Fitness + Health + Wisdom + Wealth

Nutrition Conversation: Jenn Trepeck


Guest: Jenn Trepeck

Release Date: 8/1/2022

Welcome to Trulyfit the online fitness marketplace connecting pros and clients through unique fitness business software.

Steve Washuta: Welcome to Trulyfit. Welcome to the Trulyfit podcast where we interview experts in fitness and health to expand our wisdom and wealth. I am your host Steve Washuta, co-founder of Trulyfit and author of Fitness Business 101 for the month of August. It is all things nutrition we have on a registered dietitian talking about misconceptions in the industry. We have a certified nutrition specialist talking about healthy habits, we have an obesity board-certified doctor talking specifically about his book, the catching point, which is fantastic. 

We have on a water expert and we also have on today a nutrition and health coach Jen Trebek Jen is the host of salad with the side of fries podcast, you can find her at Jen Trebek, that’s TR, e p e c k, on Instagram, we’ll talk about everything. A lot of the other conversations are really honed in on particular things. 

But we’re going to start off this month hitting on everything. We go over nutrition labels, we go over protein, we go over working with our clients and setting better habits, and all things surrounding health and nutrition. Jen and I talked about Jen having been a guest on the podcast before discussing networking, specifically contemporary networking.

If you’d like this podcast, you can go back into the archives and find our conversation about contemporary networking. With no further ado, here is Jen Trebek and I discussing all things nutrition. 

Jenn, thank you so much for joining the Trulyfit podcast again. In round one when you were on, we talked about networking. And I thought that was a great conversation I have a lot of people write in telling me that they learned a lot and that they agreed that they disagreed with all of the different things.

And what I find interesting is as long as people are writing to me, that’s all that matters. I don’t care if they agree or disagree. They take from it as long as they’re actively participating. But that was a great conversation. What? What have you been up to? What’s going on with you and your business?

Jenn Trepeck: Well, first of all, thanks for having me back. love chatting with you. Um, let’s see what’s the latest and greatest. I just recently launched my next cohort for my group coaching. Working on a new video series, that’s going to be a little bit my podcast is salad with a side of fries. This video series is a little bit of a salad with a side of fries tour of New York City restaurants. We’re gonna eat salads at a bunch of places, and you know, have some fun with it.

Steve Washuta: yeah, tell me, tell me about the equipment for the video series. Are you going like high level here and buying special camera equipment and things of that nature? Do you have a background in that? Are you hiring someone? What’s the process?

Jenn Trepeck: Interesting. This came about very organically through somebody that I met. He was filming video promotions for some small businesses in New York, I won this promotion opportunity. We were filming. And he does some of these restaurant videos around the city. He records it all on his iPhone, he edits it directly on his iPhone. 

Jenn Trepeck: And I think part of why I said yes to this project. And this idea is because it’s nothing on me, right? Or very little on me, I get to show up and eat some salad and fries and talk and you know, add this element. But so he’s really taking on all the heavy lifting. And his background is more in production, you know, in sort of producing photo and video shoots. And over the pandemic, he got into some of this filming so but he does it all on his iPhone.

Steve Washuta: fantastic. Yeah, I’m sort of saying this out loud to myself, because I’m so bad at collaborating with people. I’m trying to force myself to do it more. But I’m so like, like, especially with the podcast, like it’s my baby. I want to handle every single part of it. But as we know totally, it’s the worst thing to do to not offload those tasks, because you just get I am inundated.

Jenn Trepeck: Yeah, I am in the process right now of outsourcing my post-production. And it is so challenging it is it might be harder than starting the podcast. No. Because it’s like the control freak and me is like, you know,

Steve Washuta: yeah, I mean having to let go. It’s part of being an entrepreneur, you have to sort of write out your day-to-day and what you want to do. And then eventually you have to be honest with yourself and be like these five things I can’t handle or else I’m not gonna be able to do these other five things. And it’s, in my opinion, maybe the hardest part of being an entrepreneur, we all have ideas. 

We all have like energy to do things but it’s like okay, what things am I better served in my business doing and what things am I better served not doing? And how do I like not to lie to myself and that’s why I think it’s good to do, again, something that I don’t do enough. It’s like having an outside coach of some sort using even overviewing you even if you’re a coach who coaches 20 other people. Yeah, for sure.

Jenn Trepeck: I find all great Coaches have coaches. Yeah,

Steve Washuta: yeah, they really do. Initially, we were going to talk a little bit about nutrition labels, but this came up randomly. And I think it’s something that people struggle with. Either that they think they know more than they do. Either that they think nothing matters or I see the most sort of naivety between them thinking, what is important, what isn’t important, and vice versa.

Give me like a generality that you will walk down with your clients when you’re working with them. It’s to say like, this is what you should be looking at, this is what you should not be looking at.

Jenn Trepeck: Yeah, so first of all, what we’re not looking at is percent daily value. It is based on, first of all, the idea of percent daily value, which was what the human body needs to not deteriorate into developing Ricketson scurvy. That is not about health or wellness or vitality. Ignore it completely. The calories I actually tell people to generally ignore unless we are down to the nitty-gritty between two choices. 

Jenn Trepeck: Fundamentally, the first thing I’m always looking at is protein and net carbs. And especially when we look at if we’re looking at something to be a snack, versus something to be and, um, specifically, I mean, we talked about like protein bars, or, you know, new nutrition, snacks kind of thing.You know, if we’re looking for something to be a meal replacement, it’s a different story than if we’re looking for something to be a snack, then if we’re looking for something to be pre or post-workout. 

Jenn Trepeck: Meals. For a woman, I always recommend four to six ounces of protein, snacks two to three, for a man, or somebody with male biology, six to eight ounces of protein at a meal, two to three at a snack, when we’re reading a nutrition label. seven grams of protein is about one ounce of cooked meat or one egg. So if we think about that, all of these bars that are generally marketed to us as high in protein, you’ll be lucky if they have two ounces of protein.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, I would say most of the protein bars use you see now like, let’s just go let’s go with like a nut butter bar second Clif Bar, you’re talking six, maybe they have eight grams of protein, typically six or seven grams of protein, but they market themselves off as protein.

Jenn Trepeck: Right? Right. Fundamentally, right, we’re looking at maybe one ounce of protein, a proper snack is two to three. Right? Probably not quite hitting it there. The next thing, I’m looking at his net carbs, which is talking about fiber and sugar, and net carbs. So if I’m looking for pre or post-workout, fuel, I do not want fiber, I want that protein on its own. If we are looking for more of a snack, or part of a meal, on at least five grams fiber, if not. So we also want to look at where the fiber is coming from. 

Jenn Trepeck: I’d be fine if the bar had five grams, and we’re having the bar with an apple to get some extra fiber, or some, you know, berries or something else to get some extra fiber in there. But generally, five grams of fiber or more is that threshold, which is very difficult to find, you know, and we want. So let me back up net carbs.

Jenn Trepeck: And why this is important. Net carbs are the number of carbohydrates in this food that are likely or will impact your blood sugar. The reason why that’s important is that turns out that all the research is right, our metabolic or metabolic health is directly tied to our blood sugar. 

Jenn Trepeck: And if we are storing fat or burning fat is tied to our blood sugar. When our blood sugar is too high, and when it’s too low, we are storing fat. Please stop telling clients to eat less and move more. Like we eat less. We have low blood sugar, we’re storing everything we then eat as that sidebar.

Jenn Trepeck: Coming back to the net carbs piece when I’m reading this food label. net carbs are your total carbs. subtracting out the fiber which we want. sugar alcohols because those are sweeteners that don’t impact our blood sugar and glycerin if it’s sugar alcohols and glycerin may or may I’ll be listed, but essentially we take them out because they don’t impact our blood sugar. 

Jenn Trepeck: We want our net carbs to be single digits, you will be hard pressed to find a lot of these, especially going back to that like Clif bar that you were mentioning, most of them are off the charts in terms of that net carb count, right? Because they aren’t paying attention to the fiber, and they’re not paying attention to the sugar. You know, and so it puts us into this place where we think we’re making really great choices, we’ve gone to the effort of choosing these things without realizing sometimes what’s actually in there.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s great information. And, you know, I just want to back up a little bit, because, yeah, there’s the general population who listen to this. And maybe we should explain a few sorts of high-level things before we get into the specifics. For example, you know, when people say I’m having like a protein bar, as opposed to like a meal replacement, so if we’re thinking of meal replacements, all this caveat, gold dependent, a person dependent, totally, 

if I weighed 250 pounds, and my goal is to be a linebacker for the Giants, it’s, you know, my goals are different than if I weigh 130 pounds, and I just go to bar class and want to maintain a certain body fat percentage, right? But having a protein bar typically what, what maybe trainers think, that their clients are saying is that they’re having somewhere between let’s say that 15 and 30 range of protein. Where the conversation gets messed up, right, where we’re talking past each other? Is the client saying I had a protein bar? And unless you’re actually like, recording their calories, you find out Yeah, no, they’re just having that Clif Bar that had six grams. Well, and

Jenn Trepeck: here’s the thing, the calories aren’t even going to tell you that. Right? Well, you can

Steve Washuta: work from the calories right? If you know,

Jenn Trepeck: well, not necessarily, because of the function of where the calories are coming from. We can have two bars that are both 150 calories. Yeah, with very different nutrient profiles.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, completely. Yeah. Yeah, that’s important to say, right, so

Jenn Trepeck: the question totally, and the question I say to everybody is cool. Which one? What protein bar Do you have? Right. And I work with my clients to understand how to read those labels to, you know, and I get it, a lot of your listeners are more on the fitness side than the nutrition side like I am. But to have those conversations and just say, hey, here are a few things to look at when you’re choosing a bar.

Steve Washuta: And as you said, I think the most important thing that you said this whole time, it’s all important, but what I really want to cling to is earlier in the conversation, you said this is like a comparative thing, right? Like, you’re not trying to make people feel bad, like, Oh, you’re making terrible decisions all the time. 

But like, when you have the choice between bar A bar B bar C, this is what you’re looking for, if you want to make the best choice for you and your body and your goals. And I think that’s, that’s very important here. And, and you could maybe disagree with this or agree with this and say what you will. But I do think again, it’s very gold dependent and person dependent, because like anything else in life is stimuli. 

We’re all going to react differently to stimuli, you get a massage, I get a massage, you may be sore the next day, I may feel great the next day, right? Our bodies work in different ways. And I can tell you, for example, even though the protein type in Quest bars is the same as other protein types, they don’t agree with me, I eat a quest bar, and I feel like I have a rock in my stomach. It doesn’t matter what else is going on. It could be psychosomatic, it could be that something else is going on. I don’t know. 

But I think it’s important for people to try different bars and not only look at the nutritional content but like ask yourself, whoever like woo-woo like how do I feel like dude, I feel great after that bar that I feel like I was satiated. And I feel like I had the energy and ask those questions. Yeah,

Jenn Trepeck: and it’s interesting, because a lot of times, you know when we aren’t necessarily as familiar with looking at the different things are really understanding what we’re choosing, or even in touch with our body to know how we’re feeling. Right, a lot of times. When we and again, this is sort of a little bit of the nitty gritty, but Quest bars have a lot of they aren’t all listed. So I believe they have a lot more sugar alcohols that are listed there. And that can certainly upset someone’s stomach. 

Jenn Trepeck: Um, same with depending on how much fiber and where the fibers coming from. If someone’s not used to that much fiber from one thing, it’s not going to feel good to them. And similarly, whey protein versus protein is very different in the body. One has lactose one doesn’t. Some people might be reacting to things.

Jenn Trepeck: It’s about being able to ask those questions like you’re saying, which are phenomenal and exactly what we all want to be thinking about. And then also looking at those things with a bit of a closer eye to play detective and figure out exactly what the pieces are that were potentially reacting to.

Steve Washuta: I was talking to Dr. Chris work on the podcast and we were talking about 10 misconceptions in the fitness industry. One thing that he was explaining to me was that There’s actually sort of like he was describing it, there’s protein synthesis that sort of works as a light switch. Unless you have enough of that protein that light switch isn’t going to be turned on. 

That’s why we should also look at having more protein per meal. Some people don’t do that they don’t agree with that, right? They’ll space all of their meals out. They’re like, Okay, I’m eating eight meals a day, they each have 10 grams of protein. But that doesn’t really work for your body the same way insofar as muscle building, specifically, as eating bigger, more laden protein meals, as you talked about with that higher ounce of protein ratio.

Jenn Trepeck: Yeah. And it’s, it’s interesting, too, I think it also comes down to what’s the amino acid profile of the proteins that you’re eating? You know, is it getting us all of the essential amino acids? Or is it you know, what we would call like not a perfect protein, not all of the essential amino acids? And then how are we building that? How are we fitting it together? And, you know, it’s going back to what you were saying before? It is so individual, as far as, do you work better having bigger meals and maybe a snack or two? 

Jenn Trepeck: Do you feel better eating every couple of hours and having less at a time? And I think, for everybody what works for you can also change at different times in your life, or different days of the week. Yeah, great, great. Yeah, yeah. And I think, you know, it’s one of those things where we, we, and our clients can get into this place of paying attention to the rules, more than we pay attention to our body. And it’s really important. I mean, I think we teach ourselves out of understanding our body’s own signals. And it’s something really important for us to help our clients, I’ll come back to

Steve Washuta: totally, I think it’s, it’s, it’s okay, and actually a good thing to have sort of a grand philosophy. But then there should, it shouldn’t be like, so like, all the little micro tasks you do inside your philosophy, you shouldn’t be so nailed down to right. It’s like, okay, maybe my grand philosophy is, I want to make sure that I’m having enough clean, high, high level for lack of a better term protein in my diet, right? But it doesn’t always have to be that I’m having it at 8 am. Or that I’m having it at this time, or that I’m only eating this type of bar, right, it’s over time, we’re going to change. 

Sometimes it’s because again, we’re getting older, and sometimes it’s because our workout regimens change. For example, I only probably touch weights once a week now, because I don’t really care about holding on to muscle, I’m older, I’m 36 years old, and I care about injury prevention, so I’m doing much more mobility, I’m playing basketball, I do kickboxing, I move my body in all directions, I only hit weights once, maybe twice a week. 

Because of that, my hunger, and my levels have changed, right? I’m not as hungry, I don’t need the number of calories that I did before, because I’m not maintaining that level of muscle. And those are just things that if you know your body, well, you’ll come accustomed to and if you don’t, it’s a journey. But that’s why you have to maybe hire some sort of coach like Jen to help you through that process.

Jenn Trepeck: And I think with our clients, it’s also they’re not going to identify, oh, I need fewer calories, or I need to adjust this. It’s How hungry are you? Right? Like, we want to make sure we’re also communicating these things in a way that resonates with them to say, well, today might feel different than yesterday. You know, if you repeat that day again, does it feel the same? Let’s see.

Steve Washuta: I also think it’s really interesting that people always look at things in this 24-hour clock because that’s how we do as humans. Someone will say like, oh, must have been something like yesterday, I’m like, it could have been something you ate three days ago that is now just like sort of causing a like this, like internal disruption slowly in your body. And now you have inflammation and issues based upon what you ate. I think people will point to the wrong things. They do that in fitness a lot. 

As a personal trainer, I have clients who come in all the time, and they’re like, my neck hurts. It must have been something we did yesterday lifting. But then you find out that as they sleep on four pillows, you’re like, Well, which one? Is it as if you’re eight hours sleeping on four pillows? Or is it like the lap pool we did yesterday, it’s more likely the thing you do day to day? It is important that we are like investigative journalists, both on the nutrition side and on the fitness side with our clients because they always pinpoint the wrong things.

Jenn Trepeck: Right. And you’re exactly right. I mean, especially with food sensitivities and allergies, and common allergens, soy, gluten, and dairy. All of those symptoms can show up to 72 hours later, like a lot can happen in three days. And that’s part of why I also make the argument for writing things down. It’s not about being the food police. It’s because we don’t remember what happened 10 minutes ago, let alone three days ago to figure out what the food was that potentially, you know, created this symptom three days from now.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s a great point.  I’ve found over the course of my journey, writing out things through Baselice, I took maybe one full year in my early 20s 2526 that I wrote down every single thing I ate for a year. And I learned so much in that process. I never did it again, never even on any level. But I learned so much during that process everything from number one, I was lying to myself most of the time and did not like factoring in alcohol. Really, that’s what it came down to. Right. 

It’s like you have all these goals, but like, are you ready? Are you writing down the drinks you’re having at these networking things on Thursday? And Friday? And Saturday? No, you’re not. But the other thing was, now subconsciously, I can look at food and have a really good estimate of the caloric value of that food, right? All of the macronutrients what exactly they are down to maybe like, you know, I’m talking like 20 calories because I’ve had so much experience with writing those things down and learning that and I think that’s the journey, right? It’s not about being obsessive, it’s about just gaining a better understanding so that you don’t have to do it again.

Jenn Trepeck: Yeah, and I think, you know, for a lot of clients, especially there, we can get a lot of resistance to writing things down. You know, I’m a big fan of writing things down. I’m not a big fan of counting and measuring and weighing. You know, again, because it’s more about, to me, it’s more about the quality of the food. And if we’re eating quality food, the quantity will take care of itself. I’m not worried about you overeating broccoli. Right, your body knows how to self-regulate broccoli, your body does not know how to self-regulate Skittles. 

Jenn Trepeck: Yeah. If what we’re eating is quality nutrition. I’m not concerned about weighing and measuring and counting. Having said that, people have a lot of resistance to writing that stuff down. And they say, Oh, it makes me more obsessive. And I’m and I always share my story, which is, I felt the same way. I used to resist it a lot.

Jenn Trepeck: But what I realized is that when I don’t write it down, it’s not that I’m not tracking. It’s that I’m just tracking in my head. And what a difference it made when it was on paper, and I no longer had to keep track of it in my head. Like there’s a whole lot of brain capacity that opens up that could be used for really amazing things. That’s right now going toward trying to remember and keep track of every single thing we eat or drink.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s a good point. I never thought of it that way. But you’re right. That’s a lot of you know, we only have so much bandwidth and mental capacity. Do you really want to be spending it on trying to remember what you ate Tuesday morning on a Friday? Or do you just want to have to look at an Excel sheet and see what’s going on? And again, it does help in that. For the other people like myself who are lying to themselves. It does help. And I found that with clients. 

I don’t really dabble in nutrition with clients. But yeah, I used to and when I did, there were certain things that they would always leave out. One, of course, was alcohol, right? They never, they never wrote their drinks down. And what they didn’t understand from that perspective is as I deal with the personal training side, there are so many other offshoots that come from drinking alcohol. I drink alcohol, probably once a week, I’m not telling you not to drink alcohol, or what I’m saying literally,

Jenn Trepeck: the first episode of my podcast was the truth about alcohol. Yeah. Okay, so

Steve Washuta: there, so you understand that, so you’re not sleeping, you’re not really getting into REM if you’re drinking too much, right? Then you have bad sleep. And then, you know, obviously, the next morning, your body’s craving bad food for a host of different reasons. Some say it’s because you’re low on energy from not sleeping, so your body wants higher caloric-dense foods. 

And that’s why you want these bad foods and you know, there are effects that snowball effects that come down from that, but and if I don’t know that as the personal trainer, and then you know, we’re not meeting your goals. That could be one of the main reasons and it actually wasn’t the main reason I saw with a lot of clients was their, drinking habits and sometimes the drinking habits weren’t that bad. And you could add to this because this was your first episode. For me, however, maybe shitty information this is to say to somebody, and again, this is outside of my paygrade. 

I wouldn’t tell this to somebody who had an issue, but I would say this to a friend, you were better off drinking hard one day a week than you are having two glasses of wine every night. The reason why is your body’s been dependent upon that sugar. It’s waiting for it at night. And guess what, two glasses of wine over 30 days is 60 glasses. There’s no way you’re gonna have 60 glasses if you drink for Fridays a month. If you do you got a problem. So it’s fewer total classes, and it’s less dependent on your body. I don’t know if you agree with that statement or not. Yeah,

Jenn Trepeck: I mean, sorta. Like, I think the real issue with alcohol, and we could talk about it is, you know, a lot of times it’s like, oh, it’s the empty calories. It’s, you know, whatever., it’s the sugar, it’s the mixers. There are a lot of things out there about alcohol for me, it comes down to the liver. Right, our liver has to detox our livers responsible for processing a whole lot of things, right from cleaning out the air we breathe too, you know, everything from you know, sugar and fat and any toxic, right?

Jenn Trepeck: Alcohol oh, here’s the big kicker is that the liver does not know how to multitask. The liver has to prioritize what it works on based on how toxic something is alcohol, right? We call it intoxicated. Alcohol tops the scale of those toxins. This means until that alcohol is processed out of your system, your liver will not deal with the fat, the protein, the sugar, the air, we’re breathing, or the water we’re drinking, our liver will not do anything else other than that alcohol until it’s gone. 

Jenn Trepeck: And so it’s really about saying what’s the burden we’re putting on our liver? And what are we expecting it to do? It can only do so much. And so what that looks like for everybody I think is different. But if it’s having to go through this process constantly, right? Also then your sleep, which helps us to talk to by and helps us do all these kinds of things and reset, right?

Jenn Trepeck: If that’s also not happening, it just exacerbates everything. And so, you know, everybody has to make their choices for themselves on what they’re drinking, when they’re drinking, how much they’re drinking. I’ll every buddy we get healthier each day we keep alcohol away. And do you feel like you make use of place of understanding the

Steve Washuta: choices. Yeah, in order things interesting and might not work, this conversation or this point with the liver specifically because of what you just explained. But there are a lot of processes in the body. Dr. Rhonda Patrick talks about these and of course, I’m gonna forget the scientific name that relies upon you stressing your body. And not to stress your body is to do it a disservice. Basically you know, and I will break this down, but there’s new stress. 

Yes, and I will break the good stress, stress, I will break this down to the ultimate sort of like, the easy metaphor here. I have calluses on my hand. And there’s a reason I have calluses on my hand because I pick up weights that are threaded all the time. Now I can grab things that are threaded and pointy and not hurt my hands, right? There are processes in the body that go on that are similar to that. 

I’m sure we all know people who eat ridiculously clean. If they have that one burger, they’re so inflamed that their body can’t handle it. They can’t go out for a week. So I do think there is a point at which it’s not always great to run away from old stressors of the body. And I’m not talking about totally just working out. But all of these other things, having like us having the fries sometimes, and having these oils and doing these things, and making sure your body is accustomed to being able to break these things down isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Jenn Trepeck: Totally, I mean, listen, your stress, right, but the stress that’s good for our system is things like exercise, you know, waking up in the morning, getting that, you know, there’s there are stressors that build the body, right, working out breaking down that muscle. That’s a stressor on the body. Yeah, and it can help us you know, so there’s, like everything. It’s that ugly word balance. And, but for each person, just like with, you know, how many meals you’re eating, it looks different for everybody.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, completely. And we had a conversation about that fitness-wise. And sort of add to the point you said before how we change over time, it’s also very important to change your fitness routines over time. As you get older, your goal should change, your priority should change, and your body is going to be changing. That and in accordance with your diet and your workout.

 All of that starts to change. The level of stress you want to put on your body is lessened to a degree. What I mean by that is, you’re not going to be doing high-impact stuff, or you shouldn’t be most likely if you’re 50 years old, and you’ve had knee issues, right? It’s time to maybe go in the pool and not do plyometric jumping all the time, right? And there’s, there are all of these changes that we have to make and there’s no difference. 

Probably with nutrition. If you’ve beat your body up over the years and you weren’t taking care of yourself, you may have to go and overdrive and start eating much healthier as you get into older age because unfortunately, you’re playing catch up. You haven’t taken care of your body.

Jenn Trepeck: And yeah, I mean, but I want to say too, I mean, it’s never too late to start. No, it’s never too early to start. Yeah, just start now. And it is amazing. I mean, the human body is incredible. The more I learned, the more I’m done. and found that I am at everything that happens without us having to think about it right. 

Jenn Trepeck: And thank goodness that we don’t have to think about all these things. But part of that means if we start to give our system nutrition if we start to give our systems some activity, it knows what to do. And the way cells function works, our bodies constantly regenerating. I want to say it’s like 8486 days, every, like 8486 days, there isn’t a single cell today, that’s the same as it will be then.

Jenn Trepeck: If we think about it that way, what we do today has everything to do with where we’ll be 12 weeks from now. And those choices can add up. And we can choose to make a different choice at any given time. The key to all of it, I think, in every aspect of health is consistency. Yeah, you know, and I think that becomes the challenge when we have these, you know, like the person who never eats french fries. 

Jenn Trepeck: You know, to me, they’re a food group. But you know, the person who never eats these things, and then has it and can’t, our body has adapted, it says I don’t need this anymore, I’m going to stop making it, right, the enzymes that allow you to break those foods down. And so we’re living in those extremes in the black and white have their own consequences sometimes. And so it’s all about finding the balance of the activity, and the nutrition and the stress and the sleep, and everything else we have going on to live our best life.

Steve Washuta: And it’s easier for someone like you and me who is invested in this on a day-to-day basis, whether it is working with clients, whether it is doing our own sort of autodidact, self-studying, whether it’s just our previous knowledge of these things, right, we’re invested in this, but where the general population struggles, I’m sure your clients and my clients is when they’re not consistent. 

They fall off the wagon, I don’t really like that terminology, but whatever their style, they beat themselves up. And I think there’s, that’s, that’s where we come in, right? As fitness professionals, as nutrition professionals, as coaches, whatever you want to call yourself is to let our clients know that it is inevitable, you are going to, I don’t even want to call it to fail, you’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to have offshoots and bad weeks and bad months, and maybe even a bad year. But that doesn’t mean you need to stop completely. And if that means that you pay someone to keep you accountable. And that’s what you have to do.

Jenn Trepeck: Right? I think, you know, I say to everybody, the only failures thing, right? Everything is part of this. And part of what we’re doing is learning how to sort of bob and weave and navigate this zigzag. But we’re not going to get from where we are to where we want to be in a straight line, the expectation that that’s the path is actually what sets everybody up.

Jenn Trepeck: And in fact, no, like, there isn’t a coach, I know who has that expectation for their clients. But everybody else, you know, and our clients show up with that idea. And I think, you know, our role in any capacity with a client is to encourage them and cheer them on to keep going.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, and there’s, there’s so much that goes into that I want to talk about how this works in nutrition. But if I’m a lifting standpoint, they’ve done all these studies where you’re more likely to get injured in an exercise if you’re nervous about the exercise. And it’s because like your nervous system is like not it’s all out of whack right before you do the exercise. 

And I think that’s, you know, people talk about it seems like a cliche or just like groupthink nonsense where they say like, you can’t have a bad relationship with food, but no, you can’t. Right. Like, if you have that, like that, that thought that every time you eat this thing, you then feel bad, right? You internally feel bad. Well, that has repercussions physiologically that can spiral out of control.

Jenn Trepeck: Absolutely. And there’s a lot of research around this but you know, I don’t even think you need all the data and the research essentially I mean, even going back to just looking at the nervous system and the stress or anxiety right around something or and I see it a lot in the beating themselves up a piece that you mentioned before, right? When we’re in a stress response, right, fighter flight, anything anybody processes that is not critical to survival in fight or flight turns off. Part of what turns off when we are in a fight or flight is our metabolism. We do not digest food. 

Jenn Trepeck: When we are in a fight or flight. At least not properly. Right. We do not grow our hair we Do not function reproductively when we are constantly in fight or flight because those things are not critical to survival at that moment. Right, our fight or flight response was designed to last 20 minutes. We now have it lasting 20 years or more, right?

Jenn Trepeck: I said to a client the other day, I was like, You’re stressing about the almond milk is worse than drinking the almond milk drink, the effing almond milk, you know, or the wine for that matter, whatever it is, right? If we’re stressing about it, that’s actually more toxic to the body than the food itself. Yeah, in some capacities, you know, with an asterisk?

Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s an interesting take. I don’t have much experience with Well, it’s funny I do but accidentally. Intuitive eating, you can talk. Maybe you can talk a little bit about that. Right, that’s been a fad. I had someone on the podcast talk about, you know, intuitive eating sort of describing it. And, of course, I, you know, I pushed back a little bit just saying, you know, I’ve intuitively been eating basically like, the last 10 years of my life, not even knowing that I’ve been intuitively eating. Right, right. It’s just what I do. 

But I think it’s, you know, naive to think that somebody who doesn’t have an education is going to intuitively eat properly, right? If I exactly again, if I’m a 16-year-old, and I don’t have any money, and I’m just, there’s just like food in my house, like, I’m not going to be intuitively eating properly, like, there needs to be a background, like base education, right? And everything that, you know, I know, this sounds like a weird psychology thing. 

But the things that you know, in your head subconsciously, have so much to do with whatever decisions you were making. And you can’t separate those two things out, right? We know that education has so much to do with even pain. So I just had a guy on the podcast called Sam Visnic. And it’s gonna be out this Monday. And he’s, basically an expert in chronic pain. He spent his whole life dealing with chronic pain. He’s a massage therapist, and you know, a bunch of other degrees. 

But he talks about how they’ve shown all the data that people, people who know less about their pain are always going to be in more pain than people who know more about the pain, right? And there is no line of like diminishing returns, the more you know about your pain, the less pain you’ll potentially be in. And I think, you know, you could speak to intuitive eating, maybe even give a brief description of it. But that was my issue with intuitive eating.

Jenn Trepeck: Yeah, and I sort of have the same love-hate with intuitive eating. First of all, I think it’s the idea is you follow your body’s signals, to choose foods and quantities and timing. My challenge with it is has a bunch of facets, right, one thing I, first of all, I think it’s just become the latest fad diet. Right? I think statistically, a vast majority of the population has tried a diet at some point in their life, that’s probably 100% of people. 

Jenn Trepeck: And the vast majority of people have tried many diets in their lifetime. What that means is at any point in time in their life, they have followed rules instead of following their body. The idea is that out of nowhere, someone is going to only pay attention to their body. We have turned that off. How many times have we been like, Nope, I’m not eating? I know, you’re telling me you’re hungry, but I’m not listening. I was told to eat less. Right? Every time we do that. We are training our body not to respond to Grail. 

Jenn Trepeck: Every time we don’t stop eating when we’re full. We teach our body not to respond to leptin. Right? leptin and ghrelin are hormones that tell us when we’re satisfied and when we’re hungry. Part of metabolic syndrome is every time we pay attention to rules, instead of what our body is telling us remember the days of Dhoni past 7 pm. Right? How many people were sitting up at night watching TV, just telling themselves like donate, donate, right? Even though they feel like they’re hungry. 

Jenn Trepeck: We could get into sort of the psychology and the subconscious mind at the word don’t because that doesn’t work either. But the idea that we’re going to flip a switch and all of a sudden know what it feels like to be hungry, know what it feels like to stop over satisfied. Is really misplaced. And I think it’s just another way that people are being set up by this industry.

Steve Washuta: I agree and to compare it to personal training. I intuitively work out because I am an expert in this area. I can go to the gym at any given time listen to my body and say you know what today I have I’ve been back in a while I’m going to do pull-ups, I’m gonna go on a run, I’m going to finish with some back exercises, whatever, I never plan my workouts, I never have to, I don’t write anything out. 

Because it’s all up here because I’m an expert. And I have that knowledge, right? And I can see that for someone like you, if Jen decides she wants to completely intuitive eat, because of all of her knowledge and the things that she’s known seems to she’s learned and tried and saw with her clients, anecdotally that has worked and it’s not worked and read, you can, you can have the ability to do that and do it properly. 

Because subconsciously, you’re going to be making good decisions more than you’re not going to be making good decisions, and you know, your body. My hesitations here, like you just mentioned, is for the people who don’t know their body yet. And they don’t have that coaching. And they don’t have that background to go from having zero education, to now only having to listen to their body and having no rules or restrictions. 

If I were to put that into a fitness realm, if I just told some average 43-year-old who’s never worked out before, go to Planet Fitness, do whatever you want, doesn’t matter. Pick up anyway. Do whatever you want. Everything is good. All exercise is good. Yeah, well, exercise is good. But there are some things that are better. And until you understand the basis of things, you’re not going to really be like advancing your physical,

Jenn Trepeck: right, and there’s a piece to form, right, and understanding what moves are focusing on which places and balancing all these kinds of things. And it’s, you’re exactly right. It’s when I work with someone. Part of it is a process of learning to notice what our body is feeling to notice what’s happening. Oh, I didn’t feel so great when I ate that. That’s amazing. Now we know, right? Or you could explain

Steve Washuta: it right? Then you could explain it. Jen could safely or what did you eat? And they said they ate that? And then Jen could say, Well, chances are the reason like you explained to me the reason what maybe the quest bar doesn’t agree with me is that it has excess sugar alcohols in it, right? I can put the science to the body, right? So someone comes to me and goes, Oh, well, I did this workout and I don’t feel good. And I say, Well, this is why right, you have bad knee placement in this. And I think we have to marry those two things together.

Jenn Trepeck: Exactly. I believe the difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it is understanding why. Right? People know where to eat vegetables and know that we’re supposed to move our bodies. People know that we’re supposed to manage our stress and air quotes, right? You know, but doing those things. prioritizing those things is very different when we understand why and when we notice how we feel when we do those things. 

Jenn Trepeck: And when we don’t, you know, so part of the process when I’m working with somebody just going back to the intuitive eating thing and understanding hunger and satiety is a practice in curing the guidelines. Let’s see what happens, right? Here are the food groups we’re choosing from, here are the approximate quantities, right? We’ve cleaned out our system. We’re going to be a little bit more sensitive to things.

Jenn Trepeck: Let’s see what happens. What do you notice? And part of that is also asking questions of how to sleep. Right. And even I had a, I have a group that just started a couple of weeks ago, we were on a call this week. And one person on there is one of these people who said to me at the jump, I have a really hard time knowing what’s happening in my body. 

Jenn Trepeck: Like somebody will say, Did you feel any difference? And I never know, I never feel anything. And I was like, okay, cool. I get that. That’s where we’re starting at. And I’m gonna help you work on this. Right? This is one piece in particular for her that we’re going to focus on. In one of our calls, this week, somebody else was saying, I felt really good. And did and so I said, Hey, can I come back to you? Do you mind getting more specific when you say you felt really good? 

Jenn Trepeck: Tell me more about what that was or what those things were in particular because that might help this other person. Identify if any of those same things were happening. And that’s where we can really start to get specific and help people tune in. And, again, the idea that we’re gonna go from one side of the coin to the other is a bit misguided.

Jenn Trepeck: Yeah, we might overeat this time. Cool. When did you notice that you ate too much? Well, about 30 minutes after I ate awesomely. Next time, wouldn’t it be cool if you noticed it right after the meal? And maybe the time before that, you noticed it? You know, two-thirds of the way through that this is getting that quantity.

Jenn Trepeck: It’s a progression of getting from where we are to where we want to be the same way you progress with weights. We do the same thing in all the other areas, but we don’t expect that of ourselves. We expect to be able to go from you know, whatever diet we’re falling According to the latest fad diet of intuitive eating, and you were saying before too, this just popped back into my head of, you know.

Jenn Trepeck: People sort of having this on-off thing, or, you know, not necessarily as consistent, and I think it’s not so much on and off. It’s on and on and on and on every time is a different plan. Right. Today, we’re keto tomorrow, where I’m investing the day after that we’re intuitive eating. And of course, our body is freaking out.

Steve Washuta: Yeah, going zero to 60 is never a good thing, right? You have to take steps slowly. That’s part of, again, that’s not the general population, specialty. They just want to jump in, you know, head first and go right for it. We have to slow them down and say, we’ll fix one thing at a time.

That’s what we do in fitness. At least that’s what I do. We do assessments, we do modifications, I start, you know, maybe you work out one day, a week, and a month later, it’s two days, and you have before six months, and now you’re working out three or four days a week. 

And the same thing I’m sure in the nutrition field, I just wanted to hit on something else. You said, as far as the language is concerned. I’ve talked about this a lot. I’m going to beat a dead horse here. But it’s important that we understand our clients don’t speak our language.

Right. Like you said, she said, Good, what does good mean? Right? He said he was in pain. But what does pain mean? And I know some people think this is like semantics. But it’s not because it ends up being very important, right? If they say pain is something shooting down their leg? Well, now we know it’s nerve. 

Now it’s serious. Now we can’t work out today. We have to do other things as opposed to muscle soreness. If they say, you know, they’re not feeling well, well, what does that mean? That could mean that I have for me, you know, I’m not feeling well, if I have two glasses of wine, I’m worse for someone else.

They might have stage four cancer we don’t know what’s going on. It’s we have to keep digging in and making sure that our language matches their parlance because we all speak a different language when it comes to the sort of describing good and bad and pain and those sorts of things.

Jenn Trepeck: 1,000% and I’m very particular about the words I use. With my clients. When I talk about food, I don’t, there is nothing that is good. And there’s nothing that is bad. Like, the words we use have more impact than we realize, and I encourage everybody to avoid the word should avoid good and bad.

Jenn Trepeck: And I mean, I’ve done a whole episode on words, but it’s amazing what happens when we start to just shift the language that we use. And inherently our clients will shift their language and shifting the language shifts the behavior

Steve Washuta: makes perfect sense to not use that bit. But unfortunately, that’s that is the language of the general population. It is something that has to be slowly coached out. It’s not really in fitness. People don’t say there are bad exercises. But of course, in the nutrition world, that’s all it is right? People will literally just group foods into good and bad, they will put them into categories.

And obviously, that’s like you said, that’s a problem. There’s a psychology behind that if you don’t look at foods as good and bad and you look at foods as just think just energy I’m putting into my body and then you’ll have a healthier relationship, which in turn will make you make better decisions. 

Now, I’m going to ask you sort of like a rapid-fire thing. Give me if you’re just starting with a client, right general population, they know nothing. they’re, they’re 100 pounds overweight. And you want to give them sort of like first steps. What is the first one, two, or three things you tell them at the start of their journey?

Jenn Trepeck: Sure. This also changes depending on where they’re starting, right? Like the profile we just went through is not like I would typically be doing an intake to get much more of a picture of what’s happening. But general guidelines were to start with protein and fiber. Protein and fiber, every meal makes removing fat, no big deal. Protein is clean, lean protein. I don’t care where it comes from. I don’t care what kind it is. 

Jenn Trepeck: Clean, lean protein, whatever you like. donate what you don’t like Right? Fiber is vegetables and sometimes fruit. The other thing we need every day is some quality fats. Walnuts, almond oil, avocado, avocado oil, right? Couple quality fats, protein, and fiber. The only difference between meals and snacks is how much we have at a time. Start there and let’s see what happens.

Steve Washuta: That’s great information. Simple, easy, easy to remember. Jen where can the listeners find more about you tell them your podcast again salad with fries Where do they find that isn’t on all platforms and maybe they want to reach out to you directly with any questions?

Jenn Trepeck: Absolutely. Salad with a side of fries is the podcast wherever you like to listen, we will be there at is the website and all social media at Jenn Trepeck, j e n n t r e p e c k, and please please reach out to me like I want to hear. What do you agree with what do you disagree with? Let’s have a conversation I love nothing more than hearing from you. So please reach out.

Steven Washuta: My guest today has been Jenn Trepeck, Jen, thanks for joining the podcast.

Jenn Trepeck: Thanks, Steve. Love it.

Steve Washuta: Thanks for joining us on the Trulyfit podcast. Please subscribe, rate, and review on your listening platform. Feel free to email us as we’d love to hear from you.

Thanks again!




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