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Having Fun At The Supermarket

So I walk into a supermarket. Yes, I know, I have a truly exciting life. The store was Yoder’s Country Market, in New Holland, Pa., in the middle of Amish country. I was working on an article and I needed a snack to munch on for the ride home.

I was surprised to immediately notice a group of half a dozen women who seemed to have quite a bit of fun. Since when are you supposed to have fun at the store? They were clearly following a leader—in gym attire. Turns out, their leader was Sally Meints, a personal trainer, competitive ballroom dancer, Latin ballroom dancer, tap dancer, jazz dancer…and healthy food guru.

After a little bit of schmoozing, I learned that Sally gives her students a tour of their local grocery store. She teaches them how to eat clean. Fortunately, I was allowed to share a few pearls, exclusively for VPN readers.

What is “clean eating”?

“Clean eating is basically eating whole, natural foods” explains Sally. “It’s a diet that consists of the correct ratios of fibrous and starchy carbs, lean proteins and healthy fats. We try to stay away from anything processed, refined, canned, boxed, enriched, and frozen. We try to minimize white flour and refined sugar products, trans fats, artificial ingredients, preservatives and sweeteners.”

Sounds good so far. Sally is not a fanatical pantry-gate-keeper, just a healthy eater.

Quoting her colleague John Berardi, Sally writes some rather entertaining information: “If it didn’t come from the ground, a tree or   a plant, or if it didn’t have a mother, don’t eat it!”

Think about that for a moment.

Also, “if unhealthy food is in your house, you will eventually eat it. So set up a ‘pantry purge’ to get rid of Frankenfood.”

This is sadly very true, and it’s worth repeating: “If you keep unhealthy food in your house, sooner or later, you will eat it.”

Our grocery store private guide made me aware of something that I had naively never realized before: The perimeter of a grocery store is where most of the healthy food is located: fruit, veggies, dairy products. The center of the store is where most of the processed food is sold. Again, it’s true: Junk food, fat-rich food, sweet treats and empty calorie snacks are mostly in the middle of the store.

Sally, the owner of NutriFreak, teaches what most of us know but rarely do: read labels, resist impulse purchases, don’t eat processed food, eat whole grains…and eat fruits and veggies!

So what kind of results does she get?

“About 60 percent of my clientele are women between their 40s and their 60s who are overweight. They get great results from our strength training program, but they get even better results if they follow our nutritional recommendations as well.”

Does it work?

“Well, I have clients who have completely changed their body composition over two years and are now competing in women’s figure competitions.”

It’s not exactly rocket science. We secretly wish our clients would do the same with their pets. Feed good quality food, ban unhealthy snacks and treats, and watch those calories. Oh, and throw in some exercise.

Vets and techs may want to consider eating their own cooking more often.

To learn more about Sally and her program, simply type “Nutrifreak” in the search box at www.facebook.com.


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