Five Cholesterol Myths and What to Eat Instead

You knew there was a bit of an over-emphasis (borderlining obsession) about cholesterol, right?

Before we jump into some myths let’s make sure we’re on the same page when it comes to what exactly cholesterol is.

Myth #1: “Cholesterol” is cholesterol

While cholesterol is an actual molecule what it is bound to while it’s floating through your blood is what’s more important than just how much of it there is overall. In fact depending on what it’s combined with can have opposite effects on your arteries and heart. Yes, opposite!

So cholesterol is just one component of a compound that floats around your blood. These compounds contain cholesterol as well as fats and special proteins called “lipoproteins”.

They’re grouped into two main categories:

  • HDL: High Density Lipoprotein (AKA “good” cholesterol) that “cleans up” some of those infamous “arterial plaques” and transports cholesterol back to the liver.

  • LDL: Low Density Lipoprotein (AKA “bad” cholesterol) that transports cholesterol from the liver (and is the kind found to accumulate in arteries and become easily oxidized hence their “badness”).

And yes, it’s even more complicated than this. Each of these categories is further broken down into subcategories which can also be measured in a blood test.

So “cholesterol” isn’t simply cholesterol because it has very different effects on your body depending on which other molecules it’s bound to in your blood and what it is actually doing there.

Myth #2: Cholesterol is bad

Cholesterol is absolutely necessary for your body to produce critical things like vitamin D when your skin is exposed to the sun, your sex hormones (e.g. estrogen and testosterone), as well as bile to help you absorb dietary fats. Not to mention that it’s incorporated into the membranes of your cells.

Talk about an important molecule!

The overall amount of cholesterol in your blood (AKA “total cholesterol”) isn’t nearly as important as how much of each kind you have in your blood.

While way too much LDL cholesterol as compared with HDL (the LDL:HDL ratio) may be associated with an increased risk of heart disease it is absolutely not the only thing to consider for heart health.

Myth #3: Eating cholesterol increases your bad cholesterol

Most of the cholesterol in your blood is made by your liver. It’s actually not from the cholesterol you eat. Why do you think cholesterol medications block an enzyme in your liver (HMG Co-A reductase, to be exact)? ‘Cause that’s where it’s made!

What you eat still can affect how much cholesterol your liver produces. After a cholesterol-rich meal your liver doesn’t need to make as much.

Myth #4: Your cholesterol should be as low as possible

As with almost everything in health and wellness there’s a balance that needs to be maintained. There are very few extremes that are going to serve you well.

People with too-low levels of cholesterol have increased risk of death from other non-heart-related issues like certain types of cancers, as well as suicide.

Myth #5: Drugs are the only way to get a good cholesterol balance

Don’t start or stop any medications without talking with your doctor.

And while drugs can certainly lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol they don’t seem to be able to raise the “good” HDL cholesterol all that well.

Guess what does?

Nutrition and exercise, baby!

One of the most impactful ways to lower your cholesterol with diet is to eat lots of fruits and veggies. I mean lots, say up to 10 servings a day. Every day.

Don’t worry the recipe below should help you add at least another salad to your day.

You can (should?) also exercise, lose weight, stop smoking, and eat better quality fats. That means fatty fish, avocados and olive oil. Ditch those over-processed hydrogenated “trans” fats.

Summary:

The science of cholesterol and heart health is complicated and we’re learning more every day. You may not need to be as afraid of it as you are. And there is a lot you can do from a nutrition and lifestyle perspective to improve your cholesterol level.

Recipe (Dressing to go with your salad): Orange Hemp Seed Dressing

Makes about ¾ cup

½ cup hemp seeds

½ cup orange juice

1 clove of garlic, peeled

dash salt and/or pepper

Blend all ingredients together until creamy.

Serve on top of your favourite salad and Enjoy!

Tip: Store extra in airtight container in the fridge. Will keep for about a week.

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Should you diet or exercise; or both?

 

When it comes to losing weight, we feel overwhelmed and under-informed.

We believe when our best friend, Jan, tells us that the Keto diet is the only way to lose weight.

We get caught up in the latest hype, thinking this must be a new research finding that finally works wonders.

But the only truth is that it’s simpler than we actually want to believe. We want to believe it’s more complicated because at least that would give us some clarity on why we haven’t achieved our goals – and kept them – after so much practice. Does that say something about us?

Yes and no. We want to believe the hype because it’s, well, hype.  We love hearing the latest gossip, watch the latest episode of our favorite reality tv show and are obsessed with scrolling through our favorite social media newsfeeds.

How can weight loss and fat loss be so boring? It’s basically the same old thing you’ve heard a million years ago:

Move more + Eat less 

Ya, I know, BORING!

But so true and when you get down to it and finally accept this truth, it can actually help free you from ever believing another hyped up claim of fat and weight loss. You can simply smile and nod when your besties tell you they finally found the “golden bestest weight loss plan ever!” Because you now know better.

But it isn’t easy to give up our old habits this easily. We may feel like a fraud. We might secretly believe that there really is going to be another magical potion or balance of macronutrients that will burn off fat faster and give us the freedom we’ve always dreamed of.

But no. Not going to happen. Ever. So let’s stop putting off the inevitable and just start already! You can start today if you truly are ready. Just start tracking your foods. You don’t even have to count the calories yet. Just write down what you eat, make sure to take note of the amount and portions and tally it all at the end of the day. Easy peasy. Or is it?

At first, this is going to feel like the hardest thing you’ve ever done! But just trust me and stick with it. It will get easier. You might have to cut back on some of the foods after a day or two of tracking. If you aren’t sure how many calories you need to lose weight, I have a video tutorial on how to find your personal magical weight loss calorie deficit range.

Now that you know how to find your calorie range,  you have no reason not to succeed, right? Or do you? I find the biggest component of weight loss and successful results come from accountability and support. We all need to feel like we are not alone in any of our efforts and it’s important to work with someone who can answer our questions and help us when we get stuck or hit a plateau. If that’s something you are interested in, you need to join my support system. Just shoot me an email to: spazzykay@gmail.com and tell me what your goals are for this month.

Here’s a fun and FREE workout you can try out with your favorite playlist to motivate you through! (message me and let me know if you give this a go!)

 

FREE Playlist Workout Challenge (from Fitness Bootcamp Pros Newsletter):

Choose 4 of your favorite pump-up songs – they should be between 3:30 and 4:30 minutes long.  Each circuit is done for the duration of the song.

Warm up with 5 to 10 minutes of light cardio, then some moving stretches (leg swings, arm circles, etc)

Song 1:

– 10 Jumping Jacks

– 10 Reverse Lunges (10/side)

– 10 Mountain climbers (10/side)

– 10 second rest (if needed)

Song 2:

– 10 Push-ups

– 10 BodyWeight Squats

– 10 Bent-Over Rows (10/side)

– 10 second rest (if needed)

 

Song 3:

– 10 Burpees

– 10 High Knees (10/side)

– 10 Walking Lunges w/ twist (5/side)

– 10 second rest (if needed)

Song 4:

– 10 Glute Bridges (hold 3 sec at top)

– 10 sec Side Plank (10 left / 10 right)

– 10 Mountain Climbers

– 10 second rest (if needed)

How to stop struggling and eat healthy already!

Eating healthy can feel overwhelming and complicated and challenging. I found an article on the Team Beachbody Blog that pinpoints the 7 most common struggles when it comes to eating healthier and I wanted to share with you today. Hope it helps!

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We are inundated with options on how to eat; low carb, organic, whole grains, Paleo, vegan, keto, body type…and so many more it can make you give up before you begin. Which is the best option and why are there so many? You’re only interested in what works and you want results sooner than later, right?

Let’s first understand that it isn’t going to be a “quick fix” or temporary change; it’s going to take some effort but once you get over some of the struggles and create your own balance…you’ll be surprised at how much easier it becomes!

Let’s start from the beginning and keep it simple, ok? First of all, we are going to visit the 7 most common issues when it comes to healthy eating and how you can make it simpler to start now.

Issue #1: How do I eat healthy anyway?? 

I know it can seem overwhelming to start the healthy eating lifestyle if it’s something you’ve never done before. Which foods are healthy? How do you cook these foods?

First of all, take a deep breath and relax. You are definitely not alone in this area. When you start eating healthy, it’s normal to feel a bit unsure about some of the food choices and how they will taste. Will you like them? Will it be difficult to do? Where do you get the best products and how do you eat healthy when you’re eating out? It’s about starting slowly and taking it one step at a time. This is always the best practice to long term habits; as you have time to learn as you go and lessen the feelings that can overwhelm us when we are in a rush to do it all at once.

Start with a basic list of foods you can stock up on. (For my FREE 7 day Slim-Down grocery list and meal plan, click HERE) Then, each week, just add one new item or try one or two new healthy recipes until you start to find your groove. You’ll notice that you gravitate towards certain choices and once you eliminate (or cut back) on processed foods and sugary foods, your taste buds will be more interested in the natural flavors that healthy foods provide. I like to watch the cooking channel to gain some new ideas and browse through Pinterest or google for new recipes. The secret is to never get bored with your food selections so you don’t start to crave the unhealthy foods that you used to turn to.

Issue #2: But healthy eating costs so much more!! 

I know you’ve probably heard it before, or even said it yourself, “Fresh fruits and veggies spoil so quickly. Buying organic foods costs so much more. It’s just so expensive!”

Right? If you can’t afford to buy all organic foods, that’s totally fine! Be picky about the ones you spend more on.  Check out the clean/dirty produce list to help guide you to the best options. If you can’t afford to buy organic at all, choose the produce from the clean list instead.

Buying produce in-season can always help save money; and it tastes so much better too! Frozen fruits and veggies can also be easier on your budget and are just as healthy fresh choices (they are flash frozen at their peak of ripeness). Instead of using crushed ice cubes in your Shakeology or smoothies, use the frozen fruits instead. If you are tired of dealing with wilting raw spinach or kale leaves; add them to soups or use frozen spinach or chopped frozen kale instead.

I have a client who lives in Alaska and struggles getting in enough fruits and veggies because they have to wait for shipments to come to their area and purchase the foods before they are all gone from other shoppers! Talk about real struggles! But she gets it done with the frozen options and on a really bad period of low or no veggies/fruits, as long as she gets her Shakeology in – she is certain she is feeding her body the right nutrients to stay balanced. When there is a will, there is always a way! 😉

Issue #3: I hate grocery shopping! 

I totally understand this issue but have since come to terms with it as I’m a crazy coupon lady now! 😉 But for those of you who really do hate shopping, you have many options now! There’s online help to the rescue. Grocery stores deliver more frequently now and it’s easy as choosing the items from the online website. Amazon now provides a service with Prime Now and you can order on your phone or computer and schedule your groceries to be delivered at a time that’s best for you. Need I say more?

Issue #4: Unhealthy food marketing is everywhere now!! 

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All you have to do it scroll through Instagram or Pinterest and you’ll see crazy food recipes and pictures of double stuffed cookie dough pie dipped in chocolate or slutty brownie bars oozing with marshmallows – and so much more. The temptations can almost hypnotize us into feeling as though we need these items. There is never a shortage of candy, doughnuts or cookies at the office either. So what to do?

Why not start a new trend in your circle? Be the change you want to see in others. I find it so ridiculous the choices we continue feeding ourselves and the ones we love and yet, complain about our lack of control or our growing waist lines. We can take back control and provide healthier solutions in the office, home or at events. You can find healthy baked items online to take with you to the next birthday celebration, that next early morning meeting or during special get togethers. It gives you the option to eat better and not feel like you’re depriving yourself; and it also helps someone else make a better choice along with you.

Issue #5: I don’t have the time to eat healthy! 

This one is one I hear so often that I’m surprised it isn’t listed as #1! I know the thought of driving through the fast food chain drive-thru seems so much simpler than coming home and figuring out what to eat and how to make it. But can I share how much easier my life is (for me and my family) now that I’m meal prepping for the week on Saturday or Sunday? I even save so much money because I have all of the items I need on hand for the week in my weekly grocery store visit; instead of rushing back and forth when I realize I need one of this or that. All it takes is an hour or two on the weekend to meal prep and it saves you hours of time during the week. No more rushing around trying to figure out what to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner all week.

I create my weekly meals and write out the recipes, ingredients and head to the store. This all takes me about 2 hours max. I then spend time putting the foods away and posting my weekly menu on the refrigerator so I (and my family) know ahead of time what’s available and what’s being served. Need more help? Healthy meal planning is easier than you may think. In order to get started, Beachbody has some meal plans here to provide some great ideas.

Click here: Meal Plan Ideas

Or here: 90 minutes meal prep from start to finish

Issue #6: What if you make a recipe that doesn’t work for your family? 

This has happened more times than I’d like to admit but it’s true. I’ve made a recipe that I was sure was going to be a hit with the family; and even though I might love it, either the hubby or kids (or both) said otherwise. First of all, the ego is hurt but what about the food that’s left? It’s tempting to just go back to the choices they prefer and forget about cooking healthy forever! (melodramatic music, playing in the background)

But I have to tell you to stay strong and keep going. Try different foods or cook the foods in different methods. If you find you (or your family) won’t eat steamed broccoli, then try roasting it with some olive oil and salt sprinkled over. Just making some simple changes can do wonders for your taste buds.. and theirs!

Issue #7: You are fearful of missing out on the the decadent foods you love! 

When we feel deprived of foods (or anything, really), it makes us want those things more than ever. I recommend allowing your favorite foods every once in awhile; or at least a few times each month. If we focus on the feeling of being restricted, we cannot enjoy the healthy habits we are gaining. Eating healthy does not mean being absolutely perfect. That’s not possible. Choosing to eat healthy 80% of the time – allows us to enjoy some treats and “cheats” 20% of the time.

You can eat your pizza and brownies and cookies…just not every day!

What is your favorite treat that you don’t want to live without?

Back to reality- Day 2 of the #nosugar

I’m here and it’s day #2 of the NO SUGAR challenge and I promised you my recipe for the Mediterranean chicken I made for the family last night.

Do you struggle with family meals too? I recently began creating a whole week of meals on the weekends and posting it on my refrigerator so I don’t even have to think about dinners any more. I also write out all of the recipes and ingredients needed to create my meals and voila! Stress free family dinners that everyone loves!

Day 1 of the NO SUGAR went so good! It actually feels like I’m eating more than usual and still feeling lighter, less bloated and as though I’m MORE hungry (which is a good sign of a strong metabolism) throughout my day than when I am not watching every sugar add.

I don’t eat processed foods or artificial sweeteners any longer but I’ll occasionally have some cereal in my yogurts, or mindlessly snack on foods that the family has on had when I’m not being as vigilant to my intake. Little things definitely add up over time and this is why I find the 14 day NO SUGAR challenges a great return to where I feel my best and lose weight like no other without having to “try”.

Here are my meals for the day:

Breakfast: Protein Pancake –

I mixed 4 egg whites, 1/3 cup oats, 1/2 scoop Shakeology (the only thing I’ll allow on my no sugar but it does contain some stevia). I blended this up in my VitaMix and cooked it up like a huge pancake. I then topped it with 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt (FAGE with nothing added) and 1 Tbls all natural peanut butter. (read your ingredients because most nut butters contain sugars and additives)

I usually like some berries on top of this pancake and when I’m not following the NO SUGAR (I feel like I should hashtag the no sugar slogan), I’ll add 1 Tbls of my fave strawberry syrup (a childhood obsession). But not now. I then had a cup of coffee with my 1 Tbls of 1/2 and 1/2 (yes, I pretty much measure everything; it’s become a habit now).

At 9am, I took my daughter to the ENT specialist where she finally had her freaking tonsil abscess drained. It was a scary issue after she was diagnosed with strep throat a week ago and then later felt the pain “change” to one tonsil and swell like a mutha! We had a “FUN” visit to the ER on Friday night (due to her doctor visit follow up on Friday where they warned us “not to wait the weekend but go straight to the ER to have this thing drained”…felt like Monopoly and unable to pass GO or collect my $200). The ER was absolutely NO help whatsoever as we told them upon our arrival what had been happening and that she more than likely just needed the abscess drained. They still had to take a CAT scan (I’m not arguing with being positive about the diagnosis) and we waited around for about 5 hours (which she was in excruciating pain from her ear being pressured by the abscess and unable to swallow or breathe normally) and they finally announced that she “needed to have the abscess drained” (DUH!) – BUT – there wasn’t an ENT in the hospital so they’d have to transfer her and not sure where that would be yet.

What?

Seriously, this was ridiculous and yet we were feeling nervous as they kept telling us if the tonsil swole any larger, it would probably start to cut off her breathing airways. YIKES! So, we waited. They put her in a room and gave her some morphine for the pain and antibiotic drip; along with steroids to help the swelling. Her doctor had prescribed antibiotics and steroids through the previous week as she fought the strep throat so this seemed harmless enough.

After a few hours of waiting, (which honestly didn’t feel as “life threatening” as they were making it out to be any longer); we questioned going home overnight and calling ENT’s in the morning. They advised against us leaving and threatened her life again from the swelling but honestly, our parental intuition overrode the fear and we checked her out and took her home. I slept in her room over the weekend and we called a few specialists only to find one who clearly knew what he was talking about.

Finally!

He first warned us to get her off of the steroids immediately as it was more than likely causing more swelling with the antibiotics. He asked us to come in on Monday morning and he’d fit her into his schedule. (there are still awesome doctors out there!) So yesterday, she and I went to see him and as scared as she was; and as much pain as she was in…he was so kind and calming and ended up doing the procedure in his office that the ER doctors told us was “impossible” to do in her situation.

She is back at school today and feeling like a million bucks! A little sore in her throat still but totally pain free at last!

Whew!

So anyway, after the appointment, I had a shakeology shake with 1/3 cup of oats, water and ice blended in. I watched my daughter during the day because her body was fevering on and off due to the infection being drained but overall, we rested and I bought her a milkshake to celebrate!

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For lunch, I made myself a veggie scramble with eggs, zucchini, cilantro, onions and cheese. I topped it with some home grown cherry tomatoes and it was fabulous! I allowed myself an apple later with some peanut butter and this was my “treat” that made me feel special! LOL

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Here’s my dinner, as promised (complete with the recipe) and if you’d like, I can share my meal plan ideas and recipes along the way to help out your family (or even just your own) weekly meals.

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MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN RECIPE:

Chicken breasts

Garlic powder

Diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)

Artichoke hearts

Small Jar Kalmata olives

1/2 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

oregano

basil

salt and pepper

Method:

Season chicken breasts with seasonings and brown in olive oil heated up in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic to pan. Add tomatoes, artichoke hearts and olives. Add seasonings and simmer over low heat. (I put it in a large sheet pan and put into over at 350 for 30-45 minutes)

Serve over veggies or pasta.

Now it’s time for Day 2 of the #nosugarchallenge

Why sugar can make or break your health goals

I know that summer is winding down to a close. I know this because school is already in session. But the weather is still hot and the season is still enticing us with the foods we are choosing to eat and the drinks we drink.
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It’s important to understand the who, what, where and how of the foods we eat and how they affect our bodies. I understand the struggle of needing more willpower. But in all actuality, our long term results are not reflected by our short term habits. In order to create long term results, it’s important to understand exactly why we should do what we should do and how to create balance instead of deprivation and overindulging.

When someone suffers from insulin resistance, it means that they have cells that don’t the insulin effectively. The cells then have trouble absorbing the glucose and this causes a buildup of sugars in our blood. When the blood glucose levels are higher than normal (but not quite high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes), the result is a condition known as “pre-diabetes”.

We don’t know exactly why some people develop insulin resistance, while others don’t, but there are a few tell tale signs. One; being overweight or obese are leading factors. Two; being sedentary (lack of movement during the course of every day) can also cause the symptoms that lead to pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. When you add the two together; overweight and sedentary lifestyle, the risks rise.

So back to my first point about summer and how it ties in with insulin resistance. The summer season brings an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, which make it easier to eat healthily but it also brings some risks. Knowing these risks and learning how to deal with them will help our bodies run efficiently and our habits may begin to motivate those around us. #bonus

So what tastes better while lounging around on a lazy summer day than some fruity cocktail drinks and some ice cream treats? I know…pretty tempting, right? Unfortunately, these are dangerous foods for our blood sugar levels. We are simply trading in a few minutes of pleasure (drug like high) when we indulge in these cold and sugar-loaded treats, for a dangerous road that may lead to long term chronic illness.

The danger comes when we choose to continue to indulge in too much sugar, because our bodies respond by producing more and more insulin. When there is too much insulin in our bodies, it trains our cells to become resistant and thus forms the insulin resistance problems.
Now, I realize these facts alone aren’t enough to stop us from eating ice cream and indulging in sugary drinks and snacks…me neither! But moderation is the key to lasting results and long term better health. Still with me? We can have our cake and eat it too…but we also need to be smart about how much we are eating and how we eat it.
One more thing I’d like to mention today to bring this all together. I’m sure you’ve heard about the glycemic index, right? This is simply a way of categorizing foods according to their effects on the levels of glucose in our blood. Pretty cool, right? A food that has a high glycemic index will cause more glucose to build up than a food with low glycemic index.
I know, I know…knowledge is truly powerful!  If we want to help control our blood sugar levels, then we should focus on eating foods with a low glycemic index. It’s also important to note that when we eat foods with a high glycemic index (because I’m all about moderation and not deprivation), just make sure to eat it with a low glycemic food to help slow the effects on our blood sugar levels.
What are high glycemic foods? Think, white flours, white sugars, white rices, and white potatoes. (I know, they are “healthy” but that doesn’t mean they don’t fall into this category).
Low glycemic foods are ones that contain more fiber and protein. Think “clean eating” and you’ll be on the right path. This category includes choices like beans, whole grains, lean proteins and nuts.
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In conclusion to this information overload (or maybe you already knew all of this), it’s important to follow the 80/20 rule of thumb. Follow a diet full of clean, whole foods 80% of the time and indulge in your favorite treats 20% of the time so you can have the best of both worlds. Being healthy, looking our best and feeling awesome are really great trade offs to cutting out those indulgent periods. Just by becoming more aware of these facts and the glycemic index will help us eat better and reduce stresses on our bodies. When you choose to indulge in a high glycemic treat like ice cream, for example; make sure to enjoy it at the end of a meal that contains low glycemic (clean eating) foods. And a bonus would be to have it on a day when you have done some resistance training.
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As the summer season comes to a close (and really throughout the entire year), have your occasional treats, and make sure they are strictly occasional. Your body and taste buds will thank you in the long run!

Shakeology Vs. Protein Powders (and then some)

A question I am asked almost on a daily basis is, “Isn’t Shakeology just another protein drink?

Simply put, NO, it is not. If you want to use more protein, I highly suggest getting in more healthy food options. I don’t like the idea of supplementing our meals for a “shake” unless there is no time for an actual meal and our bodies need the nutrition and fuel. Protein powders are honestly, a dime a dozen (okay, maybe more than a dime but you know what I mean).

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I would be extremely cautious in terms of “protein powders” on the market these days and if you do require a fast fix for protein, read the ingredients. Most of the options available (for cheap, as I hear most people say) from GNC, Walmart, Target, etc have some pretty scary bonding agents that are known to cause diseases. If it’s “cheap” then there’s a reason why it’s “cheap”. Most likely, it’s filled with fillers that do nothing for your body in a positive and long term light. We get what we pay for and if you don’t believe me, do your own research. Knowledge is power and you would have to see what each of the unrecognizable ingredients actually are. I recently looked up many on google to prove my own point and to my surprise, found that many were in the “cleaner” touted protein shakes my kids were using from GNC. Not cool..and this momma said so!

I am going to answer the most common questions surrounding Shakeology so that you can learn more information to form your own decision. This is not, by any means, a push for you to buy buy buy! It’s more about education and answering questions to help you decide what is best for you. Isn’t that what coaching and supporting is all about anyway? So let’s start with the basic question from before:

Question: “Isn’t Shakeology just a more “pricier” protein shake? and can’t I just use my current brand instead?” 

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Answer: Shakeology is NOT a protein shake. Nor is it a weight loss shake. It is a 100% natural (macro and micro) nutrient dense meal replacement. It is not a one-dimensional protein shake.
Because Shakeology IS 100% natural (created by a vegan with a masters in nutrition and agricultural anthropology) the standard to remain natural does not allow for ANY artificial flavors, colors, stimulants, sweeteners or chemically modified micronutrients. Nearly every single product found in gyms, GNC, internet, you name it, have a LARGE amount of manmade chemicals dumped in it so that it tastes appealing to the general publics’ “idea” of what food SHOULD taste like.

When you add ONLY what nature provides, you get the CLEANEST and PUREST product possible. 

On to the superfoods. I don’t expect the average person that follows you to know what Astragalus Root, Ashwagandha Root, Chia Seed, Maca Root, Gogi Berries and Reishi Mushrooms are (just to name a few super foods, I’ll spare listing all 70).

Nor do I expect them to have general knowledge in all the health benefits and medicinal treatments that these foods have notoriously been used for centuries to treat examples as reducing free radicals from our body, improving our white blood cell counts which helps us fight disease, reducing inflammation (the number one marker of EVERY disease), improving the natural flora in our digestive system, etc.

If BB grew these products in a lab and modified them to keep them cheap, that would be one thing, but EACH of the 70 super foods are imported from the countries, climates and pure soil they originate from and then dried to a specific protocol to maintain a whole food- absorption integrity. Everyone should value this $4 meal. Check out this video –

Where do the ingredients in Shakeology come from anyway???

Question: “Why is Shakeology SO expensive??” 

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Answer:  If you have been following me for any length of time, it is no secret that I love my Shakeology and it’s been instrumental in me keeping off the weight from my up and down yo-yo diets and emotional eating binges that lasted for over 20 years!

But I wasn’t always convinced so let me share what I’ve learned. When Shakeology came on the market, I was having good results with my strict food plans and incorporating workouts like, P90X and Insanity to my current training programs.  I initially thought Shakeology was just too expensive for just another meal replacement shake.

And $120 for a bag? Are these people nuts??? Shakeology is too expensive! As a mom with a busy schedule and bills to pay and kids to feed, I figured I didn’t need to invest in this absurdity of hyped up health in a bag. 😛

I made it through two of the hardest Beachbody workout programs they had at the time. I had finally lost the 30+ lbs after my 3rd child and was doing well enough keeping it off, why do I need this overpriced protein powder?

That was before I did my research and educated myself on what makes Shakeology different than the $19 tub of whey protein powder that I can get at the nearest grocery store. Carl Daikeler (Beachbody’s CEO) did a brilliant blog post where he answers the following question:
“How Do I Really Know If This is Worth the Money When Everything Else Costs Less?”

There are many “protein shakes” and meal replacements that are less expensive than Shakeology. But comparisons – based on the simple “protein shake” or even “health shake” are usually off the mark because of intangibles like quality of sourcing, efficacy, and the delicate balance of incredible health benefits and delicious flavor that is unique to Shakeology. When we developed Shakeology, our goal was to fill a void in the marketplace where the benefits of the shake would live up to the promise of the line “The Healthiest Meal of the Day.”  Shakeology was designed for people who want more than protein, and for people who really expect the health benefits being represented by the ingredients on the label. With Shakeology not only do you get what you pay for, but because it tastes so good and the attention to every detail is so complete, you get more than you pay for.

Question: “What’s the difference then between Shakeology and all-natural whey protein powders?”

Answer: It’s easy to mistake Shakeology as a whey protein supplement since it comes in powder form. Most people that are unfamiliar with supplements see a bag, or barrel, of shake mix and immediately think “protein powder” and that’s totally understandable! I even thought that Shakeology was just some generic protein shake with some fancy packaging that was just being marketed differently by Beachbody, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s so much more.

You have to realize that whey protein shakes and Shakeology just aren’t in the same class. You have to separate the words “protein shake” from Shakeology. Yes, Shakeology does have a comparable amount of protein as many whey protein shakes, but it’s densely packed with so many more vital ingredients that your body needs for proper nutrition and protein shakes don’t even come close.

To really understand the difference between whey protein vs Shakeology, we have to break down what’s in them and what they do for you.

The primary ingredient in whey protein shakes is whey protein and the main reason people drink these shakes is to boost their daily protein intake so they can build bigger muscles in a shorter amount of time. If that’s your main goal, then a good old-fashioned protein shake is all you need. (Or as I mentioned above, just some chicken breast, egg whites or cottage cheese!)

Whey protein is what’s known as a complete protein that has all 9 essential amino acids and is fast and easy for your body to digest. Drinking protein shakes that use whey as the protein source, which almost all do these days, is the quickest way to fuel your body’s muscle growth with complete proteins without having to cook an entire meal.

  1. Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC): The cheapest of the three, WPC’s have the least amount of protein / 100g and is normally higher in fat and lactose than the other two.
  2. Whey Protein Isolate (WPI): The most popular of the three as 95% of its weight is made up of protein and doesn’t taste like concrete powder.
  3. Whey Protein Hydrolysate (WPH): Tastes like concrete powder. If you don’t care about taste or you just slam your shake down, WPH’s are 99% protein and digest very quickly in the body, but are the most expensive type of whey.

Regardless of which type of whey protein you go with, they all share the same purpose and function. Supplementing your protein and amino acid intake to get your muscles the protein they need to recover faster.

Now what’s Shakeology? 

Shakeology is a protein shake, but in the same way that a tiger is a cat and that because it’s a protein shake doesn’t mean that it’s just a protein shake. Shakeology is a high quality, complete meal replacement and nutritional supplement containing nearly 50 different superfoods!

Shakeology’s nutrient dense formula gives you a natural boost of healthy energy without forcing you to consume copious amounts of caffeine or processed sugar, promotes a healthy digestive tract, boosts your immune system with an antioxidant blend, and helps you fight cravings with a heaping helping of protein.

A single serving of Shakeology has 17 grams of protein from a whey protein isolate formula so a Shakeology shake has almost the same amount of protein per serving as a comparable whey shake which makes it perfect for athletes who are concerned with their performance as well as people just looking for a healthy meal replacement to aid them on their weight loss journey. On top of that, Shakeology is packed with fiber, probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes to promote a healthy gastrointestinal tract and digestion as well as aiding in the absorption of nutrients.

There isn’t a single shake on the market today that can boast anything that comes close to the health benefits of Shakeology. Nothing.

Some people will tell you, “Oh, just eat a healthy diet, take a multivitamin, drink your protein shakes, and you don’t need Shakeology,” but it’s really not that simple. As I continued to do my research, I discovered that if you separately bought all of the superfoods, vitamins, and minerals that Shakeology has and whey protein shakes don’t, you would easily spend over $300 extra every month! That’s more than twice the cost of Shakeology!

And that’s not even counting having to rebuy the perishable ingredients, i.e. blueberries, pomegranates, etc., because of their short shelf-life. You’ll never say “Shakeology is too expensive!” again when it’s actually cheaper that buying the foods individually!

At the retail price, Shakeology breaks down to about $4 a day. I started looking at what I spent on food while I was running around and picking foods up on the go.  Most places I went into, I grabbed quick food choices on-the-go that would cost me around $8 a meal with little-to-no nutritional value. (That doesn’t include the 2-3 Starbucks stops I would make spending at least $3 a pop during each visit!)

I also took a look in my own cabinets and the money I was spending at health food stores on vitamins, powders, joint support, digestive enzymes etc. All that stuff adds up fast, and became completely unnecessary with Shakeology.

But let’s be honest, at the end of the day all you, or I really care about is two things:

1.    How does it taste?
2.    Does it work?

First, the taste was surprisingly awesome!  I tasted just about every shake on the market, and had grown accustomed to ‘tolerating’ that chalky fake chocolate flavor of most.  But Shakeology really did taste like I was cheating on my diet.  I was getting to drink a milk shake every day and not feel bad about it!

Second, what were the results?  Like I said before, I was already well on my weight loss journey when I started drinking Shakeology.  I felt I was pretty fit on the outside, but I had a lot of internal issues no one could see.  Within the first month of using Shakeology consistently each day, my digestion issues were better, my skin cleared up, and my recurring cravings and emotional eating habits began to subside until they no longer have power over me.

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Now that’s cooler than cool!

I also have had tons of clients who also use Shakeology and it has reduced their needs for diabetic medications, statins and ace inhibitors. It’s also relieved countless cases of IBS, colitis and arthritis. Paying $4 and getting off pricey side-effect laden medications and spending less than the average meal they would otherwise be spending is MUCH cheaper and a price that is well worth the $129 for a month’s supply.

 

Stop the Diet Cycle

So tell me if this sounds vaguely familiar…

You decide you need to lose weight/get in shape/look or feel better about yourself so you set out to make it happen. You are excited and you find a diet plan that looks amazing and an exercise program that seems completely do-able for your schedule and you set out for some great results.

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Finally! you say…I’m going to reach those goals that continue to elude me and this is the way it’s going to happen. 

So you set out and write out a grocery list, filled with all the foods from your new diet plan; you head to the sporting good store and buy some new workout shoes and clothes to start your fitness plan and you are already imagining yourself strutting down the beach the next summer in that white string bikini you’ve always dreamed of wearing confidently.

This will be the year, you say to yourself.  You proceed to set up your food plans for the coming week and you prepare some meals ahead of time so you are not caught in any excuse cycles as you’ve suffered in the past.

This time will be different, you think. It’s GO time!

So the first few days of your week go surprisingly well! You already anticipated the hunger pangs after the first day and some muscle soreness from your new workouts; but these are inevitable in creating new changes in the body. So you smile and power on through the week.

Obviously, we have cut back our calories and added in some workouts and in return, we celebrate a loss of 4 1/2 lbs after the first full week.

Success!! This is finally going to be MY year, you think to yourself!!

Then, we plan for another successful second week and proceed to repeat the success from week 1. Things go well enough; but then, you hit a snag at about day #10-14. For some reason, you are not feeling as awesome as you did the first week.

You notice you start to feel more tired than usual. Your energy levels are dragging and your workouts are starting to suffer due to these spells of fatigue and lethargy. You start to feel irritable and grouchy at the most simple things. You notice you have less patience, and you start to snap at people in your life that seem a bit surprised by your grumpy moods.

What is going on?

First of all, if you have ever heard of “RDA”…I’ll share a bit about what is happening in your body at this point in the program. “RDA” stands for “recommended daily allowance”. If you are still a bit fuzzy on this term, just check out your food labels on any product. You will see an area clearly stating the foods’ “recommended daily allowance” for said food.

This is basically the daily requirements for a 2,000 calorie plan.

But you are now restricting calories in your new program and that would equal about 1200-1500 calories, at most. (I’ve even heard that most women commonly shoot for lower numbers too). You are dieting and you are adding in exercise. You are nowhere near the RDA for nutrition.

And why would this matter? It’s nearly impossible to cut back on your calories to this extreme and not cut back on your nutrition. This is where we typically fail in our quest to reach our perfect body goals. By day 10-14 on our new program, our body is basically screaming for more nutrients and that comes across in our minds and in our bodies as “cravings”.

Ever had these? 😉

Yes, I’m sure that you know exactly what I’m talking about! Cravings are basically our body telling us that we need more of “something” in the nutrition department. But since our bodies cannot tell us exactly what we are lacking, we just crave the foods we love most.

Have you then experienced issues similar to these:

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You’re feeling tired; you’re feeling cranky and you’re starting to get irritable about this new plan that you’re on. We are feeling this way basically because we are trying to get by on less nutrition and then we don’t feel as good anymore. We start to lose focus and our drive for reaching our goals takes a huge nosedive into oblivion.

You then may be invited out to join your friends for an evening at a restaurant. You see your friends enjoying pizza, chicken wings and some drinks. You get so annoyed at how miserable you’re feeling that you finally say “SCREW IT!” I’m going to eat this because I feel miserable and I deserve it after how hard I’ve worked all week!

Right? Ever done anything similar to the above scenario??

Then we end up overeating and we feel guilty and we feel sick. We tell ourselves that we suck; we say, “I do this every single time” “I’m such a failure and I have zero willpower”…

Then the all time favorite: “I’ll start again on Monday”…

So the bottom line is that you are not a failure and you do not suck and you need not just repeat the whole cycle again because the same result will happen. When our bodies are low on nutrients, then the situation will repeat again and again.

I can relate because this is exactly what I fought for repeatedly. I thought something was truly wrong with me and I would never experience success in my goals. This situation happens because we buy into the diet industry’s teachings that there is another better way out there and we need to just find the one that fits our lives.

But that isn’t true either.

This all happens only because the body is low on nutrition. If we add in the daily nutrition which our bodies require, we will feel more energetic. We will feel better and we are then able to do more and recover better and the weight loss becomes a natural byproduct of the good nutrition and calorie deficit.

No secrets, and no lies.

We are doing it backwards. We cut back on all of our nutrition and on the calories needed to maintain the daily required nutrition and we cannot succeed in this scenario.

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This is the #1 reason that I have used Shakeology for over 6 years now, day in and day out. I’ve missed a handful of days during the past six years and let me just say that I don’t “feel” different on days I get it into my body (it’s not a drug, after all) but I definitely notice how I feel when I don’t get it into my body on any given day.

If you are even remotely intrigued in seeing this for yourself, send me a message about getting a trial offer to see how your body responds. http://www.spazzykay@gmail.com

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I can guarantee you results or your money back every time! Now that you are out of excuses, aren’t you ready to move forward?