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Waverley Oaks Athletic Club Blog offers Fitness & Nutrition Tips, Workouts, Recipes and more for living a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing the joys of everyday life. To learn more about Nutrition Services at Waverley Oaks Athletic Club, email nutrition@waverleyoaks.com.

  • Strength Training Exercises
    The general definition of strength training is any physical movement in which you use your body weight or equipment (e.g., dumbbells and resistance bands) to build muscle mass, strength, and endurance. Strength training can help anyone improve their wellness, with numerous benefits ranging from physical and emotional, to mental. Here are a few strength training exercises you can do practically anywhere –  no equipment needed! Note that the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) highly recommends consulting a certified Personal Trainer to help you assess your current level of fitness and movement capabilities. To get custom training program specifically focused on… Read More »Strength Training Exercises
  • Eat the Mediterranean Way
    The Mediterranean way of eating ranks the top diet year after year according to US News and World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice. This type of diet is not a single diet, but a way of eating inspired from the dining patterns of European countries that rely on fresh fruit and vegetables, olive oil, fish, poultry, nuts, beans, and whole grains to make up the main part of their diet, while also reducing consumption of red meat, saturated fats, and sugar. People who eat the Mediterranean way have a lower risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes,… Read More »Eat the Mediterranean Way
  • Happy Mother’s Day: A Perspective on Healthy and Happy Body Image
    Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mama’s out there, especially the ones in my life. For me, being Mom is the best, and hardest, role. Caring, teaching, playing, feeding, and role modeling are just some of the words I associate with motherhood. The role modeling part is especially important to me. I want my kids to grow up with a happy and healthy body image, so that must start with myself. I have to show them what this healthy/happy body image looks like. To this end, I will never talk about my body in a negative way, nor will I… Read More »Happy Mother’s Day: A Perspective on Healthy and Happy Body Image
  • Simple Ways to Incorporate Vegetables into Your Diet
    It’s springtime once again and it’s the time of year when fruit and vegetables are abundant. This is also the time of year when we start to eat lighter; gone are the casseroles of winter and hearty stews that filled us up over the long cold nights. Now we turn to farmer’s markets or grow our own vegetables that fill our plate. You may even notice the produce section in your grocery store teeming with more variety and color, inviting you to add a rainbow of colors to your plate. There are many benefits to adding more vegetables to your… Read More »Simple Ways to Incorporate Vegetables into Your Diet
  • 3 Dumbbell Exercises
    Dumbbells are a great way to build muscle and keep variety in your routine. As a beginner, it is always better to start light and add weight in small increments as starting too heavy may cause strain or injury. Here are a few dumbbell exercises to incorporate into your workouts to strengthen your arm, core, and leg muscles.   Note that the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) highly recommends consulting a certified Personal Trainer to help you assess your current level of fitness and movement capabilities. To get custom training program specifically focused on helping you reach your health and wellness… Read More »3 Dumbbell Exercises
  • Peanut Butter Protein Dip
    Here is a dip that can make you look forward to eating your fruit and veggies. Combining nut butter with Greek yogurt boosts the nutritional content, and adding calcium and protein will help keep you satisfied. Ingredients: 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/3 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter Dipping suggestions: apple slices, banana slices, strawberries, grapes, carrots, celery sticks In a small bowl, combine yogurt, vanilla, and peanut butter. Mix well. Chill dip in refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve with assorted fruit or vegetables. Makes 6 servings. Recipe adapted from MyPlate Kitchen. Content submitted by… Read More »Peanut Butter Protein Dip
  • Spring Forward: Eat the Rainbow
    Spring is officially in the air! Every new season is an opportunity to reset and refocus our minds and our bodies. This spring we are focusing on eating the rainbow and filling our plates with lots of new flavors and in-season vegetables. Eating the rainbow means incorporating fruits and vegetables of all colors into our meals each day. Fruits and vegetables contain phytonutrients which act as antioxidants, play specific roles in helping maintain our health, and give each fruit or vegetable its unique color. While fruit and veggie consumption is beneficial to our health in and of itself, focusing on… Read More »Spring Forward: Eat the Rainbow
  • Creating a Healthy Relationship with Food
    Think back to when you were a child, were you part of what I like to call the “clean the plate club?” Membership to this club meant that you could not leave the dinner table until your plate was clean and devoid of food, regardless of your appetite. For many of us, eating like this sealed the idea that we must eat everything that is served, or that we are finished eating when our plate is empty. When we eat this way, we become disconnected from how our bodies are feeling and disconnected from our hunger and satiety cues. We… Read More »Creating a Healthy Relationship with Food
  • Celebrate a World of Flavor: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
    St. Patrick’s Day is a world-renowned holiday, and the first St. Patrick’s Day celebration dates back to March 17th, 1631 in Ireland. The holiday began as a celebration within the country to honor one of Ireland’s great patron saints, Patrick, on the day of his death. The Irish traditionally celebrated with religious services and feasts, and over centuries of cultural globalization, St. Patrick’s Day has evolved to be a globally recognized secular holiday celebrating Irish culture as a whole. St. Patrick’s Day today is a fun-filled holiday known for its parades, shamrocks, leprechauns, music, all things green, and of course,… Read More »Celebrate a World of Flavor: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
  • March is National Nutrition Month!
    National Nutrition Month is all about making smart, educated choices around food, healthy eating and physical activity. It’s an annual 4-week campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) designed to help people live better and healthier! This year’s theme is Celebrate a World of Flavors and focuses on eating a variety of flavors and nutrient-dense foods, taking control of your own health and health goals, meal planning and meal prep, and trying out new recipes to cook in your own home! The major goal behind the Celebrate a World of Flavor theme is to invite people to… Read More »March is National Nutrition Month!
  • Meeting Your Protein Needs Without Meat
    Protein is an essential macronutrient that is part of every cell in the body. It is the building block of muscle, bone, hair, skin, cartilage and blood. The human body uses protein to make enzymes that power chemical reactions and to make hemoglobin that carries oxygen in blood. Protein helps to build and repair tissues and it can help support weight loss efforts because it helps promote the feeling of fullness.   Because of all its important functions, many people are under the assumption that they need to pack their diet with protein. In fact, one of the most frequent questions… Read More »Meeting Your Protein Needs Without Meat
  • How to Do A Standard Push-Up
    The push-up is a great exercise as it builds both upper-body and core strength. Plus, it has many modifications so beginners can start with easier versions, while more advanced exercisers can try hundreds of variations. Here is a breakdown on how to correctly do a traditional push-up to avoid injury and maximize results. Note that the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) highly recommends consulting a certified Personal Trainer to help you assess your current level of fitness and movement capabilities. To get custom training program specifically focused on helping you reach your health and wellness goals, email fitness@waverleyoaks.com.
  • Easy Quinoa Casserole
    This dish is perfect for this time of year when the days are long and cold. It comes together quickly, has great flavor and is loaded with protein and fiber. It features quinoa, which is a whole grain that confounds people on how to use it. Here it is mixed with salsa, cheese and spices, and it’s sure to win over even the most skeptical eaters at your table. 1 cup cooked quinoa2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained1 cup shredded low fat cheddar cheese, divided1 tablespoon cumin1 teaspoon chili powderPinch of salt and pepper2 eggs1 cup salsaCilantro for topping… Read More »Easy Quinoa Casserole
  • Heart Health Awareness Month
    Content Submitted by: Jessica Roy, MS, RDN, LDN & Nutrition Counselor and Janyce Gately, MS, RD, LDN, Personal Chef, Certified Health and Wellness Coach February is American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness about good heart health. Heart health is extremely important to one’s well being. Heart disease kills more people annually than all forms of cancer combined, and 72% of Americans don’t consider themselves at risk for heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. However, there are many actions you can take to improve your heart health and greatly reduce the likeliness of heart-related issues. According to the… Read More »Heart Health Awareness Month
  • Physical activity basics
    Regular physical activity can help prevent, treat, and sometimes even alleviate some of the most common chronic conditions one may encounter, including high blood pressure, obesity, and type 2 diabetes – just to name a few. Our Training Team offers insight on some common fitness questions whether you’re already working out or just getting started. How much exercise do adults need? American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise five or more days per week, or 20 to 60 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise at least three days per week. You can mix moderate… Read More »Physical activity basics
  • How to get back on track after the holidays
    Indulging in a few favorite treats around the holidays is something that we all do, but sometimes it seems like a never-ending parade of temptations and that can leave you feeling like your resolve is constantly being tested. These regular indulgences can make it hard to get back to the routine of eating balanced meals and exercising regularly. If you are looking to get back on track in the New Year, here are some tips to help you turn the page: Slowly begin to incorporate the healthy parts of your usual routine, one step at a time.  Trying to do… Read More »How to get back on track after the holidays
  • Meet Personal Trainer, Tina!
    Meet Personal Trainer, Tina! Tina started her journey in the fitness industry as an adult without any athletic history. She was a complete beginner at “being in her body”. Tina started practicing yoga while in college at UMass Boston, where she graduated with a BA in Psychology in 2015. Yoga taught her how to breathe, and it was through yoga and great teachers that Tina was finally able to feel at home in her own skin. Her own personal transformation inspired her to complete a 200hr yoga teacher training under Marlena Bruno in 2018, and she is currently completing a… Read More »Meet Personal Trainer, Tina!
  • Warm up with a Hot Cup: The Health Benefits of Tea
    This winter, warm up, relax, and focus on wellness with a simple cup of tea. Tea leaves contain high levels of antioxidant compounds, called polyphenols. Due to the antioxidant capacity of tea, researchers are optimistic about the role of tea in prevention of obesity, cancer, CVD, diabetes, and other inflammatory chronic diseases. The main types of tea include: Green tea (28 mg caffeine/8 oz) – made with steamed tea leaves, this cup contains high antioxidant levels of EGCG, which has been associated in research studies with prevention of tumor growth. EGCG is also correlated with improved CVD risk factors and… Read More »Warm up with a Hot Cup: The Health Benefits of Tea
  • Let’s Celebrate the New Year with Good Habits (Not Resolutions)
    Check out the news and social media at the start of the New Year, and we all get inundated with resolutions. I never did like this word, and looking up the actual definition, I like it even less. The word resolution is defined as a firm decision to do or not to do something. This seems very strict to me, and likely to set you up to fail. Let’s change the focus to building new habits. Habits are something to work on daily. If there is a setback, learn from it, and move on. This mentality can reduce pressure and… Read More »Let’s Celebrate the New Year with Good Habits (Not Resolutions)
  • Have a Healthier Holiday
    The holiday season usually means having more baked goods and candy around at home and in the office, we also can find ourselves partaking in heavier meals with friends and family. Which means more opportunities to thwart the best intentions to eat in moderation. But with so many people trying to live healthier these days, there are ways you can create tasty, satisfying, meals that will leave you feeling good about your choices.  Here are some helpful tips to create a holiday spread that won’t spread to your waistline. If you are cooking for the holiday: Reduce the fat in… Read More »Have a Healthier Holiday
  • Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates
    Looking for a beautiful, delicious, and healthy holiday appetizer to bring to your next event? Try out these goat cheese stuffed dates! These are a snap to prepare and will please any guest. SERVINGS: 6SERVING SIZE: 3 stuffed date halvesPREP TIME: 10 minutes Ingredients 5 ounces goat cheese, room temperature 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, stem removed, chopped 3 tablespoons pomegranate arils or dried cranberries 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 9 medjool dates 2 tablespoons unsalted pistachios or hazelnuts, chopped Instructions In a small mixing bowl, combine goat cheese, thyme, fruit, and black pepper. Use a fork to mix well, then set… Read More »Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates
  • Part Two: Upper Body Foam Rolling Moves
    In Part One of this two-part post, we shared with you lower body foam rolling moves. Here are a few simple upper body moves to help relax tight muscles and improve posture – a common problem for those who spend most of their day sitting. For more information and a custom training program specifically focused on helping you reach your health and wellness goals, email fitness@waverleyoaks.com.
  • How to Avoid Weight Gain During the Holidays
    The holiday season can present a major challenge to our waistlines. Get togethers are a fun way to enjoy the time of year, but it can be hard to resist all the high calorie food and beverages. There are many ways in which you can strike a balance between maintaining a healthy diet and enjoying the parties. Here are ten tips to help you through the season and come away without gaining any weight. Exercise: Physical activity will help to offset the additional calories you may consume.  What’s more, exercise is a great at reducing stress, which comes naturally with… Read More »How to Avoid Weight Gain During the Holidays
  • Part One: Lower Body Foam Rolling Moves
    Foam rolling has become increasingly popular for both professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. This stretching technique is great for before and after exercise, and can help boost your workouts, reduce soreness, and prevent injuries. Here are 3 simple lower body foam rolling moves to help you get started. For more information and a custom training program specifically focused on helping you reach your health and wellness goals, email fitness@waverleyoaks.com.
  • Meet Personal Trainer, Chris!
    Meet Personal Trainer, Chris! Chris received his BS in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management from Johnson and Wales University in 2015. However, Chris has been an athlete his entire life, and despite his inspiration to throw down in the kitchen, he decided he wanted to go a different direction and help people improve their outlook and confidence through regular physical activity and proper nutritional habits. He attended the World Instructor Training School (WITS) where he studied strength and conditioning for 4 months followed by an internship program at Waverley Oaks. Using a combination of knowledge from a nutritional and… Read More »Meet Personal Trainer, Chris!
  • Emotional Eating & Thanksgiving
    Thanksgiving is truly one of my favorite holidays, with the focus on family, traditions, and food. The focus on connection to family through food is on my mind this year. I simply enjoy baking sugar cookie cut-outs with my two children, decorating with lots of messy toppings, licking the frosting off our fingers, taking silly photos, and crunching into a delicious, crispy cookie. My husband loves his mom’s stuffing as it brings back his memories of cold high school football games and the anticipated warm meal after. I tend to prefer my mom’s stuffing, not only for the taste, but… Read More »Emotional Eating & Thanksgiving
  • The Surprising Superpower of Beans
    Beans, which include peas, lentils and legumes, are some of the most underappreciated and overlooked foods around. Quite frankly, beans don’t get enough love. There are so many reasons to include them in the diet because they are among the healthiest foods we can eat. They are loaded with protein, fiber, B vitamins, zinc, and iron. In fact, studies have shown that people who eat more beans have a lower risk of heart disease. This is due in part to the soluble fiber found in beans which can help reduce cholesterol and plays a part in controlling blood sugar.  What’s more, the fiber… Read More »The Surprising Superpower of Beans
  • Meet Registered Dietitian, Jessica!
    Meet Jessica – MS, RDN, LDN & Nutrition Counselor! Jessica Roy has been a part of the Waverley Oaks team as a Registered Dietitian since early 2019. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Tufts University and a Master’s degree in Food and Nutrition from Framingham State University. She decided to become a RD after working for three years as a research assistant in a biology laboratory studying the impact of food components in green tea and grapes on the slowed progression of human colon cancer tumor growth. Her research showed her firsthand the impact of food… Read More »Meet Registered Dietitian, Jessica!
  • Does Eating Fat Make You Fat?
    The US dietary guidelines in the 90’s suggested that people avoid fat and get the majority of their calories from bread, rice, and grains. You may remember the food pyramid and the low-fat craze that followed, leading people to ban avocados, salmon, and nuts. Since then, obesity in the US has skyrocketed to 42% of the population. So, what happened? It may make intuitive sense that eating fat would make you fat, but in reality, dietary fat and body fat are not equivalent. Your body accumulates fat to store energy, regardless of which food source the energy comes from. Meaning… Read More »Does Eating Fat Make You Fat?
  • Fun Halloween Snack: Banana Ghosts and Clementine Pumpkins
    We always tell our kids not to play with their food, but these banana ghosts and clementine pumpkins invite play. While we don’t usually associate Halloween with fruit, this treat can provide a nice reprieve from all the sugar. Plus, it’s easy and fun to make, and can also be used as an edible centerpiece for a Halloween party. However you choose to use it, it’s sure to be a big hit.  Banana Ghosts and Clementine Pumpkins (Serves 6) Ingredients: 3 large bananas 18 dark chocolate chips 6 clementines 1 celery stalk Peel bananas and cut in half. Place bananas… Read More »Fun Halloween Snack: Banana Ghosts and Clementine Pumpkins
  • Meet Personal Trainer, Joe!
    Meet Joe! Joe McCormack joined the Waverley Oaks Training Team after spending over 10 years at the former Mount Auburn Club. He received his B.S in Sociology and a Minor in African American Studies from UMASS Amherst. After college, Joe decided to pursue a career in the fitness industry because it allowed him to combine his love of physical activity and competitive collegiate athletics in track & field and football with helping people achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Besides his Functional Strength Coach Certification from Mike Boyle’s Sports Conditioning, he also holds certifications in TRX, Kettlebells from Kettlebell Concepts,… Read More »Meet Personal Trainer, Joe!
  • Exercise as Stress Management
    While the physical benefits of exercise are readily known, there are numerous mental health advantages of exercise that are often overlooked. Regular exercise can reduce feelings of stress, encourage clearer thinking, increase self-esteem, and improve sleep – just to name a few! Our Training Team offers insight on the different kinds of exercise and how they can benefit your mental well-being. For more information and to schedule an appointment with a Personal Trainer, email fitness@waverleyoaks.com. CARDIO & WEIGHT TRAINING Alleviates stress through the production of the runner’s and weightlifter high chemicals & hormones RELEASED Endorphins & Testosterone Produces feelings of… Read More »Exercise as Stress Management
  • Cut The Carbs?
    A friend of mine asked me the other day: what exactly is a low-carb diet, why should someone follow one, and what are the impacts on exercise performance? Let’s jump right in to learn how carbs can benefit you! A low-carb diet is defined as an intake of calories less than 45% of total calorie consumption. There is a wide range of what an individual may label low-carb for themselves. Most individuals who follow a low-carb way of eating do so as a weight reduction tool. Scientific evidence is mixed in terms of long-term weight loss efficacy with low-carb diets… Read More »Cut The Carbs?
  • Perfect Pumpkin Oatmeal
    Pumpkin season brings pumpkin products and flavors in abundance. Some choices are sweet treats (pumpkin donuts are a favorite in my household) and others can be more on the healthier side. Read on for my new favorite pumpkin recipe that can be easily enjoyed through the cold winter months! Jess’ Perfect Pumpkin Oatmeal (serves 1) Ingredients: ½ cup steel cut oats (cooked) ¼ cup canned pure pumpkin 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice ¼ cup milk (or plant-based milk of your choice) 2 tablespoon nut of your choice 1 tablespoon dried fruit of your choice Simply combine the ingredients and enjoy!… Read More »Perfect Pumpkin Oatmeal
  • Meet Personal Trainer, Jeri!
    Meet Jeri! Jeri Schefts has been a part of the Waverley Oaks team as a Certified Personal Trainer since spring of 2019. Jeri holds a BS degree in Accounting, MS degree in Applied Anatomy and Physiology, and is a Certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Born and raised in Connecticut, Jeri grew up playing and watching as many sports as she could. Back then, the fitness industry didn’t exist the way it does today, and she wanted to work in a field where she could help people improve their overall health. Having been in the… Read More »Meet Personal Trainer, Jeri!
  • Back to School: Healthy and Tasty Lunch Ideas
    Back to school in my house brings a combination of excitement and anxiety, for both my kids, myself, and husband. We are all excited to see friends on a regular basis and get back to a learning environment, yet a little thoughtful about the set routine and all the moving parts required to get everyone where he or she is going. Throw in the added element of (somewhat) picky eaters and the burden of packing a tasty and balanced lunch with snacks, some caregivers may be in a panic. Read on for a few tips and tricks to make the… Read More »Back to School: Healthy and Tasty Lunch Ideas
  • The Best of Fall Produce
    Fall is my favorite time of year. It’s a time of transition with the kids returning to school, the temperature starting to cool, and the leaves turning beautiful shades of red and orange. It’s also the time when our eating habits change. Gone is the desire for fresh summer salads and iced beverages, and our palettes turn to warmer, more savory foods. Fall produce is perfect for those kinds of dishes and roasting vegetables on a sheet pan is my favorite way to prepare them. Here are some of my favorites to inspire you to eat seasonally. CarrotsThis is the… Read More »The Best of Fall Produce
  • Tips for Everyday Stretching
    Proper stretching before exercise is essential for safe and efficient workouts but stretching every day regardless of physical activity is very important as well. A regular stretch routine will help you increase flexibility, move better overall, and it’s also a great way to de-stress. Our Training Team shares advice for incorporating stretching into your daily schedule. For more information and to schedule an appointment with a Personal Trainer, email fitness@waverleyoaks.com. How much time SHOULD BE DEDICATED to stretching? It will likely depend on what your goals are and/or what musculoskeletal imbalances might be in your body. Ideally, 10-15 minutes a… Read More »Tips for Everyday Stretching
  • Healthy & Delicious Labor Day Recipes
    Labor Day Weekend is right around the corner. Time to get the grill ready for celebrations with friends and family. No party is complete without the BBQ classics but adding some healthy veggie-friendly options to the mix is sure to please just about everyone. Here are a few tasty and easy recipes that will be the talk of the party. Grilled Eggplant with Tomatoes and Feta (5 servings) 1 large eggplant, cut into 10 slices (1/2 inch thick) 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters 1/3 cup sliced green onion 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped 1… Read More »Healthy & Delicious Labor Day Recipes
  • Sweet Peaches
    August 20, 2021 Summer brings an abundance of fruit, none sweeter than peaches. Peaches are part of the stone fruit family that includes apricots, nectarines, plums, and cherries. They’re packed with nutrients like fiber, which aids digestion, Vitamins A and C which help to boost the immune system, and potassium which regulates heart rate and blood pressure. You can enjoy them grilled, added to salads, topped on oatmeal, as part of a salsa or try one of these sweet recipes. Peaches & Cream Smoothie Makes 1 Serving*Nutritional InfoCalories per serving: 252Protein: 16.2 gramsFiber: 11.4 gramsPotassium: 393 grams 1 cup milk… Read More »Sweet Peaches
  • Recipe Ideas for When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking
    August 16, 2021 Whether you’re short on time or low on motivation, there are some days you just don’t feel like cooking. I get it, I feel the same way sometimes, especially during the summer months when the weather is hot and humid and the last thing I want to do is add more heat to the kitchen. Unfortunately, our appetites rarely take a day off.  When hunger strikes, take inspiration from these simple, no-cook meals that require minimal prep work to get you in and out of the kitchen quickly. You can make these any time of day, for… Read More »Recipe Ideas for When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking
  • Easy Camping Food
    By: Janyce Gately MS, RD, LDN, CHC Summertime means camping outdoors, sleeping under the stars and cooking by campfire. My family loves camping, but traditional camping food can be heavy and high calorie. Instead of opting for the typical meals of PB&J, hamburgers, and hot dogs, which we’ve done over the years, we have started to mix things up, to make our meals more interesting and a bit healthier. This switch leaves room for some of our favorite snacks at night. These meals can be cooked over a campfire or on a grill, with a few prepared in advance, and… Read More »Easy Camping Food
  • Meet Person Trainer, Jason
    Meet Jason! Jason has been a part of the Waverley Oaks team as a Certified Personal Trainer since 2017.Jason earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology from UMASS Lowell and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Born and raised in Waltham, Jason has been involved with fitness his whole life playing hockey, soccer, baseball, but his true calling is martial arts. He currently teaches children Karate and Brazilian Jujitsu at his martial arts school, and self-defense classes to all ages. He enjoys working with children and has vast… Read More »Meet Person Trainer, Jason
  • Cooking Oils: Nutrition & Uses
    Cooking Oils: Nutrition & Uses Oils are a type of fat that can be useful for keeping you feeling full for a long time. However, with so many options on the market, it’s hard to know what to choose. Put simply, the best oil will depend on what you’re cooking. Different oils have different smoke points, which is the temperature at which they begin to burn. Heating an oil past the smoke point will make it taste bad, destroy the nutrients, and potentially create harmful free radicals. Unrefined, or virgin oils, are less processed, more flavorful, and retain more nutrients… Read More »Cooking Oils: Nutrition & Uses
  • Sleep & Nutrition Part 1: Sleeping to Improve Nutrition
    Sleep & Nutrition Part 1: Sleeping to Improve Nutrition By: Jessica Roy, MS, RD, LDN, Registered Dietitian & Nutrition Counselor and Lucy Bergeron, Nutrition Intern If you’ve ever gone to bed too late and forced yourself out of bed the next morning, you know that missing sleep has serious consequences for your mood and productivity, even after just one restless night. There’s no doubt; good sleep is crucial for good health. What is good sleep? This varies from person to person, but most of us need 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night, with adequate time spent in… Read More »Sleep & Nutrition Part 1: Sleeping to Improve Nutrition
  • Sleep & Nutrition Part 2: Nutrition To Improve Sleep
    Sleep & Nutrition Part 2: Nutrition To Improve Sleep By: Jessica Roy, MS, RD, LDN, Registered Dietitian & Nutrition Counselor and Lucy Bergeron, Nutrition Intern As discussed in part 1, sleep and nutrition are not as separate from each other as we often think. The quality of your sleep impacts the quality of your nutrition via your metabolism, cravings, and hormones, including leptin and ghrelin, which regulate appetite, and cortisol, the stress hormone.  This means missing sleep creates a cascade of negative effects on our nutrition and overall health. For example, poor sleep will raise cortisol, making you feel stressed… Read More »Sleep & Nutrition Part 2: Nutrition To Improve Sleep
  • Sleep & Nutrition Part 3: Bedtime Snacks
    Sleep & Nutrition Part 3: Bedtime Snacks By: Jessica Roy, MS, RD, LDN, Registered Dietitian & Nutrition Counselor and Lucy Bergeron, nutrition intern Sleep and nutrition work together to create our overall health, meaning that if one is neglected it will undermine the other. Getting adequate sleep is important for supporting healthy metabolism and good nutrition habits. Conversely, balanced meals support better sleep, especially if finished a few hours before bedtime. Although taking time to digest between dinner and bedtime is helpful, going to bed hungry is a may detract from quality sleep. If you find yourself feeling peckish close… Read More »Sleep & Nutrition Part 3: Bedtime Snacks
  • Meet Personal Trainer, Sinceree!
    Meet Sinceree! Sinceree Clarke-Diego has been working in the fitness industry for over 10 years, and at Waverley Oaks for 3 years as a personal trainer, aquatrainer and group exercise instructor. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Exercise Science from Quincy College and is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF). She is also a Certified Pre & Postnatal Coaching Specialist through Girls Gone Strong and holds her Group Fitness Certification through Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). Sinceree enjoys working with all ages and fitness levels but particularly enjoys working with those… Read More »Meet Personal Trainer, Sinceree!
  • It’s Strawberry Season
    Strawberries are available year round, but the month of June is when they’re at their best; bright red, full of flavor and sweetness.  Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C, folate and potassium and contain disease fighting antioxidants.  This red berry shows up in jams, jellies as well as the perennially favorite, shortcake.  You may be used to eating them with your cereal or yogurt, but how about using them for something different: making your own fruit leather.  It’s easier to make than you might think and much healthier than the processed stuff marketed toward kids in the grocery… Read More »It’s Strawberry Season
  • Fresh Watermelon Cake
    I didn’t create this recipe, but I’ve made it a dozen times. It features fresh watermelon, which is the fruit of the summer and who doesn’t love watermelon?  This quick and easy no-bake dessert is a crowd pleaser. The “cake” part is fresh watermelon carved into a cake-like shape.  It’s then frosted with whipped cream and topped with fresh fruit and slivered almonds.   It’s so delicious and satisfies without being heavy and you can use various toppings to make it your own.  Try this one at your next summer gathering and be prepared for a big “WOW” factor! One medium whole, seedless… Read More »Fresh Watermelon Cake
  • Father’s Day Grilling Ideas
    Father’s Day is coming up and I asked my husband, Chris, what he wants for a celebratory meal. He surprised me with his request for Impossible Burgers, a plant based meat substitute. He is a meat loving type of guy most of the time, although he has never refused to eat any of my roasted veggies (add olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic and he will eat most anything!). To any aspiring meatless Monday men out there, Chris promises these burgers taste just as good as beef, he actually likes the flavor better, hence his request for his special meal.… Read More »Father’s Day Grilling Ideas
  • Turn up Your Grill Game
    Memorial Day is thought of as the unofficial start of summer and that means more food cooked on the grill.  After a year of social distancing, most of us can’t wait to get together with our friends and families to share a meal over this long holiday weekend. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you spark up that grill along with some sweet recipes to take your grill game next level. Start with a clean grill. This sounds like a no brainer, but if there is any residue or charred build up on the grill this can… Read More »Turn up Your Grill Game
  • Shop Local: Focus on Farmer’s Markets
    Spring and summer bring a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables to area farmers markets. Why shop for local produce, you ask? Here are a few of the many reasons: You’re supporting the local economy Local produce requires less transit time and less packaging, which is better for the environment The produce is fresher and tastes better! (Bite into a local heirloom tomato in the middle of August and you’ll see what I mean) Eating more fruits and vegetables is one of the best things you can do for your health (hello, fiber, vitamins, and minerals!) When are farmer’s markets… Read More »Shop Local: Focus on Farmer’s Markets
  • Mother’s Day Favorites
    Anyone who knows me (or reads any of my blog posts) probably knows that the role I most value in life is that of Mom. In celebration of all Mother’s out there, I asked some of my special Mom friends what their favorite Mother’s Day food celebrations include. Keep reading to find out more, plus my own contribution which I love making with my kiddos! Mom of a three-year-old boy wants breakfast – let’s hope Dad and kiddo can make her an avocado topped omelette with a side of tater tots! Mom of a little girl with another sweet baby… Read More »Mother’s Day Favorites
  • Dietary Protein in Relation to Exercise and Performance
    Protein is an essential nutrient in the human body and serves many roles. Protein is especially important for lean muscle mass production. Adequate intake and appropriate timing of protein intake is especially helpful if you are trying to work on your own lean muscle mass status through fitness and nutrition. How much do I need? 1-1.2 g of protein/kg of body weight is considered a good starting point for the moderate exerciser, and more may certainly be warranted based on specific activity level. More intense movement and dedicated athletes will likely need closer to 1.5-1.8 g/kg, even up to 2… Read More »Dietary Protein in Relation to Exercise and Performance
  • Meal Prep Basics: Quick and Easy Sheet Pan Gnocchi
    Having a full time job, being a full time student, and/or an active parent can make it hard to get balanced meals on the table daily. Every Sunday, I set aside 1-2 hours (depending on the recipes) to cook a meal or two in bulk for the week.  Meal prepping helps me to save money by avoiding eating out, and to take control of what I am eating. It also allows me to relax at the end of long workdays. Meal prepping can seem daunting and time consuming at first, but it doesn’t have to be.  It gives you a… Read More »Meal Prep Basics: Quick and Easy Sheet Pan Gnocchi
  • Weight gain during Covid? Try spring cleaning your diet
    A recent piece in the New York Times revealed that at the start of the shutdown, many Americans began gaining an average of almost half a pound every 10 days, that translates to almost 2 pounds a month– and if you’re doing the math, that means some folks could have easily gained 20 pounds over the course of the past year.  So much for the quarantine 15! The spring is the perfect time to address some of the less than healthy lockdown habits that you may have acquired.  While many of us start cleaning our yards and straightening out our… Read More »Weight gain during Covid? Try spring cleaning your diet
  • Celebrate Spring with National Picnic Day April 23rd
    Spring has officially arrived although sometimes Mother Nature still brings us cold weather in New England. National Picnic Day is a great way to get outdoors with friends and family to celebrate the warmer days. If we are not lucky enough to have sunshine this day, a picnic inside is still fun for the young ones, and the young at heart! Enjoying a fantastic picnic is easy and adds to the health benefits we enjoy from time outside in nature. Not only does exposure to the sun bring us increased vitamin D exposure (good for healthy bones, immunity, inflammation), but… Read More »Celebrate Spring with National Picnic Day April 23rd
  • 6 Snack Ideas For When You’re Short On Time
    Snacks sometimes get a bad rap, and many people avoid having them in order to watch their weight. Have you ever found yourself avoiding a snack only to overeat later? When we avoid eating between meals, we become hungrier, leading us to make unhealthy choices later on when we are extremely hungry. Smart snacking can help us feel full longer and curb cravings, as well as promote portion control. Snacks can be part of a healthy eating pattern and should be thought of as mini meals; which may help to avoid empty calorie options like cookies and chips. They should… Read More »6 Snack Ideas For When You’re Short On Time
  • Personalize Your Plate According to Stage of Life
    This year’s National Nutrition Month theme highlights nutrition needs over a lifespan. Food preferences may change with maturity, and nutritional needs are certainly affected by age. Read on for some tips for balanced eating according to age: Children – Focus on exposure to diverse groups of food. Expect variability with appetite as intake will vary spontaneously based on growth rate. Teens to 20s — Focus on building bone density by eating and drinking calcium-rich items such as cow’s milk, yogurt, cheese, and plant based calcium-fortified beverages such as soy or almond milks. Non-dairy sources of calcium include fortified cereals, beans,… Read More »Personalize Your Plate According to Stage of Life
  • Dark Chocolate Almond Cherry Crisps
    Here’s a quick, no bake treat that I whip up all the time for my family and the clients I cook for as a personal chef.  It provides whole grains, fiber, and protein and can satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time. Whole grain cereal and slivered almonds provide fiber and protein which can help you stay full.  Dried cherries add sweetness but are also chock-full of vitamin A and contain calcium and iron.  The antioxidants in dark chocolate provide a wide range of health benefits such as reducing cholesterol, decreasing the risk of heart disease and preventing cognitive… Read More »Dark Chocolate Almond Cherry Crisps
  • Easy White Chicken Chili
    When the weather is cold, there is nothing like a hearty stew to fill you up and keep you warm.  This flavorful chili comes together quickly, and is chock full of nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamin C, calcium and iron.   Serve alongside a green salad for an easy weeknight meal.  Ingredients: 2 Tablespoons olive oil 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced 2 onions diced to make one cup 1 4.5-ounce can chopped green chiles 2 15-ounce cans of white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 1 14.5-ounce can of low sodium chicken broth 2 teaspoons garlic powder ½ teaspoon black pepper… Read More »Easy White Chicken Chili
  • Boost your Immune System with Nutrition
    The immune system is the body’s defense mechanism against viruses, bacteria and infections. When the immune system is strong, it keeps us healthy and fights off disease.  But when the immune system is weakened by stress, poor sleep, or nutritional deficiencies we are more apt to get sick.  Try these immune boosting nutrients and spices to protect yourself: Vitamin C: This vitamin acts as a powerful antioxidant that is used to keep the body strong and healthy and can reduce the durations of cold symptoms. What’s more, taking 200 mg of vitamin c daily can cut the risk of getting… Read More »Boost your Immune System with Nutrition
  • Personalize Your Plate
    March is National Nutrition Month®! Every year during the month of March, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sponsors the National Nutrition Month campaign, to provide education on developing healthful eating and physical activity habits. Each and every one of us is unique, which means nutrition and health do not have a one-size-fits-all approach. So, this year’s theme is “Personalize Your Plate”. We all come from wide-ranging backgrounds, have distinctive tastes, and individual goals. Many cultures and family traditions influence the foods we eat and offer a variety of different choices in each food group. By personalizing your plate, you… Read More »Personalize Your Plate
  • Ask the Dietitian: Plant-Based Proteins and More
    I received a question from a lovely woman who is trying to focus on more plant-based eating. While focusing on more plant food sources, especially protein, is certainly a healthful habit, she is getting bored. So I did a little research to help expand my knowledge of the options available. The go to plant-based protein sources that many already know and rely on may include soy products (edamame, tempeh, tofu, miso), nuts, seeds, legumes (beans and peanuts), and high protein grains (quinoa). Some other grains that are less readily used may include farro and freekeh. Farro is a versatile grain… Read More »Ask the Dietitian: Plant-Based Proteins and More
  • Tips To Lose Weight & Gain Heart Health
    Losing weight has benefits that go far beyond a smaller pant size.  If you’re overweight, reducing just 5-10% of total body weight has countless health benefits that include improved cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as lower blood sugar levels—all of which can reduce your risk of heart disease.   But losing weight isn’t always easy because it involves creating new habits like modifying food choices and increasing physical activity.   It can help to start small with these tips to create sustainable changes: Set specific and realistic goals. Losing weight may be your ultimate goal, but it’s vague and more of an… Read More »Tips To Lose Weight & Gain Heart Health
  • Heart Health: Walnuts
    Walnuts are an under-appreciated nut, but with February being National Heart Health month, it’s time to show this nut some love. Walnuts are rich in plant based omega 3 fatty acids which can help decrease inflammation in the body; a marker for heart disease. Also research has shown that a diet rich in nuts, including walnuts, along with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes and beans, can help maintain healthy cholesterol and help decrease blood pressure; two major risk factors for heart disease.  Some easy ways to incorporate walnuts to your diet include adding them to oatmeal, sprinkled over yogurt… Read More »Heart Health: Walnuts
  • Tired of Soup this Winter? Try a Warming Smoothie
    Smoothies are delicious and nourishing both cold and hot, so try one of the below recipes to warm up on these cold winter days. Warm Banana, Oat and Peanut Butter Smoothie 1T PB2 powder 1 C milk of choice (I like this one with vanilla Ripple plant based milk ¼ C rolled oats 1 small banana, sliced Warm milk in a saucepan on the stove or in the microwave. Use a small amount of the warmed milk and add to blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour remaining warm milk over blended ingredients and transfer to a mug… Read More »Tired of Soup this Winter? Try a Warming Smoothie
  • Quick Roasted Chicken & Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner
    There are some nights I just don’t feel like cooking. This may surprise some, but as a dietitian, I don’t always want to spend hours in the kitchen, so I look for quick easy meals that I can feed my family without much fuss. This one pan dinner fits the bill. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of vegetables and can convert even the most hard to please vegetable critic into a veggie lover. This meal can be whipped up in no time and allows you to make it your own by using a variety of different vegetables than what… Read More »Quick Roasted Chicken & Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner
  • February is Heart Health Month
    We usually think of February as the month we celebrate Valentine’s Day, complete with chocolate hearts and roses. But even more important than candy hearts, is the heart that beats in our chest.  The heart is one of the most vital organs, it pumps blood throughout the body, and delivers oxygen to cells and removes waste products.  A healthy heart is key to overall health and cannot be overstated because more people die from heart disease than all forms of cancer combined.  Cardiovascular diseases are often called the silent killers because heart attacks and stroke are usually the common first… Read More »February is Heart Health Month
  • Healthy Eating on a Budget
    Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune, just as eating whole foods shouldn’t have to take your  whole paycheck. Having well-balance meals and staying within your budget is possible and can pay dividends in the long run.   A healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and dairy products provides the body with the nutrient it needs to boost the immune system and lowers the risk for diseases such as certain types of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average household in Boston spends approximately… Read More »Healthy Eating on a Budget
  • Mindful Eating From The Perspective Of A 7-Year-Old
    During this holiday season my family and I baked a bit more than season’s past. As a result, we all had the opportunity to enjoy a few more treats. My son was happily surprised by the variety of cookie and candy options, which also led to some very intuitive questions on his part. One afternoon he asked for a cookie, which I agreed to, and he was having difficulty deciding between a classic sugar cookie or an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. He decided that he needed both, but asked me how he could tell if that was too much. I… Read More »Mindful Eating From The Perspective Of A 7-Year-Old
  • 30 Days and 30 Ways to Jumpstart a Happy and Healthy New Year
    A new year can bring about new beginnings and a desire for change, which isn’t always easy.  If creating a healthy lifestyle is on your radar this year, you don’t have to create lofty goals or make resolutions that don’t stick.  Instead aim to make health and wellness a priority using the following tips:  Make time to get outside daily, natural light from outdoors can help alleviate stress, improve sleep and boost vitamin D levels, which in turn helps prevent bone loss and reduce the risk of heart disease. Move more, sit less. Pace or walk around your house or… Read More »30 Days and 30 Ways to Jumpstart a Happy and Healthy New Year
  • Add Some Spice to Your Life
    Cooking with herbs and spices is an easy way to add flavor, color and fragrance to foods.  But beyond the flavor enhancing power of spices, they are also loaded with vitamins and minerals and have important medicinal benefits. Long before their culinary use, spices were used in many cultures for their antimicrobial properties, and to stimulate the immune system to help reduce illness.  Spices have also been used for centuries to reduce inflammation.  The anti-inflammatory benefits of spices are significant because chronic low grade inflammation in the body can damage healthy cells, tissues and organs and lead to diseases such… Read More »Add Some Spice to Your Life
  • Skip the Resolutions for 2021 and Start with Little Habits
    I am not a big fan of resolutions as they tend to be large, lofty, and less specific goals for the coming year. Like losing 20 pounds, or being healthier, or improving fitness levels – these are all admirable goals, but they provide no guidance on how to get to that trim, healthier, fitter person. I recommend instead, a focus on little habits to make behavior change more manageable. One of the most useful tools that I offer my clients is support with forming and committing to little habits. Brushing your teeth, for example, is a little habit that we… Read More »Skip the Resolutions for 2021 and Start with Little Habits
  • The Secret to Weight Loss and Weight Management
    What if I told you that you could maintain your weight or even lose weight by eating more of something?  It may sound too good to be true, but I promise you, it’s not.  The secret is out.  Eating more fiber-rich foods has been shown to play a significant role in weight management.  The rates of overweight and obesity in the United States have been climbing over the past decade, making this the most pressing public health threat of the 21st century.  Obesity and overweight contribute to a host of serious health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease,… Read More »The Secret to Weight Loss and Weight Management
  • Ten Ways You Can Have Your Thanksgiving Pie and Eat it Too!
    If you tell yourself Thanksgiving comes only once a year as a way to justify overeating, keep in mind that most yearly weight gain happens over the three month period of time between turkey day and New Year’s Day.  The typical American eats almost 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving, with 3,000 of those calories coming from the Thanksgiving dinner alone.  Thanksgiving may look different this year for many of us, but if you’re planning to make a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings, there are some ways that you can still enjoy the meal without sabotaging your waistline. No matter… Read More »Ten Ways You Can Have Your Thanksgiving Pie and Eat it Too!
  • Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
    As the weather gets colder, I like to bake to satisfy my sweet tooth.  This is a delicious bread that makes a regular appearance in my kitchen throughout the fall and winter.  The chocolate chips provide just the right amount of sweetness when I’m craving something chocolate and the canned pumpkin does double duty providing immune boosting nutrients like potassium, zinc and folate, as well as lending it’s creamy texture to create a moist loaf every time.   If you have leftover canned pumpkin puree after making this recipe, you can put it in an ice cube tray and freeze it,… Read More »Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
  • 15 Clever Recipe Ideas for Canned Pumpkin
    Autumn is synonymous with falling leaves, back to school and pumpkin flavored everything!  From late September right through the holidays we have a myriad of choices featuring pumpkin. But this versatile pantry staple deserves year round attention not just for its creamy flavor but for the nutritional boost it provides.  Canned pumpkin (not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling) is a superfood, chockfull of anti-oxidants that give this fruit its colorful orange hue.  It is loaded with immune boosting nutrients like potassium, zinc, folate, manganese, as well as vitamins A, C, E, and B6.  It’s a good source of fiber… Read More »15 Clever Recipe Ideas for Canned Pumpkin
  • Meal Planning with Meal Garden
    Meals out of the house, whether from take out, sit down meals, or even your local grocery store salad bar are contributing more and more to daily caloric intake. Enjoying a restaurant meal or a quick sandwich out is certainly fine in moderation but can pose a hurdle for weight maintenance and weight loss goals when it becomes a habit. Meals eaten out are often higher in calories than meals at home, as well as more expensive. Meal planning is an important skill to help create and stick to a plan for eating at home. There are many apps available that can assist with meal… Read More »Meal Planning with Meal Garden