Metabolic, V02 & Nutritional Testing

How I figured out my food intolerances

For my entire 20’s, I’ve struggled with food allergies, digestive issues, sinus issues, and brain fog. After trying different supplements, getting allergy tests at an ENT office, and trying different diets (paleo, vegan, vegetarian, etc), nothing was helping.

After a little more research, I stumbled upon a business that had just opened in Columbus, Ohio – Rock N Shock Fitness. Rock N Shock is an all-female community focused on getting you in the best shape of your life. The owner, Danielle Miranda, spent years developing a system that encompasses the entire body, internally and externally, to get you to your healthiest self. This is done with initial testing to find out what is really going on with your body – food & non-food intolerance tests, nutritional deficiencies, metal toxicity, V02, and RMR testing. There are other tests that can be done, like DNA testing, and oxygen therapy + infrared saunas for detoxification. After getting your results, you can choose to work with someone on your diet + begin a workout plan based on your fitness level.
**The intolerance testing (without metal toxicity) was $250, and the V02/RMR test (membership pricing included) was another $125.

To get started, I made an initial appointment with Rock N Shock to discuss my fitness/nutrition goals, and what I was looking to get out of working with them. After speaking with the owner, she gave me a tour of the facilities and explained my options based on what we talked about.

I chose the below services:

V02 testing – to measure my physical fitness level
RMR – to find my resting metabolic rate (how many calories am I burning just sitting here?)
Intolerance testing – what foods am I eating that are causing issues?
Nutritional deficiencies – what does my body need more of?
**I fully intended to begin the workout program after receiving my results, but ended up moving to Florida.

I booked a second appointment to get all of the testing done, and it took less than an hour – a few strands of hair were taken for the intolerance testing & nutritional deficiencies, and the RMR & V02 test took about 30 minutes. I also couldn’t eat 2 hours before the test, and minimal to no exercise is recommended the day before so your body is fully rested & ready for the test. (I went on a 16 mile hike the day before, so don’t be like me!)

To begin, I had to breathe into a tube hooked to a computer for 10-15 minutes for my RMR test.

You can only blow through the tube, so you have to wear a clip on your nose – see above :p

You can watch the screen while you are blowing to make sure that everything is being recorded properly – I am not sure exactly how it all works, but after blowing for 10-15 minutes, I was relieved to be done!

RMR testing screen

After the RMR test, I was hooked up to a mask, attached to a hose – think Bane from Batman. The hose was hooked up to a computer, and I had to run with the mask on. It looks a little scary, but you can breathe just fine.

v02 test with mask

The person running the test started the treadmill low, with a little incline. Over time, she did timed intervals for increasing my pace & the incline, then back down again. At any time, when you feel like you cannot go any farther, you can tell them to stop the treadmill. Depending on how in-shape you are, it can be anywhere from 4 minutes to 20 minutes before you throw in the towel. I lasted about 11-12 minutes, which was the point where I felt like my muscles had no juice left in them (I could still breathe ok!). Below was about the halfway point for me – I was up to 6 or 7 on the treadmill, and things were really starting to get tough!

Normally when you throw in the towel, it’s not because you can’t breathe – it’s because your muscles are being deprived of oxygen, and the V02 test basically measures how well your body uses oxygen. The RNS site describes what exactly the test measures:

…how effectively your body consumes and uses oxygen, your breathing patterns, recovery of heart and lungs, calorie expenditure at various heart rates, your aerobic and anaerobic thresholds. We will be able to identify the exact heartbeat your body turns anaerobic and exact heart rate zones for you to train and compete at in order to stop you from “hitting the wall “and then allow you to maximise every minute of every session and race.

After the test was complete, I had to wait a bit for my hair analysis to come back. After about a month, I went back in to take a look at my final results:

intolerance test

nutritional deficiencies

It was honestly a bit of a shock to learn that I had food intolerances to things I ate almost everyday – olives/olive oil, strawberries, sweet potatoes, carrots… basically, all things I thought were healthy, but were really things my body was rejecting! On top of that, I had amino acid and Vitamin B12 deficiencies. After talking over my results, I decided to cut out the foods on the list, as well as begin supplementing with a few vitamins. So, for the past 8 months, I’ve noticed an increase in energy, less brain fog, and less reactions to food after eating (I used to get mini panic attacks after eating sweet potatoes & anything with olive oil in it!).

As for the V02 & RMR test results, they basically just confirmed that I have a high metabolism, and I workout….a lot. If I had stayed in Ohio & started a workout plan with RNS, it would have been to increase strength & speed & make my training more efficient.

v02 test results

RMR test results

Depending on your results & your end goal, everyone will be different! There are no bad results – because once you know where you are physically & nutritionally, you can only improve from there!

If you are in the Columbus, OH area, check out RNS (for women only, sorry guys!)… If not, google intolerance testing/v02 test/RMR test & your city/state… there are places all over the US that can do this type of testing for you. If you are looking to lose weight, get in better shape, get on a food plan, figure out why you are tired, improve your physical performance, or get more energy, I recommend investing in some sort of testing.

Overall, I highly recommend getting some sort of nutritional & physical fitness testing done – it has been one of the best things I’ve ever done for my health! We can do what we think is the best for our bodies, but there might always be something that we are missing.

I hope this helps – if anyone has done anything similar, comment below on your experience & if/how it has helped!

**Please note I did not receive anything in return for this blog post – I am writing this from my own personal experience, and I paid for every service received. I am writing this post in hopes that it helps anyone else interested in finding answers for their health, or for improving their physical fitness!

Weekend Update, Impromptu Travel & 5K Recap

Sooooo where to begin? Things have been absolutely crazy the last month, and I have barely been able to keep up! A few things:

New job – yep, after 2 (LONG) years of working in ecommerce, I quit my job. New job = a new chapter in my life, advance in my career, and less stress. Besides the longer commute to work, I couldn’t have asked for anything better! Well, unless I was traveling for my job, but that might be in the not-too-far-away future 😉

Running – I decided to run a 5k on Thanksgiving – so lately, I’ve been making time to run 2-4 miles a few times a week, as well as signing up for a 5k this past weekend as a preparatory race. The race was called “The Donut 5k” – you get to eat donut holes every mile, then are handed a half a dozen donuts once you cross the finish line. Of course it was a no brainer to sign up! Unfortunately, I didn’t feel so good from going out Thursday and Friday night… but, fortunately, my body magically decided it was fast – and I ended up running the race in under 24 minutes! First place in my age group, 7:41 pace. Considering I had major knee surgery last year, I am incredibly grateful for the progress I have made in running – the body is capable of amazing things!

donut run nina elise

Travel – I took an impromtu trip to the beach in FL on Monday this week – yep, for 1 day. I needed some time to relax before starting my job, and even though I only had 1 day to do it, I did it right! After teaching my Sunday yoga class, I booked a flight 6 hours before take-off – went to a yoga workshop for 2 hours – then hurried to the airport to catch my flight. I arrived in Florida around 1 am, slept, then went to the beach from 11 am to 5:30 pm at night. I read, napped, and swam in the ocean. At night, I hung out with family. It was the most perfect day trip I could have asked for! Tuesday I flew back to Columbus at 4 pm, managing to somehow run errands, go shopping, and meet friends for dinner. Travel is awesome, but sometimes it lacks in the sleep department. But – that’s what the weekends are for, right??

west palm beach yoga

jupiter florida

fit blonde yogi beach

Yoga Teacher training – only 2 more 10-hour Saturday classes before I am DONE! This 200 hour training has taken quite a toll on me mentally – but in a good way! I have been learning so much, and there just are not enough hours in the day to study. Also – I will be putting on my first ever workshop next Friday! Update to come on how this goes/possible future handstand workshops in Columbus!

One More Thing…
body building warehouse protein powder
My friends over at body building warehouse were kind enough to send me some samples of their products – whey protein from happy European, grass-fed cows. I finally was able to give their protein shakes a try – the hot chocolate (YES, a hot chocolate drink that’s good for you!!) and Banana Peanut Butter. I consider myself pretty smart, so I decided to mix the 2 together – banana + chocolate + peanut butter = Gods gift to humankind.. so basically, this was an amazing shake. I recommend mixing with ice/a frozen banana + milk (I used almond). You can find a huge range of products at their site – check them out here, it’s hard to find good quality protein mixes these days! There are also non-dairy flavors too, so there is something for everyone!

protein shake body building warehouse

That’s it… for now! I’ll be posting a recap in the coming weeks of finishing up my yoga teacher training, more races, and moving! Also – where will I be traveling next?? More to come on this 🙂 Hope everyone is having a fabulous week!

Crockpot BBQ Short Ribs

So my sister & her husband run this amazing farm out in Pennsylvania, and I always buy her meat (basically the happiest cows on earth). The last time I placed an order, I decided to be adventurous and buy some ribs. Problem is, I have never cooked ribs… and I don’t have a grill, which is probably the best way to make them. However, I am all about research, creating new recipes, and making them as easy as possible to put together. Also, you can’t ever go wrong with grassfed meat & bbq sauce 🙂 Recipe is below!

FinalRibs

Crockpot BBQ Short Ribs

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lbs short ribs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 bottle of BBQ sauce
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke

Instructions:

Onions Prep

Combine all spices + liquid smoke with 1/4 cup of brown sugar & cover/rub into ribs. Let sit overnight, if possible. Cut up onion & place at bottom of crockpot. Place ribs on top, then cover ribs with BBQ sauce. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

CrockpotRibs BBQRibs

Combine 1/4 cup of brown sugar with 1/4 cup of bbq sauce & rub over ribs. Place ribs on a foil sheet & broil in oven until caramelized. Serve with a side & Enjoy!

Finalbbqribs

Sweet & Creamy Root Vegetable Soup (Paleo!)

Hello!

Ever since I got back from Europe, I have been wanting to re-create a recipe for a soup that I had while in Chamonix, France: Beet Soup. It sounds gross, but it wasn’t ALL beets – it was potatoes, and shallots, and red wine vinegar… and it was sweet and salty and just amazing. So, I decided to make the recipe tonight – anddddd it didn’t exactly turn out the way that I wanted it to… BUT. It was still amazing! My beet soup recipe ended up turning more into a root veggie soup – with only a hint of beets. Also, the color should have been straight up the color of beets, but it turned out orange. I will definitely be tweaking this and trying again another time (less potatoes, more beets). So for the time being – enjoy my not-as-planned soup below for a perfect fall meal!

Final

Sweet & Creamy Root Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 Potato, chopped into cubes
  • 1 Sweet Potato (chopped into cubes)
  • 2 carrot stalks (chopped)
  • 4 cooked beets (I cheated and bought pre-cooked ones from Trader Joes)
  • 1 shallot
  • butter (or ghee)
  • 1 can coconut milk (full or light)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 baby leaf
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 cups broth (I used vegetable, you could use chicken)
  • garlic powder to taste
  • sugar to taste (optional – I used coconut sugar, you could also use dates)

Directions:

Cook shallots & garlic in butter until they start to brown (I cooked in a large cast-iron skillet). Add in broth, potatoes & carrots. Place a lid on top of skillet & let cook until vegetables/potatoes are soft. Remove the bay leaf. Transfer entire mixture into a blender/processor, adding the rest of the ingredients. *I recommend adding the spices at the very end, a little at the time, to find the perfect blend

Beets Shallots

Mix for a few seconds at a time – or fully mix – depending on how you want your soup, creamy or with a few veggie chunks.

Paleo Soup

Serve with a side (I was roasting chopped brussel sprouts and carrots while making this, so just topped my soup with them!) or some bread. Enjoy!

2 Carrot Paleo Soup carrot paleo bath

Paleo Protein Bar Review & Giveaway: Exo

To prep for my upcoming trip to Europe, I’ve been stashing up on snacks and protein bars to bring with me. For the days that I will be walking around a lot, working out, unable to find food right away, I need snacks on hand to tide me over. Insert: Exo Protein Bars! For those of you who are a little more adventurous, these bars are made out of cricket protein powder. Yep, you read that right. Crickets.

Now before you stop reading and swear on your dead body that you would NEVER eat a bug, let me drop a little knowledge on you about the greatness of these bars:

  • the percentage of protein used in these bars is almost 2-6 times more than any other protein source
  • crickets are a complete protein source
  • crickets produce 100x less greenhouse gases than cows
  • raising crickets is dramatically less harmful than raising traditional livestock – see the info chart below!

exo info

So are you sold on trying them yet? If not, below is my own personal review – and let me tell you, I was a bit freaked out at first to eat bugs 😉

Exo sent me 4 bars to try:
Peanut Butter & Jelly
Blueberry
Apple cinnamon
Cocao nut

Exo protein bars

I originally thought blueberry would be my favorite – however, the Peanut Butter & Jelly and the Cocoa nut ended up being my favorite! The blueberry & Apple cinnamon bars tasted a little earthy – I liked that the other 2 bars had a more prominent flavor. When I first tried these bars, I was definitely thinking a few things: OMG. I am eating crickets. Are these going to be crunchy? OMG this is gross.

After taking a few bites, I realized that it wasn’t so bad. The crickets are washed, dried to remove the moisture, then milled into fine flour. The result is slightly nutty-tasting flour that is high in protein and micronutrients (source). I think the only issue with these bars is the mental hurdle – the fact that you are eating bugs. If someone handed me this bar without telling me it was made with crickets, I would have thought it was just a tasty protein bar. And – if you need any more convincing – a few of my girlfriends tried these bars with me, and they gave a thumbs up!

So – after reading my reviews, I know you all are just itching to try these bars… especially you adventurous, paleo, backpacking, planet-saving people of the earth! Exo has 1 box of PB&J bars to give away to one lucky winner. All you have to do is 1) 1) Follow my blog and 2) tell me why you want to try these bars! Enter at the link below, and leave your response in the comments below. Rafflecop will randomly choose a winner by the end of Monday, 9/7 @ 11:59 pm ET. I can’t wait to read everyone’s response!

**This contest is now closed… The winner is Linda R! Congrats!

Click here to be entered into the EXO Protein Bar Giveaway!

**The product provided for the review was free of charge from the company. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. 

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