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Any way you slice, dice or mash it, avocados are actually good for you. New research reveals that Hass avocados have nutritional and health benefits that can aid with heart health, weight management and type 2 diabetes, making them more attractive than ever for topping salads and all manner of Latino dishes.

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Cristina Rivera, a registered dietician and president of Nutrition In Motion PC, relies on breakfast for training recovery. “I work long hours and I am training for a marathon, I rely on this meal to provide me with the energy I need to get me through days jam-packed with work and intense training regimes,” says Rivera.

 

According to Rivera, our muscles and brain need fuel immediately upon waking.

Cristina Rivera, a registered dietician and president of Nutrition In Motion PC, emphasizes further that not all fats are harmful. “Unsaturated fats such as nuts and peanut butter, seeds, avocado, olive oil and fish oil have numerous health benefits. Foods that contain these fats protect our heart, lower bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol, and fight inflammation in our bodies,” says Rivera. People should keep that in mind when thinking about opting for low-fat or reduced-fat versions of foods, she says.

Your social life doesn't have to suffer just because you want to eat healthier. In fact, you can still dine out with friends and stick to your healthy diet. The trick is to bypass high-calorie menu items and instead order off the menu or ask for wholesome twists on the restaurant's dishes.

 

"Restaurants do not like to advertise this because it makes more work for them, but pretty much anything on a menu can be cooked to order," says Cristina Rivera, President of Nutrition in Motion, P.C.

"Pre-workout meals should be high in carbohydrates, as this is what gives you ‘gas to go' and prevents muscle from being used for energy," Rivera says. "The meal should also be low in fat to prevent GI discomfort and include some protein to begin the muscle-building process during your actual workout. My favorite breakfast is good old PB&J. Since I don't eat flour, I choose an Ezekiel English muffin, which is an organic sprouted grain and incredibly unprocessed.

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Seriously, when faced with the ever-growing array of bars, I usually just grab whatever's on sale. Energy bars, like most nutritional products geared for athletes, aren't cheap, after all. But that M.O. assumes that all bars are created equal -- and they're not, I learned from Cristina Rivera, R.D., a nutritionist who spoke at the Multisport World 2011 conference last weekend in New York. Here's the lowdown on bars, gels and sports drinks.

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One of the most common reasons people fail at keeping their resolutions is because they bite off more than they can chew. "I find that my clients make New Year's resolutions that aren't really realistic," says Cristina Rivera, RD, president of Nutrition in Motion, PC. "They're great for about a week, but people can't keep them up forever." For example, one of her clients made a goal to give up soda, her favorite beverage. She went cold turkey and lasted about two weeks, then caved when the cravings hit.

With the upcoming holiday season, Americans will be spending their days eating - a lot. It has always been a part of our nature to celebrate, meet and reunite over food, and this year won't be any different. Still, experts are telling us to watch what we're eating this season by cutting out some of our favorite foods, and that's just not what people want to hear.

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