Avoid Carbs and Insulin Before Bed

SWEETFRIES5964Carbs are a poor choice as a pre-bed meal. Complex carbohydrates that is.

The reason:  Consuming carbohydrates will result in a significant insulin release. This will  put the breaks on fat-burning.  If that is your goal. Carbs are also much more easily stored as fat in the evening hours when metabolism is naturally slowing in preparation for sleep.  You have very little opportunity to burn off that energy when consuming carbs at night – unless you have some nighttime activity or running a marathon the day after.

Also, remember insulin production is partly influenced by your previous meal. The more carbohydrates consumed the more insulin produced.

Otherwise, stick to protein, veggies and healthy fats for your last meal…

and have a good night : ) zzzzzz

GO for Life! ™jefitthumb2

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal  Trainer



Drinking your Fruit and The Juice Fad

juiceI was about 17 when I first went to Weight Watchers. One of the first rules they teach is to Eat your fruit, DO NOT drink it.  The science is simple…

Your body cannot digest the amount of insulin you are putting into your blood stream in juice form fast enough to use so that it doesn’t convert to fat.  Eating your fruit takes a little longer for the digestive process to do its work at controlling your blood sugar levels.

I thought by now this was common knowledge.  I remember learning this in Weight Watchers way back when I was in my teens.  At the time, Weight Watchers was the only game in town and truthfully it’s probably one of the most solid nutrition plans on the market still.  Though it has its faults in modern day nutrition science, they do teach you how to eat real food and small meals, 5 times a day.  You even get cheat foods if you save up your calories and still lose weight by eating food ..CLASSIC!

The game is about controlling your blood sugar levels throughout the day so that you don’t experience highs and lows.  Keeping a constant blood sugar level maintains your metabolism at an even pace so that it doesn’t become sluggish and have to work overtime.

Today’s fad is all about juicing.. I see people juicing FRUIT and they wonder why they are not losing weight.  And you wont!

Yes there are people who are slim and can drink fruit juice. Their body type and their metabolism is fine with that, but if your aim is to lose fat, you will not succeed with fruit juice in your regimen.fruit

Juicing vegetables is fine, and bonus points for greens,  so long as there is NO fruit in the mix.

If you insist on juicing so be it… Juice away and let me know how that’s working out for you.

I leave you with one final thought, Fruit IS Sugar!

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In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal

Spring Cleaning – to Achieve the Balance Within


“As no two elements of nature are in conflict so when we perceive the ways of nature, we remove conflict within ourselves and discover a harmony of body and mind in accord with the flow of the universe .”  Kung Fu the Series

Everything happening in the external world is happening within us.

Traditional Chinese Medicine explains it with the Five Elements Theory.

The Five Elements include the internal organs, and the interconnected and interacting relationships between them that can often fall out of balance. The Five Elements Theory describes the changes that continuously occur within our bodies and correlates them with the seasons.

Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal & Water –

The seasons like these elements are in constant movement and change. Simultaneously, these changes are reflected in our inner workings. Just as the elements support and inhibit one another, by aligning ourselves to the present season can provide balance and flow in body, mind, emotions and spirit. Aligning ourselves with nature allows patterns of life to flow gracefully and provides a platform for healing and enhancing our overall well- being.

Spring correlates with wood –

It symbolizes creations and new beginnings.

The Climate: wind

Supports functions of the liver & gallbladder.

The most beneficial Spring foods are dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables ie. Arugula, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale.

Foods that aid detoxification and strengthen the liver include food with sour and pungent flavors.

Sour sources – lemons, limes, vinegar adzuki beans, grapes and mangos.

Pungent sources- onions, garlic, ginger, leeks, scallions, cloves and fennel.

By using the vibrational frequency of nature and the principal of natural law we can help heal and balance our bodies and emotions. Physical exercise and reading can help restore balance too.

Spring has cleansing and detoxification aspect and the perfect time to cleanse the gall bladder and the liver. Time to clear out the old and make room for the new!

The secret is balance.

If you’re looking for a cleanse hit me up for references.

GO for Life! ™


In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer



Organic vs. Conventional Produce

RobertishereThis past weekend my cousin and I went down to the keys.    On our way down, we stopped at Robert is Here, a local farmer’s market in Florida City.  Everyone stops to get a taste of their famous fruit shakes and gather produce.  We decided we were going to cook our first night’s meal, pick up some fresh fish from one of the local fisheries and produce from Robert’s.  I was all excited to support our local farmers and buy produce that was freshly picked and locally homegrown.  That is of course until we got there and saw the size of the produce we were buying.  That’s right, the size.  Everything seemed to be on steroids!  I thought to myself, there is no way on this earth that these crops could have grown to this size  naturally without being genetically modified in some way.

Here is an example of an organic granny smith apple on the left and one from Robert’s on the right.granny apples


carrotsAn organic carrot on top and one from Robert’s on the bottom.

Maybe it’s a bad time of the season but I was also disappointed that everything we bought tasted bland.guananbana

I will admit I did not ask how these crops grew this way but the monstrous size of these crops just seemed to far out to be real.  In truth, I can’t say if Robert’s crops are genetically modified for certain but I do know this …

The food consumed today is far removed from what our grandparents and great-grandparents ate.  In earlier days, all food was “organically grown.”  The soil was rich in nutrients, as well as essential minerals which yielded a more healthful crop.  In today’s world, it is a mystery of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, hormones, and genetically modified food that are fed to our animals or sprayed on plants. Resulting in one BIG toxic mess.

key largo viewEating organic might be more expensive, but well worth the money you’ll save on your health, as well as extending your time on this planet.

Take home message buy organic and use whenever possible!

Our Key Largo view to the left : )

 GO for Life! ™ contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer




Sweet Potato vs. White Potato

sweetpotatochips_6454A friend once asked me why I choose sweet over white potatoes if sweet potatoes have more sugar?

Despite their name, they don’t!

On the glycemic index compare 45 to 75-100 on the white potato.

Sweet Potatoes are also richer in anti-oxidants. The deeper the color of flesh, the greater the antioxidant content.  If you can’t see the flesh buy the variety with the darkest skin.sweet potato salad

A note on cooking these sweets…Steaming, roasting or baking them can double their anti-oxidant value while boiling reduces it.

One sweet potato delivers 438 percent of your daily value of Vitamin A, eye health, while a single spud serves up none.  They also provide a third more vitamin C, has more fiber and has fewer calories and carbs.

Clearly the sweet potato takes root.

GO for Life! ™joycethumb

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Reference information for this blog post from “Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health”  – Jo Robinson

18 Million pounds of POTATO chips on Super Bowl Sunday – gone : O !!!!

SWEETFRIES5964We consume eighteen million pounds of potato chips on Super Bowl Sunday alone!  We eat 7.5 billion pounds of French fries a year!

It’s no wonder POTATOES have gotten a bad rap for being a high-glycemic food.

This means that we digest sugars so rapidly that they give us a sharp rise in blood glucose. We are not designed to handle this sugar rush so we end up overweight, pre-diabetic, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes and that leads to a multitude of other diseases.

Our bodies function best when you eat low-glycemic foods that release their sugar over a short span of a few hours rather than in a short burst.

Potatoes are not necessarily bad for you. They are unprocessed, whole foods and can become a nutritious part of your diet as a great source of potassium, vitamin C and high in B2, B3 and folic acid.

Here are some tricks to tame the sugar rush of high glycemic potatoes:

•If you cook potatoes and then chill them for about 24-hours before you eat them, they are magically transformed into a low- or moderate-glycemic vegetable.

The cool temperature converts the potatoes’ rapidly digested starch into a more “resistant “starch that is broken down more slowly. This can reduce your blood sugar response by as much as 25 percent.

•Adding fat to potatoes or cooking them in fat also slows down the digestive process.

French fries produce a smaller increase in blood sugar than baked or steamed potatoes.


•And, sprinkling fries with vinegar slows down digestion even more.  BONUS

Blue, red & purple potatoes offer the most antioxidants & health benefits.

I am NOT suggesting you run out and get fast food fries.  I am however suggesting you prepare them yourselves and still enjoy this tasteful treat while reaping the nutritional benefits from the spuds.

Sweet treats on the next blog…see you there.

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Reference information for this blog post from “Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health”  – Jo Robinson

Warm Kale & Asparagus Salad- the recipe you asked for

kale asparagus saladHere’s a recipe straight from JBeFit Kitchen…

Cooked kale scores 1000 out of a possible 1000 points on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI guide).  No surprise that leafy greens top the scale as a low calorie food with high nutrient value.

Another veggie packed with antioxidants.  Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.

Warm Kale & Asparagus Salad recipe:

2-3 shallots, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 lb fresh asparagus spears, 1 inch long pieces
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 garlic clove, minced
1 packet Nustevia (@ Wholefoods)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 small container kale or blend
1. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil add shallots, tomatoes & garlic, saute over med to low heat until soft.
2. Add vinegar & stevia to skillet
3. Add kale, basil, asparagus and garlic powder.
4. Cook for 1 minute or until salad is wilted but not dark green

DO NOT PASS BRIGHT GREEN …you risk lose nutrients and flavor

Top with sliced Turkey, Chicken ,white fish or *tofu

 The dressing works great on cold salads too!

No excuse for lack of time

prep time: 15 min.  cook time: 15 min.

Enjoy : )

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In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Chew On This

gum stickSo many times I have reached for a stick of sugarless gum despite knowing full well the damage artificial sweeteners can do just to keep from eating or craving dessert…

Here’s the skinny …

Chewing without eating food can be counterproductive. This sends the signal to your body that food is coming.

Your body was designed to activate digestion through chewing. This motion activates enzymes and acids necessary in the breakdown and digestion of foods.

This can be very confusing.

Chewing gum also brings in an excess of swallowed air which can put pressure on the intestine and cause cramping and bloating.  For those who suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) this can be very uncomfortable.

What about sugar–free gum?Gum pic

Sugar free gum just doesn’t contain cane sugar but it still contains sugar alcohols which still have both calories and a glycemic impact. All chewing gums contain some form of added sweeteners , even xylitol or sugar alcohols that are just plain detrimental to your health!

In case you forgot, artificial sweeteners have been linked to birth defects, cancer, brain tumors and weight gain.

Reason being for a greater weight gain than sugar is it stimulates your appetite, increases carbohydrate cravings, and stimulates fat storage.

Chewing gum stimulates saliva production for an unnaturally long time and this can take away from other important metabolic functions like losing weight.

While chewing gum probably wont stop you from losing weight it may potentially slow it down. : (

Other side effects include:
Bloating and an overproduction of stomach acids which can compromise your ability to produce sufficient digestive secretions when you actually do eat food.

So if you do chose to chew gum, do it right before a meal when the acid & enzyme stimulation can work to your advantage.

Chew On This instead:
•Mint leaves
•Fennel seeds
•Brush your teeth more frequently

Surely, I will have to consider cutting back on chewing gum

After all this, dessert doesn’t sound so bad  ; )

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love, 

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer


MOTIVATION- Staying There!

Have you set your 30-day goal yet?   GREAT !

Often times the hardest part can be staying motivated throughout your chosen journey.

Setting small attainable goals along the way can help with that feeling of getting stuck or keeping you motivated along the way.

•Define your goal
•Write it down
•Make it positive
•Set a deadlines
•Give it meaning – have a sincere emotional attachment to it
•Make it challenging yet realistic

The goal is not an end, but a means to another goal.. Look at the them as “stepping stones” and each stone represents an achievement.

After all it’s the journey that counts!

Take that first step…

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

5 More Weight Training Truths

This applies to all ages, genders & fitness levels not just the ladies…

weightsBurning Calories: Muscle tissue is dense and burns calories even at the state of rest: more muscles equal more calories burned.

Stronger Bones: Weight-bearing exercises stimulate new bone growth, which helps ward off bone loss and osteoporosis that afflict many women as they age.

Joint Protection: Weight training builds the muscles around your joints, which keep the joints stable and able to withstand strain.

Functional Fitness: Lifting weights keeps us strong enough at any age to lift groceries, climb stairs and other daily activities.

How functionally fit can you be if you don’t have the strength to be functional?

Good looks: A firm, toned body, from head to toe, is always appealing. And when you look great, you feel great!

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer