2016 October

October 28, 2016

Over the years, many of our clients have asked myself and my staff here at Energy Fitness Personal Training Studio here in Memphis, questions about supplements and nutrition. For those of you who don’t know me, I have 21+ years experience in the health and wellness industry. I have earned a Master’s in Exercise Science, American College of Sports Medicine Exercise Physiologist certification, First Line Therapy certification from Metagenics,Side lean 2

former Precision Nutrition coach as well as have numerous other certifications to help people and myself live optimally through fitness and nutrition. I stated all of my qualifications simply to tell you that I have invested many years and a ton of money in my trade giving me the knowledge and confidence in what I recommend. So below is my professional opinion.  The reason for this blog post is to share some valuable information that may help you obtain better health and understand the basics of why people take supplements and if you need to as well

Of course I’m a proponent for eating whole food as much as possible in it’s most natural state but there are simply times and life circumstances that lend to the convenience of shakes, bars and supplements being a better alternative than crappy food and drink or no choice at all.

The products that I like to recommend to clients I have thoroughly researched the company and ingredients. The ones that I currently have in our pro shop and some available online via my websites (I will share them below) are the ones I have researched as of October 26, 2016. I may update this blog post in the future if/when we decide to carry more. My advice to you as you read this article/post is to click the big red button at the very end and pick one or two things to change or add to your diet in the means of food or supplements each month to see if it’s working.

Supplements are just that… if you’re not getting the recommend 8-11 fresh fruits and vegetables (leaning more toward vegetables), then you are missing vital minerals and vitamins in your diet. We also all tend to have favorites we lean towards, meaning that you may be missing out on what other foods have to offer. If you’re a smoker, you may lack vitamin C. If you frequently partake in alcoholic beverages, you may need milk thistle for your liver. If you are someone who doesn’t detoxify very well, then there are supplements such as fish oil and Meta I-3-C (cruciferous veggies supplement). As you can see, depending on your lifestyle, food preferences, and many other factors (such as how you prepare your food, where you get your food, etc.) can lend to needing supplements to fill in the gaps.

A common question we get: “is it better to take a powder vitamin/supplement, or a pill?” This is a loaded question as again, many factors are involved as to what the rest of your diet looks like. In general, remember it depends on the company and the quality of their products as to if you’re really getting the true benefits of what is in the pill or the bottle. For flexibility and optimal use, as well as avoiding taste fatigue and boredom, consider your individual preference when choosing your supplement form, in any of the following:  capsules, soft gels, tablets, liquids, chewables, powders, and bars.

Is that a political answer or what? We just avoided answering the question. A powder is great if you’re trying to get in veggies and a substantial amount with bypassing your digestion stage and taste buds. That said, a meal-replacement with protein and greens may be helpful for you, or maybe just a greens powder supplement easily mixed with water would be beneficial as well. Don’t like to drink something with greens in it? Then maybe the Meta I-3-C from Metagenics will give you the option to avoid eating a shit ton of cruciferous veggies to obtain the same benefit.

Many people need a fish oil with a DHA, but don’t understand why. There’s no way I, personally, could take in and digest enough salmon to get the amount of benefit (omega-3–good fat/anti-inflammatory properties), that a fish oil supplement brings me to help me detox, while also keeping within my calorie range. I could go on for days on this subject, but we’re trying to keep the blog post short. Just take a fish oil with DHA and trust me. Your phase angle will appreciate it.

I also take B vitamins because I don’t eat red meat or chicken. Look at your diet closely and see what you may need to consider adding to help you have optimal health. Below you will find a few links to questionnaires, as well as a few questions to help you determine where you may need to start.

And before I share what my favorite vendors are, just know that I have yet to find one company that offers all the products that me or my clients need.

Energy Fitness favorites
(click on the underlined links to go to our websites):

Metagenics: Unlocking the secrets of Genetic Potential through Nutrition®   efitness.metagenics.com (practitionermetagenics-647x312 code: efitness — 20% off first order, 10% off recurring orders, and free shipping on orders over $49)
* Nutraceuticals designed to enhance genetic expression and improve health for 30+ years.
* 300+ products.. anything from daily vitamins, protein shakes, and bars, to diabetic supplements, anti-inflammatory, medical foods, detox formulas, and more!

Why we love Metagenics: This is my favorite because I have a rep in town who comes to see me to update me on latest products and clinical research of why the products work. They have annual and dinner meetings in which they share their clinical research, and if you know me, you know I love the science! Don’t just tell me to take something… I want to know why and what it does. They also do webinars and webcasts with different physicians and highly skilled practitioners which is helpful to stay abreast and inform our clients.  

25-one-tub-large-chocolate_1Vega:  Live your best life with clean, plant-based nutrition   — free shipping on orders $100+
* Meal-replacements, sports nutrition, bars, energy powders with stevia (not artificial sweeteners), pre- and post-workout formulas
Why we love Vega:  Gluten-free, dairy-free, no sugar added (stevia only, which is plant-based). Their formulas make sense to me and are very specific with their herbs and ingredients for improving health. It seems to be a very sustainable company. And they taste good!  fyi…http://www.reviews.com/protein-powder/

NOW Sports:  Live Happy, Live Healthy, Live Now® — available onsite, find retailers onlineNOW_Logo_4C_Tagline_o
* Hundreds of products anything from the basic vitamin, amino acids, and protein shakes to essential oils, progesterone cream, healthy cooking oils, baking mixes and even a single serving blender!
Why we love Now: I’ve heard other professionals in my field state that they’re pharmaceutical-grade, the variety of products, online education for vendors for several of their products, helpful staff, and they’ve been around for 48 years. 

videowallpaper_aijacatalystAdvocare: We Build Champions® 
Nutritional, weight-management and sports performance products
Why we like Advocare: I must admit, I don’t like ALL of their products because they contain artificial sweeteners, but they have a few that I really do like, such as their BCAA (branched-chain amino acids) called Catalyst. They also have a few good post-recovery supplements. A product that my clients like for caffeine is called Spark, a popular seller, that does have artificial sweetener–not my favorite–but better than sodas, or other popular, sugary energy drinks.

Here are a few questions below, and the links to the questionnaires and recommendations you will find by clicking the big red button below. These will help you determine what you may need or consider adding to your supplement regimen. As you get your results from the following, think to yourself is it worth really making changes? Follow up question to this, are you being proactive and making the changes before there is glaring sickness and disease, or are you going to be reactive and wait to start having ailments and issues before you freaking get on board and make changes? Again, my advice to you is to pick one or two things to change or add to your diet in the means of food or supplements each month to see if it’s working.

big-red-buttonClick above for the How Toxic Are You?
Identi-T Stress questionnaires and supplement suggestions.

Not a client?  FREE Consult click here (value $87) or give us a call 901-466-6242.

Energy Fitness, 552 South Main, Memphis, TN
Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM, FLT Metagenics
Owner/Dir. of Training

Check out our customized online training ($40-$80) here:  Online Customized Training

Interested in our Massage or Body Wraps? Click here.

October 5, 2016

Do your hips swagger like they are suppose to? I am talking about booty shaking hip rotation like the runway models men and women display on the catwalk.  That’s what they are suppose to do, but chances are if you are reading this you have neglected stretching your deep muscles in the hips and made them even tighter with all that sitting. I recently had to start attacking these muscles again as my kayaking and running were being affected by nagging pains and weakness in certain exercises.

I was telling a client the other day that we often avoid exercises that are hard or where we are tight, but those are the ones we need to address first as we are only as strong as our weakest link. Needless to say I have avoided this stretch because it is very uncomfortable, burns and downright hurts at times. That’s why it’s called the “Fire Log Pose” in yoga or other names listed below.

Fire Log Pose is a seated yoga posture that provides a deep stretch to the outer hips. It is also referred to Knee-to-Ankle Pose, Double Pigeon, stacking logs and Square Pose. This pose requires flexibility in the lower body, including the outer hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, lower back, and glutes. It is often practiced toward the end of a yoga class when the body is warm and limber. I must say if I waited until I did a yoga class to do this stretch then it would never happen.  stacking-legs-rt-leg-on-top-tight-sitting-uprightstacking-legs-rt-leg-on-top-tight-lean-forward334







Look at the pictures above.  The first 2 pictures were taken at time of this blog post Oct. 2016.  Look closely at the middle picture where I am leaning forward. Notice how much space is between the bottom of my top knee and my shoe as well as look how rounded my upper back is as I try my best to lean forward. The picture on the far right was taken 13 years ago when I was doing a lot more stretching and before I injured my SI joint–not to mention being younger might have been helpful. 😉

Click here to download our Stretch Zone Seated Hips & Glutes exercise pdf.

Benefits of Fire Log Pose

This pose provides a deep stretch to the hips, opening the outer hips and buttocks. It also stretches and strengthens the groin, thighs, calves, and abdominal muscles. This pose gently stimulates the abdominal organs, which helps to regulate digestion and metabolism.

Sitting upright with your spine aligned calms the mind and relieves anxiety and mental tension. It also helps you to prepare for meditation and breathing exercises. Regularly practicing this pose can be therapeutic for stress.


Avoid practicing this pose if you have a recent or chronic injury to the knees, hips, or lower back. Fire Log Pose requires flexibility and self-awareness to be performed correctly. Do not attempt to learn Fire Log Pose on your own without the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable instructor. It is very easy to injure your knees and lower back if you try to move into it too soon. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.

Below are a few times I force myself to stretch. When and where can you squeeze it into your lifestyle?

  • kids’ soccer practice
  • kids’ scouting meetings
  • long car trips when I’m a passenger
  • sitting in my office chair at laptop doing blog posts or other work
  • lying in bed reading
  • with kids on floor
  • kids’ tae kwon do classes
  • end of cardio or weight workouts
  • tv watching (seldom watch tv)

Modifications & Variations

Fire Log Pose can be difficult for those with tight hips. It can be challenging to find the correct alignment and hold the pose! Be sure to make whatever modifications you need to feel safe, supported, and steady in the pose. Here are a few suggestions:

  • If your bottom knee doesn’t rest on the floor, support it with a folded, firm blanket.
  • If your top knee sits far from your bottom ankle, place a folded blanket between your knee and ankle for extra support.
  • For those with extremely tight hips, practice the pose seated in a chair. Leaving one foot flat on the floor, cross the opposite ankle over the knee of the grounded foot. Hold the pose for up to one minute, and then repeat on the opposite side.
  • For more back support, sit with your back against a wall. Another variation is to place a yoga block between the wall and your shoulder blades.
  • To deepen the stretch, press your hands against your feet. Then with your feet, resist against your hands as you fold forward.

Here are some other modified hip opening stretches that may be helpful in helping you build up to Fire Log Pose. Kids these days call cross-legged stretching “criss cross applesauce” aka: Indian-style for those that remember that’s what it used to be called years back.

How long should I hold the stretches & what are some other stretches I can do to help me if I’m having a hard time with the Fire log pose?

30 seconds just gets the blood flowing in the muscles and you temporarily feel more limber. 60 seconds is better and what most people have the patience to hold a stretch.  3-5 minutes is best and physiologically lengthens the muscles if done everyday for 6 weeks.

stacking-legs-modified-criss-cross stacking-legs-rt-leg-on-top-lying-back












Click here to download our Stretch Zone Seated Hips & Glutes exercise pdf.

Bottom Line:

Get to stretching if you don’t want to have that waddle of an older person! If you’re an athlete, you will gain more strength in your workout sessions as well as more range of motion.

Not a client?  FREE Consult click here (value $87) or give us a call 901-466-6242.

Energy Fitness, 552 South Main, Memphis, TN
Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM, FLT Metagenics
Owner/Dir. of Training

Check out our customized online training ($40-$80) here:  Online Customized Training

Interested in our Massage or Body Wraps? Click here.