7 Ways to Reduce Your Sugar Intake

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Seven ways you can reduce your daily sugar consumption starting today.

Weight gain...Heart Disease...High Blood Pressure...Diabetes...Cavities. Head-achy, Hungry, Sweaty, Shaky, Confused, Dizzy, Grumpy.....
These are just some of the consequences of consuming too much sugar.
Here are seven things you can start doing immediately that will help you fall within the recommended daily sugar consumption guidelines...

1. If you eat yogurt, switch to plain yogurt - There are two categories of sugar you need to be mindful of if you're looking to cut down on your sugar intake: 1) Naturally occurring sugar and 2) Added sugar. Naturally occurring sugar, of course, is the best. Naturally occurring sugar is found in fruits, vegetables, milk and plain yogurt. So not only does plain yogurt have less sugar, but because the sugar it contains occurs naturally you don't have to include it in your daily sugar intake count. If you have some doubt whether the sugar in the yogurt you're eating is plain and contains naturally occurring sugar, look at the ingredients. If it contains any of the ingredients listed in #8 below, then the sugar it contains is "added sugar" and should only be eaten if it keeps you within your recommended daily sugar allotment.
2. Avoid artificial sweeteners and products that contain them - One of the conclusions found in a 2010 study published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine was that "because they are sweet, [artificial sweeteners] encourage sugar craving and sugar dependence." For anyone serious about reducing their sugar intake this is not a good thing. Turns out our brains don’t know the difference and keep the sweet craving alive!
3. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables - This is a no-brainer. Fruits and vegetables contain naturally occurring sugar which you don't have to count towards your recommended daily sugar intake total. What's more, naturally occurring sugar is basically "self-regulating" because while it's easy to eat a whole bag of candy, you can only eat so many apples and oranges each day until you decide that you've had enough.
4. Only drink water - Ok, only drinking water might be difficult, but instead of reaching for an orange juice, soda, energy drink, or fruit drink (which are all packed with sugar), reach for a water. It's the healthiest liquid on earth. In addition to containing no sugar, it's great for weight loss, will give your skin a healthy glow and, among other things, it will quickly restore your energy level should you become de-hydrated. Regarding flavored water...while some flavored water is high in sugar there are some brands that don't list any sugar on their label. Chances are that means it's chocked full of artificial ingredients,
food colorings, corn syrup and so on. So either way, going with regular old water still makes the most sense.
5. Cut down on processed food - A Time Magazine story from May 2015, talks about a study that for the purpose of their analysis separated processed foods into four categories:
Minimally processed • Basic processed • Moderately processed • Highly processed
While we love processed foods for their convenience, they are also known to be high in sugar. The takeaway here is that the less food you eat that has a nutrition label attached to it, the better it is for you and your family's health. The rule of clean eating? “The fewer hands that have touched your food before yours, the better it is for you.”
6. Cut down on "white food" - The term "white food" generally refers to food that has been refined or processed. Examples of white food are flour, rice, pasta, cereal and simple sugars. In the digestive process, sugar and starches are turned into sugars. (There are three types of carbohydrates: sugar, starch, and fiber.) What happens when you eat too many refined carbs? Obesity, heart disease, diabetes and so on. Hint: Squishy vs. Rough carbs.
7. Read the nutrition labels - Check the amount of sugar per serving level on every processed food item you buy. Often the servings sizes listed are smaller than what you might consider a serving size. It's critical that you work out the sugar level a food contains for your typical serving size. The physical health benefits of getting your daily sugar intake within the recommended level are
indisputable. But there are other reasons to get your sugar consumption under control. You'll have a sense of accomplishment and be a good role model for other people in your life. Plus studies have shown overconsumption of sugar may lead to an increased risk of depression and anxiety.
It all adds up to this...
To live a healthy, long and enjoyable life you need to stay within the daily recommended level of sugar consumption.


Fruit Time!

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Favorite Fruit Tips

•If you have firm strawberries you can trim off the stems them cut them with your egg slicer for perfect slices every time. Don’t rinse your berries until you are going to enjoy them. If they are the least bit damp they will get moldy in your refrigerator.

•How can you make sure to have bananas on hand anytime? Peel them and toss them into a zip-lock bag in the freezer. Pull them out as you need them. You can do this will any fruit that you might like to use to make a
smoothie or muffins. When fruit is abundant and inexpensive, prepare for when it’s not!

•To make sure you always have citrus fruit to zest on hand, you can freeze it whole in a freezer zip-lock and pull it out to zest when you need some.

•To get the most juice from your citrus fruit, firmly roll it around on your counter, pressing it with the ball of your hands to get the juice flowing.

•How do you choose a ripe melon? Gently press on each end to see if it’s slightly soft. If you shake the melon you might hear seeds and it should also smell good. Look for signs of it sitting on the ground too long where it might look yellow, which is not a good thing, UNLESS it’s watermelon, in which case this is a good thing! Most of all, smell your melons skin to know
when it’s ready to enjoy.

•How do you get your family to eat more fruit? Cut it, wash it, whatever it needs, so that they will actually enjoy it! Too much work, they will let it waste.

•Have you ever enjoyed frozen grapes? Wash them and toss them into the freezer for a fun and tasty treat!

Want to learn even more about Nutrition? Check out one of our Balanced Habits Nutrition programs, Kitchen tips like these, recipes, exercise recommendations, gym classes and more!  https://www.anotherlevel.fitness/contact/ 


Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar

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Symptoms and Treatment of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is known as the "silent killer" because, typically, there are no symptoms associated with hypertension. This is why it is essential for your doctor to check your blood pressure each time you are examined. Normal blood pressure is 120/80. Early signs of high blood pressure fall between 120/80 and 140/90. Over 140/90 signals high blood pressure.

Managing high blood pressure usually requires more than one medication. Most doctors prescribe ACE inhibitors first then add other anti-hypertension drugs.

Be aware that some blood pressure medications may adversely affect your blood sugar levels. If you notice this occurring, bring it to your doctor's attention immediately.


Preventing High Blood Pressure

By working with your physician you can lower and control high blood pressure. Managing your blood pressure will help decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Compared to people with normal blood pressure readings, men and women with hypertension have an increased risk of:

Coronary artery disease (heart disease) Strokes

Peripheral vascular disease (hardening of the arteries in the legs and feet) Heart failure

Having a normal blood pressure is as important as having good control of your blood sugar levels.

What Are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?

Usually, high blood pressure has no symptoms. That's why it's so important to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis (during all visits with your health care provider) and to follow your health care provider's recommendations on home blood pressure monitoring.


What Lifestyle Changes Can Prevent and Treat High Blood Pressure?

To treat and help prevent high blood pressure:

Control your blood sugar by eating regularly scheduled, portion controlled meals Eat healthy

Maintain a healthy body weight Limit alcohol consumption Exercise

Limit salt intake

© BalancedHabits 2013 All Rights Reserved


Success? Show Up!


“80% of Success...Is Just Showing Up”


Strategies, tips, and techniques to break free of

old habits, stick to your commitment and get you

the health and fitness results you want.

Your First 21 Days...

When starting a new exercise program, most people fail or quit within the first four weeks. In order to break free from your old unhealthy habits, you must consistently “stretch” to make a change.

All the current studies on behavior show that it takes about 21 days to integrate a new habit into your life. Here are a few tips to get you through those crucial first 21 days:

Define Your Goals, Motivation, and Commitment (find your why)

Take some time to write down your goals. What do you want to accomplish? Why is that important to you? Set a realistic, clear, specific, and measurable long-term goal. In addition, create a few short-term, interim, goals to keep you on track for the long-term. Share your goals with us so we can help hold you accountable.

Daily Reminders

Even with a set goal, sometimes we can slip off course - that’s why daily reinforcement is vital. Write out your long-term goal on a 3x5 index card and read it out loud to yourself each morning and night. Even carry it with you as a continual reminder throughout the day. That may sound like some metaphysical mumbo-jumbo to you, but I promise…

it works!

Take Action

Take out your calendar and mark off a minimum of 3-4 days each week for at least the next 4 weeks when you will come in for your sessions or exercise on your own during open gym. Then do it!


Let us support you. Don’t just try to go this thing alone. We are experts at not only exercise, but also motivation and providing the supportive, structured environment that guarantees you of successfully achieving your goal. It is a proven fact that EXTERNAL accountability increases the speed at which you get results - and the certainty of results.


Be consistent! Stick to your commitment! When you consistently meet your short-term goals, a feeling of confidence and certainty in the outcome sets in, and this becomes your driving force. Your consistent commitment combined with our support and guidance will bring you the results you want.

Record and Track Your Progress

Keep a journal of your daily nutrition and exercise. Doing so will allow you and us to gauge where you are on your “road-map” to success!

If You Have Questions…

Call us at 410-324-6945 or e-mail crossfitnation@gmail.com for answers to your questions or additional support with exercise, nutrition and motivation. Our promise to you is to always be there for you. You are not alone in this anymore!


Are You Hydrated?

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The Importance of Hydration:

Strategies and Tips to Keep You from Running on Empty


Up to 60 percent of the human body is water, the brain is composed of 70 percent water, and the lungs are nearly 90 percent water.  So what is one of the main things we need to not only run our bodies optimally, but also to survive—water!    

Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry on normal functions.  Even mild dehydration can sap your energy and make you tired.

So how much do you need to not just stave off dehydration but to maintain optimum health?

Consume Roughly One-Half Your Weight In Ounces of Pure Water Each Day

This is a general rule of thumb for the average person.  For example, a 150-pound person should consume about 75 ounces of water or a little over nine 8 oz. glasses each day.

Factors that might increase your need for additional water are exercise, your environment, or certain health conditions.

“You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty!”
Signs of Dehydration

Simply feeling thirsty isn’t a reliable gauge of your body’s need for water.  A better check on hydration, as unpleasant as it may sound, is the color of your urine - clear or light-colored urine means you’re well hydrated and dark yellow or amber color usually signals dehydration.

Other signs can vary - symptoms of mild dehydration can include: sleepiness or tiredness, dry mouth, muscle weakness, headache, dizziness or lightheadedness. 

Carry Your (new) Water Bottle With You Everywhere

If you work in an office where you have access to a water cooler, great – bring your bottle with you and continue to fill it up during the day.  Your co-workers may wonder why you’re making additional trips to the toilet, but who cares!  You are optimizing your health (and they will soon see the BIG differences in your body...and your energy).

Make it A Game!

Make a goal to drink 5-6 eight ounce bottles or cups of water during your workday, and then 2-3 in the evening.  Have fun with it, giving your body what it needs will have you feeling great!

If You Have Questions…

Call/text us at 410-324-6945 or e-mail crossfitnation@gmail.com for answers to your questions or additional support with exercise, nutrition and motivation. Our promise to you is to always be there for you. You are not alone in this anymore!


Cholesterol Education



Produced by Balanced Habits RD Andrea Marincovich


What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a lipid molecule that is essential to synthesizing certain vitamins (especially vitamin D), steroid hormones, and is a part of the outer layer of cells The body accumulates cholesterol in two ways; it’s regularly produced by the liver and

through the food we consume. Which is why it’s important to monitor your consumption of high cholesterol foods (animal products or foods containing animal products) because the body already creates cholesterol on it’s own, therefore any amount in excess from your diet is dumped into the bloodstream and can become problematic if occurring regularly.


Different Types of Cholesterol

Low-density lipoproteins (LDL): known as the “bad” cholesterol because when there is excess LDL in the bloodstream it can build up and form plaque in the arteries causing inefficient blood flow and possibilities of leading to more serious complica- tions (such as: heart attack and stroke).

High-density lipoproteins (HDL): known as the “good “ cholesterol because it removes LDL and Triglycerides (the most com- mon type of fat found in the food that we consume) from the blood to be excreted through urine and bowels.


What Can You Do to Lower Your Total Cholesterol, LDL, Triglycerides and Increase Your HDL?

The most efficient way to do this is by controlling the food we consume and exercising regularly.

  • Minimize consumption of high cholesterol foods (including animal products or foods containing animal products):

    • Steak, ground beef, sausage, bacon, and all other fatty meats.

    • Butter, cheese, and whole milk products.

    • Baked goods such as: croissants, muffins, cookies, etc.

  • Increase consumption of these foods:

    • High fiber foods: fruits, vegetables, beans, oatmeal, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, brown rice, quinoa, flax seeds and chia seeds.

*Fun fact: when you consume fiber it travels through the bloodstream and attaches itself to cholesterol molecules and

the body excretes it through bowel movements. Pretty cool!

    • Omega-3 rich foods: fatty fish (salmon, herring, and sardines), walnuts, olive oil, chia seeds, flax seeds, and tuna.

    • Lean meats: turkey, chicken, fish, lean cuts of pork.

  • Exercise Regularly

-Any type of cardio for at least 30 minutes is beneficial, whether that’s walking, running, biking, or swimming—all will help lower your cholesterol.


Balanced Habits 2017 All Rights Reserved


Too Much Salt?

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Are the dangers of consuming "too much salt" overblown?

"Too much salt is bad for you."

Have you ever had your parents or maybe a relative say that to you at a family dinner when you were growing up?

I have...and my guess is you have too.

And because of that I've always been pretty mindful of how much salt I consume, I've said that phrase to my own family more than once.

Recently though there have been a rash of articles, fuelled by studies, that suggest that maybe salt is not that bad after all.

So I thought I'd take a look at that today and try to determine if there's any credence in these new revelations.

Before I get into the specifics, let's take a step back and take a look at...

What exactly is salt anyway?

Wikipedia defines it this way...

"Common salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride, a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of salts; salt in its natural form as a crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite."

Salt is composed of 40% sodium and 60% chloride. (It's the 40% sodium that is what potentially causes all the problems.)

Salt has long been used (as far back as 2000 B.C.) as a food preservative. The reason it is effective as a preservative is that it draws the water out of food which eliminates the moisture that bacteria need to thrive.

On nutrition labels they most always list the amount of sodium an item contains, not the amount of salt.

How much sodium should you be consuming per day?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that your daily recommended salt intake be less than

    1. grams per day (about one teaspoon.)

In 2010, the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion lowered this target number for people who are

vulnerable to the hazards of salt (people over the age of 51, black people of any age, people with diabetes, hypertension and chronic liver disease) to below 1.5 grams a day.

According the Center for Disease Control website, your body needs between 180 milligrams and 500 milligrams (1/2 gram) each day to function normally.

How much does the average American consume per day?

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that Americans consume on average 3.6 grams of sodium a day - about 56% more than the recommended 2.3 grams. (According to the Health Canada website, Canadians consume on average 3.4 grams of salt each day.)

Why are health issues associated with consuming too much salt?

The problem with too much salt in your diet is that it can cause your body to retain excess fluid. When this happens it increases the pressure of blood pumping through your arteries and veins. Too much salt can also lead to changes in your hormonal system which can result in the narrowing of your arteries.

Both of these situations directly cause high blood pressure, which, of course, can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Excess salt in your diet has also been associated with stomach cancer, osteoporosis, kidney stones and kidney disease to name a few.

It can also lead to obesity as consuming too much salt can make you overly thirsty which could result in your drinking more fluids. Not a problem for some, but children and teenagers tend to turn to sugary drinks to quench their thirst which will pack on the pounds.

What do the recent "pro-salt studies" tell us?

One of studies that has been used to dispute the claim that salt is bad for you was published recently in the American Journal of Hypertension. The study involved 8,000 French men and women. What the study data showed was that Body Mass Index, age and dietary factors such as how much alcohol you consume were more closely related to increase in blood pressure than a person's sodium intake.

Welcome news for salt lovers, but does this mean that all the research indicating that too much salt causes high blood pressure are bunk?

Of course not.

With many health-related studies of this nature, there are so many factors involved, it's extremely difficult to draw definitive conclusions from the data. Plus when you make a recommendation that can have a direct impact on people's lives you have to use extreme caution.

Steven Nissen, MD, chairman of the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic had this to say...

“Sure, there’s mixed evidence on both sides of the salt debate, but there are some principles we’re pretty certain about. One is that if you have hypertension or pre-hypertension, the more salt you eat, the higher your blood pressure goes. So for those people, restricting sodium still makes perfect sense.”

For people without high blood pressure he says that "I don’t think sodium is quite the evil that we once thought it was. But we still can’t say with certainty that unrestricted sodium is safe for these people.”

Prof Graham MacGregor, a cardiovascular specialist at St George's Hospital, London, and the chairman of Consensus Action on Salt and Health, says that...

"You will always find scientists that will go against the main body of research. Chronic ingestion of the amount of salt that we eat slowly puts up our blood pressure and is largely responsible for many strokes and heart attacks..."

If "too much salt" is an issue in your life, here's why...

To make sure you don't suffer the consequences related to over consumption of salt, it's important to understand what foods contain a lot of salt.

The biggest culprits are processed foods and restaurant food. If you eat a lot of bread, pizza, processed meats, soups, sandwiches, snacks and cheese, chances are you're consuming over the daily recommended level of sodium. Some condiments, such as soy sauce, are also high in salt.

Note: In his book Salt Sugar Fat, Michael Moss talks about a study done by Monell Chemical Sense Center in Philadelphia.

The study involved 62 participants. What they ate and drank was carefully monitored and tracked for one week. The researchers spiked the salt shakers of study participants with a

tracer. The tracer, which showed up in people's urine, allowed them to determine exactly how much of their salt came from the shaker.

The results were very telling...

More than 3/4 of the salt consumed came from processed foods. The salt shaker only delivered 6% of their sodium intake. Sodium, which occurs naturally in some food, made up a bit more than 10 percent of their overall salt consumption.

Five steps to reduce your salt intake...

  1. Always read food labels and shy away from foods with excess sodium levels.
  2. Limit your intake of processed, restaurant and fast food.

  3. Drink water, not sugary drinks.

  4. Choose natural pure foods when possible.

  5. Avoid sodium-solution-injected meat and poultry.

The bottom line is that if you eat healthy and exercise regularly, you'll not only keep your blood pressure in check, you'll never have to worry about the other potentially debilitating effects related to the over-consumption of salt.


Blood Sugar Control


When an individual consumes a meal, the carbohydrates are broken down into glucose molecules that enter our blood stream to be delivered to our cells as a form of energy. In a healthy individual, insulin (a hormone) is released by the pancreas that then attaches to our cells and allows glucose to enter the cells and exit the blood stream. Therefore, when an individual consumes a meal with excessive carbohydrates the body needs to release more insulin to compensate for the extra glucose in the blood.

Type 1 Diabetes: when the pancreas produces minimal or no insulin, resulting in high blood sugar and the need for daily insulin injections for blood sugar control. Type 1 is commonly found in young children and they are likely born with a malfunctioning pancreas.

Type 2 Diabetes: develops due to consistent excessive carbohydrate intake over time and in turn the body is unable to keep up with the insulin production needed to stabilize their blood sugar. Type 2 is commonly found in adults and is due to unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle choices.

Insulin Resistance: when the body is having to produce so much insulin to keep up with the amount of glucose in the blood that the cells become resistant to insulin and glucose is unable to enter the cells, resulting in high blood sugar. Common with Type 2 Diabetics.

What is the best way to control your blood sugar?

By consuming similar amounts of carbohydrate at each meal, 3 – 4 hours apart, 4 –  5 times per day.  This type of consumption not only contributes to weight loss but prevents blood glucose spikes, which is essential in avoiding further complications of Dia- betes (i.e. neuropathy, kidney failure, heart disease, etc.). However, not all carbohydrates are created equal! Starchy carbohy- drates and simple sugars are quickly digested and will rapidly raise your blood sugar. While complex and non-starchy carbohy- drates along with other foods high in fiber will keep you feeling full for a longer period of time and will enter the blood stream at a much slower rate, offering blood sugar control. Make most of your carbohydrate selections for your meals the latter option for optimal blood sugar control.

What to do when you know you’ve consumed too many carbohydrates at one meal?

Take a 45 minute to 1 hour walk post-meal to lower your blood sugar, this way your body can utilize the excess glucose as energy rather than store it as fat. In fact, moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week is recom- mended by the American Diabetes Association. Taking a daily walk after dinner is a great goal to set for blood sugar control!

What to do when you are experiencing low blood sugar?

When adjusting the eating patterns and/or physical activity of someone who is prediabetic or diabetic they can experience hypo- glycemia or low blood sugar because they are changing the way that their body is consuming and utilizing energy. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include: feeling light headed, confused, shaky, and breaking out into a sweat. If you are ever to experience any of these symptoms drink 4 ounces of 100% juice and wait 15 minutes to see if you feel more alert, if you are still feeling the hypogly- cemic symptoms repeat the juice consumption if necessary and wait another 15 minutes. Inform your primary physician/
endocrinologist when you are going to switch up your eating habits and increase physical activity, medications will need to be altered due to these changes.

All Rights Reserved 2017
Produced by Balanced Habits R.D. Andrea Marincovich


Replacing Salt

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Secrets to Replacing the Salt, not the Flavor!

•Always make sure to have salt-free alternatives on hand. They’re readily available and they taste great!

• Make sure to always walk the spice aisle in whatever type of market you are in to see what is new or what might be new to you. Compare nutrition labels for the addition of sodium.

•Make your own spice blends! Google ideas for making your own blends and you will be amazed at what you can come up with to not only enhance your cooking, but the money that you’ll save will be worth the effort! This makes a great gift too.

•Create more flavor enhancements by the way that you cook your foods. Using a Slow Cooker for instance, causes flavors to “marry,” enhancing new and more bold flavors, instead of relying on using the salt shaker to bring out the flavor.

•Ever heard of Celery Seed? It has a naturally occurring sodium, so it tastes relatively salty, but in comparison to table salt, has only 3 mg. per teaspoon, compared to 2,325 mg. per teaspoon of table salt. To take advantage if this “salty” flavoring, add in celery seed to soups, stews, or anywhere you feel it might taste appropriate.

•Why does Balanced Habits use Kosher Salt in so many recipes versus Sea Salt? The actual salt flake is lighter and larger, so less is more in the flavor department. It’s easy to over-use salt and you can’t go backwards once you’ve made something too salty. Go easy and try to lesson your taste dependency on sodium.

•Vinegars are an excellent flavor booster! Many folks are familiar with Balsamic, but be a tad leery of this flavorful vinegar. There tends to be a lot of added sugar to this rich vinegar. Try White Balsamic instead! Less acidic, less sugar and all the flavor Balsamic is known for!

Balanced Habits 2016 All Rights Reserved


Around Town, Dining Out


Eating out doesn’t have to completely unravel your healthy eating lifestyle.

You still follow the same principles; timing, portion sizes, and balanced choices. Don’t over-think it and voice your preferences, remember you are the one paying for the food. Regardless of what type of restaurant you are dining in, we wanted to give you a guide to help you with your choices.

Mexican Style:

Tostada/Taco Salads

  • Do not eat shell. Use salsa as dressing. Easy cheese. No sour cream. Easy guacamole/avocado. Grilled chicken, steak, fish. 3-5 oz.


  • Single wrapped corn tortillas. Grilled chicken, steak, fish. Shrimp (large)-1 per unit. LIght on the cheese. No sour cream. Easy guacamole/avocado (it’s a fat)

Chicken Fajitas

  • Eat ½ the portion, take the rest home. Corn tortillas. Eat the veggies.

  • Rice and beans as side

  • Black or whole pinto beans. No refried. Brown rice if offered. Eat ½ order.


Italian Style:


  • Easy croutons. Easy parmesan cheese. Dressing on side-make it an oil based one. Olives are fats too.

  • Avoid bread/breadsticks.

Side of Meatballs

  • Order a side salad for carbs. Easy sauce/cheese.


  • Thin crust. Whole wheat crust if offered. No white pizzas. Chicken or turkey sausage as pizza meat. Easy cheese. Add veggies- mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, pineapple etc...Only 1-2 slices

Pasta Dishes

  • Avoid white sauces. Get protein in your dish- Seafood, chicken, lean beef, lean pork- 3-5 oz. Small fist size portion of pasta.


  • Cup portion. Avoid creamy or pasta loaded soups. Veggie loaded soups-don’t forget protein with dinner.


Appetizer Type Food-Have as your balanced meal:

Hummus Dip

  • Eat with veggies, small salad. No chips. Limit portion 4-5 oz.

Chicken/Tofu Lettuce Wraps

  • Go easy on dipping sauces.

Asian Inspired: * Be aware these foods are usually high in sodium. Rice adds A LOT of carbs.

Shrimp or Tofu Spring Rolls (4)

  • The clear ones, not fried egg-rolls. Eat as your meal. Easy on the dipping sauce.

Egg Drop Soup

  • Have a bowl size

Protein choices

  • Avoid dark meats, fried and breaded versions


Breakfast Joints:


  • However ordered: 1 yolk per meal


  • Egg whites. Easy cheese. Load up with veggies. Ask for no oil used in preparation.

Breakfast Meats

  • Keep to one piece/slice. Turkey options if offered.


  • Whole Wheat, sourdough, rye, English muffin. Half of serving. Order dry. Avoid jellies.


  • Fruits- cups/bowls. Limit banana. ½ cup potatoes, ½ cup cottage cheese.

  • 1 cup plain Oatmeal


  • Water as your beverage. No juice. Get your nutrients from food.

Fast Food Type: *Try to avoid, but just in case

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

  • Omit any mayo type sauces; mustard is best.


  • Go to a place that uses a GRILL; add your own condiments; stick to ketchup & mustard. No cheese. Go bun-less if possible.


  • Make sure to get some grilled chicken or other protein included. Add your own dressing.

General Rules of Thumb:

  • If unsure about contents or portion; ASK!

  • Sauces, butter, and dressings on the side, if at all.

  • Get a to-go box with your meal.

  • Make the decision to control your portion and stick to it

  • Eat the protein and veggies first

  • Politely refuse chips and bread before dinner. Or avoid places that will offer them

  • Order Al-la-Carte. You can almost always get a grilled protein with veggie sides

  • Dessert- 3 bites will do ya fine

  • Enjoy the time out and do your best!



Coke-A-Cola & Sugar What's Happening?

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What Happens To Your Body If You Drink A Coke Right Now?

In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately get sick from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.

20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (And there’s plenty of sugar at this particular moment).

40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.

45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.

60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.

90 Minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to urinate.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyte and water.

120 minutes: As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now excreted all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like hydrating your system or building strong bones and teeth.  This will all be followed by a caffeine crash in the next few hours. (Which is when many people will repeat this cycle – YIKES!)

FYI: The Coke itself is not the enemy, here. It’s the dynamic combo of massive sugar doses combined with caffeine and phosphoric acid. Things which are found in almost all soda.

Check this out, this is an image of a brain on Sugar and on Cocaine:
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Saving Money


Seems obvious, but eating out is extremely expensive! A few bucks here and there may seem harmless, but when you do the math, you’re wasting a ton of money by trying to save time or “treat” yourself. Any clue how much money you spent last time you grabbed something on the go? Was it $10, $15, $2o + Tip?

What if that happens 3 times a week? Adds up doesn’t it? And, we’re not even talking about the calories! We chose some typical places that you might regularly visit:

Starbucks average drink: About $4.00 Every morning before work

x 5= $20/week….$80 month on just coffee! Check out their Nutrition Facts on their website to see how many calories, carbs and fat you’re really getting! Yikes! We’re not against Starbucks either, but when they call a drink Skinny???? Really?

Starbucks “Bistro Box” every morning with your coffee, add $100 more a month to your morning meal!

Jamba Juice average medium smoothie: About $4.50 4 x week= $18/week….$72 month on smoothies.

*A tub of Protein Powder is about $28 bucks and can give you about 30 servings!

Subway a foot long meal plus avocado: About $ 9.50

3 x week = $28.50/week….$114 month….on sandwiches!

El Pollo Loco Grilled Chicken Salad: $7.29

3 x week = 21.87….$87.48 month on chicken salads


Pack your meals and snacks. It will save you money, calories, and time in the long run. Save your money for things you enjoy. Your body and wallet will thank you!



Prep Your Protein


When we try to stick to our new, balanced habits it helps to have some tricks up our sleeve to help us stay on track.
Here are some tricks I employ to simplify my life and help:
•Make most of my weekly protein on Sunday. Of course I have a family that I cook for, so adjust accordingly. At my house I like to be prepared for the week ahead. In this image I made a big bowl of tuna salad, about 3 pounds of chicken breast tenders using neutral seasonings, egg salad and some left- over hard boiled eggs. Now I am on track to stick to my goals and save a ton of money too!
•The hardest part done.  The rest of the meals can be “built” around the protein.
•I prep the protein I made so I can toss things together quickly. In example, I diced up the chicken and slice up the cooked links.
•If I don’t get to all of the protein I prepped I can freeze quite a bit of it for future use.
•Sunday night, I toss together enough little meals, in my unit portions, to get me through my work day for two days. In the morning all I have to do is grab them and I am set for two days at the office! I stay on track and save money. I do this every other night.


Pack and Go Hacks


Use the Pack & Go chart so you can combine meals: brown rice, asparagus &
chicken or green beans, brown rice & fish. Package them in separate baggies
in the fridge or freezer. Simple!

Try to prep two weeks at a time when you can to give yourself more time out
of the kitchen.

When you have pieces of meals left-over, put them in zip loc baggies and then
in a freezer bag labeled with the portion size. Bring 1 Tupperware container as
a meal "plate" for the day.

Run multiple machines at once when you have to prep.

Crock Pot, skillet, oven, griddle, or outside grill so everything is done around
the same time. You can multi-task in the kitchen quite successfully!

ALWAYS have your Pack & Go chart on you. Take a picture & save it on your
phone for help making better decisions at restaurants.

“Zip-Loc out” your portions for quick grabs: nuts, jerky, chopped veggies,
fruits, wheat pretzels, hard boiled eggs, cheese and deli meat combos.

Make your own trail mix to use as a full meal/snack in your unit size: jerky as
your protein, wheat pretzels and dried fruits as your carbs, nuts as your fat.

Ground meat: Weigh your portion of cooked ground meat on a food scale.
Find a serving utensil that holds that exact amount so you can use that exact
utensil every time you cook ground meat to save you the weighing out step.

Make rice, quinoa and amaranth ahead of time and grab and go. All can be
frozen in quart-sized zip-locs and later tossed right into a skillet when needed.

Meal replacement bar in car glove box, purse and nap-sack in case of an
emergency; make sure you don’t store the type that can melt though.