Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Are you Green? I am.

Ok, so everyone who knows me knows that I’m Irish. I don’t know what gives it away…the freckles on my face, my (sometimes) stubbornness, or the vanity plates on my car!!! Yes, I do get drawn to items I see in the store that are green. Forget it…when the St. Patrick’s Day stuff comes out I’m like a kid in a candy store!

What do you think of when you hear the word “green?” I know a few things that come to mind for me. When I hear green I think, saving the environment, spinach, cucumbers, broccoli, money. Hmmmm, I’m sensing a pattern here, are you? All of the things I think of when I think of green are natural, living things (ok, well except for money!)

Why am I writing about this? Why should you care? Good question. I’m about to give you some information you might not otherwise know about Green Tea, and the many positive effects it has on your body. Remember, you only get one body…better take care of it!

Green Tea, or green tea extract (also known as camellia sinensis) should be taken by just about everyone, everyday to see the benefits. Those who may want to avoid it before consulting with your doctor are individuals sensitive to caffeine, those who are pregnant, those taking anti depressants, or individuals who have history of heart, intestinal, or kidney problems, suffer from panic attacks or allergies. Of course, before you start any new supplement, do your research and/or consult with your doctor if you are not sure.

Green Tea can be taken in tea form, where you drink it, or in supplement pill form. Either way, both will offer tremendous benefits for your overall health and well being. This list of benefits includes:

1) Aids in weight loss. Green tea reacts with the body’s thermogenesis (the body’s way to generate heat and increase the metabolic rate.) Green tea can be found in many weight loss supplements and offers the same type of benefits as stimulant supplements, without that “shaky” or “jittery” feeling. I take Nutrilite’s Slimmetry on a daily basis before each of my main meals. So my daily intake is: 1630mg of green tea extract, which includes 375mg EGCG (antioxidant), and 120mg caffeine.
2) Aids in getting rid of acne.
3) Helps lower cholesterol, blood pressure and reduces inflammation.
4) Contains antioxidants that help fight free radicals from the pollution our body is victim to everyday.
5) Helps protect against some cancers, liver disease, and aids in digestion.

After reading the list of benefits, has it made you consider adding green tea into your daily routine? If not, why not? Maybe is short article didn’t provide you with enough evidence or research to make your decision…and that’s ok. If this article provided you with enough info to want to further explore, research, and learn about the uses of green tea, then at least I’ve done that much. The best thing you can do for yourself is to do your own research. Don’t just believe what product manufacturers tell you to be true. Educate yourself so that you can share your wealth of knowledge with others. You are more likely to remember information you CHOSE to look up and research rather than information just given to you. Let this article be your catalyst towards making you a more informed person about the things that matter to you most.

Here is my challenge to you. Find a vitamin, mineral, or ingredient you want to know more about and research it. There are thousands of articles and information out there for you to find. Gather up the info you find and write up a brief article about that vitamin, mineral, or ingredient and share it with the world. Post it in blogs, on message boards, on your own website, etc. You never know whose life you are going to touch.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ingredient Review #2: Partially Hydrogenated Oils

Partially hydrogenated oils will definitely help you get fat! These fats are not like the important essential fats our body needs but the ones you should avoid at all costs. Hydrogenated (or partially hydrogenated) oils are in many of the packaged products on the shelves of your favorite store. Manufacturers use this ingredient in place of butter because it is cheaper, but over time this will not only make you fat but it can lead to a number of serious conditions, like multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Does that sound fun? I didn’t think so. Hydrogenated oils contain trans fats and it’s trans fats that are hazardous to your health. How do these oils make you fat? Author, Eric Armstrong, of’s article, “What’s Wrong with Partially Hydrogenated Oils?” explains:

“Picture it like this. The trans fats are now the guards along the watchtower. The essential fatty acids (the support troops) are waiting outside to get into the fort (the cell), so they can be distributed along the watchtower (the cell wall). But the guards won't let them in! So they have to find someplace to stay in town. Over time, more and more troops are finding lodging in town. So new houses (fat cells) have to built to keep them in. The town grows more and more swelled with troops (fat), and it gets bigger and bigger (fatter). It's not a pretty picture at all, when you realize that the town is your belly, buns, face, and neck.”

For Eric’s full article please visit:

My 2 cents: READ YOUR LABELS! Take responsibility for what you put into your body. Make a conscious effort to avoid this ingredient at all costs…you don’t want to be fat anyway, right?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ingredient Review #1: Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is a sweetener that is not sugar. It is usually made from rice, corn, or potato starch and is more easily digested than some other carbohydrates. It has low calories (4 calories per gram) so it is not calorie free. For someone with diabetes this may be a better option than sugar because it won’t spike glucose levels. In addition to it being a sweetener it can also be used as a thickening agent for sauces and dressings. Maltodextrin may also contain (or create) Monosodium Glutamate (MSG).

My 2 cents: Based on the scientific information I found it seems as though products containing maltodextrin isn’t something to be too concerned about when taken in moderation. The problem arises for people watching their weight, or trying to lose weight, when EVERYTHING they consume contains it. With this common food ingredient the thing to remember is MODERATION. Every gram of maltodextrin contains 4 calories and if you are not careful those calories can add up.

The best foods to buy are going to be those that have very few ingredients listed and need no explanation as to what they are. Example: Bryers Natural Vanilla Ice Cream. Ingredients: milk, cream, sugar, natural flavor, natural tara gum. (Ok, so maybe you don’t know what “Tara Gum” is, so let me tell you. Tara gum comes from the seeds of the tara tree so it is also a natural ingredient.)


Friday, February 13, 2009

What are you eating?

Kudos to everyone who reads their food labels while doing their weekly supermarket run! But, how far do you go? Do you check out the calories only? What about the fat content? Carbohydrates? Proteins? List of ingredients?

If you are like most label readers you probably stop reading after the fat, carb, and protein breakdown. Maybe that’s because you think you have gathered enough information to make a healthy buying decision. Ah-ha! But, it’s not. The list of ingredients is probably more important to pay attention to because it actually list what is in the product.

Let’s look at Yoplait Whips! Light & Fluffy Peaches ‘N Cream 4oz cup as an example. It’s 140 Calories, 2.5g Fat, 25g Carbohydrates, and 5g Protein. Great! Now let’s look at the list of ingredients: Reduced fat milk, sugar, nonfat milk, high fructose corn syrup, peach puree, modified corn starch, kosher gelatin, natural flavor, potassium sorbate, annatto extract, vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3, lactic acid esters of mono and diglycerides, nitrogen.

(A brief lesson on how to read a list of ingredients: The ingredients listed first are the items that make up a large percent of the product and the ingredients listed last only make up a small percent of the product.)

So, looking back at our example, does anything stand out to you? How about the fact that peaches are the fifth item listed, behind sugar AND high fructose corn syrup! (High fructose corn syrup is just another name for sugar.) If you want to read a really good article on WHY high fructose corn syrup is bad for you check out Cassandra Forsythe’s article on Figure Athlete.

Why am I writing this blog? Well, I haven’t personally come across a book or website yet that picks a product (“healthy” or not) off the shelf and explains exactly what dextrose, monosodium glutamate, or maltodextrin is and why it is (or isn’t) bad for you. Or what does enriched flour or modified corn starch mean? I want to make it easy for people to find this information so they can start to understand why it is so important to read food labels beyond just calories, and to realize what they are putting into their bodies.

So check back often for ingredient reviews and if there is a particular food you would like to see dissected and explained please e-mail me at:

I look forward to doing my part towards helping make America (and maybe the world) a little bit healthier!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Catching up with the New Year

So here it is, February already...and 6 more weeks of winter they say? Isn't that what always happens??

Coming Soon – Fitness University

“FIT U” is a weekend jam packed with different fitness classes and educational seminars on health related topics such as: Nutrition 101, Clean Eating, Understanding Supplements, and more! To receive more information on upcoming "Fit U" seminars visit and fill out the contact form completely. Please indicate "Fit U." Continue to check for scheduled dates and locations.

Introducing Team Fit.

Do you love competing and being on stage? FitnessJenn, LLC is now offering training, coaching, and meal planning for women interested in competing in Bikini, Figure, and Fitness competitions! To learn more about "Team Fit" please visit and fill out the contact form completely. Please indicate "Team Fit."