We advise new Calasanz students (particularly those over the age of forty) to undergo a thorough medical examination. You should consult your primary care physician or the Calasanz Physical Arts consulting medical group - Health Extenders.

A comprehensive evaluation by a physician should include a nutritional evaluation, fitness evaluation, exercise prescription, stress testing, generation of computer-assisted health reports and a written summary of your health status. Plus, there should be meticulous follow-up to ensure that you receive the care your exam may indicate. The Executive Physical Exam (EPE) by Health Extenders is one such program.

By Nancy Murphy
Director of Nutrition & Lifestyle Programs
Health Extenders of Norwalk & Southport

When you combine the wonderful physical development regimen of Calasanz Physical Arts with sound nutritional management, you not only feel better a look better. You prepare your body for a healthier future! So consider incorporating a few of the following healthy nutritional tips into your lifestyle. They are free, safe, and can be practiced at home, in the workplace, and on vacation.

10 Health Extender Points To Consider When Trying To Lose Weight

1) Consider daily calories consumed from caloric beverages such as soda, fruit juice, whole milk, & alcohol. Substituting no-cal drinks like seltzer, water, & diet beverages may help eliminate a few hundred calories per day.

2) Consider whether daily snacks are eaten out of boredom versus hunger. If hungry, define a snack as a "nutritious gap filler of <150 calories or less." Eliminate those that don't fit the bill. Fruit canbe a great snack.

3) Consider whether your "mid-afternoon low energy level" may be due to poor water intake throughout the morning. If so, work up to 8 cups of no-calorie, decaffeinated beverages per day. (Include an additional cup for each cup of caffeinated beverages consumed.)

4) Consider all the sources of fat (hidden & obvious) in your usual weekday and weekend meal & snack selections. Ask for mayonnaise, dressings, and sauces "on the side" & try to avoid fried foods & mayonnaise-based salads. If only high-fat choices are available, consider eating half of your usual portion. Skipping chips, fries, or cheese on sandwiches & burgers, & fatty toppings on pizza can save hundreds of calories per week.

5) Consider the many benefits of consistent moderate exercise as part of your lifestyle, but resist the urge to exaggerate its caloric benefit. A 30 minute walk does not come close to voiding the calories consumed from 3 slices of pizza. Portions always count.

6) Consider the importance of eating a satisfying but healthy breakfast every morning. Many studies show that breakfast-eaters are generally slimmer than non-breakfast eaters. High-fiber cereal (hot or cold), non-fat yogurt or cottage cheese, fruit, whole-grain toast or waffles, and an occasional egg can provide a nutritious start to your day. Beware of bagels, muffins, coffee cake, & pastries which pack 100+ calories/oz. even without butter, cream cheese, or jelly.

7) Try to consider what you will eat at your next meal based on your prior meal. This allows you to make reasonable compromises throughout the day to come out "calorically ahead" by bedtime. For instance, if you have pizza every Friday night, have grilled chicken or turkey and salad for lunch. If you prefer to have a heavy lunch at work, consider a low-fat frozen entree, a non-creamy soup, or a light sandwich for supper.

8) Remember that while low-fat & fat-free items are usually better choices for weight loss (& better for preventing heart disease), they are not CALORIE-FREE!

Eating twice as much fat-free frozen yogurt as regular ice cream is self-defeating, with little or no savings in calories. So, read labels, consider what will satisfy you most & control portions of treats.

9) Keep fruit or other healthy snacks in your office, car, & handbag or briefcase. This will help keep mid-afternoon visits to vending machines & mini-marts to a minimum.

10) Aim to lose 1/2 to 1 pound/week with the emphasis on establishing long-term healthy weight loss, fitness, & eating habits.

Nancy Murphy has been a registered Dietitian since 1984 and has extensive experience in Diabetes Counseling. She joined Health Extenders as the Director of Nutrition & Lifestyle Programs in 1998. Nancy also serves part time as a Lifestyle & Diabetes Education Consultant in the office of Dr. Elliot J. Mayfied. Prior to coming to Health Extenders, Nancy was a Lifestyle Coach/Research Nutritionist at the Diabetes Prevention Program in New York (1996-98) and served as a Metabolic Research Nutritionist at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center (1987-96). In addition to nutrition consultant positions from 1990-95, Murphy's background includes a term as a Clinical Nutritionist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York (1984-87).

Nancy obtained her M.S. in Clinical Nutrition from New York University in 1984 and went on to become a Certified Diabetes Educator in 1998. She has received supplemental nutritional training at Boston University and Harvard University. In addition to numerous publications, Nancy has appeared as a nutritional expert on television and radio, and has been quoted in major newspapers such as the Daily News, Chicago Sun Times and other assorted publications.

Health Extenders is a medically supervised health care and wellness facility specializing in: Respiratory & Internal Medicine, Chiropractic Care, Physical Rehabilitation & Massage Therapy, Medically Supervised Weight Reduction, Nutritional Management of Disease, and Integrated Wellness Programs. The Health Extenders’ goal is to optimize your health, treat potential problems before they arise, and minimize the need for hospitalization.