Friday, February 22, 2013

Take COD LIVER OIL Every Day like it’s Medicine!

A few months ago I was given a free bottle of Carlson’s (lemon flavor) Cod Liver Oil at the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) in Philly and have been taking it (almost) daily ever since. I remembered back to my undergrad nutrient metabolism class when my professor made cod liver oil sound like the healthiest consumable on earth. With most people showing up as being Vitamin D deficient, cod liver oil again comes up as the best natural source of the vitamin, aside from sunlight. Vitamin D is important for bones and teeth, but deficiency has been linked to a slew of diseases and conditions such as diabetes, cancers, heart disease, and more. Cod liver oil also has very high levels of Vitamin A, which is an antioxidant and important for hair, nail, skin, and eye health.

In addition to being high in Vitamins A & D, cod liver oil is an excellent source of omega 3’s, which are needed to ease inflammation, important for brain and eye health, skin, reproduction, and many other functions of the body. It also contains a health dose of Vitamin E, which is another antioxidant that is important for heart health. One teaspoon has about 500 mg of DHA, 400 mg EPA, and 1,100 mg of total omega-3’s. Here is the nutrition run-down for Carlson's Lemon Flavor Cod Liver Oil:

Carlson Labs Cod Liver Oil- Lemon Label- from website: 

I am such an advocate of cod liver oil because it is a natural source of many of the vitamins people take- Vitamins A, D, E, and fish oil (omega-3’s). It is always best to get your nutrients through food, so if you don’t eat a lot of fish, getting these nutrients through purified oil is the way to go. Just take it as a shot and sip something afterwards, you’ll be fine. Take it like medicine and you will start to reap the benefits (healthier hair, better skin, improved arthritis symptoms, etc.). A few of my clients told me this week "it's not that bad". In the whole scheme of things, if you can decrease your risk of disease and improve your overall health by taking a tsp of something not entirely tasty, I think it's totally worth it!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Guest Blog Post from Zara Blake: 7 Must-Have Winter Fruits and Vegetables

This Guest post is contributed by Zara Blake, a nutritionist blogger from UK. With her background in nutrition and finance, she has written many articles on health, wellness and finance.  At present she is focusing on ppi claims.

In winter season, you find lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in the market. They are rich in vitamins and nutrients that help in increasing immunity. To stay healthy and fit, it is always necessary to have a balanced diet. Fill your plate with the fruits and vegetables rich in all kinds of vitamins and fibre.

Here are 7 must-have winter fruits and vegetables:


·         Grapes: - This fruit is rich in vitamin C, B6, magnesium, pantothenic acid, thiamine and potassium. You can eat it or can make a milkshake or add it to any kind of salads. You could even make jams and spread the same on bread, instead of cheese or butter.

·         Pomegranate: -Pomegranate contains vitamins B and C, and moderate amounts of fibre, as well as healthy fats, protein, and potassium found in the seeds. One fruit contains around 105 calories and is low in sodium. The interior of the fruit is filled with the seeds called arils. The name comes from two French words, “prome” and “granate” means literally “apple with many seeds”. Recipes like Mizuna (Japanese Mustard Greens), melon and pomegranate salad, and celery, bulgur, and pomegranate salad would take a minimal time to prepare and tastes good too.

·         Kiwi: - This fruit is rich in vitamins like K, E and C, copper and magnesium and folate, which is a mix of many in one. It has to be peeled and can be served directly or a fruit punch any time. 
      *Kelly specifically recommends kiwis to many of her clients because one medium kiwi contains less than 50 calories and more than 100% of your daily value of Vitamin C.

·         Avocado: -Along with being rich in healthy fats, vitamins C and K, folate is also present in this fruit. Spread it like a guacamole on the sandwich, instead of mayonnaise, even add to salads. It can be served by cutting it into two halves and adding lemon, kosher salt, olive oil and pepper to give a great taste.

·         Kushus, Oranges, Clementine, and Tangerines: -These are the varieties of Oranges available in the market mostly in winter season. . These fruits are rich in vitamins A, E and C. Apart from these; they even contain potassium, copper and niacin. They look like normal oranges from outside. These are found in North America in the month of November till March.
* Kelly recommends blood oranges because they are also rich in an antioxidant called anthocyanin due to their dark purple color and are available currently in specialty produce stores like Gentiles Market.


·         Broccoli: - Broccoli is rich in potassium, magnesium and contains vitamins K, C and A. If you are dieting, the best way to take it is to make a wonderful soup and serve it hot. Here is a recipe I recommend:
                 Ingredients :
o   1 garlic clove- sliced,
o   1 onion – sliced,
o   1 celery stalk- chopped,
o   2 cans of chicken broth
o   broccoli- 4cups,
o   3 teaspoons butter
o   3 tablespoons of flour 
o   2 cups of fat free or low-fat milk
o   pepper,
o   ½ cup of reduced-fat cheese
Heat the pan and add butter, onion, garlic, celery until it turns little brown and then add broccoli, chicken soup and simmer it for 10 mins. Later, blend the soup and stir it with flour, milk until it turns thick and foamy. Add cheese until it gets melted. Serve it hot garnishing with pepper.
       Sweet potatoes: - Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin B6, A and C, iron, phosphorous and fiber. View Kelly’s blog post on sweet potatoes for more information:  

This post was quickly edited by Kelly, but left in tact for European spellings for authenticity ;-)
For questions or to get in touch with Zara, email her at:

Friday, February 1, 2013

How to Burn the Most Fat: Exercise in a Fasted State!

If you're looking to burn the most fat, try exercising first thing in the morning without eating.

In grad school I did a lot of research on exercise and energy metabolism, and learned that for the most fat burn, it is best to exercise on an empty stomach. Yet another recent study out of the UK confirms this school of thought (2). This study followed 12 physically active men and found that the men burned 20% more calories from fat in a fasted state compared to when they ate breakfast. Furthermore, they did not overcompensate by eating more calories later in the day nor had an increased appetite compared to when they ate prior to exercise. One of the researchers was quoted as saying: "Our results show that exercise does not increase your appetite, hunger or food consumption later in the day and to get the most out of your session it may be optimal to perform this after an overnight fast” (1).

My recommendations:  I am hesitant to recommend exercising without eating to people who have never tried for fear they might faint. If weight loss and fat burning is your main motivation for exercising, you may want to try working out first thing in the morning. However, I advise you to bring a glucose-containing drink or piece of fruit with you in case you start to feel light headed. Some people may also find that they have no energy when working out hungry which could negate the benefit of increased fat burning. If you have less energy, your workout will be weaker, so you will end up burning fewer calories than if you had eaten (and therefore, fewer calories from fat). 

Furthermore, I never recommend exercising without eating first for diabetics or those with blood-sugar issues. For those athletes who are most concerned about getting a good workout in- as opposed to just burning calories and fat- always eat or consume something with glucose before a workout to get the most out of it. Personally, I would rather have enough energy and a good workout than be feeling hungry and tired when I'm exercising. If I'm exercising early in the morning, I am always sure to eat at least a piece of fruit like a banana beforehand (see post below on the benefits of bananas!), but usually also coffee made with a protein-containing milk (soy or cow) and a hearty meal containing carbs and protein afterwards. 

Product Shout out!: This past weekend I gave out CLICK espresso protein drink samples at our open house. For most of my clients, I do not advocate the need for protein shakes and would rather have them make their own. However, this stuff is delicious and is a quick and convenient way to get in caffeine, some carbs, and protein before an early-morning workout when time to prepare food is limited. So, if you are looking for a good pre-workout protein drink, I recommend this product. I tried the vanilla latte flavor before I did kettlebell and spinning on two different days and had an amazing workouts both times- tons of energy and felt great! Another benefit is CLICK is a milk-based protein (casein) so it can actually be heated and not chunk up like whey protein based supplements.

Note: I do not receive any monetary compensation from CLICK, and this is an actual recommendation based on my experience with the product.

1. Northumbria University. "Lose fat faster before breakfast." ScienceDaily, 24 Jan. 2013. Web. 28 Jan. 2013.

2. Javier T. Gonzalez, Rachel C. Veasey, Penny L. S. Rumbold, Emma J. Stevenson. Breakfast and exercise contingently affect postprandial metabolism and energy balance in physically active males. British Journal of Nutrition, 2013