1 cup pesto, homemade or store-bought
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
2 pints cherry tomatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine chicken and pesto; marinate for at least 30 minutes to overnight, turning the bag occasionally. Drain chicken from the pesto.
Thread chicken and cherry tomatoes onto skewers; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Preheat grill to medium high heat.
Add skewers to grill, and cook, turning occasionally, until the chicken is completely cooked

How to get kids to learn healthy habits.

I am the mom of 6 kids – the youngest is 19. I always had the hardest time trying to get them to eat healthy. I will admit that sometimes – IT WAS A BATTLE!! I would bribe, threaten, and beg them to eat their food.

Research clearly shows that the eating and exercise habits we build as children oftentimes follow us into adulthood.


The most recent data on childhood obesity rates in the United States show that it is still high.  The causes of childhood obesity are complex and explanations range from genetics to mom gaining too much weight during pregnancy to environmental factors that we can’t control and lifestyle choices that we can. The “factor” that is often considered to be the most influential on a child’s weight status is their home food environment AND their parents.

Its  important  for us to be examples to  our children. We cant expect them to learn a healthy lifestyle if we don’t practice what we preach. If you want healthy little people- it is important to be healthy ourselves. Like most things in life, our children tend to mimic the things they see us do. Why would your daughter try the asparagus if you aren’t eating it yourself? Why would your son choose to do something active after dinner if you sit down at the TV as soon as the dishes are done? We have the power to not only tell our children about healthy habits BUT most importantly we can SHOW them. They are ALWAYS watching.

We need to take the lead on determining what foods will be served because we are not inherently born with a desire to  like or reach for “healthy” food options. We have to develop those preferences over time. If you let your kids plan the weekly menu, Im sure you would be  be eating pancakes every morning for breakfast, mac and cheese for lunch, pizza for dinner and chocolate ice cream for dessert….with some chocolate milk and cookies thrown in for snacks.

As children age, they should get more and more involved with determining the what by helping with things like

  • Making selections between having broccoli or cauliflower for dinner
  • Choosing the apples from the bins at the store
  • Helping with washing and preparing lettuce for salads

As they grow older they can gradually take more and more responsibility for the what as they transition into young adulthood.

  • The when food is served refers to the responsibility of  parents to make sure that regular meals and snacks are available.

Remember – If you let your child have the option to drink juice all day and snack on crackers, they will pick that!!!!

They  will chose that over waiting to eat the “healthier” meals.


Where we eat our meals ties into a strong line of research that shows that children in families who eat meals at the dinner table together have healthier diets.

Make a rule that all eating of food must occur at the kitchen table. That will help limit snacking all day AND will encourage more mindful enjoyment of food with others.

If all adults continue to eat like infants (eat when hungry, stop when full), we would no longer have an obesity epidemic. BUT our society and overall eating environment does not encourage us to eat in that way. By the time a child is 5 or 6, they eat in response to external cues more often than listening to their own bodies. So, as parents, it’s important that we respect a child’s word when they say they aren’t hungry or that they really are full after only a few bites of food to encourage them to respond to internal cues for as long as possible!

So if you want to have healthy eaters, be the example and eat your fruit and veggies!!!


Parents also need to recognize that sometimes it just takes a few introductions (some research suggest a minimum of 10-12 exposures) to a new food for a child to accept it. So, keep putting those veggies on their plates and eventually as they keep seeing how much you love em, they will come around to trying and loving them as well. Being creative with exposures can help too! Counting raspberries on your fingers or playing with raw veggies and blocks all count as exposures to that food as well so get creative and have fun with food!

Finally, reduce the pressure you place on your child during meal and snack times. Allow them to say no if they don’t want to try a new food that way they will feel empowered to say YES when they are ready.


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.

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!




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.