Wellfie Wednesday Tip #144: Know Your Seasonal Produce

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio) and is a perfect mention for the Spring Season!

Spring is finally here!! Well at least for where I am in upstate South Carolina. The temperatures are finally where they should be, everything is COVERED in pollen, and it’s forecasted to rain… like every day. But we do have some beautiful weather forecasted for the future. But enough about that, lets talk PRODUCE!

Spring is an amazing time to start being on the lookout for fresh produce, which if you didn’t know can be very specific to your region of the country. Fresh produce is not only important to get the best flavors, but also that time of the year they become a bit cheaper. For example, early this week I took advantage of buying a larger quantity of strawberries and they’ve been fantastic!

A great resource that you can use to find what’s available in your area, and even specific to ANY time of the year, is the Seasonal Food Guide. I love this resource because it’ll also link you to info on storing and even cooking methods for specific fruits or vegetables.

So check out what’s fresh in your area and let us know! Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #107: Zucchini Time!

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Diana (@DianaKlatt)!

     I don’t know about all of you home gardeners but my summer garden is overloaded with zucchini. So I decided to look a bit into what the health benefits of zucchini are and to make sure it’s not a problem if I eat it every day for the next month…

     So what are the health benefits? Well first things first, let’s talk about the major reason for an increasing trend in zucchini as “zoodles.” Notably for the replacement of pasta and reduction in calories for weight loss. Zucchini is high in fiber and water content, which helps you feel fuller for longer! 

     What else does zucchini have? Well, zucchini is high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B5, manganese, potassium, sodium, calcium, folate, iron, zinc, and even a bit of protein… daaang that is so many nutrients! Zucchini is an excellent source for optimal health maintenance and also so versatile.

     Some studies even suggestion that zucchini can help prevent certain types of diseases when consumed regularly because typically foods that are fiber-rich and antioxidant-abundant can help aid in reducing cancerous cells.

PRO-TIP: Zucchini is 95% water so before you do anything, salt the zucchini first to get the excess water out and drain it! Also, keep the skin ON the zucchini to get maximum nutrients (ie. beta-carotene, antioxidants…).

Things I’ve tried so far:

  • Zucchini noodles/"zoodles"
  • Zucchini fritters
  • Zucchini tempura
  • Zucchini bread (with and without chocolate chips!)
  • Zucchini boats (this one is life changing, I was recommended this and looked some recipes up on pinterest)

     If you’ve got any suggestions, send them my way! Thanks for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

-WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #104: Don't Wish for a Veggie Garden - Plant Your Own

     Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio). And I've got gardening on the mind! Not because I'm busy tending to garden, but because I'm getting bombarded at work with folks bringing in all their EXTRA vegetables.

     It's around this time of the year (if I didn't plant) that I start to regret not having planted any veggies, and wishing I was reaping the benefits of saving a few bucks and having the freshest of foods. Last year's garden was great. We had picked a small area of the yard, 8'x8', and planted a variety of things. We had some peppers (always the easiest if starting out), tomatoes (I always have better luck with roma), eggplant (surprising easy and delicious), brussels sprouts (never knew when to pick them), and zucchini/squash (which grow like wild fire!). But this year, I wasn't totally ready, nor had the time to set up a new garden at our new house. Mother nature played a small role as well. 

     But my point is, don't make excuses, you can always find a way to have a veggie garden. It doesn't have to be an elaborate, perfectly tilled landscape. It can simply be a plant within a pot. If you water it, it'll produce, most of the time. Though if you do get the feeling this time of year (probably just me), look into planting a veggie garden next spring, you won't regret it! (I normally start end of March/early April). 

     However, I did end up last minute planting some fruit plants, which have surprising taken off. My two blackberry bushes (growing more like vines) are already producing and my two blueberry bushes are well... being bushes. 


     Let us see your garden if you planted this year! And Thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew


Wellness Wednesday Tip #38: Drink Your Salad

Happy Wellfie Wednesday folks! Welcome back!

     This week's tip come from Aimee Depelteau, PT, DPT, CSCS, a new member of the WW crew! Be sure to be out her blog at fitnerdphysios.com. Aimee's tip this week is Drink Your Salad! Smoothies are one of the best ways to get a nutrient dense snack or meal. Here are some great ways to ensure your smoothie is healthy and tasty! 

Tips for making a healthy smoothie:

  1. Avoid adding fruit juice to reduce the sugar content of the smoothie. Instead try using foods such as oranges/apples in the smoothie and then adding water for liquid. Another alternative is using unsweetened nut milk such as almond or coconut milk to give a creamier texture.

  2. Pack it with greens. One of the best things about smoothies is that you can put a tremendous amount of healthy leafy greens in them and barely taste it! This is especially helpful when trying to get kids to eat more veggies! Some great leafy green options are spinach, kale, and collard greens.

  3. Freeze your greens. Even if you make smoothies regularly, sometimes the greens can still go bad in the refrigerator so a great way to avoid this is to put them in the freezer once you buy them. They last so much longer this way! You can buy bunches of different greens and pack them into gallon freezer bags or Tupperware containers and you’ll have greens for days!

  4. Use frozen fruit. Frozen fruit is a great option for smoothies because it avoids having to add ice to the smoothie. Plus frozen fruit lasts much longer than fresh fruit! You can also buy fresh fruit and freeze it yourself!

  5. Use add ins such as chia seeds and flax seeds. These are both great sources of Omega-3s and Fiber so they make a great addition to smoothies. When using flax seeds try to find ground flax seed and add it in the smoothie before blending. When using chia seeds add them in after the smoothie is blended before drinking because they need to absorb liquid to access their health benefits. Chia seeds will add a bit of texture to the smoothie, but they don’t change the taste. 

     Having a high quality blender such as a Vitamix can make the world of difference in smoothie making. While it is very expensive, I like to think of it as an investment in my health. I believe that Vitamix offers the option for financing a blender so that could make it a bit easier to buy one. A less expensive brand that still works decently well is the Ninja Kitchen System, and it also comes with single serve cups and a food processor! Regardless of what you use it’s better to have any kind of blender than not having one, but if you get the chance to use a Vitamix it will change your life!   

     Get out there and make yourself a smoothie and let us know how it goes! Thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures again this week and tag the WW crew members (@PBernerSPT@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@fitnerdaimee@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellness Wednesday Tip #30: Try Adding Kale to Your Day!

     Welcome back folks! Happy Wellfie Wednesday! This week I wanted to continue with the trend of the last couple weekly tips, that being to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, but I wanted to also narrow it down some. So let’s go with a vegetable, something green, and something versatile that can be eaten a couple of different ways, any thoughts?

     I’m choosing KALE! Now you must be thinking, I could have come up with any number of other green vegetables, something that surely tastes better. I too once thought that kale was a bit too much to get involved with and bland at that, but it’s an item usually always in my fridge.

     Kale, in my opinion, is one of those vegetables you really get a bang for your buck; relatively inexpensive and provides a great source of Vitamin A, C, K, B6, manganese, copper, and even some calcium, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

     We’ve knocked out health benefits, so now how can you easily include kale in your day. Well, picked for its versatility, kale can be added to any almost any meal or snack. You can blend it in your favorite smoothie, don’t be surprised when it turns green, create your own salad with toppings/dressing of your choice, cook it in your pasta dishes, and my favorite, bake them! For the baking, talking about kale “chips” now, simply wash, toss in olive oil, sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and bake them in the oven, at about 325F for 15-20min.

     So try adding some kale to your day and let us know how it goes. And as always, thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures again this week and tag Eric (@Eric_in_AmERICa) or myself (@PBernerSPT) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

-       Dr. Patrick Berner, PT, DPT

-       Dr. Eric Uveges, PT, DPT


Wellness Wednesday Tip #29: Eat the Rainbow!

     Welcome back folks! Happy #WellfieWednesday! This week we have another guest promoter of health, Dr. Andrew S. Rothschild, with a special message!

     You’ve probably heard it somewhere before: “eat the rainbow.” (I don’t mean from those annoying “Skittles” ads). Although it may sound like one of those old wives tales, there is in fact some significant health benefits to following this advice. Different colors are those colors for a reason—they contain different vitamins and minerals, often referred to as “phytonutrients,” often unique to that palette, not to mention that the color variety makes your plate look more appetizing and appealing to the eye.

Here are some examples:

Fruits and veggies of the blue/purple variety include blueberries, blackberries, eggplant, and plums, to name a few. Blueberries are considered to have the highest antioxidant properties of all foods.

Green vegetables are excellent sources of vitamin K, folic acid, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Examples include kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, bok choy, and cabbage

Lycopene is a major component in red fruits and vegetables, particularly tomatoes. Lycopene has been associated with risk reduction in certain cancers including prostate cancer. While some fruits and vegetables are considered to have greater health benefits when eaten raw, lycopene is one that appears to have more benefits when cooked. Cooking allows carotenoids, such as lycopene, to be better absorbed. So, enjoy that tomato sauce!

Yellow/green foods have an abundance of lutein, which is excellent for eye health. They are also high in vitamin C. Examples include kiwi, avocado, spinach, and even pistachio nuts.

Orange/yellow foods such as carrots have long been well-known to contain beta-carotene. They can also be high in vitamin C help with blood-sugar regulation, and have anti-inflammatory properties. Popular examples also include mangoes, cantaloupes, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and apricots

     While it certainly may be challenging to “eat the rainbow” every day, try at least to do it every week and in the meantime, get as much variety as you can.

Thanks for reading!

- Dr. Andrew S. Rothschild, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

     As always, thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures again this week and tag Andrew (@ARothschildPT), Eric (@Eric_in_AmERICa) or Patrick (@PBernerSPT) and keep the wave of healthy change going!



Wellness Wednesday Tip #4: Swap for Spaghetti Squash

Happy Wellness Wednesday everyone!

     This week’s tip involves a minor swap in food groups, bringing more vegetables to the table while keeping your delicious tasting dish. I’m talking about swapping your pasta for spaghetti squash. I hadn’t started making this swap until about a year ago, and yes at first I didn’t believe it could be done. If you’re not familiar with spaghetti squash there’s no need to worry; it’s a relatively simple vegetable to cook. Once cooked, the inside of a spaghetti squash honestly looks like spaghetti, except of course for being a brighter yellow. 

     I’m sure there are many ways to cook spaghetti squash, but I’m a fan of simply poking some holes around the outside and popping it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. Some prefer to cut it in half mid-way and place them face down to speed up the cooking time. Either way, once you’re done, you’ll scoop out the seeds and scrape the walls. The most recent hint I’ve gotten for using spaghetti squash was in a buffalo chicken casserole, where the recipe suggested using paper towels to soak up some of the additional moisture after cooking.

     Now this swap isn’t meant to limit carbohydrates or whole grain consumption. It’s intended to increase your vegetable intake and reap the numerous health benefits from doing so. Eating spaghetti squash will add dietary fiber, Vitamin C and A, potassium, and some omega-3, omega-6 to your day, providing antioxidants and cardiovascular health. So give it a try next time you cook something that typically goes with pasta. 

Thanks for reading this week!

-       Dr. Patrick Berner, PT, DPT

-       Dr. Eric Uveges, PT, DPT