Monday, May 23, 2016

New! Food Labels and Foodtrainers' must-have item for summer

via CNN
Have you heard? There’s a new Nutrition Facts label but this newness will not be implemented until 2018. FLOTUS announced the changes in Washington on Friday. The labels have the sugar people (how do they sleep at night?) freaking. You see, there’s a new listing for added sugar and a % of daily value. So, using Coke as an example, label would read: 65 grams of added sugar and 130% the amount of sugar you should have in a day.  The Sugar Association/ other sugar bad guys are saying added sugar is not different than naturally occurring sugar. Are they missing the point? We cannot control how much fructose is in an apple (well that’s another story) but apples aren’t this country’s problem.

Personally, I’m not thrilled with grams of sugar. Most people cannot identify with grams; teaspoons would’ve been better. Instead of 65 grams, how about listing over 16 teaspoons in that Coke? And daily values are based on 50 grams a day (12.5 teaspoons) still seems like a lot. While we know Coke is sweet, hopefully this provides incentive for companies to pull sugar from places it doesn’t have to be (salad dressing, bread, tomato sauce etc).
Aside from sugar, serving sizes on new labels will also be different. I have mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, it’s good for people to see that nutrition information for 2/3 cup of ice cream; nobody eats the ½ cup serving previously used. However, it’s a slippery slope if we designate serving sizes based on what Americans eat (a pint). Another positive change is that manufacturers will have to list amounts of Vitamin D, as most Americans do not get enough D.

In other news, we have summer on our minds. Have you seen our new tote bags?
In case you think we’re being hypocritical, 1 glass (3.5oz) of rosè comes in at a little over 1 g (1/4 teaspoon) of sugar. We like a small pour but even if you’re saying that serving size needs adjusting it’s still not high in sugar. Another fun fact, cheaper wine has more RS (residual sugar). Look, it’s not a health food but summer weekends? EAT PLAY ROSÈ.
What do you think of new food labels? Or what about our bags? Let us know.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Don’t believe the Garcinia Cambogia Hype

We’ve covered the weight loss supplement Garcinia Cambogia before but its popularity has only soared despite receiving a “step away” in our Yay? Or Step Away (YOSA) criteria. I spoke with CBS about garcinia. I had to beg the reporter not to purchase the supplement before our interview. She had been “testimonialed” by all the online hype.

So, what the hell is this thing with the weird name?
Garcinia Cambogia is a weight loss supplement derived from the rind of a tropical fruit; in terms of Google searches it’s the most popular weight loss supplement in the world.
How does it work OR how do supplement companies say it works?
The rind of the fruit contains something called HCA (hydroxycitric acid) which allegedly decreases appetite and fat storage.
Sounds good right? Well not exactly
I have a few concerns:
 First, there are many garcnia “cocktails” on shelves (this is not the good kind of cocktail) where garcinia is mixed with other questionable ingredients. Second,it’s a mixed bag when it comes to results from research. Some studies show impressive weight loss while many others so no effect On average garcinia provides is 2 pounds more weight loss than a placebo if that.
OK so it may not work but is it dangerous?
Dizziness is a very common side effect. Anyone thinking of taking this supplement should know it caused testicular atrophy in mice.
Is it tested by FDA?
Unlike meds, the FDA doesn’t regulate supplement dosages, an independent company that tests the quality and safety of health products, examined 11 of the most popular garcinia cambogia supplements. More than half of brands contained far less hydroxycitric acid (HCA)—the plant’s alleged weight-loss component—than was listed on the bottle. In fact, one garcinia cambogia supplement contained just 16% of its advertised HCA. 
I wouldn’t recommend it and especially not for pregnant women or women trying to get pregnant (or men who would like to keep their testicles as they are.
 Have you heard of garcinia cambogia? Do you know anyone who takes it? Have they checked their  you-know-whats lately?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Want to feel great for summer? I do.

Today kicks off the second session of our Pre-Summer Squeeze program. As I was reviewing our participant’s information forms, I scrolled through Instagram. One of my favorite healthy sites posted a quote with commentary “your body is perfect just the way it is.” And I thought, no it isn’t. That doesn’t mean my days are filled with self loathing or that I don’t appreciate that my body will take me on a run after I write this. It just means I can relate to our Squeezers saying they feel “ready to make changes” or “not on my game” or even “bloated”. My issue with this “your body is perfect” messaging is that, for me, it does the opposite of what I believe the intention is. It makes me feel I have to defend the desire to tweak things. And along with ditching a few items for the Squeeze, I look forward to feeling accomplished, focused and more confident along with my Squeezers. 

For some Monday Inspo
Did you catch Sheryl Sandberg’s commencement address to UC Berkely?
It’s worth a watch; I especially liked “not everything that happens to you is about you.” 
We don’t have to personalize everything and blame ourselves.

 And as only Amy Schumer can do, here’s a clip of her poking fun at sizing and the whole shopping experience.
Cheers to Monday! Have you had your Fire Cider yet?

What do you think of “your body is perfect” type messaging? Any other commencement addresses you enjoyed?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Please read if you’re contemplating a “teatox"

 I try to be in the know when it comes to nutrition trends and I’ll freely admit I had no idea “teatoxing” was such a thing. Snobessentials (love that name) asked me to weigh in on this trend.

So, what is a teatox?
Teatoxes are generally teas sold in sets with both a daytime and a nighttime tea.
The names of these products are pretty amusing: Showgirl Slim, Skinny Bunny, Naked me, Strip Teas (above). The daytime teas tend to contain some sort of upper and debloating spices. In the night version there’s a laxative ingredient and usually something sleep inducing.  On some websites, it was difficult to locate the ingredients. If ingredients are hard to find it’s never a good sign

Is teatoxing healthy?
Tea is healthy and teas are a big part of our programs at Foodtrainers. What is questionable is the notion that tea alone will result in your body looking like the bikini-clad (if that) women on the teatox websites. There are also a few ingredients in these teas that are no-nos even if they are in the same teabag as delicious decoys (ginger, cinnamon, gojis etc.).

Does tea in general assist in weight loss / detoxing? If so, which kind(s)?
There are certain teas I refer to as “metaboteas”. Actual research (gasp) has shown that teas such as green, matcha (a powdered green) and puEhr can provide a slight metabolic boost. 

Which ingredients are risky?
Let’s break it down into tea categories:
Uppers- green is great but I wouldn’t go guarana too often.
Debloaters/laxative- dandelion, fennel and ginger are safe and effective but senna (a laxative component) isn’t only habit forming, it’s dangerous when used regularly and the dangers extend well beyond diarrhea (I’m talking liver, kidney, intestinal function). 
Downers- many of the night teas are where the laxatives lie. I’m not sure I’d suggest sleep-inducing herbs such as valerian combined with poop-inducing products. If there is going to be any digestive drama, I’d prefer to wake up for it.

So, I’d skip any teas with senna. I totally get the desire to lose weight, debloat, and “go” but we can’t play regime-related roulette and risk our health. Go for the highest quality teas you can find. I love Panatea matcha, Bellocq for green and puEhr and Wakaya ginger tea.
Have you heard of teatoxing? Been tempted to try it? What’s your favorite tea to drink?
Any "burning" tea or weight loss questions? Email me at

Sunday, May 8, 2016

How about a post-weekend metabolism boost? Giveaway too!

Expo West is the capstone of natural food shows. Carolyn and I love a challenge and decided we could cover this massive event in one day. Before every one of these expos we make a pact not to oversample. Let’s just say that at 9am, when Carolyn found me, I had gluten free pizza in one hand and bone broth in the other. The treat train had left the station and mild reflux was already setting in. But how can I know whether to recommend something without tasting it?

By midafternoon we had reached our threshold. At this point, we’d jerkey-ed, dark chocolated, posed for the embarrassing photo du jour and walked over 10 miles (20K steps). 
A booth with props? We're always  in.
We just wanted to be finished. It’s mile 25 of the marathon and the high five supply is exhausted. As we entered an area with newer products, we saw the Fire Cider booth. We know and love the original Fire Cider but as we shuffled by the booth we heard the word unsweetened. Original Fire Cider is sweetened and so not a member of our innermost food circle. Unsweetened? Carolyn and I turned and took a shot. Wow.

If you’re among the uninitiated, Fire Cider is amped up ACV (apple cider vinegar).
There’s ginger, turmeric, habaneros, lemons, here are the ingredients:

It’s good for weight loss and blood sugar; it’s anti-inflammatory and a metabolism booster. And you’ll decide for yourself whether I’m right about this but when I have it I feel a little buzzed (not so bad). I have it first thing in the morning. With ACV I put a Tbsp. in water but with Fire Cider I go straight up. Start with 1 Tbsp., our friend Heather at Fire Cider has it three times a day but we’re still building up our tolerance. In the mean time, try this “secret weapon” shot and let us know what you think.Cheers!
Firecider is giving away 1 bottle of their sensational stuff to 1 of our readers. To be eligible, comment below and tell us why you want to try fire cider AND tweet Need a boost? @Foodtrainers has a @firecider giveaway? OK? Must enter by Friday the 13th.