How to Stay on Your Recovery Path Through the Holidays

Have you faced an illness or injury in the past year?

Perhaps your habits have changed to help your body heal and recover. Drinking more water, getting better sleep, focusing on more nutritious foods, limiting alcohol, or losing weight may have been on your list.

What happens when the holidays come? Often people toss out all their healthy habits and plan to start again in the New Year. The problem with this plan is that you often end up back nearly where you started and back when you started you wished you were where you are now.

I am not going to tell you to say no to the pie or skip your favorite stuffing. Enjoying your favorite foods on a holiday or at a few pre holiday events is not going to negate the progress you made. What is going to make a difference is being consistent on all the other days.

As the holiday season quickly approaches, here are three sustainable habits that keep me on track with my goals but also give me freedom to enjoy the food and festivities on holidays.

  1. Stay Consistent – Whether your healthy routine includes morning stretches, nightly foam rolling, weekly check ins with a coach, or physical therapy sessions don’t stop now. Look at your weekly schedule and be sure you leave time to continue these important activities. You don’t need to add in anything extreme but don’t quit on the things that are most important.
  2. Stay Moving – Make exercise or movement a priority. A 20 minute workout will boost endorphins to beat the winter blues, a yoga session will relieve holiday stress, and a short 10 walk after a meal lowers blood sugar after a heavy meal. Don’t forget that the little things like choosing a space at the far end of the parking lot or raking leaves counts as movement.
  3. Stay Fueled – Nourishing your body well always makes a difference. Especially prioritize protein to keep you feeling satisfied and less likely to overindulge. Starting the day with a protein shake is a great way to set yourself up for success. Of course you will enjoy holiday treats at parties and special occasions, but that is not an excuse to live on junk for the next 6 weeks or more!

Whether you have successfully met your health goals this year or if you still have a ways to go to be where you want to be, these are simple strategies that can help keep you moving in the right direction through the holidays and beyond. At Peak Potential, we have experts that can help you on your journey.

10 Most Effective Ways to Get the Protein Your Body Needs


Every person’s body is different and there is no “one size fits all” meal plan that will give everyone the results they desire. This is due to genetics (the body’s blueprint), epigenetics (how well our lifestyle choices followed this blueprint), your microbiome (the bacteria living in your gut), and so much more.

That isn’t even taking into account what your goal actually is – weight loss, muscle gain, injury recovery, athletic performance, overcoming a health obstacle, or just healthy aging.

I can tell you across the board, when a client comes to me with any of the above goals, their body generally needs more protein than what they are currently getting. We discussed this more in the post How Can Protein Improve Your Health & Recovery?

When it comes to protein, our consumption is most effected by epigenetics and our microbiome. We may not be getting enough because of the amount we consume, the type we consume, or our bodies ability to break it down into usable forms.

When we miss the mark on any of these the result in difficulty healing from an injury, recovering from a workout, balancing hormones, maintaining a healthy body weight and energy. But, it’s not just about downing huge protein shakes and “meeting our macros” for the day. We now no thought it’s not what we eat but what our body absorbs that counts.

Here are 10 tips to ensure that you consume AND your body actually absorbs enough protein to keep you strong and healthy.

  1. Space out Your Intake – The body can only process so much protein at a time. Instead of trying to get all your protein needs met at one meal or in a massive shake, space out protein consumption to 3-4 servings throughout the day.
  2. Limit Liquids at Meal Time – Digestive enzymes in the stomach help the body break down protein into amino acids that are absorbed into the body. Too much liquid with our meals dilutes these enzymes and they aren’t able to do their job. Don’t forget to drink plenty throughout other parts of the day.
  3. Take Digestive Enzymes – After about the age of 35 our body slows down the production of enzymes – and continues to decline with age. Supplemental digestive enzymes are taken in a capsule form before meals in order to help break down of proteins when our body doesn’t do it well on it’s own.
  4. Start Your Day with Protein – It’s important that your first meal of the day contains a full serving of protein (at leas 20 grams). This will fire up your metabolism and help you feel full and satisfied.
  5. Check Your Shakes – Not all protein shakes are equal. Grass fed whey protein is most easy to absorb. If you choose vegan, the protein must come from a variety of sources to get all the essential amino acids. Read more on protein shakes . . . Don’t Make These Shake and Smoothie Mistakes
  6. Eat More Fish and Eggs – Making eggs and fish part of your meal plan more often allow you to increase protein while also getting in hormone healthy fats and brain boosting nutrients.
  7. Focus on Animal Proteins – Proteins from animals are most readily absorbed by the body. When you eat 20 grams of protein from eggs or chicken, your body can use more of that protein than if you ate 20 grams from beans or grains. You can meet protein goals as a vegetarian, but it is more challenging.
  8. Add in Plant Based Proteins – Plant proteins like beans, quinoa, nuts, and seeds are great to boost your daily protein intake. Add pumpkin seeds to your salad, spread almond butter on your apple, enjoy lentils in your soup, or have a side of peas.
  9. Snack on Protein – Typical snacks like chips and pretzels aren’t going to help you meet your daily protein goals. Choose snacks like cheese, hummus, clean jerky, Greek yogurt, or pumpkin seeds and your protein grams will start adding up quickly for the day.
  10. Don’t Fall for Marketing Gimmicks – Marketers know that “protein” is a popular buzzword and will add to almost anything to sell a product. Check labels on protein bars, cereals, and the like to be sure that you aren’t getting more added sugar and chemicals than you are actually high quality protein.

Now you are ready to tackle the day by getting more protein to the parts of your body that need it most. However, you may be wondering about carbohydrates and fats.

When it comes to these other macronutrients, how much we need, how effectively our body uses it, how readily our body stores it, and the best food choices for each is most highly dependent on genetics.

For example, some of us easily use carbohydrates for energy and feel amazing when grains and fruit fill our plate. Others of us more readily store carbohydrates as body fat and have an exaggerated insulin response. This leaves us feeling sluggish and drained when we consume a high carbohydrate meal.

As a nutrition specialist and health coach, I utilize nutritional genetic testing to identify how each individual’s body responds to carbohydrates and fats, then we add protein in according to current lifestyle and health goals. This testing takes the guess work out of nutrition and allows us to completely personalize a plan that allows you to optimize your health and thrive for a lifetime.

It’s like we have been trying to build this house (our body) without ever seeing the blueprint. Genetic testing is the blueprint that allows us to take the next best steps. If you are interested to see if this may benefit you on your health and wellness journey, click the link below to request a call from our Nutrition Specialist.

Navigating Infertility and Optimizing Reproductive Health

Today we are pleased to share with you an interview with Dr. Amelia Bailey. She gives us expert guidance on optimizing reproductive health and navigating infertility. We discuss everything from where to start on your journey to conception, when to seek help, and what that path may look like.

Dr. Bailey is the Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery at Fertility Associates of Memphis and board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She is passionate about her mission and helping families in our community.

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Solutions For Your Jaw Pain & Tension

The top searched physical therapy topic over the past few months is jaw pain and tension headaches. It was obvious I needed to chat with an expert on the topic. I called upon my colleague Elena Yanes, who has researched this topic and worked with other highly esteemed professionals in this area.

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Resolutions for Your Health That Actually Stick with Trainer Josh Robinson

Personal trainer Josh Robinson of Josh Strong Fitness gives us practical tips, a mindset shift, and real-life experience for setting health goals that will are achievable and sustainable.

This great conversation will get you ready to make health and fitness goals for 2020. We cover topics including:

  • How to regroup if you didn’t meet your fitness goals in 2019

  • How to set attainable health goals

  • The #1 biggest mistake Josh sees clients make when it comes to New Year’s fitness

  • How to meet your goals WITHOUT being miserable

You can find more from Josh on social media @joshstrongfitness. I have never seen someone be so real when he goes live each day with valuable information to share.

Enjoy this one and let us know @peakpotentialpt how we can help you make 2020 your Best Year Ever!

Pharmacology and Running: When Movement Beats Medicine with Dr. Jana Stader


Today we have Dr. Jana Stader, PharmD here to discuss how to see your pharmacist as a coach on your healthcare team and how she practices what she preaches as a running coach a well.

You will learn:

  • How your pharmacist should be an active member of your healthcare team

  • Why your pharmacist actually does’t want you to be on a long list of medications

  • How lifestyle factors contribute to your health to minimize your medication list

  • Why Dr. Stader chooses to make a running an integral part of her healthy lifestyle

  • How running could help you build community, confidence, and lifelong health

To learn more about Jana, hang out with her on Instagram @rx2run.

To learn more about living a healthy lifestyle and for free resources to help you along the way follow Peak Potential on Facebook and @peakpotentialpt on Instagram.

For individualized health advice, contact our host and health coach [email protected]

Functional Medicine Fact vs. Fiction


This month on A Healthier Mid South, we have Kate Gassaway a board certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner and earned both her RN and MSN from University of Memphis. She entered the healthcare through a conventional family practice hoping for the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.

The more time she spent cycling patients through the practice and writing prescriptions, the more she felt that she was simply treating symptoms and not finding the root cause of her patient’s illnesses. This drove Kate to open Solutions Medical where each and every patient can receive the personal care they need.  It has grown to be a “one stop shop” where patient’s can look and feel their best and where functional medicine works alongside advanced aesthetics.

In today’s interview you will learn:

  • What is functional medicine?

  • Debunk myths about conventional medicine.

  • Why you might want a functional practitioner on your healthcare team?

To learn more about Kate Gassaway and Solutions Medical you can visit them at

For more information on Functional Medicine you can visit the Institute for Functional Medicine at  or Functional Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic