PUMP IT UP! : Nutritiongal Volume 5

Hello and welcome to Volume 5 of Nutritiongal’s Newsletter and we’re here to PUMP YOU UP!
Swimsuit season may be coming to an end for many of you who don’t reside in the tropics but that’s no excuse to put away the sneakers and gym shorts. You don’t need any fancy equipment, a lot of time or even a gym membership to be in tip top shape. All you need is a little sweat and a routine you enjoy!
Have you ever heard of the exercise energy paradox? You want to exercise to have more energy but you can’t exercise because you have no energy. Well now it’s time to jump over that hurdle.  Exercise is like the momentum of a swinging pendulum – you know… like the one in physics class?  Once you get going with a routine, it can easily be incorporated into your daily schedule and you keep going and going.
If anyone tells you “No pain, no gain.”, tell them to take their time machine back to the 80’s. Exercise doesn’t have to be unpleasant or take up a great deal of time – unless you’re going for an Olympic medal or are a professional athlete of course!!!
So why exercise?  Can’t you eat right and be healthy without breaking a sweat?  Who wants to have messy hair and add more dirty clothes to the laundry pile?  What about people who are thin and don’t exercise? Are they really as healthy as they look?
1.  Going back to the origin of our modern human species, the homosapian, approx 200 thousand years ago, our ancestors walked 20 miles per day on average in search of food and shelter.  We developed the fight or flight response (stress response), in which the hormone, cortisol, was released, causing the body to react quickly to environmental stresses. Ergo, when earlier homosapians were hunting for food (stress), cortisol enabled them to act quickly to seize their prey or run away if they were another species’ dinner.
Fast forward to present day and you have a similar physiological stress response to work, bills and traffic, to name a few, but no physical activity. The average American walks approx 1 mile per day or less.  That’s a far cry from 20 miles!  Its no wonder we are plagued by heart disease, diabetes and obesity.  Throw exercise into the mix and you have your basic paleolithic remedy to the diseases we are now combating.
2.  Exercise stimulates the lymphatic system, increasing your immunity.  It also increases body temperature temporarily to help fight infections and increases blood flow throughout the body.
3.  Exercise also results in a more aesthetically pleasing physique. Check out all the “HOT” benefits of working your body in different ways.
Think you can’t muster up the the energy to do CARDIO or hate exercising? Consider some alternative forms of cardiovascular exercise and the average number of calories burned.
Brisk Walking – 236-345 cal per hour
Power Yoga – 350-570 cal per hour
Jogging or running 5 mph – 472-690 cal per hour
Thai Chi – 236-345 cal per hour
Window Shopping – 148-216 cal per hour
Darts – 148-216 cal per hour
Check out this extensive chart on calories burned per hour based on activity type and weight.
Break the exercise energy paradox barrier today!  Check out Joel Harper’s excuse busting, no gym equipment workout and break a sweat in under 20 min!!!
Take the exercise challenge today! All you need is a little motivation and you can be fit in as short as 20-40 min 3-4 times per week. Don’t let limitations define you.  Find the exercise that works for your body and reap the benefits!
Asta la vista Baby
“I am currently enrolled at the Integrative Institute of Nutrition and will graduate as a certified health counselor in 2010. Fire the diet police and take back your health!”
Visit http://www.nutritiongal.com and fill out a health questionnaire for a free consultation today!
The Nutritiongal
Find your bliss. Find your balance

Essential Protein : Nutritiongal Volume 4

Welcome to Volume 4 of Nutritiongal’s newsletter!

One of the most disputed subjects in the food industry is protein – how much you need, what kind, vegetarian or animal protein, organic, free range or conventionally raised?  There are so many questions and too many answers. Self proclaimed gurus tell you it’s their way or the highway.  Who is right and who is wrong?

Let’s take a look a few points on protein.

Protein is an essential macro nutrient consisting of a complete chain of amino acids which assist your body in growth and repair.  Without it your cells cannot adequately receive the nutrition they need to maintain your bodily functions, such as, metabolic processes, cellular regeneration and the immune response, to name few. Protein also aids cellular functions in the break down of fat through thermogenesis.  It is obvious that protein plays an important role in our health.

The latest trend in the diet industry is to increase the consumption of protein but how much is too much?  Is eating high amounts of protein really good for the body?   Famous advocates of higher protein consumption, such as the late Dr. Robert Atkins, have been both revered and criticized and even perhaps misunderstood.  Dr. Atkin’s first phase for weight loss, Induction, in which the individual removes all sources of carbohydrates except for leafy greens was intended for overweight people with blood sugar issues in most cases.  Induction was meant to last for up to two weeks under the supervision of medical practitioner or a nutritionist.  Many people have taken this to the next level and maintained a no carb or extremely low carb diet for a prolonged period of time for quick weight loss, and experienced health problems, as a result, such as kidney disease etc…  In today’s society where we are constantly bombarded with more food than we can possibly consume, and the rising obesity epidemic it is no wonder that people may misconstrue one dietary theory and use it as a form a quick weight loss rather than a gradual shifting of eating patterns to produce more balanced way of eating that is easier to maintain. I digress….



The amount of protein you needs depends on many factors, such as : gender, activity level, height, weight and age.  Generally speaking the amount of protein most nutritionists recommend for consumption is the size of the palm of your hand, which is one portion per meal.  If you are active you may require more protein to assist your body in building and repairing muscle.  If you are young you may require higher amounts of protein to assist in growth.  Generally speaking, males require higher amounts of protein than females due to their higher muscle content, and, thus, higher metabolisms.

How do you know for sure how much protein you need?  Aside from checking with your medical practitioner you can also experiment with different amounts and kinds of protein and see what works best for you . Try tuning into the signals your body is sending you.  If you feel tight, a bit dehydrated, lethargic, heavy and are having trouble with constipation you may be consuming too much protein. If you feel jittery or fatigued and are dreaming of eating chicken or snapping candy like it’s your job (sugar cravings) you may need to consider adding more protein to your diet.

You don’t have to be a vegetarian to consume adequate protein.  Some body builders with massive amounts of muscle are vegetarians.  Although non animal protein sources do not contain the complete chain of amino acids, you can obtain more than adequate protein in your diet by combining the different sources to make a complete protein meal, such as eating beans with rice or adding miso soup to a meal of vegetarian sushi.

Animal sources of protein :

1.) Eggs – free range contain more omega 3 fatty acids and promote the humane treatment of chicken

2.) Meat – chicken, beef, pork – Antibiotic, free range is more nutritious. Buffalo is a delicious, lean alternative to beef and high in omega 3 fatty acids.


3.) Fish – ocean fish with low mercury content is more nutritious than farm raised and higher in omega 3s

4.) Dairy -for those that do not have dairy sensitivities dairy can be a good source of protein.  Look for organic to avoid consuming antibiotics and bovine growth hormone


Vegetarian sources of protein

1.) Tofu, tempeh, edamame – all made from soy – fermented sources of soy, such as tempeh are much easier to digest and have less hormonal isoflavins (a controversial subject that I will cover at a later time)

2.) Beans – mixed with brown or white rice make a complete protein. They are a great money saving source of protein.

3.) Nuts and nut butters – if going with peanut butter organic is best since conventionally grown peanuts contain the highest amounts of pesticides.

4.) Whey Protein Isolate – made form wheat gluten, many non meat sources, such as vegetarian chicken patties are made with this and are soy free.

5.) Seitan – also made from wheat gluten is a soy free complete protein source for those who do not have gluten intolerance


6.) Grains – rice, millet, quinoa, oats, buckwheat – quinoa is especially high in protein.

Check out this article on the best and worst sources of vegetarian and non vegetarian protein and decide for yourself!



The Nutritiongal

Like what you’re reading?  Have any suggestions or know anyone who would like to receive this newsletter e-mail stephanie@nutritiongal.com

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Fun Facts About Chocolate : Nutritiongal Volume 3

Hello! Welcome to Volume 1 of Nutritiongal’s Bimonthly Newsletter!

Did you know that cacao, the highest antioxidant rich food on the
planet, can only be grown in “in-tact” rainforests?  No trees can be
cut down if the cocao plant is to be cultivated. Therefore eating
chocolate saves the rainforests, and therefore, saves the planet!!!!
Who would have thought decadence could be so virtuous?!?!

Here are some more fun facts about the actual cocao beans, the main
ingredient in chocolate, which can be found in the supple, white,
cacao fruit, grown on trees of the Amazon rainforest.  Organic
chocolate contains minimal pesticides and is, therefore, preferable.
Remember, the higher the cocoa content, the more the below benefits
apply. Chocolate bars containing 70% cocoa are recommended by most
nutritionists as they are lower in sugar and higher in the below
beneficial qualities.  If you can’t muster the bitter taste of 70% try
60% cocoa and work form there.  Some milk chocolate bars contain 30%
cocoa.  Any chocolate is better than none! Life is too short!!!

1.) Cacao beans builds strong bones – especially the raw chocolate
because of its magnesium content. The magnesium is what women crave,
especially during that time of the month when cranky Aunt Flo pays a

2.) Cacao Beans contain trace amounts of caffeine.

3.) Cacao contains Sulfur, which helps build strong nails, hair and
skin.  Sulfur is also thought to detoxify mercury.  Why not try some
chocolate after sushi?

4.) Within the cacao bean is a feel good neurotransmitter,
phenylethlamine, which is the same neurotransmitter released when we
fall in love.  Try a hug rather than a whole box of chocolate if
you’re itching for that lovin’ feeling. Alternatively there’s always
Barry White!  Shazam!

5.) Did you know that some people who are allergic to chocolate are
only allergic to the milk and butter mixed in the chocolate bars?  Try
raw cacao beans or dairy free chocolate and see for yourself. Don’t
despair if you have to swear it off forever, there’s always carob.

Some favorite chocolate sources of mine



Raw Cacao Beans


Some Calorie Free Chocolate



The Nutritiongal

Sweeteners – The Good, The Bad and the UGLY – Nutritiongal Volume 2

Anything that is too good to be true usually is…unless you’re talking about dark, rich and handsome chocolate! Time to hit the pause button on the biggest loser in the diet industry and we’re NOT talking about that reality show.  ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS.  Yikes! they are not your friend.  That nagging feeling in the back of your mind when you sprinkle some on your cereal, coffee or whatever, could be right. What are the so-called health claims of artificial sweeteners based on? Are they really better for your than sugar?  How did we get into this mess in the first place?  What are you trading you virtuous abstention of sugar for???

1.) Forgoing sugar may be prevent you from putting your dentist’s children through college but  “the acid in diet soda still could contribute to dental erosion,”


2.) Aspartame, the main ingredient in NutraSweet turns into formaldehyde in the body.  I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to embalm myself.  Oh and did I mention it was carcinogenic?  Aspartame causes adverse reactions such as brain fog, because it damages brain cells, causes hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and increases cravings for sugar. In general artificial sweetners are 100 times sweeter than sugar. When you ingest them the taste receptors in your tongue register a sweet taste and cause the body to release insulin to break down sugar. Since artificial sweeteners have no calories and cannot be processed by the body because they are not real food the insulin remains elevated, waiting for sugar to break down and your overall blood sugar drops. What happens next?  You need to eat something, preferably sweet, to stave off the drop in blood sugar, thus consuming more calories than you originally would have if you just had a couple packets of sugar or that can of REAL coke.


3.) What about splenda? Isn’t it actually real sugar but it has no calories?  Splenda is really sucralose which was accidentally discovered in a lab when some chemists were trying to produce insecticide.  One of my Mom’s friends says they actually use it to kill ants in their home.  I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to put that stuff in my body!


4.) What about real sugar?  It’s not the best for you but it is certainly better than artificial sweeteners.  In general, the white sugar that is refined and bleached in factories (to look pretty) is too refined (very processed) and the body breaks it down very quickly causing an inflammatory response and, therefore, a decrease in immunity.  All the same, a couple of packets of sugar will not kill you.  They are certainly better than the poisonous, alternative sugar packets.


5.) What about those sneaky sugar alcohols, you know the ones found on the packets of processed food?  They cause bloating and diarrhea.  Sounds like fun, right?

Kick those pink, blue and yellow packets to the curb or, preferably, the trash and your body will thank you for it.  If you can’t break up with sucralose, aspartame or sugar at least consider cutting down and see how you feel.  Why not try adding the below, less well-known but delicious and beneficial alternatives.

1.) Stevia is an herb derived from a plant in South America, used by the indigenous peoples. Stevia, like the artificial sweeteners, contains zero calories but it is a naturally occurring substance that will not cause the above side effects.  Stevia is 30 times sweeter than sugar and doesn’t adversely affect the body’s glucose levels.  As wonderful as it sounds, they are still substances that should be used in moderation.  You can have too much of a good thing! I find that the NOW Stevia packets taste the best. There’s also Truvia.  There are so many different brands and they all taste different.  Find the one that tastes best for you.


2.) Honey, especially raw honey (which is pesticide free), not only sweetens things and makes them taste amazing but it has antiseptic properties.  It contains approx 60 calories per tablespoon.


3.) Agave Nectar (the light kind tastes most like honey and the dark kind has a molasses flavor) is a sweetener derived from the agave plant.  The agave plant also produces tequila.  Don’t be fooled by the name. Agave nectar contains zero alcohol and tastes wonderful. It has a lower glycemic index than white rice so it is the best alternative to honey if you are concerned about blood sugar levels. It also contains approx 60 calories per tablespoon.


4.) Brown rice syrup is another blood sugar friendly product which is produced by fermenting brown rice.  It has a unique caramel-like flavor. Brown rice syrup contains approx 75 cal per tablespoon.


$5 discount code -HEC204

Check out this tricky marketing tactic (photos attached) for diet cherry 7-up which “claims” to have antioxidants.  The only beneficial item on the can, laden with cancer-causing ingredients, is a small dose of vitamin E. I’ll take my vitamins instead thank you very much!

Thank you for reading this newsletter. The sources are there and the alternatives exist.  Don’t believe everything you read, even this newsletter if you so choose. Find what is true for yourself and may the truth set you free!


The Nutritiongal

Like what you’re reading?  Have any suggestions or know anyone who would like to receive this newsletter e-mail stephanie@nutritiongal.com

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Greens, Glorious Greens! : Nutritiongal Volume 1

What is this Green “shizzle” you see when you walk into the produce aisle of the grocery store?  Some of it looks like the hanging plants in an office.  Others have similar sounding names to the weeds one would pull out of a garden. The crisp yet tasteless iceberg lettuce of your salads hardly seems nourishing next to a steak.  We’re told we need to eat more green leafy vegetables but what does it all mean?  Have no fear!  Nuritiongal is here to demystify any “Green” confusion you may be having.

Leafy greens help support your health in many ways, such as alkalizing (neutralizing acidity) of the body.  Why is this important?  Our bodies are more likely to become overly acidic from proponents of the diet, as well as environmental pollutants.  Having an overly acidic condition in the body creates illness.  The body’s health is dependent on maintaining a balance in acidity.


id you ever notice that leafy greens kind of look like the respiratory system of the body? Surprisingly leafy greens that are rich in vitamin A, such as kale, help support the respiratory system.  It was found that a common carcinogen found in cigarettes, benzo pyrene, causes a vitamin A deficiency, which is a common trait in individuals suffering from emphysema.  That doesn’t mean you can light up a pack of cigs and compensate by eating a pound of lettuce per day – not even if you’re Bugs Bunny!!!


Wait till you see the latest nutritious upgrades to your daily dose of iceberg lettuce! Some may seem unfamiliar but they will soon become your best friends. Photos of each of the greens mentioned below are attached to this e-mail.

How to cook em’

Raw, steamed, simmered, juiced

1.) Arugula – high in vitamins A and C, it stimulates natural detoxifying enzymes in the body.  Add to raw salads for an low calorie and aromatic and slightly bitter accent.

2.) Baby Romaine – packed with antioxidant cartenoids that are great for eye health.  The multi-colored baby romaine are both delicious and aesthetically pleasing to add to salads or sandwiches.

3.) Dandelion Greens – great for digestion and have anti-inflammatory properties. They’re not just weeds !  Please don’t eat them from your back yard. You never know if they have been fertilized. They have a slightly bitter taste and are great in salads, stir-fry recipes and soups.

4.) Kale – rich in Vitamin A and has anti-cancer properties.  Steam the leaves and drizzle olive oil with fresh minced garlic or a tahini sauce.

5.) Spinach – high in Vitamin A, folate and magnesium.  It’s great raw or steamed.  Add to pastas or pizzas for a nutritious Popeye-packed punch!

6.) Swiss Chard – high in vitamin A, C and K.  It’s great steamed.  The stalks can be eaten but the leaves are the most delicious and easily digestible part. The more you cook it the less bitter it tastes.

7.) Watercress – good source of Vitamin A, C, E and folate. It is great sauteed or in salads and sandwiches. Watercress was believed to be used by the late Hippocrates on his patients due to its purification properties.

Now that you know a few good greens check them out and see how you like them for yourself. If you’re finding it a challenge to get your daily greens, remember that every little bit counts. The more you add to your diet, the more you will experience the aforementioned benefits.

For powdered green varieties while on the run check out the below


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The Nutritiongal
Like what you’re reading?  Have any suggestions or know anyone who would like to receive this newsletter e-mail stephanie@nutritiongal.com
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