All I want for Christmas is…

December 18, 2012 on 4:32 pm | In Nutrition Tips, Training, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

By: (guest blogger) Joanna Chodorowska via our friends at

No extra pounds around my middle, hips and thighs, or guilt from stuffing myself more than the turkey!  Here are some tips on how to get your holiday treats while keeping it all in perspective And keeping you closer to race weight:

Eat your greens and vegetables. The phyto-nutrients in green veggies combat stress and free radicals caused by stress. The antioxidants in vegetables and fruits help counteract those free radicals.  Dark green vegetables help with stress relief naturally because of the high calcium and magnesium content.  Calcium and magnesium help muscles relax, so get your greens every day! They will also help keep the calories down.

Get your sleep during the holiday season. Every additional hour of sleep you lose each night will make you crave more sweets, treats and simple carbohydrates during the course of the following day.  The blood sugar spikes cause more stress!  Studies show you gain 4% more weight just with 1 less hour of sleep per night, so get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.  You’ll feel lighter and less bloated and you won’t feel like those bike shorts or Speedo shrunk.

Make time for exercise! You may not be able to get your 3 hour ride in, or a 2 hour swim or run, but getting 30-60 minutes of high intensity interval training will help keep your stress levels down and your fitness intact. It will also help burn some of those calories you did or will consume. You can also consider hiring a coach who can help you manage fitting a training routine into your busy schedule. For more information on the right coach for you, check out

Double-fist it for the holidays!! Drink one alcoholic beverage, then one glass of water (mineral or seltzer with lime works great!).  You will keep yourself hydrated and you can wake up refreshed rather than tired, nauseous and irritable from that hangover.  Have several parties?  Choose to drink at only one of them.  Training sucks when you are hung-over!

Do not skip meals to save up for the big feast! Skipping meals will just make you overeat at that next meal.  Eat smaller and lighter meals throughout the day by limiting the starches and increase the vegetables. Don’t forget to save room for dessert!  Do you try them all?  Um, yes!  Take only a bite size portion of each dessert onto your plate so you can try each one.  Don’t worry, they won’t all go to your waist and hang over the bike shorts – promise!

You can’t avoid the Holidays, but you can learn to keep the weight gain to a minimum while still enjoying your family, treats and parties.  For this and more sports nutrition tips you can live with, go to or as well as

About the author:  Joanna Chodorowska, Nutrition in Motion, LLC is triathlete and sports nutrition coach working with elite and endurance athletes improving their performance using real food principles and meal plans you can live with and do everyday.

You can also find Joanna Chodorowska listed in

Fat Burning by the Numbers

December 7, 2012 on 2:01 pm | In Nutrition Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

It’s time to start thinking about resolutions for next year. If yours have anything to do with nutrition or losing weight, you’ll appreciate this blog from Rick Cohen, M.D. of Core 4 Nutrition. Our friends at Coachfitter sent it our way. If your resolutions include finding a coach and improving your performance, you should definitely check them out!

One of the most powerful things you can do to maximize your long-term health and athletic performance gains is to become a metabolic fat burner.

When fat-adapted, your body’s metabolic engine begins to work more like a fire burning logs instead of twigs or paper. Fueled by fat, your energy system will run longer, stronger and cleaner; every system in your body will benefit from having a more consistent, reliable source of energy that is generated with a minimal amount of metabolic waste (similar to the ash created by burning paper).  Less metabolic waste means lower levels of internal inflammation (the underlying cause of almost every modern, chronic disease), less recovery time, and an improved capacity for both physical and mental fitness.

How you can you tell if you’re a fat-burner?

Based on the metabolic analysis of hundreds of competitive athletes—the majority of whom were physically but not necessarily physiologically fit—we have created a brief questionnaire that should provide some insight into your body’s ability to burn fat for fuel.

Ask yourself:

1.  Can I go four to five hours without eating, or does skipping a meal cause me to suffer from ravenous hunger, anxiety, headaches, brain fog or other common symptoms of low blood sugar?

2.  Do I enjoy steady, even energy throughout the day, or do I experience peaks and valleys that leave me longing for a nap?

3.  Can I exercise in a fasted state (in the morning prior to eating), or exercise for an hour or more without relying on the use of carbohydrate-based foods or drinks?

4.  Am I relatively unconcerned about my body fat content, or do I need to maintain high and constant levels of exercise in order to stay lean?

5.  Are my blood sugar, blood pressure and/or cholesterol levels within an optimal range, without the use of any medication?

If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, congratulations, your body is being fueled by fat!  If you answered “no” to most of them, don’t despair. Your inner engine can become optimally fuel efficient by implementing some simple, dietary changes and taking a more strategic approach to nutritional supplementation.  Having a solid training program is also essential for optimal metabolic health, if you have thought about looking for a coach and don’t know where to begin, check out

Want to dig deeper?

Consider doing an at-home, metabolic assessment profile that will allow you to quantify your body’s metabolic proficiency.  It can be repeated at regular intervals to scientifically monitor how your dietary and supplemental routines are contributing to your metabolic efficiency.  All that’s required is a painless finger stick and a few drops of blood.  From this small, serum sample, the four physiological factors contributing most significantly to your fat burning status can be accurately evaluated.  These four factors include:

HDL/Triglyceride ratio

This marker is typically used to evaluate your risk of heart disease. It compares the levels of HDL (a protective lipoprotein) to those of triglycerides (a transitional fat made from excess sugars ear-marked for long-term storage) found in your blood.

The goal is to establish and maintain an HDL level higher than that of your triglycerides. Most fat burners have at least a 1:1 ratio of HDL to Triclycerides. Some fat burners have achieved an impressive 2:1 ratio, while that of the typical American is an unhealthy 1:3.


Insulin is an important hormone that regulates how efficiently your cells utilize glucose (sugar) for energy.  A fat burner with healthy cells rich in vitamin D3 and omega 3 fatty acids will be very sensitive to insulin and, therefore, require very little of it.  Higher levels of insulin are, of course, toxic to the body.  They also promote the production and storage of excess body fat.

As a fat burner, your insulin level marker should be no greater than 3.0. Those with excellent fat burning engines often measure in at less than 2.0.  The typical American, on the other hand, is frequently more than 5.0.


This is a marker of your average blood sugar levels over the past three months. As a fat burner, your goal is to score no higher than 5.3. Those who are completely fat adapted will be under 5.0 while the typical American is often over 5.7.  Those with an average glycohemoglobin level of 6.0 are considered diabetic.

C-reactive protein

This is a marker of inflammation that is high for those who eat a carbohydrate-based diet and are low in vitamin D3 and omega3 fatty acids.  Most fat burners have a C-reactive protein level of no more than 1.0. Those who have become completely fat adapted will be under 0.5.  The typical American, over 5.0.

What are YOUR numbers?

Get this metabolic profile and find out!  Order before December 31st and you’ll receive a $25.00 holiday discount.  Just enter FatBurner25 during checkout.

Use your results to establish a metabolic baseline, then make a game-changing plan.  With some dietary guidance and targeted, nutritional support from Core 4 Nutrition, you can become a lean, mean, fat-burning machine!  You’ll enjoy more consistent energy, fewer swings in both mood and motivation, and a heightened sense of overall health and well-being.  In the long run, you’ll become leaner (without dieting or counting calories), stronger, and look years younger than your age!

Questions?  Don’t hesitate to contact me at

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