Doctor Reveals How To Be “The CEO Of Your Own Health.”

Doctor Reveals How To Be “The CEO Of Your Own Health.”

“Right now you have to be the CEO of your own health, you have no choice. There is a supermarket of options, which is one of the problems.”

Dr. Daniel Lord, DC

Physical Medicine Lead for Facebook Health Center

What Would You Like to Do?


3 Exercises You Can Do RIGHT NOW!

Be sure to check out the LifehackrDiet Video Show notes for content and links mnetioned in this content.


Be sure to check out the LifehackrDiet Podcast Show notes for content and links mentioned.


“​Counting my positive health-care experiences while working in the corporate world, could be summed up on one hand and one finger.”

I have had chronic back spasms all my life. If I had a flare while working in the corporate world, I had one choice, to get time off to go to visit a medical professional. This was always stressful and left me more willing to “grin and bear it” than actually jump through hoops to get help. Then came the journey along the yellow brick road…towards relief. I would go to see my doctor who would tell me to go see a specialist. That specialist would recommend physical therapist. The physical therapist would suggest a chiropractor…
All these options suck up time, cost money and create stress. I never knew who was right and who I should listen to, and in the end I just tried them all and hoped for the best. of health provider options


At our current moment and place in corporate culture timeline, we are only just starting to appreciate the interconnectedness of health and happiness with productivity and loyalty. There are some early adopters like Facebook, who see the health and wellness of their employees as a key to productivity and loyalty. “There are people there [at Facebook] that say: We don’t want to leave for different companies simply because of having this health center here because it’s so comprehensive.” explains Dr. Daniel Lord DC, who is the physical medicine lead at the Facebook Health Center.

Dr. Lord describes his team, “We have two chiropractors, three physical therapists, an acupuncturist and so our team is going to double because we’re actually building a bigger center so I will have even more of each. And that team reports to me and we will work right alongside with primary care so there are four MDs, about eight nurses. There is a behavioral health person, two now, therapists. Also a nutritionist is on staff and so we are one big team.”


The number one issue Dr. Lord sees at Facebook is back pain, “It’s not surprising, they are a bunch of tech professionals that are highly, highly motivated, type A high-performing, very passionate about what they do, people.” He explains, ” back pain is the number one issue because people work at computers and they sit for long periods of time, they are stationary.” “I went over to Africa with a team of doctors and therapists and we were serving some underserved communities and we were providing them with healthcare. And one of the things that I thought was really interesting is that they didn’t have any lower back pain there and we [the developed nations] have a horrible lower back pain problem. They are doing manual labor and we are just sitting at desks so how do they have no back pain?” observes Dr. Lord. “They move correctly. They drive all the force throughout the day through their hips which is correct.” to be the CEO of your own health


One of the problems with our current health care system, explains Dr. Lord, “…right now you have to be the CEO of your own health, you have no choice. There is a supermarket of options which is one of the problems.” He goes on to describe a recent market study by Dr. Scott Halderman reviewed on discussing the current predicament of patients seeking care for back pain. Dr. Lord explains, “[The] conclusion was that there is definitely effective treatments for back pain but it’s hard because there is a supermarket out there. You could get a massage, you could go to the chiropractor, you could get acupuncture, you could take pain meds, you could take supplements, you could go to a trainer, you can go to an orthopedist,… And on and on and on.”

Dr. Lord sympathizes with the problems a patient has in trying to decide which provider to go to. How do you manage the pain? How do you prevent the back pain from reoccurring? “Those are questions that I am trying to deal with and I’m trying to educate people on because at the end of the day a lot of these things are businesses. People who are selling you something, they have the hammer and you are the nail and so everything is going to sound good if they try and pitch you on it.”


As health care consumers, Dr. Lord believes firmly in the idea of being the CEO of your own health. He defines that as not only having a good doctor to talk with, about your health issues with, but also educating yourself.

He goes on to explain his approach with patients at the Facebook Health Center, “We’re going to coach them not just okay, you need to have good posture but actually the strategies behind it; what you can do with Micro-Breaks, what you can do with positioning on your chair, different strategies of moving at your desk to really making sure that they move and which it helps them heal faster and it prevents it from coming back.”

“…When we educate people to prevent back pain, we are teaching them how to move through their hips and that’s the number one thing. It doesn’t matter why your back hurts, somehow the structures in your back got stressed.”

Dr. Lord continues “… It’s all a part of the continuum of care. And then we are not just shoving them out the door, the other really big piece is bridging the gap from okay, I have pain, it’s gone to then now I’m going back to my normal activities and healthy lifestyle. How do you bridge that gap?” Health Products


Working in the high-tech sector, you would think Dr. Lord would have access to some pretty cool and expensive tools. The truth is that he is a fan of simple affordable consumer gadgets, “…some of my favorites I would like you to know that are actually useful, one is called Lumo Lift and this is really a cool piece of the technology because it not only tracks your steps which a lot of them do, it tracks your movement throughout the day, it also tracks your posture. And it’s kind of ingenious where it vibrates if you are in a bad position.”

“It’s a perfect indicator of where your posture is because it can tell if you are hunching forward or rolling your shoulders. It also coaches you so you can do coaching sessions …so if you hunch over too much it will give you a couple buzzes to remind you to sit back up so it’s kind of a cool biofeedback way to improve your posture habits.”

Some other low-tech items Dr. Lord likes to prescribe are, “The other thing that I really like to use is called Intelli-Skin. And it is not a technology… It’s just a shirt but the technology is in the materials. It’s kind of a compression shirt so it fits fairly tightly so it is comfortable for some people, not as comfortable for some other people but people who are able to wear it get really great results.”

“The Fluid Stance, it looks like a surfboard and it is kind of like a balance board, but it’s more stable than a wobble board or what you would see like in a PT area or a gym where it’s like really stable. It’s just a little unstable where you can shift your weight and move your ankles back and forth and you balance but you are not in fear of falling.”

“Another one is a floormat for workstations, it is called Topo. And it’s interesting because it has kind of a foam soft feel that you would normally think of for the mats… You can stand on the edge and like stretch your calf. You can stand on… There is a big hump in the middle that you can change your foot position and it’s all cushiony, but it kind of gets you to move around as you stand and put your feet in different positions and stretch your feet in different positions.”



Facebook, along with a select number of American corporations understand that the health and happiness of their employees and the importance of a healthy corporate culture, are all factors that positively effect their bottom line.

Regardless of what your employer does or does not offer you in the way of health care perks, it’s up to you in the end, to educate yourself with simple, evidence-based actions that can help you navigate the supermarket of medical offerings.



What does your company offer you in the way of health care? Have you found good evidence-based solutions that have helped your wellness? What tools or techniques do you use to keep yourself healthy? Let us know in the Comments Section below..

“In the end, learning how to adapt your habits and environment towards prevention, is the key to a healthy outcome.”

What Would You Like to Do?



“Well I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out at Facebook the past few years. It’s definitely different relationship that you have with your patients and it definitely gives me the advantage to really focus on patient care because I don’t have to deal with the business aspects of running a clinic.” – Daniel Lord, DC.


  • How Facebook takes care of their employees with in-house integrated medical care that delivers a well rounded approach to caring for the individual.
  • Employees love this perk so much that many of them say that they won’t work anywhere else.
  • Daniel’s #1 common problem that he treats is back-pain because people sit and work at computers all day.
  • Daniel wants to teach his patients how they be the “CEO of their own Health.
  • Eliminating pain is important but so is preventing it from returning!
  • There is a “super-market” of choices for patients, how do you choose which solution to solve your problem?
  • Many developing countries don’t have the same back-pain problems modernized countries do, find out why.
  • Something you can do right now to help yourself: “abdominal contraction of 20% on, at all times.
  • Daniel has a short list of electronic and physical gadgets/tools that he loves and help people be healthier while they work; Lumo Lift, Posture Shirts, Fluid Stance and the Topo Anti-fatigue Mat. Listen to the podcast and learn why.




It’s very important for your health and wellbeing to take micro-breaks every 20 minutes , and just spend 30-60 seconds doing one or several of these exercises at your desk.



Daniel’s Website and blog: Practice Posture

Facebook Health Center Team

Scott Halderman was the lead author of the Spine-Health article mentioned

Kelly Starrett, Doctor of physical therapy.
MobilityWOD is the ultimate guide to resolving pain, preventing injury, and optimizing athletic performance.

Sit Better, Live Better: Excerpt From Dr. Kelly Starrett’s Becoming A Supple Leopard

My Hands Are Tingling…

Functional sitting // Go ahead…lean back in your chair.

Foundation Training – Rapidly increase your back strength, flexibility, and balance quicker than you could ever imagine.

Micro Breaks No.1 // The McGill Overhead Reach

Microbreak No.2 // Standing Posture Reset

Microbreak No.3 // Cracking Up With Coach Stevo





There is so much great actionable content in this episode, but the big takeaway is simple; There are so many choices available to treat your ailments, aches and pains, but it all starts with you being an active, informed participant in your health journey.

We all need to be The CEOs of our own Health.


Thanks for LISTENING!

Thank you again for your support,

SUBSCRIBE Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher Radio to get automatic updates.


Please join the conversation and leave a comment below. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.


© 2015, Man Mountain Productions, Inc.


LHD 016: How to Look and Feel Younger by Being Active. An Interview with Lisa Sugarman.

LHD 016: How to Look and Feel Younger by Being Active. An Interview with Lisa Sugarman.

LHD Podcast 015: LISTEN HERE;

LHD 016: How to Look and Feel Younger by Being Active. An Interview with Lisa Sugarman.

Whether you walk 1.5mph at a treadmill desk (while you work) or run 10-miles (training for a marathon), you”ll end up in the same place. Looking and feeling younger and bursting with energy! Paul Michaels, host of the LifehackrDiet Podcast interviews syndicated columnist Lisa Sugarman. During their verbal encounter, someone admits to being a “tortoise” and accuses the other of being the “hare.” Join an engaging conversation about tips, tricks and technology both Lisa and Paul use to turn back the clock on aging.

  • How Lisa’s adorable 77-year-old Mom lost over 50lbs just by making small  changes to her lifestyle.
  • Forward motion is forward motion (yes, I know this is obvious) and regardless of whether you are running or walking, the positive results are the same!
  • Lisa + Paul talk about aging and how each of them has found simple solutions to turning back the clock to look + feel younger.
  • Which apps you can use to help you on your wellness journey (free and paid).

Plus more great tips.


It Is What It Is Column – Links

It Is What It Is Column On Social Networks
Activity Tracking Technology
  • Fitbit App – Meet the app that’s all-in-one, for everyone.
  • MyFitnessPal – Lose Weight with MyFitnessPal – The fastest, easiest to use calorie counter app.
  • Strava lets you track your running and riding with GPS, join Challenges, share photos from your activities, and follow friends.
  • Lark – Meet Lark, your personal weight loss coach
  • Carrot Fit – Meet Carrot Fit, Your Own Personal Sarcastic AI Weight Loss Coach
Links Mentioned in the Podcast

Share Your Strategies and Tips

So what strategies and tips have you discovered? Please share what you have uncovered or struggles you can’t seem to beat, in the comments section below. You will help others and possibly reveal things all of us can try to achieve; Our lifestyle and wellness, reinvented!


About the Author

Paul Michaels is the founder and resident guru of the website, podcast and youtube channel. At 49 years old Paul was able to totally reinvent his lifestyle by making small changes that eventually led to huge results. He lost and maintained 35lbs of weight-loss and walks an average of 3,000 miles a year while he works, plays and creates awesome content.


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013 How Yoga Can Positively Transform Your Body and Mind at any Age. From a Female and Male Perspective.

013 How Yoga Can Positively Transform Your Body and Mind at any Age. From a Female and Male Perspective.

LHD Podcast 013: Listen Here;



LHD Podcast 013 – How Yoga Can Positively Transform Your Body and Mind at any Age. From a Female and Male Perspective.

I was cynical about the idea of taking up yoga. I’m a 50 year old guy, why would I do yoga?! Over a year later, I confess, I was wrong. Very, very wrong. Listen to what I discovered on my journey and the perspectives of a female and male yoga instructor.



  • YouTube video of this interview! Check it out!
  • Yoga is a great way for Men and Women to get and stay very fit and learn how to clear your mind for mental health.
  • We aren’t born into Yoga, each of us has to discover it our own way. Learn how Paul, Maggie and Jerry discovered this transformative practice.
  • The practice of Yoga can bring many benefits to all stages and ages within your life-cycle.
  • The physical and mental benefits to practicing Yoga.
  • Getting started. How do you choose a Yoga studio and a Yoga teacher?
  • How much gear do you have to buy to practice Yoga? It turns out, almost nothing!

Plus more many more great tips and stories about how Yoga can positively transform you.

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.



For millennium, people have been benefiting from the practice of Yoga at all stages and ages of their lives. By starting your Yoga journey today, you will see positive physical and mental benefits that this practice brings to your daily life.


Yoga Teachers Interviewed;

Maggie Fiorella Winter

Maggie Fiorella Winter
OTR/L, RYT 200 and Owner of Green Tea Yoga

Maggie began her journey as an Occupational Therapist working primarily with autistic children. After implementing numerous yoga techniques with these children she noticed a significant change with their level of concentration, body awareness and overall well being. Because of these profound effects, and her individual growth in her own practice, it inspired her to receive her Hatha Yoga 200hr training.

Maggie loves life and expresses herself through dance, music, art and yoga. In her classes, Maggie encourages adults and children to explore and feel what is right for his/her body without being afraid to fall or make mistakes. She teaches a fun and lively class to all sorts of people and levels and makes a point to focus on personal growth and truth. She is so lucky to be doing what she is passionate about. She gives thanks and gratitude everyday for this opportunity.

You can contact Maggie here.


Jerry Urban

Jerry Urban Yoga Instructor, RYT

Have you ever come into something that you knew would change your life forever? This was yoga for Jerry. But it was not an immediate change or something readily apparent, at first. It was a slow and steady progression through years of practicing and quitting and practicing some more, slowly gaining little awakenings, transitions and transformations, and on occasion, even recognizing them. Each time he went away from yoga, there was always something bringing him back, usually a girlfriend. And then one day, it just stayed with him. And he’s been thankful ever since.

Though his primary influence is Shiva Rea, it would be hard to exclude any instructor that he’s ever practiced with or any number of styles of yoga that he’s touched upon. Inspiration comes in many different forms and occasionally it requires a change or shift to find where it’s hiding. Each teacher sharing their inspirations and practice provides a new and different avenue of thought or perhaps, a new path to follow. So come and do a little digging with Jerry, you might like what you find.

Check out the Video Post on this topic Here!


Thanks for LISTENING!

Thank you again for your support,

SUBSCRIBE Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher Radio to get automatic updates.

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Click Here to Download the Transcript for Episode 013 (PDF) (Coming Soon!)


Show Transcript Below----->

[youtube “”]  



How Yoga Can Positively Transform Your Body and Mind at Any Age. From a Female and Male Perspective.

Paul: ​This is LifehackrDiet Podcast number 013. It’s time for some warrior pose.

Announcer: ​Most diets are going on a trip, the food is different, your activities are different and then it ends, you fall back into your old ways and the diet fails. is different because you make small changes to your lifestyle that get results. When you hit your goal your lifestyle has been reinvented by you and change is permanent. this is your last diet!

Paul: ​The LifehackrDiet Podcast exists to empower you to get one step, 1 mile and 1 pound of weight loss closer to your goals of superior health, wellness and well-being. Hello and welcome, I am Paul Michaels the host of LifehackrDiet podcast and I am thrilled as usual that you are here for podcast number 013.

​And today we are going to be talking about one of my favorite subjects, believe it or not and it is yoga. And I have been doing yoga for little over a year now and I didn’t start off thinking that I’m going to go to yoga, I want to learn how to do yoga. It actually started off as a way of getting my eldest son into yoga which failed miserably. But what we did is we ended up having some classes, private classes with our family. And the idea was since he suffered from muscle pain and when he was going through puberty he grew like a ton, he is like six-foot four now and he grew a ton really quickly so he gets muscle pains and so we were just looking at yoga as a way of possibly dealing with those things. Whether or not it would help his muscle pain I don’t know but as a teenage boy he wasn’t having any of it.

​But the good news is my wife and I who were attending the classes with him, the private classes, we got hooked big time and have been doing it ever since and just absolutely love it, it’s transformed us in so many ways.

And so I say to people and this is not based on science but I’m sure there is some science out there that can back a little bit of this up but I have to say I think yoga is a prescription against aging or at least slowing aging down, it is just incredible. And on the LifehackrDiet I have been losing weight, I have lost over 30 pounds and by doing yoga at the same time as I lose the weight, yoga tones my muscles and as a result I am… I don’t know, I am shapely. I am chiseled as a result of both losing weight and walking and doing yoga.

​And at 50 it’s kind of weird but I am more muscular now than I was as a teenager and I did sports, tons of sports as a teenager. So the yoga is absolutely transformative and has a huge impact on your life. And I really want to share this with you and I want to show you how it can transform your life too.

​And as a male certainly in the minority in yoga classes and frankly I have no idea why because it’s not an easy thing to do, obviously you start with the easier classes and you work your way up but when you get into the medium to upper medium levels, it’s really tough and you have to be really strong to do it, it’s quite something.

And when I watched some of my classmates, female classmates who are in their 60s, 70s, 80s and they are doing all of this stuff, it’s just mind-boggling. It’s incredible! They are phenomenal, they are enjoying life and they are in shape and there is really nothing they can’t do.

​And for the men that are in the classes, again we are usually a minority but there’s really no reason for it, there are huge advantages to being there and I just want to make sure that everybody gets a chance to hear this message.

So what I have done in this podcast is I’ve actually put together two of my favorite teachers Maggie Winter and Jerry Urban and I decided to interview them together so we can kind of get a he said, she said, she said he said about yoga and get a perspective on how it can positively affect your body, your mind and it’s something you can start at any age. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today so let’s get right into the interview, I will catch you on the backend.

Maggie: ​Hi, my name is Maggie I am the owner of Green Tea Yoga. I’m a yoga instructor. I started practicing when I was 19 years old. I had moved to the New England area from the Midwest and when I arrived here it was the stimuli increased tremendously so I had moved from a very quiet town to a very hectic, chaotic place and I started realizing that I was more stressed out, I had more anxiety, I couldn’t breathe like I could before, I couldn’t slow down and I was kind of losing who I was when I moved out here.

​So I walked into a class at the Y in Waltham and I started practicing and from then on I just continued my practice. I had taught as an occupational therapist, I was working with a lot of children in schools and different centers, outpatient centers and I started implementing a lot of yoga with these children, children who had problems with coordination, problems settling, problems focusing or balance issues. And I noticed a tremendous effect with these kids; they grew, they became more outgoing, they talked a lot more. And so I decided to go and get back my training in Newburyport and from that point on I started teaching about 10 years ago and ever since I have been a yoga teacher.

Jerry: ​Hi, my name is Jerry Urban. I’m a yoga teacher here at Green Tea Yoga amongst other studios. I discovered my yoga in LA when I lived out there. I had been working out at the gym a little bit and I noticed that every time I had an injury I would kind of go towards the yoga classes.

Like I tell everybody else there were a lot of cute girls going into one specific room and I couldn’t figure out why so I took a peek and there they were doing yoga and it looked like it was a little bit challenging. I thought it might be kind of fun and I then had a few friends that went to classes and went and told me that I should give it a try.

​And so I did and I liked it a lot and I never really… I was going back and forth between yoga and working out and I think upon moving to Boston I just found that it became more of a place that I liked to come into, it would kind of ground me. There were moments when I was going through and on grounding.

And so it felt like that was something that I was drawn to and it felt like it calmed me and gave me a little bit of centering. And so from that point on I went to Kripalu to do my first 200 hours and I think I jumped right into Shreya training right after that in which I am still evolving in the training. And yeah, that’s kind of how I got into what I did with that.

​I didn’t have any background in, like Maggie had for Occupational Therapy. It was more about what was good for me and what I needed at the time and when I started yoga I could even touch my toes. And so it was a practice over time. And I think I started somewhere in my 30s I’m thinking like 33 when I first started doing yoga and so it’s been a long process. I am 50 now and I can still touch my toes which is an amazing thing.

Paul: ​So Maggie, why should a woman consider doing yoga and what are the benefits for her?

Maggie: ​When I think women today, they are constantly multitasking, they are feeling very stressed, they have a full-time job, a lot of children, responsibilities at home with their families; women are overwhelmed today and they are feeling the stress.

​So they get into yoga, one great thing is just decreasing stress, it’s giving them time to be alone, to turn inward, to shut off the mind. Another important part of it is it helps sleep; a lot of women especially as we age, we get up as your cooking the morning and you have a difficult time going back to bed. So you notice through a regular practice you sleep much better and you find that.

​And of course women we are always worried about bodies and how we look and the expectation, especially for women as you age, guys you’ve got it a lot easier, as you age the expectations of staying beautiful and thin and toned and all of these things, women feel that. So they come to yoga and they don’t… We don’t like to just work out, we don’t like to go to the gym and sit there on a treadmill, it’s kind of an art so you can move your body in all sorts of different positions and it’s challenging but it’s graceful in a flowing way putting these pieces together with your body and really connecting with your body.

So I think just overall helping with decreasing stress, your body, your health and sleeping at night.

Paul: ​So Jerry, why would a man be interested or benefit from yoga?

Jerry: ​Most men come to it because they either have tightness in their hamstrings or shoulders, they haven’t been able to touch their toes much less see their toes sometimes. So for them, it’s more about the physical issues and the longevity of what we come into because sometimes you wake up and you just don’t want to get out of bed; back hurts, your shoulder hurts, there’s a lot of physical laborers out there that yoga would benefit because we don’t often take the time or structure our days around a release, everything is go, go, go we’ve got to get this done, we’ve got to do that, time to get home, put the kids to bed. And by the time the day is ending, you are about ready to go to bed and you wake up again and start all over. And sometimes you just need to shut the other stuff out, focus on self for a while and we don’t often do that, to come into ourselves and really, really process the getting rid of stuff.

​And so when you connect to the mat and you place your hands and feet on the ground, it’s a great place to just kind of connect. And when you start to breathe and get that breath flowing in the head, sometimes the ideas kind of just out slowly, it is still there circulating but it will drip out slowly and so at some point it becomes just you and the practice and nothing else around you. ​We often come in with a lot of stuff and after you are done with the practice it feels like you might be a bit lighter, a little less weighted down. And over time with the consistency of the practice, allows you to actually, on a physical level, get into a deeper more gracious aspect between you and your muscles because we don’t often give ourselves much praise or thanks, we are always hard on ourselves and this is a place where you can really appreciate what you have or don’t have and work towards a place that you can appreciate.

Paul: ​So I think you both touched on this but what are three clear benefits that both men and women will get from starting yoga?

Maggie: ​For women one of the things is definitely strength; physically and mentally and emotionally; being able to have the confidence and the strength to get through the day. We are always bombarded with challenges, things we can’t control and being able to find within, a place of balance of calmness, strength. I think probably that’s one of the most important things.

​And then also is just being able with your body just been able to keep your body mobile as we age through life, being able to be flexible and find the movement and again preventing any injuries and just knowing where your body is in space. So sometimes we’re just moving throughout life and when not really present with our body that connection is not there so finding that body connection and again just reiterating, sleep at night I think yoga really helps you sleep well. So it gives you that by balance to sleep throughout the night so when you get up in the morning your nice and refreshed and ready to go the next day.

Paul: ​And Jerry, for men?

Jerry: ​First aspect is the quality of both strength and stretch. When people look into a room, yoga room and they think, “That looks like it’s a little bit difficult stretch wise” because for men we are more focused on the billing aspect then the releasing or stretching out the muscle afterwards. We always go in for the pump and not for the release.

​And so in yoga when you are practicing your actually creating retention in the muscles so that you’re strengthening at the same time and when you start to strengthen maybe drawing like feet together toward one another in a warrior pose, you are creating resistance and that resistance in essence is releasing another muscle so that you can settle into the pose a little bit more. And it’s not just about stretching but it’s about creating that and that strengthening within the yoga practice isn’t about the way that we look but it’s a way to kind of release the energy in our head. When we are refining the muscle, strengthening and stretching, we are into a place where we are not comparative so much anymore.

​And so you’re not trying to compete necessarily and it’s more, that’s when you start to draw into yourself and the focus becomes more about being on the mat and what you are doing for yourself and the focus again draws into the aspect of coming into oneself rather than trying to please everybody else.

​Because if you are unhappy and you’re trying to please all of these people, you’re probably pushing more than you are drawing in and so when you start to realize that you don’t have to have all of this outward energy going out all of the time but if you focus on yourself and you focus on cleaning out the crap inside of your life, it’s kind of like cleaning your closet out and every once in a while we have to do that. And so your focus, when your mind is uncluttered becomes clearer, you can see a little bit broader than that narrow vision and sometimes that lends itself to you may be reaching out into a more expansive quality in things that you can absorb in life.

​If you are like this, there is a lot of stuff on the outside that you’re not going to see and so when we start to release the clutter and open up that vision there’s a lot more that we’re going to take in in this life because it’s not just about what’s in front of us all the time and that’s a really important quality in what I think yoga can give us. Did I go through three there? I hope I did.

Paul: ​I think you got it. All right Maggie, let’s look at stages of life from being a kid to being 20, thirty-something, middle-aged and then beyond. How can yoga helped in each of those stages?

Maggie: ​So I’m starting with children, especially young girls. I teach a lot of kids classes and you see more and more pressure on these young children, especially girls, boys too but already seven, eight-year-old children, the pressure of looking a certain way, wearing certain types of clothes, the name brands, wearing your hair a certain way and you have children picking on each other, making fun of one another they come in here very stressed already at a young age.

​So when I’m working with them, we start a lot with breath. We do a lot of breath work, we talk a lot about the yamas and niyamas of yoga. We talk about Ahimsa nonviolence, self-esteem, working through things, how to be better friends, how to be… How to come from the heart center space instead of judging.

​So from the very beginning if you can start young, that’s the best place to start. I mean it’s great to start anytime you can but they are open, they are intuitive, they are ready to take it in. So children nowadays they really need yoga, it’s very stressful with all the homework, the sports that they are involved in. They are just being judged all the time or other children and I think the breath work, the body movement and the self-esteem piece of the yoga practice for children is really important.

​And then moving on to teens or adults especially for adults as you get older, you realize, “Oh my gosh what did I do in life? Where am I now?” Maybe the kids are finally out of the house, maybe you are the place you don’t want to be at anymore so you start to find a practice and you start to realize, “This isn’t my truth, this isn’t where I want to be at this moment.”

​So you start practicing, you gain confidence, you gain strength, you become more aware. I think that’s a huge step in the middle age adult population, is awareness and then you realize, “Oh, I need to make some changes in my life. I am working too hard, I am not balancing my life, I am not eating well, I’m not resting well, I am not exercising,” and you start practicing yoga.

Even if it’s for the asana or the poses of the physical part, you start to see a transformation within. You see that you are more flexible, that you can sleep at night, that you have more energy, that you can tolerate things better. You feel that you are more connected to people and you feel more bonded with the world whereas before you were just rushing through it. So I think it’s important in that age because there is a lot of change happening in that period.

​And then as you get even older and everyone is out of the house, you may or may not be with your partner still, you start to dive deeper within finding that spirituality so you really find a connection within. It’s a part of your life that you realize everything is passed by and I realize my life is temporary and things are always changing. So you get into the practice.

I find a lot of older women come to my classes to just meditate or relax. They come to just be present and they love the community, they want to be around other people, they let go of all of the expectations, they let go of the physical, they let go of the judgment and now they are really in tune with who they are and what they want in life and yoga just continues to have them evolve physically as well because they are more flexible, they are more mobile, they don’t feel like they are going to fall, their spine is more malleable and mobile as well so they just feel much better.

And they tell me that all the time, “I have an injury but it’s feeling better as I practice.” or, “I am able to sleep better,” or “I am able to move better,” “I have been playing this game with my friend…” whatever it is they notice changes in their body, their emotions, their mental state and everything.

Paul: ​I think she said it all.

Jerry: ​I know right. With regards to kids, there is huge energy. And for just that little bit of moment if you have them in class and they are able to sit down and find a moment where they can close their eyes and feel just a stillness they may not realize what’s going on but for them it’s fun because they don’t often stop. They are always go, go, go explore, explore, explore so it’s really great to get them in touch with that. And it may not be anything that they would get in touch with for a while. It may be that they would come into it in their teens or in their 20s or maybe later in life like me and that the realization comes in but over time it does.

​With regards to teens, they are going through a lot of hormonal changes and learning to adapt breath in the physical body can sometimes help alter what’s going on inside the body or help us adapt to that physical change so that it doesn’t become such a dramatic place to be especially the hormones make us just go out in different directions and when you are emptying and clearing the mind becoming a little more focused that the anxieties and the things and the distractions aren’t as prominent I don’t think.

And as a young adult or an older adult again, the physical aspect, if we are starting to get into her 30s and 40s we’re going, “Dammit, I wish I have started this way earlier.” But the fact is it’s like you can’t always look in the past, you just work yourself forward and go, “Okay I’m going to go with this and see what happens.”

​A lot of times people get overwhelmed by the fact that it’s really hard. They think, “Oh, that looks pretty easy,” until they actually get in there and they go, “That’s really hard.” Then it becomes a mind thing, “Am I going to stick with it or not?” And more often than not it becomes, it’s that type of thing where it’s like, “I can’t do this,” and sometimes you can do it right then and maybe you will come back to it later.

​Or if you stick it out just like anything in life and you put a little focus into it, little bit of effort, not the effort of willfulness but the effort to really realize that there is the potential in un-weighting yourself that it could ultimately leave you in a more elated a space, a grounded space, freer for the physical body and a nice place where you can settle in if you can sit for a moment. Because we feel like we always have to go for a moment and not taking anything or not leave anything behind but just kind of sit with the stuff that you have and say, “It’s okay to be here.”

And each day you sit with that presents a little bit longer. And soon we are old, we are seniors, we are walking around all hunched over, or we are actually rolling the shoulders back, standing up and we have our vision forward but sometimes it’s that the focus doesn’t, and I’m going, “Oh, I wish I had done that.” There is the time, you can do it anytime.

Paul: ​What should people be looking for in a yoga teacher?

Maggie: ​All right. So I think when you are looking for a teacher definitely look at the training, that’s a big part of it but you have to look and see if they are personable, if there somebody you can relate to, somebody who is not up there just showing off, somebody who is going to walk around and adjust you, talk to you, ask you if you need anything, someone you feel comfortable enough with to raise your hand and say, “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, can you come over and please help me?” And that person is more than welcome to come over and help you and adjust you giving you props.

​I think also a teacher saying to you, “Please be aware of your own body, you are the best teacher for yourself. If you have any injuries, medical conditions, let me know. Tell me about them so I can help you through the process.”

Jerry: ​I like to go to different teachers because each one has something different to say; an aspect of reflection may be a motivational thing. And so it’s about exploring and through life we tend to explore anyways. But you are going to hear a voice that you like and probably a voice that you don’t like.

I have another teacher that says sometimes she goes to classes and teachers that she doesn’t like because it’s not about them, it’s about you. And so you have to experience the things that aren’t necessarily comfortable and know that those things are going to happen every day and maybe sit and see if you can change the aspect where it’s not something.

​But I really, really, for me is to hear what the teacher has to offer. I mean you’re going to get a lot of the same instructions with regard to the physical movements, not necessarily the same but roughly but it’s what you’re going to pull out of it and it might be a snippet, something that they say and go, “God you know what, if I could do that every day,” just one thing. And so for me the focus on the teacher is what they have to offer or somebody who can explain this.

Maggie: ​On that note sometimes I avoided the teachers when I need to be there, that’s the place I need to be the most but I have an aversion to it and I need to go and be there and stay with it the whole entire time. Sometimes I’ll avoid teachers who are really, really, really slow but that’s where I need to be.

Jerry: ​Yeah.

Maggie: ​So it’s nice to be open to everything.

Jerry: ​Exactly. It’s probably why she doesn’t come to my class all the time.

Maggie: ​No, you’re awesome! I’m always there!

Paul: ​What should people look for in yoga studios?

Maggie: ​You want to start?

Jerry: ​I think if you walk into a place that feels warm and inviting, I tend to like a warmer studio than a colder studio but not hot. For me I love hot in the wintertime, hate it in the summertime.

​If the people are nice when you walk in and they are inviting you in your like, “Okay, yeah I will come in and try it out.” But I think it’s just a feeling again, search it out and see. But knowing that there is a whole slew of teachers, you want to be willing to put money out and know that those teachers are going to support you and your practice and that’s a really big thing. Because when you’re buying class cards and month-long’s you want to make sure that there is enough classes to support that.

Maggie: ​I do agree with the Jerry on variety. I think the right is very important to come in and say, “Oh, I would like to try a restorative class. Maybe I would like to try a yin class. Maybe I am going to power it up today with this power hour class,” something that gives a variety so I can buy a class card and try them all.

​I also think you need to go by your intuition where you feel comfortable, where you can be yourself and feel like you can come in and wear anything you want, not worry about wearing the Lu-Lu lemon and all of those brand-name clothing where you can just come in and be yourself entirely. And also for me a big part of it is like the way it looks, I know that sounds a little superficial but just to the colors and the warmth that you were talking about, sometimes you can go into a studio and it feels very sterile.

Jerry: ​Right.

Maggie: ​… And there are mirrors everywhere when I am not the big mirror fan. So it’s nice to have a studio where you are just turning inward and you feel comfortable they are where you can just take your shoes off and relax and be yourself 100%.

Jerry: ​Yeah.

Paul: ​Great. So a lot of activities and exercises we do require a lot of gear. How much gear do you need for yoga?

Maggie: ​Nothing! You, your body!

Jerry: ​A mat you are comfortable with…

Maggie: ​Yeah, that’s it.

Jerry: ​I’ve been through… I can’t tell you how many different mats until I found the one that I like. I’ll plug Jade because I really like them but I went, they have a fat mat that I started with because my knees hurt and it was hard for me to be in poses like Ustrasan or camel pose. ​ And then after a while I started getting more adapted in my practice and then it felt better to be on a thinner mat so I went to a thinner mat. So find one that works for you because they are going to be different. Most studios will have blocks, some will have bolsters and blankets and straps. So I would say most studios will have what you need, not everybody carries bolsters because that’s a little bit more for strategy if they do more restorative practices than they probably will have them. Maggie: ​Yeah and I mean honestly, you need a mat maybe if that, a blanket if you want to start with…

Jerry: ​In fashionable yoga…

Maggie: ​… Yeah! Comfortable clothing for sure. Water, sometimes I just tell people to bring different layers of clothing; they can get chilly, some people want to warm it up so they put on extra layers otherwise is very simple, you really don’t need much at all.

Jerry: ​Yeah, water is probably important too.

Maggie: ​Water.

Jerry: ​Yeah.

Paul: ​That was great guys, thank you so much for being on the LifehackrDiet podcast and YouTube channel. It’s been great chatting to you both.

Maggie: ​Thank you for having us!

Jerry: ​thank you.

Maggie: ​Thanks!

Paul: ​Well I hope you enjoyed that interview as much as Jerry and Maggie did. They are wonderful teachers, wonderful people. They have a wonderful time doing what they love to do and it’s kind of fun because in Jerry’s class, Maggie is always in the back doing the class and vice versa so they really enjoy each other’s perspectives.

So I strongly encourage you guys to go to your local yoga studios, by one of the discount starter packs and give it some time and try different teachers, try different classes, take your time, have an open mind because there is such a huge, huge payoff and it really can be a huge part of your life and really enable you for all your years and all your stages.

So thank you for listening as all of us start down a unique path to leaner healthier bodies there is always challenges along the way which is why the LifehackrDiet community is so important.

​We would all love to hear your thoughts, questions, struggles and successes. Please add your voice is to the discussion below and become part of the LifehackrDiet community.

And if you have yoga experiences or you are giving it a try, let’s hear about it, love to hear about it. Love to hear what people have discovered and what you like and what you don’t like about it so get on there.

​To get more of the LifehackrDiet content sent directly to your devices as soon as it becomes available, please press the “subscribe” button in iTunes or follow us on Stitcher radio. We really appreciate reviews on iTunes and likes on Stitcher radio as those actions help the LifehackrDiet podcast get noticed and benefit more people.

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012 – Awesome Snacking Tips from Elle Penner of MyFitnessPal

012 – Awesome Snacking Tips from Elle Penner of MyFitnessPal

LHD Podcast 012: Listen Here;


LHD Podcast 012 – Awesome Snacking Tips from Elle Penner of MyFitnessPal

Snacking Tips: From food swapping, to creative snacking to what to chose when you are faced with the dreaded snack vending machine – we’ve got it all covered with Elle Penner of MyFitnessPal.


  • What food swapping is and how it can make a big difference in your diet.
  • Great, delicious snacks under 200 calories.
  • How to prepare snacks for when you travel so you eat well and save lots of money.
  • When you are faced with a snack vending machine, how do you make the best choices…

Plus more great snacking tips.

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.





With a little bit of experimentation, you can make snacking healthier and curb your hunger pangs faster. Also, if you prepare some snacks before traveling, you can save money and eat better.


Thanks for LISTENING!

Thank you again for your support,

SUBSCRIBE Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher Radio to get automatic updates.


Show Transcript Below----->

[youtube “”] Transcript: 012_Awesome_Snacking_Tips_from_Elle_Penner_of_MyFitnessPal

Paul:        This is the LifehackrDiet Podcast number 012. Let’s get snacking!

Commercial:        Most diets are like going on a trip, the food is different, your activities are different and then it ends. You fall back into your old ways and the diet fails. is different because you make small changes to your lifestyle that get results. When you hit your goal your life that has been reinvented by you and change is permanent. LifehackrDiet .com, this is your last diet!

Paul: Welcome to the LifehackrDiet Podcast I am Paul Michaels your host. LifehackrDiet Podcast exists to empower you to get 1 step, 1 mile and 1 pound of weight loss closer to your goals of superior health, wellness and well-being.

Welcome you to podcast numbers 012, number 12. We are up over 2000 listens so far on the podcast which are very proud of. But what I need, I need a favor. I want to get to over 3000 or maybe 4000 listens by the end of the year and we don’t have a lot of time so I really need you guys to help. So please let your friends and family know about the LifehackrDiet Podcast, send links out on your Twitter, Facebook and other social networks and it would be great if we could hit 3000 or 4000 listens before the end of the year and I’d really appreciate all the help you can give, thank you.

So in the news today like literally today a couple of minutes ago, I just saw a report about an app called SyncSolver. And what this $.99 app does in the iPhone app store is it fills a gap. At this point in time FitBit is not supporting HealthKit on iOS 8 and it’s a bit of an issue. I have an opinion and my opinion is very straightforward and that is all of the data that I have created over the last 2 years and almost 5000 miles of walking, I think it belongs to me; I mean I created. And I have paid FitBit for their FitBit… I have FitBit 1, I have FitBit Zip, I paid for the devices. I would assume that they would have billed in overhead and all those expenses in the cost of the product. And I like my data, I like to do whatever I want with it. But right now there’s a bit of a corporate battle going on and so FitBit is not supporting data export out of the FitBit app into HealthKit.

But a gentleman by the name of James McAndrew, has created an app called sync solver and I have links to it on my Facebook page which is and I posted it on Twitter as well and my Twitter handle is @lifehackrdiet. You can get a link from either of those sources and for $.99 you can download all of your FitBit data into HealthKit. And I have tried, it works great, I am still fiddling with it to see what else I can do so I will give you a report on the later but be sure to check that out.

And it never ceases to amaze me the creativity and ingenuity of people. We have a problem here, we have to juggernauts head-to-head, nobody is given in and then little James comes by and writes a little code and solves the problem. So thank you James. Maybe we will get you on our podcast sometime later I don’t know but thank you. It’s a lovely almost Thanksgiving gift.

And we have a great podcast today, it’s an interview with Elle Penner and she is a registered dietitian with MyFitnessPal and it’s a great interview, we just discuss snacking and she’s got some great ideas on how you can make changes so that snacking is more fun, you feel more full, it’s more nutritious so I have a really good interview coming up.

So I must apologize, I’m still trying to get over this cold. I think the coal is gone but it’s left me with a very ticklish throat so I end up coughing very easily and for long periods of time so there are a couple of little coughing sessions during this interview so I apologize in advance. I try to take all my medicines beforehand but it didn’t quite work.

So this interview marks the fruition of a promise I made which is in podcast 009, Tips for Supressing Your Appetite: Hacking Your Hunger. I said that I would try to get some professionals on to talk about snacking and Elle is that. So here we go, enjoy the interview with Elle and I will catch you afterwards.


Paul: I am thrilled to welcome Elle Penner to the Lifehackrdiet Podcast. Elle is a registered dietitian who is heading up the nutrition department at MyFitnessPal and actually she grew up about 30 minutes outside of Boston which is a stone’s throw away from where I am recording this podcast right now. So we are in the old stomping grounds.

She writes a healthy lifestyle blog; _According to Elle, _I will put that URL in the show notes. And _According to Elle _has the acronym ATE, which I’m sure is no coincidence. She is also driven to create ways for people to enhance their lives and that’s why she’s here to give us some great tips on snacking and ways in which we can enhance our lives. So welcome Elle and I am thrilled to have you here.

Elle: Thank you Paul, I am thrilled to be on your show, it’s a great opportunity!

Paul: So tell us a little bit about your role at MyFitnessPal and for those who don’t know what MyFitnessPal is, what is it?

Elle: Yes so I will start off by telling you a little bit about what MyFitnessPal, it is and it is a widely popular food and nutrition tracking app. We have a food database of over 4 million foods which allows our users to pretty much seamlessly track the foods that they eat. And we also allow our users to track their exercises and whether you have a FitBit or you have a wearable or you just manually track your exercise, our platform is a way for users to kind of see their energy balance, the nutrition that they are getting from their foods and just kind of helps them learn how to eat better and exercise more. So that’s MyFitnessPal in a nutshell.

And what I do there is I basically do all things nutrition. So on any given day I work with our engineers and developers and product teams to think about and put together new features for the up to improve its accuracy and just kind of come up with ways for users to… Users can do more with the data that they have. And then I am also part of our marketing team so I am the nutrition spokesperson for the company. I also head up the food and nutrition content on our blog which gets a lot of traffic and it’s a great source of healthy inspiring information. And so that’s pretty much what I do there.

Paul: And just to let people know, I have been using MyFitnessPal for just about 2 years now and it’s been a huge part of my journey. And the beauty of MyFitnessPal is its kind of like the country of Switzerland; it gets along with everybody. So nowadays you are having hold battles with Apple’s new HealthKit. You have some tracker manufacturers not plugging into HealthKit but they plug into MyFitnessPal. And so pretty much any product, tracking product you buy or any app that you use for tracking your food or your exercise or anything like that will have a plug-in feature that will allow the transformation of information from your app to MyFitnessPal. And is it one way? I think it is one way.

Elle: No, we go 2 ways.

Paul: 2 ways, yeah.

Elle: Yeah, so we will share in some apps, it depends on what device you have or what app you are using but our nutrition information I think it’s meal summary data can be synced into the other apps.

Paul: Right, so there is really no risk in downloading MyFitnessPal first of all it’s free and secondly it gets along with everybody.

Elle: Yeah, we actually partner with 80% of all wearables and 4 out of the 5 GPS tracking apps so…

Paul: So go to your app store and download it!

So today I wanted to talk about eating, one of my favorite topics and specifically about snacking. And I wrote a blog post a little while ago podcast 009, which is Hacking Your Hunger: Tips for How to Suppress Your Appetite. And I promised in that podcast that I would get a real professional on the show and have them talk about it so here is the fulfillment of my promise with Elle Penner.

So let’s talk about a bunch of articles that you have written for MyFitnessPal. I think they are excellent articles and what I like about them is they are for real people, they are things that anybody can do. And so that’s I think that’s awesome because we need to affect everybody’s lives in a positive way. So let’s start with food swaps, what is a food swap?

Elle: So a food swap is basically a simple way to upgrade whatever you are eating. It can be one ingredient, it can be a few ingredients if you’re cooking a recipe but they just kind of give you more nutritional bang for your buck. So if you’re trying to cut calories or get more protein in your diet or whatever extra vitamins and minerals, kind of swapping out an unhealthier food for a more nutrient dense food I guess is the definition of a food swap.

Paul: Great! So why do we go through a couple of them that you mentioned?

Elle: Sure, so some of my favorites are simple ones like I use this all the time; if you’re going to be having a taco with sour cream, throw on a little bit of Greek yogurt instead. It’s tart, it’s packed with protein, it’s low in fat so it’s actually more satiating than a dollop of sour cream.

Another one is instead of a hamburger bun that contains a lot of carbs, refined grains, yeah I use 100% whole grain deli flat so they are kind of like that feeling you are eating a bun without all the extra fluff.

Paul: I have a little version of that. I have 2 of my kids that are vegetarian. I make veggie wraps for them so I take a veggie burger partially cook it and then take a multigrained wrap and kind of fold it over the burger and then put it in my George Foreman grill and it kind of is on and it’s only 70 cal and it’s much healthier than a bun.

Elle: That’s great, that’s an awesome food swap!

Paul: Okay.

Elle: So another one is instead of traditional breadcrumbs, use Panko because Panko is a little bit fluffier and so it actually absorbs less or if you’re cooking something in oil. And one of my all-time favorites is using avocado in baked goods. So it’s actually… It’s a fat and it’s a pretty bland fat. So you can actually swap out about half of the butter in any baked good for some mashed avocado and it kind of gives you that same fact but it’s a healthier unsaturated fat Mono and polyunsaturated fat, mono and polyunsaturated omegas.

Paul: So I have a little avocado story too. I have a smoothie maker and I was fooling around with some recipes and one of the recipes was a chocolate smoothie and it used avocado and I had never done that before and it’s like, “Oh, this is not going to work.” And so I went through the recipe which is very simple, it was avocado and cocoa powder and a couple of soymilk or whatever milk you want to use. And blended it up and I was blown away with how good it tasted.

Elle: Yeah, you see that creaminess and healthy source of facts but yeah.

Paul: Yeah and then I tested it on the kids and it’s like, “Yeah, thumbs up!” So avocado is pretty amazing!

Elle: Did you tell them it was in there?

Paul: I had them tried first and then I told them. There is no way I would have got it down if I had told them first so they are kind of used to that.

Elle: Yeah.

Paul: And then I had sushi last night and I think one of your swaps is white rice for brown rice right?

Elle: Yeah. So milling and polishing of brown rice to make it white that’s all that happens during the processing experience. So it removes most of the B vitamins; magnesium, phosphorus iron, all those good kind of nutrients and also all of the fiber. So if you kind of skip the processing stuff and go straight for the brown rice you actually get a more nutrient dense food than starch.

Paul: I had no idea that was the difference.

Elle: Yeah.

Paul: It’s amazing.

Elle: Yeah, all rice is brown.

Paul: So can you confirm for me? I just feel like an absolute idiot but my daughter told me this and I just want to confirm that it’s true. White eggs are actually bleached white and they are actually originally brown?

Elle: No, I think that’s false.

Paul: Okay.

Elle: From what I read it kind of depends on the color of the shell depends on the chicken’s diet.

Paul: Okay.

Elle: I am not a farming expert but that’s what I have heard. And there is actually no nutritional difference between a white eggs and a brown egg, it’s just mostly like whatever kind of rocks and that kind of thing the chicken is around or picks up.

Paul: Okay, so that’s why I had you confirm it, excellent. So go ahead, move on.

Elle: Okay so do you want some more food swaps?

Paul: You missed my favorite.

Elle: Oh, what did I miss?

Paul: You missed my favorite. I think I will be embalmed by it when I die. And that is dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.

Elle: Oh!

Paul: You can’t forget that one.

Elle: Yeah, so dark chocolate it actually I’m sure you have read the articles but it actually does contain more health boosting antioxidants than the milk chocolate just because mostly it’s less processed and less refined so it actually retains a lot of those healthy compounds.

Paul: Right and then another good one I think is instead of granola and milk, what is your suggestion?

Elle: Yeah so I mean I used to basically sit down with a big bowl of granola cereal and milk every morning and not even realizing that there’s probably 500 cal in that cup and a half, 2 cups of cereal. So these days I swap it out and I use a Greek yogurt or any kind of yogurt as the base and then I may be sprinkle a quarter of a cup of granola on top. Granola is great and is a source of whole grains and if you add some nuts it can also add protein but it is calorie dense. Most of them contain sugar so kind of going heavier on the protein and the yogurt and sprinkling a little of granola on top is a great way to swap out those extra calories.

Paul: Great, well those are great swaps. And for our listeners if you guys have swaps that you use, please let everybody know in the show notes. I think it would be great to have all of your input. So let’s move on to 10 simple snacks under 200 cal and I must say when I was writing the Hacking Your Hunger post, I was kind of surprised at how little or how few calories I need to actually satisfy my hunger pangs. And then you look at like what a bag of chips is or what other people eat for a snack, it’s amazing how little you need to actually satisfy your hunger…

Elle: Yeah.

Paul: … I think you illustrate that as well.

Elle: Yeah, I am by nature not a huge snacker. I prefer to kind of load up at mealtime I guess. Snacking is such a huge part of our culture and everybody is kind of eating on the go. And it actually is a huge area where people kind of consume a lot of calories that they don’t really think about because they are not necessarily sitting down and enjoying a meal and taking it in. And I love your article about kind of how you hacked your snacks and how you kind of used, paid attention to your hunger cues and really eat based on your hunger and not just kind of mindless eating.

Paul: Yeah, that’s the big challenge, is trying to separate the 2. There is so much emotional and kind of base core reaction that we used towards eating that you have to kind of separate yourself from that and realize when you actually are hungry and then what you can need to satisfy it.

Elle: Yeah. I mean even just where we schedule our days every minute of every day is scheduled and a lot of times eating is just based on schedule and I think that’s even snacks, snacking in the afternoon can be a habit for someone. It may not necessarily mean that they are hungry at all so yeah, being mindful around your snacks and actually making sure you are hungry before you decide to have a snack…

Paul: Right.

Elle: … It’s a huge way to kind of offset consuming excess calories is that you don’t really need.

Paul: And I think advertising pushes that as well. I think… Is there a chocolate bar that is kind of like take a break, was it? In the afternoon, take a break, have a chocolate bar or something?

Elle: Yeah, definitely.

Paul: … It’s a big part of it. So if you can just go through maybe a couple of your favorite snacks under 200 cal that you think people would enjoy that would be great.

Elle: Yeah. So when I snack I kind of try and keep it mostly whole food based. I try and avoid a lot of the package stuff. So having kind of a stash of fruits and nuts and that kind of stuff on hand helps. So some of my favorites are hard-boiled eggs with 2 tablespoons of hummus and a slice of whole-grain toast; that comes in almost a 200 cal. But it actually has protein in the hummus in the egg and then whole-grain toast offers fiber so it is actually really satisfying.

Paul: I would think so yeah.

Elle: Yeah! Also just something like a small banana and a serving of almonds which is 16 almonds is around 200 cal as well. A quarter of a cup of mashed avocado and whole-grain toast and a pinch of sea salt, this is actually quite a popular snack among these healthy living folks, it is called avocado toast so it’s a great source of healthy fat. You can kind of jazz it up if you want to sprinkle some nuts on or I like to add a piece of crispy prosciutto every now and then. That’s another great snack.

There is always the classic Apple and peanut butter…

Paul: Mhm, yes.

Elle: … You can throw on some chopped walnuts or something for some extra omegas and healthy fats, that’s great too.

Paul: One of my sons favorites, he sees celery and the first thing he says is, “Peanut butter.” And so we could be eating a savory meal and I put raw celery out to eat and I am crunching on it and he goes to the fridge and gets peanut butter and it’s like, “Gross, that doesn’t work.” But anyways so yeah you can use it many ways.

Elle: Yeah, for sure, celery is a great one. I love having my Greek yogurt in the morning around a couple or three quarters of a cup with just some fresh BlackBerries on top, it’s another great snack. Homemade trail mix is another great option it just takes a few minutes to throw together if you have all the ingredients. So pairing that with some air popped popcorn is a great snack as well.

Paul: Right. And that kind of segues into five make-ahead travel snacks. I was traveling yesterday by plane and I thought of you not only because we had this podcast today but also because of the way you came to kind of figuring this out so why don’t you tell us the story behind it.

Elle: Yeah, so that all happened when I was a traveling, I don’t remember where I was flying but hunger hits, you’re not expecting it and I ended up buying a $4 Greek yogurt after weighing the pros and cons of going to the food court and getting something that costs just as much but an entire meal at a fast food joints. But actually did go back and I paid the $4 for the Greek yogurt and it was painful, a little hard to swallow. But it was an opportunity that made me realize that just packing a simple snack from home I could have avoided that inner conflict completely, I wouldn’t even have thought about buying a snack because the food in general at the airport is so expensive.

Paul: Right.

Elle: And generally unhealthy.

Paul: And I have experienced recently where we arrived… my family was on vacation, we arrived back in the states and our flight was delayed like 4, 5 hours so it wasn’t going to leave till 2 in the morning.

Elle: Yeah.

Paul: So I think we were on… I think we were on JetBlue and they have fairly decent snacks so they were looking over all these grumpy people and they said, “Okay we’re going to cart in what we serve on the plane.” So they brought this cart filled with all the snacks that they have on the plane and that’s what we got to eat because all the restaurants and everything is was closed in the airport…

Elle: oh!

Paul: … And it was like, “Okay, so what are we going to do here?” So you never know when it’s going to happen but you have some excellent suggestions for preparing for it so why don’t you tell us those?

Elle: Yeah. So before I leave for a trip I kind of find a little bit of joy in trying to clean out my fridge and use of things that I have like fresh fruit, throw it in the bag if you have it, fresh fruits and veggies. If you have some carrots or bell pepper, chop it up and don’t to go to waste, you actually can bring it with you, throw it in a little baggie and to be there with you when you need it.

Another one is high-fiber cereal. So if you have like shredded wheat or another one of your favorites, just throwing a little bit in a Ziploc bag is great. Cheese so string cheese or if you just have a block of cheese in your fridge, again don’t let it go to waste. You can chop it up into kind of one of our servings and snack as you feel hungry. Fresh fruit, granola bars are another one. I always have a dash of granola bars, they are great for grabbing when you are on the way out the door for a hike or you are headed to the airport; those early morning flights can be kind of brutal.

And often times like I don’t really feel hungry the minute I wake up at 3 in the morning for my flight so I will grab a granola bar or like even an instant oatmeal packet, just if you have those at home, choose ones that are lower in added sugar and then when you are basically on the airplane all you have to do is ask for a cup of hot water and you can add your instant oatmeal to it.

Paul:        That’s a good one, that’s a good one. Now you mention something, couple times in your articles which I am intrigued by and I want to try this and that is you are using chickpeas and you are baking them or something like that to make them crunchy?

Elle: Yeah.

Paul: Tell me about that one because it sounds good.

Elle: This is another one of those fad health foods, health snacks that’s happening. There is so many recipes out there and there are many good ones. So the ones with chickpeas actually gets quite crispy so they give you that kind of crunch you are looking for in a snack, sort of a bag of chips or something. But chickpeas are great, they are high in fiber and they can actually contain a lot of protein and they are pretty bland so you can season them with savory or sweet or little bit of both and if you cook those ahead of time again they are a great snack to take with you.

Paul: So how do you cook them do you get them in a can or fresh? I don’t know.

Elle: Yeah…

Paul: Lay it out for me.

Elle: Yeah, so I have done this a few times. You can basically buy a can of chickpeas, train them, pat them dry so that it’s important to make sure that they are dry otherwise they would kind of steam and be on the softer side. So you want to dry them off and they literally just need like the tiniest bit of olive oil or whatever other kind of neutral cooking oil and then you roast them in the oven for probably anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes or depending on how high your oven is, 100° tends to work. But again kind of play around with seasonings or look up some spice combinations on the Internet, there is tons of good recipes out there.

Paul: That sounds great!

Elle: Yeah.

Paul: I’m going to have to try that!

Elle: Yeah. Have your kids try them too.

Paul: Yeah, I won’t tell them what they are first. “Here, try this.” It’s the only way we can do it.

So worse, worse, worse, worst case scenario; you are standing in front of a vending machine, you are starving to death…

Elle: Yep.

Paul: … What are the best and the worst things to get in that situation?

Elle: Yeah. It’s all about making the best choice in whatever situation you’re in. A vending machine is not ideal but it’s definitely not the end of the word you need to get some things from the vending machine you do it. I would say my 5 worst pikcs are they are typically more at eye level…

Paul: Right.

Elle: … Which makes them a little harder to resist. But packaged pastries, they are filled with corn syrup and preservatives. Chips and crackers, they are high in sodium, some of them still contain hydrogenated oils which aren’t too good for your heart health and cholesterol. Packaged cookies, it’s just like all these refined carbohydrates; candy it gives you a giant spike in blood sugar then your blood sugar crashes and it kind of leaves you in a cycle of creating more sugar again. And the all time least favorite is soda; having a soda is empty calories. It will leave you feeling any more satisfied than when you went to the vending machine in the first place so I would say those 5 are my least favorite.

But you know, there are actually, if you look a little bit harder, a little bit lower in the machine, there are some better options so there is usually an option for a selection of nuts. I don’t know if sometimes they will carry lower sodium options so those would be best but nuts provide protein and fiber and they will kind of keep you feeling full longer. Trail mix is another good one, it’s a good way to get that sweet and savory fix that you are craving. Many of them do contain a lot of candy but you can kind of eat your way around that or through on a few pieces of chocolate for good leisure.

Paul: Dark chocolate of course.

Elle: Yeah. Granola bars are great too usually, they are usually made with some sort of whole-grain like oats or flax which gives you more fiber and protein. Popcorn is another one depending on what it’s covered in. But if there is like an option for low-sodium or just slightly salted popcorn that’s not too overly flavored, that’s a good option as well. And then if you are thirsty I have to go with water. Sometimes it’s painful to pay $2 for a bottle of water but yeah, I definitely think that if you’re going for hydration especially when you are traveling, water is the way to go.

Paul: So I must say traveling yesterday I flew up to Canada and back and so there was a lot of time on the plane and in airports and I have to say that I took your advice and I brought granola bars, I brought my roasted almonds, I brought some fruits. And the irony of all of this is if you have a bottle of water they throw that out but they are fine with all these other things in your bag so let’s use that to our advantage. So I took a bunch of granola bars, different kinds because in a day if you are traveling you kind of get bored with one and you want to try another. I also love roasted almonds it’s one of my favorites so it’s always good to have that sort of stuff available. And then snacks and fruit, put it in your pocket, take that as well and it makes a big difference!

Elle: For sure; on your wallet and…

Paul: Yes.

Elle: … In terms of… Yeah, the foods that you’re putting in your body.

Paul: Yeah.

Elle: Again, one of my favorite hacks for traveling, I travel a lot, is bringing my own water bottle. So if you bring through an empty water bottle whether it’s one that you buy and you drink before and you get through security or one that you drink from home, bring your own water bottle, it’s a great way so then you can fill it up. Once your past security, many airports are actually putting in like these filtered water stations. So yeah, that’s great. I think that’s a great way to kind of stay hydrated and not spend $3 and a bottle of water.

Paul: And a variation of that, I, it’s kind of a funny thing. I like everybody used to drink my coffee and tea out of a regular mug and then I started using these thermal mugs that keep it really hot for the whole day. They also protect you from… Protect your computer, everything from spillage as well. So I have gotten so used to these things that I look at a regular mug as a dangerous thing. Like I can’t drink coffee out of the mug; first of all, is going to get cold really fast, secondly I could spill it!

Elle: Right.

Paul: And it’s so funny. So you could also take your thermal coffee cup drink, make sure it is empty when you go through and then there’s lots of coffee places beyond the security in the airports and you can fill up with coffee. And the nice thing about that is they are usually pretty big and they will last you most of your trip and keep it hot as well so that works well.

And I think the idea of baggies, just using baggies to wrap up all of these goodies that you are bringing is probably a good one. I am not sure if they have issues with other containers but if anybody has experience with that again I will leave information down in the show notes. And if also if you have suggestions for vending machines or other things that you can be when you travel or other travel tips we would love to hear about it. So please be sure to head out to and go to the podcast section and under each podcast there is a section for you to talk with everybody and give everybody your tips and advice as well so please do that.

So Elle those are great smacking tips. It’s actually getting your dinner… Sorry lunchtime for me and I’m getting hungry after talking about all this food. So I am going to put all the links to the blog post that we’ve discussed in the show notes and I know you are quite prolific out there so where can people get a hold of you and I will make sure to put those links as well in the show notes.

Elle: Yeah. I’m all over social media. I am on twitter, Instagram and Pintrest. My handle is Elle Penner Harvey. And like you mentioned before, my blog is According to Elle. I also write for My Fitness Pal blog which is and we have loads of great information, workouts, nutrition tips, recipes every day, a recipe newsletter. So if you’re looking for a health inspiration, another great place to go for sure.

Paul: What I would love to do a whole session on my fitness plan because I think there is just so many great features to it so maybe we can look at that in the future but everybody, go to your respective app stores, download My Fitness Pal, it’s free, it’s friendly and it really becomes a cornerstone for what ever you are trying to achieve. And there are lots of updates, they are always improving it so you just can’t go wrong with My Fitness Pal. So thank you very much Elle, really appreciate your time, wonderful actionable advice people can get right to it, we are heading up to Thanksgiving and they can just jump right in there and start using your advice! So thank you very much again.

Elle: Thank you very much for having me Paul!

Paul: Great, talk to you soon!

Elle: Okay, bye-bye!

[End of interview]

Paul: Told you it was a great interview. Now I have to try those chickpeas; traveling next week so I’m going to have to make some up and see how everybody likes them. Anyways as usual please let us know what some of your hacks are and what you do for snacking when you travel. You can get to any of the podcast by going to, find the podcast that is the one you want and click on it, scroll down to the bottom and there is a chat area there. We would love to hear what you guys come up with. I am sure there is some pretty inventive stuff so let us know.

Thank you for listening as each of us starts down our unique paths to leaner, healthier bodies, there are always challenges along the way which is why the_ LifehackerDiet_ community is so important. We would all love to hear your thoughts, questions, struggles and successes. Please add your voice to the discussion below and become part of the _LifehackrDiet _ community.

To get more LifehackrDiet _ content get sent directly to your devices as soon as it becomes available, please press the “subscribe” button in iTunes or follow us on Stitcher radio. We really appreciate reviews on iTunes and likes on Stitcher radio as those actions help the _LifehackrDiet Podcast to get noticed and benefit more people. Be sure to head over to the website for tons of free content on our blog, podcast, YouTube channel and downloadable LifehackrDiet easy_ start guide and also the DIY Weight Loss Gear Report.

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  © 2014, Man Mountain Productions, Inc.

010 Curating Your Data with Nudge App, An Interview with Phil Beene

010 Curating Your Data with Nudge App, An Interview with Phil Beene

LHD Podcast 010: Listen Here;


LHD Podcast 010 – Curating Your Data with Nudge App, An Interview with Phil Beene.

Paul has a discussion with Phil Beene of Nudge, LLC, about the importance of curating all your health data with their iOS and Android app, Nudge. Today’s health apps create lots and lots of data and it doesn’t take much to find yourself drowning in it. We discuss the benefits of having all that data collected, processed and displayed into one single graphic. You will be surprised at how powerful this concept is, so be sure to tune in and listen.

As a sidenote, LifehackrDiet is announcing a wonderful new development that can help you the listener get a kickstart on reaching your health goals. Paul talks about it after the interview with Phil. Enjoy


  • What the free Nudge app can do to simplify your life and help you reach your health goals.
  • Nudge LLC, co-founder Phil Beene, is a soccer star and he knows how to keep his head down when the “S—” hits the proverbial fan. (on the beaches of USVI!).
  • What is Nudge Coach and why are Phil and Paul so excited about it? It’s going to make a difference in your life too!
  • A big announcement about how Paul Michaels of is going to magically fit in your pocket and personally help you reach your health goals.
  • What is Apple’s Health Kit and Health App and how they can benefit you and your health.

Plus lots more about a very exciting time in technology, your health tools, and what the future holds in improving the health of our fellow citizens.

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.




Even though a lot of this “quantified self,” health technology can become overwhelming, it is very possible to tame all that data, so that you can easily understand what you need to do to improve your health and wellness.

Check out the Video Post on this topic Here!


Thanks for LISTENING!

Thank you again for your support,

SUBSCRIBE Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher Radio to get automatic updates.

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Remember, today is the first day of the rest of your life so make it count. Have a great day.

Paul Michaels, LifehackrDiet Guru


© 2014, Man Mountain Productions, Inc.


Show Transcript Below----->

[youtube “”] © 2014, Man Mountain Productions, Inc.