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1003 Diamond Ave
South Pasadena, CA, 91030
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Nerd-Trition BLOG

Fit-Fax is Growing to Meet Your Needs!

Sarah Lynn Baird

Accountability is one of the most significant factors in lifestyle change. Our mission is to help our clients optimize their health. We do that by providing structure, accountability, and both subjective and objective feedback loops. 

Our new coaches were chosen based on their ability to connect, guide, and identify limiting belief systems. However, the one connecting thread our team shares is "struggle". Everyone has climbed a mountain of some sort and recognizes the significance of support.


We have expanded our team to:

  • provide more hours for our clients and

  • offer a diverse team that can serve different needs/personalities


We are passionate about what we do and about your personal transformation, so we understand the importance of accountability. Having 1-2 coaches available to serve our clients ensures that life's hiccups won’t interrupt your personal journey with us.

The bigger team and support will also allow Sarah-Lynn to do what she does best - research and build new systems to help you thrive!


We'd like to introduce you to the new wonderful faces of Fit-Fax! They can’t wait to go on this amazing journey of self-growth and transformation with you!

FitFAX_Staff-1-2-Karen Hames.jpg


Karen grew up obese, reaching 275 lbs at age 12. She understands first hand that lifestyle change is not always enough if you have metabolic disease. Five years after embarking on her nutritional quest, Karen is 80 pounds lighter, healthier than ever, and ready to share her knowledge.

Karen specializes in ketogenic/LCHF lifestyles but does not champion this strategy for everyone. She approaches each client as an individual and is committed to helping coach her clients to success.

FitFAX_Staff-14-Daniela Sarmina.jpg


One of our homegrown success stories! As a Latina of Mexican descent, Daniela understands that our relationship with food and our body are often rooted in our own cultures. She is excited to explore this relationship with clients to create tailored and effective plans of action that will help them reach their health goals.

Daniela habla español y tiene una gran pasión por trabajar con variedad de personas.

FitFAX_Staff-13-2-Alex Handy.jpg


Another one of our homegrown success stories! Alex has a degree in Civil Engineering and spent much of his adult life struggling with his relationship with nutrition and fitness. It was at Fit-Fax that he learned the tools he needed to reshape his relationship with nutrition and he cannot wait to support and share what he has learnt with you.

FitFAX_Staff-3-Celene Lyddon.jpg


Celene has a passion for healthy living which was a result of her journey of disordered eating in college. Her recovery inspires her to help women heal their relationship with food and encourage self-love.

Celene subscribes to the philosophy of bio-individuality, where there isn’t one specific way of eating that will work universally - every person has their own set of nutritional needs.

IMG_0763- Rob Hoflund.jpg


Growing up, Rob Hoflund trained to be a professional tennis player. 3 years ago, he tore everything in his knee during a recreational game.

Rob had to wait a year after this injury to get surgery.It was during this most painful and physically limiting year of his life, he got into the best shape of his life. It took Rob 17 days after surgery to get back into fitness and he has not stopped ever since!

FitFAX_Staff-10-2-Eryn Kalavsky.jpg


Eryn specializes in the practical implementation of wellness strategies in the home. As a mother of two, she has found a passion in meal planning, prep and kitchen organization. She has seen firsthand how it can have a great impact on personal body composition, overall family wellness, and how it can create more time for the more important everyday moments in life.

FitFAX_Staff-9-Janet Strauss.jpg


Janet comes to Fit-Fax with her own personal transformation success story. She was able to lose 30 pounds in 9 months. Janet believes that anything is possible, but lasting change occurs only via a supportive, gentle, and holistic approach to body transformation.

She believes that ultimately, to enjoy the journey you need to have a healthy dose of fun to make it a lifestyle change.

FitFAX_Staff-11-Ingri Pauline.jpg


Ingri Pauline has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. She has worked in the fitness industry for 12 years as an athlete, a physical therapy trainer, a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, a specialized aquatic instructor and a CrossFit coach. She holds a Precision Nutrition Certification and CrossFit Level 2 Trainer certificate.

In addition to exercise and nutrition, she specializes in recovery and self-care techniques that promote more awareness and sensitivity to the body’s needs.

FitFAX_Staff-8-Susanne Wright Nava.jpg


Susanne has a positive and contagious enthusiasm and is one of our homegrown success stories! She came to FitFax in the summer of 2016. Through customized nutrition and weekly accountability sessions, she lost over 70 lbs in ten months, and she has kept it off almost a year.

As a mother of two children and a full-time graduate student, she understands the challenges of self-care during stressful times. She wears many hats and understands the mindset necessary to transform lifestyle habits.

FitFAX_Staff-7-Lu Lu.jpg

And finally… Meet Lu Lu!

Lu Lu is our resident service dog. She is half human and offers emotional support and hugs to all clients, staff, and guests.

Welcome to the Fit-Fax family!

Broccoli Sprouts and Gratitude

Sarah Lynn Baird

This week we watched Dr. Rhonda Patrick discuss the benefits of eating cruciferous vegetables. She inspired us to start growing our own broccoli sprouts under the sink! It is surprisingly easy to execute, and in one week, you will have sprouts growing out of your ears!

Here is the WHY:  Cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolate (which is really good for your health) and broccoli sprouts have an insane amount — about 10 to 100 times more than most cruciferous vegetables!

Sulforaphane (part of the glucosinolate family) is especially potent. The video below details many of the suggested benefits of consuming broccoli sprouts! 

 Try adding in 1 cup of sprouts/day to a smoothie, frittata, or salad.


"Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy." Dietrich Bonhoeffer

For clients struggling with seeing the beauty in their lives, we recommend keeping a gratitude journal. It can be as simple as waking, going outside, and jotting down five beautiful observations in your yard. This simple task helps orient the brain to the beauty around us we often take for granted.

Life is 99% perspective. We create our own stories from what we see, hear, touch, and integrate. Two people can watch the same event on a street corner and write completely disparate narratives...our mindset is our lens, and we can transform our mindset if we open ourselves to the beauty around us and breathe it in...

RECIPE - "The Big Ass Salad"

Mark Sisson, founder of Mark's Daily Apple , usually starts his day with a "Big Ass Salad" around noon. This meal is filled with omegas, avocado, colorful veggies, and nuts/seeds.

We encourage many of our clients to have one large salad per day with at least five veggie colors  and a variety of fats! Whether you are following a balanced macronutrient plan or a LCHF/Keto diet, this meal is perfect and can be amended for any food value!

Here are some creative fat ideas to add to your salad: sprouted nuts, macadamia nut oil, walnut oil, avocado oil, pumpkin seeds, smoked salmon, sardines, olives, avocado, pine nuts, shaved raw coconut, etc.


Sarah Lynn Baird

"There are two kinds of people in this world: those that self sabotage and those that deny they self-sabotage." JP Sears

Watch this video and ask yourself this question: where in my life does this shame cycle play out?


If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.
— Brene Brown


Nutrition is never "one size fits all", but many of us can benefit from increasing our EPA/DHA consumption. Please read All About Fish Oil from Precision Nutrition to understand the general benefits of taking an omega supplement.

Precision Nutrition recommends Thorne Research – Super EPA which is available on Amazon.

If you prefer vegetarian supplements, Purity Products makes a quality vegetarian Omega 3 • 6 • 9 supplement.


Create a menu for the week and then go shopping. Here are the main benefits:

  • Saves Money: you will save money by eating our less and buying only what you need for the week.
  • Saves Time: This eliminates choice so time in deliberation is reduced. 
  • Increases Adherence: Planning is key when trying to establish new food behaviors.


Zevia offers a full line of Stevia-sweetened sodas and mixers. Available at Sprouts and Whole Foods (find nearby stores here), this is a great alternative to regular and diet sodas!

Tip: Test out the flavors by buying individual cans from the grab and go refrigerated section!

  Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Intuitive Eating

Karen Hames

Gone are the days of calories in, calories out. Although the equation seems simple, researchers have uncovered far more variables that play a part in that equation. Mark Sisson helps refute some of the calorie misconceptions over on Mark's Daily Apple.

This oversimplified approach often misguides our clients and often leads to an overreliance on the numbers without paying attention to our own bodies. We are too busy worrying about the calories in a handful of nuts (200 calories for a handful?!) that we ignore the fact that we have a hunger-induced headache, which the nuts would resolve.

Many of you have heard us preach this before: eat when hungry, stop when 80% full. This is the basis of intuitive eating. Our goal is to shift your focus away from calorie counting so you can learn to listen to what your body is telling you. Your body has wisdom and it's worth listening.

The best way to listen to your body and learn how your body responds to food is to track how you feel after you eat. Pay attention to what you eat and check in with your body 30-60 minutes later. Do you feel bloated? Do you feel energized? Are you full? Do you have a headache? Are you calm? Are you anxious?

All of these feelings relate to the food you put in your body. You'll find the foods that are healthy for your body are those that make you feel good, energized, satiated. And you'll also realize which foods make you feel crummy, empty, wanting more - often the high sugar and processed foods. Mindful observation of how foods affect energy and mood often leads people to choose better foods for their body!

Intuitive eating is an active form of meditation. It forces you to check in with your body. The goal of meditation is to be in tune with your body and pay attention to what it's telling you, observing how you're feeling. That's why meditation is such an important gear of wellness; it syncs our mind with our body when our body is so often ignored. We have to give credence to our body and trust that it knows more than our mind understands. We need to retrain our brain to see, hear, and feel our body, and believe what it's telling us!

- Coach Karen


“Wellness is the compete integration of body, mind, and spirit – the realization that everything we do, think, feel, and believe has an effect on our state of well-being.”  Greg Anderson


As the weather keeps getting warmer, it's time for some cool, refreshing frozen treats. Check out this recipe for Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles!

  Photo courtesy of All Day I Dream About Food

Photo courtesy of All Day I Dream About Food


We are loving the 5-calorie Bai drinks sweetened with Stevia and packed with antioxidants. Available at Target and most grocery stores, you can get it with or without bubbles.

  Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of


If you are a science nerd and want to learn about the chemical and biological processes going on in our body, check out Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. If that sounds overwhelming, he as an easier to digest version called Why We Get Fat.

A Culture Shift

Sarah Lynn Baird

For the last two years, we have challenged popular opinion and even healthcare, trying to undo the misinformation so engrained in the minds of so many clients. The common perception is that a diet full of whole grains and low in fat will keep you healthy. A carbohydrate-rich diet combined with fat phobia is deeply entrenched in our culture. 

Unfortunately, as research continues to come to light (both new and old), it’s becoming clear that our biggest nutritional setback as a society is this low-fat mentality. When fat was taken out of our diet, food lost flavor. Big players in the food industry decided to replace that tasty fat with something else equally tasty: sugar. This led to an increase in highly processed carbohydrates and sugars in the American diet. 

What happened as processed carbs became our staple food? Disease skyrocketed: type II diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer, Alzheimer’s, among others. There are numerous studies that demonstrate a direct correlation between these dietary changes and increases in metabolic diseases. 

It is hard to undo 25 years of low-fat teaching in a single intake session with new clients. It is also hard to convince clients that reducing sugars & grains while increasing fats will be their panacea.

Many clients have abandoned ship after commencing their journey because they can't believe that "fat is your friend.” Furthermore, many clients have been confused when doctors told them to eat "whole grains" and "reduce fat.” Aren't doctors supposed to be experts? 

This has been an emotional week. After two years dedicated to changing our clients’ perception of macronutrients and overcoming fat phobia, we’re finally beginning to see a culture shift. Interest in “keto” has become exponentially more popular on Google Trends (read more from Peter Attia); Just this week, Whole Foods launched a Keto Diet section in their hot bar; and The Magic Pill, a documentary embracing fat as fuel to overcome disease, was released. These are small signs that our culture is catching up with research. 

In my own home, my kids and I sat down and discussed small ways we could increase fat in their diet and reduce refined carbohydrates. The kids had some great solutions including eating berries and cream instead of regular ice cream, and dipping tomatoes in guacamole instead of pita chips. There are endless ways to increase your fats in a delicious, nutritious way!

So, where do you stand? Have you embraced fat as a healthy, necessary source of fuel? 

- Coach Sarah Lynn and Coach Karen


"The beautiful part of good science is its self-correcting nature. The ugly part is this self-correcting nature often moves at a glacial pace—and it’s not linear."  Dr. Peter Attia


Fried chicken that's low carb? You bet! Check out this yummy recipe for Keto Fried Chicken made with crushed up pork rinds. Note: you can also make this with high-protein tofu!

  Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of


Check out the hot food bar at Whole Foods and pay special attention to the Keto Diet section!

 Low carb options are getting called out at Whole Foods

Low carb options are getting called out at Whole Foods


Make sure you watch The Magic Pill on Netflix. It pulls from the same wells we do: eat real food, eliminate sugar and grains, use food as medicine, run sustainable farms, eat local. Watch the trailer below. 


Thank you to all our beautiful clients who filled out our client survey and a big congratulations to all the winners! If you haven't filled out your information, please take some time to do that! We want to keep track of each of our clients as we continue to grow and evolve as a business.


Monika Orozco
Home Visit with Sarah Lynn to learn how to meal prep for the week

Sarah Jawaid
Grocery shopping trip with Sarah Lynn

Mariah Shields
Grocery shopping trip with Karen

Wanni Yu
Fit-Fax Plus 1 hour appointment for a friend

Carolyn Neuhausen
30 minute accountability session with Sarah Lynn or Karen

Lori Sheikh
15 minute accountability session with Karen


Sarah Lynn Baird

As your coaches, we strive to provide three things: structure, accountability, and feedback loops. Accountability is the master key to success. If you do not show up to your accountability sessions, you lose integral support to help work and move through your hurdles! It's like you're trying to balance a three-legged stool on just two legs. That is why we exist – we are here to help you navigate what is and, more importantly, what is not working. Our goal is to guide you through the challenges and get you back on the path toward success. Of course, we're also here to celebrate small triumphs and capitalize on positive change!


We have noticed a trend where clients cancel appointments whenever they feel they have fallen off the path. Part of this is due to busy morphing schedules, but a greater part has to do with shame. If people do not feel successful, they do not want to come in. Although we understand this deeply, we know it does not serve our clients to be able to “get out” of appointments!

To better support our clients and to add power to accountability sessions, we are introducing a new prepaid monthly model. All of our regular clients will be charged at the beginning of the month for their recurring accountability sessions. If you miss a session - that's your choice; you will still be charged for that appointment. (Don't worry, if you need to reschedule, we can accommodate that with at least 24 hours notice.)

We are excited to help our clients stay the course and reach their goals in a new way. Our hope is these prepaid sessions will give you more skin in the game, empowering you to be more successful! In May, our coaches will be discussing what plan and accountability method is best for you.

If you are a client who comes in less frequently for maintenance, this model will not apply.


"Commitment, belief and positive attitude are all important if you're going to be a success."  Donald Johanson


Fathead Pizza is a notorious low carb pizza recipe! Although there are variations, the crust has four ingredients and tastes much like “regular pizza.”

  Photo courtesy of WholesomeYum

Photo courtesy of WholesomeYum


You can purchase jicama tortillas at Whole Foods or learn to make them yourself with this video

 A great low carb option for tortillas!  Photo courtesy of

A great low carb option for tortillas! Photo courtesy of


One of our favorite books is Dr. Jason Fung’s Complete Guide to Fasting. This is an easy read that explains fasting science!

- Coach Sarah Lynn

Wellness Gears

Sarah Lynn Baird

Many of our clients come to us with chronic pain, inflammation, headaches, anxiety, and depression. Nutrition is usually the key gear that the client wants to optimize, but if we look at nutrition alone, we often fail at rewiring the system.

For example, if you are not sleeping well, it is going to be very difficult to make life-giving eating choices and/or change your body composition. If you are missing joy and play in your life, food can have amplified emotional value. If we do not address filling the void in new ways, it is unlikely that food habits will change.

We are a system and more than anything, we need pause and meditation to actually connect that food affects how we feel. When we start to observe how our bodies feel when we eat certain things, we make new connections in our brain. When new connections are made, we have different associations with certain foods. One client this week noted that she breaks out in a skin rash within 24 hours of eating sugar...maybe this has happened before, but now she is tuned in and paying attention.

Here is a photo of our wellness gear model. How are you doing in each of these areas? 



"When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself."  Tecumseh


Here is a yummy flaxseed meal pancake recipe! Flax is filled with healthy omegas. You can make 100 variations of these! My kids like it when I add blueberries!

  Photo courtesy of Slender Kitchen

Photo courtesy of Slender Kitchen


For those of you drinking fat in the morning, my clients love Fat Fuel Coffee for travel, convenience and TASTE! These packs come with ground coffee in them so all you need is hot water!

 Fat Fuel Coffee with 22 grams of fat!  Photo courtesy of

Fat Fuel Coffee with 22 grams of fat! Photo courtesy of


My FAVORITE blog is Dr. Peter Attia's Nerd Safari. Here is a great article on How you move defines how you live. We should all be focused on longevity!

- Coach Sarah Lynn

Welcome Message

Sarah Lynn Baird

Welcome to our Nerd-trition blog! We wanted to create a weekly package that highlighted recipes, research, and positive energy! Speaking of positive energy, I would like to formally welcome Karen Hames to our team. She grew up obese and after reaching almost 300 lbs at twelve, she embarked on a deep journey to understand how to transform her health. When I met Karen as a client, we both had our hands in similar wells.

We both believed that maintaining/transforming body composition is not as simple as "calories in/calories out". There are a host of other variables that affect how our bodies use and store energy! Here are some of our shared wells: 

Dr. Peter Attia/TED Talk: Is the Obesity Crisis Hiding a Bigger Problem?

Brian Johnson's Philosopher's Notes: Gary Taubes - 'Why We Get Fat' Book Summary

Dr. Sarah Hallberg: TEDX Purdue - 'Ignoring the Dietary Guidelines'

 Coach Karen and Coach Sarah Lynn

Coach Karen and Coach Sarah Lynn


"Concern yourself more with accepting responsibility than with assigning blame. Let the possibilities inspire you more than the obstacles discourage you."  Ralph Marston


This was a hit! As summer approaches, some of our nostalgic picnic foods can be upgraded. Remember: making your own mayo is ideal and using an olive-oil or avocado-oil based mayo is great! Avoid any product with canola oil, if possible!

Low Carb "Potato Salad" Made With Cauliflower


Ideally, we would be making all of our own food from whole ingredients, but sometimes, we need a "better" choice not the "ideal" choice. Here is a mayo I love: Primal Kitchen Mayo with avocado oil. It is available at Whole Foods ;)

 Primal Kitchen Mayo made with Avocado Oil

Primal Kitchen Mayo made with Avocado Oil


We are currently reading 'Mindset' by Dr. Carol Dweck, Ph.D.

There is so much wisdom in this book, but as a parent in a culture that generally tries to protect children from failure,  I was struck by the chapter on messages we communicate about failure through our action/words. By avoiding our child's immediate disappointment, we often cause more harm in the long run. 

If your child is participating in an individual tournament and does not place or receive a "prize" and you communicate, "well - I thought you were the did amazing - you should have won"... you run the risk of insincere messaging.

Your motive may be encouragement, but the child knows that he/she was not the 'best' and so your words are empty. The message is not, "how can you improve?" or how can I validate your feelings of disappointment? The message is denial and ultimately communicates that YOU are not comfortable with disappointment/failure and imperfections/not being on top/not being #1 is not Ok...

I apply these teachings in our the office. There is a fine line between insincere praise and shame. If a client does not prioritize all of their health goals (for any reason), our job is to both celebrate the positives and look honestly at the hurdles to come up with easy scaffolded steps to change the behavior/outcomes without getting stuck in the shame cycle, "I am so unworthy." "I suck." "I should move to Mars..."

Can we stay objective and observational without the inner critic casting hard blame and shame- throwing mud balls;)

Here is what positive self-talk looks like, "Ok self - you did not prioritize your health goals. What mindset or habit got in the way of executing? You had the intention of carrying a water bottle at work to increase daily hydration but you did not carry one at work. Do you need to read more about the importance of hydration to value the behavior? Can you schedule a water bottle fill-up in the morning at work on your task list? Do you need an app to track water?

This may seem like a trite example, but habit change is HARD. We have patterns and behaviors that are deeply ingrained in our psyche and many of us avoid change because we fear failure!  Changing behavior starts with intention and mindset. We are here to provide accountability but ultimately, you will only change habits when you ready. Part of being ready is embracing discomfort and the risk of falling and failing and having to get-up and try...try again!

If you are comfortable – you are not growing/expanding. Please know that we understand the difficulty of the journey and we are here to hold you up! You can not fail if you show up. If you have ever canceled an appointment out of fear of "not succeeding," you have missed the point of what we do! Please see us when you are down – we are here primarily to help you find your feet again!! 

- Coach Sarah Lynn