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SASS Secret Tips

Eating On the Go

I am always amazed at how frequently I hear, “It’s too hard for me to eat healthy with my lifestyle”. Preparation is the key to success with anything we do in life; taking time out to do some research, cooking and packing can save you calories and even money!

Fast Food

With over 800 locations nationwide, Chipotle gives the customer complete control over what goes into their burrito, taco, or salad. Additionally, you get to build it with fresh, local ingredients and spicy foods invoke a thermogenic response (natural fat burners)!

Secret SASS Tip: Order the Burrito Bowl, which lets you skip the tortilla. Add brown rice, beans, a DOUBLE serving of meat, HOLD the cheese and sour cream, but add the guacamole. Lastly, ask for a To-Go bowl on the side. Before you sit down to eat, put half of your order in the To-Go bowl, seal it up, and save it for your next meal!

On the Plane
I’m always paranoid I’m going to get stuck on the tarmac for hours on end without food and water, so I bring a meal to eat on the plane AND bring an extra for “just in case”. Since ice packs and liquids aren’t allowed through security, I freeze one meal to act as my ice pack to keep the second meal cool and fresh until I eat it.

Secret SASS Tip: Pack a protein shaker cup even if you don’t pack protein powder. Once you get through security, you can fill your cup with ice and/or water at the self-serve drink stations.

Before your next meal at an unfamiliar restaurant, go on-line and research their menu. Determine their best option for you, or if you need to make an unusually large amount of substitutions, call the restaurant in advance and ask if the chef can make these changes for you. The hardest part about eating at a nice restaurant is saying “no” to the bread and chips placed on the table. If you are dining with a business colleague, excuse yourself to go to the restroom and ask your server to place the basket as far from you as possible. For the meal itself, order a large salad with the dressing on the side, lean protein and grilled vegetables—just remember to ask for the vegetables AND protein without butter.

Secret SASS Tip: Ask your server for a side of balsamic vinegar (not vinaigrette) for your salad, vegetables, and in some cases, your protein. Balsamic vinegar will not only add flavor, but it’s a natural meat tenderizer (great for lean cuts of beef) and fat burner.

In the Car
Keep an ice chest packed with bite-sized snacks. If it’s a long (in distance) drive, place one meal within reach and the rest of the food in the trunk or back of the car. Keeping the food far out of reach will ensue that you don’t indulge in mindless eating and it will remind you to stop and stretch your legs and spine every few hours.

Secret SASS Tip: Wear a bib!

The Alkaline Diet

Foods are classified as acid-forming or alkalizing depending on the effect they have on the body. Chronic consumption of acidic foods can interrupt all cellular activity and functions. The acidification process cuts off the oxygen supply within the cells and eventually compromises the immune system. In fact, there are two factors that are ALWAYS present with cancer:
1. Acidic pH, and
2. Lack of oxygen
Cancer patients are approximately 1000 times more acidic than cancer-free individuals and have dangerously low amounts of oxygen at the cellular level; thus we know, cancer needs an acidic and low-oxygen environment to survive and spread. In the absence of oxygen, glucose undergoes fermentation to lactic acid. This causes the pH of the cell to drop even lower. Urine and saliva pH of terminal cancer patients almost always runs between 4.0 and 5.5. When the cancer goes into metastases the pH drops even lower. Our bodies simply cannot effectively fight disease if our body pH is not properly balanced.
In addition to cancer, this destruction at the cellular level leads to all sorts of illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, memory loss, nutrient deficiencies, joint pain, excess weight and poor athletic performance. A diet high in alkalizing foods can help restore the body’s pH balance for optimal health and function.
The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) developed the Potential Renal Acid Load (PRAL) formula based on the amount of acid neutralizing minerals found in urine. This formula can calculate approximate acidifying effects of the foods you eat based on the amounts of Magnesium, Phosphorus, Protein, Calcium, and Potassium they possess.

To interpret the PRAL, it’s basically the opposite of an acid alkaline pH interpretation:
A negative PRAL score indicates the food is basic/alkaline
A positive PRAL score indicates the food is acidic
A score of 0 indicates the food is neutral

Natural Medicinal Uses of negative PRAL spices and herbs
Ginger is closely related to two other spices, turmeric and marjoram, adding a touch of heat and lemon-flavor to foods. It can alleviate nausea, dizziness, inflammation, muscle aches, allergy symptoms and even intestinal gas. Parsley also aids digestion and acts to prevent gas and bloating.
Sage, like most herbs, is good for all stomach troubles, diarrhea, gas, flu and colds. Additionally, its antiseptic, astringent, and irritant properties soothe mouth sores and sore throats when fresh leaves are chewed or seeped as a sage tea.
Paprika comes from the ‘Capsicum annuum’ pepper plant family. This plant family is loaded with a chemical compound called Capsaicin. Capsaicin acts as an anti-inflammatory to help ease arthritis and joint pain. Paprika also has antibacterial properties in it that help naturally control bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli. It does not necessarily stop these bacteria, but it does slow down their growth.

Fortunately, there are plenty of alkalizing seasonings and low-calorie vegetables that can be added to your current diet without adding more calories or making a complete overhaul with your current diet. Consult the list below of seasonings and foods before preparing your next meal to see how you can improve your score and health.

Food Group and Food PRAL Score

Parsley, freeze dried _______________ -108.6
Parsley, dried flakes _______________ -81.5
Parsley, raw/fresh ___________________ -11.1
Basil, dried flakes _________________ -85.4
Basil, raw/fresh _____________________ -10.0
Coriander leaf, dried _______________ -99.5
Coriander seed ______________________ -23.2
Coriander, raw/fresh _________________ -9.6
Celery flakes, dried ________________ -84.5
Celery, raw/fresh ____________________ -5.0
Dill Weed, dried ____________________ -74.5
Dill Seed ___________________________ -33.2
Dill Weed, raw/fresh ________________ -64.5
Chives, freeze dried ________________ -59.8
Chives, raw _________________________ -4.8
Oregano, dried flakes _______________ -49.8
Marjoram, dried _____________________ -49.3
Tumeric, ground______________________ -46.7
Sage, ground ________________________ -46.5
Rosemary, dried _____________________ -37.4
Rosemary, raw/fresh _________________ -16.5
Paprika _____________________________ -36.3
Thyme, dried ________________________ -35.5
Thyme, raw/fresh ____________________ -15.6
Fennel seed _________________________ -35.37
Celery seed _________________________ -34.7
Cumin seed __________________________ -32.0
Cloves, ground ______________________ -31.6
Black pepper ________________________ -25.4
Ginger, ground ______________________ -24.6
Cardamom ____________________________ -22.6
Tarragon, dried _____________________ -15.5
Sea Salt ____________________________ -8.2

Meat and Meat Products Average 9.5
Lean Beef ________________________7.8
Chicken _________________________ 8.7
Lunch Meat ____________________ 10.2
Lean Pork ______________________ 7.9
Rump Steak ____________________ 8.8
Turkey Meat ____________________ 9.9
Veal Fillet ______________________ 9.0

Fish Average ____________________7.9
Cod Fillet ________________________ 7.1
Haddock _________________________ 6.8
Herring _________________________ 7.0
Trout ___________________________ 10.8

Milk and non-cheese average
Milk, Dairy, and Eggs _________ 1.0

Low Fat Cheddar _______________ 26.4
Gouda Cheese ___________________ 18.6
Cottage Cheese _______________ 8.7
Parmesan Cheese ______________ 34.2
Processed Cheese _____________ 28.7
Sour Cream ___________________ 1.2
Whole Egg _____________________ 8.2
Egg White _____________________ 1.1
Egg Yolk ______________________ 23.4
Ice Cream ______________________ 0.6
Buttermilk ______________________ 0.5
Whole milk ____________________ 1.1
Whole Milk Pasteurized _________ 0.7
Whole Milk Yogurt w/Fruit ______1.2
Whole Milk Yogurt Plain ________ 1.5

Sugar and Sweets Average _____ 4.3
Milk Chocolates ___________________2.4
Honey ___________________________ -0.3
Cake ____________________________ 3.7
Marmalade _______________________ -1.5
White Sugar ______________________ -0.1
molasses ________________________ -46.5

Vegetables (raw) Average ________ -2.8
Asparagus _____________________ -0.4
Broccoli ______________________ -1.2
Carrots _______________________ -4.9
Cauliflower ___________________ -4.0
Celery ________________________ -5.2
Chicory _______________________ -2.0
Cucumber ______________________ -0.8
Eggplant ______________________ -3.4
Kale __________________________ -10.7
Leeks _________________________ -1.8
Lettuce _______________________ -2.5
Mushrooms _____________________ -1.4
Onions ________________________ -1.5
Peppers _______________________ -1.4
Potatoes ______________________ -4.0
Radishes ______________________ -3.7
Spinach _______________________ -14.0
Sweet Potato __________________ -8.2
Tomato Juice __________________ -2.8
Tomatoes ______________________ -3.1
Zucchini ______________________ -2.6

Fruits, Nuts, and Juices Average __ -3.1

Apple Juice _______________________ -2.2
Apples _____________________________ -2.2
Apricots __________________________ -4.8
Avocado ____________________________ -8.6
Bananas ____________________________ -5.5
Black Currants _____________________ -6.5
Cherries ___________________________ -3.6
Grape Juice ________________________ -1.0
Hazelnuts __________________________ -2.8
Kiwi Fruit _________________________ -4.1
Lemon Juice ________________________ -2.5
Orange Juice _______________________ -2.9
Oranges ____________________________ -2.7
Peaches ____________________________ -2.4
Peanuts ____________________________ 8.3
Pears ______________________________ -2.9
Pineapple __________________________ -2.7
Raisins ____________________________ -21.0
Strawberries _______________________ -2.2
Walnuts ____________________________ 6.8
Watermelon _________________________ -1.9

Bread Average ______________________________ 3.5
Mixed Grain Wheat Bread ___________________ 3.8
Wheat Bread ________________________________ 1.8
White Bread ________________________________ 3.7
Egg Noodles _______________________________ 6.4
Oats ______________________________________ 10.7
Brown Rice _______________________________ 12.5
White Rice _________________________________ 1.7
White Spaghetti ____________________________ 6.5
Whole Grain Spaghetti ______________________ 7.3
Wheat Flour ________________________________ 8.2
Rye Flour __________________________________ 5.9

Legumes Average ___________________________ 1.2

Green Beans ______________________________ -3.1
Lentils ___________________________________ 3.5
Peas ______________________________________ 1.2

Fats and Oils Average _____________________ 0
Butter ____________________________________ 0.6
Margarine ________________________________ -0.5
Olive Oil ________________________________ 0.0
Sunflower Oil ____________________________ 0.0

Draft Beer_______________________________ -0.2
Pale Beer _______________________________ 0.9
Stout Beer ______________________________ -0.1
Coffee __________________________________ -1.4
Mineral Water ___________________________ -1.8
Red Wine ________________________________ -2.4
Tea _____________________________________ -0.3
White Wine ______________________________ -1.2
Coconut Water ___________________________ -5.1

Detox Your New Year

If your cheat meal has left you feeling bloated and lethargic, a high-fiber/ high-antioxidant cleanse will get you back to feeling like yourself in no time!  There’s no need to starve yourself with a juice-only cleanse or stinky tea diet.  Detox your system without whittling away your hard-earned muscle by incorporating these delicious foods.


FIBER:  Out with the Old…

There are two types of fiber, insoluble and soluble.  The insoluble fiber is the food you ingest that can’t be processed nor broken down; think of this type as a Brillo Pad.  This rough, organic sponge is made up of a husk or husk-like outer shell found on seeds, leafy plants and grains.  The second type of fiber, soluble fiber, is capable of being broken down and processed through the digestive system; think of this type as soap. The role of these two cleaning agents is to scrub out the excess metabolic waste from the lining of the intestines.


The lining of the intestinal wall is where dietary nutrients are absorbed.  So, the longer your food sits in your gut, the more macro and micro nutrients your body absorbs.  If your diet is clean and in the right portion size, this is good thing; but if you’ve been poisoning yourself with too much alcohol, processed, fast or fried foods this summer, you are in need of a deep cleaning.


Imagine cooking a large steak with an iron skillet.  After you are done frying the meat, what you will find stuck in the crevices of the skillet is fat.  The only way to clean this fat from the skillet is to use lots of water, strong soap to break up the grease, and a rough sponge to scrub it clean.  Your intestines are corrugated so the fat gets caught in the crevices just like it does in the skillet.  Without the cleaning action of the two types of fiber, the fat will continue to be absorbed through the lining of the intestine resulting in increased levels of triglycerides.  Similarly, have you ever overcooked pasta?  Wheat pasta does not dissolve quickly, so you end up with a pot lined with sticky gunk.  Again, this sticky gunk gets caught in the crevices of the intestinal wall and your body will continue to absorb the carbohydrates resulting in elevated glucose levels until it is scrubbed clean.


Some good sources of fiber include:


Serving Size Total Fiber (g) Soluable Fiber (g) Insoluble Fiber (g)
Rolled Oats 3/4 cup cooked 3.0 1.3 1.7
Whole grain bread 1 slice 2.9 0.08 2.8
Apple 1 small 3.9 2.3 1.6
Pear 1 small 2.5 0.6 1.9
Peas 1/2 cup cooked 5.2 2.0 3.2
Potatoes (Reg, sweet and yams) 1 small 3.8 2.2 1.6
Kidney Beans 1/2 cup cooked 4.5 0.5 4.0
Lentils 2/3 cup cooked 4.5 0.6 3.9




ANTIOXIDANTS: …In with the New

Now that your intestines have been cleaned out, it’s time to repair and rebuild your system with troops of antioxidants.  Antioxidants are nutrients that protect your cells from unstable molecules that act like terrorists in your body.  These little terrorists are called free radicals and they wreak havoc on your cells by attacking your DNA, enzymes, and/or proteins.  Depending on which type of cell they attack, their destruction can lead to heart attacks, cancer, and other mutations.


Antioxidants come in many forms of minerals and vitamins because they have such a wide variety of targets when it comes to destroying free radicals.  Vitamin E Vitamin C, beta-carotene, zinc, selenium and manganese are the most commonly recommended for their virility.  So, just like your mom said, the more colors you have on your plate, the larger the variety of nutrients you will receive.


Some good sources of antioxidants include:


Nutrient Recommended foods
Vitamin E Almonds, asparagus, carrots
Vitamin C Citrus fruits, kale, sweet potatoes/yams
Beta-carotene Beets, cantaloupe, spinach
Zinc Seafood, lean red meat, poultry, beans, nuts
Selenium Fish, beef, eggs, poultry, mushrooms, onions
Manganese Herbs, spices, nuts, seeds
Other foods rich in antioxidants Red wine, tea, cocoa powder

Helpful Tips for Weight Management

  • Weigh yourself once a week on the same scale, at the same time.
  • Join a free, on-line calorie counter website. They have the calorie content of most national brands as well as restaurant and fast food chains.
  • Eat one cheat meal per week and make it special. Plan a weekly date night, wear your favorite high heels, spend all week thinking about the menu, but don’t bring home any leftovers!
  • No alcohol, except with cheat meal.
  • Check your Lean Body Mass (LBM) vs. Fat weight through hydrostatic (under water) weighing, on a quarterly basis. At this point, I don’t want you to get frustrated by the percentage of body fat you have; instead, focus on the LBM. Under no circumstances do you want that number to drop during your weight loss program! The more LBM you have, the higher your metabolic rate and the more calories you can consume.