When It Comes To Your Diet, Don’t Be a Zombie

Now that Halloween is over and all of the costumes, decorative spider webs, and jack-o-lanterns are a thing of the past, let’s take a few minutes to make sure that there are no zombies still hanging around.


As much errr fun as it would be to go on a zombie apocalypse hunting adventure, the zombies I’m referring to here are those pesky little diet zombies, you know….

the mindless eat before you think type of “situation”

…yeah, THOSE zombies.

Last month I spent a majority of my days traveling for work, which meant early mornings and long meetings piggy backed with eating out for every.single.meal. While I try to make a conscious effort to eat healthy(ish) as much as possible, when the foods that I normally consider more of a treat are readily available at my fingertips every time I turn around, the 80/20 rule goes right out the window.  I believe the moment I started to realize this was as I was reaching for my third sprinkle covered doughnut hole during a meeting last week.  

Sometimes we just need to slow down and pay a little more attention to our eating habits.

Whether you have a weakness for the holiday treats at work, your schedule is booked with boozy social events, or you follow a strict diet that tends to be monotonous, you can make the art of healthy eating easier with these mindful eating tips.

  1. Stop and think – Do I feel hungry, or am I just eating because there is food in front of me?  I have to stop myself on a regular basis from ordering multiple meals at a restaurant. Why? I live in constant fear that I won’t have enough to eat. Trust me, this is ridiculous. Here in America, we are very lucky to have almost any type of food that you could imagine readily available and accessible at any point in time.  There is no need to store up for the winter. Start slow and pay attention to your hunger cues.  A common tip I give my clients is to only eat half of their meal at one sitting.  If they’re still hungry after 30-60 minutes, guess what…the other half of the meal is still there.  But more often than not, we don’t need as much food as we think we do.  Don’t wait until your stomach hurts to realize that you’re full.
  2. Plan your meals ahead of time, but make sure it’s food you actually want to eat. I can’t tell you how common it is for my clients to tell me about how they grocery shopped and meal prepped, but ended up grabbing dinner with friends multiple nights because by the time they got home after a long day, the last thing they wanted to do was to eat a boring dinner at home.  Last night I made this chili and I couldn’t wait to eat it as leftovers again today. You should feel excited about the food you make yourself. Find new recipes each week that sound interesting and give them a try.   Eating the same food everyday gets boring, have fun with your food!  
  3. Remember that part of the purpose of food (and drinks…I’m looking at you champagne) is enjoyment. That means that you need to treat yourself every once in a while and get over that guilty feeling for really really really loving that decadent piece of cake. The thing to focus on here is that the food/drink should legitimately bring you a feeling of satisfaction.  Sit down, slow down, and pay attention to these foods.  If you find yourself reaching for seconds or thirds, you’re probably not really taking the time to appreciate what you’ve got in front of you.

Do you have any tips for practicing mindful eating?  I’d love to hear them.

Things I’m Diggin’ Lately 2015/10/30

20151030 Things I'm Diggin Lately

  1. Peanut butter applesauce, yes please! (immaeatthat.com)
  2. Quick and simple changes to become a happier person (popsugar.com)
  3. Ellen inspired Adele’s new “Hello” video…obvi (ellentv.com)
  4. 8 Ted talks to help build stronger relationships (time.com)
  5. Healthy (and easy) homemade pumpkin maple granola (minimalistbaker.com)
  6. A compilation of the creepiest houses in scary movies…don’t go in there! (glamour.com)

Explore More

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This weekend I got a chance to catch up with some long time girlfriends. We somehow got on the topic of dream jobs now that we’ve all been working in the real world for about a decade, and I wasn’t surprised to hear that we all had visions of creative and passionate careers that gave us the freedom to travel and explore regularly. I couldn’t help but wonder when we had all slowed down on our search for the next big challenge and started being drawn to the feeling of comfort and familiarity in life.  While the security of what we know – jobs, relationships, a place to call home – are perks in becoming who we are, we can’t forget the importance of learning through exploration. It’s easy to fall into everyday habits and rituals, but maybe it’s time to invigorate that feeling of fear and take a step towards something new. We learn through fresh experiences, and even an uncomfortable tumble may lead to an unexpected way to stand back up!

Have a magical day!

Things I’m Diggin’ Lately 2015/04/17

 20150417 Things I'm Diggin Latey

  1. This new Nike ad is real life, and I like it. (whowhatwear.com)
  2. So….Ben & Jerry’s is making a beer now… (huffingtonpost.com)
  3. Energy drinks I can actually get behind – 3 homemade recipes. (hellonatural.co)
  4. The “perfect” body, then and now. (greatist.com)
  5. Spiced sweet potato bread that’s healthy enough to eat for breakfast. (popsugar.com)
  6. How to make the perfect martini. Challenge accepted. (bonappetit.com)


Blueberry & Almond Coffee Cake

Blueberry Coffee Cake 7

Most days I roll out of bed, walk my pup, throw on scrubs, and head to work.

Other days I wake up and take it slow….

Those days are good. Really, freaking, good.  

Last week my dad sent me an email. Here’s all it said:

“This looks good.”

Then, he included a link to this recipe

I can take a hint.

I don’t know about you, but it’s not often that I feel good about eating cake for breakfast.  
But then there’s those slow mornings.  
The days when you can take your time and indulge.  
For me, that includes doing a quick workout, making a cup of coffee, enjoying a decadent breakfast, and catching up on my reading. 

Blueberry Coffee Cake 4

Blueberry Coffee Cake 3

What morning rituals get you pumped?

Up & At ‘Em Breakfast Smoothie

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I am a fresh blueberry kind of gal. I eat them in my yogurt. I eat them in my oatmeal. I eat those suckers as often as Kim Kardashian takes selfies….

So imagine my disappointment when I hit the grocery this week and blueberries were nowhere to be found. Correction, no fresh blueberries…which is how I ended up with frozen blueberries in my basket.  

What happens when life gives you frozen blueberries?
You make a dang smoothie.

Up & At 'Em Smoothie 5

So rise and shine y’all, because here comes my new favorite smoothie. And we’ve got varieties to please even the pickiest smoothie drinkers. 

3/4 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup skim milk (I use Fair Life because it’s higher in protein)
1 tbsp vanilla roasted almond butter, or any type of nut butter
1/4 cup uncooked oats

                 If you’re counting calories….swap the nut butter for PB2.

                 If you’re craving protein…swap the milk for nonfat plain Greek yogurt.

                 If you’ve got a sweet tooth…add 1 tsp of vanilla extract.

Up & At 'Em Smoothie 3

Up & At 'Em Smoothie 2

What’s your favorite breakfast smoothie?

Things I’m Diggin’ Lately 2015/03/24

 20150324 Things I'm Diggin

  1. This video…that taco…just watch – Fritz the Golden Retriever Can’t Catch. (youtube.com)
  2. How holding grudges makes you physically weaker. (menshealth.com)
  3. No recipe? No problemo. Tips on how to make a smoothie sans a recipe. (self.com)
  4. Don’t feel guilty about splurges; why treats AREN’T frivolous. (huffingtonpost.com)
  5. Love reading about how tennis pros can be fierce competitors and best friends. (vogue.com)
  6. Chocolate oatmeal protein bars brownies. (popsugar.com)

Vanilla Roasted Almond Butter

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The first time I tried Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter was last year when I was interning with a university’s athletics program. It was, by far, the favorite snack offered.

I mean, the athletes went crazy for this stuff!  And it’s obvious why…

it’s amazing!

 Vanilla Roasted Almond Butter 2

I’m a huge fan of nut butters, as you probably noticed here, here, or here. But if I was forced to pick just one (let’s hope this never happens!!) I would choose almond butter.  Almonds are super high in monounsaturated fats (aka heart healthy) and they’re also loaded with antioxidants.  Why roasted almonds vs. raw?

the flavor…hubba hubba


Since I have a Vitamix, I decided to blend up my own version of Justin’s awesome creation.
Don’t have a Vitamix? Don’t worry, you can also use a food processor, no prob. 

I started with 1 lb raw almonds, roasted them at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.  After they cooled I threw them in the Vitamix and ground them up until they were smooth.  Then, I added the goodies…

Justin’s uses Organic Palm Fruit Oil. If you’ve never heard of this, it comes from the fleshy part of the palm fruit and it’s rich in monounsaturated fats.  It’s about 50% saturated fat (FYI coconut oil is about 92%) so it’s a soft solid at room temperature and turns to a liquid with heat. 

Vanilla Roasted Almond Butter 9{organic palm fruit oil at room temperature}

I also added in about 2 tablespoons of vanilla, 1/8 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon honey, and sea salt to taste. It took a couple of tries to get the taste I really loved.

Taste testing is a must!

Vanilla Roasted Almond Butter 6

Vanilla Roasted Almond Butter 4

Vanilla Roasted Almond Butter

1 lb raw or roasted unsalted almonds
1/4 cup organic palm fruit oil
2 Tbsp vanilla
1/8 cup sugar
1 Tbsp honey
Sea salt to taste

1. Put almonds in Vitamix or food processor and grind until smooth.
2. Add all other ingredients and blend to taste.


Things I’m Diggin’ Lately 2015/03/13

20150313 Things I'm Diggin

  1. The one food nutritionists eat every single day. (self.com)
  2. Who doesn’t love Trader Joe’s? Here’s a list of 39 items you should add to your cart. (popsugar.com)
  3. How to strike up a conversation with almost anyone. (entrepreneur.com)
  4. St. Patrick’s Day is upon us, check out the best Irish pubs around. (businessinsider.com)
  5. Homemade pre and post workout fuel to keep you amped, yes please! (bonappetit.com)
  6. Drooling over these killer trips that flip the script on your usual vacas. (wsj.com)

A Kale Salad Worth Bragging About

Kale Salad 7

I know, I know…kale.  kale! KALE!!! 

It’s not my favorite and to be honest, I really haven’t met anyone who is super pumped about noshing on the leafy superfood.  But here I am, humbly offering my absolute best kale salad recipe and hoping that you will at least give it one tiny little try.

Pretty pretty please!

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Kale Salad 1

My dad taught me this recipe about a year ago, and I’m quite the addict.  Maybe it’s because this is one of the few recipes that makes me excited to get some kale in my belly, or maybe it’s just because this salad is magical…

Two things I think are really important in a good salad:

1. I like it to be chopped. I don’t know why, but it just makes salad much more manageable for me.
2. Nuts. Need I say more?

BUT, the magic ingredient in this bad boy is fresh squeezed lemon juice. Yup.

Lemon juice + kale = BFF

….that’s an official mathematical equation, you guys.

I don’t want to brag here, buuuuut, I’ve brought this salad to multiple dinner parties and I always get compliments.  No big deal.

So here are we go, super easy.

  • 3 cups chopped curly kale
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews
  • juice from two small lemons
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • just a tad of shaved Parmesan cheese

Mix it all up, and enjoy.  Hint: the kale gets softer after it’s had some time to soap up the lemon juice, so if I can wait, I prefer this salad on day 2.

Kale Salad 4

Kale Salad 6