Remember the FAT FREE hype? – Would you believe that was a government conspiracy theory to propel SUGAR industry profits $$$$

If you remove the fat you have to replace it with something else to give it flavor … how bout SUGAR …  this would then drive “America’s per capita sugar consumption up by a third. “ if not more and support the sugar industry.

sugarmountainpicJust after I posted last week’s blog my friend and colleague Lewis sent me this. I’m posting it for you in its entirety because I feel it’s worth the read and think you should know.

50 Years Ago, Sugar Industry Quietly Paid Scientists To Point Blame At Fat: NPR

In the 1960s, the sugar industry funded research that downplayed the risks of sugar and highlighted the hazards of fat, according to a newly published article in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The article draws on internal documents to show that an industry group called the Sugar Research Foundation wanted to “refute” concerns about sugar’s role in heart disease. The SRF then sponsored research by Harvard scientists that did just that. The result was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1967, with no disclosure of the sugar industry funding.

The sugar-funded research was a literature review, examining a variety of studies and experiments. It was delayed, according to the newly uncovered documents, because more and more studies raising concerns about sugar were being published even as the scientists were working on their rebuttals.

The authors of the new study say that for the past five decades, the sugar industry has been attempting to influence the scientific debate over the relative risks of sugar and fat.

“It was a very smart thing the sugar industry did, because review papers, especially if you get them published in a very prominent journal, tend to shape the overall scientific discussion,” article co-author Stanton Glantz told the New York Times.

The SRF was clear that its “particular interest” was in evaluating studies of sugar. And it was certainly happy with the result: “Let me assure you this is quite what we had in mind and we look forward to its appearance in print,” John Hickson, SRF vice president and director of research, told one of the scientists.

The scientists had raised concerns about the validity of research that suggested sugar could play a role in coronary heart disease, concluded that reducing fat consumption was undoubtedly the best way to reduce coronary heart disease.

“It is always appropriate to question the validity of individual studies,” lead author Cristin Kearns told Bloomberg via email. But, she says, “the authors applied a different standard” to different studies — looking very critically at research that implicated sugar, and ignoring problems with studies that found dangers in fat.

The documents in question are five decades old, but the larger issue is of the moment, as Marion Nestle notes in a commentary in the same issue of JAMA Internal Medicine:

“This 50-year-old incident may seem like ancient history, but it is quite relevant, not least because it answers some questions germane to our current era. Is it really true that food companies deliberately set out to manipulate research in their favor? Yes, it is, and the practice continues. In 2015, the New York Times obtained emails revealing Coca-Cola’s cozy relationships with sponsored researchers who were conducting studies aimed at minimizing the effects of sugary drinks on obesity. Even more recently, the Associated Press obtained emails showing how a candy trade association funded and influenced studies to show that children who eat sweets have healthier body weights than those who do not.”

Here is the article in it’s entirety:

Keep this in mind when reading your food labels:

4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon

No es Bueno : (

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Sugar by Any Other Name Is STILL Sugar – BEWARE

Spotting Sugar when it’s masked by other names on Nutrition labels can be somewhat tricky if you don’t know what you are looking for.

sugar lips






Below is a quick guide of sugar nicknames to look out for:

    • Agave nectar
    • Evaporated cane juice
    • Malt syrup
    • Brown sugar
    • Fructose
    • Maple syrup
    • Cane crystals
    • Fruit juice concentrates
    • Molasses
    • Cane sugar
    • Glucose
    • Raw sugar
    • Corn sweetener
    • High-fructose corn syrup
    • Sucrose
    • Sorbitol
    • Xylotol
    • Corn syrup
    • HoneySyrup
    • Crystalline fructose
    • Invert sugar
    • Dextrose
    • Maltose

Beware of the hidden sugars lurking in food labels.

GO for Life! ™jefitthumb2

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

VII:The Importance of Muscle Balancing and The Correlation Between Mind, Body and Spirit

sarong saluteI could talk about the importance of skeletal alignment, improved posture and improved proprioception but instead I’m going to go off the beaten path and refer to the correlation between mind, body and spirit, and how the physical manifests the spirit and what the spirit needs will manifest physically. Into the esoteric I go…

While I’ve been trying to balance my muscles to work symmetrically, it seems my life mirrors just that.  Things have been a bit off balance since my surgery as well. It should be no surprise when you come to realize how the physical reflects the spirit. In our lives we fall into patterns and routines, and during my recovery, hard as I try I can’t seem to keep my routine while trying to restore balance and stability into my body and my life.

There seems to be no routine and maybe that is because what I’m going through is not part of my routine or will never be and I’m just passing through.

Some days are easier than others and some just don’t make sense at all. I’m getting through it though :)

Sometimes things have a flow and then for no reason at all everything seems all over the place.  At times I feel like I’m going nowhere, other times I feel like a turtle moving ever so slowly and sometimes I don’t know where this going at all. I try to listen to the messages the universe is sending me and continue on the healing path.  It’s amazing the things you can discover here. Just the change in perspective from my pre-surgical days has led me here. My routine has changed the things I see and the way I see them, the things I do, the people I meet and the places I go.  I remind myself that like Tai Chi,  take one step at a time, take it slow, remember to breathe, where you are is where you are and therein you are in the flow…

You will be guided by your recovery.   Listen closely…As strength is restored, balance is recovered and life is uncovered.



GO for Life! ™lotus pic

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

On the Road to Recovery V- Nutrition- Maintaining your Weight on a Lengthy Recovery Trail is Tricky

Maintaining your weight and form can be tricky when the recovery is long.  On the trail 10 weeks and counting …

Your first instinct is to reduce your calories but spending too much time in this zone will quickly slow down your metabolism.

At first you can maintain and even shed a few pounds on the scale but once the muscles atrophy you lose that lean muscle that keeps your metabolism faster.  As your metabolism slows down and you reduce your caloric intake this will add a second insult to your metabolism.  Every one is different and what it will take to maintain your system is different. Also, too many calories will easily put weight on,  and a reduction in exercise will also put your system out of wack.

Here’s the other side…

You must remember the body is healing and it requires energy to heel so restricting your complex carbohydrates or even your calories too drastically will rob your body of nutrients and  a much needed energy nutrient source, carbohydrates.

The best that you can do, is keep your protein intake high, the amino acids will work to help repair the body and maintain lean muscle as best you can. Watch your sugar and alcohol intake, eat clean complex carbohydrate sources but keep them at a minimal and to daylight hours.

It took me a little bit to figure out what I could get away with…As I soon found out, not much : (. I must have put on at least 5 lbs.  Really it’s not even about the pounds as much as the change in overall body composition, strength and balance. Lack of activity combined with loss of lean muscle mass.. Yuck !!!! This will take some work and yes hopefully all the work I’m doing throughout will help me get back in shape a lot faster.

So I’m counting on the lifetime of training, muscle memory and hard work to bring me back.

The journey is long, help keep the recovery strong…


GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

What is the ONE thing You Can’t Live Without?

jefitthumb2If you guessed WATER you are correct!

We can survive days without food but only 3 days without water – MAX

Water is critical to survival!

How much water is enough?

As a general rule, measure your fluid intake by your fluid output…your frequency of urination.  If well hydrated once every 1 ½ to 2 hours.

On average 64 to 80 ounces (8-10 glasses)  YEP!

This is the minimum.  If you’re active or an athlete you will need more.

The amount of water you need will vary based on your initial level of hydration, the climate and the duration and intensity of exercise.

If you say “you’re thirsty” it’s too late.  The body’s thirst response takes longer to tell your body it needs water, so it’s best to drink plenty of water before you have say it…

Be water, my friends…

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Water – Alkaline vs. Acidic still a debate…

alkaline waterProponents say that alkalized water can boost your metabolism, reduce acid in your bloodstream, and help your body absorb nutrients more quickly, among other benefits.

Alkalinity is also potentially a problem because it is antibacterial, so it could potentially disrupt the balance of your body’s beneficial bacteria.

If you drink alkaline water ALL the time, you’re going to raise the alkalinity of your stomach, which will buffer your stomach’s acidity and impair your ability to digest food, as low stomach acid is one of the most common causes of ulcers. This can open the door for parasites in your small intestine, and your protein digestion may suffer. It also means you’ll get less minerals and nutrients over time.

Where the debate really takes on is the battle over cancer cells being vulnerable to acidity as opposed to alkalinity. In some cases Acid has been shown to fight cancer causing cells without harming normal ones.

According to Dr. Mercola, Ideally, the pH of your water should be somewhere between 6 and 8. And some of the most healthful waters in the world – that which emerge from mountain springs – are actually acidic in the range of 6.5.

There are many home ionizer alkaline water systems available on the market today.  The Kangen water system can run between $2000-$4000.

A basic more affordable system like the one photographed above can run about $300.

If you’re interested in a system like the one I have hit me up and I will connect you.

What I do is mix up. I don’t strictly use alkaline water. I keep spring water in the mix and I test with pH strips.

You’ll have to test out the waters to figure it out.

The key then is finding YOUR balance.

GO for Life! ™jefitthumb2

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

How you are self-sabatoging your nutrition

jefitthumb2I see this everyday…

Trying to save on calories so you either eat the protein by itself or just the carbs for breakfast.  Guys, this is the wrong meal to be playing such games with.

First and foremost, Breakfast is called breakfast for that very reason.  It breaks the fast from the night before.  The sooner you put food into your system the sooner your metabolism starts working.

Next, and most importantly…

Adding protein to a carbohydrate meal lowers the glycemic index of the carbohydrate ingested along with it. This means a longer, slower release of sugar into the bloodstream and delays the onset of fatigue & hunger.

Ultimately what you are doing is setting yourself up for sabotage and your going off and eating things that you shouldn’t be eating just to satisfy your hunger.

This does not work.

What happens when you just eat protein?

You get hungry sooner because you don’t have any carbs to hold you til the next meal.

What happens when you just eat carbs?

You get hungry sooner because you don’t have any protein to slow down the ingestion of the carbs to hold you til your next meal.  And/or your blood sugar levels spike and then you crash!

Either way this way of thinking will set you up for failure. : (

Instead start saving your calories from things you should not be eating ! : /

Stick to the plan and eat your eggs & oatmeal together or whatever protein & carb you have selected for breakfast.

The time of day to eat carbs is at breakfast and either 2 hours before your workout session or your post workout recovery meal.  This is when your body will use them instead of storing fat.

Don’t skip meals and for crying out loud don’t skip breakfast!

p.s. NO complex carbs at night…unless you’re running a marathon the next day and you are carb loading.

That’s it..done. : )

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Nutrient Dense vs. Nutrient Poor ( part IV)

joycethumbNo doubt calories give you energy, but the wrong foods can be nothing but empty calories that end up in the wrong places.

Nutrient density gives you the most nutrients for the least amount of calories. Simply put, the ratio of nutrients to calories.

Nutrient-dense foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants – and are low in calories.

For the best guideline refer to the “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index”.  ANDI is a scoring system that rates foods on scale from 1 to 1000 based on nutrient content.

The higher the score, the more nutrient-dense and healthy the food.

Just to give you an idea Kale & Swiss Chard top the chart with 1000 points.
Spinach 707
Cauliflower 315
Basil 518
Blackberries 171
Apples 53
Salmon 34
Ground beef (85%) lean  21
Cola  1 measley point – why bother :(

No foods are more nutrient dense than whole, organically-grown foods. The reason is simple: nothing is contained in a fresh, whole organic food that doesn’t need to be there.

Energy dense & nutrient poor aka junk food = empty calories

The secret is …eat the greatest quantity of the foods with the highest micronutrient scores, and lesser amounts of foods with lower scores.

It seems the Veggies would give you the most power for your punch!

So you can see, it’s not just about calories but what’s in those calories that makes the difference.

Are you getting the whole picture yet?

Stay tuned for another tip …

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Flax Seeds

flax seedsLike Chia Seeds, Flax seeds are also high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids

Flax seeds are also high in fiber both soluble and insoluble.

And Lignans which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities

Lignans may help protect against cancer by blocking enzymes that are involved in hormone metabolism and interfering with the growth and spread of tumor cells.lignans alter the way your body metabolizes estrogens into safer forms.

Unlike chia seeds, flax seeds have to be ground to absorb the benefits .

Adding it to cooked oatmeal, pancake batter, muffin batter or yogurt adds a nice nutty flavor

And adds 1.8 g plant omega-3s  &  8g fiber per tablespoon

GO for Life! ™ joycethumb

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Steel Cut vs. Instant Oatmeal

oatmeal canBoth are good sources of cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber.

Instant oats are the most heavily processed.  The groats have been chopped fine, flattened, pre-cooked & dehydrated before being packaged.  This makes them cook faster & digest faster, making you feel hungry sooner.

Steel-cut oats are the whole oat groat which have been cut into pieces.  Because they are less processed they take more time to digest keeping your blood sugar levels stable and keeping you feeling full twice as long as instant oats.

When it comes to blood sugar lower and slower is generally better.

Winner : Steel-cut oats

Pair oatmeal with egg whites and you’ll have the Breakfast of Championsjefitthumb2

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer