Are you a speed eater? Tips to help you slow down (+Shamrock Shake recipe)

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy a delicious healthy green smoothie (a.k.a. Shamrock Shake).  The recipe is down below but first, let’s talks about how quickly you’re eating.

green smoothie

Do you find that you eat faster than everyone else at the table? Are you always the first one done?  You may want to take a pause and slow down.  According to research published in the online journal BMJ Open, your eating speed may be negatively impacting your weight.

Researchers suggest that slowing down the speed at which you eat, along with cutting out after dinner snacks and not eating within 2 hours of going to sleep may help you to decrease your waistline and body fat.  Furthermore – and more importantly – interventions aimed at reducing the speed of eating may be effective in preventing obesity and lowering the associated health risks such as impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance.

Eating slowly can help you feel full with less food and fewer calories.

Use these 5 simple tips to help you slow down, enjoy your food, and eat less.

1.  Avoid extreme hunger. Eating slowly can be near impossible when you’re feeling famished.  Most people need to refuel every 3 – 5 hours so never let more than 5 hours pass without eating.  If you allow yourself to get very hungry, you’re likely to inhaling your food and end up overeating.

2.  Chew each bite thoroughly. Take small bites and increase the number of chews before swallowing.  Aim to chew each bite of food about 10 – 15 times.  Savor the food as you chew and be sure to swallow before taking the next bite.

3.  Drink water with your meals. Research has shown that sipping on water during meals can help slow down the pace of eating and influence weight loss.

4.  Pay attention while you eat. Multitasking – like eating while watching television or working – can distract you and result in overeating.  Whenever possible, sit down to eat in a calm environment with minimal distractions.  Give full attention to your food while you are eating.

5.  Take a pause during your meal. About half way through your meal or snack, take a few minutes to assess your level of hunger/fullness.  Push away from the table a bit and take some deep breaths.  If you are starting to feel satisfied, it’s time to stop.  If you continue to eat beyond this point, you’re likely to end up feeling too full or stuffed.

Don’t forget to grab your Shamrock Shake recipe.  Enjoy!


Are you ready to get off the diet roller coaster and GET HEALTHY? I’d love to hear from you.  Let’s talk about how we can work together so you can achieve your personal best weight and maintain it with ease.  NO MORE DIETING.

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Power grain waffle recipe + healthy carb tips

March is National Nutrition Month.  It’s a great month to EAT CARBS!

In honor of NNM (and the health of your body!), I encourage you to eat carbs.  But not just any carbs –the healthy ones of course and yes, that includes waffles.  Recipe below but first a bit about how carbohydrate foods can help you get to your personal best weight and optimal health.

Get to know the carbs in your “low carb” diet and make sure they are good for you.


There are two general types of carbohydrate:

Simple (aka “bad”) carbohydrates are simply sugars.  All simple carbohydrates are made of just one or two sugar molecules.  They are digested rapidly and provide the quickest source of energy.  Unfortunately, most foods high in simple carbohydrates contain few nutrients and are often high in calories.  They lack fiber, pass into the bloodstream rather quickly, and can lead to cravings, overeating, and weight gain.  Therefore it’s best to limit your intake of simple carbohydrates.

Some sources of simple carbohydrates:

  • Table sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Jams, jellies
  • Fruit drinks
  • Soda
  • Candy

Complex (aka “good”) carbohydrates are made of sugar molecules strung together like a necklace.  They are commonly found in whole plant foods making them high in vitamins and mineral.  They digest slowly keeping your blood sugar more stable than simple carbohydrates do.  Complex carbs are often rich in fiber making them more filling so you feel satisfied with less food. This can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

These whole plant foods are among the healthiest complex carbs:

  • Green veggies including kale, arugula, Swiss chard, spinach
  • Starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin, turnips, winter squash
  • Whole grains like oatmeal, pasta, bread, barley
  • Beans, lentils, peas
  • Whole fruits including as berries, citrus, apples, kiwis

Lastly, choose the least processed carb options most of the time. This means limiting your intake of sweetened beverages, potato chips, white bread, sugary cereals and cereal bars, candy, pastries, fried foods, and other highly processed or refined foods.  These items can contribute to weight gain, interfere with weight loss, and promote diabetes and heart disease.

For a filling and delicious healthy carb breakfast or anytime meal, check out this healthy waffle recipe.   Skip the syrup and top with fresh fruits, nuts, and even peanut butter. I like to call them Power Grain Waffles because they keep me feeling satisfied and give me sustained energy for several hours after I eat them.



One of the best ways to take charge of your health is by choosing nourishing foods. Even the busiest of people can learn to do this.  I’m happy to help.  Give me a call and let’s talk.



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Chocolate without the guilt (5 indulgent recipes you can make today)

It’s that time of year again.  Those big heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are everywhere.

I’m sure you’ve heard that chocolate isn’t as bad for you as once believed.  Chocolate has gotten a lot of media coverage in recent years because it’s believed that it may help protect your cardiovascular system due to its antioxidant powerBut what impact does it have on your weight?

Although chocolate is often perceived as an indulgent and fattening food, research has shown that sustained consumption of small amounts of cocoa or dark chocolate do not increase weight.  But common sense must prevail.  When chocolate is processed with added ingredients (especially sugar), the end product will be a concentrated source of calories – think store-bought cookies, donuts, cake, ice cream, candy, and even cereal – making it a poor choice for your health and weight.

strawberry chocolate yogurt-2563664_1920

However, it is possible to enjoy chocolate AND maintain a healthy weight!  Here’s how …

Choose dark chocolate.  Go for minimally processed dark chocolate with 70 percent cocoa content or higher.  This is one of my favorite brands and not just because it tastes amazing.  The company uses strict standards for quality, ethical trade, and environmental sustainability.

Eat it in moderation (one ounce or less per day).  When you choose a quality brand with a very rich taste, a little goes a long way.  Take small bites, let it melt in your mouth, and truly savor it.

Enjoy it without guilt by creating your own healthy indulgent chocolate desserts.

  • Spread a thin layer of almond butter over a 1-ounce square of dark chocolate and top with 1 tsp of all-fruit raspberry preserves.
  • Cut a medjool date in half (remove pit); fill each half with natural peanut butter and a few extra dark chocolate chips; top with a sprinkle of unsweetened shredded coconut.
  • Blend 4 – 6 oz. plain low fat Greek yogurt with 1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder, 1-2 tsp maple syrup or honey, 1 tsp cacao nibs, and ½ tsp vanilla extract; top with berries and nuts.
  • Finely chop 1 ounce of dark chocolate; microwave on 50% power until almost melted, about 1-2 minutes; stir until smooth.  Dip mandarin orange segments in the chocolate, place on a parchment-lined plate and chill until set, about 10 minutes.
  • Make Overnight Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding. This recipe is sure to satisfy your taste for chocolate without all the added junk of the store-bought kind.



Do you want to learn how to get to your personal best weight without dieting?  I can help you with that.  Call me today  and let’s talk about your struggles and come up with a solution.


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Super Bowl game plan + tasty taco recipe

Will you be watching the big game tomorrow as The Eagles take on The Patriots?  I know I will!

The Super Bowl is an unofficial American holiday that is celebrated with lots of food and drink. It can be so much fun and yet disastrous if you’re trying to eat healthy.  

Typical Super Bowl party food is loaded with sodium, sugar, saturated fat, and calories. But with a good game plan, you can indulge and enjoy yourself without overindulging and feeling guilty.

Use these 3 tips and have a truly “super” day

  1. Make a plan of what you are going to eat for the day. Be sure to include a nourishing breakfast and a light lunch.  Actually write down your plan and stick to it.  Don’t go to the party hungry!
  2. At the party, fill your plate with lots of colorful veggies. This easy taco recipe for Chipotle Tofu Lettuce Tacos will help you do just that. If you are a guest, offer to bring these tacos to the party.  They’re a real crowd-pleaser and will help you stay on track with healthy eating. Note: chicken can easily be substituted for the tofu if you’d prefer.

tofu taco

  1. Keep yourself well hydrated by alternating alcohol with water if you plan on drinking. Start out with water or seltzer before you have any alcoholic beverages. Sip your drinks slowly. Set a limit on alcohol and keep to it.

I hope you enjoy the day tomorrow whether or not you spend it watching the big game.



If you are ready to get off the diet roller coaster and GET HEALTHY instead, I’d love to hear from you.  Let’s talk about how we can work together so you can achieve your personal best weight and maintain it with ease.  NO MORE DIETING.


Image credit:


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Stop counting calories and track fiber instead (+ easy dinner recipe you can make today)

If you’re trying to lose weight and find it helpful to track your progress, why not track something that will actually benefit your weight and health?  That something I’m referring to is FIBER.

High fiber foods can help with weight loss and decreased risk if heart disease.

According to research from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, adding high fiber foods such as vegetables and fruits to your daily diet is effective at producing weight loss and lowering heart disease risk.

Use these simple strategies  to boost your fiber intake.  Gradually work your way up to 25 – 35 grams per day and be sure to drink plenty of water.  Always read the Nutrition Facts Label and choose foods with a higher %DV of dietary fiber; for example, 20% DV or more of dietary fiber per serving.  FYI – the ancestral human diet contained upwards of 100 grams of fiber per day – imagine that!

red lentil curry(1)

One of the best sources of fiber are lentils.  According to, each ¼ cup of dry red lentils (which makes ¾ cup when cooked) packs 9 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein, plus roughly 25 percent of a day’s folate, 15 percent of a day’s iron, 14 percent of a day’s zinc, 9 percent of a day’s magnesium, and 6 percent of a day’s potassium.  Not bad for 180 calories, zero sodium, and around 25 cents per serving.

Check out this delicious recipe for Red Lentil Curry containing 9 grams of fiber per cup.  Enjoy!



If you are ready to get off the diet roller coaster and GET HEALTHY instead, I’d love to hear from you.  Let’s talk about how we can work together so you can achieve your personal best weight and maintain it with ease.  NO MORE DIETING.


Image courtesy of OZphotography at

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Here’s Your Anti-inflammatory Meal Plan for 2018. Happy New Year!

Don’t waste your time dieting this year.  Instead, GET HEALTHY!

Consider this…

Inflammation is a normal, biological response when something harmful or irritating affects a part of your body – this can be both good and bad.   Acute inflammation is a short-term healthy physiological response indicative of wound healing.  However, long-term chronic inflammation can accelerate aging and has been directly implicated in a wide range of degenerative health disorders including autoimmune diseases, obesity, diabetes, and atherosclerosis.

What you can do about it…

One of the most powerful things you can do is adhere to a pattern of eating that is anti-inflammatory.  Although people can and do lose weight when following the principles of this diet, it is not specifically intended for weight loss.  Rather, it is meant to provide adequate energy and ample vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, dietary fiber, and protective phytonutrients to help your body achieve and maintain optimal health.

red onion spices greens-266560_1920 (1)Follow these 12 steps and GET HEALTHY in 2018.


Use the power of real food to reduce inflammation in your body

  1. Cut the processed and junk food – and remember – some seemingly healthy foods are really not. When grocery shopping, be sure to read the ingredient list as well as nutrition facts label.
  2. Eat whole foods as much as possible. This can be tough when you’re crunched for time but there is a huge difference between picking up a couple donuts at the DD drive thru versus preparing some overnight oats topped with fresh berries, nuts, and cinnamon for example.
  3. Eat more fruit including fresh, frozen, or canned (BPA-free) in juice with no sugar added. Include small servings of 100% fruit juice such as Concord grape, pomegranate, prune, and cherry.
  4. Eat more vegetables including fresh, frozen, and canned (BPA-free) – no salt added. If you don’t like vegetables, it’s better to eat some rather than none. Try low-sodium tomato juice, vegetable soup, and juicing.
  5. Eat more intact whole grains. Experiment with some of the less common varieties such as millet, farro, buckwheat, quinoa, Kamut, teff, couscous, and wild rice. Check out this quinoa recipe.
  6. Eat low-mercury oily fish at least twice a week for the omega-3 fats such as sustainably sourced salmon, trout, Atlantic mackerel, and sardines.
  7. Include plant-based sources of omega-3 fats daily such as walnuts, edamame, hemp seeds, ground flax seeds, and chia seeds.
  8. Drink green, white, and rooibos tea and coffee as these are rich sources of anti-oxidants; limit caffeinated beverages to 2 eight ounce cups per day.
  9. Eat whole raw nuts and seeds, olives, extra virgin olive and avocado oil for monounsaturated fat.
  10. Avoid foods with lots of added refined sugars. Rely on the ingredient list for this information not the nutrition facts label which doesn’t distinguish between added and naturally occurring sugar. However, this is changing and will become a requirement by law as of June, 2018.
  11. Limit refined and processed fats and fried foods.
  12. Avoid trans-fats. Look for the words hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient list of any packaged foods. If you see them, put the food down and walk away.

A few more things you can do…

  • Exercise regularly as this helps the body to produce naturally occurring anti-inflammatory defenses.
  • Be sure to get enough sleep.  Most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best.  Losing sleep for even part of one night can trigger the key cellular pathway that produces tissue-damaging inflammation.
  • Find simple ways to destress throughout the day.  Just closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths can help.  Stress wreaks havoc on the mind and body.  Chronic psychological stress is associated with the body losing its ability to regulate the inflammatory response and this can promote the development and progression of disease.

How to get started with your new anti-inflammatory lifestyle plan

Start slow and gradually make these positive lifestyle changes. You don’t have to adopt all the steps at once.  Rather, choose some that you feel you can implement now and just get started – one step at a time.  Think of it as a journey and keep moving forward. It can take up to 6 months for the anti-inflammatory plan to have its full effect so hang in there and give it time.

Check out this FREE Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan.  Get delicious recipes for meals and snacks as well as grocery shopping lists to help you get started.  Try it out for FREE today!


Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss your health needs and talk about a more personalized plan.

I can help you with weight management, too.  Give me a call and let’s get the conversation started.


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30+ Healthy Snacks Under 200-Calories (download your copy today!)

Are you a snacker? 

Snacking is definitely a good thing as long as you’re smart about it.

Eating a snack or two between meals can take the edge off your hunger so that you don’t overeat at meal time.  The best healthy snacks provide a boost of energy during the day and help to keep you mentally focused.  On the flipside, picking all day long —particularly on foods of little nutritional value—can result in eating too much and even contribute to unwanted weight gain. The key is taking a smart approach to snacking.


  1. Snack because you are genuinely hungry. Make sure you are not snacking because you are bored, anxious, lonely, frustrated, or tired. Pay attention to how you are feeling and if you are truly physically hungry (growling stomach, headache, lack of energy or focus), have a snack if it’s not mealtime.  Most people tend to feel hungry about every 3 – 5 hours throughout the day.
  2. Use snacks to fill the gaps in your diet. Snacking can help you get in all the nutrients you need for optimal health.  In order to thrive, our bodies need a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients throughout the day. Getting all we need in just three meals a day can be difficult.  Use snacking as a way to boost your intake of key nutrients like calcium, protein, and fiber. That means avoiding unhealthy snacks like chips and candy and opting for fruits, vegetables, nuts, dairy products, and whole grains.
  3. To ensure the most nutritious snacks, plan ahead. This way you avoid deciding while standing in front of the vending machine at 3 p.m. while feeling hangry.  You will have already made a healthy mindful choice.  Be sure to add snack options to your grocery list so you have what you need on hand.  Take it one step further and pre-portion snacks in bags or containers so all you have to do is grab a couple on your way out of the door in the morning.

Don’t forget to grab your copy of Healthy Snacks Under 200-Calories for 30+ healthy snack ideas.



If you need more than snack ideas, I’m here to help.  Please get in touch and let’s have a conversation about your health and fitness goals.  Start the New Year off right with healthy eating action plan.

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Do This One Thing and Avoid Overeating on Thanksgiving (+ holiday recipe)

With Thanksgiving happening this week, there’s been a lot of food talk going on around my office lately.  Clients are scheduling last-minute strategy sessions for tips on how they can avoid overindulging and stay on track with their healthy eating plans.

Are you worried about going overboard on Thanksgiving and gaining weight?

There is one incredibly simple yet highly effective thing you can do to avoid this.

Set an intention for how you would like to feel after the meal and hold yourself accountable by writing it down.  Share your intention with a loving friend or family member for extra support.  Maybe they will join in and do it with you.  That’s it!


Of course, you need to be serious about it or it’s not going to work.  If you honestly want to feel well at the end of the day on Thanksgiving, set this as an intention and it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It really works.

Give it a try and let me know how you make out by adding a comment below.

Before you go, grab a copy of my Cranberry Fruit Relish recipe.  It’s hard to believe I’ve been making this since 1984.  It’s that good!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.  Wishing you lots of love and peace.



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Countdown to Thanksgiving: 5 tips to keep you feeling well (+ holiday dessert recipe)

Thanksgiving is meant to be just that – a day to give thanks – but a lot of people find this time year incredibly stressful. There are worries about family dynamics, meal preparation, and overeating that can turn the day from thankful to dreadful.

To help keep your Thanksgiving as happy and healthy as possible, I’ve come up with 5 tips to boost your mood and nourish your body during the next couple of weeks leading up to turkey day.


1. Eat to feel good. Overeating (or being too restrictive) doesn’t feel good physically or emotionally. It can lead to digestive distress, bloating, brain fog, lethargy, guilt, and even depression. Be mindful when you eat.  Pay attention to how you feel before, during, and after a meal or snack. Mindful eating is the best way to satisfy your appetite and leave you feeling energized; and it’s a very effective strategy to help manage your weight during the holidays as well.

2. Get outside and go for a walk. Sunlight, fresh air, and exercise have been shown to be instant mood boosters. Getting outside (especially in nature) and going for a brisk walk can help you deal with the stress and anxiety – even the sadness – that we so often experience during the holiday season.

3. Relax – it’s all good. Sh!t happens (as the saying goes) and all too often things don’t go our way. This can be extremely stressful especially when there is so much to do. Instead of trying to control everything, focus on controlling the controllables and letting go of the rest. How, you ask? Start by taking six to 10 slow deep breaths or try these quick breathing exercises to relax.  Another simple strategy to help you de-stress is meditation.  If you think you can’t do it, check out this video  and see how anyone – even a skeptic like you – can learn how to meditate. All you need is a few minutes and a quiet corner.

4. Hydrate and feel great. It’s so easy to forget about drinking water during the day especially when you have a lot to do. This can very quickly lead to dehydration and cause more than just thirst and dry lips. Dehydration can set the heart racing and make you feel light-headed, dizzy, and even alter your mood according to two studies conducted at the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory.  Be sure to drink enough water to stave off those “thirsty” mood swings and keep your body feeling energized.

5. Get your zzZs. Not only does adequate sleep help you feel good and look your best, it is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more. Here are some of the health benefits researchers have discovered about a good night’s sleep. Do your best to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night especially the day before Thanksgiving; you will have more fun. If you struggle with this, check out these tips to help you get your zzZs during the holidays.


Click here for my Naturally Sweetened Apple Pie recipe.  Enjoy it!

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10 Tips to Help You Stop Overeating (+ Pumpkin Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread recipe)

Has this ever happened to you? Not hungry, you walk into a room, see food, and grab some just because it’s there. That just happened to me yesterday. I wasn’t thinking about food or feeling hungry at all when I walked into the break room at my office and saw cookies on the table – homemade chocolate chip (my fav). They looked and smelled awesome so I grabbed one and ate it without a thought.


Why do we so often find ourselves eating mindlessly?

There are various reasons why we eat without thinking.  Some people eat because they are bored and it gives them something to do.  Others eat out of habit; for example, snacking while watching TV.  And it’s not at all uncommon to eat for emotional reasons as a way to make ourselves feel better.

Oftentimes we mindlessly follow cues from the outside world that tell us when and what to eat. Just seeing or smelling food is enough to make us want to eat.  It doesn’t take much brain power or effort to pick up a fork (or a cookie) and start eating – bite, swallow, repeat.  Unfortunately, overtime mindless eating can lead to excess body fat and eventual health problems.

Use these 10 tips to stop the mindless overeating.

  1. Before you start eating, think about why you are about to eat.
    • Are you feeling truly hungry (growling stomach, low energy, headache, can’t focus)?
    • Do you want to soothe emotions such as boredom, loneliness, stress, or sadness?
    • Would you like the experience of tasting a food that looks appealing?
  2. Use the Mindful Eating Journal to help you keep track of what, when, and why you are eating.
  3. Write down 3 or more things you can do instead of eating when you want to eat for emotional reasons. For example, you could read a book, take a walk, call a friend, or enjoy a cup of hot tea.
  4. Arrange your environment to support a healthy approach to eating. Try these strategies:
    • Use smaller bowls and plates. You’ll naturally end up with smaller portions.
    • When loading up a plate, cover half of it with vegetables.
    • Put healthier, lower-calorie foods like cut-up veggies in the front of fridge where they are easy to reach. The cheese can go in a drawer out of sight.
    • Get rid of the cookie jar and replace it with a fruit bowl.
    • When putting away leftovers, placing the most tempting items in foil or an opaque container so they’re easier to put out of mind.
    • Instead of eating straight from a package, transfer food to a plate or bowl so you can see the portion size.
    • If you stockpile foods, put them out of sight until you really need them.
  5. When you want to eat just because food is there and it looks good, set limits. Decide on a reasonable portion before you take some. Then go ahead and enjoy the experience but realize that the eating more will not taste any better; and you might regret it.
  6. After a meal, wait 15 – 20 minutes before eating a second helping or dessert. This will allow your stomach the time it needs to tell your brain that it has had enough.
  7. Eat breakfast every day and have it at about the same. This will help to create a healthy eating pattern and avoid extreme hunger by mid-morning.
  8. Aim to eat every 3 to 5 hours throughout the day. Eat a snack if your meal is more than 4 hours apart to avoid extreme hunger. Always have healthy snacks on hand just in case.
  9. Keep your body well hydrated. Drink water with and in between meals. This healthy habit will keep you well hydrated and help to avoid confusing thirst with hunger.
  10. Focus on the food while you are eating and avoid distractions. Slow down! Smell, taste, chew, and enjoy your food. Do not eat while watching TV, reading, or surfing the internet as this may cause you to eat more food than your body needs.


Click HERE to grab your RECIPE for Pumpkin Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread. Eat mindfully and enjoy!

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