Natalie Castro

Francisco “Tito” Jou, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says time-based works out if you are realistic. “Not necessarily you are going to accomplish your goal, but you can review it and make sure you can accomplish it the next time.”

“We want to be able to find that realistic balance that we can incorporate, whether it is small changes,” says Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida. Besides being healthier, cooking at home is also cheaper, according to Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida’s explanation.

With some products on the table, the specialist describes how much it costs to eat at a restaurant, take frozen food to the office and do a similar preparation at home. When people eat at home they can control everything they put onto the plate, serving size and how the meals are prepared in order to have a healthier diet.

Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida and Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at the same place, also consider cooking at home is a good idea for involving family and making the experience enjoyable. One packet of artificial sweetener is about 600 times sweeter to the taste than regular sugar, explains Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida.

She says it is good to reduce the amount of artificial sweeteners, because it can cause more cravings.

On the other hand, she affirms sweeteners are very expensive. Vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and fruits are the main components when planning the food for the week.

Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian, and Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, agree about how important it is cooking at home and, in many cases, preparing enough food to take at work. Doctors Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist, and Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, agree that when a person has a failure, the important thing is the patient looks at this, recognizes the fault and thinks how he can improve and avoid making the same mistake again.

“The focus would be on what the patient learned from the mistake and try to reframe it in the positive,” he says.

Dr. Castro states if there is a meal that the person wants a lot, he recommends the person to enjoy but then just move on to the next thing. She also recommends to take a smaller portion and for the next meal to select a healthy one. Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains it is easy to have a healthy diet when you just substitute out things you want for products that maybe are enriched with different vitamins and minerals.

She also says if you are diagnosed with a food allergy it doesn’t hurt to take a multivitamin just to kind of supplement as you are starting to heal the gut again.

Castro recommends substituting the regular milk with almond milk or soy milk if you have a dairy allergy. Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, says one in a 100 Americans are now calculated to have celiac disease but the majority of them are undiagnosed.

It is unknown what triggers celiac disease. Castro points out it is very painful because it has a lot of digestion issues that occur with it and neurotical problems occur as well.

Celiac diseases lead to other autoimmune diseases and some common signs of celiac disease are gas, weight loss, and constipation. An allergy in the family can cause some issues because the family members could feel overwhelmed and they think they have to make changes. Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, recommends keeping the foods labeled and not having own-cross contamination within the house.

She points out this situation can get expensive if the family is large and everybody is purchasing gluten-free items, for example, but then you don’t have to worry about cross-contamination and using the same toaster.

Castro recommends communication to know how to organize the family routine. Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, says it is more common to develop an allergy because of the modified food.

“We don’t know what these processed foods are doing to the lining of our intestines, but we have been noticing an increase in allergens,” she points out.

She highlights the way we are processing foods and changing the foods seems to be linked with how it is affecting our body, so you might not have a reaction to shellfish and suddenly you are allergic. What can parents do with a child in school who has a food allergy? Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, recommends talking to the teacher and bringing everything with you as far as foods packing.

She also says it is better if you speak to the school administrators to let them know what is going on with your kid and the school has to accommodate in some way.

Even though if the school has a policy that doesn’t allow your child to go with his own food, the authorities can make an exception. Even though it is not easy, when a person starts feeling good with a healthy lifestyle, others see the change in perception, the change of attitude and the change of personality, says Dr. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida.

Changes occur when these people put themselves first in their priorities and change their way of life. The specialists are there to support them because they know that gaining weight is easy, but getting rid of the extra pounds is difficult, says Dr. Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian, at Baptist Health South Florida. Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, says it is important to read the food label because you have to know what is in the food that you are eating.

“When you have a food allergy or intolerance or sensitivity you can’t leave it up to the food product or to the person preparing the food. You have to be your own advocate,” she highlights.

She recommends reading every single thing on the label, each ingredient and getting familiar with those ingredients you have to avoid future issues. The ingredients of the Three Sisters Salad are zucchini, olive oil, cannellini beans, fresh corn kernels, red onion, fresh basil, arugula, and balsamic vinaigrette.

Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says all of the nutrients are in this recipe; it would make a perfectly balanced meal, because it has the right amount of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Doctors Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist, and Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, consider if a person can get his day starting off on the right foot, one of the things is getting motivated to get out of the bed and start moving.

Doctor Betancourt recommends doing an exercise routine early in the morning. “If you don’t get it done in the morning, it’s going to be hard in the evening. If you make that a priority that’s going to make a huge difference,” he says.

Dr. Castro also recommends having a good breakfast or having at least something in a stomach instead of just plain coffee. “You have to fuel your body correctly. If not, you’re going to end up in a bad mood and get cranky,” she affirms. Preparing the food to eat at lunch or snack, but if the person is not at home, is a better option than eating daily in restaurants, according to Dr. Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian, at Baptist Health South Florida.

She mentions food can include a healthy lunch, pack in a refrigerated bag, a portion of quinoa, meat, some vegetables, fruit and yogurt and almond for snack. She also says home cooked meals are the best choice, because the person has a control over what the ingredients are. Using cans or bottles as weights, using chairs and stools, hitting the stairs, getting fitness DVDs or video games, investing in cheaper fitness items and using technology are some suggestions of Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida and Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at the same place, in order to create a home gym.

They suggest using things around the house or doing some outside exercises like walking or jogging.

Also, they recommend eating healthy. “We don’t have to buy the most expensive fanciest food,” she says. Over 160 foods can cause an allergic reaction in people; some of them are wheat, milk, fish, peanuts, tree nuts and soy.

Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, says it is important to go through the food label, because it is going to help us to identify where these food items are coming from.

She also points out there are different allergens that are derived from these food allergens. Currently there are many myths that have been extended to make people believe there is a quick and easy way to lose weight. Specialists Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian, and Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, advise not getting fooled by these ads.

A good weight loss requires a very healthy diet and a good exercise routine, experts agree and add it is not necessary to spend a lot of money to do that. “Your body is a gym,” he says. If you have a food allergy you might feel like you don’t have energy, you can’t concentrate and also have a lot of stomach issues.

There are severe food allergies that can lead to constricted airways in the lungs, severe lowering of blood pressure and shock, also called anaphylactic shock and suffocation by swelling of the throat.

Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, says a severe food allergy is life-threatening if you are not well prepared with an EpiPen, for example. Dr. Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, says fat is an essential part of nutrients a person needs. “We need healthy fats, carbohydrate and protein for a balanced healthy meal,” she adds.

Consumed in correct portions, fats are a part of balanced meal. Nuts, seeds, avocado are options when the person wants to try to avoid animal fats.

She recommends to avoid saturated fats (french fries, bacon, butter) because they can case clogs more of the arteries. Not all activity has to be in a gym either. Walking is a good option when a person takes a vacation. Trying to establish a routine and trying to find a way to do something similar are the recommendations of Dr. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida.

Travelling is a good idea even for maintaining an exercise and healthy eating routine. Always there will be options in order to move and eat healthy. Dr. Castro compares it with tooth brushing. “When you are on, vacation you still brush your teeth. If you’re gonna have a routine, at least make an effort to continue to do that,” she says. Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains stevia is a natural form of a sweetener and says it will sweeten the food without giving us extra calories.

“One of the downfalls of stevia is the aftertaste it has; a lot of people don’t like it. It is a little overpowering.” “We meet one-on-one and do a full nutritional assessment. That entails looking at your eating habits on a regular basis, what are your food preferences, and what your schedule looks like,” explains Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida.

She also says together, the dietitian and the patient can develop a nutrition plan that is specific to their needs. Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says the only way to know if you have made a good choice buying food is by reading the label.

With the label you will be able to tell whether it is just sugar or added sugar. She says, for example, a cereal box that has less than 8 grams of sugar would be a good choice. Francisco “Tito” Jou, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says time-based works out if you are realistic. “Not necessarily you are going to accomplish your goal, but you can review it and make sure you can accomplish it the next time.”

“We want to be able to find that realistic balance that we can incorporate, whether it is small changes,” says Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida. Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains sugar stimulates our pleasure responses and our reward responses in our brain. “We have done PET scans and looked at brain activity when we are having sugar, and it responds just the same way as alcohol and cocaine or drugs.”

About sweets, she says the only thing is that they are not part of a food group, they are extra calories that provide no nutrients. S.M.A.R.T Goals mean specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based goals. “You want to start out by finding out your purpose, what you want to do for yourself,” says Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida.

The next steps are to know how you will know when you have reached the goal, if it is your power to accomplish it, if you can realistically achieve it, and by when you would like to accomplish it. Having healthy habits helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, and arthritis.

Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says those health problems are preventable and reversible in most cases. “We all have many things to do every day, we are stressed with time management, but it is finding that time that we are spending on the couch or maybe on our phones, flipping through things.” Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says chocolate is one of the most craved foods that we have. “The thing with chocolate is the amount of calories it is providing as an extra food.”

She explains there are studies that show that chocolate has a higher antioxidant, but the type of chocolate we are consuming and choosing will make a significant difference. “As soon as we add milk and sugar, it loses most of its nutrients, that is the problem with the chocolate.” Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains the natural sugars in the grapes is what makes the wine and makes the fermentation process to create alcohol. “There is going to be natural sugar in there, just as if you were taking a cup of juice.”

She says it is just about regulating it, you want to know how much calories you have. “There will be alcoholic averages that will be a healthier choice in the sense that they do not have added sugar.” Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says a food diary is an excellent way to raise awareness within yourself. She recommends using an app on your phone to know about your total intake.

“The best thing you can do is having something healthy with you so you can control your own environment. That is one big tip, so you do not get tempted.” Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says when you come home you have to have that mindset that you want to do something different. “Maybe you can relax, get out of those workloads, make you feel like there is a difference, but then you have to put your mind to making those changes.”

“Once you get to the point where we are on the couch, you lose a chance to become active, walk your dog, go to the gym,” says Francisco “Tito” Jou, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida. Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says you can have regular ice cream. She explains half a cup would be considered a serving of regular ice cream. “The problem is that when we go out and we are buying ice cream and have a little pint, you have to be careful not to eat the whole pint. There are four servings in that pint.”

She says if you have an issue with having sweets in the house what you want to do is not having it in the house as often so that you do not have temptations to have it every single day. Clara Lerma, Corporate Manager of Wellness Advantage with Baptist Health South Florida, says for trick-or-treating with a kid that has food allergies, you need to have a plan. She recommends going online and finding neighborhoods that will close off the entire neighborhood, because it is safe.

Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, points out the Teal Pumpkin Project, which is a poster that you can put on your door, so families know your house is a safe zone and you are giving out candy items that are allergy free. The generic names of the artificial sweeteners are saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, and stevia. Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says if you are used to having regular sugar and you are going to switch to something like Splenda, it will be 600 times sweeter than sugar.

She also points out some studies says that saccharin is causing bladder cancer in male rats and not female rats and she highlights the important thing is how much of it is in your diet. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains, with a digital imaging, three simple exercises for beginning a routine.

He says these exercises can be done at a gym as well as at home if the person does not have enough budget. “The best advice is starting exercising off gradually with something that’s a low skill gross movement such as stepping, like getting the stairs or stepping up into a box exercise, squats, sitting to a chair and standing back up several times,” says Dr. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida.

In addition to endorphins, the impact that exercise has on medicine is huge. It helps fight off any form of metabolic disease. Other problems like hypertension or diabetes can be managed by exercise.

Also the Doctor recommends staying away from machine-based exercises if there’s no professional guidance. If you have 5 to 10 minutes at work, you can use them to have a little bit of Me time by sitting outside, calling a friend to chat, stretching, or listening to music. Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says it is important to make sure you go out and get some fresh air, take a break for yourself, and stretch out your neck so you can feel the stress coming off of your body.

Clara Lerma, Corporate Manager of Wellness Advantage with Baptist Health South Florida, explains the importance of sleeping. If you don’t sleep, you are going to be exhausted and it is going to throw off your entire day or the entire week, depending on the lack of sleep you have.

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