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In an age of weight loss gimmicks, one local author published a helpful guide to help you hit your happy size and STAY there! Read on to get the skinny on her book.


Cincy Chic: Tell us more about your new book, Diets Are Fattening!
Meg Meranus, Author of Diets Are Fattening: My first book explains in common sense terms, why dieting leads to being more and more overweight over time. I review the diet industry from an “insider’s point of view,” (I managed a Nutrisystem Store back when Nutrisystem had retail outlets, and I taught in the fitness industry as a trainer and a fitness class teacher for 20 years). My follow-up book takes people through the first 12 weeks of ditching their diet mentality in favor of a healthy thin mentality, which leads to permanent, harmonious, and non-traumatic weight loss.

Cincy Chic: What inspired you to write this book?
Meranus: There were two things. First, my own journey away from a diet mentality to a joyful, healthy thin mentality and the life-altering benefits of this 180-degree perspective shift. Second, my desire to help others understand that the diet, exercise, and nutrition industries are overwhelmingly motivated by money to make new programs, gadgets, and promises in order to keep you coming back for more.

Cincy Chic: What makes Diets Are Fattening unique?
Meranus: Other authors may hold similar views of the diet industry, but frequently they advise people to just accept being overweight. While I would never fat shame anyone, and I fully believe that beauty comes in all sizes, I know that they are many people – including me – who would only stop dieting if a valid alternative that would keep them at their happy weight existed.

Cincy Chic: Why should readers pick up your book?
Meranus: People should read my book and do the exercises in my workbook to transition away from the torment of food rules, yo-yo weight loss, and a preoccupation with eating toward a life where food is a joy, and your body is at your happy size.

Cincy Chic: What’s your favorite part of the book?
Meranus: The dozens of Health Thin Mentality Mantras at the back of my workbook are my favorite part, because very brief sentences sum up the beauty, wisdom, and joy of reconnecting hunger with eating, which is the essence of a Healthy Thin Mentality (HTM).

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to purchase your book?
Meranus: The book is available at and on Amazon Kindle.

Cincy Chic: Are there any other projects on the horizon for you this year?
Meranus: I am ramping up my YouTube channel – I have a large Facebook presence (44k followers) and I am trying to get my message out on YouTube as well. I’m also on Instagram and recently began a private Facebook group so people can have private discussions.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more about you and your books?
Meranus: Visit where there are over 200 blogs. These blogs will give you a feel for what my message is and how it could help you, along with a little more info regarding me.


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A local woman launched a business that helps other women get fit (and fashionable!) while also embracing their curves. Read on for more!

Morgan Owens of Curvy Cardio uses her own story to inspire others to get fit.

Working out should be fun and something you look forward to. Nobody knows that better than the ladies at Curvy Cardio.

Having struggled with weight issues all of her life, Morgan Owens’ passions stem from motivating others and sharing her story. “I am not a fitness expert, but I know what it takes,” she says. “I’m never ashamed of my story because it may inspire others.”

“I have struggled with weight all of my life,” Owens continues. “I was very active in high school – participating in dance team and cheerleading. In college, I was in a Dance Company for Miami University as both a choreographer and dancer. After college, I coached both dance team and cheerleading for a local high school.”

In 2012, Owens became a certified Zumba instructor after the inspiration from a friend. “This is when my passion for teaching fitness classes heightened,” she says. “While I thought Zumba was fun, I felt there was need for a different kind of fitness class. Two years later, with the advice of North Avondale Recreation Director, Blake Williams, I decided to launch my own fitness class. Thus, Curvy Cardio was born.”

Today, Curvy Cardio is an isolated cardio workout to the latest and “hottest” songs focusing on core, lifting the glutes, legwork and toning arms. Along with teaching classes, Owens and her business partner, Emilie Beck, have their own fitness clothing line, “Fashionably Fit” t-shirts.

“Curvy Cardio is intended on hitting all of the core areas as well as an overall body workout,” says Owens. “All fitness levels are welcomed and all movements can be modified. I also offer an Online Challenge every season, which participants can do everything online if they wish to jumpstart their fitness and weight loss goals.”

According to Owens, what makes what she does unique is how she relates to women who have struggled with their weight and self-esteem. “I believe that you can be curvy, but still be healthy,” she says. “I feel like some people are hesitant to do group fitness classes because they don’t feel like they can relate to the instructor—but I like to believe that I am ‘real’ about my battles with food and staying in shape.”

“I understand what each person is thinking when they begin their journey to a healthier lifestyle,” Owens continues. “I tell my clients every time I slip up but I get back on the program the next day! I have laughed, cried and struggled mentally with these women. I also reach out to clients who I haven’t seen in awhile to make sure they’re staying on track. With life, it gets hard to workout – but you have to make the time for yourself and for your health.”

In looking to the future, Owens expresses that she would love to have her own studio space for Curvy Cardio and travel to different cities with her pop-up shop. “Coming soon, I will be offering small group classes for clients that want a more intimate and one-on-one experience,” she continues. “Ladies can reserve a time, grab a small group of friends, come workout, shop and enjoy a healthy snack after the new ‘happy hour.’”

“I would love to see other women embrace the idea that that you don’t have to be a ‘perfect’ shape, just have confidence, sass and a positive outlook,” Owens continues. “I want to see the women of Cincinnati ‘sweating pretty’ and ‘killin’ it for the crop top.’”

To learn more about Curvy Cardio, check out their website at, like them on Facebook or follow @curvycardio on Instagram for information on future pop-up shops and small group classes.

Owens also encourages readers to come to her classes at North Avondale Recreation Center located at 617 Clinton Springs as well as at Lean Styles Gym. “You don’t have to be a member of the recreation center to attend, just a $5 drop in rate—and I do offer class passes,” she says.

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Having trouble achieving your health goals? Our health columnist explains the key do’s and don’ts of getting results.

Our Fitness columnist shares tips on how to be successful when trying to lose weight.

As 2015 is moving right along, can you say you’re doing the same? Will you be the elite 8 percent of the population who chooses to stick it out? If you haven’t met your goal weight in 2 weeks, you might as well just give up! Sadly, 70 percent of the population follows this pattern. Not only is it impractical and faulty thinking, it doesn’t create a successful mindset. Most favor the concept of instant results through mislead supplements, moronic diet fads and gimmicks, and while it may serve use in the acute sense (when in all honesty there’s no justifiable reason), it doesn’t establish long-term, habitual disciplines that will prevent weight gain from recurring.

When you reach your goal weight, what will you do with your habits at that point? With no need to lose any more weight, how will you maintain a healthy waistline if proper eating habits weren’t developed? Will this mean you go the rest of your life avoiding all carbs because you fear you’ll gain weight? Will you avoid going out to eat because you don’t want to feel tempted and give in to everything in sight, without any self-control? Will you only stick to a handful of foods because that’s what is deemed “clean” to eat? What if none of those food items are to be found – will you choose not to eat anything at all then? None of these situations sound appealing, nor are they rational.

Anything in life with value does not occur overnight or even remotely quickly. A career, academics, a family, marriage, spirituality, health/fitness—any meaningful goal—takes time, consistency and patience. I honestly believe none of these should happen quickly because you’d never learn to appreciate them once you have it. The journey is what makes the process valuable and gratifying—enjoy the scenery! Because it’s a journey, there’s no true ending; there’s only strive for improvement. You push yourself for a better career position, expand your knowledge base, be present for your children and significant other and work on your health/fitness (you should at least!). Why do you continue to show up for your job or your family? You’re invested in it; there’s a lot at stake because it’s valuable! You depend on them. It would hurt to lose it. Wouldn’t you agree that parallels to your own personal health?

Everything takes time; it’s a matter of what’s more important. Is the goal you’re striving for truly meaningful and something you’re passionate about? I would think personal health and fitness would be because without that, no other goal matters. Without your health, everything is irrelevant. If you’re not living and performing optimally, why does anything else matter? Frankly, everything else will suffer if you’re neglecting your health.

I suppose there are actually 10 tips as you could guess the first tip is to create your “why” statement. I am doing this because _____________. I want to be healthier and/or lose weight because ___________. What would it mean to you to be free of this weight issue? Why is it important now to change than the past attempts? Give your goal substance; make it purposeful and passionate. If it’s something you aren’t willing to do everyday then it’s not strong enough – try again.

If your goal doesn’t aggravate you due to your circumstance or fire you up then there’s not enough passion – try again. Whether you’re following a routine for the first time (or for the first time in a long time) or just refocusing your efforts for the new year, keep these remaining simple tips in mind. They will help you stick with it when all sense of motivation is lost. Enough of the serious talk, and onto the tips:

Do: Before you start, log your weight, your measurements and take your photos.
Don’t: Freak out over what you see. No one likes his or her Day 1 photos or measurements, but by capturing all of the basic information (how much you weigh, how big your waist is, what you look like shirtless or in a bikini), you’ll establish a starting place. Like any first step, you just simply start. Who cares what you look like, who cares about grace—just get up and take action. When you have all this information again (I recommend retaking them every 30 days), you’ll see how much you’ve transformed.

Do: Weigh yourself once a week
Don’t: Weigh yourself every day. Full disclosure: I break this rule. I weigh myself every morning just after I wake up. I don’t recommend it, but helps me stay on track based on my goals. It can give you a better overall sense of trends if you weigh more frequently. Nevertheless, your weight can fluctuate every day based on how much sodium you consumed the day before, fluid loss during a workout, particular training program, whether you went to the bathroom, menstrual cycle, amount of food or carbs in the days prior, etc. If you’re the type who could get discouraged from seeing your weight go up a pound or two (or more) in 24 hours, then I recommend weighing in approximately the same time each week. What’s most important though is you practice mindfulness. You ask yourself why the scale went up? You think through the process without impulsively reacting, especially negatively, and sulking about it. Determine why weight may have fluctuated, note it, fix it and move on.

Do: Eat for the body you want—not the one you have
Don’t: Cut out all of your favorite foods. If you really want to be miserable and set yourself up for failure, cut out everything you like to eat. If your diet is really bad, a lot of stuff you like might have to go. Soda, fried food, sugary coffee drinks. It’s a rite of passage. It’s not to say you can never have them ever again, but limits have to be applied until you have full control of your choices. You’re training for the body you’ve always wanted, so feed that body with the food it needs: lean proteins, healthy fats, complex carbs and lots of nutrient-packed vegetables. Think about your nutrition as an 80/20 split—80 percent of the time, eat whole-foods. The other 20 percent of the time, don’t stress about it. Incorporate a few of your favorites while practicing mindfulness and tracking. If you really want that beer or that cookie, have it. One cookie or one beer isn’t going to be your downfall.

Do: Have and follow your workout calendar
Don’t: Don’t wait until Monday to start again if you miss a workout. Simple—if you missed a workout because of sickness or travel or you just didn’t feel like doing it, don’t worry. Just get back to it. Establish your “why”— your goal to yourself—write it down and carry it everywhere you go.

Which one of these sets of tips will you start now, today? Which ones do you currently practice and what have they taught you? How do they help you stay in control? How will you keep improving? Which one do you struggle with most?

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Not feeling like yourself lately? We chat with a local doctor about how she can help and her personal battle with hormone imbalance that makes her so passionate.

logoTired, overweight, and feeling like you’ve lost your mojo? No one understands more than Dr. Magdalena Kerschner, a board certified Anesthesiologist and board certified Interventional Pain specialist. She understands because she’s been there.

Dr. Kerschner completed her medical school education, at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit Michigan and subsequent anesthesiology residency at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY.

After many years of practicing traditional medicine and treating illness after it has already developed, Dr. Kerschner realized that preventing disease before it starts results in healthier and happier patients. That’s what inspired her to launch her own business, Victory Weight Loss & Wellness.

Dr. Magdalena Kerschner, founder of Victory Weight Loss & Wellness
Dr. Magdalena Kerschner, founder of Victory Weight Loss & Wellness

“Through my own personal journey, I became very interested in the concept of prevention of illness through weight management and bio-identical hormone replacement therapies as a modern way to promote physical and emotional wellness,” Dr. Kerschner explains. Today, through Victory Weight Loss & Wellness, she offers several services and programs for weight loss and bio-identical hormone replacement — for both men and women.

For weight loss, programs include a Prescription Drug Program, HCG Diet Program, Low Calorie Program and Modified Program, all physician-assisted and directed by Dr. Kerschner.

For the bio-identical hormone replacement, she prevents and treats not only the symptoms, but also the causes of hormonal imbalances in men and women. “By obtaining simple blood test, I know exactly which hormones to put back into your body to feel youthful again,” Dr. Kerschner says. “There is a good reason for all the bio-identical hormone hype on Susanne Summers, Dr. Oz and Oprah: Results!”

Dr. Kerschner holds a certificate of training from Dr. Neal Rouzier – a nationally recognized authority in bio-identical hormone replacement therapies and preventive medicine as well as a certificate of training from Canyon Ranch Health and Wellness Program. Dr. Kerschner is a member of numerous medical societies including American Medical Association, American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, Cincinnati Academy of Medicine, Ohio Medical Association, Academy for Anti-Aging medicine, and Society of Bariatric Physicians.

Victory Weight Loss & Wellness is located at 9600 Montgomery Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45242. To schedule an appointment, visit or call 513-936-3065. Watch the exclusive webcast below to learn more about Victory Weight Loss & Wellness as well as Dr. Kerschner’s personal journey with hormone imbalance and bio-identical hormone replacement.

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Congrats! You lost weight! But then life happens. Sound familiar? How do you avoid falling off the wagon? Our health columnist offers five strategies to help.

You’ve just found the magic solution to losing the extra weight and permanently keeping it off. You figure out what to eat on the plan outlined, buy the groceries needed to adhere to it, and adopt the exercise regime it recommends. You follow the program strictly for two weeks, and guess what? You lose some weight, you feel better, and you like how your clothes fit. Success!

Then ___________ happens. In other words, life occurs. Who could have seen that coming?

I’m sure many of you have experienced this at some point in your weight loss journey – I know I have many times!

There was birthday cake strategically placed at the office, your partner left you, your boss reprimanded you, you went out to lunch with your coworkers, you didn’t prepare ahead of time, or you haven’t eaten in 8 hours. Whatever it is and how valid the reason may be, this is called life. Before you know it, the incongruent goal choice and action has crept up on you without your conscious knowledge and drove your head into a bag a chips or row of cookies. After the consumption, you feel ashamed and despaired. You ask yourself, “Why did I do that? I feel like a failure!” You ditch your rigid “diet” and fall back into old patterns and behaviors and the weight lost soon comes back, and likely more.

Why does this keep happening? How do we break this cycle? How do we handle it with grace and remain congruent with our health goals?

Insert The Diet Doc call!

Before diving into the five strategies, I want to first share three of the common hazards that set up unrealistic expectations, which can lead one more readily to fall off the healthy weight loss wagon. The five tips will help develop an approach that will stop you from engaging in that unhealthy yo-yo cycle, or restrict-binge behavior, you may know all too well.

Hazard #1: New Beginnings
We as human beings love novelty; it is always exciting and fresh at the start. It may sound strange, but sometimes it’s fun to start a new diet or exercise routine. You get to try new recipes and new workout routines and there’s all these gadgets that track all your metrics, but once the initial excitement wears off, we tend to get bored. That’s when motivation drops quickly. Refer to my “5 Nutrition Tips” article to establish that meaningful purpose statement.

Hazard #2: Short and Sweet
We also tend to have short attention spans and want immediate results that requires the least amount of resistance. Rolling with the punches or daily sacrifices don’t have to be physical pain – though the soreness you might feel when starting a workout routine could count – it can also be the annoyance of not ordering your usual coffee beverage or avoiding the fries or preparing healthy meals ahead of time instead of laying out on the couch. Refer back to your “why” and determine how high of a priority your health is.

Hazard #3: Unrealistic Expectations
If it were possible to lose a huge amount of weight in a short amount of time and keep it off for the rest of our lives, none of us would be in this situation in the first place. Sustained, healthy weight loss, and maintenance takes time, consistency, practice, and patience.

Now that those are laid out, here are five tips to avoid common weight loss pitfalls and set yourself up for long-term success:

1. Focus on the Big Picture
Acknowledge the desire for novelty and meet those needs in other areas of your life before the excitement of the diet and/or exercise routine wears off. For example, you could try a new sport or hobby. Additionally, look at other aspects of your life and determine what realistic, sustainable modifications you need to make to achieve your goals. Be proactive with your actions with the intention of making them lifelong behaviors and habits. It just takes starting though, striving to improve one day at a time and never settling.

2. Become a Mental Endurance Individual
We’ve heard the cliché, think of weight loss and maintenance as a marathon rather than a sprint. If you reflect of your struggle with weight, you’ll probably discover that it took years to get to where you are today. Similarly, it may take years to find success in your weight loss journey and to stay there in the long run. Believe in yourself and trust the process. Again, don’t quit on yourself. Keep trying, keep failing, keep learning, and repeat.

3. Be Humble
In order words, accept your weaknesses. For example, if you know that an upcoming family gathering will present itself as a stressful situation with food triggers, work around it by planning ahead. Consider what you will eat ahead of time and figure out a way to de-stress afterwards that doesn’t revolve around food. Even if despite the best intentions and the plan doesn’t go according to the plan, shake it off and analyze how you could improve for next time. What steps will you take? What could I have done differently? What was behind my motive for the choices I made?

Remember that being healthy is a process, not an outcome; it will not always be enjoyable. Expect tough times when you are bored, tired, ill, unmotivated, busy, or stressed. It’s about consistency, not perfection. You stick with it though because of its meaning and importance.

4. Forgive Yourself/Celebrate Your Successes
We tend to flourish and succeed at goals when we are complimented. Instead of labeling yourself as a “failure” when you detour, acknowledge what happened, be mindful of the choices that lead up to it, and change direction towards the outcome you desire. Stay away from extreme labels that make you feel hopeless (“I can’t…” is one of them), or set unachievable standards (“look like a supermodel”).

5. Develop a Strong Support System
Most people find that they are more successful with long-term weight loss, or any life process, when they involve others in the process. It’s absolutely crucial! How could your partner, family, or friends support you in your goals? Could you share healthy meals or exercise together? Could they be a support line? If you’re feeling unmotivated to exercise or to remain honest to your nutrition, could you reach out to them to help you remain focused?

There is research to support there is a higher tendency to slip back into old behavior patterns after an initial weight loss due to how we deal (or don’t deal) with our emotions. A reliable accountability partner can help you pinpoint patterns when faced with upsetting emotions or circumstances. This individual can help you address and resolve issues when they arise instead of stuffing them down with food or denying they exist.

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Can’t seem to get past that weight loss plateau? Our resident health guru offers his best solutions to the four hidden health hinderances.

Food is health; exercise is fitness. Two separate concepts, yet work synergistically. One shouldn’t neglect one or the other for ultimate health and wellness, especially for weight loss purposes. If you just started an exercise plan or are working out more consistently, you may need to change how you fuel your body to get the most out of it. Some nutrition mistakes, such as drinking your calories or eating too much post-workout may be the reason why weight loss has stagnated (or inches) even though you’re giving it your all. Although getting fit and healthy isn’t just about the scale, it’s still an important motivating factor, so lets break down 4 common issues—and how to resolve them—to get you back on the path to results.

Issue 1: No idea how many calories you’re really eating
It’s common to think more exercise = more calories. However, if you’re trying to lose weight, you may be adding on as many calories as you’re burning—or more. It’s commonly observed in those who want to lose weight are eating more than anticipated, and for those intending to gain weight are eating less than anticipated. I’ve shared this parallel to personal finances in previous articles, but think about the food you’re eating and ask yourself how it fits into your total calorie allotment for the day. Determining that caloric value is very subjective and unique though to every individual, but it starts with establishing a baseline first. Just because you hit the cardio hard today doesn’t entitle you to supersize dinner. Most people have no idea how much they’re really eating until logging is introduced. Once he/she realizes how much food is being eaten, especially mindlessly, it permits an opportunity to change the routine. Be honest with yourself and your calorie needs, literally write down everything you consume. Whether you write it down old school style or use a digital app like MyFitnessPal, use that as a starting point and analyze the trends. Thus, determine if you are losing, gaining, or maintaining in a week’s time and rate your energy level. The final numbers and macronutrient proportions will probably humble you. The figures provide clues as to how to proceed, with you in the driver’s seat.

Issue 2: You’re not having a pre-workout snack
As long as an individual is getting enough balanced calories in his/her diet, the average person should have all the glycogen stores he/she needs to get through an hour-long workout, even first thing in the morning. However, eating something beforehand might give your performance a little boost. If you notice what’s called “bonking” – the sensation where you run out of glycogen and blood sugar halfway through a workout – you may benefit from a pre-workout (PWO) meal or supplement.

Some fitness magazines are starting to report actual studies on PWO nutrition needs. If you consume a small amount of carbs first, you’ll have a much stronger, more effective exercise session. More calories are likely to be burned, more calories will be used during the subsequent couple of hours (even at rest), risk of lean body mass is reduced, and studies show collectively that more body fat loss occurs compared to fasted exercise. Carbs before exercise are important whether it’s first thing in the morning or mid-afternoon. Be sure to time the PWO fifteen- to sixty-minutes prior to training, and be cautious to use a small amount of carbs – just enough to prime the pump. For example, 50–100 calories of simple carbs should be sufficient. Half a banana with peanut butter or a quarter cup of oats with fruit is few of many ideas.

Issue 3: You’re eliminating all carbs
Aren’t we all sick of hearing about low-carb plans? Yes – they can work as far as losing weight, but you’ll end up slashing your metabolism as high as 50% in as short as three months. What’s the plan after the fact? Is it practical and sustainable to follow the plan for the rest of your life? The irony is fat is burned in the flames of carbs in the body. This is why having an understanding of your metabolic needs is critical because the body is only going to use what’s needed and store the rest, and this is very unique to every individual. It’s a continuum. Anyways, far too many try to eliminate ALL forms of carbs when they’re trying to lose weight or to jump-start the process with a detox/cleanse. Not only is it risky because the strategy can backfire, nor is it enjoyable, but depleting carbs too drastically from your diet can put you at risk for using lean protein stores for energy, which ultimately can decrease your lean muscle mass. See carbs as a buffer to preserve your muscles and metabolism. Muscle is critical for positively influencing your metabolism and burning more calories even at rest. The lesson? Don’t be afraid of carbs, so eat up – within context of the day of course and understanding of your metabolic needs.

Issue 4: You’re not working out hard enough
If you notice you come home from a run only to find that you’re noticeably hungrier, consider upping the intensity of that run. A recent study in the International Journal of Obesity looked at sedentary, overweight men who either worked out at a moderate pace for 30 minutes or completed a high-intensity interval workout for the same amount of time. Those who did the intense interval exercise ate less at a subsequent meal, as well as the next day. Not every workout should be an intense interval session, but fitting in one or two a week can help turn the dial down on your appetite. Much like your nutrition, monitor your training; be as objective as possible. In order to know what to do, you have to know what you did.

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Experts say a high-protein diet is the key to losing weight, but what are the differences in protein sources, and why does it matter? Our healthy living columnist explains.

What is the best when it comes to protein powders? As a nutrition supplement, protein offers one of the biggest bangs for your buck and is most convenient. Protein powders are everywhere; it’s plentiful at every grocery store. You can even find them at gas stations. Plus, food companies are becoming “smarter” by marketing more protein in their products. Thirty-five grams of protein per serving compared to 20? Whoa – that must mean more muscle or faster weight loss! Isn’t that how it goes? More protein means better quality and better results? Not even close.

I feel protein is seen as that miracle supplement that will shed weight and keep you full. Plenty of research does support it can promote both, but it’s not absolute. It’s much more than that. Therefore, what’s the best and healthiest option? There are different protein powders for a reason, and it’s largely based on one’s goals and preferences, not just for taste and the highest amount you can consume at once. So before you make the investment in another giant tub of powder, you ought to first understand some basic protein principles.

Most realize protein helps with muscle synthesis and growth, but there’s more to it. Like carbohydrates and fat, protein is a critical macronutrient your body needs daily. Protein can also help with repairing damaged cells and tissue throughout the body, synthesizing hormones, and is supportive in metabolic activities. Despite these important reasons to include protein in your diet, a main reason why protein is in the media is because it provides satiety to aid in weight loss. Since protein helps you stay full, it makes it easier to stay within an ideal caloric range.

Just as carbohydrates come in different forms (simple and complex carbs; fibrous and starchy carbs), there are different protein sources that have different effects on metabolism and exercise performance. Having an understanding of eating the right kind of protein at the right point in your routine, you can maximize its benefits and your goals. I’ll focus on three of the most common protein sources found in stores today: whey, casein, and pea. Do keep in mind the principles are the same for sources, such as soy, dairy, beef, hemp, and rice.

Whey Protein
This is among the most widely consumed protein supplements. It comes from the translucent, liquid part of milk that’s left over from cheese-making and is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine of the amino acids humans need.

Whey is a fast-digesting protein because once consumed, your stomach assimilates it quickly. This leads to an increased rise in the amino acids circulating in your blood, making it a good choice for a post-workout snack. About 1-2 hours after you exercise, your body experiences a spike in protein synthesis, during which it works harder to repair the muscles you worked. If you consume whey within 60 minutes of your workout, your body can quickly absorb the amino acids to take advantage of this anabolic window and supply your body with what it needs.

Unless you plan to sip whey throughout the day and evening, its quick-absorption make it less than ideal for a mid-day snack or meal replacement. That’s where most protein powders are a fusion of whey and whey protein isolate, or casein, to slow down the absorption; therefore, you feel fuller longer and maintain a steadier, positive nitrogen balance for your muscles (to encourage growth).

Casein Protein
The cousin of whey; casein is the main protein component in cow’s milk. It, too, is a complete protein. Unlike whey, which is quickly digested, casein forms a gel once it reaches the stomach. As you could predict, this chemical reaction makes it relatively insoluble, so it takes the body longer to break down. This is a similar reaction when eating insoluble fiber. Casein is a slow-digesting protein, therefore. It provides a steady release of amino acids over several hours. Having said that, casein can still be another good option as a post-workout snack.

Studies have found a synergistic effect to be created when whey and casein are combined. Classically, taking whey within 60 minutes of your work out and then taking casein right before bed is the ideal combination. Because of its steady release, casein helps create an “anti-catabolic” environment in your body when you body synthesizes protein. The nature of casein provides a steady supply of amino acids to make the most of that window and promote muscle growth/recovery.

Caution, caution, caution: both pure whey and casein come from cow’s milk, so neither is well suited for individuals with dairy allergies. The more isolated the whey protein is, the better it’s tolerated.

Pea Protein
For the unlucky ones who cannot tolerate dairy, here comes their salvation. Pea protein has been appearing on store shelves more frequently, and it’s an excellent alternative to traditional protein sources if allergies exist or if an individual prefers plant-based nutrition. Pea protein holds middle ground as it is digested at a medium rate, providing satiety levels that are about the same as whey and casein. Therefore, it can be used as either a post-workout supplement or meal replacement. One downside to pea protein is that it isn’t a complete protein and shouldn’t be used as your main source of dietary protein. It is a supplement after all.

Even with all the existing protein supplements on the market – and there are many – research continues to flourish with new sources and combinations. You can even buy beef-based or egg white-based protein powders. Therefore, explore what’s out there. Be curious about learning and what can maximize your health and fitness goals. Unlike a lot of over-hyped, unsafe supplements, protein really does help within context. Since you’re going to be eating it anyways to stay alive, you might as well make smart protein choices that help meet your goals.

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From nutrition and weight loss to aesthetics and medispa services, see how one local gynecologist is offering a wide variety of services to be a one-stop-shop for women’s health needs.


Dr. Amy Brenner
Dr. Amy Brenner

From childbirth to menopause, hormone malfunctions to weight gain, being a woman can be a bumpy ride – but it doesn’t have to be.

At Dr. Brenner and Associates, overall women’s healthcare is treated with an integrative and functional approach through gynecological care, bio-identical hormones, scientifically developed skin care, weight loss and wellness solutions and minimally-invasive surgical options.

“At our practice, we seek for the root cause of conditions that many women experiences such as heavy bleeding, hormone imbalance, weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, etc.,” explains Dr. Amy Brenner, the physician at Dr. Brenner and Associates. “We are proud to be a one-stop shop for women’s care.”

Brenner says that she’s always been interested in healthcare and surgery, adding that women’s care and child-bearing has always been easy to relate to as a woman. She is certified in both obstetrics and gynecology but currently focuses on women’s care that mirrors the stage that she’s currently in in life.

“I, too, experience the symptoms that seem to start as soon as you turn 40,” she says. “I didn’t want to accept life-intruding symptoms as the norm and I certainly don’t want that for my patients either.”

She’s continually inspired to continue the work she does when women she’s treated come back to her office and tell her how they no longer feel tired, have their libido back, lost weight and can keep up with their children.

“Whether it be about our providers, in-office procedures, bio-identical hormones, weight loss and wellness or our medispa, we truly have options for the needs of all women,” says Brenner. “Our staff is also extremely knowledgeable and ready to answer any questions you may have.”

Dr. Brenner and Associates is located at 6413 Thornberry Court in Mason, off the Tylersville Road exit on Interstate 75. To learn more, visit, call 513-770-0787 or “like” the practice on Facebook.