MMB – Wanna Live Longer and Healthier?

Good Morning everyone,

Did you know summer started this weekend?  Well, maybe not according to the calendar, but it sure felt like August out there!  Excellent effort to everyone who was able to make it out to classes this past week! Some of you attended back to back classes in the mid-week on Wednesday and Thursday nights!  Now that’s dedication!

This past Saturday marked the end of the Spring Fitness Challenge and I wanted to thank everyone for working so hard and putting in the effort.  I will post the results within the next day or two so you can find out how well you did for the fitness tests and weight loss.  Stay tuned for results!

Announcements and Reminders:

  1. Cardio Fusion is tonight, not Tuesday!  Valley Bible Church  – 6:15 to 7:15pm and 7:20 to 7:50pm
  2. Cardio Core will either be on Wednesday or Thursday.  If my son’s baseball team loses on Tuesday, then I’ll teach on Thursday.  If they win, then I’ll teach on Wednesday night.  Stay tuned!
  3. Memorial Day Weekend classes – There will still be Boot Camp classes on Saturday!
  4. Memorial Day Holiday Running Boot Camp!  Gonna go to a BBQ on Memorial Day?  How about burning up a few hundred calories before you go?  Join me at my house at 8am for another 5k distance with strength and core drills!  Beginners are welcomed!
  5. No Boot Camp on Saturday, June 9th
  6. 4th of July Boot Camp on Saturday, July 1st
  7. Jen’s 8th Year Business Celebration BBQ on Saturday, July 15th at 5pm!

Thought for the week:  Wanna Live Longer and Healthier?

As you know, I attended Bruce and Mindy Mylrea’s One Day to Wellness workshop on May 13th and I am excited to start sharing some of the informational gems and nuggets I took away from the workshop.  When I was headed down to Santa Cruz, I had some time to think about what my own nutritional philosophy is and I wanted to share it with you guys before I give you some take-aways from Bruce and Mindy.

I have never been a vegan, nor have my husband or my kids.  Do I think that eating a mostly plant based diet is beneficial?  Absolutely. However, my family loves meat.  My son Ryan dreams of bacon and ribs and my older son Andrew loves nothing more than a juicy burger at a BBQ. 

Sigh….such a dilemma when your head is filled with resource after resource about the benefits of a plant based diet void of animal products.  So, do I go hard core and refrain from buying meat ever again and torture my kids and husband for my beliefs and mission of living the healthiest life possible?  It’s a tough question and maybe some of you can relate? So, here’s how I’m handling this dilemma and I hope and pray that my kids won’t be in therapy when they are 40 years old! Well, then again they probably will be and will write a book entitled, “How I Survived My Boot Camp Mom!” LOL!

I love to cook.  I love to eat!  I love seeing people come together and make merry with delicious foods and conversations.  Some of our happiest memories are made right in our backyard with friends and family living this way.  So, 80% of the time, especially during the week, we are eating a plant based diet filled with many types of grains, legumes, vegetables, salads, fruits, fermented foods, eggs, Kombucha, and lots of water.  I make a ton of dips such as hummus, black beans, and guacamole for cut up raw veggies.  Because I am home most of the time, most of the foods that we consume I make, so I can control the ingredients and limit salt, sugar, and fats. 

On the weekend, we are a bit more off the leash and we’ll usually BBQ something such as wild caught salmon, organic free range chicken, or a couple of times a year we’ll have a really good cut of organic, grass fed beef such as a filet Mignon. 

You’ve heard it before, but I call this the 80/20 rule.  Most trainers have some kind of formula similar to this, but I wanted to take a minute and share my philosophy that seems to be working pretty well so far.  My boys are usually happy with everything I make and they know that if they deal with yet another bowl of lentils, some yummy BBQ will show up during the weekend to satisfy their carnivore cravings!  The jury is still out on if they’ll need therapy.  Stay tuned in the next 30 years!

Take Aways from One Day to Wellness:

Excerpt taken from One Day to Wellness text:  “According to Dr. Michael Greger, founder of, what we eat is the number one determining factor of how long we will live.  In fact, what we consume is the top factor of determining if we die an early death.  Food consumption is the number one determining factor if we develop a chronic disease.”

Throughout the workshop, Bruce reiterated that we are either consuming health promoting foods or disease promoting foods.  So, how do you know which is which?

It’s actually pretty simple and most of us already know this, but there is an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence that indicates the healthiest way to ensure a long, disease free life is to consume a whole, plant based food diet.  This means eating an array of:  whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.  The most nutrient dense foods include dark leafy greens like kale and arugula, and berries, blueberries, and raspberries. 

Have you heard of the Blue Zones out there?  National Geographic sponsored a documentary based on researching areas in the world where a greater percentage of people were living to be a 100 or older.  There is a book called The Blue Zones, written by Dan Buettner, and he takes a close look at all of these societies to find out what they have in common.  Here are some things they have in common:

  1.  They slow down and enjoy more time with family.
  2. Alcohol and smoking was greatly limited.
  3. They eat a plant base or Mediterranean Diet
  4. They consume high amounts of beans and yams. 
  5. They all move on a daily basis and walk long distances.



Bruce and Mindy also discussed the problems with the way that our animals are being kept and raised for our food.  The slaughter houses are a horrific place where animals are abused beyond measure and are pumped full of disease promoting elements from the pesticide laced grain to the drugs and antibiotics they are given to hide how sick they are.  So, here’s the equation:

Sick Animal = Sick Food = Sick People

It’s not my intent to make this a political statement, but if you watch any number of documentaries out there or read current articles and books, you’ll discover for yourself these horrible truths.

So, if most of us know this, why aren’t more of us eating more plants and less meat?  Here’s the truth:  our taste buds have been sabotaged by processed foods that are revved up in flavor and the pleasure part of our brain is more excited when we consume cookies and chips, then an apple or salad.  A steak is more exciting than a mushroom. 

Have you seen this in kids?  Oh yeah!  I held a baseball party at my house this past weekend and almost all of the kids only wanted to eat a hot dog or hamburger, and nothing else.  They ignored the fruit, the salads, and healthy dips and went straight for the cookies and cupcakes.  Yikes!  This is a huge wake up call parents!  We have to rescue our kids taste buds before it’s too late and our kids will grow up to be unhealthy and overweight or worse, obese.

Check out this Food Pyramid:


We need to heal our taste buds and retrain them to be excited over eating a delicious and juicy strawberry and enjoy the crunch of a good salad filled with raw vegetables. 

If we continue eating the Standard American Diet, then we’ll continue having more of the same, which is a nation filled with diseased people who are not living to their life’s fullest potential.  We will continue to spend billions of dollars on medication and overtaxing our health care system.  

What can you do to change your path?  How can you help your family to shift courses and venture into the world of plant based eating? 

More to come next week!

Thanks for reading and go eat those veggies!




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