Tag Archives: drink


Tonic Waters, Soda Water, Sparkling Waters,and Flavored Water

By:Jill Ouhrabka MS, RD, LDN, CHC

I have had several clients ask about alternative drinks to water. The best way to hydrate is water but if you want something else to drink, opt for water or sparkling water with some fruit slices, or lemon juice added for flavoring.

Q: “What is your opinion on Tonic Waters, Soda Water, Sparkling Waters, and Flavored Water?” -T.N.

A: “Great question! Essentially tonic water has added calories, sodium, and lots of sugar so not a good option.  Soda water has no sugar or calories but does has added sodium, flavored water such as crystal light may have added calories and sodium. If you are watching your sodium intake for blood pressure, you will want to watch how many tonic waters, soda water, and flavored waters you have in a day. Flavored waters (especially those with sugar alcohols) can cause intestinal issues such a gas, bloating, and diarrhea if consumed too frequently.  I would suggest drinking sparkling water and adding your own cucumber, orange, or lemon slices to it for flavor. Remember that any type of flavored water you buy will likely have preservatives/chemicals added for flavoring making less ideal than water/sparkling water Does this make sense? I have provided a breakdown for you below:

  • Tonic water: 124 calories per 12 oz, 32 g sugar, 44mg sodium
  • Soda water: 0 calories per 12 oz, 0g sugar, 75 mg sodium
  • Flavored water/crystal light: 10 calories per packet, 0g sugar, 35 mg sodium
  • Sparkling water: 0 calories, 0 g sugar, 0mg sodium (good for hydrating)

Remember, to tell if you are hydrated look at your urine, clear urine = hydrated, yellow = drink more water!


Jeff’s Healthy Philly Cheesesteak Sub

by: Jill Ouhrabka MS,RD, LDN, CHC

You can still eat the foods you love, just make a few changes and enjoy a healthier option!

Makes 4 servings


  • 4, 8” Whole Wheat Sub Rolls (1 sub per person)
  • 8 slices of 2% American Cheese slices (2 slices per person)
  • 16 oz deli sliced Lean Roast Beef  (Tip: opt for low sodium to decrease sodium content) (4 oz. per person)
  • Pepper,  Garlic Powder,  Onion Powder
  • Optional : 1 cup each of Onion, Pepper and Mushrooms


  • Sauté the onion, pepper, and mushroom into a pan (use non-stick vegetable oil and/or a little oil in the pan)
  • Add the roast beef and spices
  • Toast the sub roll
  • Add the slices of cheese to the sub roll and allow to slightly melt (note: you can also cheese to the stir fry pan if you prefer
  • Place stir fried meat and veggies on cheese on sub roll
  • Enjoy!

How does this recipe compare to traditional recipes?

Jeff’s Homemade Philly Cheesesteak Sub vs. Traditional Philly Cheesesteak Sub:

The winner is…Homemade!!!

Traditional Philly Cheesesteak

Homemade Philly Cheesesteak

The Difference

The Healthier Option is:

Total Calories

710 Calories

420 Calories

290 Calories


Total Calories from Fat

214 Calories

90 Calories

24 Calories


Total Fat

24 grams

10 grams

24 grams


Total Cholesterol

113 mg

100 mg

13 mg


Total Sodium

1743 mg

1410 mg

333 mg


Total Carbohydrates

72 grams

42 grams

30 grams


Total Protein

49 grams

41 grams

8 grams


Total Sugar

6 grams

3 grams

3 grams


Total Fiber

6 grams

9 grams

3 grams


coffee bean

What’s the skinny on coffee?

It wakes us up, it makes us feel warm and happy, but is there an actual health benefit from drinking it?  The answer is…yes (sort of)…

Benefits from coffee:

  • It may reduce your risk for type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease
  • It is packed full of powerful antioxidants (these are nature’s health boost!)
    • Most of us get more antioxidants from coffee than any other food or drink!
    • You can get antioxidants from blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, broccoli, mango, nuts, dark chocolate, artichokes, and potatoes too!
  • It is low calorie (as long as you watch the cream and sugar)
    • 1 cup (8 ounces) of coffee has about 2 calories, zero fat, and zero sugar
    • Tip: To keep it low in calories:
      • Opt for skim milk, or half and half instead of cream
      • Use splenda, truvia, or other alternative sweetners
      • Add sugar yourself and use packets instead of spooning it!
        • 1 sugar packet = approximately 25 calories

Cons of coffee?

While studies suggest drinking more than 3 cups per day for some people can be beneficial, for others drinking more than 2 cups a day may:

  • Increase blood pressure
  • Cause spikes in blood sugar leading to sugar cravings
  • Inhibit sleep patterns
  • Heavy coffee drinkers are often more likely to be smokers

The bottom line is that coffee has pros and cons. If you are drinking more than 2 cups a day you should check with your doctor or primary care provider to make sure you it is okay.

By: Jillian Ouhrabka MS, RD, LDN, CHC

Get more tips and information or ask a question at: info@restorativenutritionri.com


Healthy Holiday Tips

The holiday season is fast approaching, and for many its become a time for over-eating and weight gain. According to the National Institutes of Health, holiday eating can lead a one to two pound gain every year…multiply that times 5 and that is 5 to 10 extra pounds. Don’t let this holiday season undo all the hard work you have done the last year. Learn how to enjoy the holidays with a balance of food, friends and family, and fun. Try these tips to stay healthy and keep added weight off!

  • Have realistic goals- don’t try to lose weight over the holidays, try to maintain your weight instead
  • Never go to a party hungry- always eat regular meals and snacks so that you don’t over eat at a party and consume extra calories
  • Before going to a party, have a small snack such as a salad, vegetables and low fat cheese, or a handful of nuts
  • Move! Aim to exercise most days of the week, if you are traveling and can’t get to the gym get outside! Go for a walk or jog in the morning for 30 minutes, or break it up into three 10 minute walks or two 15 minute walks a day. (Ask a friend of family member to come and it will be a great chance to reconnect)
  • Make time to stay active and exercise- exercise not only helps prevent weight gain but it can help with the stress that happens around the holidays
  • Look before you eat. Buffets can be a quick way to overeat. Look at all the options available on the table, and then fill your plate with mostly vegetables and fruit, and then start with small servings of the less healthy options. You can always go back for more but start out small. When deciding between what food to eat, opt for the ones that you don’t get to have all year
  • Enjoy your food. Eat it slowly and mindfully. Pause between bites and talk during meals so you are less likely to overeat
  • Choose drinks carefully-eggnogs and alcoholic beverages can add extra calories very quickly
        • Opt for diet sodas, light beers, and/or wine
      • Have a glass of water between each drink to help fill you up
      • If you overeat at a meal, don’t skip the next meal but eat a smaller portion
      • When you go to a party or event, always bring a healthy dish that you can  have without feeling guilty (i.e. salad, vegetable sticks, fruit bites, and so forth)
      • If there is a food you really want, let yourself have it! If you deny yourself foods you will likely end up overeating later so its better to just enjoy it (start out with a small piece to start and see if you can be satisfied with that!)
      • Lastly, make the holidays about being together and not all about eating. Plan active activities such as ice skating, walks, and shopping to spend time together