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How Fad Diets Measure Up

How Fad Diets Measure Up

The battle between holistic lifestyles and holes in your diet

You know how the saying goes: “The proof is in the pudding (that the latest fad diet says you can’t eat anymore).” When beginning your health journey, the appeal of the latest diet can often overshadow the downside of ignoring your own genetics. Below, see how fad diets stand up against the holistic nature of eating for your metabolic type.


Fad diets promise fast results, but with any quick fix solution, they’re unreliable and inefficient to maintain. Allow me to demonstrate this concept with a little help from T.Swift herself, “Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes.” Sure, this Bad Blood lyric wasn’t surrounding the health ramifications of ill-formed diets, but the metaphor measures up. A Two-Week Makeover Cleanse or 27 Day Celebrity Body diet may help you lose a few pounds whilst under a restricted calorie deficit regimen, but it’s not sustainable and will result in packing on the pounds on day 15 or 28 when the diet is over. The key to a healthy lifestyle is a strong foundation of nutrition that won’t cause yo-yo weight loss and weight gain with every new diet bandage.

Eating for you metabolic type is an easily adaptable lifestyle change, not a “get skinny quick” scheme (though, that’ll happen too). When you assess your metabolic type, you’ll learn to eat the foods that are most compatible with your natural chemistry, and you won’t be struck with analysis paralysis when choosing the right foods for your diet. This structure simplifies why certain foods leave you craving a nap or even just craving more food, and how to solve that through fine-tuning your macro/micro nutrient profile.

Winner: Metabolic diet. If you’re eating according to your individual genetic makeup, you’ll avoid feeling overwhelmed by the latest diet craze or financially drained by expensive one-size-fits-all cleanses and supplements. What’s more? You’ll have quick and consistent control of your weight loss goals by eating the foods that are right for you.


Fad diets seem to work at first because they often require eating a minimal amount of calories in a minimal time frame throughout the day. This, of course, will help you drop water weight, but it will also disrupt your natural metabolism: the rate at which your body burns calories — even at rest. You’ve seen the celebrity-endorsed juice cleanses poised to shed weight within – gasp – days. Though, does the short term water loss benefit your long term health goals? Not a chance. The reason? It’s not conducive to your overall metabolism or sustainable overtime. Chronic dieting may actually slow an already fast metabolism and cause you to burn fewer calories during the day than would have naturally.

Eating for your metabolic type works with (surprise!), not against your metabolism to keep you feeling full between each meal while boosting your metabolism to burn even more calories during workouts and rest periods. When you’re harnessing the foods that fuel your cells, you’ll be able to eat with less restriction while sticking to the longstanding nutrition strategy that will speed even the slowest of metabolisms.

Winner: Metabolic diet. More food, more energy, more calories burned.


Fad diets operate like most trends. They ramp up in popularity and seed themselves throughout pop-culture until they’re replaced and become another “Why did I ever think that hairstyle was a good idea?!” photo tucked in the back of your family album. Much like those fashion trends that burn out quickly, a trending diet is not built to last. The lack of complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and essential nutrients within fad diets will not only cause fatigue and irritability, but it will also cause an increase in stress and fat cells.

A healthy diet that caters to each metabolic type focuses on you and your unique build; from your genetics to your stress and sleep patterns. Through a detailed assessment that measures optimal nutrition specific to each, you’ll be eating the correct foods in the correct quantities instead of fighting to maintain an unrealistic diet. The holistic nature of metabolic nutrition focuses on the food that mitigates cravings, deprivation, and fatigue as well as the environmental stressors of everyday life such as stress, sleep, digestive health, and your existing daily schedule.

Winner: Metabolic diet. Tailoring diet and exercise to your genetic makeup will identify your personal super foods (and the foods to avoid) to maximize strength and energy — simply through small adjustments to your holistic lifestyle. Through this simplified balanced approach, you’ll have more mental and physical stamina.


Fad diets are rarely – if ever – touted by bona fide athletes or fitness professionals — and for good reason. An overly restrictive diet can’t provide the fuel necessary to build muscle, increase respiratory strength, or mental clarity because of nutritional deficiencies that often follow. Even when diets are loosely (read: entirely) tied to a sport like the ties between paleo and crossfit, but that restrictive diet is rarely used by professional athletes because of the unbalanced nutrition it provides for daily life. As increased muscle mass prepares your body to burn more fat, it’s important to focus on building strength at every phase of your holistic journey.

Following a metabolic diet emphasizes that the pillars of health and fitness extend not only to the food we eat but the mental and physical habits as well. When you provide your body with the proper nutrition it needs to operate at full capacity, weight loss and muscle gain will quickly follow.

Winner: Metabolic diet. You wouldn’t put diesel fuel in a car that requires standard premium fuel, right? This same concept applies to the fuel that makes your body run (and jump!) (and squat!). Eating according to your metabolic type ensures that your nutrition keeps all internal cylinders operating at peak efficiency during and after workouts.


Noticing a theme here? When you eat according to your metabolic type, you’ll never be dieting. Instead, you’ll be making small changes based on your genetics and everyday stressors to consume the kind of foods that will energize and optimize your body. By committing to a lifestyle change, progress will begin.

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Superfoods: Which Are the Most Super, Santa Fe?

Superfoods: Which Are the Most Super, Santa Fe?

You see them in every health magazine and hear “healthy” people talking about how many of them they eat…

But what’s the real story on these so-called superfoods? And are they really “super”?

There isn’t an agreed-upon definition of the term “superfood”, but it’s generally accepted that a superfood is any food that contains high levels of vitamins and minerals that your body needs.

But do they really live up to the hype? Or is this just another fad diet?

There are a lot of overrated superfoods, but there are some that you should definitely be aware of.

Here are 9 that you should make a part of your diet.

  1. Acai

Acai (pronounced ah- SIGH-EE) is a fruit from South America and contains high levels of antioxidants, which help fight cancer and heart disease.

You’ll have a hard time finding fresh acai, so look for juices or powders that you can add to yogurt to give it a health boost.

You can also find them as frozen tablets which are perfect to blend into smoothies.

  1. Goji Berries

This small red berry from Tibet is packed with Vitamin C and gives your immune system a huge boost.

They’ve also been used as a treatment for visual problems and poor circulation.

You’re most likely to find them in a powder form or dried (think red raisins).

  1. Kefir

Originating in Russia, kefir is a drink that looks a lot like milk, but tastes like yogurt.

It’s full of probiotics that can aid in digestive health and support a healthy immune system.

Look for this at your local health food store or you can make your own by simply adding kefir grains to regular milk.

  1. Hemp Seeds

It’s not what you think.

Hemp seeds, though related to marijuana, have none of the same side effects.

High in protein and amino acids, hemp seeds are the perfect addition to any meal.

They also provide good amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and potassium.

  1. Chia Seeds

You can use these for more than just covering fake pets with green fur.

Chia seeds are packed with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and calcium.

These are the perfect addition to smoothies, oatmeal, and even salads.

  1. Turmeric

One of the main spices in curry, turmeric is full of compounds known as curcuminoids, which carry medicinal powers.

Turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory effects and can boost your brain function.

The curcuminoid content found in Turmeric is relatively low, so you may want to take an extract.

  1. Cacao Powder

Cacao powder is the perfect substitute if you’re a chocolate lover. It provides a strong chocolate flavor, without any of the guilt.

It contains flavonoids, which are known to Lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the heart and brain.

Be careful when buying though. If the label says Dutch or alkalized, it means that the cacao has been processed and lost a lot of its antioxidants.

  1. Maca Powder

Maca is a root vegetable, grown in the mountains of Peru, that is picked, dried, and turned into powder.

Maca is rich in vitamin B, C, and E and has energy-boosting properties.

It’s a great addition to smoothies, oatmeal, and even baked goods.

  1. Black Garlic

Black garlic is white garlic that is put through a month-long fermentation process, kept under strict heat and humidity control.

Garlic has antimicrobial, antibiotic, and antifungal agents which helps protect against infections.

Because black garlic is fermented, it also has twice the antioxidant properties of conventional garlic.


These supplements will put your program in overdrive!

  1. Whey Protein

Whey protein has been linked to a variety of health benefits, including:

  • Helping your insulin work more effectively, which helps maintain your blood sugar level after a meal — This is important as research suggests lowering your blood sugar levels after meals may be more beneficial for your health than lowering fasting blood sugars.
  • Promoting healthy insulin secretion, which is imperative for optimal health. This is one of the foremost reasons for avoiding sugars and grains, as overconsumption of grains and sugary foods has a negative impact on both, and is a prime factor in developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Helping to promote your optimal intake of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals needed for your overall wellness
  • Supporting your immune system, as it contains immunoglobulins
  • Helping you preserve lean body tissue (particularly during exercise) as it delivers bioavailable amino acids and cysteine
  • Maintaining blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range

Please do not just go out and buy any old whey from the shelf. It should be from a whey protein concentrate and not an isolate. It needs to be from a grass fed source and should not be loaded with a bunch of indigestible fillers. A great one that we carry is from SFH.

  1. Colostrum

Described as mothers milk. Benefits of taking this are:

  • Boost, balance, and maintain unsurpassed immune function
  • Eliminate harmful pathogens and fight infection
  • Cleanse & prevent absorption of toxins and pathogens
  • Protect and heal GI and stomach lining (Leaky Gut Syndrome)
  • Increase Natural Killer (NK) cell activity
  • Increase muscle strength and stamina; speed recovery after exercise or injury; burn fat; and maintain blood glucose homeostasis
  • Provide anti-aging benefits

Make sure you get a colostrum supplement that is from a grass fed source and doesn’t breakdown to much in the digestive track. The best we have found is one we carry from Sovereign laboratories.

  1. Branch Chain Amino Acids

BCAA’s help stimulate protein synthesis more so than protein on its own. They also increase the capacity of the cells for protein synthesis. BCAA’s in food and even in Whey supplements need to be broken down first and thus not as readily available. A BCAA supplement goes directly to the blood stream. Because of this ability you get an anti catabolic effect (lack of muscle breakdown). This helps:

  • Accelerate recovery of the muscles to reduce muscle soreness/fatigue.*
  • Force the body to burn more stored fat as fuel during training.*
  • Protect muscle from being destroyed during intense exercise.*
  • Provide a powerful alternative energy source during training.*
  • Optimize recovery of the nervous system to peak performance.*
  • Lay the raw material foundation of easily utilized ingredient ratios for accelerated muscle growth and repair.*
  • Fight fatigue.*
  • Lower the negative impact of physical and emotional stress*
  • Increase mental focus*
  • Reduce the likelihood of fatigue related injuries*

There are tons of BCAA’s supplements but the best we have found so far is from Infinity nutrition, which we carry. It is not only a great blend derived from food source, but we get the naturally flavored Stevia brand. Again no fillers.

The Payoff

While some superfoods are just superfakers, bringing these 9 foods into your diet is sure to help you boost your health. And adding these supplements will definitely accelerate your progress and keep your body strong on multiple levels.


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Hey Santa Fe, Bet You Didn’t Know This About Splenda® …

Hey Santa Fe, Bet You Didn’t Know This About Splenda® …

For years, Splenda has been one of the top-selling artificial sweeteners that promises to help you maintain a healthy weight because it’s calorie-free.

Well, a VERY recent study shows sucralose (Splenda®) may have a dirty little secret …

Research published in the May 2013 edition of Diabetes Care shows that drinking even a minimal amount of sucralose may not be so good for you, even though it’s calorie free.

The study recruited 17 obese individuals who normally did NOT consume artificial sweeteners and did NOT have diabetes. The researchers then conducted the experiment twice.

First, the patients were given water before given a glucose challenge test (that’s where patients are given sugar, and then have their blood tested to see how the body responds).

Then, the next time the participants came in, they were given sucralose (Splenda®) to drink instead of water before the glucose challenge test.

As it turns out, the body reacts to sucralose in a similar way as it would to sugar. The study’s lead author, M. Yanina Pepino, PhD, stated:

“Insulin levels also rose about 20 percent higher [with sucralose]. So the artificial sweetener was related to an enhanced blood insulin and glucose response.” [1]

Why are these results so shocking? Because if your body routinely secretes more insulin than it needs to, it can lead to type-2 diabetes. And it’s alarming, because most people have been under the impression that calorie free sweeteners are “okay” because they won’t add to your waistline. But even though they won’t add to your calorie count, they can be just as damaging as sugar to your overall health.

A recent opinion paper in the July 2013 edition of Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism reviewed a number of studies and found that drinking artificially sweetened beverages can be just as bad as drinking sugary drinks.

They pose the same risk for type-2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, stroke and even heart disease. Worse yet, just one artificially sweetened drink is enough to significantly raise your risk for getting the bad health effects. [2]

So what can you do?

The best thing is to stick to drinking only water, just like our ancestors.

But if you need a little more variety, here are a few things you could do to provide a tasty way to add some “flavor” without sugar or plenty of calories.

Use stevia or xylitol. Both are all-natural, no-calorie sweeteners.

Stick to unsweetened tea. This is also a great option to give you some variety so you don’t have to drink water all the time.

Add mint and lime to your water. It tastes great and if you want to sweeten it a little, just add a bit of stevia.

So now you know Splenda’s®  “dirty little secret.” Avoid it if you can, along with other fake sweeteners. Following the tips here will keep things interesting in the beverage department, while still keeping your health in first place. Your body will thank you!


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[1] M. Y. Pepino, C. D. Tiemann, B. W. Patterson, B. M. Wice, S. Klein. Sucralose

Affects Glycemic and Hormonal Responses to an Oral Glucose Load. Diabetes Care, 2013; DOI: 10.2337/dc12-2221

[2] Swithers, Susan “Artificial sweeteners produce the counterintuitive effect of inducing metabolic derangements” Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, 11 July 2013

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How to choose Healthy Foods in Santa Fe

By Joris Van Cutsem

In my last blog post, I talked quite a bit about water intake and its importance to your body.  So, I believe talking about (healthy) food would be a nice follow up.  It is also a subject we talk about a lot on a daily bases at SolCore Fitness.

What are healthy foods? There is a lot of confusion about which foods are healthy or not.  It definitely is a bit of a tricky question because everyone’s BODY is different and it depends on a myriad of issues from which a person may suffer, such as; ailment, disease, health issues, stress, sleep deprivation, exercise induced muscle soreness, hormonal health, exercise goals or food allergies.

In addition, we as a society are only at the beginning of learning how to heal various ailments and diseases with healthy foods, so there is a lot of confusion out there. Some of that confusion comes from the marketing and advertising companies hired to sell various products to the masses to turn a profit. Caring about ‘health’ is not of concern for them, money is. More confusion comes from the Pharmaceutical companies who would prefer to keep most people sick to make a financial gain, so they pour money into research for new drugs but not into research for prevention from foods. They sell you more pills and supplements to put into your cabinets that end up causing a slew of health issues and other ailments or side effects for which you will need even more pills – an endless cycle of pill popping. Preventative medicine comes in the form of lifestyle changes, not from taking pills.

 Healthy Foods Santa Fe.So, what to do? First, it is important to know your body, so you will know what it needs to thrive. Find out what your metabolic type is to start you on the path to eating the foods that work for you. Connect to your body and if you feel like sleeping after you eat something then don’t eat it anymore, it’s probably not very good for you. Second, keep in mind that what we know today may not be true tomorrow because new research comes out every day as we evolve and learn more. Keep an open mind to unconventional methods of healing with whole foods and theories that run counter to mainstream. Questioning things, taking bits of truth from all and not getting stuck with tunnel vision are equally important.  It’s not always easy, but these are things that I try to remind myself to do.

If you eat real foods, which are those that do not have an ingredient list that you can’t understand, that are not packaged, and that you can buy from a local farmer, then you are on your way to being healthier. Also, helping local farmers will create a rippling effect by keeping the bigger food companies from destroying our health with their genetically modified foods.

Hope all of this was helpful (for when you make your next grocery list).

Jo Van Cutsem


Healthy Foods


(grass or pasture fed) Beef, bison, lamb, pastured Liver, fresh/clean source Chicken, turkey, insect fed Pork – pastured only, Venison, Eggs – pastured chickens, Milk – raw or local Cheese, no additives Cottage cheese, no additives Ricotta Cheese, no additives Yogurt, Fish – cod, sole, etc., Gelatin Broth – homemade Shellfish

Fruits (organic):

Apples (ripe or cooked), Apricots, Cherries, Grapefruit, Nectarines, Oranges, Papaya, Peaches, Pears (ripe or cooked), Pineapple, Plums, Watermelon, whole fruit juices, Tropical Fruits, Vegetables: Cucumbers, Peppers, Avocado, Summer squash/Zucchini, Tomatoes

Vegetables (organic):

Bamboo shoots, Beets, Carrots, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Sweet potatoes/Yams, Winter squash, Asparagus, mixed greens, celery, kale (my new favorite super food)

Fats (organic):

Coconut oil, Butter – organic cream, salt, Olive oil – extra virgin, Cream – organic cream

Avoid these Foods as much as possible:

Vegetable Oils – Canola, Corn, Cottonseed, Grape seed, Safflower, Soy, Sunflower, Trans Fats- Margarine, Crisco, Fats in processed food

Soy Products – Tofu, Soy milk, Soy protein powder, Soy sauce

Fried Foods – Avoid foods not fried in butter, coconut oil

Artificial Ingredients – Avoid foods with long lists of ingredients that you do not understand

Food Additives – Aspartame, BHA and BHT, Carrageenan, Food colorings and dyes, Gums (guar, locus bean, etc.), High fructose corn syrup, Monosodium glutamate (MSG), Nitrates, rBGH (growth hormone in dairy), Sodium benzoate, Soy lecithin, Sulfur dioxide, Synthetic vitamins


(Soy blocks binding of important minerals like calcium and zinc, it is genetically modified here in the U.S., and it has been shown to possibly cause breast cancer because it acts like estrogen in the body and, although in Asian countries where women consume a lot of soybeans and have a lower incidence of cancer, it is not the same soybean as we get here in the United States and it’s now put into everything as an ‘unhealthy’ additive. Soybeans contain phytoestrogens that lower oxygen and thyroid levels and chemicals that lower protein digestion.)



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