Pro Fitness Network Newsletter: April News & Health Tips!

In case you missed it! The April Pro Fitness Newsletter is out! Health tips for spring renewal, studio specials, and some delicious and healthy spring meal ideas. Not subscribed? Join the mailing list here: SUBSCRIBE!

Screen Shot 2018-04-16 at 12.01.42 PM

read more

Brown Bag it: Healthy Packed Lunches!


Eat better – and save money too! Try these healthy lunch ideas from Cooking Light Magazine that you can make in 10 minutes and feel good about eating.

read more

June’s Newsletter is out!

Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 12.16.46 PMJune’s newsletter is out! With our full profile of Dior, our Viking of the month, hot weather fitness tips, and some easy summer recipes, you won’t want to miss it!

Read it here —> Pro Fitness Network June 2017 Newsletter

Not subscribed to our newsletter? Get monthly fitness and health tips, news from the studio, and more by signing up here —>

Sign Up Now

read more

The Importance Of Electrolytes


Electrolytes are essential to physical activity. During intense exercise they begin to shift in the body; dehydration is about electrolyte loss, not just water loss.

What are electrolytes?  They are minerals, which break into small, electrically-charged particles called ions when they dissolve in water. They regulate bodily fluids and are found in our blood and cells.

How much do they matter in physical performance?

They matter quite a bit.

Electrolytes are critical for any kind of performance. We should be just as concerned about replenishing them as we are with replacing any lost fluid. If we eat a balanced diet we’re probably consuming adequate quantities of electrolytes for normal human function.

But if we are working out….

The balance begins to shift, by increasing the concentration of electrolytes in the body and then, over time, depleting them. We can actually witness improvement in our immediate performance with replenishing our electrolytes when working out. Physical function may hang in the balance if electrolyte levels remain low after a workout.


Our bodies lose electrolytes through sweat, which can result in an imbalance. This may bring on symptoms such as; muscle cramps, fatigue, nausea, and mental confusion. If these levels stay low, it can effect our next workout and possibly cause longer term health issues.

 Key electrolytes:

  • Sodium and Chloride – help “excite” nerves and muscles
  • Calcium – aids muscle contraction
  • Magnesium – aids healthy cell function
  • Potassium – helps regulate pH balance
  • Phosphate – helps regulate pH balance

During workout sessions lasting at least an hour, the plan for electrolyte replacement will depend on the following:

  1. Keeping in mind, men tend to sweat more than women, so the amount of electrolyte replacement will depend on our size and how much we sweat. Do you sweat a lot when working out?
  2. Are you working out in warmer weather? (Excess water without electrolytes in heat, actually washes electrolytes out of the body, increasing the risk of dehydration.) Also–individuals who are salty sweaters, which is indicated by skin and clothing covered in salt residue during and/or after exercise, should eat a salty snack or drink a sports drink instead of water for pre-exercise hydration–especially in higher temperatures and humidity.
  3. The length of our workout. Endurance athletes would need the most fluid with electrolyte replacement, as we lose more water than some electrolytes when sweating (where we lose more sodium and chloride), so we need to be preemptive in replacing them before we hit the wall. How long do you work out? More than an hour?A general rule of thumb is to never begin a workout session thirsty or dehydrated. Start electrolyte replacement at the beginning of your workout.

How to best ingest electrolytes?

Besides looking at our diets and seeing foods, which contain the above key electrolytes, there are several quick and easy items we can grab to have with us during and after our workout.

  • Sports Drinks
  • Milk (chocolate milk is best)
  • Coconut water
  • Emergence C
  • Energy gels
  • Dill pickles
  • Tomato Juice
  • Table Salt
  • Bananas
  • Yogurt
  • Potato with skin
  • Greens
  • Mixed nuts
  • Baked potato chips
  • Pretzels

Electrolytes are important to our physical health, especially with an active lifestyle and warmer temperatures of summer coming up!

read more

What Does Clean Eating Mean to Dietitians?


Twelve experts share their takes.

By Melinda Johnson

As a college professor, I hear about diet trends fairly early and often. Many of my students love the idea of “eating clean,” but I find that most of them struggle to define what it actually means. Indeed, “clean eating” is a term that has no official definition, leaving it wide open for interpretation. Some of my colleagues dislike the term and avoid using it, because it implies that this way of eating is somehow more virtuous, or that some food is “dirty” (and therefore, bad). Dietitian Marsha Hudnall, who is president and co-owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run – a healthy weight loss retreat in Vermont – explains that her hesitation to use the term is because it ultimately sets a lot of people up for unrealistic expectations about eating. She finds that the term encourages an all-or-nothing kind of thinking about food, and sometimes even contributes to an overall fear of food, which stands in the way of being healthy.

Still, the idea of eating clean is a powerful one for many people, and some dietitians do embrace “clean eating” on their own terms. Here is how 12 different registered dietitians define it:

“Since there is no scientific consensus on the definition of clean eating, I define a clean eater as someone whose diet consists of 80 to 90 percent whole foods, 80 to 90 percent cooking and preparing their foods from scratch, using minimally-processed foods and including superfoods in their diets.” –Manuel Villacorte, MS, RD, author of “Whole Body Reboot: The Peruvian Superfoods Diet”

“Clean eating is about exploring and enjoying the amazing flavors our foods inherently offer. Authentic, traditional dishes with their signature flavors from herbs, spices and cooking techniques are a great example of clean eating that has been around for generations.” – Jennifer Ignacio, MS, RD, Nutrition Communications Manager for the Compass Group North America

“When I think of clean eating, I think of Sankofa. The African word and symbol Sankofa translates as ‘to go back and take.’ The symbol of a bird arching its neck to take an egg from its back symbolizes one taking from the past what is good and bringing it into the present. Clean eating aims to do just that, promoting positive progress in health by reaching back to a time when we ate more wholesome, minimally processed foods.” Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, author of The African American Guide to Living Well with Diabetes

“Clean eating = eating foods where nothing healthful has been taken away, and nothing harmful has been added.” – Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, author of “The Superfood Swap”

“Clean eating simply means eating with micronutrient and macronutrient goals in mind, with as much variety as possible, without restrictions. It’s not an extreme dieting technique; it’s a way of improving your eating habits so you are not over-consuming foods heavily processed and stripped of nutrients.” – Jim White, RD, ACSM Health Fitness Specialist, owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios, Virginia Beach

“Clean eating is when I can see all of the ingredients I am eating. For example, a lunch of grilled salmon over salad with lots of veggies as opposed to a bowl of processed macaroni and cheese where I can’t pronounce the ingredients on the label. Clean eating means the least processed fresh food that focuses on a rainbow of colors from fruits and vegetables, not from a cereal box.” – Jayne Newmark, MS, RDN, owner of Newmark Nutrition, LLC, Phoenix, Arizona

“It’s is my mantra, my go-to safety net. To me, clean eating means eating food I know will benefit my health, mind and body. It’s not all vegetables, whole grains, fruit and lean protein; sometimes it includes a small piece of chocolate or a glass of wine, when I have balanced it out with physical activity. It’s a state of mind and a way of life to remain as positive and as proactive as I can about my health as I approach … 60.” – Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, Author of “The Doctor’s Detox Diet: the Ultimate Weight Loss Prescription”

“For packaged foods, I consider a product to be ‘clean’ if I can look at the ingredient list and know I could have purchased all of the ingredients and made it myself in my own kitchen, but I didn’t have to because someone made it for me.”- Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD and author of “Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Real Food, Real Fast”

“Clean eating is focused on reading labels to make sure there are fewer ingredients; but the best clean foods come with only one ingredient – and many have no labels: leafy green vegetables, berries, citrus fruit, tomatoes, nuts, seeds, wheat berries, oats, lentils, chickpeas and more.” – Sharon Palmer, RDN, author of Plant-Powered for Life

“Maybe I’m old fashioned and fact oriented, but I think the most important definition of ‘clean eating’ should be for foods chosen and prepared to minimize the threat of food-borne illness. For example, wash fresh produce, clean cutting boards to avoid cross contamination and cook raw meats to proper internal temperature. That’s clean eating.” – Carolyn O’Neil, MS, RD and author of “The Slim Down South Cookbook”

“Clean eating is buying, preparing, cooking and enjoying food that is both nutritious and delicious. Balancing food groups and never restricting. Life is too short and food too delicious!” – Ximena Jimenez, MS, RD, consultant dietitian in Miami

“Clean eating is about power washing your diet, to strip away the clutter and enjoy the clean taste of a crispy apple, a juicy tomato or nutty brown rice.” – Leslie Bonci, MPH, RDN, Director of Sports Nutrition at UPMC Center for Sports Medicine

Originally published:

read more

Can We Drink Diet Soda and Not Gain Weight?





A recent study was written about in Time magazine, earlier this week. It stated that diet soda caused more belly fat. From the article:

“People who drank diet soda gained almost triple the abdominal fat over nine years as those who didn’t drink diet soda. The study analyzed data from 749 people ages 65 and older who were asked, every couple of years, how many cans of soda they drank a day, and how many of those sodas were diet or regular.”

According to Dr. Freedhoff, a doctor who is also an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa, Author of The Diet Fix and founder of Ottawa’s non-surgical Bariatric Medical Institute the study is flawed.

He states that linking diet soda consumption to weight gain and increased abdominal circumference was missing a few key controls in the study. He counters that the media and articles written about this study left out an important piece: the diet these people followed was not consistent, the only consistency was drinking the soda.

What does it mean?

Dr. Freedhoff explains how  these people could have gained weight by drinking diet soda, because, he estimates, they may also eat more high-calorie foods. Some of us think we can eat french fries or have something equally indulgent, as long as we have a diet soda. It could be that these people thought they were protected somehow from gaining weight, because the diet soda would cancel out those extra calories (since they are not indulging in full calorie soda).

Should we indulge?

There have been several studies conducted about the safety of the chemical ingredients in a diet soda. Some of them have been linked to the possibility of causing cancer, among other unpleasant affects. Many who drink diet soda find their cravings for sweeter foods also increases, which is not good for overall weight maintenance.

Prevention magazine claims there is an 11-year-long Harvard Medical School study of more than 3,000 women, researchers found that diet cola is associated with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline. Kidney function started declining when women drank more than two sodas a day. The study concluded it was ‘more than likely’ the artificial sweeteners, which were the issue.

Nothing has been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that drinking diet soda is bad for anyone, but if we are trying to take care of our mind, body and overall health in the most optimum way, there are far better beverage choices we can all make. Choosing water or other beverages, which have no additives or possible health risks should weigh into our decisions.

Here are some links below, which talk about the risk of artificial sweeteners and studies on how it may affect risk of diabetes in men.

  1. Artificial sweeteners and cancer. National Cancer Institute. .
  2. Use of nutritive and nonnutritive sweeteners. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2012;112:739.
  3. Nonnutritive sweeteners: Current use and health perspectives. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. Circulation. 2012;126:509.
  4. de Koning L, et al. Sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened beverage consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2011;93:1321.
  5. Common questions about diet and cancer. American Cancer Society.
  6. Water versus diet soda for best weight loss results.


read more