We all know there are TONS of diets out there – keto, low fat, macro counting, low carb, and the list goes on and on. One question I’ve been getting lately is: do blood type diets really work? The idea of the blood type diet comes from Peter D’Adamo, and rather than being a diet that eliminates or cuts back on a certain macronutrient (fat, protein, carbohydrate), individuals are advised to eliminate certain foods based on their blood results. Supposedly by eliminating these foods, a person will digest food more efficiently, will lose weight, and will have more energy and less disease.
D’Adamo has created specific diets for all four blood types: O, A, B, and AB. These diets do not take into consideration food allergies such as gluten or lactose intolerance. The diets also don’t allow much room for personal food preferences; if you’re type O and a vegetarian, you won’t be happy, as D’Adamo encourages those with type O blood to eat a diet high in lean meat, poultry, and fish. The opposite is true for those with type A blood – they are advised to avoid meat all together. The diet for those with AB blood is similar to that of those with type A in that they are advised to avoid meat other than seafood and to focus on green vegetables.
There has not been tons of testing done on blood type diets, but the studies that have been done have concluded that there is no evidence that this type of diet is valid. This means that following the diet specific to your blood type will not guarantee any health benefits nor is it guaranteed to keep you from developing disease or illness. While following the diet for your blood type likely won’t hurt you (as long as you keep any allergies you may have in mind), it probably won’t provide the benefits it claims to.
What might be a better alternative to following the blood type diet is to eat for your body type. Although this type of eating doesn’t directly take food allergies into account either, it allows individuals to eat foods based on their preferences and any allergies they may have. Precision Nutrition defines three body types: ectomorphs, endomorphs, and mesomorphs. Although not everyone falls 100% into one of these categories, people can typically relate to one of these body types more so than the other two.
Ectomorphs are described as individuals with a small stature and thin limbs (think long-distance runners) and do well with diets higher in carbohydrates, a moderate amount of protein, and lower amounts of fat. It is advised that these individuals eat carbohydrates at every meal and to include a large serving of carbs after exercise as well as including vegetables and fruits at every meal.
Endomorphs are characterized as having a larger bone structure and more body mass –linemen on a football team fall into this category. Endomorphs benefit from a diet high in fat and protein with fewer carbohydrates. Endomorphs should eat almost all of their carbohydrates only after exercise as well as including vegetables and fruits at every meal.
Mesomorphs are fall between these two as they have a medium bone structure and are athletically built with lean body mass (gymnasts and wrestlers), and mesomorphs do best with a fairly equally balanced diet of carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Carbohydrates should be consumed mainly after exercise but may also be included in moderation during meals throughout the day as well as including vegetables and fruits at every meal.
Unfortunately there is not one diet we can all follow that will prevent us from gaining weight, guarantee weight loss, or prevent illness – even diets that are specific to our blood type, body type, etc., cannot guarantee this. If you do choose to follow a diet that is specific to your needs, make sure you do your research, and always consult with your doctor and/or a dietitian before making any drastic changes in your eating habits.
Think positive, stay active, and smile. -A
Traditionally when a person goes on a diet or is trying to get in shape, they focus on weight – how much weight they’ve lost, or gained. While losing weight does indicate some success, it can’t be the sole measure of being fit, as there are several other ways of measuring success when trying to become healthier.
What I hope you take away from this blog is that your weight is not an indication of your overall health, and you should not get hung up on the number you see on the scale. While it is important to be aware of your weight, and while it can help show progress of changes you’ve made in your life, it isn’t the only factor that shows progress. Set small goals for yourself – increasing the amount of time you can walk by one minute every week, eating two servings of vegetables at every meal, drinking the appropriate amount of water for your body and activity level – and focus more on how much happier you feel and how much more energy you have than what that darn scale says!
Think positive, stay active, and smile. -A
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a good holiday season and are staying warm in these frigid temps (assuming you’re basically anywhere in the U.S. other than Miami or Hawaii, where it’s about 75 degrees warmer than it is here in Greenwood, IN)!
This blog post is a little different from my usual blog posts, but it’s full of important information. I’m sure most of you have seen advertisements or social media posts about the latest exercise programs and weight loss trends and supplements. While these products and programs may be helpful in the short term, they are not designed to provide most people with lasting tools to maintain a healthy lifestyle. With the in-home exercise videos and equipment, supplements, and shakes, these programs are also designed to be money makers for the coaches and consultants of the programs and products.
I am not saying these programs are not worth checking out - they could very possibly be quite beneficial for some individuals. What I am saying is that they are NOT. LONG. TERM. They do not teach life-long skills, and like all other diet fads in the past and those to come in the future, they are not feasible for providing a long-lasting solution. I say this because I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to drink a meal replacement shake or take a handful of supplements every day for the rest of my life. I want to eat real food that tastes good and satisfies me, and that is what Precision Nutrition teaches nutrition coaching clients to do.
Precision Nutrition (PN) has been “coaching clients and certifying professionals since 2005.” Over the past ten plus years, Precision Nutrition has become more well known around the world, and the creators of PN have worked and continue to work with big names including Nike, Titleist, and the Cleveland Browns, just to name a few, and have been featured in Time magazine and The New York Times.
Precision Nutrition provides the opportunity for professionals to further their nutrition education through Level 1 and Level 2 certifications. Through these certifications professionals learn the best ways to “coach their clients on eating and living better,” and at this point in time, they’ve helped nearly 50,000 professionals learn the skills to become better coaches. Not only does PN provide coaches with nutrition information, but they teach the psychology behind proven coaching methods.
Health professionals who have completed certifications have access to ProCoach, Precision Nutrition’s online nutrition coaching and in-home exercise software. ProCoach nutrition coaching is a year-long program designed to provide clients with the most effective skills and tools to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle. There is no need for supplements or shakes with Precision Nutrition – PN clients are taught how to include real food in every meal, every day.
Sometimes clients become frustrated with the slow-paced nature this program because they want to lose weight and notice changes immediately. ProCoach is designed to be “slow” for a reason, and although this program is not a quick fix, if clients are motivated and are truly ready for a lifestyle change, sticking with it for the full year will be worth the effort. Not only do clients typically lose weight and inches, they learn a skill set to handle stressors that life throws at them while maintaining healthy eating and exercise habits. Through learning time and stress management skills, helpful shopping and cooking tools, and many, many more skills and tools that will last a lifetime, clients become all around healthier individuals and sometimes even become PN certified coaches themselves!
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about what I offer through Precision Nutrition, and if you are interested in learning more about becoming a PN coach or a ProCoach nutrition coaching client, I am more than happy to answer questions and provide more information! You can email me at WerresNutrition@gmail.com, or if you know me well, you can Facebook message or text me.
Think positive, stay active, and smile. -A
#wellness #nutrition #nutritioncoaching #precisionnutrition #werresnutrition #healthyeating #healthyliving #healthylifestyle #eatrealfood
To keep in theme with my past two blog posts which touched on processed and unprocessed foods, today we’ll be learning about different types of fats and why some fats have been deemed “good” or “bad.” In terms of calories, fat is fat – each gram of fat provides 9 calories. The chemical composition (saturated or unsaturated) of the fat is how we distinguish fats and determines what they do in our bodies. Along with lean protein and veggies, you should try to include fat from a healthy source at every meal, every day. One serving size of fat is one thumb for women and two thumbs for men.
Three types of fats are commonly found in the diet: saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated (omega-3 and omega-6). You will find these fats in processed and unprocessed foods. As you can guess, it is recommended that most of your dietary fat come from whole, unprocessed foods. Dr. John Berardi of Precision Nutrition recommends consuming a third of your total daily fat from each of these three types of fats: 1/3 saturated fat, 1/3 monounsaturated fat, 1/3 polyunsaturated fat (mostly omega-3). There are, of course, trans fats, which for the most part (with the exception of some meats and butterfat) do not occur in nature.
For years saturated fat has been deemed “bad” by scientists and doctors, however it has recently been discovered that saturated fats aren’t all that “bad” – if they’re consumed as whole, natural (not man-made) foods. Saturated fats come from animal fats (meat, eggs, and dairy) as well as tropical oils like coconut, and these fats are solid at room temperature. Saturated fats are also found in TONS of processed foods, and that is when saturated fats become “bad.” I can’t say it enough – LIMIT PROCESSED FOODS!
Monounsaturated fats are often referred to as “healthy” or “good” fats. This is because they help protect against heart disease, improve insulin sensitivity, improves mood, and strengthens bones. Monounsaturated fats can be found in nuts and nut butters, avocados, olives, and olive and peanut oils. When cooking with oils, it is important to be aware of their smoke points, as using very high heat with an oil that has a low smoke point will burn the oil, causing toxic compounds and, if it is an omega-3 oil, break down into trans fat. The best oils for cooking at high heat (heat-frying and stir-frying) are sesame and peanut, while olive oil is ideal for sautéing over medium heat.
Polyunsaturated fats are found in most plant-based oils (soybean, corn) and some fish like salmon and albacore tuna. The majority of polyunsaturated fats consumed should be from omega-3 fats rather than omega-6 fats, as it has been discovered that too much omega-6 (a polyunsaturated fat) may be a contributor to coronary heart disease. While TOO MUCH omega-6 fats may cause health problems, we still need it in moderation.
To sum it up, fats are, in fact, not bad – our brains and bodies need them! Healthy nutrition is always about moderation and eating whole, unprocessed foods when possible. If you’ve shied away from fats in the past, hopefully this blog post has made nutritional fat less scary for you!
#eatwholefood #eatrealfood #fats #healthyfats #moderation #wellness #nutrition #nutritioncoach #werresnutrition
This blog posts pulls from the idea from author Michael Pollan that we shouldn’t “eat anything that doesn’t rot,” and I couldn’t agree more. I touched on processed foods in a post from February 26, 2017, and, as Pollan also stated, it seems that most of the “foods” Americans are consuming are processed to some degree.
This post goes hand in hand with a recent blog post of mine about shopping the perimeter of the grocery store where I stated that the majority of unprocessed and minimally processed foods are located along the perimeter of the store. The idea of “if it doesn’t rot, don’t eat it” is similar to that of not eating foods that didn’t exist when our grandparents or great-grandparents were growing up. The premise of both suggestions is that whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, and meats will rot or spoil if not eaten over a period of time, even when refrigerated.
In the past fats, cholesterol, salt, and sugar have all been blamed as culprits of chronic disease and obesity, and while full blame cannot be placed on any one substance, most or all of these “culprits” can be found in processed foods – and in high levels at that. While consuming too much of any one food, even healthy foods, can cause adverse side effects, processed foods quickly add up – meaning the average American would have to eat 7.5 bananas in one sitting to reach a dangerous level of potassium intake, while eating one can of chicken noodle soup almost meets the recommended daily allowance of sodium.
The theory is that if we change our diets to only eat foods that don’t rot – foods that haven’t been processed at all or have been minimally processed – our health should improve because we will be consuming fewer preservatives, smaller amounts of “unhealthy” fats, less added sugar, and lower amounts of salt/sodium. You can’t really argue with this theory, and unlike dietary guidelines and suggestions that are conflicting and constantly changing, this theory holds true across the board.
I know the idea of giving up processed foods can be scary, especially because processed foods provide us with quick meals and snacks. Meal planning and using crock pots and pressure cookers can be very beneficial in terms of preparing meals, and cleaning and chopping fresh fruits and vegetables to pair with a nut butter, a slice of cheese, or a handful of unsalted nuts make for a great snack. Another tasty, protein filled snack idea that is minimally processed is to make your own protein bars or balls. I made these lemon date balls about six months ago, and they made a great snack when I needed to run errands after the gym or needed a quick breakfast and hadn’t prepared anything. There are tons of recipes for protein bars/balls on Pinterest, or if you’re short on time like many of us are, I’ve found that Lara Bars and Thunderbird Bars (there are many more, but I’ve only tried these two brands) are made from real ingredients, are vegan, non-GMO, have no added sugar, and are a great option when you’re short on time.
Eating “food that doesn’t rot” will not only decrease your intake of empty calories, preservatives, sugar, and salt, it will also increase your intake of fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that our bodies need. Making the switch from processed to real foods is an adjustment and can take some time and getting used to. Start slowly, and don’t make it a huge focus – just remember that shopping the perimeter of the grocery store and cooking from scratch will be a huge help in the process.
Think positive, stay active, and smile. -A
#eatrealfood #mealprep #ifitdoesntrotdonteatit #nutrition #wellness #wholefood #werresnutrition #nutritioncoach
Drinking enough water can be challenging for most people and can become even more of a challenge during the cooler months. When the outside temperature is cooler and we’re not sweating as much, we don’t feel “parched” or the need to drink as much water as we might when it is warmer outside.
Our hydration needs are dependent on our height and weight and change with age, activity level, and diet. Because there are so many factors that play into hydration needs, it can be hard to determine exactly how much water you need, but is important to have an idea of how much water is right for you. To determine this you can go online and use a “water calculator,” and there are many calculations you can find online as well. Here is one of the easier to use formulas I found:
your weight in pounds x 2/3 (or 67%) = ounces of water you need per day
120 pounds x .67 = 80.4 ounces (just over eight cups) of water per day
This formula, from slenderkitchen.com, advises that for every 30 minutes you work out, you should add 12 ounces to your basic water needs. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I work out intensely for an hour and a half, so according to this formula, on those days I should add 36 ounces to my total water intake.
Using the above formula, I should be drinking 80 ounces of water a day when I don’t work out, but using two other formulas I found, I should be drinking between 60 to 68 ounces a day when I don’t work out. The only consistent information I’ve found is that for every 30 minutes you work out, you should add 12 ounces of water to your total daily intake.
As you can see, there is some discrepancy with these calculations. You can typically tell if you need to drink more water by paying attention to your bathroom habits. If you are urinating infrequently and have dark colored urine, you are likely dehydrated. Although it is important that you stay hydrated, it is possible to drink TOO much water. If your urine is very pale yellow to clear throughout the day and you find yourself urinating frequently, you may need to cut back on your water intake. Some other telltale signs that you might be on the verge of dehydration are sleepiness, headache, dry mouth, dry skin, and dizziness.
As previously mentioned hydration levels also depend on what you eat. Fruits and vegetables provide water as well as obvious foods like soup (although most soups contain high sodium levels which can dehydrate the body). And water isn’t the only liquid that hydrates – milk (both dairy and non-dairy) and caffeine-free beverages like decaf coffee and tea can also keep the body hydrated.
Filling a large water bottle with room temperature water and setting it on your desk can help remind you to drink enough water during the winter days, and always make sure to take a bottle of water with you to your workout. Sipping a hot cup of decaf tea on a cold winter day is one of my favorite ways to try to stay hydrated during the winter. However you prefer to remain hydrated, make sure to be aware of possible signs of dehydration in yourself and those around you.
Think positive, stay active, and smile. -A
#nutrition #werresnutrition #water #drinkmorewater #hydration #nutritioncoach #wellness #healthylifestyle #healthyliving
You may or may not have heard to “shop the perimeter of the grocery store,” and you may or may not know the reasoning as to why this is recommended. If you think about your local grocery store, you’ll notice that produce, the deli, meat, dairy, and frozen foods surround the center aisles of the store. You’ll also notice that these items are not processed to minimally processed foods, and this is why it is recommended to “shop the perimeter of the grocery store” first, saving the shopping for more processed foods for last. Typically a person who has already filled up their cart with healthier options is less likely to add a lot of unhealthy, highly processed food to their carts. If you’re sticking to a tight budget, it’s best to spend your money on foods that will nourish your body, and adding those foods to your cart first will save you from wasting your money on foods full of empty calories.
While this suggestion holds some truth – that most of the minimally process foods are found around the perimeter of the store – that doesn’t mean EVERYTHING found there is healthy, nor does it mean EVERYTHING that is found within the inner aisles is unhealthy. For example, lunch meat, hot dogs, and bacon are highly process foods that are located along the perimeter of the store, while dry and canned beans, canned fruit, and canned vegetables – minimally processed, healthy food options, are located within the center aisles.
While grocery shopping, I would suggest shopping around the perimeter of the store first and using your best judgement when it comes to the choices you make. Choose minimally processed, locally grown, organic foods when possible. To better understand the various levels of the processing of foods, you can check out my blog post “What’s in a Bite – the Basics” from February 2017. Planning out meals for the week and making a list of what you’ll need, as well as avoiding grocery shopping while hungry, can also help you sidestep making unnecessary and possibly unhealthy purchases.
I know a lot of people, myself included, hate grocery shopping, but planning out your trip and shopping the perimeter of the store will save you a lot of hassle. I know the grocery stores are quite daunting this time of year with the holidays quickly approaching, so good lunch, and Godspeed!
Think positive, stay active, and smile. -A
Chances are you’ve heard or seen something about Himalayan salt lamps in social media, on TV, or from chatter from friends, but if you’re like me, you’re asking yourself, “Do these salt lamps REALLY work?” I’ve been wondering this myself, and recently a dear friend asked if I would do a blog post on the validity of said lamps – so here we are!
I’ve been doing a lot of research, and here’s what I’ve found. Himalayan salt lamps claim to purify air, reduce electromagnetic radiation and airborne infections, ease asthma and allergy symptoms, reduce anxiety and boost mood, and promote sleep. The lamps help purify air and ease asthma and allergy symptoms by attracting water molecules, trapping pollutants, and releasing water vapor back into the air. Salt therapy is now being used to treat COPD and is even being used in inhalers to help those with asthma and allergies. Salt lamps emit negative ions to combat positive ions released by cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices, reducing electromagnetic radiation and producing biochemical reactions that increase serotonin in the bloodstream helping to improve mood and increase energy. The natural properties from the salt and the glow from the lamp also provide a calm and happy atmosphere, boosting mood and decreasing anxiety.
These claims all have very little evidence to back them up, and there has been little to no scientific research conducted on Himalayan salt lamps. If these lamps do provide said benefits, you’ll need more than one to get the job done. It is suggested to place a few lamps in the room in which you and/or your family spend the most time.
If you choose to purchase a Himalayan salt lamp, be on the lookout for fakes. Dr. Axe advises to be on the lookout for poor return policy, a highly durable item, a very bright light, inexpensive white crystal, no mention of Pakistan (where true Himalayan salt is mined), and is listed as a moisture-resistant item. These all point towards a salt imposter, and unless it’s just a nightlight you’re after, you should keep shopping around to maximize the benefits from your lamp.
I was gifted a salt lamp a couple of months ago and have been using it regularly. Because I know what these lamps are supposed to do, I’m not sure that I can provide an unbiased opinion on whether or not the lamp is doing what it claims to do. I turn the lamp on almost every afternoon that I’m home, and if I’m sitting right next to it, I do feel that it helps some with my allergies (less sneezing, sniffling, nose blowing). This could be a placebo effect, or perhaps my salt lamp really is purifying the air around me and trapping the pollutants and allergens. I have not noticed a change in my sleep habits or my mood.
Whether or not you choose to believe that Himalayan salt lamps work, they certainly won’t hurt, as long as you use caution during use, as with any other lamp. At the very least, you’ll be able to enjoy the soft, warm glow of the lamp, will add to your home’s décor, and can provide a great conversation piece when friends and family visit!
Think positive, stay active, and smile. –A.
#wellness #blog #nutrition #blogger #nutritioncoach #werresnutrition #healthyeating #healthylifestyle #healthychoices #HimalayanSaltLamp
Hey guys! I just made one of my favorite snacks, and I wanted to share it with you! Maybe you've made kale chips before, and if you have, you know how easy - and tasty - they are! The ingredients are simple enough - a bunch of kale, olive oil, sea salt, and any of your other favorite seasonings.
Preheat the oven to 350°F, trim kale leaves from the stems, tear into small pieces, and wash and dry (in a salad spinner or pat dry). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and spread kale evenly over pan. Coat kale evenly with about one tablespoon of olive oil (or coconut oil). I like to use a silicone baster to spread the olive oil evenly. Sprinkle with sea salt and/or any other seasoning(s) you love. I used sea salt and Cayenne pepper because I like it spicy!
Once the oven is preheated, put the kale into the oven for 10-15 minutes. Pour yourself a glass of wine, and let your kale chips bake! I baked my chips for 15 minutes, which was a little too long, but 10 minutes wasn't long enough. I'd say shoot for 12-13 minutes, but every oven is different, so just keep an eye on your kale.
Once you've removed the kale chips from the oven, let them cool for a minute or two before digging in!
We all know that getting enough sleep is important, but many of us don’t know why or how sleep is related to our overall health, including our weight. There is a long list of health complications which include but are not limited to:
So getting enough sleep is clearly important to protect ourselves and helps us stay healthy, but how can we ensure we’re getting enough uninterrupted sleep? Use of electronics continues to be the leading cause of decreased quality of sleep. This is because these devices release blue light which mimics light from the sun, making your body think it’s still daytime and shutting down melatonin secretion. Experts recommend turning off the TV and other electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime to optimize sleep quality.
Making your room as dark as possible (turning off all lights, using room-darkening curtains, closing the bedroom door, and unplugging or covering clock radios) and keeping the temperature no higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit (60-68 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal) are two more tips experts give to help provide a good night’s sleep. Taking a hot bath up to two hours before bedtime, moving alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your bed, and avoiding the use of loud alarm clocks may also help us get a full night of high quality sleep.
If you find your mind racing at night and are often “wired” throughout the day, trying relaxing exercises like yoga and meditation might be helpful. These exercises can have a calming effect on both your mind and body, allowing us to slow down and promote sleep.
Sleep apnea, an airway obstruction often times caused by obesity, is a serious health condition that leads to insomnia. Essentially a person suffering from sleep apnea stops breathing, and the brain and body are deprived of oxygen. Typically after a sleep apnea diagnosis, the person will be given a CPAP machine to allow for unrestricted breathing while sleeping, although changes in diet and exercise may also prove to be beneficial.
A good night of high quality sleep not only makes you feel good, but it promotes good health and can be achieved through simple sleep-promoting steps. If you feel you have a more serious issue, such as sleep apnea or a hormone imbalance, causing you insomnia, please see your doctor for testing.
Think positive, stay active, and smile. -A