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Now that summer has ended and we're getting back to our normal Fall routines, let's get regular! Just like all nutrition-related topics, there's not one protocol that fits everyone perfectly, especially when it comes to bowel movements, or lack thereof (ahem, constipation!). Part of what we do at Middleberg Nutrition is find each person's individual trigger or issues and then create a customized approach. Bear with us as we fully embrace the potty talk and discuss all things poop-related!

As we roll into August, the first thing that comes to mind is vacation. Since we love to catch up on reading during our down time, we thought we’d use this month’s column to break down some of the hottest nutrition topics of the moment for you. While you’re relaxing and rejuvenating, you can get the lowdown on what you might have missed in the news lately.

Beach season is upon us! We're packing up our towels and Kadima paddles, donning cute suits, and of course, prepping and buying the most nutritious #MiddlebergApproved eats for our days at the beach. No need to stress, we did the homework for you! Check out our favorite DIY and packaged beach snacks, as well as our top summer weekend tips.

At Middleberg Nutrition, we are all about making healthy eating easy, especially when it comes to veggies! We love good “kitchen hacks” and this month, we’ve decided to share our favorite tips and tricks for how to wash, store, cook, and finish your veggies!

We’re so excited to break into Spring full force, and April showers bring a lot more than May flowers, they bring an abundance of produce. Our favorite time to hit the farmer’s market is right now, when there are so many fruits and vegetables that are springing into action after a long, dormant winter. Are you wondering what’s in season in NYC…and how to prepare it? We’ve got you covered.

Clients sometimes feel that they knead (wink wink) to avoid bread to be healthy, lose weight, and feel great. Here at Middleberg Nutrition, we fully embrace bread, and believe you don't need to vilify it all together! The key to a nutritious bread selection is knowing what to look for and how often to have it. Read on, as we’ve got you all covered. Whether you’re gluten-free, paleo, or a sprouted-wheat eater, we’ll explain all the hottest (and most delicious) options and our top picks.

Every day we receive requests for quick and easy lunches, as lunchtime seems to be a tough spot for almost everyone. What to eat? To cook or not to cook? To bring or pick up? These are all great questions.
We put our heads together and came up with a list of our favorite lunch recipes that you can make in under 10 minutes, whether you are home or desk side. Bon appetit!

February makes us think of one thing... CHOCOLATE.

At Middleberg Nutrition, we may love kale and collards more than most, but there is one thing we can all agree on. Chocolate.

February tends to be filled with Dove chocolate hearts and Godiva boxes, but we invite you to think outside of this typical chocolate box. Investigate the source of your chocolate, and invest in a better option-- enjoy your chocolate and reap the benefits!

At Middleberg Nutrition, we take a whole body approach to wellness, and encourage our clients to nourish themselves not just with food, but also with self-care. While choosing whole, real foods is key to good health, fueling and taking care of your mind, body, and soul are of utmost importance and goes hand in hand with good nutrition.

There are many little things that you can do to nourish yourself (besides adding more veggies)! Below are some of our favorite tips and suggestions.

The holidays can be fun, but they also can be exhausting and stressful. To some degree, stress is unavoidable. But too much unmanaged stress can affect your immune system, digestion, weight, and mood. We’re here to help! Here’s some basic info about stress and a few simple ways to tame it.

  • Stephanie

I find that my client’s number one non negotiable is coffee. Whether it's the necessary buzz or that perfect morning ritual that sets your day off right, everyone loves their cup of joe. We know that coffee has major benefits ranging from increasing athletic performance to reducing the risk of dementia but interestingly, people tend to feel better when they reduce the amount of caffeine they consume. For those that hold their morning coffee routine dear or still need that punch to get them through the day, I have suggested some alternatives as well as ideas to take your morning cup to the next level!

  • Stephanie

Walk through any health-food store, and you’ll see shelves and shelves of powders, all promising to be just the secret you need to be a superhero, to sculpt the perfect body, to have the energy of a teenager. It’s all so confusing, not to mention that trying a bunch of them can get expensive. Instead, save time, money and your sanity with my easy-to-follow, no-nonsense guide to the health-boosting powders I believe in. - Stephanie

Who doesn’t love a vacation? While taking a break from your routine is a good thing, travel, airports, checking out all those cool restaurants, having that extra margarita and skipping workouts (even though you packed your workout gear!) can really sap your energy. So instead of feeling like you need to go on a cleanse to recover from your vacation here are my tips and tactics for eating well to feel your best on the go! —Stephanie

Winter is not the only thing moving slowly, am I right?! GI backup, ie constipation, is an all too common in kids. A combination of food choices, drinking habits (or lack thereof), and potty behaviors like withholding and inefficient posture are the usual culprits.

The good news is that there are things you can do to speed up those sluggish guts. Follow this 5 prong attack to prevent the back up.

Happy new year! Let's jump head first into the muck! And what better way to do so than focusing on your gut. Your gut health directly impacts how you look and feel every day. It’s the primary root of inflammation, and 20 years of research has shown that it’s critical to overall health. In fact, an unhealthy gut contributes to a bunch of diseases, including diabetes, arthritis, cancer, eczema and depression. Forget the New Years cleanse, follow these easy steps to get your gut in good health!

Many parents want to know how they can get their children to be more adventurous and less picky eaters. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to get your kids in the kitchen this year. This year, use the holidays as a time to get your kids in the kitchen and to set goals for your family’s health in 2016.

We are constantly asked about new and interesting (and healthy and tasty) snacks that are worth stocking up on. We're pro-snacks at Middleberg Nutrition, so we gladly rounded up some of our favorites, from DIY treats to specialty items, plus snacks you can grab as you're running out the door. And, of course, we included some of our favorite new food finds.

In the spirit of ghosts, goblins and trick-or-treating let’s breakdown the BETTER for you candy. All candy, whether made with natural or highly processed forms of sugar, will eventually raise the body’s sugar levels. But, instead of being a NO-er this year, become a YES-er by offering these safer treats, free of artificial coloring, trans fats and highly processed sugar.

Milk is a tricky subject when it comes to health, and has led to a lot of confusion about options. Is milk good for you? Should I go skim, full fat? What about carrageenan — and calcium? Are non-dairy options real substitutes? Before you decide what to pour over your cereal, mix into your smoothie, or drink straight from the carton, let’s break down the pros and cons of all your options so you can make the decision that’s right for you!

We’re heading into the peak of summer just as I head into my last week of pregnancy! I’m ordering food (among other things...) left and right to prep for the little one's arrival. I guess this is what they call nesting — but I can't keep my lifesavers a secret! So time to pull back the curtain on Middleberg Nutrition’s favorite quick eats, from frozen foods to meal delivery services, in NYC and beyond. Even if you’re not in nesting mode, who wants to be stuck in the kitchen when it's so beautiful outside?

Happy sweating…
—Stephanie

If the first week of June is any indication of what's to come, this summer is going to be steamy. Since we’re already cranking the AC and adding extra ice to our water bottles, we decided to round up our favorite frozen summery treats — from DIY recipes to the brands in our freezers to the tastiest places in NYC. You’ll also find answers to the most common questions we get about icy desserts. Read on to chill out!

—Stephanie

April showers bring May flowers. (And what do May flowers bring? Pilgrims! Zing.) But this under-appreciated rainy month gives us a chance to plant more than colorful blooms. Seize spring’s sense of renewal and go back to nature — by stocking your kitchen with edible seeds. They might be small, but they’re also nutritional powerhouses. Speaking of small, I’m also thrilled to introduce Kidz Bytes, a new kids’ section helmed by Nicole Silber! Check it out below. Happy spring!
—Stephanie

The snow is melting, the air is fresh and spring is almost here (believe it!) Out with the old, in with the new. Speaking of new(ish), I want to officially introduce Nicole Silber, the new director of pediatrics at Middleberg Nutrition. As a board certified specialist in pediatric nutrition, Nicole can help your child and family manage food allergies, picky eating, pregnancy and breastfeeding, weight gain and loss, tummy upset, GI conditions, reflux, feeding difficulties, diabetes, introducing solids, formula selection and much more. Nicole will be launching after-school nutrition and cooking groups in the spring for kids and tweens, and a Baby's First Bites class for new parents. If you're interested, please contact nicole@middlebergnutrition.com. We're excited to have her!

And more new...The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which convenes every five years, met last month to review the latest research and released its findings in a 500-page report, perfect for some light Spring Break beach reading. We've put together our key takeaways and explain why sugar is out and fat is (sorta) back.

—Stephanie

All right, who's ready to call it quits on winter? Unfortunately, since our groundhog friend saw his shadow, we have six more weeks of slushy snow and blustery winds. So let's keep ourselves entertained (and inside) by trying some new things. This month, I'm focusing on four HOT trends. Some of these are worthy of more than just trend status and should be staples in your kitchen. Others should go the way of the low-carb diet and scrunchies. Stay warm and read up!
—Stephanie

And just like that the holidays are here, how did that happen? Tempted to stress-eat your way through December? Check last December's newsletter for healthy holiday swaps so you can enjoy parties and family meals without melting down. And speaking of meltdowns — gift shopping can be totally overwhelming. Keep things simple and since most people are interested in some aspect of food or fitness I rounded up a bunch of my favorite picks for perfect gift!

—Stephanie

Last month I shared my favorite kitchen gadgets, and now it's time to take a peek behind the refrigerator doors to talk condiments. Many treat these as an afterthought in both the health and flavor departments. (I mean ketchup's ketchup, right?) But a little bit of this and a little bit of that adds up and can turn an otherwise nutritious meal into a metabolic and digestive nightmare. So what should you do? And which of the 30 artisanal mayonnaises should you choose? Here are my picks to help you upgrade.

The Middleberg Nutrition Kitchen is finally complete (well, just about) and we’re excited to welcome all of you into our new favorite part of the office. While we eventually plan to host cooking classes and even sessions there (who doesn’t like a midday smoothie party?), we thought this was a great opportunity to share our favorite kitchen essentials. From the gadgets that make your life easier to pantry staples that will change the way you cook, here is just a preview of big things to come!

Welcome to the lazy days of summer. With the haze comes prime produce season, so take advantage with these quick and easy sides. All the recipes contain just a handful of no-fuss ingredients and you can throw them together fast. (Click the photos or the links to go to the recipes.) For tips on how to buy the freshest, best-tasting fruits and veggies, check out my farmer's market guide. It won't be long before these summery dishes are replaced by hearty fall fare, so enjoy them while you can!

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, not only is it the most important, but there are so many delicious options! However, I know it's easy to fall into a routine of oatmeal, yogurt or a bar when you're crunched for time. Believe it or not breakfast is a great place to experiment so this month I've gathered my favorite easy, make-ahead options for those rushed mornings; out-of-the-box recipes that will wake up your taste buds, and no-hassle meals for hot summer days.

Allergy season has arrived in force. Everyone I know is suffering in one way or another and whether you're hypersensitive or just have a case of the sniffles there are a ton of natural, food-based remedies to help you keep the tissues in your pocket. Some have scientific backing while others are more anecdotal. We're here to help cut through the clutter so you can spend your spring outside, instead of isolating yourself indoors.

It's that time of year: You're over the snow, the cold ... did I say snow? And spring seems like it will never come. If you're like me, you probably need to rock yourself out of a food rut. So this month I've rounded up 11 delicious, healthy finds that'll wake up your taste buds and shake up your routine. You can find most of these foods online or at your local health food stores.

December tends to fly by in a hazy, snowy swirl of glitter, sugar, and boozy eggnog. Bringing a little mindfulness to the last half of the month lets you celebrate without falling victim to that gnarly January hangover. Let me help you ring in the New Year with the ultimate holiday food-swap chart, great last-minute gifts, and more. Happy holidays!

November can mean only one thing: Thanksgiving! Yes, it's a special occasion worthy of some fun and indulgence. But if you don't want to roll around like a Butterball turkey throughout the long weekend, read on for a foolproof plan to recover from a food coma. Gobble, gobble!

When you're not the one in the kitchen, making healthy choices can be confusing and stressful. Most of us end up over-eating without knowing it or chosing what we thought were healthy dishes only to realize that they were given a butter bath. But when you arm yourself with a little info you can dine or take out with confidence. Every cuisine offers options that let you enjoy its flavors without that postmeal regret. Dig in!

Summer's long, lazy days will soon give way to busy schedules. Take advantage of the last few weeks of August and stretch out with a good book (or blog). I've gathered my favorite reads and broken them down so you can find the ones that will keep you turning the pages. Who said you can't read your way to great health?

We're on the verge of the dog days of summer. Panting yet? Staying hydrated in the heat is crucial as the heat and humidity suck it right out of us. Read on for new tips, finds, and recipes. For a more technical look at why hydration is so important (along with more tips and finds), check out my newsletter from April 2012. Drink up!

Summer is (finally) here! Beaches, biking, outdoor concerts, dining al fresco, and after a long winter we deserve it. But the best things about summer are the bountiful and delicious local fruits and vegetables that reach their peak harvest seasons. This is the time to embrace your inner locavore. Head to the farmer's market, and take advantage of these next few months. Not only will you pick up tasty nutrient packed fare, but also know that you're supporting local agriculture.

I’m running a half-marathon this month, and throughout the training I’ve become obsessed with smoothies. There's no better pre- or post-workout fuel, and they're perfect remedy for those extra fruits and veggies on the verge in your fridge. Smoothies aren't just for the workout-inclined -- they make a great breakfast or snack for those looking to shake up their meals (pun intended). Read on to learn how to become a smoothie pro. Get blending!

After a long week you’ve earned a serious kick-back session. But let's be honest, it's never easy to stop with just one on the weekend, which typically ends in a rough Monday morning. It's a challenge for many of us, but you CAN have your cake and eat it too (just not ALL of it) on the weekend. The key is, as always, making smart decisions. Read on and discover how you can enjoy yourself and break the chain of endless nutritional 'lost weekends' —

Healthy eating is not just about healthy meals: it's what happens in between that often wipes out a day's worth of smart choices. Everyone, from bonafide grazers and night eaters to those who — gasp! —don't snack at all needs a smart, flexible snack strategy. Whether you're designing from scratch, fine tuning or in need of a complete makeover, I'll help you avoid the diet that's done in by 1,000 nibbles.

Chocolate is one of my favorite foods. And like Valentine's Day, it can deal out both romance and heartbreak, but what else would you expect of something so desirable? Today, though, I want to celebrate chocolate's many charms and spread the good news: a little bit every day can do wonders for the body AND mind AND soul. What's more, chocolate is like a utility man; it can play any position, and play it well. It's also the perfect companion for a blizzard.

In December, commitments, cocktails, cash worries and caffeine can escalate your cravings... A few holiday smarts will help you avoid the cookie collision course—and save room for a few good sweets.

New York gets back into gear in fall, but it's also a time bursting with temptations, such as holiday get togethers and heavier meals. Good thing fall offers activities from exercise festivals to picking apples—plus new cookbooks worth perusing on evenings at home. And the seasonal produce? It's going strong, and in New York it can show up on your doorstep.