Fitness & Wellness

Dishes that Make the Vegetable the Star

Dishes that Make the Vegetable the Star

For most of our lives and for most of our eating patterns, vegetables have simply been the side portion to plates. They’re beautiful, of course, and a great way to get vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, but vegetables haven’t taken the brunt of our plates and eating patterns. But all that is changing as more and more people are turning to vegetables instead of traditional protein sources. And what’s also great about moving vegetables to the centerpiece of any meal is that there’s an ever-rotating selection of what you can sample, based on the season.
Summer, of course, offers an unmatched bounty. But there are really distinct options to look at in every season. And with non-traditional ways to prepare them, vegetables can even take over for things such as carbs — take the popular vegetable noodles, for example. How can you move vegetables into a more main consideration for your meals? This graphic offers some super-tasty ideas to consider.

It can be easy to think of vegetables as side ingredients or as supporting actors to the starring dish: meat. As Americans look to bump up veggie consumption, they’re realizing vegetables can be the star of any meal, anywhere… including the office. In fact, tasty, satisfying dishes can center around one or more vegetables with or without the addition of meat.

Bring on the veggies

Summer is easy bounty. Fall brings us the harvest’s grand finale. Winter reminds us that root crops and hearty veggies can keep us warm inside and out. Then there’s spring.

After a gray winter, the vibrant greens, purples, and reds of spring vegetables remind us that color is coming back to the world. As the days warm and daylight slowly stretches later into the evening, we can look forward to feasting on a growing bounty of veggies such as:

  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Bok Choy
  • Carrots
  • Fava Beans
  • Garlic
  • Herbs
  • Leeks
  • Morels
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Ramps
  • Rhubarb
  • Salad Greens
  • Scallions
  • Spinach

No matter how you want to incorporate veggies into your next meal, here are some savory must-try ideas to put more produce on your plate.

Veggie noodles

The idea behind vegetable noodles is simple: swap pasta or other styles of grain-based noodles with “noodles” made out of vegetables. Zucchini noodles, or zoodles, are perhaps the best known, but there are a wide variety of veggie noodles including ones made from:

  • Beets
  • Butternut squash
  • Carrots
  • Daikon radish
  • Sweet potatoes

Try it:

  • Sweet Potato Noodles at Natural Garden (Austin)
  • Zucchini Noodles at Hey Hey Canteen (New York)
  • Chelini Fresh at Pasta Works (San Francisco Bay Area)

Spiralized Veggie Dishes

Veggie-topped Pizza

Instead of piling meat onto your pie, swap some or all of your pepperoni or sausage with your favorite seasonal veggies. While caramelizing in heat, vegetables gain rich, complex flavors, and the variety of veggie textures adds joy to every bite.

Winter and spring vegetables are perfect for pizza. Here are a few ideas to up your topping game:

  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Ramps
  • Spinach

Try it:

  • Veggie Flatbread at Blue Line Pizza (San Francisco Bay Area)
  • Vegan Cheeseless Veggie Pizza or White Pie with Broccoli at Joe’s Pizza (New York)
  • Strictly Veggie Pizza at Home Run Inn (Chicago)
  • Deep dish pizza with spinach, ricotta, feta, mushrooms, onions, and garlic at Little Star (San Francisco Bay Area)

Vegetable burgers

The veggie burger is a simple idea: Instead of a savory meat-based patty, use a mix of legumes, grains, and/or vegetables for flavors and textures reminiscent of a traditional burger, with the added health benefits of produce.

Veggie burgers can include a range of ingredients, depending on your diet and preferences. Beans and legumes often feature prominently in veggie burgers. The texture and hearty flavor of mushrooms—namely Cremini or Portobello—also makes them a popular ingredient. Here are some other plant foods you might find in a tasty veggie burger:

  • Black beans
  • Lentils
  • Eggplant
  • Carrots
  • Oats
  • Garlic
  • Greens
  • Flax meal
  • Green onions

Commercial plant-based alternatives are available, including Beyond Burger, Impossible Burger, Lightlife Smart Patties, and Before the Butcher’s Uncut Burgers. If you want to make your own instead, you can experiment with different veggies, grains, legumes, and more.

Try it:

  • Impossible Burger at Soul & Smoke (Chicago) and Dickson’s Farmstand Meats (New York City)
  • Vegetarian Woodstock Burger at Cluck-n-Burger (Austin)
  • Grilled Portobello Burger at Soul & Smoke (Chicago)
  • Tofu and Sweet Potato Burger on Portobello Buns at Creative Concepts (New York City)

DIY Veggie Burgers

Vegetable paella

For starters, yes, you can make paella at home. You can even get the crusty, browned, rice layer (called socarrat) the fabled Spanish rice dish is really all about.

While paella is known for being cooked in a dedicated paella pan, you can make an incredible version without one. You can cook paella in a frying pan or even a Dutch oven—just make sure the vessel you choose has a thick base so the bottom rice layer can crisp without burning.

Paella is also versatile enough to include your preferred mix of veggies and proteins, such as:

  • Shellfish
  • Sausage
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • White beans
  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Bok choy
  • Carrots
  • Fava beans
  • Leeks
  • Morels
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Ramps

Try it:

  • Paella Party at Patatas (San Francisco)

The Origins of Paella

Grilled vegetable skewers

Veggie skewers (or veggie kebabs) are a black-charred, bright-tasting, colorful way to ring in spring. The only requirements are that the vegetable be sturdy enough to fit on one or two skewers and cut to the right thickness so everything on the skewer finishes grilling at the same time (after all, no one wants some veggies burnt and others raw).

Here are a few good veggies to slice and skewer:

  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Morels and other mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes

Often a citrusy, bright-flavored sauce (such as a chimichurri or herb-garlic marinade) can be a great balance to the charred, intense flavors brought out by the grill.

Try it:

  • Veggie Skewers at Souvlaki (New York City)

Give veggies the star treatment tonight

No matter the season, it’s good for the body and good for the soul to bump up the produce in your diet. With these ideas to inspire you, how will you put veggies to work in your supper tonight?

Choices, choices, choices…

Choices, choices, choices…

When the social distancing mandate is lifted and we all emerge from our homes, you’re going to notice that many people put on weight during this stressful time. And it’s hard to blame them.

Because fitness is hard.

It’s hard when life is normal, let alone when the world is on lockdown causing our stress to steadily rise and tempting us to turn to comfort food.

Every day we have choices to make, and these choices take us closer to a fit and lean body or farther from a fit and lean body.

Exercise or NO Exercise?

Lace up your shoes and take a run or do a body weight workout instead of getting extra sleep, watching TV or doing whatever else it is that you’d rather be doing. Do this 3-5 times each week for 30-60 minutes.


Spend your spare time being as sedentary as possible. The less that you use your muscles, the more aches, pains and mobility limitations you’ll experience. Oh, and if you’re consuming more calories than your natural metabolism burns then you’ll steadily gain weight.

Eat for TASTE or for NUTRITION?

Choose your meals based on the nutritional makeup rather than following your taste buds. Limit your intake of simple carbohydrates and get lots of protein and fiber in each meal.


Eat whatever sounds and tastes good. The human palate is naturally drawn to items that are high in sugar, salt and fat. Your eat-whatever-diet will be filled with these fattening foods and will be lacking in protein and fiber. You’ll find your weight increases, and your energy levels plummet, accordingly.

Say YES or NO to Junk Food?

Turn down your favorite junk foods –even when you really, really want it. Cut simple sugars and harmful, processed fats out of your diet completely.


Solve your stress with your favorite junk food. As I mentioned above, your favorite foods are likely high in sugar, salt and fat. Or, more likely, your faves are high in all three! Your indulgent eating is going to raise the number on your scale higher, and higher, and higher.


Push your body to be stronger, faster and better during each workout. Don’t simply go through the motions in your routine – consistently challenge your muscles to do more each day.


Your goal is to be comfy. This means use as little muscular strength as you can on a daily basis. When you don’t use your muscles they begin to atrophy (shrink!), leaving you with less lean tissue. Since lean tissue raises your metabolism, a drop in lean tissue means you’ll be burning fewer calories at rest than ever before.

Count Calories or More is Better?

Limit your total calories to within an appropriate range for your size and goals. Remember, even healthy calories can add up to weight gain when you’re not careful.


There’s no limit on how much you eat – in fact more is better. As a result you often feel sluggish from your overloaded digestive system. And your motivation to exercise get fit becomes dimmer and dimmer.

So which choices will you make? And just because you’re stuck at home right now doesn’t mean that your body won’t be seen in the near future.

Concentrate on discipline, motivation and determination. Do the right thing rather than the easy thing. Most of all, constantly strive forward.

You can do this!

Got Stress? Get Moving!

Stressed out? Exercise is a simple solution to get you feeling good fast.

This is because every time you exercise your body increases its production of endorphins, which are responsible for that feel-good euphoria you get after a great workout or while chomping down on a piece of chocolate.

However, before you turn to chocolate and skip your exercise, remember the end result of each and choose which one will help you reduce stress in the long run.

5 Diet Questions for Fat Loss

5 Diet Questions for Fat Loss

Before you start a new diet, answer these five questions to see if it will help you lose fat.

Fat Loss Question 1: Does it make you hungry all day every day?

When you’re on a diet, it’s normal to feel the occasional tinge of hunger. Much of those light hunger pangs, however, should be done away with by drinking a glass of water. And if you stay busy enough with life in general, you ought to be able to ignore some other hunger. But if your diet has you feeling hungry at all times, you’re not going to last long.

To avoid falling into the pit of hungry despair, go with a diet that lets you eat protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Also, as stated above, drink plenty of water to avoid confusing hunger with thirst.

Fat Loss Question 2: Does it force you to drop food groups?

A healthy diet is one that incorporates appropriate amounts of food from each food group. When a diet cuts an entire food group from your eating options, you’re going to have a hard time surviving your diet for longer than a week or two.

One of the most popular food groups to cut is carbohydrates. While not eating carbs will indeed help you lose weight, carbs are what make it possible to store energy to make it through the day. No carbs, no energy, no willpower to maintain your diet.

Fat Loss Question 3: Is your mood suddenly unpredictable?

Everyone gets metabolic every once in a while, but if your diet is too restrictive, you may find your mood swings coming with greater regularity and severity. This happens because excessive caloric restrictions messes with the chemicals in your brain. When this occurs, there is no telling what direction your mood will go.

Before letting your diet ruin your relationships and put your job at risk, reconsider your diet and find one that helps you be cool, calm, and collect.

Fat Loss Question 4: Does it insist there is no need to exercise?

There are some diet plans that promise plenty of lost pounds without the addition of exercise.

If this is the type of diet you’re considering or are in the midst of, beware! Exercise comes with countless health benefits that will make your weight loss all the more beneficial. From preventing chronic pain to improving your energy level and sleeping better, exercise is a vital component to any diet.

Fat Loss Question 5: Do you still weigh the same?

It is true that the best way to lose weight is slowly—approximately one or two pounds per week. But take note that slowly doesn’t mean not at all.

In the event you’ve been on a diet for a few weeks without any results to speak of, then your diet is a flop. Drop it immediately and find something that will help you lose pounds. Otherwise, you’ll get discouraged with your diet and swap it for the old habits that got you where you are now.

Remember that a true body transformation comes only from a combination of diet and exercise. Call or email me today to get started on the only fitness program that you’ll ever need!

Strong muscular arms vector icon

9 Benefits of Strength Training

There used to be a time when very few adults included strength training in their fitness routine. It was thought of as extreme, unnecessary and even dangerous.

Strength training is when resistance is used to challenge your muscles in order to gain strength and endurance. It can be performed with traditional weights, exercise bands, medicine balls, cable machines, sandbags, kettle bells or even just using your own body weight.

Times have certainly changed as a multitude of strength training benefits were proven by experts, including:

  • Strength and muscle tone
  • Cardiovascular capacity
  • Speed, Agility and Flexibility
  • Resistance to injury and disease

If that’s not enough to convince you to include regular strength training in your fitness routine, then read on for 9 Benefits of Strength Training…

1. Strength Training Builds Muscles: Don’t worry, ladies. This does NOT mean that you’re going to ‘bulk up’ or look too masculine. What will happen is that your arms, tummy and legs will become tighter, leaner and more defined.

2. Strength Training Burns Fat: When it comes to losing size, all that you want to see disappear is fat, not muscle. Strength training ensures that you maintain and grow those muscles and only lose fat.

3. Strength Training Builds Strong Bones: The older we get, the more important our bone density is. A good strength training program is one of your best defenses against osteoporosis.

4. Strength Training Alleviates Anxiety, Stress and Depression: Sure, there are plenty of pills out there that claim to give these benefits, but you and I both know that strength training is more wholesome and effective way. And besides, who really wants pharmaceutical side effects?

5. Strength Training Promotes Better Sleep: Here’s another pill you can stop taking once you start strength training. Study after study have proven that strength training improves sleep.

6. Strength Training Can Relieve Chronic Back Pain: If you are one of the millions across the globe who suffer from back pain then you’ll love the benefit of reduced pain.

7. Strength Training Contributes to Insulin Sensitivity: Today diabetes is a huge threat. Minimize your risk by improving insulin sensitivity through regular, challenging strength training.

8. Strength Training Improves Good to Bad Cholesterol Ratio: Here is yet another pill that you could potentially stop taking while on a strength training routine. Blood pressure and heart health are of utmost concern, so why not give yourself the advantage of a strength training routine?

9. Strength Training Raises Metabolism: This helps to reduce body fat and to keep that body fat off, even on the days that you aren’t able to exercise. Pretty awesome, right?

A solid strength training routine will tone your legs, lift your buns, strengthen your core, and will result in inches and pounds lost.

If you’re ready to begin your body transformation then feel free to reach out to me.

Call or email me today and we will get you started on the exercise program that will reshape your body once and for all!

Basic Fat Loss Math

Basic Fat Loss Math

Would you like to be 50 pounds lighter just 12 months from now?

Can you image how you would look?

You’d look like a whole new, younger person.

It’s actually much easier than you think, and I’m not talking about invasive, costly surgery, or grueling routines.

All it takes is losing one pound each week. One single pound.

Let’s break it down mathematically. A pound is 3,500 calories—spread that over 7 days and you need a 500-calorie deficit each day to lose 1 pound in a week.

Your 500-calorie deficit can be done by a combination of increased calorie exertion (exercise) as well as a decrease in calories consumed (eating less).

First, record your normal weekly exercise – look at everything from walking to participating in sports to exercising in the gym. This is your starting point. From here you’ll need to burn an additional 3500 calories on top of your normal weekly exercise.

If you don’t currently exercise, then any new activity will count towards your 3500-calorie weekly goal.

Second, record your normal weekly food intake – this may be an eye-opener when you see how many calories you eat in a day. Record everything honestly, since you are only cheating yourself by not recording everything. Calculate the total number of calories that you eat in an average day.

Now divide the 3500 calories between your activity list and your food list. You could choose to eliminate 1000 calories each week and burn off an additional 2500. Or you may decide to burn 3000 calories and eat 500 fewer calories.

Here are 7 simple ways to cut 250 calories:

  1. Drink plain coffee instead of a sweetened coffee drink. Flavored coffee drinks are delicious but filled with way too much sugar. Drop 250 calories (or more) when you stick with plain coffee or tea instead of sugar-filled coffee drinks.
  2. Just say NO! to treats and snacks. For each tempting treat that you refuse to eat, imagine the 250 calories falling off of your waistline, and smile to yourself.
  3. Jog for 30 minutes. Want in on a little secret? The hardest part about a simple 30-minute jog is the act of getting your shoes on and walking out the door. It’s true.
  4. Exchange 20 oz of regular soda for water. You know that soda is filled with tons of sugar, so why are you still drinking it? Every time you crave an ice cold cola picture swallowing spoonfuls of white sugar. That’s probably the easiest way to weight gain. Stick with water and kiss those extra calories goodbye.
  5. Swim laps for 30 minutes. If your response to my jogging suggestion was ‘I have bad knees’, then you are in luck. Swimming is one of the best aerobic activities you can do, and it is impact-free. When you swim you recruit your entire body, a process which requires lots of energy—AKA calories.
  6. Eat an apple instead of a cookie. Do you always go for something sweet after dinner? While your first instinct may be to reach for a cookie or a bowl of ice cream, why not consider what nature has to offer? Fruit is sweet, natural and lower in calories than traditional desserts.
  7. Come give my fitness program a try. I have the whole calorie-burning equation down to a science, and I’d love nothing more than to help you achieve your fitness goal. My workouts have been known to burn hundreds of calories at a time, so what are you waiting for?

Losing 50 pounds in 12 months is very possible. Simply use the tips above to create your daily 500 calorie deficit and you’ll be shedding the weight in no time.

And if you’d rather have me do most of the work for you, then call or email to set up your no obligation consultation.

When you work with me, there’s a good chance that those 50 pounds will come falling off in less than 12 months. That wouldn’t be so bad, would it?

Holiday Party Survival Guide

Holiday Party Survival Guide

The time is here for parties, family dinners, and goodies around the house. This is a recipe for disaster, and if you’re not careful it could reverse your fat loss results quicker than you can say Happy Holidays!

I’d like to make it easy for you to stay on track with your healthy eating, even while being tempted by all kinds of holiday foods during this festive time of year, so keep reading for 5 Holiday Party Survival Guide Tips…

Holiday Party Survival Guide Tip #1: Don’t Eat Anything Fried

Fried food is loaded with fat and calories while offering zero nutritional value. It’s a lose-lose! Sure, fries and chips TASTE good, but healthier items also taste good. Just say no to the deep-fried items on the menu. You’ll be leaner, healthier and won’t have greasy fingers. 

Here’s a healthier alternative to frying foods… Use a broiler 
If you simply must have a French fry, then make them at home in your oven. Use sweet potatoes, as these are a more complex carbohydrate. Cut into matchsticks, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil along with a dash of salt, then place in your oven on broil. Mix every 5 minutes until the fries are tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Holiday Party Survival Guide Tip #2: Don’t Eat White Bread

White bread products have zero nutritional value and are quickly converted by your body into sugar. So, you really may as well eat a cupcake. Even breads that are technically wheat, but are as soft and smooth as white bread, should be avoided. Don’t be afraid to discard the bread from your sandwich or to push away that bread basket. Your waist will shrink and you’ll lose that bloated feeling that high carbohydrate meals give you. 

Here’s a healthier alternative to white bread… Enjoy Sprouted Grain Bread
If you must have bread, then stick with sprouted. Sprouted grain bread is a lot easier on your digestion and is packed full of nutrients. Sprouted grain breads are often kept in the freezer section since they don’t contain preservatives to prolong shelf life.

Holiday Party Survival Guide Tip #3: Don’t Eat Creamy Dressings

You were so good to order a salad, but then you ruined it by drenching the salad in fattening creamy dressing. Just a few tablespoons of creamy dressing contain more than 20 grams of fat and hundreds of calories. The same goes for pasta dishes – avoid the ones with creamy, heavy sauces, as these are simply loaded with extra fat and calories. 

Here’s a healthier alternative to creamy dressings… Vinegar Dressing and Red Sauce
Dressing and sauce are meant to lend flavor to salad and noodles, not fat and calories. Vinegar-based dressings pack amazing flavor in with minimal fat and calories. You can even mix your own dressing at home. Take high-quality vinegar, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper, your choice of dried herbs, and a bit of olive oil.

Holiday Party Survival Guide Tip #4: Don’t Drink Sweet Beverages

‘Tis the season for sugary beverages like egg nog, sweet cocktails, and hot cocoa. Just like white bread, these sugary drinks have zero nutritional value – other than calories. The sheer number of sugar grams in one of these beverages is usually the same as dessert! So before you indulge in a sweet drink, consider changing your order to something less sweet, or count it as your dessert. 

Here’s a healthier alternative to sweet beverages… sweeten with liquid stevia
Carry a small bottle of water-based, liquid stevia and use a little squirt to sweeten your beverage of choice this holiday season without adding any grams of sugar. Ask for your beverage to be made without sugar, and then sweeten it yourself without any repercussions to your fitness results.

Holiday Party Survival Guide Tip #5: Don’t Overindulge on Sugar

Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are the epitome of anti-fitness food. Nothing will destroy your progress, expand your waist and plummet your energy levels like sugar will. If you only take away one tip from this article, please let it be to not overindulge on sugar! The holidays are full of sugary treats, so you must make a conscious effort to keep your intake under control. 

Here’s a healthier alternative to sweet beverages… enjoy some fruit
Don’t turn to artificial sweeteners to get your sweet fix, instead turn to nature’s wholesome source of sugar: fruit. Eat organic fruit that is seasonal and locally grown. Stay away from dried fruit and fruit juices, as these are high in simple calories.

Eating right, along with challenging exercise, is the formula for a toned, lean body. Guarantee your results by teaming up with me.

Together we will come up with a fitness plan that is uniquely yours, one that fits your lifestyle and helps you achieve your goals.

Call or email today to get started.

Here’s How to Avoid Overeating at the Party…
  • Don’t load up on appetizers and then sit down to a full meal. A plate of appetizers has the calories of a meal!
  • Look over all of your food options before beginning to eat. Choose a few of your favorites and then fill the rest of your plate with veggies and greens.
  • Be careful with liquid! Stick with only one calorie-filled drink and then switch to water.
  • Eat a sensible meal before you arrive at the party. This will cut down on party food calories.

Pass the Teriyaki Meatballs!

​​​​If you are a lover of teriyaki then these subtly sweet meatballs are right up your alley! These make a wonderful appetizer for your holiday party.

Feel free to use liquid stevia rather than the honey if you are looking for an extremely low sugar dish. However, for most of us, this small amount of healthful, raw honey is perfectly A-OK and beneficial.

Serve these tasty meatballs up as an appetizer or serve over arugula or spaghetti squash for a small, fitness-minded meal. Enjoy!

Courtesy of

What you need
Serves 5

1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
¼ cup scallions, minced, plus more for garnish
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons coconut aminos
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon arrowroot starch
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sesame seeds


1. Combine the garlic, ginger and scallions in a food processor. Pulse until well combined and finely minced.

2. Transfer the garlic mixture to a large bowl and add the ground beef and sea salt. Use your hands to mix until well combined. Form the mixture into 20 meatballs, about an inch in diameter.

3. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the sesame oil. Add the meatballs and cook, shaking often, until browned on all sides and cooked through. Remove the meatballs and set aside on a plate.

4. Add the coconut aminos, honey and vinegar to the skillet. In a small bowl whisk the arrowroot starch and water together until fully dissolved. Add to the skillet, mix and simmer until the mixture has thickened, about 2 minutes. Return the meatballs to the skillet and cover in the sauce. Serve immediately, garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

Four Meatballs equals 189 calories, 7g fat, 372mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 2g sugar, and 23g protein.

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Did You Forget?  …About Your Fitness Goals?

Did You Forget? …About Your Fitness Goals?

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean that your fitness goals no longer matter. In fact, if you lose sight of your fat loss goals entirely this month, you’ll have a seriously rude awakening come January 1st.

I have a better idea for you…let’s keep you focused on your fitness goals while still making room for some fun this holiday season. This means that you’ll need to learn how to indulge with control. While that may sound like an oxymoron, it IS possible to let loose and enjoy without throwing away the results that you’ve worked so hard for.

Here’s how to stay fit this holiday season:

Holiday Fitness Tip #1: It’s All About Moderation

Don’t try to deprive yourself of all the foods you love, this is unrealistic. Instead, be smart about what you choose to eat. Enjoy your very favorite flavors of the season, but in moderation. Trim calories where you can by only eating those rich foods that you really enjoy.

Also, be sure to limit the number of alcoholic beverages you drink. These drinks are typically filled with tons of sugary calories. Try alternating an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink like sparkling water.

Holiday Fitness Tip #2: Fiber is Your Friend

Here’s a simple tip that most people overlook when loading up their plates at holiday gatherings…fill up on fiber first. You see, if you are eating a plate that’s mostly fibrous vegetables and greens, leaving only a moderate amount of room for the dishes full of fats and carbs, then your net calorie intake for the meal will be dramatically lower than if you had eaten more of the carb and fat dishes.

While this tip is super effective during the holidays, it’s also a technique that you can carry with you throughout the rest of the year to stay lean while still indulging in what you love. The key is to eat less of the rich, fattening foods and more of the lower calorie, high fiber foods.

Holiday Fitness Tip #3: Exercise is a MUST

Many people let their workouts go to the wayside during the busy holiday weeks, however I am here to tell you how important it is that you keep your workouts a priority. I know it’s harder to get into the gym when it’s cold outside, and when you’re tired from getting ready for the holidays, but that act of lacing up your shoes, sweating, and getting the endorphins flowing makes a huge impact on your overall fitness.

Not only are you burning calories and stoking your metabolism, by exercising every single day you are keeping fitness at the forefront of your mind. It may sound like a small thing but getting into the gym forces you to remember your fitness goals and this small act will help you make better decisions throughout the rest of your day.

All of these small efforts add up, my friend, and you are able to do them all without sacrificing the fun or the flavors of the season. You can do this!

I am passionate about seeing my clients achieve results—and maintaining those results throughout the holiday season and beyond. Call or email today to get started on my best available program.

Do This to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain…

The holidays are filled with opportunities to indulge in rich foods and to consume far more calories than normal. Add to that the travel, house guests and gatherings that cut into your workout routine, it’s no wonder that you’re left in a state of being overfed and under-exercised. It’s a recipe for weight gain! However, you do NOT have to sit by and accept the extra pounds. Do these simple tips to help swing the calorie balance back into your favor.

  • Don’t eat after 7pm.
  • Drink a healthy protein shake for breakfast.
  • Only enjoy ONE sugar treat per day, rather than dozens.
  • Exercise a minimum of 4 days each week.
  • Come workout with me, all through the holiday season!

Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates

​​​​When it comes to appetizers, our healthy diets can often fly out the window, which is why I really like these stuffed dates. While this is certainly a treat and not something to include in your daily diet, each date contains protein, fat and complex carbs. Additionally, these ingredients are wholesome and simple, not deep-fried, and not containing a laundry list of additives and fillers.

A word of advice: make a double batch! These disappear quickly…

Courtesy of

What you need
Serves 24

12 bacon strips, uncured pork
24 Dates (get the kind with pits, these are softer)
½ cup Goat Cheese
24 walnut halves
24 toothpicks


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the bacon strips in half, width-wise.

2. Remove the seed from each date and stuff with a teaspoon of goat cheese and a walnut. Squish it together.

3. Wrap each stuffed date with a piece of bacon. Secure with a toothpick and place on the prepared baking sheet. (You can store in the fridge up to a day once wrapped. It’s nice to make the day before your party!)

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the bacon is cooked through and crispy. Enjoy immediately!

One serving equals: 96 calories, 6g fat, 237mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 5g sugar and 5g protein.

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No Tortilla Chicken Soup

No Tortilla Chicken Soup

A bowl of this homemade soup is a wonderful meal to enjoy during the holidays. It’s low carb and filled with protein and veggies to power your day and curb your cravings. Best of all it’s made in the slow cooker, so preparation is quick and easy.

Most tortilla soup recipes contain ingredients that are high in carbs, like tortilla strips and rice. In this recipe I’ve removed these ingredients and filled in the gaps with high fiber cauliflower rice. What’s great is that you get all of the tortilla soup flavors that you love without the extra calories.

Courtesy of

What you need
Serves 8

2 organic, free range chicken breasts
1 (28oz) can diced, fire roasted tomatoes
1 (4oz) can green chiles, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 head cauliflower, shredded
32 oz organic, free range chicken broth
2 teaspoons ground cumin
dash of sea salt and pepper
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 avocados
Tajin seasoning for garnish


1. Combine all of the ingredients, except the cilantro, avocado and tajin, in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours.

2. Remove the chicken breasts from the slow cooker. Shred with a fork and then return to the slow cooker.

3. Garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of cilantro, a few slices of avocado and a dash of tajin. Enjoy!

One serving equals 153 calories, 6g fat, 321mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, and 10g protein.

I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week. Remember that I’m only a call or email away to assist you in all things fitness. And if you are not yet one of my prized clients then call or email me now to set up your first workout – I’d love to help you achieve your best body ever!

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All you have to do is to book a free strategy call with me by clicking HERE

The two most important diet questions you could ever ask yourself…

The two most important diet questions you could ever ask yourself…

The two most important diet questions you could ever ask yourself…

1. “What should I eat for breakfast?”

2. “What should I eat after dinner?”

Do you know the right answers?

If you can just get these two choices correct in your daily diet, it makes a huge difference in how good you look and feel, and how healthy you’ll be for the long haul.

The sad truth, however, is that MOST people don’t know the right answers, and instead make a huge mistake that causes them to gain weight, lose energy, look older and erode their health.

It also causes nutrient deficiencies which make it nearly impossible to lose weight.

This is why it’s so important for you to understand what to eat at these two crucial times each day, and why I’d like to share the best choices with you…

What to Eat for Breakfast

The food that you eat for breakfast sets the tone of how much energy you’ll feel and often dictates the food choices that you’ll make for the rest of your day.

Your breakfast also has the power to fuel your metabolism or to set your metabolism up for failure.

Sadly, most people simply don’t have time to make a nutritious breakfast.

Even those who do make time for breakfast often fail to eat enough high-quality protein in the meal.

Most Americans are getting less than half of their daily protein requirement, and it starts with breakfast. This protein is crucial for burning fat, fighting cravings and getting fit. This means getting a minimum of 20 grams of high quality, super clean protein in your breakfast in order to reap the benefits.

If you aren’t getting enough protein then you’re setting yourself up for failure with your body transformation, no matter how hard you strive at the gym, or how diligently you cut calories.

To make matters worse, the breakfasts that are eaten are most often high in simple carbs, in addition to being way too low in protein. And many simply skip breakfast altogether.

Those that are getting some much-needed protein in their breakfast too often eat low quality protein from breakfast meats or the wrong kind of protein powder. These breakfast alternatives are typically full of artificial ingredients, fillers, and additives that work against your body’s ability to burn fat and maintain energy.

What to Eat After Dinner

While you’ve been told that eating after dinner will hurt your fat loss results, it really comes down to WHAT you are eating that matters. Eat the right thing and you’ll actually HELP your fat loss efforts.

It’s true that you want to avoid eating sugars and carbs before bed just like you avoided at breakfast. The most important things TO eat is high quality, super clean protein, at least 20 grams. Just like at breakfast!

Making a habit of consuming 20 grams of clean protein before bed has shown to repair your muscles, increase your metabolism and lean muscles, and decrease your cravings while you are sleeping.

Put Protein Into Action

Now you know that high-quality, super clean protein is the right answer to both what you should eat for breakfast AND what you should eat after dinner.

How will you do this, knowing how busy your life is and what little time you have available? Putting this protein habit into your routine will make all of the difference…IF you’re able to come up with a sustainable, delicious plan to make it happen.


When you choose a protein powder be sure to look for one that has…

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Zero sugar
  • Zero artificial sweeteners
  • Zero carbs
  • 100% pure protein isolate

Mix a scoop of protein powder with 8 ounces of water or milk for a delicious, creamy shake. OR mix a scoop into your oatmeal, pancake batter, yogurt, or cookie dough. There are so many exciting and delicious ways to enjoy this high-quality, super clean protein powder!

Re-Imagining Dessert

The idea of swapping out your favorite high-sugar treat for a creamy protein shake or protein pudding may be a tough pill for you to swallow…it takes some re-imagining of what dessert is. (I know it’s tough but trust me your fitness and fat loss results depend on it!)

The key to making this work is to make sure that it tastes sweet, so that your taste buds are fooled into thinking that you’re still indulging in sugar, while your body takes in the fat-burning, muscle-building protein.

One of the best ways to create a dessert that tastes sweet but is high in protein rather than sugar is to use a high-quality, protein powder that’s sweetened with stevia and monk fruit rather than with artificial sweeteners. The quality and ingredients in the protein powder you use make ALL of the difference.

Mix a scoop of protein powder with plain Greek yogurt for a tasty pudding, or blend it up with a handful of berries, almond milk and ice for a milkshake. With time, you will begin to look forward to your protein desserts with the same excitement that you once had for ice cream!

Protein Power Oatmeal

​​This is the TASTIEST way to prepare oatmeal that includes powerful protein to fuel your day! You can make this a few days ahead and store in the fridge for easy, grab-n-go breakfasts.

The quality and flavor of the protein powder that you use will impact both the flavor and consistency of your oatmeal, so choose wisely!

Courtesy of

What you need
Serves 4

1¾ cups milk (any kind)
1 cup rolled oats
a generous sprinkle of sea salt
a generous sprinkle of ground cinnamon​
a generous sprinkle of coconut sugar
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
½ cup whole pecans, toasted and chopped
1 Banana, peeled and sliced into half moons


1. In a medium pot, bring the milk to a simmer. Add the oats, salt and cinnamon and simmer until thickened.

2. Remove from heat. Mix in the coconut sugar and protein powder. If it’s too thick, stir in a splash of milk, until a pleasant, creamy consistency is reached.

3. Stir in the pecans and bananas. Divide into bowls and garnish each portion with an additional sprinkle of sea salt, cinnamon, coconut sugar, pecans, and sliced banana. Enjoy!

One serving equals: 232 calories, 12g fat, 209mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 10g sugar and 17g protein

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Do You Really Want To Be Fit?

Do you ever give up what you want MOST for what you want NOW?

Think about it…

If what you want most is to lose the weight—once and for all—but then you give in and order pizza for dinner, you’ve just given up what you want MOST (a healthier, leaner body) for what you wanted NOW (convenient and comforting food).

It’s worth thinking about.

Are your actions congruent with your goals?

This is true of any goal, it’s not limited to your fitness journey.

If you want to write a book, you’d better make time to sit down and type.

If you want to travel the globe, you’d better get yourself a passport.

If you want to run a marathon, you’d better start training.

If you want your kids to live a healthy life, you’d better model it for them.

If your actions don’t support your goal, then you’ll never accomplish it, and maybe you didn’t really want it.

Your actions will always dictate your results.

If getting fit is something that you really want, take the action to reach out to me to get started on a fitness plan that will give you the opportunity to do what’s hard now, to achieve the body that you really want.

I’m here to help you.