Eat Pretty: A Book Review

I just got done reading this book by Jolene Hart, entitled Eat Pretty.  I definitely give this one an A in the category of educating those who have no formal education in nutrition.

We are always taught that choosing healthy foods leads to weight loss and overall a more “attractive” physique.  Some people are lucky enough to get taught that good nutrition helps prevent or control diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, etc.  Very few people are actually taught how the foods we eat affect our complexion.

This book does an excellent job at classifying the foods that give acne, skin rashes, and more as beauty betrayers, while those those that promote a healthy complexion are deemed beauty foods.  The other great job the other did was classifying the foods by season, because as most of us know, not all foods are available year round.

The other also dedicated a section to non-nutritional factors that may affect our weight and complexion like stress, sleep, water, and hormone function.  Factors many people tend to look.

My favorite part about this book is how the author goes into how she perceives balance, which to me is the most important.  So many books stress restriction and don’t that they miss the overall point of a balanced lifestyle.

If you are interested in learning what foods and how they contribute to our radiant skin, I definitely recommend you Buy the book here, you won’t regret it!

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

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5 Foods That Claim To Be All Natural But Aren’t

We have all seen the labels that say 100% all natural, and many buy them thinking that they are because well we trust labels right?  At the end of the day the food industry is a business, sometimes they do things that aren’t in our best interest and here are 5 foods they make us believe are healthy and all natural, but aren’t.

  1. Granola Bars:  We have all bought those delicious organic, all natural granola bars thinking we were doing it right.  The problem is many of these granola bars contain artificial sweeteners and “natural” flavors.  Natural flavors is a cop out for flavors that are derived from natural sources…in a lab.
  2. Yogurts:  They have the same problem as granola bars.  TONS of artificial sweeteners, “natural” flavors, and added sugars or sugar alcohols.  (sugar alcohols aren’t so great either)
  3. Bottled Iced Tea:  Natural flavors, sugar and/or high fructose corn syrups should not be listed on the back of the label.  Green and black teas in there natural form are packed with antioxidants, but the benefits get smashed when they’re paired with sugar.
  4. Salad Dressing: If it’s not home made, read the label.  Those long 10+ ingredient labels are proof that those “all natural” salad dressings really aren’t that natural.
  5. Ice Cream:  We have seen so many new dairy free, gluten free, yady da, etc.  Ice creams pop up on the market advertising high protein, low calories, and no sugar, but they taste sweet.  Why?  They are packed with sugar alcohols (usually the ingredient that ends in “ol”)…which they are NOT natural.

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

7 Food Myths That Stop Your Diet From Being Healthy

Sometimes I seriously wonder where some of these health coaches get their facts, do they not stay up to date with the latest research?  I’ve heard some ridiculously false advice from people that actually keep them from having a healthier diet.

  1. “Egg yolks are bad for you because they raise your cholesterol. So you should only eat the egg white.” Research now shows us that eggs have nothing to do with raising your LDL (bad) cholesterol.  Eggs whites are a great source of protein and egg YOLKS are a great source of zinc, iron, vitamin D, and choline.  Eat the WHOLE egg, unless you’re allergic, like me, then skip them.
  2. “Everyone should eat gluten free.”  Unless your gluten intolerant there is no need because your body is able to digest gluten…it’s just another type of protein that some people just happen to be intolerant to.
  3. “Nuts are bad for you because they are high in fat.”  Nuts are a great source of HEALTHY fats packed with nutrients.  Like with anything, too many nuts can be bad, however research has shown that eating proper servings of nuts can actually help protect you against heart disease.
  4. “Carbohydrates make you fat.”  False.  Too much carbphydrates, just like too much protein, and too much fat, make you fat….aka caloric surplus.  Carbs give us energy, help our brains think, and feed our muscles.
  5. “The label says low fat, so it has to be good for me.” Eat the whole fat.  With whole fat you can simply use the fat grams as part of your daily fat consumption assuming you do not over do it.  The problem with low fat is that they need to replace the fat, which is what add the good taste, with something else so that it is not bland.  What they end up using as a replacer is sugar!  Without knowing, you are consuming extra sugar that you may not have accounted for.
  6. “Organic food is always healthy.”  Definitely not!  Especially deceiving when the organic label is placed on the packaging.  Read the ingredients!  Most of the time if it’s on a box you’re better off saving the money on the inorganic version because it’s the same exact thing.
  7. “When eating out, always choose the salad.”  False.  Sometimes the salad can become the most calorically enriched plate because of the hidden sugars used to preserve the salad or the salad dressings.

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

6 Habits That Destroy Your Otherwise Healthy Lifestyle

Creating a healthy lifestyle is all about habit.  Just like good habits, there are also bad habits.  Some of them are killing your healthy lifestyle journey, and you may not even realize it.

  1. Lack of Sleep:  Sometimes, life requires you to lose sleep, and that’s ok.  The problem is not a few nights of lack of sleep, the problem becomes too many nights without adequate sleep. Sleep is so crucial.  I know we all know how awful it feels after consistent sleep deprivation.  What many people may not know is that lack of sleep triggers an increase of cortisol hormone to be released in our bodies, which may cause us to bloat and have difficulty losing weight.  Without Sleep our bodies cannot properly repair the muscles we just worked out.
  2. Restriction:  Leading a restrictive diet, leads to binges and constant yo-yoing and that’s not what we want.  I’ve said time and time again it’s about establishing a balance of consuming more health foods than junk foods.
  3. No Exercise or No clean foods:  Sometimes eating clean is the easiest part of the nutrition and fitness equation.  For others exercise is the easy part!  But they go hand in hand! Not exercising or not eating clean but doing the other is only half of it and yields not so great results.
  4. Alcohol:  Going ham on the drinks during the weekend, EVERY weekend, is KILLER to your healthy lifestyle.
  5. Not reading nutrition labels:  Never go by the front of the packaging, read the label and pay attention to the ingredients!
  6. Not Meal Prepping:  Buying “healthy” foods from restaurants is no where near as good as prepping and cooking your own foods where YOU control everything.  Sometimes the cleaner options are still loaded with hidden salt or sugar.

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

8 Things That You Should Be Teaching Your Children About Nutrition

While I do not currently have kids, I work with a lot of parents and I observe a lot of parents and what they teach their children about nutrition.  Before I begin, I get a lot of heat from people whenever I opine about pregnancy, infant nutrition, adolescent health and fitness.  The same way your male Dr. does not need to know what it feels like to be pregnant in order to help guide you through a healthy pregnancy, an exercise physiologist with an extensive back ground in academic nutrition (not jo shmo nutrition blogs) can help you establish healthy habits for you and your family.  There are 2 critical periods for when children establish the number and size of the adipocyte tissue (aka our fat tissue) in infancy and in adolescence.  The goal as a parent should be to do your best to keep the fat cell size to as small as possible and fat cell number to as little as possible. Here are 8 things parents should be doing in order to help set their children up for health success!  These are not my opinion, they are all backed by the sciences.

  1. In infancy, stick to infant ONLY foods!  No need to sneak an infant soda, friend food, lasagna, or processed sugar before 12 months!  While it may seem like they can handle it, inside their body react adversely
  2. In infancy, if you’re a parent who gives your baby anything that is not labeled for infants because you want to or that’s “how you grew up” (only science is now realizing the way you grew up has lead to a ridiculously obese population), please do NOT give your baby anything that has honey or corn syrup in it.  I see it all of the time and a little piece of my soul dies because you are potentially exposing your baby to something called botulism.  Botulism is a death sentence, if they contract it from honey or any food that has corn syrup because their organism cannot fight it off.
  3. Go as long as you can (goal 12 months) if you are able to breast feed.  Make the sacrifice because the immunological, health, cognitive, you name it benefits far surpass the benefits of formula.  Understand that formula is a first world commodity. In 3rd world countries it’s either you breast feed or the baby unfortunately passes.  Formula is meant to keep your baby nourished enough to where infant death is not an issue in case breast feeding does not happen.
  4. Moving away from infancy and into childhood, one of the biggest mistakes parents make, especially those in the hispanic community (It’s the anthropological studies saying it, not me!) is impose the “clear your plate” mentality.  We have something in our brains called the hypothalamus and it lets us know when we are hungry and when we are full.  The beautiful thing about children (and babies too) is that they have not fried it the way most adults do.  Meaning, their brain still tells them when they should stop eating before they get to a place of over eating.  The clear your plate mentality breeds obesity.  If your child doesn’t want to eat anymore, don’t force them to eat twice as much as they want.  Trust me, they won’t die of starvation.
  5. Don’t make dessert something they can have only if they eat their vegetables.  Find a way to make them enjoy their veggies without bribing them.  If they eat their veggies every day that would mean they get dessert everyday.
  6. Which, brings me to my next point, junk foods, processed sugars, fried foods, sodas, etc. are not foods we should keep at our children’s reach all of the time.  They do not know what nutrient density is, they only know that those foods taste yummier so without realizing it you are allowing them to build poor habits when you aren’t around.  In my house we bring ZERO of the aforementioned and I plan to keep it that way when we have kids.  We do this so that when we go out, it’s OKAY to have a fried shrimp or lava cake because it’s something that we do not eat every day at our home.
  7. This leads me to point number seven.  Teach kids about balance!  I’m not by any means saying forever forbid your kids from eating junk food.  What I am saying is make junk food 15-20% of their overall diet.  Fill the rest with a plethora of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, non-antiobiotic/steroid packed protein sources, nuts, seeds, and legumes.  Growing up chips and sodas were something my mom would save for when friends came over, the few times we went out to eat, or for the holidays.  I personally, love this approach because what do all of those events have in common?  They happen in a minority, meaning the majority of the time you are nourishing your child.
  8. Try to pack your child’s lunch.  It’s a great way of controlling what goes in to fuel their bodies and NEVER let them skip breakfast!  Myplate.gov has killer tools and articles to help you choose healthy lunches.  These plates also from mygov are GREAT to help YOU as a parent portion out each food group while teaching them at the same time what their plate should look like.
  9. Bonus:  Try to teach them how to make healthy choices and why it’s important.  If you are clueless, find a health professional who CAN!  When you understand why something needs to be done it’s easier to do it.

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

13 Nutritional Swaps For People Trying To Live Healthier

You don’t have to be miserable to be healthy, but you do have to make a little bit of effort!

  1. Swap the bag of chips for an apple with salted peanut butter (make sure peanuts and salt are your only 2 ingredients) and then instead of low quality carbs and fats with slim to no micronutrients you’ll be getting high quality carbs, fats, proteins, AND micronutrients
  2. Swap the juices for water…we get enough added sugar in our diets without even trying
  3. Swap the fried foods for grilled
  4. Have rice and potatoes with protein for lunch?  Swap one of the carbs for a fresh salad
  5. Do you add sugar to your fruit bowls? Swap the the sugar for a sprinkle of chia seeds
  6. Swap smoothie shop smoothies for home made ones.  Did you know most of those smoothie places just give you fake fruit juice and call it a day?
  7. Swap your store bought protein bars for for some boiled eggs
  8. Swap your diet sodas for regular sodas…don’t fall into marketing traps….but better yet swap all of the sodas for water
  9. Swap the milk chocolate for dark chocolate
  10. Swap your pudding for apple sauce (apples-maybe water too-should be the ONLY ingredient)
  11. Swap the morning cereal for steel cut oats and berries
  12. Swap the regular yogurt for Greek Yogurts with added probiotics
  13. Swap your Starbucks Latte for some green tea (without adding sugar)

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

5 Delicious Foods That Are Shockingly Low In Calories

Ultimately weight loss is about calories in vs calories out.  Your total daily intake cannot be more than what your body burns from performing your daily activity.  Here are 5 foods that are not only low calorie, but also PACKED with nutrients that may help you on your weight loss journey.

  1. Celery:  A stalk of celery is roughly 3 calories.  It’s calorie coming from .5g of carbohydrates.  The great part about celery is that despite being low calorie it is a great source of natural sodium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin C!
  2. Spinach:  1 cup of spinach is only about 7 calories and has more nutrients that lettuce! The calories in 1 cup of spinach come from about 1.1g of carbohydrates, .9g of protein, and .1g of fat.  Spinach is another great source of sodium, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron
  3. Kiwi: 2 Kiwis are about 100 calories coming from 24g of carbohydrates (natural sugars and fibers), 1 g of fat, and 2 gram of protein.  Sprinkle some seeds on those slices and you have a refreshing snack!  Anyways, kiwis are a great source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron
  4. Green Bell Peppers: 1 cup of green bell peppers has 18 calories from about 4.3 grams of carbs, .2g fat, and 1 gram of protein.  It is loaded with potassium, vitamin A, more Vitamin C than your average orange, and has some sodium.
  5. Mushrooms: 1 cup of mushrooms has about 44 calories coming from 6.6 grams of carbs, .6 grams of fat, and 6.2 grams of protein! Mushrooms are a great source of Calcium, Iron, potassium, and sodium.

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.