Do you need to slim down, bulk up or just fine-tune your personal health? All Star Nutrition is a one-stop shop with three Rio Grande Valley locations, precisely suited for those seeking expert guidance on everything from weight loss to sports nutrition, vitamin and mineral intake, detoxification and hydration.
At the store in Pharr on North Jackson Street, co-owner Sally Balderas Bracewell said that it feels good to help customers achieve their goals while fulfilling a dream of hers in the process.
“Opening a business is a big part of what I’ve always wanted to do, and it works well with my degree in business finance,” the Edinburg native and mother of three said, noting that her degree came from what is now the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. “Also, I found there was a need in the Valley for a knowledgeable business that can give sound advice about weight loss and nutrition.”
With the Pharr store having opened first in late 2016, All Star Nutrition has grown to include two other locations, one at McAllen’s La Plaza Mall (which still carries the store’s former name, 5 Star Nutrition) and most recently in Harlingen on Dixieland Road. Experienced bodybuilder and nutrition-supplement specialist Mike Bracewell co-owns the three stores and operates the Harlingen location.
Notably, Bracewell this year is entering her third National Physique Committee bodybuilding competition. Honing her physique for this event – which requires a painstaking weight-loss and muscle-building regimen – has helped her hone her advice for customers and their diverse needs.
“We help people across the spectrum. There’s weight-loss guidance, but we also help those, such as weightlifters, who want to gain weight and bulk up,” Bracewell explained, speaking for all of All Star Nutrition’s locations. “And we even help younger people, like high-school athletes, improve their stamina, endurance and strength for football, baseball, basketball and track – for all sports.”
During a recent day at the Pharr store, several customers came in, but most of them didn’t just buy products and head out; instead, they spent time going over new or existing personal health goals.
“Our assistance guiding people with their nutrition can include free meal plans, depending on each customer’s goals,” she said as she checked the store’s stock of protein powders, nutrition bars, healthy snacks and myriad other products neatly arranged in an inviting atmosphere.
A particularly useful thing available at All Star Nutrition is the “InBody” machine test, which performs a body-composition analysis that includes body-fat percentage, muscle-fat ratio, body-mass index, etc.
Highlighting some of the challenges of helping customers, Bracewell noted that people who lose body fat ideally should try to do so without losing too much muscle. If too much muscle is lost, the process could backfire because a certain amount of muscle ensures that a sufficiently high metabolic rate is maintained.
“We also have detox and probiotic products, along with multi-vitamin packs,” Bracewell added. “And we’ve got nutritional meal-replacement products—tasty smoothies instead of meals.”