Tag Archives: Shannon Muhs

Sugar Low

February 18, 2015 by

Holly Martens struggle may sound all too common. After the birth of her children she experienced a variety of symptoms. She had low energy; she experienced moodiness and mood swings, felt generally crabby and could not lose weight around her mid-section. Martens knew her struggle was not unique, but also knew she had to do something about it.

“With both pregnancies, I gained so much weight and really had trouble with my mid-section. I finally figured out what to do about it and was so happy I made the decision to be healthier overall,” Martens says.

Martens, with the help of Vice Cross Fit gym, went on what she calls a sugar detox. Once she was educated about sugar and added sugars, she was shocked at how much of it she had been consuming.

“They really taught me how much sugar I was eating and what all that sugar was doing to be body. The sugar in our diet really has a bad affect on our bodies.”

Martens was in for even more of a shock. After 21 days, she was amazed at how different she felt. “I felt awesome. I was not so tired. I didn’t get headaches anymore. My skin cleared up and my stomach was much flatter.”

What was even more refreshing was that Martens never felt deprived. She says she truly felt she could maintain healthy or “clean” eating.

“I ate so much food, especially meat. I never did feel deprived. The cravings were not there,” Martens says.

It was that lack of deprivation that Martens felt was the key to her success. After the 21 day sugar detox, Martens continued to maintain sugar-free eating during the week and would indulge a little on weekends.

Shannon Muhs, a dietician with Hy-Vee, was able to shed some light on how our bodies react when we have too much sugar in our diet.

“When we eat more sugar, our bodies experience a brief high, followed by a sort of crash, which is why we feel more sluggish. Our bodies will also produce excess insulin, which will cause the body to want to eat more and eventually our bodies run out of places to store that excess sugar and it starts to store itself as fat,” Muhs says.

As Martens experienced, once sugar is eliminated it doesn’t take long for our bodies to recover. “Within a couple of days, you should have more sustained energy and a more balanced energy load. You should not experience as many highs and lows and should be craving less sweets,” she says.

Martens plans on maintaining her healthier lifestyle and even convinced her husband to join her on her journey, who after limiting sugar lost close to 40 pounds.

“We both feel so much better. It’s really amazing. I was never really big on diets, but this is something I don’t feel is necessarily a diet. It’s a lifestyle and I am very passionate about it.”

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Soy? No Whey!

January 25, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Protein shakes are popular these days with many people. Shannon Muhs, Registered Dietitian & Wellness Coach at the Shadow Lake Hy-Vee says, “People that I notice purchasing protein powder are adults having a protein-filled shake pre- or post-workout. Adults wanting to lose weight may use a protein shake for a meal replacement or snack—also, bariatric surgery candidates.”

So, as for protein, which “whey” do you go: soy or whey? There is no blanket answer. Both have their advantages. Says Muhs, “Soy protein comes from soybeans, has all nine essential amino acids, which makes it a complete protein. According to food scientists, soy takes longer to digest, and it is harder to digest than whey protein. On the other hand, soy can be a nice alternative for someone that cannot have milk products due to an allergy.”

Muhs adds, “Whey protein is a derivative of milk. Whey also contains all essential amino acids and is a complete protein. Whey has been considered superior to soy protein in aiding with muscle gains after a workout because of how easily it is digested and utilized in the body.

“There is still a lot of controversial information out there about soy protein related to its digestibility and chemical reaction it may lead to in the body,” says Muhs.

“The estrogenic activity from the soy isoflavones involves a whole cascade of events involving all of the reproductive hormones. The implications of these effects on hormones are yet to be determined…This is where dangerous deductions and premature conclusions can turn into controversial messages such as, ‘Soy may cause cancer.’”

It is certainly not a cut-and-dried issue. Muhs adds, “There are many studies that have found soy protein to help decrease the risk for many cancers and decrease tumor growth. There are some studies that have found a negative effect on consuming soy protein with high soy isoflavone content; specifically, negative [for] women with estrogen positive breast cancer. It’s not that the
soy is directly causing cancer; it’s that it may be affecting the environment in which the cancer may potentially grow.”

Lastly, Muhs says, “We simply don’t know enough to make a conclusion, but why not be safe and avoid soy if you’ve got a history or family history of breast cancer?”