MMB- Thanksgiving Boot Camp is Coming!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you had a great weekend and were able to spend time with family and friends!  I know the poor air quality and tragedy that has struck our neighbors in the north are heavy on all of our minds.  It’s difficult to fathom the level of need and supplies when thousands of people have lost their homes.  If you are feeling like you want to help the fire victims, but aren’t sure where to start, I have attached a few links where you can research a variety of ways to help out.  I know there are many churches that are partnering together to collect donations too.  My church, Valley Bible, just collected a bunch of supplies and visited the Chico area on Saturday. 

The need is great friends and anything you can do to help out will be so greatly appreciated.  As more and more news stories come out with graphic details of tragedy, I have tried to imagine what it would be like if I had lost all of my earthly possessions due to a horrific fire like the Camp Fire and it’s inconceivable.  I’m sure the outpouring of financial support and supplies tells them that they are not alone and there is always hope.  If you have a few minutes, please check out the links and consider donating in any way you can.  Thanks friends!


Announcements and Reminders:

1) Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday night!  I currently have (2) openings at 5:45pm, (4) openings at 6:55pm, and (4) openings at 7:35pm.  Please text or e-mail me to sign up!  It’s Thanksgiving week, so every work out counts!

2)  Thanksgiving Boot Camp is this Thursday, November 22nd at 7:30am!  Come one, come all and let’s take care of fitness business before the big feast!  You’ll feel so much better walking into the holiday knowing that you worked out hard and sweat up a ton!  Bring your family with you and introduce them to a fun new tradition!  You are welcome to do a 30 minute class or 60 minutes.  Class is from 7:30am to 8:30am. 

3)  Saturday Boot Camp – A Thankfulness Boot Camp.  For Boot Camp on Saturday, we’ll be weaving in the things we are thankful for while doing our push-ups, squats, and running!  Class is 7am to 8am and 8:05am to 8:35am!

4)  Christmas Boot Camp & Brunch is happening Saturday, December 15th directly after the 2nd boot camp!  Come to this special boot camp where you will work hard, burn up hundreds of calories, shed fat, and yes, get fed a Christmas Brunch by me!  It’s my way of saying thank you to all of you who have come to my classes or personal training faithfully all year long!

5) Picture of Bob and I away at Carmel this weekend and drinking green juice together!

View directly underneath Pebble Beach Golf Range


Thought for the week:  It’s Holiday Time –  Choose Your Calories Wisely!

Oh how I cringe this time of year.  Yes, I love Christmas!  I’m a Christian after all, and I love the meaning of the season.  As a trainer?  Sigh – Not so much.  Temptations are everywhere and there seems to be an unspoken general consensus that calories are free this time of year and everyone should have the right to indulge in Christmas cookies every single day! 

Peppermint mochas with whip cream should be downed by the gallon, and going out to big calorie laden lunches and dinners are a regular affair.  Do you all know the Jen Allan rule?  You know, the one that says every day can’t be a party and the 80/20 rule that says you should try to eat clean 80% of the time and off the leash within moderation 20% of the time?  Well, during the holidays, most people reverse that percentage and live large 80% of the time and clean 20% of the time, or quite frankly not at all!  So, we wonder why we are so miserable when January 2nd rolls around and we can’t fit into our favorite pair of jeans!  Never fear though if this happens to you because you guys know I’m right there for you to help you get back on track!  That’s my job after all 🙂

O.k. so you might be wondering, “Jen, how can I enjoy the comforts and pleasures of the holidays and find balance?”  There is a way my friends and you can do it!  It’s called moderation. Here are some tips to keep in mind this coming holiday season:

  1.  Do NOT skip out on your workouts.  Try your very best to stay consistent because this will keep your metabolism revved up and productive so your basil metabolic rate will be higher.  This is all about the calories you burn by just walking around and living.  The more fit you are, the higher your BMR.  The more sedentary you are, the slower your BMR. 


  1. Drink plenty of water every day to help your body flush out toxins.  Vary up your hydration with lemon detox water, herbal teas, green juices, and kombucha.  Avoid soda at all costs! Diet is even worse!


  1. If you are going out to lunch or dinner, don’t pig out on the carb laden appetizers or crispy fried things!  These are fat bombs and will pack on all of those empty calories before you’ve gotten to your main meal!  Try going for the raw veggies and hummus plate or Tzaziki sauces.  Do you really need to eat three tacos at your favorite Mexican food joint?  Think about portion size?!  One or two should suffice.  Also, skip those yummy cream sauces and cheese and you’ll greatly reduce the calories consumed. 


  1. Salads are awesome, but not when they are packed with bacon bits, cheese, croutons, cream dressings, and huge amounts of animal protein.  Ask for dressing on the side and aim for vinegars and light on the oil.  If you eat a salad that is loaded with your greens and veggies, then perhaps you can indulge in a small dessert or treat.  Make sense?  Don’t make every part of the meal a holiday indulgence.  Choose your calories wisely and pick one or two things as a treat. 


  1. If you have a big event coming up on the weekend, prepare for it during the week by being really good.  The trick with all of this holiday eating is that it sabotages your taste buds and makes you crave more and more rich foods.  Sugar is the same way.  The more sugary foods you eat, the more you start to crave them and stop eating the proper amount of fruits and veggies.  This is trouble folks, so be careful!


  1. So, you are staring at the dessert table, what should you do?  Choose one or two things to enjoy, but small bites worth.  If you absolutely adore cheesecake, take a small sliver, not the entire 2-3 inch wide slice.  Try to avoid the fried pastry desserts like Cannoli filled with whip cream.  You know the ones I’m talking about right?  Danger, danger, stay away!


  1. You love holiday coffees?  Ask the barista to only give you one  pump of the sweet syrup or chocolate, instead of the 3 or 4.  Skip the whip cream and ask for almond milk.  Don’t add extra sugar to your coffee.  Go for the small size.  It will still be delicious, don’t worry!


You got this!  Let’s enjoy the holidays with MODERATION!

See you soon,



MMB – Fitness & Holiday Happenings

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend and found ways to move despite the poor air quality.  Excellent work to all of the boot campers who were able to make it out this past Saturday to the last Challenge! Once again, I am so thankful for the space at Valley Bible Church, as we were able to hold the entire Boot Camp Challenge inside the church to avoid the poor air quality.  I love that we can run laps inside VBC!  Personally, I attend VBC as a Christian, and then have the fortunate opportunity to run my fitness business there and utilize the space to run boot camps!  How awesome is that!? 

Challenge Results

For the 6th Challenge, I think I was a little over zealous and made the Challenge slightly longer than it should have been!  Sometimes when I’m planning my work outs, I get very excited about a sequence and lose track of time 🙂 

So, the 7am crew finished all around the same time because of the length of class.  They were sweaty and tired, but they did it! 

Congrats to Kathy Schalin, Joanne Vieira, and Bernadette Calvo! 

For the 8:05am crew, Kathleen Jacobs and Vanessa Perez tied for 1st place.  Lynnda Philbrook came in 2nd and Wendy McHugh came in 3rd!

Honorable mention goes to Christy Stevens, Lisa Williams, and Jocelyn Lai – ( a first timer! Way to go Jocelyn!)


Weight Loss Challenge Lynnda Philbrook lost 5lbs and 3 inches around her waist!  Lynnda wins a $60 class card!


Fitness Tests for Challenge:


Davies’ Tests Overall Improvement

1st place – Joanne Vieira 52 to 117 = 65

2nd place – Lynnda Philbrook 58 to 98 = 40

3rd place – Lisa Williams 52 to 89 = 37

Honorable Mention:  Bernadette Calvo 90 to 112 = 22, Christy Stevens 111 to 124 = 13, Pete Calvo 80 to 93 = 13,


Sit-ups Overall Improvement

1st place tie – Lisa Williams & Lynnda Philbrook improved by 3


Push-Ups Improvement

1st place – Bernadette Calvo 28 to 53 on toes & 19knees to 30 knees = difference of 25 on toes and 11 on knees!

2nd place – Joanne Vieira 62 to 78 on toes = difference of 16

3rd place – Christi Stevenson 22 to 35 on toes = difference of 8

Honorable Mention: Vanessa Perez improved by 5

Congratulations to everyone who made it out to participate in the 6 week Fitness and Nutrition Challenge!  I’m proud of you guys and can see that many of you improved over the last six weeks!  Well done everyone! Now let’s keep the momentum going through the holidays so we can feel amazing and empowered!



Announcements and Reminders:

1. Cardio Core is at Jen’s Studio Tuesday night!  Please let me know if you’d like to sign up for classes on Tuesday night.  5:45pm to 6:45pm 60 minutes, 6:55pm to 7:25pm 30 minutes, 7:35pm to 8:05pm 30 minutes

 PLEASE NOTE: Due to changing temperatures and poor air quality, class will be held inside studio.  I can only teach a maximum of 6 clients per class.  I will send out the roster tomorrow with the client lists.  Remember, I have three classes and can accommodate up to 18 people, but have to limit six per class due to space.

2.  Cardio Fusion is at Jen’s Studio Thursday night!  VBC is doing a Thanksgiving banquet on Thursday night, so you can sign up for either a 5:45pm to 6:45pm class or 6:55pm to 7:25pm class. 

3.  Thanksgiving Boot Camp is Thursday, November 22nd from 7:30am to 8:30am!  Come out and bring your family with you to kick off Turkey Day so you can get an awesome calorie burn heading into the big feast!  Come ready some corny Thanksgiving jokes, make a “fitness meal” of Thanksgiving favorites, and have some fun working up a sweat and building muscle together!  30 minute clients are welcome too!

4. Thankfulness Boot Camp is Saturday, November 24th!  On the heels of Thanksgiving, let’s keep counting those blessings and mix this theme into an awesome boot camp to kick off the holidays!  7am and 8:05am classes available!

5.  The Pumpkin Breakfast Bars I shared on Saturday morning are posted on my recipes page!  Check it out!


Thought for the week:  Struggling to Get Your Greens In?

Come on admit it.  Sometimes it’s hard to get our greens in right?  I recently tried Amazing Grass detox and antioxidant blend at Sprouts.  It’s super easy to use.  Get a glass of water and dump a scoop in and stir.  Simply drink it down!  It actually tastes fairly mild and kind of grassy.  The picture above is actually from Costco and is similar to what I purchased at Sprouts, except that this is $5.47 at Costco for 30 servings.  The container I purchased at Sprouts was around $32 for around 30 servings!  The ingredients are almost identical and from the same company.   There are probiotics in this product, and a combination of different grass and green blends, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.  Is it the absolute best product on the market for super greens?  I’m not sure about that based on the reviews, but the reviews I did read said that you can’t beat the price and the quality of ingredients to make life a little simpler in downing your greens.  So gang, check it out, head to Costco, and pick up a box of grab and go greens!

See you in class soon!


MMB – Focus on Nutrient Dense Foods Over Calorie Counting

Good morning everyone!

I missed writing to you guys last week!  For those of you who may not know, I badly cut my left index finger 2 1/2 weeks ago.  I was chopping veggies of all things, when I accidentally sliced my finger with the butcher knife – ouch!!  As a reminder to all of you, when you cut your finger, please allow it to bleed out a bit and then run it under water.  What did I do?  Well, it was a deep cut, so I immediately wrapped it with a paper towel and put pressure on it to stop the bleeding.  After holding it there for about eight minutes, I rinsed it in water, dried it, and put a Band-Aid on with Neosporin.  Makes sense right?

As time marched on, my finger was becoming more stiff and quite painful.  Fast forward a week later, and I had a full blown infection in my finger that was starting to travel up my hand!  Yup, into the minor injury clinic I went and received a huge shot into my butt!  It was lovely.  I couldn’t use my hand for a good part of last week because of the stiffness and pain.  I also have a love/hate relationship with antibiotics, because yes, they killed the bacterial infection, but they made me very sick!  I won’t go into details.

It was no fun being on antibiotics all week, not only because they made me ill, but knowing that all of my friendly bacteria was being destroyed.  Ughhh.  The good news is that I am now back to myself and able to type this with two hands and my last round of antibiotics was yesterday – praise God!  So, now it’s time to rebuild my gut health! Can you say Kombucha and green juice! 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Last Fall Fitness & Nutrition Challenge is this Saturday, November 10th!  If you were measured and weighed in for the first Challenge, please come a few minutes early or stay afterwards to be measured again.  Let’s find out who the biggest reducers are for this Challenge!  You still have one more week, so let’s put in the work!  Also, I’ll be bringing a yummy and nutritious fall treat to enjoy after the Challenge for those of you who can stay a few minutes! 
  2. Personal Training 30 minute spots open!  As many of you know, I’ve been concentrating on offering 30 minute personal training sessions for the last year, and I am thrilled with the results that I’m seeing in my clients!  The time commitment has worked really well for all of my clients and has helped my schedule out too.  If you would like to ramp up your fitness level and weave in a personal training session or two during the week, please let me know because I have a few spots available in the morning or afternoon. 
  3. Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio on Tuesday night November 6th!  Please let me know If you’d like to sign up for a 60 minute class at 5:45pm to 6:45pm, or 30 minute class at 6:55pm to 7:25pm, or 7:35pm to 8:05pm!
  4. Thankfulness Boot Camp is Saturday, November 24th!  Let’s count our blessings as we are thankful for our health and our bodies!  Come check out this fun and creative boot camp to burn up hundreds of calories and shed some fat while we leave refreshed and energized!
  5. Fee increase for personal training.  Starting on January 1st, 2019, personal training fees will be increased from $35 to $40 for 30 minute sessions, and $65 to $70 for hour long sessions.  Group exercise classes will remain the same costs. You are welcome to book personal training sessions at the end of the year with the $35 or $65 rate to extend into 2019. 

Thought for the week:  Focus on Nutrient Dense Food Over Calorie Counting

As you can imagine, I am asked many questions about nutrition and what foods are the best foods to eat.  I try to be very transparent about my diet and often share the types of foods that my family eats on my recipe page or blog.  I was asked the other day by a new client if I every count my calories.   I had to stop and think about this question, and the answer is, “No, not really.”  When I approach nutrition, I don’t focus so much on the calories,  as much as I do the nutrients in the foods.  What’s interesting is that when you focus on eating foods that are nutrient dense, your body tells you when you are full because the foods that you eat are more filling and satisfying on a cellular level. 

Imagine pigging out on a bag of Doritos.  You need to eat the whole bag just to try and feel satisfied.  When the bag is empty, you are still not satisfied, right?  That’s because you’ve consumed a franken food product that is void of any nutrients that feed your cells.  You may have taken in hundreds of calories, but they aren’t the right kind of calories.

Now imagine eating a homemade raw protein bar that is made with heart healthy fats, carbs, and proteins.  A 2 X 2 size bar is plenty to energize you and feel your body nutrients that will sustain you until the next meal.  

The point is, when you make a habit to consume foods that are dense with vitamins and minerals, probiotics, heart healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, the calories will be the right amount because your appetite will be satiated.  On days when I work out harder with running a few miles and strength and core training, I may need up to 2,500 calories.  On days when I’m in active recovery, I may need only about 1,800 calories, but the point is, I don’t sit there and count calories of everything I put in my mouth. 

When I am working out hard and need more fuel, I put good fuel into my body and my brain and stomach tell me when I’ve had enough to eat. If I’m having a day with less movement, I adjust my intake of fuel. 

So, instead of concentrating on how many calories you should be eating, consider what your activity level is for the day and if you are eating enough fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and heart healthy fats and proteins. 

Also, where are most of your calories coming from?  Do you eat out a lot?  If so, I can guarantee you that you are taking in way more sodium, sugar, bad oils, calories, and are training your taste buds to distaste nutrient dense foods.  Think salad and green juice?  Raw protein bars?  Lentils with veggies?  Cut up veggies and hummus? 

What do you think will happen to your taste buds if you shop for fresh and alive foods on a regular basis and eat food at home?  Your taste buds will adapt I promise you! 

I hope this makes sense and will help you to reevaluate the foods you put into your body.  Instead of calorie counting, try nutrient counting! 

See you in class soon!


Below are a couple of images from Dr. Mark Hyman.  Check him out if you have a few minutes:




MMB – Why is Protein so Popular?

Good morning everyone!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and were able to get out and move!  While it was a small group for Saturday’s Challenge, it was a mighty group!  We also discussed the importance of the macronutrient protein and why we need it, but not too  much of it!  I’ve attached an article below that discusses the controversy of a high protein low carb diet.  Make sure you do your research before you decide to dive in and have a meat party without fruits or veggies! 

Saturday’s Challenge Results:

7am crew:

1st place – Bernadette Calvo 26:32

2nd place – Joanne Vieira 29:32

3rd place – Christi Stevenson 30:24


1st place – Vanessa Perez 15:48

2nd place – Peter Calvo 16:15

3rd place – Christy Stevens 19:56

Honorable Mention – Lynnda Philbro0k


Saturday Crew is Looking Good!!  Keep it up guys!


Announcements & Reminders:

  1.  Schedule Change Week of 10/22/18:
    1. Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday Night!  Please text or e-mail to sign up for classes at 5:45pm, 6:55pm, or 7:25pm!
    3. Friday Night Boot Camp at Jen’s Studio from 6:15pm to 7:15pm!  Text me or e-mail to sign up for Friday’s Boot Camp!  You are welcome to come for either 30 or 60 minutes!
  2. Payment Options:  In addition to SQUARE, I now have PayPal!  You are welcome to either use my e-mail address:  jen@jenallanfitness or my cel 925-699-7725.  If you prepay prepaid class cards or personal training sessions, just shoot me a text to let me know 🙂 
  3. Walking Boot Camp is Sunday, November 4th at 11am!  Meet at Jen’s Studio.  All levels welcomed.


Thought for the week: Why is Protein so Popular?

A Protein diet is very popular right now.  I’m sure you know someone who is on a Ketogenic diet, which is a low-carb, high-fat diet that leads to weight loss.  But, it it healthy in the long term?  Well, I urge you to do your research before you commit to an extreme approach such as the Ketogenic diet.  The bottom line is that we are all made uniquely and all have different dietary and caloric needs based on our genetic make up and activity levels.  Yes, we need protein.  It’s a macronutrient that isn’t stored in our bodies, but is essential for building and repairing tissue.  Also, protein in itself will not build muscle.  The nutrients in protein, along with exercise, are the magic combo needed to build muscle.  Simple eating a steak is not going to grow your biceps larger! 

If you do your research, especially about the American diet, you’ll find that Americans love their protein and we eat about twice as much protein as we need, mostly coming from animal protein.  If we want to reverse the trends of heart disease, we need to incorporate more plant based protein into our diets.  Plants don’t have saturated fat and cholesterol!  I’ve attached an article below and a few additional sources for you to check out in regard to the Ketogenic diet too.  I hope this will help stimulate your curiosity and that you will carve out a few minutes to learn more about the pros and cons of a high protein diet and discover what’s best for you.

The Benefits of Protein

Beef up your knowledge of protein and good dietary sources.

From the WebMD Archives

High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are the hottest thing since sliced flank steak, and every food marketer in the known universe appears to want a piece of the protein pie.

Body builders are snatching, grabbing, and gulping down protein shakes. Dieters are gobbling down protein bars (and shunning pasta) in hopes of quick weight loss.

The Power of Protein

It’s easy to understand the excitement. Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is a “macronutrient,” meaning that the body needs relatively large amounts of it. Vitamins and minerals, which are needed in only small quantities, are called “micronutrients.” But unlike fat and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein, and therefore has no reservoir to draw on when it needs a new supply.

So you may assume the solution is to eat protein all day long. Not so fast, say nutritionists.

The truth is, we need less total protein that you might think. But we could all benefit from getting more protein from better food sources.

How Much Protein Is Enough?

We’ve all heard the myth that extra protein builds more muscle. In fact, the only way to build muscle is through exercise. Bodies need a modest amount of protein to function well. Extra protein doesn’t give you extra strength. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Teenage boys and active men can get all the protein they need from three daily servings for a total of seven ounces.

  • For children age 2 to 6, most women, and some older people, the government recommends two daily servings for a total of five ounces.

  • For older children, teen girls, active women, and most men, the guidelines give the nod to two daily servings for a total of six ounces.

Everyone who eats an eight-ounce steak typically served in restaurants is getting more protein that their bodies need. Plus they’re getting a hefty amount of artery-clogging saturated fat as well.

The Drawbacks of High-Protein Diets

Many people who have jumped on the high-protein/low-carb bandwagon think that they can pack away as much protein as they like. But nutrition experts urge caution. The reasons why have to do with how high-protein/low-carb diets are thought to lead to weight loss. When people eat lots of protein but few carbohydrates, their metabolisms change into a state called ketosis. Ketosis means the body converts from burning carbs for fuel to burning its own fat. When fat is broken down, small bits of carbon called ketones are released into the bloodstream as energy sources. Ketosis, which also occurs in diabetes, tends to suppress appetite, causing people to eat less, and it also increases the body’s elimination of fluids through urine, resulting in a loss of water weight.

Christopher D. Gardner, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., tells WebMD that high-protein diets like the Atkins regimen may trade short-term benefits for long-term health consequences. Among the risks: The body produces ammonia when it breaks down protein. No one knows the long-term risks of higher levels of ammonia in the body.

Also, there is evidence to suggest that people who eat high-protein diets typically excrete excess calcium in their urine, says Deborah Sellmeyer, MD, assistant professor of medicine and director of the Center for Osteoporosis at the University of California at San Francisco. This suggests that the body is releasing stores of calcium into the bloodstream to counteract an increase in acids caused by protein consumption (calcium buffers, or neutralizes, acids). Too much calcium loss could lead to osteoporosis down the road, Sellmeyer says.

Lastly, there are the obvious concerns. Carbohydrate foods shunned by some people on low-carb diets include fruits and vegetables, which are the best sources for vitamins, fiber, and antioxidantsnutrients that help prevent disease. By contrast, animal foods that are high in protein are usually also high in saturated fats, which increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and several types of cancer.

The American Heart Association warns: “Reducing consumption of [carbs] usually means other, higher-fat foods are eaten instead. This raises cholesterol levels even more and increases cardiovascular risk.” The AHA also notes that by concentrating on protein sources and skipping carbs, dieters may be getting too much salt, and not enough calcium, potassium, or magnesium, which are typically found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

While no one knows the effect of eating a high-protein diet over the long term, the diet appears to be safe and effective for up to six months.

Frank Hu, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University School of Public Health in Boston, asked a student to review published studies on high-protein diets and try to answer these four important questions:

  • Do high protein diets increase fat burning in the body?

  • Do they increase satiety (the sense of being “full” or “satisfied” after a meal)?

  • Do they decrease subsequent energy (calorie) intake by the body?

  • Do they lead to weight loss?

For the most part, says Hu, the answers are “yes.” Protein can be converted by the body into glucose for energy, but it takes twice as much effort as converting carbohydrates or fats into glucose. The extra effort translates into fewer calories available, Hu said at a recent symposium on the science of obesity.

When it comes to feeling full, the clinical studies consistently showed that high-protein diets increase satiety and decrease hunger compared with high-fat or high-carbohydrate diets. In addition, most, but not all of the studies reviewed showed that most people on high-protein diets took in about 10% less energy (roughly 200 calories) per day, which could account for at least some of the weight loss seen with this type of diet.

“There is some evidence that high-protein diets induce great fat loss,” Hu told the symposium audience. On average, high-protein diets produced an average weight loss that was about 4.5 lbs greater than that achieved on other diets after six months.

“Most of the studies show results for up to six months, but after six months they begin to lose effectiveness, either because people do not adhere to this diet very well in the long term, or because they get used to this diet biologically,” Hu tells WebMD. “So in the long term the high-protein diets tend to lose their ability to maintain the weight.”

Choose Your Proteins Wisely

The type of protein you eat may play a role in successful weight loss and in your overall health.

Consumption of large quantities of processed meats such as hot dogs, sausages, and deli meats, have been linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and colorectal cancer, Hu says. You’ll have a harder time maintaining weight loss if you eat these proteins often, and you may be damaging your body.

Hu and other nutrition experts recommend getting dietary proteins from the following sources:

  • Fish: Fish offers heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and, in general, less fat than meat.

  • Poultry: You can eliminate most of the saturated fat by removing the skin.

  • Beans: Beans contain more protein than any other vegetable protein. Plus, they’re loaded with fiber that helps you feel full for hours.

  • Nuts: One ounce of almonds gives you 6 grams of protein, nearly as much protein as one ounce of broiled ribeye steak.

  • Whole grains: A slice of whole wheat bread gives you 3 grams of protein, plus valuable fiber.

  • “A lot of plant-based foods like soy and legumes can give you the same amount of protein as meats. I have nuts for breakfast every day, because they not only give you a lot of protein, but they’re healthy sources of fat,” Hu says.

    So when you decide to cut carbs and boost protein, take Hu’s advice: Don’t lose sight of the big picture.

MMB – Fats Have a Bad Rap

Good morning everyone!

I hope you are walking into your Monday feeling energized and ready to take on the week!  Great job to everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week!  I also kicked off Walking Boot Camp this past Sunday at 7am and I think this is definitely a format that you’ll see again! 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday night – Are you needing a mid-week fitness fix?  Come join us on Tuesday nights and get an awesome work out in, while mixing it up with some very fun and cool people!  If you’d like to come, please e-mail or text me which class you’d like to attend.  Classes are:  5:45pm to 6:45pm 60 minutes, 6:55pm to 7:25pm 30 minutes, & 7:35pm to 8:05pm 30 minutes.
  2.  There will be NO Cardio Fusion Thursday, October 25th or Boot Camp on Saturday, October 27th. 
  3. Mark down Friday, October 26th for Friday Night Boot Camp!  6:15pm to 7:15pm!  You can join in for the entire 60 minutes, or come for 30 minutes at 6:15pm or 6:45pm!
  4. Next Walking Boot Camp is Sunday, November 4th at 11am! Come join us for this 60 minute low impact cardio class that will give you a killer body weight training and core drills!


Photos from Saturday’s Fall Fitness  & Nutrition Challenge!  Way to go Lynnda Philbrook for taking on the Challenge!


Thought for the week: Fats Have a Bad Rap

Do you remember the “no fat” craze a couple of decades ago?  Food scientists and nutritionists thought it would be a brilliant idea to take fats out of our foods so we could trim down as a society.  So, where did the fat go?  Food scientists replaced fat with processed and refined carbohydrates and artificial sweeteners, which ultimately ignited the obestity epidemic that we are still battling today. 

Refined carbohydrates make our food high glycemic, which means these foods turn into glucose into our bodies rapidly.  The liver produces insulin like crazy to try and capture all of this extra fuel into glycogen that’s stored in the liver, but much of the energy from these types of food are stored as….fat. 

So, we actually need fat.  It’s a very important nutrient.  It aids in: growth, gives us energy, is vital for brain and organ function, metabolism, hormones health, healthy skin, eyes, bones, and reproductive health.

However, too many of the bad fats, such as saturated fats largely sourced from animal protein, can raise our cholesterol levels and blood pressure.  Transfats are also wicked.  Think Hostess products like Twinkies.  Consumed in high quantities, a diet high in these fats can lead to heart disease and death.  Well, that’s sad and depressing!  So, if fats are important for our bodies, which fats should we eat?  I’ve attached some articles and sources about which fats to consume for you guys to check out, including an article below from Harvard Health Publishing. 

The bottom line is we should not be afraid of fats.  We need them.  But, we need the right fats.  So, grab some avocados, nuts, and seeds, and enjoy them in your salads, or in trail mix, or protein bars.  Remember, a little goes a long way though.  Fats have 9 calories per gram, as opposed to carbs and proteins with 4 calories per gram.  Now go have some guacamole with those veggies!

The truth about fats: the good, the bad, and the in-between

Avoid the trans fats, limit the saturated fats, and replace with essential polyunsaturated fats


Published: February, 2015

Why are trans fats bad for you, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats good for you, and saturated fats somewhere in-between? For years, fat was a four-letter word. We were urged to banish it from our diets whenever possible. We switched to low-fat foods. But the shift didn’t make us healthier, probably because we cut back on healthy fats as well as harmful ones.

You may wonder isn’t fat bad for you, but your body needs some fat from food. It’s a major source of energy. It helps you absorb some vitamins and minerals. Fat is needed to build cell membranes, the vital exterior of each cell, and the sheaths surrounding nerves. It is essential for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation. For long-term health, some fats are better than others. Good fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Bad ones include industrial-made trans fats. Saturated fats fall somewhere in the middle.

All fats have a similar chemical structure: a chain of carbon atoms bonded to hydrogen atoms. What makes one fat different from another is the length and shape of the carbon chain and the number of hydrogen atoms connected to the carbon atoms. Seemingly slight differences in structure translate into crucial differences in form and function.

Bad trans fats

The worst type of dietary fat is the kind known as trans fat. It is a byproduct of a process called hydrogenation that is used to turn healthy oils into solids and to prevent them from becoming rancid. Trans fats have no known health benefits and that there is no safe level of consumption. Therefore, they have been officially banned in the United States.

Trans fat is a byproduct of hydrogenation, turning healthy oils into saturated fatsEarly in the 20th century, trans fats were found mainly in solid margarines and vegetable shortening. As food makers learned new ways to use partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, they began appearing in everything from commercial cookies and pastries to fast-food French fries.

Eating foods rich in trans fats increases the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream and reduces the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol. Trans fats create inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. They contribute to insulin resistance, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Even small amounts of trans fats can harm health: for every 2% of calories from trans fat consumed daily, the risk of heart disease rises by 23%.

In-between saturated fats

Saturated fats are common in the American diet. They are solid at room temperature — think cooled bacon grease, but what is saturated fat? Common sources of saturated fat include red meat, whole milk and other whole-milk dairy foods, cheese, coconut oil, and many commercially prepared baked goods and other foods.

The word “saturated” here refers to the number of hydrogen atoms surrounding each carbon atom. The chain of carbon atoms holds as many hydrogen atoms as possible — it’s saturated with hydrogens.

Is saturated fat bad for you? A diet rich in saturated fats can drive up total cholesterol, and tip the balance toward more harmful LDL cholesterol, which prompts blockages to form in arteries in the heart and elsewhere in the body. For that reason, most nutrition experts recommend limiting saturated fat to under 10% of calories a day.

A handful of recent reports have muddied the link between saturated fat and heart disease. One meta-analysis of 21 studies said that there was not enough evidence to conclude that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease, but that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat may indeed reduce risk of heart disease.

Two other major studies narrowed the prescription slightly, concluding that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fats like vegetable oils or high-fiber carbohydrates is the best bet for reducing the risk of heart disease, but replacing saturated fat with highly processed carbohydrates could do the opposite.

Good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats

Good fats come mainly from vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish. They differ from saturated fats by having fewer hydrogen atoms bonded to their carbon chains. Healthy fats are liquid at room temperature, not solid. There are two broad categories of beneficial fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Monounsaturated fats. When you dip your bread in olive oil at an Italian restaurant, you’re getting mostly monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats have a single carbon-to-carbon double bond. The result is that it has two fewer hydrogen atoms than a saturated fat and a bend at the double bond. This structure keeps monounsaturated fats liquid at room temperature.Good sources of monounsaturated and polysaturated fats are olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, most nuts, high-oleic safflower and sunflower oils

Good sources of monounsaturated fats are olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, and most nuts, as well as high-oleic safflower and sunflower oils.

The discovery that monounsaturated fat could be healthful came from the Seven Countries Study during the 1960s. It revealed that people in Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean region enjoyed a low rate of heart disease despite a high-fat diet. The main fat in their diet, though, was not the saturated animal fat common in countries with higher rates of heart disease. It was olive oil, which contains mainly monounsaturated fat. This finding produced a surge of interest in olive oil and the “Mediterranean diet,” a style of eating regarded as a healthful choice today.

Although there’s no recommended daily intake of monounsaturated fats, the Institute of Medicine recommends using them as much as possible along with polyunsaturated fats to replace saturated and trans fats.

Polyunsaturated fats. When you pour liquid cooking oil into a pan, there’s a good chance you’re using polyunsaturated fat. Corn oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil are common examples. Polyunsaturated fats are essential fats. That means they’re required for normal body functions but your body can’t make them. So you must get them from food. Polyunsaturated fats are used to build cell membranes and the covering of nerves. They are needed for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation.

A polyunsaturated fat has two or more double bonds in its carbon chain. There are two main types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. The numbers refer to the distance between the beginning of the carbon chain and the first double bond. Both types offer health benefits.

Eating polyunsaturated fats in place of saturated fats or highly refined carbohydrates reduces harmful LDL cholesterol and improves the cholesterol profile. It also lowers triglycerides.

Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, flaxseeds, walnuts, canola oil, and unhydrogenated soybean oil.

Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent and even treat heart disease and stroke. In addition to reducing blood pressure, raising HDL, and lowering triglycerides, polyunsaturated fats may help prevent lethal heart rhythms from arising. Evidence also suggests they may help reduce the need for corticosteroid medications in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Studies linking omega-3s to a wide range of other health improvements, including reducing risk of dementia, are inconclusive, and some of them have major flaws, according to a systematic review of the evidence by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Omega-6 fatty acids have also been linked to protection against heart disease. Foods rich in linoleic acid and other omega-6 fatty acids include vegetable oils such as safflower, soybean, sunflower, walnut, and corn oils.

MMB – Do You Know Your Nutrients?

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!  Excellent effort by everyone who made it out to classes this past week!  Challenge #2 was this past Saturday and once again, you guys brought your best and worked it hard!  

We also discussed the second nutrient, which was carbohydrates, and talked about what makes up complex carbohydrates and why they help us feel fuller longer and how they help to manage weight loss.  Think of beans, whole grains, and starchy veggies as examples of complex carbohydrates.  In general, it is recommended that we eat between 45-65% of carbohydrates in our diet.  Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy: They help fuel your brain, kidneys, heart, muscles and central nervous system. For instance, fiber is a carbohydrate that aids in digestion, helps you feel full and keeps blood cholesterol levels in check.  All good reasons to enjoy some complex carbohydrates!

Here are the winners from Saturday’s Challenge:

7am crew 60 minute class

1st place – Christi Stevenson 32:21

2nd place – Lisa Dillon and Lynnda Philbrook 32:30


Christi Stevenson

8:05am crew 30 minute class

1st place – Kathleen Jacobs 16:45

2nd place – Christy Stevens 16:52

3rd place – Melissa Judge 17:12

Honorable mention – Peter Calvo 18:48


Kathleen Jacobs

Announcements and Reminders:

1) Cardio Core is at Jen’s Studio Tuesday night!  Please text me if you’d like to sign up for either 5:45pm for 60 minute, 6:55pm to 7:25pm for 30 minute, or 7:35pm to 8:05pm for 30 minute class.

2)  NEW CLASS!  Walking Boot Camp this Sunday, October 14th at 7am!  Looking for a low impact option boot camp option to do over the weekend?  Come try Walking Boot Camp this coming Sunday at 7am!  We’ll power walk our way 1/2 way around the Pleasanton Sports Park, while still getting in plenty of cardio, whole body strength, and core drills at a variety of different stations.  Class will be an hour long and is designed for all fitness levels.  If you prefer to run, I can create a plan for you to run and still be a part of the class.  Please let me know if you’d like to sign up!  This is a great class to invite a friend to!


Thought for the week:  Knowledge is power and the more we know about nutrition, the healthier we’ll live!  Here is a quick read from Healthline on a reminder of what the six nutrients are, why we need them, and where to find them.  For our third Challenge this coming Saturday, we’ll be discussing fats, so you have some time to brush up on your knowledge of fats.  Let’s eat colorful and vibrant foods that are alive and not found in a package, loaded with msg, salt, and preservatives that make us sick. 
See you in class soon!

6 Essential Nutrients and Why Your Body Needs Them

From Healthline:


Essential nutrients are compounds that the body can’t make or can’t make in sufficient quantity. According to the World Health Organization, these nutrients must come from food, and they’re vital for disease prevention, growth, and good health.

While there are many essential nutrients, they can be broken into two categories: macronutrients and micronutrients.

Macronutrients are eaten in large amounts and include the primary building blocks of your diet — protein, carbohydrates, and fat — which provide your body with energy.

Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients, and small doses go a long way. There are six main groups of essential micronutrients and macronutrients.

1. Protein

Protein is having its moment, and not just in the workout community. But all of the hype is for a good reason. Protein is essential for good health.

Protein provides the building blocks of the body, and not just for muscle. Every cell, from bone to skin to hair, contains protein.

A startling 16 percent of the average person’s body weight is from protein. Protein is used primarily for growth, health, and body maintenance.

All of your hormones, antibodies, and other important substances are composed of protein. Protein is not used to fuel the body unless necessary.

Proteins are made of up different amino acids. While the body can create some amino acids on its own, there are many essential amino acids that can only come from food. You need a variety of amino acids for your body to function properly.

The good news is that you don’t need to eat all of the amino acids at once. Your body can create complete proteins from the foods you eat throughout the day.

Healthy sources

While meat, fish, and eggs are good sources of essential amino acids, you can also get protein from plant sources like beans, soy, nuts, and some grains. Exactly how much protein you need daily depends on a variety of factors including how active you are, and your age.

Despite the growing popularity of high-protein diets, there haven’t been enough studies to prove that they’re healthier or can influence weight loss, according to the Mayo Clinic.

2. Carbohydrates

Don’t let the low-carb craze fool you. Carbohydrates are necessary for a healthy body. Carbs fuel your body, especially your central nervous system and brain, and protect against disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Carbohydrates should make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Healthy sources

Before you reach for the white bread or pasta, keep in mind that the type of carb you eat matters. Some carbs are healthier than others. Opt for whole grains, beans, and fiber-rich vegetables and fruits instead of refined grains and products with added sugar.

3. Fats

Fats often get a bad rap, but recent research has shown that healthy fats are an important part of a healthy diet.

According to Harvard Medical School, fat supports many of your body’s functions such as vitamin and mineral absorption, blood clotting, building cells, and muscle movement.

Yes, fat is high in calories, but those calories are an important energy source for your body.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories come from fat, but the World Health Organization suggests keeping it under 30 percent of your calories.

Including healthy fats in your diet can help you to balance your blood sugar, decrease your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and improve your brain function. They’re also powerful anti-inflammatories, and they may lower your risk of arthritis, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Healthy sources

The most famous unsaturated fats are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Unsaturated fats are important for your body as they provide essential fatty acids your body can’t make. You can find these healthy fats in nuts, seeds, fish, and vegetable oils (like olive, avocado, and flaxseed). Coconut oil provides plant-based fats in the form of medium-chain triglycerides which impart health benefits like faster utilization by organs as fuel and appetite control.

Avoid trans fats and limit your intake of saturated animal-based fats like butter, cheese, red meat, and ice cream.

4. Vitamins

Vitamins are vital for warding off disease and staying healthy. The body needs these micronutrients to support its functions. There are 13 essential vitamins that the body needs to function properly, including vitamins A, C, B6, and D.

Each vitamin plays an important role in the body, and not getting enough of them can cause health problems and disease. Many Americans do not get enough of many essential vitamins. Vitamins are essential for healthy vision, skin, and bones.

Vitamins may lower the risk of lung and prostate cancer, and they’re powerful antioxidants. Vitamins like vitamin C boost the immune system and help the body heal.

Healthy sources

If you eat a varied, well-balanced diet full of vegetables and fruits, and have a normal and healthy functioning digestive tract, you likely don’t need to take vitamin supplements.

5. Minerals

Much like vitamins, minerals help support the body. They’re essential for many body functions, including building strong bones and teeth, regulating your metabolism, and staying properly hydrated. Some of the most common minerals are calcium, iron, and zinc.

In addition to strengthening bones, calcium helps with nerve signal transmission, maintaining healthy blood pressure, and muscle contraction and relaxation. Iron supports your red blood cells and hormone creation, while zinc boosts your immune system and wound healing.

6. Water

You can go for weeks without food, but you can’t last more than a few days without water. Water is absolutely crucial for every system in your body. It’s also the main thing you are made of. About 62 percent of your body weight is water.

Water improves your brain function and mood. It acts a shock absorber and a lubricant in the body. It also helps flush out toxins, carry nutrients to cells, hydrate the body, and prevent constipation.

Even mild dehydration can make you feel tired and impair your concentration and physical performance.

Healthy sources

You don’t have to chug water to stay hydrated. Fruits and vegetables can also be a great source. Munch on some spinach or watermelon to stay hydrated.

The best way to know if you’re properly hydrated is the color and volume of your urine. If your urine isn’t frequent and pale yellow or nearly clear, you need more water.


Eating a varied diet full of fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins and fats, and whole grains is the best way to get enough of these six essential nutrients plus the important category of phytonutrients — the beneficial chemicals in colorful plants that prevent disease. These micronutrients and macronutrients are vital for your body to function normally and stay healthy.


MMB – It’s Fall Challenge Time!

Good morning everyone!

Happy Monday to you and the first of October!  Now I can officially put out all of my pumpkin stuff – yeah!  I hope you all had a great weekend!  Great work to everyone who made it out to the first Fall Fitness and Nutrition Challenge!  Woo hoo!  For the next five Saturdays, I’ll be weaving in timed fitness challenges, fitness tests, and a 3-5 minute talk on the six nutrients while we are doing core work – oh yeah! 

For this first Challenge, here are the winners for the 60 minute class:

Joanne Vieira – 1st place 28:55

Bernadette Calvo – 2nd place 30:12

Lynnda Philbrook – 3rd place 31:10

Kathy Schalin – honorable mention 31:34


7am crew from Saturday!


Joanne Vieira – winner of first 60 minute Challenge!


Challenge #1 – After every station, a 2 minute run was required! 


For the 30 minute class, here are the winners for the Challenge:

Vanessa Perez – 1st place 13:58  note:  Vanessa was also the winner of the Nutrition Knowledge Contest and won a $45 class card with her knowledge on vitamin C!  Way to go Vanessa!

Christi Stevens – 2nd place 14:35

Kathleen Jacbos &  Erin Campbell 3rd place 15:49


Vanessa Perez!  Winner of first Challenge and class card!

8:05am Crew from Saturday!

Thought for the week:  Jen’s Studio is Revamped!

When you run your business out of your home garage….oops, I mean studio, um you need to have a sense of humor!  My home studio is full of life, and yes chaos, and yes kids’ sports equipment, and Costco items, and my husband’s video production gear and so much more! 

I also home school throughout the day using the garage as my boys recite math facts while jumping on a Bosu, or swing from the TRX while going over sentence structure and diagramming.  So, to say that my garage is important in my life is an understatement! 

Unbeknownst to all of you, there was a pool table buried in the corner of the garage that had been stored there for years.  It was my husband’s grandfather’s pool table and we were storing it for safe keeping.  Well, my mother in law recently retired and decided to move to Texas and wanted to take the pool table with her.  We were totally fine with this idea and realized that it would open up a large amount of space in the garage.  So, this past weekend, our neighbor Allen (the one always enticing you to enjoy wine and join the dark side while you are working hard), my husband, and I went to town on reorganizing the entire training space. 

Of course, as with any project like this, one thing leads to another and there are fixes required, dry wall needed, electrical work etc.  Oh, and don’t forget fresh paint!  So, I’m happy to report that I have a new and improved training space!  Who is it for?  All of you, of course!  With winter approaching and knowing that Tuesday night classes are busy, I needed to have more space for you guys.  So, the removal of the pool table was a blessing in disguise because of the chain reaction that happened, which allowed me to improve the space.

So, if you scroll through the photos, you’ll see the before and after pictures.  It’s still a work in progress and there’s always room for improvement, but I think you’ll find that the space feels more open and breathable. I’m excited to share this with you guys and am excited about what the Lord is doing in my business in helping me to help all of you!  

See you in class soon!






MMB – Don’t Let Inflammation Getcha Down!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you!  I hope you were all able to get outside and do something active over the weekend!  Thanks for your understanding in allowing me to miss Boot Camp on Saturday and take a trip with my boys on their Boy Scout camp out to the Lava Beds in Lassen.  It was an amazing weekend!  These caves are brilliant examples of the earth’s unleashed power!  So, you know that monkey crawl exercise we do in Boot Camp?  Well, let’s just say it was put into good use!  Yup, there was a lot of monkey crawls, bear crawls, duck walks, scaling, traversing, and climbing jagged rocks!  It was glorious 🙂  Here are a couple of pictures:



Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday!  If you’d like to sign up for classes on Tuesday, please text or e-mail me.  Classes are 60 min 5:45pm to 6:45pm, 30 min 6:55pm to 7:25pm, and 30 min 7:35pm to 8:05pm. 
  2. Cardio Fusion – Normal class times on Thursday 5:45pm to 6:45pm & 6:55pm to 7:25pm
  3. 6-Week Fall Fitness and Nutrition Challenge begins on September 29th!  It’s that time of year again!  Let’s kick off the fall season with a good Challenge that will motivate and inspire you to push a little harder, eat clean, and learn more about nutrition.  Let’s shake things up and lose a couple of inches as we head into the fall.  After all, you want to feel good in those jeans right? 
  4. September Nutrition Knowledge Contest – You still have until 9/30 to learn those nutrition facts!  Research the six nutrients:  water, carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.  Learn something, write it down, and enter the drawing for your chance to win a class card. 


Thought for the week:  Don’t Let Inflammation Getcha Down!


I think many of us are walking around in a state of inflammation and don’t even realize it.  With our American lifestyle and S.A.D. diet (Standard American Diet), it doesn’t take a genius long to figure out there is a direct correlation between our lifestyle and chronic diseases.  Diseases often stem from a state of inflammation in the body, so this is why it’s important to recognize the symptoms and do something about if you have them!  Be aware of how you look and feel and ask yourself if you have any of the following symptoms in the article below from  The article I’ve attached is from a naturopathic physician and is a quick read giving you some information about what inflammation does to our bodies and what symptoms we should be looking for. 

Also, I’ve attached the acidic-alkaline chart so you can review the feeds that are calming and inflammatory.  Knowledge is power, so the more you aware, the more you can make healthy decisions on a daily basis that will reduce inflammation and limit disease.

See you soon!




10 Signs You Have Chronic Inflammation

Kellyann Petrucci, ND, a leading naturopathic physician and nutritionist, is an inflammation expert. This week, we’re sharing Dr. Petrucci’s expertise in a series on fighting inflammation for optimal health.

Typically, it’s pretty easy to tell if you’re experiencing acute inflammation. If you scrape your knee, your skin will turn red and hot. If you catch a cold, your runny nose and fever will tell the whole world that you’re inflamed. So acute inflammation is a natural, healthy process that helps your body heal.

But chronic inflammation is a whole different story. Chronic inflammation occurs when your immune system gets set permanently to “on.” As a result, it constantly releases a flood of damaging chemicals that could sicken your cells. It’s like a forest fire that never goes out.

Recent research suggests that chronic inflammation is associated with many modern diseases, including obesity and heart disease. In addition, chronic inflammation could make you feel tired and “washed out.”

Your doctor can measure your level of C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation, to indicate whether chronic inflammation might be wreaking havoc on your body. But there are also a few clues your body might be telling you.

How to spot the signs of chronic inflammation:

Chronic inflammation can reveal itself in a variety of way, but these 10 signs are the most common in my experience.

1. You have a “spare tire” around your waist.

Fat cells in the abdomen churn out inflammatory chemicals—and the more belly fat you have, the more of these chemicals they create. In fact, cardiovascular medicine expert Peter Libby, MD, calls belly fat a “hotbed” of inflammation.

2. You have high blood glucose levels.

High blood sugar increases the numbers of inflammatory cytokines circulating in your blood. It also increases your levels of destructive molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are pro-inflammatory.

3. You have digestive problems like gas, diarrhea, bloating, or constipation.

These can stem from a sick, inflamed, overly permeable gut—and a leaky gut that allows toxins to escape into your bloodstream is one of the leading cause of chronic, body-wide inflammation.

4. You’re tired all the time.

Inflamed cells are sick cells, and they can’t produce the energy you need to feel refreshed and invigorated. As a result, you feel fatigued even when you first get out of bed—and by afternoon, you’re exhausted.

5. You have skin problems like eczema or psoriasis, or your skin is red and blotchy.

This could be an external sign of internal fire. (This is why there’s a powerful link between psoriasis and inflammatory conditions that manifest internally, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.)

6. You have allergies.

If you’re always battling watery eyes and a runny nose, you could be chronically inflamed.

7. Your face is puffy, or you have puffy bags under your eyes.

This is a common sign of internal inflammation.

8. You have gum disease.

This is another outward clue of internal inflammation.

9. You’re depressed, anxious, or suffering from “brain fog.”

Inflammation could affect your brain chemistry, causing changes in how you think and feel.

10. If you’re a man, you have erectile dysfunction.

Chronic inflammation could be a cause of this problem.

How to heal chronic inflammation:

If you have any of these signs pointing to chronic inflammation, here’s the good news: You can start taking control by changing your lifestyle.

Begin by cutting out highly inflammatory foods like sugar and grains out of your diet and eating more lean protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. I recommend drinking gut-healing bone broth every day for a huge dose of anti-inflammatory power. Exercise daily, get enough sleep, and de-stress yourself with mindfulness meditation. Lower your body’s burden of toxic chemicals, and you’ll turn down the flame another notch.

This is a problem you can start solving right now with a simple prescription: a smarter, healthier lifestyle.

MMB – Nutrition & Fitness Challenge is Coming!

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and have been moving and eating clean!  I know it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve written a blog, so thanks for your patience!  Our internet was down all last week, but thankfully we had a technician come out on Saturday and fixed everything for us – yeah!

So, how’s the routine coming along?  I know there are quite a few of you, who have been traveling or have had some job changes, so I hope you are still able to carve out time for your work outs and self care!  Fall can be an interesting time of transition as new school and sports schedules are created and there is an adjustment period that can seem a little overwhelming and stressful at times.  Do you know the best way to handle stress?  Yup, work out hard with friends! 

If you haven’t had the chance to make it to class in the past few weeks, I’d love to hear from you!  Let me know how I can be a support and encourage you.  For those of you who have been coming out on a regular basis, I love seeing your commitment and progress as you increase your strength and endurance.  This stuff really does work!  It just takes doing it with commitment and consistency 🙂

A note about class length – Have you been coming to my 30 minute classes for sometime and are feeling like you may want more, but the idea of a 60 minute class is daunting?  If so, I want to encourage you to come to my 60 minute class and try pushing yourself to do 45 minutes.  Just let me know at the beginning of class that you want to try 45 minutes and I’ll let you know when we’ve reached 45 minutes.  You can begin your cool down and stretching at that point.  Do this for a few weeks until you feel like you can go the distance with the 60 minute class.  Sound good? 


Announcements and Reminders:

  1.  Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday!  If you’d like to sign up for classes on Tuesday, please text or e-mail me.  Classes are 60 min 5:45pm to 6:45pm, 30 min 6:55pm to 7:25pm, and 30 min 7:35pm to 8:05pm. 
  2. Cardio Fusion – Normal class time on Thursday 5:45pm to 6:45pm & 6:55pm to 7:25pm
  3. Special Boot Camp Friday, September 21st at 8am at Jen’s Studio!
  4. NO Boot Camp on Saturday, September 22nd!  I’ll be away for the weekend camping with the Boy Scouts at Lava Tubes in Lassen.  If you’d like to have Boot Camp, I’m planning a special Boot Camp on Friday from 8am to 9am at my home.  You are welcome to come for 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or the entire 60 minutes!  Please let me know if you’d like to attend.
  5. 6-Week Fall Fitness and Nutrition Challenge begins on September 29th!  It’s that time of year again!  Let’s kick off the fall season with a good Challenge that will motivate and inspire you to push a little harder, eat clean, and learn more about nutrition.  Let’s shake things up and lose a couple of inches as we head into the fall.  After all, you want to feel good in those jeans right? 
  6. September Nutrition Knowledge Contest – You still have a couple of weeks remaining to learn those nutrition facts!  Research the six nutrients:  water, carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.  Learn something, write it down, and enter the drawing for your chance to win a class card. 

Thought for the week:  Why Should We Do a Challenge?


O.k. so what’s the point in doing these Challenges every year?  As humans, we are creatures of habit and we like our routines because they are comfortable.  This is especially true when it comes to fitness.  Have you ever noticed that when you do the same fitness routine for a while that it becomes easier and you aren’t having to labor as much? 

If you aren’t paying close attention, that same routine with the same reps and intensity will not be as effective as it was months ago.  Our bodies are pretty amazing in how they can adapt to change and stabilize within a fairly short amount of time.  You can recognize if your work out has become too redundant if your heart rate is not increasing as much or the same weights that you were lifting aren’t making you break a sweat or labor with difficulty.  This is because your body is not requiring your heart to work as hard to get the oxygen and blood flow needed to the rest of the body to perform the exercises required. 

So what’s the point?  What’s wrong with routine?  Well, there isn’t anything wrong with routine, up to a certain point.  In fitness, we call this periodization training which is defined as: “Periodization is a form of resistance training that may be defined as strategic implementation of specific training phases.  These training phases are based upon increasing and decreasing both volume (which is reps times sets) and intensity (which is the load or percentage of 1RM) when designing a training program.”

So, if we aren’t tweaking the above mentioned formula every few weeks, we aren’t working as effectively and efficiently as we should.  And this friends, is why we need Challenges!  Challenges are intended to be about six weeks long, where you are pushed harder mentally and physically.  The idea behind them is to break up patterns and tax your energy systems greater so that your body will have a reset in giving you a boost in your metabolism, fat burn, and caloric expenditure. 

This all sounds good to me!  So, let’s invite some friends and come out on Saturday, September 29th to get weighed and measured.  Let’s shake things up in our fitness and have some fun learning about nutrition and working it hard so we can feel and look amazing heading into fall! 


See you soon!



MMB – Let’s Be Students of Nutrition

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had an awesome three day weekend!  Wasn’t it wonderful?  I’d love to hear about all of the things you did with your friends and family!  I had one client this morning who told me all about her family adventures to Monterey, where they went bike riding together along the ocean, visited the aquarium, and then on Sunday, went to Angel Island for some great hiking!  Now, that’s an awesome family weekend of moving and making memories together! 

Announcements and Reminders:

  1. Cardio Core at Jen’s Studio Tuesday Night – Come out and join us for a combination of cardio, resistance, core, and fitness fun!  If you’d like to sign up, please e-mail or text me 925-699-7725.  There are still some spots open at 5:45pm (60 min.), 6:55pm (30 min.), and 7:35pm (30 min.)  See you tonight!
  2. September Nutrition Challenge Prep Month – The Fall Fitness and Nutrition Challenge is starting on Saturday, September 29th.  This Challenge will be a little different because there will be nutrition questions mixed in with the Challenge to find out who knows their nutrition the best! In order to prepare for this Challenge, the month of September will be all about learning more about nutrition.  I encourage you to research more about the six nutrients; water, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.  For every fact you learn, write down what you’ve learned on a card and enter into the Nutrition Facts Box.  At the end of September, I’ll draw a card and award the winner with a free class card!  Knowledge is power and I can’t think of a more important topic to learn about than how to take care of your body through nutrition.  It was Hippocrates that said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” O.k……sounds good to me!  In a culture consumed with pharmaceuticals as a way to treat our illnesses, let’s live radically different than the average American and take our nutritious seriously so that we can feel energized, healthy, and free of disease!  Who is with me?!

Thought for the week: Let’s Be Students of Nutrition


I know that ignorance is bliss, but we can’t afford to be ignorant in the areas of nutrition.  As our American culture continues to be pummeled and stricken by a host of diseases, we must pause and ask the question, “Are the prescription medications being administered by our medical doctors working to cure us?”  I think the proof is in the numbers and the answer is NO!  Americans are downing statin drugs like they are candy, but aren’t changing their lifestyles.  It doesn’t work like that folks!  In order to prevent disease, you have to change from the inside out, and that begins on a cellular level where you are nurturing your cells and are giving them the nutrients that they need.  The warrior bugs within our gut are there to protect us, but sadly, they have become a wounded and downtrodden army that is barely holding their line of defense because the are not given the rations they need to stand strong against enemy forces – namely, sugar, refined carbs, and processed foods!

Well, knowledge is power, so I am embarking on a journey to learn more about nutrition and would love for all of you to come along with me!  Start researching about the six nutrients, which are:  water, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.  Do some simple internet searches from credible sources and learn some facts about why we need to be eating foods that are high in nutrients!  Here are some example questions you can look up:

  1.  Why is water important for our bodies?  How much water do we need to drink?  Is drinking water out of plastic bottles bad? 
  2. What are complex carbohydrates?  When is the best time of day to eat carbs?  Is there such a thing as bad carbs?  Why do we need carbohydrates?
  3. Why is protein important?  What does it do in our bodies?  How much is too much protein?  Do we need to eat animal protein?   Is there protein in plants?
  4. What is the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats?  Which fats lead to heat disease?  How much fat should we be eating every day?  What does fat do for us? 
  5. Can I get all of my vitamins from a supplement?   What are the best sources of Vitamin A?  K?  B complex?  D?  Etc.  What is the difference between water soluble and fat soluble vitamins?  Why do we need Vitamin C every day? 
  6. What are minerals anyway?  Are they inorganic or organic?  Why do we need them?  What are best sources of foods to get minerals? 

A couple of things:  I don’t expect you to spend a ton of time on this stuff, unless you want to!  I know we are all pressed for time, but you can learn a ton of facts in about 5 minutes!  Jot down some facts on the nutrition box cards and enter them every time you come in for class!  I’ll draw a winner at the end of the month and reward someone with a class card! 

My hope is that you will increase your nutrition awareness in a month and will be better informed to buy and prepare foods that will feed your cells from the inside out.  Let’s increase our defense system located in our gut by eating foods that are high in nutrients that will nourish our gut health and not destroy it.  Remember, about 80% of our immune system is located in our gut.  If we want to avoid disease, it begins with gut health.  Let’s say NO to sugar, salt, msg, transfats, refined carbs, processed foods, and artificial sweeteners and colors.  Say Yes to foods that are grown in the ground or come from plants.  Look for an assortment of rainbow colored foods, and I don’t mean Skittles! LOL!  Veggies, fruits, green leafy varieties, sprouted seeds, nuts, beans – these are the things that will nourish your body and help you feel amazing and ready to take on life!

See you in class soon!