Food Marketing Traps and Weekend Relaxation


Hi friends! 🙂

Hope your Thursday is getting off to a good start. The weekend is almost here! I’m looking forward to getting out of town and visiting my parents. They live in Menlo Park, about 45 minutes from me, and it’s so relaxing to leave my life here and have a very mini-vacay out there. My parents are so wonderful and have always been so supportive of me and I feel so lucky to have them 🙂 They live close enough that I can see them regularly, yet far enough away that is allows me to unplug and unwind….which is often hard to do in my own home if you know what I mean 🙂 There’s always something that needs to be done in my house that it’s often a bit challenging to relax….and I could use some relaxation right now. While I wouldn’t have it any other way, it is exhausting working the way Pascha and I have been since we opened our studio….teaching 8 or 9 classes a week, training clients one-on-one between 20-30 hours a week, and then running and managing our business in all our spare time. Whew!! Anyway, I’d love to hear what your plans are for the weekend….that’s always my favorite stretching topic in my classes or with my clients; I enjoy hearing what people do in their free time.

Cute picture of my parents! ❤ ❤

As many of you already know, we hosted the “Eating Healthy On The Go” workshop last weekend. Like I mentioned in my previous blogpost, it was a great success. It was our first workshop since we’ve opened in June, and our goal is to host one a month. We would absolutely LOVE to hear ideas on what type of workshops you might be interested in.

Back to last weekend’s workshop….Pascha and I thought it would be very informative to expand on it a bit and discuss foods that fool people. What I mean by that are foods that are marketed towards the consumer to trick them into thinking it’s healthy for them. Sound confusing? It is a bit….food marketing folks have it down–they know how to suspend your disbelief and get you to buy their product. Take low-fat or non-fat, fruit flavored yogurt. Sounds healthy, right? The packaging makes sure to say in big letters on the front that it’s low-fat and low-calorie. There’s usually a pretty picture of some piece of fruit, representing the flavor of the yogurt. How could you go wrong, this is surely healthy for you. Well, take a look at the ingredients….sugar is usually in the top 2 or 3 ingredients. A Yopait, low-fat banana yogurt has 26 grams of sugar in it, equivalent to 6.5 teaspoons! That’s a lot of unnecessary sugar that is not good for you. The best way to enjoy yogurt is to buy plain yogurt and doctor it up yourself. If it’s too sour for you, add some fresh fruit and a small amount of unrefined, natural sugar, such as honey or agave. One of my favorite snacks is whole milk, Greek yogurt, mixed with sliced banana, strawberries, slivered almonds, unsweetened coconut and chia seeds. Healthy, delicious, plenty sweet because of the fruit!

Another common trap when it comes to buying food is wheat bread. We all know that we’re supposed to eat whole grains, so white bread is out. But little do we know that plain wheat bread isn’t much better for you. Another marketing trick which does nothing for our health. Unless the package says 100% Whole Wheat Bread, you may as well buy white bread. What’s the difference you ask? White and wheat bread are made with wheat flour, which the bran and the germ have been removed through a process known as milling. Milling gives white flour a longer shelf life by removing the bran which contains oil, allowing products made with it, like white bread, the ability to survive storage. In other words, it’s processed. If the product is 100% Whole Wheat Bread, it has to use whole wheat flour that hasn’t been processed or stripped of its nutrients. It may not stay fresh as long on the shelf, but who really wants to eat bread that weirdly doesn’t go bad for weeks?

What I want you to take away from this is that it is absolutely necessary to read the nutrition facts and not get sucked into the marketing of a product. Even more important is to check the ingredient list. If sugar is in the top 1-3 ingredients, think again. Jarred pasta sauce is often another food that fools people–it’s usually loaded with added sugar. You wouldn’t know until you glanced at the nutrition facts and ingredients. Also, if the ingredient list has a whole bunch of items on it that you have no clue as to what the heck they are, do you really want that going into your body? Food is what fuels and nourishes every cell in our bodies…it’s important to give it things that are healthy.

I challenge you to look past packaging and key-words marketers use, such as “organic,” “low-fat,” and “gluten-free” and to immediately draw your eyes to what really matters….the ingredients in that food and the nutrition facts. Don’t be fooled by a processed, junky snack item that says in big, bold letters on front, “Only 100 calories per serving!” It may just be 100 calories, but if it’s processed and junky, it has no benefit to you or your body.

Cheers to moving past food marketing traps and forward into healthy food choices. Please share your thoughts on this topic!

Yours in Health,

The Fuse Fitness

One workshop down, another coming up…


Hi there!

Hope your week is off to a good start. I know mine is….it’s amazing what great weather can do for keeping your spirits flying high 🙂

We had our first workshop this past Sunday….and it was a success! Jamie Dougherty from Jamie Living (check out her website, http://www.jamieliving.com) put on “Eating Healthy On The Go” over here at our studio, The Fuse Fitness in Kensington. She spoke about the difference between yin (expansive) and yang (contractive) foods and the need for balance in what we eat for the best digestion. Her 6 simple steps for eating healthy on the go are to reduce caffeine, drink lots of water, eat dark leafy green veggies, increase your sweet veggies, chew your food thoroughly, and make sure to breathe. Jamie also spoke about the need to eliminate all processed foods from our diets…including dry cereals! This really shocked a lot of people….Jamie says that even healthy dry cereals, such as Kashi, are processed and should be avoided. She’d like to see everyone sticking to oatmeal (and not the pre-packaged, sugared up kind 🙂 ) for cereal. Jamie stressed the importance of eating organic when it comes to meats and dairy–you don’t want animal products that come from animals that have been pumped with hormones and antibiotics! All in all, it was quite informative and everyone enjoyed it! We’ll definitely be having her back for another workshop soon!

Our next workshop, “Jumping in Feet First,” is coming up Sunday October 16th, 1:30-3:30pm with the lovely Cynthea Denise! She is one of our amazing yoga instructors and you can check her out on her website, http://www.shaktimoon.com. Here’s the info on the workshop and what it entails:

“In the Iyengar tradition of Yoga much attention is paid to the feet as the foundational support to healthy, strong and fluid standing postures.  Reflexology reveals that all of the organ systems can be effected by working with the feet.

In our day to day life we cover our feet with shoes and go about our day without paying attention to our feet unless they hurt.  In this workshop we will take a look at the anatomy and function of our lower extremities and how simple daily attention can improve the function of the feet and how this will effect the rest of our body.
You can sign up for this amazing, informative workshop on our website, http://www.thefusefitnessstudio.com.
Hope you enjoy the rest of your day!
Yours in Health,
The Fuse Fitness

Work Hard, Play Hard ;)


Hey everyone 🙂

Hope you’re all having a great week so far! I’m definitely enjoying this beautiful weather 🙂 And, as of Sunday, our beloved SF Giants are on a 7 game winning streak! They’re playing the Dodgers tonight, let’s keep that streak up boys!

I wanted to congratulate 2 of our awesome instructors, Jennifer Lynch and Leanne Dow, for completing the totally crazy awesome Tough Mudder this past weekend! From the words of the Tough Mudder website, this race is “probably the toughest event on the planet! Tough Mudder is not your average lame-ass mud run or spirit-crushing ‘endurance’ road race. Our 10-12 mile obstacle courses are designed by British Special Forces to test all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. Forget finish times. Simply completing a Tough Mudder is a badge of honor.”  Yeah, we don’t mess around over here. Way to go ladies!!!

Also, a special shout out to my friend Toné Chin, who trained his butt off to prepare for a boxing match last Sunday. The fight was part of a charitable event and the proceeds went to Alcazar Scholarship Fund, By Any Dreams Necessary, and Rocha Scholarship Fund.
It was his first fight and he did awesome! And I witnessed it, he really did train hard 🙂

While everyone else was working their booties off last weekend, Pascha and I were on the opposite end of the spectrum. She was in Miami with all of her girlfriends, partying the nights away, and I was visiting my family (3 brothers, my nephew and my parents) in NY. We celebrated my oldest brother’s birthday, and I think I can honestly say we ate and drank our ways through NY. It was a blast 🙂

While we are big promoters of tough workouts and training hard here at The Fuse Fitness, we do like to kick back, relax and have a great time. It’s important to balance work and play 😉

What are your favorite ways to relax and have a good time? Please share!

Yours in Health,

The Fuse Fitness, http://www.thefusefitnessstudio.com 🙂

Post-workout Window of Opportunity


Hi friends 🙂

It’s been a little while, hope all has been good in your world. We’re finally getting some nice summer weather around here. (Who says living in CA is always golden? Not if you’re in the east bay…) We just had a lovely 3 day weekend. And tomatoes, which were our food of the week last week, are freakin’ amazing right now. I’d have to say, it’s pretty good over in my world 🙂 It’s the little things to be grateful for.

So I recently had a request for a blog post. It is my very first request and I feel honored for that. Again, it’s the little things…thanks Tone´ 🙂

A couple of weeks ago during the stretching segment of my Monkey Ninja Bootcamp the topic of post-workout protein shakes came up. My students often see me downing a protein shake right after our class is done and there are a few other students who are also capitalizing on this window of opportunity. The question at large here is why are we doing this?

Intense exercise is a physiological stress on the body, depleting the muscle’s fuel resources and causing micro-tears in the muscles. What’s the common sense thing to do when the tank is empty and damage has been done? Exactly. Refuel and repair. Without taking the correct measures to repair and refuel your body, you are negating many of the positive effects of exercise. So if you’re putting in all that effort to get a kick-ass workout you need to learn the correct way to repair and refuel….there is a short window of opportunity for optimal post-workout nutrition.

No more than an hour after your workout is finished, and preferably within 30 minutes, you should be consuming your post-workout meal. But what should it consist of? Well, that answer is simple: carbs and protein. The website http://www.livestrong.com has an article titled “How Do Protein & Carbohydrates Replenish Your Body After a Workout?” which breaks down what happens during exercise and why you need to refuel with carbs and proteins.

Carbohydrates

During exercise, your body relies on stores of glucose inside your muscles and blood. The muscular contractions of exercise elicit an increased uptake of glucose from the blood, making it necessary for you to replenish blood glucose after exercise. An adaptation to regular exercise is the increased storage of glucose inside your muscles as glycogen. After exercise, an enzyme known as glycogen synthase is elevated. Glycogen synthase stimulates your body to remove glucose from the blood and replenish and increase muscle glycogen stores for your next bout of exercise.

Proteins

Part of adapting to exercise involves breaking down muscle tissue for it to build itself back up and adapt to the stimulus of physical activity. Protein taken in after exercise assists with this process. Your body uses the amino acids inside protein to rebuild and replenish muscle tissue that was damaged during exercise.

Intake Recommendations

A combination of carbohydrates and protein is optimal for workout recovery. Consuming both nutrients allows your body to replenish and rebuild energy stores and muscle tissue. It also reduces the levels of cortisol in your blood, a hormone that reduces muscle growth. Carbohydrates and proteins should be consumed within 10 to 30 minutes after your workout. For carbs, you should consume 0.7 to 1.0 g of carbs per kilogram of your body weight. For proteins, take in 1.6 to 1.8 g per kilogram of your body weight.

–taken from http://www.livestrong.com, article title “How Do Protein & Carbohydrates Replenish Your Body After a Workout?”, written by Laura Niedziocha.

So now onto the next questions and answers….why protein shakes and why only carbs and protein? The simple answer is this: you want your post-workout meal to be very easily digestible. Liquids are quicker to digest and fats slow down digestion. Therefore a protein shake that combines protein powder with carbs is the ideal post-workout meal.

It is said that the most easily digestible protein powder is whey protein. Personally, I try to keep my protein shakes dairy free, so I roll with Sun Warrior Raw Whole Grain Sprouted Vegan Protein. Check their website out at http://www.sunwarrior.com. The nutrition stats are pretty amazing and their product is super clean–“it is naturally rich in vitamins and minerals, contains large amounts of antioxidants tocopherols and tocotrienols, and contains other essential nutrients such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorous, iron and potassium. Sun Warrior protein is created through a process of combining the sprouted endosperm and the bran from raw sprouted whole grain brown rice. This unique process creates the first complete hypoallergenic protein which is made up of all 9 essential amino acids and other non-essential amino acids in a perfectly balanced amino acid profile.”

–taken from http://www.sunwarrior.com

Now for the fun part–what to add to your protein shake. My favorite concoction is organic unsweetened vanilla-flavored almond milk, organic banana, Sun Warrior Protein Powder, chia seeds and cinnamon. A good mix of carbs and proteins with very little fat. And so yummy! I’m a huge fan of the Magic Bullet, a single-serving size food processor and blender, makes it so easy to make my protein shake in the morning and clean up is so simple.

So, that was a long blog post, whew! Please share your favorite protein powder and protein shake recipes! And of course, let me know if you have any questions.

Yours in Health,

Kristin, The Fuse Fitness