The “Good” Vs. “Bad” Food Trap by Brown & Medina Nutrition

Posted in Blog by bporte
1 May 2015

You’ve heard it before, or you may even tell yourself that foods fall into one of two categories: good and bad. Not only is this mentality unhealthy, it can actually hinder your efforts to eat well.

Many people categorize food based on information shared by the media- where food and nutrition are usually misinterpreted. While it may feel simple enough to divide foods into categories: good and bad, nutrition just doesn’t work like that. Every single person has their own nutritional needs depending on factors such as genetics, gender, lifestyle, food preferences, food allergies, etc. For example, a teenage athlete will have completely different needs compared to a sedentary adult.

In addition, while most of the foods you eat should be health promoting and nutritious, food is and should be more than just fuel. Food is also for enjoyment and usually a focal point of celebrations, holidays, and gatherings with family and friends. Excessive restriction of  what you consider to be “bad” foods can create feelings of guilt and anxiety.  This not only may undermine your quality of life but for some people it can trigger a desire to over eat or binge eat those very foods they tell themselves they shouldn’t have.

Every food plays a role, and finding balance is key. What does balance look like? It’s a day filled with primarily nutritious foods in the right amounts for you, with room for your favorite cookie.  Knowing that there will be room for that favorite sweet tomorrow and for many days thereafter there’s no need to overeat.  The result is happiness and satisfaction rather than guilt and shame. Once you embrace a better relationship with food by changing the way you look at it, health and happiness will fall into place.

For more great tips you may contact Brown & Medina Nutrition at  or call 212-759-6999 ext. 100.   Also check out their website at


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Exercise during Cancer Treatment by Carla DeSimone

Posted in Blog by bporte
14 Mar 2015

“It was a pleasure working with Carla.  Not only was she sensitive to what I had been through with having had breast cancer, a mastectomy, and the development of lymphedema in my left arm, but she developed an exercise program that was not overwhelming.  Incorporating a physio ball made it all seem like fun. I do the exercises while watching TV and barely realize that I’m exercising.”
~Robin, one of Carla’s clients


I was recently present in my sister-in-law’s hospital room when her doctor strolled in and gave her a very blunt diagnosis of gall bladder cancer.  Several members of our family were present while she waited for test results.


Needless to say, we were all shocked, and it took several days for this to sink in for us and mostly her.


Once a diagnosis of Cancer is given, everyone’s first reaction is to treat the cancer as fast as you can either with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a combination of all of those.  What no one thinks about is exercise during cancer.


Of course, when many people think of exercise, they think of heavy-duty, blood-pumping, sweat-inducing exercise, but that is not the only definition of exercise.  There are many forms of exercise that are not that extreme.


Once a diagnosis of cancer is given, there are many factors that will determine the outcome of the treatment.  The best thing a cancer patient can do to get the best outcome is to be proactive.  This is easier said then done since the shock of a cancer diagnosis can have all sorts of emotional affects.


Of course for me, when I heard my sister-in-law’s diagnosis, my brain immediately started to plan a strategy for keeping her as strong as possible so she could face her treatment head-on and be physically ready for whatever was going to come her way.  A good combination of diet and exercise along with her medical treatment plan was her best option for a good outcome.


Cancer cells feed on acid.  There have been many studies that show that all of us have the potential to get cancer.  What we feed our bodies can determine if we get cancer or not.  By eating a more alkaline diet, we can decrease acidity in the body and starve the cancer cells.  You would be surprised what foods are acidic and which are alkaline.  A warm cup of lemon water each morning with a teaspoon of baking soda is a wonderful way to keep the body alkaline.  Attached is a very basic chart that is good to be familiar with.


Keeping the body strong is vital for anyone undergoing cancer treatment.  Since there is usually a good amount of weight loss, loss of appetite, extreme exhaustion and emotional distress, exercise is not foremost on the patient’s mind.  But, exercises that have the patient moving around and getting the blood pumping will do wonders for body and mind.  Of course, appropriate exercises and movements must be executed.  You don’t want to over work a patient going through treatment especially if they were a non-exerciser before their diagnosis.  Picking a qualified and compassionate trainer is key for optimal results.


Patients who have had lymph nodes removed or who are undergoing radiation especially need to keep the lymphatic fluids flowing through the body. Once even one little lymph node is removed or radiation is administered, there is a chance that a cancer patient can get lymphedema for the rest of their life.  Exercises that pump the lymphatic fluid through the body are essential for the reduction and avoidance of lymphedema.  Even gently bouncing on an exercise ball is very helpful in moving lymph through the body.


Cancer is life changing.  How it changes your life is up to you!


Carla DeSimone

Certified Personal Trainer

Cancer Exercise Specialist

Make a Pact For Life Instructor

MELT Instructor


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Nutrition Tips for Boosting Immunity by Brown & Medina Nutrition

Posted in Blog by bporte
19 Jan 2015

   No one likes to be sick, but with winter upon us we are entering prime time for colds, the flu, and other respiratory illnesses. Fueling your body with nourishing and healthy foods has long been understood to help prevent disease and increase overall health. Always aim to get a good balance of protein (such as poultry, meat, fish, or tofu), complex carbohydrates (such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, and sweet potatoes), and healthy fats (such as nuts, olive oil, and avocado). In addition, choose foods with immune boosting vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Zinc.

Here are some tips to help you keep your immune system strong this winter:

  • Eat foods high in Vitamin A: A deficiency in Vitamin A is associated with impaired immunity and risk for infectious disease. Foods high in Vitamin A include: Sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, red peppers and mangoes.
  • Eat foods high in Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a highly affective antioxidant ( that helps protect the body from pathogens. Foods high in Vitamin C include: Papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, oranges, pineapple, and brussel sprouts.
  • Eat foods high in Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant and plays a significant role in the normal function of immune cells. Foods high in Vitamin E include: Sunflower seeds, peanut butter, almonds, tomatoes, and broccoli.
  • Eat foods high in Zinc: Zinc helps the immune system work properly and may also help wounds heal. Foods high in Zinc include: Oysters, fortified breakfast cereals, beef, chicken, and pork.
  • Stay hydrated! The dry winter air and our heated homes can make dehydration possible in the Winter . Getting adequate water is crucial because it keeps our body’s tissues moist, removes toxins and wastes from the body, and transports nutrients and oxygen to cells.
  • Get adequate protein: Our immune system is made up of proteins including  antibodies. Antibodies support immune system cells and can also attack viruses and bacteria that enter the body. Good sources of protein include: Chicken, lean beef, eggs, fish, beans, pork loin, and tofu.


For more great tips you may contact Brown & Medina Nutrition at  or call 212-759-6999 ext. 100.   Also check out their website at


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