Dear Lucho,

Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly. :-) Your information was enlightening and for the first time in my life I am on an eating program that is working for me and is very easy to follow. I have spiral notebooks alphabatized with foods/meals with their exact macronutrient information...I have spent a great deal of time learning what various foods are made of but never knew how to combine them or how much of which group I really needed. I just went by the end numbers and yes, seeing now the flaws of such, I followed a percentage plan to begin with that wasn't right for me. This program has literally given me back two hours a week in futile menu planning!

Thank you so much for your time with this,

Jacqui Jovonovich, CFNS

I want to thank you for your program. I've studied nutrition extensively and you touched on all the important factors that make a proper diet work. I have been giving seminars around the country on these principles with great success. When I started my seminars in 2004, a Doctor on the east coast was in attendance to my first seminar. I was quite nervous because of this. He was a good 70lbs overweight and brought along his wife & sister-in-law. They were active during the seminar by asking questions, taking notice, etc. I could tell they actually cared about their health. A few months later, I got a call from the wife who said she had lost 30lbs, her husband (the doctor) had lost 60 lbs, and his sister-in-law had lost 40lbs. The Doctor's sister-in-law also explained my methods to her husband and helped him lose 50lbs. From this seminar I gave, between those four people, they saw a total of 180lbs lost! This was very gratifying and I started seeing much more business when the doctor started referring his clients to me.

Since then, I've taken my success around the world, working with African Nutritionists and adopting some of their unique practices into my regimen. I have taught people with great success in the Bahamas while living on a small island there. I now reside in Santa Barbara, CA and work with high-end clientele on their nutritional needs. I account all of their success to the ideas and philosophies of Lucho. I have preached his words verbatim with great success. I recently finished holding a "Biggest Loser" contest with a local corporation. The 1st place contestant lost 81 lbs in 3 months, the 2nd place contestant lost 70 lbs in the same amount of time! To this day, I've helped people lose over 5,000 pounds!!!! All in 2 years. Thanks so much. Maybe we can work together on a project some day? I admire your simplistic approach that works so well.


Matt Hackney, CFNS
Personal Trainer
Working with Lisa and Lucho reminds me of the quote in the Talmud, "Over every blade of grass there is an angel whispering, grow, grow, grow. "

Every workout session, I see their smiling faces and hear their voices urging me to "go, go, go!"  Thank you for putting me on the path to the best health and fitness I've experienced in my adult life ... and I'm 51!

Debbie Phillips, Executive and Life Coach
Martha's Vineyard, MA

Vitamin B12: Does it really increase energy & help you lose weight?

The simple answer as far as increasing our energy, is yes, due mainly to the fact that more and more Americans are deficient in Vitamin B12. There is not a solid body of evidence supporting the idea B12 helps you lose weight, but it may help if you are deficient in B12, as deficiencies have been shown to cause fatigue as well as a reduced rate of metabolism.

Vitamin B12, or Cobalamin, is the largest and most complex vitamin we’ve isolated and studied. Deficiencies may lead to pernicious anemia, poor appetite, failure to thrive (growth failure in children), tiredness and reduced energy, nervousness, depression, sleep disorders, changes in mood, and more.

Here’s a little background. Your body depends on vitamin B12 for a multitude of functions:

  • It helps maintain normal energy levels
  • It is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats
  • It supports alertness, and other neurological activity
  • It works with homocysteine levels for healthy heart function
  • It reduces stress and may promote sleep
  • It is involved in optimum immune function

Vitamin B12 is necessary for carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. It helps in the formation and regeneration of red blood cells, which is how it helps prevent anemia. B12 maintains a healthy nervous system; promotes growth in children; and increases energy. Not available in plants, this vitamin is found in animal sources including beef, liver, blue cheese, eggs, fish, milk, and milk products.

Because Vitamin B12 is only found in animal sources, vegans are especially prone to B12 deficiency, as they depend on plants for all their nutrients. (I suggest foods fortified with B12 for my clients who are vegans: some breakfast cereals and plant milks.)

The natural process of aging, or getting older, causes there to be less available B12 in your blood. This is due to the lining of your stomach gradually losing its ability to produce hydrochloric acid, necessary to release vitamin B12 from your food.

There are other contributing factors to our reduced B12 status. Popping antacids such as Tums, or taking anti-ulcer drugs that lower stomach acid secretion will reduce the ability to absorb vitamin B12.

Another cause of reduced B12 levels in some people is “food-cobalamin malabsorption syndrome.” This can happen when the stomach lining loses its ability to create intrinsic factor, which is a protein that binds to B12 so that it can be absorbed in the small intestine. Often, patients that undergo gastric bypass surgery lose their ability to make intrinsic factor as it is made in the lower part of the stomach, which is often removed in such surgeries.

Very low B12 intakes and/or the inability to absorb B12 (such as seen in the two cases stated above), can cause anemia and nervous system damage.

So, I usually recommend vegans, anyone suspecting B12 deficiency, and all folks over 60, to take a supplement of B12. It is important to take at least 10 mcgs per day, (it is a water soluble nutrient, so taking more has little downside risk). Also, at the same time, take a good Vitamin B-complex, as it is important to supplement all of the B vitamins together -they are integrative in their processes. An over-consumption of one B vitamin can counterbalance the others.

So, the bottom line is: While B12 may not be the universal magical energy-panacea I often see claimed, a deficiency of this nutrient certainly needs to be ruled out. And it may just be exactly what you need!

By now you know that we do not believe in the one-size-fits-all approach to anything. Try supplementing with B12 and see what difference(s), if any, you feel. Note that it takes quite some time to become B12 deficient, so if after a month or so of taking the product, you go off of it and you notice no difference in energy, overall well being, etc. it may not mean that you did not need to supplement, it just may be that you have not been off of the supplement long enough to become deficient.  However, if you notice a marked difference, chances are you may have been one of the many who is deficient in this vitamin.

Resources and Links:

  1. “Are vitamin B-12 injections helpful for weight loss?“ http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-b12-injections/AN01400
  2. Foods high in B12: http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/foods-high-in-vitamin-B12.php
  3. National Institutes of Health: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitaminb12/
  4. Wikipedia: B12: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B12
  5. B12 Studies: www.Medscape.com http://search.medscape.com/news-search?newSearchHeader=1&queryText=B12

© 2012 Lucho Crisalle, CEO, Exercise & Nutrition Works, Inc.

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