The Right Foods For Weight Loss

Have you been struggling to lose or maintain your weight? Don’t worry! You’re not alone. The good news is you can begin to make simple changes in the foods you eat and lose weight for good!

For the past 22 plus years, I’ve helped clients make easy changes in their daily/weekly food intake and lose weight. No deprivation diets or crazy workouts, I promise! Just simply swapping out some of the higher calorie foods with good tasting low-cal substitutes helped them lose weight. It can help you too.

Try food swap magic!

Here are some small yet powerful changes you can make to lose and maintain your weight:

1)  What’s for breakfast?  Do you know that one cup of granola can pack in 450 calories? Yikes! You can eat a serving of oatmeal (with blueberries and butter), and two eggs for only 360 calories. Granola is a healthy food, but if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight, avoid the high calorie cereals in the morning. They make better toppings than meals.

If you eat breakfast at your favorite coffee shop, you will want to find out how many calories are in that on the go meal. Keep it to 350 calories and have a plain cup of coffee with a small amount of creamer. This simple tweak alone helped one of my clients stop gaining weight and lose three pounds in five weeks!

2)  Snack wisely. A small serving of chips is about 150 calories on average. But, did you know you can eat four cups of popcorn for only 60 calories? Popcorn is way more filling, and will keep ,you satisfied longer. Not crazy about popcorn? Eat a piece of fruit.

3)  Entertain with lower calorie choices. Having company? Offer hummus and yoghurt based dips. Offer whole grain crackers as well as fruit and cut vegetables to go alongside the dips. Serve smaller portions of the higher calorie fare such as cheese and cured meats. You and your guests are likely to eat less when the portions are sized smaller.

4)  Limit the fast food!  I realize this may be obvious to some. However, with 25% of our nation eating fast food daily, I do not like to ignore this one. Most of us picture a drive through window when we think of fast food. However fast food can be healthy take out as well. When you let someone else cook the meal, you have zero control over the calories.

Just like with the breakfast meals, find out how many calories are in your favorite take out and decide if it meets your weight loss goals. Or, have some healthy frozen food on hand and combine it with a fresh salad for a last minute dinner option.

5)  Watch the sweets! There are 196 calories in a large chocolate chip cookie. Switch to a piece of dark chocolate (60 calories), a small cookie (49 calories), or a small serving of sorbet (110 calories).

These tips will help you cut calories and stay on track without feeling deprived! Please let me know if you have a food swap you’d like to share or a question about your daily food intake by leaving a comment below.  I really enjoy hearing from you!

Blessings to you and yours!



Cooking Shortcuts To Help You Maintain Healthy Eating Habits

Eating at home is one of the key ingredients to maintaining a healthy diet. When you know what’s in your food, you have more control over the amount of calories and the quality of the food you consume.  However, with today’s fast paced lifestyles it can be difficult to carve out the time to cook.

Here are eight quick and easy cooking shortcuts for healthy eating.

These tips come straight to you from my personal kitchen! 

As a wife, homemaker, fitness coach, and doggie mom I have a limited amount of time I can spend in the kitchen.  Here are some shortcuts I use when following my favorite recipes:

1)  Use cookers that need no supervision! I use my rice cooker all week long. I make rice, quinoa and steamed vegetables in it. Slow cookers and crock pots serve the same purpose. While one part of the meal is cooking, you can prepare the rest. You can cook stew while you are at work, or run errands while the food is cooking.

2) Use pre-made sauces. I often substitute healthy pre-made sauces in recipes instead of making them from scratch. Organic pasta sauces, dips, and dressings are pretty easy to find in almost every grocery store.

For example, I make lamb burgers that call for a “raita” sauce. The recipe isn’t hard. However, Trader Joe’s sells a yoghurt cilantro sauce that works well in place of it. If you add up the time and cost of buying the ingredients and making the sauce, it is worth the $2.99 I paid for Joe’s version. Just be sure to check labels when buying pre-made sauces. Avoid partially hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. And be sure you recognize the ingredients!

3)  Speed up the veggies! Pre-washed and pre-cut organic vegetables are a great way to save time. Check the frozen section for a great variety as well. Frozen veggies are better than canned because they preserve more of the nutrients without preservatives.

4)  Prep well. Do all of your cutting, chopping, and mixing before you start cooking, including a side salad. This will save you time, and your meals will come together seamlessly.

5)  Recruit in-house! My husband and I have a lot of fun cooking together. We open a nice bottle of wine, turn on some music and enjoy quality time. The families I work with turn cooking into family time. The kids look forward to working in the kitchen, and mom and dad get to teach their children while getting a little help.

6)  Create a meal plan. Plan your meals one week in advance with the groceries in the house. If you have to stop at the store multiple times per week, you will lose a lot of time shopping. And this can tempt you to eat out. If you are not sure how to meal plan, check out Meal Planning Helps You Lose Weight for detailed steps.

7)  Have a back up! I always keep a few easy meals in our freezer and pantry just in case the day does not go as planned. Frozen organic pizzas and a fresh salad make a great last minute dinner. By making your own pizza, you have more control over the calories than if you went to the local pizzeria. Dry pasta and minced canned clams make an amazing linguini and clams dish. Add a salad on the side and your family will think it’s gourmet all the way!

8)  Buy freeze dried herbs!  Did you know freeze dried herbs become “like fresh” when they are moistened? Use these to avoid all of the chopping without sacrificing flavor. They are great in the winter when your herb garden isn’t producing, and it saves having to buy an entire bunch of herbs just for a couple tablespoons!

Please let me know which strategies are the most helpful, or share your own time saving tip below!





Lose 14 Pounds in One Year Walking Your Dog


That’s me and my dog Dillon above!  Years ago I had a strong desire to leave the gym and knew that many of my clients wanted other options as well.  However, it was an article in Vogue magazine that really inspired me to take action.  The article high lighted several Hollywood celebrities that had decided to take their exercise outdoors and leave the gym behind.

Since staying in shape was there business I was intrigued.  Drew Barrymore shared how she had switched from going to the gym to hiking in the hills with her dogs.  So, I left the gym and started walking my dogs daily for the majority of my exercise.  I’ve been teaching clients how to exercise outside of the gym ever since!

Since I have successfully lost weight and maintained it for years walking my dogs daily, I got really excited when I came across this University of Missouri-Columbia study!

You can lose weight walking your dog 20 minutes a day.


The study showed that walking a dog 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week produced an average weight loss of 14 pounds for participants.

Study participants were people who were not regular walkers. They began by walking loaner dogs 10 minutes per day, three times each week. Eventually, the participants walked up to 20 minutes per day, five times each week. Those who followed this program for 50 weeks lost an average of 14 pounds.

The ones who walked only 26 weeks didn’t see much weight loss.”Even though we didn’t see a significant amount of weight loss in the group that walked for a shorter period of time, by the end of the study, all the participants were walking for longer periods of time and walking for daily errands instead of using some other type of transportation,” said researcher Rebecca Johnson in a press release.

Dogs are great accountability partners!

“Many of the participants reported that they didn’t necessarily walk in the study because they knew it was good for their health; they enjoyed walking because they knew it was good for the animals,” said researcher Rebecca Johnson in a press release.

I’ve been a personal trainer for over 22 years.  From my experience, most people need a “reason” to exercise.  Doing it just because it’s good for you is usually not enough.  Walking the dog gives the activity a purpose.  Being around animals is also relaxing.  On the days I feel like skipping our walk, all I have to do is take one look at my dogs and even a short walk is going to happen.  Let’s face it, we tend to take better care of ourselves when another life depends on us.

Top reasons canines make great walking partners:

1)  Always eager to go!  Humans can make excuses due to weather, lack of sleep, or too many other priorities.

2)  Always on time!  Your furry friend will not make you wait.

3)  Allows time away from chatter!  Being with a dog allows you to unplug from electronics and every day stimulation.  It’s a great time for meditation and fresh ides.  You won’t be wearing head phones because you need to pay attention to sounds around you.

4)  See the world through your dog’s eyes!  Dogs stop to smell the grass.  We should stop and smell the roses!

Proof  that walking works for weight loss!

Walking with a dog can often be more of a stroll, and this study used participants who were new to walking for exercise. That’s great news!  The good results seen for those who stuck with the program for a year, proves that simple regular walking for weight control and lifestyle change works!

Beyond the 20 minutes they spent walking, researchers reported that they began adding more activity into their lives. The additional activity beyond the 20 minutes of dog walking is probably a large factor in their continued weight loss. Some even adopted dogs themselves or began volunteering to walk dogs at the local dog shelter.

These results are so encouraging!  It shows that consistency and focusing on one healthy habit eventually lead to more.  The most important thing to note here is that the participants had a purpose that helped keep them from giving up!

Don’t have a dog?  Maybe you might want to volunteer to be a dog walker at the local animal shelter.  If you are thinking about getting a dog please consider adopting. is a great place to find a loving dog that needs a home.

Whether you have your own canine or not, I would encourage you to have a purpose to exercise. Mowing your yard, playing team sports, walking your kids to school, and working out to improve your looks are all examples of purpose-driven exercise.  Having a reason to exercise makes it more meaningful and you’ll be more likely to stick to it!

Have a personal dog walking story or “reason” you exercise  you’d like to share?  Please leave me a comment below.  I look forward to hearing from you!