Author Archives: carusoblogger

Children Asking to Eat Vegetables? We Can Make it Possible!

We care so much about our children’s mental and physical health. We ensure they receive a proper education, have friends, enjoy life, and so much more. We bring them to pediatricians, dentists, optometrists, specialists, you name it! It’s time to add dietitian to the list.

child meeting dietitian

So you’ve bought a new car. Congrats! Right from the start, you bring the car to your most trusted mechanic for maintenance, oil changes, and any other issues that arise. When the car signals it’s low on gas, you make sure to fill it- but, hey! Gas is expensive! The garden hose should do a fine job, shouldn’t it?

Anyone with their head screwed on straight will tell you that in order for your car to run properly, you need to fill it with a specific type of fuel. That’s pretty understandable.

Food is the body’s “fuel” and just like a car can’t run on water, our bodies need to be fueled properly. There’s no age or stage in life in which the type of fuel you fill yourself with doesn’t matter! Constantly fueling your body with healthy foods, proper portion sizes, and adequate hydration is the best way to “drive” down the road of life. I’d say, that’s pretty understandable.

food as fuel

Dietitians aren’t only trained to help you lose weight or coach you on proper eating in the presence of a complex medical condition. Dietitians help their clients create healthy lifestyles for themselves. They empower their clients to make sensible choices that will leave them feeling healthier and happier. They teach them how to fuel their bodies in the best way possible.

So yes, we can make your children excited to eat vegetables. How? Because we are TRAINED in helping to bring out SELF MOTIVATION. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have a screaming match every time something green is on the plate?

kid eating veggies

Children and young adults are in their formative years. One cannot compare the amount of work needed to create a new habit to that of breaking an old, bad habit. Giving your child the gift of proper nutrition education is a gift that will last a lifetime. It will grant them both a healthier childhood and a healthier adulthood.

Some adult clients need to spend years undoing the damage that their childhood eating and physical activity habits have left them with. Being able to prevent those challenges from occurring is truly a gift for life.

Adults with emotional eating have been found to always be traced back to their childhood…wouldn’t it be wonderful to prevent this lifelong battle for your child before it even begins? We can develop  a healthy relationship with food for them.


Many parents work to supply their children with nutritious foods and try to impart healthy eating habits on them. Unfortunately, they have a lot going against them. Children are greatly affected by peer pressure, persuasive advertising, and more.

Very often, hearing advice or “rules” from parents is not as well-received as hearing it from a professional would be. As a parent, when so much discipline is already of expected of you, leaving this lifestyle coaching up to the professionals will be a nice ‘break’ for you. A BREAK?? WOW! YOU deserve it!

mom relaxing

Sometimes, it’s hard for children to reveal sensitive things about themselves to their parents due to embarrassment, fear of disappointment, and ultimately, just fear of discipline.

In fact, Olivia Caruso, Registered Dietitian and Owner of Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, brings her children for routine counseling with Michele Wroblewski, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in the office.

Olivia certainly has the knowledge to counsel her own children, but prefers them to enjoy the benefits of meeting with a dietitian (who isn’t their mom!) to receive the tools they need to lead a nutritious life. She feels that these meetings give the matter a true sense of importance and have truly enriched her children’s lives.

So many things in life are out of our hands. Now’s the time to empower our children to take their health into their own hands. It’s time to show them how to properly fuel their bodies. It’s time to give them the everlasting gift of proper nutrition.

children empowered

Call 609-738-3143 to schedule your child’s nutrition counseling session today!

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Malky Shafran, Dietetic Intern

University of Northern Colorado Distance Dietetic Internship Program

Michele Wroblewski, RDN

Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC

1278 Yardville Allentown Rd. Suite 3

Allentown, NJ 08501


This Nurse Got Her Life Back, Thanks to Caruso PTRD!

Twelve hour shifts dealing with emergency after emergency as a nurse in a hospital left me drained. I got used to being a walking zombie. I never had time for me, and I was always taking care of others before myself. By the time I HAD the time to take care of myself, I was too tired. I had no energy to cook, workout, or even think about anything that required effort. 

I reached my breaking point when I found it hard to do the things I love. I didn’t recognize myself. It wasn’t until I met Michele that I knew what my life was truly missing.

She changed my life, for good. I’m never turning back!”


Twelve hour shifts, no social life, and chronic fatigue has been a problem for as long as I can remember. I drank more coffee than water. Being a nurse for over 10 years, I was in the midst of my career and did not want to turn any opportunity down at the chance of a promotion. I have one young toddler at home, a husband I adore, and 3 fur children; but we would like to have another child. How could I add an addition to the family if I struggled to find energy now?

I wanted more. More time with my family. More happy days. A better mood. A stronger self. I wanted to feel as unstoppable as I was on paper. I tried so many ways to increase my ability to be super woman. I tried caffeine, every diet and pill under the sun, good mood foods I see on the internet, but NOTHING worked! Dr. Google did nothing for me.

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I was complaining to a coworker one day about my struggles with my current health, and that’s when she said, you HAVE to call Michele, she will take care of you! She listens, caters to your crazy life, and will give you everything you need to get what you want.

At this point, I had nothing to lose. Besides, I know as a nurse who has a vast amount of knowledge in the health care field, Registered Dietitians are the nutrition experts. They are the only professionals licensed to provide any nutritional advise. Michele is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist as well as a Certified Exercise Instructor; I knew she was someone I could trust!

So I took a leap of faith.


She was able to accommodate my crazy schedule. Not only that, but I gained so much knowledge about how I could see results WITHOUT following crazy diets, meal replacements, and quick fixes that I knew were not the answer for me. I wanted to change my life, not just see fast results. We created a plan that was realistic, fit my day to day routine, and enabled me to include a few of my favorite things without hindering my results! I would never to be able to live without cheese or wine, and she made it happen for me!

In addition, she has helped me with my toddler’s picky eating (and my husband’s!) Ha! I am so happy that we can have our whole family on the same page.

Now that I see how much energy I feel, and how I have been able to cut my caffeine intake from 48 ounces or more, down to only 2 cups a day, IF that, I know this is something I will never turn my back on. I can’t stop smiling!


The best part was her services were covered by insurance.  That took the financial burden off my shoulders. With flexible hours, I was able to make an appointment at a time convenient for me!

An opportunity to regain your life.  An opportunity to lose the weight and feel great again with minimal expense. The opportunity to get the whole family healthy.  Due to our customized approach spots are limited, act now to ensure we have a spot for you!

Schedule your nutrition evaluation to see how fast we can have you living life the way you want to.  Schedule Right NOW to be 1 of 25 people we help this month.  Spots will fill up fast.  Call right now to be one of the 25 we help this month: 609-738-3143

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Michele Wroblewski, RDN

Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC

1278 Yardville Allentown Rd. Suite 3

Allentown, NJ 08501


Even Dietitians Need Dietitians! Insight on Keto

Even dietitians can use a little help from their fellow dietitians!

As dietitians, we try our best to keep up with the latest research to understand how nutrition can play a role in the treatment process of different diseases and illnesses. We participate in webinars, seminars, nutrition conventions, etc. to learn more about the importance of nutrition.

summer nut

Unfortunately, not everyone has the time to participate in these types of educational events. Therefore, how else can a dietitian learn about new findings in the world of nutrition? The answer is simple: from another dietitian! Dietitians love to learn and enjoy speaking with and hearing from others in the field!

As much as everyone would like to think we are perfect, we are not. We are human, and just like you we are learning and growing each and every day. We stumble, but we practice what we preach and use the tools we boast about to you to seek whatever our goals are in our own lifestyle.


The perfect example has occurred in our very own office. Recently Olivia Caruso, Registered Dietitian and Owner of Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, came to Michele Wroblewski (me), Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, seeking nutrition information about the ketogenic diet.

The ketogenic diet involves a high fat, low carbohydrate, and restricted protein approach. It is a very calculated process where the individual must consume only a certain amount of grams from each food group. With the proper macronutrient counts, the body will then rely on ketone bodies, from fat, as the primary energy source.


To the general population, the ketogenic diet is known as another weight loss diet. However, studies have shown time and time again although people may see weight loss, it is because of calorie reduction, not necessarily from being in ketosis. A low fat diet vs. the ketogenic diet have been shown to have similar results in a patient’s weight loss success. However, the ketogenic diet creates much more restrictions, limitations, and the potential for elevated lab values.

Dietitians are familiar with the ketogenic diet, but as part of the nutrition intervention plan for a person suffering from seizures. The ketogenic diet was not created with the intention of weight loss, but to help manage a medical disease, epilepsy.

There is new research being done on the effect of the ketogenic diet and it’s relation to brain cancer. Tumor cells use glucose as their main energy source to be able to create new cancer  cells and grow. However, researchers are testing to see if ketones decrease the rate of a tumor growth because it is a more difficult source of energy for the tumor.  The research is currently in progress and has not published any findings thus far, but hopefully the results indicate a new possible treatment for brain cancer patients.

Fight Cancer with Food

Dietitians have a desire to help others, including their fellow dietitians. We enjoy providing education and guidance knowing it could potentially help others achieve a healthy lifestyle and reach optimal health.

Here was a little snap shot into the reality that we all need accountability, no matter who we are! Let’s stand together to create a healthy lifestyle.


 Need more tricks and tips? Call us and come see the nutrition expert!

Michele Wroblewski, RDN

Nicolette Bernabeu

Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC

1278 Yardville Allentown Rd. Suite 3

Allentown, NJ 08501

Goals Derailed? How to Get Back on Track After Summer

It’s that time of year. Time to let go of summer happenings, and move on to an entire new routine and schedule. For some of us, we may have fallen off of track with social festivities, and therefore, less time prioritizing ourselves and more time indulging in choices that may not be as beneficial for us.

Summer pic

We’ve all been there. We’ve all skipped our workouts, chosen higher calorie choices, had that extra piece of cake or just one more smore. However, is it time for you to change your routine? Get back on track? Press the reset button to accomplish your goals?

You hear advertisements on the radio about the easy weight loss solution if you call now. You read about the way to burn fat fast on this month’s edition of the world wide magazine, emphasizing the need to lose weight to enjoy the upcoming seasons.  Every advertisement is screaming to you to be at the gym after summer festivities have concluded.


NEWSFLASH: perfect doesn’t exist.  Fad diets are exactly what they claim to be; they stick around for a while, and then die out because depriving yourself is not maintainable.  Why spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars, on weight loss programs that ultimately will push you right back to where you started in your journey?

Unfortunately, the world of nutrition varies.  In fact, most weight loss crazes that claim to provide fast results are often the least regulated, unsafe methods that have you starving, eliminating food groups, and ultimately, not feeling as wonderful as they promised you’d feel.  Instead, you’re left with headaches, nausea, and cravings that seem unquenchable.

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Put your health in the hands of our Dietitians at Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, for a maintainable, safe, and customized way to get you feeling in control of your weight or healthy lifestyle. We will serve as your springs to hop back into health! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist credentialed by the Commission of Dietetic Registration and am a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

I make it my goal to develop small, measurable goals to fit your lifestyle! Let Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition help you achieve your personal health and fitness goals and improve your lifestyle with healthy eating habits through an individualized approach to nutrition.

We address a variety of issues including weight loss, weight gain, sports nutrition, disease processes, and medical nutrition therapy. Due to our customized approach we can only work with 25 people per month at this time and at the time of this email four spots were already taken.


Saving for upcoming holidays? Nutritional Counseling is covered by insurance, which takes the financial burden right off your shoulders!  With flexible hours, you are able to schedule a time that is convenient for you!

We only have 21 spots remaining. Let us help you help yourself; spring back into the ultimate healthy you NOW! Choose to be one of the 25 people who takes action towards achieving what they have always wanted in life, TODAY!

Call right now to ensure you are one of those 25 people: 609-738-3143.

When you read this, did a family member, friend, or co-worker come to mind? Do you know of anyone else in need of physical therapy or nutrition counseling? Forward this email to share the gift of health and to let them know you are thinking about them!

See you soon,

Michele Wroblewski, RDN, AFAA Group Exercise Instructor, Certified Health Coach

Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC

1278 Yardville Allentown Road Suite 3

Allentown, NJ 08501

Phone: 609 738 3143

Fax: 609 738 3144


Do You Feel You or Someone You Know Has an Unhealthy Relationship with Food? Read and Find out!

In today’s social media ridden culture, now more than ever we are being bombarded with images of what society considers the “perfect” body. Society has a definition of “pretty” and “attractive” and it has caused eating disorders to be on the rise, particularly amongst children and teens.

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However, what most people fail to realize is that eating disorders stem not just from unhappiness with appearance. Usually, restriction begins when a person feels out of control. Eating is one of the easiest behaviors to control, which is why I have seen a lot of patients, particularly teens, who struggle with eating disorders and already have pre-existing conditions such as OCD, Anxiety with school, mood disorders, or even unhealthy relationships at home. Typically, when kids feel out of control with their own lives, even with their health, eating disorders can emerge to gain that feeling of control.

So, no, it is not always about the scale. If a family member struggles with another addiction or addictive behaviors, eating disorders tend to occur. Some say that even say that eating disorders are the hardest addiction to break, for we always need to eat.

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The two most common forms of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is defined by a number of different signs. Someone would be considered to have anorexia nervosa if they are at least 15% below their ideal body weight, if they have an intense fear of being fat even if they are underweight, having a distorted image of their body and denial of their underweight status.

Anorexia is most prevalent among teenage girls, but absolutely can occur among groups of all ages and genders. Long term health effects of anorexia involve most of the organ systems, due to the process of starvation’s toll on the body. It can also cause bone loss, decreased kidney function and even changes in brain function.

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Bulimia nervosa has a different subset of signs. To be diagnosed with bulimia, the person would have to be binge eating large amounts of food in a short amount of time, feel a lack of control when eating, purge the excess food by making themselves vomit, using laxatives, using diuretics or exercising for an excessive period of time.

A person with bulimia most likely has a self image that is based upon their weight status and not upon their personality or other qualities. Bulimia is most common among college aged women, but again can occur within any age group or gender. Long term health effects of bulimia include vitamin and mineral deficiencies, wearing down of tooth enamel, and long lasting problems with digestion and the heart.

If you do not fit into these two categories, but feel you have an unhealthy relationship with food, there are other subsets on what would classify as an eating disorder. We would refer to these as EDNOS, Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. I have come across patients to exhibit a combination of the different types of eating disorders.

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Another eating disorder that has been on the rise, orthorexia. This involves an unhealthy obsession with “whole foods”, and refusal to eat anything but that. Reliance will start to stem on supplementation. It can also involve combinations of excessive exercise as purging. One can even start to develop punishments by withholding food, additional exercise, etc.

If you are worried about someone that you care about having developed an eating disorder, there are many symptoms that you can look out for. Some warning signs include, eating small portions, an intense fear of becoming fat, excessive exercise lasting over an hour, hoarding or hiding food, disappearing after meals, social withdrawal, depression, irritability, hiding weight loss under bulky clothing, and menstrual irregularities or missing periods all together.


If your child or someone close to you is exhibiting these symptoms it is important to take them to see a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (ME), who can help them work through their disorder, normalize a person’s relationship with food and help to put them on path to a healthier life.

Don’t wait until the addiction is full blown, at the first signs of restrictive or unhealthy behavior, contact the professionals!


Michele Wroblewski, RDN

Natalie Meltzer, Student

Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC

1278 Yardville Allentown Rd. Suite 3

Allentown, NJ 08501




Boyse, Kyla. “University of Michigan Health System.” Your Child: University of Michigan Health System,

Wolfram, Taylor. “Understanding Eating Disorders.” Eat Right. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics., 10 Oct. 2017,

This Teacher Got Her Life Back, Thanks to Caruso PTRD!

“Every day I was at the gym sweating up a storm, and months later, I still saw no results on the scale. My saving grace was when I found Michele. I finally feel that the effort that I am putting in is paying off! And to think, all it took was a couple of small tweaks to my eating habits…ones I don’t even miss!”

I have been a 3rd grade teacher during the school year and summer school educator for adults for over 15 years. In addition to holding the future of thirty-five 8 and 9 year olds in my hands, I come home at 4:00 pm to my third job that is forever a full time position: being a mom to three amazing children, ages 6, 9, and 11.

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My kids and my busy work schedule leave me with almost no time to even think about making any lifestyle changes; I was overwhelmed with my day to day life as it was. How could I fit in anything else into my jam packed schedule?

I had been told time and time again by my physician that exercise and learning to eat right was the best way to lose weight and get my health back on track. So, I made the decision to join a gym.

It took a lot of effort to find an hour a day for myself, and I was SO proud that I was able to show up and just do it even when I was exhausted. So when I worked so hard to find the time to exercise and saw no results, not even a single OUNCE lost on the scale,  I decided it was time to end the frustration. I saw an article for Caruso’s Physical Therapy and Nutrition, one about a patient who exhibited my same frustration, I decided to explore their website.


I noticed that not only was Michele a Registered Dietitian but she is also an exercise guru! Eureka! Maybe she could solve my dilemma with the scale!

I immediately called to make an appointment. Michele was able to use her experience and knowledge to give me all kinds of exercise tips and techniques, as well as the proper nutrition to go along with my exercise routine! I have so much going on in my life, I was so happy she was able to do the work for me; I don’t have time for a 4th job!

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She was so understanding and knowledgeable that I not only learned so much from our first meeting but really enjoyed sitting down with her and figuring out my next step. My first appointment with Michele was about 6 months ago and still to this day I wonder why I didn’t reach out sooner. I have seen such a change in how I feel when I exercise and have learned so much about how to eat right in order to optimize my health. Michele has truly helped me take control of my body and health, and I am so grateful! In addition, I have my kids seeing her for their sports nutrition needs! I am so happy that we can have our whole family on the same page. I LOVE that they listen to her! Sometimes, when mom says it we all know it’s not as cool to our kids, I was so relieved she was able to help!

The best part was her services were covered by insurance.  That took the financial burden off my shoulders. With flexible hours, I was able to make an appointment at a time convenient for me!

An opportunity to regain your life.  An opportunity to lose the weight and feel great again with minimal expense. The opportunity to get the whole family healthy.  Due to our customized approach spots are limited, act now to ensure we have a spot for you!

Schedule your nutrition evaluation to see how fast we can have you living life the way you want to.  Schedule Right NOW to be 1 of 25 people we help this month.  Spots will fill up fast.  Call right now to be one of the 25 we help this month: 609-738-3143

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Michele Wroblewski, RDN

Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC

1278 Yardville Allentown Rd. Suite 3

Allentown, NJ 08501



Be Healthy at Happy Hour…Something You Never Thought was Possible!

Summer months have you partying until the cows come home? In this area of Allentown, NJ, this analogy can totally be true! I love the farm life around here!

Anyway, we can work hard and play hard without sacrificing your summer goals! Here are a few tips from the nutrition expert herself on dealing with social situations.

1.Cutting back on portions. If you want to try all the food choices on the table, reduce even the standard portion size. For example, if you want steak and shrimp, have 2 oz of shrimp and 2 oz of steak instead of 4 oz of each. It will cut back on 100-200 calories. Stick to a total of the size of the palm of your hand.

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2. Increase your veggies during cocktail hour. Instead of cheese and crackers, which can add up to 300-400 calories, have baby carrots, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, etc. It will save you about 300 calories. Cheese spreads are usually lower in calories than full fat cheeses, stick to about the size of 3 thumb tips, which equals a tablespoon.

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3. Do whatever you can to cut back on calories throughout the day, BUT don’t skip meals. For example, if you can live without the turkey bacon in the morning and are already having good sources of protein (aka egg whites, reduced fat cheese, etc.) go without the extra 100 calories/day. Don’t forget, foods that benefit us still contain calories!

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4. Monitor alcohol intake. Have a cup of coffee to switch over to at night instead of alcohol, and purchase decaf if needed. Make the coffee in the morning; put it in the fridge, to have iced coffee available at night for summer months. Try sugar free flavors and light creams to reduce the calories further. Set a drink limit for the day, for example 1-2 drinks/day. Or better yet, take some seltzer and put it in a wine glass. Sometimes just the act of having the glass can be associated with relaxation! This is something I’ve actually done, and it does work!

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5. Have a variety of lower calorie desserts available. For example, a frozen yogurt bar, fiber one brownies, beef jerky if you are a meat eater as a treat, sugar free pudding with low calorie whipped cream,etc. Enlightened ice cream bars are a favorite!

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6. Focus on the people, not the food (or alcohol)! Yes, food and drinks are a part of that. We don’t want to take away enjoyable experiences, but we want to take away the mindless eating, such as the tortilla chips, extra glasses of drinks you ask yourself, what am I doing? Why am I doing this? It could save you hundreds, even thousands of calories.

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 Need more tricks and tips? Call us and come see the nutrition expert!

Michele Wroblewski, RDN

Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC

1278 Yardville Allentown Rd. Suite 3

Allentown, NJ 08501


Top 10 Tricks to Staying On Track While Vacationing

Yay! Summer time is finally here! We finally have time to travel. On vacations we tend to splurge on yummy foods (which is 100% OKAY), but here are some ways to sneak in ways to be healthy(ish) when traveling…

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1. Explore! Remember that exploring actually burns calories. It can be as simple as taking a walk on the beach, swimming, snow tubing, the list goes ON & ON. Have fun with fitness!

2. Of course try new foods  and enjoy every bite. It is even better if you can sneak in some fruit and veggies in there with that special treat. For example, if you are going for the spinach dip, maybe try balancing it with carrot sticks instead of chips..every choice you make counts!

3. Sleep! One of the best ways to wind down and actually enjoy your time on vacation is to get some sleep because it’s your time to relax. Try not to use food as a way to relax. Instead, JUST RELAX. Utilize your special foods for enjoyment, not emotional eating.

4. Hydrate.Hydrate.Hydrate. Let’s not forget about the easiest thing to do (and the most important). Carry a water bottle, have that extra glass at lunch and dinner, and use flavored seltzers if you are looking for a sweeter beverage. Try to shy away from drinking your calories.

5. Pack snacks. When you are prepared, we are less likely to fail!  Count out just enough for each day and put in baggies. Since you made the effort, chances are you will make the choice!

6. Plan 1-2 workouts that involve enjoying the atmosphere. Have you always wanted to run on the beach? Make it fun! Bring a friend along and plan out adventures.

Water drink in summer

7. If your vacationing spot is less than a mile away from adventures, you know the drill: plan to walk. It will save you $$, and allow you to explore on foot things you could not in a car.

8. Portions always! Even if you are indulging, have one scoop of icecream and ask for the sample spoon so you can enjoy this dish at a slower pace. The slower you eat, the less likely you will over indulge.

9. We like to follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, make a choice that will benefit your goals. 20% of the time, enjoy that piece of cake or that serving of nachos, but still follow along with the portion size!

10. It’s about the people, not the food. Just remember, although food is apart of the enjoyment, you are there to bond with the people you are with! Be present, be mindful, and have fun without focusing on the calories.

Those are just some simple, yet effective tips to think about when you’re on vacation. But don’t forget that this is your time to have fun. It’s not an everyday thing to go on vacation, so do it up! Live your life and just try to keep these tips in mind!


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Jenna Lucas

High School Senior

Michele Wroblewski, RDN

Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC

1278 Yardville Allentown Rd. Suite 3

Allentown, NJ 08501


Athlete’s can improve over summer

Common mistake athlete’s make over the summer

 Summer pic

Gaining weight

Most athletes think it is easy to gain weight, but talking about muscle weight that is different. They gain the opposite of muscle, fat. It’s not hard to do either. You’re just go to a couple barbecues or parties away from tipping the scales in a negative direction.

You must pay attention to your nutritional needs during the off-season as you did during the season. The same principle applies: eat junk, play like junk. And good luck burning it off before the season starts again.

Finding strength and conditioning programs from popular athletes

You won’t see your coach until next season, so what do many athletes like you do? Turn to the Internet to find “best workouts for off-season.” What is the first thing you click on? Fitness plans from your sports idols, of course! Many younger athletes do this in hopes of staying on tabs of their fitness goals.

This isn’t the best solution for off-season summer training as the plans are designed specifically for these athletes and their professional game. Trying to achieve the same results may lead to injury instead.

summer lifting

Lifting weights

You aren’t playing as often in the summer, so you try to start strength training or lifting weights. The tendency is you’ll add more weight and lift more often. This is ends up being a negative response. Lifting too much weight during off-season can cause injury and muscle imbalances. Form is the key but that is not what we think most of the time when the energy and testosterone is pumping.

Not resting

Athletes make the mistake of focusing too much on off-season summer training and not getting enough rest. Your skeletal muscles and your brain require rest and recovery to avoid injury. Your best game will arise from a rested and healthy body. Rest is good for recovery, strength, and mental focus (this can be #1).


8 options athlete’s can progress under off season

1. Get outside more

Be active in the summer. Spend time outside hiking, kayaking, running in 5 K’s (they are not as intense as a running regimen), and other summertime activities. As long as you remain active in the summer, you will keep your body moving and your blood pumping, making it easier to transition back to training when the season starts.

2. Drink more water

Stay hydrated in the summer. A dehydrated body is a body that cannot perform well. Hydration for athletes is essential, however, you don’t need as much water when you aren’t training and competing.

When you’re training, you need 17-20 ounces of water before you workout, 7 to 10 ounces every 10-20 minutes while active, and 8 ounces in the 30 minutes after exercising. Develop the habit of drinking plenty of water so you don’t become dehydrated when you start exercise and playing again.

Water drink in summer

3. Keep up with nutrition

Summer often means beer, bars, campfire foods, and plenty of parties with good food. It also means the best opportunity for adding fat not muscle to our body.

It is not a bad thing to increase skeletal/muscle mass. It is another thing to increase body fat. When you gain weight, your speed decreases, your endurance starts to hide, and the pressure on your bones increases. In addition, the weight you gained quickly takes twice as long to get loose it.

It’s okay to splurge during summer but it’s not okay to decrease with . Continue following a healthy diet. You need nutrient-dense foods that are under personal /sports based planning. Keep your calories, protein, carbs, and fats in check to keep the fat off your joints/body. It is a great option in our office for nutrition options under our Registered Dietitian’s.

4. Work on technique

You get better with practice, and over the summer, athletes have plenty of time to practice. Make the commitment to work on developing skills. If there is a shot you haven’t been able to take, a stroke you can’t quite perfect, or a pitch that you’d like to see go a little faster, work on it. Use technical drills to help you hone your craft, improve concentration, and remain disciplined in your sport. Dynamic balance exercise based on sport’s specific movements.

5.  Spend time with teammates

During the season, you see your teammates often. Why not connect with them off the court and out of the pool, too? Reach out to your teammates to get to know them outside of the sport. The more things you do together, the stronger your bond will become.

Do I think you will all be friends all the time? No, not even, but it will help improve the relationship outside of your sport. This can translate to better communication and player awareness during a game or a competition.

6. Enhance range of motion and mobility

Mobility is important to improve muscle imbalances and ensure the body is working properly to perform optimally. Start incorporating Self Myofascial Release (SMR) techniques into your workout plan to improve mobility.

SMR should replace stretching in athletes and gym-goers to improve performance and mobility. Plus, it feels good. You can do SMR with a baseball, lacrosse ball, or a foam roller. One thing I want you to keep in mind, however, is that any stretching or SMR strategy must be done with purpose. Any direct questions please call the clinic @ 

7. Increase lean muscle

Over the summer, athletes can work on increasing lean muscle. Doing so requires a commitment to eating lean and nutritious food and following a strength training regimen. Suggestions for increasing lean muscle include eating a lean diet, lifting heavier weights, doing targeted isolation exercises, and taking supplements.

First, you need to understand that what you read on a bodybuilding website is not the best advice for you as an athlete with specific needs and injury concerns. Second, don’t take supplements without talking to your physician, registered nutrition, and/or physical therapist with sports nutrition experience. Remember, if the supplement or compound is not on an approved list, you risk expulsion or suspension.

8. Work on endurance and agility

Athletes can improve endurance and agility in the summer. Sure, you may not have to work on the craft as often, but you do need to get faster and perform longer.

You can improve endurance and agility through drills, heat training, increased cardiovascular activities, and goal setting. Increase your sessions, switch up your routines, and start measuring improvements every time you work out,

dynamic training

Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC

1278 Yardville Allentown Rd. Suite 3

Allentown, NJ 08501


Lacrosse Beginner

Lacrosse requires physically demanding sport was first played by Native Indian tribesmen in North America. To score, you have to shoot a small rubber ball into the opposing team’s goal using a long handled racket.

Lacrosse was also called baggataway, tewaarathon and deconchigwiis. It has deep spiritual roots in native culture and was thought of as “The Creator’s Game.” It was believed to impart important lessons in courage, honor, respect and strength, and was often played to settle disputes between rival tribes as well as to train warriors for battle. Played with several hundred players, a game of tribesmen’s Lacrosse could last 3 days or longer.

The game was named Lacrosse by the French missionary Jean de Brébeuf in the 1600’s. William George Beers formed the Montreal Lacrosse Club and the modern rules in 1867. The sport was originally played outdoors but can now be played indoors as well.

With hundreds of Lacrosse teams the world over, the sport is predominantly played in Canada and the United States and on a smaller scale in the UK and Australia.


The Muscles Involved

Competitive lacrosse players must be in excellent condition due the extremely demanding physical nature of the sport. In order to successfully play the game an athlete must rely on a range of fitness skill sets. Players need strength, endurance, flexibility, and coordination. Cardiovascular health is also an extremely important part of a player’s ability as they are required to sprint 25 to 50 yards at regular intervals as they move their way up and down the 110 yard playing field.

The primary muscles used by participants are the quadriceps and hamstrings (front and back of thigh), trapezius and rhomboids (neck, shoulder and back), calves (lower legs), biceps, triceps, flexor carpi radialis and flexor carpi ulinaris (upper and lower arm). There are several other muscles used to assist this primary group and these include the chest, hip flexors, obliques and abdominals.

The quadriceps are the four major muscles in the thigh region. These consist of the rectus femoris (middle of the thigh), the vastus lateralis (outer thigh), the vastus medialis (inner thigh) and the vastus intermedius, which is situated up top at the front of thigh and lies between the vastus lateralis and the vastus medialis. The quads are important for hip flexion, knee extension and are crucial to running, walking, jumping and squatting; all frequent body movements performed while playing.

Located at the back of the thigh, the hamstrings are actually made up of three separate muscles; the bicep femoris, the semitendinosus and the semimembranosus. Much like the quadriceps, the hamstrings also work to support knee extension and hip flexion. The gastrocnemius and the soleus are more commonly known as the calf muscles, and these too are actively engaged when playing lacrosse.

The trapezius runs down the side of the spine from the base of the skull to the mid back and stretches across the shoulder area. A player actively uses both this and the rhomboids, also located in the back. These muscles work in conjunction with the triceps, biceps and forearm muscles to throw the ball. The forearm muscles and biceps are also the ones used to cradle a lacrosse stick.

The motion of throwing the ball involves the utilization of the core muscles in the torso. The rectus abdominis and obliques in the abdominal region together with the latissimus dorsi in the lower back play an important role in the quality of an athlete’s game. They assist the player in maintaining a good defensive body position and offer support when twisting the body toward the cage while shooting.

The hip flexors are a group of muscles that help to provide free range of motion allowing the body to bend in to the hips, and the hips to be pulled in towards the torso. Squats and abdominal crunches are good examples of the hip flexors in motion. Strong hip flexors can not only increase speed and performance while sprinting, but can also work to prevent injury.


Common lacrosse injuries include:
  • Ankle sprain.                                                        Lacrosse_dive_shot
  • Head and face contusion.
  • Concussion.
  • Knee sprain (ACL, MCL)
  • Wrist fracture.
  • Hip flexor strain.
  • Low back pain.

Injury Prevention Strategies

To help reduce the potential for sports related injuries it is important to condition the body through regular training and exercise.

  • Equipment: Using high quality protective equipment that has been maintained properly will help prevent many injuries.
  • Warm up: It is also crucial to have a regular warm up routine that prepares the body for the physically challenging demands of the activity. Warming up will gradually increase blood flow to the muscles in preparation for more intense activity. Failure to incorporate a warm up routine can not only create severe post activity muscle soreness, it can also lead to more serious and painful injuries that require lengthy recovery periods or even surgery to repair.
  • Strength & Conditioning: Strength training leads to reduced potential for injury as it increases the strength of the muscles as well as that of the supporting joints and tendons. Agility training is particularly helpful to a lacrosse player as it works to improve the ability of the body to quickly adapt to a change in direction, motion and velocity.
  • Stretching: Stiff joints and muscles will ultimately lead to injured joints and muscles so improving the flexibility of the body will also work to decrease the likelihood of injury. Stretching is a key ingredient to any warm up routine and plays an important role in improving flexibility as it increases the range of motion in joints and the elasticity of muscles.

The Top 3 Lacrosse Stretches

Stretching is one of the most under-utilized techniques for improving athletic performance, preventing sports injury and properly rehabilitating sprain and strain injury. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that something as simple as stretching won’t be effective. Below are 3 very beneficial stretches for lacrosse; obviously there are a lot more, but these are a great place to start. Please make special note of the instructions below each stretch.

Arm-up Rotator Stretch: Stand with your arm out and your forearm pointing upwards at 90 degrees. Place a broom stick in your hand and behind your elbow. With your other hand pull the bottom of the broom stick forward.


Lying Knee Roll-over Stretch: While lying on your back, bend your knees and let them fall to one side. Keep your arms out to the side and let your back and hips rotate with your knees.


Standing High-leg Bent Knee Hamstring Stretch: Stand with one foot raised onto a table. Keep your leg bent and lean your chest into your bent knee.




Physical Therapy in for Lacrosse

Overall stretching is an essential part of playing lacrosse.  A good stretching routine can help to minimize muscle imbalances, prevent injury, and improve your exercise tolerance and your lacrosse performance.  The following stretching program is designed for lacrosse players who do not have any current injuries or individual stretching needs.  If you have an injury, or a specific mechanical imbalance that may be holding back your lacrosse performance, your Caruso Physical Therapist and Nutrition, LLC. can design a stretching program more specific for you.

Dr. Joseph P. Caruso PT, dPT, MSPT, CMT, CSCS

Caruso Physical Therapy and Nutrition, LLC

1278 Yardville Allentown Rd. Suite 3

Allentown, NJ 08501