Author Archive for Shelley Schwartz


Are you scared?

Halloween is right around the corner…do you purchase candy to pass out to the ghouls and goblins?  If so, do you have an exist strategy for it?

Leftover Halloween candy could be detrimental for your weight loss strategies if not handled properly. 

Here are a few options of what you can do with all that candy…

  • Freeze it-throughout the year you can nibble on it (read: NIBBLE, I didn’t say go hog-wild)
  • Bring it to the office or send it to your spouses office…just get it out of the house!
  • Send it overseas-there are groups like Operation Shoebox or Operation Gratitude, which supports our troops, that will gladly take your donation. 



  • If it’s unopened…return it!  Yes, you can do that!!  I know…I didn’t know that either!
  • Some dentists host a candy exchange where they pay you $1/pound of candy you bring in…it may not be much but it’s better than eating it all!
  • Try reverse trick-or-treating!  Make a trip to one or more local charities that accept candy donations. You’ll feel great, and you’ll sweeten someone else’s day too. Some ideas include your local Ronald McDonald House, nursing homes, food pantries, children’s hospitals, veterans’ homes, or women’s shelters

If all this sounds like too much work, there are 2 options;

1.  Give it to your friends…which reminds me of this…


2.  Buy candy that you don’t like.  Then you won’t be tempted to eat it!

It doesn’t matter which option you choose…just have a plan.



Be well!


Ask The Dietitian

My doctor told me that I am a “carrier” for celiac disease but I don’t have it…what does that mean?

-private, Illinois via email

Celiac disease is linked to heredity, meaning you only can develop celiac if you carry the gene(s) that predispose you to it.

Not everyone who carries the celiac disease gene(s) ultimately will develop the disease-only about 40% of the population has one or both of the necessary genes, only 1% of the population actually has celiac disease.

So having the genetic potential doesn’t mean you’ll be diagnosed with celiac disease and need to give up gluten; in fact, the odds are stacked against it!

If you have a question that you would like to ask, please email us @:


What to Eat to Prevent Osteoporosis

Many of us, especially women, have heard the importance of keeping your bones strong. We’ve all seen the “got Milk?” commercials and have heard how calcium helps prevent osteoporosis. But there are more surprising ways to help strengthen your bones and get calcium. Here are some tips to help you start better preserving your bones today.

Calcium is obviously important when it comes to strengthening bones. But did you know that Vitamin D is just as important in building strong bones? Vitamin D and calcium work as a team when it comes to bone strength. Without Vitamin D, the body cannot fully absorb the calcium taken in through milk and other food sources. Thus, it steals the needed calcium from the skeleton, weakening bones and increasing the risk of injury as well as osteoporosis. According to the American Dietetic Association, the daily amount of calcium needed for strong bongs differs for each age group. For children ages four to eight, 800 milligrams is recommended. For nine to ten year olds, 1,300 milligrams, nineteen to fifty year olds require 1,000 milligrams daily and those older than fifty need 1,200 milligrams per day. It is recommended that this power nutrient come from foods rather than supplements. This is because the body is able to absorb calcium through foods better than supplements. Foods that contain calcium will most likely contain other nutrients which will contribute to healthy bones. Supplements are usually recommended for those who have an allergy or intolerance to dairy products. Some good sources of calcium include milk, dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, almonds, and fortified cereals and orange juice.

But there is more you can do besides eating to help prevent bone loss. Studies show that strength training and weight bearing exercise like hiking or running, helps strengthen the bones as well. The recommended amount of exercise to strengthen bones is just thirty minutes per day. That’s all it takes to improve the density of bones. Other examples of weight bearing exercise include aerobics, stair-climbing, and lifting weights.

To help prevent osteoporosis, get regular screenings by your doctor. Osteoporosis is often called the silent disease because there are no symptoms. Once diagnosed with the disease, there is no cure, but there are ways to help preserve the bone mass.


Cervical Cancer Awareness

Cervical cancer is a cancer of the cervix which is almost always caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It may or may not have symptoms but can be found with regular Pap tests. Cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer in women across the globe. Like most other illnesses, what you eat, along with lifestyle, can help prevent cervical cancer.

The top risk factors for cervical cancer include lowered immune system, stress, caffeine, use of oral contraceptives, smoking and poor nutrition and a deficiency of folic acid. A few other risk factors include being sexually active at an early age and having a high number of sexual partners. The risk from vitamin deficiencies can be reduced by changing the diet and consuming more healthful foods, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables. When the deficiencies are depleted, the immune system will strengthen as well as the weak cells throughout the body. Cervical dysplasia is the abnormal growth of cells on the cervix wall, which can lead to cervical cancers. The good news about cervical dysplasia is that with the right nutrition, it can be nearly reversible. Cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts are the best for reversing the growth of these abnormal cells. Foods with folic acid are also helpful in preventing the cancerous cells. Fresh, crispy greens, fortified cereals and grains are the best sources of folic acid. Supplements can be used to help the vitamin deficiencies, but the whole natural foods are always the best option when trying to improve your health. The antioxidants found in fresh fruits and vegetables will be better for the prevention of abnormal cell growth, while the vitamins C, E and beta-carotene are especially helpful in fending off this cancer that seems to be on the rise. If cervical cancer is not detected and treated early enough, it may lead to infertility.  To make sure your health is at its’ best, eat a variety of fruits and veggies each day, exercise regularly and visit your gynecologist yearly to spot any abnormal cells early on. There is a vaccine available to women to help in the prevention HPV which is the most likely cause of this cancer. It is available to girls as young as nine years old, and helps prevent up to four types of HPV, two of which cause almost 75% of cervical cancer cases. Talk to your doctor about more information on the vaccine and how to protect the women and girls in your family.


ask the dietitian

My doctor told me that I should try a cleanse…why would I want to do that and how do I choose one?

– Pam, FLorida via Facebook

Great question Pam!  There are many cleanses on the market today but they are not all created equal!  You can find pill, suppositories, and even juice cleanses.  Some juice cleanses can cost up to $60 per day and many report that they feel/see no change when they are finished.  Plus, users report that they are hungry and have spent much of their day in the restroom with unpleasant side effects.  Who wants that!  Many pill cleanses claim to cleanse or “detox” a specific organ, liver, pancreas or colon.

There are many reasons to cleanse…to rid your body of toxins that are in our air, food and water, weight loss, anti-aging benefits, reduce stress, restore antioxidants, boost the immune system and  to encourage vital organs to perform their functions more efficiently.

The cleansing system that I use in my office with my patients is a WHOLE BODY nutritional cellular cleansing and replenishing system.  This program helps support the body’s natural ability to remove toxins and impurities while providing the body with an abundance of nutrition.  The products are organic, contain no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or sweeteners, no fillers, nothing genetically modified, and uses undenatured whey protein from New Zealand (New Zealand does not use herbicides or pesticides.  Undenatured means the protein is processed in such a way that harmful organisms are destroyed, but the heat sensitive amino acids that make it bioactive, called branched chain amino acids, are not harmed.  This makes them more readily available to your body for absorption).  For more information on our Cleansing & Replenishing system, please contact us @ 708.670.0084.  Contact us to learn more about our January cleansing special!


are you hypertensive?

The term high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, may get some people nervous about their health. High blood pressure may run in the family or maybe your doctor has mentioned it during one of your visits. Either way, it is important to know what high blood pressure is, what it does to your health, and how you can prevent it.

Blood pressure is defined as the force of blood against the blood vessels as it flows through the body. High blood pressure is a threat to your health because it means your heart works harder to get blood to different areas of the body. So what is a normal blood pressure? Your doctor will most likely tell you that a normal blood pressure should be lower or about 120/80. What does this mean? The top number, or the larger number, is the systolic pressure. The bottom or lower number is the diastolic pressure. According to the American Heart Association, the systolic reading measures the amount of pressure within the arteries when the heart muscle contracts. The diastolic reading is the measure of pressure in the arteries between muscle contractions. If you are at risk for high blood pressure your reading would be somewhere around 120-139/80-89. Hypertension is diagnosed in two stages. Stage one hypertension readings would be around 140-159/90-99, and stage two readings would include 160+/100+ numbers. Keep in mind that blood pressure changes throughout the day as changes in activities such as exercise, sleep and stressful events occur. Your doctor may want to do multiple tests to check for consistent high readings, in which case they prescribe medication and recommend lifestyle changes. High blood pressure can be risk factors for heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

This is a lot of information and some of it can be alarming if you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure. However, with lifestyle changes, you can control and even prevent hypertension and the risks associated with it. To prevent high blood pressure, maintain a healthy weight by eating a well-balanced diet high in fruits, veggies and whole grains and low in Trans and saturated fats. Be physically active on a regular basis. This doesn’t have to mean spending hours at the gym; it can be taking a walk with your family or a friend, taking the stairs instead of the escalator, or ten minutes at time of activity throughout the day. Another way to prevent hypertension is reducing the amount of sodium in your diet. Don’t be mistaken for table salt as the only source of sodium in your diet. Sodium hides in pre-packaged, processed foods, frozen entrees, and even canned vegetables. Always read the food label for sodium content. Another change you can make to reduce your risk is to get a handle on stress. This may be easier said than done, but there are surprising ways to relieve stress. Just listening to music by yourself for a few moments, or reading a favorite book or magazine can help. Be social, talk to friends regularly about stressful situations and chances are they will make you laugh about them or at least make you feel better. Hypertension can easily be reversed and prevented through the choices you make every day.


Ask the dietitian

With the holidays coming up, I am concerned because we pick at food throughout the day and it sits out for a long period of time.  Sometimes we end up eating it for leftovers during that next week.  How safe is this? 

-Tanya, Kansas City via website

Whether you are noshing all day or serving foods buffet style, it can definitely make it easier to have the food available for your guest when you are entertaining a large number of people.  The most important thing to remember is to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold!  Here are some simple rules of thumb…

  • Keep hot foods at 140 degrees or warmer by using crock pots, warming trays or drawers, or chafing dishes.  Harmful bacteria can grow rapidly below 140 degrees.
  • Keep your cold foods at 40 degrees or colder by placing the food container into a bowl or serving tray full of ice.  Be sure to replace ice frequently!  Keeping the foods at the proper temperature slow the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • While it is always best to avoid waste, be careful to avoid food-borne illnesses in the process.  When in doubt…throw it out!
  • Any chilled food that has been resting in the melted ice for more than 2 hours should be discarded.
  • Refrigerated leftovers should be used within 4 days.  Frozen leftovers are best consumed within 2-4 months.
  • Two hours are definitely the maximum time that foods should be at room temperature (indoor dining only- for outdoor dining, discard foods after 1 hour when temperature is higher than 90 degrees).  This includes the time it takes to prepare and serve the foods.  Perishable foods that have been at room temperature for more than 2 hours should be tossed into the trash…no questions asked…this is a must! 


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