Elements of Fitness – A Mother's Memoir

Low Carb Swedish Meatballs – Another Recipe Made to Fit a Healthy Lifestyle

20090128swedishmeatballswithnutmeggravyWhen you think of getting lean and trim you’re probably not thinking of Swedish Meatballs for dinner.  However, thanks to me you CAN!  🙂   Of course, not every night, but every so often YES!  And if you have followed me on Facebook or Instagram (@FitnessElements4Life) for a while you know that I LOVE food!  I especially hold a special place in my heart for comfort foods.  Although that usually means fatty foods combined with carbs.  However, as I teach my clients, its ok to eat fatty healthy foods… just not at the SAME TIME as carbs.

Carbs, like oats and veggies, ARE our friends!!  The carbs that are NOT our friends are the cupcakes, ice cream and the junk food alike!   The key to eating carbs is the TIMING.  You don’t eat oatmeal before bed, you eat it in the morning when you WANT your blood sugar to ‘wake’ up.  Same thing with lunch and dinner.  Take for example:  Pot Roast or Beef Stew which is usually cooked with cornstarch or flour for a thickening agent and is usually served with potatoes or noodles .   But to make these great recipes high protein/low carb you just exclude those things.  ***Or you can eat dinner early and only serve it with a few red potatoes (skin-on so the fiber content is higher)***.   You don’t ever want to eat carbs with fat because it spikes your blood sugar causing your body to store the fat (in this case the red meat), and burn the carbs (potatoes).

So what I do, is take my favorite recipes like pot roast, beef stew, meatloaf, chili, etc and I exclude the carbs.   I am constantly trying new recipes, tweaking them to accommodate a healthy lifestyle  especially the likes of comfort foods, and making them healthy so that you can enjoy them and still lose weight!  You don’t always have to eat just grilled chicken and steamed vegetables!

You’re welcome.



  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Add the onion, garlic, egg, parsley, salt and pepper to a large bowl and blend. Mix in the turkey. Shape the turkey mixture into 1 1/4-inch-diameter meatballs.

Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and saute until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off any excess oil and pat dry the meatballs so there’s no unnecessary grease.

Transfer the meatballs to your slow cooker.


  • 1 TBL butter
  • minced garlic
  • diced onion (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken)
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • dash of nutmeg
  • parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Loganberry or red currant jam (optional)
  • Dreamfields Low Carb Rotini pasta (optional)

In a small skillet, sauté onions in butter and garlic.  Once caramelized, pour over meatballs.   Add the remaining ingredients and stir.  Let simmer in the slow cooker for at least 2 hours.  Serve alone or on top of low carb rotini.

For more of my low carb recipes click here.



October 16, 2014 Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, Products That Work | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clean Eating – Parmesan Crusted Chicken

You’re not going to believe how easy this is to make and how GOOOOOD it turns out until you make it – and it’s HEALTHY!   The chicken comes out so tender and juicy!

Parmesan Crusted Chicken:

  • 3/4 cup grated and/or shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Mix the first 5 ingredients and then spread mixture over chicken on both sides.  Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes

parmesan crusted chicken

January 13, 2014 Posted by | Being a Mom, Children, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Discipline, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes, P90X2, P90X3, Products That Work, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Are Morning Workouts More Effective?

I have to say this is one of the most frequently asked questions I get.

  • Should you workout in the morning in a fasted state?
  • Should you workout in the morning after eating something to have more energy?
  • Or should you workout later in the day for the best results?
  • What about for different goals… fat loss vs muscle, for example?

insta back picMy answer?  ‘IT DEPENDS’.  Why the vague answer?  Because there is no ONE way that works for everyone.   As with anything, it’s about weighing the PROS and CONS and using common sense.

You’ve probably heard many times that morning workouts on an empty stomach is the fastest and most effective way to lose weight.  And while it IS true, that training first thing in the morning on an empty stomach has been shown to increase fat burning by 300%, the problem is, you also increase the potential for burning up muscle at the same time.

The reason fat loss is increased at that time of day is due to blood sugar.  Your blood sugar is at it’s very lowest (after fasting all night), the theory is training at this time will force your body to rely more on bodyfat than on blood sugar to fuel activity.

This is true, but the problem is protein (as is found in muscles) can be converted into glucose to fuel activity as well. So the question then becomes, is the extra fat burning you get worth the potential loss of muscle protein?

CONFUSED YET?  Because another thing to consider is Growth Hormone. When you train on low-blood sugar conditions, your body releases increased amounts of GH. It sees these conditions as an emergency and responds with GH and GH is not secreted in response to low-intensity activity – it’s only significantly released by high intensity activity.

So, in theory, training with high intensity on an empty stomach first thing in the morning can result in increased GH secretion, which means greater fat loss and reduced loss of muscle mass. This directly contradicts the theory of training burning up your muscle tissue if you don’t eat.

READY FOR ANOTHER VARIABLE?  Cortisol.  Your cortisol levels are generally higher in the morning, simply because you’ve
been fasting during the whole time you’ve been sleeping.  Cortisol burns up muscle tissue and promotes fat storage.

And lastly, it’s really hard to get an intense workout first thing in the morning!   Being a fitness trainer I always encourage people to do high intensity INTERVAL TRAINING and if you’re not a morning person (which I AM NOT!) it will be TOUGH to do cardio with enough intensity to take full advantage of the GH release!


If your primary goal is fat loss and you aren’t too worried about losing a
little muscle, go with empty stomach, moderate-to-high-intensity cardio training
first thing in the morning. You will probably see increased fat loss, though you
may lose a little muscle from it. Train with weights, and it probably won’t be
much muscle loss at all.

If your goal is fat loss while preserving muscle as much as possible, take a small protein shake right after you wake up (a low-carb protein shake so you don’t increase blood sugar too much) and THEN go do your cardio training. The protein will help spare your muscle tissue while not raising your blood sugar significantly enough to cause a


If you can’t do your cardio with intensity first thing in the morning, do it later in the day.

side profileBecause truly, the absolute best time to do cardio is when you’re energetic enough and alert enough to give it your best effort.  THAT is when you’ll really see results. Doesn’t really matter what time of day that is.
When you get right down to it, getting the most from your training, whether it be cardio or weights, is not about worry about the details that won’t make a difference in the long run. It’s about digging in with intensity and consistency.

Now, if you’re interested in a fat-loss program that has a primary goal of preserving muscle mass while dropping fat, I’d definitely recommend trying out my CHALLENGE GROUP!  Right now we are getting ready to start Shaun T’s FocusT25 in combination with Shakeology.   We are all excited.  We keep each other motivated, and share recipes, or ideas on how we modify exercises if they can’t do the higher intensity ones right away.

group photo

FocusT25 is just like Insanity except its only 25 minutes for 5 days a week!  So more people are wanting to do it over Insanity to save time!   It also comes with a workout calendar, nutrition guide and then I have also been writing people a daily meal plan for people if they want it.  Here’s a short clip on T25!

If you want to join us – get YOURS today here!  And then send me a message on Facebook so I can add you to our group!


July 13, 2013 Posted by | About Me, Body Beast, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Insanity, Products That Work, Shakeology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Choose Shakeology?

Simplify your nutrition with Shakeology, the Healthiest Meal of the Day®. Replace one meal a day with Chocolate, Greenberry, or Tropical Strawberry (Vegan) to increase your energy, reduce cravings, lose weight, and feel great.  When you choose Home Direct, our monthly autoship program, you get FREE basic shipping every month, plus a FREE gift.   

Enjoy healthy nutrition RISK FREE for 30 days with our Bottom-of-the-Bag Guarantee

  • If you don’t feel healthier, more energized, and simply amazing, you won’t pay. You can return Shakeology for any reason and get your money back (less s&h)—even if the bag is empty!
  • To return, simply make a short call to our friendly Customer Service team, rated “A” by the better Business Bureau®.
  • Get FREE standard shipping with Home Direct**
  • Plus get online access to 2 FREE workouts as a thank-you gift for choosing Home Direct. Just follow the link in your order confirmation email.**

Shakeology. The Healthiest Meal of the Day.

Why you need Shakeology now*

Shakeology can help you:*

  • Lose weight
  • Reduce cravings
  • Increase energy and stamina
  • Promote healthy digestion and regularity
  • Lower cholesterol1

Tastes delicious, too.

How Shakeology works

  • Ingredients derived from whole-food sources deliver the daily vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your body needs to curb cravings, allowing it to shed stored fat.
  • More than 20 different antioxidants and phytonutrients help reduce free radical damage that can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and stroke.
  • Fiber, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes help your body gently eliminate toxins more efficiently and promote better absorption of nutrients.*

What’s in Shakeology

  • Protein and essential amino acids help build muscles and reduce food cravings.
  • Prebiotics and digestive enzymes aid in improving digestion, regularity, and nutrient absorption.
  • Antioxidants and phytonutrients help counteract free radical damage that can lead to degenerative diseases.
  • A daily dose of vitamins and minerals provides your body what it needs to function for optimal health.

Choose how to purchase Shakeology

  • The Shakeology Convenience Pack contains 24 single-serving packets you can take anywhere.
  • Choose the 30-day supply in a bag to keep in your kitchen.

FREE gifts when you sign up for Home Direct, the monthly autoship program

  • FREE standard shipping every month†
  • Online access to 2 FREE workouts

30-Day Money Back Guarantee If you don’t start to see and feel the benefits of Shakeology within the first month of using it, or if you’re not 100% satisfied for any reason, just return it within 30 days for a full refund of the purchase price, less s&h—guaranteed. That’s our promise to you.

Send me a message or comment here if you have any questions.


1In a 90-day study, participants replaced one meal per day with Shakeology, ate a balanced diet, and exercised moderately three times per week. Total cholesterol was reduced on average by 30% and LDL cholesterol reduced on average by 38%.

2Participants followed the Shakeology Program, which included replacing one meal per day with Shakeology, exercising three times a week, and eating a balanced diet.

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© 2009 Beachbody. All rights reserved. All trademarks, copyrights, and proprietary rights in and to Shakeology and Beachbody are owned by Product Partners, LLC, Santa Monica, CA 90404

February 18, 2012 Posted by | Beauty, Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Insanity, Nutrition, P90X, P90X2, Products That Work, Shakeology, Skin Care | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tips to Stay Motivated, Stay on Track for 2012 and Beyond

I get asked all the time where I find the time to work out and stay on top of my nutrition.  But it’s not about finding the time, it’s about making the time.  You hear that response all the time too.  But it’s true!  I currently have a full time job and one part time job and if I know my evenings will be jam packed then I know I can at least get cardio done on my lunch hour.  When I was home with the kids I knew my only chance to work out was when the baby was napping.

You just plan your day accordingly.

It’s an all-day, every day mindset.  I don’t just think about fitness and nutrition when I’m working out or eating a meal.  It is all inclusive in everything I do.  I may have to wake up earlier on a day when I know 5am will be the only chance I get to work out.  (Believe me that’s not often because I love my sleep!)

Below are tips from myself and from people I work with who are VERY fit and work out at least 6 days a week.  These are not difficult things to incorporate into your day but they are probably things you’re not doing now.

1.  Make sure water is next to you all day and drink from it often.  Water must be your drink of choice.

2.  View exercise as a pleasure and privilege, not a burden or chore.  There are people in wheelchairs who wish they could move and do new things.  Always think of the results you will see with every workout you complete.

3.  Think twice before deciding what to eat and why, making sure that it is healthy and will provide you good nutrition, fill you up, and give you long-term energy.   This is so important.  For example, there is no nutritional value in corn therefore, it provides no nutrients and no satisfaction of feeling full.  Another example is diet soda.  There are no calories and there’s nothing in that can that your body needs NOR wants!

4.  Plan your meals according to your planned exercise activity that day.  Don’t just have a cheeseburger and then tell yourself you can run it off on the treadmill later that evening.  Don’t be tempted by your hunger, your present mood, emotion, or the company you’re keeping.

5.  Eat well-balanced meals and remember that excessive calories, even if they are “fat-free” and high protein will turn to excess weight!  No matter what the latest fad diet, extra calories equals extra weight!   Read more here for more nutritional tips.

6.  Limit caffeine and exposure to even secondhand smoke.  That may sound silly but secondhand smoke will hurt your lungs especially lungs that are not used to smoking at all.  Why challenge those lungs when you’ll need them strong and ready  for your next run, or your next challenging workout.

7.  Focus on short-term fitness goals with an emphasis on completing daily exercise.

8.  Keep a journal of what you’re actually eating.  YES this includes the last couple of bites of macaroni and cheese that your child didn’t finish or that little cookie you had at work, AND all your snacking!  Also, read the ingredients on everything you put in your mouth!  If something has 45 ingredients in it then you shouldn’t be eating it.  Keep your meals to 6-7 ingredients total (4 oz chicken, 1 sweet potato and 1 1/2 cups of your fave vegetable = 3 ingredients).  The less your body has to digest, the quicker it will be converted in to energy.

9.  Enjoy an occasional (once a week) “unhealthy” treat, but never take an “unhealthy” week or unhealthy vacation.   Work out on your vacations.  When I went to Hawaii I could not WAIT to run on the beach in the mornings.  If you don’t want to pack weights for obvious reasons then look for a hotel that has a gym.  Run on the treadmill for 20-30 min and then use whatever machines they might have for another 30 min without taking more than a minute of rest inbetween.

10.  Savor the feeling of accomplishment you have after completing an intense workout. Remember that feeling and use it to motivate you when you don’t feel like exercising.

11.  Work out with someone and recruit others who desire to feel better and have more energy. Have a neighbor who walks every morning? Ask if you can join in!  Accountability is motivation!

12.  Switch up your routines and learn new ways and new techniques for exercising.   If you have a favorite sport do it on your rest day or depending the exertion level, trade that for your normal cardio workout every now and then.

13.  Avoid monotony by using things that keep you motivated and inspired, like new shoes or great music.

14.  Subscribe to fitness magazines to keep focused on health as an overall way of life.

15.  Invest in the right tools—good shoes, a health club membership, a portable MP3 player or iPod, fitness equipment, a new series of DVDs, etc.

16.  Make it your goal to do some form of exercise 6 days a week. If you’re eating right and exercising 6 days a week it will feel strange on day 7 to not get up and move or do something!

17.  Don’t compare your body to others. Instead, work to be your OWN personal best.

18.  If your diet is unbalanced, take daily vitamin and mineral supplements for total health.

19.  Gradually progress to take your exercise to new levels of intensity and make them more and more challenging to avoid your body plateauing.   If you can now do, let’s say, 25 (real and not girly) push ups when before you couldn’t even do 4 or 5 consider getting push up bars that allow you to go deeper and work even more muscles.

20.  Create an exercise schedule the day before, instead of leaving it to chance or waiting to “find” the time.

21.  Move beyond the boundaries of weight loss and into total fitness. Measure success by the way your clothes fit, and not a number on a scale.  I only step on to the scale at my doctor’s office!

22.  Remember that no matter how hard you’re working out, if you’re consuming too many calories, you’ll never see the muscles that lie beneath layers of fatty tissue.

23.  Remove all tempting foods from your house.  If you have kids, show them healthy foods that are just as satisfying.  My kids loved all the junk foods but it’s not good habits for them either having that stuff laying around.

24.  Get adequate amounts of sleep.  Before you roll your eyes, remember that people who exercise regularly fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.  You will definitely be tired by the end of your day!

25.  Limit alcohol intake to special occasions.

Remember 21 days to create a new habit.  Just give your new journey 21 days and by then you will have figured out how to keep these good habits going.  And even after years have gone by of your new lifestyle you will find different ways of doing things that WORK for YOU!

Message me with your questions.  I enjoy helping others achieve their personal best and I can help you too!  On Facebook I offer recipes like these, daily tips like these and accountability posts if you want them!  🙂

December 17, 2011 Posted by | Diet and Exercise, Eating Clean, Exercise, Nutrition, P90X Recipes, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Shakeology 3 Day Cleanse

Today is day 2 of the 3 day cleanse and I already feel amazing.   Each serving of Shakeology (1 shake) is the equivalent of 3-4 servings of the vegetables we need every day.    During the cleanse you have 3 shakes a day.  Not to mention this cleans out the body of all the toxins we carry with us. 

Some people have lost 5-10 pounds in this 3 day cleanse.  I’ve already lost 4 pounds and I am anxious to weigh in again tomorrow!

I stopped drinking coffee yesterday (the first day) and I still have the nasty caffeine withdrawal headaches but other than that I feel really good.  In the past when I’ve quit caffeine cold turkey it’s been 2 days of headaches so I’m hoping tomorrow it will have finally subsided.  After the cleanse I plan to use it as a recovery drink after Insanity!

If you’re wondering what this entails, here it is:


3 SHAKEOLOGY Shakes a day (blended with water and ice)
2 Cups of Green Tea a Day (Triple Leaf Detox Tea is good choice)
1 piece of fruit a day (Apple, pear, orange, banana, mango, etc)
1 salad for dinner (lettuce, veggies, lean protein)
– 4 oz lean protein in salad (WHITE poultry or fish)
– Only Low Fat Dressings.

NO: Dairy (no almond, soy, or rice milk) or extra sugars. If it’s not on the list, don’t eat it!

Sample Menu (Repeat all three days):

1 cup of green tea

Shakeology – 1 scoop, blended with ice & 8-10 oz of water
Optional: ½ cup of fruit (only for the super conditioned – not the weight challenged)

1 piece of fruit

Shakeology – 1 scoop, blended with ice & 8-10 oz of water

1 cup of green tea

Shakeology – 1 scoop, blended with ice & 8-10 oz of water
(This snack can be before or after dinner)

– Lettuce/veggies
– 4 oz lean protein (WHITE fish or poultry)
– Light Dressing

And listen to what doctors are saying:   What Doctors are Saying

I wish I could somehow share the high I get from being fit.   If you want to know what it feels like to really live then get healthy.  There is no drug on this Earth that compares to it.

I’m getting paid to be healthy and help others do the same.  You can too and you can save 25% on all things Beachbody has to offer just by becoming a Coach

If you have any questions at all please message me.

August 15, 2010 Posted by | Diet and Exercise, Insanity, Nutrition, P90X, P90X Recipes, Shakeology, The Critic, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Want to Get in Shape But Don’t Know Where to Start?

Does getting healthy and fit seem like a jigsaw puzzle that has you stumped?  Are you wanting to do something but don’t know where to start?  If you’re still reading this then you know you want to do something and that’s the very first step!  The second step is deciding if you have the commitment it will take to see it through.

As you might know already, I started P90X in October of last year and I’ll be honest, I didn’t really put the focus on it from the beginning.  My plan at the time was just to incorporate it into what I was doing already.  I was running, attending spin classes and doing a few push-ups, lunges and crunches right after cardio.  That alone made me lose 10 pounds of my goal.  I weighed about 145 after a year of breastfeeding (A Secret To Weight Loss That Men Don’t Possess) and I wanted to get back to where I was before I had kids which was 125.  I’m only 5’5 but I thought if I got down to 120 I’d have a 5 pound cushion to play with.  So my exercise routine got me down to 135 but I couldn’t seem to break that mark and it started to really annoy me.

So then, I realized I had to start making some real changes.  I started keeping a log of what I ate every day to give me an idea of where I could change things.  I also got 2 metabolic tests done at my gym that determined my resting metabolic rate and my metabolic rate after I had been running for 15 minutes to figure out where I burned fat most efficiently.  That right there was the missing piece of the puzzle that I needed to start making seeing changes.  I found out that all those days at the gym without a heart rate monitor really held me back from attaining my goal.  I wasn’t ever getting into my fat burning zone, not to mention, prior to these tests I had no idea what my fat burning zone was.  At the time (September 09) the zone I needed to be in the majority of my workout was 160-168 beats per minute.  Wow, what a difference that has made.  It turns out, I was hardly working my body to the degree I need to in order to see results.  I was also doing very light resistance work and only about 15 minutes of it.  Not good enough to see the changes I wanted.   The other key piece of these tests gives you your caloric intake for the day on days you work out and the days you don’t.   On days I don’t work out my caloric intake is 1100 calories.  On the days I do work out it’s about 1400-1500 calories depending on the workout.  This astounded me because I was eating 1800 calories.  I thought that was where my intake should be, being a female.  Wow, was I way off?!  Everyone is different.

Since I didn’t take P90X seriously at first I have no formal before and after pictures.   But here’s a picture of me in Hawaii last July.  I’m not very proud of this but hey, you have to start somewhere, right?

And here’s picture of me taken a week ago….

I also made huge changes in my diet.   I cut down my coffee from 3 or more cups to just 1 and started using sugar free liquid creamer (not powder) and 1 tiny teaspoon of Splenda (but I hear Stevia is better for you).  The other significant change I made was cutting out alcohol.  I now only drink on a Friday or Saturday night and only if we’re going out to dinner or hanging with friends, and even then I try to only have one drink.  Below is a sample menu of what I eat every day.  If you can handle this, then start doing it!  The hardest part is making yourself eat every 2 hours.  You will see the results and I’ll be here to help coach you along the way!

My Sample Menu

Breakfast (eat breakfast within an hour of waking up)
– cup of coffee (with my sugar free hazelnut CoffeeMate creamer)
– 3/4 cup oatmeal w/ 1 tsp of Splenda (Quaker Oats not the processed sugary oatmeal)
– 1/2 of a banana (I give the other half to my 2 year old)

Snack (2 hours later)
– 1 small apple with 2 TBL of organic peanut butter (I share this also with my 2 year old)

Lunch (2 hours after snack)
– a sandwich with Light whole grain bread, 2-3 fresh slices of low sodium turkey from the deli and a thin slice of pepperjack cheese,
 I use light mayonnaise on 1 piece of bread and regular on the other
– a side salad (romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes and 1 TBL of light champagne dressing (Girard’s brand)

Recovery Drink (after I work out)
– protein shake with glutamine (P90X recovery drink or Hi-Health’s brand).  the Hi-Health protein shake I use is 120 calories, 24 g protein, 1 g fat and 4 carbs.  I also will have another shake right before bed at night if I feel so hungry that I might not be able to sleep.  This is the best thing to eat if you HAVE to eat before bed.

Snack (at least an hour after snack)
– a 6oz yogurt (Light and Fit -strawberry or strawberry cheesecake) or I’ll opt for a granola bar (Nature Made Oats and Honey)
– a baby-size handful of raisins (I won’t do this if I choose to have the granola bar)

Dinner (2 hours after snack)
– grilled, baked or sauteed chicken, fish, or turkey
– 1/2 cup brown rice
– favorite veggies (my fave is the Steamers broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas and water chestnuts)

….. and of course WATER!  I drink about 90 ounces of water or more (on workout days) EVERY DAY!

Is this seems feasible for you then do it with me.  We can do this together.  As an Independent BeachBody Coach (creators of P90X, Insanity, ChaLean Extreme, etc.) I can help you reach your goals, just as I did.   I coach many others every day.  I am primarily on Facebook where I can interact with you and give tips, tricks and links.

Now, I must be going.  It’s Thursday, time for Yoga… X Style.  Come on Tony, let’s go! 


March 11, 2010 Posted by | About Me, Diet and Exercise, Exercise, Me, Nutrition, P90X, Products That Work | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Artificial Sweeteners are Making Us Unhealthy!

Today, after waiting 2 months, I finally weighed myself again.  I lost 10 pounds.  In March, I hit a plateau and couldn’t figure out what was causing it.  I’ve finally narrowed it down.  I cut out ALL artificial sweeteners.  Which is not easy to do on a low carb diet.  All controlled carb products use artificial sweeteners.  In fact, Dr. Atkins in his many books even suggests using sucralose (Splenda) instead of other leading brands.  While I am an avid believer in the Atkin’s diet I have also tweaked it a bit for my family and I.  I’ll get into that at another time.

Prior to 2 months ago I tried everything.  I cut out alcohol completely, worked out more, worked out longer, combined different exercise by doing cardio and then strength training, started taking CoQ10, L-carnitine, more vitamin C, omega 3’s , and even going back on the induction phase of Atkins.  All that worked but I only saw a little difference.  I wanted more. 

So the only thing left to do was to cut out artificial sweeteners.  This was really the only thing left to do that I hadn’t tried.  So this morning, to my dismay I might add, I realized it worked.    I, myself, was a big fan of Splenda.  I would put at least 4 TBL of it in each cup of coffee I drank.  I knew this wasn’t healthy but I wanted my sweet, yummy, delicious coffee!  Frank would constantly give me a hard time telling me I’m a disgrace to coffee drinkers everywhere!  But hey – at least I was getting my morning jolt!  I didn’t use Splenda for anything else. 

But to ask me to give up my coffee, UGH, that was the last thing I wanted to try.  The headache that sets in 24 hours to your exact last cup of coffee, the lethargic feeling you have for the next 2 days along with that wonderful headache,  oh and the evident lack of energy to even muster the strength to get ready and go about your day.  BLAH!

But it was worth it for me.  Believe me, I am not knocking coffee, nor caffeine in any way.  I love it.  But unfortunately for me, I cannot drink coffee black.  The thought alone makes me cringe.  Might as well just go outside and lick the asphalt street instead!  That sounds just as appealing.

What are these “artificial sweeteners”?  What are they made of?  We don’t know.  The manufacturing companies don’t want us to know either.  They are foreign.  And even our own bodies know it.  That’s why it was holding me back – our bodies store this ‘substance’ because it doesn’t know what to do with it!  Where does it get stored?  In our bellies.

While researching this particular sweetener, I found that Splenda is actually a chemically modified substance where chlorine is added to the already chemical structure, making it more similar to a pesticide than something we should be ingesting.  Their commercials conveniently forget to mention that part.

Artificial sweeteners are not healthy at all.  In fact, they can be worse than sugar and corn syrup.   It actually made me crave sweet things.  Whereas, if I were eating right I wouldn’t be craving sweets at all.  The battle between artificial sweeteners and regular sugar is a battle of two wrongs.  And we all know that two wrongs don’t make a right.

Also, while researching, I stumbled on a website by a guy who is pretty knowledgeable and gives a lot of free information.  Check out his website for some other tips and tricks.  He’s actually against the strict low carb diet but has some valuable information about working out and the foods we should be eating to get the best results.

Let’s get back to basics people!  Eat fresh veggies, fruit and meat (all organic whenever you can), don’t eat ANY processed food, and take your vitamins!  Avoid the inner aisles of the grocery stores and adjust your favorite meals to be more healthy.  For all you people that say you can’t do low carb because you can’t do a diet where you can’t eat bread and pasta I have news for you:  I eat bread and pasta!  The low carb kind and I don’t eat it all the time, just once a week.  All the favorite appetizers and yummy casseroles that I thought were a thing of the past are now being enjoyed again by the whole family.

After doing low carb for a very long time, I have noticed that if all my spoons are clean and still in the drawer then I am eating healthy.  (I used to only need a spoon to stir my Splenda into my coffee!)    🙂

If we feed ourselves and our children natural and fresh food we might actually see these modern day dilemmas such as autism, child obesity and minor problems such as food allergies disappear and become a thing of the past.  We all need to re-evaluate our diets, no matter what diet we choose.

May 7, 2009 Posted by | About Me, Diet and Exercise, Exercise, Me, Nutrition, Organic | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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