Water. And what you REALLY need to know about it.

Since the hot days of summer are quickly approaching, now seems like a great time to discuss hydration. This is the time when heat-related injuries are most prevalent, unfortunately. But when you think about the importance the role water plays in the body, it should be a vital component of your diet at all times of the year.

There is no other nutrient more important to the human body than water. While you can go weeks without food, you can only last about 5-7 days without water. According to Duke University, when the water in your body is reduced by just 1 percent, you become thirsty.  At 5 percent, muscle strength and endurance declines significantly and you become hot and tired.  When the loss reaches 10 percent, delirium and blurred vision occur.  A 20 percent reduction results in death.

About 60% of the male body is water, and approximately 50% of the female. Every day, we lose 2-3 quarts of water through urination, sweating and breathing.  Since many of the processes within the body rely greatly on water, it is important we replace our fluids regularly to compensate for this loss.


When we exercise, water loss through sweat can be up to 1-2L per hour! According to the American College of Sports Medicine, dehydration is likely to start affecting exercise performance when sweating causes you to lose 2% or more of your normal (hydrated) body weight. That’s more than 51 ounces, or a little over 3 pounds, for an “average” person of 160 pounds. Bodybuilding.com states this “2% drop in body water can cause a small but critical shrinkage of the brain, which can impair neuromuscular coordination, decrease concentration, and slow thinking. Dehydration can also reduce endurance, decrease strength, cause cramping, and slow muscular response.” Water, obviously, is vital in delivering oxygen to muscles and helps the body perform physical labor more efficiently.

Needs vary, but on as a rule of thumb the following can be used as a reference:

Drink Water How Much? When?
Before Exercise 8-16 oz At least 15 minutes before workout
During Exercise 4-8 oz Every 15-20 minutes
After Exercise 16-24 oz per pound* lost As soon as possible

*Source: SparkPeople.com, “Drinking Water During Exercise” by Dean Anderson, PT & Becky Hand, RD


1) Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.

2) Skin can appear healthier when you are properly hydrated. “Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration,” says says Atlanta dermatologist Kenneth Ellner, MD.

3) Water aids in Weight Loss. One way is through the principle of volumetrics. Clinical trials have shown drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water prior to a meal can suppress your appetite. The water fills your stomach & reduces the tendency to eat more. It also increases your metabolic rate, and promotes the breakdown & elimination of fat cells.

4) Elimination of Toxins. Water will eliminate impurities & toxins from the body through sweat,  urine and stool. Research suggests staying hydrated can reduce your risk of colon cancer by 45%, bladder cancer by 50%, and breast cancer as well.


I can completely understand the confusion when there is natural spring water, distilled water, tap water, well water, mineral water, artisan water, filtered water, and antioxidant water. In my opinion, antioxidant water is hands down the BEST! And here is way:

1) Strengthens the immune system by delivering a large amount of negatively charged electrons, that adhere to & neutralize the free-radicals (as a result of poor diet, stress, pollution, chemicals, medications, etc) causing damage daily, and premature aging within the body.

2. Raises your body alkalinity. This is high pH water which flushes acidic toxins out of the body. Too many of us are highly acidic. Acidosis is the cause of many diseases. Cancers, chronic fatigue, and many other illnesses thrive in an acidic body.

3. Energizes the body, acting like a super nutrient. When this water restores alkalinity and flushes toxins out the body, the blood is cleaned and able to deliver critical nutrients to the body. This water helps deliver nutrients to your cells more efficiently than tap or other waters, which will give you more energy throughout the day.

4. Hydrates the body better. The molecular structure of antioxidant water is smaller in size making it 6x more absorbable. The water easily penetrates the body at a cellular level, resulting in a continual flood of enhanced hydration & renewal. Cells begin to function for optimal health and peak athletic performance.

I bet you never thought there was so much that could be said about Water, right? Clearly, it plays a vital role in our daily functioning, and ultimately our journey to better health. If you would like to try the antioxidant water that I spoke about, I’d be happy to try to get you a sample so you can feel the difference for yourself! Until next time…

Love & Light,



You asked…Post #3

“You asked…” is a blog series where I will be taking the questions you’ve asked and answering them here. The questions have been compiled from my various social media channels including my fitness Facebook page Tawny Clark, Instagram: @Tawnyclark, and tawnyclark.com.

Question #3: I recently read a post online, and it was referring to various types of protein shakes. What’s the difference between them all? It’s so confusing!

Yes. It can be a tad overwhelming when you are new to the various types of shakes that are available, but I’ll try to simplify it so it’s more easily digestible. No pun intended. Well, ok, maybe it was!

Whey Protein: is a mixture of globular proteins isolated from whey, the liquid material created as a by-product of cheese production. After milk solids coagulate, there is a clear liquid that is left over, called whey, that is 5% lactose, part mineral, part fat, and part protein — of course. Whey Protein typically contains between 70-85% protein. This protein is also rich in the amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine which are essential to the production of lean muscle mass. Why use Whey Protein: It is very quickly digested in the body.  Although since it’s not very filling, you would not use this alone as a meal replacement. But perfect pre-workout.

Whey Isolate: Whey Isolate is also made from the same part of milk as whey protein is, but the difference lies in the way Whey Isolate is processed. While Whey Protein still contains lipids and lactose (read fats and sugars), Whey Isolate is designed to get rid of everything except the protein. Whey Isolate typically contains 90-98% protein, and is usually more expensive because of the intensive isolation process. Why use Whey Isolate: Again being very quickly digested in the body, but without fats and sugar, Whey Isolate is a great option post workout because whey promotes protein synthesis. And since whey isolate is easily digested, it can be taken pre-workout as well.

Whey Concentrate: Another whey protein family member, but the most cost-effective  because it requires less processing time than Whey Isolate, but still has more protein per gram than your average Whey Protein. Why use Whey Concentrate: Keeps more money in your pocket and provides you with a quick uptake of protein post workout. Again a perfect pre-meal shake as well due to the rapid digestion in the body.

Casein Protein: Unlike whey, that only accounts for 20% of the protein found in milk, Casein Protein is responsible for 80% of the protein found in dairy products. Casein Protein also digests slower than whey products, which means that it can stay in your stomach and help you feel fuller for longer. Why use Casein Protein: Research on casein has shown that the body is more inclined to use this protein source directly to build muscle mass rather than as energy. Because it takes up to 7 hours to be absorbed by the body it is ideal for before bed as it will suppress muscle breakdown. Cottage cheese is often used at this time for the same purpose.

Egg Albumin: Egg Albumin powder is simply a concentrated version of egg whites. Egg whites contain less fat and less cholesterol than their yolks. Why use Egg Albumin: Aside for the convenience of having a powder available, it saves the time of cracking and separating egg whites! But because it is not derived from dairy products, Egg Albumin is also a great alternative to milk-based proteins for those who are lactose intolerant.

Soy Protein: Soy protein is derived from the soybean that has been dehulled and defatted. These dehulled and defatted soybeans are then processed into three forms: 1. Soy flour 2. Soy concentrates 3. Soy isolates. For a time, there were a number of health claims about soy protein. Some of these claims stated that soy protein consumption helped lower bad cholesterol, prevented heart disease and even fought off some cancers. However, more recent studies have indicated that many of these health claims are not only false but that there are serious concerns with concentrated soy protein consumption. Health Concerns with Soy Protein: These concerns have to do with the phytoestrogens found in soy proteins, especially the concentrated soy proteins. Phytoestrogens mimic estrogen. The concern with this is that many people today are becoming estrogen dominated and this can be potentially hazardous to our health. Much of this estrogen dominance has been attributed to plastics that contain a form of estrogen that when heated and undergo extreme temperatures leach into the foods and beverages held in the plastics. When we consume the foods we consume the plastics.  High levels of estrogen have been associated with increased risk of certain cancers in both men and women.


Hemp Protein: Hemp oil is a rich source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (aka, the “good” fats). Hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. Why use Hemp Protein: Hemp proteins are similar to proteins found in the human body, which makes them easy to digest and assimilate quickly, so they serve as alternative to whey and soy proteins, which are often heavily processed. This protein is utilized for athletic recovery and muscle repair.

Brown Rice Protein: Brown Rice Protein is allergen-free, gentle, and high quality protein powder. Although rice protein contains all eight essential amino acids, it is considered incomplete because of low levels of some of the essential amino acids. And undoubtedly whey contains more protein than brown rice. Why use Brown Rice Protein: For people who would want to avoid animal-based protein, rice is a perfect choice. it often utilized by vegans for their workout and recovery.

Pea Protein: Pea protein is a good source of arginine, an amino acid your body needs to build muscle. Arginine is conditionally essential, meaning that you need more of it in times of stress or illness. You’ll get more arginine from pea protein than from other protein sources, according to an article on the FoodNavigator-USA website. Why use Pea Protein: Whether you are following a vegan diet or just trying to cut down on animal foods, pea protein will help you meet your protein needs.

Remember to read ALL nutrition labels, as there are so many brands and varieties available that you want to be sure you are buying the best quality products available. Be on the lookout for artificial colors, sweeteners, and additives that will not serve your healthy life-style needs.  Also, consider the content of the other macronutrients as well. If you are looking for a meal replacement, be sure that the product contains carbohydrate and fat in addition to the protein source. Until next time…

Love & Light,


Sources: ProteinPowders.net, Supplements-Explained.com, Livestrong.com, DrAxe.com

You asked…Post #2

“You asked…” is a blog series where I will be taking the questions you’ve asked and answering them here. The questions have been compiled from my various social media channels including my fitness Facebook page Tawny Clark, Instagram: @Tawnyclark, and tawnyclark.com.

Question #2:  I’m going to the Bahamas and want to drink up since it’s hot and sunny but I know those fruity beautiful drinks are horrible for me…Suggestions?

This inquirer makes a great point. Those fruity drinks are not the best choice. They are high in sugar whether from added sugar (ie. simple syrup (which is just white sugar heated with water) that is typically added to mojitos) , fruit juices or sodas that are used as mixers. But let’s back up just for a minute so you actually know the physiology of what is happening in the body when you consume alcohol. And why it may be setting you back in your fat loss goals.

As many of us already know, not all calories are created equal. 1 gram of either carbohydrates or protein provides 4 calories of fuel. While 1 gram of fat provides 9, and alcohol provides 7 calories. The caveat being that alcohol has no nutritional value. The other macronutrients, however, provide vitamins and minerals that clearly support the body’s functionality. Alcohol also takes priority over all other food as the body’s main fuel source. So all other metabolism including that of carbohydrates or fat is halted when alcohol is added to the mix. Alcohol metabolism occurs first because if it is not removed immediately, the body could potentially become toxic. After the alcohol is metabolized, then and only then, can the body begin to metabolize our glycogen stores. And when we are no longer getting fuel from our carbohydrate stores, then fuel will be utilized from our body fat. Fat is our last resource to be utilized. And that’s not the only bad news. Alcohol metabolism which occurs in the liver requires the use of vitamins, IE. Vita C, Vita B. Of course these vitamins are also needed by the body for energy, immunity, etc. And with regular alcohol consumption, you run the risk of depleting these vitamins. That my friends is what we like to refer to as a hangover!

So, now that we got the knitty gritty out of the way. What should you choose if you choose to drink? Clear liquors with calorie free mixers. IE: vodka & club soda (not seltzer!) Or a dry wine. Not the sweet, dessert wines! And to slow your roll, I suggest drinking a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage when you aren’t having just one!

If you do have the ability to mix your own at home, or you are attending a BYOB gathering, give these alternatives a try:

Skinny Margarita:

1 can Sprite Zero
1 lime, juiced
1 single serving package of Lemonade Crystal Light
1 ounce, tequila (I recommend Patron Silver)

Mix all ingredients together, and pour over ice.

Serves 1, but can be made in large quantities. Don’t ask how I know 🙂

Skinny Blueberry Mojito:

2 ounces, Blueberry vodka
4 ounces, Sprite Zero
1 sprig of fresh mint
5-6 fresh blueberries

Muddle the mint and blueberries. Add to a shaker with vodka, and shake with 1 cup of crushed ice. Pour into a glass and top with Sprite Zero.

Serves 1, can also be made in larger quantities.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe there should balance in all things. So if you are on vacation, and want 1 of those foo foo drinks. HAVE ONE!! And ENJOY it! Just make some other nutrition choices throughout the rest day to off set it. IE. Fish and fresh veggies for dinner. And forgo the starch and dessert at that meal. See, it can be done! Until next time…

Love & Light,


My Healthy Lifestyle Makeover!

I was having a conversation with my mom this past week about how caring for my puppy, Bella has completely changed who I am, and improved my healthy lifestyle. I know what you’re thinking, how on earth? But, yes, it has transferred over to all aspects of my life & relationships; Including my past neurosis with my food timing, food prep, workouts, and rigidity to MY schedule.

Being single, having no children, and having no one to answer to, really put all the focus on me, and what I wanted, how I wanted it & when! Can you say, Self-centered?! I can remember times when I would prep, cook, measure & package my food, and if I would be eating in front others, do not think for one second that I would offer any to anyone else. How dare you mess up my macros by taking a piece of perfectly portioned four ounces?! Tragedy, right? My goodness! There are starving people in this country, and I couldn’t even spare a piece of chicken? You would have thought it was my last meal! Enter the love of my life, Miss Bella. When I prep and cook now with my little Boo Boo at my heels, without a thought I always give her whatever I’m making. As long as she sits like she has been trained, the last thing on my mind is my macros. All I want to do is make that little bundle of joy, happy!

You’ve heard of the word “hangry,” right? Yep. Look it up in the Urban Dictionary, and I’m sure my picture is there! For those of you who may not know, it’s the combination of being hungry & angry due to lack of food. So yes, if I didn’t have my perfectly timed meal within the two & half – three hour window I had planned, watch out! These days, I come home from work pretty hungry, but the first thing I do is feed Bella. She is my #1 priority, and I would do anything to make my Baby Girl happy!

I have always been one to go to the gym as soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning. I typically workout on an empty stomach, and doing anything prior to my workout would just prolong my next meal. Read: Hangry! But knowing that my Little Girl relies on me to go out to go potty in the morning, I take her outside for a walk prior to my gym time. So, it delays my breakfast. Just looking at Bella makes me smile. And say it isn’t so…I actually forget all about breaking the fast!

Do not get me wrong, raising a puppy in the dead of winter at eight weeks of age was no walk in the park! According the my mom, who babysat at 10 weeks, it was more difficult than caring for her new born children! In my times off frustration, my mom will say, “well you would never get rid of her, would you?” Of course not! She is the love of my life! And that wholehearted love is what I will ALWAYS have her. So despite the momentary irritation we may have with a spouse, significant other, or family member, I think it’s important to remember a lesson such as this. If you love someone unconditionally, you will see beyond the imperfections, and love inexplicably with all of your heart!

As Ben Carson said, “Happiness doesn’t result from what we get but from what we give.” Caring for Bella is proof positive that putting others before ourselves is the true meaning of happiness. So you see, being a caretaker for an animal, CAN improve your life for the better! That little puppy brings so much joy to my life, and I thank God each & everyday for bringing her into my life! Until next time…

Love & Light,


You asked… Post #1

“You asked…” is a blog series where I will be taking the questions you’ve asked and answering them here. The questions have been compiled from my various social media channels including my fitness Facebook page Tawny Clark, Instagram: @Tawnyclark, and tawnyclark.com.

I started my blog by sharing my story so that you will know where I’ve been, and that I too can very much relate to your struggles. I do speak from experience, but I have an extensive education on the subject as well. My sole purpose in creating this blog, however, is to serve you. I want this to be an open forum to help you! And discuss what you will find most useful in your journey towards your happiest, healthiest version of you!

I have received a number of questions. But my first bit of advise is to tell you that any change you make in your life, whether in fitness, nutrition, career or otherwise, needs to be in bite-sized pieces. You may have 5 different aspects of your life that you want to improve such as working out 3 times per week, eliminating processed foods, or adding a mediation practice to your day. Choose just 1 of these goals, and master that before moving on to the next. It can be overwhelming and stressful to make changes in general let alone when you trying to overhaul your life in one fell swoop!

Question #1: How can I eat a well balanced dinner? It’s like I have no time because I get home around 6pm and try to go to bed by 9:30pm.

I too am an early bird. In bed by 9 or 10pm at the latest! This can be a pretty painless fix if you just take some time to prepare for your week. Here are some easy ideas. And yes, I am all about ease!

1) If you grocery shop on the weekends for your week, you might take an hour (or less) on Sunday to prep your dinners for your week.  I buy 6 chicken breast, sweet potato, and a maybe a green veggie, and bake them all at once. I pre-heat the oven to 350, line cookie sheets with aluminum foil (no washing afterwards!), spray with coconut oil, and put each item on the individual trays. All ovens will vary but, I cook the chicken for 20 minutes, flip, and cook another 10 minutes. The sweet potatoes 30 minutes, flip, and another 10 minutes. And depending the veggie, ie broccoli, cook, 10 minutes, flip, and cook another 10 minutes or so. Dinner’s done for the week!

2) The Crock Pot can a be lifesaver for times like these. You have the options of cooking everything on a Sunday during prep, or you can have a fresh meal for when you get home in the evening if you throw everything in when you leave in the morning. If I prep on a Sunday, I put in 6 chicken breast, 1 can of salsa, and 1 small can of low-sodium tomato sauce. Set on low about 6 hours, and viola! Top the chicken on a salad, or Ezekial corn tortilla for taco night! Or you can have a fresh meal every night! Check out the these 7 Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes from cleaneatingmag.com.

3) Breakfast for Dinner! Read: 5-minute Meal! My go-to evening meal as of late is an omelet. I whip 1 whole egg, 3/4c egg whites, and a dash water until frothy. Pour into a hot skillet covered with non-stick spray. Once the top is set, I add 1/4c cheddar cheese, and baby spinach (but combinations are endless! Feta, tomatoes & spinach, Mushroom, onion & cheddar, Peppers, onions & salsa). Flip one half over the other half, and cover so the cheese can melt. Turn out onto a plate, and enjoy! If I still need a starch for the day, I have a banana for dessert-like treat!

I hope you found these few tips to be useful to ensuring you getting in a healthy dinner even when life gets in the way. If you have a question that you would like to see discussed, please comment below. Until next time…

Love & Light,