Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

The Truth about Electrolytes

Most everyone has heard of electrolytes.  It may have been your trainer reminding you to replenish them after a workout, or your doctor telling you to replace them if you have been sick and are experiencing dehydration.

Electrolytes are basically salts, and salts along with water help to keep the electrical charges in our bodies working properly.  Sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous are the most common electrolytes.  Water acts as a carrier for the electrolytes.

boxing electrolytes 300x300 The Truth about Electrolytes

Electrolytes are essential in helping to maintain optimal performance while working out.  When you sweat, your body loses both water and electrolytes.  If you are not properly hydrated both before and during your workout, it can lead to dehydration.  Symptoms of dehydration and electrolyte depletion include fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea, muscle spasms and numbness.

Most commonly, we are encouraged to consume sports drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade, to satisfy the replenishment process.  However, these drinks are full of refined sugars, chemicals, additives, artificial colors, artificial flavors and a host of other ingredients you simply want to avoid.  Additionally, they are loaded with empty calories, as much as or more than soda.

You can easily make your own healthy electrolyte water replacement.  A basic recipe of citrus and salt will do the trick.  A piece of citrus fruit alone is an excellent and fast source of replenishment and provides natural sugars.  But citrus juice (from oranges, lemons, grapefruit and limes) can be easily mixed with water (preferably distilled water as it is the purest; avoid tap water) and a little salt (preferably sea salt; avoid table salt) to create a quick and satisfying sports drink.  For a super charged energy drink, try using raw coconut water, which naturally has 13x more potassium than Gatorade and 2x more sodium than Gatorade.


¼ tsp. baking soda

½ cup orange juice


4 cups filtered water

¾ cup citrus juice (combine various types)

¼ cup raw honey or maple syrup

1/2 tsp sea salt


3 Ways to Know if You Have a Fresh Fish

by Executive Chef Hicham Elmadi

Having access to fresh fish is a major perk living here on Hilton Head Island, SC; along with the beautiful weather and beaches. We’ll let you in on a little secret about fresh fish. There are 3 simple steps to check on how fresh your fish. As the Executive Chef of True Restaurant at Hilton Head Health, I use these 3 tips to make sure we always have the freshest possible catch to serve to our Guests.

Last week, we received a wild freshwater striped bass and prepared it the same day. It was a beauty! (And it tasted as good as it looked.)

IMG 0856 300x300 3 Ways to Know if You Have a Fresh Fish

Sign 1: The Eyes

Check the eyes to ensure they are clear and bulging, not cloudy. If the eyes are sunken in, your fish may have been on ice more than it was in water.

IMG 0857 300x300 3 Ways to Know if You Have a Fresh Fish

Sign 2: The Gills

The gills should be bright pink or red but never brown. Brown means that fish is definitely not fresh.

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Sign 3: The Fins

There should be a natural sliminess underneath the fins and they should be flexible, when you lift them up. Stay away from brittle, dry fins.

IMG 0860 300x300 3 Ways to Know if You Have a Fresh Fish

Use these 3 simple tips to make sure you always enjoy the freshest fish at home. If you have questions about other seafood, leave your question in the comments or send an email to


Indulge Over Labor Day Weekend & Stay On Track

umbrella labor day1 300x237 Indulge Over Labor Day Weekend & Stay On Track

Labor Day Weekend is upon us. It’s time to enjoy friends, family and food but sometimes that can be a recipe for disaster towards your healthy diet. Don’t fret here’s a few mindul tips from Bob Wright, Hilton Head Health Director of Education.

  • “Control the controllables.” Concentrate on what you’re personally accountable for to set yourself up for success.
  • Have a good balanced breakfast and maybe a healthy snack before the Labor Day buffet, this will help rein in hunger and empower you to make better food choices.
  • When you indulge, consume conscientiously. Eat treats mindfully. If you are going to have one, eat it slowly and savor every bite.
  • Have no say in what Auntie May whips up for the annual Labor Day feast? Don’t sweat it. If you don’t have as much control over the food choices, be sure to get a good workout in in the morning, and look for ways to stay more active during the weekend.

Find these tips and other tips to stay mindful while you indulge for the Labor Day Weekend on Eat This Not That.


Unwise, Better & Best Food Choices

unwise better best 300x300 Unwise, Better & Best Food Choices

Anyone that comes to Hilton Head Health (H3) can remember hearing these three very important words from our Director of Education, Bob Wright:

“Unwise, Better, Best”

Those of you reading today’s blog that are new to this phrase are about to learn a simple but pivotal tips to help you achieve your balanced, healthy lifestyle.

During the summer there are: holidays, weekend cookouts, dinner and cocktails with friends on the weekends and sometimes weekdays, plus sweets and goodies waiting for you in the office. Not to mention right after summer there’s a myriad of well-know holidays, that we won’t mention, ready to do wreck havoc on your healthy diet.

Prevent the disruption of your healthy diet; get into these healthy habits to make better food choices:

1. While at a cookout, party or event, scan the food options before you eat and categorize each option into 1 of 3 choices: unwise, better or best. Weigh each choice considering where each food option would lie on a unhealthy to healthy scale. Use that to scale to guide you with your food choices.

2. If you have a treat, make sure you eat it slowly and mindfully. Savor every single bite. This tip helps with not only treats but your daily food intake. By taking time to eat and taste your food, you’re able to easily gauge how full you are getting and this can help prevent overeating.

3. Don’t underestimate calories. More times than not, half of an entree or salad has more than enough calories for a full meal. Something on a menu might sound healthier than other items but you might want to double-check calorie counts using websites/apps like: My Fitness Pal, SparkPeople and Calorie King.

Could you use more healthy guidance from our Healthy Lifestyle experts? Email us your questions at; you’re question could be the inspiration for our next post.



Health and Nutrition Experts Weigh in on Weight Loss Myths

Our Health and Nutrition Experts weighed in on the weight loss myths and shared simple healthy lifestyle tips on Power Up Your Health with Ed Forteau. Hilton Head Health Director of Education Bob Wright and Registered Dietician Lindsay Martin talk about decreasing your plate size, why you should hide your danger foods, what to eat before/after a workout and more to help you on your weight loss journey. Plus, they shed some light on a few weight loss myths

Listen to all their health and weight loss tips from episode 31 here:

radio  300x138 Health and Nutrition Experts Weigh in on Weight Loss Myths


70-Calorie Skinny Strawberry Ice Cream

Nothing says summertime like smooth, creamy ice cream! But it can be difficult to stay on a healthy track with all the extra fat and calories in average ice cream brands. Since summertime is right around the corner, we decided to share our Healthy Kitchen Skinny Strawberry ice cream recipe. The fresh fruit and touch of honey gives the perfect sweetness without adding excess calories from processed sugar. You can have all the delicious flavor of this summertime favorite without any of the guilt.

ice cream 225x300 70 Calorie Skinny Strawberry Ice Cream


2 pounds Strawberries, chopped

2 cups Skim-milk

1 cup Half and half

¾ cup Honey

½ tablespoon Vanilla extract

4 each Egg yolks


• Plan ahead and freeze your ice cream bowl.
• Place chopped strawberries in a blender, blend until smooth.
• In a large sauce pan on medium-low heat combine: strawberries, half and half, skim milk, 1/3 cup honey, and vanilla extract.
• Whisk constantly. Warm milk mixture to about 120 degrees.
• In a separate bowl combine egg yolks and remaining honey then whisk.
• Once milk mixture is warmed, slowly drizzle milk mixture into egg mixture whisking constantly. *This method is called tempering; slowly warm the egg mixture to avoid scrambling eggs.
• Once egg mixture has warmed and about half of the milk mixture is added; add the entire milk mixture and the egg mixture together in a large sauce pan on the stove top. Turn to medium-low heat, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
• Allow the mixture to cool in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
• Pour strawberry mixture into frozen ice cream bowl and churn until fairly firm.
• Remove from ice cream bowl and place in an airtight container in the freezer.
• Enjoy on a hot summer day!


Serves: 24
Serving Size: ¼ cup
Calories: 70
Fat: 2 grams


3 Tips to Being King (or Queen) of the Grill

The weather’s getting warmer, the grass is growing and school is coming to a close, you know what that means? It’s almost outdoor grilling season. The thoughts of fresh grilled vegetables and tender, juicy barbecue comes to our minds here in the H3 Healthy Kitchen. So whether you’re thinking about pulling out the grill this coming Monday for Memorial Day, wating until the first day of summer in June or even holding out until July 4; we want to share 3 simple, healthy grilling tips to ensure the most delicious food comes off your grill this summer.

1. Don’t overcook your meat: This mistake can turn a great cook out into a tough situation, quickly! Have your meat thermometer on hand to check the internal temperatures of your beef, lamb, pork, seafood or ground meat. If you need a quick reference on the best temps, check out our handy dandy chart.

2. Be sure to properly season your meat: Marinate or season any meat at least 20 minutes prior to grilling. Using acidic marinades with white wine, lemon, lime, etc. help to flavor and tenderize meats.

3. Make your own Barbecue sauce: Skip the store bought sauce and  treat your family and guests to the amazing flavor that comes with tasting fresh sauce. Plus, you can enjoy the sauce that much more knowing you created it without all the extra unhealthy calories from those free sugars. Here are 2 of our H3 favorites – Mustard BBQ Sauce and the Original H3 BBQ Sauce.

These are the 3 basic tips to get you into the King of the Grill position with your family. If you want to go a step further, we have best practices for charcoal, gas and electric grills. Test out your new or improved grilling and marinating skills with our Cilantro-Lime Chicken Skewers recipe. Yum.

Chicken Skewers 300x285 3 Tips to Being King (or Queen) of the Grill

Cilantro-Lime Chicken Skewers


4 4oz. Chicken breasts, each breast cut into 6 pc.

1/2 Fresh pineapple, large chunks

16 Wooden skewers, soaked in water


1 Cup Chicken Stock

4 Fresh limes, juiced and zested

1/4 Cup Fresh chopped cilantro

1 Tsp. Minced garlic

1 Tbl. Extra virgin olive oil

1/2 Tsp. Crushed red pepper

1/2 Tsp Salt

1/4 Tsp. Ground pepper


  • Combine first 7 ingredients for the marinade, then set aside.
  • Arrange chicken and pineapple on skewers, alternating chicken and pineapple.
  • Lay skewers in a single layer cover with marinade wrap and chill, leave to marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Remove skewers from marinade and grill skewers.


Number of Servings: 4 (4 skewers/person)
Calories: 170
Fat: 4


Healthy Cinco de Mayo Recipe: Grouper Ceviche

Happy Cinco de Mayo from the H3 Healthy Kitchen! We have a new recipe inspired by this festive holiday, Grouper Ceviche. For a perfectly, healthy Cinco de Mayo meal under 400 calories, pair this Grouper Ceviche recipe with our H3 Spanish Rice. For a twist on the traditional margarita, treat yourself with our Margarita Lime Cupcakes OR just stick with the classic and enjoy our 100 calorie H3 Skinny Margarita.

DSC 3173 300x199 Healthy Cinco de Mayo Recipe: Grouper Ceviche


8 ounces Grouper, diced

½ each Avocado, diced

1 Tablespoon Olive oil

½ each Jalapeno pepper, small diced

½ teaspoon Salt

2 each Garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup Lime juice, fresh

½ each Red onion, small diced

1/2 teaspoon Black pepper, ground

2 tablespoons Cilantro, chopped


  • In a medium sized bowl combine grouper and lime juice, allow to marinate for about 20-30 minutes in refrigerator, or until a cube of fish no longer looks raw in the center.
  • In a bowl mix together; avocado, olive oil, jalapeno, salt, garlic, red onion, black pepper, and cilantro.
  • Add grouper.
  • Serve cold and enjoy!

Chef’s Note: Traditional ceviche consists of raw seafood tossed with an acidic marinade (think: citrus juice or vinegar) that “cooks” the fish. Feel free to substitute other types of seafood; mahi mahi, scallops, or striped bass.


Serves: 4

Calories: 130

Fat: 8 grams

Protein: 11 grams

Have a safe and healthy Cinco de Mayo!


H3’s Best Blueberry Desserts

Did you know that blueberry pie has it’s own holiday – Blueberry Pie Day? Not only that, blueberry pie also has over 350 calories and almost 18 grams of fat per slice. So instead of blueberry pie, enjoy one of our favorite H3 Healthy Kitchen blueberry-inspired desserts. They’re less than 200 calories per serving and packed with sweet, rich flavors.

Blueberry Clafouti –  We remixed this yummy, French dessert, traditionally made with cherries. It’s less than 160 calories and only 2.5 grams of fat.

blueberry claufouti H3s Best Blueberry Desserts

Blueberry Cobbler – We created a healthier version of this warm, classic dessert with only 135 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.

blackberry cob 300x300 H3s Best Blueberry Desserts

With these 2 delicious blueberry treats, you won’t have to miss out on any of the flavor or the excess calories from blueberry pie. Enjoy!



The 5 Dysfunctions of a Diet

For those who read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, came a better understanding that the absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and the inattention to results are five separate issues that potentially lead to dangerous pitfalls inside a company. Working on these particular dysfunctions can create a successful group of people cohesively working together towards a vision. For example, if trust isn’t present within a group then individuals will only look out for themselves versus what’s best for the team.  (If you haven’t read the book then I would highly recommend it.)  Anyways, I’m going to take this same concept but apply it to the diet world of today.  I’m sure there could be more than five essential pieces to the diet puzzle; but without these five components, expect a part of your diet to be slightly dysfunctional:


ID 100207475 The 5 Dysfunctions of a Diet

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at


  1. ABSENCE OF PLANTS.  I’m not saying for everyone to turn towards a vegan lifestyle, but without enough vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds then one will likely miss out on essential micronutrients, antioxidants, hydration and fiber.  According to a 2009 Position Paper by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, those that are more vegetarian tend to have a lower BMI, lower risk of cardiovascular disease, lower rates of cancer, and better prevention of Type II Diabetes.  Of course, one still needs to consume enough protein and essential fatty acids; but if plants aren’t a focal point, accept feeling sluggish, gastrointestinal irregularity, poor fitness recovery and higher susceptibility for catching an illness.
  2. LACK OF VARIETY.  Want to eat the same thing every day because it works?  More and more research supports that consuming large amounts of added sugar, on a consistent basis, can be addictive.  Our dopamine – a feel good hormone – tends to level off and one will need more sugar in order to get the same “feel good” response.  Studies show this same response happens if we eat the same foods day after day.  This explains the boredom we get from grilled chicken or steamed broccoli.  Time to jazz things up!  Incorporate different textures, spices, herbs and new foods into your weekly meal plan.  In order to keep the cooking motivation at a high, try to get as much variety into  your day without feeling overwhelmed.
  3. MISPERCEPTION OF PORTIONS.  I could have used the word quantity, instead I chose portion control because there are some foods (e.g., spinach) that we can use in large amounts while others can give us what we need in smaller portions (e.g., eggs).  To put this into perspective, one doesn’t need to drown their sauté pan with olive oil, but I’d highly recommend throwing in as many bell peppers as you wish.  It makes sense to load up on salad greens, but use cheese as a flavor enhancer—not the star of the show.  Of course some things must be individualized so consider that when thinking of what works for you and your personal needs (e.g., someone receiving chemotherapy treatment will need more protein compared to someone that isn’t experiencing as much stress on their system).
  4. AVOIDANCE OF WATER, COFFEE AND TEA.  Keep it simple.  Lots of water.  Unsweetened coffee—I would avoid going over three cups of coffee per day.  Unsweetened tea.
  5. INATTENTION TO QUALITY.  Quality foods make a difference.  I’m sure some of you can tell the difference when produce is purchased from a local farmer’s market.  It smells better, tastes better and is better for you.  A few ways to keep quality as high as possible:  choose more local (within 100 miles), aim for seasonal foods and do your research—just because something is labeled “Organic” doesn’t mean it is a wise decision.

When these dysfunctions are changed or modified in a positive direction, one will notice their healthy goals become healthy realities.  It is all about behavior change.  Perhaps the fitness becomes easier and the motivation to move is greater.  Perhaps the scale moves in a downward direction because portion control was improved.  Whatever changes need to happen, take a helicopter view of your eating habits; ask yourself if there is a dysfunction within your diet.  If I had to pick one dysfunction to start changing, I would choose “Misperception of Portions.”   Most of us could choose at a food that needs a little adjustment.  Start there and have fun with the process!

Want to learn more about nutrition at Hilton Head Health? Our Nutrition and Dietary experts can answer your food and nutriton questions. Just send your questions to


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