As far as current diets go, you’ve got your paleo, keto, Whole30 and many blends in between.
Some, like the paleo, are a return to eating habits before the advent of processed foods and grain cultivation; others, as in keto dieting, severely limit carbohydrates so that the body burns fat instead of carbohydrate calories.
But when it comes to diets, Corian and Dave Yandel are not fans. Co-owners of Harbor Park Crossfit, the couple prefers what they refer to as “sustainable nutrition.”
“The word ‘diet’ ends up meaning ‘temporary and boring,’” Corian said. “I use sustainable nutrition, which makes it OK with any of these lifestyles.”
For the Yandels, “sustainable” is a diet path that works long-term because it is tailored to individual body types, physical goals and energy levels.
“Typically smaller-framed, highly energetic people will benefit from higher carb, lower fats and those with a thicker frame and maybe a little less self-energetic will do better with higher fats and lower carbs,” says Corian.
The Yandels have been promoting paths to fitness and wellness for several years. Both are former Kenosha law enforcement officers.
“I found health and fitness in 2014 when I was in law enforcement. I was not treating my body very well; my lifestyle was high stress and always on the go,” Corian said.
Researching nutrition and wellness, Corian looked into paleo and zone diets before discovering nutrition as outlined by the Crossfit program and Optimum Wellness & Nutrition Health Coaching, a national fitness franchise.
Former sheriff’s deputy
A native of Kenosha, now a Racine resident, Corian, 33, was a deputy for the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department for seven years before leaving in June 2015. By August, she had opened her first Harbor Park Crossfit location at 3417 14th Ave.
Harbor Park Crossfit now includes two physical workout spaces (gyms) in Kenosha and Racine and nutritional counseling with Corian. Dave and Corian have a third business partner, Jason Yule.
Using virtual online meetings, Corian helps clients put together a personalized nutrition program through the franchise program Optimum Wellness & Nutrition Health Coaching.
The sustainable nutrition perspective is her own, says Corian. “It’s about understanding food and becoming educated about how it works with your body. Once you understand nutrition basics, you can make lifestyle choices that fit you and your goals,” she said.
“The objective is to ditch crash diets and find a healthy lifestyle to maximize your quality of life,” she said.
Former police officer
Dave got on board at Crossfit in 2016, after serving as a Kenosha police officer for 10 years.
Health and wellness have been a lifelong personal mission, says the 36-year-old Dave.
“High cholesterol and heart disease runs in my family, so I was always active in sports and the gym from a young age. Crossfit gave me a new avenue to enjoy fitness and brought me new exercises and ideas to work with to maintain that health and fitness.”
As he has become involved with Crossfit, Dave too has dived deep into helping promote nutritional education.
“I enjoy cooking and have always thought that real food made me feel my best,” he said.
Dave offers nutrition tips, recipes and food prep in YouTube videos titled “Sundays in the Kitchen with Coach Dave.”
The videos are short snapshots of the possibilities of eating healthy foods, says Dave.
The video segments include demonstrations for dishes such as Mahi Mahi Avocado Salad, slow cooker chili and “easy breakfast egg cupcakes.”
“I would describe (the videos) as fun, easy and delicious! I like to make meals that anyone can make with a few simple ingredients. Food should be fun and enjoyable, not a chore.”
Helping people find their sustainable nutrition path is important to the Yandels. “It’s about, ‘What is your lifestyle, what is your goal and how do we put that together?” Corian said.
‘No crash diets’
“There are no crash diets or quick fixes. We teach people about food and educate them about their bodies. We work on healthy eating habits and routines,” Corian said.
“The diet industry is about making money. It wants you to rely on failure, and keep coming back,” Corian said.
In one of his video segments, Dave addresses “the debacle” of diet plans head on, saying they can be complicated and confusing.
“Do I have to weigh or measure my food? No, you don’t have to worry about it. Quite simply, eat when you’re hungry. Get a proper balance of meats, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds,” Dave says.
Corian’s nutrition advice includes encouraging people to read food labels and get kids to eat more veggies.
“Sustainable nutrition is finding a lifestyle that fits your goals and that you can continue to do without bouncing back and forth all over,” Corian said.
For those who follow her on social media, Corian posts a weekly recipe she calls Friday Foods.
On Aug. 21, she will be presenting an overview of her nutritional advice at a free seminar at the offices of Doctors of Physical Therapy. (see box for details).
Following her own advice has been good for her, says Corian. “Over the last couple years I have decreased my body composition. I have lost about 20 pounds and gained muscle mass and definition. My overall health is better and I have more energy. I love my body and where I’m at currently.”
Keeping it simple is key, say Dave and Corian.
“My hands-down favorite recipe is grilled chicken with Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. Season with salt, cinnamon and thyme. Put it all together and bake it in the oven or saute,” Corian said.
“Basically, it’s about sustainable nutrition with wholesome, quality ingredients. It is that simple,” Corian said.