Friday, July 22, 2011

What's it mean to EAT CLEAN?

If you're trying to get fit, lose weight, or just become more healthy, there are two parts to the equation. Diet and exercise. You need both to achieve your goals!
Eating Clean has been in the spotlight for awhile, as you've surely seen in magazines and on tv. Oxygen magazine, my fav, stars Tosca Reno every month. She has many books out about eating clean, cookbooks, etc. She's a fantastic writer, breaks things down so it's easy to understand and inspires you to be healthy. She looks amazing, living proof of what a healthy lifestyle can do for you! This book helped me when I started down my current path & I recommend it highly!

As usual with changing trends in diet and exercise, some people are left wondering what it means to eat clean, so here it is! In a nutshell...

Basically eating clean is eating whole, natural food. For instance: fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbs. You fill your diet with these clean foods, leaving no room for processed junk that unfortunately makes up a large percentage of the American Diet. These foods would include (bad) hydrogenated & trans-fats, white bread, preservatives, man-made sugar, & other unecessary ingredients.
Like Michael Pollan said in his book Food Rules - Eat Food. Mostly Plants. Not too much. (another great book!)

Here's some guidelines a person who eats clean generally follows:
Eliminates refined sugar

Cooks healthy meals

Packs healthy meals

Makes healthy choices when dining out

Drinks a lot of water

Eats 5-6 small meals per day

Eliminates alcoholic beverages (or significantly limits it)

Always eats breakfast

Am I a clean eater? yes and no. I try to eat healthy for the most part but there's nothing that I forbid myself to eat. Everything in moderation and portion control seem to be what works best for me. I love food, all kinds, even the bad stuff now & again.
When I was in the bahamas with my boyfriend last month I had a bologne sandwich on white bread with American cheese and mayonaise. THAT was a treat for me! haha

So for those of you who were curious what it means to eat clean - now you know!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Zesty Summer Veggies!

I'll start off the recipe sharing for delicious healthy summer eats! I found this recipe in Health Magazine & can't wait to try it out, it looks mouthwatering.

2 medium zucchini
1/2 cup grape tomatoes
Fresh corn kernals (from 1 ear)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon basil, shredded
makes 2 servings at 124 cal/serving

Cut zucchini into 1 inch pieces & grape tomatoes in half
Slice kernals from 1 ear of corn
Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat & coat lightly with olive oil
Add zucchinin & garlic, season with salt & pepper & toss
When slightly brown, add tomatoes & corn; cook until zucchini is tender.
Add basil & serve! yum!!

Another super easy way to prepare veggies this summer is on the grill! Just cut up any raw veggies you like & spray with olive oil cooking spray, season with salt & pepper & grill in a vegetable grilling basket or in foil on the grill! Sooo delicious. Check doneness with a fork
A couple weeks ago at a cookout we used cauliflower, broccoli, carrots & mushrooms. DELICIOUS & EASY!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Gluten Free - the way to be?

Well there's a new diet in town. Many people seem to be jumping on the Gluten free bandwagon and cookbooks, recipes, blogs, etc are popping up all over the place. In fact, 1,182 new gluten free products were introduced to the market in 2008 and remain at a steady increase. Claims have been made for a gluten free diet to help with weight loss, autism, osteoperosis, and others.
However, this isn't your typical help-you-lose-weight kind of diet or a bandwagon that should be pounced upon lightly. In fact, there's no evidence that this diet will help you lose weight. Sometimes the opposite can be true, as gluten free foods sometimes have added fat to help with mouthfeel. To the average person, a gluten free diet offers no advantages and can lead to unwanted results such as weight gain. Not what you want from a diet right?!
A friend of mine went gluten free after being diagnosed with Celiac disease, an autoimmue disease where the small intestine treats gluten as an invader rather than a nutrient, causing damage to the small intestine and blocking absorption of other nutrients. Celiac disease can be hard to diagnose and can appear at anytime during your life. Check out the link above for more symptom/diagnosis information!

What I wanted to do here is just give a brief explanation of the gluten free diet, since it's everywhere in society today. It shouldn't be mistaken with "just another fad diet" but that's what I've heard people say! A little education goes a long way ;)

We've all been taught that whole wheat is good for us and leaps and bounds ahead of processed, enriched white bread (AKA junk) in the nutrition category. So what's up with wheat?

“For celiacs, there’s a battle in your gut between your immune system and the gluten, which it considers an enemy,” says Joseph Murray, M.D., a gastroenterologist and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. This immunological warfare winds up damaging the small, fingerlike projections called villi that line the gut. Under normal circumstances, the villi expand the surface area of the small intestine and allow it to absorb nutrients. But when doctors biopsy the small intestine of someone with celiac disease, they find that many of the villi have atrophied and flattened. The damage prevents proper absorption of nutrients, causes a variety of problems throughout the body and, left untreated, can even lead to cancers in the intestine.

(Should You Go Gluten Free? By Kristin Ohlson/Aug 2009 - Eating Well Magazine)

Even if a person with Celiac Disease is eating an extremely healthy diet, they can still wind up with health problems associated with nutrient deficiencies, since their small intestines are unable to absorb these nutrients during digestion. These deficiencies often go unnoticed in a person who doesn't realize they have a wheat allergy, since they assume they are getting the nutrients from their diets.

If anything, I hope this makes people realize that trying a diet because they see it everywhere is not always the best idea. Educate before action, especially in regards to your body, as you can end up doing yourself more harm than good by mistake. Self diagnosis of Celiac Disease is impossible, testing requires bloodtesting for the presence of antibodies. Cutting out gluten just to see can make it hard to test for the actual disease. If you stop eating wheat, the antibodies will not be produced by your immue system, so there will be no way to tell if you have the allergy or not. If you suspect you may, continue to eat gluten and see your doctor for testing.

If you'd like more information, history, etc about Celiac Disease and the Gluten Free Diet, check out this article from Eating Well magazine. Very informative and interesting!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How safe is 5 hour energy?!

You can't watch anything on TV right now without seeing a commercial for 5-Hour energy. The groggy people, waking up with no time to spare, dishevled and longing to hit the snooze button. After a quick shot of 5 hour energy they're good as new ready to go!
My boss recently asked me what I knew about the product and if it was safe to drink or not. I didn't know -- so I found out!

5-hour energy promises a boost of energy that lasts for hours without the "crash" associated with other energy drinks. Its main ingredients are B Vitamins and an "energy blend" consisting of citicoline, tyrosine, phenylalanine, taurine, malic acid, glucuronolactone and caffeine.
Here's a quick run down of what that stuff is and what it does:

Citicoline seems to increase a brain chemical called phosphatidylcholine. This brain chemical is important for brain function. Citicoline might also decrease brain tissue damage when the brain is injured.

Tyrosine is used by the body to make chemical messengers that are involved in conditions involving the brain such as mental alertness.

Phenylalanine is used by the body to make chemical messengers.

Taurine is used to improve mental performance.

Malic Acid optimizes cellular energy production, protecting muscles from fatigue, promoting the proper function of nerves, muscles, and the heart.

Glucuronolactone improves mental performance, reaction time, concentration and memory.

Caffeine effects the body's metabolism, including stimulating the central nervous system, making you more alert and giving you a boost of energy.

The B Vitamins in 5-Hour energy are:

Niacin (Vitamin B3), containing 150% of your RDA (reccommnended daily allowance)
Niacin works with thiamin to promote healthy blood circulation and produce hydrochloric acid. It also contributes to metabolism. Niacin's specific strengths are sex hormone synthesis, the lowering of cholesterol, and enhancing memory.

Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), containing 2000% of your RDA
Pyridoxine takes part in more activity than almost any vitamin or mineral, playing an important role in both your physical and mental well being. It helps with hydrochloric acid production, blood cell formation, antibody production, nerve and brain health. It also helps regulate sodium-potassium balance, aids in vitamin B12 absorption, and is needed for the synthesis of RNA & DNA. Pyridoxine works with folate and B12 to block homocysteine. High homocysteine levels in the body are associated with heart disease because this compound goes after the heart muscle and encourages cholesterol deposits are the heart.

Methylcobalamin (Vitamin B12) containing 8333% of your RDA
Methylcobalamin is really a set of compounds called cobalamins. They are like the hemoglobin found in red blood cells, but they contain cobalt as instead of iron. This nutrient may help with neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis because it helps regenerate damaged nerves, something almost unheard of in essential nutrients. It plays a roll in metabolism, blood cell formation, digestion, cell formation, and homocysteine conversion.

All these vitamins are crucial in our diet, and not having enough can be harmful. However, it's not been proven that having extra of any of these vitamins will help you or increase your energy. Excess is what most people are probably worrying about after reading those numbers. While it's unlikely to be dangerous, excess Niacin (B3) can produce uncomfortable reddening/flushing sensation of the skin. Also, consuming 200mg or more of Pyridoxine (B6) could potentially impair the normal functioning of your nerves and muscles (you would need to cosume 5 bottles of 5 hour energy in one day to be in danger of that)
As far as the "crash" the 5-Hour Energy promises you'll avoid, it is assumed that they are referring to the fact that their product contains no sugar, which can cause a "crash" sensation when blood sugar levels go up and then down after consuming a large amount of sugar. So compared to their sugary competition like Rockstar or Monster, they can promise no crash. Is this actually true? Never actually been tested so we don't really know.

So, bottomline: Is 5-Hour Energy safe to drink?
Basically it's just a glorified caffeine fix, and will do you no more harm than a cup of coffee will. Caffeine does have side effects such as jitteriness, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and insomnia. So if you're sensitive to caffeine it's probably not a good idea.
If you do reach for the little bottle - best advice is to never drink more than two bottles and don't mix it with other forms of caffeine.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fit on a Whim :)

Hello Everyone! My name is Tanya Thurnau. I grew up in a small town in southern Minnesota and now live in the suburbs of the Twin Cities. I'm just a friendly Midwestern girl who has found a passion for health and fitness!

I'll admit it hasn't always been easy for me to live healthy. I grew up watching my family, both immediate and extended, struggle with their weight. At that time I was oblivious and I didn't understand what was necessary for good health. I just knew what was going on around me wasn't good. In a fear of what I thought was my inevitable fate, and through the circumstances of life, I starved myself, tried the quick fix pills, abused laxatives, and binged and purged.

In the third grade I developed an interest in sports. I began participating in basketball and volleyball school leagues as well as city programs and camps. This continued until the tenth grade when I chose to quit sports and focus on my studies - something I regret to this day. I loved being part of a team and, looking back, it was actually the glue that held the other components of my life together.

When I went to college I was extremely introverted. I didn't participate in anything and only made a total of two friends. It was a lonely time in my life, but it was also the time I began taking an interest in health and fitness. I got engaged to one of the two friends I made at college and wanted to be in great shape for my wedding day (the summer after I graduated). I didn't have money for a gym membership, so I started running and working out in my dorm room. By the end of college and the day of my wedding (July 16, 2005), I was in good shape for not knowing what in the world I was doing.

Unfortunately my marriage didn't last and the divorce got the best of me. I was taking comfort in food, ignoring food all-together, or immersing myself in group classes and cardio machines at the gym. I was all over the place with my weight and habits.

I had tried all the unhealthy extremes, but through a desire for knowledge and a better way to live, I finally began learning the facts about what works. This is when Beachbody came along. The first home fitness program I purchased from Beachbody was Turbo Jam. I started seeing better results from this program than I ever had from the gym. Why? Because it included the workouts, a workout schedule, a nutrition guide/plan, and support?things I had to pay for separately at the gym and couldn?t afford. This is where I began learning the basics of proper health and nutrition.

From that point on my interest in health and fitness snowballed into a passion. I began purchasing more challenging workouts, like P90X, and have been blessed to be able to start a career as an Independent Beachbody Coach (since April 2009). I am also working on my certification to become a personal trainer and hope to one day open my own fitness studio.

I'll be honest, it's still not always easy for me and I'm always a work in progress, but I just want to share what I know and love with you in hopes that by doing so I can help you organize your lives through health and fitness - and hopefully create a healthier future for my family.

Please feel free to visit my website for information and advice:

And come be friends with me on Twitter or Facebook:

It's time to talk about it NEDA

"It's Time to Talk about It"

NEDAwareness Week 2011, Feb 20-26
Check out the website above, it's great! Please visit, register, support, reach out, do whatever you can :)

Friday, February 18, 2011


Oh no devoted readers I have been neglecting my poor blog!!
It's been a crazy fall/winter but I am happy to report I am happy as I have ever been & made so many changes in my life! :)
One of my most exciting things to report is that my weight loss journey continues... I have now lost a total of 35 lbs from where I started Fall 09 and I feel amazing. If I can do it, you can do it. SO DO IT!! :)
I'm off to class now, but never fear I have lots of great posts coming up so stay tuned!
& Don't forget to check out the facebook! :)

<3 <3