This chapter of my life is called Happiness. This is my Soul Space…

I smile. I sweat. I motivate. I live. Realistically and Beautifully.


July 2013


You now have NO excuse if you left your house unprepared and don’t have time to go to a fancy place to get a great salad. Starbucks now has amazing little salad bowls that you throw the dressing in and shake the box up! Perfect stress reliever. My favorite is the Zesty Chicken & Black Bean or the Hearty Vegetable Salad Bowl. The zesty chicken is right around 350 calories with 19 grams of protein. A perfect little lunch!!



I’m loving the veggies this time of year! Cut up squash, eggplant, peppers, asparagus, kale and broccoli. Throw it into a large pan with a few tablespoons of EVOO, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Cook until slightly tender. Turn the heat off and top them with white wine vinegar or white balsamic. A perfect addition to your meat, chicken or fish!

I’m addicted to hummus.



I even bought the spoon. Just took a few bites and handed the jug to a homeless man living behind my office. #thatworkedoutnicely

Are your workouts wasting YOUR TIME?

A very interesting article by Jade Teta regarding long duration cardio and its effect on weight loss. Short duration, high intensity sessions are proving to be where it’s at! 30 minute personal training sessions/classes, your own HIIT (high intensity interval training) and leisure walking is looking rather appealing wouldn’t you say? Think about what you are doing for your workouts. If you’re not getting the results, why not consider a change?

By Jade Teta July 21, 2013

The “eat less, exercise more approach” to weight loss is more complicated than it appears. This is because human physiology works in direct opposition to this approach. When we exercise more, the natural compensatory reaction of the body is to eat more and when we exercise less, the body responds by burning less.

To achieve lasting weight loss, appetite must be managed. And to help control the compensatory eating that occurs with exercise, it is helpful to know what type of exercise to use to provide the best impact on calorie use, hormonal balance, and appetite control.

Appetite Signaling Molecules

The two most important appetite regulating hormones are leptin and ghrelin and exercise impacts both (2-6). Leptin is produced in the fat cell and acts like the body’s fuel gauge communicating to the brain how much fuel (fat) it has in its tank (adipose tissue). Rising leptin levels shut off hunger and stimulate metabolism via thyroid and adrenal stimulation. Falling leptin levels induce appetite and slow metabolism.

One confusing addendum to this mechanism is that when leptin levels are very high for long periods of time, leptin resistance sets in. This means both very high and low levels of leptin can cause increased hunger and slowed metabolism. Leptin is usually thought of as a day-to-day appetite regulator.

Ghrelin is made in the stomach and controls hunger hour to hour. When ghrelin is high we get hungry and crave highly palatable foods. When ghrelin is low, hunger dissipates. Ghrelin like leptin is impacted by exercise (2,4-5).

Glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP), peptide YY (PYY), and glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) are all gut derived signaling molecules that control appetite. These gut “hormones” are part of the entero-endocrine system helping relay information from the digestive system to the brain. All of these “gut hormones” also seem to be impacted by exercise (1).

Another consideration is the impact of stress hormone production during exercise. Stress hormones, in particular cortisol, may play a role in increasing not only hunger but cravings as well (10). Higher intensity, shorter duration (i.e. sprinting) exercise and longer duration moderate intensity exercise (i.e jogging) both raise cortisol levels, but short intense exercise is unique because it also suppresses ghrelin and is balanced by growth promoters (5,9). Low intensity walking, especially in nature settings, lowers cortisol (13).

Exercise, Appetite, and Hormones

Research hints that longer duration moderate intensity exercise, such as aerobic zone biking, swimming, and running generates increased appetite shortly after exercise and this mechanism may work through decreasing leptin and raising ghrelin (3-4,8). While higher intensity short duration activity, like sprinting and interval training, may have a short-term appetite suppressing effect by lowering both leptin and ghrelin (2,5,8).

Low intensity walking seems to have a neutral impact on appetite and may be the only type of exercise where there is little to no hunger and craving compensations (7,11). It is important to distinguish between lower intensity “leisure-walking” and higher intensity “power-walking”. A 2004 study out of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed low intensity walking (40% of Vo2max) vs. high intensity walking (70% of Vo2max) had less of an impact on appetite despite burning the same number of calories per session (350 kcal/session) (7).

Leisure-walking resulted in significantly less eating compensation following exercise compared to power walking (25% vs. 41%). The compensation in the power-walking group was almost enough to completely abolish the calories burned during exercise as stated by the researchers: “increasing exercise intensity……..leads to an increase in energy intake during the meal that follows the exercise session……sufficient to almost completely compensate for the exercise-induced energy expenditure.”

Exercise & Appetite Compensation

Church et. al. in the February 2009 issue of PLos ONE showed how important exercise’s impact on weight loss can be (12). In this study the researchers had participants exercise at the recommended calorie expenditure advocated by the NIH of roughly 18 Kcals per pound per week (136 minutes of exercise/week). They then had 2 other groups exercise to burn calories 50% below (72 Minutes exercise per week) and 50% above (194 minutes exercise per week) this level. A fourth group acted as the control and did no exercise. The study continued for 6 months.

The group exercising at the highest level (194 min/week) lost less than half the weight that would be predicted based on energy expenditure equations. The “less exercise group” (72 min/week) lost more weight than predicted. The 8 Kcal per pound per week group (136 min/week) lost about what was predicted. The researchers, while careful in the wording of their conclusion, believed compensatory eating was the most likely culprit for the observed effect. They summed it up this way, “While we cannot conclude that an increase in energy intake in response to increased energy expenditure is the source of the observed compensation, based on the work of others we conclude it is the most likely cause.”

Final Thoughts

There is more research to be done on exercise and appetite, but the research is providing clues. Duration or total amount of exercise may be the most salient issue to controlling appetite compensations induced by exercise. Short intense exercise, as well as very low intensity exercise like walking, seem to be most beneficial in controlling eating compensations induced by exercise. Exercising too much and/or for too long may result in compensatory reactions that could sabotage weight loss efforts through increasing how much patients eat and what types of foods they choose.


Martins et al. Effects of exercise on gut peptides, energy intake and appetite. Journal of Endocrinology. 2007;193:m251-258
Broom et. al, Influence of resistance and aerobic exercise on hunger, circulating levels of acylated ghrelin, and peptide YY in healthy males. 2009;296(1):R29-35.
Karamouzis, et. al. The effects of marathon swimming on serum leptin and plasma neuropeptide Y levels. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2002;40(2):132-6.
Plinta, et al. The effect of three-month pre-season preparatory period and short-term exercise on plasma leptin, adiponectin, visfatin and ghrelin levels in young female handball and basketball players. Journal of Endocrinological Investigation. October 2011. Epub ahead of print.
Erdmann, et. al. Plasma ghrelin levels during exercise – effects of intensity and duration. Regul Pept. 2007;;143(1-3):127-35.
Guerra, et al. Is sprint exercise a leptin signaling mimetic in human skeletal muscle? Journal of Applied Physiology. 2011;111(3):715-725.
Pomerleau, et al. Effects of exercise intensity on food intake and appetite in women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2004;80120-1236.
Bozinovski, et. al. The effect of duration of exercise at the ventilation threshold on subjective appetite and short-term food intake in 9 to 14 year old boys and girls. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2009;6:
McMurray, et. al. Interactions of Metabolic Hormones, Adipose Tissue and Exercise. Sports Med. 2005;35(5):393-412.
Epel, et. al. Stress may add bite to appetite in women: a laboratory study of stress-induced cortisol and eating behavior. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2001;26(1):37-49
Unick, et al. Acute effect of walking on energy intake in overweight/obese women. Appetite. 2010;55(3):413-9.
Church, et al. Changes in weight, waist circumference and compensatory responses with different doses of exercise among sedentary, overweight postmenopausal women. PLoS ONE. 2009;4(2):e4515
Park, et al. The physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing): evidence from field experiments in 24 forests across Japan. Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine. 2010;15(1):18-26.


For Chloe and I. A good day starts with preparation.

A Clean nutrition day. In a nutshell…

Here is an example nutrition day for cleaning up your meals and getting healthy! Eat every 3 hours and drink 1/2 liter of water with each meal in addition to water throughout the day. Listen to your body… If you are full, stop eating. Eat your starchy carbs before 5 pm if you are looking to lean down. Pay attention to how you feel after you eat and adjust your food if needed. Think of eating as fueling your body, and act accordingly. Allow your body to be fueled. Make your body USE its fuel.

Upon rising: 1/2 liter of water, Vitamin D (5000i.u.) and 1 teaspoon coconut oil.

Meal 1- Protein Pancakes (1-2 with a tablespoon of peanut butter)
Steel cut oatmeal with scoop of protein powder (Arbonne is my fave. Make sure 1 scoop carries at least 10 grams of protein)
One egg, two whites, salsa, any and all veggies and 1/2 avocado. Scramble and enjoy!

Meal 2- Low-fat cottage cheese or low sugar (not sugar free, or anything with Sucralose, just check that the sugar content is no higher than 10 grams) Greek yogurt with an apple, orange or 1/2 cup berries.

Meal 3- 1/2 sweet potato or 1/2 cup brown rice with 4 ounces lean protein (fish, turkey, chicken, lean beef, bison) and as many veggies as you can eat. Make it into a salad or sauté veggies.

Meal 4- Hard boiled egg and a serving of raw veggies. (Broccoli, cauliflower and/or carrots)

Meal 5- Kale, bell pepper, asparagus, 1/2 avocado, cucumber, sprouts and olive oil/vinegar dressing with lean protein (chicken, fish, lean meat or turkey)
Lean protein (chicken, fish, turkey, lean meat or bison) with sautéed veggies. (Squash, kale, mushrooms, green beans in olive oil)

Take your EFAs before bed.

If you have a sweet tooth… Mix 2 tablespoons of pure cocoa into hot water and sip slowly. When it’s hot out, throw an ice cube in it. 🙂

Just Do It.

Where are you right now compared to where you WANT to be? I’ve been watching some of my clients work out lately. I see them so close to attaining their goals. Consistency is there, intensity is there but yet their desired results aren’t there. What is missing? What is holding them back? Is it one piece to the puzzle or a few different pieces? It has prompted me to talk to them with a bit of an aggressive approach. With this, I encourage you all to do that for yourself. Dig deep. Figure out what it is that is keeping you from attaining your goals. Is it your inability to eat properly? You can’t say no to pizza, burgers or sweets? Maybe your body is hurting and you can’t make it through your workouts? Do you need to foam roll, stretch more or go to yoga? Do you need to get serious about your alcohol consumption and scale it back significantly? Do you need to stop going out to lunch? Do you need to add more “high intensity cardio training” in addition to the classes you take or your training sessions? Do you need to eat more? Do you need to address any emotional issues that may prevent you from attaining your goals? Do you need to drink more water? Do you need to Learn how to grocery shop? Maybe just learn how to eat? So many questions… Ask yourself the questions that matter and get the help to make the changes needed. If you don’t address these things… you are taking one step forward, then two steps back.

Is your time worth that? Just wondering.


Here are some choices for an amazing salad dressing that tastes great!

•2 Tbsp Olive Oil
•2 Tbsp White Balsamic, White wine vinegar or coconut vinegar.
•A little squeeze of garlic paste or fresh garlic
•Some fresh ground pepper

Mix, throw it on the salad and enjoy!

Easy and healthy!

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