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Hormones & Weight Gain

Do you feel like your body is out of control, no matter how much you exercise or try to eat healthier? It may not be your lack of willpower or self-control, but your hormones might actually affect you from reaching your goals.

HORMONES? Yes, I am talking about the hormones that directly affect your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite. These are all things that control your energy and weight. I bet you didn’t know that hormones largely control your weight, did you? There has been research that shows that hormones influence your appetite, energy, and how much fat you store (1), (2), (3).

So, let’s go over a few of the critical links between your hormones and how they affect your energy and weight. These connections may be stronger than you think about preventing you from reaching any goals.

HORMONES, WHAT ARE THEY?

Having healthy, happy hormones is all around the “health waves” and the internet these days. That is for a good reason! Your hormones are part of the master control system of your entire body. If it is out of sync or not in harmony, it can wreak havoc.

Hormones are compounds made by one part of the body that are used to communicate with another part. What am I talking about? For example, insulin is made in the pancreas. When your blood sugar gets too high, insulin is released into the bloodstream. Then, it goes to your muscles and other cells to tell them to absorb that sugar out of the blood (and if there is still too much blood sugar, it signals to store it as fat).

Your hormones control your blood sugar and your metabolism and appetite (not to mention other things). You probably know that healthy blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite is a foundation for your optimal energy and weight, right?

So, how can your hormones get out of whack that causes your energy to deplete, mood swings, and pile up the pounds?

COMMON HORMONAL IMBALANCES

In optimal health, your hormones would work great, giving you ample energy and a healthy weight.

Often there are problems with this harmony. One common issue is that there may be too much or too little hormone released. This issue is also known as hypo- or hyper- “hormone” (i.e. hypo- or hyperthyroidism). (4)

Another common issue is that, if even the right amount of hormone is released, the way the cells communicate can become disconnected. This is known as hormone “resistance” (i.e. insulin resistance).

As you can imagine, if your hormones have such critical jobs, including controlling blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite, they can definitely cause issues within your body.

HORMONES AND ENERGY

Your metabolism is key for controlling your energy. What is Metabolism anyway? Metabolism itself is basically how much energy (calories) you burn. BUT, did you know that one of the main players of this is, you guessed it-your thyroid hormones.

Your thyroid releases hormones that affect the metabolism of all the cells in your body. If it’s too low and your metabolism goes down which is called hypothyroid, you may feel cold, hungry, and tired. If it’s too high and your metabolism is too fast (hyperthyroid), you may feel hot, jittery and lose weight. (4)

You actually want an ideal metabolism working efficiently, ideal energy use, ideal temperature, and ideal weight. Your thyroid hormones are the master controller here.

HORMONES AND WEIGHT GAIN

So, stop being hard on yourself or getting frustrated. Your weight may be controlled by hormones more than you think! Insulin is one of the primary fat storage hormones in the body. It tells fat cells to store fat and prevents stored fat from being broken down. It allows your cells to take in blood sugar for energy or storage, depending on what is needed at the time. When your blood sugar is too low, you may start craving sugar and carbs.

You also have hormones that control your appetite! How hungry and how full you feel are controlled by the hormones ghrelin & leptin. When those get out of whack, you may find yourself wanting to eat because your body thinks you’re hungry and not satisfied…even if that’s not true.

And craving food (especially sugary ones) and not feeling full are going to be massive drives for you to eat more. Even if your body doesn’t truly need it, the hormonal signals tell you that you do. (3)

And don’t forget that stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is also known as the “stress hormone” because it’s released when your body senses stress. When it’s too high for too long, it tells your body to store fat. More importantly, that stored fat is belly fat! GASP!

SUMMARY AND WHAT YOU CAN DO

Your body is very complex and uses hormones to control a huge number of functions. They maintain your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite, amongst others. These directly affect how much energy you feel, weigh, and even where your body fat is stored.

Here are a few “hormone balancing” tips that might help you with your energy and weight:

  • Get regular exercise to use up excess blood sugar before your insulin has your body store it as fat. This can even be in the form of just walking.
  • Try stress-relieving activities like deep breathing, meditation, self-care, or even coloring to reduce your (belly-fat inducing) cortisol. If you have been stressed lately, try to take even 5-10min a day to reduce your daily stressors.
  • Get proper sleep, 7-9 hours each night. This will help with your cortisol levels.
  • Support your thyroid with iodine-containing sea vegetables (seaweeds), fish, shrimp, legumes, eggs, or even prunes.
  • Get enough magnesium in your diet. Insulin resistant people are often low in magnesium. Eating foods high in magnesium like pumpkin seeds, spinach or swiss chard, almonds or cashews, avocados, quinoa, black beans, or salmon can improve insulin sensitivity. (5)
  • Keep your blood sugar balance with complex carbohydrates like peas, beans, whole grains, and vegetables, and extra fiber from raspberries, avocados, or flax seeds.
  • Avoid high-fructose corn syrup and sugar-sweetened drinks, impairing ghrelin response after meals and blood sugar. Reduce blood sugar spikes by replacing your juice or soda with fruit-infused water or sparkling waters.
  • Eat a Whole Foods balanced diet with adequate carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Eat less processed foods.
  • Do not drastically restrict your calories. Never go below 1200 calories; if you need help figuring out your calorie intake-I can help.

If you need help with your energy levels, weight, or on getting your life back, contact me for a 15 min FREE discovery session to see how I can help you.

Want a FREE 7-Day Hormone Balancing Meal Plan to help you feel your best and flood your body with nutrients? Click on my FREE 7-Day Meal Plan to help get your hormones in check and eat more of a Whole Foods balanced diet. The meal plan comes with colorful recipes, nutritional facts, meal plan for the week, and a grocery list.

You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. None of my services shall be used to diagnose or treat any health problem or disease. I cannot and do not provide medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before altering your diet or starting any fitness program

Pumpkin Loving

Ah, Pumpkin Spice or Pumpkin, everything is here early this year. There is nothing like your first sip of a pumpkin latte with those warm, complex spices and knowing Fall season is around the corner. BUT, did you know that pumpkin and also the pumpkin pie spice has health benefits as well? All the more reason to get on the pumpkin everything train.

Here are some health benefits of why eating more pumpkin and the spice can boost some surprising benefits.

Pumpkin

  1. High in Antioxidants. Pumpkin is loaded with nutrients that can boost your immune system. It’s high in beta-carotene and also high in vitamin C. Pumpkin is also a good source of vitamin E, iron, and folate in which have been shown to aid the immune system as well (1).
  2. Promotes Weight-loss. Pumpkin is considered a Nutrient-Dense food, which means it’s incredibly low in calories but high in nutritional value. Did you know that pumpkin comes in around 45-55 calories per cup and is made of about 94% of water? This is why pumpkin can be weight-loss-friendly food. Did you know that you can consume more of it than other carb sources — such as rice and potatoes — but still take in fewer calories. What’s more, pumpkin is a good source of fiber, helping curb your appetite and help regulate your blood sugar. (2)
  3. Skin Health. Pumpkins are loaded with nutrients that are great for your skin. For one, it’s high in carotenoids like beta-carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A. It is also high in vitamin C, which is essential for healthy skin. Your body needs this vitamin to make collagen. Pumpkins also contain lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E and many more antioxidants that have been shown to boost your skin’s defenses against UV rays (4,) (3).
  4. Healthy Heart. Pumpkin contains a variety of nutrients that can improve your heart health. It’s high in potassium, vitamin C, and fiber, which have been linked to heart benefits. Pumpkin is also high in antioxidants, which may protect “bad” LDL cholesterol  from oxidizing.
  5. High in Fiber. Pumpkins are a fantastic source of fiber. The recommended intake of fiber is between 25-38g per day for adults. Fiber slows the sugar absorption rate into the blood, promotes regular bowel movements, and smooths digestion. Comes in near 3g of fiber in I cup of cooked, fresh pumpkin, and more than 7g in canned pumpkin; adding pumpkin to a daily diet can help a person increase their fiber intake.
  6. Eye Health. Ever notice your eyesight changes each year? It’s quite common for eyesight to diminish with age. It is high in nutrients that have been linked to helpIng in aiding with eyesight as your body ages. Pumpkin is also one of the best sources of lutein, zeaxanthin, and also contains good amounts of vitamins C and E, which may prevent free radicals from damaging your eye cells and help battle against cataracts.
  7. Electrolytes. Pumpkin has more potassium than a banana. It also contains magnesium, which added with the potassium is great on restoring your electrolytes, especially if you are active. Did you know that there are around 500 milligrams of potassium in One cup of canned pumpkin? (4)

Pumpkin Pie Spice Benefits

  1. Cinnamon. This lovely spice has anti-inflammatory and can lower blood sugar levels. It also is packed with antioxidants.
  2. Nutmeg. Nutmeg also regulates blood pressure and can treat bad breath. It is also an excellent remedy for insomnia, as it is rich in magnesium — a mineral that promotes relaxation and sleep. It also has impressive fiber content that can help promote healthy digestion.
  3. Ginger. Ginger is often used to soothe upset stomachs and reduce nausea the spice is more than a cold season superhero. Like cinnamon, ginger has been linked to helping to regulate blood sugar and antioxidants. It also has gingerol, that can help keep infections at bay.
  4. Clove. Similar to cinnamon and ginger, clove is rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C. It also contains antimicrobial properties that can help keep bacteria at bay and promote oral health. Clove also helps support healthy blood sugar levels, liver health, and bone health.
  5. Allspice. This spice can aid in inflammatory issues. An impressive health benefit of allspice is its ability to improve circulation. Allspice boasts significant copper and iron levels that are essential to red blood cells. Because of this, it can boost circulation and even warm the body.

So, all this talk of pumpkin and pumpkin spice probably has you wanting to dive into some pumpkin deliciousness. Below are some pumpkin recipes you can incorporate.

Want more? Click to get a FREE Pumpkin Loving recipe book with 15 recipes, including nutritional facts.

Pumpkin loving
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Total Time-10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 cup Pureed Pumpkin
  • 2 Banana (frozen)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 cup Vanilla Protein Powder

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

NOTES

No Pumpkin Pie Spice? Use cinnamon & nutmeg combined instead. Or just cinnamon.

Toppings? Sprinkle with extra cinnamon or pumpkin spice if desired, and top with raw pumpkin seeds if you like some crunch.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving) Serves-2

Calories 270, Fat 4g, Carbs 40g, Fiber 8g, Sugar 19g, Protein 23g

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Total Time-20 min

  • 2 cup Brown Rice Macaroni Brown Rice (dry)
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 tbsp Arrowroot Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/3 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 cup Pureed Pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • Sea Salt & Black

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook brown rice macaroni as per the package’s directions. When finished cooking, strain and run under cold water immediately to prevent from overcooking.
  2. Meanwhile, heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the milk is steaming, whisk in the arrowroot until all clumps are gone.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined. Turn down to low heat and cook until the sauce has thickened, about 5-6 minutes.
  4. Pour the pumpkin sauce over the macaroni and mix well. Divide into bowls and enjoy!

NOTES

Leftovers-Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Spice Lover-Add chili flakes, hot sauce, smoked paprika, cayenne, oregano and/or rosemary.

More Protein-Add cooked diced chicken, chickpeas or lentils.

Don’t have Brown Rice Pasta? Use regular macaroni.

More Vegetables-Add wilted spinach, kale, broccoli, and/or sauteed mushrooms.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving) Serves-4

Calories 313, Fat 3g, Carbs 58g, Fiber 8g, Sugar 5g, Protein 13g

Pumpkin loving soup
Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

Total time-20 mins

  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 1/4 cups Pureed Pumpkin
  • 2 cups Organic Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Ground Sage
  • 1 1/2 tsps Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Organic Coconut Milk (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large pot, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Stir in pumpkin, broth, almond milk, ginger, sage, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
  2. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Divide the pumpkin soup into separate bowls.
  3. Put the coconut milk into a squeeze bottle and draw a spiral in each bowl of soup. Enjoy!

NOTES

No Coconut Milk-Use Greek yogurt.

No Squeeze Bottle? Place coconut milk in one end of a small plastic sandwich bag and make a very small cut in the corner. Gently squeeze the milk out of the bag.

Storage-Store in the fridge up to 3-4 days or freezer up to 6 months in an air-tight container. If storing in mason jars, use wide-mouth jars and leave at least 1 inch of space at the top to allow the fluid to expand.

Serve it With-Toasted organic bread and our Grilled Cherry Salad.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving) Serves-4

Calories 162, Fat 11g, Carbs 15g, Fiber 4g, Sugar 7g, Protein 2g

Plank into a Stronger YOU!

Are you looking for a simple but very effective way to get stronger and work your core at the same time? Look no further than the Plank. Switching up from doing the boring crunches or ab machines and incorporating doing planks can help you see results faster. Did you know that performing a plank can help improve core strength, upper body strength, and stability?

This type of exercise is an excellent Bodyweight exercise that is simple yet so effective and can be performed anywhere. No expensive equipment or gym membership is needed. It is an exercise that can be done at any age with many variations to switch up your workouts and can be performed with modifications to help you reach your goals.

Here are some great benefits of adding this exercise in your weekly workout regimen or even while you are watching TV.  😁

  1. Improve your Posture. It can help improve your posture. A strong core is one key to having good posture. Planks help you develop strength in your core muscles (the obliques and transverse) and the shoulders, back, and spine. So, if you’re experiencing back pain from sitting all day, good news; Planks can help. How is that? This simple exercise strengthens your back, chest, shoulders, neck, and abs, making it easier to keep your shoulders back (no hunching) and your lower back in a neutral position while sitting or standing, which are two vital components of good posture. (1)
  2. Back pain Be gone. Back pain can be reduced when doing more planks because the exercise requires minimal movement while contracting all layers of the abdominal fascia, building strength to the core, which, in turn, helps reduce low-back pain. Having strong abs will take a lot of this stress off your back. When done correctly, the plank uses the deep abdominal muscles and recruits the hip, shoulder, neck, and upper-back muscles. This also helps to arrange the ligaments in the back properly, which further prevents painful back conditions. (2)
  3. Builds Stronger & Tighter Abs. Planks help you build up your abdomen’s muscles and are easier on your neck than a standard crunch. It is one of the best core exercises to perform. As the deep abdominal muscles become stronger, your mid-section tightens. Your core is responsible for many functions of your daily life, and it is one muscle that is not trained as much or easily overlooked. Having a good core strength is not just for looking good, but also helps keep you safe from injuries.
  4. Increase your Stability and Flexibility. Did you know that a majority of your stabilization comes from your core? Core strength is the key to stability and flexibility. While it may not feel like it, planks are a great way to stretch out the lower half of your body. As you get into the hold position, you lengthen your hamstrings and the arches of your feet, making the plank pose a dual strength and stretch exercise. A recent article in the Harvard Medical School publication Healthbeat called the core muscles “the sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body.” It was noted that core strength helps prevent falls. Balance is aided because the muscles are strong and flexible enough in the midsection to keep that chain working efficiently. Core muscles can adjust almost automatically to keep the body in a better position after a misstep or slip. (3) (1)

Types and variations of Planks

  • High Plank (Standard)
  • Forearm Plank (Low Plank)
  • Knee Plank (Modification to High/Low Plank)
  • Full Side Plank
  • Forearm Side Plank
  • Forearm Side Plank with Knee on the floor (Modification)
  • Side Plank with Ab Crunch
  • Side Plank with Hip Dip
  • Star Plank (Full Side Plank with Leg up)
  • Plank with Thoracic Spine Rotation
  • Plank with Single Leg lift
  • Plank Push-ups
  • Spiderman Plank
  • Plank Jacks
  • Rocking Plank (Body Saw)
  • Plank with Shoulder Tap
  • Reverse Plank
  • Plank Hip Dip
  • TRX Planks
  • Bosu Planks
  • Single-arm Plank
  • Chaturanga (Use in Yoga)
  • Renegade Row 

How to perform the exercise:

  1. Start with your shoulders over your wrists; make sure your elbows are directly under your shoulders and your wrists line up with your elbows.
  2. Step your feet back, one at a time. Keep your feet hip-width apart. (For more stability, bring your feet wider than hip-distance apart, and bring them closer for more of a challenge)
  3. Make sure your back is straight and not sagging or arched. Your body is straight, and butt is not up like doing a downward dog. You want your body to be straight like a board.
  4. Your starting position will look like you are getting ready to perform a push-up, but you are keeping the position and not lowering. For modifications, you lower to your forearms with your elbows bent at 90 degrees; this also helps if you have weak or injured wrists. You can also drop one knee.
  5. In this position, contract your ab muscles, glutes, and thigh muscles; while breathing normally. Make sure you are looking at the floor and not up or straight ahead.
  6. Hold for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds. Repeat.
  7. If you are a beginner, start with holding for 10 secs, and then build up.

Common mistakes:

  • You are allowing the hips, head, or shoulders to drop. The most common mistake is letting your hips sag or arching your back. Keep your body straight like a board.
  • Look at the floor in front of you. Imagine holding a tennis ball between your chin and neck. This keeps your spine neutral.
  • Holding both hands together (creating internal rotation and instability at the shoulder joint). Make sure to keep your hand out shoulder width.
  • Locking elbows.
  • Holding your breath, when performing any exercise, make sure you breathe.

So in conclusion, performing a plank a few times a week adds up to many great benefits and helps you reach your goals to looker better into those skinny jeans. What is your favorite plank exercise? Have you tried performing it recently?

 You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before altering your diet or starting any fitness program

Mocktails

Mocktails are the New Cocktail.

Mocktails are gaining popularity lately. The booze-free beverages like Frescas, kombucha types, or classic cocktails in a Mocktail form can be just as exciting and refreshing as any cocktail. Like the old and true classic, you grew up with as a kid like Shirley Temples, Arnold Palmers, and Roy Rogers. You can find many popular cocktails that are virgins.

There are many reasons you choose an alcohol-free mocktail drink, whether you’re the designated driver, expecting, dieting, or you don’t drink. You can still enjoy tasty non-alcoholic cocktails that are delicious and complex.

I have some recipes for healthy mocktails for you to try or whip up for someone who wants non-alcoholic mixed drinks that taste just as good without the alcohol. (And you can throw in alcohol to your drink if you wish.)

Classic Virgin Caesar

Total time-10 minutes 

8 ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp Sea Salt (divided)
  • 1 Lime (sliced into wedges, juiced, divided)
  • 1 pint Tomato Juice
  • 1 tsp Hot Sauce
  • 1 oz Baby Pickles
  • 1 Tbsp Tamari
  • 2 Tbsp Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp Black Olives

Directions

  1. Set half of the sea salt in a shallow bowl. Take a lime wedge and run it around the rim of the glass. Dip the rim of the glass into the sea salt, being sure to cover the rim. Repeat the process until all of your glasses are rimmed with sea salt
  2. Add the other half of the sea salt and lime juice, tomato juice, hot sauce and tamari into a blender. Blend until everything is well combined.
  3. Pour into the rimmed glasses and divide the pickle, cherry tomatoes and olives evenly between the toothpicks to garnish. Enjoy!

NOTES

Leftovers? Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days.

More Flavor? Add a splash of pickle juice.

Like it Spicy? Add more hot sauce or even horseradish.

Additional Topping? Cooked bacon or a celery stick

No Blender? Pour everything together into a bartender mixer or pitcher and mix thoroughly before dividing between glasses.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving)

Serves 2

Calories 61, Fat 1g, Carbs 12g, Fiber 1g, Sugar 7g, Protein 3g


Classic Virgin Sangria

Total time- 2 Minutes

6 Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Lemon (juiced, plus slices for garnish)
  • 1/4 Cup Blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 Ice Cups
  • 3 oz Cranberry Juice
  • 2 oz Soda Water

Directions

  1. Add all of the ingredients into a glass and stir to combine. Garnish with lemon slices, if using. Enjoy!

NOTES

Leftovers? Refrigerate leftovers in a pitcher for up to two days. To ensure a fizzy drink, add more soda water just before serving.

No Cranberry Juice? Add orange juice.

More Flavor? Add orange juice.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving)

Serves- 1 (Servings size is roughly 9 fl oz or 266 mL.)

Calories 84, Fat 0g, Carbs 22g, Fiber 1g, Sugar 19g, Protein 1g


Classic Virgin Mojito

Total Time- 10 minutes

5 Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Mint Leaves
  • 15 Ice Cubes
  • 2 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 1/2 Soda Water

Directions

  1. Add all of the ingredients into a pitcher, adding the soda water last. Gently stir until everything is mixed well.
  2. Divide between glasses and enjoy!

NOTES

Leftovers? Refrigerate in the pitcher with a lid for up to two days. To ensure a fizzy drink, add more soda water just before serving.

More Flavors? Muddle the mint before adding the rest of the ingredients into the pitcher.

Raspberry Mojito? Add 1/2 cup Raspberries. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the raspberries, water and maple syrup. Cook until thick, about 5 minutes. Use an immersion blender or add the mixture to your blender to puree until smooth.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving)

Serves-4

Calories 30, Fat 0g, Carbs 8g, Fiber 0g, Sugar 6g, Protein 0g


Watermelon Recipes & Healthy Benefits

Nothing says summer like a juicy sweet bite of watermelon on a hot sunny day. Did you know that watermelon is only 46 calories per cup but rich in vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds?

Below are some health benefits of eating this tasty fruit.

  • Hydrating -Staying hydrated is very important to your health. Eating foods that have a high water content can also help. This refreshing fruit’s water content is 92%? Another great way to keep your body hydrated.
  • Antioxidants-Watermelon is high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1-B5-B6, potassium, magnesium, and is also high in carotenoids, beta-carotene and lycopene. Plus, it has citrulline, an essential amino acid.
  • Aids in Digestion-It can also help aids in digestion and contributes to weight loss due to its fiber and water content. This is important for healthy digestion.
  • Improve Heart Health-Several nutrients in watermelon have specific benefits for heart health. Watermelon can help support heart health due to the fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.
  • Electrolytes– Skip Gatorade and try watermelon with a sprinkle of salt. This fruit is rich in electrolytes, including potassium and magnesium, which means it’s an excellent replenisher for the body.

In honor of National Watermelon Day, here are 4 great recipes to incorporate celebrating this special day or anytime.

Watermelon Margarita
  • Kosher Salt
  • 3 oz fresh watermelon juice
  • 1½ oz. tequila, blanco
  • Splash of triple sec
  • ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
  • Sliced jalapeño, optional if wanting spicy

Combine watermelon juice, tequila,  triple sec, jalapeño if using, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is very cold. Rim glass with salt.  Serves 1


Watermelon Salad
  • 1/2 watermelon, peeled, cubed
  • 1 cucumber, chopped and cubed
  • 10-15 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 10-15 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tbsp of fresh lime juice
  • A drizzle of olive oil

Whisk together the honey, lime juice, olive oil, and pinch of salt. Set aside. Combine the watermelon, cucumbers, and fresh herbs. Top the watermelon salad with the vinaigrette and gently toss combining feta cheese. Enjoy! Serves 6


Watermelon Gazpacho
  • 1.5 pounds fresh watermelon
  • 3 large roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled  & chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, packed
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Puree for 1 minute, or until the soup reaches your desired consistency. Taste and season if needed. Refrigerator and serve cold. Serves 5


Watermelon Lime Popsicles
  • 2 cups fresh watermelon juice
  • 3 oz water
  • 1 whole lime, juiced
  • 3  tbsp of honey or maple syrup

Toss watermelon, lime juice, and sweetener into a blender. Blend until smooth. Add more sweetener, if needed. Pour into popsicle mold and freeze. Serves 6-7


Hopefully, you can enjoy some delicious watermelon recipes and reap the fantastic health benefits they offer. There are so many great ways to eat and incorporate watermelon in your next meal or treat.

Walking into Surprising Benefits

You hear it all the time; you need to move more or be more active. Oh, those dreaded words. Relax that does not mean you need to do hardcore Tabata or HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts, nor workout on boring stationary cardio machines to be more active. Did you know that walking for 20-30 minutes a day can offer numerous health benefits to people of all ages and fitness levels? That is right; what is not to like about walking? I think walking is the most underrated form of exercise and is one of the most accessible you can do it anywhere and at any time. The best part is it’s FREE (no membership required, no gym equipment you need to purchase), easy on joints, and easy to perform. It is a great way on staying active by all age groups and fitness levels. 

Walking is also a tremendous easy form of aerobic exercise you can perform daily. A recent study at the University of Tennessee found that women who walked had less body fat than those who didn’t walk. The study also found that walking also lowers the risk of blood clots, since the calf acts as a venous pump, contracting and pumping blood from the feet and legs back to the heart, reducing the load on the heart. This also eases varicose veins and swelling in legs. (1)

Here are a few more health benefits that incorporating walking into your daily routine can provide:

1. Improves Your Circulation-Adding walking into your routine can improve your cardiovascular, bring up the heart rate, strengthen your heart, and even lower blood pressure. Research shows that post-menopausal women who walk just one to two miles a day can lower their blood pressure by nearly 11 points in only 24 weeks. According to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, women who walk 30 minutes a day can reduce their risk of stroke by 20% and by 40% when they step up the pace. (1)

2. Enjoy a Longer Life-Getting outside, and being physically active like walking has shown to improve your health and lifespan. A study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society showed that adults between the ages of 70 and 90 who left the house and were physically active lived longer than those who didn’t. A reason to get outside is to enjoy the fresh air and scenery while walking, staying active during the week.

3. Mood Enhancer-Regular exercise, including walking daily releases endorphins (chemicals produced naturally by the nervous system to cope with pain or stress) This is especially important when anxiety is high during a time of uncertainty and undue stress. There is nothing like getting out with nature to make you smile as well. It can also help improve self-esteem and able to get out on being social at a safe distance.

4. Burn Calories-Another great benefit of walking is it can help you burn calories. This is a great way to burn the “pandemic 15”. If you are looking to maintain or reduce weight, performing a brisk 30-minute walk can burn up to 200 calories. (1)  You can change things up and burn a little more by walking faster or up hills, even using stairs if you are walking at a park or community.

If you want to know how many steps you have completed, miles, you’ve walked, or active calories you are burning, invest in an activity tracker. Great ones to buy are a FitBit or an IWatch. A cheaper route would be to get an old school pedometer that you can clip on.

5. Energy Booster– Ever notice after an enjoyable workout or great workout, you feel more energized? Going for a walk pumps oxygen through the body. It can also increase levels of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Those are the hormones that help elevate energy levels. So, if you are struggling with energy and feel like you need to grab more coffee or caffeinated drink, maybe try going for a walk instead. (2)

6. Strengthen Muscles & Tone-I know it doesn’t seem like walking does much, but walking tones your leg and abdominal muscles, not to mention that you can even tone your arm muscles if you pump them as you walk. Not only can it tone your lower body, but walking can also strengthen your legs’ muscles. A great way to build more strength in your legs is to walk up hilly areas and even upstairs. If you are using a treadmill, pump the incline higher to help build muscle, and doing this will also make the walk more challenging. Try to find routes with stairs that you can walk up and down to change this up on your routine.

6. Improve your ZZZZ– There have been studies that going on a 1 hour morning walk; you are more likely to help improve your sleep and relieve insomnia. So get those steps in for the day and enjoy a more peaceful night sleeping. 

7. Helps joints-Guess what? Walking can help protect your joints, including your knees and hips. Going on a daily stroll can help lubricate and strengthen the muscles that support your joints. Not to mention that there have been studies showing walking might also provide benefits for people living with arthritis, such as reducing pain or prevent arthritis by walking 5 to 6 miles a week. (5)

8. Lower blood sugar -Another great reason to add walking into your daily routine is that taking a short walk after eating may lower your blood sugar.

In the diabetes journal, a small study conducted discovered that taking a 15-minute walk just 3 times a day after meals can improve blood sugar levels more than taking a 45-minute walk at another point during the day. So, if you are limited on time to walk daily, this is a great alternative that provides a great benefit. (3)

9. Boosts immune function -Staying active like walking may reduce your risk for calling in sick, boosting your immune system.

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine researched 1,000 adults during the flu season. The study showed that those who walked at a moderate pace for 30 to 45 minutes a day had 43 percent fewer sick days and fewer upper respiratory tract infections. (4)

The study also showed that their symptoms were less if they did get sick compared to adults who were not active. 

Getting a daily walk outside, inside on a treadmill, out on the beach, inside around the mall, or any way you can help you rep those benefits more.

10. Time to Pause-In a society where our heads of filled with the noise of TODO’s, lists, schedules, work, family, and more. Walking may help you to be able to pause and clear your head. When you walk, you get away from the craziness for a few moments and able to pause from the crazy day. If you are outside, take more time to enjoy the day and scenery. No matter where you are walking, just let those worries, stress, list, or thoughts pass. You may find that you enjoy your time walking more, having time for yourself, and actually feel clearer.

Tips for walking:

  • During busy days, walk-in areas designated for pedestrians and always know your surrounding. Make sure the area is well-lit, if possible. If it is not or during times the light is less, make sure to wear a reflective vest or light so cars can see you.
  • Make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes and shoes for your gait. Pick shoes that have well-cushioned heel and arch support.
  • Always make sure you are hydrated by drink plenty of water before and after your walk.
  • Protect yourself, wear sunscreen every time you are outside.
  • Make sure you have a couple of minutes of a warm-up and cool down before your walk to prevent injuries.

Do you walk daily or a few times a week? Where do you prefer to walk? What is your a must have when you walk?

You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. None of my services shall be used to diagnose or treat any health problem or disease. I cannot and do not provide medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before altering your diet or starting any fitness program

Healthy Benefits of Eating Peaches

There is nothing like fresh juicy peaches in the summertime, but did you know that peaches are rich in vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds?

  • Antioxidants-This summertime fruit is high in antioxidants, which aids in boosting immunity.
  • Skin Health-Peaches can also help improve skin health due to being high in Vitamin A & C.
  • Aid in Digestion-It can also help aids in digestion and contributes to weight loss due to its high fiber content.
  • Heart Health-Peaches can help support heart health due to the fiber, vitamin C, and potassium in peaches.
  • Calcium-A medium-sized peach has 9 milligrams of calcium
  • Eye Health-Lutein and zeaxanthin in peaches help protect the retina and lens, and vitamin A in peaches also helps support healthy vision.
  • Hydrating-Peaches contain about 80% water content, which makes this fruit a great solution to beat dehydration during the summer heat.

Here are some great recipes to incorporate this fantastic summer fruit in your next meals or treat.

Peach Pie Smoothie

  • 2 medium peaches, peeled and pit removed
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup of almond milk or milk of choice
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract or 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder.

Blend ingredients and enjoy. Add maple syrup or honey if needed.


Peach Cobbler Overnight Oats

  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats (regular or gluten-free)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of almond milk or milk of choice
  • 1 medium peach, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp of chia or flax seed

Mix ingredients together until combined. Put in jars and cover. Refrigerate overnight. Serves 2


Peach Grilled Cheese

  • 2 medium peached, peeled and sliced
  • Sliced Gruyere or cheese of choice (can use vegan cheese)
  • 4 slices of multigrain bread
  • a handful of spinach or arugula
  • butter

Using a skillet, add a slice of bread, buttered side down. Put a layer of sliced peaches, cheese, and top with spinach or arugula. Top with 2nd slice of bread, buttered side up.

Cook over medium heat, occasionally flipping until cheese is melted. Serves 2


Peach Chicken or Chickpea Salad

  • 1/2 cup diced Chicken breast or 1/2 can Chickpeas if plant based
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 medium fresh peach or 1/4 can peaches
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise or yogurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Spread on bread or crackers. Serves 2


There are so many great ways to eat and incorporate peaches in your next meal. How do you like to eat peaches? Do you have a go-to recipe you love?

Mindful & Intuitive Eating

Mindful eating. Intuitive Eating. You hear it all the time but unsure what it means. Both are similar in ways but also different in others. First and foremost, neither are a diet approach. Intuitive eating is an eating style that promotes a healthy attitude towards food and the connection to food and your body image. It helps teach you how to get in touch with your body cues with hunger, fullness, and satisfaction. Doing this will also help you learn to trust yourself around food again, not looking at something is good or bad. The idea with intuitive eating is that you should eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Sounds simple, right? Often, we let emotions get in the way of our true hunger cues, or we have allowed so many diets out there telling us how and when to eat we forget to trust our body as well as its intuition.

To be able to eat intuitively, you will need to refocus and relearn how to trust your body again as we had when we were younger. For us to do that, you need to distinguish between your physical hunger and your emotional hunger. What is the difference?

  • Physical hunger cue is your body’s single urging you to replenish nutrients and refuel. It builds gradually and has different signals, such as a growling stomach or stomach pain, starving feeling, fatigue, headache, or irritability. The signals will disappear when you eat any food.
  • Emotional hunger cue is driven by your emotions. Triggered by sadness or depression, loneliness, or boredom. These types of signals usually are the feelings that can create specific cravings for food, typically comfort foods that bring you a quick sense of happiness only to leave you in the end with feelings of guilt and self-hatred. (1)

Try to get in tune with your different hunger cues and learn how to recognize if you are truly hungry or emotional hunger. Did you know it could even be as simple as you are dehydrated? Sometimes masked as feelings of hunger, your body might be asking to be hydrated and need fluids. Try having a glass of water to see if the desire disappears.

Another way of intuitive eating is the feeling of fullness. Often at times, “dieting” causes us to feel like we “have” to eat at certain times of the day or within a window or eat a certain amount of calories/macros with each meal, which makes leaving food behind difficult. Listen for signals that tell you that you are starting to feel full and satisfied. When eating, take time to pause partway through eating by drinking some water and check in with your body. How full do you feel? Are you getting close to feeling satisfied or near 80% full? Be more conscious and aware of each meal. Remember to stop eating when you are satisfied or at least 80-90% full as it takes a moment (typically 20-30 mins) for your brain to connect with your body to signal it is full.

To be a better intuitive eater, try to reduce on being what they call the “Food Police,” with thoughts that are mainly in your head that declare something “good” or “bad” when eating. Yes, eating a salad for lunch is healthier due to the nutritional value, but because you ate carbs or a sugary item with the does not declare it bad. These are the unreasonable rules that were created by dieting that cause you to feel guilty. It’s impossible to view eating as healthy or pleasurable when acting as the food police with everything you eat. Changing the way you look at food is an essential step towards becoming an intuitive eater.

Lastly, eating intuitively is coping with your emotions without the use of food. We talked about this earlier during the emotional hunger cues, but emotional eating is a common problem. Trust me; we have all been there at one time or another. We often eat for reasons other than physical hunger and use food to cover unpleasant feelings and emotions. While the food at times certainly can be used to soothe or cope with emotions, it can cause other problems as it typically does not work to fix the problem and acts only as a coping mechanism. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, and anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Unfortunately, food will not fix any of these feelings. You will have to reprogram yourself and learn to find other ways to deal with your emotions that will comfort, nurture, distract, and help resolve your issues or feelings.

Now let’s discuss Mindful Eating. In today’s fast-paced society that tempts people with an abundance of food choices and busy schedules and distractions, we have shifted attention away from eating and enjoying your meal to now eating in front of televisions, computers, at your desk at work, and smartphones. Unfortunately, it has become the norm of a typical daily routine. Mindful eating is a technique that helps you gain better control over your eating habits.(2)

A great way to describe Mindful Eating is from the Center for Mindful Eating, which defines Mindful Eating as “allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities available through food selection and preparation by respecting your inner wisdom.” “Using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is satisfying to you and nourishing to your body and becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating.”

Below are some tips on being more of a Mindful Eater:

  • Eat slowly and without distraction. Make sure you eat slowly, chewing every bite and move away from the computer or desk when enjoying your meal.
  • Listen to physical hunger cues and eat until you’re full. As we talked with Intuitive Eating, make sure only to eat when you are truly hungry and stop when you are satisfied at 80-90% full.
  • Engaging your senses when eating. Make sure to take time and enjoy every bite in your meal. Smell the amazing aroma, see how great your meal looks, and enjoy the taste of your food.
  • Learning to cope with your emotions like guilt and anxiety about food. 
  • Eating to maintain overall health and well-being. Eat to fuel your body for energy and nutrients but not our of boredom or emotions.

Bottom line, both Mindful Eating and Intuitive Eating, have been shown to promote weight loss, reduce binge eating, and help you feel better. Both styles of eating are a powerful tool to regain control of your eating and help you be able to pause. If conventional diets haven’t worked for you, this technique is worth considering. What do you think?

Summer Inspired Meals

Ah, summertime. There is nothing like warm sunny longer days. The green grass, colorful flowers, smell of honeysuckle or gardenias in the air, lighting bugs glowing at night, and laying out or splashing in the pool or beach. Now is the time to ditch recipes sweating over the stovetop or oven. Below are some quick easy-breezy summer-inspired meals that are great for you to enjoy the seasonal produce that summer has to offer! 

I have included a range from no-bake easiness to using the grill to help maximize your time outdoors and keep the heat out of the kitchen. Keep your summer eating simple and fun while still working towards your towards health goals.

Pineapple Coconut Shrimp

Total time-25 minutes

9 ingredients

Ingredients

  • 3 Garlic (cloves, minced)
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 lbs Shrimp (raw, peeled and de-veined) *If vegetarian or vegan, use extra firm Tofu and make sure water has been pressed as much as possible
  • 4 Cups Fresh Pineapple (diced into chunks)
  • 2 Tbsp Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 12 Barbecue Skewers

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, parsley, and sea salt. Mix well. Add shrimp (or Tofu if plant-based) and toss well to coat.
  2. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  3. Slide a shrimp (or Tofu) onto a skewer, followed by a pineapple chunk. Repeat until all ingredients are used up.
  4. Transfer skewers to the grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until shrimp is pink. If using Tofu, cook time will be the same. Remove from grill and sprinkle with coconut flakes. Serve over a bed of greens or with your favorite side dishes. Enjoy!

Notes

No Pineapple? Use lemon or peaches or mangos instead.

Like it Spicy? Add Sriracha or Cayenne pepper to the sauce.

No Shrimp? Add Chicken, Fish, or do just Vegetables

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving)

Serves 4

Calories 357, Fat 10g (Sat 3 g, Trans 0g, Polyunsat 1g, Monounsat 5g) Carbs 23g, Fiber 3g, Sugar 16g, Protein 47g, Cholesterol 365mg, Sodium 570mg


BBQ Chimichurri Chicken

Total time- 30 minutes

6 Ingredients

Ingredients

  1. 1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  2. 1 cup Cilantro (thick stems removed)
  3. 1/4 cup Fresh Oregano
  4. 4 Garlic (cloves)
  5. 3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
  6. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  7. 1 1/4 lbs Chicken Breast (skinless, boneless) *If vegetarian or Vegan you can use Portabella Mushroom caps, Squash, or Eggplant.
  8. 2 Sweet Potato (medium, peeled and cut into wedges)

Directions

  1. Add vinegar, cilantro, oregano, garlic, 2/3 of the olive oil, and salt to a food processor and blend until smooth. Occasionally scrape down the sides as needed.
  2. In a large bowl, coat chicken breasts or vegetables in half the chimichurri sauce and set aside. In a separate bowl, coat sweet potato wedges in the remaining olive oil.
  3. Preheat grill on medium heat. Grill the chicken breasts or vegetables until cooked, about 10 to 12 minutes each side. Grill the sweet potato wedges on all sides, about 10 minutes total.
  4. Transfer to plates and top with the desired amount of chimichurri. Enjoy!

Notes

No Cilantro? Use parsley instead

Storage– Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 days. Leftover chimichurri will keep up to 7 days.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving)

Serves 4

Calories 609, Fat 45g (Saturated 6g, Trans 0g, Polyunsat. 5g, Monounsat. 31g) Carbs 18g, Fiber 4g, Sugar 3g, Protein 34g, Cholesterol 102mg, Calcium 123mg


Strawberry Maple Walnut Salad

Total time -15 minutes

7 ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Walnuts
  • 1 Tbsps Maple Syrup
  • 4 Cups Baby Spinach
  • 1 Cup Fresh Strawberries (sliced)
  • 1/4 Goat Cheese (crumbled) or Vegan Cheese if preferred
  • 1 1/2 Tbsps Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt (optional)

Directions

  1. Toast walnuts in a pan over medium heat. When slightly browned, coat with maple syrup. Turn heat to low and stir until sticky (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat.
  2. Divide spinach into bowls. Top with strawberries, goat cheese, and toasted walnuts.
  3. Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over your salad and enjoy!

Notes

Want More Protein? Add quinoa, edamame, chickpeas, or strips of chicken breast.

Short on Time? Leave the walnuts raw and add maple syrup to the dressing.

No Goat Cheese? Use feta or cashew cheese instead.

No Fresh Strawberries? Use in-season fruit like peaches, berries, apricots, or plums

Storage-Refrigerate in an airtight container with dressing in a separate up to 2 to 3 days.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving)

Serves 2

Calories 387, Fat 33g (Saturated 5g, Trans 0g, Polyunsat. 15g, Monounsat. 10g, Carbs 20g, Fiber 5g, Sugar 12g, Protein 9g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 264mg, Calcium 122mg


Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca

Total time-10 minutes

5 Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Seedless Watermelon (large)
  • 2 Tbsps Maple Syrup
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup Mint Leaves
  • 1/2 Lime (sliced into wedges)

Directions

  1. Slice your watermelon into rounds and then into quarters. Slice off the rind. Dice the watermelon and add to the blender with maple syrup and water.
  2. Divide mint and lime wedges into drinking glasses. Use a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon to mash them together.
  3. Add ice (optional) and pour watermelon agua fresca into each glass. Stir to combine and enjoy!

Notes

Less Pulp? Strain your agua fresca after blending.

Garnish-Lime wedge, mint leaves, and/or coarse ground sea salt.

Like it Fizzy? Use sparkling water instead of flat water.

No Maple Syrup? Use honey or agave instead.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving)

Serves 4

Calories 198, Fat 1g (Saturated 0g, Trans 0g, Polyunsat 0g, Monounsat 0g, Carbs 50g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 41g, Protein 4g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 9mg, Calcium 60mg


Cherry Blueberry Coconut Popsicles

Total Time-4 hours

3 Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Frozen Cherries (roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Blueberries
  • 1/2 cup Organic Coconut Milk

Directions

  1. If you do not have popsicle molds, purchase 3oz cups and popsicle sticks from the dollar store. Insert each popsicle stick into the middle of cherry to anchor it in each cup.
  2. Add chopped cherries and blueberries to fill about 3/4 of the cup, around the stick. Fill the remainder of the cup with coconut milk.
  3. Place in the freezer for 4 hours or until completely frozen.
  4. Once frozen, run under warm water for a few seconds to make it easier to remove from the cup or mold. Enjoy!

Notes

Want it Creamier? Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender and divide it into cups.
No Coconut Milk? Use almond milk or any other dairy milk alternative.

Nutritional Facts (Amount Per Serving)

Serves 6

Calories 48, Fat 4g Saturated 4g, Trans 0g, Polyunsat 0g, Monounsat 0g, Carbs 4g, Fiber 1g, Sugar 3g, Protein 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 5mg, Calcium 3mg


I hope you enjoy trying some or all of the refreshing summer meals while having fun this summer. Let me know what are your go to meals and what are your summer favorites in the comments below!

A Healthy Plate

What should my plate look like?

We have all been there, confused about figuring out portion sizes and how to eat a balanced diet to the point you want to scream. It is important to make sure you are getting the right portions and combinations of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in each meal to be able to eat a balanced diet. I have put together some helpful tips and a diagram to see what your plate should look like with every meal along with a portion guide reference. Use this as a general guideline but try not to stress on getting it exactly perfect. The main point is to make sure every meal you eat is nutritiously balanced as much as possible. Enjoy and savory your meals. Bon Appetit!

  • Veggies are unlimited, especially non-starchy vegetables. Fill up the plate and have fun trying new veggies each week eating a variety of fresh vegetables each day.
  • Eat more Whole Foods and less processed. 
  • Eat fruit as a dessert or a great addition for a pre or post-workout snack.
  • Choose local or organic foods when possible.
  • Choose lean high-quality proteins like chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, or plant based protein (tofu, tempeh, soy, beans, or seitan). Limit red meat and avoid processed meats such as bacon, lunch meats, and sausage.
  • Choose complex carbohydrates (sweet potatoes, whole grains, quinoa, beans) over starchy or simple carbohydrates. Try to reduce sugary products, white flours goodies, processed treats, and fruit juices or sodas.
  • Make sure fats are limited and healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, etc. Watch your oil intake, fried foods, cream sauces, butter, and mayonnaise intake.
  • Use a smaller plate if you tend to overeat or if your eyes get bigger than your stomach.
  • Make sure you start every meal with a full glass of water to stay well hydrated and to help you distinguish if you are truly hungry. Staying hydrated is very important. Try to make sure you get in at least a minimum of 8 -8oz glasses a day but aim closer to 10-12 (8oz) glasses a day depending on your activity level.

An important note to remember, these tips are guidelines to help simplify and make it easy on keeping a balanced meal. It will make sure you are eating nutrient-dense foods and a good balance of macronutrients in which will help reduce any deficiencies.

Figuring out portions to eat with every meal based on the plate diagram can be confusing, so I have broken down portions for each macronutrient to make it easier for you. This will also help you keeping everything balanced along with meeting your protein, vegetable, carb, fat, and calorie intake without having to count a single calorie. Below is a helpful guide to go as a starting point for your portion size, assuming you’re active and eat about 4 meals per day.

MEN

For each meal, begin by eating:

  • 2 palm of hand-sized of protein-dense foods
  • 2 fists of hand-sized of vegetables
  • 2 cupped handfuls-sized of carb-dense foods
  • 2 thumbs width-sized of fat-dense foods.

WOMEN

For each meal, begin by eating:

  • 1 palm hand-sized of protein-dense foods
  • 1 fist of hand-sized of vegetables
  • 1 cupped handful-sized of carb-dense foods
  • 1 thumb width-sized of fat-dense foods.

The portion guideline doesn’t necessarily provide perfect total daily intakes and all individuals are different depending on how active an individual may be. Make sure to listen to your body and go with your hunger cues.

I don’t you about you, but I am now hungry thinking about food and my plate. Ha. Go have fun filling up your plate with healthy creations and get inspired.

If you have any questions, concerns, or if this is overwhelming-please do not hesitate to call or email me. I am always here to help out in any way possible.

You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. None of my services shall be used to diagnose or treat any health problem or disease. I cannot and do not provide medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before altering your diet or starting any fitness program