What a dietitian says about the reality of sugar addiction
Photo by Rod Long

What a dietitian says about the reality of sugar addiction

Have you every heard anyone compare sugar to cocaine for the brain? I have been thinking lately about how much the media, armchair doctors, and society in general is demonizing sugar.. One major contention is that it is “addictive” in the same way substances like drugs and alcohol are. Is it true? Read on to find out.

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The DAO of Fancy Water, by personality type
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The DAO of Fancy Water, by personality type

Have you ever had this happen to you – you go to a restaurant with a group of people, and the waiter comes around with a pitcher dripping with condensed iced tap water filling your glasses up. Then he/she asks if you would like anything else to drink, or are interested in still or sparkling water. That moment where everyone locks gazes in the ultimate awkward moment – do you stick with the tap or order the fancy water? Usually the person picking up the check decides.

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Week of June 16 – DAOFitLife Meal and Exercise plan
Poke or grain bowls are perfect to order and have the leftovers in a wrap the next day!

Week of June 16 – DAOFitLife Meal and Exercise plan

This week, I have some new products to introduce! Plus, the beginning of my journey into a 5-day lifting routine. RECIPES AVAILABLE HERE (UPDATED FOR WEEK OF June 16) Customizable DAOFitlife…

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The DAO of calculating macros
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The DAO of calculating macros

In my previous post on the roadmap to intuitive eating, I explained that calorie and macro counting can also be tools in the toolbox of understainding nutrition goals.

In this post, I will explain two of these core methodologies: calories in, calories out (CICO) and If it fits your macros. (IIFYM).

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The Little Black Dress Method™ to Meal Planning
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The Little Black Dress Method™ to Meal Planning

There are two main obstacles that trip up meal planning for busy professionals: 1) Time; 2) Decision fatigue. I have a solution for both in this article. If you need a guide to planning meals that won’t be a second full-time job, you are in the right place.

This is the DAO Little Black Dress Method for Meal Planning. ™

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The DAO guide to Intuitive Eating
Photo by George Pagan III

The DAO guide to Intuitive Eating

When I first heard of intuitive eating, I dismissed it as some hippie-dippie excuse to indulge a lack of willpower. When I bypassed my inner judge and listened to what dietitians had to say, I have gotten more curious. The more I see, the more I think that this could be a new chapter in my fitness journey.

This post will explain what is “intuitive eating” and the resources you can access to explore it on your own.

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Unlocking the mystery of intermittent fasting: Fad or phenomenon?- UPDATED for “Intuitive Fasting”
You certainly will become a clockwatcher on some forms of the IF approach. After a while, will time fly? Photo by Malvestida Magazine

Unlocking the mystery of intermittent fasting: Fad or phenomenon?- UPDATED for “Intuitive Fasting”

If I were to compare intermittent fasting to a celebrity, I would go with Lady Gaga. It seemed to explode on the scene out of nowhere, but didn’t succumb to being a fad or a one-hit wonder. It’s been timeless  – but it has attracted a lot of controversy. Lately, I came across the “Intuitive fasting” craze pushed by Gwyneth Paltrow, so I investigated and updated this post.

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Orange Theory, explained

If you are looking to get back into the swing of challenging workouts or just to try something new, Orange Theory is a good choice. This post will explain what it is, what the experience is like, and help you figure out if it is right for you.

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How to bounce back from that post – wedding post-graduation weekend hangover
Rule #1 of bouncin back: Relax and take it easy! You don't have to take over the world every day. Photo by Kinga Cichewicz

How to bounce back from that post – wedding post-graduation weekend hangover

In my last DAOFitlife update I talk wed about going to a wedding this past weekend. When we checked into the hotel, I noticed that there were lots of people clearly going to weddings and graduations… and of course, it’s the season! But this season is unlike any other because we are all like lions being let of our COVID cage. And as I discovered , I was ravenous for life – and food. And it was EVERYWHERE.

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Week 13 – DAOFitlife Meal and Exercise Plan
A good way to get HIIT: Sled push.

Week 13 – DAOFitlife Meal and Exercise Plan

This week I am focusing on split training that is the type of training where you focus on certain muscle groups at a time as opposed to doing full body strength training. The advantage of this type of training is also that it decreases the amount of total training time. So, for example, when you do a split with upper body lower body push and pull you can be in and out of the gym in about half an hour including the warm-up. And that makes things really efficient during work “busy seasons”, which we are all familiar. In my role, every day is busy season but right now there is a heightened energy and rush which is like running a daily marathon. I am sure you can relate!

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The fanastic promise of zero sugar
I was on a pink cloiud wth the no sugar promise for years, and am finally just coming down. Photo by Shota Tsiklauri

The fanastic promise of zero sugar

”So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”–1 Corinthians 10:31

“If you never taste the bitter, the sweet just isn’t as sweet.” – Cameron Crowe, Vanilla Sky

My latest Netflix binge show is “Money Explained.” I’m already hooked from Episode 1, because I am a documentary nerd and I love Tiffany Hadish, especially the sound of her voice (she narrates the series). The first episode talks about get rich quick schemes and how they have evolved over 200 years. It highlights various examples of ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes, and scams, like the Nigerian prince letters and then emails. What I found really fascinating was that many of the schemes are actually not technically fraud, They are legal. No one can be prosecuted if it backfires on the person who invested all of their money. No matter if they are fraudulent or not, all have one thing in common: they start with a “fantastic promise.” A promise of doubling or tripling your current salary, of getting rich while only working a few hours a week, of never having to worry about money again. The experts on the program talked about what gets people hooked – it’s a dopamine hit. The thrill of possibly having it all at very little cost. Except there’s usually a catch. Fine print with a fee. And in the end, it’s too good to be true. 

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Saboteur Series VII: Can you drink alcohol and still lose weight?
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Saboteur Series VII: Can you drink alcohol and still lose weight?

How booze can be blocking your fitness goals

By now you must know that I am not afraid to take on touchy subjects. I feel that with an audience of mostly working professionals, we gotta talk about alcohol. And the timing is just right.  Alcohol is a significant thread in the fabric of socialization. We will soon be back to the days of raising a glass, of wining and dining clients, and of team happy hours.

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The whole pre and post workout nutrition thing
Pancakes prepared the right way can be a good post workout fuel of protein and carbs. Also, sharing them with your dog encourages portion control.

The whole pre and post workout nutrition thing

Pre and post workout nutrition is so confusing. A simple google search yields over 30 million results. You don't have time to read all this and figure it all out,…

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Week 10- DAOFitlife Meal and Exercise Plan
Taking progress pictures can help you stay on track. To the left: me at Equinox pre-pandemic; and then post-pandemic in May 2021. Notice how the exact same locker room changed, too!

Week 10- DAOFitlife Meal and Exercise Plan

Here is my weekly update on my meals, exercise, and recipes. RECIPES AVAILABLE HERE (UPDATED FOR WEEK OF MAY 6) Customizable DAOFitlife Meal Plan and Grocery List Links- Week 10 Customizable…

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Saboteur Series VI: Skewed Portion sizes
In Italy, not only are the pasta servings much smaller, but they don't come drowning in heavy sauce. The Italians say, "Troppe salse vivande false.", meaning "Too much sauce means false food." - Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino

Saboteur Series VI: Skewed Portion sizes

We are going to talk about portion sizes. I categorized this as a saboteur because I have seen many cases, including with me, of eating nothing but healthy whole food and gaining weight. It is SO frustrating.

The only explanation lies in CICO, Calories in = Calories out (read my cardio post for more explanation and breakdown of CICO). Portion sizes matter in this equation. And thanks to Supersize menus, we have a skewed view of what they should be. So I will use this article to understand the problem, and then offer a guide to retrain your brain – which is what I had to do after being brainwashed by the skewed portion size saboteur.

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Week 9 – DAOFitlife Meal and Exercise Plan

Week 9 of DAOFitlife meal and exercise plan has a few new twists. This week I have tweaked my diet in two ways:

I am starting to eat a little early breakfast before my workout. I do this by either eating a few bites of my oatmeal mix half an hour before my workout, or eating a date and a few nuts beforehand. A Medjool date is fairly big and good for a burst of instant energy. In my article on pre and post-workout nutrition, I outline the pros and cons of eating before the workout. I am going to as an experiment see how much my workouts actually benefit from eating a little beforehand.

The other major tweak to my diet has been NO SUGAR SUBSTITUTES. That means not just no artificial sweeteners, but also no “natural” zero sugar products like Stevia or Monk Fruit. This is purely a theory that I am testing, but I believe that these substances are robbing my body of energy I need from actual carbs and making me crave the sugar that I am not getting. In my post on protein bars, I rave about the “fake sugar” and its effect on our insulin sensitivity. Even though at first glance stevia and monk fruit may not have the same effect on insulin resistance, I believe that they are having a “sugar fake-out” effect on me.

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If you want to be fit, get FAT
Do not throw out that egg yolk! You need fats for a fit body and MIND. Photo by Nick Samoylov

If you want to be fit, get FAT

…into your diet.

In my PFFCW formula, the second F is for fat. And I resisted it for years. Now that the stigma has been shattered, I realize that fat is essential to feeling good on the inside and out. Let’s find out why.

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