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Patch featured Pace College of Health Professions experts in "How to Stay Sane, Centered, and Healthy in the COVID-19 Reality"

03/30/2020

Patch featured Pace College of Health Professions experts in "How to Stay Sane, Centered, and Healthy in the COVID-19 Reality"

Staying sane, centered and healthy in the new COVID-19 world, can be a challenge, but experts from Pace University's College of Health Professions say that channeling anxiety into productive activity can provide solace and sanity.

From cooking with your children to taking time out for mental health moments, Pace University experts this week suggested a variety of techniques to take your minds off the barrage of unsettling news.

"During this time of uncertainty, try to conserve your energy to stay healthy rather than using energy for panic and worry,'' said Professor Christen Cupples Cooper, EdD, RD, Director of the College of Health Professions Dietetics and Nutrition Program. "It can be difficult, but it's definitely doable, and even necessary during these challenging times."

Here are some suggestions from Professor Cooper:

Eat healthfully. Make comfort foods such as stews, soups, and chili. Chili is a perfect dish for using leftover veggies and beans. Broccoli and tomatoes with two onions, frozen corn, frozen lima beans, canned black beans and chickpeas and an extra-large can of salsa make the best chili ever! Spices are healthy. Add cilantro, chili powder, curry powder, cumin and black pepper. Experiment with your dishes. Remember, focus on healthful ingredients. This chili is loaded with nutrients that contain disease-fighting properties, has an interesting kick, and it's filling. 

Eat your fresh foods first. No one knows how long we'll have limited access to ingredients, so eat what is in your fridge first and go to your canned and frozen goods next. This way, you maximize taste and minimize waste.

Freeze Fruits that are past their prime for smoothies. If you have fresh fruits that are past their prime (eg black bananas) put them in the freezer to make smoothies or banana bread. Bruised or too soft apples are great for making applesauce or apple muffins. Buying frozen fruits like berries or mangos are also great for making smoothies.

Make a weekly meal plan. This will help you utilize your ingredients most efficiently and take the guess work out of what you will be eating each day or for each meal. It can also help you to use leftovers. (Leftover grilled chicken is great for making chicken salad or stir fry the next day.)

Bring kids into the fold. If your house is like mine, the kids are glum and bored. It's a good time to show them how to cook! It's a skill that they will certainly need, and it gives you an extra set of hands for chopping, mixing, and tasting. Depending on where they are with their cooking skills, start relatively small with things like pasta and veggies and progress to meat and fish.

Have a cook-off. Another neat trick to get kids involved is getting them to rate which dish or what food combination they like most. Having a cook off is another great activity. Lay out ingredients and have each child cook their own version of the same dish and then compare and contrast.

So many of us are working from home these days giving us unlimited access to our kitchens. Also, many people have been stocking up on food and snacks so they may have an abundance of foods that they wouldn't typically have in the house, increasing temptation to eat.

Professor Jessica Tosto, MS, RD, CNSC, of Pace University's College of Health Professions had these suggestions for helping to avoid overeating and maintain a healthy diet.

Set up a workspace that is not in or near your kitchen. Putting some physical distance between yourself and your snacks can limit those frequent trips to the fridge.

Keep healthier foods and snacks in easy access locations. Cut up veggies like carrots sticks, celery, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, and sugar snap peas and keep them in a Tupperware in the fridge so you can quickly grab them when you are hungry. Pair with low calorie dips or hummus.

Stay hydrated! Be sure you are drinking plenty of water, seltzer, and other non-sugar sweetened beverages. Fill up a pitcher or thermos of water and keep it close by to help you achieve your goal of 8 cups per day.

Be aware of why you're eating. Many people have been stocking up on food and snacks so they may have an abundance of foods that they wouldn't typically have in the house and therefore temptations are more abundant too.

If you are eating because you are bored, try going for a walk or reading a book or doing a puzzle. If you are eating because you feel anxious or stressed, try calling a friend or doing some mindfulness exercises.

Be creative! If you are stuck at home, this is a great time to experiment with new recipes or new foods you find in the grocery store when your usual choices are out of stock

"Finally, don't beat yourself up if your diet is less than ideal right now! However, be cautious of using these unusual times as an excuse to overindulge in food and especially alcohol,'' said Tosto. 

Read the full Patch article.

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Press Release: How to Stay Sane, Centered, and Healthy in the COVID-19 Reality

03/27/2020

Press Release: How to Stay Sane, Centered, and Healthy in the COVID-19 Reality

Pace University Experts Offer Diet and Health Tips

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. March 2020 – Staying sane, centered and healthy in the new COVID-19 world, can be a challenge, but experts from Pace University’s College of Health Professions say that channeling anxiety into productive activity can provide solace and sanity.

From cooking with your children to taking time out for mental health moments, Pace University experts this week suggested a variety of techniques to take your minds off the barrage of unsettling news.

“During this time of uncertainty, try to conserve your energy to stay healthy rather than using energy for panic and worry,’’ said Professor Christen Cupples Cooper, EdD, RD, Director of the College of Health Professions Dietetics and Nutrition Program. “It can be difficult, but it’s definitely doable, and even necessary during these challenging times.”

Here are some suggestions from Professor Cooper:

Eat healthfully. Make comfort foods such as stews, soups, and chili. Chili is a perfect dish for using leftover veggies and beans. Broccoli and tomatoes with two onions, frozen corn, frozen lima beans, canned black beans and chickpeas and an extra-large can of salsa make the best chili ever! Spices are healthy. Add cilantro, chili powder, curry powder, cumin and black pepper. Experiment with your dishes. Remember, focus on healthful ingredients. This chili is loaded with nutrients that contain disease-fighting properties, has an interesting kick, and it’s filling. 

Eat your fresh foods first. No one knows how long we’ll have limited access to ingredients, so eat what is in your fridge first and go to your canned and frozen goods next. This way, you maximize taste and minimize waste. 

Freeze Fruits that are past their prime for smoothies. If you have fresh fruits that are past their prime (eg black bananas) put them in the freezer to make smoothies or banana bread.  Bruised or too soft apples are great for making applesauce or apple muffins.  Buying frozen fruits like berries or mangos are also great for making smoothies. 

Make a weekly meal plan.  This will help you utilize your ingredients most efficiently and take the guess work out of what you will be eating each day or for each meal. It can also help you to use leftovers. (Leftover grilled chicken is great for making chicken salad or stir fry the next day.)  ·

Bring kids into the fold. If your house is like mine, the kids are glum and bored. It’s a good time to show them how to cook! It’s a skill that they will certainly need, and it gives you an extra set of hands for chopping, mixing, and tasting. Depending on where they are with their cooking skills, start relatively small with things like pasta and veggies and progress to meat and fish.  

Have a cook-off. Another neat trick to get kids involved is getting them to rate which dish or what food combination they like most. Having a cook off is another great activity. Lay out ingredients and have each child cook their own version of the same dish and then compare and contrast. 

So many of us are working from home these days giving us unlimited access to our kitchens. Also, many people have been stocking up on food and snacks so they may have an abundance of foods that they wouldn’t typically have in the house, increasing temptation to eat.

Professor Jessica Tosto, MS, RD, CNSC, of Pace University’s College of Health Professions had these suggestions for helping to avoid overeating and maintain a healthy diet. 

Set up a workspace that is not in or near your kitchen.  Putting some physical distance between yourself and your snacks can limit those frequent trips to the fridge. 

Keep healthier foods and snacks in easy access locations. Cut up veggies like carrots sticks, celery, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, and sugar snap peas and keep them in a Tupperware in the fridge so you can quickly grab them when you are hungry. Pair with low calorie dips or hummus.  ·

Stay hydrated! Be sure you are drinking plenty of water, seltzer, and other non-sugar sweetened beverages.  Fill up a pitcher or thermos of water and keep it close by to help you achieve your goal of 8 cups per day. 

Be aware of why you’re eating. Many people have been stocking up on food and snacks so they may have an abundance of foods that they wouldn’t typically have in the house and therefore temptations are more abundant too.

If you are eating because you are bored, try going for a walk or reading a book or doing a puzzle. If you are eating because you feel anxious or stressed, try calling a friend or doing some mindfulness exercises. 

Be creative! If you are stuck at home, this is a great time to experiment with new recipes or new foods you find in the grocery store when your usual choices are out of stock 

“Finally, don’t beat yourself up if your diet is less than ideal right now! However, be cautious of using these unusual times as an excuse to overindulge in food and especially alcohol,’’ said Tosto.  

Please look for additional health and mindfulness tips on our website https://www.pace.edu/news or follow us on Twitter at @PaceUnews

About Pace University
Pace University has a proud history of preparing its diverse student body for a lifetime of professional success as a result of its unique program that combines rigorous academics and real-world experiences. Pace is ranked the #1 private, four-year college in the nation for upward economic mobility by Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights, evidence of the transformative education the University provides. From its beginnings as an accounting school in 1906, Pace has grown to three campuses, enrolling 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in more than 150 majors and programs, across a range of disciplines: arts, sciences, business, health care, technology, law, education, and more. The university also has one of the most competitive performing arts programs in the country. Pace has a signature, newly renovated campus in New York City, located in the heart of vibrant Lower Manhattan, next to Wall Street and City Hall, and two campuses in Westchester County, New York: a 200-acre picturesque Pleasantville Campus and a Law School in White Plains. www.pace.edu. Follow us on Twitter at @PaceUnews or on our website: https://www.pace.edu/news

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"The Meeting Magazines" featured Pace's registered dietitian and clinical coordinator in nutrition and dietetics Jessica Tosto in "Unique Food and Beverage Options Please Attendees and Keep Clients Coming Back for More"

11/07/2019

"The Meeting Magazines" featured Pace's registered dietitian and clinical coordinator in nutrition and dietetics Jessica Tosto in "Unique Food and Beverage Options Please Attendees and Keep Clients Coming Back for More"

As Jessica Tosto, assistant clinical professor – MS Nutrition and Dietetics College of Health Professions at Pace University, explains, “You can’t just put out trays of sandwiches and sodas and expect people to be happy they got a ‘free meal.’ I think attendees are much more vocal about how the foods served met or did not meet their expectations, and how it impacted their perception of the event as a whole. There are also so many different diet fads and/or health-related dietary restrictions that people follow — it is very challenging to please every different need.”

Organic, local, sustainably sourced, and farm-to-table foods are also gaining in popularity. When people travel to different locations they often want to experience the foods that are native to the city they are visiting. As Tosto explains, incorporating regional menu items from local producers and promoting the source is a great way to support local businesses and also to help attendees feel like they are getting an authentic, local dining experience.

Read The Meeting Magazines article.

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"Vitamin Shoppe" featured Pace's College of Health Professions’ nutrition and dietetics coordinator Jessica Tosto, M.S., R.D. in "7 Foods To Load Up On During Cold And Flu Season"

10/07/2019

"Vitamin Shoppe" featured Pace's College of Health Professions’ nutrition and dietetics coordinator Jessica Tosto, M.S., R.D. in "7 Foods To Load Up On During Cold And Flu Season"

Every year, as soon as the leaves start falling, we start worrying about falling under the weather. The thing is, the weather itself doesn’t make us sick. “Germs are the actual cause of illness,” explains Jessica Tosto, M.S., R.D., Pace University College of Health Professions’ nutrition and dietetics coordinator. “We just tend to stay inside more in the colder months, which keeps germs contained and more likely to spread.”

Of course, washing your hands frequently is key to staying germ-free. But you can also support your immune system by consuming the right nutrients. Here, dietitians share the foods they fill their plates with all winter long.

1. Garlic

Garlic has been used for centuries to help people fight viruses and bacteria. 

“When crushed, sliced, or chewed, garlic releases the compound allicin, which is thought to have medicinal properties,” says dietitian Lauren Harris-Pincus, M.S., R.D.N., author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club. Research has even shown that allicin can boost our white blood cell response, which helps us fight germs, she adds.

Harris-Pincus’ favorite way to enjoy garlic: in hummus. For an added bonus of immune-boosting antioxidants and phytochemicals, dunk some colorful veggies in your dip.

2. Turmeric 

Used since ancient times for a myriad of health ailments, people across the globe continue to celebrate turmeric for its immune-boosting benefits. 

“Systemic inflammation causes over-activation of the immune system, meaning we are both more susceptible to catching something, and that our symptoms may last longer,” explains certified holistic nutritionist Jennifer Hanway.

Read the full article.

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"Community Health Magazine" featured Pace's registered dietitian and clinical coordinator in nutrition and dietetics Jessica Tosto in "Our favorite summer smoothies for a healthy breakfast or day at the pool"

05/21/2019

"Community Health Magazine" featured Pace's registered dietitian and clinical coordinator in nutrition and dietetics Jessica Tosto in "Our favorite summer smoothies for a healthy breakfast or day at the pool"

Want to know the secret to the perfect healthy summer smoothie? Sure you’ll want to keep in mind how it tastes and what you put into it. But the recipe for a successful smoothie also involves a balance in the blender of that sweet stuff: sugar.

“Smoothies are a summertime staple thanks to their cold and refreshing taste,” says registered dietitian Brigitte Zeitlin, owner of nutrition counseling company BZ Nutrition in New York City. “The key to keeping your smoothie from sabotaging your health goals is to make sure you are keeping the sugar in check.”

Jessica Tosto, a registered dietitian in Pleasantville, New York, and clinical coordinator in nutrition and dietetics at Pace University, agrees.

“Smoothies are a great way to incorporate vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, antioxidants and fiber into your diet,” Tosto says. “Fruits and vegetables are packed with these nutrients. However, the average American struggles to consume the recommended minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Blending up a smoothie could actually help you achieve this goal in just one sitting. However, it is important to note that fruit does contain a high amount of naturally occurring sugars and also calories.”

She adds that both fruits and vegetables contain a wide variety of nutrients, so it’s good to consume a healthy balance of each of these.

“A simple trick to make sure you are getting a good balance of nutrients is to eat the rainbow,” Tosto says.

Try these healthy summer smoothies for breakfast, dessert and, of course, perfect for a day at the pool.

Breakfast smoothie 

1 ripe banana

1/2 cup strawberries

1 cup spinach or baby kale

1-2 tablespoons chia seeds

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup 100% orange juice

1 cup of ice

Water as needed to reach desired consistency

Put all ingredients in blender and pulse until smooth. Add water 2 tablespoons at a time as needed to achieve desired consistency.

Recipe from Jessica Tosto 


Tropical matcha smoothie 

1 1/2 cups almond milk

2 handfuls of greens (spinach, kale or mixed greens)

3 tablespoons hemp hearts

1/2 ripe avocado

1 teaspoon matcha powder

1/2 cup frozen mango

Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth and creamy. Add more liquid if it’s too thick.

Recipe from Brigitte Zeitlin: manitobaharvest.com/recipes/tropical-matcha-smoothie/


Pool day cucumber-mango-lime smoothie 

1 cup fresh or frozen mango

2 mini cucumbers (leave unpeeled for added nutrients)

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 cup mint leaves

1/2 cup spinach (optional, for extra vitamins and fiber)

1 cup ice

1-2 cups coconut water or seltzer 

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Start with smaller amount of liquid and add more as needed until smoothie achieves desired consistency.

Recipe from Jessica Tosto


 

Chocolate peanut butter super smoothie

4 tablespoons protein

1 frozen banana

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1 1/2 cups of a favorite nondairy beverage

Cacao nibs

Combine and blend ingredients in a blender and serve.

Recipe from Brigitte Zeitlin: manitobaharvest.com/recipes/choco-pb-super-smoothie/


Dessert smoothie 

1 ripe banana

2 tablespoons almond butter

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk

½ teaspoon vanilla extract 

Pinch of sea salt

1-2 tablespoons chia or ground flax seed

1 cup ice

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Start with smaller amount of liquid and add more as needed until smoothie achieves desired consistency.

Recipe from Jessica Tosto

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"Aaptiv" featured Jessica Tosto, MS, RD, clinical coordinator, Nutrition and Dietetics College of Health Professions at Pace University in "4 Healthier Dip Recipes to Whip Up Quick"

11/13/2018

"Aaptiv" featured Jessica Tosto, MS, RD, clinical coordinator, Nutrition and Dietetics College of Health Professions at Pace University in "4 Healthier Dip Recipes to Whip Up Quick"

Now that we’re well into fall (not to mention football season), dips are taking a front-and-center seat on the menu at your family and friend gatherings. This temptation can be tough to resist, even when you’re trying so hard to stick to a specific diet and exercise regimen. Luckily, there are plenty of healthy dip recipes out there that you can make yourself.

While it’s true that most dips, given their creamy consistency, are loaded with ingredients that are both high in calories and saturated fat (not to mention topped off with a hefty dose of cheddar or mozzarella), not all dips are created equal. “Other dips promote the benefit of being low-fat or low-calorie but at the expense of being chock full of artificial ingredients and ‘fillers,’” explains Jessica Tosto, MS, RD, clinical coordinator, Nutrition and Dietetics College of Health Professions at Pace University.

The key lies in the preparation. If you’re purchasing a dip from a restaurant or your local grocery store, chances are that the recipe is delivering you the heartiest, most fattening version possible. However, if you’re preparing your own dips and spreads, you can add in whole food ingredients that are naturally lower in calories or have other health benefits, adds Tosto. This way, you can still enjoy the dipping experience and score a boost of nutrition while you’re at it. Here are healthy versions of your favorite dips of the season.

Southwestern Greek Yogurt Dip

Greek yogurt is an excellent substitution for sour cream. Not only is it less fattening, but it’s also more nutritious. Greek yogurt is packed with protein—just one cup scores you about 25 grams, which is about half your recommended dietary allowance (RDA). Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area, loves to make this dip because it doesn’t contain any added sugar or sodium, and it packs both protein and gut-health friendly probiotics.

Ingredients:

5 ounces plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon lime juice
1-½ teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro, divided

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine yogurt with garlic, lime juice, and one teaspoon cilantro.
  2. Top with remaining cilantro, and plate with vegetables.

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