This isn’t the drive-thru. REAL food takes time.

I’m having lunch and a beer at this awesome cafe in town for the third time this month. I love this place! They have amazing, quality food, a wide variety of food/drinks to choose from, and stellar atmosphere indoors and out. I just got in line to order my meal and got to stand awkwardly in between 2 customers that were pissed about things taking so long and being very vocal about their inconvenience. I had to bite my tongue to keep from going off on both of them. “This is not McDonald’s! Look at that menu! Your meal is being made NOW, not two hours ago!” I wanted to scream… but I didn’t. I knew it wouldn’t turn into anything good and I didn’t want to cause a scene in front of everybody else enjoying their afternoon.

The first guy was a tourist who’d been waiting “almost 20 minutes” and demanded his money back from the manager (who obliged and also offered a few gift cards, plus his apologies on training new kitchen staff). The second was a woman who made sure everybody knew she had a dog and screaming kids in the car waiting and that this shouldn’t take this long. She was in line about 30 seconds before I was. The whole scene took about 4 minutes. She ordered a muffin and a juice box…

When I got up to place my order I told the manager about this great sign I saw at Cheese Plus in San Francisco a couple months ago. I suggested he make something similar; either the same sign, or alter the wording just a bit (the title of this post).

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It just got me thinking of how much the drive-thru has negatively altered our minds’ views on what REAL food is, how quickly it should be prepared, and how much it should cost. People are so used to the low price and “efficiency” of fast food that they simply don’t think about what they’re actually putting into their body. People are cooking so little these days that I’m not sure if they even realize how much time it takes to prepare a real meal.

Hint: it’s more than 90 seconds.

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In the drive-thru it’s fast because it’s already been prepared… a really long time before you got there. #shitaintfresh. It’s cheap because the ingredients are either poor quality, or not not real food to begin with. If you want real food, it’s probably going to take a few minutes. And it’s probably going to cost more than the dollar menu. I’m not saying you have to spend $100 on a meal to make it great. I’m not saying you should wait 2 hours for a quality meal to be prepared. I’m just saying to chill the hell out and don’t be an entitled ass. If you don’t care about quality and you want it RIGHT now, and you’re not worried about putting fake food into your body, then keep going through the drive-thru.

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For the record, my Southwestern Burrito (black bean mix, red peppers, corn, yam, chipotle sauce, aged cheddar, wheat tortilla, organic blue corn chips and salsa) was delish. It cost $10 and took about 11 minutes… and I didn’t implode because I had to wait for it to be made.

Thanks, Communitea… for the awesome service and quality, yummy food.

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Aww Sugar, Sugar

“you are my candy girl… and you got me wanting yoooooou.”
 Love that song. Moving on…
So I was going to write this big post on sugar and get up on my soapbox and everything, but I’m just going to tell you a fact and then you can do with it what you will. There. Here it is:
4.2 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon of sugar
“Yeah, ok. a teaspoon isn’t that big. So what?” OK, so now go get a teaspoon of sugar and pour it into your hand to see how much a teaspoon actually is. Go ahead, I know you’re at home while you’re reading this (neglecting your family/dinner/chores) or you’re at work, (not writing proposals and ignoring emails) and there’s sugar around.
No? OK, OK I’ll show you. This is a teaspoon of sugar in a pile in your hand and then all shook up and spread out. I promise my hand’s not that fat looking in real life.
The point of this? Take a look at whatever you’re eating/drinking all day and check out how many grams of sugar are in it. Then, divide that number by 4.2. So that Vitamin Water you got there? 13 Grams of sugar = 3 TEASPOONS OF SUGAR! In WATER. Dumb? You betcha. Thinking that yogurt + fruit + cereal mixed together is a good idea? Add all those grams up to see how many teaspoons of sugar are in the mix, then decide. Don’t even me started on soda. OK, that’s all I’m gonna say. Have a lovely, low-sugar day, peeps!
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Cleansing the RIGHT way

I wrote a bit about fad detoxes/cleanses a while back and wanted to give you some info on how to do a healthy cleanse. I asked my good friend and nutrition expert, Sara Grout to write an article on the right way to cleanse your body. Thanks, Sara! This is what she wrote:

The topic of detoxing is a hot one, there’s no debating this. But what is it about a detox that makes them so appealing? Is it because they work, or is it because they offer a ‘quick fix’? There’s no shocking surprise here when I tell you we’re a nation of ‘quick-fixers’ and one of the reasons we’re so drawn to the word ‘detox’ is that it appeals to that shameful side of us…..the side of us that wants to do something for 7 days (or possibly even 4 weeks, god-forbid) and magically have the body and life we’ve always dreamed of. So, this is where my role as a functional and holistic nutritionist is crucial; to EMPOWER YOU to take action over your own health via EDUCATION. What information out there is right for you? And how can you identify what’s a trend vs. what’s legit? So, is a Detox a ‘trend’ or is it ‘legit’? Let’s take a look.

First of all, it is important to understand what a detox is, who it’s appropriate for, and when you might want to use one. The body is a truly intricate and INDIVIDUALIZED piece of work. Just like one diet is not right for all people, one cleanse is not right for all people. But like all things, they have their TIME and their PLACE.
The first step: Get to know YOUR BODY. If you don’t know you, how your body functions and what your body needs, how will you know which (if any) detox is right for you? There are many ways to get in tune with your body and figure out what it needs, and this should always be the first step in any health plan. Detoxing should not involve liquid diets, restricted portions or fancy generalized supplements but rather, a lifestyle that is based around whole foods that are known to be beneficial for YOU and your specific metabolic type, constitution, environment and current situation. An individualized approach. This also includes the addition of fortifying foods and the removal of foods that may be causing a low-grade chronic inflammation in the body and/or in the gut. When the chronic stressors are removed and strengthening foods are added in, your body will naturally detoxify itself. And what’s even more exciting? Cravings will go away and counting calories will be a thing of the past. Giving your body the foods and nutrients it needs is the MOST powerful thing you can do for your health, life, and longevity.
The second step: Why do you want to do a cleanse? Are you looking for a ‘quick fix’ or are you looking for a true health transformation? If it’s the latter, you might want to consider hiring a nutritionist who looks at individuality and optimal functioning of the body. By examining these key factors, you can give the body what it needs and remove any hidden stressors. Once this is done, you will no longer need to search out those ‘quick fix’ deals. The body needs to be in a solid, strong and healthy condition before starting a strict cleanse so that the liver, kidneys, skin, and lungs (the main detoxifying organs) can function at their best.
The third step: Look at the claims. Is it realistic? Is it based around whole foods or liquid shakes, drinks and supplements? Remember, the quicker we take off weight, the more likely it is that it’s water-weight or muscle that we’re losing. When diets or detoxes deprive the body of the fuel it needs to survive, we move into starvation mode, utilizing our own muscle, altering thyroid function (the master metabolic hormone) and setting off a horrible cycle of weight loss and weight gain. Each time we place our body into starvation mode, our metabolism grows weaker and weaker and the yo-yo dieting actually creates an increase in weight and fat gain that continues to grow with each failed attempt. NOT our idea of optimal health and well-being!
In general, cleanses and detoxes can be ultra healing and leave you feeling better than ever before. However, if the cleanse is too strict or not appropriate for YOU, there may be a better way to spend your money. The most important thing to remember is: what does YOUR body need? There are detoxes out there that have a more healing and holistic approach, allowing the body to find its balance naturally. A detox that EVERYONE can benefit from should look something like the following:
-A full health assessment or questionnaire should be performed prior to the detox to make sure that your body is ready, and to determine what type of detox is best for you.
-Add in fortifying foods (especially if performing the cleanse in cooler months) like broths and stocks that also give the digestive system time to rest.
-Depending on when you perform a detox, the plan should be based around easily digestible, warming foods in the cooler months and light, raw and cooling foods in the warmer months.
-Removal of all potentially irritating, allergenic and inflammatory foods (sugars, glutenous grains, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, nightshades, additives and preservatives, etc) is essential.
-Work with a professional who can identify your Metabolic Type. This should be the first step in all detoxes. And for some, this may be the only “detox” you need.

The main thing to take away with you is: detoxes have their time and place and can be very healing. I personally love detoxes, if done appropriately and for the right reasons. My motto in life and health is, “take back your power”, learn how your body is currently operating and what it needs to function at its best. Eliminate all processed items and look to the earth for your foods. Eat what nature provides. Steer clear of food labels, boxes, cans, and bags and go straight to the colors in the fresh produce isles. Or even better, support a local farm share or visit a farmer’s market regularly. Re-learn what ‘real food’ tastes like and how good it feels to be truly nourished, not only for a few days, but for a lifetime.

If you’re unsure of what your body needs or how to get started on a plan that’s right for you, please feel free to send an email or

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Chocolate milk after your workout helps? Score!

So I’ve been hearing for a while now that LOW-FAT chocolate milk has become the new, best, post-workout recovery drink. You know, like Gatorade. I REALLY wanted this to be the case, but you know how those studies are. One comes out saying this is awesome and perfect and another comes out saying it’s horrible and causes cancer. Hmm…

So I did my own looking. I found 3 short articles you should check out! I found this article from Mind,Body,and Spirit’s Fitness Magazine. And this one from Medical News Today. Both reflect on studies done with athletes who consumed 3 different drinks after their vigorous workouts and looked at muscle recovery afterwards. Here’s the short of it:
  • Low-Fat Chocolate milk has good numbers when it comes to carbs and protein.
  • It performs just as well as Gatorade and way more than Endurox when it comes to muscle repair after intense workouts.
Score, right? Lastly, I checked to see what Dr. John Berardi of Precision Nutrion had to say about it. (He’s my go-to when it comes to performance and nutrition.) Read the complete question and answer section all the way at the bottom of the page here. The short of this one:
  • Yes, low-fat chocolate milk has been proven to help, but only with those who aren’t intolerant to lactose.
  • Yes, if you’re tolerant of milk protein.
  • Yes if it’s low-fat.
  • Yes if you’re working out at a very high level, enough to require a ‘recovery drink’.
  • No if none of the above apply to you, which is a lot of people.
So, training for the IronMan? Low-fat chocolate milk could be your jam! Walking your dog or playing in your once-a-week, one hour volleyball league? Not so much. So take a look at you’re training at the moment. If you’re just starting out, chocolate milk may hinder your performance. But if you’re an endurance or competitive athelete and have no problems taking and digesting milk products, this is great news for you!
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Food Frustration

Ever wonder if what you’re eating is good for you or bad for you? There are a ton of outlets these days for articles, news stories, and books to discuss what you should or shouldn’t buy to eat, but they can be time constraining, expensive, and confusing. Mine is better! I have another great clip for you to read that helps. It’s short, simple, and easy.

My friend, colleague, one-time boss, one-time roommate, Sara Grout, has an amazing new blog that you should visit. Sara has a double Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition (and about a million other certifications) that make her damn knowledgeable about food and your body.
She’s currently living in Australia and attending a 10 month nutrition intensive (intense, huh?) to add to her growing vat of knowledge, so she’s not posting every five minutes…but you should read the posts she has up so far. They can really help if you’re struggling to find what works for you diet-wise. So visit No More Counting Calories and leave her some love. She’s amazing!
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Nutritionally Confused…

As a trainer, I get asked a ton of nutrition questions.

Two of my favorites: Are sports drinks good or bad? Is eating eggs good or bad?

Well… it depends. Here are two videos (via the Fitness Anywhere Community Blog) from one of the top nutrition experts in the world: John Berardi and his company, Precision Nutrition. Watch both and it may clear things up a bit for you.

The first video deals with the first question:
This video pertains to the second question:
Watch as many of these videos as you can! You can get a ton of great information at Precision Nutrition and from the Fitness Anywhere Community blog! And remember to keep in mind that your training level can determine how much or how little you may need certain foods/drinks.

Happy Eating, Happy Training!
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