ReNew Life Las Vegas: a 6-Month Life Changing Program
By Crystal Petrello
Las Vegas Informer
I sent out a press release a few months ago titled Fat Broke and Feel nearly Dead. It detailed a new fitness pilot program for underserved individuals. The first group was chosen and the life changing program ReNew Life Las Vegas has begun! This week, Iyan Breese CPT and I (Crystal Petrello MS, RD) entered into a 6-month life changing commitment with four deserving Las Vegans. Starting on a Saturday morning we weighed-in at local restaurant the Heart Attack Grill, which features an industrial scale necessary for larger-than-usual weight measurements. The group totaled about a half a ton! The participants proceeded to the Professional Fitness Institute (“PFI” at South Pecos Road and East Tropicana) for measurements, fitness tests, and preliminary paperwork. BodPod Las Vegas joined us and donated sessions to all participants. They all got a chance in the BodPod capsule to determine their body fat percentage and resting metabolic rate (RMR). It was a long day, but the group was ready for the first week of training ahead.
For six days, or Week One in our program, the group trained with Iyan. It was a 6 a.m. show time. Talk about motivation! Also during this first week, I met with them for their first nutrition education and counseling session. Using the RMR numbers from BodPod, I created a nutrition profile for each of the participants. The group was stunned to find out how much they were allowed and encouraged to eat. They discussed how this correlated to popular fad diets and misleading food marketing they have battled with their whole lives. I then showcased how they can build their meals with the proper amount of carbohydrates, fat, and protein while focusing primarily on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Wine-Trax donated beautiful food plates to everyone as a tool to help visualize proper food portions. The group will be keeping food diaries for the next two weeks using the plates, weighing their food, and measuring portions. The purpose of this process is to recognize how healthy serving sizes look on the plate. The goal for their balanced nutrition will consist of three meals and at least two snacks a day! Again, it was more food than they thought they’d get to eat.
Continue watching the Informer in the next six months to see Melissa, Pamela, Reginald and Karen’s challenges, triumphs and changes. You might get inspired too!
Crystal Petrello, MS, RD, completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Dietetics and internship program at The Ohio State University. She served in the Air National Guard while completing her Bachelor’s degree. She earned her Master’s Degree in Community Nutrition and Health at Ohio University where she conducted research in the associations with fruit and vegetable consumption, perception of health and food security.
Crystal is the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine’sspokesperson for Las Vegas and the Nevada Dietetic Association. She co-authored, But I’m Hungry, a book about the body’s response to hunger and how to lose weight without depriving yourself. She is also the expert nutrition writer for Element Fitness Magazine, Las Vegas’ premier fitness and MMA magazine. Crystal blogs about health and wellness in Las Vegas at Vegas Vitality Nutrition. She owns Crystal Clear Wellness and Nutrition (www.CrystalClearNutrition.com) a private consulting firm specializing in helping small businesses with wellness programs, private dietary consultations, nutrition evaluation of recipes and menus, and product development.
With her love for the community and passion for food security, Crystal volunteers her time at Las Vegas Rescue Mission. Crystal has created a training and menu guidance system. The system has assisted volunteers and residents offer optimal nutrition in an ever changing food pantry supply.