Tag: nutrition

Primal Health Coach

What is a Primal Health Coach?  A coach that is armed with holistic knowledge of how fitness, Primal Nutrition and lifestyle, influence well-being, a health coach works with clients to design an inclusive, flexible, and responsive plan to move daily practices toward healthy choices.

What is a Primal? Living and eating Primal means you eat only real, unprocessed foods of meat, seafood, nuts seeds, vegetables, fruits, and healthy oils and animal fats.

Adriana Brown; $175 or for current training clients $150/month.

What does Primal Health Coaching Entail?

  • Knowledge for understanding how your body processes food and nutrients of all kinds
  • Meal Planning
  • Grocery lists and restaurant tips for maintaining Primal eating
  • Recipes and Resources for Primal Living
  • Weekly 30 minute meetings to address roadblocks, set weekly game plans, and tailor nutrition for the individual’s needs
  • Support and accountability to make life long changes for healthier food and lifestyle changes

If you are ready to make a change, a long lasting change to better nutrition, health, and longevity then contact Adriana Brown at abrown@sacdt.com.

Spaces are limited so please sign up today!

Wellness Rewards

 June 1st – July 31st, 2016

The SAC culture believes Health and Wellness are an integral part of a full, balanced, and happy life. Our goal is to help you get there, one step at a time. To do this, we have to have an action plan, support, and feedback! We have created a Wellness Rewards program to help you slowly add small behavioral changes and challenges to help you form new and lasting habits

Points will be given in 3 categories: Nutrition, Fitness, and Wellness. Earning points are as simple as eating a new type of vegetable or fruit, working out 60 minutes in a day, or getting 8 hours of sleep. Keep track of your points each week and we will keep a leaderboard of our Wellness Reward participants.

The top participant will win a Fitbit and all weekly point logs will be entered into a drawing to win a massage, personal training, Pilates, and swim lessons.


How to Participate:

  1. Sign up with the fitness director or at the front desk.
  2. Pick up your weekly points log.
  3. Earn points by doing various health and wellness activities each day. For every 300 points, you will receive 1 star.  For every 3,000 points, you will receive incentives.
  4. Turn your weekly point log in every Monday to be included in the overall Wellness Rewards’ star chart leaderboard.

At the end of the program, the person with the most stars will win!

5 – Each time you visit the club
10 – Do something fitness related with a friend
15 – Use a fitness APP or record your activity
20 – Try a new group exercise class
25 – 1-hour workout with a trainer, Pilates or swim instructor

5 – Eat breakfast
10 – Drink 8, 8-ounce glasses of water
15 – 4 servings of fruits and veggies (serving = 1 cup fruit and ½ cup veggie)
20 – Try a new recipe
25 – No coffee or soda

5 – Give someone a compliment
10 – Take the bus or bike for your tasks
15 – Get outside for 30 minutes and focus on calmness
20 – Unplug from technology for 1 hour
25 – Get 8 hours of sleep

For more information, please contact our Fitness Director, Jacob Galloway, at jgalloway@sacdt.com.

A New Twist on Salad

The only thing every person on the planet agrees on in terms of nutrition is that we need to eat more vegetables. Thankfully we’re in the summer salad season – but it takes time to prep a fresh lettuce salad and we can often get bored with the same choice.

Below is a new twist on salad – a way you can use a variety of vegetables you have on hand. As the name implies this is a salad that doesn’t get soggy because you don’t use lettuce. Since you aren’t worrying about it getting soggy you can easily make a batch of it on Sunday to pull from for an easy dinner side or packed lunch for the week. The flavor, color and texture variations on this salad are truly endless!


Marinated Hard Vegetable Salad:

Vegetables – At the base of the salad is any raw vegetable you like; the trick is to cut the vegetables in small ½ inch size pieces so that every bite has a good mix of flavor. Think carrot, broccoli, zucchini, purple or green cabbage, tomato, cucumber, onion, cauliflower, corn, radish….the list is endless. If it’s a vegetable and it doesn’t wilt in dressing it’s a good choice.


Vinaigrette dressing – Use one without additives or preservatives or simply add oil, vinegar or lemon.


Dried herbs (optional) – Sprinkle on any dried herb you like; such as Italian seasoning, cumin, oregano, dill, basil, etc.


Beans (optional) – Add any rinsed canned beans you like; such as garbanzo, black beans, great northern, etc. Adding beans provides protein and a different texture.


Crumbled cheese (optional) – If you enjoy a creamy tang add some feta or other crumbled cheese.


The longer this salad marinates the better the flavor develops. Enjoy!


For more information, please contact our Nutritionist, Kathryn Reed, MS, at kreed@sacdt.com.


15-Minute or less meal ideas!

Effective meal-planning must encompass the nights when things blow up and you need to get dinner on the table for yourself and/or your family in 15 minutes or less. If we have the right ingredients on hand we can always have a meal back-up plan.

Below is a list of some of my favorite 15-minute meal ingredients. I’ve separated them into Proteins, Starches and Vegetables. A healthy meal can combine all these into a well-portioned “balanced plate”: ¼ protein, ¼ starch and ½ vegetables.


Quick Proteins (1/4 of plate):

Leftovers or Rotisserie Chicken, Precooked Chicken Sausage (Adele’s or Trader Joes), Precooked Turkey Kielbasa, Canned & Rinsed LS Beans, Eggs, Tofu, Frozen Edamame, Precooked Veggie or Salmon Patties, Canned Tuna or Salmon, Frozen Turkey Meatballs


Quick Starches (1/4 of plate):

Frozen Microwaveable Rice, Microwaved Sweet or Russet Potato, Frozen Peas or Corn, Roast a bag of pre-cut Squash, Sweet Potato or Fingerling Potatoes, Microwaved Spaghetti Squash, Frozen Grain Blends, Couscous (takes 5 minutes to cook), Quinoa or White Rice (15 minutes to cook),Whole wheat pitas/tortillas/bread


Quick Vegetables (1/2 of plate):

Frozen: Broccoli, Asparagus, Pepper Strips, Brussel Sprouts, Frozen Specialty Blends with or without Sauce (Trader Joes has a lot of interesting blends), Bag of Broccoli Slaw (Add raisins/craisins, sunflower seeds and poppy seed dressing), Bag of prewashed & cut veggies (Green beans, mini zucchini, cucumbers, snap peas, baby carrots, mushrooms, specialty mixes), Bagged Fresh Lettuce: Romaine, Spinach, Mixed Greens (Add shredded bagged carrot, grape tomatoes, pre-sliced mushrooms)


Kathryn Reed

Next time you meal plan – buy the ingredients for a quick meal as a back-up. An example would be a flavored pre-cooked Adell’s chicken sausage, a box of couscous and a new frozen vegetable blend. These ingredients will keep for weeks/months – and you’ll always have a quick meal on hand – and avoid the pitfalls of dining out.

Struggling with New Year Resolutions to Eat Healthier? Read This.

Resolutions are often created around the premise that we’re going to add a new behavior. Certainly it’s good to focus on what we want to create (as opposed to that which we don’t want to). But, if you’re already struggling with your best dietary intentions this New Year and you’re thinking about beating yourself up, let’s encourage each other to reframe it. Let’s call it feedback, not failure. We know that our dietary choices are often a symptom of a deeper issue. With some curiosity that comes from a more mindful eating approach we may get some new momentum.

Let’s assume your NY resolution involved spending more time in the kitchen. Most realize that preparing more of our own food with less reliance on dine out and processed foods creates a bed rock of nutrition for our self and our family. But, creating new habits to meal plan, shop and cook takes mental space.

We only have so much mental space in a day. We need to get clear on what we’re spending these precious resources on. Michael Pollan in his new book “Cooked” reminds us that we’re spending on average about 27 minutes a day in the kitchen preparing food. Contrast that with how much time we spend on our smart phones or other media. Interestingly, he suggests the increase in watching cooking shows like those on The Food Network over the past decade is linked with our desire for a deeper connection to our own kitchen. It’s a bit of kitchen porn – satisfying our desire to be connected to cooking while we’re sitting in our living room distracting ourselves from how frazzled, unhappy or bored we are.

Having said all of this – I don’t know what the answer is for you – what are the unneeded distractions that are eating up the space in your life – the space needed to create a healthier habit. For me personally, I have decided I don’t need my smartphone pinging me every other minute about another email delivery. I’ve gone back to checking it on my laptop once or twice a day and have told my friends, family and colleagues to text me if an immediate response is required. I finally came to this decision when a recent phone crash occurred and as a result I immediately felt calmer and more focused. I then read an interesting article about a recent study – participants productivity was decreased by 20% simply from having their phone nearby – often pinging them with email. It didn’t matter if the participants checked their email or not – simply the mental space that it took to decide if they were going to check their phone or not decreased their productivity and concentration toward their task.

Again, you can only know what it is taking up the mental space you need to create lasting change. Keep in mind that you may not even be clear what the next steps are in building your healthier life until you remove some distractions. Think subtract before you add. Ask yourself what mental resources you can free up to create the space for change this New Year.

You’re welcome to email Kathryn at kreed@sacdt.com to comment on this blog or to meet to discuss/evaluate your goals toward healthier eating this New Year.

Get Your Abs In The Kitchen!

I heard this line recently from an interview with a young woman who went from an obese teen, lost over 80 pounds, and is now getting ready to compete in the Ms. Texas competition. Love it! I also loved hearing her trainer chime in that weight loss is about 80% what goes in your mouth. I’ve always been conservative and said 70% of weight loss is diet but I believe for some it is higher. Sometimes I just need to hear it again to remind myself how important it is to focus on your diet if you’re trying to lose body fat. Here is my best description of why that is. A pound of fat is roughly 3500 extra calories you’ve stored that your body didn’t need in the past. (People who eat an extra 100 calories a day above what they need will gain 10 pounds in a year). If the average person works out 3x per week for 60 minutes they will likely burn about 1500 calories for the week. If diet stays the same you’re looking at about 1/3 of a pound drop. Dropping a pound in 3 weeks for most people is discouraging.

Best bet if you want to lose 1lb a week is to find an exercise you enjoy that you’ll continue with in the long-term AND start tracking what you’re eating. Just the act of tracking or writing down things will help you reduce the mindless eating and decide if the calories you’re eating are really worth it. Most women will be in a 1lb weight loss at about 1500-1800 calories a day and most men around 2000 calories a day.

Keep in mind that varying your calories from day to day can help you prevent a weight-loss plateau. If you find yourself hungrier on workout days, eat more. If exercise makes you hungrier the day after, eat more that day. Learn to use special occasions to your advantage by eating less the next day. It’s all about the average of calories at week’s end.

Another key point is that you need to eat breakfast. Something is better than nothing – a banana, yogurt, protein bar. If your metabolism doesn’t wake up it’s going to be hard to lose weight.

If you need some extra support, aka “accountability”, you’re welcome to contact me at kreed@sacdt.com. Often, a half hour session plus an additional follow-up is all you may need to get going in the right direction toward sustainable weight loss.

The truth about saturated fats

Have you ever avoided eating saturated fat, fearing it would hinder your weight loss goals and cause heart disease? If you said yes, or if had crossed your mind, you may want to see some newer data that shows this is not the case. Do not be afraid of fat. You should take pride in eating the fat off that juicy steak; below are a few reasons why to include saturated fat in your diet.

  1. Saturated fat does not cause heart disease:
    A meta-analysis was published in 2010 of 21 studies totaling 347,747 people. There was no association between saturated fats and increasing the risk of heart disease. (Patty W Siri-Tarino et. al 2010).
  2. Saturated fats can take the heat:
    Saturated fats do not oxidize as easily as unsaturated fats. When unsaturated fats are introduce to high heat and oxygen the fat becomes rancid and the oil is stripped of nearly all nutrients. Instead of using olive oil for eggs in the morning try using butter or coconut oil for a more satisfying and nutritious meal.
  3. Diets high in saturated fat are good for weight loss:
    Eating fat does not make you fat. Eating poorly makes you fat. A meta-analysis was carried out to study the effects of a low carbohydrate diet on weight loss and cardiovascular disease. Low carb diets, which are usually high in saturated fat, actually make you lose more weight than diets low in fat. LCD was shown to have favorable effects on body weight and major cardiovascular risk factors (F. L. Santos et. al 2012)

Bottom line… eat saturated fats, but in moderation as saturated fat is okay to eat and is necessary to have in our diets. You never want too much of anything. When I personally increased my saturated fat intake after I revamped my diet, I went from ~12.5% body fat to ~8.5% body fat. Not only do you have the data from the published articles to give you some guidance, but you also have my own experience and recommendation to add more saturated fats into your diet. Give it a try yourself and see how your body adapts to eating some bacon.

Glycemic Index and Weight Loss

If you have ever seen a Nutrisystem commercial, you are missing out. In fact, check this one out before you go any further, it’s worth watching.

Did you catch the bit on the “proven science of the Glycemic Advantage?” I love that line. The good folks over at Nutrisystem have found a way to scientifically determine which carbs are good and which carbs are bad, and created a weight loss program around that premise. At first glance it may seem that the judgment on some carbs is too harsh. Maybe the “bad” carbs had a rough up-bringing and they never had an appropriate role model to teach them any other life-path.

Jokes aside, Nutrisystem , and may other diets are based on the notion of the glycemic index. Glycemic index (GI) is a way of ranking carbohydrates in terms of how quickly your body can break them down into usable sugar in the blood. Pure glucose, the most usable form of sugar, has a GI value of 100. Low GI foods have a value of around 0-30 and are found in foods like legumes, lentils and bitter fruits. Medium GI foods, like sweet fruits and whole grains have a value of around 30-60. Processed bread, food with added sugar and dried fruit are high GI foods with a value over 60.
Glycemic Index is important because the rate that carbohydrates are converted into glucose impacts your blood sugar levels. High GI foods increase blood sugar rapidly which triggers a large release of insulin. Insulin reduces the level of blood sugar by storing some of the sugar as fat. This roller-coaster effect on blood sugar is problematic for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes, but it is also bad news for people concerned with their weight.

Making some substitutions to replace high GI foods in your diet with low GI foods can help you lose weight. A 2009 review of randomized, controlled trials found a consistent effect of weight loss for those who followed diets rich in LGI foods. One study from the review showed equal weight loss for those engaged in an energy restricted, low fat diet that included high GI foods compared to an unrestricted low glycemic index diet. The people on the low GI diet were allowed to eat until they were full for the duration of the diet whereas the conventional dieters where compelled to monitor and restrict their food intake. And there was no difference in weight loss between the two groups! If you do not like the hassle of dieting but need to lose weight, consider incorporating more low GI foods into your diet. It is by no means a magical solution or an excuse to overindulge in fatty foods but it just may be a kick start your weight loss. Look at the GI table below for some examples of common foods and think of some meals and snacks where you can swap a high GI food for a low GI food. This is far from a complete description of how to use glycemic index to your advantage.

Please contact Personal Fitness Trainer Hunter Spencer with your questions.

Oh No I Gained a Pound!

I recently have been asked by a lot of friends, probably looking to the New Year and losing weight, about how to lose some weight and change the way their body looks and feels. More specifically they have brought it to my attention that their stomach changes each day, and that when they look at themselves each day in the mirror some days they like their looks and other days they don’t. This got me to think about how some people can become obsessed about their looks, exercising and/or dieting more than needed.

Let me tell you, it is not a bad thing to be conscious of what you look like, feel like, how you exercise and what you eat. A problem occurs when that is all that you think about and when you beat yourself up for fall short for one day. Our bodies are made to adapt to any stimulus, be that food, exercise, weather, stress etc. For someone to stress about how their body looks day to day is a little absurd; as each day our body can absorb more or less water, our stomach can be distended from eating too much food or foods that stay in our system longer, for females certain times of the month can make them retain water etc. When we look at ourselves on a daily basis the results can be very skewed and can create a very unhealthy mental aspect or body dismorphia.

A better approach would be to reflect on your weekly habits and how you feel in general. Much like weighing yourself (at the most) once a week try reflecting once a week on your weekly activities. Look at how you are eating that week, at how you are handling your stress for the week, how much exercise you are getting and try to make it all work for you. If you are feeling a little bit off take a look at the things that are different from the past that could be affecting you this week and try to fix them. In the end the science suggests that an change to our body being good or bad is from long term changes or habits, and that if you miss a day of working out or have a not so good day of eating you need to acknowledge it and move on; think about concentrating your energy into the better habits.

In the end how you look and feel does not change in one night…it is a culmination of everything you do in a habitual nature over a longer period of time. So if you feel down because you missed a workout or you feel like you are heavier don’t fret; take time to reflect on how your weekly habits are forming and then go from there.

Decoding Weight Loss Fads

There are always new products and new research concerning weight loss solutions. Analyzing fads critically will give a fresh perspective to what can aid the process, or is just an erroneous claim. This article analyzes a few foods that are said to help with weight loss. Some believe research studies can be manipulated by corporations to support there interests, so it’s important to view each claim objectively.

  • Green coffee bean – You can purchase a pill, extract form or brew a cup. There are several research studies done that results indicate a weight loss of 0.8lbs a week up to 7lbs a week and most studies done were on overweight participants. There is additional research that was done on mice claiming it will stop fat absorption or increases fat metabolism. The active compound is chlorogenic acid, which is removed when the coffee bean is roasted.
  • Pine nuts – These nuts have a lower amount of saturated fat and are considered by some to be a superfood. They are said to reduce appetite by releasing appetite suppressant hormones, such as CCK. Certain vitamins and minerals contained in nuts are beneficial for normalizing metabolic processes. Pinolenic acid is a fatty acid that is found in pine nut oil and is very biologically active.
  • Tea (EGCG) – Epigallocatechin gallate is an antioxidant catechin present in tea. It has many therapeutic properties for disease and symptomology and is said to be helpful with weight loss because of its thermogenic properties. The antioxidant was discovered to be in highest amounts in green and white tea.
  • Capsaicin – The property in peppers that make them hot. It is said to help fight body fat by increasing energy expenditure, deterring fat cell growth, and decreasing appetite. It stimulates beta-adrenergic receptors and can up regulate uncoupling proteins in the mitochondrial cell wall thus increasing thermogenesis.

The research that has been done on these compounds can illuminate promising effects, but effects vary depending on vital factors, such as: the intial weight of participants, age, and if they were also working out and changing overall diet in addition. There are many more nutritional foods and herbs that have properties that assist in fat loss; however, the most important thing to remember is nothing will be an ultimate answer. Your hard work and effort with exercise and good, balanced nutrition is still the best way you will create lasting change. If you have questions about how to address your exercise routine, contact me Amber Walz. If you have question about how to address nutrition, contact one of our staff nutritionists.