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Mission Makeover: Journey To A New Self

We are looking for successful weight-loss stories to introduce in the MCJ Mission Makeover series…as we show self-empowerment as a healthy lifestyles success program.

If you have candidates that might be interested in participating please share our web site. They can also enter the contest by calling our offices (414-265-5300) or email us at: advertising@

We have a phenomenal program planned for our five winners at the MCJ Gala Brunch on Sunday, August 4th, 2013 at the Italian Conference Center.  The top winners, determined by “Before and After” photos, as well as validated weight-loss photos and journals; will be treated to expert consultants who will help them shop for their best look (coupons donated by the Boston Store will augment their apparel budget) and get hair-makeovers donated by local beauticians and make-up consults on the day of the event. They will strut their stuff during the Brunch.  And our doctors will teach and demonstrate how to change habits that sabotage weight loss. They are healers who now heal through teaching what, how, and when to eat healthy foods to reduce our maladies like hypertension, diabetes, nephrosis, heart-failure, asthma and cancer.  Please poll your groups. See if there are candidates from your organization. You become a cooperating partner and receive promotion support advertising. And you might just have one of the winners. So they win, the community wins and we all do better as we know better! Let’s build a healthier community together. We’re counting on you.


Join us.

by Latrice Marie Winston  

MYTH 1: Cardio is the key to weight Loss

Absolutely Not! Most of us are looking to achieve the fabled beautiful hour glass physique, but to do that weight training is necessary to not only sculpt your physique for a customized look but also to speed up your metabolism so that it can burn more calories throughout the day. Cardio is a must to burn calories and eventually fat, but it is only a piece of the puzzle. For example, if you are pear shaped and desire an hour glass look, one trick is to widen your shoulders through specific shoulder exercises. That combined with weight loss gives you the illusion of a waist that’s smaller than it actually it is. On the other hand if you have a T shaped physique, characterized characterized by a wider shoulders and slim and narrow hips and legs, you can widen out your hips and glutes by using squats and lunges to create more shape. Lastly, weight training allows you to build lean shapely muscle that forces you to burn more calories throughout the day while resting from exercise.

MYTH 2: Exercising on an empty stomach will help you lose more weight

Exercise forces muscles to use an incredible amount of energy. When you exercise first thing in the morning your body has gone through 6-8 hours of starvation overnight. Because of that, if you skip breakfast, you won’t be able to have a productive workout. Your body simply lacks the fuel needed to burn calories after that long fast. Additionally, exercising on an empty stomach can cause dizziness, nausea and an increased risk for embarrassing falls. (Trust me I’ve learned the hard way and feeling nauseous on a treadmill is not a good look.) Lastly, working out on an empty stomach often forces your body to burn muscle as opposed to fat, which over the long term leads to poor muscle tone and a slower metabolism. To burn the most calories early in the morning eat a light breakfast (for example Greek Yogurt and few teaspoons of Kashi cereal) so that you have energy to go hard during your workout!

MYTH 3: Skipping meals leads to quicker weight loss

Skipping meal causes the opposite of weight loss; weight gain. It causes your body to go into a starvation mode in which your fuel starved body will use both fat and muscle as fuel. As stated above, when your body uses muscle for fuel your metabolism slows down, as does your ability to lose weight. Additionally, when you skip meals you overeat to compensate for not eating. Lastly, as you continue to skip meals your body begins to hang on to and hoard any calories that it receives. Long term, your body becomes resistant to losing weight. To avoid that and keep your metabolism humming along eat every 3 to 4 hours, which means 5 to 6 small meals per day.

MYTH 4: Doing a lot of ab exercises removes belly fat

At every gym I’ve ever worked out in, I see people spending too much time on ab machines in hopes of losing belly fat. They should spend more time doing cardio and eating healthier. In order to dramatically reduce your belly fat, you need to engage in cardiovascular activity to burn enough fat to actually see your abs. Then, after you burn the calories, you need to eat healthy enough to keep the fat off! Lastly, when your exercise on a regular basis with heavy enough weight and focus on keeping your core tight, you won’t need as many ab exercises as you think, because your already working them! So, if you want that six pack, use the treadmill and watch your diet!

MYTH 5: Strength training will make you bulky

No, no, no! I’ve spoken on this question in past articles, but I will briefly stress the fallacy of this myth again. It’s not possible for women to look like male or female bodybuilders if they weight train! Women don’t possess enough testosterone to look bulky, so ladies embrace the weights. Consult a personal trainer or do your research before working out so that you know the correct techniques and don’t injure yourself. Remember, weight training allows you to sculpt your body into the beautiful physique you’ve always wanted!

MYTH 6: Honey is less fattening than sugar

Nope! Honey is primarily composed of simple sugars. One teaspoon of sugar is 16 calories as compared to one teaspoon of honey at 25 calories. So just like most things, use honey in moderation. Add water to make it slightly less caloric while still enjoying the great taste. As an alternative; if you’re looking for a great natural sweetener, try agave. 


by Latrice Marie Winston

The Importance of BREAKFAST

Before I began my weight loss journey I had no idea how important breakfast is.

I often would succumb to a routine of eating a big lunch and dinner, thinking that I would lose weight because I was eating less total calories. I was completely wrong and I was destroying my natural metabolism! Your metabolism is important because it determines how quickly you burn calories, the faster it runs the more calories you burn while doing absolutely nothing!

Research show that the people who are most successful at weight loss eat a healthy breakfast within one hour of waking up. They also consume three energizing and metabolism boosting ingredients that every breakfast should consist of:

1. Whole grains

2. Lean proteins

3. Fruits or vegetables

One of my favorite breakfast recipes is a Greek Yogurt Parfait. It takes only a few minutes to assemble, plus it’s delicious!

This recipe contains only 215 calories and has a good amount of protein at 14 grams.

• 1 cup of greek yogurt

•1/3 cup of fresh fruit

•1-1/2 tbsp of granola or protein cereal (I like Kashi Go Lean Crunch)

Mix fresh fruit and yogurt together then add granola or protein cereal on top! Yum.

If you have more time try this spin on traditional oatmeal!

Power Oatmeal Pancakes

Serves 4 people and makes 12 pancakes

3 pancakes are 274 calories and have 16g of protein.

•2 1/2 cups of dry rolled oats

•6 egg whites

•1 cup low fat milk

•1tbsp ground flaxseed

•1tbsp safflower oil

•1 tsp baking powder

•1 tsp vanilla

•1tsp cinnamon

•Cooking spray

1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend for 20 seconds. (If no blender, stir ingredients together by hand.)

2. Spray griddle with cooking spray then heat over medium heat.

3. Pour 1/4 cup of batter on griddle. Cook until pancakes are dry and bubbly on top and sides. Turn and brown the other side.

4. Top with unsweetened applesauce or mixed fruit and then ENJOY!! (Hint stay away from the heavy syrup)

Journey To A New Self

by Latrice Marie Culver
“There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only passion for life.” — Federico Fellini
New Year’s resolutions are a waste. People tend to make a promise on January 1 with great sincerity but follow it with little effort. Thus, 88 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail.
Having a purpose and passion in life keeps me off the couch more than any resolution. My personal loves, dreams and vision constantly drive me towards improving myself in specific areas.
When you begin to enter the world of fitness to change your life, there are a variety of tips to get you started. Here are four that I have found to have been most important to my success.
1. Commit to you! Decide to follow through with your goals no matter how tough the road may be and no matter how little progress you encounter. There are times when everything seems more important than going to the gym.
For example, someone may need a ride; I might be behind on straightening up at home or just tired from work and kid.
I still go! When running on the treadmill, I’m not only grateful that I mustered the willpower to follow through, but I’m also one step closer to my goal. On a journey of 1,000 steps, the 200 toughest steps count just as much as the easier 800.
2. Take small steps! Don’t overwork yourself or drastically cut calories when you first begin exercising. Do either and you’ll definitely end up crashing and either quitting or feeling very frustrated. I made this mistake a few times. I cut calories so low I ran out of energy, and my body rebelled by holding on to fat because it was hoarding calories internally!
3. Be publicly accountable! Tell a friend or two your goals so that they hold you accountable. When I first began my weight-loss challenge, I told my family so that when we had gatherings (which in my family and the community are typically centered around food) they would ask me about my progress. With them watching, I knew that I couldn’t eat that white cupcake with homemade frosting, let alone have a second helping of my mom’s sweet potato pie!
4. Know how and where to begin your journey. People often begin their weight loss (or muscle gain) journey without any idea as to what to do or even where to begin. I’m going to give you several pointers to remember before you begin a workout program:
• First, if you haven’t been active in many years, see a physician to ensure that you are physically able to work out and have no restrictions.
• Use proper technique when you begin weight lifting. When you sign up at most health clubs, they will provide you with a free personal training session to teach you proper techniques. Request that the trainer show you basic exercises and techniques, not complicated exercises that make you dependent on their instruction. If weight lifting at home, educate yourself on the exercises before you try them; in future articles, I will cover specific and general exercise techniques. Bad technique can injure you and is less effective, so make sure you’re aware of what you’re doing.
• Don’t skip warm-ups and cool-downs! Professional athletes don’t take the field for a big game without warming up first, and neither should you. Warm-ups prevent injuries by reducing stiffness; cool-downs prevent future stiffness.
• Every four to five weeks, change up your routine so that you don’t get bored. For example, if your main focus is cardio, try the stair master instead of the elliptical machine. Find ways to keep workouts fun. Contrary to what magazines may say, there’s no specific formula to successful workouts.
Living a healthy life is not just a promise you make to yourself once a year — it’s daily promises. Before you begin working out, lay the groundwork for success and know what you need to do to succeed. You’ll prevent injuries and succeed much faster. If you find yourself getting bored with exercising, change up your routine. This is your journey, so do what makes you happy!
Latrice Marie welcomes reader responses to, or visit her at For specific examples of exercises, Latrice invites readers to view her blog at:

Understanding Emotional Eating

(Editor’s note: Latrice got married last week)

by Latrice Marie Winston

“A healthy outside starts from a healthy inside.” –Robert Urich

One day I looked in the mirror and I just did not see all the changes I had been working so hard for.

I was faithfully strength training four times a week. I wasn’t skipping cardio to the point that my hair was constantly sweating out (another article), and I thought I was eating the right amount of food at all the right times.

I wasn’t. What I failed to realize was that I was an emotional eater, and that although my eating patterns had improved, I was still preventing myself from achieving goals.

I’ve discussed this topic often with others, and I’ve come to realize that many of us struggle with it; so in this article we’re going to discuss what emotional eating is, the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger, and how to effectively deal with emotional eating.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms of hunger initiating the eating, an emotion triggers the eating (Jane Jakubczak, University of Maryland).

This is the quickest way to sabotage any and all weight loss goals.

(Many have described weight loss as 70 percent eating and 30 percent exercise). We often associate emotional eating with depression and then the customary stuffing of our faces to fill that void. I’ve been there too, but it’s bigger than that.

Like many, I thought emotional eating only occurred when I was sad or bored, but then began to realize that I also ate when I was content or happy.

As African Americans, we tend to celebrate everything with food.

When my fiancé was accepted to an MBA program, I cooked him desserts; it felt natural.

But after looking in that mirror and realizing my relationship to food, I began to keep a food journal. I noticed that during my busiest days I wasn’t quite eating enough, and on slack days I was eating too much.

And while it’s obvious to most how overeating can hinder weight loss, under-eating while still overeating at times can destroy a metabolism and lead to long-term weigh gain.

While keeping my journal, I was forced to think about everything I was putting in my mouth. Over time I was able to determine what emotional hunger vs. physical hunger was.

For example, I was eating almost twice the amount of recommended protein that I needed to. The recommended amount is a palm full of protein, fruits and vegetables.

Emotionally I felt as if I needed more, but in reality I didn’t.

There are four key differences between emotional hunger and physical hunger:

1) Emotional hunger occurs suddenly, and physical hunger occurs gradually.

2) Eating to fill a void with requests for specific food is emotional eating. When you’re physically hungry, you are far less choosy, and you will stop eating because your stomach feels full.

3) Emotional eating tends to be instantly satisfied.

4) Emotional hunger leaves behind guilt, while physical hunger doesn’t. Over time, I realized that when upset I desperately wanted something sweet, like doughnuts or ice cream. After eating them, I always felt bloated and guilty.

Once you become aware of your emotional state, your physical actions will change for the better. Here are a few tips to help you deal with emotional eating.

Recognize emotional eating, and learn the triggers within you. Use a journal; it will force you to become more self-aware.

Make a list of things to do when you get the urge to eat and you’re not hungry. Carry it with you. Work through your emotions without food!

Stay productive; when you get bored, those cravings tend to sneak in. But a warning: When you’re tired, you may want to eat to keep yourself awake or busy. If you’re able, take a nap or recognize the craving. Your body is telling you it needs rest, not more food!

Lastly, when it comes to comfort foods, we may experience anxiety that may lead to emotional eating. To help with this, allow yourself some of the foods that you love, because this isn’t a diet — it’s a new way of eating. Do everything in moderation.

Exercise alone will not shed the fat. In order to safely cut the calories needed to lose that unwanted fat, you need to consider several things: age, height, weight and sex. You can refer to my blog to calculate your BMI or for more information about healthy food ideas!

Latrice Marie welcomes reader responses to, or visit her at www.

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