Tag Archives: diet

These 7 Foods Hide Massive Amounts of Sugar

Hey gang – happy Tuesday!  I hope your week is off to a good start.  I’ve been working away setting up my new fitness studio, Dallas GRIT Fitness.  It’s truly a dream come true, but boy is it a TON of work.  Yesterday the painters started preparing the walls, we got internet installed and I made a final decision on the flooring – woo hoo!  The work continues today so I’m having my friend and fitness partner in crime, Turner, fill in a guest blog post for me.  I’ll be back in action tomorrow with your workout of the week.  I’ll also post some pics of the progress we are making on my studio.  Talk soon.  Lots of luv, Brit

7 healthy foods loaded with sugar

Guest Post from Turner Cavender, owner of Dallas Fit Body Boot Camp. Follow Turner on Instagram @turnercavender

It’s hard to avoid sugar when many common foods secretly contain loads of it.

You may already know that eating an excess of sugar will derail your fitness progress and quickly lead to an increase in body fat.  To add to this fact, recent studies are proving that sugar is even more dangerous than we once thought.

According to a new study published in JAMA International Medicine, our risk of heart attack doubles when 20 percent or more of our caloric intake come from sugar.  That is no joke!  Knowing this, let’s uncover the 7 common foods that you may not have thought contain high amounts of sugar.

1. Fruit Yogurt
Yogurt is packaged and marketed as a diet food for women, which is outrageous. The pretty little packages may be low in fat, but just one serving contains a whopping 19 grams of sugar.

2. Pasta Sauce
This one may come as a surprise, since pasta sauce is considered to be a savory food, but alas, it has loads of sugar hiding in it. For every half a cup of store bought pasta sauce you’re ingesting 12 grams of sugar.

3. Agave Nectar
Many think of agave nectar as a free pass, since it has been so cleverly marketed as a “health food,” but sadly this sweetener is just as dangerous as white sugar. Agave nectar is 85% fructose.

4. Dried Fruit
Yes, even our fruit isn’t safe anymore. Most companies are adding extra sugar in with their dried fruit, making it as sweet as candy. Just 1/3 of a cup contains 24 grams of sugar.

5. Granola Bars
Granola bars may boast “wholesome, whole grains “on the package, but your it’s hiding a sickly sweet secret. The average packaged granola bar contains 12 grams of sugar.

6. Energy Drinks
When you need an afternoon pick-me-up, think twice before reaching for that energy drink. Mega energy drinks contain up to 83 grams of sugar.

7. BBQ Sauce
There’s a reason that those BBQ chicken wings are finger licking good…all that sugar it’s hiding. A 2 Tablespoon serving will set you back 13 grams of sugar. Start eliminating the sugar-packed foods in your diet today. Your body and your heart will both be in better shape for it.

And let’s not forget the critical role that a challenging, consistent exercise program has in your quest for good health and a fit physique. My programs are specially designed to blast fat and to build muscle in all the right places.  Email me at Turner@dallasfbbc.com to get started on a fat loss program that really works.  Here’s to good health!

Why Dieting Doesn’t Work (and Why Intuitive Eating Does)

Most Diets DON’T Work

Before reading on, please check out this *fantastic* short video by neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt:

This post is a supplement to Dr. Aamodt’s message about the futility of dieting, from a dietitian’s perspective. I am going to take it one step further by discussing the 10 basic principles of intuitive eating, so that you can start implementing them in your own life!

*These principles have been adapted from the book Intuitive Eating, by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD and Elyse Resch, MS, RDN, CEDRD.

1. Reject the Diet Mentality. Hopefully the TED talk already convinced you why you should.

2. Honor Your Hunger. So often we berate ourselves for failing to “control” our hunger, when the reality is: hunger is not something that needs to be controlled. Hunger is like a signal; it’s our body’s way of communicating our nutritional needs to our brain. To best honor your hunger, consistently keep your body nourished by eating every 3-5 hours (a normal amount of time to start feeling hunger again between eating episodes). Suppressing your hunger cues or ignoring them only predisposes you to overeat later on.

3. Make Peace with Food. Contrary to popular belief, every food offers some type of nutritional values (yes, even cupcakes – carbohydrates are a much needed energy source!). It is essential to accept this fact before we can make peace with food. This is not an endorsement for eating an unbalanced diet, and of course, anything in excess will generally leave your body feeling not-so-great afterwards. But if you recognize that (what you may currently be labeling as) a “bad” or “forbidden” food can fit in to a healthy diet, then you won’t have to feel guilty or “out of control” when you have it.

4. Challenge the Food Police. The Food Police represent any rules you might have internalized about healthy eating or weight control. For example:

  • “I am only allowed to eat [insert random # of calories here], or
  • “I will get fat if I eat past [insert random time here],” or
  • “I should have a salad for lunch even though I’m really in the mood for [insert higher-calorie entrée here] right now.”

These are EXTERNAL and ARBITRARY rules that have nothing to do with what your body is asking for. Start noticing how your personal food police have been holding you hostage from a balanced approach to eating, and see if you can challenge them! Don’t worry, the only ticket you’ll get for doing this is a ticket to a healthier relationship with food :-).

5. Respect Your Fullness. This is probably one of the hardest skills to master, because fullness is not always a clear-cut sensation. The goal is to get to a place where you are comfortably full. That is, somewhere between “I definitely still need more” and “Woah, I’ve had enough.” Mindfulness is key here. You can do this by paying attention to the physical sensations in your stomach, how the food tastes and feels in your mouth, and your overall feeling of nourishment.

6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor. We might be physically very full but completely unsatisfied. Or, we might be just at the border of physically full, but highly satisfied. The point: deciding when to stop eating at a meal is not solely determined by physical fullness. Typically, when a meal is very satisfying, we need less food to honor our fullness. So, how do we make my meals more satisfying? By preparing or choosing food that is compatible with our tastes preferences, appealing visually, and set at an ideal temperature. Also, we can enhance satisfaction by making it a point to eat in (or create) a pleasurable ambience, and when possible, dining with a person (or people) whose company you enjoy.

7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food. So often, we use food to soothe, express, cope or repress feelings. While this is normal and somewhat inevitable from time to time, it’s no surprise that consistently using food to fill emotional needs can take a toll on health, and can also lead to feeling worse in the long run. Your best bet is to find more effective, non-food related ways of dealing with your feelings. If you find that you have trouble doing this on your own, there is no shame in reaching out for additional help from a trained professional.

8. Respect Your Body. Everyone is born with a naturally different body shape and size. As Dr. Aamodt points out, these traits are governed by genetics and your pre-determined set-range (aka your body weight thermostat). Very unfortunately, we live in a society that glorifies certain body types and imposes unrealistic expectations of beauty. Acknowledging this sad truth, while simultaneously accepting, respecting and appreciating your body, is a crucial element of intuitive eating. It’s nearly impossible to honor your body’s hunger and fullness cues if your mind is pre-occupied with fitting into some “ideal” size.

9. Exercise. But first, be honest with yourself about your motivation for exercising. Just like food, everyone’s tastes are different. Try to focus on the internal experience (i.e., how certain types of movement make you feel in your body, which types you genuinely enjoy, how they impact your energy levels, etc). Do something that appeals to you! Sign up for an Irish Jig class. Take a walk with your head phones and a playlist. Go for a long, sweaty run. Kick butt in a Turbo Kickboxing class (better yet, one of Brit’s!).  Zen out in yoga. Join an organized sports team. Or, come up with your own creative form of movement! The options are endless.

10. Honor Your Health. Consistently eating a balanced diet that contains a mixture of *mostly* whole grains, lean protein, whole fruits and veggies, and essential fats. Again, it’s your consistent intake that counts. Healthy eating and a healthy relationship with food are inherently fluid, flexible, and imperfect!

If you have questions about any of these principles, or how to apply them to you, feel free to comment below or email Lindsay directly through the contact page of her website, Lknutrition.com.

For more posts by FalafeLover, follow her new personal blog, Falafelover in Brooklyn.

5 Super Smoothie Recipes: Lo SUGAR Hi PROTIEN

Since I travel for work every week, I often need a nutritious filling meal on the go.  Lately, I’ve gotten really into smoothies (as you know from all of my Dr. OZ Drink Cleanses).  I like smoothies because they’re an easy way work in my daily serving of fruit & veggies as well as other vitamins and protein.   BUT, I have to be careful to choose the RIGHT smoothies.  By “right” I mean smoothies with low to moderate sugar and lots of protein.   While smoothies are tasty, they can be loaded with sugar which packs on the pounds and makes us hungry.  Keep in mind that smoothies are good forms of “meal replacements” not “appetizers.”   Often, I unintentionally consume too many calories in 1 day because I’ll have a smoothie PLUS my meals – not a good look.  If you are trying to drop a few pounds, be sure to drink a smoothie INSTEAD of eating a meal.  Keep this in mind as you enjoy these 5 Super Smoothie recipes!  Lots of luv, Brit 🙂

protein berry smoothie

Brit’s Berry Blast Smoothie

  • 3/4  Grapefruit Juice
  • 1/3 Cup of egg whites
  • 1 Cup frozen or fresh mixed berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries)

nut banana smoothie

Carob Nut Banana Smoothie

  • 1 banana (small) cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon dried carob powder*
  • 2 tablespoons reduced fat peanut butter
  • 1/2 Cup of ice

apple cinnamon soy smoothie

Apple Cinnamon Soy Smoothie

  • 1/3 Cup egg whites
  • 1 Sweet, crisp apple (medium size) peeled, chopped red apple (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 Cup refrigerated vanilla soy milk
  • 1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon

mean green smoothie

Lean Mean Green Smoothie

  • 1 cup kefir
  • 2 T ground flax-seed
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 quinoa (prepared with milk)
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)

gladiator protein smoothie

Copycat Gladiator Smoothie (Smoothie King)

This recipe is great because you can alter it to fit your own preference and change it up as much as you’d like! (My favorite is vanilla protein powder with strawberries and banana!)

  • 1 serving of whey protein powder (any flavor you like)
  • 1 Cup of fruit
  • 1 Cup of water, or milk of choice
  • 1/2 Cup of ice

Finding Balance: Dieting vs. Overindulging

Finding Your Food Consumption

Guest Post by Lindsay Krasna, GRIT by Brit Registered Dietitian

A client of mine that’s been struggling with her weight recently asked me how she can achieve a healthy body and optimize my health without “dieting” or “restricting.” She has been trying to understand the difference between these concepts for much of her life, and I believe she’s not alone in her confusion! In my work as a nutrition counselor, I come across this all this all the time. Our society’s diet-obsessed culture and conflicting media messages about nutrition make the answer to this question very unclear. Eggs are good for you one day, and bad the next. Low-fat is definitely the way to go one day, no wait, low-calorie, or low-carb the next. Don’t eat above your daily Weight Watchers points allotment, or else you’ll gain weight. Gosh, how discouraging this can be!

So really, how does one find a sustainable approach to eating well and maintaining a healthy body, without going crazy and depriving one’s self of their nutrient needs? How can one healthfully set boundaries around their intake of less nutrient dense foods while honoring their tastes and body’s nutritional requirements?

I believe the answer comes down to blending our natural, intuitive cues with our cerebral knowledge about nutrition.

Here are a few definitions to make these concepts more clear:

  • Dieting: consistently following a set of (oftentimes unscientifically based) rigid food rules or guidelines while ignoring your body’s intuitive cues and/or food preferences.
  • Overindulging: consistently eating beyond your body’s fullness cues for non-physical reasons, and/or consistently choosing foods that contribute limited nutrition value.
  • Healthy eating: consistently blending basic nutrition principles (cerebral knowledge) with your body’s intuitive hunger-fullness cues and taste preferences (internal knowledge).

Notice I use the term *consistently* in all 3 definitions. This is because it is totally normal and natural to under- or over-eat from time to time! Intake can vary in quality and quantity in the face of strong emotions, unplanned events, lack of time, special occasions, etc. As long as it’s not a regular reoccurrence. It’s also important not to overlook the fact that there are all kinds of environmental factors out there that can detract from the reliability of our internal cues, and interfere with our ability to eat mindfully and trust our bodies’ natural intuitive cues. Some examples include expanding portion sizes at restaurants, artificial sweeteners and food additives, eating on the go, technology distractions, and social pressures — to name a few). BUT, if you can learn to become more aware of these influences, you will have the power to offset them, and get back to listening to our body’s natural cues. A good nutritionist can help you work towards this.

Sounds simple, I know. And it really is. Not saying it’s easy though. It comes down to practice and trust. Trusting your body’s own internal regulation system is the key to good health. It IS possible to pay mind to good nutrition principles, while still honoring your body. I’ve seen it happen, and experienced it for myself. When you can start connecting your head with your stomach…. This is where the magic of real nutrition happens!

*Disclaimer: this message is targeted for a generally healthy individual. If you have a specific condition such as diabetes, kidney disease, a GI disease, etc., you will certainly need to follow more specified dietary rules to optimize your health. 

Dr. Oz 3 Day Cleanse Confessions

So, I’ve officially completed the Dr. Oz 3 Day Detox.  I personally wanted to try the detox because I’m a new vegetarian (5 months strong) and I’ve noticed that I’ve become sloppy (i.e. eating lots of simple carbs and fewer fruits and veggies).  I’ve actually gained 3 pounds since I’ve become a vegetarian…not a good look.  The Dr. Oz cleanse presented me with a great opportunity to get back on track it because it replaces meals with fruit/veggie drinks for 3 days.  Click here to see the drink recipes.  Overall, I give the Dr. Oz cleanse the “GRIT by Brit 2 thumbs up” and here’s why…

First off, I definitely got my fair share of veggies and fruits.  Each drink consists of at least 3-4 servings of fruits/vegetables (sometimes more than I eat in an entire day).  I feel like a born again vegetarian 🙂  Unlike most cleanses, each drink includes some sort of healthy fat (i.e. avocado, coconut oil, almond butter).   This is really important because my body wasn’t deprived of essential nutrients AND I got an adequate amount of protein.  Since I weight train 2-3 times per week, I HAVE to make sure that my protein intake is sufficient so that my muscles can repair themselves.  I was also really impressed by how tasty each of the drinks are.  I mean, who would guess blending mango, blueberries,  cayenne pepper, avocado and coconut water would actually taste good?

Dr. Oz Cleanse Drinks

Secondly, in only 3 days I lost 2.2 pounds 🙂  I’m 5’8″ and very muscular but I always try to keep my weight below 153 pounds.  Still 1 more pound to go!

weight loss from cleansing

Also, I developed a new obsession = Epsom Salt and lavender oil baths!  This was HEAVEN IN MY HOME!  Daily soak sessions are a part of the Dr. Oz cleanse.  Not only are they detoxifying, but they are SO relaxing and soothing!  As a group fitness instructor I always have sore muscles and these baths were a perfect remedy for my muscle aches.   I also discovered Dr. Teal’s Epsom + Lavender oil bath soak, so I can buy both ingredients already combined – yes!

Epsom Salt and Lavender

Last, the cleanse has definitely helped me ween off coffee.  I sometimes drink 4 cups a day…not good I know, but at least I’m honest.  After going 3 days without coffee, I’ve realized that I don’t really need it.  The cleanse calls for 1 cup of hot green tea ever morning which gave me a decent caffeine fix.  However,  I was a little groggy on some days without my Cup-a-Joe.  This is something I’ll continue to work on.

Now that the cleanse is over, I’ve decided that this is not going to be a “one time thing” for me.  I really loved the lunch drink, so today I’m having it for dinner before I head to yoga!  I’m going to continue making these smoothies and drinking them as meal replacements every now and then.  It’s an easy and efficient way to ensure I get enough fiber and my fruit/veggie fix.

If you are considering trying the Dr. Oz 3 Day Detox cleanse – I highly recommend it.  Let me know how it goes!

Lots of luv, health & joy to you!

xoxo, Brit

GRIT by Brit and Dr. Oz

3-Day Detox Cleanse by Dr.OZ

Dr Oz 3 Day Detox Official

So, some of my best friends have been ranting and raving about the great results they’ve had with the Dr. Oz Juice Cleanse.  Have any of you tried the cleanse before?  Were you successful?  Obviously, I have serious FOMO (fear of missing out) and have to try it for myself.  I already went shopping and bought all of my ingredients (see pic below).

dr oz juice cleanse

I’m especially excited about bathing in Epsom Salt every night! Growing up, my mother (a true country woman) would ALWAYS make me bathe in Epsom Salt to help soothe mosquito bites, achy muscles or open scrapes from playground accidents.   No matter the issue, an Epsom Salt bath was her go-to cure.

What’s really interesting about this “cleanse” is that the drinks actually include A LOT of food.  I spent $90 at Central Market today buying all of the ingredients.  If you look closely at each of the drinks, they each include almost 4 full servings of fruits and veggies – that’s AMAZING!  I have a feeling that the drinks are going to be very filling 😉

Also, I’m infatuated with Coconut Oil right now.  I like to use it on my skin and in my hair for deep conditioning, but never have I ingested it.   This will be a first.  Last, the almond butter, almond milk and flax seeds are nice additions to help ensure I get sufficient protein   Altogether, this cleanse is HEALTHY, BALANCED and LEGIT according to GRIT by Brit!

Follow me on Twitter @GRITbyBrit for my pictures and progress updates over the next 3 days.  Also, please share your cleanse stories if you’ve decided to try it too!

Hope you had a great weekend – CHOOSE to have a great week ahead!

GRIT by Brit stay strong

Get LEAN & GREEN on St. Patty’s Day

st patty's day slime down

Hey gang!  I hope your week is going well.  Any fun plans for St. Patrick’s day?  I plan to kick start my day by teaching Turbo Kick.  If you’re in NYC, come join us this Sunday at Stepping Out Studios in Flatiron at 11:00am.  You can register at www.turbonyc.com.

Also, here’s a “Green Juice” recipe that I LOVE, from A House in the Hills.  Try it out on St. Patty’s day to offset the green beer 😉

a_house_in_the_hills_green_juice_recipe