Comments Off on The Elimination Diet: Shopping and Day 1

The Elimination Diet: Shopping and Day 1

Category : Healthy Eating

I’ve been chomping at the bit to start the elimination diet, so I started this morning.  Last night we had home made calzones which were terrific but also contained 3 of the foods that I’m testing for a sensitivity: Dairy, tomatoes, and wheat.   

So earlier this week I shopped for the elimination diet list of recommended foods and I have to say, it was pretty easy.  OK, finding the rice cereal was a bit difficult and I only located “Cream of Rice” next to the “Cream of Wheat”.  Actually now that I say it, “Cream of Rice” sounds like a pretty good swear word substitute;  Awww, CREAM OF RICE!!!  Ha!  I like it. 

Back to shopping, I picked up some blackberries, strawberries, and a bunch of pouches of Salmon and a few cans of tuna for lunches (I’m not cooking for lunch!).  I stocked up on frozen Salmon and Tilapia for dinners, two bags of baby spinach, a couple bags of raw unsalted almonds, and low sodium vegetable broth.  

The shopping list calls for Green Tea and I found a Green Tea with Mint.  That’s pretty exciting because I’ve never liked Green Tea but I love peppermint herb tea.  Guess what?  I still don’t like it.  The hint of mint made it a touch better, but it still tastes like grass.  Blech!  Oh well, I can get over the grassy taste as long as I get a little hit of caffeine.

Day 1:  I’m a little worried, because so far  this seems too easy.  I drank my green-grass tea this morning and made a serving of Cream of Rice which tastes exactly like Cream of Wheat.    I didn’t have any almonds right away and felt a little hungry only an hour after the Cream of Rice.  A couple handfuls of Almond and I was good throughout my early morning trainings.  Just for the record, I’m not trying to lose weight, so I’ll be doing what I always do: eat whatever it takes to keep from being hungry when I’m training clients or off doing stuff!

The hardest thing so far was not enjoying the huge spread of food and goodies at the Bay Nordic Youth end of year party.  I had some fruit (non-citrus) and waited until I got home to eat my Salmon and Spinach salad with strawberries.  Yum!  That was delicious and I was pretty proud of my use of the pouched Salmon… until I read the label and noticed that the broth used has Soy in it.  Dang!  I’ll have to figure that one out since soy is one of my target foods.

So that’s Day one in a nutshell.  Here’s my original post if you want to learn more about the elimination diet to establish your food sensitivities. -Ryan


Comments Off on I think I have a Food Sensitivity: Do You?

I think I have a Food Sensitivity: Do You?

Category : Healthy Eating

I think I may have a food sensitivity.  I’ve been getting increasingly fatigued in the afternoons to the point where if I take a nap, I have to force myself to get back up.  It’s not everyday, and I haven’t been able to figure out a pattern.  Could it be the food I eat?  Those who know me know my breakfast and lunch seldom change, and any food eaten too often could be the culprit.  Read on and I’ll tell you what I learned and the action I’m going to take.

Based on the Dr. Oz show that I recently watched, I learned that food sensitivities are a lot more prevalent than you would expect.  You may have one or more symptoms that appear and disappear sporadically and you would never suspect a food sensitivity as the cause.

Do you occasionally have headaches, fatigue, or experience weight gain? How about bloating, arthritis & joint pain, inflammation, diarrhea or constipation, addictive food cravings, mood swings, skin problems, ADD/ADHD, narcolepsy, & migraines?  Yikes!  And that is just a partial list of food sensitivity symptoms.

Let me point out that food sensitivities are NOT the same as a food allergy or intolerance.   A food allergy is where your body not only doesn’t recognize a food, but it actively creates anti-bodies to combat the foreign substance resulting in hives, breathing problems or worse.  A food intolerance such as lactose (dairy) intolerance is where your body cannot digest a food resulting in digestive issues such as diarrhea, bloating or cramps.  A food sensitivity is less immediate and usually less severe than allergies or intolerances, but the symptoms vary widely and may appear irregularly making it harder to establish the cause.

The good news is that if you have a food sensitivity, it’s not forever.  Once you identify it, you can remove it from your diet for 3 months and then re-introduce it to see if the symptoms return.

So, how do you know if you have a food sensitivity?  You eliminate the trouble foods and then add them back in slowly.  Here is your food sensitivity action plan.

  1. First, document the symptoms that you feel may be due to the foods you eat.
  2. Watch this episode of Dr. Oz with Dr. Mark Hyman for the details of the elimination diet.  It gives you all the details you need.  I’ve summarized the nuts & bolts of the diet below.
  3. Consult your doctor if you are unsure if you should try the elimination diet.
  4. Plan when you will start the diet and use Dr. Oz & Hyman’s elimination diet food list to shop for the necessary foods.
  5. Start the diet and follow it for 5 days!  During this time take special note of how you feel: more energy, better digestion etc…  Also note which symptoms disappeared.
  6. Continue the elimination diet but add one potentially sensitive food in any order (soy, citrus, dairy, eggs, corn, nightshades(tomatoes/eggplant), and Gluten/Wheat) at a time at each meal for two days and watch for symptoms to return.   One reference said to note both negative AND positive reactions to food additions as a sometimes a positive symptom like ‘more energy’ could be due to a stress response of the body. 
  7. Remove any foods that cause symptoms for 3 months and try to reintroduce the food to see if the symptoms return. 

That’s it.  It’s simple and straight forward and I’m going to do it starting March 3rd, 2014.  Are you?   Follow my progress via my facebook profile:  Email me at if you are joining me so we can share notes.



Comments Off on The only Brussel Sprouts I’ve ever enjoyed!

The only Brussel Sprouts I’ve ever enjoyed!

Category : Healthy Eating

We’ve been meaning to share this amazing recipe from Eben Erhard ever since he unexpectedly showed up on our door step one winter in December with a sample.  Truly the only Brussel Sprouts I’ve ever enjoyed.  If you don’t know Eben, he is the husband of our trainer Lori. 

Here’s a note from Eben:

“On a whim for Thanksgiving I decided that along with the standard boring side dishes, I should add something healthy to the menu and what’s not to love about Brussels sprouts?  Lots, according to some people I guess, but I was not to be deterred.  What I came up with seemed to be more than palatable.  I hope you will agree.

The lovely Brussels Sprout is a great fall vegetable and cool to grow even you are reluctant to eat it.  They take the cold temperatures of fall and store well making them a great late season food.  My initial sprouts came from the grocery store, but later I found some in their natural form at the Green Bay winter farmer’s market.”

Brussel Sprouts in their natural form

Brussel Sprouts in their natural form









Ingredients for Brussels Sprouts ala Eben:

1 – 2 cups of Brussels sprouts, halved or quartered depending on size.

1/3 T Coarse salt: Kosher Sea Salt

1T Olive oil

1 stalk celery

¼ cup chopped onions

1 small apple (or 3/4s of one if you are hungry)

¼ pepitas (pumpkin seeds – I used roasted with no salt)


Shake the Brussels sprouts in a sealed container with enough olive oil to coat and a scant ½ teaspoon of salt. 

Place on cookie sheet or other backing pan and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Brussel Sprouts ready for roasting






While the sprouts are roasting chop up the onion, celery and apples into ¼ to ½ inch pieces. 

Other key ingredients

Other key ingredients clockwise: pepitas, celery, onion, apple








After the sprouts have been in the oven for 15 minutes, caramelize the onions with some olive oil over medium high heat.  After about 1-2 minutes add the celery.  Cook until the onions have a nice translucent quality stirring often.  Add Brussels sprouts, apples and pepitas and cook for a minute or so until the chill is taken off the apples and you are ready to serve.

Brussel sprouts-the finished product







Nutrition Analysis:  Makes 3  servings.  175 calories/serving including 6g protein, 16g carbs, 10g fat, and 4 g of fiber.

Comments Off on Game Plan for December

Game Plan for December

Category : Active Living, Exercise, Healthy Eating

Of course you are busy! It’s the holiday season.  That is why you need to take a few minutes NOW to make Holiday resolutions. Why wait until January? What goals can you set to make the holidays healthier and happier? Here are some suggestions:

Write a specific exercise goal.

For example, “I will exercise ____ days per week for _____ minutes between now and December 31.”

Tight on time? Consider that exercising just 30 minutes twice a week can help you maintain your current fitness level. Another suggestion: 10 minutes on your home cardio equipment each morning is better than no minutes.  Just do it and you’ll feel better all day.

Tips on setting goals:

  • Write them down and post them somewhere you can review them on daily basis. Written goals are much more likely to be achieved.
  • Share your goals. Tell another person about your goals. Whether you enlist your spouse, your best friend or your personal trainer the support of another person will help you stick to it. If at all possible, find a friend who wants to set similar goals. This way you will have someone to hold you accountable.

Schedule your exercise sessions.

Writing an exercise goal is a great start, now get out your calendar. Instead of saying, “I’ll do it when I have time” schedule your workouts (date & time). Treat your workouts like you would an appointment with your dentist or hair stylist. In other words, don’t be late and always re-schedule missed appointments.

Keep a Journal.

This is where our Healthy Holiday Stars Program comes in!! Tracking both your exercise and food intake in writing can really help you stay focused. Exercise logs can help you see your progress and adhere to your plan. Once you get the momentum going you will not want to skip a day because you will want to record something in your journal. Food logs make you more mindful of what you are eating and how much. Studies show that keeping track of your eating in a journal is one of the keys to successful weight loss.

Set a daily quota for holiday treats.

For instance, “I will eat ONLY ONE holiday treat daily.” This gives you permission to have a little treat without feeling guilty. Feeling bad about yourself for eating something is no way to live. Instead, feel proud of the fact that you can eat just one! Completely abstaining from chocolate often makes cravings worse and can lead to a binge.

If you have a game plan for December you won’t feel as if you have to start all over again in January! Take time for YOU this holiday season!

Comments Off on Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Category : Healthy Eating

We declared Barb B. the princess of our pumpkin party for recommending this delicious and satisfying soup that turns out to be a celebrity weight loss secret.  Because this simple recipe makes a large quantity of soup, you can freeze servings to curb cravings anytime you need some comfort food without blowing your diet.  Our version differs from the original by using low fat coconut milk to maintain that guilty richness.

Butternut Squash Soup
In a large pot, saute until translucent:
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2T olive oil
Then add, bring to a boil and simmer 25-30 minutes until easy to pierce with a fork :
4 cups vegetable broth (canned or made from bullion)
1 large (2lb+) butternut squash, peeled and cubed in 1″ pieces
1 medium potato: any kind, cubed
2 large carrots, diced or sliced into 1/4 rounds
Remove from heat and add:
1 can low fat coconut milk
Next, puree  in batches using a regular or handheld immersion blender.  Then adjust the seasoning to your taste with salt & pepper, maybe even a dash of any one of the following: curry powder, garam masala, cinnamon or nutmeg.
110 calories per 1 cup servings (a bowl is likely a 2 cup serving)
4g fat, 16g carbohydrates,2g protein, 1g fiber, 340mg sodium


Comments Off on Wait! Don’t buy Halloween candy yet!

Wait! Don’t buy Halloween candy yet!

Category : Healthy Eating

Save your money, save your waist-line…

Karin and Jenny halloween  It’s the first week of October, so of course the stores are well-stocked with trick-or-treat candy, but does that mean you need         to stock your pantry?!? Probably not…be realistic, if you buy Halloween candy now will it actually be around on October 31st         when   the kids come knocking? I doubt it! Instead you or your spouse and/or your kids will have eaten it all up and you will           have to go buy more for the trick-or-treaters. 

  My advice, leave the candy in the store until just a few days before Halloween….otherwise, stepping on the        scale might get a little scary! 


Yours in Health & Fitness,

Karin Jennings
XO Fitness 

Comments Off on Fresh Corn Tomato Salad

Fresh Corn Tomato Salad

Category : Healthy Eating

This recipe uses  late summer produce (which we are still getting plenty of in September!!)Corn Tomato Salad including corn, tomatoes and basil. This a colorful and tasty side dish…perfect to bring as a “dish-to-pass” next time you head to a cookout! Thanks to Carla N. for the suggestion…we looked up “corn tomato recipes” online and started with a recipe, however, as usual Ryan did make some changes….hope you enjoy this!


3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 tsp.  salt (original recipe called for 2 tsp…that’s alot!)

Freshly black pepper

1/4 cup  olive oil

6 ears fresh corn, husked (about 4 cups corn kernels)

2 cups red or orange grape tomatoes, halved

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, chopped (Ryan actually added 2Tbsp. of pesto instead!)

Whisk the vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a steady stream, to make a smooth dressing.

Shear off the corn kernels with a sharp knife over a bowl. Toss in the tomatoes, scallions, and mozzarella. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. Cover and let set for 15 minutes or up to 2 hours. Before serving chop the basil and stir it into the salad.

 Nutrition Analysis per 1/2 cup serving:

fat 10 g; carbs 43 g; protein 9 g; fiber 1.6 g; sodium 271 mg




Comments Off on Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini Muffins

Category : Healthy Eating

Zuchinni muffins GFThe zucchinis are still in abundance, so here’s another delicious recipe using our favorite summer squash! Thanks to Gini M. for the recipe from her cookbook, “Grain-Free Gourmet” and introducing us to almond flour. Thanks to Jennifer for the zucchini AND thanks to Jasmine for grating the zucchini!!  Note that this is not a low calorie food but is gluten and grain free.

Makes one 8×4-inch loaf or 12 muffins


3 heaping cups grated zucchini photo (4)

4 1/2 cups almond flour

1 1/2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3 eggs

1/4 cup oil (we used canola oil)

6 Tbsp. honey

1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. cider vinegar

1 cup chocolate chips (optional…we added the chips; they were not in the original recipe)


1) pre-heat oven to 300 degrees

2) peel and grate zucchini. Place in middle of dish towel; gather sides and wring out as much liquid as you can. Set aside.

3) in  a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

4) in another bowl, combine the eggs, oil, honey, vanilla, cider vinegar. Then add the grated zucchini & chocolate chips (optional) to this mixture.

5) add the wet ingredients t0 the dry ingredients and stir until well-combined.

Zuchinni muffins GF 2

6) For muffins, evenly fill each baking cup with the batter. We like to use an ice cream scoop. Bake for 30 minutes & check (the cookbook called for 50 minutes which seemed like way too much time and I am glad I did not leave them in that long) They are done when the top springs back when lightly touched. For a loaf, scoop the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched.

Note about the nutrition facts:  Almond flour is a VERY dense food and is helpful for anyone avoiding grains or gluten.   When you eat one of these muffins you will very satisfied for a long time due in part to having 21% of your daily fiber (2000 calorie diet) and a high but healthy fat content.   Have we mentioned that fat doesn’t make you fat? It’s the removal of fat from carbohydrates that drives your hunger?  So with that little disclaimer, here’s your nutrition facts!

Serving size: 1/12th batch or 1 muffin

Calories: 381  Fat: 28g  Carbohydrates: 21g  Protein: 11g  Fiber: 5g  Sodium: 272mg



Comments Off on Friday Foodie: Zucchini Quiche on the Grill

Friday Foodie: Zucchini Quiche on the Grill

Category : Healthy Eating

So it turns out that real men not only eat quiche, they make it on the grill! The idea of baking things in my kitchen while the air conditioning is running is just unthinkable so Iphoto (4) resorted to using the grill as my oven and it worked reasonably well. Previously this summer I’ve baked lasagna and boiled a few dinners. It’s my summer kitchen.

This week’s Friday Foodie is Gini M. who introduced me to the recipe I adapted from Grain-Free Gourmet authors Jodi Bager and Jenny Lass. Thanks also to our business manager, Jennifer, who supplied the monster zucchini and Grandma Zuehlke from whom I inherited the 9×13 aluminum pan that is a prized possession in our kitchen. I doubled the quantities to make a 9×13″ pan to ensure leftovers for lunches.

This is not a ‘low calorie’ nor a ‘low fat’ recipe, however it is extremely satisfying and is a Low Carb Meal for our VEMMA carb-cycling clients .

Zucchini Crusted Quiche (makes 9×13″ pan, cut in half for a 9 or 10″ pie pan)
4 cups shredded zucchini patted dry

Zucchini Crust!

Zucchini Crust!

2 eggs
1 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese or Mozzarella cheese

8 eggs
2 cups plain yogurt ((I used 50/50 yogurt/cottage cheese)
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 10oz chopped frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese (I just used Mozzarella because I had it)
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese (I used 1 cup parmesan and 1 cup Mozzarella)

1. Preheat your oven to 350′ or turn all burners on your grill to low (obviously not an exact science, but since when has my cooking been scientific?)

Chopped Spinach

Chopped Spinach

2. Grate a Wisconsin-sized zucchini, then use a towel to squeeze all the excess water out of it to get about 4 cups of shredded Zucchini.
3. Mix shredded zucchini with 2 eggs and 1 cup Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese.
4. Press into a lightly greased 9×13″ pan and up the sides a bit to make the ‘crust’
5. Bake the crust for 20-30 minutes until cooked through and the edges are browned.

1. Make the batter: Mix together 8 eggs, 2 cups of plain yogurt, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon each of nutmeg, cayenne and black pepper.
2. Distribute the chopped spinach on top of the cooked zucchini crust.
3. Layer the cheeses on top.
4. Pour the batter on top.
5. Turn up the grill to medium high (oven to 450′) and bake for 10 minutes.
6. Reduce the grill to low (oven to 350′) and bake 20-30 minutes.
7. Remove from the grill/oven when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Zucchini Crusted Quiche

Zucchini Crusted Quiche

Nutrition (estimated)
Serving size 1/12 pan (3″x 4″ piece)
Calories: 322
Protein: 27g
Fat: 20g
Carbs: 10g
Sodium: 710mg (fairly high, try omitting salt to drop to 560mg/serving)



Category : Healthy Eating


Attend one of our SMART LOSS programs (10 am on June 8 or 22) OR schedule a one-on-one SMART LOSS session if Saturdays aren’t an option.

Register here…no obligation, just find out more!


Weigh-in & record your starting weight


Follow the eating plan:

  • Enjoy a Bode Shake for breakfast
  • Eat according to your plan for morning snack & lunch
  • Drink a Bode Burn as part of your afternoon snack
  • Eat a delicious dinner according to your plan
  • (Don’t worry, we’ll give you the plan and the recipes)

STEP FOUR: SUNDAY…Guilt-free day!

Weigh-in & record your weight

Eat the foods you love…it’s your guilt-free day!

Tell us how it went…we’ll be very excited to see how much weight you’ve lost!


What happens after the first week?

If you are satisfied with the results we’ll help you plan the next 4, 8 or 12 weeks!