Tools Blog What's Eating You?


Around the corner, is cooler weather, picturesque scenery and great food.  What better way to embrace the fall season than rejuvenating and revitalizing your fitness routine.  Fall is an excellent time for exercising outdoors: The humidity and temperature are lower, yet there's still some daylight left when you get home from work or school. Many non-profit orginizations schedule walks, races, and family fitness events (often for charity causes) during the fall.  By joining in one of these outdoor events you can help fight the hibernation mentality that sets in as daylight dwindles down.

With Fall's cooler air and lesser light on the horizon it's just as important to stay safe as it is comfortable. Here are a few simple guidelines to help guide you along the way.


Cooler weather comes Dress in layers:  Get off to a warm start by wearing a shirt that wicks sweat away from the skin (not cotton).  You can wear a sweater or fleece coverup ontop of that to help you stay warm. Remember you can always subtract the layers should you get to hot.

Take advantage of the weather by enjoying some outdoor exercise activity. Fall can be a sweet treat for all of the senses. Enjoy the crisp air and try to discover new park trails and new scenery. Wether you ar walking, biking or hiking you are sure to unwind and relax enjoying the fresh crisp air.

Strive for the 3 C's Commitment, Convenience and Consistency: Making a commitment to something that is convenient is easy to be consistent at when it doesn't put you out of your way to much. Start off with a small goal to reach and transfer those goals into visions. Being consistent will help you get into the routine of things. 

With it getting darker sooner in the evening be sure to play it safe and wear reflectors: We all know how working out outside can carry some safety precautions but it can also come with a price if you aren't dressed appropriately so that  drivers can see you. Make sure to wear some type of reflective gear so that as the sun sets and the glare is low you don't become someones unseen target. 


Starting a new workout routine can almost be as hard as picking out a new dining room table. You tend to ask the same questions when scoping the two out.

Will it work for me?

Will it be something I get tired of easily?

Do I see myself happy with this for a long period of time?

Is it in my price range?

The truth of the matter is you never really know if it is a good fit until you try it out.  Exercising alone is a task that most people dread. Then there are your select few who depend on exercise to keep moving through the day. 

We are here to tell you that as long as you find something you like and take into consideration what your limits are you should have no problem getting into the rhythm of exercising.

Above all else, never give up the pursuit of a healthier and happier lifestyle. It is never too far from your grasp. Each day will present you with new opportunities to make even just one positive change to increase your fitness, improve your nutrition, and or enhance your life. It is up to you to take the challenge on and conquer it.

No matter where you are in your journey to fitness and health, respect your body. It is the only one you have! Nurture your body. Celebrate the miles you have walked, the weights you can lift, and the hurdles you have overcome. Your body is amazing! Forgive the minor setbacks and focus on the positive you continue to achieve!

These last two weeks have been hectic for Kristian. While preparing to start a new radio show,
he has been keeping everyone up to date with all of the statistics for football, training and running after his 3 boys.

While Kristian is making great strides with everything he has on his plate, he is also staying on top of things with his Weight Management Plan by Genovive.

Kristian last checked in on September 11th. At this time he was down 20lbs of fat, he had lost 14.8% body fat and gained 10 lbs. of muscle.

This week Kristian weighed in at 22lbs of fat loss, he is down to 13.7% body fat and up to 12lbs of muscle.

Kristian has shown true determination, motivation and dedication to the program. We at Genovive couldn't be more proud of what he has accomplished!

For more on how you can get on the Genovive program go to this link right here and get started today


    1. Your body is a machine.  It is capable of many amazing things.  Celebrate all of the wonderful things it is capable of like- laughing, running, breathing,  dancing etc.

    2. Beauty is a state of mind and being. When you feel comfortable in your own skin you wear it on the outside.   Walk with confidence, smile more, and stand tall!

    3. Don’t focus on just body image. Everyone is beautiful in their own way. Instead focus on you as a whole versus the things you want to change. When you start seeing yourself differently, so will others.

    4.  Wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself.  Add playful pieces to your wardrobe that accent your personality so that it shines through.

    5.  Do something that makes you happy.  Take a walk in the park, read a book, soak in the tub with bubbles. Make “you” time so you can appreciate all the things about yourself.

    6.  Help others in need. Volunteer at your local church or charity. When you volunteer for others selflessly it makes you feel better about yourself.

 All of the above enhance the release of “ feel good” brain chemicals.


It is no secret that most people that start out a new workout regimen do it to lose weight. However, there are the other few % that do it to gain strength and look better.

When choosing an exercise program or new routine do you tend to go for more stength endurance exercises or do you go for more endurance? Perhaps you really don't know the difference between the two. 

Today is your lucky day, we will briefly break the two of them down for you so you can see what is a better fit for you!

Muscle Strength: The maximum amount of force that any one or combination of muscle(s) can produce in a single maximal effort

Muscle Endurance: To repeat or sustain a sub maximal force over a prolonged period of time.

Your body is made up of two fibers that signify what your body is capable of handling better.


Slow Twitch: (Aerobic activity) are those used predominately during aerobic types of activities. These fibers have a low fatigue rate compared to fast twitch and have energy systems that require oxygen in abundant supply.

Fast Twitch: (Anaerobic activity) are more suited for rapid and forceful contractions. These fibers do not require abundant oxygen for performance but these fibers will fatigue rapidly.


So you see starting a new exercise program can be a bit more complex than just choosing which one suits you better, it could be what is my body actually built for.

GenoVive takes that question for you and answers it. In our unique and secure DNA kit we will test you on 17 gens; 10 being for diet and food and the other 7 for exercise. Two of those genes that are tested for exercise are the genes that state wether you have a slow or fast muscle twitch. This way your body is getting fueled the way it was built too and energized the way it was meant to be.

Click on this link and watch this short video and see for yourself how GenoVive can help restart your life the right way!


Weight Loss Wednesday

Have you hit a plateau in your exercise routine? Are you struggling to stay motivated but not sure that you can take one more week of not having any results? Welcome to the club!

Just like with any routine, at some point or another you will eventually plateau for one or more reasons. These reasons being one of the following or both:

  1. A.      You have accumulated changes in either your eating habits or exercise routine. , causing you to eat more or burn less calories when you exercise. This is the typical and most abundant reason and the reason that most people are not usually aware of.
  2. B.      You have become adapted metabolically to your eating and exercise regimen.

Here is one good example why this happens:

-          It is important that as you continue your weight loss journey to make modifications to your diet based upon the amount of weight you have lost since the beginning. If you are not doing so, BIG mistake! If you keep eating at this same caloric intake (Pre-weight loss), Your body is either going to store fat, enabling you to build muscle, Stop burning fat all together (Plateau), or you will start to gain back the weight that you have just worked your behind off for.

Imagine eating the same 2,000 caloric diet after 40 lbs of weight loss. You are eventually going to fall off of the wagon all together. You need to modify your diet to the changes that your body is making.

To avoid this here are some minor changes that can help you keep on your weight goal track:

  1. A.      Check your activity and exercise routine often. Even a reduction of 50-100 extra calories burned from exercising can have long term fat-loss consequences. After a period of 30 days, ending the day with 50 less calories burned could result in you gaining an additional 1lb and ½ of fat a month.
  2. B.      Get meticulous with your diet. Start weighing out your portions and making sure you are getting adequate amounts of protein for your size to help aid in building muscle. Kick start your metabolism by eating more frequently. Eat 5 smaller meals vs. 3 big ones.
  3. C.      Remember to adjust your dietary needs as your body loses fat. Adjust caloric intake as needed. You don’t want to be biting off more than you can chew.

Regardless of how you decide to lose weight, losing weight in itself is hard to do on your own.

The first common mistake that most people make is setting some outrageously unattainable goal that they hope to accomplish overnight. We all know that this is not going to happen. It has taken you a few years of unhealthy eating and your lack of interest to engage in any type of exercise to put on the weight, therefore it will require, time, patience, motivation and dedication to take it off.

To efficiently and effectively lose weight, you need to understand how you view your own body and how it works for you. It is important to begin any weight loss journey with a realistic body image of yourself.  To promote change you must clearly visualize yourself becoming more and more like your ideal image. Genovive allows you to do just that. We customize an eating plan just for you based upon your own DNA make up. Taking the guessing out of dieting and see how a simple cheek swab can put you on the path to weight loss success.

Sticking to a weight loss program can be very difficult and takes a lot of sacrifice on your part. You will have to change the way you think about food, feel about food, change the way you eat, and the way you exercise. With Genovive’s DNA test and meal program you get a full secure DNA report that tells you how to eat, what to eat, how your body processes carbs, fats, and proteins as well as how your body responds to exercise. We take the frustration of figuring it out for you. Making it easier to attain the goals you are looking to reach without failure.

Snacking is a habit most of us have become accustomed to over time. When it’s finally time to start losing weight, the “urge” to snack is inevitable and it does not go away without proper nutrition. With Genovive’s meal program you get 3 meals; Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner as well as two snacks. Leaving you fuller longer, which means you are less likely to snack throughout the day. Not to mention our meal program is specifically designed for you based upon your DNA makeup. No other plan can give you what Genovive can.

How many times have you tried to lose weight, only to gain it right back again? Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Well the good news is that , you are not alone. The problem is many people try to change too much, too fast. They go “on” a diet that they will eventually go “off”. Weight loss and healthy eating isn’t a diet it is a lifestyle change. GenoVive we give you the tools to start and maintain a healthier new you! Try **Genovive today, what do you have to lose?

(** to check out GenoVive's program watch this short video on how you can get started


Why feel older than you have to? A sedentary lifestyle can accelerate muscle deterioration.  Rebuilding muscle mass loss from a sedentary lifestyle is as easy as getting off of the couch and doing something physical.  Statistics show that people confined to a bed can lose around 1% of muscle strength for each day in bed.  A person’s recovery time from being bedridden can be improved if the proper actions are taken to prevent muscle loss. What you may not be aware of is that also with age comes, age-related loss of muscle mass, strength and function- this is a condition called Sarcopenia .

Sarcopenia relates to age, but this particular condition is usually related to one of the three factors or all: changes in hormone concentrations, protein deficiency and motor unit restructuring.  While each of these factors is distinct in their own way, they combine to produce sarcopenia.

Muscle mass is made up of proteins. Our body can produce some of these proteins on its own without going to an outside source; these proteins are built from amino acids are called nonessential proteins. The protein that our body requires that can’t be made on its own and must come from an outside source is called essential proteins.  

It’s been said and studied that sarcopenia generally starts at the age 40. By the time you are 50 you are losing 1% - 2% of your muscle mass every year.  When you have less muscle, you have more fat.  Having an increased amount of  fat than muscle causes you to produce inflammatory compounds that able chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.

There are ways that you can prevent sarcopenia from being debilitating. Like with anything health related diet plays a major factor. With the right diet and supplements you can fight muscle loss.

  • Increase the amount of protein in your diet. It will not only help fight the muscle loss but it will also help build new muscle.
  • Take a Vitamin rich in fish oil*.  Fish oil protects your muscles and helps reduce the chronic inflammation that aids in damaging your muscle cells.
  • Take a Vitamin D supplement to help prevent and stop bone loss.
  • Exercise. Exercising not only improves your life but it is the best way to stop or reverse muscle loss.

By adopting a regimen that includes dietary modifications, hormone replacement therapy as indicated, nutritional supplements, and exercise, it is possible to dramatically improve lean muscle mass at virtually any age. Check out on how we can help you with a customized meal program based upon your DNA.


FitTip Friday: Football Athleticism


Are you in the running to be the twelfth man on your favorite NFL team or are you hoping to walk on the field as a free agent with only a glimmer of hope of being asked to join?  My feeling is that you are like most of the football frenzy country idling on your sofa or pregame party wearing your team colors with a beer in one hand and popcorn in the other wishing your had a small percent of athleticism that the star quarterback does.

It’s no secret that it takes lots of strength and endurance to make it through a full season without any injuries while excelling at the game itself.  We have reviewed several articles on how a football athlete exercises and how they get the most out of their workouts while obtaining real results that even the sideliner (you) can achieve. 

We have narrowed it down to 3 exercises that will get you well on your way to make a touchdown to a healthier new you.  

The 50’s & 40’s :  Mark off 40 yards and sprint it 50 times. Make sure to rest 1-2 minutes in between

4 Corners drill : Grab four cones and form a 10 yd by 10 yd square. Start at one cone, and backpedal to a parallel cone (you’re going to be making your way around the perimeter of the square). When you reach that cone, move directly into a shuffle to the next cone. Your feet shouldn’t cross or touch during the shuffle. Upon reaching the third cone run with high knees. When you reach the fourth cone, sprint has fast as you can to the last one (you are now back where you started).  Do 5 sets with a 1 minute rest in between.

Jump Rope: It helps with agility. Start off doing 5 sets of 5 min and work your way up. If you are weight lifting, use it between sets to keep your heart rate in the fat burning zone. If you would like to add more resistance or difficulty to this exercise, try using a weighted jump rope.

So remember get in your zone, grab a bottle of water a few cones and if you are really up for it,  run to the nearest football field. If these exercises don’t help bring out the inner athlete in you, there is always fantasy football.





Weight Loss Wednesday -"Fall For Food"

Before you know it, the summer will be a thing of this year past and fall will be the season of the future.

Pretty colors, drier air, cooler temperatures, walks in the park and a visit to your local farmers market?

Perhaps that may not be ideal for you, but your local farmers market has all of the season’s freshest and tastiest vegetables and fruit this fall season has to offer. Not to mention they are locally grown. 

These amazing super foods are hitting their peak for the season and the perfect reason to cook up something good on those cool nights.

Check out just a few of these great fall foods that you could incorporate into your diet to start off the cooler season just right.

Apples: Full of antioxidants and they have a whopping 4 grams of fiber per serving.  I am thinking warm apple pie.

Parsnips: Rich in potassium and full of fiber. They go great in homemade vegetable soups.

Pears: They are a good source of vitamin C and Copper. They go great grilled with soft cheeses or made into glazes.

Cauliflower: They have many cancer fighting antioxidants and nutrients that may lower cholesterol and are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Check our latest blog for a football friendly recipe J

Squash: It’s thick in texture so it can be stored for months but this taste vegetable goes great with cinnamon and ginger, baked or stewed. This particular veggie is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids as well as a great source of Vitamin A.

Pumpkin: This vegetable isn’t  just great for jack o lanterns and trick or treating but they make great pies and fillings.  They are also very rich in potassium, great source of Vitamin B and give you more than 20% of the recommended dietary fiber that you need daily.

Grapefruit: While tangy and a bit bitter tasting this small fruit pack a lot of punch when it comes out to dosing out Vitamin C. It has more than 75% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C per serving.  It is also a great source of lycopene and helps lower cholesterol.  Combine this in a fresh salad with avocado and shrimp for a light and sweet dinner treat.


These are just a small list of falls seasonable veggies and fruits. Next time you are in town or see a local farmer stopped on the side of the road selling his seasons harvest, be sure to stop by and pick up something fresh, nutritional and healthy to eat.





  "Fit Tip Friday" Week 7

  Being a healthy tailgater!


 You are geared up in front of the big screen and you are longing to taste the cheese dip over to the right. However you have been hitting the gym and watching what you eat, so you second guess yourself. Well now you can enjoy this cheesy dip without all the fat and calories. Our healthier version of chile con queso will have cheese lovers everywhere celebrating. We replaced some of the cheese with a low-fat cream sauce and used sharp cheddar plus a splash of beer to boost the flavor. Our version cuts the calories in half and reduces total fat and saturated fat by nearly 60 percent.  Remember it's okay to have one cheat meal a week within reason, why not make it on game day!!


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup pale ale, or other light-colored beer
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk, divided
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles, (see Note), drained, or 1 1/4 cups drained petite-diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


           Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add beer and cook until reduced slightly, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup milk and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to the pan and cook, stirring vigorously, until bubbling and thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add cheese and cook, stirring, until melted. Stir in drained tomatoes, lime juice, salt, chili powder and cayenne (if using). Serve warm, garnished with scallions and cilantro.

      Nutritional Facts

      Per 1/4-cup serving:

       84 calories, 5 g fat ( 3 g sat , 2 g mono ); 14 mg cholesterol; 5 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 0 g fiber; 307 mg sodium; 36 mg potassium.

      Be sure to check out our website. Genovive is a big fan of keeping your diet needs all natural.

      Gameday cravings the healthier way


      It's that time of year again...."Football Season". Whether you are out tailgating and rooting on your favorite team, at a friends house playing sides or in the comfort of your own home, food is always of essence when it comes to the good ole sport of football.  We have decided to share a recipe with you to help kick off this football season on a more healthier route. 


      Cauliflower Hummus Dip



      2 Head of Fresh Cauliflower

      2 cups of Roma Tomatoes

      1 Large Yellow Onion

      2 Cloves of Roasted Garlic

      1 Cup Feta Cheese

      3 Cucumbers (Skin on) Sliced for dipping

      1 cup Greek Calamata Olives

      2 Tbs of Minced Garlic

      1/3 Cup  Non fat Milk

      1 Fresh bunch of Basil

      2 Tbls of Extra Virgin Olive Oil



      First you are going to want to clean and cut cauliflower into florets. After cleaning them you are going to want to steam them (approx. 15 min) just until they are almost completely tender and soft. While steaming preheat your oven to 450. After steaming the cauliflower lay them out on an oven safe pan and roast them the remaining way until they are completly soft. If you would like at this tyime you can season them with salt and pepper. Take out of the oven (approx 10 min) before they turn brown. Take half of them along with the milk and cream them with a food processor or blender. Take the remainder half and mash until they are broken apart. You will want to mix the two together when finished and set aside. In a sauce pan mix the chopped onion and minced garlic together and sautee until clear. When finished add this to the cauliflower mixture. Take roma tomatoes, basil, olive oil and salt and pepper and mix together. (For best result and flavor prepare this the night before).  Grab a serving tray and lay the cauliflower dip out evenly. Then you will want to top it with the tomato and basil mixture, roasted garlic, feta cheese and olives. Decorated the outdside of the tray with the sliced cucumbers. These will be used in alternate for dipping. Bon Appetite'!


      Nutrition Facts

      Serving Size  1/2 Cup

      Calories     85

      Fat            7g

      Sat. Fat     <1 g

      Sodium      295

      Carbs         22g   

      Fiber        5g

      Sugar       11g

      Protein      7






      "Fit Tip Friday" Week 6: Strength Training


      Strength training is a great fat blasting workout regimen that has proven factors showing many great health benefits. It s a excercise that concentrates on using resistance to help with muscular contraction.  The muscular contration alone helps build anaerobic endurance, strength, and the size of your skeletal muscles. When incorporating a strength training plan in your excercise you will find that it helps increase metabolism, improve joint function as well as strengthen your bones, ligaments and muscles. Strength training has become increasingly popular in sports and physical activities alike.


      Understanding how strength training works

      Strength training involves a manipulation of number of sets, tempos, sets, excercises and force to determine the amount of strength you would like to build. To gain strength and size you would use multiple (4+) setswith fewer reps and more force. You should always train muscles that are conjoining one another or in close proximeity of one another. For example; (chest shoulders and triceps).  To perform this correctly while maximizing results you would want to work at a high intensity level (heavier weight), while doing multiple sets and rest periods of 2-5 min.  Three important variables of strength training are intensity, volume, and frequency.  Intensity refers to the amount of work required to achieve the activity, and is proportionate to the mass of the weights being lifted. Volume refers to the number of muscles worked, exercises, sets and reps during a single session. Frequency refers to how many training sessions are performed per week.


      Common Strength Training Excercises

      Below is a follow guide on strength excercises that you can use according to each muscle group. Remember to always use caution or ask your physicians advice before starting a new excercise regimen

      Quads Leg Press, Squats, lunges and leg extensions 
      Hamstrings Deadlifts, Good-Mornings and leg curl
      Calves Calf Raise
      Pectorals (Chest) Bench Press, Chest Fly, Machine Fly and Push Up
      Lats Rowing Cable Machine, Bent-over Row, Chin-Up, Pulldown,Pullup, Seated Row, Shoulder Shrug and Supine Row 
      Deltoids (Shoulders) Front Raise, Lateral Raise, Military Press, Shoulder Press, Up Right Row, Rear Delt raise and Handstand Push-up
      Biceps Bicep Curl, Hammer Curl and Preacher Curl
      Triceps Close grip bench press, dip, pushdown and Tricep Extension
      Abdomen and Obliques Crunch, Sit-up, Leg Raise and Russian Twist
      Lower Back Back Extension, Deadlift, Good Morning and Hyper Extension




      The benefit of eating vegetables


      It is dinner time again and on the menu is anything but a variety of those colorful food options called vegetables.  The truth of the matter is vegetables are one of those foods you either love or hate.  So you  love vegetables, well than you are in luck! Vegetables are high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and have many other nutritional value that you are adding to your diet to help keep you healthy and fit. If you hate your veggies, than you are missing out on all of their amazing components that they have to help nurture and feed your body. 

      Listed below are a few vegetables that are not only tastey but they have great nutritional value that is healthy for you.

      Asparagus:  is a very low calorie vegetable . 100 g of fresh spears give only 20 calories. More calories will be burned to digest the food than gained.  It is rich in B- Complex vitamin, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin E.  Asparagus is also high in minerals such as copper and iron.

      Brussel Sprouts: is a low glycemic vegetable that should be considered in weigh reduction programs. 100g of brussel sprouts provide just 45 calories, 3.38 grams of protein, 3.8 g of dietary fiber and zero cholesterol. Has a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin K.

      Cauliflower: fresh cauliflower is an excellent source of Vitamin C. Its florets contain about 2g of dietary fiber per 100g and provides 26 calories per 100 g serving. It contains many groupd of vital - B groups such as folates, pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), and thiamin (Vitamin B1) Niacin (B3) and Vitamin K.

      Green Beans: Snap beans are a good source of folates. They also carry healthy amounts of minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium just to name a few. It is filled with Beta-carotene and vitamin A. They have 9g of dietary fiber and only 31g of calories per 100g of beans.


      So as you can see vegetables have alot of healthy nutrients that will help aid in digestion while providing your body with healthy components for a healthier you. So the nest time you go to cook dinner and forget (hmm mmm) to put veggies on your plate, ask yourself what is it that you have to lose?

      For a complete list of vegetable nutrition follow the link below provided. 


      "Fit tip Friday" Week 5: Exercising to the beat of a different drum

      So it's that time again. Time for the blood, sweat and tears that come along with the excruciating task of exercising.  However what if I wold you that incorporating music into your exercise routine could help boost your mood, have a more effective workout and help the time go by faster. So how does the connection between your ears and feet apply? Well for starters your brain has to sort out tones and timing, and sequencing of various sounds to comprehend music.  According to the theories that we have read this particular function puts your frontal lobe to work. The frontal lobe is the portion of the brain that is associated with higher mental functions.

      Have you ever exercised with music and then exercised without music? Did you notice anything different? Of course you did. Your performance and activity level probably doubled. This is because you are focusing more on the job at hand versus your surroundings. You see mental stimulation works as much for the brain as exercise works for the body.  Research has shown that upbeat music stimulates heart rate and respiration, which in turn helps endurance. How does this work? Well if your respiration increases due to the musics stimulation abilities, then it allows more oxygen to flow working  muscles.

      Choosing the right music for your exercise can be just as critical as choosing the right shoes to go running. You want your choice of music to give you a surge of energy. So before your next meeting with the pavement, treadmill, bar or dance floor, don't just grab your shoes and protein shake, grab your ipod and headphones too. You're sure to utilize music again after you have noticed the momentum and energy it gives you during your workout.

      Diet drinks....The good, the bad, the ugly!


      So you have decided to start a new diet and you are not quite ready to get rid of your favorite soft drink so you exchange it for the "diet" version.  Is this a good choice or are you really doing your body more harm than good. Read the following blog to find out if in fact the diet drinks are hindering you from reaching your goal.

      Are diet drinks better for you than regular soft drinks? The question should be, "What soft drinks are good for you anyway?"  Often enough you find this bubbly concoction filled with asparatame, succrolose, and or saccharin, also known to us as, "artificial sweetners".  The problem is while they still taste good, the health risk are still high when comsuming these.  It has been shown and proven that consumers who drank diet drinks were more at risk to develope cardiovascular disease, metabollic syndrome, blindness, fatigue, high blood pressure, abdominal pain and even shortness of breath. These are just to name a very small few.  None of this screams healthy to me, it's frightening quite actually. Many of you that are reading this may have some of these very symptoms from drinking the so called, "healthier version" of soft drinks. The problem is you aren't relating the soft drink to the problem. You are relating it to stress, a cold, over-worked, change of diet, etc.. The truth of the matter is you are poisoning your body 1 can at a time.

      First thing you need to do is put down the soft drink occupying your hand right now and continue to read what is really in these so called diet drinks. 

      Aspartame ~ Can be found in what we know as Equal & NutraSweet. The 3 major components that make up aspartame is Aspartic acid, Phenylalanine, and methanol. In recent studies the FDA has associated aspartame accounts for over 75% of the adverse reaction caused by food additives. Some of these reactions are serious and can even lead to death. The most common side effect of Aspartame is memory loss. ASpartame has also been proven to trigger hunger

      The derivitives of Aspartame:

      Phenylalanine: Phenylalanine makes up 50% of aspartame. Excessive amounts of phenylalanine have shown to decrease the brains natural ability to produce serotonin. This results in seious mental disorders that are common such as depression and even more serious mental disorders such as seizures and schizophrenia.

      Methanol: Methanol makes up 10% of aspartame. It is an alcohol that is found in wood.  Methanol can be extremly dangerous and toxic in large doses. In the body methanol is oxidized into formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a deadly neurotoxin. Symptoms of of methanol poisoning are dizziness, fatigue, headaches, shooting pains in extremities and behavioral disturbances.

      Diketopiperazine: Diketopiperazine is a byproduct of aspartame metabolism. After nitrostated in the gut it produces a powerful compound that is similar to the brain tumor causing chemical called N-nitrosourea. It has been shown over time that this chemical can not only cause brain tumors but it can also cause you to develop uterine polyps and changes in your blood cholesterol.


      While aspartame is commonly found in diet drinks you can also find this culprit in several "sugar-free" products that are on the market today such as and not limited to: Sugar free gum, Cereal, flavored water, cooking sauces and generally anything that says low-sugar and or sugar free.

      Rather than grabbing something that says sugar free or low sugar, try grabbing things that are made and enhanced with natural sugars such as: Raw maple syrup, honey, turbinado, and muscavado and stevia (also known as sweet leaf, sugar leaf or simply stevia).  These natural sugars are healthier and naturally grown that will enhance and or sweeten your favorite drink, or meal naturally with out all of the added chemicals that are harsh to our bodies.

      We at Genovive take great strides on our all natural food program to bring the healthiest most natural form of ingredients to enhance and flavor our meals. It has been shown through DNA that some of these same chemicals discussed in this blog can trigger certain medical conditions when consuming these products and carrying that gene variable.

      So before you pick up the next diet drink, or purchase a pack of gum to cure your sweet tooth. Think of how much harm you are doing to your body versus good. Don't treat your body like a garbage can. Like the old saying goes, "You are what you eat".

      Be sure to go to to learn more about our DNA test and meal program that offers you a healthier alternative and more natural way of dieting.

      ** Some of the information in this article was found on**



      "Fit Tip Friday" Week 4: Dance your way to a healthier new you!

      Are you tired of doing the same workout? Tired of trying to talk yourself into that late night appointment with the treadmill, or gym? Maybe the brisk walk that was once nice has turned into a bit of a hassle because your thinkingf of your favorite T.V show that's about to come on. These are all signs that you are bored with your routine and you need to change it up a bit. Remember excercising should be fun and enjoyable not miserable and lacking your interest. 

      So my question and answer to you is, "Who doesn't like DANCING?" Okay Did I just see a smile come across that face, maybe even a glimmer of hope? Or is it that you remember when Saturday Night Fever graced the television and all you can think about is how John Travolta boogied his way into a frenzie? Wait a minute, don't back out now. So what if you don't have the moves like jagger or you were born with two left feet, dancing is fun and requires nothing but some good ole' tunes.

      Dancing has been proven to burn as many as 750+ calories and as little as 150 calories depending on which style of dancing you choose to do. So wether you choose to grab those old dancing shoes out of the closet or a mop in the comfort of your own home, you are sure to burn calories either way. Look below to see how many calories you will be burning the next you decide to dance your way to a healthier new you!


      Dancing 101

      Ball room dancing : Depending on the style of ballroom dancing you will be doing will determine how many calories you will burn. A slower style of ballroom dancing will have you burning 150-220 calories per hour. Where a faster base ballroom dance class will have you burning anywhere from 250-320 calories.

      Pole dancing classes:  Not only will pole dancing build your strength and core muscles but you will burn anywhere from 250-350 calories per hour working the pole. Hey, who said dancing couldn't be sexy?

      Tap dancing: Tap dancing is a high cardio workout but your legs do the majority of the work. Depending on the intensity of the tapping, you could burn a wjopping 700 calories per hour making music with your feet. I don't know about you but that's something to clap about.

      Salsa dancing: This latin inspired dance will help you burn off 400-480 calories per hour.......Can you say, "I love salsa!"

      Hip hop: Put your funky shoes on and get ready for the beat cause you can burn 600 calories or more while shuffeling your feet!

      Zumba: This popular new dance style can be found at dance centers and gyms world wide. It is a mixture of latin infused music that is sure to get your heart pumping and calories burning. You can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour while dancing like you are at a party.

      So as you can see, Dancing brings out the fun in excercising while burning a whole lot of calories. What is there not to like? So get your dancing shoes on and dance your way to a healthier new you.


      "Fit Tip Friday" Week 4: Walk it out

      Have you ever just sat in your chair while at work daydreaming of other things you would rather be doing right then and there? Whether it be lounging in the sun on a tropical beach fit for a travel magazine, playing with your children, reading your favorite Novel or catching up on months of DVR episodes. If you just answered yes to all of these questions, than you are like 90% of all Americans. Staring at the clock waiting for it to strike 5 o'clock. If you are looking to fight fatigue through the work day or while you are catching up on those DVR's, walking it out will help.

      I know, I hate walking right? Takes up to much time, you don't want to go alone, or the thought of walking in the heat has you ready to pass out before you even start? Stop making excuses, walking has been proven to have many health benefits. That's right your pretty little legs are capable of doing more than just walking from the frozen food isle to the bakery. They can help with some of the following:

      • * Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity.
      • *Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
      • *Enhance mental well being.
      • *Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
      • *Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
      • * Improve blood lipid profile
      • *Improve your balance and coordination
      • *Strengthen your bones
      • *Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
      • *Reduce the risk of insulin dependant (type 2) diabetes

      These are just a few benifits of walking. The faster, the farther and more you walk the greater the benefits are. Now there is something to "walk " about!

      • Starting a walking regime
      • Getting started with something new can take a bit of motivation and determination. "I can" is always easier to say rather than to do. So here are few tips that you can use to put your best foot forward.
      • *Find a partner to go walking with- Sometimes it's always easier to have a friend accompany you to the gym or on a long walk. Chances are you will get caught up in normal conversation that you won't even realize that you have been walking for an hour or better. Thus passing the time faster while giving yourself a better workout.
      • *Take your dog for a walk. Rather than let the dog go out in the backyard, take him on a walk with you. Animals love to roam around, plus they need excercise too.
      • *Join a walking club- A lot of malls and neighborhoods offer walking groups in the morning through to the pm. Make it fun and change it up a bit.
      • This will be a good time to meet people who have the same health concerns as you. Who knows you might meet a friend or two along the way that will help encourage your healthier lifestyle change.
      • *Track your progress- Buy a pedometer or calorie counter. It's been shown that people who track their progress are more likely to stick to their program than those that do not. Seeing the progress you are making will only make you want to keep it up!
      • Remember excercise should be fun! So grab those walking shoes and put your best foot forward and "Walk it out"!

      The benifits of using probiotics

      What are probiotics?

      Probiotics are bacteria that help maintain the natural balance of organisms (microflora) in the intestines. The normal human digestive tract contains about 400 types of probiotic bacteria that reduce the growth of harmful bacteria and promote a healthy digestive system. The largest group of probiotic bacteria in the intestine is lactic acid bacteria, of which Lactobacillus acidophilus, found in yogurt with live cultures, is the best known. Yeast is also a probiotic substance. Probioticss are also available as dietary supplementss.

      It has been suggested that probiotics be used to treat problems in the stomach and intestines. But only certain types of bacteria or yeast have been shown to work in the digestive tract. It still needs to be proved which probiotics (alone or in combination) work to treat diseases. At this point, even the strains of probiotics that have been proved to work for a specific disease are not widely available.

      There are very few people who have not heard about the "new" health miracles called probiotics. They claim to help with health problems, ranging from constipationn to diarrheaa, and prevent coldss or fight them once you already have one. Probiotics are showing up in foods, beverages, and supplements. What exactly are they, do they work, and are they safe for us to be consuming?

      Let's start with the facts behind what probiotics are. The root of the word probiotic comes from the Greek word pro, meaning "promoting" and biotic, meaning "life." There is some debate about how to define probiotics. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines probiotics as "live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host." Yes, they are actually alive, and most of these microorganisms are bacteria. Most people think of antibiotics and antibacterial products when you mention bacteria. Both of those kill bacteria so why would you want to consume anything that has live bacteria in it? It's all about balance.

      Our digestive system normally has what we would call "good" bacteria and "bad" bacteria. Maintaining the correct balance between the "good" bacteria and the "bad" bacteria is necessary for optimal health. Things like medications, diet, diseases, and your environment can upset that balance. Is your body able to handle this on its own or do you need to start including probiotics in your diet?

      What are probiotics used for?

      Many people use probiotics to prevent diarrheaa, gas, and cramping caused by antibiotics. Antibiotics kill "good" (beneficial) bacteria along with the bacteria that cause illness. A decrease in beneficial bacteria may lead to digestive problems. Taking probiotics may help replace the lost beneficial bacteria. This can help prevent diarrhea.

      A decrease in beneficial bacteria may also lead to other infections, such as vaginal yeast and urinary tract infectionss, and symptoms such as diarrhea from intestinal illnesses.

      Probiotics may also be used to:

      • *Help with other causes of diarrhea.
      • *Help prevent infections in the digestive tract.
      • *Help control immune response (inflammation), as in inflammatory bowel disease (IBd).

      Probiotics are being studied for benefits in colon cancerr, skinn infections, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

      What are different types of probiotics?

      Probiotic products contain bacteria and/or yeasts that assist in restoring the balance in our gut. Up until the 1960s, the gut microflora that they were able to identify were clostridia, lactobacilli, enterococci, and Escherichia colii. Since then, innovative techniques have discovered many more bacteria.

      There are several different kinds of probiotics, and their health benefits are determined by the job that they do in your gut. Probiotics must be identified by their genus, species, and strain level. Here is a list of probiotics and their possible health benefits.


      There are more than 50 species of lactobacilli. They are naturally found in the digestive, urinary, and genital systems. Foods that are fermented, like yogurt, and dietary supplements also contain these bacteria. Lactobacillus has been used for treating and preventing a wide variety of diseases and conditions.

      Some of the lactobacilli found in foods and supplements are Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. acidophilus DDS-1, Lactobacillus blugaricus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus plantarium, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus johnsonii, and Lactobacillus gasseri.

      More research is needed regarding probiotics and their potential health benefits before any definitive claims can be made about their effects. However, studies have shown some benefits linked to Lactobacillus and treating and/or preventing yeast infectionss, urinary tract infection, irritable bowel syndrome, antibiotic-related diarrhea, traveler's diarrhea, diarrhea resulting from Clostridium difficile, treating lactose intolerance, skin disorders (fever blisters, eczema, acnee, and canker sores), and preventionn of respiratory infections.


      There are approximately 30 species of bifidobacteria. The make up approximately 90% of the healthy bacteria in the colon. They appear in the intestinal tract within days of birth, especially in breastfed infants. Some of the bifidobacteria used as probiotics are Bifodbacterium bifidum, Bifodbacterium lactis, Bifodbacterium longum, Bifodbacterium breve, Bifodbacterium infantis, Bifodbacterium thermophilum, and Bifodbacterium pseudolongum.

      As with all probiotics, more research is needed to prove a definitive benefit, but studies have shown that bifidobacteria can help with IBS, dental cavities, improved blood lipids, and glucose tolerance.

       Streptococcus thermophilus

      This produces large quantities of the enzyme lactase, making it effective, according to some reports, in the prevention of lactose intolerance.

       Enterococcus faecium

      This is normally found in the intestinal tract of humans and animals. 


        This has been used extensively in food processing throughout human history, and ingestion of foods containing live bacteria, dead bacteria, and metabolites of these microorganisms has taken place for a long time.



        Fit Tip Friday-Week 3: Be "flexible" with your workout


        Stretching may take a back seat to your exercise routine. You may think lifting your arms up and letting out a big yawn is apart of stretching....Not so fast! It requires a little bit more effort and a whole lot more stretching on ytour part.

         Although the benefits of stretching are mixed, stretching may help you improve your flexibility, which in turn may improve your athletic performance and decrease your risk of injury. Understand why stretching can help — and how to stretch correctly.

        Studies about the benefits of stretching have had mixed results. Some show that stretching helps, while others show that stretching has little if any benefit. The main benefits of stretching are thought to be:

        • *Improving athletic performance
        • *Decreasing the risk of activity-based injuries

        Stretching can help improve flexibility. And better flexibility may improve your performance in physical activities or decrease your risk of injuries by helping your joints move through their full range of motion. For instance, say your Achilles tendon is tight and lacks flexibility. If you do a lot of hill walking, your foot may not move through its full range of motion. Over time, this can increase your risk of tendinitis or tendinopathy in your Achilles tendon. Stretching your Achilles tendon, though, may improve the range of motion in your ankle. This, in turn, can decrease the risk of microtrauma to your tendon that can lead to overload and injury.

        Stretching also increases blood flow to the muscle. And you may come to enjoy the ritual of stretching before — or better yet, after — hitting the trail, ballet floor or soccer field.

        Stretching: Focus on flexibility

        Stretching Essentials:

        Before you plunge into stretching, make sure you do it safely and effectively. While you can stretch anytime, anywhere — in your home, at work, in a hotel room or at the park — you want to be sure to use proper technique. Stretching incorrectly can actually do more harm than good.

        *Use these tips to keep stretching safe:

        * Don't consider stretching a warm-up. You may hurt yourself if you stretch cold muscles. So before stretching, warm up with light walking, jogging or biking at low intensity for five to 10 minutes. Or better yet, stretch after you exercise when your muscles are warmed up. Also, consider holding off on stretching before an intense activity, such as sprinting or track and field activities. Some research suggests that pre-event stretching before these types of events may actually decrease performance.

        * Focus on major muscle groups. When you're stretching, focus on your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders. Also stretch muscles and joints that you routinely use at work or play. And make sure that you stretch both sides. For instance, if you stretch your left hamstring, be sure to stretch your right hamstring, too.

        * Don't bounce. Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears in the muscle. These tears leave scar tissue as the muscle heals, which tightens the muscle even further, making you less flexible and more prone to pain. So, hold each stretch for about 30 seconds. Repeat each stretch three or four times.

        * Don't aim for pain. Expect to feel tension while you're stretching, not pain. If it hurts, you've pushed too far. Back off to the point where you don't feel any pain, then hold the stretch.

        * Make stretches sport specific. Some evidence suggests that it's helpful to do stretches tailored for your sport or activity. If you play soccer, for instance, you're more vulnerable to hamstring strains. So opt for stretches that help your hamstrings.

        * Keep up with your stretching. Stretching can be time-consuming. But you can achieve the best benefits by stretching regularly, at least two to three times a week. If you don't stretch regularly, you risk losing any benefits that stretching offered. For instance, if stretching helped you increase your range of motion, and you stop stretching, your range of motion may decrease again.

        * Bring movement into your stretching. Gentle movement can help you be more flexible in specific movements. The gentle movements of tai chi, for instance, may be a good way to stretch. And if you're going to perform a specific activity, such as a front kick in martial arts, do the move slowly and at low intensity at first to get your muscles used to it. Then speed up gradually as your muscles become accustomed to the motion.


        Know when to excercise caution

        In some cases, you may need to approach stretching with caution. If you have a chronic condition or an injury, you may need to adjust your stretching techniques. For example, if you already have a strained muscle, stretching it may cause further harm. Also, don't think that because you stretch you can't get injured. Stretching, for instance, won't prevent an overuse injury. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the best way to stretch if you have any health concerns


        *Below are some stretches that you could do to gain flexibility. Use caution when attempting to do these for the first time. Remember don't stretch to feel pain

           The health benefits of drinking H2O   

        Water is makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. Water carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues, water also aids in flushing the toxins out of your body.   Lack of water can lead to dehydration. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.

        How much water should you drink each day? It's a simple question with no easy answers. Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years, but in truth, your water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live. Although no single formula fits everyone, knowing more about your body's need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day.  Remember every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

        (I.E) *So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. Everyone has heard the advice, "Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day." That's about 1.9 liters, which isn't that different from the Institute of Medicine recommendations. Although the "8 by 8" rule isn't supported by hard evidence, it remains popular because it's easy to remember. Just keep in mind that the rule should be reframed as: "Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day," because all fluids count toward the daily total.

        Below are some factors to take into consideration when figuring out what your total water consumption should be.

        Factors that influence water needs

        You may need to modify your total fluid intake depending on how active you are, the climate you live in, your health status, and if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.

        Excercise If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate for the fluid loss. An extra 400 to 600 milliliters (about 1.5 to 2.5 cups) of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires more fluid intake. How much additional fluid you need depends on how much you sweat during exercise, and the duration and type of exercise. During long bouts of intense exercise, it's best to use a sports drink that contains sodium, as this will help replace sodium lost in sweat and reduce the chances of developing hyponatremia, which can be life-threatening. Also, continue to replace fluids after you're finished exercising.

        Environment  Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional intake of fluid. Heated indoor air also can cause your skin to lose moisture during wintertime. Further, altitudes greater than 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) may trigger increased urination and more rapid breathing, which use up more of your fluid reserves.

        Illness or health conditions  When you have fever, vomiting or diarrhea, your body loses additional fluids. In these cases, you should drink more water. In some cases, your doctor may recommend oral rehydration solutions, such as Gatorade, Powerade or CeraLyte. Also, you may need increased fluid intake if you develop certain conditions, including bladder infections or urinary tract stones. On the other hand, some conditions such as heart failure and some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases may impair excretion of water and even require that you limit your fluid intake.

        Pregnancy or breast feeding Women who are expecting or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are used especially when nursing. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink 2.3 liters (about 10 cups) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume 3.1 liters (about 13 cups) of fluids a day.


        Staying safely hydrated

        Generally if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and produce 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) or more of colorless or light yellow urine a day, your fluid intake is probably adequate. If you're concerned about your fluid intake or have health issues, check with your doctor or a registered dietitian. He or she can help you determine the amount of water that's right for you.

        To ward off dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. It's also a good idea to:

        • *Drink a glass of water or other calorie-free or low-calorie beverage with each meal and between each meal.
        • *Drink water before, during and after exercise.

        Although uncommon, it is possible to drink too much water. When your kidneys are unable to excrete the excess water, the electrolyte (mineral) content of the blood is diluted, resulting in low sodium levels in the blood, a condition called hyponatremia. Endurance athletes, such as marathon runners, who drink large amounts of water, are at higher risk of hyponatremia. In general, though, drinking too much water is rare in healthy adults who eat an average American diet.

        **Some of the research for this article was uesd from the health and fitness website**



        The Most fattening foods of Summer

        It's hard to enjoy a summer outing without running into a candy stand or hot dog stand screaming...."eat me, eat me"! Most stands offer little to no healthy alternative and  humongous portions of fatty foods. Making matters worse, if you find yourself catching a whiff of funnel cakes, hot dogs and cotton candy on an empty stomach, the temptation to get a plateful might be more than your weight-loss regimn can handle. So we at Genovive have done some research of our own and have taken the guesswork out of the calorie counts of common foods you'll find at popular summer events.  Find out what we suggest you steer clear of - and better-for-you options - to maximize fun without hurting your waistline. 



        You really shouldn't get the super-sized foot-long, jumbo dog or the largest cup of beer. A jumbo beef hot dog (larger than a foot-long) can contain about a half-pound of meat per dog! That clocks in at around 750 calories and 68 grams of fat depending on the brand (and that doesn't even include the bun or the fixings!). Order that with a tall 16 oz. regular beer and that will set you back about 200 more calories. That brings your grand calorie total to 950 (minus the bun and all the fixings) YIKES!!!!


        Enjoying a regular-sized hot dog and a small beer are . A regular dog on the bun with ketchup, relish and mustard comes in at around 280 calories. Pair it with a 12 oz. light beer for another 100 to 120 calories. Just make sure you don't overload the dog with high-cal toppings. It's the chili and cheese layered on top that add additional calories to somewaht of a decent caloric intake. That's when 300 or 400 calories turns into 1,500. The best trick is to have a plain hot dog or bring a healthy alternative snack or meal with you, then you save money and the extra calories.



        What's often popular at these venues are "frozen everything" drinks. They can be fairly high in calories mostly because of the volume. A large frozen margarita can set you back 900 calories! Not to mention the fact that so much alcohol lowers inhibitions, and you start having a "Who cares?" mentality when deciding what to eat. Let's face it alchol and healthy dieting just don't mix!


        This refreshing drink has about 230 calories and is usually made with light rum, lime or lemon juice, club soda, sugar, and fresh mint leaves. Choose the smallest size to save calories and keep from getting inebriated. If you are truly craving a margarita, order a small one on the rocks for a calorie range of 250 to 500 depending on the size. Remember, if you're thirsty and outside at an all-day concert, alcohol is the most dehydrating beverage you could have. Drink plenty of water to keep from getting parched. Another good tip to remember is to drink clear. Vodka being one of the better alternative. It has been shown in studies that Vodka doesn't turn into fat. Something made out of potatoes is actually okay for you (*to an extent) imagine that!


         They're actually deep-fried turkey legs, and clock in close to 1,000 calories! We make food into entertainment. It's becoming a food carnival. In almost any recreational setting, 90% of the foods are processed. That's what's driving intake at its core. It's the combination in these foods [sugar, fat, salt] that's stimulating us to eat more, not to mention you hear turkey and you think "healthy". This deep fried food is not the case! Aything slathered and cooked in oil is absolutely not good for you, even if it's a big bird leg!


        Choose grilled foods, like a chicken kabob for 450 calories or a medium-sized corn on the cob (hold the butter) for 77 calories. While they don't seem as appealing as the big barbarian turkey leg, they are far better for you and leave a little room in your belly for something a bit more for a snack....Cotton candy anyone?




        Funnel cake is a food you definitely want to stay away from.  Anything with the F-word—fried—is going to be higher in calories per density. One 8.3 oz. funnel cake (about the size of a regular paper plate) with powdered sugar is 658 calories. there is nothing "F"un about adding those extra calories to your waist line. Swallow that down with a "F"amily size soda and your talking 1,000 whopping calories!


        If your sweet tooth is craving something decadent, we suggest cotton candy. "It's pure spun sugar and about 16 calories per teaspoon." A small (about 1.5 oz.) is around 150 calories. Not the greatest or healthiest snack but far better thatn the funnel cake!


        Homemade lemonade on a hot summer day sounds refreshing (even healthy!), but this is one of the more deceiving drinks. Most of the time it's made with sugar water in addition to the fresh-squeezed lemons. Lemonade contains about the same amount of calories as a full-sugared soda. Guzzling a 16 oz. lemonade will set you back 200 to 250 calories and no, this doesn't count as a serving of "fruit juice." If they make it right there in fromnt of you try asking them to hold the sugar. Just make sure to always carry a low-calorie sweetner with you that won't add all of the unnessacary fat and calories.


        Ask for ice water, lemon wedges or slices to squeeze and add artificial sweetener or two sugar packets for a tangy drink between 0 and 30 calories. Or, keep a few sugar-free single-serving drink mixes on hand to add flavor to your water bottle for 0 to 5 calories per serving.



        Avoid eating fried foods at these warm-weather festivals. French fries (6 oz. have 520 calories), crab cakes (a 3 oz. crab cake can have between 160 to 200 calories), and hush puppies (5 small pieces are about 260 calories) won't help you reach your weight loss goals any sooner.  I know the whole point to go to these festivals is to induidge in all of the great culinary creations, but induldging in them won't help your waiste line.


        Lobster and crab are fine as far as calories go. It's not the lobster or crab…but the butter and the sides that will do you in." Remember to stick with steamed. A medium (2.5 lb live weight) steamed or boiled lobster has around 287 calories. A medium (2 oz.) hard-shell blue crab has about 50 to 60 calories of meat in it. Steamed shrimp (4 large are about 30 calories) and oysters (4 steamed are about 40 calories) are more good low-cal choices to pile on your plate. Cocktail sauce is 55 calories for ¼ c, a better option than tartar sauce, which has 296 calories for ¼ c serving




        Huge tubs of popcorn and extra-large cups of sugary sodas are tempting because the largest sizes don't cost much more than the smaller servings.  "I get that it makes more financial sense to get the larger serving, but if you're going to do that, get two people to split a drink, and get the bucket that's shared by all."A large buttered popcorn at AMC Movie Theatres can have 1,640 calories and 126 g of fat in its 20-cup serving! If you quench your thirst with a "medium" 20 oz. nondiet soda that adds another 250 calories.


        At AMC Movie Theatres, a kid-size popcorn without butter has about 300 calories and 20 g of fat. (The buttered version of the kid's size adds 170 calories and 17 g of fat.) We suggest you fill your cup with better beverages like unsweetened iced-tea, diet soda, or water. 







        "Fit Tip Friday" Week 2:  Drop it like a squat!

             Squat exercises are great for a total lower body workout. They effectively work most of the major muscle groups of the butt, hips and thighs. Squats are also a versatile exercise. They can be done in almost any location, with or without the use of weights or equipment.  Tones the Legs: Squat exercises thoroughly engage the quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles, which helps to tone and strengthen the legs. Slowing the motion down makes the workout that much more intense.  Lifts the Butt: Doing squats gives the glutes a powerful workout, helping to tighten and lift the butt. To increase this effect, give your glutes an extra squeeze when returning to a standing position.  Strengthens the Core:  Squats engage the core muscles of the body. Abdominal and back muscles are needed to keep balance during the movement. The result is a tighter, flatter abdomen and a stronger lower back.  Make a conscious effort to hold in your abdominal muscles while squatting down to increase this effect. Increases Flexibility: Doing squats increases joint flexibility. The ankles, knees, hips and lower back are all utilized in the squatting motion. Be sure to maintain proper form to avoid injury. If you feel any pain in these areas, stop doing the exercises until the pain is gone. Upper Body Workout:  Adding weights to your squat routine engages the muscles of the upper body, essentially giving you a full body workout in one exercise. You can accomplish this with the use of a barbell, dumbbells or a weighted vest. When adding weights to your routine, start with lighter ones and build as your strength increases. So grab your pen and paper, put down the protein bar and let's take notes on how you can achieve the derrier that you have always wanted! Listed below are 5 of the top squat movements that will help get you there.  It's time to "Drop it like a squat"!


        Similar to a front squat, the goblet squat keeps you in an upright position because of the way the weight is positioned. This means you recruit your quads more than your posterior chain, likely causing you to lift less weight than you would in a back squat. That said, if you've been a shallow squatter for a while, the new depths to which you'll go in the goblet squat might leave you feeling it in your hammies and glutes.

        • 1.   Hold a weight against the chest. If you have a kettlebell, grab it by the horns; with a dumbbell, hold one of the heads up vertically between your palms.
        • 2.   Position your feet so your stance is a smidge outside shoulder-width, with your toes pointed slightly out. If you're taller, you may need to widen the stance a little more.
        • 3.   Drop it like it's hot. That is, sit back and down between the knees, keeping your chest up the whole time. Make sure you're not falling forward or rounding your back.
        • 4.   Go down as low as you can while keeping your feet flat on the floor. If your heels come up, your stance is still too narrow.
        • 5.   At the bottom, brush your elbows down the inside of your legs and push your knees out. This is what makes the goblet squat so special, so let me say that again: knees out, knees out, knees out.
        • 6.   Shoot back up and stand tall at the top.
        • 7.   Repeat

        Primary Muscle Group: Quadriceps       Secondary Muscle Group: Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings and Shoulders


        The box squat allows you to squat to desired depth and develop explosive strength in the squat movement. Begin in a power rack with a box at the appropriate height behind you. Typically, you would aim for a box height that brings you to a parallel squat, but you can train higher or lower if desired.

        1. Begin by stepping under the bar and placing it across the back of the shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and rotate your elbows forward, attempting to bend the bar across your shoulders. Remove the bar from the rack, creating a tight arch in your lower back, and step back into position. Place your feet wider for more emphasis on the back, glutes, adductors, and hamstrings, or closer together for more quad development. Keep your head facing forward.
        2. With your back, shoulders, and core tight, push your knees and butt out and you begin your descent. Sit back with your hips until you are seated on the box. Ideally, your shins should be perpendicular to the ground. Pause when you reach the box, and relax the hip flexors. Never bounce off of a box.
        3. Keeping the weight on your heels and pushing your feet and knees out, drive upward off of the box as you lead the movement with your head. Continue upward, maintaining tightness head to toe.

         Primary Muscle Group: Quadricep                                     Secondary Muscle Group: Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Lower Back



        This is not an exercise to be taken lightly. If you have back issues, substitute it with the dumbbell squat variation or a leg press instead. If you have a healthy back, ensure perfect form and never slouch the back forward as this can cause back injury. Be cautious as well with the weight used; in case of doubt, use less weight rather than more. The squat is a very safe exercise but only if performed properly. This exercise is best performed inside a squat rack for safety purposes. To begin, first set the bar on a rack to just below shoulder level. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, step under the bar and place the back of your shoulders (slightly below the neck) across it.

        1. Hold on to the bar using both arms at each side and lift it off the rack by first pushing with your legs and at the same time straightening your torso.
        2. Step away from the rack and position your legs using a shoulder width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Keep your head up at all times and also maintain a straight back. This will be your starting position. (Note: For the purposes of this discussion we will use the medium stance described above which targets overall development; however you can choose any of the three stances discussed in the foot stances section).
        3. Begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knees and hips as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: If you performed the exercise correctly, the front of the knees should make an imaginary straight line with the toes that is perpendicular to the front. If your knees are past that imaginary line (if they are past your toes) then you are placing undue stress on the knee and the exercise has been performed incorrectly.
        4. Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor with the heel of your foot as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.
        5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

             Primary Muscle Group: Quadriceps                           Secondary Muscle Group: Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Lower Back



        Split squats are a lower-body exercise that you can do with or without weights. A split squat is like a cross between squats and lunges. One foot is in front of the other for split squats instead of the feet parallel as in squats. The stance is narrower than lunges, though. Remember the higher you elevate your back leg the harder it is to do.

                 1.  Position yourself into a staggered stance with the rear foot elevated and front foot forward.
                 2.  Hold a dumbbell in each hand, letting them hang at the sides. This will be your starting position.
                 3.  Begin by descending, flexing your knee and hip to lower your body down. Maintain good posture througout the movement. Keep the front knee in line with the foot as you perform the exercise.
                 4.  At the bottom of the movement, drive through the heel to extend the knee and hip to return to the starting position.
        Primary Muscle Group: Hamstrings               Secondary Muscle Group: Quadriceps and Glutes
         This is not an exercise to be taken lightly. If you have back issues, substitute it with the dumbbell squat variation or a leg press instead. If you have a healthy back, ensure perfect form and never slouch the back forward as this can cause back injury. Be cautious as well with the weight used; in case of doubt, use less weight rather than more. The front squat is a very safe exercise but only if performed properly. The Front Barbell Squat is a squat variation which has the barbell rest on your front shoulders unlike the back squat where the bar rests on your upper-back.
        1. This exercise is best performed inside a squat rack for safety purposes. To begin, first set the bar on a rack that best matches your height. Once the correct height is chosen and the bar is loaded, bring your arms up under the bar while keeping the elbows high and the upper arm slightly above parallel to the floor. Rest the bar on top of the deltoids and cross your arms while grasping the bar for total control.
        2. Lift the bar off the rack by first pushing with your legs and at the same time straightening your torso.
        3. Step away from the rack and position your legs using a shoulder width medium stance with the toes slightly pointed out. Keep your head up at all times as looking down will get you off balance and also maintain a straight back. This will be your starting position. (Note: For the purposes of this discussion we will use the medium stance described above which targets overall development; however you can choose any of the three stances described in the foot positioning section).
        4. Begin to slowly lower the bar by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture with the head up. Continue down until the angle between the upper leg and the calves becomes slightly less than 90-degrees (which is the point in which the upper legs are below parallel to the floor). Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: If you performed the exercise correctly, the front of the knees should make an imaginary straight line with the toes that is perpendicular to the front. If your knees are past that imaginary line (if they are past your toes) then you are placing undue stress on the knee and the exercise has been performed incorrectly.
        5. Begin to raise the bar as you exhale by pushing the floor mainly with the middle of your foot as you straighten the legs again and go back to the starting position.
        6. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

         Primary muscle group: Quadriceps        Secondary muscle group: Calves, Glutes and Hamstrings 

        *Remember it's important to always consult a physician before starting a new excercise routine










        Bring on the hot dogs! Bring on the hamburgers! Pass the coleslaw and potato salad! July 4th is just around the corner which means we are getting ready for some delicious eating. We love this holiday and the chance to indulge in our summer favorite foods such as burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, and apple pie. However, when trying to stick to a healthy diet and lifestyle, these foods can often get in the way. Here are some of our tips for you to eat healthy this holiday week!

        1. Order “animal style” for hot dogs and hamburgers, sandwiching the meat between large lettuce leaves and piling on the veggie fixings.
        2. Classic sides like creamy coleslaws and potato dishes need a serious calorie cut. So, order a mixed greens salad with no dressing, and then mix the greens in with the creamy sides.  You’ll double the volume and get an extra serving of veggies.
        3. Healthy BBQ restaurant side dishes exist, you just have to look for them. Grilled or steamed vegetables and whole grains like quinoa are increasingly common. You can even enjoy black-eyed peas, baked beans and sweet potatoes. If you choose corn, enjoy the sweet seasonal goodness, just remember it counts as a grain rather than a vegetable.
        4. Nothing says Fourth of July like a slice of apple pie – dive into the filling, but skip the crust, where most of the butter and flour linger.
        5. Choose lean proteins like grilled chicken and fish when ordering from your favorite BBQ hotspots. Even better, get it grilled plain and ask for the BBQ sauce on the side, so you can control the amount in your dish.  Avoid brisket, pork or ribs, but if you can’t resist have a small serving of these meats.


        Whittle your waist with this 20-minute routine  These standing ab moves require lots of balance and stability, giving your core muscles an extra challenge. Do this workout 3 times a week (plus 40 minutes of intense cardio 4 times a week)—and you can lose 2 inches off your midsection in just four weeks. Do all the moves once, then repeat the entire circuit 2 more times.

        Standing Oblique Crunch

         A. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, with your weight on your right leg and a 3- to 5-pound dumbbell in your left hand. Stretch your left hand up and overhead to the right so you feel a stretch in your left side waist (aka your oblique). B. Crunch your torso to the left, bringing your left knee up and left elbow down toward each other as if trying to crack a nut between your ribs. Return to previous position. Do 12–15 reps, then switch sides and repeat.


        A. Lie face up on your mat and place your hands behind your head, lightly supporting it with your fingers.  B.Bring the knees in to the chest and lift the shoulder blades off the floor without pulling on the neck. C. Rotate to the left, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee as you straighten the other leg. D. Switch sides, bringing the left elbow towards the right knee. E. Continue alternating sides in a 'pedaling' motion for 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps. 


        The Plank

        • A. Get into a full pushup position with your forearms and palms on the floor beneath your shoulders B. Hold here for 30 seconds, with your abs contracted and your arms and legs extended and your head aligned with your spine. C. As you build strength, hold this position longer, up to one minute. D. Go deeper: Try the one-arm stable switching plank. E. If you need top modify due to back or knee problems follow the picture below this paragraph.


        The Hundred

        • A. Sit tall on the mat with your knees bent by your chest and your hands at your sides. B. Lie down with your knees bent and your palms facing down. C.  Exhale and raise your head and shoulders off the mat. D. Vigorously pump your arms 6 inches up and down, reaching with your fingertips. E.  Inhale for 5 pumps, then exhale for 5 pumps. Be sure to curl your chin in toward your chest. Do 100 pumps, or 10 full breaths. F. Try to keep your lower back pressed in toward the floor and keep your lower abs pulled in toward your spine. You should keep your abs engaged this way throughout the workout.

        *These fitness tips were brought to you as an example for core fitness. You should always get a physicians approval before starting a new workout routine.




        Are you overwhelmed with counting calorie, playing the caloric guessing game: (How many calories did I burn?) Instead of counting calories burn more through exercise. That's right, increase your metabolism and you will burn those calories. Here are a few tips to get you started.   

        1 .(Add protein to your diet)  ~~ To boast your metabolism add more protein to your diet. Breaking down the protein rich food in your body requires more energy from your body.

        2. (Carbs) ~~ If you are on a low carb diet your metabolism may be low so  add a few more carbs to your diet to kick start your metabolism into gear. This will cause your thyroid gland to work more causing more calories to be burned.

        3. (Sleep is important) ~~ People who don't get enough sleep have a slow metabolosm. So increase your sleeping hours to get adequate rest.

        4. (Take a break from your diet) ~~ That's right we said it!! To increase your metabolism take a couple of days off your diet every four to six weeks. For a few days eat a high calorie diet which will jump start your metabolism. Remember your body has a memory, so when you stay on a diet for any given period of long time your body becomes accustomed to it, and the diet no longer works to its' potential. By getting off your diet, it tricks your body causing your metabolism to increase.

        5. (Short burst of excercise) ~~ If you do short bursts of excercise (at different times of the day) this will cause you to burn more calories. This in turn is great for your metabolism.

        6. (Get involved in sports activities) ~~ Now this does not mean cheering on your favorite team....Put in a valid effort! Sports such as basketball, football, raquet ball, swimming or soccer are great metabolism boosters.

        7. (Move around alot) ~~ Get up and move more thru out the day. If you are sitting down eating a bowl of popcorn chances are you are taking in calories and not burning them. So grab some free weights if you are sitting and do some bicep curls. Putting your body in motion will boost metabolism and burn calories. Hince #5 (Short burst of excercise).

        8. (Workout in the morning) ~~ Research has shown people who work out in the morning have a higher metabolism rate thru out the day.

        9. (Eat a snack) ~~ Eating fruit, yogurt or protein before excercising increases your metabolism thus burning more calories.

        10. (Walk on the beach) ~~ Studies show while walking on the beach  you'll burn 20 to 30 percent more calories than on a asphalt or treadmill.

        11. ( Green or Black Tea) ~~ Both teas contain a stimulant called caffeine which will also burn the calories.

        13. (Eat breakfast) ~~ Studies show skipping breakfast will increase your body weight.

        14. (Eat smaller meals and snack) ~~ Eating smaller meals causes your digestive tract to fire up which in turn causes more calories to be burned.

        15. (Drink water) ~~ Drinking 8 cups of water a day can burn up to 100 calories a day. In time that adds up.

        16. (Massaging) ~~ Who doesn't like a good rubdown? As it turns out, giving a good massage can get your heart rate up and kick your body into calorie-burning mode.

        17. (Having Sex) ~~ You knew sex was a workout, but who knew that a half-hour romp in the hay with your guy or gal could burn off the chocolate you nibbled on after dinner? The key for high-calorie-burning sex is making it hot and making it last. Research shows if you orgasm during sex you  burn more calories during lovemaking than those who don’t.

        18. (Jumping Rope) ~~ On average, jumping rope burns about 11 calories per minute. If you crank up the intensity of your jumps, you can burn in the neighborhood of 20 calories per minute, that's 600 calories per 30 minutes! So put your jumping shoes on and jump away!

        19. (Clean the house) ~~ Okay, everyone hates to clean, but here's the realization on how many calories you can burn in 30 minutes by cleaning:                                                                                                                                                       ~Vacuuming: 169 calories per 30 minutes    ~Making the Bed: 97 calories per 30 minutes   ~Cleaning house (general cleaning): 145 calories per 30 minutes   ~Heavy Cleaning (Scrubbing floors, cleaning windows): 145 calories per 30 minutes              ~Moving household furniture: 290 calories per 30 minutes....Makes you want to go clean something, huh?

        20. (Cut the grass) ~~ Okay, it has to be done. Save money by not paying someone else to do it and rather than using a riding lawn mower, use a push mower to burn about 266 calories every half hour that you are out there. Just cutting the grass for 30 minutes can burn off the calories you took in eating that chocolate cupcake for snack time!

        Read more: These are just a few ways to burn those extra calories and raise your metabolism. For a great weight loss program which allows you to eat great food and still lose weight check out

        We did it again...We made HEADLINES!!!

        If you are into fitness or perhaps a man, then reading the Men's Fitness magazine may be what you do on your leisure time.  If this is you, than you should have recently seen the article they posted about Genovive, titled : "7 Nutritional meal delivery services for men on the go". We are the second of seven companies listed. The article goes into great detail of various companies offering a pre-packed meal delivery service.  I, like you may be excited to know that Genovive was one of the cheaper and more reasonable delivery options out of the 7, and to be quite frank, I believe the quality is right up there as well. If you would like to read more on this article, you can do so by following the link provided to you.


         carbohydrates and weight lossWhen we hear carbohydrates or carbs; cupcakes, chips, pies, and cookies come to mind.  Our society has grown to believe that carbs cause weight gain.  It is true that a vast majority of unhealthy food items are high in carbohydrates and if over consumed can lead to weight gain.  To be the devil’s advocate, if any food is over consumed the result is weight gain.  Carbs are found in numerous types of foods, including; cakes, bread, pasta, sweets, and cereals, but also in whole grains, cheese, milk, yogurt, fruit, and vegetables.  By eliminating carbohydrates from your diet you will be sacrificing much needed nourishment.  So how do you determine healthy carbs from unhealthy carbs?

        First you need to understand what carbohydrates are.  Carbohydrates are our main source of energy used for brain and muscle function, so without them our bodies will not function properly.  Carbohydrates can be either simple or complex.  

        All simple carbohydrates are made of just one or two sugar molecules. They are the quickest source of energy and are rapidly digested. Unfortunately, most foods high in simple carbohydrates contain few nutrients and only provide extra calories. They also lack fiber and pass into the bloodstream rather quickly. Therefore, it is best to limit your intake of simple carbohydrates (1).   Examples include: table sugar, honey, soft drinks, and candy. 

        On the other hand, complex carbohydrates are made of sugar molecules strung together like a necklace. They digest slowly, so they will keep your blood sugar more stable. They are often rich in fiber, more satisfying, and more health promoting. Complex carbohydrates are often high in vitamins and minerals (1).  Examples include: starchy vegetables, whole grains, beans, and fruit.   

        Fiber is also important when choosing healthy carbohydrates.  Fiber includes parts of plants that your body can't digest or absorb.  It might seem like fiber doesn't do much, but it has several important roles in maintaining health.  There are two types of fiber insoluble and soluble.  Insoluble fiber promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk, so it can be beneficial to those who struggle with constipation or irregular stools.  Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like material, which can aid in lowering blood cholesterol and glucose levels (2). 

        When reading Nutrition Facts you should not solely base your decision off total carbohydrates.  Based on your genetic makeup, your body may need anywhere from 45-60% of total calories to come from carbohydrates, but remember carbs come in many shapes and forms.  Some foods have nutrition facts and some do not.  When shopping in produce a good rule of thumb is ~1/2 cup of fruit or vegetables will provide you with ~15 grams of carbohydrates and ~3-5 grams of fiber.  When searching for packaged foods, such as; cereal, pasta, bread, and rice, check to make sure you have at least >3 grams of fiber per serving, and limited grams of sugar. These tips should help you create a healthy pattern of eating including foods rich in carbohydrates.

        Yes, some unhealthy foods are high in carbohydrates, but not all carbohydrate containing foods are unhealthy.  If you decide to eliminating carbohydrates from your diet you are eliminating healthy food groups.  You don’t have to say NO to all carbs; you should say YES to whole grains, plant based proteins, fruits, vegetables, and dairy. The key to carbohydrates is to choose wisely. 


        1. NutritionMD:  Making Sense of Foods.  Carbohydrates.
        2. Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet:  Dietary fiber offers many health benefits. Here's how to include more in your diet. Nov 19, 2009.


        The summer season has arrived and not all of us are ready to show some skin in our swimsuits.  Many of us are intimidated to put skimpy suits on due to our poor eating and lack of exercise throughout the year.  This crisis continues annually for a large percentage of us. 

        While trying on suits we think about the extra scoop of mac and cheese from the night before or the fountain drink we chugged for breakfast this morning.  We carelessly consume foods without inquiring about what they contain.  Understanding Nutrition Facts is vital to our wellbeing.

        America is in a constant hurry of give me, give me, give me.  We want our food fast and hot to serve.  There is a poor system to educate on the makeup of food.  We are left with ingredients and confusing Nutrition Facts that intimidate us similar to the old swimsuit try-on marathon. We tend to spend more time choosing our swimsuits than we do our food items.  This searching process should be reversed.

        The most important part of the Nutrition Facts is the serving size.  Serving size shows the portion of food used as a reference on the Nutrition Facts, and the recommended portion of food to be eaten (1).  Americans look at a 12oz. bottle of soda or an over scooped pile of mashed potatoes and feel it contains only one serving, when in actuality it contains multiple servings.  Always start at the top of the Nutrition Facts, SERVING SIZE, and use this as a reference to guide your portions.  Refer back to the blog on Portion Distortion for tips on adequate portion control. 

        Never rely on the claims, always read your Nutrition Facts.  These Nutrition Facts can be confusing, but once they are mastered, eating habits will improve and your confidence will build, making it easier to get into your favorite swimsuit.  Keep following Gen-V Blogs at,, for Nutrition Facts, Part 2: Fuel - Insight to Calories.



        Did you know that May is National Strawberry Month? It’s the perfect summer treat to share with your family.  Of course you’re watching your macronutrients while on your GenoVive Customized Meal Program, but strawberries make a great healthy treat to enjoy while you lose weight and they’re healthier than you might think.

        A cup of strawberries has only 50 calories and is naturally fat, sodium and cholesterol free.   A cup of strawberries has more Vitamin C than an average size orange.  They’re also delicious and kid-friendly, making strawberries a  great alternative to serve the next time your kids ask for cookies or candy.

        If you’re on the GenoVive OCC or OFCC customized meal programs, you should save most of your strawberries for an occasional treat or on your free day.  A cup of strawberries has 12 grams of carbohydrate but they are also just as tasty when used sparingly, such as one or two berries sliced on your whole grain cereal or a cup of high protein greek yogurt.

        Be sure to select strawberries that are bright and plump and include a nice green stem and/or leaves which are a sign of freshness.  Have fun and enjoy this all-natural snack and check back soon for more healthy summer treat ideas from GenoVive.



         We all know her. She’s the guest who sighs mournfully as she gazes at the dessert table in the restaurant and whines, “I’m not allowed to have that,” making the rest of us feel guilty for being able to indulge. No need to pity her. She has that covered. Rather than order fruit for dessert, she’d rather stare at your plate and ask you if your chocolate mousse is as delectable as it looks. Finally you relent, and ask her if she would like to taste it, but no, no, no, she can’t cheat on her diet.  On and on she goes.

                  Finally, you’ve had enough of her pity party and you’re just about to say something when you stop and think, Did I sound like that when I was starving myself? Did I bore people with my stories of deprivation and self-sacrifice? Maybe she doesn’t realize how she sounds. Maybe I can help.

                  You smile and tell her that you’ve been in her shoes – too many times to count. And then one day, your attitude changed. You don’t know why and you don’t know how, but one day you realized that you were looking at your diet all wrong. You were concentrating on the negatives instead of the positive things that were happening as you lost weight. Your friend stops you and asks, “You are on a diet? You don’t eat like someone on a diet!” You silently forgive her that little left-handed compliment and continue. “I eat healthy foods and I allow myself small pleasures, such as this chocolate mousse on my free day. You might have noticed that my salad had no dressing and I ordered broiled fish for dinner. It’s the little things that help on my free days to allow for the dessert.”

                  “How did you do it?” She wants to know. “It’s so hard to stay on a diet!” You proceed to tell her how you got help by going on the GenoVive plan to help relearn healthy eating and lose some initial weight. Now you’re maintaining your target weight by continuing to eat in healthful ways but have remained on the Genovive plan because you really like the food and it makes watching what you eat easy. And you’re enjoying your new way of life.  Continuing what you started to say, you proceed to tell her how a plan for physical and emotional fitness helped you to develop a positive outlook when dieting can really help to ensure your success.

                  Lastly, you share a hard truth: self-pity is for those who really don’t want to succeed. They’re looking for a way to stop whatever it is they are doing, and just waiting for someone to give them a valid reason to do so. Changing your life, even in small ways, can be hard, or it can be easy. It all depends on your attitude!

                  If you are experiencing sadness about the loss of unrestricted eating rampages since joining the program that is to be expected.  You should not feel alarmed because in some ways you are grieving the loss of all the extra food.  Counter the potential for slipping from sadness into self-pity by letting support group members know about the times when you feel like you are missing out and make regular entries on your gratitude list.

                  Let us know, on the GenoVive Forum, how you avoid slipping into self-pity as it may help others to avoid the trap.  Self-pity generally leaves us unable to receive real sympathy or empathy from others and they are both very healthy gifts to receive from genuinely caring folks.



        MK’s Journal Entry:

        Dear Journal,

        If you had told me it was possible, I would have laughed, but it’s true. You can get through a holiday meal without packing on the pounds! Yesterday was Thanksgiving and as everyone else sat down to their overloaded plates of turkey and all the trimmings, I had my GenoVive meal and was happy to have it. The food was delicious so I didn’t feel deprived. Besides, the love and friendship at our table was more than filling. I found that by not having my head in the plate, I was more able to enjoy those around me and to appreciate the true spirit of Thanksgiving. What a wonderful day it was!


        Journal Response:

        Dear MK,

        You have come so far and achieved so much in the short time that you have been on the GenoVive diet. It sounds as if your life is improving in many ways, not just the shedding of pounds. While I feel the need to caution you that Thanksgiving is just the beginning of a month filled with holiday parties and meals, I have great faith that you’ll remain faithful to your GenoVive plan and come through with flying colors.




        When we are making major life changes, and are faced with such challenges as the holidays and all the stress and extra calories that have historically come with them, it can be daunting to remain true to our own goals. Having the support of a plan such as GenoVive can help us to fortify ourselves against the temptations that we will surely face as we go through December. Remember, perseverance and faith in ourselves and our success is the key!

        Take a moment from your hectic schedules to share with us some of the challenges that you have faced since starting on the plan on the GenoVive Forum. We would be glad to share your successes with others on the program and to offer strategies for coping with challenges that you have not been successful with in ways that other members can also benefit from your trials.



        Below are some thoughts to help keep you “in the moment” as you journey toward healthy eating and physical and emotional fitness. If you find yourself in a difficult situation or frame of mind, choose the thought that addresses your stumbling block. By keeping a “just for today” mindset, you will be better equipped to focus on what is right in front of you rather than dwelling on that little lapse last week, or the party you have to attend next week. Feel free to add your own “just for today’s” to this list:



        • I will focus on one bite at a time and the nourishment I am receiving from it. 


        • I will view my new diet or plan for physical and emotional fitness as something that I am doing for myself rather than as something that is being done to me.


        • I will stop worrying about what I will have for dinner tomorrow night or whether or not I will get enough to eat tomorrow night or when we go to a friend’s house for dinner.  


        • I will think about moving my body off the couch and doing something physical. Even if I dislike “exercise,” I can take a walk or work in the garden, or park as far away from the store as possible.


        • I will call a friend or find a way to help others instead of reaching for a candy bar.


        • I will count blessings rather than calories.


        • I will make a list of the things that are right with the world as opposed to the global “reasons” I have to be unhappy or fearful


        • I will treat my journal as an understanding, compassionate and guiding friend and not a “bartender” who is supposed to absorb my tale of woe.


        • I’ll give myself a break if I “slip” and go right back on my eating plan. A slip does not have to mean failure. If I give in to the “I slipped so I might as well eat more,” negative self-talk it is a recipe for failure, and I’m stronger than that.


        • I’ll have gratitude for the support of friends and family when they deprive me of the dessert they’re all eating and put a dish of fruit in front of me instead. Their thoughtfulness in providing that fruit is a sign that they care about my health.



        Do you have some “just for today” thoughts that you’d like to share? Please visit us at the GenoVive Forum.  Your thoughts may serve as an inspiration to others.  Your “just for today” contributions to the GenoVive Forum will be included in a featured article we are preparing for the coming months.  Your contribution can include your name or remain anonymous as you prefer.

        What's Eating YouYou’ve been on your eating plan and you’re losing weight. The pounds are coming off, the clothes sizes are going down, and people are starting to notice and comment on your weight loss. You find yourself with mixed emotions. You feel pleased that people are noticing the changes in you, as well you should, but you are also a bit fearful. What if the diet doesn’t work? What if you go right back to where you were before? What if? What if? What if?

        Has this ever happened to you? Dwelling on questions about an uncertain future? We all think about our futures to some extent because none of us can live in the moment every waking minute. However, stop and take a moment to examine if your futuristic questioning and fear-based responses are reasonable or are you experiencing automatic negative thoughts that make you doubt yourself?

        Who we are today is the sum total of our past experiences, but that does not mean that we cannot change. So many of us are victims of our own bad habits or painful life experiences, but we can rise above of those habits or become survivors of the experiences that may have darkened our image of ourselves or our abilities. We do not have to settle for the person we were or the person others perceived us to be. Although we cannot rewrite history, we can move forward and write a new story for our lives.

        You may have heard the saying, "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift." If we stop dwelling on the past and the "what ifs" of the future, and channel that energy into who we are today, then life would seem, and could be, different. Instead of questioning, we will be doing. And by putting all that energy toward every today we live, we will stop questioning tomorrow because we are succeeding, every day. The past is the past. We can learn from it or we can repeat it. It is what we do with today that counts. Focus on the here and now rather than looking over your shoulder.

        Worrying takes a great deal of mental energy and robs us of that gift of life. The full quote being referenced often reads: "The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present." Your weight loss and change in body form can generate unexpected compliments. Consider them a "present", not a prophecy of an impending failure.

        If you have problems dwelling on past mistakes, or your weight loss is generating emotions or reactions that you don’t know how to handle, tell us about it in the Genovive Forum. If you have a specific problem related to this topic or any of our other articles, let us know.

        Leave us a comment.  Please log in to Gen-V first then click the "Add new comment" link

        The holiday season is fast approaching. As we contemplate and plan for the days ahead, we think about family and friends, caring and sharing, and the table of plenty that awaits us at many family and social gatherings. All that wonderful, once-a-year food that might threaten to derail our new eating habits and the dreams for a new a healthier "me" that we are looking for.

        When we become more worried about food than we are happy about the special days ahead, we could begin a cycle of stressful thinking that may be hard to overcome when we are immersed in the holiday festivities. Some of us fear that we will slip from our path and fall back on old habits and indulge ourselves to the point where the seasonal joy turns into regret. Knowing that the average person gains weight over the holiday season (New England Journal of Medicine, 2000), we wonder if we will become part of that statistical pattern, self-sabotaging all our hard work over the past weeks and months. We wonder, too, if our family and friends will understand our reluctance to partake of all the goodies that all too often become the "center piece" of a holiday event.

        This is the time to have faith, both in yourself and your loved ones and in the plan that GenoVive has designed for you. Temptation has been around every corner, and you have managed to resist it. Although this time of year may include some formidable enticements to wander from your plan, a true test of your resolve, you can do it. The mistakes of the past can be a learning opportunity as you now understand the benefits of healthy eating. This can also be a time to develop new traditions for yourself - ones that incorporate your new habits and outlook.

        As for your family, give them the opportunity to support your decision not to overindulge on holiday food. Ask that they respect your choices and not try to push food on you. Once they see that you are maintaining your resolve around your new eating habits, it will be easier for them to support your decisions. It may be beneficial if not wise to have the conversations with them prior to the events so no one feels trapped in the moment.

        If you have a special question or problem regarding food during the holidays, please post it in the GenoVive Forum. We also want to hear from you who have developed successful strategies for remaining on plan during the holidays.

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        Sandy was doing well on her diet until her mother became ill. When it became apparent that her mother would not survive her illness, Sandy found herself turning to food again and again to compensate for her loss. Her mother soon passed away and in the ensuing days, all Sandy could think about was the temptation to eat in ways that were unhealthy for her. Sandy’s initial reaction, overeating to try and change her reality is a common coping strategy for those who have been thrust into the grieving process. She became so focused on food that she was able to temporarily minimize the tremendous loss she had just suffered.

        Once Sandy became aware that all the extra food was not helping her to cope with her mother’s death, she became angry - with herself over her loss of self-control, with her mother for leaving her, and with food, for making her feel so miserable. Her feelings were misplaced, though. Anger that a loved one has left you is commonly experienced in the grieving process. It is easy to try and numb those feelings with extra food as Sandy did, because anger at a person who is died is a helpless feeling and one that many of us find to be "unacceptable."

        Sandy, in trying to find a way to cope with her feelings, bypassed the bargaining behaviors and started to use coping mechanisms to allay her grief without self-harm associated with eating more food than she needed to be healthy. She started a journal, noting her feelings each day, and began to meditate, focusing on visualization techniques. She decided to dedicate herself to her renewed diet commitment as a tribute to her mother’s memory.

        Fortunately for Sandy her family and loved ones rallied to her side when she let them know that she was in trouble with her diet and needed support to return to her commitment to health. She continued to experience mood fluctuations: short-tempered one day and weepy the next, but the support she allowed others to render, coupled with the sense of order and structure that her diet and exercise plan provided, helped her to avoid prolonged periods of depressed moods. Sandy was able to accept all the help she needed and continue her grief recovery toward acceptance in part because she had stopped trying to fill the hole created by her mother’s death with excess food.

        Sandy came to accept the loss of her mother as a turning point in her life. She began to take ownership for her life and her actions and was able to move forward with the changes she wanted for herself. Once Sandy was able to separate the two relationships, she found it easy to remain on her diet and nurture the positive memories of the time she had with her mom.

        You are encouraged to submit the life challenges you have or are facing that have or might currently be threatening your dieting success in the Genovive Forum so we can share your success with other or respond to the questions you present. We are here.

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        Different people eat for different reasons. In some cultures, people eat for any reason. In my large Italian family, we eat to celebrate success and commiserate over failure. We eat to rejoice new life and grieve death. We eat because we’re happy or because we’re sad. We eat and we eat and we eat on any given occasion. We eat to express our emotions. When my family comes together, we eat to express our happiness, sadness, or a range of other emotions.

        But this is not always the way things are in every family. In other households I have witnessed big meals that are made so people do not have to engage in conversation. Or even worse, when conversations are started at the dinner table, they can become elevated arguments or a tirade by the alpha family member and younger family members will keep their heads down in their plates so as not to engage in the discourse.

        In still other families, a meal everyday could be an unexpected treat, so when food is available, they tend to gorge themselves on what is available in that moment, regardless of whether they are hungry or not, because the individuals do not know when the next meal is coming.

        Above are three different examples of why people may eat and none of those reasons were about an individual being hungry. Again, let me ask you, why do you eat?

        Eating either to express or suppress emotions can be an unhealthy, even dangerous, practice. When we eat to stuff our feelings, we give little thought to what we are putting in our bodies because the center of our thinking is to make hurt or anger or fear go away. We’re not paying attention to the quality of what goes into our mouths, only the quantity, because we believe that eating will take our minds off our problems. We do not want to dismiss those times when food really did help. When my children were sick, they always got a ‘special meal’ to soothe them, or a dish of ice cream to help them get over a fifth grade crush. But we need to be certain that we are not using food as a substitute for our feelings or honest communication.

        The next time you want to reach for the potato chips, think about why you want to eat. Is your hunger physical or emotional? If you are actually hungry for food, why not get a healthy snack that will nourish your body rather than adding empty, fat-filled calories.

        If you recognize that you are eating as a substitute for an unwanted emotion, reach for the phone instead. Call your mother or your daughter or your best friend. Let them know you need to express some feelings that are eating away at you and ask for their help. Eating does not have to be a crutch to help you through a bad night. It can be a healthy, happy experience, all the more so if you trust in your friends and/or family to be a vital part of your support system.

        If you do not have those supportive resources available to you please feel free to post your concerns or challenges on the GenoVive Forum.

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        Let me introduce you to Anne, who has struggled with her weight for many years. She is married to a great guy, Joe, who adores her. He also happens to be as thin as he was in college, can eat anything he wants, whenever he wants, and never gains weight. Needless to say, he does not understand what his wife goes through to try to lose weight. Joe compounds the problem by constantly bringing home ”sweets for his sweet” to let Anne know how much he loves her just the way she is. He munches on junk food all evening and urges Anne to take “just a little bite.” What he’s really doing is sabotaging her success without really knowing it.  He has heard from her many times that she does not want him restricting his eating because of “her problem.”  It is possible that Joe is feeling uncomfortable eating junk food in front of her and thinks that the solution to his discomfort is going to be found in helping Anne eat in moderation the way he does.

        Anne is not just trying to lose weight so that she’ll be more attractive to Joe. Her primary goal is to get healthy and restructure her eating habits so that she will stay that way. What she really needs is Joe’s unconditional support but has probably not communicated what that “unconditional support” is.

        Being a supportive partner is not an easy task. Joe obviously doesn’t know how to do that, so it is up to Anne to let him know how he can best give her the emotional help she needs. Anne knows that she is loved, but what she also needs Joe to do is to respect her decisions and her choices regarding her diet. The first thing Joe needed to learn from Anne was to stop bringing home all those tempting goodies. Eventually Anne will learn how to manage her eating, but for now, out of sight, out of mind was what she needed to feel secure. He would learn, with her guidance, how to help Anne to celebrate her weight loss milestones with non-food celebrations, and be kind when she is struggling through a plateau stage.

        Joe did not understand that that Anne wanted to feel proud of herself and that his pride in her was a beginning but not enough to fulfill her desire for self confidence.  Once Joe is able to take food out of the equation, he will find countless ways to express his love for his wife while helping her to achieve her goals.  She did not need food rewards but she did need his support only she did not know how to relate her needs.

        If the story of this couple sounds familiar, it may be similar to what is going on in your household too. Many of us have loving partners who want to be supportive; they just may not be supporting us in the healthiest way, such as bringing us unhealthy snacks. Note that Joe was trying to find a way to tell Anne that he loves who she is. Also, it is clear that Anne knows exactly what she needs from Joe to be supported at this time, yet she was not communicating her needs to him. Trying to change lifelong habits is not easy and does not happen overnight. Being self-sufficient can limit our success. Having an open and honest dialogue with those who support you not only increases your chance of success, but it also honors your relationship in two ways. First, being honest about your needs takes away possible assumptions and mixed messages. This allows you to receive the support you need and your partner can feel their best for being able to support you. Also, open communication builds trust in each other and the relationship. Remember, your partner and friends want to help; sometimes they just don’t know how. Be honest and even blunt if need be. When you do not speak your mind, you are expecting others to read yours and that is not fair to anyone, maybe even a little self-sabotaging. Kick off your journey to a healthy new you the right way! Talk to your partner and friends today about helping you stay successful.

        My clinical practice with couples and families has taught me a great many lessons about the ways that romantic and familiar partnerships can support an individual’s plan for weight loss and healthy eating.  If you would like to hear more about those lessons please present your questions or specific issues through the GenoVive Forum.

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        Most of us understand that overeating can frequently occur as a response to the social and emotional challenges we face in life. In those circumstances, overeating would appear to be a learned response to an emotional challenge – a knee jerk reaction if you will - to the "pot holes" that life throws our way.

        The contributions to this category "What's Eating You?" are intended to help you plan for how you will cope with those challenges should they suddenly appear when you round the bend in the road of life. The brief articles will provide you with a bird’s eye view of the potholes that might challenge you along with strategies to promote healthy responses that do not involve eating to change the way you feel. The top down view of life’s twists, turns, and potholes will come in part from the professional experience accumulated in the past 38 years and from having made many wrong turns myself.

        You are invited to pose questions to us by writing leaving a comment below and future articles will be aimed at addressing the issues you have raised.

        Your road ahead might be "less traveled" but it is not untraveled. We will help you develop a map that works for you in the articles to come.

        John Leadem

        Licensed Clinical Social Worker

        President of LCCS


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        GenoVive is pleased to announce a new partnership with John Leadem of Leadem Counseling & Consulting Services.  Mr. Leadem has joined the GenoVive team to provide motivation, support and practical tips to help you navigate common everyday emotional issues involved with losing weight.  He will be writing blogs for GenoVive and responding to your comments.  You can also post questions in the GenoVive Forum.

        Mr. Leadem is a licensed clinical social worker and certified multiple addiction therapist with 38 years of experience who specialized in helping individuals break free of self defeating behaviors.


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