Changing the way we preceive the word Diet

Unfortunately, the word diet has such a negative connotation in our society.  I remember as a child hearing my mother and grandmother lament over the subject.  One day, they even found this 1990’s meme of a person standing looking miserable and it said, “The first three letters in diet are DIE.”  It is no wonder that we get cold feet when we are about to try a new “diet.”

However, Merrian-Webster define diet in the simplest terms as “food and drink regularly provided or consumed,” (1).  Their second definition is “habitual nourishment.”  We love that word, nourishment.  Our diet isn’t there to torture us.  Our diet is the food we consume to nourish our bodies.  It is the food we eat that gives us the energy to get through our day.

So, let’s stop looking at diet negatively, and take a look at it for what it really is.  Before eating anything today, examine what you are about to consume and question yourself…”will this bring me nourishment?  Will this give me energy?”  If the answer is no, perhaps there is something else you can eat instead.

Have Fun & Be Active!

Your friends from Build it for Life


Secret Kitchen Treat

A new favorite treat to keep around the kitchen for our founder, Rebecca, is OLIVES!


  1. Olives satisfy her salt cravings.
  2. They are super low in calories (about 5 calories per olive).
  3. They are a great “snack” when all we want to do is snack.
  4. Olives are also a staple in the Mediterranean Diet.

Have fun & Be Active!

Your friends from Build it for Life


Don’t be afraid of spices

Are you trying a new healthier diet and finding it boring?  How many times can you really enjoy chicken and broccoli?

TONS OF TIMES!  There are so many spices at our disposal that we can make healthy meals taste amazing every time.

Personally, I love sweet, so cinnamon is a big spice in my kitchen.  I can add it to plain greek yogurt, put it on top of an apple or banana, add it to granola, great time of the year to put it on cooked squash or pumpkin or even sprinkle it on top of brown rice.

Cayenne Pepper is also a great spice to have around.  Try putting a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper on your hard-boiled eggs or tunafish.  It’s a great way to give any drab vegetable dish a kick.

Cumin and turmeric also can really add to a vegetable dish.  Try caramelizing some onions and garlic in those two spices first, and then add in whatever other vegetable you have on hand.  Mmmmm.

Next time you are trying to saute some veggies, google different ways to cook them.  Recently, I started cooking my vegetables in sesame oil (just a tablespoon) instead of olive oil.  It adds just a tint of something different.  Most of my veggie dishes also have salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes too.

Happy Eating!

Have fun & Be Active!

Rebecca from Build it for Life

Why such a stress on Water!?

Water is so important for our bodies, but often, we aren’t drinking nearly enough.  The average client we see is lucky to drink about 5 cups of water a day, that’s three cups shy of the old “8 cups a day” rule we all grew up with.


Perhaps it would be helpful to know why we need to drink water..

Water, one of six nutrients the body needs, is the base for most of the chemical reactions that occur in the human body. So, let’s think of chemical reactions as in our body breaking down the nutrients we eat and turning those nutrients into the energy we need to get through the day.  If our body isn’t getting the adequate amount of water it needs to aid in the chemical reactions, is there a chance our metabolism isn’t working to its full potential!?  We think, yes, there is a chance!!

Water is also a nutrient that can easily showcase how optimal nutrition works. For instance, if someone does not consume enough water, they can become dehydrated. This is especially true in the heat and during exercise (1). As water is lost from the body, it must be replenished. Dehydration can cause short-term memory loss, effect visual-motor abilities, and impair working memory. As the level of dehydration increases, these symptoms get worse. Dehydration symptoms are most noticeable with a decrease in body weight by 2% or more (2). Have you ever been doing something and noticed you couldn’t remember what you were just doing, or just about to do?  Could that be the effect of perhaps a slight dehydration?  It is possible.

On a side note, too much water can also be a bad thing. If a person is over-hydrated, it is said that they have water intoxication. This can cause the cells in their body to swell. Water intoxication has some pretty serious side effects including convulsions, coma, and even death. Therefore, it is very important to have a nice balanced amount of water in the body. As water is lost, it needs to be replenished…but not over-replenished.

So, how much water should we drink??  We recommend 9 cups a day for a sedentary woman, and 11 cups for a sedentary man.  If you exercise that day, add 2 more cups for each hour you exercise.  Consume alcohol or caffeine?  Another 2 cups per cup of each of those.  That’s a lot of water, so get sipping.

Have Fun & Be Active,

Your friends from Build it for Life

  1. Cian, C., Barraud, P.A., Melin, B., & Raphel, C. (2001, Novemember). Effects of fluid ingestion on cognitive function after heat stress or exercise-induced dehydration. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 43 (3). Retrieved from
  2. Derrickson, B., & Tortora, G. J. “Fluid, Electrolyte, and Acid-Base Homeostasis.” Principles of Anatomy & Physiology. 13th John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012 P. 1112, 1115, 1116. Print.

Every time I work out, I’m STARVING!

“Help!  Every time I work out, I’m STARVING!”  We hear this comment all the time.  We work out hard, and then we defeat our success in the gym or outside, by overconsumption when we are done.  We have to stop this, or we will never get to our weight loss goals.


Being more hungry after starting a new workout routine is natural and normal.  Your body is burning more calories than it’s used to, and so it thinks it needs more to make up for that deficit.  So, what do we do??

Well, we don’t want to over-eat excess food that’s not good for us.  Instead, try filling your body with healthy fats and proteins.  Fat and protein take longer for the body to digest, so when we consume it, we can feel more full for longer.  Another way to battle the starving feeling is to eat every few hours throughout your day.  By constantly giving your body some nutrients, it shouldn’t ever get to that point of “starving.”  Eventually, your body will start to get used to the greater physical demand and the starving sensation will go away.

Have fun & be active!

Your friends from Build it for Life

Typical Food Consumption

Here is a typical day for our founder, Rebecca!

Breakfast: banana, homemade yogurt, 1/8 cup almonds, 1/8 cup granola

Snack (10:30 ish) : 100-150 calories worth of a chicken sausage, serving of raw veggies

Lunch: a bed of some type of green leafy vegetables with peanut butter Thai style chicken legs & thighs (4-6oz), 100 calories worth of a dark chocolate bar

Snack: Seaweed, freeze dried edamame, or a mixture of trail mix and pumpkin seeds

Dinner: Taco styled beef (95% lean) with black beans on top of a bed of some type of leafy green, two dark chocolate covered almonds

Snacky-pm treat: 2 cups of low sodium popcorn, 1 cup of white cheddar popcorn – both organic, occasionally, there may also be a peach or some type of fruit eaten now too

Have fun & be active!

Your friends from Build it for Life

Why should I eat almonds for Breakfast?

FullSizeRenderMmmm, nothing say breakfast to me like some yogurt, a banana, and almonds.  Almonds, being a nut, tend to get a bad reputation from time to time because they are high in calories (1).  In fact, one full cup of almonds is roughly around 817 calories!  However, we would never want to eat that many at once.  A serving of almonds is around 170-204 calories which makes them a great addition to breakfast. Almonds are chalk full of healthy proteins, about grams per serving, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals.  Therefore, when we eat almonds, are bodies utilize every bit of them…there are no empty calories in an almond.  Almonds are particular high in these minerals, copper, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous, and iron.    In addition to other vitamins, almonds contain large amounts of vitamin E, and some of the B vitamins (Riboflavin, Niacin, and Thiamin).  So, if you haven’t had your breakfast yet, try sprinkling a few almonds into the mix (anywhere from an eighth of a cup to a fourth of a cup).

Have fun & Be Active!

Rebecca from Build it for Life

10 Go-to Easy, Healthy Snacks Under 250 calories

  1. Apple and 2 tablespoons of almond butter….it’s so delicious, especially with a little cinnamon on top!
  2. Chicken Sausage.  Easy to cook ahead of time, and pretty yummy cold.
  3. Two hard boiled eggs with a little cayenne pepper and salt
  4. Larabars, or any other protein bar where you can read the ingredients on the back of the label
  5. Greek Yogurt
  6. Organic cold cuts wrapped around some grapes or leafy greens
  7. 1/4 cup of trail mix
  8. low sodium beef (or other meat) jerky
  9. Raw veggies and humus
  10. and if ¥ou are snacking just to snack, popcorn.  It’s low in calories and oh, so good!

Have fun & Be Active!

Rebecca from Build it for Life

Healthy Habits

It is hard to start a new habit.  It is also very hard to break an old one.  However, it is VERY do-able!  Have you ever met someone who quit smoking?  Smoking is a very hard habit to break.  Ask them to entertain you with the details of their struggle.  It takes a lot of dedication, commitment, and mental strength.  The person also really has to want it.

The same can be said about starting a new habit.  I’m going to keep with the addiction analogy because a lot of healthy new habit involve breaking old habits.  Some of those old habits can be quite addictive….like the person who instinctually adds more salt to their already highly processed and salted food.  In the addiction world, 28 day facilities exist.  In these facilities – I’m basing this a bit from my psychology degree, the book A Million Little Pieces by James Frey, and also from Hollywood movies I have watched – , people are essentially cut off from society.  They have no access to whatever they were addicted to and they are in an environment that promotes change.

Our world is not like a 28 day facility at all.  However, I like the idea of 28 days.  You want to start a new habit?  Give yourself 28 days.  Set your world up to accommodate this new habit.

Let’s say that your new habit it drinking more water?

Before, you had tried drinking more water and consistently failed.  However, now you are giving yourself 28 days to start this new habit.  You are going to set up your world to accommodate this habit.

How?  Let’s get old school on it.

1.  Make a count down.  Number your calendar from the first day to the last.  July 1st is day 28…July 2nd is day 27….etc.etc.

2.  Litter your environment with reminders of WHY you want to drink more water.  Pictures in your cubicle of water glasses with a reason WHY such as “it will help me lose weight” or “my skin will look better.”  It’s only 28 days…who cares if your house and work environment make you look a little weird if it helps you get your habit accomplished.

3.  Get through the first day.  Once you have done one day of your new habit, you can always remind yourself of that.  If you have done it before, you can do it again.

4.  Allow for set backs, but don’t get off the horse!  That’s what the countdown is for!  By the time you get to “3 more days,” it should start to feel natural…like something you have always done.

5.  Talk about your new habit.  Tell everyone you know.  Shout about it.  Post it on Facebook.  Being open with everyone about your new habit will encourage people to randomly ask you about it.  It will also keep you accountable.  Ever been asked, “whats new?” and didn’t have one thing to say?  Now you do.

“What’s new?”

“I started a new habit recently.  Decided it was time for a change.”

BOOM!  The world of small talk has just reached a new level for you.  Perhaps you will even INSPIRE the person you were chatting with to change some of their old habits.

6.  Remember, you can do this.  People change everyday.  It is hard.  It is a struggle.  But it’s so worth it.  “be the change that you wish to see.” -Gandhi

Have fun & Be Active,

Rebecca from Build it for Life