What Are You Building Your Body For?

The conventional approaches to weight loss have been well studied over the years. One would think we should have it all figured out by now but we live in a world with a growing obesity and chronic disease epidemic.  

I work in the fitness industry and even I struggle to know what to believe, what to eat, and how much to exercise because everyone is an expert yet we are all clearly failing. I don’t like that I’m working in a failing industry.

My passion to get to the bottom of all things that get results has lead me both to California and Washington these past few months. As I continue to learn from lead presenters at these conferences I’m privileged that I get the opportunity to share what I have learned. It’s the former registered nurse in me that wants to keep you out of the hospital instead of taking care of you in one. At the end of the day it’s advice, so apply as appropriate.

Building Your Future Self means that eating is more than grabbing food on the go. It’s more than one meal, no gluten, no meat, no wheat, no salt. Your body needs to move more than twice a week and it needs more than yoga, pilates, and kettlebells to become strong and lean.

Dr. Arianne Missimer spoke at the National Strength and Conditioning Conference I attended earlier this month on “The Functional Medicine Paradigm Shift,” in Washington, D.C. This is not the first time I’ve listened to this engaging doctor tell her story. (She has conquered Cancer.) She leaves me motivated to continue the path to wellness in any way I can. Missimer’s message: “Traditional medicine treats the symptoms, and improving lifestyle treats the roots of disease. We can control the roots by working to improve the quality of our modifiable lifestyle factors.”

More than 50% of the world is suffering from a chronic disease.

Modifiable Lifestyle Factors:

Nutrition, Exercise and Movement, Sleep and Relaxation, Stress, and Relationships.


What undermines our success in improving our lifestyle factors?

It could be the contradictory information we are all subject to from the experts, your friends and family, the media, and all the books and literature. In a presentation from Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N at the IDEA Conference “Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss” I understand that the conflict of contradictory information erodes motivation. The “I don’t know what to do to lose weight” turns into “WHY BOTHER?” 

Too Many Rules and Trends…..What’s trending today?



Pre and Probiotics

Avoidance of Toxins, Additives, Preservatives

Gluten Free

Fasting Protocols


Low or no Salt

Anti – Inflammatory 

Fermented Foods

Wheat Free

Social Responsibility – no single use plastics, buy local

Sugar Free 


Keto – low carb high fat

Paleo – high protein low carb

Toxic Load


Fact: We can’t agree on any of those.

Knowing there is a lot that we can’t agree on with nutrition, Reinagel has created a list of things that we all can agree on and she backs it up with plenty of research. Inputting your answers into her Nutritional GPA (Grade Point Average)  app is a good way to see how you score over time with the agreed on nutritional habits. Note the goal is to get a B average, not an A!

What’s Your Nutritional Grade Point Average?

Nutritional GPA: Start tracking your score. (With permission from Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N)  

#1 Did you have 5 or more servings of vegetables, not counting white potatoes or corn?

A serving of vegetables is ½ cup. Leafy = 1 cup. Veggies in smoothies count, vegetable juice does not. 

#2 Did you have at least 3 different kinds of vegetables?

Vegetables can be raw or cooked.

#3 Did you have 1 or more servings of fish, flax, chia, or hemp?

A serving is about the size of a deck of cards. For flax, chia, or hemp, a serving is 2 tablespoons. Oils and supplements do not count.

#4 Did you eat 1 or more servings of legumes?

A serving of legumes is ½ cup beans, chickpeas, soybeans, etc..1 cup bean or split pea soup, 3 oz tofu, ¼ c. hummus or bean dip. 

#5 Did you eat 1 or more servings of nuts or avocado?

A serving is a small handful, ¼ c chopped or nut flour, or 2 T nut butter. ¼ avocado. Do not count seeds, oils, or “nut milks.”

#6 Did you have more than 1 alcoholic drink?

5 oz wine, 12 oz beer, or 1.5 oz shot. Same for men and women!

#7 Did you have more than one sweetened food or beverage?

Pastries, cookies, cakes, candy, ice cream, soft drinks, sweetened yogurt, cereal, etc.. Natural sweeteners such as honey and agave count. The goal is not to exceed 25 grams (6 tsp) or 3 packets of zero cal artificial sweetener.

#8 Did you eat any foods made with refined flour?

This includes all breads, pasta and baked goods unless it is 100% whole grain. Rice and intact grains (oatmeal, quinoa, pearl barley) do not count.

#9 Did you eat charred or processed meat?

Include meat, poultry, and fish cooked over flames or charcoal, unless it has been marinated in some sort of acid. (Citrus juice, vinegar, wine, beer, yogurt, buttermilk) 

Processed meats include pepperoni, salami, bacon, ham, hot dogs, smoked sausage, etc..

#10 Did you eat any fried foods?

Fried foods include french fries, chips, doughnuts, fried chicken, shrimp, fish, vegetables, ceese, tempura. Sauteed foods are not considered fried.

Bonus Question:  Did you eat any cultured or fermented foods? 

Yogurt, Kefir, Kim-chi, some cheeses, sauerkraut, kombucha. The food should contain live and active cultures and should not be cooked.

Beer and wine do not count for this question!

Supplements do not count.


Remember that future self? You are more than one meal, one workout, one “diet.” Improving the modifiable lifestyle factors will build your body to be the strong resilient person you need to be. We are all facing a lot of stress in today’s world so start small and shape and scale your lifestyle bit by bit…habit by habit.

The more complicated you make it the faster you will drop out.

What else can we agree on? 

Loosen your expectations (of yourself/your results) and go slow with the habit changes. 

Deal with the challenges life sends your way in alternative ways than emotional eating and drinking. Seek professional help.

Keep protein top of mind and build your meals around it. Your protein needs should be based on your lean mass, goals, and metabolic requirements. Obtaining a body composition scan is one of the most accurate ways to get this information. For about $100 you can get a baseline scan and turn the results into an action plan that focuses on your individualized metabolism-based eating.

Move! Creating a calorie deficit for weight loss is needed. Nutrition and Exercise are married. Don’t deprive your body calories and decrease your resting metabolic rate. Feed your body with awesome food that you plan, shop, prepare and most of all Enjoy! 

Learn how to lift weights. I personally suggest kettlebells of course!


Start focusing more attention to the solutions and less attention to the problems to get your results.
Hire a professional to help you improve your lifestyle habits.

Find support that’s greater than your challenge. 

Inform, Instruct, Inspire @ it’s time! Fitness Results


Written by: Sheila Hamilton copyright July 2019


Notes for the IDEA Conference in Anaheim California: June 2019

Presentation from: Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/NWeight Loss vs. Fat Loss: Clinical and Business Applications

Greg Johnson, MS, CSCS, Pn

Nutritional GPA: Start tracking your score.

The Associations of Fruit and Vegetable Intakes with Burden of Diseases: A Systematic Review of Meta-Analyses https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30639206

Copyright: <a href=”https://www.123rf.com/profile_elenabsl”>elenabsl / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

NSCA National Strength and Conditioning Association National Conference Notes; July 2019 Washington, D.C.:

Dr. Arianne Missimer: Functional Medicine Paradigm Shift: notes/slides from her presentation

Protein and the “Fat Pants” Gene: Lies, Fries, and Chicken Thights: Jose Antonio PhD, Nova Southeastern University


Listen to Sheila discuss this topic on CKNW!