314-432-6103     10407 Clayton Rd, St. Louis MO, 63131


Are You Wearing the Correct Fitness Shoe?

By Randy Leopando, CSCS, FMS, Director of Personal Training

Are you wearing the correct type of shoe when you exercise?  The right shoe can make or break your workout. After all, an ill-fitting shoe can cause faulty mechanics, pain, and even injury. If you participate in a specific sport or activity more than two times per week, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) recommends wearing a sport-specific shoe. This means you might need different shoes for different activities. Here are some recommendations on shoes for popular fitness modes.


The repetitive nature of running requires extra attention to footwear in order to prevent injury and maximize comfort. Running shoes reduce the impact of each step you take. They are designed for forward motion with specific cushion in the heel and forefoot.  I highly recommend you get fitted at a specialty store.  Your foot type will dictate what type of shoe to get.  Locally I recommend the Running Center and Big River Running – they can analyze your gait and make the appropriate recommendation.


Walking involves a heavier heel strike, so walking shoes are created to have a round and stiff heel to support the heel-toe action of the gait. When shopping for a new walking shoe, check the flexibility of the sole. The toe box should be able to bend and twist easily for best results. Search for shoes with breathable mesh to keep feet cool on long jaunts.


To lift weights effectively, a stable foot is required. Look for a shoe that provides a flat and sturdy base like a low-profile cross-trainer. Most cross-trainers work well for the average gym goer because they can be used for weight lifting, plyometric and cardiovascular endurance activities. Cross-trainers, however, are not especially great for any one activity. If you are focusing specifically on Olympic lifting, for example, Olympic lifting shoes provide a rigid structure and small heel lift, which enhances the stability of the foot for explosive power transfer.

Group Fitness Classes

Our Group Fitness and Hybrid Training classes are diverse and demand lateral movement, agility and stability. Look for a pair of lightweight cross-trainers with ankle and arch support. You will likely want a shoe with a wide toe box and a soft, flexible sole to grip the floor and maneuver in a variety of formats. If you attend cycling class on a regular basis, consider a pair of cycling shoes, which provide a solid base to alleviate foot fatigue and clips to allow you to connect with the bike for a more efficient and comfortable pedal stroke.

If the shoe fits…

Once you have the proper shoe for the workout, it’s important to replace them periodically. Shoes may lose their support or cushion long before they actually look worn. In fact, your body may signal shoe break down with aches or pains in your feet, shins, knees or back. A trained professional at a specialty store can recognize wear in your current shoes, watch your gait and provide recommendations. Most experts suggest replacing running shoes every 300 to 500 miles. For those who do not log miles, replace shoes every six months if you work out most days, or every year if you exercise a couple of times per week. You can extend the life of your fitness shoes by using them only when you exercise. If you like the comfort of your fitness shoes for running around town doing errands, consider buying a second pair to act as your “casual” shoe.  Hope this info gets you off on the right foot!

Posted in Endurance, Group Fitness, Hybrid, News, Personal Training, Sports Performance | Leave a comment


Metagenics Product of the Month

So what is CoQ10 anyways? CoQ10 is a naturally occurring vitamin-like substance that is vital for health. Cells throughout our body, especially in the heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas depend on CoQ10 to sustain life.

Why might this product be beneficial for me?  As we age our body’s production of CoQ10 slowly diminishes and can also be depleted by lifestyle habits, environmental factors, and statin medications. In addition, dietary and supplemental CoQ10 is often difficult to absorb, thus your body may not be getting what it needs.  Metagenics CoQ10 is a specialized product that is designed for better absorption in order to ultimately deliver more reliable health outcomes.

In what form does Metagenics CoQ10 product come? Available in three different forms; liquid (NanoCell-Q), concentrated soft gels ( CoQ10 ST-100, CoQ10 ST-200), or chewable gels (Nutragems CoQ10 300)

What does the research say? Research suggest that CoQ10 may support healthy aging, energy production, antioxidant protection, and overall wellness.


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Energy Boosting Sample Meal Plan

All meals that you find on the sample meal plan are rich in whole-grains, fruit, vegetables, and lean proteins. These meals are full of vitamins , and minerals and will keep  you satisfied, and fueled throughout the day to keep your energy boosted!


Steal Cut Oats w/ pears & Raisins


½ Cup Steal Cut Oats

¾  cup 2% milk

1 cup diced pear

1 oz. Raisins                                            *Cook steal cut oats on stove top, add milk.


Whole– grain toast w/peanut butter & honey

2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter

1 piece Whole-grain bread   

1 tsp. Honey


Shrimp wrap:

1 ½” Tortilla

½ Avocado , diced

3 ounces Shrimp

¼ Cup black beans (Rinsed & drained)

¼ cup spinach

2 tbsp. salsa

2oz feta cheese

½ cup cucumber , diced

½ cup tomatoes , diced

2 tbsp. Balsamic

Fill 1 1/2” tortilla with 3 ounces of cooked peeled shrimp, 1/2 avocado, 1/4 cup black beans, 1/4 cup spinach, 2 tbsp. Salsa, 1 oz. Feta cheese.

For cucumber and tomato salad: Add cucumber, cherry tomatoes, balsamic and mix.


1/2 cup carrots

1/2 apple

1/2 cup Hummus (for dipping carrots)


6oz. Lean Pork Tenderloin

1/2 medium sweet potato baked

1 cup  steamed broccoli w/ 1 tsp. Butter and fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce


1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

1/4 cup cashews, chopped

1– 6oz container of Greek yogurt

Mix and Enjoy!




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Quinoa, Salmon Broccoli Bowl

1/3 cup Quinoa                                                             1 /2 cup cherry tomatoes

Kosher salt                                                                     1 1/2 cloves , garlic

1 scallion, thinly sliced                                                   1-6 ounce salmon filet

1/2 small head broccoli  (about 1 1/4 cups)                   1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Rinse the quinoa under cold water. Drain well and add to a  saucepan. Cook Quinoa to package directions. Once quinoa is cooked  remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Add the scallion and fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, toss together the broccoli, tomatoes, garlic, oil and salt and pepper  to taste.  Place vegetables on baking sheet  and lightly coat with olive oil. Roast for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle Salmon on both sides with salt and pepper. Remove the baking tray with vegetables and nestle the salmon into the vegetables. Roast for another 12 to 15 minutes.

Place Quinoa on a bowl, top with Salmon and vegetables. ENJOY !  Try this recipe  that contains energy boosting foods post workout to help replenish the body with the nutrients it needs!

Calories  452, protein  42g,  fat  20g, sodium 261 mg  (retrieved from Cooking Chanel)


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½ cup nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt

½ cup frozen strawberries

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1 cup spinach leaves

1 small banana

1 Tbsp. peanut butter (or nut/seed butter of your preference)

½ cup milk (more liquid for thinner consistency, milk alternatives may be used as well)


Put all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth.

Makes 1 serving: Calories 363, Fat 11g, Carbs 54g, Protein 16g


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Energy Boosting!

As we approach the month of December we are faced with many challenges that keep us from staying in compliant with our normal schedules and routines.  From holiday parties to family gatherings it is quite easy to fall off track. For this month’s nutrition spotlight the focus is on Energy Boosting Foods that can help you maximize your workout, keep you feeling great, and keep you on track!  Keep reading to learn more about foods from natural sources that can give you that extra boots before and after workout.  Furthermore, supplementing the body with the nutrients it needs after a workout is important  as well, read more to learn about foods that can  aid in recovery.

Pre Workout

Before performing it is important to consume carbohydrate-rich foods to top off muscle stores. It is also important to include small amounts of protein in your pre-performance meals. Protein helps build muscle tissue and adequate protein before performance may help reduce post exercise muscle soreness. Avoid high-fat, and high-fiber foods to ensure optimal digestion. Choosing fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains are ideal before any workout. The following foods are great  foods by themselves to give you a boost in energy before performing:

Handful  of Almonds: Almonds are a top source of  antioxidants , like flavonoids, phenolic acid and vitamin E which protect the body from free radicals.

Bananas : Not only are bananas a good source of carbohydrates that are needed before any workout,  but it is also an important source of Potassium. Potassium  plays an essential function in muscle functions. During exercise your body looses  potassium through sweat, thus  eating a banana before performing can boost your potassium levels .

Avocado: This unique fruit primarily consists of carbohydrate and healthy fats. Also high in Vitamin K, C, and Folate!  Great snack before a workout! Half of an avocado with 10 almonds pair great together!

Eggs are an excellent source of high quality protein and are  very inexpensive. Eggs are considered a complete protein , meaning they contain all 9 essential amino acids! So Skip the protein power before performance and enjoy this delicious whole food.


Last month we talked about the importance of consuming adequate amounts of fiber in the diet in order to promote a healthy gut. However, before performance it is  recommended to minimize these foods.  High fiber foods before performance can be upsetting to the stomach. If consuming high fiber foods before performance remember to  drink  plenty of water and eat these foods at least  3-4 hours before exercise .

Post Workout

Post workout it is important to replenish the body  immediately with the nutrients the body needs to recover and perform again. After working out  a nutritious post workout meal will help replenish glycogen stores, promote  protein synthesis, and hydrate the body adequately. What you eat post workouts is usually more of a meal rather than a snack. After completing a workout you want to choose meals that consist of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Here are some  healthy energy boosting items that can help in the body’s recovering process:

Salmon  is an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals (including selenium, potassium , and vitamin B12)  but it is the content of Omega 3’s that receive more attention.. Most beneficial Omega 3’s  are naturally found in fish such as Salmon.  Omega 3’s are especially important in supporting brain function and a healthy heart.

Quinoa is an excellent source of protein . Eating this super food can provide you with the protein and carbs that the body needs for tissue repair and recovery after a workout.

Hummus :  Hummus is made from chic peas or garbanzo beans which are an excellent source of  protein  and also provides the body with  carbs. Add a side of hummus to any of your meals.

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Holiday Party Planning – Take Back Your Kitchen

susancacianocookingNeed an extra hand in the kitchen for your holiday parties?
NutriFormance”s RD, Susan, now provides meal planning, grocery lists, and in-home prep for healthy holiday appetizers, small bites, and meals to feed your gathering.
If your guests have special dietary needs (vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free), that’s what we’re best at – just ask!
Take Back Your Kitchen
In-home session starting at $175-$225
Contact Susan at susanc@nutriformance.com or 314-432-6103 ext. 3101 to book your Holiday Party Planning today!
*Excludes price of grocery and products. Price depending on guest size and special dietary requests.


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Date Energy Bites

Serves 20


2 cups pitted dates

2 cups walnut pieces (or other nut/seed you prefer)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

pinch of sea salt


Combine ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well-combined. With a tablespoon, scoop out a small piece and roll into a ball with clean hands until smooth.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving= 146 calories, 8g fat, 20g carb, 3g fiber, 3g protein.

For further questions or to schedule an appointment, contact Susan at susanc@nutriformance.com

Find recipes, tips, and meal plans as well as Team RD’s “How to” Video Series on                  www.nutriformance.com blog.

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5 Common Fitness Saboteurs and How to Defeat Them

5 Common Fitness Saboteurs and How to Defeat Them
by Randy Leopando

Ever have those days when you feel like the universe is conspiring to keep you from reaching your fitness goals? Even the most committed fitness enthusiasts (myself included) face challenges to staying active. Sometimes we sabotage ourselves. Other times, life interferes with our exercise plans.  With the new year just around the corner, perhaps this blog will give you an head start.

Check out this list of common fitness saboteurs and learn how to combat them with practical strategies that really work:

  1. Stress

When you’re up against a work deadline or the kids are sick, you may feel you can’t handle one more thing, including exercise. But taking time out to go for a brisk walk or workout is one of the best things you can do during times of intense stress. Exercise helps alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression and helps boost your mood, enabling you to cope with whatever you’re facing. Even a short workout is better than nothing.  And believe it or not, a low to moderate intense routine is more ideal when cortisol (the “stress” hormone) levels are high.

  1. Unrealistic Expectations

Novice exercisers get frustrated when they expect big results too soon after starting a fitness program. Because they haven’t lost a huge amount of weight or developed six-pack abs after only a week or two of exercise, they throw in the towel. To avoid this mistake, set realistic goals and practice extreme patience. You can’t undo 10 years of a sedentary lifestyle in a week of walking. If you stick with a regimen, your body will respond to exercise. It takes at least six weeks of regular exercise and sometimes more for physiological changes to kick in.  Unfortunately the older you get, the longer it takes to “kick in.”  And don’t forget your nutrition…you can’t out-train a bad diet.

  1. Overtraining

Demanding daily workouts without scheduled rest won’t help you reach your goals faster. Instead, it’ll undermine your progress. Overtraining occurs when the exercise load is excessive related to the amount of time allowed for recovery. Overtaxing the body’s systems leads to decreased performance. Your joints and other soft tissue structures may need extra recovery especially if you haven’t exercised in a long time.  A day or two off from vigorous exercise each week is recommended for rest and recovery. This can be done through a combination of scheduling rest days into your fitness plan and alternating hard and easy workouts. For example, cross-training, swapping out a few runs for swimming or bicycling, is another effective way to avoid overtraining, but scheduled recovery days are still recommended.

  1. The Unexpected

You were going to walk after work, but now you’ve been asked to work late. Or perhaps you got an email that got you distracted and made you complete a task even though it could have waited. Life happens, and you can either throw up your hands and say, “forget it,” or accept it and roll with it. Resilience is your ability to bounce back quickly from life’s surprises and setbacks. This can be improved with practice. Strategies include having a workout “plan B” (i.e. workout at a different time of day like early morning), being mindful of your diet on those off-days, alternating your normal routine that day and make it more active (extra stairs, parking further so you can walk), or putting down that smartphone and give time to yourself.  As you become more resilient, you’re less likely to ditch your workout when something comes up. Instead, you’ll be able to quickly modify your plans and move forward.

  1. Negative Self-Talk

“I’m so lazy, I’ll never be fit;” “I didn’t even exercise once this week;” “I’m such a loser.” Would you talk to a friend or loved one this way? Listening to negative self-talk isn’t motivating, so what’s the point? Negative self-talk only destroys your confidence and motivation to the point where you can’t visualize success. But you don’t have to put up with it. The next time you recognize a critical thought, stop it and replace it with a positive thought, like this: “I’m so proud of myself for walking at lunch time today. It took a lot of effort, but I did it.” Behavior change is hard. Give yourself some credit for every step you take toward your fitness goals.

Sources: American Council on Exercise (acefitness.org)


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November Product of the Month 2015

Hemp Seeds

Very easy way to get that extra fiber, protein, and Omega 3 fatty acids needed for a well balanced diet by mixing these seeds into just about any meal – Great addition to smoothies!hemp seeds

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