Posts tagged nutrition
Feast Fresh

Why you should eat local, fresh food from your farmers market


Summer is a time when Idahoan's get to enjoy an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables being produced locally every day. We see them in our local Albertsons and Whole Foods. Sometimes they come at a few cents more than the preserved produce coming from out of town, but often that's not the case. If you're willing to stroll through the farmer's market on a Saturday or take a trip down to one of the Boise Coops you will find buying SEASONAL local produce can save you more than just a few cents. There are three major health benefits to choosing local and seasonal foods. Heed these tips now, while your local farms and community gardens are bursting with variety, and thank yourself later for living a healthier life.


No. 1

Plant-based foods taste better and pack more nutrients when it can ripen fully on the plant before being picked. Most of the fruits and vegetables you purchase from out of state or past season are picked well before ripening to allow for longer transportation and shelf life. These foods have a fraction of the nutrients you will get from the farmer in the next town. 

No. 2

Seasonal and local foods are better for the health of your local community. Supporting local farms and community gardens strengthens the local economy by putting your dollars directly back into the pockets of people who will spend those dollars locally.

No. 3

Finally, the third reason local and seasonal produce is the best health choice you can make in 2018 is that it is healthier for our entire planet! The shorter the distance from the farm to the table, the less carbon emissions will be pumped into the air for transporting those goods.

If you would like further details about exactly what foods are available when here in our great state of Idaho, head over to the Idaho Preferred Website here and check out this great graphic they created to tell you exactly that information. You can see a snip of what the actual brochure looks like bellow. You can find these brochures at the farmer's market info stand on Grove Street between 10th and 11th. 

diet trends

How to choose which one is right for you

funny diet image.jpg

Fad Diets = Bad Diets. First, let’s be clear about what a fad diet is, and what it is not. A ‘Fad’ is defined as a practice or interest followed for a time with exaggerated zeal. Basically, people get excited about something new and hit it hard - only to lose interest or fall out of practice shortly after beginning. The reason Fad and Diet do not go well together is because Diet is the kind of food a person eats habitually. No diet is inherently a fad. That happens when we do two things: we don’t think long term about our eating habits, and we dive head first into a new diet without giving ourselves time to adjust. What we typically call a “Fad Diet” (i.e. Atkins, Keto, Weight Watchers, SouthBeach Diet) are in fact “Trending Diets,” not fads.

In fact Kevin, our Encore Fitness trainer, has experimented with a dozen trending diets with the hopes of gaining a better perspective from which he may guide his clients. “I have found some amazing results as well as some disheartening ones” he says. Something he tries to share with his clients is that every diet fail ultimately shares one major conclusion...your attitude going into it. The key to making any diet work is to fall into it naturally with the intent of making it a lifestyle change, rather than dropping into the next typical fad diet disaster.



"Do whatever you do full on and all out. There is no half-assing it." 
-- Kevin Bunch | Encore Fitness Trainer



The very definition of fad calls to mind the idea that this sort of diet is a means to an end.  Meaning at one point you've said to your self...“At the end of these 30 days I’ll be fit and can eat what I want! After only 3 months of eating like this, I can just pick and choose how much of it I want to follow and I’ll still reap the benefits"...WRONG. A diet is meant to be how your body interacts with food regularly on a day to day basis. The best diet is one that is not a fad. You can’t be truly on a Keto Diet if you only participate Monday through Friday. I'm guessing at this point you're asking "Why not?" Reason is, it takes weeks for your body to enter ketosis. A fancy term that means, when you deprive your body of a fuel source it begins to convert fat into a "new" fuel source. Similarly, you can’t be gluten free if you have a little gluten once in a while, the gluten will never fully leave your system. With just these two examples you can start to understand that this is where choosing the correct diet for your lifestyle comes into play, and we mean in a BIG way.  If you are someone who likes to eat at fancy restaurants and likes to drink alcohol on the weekends, the Keto diet might not be the right fit for you. However, the Weight Watchers program might in fact lead you down the correct path for your future success.

Speaking of long term success, Courtney, owner/trainer of Encore Fitness, decided long ago that counting calories was a great way for her to become more mindful of what was being put into her body. After years of bodybuilding and learning about her macronutrient values, and understanding the effects that certain foods have on her body, she has naturally fallen into this "lifestyle" of eating. Choosing to live this way has made her a better coach for others that are searching for a way to balance “yummy” food with food that nourishes and fuels the body in a way that junk food just can't. A successful diet is one that you find yourself still doing years down the road, better yet, one that you are still reaping benefits from.

So how do you choose a diet that is right for you?  Below are questions we typically ask our clients when they are researching a new eating style or diet program. If you find yourself answering NO to any of these questions you may want to go back to the drawing board to find something that better suits your lifestyle to ultimately reach your end goal.

  • Is this a diet that you see yourself adopting for years to come?

  • Does this diet allow you to do your daily activities without too much sacrifice?

  • Will this diet fit into your family dynamic?

  • Does this diet make sense for your goals and for your body type?



"A habit takes time to form. We aren't going to give it a number because some habits die hard, and it takes some people a bit longer to form good habits over others. The point to all this is to learn to use tools to form new healthy HABITS. Something that will last, something that will help shape you into a better version of yourself."



Kevin participates in regular and consistent Intermittent Fasting (IF). He came across IF while trying the Ketogenic Diet via the bulletproof diet (talk about a trend chaser). Kevin says that he likes the ease of waking up in the morning and not having to worry about making breakfast before he runs out the door. Similarly, he says he likes the boundaries IF has made for him. “It's not complicated” he says, “you fast and then you eat when the time is right”.

"The neat thing about simply being aware of what you're putting into your body by counting calories," Courtney says, is that she doesn’t need to count anymore. She practiced this style of eating for so long that she now knows what she needs to eat and how much of it is appropriate for her body composition. However, she says, “I'm not perfect. I like to go backpacking, attend social events and yes, I like to eat out and occasionally drink alcohol. I don't expect my clients to be on 100% of the time either. We are all human but it does take a tremendous amount of dedication in the gym and at home to be successful long-term.”

In order to be successful long-term, to form good habits, Kevin and Courtney have compiled a list of eating styles that they believe will help get you there. These are:

  1. Weight Watchers- Courtney likes this particular diet because it's basically counting macros (aka calories). Its easy and efficient.

  2. Intermittent Fasting (IF)- This is Kevin’s go-to diet for flat abs and big muscles. He has done this type of dieting for 5 years and loves the results he see’s from it.

  3. If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM)- Another counting technique us trainers like to use for bodybuilding and or weight loss. Flexible dieting at its finest.

  4. Whole Foods - This diet is not really a diet, more of a lifestyle. The rules are, no processed foods that have nutrients removed and or foods that have been refortified. Meaning you eat grass fed organic meats, organic Non-GMO fruits and vegetables that are mostly locally and regionally sourced, and eating 100% whole wheat without fillers or artificial flavors.

  5. Vegan/ Vegetarian- Another great eating style that allows us to simply change the types of food we eat rather than count calories or completely change the way our body burns its energy (Keto). Bottom line- EAT MORE PLANTS.

Try new things until you find something you really believe you could adopt for life. There are numerous different eating habits that vary as widely as humans themselves, and it really just takes good old trial and error. The key is to do whatever you do full on and all out. There is no half-assing it!



Written by: Kevin Bunch & Courtney Coleman



Let's be real we've all tried those YoYo diets. Some worked, short term, and well others we know were just a fad and more about the money. There is not a one size fits all plan! There is no magic pill to get you to your goal and keep you there indefinitely. Food is science, from the ground to the table, to digestion, it all happens with science! So lets talk science for a second...all food breaks down into glucose (sugar). Yes even protein breaks down into small amounts of glucose. Our body uses that glucose as energy. However, not all foods are created equal. For example, a pear will break down very differently than a Snickers candy bar. This is where making informed decisions will make or break your nutrition goals.

In this blog I have separated food items in "do's" and "don'ts." Before we get into that, lets briefly talk about whole foods. The term "whole food" means that it doesn't come from a fast food restaurant, box, or a can. Even if it's a grilled chicken sandwich from Chic Fil A. Whole food means not processed. It's not packaged or frozen using preservatives, and goes bad fairly fast. Most whole foods are okay in moderation, but if you are looking to lose weight, control your diabetes, lower your triglycerides or just be a better overall athlete, consider using these tips and apply them to your daily routine.

 breads & grains












Couscous, quinoa, spaghetti squash, pasta zero noodles

Ezekiel bread, some gluten free breads, romaine lettuce leaves, cauliflower

Other snack items: nuts, fruit, protein bars, jerky, carrots, celery

Cassava and Chia grain free tortilla

Oatmeal, steel cut oats, fruit

Brown rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, broccoli rice, couscous or Freekeh










Water Chestnuts

Green bananas

Lima beans



Black Beans (in moderation), Green Beans


Sweet Potato or Yam



Pear, Apple, Grapefruit

Cucumbers, Zucchini

Green beans, Broccoli




Instead of a list of what to eat vs not, I've listed a handful of legumes by glycemic number. Why list it by glycemic index? Legumes are a great source of protein and energy, but best eaten in moderation. Think of it this way, an item of food is given a value, based on how it digests and breaks down into sugar. The higher the number, the quicker it's digested and pumped into the blood stream. The lower the number, the slower the food is digested and released for energy. Keep in mind, any glucose not used, the body stores away. Those that are diabetic or looking for weight loss should stick to a lower glycemic diet. Whereas high impact athletes who regularly endure long intense workouts should choose a handful of the higher glycemic numbered food items.

All foods have a glycemic number and you should check to see where it falls on the glycemic index to better equip yourself for a more impactful nutrition plan. Here's a great link with 100 common foods and their glycemic values


Black eyed peas                                      50

Chick peas, canned                                42     

Baked beans                                           40     

Navy beans                                              39

Kidney beans                                           34

Lentils                                                       28

Cashews                                                  22

Soy beans                                                15

Peanuts                                                    13

Chickpeas                                                10


 *DISCLAIMER: Encore Fitness professionals are not registered dietitians, you should consult your doctor before any nutritional changes are made.