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Corporate Wellness Lunch & Learns

Corporate Wellness Programs - Lunch and LearnsCorporate Wellness Lunch & Learns Seminars

Nutrition

• Defining Nutrients (Basics)
• Understanding Diets
• When Diet and Exercise Don’t Seem to be Working
• Foundations and Body Typing
• Straight Talk about Fast Food
• Portion Control: Why Diets Fail
• Food and Stress
• Do You Need Supplements?
• Family Nutrition: What Kids Will Eat
• The Whole Foods Advantage
• Economics of a Healthy Diet

Movement
• Do what you enjoy
• Putting effort to work for you
• Lightweight resistance training
• Getting to the core of things
• Flexibility for longevity

Change

• SMART Goals Seminar
• Living the Less-Stress Lifestyle I: Start S.M.A.R.T!
• Living the Less-Stress Lifestyle II: Finish S.T.R.O.N.G!
• Easy ways to reduce stress
• Stress and the holidays
• Change for Good! How to Let Go of a Bad Habit and Create a Better One
• How to Stop Doing What You DON’T Want and Start Doing What You DO Want!
• How to Change Your Mind, Change Your Behaviors, and Change Your Life

Find out how your company can benefit from a Wellness Program
303-955-8049
information@fitnutsource.com

First Responders – Corporate Wellness Programs

Corporate Wellness - First Responders

Is wellness a part of your strategic plan, or are you thinking about the benefits of a fit and healthy staff? FitNut delivers a wellness program that keeps your folks in the line of duty instead of recovering on the sidelines.

Delivered online or onsite, these innovative programs generate results.

  • Hand-on Implementations
  • Strength and Fitness Training
  • Biometric Training
  • Cardiovascular Programs
  • Nutrition Education
  • Motivation & Change Behaviors
  • Wellness Campaigns
  • Fitness Programs and Challenges
  • Health Committee Facilitation
  • Worksite Assessments

Origins of stress in Law Enforcement include:

  • Physical demands
  • Emotional states
  • Environmental conditions
  • Inadequate or poor nutrition
  • Coping with infection

Increasing numbers of first response personnel are not healthy enough to do the job!

We know that you are busy taking care of business, so we promise not to waste a minute of your time. FitNut designs custom wellness programs that meet the needs of your department. We would love the opportunity to answer any questions you may have or chat about your wellness program needs.

Jaye Alynn
720-484-5094

Stress – The Primary Cause of Degenerative Disease

Stress - The Primary Cause of Degenerative Disease In First RespondersSeveral research studies have shown us that individuals employed in law enforcement, fire fighting, and other first-responder occupations are at significantly higher risk for degenerative health conditions. Outside of personal injury from physical confrontation or other risk factors, stress could easily be the crux of most degenerative health conditions threatening public servant personnel. Dealing with the effects of job-related stress has traditionally been addressed through psychological counseling. The fundamental defect in this approach stems from neglecting the intrinsic relationship between the mind and the body.

Stress: its so much more than a state of mind.

From a holistic perspective, stress is defined as the phenomenon of bringing the body out of homeostasis. Everything about how the body works revolves around maintaining a stable, relatively constant condition of properties such as temperature, pH, and electrolyte levels. By broadening our definition, we can now begin to understand how stress is related to obesity and other degenerative health conditions beyond depression, divorce, and suicide.

In reality, stress comes from many different origins and stimuli:

1. Physical stress can range from injury and physical exertion to immobility and repetitive use syndrome.

2. Emotional stress is most easily defined as “mental strain”. Psychological stress stems from five different stimuli or conditions:

  • Pressure
  • Loss
  • Frustration
  • Conflict
  • Threat

3. Environmental stress includes climate, air pollution, airborne allergens, etc.

4. Infections are the constant scenario whereby your body is dealing with foreign invaders

5. Poor nutrition, or malnourishment, can occur in cases of insufficient calories or excessive calories. Poor nutrition is the condition whereby at least one nutrient required for any one given metabolic process is absent or available in supplies insufficient to complete any given metabolic process. (eg. Magnesium is needed in over 300 metabolic reactions) Excess amounts of sugars and refined foods, for example, can diminish thiamine, niacin, B12, magnesium, and calcium. Low levels of these nutrients increase nervous-system reactivity, irritability, and nervousness. But even more serious is the realization that poor eating habits in general lead to low concentrations of nutrients in the blood, which can impair brain function.

First Responder - Corporate Wellness Programs6. Sleep deprivation comes from inadequate sleep AND imbalanced ratios of the different sleep cycles.

Stress regulates the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The simplest understanding of stress comes from our experience with the “fight-or-flight” response. Responding to stimulus such as traffic, inflammatory emails, domestic violence, and life-threatening situations is no different than the physiological reaction a caveman might have experienced when confronted by a hungry saber-toothed tiger. The caveman was at a bit of an advantage because he either became lunch or he got away: the stress resolved itself. In these community service careers and our hectic public culture, stressors linger. This translates to a chronically overactive sympathetic nervous system.

In plain English, the stress response includes the following physical states:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Inhibition of digestion
  • Constriction of blood vessels (except to peripheral muscles)
  • Release stored fats and glucose into the blood
  • Inhibition of reproductive systems
  • Reduced auditory function (hearing losses)
  • Tunnel vision (loss of peripheral vision
  • Reduced immune function

If we take that information a step further, in a situation of chronic stress we see states of hypertension, impotence, low-grade infections and frequent illness, insulin resistance, obesity, and metabolic syndrome – just to name a few.

Degenerative health conditions are nothing more than a systemic breakdown. When the body is no longer able to maintain the tight margins of operations, we slip out of homeostasis. Over extended periods of time, this situation lends to abnormal compensations that can result in cancers, heart disease, depression, obesity, and other degenerative diseases.

There is a clear relationship between stress and health. Psychological stress is still best served through stress management tools and counseling, but the message here is that stress is far more basic to physical health than it often gets credit for. Lifestyle choices around nutrition, sleep, and balance play a significant role in combating the risk factors that plague public servant personnel.

Give us a call today to find out about our FREE First Responder Corporate Wellness Consultation 303-955-8049

 

Fitness and Nutrition Wrapup – What You Are Interested In!

Fitness and Nutrition Wrapup - What You Are Interested In!So we LOVE our fitness and nutrion readers and find some of your reading choices to be VERY enlightening about the state of wellness and health this year! Here is our wrap up of relevant articles and what you are most interested in.

Never fear, we will be adding more articles throughout the coming year to keep you on top of the most important aspects of fitness and nutrition. Please let us know if there is something you are interested in that we missed!

Our top article for 2012….drumroll please…

Can You Get Enough Vitamins and Nutrients from Your Food?

It seems that everyone has heard that our food sources are not as robust as they once were. We have replaced healthy eating with vitamins and supplements in an attempt to make sure our bodies are getting all the energy that we need. We are glad that these bad practices are coming to light and that our readers are looking for ways to keep valuable nutrients in their food where it belongs.

Top Topic – Whole Foods

After concerns about our waning “food” sources, the next bunch of articles to catch your eye are whole foods. Two of our articles about this topic are top reads.

Our Favorite

So now we know your favorites, here is our favorite for this last year! With the onset of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Obama Care), Corporate Wellness is heading to the forefront of industry’s thoughts and we proud to be among the first Corporate Wellness providers to realize that having tapes and a static program will not work for real change. Our coupling the conveniences of remote instruction with the reassuring guidance of our “Hands-On” style creates the best environment for a successful wellness program through the accomplishments of individual employees. (download our Corporate Wellness Programs Brochure)

Our favorite corporate wellness post – Cost Justification For Corporate Wellness Programs

Good Eats

Lastly is our recipe for “Blue Cheese Vinaigrette Salad Dressing: Healthy, Homemade and Amazing!” One of the benefits of being able to talk to people is that we can share our thoughts about how to work in healthy and yummy gluten free, dairy free recipes into “normal” everyday eating. They don’t have to feel like a punishment but can be the star of the meal!

Well there you have it, our top posts from this year! We look forward to providing great fitness and nutrition information for you throughout the coming year!

Is Stress at the Root of Degenerative Health Conditions?

Degenerative conditions such as obesity, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hypertension, and congestive heart failure are modifiable. What that means is that there exists a lifestyle modification that alleviates the stimulus for these conditions – primarily if those stimuli are addressed before irreparable tissue damage occurs.

But in a culture focused on ‘portion control’ and physical activity, we may be missing something: STRESS.

What is stress?

StressIn its most pure definition, stress is a physical or emotional state ‘out of homeostasis. Everything about operating the human body runs on maintaining acceptable margins such as temperature, blood levels of calcium and so forth. Throwing such a wide net on the definition of stress, we can begin to see that stressors can come from a wide range of stimuli.

Origins of Stress

Physical

- can range from injury and physical exertion to immobility and repetitive use syndrome

Emotional
- is most easily defined as “mental strain”. Psychological stress stems from five different stimuli or conditions:

  • Pressure
  • Loss
  • Frustration
  • Conflict
  • Threat

Environmental
- includes climate, air pollution, airborne allergens, etc.

Infectious
- the constant scenario whereby your body is dealing with foreign invaders

Inadequate or Poor Nutrition
- Poor nutrition, or malnourishment, can occur in cases of insufficient calories or excessive calories. Poor nutrition is the condition whereby at least one nutrient required for any one given metabolic process is absent or available in supplies insufficient to complete any given metabolic process (eg: Magnesium is needed in over 300 metabolic reactions). Excess amounts of sugars and refined foods, for example, can diminish thiamine, niacin, B12, magnesium, and calcium. Low levels of these nutrients increase nervous-system reactivity, irritability, and nervousness. But even more serious is the realization that poor eating habits in general lead to low concentrations of nutrients in the blood, which can impair brain function

As you can see, your body is under stress all of the time from one or more ‘stressors’. This is not a problem until we start operating outside of our natural ability to adapt to stress: out of homeostatic balance.

Repeated stress from any one stressor or combination of stressors places a great deal of demand on our adrenal glands. The adrenals are the endocrine glands sitting on top of the kidneys and produce the stress hormones that essentially respond to every kind of stress. Regardless of the stressor, the adrenal glands always respond in the same way. By engaging the sympathetic nervous system, the adrenal hormones are fundamental in activating the ‘fight-or-flight’ response.

An interesting note here is that your body does not know the difference between a real physical threat and a long string of upsetting emails. The same chemistry is created in your body as a stress response in either case. Because we spend far more time in the stressed state of fight-or-flight, our bodies are exposed to chronically elevated blood sugars, elevated blood pressure, and all of the other symptoms of ‘threat readiness’. Over time, our bodies become depleted and critical resources become exhausted.

When this occurs, we start seeing the onset of degenerative conditions.

  • Insomnia
  • Eating Disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Colds and Viruses
  • Circulatory Problems
  • Systemic or Local Infections
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Problems
  • Cancer, … just to name a few!

Stress is one of the primary complaints among employees.

Stress Related Statistics

  • 75% of time lost from work is associated with stress
  • 60 – 80% of accidents on the job are stress related
  • 75% of visits to the doctor are due to stress

In fact, it is not hard to find a stress component in any of the major modifiable health risk factors. The problem becomes a focus on alleviating stress with various stress management skills and modalities as a complement to medical treatment for a sustainable recovery.

Corporate Wellness Programs
Corporate Wellness Programs FREE EvaluationResearching Corporate Wellness Programs?

The FitNuts are in the field RIGHT NOW helping companies develop and increase participation in their corporate wellness programs.

Using a comprehensive planning formula, we make sure that your employees have effective options for exercise, eating and mindset! If you would like to find out more, check out our 2 Hour Corporate Wellness Evaluation offer!

Incoming search terms:

  • what is stress
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  • stress definition

Can the Health Care System Fix Our Health Crisis?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is a huge gesture towards fixing our spiraling health care dilemma. Health care costs are rising, increasing numbers of Americans do not have access to health care services, and the overall health of Americans is declining in epidemic proportions. As we look to employers to implement workplace wellness programs, can we depend on the health care system as we currently know it to offer the tools we need to turn this trend around?

The World Health Organization (WHO) published a study in 2009 indicating that the leading risks for mortality in the world are high blood pressure, tobacco use, high blood glucose, physical inactivity, and obesity. In addition to their role in global death rates, these five risk factors are also responsible for increasing the risk of chronic degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. They affect health status in all income groups across the globe.

In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) sites four common causes of chronic disease; physical inactivity, poor nutrition, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption.

As we correlate this data with our concerns over economic growth, employee wellness, Return-on-Investment (ROI), and Cost-of-Illness (COI) metrics focus on pairing financial statistics and projections with those identified high-risk factors and behaviors noted above. The following figure projects statistics we expect to see for 2011 with a comparative note on the substantial difference between direct costs associated with treating chronic illness, and the soft costs herein noted as lost productivity. When we think of costs associated with employee illness, we often think of the cost of doctor visits, prescription drugs, or hospital care. However, lost productivity associated with employee poor health can actually cost a company more than the health insurance premiums it pays.

The soft costs of ill health include employee absenteeism, presenteeism (when an employee is at work, but not able to be productive) and turnover. What is important to note is that the soft costs associated with productivity consistently outweigh their associated direct costs.

Can the Health Care System Fix Our Health Crisis?
The bottom line is that illness is costing a lot of money. The problem with our current model is that we are not initiating real change through a difference in how we are analyzing the problems nor in our proposed solution vehicles.

By requiring all Americans citizens to carry health care insurance, we do in fact save money on the front end by getting illness in earlier stages and by promoting the proper utilization of health care services. But in the long term, are we really just providing another government buyout to a failing industry without initiating meaningful change to a failing business model?

The Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) argues that the health care system as it currently exists will bankrupt American business and their employees. How so? Let’s look at some statistics:

  • The cost of healthcare has increased to 274 times what it was in 1950 even though the average cost of all other goods and services increased only eight times. If we translated those numbers to our grocery bill, we would be paying $80.20 for a dozen eggs and $24.20 for a roll of toilet tissue.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services published a report, “Health, United States 2004” citing that at least half of all Americans are on at least one prescription drug. For our elderly population, that jumps to three or more prescriptions.
  • As many as 129 million Americans under the age of 65 have medical problems that would have marked them for higher health care premiums or rejection by insurance companies (prior to PPACA)
  • Ninety-one percent of hospitals report overcrowding

By 2020, it is estimated that we will have shortages of:

  • 85,000 to 96,000 primary care physicians
  • One million nurses
  • 157,000 pharmacists

1,500,000,000,000 Insurance claims:

  • Include a 30% error rate
  • 15% of those claims are “lost”

Some more shocking statistics:

  • Studies suggest that approximately 100,000 people die each year from the side effects associated with prescription drugs
  • Another 100,000 deaths annually are attributed to medical errors#
  • The annual premium in 2008 for an employer-sponsored health plan covering a family of four averaged $12,500
  • In 2008, premiums for employer-based health insurance rose by two times the rate of inflation for employers with 25 or more employees – more for smaller employers
  • Health care coverage is a company’s largest expense outside of payroll

“But what’s becoming better understood is that our health care crisis is fundamentally a business problem.” — John Hammergren, “Skin in the Game”

Does this all mean that medical treatment has no place in our health plan? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Combining medical treatment with self-care and behavior modifications to address the root cause of any degenerative illness is the only way to achieve sustainable change. A comprehensive wellness program that includes education, wellness coaching, and solid business plan for implementation will create a positive Return on Investment for large and small companies. Additionally, we have to look at all of the factors that play a role in degenerative illness – such as stress, depression, culture, the food industry, and sleep deprivation.

This problem is more complex than push-ups and portion control, and the solution requires thinking outside of the box.

Corporate Wellness Programs
Corporate Wellness Programs FREE EvaluationResearching Corporate Wellness Programs?

The FitNuts are in the field RIGHT NOW helping companies develop and increase participation in their corporate wellness programs.

Using a comprehensive planning formula, we make sure that your employees have effective options for exercise, eating and mindset! If you would like to find out more, check out our 2 Hour Corporate Wellness Evaluation offer!

 

article references:

“An Unhealthy America: Economic Burden of Chronic Disease” Milken Institute
“100,000 Americans Die Each Year from Prescription Drugs, While Pharma Companies Get Rich“,Alternet, June 24, 2010

The Role of Corporate Wellness in Health Care Reform Uncertainty

Regardless of where you stand on the topic of presidential candidates; how you may feel about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) – otherwise known as ‘Obamacare’ – the undeniable reality is that things are changing. In fact, things could change a lot.

The Role of Corporate Wellness in Health Care Reform UncertaintyOur current administration has determined that the number of uninsured Americans is a significant variable in the battle against rising health care costs. In order to curb the numbers of uninsured people, the states are tasked with creating Health Exchanges (HE).

Although these changes feel like a different health care ‘system’, the providers are familiar insurance carriers we have seen in the old system. The federal government is helping with funding needed to create these exchanges and the online tools required to house the HE program.

But beyond that, the way things are going to play out is up for debate. Officials in Washington D.C. recently voted – and unanimously approved – closure of the private insurance marketplace for both individuals and small businesses. These individuals and small businesses would be required to purchase insurance through the DC Health Exchange as of 2014. This ruling would also affect neighboring states, such as Maryland and Virginia.

Here in Colorado, the HE will be a government run entity expected to be in place no later than January 1, 2014. Individuals, families and businesses with fewer than 100 employees can buy insurance through the state based exchanges. The Affordable Care Act hopes to lower health care costs for Colorado families and small businesses, potentially reducing the cost of family health insurance premiums by $1,510 – $2,160.

If you were to look into coverage under the HE, you would be able to compare policies from all the major insurance carriers you are familiar with today. Anthem, United Health One, Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, PacifiCare, Assurant Health, Rocky Mountain Health Plans, BlueCross BlueShield, Cigna, and Humana are presently among the providers serving the Colorado population under the HE program.

So even though the face of health care isn’t changing in ways we might think of a government run health care system, big changes are on the horizon. Health care costs are continuing to rise. Businesses are faced with offloading more of that increased cost onto the employee, and insurance providers are raising rates through premium ‘incentives’ and price trends, which are steady at around 7 – 7.5% per year for the last few years.

Some businesses are even considering getting out of the insurance benefits all together. The bottom line for both business and the individual consumer is that the trends are unsustainable. We will quickly reach a point where providing health benefits to employees as a large or small business will kill the company, and likewise, the amount of take-home pay for the average middle-class employee will become insufficient to cover the cost of premiums in lieu of all the other living expenses. If predictions hold, a family of four will spend around $64,000 annually on health care in the next seven to nine years.

We cannot look to the health care system as we know it to fix these trends in rising health care costs. From a business perspective alone, the health care industry is labeled as a ‘High Growth Industry’ by the US Department of Labor. It is a system built on ‘sick care’ and in the long run, these costs will bury American business and the American employee.


“No company will be successful in the global marketplace without healthy and productive people. If we don’t do it, someone else in the world will and our competitive advantage and our way of life will be lost.”
- Dr. Dee Edington

Employers are taking different approaches to managing escalating health care costs:

  • Switch providers
  • Eliminate benefits
  • Formally limit employee benefits
  • Shift costs of benefits to employees
  • Create incentives to voluntarily limit employee health spending through HSA’s, etc
  • Become part of a purchasing coalition
  • Provide disease management services
  • Expand benefit coverage to include preventive services
  • Establish a comprehensive wellness program

“Switching providers is like reorganizing the deck chairs on the Titanic” 
– Dr. David Hunnicut, president of WELCOA

Corporate Wellness programs are sustainable and effective in combating the costs of unhealthy employee populations.

Chronic disease is the most costly and the most preventable health care expense. What we know to be true in all cases is that an increase in the number of health risks directly translates to higher medical care expenses. We also know that a well-designed worksite wellness program typically pays for itself in the savings generated in reduced chronic ‘sick care’, and often generates a surplus beyond the cost of a wellness program.

Additionally, the primary difference between ‘sick-care’ and wellness behavior change is the simple fact that we are addressing the root of the problem instead of making the symptoms of the disease more comfortable to live with.

Let’s look at a simple example of how it might work:

The Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) did a study showing the difference in projected medical expenses for individuals classified as “high-risk” compared to those classified as “low-risk” as they relate to specific chronic diseases.

Comprehensive Wellness Programs Risk

If we look at the high-risk population alone, we can calculate a return on investment (ROI) by identifying the prevalence at baseline and either target (forecasting) or measure change as part of program implementation. The sample below is from a large employee population where prevalence denotes the number of employees diagnosed with the specific chronic condition. ‘# Change’ is the number of those employees who went from a high-risk classification to low-risk. We restate the risk difference calculated in Figure 1, followed by the savings as a simple multiple of the risk difference.

Corporate Wellness Programs Risk Assessment

So you have to be asking, “What qualifies as a comprehensive wellness program?”

This is where the soup gets a little murky. Comprehensive wellness programs defined in theory are:

“…those that provide ongoing, integrated programs of health promotion and disease management that integrates specific components into a coherent, ongoing program, which is consistent with corporate objectives and includes program evaluation of clinical and/or cost outcomes.” – Kenneth R. Pelletier, PhD, MD

WELCOA’s Seven Benchmarks of a comprehensive wellness program offer more clarity as we develop any new or renewing wellness plan. These seven benchmarks are by far the absolute must-haves for any wellness program targeting health outcomes.

  1. Capture Senior Level Support
  2. Create Cohesive Teams
  3. Collect Data
  4. Craft an Operating Plan
  5. Choose Appropriate Interventions
  6. Create Supportive Environments
  7. Carefully Evaluate Outcomes

Our experience at FitNut concurs with the WELCOA formula. The absence of any one of these benchmarks can derail even the best wellness program design. Wellness programs are the best solution to combat our health care crisis, but it takes genuine effort, planning, and design. You cannot expect to throw the food pyramid and a couple of fitness classes at your employees and expect change. A comprehensive program addresses worksite culture, leadership, dedicated vision, and measurability. We cannot expect to continue doing things the same and expect different results. The medical industry is not going to save the American business industry.

Change is coming. Get in front of the movement or you might just get run over.

Corporate Wellness Programs
Corporate Wellness Programs FREE EvaluationResearching Corporate Wellness Programs?

The FitNuts are in the field RIGHT NOW helping companies develop and increase participation in their corporate wellness programs.

Using a comprehensive planning formula, we make sure that your employees have effective options for exercise, eating and mindset! If you would like to find out more, check out our FREE 2 Hour Corporate Wellness Evaluation offer!

A Primer on Weight Loss: Stop Focusing on Calories

Weight loss – focusing on calories is NOT the way to lose weight info on counting calories, calorie restriction, and the overemphasis of ‘energy’ ratios (carbohydrates, fats, and protein grams).

So you may be one of those FitRightTM participants who received the news that the weight you lost on the scale was mostly from your precious lean tissues (bones and muscle!!). If so, you may have also heard that you need to “eat more in order to lose weight”. But how can that be? It makes no sense, right?

A Primer on Weight Loss: Stop Focusing on CaloriesNow you have first hand experience to understand the true limitations of a ‘Calorie-Centric’ diet. What do I mean by Calorie-Centric? I mean counting calories, calorie restriction, and the overemphasis of ‘energy’ ratios (carbohydrates, fats, and protein grams). Even though the calorie concept is where all the media information is – and has been for decades – there is a better way.

Lets talk about ‘Nutrient Density’.

For our purposes, the best definition of ‘Nutrient Density’ is

“…the ratio of nutrient content (in grams) to the total energy content (in kilocalories or joules). Nutrient-dense food is opposite to energy-dense food (also called “empty calorie” food). According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, nutrient-dense foods are those foods that provide substantial amounts of vitamins and minerals and relatively few calories. Fruits and vegetables are the nutrient-dense foods, while products containing added sugars, processed cereals, and alcohol are not”

Two Pieces to the Basic Equation

Part I: Whole Foods

Before you start reaching for your calculator, let’s look at some examples. The first rule of thumb comes from the idea of “Whole Foods”. A whole food is just about any food that you can buy that doesn’t have a label and an ingredient list. Now we are talking about the produce section, the butchers counter, and bulk grains. If you look at the list below, you will see that these foods include foods that are higher in fats, natural sugars and starches, and animal proteins. The key comes from the fact that they are complete in their natural form and bursting with a synergistic complement of nutrients that your body understands and can assimilate.

Asparagus
Avocados
Beets
Bell peppers
Broccoli*
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Collard greens
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Fennel
Garlic
Green beans
Green peas
Kale*
Leeks
Mushrooms, crimini
Mushrooms, shiitake
Mustard greens
Olives
Onions
Potatoes
Romaine lettuce
Sea vegetables
Spinach*
Squash, summer
Squash, winter
Sweet potatoes
Swiss chard
Tomatoes
Turnip greens
YamsApples
Apricots
Bananas
Blueberries*
Cantaloupe
Cranberries*
Figs
Grapefruit
Grapes
Kiwifruit
Lemon/Limes
Oranges
Papaya
Pears
Pineapple
Plums
Prunes
Raisins
Raspberries*
Strawberries*#*
WatermelonCod
Halibut
Salmon
Sardines
Scallops
Shrimp
Tuna
Eggs

Black beans
Dried peas
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
Kidney beans
Lentils
Lima beans
Miso
Navy beans
Pinto beans
Soybeans
Tofu and Tempeh
Spirulina*

Beef, lean organic
Liver*
Chicken
Lamb
Turkey
Venison
Almonds
Cashews
Flaxseeds

Olive oil, extra virgin
Peanuts
Pumpkin seeds
Sesame seeds
Sunflower seeds
WalnutsBarley
Brown rice
Buckwheat
Corn
Millet
Oats
Quinoa
Rye
Spelt
Whole wheat
Hemp Seeds*
Chia Seeds*

Basil
Black pepper
Cayenne pepper
Chili pepper, dried
Cilantro/Coriander seeds
Cinnamon, ground
Cloves
Cumin seeds
Dill
Ginger
Mustard seeds
Oregano
Parsley
Peppermint
Rosemary
Sage
Thyme
Turmeric
Cocoa (chocolate nibs)*

Blackstrap molasses
Honey
Maple syrup

It is important to remember that just because it is on the list, does not means that it is good for you. For example, if you have an allergy to almonds, don’t eat them.

Part II: Variety

The reality is that you cannot pick your favorite three items from the list above and expect to achieve the full benefits of a nutrient dense diet. You have to get a diverse variety across the board. Reiterating what we discussed in the “Food and Stress” lecture, an apple contains 500 nutrients, but there are somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 plant-based nutrients in our food chain. Without trying to manage 30,000 nutrients manually, it is safe to assume that variety in your diet is the key to achieving a healthy balance of all those nutrients.

Benefits of a nutrient dense weight loss diet include:

  • Elimination of the “yo-yo” effect
  • Increased energy
  • Improved ‘healing’ in cases of degenerative conditions like diabetes
  • Lower risk for developing degenerative conditions like cancer
  • Reduced toxic load on your body
  • Naturally reduced appetite
  • Fewer cravings

www.fitnutsource.com
jalynn@fitnutsource.com
303-955-8049

Corporate Wellness Programs
Corporate Wellness Programs FREE EvaluationResearching Corporate Wellness Programs?

The FitNuts are in the field RIGHT NOW helping companies develop and increase participation in their corporate wellness programs.

Using a comprehensive planning formula, we make sure that your employees have effective options for exercise, eating and mindset! If you would like to find out more, check out our 2 Hour Corporate Wellness Evaluation offer!

Body Fat Measurement- Body Mass Index (BMI) or Body Composition

If you and your doctor are evaluating your overall health, chances are that one of the numbers you are looking at is your Body Mass Index (BMI). Your BMI is the ratio between your height and weight. Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women. But at best, that body fat “calculation” is more of a S.W.A.G (silly wild … artistic guess).

BMI Categories:

  • Underweight = <18.5
  • Normal Weight = 18.5 – 24.9
  • Overweight = 25 – 29.9
  • Obese = > 29.9

Although BMI is a quick and easy way to create some perspective about weight and identifying increased risk for degenerative conditions, it definitely has its limitations.

  • It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build.
  • It may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle.

The short story is that BMI does not take weight composition into consideration.

Body Fat Measurement- Body Mass Index (BMI) or Body Composition

 

Body composition (or Body Fat Percentage) tests provide a way of measuring current ratios of lean tissue (muscles, bones, organs, water, etc) to fat tissue components and for determining changes over time. There are many different ways of measuring the amount of body fat or body composition, which vary in accuracy, ease of measurement, costs and equipment requirements. Some of the more popular tests for analyzing Body Fat Percentage include:

  • Skinfold measurements
  • Hydrostatic weighing
  • Girth measurements
  • Bioelectric Impedence
  • Whole-body Air-Displacement Plethysmography (BodPod)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

As you might expect, there are a lot of ‘opinions’ as to what constitutes the ideal percentage of body fat. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is one of the most commonly used body fat charts. As you can see, women have a higher body fat percentage relative to men for a given level. Women have more fat because of physiological differences such as hormones, breasts, and sexual organs. In addition, women need a higher amount of body fat for ovulation.

“Essential fat” is the minimum amount of fat necessary for basic physical and physiological health. There is a lot of controversy over what amount of body fat is optimal for overall health. We all have different shapes, sizes, and fat distribution profiles, but I think the chart above is a good starting point.

The limitation of the ACE chart is that while it takes into account gender differences, it does NOT take into account your age, which is exactly why I included the next two charts. As we get older, there are physiological changes in our bodies that promote an increase in fat deposits.

This can be extremely useful information as you target a new health goal. It is also very useful in understanding your progress as you lose weight, gain muscle, or become more physically fit.

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The Pursuit of Health and Happiness

The pursuit of health and happiness go hand in hand with fitness and nutrion. While many talk about wanting to be healthy and happy, what are you willing to do to actually achieve this state?

Some things I have discovered:

When I was just a math geek, ‘socially popular’ status was about as much of a reality for me as runway ‘super model’. That changed when I got my certification in nutrition. I have some of the most interesting conversations with strangers and have had the opportunity to learn an awful lot about health from my clients – far more so than from the books.

The Pursuit of Health and HappinessThe pursuit of health and happiness go hand in hand. When someone comes to me about the health piece, more often than not, the resolution doesn’t stop with finding the right ‘diet’. That reality has been the most difficult for me to embrace, and the absolute most challenging for me to council others through.

The bottom line is that people have a dependence on food ideas much deeper than energy and hunger pangs, and the majority of people I see value their freedom of choice over their health.

People have a complex psychological network of beliefs that they have a right to ‘be normal’ and eat whatever everyone else is eating. They think that sacrificing foods that are making them sick violates their rightful autonomy as independent adults. They have a ‘right’ to convenience and convenience foods. They have a right to draw the line on just how many foods they will sacrifice regardless of the outcome. (This is a big one among my gluten intolerant folks).

Then again, I can get someone to commit to a short-term trial — have it succeed – and watch them turn around and go back to their old ways. It is so much easier to accept illness over a life without … Chocolate!, or Cheese!, or Coffee!, or .. .whatever.

The pursuit of health and happiness is more complex than you might think. Will you be happy if you don’t have your health? Is it worth it not to sacrifice some foods that make you ill? You have to decide just what your happiness is and what degree of health you want.

So ask yourself, “What do I want?” And then more importantly, “What am I willing to change to make that happen?” More often than not, your willingness to allow change and sacrifice will dictate being able to live that “want”. Otherwise, you live the life that comes with less health and ultimately less happiness as a result.

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Using a comprehensive planning formula, we make sure that your employees have effective options for exercise, eating and mindset! If you would like to find out more, check out our 2 Hour Corporate Wellness Evaluation offer!