Monica Amsterdam, CHC, AADP, FDN-P is the director of nutrition at the Medical and Wellness Center of New Jersey, a premier state-of-the-art rehabilitation center that specializes in wellness by offering programs in: integrative medicine/nutrition, sports therapy, and chronic pain resolution. With more than two decades of industry experience, Monica continues to transform and improve the quality of life for her clients via her customized programs designed to promote weight loss, improve organ function, boost metabolism functionality, create a supplement regimen, control chronic disease and inflammation, and regulate a healthy digestion.
Monica first got into nutrition when she was a kid and realized that what she ate affected her performance as a gymnast.
“At an early age, I realized how food could affect my body and its functions. I remember telling my mom and my pediatrician how certain foods made me feel sick and bothered my stomach… When I was a teenager, I became aware how the food I was eating could make a difference in my appearance and on how I felt physically and emotionally.”
I asked Monica what small changes someone can make in their diet that can have a big impact on their performance. The first thing she said was to drink water. Waiting to drink until you are thirsty means that you are already dehydrated which can lead to cramping and poor play in any sport. So keep drinking that water! She then said that, “60-90, minutes before a competition, game or training, they should eat some complex carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, millet, or buckwheat. This will keep their energy up avoiding running out of gas.” Lastly, she said eating the right amount of proteins is imperative for any athlete. Protein not only helps build muscles but also helps athletes recover and heal from injuries. “Good sources of proteins are chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef, eggs, fish, best if wild caught, the best way to cook these foods is to bake, boil, steam, grill them, and avoid frying them.”
Monica even put together a small list of great recovery snacks so you can make sure your kids are ready to play the next day.
– Nut or seed butter with an apple or banana
– Fruit with a healthy, organic non-processed jerky
– Hard boiled eggs with fruits
– Homemade trail mix
– Nuts and seeds
– Hummus and cut vegetables
– Baked potato with protein of their choice
Lastly, I asked Monica what some things parents and kids should look out for when buying and eating snacks are, and she gave me some great answers.
“Fiber: Look for fiber content in grain products. Any product with less than 2 grams of fiber per 100 calories is unlikely to be a “ “real” whole grain product. Products with 2 or more grams of fiber per 100 calories are generally a good choice. Look for options with short ingredient lists. These tend to be the less processed and a better choice… Avoid partially hydrogenated oil: this is harmful “trans” fat… Stay away from High Fructose Corn syrup: this is the most common form of added sugar and should be avoided as artificial flavoring and colorings. Lastly Don’t be fooled by the front of the package-Look at the food label instead!”
For more information on Monica, you can call her office at 973-359-4400 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read more of her bio here.
For more information on nutrition, Monica suggests looking up Nutrition Detective Dr. David Katz. You can check out his website here.
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