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Happy National Nutrition Month: Tips for Building a Healthy Body

Happy National Nutrition Month!

During this month, I encourage people to celebrate their health, alongside the healthy habits that have helped them reach their fitness and wellness goals. 

If you’re not where you’d like to be yet healthwise, that’s ok. It’s never too late to pick up new habits that will help improve your wellbeing, whether your end goal is to lose weight or simply to build a stronger, healthier body. 

In honor of National Nutrition Month, I’m going to share a few tips on what kind of changes you can make that will promote a healthier lifestyle. 

Let’s get started…

Carbs, Protein, and Fats: How Much Should I Be Eating?

When it comes to portion sizes, there are a lot of rules regarding quantity consumption. 

So what exactly should you be eating, and how much?

To give you a good rule of thumb, let’s look at the three macronutrients: carbs, proteins, and fats. 

Carbs 

When most people think of carbs, they think of the not-so-healthy kinds such as processed bread, pasta, or chips. 

But, contrary to popular belief, carbs are actually an important part of your diet. The key is selecting the right carbs to consume. 

Where can healthy carbs be found? Easy! Check out the following foods…

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Milk
  • Nuts
  • Grains
  • Seeds
  • Legumes

Shocked? Most people are! 

Carbs can be good for your diet and the Mayoclinic.org recommends you should consume between 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrates a day–depending on your height, weight, and activity level. 

Of course, there are reasons you’d want to cut carbs out of your diet. For example, if you are obese, one of the best ways to quickly lose weight is to lower or remove carbs from your diet. 

To find out what’s best for you, be sure to talk to your doctor or set up an online appointment with me and we can talk about what’s best for your body. 

Proteins 

Protein is an extremely important part of your diet. 

The reason: Protein helps support the health of your body’s hair, skin, nails,  blood, connective tissues, antibodies, and enzymes. 

When it comes to protein, we often think about consuming chicken or beef. But, protein is so important even vegetarians have to find outside sources of protein in the form of eggs, nuts, or plant-based snacks. 

No matter what source of proteins (animal-based or plant-based) you enjoy, health.Harvard.edu recommends that the average female should consume around 56 grams and the average male should consume around 66 grams of protein each day. 

Weight loss tip: If you’re trying to lose weight, increase your protein intake! This helps with satiety so you won’t feel as hungry throughout the day! 

Fats

Fats are another important part of a healthy diet that tend to get a bad rep when it comes to eating a diet that supports good health. 

However, avoiding fats altogether can be detrimental to your body. Fat sources are important as they…

  • Provide your body with energy. 
  • Support cell growth.
  • Keep your body warm.
  • Help your body absorb various nutrients. 
  • Aid in hormone production.

Fats are so important, in fact, that the Cleveland Clinic recommends an average person should consume between 44-77 grams of fat per day, based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. 

(Of course, if you’re working on losing weight, your fat intake should be less!)  

The key is avoiding unhealthy fats…

  1. Saturated fats, which come from red meat, full-fat dairy products, and poultry. 
  2. Trans fats, which are mostly found in bread, butter, and spreads, packaged foods. 

Instead, stick to healthy fats such as:

  • Avocados 
  • Fatty fish (i.e. salmon, tuna, mackerel) 
  • Nuts (i.e. walnuts, almonds, cashews)
  • Seeds (i.e. flax, chia, pumpkin) 
  • Oils – (i.e. olive, canola, sunflower)

Multivitamins and Supplements 

Getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need to thrive can be a challenge–even when you eat a well-balanced diet. That’s why most people turn to a daily multivitamin or supplement regimen. 

Of course, it’s important to talk to your doctor before adding any new form of vitamin or supplement to your mealtime routine. However, here are the most recommended vitamin and supplement needs for both men and women…

Recommend Men’s Vitamins/Supplement list:

  1. Zinc – supports testosterone production 
  2. Fish oil – supports heart and prostate health
  3. Whey protein powder – Supports muscle health 
  4. Vitamin D – supports bone health and reproductive health
  5. Daily Multivitamin – covers all the nutrients men might not get enough of in their diet

Recommend Women’s  Vitamins/Supplement list:

  1. Calcium – supports bone health and healthy muscles 
  2. Vitamin D – supports bone health & reduces the risk of some cancers
  3. Iron – increases the health and quantity of red blood cells 
  4. Magnesium – helps regulate blood pressure & blood sugar levels
  5. B12 – keeps the brain and nervous system healthy 
  6. Fish oil – is rich in omega-3 fatty acids 
  7. Daily Multivitamin – covers all the nutrients women might not get enough of in their diet

Carb Substitutions

Before I wrap up, I want to stress that achieving better nutrition often boils down to making simple, healthier choices that will impact your health in the long run. 

I know that a lot of people struggle with carb consumption. So, in celebration of National Nutrition Month, I’m going to share a few of my favorite carb substitutes that will make a big difference in your diet. 

Here are 5 quick carb substitutions you can try! 

Lettuce Wraps

Put down the bread. The next time you go to make a sandwich, use a lettuce wrap instead. Wraps are delicious and I promise with all the delicious ingredients inside your wrap, you won’t miss the carbs for a second! 

Spaghetti Squash

Are you a pasta lover? You’re in good company! Pasta is delicious, and when you use spaghetti squash instead of regular pasta noodles, you won’t have to feel guilty about enjoying your meal. 

Cauliflower Crust 

There’s no denying that pizza is a popular comfort food.To make your next pizza even healthier, try using a cauliflower crust recipe. 

Portobello Mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are savory, filling, and versatile. Instead of grabbing a bun at your next BBQ, try grilling these mushrooms instead as a bun replacement. Not only are they a healthier option, but they will add great flavor to your burger or chicken sandwich! 

Eggplant Slices 

Eggplant is another hearty veggie variety that can be used as a quick carb substitute. The next time you’re making lasagna, skip the noodles. Instead, thinly slice layers of eggplant and use them as the foundation for your dish! 

If you have any questions regarding your health or what you should be doing to attain a healthier body, I want to invite you once more to schedule an online appointment with me. 

Schedule an appointment here

Happy National Nutrition Month! 

Yours In Health,

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Share the Love: Tips for Taking Care of Your Heart During American Heart Month

February is known as the month of love. But, did you know it’s also American Heart Month?

This month as you’re loving on your friends, family, and/or significant other, I encourage you to also give your heart–one of your body’s most important organs–a little extra TLC. 

The reason…

  • Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the USA. 
  • Every minute a heart attack fatality occurs. 
  • Minorities are half as likely to get preventive treatment for heart disease and African Americans are affected by heart disease at twice the rate of Caucasians. 
  • 14 million Americans have a history of heart attacks or angina.
  • Women under the age of 50 are twice as likely to die of a heart attack than men are.

(Stat credit: www.womensheart.org/)

If you haven’t thought much about your heart health at this point, don’t panic. There are many things you can do to improve your heart health and help prevent heart disease or a heart attack from developing. 

Here’s what I recommend…

Eat Less Salt

Eating too much salt throws off the balance in your bloodstream and reduces your kidney’s ability to remove water. 

This places a lot of stress on your blood vessels. In return, that stress causes high blood pressure which can quickly take a toll on your cardiovascular system. 

To avoid salt, opt for sodium-free options when cooking. Instead of seasoning food with salt, you can try a variety of other seasonings like rosemary, thyme, or garlic to add flavor. 

While we’re talking about food, it’s always important to eat a heart-healthy diet. This means cutting out…

  • Trans fats
  • Sugars
  • Processed foods 

…and eating more…

  • Healthy fats (i.e. nuts, avocados, fish oils)
  • Fruits and veggies 
  • High-quality proteins 

Get Moving

Your heart is a muscle. That means it needs to be exercised in order to keep it strong and healthy–exactly how you would need to do crunches to form a 6 pack of abs. 

Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day helps keep your heart strong. 

You don’t have to be a marathon runner to do your heart good. Go on a walk in your neighborhood, join a yoga class, or take a daily hike in the woods. Any activity is a good activity. 

Reduce Stress Levels

Stress hinders your heart health in many ways. 

For example, people who are stressed often tend to…

  • Stress eat. 
  • Avoid exercising.
  • Smoke.
  • Excessively drink. 
  • Have increased adrenaline levels.

Instead of turning to these bad habits, reduce your stress in a healthier way by…

  • Calling a friend.
  • Meditating.
  • Going for a walk.
  • Booking a massage.
  • Getting your nails done. 
  • Whatever other activities you find enjoyable! 

It’s never too late to start on the path to a healthier heart. No excuses–get out there and get started! 

Before I wrap things up, I wanted to give you some insight into a few exciting things happening over here. 

Martin Luther King Event

On January 20, I enjoyed participating in an MLK event that was hosted by Global Citizens at Girard College, Philadelphia, PA.

I was an exhibitor and presented a workshop- Health & Wellness Trivia. It was a wonderful time! 

Magazine Features

In the month of January, I was featured in two magazines–Main Line Today and PhillyMag.com. 

The article featured content on how changing your weight will indefinitely change your life. 

Read the article here: https://www.phillymag.com/sponsor-content/local-bariatrician-weight-loss/

New Book Launch

Last, but not least, I’m excited to announce the virtual launch date party for my new book, Get Your Sexy Back: A Guide to Bouncing Back After Pregnancy.

In the book I offer advice on how to return to your best self after pregnancy, giving tips for losing weight while acknowledging that as a new mom, you will be incredibly busy. With chapters on the importance of mindfulness, eating healthy, fitness, adequate rest, lifestyle changes, and ways to maintain the weight loss after you’ve reached your goal, this book is incredibly helpful to moms who want to get their sexy back!

Want to join the party?

Find me on Facebook live on February 20, 2020, at 12 PM EST. 

Link to event: https://www.facebook.com/drjaninedarby

To join the event, please RSVP at www.drjaninebook.com

Yours in Health, 

Dr. Darby 

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Weight Loss Transformation

This month’s weight loss transformation started his program with Lifestyle Changes in March 2019; weighing 200 pounds. As of August 2019, he now weighs 187.4 pounds, losing a total of 12.6lbs and 3 inches off the waist. Most importantly, he feels energized!

What has this transformation meant to you?

I no longer take my blood pressure medicine, it is back to normal, and I feel so much healthier! I no longer experience joint pain and can get around with ease now. I am more active with my kids because I have so much more energy; which in turn gives me a better quality of life.

What did Dr. Darby’s weight-loss program do for you both physically and mentally?

It’s helped me reclaim my life.  I am now more active with my kids and another incredible bonus…it got me off prescription drugs.

Why did you choose her program over other programs?

Dr. Darby’s program offers one-on-one consultation, in which she personalizes a weight loss plan just for me. She tweaks or modifies the plan as necessary to achieve desired results. Meeting on a bi-weekly basis helps keep me accountable so that I stay on track.

How will you maintain this lifestyle change?

I have become much more aware of the types of food to eat and the foods I should avoid. I will continue to food journal to keep me accountable and help maintain my weight loss. I will continue to take care of myself by exercising regularly, getting more sleep, setting time for family and vacations.

Who would you recommend to work with Lifestyle Changes, and why?

Lifestyle Changes is for anyone looking for a healthier, happier, and overall better quality of life. Dr. Darby will help you achieve all of your goals.

If you like to feel energized and healthy, book an appointment with Dr. Darby for your weight loss transformation at www.lifestylechangesllc.com or call 484.685.0033.

Lose Weight, Promote Health, Cure Illness!

Yours in Health,

Dr. Darby

 

 

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Orange Theory Fitness

After you lose weight, the biggest struggle is learning to maintain your weight appropriately. One needs to continue on low carb, high protein meals, coupled with an increase in physical activity; to burn more calories daily! I need to preserve and build lean mass and improve my metabolism to keep the weight off.

In the past, I was a member of a local gym with a personal trainer. I became bored with the same routine and set out to find a class that excited and challenged me.  I heard great things about the Orange Theory Fitness(OTF) trainers and their one-hour, high-intensity workouts. I recognized that many of the people who were going there were showing fantastic results.

I joined OTF last October and haven’t looked back!  I am more toned and have built more muscle mass, while at the same time increased my endurance and strength. Most importantly, I have been able to lose and maintain my weight and feel AMAZING!

I attend OTF 3-4 times a week and participate in high-intensity interval training for one hour with a trainer. I like to be guided by a trainer. I am then held accountable for my fitness.

The class is a combination of 30 mins of cardio and 30 mins of strength training. The class activities vary each time as well as the music playlist. I like the group element to the workout; I get to share my fitness angst or woes with others and meet other fitness junkies.

During each class, I wear a tracker that provides feedback about heart rate, and calories burned. At the end of class, I am sent data from my tracker via email, which shows I burn about 500 calories give or take.

One of the fun parts of consistently having a fitness regimen is the fresh, comfy athletic gear I wear.  Check out this adorable outfit from one of my favorite brands, Niyamasol:

Here are a few of my favorite Fitness Tips:

  • Stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise!
  • Take a break to rest muscles if necessary.
  • Warm-up before exercising & Stretch after exercising.
  • Fuel body after exercise with a low-calorie meal or a protein meal replacement.

Lose Weight, Promote Health, Cure Illness!

Yours In Health,

Dr. Darby

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Weight Loss Transformation

I like to share my lifestyle changes with my patients, as well as offer my medical expertise. I have helped many clients start their weight loss journey and successfully reach their goals. It gives me great joy to see my patients lose weight, feel better and most importantly improve their overall health.

This months weight loss transformation started her program with me, in January 2019; weighing 241 pounds. In July 2019 she now weighs 217 pounds, losing a total of 24lbs. Most importantly she feels amazing!

Below you will find key information about her weight-loss journey with Lifestyle Changes, and how it is helping to transform her overall health and wellness.

  1. What has this transformation meant to you?

 Better health! As I age and watch family members age it makes me aware there are many health issues that come up; that we have no control over but have to deal with them.  In addition, there are health issues we bring on ourselves with our daily, lifestyle choices. I am taking control of my overall health before those things continue to creep up on me.

  1. What did Dr. Darby’s weight-loss program do for you both physically and mentally?

Physically, I know the less weight I carry the less stress on my heart, which is better for my overall health. The program is realistic because I see the weight come off slowly and steadily, which helped pushed me positively to keep me going! Each small change in my eating habits and physical activity builds up to a complete lifestyle change, and makes the diet and exercise easier to balance and maintain long term.

Mentally, Dr. Darby is available to help me along on this journey.  She understands how it works and set realistic goals for me to obtain.  She meets my challenges and sometimes complaintswith suggestions re: how to deal with all of that; and meets my victories with joy and encouragement.  She is genuinely happy to see me win!

  1. Why did you choose her program over other programs?

I actually went into the meal replacement program blindly with Dr. Darby. The program itself is easy and adaptable and the meal replacements have really worked for me. I often come to Dr. Darby with lots questions and clarifications surrounding my weight loss.  If there is something that she does not know, she is great about researching the best approach and solution; and then going over all of those details with me as often and as long as needed.

  1. How will you maintain this lifestyle change?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires daily commitment.  I have to be held accountable for the choices that I make, as it relates to diet and exercise. The summer will be a delicate balance between delicious summer foods and keeping my physical activity up. The greatest thing about summer us that I do find it easier to stay active.  I will continue to follow the program and keep my body moving 5-6 days a week; and by check in with Dr. Darby who helps hold me accountable for my overall health.

  1. Who would you recommend to work with Dr. Darby and Lifestyle Changes, and why?

I think anyone and everyone would benefit from working with Dr. Darby! There is no age limit, no goal too small or too large.  Dr. Darby is patient, understanding, helpful, resourceful, caring and realistic with each client’s goals.  I highly recommend working with Dr. Darby, and look forward to my continued relationship on my own person weight loss journey.

If you will like to feel amazing and healthy, book an appointment with Dr. Darby for your weight loss transformation at www.lifestylechangesllc.com or call 484.685.0033.

Lose Weight, Promote Health, Cure Illness!

Yours in Health,

Dr. Darby

 

 

 

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Dr. Darby’s Weight Loss Transformation

Six years ago I turned 40.  I was feeling sluggish, had gained some extra weight over time and didn’t feel well mentally or physically! I decided to focus on losing the weight and took the first steps to change my life. I became more diligent in taking care of myself! I changed my diet to low carbohydrates and high protein meals, coupled with a fitness regimen, which at times was a struggle. In turn, I lost 30 pounds in 4 months and felt great about myself.  I felt more positive, more productive, and happier, but more importantly I felt more energized than ever.

My Self Care Regimen:

Daily: I eat healthy, low carb meals, aim to sleep 8 hrs. a night and am currently learning to meditate

Weekly: I exercise 3-4xs and make a point to get my hair done.

Monthly: I treat myself to a mani/pedi and love to read a good book.

Yearly: I aim to get away from the craziness of life 3-4 times with my husband, family and/or friends.

I was able to maintain my weight-loss with continued exercise and a healthy diet.  In 2018, I found myself trying to lose 10 pounds that I had gained over a few months (I had just left a corporate position), multiple vacations and over indulging a bit more than I should have. I began to pay more attention to my diet and started to get back to regular workouts (4 times/week). I was successful in losing this weight in 2 months. My weight loss diet regimen included meal replacements (protein shakes) and low carbohydrate, low calorie meals. 

Check out one of my healthy recipes: Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles or Spinach Strawberry Avocado Salad!

I like to share my lifestyle changes with my patients, as well as offer my medical expertise. I have helped many patients start their weight loss journey and successfully reach their goal. It gives me great joy to see my patients lose weight, feel better and most importantly improve their overall health.

 

Lose Weight, Promote Health, Cure Illness!

 

Yours in Health,

Dr. Darby

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Kale & Tomato Frittata 200cals/serving

INGREDIENTS:

8 large eggs

2 cups kale, chopped

2 green onions, sliced

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 tablespoon olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

optional extra ingredients (i.e. onions, cheese, mushrooms, cooked bacon, etc.)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat broiler to high.
  • To a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork, add salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
  • To an oven-safe cast iron skillet, add the olive oil, kale, green onions, and cook over medium-high heat until kale wilts slightly, about 1 minute.
  • Evenly sprinkle the tomatoes, any optional ingredients, add the eggs, and cook over medium-high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until edges begin to set. Swirl the pan lightly every 30 seconds or so which helps the eggs cook evenly.
  • Place the skillet under the broiler for about 1 minute, or as necessary for the center to set.
  • Remove skillet from oven before you think you need to so eggs don’t become overcooked.
  • Cool for a few minutes, then garnish with green onions.
  • Enjoy immediately

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Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles 224 cals/serving

INGREDIENTS:

 1 tbsp olive oil 

2 tbsp butter 

1 lb. shrimp, shelled & deveined

4 cloves garlic, chopped 

1 pinch red pepper flakes(optional)

1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth

2 tbsp lemon juice (~1 lemon)

3 medium zucchini, cut into noodles (w/ mandoline or spiralizer or store bought for convenience)

1 tsp lemon zest 

1 tbsp parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste 

  

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat oil and melt butter in a pan until frothing.
  • Add the shrimp, cook for 2 minutes, flip, add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute more and set aside.
  • Add the white wine and lemon juice to the pan, deglaze it, simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Add the zucchini noodles and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes
  • Season with salt and pepper, add the shrimp, lemon zest and parsley.
  • Toss and remove from heat.
  • Enjoy immediately! 
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Spinach Strawberry Salad 400cals/ serving

INGREDIENTS:

2 tbsp EVOO

1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar 

4 cups baby spinach 

1 1/2 cups avocado 

1 1/2 cups strawberries 

1/4 cups almonds, toasted & slivered 

1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted 

2 ozs feta or goat cheese, crumbled 

 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Whisk oil and vinegar in large bowl.
  • Season with salt & pepper.
  • Add spinach, strawberries, almonds, sesame seeds, & cheese

(Omit almonds and/or cheese for nut allergies and vegan diet, respectively)

  • Gently toss until evenly coated with dressing.
  • Serve immediately.

 

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The Truth About Hypertension and Stroke

Welcome to the month of May, it is Hypertension and Stroke Awareness Month

Most recently, in April, one of my favorite movie director/producers, John Singleton passed away. Sadly, he died of a massive stroke. This should be a wake-up call to many, as he was only 51 years young!

 A stroke occurs when a blood clot or a blood vessel rupture interrupts blood flow to the brain. The brain cells die without oxygen and nutrient- rich blood.  Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States.  Take a peek below for signs and symptoms of stroke:

    • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm, leg esp. on one side of body
    • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
    • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
    • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
    • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Risk Factors:

    • Heredity
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Ethnicity
    • Hypertension
    • High cholesterol
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Excessive body weight
    • Previous stroke or TIA

80% of strokes are preventable. About 8 of every 10 people having their first stroke have high blood pressure.  High blood pressure(Hypertension) is known as the “silent killer”, 1 in 6 adults are unaware that they even have high blood pressure.   

The definition of blood pressure is the measurement of force applied to arterial walls that carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body. If the blood pressure is high, this can damage your heart and/or blood vessels and cause health problems. At age 50, people without high blood pressure(hypertension) have a life expectancy 5 years longer than those with hypertension.

What are your risk factors for Hypertension?

    • health conditions (i.e. diabetes)
    • lifestyle
    • family history

What you can do TODAY to help decrease your risk of hypertension and stroke:

    • Follow a Healthy diet: low carb, low fat, low sodium (<1500mg/day)
    • Get Regular exercise (150 mins of moderate-intensity activity/week)
    • Maintain a healthy body weight (Optimal BMI 25)
    • Monitor blood pressure regularly (Normal <120/80)
    • Avoid smoking tobacco products
    • Avoid excessive alcohol use

“YOLO, so start NOW!”

Yours in Health,
Dr. Darby

Sources: CDC, American Heart Association