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!

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.

Feel Refreshed (not drained) this Holiday Season

So, how many photos of Starbucks holiday cups have you seen on Facebook and Instagram this week? I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen about 20.

Starbucks, I’ve seen your cups and hear your message loud and clear: The holiday season is here.

So many of us use the holiday season to kick back and indulge because, HELL, we’ve worked hard this year.  And you know what, you DO deserve to indulge and have a blast (not JUST during the holidays, but that’s a discussion for another day...).

But, what you don’t deserve is packing on a couple pounds in as many months OR completely overloading your body on sugar and booze OR day-long holiday shopping sessions fueled by Diet Coke and Annie’s pretzels. 

Let’s make this year different.  What do you say?

Join me for my 5 day Holiday Refresh from December 2nd to December 6th

(conveniently scheduled right after Thanksgiving, so you can kick that post-turkey bloat to the curb!)

You’ll get all the support you need to help you:

  • Slash cravings for sugar and carbs
  • Reduce bloating
  • Lose a few pounds
  • Have more energy and wake up REFRESHED every day

So you look and FEEL outstanding this holiday season (and rock that hot little black dress you bought for office holiday party!)

Here’s what’s included in the Refresh:

  • 5 days of done-for-you Refresh meal plans & a companion Shopping List ($199 value)
  • 5 days of Shakeology ($25 value)
  • Daily email support from me, your coach and cheerleader ($50 value)
  • Access to an exclusive, members only, online support group ($99 value)
  • PLUS a personal 50-minute Breakthrough session ($175 value)

The cost? Only $49 USD!

Ready to get started? You must register by 4 pm EST on 11/22! Click below to register!

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Any questions?  Email me (I promise to respond within 2 business days)

The Fine Print

  • Registration closes Friday, November 15th at 5pm EST
  • All purchases are final; No refunds or exchanges
  • All Breakthrough Sessions must be scheduled by 4/1/2014

Anti-Inflammatory Recipe: Spiced Squash with Cashews

There are two things that I am just absolutely head over heels for right now: acorn squash and ghee.  On their own, they’re both pretty freaking great... but the combo is legit OUT OF THIS WORLD.  This is hands down, my favorite fall combo this year (aside from a great boots and scarf combo, of course).Now, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that you know what acorn squash is, but just in case you don’t (no judgment zone), I’m talking about this guy:

anti-inflammatory recipe
anti-inflammatory recipe

It’s squash season, so you should have no problem finding acorn squash in your local grocery store.

But, there’s a good chance you’re asking yourself, “What the heck is ghee?”

Ghee is “clarified butter” traditionally used in Indian cooking (note: I use the quotation marks because there’s a little more to the preparation process).  Ghee contains vitamins A, D, E and K, lipids that have anti-infective properties, and acids which have anti-viral and anti-carcinogenic properties, as well as omega 3 fatty acids.  Due to its preparation process, which removes all the milk solids, ghee is lactose and casein-free, perfect for our dairy-intolerant friends.  

Perhaps most importantly, though, ghee is known to be an effective carrier of lipid-soluble nutrients.  Herbs and spices coated in ghee can easily penetrate lipid-based cell walls in the body, where you really get the most bang for your buck – which is why this Anti-Inflammatory recipe is such a powerhouse.

You can get ghee in most natural food stores, or Whole Paycheck, but I’m personally really digging on OMGhee, which can be purchased right from the comfort of your own kitchen table.  It’s a bit pricey, but well worth the investment.

Ghee is still a form of saturated fat, so use it sparingly... it’s recommended to use no more than 2 tbsp per day.

Anti-Inflammatory Recipe: Spiced Squash with Cashews*

Makes 6 side-dish servings

½ tsp ground cumin½ tsp sweet paprika¼ tsp turmericPinch of cayenne pepper¾ lb (1 medium sized) acorn squash1 tbsp ghee2 tbsp chopped roasted cashews

1.    Half and remove seeds from squash and bake for approximately 30 minutes at 400oF (until soft)2.    Remove from oven and let cool, approximately 10 minutes3.    Scoop squash from skin and cube4.    Toss squash with spice mixture5.    Heat ghee over medium heat and add squash6.    Mash squash with a spoon as you stir, until completely mashed

*Recipe modified from Eating By Color for Maximum Health, Williams-Sonoma

What fall recipe or flavor combo are you totally digging right now?  Make sure to leave it in the comments so I can test it out (I double as a health food taste-tester in my spare time!).

Clean Out the Fridge Frittata Recipe

Why It Sucks to Be an Egg: You only get laid once, you only get hard once, and when you DO finally get hard, it takes under three minutes and you're already in hot water. Source: Comedy Central Food Comedy

Also, if you're in my house, you're likely to be in my belly VERY soon.

frittata recipe
frittata recipe

If you're trying to clean up your diet, but you're short on time and or funds, incorporating eggs is a great choice for you.  Decent quality eggs (cage-free, vegetarian-fed, organic) can be found in pretty much any grocery store for less than $5 a dozen.  If you REALLY want to step up your egg game, invest in pasturized eggs from a local farmer.

This summer, I participated in an egg share, which meant a farm-fresh dozen eggs every week, so I've done lots of egg-speriments.  I've scrambled, fried, boiled, and baked 'em.  What I've learned: no matter how you cook eggs, its crazy-quick and easy and they can easily be paired with practically anything in your fridge to make a more complete meal.

Bad Rap Busted

Eggs, especially the sweet little yoke, have been getting a bad rap for quite some time - too high in fat, too high in cholestorol - but recent research shows these claims to be unfounded.  

In fact, eggs are nutritional powerhouses - filled with protein, healthy omega 3 fats, and a whole host of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin D, Selenium, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B5, Phosphorous, Iron, Folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B2.  And, get this- a study at the University of Connecticut found that the fat in egg yolks actually helps to reduce LDL (“bad” cholesterol).

As far as cholesterol goes, the real threat is saturated and trans fats, not dietary cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, the recommended limit of dietary cholesterol is 300 milligrams for people with normal LDL (bad) cholesterol levels; one egg (yolk and white) contains 185 milligrams of dietary cholesterol.  The problem isn't the egg, it's how you're cooking it and what you're eating it with.  My suggestion: ditch the butter and bacon and add in fresh veggies instead.

(Note: if you have a history of high cholesterol or heart disease in your family, talk to your doctor about how much cholesterol you should have.)

Clean Out the Fridge Frittata Recipe

Serves 4

8 eggsSplash of unsweetened almond milk or water (approximately 1/8 cup)Potential Clean Out the Fridge Add-Ins:

Dark Leafy Greens (spinach, chard, kale)OnionPeppersGreen or yellow squashBroccoliBasilWhite or sweet potatoesTomatoes, Salsa, or Tomato SauceMeat: Chopped Ham, Turkey, or SausageCheese: Feta, Grated Cheddar, Mozz, or Parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 400F2. Whisk eggs and almond milk3. Fold in veggies, herbs, cheese, etc.4. Pour egg mixture into 9" glass pie plate5. Bake for 30 minutes or until firm

This week I made swiss chard, red onion, & green and red tomato frittata, served with a large (1/2 plate!) green side salad.  The pairing is perfectly refreshing.  The frittata can be served hot or cold, depending on your preference.  Leftovers double as a great grab-and-go breakfast.

What's your favorite "egg-cellent" recipe?

Is Your Almond Milk Making You Sick?

The “healthy” dairy alternative, almond milk, could be causing catastrophic damage to your GI system and colon due to a little red intruder.

I’m sure, like me, if you made the switch from dairy or soy to almond milk, you thought you were making a healthy choice… but most commercial brands contain an additive known as carrageenan, which is just downright bad for your bod.

When I started experimenting with my body’s reaction to different foods, I realized that my beloved dairy (yes – I have a very emotional bond with dairy) was turning my face into the human version of the Colorado Rockies.  I initially switched to soy milk, but based on the heated GMO debate and the hormone-mimicking substances in soy, I now use almond milk almost exclusively.  Little did I know that my almond milk was including an uninvited guest.      Carrageenan is derived from red seaweed and is used in dairy and dairy alternatives, as well as deli meats, as a thickening agent, stabilizer and/or emulsifier.

The food grade version of carageenan (aka undegraded) has been shown to cause inflammation, lesions, and cancer in the colon.

This is just a step above the non-food grade version, which is classified as a “possible human carcinogen” by the International Agency on Cancer Research.  It’s labeled “possible” because it’s caused cancer in lab animals during studies, but (I guess) hasn’t been tested on humans yet… it never felt so good to be a human “lab rat”, did it?

The degraded carrageenan also causes inflammation.  How do we know that, you ask?  It’s actually been used for DECADES to INDUCE acute inflammation for lab trials.  Seriously!  I can’t make this stuff up.

Now, you’re probably asking why you should care about the degraded carrageenan – that stuff should not be in your food, right?  WRONG.  The food-grade version has been shown to contain up to 25% non-food grade (i.e. degraded) carrageenan.  What’s worse (yes, it gets worse)… because your bod is a powerhouse digestive system, it actually breaks down the “good” carageenan to the degraded carrageenan in your GI tract – YIKES!  

So what can you do about it?  

1.    Make a statement with your $$

I’m a firm believer that one of the best ways for us, collectively, to fight for a better food system is to put our money where our mouths are. There, in fact, are several alternatives to carrageenan that won’t give you cancer.  For a list of carrageenan-free dairy products/brands, check out this resource from

2.    Make your own almond milk

This week I experimented with my first batch of homemade almond milk.  I seriously can’t believe how easy it was to make!  This will definitely become a weekly staple in my house.

Homemade Almond Milk

1 cup almonds

3.5 cups filtered water

Vanilla extract or chocolate flavoring (optional)

1.    Soak almonds in water overnight (add vanilla or chocolate here if you’re using that)

2.    Blend almond and water mixture for approximately 1 minute

3.    Strain using cheesecloth or a fine mesh filter

4.    Gently squeeze the strained almond meal to get extra milk out

This should keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Admittedly, it’s a bit thinner than the store-bought stuff; I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say it’s probably because it doesn’t contain a cancer-causing thickener.

In the comments, I’d love to know – do you drink dairy or a dairy alternative?  What will you do to be carrageenan free?

Protein Packed Chocolate Chip Blondies

I'll be honest, I don't have much of a sweet tooth.  I'm more of a salt girl, always have been always will be.  But, when I spotted this recipe for protein packed chocolate chip blondies on my friend and fellow health coach Sarah Try's website, I knew I had to give them a try.  In general, I try to stay away from sugar, but this recipe is filled with so many healthy ingredients, that I'll let the sugar thing slide.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • The SECRET ingredient: 1 can of garbanzo beans, aka chickpeas – drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 c amber agave nectar
  • 1/4 c natural cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 c ground flaxmeal
  • 1/4 c no sugar added nut butter (mix and match based on your personal preference!)
  • 1/4 c dark chocolate chips, 1/4 c pecans (optional)
  • Coconut oil (to grease pan only)

Mix everything minus the optional ingredients (chocolate and pecans) in a food processor or blender. If you are using a blender, make sure to use a spatula to really stir the mixture.  Once mixed completely, add the chocolate chips and/or nuts and hand stir them in.

Grease an 8 x 8 baking pan or round pie pan with coconut oil and pour mixture into pan.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 oF and let cool for 10-20 minutes.  They should appear slightly underdone when taken out of the oven - they will firm up after cooling.

Make this recipe vegan by omitting the chocolate chips! 

12 servings. 5g fat/150 cal/4g protein per bar

The Mighty Brussel

Up until a few years ago, I’d never had brussels sprouts.  After having bad experiences with the sprout while growing up, my parents never cooked them for me.  I didn’t have my first encounter with the mighty brussel until just a few years ago, after spotting a must try recipe in Vegetarian Times.  Since then, brussels sprouts have become a regular in my house and for good reason.  Not only are brussels sprouts absolutely delish when cooked correctly, they’re also chock full of nutrition.  Keep reading for information on brussels sprouts nutrition and my favorite b. sprouts recipe.


The Nutritional Lowdown

  • Serious Phytonutrients: Brussels sprouts have recently been found to have the highest glucosinolate concentration of all cruciferous vegetables.  Glucosinolates are important phytonutrients; they are the chemical starting points for a variety of cancer-protective substances.
  • DNA Protection: Research shows improved stability of DNA inside white blood cells after daily consumption of 1.25 cups of brussels sprouts.
  • Reduce Cholesterol: When steamed, fiber-related components in b. sprouts do a better job of binding together with bile acids in the digestive tract.  After binding, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted, thereby lowering cholesterol levels.
  • High in Vitamins & Minerals: Just 1 cup of spouts contains 194.7% daily recommended value of Vitamin K, 124.6% of Vitamin C, and 15% of Manganese, among many others.

Delicious Sprouts

Not sure how to make the sprouts absolutely delectable?   Simply halving and roasting with some olive oil, salt, and pepper is fantastic, or try my favorite recipe for a yummy B. Sprouts salad.

Honey Dijon B. Sprouts Salad

**Honey optional

Serves 1 as a main dish; Multiple as a side

  • 2 cups brussels sprouts, rinsed and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup walnuts


  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard (I love Grey Poupon!)
  • ½ tsp Chia seeds

Heat garlic and olive oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and add sprouts, stirring occasionally.   Saute for 5-10 minutes until sprouts are tender (test with a fork).  For softer sprouts, add 2 tablespoons of water and cover, heated, for approximately 3 minutes.  For sweeter sprouts, add 1 tablespoon raw honey to water before covering.  In a separate container, combine all dressing ingredients and mix vigorously.  Remove the brussels sprouts from heat, combine all dry ingredients and enough dressing to coat (use your discretion; I’d estimate about ½ of the recipe above).  Serve hot or chill in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving.