Chia Seeds Are Blowing Up

Literally – these little suckers expand like nobody’s business. They’ve even been featured recently in the New York Times... the true measure of whether or not a seed has ‘made it’. 

So what’s up with their explosion on the health food scene?  Here’s a crash course on why these little powerhouses are good for you (+ my favorite chia seed recipe).

1. Oodles of Fiber

These incredible ‘super seeds’ contain 11 grams of fiber per ounce (2 tablespoons) – which is 42% of your recommended daily value of fiber in a single serving.  

Bonus tip: Since fiber slows digestion and makes you feel fuller by soaking up fluid and expanding in your digestive tract, it can be a great way to start your day, especially if you’re trying to lose weight! 

2. Rich in Omegas

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are essential and most of us are not getting enough of them.   Chia seeds give you a boost of both.

Bonus tip: Omegas can also help you clear away that nasty brain fog that sets in every afternoon.  Add 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to a glass of water to get your fill.

 3. Healthy Fats

We’ve been down this road together before, but let’s go there again.  Fats are absolutely necessary in a healthy diet.  Chia seeds pack 9 grams of fat per ounce, which can be as much 15-20% of your daily required value.

Bonus tip:  If you want to get the skinny on fats, check out What’s Fat Got To Do With It from the archives.

4. Fill’er Up

Have you ever had a chia pet?  You know how it plumps right up when you add water?  That’s all because of the chia seeds.   When mixed with water, chia forms a gel. Why do you care?  Research suggests:

When this happens in your stomach, the gel may keep you feeling fuller longer.

The gel acts as a natural detoxifier, by grabbing and flushing out toxins in your system.

Bonus tip: The chia gel also allows you to make a super healthy & yummy dessert that satisfies in under 2 minutes prep time.

Chai Chia Seed Pudding

chia seed pudding
chia seed pudding

Prep Time: 2 minutes Wait Time: 2 hours Serves: 2-4 people

1 cup cooled decaf Chai tea (brewed strong) (sub: ½ cup Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk for a creamier texture) ½ cup chia seeds 1.5-2 teaspoons maple syrup (to taste) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Dash Himalayan sea salt (to taste) 1 cup of your favorite fruits and nuts (optional).  I like: -Mixed berries & pistachios -Diced pears & cashews -Mashed banana & peanuts

Mix chai, chia seeds, 1.5 teaspoons maple syrup, and vanilla and refrigerate for 1 hour.  At 1 hour mark, stir the mixture and add in any additional maple syrup (taste first).  Refrigerate an additional 1 hr+, top with sea salt, fruits and nuts & enjoy!

I Lied To You

A few months, I told you that I didn’t have a weight loss story. THAT was a lie. (said in my best Maury voice)

I’m sorry!

If it’s any consolation, I was lying to myself.   The truth didn’t hit me until a stumbled on a 13 year old picture of me.  This picture:

transform your health
transform your health

That’s me my sophomore year of college.  I don’t even know how much I weighed in that picture, but I was easily 10-15 lbs more than when I first arrived on campus freshman year. 

It’s not hard to see what put me there: I lived off of hot pockets, late night pizza slices, and Natty Ice.  Exercise?  You’re kidding, right?  I’d always played sports growing up, but going to the gym was a whole new ball game – one I had no interest in playing.

I ignored the fact that I was overweight.  I STILL ignore it.

I’m not that person anymore, but it hurts me to look at that picture and to think about the person that I was then.  I like to think of myself as someone who has it all together, who has ALWAYS had it all together, but in that moment, in that time in my life, and in that picture, it’s so clear to me that I was out of control.

That picture is the culmination of many years of letting drugs and alcohol “solve” my problems, hiding who I really was, and holding closely to hurt and negativity.

It had nothing to do with college (or the Freshman 15); it had everything to do with me.

I’m so happy, thankful, and grateful that less than 1 year later I decided to take matters into my own hands and take my health back. 

I did a 7-day detox and lost almost all the weight that I put on.  But a detox wouldn’t keep the weight off. 

I’ve spent the last 10 years going deeper into this journey with my body, my mind, and my health.   All the tiny little steps – from running my first 5k, to cutting out sugar, to green smoothies, to reading dozens of “self help” books, to investing in my first coach – have led me to where I am now: the fittest, healthiest, and happiest I have ever been. 


It has been incredibly hard for me to share this, to be vulnerable and for you to know that there was a time when I didn’t have it together.  But if sharing my story helps just one person, it was worth it.  Please know that I’ve been there and I’m here to help you in any way I can.  

From near or far, I want to support you in your journey.  xo

What I Learned On My Whole Foods Detox (Plus Before & Afters!)

I finished up my 21 day whole foods detox almost 2 weeks ago and just last week I took my after pictures. 

It’s true – a picture is worth a thousand words.  Honestly, I felt different – lighter, clearer – and a little slimmer (and my husband kept telling me how skinny I looked), but my body itself felt largely the same.  That’s why comparing my before and after shots was really eye opening.

Over the 21 days, I lost a total of 12 pounds (a lot of which I think was muscle mass) and 8.5” inches – mostly from my waist and hips.  (you’ll note the difference in my love handles and abs – winning!)

weightloss detox
weightloss detox

But more than losing weight and inches, I learned a heck of a lot about myself and my body on this 21 day whole foods detox; THAT was my goal – to refine what I know about what my body needs.  Here are some of my main takeaways (remember: this is for ME and my body; your body might work completely differently).

  • Abs ARE made in the kitchen
    • I have heard (and personally say this) pretty often... this week just affirmed it’s true.  I didn’t do a single crunch, but look at my stomach!
  • My body thrives on VEGETABLES
    • I felt the absolute best during Week 3 – which was limited grain vegan and packed with lots of yummy veggies.  The trick is to keep it interesting with a variety of different colors, textures, and tastes.
  • I NEED exercise
    • Exercise is a major stress reliever for me and as a work-from-home’r it helps to break up my day and get me out of the house and away from my laptop.  21 days without any exercise except some gentle yoga and walking was KILLER – I really need some sweating and straining.
  • Too many grains really block up my system
    • During weeks 1 and 2 of the detox, there are grains at almost every meal.  I love grains and so does my tummy, but the rest of my GI system, not so much.  I’ve experienced this before when traveling to the Philippines; eating rice at every meal leaves me constipated.  I do best with grains every other day or so.
  • It’s OK to give myself a break
    • This was a tough one for me.  I’m a chronic go-getter and those who know me well know I am ALWAYS doing something.  During these 21 days, I made a conscious effort to SLOW DOWN, sleep in, appreciate more, and fill my days with intention and purpose.  Eye. Opening.  This is something I’ve kept with me and plan to continue.
  • I CAN live without caffeine
    • I really lucked out... I only experienced 1 day of caffeine withdrawal (the norm is 3-4 days), but that single day was debilitating enough.  I have no desire to go back to drinking caffeine regularly.  But, I love my morning ritual of coffee and a book, so for now it’s high quality, fair trade decaf for this girl.
  • 70-90 ounces of water is my sweet spot
    • Yowza!  That sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?  And, in all honesty, I’m running to ladies’ quite a bit... but this is what really helped boost my energy and provided me with mental clarity. (For reference, this is about 60-75% of my post-detox weight in do the math)
weightloss detox
weightloss detox

If you think this is for you, make sure you check out this post to determine if this is a good fit for you and then let’s talk.

Sugar-Laden "Healthy" Snacks

Sugar is EVERYWHERE. It’s in pasta sauce, bread products, instant oatmeal… just to name a few. What’s worse is that even the ‘sugar free’ stuff can be loaded with artificial sweeteners that are equally bad for you.Unfortunately, even if you’re trying to eat healthy, that nasty little sugar beast has it’s hands all in everything.  Lots of healthy snacks are high in sugar, too.

Get the lowdown on some of your favorite “healthy” foods that are anything but. Check out these 6 healthy snacks high in sugar.


I’ve personally dubbed yogurt the biggest health food myth.  Even brands like Chobani can pack almost 30 grams of sugar per serving - a ridiculous 7 teaspoons (Chobani's Black Cherry Blended Yogurt has 28 grams).  

The Better Option:Plain Yogurt (greek or regular) sweetened with Stevia or honey with fresh fruit added (sugar content varies)

low sugar snack
low sugar snack


I used to live off of CLIF bars. I kept them at my desk. I hid them in my purse. I took them hiking. I snacked on them after working out. I used them to feed my inner sugar demon. CLIF bars pack a whopping 20+ grams of sugar per bar – that’s 5 TEASPOONS OF SUGAR!

The Better Option:Kind Bar Nuts & Spices in Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Nut Delight, Madagascar Vanilla Almond, Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan (5 grams sugar)

low sugar snack
low sugar snack

Nature’s Valley Granola Bars

I swear, if I wasn’t munching on a CLIF bar, I was most definitely snacking on these babies. While a healthier option than our pal Clif, Nature’s Valley bars clock in over 10 grams of sugar per serving (the 2 bars in the packet). Oats n’ Honey gives you a 12 gram fix, while Peanut Butter leaves you with 11, just to name a few.

The Better Option:A ¼ cup of Bear Naked Fit Vanilla Almond Crunch in a snack bag (4 grams sugar)


I’m not a huge Nutella fan, but I was BLOWN AWAY to learn that there’s 21 grams of sugar per serving… and a serving is 2 tablespoons. Who eats just two tablespoons of any nut butter? NOT this girl.

The Better Option: Peanut Butter & Company Dark Chocolate Dreams (7 grams sugar)

Snapple Green Tea

Tea’s healthy, right? Not when it’s loaded with sweeteners.  Snapple's Green Tea comes with 30 grams of sugar - over 7 teaspoons!

The Better Option:Brew your own green tea and sweeten with Stevia or honey (plus get your fun fact here (sugar content varies)

low sugar drink
low sugar drink

Vitamin Water

I’ve personally guzzled gallons of this stuff. XXX was my go-to. No matter what flavor you’re in to, you’re guaranteed to get at least 31 grams of sugar (some, like XXX, have 32 grams).

The Better Option: Take a high-quality multivitamin and guzzle 16 oz. of water with a dash of OJ (sugar content varies)

Again – SUGAR IS EVERYWHERE. Read labels. When in doubt, just eat real food!

Are there any surprises for you on this list?  If so, share 'em in the comments.

Control Your Portions & Your Waistline in 21 Days

Ever have one of those meals where, after you’re done stuffing your face, you hobble away to lay down, feeling bloated, stuffed, and just downright disgusted with yourself?Like you need to unbutton your pants?

A meal where you say to yourself, “Ugh, I shouldn’t have eaten all that.”

And I’m not talking about on Thanksgiving,

I’m talking about on a random weeknight or when you’re out with friends on Saturday.

We’ve all been there.

portion control
portion control

Or maybe THIS is you.  

You’ve really cleaned up your diet.  You’re eating healthy - loading up on real food and cutting out the processed crap.  But the scale hasn’t budged.  For weeks.

It’s possible to overeat on healthy food, too.

So, let’s talk portion control.  And let’s make it easy.  Check out these portion control tips.

1. What’s the hurry?  Slow down

It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you’re full.  So, if you’re wolfing down your entire meal in 10 minutes, there’s absolutely no way for you to know when you’ve had enough.  

Quick tip: If you are in a rush, try to eat a few smaller meals throughout the day.  This curbs overeating and allows you to stay on schedule.

2. Ditch the “Clean Your Plate Mentality”

Did you have to clean your plate to leave the table, too?  Our parents truly had our best intentions at heart… unfortunately, plate manufacturers may not.  The average plate size has increased by 2 inches in the last 30 years.  What that means is, if you’re a child of the 80s like me, your meals have increased by 900 calories since you were a kid.  

portion control
portion control

You know I don’t believe in counting calories, but that’s almost a 200% increase in calories at every meal!  

Quick tip: Use your salad plates at mealtime to reduce what’s in front of you when you’re eating.

3. Make half your plate veggies

Clearly, I love this tip.  It’s my #1, go-to, take your health back quick tip.  By making ½ your plate veggies, you’re crowding some of the other stuff OFF your plate.

PS - I’m not talking about veggies covered in butter or cheese!  Cheater!

Quick tip: Use a little himalayan sea salt, olive oil, or Bragg’s liquid aminos to add some flavor to your veggies if you can’t handle them on their own.

4. Make It Easy For Yourself

Figuring out how much and of what you should be eating can seem overwhelming.  Counting your macros (protein, fat, & carbs) and weighing of measuring everything you put on your plate - No thanks!

You’ve got a ton to worry about.  Your life is hectic.  The idea of figuring out the science of portion control is just a bit beyond anything you’re interested in investing your time in right now.  

Which is why I’m going to make this easy for you.  I have an amazing, brand-spanking-new, and totally affordable program that breaks this stuff down for you and takes the guesswork out of how much you should be eating.  

The best part - NOTHING is off limits.  You can eat what you want, as long as it fits in the containers.  

The other best part - this program combines this simple approach to portion control with 30 min workouts.

The last best part - in just 21 days, female participants are losing an average of 10 pounds and up to 15.

Quick Tip: Hop over here to get this program for just $140 through 2/28.

Stupid Simple Lentil Lime Salad

Things have been pretty hectic in my house lately.  I’ve been working a ton and my husband is studying for a pretty big professional exam... this leaves no one to pick up the slack.  To get off the take-out wheel of doom, I’ve been on the hunt for simple, quick recipes that are perfect to grab and go.

Meet this delectable Lentil Lime Salad.

simple recipes
simple recipes

I shared this recipe on Facebook last week and people went nuts for it.  I think you’ll love it, too!  It’s healthy, protein-packed, Reset-approved, and beyond easy to make. 

I used packaged, pre-cooked lentils (I just learned these exist) to make it even easier.  If you go this route, make sure you rinse the lentils well.  If you’re making your own lentils (also very easy), you should plan to soak the dried lentils for 24-hours before cooking. 


Lentils (and a whole host of other foods) contain anti-nutrients – the lentils way of protecting itself against being eaten.  Anti-nutrients can wreak havoc on your GI system, which is why some people have issues with grains, beans, lentils, and even potatoes!

But – fear not!  Lentils, when soaked for 24-hours, release up to 93% of their anti-nutrient properties.  Sad lentils, happy tummy.

Lentil Lime Salad

1 cup cooked lentils

1 medium carrot

¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 ½ tsp sesame oil

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (to taste)

Himalayan Sea Salt (to taste; optional)

¼ tsp ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a medium and toss gently to mix.  Refrigerate for 2 hours to let flavors blend, then enjoy!

Yep – that’s literally IT.  Tell me what you think of this simple salad in the comments.

Should You Detox?

I recently started a 21-day whole-foods detox plan (what-up day 6!). When I shared that I was considering taking some time off from working out to do a cleanse, this sparked a serious debate amongst many of my health conscious friends.

I believe in detoxing (as evidenced by the fact that I’m doing one), but there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to cleanse your bod. 

(Disclaimer: I use the terms detox and cleanse interchangeably.  For my purposes and the purposes of this article I consider them to be the same.)

A detox is NOT a quick fix.  If your goal is to drop 20 pounds in a week, you’re barking up the wrong tree.  Losing 20 pounds in a week is NOT healthy.  And, even if you do lose that much, you’re highly likely to put it right back on, because you aren’t really fixing any of the habits that got you there in the first place. 

A detox IS a kickstart, an internal tune-up and an opportunity to clean the slate and start fresh.  It’s a great way to cleanse your body of all the toxins you’re exposed to every day, the ones that get stored in your fat cells.  It’s also a great way to identify food sensitivities.

How do you answer the question: Should You Detox?

So, first things first – is a cleanse right for you?  Here are some questions to consider:

Are you pooping 1-2 times every day? 

You should be... if not, a cleanse might be right for you.

Are you sluggish and tired throughout the day and need sugar, caffeine, or some processed carbs to pick you up? 

Eek!  Red flag!  You should not need stimulants to feel alive on a regular basis.  A cleanse might be right for you.

Does your brain feel foggy?  Like it’s hard to think clearly or for long periods of time? 

Red flag!  Brain fog can be a sign of dehydration or a food sensitivity.  Up your water intake first, and if that doesn't solve the problem, a cleanse might be right for you.

What is your goal – do you just want to lose weight or is this a kickstart for a new way of eating and living? 

If your goal is to lose weight, scroll back up to the top and re-read that part.  If you want a kickstart, a cleanse might be right for you.

Second, what to look for in a cleanse...

Can you eat?

There are tons of foods that are both naturally detoxifying and nourishing to the body.  A detox, especially one running longer than 3 days, should include a meal plan that includes organic whole foods – lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, healthy oils and other fats, and lean sources of protein.

I strongly encourage you to find a detox that includes eating 3 healthy meals a day.  There are literally hundreds of detox plans out there that let you do this.  If you want to learn more about what I’m doing, you can check it out here.

How many days of a liquid-only diet is there?

When I was in college, I did a 7-day juice fast.  I did it without any real research – I think I read about juice fasting in some Buddhist book or something and it sounded good, so I loaded up my shopping cart with loads of cranberry juice, tomato juice, and vegetable broth.  Somehow, I made it through the week, but I’ve never been able to replicate it (and I’ve tried). 

And you know why?  Because juice fasts aren’t sustainable.  Sure, if you’re at a Buddhist monastery where all you’re doing is meditating all day, you can probably survive on restricted calories.  But for the rest of us, you need more calories to FUNCTION.  When your calorie intake is limited for an extended period of time, your body starts breaking down muscle, NOT fat – this is detrimental, not beneficial.

If you’re interested in a juice fast, I recommend a maximum of 3 days for a juice-only fast.  From there, add in healthy, supportive, whole foods and supplement with juices.  Also, aim for vegetable juices to better maintain your blood sugar and energy levels.

Are supplements included?

One thing you don’t want to do when you’re detoxing is fill your body back up with chemicals.  In truth, you don’t really need supplements to cleanse your system, but they can help push the process along more efficiently and quickly.  If you’re using supplements, make sure what you’re using is all natural and gives your body the vitamins and minerals it needs without added chemical fillers. 

Have you talked to your doctor or another professional?

If you’re not familiar with the detox process, I strongly recommend that you talk to your doctor or another health professional about it before you get started.  There is tons of support available, you don’t need to go through it alone.  If done incorrectly, detoxing can be detrimental to your health, so do your due diligence.


I want to hear from you, what crazy cleanses have you tried?  Have they worked?  Would you do it again?