Optimizing Bone Health

Social media fitspos are always so focused on the muscles, how they look, forgetting that at the foundation we have our bones!  Our bones pull on our tendons in order to produce movement.  They help us maintain posture and sustain body positions throughout the day.  They support our soft tissues like our visceral organs, and the entrance/exit of the body.  They also help maintain our body temperature by releasing heat.

By age 18, 90% of our bone mass has developed.  Did you know that we can help the future generations optimize the development of their bone mass density through proper intake of vitamin D, calcium, and CONSISTENT physical activity?  Even weight training!  The old school myth that weight training stunts growth is just that, a myth.  We have so much research that documents that not only does weight training not negatively affect growth, but how it positively affects bone mass density in growing children.

We know that weight training is excellent for optimizing and maintaining bone health even in the older ages of 70 and 80 years old because weight training does cause stress on the bones.  When bone is stressed, electrical signals communicate to what are called the osteoblasts, to form more bone.  In other words the stress from weight training leads to bone enlargement in order to accommodate for bigger and/or stronger muscles.  If our bones are not put through this kind of positive stress, it leads to their weakening and more rapid decline.

Bone mass density can also be improved with the same lifestyle factors up until age 30.  By age 30 the 3 keys factors that influences the rate of decline at which you lose bone mass density and bone mineral content is your:

  1. Genetics
  2. Behavior
  3. Lifestyle (nutrition and fitness)

Key Take Aways:

  • Bones are just as important to worry about
  • Muscles are not the only things affected by exercise
  • We only get one skeleton, you want it to be in the best condition possible for as long as possible!
  • WEIGHT TRAINING 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.

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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.

5 Simple Ways To Cut Out Junk Food

Like I’ve said in so many of my previous posts, I never like to take extreme sides as I’m an advocate for balance.  Junk food is something we need to cut down on, but don’t need to completely cut out.  Here are 5 simple way to cut out junk food that work for me and many of my clients.

  1. Do not buy junk foods at the grocery store.  Keep good food in the fridge and you only eat good food.
  2. Do not buy sodas, juices, etc.  at the grocery store.  We do not want to drink our calories while we are at home.  Replace those beverages with water!
  3. When you are eating out, choose between eating your calories or drinking your calories, but not both.  Doing this helps you to cut back on total empty calories consumes.
  4. Limit how many times you purchase a meal on the road or at a restaurant to 2x a week max
  5. MEAL PREP:  It doesn’t have to be complicated!  Most o my meal prepping for the week takes 60 minutes to do on a Sunday.  Not only does it save you money, but you are controlling what goes into your food.

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.

3 Fitness Products Every Fitness Enthusiast Should Own

There are so many fitness products on the market right now it’s so hard to distinguish which are actually useful from which are a scam.  My personal top 3 necessities are:

  1. Gallon Gear:  Because staying hydrated is an important part of overall fitness, I have found that gallon gear helps me the most.  Why?  I hate luke warm water after a while and during long school days or long days at work my gallon jug gets warm or my water bottles that keep my water cold get annoying because I have to refill a million times a day.  The great thing about gallon gear is it’s a little slip cover for the gallon jug that keeps my water cold the entire day and has a convenient pocket for my phone and keys.  They have a bunch of fun colors for people with vibrant personalities and more neutral colors for those who prefer to stay low key.  Gallon Gear Coupon Code: MELISSALgallongear banner
  2. Seat Hoody:  This is another go to product for me as I sweat like a maniac and hate that sticky feeling on my car seat and skin….plus it’s kind of gross.  What I love about seat hoody is, it’s an easy on and off, it’s machine washable, and keeps your car seat from getting nasty.  Also convenient for beach days!  Seat Hoody Coupon Code: LETLERFIT15046803_1716258232035145_6260706190234222592_n(1)
  3. Set of Dumbbells:  A set of dumbbells is also a necessity as sometimes we just can’t make it to the gym for whatever reason.  Dumbbells are so versatile they make for great at home workout equipment and take virtually no storage space.  I got my personal set on amazon! Click Here:

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.