As a Certified Nutrition Coach and Head Chef for Venice Nutrition, I always look forward to working with a new client one- on- one. Getting to know a client’s unique goals, their lifestyle and their personal needs is something I have always enjoyed. And for my clients, working one on one with a Nutrition Coach is often the missing piece to the puzzle in achieving their personal nutrition and fitness goals. For some, working with a professional is the key to their success.
Working closely with a new client allows me to truly discover their specific challenges that may be preventing them from achieving their goals and trouble shoot to find real world solutions to overcome them. For example, if I begin working with a new member who is a busy mom struggling to find a way to work nutrition and fitness into her family’s hectic lifestyle, I can ask the right questions and come up with effective solutions to make it easier for her. From family recipes, to fast lunches on the go, to quick fitness, there is always a solution! If I’m working with a client with a unique health issue, we can customize his or her personal plan to accommodate it and depending on the disease, even improve upon it. If I have a client who works 70 hours per week or travels consistently, they may need extra help learning to make their health a priority while on the go. Or perhaps a client I’m working with has yo-yo dieted with countless programs in the past; he or she will have special motivational needs or metabolism concerns.
Working one on one with a client allows me to truly discover who they are and important details about their world, and find ways to help them live their lives a little healthier, all while taking the guess work out of it and making it easier for them. As a Nutrition Coach, I also have the ability to take a client’s physique and physical results to the next level. Plateaus are inevitable for all of us and an experienced nutrition coach can always fine tune your personal nutritional parameters, quality of foods, or even exercise routine to jump start your results again. There are no limits when you work with an experienced Nutrition Coach; we can always teach you how to get to the next level!
Most importantly, a great Nutrition Coach can help you to understand the way your body works so that you can learn to make it work for you permanently. We all have unique goals, bodies and needs and understanding yours makes it easier for you to succeed. Providing an education is the best way I can help my clients achieve results, not just for the short term but forever! An education allows my clients to become independent, confident in their nutrition and health choices and most importantly, successful no matter how busy or challenging their lives become.
And for those members who struggle with self- discipline, or setting realistic goals and sticking to them, working with a Nutrition Coach for support and motivation is critical to their success. I love setting short and long term goals with my clients, along with real-world strategies on how to reach them. There is nothing better than coaching a client through the ups and downs; and ultimately watching them reach for the stars and succeed.
As you can probably tell, I love being a Nutrition Coach and working with clients. Our team of Certified Venice Nutrition coaches do as well, and we are all well trained in physiology, blood sugar stabilization, coaching clients to success and motivational techniques. Most of all, we have the knowledge and experience to look at each person like the unique individual that they are, and formulate a blue print for success customized to that person’s goals, lifestyle and health issues.
If you are interested in working with a Venice Nutrition Coach to truly understand your body and take your results to the next level, you have several options.
1. If you do not live close to a nutrition center or time and convenience are factors for you, we invite you to work one on one with one of our certified Venice Nutrition Coaches by phone. Working with a phone coach allows you to get the same attention, level of coaching and support and results that you would working with a coach at a center, but from the convenience from your own home. To work with a nutrition coach today by phone, go to the Venice Nutrition Homepage. Simply click on the Store button, then Nutrition Consulting and choose a package that works best for you. Your personal Certified Venice Nutrition Coach will be in touch with you within 24 hours.
2. If you live close to a Venice Nutrition Center (we have offices all over the country), you can work one on one with a coach. To find a nutrition center in your area, please contact our corporate office at 866.700.1524.
If you have any questions about working with a personal Venice Nutrition Coach, please contac tus at 866-700-1524. We look forward to working with you!
Lead Nutrition Coach and Head Chef
According to the FDA, healthy adults should aim for less than 2400 mg of sodium per day. It’s very clear that the majority of us get way more than we need. In fact, 2400 mg of sodium per day is equal to only one teaspoon of salt!
Why do we need salt? Sodium is critical for maintaining the correct fluid and electrolyte balance within our bodies as well as helping muscles and nerves to work correctly. The challenge is, in today’s day of overly processed and packaged foods, we are getting too much of it altogether, and this may lead to high blood pressure and excess fluid retention.
So what’s the solution? How can you ensure that you are not exceeding your daily limit of sodium? The first step is reading food labels thoroughly and taking the time to tally up a day or two’s worth of sodium intake. This should give you a good benchmark of how much salt you are consuming on a regular basis. If you find you are taking in too much sodium, it’s time to cut back on processed and packaged foods. Even seemingly healthy items can be loaded in sodium.
In fact, the following list is made of high sodium foods that just may surprise you: packaged or canned soups, frozen dinners, deli meat, canned meats and fish, canned vegetables and beans, entrees with seasoning mixes (like mac n’ cheese or chili), Chinese or Asian food prepared with soy sauce, marinades, marinara sauces, dressings, teriyaki sauce, steak sauce, bbq sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, relish, cold cereals, hot cereals, snack foods like chips, pretzels, crackers, seasoning salts, garlic salt and other spice combinations.
The best way to lower sodium intake is to reduce the amount of processed food items in your diet and work towards choosing more natural, less processed food items. Natural, unprocessed food like fresh chicken, eggs, meat, low fat dairy, fruit, vegetables, brown rice, sweet potatoes, olive oil, avocado and unsalted nuts are naturally low in sodium (not to mention very healthy!). For a complete list of low sodium, unprocessed food items, see the Highest Quality of Foods in your Quality of Food Chart, located in your online manual in your Help/Support Tab.
It also helps to reduce the amount of condiments like ketchup, mustard and other sauces throughout the day, as well as skip the salt shaker altogether. With a little awareness, along with some smart food choices, you can easily lower your sodium intake for a healthier you.
Head Chef and Lead Nutrition Coach
*high sodium food list fro pamf.org
For many of our newest members and clients, breakfast comes in the unfortunate form of a cup of coffee or a bagel smothered in cream cheese late in the day. If you’ve been a member of Venice Nutrition for awhile, then you know how important it is to eat a meal (or even a mini-meal…more on that later) one hour within waking to kick-start your metabolism after a long night of zzzz’s. Furthermore, it’s critical to make sure that your breakfast has the right balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat. A balanced breakfast will help to prevent cravings and over-eating later in the day, and help your body get into fat burning mode first thing in the morning.
If you are not a “breakfast eater”, tend to feel nauseous in the mornings or workout very early, eating a full, balanced breakfast can be a challenge. Here a few fast and simple tips you can incorporate into your mornings to make sure you start your day off right.
1. If you are not hungry or feel nauseous in the mornings, try a mini-meal. Choose any meal in your plan and cut each ingredient in half or even a third equally. This way, your meal still has the correct ratio of protein, carbohydrate and fat, but in a smaller and more suitable portion size.
2. Aim for fast and simple solutions. Try experimenting with a few bites of a protein bar, a ½ protein smoothie (cut each ingredient in half equally) or even the Greek Yogurt Parfait (see your Recipe Tab for the complete recipe).
3. If it’s easier, make a complete meal, eat only ½ or 1/3 and then eat the remainder at your next meal.
If your goal is to break down body fat, increase metabolism and feel your best now and in the future, it’s important to understand how the quality of your food choices impact your results. One of my “tricks” as a Nutrition Coach to help my clients get their body to the next level or break out of a plateau, is to slowly make changes to increase the quality of their food on a daily basis. And the results are never short of amazing!
Of course, the most important step in stabilizing blood sugar is to eat a meal balanced in protein, carbohydrates and fat (according to your personal nutritional parameters) every three to four hours. This is the basis of a solid nutrition plan, and creates balance within your body to allow for released fat storage.
The next step is to choose protein, carbohydrates and fats that are higher up on the quality of food chart. High quality foods are less processed, more natural and take longer to break down in your system. These choices are lower on the Glycemic Index (a gauging device that measures how quickly carbohydrate containing food items are digested in your system). This keeps your blood sugar stable longer, and allows for faster and more consistent results! From my own experience and what I have witnessed in my clients, higher quality of foods lead to more muscle tone and definition, flatter abs, leaner or more muscular limbs (depending on your goals) and shapelier physiques.
Here is a great example of increasing your quality of foods in a meal:
If you currently have a deli turkey sandwich with mayo on wheat bread for lunch, try looking at each component in the meal (the protein, carbohydrate and fat) to see how you can improve the quality. Instead of deli turkey (which is processed) , try real chicken breast for a natural protein. Swap out man-made bread for a natural salad of greens and veggies. Instead of mayonnaise as your fat (which again is man-made, processed, and loaded with poor fats), aim for avocado or a dressing made of natural olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a heart healthy alternative.
If switching out every component in a meal seems overwhelming, it may be best to slowly improve one component at a time. For example, perhaps your goal should be to work on improving your quality of carbohydrates throughout the day. Try switching out bread and crackers for more natural carbohydrate choices like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and vegetables.
So where do your favorite foods fall on the quality of food scale? Below is a handy chart that will help you to make more natural and healthy choices when preparing your meals.
HIGHEST QUALITY FOODS (you’ll notice that these items are completely natural, the least processed and will yield you the best results)
- Soy Beans
- Beans (fresh)
- Brown Rice
- Hot Cereals
- Yams/Sweet Potatoes
- Flax Seed Oil
- Nuts (dry roasted or raw)
- Natural Nut Butters
MEDIUM QUALITY FOODS (these items are processed to some degree)
- Cottage Cheese
- Deli Meat
- Canned Meat
- Garden Burgers
- Soy Meat- packaged
- Beans - canned
- Cold Cereals
- Canola Oil
- Olives - canned
- Processed Nut Butters
LOW QUALITY FOODS (these items are the most processed)
- Protein Powder
- Protein Bars
- White Rice
- Rice Cakes
- Salad Dressings
- Sour Cream
Valerie Cogswell - Lead Nutrition Coach and Head Chef
Here are some common measuring guidelines that will assist you with your meal plans.
1. Weight Measurements
a. Ounces = Oz
b. Grams = g
1 oz = 28.4 g
.75 oz = 21.3 g
.5 oz = 14.2 g
.25 oz = 7.1 g
2. Volume Measurements
a. cups = cup
b. Ounces = oz
c. Tablespoon = tbsp
d. Teaspoon = tsp
1 Cup = 8 oz
.75 cup = 6 oz
.5 cup = 4 oz
.25 cup = 2 oz
1 tbsp = 3 teaspoons (15 g)
.5 tbsp = 1.5 teaspoons (7.5 g)
1 tsp = 5 g
With flu season well on its way, now is the time to be aware of where the worst of the germs are lurking and how to prevent illness. You may be surprised to find that your garbage can or even toilet seat are not as germ filled as some other surfaces in your home. According to experts, the single best preventative measure you can take to prevent contact illness is to practice thorough hand washing techniques. In fact, up to 80% of germs and illness are spread through hand to hand contact!
It also helps to wipe down some of the surfaces described below with disinfectant wipes. Keeping a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse or car is a great way to de-germ in a pinch. You’ll even notice that many public places such as doctor’s offices and some supermarkets offer disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizer to help you keep healthy.
So where are the germs hiding? Below is a list of some of the germiest places around.
Your computer keyboard
Your kitchen sink
A load of wet laundry
Your handbag, briefcase or purse
Shopping cart handles at your local market
Playgrounds and health club equipment (including mats)
Public restrooms, particularly airport bathrooms
Public water fountains (especially children’s school fountains)
All it takes to stay healthy this season is a few extra steps. Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap often and take the time to wipe down any susceptible surfaces like the ones described above.
The Venice Nutrition Team
*info derived from msnbc.com
Chances are, if you’ve ever worked out before, you’ve experienced some degree of muscle soreness. Whether you are a beginner to exercise or a seasoned fitness enthusiast who has been training for years, muscle soreness happens to all of us and it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
According to experts, during physical activity, small microscopic tears form in the muscle, creating minute amounts of damage to the muscle fibers. The combination of tears and inflammation in the muscle is what causes the aches, soreness and pain. A small amount of muscle soreness should be expected, particularly after experimenting with a new form of exercise.
So why would you experience muscle soreness 24 to 48 hours after exercise instead of immediately after? The reason, according to Exercise Physiologists is because of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), the natural (and completely normal) response to muscles tissues that have been worked beyond their usual capacity. In other words, if you push it hard and try a new and strenuous exercise in the gym, you may experience DOMS and feel the pain the next day or even the day after. As your muscles adapt to the new exercise and become stronger, the soreness will dissipate.
So what can you do to help alleviate the muscle soreness? Experts agree that stretching is critical to alleviating soreness and preventing injuries. Regular stretching helps to elongate the muscles, preventing muscle contractions and spasms.
In addition to regular stretching, resting adequately between exercise can help your body to recover quickly, thus preventing further damage or injuries. Ice, heat and even the occasional anti-inflammatory can also help to relieve muscle soreness and discomfort. For more information about proper exercise and stretching techniques, please refer to your Exercise Tab within your program and speak to your certified Venice Nutrition Coach.
The Venice Nutrition Team
*information derived from webmd.com
Because there are so many sneakers to choose from, it’s important that you pick the right shoe type for your foot and the activity you’ll be engaging in.
First it’s important to have your foot evaluated properly by a professional. Luckily, there are a variety of shoe stores that now offer to watch you walk to determine your gait as well as evaluate your arch in addition to standard measurements as part of their services to help you find the best shoe.
It’s also important to pick the right shoe for the “job” or the exercise you’ll be doing. For example, if you are a long distance walker or walking is your main form of cardio, you will want to use a Walking Shoe. Walking shoes offer good arch support, are lightweight and have the right amount of cushioning for a serious walker.
If you are a runner, a Running Shoe is your best bet. Running shoes are generally light weight and have built in shock absorbers to help ease the stress off your joints with each pounding movement. They are typically lightweight and provide the essential support a runner needs.
Cross Trainers are ideal for someone who participates in light impact activities like aerobic classes, walking or weight training. They are not recommended for running because they lack the support necessary to absorb major impact.
Tennis shoes are built to support side-to-side movements for racket-based sports players.
Casual sneakers are very trendy right now and fine for lounging around or a leisurely walk or shopping but should not be used while working out because they lack any real support.
The Venice Nutrition Team
*information derived from FitSugar
Though it’s true that nuts are a natural source of protein from plants, you may be surprised to learn that they are not your best protein option. Why? Because in order to stabilize your blood sugar, it’s critical to include a complete protein from an animal source such as dairy products, chicken, fish, eggs, beef, lamb, and turkey. Soy products are also considered complete proteins. What makes a protein “complete”? Complete proteins like the ones listed above contain all of the essential amino acids that the body cannot create on its own. Because the body cannot synthesize these amino acids, it’s essential to include a complete protein (that contains these amino acids) in every meal.
Incomplete protein sources like nuts, seeds, beans and grains are foods that contain protein yet lack the essential amino acids or do not contain enough of them.
Because amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are responsible for building and maintaining the tissues of the body as well as promote the breakdown of fat, complete sources of protein are superior to incomplete proteins like nuts.
So should nuts be included in a healthy, balanced diet? Of course! Nuts are an excellent source of antioxidants, fiber and omega 3 fats (also known as “heart healthy fats”) and most definitely should be included as a regular part of your diet, as long as you are not allergic to them. The best way to incorporate nuts is to consider them the fat in your meal. Simply add a carbohydrate along with a complete source of protein in the correct amounts according to your nutritional parameters, and you’ve got a perfectly balanced meal.
The Venice Nutrition team
These days, parents are busier than ever. Getting a house full of children dressed, fed and off to school in the morning can be a challenge. You already know how important it is that your kids eat breakfast before they leave the house. But do you know how to feed them something that is nutritious, FAST and balanced enough to maintain their energy levels throughout the school day? Our team of Nutrition Experts understand how busy you are and came together to offer their favorite “kid-friendly”, healthy and fast breakfast solutions.
First, it’s important to remember that a breakfast that is balanced in protein, carbohydrate and fat is ideal for you AND your child as well! A balanced breakfast will help to stabilize your child’s blood sugar which is important to maintain a healthy body weight, prevent fatigue and keep their minds sharp during a long school day.
Here are some of our favorite breakfasts that take only a few minutes or less to prepare and can be eaten on the go:
Protein Bar- It doesn’t get any easier than this. Rather than the standard, sugar filled breakfast bar or pop tart, aim for a protein bar that has a good balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat. Some brands to try: Detour, Zone, Balance Bar, or Cliff Pro Builder. If you want a balanced protein bar made with only natural ingredients, try Greens Plus Protein Bars.
Fage Greek Yogurt Parfait- Combine low fat or fat free Fage Greek Yogurt (a high protein, low sugar yogurt found in some grocery stores and any specialty market like Whole Foods), fresh fruit like berries, Splenda or Stevia to sweeten and a touch of vanilla extract. Top with nuts like slivered almonds or chopped walnuts for healthy fat.
Egg and Cheese Roll-up-If you’re pressed for time in the morning, try scrambling enough egg beaters or scrambled eggs to last a few days. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. When ready to eat, top a scoop of the eggs with cheddar cheese and microwave for 20-30 seconds. Put egg and cheese mixture in a whole wheat roll up and wrap in foil to go. Or you can serve the eggs with whole grain toast if your kids have time to sit down and eat.
Protein Smoothie- In a blender combine whey or soy protein powder, skim or low fat milk, fruit like banana or berries (or both), a small scoop of natural peanut butter or flax oil (for healthy fat) and ice. Blend until frosty and smooth.
Cereal to go- In a “shaker” cup with a lid, combine low fat or skim milk with vanilla protein powder and shake until smooth. Pour over a whole grain, high fiber, low sugar cereal. Top with nuts for heart healthy fat.