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

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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



Q: I want to maximize my workouts and my recovery.  Are there special foods or supplements that can help me perform best and recover quickly?

A: This is an excellent question and can best be answered by understanding what happens to our bodies when we exercise.

Exercise causes the depletion of the glycogen stores (which are carbohydrates that are stored in muscles) and the breakdown of muscle protein.

Immediately after exercise is the ideal time to replete these stores of carbohydrates and proteins. It is critical that you eat at least six hours post exercise in order to provide the raw materials that are needed for muscle recovery.  If you fail to eat post exercise, you diminish the chance to promote full recovery of your muscles.

Muscles are the most efficient at carbohydrate and energy uptake during these six hours, so the bulk of the day’s calorie intake should ideally come during this time.

Since muscles typically need 24-48 hours to repair and rebuild, the idea is to consume enough carbohydrates in the 6-hour time frame to promote the release of a hormone called insulin which helps to shuttle carbohydrates and amino acids (the building blocks for protein repair) into the muscles.  Elevated insulin levels promote the storage of glycogen which helps to promote protein repair.  The ideal amount of carbohydrate intake is 0.8-1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight which maximizes glycogen syntheses and accelerates protein repair. The ideal amount of protein that should be consumed is 0.2-0.4 grams per kilogram of body weight. You can calculate your weight in kilograms by taking your body weight in pounds and dividing that by 2.2.

It’s best to avoid fats post workout as fats slows digestion and transit time of nutrients through the gastrointestinal tract.  Liquid supplements are ideal, especially ones that contain whey proteins and carbohydrates. Solid foods tend to be harder to digest post exercise, but if you do choose to consume solid foods, then focus on items such as fruits, yogurt, cottage cheese or even chocolate milk.

So, after your work out, maximize your recovery by consuming the ideal amounts of proteins and carbohydrates and staying well hydrated.  Our bodies perform best if we give them the proper substrates needed to rebuild.

Until, keep working out with your Total Gym and sculpting your physique!!

Elizabeth Salada, MD


Dr. Salada is board certified in Internal Medicine and has been in practice in San Diego since 1996. She attended medical school at Wake Forest University where she received high honors in Family Practice and Internal Medicine. Her final training was obtained from Pennsylvania State University where she completed her residency in Internal Medicine. Visit Dr. Salada’s website for more information:



Tara’s Friday Bite – Navigating the Grocery Store

No matter what your health goals may be, healthy eating starts at the grocery store. Have you ever gone into the store, spent a ton of money and then returned home only to realize you have nothing significant to eat? It happens to the best of us.

Watch this video to learn my tips on how to tackle grocery shopping while saving money AND eating healthy.

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



Tara’s Friday Bite: Heart Healthy Meals for Lovers

February kicks off American Heart Month and right smack in the middle of the month is Valentine’s Day! In honor of both events, I wanted to share 3 of my favorite Heart Healthy Recipes that not only show your sweetheart that you love them, but that you also want to help keep them around for years to come!

Chicken Tikka Masala

Heart Healthy Ingredient: Tumeric

Tumeric is found in most Indian curries and is what gives American mustard that yellow hue. It has also been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and a great addition to your heart healthy lifestyle. Moreover, tumeric’s absorption is greatly increased when paired with black pepper. Try the recipe below that contains both!

Grilled Salmon with Soy & Brown Sugar Glaze

Heart Healthy Ingredient: Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Fatty Acids, found in salmon, have been show to lower blood triglycerides, reduce inflammation and decrease cardiac arrest. They can also help repair heart damage and strengthen heart muscles. Check out the recipe below where you can get all the benefits of salmon AND the sweet taste of brown sugar!

Zesty Wheat Berry Black Bean Chili

Heart Healthy Ingredient: Fiber

The reason that high cholesterol is such a big deal is because it decreases the size of your arteries and puts more burden on your heart to push blood through your body. Increasing your fiber intake is the single best way to reduce cholesterol and make it so your heart doesn’t have to work as hard. Now, if you feel that the old adage “Beans, beans they’re good for your heart…” is a little less than romantic, feel free to try this recipe out on Super Bowl Sunday instead!

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Tara Coleman

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