Pilates Instructor


Ellye has a degree in health and human science from Loyola Marymount University and has maintained a private pilates & yoga practice in Los Angeles for 8 years. 



The only thing you might need for this Pilates Mat Flow workout is a mat.





Ellye’s goal in life is to be a mood hacker and make each day and every situation a little more fun. Movement has always served as a pathway to empowerment, confidence and self awareness so she loves to spread that with clients, students, and friends. Ellye has a degree in health and human science from Loyola Marymount University and has maintained a private pilates & yoga practice in Los Angeles for 8 years. 


or is it Yoga AND Pilates?





  Let’s start answering this question by asking another question…  


Did you know sugar makes up the backbone of our DNA?


Sugar helps power our cells, store energy for later. Plants convert sunlight into sugar. We convert sugar into fuel.



We are ALL married to our opinion about sugar. Let’s have an open mind for the next 5 minutes… deal?


Ok, here we go.




Sugar does not look just one way (white stuff we put in baked pastries),





  • glucose

  • fructose

  • sucrose, aka table sugar (which is glucose + fructose)

  • maltose (which is glucose + glucose)

  • galactose

  • lactose (galactose + glucose, found in dairy)








SUGARS fall under the big umbrella that is CARBOHYDRATES. Sugars are made of simple molecules, hence they digest fast. STARCHES and FIBER (two other types of CARBOHYDRATES) are more complex, so they take longer to digest (which is why eating food high in fiber will keep you feeling fuller longer).


Sugars are a type of CARB, but not ALL carbs are sugars. Different types of carbs do different things in our bodies.


“Sugar tastes good to us, because in nature, sweet foods like fruits are often full of good stuff like vitamins, minerals, and energy…. Some of us like and seek out sugar more than others. This may be genetic. Or we may have learned it as we grew up. Or both.”


The concept of  too much sugar is different for everyone. Some love it a lot, some can only do a bite of a sweet dessert.




Is there a relationship between Sugar Intake and Obesity?


We can’t say that sugar alone is singlehandedly responsible for obesity. But sugar did seem to go hand in hand with the rise of obesity in America… until now!


Per year, the average American consumed:

  • 6 lbs (2.7 kg) of sugar in 1822.

  • 40 lbs (18.1 kg) in 1900.

  • 90 lbs (40.8 kg) by the 1920s.

  • There was a subsequent drop due to the Great Recession & World War II.

  • 90 lbs per person again by the 1980s.

  • 108 lbs (49 kg) of sugar per person per year by 1999.


However, between 1999 and 2013, sugar intake dropped by 18%-22% (back to 1987 levels). Carbohydrate intake has also dropped since the Low-Carb Diet Fad. Nevertheless, obesity has continued to climb.







“Bottom line here: No single thing — including sugar — causes obesity.

Many factors work together to contribute to a consistent energy (calorie) surplus, which ultimately leads to fat gain. One of those things is often sugar, but not always, and not alone.”


You can read the whole article about the whole study HERE. It’s quite fascinating. But for the sake of keeping this Nutritional Challenge Read short, here’s the result: 


“Sugar, carbohydrate intake, and/or insulin aloneprobably aren’t the main drivers of weight gain.”


Okay, sugars aren’t the main drivers of weight gain. The body is complex and everyone is so different. But does sugar play any role?



Sweet food may increase the amount of calories you are consuming daily, possibly leading to a surplus (you are consuming more energy than you are spending).


The World Health Organization investigated how sugar affected fat gain in 2013.

“It found that increasing sugar intake can increase body weight, and lowering sugar intake can decrease body weight… but only by changing energy balance, not by any physiological or metabolic effect of sugar itself.

In other words, if we eat more sugary foods, we might be eating more (calories) overall.

Sweet foods are often processed and highly palatable. This is especially true because most high-sugar foods are refined, tasty, and hard to stop eating. We digest and absorb the energy they contain quickly and easily, they overstimulate the reward/pleasure centers in our brain, and we tend to overeat them.”


So it goes back to what we discover on Day 2 of this Challenge. It’s a brain thing. It’s not the act of eating, but the act of stopping ourselves.


“Sugar alone does not explain the complexity of our bodies’ health, function, fat percentage, nor weight. Metabolism is complicated.”


What about Diabetes? 

Overall, research does suggest that a high intake of all sugar (including fructose) might slightly increase risk of diabetes development by itself. But then again most of this risk is due to excess sugar intake leading to excess calorie intake, which leads to increased body fat (which leads to inflammation, and ultimately insulin resistance).


“An absolutely immense amount of research consistently and strongly indicates that the main causes of diabetes are:

  • excess body fat,

  • inadequate physical activity, and

  • genetic predisposition.”



What about Cardiovascular Diseases?


"Consuming a surplus in calories leads to increased body fat. More body fat definitely increases your risk of having a cardiovascular disease.

So eating a lot of sugar can certainly play a role.

But cardiovascular disease, as with other metabolic diseases, is complex.

It’s not just one thing.

It’s all the things."





So it’s OK for me to eat Sugar! It doesn’t hurt me, right?


Well, do you want to offer your body nutrients that will give you optimum health, or you just want to tell your growling stomach or loud mind to be quiet and eat?

“Sugar is NOT a health food.

It doesn’t nourish us.

It doesn’t add a lot of nutrient value: It doesn’t give us any vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, fiber, or water.

Eating a lot of sugar doesn’t make our bodies better, stronger, healthier, or more functional.

Sugar doesn’t add value, certainly not when compared to other foods or macronutrients like protein or omega-3 fatty acids.”




Let’s sum up what the science suggests:

  • Sugars are basic biological molecules that our bodies use in many ways.

  • Each person’s response to sugar (whether physiological or behavioral) will be a little different. This goes for carbohydrates in general too.

  • Sugar is not a health food. But sugar alone doesn’t necessarily cause most chronic health problems like diabetes or cardiovascular diseases, which are multifactorial.

  • Sugar is energy dense. If eaten in excess (like most foods), sugar can contribute to weight / fat gain.

  • This weight / fat gain is probably mostly from the extra calories, not some special properties of sugars (or carbohydrates in general, or insulin).

  • Some people find it hard to stop eating sugar / sweet foods. This may also contribute to weight / fat gain — again, because of the extra energy intake.

  • We likely eat more sugar than we realize, since it’s hidden in so many food products.




So now what? Are you going to tell me to cut sugar? Or are you going to tell me that eating sugar is ok?


We are going to tell you neither.  There is a no size fits all formula for all. If you want to hear the general "rule", then 10% of your calorie intake can come from SUGARS.

But here's what we really want to tell you, or rather, ask you:

  • Do you take notice of how much you’re consuming daily?

  • Do you know how much your body needs you to be consuming daily?

  • Do you think you’re giving your body the exact energy it needs? Or do you think you’re giving it too little? Too much?

Much like therapy, the answers must come from you. Why? Because you know yourself best.


We challenged you on Day 2 to consume MORE WHOLE FOODS. If you’ve been doing that, that has most likely left less room for the NOT WHOLE FOODS, has it not?  One problem begins to take care of the other.



  So here’s the challenge of the day:  


  How much room do you want to give SUGARS in your life?  

You have to fill your tank. Your tank can and should only take in so many gallons. You have to give your body the proteins, fats and carbs it needs to function and thrive. Rememeber, it isn't just about energy. Where, or which foods, to you think you'll get more bang for your buck?

I even think of it like a party. I can invite 50 guests. How many of those guests do I want it to be the guests who come in and are so fun to hang out with, the life of the party, but they may make the house dirty and just up and leave; and how many of those guests do I want to be the guests who come in with a gift on their hand, help me clean up, even make some house repairs I may need, and whose company I enjoy?

We love both types of guests, and sometimes your answer might change, depending on what's going on in your life. and that's totally ok!

You just need to understand what you’re bringing into your life and what’s their purpose. How are they serving you, helping you thrive?

The body is complex so no ONE THING is to blame for a problem. But every good thing helps!



What do you want?




Adapted and Quotes from "The surprising truth about sugar." by By Brian St. Pierre, M.S., RD, CSCS and Krista Scott-Dixon, Ph.D.


on completing today's challenge!

We are impressed!


Being committed to this healthy-living and body-honoring challenge makes you a badass in our book! We'll see you tomorrow!

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