Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Are you gluten free??

Today’s feature article was inspired by one of my clients whose son was just recently diagnosed with Celiac disease.  As a result the whole family has gone gluten free for just simplicity’s sake.  Now my client had been working towards this anyways so this diagnosis’ was just the final push to really make it happen.  So today I thought I would share some of the benefits to being gluten free since it has been a bit of a hot topic for the last few years.


Are you gluten free???

It seems like everyone is jumping on the gluten free diet plan lately. Should you join them is the question!

There is still a lot of confusion out there surrounding gluten-free dieting these days as many people believe they have a gluten intolerance (also known as being celiac) so they must avoid gluten at all costs.

It can take about 12 months to be diagnosed with Celiac disease as the testing is not always accurate and more than 330,000 Canadians are believed to be affected by celiac disease with only approximately 110,000 diagnosed and nearly 30% of Canadian children with celiac disease are initially misdiagnosed.(

But… there are still many benefits to be had by ditching foods containing gluten.

What are these benefits? What happens when you say good-bye to gluten?

1. Your Mood Increases

You heard correctly – avoiding gluten might just bring a better mood. Gluten causes many people to feel foggy minded and potentially experience higher levels of anxiety and depression. Upon giving it up, these symptoms should lessen.

A better mood might help you stay more positive about your weight loss goals and nutrition plan.


2. Your Tummy Will Tighten

Gluten, and all the carbs that typically come with it can cause many people to retain extra water. This means you’ll be looking a little more bloated and ‘puffy’ than normal.

Cut out gluten and you’ll see less water retention, slimming you down almost instantly.

3. Improved Blood Glucose Control 

When you avoid foods with gluten, it means you’ll also be avoiding many of the highly processed, flour-based foods that can wreak havoc on blood glucose levels.

It’s this fluctuation in blood glucose that often leads to fat gain, so it’s not abnormal to see those cutting or reducing gluten experience an immediate boost to their weight loss results.

Without gluten, they maintain stabilized blood sugar, giving them more control over their food choices and their hunger.


Where is Gluten Sneaking In?

Now that you can see the benefits to limit how much gluten you consume, it’s time to take action and start removing it from your pantry.

Sadly, it’s easier said than done with the reason being gluten sneaks in. It’s in places you’d least expect it.
Some of the sneaky gluten culprits include:

  • Soy sauce or any condiment with a base of soy sauce
  • Salad dressings and/or other marinades
  • Spice mixtures
  • Imitation fish
  • Orzo (which is a rice-shaped pasta)
  • Soup (dried mixes)
  • Ground meat (yes, check the lables on hamberger patties etc)
  • French fries

Always be on the lookout. Start reading labels so that you know exactly what you’re taking in.

Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

what’s a night shade??

Right now, I can hear you saying…

“Cheryl, what the heck are Nightshade Foods?” lol

Well, if you’re not familiar with the “nightshade” family of foods, it’s something you should at least be aware of.  I learned of nightshade foods from Vanessa Case way back when we I did my first detox with her, so I thought I would share the knowledge.



Hot peppers, bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, paprika, and even thesuperfruit, GOJI berries, are nightshade foods that contain natural toxins — known as alkaloids.

These alkaloids can trigger inflammation in a very small portion of the population.

However, I believe the benefits of nightshade veggies FAR outweigh the negative.

Tomatoes are the perfect example. Ripe tomatoes fresh from the vine are LOADED full of antioxidants and lycopene. As a result, they may help fight off diseases such as cancer.

The high lycopene is believed to be one the of the main reasons tomatoes can help prevent cancer, improve heart health, and even help with sunburns. In one study, after ingestion of 16mg of lycopene every day for 10 weeks resulted in 40% LESS sunburns[http:// www.].


They also have high levels of vitamin K1, vitamin C, potassium, folate, beta-carotene and naringenin (an anti-inflammatory)… not to mention they are also very low in carbs and sugar, making them VERY diet friendly.

But not all tomatoes are created equal.

Ever bitten into what looks to be a ripe, red tomato, but it still tastes like it’s green? I did wondered why my mom’s or my mother-in-laws tomatoes, fresh from the garden, tasted like fruit, but every time I bought them at a local grocer, they tasted blah.

That’s because big food companies spray them with artificial ethylene gas to ripen them during transportation, which leads to the odd flavor – not cool 🙁

Always buy your tomatoes at a local farmer’s market whenever possible… they taste 10x better and have ripened naturally (not artificially).

But even if you love tomatoes and other veggies, many times it can be very difficult to get the daily recommendation of 3-5+ servings.
Truth be told: it can tend to be a lot of work!  I get it!

That is why I am a huge fan of green smoothies in the morning with spinach or kale + the green & glo vegan protein blend with spirulina in it + raw veggies with hummus and 2 veggies with every dinner (salad + something else green)



Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

things that happen when you stop working out!

Things that happen when you stop working out.

Now it happens to the best of us: You get injured, find yourself working around the clock or are otherwise forced to put exercise on the back burner for a while.  But a day or two can easily stretch into weeks or even months, and you’re right back to square one.

In technical terms, you’ve become “deconditioned.” In fact, 25 to 35 percent of adult exercisers quit working out within two to five months of starting, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). How quickly your fitness level declines depends on several factors. Some may surprise you.


1. Cardiovascular Fitness Starts to Tank After One Week

Aerobic fitness is defined as the ability of the body to transport and utilize oxygen from your blood in your muscles. This measure, also known as VO2 max, decreases after as few as one to two weeks of inactivity.  “The functional capacity of the heart also decreases. After three to four weeks of bed rest, your resting heart rate increases by four to 15 beats, and blood volume decreases by five percent in 24 hours and 20 percent in two weeks.”says Danielle Weis, doctor of physical therapy with Spring Forward Physical Therapy in New York City.

2. You Lose Cardiovascular Fitness More Slowly If You’re a Seasoned Exerciser

If you’re new to fitness and recently started working out (less than six months), you’ll lose fitness faster than someone who’s been exercising a year or longer, says Brad Thomas, M.D., orthopedic surgeon and UCLA chief of sports medicine. “You’ll lose up to 40 percent of your cardio fitness, but your fitness VO2 max will still be higher than someone who’s never exercised,” he says. For example, you take two people: one who’s exercised regularly for two years and the other for only two months. If both stop working out, they will both lose all their gains quickly — by about six weeks. “But the well-trained athlete will lose about 40 percent and then plateau,” says Thomas. So trained athletes lose less fitness than sedentary people who’ve only recently started exercising.

3. Flexibility Loss Occurs Quickly

You lose the benefits of flexibility quickly if you take any substantial time off from stretching, says Michele Olson, professor of exercise science at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama. “After a bout of flexibility exercise, the muscles and tendons begin to retract to their typical resting length — particularly if you sit during your commute regularly and/or sit at a desk at your job.” Olson notes that you’ll notice a loss of flexibility in as few as three days, with even more pronounced changes occurring at the two-week mark. “Stretching should be done at least three times a week — if not daily,” she says.

4. Strength Starts to Diminish After Two Weeks

When you quit strength training, changes in your muscles begin to occur within days, says exercise physiologist Michelle Olson. “Muscle, when not receiving its regular challenge, will start to lose protein, which is absorbed into your circulation and excreted via urination. Small but meaningful loss in muscle protein (the building block of the contractile units for each muscle fiber) can begin to occur in 72 hours.” Noticeable changes when attempting to lift your usual amount of weight show up in two to three weeks, adds Olson. And as with cardiovascular fitness, long-term exercisers will see a slower muscle loss than those new to exercise, says Dr. Brad Thomas.

5. You Lose Power Faster Than You Lose Strength

Power, defined as strength x distance over a period of time (e.g., how quickly you can hoist a weight or dash across the street to make the light), fades faster than strength, says physical therapist Danielle Weis. “Strength losses first occur due to a change in the nerve’s impulses to muscle fibers, shortly followed by actual muscle wasting.” During muscle wasting, protein breaks down at a faster rate and protein synthesis (building) drops. The time it takes for you to return to your original fitness level depends on the reason you stopped exercising in the first place — whether due to illness or simply lack of time.

6. Fitness Levels Decline Faster When You’re Sick

Someone who’s healthy and takes a break from exercise loses muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness more slowly than a person who stops exercising due to an illness or injury. The latter will lose fitness levels twice as fast, says Dr. Brad Thomas. The stress of an illness or injury takes a greater toll on the body than simply taking a break when you’re healthy. Whether you’re an athlete or recreational exerciser, if you’ve taken a few weeks off from your routine, your level of deconditioning will be pretty low, says physical therapist Danielle Weis. “If you are recovering from a fracture, surgery or have been on bed rest, it can take up to and longer than 12 to 24 months to fully recover.”

7. Maintenance Is Easier Than You Think

If you’re planning to take time off from your workout routine, keep in mind that staying in shape isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. In fact, you can maintain your fitness levels in a surprisingly small amount of time, says Dr. Brad Thomas. “In order to maintain both aerobic and strength levels, you need just 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) twice a week.” Thomas cautions that the work effort must be truly high-intensity, at between 80 and 90 percent of your maximum heart rate.

8. Aging Affects Fitness Loss

You lose strength and overall fitness twice as quickly as you age, says Dr. Brad Thomas. “It’s largely due to hormone levels. As we age, we have lower levels of human growth hormone (HGH), which makes it harder to recover.” We also lose our ability to handle stress and recover from the resulting stress hormones, such as cortisol. As we get older, this same mechanism results in greater fatigue after a workout. Older athletes take longer to recover from workouts in general, according to several studies, including a 2008 article published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.

9. It Takes Three Weeks to Gain Back One Week Off

After a period of lying around, your nervous system loses its ability to fire up as it did before you took time off, says Irv Rubenstein, exercise physiologist and founder of STEPS, a science-based fitness facility in Nashville, Tennessee. That’s due to the fact that you lose the neural stimuli that enables you to lift heavy objects with the same amount of effort. “When you return to lifting, you may be able to lift the same weights, but you will be working above your normal capacity, which could put tissue at risk. It will take a greater effort to do what you used to do and will require more rest between sets and days in order to recover. ”A novice who’s taken time off during the holidays will need to start from scratch. The athlete or experienced lifter can start back to where they were a month or so ago and give it a month to get back to speed.

Cheryl Pattyn
Cheryl Pattyn

Foods Swaps to Burn Fat!

Now, if you struggle with choosing the right ingredients to put together a healthy meal, then this is the guide maybe your newest BFF.

You have lots of control when cooking at home vs eating out at a restaurant, when it comes to eating healthy and it may be a whole lot easier than you think just by making some simple food substitutions

How many of these items do you have in your refrigerator or cupboards?

1. White Flour

White flour is highly processed.

The processing and refining procedure that’s used in making the flour not only takes a toll on our environment, due to chemicals that are used, including benzoyl peroxide, potassium bromate or chlorine dioxide gas used to bleach, but it also harms the body.

Plus, both wheat and refined, bleached white flour is considered to play a major role in the obesity epidemic, as well as a wide range of chronic illnesses.

Due to its high fiber content, coconut flour is a great substitute for any weight loss plan.

You’ll be less likely to eat an entire box of cookies as you’ll feel full after eating much less. Plus, coconut flour doesn’t contain gluten – something that’s known to trigger weight gain and spike blood sugar levels.


2. White Sugar

Hopefully you already know just how bad refined white sugar really is!

It’s been completely been stripped of all nutritional value, and all it provides are empty calories as well as a quick path to weight gain and potentially, a multitude of chronic conditions.

While it’s still important to consume it on a limited basis, coconut sugar is arguably the healthiest alternative.

Coconut sugar is harvested from the sap of the coconut plant, in one of the most sustainable methods of sugar product. It also contains a small amount of fiber and other nutrients.


3. Vegetable Oils

Vegetables oils, extracted from plant seeds like canola (rapeseed), safflower, sunflower and corn, weren’t present in our diet until extraction methods were made available a little over a century ago.

They’re processed using harsh chemicals as well as typically being made from genetically modified seeds.

Not only that, but these oils are loaded with unhealthy omega-6 fats which are known to contribute to weight gain, unhealthy cholesterol levels and other health problems.

Unrefined, virgin coconut oil, on the other hand, is extracted from the kernel or meat of the coconut and is considered one of the earth’s healthiest foods.

While coconut oil contains 90% saturated fat, it’s actually an incredibly healthy type of fat known as lauric acid that the body utilizes for energy.

Switching out coconut oil for vegetable oil can help boost your metabolism and regulate blood sugar.

4. Bread Crumbs

While bread crumbs may not seem like they’re doing any major damage, if you’re buying it out of a box it’s probably been highly processed and has all sorts of unwanted compounds too.

You can cut calories in half, add some extra fiber and eliminate exposure to toxins but substituting rolled oats instead.


5. White Rice

White rice has gone through bleaching and all sorts of refining.

Despite having carbs, quinoa is loaded with protein and fiber, making it a great alternative. It also has 40 fewer calories per cup than white rice, making it ideal for any weight loss plan.

6. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a favorite comfort food for many people, and they can be especially hard to give up.

But the good news is, you can use cauliflower as a substitute for those tasty potatoes – not only is it the same color so your brain may be fooled into thinking it’s the real thing, but mashed cauliflower has a mild flavor that makes it tasty too – especially when adding some chopped garlic and plain Greek yogurt into the mix.

7. Cow’s milk

A lot of people cannot handle cow’s milk since it is not in its “natural” state after being pasteurized.

Instead, switch for almond milk which is high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, essential vitamins and minerals, like manganese, selenium and vitamin E.

It’s dairy-, soy- and gluten-free, and contains absolutely no cholesterol or saturated fat.


Here is a quick pic to help put it all together for you.