Posts in Nutritious Food
Holiday Survival Guide!

  Hi Fusers!

Happy holidays!! Thank you all so much for being such a supportive fitness community and inspiring us to always challenge ourselves and strive to serve you better! We truly appreciate how giving you all are, and thank you for committing to help others in our community by participating in our food drive, adopt-a-family program, coat drive and winter wonderland donations every year. We love you and thank you for being so generous.


It has been awesome seeing many of you balance out the start to your holiday indulging during Thanksgiving and still attend classes--way to go!! Now that Thanksgiving is over, we will now be entering into the next phase of holidays with Christmas, Hanukah and the New Year, which means lots of parties and probably some traveling as well. It can be very challenging to balance out holiday indulging, so we decided it would be beneficial to share a few tips on how to survive the holidays this month without getting too far off track.

I believe the most important rule is to never go to a party hungry. We have all done this before, and most likely it didn't end well, right? We begin by eating every hors d'oeuvre  that is passed around, then gorging ourselves with our meal, then dessert and 2, 3, 4 glasses of wine--whew, that's a lot of extra calories consumed! I can feel my belly swelling from writing this. Then we feel bad about ourselves and wonder how much damage was endless cycle. The average American gains 5+ pounds during the holidays--let's not let that happen to us! So, it's best to plan ahead and eat a light and healthy meal or snack prior to attending the party, so you can make healthier choices at the party, and choose just a few indulges that are worth it, but not go crazy.

unknown-2Another important rule is to continue to prioritize your workouts--if you have to miss one, then find another time to exercise. Even if you are traveling or with family members during the holidays, you can invite them to go for a hike, a bike ride or a brisk walk to burn off those extra calories. Stay consistent with your workouts and you'll feel much better about the extra holiday indulgences.

images-1Saving the best for last!  Let's discuss the calorie goblin--whether you call it hooch, sauce, vino, juice, moonshine, cocktails, booze, whatever...this is the hardest part for many of us. The rule of thumb is for every cocktail or glass of wine you have, be sure to follow up with one glass of water. This will help keep you hydrated and will fill your belly up. When you are hydrated, this keeps you from drinking excessively as well as overeating. So be sure to drink at least 8 cups of water per day (plus an extra cup per drink consumed) to help detox your system and stay hydrated.

unknown-3While I understand I'm not telling you anything you don't know, it's always good to have a good friend looking out for you and remind you of these things. Because once you step into your next party, all of your hard work may go out of the window. So I hope these tips will be a helpful reminder that of course you should indulge, but do so in moderation. With that said.. I will see many of you on December 5th at the Hotsy Totsy for the Fuse Fitness' Annual Christmas Party! I hope we will all survive!

Yours In Health,

Pascha Brown











Friday Roundup!

Hi Fusers! Happy Friday :) Hope your weeks have been good so far....the weekend is here!

Here's what we're looking forward to this weekend:

1) Giant's game tonight!!! Pascha and I are HUGE Giants fans, to the point that we'll cancel work, clients, drop everything to watch our beloved boys in orange and black in the World Series. You'll find us together tonight with our kids and friends, hooting and hollering, hoping to see our boys clinch the third game.


2) Halloween party tomorrow night! We'll be celebrating Halloween at my husband's super awesome nightclub, The Night Light, in Jack London Square on Saturday evening. The kids will be tucked away at home, and us grown-ups will be getting our party on!! All are welcome, come on out to see what Pascha and I will be dressed up as!!

3) Colusa Circle Halloween event Sunday! Our little community here on the Colusa Circle will be hosting a Halloween event for the kiddos from 10-1pm. Our studio will be making a kid's obstacle course and giving out Spooky Punch, while the other small businesses will be hosting their own kids' activities. Always a good time, come on out and visit us!! colusa

It's been a great week here, we spent all last weekend re-organizing our studio and the feedback has been great! Clients are loving the new feel of our studio, which is awesome. So grateful to Beverly and Josh for helping us out last Sunday.

And lastly, here's a roundup of all that we shared and were inspired by this week:

Monday Motivation river

Tuesday Tips of the Week "12 Counterintuitive Health Tips that Really Work"

Wednesday Workout!

Tabata Core 20/10 x 8 A) Hollow rocks B) Superman

AMRAP-12 minutes 1. 10 Scapular push ups 2. 10 squat jumps 3. 6 Foward/reverse lunges per side 4. Suicide sprints

Thursday "Multitasking Damages Your Brain and Career, New Studies Suggest"

Foodie Friday "8 Comforting Paleo Turkey Chilis"

Have a great weekend!!

Yours in Health,

Kristin at The Fuse Fitness

Baby TJ is here!! And Week 4 of Challenge--No more sugar!!

Hi Fusers! First off, just wanted to let everyone know who hasn't heard yet, Pascha delivered healthy little TJ on Sunday, May 4th. She is doing well, resting and recovering at home.  She was at the studio that very morning, taking Michael's class, then went into labor and delivered later that day. Pascha has been a great example of how exercising can and should be done throughout pregnancy. She lowered the intensity when she needed to, listened to her body (some days a nap was more in order than a workout), but pushed through, knowing that a strong body would make an easier delivery and recovery. Congratulations to Pascha, Terence and proud big sister Anai!!!

anai and tj

tjAnyway, onward to THE CHALLENGE. First of all, how is everyone doing?! We are into Week 4 now. Last week we eliminated gluten--I know that one can be very difficult for people, so just want to know how you're doing with it. This week has been long dreaded by many--no more sugar!! We are only allowed to have fruit from here on out, no honey, no maple syrup, no sugar alternatives.

keep-calm-and-no-sugarCheck out this article from Mark's Daily Apple, an extremely informative, science-based blog about primal/paleo living. It breaks down all the different types of sugar and talks about the effects these various forms of sugar has on our bodies. With hardly any exceptions, sugar is an anti-nutrient, meaning it has no significant nutritional value. And with eating, it is imperative to our health to be consuming nutrient rich foods and eliminating anti-nutrients.

With obesity now a nation-wide, and increasingly global, epidemic, it is very important to look at the human diet and assess what is going wrong. Our society is eating processed foods galore, loaded with trans-fats and SUGAR. According to Dr. Mercola, a well-known doctor and blogger of natural health, more than 50% of all Americans consumer 1/2 pound of sugar EACH day!! It is becoming scientifically proven that excessive consumption of sugar is the leading cause of obesity and chronic disease in America. Check out this article for more information regarding the dangers of sugar.

Unfortunately for all those of you who have a sweet tooth, too much sugar consumption leads directly to increased weight gain. Without significantly reducing sugar, ideally eliminating it on a daily level, saving only for very special occasions, fat loss will be extremely difficult.

Whenever sugar is consumed, our blood sugar levels spike, causing high levels of insulin to be released into the bloodstream. In a nutshell, this leads to roller-coaster peaks and valleys in our blood sugar levels, which in turn causes excessive amounts of cortisol (the "stress hormone") to be produced and released into the body, which then leads to a decreased metabolism, immune weakness, chronic fatigue, as well as fat gain, especially around the mid-section. The key to staying lean, having plenty of energy, and staying healthy overall is keeping your blood sugar levels regulated and stable.  (

So, I know this will be a huge challenge for many of you. But stick with it. I promise you will feel so much better--less belly fat, high energy levels throughout the day--at the end of this challenge. Trust me, I have completed the 21 Day Sugar Detox two times in the last year, which eliminates all grains and sugars, and I also gave up dairy. While challenging, which you can read about HERE, the effects on my body were amazing. I also lost my taste for sugar, as anything that has added sugar simply tastes way too sweet. That being said, I know you can do it too! Remember, nothing in life is worthwhile unless you've really worked for it ;)

Yours in health,

Kristin @ The Fuse Fitness


Week 1: Cut out ALL processed foods

Hi Fusers! Tomorrow is day 1 of the Über Challenge. You should all have completed your pre-test workout for time, which you will take post-challenge to see your improvements.

This week the challenge is to eliminate ALL processed foods, which you will continue for all 8 weeks. We felt this was the most important first step toward better health. Many of you are confused by what this means, so I'm writing this to help explain and ease your worries.

Here are some rules to follow:

-Keep it simple, just eat REAL food. Most foods that come prepackaged in a box, bag or can are processed; there are a few exceptions, so always read ingredients on the label.

no-processed-foods2-Food should be consumed as close to its natural state as possible. Think lots of produce, eggs, meats, nuts, on the perimeter of the store, stay out of the aisles.

-No fast food or deep-fried foods.

-Real beverages only, mainly water. Coffee, tea, homemade veggie juices, coconut water are all acceptable. No soda at all, and never drink diet soda.

-No lite, low-fat, reduced fat or non-fat food products. These things have been processed; the fat that naturally occurs in real food is good for you.

-Reduce your consumption of grains, week 3 we will be eliminating ALL gluten products (I'll write more about that around that time). Any grains consumed should be 100% whole grain.

-No refined sweeteners or artificial sweeteners. This includes, but not limited to, white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, sucanat, splenda, stevia, agave, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, and cane juices. Foods and beverages can only be sweetened with a moderate amount of honey or maple syrup.

eat clean-No refined oils. This means vegetable oil, canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, margarine or grape seed oil. Stick to organic coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil, ghee, or grass-fed butter.

-ALWAYS read ingredients: the fewer ingredients, the better, generally 5 or less. Nothing with artificial ingredients, flavors or colors.

Keep this list posted on your refrigerator to access at all times. Keep it stored in your phone for when you're grocery shopping. Follow the rules. If you're not sure, it's probably processed. Feel free to email us or talk with us in person any time you have questions or need a little motivation. Converse with others in class to keep you going. It's always easier to have a support system, and that's why we're here. We believe in every one of you and know you can do this.

Good luck with week 1!!! Don't forget to log your points into your spreadsheet. Please see Pascha or me if you have any questions with anything.

Yours in health,

Kristin @ The Fuse Fitness

Über Challenge Spring 2014

Hi Fusers! We are pumped. The time has come to really kick it into high gear. We are about to seriously take control of our health, staying consistent with our workouts, adopting healthy eating habits, and getting rid of junk that's weighing us down. Introducing the Über Challenge!

ways-to-eat-healthierThis 60-day challenge begins tomorrow, April 15. Why 8 weeks? Because we want to see results and reach our goals, and that takes time. We'll be making new positive changes each week, focusing on consistency and follow through. We're tackling this head on. It is important to understand there is no quick fix; fitness and health are a journey and we'll be damned if we're not going to help make that journey a better ride.

The way the challenge works is that you get "+" points for working out and eating well, and "-" points for not working out and eating well. Pretty simple, right? To motivate everyone and eventually reward someone, the Über Challenge costs $10 to play; the winner takes all!

The main objective of this challenge is to improve our health. We may all be motivated by different reasons; whether it's to move better, feel better, sleep better, and/or look better, the one definitive commonality is that we want to be healthier. So here's how we're going to achieve that. Workout a minimum of 3 times each week at The Fuse, improve our eating and health habits, and improve on a timed workout challenge. Boom, it's that simple. And guess what? Thanks to all of you, we have a built-in support system.

Each week there will be a healthy habit to adopt for the week and all successive weeks moving forward. This is a progressive challenge with each week adding another healthy behavior.

Week 1: eliminate all processed foods.

Week 2: drink 6 cups of water a day; add 1 cup for every caffeinated beverage consumed.

Week 3: eliminate all gluten products.

Week 4: eliminate all sugar/sugar alternatives except fruit.

Week 5: get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep a night.

Week 6: eliminate alcohol.

Week 7: reduce caffeinated beverages to only 1 per day.

Week 8: reduce recreational screen time (tv, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) to 2 hours or less.

So there you have it. Über Challenge Spring 2014. Begins tomorrow. Are you ready???

Yours in Health,

Kristin at The Fuse Fitness


Following a Paleo Lifestyle to Prevent Heart Disease

Hi Fusers!

Hopefully you all took the heart health quiz we posted earlier this month to see where you stand. Today, I'm going to talk to you about how following a Paleo lifestyle (see how I say lifestyle, not diet) will significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, LDL (or "bad" cholesterol) and triglycerides, as well as diabetes. All these things lead to improved heart health. That's what the month of February is all about, learning how to improve heart health.

Heart disease affects 65 million Americans. One of 3 deaths in the U.S. is caused by heart disease. One in 3 Americans have metabolic syndrome, a group of significant risk factors that are directly related to obesity and insulin resistance (Chris Kresser).

Over the last 50 years, the FDA has maintained that a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol causes heart disease. Foods such as eggs (specifically the yolks) and bacon are bad for us. Have you stopped to wonder why despite the push of a low-fat, reduced-calorie, no cholesterol diet, the levels of obesity, heart disease, blood pressure, and diabetes have all continued to increase significantly?

There is mounting, overwhelming evidence that suggests that this type of low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, heavy in low-fat grains and dairy, as well as heavy in processed foods such as low-fat crackers, cookies and treats, is not the way to go. Rather, a diet that emphasizes high-quality animal proteins, healthy fats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds and excludes all processed foods, gluten, dairy, sugar, legumes, starches, and alcohol is the way to go. This type of eating has shown and is continuing to prove that it can prevent and help treat heart disease, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, and digestive disorders, amongst other things, such as ADHD and dementia (Huffington Post).


The Paleo diet focuses on eliminating inflammatory foods that can upset both the immune and digestive systems. Less inflammation in the body is a good thing. It reduces gut bloating and discomfort, allowing food to digest properly, as well as reduces joint and body pain. The Paleo diet also focuses on foods that are low on the glycemic index, which prevents your blood sugar levels from spiking and then crashing. This in turn is why eating Paleo has an amazing effect on energy levels--your body doesn't have the roller coaster of energy highs and lows that are associated with eating refined sugar, simple carbohydrates, and processed foods.

Eating a Paleo diet provides the body with a rich supply of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants, as well as focuses on foods that boost your metabolism and keep your body satiated and satisfied.

Here is a list of the top heart-healthy Paleo foods, according to Chris Kresser, author of Diet Heart Myth:

  • Cold-water, fatty fish--an excellent source of omega-3 fat.

  • Olives, olive oil, macadamia nuts and avocados--some of the very best sources of monounsaturated fats, which are shown to reduce LDL and triglycerides, and reduce HDL. They also reduce oxidation and inflammation, lower blood pressure, and reduce thrombosis.

  • Anti-oxidant rich foods, a variety of colors of fruits and veggies, red meat, organ meats, eggs and grass-fed dairy, help our antioxidant defense system protects us from oxidative damage, which is a major cause of heart disease. We need to eat in a way to strengthen our defense system.

  • Polyphenol-rich foods such as tea, especially green, blueberries, EEVO, citrus, coffee, turmeric and other herbs and spices, naturally defend against infections, sunlight damage, and chemical oxidation.

  • Consumption of nuts is associated with a decrease in many heart disease risk factors, including BMI and systolic blood pressure.

  • Soluble-fiber rich vegetables such as brussel sprouts, carrots, sweet potatoes, asparagus and fruits, like apricots, oranges and grapefruits, bind bile acids; inhibit fatty acid synthesis; improve insulin sensitivity; and increase satiety with lower overall energy intake. (The Diet-Heart Myth: How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Naturally by Chris Kresser)

How does this all work? Every day, we have a certain amount of cholesterol in our bodies; 25% which comes from our diet and 75% which is produced inside our bodies by the liver. Most of the cholesterol found in food is not absorbed by our bodies. However, the body regulates how much cholesterol it produces in relation to how much it takes in; when intake increases, the body makes less, and vice versa. There have been cholesterol feeding studies done that show that in 75% of the population, dietary cholesterol has very little impact on blood cholesterol levels. In the other 25%, dietary cholesterol does modestly increase both LDL and HDL, but does not affect the ratio or increase the risk of heart disease. Eating cholesterol is not bad for you, so, eat your eggs and do not waste those yolks. Egg yolks contain all 13 of the essential nutrients found in an egg (Kresser).

egg yolkStudies also show that lower-carb diets (grains, sugars) are associated with increased fat loss and HDL, decreased BMI and waist circumference, as well as reduced triglycerides, blood pressure and plasma insulin (Mercola).

Coming back to the term Paleo lifestyle, there are several important behaviors that go hand in hand with improving your health. Regular exercise, sitting less and walking more (separate from regular exercise) significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, as well as reduce the symptoms for those who already have heart disease (Mercola; Kresser).

Also very important to a healthy lifestyle is sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation is a huge factor in heart disease, causing weight gain, insulin resistance, decreased energy, and an increased appetite (Kresser).

Finally, managing one's stress levels goes a long way in helping prevent heart disease. Very high stress levels can cause a myriad of symptoms, such as an overproduction of cortisol, which can lead to weight gain, impaired blood sugar control, and increased inflammation in the body.

That being said, chronic inflammation in our bodies is simply not good for us. The Paleo diet, especially the heart-healthy foods mentioned above, significantly helps in reducing inflammation, which in turn creates a healthier heart, and an overall healthier body. Increased energy and weight loss are amazing side benefits of eating this way and will occur naturally.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments, I'm happy to answer.

Yours in Health,

Kristin @ The Fuse Fitness

1. Huffington Post; 6 Health Lessons From The Paleo DIet;

2. Chris Kresser; The Diet-Heart Myth: How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Naturally;

3. Robb Wolf; What Is The Paleo DIet?;

4. Paleo Grubs; 17 Benefits of Eating Paleo;

5. Dr. Mercola; Feast Like a Caveman and Watch the Pounds Melt Away;

My 21 Day Sugar Detox (DSD) Experience

Hi Fusers, Happy Sunday! Today is Day 21 of the 21 Day Sugar Detox! That's right, the last day. Congrats to everyone who did this detox with us :)


I chose to do Level 3 of the 21 DSD. There are 3 levels, the third being the most strict. It is a rigid paleo diet (no grains, legumes, dairy, refined carbs, or alcohol) and no sugar at all. Period. You may not consume fruit during these 21 days. The detox program suggested to only choose level 3 if you are already used to following a paleo/grain free lifestyle. I have been for years, not always super strict, but at least 80/20%. There is an "athlete modification" for those who workout vigorously multiple times a week that allows 1/2 cup of sweet potato a day. I did not consume sweet potato daily, probably about 5 days out of the 21. The point of the detox is to regulate and stabilize your blood sugar levels, which in turn keeps you from craving refined carbs and sugar as a pick-me-up.


So, you probably want to know how it went. Lucky for you, I'm gonna fill you in on the details. The good, the bad and the ugly. I think I'll start with the good (always better to start with the positive, right?).... Let's be real for a minute though, the good outweighs the bad and ugly by a million to one. But I wouldn't be being honest if I didn't share the challenges as well.

The Good

While I did not do this detox with a goal of losing weight/body fat, the majority of people on this detox will lose body fat. The more body fat you have to lose, the more dramatic the difference. While I consumed a large amount of calories all day long, I absolutely saw a difference in my body. I leaned out a bit more and my abs became very defined. Even though that wasn't my goal, I'll take it as a win.

Almost immediately, I experienced increased and more consistent energy levels all day long. Whew, sometimes I annoyed myself with the amount of energy I had. It's been awesome. No more mid-afternoon yawns, which is the one time of day I've always struggled with.

With that, I also experienced better sleep. I am someone who is a light sleeper, wakes easily and has suffered on and off from bouts of insomnia throughout my life. But wouldn't you know that this detox kept me sleeping like a baby. High energy all day, sound sleep all night....not gonna lie, this is AWESOME.

I've struggled with IBS/digestive problems my entire life, which is the primary reason I decided to go mostly paleo years ago. Tightening up the reins and diving into this detox, I truly experienced the most comfortable and regular digestion I can ever remember having. This I tell you, a freaking blessing. I haven't had any problems with bloating or stomach aches at all. It feels great.

Overall, I just feel pretty dang healthy.

The Bad

Well, for me there wasn't much "bad." Because I already followed the paleo lifestyle, there weren't a huge amount of changes for me, which made this much easier. The 3rd day of the detox, I did have a headache for most of the day, which cleared, and never resurfaced. The more sugar and refined carbs you consume in your diet before beginning the detox, the more difficult the detox symptoms can be. They range from lethargy (in the beginning), persisting headaches, cold/flu-like symptoms, and irritability.

The Ugly

So, there were a few moments of ugly. They all happened during the first week, and mostly the first weekend of the detox.

While washing grapes for my daughter's lunch one evening, probably around Day 3 or 4, I found myself salivating and practically drooling. I wanted one of those grapes with a vigor I have never experienced with any piece of food. It took me by surprise and was such a mind-battle. I had to seriously fight myself not to eat just one grape. It was emotionally exhausting.

Don't these look drool-worthy? :)

On day 5, Friday evening, Anai came over for a playdate with Ava, and the kids wanted dessert. I let them choose what they wanted, they picked mint-chip ice cream in a cone. I obliged. After we ate a 21 DSD approved/paleo dinner, they wanted their ice cream cones. As I was scooping the ice cream into the cones, it was melting quickly, running down my fingers. OH MAN, I cannot tell you had badly I wanted to just lick my fingers. It was pure torture. I thought the grapes were bad, but this, wow. And I don't even really like mint-chip ice cream, to be honest I'm truly not really a sweets person.

Thankfully, no one witnessed this scene, this battle, or could read the crazy thoughts in my head. For that, I am grateful. It was ugly. I solved it by shoving my hand under water and washing the ice cream off before things got worse. I gave the girls the ice cream and for the rest of the evening had an intense craving of wanting something, anything, that would satisfy me. I wanted a glass of wine, I wanted something sweet, I wanted something I wasn't allowed to have. And right then I realized how most people rely on a treat, whether it's wine/alcohol, dinner out, or dessert to transition them from weekday/workday into relaxation/weekend mode.


That night was the most difficult for me, because it took me completely by surprise. I'm used to eating really clean/paleo all week long. For a long while I have reaped the benefits of better energy, better sleep, better stomach issues, and know that this is how my body performs most optimally, allowing me to work 12 hour days on my feet all day. But come Friday evening, I'm ready for something to transition me into weekend mode. And I never realized that. It hit me very intensely. The following two weekends were hugely better, because I wasn't surprised by it. Being mentally prepared for what may come made all the difference. I

I also found that there were many people in my life who had a difficult time accepting that I was doing this detox. I heard things like why do you have to always be so extreme?!; you don't need to lose weight, why are you doing this?; this is crazy, no fruit, that's nuts!; when you get pregnant, you'll have to be extreme, so why would you do this to yourself now?!.....There were times I had to remind these people that it was my choice, it is only 21 days, reassure them that my goal was not to lose weight, and that I wanted to experience the health benefits from this. This was my favorite line: "Just have this one glass of wine, no one will know." That's where it got ugly. That awkward moment when I said, "Well really, two people will know, you and me. And I think that defeats the whole purpose."

There you have it, my 21 DSD experience in a nutshell. I feel great and will continue and adhere to a paleo lifestlye with very little to no sugar. I will enjoy fruit again, however I've for a long time only eaten maybe a piece a day. And I am truly looking forward to celebrating this accomplishment with a really good glass of wine.

Please feel free to ask me any questions or share your 21 DSD experience with me!

Yours in health,

Kristin at The Fuse Fitness

21 DSD (sugar detox) Day 3!

Hi Fusers! We are diving in at day number 3 and I hope you all are staying on track. It has been difficult for me so far being a vegetarian because my meals are a bit limited and I have to keep track of my protein intake.

Since I am a vegetarian I do eat quinoa and full fat greek yogurt as in level 1. Other than that I have cut out all sugar and stick to veggies, lots of eggs, quinoa, almonds, paleo bread and yogurt for my protein. I have also been eating a lot of fat such as avocado, coconut oil and natural almond butter (no sugar and manufactured only with other almonds-no soy or other nuts).

In the beginning I was moody with headaches and hungry. I realized I wasn't eating enough so I added more snacks full of fat, veggies and protein.  I also take a daily live women's multivitamin and a probiotic to enhance absorption of vitamins and minerals and support healthy digestion. Now I am satiated and sleep like a baby! However I still miss my daily banana, (ripe-not green) with almond butter and Trader Joe's black bean/quinoa tortilla chips with hummus :(


So today this is what I inhaled:

Breakfast: Two organic omega-3 scrambled eggs in coconut oil with spinach, onions, garlic, cumin, cracked pepper, pink Himalayan sea salt, thyme and cayenne pepper. I also made quinoa flakes with cinnamon and chia seeds with a cup of three ginger tea. Oh, and did I mention I also miss my green tea full of caffeine?! Well I do.


Snack #1: Full fat greek yogurt with cinnamon and chia seeds.

Lunch: Broccoli and kale salad with tomatoes, avocado, boiled eggs and cucumber. I make my own dressing with fresh squeezed lemon, olive oil, thyme and pink Himalayan sea salt and ground pepper.

Snack: #2: Toasted coconut paleo bread with natural almond butter and cinnamon with a side of spinach salad.

Dinner: 1 cup of garbanzo beans, brussel sprouts and a kale salad with the same dressing as above with garlic and onions added.

Snack #3: Toasted coconut paleo bread again with coconut oil, 1 hard boiled egg sliced on top with fresh spinach and avocado.

Whew! I'm tired just typing all of this. But I have to say I do have more energy and sleep like a baby, but I crash earlier than usual--bed time is 10pm now.

Here's my advice to you. Make sure you plan and prep your meals ahead of time. It will seem tedious in the beginning, especially if you are cooking for several family members like myself. Although I am a vegetarian, I do cook fish and chicken for my husband and 7 year old daughter, so I understand that our time is precious. But once you have your grocery list, meals and recipes planned you will be good to go.


Okay, enough about me I'd like to hear how this detox is going for you! Please share your journey with us!

Let's go Team!

Yours In Health,


Let the 21 Day Sugar Detox (21DSD) Games Begin!

Hi Fusers :) Hope your weekend is getting off to a great start! Classes were awesome this morning, great energy, good dedication and hard work. Can't ask for a better start to the weekend.

As many of you already know, Monday we are starting the 21 Day Sugar Detox. Here at The Fuse, we strive to consistently make healthy choices, whether it’s with food, exercise, family or work. However, we all indulge in things that aren’t healthy, we’re only human, right? Summertime often means over-indulging on many more occasions than normal, with vacations, parties, bbqs, there’s almost always a reason to over-indulge. With the start of this new school year (as parents, we see the beginning of the school year almost exactly like the beginning of the actual year) we are choosing to make a conscious effort to get back on track with our goals and training, closing down the awesomeness that is summer and moving forward.

21dsd2That is why we have decided to make it a challenge at The Fuse to participate in the 21 Day Sugar Detox together, to jump-start our engines, reset our metabolisms, and rid our body of the excess toxins we’ve consumed this summer.

According to Wikipedia, the average person consumes about 24 kilograms of sugar each year, which is equivalent to over 260 food calories per person, per day. Even when we think we are following a low sugar diet, it's often surprising to find out how many foods have added sugar.

Removing sugar from your diet helps you lose body fat quickly by stabilizing your blood insulin levels (insulin promotes the storage of body fat), increases your energy by stabilizing your blood sugar (keeping you from having those sugar highs, then sugar crashes), improves the complexion of your skin (sugar zaps the collagen in your skin), and helps you taste and sleep better. All these effects sound awesome, right?!

While all of these are huge positive effects, there will most likely be some negative effects during the first few days of the cleanse. Just like any type of detox, as you clean your body from the inside out and rid it of what it is addicted to, the body suffers a bit on its path toward getting healthier. The most common negative symptoms reported on this cleanse during the first 2-3 days are headaches, cold-like symptoms, low energy, irritability, bloating, and sporadic sleep. However, many people experience no negative symptoms, and for those who do, it's mainly just the first few days.


You can find out more info from the 21 DSD website and purchase their book if you choose. Basically, the program is designed in three levels, introducing Level 1 participants to a life without refined foods, but not excluding all grain, legume and dairy products. Level 2 goes on to exclude grain and legume products while Level 3 is a strict Paleo diet with additional modifications specific to The 21-Day Sugar Detox's goals for participants in breaking their sugar and carb addictions.

Foods you should be avoiding completely are anything with sugar in it (agave nectar, evaporated cane juice, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, raw cane sugar, sucrose), alcohol, fruit, breads, candy, cereal, dairy, anything with flour, oatmeal, potatoes, soy, tortillas, vinegar, white rice, pasta, and seitan.

keep-calm-and-no-sugarWhat can you eat? Lots of delicious food! All veggies (except potatoes), up to 1/2 cup of sweet potato a day (especially for athletes or if your energy doesn't spike back up after the first few days of the detox), eggs, avocado, coconut oil, fish, ghee (clarified butter), lemon and lime, nuts, olive oil, free-range chicken and turkey, grass-fed beef and lamb, quinoa (Level 1 only), seeds, tomatoes and unsweetened chocolate.

We will be posting regularly on Facebook, the blog, and Instagram (follow The Fuse Fitness on Instagram and/or post pics of your meals and #thefusefitness) about what we're eating, links to meal ideas and recipes, and how we're feeling, both what's challenging and what's making us feel good. We highly encourage you to participate with us and share your meals, your struggles, your highs and ask any questions you'd like. We're in this together and it's just 21 days to a better you!!

So, let the games begin!!

Yours in Health,


What's For Lunch?

As we stated in our previous blog post, Mom always told us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, Mom also made sure we ate lunch. She packed our lunch daily, including snacks, in our He-man, Star Wars or Hello Kitty lunch box. he+man

Planning lunch can be difficult. Many of us skip lunch, eat quickly at our desk and/or grab fast food and unhealthy snacks. This blog post will discuss how we can overcome lunchtime bad habits and focus on making healthier lunch choices.

Bad Behaviors

Many people skip lunch because they get too busy at work--we all know someone who only eats once or twice per day. Most likely he or she is not in great shape and is unaware of the harmful effects this has on the body.


Skipping Meals

Skipping meals during the day can cause overeating in the evening, resulting in harmful metabolic changes in the body. When you skip a meal your fasting glucose levels increase, which causes your metabolism to slow down and cling to fat. According to The American College of Endocrinology, if this behavior continues long-term it could lead to diabetes.

Desk Dining

Another bad habit many people struggle with is eating quickly while working. According to the Business Dayton Journal, a new survey reveals that fewer than half of all employees leave their desk to take a lunch break each day, and one out of every five workers polled said if they do take a lunch break, it is eating at their desk. What is the harm in that, you're eating lunch right?

Wrong. Let's face it; it's hard to enjoy lunch if you have to eat in a hurry at your desk. Desk dining means that you are probably eating while distracted and your brain does not register that your body is eating. "Eating at your desk encourages mindless eating, and overeating," says Susan Moores, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Most cultures take a mid-day meal to enjoy food as well as a physical and mental break.


Eating on the Fly

Under constant stress, your body will start to crave rich and sugary foods. That is why many people end up going to the pizza parlor down the street or grabbing a donut from the vending machine in the office. However we all know that this behavior will end up having long-term health consequences. On the other hand, taking time away from your desk may go a long way toward relieving stress and boosting energy. Now you need to plan ahead and apply basic rules for healthy eating.

Meal Planning

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." --Benjamin Franklin

Planning meals ahead is not rocket science. It simply means carving out one or two hours a week. Just like bad behavior can become habitual, so can good habits. Prepare your lunch and snacks at night. Maybe use dinner clean-up as a time to make your lunch with leftovers. If you are a parent, make your lunch at the same time you make your children's. Our family uses the Mr. Lids containers to pack our meals and snacks, this way we can eat balanced, hot meals.


Lunch doesn't have to consist of a sandwich, salad and fruit. Make complete meals you will actually enjoy and keep you satiated. Most of time we eat leftovers from dinner, or since sandwiches are not my favorite, I grab something prepared in the refrigerator section of the grocery store such as a quinoa salad. No matter what food category/diet you consider, it is essential to understand you need a balance of fat, carbohydrates and protein to live well.

What To Eat

Fats We all need fat and there are three main types: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. The right fat is good! It coats our cells, joints and keeps our brain functioning. Every fat or oil contains a mixture of all three, which you need to be healthy. You can get adequate amounts in seeds, nuts, fatty fish, avocado and oils. We should aim to get between 25-35% of our calories from fat. However, you should treat trans fat like the plague! If the food has a shelf life of 60 years like the Twinkie, imagine what it can do to your insides.


Fiber Fiber-rich carbohydrates are also necessary for our body's main source of energy and metabolic boost. Without it our muscle tissue would break down and our brain would turn to mush. We should aim to get 45-65%of our daily calories from carbs. Avoid processed carbohydrates and eat fresh vegetables and fruits. If you eat grains such as rice or bread, remember they are calorie dense, meaning it has a large amount of calories in relation to the amount of space it takes up. You can easily inhale a large portion without realizing it. It's better to eat calorie dense carbs during breakfast or right after workouts to make use of the energy source. Try to stick to veggies and some fruit the rest of the day.

Proteins Last and not least--why is protein so important? Proteins are essential for forming bones, collagen, cartilage, fuel, stabilizing blood sugar, helping control weight, and are responsible for building, repairing and maintaining muscle tissue. We should aim to get 10-35% of our daily calories from protein. Although protein is important, people go overboard and take in too much. This can cause an increase of fat, toxins in your kidneys and you can lose muscle and bone calcium as well as have muscle weakness. Healthy proteins come from many food sources whether you eat meat, are a vegetarian, vegan, gluten free or on a paleo meal plan. Here is a sample list: eggs, milk, meat, nuts, beans, avocados, dates, figs, bananas, cherries, apricots and grapes. There is something for everyone, just keep track of the amount you consume.


A few years ago, a couple of staff members at Epicurious decided to create a healthy lunch challenge for over 1300 aspiring child chefs, choosing a winner from each state. Click HERE for the winning healthy lunch recipes to get some great lunchtime ideas. The grand prize for the winning chefs and their parents was an enormous celebration at The White House to meet Michelle Obama (read about it HERE). Very inspiring!

Where to Eat

Vow to yourself that you will get up from your desk to eat. Walk to a bench down the street, sit at a conference room table, or eat with some colleagues. Take 15 to 30 minutes to eat and chill out. If you are at home, eat with the TV and computer turned off. Enjoy the time with your family to share both food and conversation.


In the End

So what did we learn? Never skip meals, step away from your desk, plan your meals or grab a healthy, balanced, prepared meal, exclude trans fats, always eat healthy fat, fiber-rich complex carbohydrates and healthy proteins.

Our bodies function best when we eat healthy and balanced meals every two to four hours. Please feel free to share your favorite healthy lunch ideas!

"Eat like a king in the morning, a queen at lunch and a pauper the rest of the day." --Adelle Davis

Yours in Health,

Pascha at The Fuse Fitness