Quarantine Weight Loss Guide

Regardless of the corona virus, it’s still spring time and we know you still want to reach your weight loss goals. Don’t let the quaratine stop you!

Here are some ways to stay on track towards your goals and stay healthy during the quarantine:

  • Stock up on Healthy Groceries & Don’t Buy Snacks
    • When you go to the store to stock for social distancing, focus on buying foods that will last and benefit your health like frozen meats and frozen vegetables, or freeze the fresh.
    • You can also buy fresh and meal prep a bunch of dishes and freeze them to re-heat later.
    • Avoid buying snacks to prevent boredom eating and keep the house free of unhealthy foods.
  • Stick to your calorie plan & food journal
    • With downtime, it will be easier to dedicate some time to meal prepping and recording your food intake.
    • Try using the MyFitnessPal or Lose It apps.
  • Stay active!
    • Avoid staying on the couch for long hours and try to move every hour! If possible, go for a long walk, ride a bike, or try simple at home exercises or work out videos.
  • Drink water – only!
    • A great goal to help you reach your water intake every day is to try to drink 8 oz every hour. This will not only keep you hydrated, but also help promote overall health and boost your immune system while this virus is in effect.
  • Take your supplements!
    • Set a reminder on your phone to help you remember to take them every day. With more sedentary time, the supplements can aid you in weight loss and prevent added weight gain.
    • Use the Metaboost to replicate the metabolic effects of exercise while the gym is closed and boost your mood and energy! Our online store will remain open to help you keep your products on hand.
  • Boost your immune function
    • Use immune boosting foods daily like leafy greens, orange fruits and vegetables, garlic, and tumeric to protect you and your family.
    • Our top virus prevention products: Pre-Probiotic& Anti-Inflammatory. You can also protect your immune system with doses of up to 5000 mg Vitamin C per day (as recommended by Dr. Charles Mary).

We hope these help you during this time – please keep your health and wellness as a priority, as the Aspen Clinic always will. You may also reach out to us via email with any questions or concerns.

NEW at the Aspen Clinic in 2020

2020 is here and we’re so excited to announce new products added to the Aspen Clinic weight loss arsenal! We are now better equipped to help Louisiana reach it’s weight loss and wellness goals in 2020!

Here’s what’s new:

NEW: Supplements

Don’t worry, we kept all of our existing supplements that you love, but we are so excited to introduce these amazing new ones to aid you in your weight loss journey!

AppetiteRx 

  • Description: Aspen Clinic’s AppetiteRx is a natural appetite suppressant sourced from Caralluma Fimbriata, a cactus like plant that was often by ancient peoples to used to ward off hunger on long journeys. Aspen AppetiteRx promotes appetite suppression, increases feelings of satiety, and aids in craving control.
    • Recommended use: Take 1 capsule per meal. 
      •    Appetite Control
      •    Increase Satiety Levels 
      •    Control Cravings

Anti-Inflammatory

  • Description: Unlike NSAIDS, which damage the liver and disrupt the mucosal lining of the stomach, Aspen Clinic’s Anti-Inflammatory is a safe, effective way of reducing inflammation. Anti-Inflammatory uses the most potent herbal remedies for pain and inflammation including white willow bark, turmeric, epimedium, and resveratrol.
    • Recommended use: Take 1-3 capsules per day as needed.
      •    Reduce Inflammation
      •    Naturally Manage Pain 
      •    Boost Immune Function

B-Complete

  • Description: Aspen B-Complete contains the eight water-soluble B vitamins that are needed to convert fat, carbohydrates and protein to energy. B vitamins are essential in weight loss and as a way to maintain vitality.  B Vitamins are essential for brain development, nerve function, hormone production/regulation, stress reduction and weight management.
    • Recommended use: Take 1-2 capsules per day.
      •    Provides Full B-Complex
      •    Hormone Regulation 
      •    Boosts Energy + Metabolism

MetaBoost 

  • Description: Aspen MetaBoost contains ActivAMP (adenosine monophosphate) extracted from Ginseng leaf. AMPk regulates energy balance at both the cellular and whole-body levels by direct phosphorylation of metabolic enzymes and transcription factors, AMPK switches on catabolic pathways, such as the uptake of glucose and fatty acids, and their metabolism by mitochondrial oxidation and glycolysis. ActivAmp is the metabolic master switch that instructs the body to start burning fuel for energy instead of storing it and replicates the metabolic and health benefits of exercise. Panax ginseng alone also acts as an adaptogen increasing the body’s resistance to stress, increases stamina and endurance, and acts as a detoxifying and anti-aging agent.
    • Recommended use: Take 1 capsule in the morning and 1 mid-day. Max 4 per day.
      •    Major Metabolism Booster
      •    Boosts Energy Levels 
      •    Aids in Muscle Building, Training, Endurance

NeuroAntiox

  • Description: Aspen Clinic’s Lion’s Mane contains Lion’s Mane mushrooms that contain bioactive substances that have beneficial effects on the body, especially the brain, heart and gut. This incredible fungus enhances neurite outgrowth which slows or reverses cell degeneration in the brain, protecting against neurologically disorders. Lion’s Mane mushrooms reduce inflammation in fatty tissue and help prevent and relieve oxidative stress caused by poor nutrition and exposure to chemicals in the environment.
    • Recommended use: Take 1 capsule in the morning.
      •    Enhance Cognitive Function
      •    Reduce Inflammation 
      •    Powerful Antioxidant

Pre-Probiotic

  • Description: When losing weight, the bacteria in the gut play a very important role. Aspen Clinic’s Pre-Probiotic provides Prebiotic inulin from chicory root which nourishes and provides a food source for gut bacteria which stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria. In addition, a multi strain 20 Billion CFU Probiotic with a combination of 9 different species of good bacteria to restore the proper balance of flora in the intestinal tract, improve digestion, improve mental health, boost the immune system, reduce allergies, and aid the body in excretion of fats.
    • Recommended use: Take 1-2 capsules per day.
      •    Relieve Digestive Distress
      •    Restore Balance of Gut Bacteria
      •    Boost Immune Function

NEW: ‘Look’ on Products

Not only did we add some amazing new supplements to our best selling product line, we also changed up our labels for a fresh modern look!

Aspen Clinic Supplements

NEW: Collagen Based Protein Powder

  • Aspen Clinic’s Collagen Protein is sourced from hydrolyzed collagen peptides and MCT powder from coconut to provide a high quality source of amino acids and ensure proper digestion.  May be used as a meal replacement, snack, or as a protein source post workout. Available in Unflavored, Chocolate, and Vanilla.
  • Recommended use: Add 1 or 2 scoops of powder to any hot or cold beverage.
    • 10 g Collagen + MCT
    • Meal Replacement or Snack
    • Supports Hair, Skin, Nails, & Joints

NEW: Patient Loyalty Program

Over the years, we’ve done several different things to help our loyal patients save money throughout the weight loss journey. Now we introduce a patient loyalty program to make it a little easier!

Must come consecutively to be applied. Cannot be combined with other offers.
We appreciate you!

Let the Aspen Clinic help you make 2020 your best year ever!

Come check out all things NEW at the Aspen Clinic now!

Schedule your appointment

Diet Myths: BUSTED!

If you haven’t heard the news yet, we started a podcast

It’s been so much fun to discuss some of the topics/questions that we get every day in our offices with you whenever and wherever you choose!  As of now, we have 3 episodes available. 

Happy Healthy Days Podcast hosts, Barbie and Nikki

Episode 01: Welcome to Happy, Healthy Days

Our co-hosts Barbie and Nikki introduced themselves and talk more about their backgrounds, how they ended up working for Aspen Clinic, and shared some of their personal beliefs on health, nutrition, and overall wellness. 

Episode 02: Ditching Dairy

They dove right in to one of their favorite topics: DAIRY!  They both have some pretty strong views on why you should completely eliminate dairy from your diet if you haven’t already done so.  Finally, in

Episode 03: Busting Diet Myths

They address tons of diet myths and give you the truth on topics that often have misinformation. 

In case you missed episode 3, here’s a recap of the myths Barbie and Nikki discussed:

Myth: Muscle weighs more than fat

When you really think about it, 5lbs of muscle and 5lbs of fat weigh the same (each is 5lbs).  The difference is the amount of space they take up in your body.

Myth: Eating as little calories as possible is the best way to lose weight

If you are only eating a few hundred calories per day your body will end up going into starvation defense.  Keep in mind, your body is made to survive.  This means that if you don’t give your body enough fuel to burn off, it will end up storing everything you eat and burning it off as slowly as possible.

Myth: All fruits and veggies are good for weight loss.

While fruits and vegetables are healthy and loaded with vitamins and minerals, they aren’t ALWAYS the best option when trying to lose weight.  Starchy veggies and fruits are very carbohydrate dense and will take up a good bit of your carbohydrate allowance per day.  Try to stick to the green/leafy veggies and berries.

Myth: Eggs give you high cholesterol

Eggs are high in cholesterol, but they are high in HDL cholesterol which is the good kind!  It would literally take close to 50 egg yolks in a day to effect your cholesterol levels, so don’t be afraid of those yolks!

Egg whites are better than eating the whole egg: We all know that the egg white contains zero fat, but the reason we want you to eat eggs is because they are very low carb and high in protein.  Just eating the egg white only gives you about 3g protein while the entire egg will give you 8g.  Also, the yolk has been considered a “nutrient goldmine” and is part of the reasons we allow our patients to eat eggs until you’re sick of them!

Myth: Red meat and pork are bad for you

When it comes to protein, red meat and pork are actually higher grams per ounce than chicken and turkey.  The main reason that we tell you to limit your consumption of red meat and pork is because it is harder for your body to digest than other forms of protein. Remember, digestion begins in the mouth, so if it feels dry and chewy when you’re eating it, it will likely be like that through the rest of your digestive system.  This is also why it’s important to take digestive enzymes every time you eat meat.

Myth: Gluten-free is always healthy/good for weight loss

Gluten is found in tons of foods that we would like you to avoid when losing weight.  However, that doesn’t mean that because something is “gluten-free” that it’s a healthy option.  If you go down the gluten-free aisle in your grocery store you will notice that there are nothing but GF crackers, cookies, etc.  Those things are still high in carbohydrates and sugar even though they are GF.

Myth: Fat makes you fat

The only way that your body stores fat as fat is if you consume carbohydrates along with that fat.  In order to be stored, fat must enter into your cells and the only way to open the “door” to the cell is with insulin.  Consuming a high fat (healthy fats) and low carb diet will not lead to an increase in fat mass.

Myth: Eating healthy is more expensive

The key to spending less money on food is to plan!  Healthy food is no more expensive than unhealthy food, the issue is that if you over-buy fresh foods they spoil and you have more waste.  We recommend making a weekly meal plan and only buying the foods you will need and use that week. 

Myth: Calories vs calories out

We all know that in order to lose weight it’s important to eat less calories than what you burn per day, however not every calorie is created equal.  1200 calories of junk food is way different that 1200 calories of healthy food.  We are way more concerned with where those calories came from than just how many of them you ate.  Keep in mind, your body doesn’t know that you’re food journaling and its’ all about giving your body nutrients and energy that can be easily digested.

Myth: Cardio is best for weight loss

Weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, we recommend 30 minutes per day but it is so much more important to get to the grocery store than the gym.  However, when it comes to which exercise is more effective for weight loss strength training would be the best option.  The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn even while at rest.  More muscle = faster metabolism.

If you haven’t tuned in yet be sure to search ‘Happy, Healthy Days’ in the podcast app on iTunes or scroll to the bottom of the page under the ‘Blog’ tab on our website to find us!  

10 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

1. Never Arrive Hungry

When attending a holiday party, the best advice is to eat a healthy meal before you go to avoid over-eating.  If you are attending a sit-down dinner, eat a healthy snack high in protein and low in carbohydrates 30 minutes before and make sure you control your portion sizes when serving your plate.

2. Avoid Banking Calories

Don’t be a calorie hoarder!  Saving all of your calories for the end of the day is the quickest way to overeat.  Plan all of your meals ahead of time and treat the day just like any normal day.  Eat balanced meals full of nutrients, high in protein, and don’t be afraid of healthy fats.

3. Reduce Calories in Recipes

If you are doing any of the cooking this year, take this opportunity to make a few healthy substitutions.  Here a few ideas on how to reduce calories without your friends and family even knowing:  

  • Replace butter with applesauce, mashed banana, or pumpkin puree
  • Replace mayo and sour cream with plain Greek yogurt
  • Instead of whole milk or heavy cream use almond or coconut cream
  • Use vanilla or almond extract to flavor sweets instead of sugar
  • Add dried fruit instead of chocolate chips

4. Use a Smaller Plate

We all know that our eyes are bigger than our stomachs ESPECIALLY around the holidays when we’re surrounded by so many tempting things.  Using a smaller plate will help you control portions giving you time to feel full and reconsider having seconds.

5. Center Meals Around Protein

It is proven that protein provides the most satiety (feeling full and satisfied) of any of the macronutrients.  While so many  dishes at holiday parties are carbohydrate-based, like sweet potatoes, mac-n-cheese, and stuffing, don’t forget to load up on the protein.  We suggest serving about 2 palm sizes of protein, filling the rest of your plate with veggies, and only having small servings of carbohydrate-dense dishes.

6. Limit Liquid Calories

Have you ever heard of empty calories?  Empty calories are calories that provide no nutritional value and many times are very high in sugar.  If you are going to enjoy a cocktail this holiday season, make sure to choose the lowest calorie option to avoid wasting calories on empty calories from alcohol and sugary mixers.  Replace mixers with water or carbonated water and flavor with lemon, lime, or other fruits.

7. Control Stress Levels

As much as some of you probably love the holidays, for most of us it normally causes a good bit of stress.  Stress can be physical, mental, or emotional.  Physical could mean that you work out every day or that you over-use white flour or caffeine.  But did you know that all of that stress can affect your weight loss?  When under stress your adrenal glands naturally over-produce the stress hormone cortisol.  Cortisol eats muscle, and muscle is what we use to burn fat.  If you are over-producing cortisol, you are literally producing a hormone that is putting you into a plateau no matter how clean your diet is.  Try to de-stress as much as possible this holiday season and don’t forget to make some time for yourself!

8. Get Plenty of Sleep

Just like stress, it is extremely important to give your body the rest it needs.  Ideally, we would like to see you get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.  There are so many reasons to get adequate rest, but the most important reasons being that poor sleep changes your fat cells and lack of sleep makes you crave food.  When your body is sleep deprived, it suffers from “metabolic grogginess” and insulin sensitivity can drop by more than 30% which results in story fat in all the wrong places, such as your liver.  Also similar to stress, when you don’t sleep enough, your cortisol levels rise.

9. Avoid Morning-After Food

Of course we are ALL about treating yourself for special occasions, but that treat needs to end when the occasion ends!  Leave the leftovers at the party and get back on track tomorrow morning.  One cheat meal doesn’t need to turn into a cheat day, cheat week, or cheat month.  Enjoy the holiday party and then draw the line, tomorrow is a new day to start with a clean slate!

10. Take your Supplements!

We know that the holidays are an easy excuse to fall off track, but just like you are going to be sticking to your diet, we want to make sure that you are still taking your daily supplements ESPECIALLY during this time.  All of our supplements are specifically formulated for weight loss, and almost all of them contain digestive enzymes that will help your body digest and get rid of the foods you are eating.  Eating foods rich in flavor, loaded with extra sugar, cream, and cheese that your body isn’t used to can cause a lot of digestive distress and our supplements will help to make sure you are metabolizing them properly.  Aside from digestive disorders, our Aspen Adrenal will help to regulate adrenal function controlling cortisol levels, the Fat/Sugar Enzymes will help to balance blood sugar levels and control sweet/carb cravings, and the LIPO-Plus will aid in fat metabolism and fat burning.

 

 Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy holiday from all of us at the Aspen Clinic!

Ditch the dairy!

Did you know that humans are the only species on Earth who continue to drink milk after we wean from breast milk? 

We are also the only species who drink another species’ milk. If you’ve never considered why that may be, it may be time to start re-thinking your recommended 2-3 glasses of cow’s milk per day.

Sure, your grandparents grew up drinking milk every day and your parents told you to drink your milk to get strong bones, but the truth is that the milk we get in today’s grocery stores isn’t the same as the milk our grandparents drank.  Today’s milk contains dozens of reproductive hormones, allergenic proteins, antibiotics, and growth factors known to promote cancer.  It’s also been proven that we actually don’t need milk to have stronger bones.  In fact, dairy may increase the risk of bone fractures by 50% and research shows that Vitamin D is much more effective at preventing fractures. 

Aside from the lack of nutritional value found in milk, it has been determined that almost 75% of the world’s population suffers from digestive distress due to lactose intolerance.  Milk can cause inflammation, poor gut health, and skin issues.  And to make matters worse, milk is 100% for weight GAIN not weight loss.  Think about it, a baby cow triples in size during its first month of life drinking only milk!  Don’t be fooled into thinking low-fat will save you, fat is not the issue when it comes to milk, 8oz of milk still has 13 grams of sugar!

“Based on research and experience practicing medicine, I typically advise most of my patients to avoid dairy completely.”

~ Dr. Mark Hyman

In this YouTube video Dr. Hyman outlines 6 reasons to give up dairy:

1. Milk doesn’t benefit sports performance

2. There is no evidence that dairy is good for your bones or prevents osteoporosis and the animal protein found in dairy may cause bone loss.

3. Dairy is linked to prostate cancer in men.

4. Dairy causes digestive distress to 75% of the world’s population due to lactose intolerance.

5. Full of Saturated fat and is linked to heart disease.

6. Aggravates Irritable Bowel Syndrome

So to save yourself from a ton of health problems, digestive issues, and unnecessary sugar in your diet you may want to consider giving up your dairy completely. Try switching to a non-dairy alternative like unsweetened almond or coconut milk and using a non-dairy coffee creamer. Buy them at the store or learn how to make Almond Milk or how to make any nut-based milk if you like to source your own ingredients. 

If you want to make sure you have strong bones take a good Vitamin D supplement, get Calcium from other foods like leafy greens, seeds, sardines, and salmon with bones, and if you do not have digestive distress due to dairy, only use raw/organic dairy from fermented products like yogurt or kefir.

Appetite vs. Hunger

Did you know that appetite and hunger are two completely different things?

Hunger:

  • The physical need for food
  • Occurs with low levels of glucose in your blood, several hours after eating due to a protective mechanism that ensures your body is adequately fueled.

Appetite:

  • The desire for food
  • A conditioned response to food – a sensory reaction to the look or smell of food
  • More closely linked to behavior
  • Stems from your biochemistry and emotional connection to food
  • Influenced by sensory reactions to food
  • Can increase/decrease due to hormones, emotional state, and taste preferences

When hungry, the brain does not look for a signal from the stomach that it is full; the brain looks for the signal of satiety.

“Satiety occurs in your digestive tract – specifically, in your intestines. When you’ve digested and absorbed enough calories and nutrients to satisfy your body’s needs, hormones signal to your brain that ‘I am well nourished now,’ which decreases your desire for more food. Satiety can’t be fooled or faked, as it is dependent on the actual nutrition in your food.”

– It Starts With Food

By nature, we are hardwired to want to eat foods that are sweet, salty, and fatty in taste. The reason for this is because at one time human’s lived off of the land and people were unsure of what plants/animals were safe to eat.

Image result for hunger vs appetite

Typically if something had a sweet taste that meant it had nutrients, salty meant it would help you retain fluids, and fatty provided energy and calories. The problem is that in today’s world there are plenty of foods that are sweet, salty, and fatty in taste but have little to no nutrient value. These foods taste good, but there are no signals being sent to the brain that you are receiving nutrients, causing you to eat until your stomach is physically full leaving you with a stronger craving for more food because your body is still lacking nutrients.

Many people hear the term “appetite suppressant” and assume that it will suppress hunger. Contrary to popular belief, appetite suppressants only help to reduce cravings, control portion sizes, and create new habits when sticking to a healthier diet. An appetite suppressant isn’t designed to make a person not want to eat; it’s to keep a person from overeating. When taking the suppressant a person feels fuller quicker and only feels hunger when they are truly hungry.

A good way to determine if you are truly hungry rather than just having a craving is to determine whether you’d eat something healthy that is nutrient dense or if you strictly want the food you are craving. If the thought of eating a chicken breast, broccoli, or a piece of fruit doesn’t sound appetizing, then it’s more than likely your appetite speaking and not true hunger.

Image result for hunger vs appetite

Sources:

foodmatters.com

“It Starts With Food” – Melissa Hartwig, Dallas Hartwig

The Whole30: Not Just for Weight Loss

At the Aspen Clinic, one of the main things that we pride ourselves on is that we work extremely hard to teach our patients how to eat to be healthy, not just how to eat to lose weight. If you come in to one of our offices to watch the Grocery Store Tour or looked at the foods on the shelves in our classroom you would notice that most of the foods that we promote are completely natural, whole foods. We do our best to teach patients the importance of reading ingredient lists just as they do the food label. We believe in the power of the digestive system and eating foods that can be used for nutrients and energy, not just eating something because it says “zero, zero, zero” down the food label. Even though these “zero everything” foods don’t affect the numbers in your food journal, they can still have negative effects on your weight loss by causing inflammation, digestive issues, damage to organs, etc.

All of these reasons are why we encourage our patients to eat real foods that provide your body with the nutrients and energy you need to function in your day-to-day life. If you always feel sluggish, tired, bloated, have headaches, etc. the fix could be as simple as changing your diet to REAL food and the benefit is that you will likely lose weight at the same time!

One “diet” that is similar to the diet that we teach in our offices is The Whole30. This diet, for the most part, promotes high protein, low carb, and moderate fat.

The 5 main rules are to avoid dairy, grains, legumes, sweeteners (even the natural kind), and alcohol.

You have to read the ingredients on EV-ERY-THING to make sure you aren’t consuming anything artificial. This diet requires a bit more effort than the one that we teach, however the basic rules are the same: have lean protein at each meal and fill the rest of your plate with veggies, eat fruit occasionally, and only consume healthy fats.

You’ve probably heard the quote by Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Turns out, research is proving that food is/can be more effective to treating illness and disease than medicine.

One person’s Whole30 journey recently caught our attention. Amelia Gerken, 29 from Metairie, is currently completing her 3rd strict round of the Whole30 diet (but aside from a few cheats during the holidays, she lives like this all of the time) and has had amazing results managing an illness that she has spent almost 15 years trying to cope with.  In 2004 Amelia had her first seizure. Since then, she has spent copious amounts of time and money trying to find out not only why she has seizures, but also how to manage them. After many trials, errors, and failures she made the decision to try something completely new: eat clean, 100% of the time.

Here’s what she had to say:

Q: How long have you had seizures and what treatments have you tried?

 A: I started having seizures when I was 15 – I was a sophomore in high school – but my pediatric neurologist at the time wasn’t initially convinced that I really, truly had epilepsy. I didn’t get officially diagnosed with epilepsy until I switched to a different doctor, an epileptologist, following hurricane Katrina. I have tried just about EVERYTHING to remedy my seizures – I’ve been on at least 10 antiepileptic medications (probably more), I’ve seen about 5 different neurologists, I’ve seen homeopathic doctors and a chiropractor, my mom and I even traveled to New York to see a neuro-endocrinologist, I have seen healers – you name it, I have done it.

QWhat was your diet like before you started Whole30?

AMy diet was the standard American diet – total crap. I think I didn’t realize until I did Whole30 how terribly I ate. My breakfast was a croissant and a grande vanilla latte from Starbucks – so zero protein to start my day. I snacked on junk like flavor blasted gold fish pretzels ALL DAY. My lunch was a lean cuisine pizza, chips, and coke usually – again, totally lacking in vegetables and protein. My dinners weren’t terrible, but they were always served with a side of macaroni and cheese, and usually missing vegetables. I think whole30 just really opened my eyes to all the things that I was missing in my diet. Mainly the delicious vegetables and that I actually AM a pretty good cook when I put forth the time and effort!

Q: How long did it take you to adjust to the Whole30 requirements?

A: I usually tell people that you have to give yourself a solid two weeks to adjust. It’s not easy going from a super sweet vanilla latte to a coffee with no sugar in it – but your body really, truly does adjust to it!

Q: Were you able to identify potential trigger foods that may have caused seizures in the past? Or any food allergies/intolerances?

A: I think I realized that I am definitely sensitive to dairy. I have tried to reintroduce it into my diet a few times and it just doesn’t sit well with me unfortunately.

Q: Aside from not having seizures, did you notice any other physical or mental changes since you started the program?

A: Well, I did lose some weight, of course. I mean, that isn’t why I started my whole30 journey, but it was a perk! Also, one of my favorite things about doing whole30 is that my eczema cleared up – I think because I am not eating dairy and gluten which I have read can really exacerbate it. My skin is much clearer overall, but anyone who knows me knows that I usually have random patches of eczema hanging out – but when I do whole30, it always clears up!

Q: Did anyone close to you do the Whole30 with you and can you briefly talk about their results?

 A: My husband, Kevin, did whole30 with me and he was a total Rockstar! He tried all my new recipes, even when they were a little strange, and he really kept me on track with everything. He has lost 35 pounds so far, but I think my favorite NSV (non-scale victory) for him is that his snoring cleared up!

Q: Favorite Whole30 recipes?

 A: Right now, I am really loving the shrimp & grits recipe from the Whole30 Fast and Easy Cookbook. It takes about 10 minutes and it is fabulous. I also love anything that I can throw in the crockpot or the instant pot. The Zuppa Toscana soup is so easy and delicious in the instant pot, and there is a crock pot recipe, too. Easy meals are your best friend on Whole30. Whole30 chicken tenders are a weekly staple at our house – we tend to recreate our traditional favorite foods, just in a whole30 version. It is possible to do, I promise! And no whole30 is complete without homemade ranch – whole sisters’ recipe is the best and easiest and it is amazing.

Q: What would you tell someone who is hesitant to start the Whole30?

A: I think I would say, what do you have to lose? It’s only 30 days – and honestly, it really isn’t that hard. I know it seems daunting and like, ‘oh my gosh how could I ever give up all of these things,’ but if you plan your meals, I promise you can do it! Especially if you are struggling with a medical condition or you just want to lose weight! You can do it!

For the first time in 5 years, Amelia has been seizure-free for 6 months (and counting)!

She contributes most of her success to Melissa Hartwig, the creator of the Whole30 program.  Click here to read the thank you letter that Amelia wrote to Melissa.

Congratulations on your success, Amelia!  Your friends at the Aspen Clinic couldn’t be more proud.  Thank you for sharing your story with us!

10 Tips to Help You Stick to Your New Year’s Weigh Loss Goals!

Happy New Year!

We are so excited that this year marks 30+ YEARS of the Aspen Clinic helping Louisiana lose weight, and this year is all about YOU!  It’s officially one week into the new year and this post is dedicated to helping you not only set your weight loss goals high, but also to helping you stick to them long-term.  We’ve put our brains together with some of our most successful patients to make a list of the 10 best tips to stay on track throughout the year.

1. Write down your weight loss goals

Did you know that you have a 60% higher chance of achieving your weight loss goals simply by writing them down?  If you go into any of our offices you will find a goals board with our goals for the month or week.  It’s not only something that we preach to our patients, but something that we actually practice.  Starting the new year, it’s important that you take some time to sit down and really think about your goals; especially your weight loss goals.  We recommend setting short term and long term goals: weekly, monthly, and for the year.  Your weekly goals should be focused on your workouts, meal plan, water intake, etc. while monthly goals should be centered around how many lbs. lost, muscle mass gained, etc.  Don’t forget to come in for weekly weigh-ins at your local Aspen Clinic location to make sure you’re staying on track!

2. Make a weight loss plan

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!  That sounds cliche, but trust us… having a plan makes it so much easier to stick to something long-term.  Whether you plan your workouts ahead of time, plan your meals for the week, or schedule your weekly weigh-ins it is important to have a plan in place.

3. Get new health-centric gear

One of our favorite tips when encouraging patients to drink more water is to get a cute cup that you want to carry around with you all day.  The same thing goes for workout clothes, running shoes, yoga mats, lunch boxes, Tupperware, food scale, journal/planner, etc. The more excited you are about all of your new “gear” the more likely you’ll be to actually use them!  Some of our personal favorites are the Fitbook, Swell bottles (monogrammed, DUH!), the Apple watch, and Gymshark’s leggings in every color! Check out our online store to get started.

4. Take before pictures

We know you don’t want to do it, but sometimes it’s hard to see results in the mirror.  Being able to to compare side-by-side pictures really allows you to see how much progress you’ve made.  You don’t have to show these pictures to anyone and we promise when you reach your goal you will be SO HAPPY that you have them.  Just do it!  All of our patients featured in our success stories started somewhere.

5. Pick a fitness / weight loss partner

Having someone hold you accountable is one of the best ways to stay on track.  Whether your weight loss partner is your spouse, a friend, or someone you work with it’s always easier to make it to the gym when you know someone else is counting on you to be there.  Partners are there to cheer you on during successful moments and motivate you if you’re considering giving in to temptation.

6. Clean out your kitchen

The best way to avoid temptation is to get rid of it.  Now is the time to go through your pantry, refrigerator, and wherever you keep your secret stash of junk food.  Throw out everything that does not fit into your diet.  This will ensure that you won’t give in just because you’re bored or craving something bad.  You’ll be forced to go out and get it, which hopefully will give you enough time to reconsider if you REALLY want it.

7. Take a weight loss supplement inventory

All 9 of our clinics just stocked up on all of your favorite weight loss supplements to start the new year, so you  should do the same!  So many patients confess at their weigh-ins that they have supplements at home but never took them.  NOW is the time to go through your medicine cabinet and figure out what you need.  Make sure to re-stock everything you’re low on so that you don’t run out.  If you aren’t taking any supplements currently, we can’t encourage you enough to stop in to your local Aspen Clinic and ask one of our nutritional counselors to set you up on a personalized supplement regimen.

8. Switch it up/try a new healthy recipe

Hopefully you’re still motivated and sticking to your resolution, but in a couple of weeks you may start getting burnt out.  We recommend trying to incorporate a new healthy recipe at least once per week and switching up your workout routine every couple of weeks.  Try a new class you’ve been interested in, train different body parts each day, and do different forms of cardio as often as you can.

9. Keep a Journal

Taking a few moments at the end of each week to reflect on the good and bad is a great way to identify changes you need to make for the upcoming week.  Sometimes journaling specifics, even beyond your weight loss journey can help you recognize why you may have slipped up in certain areas or things you did that helped you stay on track.  Make sure you are in a quiet place, free of distractions in order to give your full attention to your thoughts.

10. Reward yourself

Don’t forget to set rewards!  It’s important to recognize when you’ve accomplished your goals; we recommend setting small rewards weekly and bigger rewards monthly.  One rule: don’t ever reward yourself with food.  Rewards should be something that you wouldn’t normally treat yourself to like a massage or a new pair of running shoes.

We know that you are going to have the most successful year yet, and we can’t wait to be a part of it!  Don’t forget: set weight loss goals, stick to them, and reward yourself.  We’ll be here every step of the way on your journey to a healthier you!

Lucky For You That’s What We LIPO!

HAPPY SUMMER!

It’s officially the first day of summer, which means it’s officially swimsuit, beach, and pool party season. It feels like this year has flown by and we can’t believe it’s already half way over! You may have slacked off on some of your New Year’s Resolutions by now, and you know what they always say, “summer bodies are made in the winter.” So if you haven’t reached your summer weight loss goals, don’t worry! We have a supplement that is perfect for you!

LIPO-Plus is our #1 best selling supplement. This supplement is a major FAT BURNER, specifically targeting fatty tissue in the abdomen while boosting metabolism and energy. The Lipo-Plus is also a natural appetite suppressant that many of our patients use along with the medication to further suppress their appetite towards the end of the day. Many non-medical patients take 2 capsules per day as a sub for the medication.

It has 4 powerful ingredients beneficial weight loss:

  1. Lipase Enzymes

    • A digestive enzyme that breaks down fats found in oils, butters, cheese, and meats.  Cooked fats have no enzymes so when they enter the bloodstream they cannot be digested.  If not processed in a few hours after consumption, the fats will be stored.  
  2. Green Coffee Bean Extract

    • Slows the absorption of dietary fat and increases metabolism of extra body fat
  3. Fucoxanthin

    • Targets a protein called UCP1, which increases the rate of abdominal fat.
  4. Caraliuma Fimbriata

    • A natural appetite suppressant found in a cactus.  Traditionally, Indian tribes chewed chunks of caralluma to keep from being hungry during a long hunt. These days, a solution that contains chemicals taken from the plant (extract) is used to decrease appetite for weight loss.

Start your summer off right by adding LIPO-Plus to your daily supplement regimen.  We recommend taking the LIPO-Plus at least once per day, but to speed up results take one capsule with each meal.

– Stop in to one of our 9 locations or shop our online store for LIPO-Plus –

Natural vs Synthetic Supplements & Why It Matters

Do you know the real reason you eat?

It’s not because you’re hungry or because you’re having a craving for a burger or chocolate. We eat for two main reasons: nutrients and energy. However, many of the foods we eat don’t provide us with either. We have become so inclined to buy the cheapest foods that last the longest. The problem lies in the fact that foods that are cooked or processed normally contain little to no nutrient value. This is the reason that the supplement aisle at your local pharmacy and grocery store exists.

The bad news?

Not all supplements are created equal. Approximately 90% of the supplements sold on the shelves of health food stores are literally ground up rocks and minerals. Just like it’s important to consider ingredient lists on foods, you should do the same when buying vitamins.  The accepted view is that synthetic nutrients are almost chemically identical to those found in food. The problem is that it is still unclear how your body actually absorbs these nutrients.

When you eat whole foods you aren’t consuming only a single nutrient, you’re consuming the nutrient plus a range of vitamins, minerals, co-factors, and enzymes that allow for optimal use within the body. What you don’t realize is that while scientists are trying to “re-create” vitamins in a lab, Mother Nature has already figured out the perfect balance of nutrients in foods.

Nutrients need each other to be properly absorbed, so isolating one vitamin isn’t going to get you very far. For example, there are over 200 nutrients in a carrot. The food is perfectly balanced so that we receive the full benefit of the vitamins found within. When you think of an orange you probably think of Vitamin C.   However, all of the “little guys” found in an orange are just as necessary in order to absorb and utilize the Vitamin C. Also, in nature, the nutrients are never found in mega-doses like “10,000mg of Vitamin C.”

Vitamin C is a perfect example of a supplement that is almost always in the synthetic form of ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is a man-made chemical that is not found anywhere in nature. It is created by applying high heat, pressure, and chemicals to sugar extracted from cornstarch, which turns the sugar into ascorbic acid. Before you assume a vitamin is natural ask yourself, “Is there an ascorbic acid plant, animal, or pond where I could find Vitamin C?” If the answer is no, the supplement is synthetic.

“The same minerals that cause scum to build up in your shower is what you may be consuming in your supplements today.” – Dr. Josh Axe

Another example is calcium. There are many different forms of calcium including calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, calcium chelate, etc. These are all synthetic forms of calcium that could damage your long-term health. Most calcium supplements do very little to protect bones and can actually increase risk for heart disease. The reason is that the calcium in most calcium supplements comes from calcium carbonate (finely ground limestone rock) and your body is only able to absorb a small percentage of that. The rest is either excreted or can bind to plaque on your arteries causing “calcification” of the arteries, which can eventually lead to stroke or heart attack.

So how do vitamin companies get away with claiming these vitamins are “natural” or “pharmaceutical grade?”

Many “natural” supplements are composed of mostly man-made ingredients and then the manufacturer adds one organic ingredient like soy or alfalfa, which allows them to use the word “natural” or “whole food based.”

Many companies boast that their supplements are pharmaceutical grade, which literally means that they are highly processed and not natural. The definition of the word pharmaceutical is “a compound manufactured for use as a medicinal drug.”

One of the main problems is that we are hard-wired to believe that more is better. That’s not always the case when it comes to your nutrition. For example, many people take thiamine (Vitamin B1) for energy. But too much of it can actually lead to fatigue. Causing you to take even more of the vitamin. This is how the vicious cycle starts. Take supplements to treat the effects of supplements.

Unfortunately, we have to keep in mind that the supplement industry is just like any other industry. The main goal is to make as much money as possible, while spending the least money possible. These companies spend very little on the product itself and millions on marketing them.

We hate to break this to you, but if you are taking synthetic supplements, you basically just have expensive urine.

This means that your body physically cannot absorb those ingredients so you are just flushing them out. This is why it is EXTREMELY important for you to learn the different between a truly all natural supplement and a synthetic supplement.

How to determine if your supplements are food-based or synthetic:

  1. Read the ingredients

    • Typically ingredients that end in “ic,” “ate,” or “acid” are synthetic
    • Examples: ascorbic acid, potassium gluconate, calcium citrate
  2.   Quality over quantity:

    • More isn’t always better.  Keep in mind, Mother Nature has already figured out the perfect balance of nutrients in foods.
    • Small amounts of Vitamin C from oranges or cherry extract is better than large amounts of Vitamin C as ascorbic acid.
  3. Consider Price

    • As with anything, you typically get what you pay for; it’s pretty inexpensive to pulverize rock and put it into pill form.
    • All natural vitamins, from whole food sources will generally be pricier, but you will be able to utilize and absorb the nutrients found in the vitamin.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates

— At the Aspen Clinic, we chose to take the most natural, holistic approach when formulating our supplements rather than selling supplements that are made up of chemicals. In every supplement we formulate we follow this rule: “Who knows better than Mother Nature?” —

Shop our complete line of all natural supplements!

So it’s time to start prioritizing your health. Don’t always buy the cheapest options available when it comes to your nutrition. Before you put anything into your body you should ask yourself, “will this give me nutrients or energy?” If the answer is no, DO NOT put it into your body. It’s that simple.

At the end of the day, if you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?

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