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‘Tis the season of Friends, Family and Food.

But for those that are trying to stay fit and eat healthy during the holidays, it may seem like an upward battle.

Research shows that regular exercise plummets in the month of December and people eat 75% more calories when dining in large groups or at parties with excessive amounts of food.

However, for those that want to stay focused on their fitness goals, there’s one easy tip to help curb overindulging in the seasonal schmorgesborg.



This Healthy Holiday Tip is brought to you by JayDee Cutting.

JayDee Cutting is a GRAVITY Master Trainer, certified personal trainer, Pilates instructor and creator of the “Core Golf Fitness” program. JayDee’s Core GolfFitness DVD offers on-course and warm-up exercises proven to help advance your golf game and is available for purchase at


The holidays are a lonely time for a nutritionist. My clients who typically bounce through the door, excited to see me suddenly have problems with “cell phone reception” and inexplicably “lost” e-mails. It really is the strangest thing. Then, January 2nd rolls around and in they sulk, 5 – 10 pounds heavier, with a look of frustration and disappointment. Holidays: 1, Client: 0.

Had they not had those “terrible cell phone problems,” I could have informed them of some simple ways to enjoy the holidays without ringing in the New Year bloated and defeated!

First, let’s look at the five pounds that people often gain between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. This breaks down to an extra 17,500 calories in one month!  Unless you are doing something extraordinary, there is no way that these pounds are gained solely on the big days of eating. Instead, the calories squeak in through little bites that you may not even enjoy and barely remember.

Think about your co-worker’s cookies at the office holiday party. They weren’t even that good, but you still had three because they were there. Or that box of peanut brittle from your Secret Santa. Or that dip at your neighbor’s party.

So how do you stop an unconscious habit like this? Just reading this post increases your awareness and is a step in the right direction. Here are a few tips to help you make decisions during the holiday season:

1. Step Away From the Food Table – Your physical location (e.g. bellied up to the buffet table) is the biggest culprit when it comes to mindless eating. Prepare a small plate of your favorite foods and then head to the other side of the room. This is true for the bar as well. Plus, at office parties, it may not only help save your waistline, but your job too!

2. Eat Before You Go – Always make sure to eat a little something before you head out to holiday parties. If you’re starving when you get there, you are more likely to overeat. I always keep healthy snacks like nuts divided into single serve bags so I have something quick to grab when I’m on the go.

3. Bring Something Healthy to Share – The holidays are a time for sharing and spending time with loved ones. What better way to take care of those around you than to bring a healthy dish to share? Think of party favorites like dips, spreads and even party beverages. One easy way to give these treats a boost is to add naturally calorie-free green tea. You may want to try Salada’s Green Tea Martini, Boston Iced Tea with cranberry juice, Green Tea Fruit Twist Smoothie, or even traditional or classic lemon iced tea.

4. Don’t Be Afraid of Seconds – Make your first plate at holiday dinners a small one. You can always go back for more if you are still hungry.

5. Enjoy Yourself – The holidays are a time to spend with loved ones and eat wonderful food. When you are eating something that you really love, make sure to savor it. Chew slowly, taste all of the flavors, and truly enjoy the act of eating. Good friends and good food are great reasons to be thankful this holiday season.

And remember, a few small steps can lead to big changes.


Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist and Salada Tea Spokesperson living in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at




Summer is over and it’s time to start thinking ahead… to flu season.

There’s no better time to start revving up your immune system than the present. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you be proactive and stay healthy.










Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist and Salada Tea Spokesperson living in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at


TARA’S FRIDAY BITE – Staying Hydrated with Fruits & Vegetables

photo credit: Yummy Supper at


It‘s getting hot in here!  I mean really hot.  Summer is in full swing and by the 4th of July most of the country is going to be engulfed in the 100+ heat wave.  During this time staying hydrated is key.  However, did you know that one of the best places to get water is through your food?  The water found in fruits and vegetables can actually assimilate into your cells better than drinking water alone.   Now, please don’t read that as your nutritionist telling you to stop drinking water!  Instead, when you are focusing on your hydration you should aim to increase both your liquids and your fruits and vegetables.  Here are a few tips to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your everyday way of eating!


Every time you eat, make sure to have a fruit or vegetable– We are usually good at getting our fruits and veggies in at mealtime but snacks can be where we fall short.  A good rule of thumb is to make sure you are getting a fruit or vegetable every time you eat.  This can include some fruit with your oatmeal in the morning, carrots and hummus, an apple and peanut butter as a snack and an orange with your lunch rather than the chips.

Sneak them in – Try a spiral slicer and mix some squash into your pasta dishes or throw a handful of spinach into your morning smoothie.  This won’t change the taste but will add in some extra nutrients and hydration into your favorite dishes.  You can also chop them into small portions and mix them into your burgers or meatloaf.  This will add more moisture to your meal and make them juicer and even more delicious!

Grill them up – BBQ season is in full swing and grilling is great way to incorporate more greens.  I love loading up my kabobs with sliced vegetables.  You can also pick up a grill basket (or make your own by folding up a few pieces of foil and gently poking holes with a fork) and toss sliced veggies directly on the grill.  My absolute favorite, though, is grilling sliced pineapple.  After you are done with dinner, place pineapple slices on the grill until they are warm on both sides.  This will caramelize the natural sugars and make a delicious and healthy dessert!

Have them as dessert – Speaking of dessert, the natural water and sweetness of fruit makes it a perfect end to a summer meal.  However, if you want something a little more exciting, use your food processer to blend up frozen bananas into frozen “yogurt.” Or you can blend fresh fruit and freeze them into popsicles for a cool refreshing snack!


Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist and Salada Tea Spokesperson living in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at



Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.

When it comes to creating a healthier you, there are many things you can do to improve your lifestyle, and as a result your health. But did you know that weight loss is at the top of the list?

Sure diet, sedentary lifestyle and genetics are primary causes of overweight and obesity, but much of it is in your control. Even a modest reduction in weight for many of the approximately 75% of Americans who are overweight or obese will reduce risk factors for serious illnesses.

As owners of a Total Gym, you’ve already taken an important step in promoting a healthy lifestyle. You know the advantages of having the convenience of a complete full-body workout within immediate reach. Reducing calories and exercising for a minimum of 150 minutes each week is the simplest approach to weight control and instant accessibility to the Total Gym in your bedroom, family room, basement, garage—even outside—makes it more likely you are taking those important steps to become a healthier you.

Exercising for at least an hour a day, eating a low-fat/low-calorie diet, having a sensible breakfast every day, weighing yourself regularly and eating the same diet on weekends as you do during the week are essential steps for anyone who has lost significant weight and wants to keep it off.

Lifestyle change encompasses more than just diet and exercise though. The major categories you can control, according to the LEARN Program for Weight Control, include:


• Develop smart weight loss goals that you can accomplish

• Get rid of any “it’s all or nothing” type of thinking, otherwise a lapse will become a relapse

• Don’t equate your weight with your self-esteem

• Be sure you dump your erroneous thinking about yourself, your weight and what you “can” and “can’t” do about it


• Find support in others and be clear about the kind of help you’d like from those close to you

• Being part of a weight loss group, working out on the Total Gym with family and friends, even with a Total Gym DVD, allows you to stay motivated and share your triumphs and strategize solutions if you face any lapses.


• Forget pop diets—they are short-lived

• Portion control, count calories, and eat with moderation in your approach to food

• Stay with an individualized, systematic

• Keep a journal. Recording your body weight, counting calories, and general self-monitoring have been shown to be of significant benefit.plan (WeightWatchers is rated # 1 by US News and World Report)

• Survey the entire buffet before serving yourself has been shown to lead to putting less on your plate


• Set achievable, realistic exercise goals

• Deal with emotional barriers to exercise

• Be sure you continue adding increased activity levels to your daily lifestyle

• Start with small steps at first, of course—on your Total Gym, set the glide board at a comfortable level and progress slowly

But wait, there’s more. Of course self-care involves proper diet and exercise. But what are you doing to increase your mastery of stress, to improve your overall relationships, to provide for yourself financially? These are also important to overall health.

Your work-life balance, the amount and type of play in which you engage and key environmental factors you can control are also essential elements of overall self-care. Let’s not forget about having a clear purpose in life, healthy doses of self-esteem and a spiritual foundation as well.

Exercise has been demonstrated over and over again to serve as the central foundation for overall life wellness. Think of wellness as the integration of each of the areas above—mental, social, emotional, spiritual and physical. These are the areas that will expand your life’s potential and impact how you feel about your life and your ability to function effectively and cope positively, optimistically and constructively, day to day.


Follow Dr. Mantell on Twitter @FitnessPsych

Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D., earned his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania after completing his M.S. degree in clinical psychology at Hahnemnann Medical College where he wrote his thesis on the psychological aspects of obesity. He coaches world-class athletes and fitness enthusaists for performance enhancement. He is Senior Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for ACE, on the faculty of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute, a national Community Ambassador for Experience Life Magazine’s health initiative and for FitFluentials, appears weekly on San Diego’s CW channel 6, is a consultant to Les Mills International, writes for IHRSA, is a member of the Sports Medicine Team at the Sporting Club of San Diego and the La Jolla Sports Club specializing in fitness psychology, writes the “San Diego Fitness Psychology” column and “San Diego Life Coach Examiner.” He is also a writer and consultant to the Total Gym company. Dr. Mantell has written two best-selling books and appears regularly on radio and TV.



Oatmeal is a great, high fiber way to start your day.  The downside – it’s low in protein so you may find yourself hungry in a few hours and let’s be honest, oatmeal by itself is  just plain boring!

So here is a quick and easy recipe to jazz up your oatmeal and keep you satisfied for hours!


• ½ cup oats
• A pinch of salt
• Enough water to cover the oatmeal
• 1 tbsp peanut butter
• ½ tsp of cinnamon


Place the oatmeal in a bowl and sprinkle with salt.  Add enough water so that there is about ½ inch above the oats.  You can decrease this slightly if you like a thicker oatmeal.

Microwave for one minute on high.  Remove and stir.  Microwave for 30 seconds.  Remove and stir. Continue in 20 second intervals until it reaches desired consistency.

Stir in 1 tbsp of peanut butter and sprinkle in the cinnamon. (I also like to top with fresh fruit for a little extra vitamins and flavor.)

For those of you that work out in the morning this is a great post workout meal.

Let me know when you give this a try and I would love to hear any of your ideas of how to make this even more delicious!

Bon appetite!

Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist and Salada Tea Spokesperson living in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at








Over the last few months “Gluten Free” has become increasingly popular as a diet and health trend.  However, few people really understand what gluten is and how it can impact their health.

So, what is gluten?  Gluten is a protein that is typically found in many grains.  It is used to enhance the flavor and consistency of many foods.  It is also used as a thickener, which is why you’ll find it in many soups and condiments like ketchup and soy sauce.

What is a gluten intolerance? This term usually refers to two types of people – those with a celiac disease and those with a gluten sensitivity.  Celiac disease produces a dangerous immune response and impacts ~1% of the US population.  Symptoms include chronic diarrhea, fatigue and weight loss.  Overtime damage occurs to the small intestine, which impacts the absorption of many vitamins and minerals.  Those with celiac disease must maintain a 100% gluten free diet and can even be impacted if their food is cooked in the same vicinity as that containing gluten.

Those with a gluten sensitivity tend to have less severe symptoms, which can make it even harder to diagnose.  It is estimated that 5%-10% of Americans have a sensitivity to gluten.  The symptoms that I see most frequently in my practice are acid reflux, hives, gas/bloating and severe fatigue.

How do I know if I have a gluten sensitivity?  If you think that you do have a gluten sensitivity, I suggest removing gluten from your diet for 30 days and seeing how you feel.  This doesn’t mean that you need to go to the store a spend a lot of money on specialized gluten free products!  Instead make some simple substitutions.  Choose risotto over pasta, corn tortilla over flour and tamari over soy sauce.  For a complete list of foods to avoid check out the Mayo Clinic’s website.  Most restaurants have a gluten free menu so don’t hesitate to ask your server to alter the ingredients in your meal.

If you find that your symptoms alleviate after a month you may want to explore some of the many gluten free products that are hitting the shelves.  If not, then you are most likely one of the 90% of American’s that are not impacted by gluten.  Congratulations and go have a sandwich!


Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist and Salada Tea Spokesperson living in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at

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