All posts by jbake428

Eating carbs can be healthy

There is the common misconception that diets should exclude carbs. I always hear people boast about their carb free diets and how they swear by it such as the paleo  diet and Atkins.

carbs-are-goodAccording to an article on Huffington Post, “Can Carbs Fit Into a Healthy Diet?“, there a good carbs and bad carbs. Carbs should be included in a persons diet.

“Our brain needs carbs,” says naturopathic medical doctor Alan Christianson.

Dr. Christianson suggests eating beans, rice and stir fries.

There are good carbs, and good fats, so it is dangerous to have diets that encourage people to cut these out completely.

My roommate is on a “strict” no carb diet. However, she eats fried chicken cutlets and chases your vodka with sugary soda. I tell her that the correct way to lose weight is to eat in moderation and work out. For some reason people believe that cutting out carbohydrates completely will help them lose weight.

Although, you can still lose weight on a low carb diet, research shows that after a person ends a low-carb or no carb diet, they gain the weight back faster than they lost it.

In my opinion, I still think that everything is good in moderation. I eat carbohydrates with almost every meal, but I don’t go overboard. I love eating sandwiches, bagels and potatoes. I think it is important to have a variety in your diet and cutting carbs out limits your diet.



Sleeping Habits

An article from the Huffington Post called, “Changing Bad Sleep Habits” focuses on the things to change to better your sleeping habits. Getting enough sleep is important to stay healthy. The article mentions habits that affect your quality of sleep.

Exercising before bed affects your sleep. Although exercising is good for you, working out before bed can act as a stimulant which makes it harder for you to fall asleep at night.

Using your cellphone before you fall asleep keeps you awake longer. The blue light in cellphones, tablets and televisions keep you from falling asleep.


You should avoid using your electronic devices the hour before you want to go to bed.

I am trying new ways to help me fall asleep at night such as not using my cellphone late at night, avoiding snac

king at night and getting used to a schedule.

Drinking before you go to sleep is commonly known as a “night cap”. Drinking alcohol before you sleep might help to fall asleep but research shows it disrupts your slumber.

I have always struggled with my sleeping habits since I was in high school. For example, my physician told my mother to give me Benadryl every night to help me fall asleep. My mother wasn’t very happy with her suggestion. I wake up in the middle of the night many times and find it difficult to fall asleep at night.

Holiday Eating

holiday eating.png

Since the Holiday season is upon us, it is important to remember to eat healthy. Here are some tips from an article called, “9 Healthy Holiday-Eating Strategies“.

  • Bring a healthy dish to a holiday dinner: Substitute vegetables to eat with your dip instead of chips or bread pieces
  • Find time to exercise: during your break find time keep up with your exercise routine to at least maintain your current weight
  • Don’t over eat until you are stuffed: pick your favorite foods to eat first instead of putting every thing on the buffet line onto your dinner plate.
  • Be mindful of your beverages: avoid drinking too much alcohol and soda because of the high sugar content
  • Don’t skip meals: if you overeat at one meal, remember to go light on the next one.

In my personal experience, I try to follow these guidelines as well. For example, I made a buffalo chicken dip as an appetizer for Thanksgiving. Instead of serving the dips with chips, I used cut up celery, peppers and carrots.

It’s not always easy to keep up with an exercise routine during the holiday season because of the cold and bad weather. However, I try to maintain the same weight instead of focusing on losing weight.



Which Coaching Style is Best?

It is important to know which type of coaching style is the best for each person. There are many different approaches when it comes to how a personal trainer motivates their trainee.

According to an article called, “Find Your Coaching Style” for, there are five different types of personal trainers, these are the three that I agreed with most.

There is the drill sergeant who screams in the face of their trainee and tells him or her what they are doing wrong. personal-trainerThis type of trainer is very in your face and bluntly honest. He or she uses tough love to motivate people to work harder.

The cheerleader is the optimist trainer filled with energy. Each class the trainer insists that anything is possible and every obstacle can be overcome.

The academic trainer looks at diet and exercise down to the science. This method is for people who prefer a reason-based approach. This trainer looks at the science of working out for so long to burn so many calories at a time.

In my opinion, my favorite type of trainer is a mixture of each. I like a trainer that pushes me extremely hard like a drill sergeant without being insulting. A cheerleader type of trainer is important to me because encouragement goes a long way. The personal trainer that uses an academic approach helps me be realistic of my goals.

In my personal experience, I had a tumbling coach that trained Olympic gymnasts. From fifth grade until my senior year of high school, I worked with the same man to teach me. He was tough on me when I needed it. He encouraged me to keep trying when I got frustrated and was realistic about my goals for each competition I had coming up.

Healthy Substitutions and Alternatives


Changing a diet to live a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to be so hard. According to an article on called “83 Healthy Recipe Substitutions“, there are many ways to swap out ingredients for a healthier option. Here are my favorite 10 substitutions.

  1. Zucchini ribbons for pasta: Thin strips of zucchini are a great stand in for carb-packed pastas.
  2. Mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes: Mashed cauliflower has only a fraction of the calories of potatoes
  3. Spaghetti squash for pasta: Roast and pull apart the squash with a fork for a low-carb and low-calorie alternative to pasta.
  4. Unsweetened apple sauce for sugar: Unsweetened applesauce can replace the amount of calories of sugar while still giving that sweet taste.
  5. Avocado puree for butter: Substitute avocado puree for butter without changing the taste or consistency.
  6. Lettuce leaves for tortilla: Lettuce wraps are a healthy alternative to wraps.
  7. Two egg whites for one egg: Egg whites are lower in cholesterol.
  8. Ground turkey for ground beef: Ground turkey or chicken is lower in saturated fat and calories than red meat.
  9. Seltzer water with citrus instead of soda: Seltzer water cuts the sugar out of soda and the fruit give a natural flavor.
  10. Black beans for flour: Swap out one cup of flour for one cup of canned black beans to cut out the gluten while making brownies.

Why you should avoid diet detox and cleansing

On Diet and Health

“These diets are so popular right now, mostly because people think they’re a quick fix for shedding pounds,” says Jennifer Ventrelle, R.D., a nutrition counselor at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.


Most detox supplements and diets on the market are not regulated by the FDA so they are potentially harmful.

According to Women’s Health Magazine juice cleanses slash your calorie consumption and skimping on calories for a few days, your body stops producing a crucial growth hormone called IGF1, and reduces thyroid and other hormones as well as insulin levels.

According to an article on Live Science, there is little scientific evidence that these restrictive diets remove harmful substances from the system. Joy Dubost a dietician in Washington, D.C. and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that juice cleanses are a “quick fix that over promises”.

Despite the increasing popularity of these plans, there’s very little scientific evidence to support the need to give your organs a digestive vacation. Our liver, lungs, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract work to remove toxins and harmful substances. The only time your digest system would need rest is after a surgery if your doctor advises you to do so.

According to an article on Detroit News, when you detox, you might notice you’re losing weight, but you’re losing water weight and when you return to eating normally you will gain all the weight back and faster.

As well as losing water weight, you start to lose your muscle mass because without adequate protein, your body takes from your own muscle tissue. “Your body thinks you’re starving and panics,” explains Marc Hellerstein, M.D., Ph.D., professor of human nutrition at the University of California at Berkeley.

The concept of fasting isn’t new. The modern-day detox has existed since the 1930s, with the first grapefruit diet fad. With each new cleanse coming out it is important to know that the risks outweigh the benefits. If a person wants to follow a more cleansing diet, they should increase the amounts of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich foods and water in their diet as well as daily exercise.

Breakfast: Not the most important meal of the day

Nutrition Secrets

Everyone has heard the saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Breakfast cereal commercials say that skipping breakfast doesn’t help you lose weight, it makes you gain weight.

I knew that always seemed odd to me because how do you gain weight for missing a meal. According to an article for, two studies have found that there is no direct impact on weight loss.

The studies showed two groups of people: one group ate breakfast and the other group did not. The results were clear that there is no direct correlation to weight loss for breakfast eaters and breakfast skippers.

There is not just one meal that is the most important. According to the article, Why Breakfast is Not the Most Important Meal of the Day, “Believing that one meal is the foundation of success can be detrimental to your healthy-living goals.”

Focusing on one meal creates a mental block. For example, if you skip breakfast the rest of the day you convince yourself that your fat loss will be slowed, and you should eat more for the next meal, but that isn’t how it should work.

I personally have weird eating habits. I eat at strange times because of my work and school schedule. My first meal is typically a bagel with some water around 12 or 1:30 and then the next meal that I have is for dinner. Since I have afternoon classes, I don’t eat a breakfast because usually I am still sleeping at that time. I have been able to lose weight even though I don’t have the typical eating habits.

The bottom line is that you know your own body. If you think it is important for you to eat three solid meals a day, eat your breakfast, lunch and dinner.

If you eat six meals a day or you just eat when you are hungry and need the energy, that is okay. Your body is unique and so is the diet that is right for you.