Athletic Performance

Food Pyramids & Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap.  They have been blamed for everything from weight gain to weariness to many different health woes.  But like any health related topic, there are at least two different views.  I tend to strive for balance so mine is somewhere in the middle.



On one side of the coin, carbohydrates have been the sole blame for unwanted weight gain (eg. the Atkin’s diet)  As a result many people have chosen to practically eliminate all “carbs”, particularly bread, pasta, potatoes and rice, from their daily diet.  The result has not been good over the long haul.  People who have followed this formula have had to deal with “brain fog”, among many other side effects, and also “weight rebound”.



On the other side of the coin (specifically the Canada Food Guide) has hailed these particular carbohydrates as the most necessary food group.  As a result, those that follow the food guide typically find themselves gaining weight as they get older and their metabolism slows down.  Unless you are young with a high metabolism or older and very active, this food formula will lead to weight gain among many other health issues related to gluten, etc.

So what is the answer?  How many carbohydrates do you need in your daily diet?

Even though  fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates, that question is usually referring to the “grains” section.




Keeping to the “nutrient dense” formula that I follow  and teach, my recommendation is Dr. Fuhrman’s food pyramid.  It is balanced, nutrient dense focused and makes the most sense.

I encourage you to read through Dr. Fuhrman’s site, “” for some great health-gain/weight-loss information.




To your health,



Ultimate Nutrient Density

Ultimate health and weight management is all about nutrient density:  the largest amount of nutrients you can get into the least amount of calories possible.

The way to know which foods have the highest number of nutrients/calorie is to look at it’s ANDI (aggregate nutrient density score).

Here are the top 50 Nutrient Density foods:

If you focus on incorporating as many of these top 50 scoring foods into your diet everyday, I guarantee that you will greatly increase your health AND lose weight if you need to.

There are 50 foods listed.  Why not choose to eat at least 4 different ones a day?  By the end of 2 weeks you will have eaten all 50 of them and will feel better and look better.

Here is a great option for incorporating as many of the top 50 scoring foods in your day as possible…smoothies or shakes!

Besides the above reason for including smoothies/shakes in your day, here are several others:

nutrient dense foods

  1. Quick to make.
  2. Convenient.
  3. Easily transportable.
  4. Can be made ahead of time to bring with you to work or on errands.
  5. Can prevent you from stopping in for some fast food when you are hungry.
  6. Can be made in so many different ways you never have to get bored.
  7. Can satisfy your craving for chocolate or dessert.
  8. Are filling.

Looking for some great smoothie/shake recipes?  Click Here for Recipes. 

To your health and long-term wellness,




Protein Basics

Protein is King in the body.

Why is protein necessary?  How much do you need?  What are the best sources and what if I don’t eat meat?


Power to Achieve Your Goals

 1 in 3 of us will set the same goals for our New Years Resolutions year after year after year.  Health goals are consistently in the top 3 with losing weight usually being the first.

We read the list to the left and laugh…mostly because it reminds us of ourselves.  Why is it that over 1/2 of us will not stick to our goals until even 1/2 the year is over?


Here are the steps to making a goal livable, enjoyable and achievable.

1.  Believe that you CAN make changes to your health and be successful.  This sounds silly, but without an unwavering belief that you CAN do it, you will fail.  Believe that you are worth it.  Believe that you have the self-discipline to treat your body with the love and respect it deserves.

If this is your area of struggle, I encourage you to start by renewing your mind…by filling it with positive, encouraging and empowering thoughts about yourself and your abilities.  Even if you’ve failed hundreds of times, every day is a new day and a new beginning.  Time was created exactly for that reason; so that you can decide at any point in time that from this point forward, things are going to be different for you.  Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month,  and every year is God’s way of giving you multitudes of chances to start over.

2.  Be thankful for your past failures and for your future successes.  Every failure has brought you closer to your success because every failure brings you closer to being sick and tired of being sick and tired.  And being thankful in advance for your future success will help to deepen your belief in your ability to do what you’ve set out to do.

How do you show gratitude for your journey so far?  By not beating yourself up for failing in the past and by being thankful for where you are right now at this point in your life where you’ve now decided to move forward in courage and in belief.  Say it out loud…several times a day if you need to.  Don’t apologize for your failures.  Don’t make excuses.  Don’t talk about them with anyone anymore.

3.  Be happy TODAY.  Don’t wait until you’ve accomplished your goals.  Choose to be happy today and every day as you are working toward your goals.  Your chances of success are significantly higher if you are happy.  Your body releases the “happy hormone” when your mood is happy.  This hormone helps you sleep, keeps you healthy and helps you keep your mind focused and keeps discouragement and depression far away.

Part of the joy is the journey itself.  Definitely the learning is in the journey and not the destination.  The personal growth you will experience by persevering is the real gift and something no one can ever take away from you.  As one of my mentors so wisely said, “There is no maturity in a miracle”.  The maturity only takes place in the journey.

Believe….Be Thankful…Be Happy!


Personal Nutrition and Menu Planning – Pt. 2

Ok…now that you have gone through a few of the tests, now it is time to determine the micronutrient, macronutrient and calorie contents of your diet.


Personal Nutrition and Menu Planning – Pt. 1

Did you know that consuming too little or too much of a particular nutrient can lead to malnutrition?  Your nutritional status is a picture of your overall nutritional intake.

How do you know if you are getting too little or too much of a particular nutrient?  This is an honest question.  Different people need different amounts of nutrients.  This can be determined by age, sex, genetics, physical activity, etc.


The Science of Nutrition – Part 2

Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats all contain chemical energy.  The cells in your body takes this chemical energy and stores it as ATP.  You body can then use the energy in ATP to fuel your bodies many processes.  Many vitamins, even though they do not provide the energy, they assist in the regulation of the transfer of energy from your food to your cells.


The Science of Nutrition – Part 1

Proper dietary choices you make today very well might play a major role in preventing obesity, cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes later in your life.

The term nutrition refers to the science of how living organisms obtain and use food to support all the processes required for their existence.  A nutritionist is first and foremost concerned with prevention of illness and dis-ease.

There are two types of nutrients:  essential and nonessential.  Essential nutrients are those nutrients that you can only get from the foods you eat.  Nonessential nutrients are those nutrients that your body can make in response to a physiological requirement.  Most foods contain both.