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Q: I want to maximize my workouts and my recovery.  Are there special foods or supplements that can help me perform best and recover quickly?

A: This is an excellent question and can best be answered by understanding what happens to our bodies when we exercise.

Exercise causes the depletion of the glycogen stores (which are carbohydrates that are stored in muscles) and the breakdown of muscle protein.

Immediately after exercise is the ideal time to replete these stores of carbohydrates and proteins. It is critical that you eat at least six hours post exercise in order to provide the raw materials that are needed for muscle recovery.  If you fail to eat post exercise, you diminish the chance to promote full recovery of your muscles.

Muscles are the most efficient at carbohydrate and energy uptake during these six hours, so the bulk of the day’s calorie intake should ideally come during this time.

Since muscles typically need 24-48 hours to repair and rebuild, the idea is to consume enough carbohydrates in the 6-hour time frame to promote the release of a hormone called insulin which helps to shuttle carbohydrates and amino acids (the building blocks for protein repair) into the muscles.  Elevated insulin levels promote the storage of glycogen which helps to promote protein repair.  The ideal amount of carbohydrate intake is 0.8-1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight which maximizes glycogen syntheses and accelerates protein repair. The ideal amount of protein that should be consumed is 0.2-0.4 grams per kilogram of body weight. You can calculate your weight in kilograms by taking your body weight in pounds and dividing that by 2.2.

It’s best to avoid fats post workout as fats slows digestion and transit time of nutrients through the gastrointestinal tract.  Liquid supplements are ideal, especially ones that contain whey proteins and carbohydrates. Solid foods tend to be harder to digest post exercise, but if you do choose to consume solid foods, then focus on items such as fruits, yogurt, cottage cheese or even chocolate milk.

So, after your work out, maximize your recovery by consuming the ideal amounts of proteins and carbohydrates and staying well hydrated.  Our bodies perform best if we give them the proper substrates needed to rebuild.

Until, keep working out with your Total Gym and sculpting your physique!!

Elizabeth Salada, MD


Dr. Salada is board certified in Internal Medicine and has been in practice in San Diego since 1996. She attended medical school at Wake Forest University where she received high honors in Family Practice and Internal Medicine. Her final training was obtained from Pennsylvania State University where she completed her residency in Internal Medicine. Visit Dr. Salada’s website for more information:



Tara’s Friday Bite – Navigating the Grocery Store

No matter what your health goals may be, healthy eating starts at the grocery store. Have you ever gone into the store, spent a ton of money and then returned home only to realize you have nothing significant to eat? It happens to the best of us.

Watch this video to learn my tips on how to tackle grocery shopping while saving money AND eating healthy.

And remember, a few small steps can lead to big changes!

Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist and Salada Tea Spokesperson living in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at



Tara’s Friday Bite: Heart Healthy Meals for Lovers

February kicks off American Heart Month and right smack in the middle of the month is Valentine’s Day! In honor of both events, I wanted to share 3 of my favorite Heart Healthy Recipes that not only show your sweetheart that you love them, but that you also want to help keep them around for years to come!

Chicken Tikka Masala

Heart Healthy Ingredient: Tumeric

Tumeric is found in most Indian curries and is what gives American mustard that yellow hue. It has also been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and a great addition to your heart healthy lifestyle. Moreover, tumeric’s absorption is greatly increased when paired with black pepper. Try the recipe below that contains both!

Grilled Salmon with Soy & Brown Sugar Glaze

Heart Healthy Ingredient: Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Fatty Acids, found in salmon, have been show to lower blood triglycerides, reduce inflammation and decrease cardiac arrest. They can also help repair heart damage and strengthen heart muscles. Check out the recipe below where you can get all the benefits of salmon AND the sweet taste of brown sugar!

Zesty Wheat Berry Black Bean Chili

Heart Healthy Ingredient: Fiber

The reason that high cholesterol is such a big deal is because it decreases the size of your arteries and puts more burden on your heart to push blood through your body. Increasing your fiber intake is the single best way to reduce cholesterol and make it so your heart doesn’t have to work as hard. Now, if you feel that the old adage “Beans, beans they’re good for your heart…” is a little less than romantic, feel free to try this recipe out on Super Bowl Sunday instead!

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Tara Coleman

Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist and Salada Tea Spokesperson living in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at









Tara’s Friday Bite – Juicing: Healthy or Hype?

Although juicing has been around for ages, it has gained in popularity over the past year as an “elixir of health.” As with everything, this is part truth and part trend.

Here are the facts so you can determine if juicing is right for you:

The concept behind juicing is that you can quickly and easily get the vitamins and minerals from a ton of fruits and vegetables in one nutrient-dense package! You also remove the fiber so, in theory, the nutrients are absorbed more quickly. Not to mention the juices can taste amazing and you can sneak in some veggies that you would normally turn up your nose at!

The downside to juicing is it’s fairly time consuming to both juice and clean up, and it can create a lot of waste with the leftover skins and pulp. Some people do a great job of turning this “waste” into compost or using it for baking. But I find that, for the average person, these two factors are usually the reason that their juicer ends up in the cabinet collecting dust.

The removal of fiber can speed up the nutrient absorbance but it can also speed up the absorbance of sugar. What you may feel is a rush of energy and then a crash, similar to having a sugary drink but with a lot more vitamins & minerals. This can be dangerous if you are diabetic or have any blood sugar sensitivity. For this reason, I prefer blending my fruits & vegetables in a high-power blender like a Vita-mix. Although they can be much more pricy than a juicer, you will get all of the nutrients as well as the fiber. Alternatively, you can add psyllium husk or another fiber supplement to your juice to lessen the impact of the sugar.

My recommendation is if you want to try juicing is to ask around and see if anyone has a juicer you can borrow. You’d be surprised how many people will have one hiding in their basement. Try it out for a few weeks and see how it goes! Pay attention to how you feel and again, consider adding fiber to your juices to slow the sugar absorption and keep you full a bit longer. As with everything, you are the best judge of how things impact you so if you love it and feel great go out and buy your own.

Happy juicing!

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Tara Coleman

Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist and Salada Tea Spokesperson living in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at 


Tara’s Friday Bite – 4 Foods to Avoid at all Costs

There was an excellent article in the November issue of Prevention Magazine discussing the 7 Foods That Should Never Cross Your Lips. I’ve actually narrowed that list down to 4 (because 7 may be too hard to remember) and weighed in with my own opinion about some excellent alternatives!

Canned Tomatoes – I’m actually going to expand this to all canned vegetables. The main danger of canned vegetables (specifically the acidic ones like tomatoes) is that the cans contain a synthetic estrogen called BPA, which can leach into the food. BPA has been linked to all sorts of major diseases but specifically those related to your reproductive system. In addition to BPA, as the vegetables sit in the can, most of the important vitamins and minerals are leached out into the surrounding water. So unless you are drinking the juice (gross), you’re missing a lot of the essential nutrients.

Instead: Try vegetables packaged in glass or even frozen vegetables. A vegetable is most nutritious the second it is harvested. Frozen vegetables are flash frozen immediately after harvesting so in some cases they can contain more nutrients than their fresh alternatives.

Nonorganic Apples – This year the apple skyrocketed to the top of the “Dirty Dozen” list, an honor that no produce wants. This means that nonorganic apples have the highest amount of pesticides.

Instead: Buy organic. If you can’t afford organic, make sure to wash, wash, wash your apples before eating.

Corn/Soy-Fed Beef – Close your eyes and picture a cow in a meadow. What’s he doing? Eating grass, right? That’s what they were designed to do, however, factory farmed cows are fed corn and soy because it’s cheaper and fattens them up faster. Unfortunately, it also decreases their nutrient profile making them lower in O-3’s and vitamins and minerals and higher in saturated fat. 

Instead: Opt for grass-fed beef. As the damage of corn-fed beef becomes more apparent grass-fed options have been popping up at more and more grocery stores. It tends to be more expensive, but if you are going to spend your money on one thing, this will have the greatest impact. You can also visit and find a local farmer to buy from directly.

Microwave Popcorn – This one actually makes me the saddest because popcorn is one of my favorite treats! However, microwave popcorn bags contain chemicals that have been linked to infertility and cancer. They will actually be phasing out these chemicals by 2015, but I suggest you phase them out by 2012!

Instead:  Pop your own! It is way cheaper and actually tastes better. Don’t have an air-popper? What a perfect time to ask Santa…or Amazon!

Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist and Salada Tea Spokesperson living in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at 


Tara’s Friday Bite – 2 Ways to Stay Healthy Through the Holidays

It’s official … the holidays are here! This special time of year is full of friends, family, fun….and temptation!

Everywhere you look there are enticing pastries and evening cocktails at holiday parties. However, all is not lost! There are two simple ways to stay healthy and energized over the holidays so you can welcome 2012 with a smile and for the ladies, your skinny jeans!

Tip #1 – Snacking. When life gets busy, planning your meals is the first thing to go. That in combination with all of the sugary treats around the office is a formula for diet disaster. I want you to stock your office, car and purse with easy 200 calorie snacks (listed below) so you always have a bite on hand. Then when those cookies are calling your name around 3:30pm, you can grab one of these quick sweet and savory snacks! You’ll increase your energy, decrease your stress hormones and you’ll be more likely to say “no” to those tempting holiday treats.

Here are some of my favorite 200 calorie snacks:

  • Cliff Mojo Bar. You can find these everywhere and they just came out with delicious new flavors like Peanut Butter Pretzel
  • Apple and Almond Butter. Try Justin’s Nutbutter! They come in individual servings and fantastic flavors like almond butter and chocolate hazelnut.
  • 2 Cuties & 2 String Cheese. That’s right, I said 2! Both of these are very low in calories so your stomach isn’t left grumbling and craving sugar.
  • Trail Mix. My two favorites are the Planter’s NUT-trition packs and the Trader Joe’s Just a Handful of Almonds, Cashews & Cranberries.
  • Greek Yogurt Parfait. Mix 5oz of plain Greek yogurt with 2 tbsp of pomegranate seeds and 5 crushed walnuts for a sweet and savory snack.

The trick is to get to the store TODAY and stock up for the entire month! Life is going to get busy and even a grocery run can become challenging.

Tip #2 – Schedule exercise. Eating healthy is one step, but you must also maintain a consistent exercise routine. As your schedule gets more hectic, you’ll see your normal workout time diminish; however, it is important that you remain consistent – even if you have to cut your 45-minute workout to 2o or 30 minutes. Look at your calendar and schedule in exercise for the remainder of the month. Get Total Gym exercises on-demand at By simply getting moving you’ll crave healthier foods, reduce your stress and feel great!

Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist and Salada Tea Spokesperson living in San Diego, CA, and . She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at 


Four Ways to Navigate Thanksgiving Healthfully

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Healthy nibbles from Clinical Nutritionist Tara Coleman

I can’t believe it’s the holiday season once again! It seems like just yesterday I was writing a blog post about this topic. This year, I have some tip for you to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal without paying for it through 2012!

Consider making exercise a pre-Thanksgiving tradition. Burning calories before diving into your Thanksgiving meal will not only create a calorie deficit for the day, but it will also make you feel healthier and less prone to overindulging. The winning combination for weight loss is simple: eat less and exercise more! Make an effort to get on your Total Gym for 20 to 30 minutes to burn some calories before your Thanksgiving feast. Check out Total Gym Exercises for on-demand, trainer-led workout videos to spice up your routine!

Eat breakfast. The idea of eating less to save on calories before Thanksgiving can backfire on you. You’ll be ravenous by the time Thanksgiving rolls around and likely to shove anything that you see in your face! Eating a small meal in the morning will help control your appetite so you’re less prone to eat in excess later – and more likely to make smarter food choices at Thanksgiving. Make a healthy breakfast that includes protein and fiber to keep you fuller longer. A sample breakfast may be an egg on whole wheat toast or a bowl of fiber-rich, whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk.

Don’t be afraid of seconds … or thirds. The typical plate full of Thanksgiving food is one of the most impressive balancing acts known to man (as in balancing to keep it all on the plate)! This year, start with a small plate with small portions. When you are done, if you are still hungry go back for more. I promise the food will still be there! You will find that both the act of going back and not having to be pressured by the “clean plate club” will help you cut down on your portions without even noticing.

Mix in some fresh veggies. Most of the vegetables on Thanksgiving are in casserole form or hidden under heavy sauces. This year, make your favorite green bean casserole but also sauté some fresh green beans. Take a smaller amount of both. You will get your casserole fix but also benefit from the nutritional benefits of eating fresher veggies! 

Remember, Thanksgiving is just ONE day. It does not start on Wednesday night and end on Monday morning, and it certainly does not last until January 1st! Your body knows how to handle a single overindulgence but your body cannot handle it when overindulgence turns into days and even months. Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal with your friends and family and then get back to the way of eating that makes you the healthiest and happiest!

Remember to listen to your body. If your stomach is saying it can’t take anymore, it’s best to stop while you’re ahead. You will feel better for it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave us your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at

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