Celebrity trainer and Bravo TV star Jackie Warner's new book, This Is Why You're Sick & Tired, goes far beyond just the food problems she presented in 2010's This Is Why You're Fat. It's a soulful search into what she sees as a massive problem affecting everyone: feeling burned out.
We want 100 percent out of life, as Jackie tells LIVESTRONG, but we're only putting in 30 percent of the work. Her solution is to generate enough natural energy to achieve our dreams and feel good while we're doing it. It's a soup-to-nuts, three-week detox and fitness plan that offers detailed meal plans, recipes, workouts and suggested supplements.
"I can't expect someone to come in and train if they haven't had any real food in nine hours," she says. "Each of us has a purpose, and how do we fulfill that purpose if we don't have energy?" Jackie is eager to point out that the "energy crisis" she's passionate about fixing isn't treatable through just diet and exercise. In fact, the first couple of chapters of her book discuss everything from hormone imbalances and endocrine disruptors (like BPA) to lack of sleep and psychological patterns, like FOMO.
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Both personal and professional experiences have led her to believe that most people need an entire lifestyle change in order to stop feeling so sick and tired all the time. "I'm getting out of strictly the weight-loss category and into health and wellness," she says. To Jackie, making choices like eating organic food and lowering screen time before bed is preventative care, something that most doctors aren't focusing on when treating patients for chronic illnesses.
Even with her background in health, Jackie admits that while researching the book she was shocked by the epidemiological increases in chronic disease and autoimmune disorders, which she partially attributes to processed and factory-farmed food.
The first phase of her book's three-part nutritional plan is a vegan diet aimed at cellular regeneration. It's followed by a week of eating foods designed to increase metabolism and balance hormones and then a week of meal plans calibrated to help you get leaner and build muscles.
Before you even start the detox plan, here are four energy-boosting nutritional tips Jackie shared exclusively with LIVESTRONG.COM:
1. Cut Down Your Sugar Intake
High-sugar foods not only increase your body's stress-hormone levels, Jackie also attributes her own struggle with depression to them. To start, forget nonfat and no-sugar-added products. "When you cut fat, you add sugar. So you don't want a nonfat product -- ever," she says. She also notes that products that say "no sugar added" aren't necessarily low in sugar, since even natural fructose is high glycemic.
2. Don't Just Count Calories
The 160 calories in a glass of orange juice is not the same as 160 calories of nuts, she points out. "We know that your body breaks down and metabolizes [orange juice] much differently than a handful of almonds because of the fiber."
But tracking calories isn't a bad thing: Jackie's brother had great success losing weight after a motorcycle accident by using a calorie tracker. "Calorie trackers can work for you to know what you are eating and consuming," Jackie says. But, at the same time, she believes that "people have to stop counting calories in and calories out."
3. Carbs Are OK (Just Not by Themselves)
"Bread is not the enemy," she says. "Muscles need bread. They need glucose. The key is to combine it. Don't just eat it by itself." In fact, an avocado sandwich is Jackie's go-to meal.
She's not a proponent of the Atkins-style diet, either. "If you're on a high-protein diet, you're in big trouble," says Jackie. "You're no longer producing serotonin, and that's going to make you grumpier with your kids and grumpier at work." Plus, it ain't great for those crow's-feet, according to Jackie. "For women who don't want to accelerate aging, they need to eat a balanced diet."
4. Pick Your Dietary Battles
If you can't afford all-organic food, you need to prioritize what natural foods you spend money on. "At least get meat and dairy products that are grass-fed," she recommends. Also, don't forgo whole foods like nuts just because they're high in fat. In fact, they are a staple of Jackie's diet. "I sprinkle [nuts] on everything just to trick my mind into thinking I'm having a snack," she says. Even though celebrities like Beyonce are proponents of vegan diets, Jackie doesn't believe it's a one-size-fits-all solution for her personal-training clients. "I can't put someone on a vegan diet who's burning 600 calories a day," she says. However, it is a lifestyle that intrigues her and one she wants to learn more about.
Next up for Jackie? Creating a vegetarian diet for people who work out. Stay tuned.