Foods That Fill Your Energy Reserves

Reaching for the coffee is something we’re accustomed to doing when we need a boost of energy. Instead of reaching for a quick boost, that comes with a crash soon after, let the foods you eat fuel your energy naturally. By choosing the right foods and adding them to your daily routines, you can pump up the power to conquer anything that comes your way. Here are some of my favorite energy boosting foods for the next time you’re feeling sluggish.

Quinoa. The hard-to-pronounce ancient grain is a fabulous source of proteins and amino acids, along with plenty of other stuff too. Because it’s so dense with nutrients, this kind carb is ideal for upholding high energy levels for longer.

Tuna. Scoop out the inside of a cucumber sliced lengthwise for a carb-less “bun” and stuff it with tuna fish. It makes a satisfying lunch that will beat that mid-day slump so you can trudge on through the rest of your day without defeat.

Lentils and beans. An economical way to boost your energy is with lentils and beans. They each have tons of fiber which keep your blood sugar levels steady, ideal for maintaining energy all day long.

Oranges. With plenty of vitamin C, oranges are a smart choice for boosting immunity and for increasing energy too. Have them with lunch before returning to work, and you’ll feel even-keeled all afternoon.

Nuts. Nuts like almonds, cashews, pistachios, and even natural peanut butter contain the nutrients and essential fats you need, along with protein too. They make a great on-the-go snack that provides a satisfying crunch anytime you need a bite.

Spinach. Spinach is rich in amino acids that will keep you going all day long. Spinach is also an easy food to add to almost any recipe, so sneak it in as much as possible.

Dark chocolate. And finally, let’s end on a sweet note. Real dark chocolate with at least 80% cacao is a mega-energy booster. Savor a square of the good stuff, and you’ll be good to go. Plus, you’ll satisfy that sweet tooth all in one fell swoop.

Start adding these foods to your meals and see how more energetic you feel.

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve dreadingly prolonged going to the grocery store because I didn’t want to look up recipes, make a shopping list, cook things I’d never cooked before, and therefore didn’t feel confident cooking.

That’s the perfect recipe for take-out, right?

Until I finally learned my lesson, and it’s been easy sailing since…

Instead of focusing on recipes, I focus on foods.

What foods would you like to eat in the coming days?

Think about what’s in season, readily available and fresh.

Make a list of a handful of vegetables you’d like to eat in the coming week, along with a few fruits that are making your mouth water thinking about.

Go from there and create recipes with your ingredients, instead of the other way around.  Eating healthy can (and is, in my house) absolutely simple.  Recipe free, even.

Do you get caught up on recipes, too, like I did?

How do you navigate this each week?

No bake cookie balls

Have you ever tried these fast, minimal ingredient cookie balls you can make in mere minutes without the help of an oven?  You can even choose your ingredients wisely and use them as healthy energy balls.

A favorite quick & simple no bake cookie ball recipe is:

  • 1/2 cup of Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds or cashews
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mix ingredients using a food processor, starting with the dates first.  Add nuts after dates are processed, adding the rest of your ingredients to blend together.

Roll into balls and refrigerate until chilled.

These are the perfect snacks when you want a bite to eat, and they even work well for your 3pm pick-up.

Feel free to add more ingredients that you’d enjoy, such as coconut flakes or dark chocolate chips.  No bake cookie balls are so simple to make, it’s hard to mess them up.  So experiment and find what YOUR favorite no bake cookie/energy ball recipe is.

So, what’s your favorite type of cookie?  And how do you think you could create a no bake cookie version of it?

Do you struggle with figuring out what to cook for dinner, too?

You just worked all day, and instead of looking forward to going home to relax… you’re dreading the commute home because you have no idea what you’re feeding your crew for dinner.

Sound familiar?

You have enough on your plate — you shouldn’t have to worry what you’re going to put on everyone else’s plate, too.  Here are a few quick meals with minimal prep time.  Enjoy!

  1. Stuffed Sweet Potato Bar. Bake sweet potatoes and leave out all the toppings you have on hand to create your own baked sweet potato bar.
  2. Open face Avocado sandwich & soup. Add your favorite toppings on a slice of bread with smashed avocado.  Tomato and red onion would be yummy.  Pair with your favorite soup — you can even pick this up from the hot bar at the store already made.
  3. Flatbread on pita and salad. Take personal pan pizzas to a healthier level with these simple flatbreads on a pita.  Pair with a small side salad — simple and delicious!

What’d you have for dinner last night?  Inspire me!

Health Benefits of Your Favorite Holiday Spices and Seasonings

It’s true that the holidays have earned a bad reputation for unhealthy eating. However, used appropriately, the seasonings and spices you turn to for flavoring your dishes have some incredible health benefits. Here are a few of my favorites:

Cinnamon. The smell of it instantly conjures up images of the holidays with snowy hills and cozy times by the fireplace. It’s warm and spicy and is terrific in your cookies and other holiday treats. In ancient times, it was used to help with indigestion, and it’s been shown to have incredible anti-inflammatory effects.

Rosemary. The heavenly scent and sublime flavor of rosemary is a lovely addition to any dish. Rosemary is excellent for helping quell indigestion, as well. It also has antioxidants, which helps chase away those meddlesome free radicals.

Peppermint. Ah, is there anything more refreshing than peppermint in your hot cocoa? It too is rich in antioxidants, making it another winning
herb to keep on hand.

Ginger. In Asian cultures, ginger was used in the creation of just about every single dish. It can cleanse the body, relieve nausea and boost the
appetite. During the holidays, powdered ginger is used in soups, cookies, cakes, and salad dressings too.

Nutmeg. Warming and soothing, just like cinnamon, nutmeg is added to tons of savory dishes as well as your beloved pumpkin pie. It has a calming property to it which might explain why we feel so relaxed after eating foods that are seasoned with nutmeg.

Cloves. Earthy, warm, and sweet, cloves impart an interesting flavor to everything from savory dishes to sweets. They have lots of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

Are you getting ready to cook and bake for the holidays? Which of these spices is your favorite to use?

Do you struggle with sleep?  Sometimes no matter how much we dream of a good night’s sleep, our bodies have other plans.

I’m sure you are well aware of what NOT to drink to disrupt your sleep… like a big, hot, delicious cup of coffee.

But do you know what you SHOULD drink to help you catch some Zzz’s?

Here are some of my favorite drinks that are helpful for drifting off to sleep:

– Sleepytime Tea.  There are many different brands to choose from that you can find at any grocery store, so pick one up and give it a try.

– Golden milk.  It’s also great for your health overall, too!  Golden milk is so versatile and can be easily made vegan by using plant-based choices.

– Tart Cherry Juice.  Naturally a source of melatonin which helps promote healthy sleep.

– Magnesium.  Helps to promote great sleep, and is also helpful for digestion.

So tell me, what do you do to get a great night’s sleep?!

Shake Up Fall With These Sweet Potato Recipes

Sweet potatoes are a Fall staple. They’re delicious, grounding, and so versatile with many ways to add them to your dishes. But few people know what to do with them besides merely baking them or serving them in that almost dessert-like way that we most commonly associate with the holidays. They’re an excellent source of beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, and a ton of vitamins, so they’re
certainly a great option to have around. If you’re looking for creative ways to enjoy them, here are four different recipes to shake things up.

Grilled Sweet Potato Fries. Before it gets too cold out and you tuck the grill away, put it use by grilling sweet potatoes. Slice them up, drizzle with olive oil and seasonings of choice.  You could even make them in the oven 🙂

Sweet Potato Pancakes. This recipe for 2-ingredient sweet potato pancakes will be your new favorite. One steamed sweet potato plus two eggs equal this awesome breakfast that’s easy enough for any day of the week. Blend ingredients and cook in pan – it’s as easy as that.

Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Who said you needed marshmallows to make sweet potatoes sweet? Drizzle your sweet potatoes with honey before roasting to add a little sweetness and flavor.

Sweet Potato Kale Frittata. Frittatas are an easy way to make a classy breakfast without much fuss. You can feed the whole family
with this delicious frittata that combines eggs, kale, and sweet potatoes. Combine all ingredients and bake at 350 for approximately 10-15 minutes.

Now that you have a few more sweet potato tricks up your sleeve, you can put them to good use. Let them fill you up naturally and
bring more balance to your plate. What are your favorite ways to enjoy sweet potatoes? Let me know in the comments below.

The holidays are sneaking up on us again!

Would you like to make this year different?

Would you like to actually stay on track with your health goals this year, like you say you will do every year?

Would you like to do so in a fun way with a lot of awesome support?

Join us for the Fit & Festive Healthy Holiday Challenge.

The weekly email topics include:

Eating for Energy

Stress Management

Keeping Your Sanity

You will also have access to a private Facebook group where I will post daily tips and we can share our struggles and successes. Maybe we can even share recipes 🙂

I’m also including a few free eBooks: Surviving the Holidays, Mindful Eating During the Holidays, and Fun & Feasible Fitness at Home.

Join for free by signing up HERE!

Date: December 3, 2017—December 23, 2017
Event: Fit & Festive Holiday Challenge
Sponsor: Kim Zajan, CHC
Venue: Private Facebook Group
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

Healthy Thanksgiving Sides to Swap

Without Sacrificing Flavor

From Halloween to Thanksgiving and well beyond into the New Year, the autumn and following winter holidays can wreak havoc on our healthy routines we worked so hard to cultivate.

A little indulgence isn’t a bad thing, but you’ll want to save that for a slice of Mom’s famous pecan pie instead of racking up endless calories on the traditional side dishes that you usually serve at Thanksgiving. If you’re thinking bland and boring, think again.  There’s no need to cut out flavor when you make these healthy Thanksgiving side dish swaps!

Serve yogurt-based dips or hummus. You can’t host a Thanksgiving dinner without some snacks and appetizers to keep everyone occupied while they wait for the main event. Making these healthier options is as quick as a few ingredient swaps. Avoid using sour cream or mayonnaise-based dips and instead, use Greek yogurt or non-dairy yogurt as the base. No one will be able to tell the difference.  Or dip veggies into hummus which has fiber and protein and is high in iron and b vitamins.

Roast veggies instead of creaming them. Creamed peas or creamed spinach, and even that green bean casserole everyone loves are delicious, but they can rack up the calories and heaviness on your plate. Instead, roast your vegetables by lightly coating them with coconut oil and balsamic vinegar for a lighter, fresher alternative.

Sweet potato fries instead of candied yams. Simply carve up wedges of sweet potatoes and bake them until they’re soft. You can season them with a pinch of chili powder, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper.

Mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. You can give this side dish a healthy makeover by mashing cauliflower instead. The kids won’t even notice!

By making healthier choices to serve with your Thanksgiving meal, it allows you room to enjoy something worth the extra calories, or even have another glass of wine, without feeling guilty about it.  Life without indulges isn’t good for anyone, but overindulging as we tend to do during the holidays can add up. If you play your holidays smart, you won’t need to go into boot camp mode right before swimsuit season!

What are you making for Thanksgiving this year?


Warm, Healthy Drinks to Enjoy This Autumn

One of the most comforting parts of autumn is curling up with a warm beverage and letting it warm you from the inside out. Coincidentally, it’s even more enjoyable when these drinks are also beneficial for you. So today, I’m going to share with you some of my autumn-approved,  comforting and healthy beverages.

A Healthier Hot Chocolate. Is it even autumn without at least one cup of hot cocoa? A healthier alternative to the pre-packaged packets at the grocery store is easier to create than you may imagine. Use almond milk, cacao powder, maple syrup to sweeten if needed, and you can even melt a piece of dark chocolate to add an extra chocolatey punch.

Warm lemon water. This is my favorite thing to drink in the mornings. Yes, even more than coffee! Starting your day with a cup of hot water and a squeeze of lemon has more benefits than just a cozy warm beverage. It helps detox your body, jumpstart your digestion and give you a natural boost of energy first thing in the morning.

Hot Tea, of course. With many different options, here are my favorites. A simple, homemade ginger tea is not only comforting, but immune boosting. Simply boil water and steep fresh, peeled ginger root in it. Or before bedtime, a chamomile tea is ideal. It’s calming, delicious and soothes you straight to bed. Green tea or matcha teas are always incredibly delicious and enjoyable, as well.

A chai tea latte. Blend hot water, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg and a cinnamon stick and make your own DIY chai tea latte. After you make your chai tea, add in your almond milk to create the latte. If you ‘d prefer not to make it yourself, there are healthy premade options, as well.


Some of these drinks are perfect for the cold mornings, and others are perfect for your bedtime ritual. A drink can be found for each autumn day, whether you’re craving something sweet, creamy or spicy. And not to forget that all of these drinks are good for you and won’t stand in the way of your health goals, some will even help you towards them even faster. Drink up!