March 2, 2014

New FDA Labeling Guidelines

Filed under: By Tamra Rosenfeld — Administrator @ 1:56 pm

Tamra Rosenfeld Tamra Rosenfeld

New FDA Labeling Guidelines

Reading food labels may soon become easier. For the first time in over 20 years the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed new changes to food labels of packaged foods. The new guidelines should reflect the way many consumers actually eat. If approved, manufacturing companies will have 2 years to implement these changes. Below outlines some of the new changes.

Proposed changes:

  • The calorie and serving per container information will be bolded for easier reading.
  • The “amount of calories from fat??? on labels currently will be removed.
  • Added sugars will be a new column.
  • Serving sizes will be modified to reflect what consumers may actually eat. For example the serving size of ice cream will now be 1 cup (from ½ cup), soda will be 12 oz (from 8oz), yogurt will go down to 6 oz (from 8 oz).
  • Items that a consumer can conceivably eat in 1 sitting will have the entire calorie amount of the package on the label.
  • Vitamin D, potassium, calcium and iron will be required on the label. Vitamin A and C will no longer be required as deficiencies are rare.


  • On the new label it will be easier to see the amount of calories and serving sizes in the package.
  • Serving sizes will be more realistic.
  • There will be a greater emphasis on added sugars which may in turn dissuade consumers from purchasing more processed items.
  • It will be easier to figure out whether you are adequately consuming some important vitamins and minerals.


  • Those who have already mastered reading the nutrition label will have to relearn the new labeling.
  • The new serving size may appear to some consumers that eating more food is acceptable. For instance those who were aware of serving size of ice cream as ½ cup may now feel that 1 cup is the correct amount to have in 1 sitting.
  • Diabetics that have been trained to look at carbohydrates and sugars on packaging may be confused by the added sugars column. Added and naturally occurring sugars will have the same effect on blood sugar levels.
  • Implementing these changes will cost manufacturing companies significant amounts of money which may in turn raise the cost of the products.

March 24, 2013

Passover Survival Tips

Filed under: By Tamra Rosenfeld — Administrator @ 10:07 pm

Tamra Rosenfeld Tamra Rosenfeld

Eating healthy during Passover can be a challenge. At a typical Passover Seder including wine you can rack up over 3000 calories if you’re not careful!! Passover desserts and sides have more calories than normal due to the density of being unleavened. If you are strict with a Passover diet you are limited to only the kosher for Passover foods available. As a result you may have less low fat, low calorie items than you would throughout the year. In addition, eating unleavened bread for 8 days can be very bloating and constipating. Here are some tips to avoid the Passover weight gain and discomfort.

  • Eat a light breakfast such as yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit, or an egg white
    omelet with vegetables.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. The high fiber and water content will help
    with satiety and bloating.
  • Drink 8-12 glasses of water a day. Water will help the digestive process,
    minimize constipation, and help with satiety.
  • Choose whole wheat matzo and whole wheat matzo meal. When reading labels
    look for items with 5-6+ grams fiber per serving.
  • Limit the sides. They are usually high in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. Stick
    with vegetables and lean meats.
  • Limit the Passover desserts (they never taste as good as they look and are very
    dense and loaded in calories).
  • Avoid having macaroons and chocolate covered matzo in your home. These
    items are too easy to eat lots of. Macaroons are made from coconut which is high
    in unhealthy saturated fat.
  • Eat plenty of low fat dairy such as yogurt, low fat milk, low fat cottage cheese or
    sour cream.
  • Choose lean meats such as skinless chicken, turkey, and fish. Limit the brisket to
    Seders only.
  • Get plenty of exercise to help minimize weight gain.

January 16, 2013

Eating Healthy In the New Year

Filed under: By Tamra Rosenfeld — Administrator @ 1:32 am

Tamra Rosenfeld Tamra Rosenfeld

Gained some weight over the holidays? Don’t give up on your New Year’s resolutions
just yet. Here are some tips to help with healthy eating in 2013.

1. Set reasonable goals – if you expect to change your entire diet at once chances are
you will not be successful. Aim for 1-2 small changes a week.
2. If weight loss is a goal aim for 1-2 lbs a week. More weight loss will result in
loss of lean muscle mass and lowered metabolism.
3. Try small frequent meals. Never allow yourself to be very hungry or very full.
4. Incorporate fruits and vegetables with all meals. Fruit and vegetables are low
in calories, high in fiber and water. When preparing vegetables limit the oil
and butter to avoid adding extra calories and fat. Use fresh or frozen fruit and
vegetables instead of canned. Canned items can be high in salt or sugar and many
of the vitamins are lost in the water.
5. Don’t drink your calories. Calories in beverages can add up and won’t provide
6. Drink 8-12 glasses of water a day. Thirst may sometimes be mistaken for hunger.
Being properly hydrated can help with metabolism and increase energy.
7. Eat more plant based foods. A diet rich in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains can
reduce disease risk and calories.
8. Don’t eliminate any food group. This can cause cravings and overeating of other
foods in order to compensate.
9. Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Start slow and gradually
increase time and intensity.
10. Plan on making changes to your diet permanent. After weight loss keep healthy
habits in order to keep the weight off. Losing and regaining weight makes future
weight loss more difficult.
11. If you have cravings for a food don’t ignore it. Indulging once in a while (in
small amounts) can reduce the risk of giving up on weight loss.
12. Avoid night time eating. After dinner brush your teeth to avoid further eating.
13. Schedule your meals and snacks. If you eat all day long you may not be aware of
the amount you are eating.
14. Plan ahead. When food shopping make a list. Plan out your meals and snacks the
night before.

December 5, 2012


Filed under: By Tamra Rosenfeld — Administrator @ 1:34 am

Tamra Rosenfeld Tamra Rosenfeld

A cheeseburger can be a tasty treat but what are you actually eating?

A cheeseburger from a restaurant can be high in calories, fat, and sodium. Many restaurant cheeseburgers can be 10 oz (two and a half times more than recommended size)! If you make it a double or add some extra items such as bacon, sauteed vegetables, and avocado you are likely looking at over 1000 calories without including the fries! Three ounces of 80% chop meat can contain 231 calories and 15 grams of fat. Chances are restaurants are using even fattier meat than that in their burgers.

Here are some ways to make a cheeseburger a bit healthier:

  • Use lean meat (90% or higher) or ground turkey. You can use breadcrumbs or
    other fillers to increase the bulk.
  • Hold the salt. Add spices such as onion and garlic powder to improve the taste.
  • Avoid the extras – bacon, sauteed mushrooms, extra cheese
  • Skip the fries.
  • Use portion control – think of the size of a deck of cards when thinking of the
    appropriate size of meat.
  • Use low fat cheese if possible.

Did you know

  • National cheeseburger day is celebrated yearly on September 18th
  • There is a theory that a homeless man in Pasadena, California, suggested the
    addition of a slice of cheese to his hamburger order and that is how cheeseburgers
    came to be.
  • In 2001 hamburgers and cheeseburgers comprised 71% of the beef servings in
    American restaurants.
  • Half of all burgers sold in America are cheeseburgers.
  • On average, Americans eat three hamburgers per week.
  • In an attempt to provide a “kosher cheeseburger”, a kosher restaurant in New
    York City created a controversial cheeseburger which replaced cheese with soy

November 18, 2012

Hold the stuffing please…

Filed under: By Tamra Rosenfeld — Administrator @ 3:53 pm

Tamra Rosenfeld Tamra Rosenfeld

Although Thanksgiving is only one day, between that and leftovers weight gain can easily occur.
The average person on Thanksgiving alone can consume 2000-4000 calories (3500 calories is
equivalent to 1 lb of fat weight gain). You can’t always know how food is prepared but you can
make some better choices to lighten the calorie load.

Turkey is usually the Thanksgiving food of choice, and you may want to include it in your diet
regularly. Turkey is low in fat (without the skin) and calories, and also high in protein. It has
many vitamins and minerals that provide health benefits. Turkey contains selenium which is
an anti-oxidant, and also beneficial for your immune system. It also contains niacin which may
protect against some cancers, and vitamin B6 for energy production and blood sugar regulation.
White meat contains fewer calories and less fat than the dark meat. So this Thanksgiving you
may want to avoid some of the fattening sides and add an extra helping of turkey to your plate!

Foods to fill up on:

Soup – although high in sodium, usually a low calorie food. Watch out for cream based soups.
Salad – 1 cup of leafy greens is only 25 calories. Be careful when adding salad fixings and
Vegetables – vegetables have 25 calories in 1/2 cup cooked. Even with butter vegetables are still
one of the lowest calorie Thanksgiving items.
Turkey – limit high fat gravy to a spoonful
Fruit – when it is dessert time load up your plate with fruit (if available) and put small helpings
of the other dessert items on the side.

Foods to limit (consume in smaller portions):

Cranberry sauce – have you ever tasted a cranberry? Think of all the sugar that was needed to
make it so sweet.
Stuffing – this can vary depending on preparation but is often high in sodium, calories, and fat.
Mashed potatoes – usually made with butter and cream this dish is high in carbs, fats, and salt
Gravy – if skimmed of fat it may be low in calories. If oily use with caution.
Desserts – take small helpings of the dessert that you desire most. Eat slowly and savor the

October 17, 2012

Easing the Transition to Cold Weather Workouts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Administrator @ 11:27 pm

As the seasons change your workouts must change as well. Fortunately, there are many options for indoor exercise even if you do not have access to a club or indoor gymnasium. With the addition of a few key pieces of home gym equipment, treadmills or ellipticals, you can transition to cold weather workouts without missing a beat.


There are a number of abdominal exercises that can be performed with no equipment at all. We are all familiar with crunches, but when you move your workouts indoors you should take this opportunity to incorporate the full range of ab exercises to your schedule.

Let’s face it – workouts that are more comfortable are more inviting. Therefore, you should consider the small investment in foam exercise pads and soft stability balls to enhance your abdominal workouts.


The options for indoor strength training are wide open. Using only your own body weight, push ups are among the best exercises for building and maintaining your overall upper body strength. A simple chin-up bar can be installed in a closet doorway and is a fantastic, low-cost addition to your workout schedule.

Adding dumbbells, barbells and a weight bench to your indoor gym will take your strength training to another level. Also keep in mind that isometrics, in which you use your body’s own muscles in opposition to one another, are a proven method for toning muscles that can be done anywhere without any equipment.


Elliptical trainers, treadmills and indoor cycling require little space and can provide all the aerobic exercise you will need in cold weather. Ellipticals, treadmills and cycling are low impact workouts that burn lots of calories and will keep you fit throughout the year. They are all easy to use and that is one of the keys to maintaining your fitness level through indoor workouts.

Jump ropes are another simple option for indoor aerobic exercise. If you have a place to mount a speed bag or even a heavy bag, boxing provides another fantastic opportunity for indoor cardiovascular exercise. Finally, do not forget that moving your body up the stairways at work or home can burn lots of extra calories and can help compensate for the warm weather activities that you put on hold over the winter.


Just as you would never overlook stretching as part of your warm weather regimen, keeping limber is even more important when it turns cold outside. So be sure to maintain or even improve upon your stretching program indoors during cold weather.


One advantage to indoor workouts is that you can watch exercise DVDs, or your favorite sports or television shows, during your workouts. This will help to maintain your motivation as you move indoors, and it will also provide you with educational opportunities. Learning how to maximize the benefits of your fitness program will help you all year long.

Jim Rollince is a member of the creating writing department of Gym Source. He enjoys writing about Fitness, Nutrition, and many other related topics. Contact him at

August 12, 2012

The Power to Lift!

Filed under: By Ellen Bittner — Administrator @ 8:53 pm

Ellen Bittner    

By Ellen Bittner
Chapter 1: From Bench Sitter to Bench Presser

It’s been awhile since I wrote my last blog post (actually it’s been more than 2 years); so, I guess it’s time to update my fitness journey.

My last chapter, under the heading “Feeling Fab??? was titled Going Public. At that time, I was just beginning to feel comfortable with my body and my physical abilities, and I joined Vadim’s small group boot camp classes. Working out with these “fitness fanatics??? provided a different experience, helped me to look at exercise in a new way, and challenged me to do things I hadn’t done before. My boot camp buddies were fun and encouraging; and because they were also considerably younger than me, one of them dubbed me “The Cougar.???

The weekly boot camps provided me with a fast-paced cardio workout, but I still wanted the benefits that one-on-one sessions provided. So, I continued to train with Vadim once a week. These private sessions focused on improving my strength, balance, and flexibility. They included lots of work with the barbell – bench pressing and deadlifts (stiff legged, regular, & sumo), dumbbell complexes using handheld weights, and kettlebell exercises.

It was during one of these private sessions that Vadim told me about his recent experience at the Albany Strength Powerlifting Meet. He was so excited I thought there must be something pretty special about a powerlifting competition, aside from the fact that he won a trophy, and began asking lots of questions. I learned that unlike weightlifting (which is comprised of two lifts – the clean & jerk and the snatch; and requires speed and flexibility along with strength); powerlifting consists of three lifts: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. Each of these lifts has rules and regulations for what constitutes a valid lift – more about this in future blogs.

Either Vadim didn’t know the answers or he was tired of my questions, but he suggested I go to a powerlifting competition and see for myself. A few weeks later I drove to Pine Bush, NY and watched Vadim compete in the OC Powerlifting Championship. While I was there I saw that there were a number of women competing and spoke with several of them. Olga, Katia, and Billie Jo willingly shared their own powerlifting experiences with me, gave me much needed guidance on powerlifting clothing and gear, and helped me understand what was going on at this particular event. I also spoke with Frank, who was running this competition, and tried on a couple of singlets (what I called “onesies???) to see how they fit and felt on me.

Their excitement and encouragement, along with the realization that I had nothing to lose, motivated me to become a powerlifter, and so another transformation began. For the next few months Vadim and I worked to get me ready for my first powerlifting event – the New Jersey State Bench Press Championships in Princeton, NJ. Vadim worked to improve my bench press and get me ready for the technical aspects of the competition, and I worked on finding the right gear and singlet to wear.

And so, on a bright sunny day in July I found myself driving on I-95 to Princeton, NJ. The dividend to this adventure was that my niece Amy was a doctoral student at nearby Princeton University. This gave me the opportunity to have dinner with her and have some quality time together.

The next morning I met Vadim and Sharon for weigh-in and equipment check, before we had breakfast together. Vadim and Sharon competed in the three lift powerlifting competition (squat, bench press and deadlift). Since this was my first competition, I focused on one lift – the bench press. If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering how I did – I won a GOLD MEDAL… and began the journey of becoming a competitive powerlifting!


August 4, 2012

Should Your Salad be on a Diet?

Filed under: By Tamra Rosenfeld — Administrator @ 12:50 am

Tamra Rosenfeld Tamra Rosenfeld

Trying to lose weight is a challenge. Often people will turn to salads at restaurants because they believe it is a low calorie choice. Choosing the cranberry, goat cheese and pecan salad may be doing more harm to your diet than good. Many salads have add-ins that can be more caloric than a cheeseburger! Here are a few examples:

  • Cheesecake factory – Caeasar Salad with Chicken: 1510 calories
  • Applebee’s – Oriental Chicken Salad: 1390 calories
  • TGI Friday’s – Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad: 1100 calories

Here are some things to think about when choosing your salads:

  • Choose light or vinaigrette dressings instead of creamy ones. 2 tablespoons of creamy dressing can be as much as 300 calories.
  • Keep nuts to a minimum. A handful of nuts can be over 200 calories. Candied nuts are even more caloric.
  • Limit cheeses – one ounce of cheese (the size of 4 die) can be over 100 calories.
  • Limit dried fruit – ¼ cup of dried fruit can be up to 100 calories.
  • Add beans to your salad for protein – ½ cup beans are 90 calories but will keep you full longer due to fiber and protein content.
  • Load up on leafy greens. 1 cup of raw leafy greens only has 25 calories.
  • If ordering a salad at a restaurant, skip all the toppings and add grilled chicken or shrimp for flavor and satiety. Adding salads with vegetables and light dressing is a great way to curb appetite at a meal.

April 14, 2012

Spring Nutrition Tips

Filed under: By Tamra Rosenfeld — Administrator @ 8:58 pm

Tamra Rosenfeld Tamra Rosenfeld

Spring is here. There are only 2 months left to lose some weight before summer. Here are some tips to help manage weight and stay healthy:

  • Have a balanced diet; try following the MyPlate guidelines to incorporate all of the food groups.
  • Focus on fruit and vegetables first. Fruit and vegetables are low in calories, high in fiber, and high in water. They are also packed with antioxidants that can reduce disease risk.
  • Choose whole grains instead of refined grains. Examples of whole grains are 100% whole grain breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and whole grain cereals. Limit added sugars in these items.
  • Limit meat. The amount of meat to eat daily ranges from 4-8 oz. That is equivalent the size of 1-2 ½ decks of cards.
  • Set scheduled meal and snack times. Eat something every 3 hours to boost metabolism and prevent overeating at the next meal.
  • Eat breakfast daily as early as possible. This will help boost your metabolism.
  • Drink 8-12 cups of water daily.
  • Limit foods that will not fill you up such as 100 calorie snack packs or foods with added sugar.
  • Avoid after dinner snacks. When you are finished with dinner try brushing your teeth so you won’t be as tempted to eat again.
  • Exercise most days of the week. Try making exercise fun – take a class, play a sport you enjoy, or dance.

February 2, 2012

My Personal Weight Loss Success Story

Filed under: By Tamra Rosenfeld — Administrator @ 12:38 am

Tamra Rosenfeld Tamra Rosenfeld

My Personal Weight Loss Success Story

For the past 4 years I have been working with clients on weight loss (and other nutritionally related conditions). Occasionally a client will confront me about whether I have had to deal with weight loss. When I tell them about my own struggle (although may not be as significant) they find comfort that they may be able to overcome their weight issues.

As a child I never thought about weight or eating habits. In high school the favorite thing to do with friends was eat. We would go from one fast food restaurant to another and then follow it with dessert. When I went away to college the “all you can eat??? meal plan and late night snacking didn’t help. Luckily I was somewhat active and although the weight was creeping up, it wasn’t rapid. After college I worked in front of the computer and became completely sedentary. It wasn’t until I was 26 when I realized I had a weight issue. I would wake up every morning feeling exhausted. Walking one flight of stairs would leave me breathless. I went to doctors but received a clean bill of health (except for slightly elevated cholesterol and blood pressure). It was at that time that I realized that I needed to lose weight.

I knew little about healthy eating and weight loss. I began walking daily outside and got a treadmill for my home. I found the food guide pyramid (before mypyramid and myplate) and decided that was the healthiest thing to do. I spent each day following the food guide pyramid and making sure I had all of the food groups recommended in the correct portion sizes. I had many snacks throughout the day of fruit, vegetables, cheese, and yogurt to sustain myself. The weight did not come off rapidly but I did not get discouraged. I felt better eating more healthfully and I didn’t want to go back to my old ways. It took over 3 years to be down to an ideal body weight.

After achieving my goal I decided to go to school for nutrition so I can help people with the same struggle. I try to be an example for my clients. Today (10 years and 2 children later) I remain at a healthy weight.

Over the last 4 years I have worked at Vadim Fitness Studio, LTD as a consultant dietitian. The team has continued to motivate me to achieve fitness and health. My weight maintenance involves not only nutrition but physical fitness. Vadim and staff are highly skilled and make workouts challenging but enjoyable.

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