Your Nutrition Tips — Specialized Diets

From gluten-free and low-sodium, to vegetarian and kosher, millions of Americans adhere to specialized diets. Even if you don’t adhere to a specific diet yourself, you probably have friends and loved ones in your life who follow a specialized diet, whether by choice, through their religion, or because of a health need.

Admittedly, if you’re not used to it, it can be intimidating to cook for the people in your life with specialized diets. Not to worry! We’ve got some tips and recipes to help you serve up delicious meals while accommodating all of your guests.

Planning the Meal
It’s a good idea to ask your guests ahead of time if they have any special dietary needs. But the words used to describe a person’s diet may mean different things to different people, so be sure to find out exactly what your guests can’t eat, or would prefer not to eat. If you feel like you’re completely out of your element, consider asking your guest for a recipe or cookbook suggestion. Then, as you gather what you’ll need for the meal, pay special attention to the ingredients to make sure your guests will be able to enjoy what you’re making.

Cooking the Meal
Along with preparing diet-friendly meals, you’ll want to be careful to avoid cross-contamination and cross-contact, especially if one or more of your guests has a food allergy. For example, if a utensil has been used to stir a dish that has gluten, you can’t use the same utensil in preparing a gluten-free dish. Even trace amounts of an ingredient can cause a reaction in someone who is allergic to it.

Serving the Meal
As with cooking, make sure you have a designated serving utensil for each dish. It’s also helpful to clearly point out which dishes were prepared with a guest, or specific diet, in mind.

Chicken Avocado Wrap (Diabetes Friendly)
Garlicky Greek Yogurt Dip (Low Sodium)
Turkey and Black Bean Sloppy Joes (Low Cholesterol)

Pasta Tofu Salad
BLT Chopped Salad (Gluten-Free)

Check out this month’s nutrition plan for all of the recipes and a handy grocery list.

Your Fitness Plan — Resistance Bands with a Partner

Fitness bands have been around since the early 20th century. They’re a great basic exercise tool, and have lasted so long in the fitness and rehabilitation world because they work. You can find them at every gym, fitness store, and in quite a few homes, tucked away somewhere in the closet. Well it’s time to dust them off again.

Grab a partner, get your bands, and follow along. We’re going to take those old resistance bands and give them new life while adding some accountability along the way. So for this month, let’s get the band back together.

Complete each exercise for 8-12 repetitions, 2-3 sets as tolerated. For the band sprints, have each partner sprint the distance 3 times.
1. Triceps Kickback
2. Partner Tug-of-Rows
3. Chest Press
4. Band Jumps
5. Band Circles
6. Band Stability Press with Rotation
7. Band Sprints

Check out this month’s fitness plan for the full weekly schedule of exercises.