Monthly Archives: April 2014

Staying Fit During Pregnancy

By: Brittany Claverie, TRX Certified Instructor

In case you didn’t know, I am now in my 27th week of pregnancy and our baby boy is expected to arrive in July!  It really is incredible to think of how fast time is going lately.  It feels like I just found out I was pregnant and now I am counting down the days!  While I can’t say I’ve had an easy pregnancy, it has been one thing after another.  I started experiencing morning sickness at roughly 8 weeks, and it continued until about 20 weeks, and nothing could ease the nausea.  Believe me, I tried everything.  The nausea turned into acid reflux which kept me up for hours every night.  Thank goodness this has subsided, and I only suffer occasionally. For the past four weeks I have been nursing my right foot, which the podiatrist believes is a stress fracture due to my “weight gain” and the hyper mobility I have in that foot. With all of these pregnancy symptoms and obstacles, I take each day as it comes, I live minute by minute, and I thank God for blessing us with this miracle.

I have always been told this is the time to eat whatever you want, and over indulge in as much sweet and salty goodies as you possibly can. Well, I beg to differ.  Thus far, I have only gained 15 pounds.  Since finding out back in November, I told myself I did not want to “let myself go” and just eat anything and everything in sight. You are told you only need 300 extra calories per day during pregnancy, which is roughly an orange and a low fat yogurt. Or you can choose to spend those calories on a piece of chocolate cake.  Which would I choose?  The fruit and yogurt, of course!  From the beginning, I have been making my own smoothies filled with spinach and fruits, to provide nutrients for both me and the baby.  During the day I try to make healthy choices by snacking on fresh fruit (frozen green grapes are my favorite!), a protein or granola bar, Greek yogurt, rice cakes with peanut butter, veggies and hummus, unsweetened applesauce, or whatever catches my eye in the grocery!  For my meals, I do not over-indulge, but eat a sensible portion. I have to honestly say I have not had any strange cravings yet, but I do not deprive myself if I want a snowball or a shrimp po-boy!  Another thing that I have found to help tremendously is keeping up with taking some of my Genesis pure products. I take the Daily Build which is a multi vitamin, and I also take the superfruit juice, Go Yin (a hormone balancing juice).  I truly believe these products have my body in the best shape, keeping both me and the baby in good health, and I feel the Go Yin has helped suppress the cravings.

Overall, I am very pleased with my body and physical condition at this point.  I am very thankful I was in shape and extremely active before getting pregnant, and I look forward to the challenge of getting back in shape after the baby arrives.  Stay tuned.

About the Author – Brittany Claverie

brit 2Let me take you back to about 10 years ago at the age of 18 when I was at my heaviest and was battling self-image issues. I don’t recall precisely what ignited my determination to get fit, but at that point it became a priority and I decided to take control and started exercising. Over the process of consistently exercising and watching my nutrition, I lost 40 pounds and 5 dress sizes! It was amazing to me how good I felt, and how my self-confidence improved.

After losing the weight, I decided that I would never go back to that place of feeling so low, and I realized my lifestyle needed to change for good. That decision drove me to become an aerobics fitness instructor and a certified TRX instructor. My passion is to help others feel good about themselves, help them stay true to their fitness journey and most importantly have fun working out!


IMPACT Challenge 2014

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the IMPACT Challenge. We saw some serious competition and are proud of everyone who pushed to beat their numbers. The top 10 Beasts this year were:

1. Angela Deichmann, 2. Jessie Burr, 3. Yvonne Ferina, 4. Jason Burkhardt, 5. Marcy McMenis, 6. Jenn Thelen, 7. Erica Sharp, 8. Erin Cerise,9. Keith Hicker, 10. Brandy Bazile



To Diet or Not To Diet? That Is The Question.

By: Larry Gruber, CSCS, MES

It’s now April.  A time when rain showers bring way to flowers.  A season that strikes fear in all Americans when we realize just how much we owe the government on April 15.  It’s the month of French Quarter Fest, Patriot’s Day, and the much-celebrated Boston Marathon.  And, it’s the month that we put our winter clothes in the back of the closet and bring those summer clothes front and center.  That simple act of pulling our bathing suits out of winter storage can be scarier than writing those checks to the state and federal governments.

This is the month when many of us begin scouring the web in search of that perfect diet to get us in shape for the summer.  However, does dieting really work?  I’ve had many clients who have told me about this year’s great, revolutionary diet or about a diet in Europe that is all the rage and how people are losing a lot of weight on these plans.  Let’s analyze for a moment why any diet actually causes people to lose weight.  Basically, a diet restricts caloric intake because diets, by their nature, limit the items we eat.  When there is a caloric deficit (less calories taken in versus calories expended in normal activity plus exercise), we lose weight.  Even the man who ate nothing but McDonald’s for two months lost weight because the foods he was permitted to eat was limited, so he ate less.  A plan like the Atkins Diet takes an entire macronutrient (carbohydrates) out of the picture.  So, your food choices become less and less.  When this happens, people will eat less and lose weight.

Now, let me ask you a question.  How many times have you been on a diet and then gained all the weight back?  The purpose of this question isn’t about bringing up past failures, but to show you that dieting itself doesn’t get us the end result for which we are searching.  When you lose weight on a diet, you lose both body fat and muscle.  Then, when you have achieved your goal, you go back on a regular eating plan and most of us end up gaining that weight back.  Realize, when this happens, we gain back fat, not muscle, which skews our body fat percentage even more so that we are, in reality, fatter than when we actually began the diet.  To prevent this from happening, we need to learn how to eat healthy on a day-to-day basis, and dieting doesn’t teach us this.  When we re-introduce the entire Whole Foods or Rouse’s grocery store back into our life, panic ensues because now our food options are unlimited again and most of us go back to our pre-diet habits.  Don’t diet.  Break those bad habits.

I know I’ve painted a fairly bleak picture.  However, allow me to clear away those cloudy skies for a sunnier view.  Think about what your ideal weight should be–the weight that, through proper diet and exercise, you can maintain without extreme measures for years to come.  Unfortunately, this means the size we were when we were 18 is probably not a realistic weight for us in middle-age (did I just call myself middle-aged?).  The next thing I always have my clients do is keep a food diary so that together, we can analyze what they are eating, how much they are eating, and when they are eating it.  Then, I like to introduce one or two changes at a time so that my clients may acclimate to those.  By slowly integrating change into their day-to-day diet, they gradually become healthier and slowly lose body fat.  A one to two pound weekly loss is what is recommended for healthy weight loss, and to keep that weight off.  Also, exercising, especially resistance training, will help maintain the integrity of your skin and muscle mass as you lose weight.

When analyzing a client’s food diary, I look for a myriad things.  To begin with, are you having a sensible breakfast to begin your day?  Are you eating periodically throughout the day–approximately every three to four hours?  Both of these will actually help to speed up your metabolism and help you burn more calories.  Are you limiting your intake of sodas, fried foods, cheeses, mayo, and fatty spreads and sauces?  Do you substitute cakes, cookies, and ice cream with yummy alternatives such as fresh fruit, yogurt, and crunchy vegetables?  Are you drinking plenty of water throughout the day?  And, are you giving yourself the pleasure of one “free day” per week?

Dieting (the verb), doesn’t work.  A healthy diet does.  I urge you to think of exercise and a proper diet as a welcomed life-style change.  Just as we have to brush our teeth every day to prevent cavities, we have to be consistent with working out and eating well in order to lose body fat and to keep it off.  So bring on those warm, sunny, humid southern days.  Unpack those bathing suits and book that Destin hotel room.  This Chicago boy is excited about summer.  And, if you need a little assistance in getting excited, just call me and let’s work together to get you looking great, feeling awesome, and moving like you’ve never moved before.


larrygruber-headshot2Physical fitness used to be just a pastime for me, until more and more friends began asking for my opinion concerning their fitness regimen.  In 1999, after a successful restaurant management career in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants, I became a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I’m also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

As a personal trainer, I strongly feel that exercise should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.  I structure the workouts so they are fun, combining traditional weight training with functional training, cardio-respiratory training and flexibility training, all aimed at helping you look, feel and move better.  In order for the sessions to be successful, the personal trainer/client relationship must be a very interactive one, requiring constant feedback from both parties.  I want and need your opinions and suggestions.

After training for 13 years in Chicago, I made the move south in search of warmer weather.  I’m so excited to be part of such a vibrant city, and I can’t wait to try its world famous restaurants.  Thanks so much for welcoming me to New Orleans!!