As a Personal Trainer with an additional credential as a Certified Sports Nutritionist, I am frequently asked by clients how much they should eat, and what to eat. I generally hesitate to create meal plans for them, since I don’t feel that I am doing my best by doing so. I would rather teach how to eat properly, and therefore give clients the skills they need to achieve their goals and maintain them over their lifetime. Plus, they will have much more variety, preventing the feeling of boredom or burnout with a diet regimen. However, if making a meal plan is a shorter way to this end (and I believe it can be in some situations), I am happy to help– so I will post more and more meal plans in a folder on this blog site.

In order to help me when I am trying to teach people how to eat properly, I like to ask them to analyze what they eat. That way, they choose the foods and eat according to their likes and dislikes. They stay in control. So, I ask them to enter their foods into an online nutritional analysis source, and I review it with them and make any changes we can. I recently reviewed a few of my favorite sites in order to pick one I thought was the best. I have a favorite, by far.

A little-known site (at least, I have never met someone who had heard of it before I mentioned it) that is the top pick, in my opinion, is Cron-O-Meter. Hands down. I compared other sites, such as MyFitnessPal, SparkPeople, Self Magazine’s version, ChooseMyPlate, etc. Cron-O-Meter has the most nutrients included, so it gives you the most information. I admit it, entering foods into a program like this can be tedious and time consuming (thus the desire, I think, for me to create meal plans), but I think it is well worth it in the end. And, since you are putting in the time to do it, you might as well get all of the information– why do it and not realize that you are lacking in B vitamins, for example, and then wonder why you exercise and eat healthy but still feel run down and out of energy? The time it takes to enter your foods on Cron-O-Meter isn’t overbearing, either– it is very user-friendly. It has lots of brand name foods already in there, not to mention restaurants, and it is easy to navigate.

The best part about Cron-O-Meter: It’s Free!!

There are different levels of subscription to Cron-O-Meter, but the free version is great, and I see no need to upgrade.

So, if you want some nutritional assistance, I suggest going to Cron-O-Meter, entering your food intake for a few days in a row, and then do it occasionally after that. I don’t recommend doing it too often– please don’t get obsessed about counting every calorie!– but not too infrequently either, since it is easy for portion sizes to gradually creep up so you don’t realize it is happening, and suddenly you have gained weight but feel as though you have been eating the same…

If you try it and have a daily intake where most nutrients are near intake levels of 100%, please share!

Hope this helps you *enjoy* a healthy lifestyle!




1 Cup Greek Yogurt (I used non-fat for this analysis) mixed with:

0.5 cup raisins

12 almonds

0.5 tsp cinnamon

0.5 cup vanilla almond granola


Panera Bread brand Roasted Turkey and Avocado BLT sandwich


Using this recipe, but with much more of the mushroom/spinach/quinoa pilaf for one serving, since that is more realistic, I believe: Salmon Recipe

Plus, a Pamela’s Gluten-Free Oat Chocolate Chip Coconut Bar for dessert.🙂


Nutritional Information:

Calories: 1807

Carbs: 225 grams (47% of intake)

Protein: 109 grams (24% of intake)

Fat: 55 grams (28% of intake)

At least 100% of the recommended intake for all of the following nutrients: Vitamins B12, B2, B3, B6, Folate, A, K, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, and Selenium. At least 80% of the recommended intake for: Vitamins B1, B5, E, Sodium, and Zinc. At least 50% of the recommended intake for Vitamins C and D, and Potassium. No nutrient is at a level less than 50% other than Omega-6s (at 44%).


Trans fats have been around for over 100 years. Crisco was first made in 1911, and was almost entirely made of hydrogenated oils (=trans fats). Their use expanded pretty continuously, and they appeared in all kinds of foods– I remember going through the grocery store one night, and finding them in Raisin Bran Crunch and Fiber One cereals, Healthy Choice microwave dinners, as well as in the foods you would expect to find them, such as desserts and processed foods. Research started showing negative effects of trans fats on cardiac health– specifically linking them to heart attacks– in the 1990s. It wasn’t until 2006 that the FDA created requirements that food products had to state on the label if they had trans fats in them. As more and more evidence has shown the severity of the threat to people’s health from trans fats, the FDA removed the “Generally Recognized as Safe” classification from trans fats in 2013. So, two years ago, the FDA recognized that trans fats are not safe, but yet it was only yesterday the news broke that the FDA said they are starting the process of banning them from our food supply. According to FDA, food manufacturers will have three years to take them out of their products. So, trans fats will be around until at least 2018.

There is actually more bad news that is not, well, in the news. While the word has been spreading the past few years that trans fats are bad, some food manufacturers have given in to public pressure, and started changing their foods. They started taking out the trans fats in their products, and replacing them with mono- and diglycerides. You may have seen these listed in the ingredients for many foods you buy at the store. And guess what: they have been around since the 1970s, there has been almost no current research on their food safety, and they are “Generally Recognized as Safe” by the FDA— at least, at expected levels of consumption…. in the 1970s. Of course, consumption will skyrocket as their use skyrockets to replace trans fats. And guess what may be contained in mono- and diglycerides…. Trans fats!

So, this move by the FDA to ban trans fats is something, but if it in any way makes people in the US feel more secure that they are being protected from harmful substances– I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist or anti-government doomsdayer– but please understand how incredibly unprepared the FDA is to fight food companies. Now maybe people will stop examining boxes they buy at the grocery store (if they even checked in the first place), figuring the FDA is making food companies make their products more healthy, so they think they can stop worrying. The truth is that nothing is really going to change that much. Mono and diglycerides are something to avoid, too! Just another example that if you can’t pronounce it, you likely shouldn’t be eating it. Please, please, read labels of foods you buy at the store. Opt for healthy, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and healthy protein sources. Remember: healthy, clean eating can be delicious, too!

I have created a recipe for a chocolate snack that I have made for a few people, and have gotten positive feedback. It took a bunch of tries — adapting it constantly to try to get the consistency, taste, and healthy value to be in balance (not too easy!). I am happy with this creation. I hope you will try it, and love it! It has only healthy ingredients, and has healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and is a complete protein– perfect for vegetarians! Please watch my video on YouTube, and if you subscribe to my channel (which is free), I will send you the recipe (or just send me an email to get it for free). This recipe is great for a snack for adults or kids, can cure a chocolate craving– with no guilt!– or be easily carried for lunch to work or school for the kids, or just eaten with a spoon, or mixed with peanut butter, or as a frosting. Thanks so very much for watching, and I hope you will watch my other videos, too!

Get Lean in 2015!

January 6, 2015

Get Lean in 2015!

New ways to get in shape!

I have started a YouTube channel! It is completely free. I have (so far) posted two workout videos for anyone to do at home. One is a basic workout–a beginner’s level–emphasizing strengthening around the hips. The other is a harder workout, targeting the underarm area, and is meant for those who are looking for a challenge. Please go ahead and try them out, and let me know what you think! I am hoping to keep making more and more videos, so you could pick your level, and what area you want to target that day. Could you help me out? In order to make this worth spending all the time filming (and re-filming when I mess up, and re-filming…!), I have asked YouTube to put ads on my videos. The more people watch them, or click on them, the more money that would come to me. It is kind of a long shot– I think it works out to 10,000 views gets you about $1— but if I could get a couple of bucks, it would help me be able to reserve time to keep making more videos. I would really appreciate if you would have patience with the ads! Thanks so very much for your support!

Also, I have been inspired to teach a class just for women about the basics of football. I feel bad watching friends get teased by their boyfriends or brothers when they ask a question about what is going on during the game. So, with Super Bowl Sunday coming up, I thought I would teach the basics to women, in a supportive and friendly environment. If you want to have more to talk about with male (or female!) co-workers, or want to better enjoy time with a significant other or friends who are football fans, please sign up for this class! I am offering it at three different times, at three different locations. Since I have spent 3 of my high school years and my college years on the sidelines of my schools’ football games as a student athletic trainer, and grew up going to football games with my die-hard football fan dad, and teach the history of sports at Scottsdale Community College, I have learned the game over the years. I would love to help improve your life! This is meant to be a basics class, ideal for those who don’t know what “4th down and 2” means.
Cost: $15 to cover the cost of room reservation and printing.
Seated is Limited! Must register at least three days in advance.

Locations and Times:
Scottsdale Kierland Area:
Thursday, January 15th 1:00 till 3:00 pm
To register for this location and time:

Old Town Scottsdale Area:
Monday, January 19th (Martin Luther King, Jr Day) 10 am till 12noon
To register for this location and time:

Biltmore Area:
Tuesday, January 20th from 6:00 to 8:00pm
To register for this location and time:

Feel free to share this email with a friend. Thanks! Email or call me with any questions, tips for upcoming videos, other classes you would like to see me offer, etc!

Have a wonderful 2015, every day, the whole year through!

Healthy Halloween Help

October 29, 2014

Help For a Healthy Halloween
Here are some tricks to avoid the bad treats!
Halloween is generally the start of the holiday season. Many Americans exercise less and eat more during this time, and therefore end up gaining body fat. Avoid it this year! In fact, I hope you can get into better shape this holiday season, and that your family enjoys doing it with you!

I have a recipe for carrot cake that I would like to share. It is perfect for Halloween, thanks to its orange color. Plus, while it is yummy, the cake part is almost healthy. I will give you two options for cream cheese frosting, so you can let the angel or the devil in you decide which one to make.🙂

Carrot Cake Picture

1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats (either quick or regular)
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Allspice
1 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Coconut Sugar
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts, plus some to sprinkle
4 Egg Whites
2 cups Pureed Carrots
1/3 cup Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1 TBS Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Crushed Pineapple Bits, plus some to sprinkle
1/2 cup Raisins (optional)

1. Put oatmeal into a food processor, and process until a fine powder. Put into a mixing bowl, and add all dry ingredients. Mix.
2. Add all wet ingredients, and stir until smooth and blended.
3. Spray/coat muffin tins or a small baking dish with olive oil, and place batter evenly in pan or tins.
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. The cake will still be moist when done cooking, but will firm up when cool. (If you still don’t like the consistency when done, don’t put the pineapple bits into the batter– keep them out and just add them over the cake or muffins when serving.)
5. Add frosting when cool. Sprinkle with remaining walnut and pineapple pieces when serving.

8 oz Cream Cheese, or Neufchatel Cheese
1/4 cup Mascarpone Cheese
4 TBS Powdered Sugar
2 TBS Condensed Milk
1 TBS Vanilla Extract

Mix all ingredients together with a mixer.


8 oz Cream Cheese, or Neufchatel Cheese
1 TBS Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Coconut Sugar or Nectar

Mix all ingredients together with a mixer.

Tone those Triceps!

Tricep Skullcrusher w Wts Floor(1)
Doing some weight training helps tone lean body mass. Lean body mass is metabolically active, so it helps keep our metabolism higher when we tone and challenge it. Skullcrushers are a great exercise to help tone those upper arms. Start lying on the floor with a pair of free weights, or anything heavy that you can hold easily. Extend your arms straight up in the air–like the first picture above. Keep your elbows still, directly over your shoulders. Bend arms at elbows (elbows don’t move!) and bring the weights down toward your head, carefully! You should look like the second picture above. Extend arms back up, until arms are straight. Repeat until the back of your arms are burning (not painful!), hopefully around 12 or 15 or 20 reps. Take a break for about a minute, and then repeat. Can do three or more sets if desired.

Tricep Skullcrusher w Wts Floor(3)

So, eat healthy treats instead of evil ones this Halloween, incorporate some weight training into your day, and you will start this holiday season off right and on the best track for a healthy you. Another trick to avoid ghoulish body-fat-creating candy is to keep it out of your house. Yes, handing out candy is a tradition on this holiday. Buy candy that you don’t love, so it is less likely to tempt you. Afterwards, if you have leftovers, donate it to the local food bank. The kids they serve likely don’t get candy very often. To find the food bank in Arizona that is closest to you, click here:
Food Bank Locator

Remember that great company makes the holidays happy, not the food and drinks.🙂 I wish you a very Happy Halloween!

Phenomenal Ad

July 7, 2014

Way to go, Always brand, for a fantastic ad.

The morning news shows are all talking today about a new report about how skin has been shown to stay healthier due to exercise. The great results from a study just published (link here to the NY Times report) showed that people who exercised had skin of 20 or 30 year olds, even if they were over 40, or even over 65!

But, this isn’t even the whole story!

I just talked about this in one of my classes, actually! I teach Exercise Science classes at two local community colleges. Another reason they didn’t touch on in this article is that cortisol, the “stress hormone”, causes our bodies to stop the re-building of collagen (collagen is constantly being broken down and rebuilt by our bodies). When we are stressed, we create cortisol, and the breakdown of collagen still happens, but the rebuilding is slowed or stopped entirely. Exercise is the best way to “burn off” cortisol; but, if we don’t exercise, we have to wait a bunch longer for the stress to go away and therefore our levels of cortisol to decrease. Of course, if we are constantly stressed, like many Americans, and don’t fit in exercise, then we don’t ever get our cortisol levels down. So, collagen keeps getting broken down. Collagen is a connective tissue, and makes a firm matrix in many tissues, like our skin, and in our cartilage, like the cartilage in our knees, for example. Without healthy collagen in our skin, our skin sags. Plus, the cartilage in our knees, and other areas of our bodies, is weaker, which can lead to an increased risk of damage to our cartilage– leading to meniscus tears, or increased risk of arthritis.

So, exercise truly is the best thing we have to a fountain of youth! Do some exercise *today* to stay young and vibrant!🙂

Of the top Resolutions year after year, losing weight, getting finances in order, and organizing the house are always at the top. I would love to make some suggestions to help you be successful at your Resolution, and hopefully you’ll feel better, look better, and get the most out of your life!

For losing weight, I thought I’d give a few tips, and if you follow the suggestions below, you are sure to get some results without dieting or feeling deprived.

1. Eat off small plates. This is an easy change that definitely made a difference to me. It makes it so much simpler to figure out portion sizes without having to measure, weight, count calories, etc. If you eat off a smaller plate, the same amount of food seems like so much more than if you put it on a big plate, so you are tricking your brain into eating less. If you eat off a big plate, you are more likely to fill it up with more food, and then you are more likely to eat more. The opposite happens with small dishes, so try this handy trick that I stick to as much as I can.

2. No deprivation! If you tell yourself you are never going to eat a food you consider “bad” then you are setting yourself up to fail if it is ever put in front of you. I am a nutritionist and a personal trainer, and I want to represent self-control and the epitome of health and wellness. But, I eat pizza! I drink wine! I do choose to make these things as healthy as I can when I have them–I don’t eat meats on my pizza (those can be the worst part–meaning the pepperoni and sausage); instead, I pile on veggies and pick pizza places that are more mom-and-pop kind of places instead of cheaper chains, so that I feel like the ingredients are more natural and not as processed. Yum! And, if I have a chocolate craving, I have healthier options that I like just as well as the bad ones–like my Healthy Brownie recipe, or dark chocolate bars from Trader Joe’s. There are only a few food items that I would tell someone to never have–but they do include fast food burgers, and anything containing trans fats. Other than that, I don’t deprive myself if I want something, but gradually over the years I have found options for almost everything that I love and thoroughly enjoy and aren’t as awful for me. And I don’t feel guilty! No guilt!

3. Drink water! I know you have heard this so many times, but it is important. Lots of times, you think you are hungry, but you are really just thirsty, and if you had a glass of water you’d suddenly realize that you aren’t hungry any more. Plus, if you drink water before a meal, you are likely to eat a lot less but still feel just as full. In addition, the biological process of burning body fat requires water, so if you are dehydrated–even if you are regularly exercising–you won’t burn fat as well.

4. Eat more fruits and vegetables. I know, I know, you remember your mom nagging you and it brings up images of you as a kid refusing to eat brussels sprouts. There just has to be a few fruits and even a few vegetables that you like. So what if you like cheese on your vegetables? So do I! Granted, I don’t use processed cheese that would probably survive a nuclear holocaust! Try roasting different veggies–like asparagus, potatoes (yes, potatoes are good for you), squashes, carrots, even broccoli–by just cutting them up and putting them on a pan in the oven with olive oil and garlic (depending on the veggies). Bake at around 400 degrees for 30 minutes and then sprinkle some cheese on top, and enjoy a guilt-free, nourishing side! Add a breast of chicken or fish and you have a very healthy, well-rounded meal. Try adding a fruit to breakfast and lunch and you will be getting “A”s in nutrition! Plus you will be amazed how you start losing weight, and then it stays off!

 5. Go for a walk. You have probably heard this one so many times now, too. But, we live in one of the best states as far as weather for most of the year, and it is a shame to live here and miss out on it! You don’t have to do anything fancy, don’t need fancy work-out attire, just some good shoes… so put them on and just walk around your block! Walking is such good exercise for you, and it is a great opportunity to clear your mind and have time for yourself and help reduce stress. Just do it, as they say. Like showering or brushing your teeth or doing your hair, it is a part of your day so just do it. Slip on your shoes and make it happen. It doesn’t have to be an hour to matter. If you can do it just a few times, you’ll love the time you get to yourself, and then you’ll miss it if you don’t get it. Don’t be afraid to tell family members that you need this for yourself, or just bring them along!

For help with lots of other areas of life that hit the top New Year’s Resolutions, please take a look at this NewYearNewYou flyer for some contacts of local business women who want to help you reach your best potential! Happy New Year and best wishes for success and feeling great in 2011!

Healthy Brownie Recipe!

December 8, 2010

Brownie Recipe ( <– click here)

After many tries and revisions, I have finally “perfected” (if you’ll let me use that word without sounding like I’m bragging) my Healthy Brownie recipe! There are only healthy ingredients in this recipe! Yes, these brownies are actually GOOD for you! And I think they taste great (again, don’t want to brag) and they are so easy to make. Enjoy!