6 Supposedly Healthy Foods You Should Be Avoiding

The thing about the food and fitness industry is, marketing and advertising goes farther than science.  It’s a sad reality, and is one of the reason so many people are quick to fall for gimmicks, nutrition labeling etc.  Just today I went grocery shopping and was baffled at how the industry charges more or hides poison in their labeling.  Here were the top 6 offenders that stood out to me today.

  1. Fit and Active brand popcorn versus the generic brand popcorn:  Fit and Active brand was almost a dollar more expensive and when you compare the labels…the EXACT same thing.  Just because something is labeled fit and active or something along those lines does not necessarily make it any better.
  2. Sugar: A bunch of BS, and WORSE for you! Your brain gets the same stimulation only instead of being natural, it’s synthetic, can mess up insulin regulation, and most are metabolized in to carcinogens…cancer causing agents.  Go for REAL sugar, avoid the sugar alcohol.  Even in moderation, real sugar is better than fake.  Same goes for regular vs diet sodas
  3. Arctic Zero Ice Cream:  People love it because it is low calorie, has minimal protein, but just like sugar free labels are ridded with sugar alcohols.  Limit sugar alcohols as much as possible (generally anything that ends in “ol” ie. sorbitol, erythritol, maltitol)
  4. Low Fat anything:  Your body NEEDS healthy fats.  Low fat labels are usually a guise for companies to add sugars and MORE sugar alcohols in order to make the food tastier since removing fat makes food less appetizing. Whole fat is totally OK!
  5. Organic Tostitos:  While the ingredients may be “cleaner” they have more sodium and do in my opinion more harm because people consume more of it thinking it’s healthier.
  6. Organic Granola: uhmmmm 36g of sugar per serving and only 8g of protein? what?! READ your labels!! Ideally there will be no added 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.

Vegan Lettuce Wraps

With the what the health phenomena I have been getting so many more inquiries about people wanting to become vegetarian or vegans so today I wanted to share a quick and easy, animal cruelty free dinner recipe!

Vegan Lettuce Wraps:

  1. Romaine Lettuce = Taco Shell Replacement, Butter Lettuce is a great substitute as well!
  2. In a pot saute mushroom, onion, tomatoes and season (I use cumin, cayeene, and celery salt)
  3. Add in Beans on your choice and mix together
  4. sprint hemp seeds to taste (I added 1 tbsp to the mix for 2 people)
  5. Slice up some fresh avocado on top
  6. Enjoy!

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.

Have you watched any Netflix health docs lately?

What the Health?, Forks Over Knives, Fed Up (personal fave), Food Matters, Vegucated, are just a few of the Netflix documentaries you can find on food.  There are plenty more, but those are the ones I’ve seen recently.  I must admit I have a love-hate relationship with most of them leaning more towards the hate than the love.

Here’s what I do love:

  • I love how they are bringing awareness to fruits and vegetables and how we need to increase the amount we are eating.  The majority of us don’t even get half our recommended daily dosage.
  • I love how they shed light on the atrocities of the meat slaughtering industry, because regulations NEED to happen.  The real animals are us humans, who choose not to find more humane ways to put down the meat that we do eat.  Personally I am a vegetarian, I believe in doing my part, but I also do not believe everyone needs to go vegan.  I’m a realist who believes it should be a personal choice as to whether or not someone decides to consume meat, and because I am a realist I know not everyone will remove or decrease the amount of meat in their diet, which is why more humane treatment of animals needs to be put in place.
  • I love that they shed light on the amount of garbage they are adding to meat, poultry, and farm raised fish.
  • I love how are they are raising awareness to the amount of added sugar the majority of us eat without realizing it
  • I love that they bring awareness to how food can help prevent more health issues than the pharmaceutical companies want you to believe.  YOU NEED A BALANCE PEOPLE!

Here’s what I don’t like

  • How EXTREME and one-sided they are.  The ones pushing people towards veganism more so than the ones warning people to stay away from wheat and sugar.  At least the one’s I have seen about wheat frequently give the disclaimer that the negative effects of wheat more so impact the gluten intolerant.  The documentaries about sugar also frequently express the need more consuming added sugar in moderation.  However the ones that promote veganism, never once touch base on the idea of grass-fed or organic meat and poultry alternatives that are worth the investment due to significantly less pesticides, etc.
  • I do not like how they neglect to go over the differences between complete and incomplete proteins and how animal proteins are complete proteins where as plant based protein usually requires 2-3 different sources to reach the complete protein status.
  • I do not like how they neglect to mention that for athletes looking to get stronger, IGF1 only found in red meat is a legal and natural “steroid” in the sense that is helps our strength gains.  I’m not saying you won’t get stronger if you only eat vegetarian or vegan because that is not the case.  The gains can come faster though with the help of red meat, but I opt out of that natural boost.
  • I don’t like how they neglect to talk about the dirty dozen (aka the most contaminated fruits and vegetables) that everyone should prioritize as buying organic because of the amount of pesticides found in them.
    • Peaches, Apples, Bell Peppers, Celery, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Pears, Grapes, Spinach, Lettuce, Potatoes
  • I don’t like how they do not touch on the subject of how easy it is to also be overweight and have health issues has a vegetarian or vegan.  I personally know way too many overweight, anemic, or overall unhealthy vegetarians and vegans

Overall for people who do not have extremist personalities and tendencies I would recommend educating themselves with these documentaries, however also keeping in mind that there are 2 sides to every story.  I wish they would make them with less of a bias.  I believe they’d have more success reaching larger audiences if they did.  I also believe they would make meat-eaters understand the POV of vegans and vice versa.  We all know that vegan or meat eater that tries to make the other side feel like terrible people for choosing to eat or not eat meat.  We need to educate people on both sides and THEN let people decide and respect their decisions!  The lesson continues to be that everything in MODERATION is key!

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.

Day 26: Fruit Lover? Who isn’t!

Fruits are definitely a lot more fun to eat as opposed to vegetables.  They’re sweeter and have a better texture in my opinion.

Here are my top 10 ways I incorporate fruit into my diet:

  1. Whole grain toast and peanut butter with sliced bananas for a pre-workout
  2. mixed berries in my oatmeal with chia seeds
  3. Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice (no sugar added and pulp still in the glass) with my breakfast or as a snack
  4. In a fruit smoothie with mint leaves and herbalife wild berry or peach mango beverage drink mix
  5. When my carbs are low for the day I love organic dried mango slices (be careful that the ONLY ingredient is mango
  6. Whole grain crackers and peanut butter with sliced berries on top
  7. Banana and Peanut Butter for a quick and fulfilling snack
  8. As dessert with some drizzled cookie butter
  9. I love putting lemon slices in my water whenever I’m tired of plain water
  10. Dried fruit is a killer additive to homemade trail mix

For more ideas and recipes to incorporate fruits be sure to download snack like letler! The E-Book

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.

The Importance of Snacking

The general rule of thumb for healthy snacking is 200-300 calorie healthy snack in between breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The problem is most people skip out on the snacks or go for unhealthy fatty snack foods.  I’ve coached over 100 people in the last 2 and a half years and I would say 50% of my clients initially skipped snacks, 25% opted for unhealthy snacks, and the other 25% were snacking the right way.

A few advantages to snacking include:

  1. Prevention of over eating: Do you ever find yourself come 12pm about to rip your hair off from hunger?  Which prompts you to go out to lunch eating with your eyes.  It happens to the best of us.  When we have our healthy snack, we can nip that hunger in the butt and hold off our stomach until our next major meal.  Plus that overeating usually happens with carbs, and when most people scarf down an extra serving of food for lunch due to the extreme hunger, they’re met shortly after with fatigue from over spiking their insulin.  Also, something we want to avoid.
  2. steady blood sugar levels:  The last statement about crashing after a meal has to do with the blood sugar levels.  spiking our blood glucose level excessively over and over again can overtime lead to weight gain.
  3. Provides nutrients:  Healthy snacking provides healthy nutrients.  Both macro and micronutrients.  Healthy macronutrients give us energy, and who can say no to mid morning and mid afternoon natural energy boosts?

Because snacking can get boring and confusing I designed an ebook with 25 of my favorite snack creations called snack like letler to help you! All 25 recipes of mainly vegetarian snacks for only $2.99.  Click here to download your ebook!

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.

Grass-fed, Free range, Wild Caught Labeling

As discussed in my previous post, the food labeling industry has all sorts of labels without offering explanations.  We go to the store and see organic, grass-fed, cage free, free range, wild caught labels, but many of us don’t exactly know what they all mean.  Because organic labeling was already discussed, today I will be touching up on grass-fed meats, Free Range/Cage Free eggs, and wild caught fish vs their counterpart.

Wild caught fish are simply fish that are found and caught in the wild.  Compared to farm raised fish they are a more natural source of omega 3s, have more calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium.  They also contain less fat and depending on the type of wild caught fish, they may also have less calories.

Farm raised fish are fed unnatural diets, including antibiotics to combat the diseases many of them obtain because of their enclosed, dirty environment.  The pink in farm raised salmon, for example is an artificial coloring.

Grass-fed meats come from pastor that was fed their natural diet of grass and contain more omega 3s, less fat, more vitamin E and conjugated linoleum acid (CLA) compared to conventional meats that are filled with steroids and pesticides.  PLEASE NOTE: Grass-fed meat is not the same as organic meat as organic meat can come from animals fed a grain diet (better than steroids, but not as clean as grass-fed meat).

Eggs are in my opinion one of the most complicated because you can have free range, cage free, vegetarian fed, or omega enriched eggs, and they do not necessarily mean the same thing.

vegetarian fed hens, while their diet is clean, their environment may not be. Below is a useful chart that helps you understand the labeling.

how-to-read-egg-label

conventional eggs for the most part come from hens that are not only fed unnatural diets, but are also kept in horrid living conditions.

Wether your an animal lover, health nut, or curious about what the different labels actually mean, the choice is up to you!

Organic Vs Conventional Foods. What’s the difference?

The food labeling world has to be one of the most obscure industries in my opinion.  So many different labels and sub labels, but what do they all mean?  This post is geared towards organic labels, not free range, grass-fed, or wild caught labeling (Those will come later on).

What is organic?  When you go to the grocery store, I’m sure you’ve seen a little label that says “USDA Organic.” Keep in mind that when you go to a farmer’s market, although the produce is fresh, it is not necessarily considered organic because it has not gone through USDA regulations and certifications.  However, I personally love going to farmer’s markets and supporting local farmers.

Moving on, the USDA organic label simply means that the produce has been grown/produced without synthetic substances and growth modifications (other than what can be achieved under natural conditions).  They must also adhere to strict pest-management guidelines.  Under the organic label there are actually 4 different types:

  1. 100% organic
  2. Organic: which is made with 95% organic ingredients
  3. Made with organic: at least 70% organic ingredients
  4. <70% organic

Conventional Foods do not have as strict regulations and are often grown/produced with more chemicals, antibiotics, steroids (growth hormones), additives, fillers, fortifiers, and chemicals.

In terms of research stating which is more nutrient dense, it is still very vague.  The reason I choose to eat organic is simply because I would rather ingest lest pesticides, steroids, etc.

I am fully aware that organic foods are more expensive.  If you have the means to do so, I urge you to go organic.  If you think you do not have the means to go organic but spend a ton of money frivolously, I invite you to put your body first, but it’s up to you! If you do not have the means to do so, fruits and veggies are better than boxed forganic-or-naturalood!  If you preach organic, go green, all around holistic health and wellness and don’t purchase organic when you have the means to do so, shame on you (in my opinion).

Attached Is a 15 minute long youtube video going more in depth into organic vs conventional food items.  I definitely recommend watching it, especially because the Dietician does go into the most vs least chemically enhanced food items while remaining unbiased.  That list will come in handy when choosing where you should go organic.

Organic Vs. Nonorganic chicken video

Stay tuned for the next post on grass-fed vs non grass-fed meats and dairy.