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,


FREE Education – Paleo Summit – Hacking Paleo


I will be 1 of 9 speakers (woot!) for the upcoming Paleo Summit, airing October 19-22. My presentation is on Hacking Paleo and you can register for the FREE virtual event with the link below. Enrollment will include some awesome freebies including my 21 Day Self-Guided Paleo Challenge eBook ($10 value).

Whether you are a paleo enthusiast or just want to learn ways to be healthier, you will find value in this summit. The speakers range from MD’s, cardiologists, Nurses, Dietitians (me!) and bestselling authors. We care about helping the world become a happier and healthier place and have donated our time to give you access to this information.


You don’t have to make any phone calls, download any software, or travel anywhere to experience this Virtual Paleo Summit.  No dealing with booking a hotel, getting up early, or marching to the beat of someone else’s drum.  This summit is on your time, from the comfort of your home or office, straight to your computer through the internet.

On October 19th the Virtual Paleo Summit will go Live and be available until midnight on the 22nd.  You will have 4 full days to watch all of the World Renown Speakers Virtual Trainings.  At the end of the 4th day the Summit will come to a close.  (You can maintain LifeTime Access to all Virtual Trainings with PRO or ELITE Registration)

Just click the link to register.  You will get an email with a link to create a username and password, and then on the 19th, just log in and enjoy the summit.

To Yolk or To Eggwhite

From A1c%, to cholesterol, triglyceride labs, to CRP – there are numerous tests we draw to understand how our diet is affecting our overall health. While research shows that 90% of heart disease is caused by modifiable diet and lifestyle factors, there is still a lot of confusion of what foods to eat and which to avoid. (1) Zooming in closer, I am going to layout some thought starters on cholesterol/cardiovascular labs, and propose some advice on how to hit optimal targets.

Strawberry Scrambler - 2 eggs, 3 strawberries, fresh parsley, ginger, coco nibs, salt/pepper #antioxidants #swee

Yet, first let’s get the elephant out of the room: high cholesterol is a symptom of some sort of inflammation in the body. It is not necessarily caused from eating egg yolks, and or other high quality cholesterol containing foods. Conclusions from research based in the 1960s suggested that cholesterol was caused from high cholesterol (animal) foods and saturated fat. However, more recent data, and stronger research puts this myth to bed. While 25% of the population may respond to a higher cholesterol intake, the increase does not impact heart health or the LDL to HDL ratio. In other words, I have no problem starting my every day with eggs and or bacon/sausage, and some sort of vegetable of course, even as a type 1 diabetic with an increased risk of heart disease. I digress.

Long-term studies on saturated fat and heart health are just as comforting, if not more. Low carbohydrate diets tend to be high in fat, including saturated fat, and have shown health benefits beyond lowering cholesterol including weight loss, decrease in triglycerides, fasting blood glucose, blood pressure, waist circumference, c- reactive protein/CRP (indicator of inflammation), to name a few. (2)  So once again, understand you are doing no harm to yourself when you consume saturated fat and high quality cholesterol foods.

Ben Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Diet and overall health marry this quote perfectly.

To improve heart health first know your numbers, and what they mean, and how to interpret them. The total cholesterol is not the be all. Nearly half of the heart attacks, take place with people with low cholesterol. With all my clients, I hear their story, understand their lifestyle and interpret labs with this angle:

What is total cholesterol? HDL? LDL? Total triglycerides? The I take it a step further and measure: Total cholesterol/HDL? Triglycerides/HDL ratio?

With these results, I also want to know if my client has lost weight recently, and how long the weight has been stable, and/or if the client is postpartum. All the above can affect the lab results. Further more, let’s use some hypothetical lab results and play with the interpretations:


Optimal (not to be construed as a target for drug therapy): <170 mg/dL
Optimal (not to be construed as a target for drug therapy): <100 mg/dL
Highly Abnormal (please review with your medical team further): >499 mg/dL
Optimal (not to be construed as a target for drug therapy): >50 mg/dL
LDL CHOL (CALC) 78 mg/dL
Optimal (not to be construed as a target for drug therapy): < 100 mg/dL
Highly Abnormal (please review with your medical team further): >189 mg/dL

As you can see beneath each result are optimal ranges. However, going off what I want to know, I will calculate a few ratios.
Trig/HDL = 0.87
– Ratio is ideal 1:1 or less. If it’s 2.5-3.0 there are some said lifestyle changes to made. If it’s >3 may indicated insulin resistance and increased heart disease.

Total cholesterol/HDL = 2.285
– Goal is to be below 5. Closer to 5 or above, can be an indication of cardiovascular diet/lifestyle modifications.

Ideally want HDL to be above 70 mg/dL for immunity and overall health outcomes.
– HDL increases with exercise, grassfed butter, cream, and coconut oil. HDL is made from fat, so we need to eat clean and quality fat for the raw materials. A little alcohol can also increase HDL.

A high LDL can be a sign of maybe some low thyroid, as well as, miss managed stress, sleep deprivation, high blood sugars, or too many carbohydrates in the diet.

If Triglycerides are high, review the amount of carbohydrate in the diet. Research has shown by limiting carbohydrates to 120-150g per day, can improve triglyceride levels, unrelated to weight loss. (3)

Understand what foods to eat and avoid:

  • Avoid man-made foods, including vegetable oils. Indeed, vegetable oils/margarine were once recommended for heart health.
  • Avoid eating large portions of foods that are high in omega 6 fatty acids. For example: nuts and seeds should be treated like a condiment. Please note the emphasis on “large.” Nuts are healthy and have many wellness benefits, but any good thing, can be overdone.

Feed your heart the nutrients it needs:

  • Eat whole real food, more often than not,
  • Have wild seafood twice a week (omega 3 fatty acids),
  • Eat antioxidant-rich foods at every meal (think produce, coffee, chocolate). An awesome goal to strive for, is 2 cups of vegetables at meals and 1 cup at snacks. Enjoy fruit, but keep quantity less than vegetables.
  • Enjoy polyphenol- rich foods such as cocoa, coffee, spices, tea, wine, vegetables, fruit.

Treat yourself with the care it deserves:

  • Sleep like you are getting paid for it. In a way you are!
  • Get spiritual – religious or not. But make the goal of getting in touch with yourself, being present, and finding calm in our busy lives.
  • Be kind with your thoughts and actions. Our feeling shape who we become.

Above all, remember that it is hard to manipulate nature. I always tell my clients, “Mother Nature cries everytime we throw out a yolk.” Keep things simple. Eat real food, and try to not over think it.

PS – the picture is a Strawberry Scrambler – 2 eggs, 3 strawberries, fresh parsley, ginger, coco nibs, salt/pepper #antioxidants #sweet


Eat Your Heart Out

Hormonal Balance

I look forward to setting a few minutes aside most days to read one of my favorite e-newsletters from Mind Body Green. Have you heard of them? If not, head their way. They have a treasure chest of feel good health articles, covering diet to meditation to movement. Yet, getting to the topic of today’s post, after reading an article on foods to avoid for hormonal imbalance, I want to give feedback on one of the author’s, Alisa Vitti, statements. And to expand on the word “feedback,” I do not intend to suggest she is wrong, I am right, I just want to add more information to educate consumers as we are on the same team here.

The full article is here, but in summary the author suggests striving for hormonal balance by avoiding:

  • raw kale,
  • soy,
  • stevia (and I really appreciated this on the list as so many women are confused what to use as a sweetener, especially when they are pregnant),
  • red meat and
  • “cooling foods.”

Guess which one I want to address? Red meat.

I am not sure I am sold, as I have written an article on Pregnancy Staple Foods and included red meat (grassfed/organic) as a nutrition powerhouse.

After the listing of “red meat” in the hormone article, the author includes, “Many of my clients with PCOS have been told to follow a meat-heavy Paleo diet, but in my experience, this isn’t the best option.”

I agree with that –  a meat heavy diet would not be good for anyone’s long-term health, let alone hormone balance. Carbs are crucial for health. Yes, there are people fitting for a very low carb diet or a ketogenic diet, but carbs should not be the new weight-gaining phobia. In the 80s people learned to fear fat, and in the last decade or more, carbs have become the bad guy. However, carbs are needed for thyroid health, adrenal health, satiety/sleep and weight loss! Protein is needed, in a calculated/intuitive amount, and healthy red meat is a GREAT option.

All in all, I don’t have beef with beef if it’s sourced well, and I don’t want consumers to either. When able, purchase beef that is grassfed and organic (although, did you see the news on organic meat? Either way, it’s best to err on the side of caution and go with organic). So I think this is a great article, yet, I’d change up the wording of red meat, to avoid a heavy meat diet, especially conventionally raised meat.

Cheers to you and good health.



Real Food Breakfast Ideas Beyond Eggs

It’s easy to quickly come up with dozens of paleo, real food breakfast ideas, but when asked to list 10 clean breakfast options sans eggs, it can take some thought. Indeed I got creative hence I want to suggest meals that are higher in protein, which is my bottom-line recommendation for anyone to start off their day.

  1. Smoothie – maybe I am cheating because this is an no-brainer for an eggless breakfast, but how appetizing does a metabolism spice boosting cocoa recipe sound? Blend 1 cup coconut milk (from a carton), 6 ice cubes, 1 scoop (vegan) chocolate protein powder, 2 tablespoons of collagen/gelatin blend, 1 tablespoon of cocao, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 2 cups spinach, 1/2 frozen banana. More smoothie recipes here. 
  2. Homemade sausage patties with roasted vegetables and guacamole. I urge you to simplify this meal by roasting your vegetables ahead of time and if need be, resort to Wholey Guacamole packs or Costco’s pre-made guacamole. The easier you make the process, the more likely it is to stick to a real food meal. This is a great freezer recipe for sausage patties.
  3. Spaghetti squash with ground beef. You can prep the ground beef ahead of time as well. The beef can be cooked in a skillet with bacon and/or spices such as sea salt, pepper, garlic and some smoked paprika. Add an onion to the mix for extra nutrition, love for your liver and more.
  4. Smoked salmon, lemon and avocado wrapped in nori.
  5. Pumpkin Pudding
  6. Fruit, pumpkin, nut butter bowl – super easy. Portion out some canned organic pumpkin, spice it with cinnamon, ginger, the likes, and top with a spoonful of nut butter and sprinkle on some berries.
  7. Grilled ham and fruit – you can even cook it all in the same skillet. I do this often with Canadian bacon and strawberries with sliced banana. Sometimes I crave an all around warm meal to start the day.
  8. Soup – the options are endless as it’s simple to make a soup based on real food. Some ideas can include chicken vegetable, pumpkin ginger soup, chili, and paleo ham soup.
  9. Salad – top some greens with last night’s protein leftovers.
  10. Bacon and veggies – I find it most enjoyable and easier to roast a large batch of veggies to kick-off the week.

In closing you may be wondering why I emphasize protein at breakfast? There are many reasons, but a few of the import points to highlight include:

  • A high protein breakfast has shown to optimize gastrointestinal hormones, which signal the brain to adjust appetite and satiety. (1)
  • High protein breakfast eaters trend to make better food choices throughout the day. (2)
  • Can lend to weight loss and feeling more energized.
  • Help regulate blood sugar (3)

1. Gut hormones and appetite control: a focus on PYY and GLP-1 as therapeutic targets in obesity. De Silva A, Bloom SR. Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Hammersmith Campus, Imperial College London, London, UK. Gut and Liver. 2012 January;6(1):10-20.


3. Consuming High-Protein Breakfasts Helps Women Maintain Glucose Control –


Dex’s First Foods

dexMany of my friends and nanny’s have asked what on earth I feed Dex. Here is a taste, no pun intended, of what I put on his plate.

First 3 foods – avocado, banana and egg yolk (soft boiled)

Next did lots of squashes and vegetables + meat – butternut squash, sweet potato, spaghetti squash, green beans, carrot, spinach, zucchini

More fruits – mango, papaya, prunes, apricots, apples, pears, peaches

Dex loves protein – lots of grassfed beef, chicken, lamb, pork, etc.

Onto finger foods – he loves Applegate grassfed beef hot dogs and at the moment he can’t get enough of the Wholey Guacamole 100 calorie packs

I’ve started to give him a little of what we are eating every night too – which is how we found out he loves guacamole and even spicier things.

Overall, I found feeding Dex exciting, but also paralyzing. I didn’t know where to begin, and now that we are a few months into it, I just go back to basics. I feed him whole, real, high quality food, and just make sure it’s bite-size or throw it into his daily smoothie.

One pleasant surprise was the use of freeze-dried apples. I break them into small pieces and this is a favorable swap over baby puffs and cereals.

The Perfect Meal Plan

If you had to guess what’s in the perfect meal plan, what would you throw out there?

Berries? Berries are probably good as they are loaded with antioxidants, nutrients, sweetness (!!), fiber and serve as a fabulous source of carbohydrate.

Protein, something like wild salmon or grass-fed beef? Each offer the good omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential for our health, immunity, lower elevated triglycerides, assist joint pain caused from arthritis, fight cardiovascular disease and combat inflammation. 

Tea! Surely tea. Research suggests that tea can aid in cancer prevention, increase endurance in exercise, helps us hydrate, serving up water with a delicate flavor, increase mood, concentration and potentially help with weight loss.

Superfoods?? Something like cocoa nibs. Offering a nice dose of fiber, healthy fat (stearic acid), antioxidants, and who would have thunk cocoa has over 300 healthy compounds? The best thing is, when we eat chocolate, cocoa or cocoa nibs, we can gain satisfaction from the flavor without it having to be a Snickers bar. Perhaps throwing some in a smoothie can be a home-run.

Non-starchy vegetables? For example, leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, snow peas, zucchini, mushrooms! Getting the most nutrients per calorie, these foods rank top of the list. Furthermore, non-starchy vegetables can be eaten in large amounts without sacrificing waistlines nor create blood sugar swings.  They are low in carbohydrates, high in nutrition and have been associated with preventing many diseases, including cancer.

If you would have answered the question of “what is included in the perfect meal plan” with any of the above, I wouldn’t say you are wrong. But can I fully agree?

A perfect meal plan is unique to each person. For what works for one individual doesn’t always work for the next person. Some folk may need a diet higher in fat (maybe around 40%), or a diet focused on high protein (35%). No doubt, a diet high (200+ grams) in carbohydrates is likely rare.

Overall, a diet focused on whole, real food will be consistent from one person to the next. Some people may do best on 3 meals a day, some people may do better with only eating in a window of 10 hours (intermittent fasting), while some people may do best with snacks.

As a Registered Dietitian I don’t provide blanket meal plans based on someone’s height and weight. I individualize their meals based on their needs, health goals, taste and digestion. If you are eating a certain way, or consistently eating the same foods and not moving towards your current health goal, think about not only the ingredients you can change but the amounts, timing of day you eat and number of times you eat.

Education is motivation, invest in your health today and appreciate the journey of attaining wellness.

Cheers to you and good health,


March 29th – Paleo Workshop, Inner Strength Crossfit (Indianapolis, IN)


You are invited to attend:

Paleo Infused Nutrition with Dietitian Kelly Schmidt

Saturday, March 29, 2014 from 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

In the world of Health and Fitness we know it begins with Nutrition!

Inner Strength CrossFit welcomes Registered Paleo Dietitian Kelly Schmidt ofPaleo Infused Nutritian to speak on clean eating, what it means, and how to get started. Kelly will discuss eating clean/ Paleo for 45 mins with an additional 20-30min Q&A.

Please bring ticket with you. Raffle Prizes. NO Refunds. You DO NOT need to be a member to attend. So bring friends, familly members, co-workers.

We will have a local catering from Artie’s Paleo To Go. Plates will be $10 additional.

Additional Info: Inner Strength will also be hosting a baseline to our Paleo Challenge at 9am/10am/11am, March 29th,2014.  If you would like to participate in the Fight Gone Bad Baseline please email at [email protected] There is no cost for this, if you or your affliliate would like to participate. We are however keeping the Paleo challenge winner in-house for ISCF members only. $20 buy-in for Paleo Challenge (ISCF members only.)


Inner Strength Crossfit

8658 Castle Park Dr

Indianapolis, IN 46256

Recipe: Paleo Infused Nutrition Chili

This year we hosted our first chili cook-off, or as my husband stated, “chili deathmatch.” To say the least it was a great time and I am thankful we didn’t blow a fuse with the number of slow-cookers in our kitchen. Mine did not come in first place, but it was close. Certainly nutrient-dense and darn tasty. Enjoy.


  • 1.5 lb lean bison meat (90/10)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans of tomato paste
  • 2 carrots, chopped (large)
  • 1 medium yellow onion. chopped
  • 1 1/2 c. mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 green zucchini, chopped
  • 2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (ACV)

1. Melt coconut oil in heated crockpot
2. Add chopped onion and garlic powder. Once the onion is translucent, begin to brown the meat.
3. While meat is browning, begin preparing vegetables.
4. Add canned tomatoes/paste, vegetables, chili seasonings and ACV  to crockpot. Stir all ingredients together thoroughly and let sit at low heat for 6-8 hours (or more).