Lifestyle: Getting Accustomed to Making Your Meals At Home

Eating a balanced diet doesn’t need to be labor-intensive. With planning and being efficient with shopping, you can save your mola and feel good. Here I am highlighting some how-tos on eating home-cooked meals, catered to those looking after blood sugar control, which in a way, relates to everyone. 

“If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.” Sketch out 7 days and plot 2-3 meals, based on real food, plus snacks (if needed). Intend to make surplus for the meals so you have leftovers. Looking at your calendar:

  • Do you have plans for meals out this week? Will you need to pack any meals for school/work/appointments? For the latter, can you make things or buy items that can easily be eaten as is, or cooked in the microwave?
  • How many people are you responsible for feeding? 
  • Do you have any long days or night errands to run? You will need something portable
  • Make a grocery list with meals in mind and use ingredients that can come from the freeezer or pantry, in the scenario your schedule changes. No one likes throwing money away. 

A French man once said he walked into a North American grocery store and couldn’t find any food.

What? Well, if you think about and roam the aisles and food labels enough, you will find that this certain man is onto something. A majority of our packaged food is not real food. Just this morning I rant to the grocery and reviewed a dozen products and set them right back down because of cheap, unhealthy ingredients listed on them such as GMO beets (sugar), canola oil (very inflammatory), food colorings, chemicals, HFCS, more sugar, MSG, artificial sweeteners, BHA/BHT, nitrates, sulfates, the list goes on. Yet, my point is, know what is good for you and have an idea of where to get it.

Put together a grocery list before you head out. Ideally capture it on your phone. We often leave home without a list, but rarely forget our phone. Review your list before you go, and make sure the items you plan to buy, reflect the volume of foods you want on your plate. For example, if you intend to have half a plate of vegetables, make sure you buy enough vegetables. Same for protein, make sure your cart is about 25-30% of animal protein and 25-30% of fruit, grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables.

Additional ways to save and simplifiy:

  • Look at ads, use coupon apps available on smartphones
  • Buy ingredients, not products
  • By produce in season, when cheapest
  • Grow your own vegetables/herbs
  • Never overeat and see how the quality of food, not volume, makes you feel satisfied (intuitive eating)
  • Cook in bulk and freeze portions for leftovers
  • Buy in bulk, and choose ingredients that can used in multiple dishes
  • Buy whole, canned wild fish or frozen fish
  • Buy fruits and vegetables frozen (just as healthy, if not more healthy)
  • Buy cheaper cuts of meat and slow-cook it to tenderize it.
  • Don’t major in minor things. Focus on buying real food and don’t stress if you can’t get organic or grass-fed
  • Avoid foods void in nutrition, which can simply just increase appetite. For example, gluten-containing grains, sugar, processed food, granola bars
  • Cut out the extras – bottled water, mints, etc
  • Keep food simple, yet, have variety so your palate doesn’t get bored.

Food prep can be therapeutic; especially when you look at it as a time to unwind and forget about stressors. We need to unplug, to recharge. Set aside time, one time a week, to prep meals so when you come rushing in the door, or out, you have something nutritious to quickly reheat or consume within a short window of time.

Meal Ideas:

  • Frittata – these are great, and can be made in advance, sliced and heated or chilled for a well-rounded breakfast or lunch. The ingredients do not need to be elaborate. Choose some produce, lean meat and spices. 
  • Slow-cooker Chicken Vegetable Soup
  • Salad with Tuna – as simple as it sounds. When I was on the road a lot with work, I would run to the grocery before Monday AM, pick up a bag of lettuce greens, canned tuna, eggs (then hard boil them) and some other type of produce, and throw it all together for 3 lunches or so a week. 
  • Lettuce Tacos – buy some lean meat, mix some spices and throw it over some vegetables or romaine leaves. Leftover meat is great with eggs too. 
  • Grilled Fish and Frozen Veg with spices – buy some frozen fish in bulk, pull out however many filets you need in the morning, thaw in the refrigerator, and cook in a skillet with some lemon, butter and pepper and pair with a vegetable. 
  • No-bread Sandwiches
  • Snack options, including portable food ideas
  • Scrambled Eggs and Ham – simple, cheap and satisfying. 
  • Banana Pancakes – take 2 eggs and one small banana, mash, and make 2 pancakes. 

Real change is not easy, but it is worth it.

Cheers to you and good health,


Recap of Week #2 on the Cleanse

If you are new to this site, and interested to hear about the process of my 21 Day Standard Process Purification program, be sure to read:

And now let’s jump into my thoughts on Week #2! 

  • MEAL PLANNING: It’s great to batch cook, especially the vegetables, but diversity is needed. One huge perk of following the meal plan and using their One Degree of Change Cookbook. is variety is guaranteed. Being healthy is beyond having healthy ingredients as boredom can arise and needs to be prevented/intervened. If I wasn’t clear in my past posts, I am not using the meal plan bc following something so strictly doesn’t mesh with my rebellious personality and my reality of cooking for everyone in my house (2 littles and one big kid, my husband). Closing down this week, I know going into week #3 I need to mix up the grocery list and have different batch cooked items ready to go. Thankfully this can be as easy as changing the prep method and spices used.
  • SUPPLEMENTS: I do not tolerate the second supplement, SP Green Food, which came into the program on day 8. SP Green Food supports organ function and detox elimination. Overall, it’s not a huge loss, as I am still taking the fiber and using the nutritious shake powder, and I have a good candidate in the house who can take the pills (husband is getting lots of love in this post). However, it would be nice to reap the benefits of these pills. If you are reading this and question if you are not tolerating the supplements, you will have obvious digestive distress. Most cleanse participants eliminate more than normal, and I am less and bloated like a blimp. When I stopped the pills, it was night and day. However a few things you can try, before cutting out the pills: take a digestive enzyme with SP Green Food and/or decrease the serving size of 5 pills per meal to 2-3 pills per meal.
  • INDIVIDUALITY: Going off the 2nd bullet-point, I think 1) this is a fabulous well-rounded food img_4281and herb based cleanse for people coming from a pretty healthy diet, or even a not so healthy diet, however, 2) it is not for everyone. For example, I had a client email me about this cleanse and she is coming from an auto-immune paleo protocol diet (AIP) and I won’t recommend this program for her and people coming from a similar place, which would include myself. I really hate to say that about myself too as I am still getting results. Likely my results are from avoiding nuts (I haven’t done that before, even on the numerous Whole30 program and paleo challenges I have done in the past), but I know myself and am also avoiding the allowed quinoa, butter and minimizing my smoothies. Smoothies are a little tougher to cover with insulin, so I have minimized my shakes to 1x a day. The recommendation for the program is 1-3. All in all, no matter what cleanse people do/nutrition coaches recommend, they need to be recommended uniquely.
  • FOOD: I am eating so many nutrients. I am also not terribly missing much, except the occasional whiff of coffee I smell from my husband’s mug and a Friday night unwind wine. Overall, especially with the dairy free protein powder used in the shakes, all my food is so beneficial. My cells are getting awesome fuel and I can feel it in my energy and deep sleep. I continue to steer my desires to real food options. My latest obsession is sweet potatoes. I have a portion every night for dinner. To me, it’s mother nature’s dessert. img_4234
  • MEASUREMENTS: I haven’t gotten on the scale since day 1 as I don’t what a number to distract me from listening to what my body is craving. However, I feel really lean. A pair of pants I wanted wear Saturday night were too loose, and even if the scale doesn’t move much by the end of this program, my weight is shifting in a flattering way. This is bizarre, but I almost subconsciously ate more one day because I had a moment of fear of losing a lot of weight. It’s weird, yes, but it was honest and I like being in control. We will see come end of next week as how I will measure to conclude the program. On this topic, it’s very normal and common to lose an average of 15 pounds on this program (I read this in another Standard Process write-up). The more someone has to lose, the more likely their weight will calibrate to a new lower set point. Above all, this cleanse is not about under eating nor being hungry. I am never hungry and that is a good thing.
  • MOVEMENT: I increased the intensity of my workouts this week. I did more rigorous exercise most days – lifting, boxing, trampoline workouts with kettle bell swings, hot yoga and stair-climbing – and it felt great. I am just listening to my body and assessing how much I should push.

Day 8 – Going off my Saturday night out with friends, I woke more hungry. I played it safe with food and kept my order simple. I had a healthy appetite and changed up my egg and avocado breakfast and added a bowl of kale soup (I made this starting week 1, and should have froze half of it for week 3. I ended up pitching a serving of 2 because I let it sit too long). The rest of the day was a smoothie, veggies and a mouth-watering zoodle dish, broccoli and half a salmon filet I split with my husband for dinner.

I did some rebounding (trampoline) work to aid the detox, guzzled water and went to bed early.

Side note: I didn’t mention this in my last week’s summary, but I was so cold every day and night. I would sleimg_4244ep with wool socks and an extra blanket. By Day 8, my body temp has normalized.

Day 9 – I have good and steady energy and went back to a full-body lifting session at the gym. It felt so good.

I feel like I could use the word “awesome,” during this cleanse as much as the Bachelor says, “beautiful.” Forgive my redundancy of expression!

Life is a little slower in some ways. The herbs on my vegetables explode with flavor, I am more upbeat and positive in the kitchen. My plant intake is rubbing off on the household. My toddler loves the shakes and my husband is snacking on my batch-cooked veggies!

My biggest craving, which is funny, is actually gum. I want gum in the afternoon, but I am just opting for peppermint tea. I have had so much of this tea since the beginning, I wouldn’t be surprised if I started sweating candy canes.

Day 10a Tuesday – Loads of energy. I did so much today, but also woke up about an hour earlier than norm. I had eggs/avo combo for bfast, a beet, lots of greens, cucumber, fresh ginger, cinnamon and vanilla smoothie (it’s like a garbage can, I feel like I put anything in the blender) and had broccoli, sweet potato and a salmon filet for dinner.

Day 11 – I’m a go-go bunny. I was reflecting on the program and honestly I feel like I can eat like this forever. I would need a nudge to continue shakes through winter, but the food is delicious, and it challenges me to get creative with vegetables and spices. As mentioned above, I do need to be consistent in mixing up what I cook. I used cocoa in my smoothie, and it’s not exactly recommended in the program because Standard Process wants to ensure high quality cocoa, but that is what I had on hand, so I used it. I am being naughty, but it tasted nice!img_4241

Day 12 – Not much change from Day 11.

Day 13 – Hunger is roaring. I am very impressed with how much I can eat too. Lunch has been a big bowl of vegetables. The latest is half a bowl of spicy lime roasted broccoli, paired with spaghetti squash with onion, garlic and tomato. On top of this, I make a large smoothie with half a banana, vegetables, SP protein powder and some gelatin. I sprinkle most, if not all, of my smoothie with pumpkin seeds and or coconut flakes, unsweetened.

Day 14 – Pretty tired but hard telling if it’s my body or my toddler with his 5am wake-ups.Reflecting on the day, I got so much done and went out with friends in the evening. I’d typically wake up exhausted from a delayed bedtime, but I had a refreshed feeling waking up Sunday, starting Week #3, and certainly kept my dinner order clean! I had wild salmon, capers, Brussels sprouts and oysters to start.


JANUARY CLEANSE – If you are interested in doing a cleanse in the New Year, Standard Process is kicking off their 21 Day Standard Process Purification program with a webinar on the 9th of January, and the diet/supplement regime starts on the 10th. Let me know if you need to order a kit, and I will get you what you need. Their cleanse has dairy free and a standard version (both ~ $235)

This program has a Guide and a full eBook (1 Degree of Change) with step by step meal plans and a free app you can download, which has tracking tools, shopping lists/list builder and recipes from the meal plan.

A lot of information, but all of the above makes the program really easy to follow. Hope you have a healthy New Year and entire 2017 in whatever way you choose to strive for your best health.

Summer Wellness Strategies

Summer lends itself to many social gatherings from pool parties, to BBQs to baseball games and more. With all the mingling, it’s too easy to lose sight of being our healthiest, but with a little planning, it can remain game on.

1. Forgo the “calories in = calories out” line of thinking. 

Rather than tracking every crumb in a food journal to measure your total calorie intake, spend more time on eating whole, real food and tasting the food. If you are headed to that summer cookout, opt to bring a side, sourcing local produce from a Farmer’s Market or grocery (even Costco lists produce that is local). And going on the idea of tasting your food – make sure between conversations you are chewing each bite and really enjoying and tasting the ingredients. This allows your body to tune-in on how much you are eating, giving you sensations of when you have had enough. Bottom line, food quality determines fat burning capabilities, not quantity. If you are not able to sit down and enjoy the food you consider a “treat” perhaps an outing isn’t the best time to gain the satisfaction of that food. Make smart choices everywhere possible.

2. Hydrate with mineral or filtered water.

Even mild dehydration can slow down our metabolism. Carrying a water bottle around can be one of the easiest things to do in the summer, and make it a point to drink 8-10 ounces of water before each meal. My latest favorite way to attract myself to drink more aqua is to make a pitcher of water with slices of cucumbers and/or some strawberries and fresh mint.

3. Wake-up to a protein smoothie.

Research suggests many perks for weight loss when starting the day with a meal replacement shake, including a base (25-45 grams) of protein, such as non-soy, non-dairy plant-based protein powder (I like Raw Protein powder or SunWarrior). My favorite combo is protein powder, spinach, avocado, cocoa powder, banana, ice and filtered water.

4. Nurture sleep.

Just because the sun goes down later, doesn’t mean we should skimp on our sleep too.  Lack of sleep adversely affects numerous hormones in our body and can be the reason for an impulse danish purchase with your AM coffee or surge of carb cravings throughout the day. Aim for 8 hours, and do not fall under 7 hours of sleep. Overall, assess for yourself and know how much shut-eye your body needs.

5. Don’t deprive.

Even though the first point in this write-up is to eat more real food – there is a place for enjoying a food that brings you pleasure, especially on a toasty summer day. Just make sure when you do savor a treat, that it’s at a time you have the time to taste the goody. In their book Willpower, Baurneiser and Tierney recommend that people who want to lose weight should “never say never.” Rather opt to eat things you consider a treat at a time where you can really enjoy the food, tasting every bite. Overall, it’s not what we eat some of the times, rather our health comes from what we eat most of the time.

Make 2014 Your Healthiest Year (With These 5 Tips)

Tis the season for us to think about personal goals and health initiatives. Before you decide where you want to go, understand where you have been by asking yourself these questions:

Where would you love to be at the end of 2014? How could your life be better? How could you feel more in control of your health? This vision you conjure – hold onto it, and believe you can reach it. Why would you accept anything less? Make it your intention and your reason why your goal is important. Make it your motivation each day, and celebrate every day and choice that will get you there.

Below are some of my top tips as an expert in the field of health and wellness. Above all, you know yourself the best, and do not set a goal that is too far out of reach. Making a small goal, and updating it weekly or bi-weekly facilitates initiating action.

Cheers to you and good health this year and beyond!

1. Hydrate

Sounds so simple, yet, many of us are not drinking enough (filtered) water. Funny enough, I recently went to an Integrative Medicine doctor last week and explained a few things about myself, and while anticipating to hear the doc prescribe me a supplement or herb, he said, one part of health is as simple as drinking ample amounts of water.

Drink half of your weight in ounces. Drinking enough water will help your body remove waste (detox), keep your joints fluid and muscles hydrated, provide mental clarity, and your skin looking young. One practice to help you reach a hydration goal is to have a handy water bottle on hand, like this one. The straw is helpful in making the drinking process quick and easy.

2. Nurture Your Gut

Digestion problems cause inflammation, and inflammation can cause our bodies to go into fat storage mode, and even worse, disease. The first steps to nurturing your gut is to remove irritating foods (GMOs, gluten, soy, vegetable oils, pasteurized dairy, perhaps non-sprouted legumes and grains) and add in superfoods to repair your gut like bone broth. To progress the healing process further, you also want to reinoculate your digestive tract with specific food and supplements like  fermented vegetables, coconut oil and probiotics. Gut health is getting notice and information on this will be trending in 2014.

3. Avoid Vegetable and Man-Made Oils

One thing you won’t be able to read on a food label for vegetable oils (including canola oil) and margarine is the inflammatory status. Bluntly, they are not doing your health any favors. Opt for better fats such as coconut oil, palm oil, grassfed butter for cooking, and olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, sesame oil, walnut oil for cold uses. Like the fact you can fight fire with fire, we can fight fat by eating fat. Fat is essential for our health due to its healing properties, use to increase nutrient absorption and assistance in detoxing our liver. Make sure to have some sort of fat on your plate at each meal, and equally important, the right kind of fat.

4. Plan

I don’t think I can state it enough, “if we fail to plan, we plan to fail.” Mapping out some meals each week makes eating nutrient-dense food a lot easier. I request clients to take a look at their schedule each week, understand how often they will eat home, work, etc, and plan foods to make on a Sunday afternoon, so the meal prep during the week is quick and easy. I surely do this too. I boil some eggs, or make a crust-less quiche, I bake some sort of squash, chop up some raw vegetables for dips and salads and often have something brewing in the slow-cooker. If you need some recipe inspiration, I have a nice collection going on Pinterest.

5. Moderation

Perhaps my favorite tip: moderation. While working hard on your diet, fitness, career, relationships, etc, find a balance in enjoying things like a spa treatment, book/magazine, coffee date, glass of wine, or something I haven’t mentioned but you love. Being healthy is a balancing act, and not about deprivation nor perfection. Work hard, play hard and enjoy the moment at hand.


Recipe: Paleo Infused Thanksgiving Smoothies

Nothing tastier than enjoying the flavors and produce of the season. This month I have been experimenting with some of the beloved Thanksgiving spices in my morning smoothie. Enjoy.

Pumpkin Oat Protein Smoothie

Blend all the above ingredients. You may need to add more liquid depending on your blender. Once thoroughly blended add ½ T of cocoa nibs for a cocoa flavor and enhancement in texture.

Apple Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

Blend all the above ingredients. You may need to add more liquid depending on your blender. Once thoroughly blended add ½ T of cocoa nibs for a cocoa flavor and enhancement in texture.


Additional Tips:

If you want the smoothie to be sweeter, feel free to add more banana or vanilla extract. As well, with the flu season upon us, I more often than not, tear open 2 green tea sachets and add the ingredients in with the smoothie for an extra immune system booster. Last but not least – I often combine many of the ingredients the night before so breakfast can be whipped together effortlessly.

Need more smoothie ideas? Click here. 

My Superfood Superlist

When I first start working with clients, I look at what they are eating and assess if their meals and weekly intake is balanced. From there, I recommend things to remove/add to their routine, then address the quality of the ingredients they are eating, tweak their macronutrients to best, and most quickly, reach their goals and finally we discuss superfoods. The magical thing about superfoods is they target inflammation in our bodies. Inflammation is defined as a biological response of cells to a stimuli, and chronic inflammation can lead to disease. So basically inflammation is the body’s attempt to self-protection and causes of inflammation include, but not limited to: low grade food sensitivities, an imbalance of gut bacteria (do you take a probiotic?), stress, environmental toxins (mercury, lead, etc), constant dehydration, lifestyle (sleep deprivation, inactivity) and certain foods (caffeine, sugar, oils (canola, cottonseed, sunflower, safflower oils), poor quality dairy, conventional meat, alcohol, grains, food additives) and the list can go on. Please note though, some inflammation is good. Too much is clearly bad.

I can continue to cover how to we have an overload of inflammation in our body’s, yet, my takeaway is to focus on good things you can eat daily, optimizing our health. When we focus on the good and healthy things to add to our diet and lifestyle, there isn’t a need (or as much of a need) to focus on what we need to take away.

Enlisted are a few of my favorite superfoods. What superfoods do you consume?

Cocoa Nibs

Why and how to consume? Cocoa nibs are very satisfying, especially if your senses are just after a chocolate taste or your body is in need of magnesium. Yet, cocoa nibs do have a bitter edge. For this reason, to get a chocolate craving satisfied I mix them either with some nuts/seeds and or coconut flakes, which all mix well in Greek yogurt. As you may know, cacao is a nutrient-powerhouse containing over 300 compounds including: protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, iron, zinc, copper, chromium (appetite control and insulin sensitizer) calcium, flavanols (antioxidants, known to lower blood pressure and cholesterol), sulfur (strong nails/hair) and magnesium (muscle relaxant and strong bones). If you eat cocoa nibs, or dark chocolate, you want to ensure it’s organic to avoid chemicals from irradiation and spraying of chemicals which are standard practice in growing cacao beans.

“Every study on chocolate is pointing to the same conclusion: there is something in chocolate that is really good for us. That something is the raw cocoa bean, the nut that all chocolate is made from. The cocoa bean has always been and will always be Nature’s #1 weight loss and high-energy food. Cocoa beans are probably the best kept secret in the entire history of food.”
— David Wolfe, co-author of Naked Chocolate: The Astonishing Truth About The World’s Greatest Food.

Chia Seeds

Why and how to consume? Chia seeds provide protein, fat and fiber to our diet, and one of my favorite perks, is they help us detox. To reap the fullest benefits, soak chia seeds overnight in either water, almond milk or coconut milk. I often add the end product to my morning smoothie or I mix in some berries and have it for an afternoon snack. Chia seeds provide satiety, absorbing 12 times their weight and expand in our stomachs. Chia seeds are good for our hearts and bones, providing a dose of calcium ebgs for an alternative to milk.

Maca Powder

Why and how to consume? I stumbled upon maca powder when doing some research for fertility and fatigue/low energy. Wow, was I impressed. Coming from the radish family, maca is touted to aid stamina, support immunity, increase vitality, balance sex hormones (PMS/PCOS/menopause) including an increase in sex drive and enhances memory. I most enjoy this nutty-flavored powder with my morning smoothie, but it can also be added to soups or just water. Maca includes 55 phyto-chemicals, including vitamins B1, B2, B12, and Vitamin C, zinc. It has amino acids, calcium and phosphorus as well.

Brewer’s Yeast

Why and how to consume? Known for its content of B vitamins, chromium and protein, aids in blood sugar control, relieves diarrhea, cold/flu, PMS and skin issues. The easiest way to consume Brewer’s Yeast for me is in my smoothie. Can you tell I like smoothies? I aim to have 2-3 a week, at a minimum. You can also mix Brewer’s Yeast in your eggs.

Shredded Coconut & Coconut Oil

Why and how to consume? Coconut flakes are great by themselves, used as a core ingredient in a homemade trail mix, mixed into Greek yogurt with berries and more. Coconut oil, along with grass-fed butter is the preferred fat to cook with at high heat. Coconut flakes have a nice helping of fiber and both flakes and oil contain medium chain triglycerides, lauric acid, among other nutrients. Overall, coconut has so many health benefits including weight loss my friends. One study out of the Journal of Nutrition suggests that we can expend more calories digesting medium-chain triglycerides (coconut) than digesting long-chain fatty acids (found in almonds, avocados, olive oil). Want to know more? I enjoy this write-up by Dr Mercola.

Grass-fed Butter

Why and how to consume? The difference between regular butter, even organic butter compared to grass-fed butter (I’ll name drop – Kerrygold is my favorite) is substantial. When Dr. Weston Price studied native diets in the 1930’s he found that butter was a staple in the diets of many supremely healthy peoples. Do you find it shocking that butter is America’s best source of absorbable vitamin A? Even more, butter contains a number of anti-oxidants that protect against free radicals that damage and weaken the arteries. Yup, Grandma was right – eat (grass-fed) butter to protect your heart. Butter protects against cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, low thyroid and more. As for how to consume, I am not sure I need to explain this one, do I? Grass-fed butter is richer in the fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), lauric acid and has vitamin K2. Grass-fed butter is also the best source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which aids in weight loss/weight management and targets cancer prevention.


Why and how to consume? Kombucha is a slightly sweet, carbonated fermented tea. You can make your own, yet, I find it most realistic to purchase a bottle every trip I make to a nutrition/specialty store, such as Whole Foods. The Ancient Chinese called Kombucha the “Immortal Health Elixer” for its health benefits containing organic acids, active enzymes, amino acids and polyphenol antioxidants. Kombucha improves joint pain, immunity, digestion and, again my favorite, helps cleanse the body.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Why and how to consume? One, you can start the day with a shot of it, or you can add it to water with some lemon and honey. The most common way I find myself using it (besides cleaning my house) is on m salad. Please note, unfiltered is what you want to look for when buying a bottle. The unfiltered version has a wealth of vitamins, minerals and acetic acid. Acetic acid helps control appetite, increase insulin sensitivity, and helps decrease fat storage. I can’t fail to mention the alkaline benefits of ACV. Many foods and stress cause the pH of our body to be more acidic, which isn’t favorable.ACV can help combat this.


Lead Contamination in Cocoa and Cocoa Products: Isotopic Evidence of Global Contamination (

Journal of the American Dietetic Association: Cocoa and Chocolate Flavonoids – Implications for Cardiovascular Health

The Journal of Nutrition: Plasma LDL and HDL Cholesterol and Oxidized LDL Concentrations are Altered in Normo- and Hypercholesterolemic Humans After Intake of Different Levels of Cocoa Powder

Yu, L. J., & Jin, W. W. (2004). Study on nutritional components and the anti-fatigue effects of dry powder of maca (Lepidium meyenii). Food Science25(2), 164-166.

Cicero, A. F. G., Piacente, S., Plaza, A., Sala, E., Arletti, R., & Pizza, C. (2002). Hexanic Maca extract improves rat sexual performance more effectively than methanolic and chloroformic Maca extracts. Andrologia34(3), 177-179.

Dini, I., Tenore, G. C., & Dini, A. (2002). Glucosinolates from maca (Lepidium meyenii). Biochemical systematics and ecology30(11), 1087-1090.

Price, Weston, DDS Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, 1945, Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, Inc., La Mesa, California

Foods I ALWAYS Have in My Freezer

  1. Berries (always organic) – perfect for dessert with some full fat heavy whipping cream, or smoothies, added to a green smoothie.
  2. Seafood (wild, never farmed) – tilapia, salmon, halibut. shrimp
  3. Vegetables (likely broccoli)
  4. Breakfast Meat (sausage, bacon, canadian bacon)
  5. Grassfed Beef/Bison – ideal for burgers, spaghetti (squash) sauce, meatballs, stuffed peppers, tacos, chili, etc.
  6. Frozen Bananas – staple for paleo pancakes, plain with some chocolate chips, smoothies,paleo ice cream and more.
  7. Free-range Chicken – great to have on hand for salads, chicken salad, kebabs, and more.

What items do you always have on hand?

Taco Time

Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on pre-made taco seasoning? If you have, you are aware of the unnecessary fillers such as corn starch and wheat. And these are the ingredients we can pronounce! My point being, is instead of buying a taco seasoning packet, simply use your spice rack for the Mexican dinner. This is what I do for my family.

Clean Eating Tacos:

  • 1 pound of grassfed beef (or very lean ground beef)
  • Optional – 1/2 onion and/or bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp fresh oregano (dried if frsh isn’t handy) 
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper


Heat ground meat (and onion or some fresh diced bell pepper) on high.  Cook, stirring frequently to break up the meat, until fully cooked, about 8 minutes.
Add spices to beef.  If the meat appears dry, add 1-2 Tbsp of water. Stir to fully incorporate.
Turn temperature down to medium and cook another 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. I often stir in some salsa at the very end to add more moisture and flavor.


We usually eat our tacos w romaine lettuce leaves and homemade guacamole  Oh! And I can’t forget to mention, save the leftovers for a killer taco omelette in the morning.


Springtime Chicken Salad Recipe

Tis the season of great produce. Everything is sprouting up and more and more fruits and vegetables are approaching their peak season. It’s time to put aside the slow-cooker and pull out new recipes such as this Springtime Chicken Salad. Enjoy!


  • 3 chicken breast, organic, free range
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, organic
  • 4 mandarin oranges, diced
  • 1/4 cup almond slivers
  • 1 cup halved green grapes, organic
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • OJ


Marinate the chicken breast in orange juice over night.

The following day, or 4-6 hours later, boil chicken on medium for 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain chicken and set aside to cool.

While chicken chills, chop the celery, mandarin oranges, and grapes. MIx all ingredients together, including almonds. Shred chicken by hand or with forks and add to the mix. Lastly, add mayonnaise and salt and pepper. Add more or less to your preference. If you intend to keep the chicken salad over a few days, have some mayonnaise on the side to add later, to prevent it from tasting dry.

Enjoy this over a bed of greens or just plain. Perfect for a picnic, wedding shower, packed lunch, etc.

Cheers to you and good health,


Enjoy Food, the Right Amount & Satisfy Your Cravings

Yes, easier said than done.

Put a homemade meal in front of most people, and suggest they will not have an extra bite, let alone an extra serving – I think we can agree, that would be wishful thinking.

It is clear we live in an obesogenic world – food is readily available, cheap and tasty and there are plenty of commercials, ads, billboards and advertisements telling us we need their meal/snack.

However, we need to be able to moderate our portions and be attentive to what we are choosing to eat. Observed practices which have helped clients and myself include:

  1. Eat on smaller plates and eat most foods at home, composed of real food (i.e. meals don’t come out of a box). “For the average consumer, eating one meal away from home each week translates to roughly two extra pounds a year,” said Lisa Mancino, a food economist for the USDA. How many more calories a diner consumes out depends on the meal. Eating lunch out has the largest effect, adding 158 calories to daily caloric intake, compared to lunch prepared at home. Dinner out increases intake by 144 calories, and breakfast out adds 74 calories, according to the USDA.
  2. Eat a variety of foods. Our bodies require more than 40 nutrients and if we are deficient in one, guess what happens? We get hungry and we get cravings. Diversify your meals day to day and season from season. Most importantly, eat real, clean food. Need assistance understanding what that is, let me know.
  3. Attend to your gut. Yes that’s right. A healthy intestines, housing good gut bacteria, allows for an optimal and controlled appetite. With most clients I recommend a quality probiotic. When our digestion is off and you large intestines doesn’t have support from good bacteria, we can become at risk for infections and inflammation. With both, we get an increased appetite. A healthy gut also entails a good diet avoiding gluten, corny syrup, soy and in some cases dairy.
  4. Eat slowly, focus on the flavors, savor the food, chew your food, chew your food. Also be sure to chew your food (hopefully you got that). The digestion process begins in the mouth and helps you to be in-tune with your hunger/satiety. Data from a study out of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who took smaller bites and chewed for an average of 9 seconds vs 3 seconds before swallowing ate significantly less food.
  5. Do not stock your kitchen with nutrient-deficient “domino foods.” This can be a two part recommendation too; domino foods can be something that is good for us like dark chocolate, nuts, dried fruit. For example, I have a hard time moderating my portions of nut butters. Therefore, I make nut butter fresh with raw nuts, when I want it. Yes, nuts are nutrient dense, but I easily eat too much of it (too much of a good thing is bad) and therefore I control portions by making small amounts when I want and involve labor in fulfilling my desire thus reducing the likeliness of going for seconds. As for avoiding nutrient-deficient foods in your kitchen, no need to have goldfish, chips, candy, sub-par chocolate, etc in your house. Let those foods be eaten on an occasion and when socializing with friends. These are the type of things you will want late in the evening. Out of site, out of mind, out of kitchen, out of luck.
  6. Write what you bite. A food log/journal is such a cheap and useful tool. It keeps us accountable and aware of what we are eating on a daily basis. Starting each day, or do this the night before, jot down what your 3 meals and snacks will look like. I find writing my snacks down is very helpful, especially for the latter part of the day.
  7. Drink tea. Tea is great for us (especially herbal caffeine free versions and the process of heating water and seeping a tea bag, can be therapeutic. let along enjoying the flavors.
  8. Learn how to cope with stress. Since stress can be the biggest trigger for cravings and learning to cope with what you have at hand rather than turning to food, is the best thing for your health overall.
  9. Fulfill your craving with quality food. I often tell clients to make some treats out of clean food options. Examples of this is a frozen banana, Lindt dark chocolate, coconut cocoa treats and more.
  10. Eat square meals with plenty of fat (yes, we need more fat than most people think), protein and moderate carbohydrates. The golden rule I provide to clients is starting their day off with protein (20-30 grams) to prevent cravings and snacking later in the day and then follow-up lunch and dinner with a third of calories coming from healthy fat, a third from protein and a third from carbs. The other 10 percent = wiggle room.
  11. Get up and move. Activity can curb cravings and appetite up to two hours. Sometimes boredom and fatigue can be the reason we are hungry and some movement is the solution. This does not mean to skip your meals, but make activity a priority.
  12. Lastly, make your health a priority. Get up earlier to make a healthy breakfast, make homemade meals in bulk, be efficient with grocery shopping, errands, doctor/dietitian appointments, weave movement naturally into your day, etc. You know what you need to do and just do it. You deserve good health.



Gut Hormones and Appetite Control. Gastroenterology.