Summer Fun Fitness Gear

Some people reward themselves with a cheat meal. I reward myself with fitness apparel. So, I thought I’d share my latests finds.

Barbells & Ponytails

Barbell and PonytailsI saw this hat online and that was what drew me in at first. I love that warn look and I really needed a dark grey hat. The style fits great and it’s cute too! Whether I wear it at the gym or with jeans, it will definitely be a good go-to hat.

Once I looked around the site, I spotted this cute retro tank too with the cartoon of the girl lifting the dumbbell. I threw it on with charcoal capri leggings and charcoal victoria secret sports bra – and BOOM! Totally cute and cozy workout wear! Better than cake!

Get the Tank

Get the Hat


fabletics darci capriI have been ordering from Fabletics for several months now, but my friend (Danielle Burke) is the one that told me about these legging. I would have never noticed their secret powers if I didn’t see Danielle tucking her phone in her slick thigh pocket on our run. My eyes popped out of my head and I was like “I’ve GOT to have THAT!!” For a girl who is constantly snapping shots and needing to keep her phone by her side, this was a MUST HAVE!

So, I ordered them right away and they quickly became my go-to leggings. They were the perfect travel leggings to wear when flying to Phoenix for work. Super comfy, fashionable (with the sheer cutouts) and practical (with my secret pockets! Yep, this too is a must have!

Get Fabletics’ Darci Capris


workout womanI discovered this tank on facebook (because you know how facebook knows you even better than your bestie! LOL). They are constantly showing me stuff I want – and, well, it’s working! I clicked on the facebook ad and purchased my Workout Woman tank, but my purchase became a welcomed discovery. Teespring is an incredible site for gifts. **BOOKMARK!**

Once you go on the site, enter any topic or theme to discover tons of stuff! For instance, I typed in “Wonder Woman” and it gave me over 1,000 items to choose from. I searched “cupcakes” because my BFF love cupcakes and narrowed the search to tank tops and there were 552 tanks just about cupcakes!! What an amazing site to find the perfect gift for your friend who loves (fill in blank here).

Get the Workout Woman Tank

What’s Your Latest Find? Comment Below!

6 No-Nos for Great Abs + 5 Great Workouts

absEveryone wants a smaller, tighter, fitter midsection. I get more questions about ab exercises than any other exercise. People want to improve their belly, but there is no ab exercise in the world that can make your stomach look great if you aren’t improving other things than contribute to the big belly issue.

Here are a few other issues that need to be addressed if you want to get a six-pack!

  1. Poor posture. One reason we battle the bulge is because we are lazy. We don’t maintain good posture and hold our stomach in like we should. Laziness causes us to lose our resting tone in our abdominal muscles, allowing our gut to stretch out the abdominal wall. We can increase muscle tone simply by keeping our tummy tight and standing up tall.
  2. Overeating. I’m not just saying that because overeating makes you fat. When we eat large meals our stomach increases in size, pushing out against our abdominal muscles. It’s a lot easier to maintain a smaller, tighter waistline by simply eating smaller portions.
  3. Plank yogaLack of knowledge. If you think it’s too late to get a six-pack, think again.  Look at all the women who retrain their ab muscles after pregnancy. The same can happen to a beer belly too. Crunches, sit-ups and plank exercises get great results and don’t require a gym membership or equipment. However, there’s a lot of other incredible exercises and equipment to help you get that 6-pack a little faster. Don’t rely on crunches alone. Try exploring new ab workouts regularly or hire a trainer to put you through a new ab workout to try new exercises and techniques.
  4. Avoiding cardio. Cardio not only reduces body fat that covers your abs, but some cardio actually works your midsection more than others. Trade the bike for exercises that allow the arms to swing and the upper body to rotate, like running or the elliptical. Aerobics classes, like kickboxing, are also excellent because they incorporate a lot of rotation through the mid-section. Concentrate on the ab area while exercising, maintaining good posture and tight abs throughout the exercise.
  5. Diets make absNot tracking food. We can do abdominal exercises until we’re blue in the face, but it won’t do a thing about the fat that’s covering our muscles. The only way to trim off the fat is to take in fewer calories than we burn – and you can’t really do that guessing your way through your diet. Otherwise, we will just have a six-pack under the keg. I personally follow a set amount of calories and macros when I’m trimming down to guarantee my success. Lord knows, I don’t want to do all that work for nothing! So, I make sure I’m working as hard in the kitchen as I am in the gym.
  6. Looking for shortcuts. So may people try everything in the book but the right way to get results. They try diet pill, supplements and the craziest exercise apparatuses promising crazy results in less time and with less effort. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Let’s face it; we can’t get a six-pack in six minutes without changing what we do in the other 1,434 minutes that fill our day.

So many people are doing a TON right, but they are still doing enough wrong to not get the full benefit. I challenge you to address each one of these possible issues and apply these tips for 30 days and see how much faster you can uncover your abs!

Here are 5 ab/core workouts to try!





Meal Replacement Shakes Revealed: 6 Important Questions

A DRINKER colorI used to be anti-meal replacement shakes. The only shakes I used to drink were protein shakes. I looked over nutrition in search of high-protein, low-calorie muscle building drinks with no consideration of everything else my body needed for optimal health, repair, energy and growth. I looked fit, but I wasn’t healthy.

Whether you choose to create your own homemade meal replacement shake or you choose a product that meets your nutritional need, I am now a believer. I don’t drink it because I’m lazy or because I’m fat (although I did lose 10lbs by replacing 1 meal a day with a healthier shake option), I do it for my health. I have less inflammation, I have faster muscle repair, I have fewer cravings and I feel amazing. I actually am healthy! Go figure!

If you’ve been considering a meal replacement, I say go for it! Ideally, I’d LOVE to get everything my body needs in whole food. That is optimal, but not realistic for me. Honestly, in today’s hectic world, most of us need to improve our nutrition, and this is a practical way to do it. More nutrients, fewer calories.

Before you go pick up the first meal replacement shake you see, here are a few things to look out for because not all meal replacement shakes are created equal – and some are downright horrible for you!

How To Choose a Healthy Meal Replacement Shake

1. Does it say “Meal Replacement” on the label?

shakeThere are strict guidelines a brand needs to follow to be labeled a true meal replacement shake, so look for those key words on the label. Breakfast shakes, protein shakes, energy shakes and smoothies don’t count. Why is this important? Well, first of all, it’s important because a meal needs to be filling. It needs to give you all the nutrients you need, but it also needs to hold you until the next meal. Experts have decided a meal will require a certain amount of calories and nutrients to give your body what it needs to perform at 100%. If it is a complete meal, it should be very satisfying and filling. Besides, what is the purpose of drinking a meal replacement shake if you want to eat an hour later?

2. What is the calorie content?

nutrition labelThat brings me to the next point. A shake under 200 calories isn’t a meal replacement. Breakfast shakes also rarely count. That’s also why they don’t label them as a meal replacement shake; because they can’t legally put that on their label. Sadly, mainstream brands prey on dieters’ desire to lose weight so they give consumers what they want, not what they need. So, they give dieters low-calorie options while cutting out other important nutrients. For instance, Ensure Active Light is not only too low in calories to be a meal, it has no staying power. With only one gram of carbs and 2 grams of fat, you will be lucky if that satisfies you for an hour. Extreme low calorie meal replacement options are nothing more than a small snack.

3. Does it have balanced macros?

meal replacement shakeMacro nutrients are protein, carbs and fats. Fat slows digestion, improving nutrient absorption. Carbohydrates and healthy fats also give you energy. Protein helps prevent muscle deterioration but it also can help keep you feeling full. Higher protein meal replacement shakes (over 20gms) will keep you feeling more satisfied, as well as help with your fitness goals. However, just because something is high in protein doesn’t make it the best option either. You need healthy amounts of fats, carbs and protein in each meal. If your label is not very balanced (like this Slimfast drink, left), it’s likely you need to choose a different option.

4. Does it have the proper amount of vitamins and minerals?

Green-Goodness-Bolthouse-Smoothie-1A legal meal replacement option must have a full range of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). The guidelines require a meal replacement should have 30% of the daily value of most vitamins and minerals if you are replacing at least one meal a day with a shake. This makes sense because a third of your meals should have roughly a third of required nutrients. My shake has over 23 vitamins and minerals, but I’ve seen many other meal replacement-like shakes that are lucky to have 3 or 4 vitamins listed on the panel. Ironically, some of the healthiest “looking” options are lacking is more ways than one. For instance, this Bolthouse Farms Green Goddess smoothie boasts Vitamins A & C, yet it only has 20% of recommended values for vitamin A and only 35% of vitamin C. I addition, they only have 8 vitamins listed on the panel, one of which is 2% calcium, 6% iron and 10% Riboflavin, which isn’t anything to brag about for sure.

I used to think I could slap some peanut butter and oatmeal in a protein shake and it instantly made it a meal replacement shake. While it might hold me longer, it was missing all the other nutrients my body needed. What have learned is this; when your body is getting the nutrition it needs, it isn’t “starving” for nutrition (AKA: Food). The importance of having a shake packed with vitamins and minerals goes beyond our health, it actually helps us be happier (more satisfied) dieters too!

5. Does it have any artificial ingredients?

Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 1.32.31 PMI am constantly shocked at what so-called healthy companies are putting in nutrition supplements. The majority of companies, like Pure Protein, uses Sucralose to sweeten their products. Ensure, and nearly all the other popular brands, are packed with artificial everything – from sweeteners to flavors. Sadly, even if the shake has a good macro-nutrient profile, it often relies on fake sweeteners and flavors to make up for what they lack in other areas. The fact is, the FDA and other organizations that regulate the food industry don’t require brands to use natural ingredients. As long as it’s optional, most companies will always take the cheapest and easiest way so they can make the most profit. We may want to get healthy and lose fat, but big brands want a healthy bank account. That is business at our expense.

6. What does it cost?

grocery shoppingWhen we shop for a car or house, we all know something must be wrong if it’s super cheap. Right? Yet, we expect great things for cheap prices when it comes to food, diet, gyms, etc. This is why it’s hard to find high-quality products on the shelves today. People don’t want to pay for it. However, it is impossible to create high quality products for cheap. In order for items to make it in the grocery store, corners much be cut – plain and simple. Basically, we get what we pay for. We can complain about it all day, but I don’t know why we would expect to get all the nutrients we need in a high-quality meal in less than what it costs to purchase a high quality whole food meal. My meal replacement shakes costs roughly $2.80. I couldn’t buy a lean cuisine for that, much less a balanced healthy meal with ample protein, prebiotics, digestive enzymes, vitamins and minerals that actually tastes good. I think $2.80 is a fair price. Most people are comparing apples to oranges. While you can get a Boost high protein shake (pictured above under tip #5) for around $1.25, you will get exactly what you pay for, including sugar and corn syrup (first ingredients after water), artificial flavors, inflammatory vegetable oils (5th ingredient) and soy protein (which is a whole other scary topic in of itself).

Hopefully, you can see by now that all meal replacement shakes are not created equal. And, hopefully, I’ve helped you know what to look for when shopping for the right shake for you. Luckily, there are a few good quality products out there for everyone. Whether you are wanting to supplement a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, trying to lose weight or just want to be the healthiest you possible, meal replacement shakes are a convenient healthy alternative – especially in this crazy unhealthy world!

CONTACT ME if you would like to learn more about my nutrition solutions or if you need other help. I love connecting with my readers and would love the chance to help!


Lose the Easter Bunny Belly

We all do it. We blow our diet over the holiday weekend. We really didn’t eat poorly, but we ate more than usual. Oh, and Steve DID get me an easter basket with a few treats I had to try. LOL

Like many holidays, our Easter was centered on a nice big dinner with family and friends. We enjoyed smoked chicken and ribs, with a Kale salad, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, brown rice and a delicious blueberry cobbler – and I am happy to admit I had a HUGE piece! haha :)

Unfortunately, although the holiday is over and your mistakes are behind me, they aren’t really behind me YET. I brought those mistakes with me because me because I still carry all that food in my gut.

picnic The Mayo Clinic explains that the average transit time, from the time you eat the food to elimination, is 40 hours – 33 hours for men and up to 47 hours for women. While you wait to get rid of you poor choices, here are a 5 things you can do to help you feel thinner again, even before the actual body fat is lost.

So, while I know one big meal didn’t cause me to gain 5lbs, it will take me a few days to get that food out of my system. Here are a few of my tips on how I work to bounce back fast.

5 Ways to Lose the Holiday Weight Gain

drink-water11. Drink a LOT of water

Dining out and eating snacks can cause you to hold more water due to increased sodium. Water retention can account for up to 5lbs of additional weight from eating foods high in sodium. Flush your body by increasing your water intake – every day, all week long. Not only will you flush out toxins and excess water retention, you will feel fuller and healthier too! We try to get a gallon of water a day for a solid week. Even if you don’t get the full gallon in, you’ll get a lot more than if you didn’t try.

running with beats2. Go for a run

Get your sweat on and burn some calories! Not only does running help you sweat out the toxins built up from your poor choices over the weekend, but it tightens the core and will help burn off those extra calories and “erase those sins”. In addition, cardio helps move water around which relieves water retention and swelling. I also just love burning off those food sins. Plus, it just feels good getting my head and body back in to action.

3. Eat smaller portions

Healtthy Chocolate banana smoothieWork on shrinking your stomach by limiting portion sizes. It will take a few days for your copious amount of weekend food to get out of your system, but you can feel thinner quicker if you immediately go back to small portions. The less you have in your belly, the smaller your belly will look and feel. If you struggle to limit portions on your own, you can do convenient meal replacement shakes like I do. I typically have 2 shakes a day for a few days after a vaca or diet fail. Then, I go back to my own shake a day for maintenance. I like doing shakes over just reducing calories because my shakes give me tons of nutrients for a lot fewer calories – resulting in a more satisfied (and happier) dieter!

cleanse4. Cleanse

When I totally blow it, I like to reset my system by doing a cleanse combined with an intermittent fast. My cleanse protocol includes 4 cleanse drinks, combined with cleanse support products I use to help suppress my appetite. I normally do some chicken broth for dinner if I really am wanting a hot meal. The end result is a mental, physical and cellular reset that leaves me feeling energized, thinner and healthier. Note: You never want to do a cleanse until you have at least 2 healthy nutrition days. 

5. Plank it out

woman-plankIf you are like me, you’re probably tired of trying to hold your stomach in all weekend. Why? Because it’s hard to suck your tummy in when it is completely stuffed all weekend. Plus, if you didn’t workout over the weekend, your stomach muscles have probably gotten relaxed and stretched out. However, if you tighten up your core with some exercises, those muscles will tighten right back up – and it will be a lot easier to keep your stomach flat.



CONTACT ME if you would like a customized diet plan or help choosing nutrition support to match your goals. Consultations are always free!

Tighten Your Tummy: Four Your Core Workout

Running Motivation: Run For the Future You

Run becauseWhen you are struggling, take a time machine forward a day, a week, a month, a year, a decade. Think of what you do NOW and how it will affect your future.I don’t run for me, I run for her – the future me.

There was no part of me that wanted to wake up at 4 AM just to run. But I didn’t do it JUST to run. I ran for my health, for my strength, to practice discipline and because it makes me feel good, healthy and proud. I did it because I knew how I would feel AFTER the run was over. I knew how I’d look and feel in a week from now and a few weeks from now. Running is an investment in my future.

I’m not a fast runner. Some runs are pretty pathetic actually. Truth be told, most of them are probably pretty pathetic. But, I run – and I finish each run in victory because I beat my flesh into submission and didn’t let laziness rule me.

“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” – 1 Corinthians 9:27

Running mirror’s the discipline I desire in other areas of my life. I might fight every step some days, but life is like a run. Some days are hard and you feel so heavy, and some days are light an easy.  You keep showing up no matter what the day holds.

If you can practice that in fitness, it will carry over in all other parts of your life. It’s a practice called discipline. Note, I said “practice”. You don’t just have it, you have to PRACTICE it. Like with any practice, you have good days and bad days, but you keep showing up and continuing to practice what you desire to improve. It’s not always fun, but it’s always rewarding.

My Toxic “Fit” Life: Time to Come Clean

big sweaterIt’s that time of year when people are realizing that it’s time to shed the layers of clothes – AND FAT!! Yes, bikini season is around the corner and, if you are like most people, you aren’t quite ready for it. What a better time to do some spring cleaning to that diet of yours!

Unfortunately, we live in a very toxic world. Not only are our surroundings toxic, our food is toxic too. Even when we try to eat clean, we can still be unknowingly fill our bodies with toxins. Between artificial sweeteners, taste-enhancing chemicals, pesticides and so many other toxic ingredients, there’s no wonder most people do not feel their best.

toxinsAre You Toxic?

  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Joint Pain
  • Muscle Ache & Pains
  • Inflammation
  • Mood Swings
  • Skin irritations or allergies
  • Food sensitivities
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Scent sensitivity
  • Bad breath
  • Weight gain or plateau
  • Digestive issues
  • Mental Fog
  • Acne
  • Premature aging

My Toxic “Fit” Life

Steve and Bonnie PfiesterOnline Trainingabs around pro

skin rash stomachAs I began to type this list, I started to reflect back on the last two years. I have been SO fit – NOT! I LOOKED fit, but I did not FEEL fit! I had so many health issues. I seriously didn’t even put it all together until right now.


#1 Skin Problems

My first health issue was this ridiculous skin rash all over my body. So bad, I had to be treated by a dermatologist and be put on steroids, along with all kinds of other meds, to try to kick it. This was literally a yearlong battle. It started on my back and stomach, then moved to my arms and face.

#2 Digestive Issues

Hospital selfieIn addition to my skin problems, I had a series of digestive issues that put me in the hospital. I thought I was having girlie issues with ovarian cysts. But, as I lay on the hospital bed listening to my prognosis, the doctor explained I had two issues. One, he said, was indeed an ovarian cyst. The other, he explained, was something he said was equally concernng; constipation.

At the time, I had no idea that constipation was so harmful to the body. Uncomfortable, yes, but harmful? Since then, I learned how important out digestive system is for getting toxic waste out of our body. When this isn’t done in a timely matter, that toxic waste just sits there – slowly poisoning us. Eeek!

foam rolling# 3 Muscle Pain

If skin rashes and constipation wasn’t bad enough, let’s talk about pain. One of my chronic issues I was dealing with was my muscles were staying sore for days. I mean, we all have heard of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), but I was remaining insanely sore for 3-5 days.

My muscle soreness was crippling for me. I got where I was dreading every workout, trying to figure out what body part I could actually train because I stayed so sore all over, all of the time. I even got to a point where I told Steve I thought something was wrong with me. Yep, you guessed it. That was another sign of toxicity. But wait, there’s more.

afraid# 4 Back Pain

A once very healthy girl, who had no car wrecks or any accidents, started having low back issues. Not just back aches, but my back would lock up on me, putting me to the ground. I hurt constantly. I no longer could do certain activities and exercises, especially burpees. This was NOT good for a trainer!

It got so bad, poor Steve was exhausted from my complaining. Long rides killed me and even sitting on the couch at night became miserable. I just couldn’t get comfortable, and that made Steve’s life just as uncomfortable.

Steve began trying to feed me fish oil and turmeric to help reduce inflammation, but it didn’t budge it. He even began to tease me about falling apart, but I knew he really was just annoyed and also legitimately hurting for me. And, truth be told, I really started to believe it. I thought, “well, I’m 45 and I guess this is just the beginning.”

#5 Tendonitis

tendonitisOn top of the skin rash, constipation, muscle soreness and back pain, I began to get tendonitis in my right elbow. If anyone watched me on LiveExercise, they have witnessed all these issues firsthand. I couldn’t do upright rows or straight bar curls. I couldn’t do daily chores, like lift groceries out of the trunk with that hand either.

While I worked around it, I was constantly holding my elbow and trying to massage the pain out. The elbow stayed noticeably swollen. I kept doing what I could do and ignoring it the best I could, hoping it would magically disappear one day, like most people.

#6 Depression & Fatigue

Believe it or not, all this led to depression. I know! This sounds ridiculous, but this was my life. Fit on the outside and a hot mess on the inside. My family had a little intervention session with me and told me I needed to “take this little pill”, essentially. Ha! I knew they were right. Being in pain non-stop is exhausting. Dealing with itchy bumpy ugly skin is depressing. No wonder I was tired and depressed. Who wouldn’t be?

Depression paralyzed me. I remember being over at our friends’ house in Utah and I had to write a blog. I literally couldn’t focus enough to even type one sentence. I had no drive, no creativity and no brain function. I was tired and my head was in a fog. This was SO not me! I’m Mrs. energetic and creative. However, all of these problems mounding up on me was even too much for this little Miss Happy to endure.

thinkingIronically, I was still a pretty happy person, despite my grumbling. I just was frustrated. I felt like I was being held back. I wanted to BE as fit as I looked. I wanted to feel good again. Steve probably suffered more than anyone.

I just knew something had to change. I didn’t want to be Debbie Downer al the time and wanted to be a fun wife again. I was ready to make some serious changes. So, I decided to make a new commitment in 2017. I decided to focus on my health and take better care of this body than I ever had before.

In with the New, Out with the Old!

golf coupleFast forward to today. Zero chronic pain, zero skin issues, zero digestion issues. zero swelling. I can do burpees pain-free and upright rows like it’s nothing. I don’t take any medication and I have incredible energy – and I sleep like a rock. I literally feel like a brand new person; Bonnie 2.0!

What changed? A LOT!! As I have written in other blogs earlier this year, I explained how my nutrition changed and that I committed to taking better care of my health this year. But, in addition to pouring in good nutrition (which instantly started changing the way I felt), I began eliminating toxic foods from my diet too.

I switched all artificial sweeteners to stevia. No more splenda. I canned the diet drinks and ditched the sugar. I threw out all supplements that were not all natural and cleaned up my pantry. I honestly wouldn’t have believed that my nutrition could have this much effect on my body, but it is undeniable.

We began doing a weekly cleanse and I started researching toxicity and studying labels even more. Energy went through the roof and inflammation went down in just a few days. I still have a lot to learn, but like always, I wanted to share what I’ve learned because it has seriously changed our lives. I say “our lives” because I’m not the only one that benefited. Steve has also had quite the change too.

The man that used to loathe running, has been waking up at 4am to run before work – and I’ve been right there with him. That has NEVER happened. He used to hate running because it literally hurt and I hate mornings so you can see how that has changed. After he improved his nutrition and started to detox his menu, he started having more energy and less pain than I can ever remember. We got a new lease on life!

Clean Up, Lean Down! 30-Day Challenge

toxic-There are more reasons to clean up your diet than just eliminating pain. A toxic body can effect weight loss and a host of other issues that can interfere with getting trim and fit. Toxicity can also cause cancer and all kinds of health issues years from now. Since I had such an amazing experience, I decided to hold a 30-Day Challenge to encourage you to get the toxins out too and just see what it does for your body!

You don’t have to do the same cleanse I do or follow my nutrition protocol. You can do your own detox program with the help of our tips. Whether you want to try to completely detox your life or just start with on thing on the list. It’s totally up to you.

I will have two private facebook groups where I will manage the challenge. One will be for everyone in the challenge, no matter what exercise routine they are doing or cleanse protocol they are on. The other group will be a specific product support group just for the people doing what we’re doing.

If you are ready to draw a line in the sand and take control of your health, then join me in the Spring Clean Challenge. It’s totally FREE. You will get tips to help you detox, a few recipes to try, a list of detoxifying foods to eat and a sample workout program to follow.

CLICK HERE to complete the form and join the challenge. Materials will be emailed to you. Finally, you will need to send before and after photos to the email that is in the enrollment form by Monday March 20th.

There is nothing to lose except a lot of toxins! Who’s with me!?SPRING CLEANING CHALLEGNE SQ poster copy

PFITpfam: Steve and Bonnie Get Personal

Everyone needs more support and motivation. People also need more personal guidance without it costing an farm and leg. While I have a ton of tips, workouts and info on my blog, but it’s just not the same as a forum setting. SO, we decided to create a private facebook group for just our Pfit Pfriends – or at least our friends that are on their way to being more “pfit”, so we could get to know each other even better!

Pfit pfam

The page started off as personal invite only, and has been a total BLAST! As each of you ask questions, we can answer everyone so everyone benefits. Steve and I do Facebook LIVES to cover hot topics, encourage everyone, answer questions and give helpful tips. Everyone in the group has contributed so much and I’m loving seeing everyone support each other. It has been so rewarding for us and we really blown away by everyone’s interaction and progress.

If you would like to join our support group, Message me on facebook and I’ll send you the private link

Look forward to having you!

Diet the Happy Healthy Way: Micro Changes for Macro Results

HangryIf you have ever dieted before, you’ve experienced hunger. But, there are many different types of “hunger” and there different reasons for feeling hungry.

One thing I have learned lately, is my hunger and cravings haven been more than just a sign of being low in calories. They were a sign of missing nutrients. After I changed my nutrition this year and started making superfoods a part of my daily diet, I noticed a huge shift in my cravings and hunger. Although I am still low on calories in order to lose weight, I noticed I’m not as hungry as I normally am when I’m dieting. The only conclusion I could come up with that makes sense is that my body isn’t starving for nutrients so it’s not starving for food.

Macros and Micros Defined

“Macronutrients are energy-providing chemical substances consumed by organisms in large quantities. The three macronutrients in nutrition are carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins.” Defined by
“Micronutrients are dietary components, often referred to as vitamins and minerals, which although only required by the body in small amounts, are vital to development, disease prevention, and wellbeing. Micronutrients are not produced in the body and must be derived from the diet.” Defined by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention.

OverfedSadly, most people are overfed but malnourished. We eat a ton of food lacking real nutrition. This is even true when we diet. We limit calories while trying to get all the macronutrients (carbs, fats and proteins) we need to reshape our body, but the more we cut calories the more we are also cutting essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) from our diet. As a result, our body yells at us to get more food, so we can get more nutrients. That yelling is the hunger we feel.

Since most people don’t realize what their body is really telling them, they go fill their belly up with more food, without any thought to what they are actually feeding their body. This would also explain why people who have a weight issue are constantly battling hunger if they aren’t getting proper nutrition. They aren’t starving, they are starving better nutrients. They eat more food lacking in the right nutrients, so the vicious cycle continues.

Deficiencies Linked to Obesity

Healthy eatingCarlton Nutrition explain it like this; “Obesity is deceptive. Although obese people may appear well fed, they are often deficient in essential nutrients, leading to poor health and disease. The list of micronutrient deficiencies associated with overweight/obesity includes vitamins A, B1, B3, B6, B12 C, D, E, K, calcium, chromium, iodine, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, zinc, omega-3, alpha-lipoid acid and CoQ10. These all play a role as essential cofactors in proper carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism, and in assisting neurotransmitters and other hormones in regulating hunger.”

We also see this in the underfed (AKA: Dieters). Both types of people can be malnourished. Ironically, since most overweight people attempt dieting at some point and time, it is almost a double wammy. They start a diet already malnourished, and continue to stay malnourished, but now they are also not getting the calories they were used to. The end result is a very hangry dieter and a hangry dieter often turns into a rebounder; falling off the wagon yet once again.

Less Food, More Nutrition

Avoid Unhealthy foodA lot of people concerned about good nutrition are just watching for what they can’t eat — whether it’s fat, or sugar, or whatever,” says Tara Gidus, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

I’ll be honest. I have lived with the illusion of being healthy and eating healthy because I eat whole foods and workout. Quite honestly, I was in that group Tara Gidus was talking about. I thought I was eating healthy simply because I avoided unhealthy foods most of the time. All the while, I was not getting all the healthy foods and nutrients my body needed.

I have found it is nearly impossible for me to get all the nutrition I need in whole foods and maintain the weight I want to maintain. And, with soil that has been so overused, and many of our fruits and vegetables being grown without all the nutrients they need, it makes it even harder to get everything we need from produce.

Unless you plan on growing all your own stuff or going completely organic (which can get expensive quick!), you probably will need to supplement. (Below is a great infographic on what is required for healthy produce and a healthy life).

Soil Nutrients

Fill In The Nutritional Blanks

MicronutrientsWhile I’ve always encouraged our clients to take a really good vitamin pack when they are dieting, as we have always known they need that support more than ever, I’ve never really experienced the positive affects of what quality nutrition can do you for you until just this year.

Of course I am still learning, but I can see a huge difference in my body’s health, energy, mind clarity, mood, digestion and cravings – and it’s all because I’m focusing more on getting the micronutrition I need for my healthy while sticking to my caloric budget and macros I need to reshape my body.

If you are working to lose weight, I can’t encourage you enough to invest in good nutrition – from getting the proper macro nutrition as well as quality micronutrition. You don’t need good nutrition to lose weight, but good nutrition can sure make losing weight so much, easier, healthier and happier.

I know it’s easy to focus on the outside (believe me! I’ve done it for all my life), but don’t neglect what your body needs on the inside. It could change your life forever, like it has changed mine. #slowlearner #ishouldknowbetter :)


Vitamin B: Benefits That Will Blow Your Mind

b vitaminsIf Vitamin B12 had an Instagram, it would have the biggest following out of all the vitamins, but vitamin B12 isn’t the only B vitamin you should follow. There are eight B vitamins including Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pantothenic acid (B5), Pyridoxine (B6), Biotin (B7), Folic Acid (B9) and finally Mr. Popular, B12 (also called cyanocobalimin); and they all have magical abilities that are simply mind-blowing!

I want to give you a breakdown of what each vitamin does and why you should take it. But, before I address each vitamin individually, one thing all B vitamins have in common is they all help you extract the energy from the foods you eat. What does this mean? This means more energy for you! B vitamins convert nutrients from fats, proteins and carbohydrates to a useable energy source you can use through out the day – and especially in the gym. This energy source is called ATP. This means improved concentration, more energy, better workouts and improved mood.

Vitamin B superheroesAll B vitamins support nerve, heart, blood, skin and eye health. They also reduce inflammation, improve hormone function and can help maintain a healthy metabolism and digestive system. Each one is unique and, like a Marvel Superhero, has it’s own special super powers. But, just like superheroes, they are strongest and most effective in numbers. The more the merrier!

B1 (Thiamin) – Strong mind and body

strong mindB1, or thiamin, plays a critical role in energy metabolism, which includes the growth, development and function of cells. Thiamin deficiency can cause a variety of negative symptoms including confusion, short-term memory loss, muscle weakness and cardiovascular issues, like an enlarged heart. Other symptoms may include weight loss or anorexia. Thiamin deficiency may even play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Up to 80% of people with chronic alcoholism develop thiamin deficiencies because ethanol reduces gastrointestinal absorption of thiamin. Older adults also tend to be deficient in thiamin, possibly due to low dietary intakes, medications, common chronic diseases and the inability to absorb nutrients. Research shows people who have diabetes have between 50-76% lower levels of thiamin. Bariatric patients also often have a thiamin deficiency due to malabsorption, and are normally encouraged to add micronutrients that include thiamin to avoid deficiencies.

B2 (riboflavin) – Boosts energy and mood, and slow aging

good moodB2, most commonly called Riboflavin, plays a huge role in the production of energy. Vitamin B2 is essential for body function and improves our body’s ability to process fats and proteins. It also helps regulate thyroid activity. B2 not only can improve skin issues, like acne and dermatitis, but it helps repair damaged tissue and speeds healing. It’s antioxidant properties prevent free radical damage attributed to heart disease, cancer and aging. B2 may even prevent migraines.

Deficiencies can include fatigue, sluggish metabolism, anemia, nerve damage, skin inflammation, skin disorders, mouth or lip sores, swelling of mucus membranes, mood swings, anxiety and signs of depression.

B3 (niacin) – Gets our blood and energy pumping

blood pumpingMost people know B3 as Niacin, and is probably most known in the fitness world for how it helps increase blood circulation, which is not only important for good health but is awesome for pumping blood to the heart, and getting blood to the muscles during a workout. Another great thing about niacin is that it can help lower cholesterol levels and control them. Niacin can be used to treat respiratory or vascular disorders.

B3 helps in digestive function, which is imperative in absorbing nutrients. It can also be responsible for that “healthy glow”, as it is great for your skin. Like all B vitamins, it support healthy nerve, brain and heart function, and boosts your energy and mood. Unlike other vitamins, niacin increases blood flow and helps create sex hormones, so it can also be very helpful for people who have sexual disorders like impotence and erectile disfunction. Lastly, niacin has been found very effective in treating and managing diabetes.

B5 (Pantothenic acid) – Reduces stress

reduce stressB5 is a B vitamin a lot of people don’t ever refer to but it does a lot of great things like alleviates allergies, hair loss, asthma, stress, anxiety, heart problems and respiratory disorders. B5 is often used to help treat serious mental disorders like chronic stress and anxiety. It’s great for building stamina, delays premature aging and supports good heart health. B5 is effective for fighting infections and diseases, as well as improving sex and stress-relate hormones, including testosterone.

Vitamin B5 deficiencies are more rare than other B vitamins since it is in most foods. However, if someone is malnourished or low in calories, they can have signs of B5 deficiency including fatigue, depression, irritability, insomnia, muscle cramps, burning feet, upper respiratory infections and stomach issues.

B6 (pyridoxine) – Eases pain and stress, while improving sleep

migraine reliefVitamin B6 is one of the more popular B vitamins. It supports major bodily functions including movement, memory, energy expenditure and blood flow. It helps the body maintain a healthy nervous system and can even act as natural pain treatment. Like all B vitamins, B6 provide energy from the foods we eat and boosts mood and energy. It also creates antibodies for our immune system, to shield us from stress and sickness. B6 plays a big role in our mood and sleep patterns because it helps the body produce serotonin, melatonin and norepinephrine, a stress hormone.

You may be low in vitamin B6 if you suffer from changes in mood, irritability, anxiety or depression. Other common symptoms of a B6 deficiency is muscle pains, low energy and fatigue. Women may suffer from increased PMS symptoms without the proper daily dose of B6. Vitamin B deficiencies have been linked to migraines, chronic pain, seizures and mood disorders. People who do not have efficient levels of B6 may be at risk for heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Lastly, supplementing your diet with B6 is essential for aging adults, as it may prevent forms of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease.

B 7 (Biotin) – Improves skin, hair and nails.

healthy skin, hair and nailsIf you ask someone what B7 is, most people will say they don’t have a clue, but everyone knows what Biotin is. Like with all B vitamins, B7 (biotin) supports healthy metabolism as well as nerve, digestive and cardiovascular functions. However, B7’s claim to fame is how it can improve your skin, hair and nails health. B7 also supports thyroid and adrenal function, and may improve glucose intolerance and balance blood sugar.

Symptoms of biotin deficiency include dry irritated skin, brittle hair, hair loss, chronic fatigue, muscle aches and pains, mood changes, cramps, tingling in the limbs and cognitive impairments. People who suffer from leaky gut syndrome or have other digestive disorders may have trouble absorbing the nutrients are at risk of deficiencies.

B9 (Folic Acid) – Fights depression and rejuvenates the body

rejuvenate your bodyVitamin B9, also called folic acid, can be very helpful in preventing heart disorders, stroke, cancer and birth defects during pregnancy. It is also very helpful in building muscle, cell enhancement, hemoglobin formation and stabilizing your mood. Vitamin B9 is responsible for replacing old cells with new healthy ones, keeping our body fresh and renewed. B9 is used to help patients who suffer from alcoholism, liver disease, anemia, digestive disorders and kidney dialysis. Folic acid is used for memory loss, age-related hearing loss, restless leg syndrome, weak bones, sleep problems, depression, nerve pain and muscle pain.

Deficiency symptoms include anemia, memory loss, restricted brain and nerve growth, paranoia, weakness, cracked skin and sore tongue. Deficiencies can lead to osteoporosis, bowel cancer, heart palpitations and birth defects. People deficient in folic acid also may also struggle with fertility and sterility.

B 12 (cobalamin) – Combats fatigue and boosts brain function

To my surprise, vitamin B12 is thought to be one of the leading nutrient deficiencies in the world! No wonder it gets so much attention in the doctor’s office and nutrition shops.

fight fatigueNot only does B12 improve your mood, energy level, memory, heart, skin, hair and digestion, it is an essential vitamin for addressing adrenal fatigue and multiple metabolic functions like enzyme production, hormonal balance and DNA synthesis. B12 supports and helps maintain a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system. B12 is incredibly important to our nervous system, as it helps form the protective covering of nerves, called the myelin sheath. If your vitamin B12 levels are low, almost every cognitive function can suffer. I don’t know about you, but I need as much brain power as I can get!!

One of the most common signs of a B12 deficiency is chronic fatigue, stress and feeling run down. Symptoms of a B12 deficiency can include joint pain, muscle aches and weakness, difficulty breathing, chronic fatigue, poor concentration, poor memory, mood changes, anxiety, abnormal heart issues (like heart palpitations), poor dental health, digestive problems and even a poor appetite.

Again, the older population often suffer from deficiencies mostly due to digestive issues and the inability to convert vitamin B12 properly. Other people who are at risk for deficiencies include smokers and heavy drinkers. People with anemia or digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease are also at risk for B12 deficiencies. Vegans and vegetarians may be at risk for B12 deficiency because B12 is found in meat and dairy.

Energize your body and workoutsB Fit to Get Fit

If you feel like you have no energy, get sick often or just lack the drive and desire to move and get healthy, you may just need to add a really good B complex to your daily regimen. Since B vitamins are water soluble, they dissolve very quickly and have to be replaced daily.

I can personally attest to the fact that B vitamins can COMPLETELY change your life. I honestly attribute my improved mood and energy to all the B vitamins I’m taking now. Since I’ve been on my new vitamin regiment, I can see a distract difference in my energy, mood and mental clarity.

Food Sources of B Vitamins

Since B vitamins don’t build up in your system, you need a daily dose. However, it can be hard to get every B vitamin you need; especially when you are dieting. That’s where supplements come in. 

Foods rich in B vitamins:

  • cereals and whole grains (a source of B1, B2, and B3)
  • green leafy vegetables (a source of B2 and B9)
  • eggs (a source of B7 and B12)
  • chicken (a source of B3, B6, and B12)
  • citrus fruits (a source of B9)
  • nuts (a source of B3 and B9)
  • kidney beans (a source of B1 and B2)
  • bananas (a source of B6 and B7)
  • Vitamin B5 is found in almost all foods.

Source: Very Well



Nutrition: Easier, Healthier, Better

diet confusionMacro What?!

Learning how to count calories, manage macros (macronutrients; proteins, fats and carbs) and create meals that don’t sabotage success can be quite overwhelming to say the least. I have taught nutrition and healthy living tips for years and, while I know I have helped thousands of people improve their life, sometimes it’s still too much information to take in for some people – especially in the beginning.

I can’t tell you how many people eyes I’ve watch glaze over as soon as I talk calories. I might as well be speaking Hebrew. Most people don’t want to have to think. They want to be told what to do – as long as it doesn’t require brain power. People are overworked, underpaid, stressed out and tired. The thought of having to add one more chore to their plate is enough to send them straight to the ice cream shop.

There’s Gotta Be An Easier Way

My desire has always been to empower people with knowledge. I’ve always been against shortcuts – to a fault. Instead of telling people what to eat, I love explaining WHY they should eat certain foods (like they care). That was my first mistake. Most people don’t care about the why. They just want results.

No More Discouragement

Sad swimmerMy coaching style was perfect for the people who were 100% committed to investing the time and energy to get healthy. However, it had the opposite effect for everyone else.

I realized this educational approach often overwhelmed and discouraged people. When someone gets ready to lose weight, they want to dive in head first. However, this tactic was like asking an excited kid to slowly wade out into the shallow end first before playing with the big kids. This made some people feel like they were being held back by their own lack of knowledge. Sadly, their excitement would turn into discouragement.

diet confusionThe fact is, most people have SO much to learn, they quickly feel lost and frustrated when faced with everything they don’t know and need to change. This can sabotage their progress and the momentum they and when they first started.

No More Being Hangry

Another issue we faced was how to help people feel better while dieting. I didn’t want our clients to walk around “hangry” all the time, but that’s what was happening. Even my clients that actually could mentally absorb how calories and macro-nutrients worked, they were still missing the essential nutrients they needed to have energy to get through the day happily and easily.

Weight loss is great, but it’s not very important if you don’t feel good enough to do anything because you are sick, tired or grouchy.

No More Rebounding

diet reboundLastly, there is the issue of rebound. While most of our clients continue to live healthy and keep most of their weight off, I still hadn’t mastered the ability to prevent some of them from rebounding. If our clients are miserable, they aren’t going to keep it up. They need to feel good, avoid cravings and not feel deprived or they were going to return to their old ways.

So, Steve and I set out on a mission to figure out how to improve their nutrition so our clients weren’t so miserable while in a caloric deficit.  We were looking for something that could help people make a real lasting life change.

In the middle of exploring options, Isagenix came knocking at our door. The more we learned, the more we realized they could give us the piece we were missing. Not only did Isagenix offer premium nutritional support (so our clients were healthier and happier WHILE losing fat and gaining muscle), but Isagenix could greatly simplify people’s lives WHILE learning how to make lasting healthy changes. Our clients could have their low-calorie cake AND eat it too – AND enjoy a shrinking waistline!

Jill-Birth-Isagenix-040915-300x300We Have the Answer

Finally, we have a system in place that can give our clients what they need and want – simple solutions, more support and accountability. We have a system that works, we have a system that is nutritionally sound and we have a system that is based not on products, but support.

  • Performance Solutions
  • Weight Loss Solutions
  • Energy Solutions
  • Healthy Aging
  • Snacks and Meals
  • Daily Health
  • Skin Care

Isagenix is a superfood company that specialized in getting people healthy with whole food nutrition that is packed with all the essential macro-nutrients (proteins, carbs and fats) as well as micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals). People can instantly get the nutrition they need even if they don’t know how to get it from whole foods yet. They can get results WHILE still learning how to meal prep and incorporate healthy living habits in their life.

The best part of partnering with Isagenix is being a part of their passion for helping clients change their MIND, not just their body. They know that where our mind goes, our body follows. That is why they are as equally concerned about helping people get their mind healthy. With the Healthy Mind and Body Challenge, they are doing more than just offering great nutrition, they changing lives.

I am thrilled to offer this kind of support. I’m thrilled to be a part of YOUR healthy journey to a better you. I’ve never had more fun! I get to help people every single day and I love every minute of it!!

Free Coaching

steve and bonnie pfiesterInvesting in fitness is just that – it is an investment in both time and money. I realize it costs money to join a gym, to buy vitamins and supplements. But, there is one thing you cannot buy at a store. You can’t buy support. Our nutrition business isn’t about selling products, it’s about investing in people and helping them succeed. That is why we offer FREE NUTRITIONAL COACHING for all our clients.

I want you to get lasting results. SO MUCH SO, I am dedicated to doing whatever it takes to help you reach your goals. I want to help you become my next success story.

Email us or message us on social media if you are ready to make a healthy life change. I look forward to being a part of your journey.

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