An Interview with Jessica Hope Restrepo

This week nutritionist and Pilates studio co-owner, Jessica Hope Restrepo, owner of TONE Pilates and Wellness Studio in Astoria, NY, lets us in on some secrets about nutrition and losing weight!  She has been advising and training men and women in both NYC and LA for many years now and is known for getting results.  So what has her experience and training taught her?  Let's check it out:


Q. Where did you go to study/get certified in nutrition?

A. I studied at the Integrative Institute for Nutrition.  I am a Certified Holistic Coach and a member of the American Association for Drugless Practitioners. 


Q. Carbs. Should we stay away from them or are they good for us? 

A. The school where I studied taught the 90/10. 90% of the time you are eating cleanly (whole unprocessed foods); 10% you are breaking the rules a little. It comes down to bio-individuality. It means one specific type of diet isn't right for every person. There’s no one-size-fits-all diet –each person is a unique individual with highly individualized nutritional requirements. Personal differences in anatomy, metabolism, body composition and cell structure all influence your overall health and the foods that make you feel your best.  I really don’t believe in depriving yourself of carbs and we all need carbohydrates for a balanced diet. Remember vegetables have carbs and you wouldn’t want to cut that out. :) 


Q. Right now there's a lot of debate about the health benefits of being vegan. What are your views on meat and dairy? 

A. I think it goes back to what you, as an individual, feel is good for your body. There are many people who can't process dairy or have adverse reactions to meat. I believe if you are not eating meat or dairy you need to take measures to make sure you are not deficient in vitamins like B-12, Vitamin D, Iron, Omega-3 and DHA. Only you can make the choice for yourself.


Q. To cleanse or not to cleanse? ( in food cleanse, juice cleanse, any cleanse) 

A. Hmmmm..In my opinion, cleansing is a very personal decision. No one can tell you to do it. You have to REALLY crave a cleanse. Almost everyone's diet could stand some improvement. Doing so is a conscious, ongoing commitment. I think better than a cleanse is eating a plant based diet, rich in fruit and vegetables. That’s the better way to go. 


 Q. Favorite post workout snack?  Is it good to eat before and after you workout or should you hold off?  

A. Eating 30-60 minutes before a workout is usually a good time frame, however it really depends on the individual.  An apple with a little peanut butter, almond butter, a handful of dried fruit, some greek yogurt and trail mix are good pre-workout snacks. My favorite post-workout shake is a Green Monster Smoothie.  (Check out recipe below!!)


Q. What type of diet do you recommend for someone who is trying to lose weight? 

A. I don’t like to think of it as a diet, more of a lifestyle. Eating cleanly, (cutting out processed foods, eating as much whole foods as possible) and exercising are key to creating lifestyle changes. Diets don’t last and will not create long-term results.  Everyone has a calorie budget, whether you're trying to maintain your weight or lose a few pounds. I've found that people ignore this simple fact. Your calorie budget allows you to build a healthy diet, and it helps prevent frustration about weight control.  Try planning meals, stop drinking your calories, and as always, exercise. You won’t lose weight overnight. Well, you could lose weight quickly, but you don’t want to — it’ll come back just as quickly. What you want is gradual weight loss that stays lost.


Q. Above all else, what one thing will help to shed those unwanted pounds?

AThe best way to get yourself on track is to become accountable. A food diary is the best way to see what you are actually ingesting as far as calories. Once you actually see what you are eating you will be more aware and you can make better decisions as most times we eat mindlessly. You can download an app on your smart phone, like Lose It or My Fitness Pal to help out. They are wonderful because you can enter goals and exercises to see an entire picture of your day. They will keep account of your calories and help you learn what an entire day of food could look like for you.


Q. What piece of advice do you wish every client knew?

A. You are stronger and more beautiful than you think you are.  You are your own worst critic and way too hard on yourself.  Negativity can only keep you down; enjoy the ride!!  Confidence is everything!


Jessica's Green Monster Smoothie

 4 cups spinach and kale

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

1 cup almond milk

1 banana

1 tablespoon peanut butter


Directions:  Combine all ingredients in a blender and add ice.  Blend until creamy.