Why do I keep hearing…

My clients often ask me about trending nutrition info that they’ve heard about either from friends, coworkers, or even their facebook newsfeed. And as a personal trainer I feel it is my responsibility to provide them with unbiased and informed answers!

Recently I had a client of mine ask “Why do I keep hearing that peas are bad?”

The information we hear is usually a diluted version that trickles down from academic journals, which gets distorted by the mainstream media. You have to remember the main objective of media is to elicit views. Unfortunately this is the world we live in and the news often spreads faulty information with no actual scientific basis!

Think back over the years of all the nutrition fads you’ve heard about. Remember when pomegranates were all the rage? We can go way back to the ’90’s when fat was the enemy. Or when quinoa made its debut. Flax seeds. Don’t even get me started on artificial sweeteners, you can read more about what’s in these little sweet packets here!


More recently its all things kale related. Coconut Oil. Chia Seeds. Gluten free. Egg yolks are good for you again. I mean the list goes on and on…


So before you are quick to jump on board with the next thing someone tells you – however convincing they may be – remember my rule of thumb is to have your own 3 credible sources (think any .edu’s or pubmed – I’ve listed some additional resources below). Don’t be that guy that jumps on the bandwagon just because everyone else does.

People are always looking for the next “fad food” that’s either bad or good for you, like it will solve all your problems if you accept whatever it is as fact!

Having the capacity to listen to an idea
but not except it immediately
requires a more educated mindset!

1. If you want quality nutrition info that’s a little easier on the ears check out Superfoods

2. Feeling like you want to take it up a notch and get the break down from scientific journals? You can geek out to the latest nutrition-related research with my guy Dr. Greger! He breaks down the information to you in short, easy to understand video segments.

Bottom Line:
Don’t believe everything you hear! Make your own informed and educated decision’s before getting in line for the next fad food

Get on Top of the Food Chain: ‘It Starts With Food’

At first I was very turned off by the Paleo diet. It felt like I was an outsider to their exclusive Paleo-VIP club. Second-class citizens who haven’t seen the light and converted to paleo may know what I’m talking about. I’m telling you these people come out of the woodwork when they hear the whisper of their dietary lifestyle.

Paleo preachers are out there and they give this diet a bad rep in my opinion. I’m not a convert yet, but Dallas & Mellissa Hartwig’s book; It Starts With Food is a serious page-turner. This husband and wife team really gives it to you straight. I’m honestly not sure how they turned scientific explanations into seriously engaging and easy to understand analogies.

Maybe you want some advice on ways to improve your energy, increase athletic performance, eliminate cravings, or lose stubborn belly fat. Or you’re curious about about the foods you are putting into your body and how they effect you, either way check them out.


The Hartwig’s have four “Good Food Standards”. They believe that the food you eat should:

  1. Promote a healthy psychological response.
  2. Promote a healthy hormonal response.
  3. Support a healthy gut.
  4. Support immune function and minimize inflammation.

Accompanying these standards, they make the following recommendations:

  1. Eat foods that make you more healthy – meat, seafood, and eggs, lots of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of healthy fats.
  2. Do not consume any added sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, or dairy.
  3. Do not attempt to recreate junk foods or desserts by using “approved” ingredients.
  4. Do not step on the scale for the entirety of your program.

I love everything I’ve read so far (and I’m about a third the way through) because let’s face it, most of us have something we’d like to change or eliminate. Whether it’s losing weight or an ailment such as eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, IBS, chronic headaches, or acne. We often just ignore, cover-up, and/or accept this because change is uncomfortable. Let’s be honest here, there has been a time when we’ve allowed these conditions to dictate our daily life. I can think of a handful. Learning to just deal with these things on a daily basis isn’t the answer. If I can call all the shots just by eating certain foods, then maybe it’s worth trying…right?



Like what you read? Then you might also like:

It Start’s with Food; Free Bonus Material

This girl’s whole30 story

Whole9 Blog

At a Crossroads: Dirty Diets & Clean Eating

IIFYM (If it fits your Macros). Whole30. Paleo. Gluten Free. Vegan. Vegetarian. Keto. Juice Cleanse. Clean eating. Clean food. Dirty Food. Just Eat Real Food (#jerf).

You’ve probably heard of most of these diets or noticed the hashtags on Instagram, Twitter, etc.

I thought I was eating a healthy, well-balanced, clean diet. I’ll set the stage for you. I buy organic local produce as often as I can. I make homemade chia flaxseed crackers on the regular. I eat fresh veggies and fruit everyday. I eat almonds. I drink unsweetened almond milk. I only use stevia to sweeten my drinks. I eat grilled chicken breast. I eat PB2. I drink at least 70 ounces of water per day. I drink green tea daily. I take a multivitamin. I sauté with either EVO or coconut oil. I drink coconut water. I get between 7-8 hours of sleep everyday. I exercise everyday.  But reading about these diets make me feel like I am doing something wrong, that I need to eliminate or incorporate certain foods into my diet to be “healthy”.

Sidebar with me here: Is it just me, or has grocery shopping gotten to be an overwhelming experience? The more I research each of these diets the more I overanalyze what I am eating (or not eating). I am currently reading ‘It Starts with Food‘ which spells out the benefits of the whole30 diet. I find this book highly informative even if you aren’t planning to enact the whole30 diet into your life. As a bio major I actually enjoy what they refer to as “sciencey” explanations, but the book has got me thinking…

Am I eating things that are unhealthy for me? Or potentially harmful? Am I actually damaging my body by sprinkling stevia into my coffee with unsweetened almond milk in the morning? Am I over-spiking the perpetual cycle of insulin and leptin, by eating greek yogurt mixed with my perfect fit protein powder? Am I causing irreversible damage by adding a pinch of gorgonzola cheese to my arugula salad?

I find that I have pangs of guilt as I scoop my tricolor quinoa from Trader Joes, into my sautéed veggie bowl. I can’t help but think “you shouldn’t be eating legumes” as I spread organic natural peanut butter onto my jazz apple slices. And then I know I must really be crossing the line with the handful of Cracklin Oat Bran and Kind Granola that I often mix into my greek yogurt – this must definitely be a violation of what it means to be “healthy”.

I’m over-exaggerating here (just a bit). But in all seriousness I know don’t need to lose or gain weight. I am at a perfectly healthy size. Yet I find myself thinking…could I feel better? could my skin be clearer? could I have more energy if I eat this way? It’s all so overwhelming. We all want to feel like we have control over something in this world. I feel like all the before and after photos of people who attest that the whatever-diet is the answer! As if their photo is proof all the proof you need, that whatever diet they are eating is the answer to your problems. If you eat this way you will look and feel exactly like them! They tell you that their skin is clearer than ever,  that they have boundless energy, and have lost body fat…etc.

We all want to look and feel our best. I’m exploring this path but I’m not sure I am ready to jump on board with any of these diets just yet. It’s better to measure twice and cut once.

Your Trainer,



Liveng Proof ♡ Nutrition Tips!

September is here and I want you to stay motivated and on track! It’s what you do most of the time that’s important.  Here some of my healthy nutrition tips to help you stay fit, happy, and healthy!

Remember when you put something in your body, you’re the only one in control of it.  Make it count.  I want you to lean more toward raw foods, vegetables, fruits and protein.  Add more greens to your plate! Drink lots of water (you should drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water per day)!  Try to avoid those heavy white starches (white breads/ white potatoes), no large portions of cheeses or fried food. I don’t want you to be OCD here, you’re allowed some wiggle room for your favorite foods. If you’re not sure how to make it work,  just ask!

Have you seen the movie ‘Ratatouille’? If you haven’t I won’t ruin it for you, but basically the main character loves and appreciates fine French cooking. He thinks of food almost as if it were the notes of an orchestra or a magnificent painting, where the flavors, aromas, and textures work together flowing and blending so eloquently that you can’t help but close your eyes. Now I’m not saying you have to lower your lids and imagine scenes from Fantasia while you eat. But if you’ve decided that a certain food/meal is worthy enough to ingest and nourish your body, then I think you deserve to enjoy the full experience. I like to “ratatouille” my food!

Savor the Sensations – devote your attention to the smell, texture, and flavor of each bite.

Chew slowly – remember your food isn’t going anywhere! Also it takes about 20 mins for your stomach to signal to your brain that you’re full!

Choosing the appropriate sized plate or container is helpful to prevent over eating I.e. trail mix in a small ramekin. We often let the size of our plates determine how much we eat (subconsciously of course). Also the color of the plate or dish has been shown to influence how much we eat! Eating from red plates has been shown to reduce how much food was consumed. The color red is a warning color both in nature and culturally (stop signs, red traffic lights) .

Don’t eat straight from the bag or container.  Plate it! It’s all about presentation. Present your food the same way you would to a guest! You deserve to eat from a plate with utensils, and it’s always good to practice our manners 😉 Also try to avoid snacking or sampling the food as you are preparing it.  Take the time to actually sit down and enjoy your food. It usually doesn’t take more than 10 or 15 mins to eat and we all can make time for that in our busy schedules. You’re less likely to overeat if you sitting than if you’re standing at your kitchen counter or over the sink when you eat.

Like I said sitting down and focusing your attention fully engaged on what you’re eating. In today’s busy world it’s hard not to multitask,  but eating should not be something we do simultaneously. Eating without distractions is really important so that our brains register how full we are! Part of feeling “full” is our brain registering the physical taste, texture, and smell of our food. If we are distracted our brain does not receive these signals as readily and as a result we are more likely to overeat. Check your email, Instagram, or Facebook after you’ve finished your meal! Turn the television off (no not on mute – you’re still being distracted if you can see it). Set your book, magazine, kindle, or tablet aside – so that you can fully enjoy your meal!

your trainer!



Protein Packed Parfait

protein packed parfait

I eat this for breakfast almost every day! It’s delicious and packed full of protein, which leaves me feeling full and satisfied. I make my parfaits with FAGE Total 0%©. I  prefer the taste of FAGE Total 0%© to other brands of greek yogurt and because I mix it with my own concoction I buy the plain flavor – less additives right?

Also, try making a smaller-serving of this recipe, for those after-dinner sweet tooth cravings!

protein packed parfait_recipie card_1


Let me know if you like this recipe! I’d love to hear from you :  )

xo Engrid