Those who have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness.
Edward Stanley

No one plans to get sick, plus… Who has time for it?
So Im going to ask you….

How is your food hygiene?

Do you eat a lot of processed foods? Foods-out of a box?

We all know that eating is essential to our performance in all aspects of life.

We have ALL been fed ‘food narratives’ that shape our view on certain macronutrients, micronutrients, as well as the ‘evils’ of one ingredient vs. the virtues of another… and this could go on and on!!
To help organize the confusion that you find when researching nutrition methods for you, stick to some of these key ideas and habits.

Think of it as ‘home base’

Home base food hygiene Ideas
* Focus on food quality. Go with the best quality your budget allows. When you are traveling, go with the best option available.
* Choose whole food sources for the vast majority of your meals.
* Prioritize protein and vegetables/fruit
* Let the digestive process in your body be to your advantage. Chew your food! You will get better absorption of nutrients.
* Get used to the idea that foods are not “evil” or “bad”. They either help you work toward your goals or they do not

Food Hygiene Habits
* Consume a lean, whole food protein source at each meal
* Consume at least two types of vegetables and/or fruits at each meal; the more variety, the better * Try to eliminate vegetable, canola, and any other industrial oils from your cooking. High quality, single-source oils, such as olive, coconut, and avocado oils are much better for daily consumption.
* For at least one meal per day, put down the phone, close the computer, and eat without distraction. Take a few deep breaths, smell your food, and chew your food slowly.

Be mindful of your food!

Is it more important to Get an Extra Hour of Sleep or a Workout?

If you had to pick one… an extra hour of


Which one would you choose?? Continue reading Is it more important to Get an Extra Hour of Sleep or a Workout?

Do you want to win?

What if I could  promise you that you could improve your quality of sleep, reduce  anxiety and blood pressure, improve your brain health, reduce your risk of eight types of cancer, reduce your risk for fall-related injuries if your a little older, AND reduce your risk of excessive weight gain. AND improve your insulin sensitivity?


Wait… thats not all… you can also manage It can decrease pain for those with osteoarthritis, reduce disease progression for hypertension and type 2 diabetes, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve cognition for those with dementia, multiple sclerosis, ADHD, and Parkinson’s disease.

This is almost like winning the ‘life lottery’!!

What if I told you that all you have to do is MOVE  for 150 minutes a week!! That is only 21.428 minutes a day!!! Lets just round it off to 22 minutes a day.

On November 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released  a second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions meeting.  

Apparently the United States has low levels of adherence to the previous guidelines which stated that only 10-minute bouts of physical activity counted toward meeting the guidelines!


Only 26 percent of men, 19 percent of women, and 20 percent of adolescents meet the recommendations. So because of America’s lack of physical activity  there are health and economic consequences for the nation.  Nearly $117 billion dollars in annual healthcare costs and 10 percent of all premature mortality attribute to ‘the failure to meet levels of aerobic physical activity in the recommended in the guidelines.’

The new recommendation states that Adults need 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity each week, with muscle strengthening activities on two days during the week to stay healthy. Youth ages 6 through 17 need 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day.

Take a pick – Walk. Run. Dance. Play.


Physical activity can make daily life better. So get more active — Why would’t you want to:

  • Boost your mood

  • Sharpen your focus

  • Reduce your stress

  • Improve your sleep



Working hard and not seeing results?

Have you wondered why you’re not seeing results?? Your  doing everything right you’re hitting my macros/calories, Drinking a ton of water, and sleeping 8 hours a night? Your even working out four to five times a week. …. and  nothing – is – changing!! You wonder ‘what your doing wrong?  Why is this not working?”

download.pngLets look at some possible explanations…

1. It’s been one week-

You have only been trying for one week – give yourself some time. There are 3,500 calories in 1 pound of fat.  Its not going to happening in a week, or a day….  Or in 5 minutes.

If you have a plan  – Follow the plan!!  Your body will lose the fat!!

This whole thing takes time. So relax! Trust the process!

be patient

2. Ladies: Your cycle causes a number of things to happen that can impact the scale. –

Dr. Jessica Bachman says that  “Premenopausal clients can often experience a HUGE fluctuation in weight right before the start of their period. It’s not unusual to see an increase on the scale of 2-7 pounds a day or two before and the first two days of the menstruation. Increased levels of estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin lead to the increase in water retention. They can also affect your GI tract which can lead to constipation and bloating.

Note: These increases are caused by WATER retention and hormonal changes — NOT changes in body fat.

So, while the scale may be up for a few days, there’s no detrimental effect on your ability to lose body fat! Of course, it can feel a bit defeating. You hit your numbers, exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep, but the scale is up and not down.”

I  encourage you to TRACK when you get your menstrual period. You can use apps like Clue, Flo, or Glow.  Then, you can compare your current weight to your weight during the same time last month. – This is a better indicator of weight loss progress versus comparing to the previous week. So, no matter what the scale tries to tell you, don’t let this time of the month make you feel like a failure—you’re still making progress IF you’re sticking to the plan!

3. You workout too much!!!

Wait – What??!!


How can I workout too much???

When you workout you burn calories… Right?! So it makes sense, you want to workout more to burn more calories??  You will lose more weight?  – Right??!

More is not always better!!!

Over-exercising can cause changes in hormone levels, including testosterone and cortisol. You can upset your body’s hormone balance with overtraining – overtraining  can signal the body to burn muscle instead of fat. We DO NOT want to bun muscle!!! Keep your body efficient  at burning fat!!!  If you are overtraining,  you may notice that lifting the usual amount of weight, running the usual distance and other areas of your training  have become more difficult rather than easier. If it has become almost impossible to finish your usual workout routine, overtraining is the likely culprit. If cortisol levels rise too high and stay elevated for too long, the adrenal glands may stop working properly and as cortisol levels drop below normal, weight gain occurs.

4. Stress levels are CRAZY!!!

Sometimes it seems like everything on Earth has been the blame for rising obesity rates:

  • McDonalds
  • carbs
  • fat
  • sugar
  • processed foods
  • gluten
  • grandma’s apple pie -!? (haha)

Lately, more and more people have begun to blame cortisol for our obesity problems.  And like a lot things, there’s a misunderstanding about cortisol.

Every hormone in our body has a purpose. Cortisol is an energy regulator. Its primary function is to move energy from fat stores to the cells that need it. This was vital to our survival thousands of years ago. If you were confronted by a growling sabertooth tiger, you had two choices: fight or flight  (RUN for your life!!)  In that moment of decision – fight or run… your body would kick up its cortisol levels to divert energy to the chosen pathways of either using your fists to punch that saber tooth tiger in its face or into your legs to run and escape.

fight or flight

By definition, cortisol is a fat-burning hormone. And cortisol levels are raised during times of restricted calories, when you get angry, or when you lift weights. So why has cortisol been deemed a fat storing hormone if it actually shuttles energy out of your fat stores?

One reason is that a study at Yale University found that men and women with higher stress levels had increased levels of abdominal fat. But correlation does not lead to causation, unless you’re the media who needs to tout they have ‘definitive proof ‘ that elevated cortisol levels make you fat.

The irony here is that cortisol is an energy regulator that tells your cells to break down fat into free fatty acids for your cells to use for fuel. But here’s the weird thing: while cortisol increases lipolysis (fat-burning) around your entire body, it weirdly enough spares abdominal fat.

If cortisol remains high for too long, it can lead to muscle degradation. And when you lose muscle mass, you slow down your metabolism.

All of this is about to come together, I promise…

The truth of the matter is this: weight gain comes from eating excess calories…  period.

So … does that means cortisol is off the hook right??  Well, no. Because everything affects everything, when cortisol is elevated for prolonged periods, your body will elevate hormones like ghrelin — the hormone that stimulates appetite.

6-hormones- weight

Cortisol is high. Now your body up-regulates ghrelin. And now you’re hungry ALL-THE-TIME! But food is comforting. And right now with all the stresses of life, all you want is a little comfort – in the form of food….. so we eat all the best high-fat, high-carb, super high-caloric foods.

This is the reason why cortisol is demonized. Not because it stores fat, but because it stays so high that EVERYTHING else gets out of whack and then we try to make ourselves feel better through food.

Everything affects everything!!! So pay attention to your habits.

5. You’re not drinking enough water

This is what water does for our body –

  • dispels toxins
  • regulates body temperature
  • aids in digestion
  • promotes healthy skin
  • dissolves water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin C, B6, B12, Niacin, & more.

Water plays a huge role in every chemical reaction that happens in our bodies. When it comes to fat loss, proper hydration will help your body burn fat more efficiently.

Good hydration helps your liver break down fatty acids to use as fuel. And it also keeps your kidneys running in tip-top shape.

When you’re dehydrated,  your liver has to pick up the slack from your less efficient kidneys to rid the body of toxins. This means that the fat burning capabilities of your liver take a hit.

Dehydration can even cause you to have poor workouts. Drinking enough water could be the difference between hitting those last 2-3 reps, adding an extra 5 or 10 pounds to the bar, or erasing a few more seconds off your record run time.

drink water

6. Not getting enough sleep

Sleep is super super important! There are MANY reasons why…  For  one,  your body builds muscle when you sleep!!! Yep –  Its not spending MORE time in the gym – (that is important if done correctly)  Without adequate sleep, time in the gym could be, to a large degree, wasted. The following are important functions of sleep.


What happens during sleep that helps build muscle?

“As we sleep, energy consumption is lowered, allowing us to use the high-quality food we eat during the day to more efficiently build muscle. Growth hormone is naturally released, improving muscular recovery and regeneration. Also, as we sleep the brain recharges. This is important for building muscle because a rested brain is a motivated and focused brain. In simple terms, when you sleep, you recover, and when you recover you replace, repair, and rebuild—all of which are needed for optimal progress.”

In 2016, the Center for Disease Control found that nearly 35% of Americans get less than 7 hours of sleep a night. Depriving yourself of sleep raises your risk of hypertension and weight gain, weakens your immune system, wrecks your hormones, and prevents your body from having ample time to rebuild and repair all that hard work you do in the gym.

Sufficient hours of sleep — 7-9 hours of sleep a night for adults over 26 — will keep you mentally strong and alert, and helps maintain good hormone health. Plus, during the deeper parts of sleep, your body releases growth hormones which you need to rebuild your body’s tissues.

You probably know that experts recommend exercise to improve your sleep. But there are other things you can do to get more shut-eye.

Here’s an easy acronym to remember, S-L-E-E-P.

  1. Sleep in a cold room – cold temperatures help you fall asleep faster.
  2. Leave yourself 30 minutes to of no screen time before bed – the blue light of your phone or computer confuses your brain by making it think it’s still daytime
  3. End any caffeine consumption before 3 PM – caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours, drinking it late in the day can keep you up later
  4. Establish a relaxation ritual to wind down your mind before bed – a 2009 study from the University of Sussex found that reading for 6 minutes before bed reduced stress by 68%.
  5. Purposeful about the bedroom. Treat the bedroom as a sacred space; never allow electronics of any kind to breach that space. Leave your phone, TV, or tablets outside of your bedroom.

7. Check your medicines – some  “can” affect your ability to burn fat efficiently.


Here’s a short list on some medicines that may affect fat loss –  For more information on how these drugs interact with your fat loss goals, talk to your doctor and see if there’s another option you can take that may not cause weight gain.

Medications for Depression:

  • Tricyclic antidepressants — Amitriptyline; nortriptyline; imipramine; desipramine
  • SSRIs — Paxil; Celexa; Lexapro; Prozac; Zoloft
  • SNRIs — Effexor; Cymbalta; Pristiq; Savella; Fetzima
  • Mirtazapine (Remeron)

Mood Stabilizers & Anticonvulsants:

  • Depakote
  • Neurontin
  • Lyrica
  • Tegretol
  • Sabril
  • Lithium


  • Zyprexa
  • Clozaril
  • Seroquel
  • Risperdal
  • Geodon
  • Abilify

Blood Pressure Medicines:

  • Toprol XL
  • Tenormin
  • Inderal
  • Coreg
  • Visken
  • Bystolic

Birth Control:

  • Depo-Provera
  • Nexplanon


  • Prednisone
  • Methylprednisolone

Over-the-Counter Antihistamines*:

  • Benadryl
  • Vistaril
  • Claritin
  • Allegra
  • Zyrtec

*weight gain can occur with long-term use of these medicines; short-term, not so much

Before taking these medications your doctor should have warned you of the possible side effects. If not,  talk with you doctor to see if there are other options you can take that may be more weight neutral or that don’t affect your fat loss efforts.

8. You’re not following the plan – even though you say you are …. ONLY YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE!!!

follow the plan

Be honest with yourself! When you look at yourself in the mirror at your soul, no matter how painful that reflection may be, you always—always—have a chance to be better. And you don’t need to imagine a complete makeover.

Small steps lead to huge leaps.

So if you know you’re not following the plan, the first thing you should do is text your coach. Let them know that you’ve been lying to yourself (and maybe to them as well). Confession will heal your soul. You will be back on track as soon as you can recgonize and identify this.

Find the smallest and easiest thing  in your  life – and  gain control of! Maybe its as  as simple as making half your plate veggies, having a great breakfast, planning your meals for the week, hitting the gym, or drinking more water, etc…..

take control

Whatever it is that you’re trying to gain control of, make sure that it’s something you have direct control over. You can’t control the scale. You can’t (really) control your waist measurements. You can’t control the people you work with and the foods they bring in. But what you can control are your actions. And it’s what YOU control that leads to the results you want.

success is a journey

Overtraining can Ruin your Results.

When it comes to exercise and nutrition,  some of us obsessed with “more”. More cardio. More calorie restriction. More squats. More gym time. But if you’re not careful, “more” can lead to overtraining, injury, and you can even get sick.

Here’s how you know what’s TOO MUCH–  when it comes to exercise.


Training too frequently and intensely — again, without prioritizing recovery — means that stress never subsides.

You don’t get to decide if you need recovery or not…. YOUR BODY DECIDES!!!!

You may experience anyone of these – or even a few…

Blood sugar ups and downs.
Depression, anxiety, and/or racing thoughts.
Trouble sleeping or early wakeups.
Food cravings, maybe even trouble controlling your eating.
Lower metabolism due to decreased thyroid hormone output.
Disrupted sex hormones (which means less mojo overall, and in women, irregular or missing menstrual cycles).

The more extreme your overtraining is, the more you’ll “pay” via illness, injury, or exhaustion. The more severe the payback, the more “time off” you’ll need from exercise.

That’s a bummer. Now your bummed, sad and depressed!!!! Your body has stalled, or worse — gone backwards. Argh.


 Some people depend on intense exercise to feel good about themselves.

They might tell themselves it’s “for their health” or “to get the perfect body”

Strenuous exercise releases chemicals that kill pain and make us happy… temporarily.

These chemicals are the same ones our bodies released when it thinks you’re in big trouble and about to die…. Like being chased by a lion… or something.

The job of these chemicals (an evolutionary job) is to help us float away in a happy painless haze as the saber-toothed tiger is eating our arm off. So in a sense, they’re stress-related chemicals.

For some people, these chemicals become a “hit”.

Pushing their bodies to the limit and working hard becomes their drug.

Intense exercise  may give you a sense of control over your body and life.

It’s drilled into people’s heads via popular media: If you want control over how your body looks, hit the gym (and then hit it again and again!!!)

Exercise should make us feel, look, perform and live better… not crush us.


Movement should help us function freely… not incapacitate us.

The problem may be that you are not ‘recovering’ properly, or long enough!Your body can actually handle a tremendous amount of work… if you recover properly and fully from that work.

Your stress-recovery and workout should look like rolling hills: For every up (training or life stress) there’s a down (recovery).

For every intense workout, there’s an equally intense focus on activities that help your body repair and rebuild.

This doesn’t mean you need to retreat to your TV and whatever you want to eat,  and get massages every day… although that does sound awesome.

Here are some ways to find balance.

An effective physical activity routine incorporates:

  1. Resistance training
  2. Intervals
  3. Active recovery
  4. Fun

You can do that!!!


Lets include real-life functional movement, for an ‘active recovery’!

Biking or walking to work
Walking to the grocery store and carrying your groceries home
Washing the car
Giving the walls a fresh coat of paint
Teaching your kids how to fly a kite
Shoveling snow, raking leaves, planting a garden, or mowing the lawn

download-3.jpg Do a little self-assessment.

Maybe, skip a workout! If this is hard – to skip a workout and it makes you feel anxious or uneasy,  (Doing less can make you feel uneasy.)

Ask yourself these questions…

What am I doing this for? What are my goals, and why do I have them?
How do I feel? Am I constantly in pain, tired but wired, hungry, etc.?
How is what I’m doing working for me? What kind of results am I seeing?

If you’re beating yourself up and not getting anywhere, maybe it’s time to take a different approach.


Trust your body — and listen to it.

Do a mind-body scan: Lie quietly for a few minutes and bring your focus slowly from your feet to your head. Be mindful of your body –  What do you feel?

What is your body telling you?? Be aware of what your feeling, and why. Body awareness is important! Remember, if your feeling

achy and creaky
run-down and blah
anxious or depressed
fatigued or annoyingly sleepless…

Change something – take  couple days off – go for a hike or long walk.

Make time for recovery – IT  won’t happen by accident! Plan it!

Here are some ideas:

Go for a walk, preferably in a natural, outdoor setting.
Put away your phone.
Observe what’s around you.
Meditate. It’s easier than you might think.
Do yoga. Remember: it doesn’t have to be ‘hot yoga’ or ‘power yoga’ to count.
Go for a swim. Finish it off with a relaxing sauna.
Chill out in the park. Lie back on the grass and stare at the clouds.
Get a massage. Give the body a little help de-stressing.

Achieve balance… and most important-




Under eating can Ruin your Results.

It is absolutely 100 percent essential to eat enough calories!

If you don’t, it will destroy your metabolism.

It’s like telling your body that you’re starving. If your body thinks it’s starving, your metabolism will shut down. Not eating enough calories will also force the body to ‘cannibalize muscle’ and hold on to fat.

The body thinks  muscle is expendable during periods of starvation –  and it considers fat to be necessary to insulate your organs for survival!!  This is yo-yo  dieting,!

When you  starve yourself, you end up losing muscle, and when you begin to eat the right amount of calories, your body will pack on the pounds because it is anticipating another “famine.”


Find out by checking the ‘under-eating awareness’ checklist:

☑️  If you’re tired all day, maybe you aren’t eating enough calories, your body fails to meet its energy requirement, which results in fatigue throughout the day (even if you only sit at a desk all day long!)
☑️ If you Often Feel Dizzy The symptoms of this include dizziness, severe headaches, fatigue after minor activities, and intense craving for sugar. When you do not eat enough calories, your body goes into a hypoglycaemic state (a.k.a low blood sugar).
☑️ If your performance is stagnant or declining
☑️ If you’re not recovering well enough to keep up with training (or life).
☑️ If you get moody a lot…  You Are Irritated And Angry All The Time The condition for this is called hangry!!!
☑️ If you have uncontrollable cravings.
☑️  If you’re just no losing weight or body fat, and you’re dieting and training consistently.
☑️ If your skin, hair, or nails are brittle, dry, or grow/heal extremely slowly.
☑️ If your Constipated
☑️ If you’re constantly cold and have a low body temp, regularly.
☑️ If your period is off or has completely stopped (For females – that’s not good).
If you feel like you fall victim to more than one of these signs…


Stop dieting and re-claim your body!

  • Focus instead on portion size and eating balanced meals and snacks.
  • Don’t skip meals. They set you up for bingeing at the end of the day.
  • Think about food as a positive source of energy and sustenance, rather than a source of comfort, reward, or a weapon.
  • Stop labeling foods as “good” or “bad.” That adds an unnecessary emotional component to eating and sets you up to diet.
  • Give yourself permission to enjoy what you eat! Take your time to taste and appreciate your food.
  • Be  grateful for all of the amazing things your body does for you everyday!
  • Choose to spend less energy thinking and worrying about food, calories, and the shape of your stomach. Instead, re-channel that energy into hobbies, loving relationships, personal and professional growth, paying it forward, and making a meaningful difference in the world. Start moving more!!

“Mindful eating does eventually become a habit and will change your relationship with food and your body forever,”

Here are some tips

  1.  Eat plenty of protein.
  2.  Eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, quality carbs, and healthy fats.
  3. Adjust your intake as you plateau, or to prevent plateaus.
  4. Cycle calories and carbs.
  5. Refeed periodically
  6. Do a mixture of resistance, cardiovascular, and recovery activity.
  7. Develop a solid nightly sleep routine and manage your stress.
  8. Have some self-compassion.

Don’t just sit there!!!

Have you ever thought about adding nutrition to your body through moving and walking more?

sitting more than 4 hours/day results in a 50% increased risk of death from any cause.

Research has shown us that people aren’t either active or sedentary—they can be both!! Even the active people can be actively sedentary! WHAT???? You can go to the gym – workout for one, two or more hours, and if you sit for 4 or more hours a day, you are still considered sedentary


We all need to become more physically active throughout the day.

Here are some ideas…

1. Move or stretch at least 3-4 minutes every hour.
2. Hold a walking meeting.
3. Organize group walks during lunch or breaks.
4. Add steps to your day the easy way, park further away!
5. Walk to communicate instead of calling, emailing, or texting.
6. Use your lunch hour to walk/exercise AND bring your own lunch
7. Take the stairs to another floor’s restroom.
8. Take the stairs when traveling less than two flights.
9. Get off the elevator 2 or 3 flights before your floor and take the stairs
10. Do partial squats while waiting for the copier/microwave/ fax etc.
11. Wait by walking instead of sitting.
12. Fidget and squirm, you will burn more calories!
13. Get a sit-stand workstation.
14. Move your feet by doing ankle circles or flexing them up and down
15. Change your position or posture often


Americans sit almost 10 hours each day (on average)!!

calculate how many hours a day you sit.

So don’t just sit there – get up and move!!! Here are more ideas to get you moving throughout your day!

Be Proactive with your health!!

Are you that person who is looking for ‘the perfect diet?”

Instead of trying all of the 50,000,000 diets that are out there, educate your self. “Education breeds compliance”Define your goals, be honest with yourself about where you are and what you want to achieve. There are people who have been through similar experiences as you have.

Find a mentor and/or coach who can guide you.

What works for one person may not work for you. That is a straight up fact.


Educating yourself will make you

  • more confident in your choices,
  • more confident in knowing when something feels off or wrong,
  • confident in knowing when it feels right and that it is part of the process.

No more pretending or saying “Oh I didn’t know”


One thing you might want to look at, is if your getting enough of the right nutrients?

A  dietary deficiency is when you are not getting the right nutrients, in the right amounts.



How are your energy levels? Appetite? Strength? Endurance?  Even your  mood is tied into  getting enough of these essential nutrients. When you don’t get them, things break down.
You have tried EVERYTHING!! …..   you can do “everything right” nutritionally – and still feel lousy.

So start with  identifying  your nutrients – make sure your getting enough!




Super Shakes

Maybe you need a quick breakfast before work – your running late, or a nutritious energy-replenishing lunch you can eat on your way from gym. Whatever it may be -here is  your solution…
This is healthy… Its packed full of nutrients — fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats.


Meet …   the Super Shake.

It’s a meal in a glass — high-quality liquid nutrition that gives you everything you need and it is so convenient!!!

Here is a template for creating awesome ‘Super Shakes’… all the time.

Pick a liquid

  • Water
  • Almond milk (unsweetened)
  •  Cow’s milk

Less liquid = thick shakes. More liquid = thin shakes. 4-8 oz is a good starting point for each serving.

Pick a protein powder

  • Whey protein
  • Casein protein
  • Pea protein
  • Rice protein
  • Other proteins or protein blends

Some protein powders contain thickeners, which will increase the thickness of your shake. Find the protein supplement that you like best. 1-2 scoops should be sufficient (25-50 g).

Pick a veggie

  • Dark leafy greens: Spinach / Swiss chard / kale
  • Pumpkin / sweet potato
  • Beets / beet greens
  • Cucumber / celery
  • Powdered greens supplement

Spinach is usually your best bet, as it is virtually flavorless in your Super Shake. Canned pumpkin is great too. It goes well with vanilla. When using beets, try roasting them and removing the skin first. Beets pair well with chocolate. If you add celery or cucumber, you’ll need to use less liquid in your shake. Add 1-2 handfuls.

Pick a fruit

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Dates
  • Pineapple / mango
  • Powdered fruit supplement

Toss in half a banana to give the shake an excellent consistency. Dates go a long way, as they’re very sweet (and make sure to get rid of the pit first!). Apples are easy — simply remove the core and slice into wedges. You can use fresh or frozen fruit. Aim for 1-2 cupped handfuls.

Pick a healthy fat

  • Walnuts
  • Flax, hemp, chia seeds
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Peanut and nut butters

When blended well, nuts and seeds give the shake a nice, rich consistency. 1-2 thumbs is usually enough.

Pick a topper

  • Coconut
  • Cacao nibs / dark chocolate
  • Yogurt
  • Oats / granola
  • Cinnamon
  • Ice cubes (if using fresh fruit)

Cinnamon is good with vanilla and pumpkin. Add oats if you need extra carbs, yogurt if you want more protein and a smoother consistency. For all of these, a little goes a long way.




12 oz water
1 cup spinach
2 cups frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup plain NO-fat yogurt
1 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp walnuts
1 tbsp ground flaxseed

Blend it all together!




1 cup dry oatmeal
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup sugar-free maple syrup
1 tbsp chopped almonds
1-1/2 cups water or low-fat milk

Directions: Blend and Enjoy
Serving size: 1 shake


Asparagus and eggs

Asparagus and eggs … I love both
This  is super fast for ANY meal!
makes 2 servings
2 large eggs
2 slices Ezekiel bread
12 stalks of asparagus, (trim ends)
1/2 Tbsp butter, or avocado oil
a pinch of chili flakes
1 green onion, sliced
if you like fresh basil, or parsley  garnish if you want
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Melt butter in a medium fry pan over medium high heat. Cook the asparagus for about 4 minutes, tossing it a few times. Season with sea salt and pepper, then remove and set aside.
In the same pan, very gently crack the eggs and fry them to your liking.
Meanwhile, toast the bread, then top it with asparagus, eggs, onion slices, chili flakes and basil. (sesame seeds can be added if you like them also)
Serve immediately and enjoy!

Do you binge on weekends?

I have  spent a lot of years relying on my willpower to make through the weekends. During the week I would eat really good, make it through Saturday day and then Saturday night or sometimes I was good until Sunday, I would reward myself with a little treat – but then that “treat” usually turned into a “cheat meal” and that cheat meal generally turned into chaos . “it’s ok,” I would say to myself…. “I’ll start over again Monday.”


I know I’m not the only one who has done this or does this. This pattern forms by restricting ourselves to a point where we rely on willpower over common sense…  after a while we fall deeper and deeper into a cycle of restricting and binging, where food becomes a reward and exercise becomes a punishment.

So how do we stop this cycle??   Stop restricting yourself!!!   Stop labeling foods as good food and  bad food.  If you want to treat yourself – treat yourself.

One of the biggest key’s to consistently eating better… is simply looking at food as fuel.

Is food more than fuel? Yep…. It’s comfort, a social thing, connection, delicious,  and we can name lots of  ‘what food is’.
Try not to  prioritize food as comfort or social fun, then it can become a job and not enjoyable.
And it can become harder and harder to WANT to eat healthy whole foods, for 90% or more of your diet.
So the best way to prioritize our diet is to look for 


Biofeedback can build an  awareness for you… How do you feel when you over eat? How are your stress levels? How are your energy levels? How are you sleeping? How is your hunger?


Your  awareness to these kinds of things is the key to consistent change –
Become aware – track or record how you feel and how you slept each day. How did your workout go? Were you dragging or did you have an awesome workout?  Biofeedback will help  you become aware of the foods your eating and the effect it has on your body. 

Build awareness⠀⠀

If you REALLY want to change your eating habits…  build awareness. Once you build awareness, change becomes easier.


Do you get enough sleep? How about water?

Water and Sleep are two super important and most commonly neglected aspects of improving health, body composition and performance.
Did you know 60% of your body is water?
Crazy when you think of it like that.
Puts it into perspective a bit… maybes it’s more important than you realized.

Studies show lack of water and dehydration can cause mental and muscular fatigue, slower metabolism, headaches, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, sleep disruption, and more…

  •  Water Helps to Maximize Physical Performance
  • Hydration Has a Major Effect on Energy Levels and Brain Function
  • Drinking Water May Help to Prevent and Treat Headaches
  • Drinking More Water May Help Relieve Constipation
  • Drinking Water May Help Treat Kidney Stones
  • Drinking More Water Can Help With Weight Loss


We’re more than half water.
The world is more than half water.
More than half of our bodily functions are highly impacted by water…
🤔 Maybe we should drink more water…? 💦
You don’t need a gallon jug with you at all times but I highly suggest you at least start each and every day with a large glass of room temp water.
And if you can, sip water every hour throughout the day (set an hourly reminder, easy hack).
Because the truth is, just like sleep, it’s an easy thing to implement that can improve your results pretty dramatically.

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life.

Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.



The way you feel while you’re awake depends in part on what happens while you’re sleeping.

During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development.  Ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It also can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.

Get some sleep!!!

  • Not getting enough sleep is linked to weight gain.
  • Getting the right amount of sleep improves your hormones
  • Good sleep improves your immune system.
  • Sleep helps to improve learning skills
  • Sleep lowers the risk of developing depression
  • People who get more sleep naturally eat less
  • Sleep improves athletic performance


Part 2 of does dieting damage my metabolism?

If you read last weeks article of does dieting damage my metabolism, you will know that  no, losing weight doesn’t “damage” my metabolism.

 Losing weight, and keeping it off, is accompanied by adaptive metabolic, neuroendocrine, autonomic, and other changes. These changes mean that we expend less energy — around 5-10 percent less (or up to 15 percent less at extreme levels) than what would be predicted based on just weighing less.



Our bodies will ALWAYS take the path of least resistance. If you have yo- yo dieted or  have repeatedly lost and gained weight back, or  repeatedly fluctuated between being extremely lean and being overweight in the off-season,  you  have  put your body into ‘conservation mode’. All this means, is  your  body may have  become predictably more ‘sensitive’ to various hormones and neurotransmitters.

Here is how to combat this- all you need to worry about it to

 gain muscle- this can help you  accomplish your goals!

The physiology of weight loss can be complicated, but the best strategies for losing fat and keeping it offer not. Here are some tips that can help.

1. Eat plenty of protein.

Protein is essential when trying to losing weight / fat for a few reasons.

  • Protein helps you keep that all-important lean body mass (which includes connective tissues, organs, and bone as well as muscle).
  • Protein significantly increases satiety, which means you feel fuller despite eating less. (And eating more protein often causes people to eat less overall.)
  • Just by eating more protein you burn more calories, because of the increased thermic effect of eating.

For example, if you’re eating 2,500 calories daily, 15 percent from protein, 50 percent from carbs, and 35 percent from fats (roughly average for US adults), you’re burning approximately 185 calories per day through digestion.


2. Eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, quality carbs, and healthy fats.

Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, water, and fiber to help you fill up during meals, stay full between meals, keep you healthy, and recover from your workouts.

The carbs will fuel training, boost leptin (a super important hormone), keep up  hormones, and prevent feelings of deprivation.

And the fats also boost the immune system, suppress excess inflammation, and make food taste really good.

3. Adjust your intake as you plateau, or to prevent plateaus.

As your weight loss progresses, you will need to lower your calorie intake further to continue to progress, as your smaller body will burn fewer calories, and your body is adapting to your diet.

4. Try high-intensity interval and resistance training a few times per week.

What you put in your body is super important, but what you do with your body is also just as important when it comes to increasing  your metabolism and effortlessly maintaining your ‘happy weight’. To get the most for your metabolism, try high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and resistance-training exercises are going to benefit you the most. For HIIT, things like jumping jacks, burpees, Turkish get-ups, stairs, running, and jumping rope are all great options. Do these in four to eight bursts of 30 to 60 seconds, three times per week. For resistance training, try using some small free weights to train your upper body, core, and lower body. Do three to five exercises per body part, and two to four sets of 8 to12 reps each—shoot to resistance train two to three times per week for maximum effect


5. Develop a solid nightly sleep routine and manage your stress.

Sleep is just as important to your success as nutrition and activity levels. Don’t pretend that you can get by with less. It simply isn’t true.

Often, when people lower their stress, they lose a lot of body water. Then they also notice that they may have lost fat too. (Plus, they may discover that chronic inflammation goes down — another win.)

This includes mental and emotional stress. Research on cognitive dietary restraint (i.e. worrying and stressing out about food) shows that constantly and negatively fixating on what you eat (or don’t) can have the same unhealthy effect as actually dieting super strict.

6. Have some self-compassion.

There are going to be meals or days where you don’t eat as you “should”. It’s OK. It happens to everyone. Recognize it, accept it, forgive yourself, and then get back on track.

Research actually shows that self-compassion and flexible eating is associated with lower BMI and a healthier body weight, lower self-reported calorie intake, less anxiety and stress, and a better relationship with food.


7. Biofeedback

Biofeedback this is where YOU will gage and check on your body’s hormonal function and balance.  Your body takes a hit hormonally when we diet too hard, train too hard, don’t recover enough, or simply do not take care of it. The problem for most, is that their goals may not go hand in hand with taking care of the body.

Biofeedback is how we manage that everything is still in check. It is the measurement tool that tells us when we’ve gone to far, when our body has almost had enough, and when our body is ready for more.

Biofeedback is your hunger, cravings, sex drive, energy, fatigue level, sleep quality, stress, mood swings… biofeedback is every signal the body will make or stop making successfully when it is hormonally out of sync.

When we under recover (or train too much/hard), our energy starts to decline and our fatigue levels start to dramatically incline.

When we put the body under too much stress – this can be  from chronic dieting or overly intense training, both of which are a form of under-recoveryall of these biofeedback markers will start to decline or become negatively impacted.

So understanding and being aware of your own personal biofeedback, is so crucial for long-term results.

The scale is great but biofeedback is way better, this’ll keep you from getting discouraged if the scale only moves 1 lb – or maybe not at all! I’m performing well, sleeping well, not stressing extra, not super hungry, not having cravings… All the things you expect during a diet, aren’t there. Which tells me neurologically and hormonally, I’m in a good position still.

8. You need to eat like an adult!

Last one…  This  may sound funny … But it’s true! Eat everything your Mom forced you to eat when you were a child. On a diet, you DO need to eat greens and healthy things

It’s just the reality. Lots of produce will absolutely improve health, digestion, and even fat loss.  Your results won’t last if you do not eat a good  amount of produce. , you  CAN lose fat better and on more calories when consuming lots of whole foods.


Be smart in the way you eat- and you will see results!!!!!!

Can dieting damage your metabolism?

There’s a lot of discussion in the fitness industry about whether crash dieting can cause metabolic damage….

You are  working out consistently and intensely… plus eating carefully, but you are not losing weight (or not losing it as fast as you’d like or expect).
Or you were losing weight consistently… until recently. Now you’re stuck — even though you’re working as hard as ever.   Or maybe  when you were younger, you were super fit,  and you did fitness competitions. Maybe you did some crash diets. But now, even when you put in the same effort, you just can’t seem to get as lean…

What is going on??

Do you think your  metabolism could be damaged?  Has your metabolism slowed to a crawl? Are your hormones off? Is it really possible to GAIN weight from eating too LITTLE? Here’s what’s really going on — and how to solve it.

In my years as a coach/tainer, this question has come up over and over,
people are frustrated and confused. They have been doing everything they can, including eating less — maybe a lot less —  exercising sometimes for HOURS a day. In fact I HAVE done this! After I had my 6th child I exercised for 3 hours a day! (We will discuss doing too much ‘cardio’ later) So people who are eating less and they’re still not losing weight. In fact, they might even be gaining weight.
Look on the  internet  and you will find lots of explanations.
(Some people say that the laws of energy balance apply, and that people aren’t counting calories properly. Others call it “starvation mode”, or some weird metabolic or hormonal problem.)

So what’s the deal? Is there something wrong with them? Are their bodies broken? Is it all in their heads?

Or can you actually gain weight from eating too little?

Have you heard of the Law of Thermodynamics?  Or maybe you’ve heard it as energy balance. Or “calories in, calories out.”

If your not sure what this law is, this law of thermodynamics is energy that can neither be created nor destroyed.

This is what it means…
Thermodynamics is a way to express how energy is used and changed. When we eat, we take in energy in the form of food, and we expend energy through activities like:
breathing, circulating blood, food digestion etc… (basic metabolic functions)
movement, daily-life activity, purposeful exercise, etc.
producing heat (also called thermogenesis)

And… Energy balance (calories in, calories out) does determine bodyweight.
If we absorb more energy than we expend, we gain weight.
If we absorb less energy than we expend, we lose weight.
This has been tested over and over again by researchers, in many settings.
It’s as close as we can get to scientific fact.
There are other factors that could influence this simple equation, which can make things feel a little confusing:

Simply put, energy balance (calories in, calories out) does determine bodyweight.

  • If we absorb more energy than we expend, we gain weight.
  • If we absorb less energy than we expend, we lose weight


We do not defy the laws of thermodynamics.

But what about unexplained weight changes? That time you ate a big dinner and woke up lighter? When you feel like you’re “doing everything right” but you’re not losing weight?
Nope, even if we think we’re defying energy in vs. energy out, we’re not.
And what about that low carb doctor who implies that insulin resistance (or some other hormone) messes up the equation?
While hormones may influence the proportions of lean mass and fat mass you gain or lose, they still don’t invalidate the energy balance equation.

Measuring metabolism is tricky.

The fact is, your exact metabolic demands and responses aren’t that easy to measure.
It is possible to ‘approximate’ your basal metabolic rate —  (by doing a simple formula) in other words, the energy cost of keeping you alive. But measurements are only as good as the tools we use.
When it comes to metabolic measurement, the best tools are hermetically sealed metabolic chambers… kind of expensive.
We may have our “metabolism” guesstimated at the gym, or by our fitness trackers, as with calorie counts on labels, these estimates can be off by 20-30 percent in normal, young, healthy people. They’re probably off by even more in other populations.
Of course, if we could accurately measure how much energy you’re expending every day, and then accurately measure exactly how much energy you’re taking in and absorbing, we could decide whether you were truly “eating too little” for your body’s requirements.

So, unless we can exactly measure energy inputs and outputs from minute to minute, we can’t know for sure what your metabolism is doing and how it matches the food you’re eating.
So, most of the time, we have to guess. And our guesses aren’t very good.
Not only that, but the idea of “eating too little” is subjective.
Think about it. By “eating too little”, do you mean…
Eating less than normal?
Eating less than you’ve been told to eat?
Eating less than feels right?
Eating less than you need to be healthy?
Eating less than your estimated metabolic rate?
Eating less than your actual metabolic rate?
And how often does that apply? Are you…
Eating too little at one meal?
Eating too little on one day?
Eating too little every day?
Eating too little almost every day but too much on some days?

This can be exhausting!!
Most times, the problem is perception.

As human beings, we’re bad at correctly judging how much we’re eating and expending. We tend to think we eat less and burn more than we do — sometimes by as much as 50 percent.

(Interestingly, lighter folks trying to gain weight often have the opposite problem: They overestimate their food intake and underestimate their expenditure.)
It’s not that we’re lying (though we can sometimes deceive ourselves, and others, about our intake). More than anything, it’s that we struggle to estimate portion sizes and calorie counts.
This is especially difficult today, when plates and portions are bigger than ever. And energy-dense, incredible tasting, and highly brain-rewarding “foods” are delicious, cheap, and socially encouraged.

When people start paying close attention to their portion sizes using their hands or food scales and measuring cups, they are frequently shocked to discover they are eating significantly more than they imagined!

Im going to add a part 2 to this – for now, check proportion sizes, try to limit processed carbs. Make sure you are getting adequate protein, carbs and fat.

Protein is SO important for maintaining and building lean body mass. adequate protein intake is especially important if you have body composition goals as it helps ensure that any movement on the scale is a result of fat loss rather than loss of muscle mass.

Carbohydrates who often get a bad wrap but reality is that they are our bodies’ go-to source of energy. feeling sluggish and tired? struggling to recover from workouts? you may be consuming too few carbs

Fats  are important for regulating hormones and aiding in the absorption of nutrients. also, they make food delicious


… tracking your macros is not about being the crazy obsessed person who weighs all their food; it is about learning how to fuel your body properly by eating the right amount of food for your lifestyle and your goals. it is about balance.


Sitting is bad for your brain!!!!

We know that movement can change your skeletal muscle mass… but what about the  idea that movement can change the mass of your brain??? I’m thinking  sitting, being inside all day, and being on a computer/screen IS NOT A GOOD IDEA!!!  Get off your computer, phone or whatever… and go for a walk!!!!!

UCLA researchers recruited 35 people ages 45 to 75 and asked about their physical activity levels and the average number of hours per day they spent sitting over the previous week. Each person had a high-resolution MRI scan, which provides a detailed look at the medial temporal lobe, or MTL, a brain region involved in the formation of new memories.
The researchers found that sedentary behavior is a significant predictor of thinning of the MTL and that physical activity, even at high levels, is insufficient to offset the harmful effects of sitting for extended periods… click if you want to read about this study done at UCLA.

Read the study here

Want to upgrade your conditioning?

I have a love/hate relationship with cardio. I used to enjoy running, but its become something I don’t enjoy anymore –  Im pretty sure cardio is something that most of us avoid, some of us hate, and very few of us love.  Bottom line, is cardio will improve health, push you towards your fat loss result faster, (if thats one of your goals) and it will actually help you look more muscular if you’re pushing for hypertrophy (muscle gain), and it will absolutely improve your strength training in the gym.

Here are  the favorite and most recommended:


If have never pushed a prowler in or at the end of a workout… YOU ARE  MISSING OUT!!!! Prowlers are number one because they’re the best all around tool, that anyone can use safely while getting an insane metabolic workout in.

You can load it up and build strength without harming the knees and hips. You can keep it light and use it for injury free sprints. You can push it fast for short explosive bursts or you can push it slower for long steady pace durations.

So when we want to add cardio in without getting sore, this is perfect! Here’s an awesome Prowler finisher that never fails.

Prowler Suicides

Set Out 3 Cones (10 Yards, 15 Yards, 20 Yards)

– Prowler Push (Sprint Pace) To Each Cone and Back For Time x3-6 Rounds



Sled pulls are also a good  choice, for almost all the same reasons as the prowler.  It’s joint friendly, can be light and fast or heavy and slow, can be used by almost anyone, and has multiple purposes or benefits behind it. The difference here, that makes it truly great, is that you can pull it in so many different ways – depending on what you’re going after.

You can row it, you can sprint forward with it, you can drag it backwards, you can bear crawl with it, you can walk laterally with it… the list goes on, it’s a great piece of equipment.   Try this for sled pulls –

Distance Sled Drags

3 Minutes On / 1.5 Minutes Rest x6-8 Rounds

– Pull Forward x20-25 Yards & Drag Backwards x20-25 Yards


The Rower, is one of my favorite cardio go to – but not because it’s the ultimate fat burner (although it’s great for that).

I love the rower because it also trains your back musculature and can promote better posture. Too many people in the gym are stuck on their anterior chain (front side) for 75% of their training volume. Squats, sit-ups, bench presses, and curls. All things that promote shortened hip flexors and protracted shoulder blades.

We should to row 2x more than we push, in order to combat bad posture. In other words, let’s work our back side more than our front side. Well with rowing, we accomplish that. In fact it’s one of the only cardio methods that is repetitive posterior chain movements – which makes it a top dog for the average American gym goer.

But let’s add to that for the sake of burning fat and increase aerobic capacity. It is a movement that builds aerobic capacity and can seriously crank up your metabolic rate during a session. This will  allow you to maintain and build some muscle, promotes quality movement patterns, and can burn some calories if you program it properly.

Here’s 4 ways to program your rowing for cardio, depending on your goals:


Intervals of 90 Seconds work / 60-90 Seconds Rest

Last Call Finisher

1,000 Meters / As Fast As Possible, 1 Round At The End Of A Strength Workout


250 Meters For Time / 45-60 Seconds Rest, 5-10 Rounds


500 Meters / 60 Second Rest

400 Meters / 60 Second Rest

300 Meters / 60 Second Rest

200 Meters / 60 Second Rest

100 Meters / DONE


The assault bike is a mental battle for me – you HAVE to be mentally strong to push through your time, distance, or calorie burn allotment on the assault bike.

Assault bikes are great because again, they’re super joint friendly. As you can see, that’s my number 1 priority with prescribing cardio. Cardio should NOT interfere with our lifting/workout goals, it should enhance it, and it should never negatively impact our movement capabilities.

But another thing I love about the assault bike is that it actually improves our squat form. They did a study that showed people who chose the bike for their cardio vs. walking or running, actually improved their squat. This is probably because of the movement of the hip and knees, moving together in unison.

But if we’re referring to aerobic capacity, building muscle, or fat loss – again it’s one of the best forms of cardio you can possibly choose.

Because it actually works the muscles in your legs. This  means the assault bike can actually help BUILD muscle when not in a serious caloric deficit. This is HUGE because more cardio is known to be catabolic (aka – anti-muscle building).

Racing For Calories….

– 10 Calories For Time / 60-120 Seconds Rest x10 Rounds


Hill sprints have less hip extension, because the hill gets in the way. So although flat ground sprints may develop better hamstrings (probably splitting hairs with that statement), it takes down the injury risk of any lower back, hip, or hamstring injuries occurring. And again, if you cannot do it consistently then there’s no point in doing it at all.

Sprints in general, though, are fantastic because they build explosive speed and power, work on fast twitch muscle fibers, and create a very short burst high intensity stimulus – which we know is fantastic for increasing metabolic rate and burning body fat.

So for anyone who is or wants to become an athlete, or just look and perform like one, hill sprints are a definite suggestion of mine. The beauty of them, too, is that the protocols are so simple you really can’t mess them up:


Escalating Hills

3-4 Rounds Of Each Distance, For Time / Rest 60-120 Sec Between Rounds

– 10 Yards, 20 Yards, 30 Yards, 40 Yards

Kylee, Esther, Sarah Barefoot


Walking can help lower cortisol, in fact, studies show that it’s literally the only type of cardio that can possibly lower our cortisol levels.

The best part about walking, though, is that it’s almost impossible to over do it and create a state of under-recovery.  Walking is great because we can plan walks, count steps, or even hit the treadmill ALL while easily fitting it into your lifestyle plan.

Walking predominantly burns fat for fuel, can help burn a lot of extra calories, can help reduce stress if approached properly, and is extremely safe on joints and muscle mass. So if you’re looking to cut some calories but at a very low stress/demand approach – this is your go to.

Just walk more. Don’t overthink it.




For metcons, you are  training bodyweight strength movements, in a high intensity fashion. Your heart rate is cranked, metabolism jumps up, and you can possibly even build some muscle. It is a great fat loss cardio method; it just works.

The benefits are that you’re promoting full body movement patterns in a way that can apply to and benefit much more than just cardio alone.

Egg Roll in a bowl

If you love egg rolls dipped in sauce, then you will love this!! Its super easy!!!! And delicious!!!!

  • 1 – 16-ounce bag coleslaw mix (shredded carrots and cabbage)
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • 3 cloves garlic grated or diced
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork or chicken


  1. Add the ground pork (or ground chicken)  break up with a spatula and cook until fully cooked through
  2. Add the shredded cabbage and carrots, and stir to combine.
  3. Add the sauce mixture to the meat and veggies. Stir and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the cabbage has just begun to wilt but is still crunchy.
  4. Serve over rice, garnished with green onions if desired.



Pistachio Bark




  • 1⁄2 cup coconut oil
  • 1⁄2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon  tahini
  • 3–4 tablespoons maple syrup, rice malt syrup, raw honey or coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra
  • for sprinkling (optional); a pinch of Celtic sea salt, 1/3 cup pistachio kernels,

Putting it together

  1. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the cacao powder, tahini and sweetener of choice, whisking constantly to stop any lumps forming. Stir in the cinnamon and salt, then remove from the heat.
  3. Set the pan aside for about 5 minutes so the mixture cools slightly and begins to set.
  4. Pour the mixture evenly onto the baking paper – you want the bark to be about 5–8 mm thick.
  5. Scatter the pistachios over the chocolate mixture and finish with a sprinkle of extra cinnamon if you wish.
  6. Cover with plastic film and put it in the freezer for 30–40 minutes or until set firm. You can then break it into irregular shards. For the best texture, enjoy it straight from the freezer.

So delicious!!!!




  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch slices
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 cup  corn
  • 1 3⁄4 C black beans, rinsed and drained (homemade or canned)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 C chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a large bowl, toss sliced sweet potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place sweet potato slices on a grill over medium heat. Cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes on each side.
  3.  Place the corn on the grill (if using whole corn) and cook for 3-4 minutes, rotating so the kernels get slightly charred. If not roast corn in a skillet till slightly charred.  Let the sweet potatoes and corn cool to room temperature.
  4. Cut the sweet potatoes into quarters and place in a large bowl.
  5. Add the corn to the bowl. (Remove the corn kernels from the cob).
  6. Stir in black beans, green onions, and cilantro. Squeeze the lime juice over the salad and toss until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Serve warm, chilled, or at room temperature.