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Achieving A Balanced Diet + New Superfood Recipes!

Achieving  A Balanced Diet

Developing healthy eating habits isn’t as hard or restrictive as many people imagine. The main steps are to eat mostly foods from fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans while limiting consumption of processed foods. Here are a few steps to help you achieve a healthier and more balanced diet!

1) Eat a variety of foods
Eating a wide assortment of foods helps to ensure you get all of the disease-fighting potential that foods offer. You are more likely to stick to a healthy eating plan by switching up your healthy food sources to prevent boredom as well.
2) Keep an eye on portions
Feel free to eat all the fresh fruit and veggies you like! However, make sure to not over indulge on calorie dense foods such as pizza and ice cream. Decline “super-sizing” your meals and pick an appetizer or share and entrée with a friend when dining out. Keep in mind the portions we get at restaurants are often way too large! Also make sure you are reading your food labels and checking the serving size. It is easy to eat an entire box of cookies so make sure you measure out the correct size to avoid over eating 😉
3) Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
If you are on a 2,000 calorie a day diet, make sure to eat 2.5-3 cups of veggies and up to 2 cups of fruit a day. Fill your plate up with a variety of colors- green, red, yellow, orange, blue and purple fruits and vegetables. The rich colors mean they are filled with disease fighting antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
4) Eat more whole grains
Switch out your white bread for bread made from whole grains such as whole wheat, oats and barley. Avoid any products that contains “white flour” or “enriched flour” on the label. Make sure your bread reads 100% whole wheat or 100% whole grain. Also start including healthy grain alternatives in your meals such as brown rice, oatmeal and quinoa.
5) Limit refined grains and added sugar
The refined carbohydrates found in snacks, baked goods, white pasta and white bread are stripped of its fiber and nutrients. Limit the sugar and empty calories that cause weight gain from sodas and candy.
6) Eat more fish and nuts
Consume more healthy unsaturated fats such as almonds, walnuts, fish and avocados. These fats are still calorie dense so watch your portions, but they do not tend to promote weight gain because they are satisfying. Fatty fish such as salmon has healthy omega-3s that can help prevent heart disease.
7) Watch the liquid calories
Make your first beverage choice be water! Save a ton of calories by cutting out soda and juice that’s loaded with sugar. If you drink juice, make sure its 100% fruit juice and limit it to one cup a day.
8) Get rid of trans fats
Trans fats are in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils used in many processed foods such as baked goods, margarine and snack foods. Trans fats raise the bad (LDL) cholesterol and lower the good (HDL) cholesterol which increases the risk of heart disease.
9) Cut back on your cholesterol consumption
Cholesterol is found only in meat and eggs. The average person shouldn’t consume more than 300 mg of cholesterol a day and 200 mg a day if you have high cholesterol or other coronary risk factors. Try cutting back on your meat and egg portions and try adding egg whites, fish or beans to get your required protein intake.
10) Watch your calcium and vitamin D
Calcium and vitamin D is vital for bone health. The average American needs 1,000 to 1,200 mg a day. You can get calcium and vitamin D by consuming fat free or low fat dairy products or fortified beverages. Try switching to unsweetened almond milk which is double the calcium of cow milk if you don’t get enough or take a supplement.

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Try these NEW Superfood recipes your whole family will love!

Gluten Free Baked Cheesy Pasta

2 cups rotini pasta (I use brown rice to make gluten free – you can also do corn or quiona pasta  but 100% whole wheat will do of you don’t need it gf)
1, 14 oz can of diced tomatoes*
1, 14 oz can of pasta sauce*
6-8 oz low fat shredded mozzarella cheese*
Additional spices such as oregano and rosemary
Directions:
Cook the pasta then mix the remaining ingredients together and bake for 30 minutes at 400 deg.

* make these Ingridents organic since they are part of the dirty dozen !

Blueberry Buckwheat Bread, gf, no added sugar

1/2 cup buckwheat flour
4 tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon chia seeds

4 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 eggs
4 tablespoons milk
INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix the dry ingredients then the wet & bake in a loaf pan at 375 deg until done! (About 30-40 min I think;)

Enjoy!!!

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10 Tips To A Thinner Thanksgiving!

#1 Eat Breakfast

While you might think it makes sense to save up calories for the big meal, experts say eating a small meal in the morning can give you more control over your appetite. Start your day with a small but satisfying breakfast — such as an egg with a bowl of oatmeal — so you won’t be starving when you arrive at the gathering.

#2 Lighten Up

Make your recipes healthier with less fat, sugar, and calories.

A few suggestions…

  • Use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy.
  • Use sugar substitutes in place of sugar and/or fruit purees instead of oil in baked goods.
  • Reduce oil and butter wherever you can.
  • Try plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles.

Also, keep in mind that some holiday foods are better choices than others.

White turkey meat, plain vegetables, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie tend to be the best bets because they are lower in fat and calories.  AND if you keep your portions small, you can enjoy whatever you like!!!

#3 Get Active

Create a calorie deficit by exercising to burn off extra calories before you ever indulge in your favorite foods!

#4 Drink responsibly.

Unfortunately, liquid calories can sneak up on us during the holidays. Go easy on the booze and stick to a healthier cocktail like a vodka soda or bloody mary to avoid excess sugar. 

#5 Skip the seconds.

Wait about 20 minutes (the amount of time it probably takes to feel full) before filling up the dinner plate again. Unless you’re really hungry, save some food for leftovers! 😉

#6 Don’t deny dessert.

The holidays shouldn’t be about restricting certain foods — just try to enjoy them in moderation! Stick to one slice of pie instead of totally skipping the dessert table.

#7 Chew slowly.

How quickly we eat really does matter.  Chewing slowly could mean less calories consumed, so take a chill pill when digging into the dinner plate .

#8 Hydrate.

Make sure to drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Not drinking enough could spark hunger pangs, which may actually be thirst.

#9 Go easy on the appetizers.

Cheese and crackers can happen any day of the year. Save your appetite (and calorie consumption!) as it gets closer to dinnertime.

#10 Focus on Family and Friends.

Thanksgiving is not just about the delicious bounty of food. It’s a time to celebrate relationships with family and friends.  Try a few of these healthier Thanksgiving recipes I love!

Sweet Potato Bread Pecan Bread
1 1/2 cups flour of choice (I use Spelt flour)
½ tsp sea salt
1 to 1.5 tsp baking powder
1 cup stevia for baking
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 TBSP oil (I use coconut)
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons milk (use coconut, soy, almond or rice milk to make dairy free)
2 eggs
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup golden raisins
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 8×4-inch loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray. In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.
2. Add oil, milk and eggs; blend well. Stir in sweet potatoes, pecans and raisins until well mixed. Pour into pan.
3. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Apple Crisp
Ingredients
Filling:
6 cups diced apples (I like a mix of Granny Smith & Macintosh)
⅓ cup sugar (coconut, maple or palm sugar)
3 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon maple syrup
juice from ½ lemon
Topping:
⅓ cup sugar of choice (I used coconut sugar)
¾ cup quinoa flakes
⅓ cup flour of choice (I used spelt or brown rice flour)
¼ cup coconut oil, room temperature
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Instructions
*Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a 9×13 dish or large casserole dish with a dab of coconut oil and set aside.
*Combine filling ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat apples in the mixture. Make sure everything is well mixed before dropping into the prepared casserole dish.
*Place topping ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well combined.
*Sprinkle topping over apples.
*Place in preheated oven for a total of 50 minutes, covering with a loose fitting glass lid or sheet of aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent the top from burning.
*Once complete, allow to sit with lid off for 20 minutes or so. Then top with a small scoop (remember, moderation!) of healthy low sugar ice cream or topping of choice!

 
Healthier Green Bean Casserole
Ingredients
2 (16-ounce) bags frozen green beans, thawed
1 (10-ounce) can low-fat cream of mushroom soup
3/4 c skim milk
1 tsp black pepper
1 c canned fried onions

If desired, stir in 2 cups sautéed mushrooms.

Directions
Mix soup, milk, and pepper in a large bowl, then stir in the thawed green beans. Transfer to a greased casserole dish.
Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 30 minutes, until the casserole is bubbling.
Remove from the oven and top with the onions. Bake another five minutes to crisp the onions.

Makes 10 servings (heaping 1/2 cup)

Enjoy & have a healthy & happy holiday season!!!

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Super-foods for Weight Loss!

real food

These multitasking “super foods” provide multiple disease-fighting nutrients, fill you up so you can enjoy plenty of food without excess calories, and are easy to include in everyday meals.

Black beans

A cup of black beans packs a whopping 15 grams of satisfying protein and doesn’t contain any of the saturated fat found in other protein sources, like red meat.

Oats

Oats are rich in fiber, so a serving can help you feel full throughout the day. Just a half cup of this healthy carb that boosts metabolism and burns fat.

Avocados

There’s no reason to be afraid of eating fats, as long as they’re the right fats. Oleic acid, a compound in avocados’ healthy monounsaturated fats may trigger your body to curve its hunger. Keep your serving to a quarter or a half of an avocado. This creamy fruit is also packed with fiber and protein.

Salmon

Lean sources of protein help you feel full without adding fat. However, 50% of women ages 18 to 50 don’t get enough of this essential nutrient. Up your intake with salmon; it’s a leaner choice than red meat and is chock-full of omegas.

Blueberries

Best known for their anti-aging effects, blueberries, also are full of filling fiber and low in calories: A 1-cup serving has only 80 calories, and 4 grams of fiber.

Broccoli

Cooked or raw, this veggie is well-known for its cancer-preventing powers. With lots of filling fiber in less than 30 calories a serving, it’s a super-food to prevent weight problems too.

Brown rice

Brown rice is a heartier, fiber-packed alternative to less-than-super white rice. It is also a low-energy-density food, meaning it’s heavy and filling but low in calories.

Pears

Just one pear packs 15% of your daily recommended amount of fiber. One study found that women who ate three pears a day consumed fewer calories and lost more weight than those who didn’t. Eat the skin though; the skin is where all that filling fiber is hiding!

Wine

Resveratrol, the antioxidant found in grape skin, stops fat storage. Studies show that moderate wine drinkers have narrower waists and less belly fat than liquor drinkers. Drinking a glass can boost your calorie burn for a good 90 minutes.

Grapefruit

A compound in this fruit can lower insulin, a fat-storage hormone, and that can lead to weight loss. It’s also a good source of protein, and because it’s at least 90% water, it can fill you up so you eat less.  Sprinkle a bit of stevia on it if you don’t like the sourness.

Almonds

Nuts are another super-food rich in healthy fats that help you lose weight. Swap almonds for a carb-heavy snack like crackers.

Green tea

Like water, green tea can help fill you up and loose a few pounds. Plus, the antioxidants in green tea will up your fat burn and calorie burn. One study found that five cups a day could help you lose twice as much weight, most of it around your middle.

Dark chocolate

A bit of dark chocolate here and there can slow down digestion so you feel full longer and eat less at your next meal. Dark chocolate is full of the healthy fats we need; studies show eating a diet high in these healthy fats can rev your metabolism to burn fat and calories. It may also help by curbing cravings for salt, sweet, or fatty foods.

Eggs

This breakfast staple is loaded with protein that will curb your appetite.

Try this recipe: Scrambled egg burritos

Makes two burritos

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Dash of black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic butter or coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese or vegan cheese if dairy free is needed, divided
  • 2 (8-inch) tortillas (preferably whole wheat such as Ezekiel or Brown Rice), heated
  • 4 tablespoons chopped tomato
  • 2 tablespoons salsa

Preparation

  1. Whisk the first 5 ingredients (through pepper) in a medium bowl.
  2. Coat a medium nonstick skillet with cooking spray, and melt butter or coconut oil over medium heat. Add the egg mixture, and stir with a heatproof rubber spatula to scramble.
  3. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese down the center of one tortilla; top with half of the scrambled egg, 2 tablespoons tomato, and 1 tablespoon chunky salsa.
  4. Roll up burrito-style (fold bottom up and sides to center). Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Make this breakfast burrito even healthier by using egg whites instead of whole eggs to cut back on cholesterol and saturated fat. Use fat-free milk and fat-free cheese to cut out even more fat.

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Tips For Busy Moms & Raw PB&J Protein Bar Recipe!

Healthy Tips for Busy Moms!

Here are a few tips to make it a healthy week for your family, without too much effort!

#1. Stock up on groceries!

Prepare for the busy week ahead by stocking up on healthy groceries- if you have healthy stuff around, your much more likely to make good food choices.

#2. Prepare food in advance on Sundays

Take some extra time on your Sunday afternoon to make your food for the upcoming week. Pre-portion some items in tupperware and zip lock baggies so its readily available.  For example, grill  a bunch of chicken, pre- chop fresh veggies & fruit, make a large salad, greek yogurt, some baked oatmeal, bake a bunch of sweet potatoes , ect.  This way you can grab food on the go!

#3. Get the kiddos involved!

Sit down with your kids for a few minutes to plan out the menu for the school week.  This will help to teach them early how to choose healthy meal items and organize what to put in their lunches.  Plan for 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% grains and 25% protein.

#4. Take a multivitamin.

These are no substitutes for eating a balanced diet- but they do help to fill the gaps! Other good supplements to consider include vitamin C, flax seed oil and/or  fish oil and a probiotic.

#5. Make time to eat & hydrate!

Always have a water bottle handy & snacks such as an apple, a protein bar (healthy, whole food ones!) almonds or granola in your purse for when you are on-the-go. Remember : you have to be well & take care of yourself in order to care for others!

PB&J Protein Bars!

Makes 4 Servings

1 &3/4 c Oatspb&j

2 scoops protein powder (I used vanilla – Blue Bonnet Whey Isolate- but chocolate would be awesome too!)

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup unsweetened Almond Milk

1/2 cup dried fruit of choice (I used Trader Joe’s dried blueberries but raisins, dried cranberries ect would be good as well!)

3 TBSP all natural PB (or almond butter, sunflower seed butter, cashew butter ect to make peanut free)

If you prefer extra sweet add 1/4 cup baking stevia, 2 packets of stevia or a few drops of liquid stevia to taste…

Mix all the dry ingredients then add the rest…press down hard into a brownie pan, put in fridge/freezer for a few hours to harden then carefully cut into 4 servings.  This makes a great on-the-go snack!

Enjoy!!!

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Blackberry Muffins, Brownie Cake Squares & health benefits of raw cacao!

Hope everyone is having a great week!! I wanted to share my latest healthy recipes I made for my mom’s birthday!  Who doesn’t love brownies & muffins?!  😉 Spring/summer is a great time to get fresh berries for the muffins, especially if you pick them yourself….also a cheap way to stock up on some organic fruit! (make sure you ask if pesticides are used where you go berry picking!) I also included some awesome benefits of raw CHOCOLATE & reasons why to include it into your daily diet below…

Fresh Blackberry Muffins

1/4 cup unsweetened organic applesauce

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 1/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute (I did half coconut sugar,  half baking stevia)

2 cups flour of choice (I always prefer sprouted grain flours such as spelt – you could do organic wheat, oat, spelt ect…I get all of my sprouted flours from www.bluemountainorganics.com )

1/2 cup liquid organic egg whites

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)

2 cups fresh blackberries (blueberries, strawberries, or other fruits would work as well!

Mix all the dry ingredients, add the wet then fold in berries.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.

 

Brownie Cake Squares

1 1/2 cup flour of choice (gluten free, whole wheat, oat, spelt, ect- I used a mixture of sprouted spelt and organic unbleached white wheat)

1/2 cup sugar (I used stevia for baking)

1/3 cup raw cacao powder (unsweetened cocoa powder would work too- I just love the many health benefits of cacao! See below!)

1/2 tsp baking sodabrownie

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 cup vanilla low fat or fat free yogurt of choice (I used regular organic fat free vanilla yogurt from Trader Joe’s…soy, coconut or almond yogurt would work to make this vegan!)

2 TBSP Coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

 

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or cow or coconut milk)

1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used the Enjoy Life vegan brand)

Mix all the dry ingredients, then add the wet.  Pour into a greased small square pan & bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees.

 

Health benefits of raw CHOCOLATE- AKA Cacao 😉 …

Cacao beans are rich in natural antioxidant compounds with many health benefits.   They contain natural chemicals called flavonoids, a type of antioxidant compound that promotes general health and might lower your risk of several diseases. Research has compared the antioxidant capacity of black tea, green tea, red wine and cocoa, concluding that cocoa has the highest antioxidant activity among the four products and the greatest potential for health benefits.

Minimally processed raw chocolate contains many vital vitamins and minerals such as:

  • Magnesium, and other essential minerals such as calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese
  • Polyphenols, antioxidant rich flavonoids
  • Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, C, E
  • Essential heart-healthy fat: oleic acid a monounsaturated fat
  • Protein
  • Fiber

 

A few health benefits raw cacao can provide include…


1) Raw Cacao can help lower blood pressure & improve circulation

Flavanols, theobromine, and other components found in cacao may lower blood pressure and enhance circulation by promoting dilation, strength, and health of blood vessels


2) Cacao promotes cardiovascular function & health

The antioxidant power of flavonoids and essential minerals and vitamins found in cacao can support healthy heart functioning by lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow, lowering LDL cholesterol, and reducing plaque buildup on artery walls.


3) Neutralize free radicals!

High levels of antioxidants protect the body from a buildup of free radicals from many environmental factors we come in contact with on a daily basis. Free radicals may damage healthy body tissue giving rise to cancer and cardiovascular disease. Our bodies need antioxidants to get rid of free radicals that can damage our cells.


4)Raw Cacao can improve digestion

Cacao has a ton of fiber and it also stimulates the body’s production of digestive enzymes.


5) Cacao can improve physical and mental well-being

There are many components of cacao including alkaloids, proteins, beta-carotene, leucine, linoleic, lipase, lysine, and theobromine, that all work together to improve physical and mental health. For example,it can help  to stimulate the central nervous system, relax smooth muscles, and dilate blood vessels, giving the body a boost of energy.Cacao can also  help improve mood and fight depression.

SO how can I add raw chocolate to my daily diet?!  EASY!!! One of my favorite ways is adding 1 TBSP to my smoothies- I normally will blend 1 BIG handful of spinach with 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 TBSP cacao powder (NO COCOA powder which is processed cacao) 1/2 to 1 scoop of Blue Bonnet whey isolate protein powder, 1 cup frozen berries & a bit of extra water/ice! Sometimes I will throw in 1/2 TBSP cacao nibs as well.. YUM!

You can also stir in cacao powder to your oats, sprinkle over yogurt, fruit, ect.. Use it in place of cocoa powder!

Don’t forget to eat your chocolate today!! ;))

XO!
T

 

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Breakfast Casserole

breakfast casseroleHope everyone is having a great week! I wanted to share this super easy breakfast casserole my husband loves… ( & I love it because he has breakfast for a few days, saving me from having to make his eggs every morning!) Try to use all organic ingredients since they all are part of the foods that contain the highest amount of JUNK…I added a list of the “dirty dozen”  &  the foods that are most important to buy organic below;)

Ingredients:
8 eggs
2 cups milk
3 cups veggies- I used potatoes (spinach, peppers, onions, asparagus, tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms, zucchini/squash ect)
1-2 cups cheese
1 lb meat ( I did turkey)
1 TBSP dijon mustard
2 tsp parsley flakes
salt/pepper to taste

Cook meat then combine remaining ingredients & pour into a greased (I use coconut oil) 8×10 pan… Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes. Done!

THE DIRTY DOZEN!  If you are on a budget and need to prioritize your organic purchases, I suggest you just buy the 12 most contaminated organic if possible :)

12 Most Contaminated (has the highest pesticide residues)

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

Furthermore, your meat, dairy and eggs should be organic. These products have the combined risk of pesticide, anti-biotic and cancer causing growth hormone exposure.

12 Least Contaminated

  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn (Frozen)
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas (Frozen)
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya
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Chocolate Coconut Protein Balls!

Happy Thursday! Hope everyone is having a good week & start to the New Year!

I wanted to share this quick & easy snack my family and clients love! Its great to have on hand to grab and go before or after workouts…. Remember dried fruit is calorie dense so only 2 per serving :) Recipe makes 6 balls! Just throw all these ingredients into a food processor, blend until a thick dough forms (will be pretty oily since walnuts are loaded with all those healthy omegas- but putting in the fridge will help with that), roll into balls, sprinkle/roll with coconut and put in the fridge!

1/3 cup walnuts
1/4 cup dates
1/4 cup raisins
raw cacao powder or chocolate protein powder to taste (I do 1/2-1 scoop)
Optional: You can also add in some chocolate chips or cacao nibs!

You can sub any nut such as pecans, almonds, or even sunflower seeds are good! Instead of the raisins you can do any dried fruit such as cranberries or cherries. If your batter gets too dry from too much protein powder then you can add a bit of honey or nut butter to make it sticky again.

ENJOY! XO!

T

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Healing A Broken Metabolism

I have been getting quite a few questions about “metabolic burnout” lately, so thought this would be a good topic to blog about. (Tying to write quickly as Kinslee naps so forgive any typos!)
This subject is quite popular in the fitness industry. After months and for some of us, years of continual overtraining and dieting, our bodies can really begin to suffer. Your body has just had it and it’s putting its foot down- or God is simply smacking you in the face telling you to chill out 😉 . No amount of caffeine will get your energy going and no amount of extra cardio or dieting will get you leaner. You may retain extra fluid (or gain weight), menstruation may stop or become way irregular, your hair may be falling out, skin is dry, low sex drive, insomnia, intolerant to cold, felling weak and just straight up feeling like CRAP.

I think a lot of us are so programmed with structured dieting, two a day cardios, stimulants, ect…that we do not pay attention to the subtle warning signs our bodies give us. It does not matter how lean we are or how many shows we win if we are feeling like crap and are unhealthy….QUALITY of life and correct PRIORITIES is what matters! And believe me- I am often preaching this to my clients nowadays!

A brief summary of my story for those who don’t know… after competing for several years straight with little breaks and after the biggest show of my life (Olympia 2010) my body was done. I ignored the fact I haven’t had a period in YEARS, I had to always take sleeping aids and was exhausted if I didn’t have caffeine. I generally still felt ok. However, one day I woke up, my hair was falling out, I was exhausted and freezing all the time, my insomnia was horrible, my skin was thin/dry and I was just not feeling right. It took months to figure out what was going on. Lots of blood test, time off work, doctor appointments, ect. Long story short, your girl (like many other women who just do NOT realize until it’s too late) is the poster child for the female athlete triad and metabolic/adrenal burnout! The female athlete triad is a combination of three conditions: disordered eating (not necessarily bulimia or anorexia but basically not eating enough to support your body’s needs- like staying too lean for too long), amenorrhea, and osteoporosis. A female athlete can have one, two, or all three parts of the triad. There are also other things like infertility and thyroid disease that go along with the triad…and I definitely experienced these things as well! I am now on thyroid medication and we had to do months of fertility treatments to get pregnant … our precious girl was SOOOOO worth every shot and pill though… haha 😉

Even after that rough year, I am beyond grateful for the amazing career I had as an IFBB professional Figure competitor and for each experience I went through afterwards. It has allowed me to help other women and my clients train correctly and SMART. Most importantly, it has opened my eyes to what really matters in life…”God is good” is an understatement!

Everything happens for a reason! Looking back…I can honestly say I thankfully have learned SO much. Being on stage is not always the “picture of health” as many people think.

Nowadays …Thanks to these life changing experiences and my beautiful growing family, my love for fitness is renewed. God, family & friends are priority, my diet and exercise regime is balanced (and kicking a@# five months postpartum might I add … lol 😉 , we eat organic and use organic products (cleaners, beauty products, ect) and I have a healthy outlook on life.

Anywayssssssss… quite a few women have asked me what I did to regain my health, so I thought I would share some things I did as the competition season comes to a close this year. (You definitely do NOT need to be a competitor to experience any of these things or to take these tips BTW)……

If you find yourself feeling like you are “stuck” and the things you were once doing aren’t working anymore, (or just feel like crap and you know your metabolism and adrenals are suffering) here are some tips to give your metabolism a makeover!

*Quit the “diet”. Forget low carb, low fat and low calories. Fuel your body with nutrient dense foods to help your body heal.

* De-Stress! Stress can really hinder your metabolism. It’s a hormonal and chemical reaction involving cortisol and glucose. Find ways to relax and prevent chronic anxiety and stress to help your metabolism get back on track.

*Eat 5-6 small meals per day. Unlike the typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner routine, eating several small meals can prevent your metabolism from slowing down throughout the day.

*Cut out the sugar. This includes all processed foods and artificial sweeteners. These make your body work extra hard to digest and process. Eat as close to nature as possible.

*Switch up your workout routine and let your body rest when needed. If your body is accustomed to doing long steady state cardio sessions, switch it up to intense 20 minute workouts. If your body is telling you to not workout at all and rest to rejuvenate…then rest! LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!

* Drink more water! Most of us are walking around dehydrated. When you are dehydrated, your whole body functions less efficiently. Make sure the water is nice and cold. Theoretically, your body works harder to bring cold water to your body temperature, which is an extra boost for your metabolism.

*Ok…here is a tough but super important one…SLEEP!!!! We are one sleep deprived & “running on empty” nation! Getting adequate sleep can really help reset your body and metabolism by allowing it to heal.

*Caffeine… This is known to jump start the metabolism…. I feel caffeine is too taxing on the adrenals if taken in access and for too long. A bit is ok but I would stay away from too much and switch to some green tea- lots of antioxidants and less caffeine than coffee & energy drinks! Also- if taking fat burners…stop! These can really take a toll on your body overall and be very damaging in the long run. Your heart and liver will thank you . My girls know I do NOT like them 😉

I hope these tips may have helped some of you! Enjoy the holidays that right around the corner! Stay thankful, happy, healthy & safe! xo!!!
T

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Healthy “Reeses” Chocolate Balls!

These vegan treats are super easy & great as a healthy treat for all those peanut butter/chocolate cravings! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Peanut Butter Filling:

3/4 cup natural crunchy peanut butter (choose an all natural one without added oils/sweeteners- you could also do almond butter, sunbutter, cashewbutter, ect)
1/4 cup agave
1/2 cup coconut flour
pinch of sea salt

Chocolate Coating:

4 oz. Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (or you could just organic dark chocolate but these are vegan friendly)
1 teaspoon coconut oil

Directions

Mix the PB, coconut flour and agave, roll into balls and place on parchment paper. Set them in the freezer to harden (about 15-20 mins) Melt the chocolate and oil in the microwave then roll the PB balls in the chocolate to coat. Place back in the freezer for another 15 minutes or so…DONE! ENJOY!

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The Best Protein Pancakes!

1/2 cup quick cooking oats
2 TBSP coconut flour
1/2 scoop whey isolate protein powder
Stevia to taste (maybe 1 packet)
Cinnamon to taste
1/3 cup organic liquid egg whites
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

Combine the first 5 ingredients then add the egg whites & almond milk. You can also add some blueberries, chocolate chips, crushed walnuts, canned pumpkin, mashed banana, ect! Cook on a griddle greased with a bit of coconut oil or my favorite…the green perfect pancake pan! LOVE it!  Optional toppings: coconut oil, ghee, almond butter/jelly, coconut butter, pure maple syrup…

ENJOY! XOXO!

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