exercise routine, it may be wise to think of your workouts not as exercise, but as playtime. An unconventional new study suggests that people’s attitudes toward physical activity can influence what they eat afterward and, ultimately, whether they drop pounds.

For some time, scientists have been puzzled — and exercisers frustrated — by the general ineffectiveness of exercise as a weight-loss strategy. According to multiple studies and anecdotes, most people who start exercising do not lose as much weight as would be expected, given their increased energy expenditure. Some people add pounds despite burning hundreds of calories during workouts.

Past studies of this phenomenon have found that exercise can increase the body’s production of appetite hormones, making some people feel ravenous after even a light workout and prone to consume more calories than they expended. But that finding, while intriguing, doesn’t fully explain the wide variability in people’s post-exercise eating habits.

So, for the new study, published in the journal Marketing Letters, French and American researchers turned to psychology and the possible effect that calling exercise by any other name might have on people’s subsequent diets.

In that pursuit, the researchers first recruited 56 healthy, adult women, the majority of them overweight. The women were given maps detailing the same one-mile outdoor course and told that they would spend the next half-hour walking there, with lunch to follow.

Half of the women were told that their walk was meant to be exercise, and they were encouraged to view it as such, monitoring their exertion throughout. The other women were told that their 30-minute outing would be a walk purely for pleasure; they would be listening to music through headphones and rating the sound quality, but mostly the researchers wanted them to enjoy themselves.

When the women returned from walking, the researchers asked each to estimate her mileage, mood and calorie expenditure.

Those women who’d been formally exercising reported feeling more fatigued and grumpy than the other women, although the two groups’ estimates of mileage and calories burned were almost identical. More telling, when the women sat down to a pasta lunch, with water or sugary soda to drink, and applesauce or chocolate pudding for dessert, the women in the exercise group loaded up on the soda and pudding, consuming significantly more calories from these sweets than the women who’d thought that they were walking for pleasure.

A follow-up experiment by the researchers, published as part of the same study, reinforces and broadens those findings. For it, the researchers directed a new set of volunteers, some of them men, to walk the same one-mile loop. Once again, half were told to consider this session as exercise. The others were told that they would be sightseeing and should have fun. The two groups covered the same average distance. But afterward, allowed to fill a plastic bag at will with M&M’s as a thank-you, the volunteers from the exercise group poured in twice as much candy as the other walkers.

Finally, to examine whether real-world exercisers behave similarly to those in the contrived experiments, the researchers visited the finish line of a marathon relay race, where 231 entrants aged 16 to 67 had just completed laps of five to 10 kilometers. They asked the runners whether they had enjoyed their race experience and offered them the choice of a gooey chocolate bar or healthier cereal bar in consideration of their time and help. In general, those runners who said that their race had been difficult or unsatisfying picked the chocolate; those who said that they had fun gravitated toward the healthier choice.

In aggregate, these three experiments underscore that how we frame physical activity affects how we eat afterward, said Carolina O.C. Werle, an associate professor of marketing at the Grenoble School of Management in France, who led the study. The same exertion, spun as “fun” instead of “exercise,” prompts less gorging on high-calorie foods, she said.

Just how, physiologically, our feelings about physical activity influence our food intake is not yet known, she said, and likely to be bogglingly complex, involving hormones, genetics, and the neurological circuitry of appetite and reward processing. But in the simplest terms, Dr. Werle said, this new data shows that most of us require recompense of some kind for working out. That reward can take the form of subjective enjoyment. If exercise is fun, no additional gratification is needed. If not, there’s chocolate pudding.

The good news is that our attitudes toward exercise are malleable. “We can frame our workouts in different ways,” Dr. Werle said, “by focusing on whatever we consider fun about it, such as listening to our favorite music or chatting with a friend” during a group walk.

“The more fun we have,” she concluded, “the less we’ll feel the need to compensate for the effort” with food.

Original article from The New York Times

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