The #1 nutrition mistake women make

It’s now the third week of 2017, and you’re chugging along towards your fitness goals.

Workout plan? Check.

Stress management? Check.

Fitness motivation? Check.

But what about your nutrition? There’s so much information out there on how to eat, when to eat, and what to eat. Talk about information overload.  So before you dive into a nutrition plan head first, we’ve gotta make sure you aren’t making this super common nutrition mistake.

As a personal trainer and nutrition coach, I work with women across the United States to help them change their bodies in a way that does not require obsession or dietary restriction. Through working with lots of women, I’ve found that most women who come to me are making one nutrition mistake that’s stalling their progress.

Are you making this super common nutrition mistake? This is the #1 mistake I see women making (and how to fix it).

For most of us, when we decide to change up our nutrition to meet our goals, we do one thing: count. Whether it’s calories, macros, or servings, we’re told counting and closely monitoring our nutrition intake is the answer. This brings us to the #1 nutrition mistake women make: overcomplicating their nutrition.

Why complicated nutrition doesn’t work

You end up eating the wrong things

If all you’re thinking about are numbers, foods become nothing but numbers. Although a bowl of ice cream and a chicken breast with roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes may have the same number of calories, they’ll affect your body differently.Grocery Haul

This means you may end up eating foods that will make you MORE hungry, which makes it more difficult to reach your goals.

You get overwhelmed, decreasing your willpower and leads to “falling off the wagon”

Counting anything consistently takes a lot of mental energy, and is inherently unsustainable. At some point, you’ll reach the “fuck it” point and stop counting for a time.

But unfortunately, without numbers to guide you, it becomes way too easy to fall off the wagon.

Consistency with nutrition is hard. We often know what we need to do but implementing it is another story. There are days when we’re really good and days when everything is off and we order an entire pizza for ourselves. Sometimes nutrition is effortless, but other times, it gets so overwhelming or we get sick of making decisions, so we end up overindulging and feeling guilty later. When these things happen, we feel like there’s no middle ground between restriction and guilt.

But there is a way to cut to the middle and stop feeling restrictive or guilty. Grab my #ConsistentNutrition Cheatsheet to learn how.

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You stop listening to your body

The main reason I recommend against counting macros, calories, or servings for long periods of time is that you lose touch with your body and its signals. When numbers rule your food intake, you stop listening to your hunger and satiety cues.

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I lived in this space for a long time. I was constantly following a meal plan and eating when I was told. After a time, I wasn’t able to recognize when I was hungry and had no idea how much my body actually needed, leading me to severely under-eat every time I came off a meal plan. This is NOT a way to live (see how I do it instead), and that’s why I am so passionate about not making this nutrition mistake.

Combatting this common nutrition mistake

I want you to make it super simple. Instead of counting anything, I want you, my friend, to focus on just two things: protein and veggies. Every single time you eat, grab a portion of protein and some vegetables. If you’re still hungry, add some healthy fat or complex carbohydrates, depending on your goals.

Want more help getting in veggies at every meal? Grab some of my best tips.

This super simple strategy makes all the difference, because you’ll be eating lots of nutrient dense and non-calorie dense foods. This will allow you to eat more AND make sure you aren’t missing out on any key nutrients. In layman’s terms, low calorie density = large portion size. And large portion sizes keep you (me) happy. Follow along on Instagram and Facebook with #mindthemiddle to see how I implement these strategies day-to-day.

I talk with women all the time who are struggling to stay consistent with their nutrition. They know what they “should” eat but they can’t seem to implement it when outside of their normal routine. They either restrict themselves and feel super deprived or they get overwhelmed by all the “shoulds” and eat whatever they want, leaving them feeling lots of guilt.

I’ve been there. For years, I went out to dinner or happy hours only to order the lowest calorie option. I’d crave something tasty but knew I should order something light, so I ordered grilled chicken with roasted vegetables. I’d feel pretty good about myself…until appetizers came. Sweet potato fries, meatballs, and bread with pesto dipping sauce would fill the table. I’d try resisting…for about five minutes. Eventually, I’d always give in, indulging in fries, meatballs, bread, and lots of wine. Even though I knew what I should do, I couldn’t. I was too bored by my choices to stick with them, so I went overboard and felt super guilty afterwards.

With lots of experimentation, I found a way to cut to the middle between deprivation and guilt. That’s why I created my #ConsistentNutrition Cheatsheet to help all of us implement the things we know we should do with our nutrition. There are no crazy meal plans or calorie counts, just the handful things you need to implement daily to eat moderately and find that middle between restriction and guilt.

Grab your copy now and stop feeling restrictive or guilty about your eating!

What’s one thing that still confuses you about nutrition?

Single Serving Chocolate Cake: high carb + low fat

It’s Friday night and you’re itching for some chocolate. Still slightly full from a tasty Thanksgiving dinner, you need a sweet treat that won’t throw you completely off track for days to come.

You are not alone. So many times, I’m hit with a crazy craving for something chocolatey, chewy, and delicious but have zero options in my apartment. Cookies and crackers are not in my apartment, so on the occasion that I want something in the baking realm, I get creative.

This recipe is the result of chocolate craving I had a few weekends ago. I hadn’t gone grocery shopping and had to make due with the things in my pantry (so all those fancy Pinterest recipes were not gonna work).

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Three protein balls: recipes + macros

If you never know what to eat pre or post workout or get so hungry after you finish your lifting sesh that you eat everything in sight, then you need to keep on reading cuz these protein balls are just what you need!

Even as a personal trainer and nutrition coach, I have a hard time getting food on board before working out. Let’s just say, at 5:30am, I’m sure as hell not feeling a protein shake or egg whites and veggies. When I’m well-prepared and in good habits, I’ll have a serving of my favorite protein bread or a couple protein bites. Recently, in case it’s not clear, I have not been following the best habits, instead, starting my workouts in a fasted state.

So, when my air conditioning unit went bust and I couldn’t leave my apartment for a few hours on a Saturday, I decided it was time to get back to my protein ball/bite roots by creating brand new recipes.

Read More »

{Guest Post} Healthy Snack Ideas

Hey there friends! Happy Friday! Today, I’ve got a special treat for you: a guest post from one of my dear friends, Zoe. Zoe and I met at the Radiance Retreat in Los Angeles in May and connected right away. She’s an incredible woman AND health & happiness blogger. Enjoy her delicious snack recipes, and be sure to connect with her! 

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Blog                     Facebook                 Instagram

As Katherine mentioned, we met at the Radiance Retreat in Venice, California, and we immediately clicked – she is such a sweet girl, and it is so refreshing to meet women who are as empowering and as caring as she is. I was thrilled when Katherine asked me to write a guest blog for her 14 day challenge. I hope you love what I have put together for you all!

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Read More »

Protein Cookie Dough Recipe for One

This is the snack I eat every time my sweet tooth hits. Gluten free & sugar free recipe!

Happy Friday! How did your week go?! I hope the short week treated you well 🙂 Today, I’m sharing a yummy snack that’s great for those Friday nights when you’re wanting something sweet.

If you’re anything like me, sweets can be your downfall. You can handle the whole day, eating on plan, getting in all your veggies and protein, but by 5pm, you’re looking for something to fill your sugar cravings.

When this craving hits, you’ve got a few options that won’t hinder your progress.

Grab a piece of fruit (or frozen berries, my fave)

Eat half a protein bar (Quest or Clif Z-Bars, yum) 

Eat just a square of dark chocolate

OR, try my protein cookie dough made with my favorite protein.

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I prefer my cookie dough because volume. There’s something satisfying about a food that lasts more than a few bites. Don’t get me wrong. I love my dark chocolate but that’s “over” way too fast. With this cookie dough, you get 1 protein and 1/2-1 carb serving, and that leaves me feeling very sated.

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It’s a super basic recipe that you can tweak to your cravings, too. Add chocolate chips, frozen berries, or shredded coconut to your protein cookie dough. Anything you want: just be sure to measure those add-ins. This will make sure you don’t go overboard.

Today, I'm sharing a yummy snack that's great for those Friday nights when you're wanting something sweet. Gluten free and sugar free recipe!

 

Let me know if you try it! In addition to being a great cravings buster, it’s an awesome pre or post workout treat 🙂

Oh, if you are looking for ways to fit this yummy protein cookie dough into your diet, head over to my instagram to see how I #mindthemiddle in all nutrition situations. It’s totally possible to have your cake and eat it too, I promise!

What’s your favorite “healthy” snack?

Copy cat mighty muffin recipe

A couple weeks ago, I saw one of my favorite IG trainers snacking on a Flapjacked mighty muffin. Needless to say, I was SO excited to try a new healthy treat, so I headed to Amazon to pick up a few. When I got to the sell page, I noticed the price tag: $5 per tasty little cup.

After balking a bit, I added a couple to my cart and checked out. By that point, I was already too curious NOT to buy them. Maybe they would be so life-changing that I could justify the muffin that cost more than my morning coffee.

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When they arrived at my apartment, I immediately opened the box and made one. Even as I enjoyed the chocolatey goodness,  I knew I had to find a way to make them at home. Although they’re super delicious and have a great macro profile, they cost almost as much as my favorite can of wine! Just no.

Look. I’m all about convenience and making meal time stress free. I’m the queen of “not cooking,” easy meal prep, and prefer my recipes to be completed within 20 minutes (don’t believe me? Here are my 5 healthy dinner recipes that’ll be on the table in less than 20 minutes flat). But at the same time, healthy eating should be available to everyone, so expensive supplements and shortcuts aren’t always my jam.

So, to make healthy eating easier, wherever we are, I put together this super simple cheatsheet for dining out and how to stay consistent with your nutrition wherever you go. No counting, measuring or stressing required, just the handful things you need to implement daily to eat moderately. Grab a copy of the FREE #ConsistentNutrition Cheatsheet below.


That’s why I had to make the copycat mighty muffin: so we can all have a healthy treat that’s quick, full of protein, and relatively low in carbs. This super simple recipe is tasty and won’t bust all your healthy eating goals.

After a number of iterations, I’ve created a recipe that I think is pretty close to the original, in both taste and nutrition!

Why do I like it?

  • This muffin has a great balance of carbs & protein for post workout.
  • It’s got less than 275 calories, making it an easy snack for throughout the day.
  • The ingredient list is super simple. You probably have all these in your pantry.

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The only ingredient that may be less common is coconut flour. Still, don’t click away! Although I love coconut flour because of the fiber and the mild taste, it’s not absolutely necessary. So, if you don’t have it, sub in regular, whole wheat, oat, or almond flour. And as always, look at my recipes as guidelines! If you’re inspired, free to riff on it, changing up the flavors and toppings too!

Copycat mighty muffin recipe!

Looking for a healthy-ish treat? Try my copycat mighty muffin recipe.

How to use the copycat mighty muffin in your nutrition

While this isn’t health food, per se, it’s definitely not on the same level as having a slice of cake. That’s why the copycat mighty muffin is a perfect example of how to use my #mindthemiddle framework.  Instead of restriction or aiming for perfection (I’ll never aim for perfect again-see why), we focus on moderation and minding the moderate middle in every nutrition decision. To mind the middle, we take each eating situation and pick the moderate option.

As as example, maybe we’ve got balanced breakfast, lunch, and dinner down pat. But by the time 8pm rolls around, we’re craving something sweet and our willpower is shot (if willpower is tough for you, don’t miss my five lifestyle tips to boost your willpower and learn to lose weight WITHOUT it).

In that case, we’d pick an option that’s not the best but also not the worst. Instead of having a bowl of ice cream or nonfat plain greek yogurt, maybe we whip up my chocolate mug cake or this mighty muffin!  Is it the best option? Heck no. But it’ll also keep you satisfied and less obsessed with your next treat. #mindthemiddle is my favorite was to eliminate nutrition stress in my day.

I hear from women all the time that they have a hard time eating on the go. Drive-thru’s, happy hours and travel can botch even the best intentions for healthy eating. SO, I put together this super simple cheatsheet for dining out and how to stay consistent with your nutrition wherever you go. No crazy meal plans, just the handful things you need to implement daily to eat moderately, completely stress-free. Grab a copy of the FREE #ConsistentNutrition Cheatsheet below.

What’s your favorite daily treat?

Customizable Protein Bite Recipe

Here’s a quick, healthy snack you can throw together in no time and use for the whole week!

Hey folks! We’re so close to the weekend, I can almost taste it! Doing anything fun?! I’m considering finally buying a TV so I can watch Netflix and write/edit video/work/etc, so that and church on Easter Sunday are on the docket for me.

Often, I hear people struggling to maintain their balanced/on plan/healthy eating over the weekend. It IS hard when you’ve been sticking to your diet all week and begin to feel like you deserve something extra.

My preferred way to attack this problem is to eat towards satisfaction all week long! (If you’d like some more strategies, my friend and trainer, Paige, wrote an AWESOME post on this. Check it out.) What’s that mean? For me, it’s:

  • Sipping a glass of wine on Tuesday night *gasp*

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  • Having dark chocolate every day

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  • Adding some parmesan cheese to my salads

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  • Finding protein bars I enjoy and eating them 1/3 at a time when a craving strikes
  • Making these protein bites and snacking on them throughout the week!

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I love this recipe, because I can modify it 1,000 different ways and get a whole new taste. Craving mint-chocolate flavors? Add chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and a little mint extract. An oatmeal raisin cookie? Decrease the coconut flour, add oats and raisins. Not a fan of the applesauce? Add peanut butter, just be aware of the increased fat content. The possibilities really are endless. For this version, they were a little sticky/wet, so I rolled in unsweetened, shredded coconut.

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Please, don’t take this recipe-or any of mine for that matter-as set in stone. They are guidelines! Play around and see what works best for you. But be sure to let me know how it goes too 😉

What’s your favorite quick snack?

How to Eat Healthy When Busy: 5 Tips

Hey there! Happy Thursday!

Cooking nutritious food and subsequently eating well can be really hard. You probably have a thousand different things to do throughout the day, and planning your meals is low on the list. I get it. And honestly? I don’t currently meal plan everything I’ll eat in a week; that kind of stresses me out 😀  I follow the steps below when grocery shopping, and this ensures I have enough on hand to make quick and easy healthy meals throughout the week.

Cooking nutritious food and subsequently eating well can be really hard. You probably have a thousand different things to do throughout the day, and planning your meals is low on the list. I get it. And honestly? I don't currently meal plan everything I'll eat in a week; that kind of stresses me out :D I follow the steps below when grocery shopping, and this ensures I have enough on hand to make quick and easy healthy meals throughout the week.

Stock up on frozen fruit and vegetables

Frozen options are just as nutritious and are so easy to use. Frozen fruit can be a quick dessert or snack when added to some plain greek yogurt. Frozen spinach is a great base for smoothies. I also love that frozen veggies are already chopped and ready to go. I use these peppers and onions at least once a week to make “fajitas.”

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Buy two different lean proteins and cook them ahead of time

When you’re at the store, choose two protein sources and buy a little extra. For one person, I will buy about 2lbs of meat for the week. Cook the protein as soon as you get home from the store, seasoning with salt and pepper.

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Choose pre-chopped vegetables that can be sautéed or eaten raw

Grab a few different chopped vegetables that you can eat a thousand ways. This mix is great in salads, pasta sauce, or even just stir fried. Pre-packaged salad mixes or greens count too!

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Have the basics on hand

Here’s where we put it all together. When you have a pantry stocked with the basics (things like olive oil, S&P, egg whites, rice, pasta, pasta sauce), you pick and choose from the protein & vegetables, and there’s your meal.

It’s not glamorous but it gets the job done. Ground turkey and chopped veggies can become:

  • Fajitas when seasoned with cumin and chili powder
  • Spaghetti when you add some red sauce and fresh garlic
  • An egg bake when you add everything to a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes

Plan to be busy

Honestly, when it comes to the rest, I am gentle with myself and plan such that I have options when there’s no time to eat. I always have protein shakes in the fridge and healthy protein bars in my pantry. It’s not perfect but it gets me by!

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A couple other ways you can plan for the craziness:

  • Keep greek yogurt in the fridge. Great source of protein in a pinch
  • I like to have turkey or beef jerky around in case I need a quick boost
  • Choose fruits that don’t require a lot of work: grapes can be frozen in zip lock bags for a grap-and-go snack and apples eaten without any chopping

If you’re still struggling, don’t miss my checklist to eating for fat loss. These simple streps have changed how I eat day-to-day!

What have I missed? Let me know your best tips in the comments below

What I Ate Wednesday #4

Good morning, friends! How’s your week been? We’ve been adjusting back to being in Texas. It’s hard being away from my family but it IS nice to have my own space again. This dumb dumb is a little anxious and would prefer I am always in her sight!

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After some guidance from my trainer, I’ve started playing around with meal timing and nutrient density again. Read: eating bigger meals that are full of protein, fat, and fruit/veggies. This has been helping me feel fuller for longer throughout the day.

There is much evidence that states three square meals with one or two small snacks are actually best for fat loss, so if want to try this strategy. I’d recommend bumping up fat/protein a little in your meals to start. If you’re still hungry before about 5 hours, add a few carbohydrates. Here’s what it looks like for me.

Upon waking and before my workout, I have branched chain aminos and coffee.

Breakfast, 9:00am

Added a bit of extra fat, having eggs rather than egg whites IMG_3069.jpg

Lunch, 1:30pm

Added extra chicken and cheese, nom

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“Snack,” 7:00pm

Have to have a tiny bit of chocolate each day, keeps me sane!

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Dinner, 7:30pm

Snack, 9:30pm

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Let me know your thoughts! What has been your most successful meal strategy?

What I Ate Wednesday #3

Happiest of hump days to you, my friends! I am so freaking excited to be one day closer to the weekend!

In the WIAW spirit, I wanted to share a weekend day’s worth of eats. Weekends, or any time that your daily routine goes out the window, can be quite a bit harder on the nutrition front, so I thought it may help to see a typical Sunday rest day’s meals for me.

11:15am

After plenty of coffee + cream at church, I like to make myself a big egg white scramble. This one included a zucchini, leftover ground beef, a little marinara sauce, and parmesan cheese.

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1:30pm

A couple hours later, I grabbed a green juice when taking Juno to the park. I like green juice because it helps hydrate me while also getting good veggies too.

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3:30pm

For lunch, I made myself a #BAS. Basically started with one of Trader Joe’s pre-made salads, added kale, broccoli slaw, and about 3oz roasted turkey. Although the pre-made salad had some black beans and sunflower seeds, it’s really important for me to not skimp on protein. If I do, I feel really shaky!

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5:00pm

While studying/reading my textbook, I made myself some protein “cookie dough” with some fresh blueberries. This super easy snack (protein powder + coconut flour + almond milk) gives me just enough energy to make it to dinner.

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7:30pm

While finishing up dinner, I start sipping on kombucha per usual. Yum…

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For dinner, I had some cauliflower ‘fried rice’ and some steak. This is totally proof eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. I did not wash, prep, or chop anything!

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9:15pm

As I get in bed, I have my regular nighttime snack of greek yogurt, PB2 (or protein powder), chocolate chips, and a little granola. It feels like a treat! When it stopped feeling like a treat, I know it’s time to pick a new nighttime snack. I never like to go to bed hungry or deprived, especially because I work out in the morning!!

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