Research-Based Health Tips for the Season – Dr. Jay


As the seasons change, so do our diet and exercise routines. The weather may feel like a barrier to exercise and our food choices may be enriched with holiday indulgences. It is not uncommon to gain a few pounds during the colder months. The Charleston Daily asks Dr. Jay, how can Charlestonians maintain those svelte summer physiques? Here are her suggestions, with research to back them up.

1. Start the day with a goal for being healthy. There is evidence that when individuals think about exercise, it helps them meet their goals [1]. Whether it is visualizing yourself at the top of the Cooper River Bridge or playing fetch with your dog at James Island County Park, take one of the 24 hours in your day and make it about you.

2. Park a little out of the way. This is not hard at all if you are going somewhere downtown. Having dinner at the Macintosh, you may have to park by the Warehouse. In your neighborhood, try parking on the other side of the grocery store parking lot. This built in space forces you to walk, thus improving cardiovascular health [2].

3. Be romantic and share dinner. Food sharing is a great way to cut calories and to foster relationships. This active area of research [3] can be utilized by best friends, lovers or spouses – anyone you don’t mind getting cozy with. Go to your favorite casual restaurant, sit on the same side of the table and split a dish. Table manners be darned. This may not be appreciated at Peninsula or Charleston Place (actually it may-service is exceptional at both restaurants). I recently shared a great bowl of pho this way (caveat- my dining companion and I now have the same cold).

4. Pack your lunch. I know it can be hard to resist the loaded baked potato bar at the ART cafeteria, but last night’s leftovers or a homemade salad would be better for you. A recent article proved that a healthy packed lunch can decrease a marker of liver inflammation [4]. Have a sweet coworker with home-baked banana bread? Just savor the taste of one bite. Don’t worry, someone brought a batch of holiday cookies in from Sugar for your third afternoon snack.

5. Eat real. Many of my friends and patients tell me that it’s okay to have two scoops of ice cream or sugar-free holiday goodies. The fact is, the sugar-free treats are loaded with non-digestible sugar alcohols. The sugar alcohols can make IBS flare [5] and there you are in the waiting room, waiting for an appointment with moi (and sorry, I’m running late.) If you are not diabetic, consider having some real ice cream or pie but opt for the kids-size portion.


  1. Lebon F, Collet C, Guillot A. Benefits of motor imagery training on muscle strength. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Jun;24(6):1680-7.
  2. Murtagh EM, Murphy MH, Boone-Heinonen J. Walking: the first steps in cardiovascular disease prevention. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2010 Sep;25(5):490-6
  3. Neely E, Walton M, Stephens C. Young people’s food practices and social relationships. A thematic synthesis. Appetite. 2014 Nov;82:50-60
  4. Iwamoto M, Yagi K, Yazumi K, Komine A, Shirouchi B, Sato M. Eating a healthy lunch improves serum alanine aminotransferase activity. Lipids Health Dis. 2013 Sep 14;12:134.
  5. Halmos EP, Power VA, Shepherd SJ, Gibson PR, Muir JG. A diet low in FODMAPs reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterology. 2014 Jan;146(1):67-75
Categories: Charleston, Eating, exercise, Healthy, Winter | Leave a comment

Best Charleston, SC Brunches…You Don’t Even Know About


Brunch is a weekly holiday in Charleston. It is a time where friends and family congregate for the common goal of food and drink. Whether it is an Eggs Benedict, French Toast, Waffles and Chicken or a Mimosa, brunch is an important part our our week. Here are a few places that may have not been on your radar but need to be.


Categories: Brunch, Charleston, Chuck Town, culinary, Dining, Downtown, Eating, Food, Foodies, Lowcountry, Mount Pleasant, Small business, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Holy City Food Deals – Charleston, SC


I know what you are thinking, where can I find a great deal in Charleston.  You may be surprised to know that there are a many, many of them right in your back yard that you may not even know about.  Round up the family, search for some extra quarters in the couch and head out for a good family meal at a reasonable price.

Here are a few gems you may not know about:


Voodoo Tiki Bar and Lounge – 15 Magnolia Road, Charleston –

Half Price Tacos and Live Cuban Salsa Music.

Triangle – Avondale – 828 Savannah Highway, Charleston –

For Brunch, until 3 PM, your Mimosas will run you $1.00.  Come on out and bring a few friends.


Cypress – 167 East Bay Street, Charleston –

Fine Dining on a budget – On Mondays, upstairs in the bar, you can get an ala carte burger for $5.00.

Ms. Roses – 1090 Sam Rittenberg Blvd, Charleston –

1/2 Price Burgers and $3.00 Craft Beer Pints all night on Mondays – The extra add-ons are not half price.  If you want a great burger, great service, big screen TV and a good local craft beer, this is the only place to be on Monday Night.

The Roost – Avondale – 825 Savannah Highway, Charleston –

$6.00 Burgers and Live Trivia.  Protein and intellect.  That is a full night.

Zia Taqueria – 1956A Maybank Highway, Charleston –

$2.50 Fish Tacos and $3.00 Carnitas on Mondays.

TJ BBQ and Burgers – Goose Creek and Summerville –

Every Monday from 4 – 9 PM, Buy One Get One Free on Burgers and Sandwiches.


Wasabi – Downtown Charleston – 61 State Street, Charleston –

Half Price Sushi rolls and Buy One Get One Free Saki – Need we say more.

Moes Crosstown – 714 Rutledge Avenue, Charleston –

From 7 – 10 PM, burgers are half price.  Great bar environment.

Blind Tiger – 36 1/2 Broad Street, Charleston –

Half price burgers on Tuesday nights at one of Charleston’s oldest bars.


Kickin Chicken – Multiple Locations –

Wednesday in May with your free Loyalty card, you get a burger with two free add-on tops for $7.00.  All locations offer live trivia as well.

Monday – Friday – 4 PM – 6 PM

Big Gun Burger Shop – 137 Calhoun Street, Charleston –

Monday through Friday from 4 – 6, all their burgers are half price.  They are beyond amazing.

Monday – Friday – 5 PM – 7 PM

Lana Restaurant and Bar – 210 Rutledge Avenue, Charleston –

In a beer town, it is difficult to find a good affordable glass of wine.  For Happy Hour at Lana, you can get a great glass of red or white for $3.00 a glass.


How Art Thou Cafe – 1956 Maybank Highway, Charleston –

Get your drink on.  From open to close, this treat offers $1.00 Mimosas, $2.00 Bellini Cocktails and $3.00 Bloody Marys.  Plus live music in the evenings.



Categories: Charleston, Charleston Daily, Cheap, Dining, Eating, Food, Foodies, South Carolina | Leave a comment

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