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The Pulse - February 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to our new team member, Michele SullivanMichele

Most of you have already met Michele, our newest team member but those of you who have not please let us tell you about her.
Michele graduated from the University Of North Dakota where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and her Masters of Science in Kinesiology-Sport Psychology degrees.  Michele grew up in Minnesota where she was a competitive figure skater.  After retiring from competitive skating, Michele spent several years as an ice skating instructor where she taught the fundamentals of figure skating and tailored training sessions to each individuals based on their personal needs.  What drives me to be a personal trainer is turning my passion for living a well-balanced life into a career and helping others improve their overall quality of life. Michele is looking forward to her new career as a personal trainer.

When she is not working she enjoys spending time with dog and hiking.  Michele also enjoys travelling, DIY projects and trying new recipes  off Pinterest.

Article – What Is Good Nutrition? Part Two

Revisiting from January, we will pick up part three in March.

For those of you who have been faithfully reading my articles you will recall that last month I started a series exploring some solid and evidence-based answers to the question, “What is good nutrition?” I provided five important criteria that all nutrition plans must meet.

  1. Good nutrition properly controls energy balance
  2. Good nutrition provides nutrient density
  3. Good nutrition achieves health, body composition, and performance goals
  4. Good nutrition is honest and outcome-based
  5. Good nutrition is sustainable for both us and the planet

I then went into some detail concerning criterion point number one. If you missed it I encourage you to go back and check out the article found in the December 2015 newsletter. Today I want to continue with this series by breaking down point number two, good nutrition provides nutrient density. Let’s get started.

Nutrient density is defined as the ratio of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc.) relative to the total calorie content in a food. Therefore a food with high nutrient density would contain a large amount of key nutrients (protein, iron, zinc, B vitamins, etc.) per 100 calories of food1. Check out the link to for a list of the 11 most nutrient dense foods on the planet2.

Also important to understand when learning about nutrient density and its relevance to good nutrition is another term, calorie density. Calorie density is defined as the ratio of calories (which are merely units of potential energy in food) to the actual weight of a food. Therefore a food with high calorie density would have a lot of calories per 100 grams of food while a food with low calorie density would have few calories per 100 grams of food. For example, foods with a lot of fiber and water tend to have lower calorie density. Foods which have less water or are higher in fat tend to be higher calorie density options1. It is important to note that just because a food has a high calorie density does not mean that we should avoid it. In fact many foods that have a high calorie density are actually very good for us to eat judiciously because they are also nutrient rich as well. Some examples include avocado, nuts and seeds, dark chocolate, dried fruits, and oily fish. What we do want to be sensitive to are the calorie dense foods that are also low nutrient dense foods. Some common examples include ready-made salad dressings, potato chips, cookies, processed meats, and fast and fried foods.

By now you probably have recognized that the best combination of nutrient and calorie density for improving health and promoting fat loss is a diet that is high in nutrient dense foods and low in calorie dense foods. Having such a diet provides a number of benefits.

For one, it is much easier to control your calorie intake when you opt for a diet that leans toward nutrient dense and less calorie dense options. I’ll give you the example of my delicious salad from the other night. It was loaded with vegetables such as spinach, beets, bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomato slices, and carrots and then complimented with a couple of sliced hardboiled eggs and some fresh chopped bacon bits. The dressing was balsamic vinaigrette. The nutrient density in this salad was huge, as was the bowl I ate it in. However the calorie density was so much less than say a Caesar salad with heavy dressing, croutons, parmesan cheese and a whole lot less color.

Another benefit of high nutrient density and low calorie density is satiation, the state of being satisfactorily full. As mentioned earlier in this article, foods that are more nutrient dense tend to be higher in both water and fiber content. Both of these elements communicate a feeling of fullness to our bodies. So inclusion of these types of options, like my salad again, leave us feeling satisfied for longer periods of time with less total calories coming in.

This brings us to another benefit of eating high nutrient dense and low calorie dense foods; you will find great difficulty in overeating. Take a walk back in time to Thanksgiving for a moment and you will remember, vividly for some, how quickly we can pack in a lot of food. Fat and sugar tend to guide this ability. Low calorie dense/high nutrient dense foods such as fresh vegetables, broth-based soups, and fresh fruits to name a few are very hard to overeat. In the rare instance that we decide to stuff ourselves with one of these types of foods, the dent on our waistline will still be next to nil because the water to calorie content is so disproportionate. For example 3 cups of kale is less than 100 calories. If you ate that much at one time, the water and fiber in it would make you feel like you ate 1000 calories!

A final highly valuable benefit of eating a diet high in nutrient dense foods and low in calorie dense foods is for the health of it. The vitamins and minerals naturally occurring in whole foods determine our quality of life. Immune function, sex hormones, heart health, brain function and every other aspect of happy living are directly linked to the concentration of vitamins and minerals we consume, or don’t, every single day. When we are chronically choosing higher calorie and less nutrient dense options over the latter we are literally speeding up the aging process of our different organ systems. You can dramatically reduce this from ever happening by loading up your plates each day with a variety of fruits and vegetables representing as many colors in the rainbow as you can get. Mind you, eating fruits and vegetables alone will not provide all of your daily vitamins and minerals. You will need some other foods such as beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and dairy, meat, and fish for all non-vegetarians. However simply increasing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables each day will dramatically improve your body’s available vitamin and mineral content.

I hope you found this second part helpful. I know that when I first started learning about healthy nutrition I was told so many different things. My hope in providing you this series is to get right to the core of what good nutrition is. And as we discussed, it is very important to understand what nutrient density is and why you want to pursue it for yourself. Next time I will dig further into point number three. Until then, enjoy some happy and healthy eating!

1 – Berardi, John, Dr., and Ryan Andrews, RD, CSCS. “What Is Go

od Nutrition?” The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition. Second ed. N.p.: Precision Nutrition, 2013. 9-17. Print.

2 – Gunnars, Kris, BSc. “The 11 Most Nutrient Dense Foods on the Planet.” RSS 20. Authority Nutrition, 05 Mar. 2014. Web. 03 Jan. 2016. <>.

Client Spotlight – Carl BrownCarl Brown

Say hello to this month’s client  spotlight, Carl Brown. He’s a      testimony to the statement, “it’s never too late to start exercising”.  Despite being an athlete growing up, the exercise bug never really got a hold of him until after he had to regroup from a year of treatment for cancer (radiation, chemo, surgery and then recuperation). The medications used to help his body overcome his cancer left him muscle-wasted, less coordinated and quite unstable. In addition his ticker was not in the best of shape and unfortunately did not fare any better during his year of battling cancer because his doctors kept changing his medications for his heart and general health leaving him concerned about trying any form of exercise for fear of something happening to him.

We first met Carl in November of 2011 after both his wife, Barbara Brown, and his doctor, Tom Griffin, insisted that he should try some training at BodyBasics.  He did and he still does. But it was a rocky road to start.  In 2013, Carl’s life took an unexpected turn yet again when he suffered an episode of cardiac arrest. Fortunately he came out okay but the medications he had to take caused complications that required him to forego BodyBasics for a time and instead attend cardiac rehab at another facility. He did not care for the trainers at the facility, considering the style of the place to be more about babysitting than encouragement and real coaching like he had come to expect at BodyBasics. He resumed his training with us as soon as he could.

Most recently Carl has made some real strides, literally. It started first when he decided to include a third day to his week with us switching from one 60 minute session and one 30 minute session to three 30 minute sessions. The increased consistency has really provided a jolt to his mindset both inside the studio and outside. Although he still deals with chronic pain from arthritic joints, his increased consistency, and trusty FitBit, are helping him to lose weight, increase his mobility and stability (no falls!) and ease the severity of his ever present aches and pains. Plus, he’s walking further and faster than he has in quite some time!

In his words: “At BodyBasics I feel like I am being encouraged to improve and the program I am on is really improving my quality of life. Many times I come in with aches and pains but by the time I leave from a session I feel like I am moving better and ready to take on the world.”

Welcome New and Returning Clients

The greatest compliment we can receive is a referral from one of our clients or allied health network!Barbro referral board

Andrea Aamodt welcome back!

Alice Aviles found us on our website.

Ken Baker referred by his wife Judy who was referred by Barbro Huth (who was referred by Lynne Weissberger)

Joe Brennan referred by his brother-in-law Jim Mostyn

David Brown referred by his wife Pat.

Heidi Canfield referred by ProActive

Lissa Hastings

Diane Kish referred by Leslie Dawdry, PT at OV Outpatient Therapy

Bob Plonsky found us on our website.

Judy Reeve referred by Barbro Huth

Marilyn Robinson referred by her husband David Green

Susan Wallace referred by Diana Wingfeld at OV Outpatient Therapy

“Shout Outs”

Shout outs are about us voicing victories we witness you all having at BodyBasics. What you don’t know is that we start every Wednesday staff meeting with our shout outs. After doing this for quite some time and realizing how many incredible experiences are being shared, We thought it would be excellent to position a place within our newsletter to share also with all of you. We’ll keep it to our top 5 each month.Foundations

Marcia Halligan – For achieving a full squat row to BOSU and back up by herself and 3 sets of 50lbs. on her Romanian Deadlifts!

Shelley Phipps – For kicking up her cardio workout by adjusting to 40/20!

Marge Furash – for her ongoing leadership and support of fellow classmates in the 7 a.m. group!

The Entire Foundations Group –  for their commitment to improving their quality of life in the “greater later years!”

Marny Wellman – for continuing to log massive steps each week and adding more exercises to her “can do” list!

Recipe – Amazing Green Acai Bowl

There are many food trends out there that are unwarranted, but when it comes to acai bowls, which feature the acai berry from Brazil — the buzz is 100 percent deserved.  The acai berry has many health benefits including improving heart  & skin health, helping in digestion, boosting immune system and increasing energy.  A fun way to include this amazing fruit into your diet is through acai bowls.  What is an acai bowl?  It’s basically a really thick smoothie topped with healthy items like bananas,  coconut, nuts, seeds, granola and berries.  Try this green acai bowl which also gives you a serving a vegies!acai bowl


2 100 gram packs of frozen acai (can be found in any frozen food section)  I buy mine at Fry’s or Whole Foods

1/2 cup fresh spinach

1/2 cup fresh kale

1/4 avocado

3/4 cup almond milk

2 tsp hemp seeds

1/3 medium banana

1/4 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup hemp granola


In a blender, blend the acai, spinach, kale, avocado and milk.

Top with the seeds, banana, blueberries and granola.

Serves One 16 oz bowl.

Nutritional Info:

Calories: 520

Fat 21g, Sodium 232mg, Carbohydrate 73g, Fiber 15g, Sugars 33g, Protein 11g


Video – Knee Friendly Squatting Tip

Team BodyBasics

Chris, Kris, Mike, Myrya, Michele

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