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Diet Essentials – 15 Staple Foods

I get asked a lot about what my grocery list includes – about what I have in my fridge and kitchen cabinets.

If you were to look in our fridge and cabinets, you would see basically the same thing every time.

As I mentioned before, I am a creature of habit. And part of habit is having the same basic foods around every week.

Here are the 15 groceries I make sure I have around the house every single week. (Note some are seasonal…Berries I have around the house during the summer but not once they go out of season.)

1. Grass-fed Beef – We always have grass-fed ground beef around the house. Occasionally we will have some sort of steak as well, but we ALWAYS have ground beef. Bunless burgers, chili, meatballs, meatza pie (meat pizza), stir fry….you can make a ton of different things EASILY. So if we ever need a last-minute meal, ground beef is the go-to. It can easily be cooked in a skillet OR thrown in a crockpot and just left to simmer and cook (this is where the tomatoes come in handy for a quick and easy chili). Plus grass-fed, naturally raised beef is leaner than conventionally raised beef (unless you get the like 90/10) and has a much better omega ratio. HEALTHY FAT! And it freaking just tastes SO GOOD! (Sorry vegetarians and vegans reading this…BUT IT DOES!)

jalapeno bacon burgers with avocado cream

2. Cage-free Eggs – Eggs have been considered healthy than unhealthy than healthy again all because of the cholesterol they contain, but EGGS ARE GOOD FOR YOU! Especially eggs from free-range, naturally raised chickens which have way more good fats than conventional raised chicken eggs (the proof is in the color of the yolk!). Eggs are such a versatile protein. They can be eaten for any meal of the day and can easily be made ahead for the week and then transported anywhere for a snack anytime. Hardboiled eggs, egg muffins, omelets, protein pancakes, healthy deviled eggs…and that is only just a bit of what you can use them for! You could even put them in your coffee….Hmm….

3. Free-Range Chicken – On high carb days we use the lean white meat to stay under 50 grams of fat for the day while on low carb days we eat all that delicious dark meat and skin. Sometimes we buy pieces of chicken, legs and thighs and then breasts separately OR sometimes we get the whole chicken, slather it in pasture-raised butter and bake it in the oven and then have our protein source already cooked for numerous days. (You can even throw it in the crock pot and just let it simmer away no matter what pieces of chicken you buy) While chicken doesn’t have as good an omega ratio as the grass-fed beef by itself, it can easily be made even better by cooking it in a healthy fat like coconut oil or pasture butter. Plus it is really perfect for those carb days – my favorite use of it is in my homemade chicken fried rice! (Eggs can also be a great way to thicken sauces so that you don’t have to use any fake or processed crap to hold things together.)

4. Avocados – A great source of healthy fat to improve your omega ratio AND SUPER YUMMY AND DELICIOUS. I could seriously just eat avocados by the spoonful….oh wait…I actually do that…So creamy and delicious. Often people think that eating healthy means eating bland food with no sauce or toppings. But slice a few strips onto your burger or mash into a guacamole to put on your chili or salad…YUM! I never miss dressing when I top salads with avocados or guacamole. Avocados can also be added to other condiments to make sauces and dressings creamier without having to use bad processed things…like miracle whip…..While we can easily get avocados all year around here, this will be one of those seasonal things in many places (and we do tend to eat more during the summer when we can get really great ones at the farmer’s market). The more you can eat locally and/or seasonally, the better off you are going to be.

5. Berries – Another seasonal food, but super delicious. When I want fruit, berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries…even cherries) are my go-to. They are lower in carbs and antioxidant filled. Plus…THEY ARE JUST SO GOOD! You can eat them plain for a low-calorie snack or you can blend them into a smoothie, which is super refreshing after a workout on a super hot day. They are also delicious frozen. A nice little cold treat to satisfy those frozen yogurt cravings. You can even take it a step further and mash the slightly frozen berries up with a bit of coconut milk (or cream) and some dark chocolate chunks if you really want frozen yogurt…Delicious and addicting!

local and fresh produce

6. Coconut Oil – Good for sauces, cooking, dressings, skin care….Why wouldn’t you have it around? While we don’t need to buy it every week (since one jar can last awhile) it is most definitely a staple. It can easily be added to smoothies and even protein pancakes for a source of healthy fats (and to keep you feeling fuller for longer since that is what fats do).

7. Raw, Pasture, Grass-fed Dairy Raw Milk, pasture-raised cream, pasture-raised butter, even some raw milk cheese can be found in our fridge. While we don’t tend to keep a ton of cheese around, we do have a bit to occasionally sprinkle on top of things. A little blue cheese on a burger or a little cheese melting in your chili just makes everything taste that much better. However, don’t go overboard with the cheese. And your cheese should never come in a bag or be shredded.  It should also be as minimally processed as possible. Just as all of your dairy should be. The pasture-raised butter we get, we use daily to cook in. It holds up well in the heat and helps create a great omega 3-6 ratio in any meal that we cook. Just make sure your butter is truly healthy. Just found out the Kerrygold has some processed crap in it! The cream, Ryan uses in his coffee each day…yuck…coffee…While I more often eat it in dressings and sauces. The raw milk, we drink straight or add to protein shakes. So rich and creamy with a ton of health benefits NOT found in pasteurized milk. (Most people also don’t realize there really isn’t that much more fat in whole milk than in skim. Don’t get me wrong, there is more fat. Just not as much as you would think. Especially not enough in my opinion to consume something MORE processed.) I have no problems with dairy and really enjoy it. But it should still be used in moderation. While we have it around every week, it isn’t something we go overboard with. It is more used as a sprinkling to make every meal taste delicious.

8. Leafy Green Vegetables (Spinach, Broccoli, Spring Mix, Romaine, Arugula) – We most often have some sort of organic lettuce mix around so that we can make side salads to go with our meals because if I’m not eating a side salad, I’m probably forcing Ryan to eat cauliflower since I LOVE IT! Leafy greens are a necessity though in any form that you choose. Really meat and vegetables make up the base of almost every meal for us especially on low carb days. Leafy green vegetables are a great source of nutrients AND they make you feel full and satisfied after eating. And if you are like me and need a certain amount of “content” on the plate to feel like you’ve eaten enough, getting to cover your plate in vegetables is very satisfying.

9. Cauliflower – Did I mention before that I LOVE cauliflower? And now I’m pretty sure Ryan does too! Since we’ve found a great place to get cauliflower at the farmer’s market, we’ve been getting a couple of heads every single week. You can eat it raw or steamed or baked or as “rice” or “mash!” We’ve riced it and put it in chilis. We’ve also been super into making it into a mash and eating it along with our protein. Seriously LOVE the cauliflower mash. You can add cream or butter or a little cheese even. The other day, Ryan threw in garlic chives we found at the farmer’s market, a couple of farm-fresh eggs and CHICKEN LIVER! We got a whole chicken straight from the farm and it had the innards in it still so Ryan decided to throw the liver into the mash since liver is so good for you (and I really really don’t like the taste). In the mash you couldn’t even taste it yet it added some great nutritional benefit to the meal! You of course don’t have to get that crazy with your mashes, but you can get a ton of nutrients into your meal by mixing them in. Cauliflower is also super low-calorie, which I love because that means I can eat like a whole head of it myself…Just kidding…sort of…

10. Tomato Sauce – Tomatoes are great for you in any form as long as a ton of crap hasn’t been added to them. We generally get an organic sauce with no additives in a BPA free can, which is great to pull out when we want to make a last-minute chili or sauce. And the best part about using tomatoes in a sauce is that more lycopene is actually released as the tomatoes are cooked! As I said though, we always have this around just so we can make that quick healthy meal. I do also love fresh little cherry tomatoes though with a little bit of green onion, garlic and olive oil as a nice little summer salad (Sometimes I add in cauliflower too!).

11. White Rice – Our carb day staple. Replenish your glycogen stores quickly and efficiently. Plus white rice is just so tasty! No it isn’t nutrient dense, but that is what the veggies, fruits and meats are for! And while it isn’t nutrient dense, it doesn’t have the phytic acid that brown rice does. This article basically sums up why I choose white rice over brown rice aside from the fact that I enjoy it more and that the whole purpose of the carb refeed is to get your muscles glycogen FAST. So while this isn’t a daily indulgence, it is consumed 2-3 times per week on refeed days. Remember, if you are looking to cut that last little bit of fat, you may need to ADD IN carbs on some days not cut out more stuff. Cutting out foods isn’t always the answer!

mustard chicken

Mustard chicken breast and white rice. YUM!

12. Balsamic and Olive Oil – We don’t often cook with olive oil, but both olive oil and balsamic vinegar are condiments you always need to have around. They are the quickest and easiest way to make simple and healthy sauces and dressings. Get good ones too. Get a nice thick balsamic and a California Olive Oil.

13. Salsa – You must be careful when picking out salsas. You don’t want to get one with a ton of extra crap in it (you can also make your own salsas if you feel so inclined!). But all-natural salsas can be a great way to add flavor to any meal without adding a ton of calories (most salsas are very low-calorie). I also love to use them on salads since I don’t like dry lettuce. Plus, if the salsa really is all natural, it will add more than just flavor to your meal since many have vegetables, or even fruits, in them!

14. Whey – I’ve wavered on whether or not this one is a staple food, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it is in our busy and sometimes hectic lives. While it shouldn’t be used every day as a meal replacement, it can be a quick and easy protein source to keep you on track if you don’t have time to make a meal or prepare a snack. It is much better than eating cookies or any other crap we give ourselves permission to eat when we get super hungry and there isn’t a super easy and quick healthy option around. Whey at least has nutritional benefit AND can be combined with other ingredients in protein pancakes or smoothies to make it even better for us. A good thing to have around especially if you are always on the go and not the best about cooking. It can be a quick replacement. Just make sure you get one that has as little extra stuff in it as possible.

banana protein pancakes

15. Wild Caught Seafood – We have some form of seafood basically every week. While we are better about this in the “warmer” months when we go to the farmer’s market every week, we do try to eat seafood at least once a week. We shy away from larger fish and anything farm-raised. We eat shrimp and salmon most often. Fish is a great source of healthy fats. And depending on the fish you get, it can be a super low-calorie protein source. Plus when fish is fresh, it just tastes so good! And it can be super quick to cook so is great for a last-minute meal. It can also be cooked the night before and then thrown on a salad or into an omelet the next day!

BONUS: On occasion foods….These are foods we will have around and use maybe once a week at most. They are also foods we can go awhile without replacing.

Nut butters – I love nuts. But they have phytic acid and I have problems consuming them in moderation. We don’t usually keep whole nuts around unless they are macadamia nuts but we do generally have a nut butter or two around. I will put them in protein pancakes or occasionally on fruit. They are a nice little treat, but should be eaten in moderation!

almond coconut butter

Bacon – I love bacon. LOVE IT! But we’ve gotten away from eating it often just because it is hard to find truly good bacon. We do have it around though on occasion and then use a piece or two to top burgers. We also use the grease to cook in. So if we’ve made bacon for burgers, we usually cook the burgers in the bacon grease right after. Waste not!

We also have a TON of spices. Spices are really key to making great tasting meals. Healthy food doesn’t have to be bland. You just need to learn how to spice it! Here are the grinders and spices we always have around – Garlic Salt grinder, Pepper combination grinder, Paprika, Chili Powder, Cumin, Oregano, Dill, Cayenne Pepper, Basil, Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Cinnamon, Nutmeg. Just make sure you get ones that don’t have additives!

So that is what we have in the kitchen. What are your Diet Staples?

Can I also just ask a question…Why does everyone love almond milk and think it is so healthy? For one, almonds have phytic acid, which prevents your body from absorbing minerals especially if you eat a ton of them. And two, almonds don’t have milk so processing has to go on for you to have almond MILK.

Calorie Cycling: Are you cutting out TOO MUCH?

Today I want to take a second and talk about weight/fat loss and dieting. While I always drive people to have performance goals, a great percentage of the clients I deal with do have weight loss goals as one of their reasons for wanting to start with training.

Some are completely aesthetic goals. Some are health related.

But whatever the reason, weight loss is a very common goal.

And many people think that weight loss or body fat loss means cutting everything out.

Your plate should NOT look like this.

But can cutting out TOO MUCH actually be the reason why they aren’t seeing results?


If you cut out too much, your body is going to think it is starving. And when your body thinks it is starving, it is going to try to slow everything down so that it can protect the stores that it has.

AKA your metabolism slows down, which fights against you losing the weight/fat you were trying to lose.

Not to mention that if you aren’t fueling properly, your body is going to be stressed, which will negatively affect your hormone levels.

And you aren’t going to have the energy to workout or even really make it through the day functioning at a high level.

All those hours you are putting in at the gym may not be paying off because you don’t really have the energy to push your body to work as hard as it needs to for you to make the strength/muscle/cardiovascular gains you are looking to make.

And I bet you are now shaking your head, thinking, “But I need to really cut calories or I won’t lose weight! Even Bob Harper’s diet says to eat only 800 calories a day for three weeks!”

If you eat 800 calories a day and expect your body to function at a high level, you are kidding yourself. At that rate, you are going to stall very quickly and your body is going to revolt.

Plus, 800 calories from meat and veggies is going to affect your body way differently than 800 calories of M&Ms. You are going to see drastically different results if you eat the RIGHT FOODS.

You now may be thinking, “Ok so you are one of those “quality matters more than the number of calories.”

Yes…and No.

I do think creating a calorie deficit matters. BUT I think that quality of the food you consume matters just as much.

And while I’m a fan of low carb, I do believe that cutting out too much of ANYTHING, be in calories or a macronutrient, for prolonged periods of time leads to plateaus and potentially even backslides.

So what do you do if cutting out a ton of calories isn’t the way and it isn’t only about eating the right foods?


I call it carb cycling, but it could very well be described as calorie cycling as well.

I meet my body’s needs.

And every day my body doesn’t need the same thing.

Some days I completely deplete my glycogen stores. I do a super tough workout and have had a few days of lower carb. And now my body needs carbs.

And if I don’t do a carb refeed, I’m going to be a grouchy low-energy person. I’m going to be angry and not very fun to be around. My workouts will suffer and that will only serve to make me more peeved.

So I avoid letting that happen.

I do a carb refeed. I respect what my body needs.

Just like I respect the fact that on some days my body wants breakfast and on others it doesn’t. Some days it needs 3,000 calories and other days it is fine with only 1,500.

And the thing is, your body functions best when it is getting what it NEEDS!

If you want to lose fat, if you want to lose weight, yes, you’ve got to make changes to your diet. And yes, you will need to create a calorie deficit at points, but you’ve also got to respect what your body needs to keep functioning at a high level.

Because when your body functions well, it will also do a good job of losing the weight and performing well.

But on top of that, cutting out “enough” calories to lose weight, or cutting your carbs, doesn’t mean you do it to the same extent EVERY SINGLE DAY.


Cycle in high days. Cycle in low days. When you workout, fuel your workout. Replenish your body.

When you don’t workout, don’t give it calories or foods it doesn’t need.

The cycling allows you to create the calorie deficit and/or carb fluctuations you need over the weeks, months, or even years to lose the weight/fat without your body feeling deprived or stressed so that your hormone levels and metabolism work against you.

If you’re progress has stalled, take a look at your diet. You may just be cutting too much out.

Just like we vary our workouts to create some “muscle confusion” since our body adapts, we need to vary our diet since our body will adapt and try to prevent starvation if we cut out too many calories.

Have you ever suffered from the, “If I barely eat I’ll lose more weight” mentality?

When did you realize that NOT STARVING yourself actually led to greater results!?! (Maybe right now…..)

NOTE: STOP WEIGHING YOURSELF EVERY DAY! If you cycle calories and carbs, your weight will fluctuate day to day. Pick one day a week or even each month to weigh. Do not put it right after your carb refeed.

A quick guide to healthy eating

So a huge part of being healthy, looking great, feeling great and performing well is eating the RIGHT foods.

If you don’t fuel properly, your body isn’t going to run properly – it’s as simple as that.

And while I’m most definitely not a car aficionado (and I’m sure anyone who really knows anything about cars will roll their eyes at how I use the analogy) I do believe that one of the best ways to describe eating healthily is by comparing it to fueling a car.

If you use bad fuel, your car won’t run properly. You will get bad gas mileage and your car will probably break down. However, if you give your car the proper fuel, your car will run great and you most likely won’t have near as many problems with it.

Same goes for your body…Eat crap food and your body will run, but not near as well as it could. Eat healthy food and you will be able to perform a lot better (not to mention you will FEEL a lot better!).

And you may be thinking right now…I haven’t had problems so why should I change my diet.

Let me just say this..Just because you aren’t having problems doesn’t mean your body feels or functions as well as it could.

You might not even realize you aren’t running as well as you could until you fuel properly and see just how great your “mileage” could actually be. And once you do fuel properly, trust me, you won’t want to go back!

Ok so let’s say you buy it and know that you need to fuel properly.

How do you then decide what you should eat?

I live by these two simple rules:

  • Eat whole, natural foods – Foods raised or grown in the way they should be. Cage-free chickens, grass-fed beef. Organic fruits and veggies. Unprocessed. Local. Seasonal.
  • Eat as little processed food as possible – There is a spectrum of processed. From a veggie you can pick and eat right of the ground to a Twinkie which is so processed it will never ever go bad and doesn’t contain even one ingredient that you can even pronounce. If something lasts longer than it should, like the difference between freshly home-made bread and store bought bread that last years, you know that it is highly processed. Your goal is to eat as much as you can from the unprocessed to only slightly processed side while still occasionally indulging in deliciousness from the processed side.

On the image below that sums up this post, you will see that I break down foods with the best options in green and the worst in red. There are a lot of different levels of processing…To keep it simple, I’ve broken it down into four different levels. If you follow the two rules above, the majority of your diet will come from the green list (which is by no means all-inclusive) with some of your daily foods coming from the yellow list. You will also occasionally indulge in foods from both the orange and red lists, which are more highly processed foods that contain little to no nutritional value.

Anyway, take a look at the infographic below for a quick guide to healthy eating!

Nutritional guide

Your guide to fuel your body!

Cheat Days – The Debate

So I’ve always known days or meals where you indulge in foods that aren’t necessarily healthy as cheat days or cheat meals.

But recently there has been a lot of talk about whether or not “cheat” is really the proper word to describe the meal or day.

CHEAT implies that you are doing something wrong…something bad…something breaking from what you shouldn’t be doing.

There can be a negative connotation to calling a day or meal a “CHEAT.”

So I’ve heard some people call it a TREAT meal instead.

But personally, TREAT almost bothers me even more. You aren’t a dog…You don’t need a treat for eating well. Eating well is what you should be doing.

Both can really imply, in a way, that eating well isn’t really all that fun, tasty or enjoyable.

Which honestly really isn’t the case.

Healthy food can be delicious. And it not only makes you feel good but helps your body and mind truly run well.

BUT as good as healthy food is and as great as you really do feel when you eat well…there are just times you want to indulge even if that means your belly is going to grumble a bit the next day.

Like for me, a vacation isn’t a vacation if I’m worried about finding something healthy on the menu – If I’m more worried about eating well than on trying new things.

Like for me...I would feel like I'm missing out if I didn't get to try cookie dough fudge at a cute local candy shop. Grocery store candy I could pass on because it really isn't worth the indulgence...but homemade fudge!?!

Like for me…I would feel like I’m missing out if I didn’t get to try cookie dough fudge at a cute local candy shop. Grocery store candy I could pass on because it really isn’t worth the indulgence…but homemade fudge!?!

Cheat days, treat days, whatever you call them, are about more than eating bad food. They aren’t even about indulging in things you are “deprived off” otherwise.

They are more about a mental release and enjoying something in life that you don’t necessarily get to do every day.

Maybe a more apt description of cheat days is VACATION.

I mean think about it…Why do you take vacation?

Because you need a break. You need a break from routine. A break from exercising self-control day in and day out. Because you need both a mental and physical rest.

A VACATION is a chance to recharge!

For me…a “cheat day” is exactly that…a chance to re-charge.

It is a mini vacation from self-control and it can mean a ton of different things.

It isn’t always about eating food that is bad for me. I mean sometimes it is…Sometimes it is indulging in those nachos because they just take so good and I really really love food. Sometimes it is getting to try new foods when I’m on vacation and really let go.

But most importantly it is about relaxing and enjoying be it nachos or simply a glass of wine. It is about enjoying something and taking a mini vacation from the normal routine.

It is about “cheating” for the sake of cheating. It isn’t about eating something bad just because it is there or because I’ve had a bad day or because someone else pressures me.

It is about doing something, eating something, that I enjoy because I WANT it.

A big part of making a healthy diet into a lifestyle is about also realizing that you don’t have to be perfect all the time.

You need vacations from work…from family…from daily life…

So why wouldn’t you need a vacation from eating well or working out every once in a while?

We need chances to recharge and indulge be it a glass of wine and dark chocolate, a piece of bread with butter or a whole pizza and pint of ice cream. Shoot maybe it isn’t even eating something unhealthy…Sometimes it is just about telling yourself that you can do WHATEVER that day IF you end up really craving something.

Sometimes you just need a break from your daily habits because those daily habits do wear down your self-control no matter how ingrained they seemed to be.

So whatever your cheat/treat/indulgence/splurge/break/vacation/(whatever you call the snack, meal or day) is, make sure it is something you are going to enjoy to the fullest without guilt.

Do you include a “cheat” something into your daily, weekly or monthly diet plan? What do you prefer to call that “treat?”

One Simple Change

I frankly think that developing a healthy diet is simple.

People make it seem like it is super complex. Heck companies want people to think it is complex so they can sell supplements and weight loss products and processed foods that supposedly have all these health benefits.

But honestly, you really only need to remember one thing when it comes to eating healthily – eat whole, natural food!

Cut out all the crap!

Don’t worry about freaking supplements even if they were on Dr. Oz. Don’t worry about your micronutrient intakes. Don’t worry about exactly how many fruits or vegetables you eat or how many omega-3s you are getting.

Don’t worry about doing a diet with 20 bazillion different rules! Make one change first!

Just cut out all of the processed crap!

If you started focusing on just eating natural foods, so things that spring out of the ground and aren’t processed…aka usually have a short shelf life unless frozen, your healthy and the way you feel will improve exponentially.

Just by starting to even cut out one processed thing a day, like the crackers you eat for a snack (even if they are supposedly “healthy” crackers), you will be cutting out a ton of crap from your diet.

Processed foods are loaded down with vegetable oils and sugars. I mean take a look at any nutritional label on any pre-packaged food at the grocery store. I bet there are a ton of things listed in the ingredients that you’ve never heard of.

AND I bet all of them have way more sugar than you expected…but then again you were probably more worried about the fact that they were supposedly advertised as low-fat or “all-natural,” right!?!

But seriously, those pre-packaged foods can do some damage.

Here we are worried about the amount of saturated fat in an animal product and yet people are consuming a TON of simple sugars and vegetable oil (which is SUPER bad because it causes inflammation because it contains a horrible ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s) in all of the processed crap out there!

Anyway, the point is if you cut out processed, pre-packaged foods and focus on eating whole, natural foods, you will instantly cut out a TON of bad things.

Once you do that and have a good diet baseline, then start looking at ratios and exactly what natural foods are best and how you react to gluten, dairy and carbs, in general.

Don’t make it complicated to start!

At work we constantly talk about getting back to basics. And that is exactly what you’ve got to do here. Don’t make a ton of changes and complicate your diet.

Make one simple change and get back to the basics – eat whole, natural foods!


So on Wednesday of last week, I did a lunch and learn talk at a local business with another trainer from Innovative Results.

We talked mostly about mindset, but we did touch on some basics of dieting. We talked about eating whole, natural foods. We talked about cutting calories, but making sure that we don’t cut out too many. We talked about making small changes over time so they actually take root.

And at the end a woman raises her hand with a question…a question about supplements that she saw on Dr. Oz.

UGH! (I wanted to throw up my hands and roll my eyes. I don’t have a problem with Dr. Oz just the fact that everyone DOES exactly what he says like mindless drones.)

She wanted to know what we thought about some green coffee bean thing and raspberry ketones. She said, “Dr. Oz says that these two things will help you lose weight.”

The only thing I could say back was, “KISS…Keep it simple stupid.”

hahaha! YES!

She looked at me in confusion.

I just simply explained that I didn’t even want to get into discussing those supplements. That the MOST IMPORTANT thing if you want to lose weight is to eat whole, natural foods.

First you have to get the macronutrients in order before you start thinking about the micronutrients.

Green coffee beans or whatever the heck they are, aren’t a magic pill!!!! There may be some new study saying they can help AID with weight loss, but trust me, if you want real results, you have to do real work and eat REAL food.

Let’s face it….Dr. Oz has a TV show. He wants to talk about new trends, new fads…It is what keeps people tuning in!

I can’t blame him! I love researching and experimenting (I mean shoot I tried the potato diet just to see what would happen!)

The problem with it is…He has power. He has credentials and a TV show that reaches millions. He is a well-respected medical figure, and rightly so!, so people believe whatever he says. If he says raspberry ketones have health benefits, people run out to buy them.

Stop being drones!!! Use your brain!!!!!

Really you think some green coffee bean  is going to solve all your problems!?! I mean if you look at most of the boxes with the supplements or extracts the boxes even tell you, “take along with a HEALTHY diet and exercise program.”

What do you really think makes you lose weight!?! The green stupid bean or the healthy diet and exercise program!?!



Stop making people think dieting is so complicated!

Keep it simple stupid!

If you have the healthy diet on lock…If your macronutrient breakdown is in order THEN maybe think about experimenting with green coffee beans and all that jazz!

Do you know why?

Do you honestly know why you eat the way you do? Do you know why you do certain exercises?

If I asked you right now why eating vegetables is good, could you truly give me an answer?

Or would you just be able to repeat something that someone else told you?

How do you know that what they told you is even true!?!


Unless of course you’ve done your own research.

Ok so I’m not saying to doubt everything that you hear. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t trust a professional’s word.

But I do firmly believe that no matter what the subject, you need to do your own research.

I mean I tell you to avoid gluten. I tell you that fat is not the enemy. I tell you to eat LOTS OF MEAT aka I’m anti-vegetarian.

And while I hope you agree with me because I firmly believe I’m right, I know that people won’t believe with me.

And while I don’t mind a good debate, I really hate when people tell me that I’m wrong without truly backing up their opinion.

Sorry to pick on you vegetarians, but I really hate when you attack me about how our farming industry is hurting our environment and that we should all be vegetarians to protect it.

Because for one, this shows me that you obviously haven’t really read a word I said. If you notice I don’t promote conventional farming practices…I’m for all naturally raised animal products a.k.a the way animals WERE living on the land originally when we used to hunt them,

And two, no one really ever explains how being a vegetarian is MORE environmentally safe than eating meat raised the natural way. Most of the time when I actually point out how BAD mono-crop farming is for the environment, they have no response.

And why don’t they have a response?

Not because someone out there hasn’t come up with one, but because most people don’t really understand WHY they are doing the things they do!

haha random but funny!

So while I’m sure there will be a few vegetarians offended by this post, my point isn’t to get a response to my above comments. My point is that you need to THINK.

I don’t care what diet or exercise program you follow, even if it is mine. You still need to UNDERSTAND why you are doing it.

Don’t eat a diet low in fat and high in “whole grains” and tell me fat is bad and whole grains are good for you if you can’t back it up.

And saying, “Well whole grains have fiber” doesn’t cut it.

Anyway, next time you decide to take a stance on something, make sure you’ve really thought about your stance and understand the reasoning behind it.

I love the high carb days!

So right now Ryan and I are doing a carb cycling experiment and so far I LOVE it. ABSOLUTELY LOVE!

Also, I’ve seen great results over just about two weeks. We will see how things continue over the next month or so.

But anyway, one of the things I love the most is that I can now add in one of my favorite meals that I used to make when Ryan and I did our low-fat (ICK!) experiment.

FRIED RICE….or at least my version of the dish!

We’d stopped eating fried rice because we used soy sauce in it and soy sauce has gluten in it.

We also stopped making the dish because we in general preferred to get our carbs from fruits and veggies.

HOWEVER, I’ve found that I feel better during my intense workouts when I consume a few more carbs so I started to add back in potatoes and rice. This summer I even went through a big homemade corn tortilla phase, which I’ve now grown out of.

Anyway, since we started adding in more carbs, I started to want to make the Fried Rice again since I’d loved the dish.

Which is when we found Organic Tamari, which replaces soy sauce and has no gluten. YUM!

I now make this dish as often as I can. We literally have had it every single high carb day during our carb cycling!

With a little chicken or fish and the gluten-free Tamari, this is a great lower fat, high carb meal…that is still perfectly Primal!

Below is the recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as Ryan and I do!

Fried Rice

photo (30)

1 lbs chicken breasts
2 cups uncooked white rice
3 chopped green onions
1 cup bean sprouts
2 eggs
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup Tamari

Cook the rice based on the directions on the package. We usually get the “slow” cooking rice but that is up to you.

Chop up the chicken and cook it in a separate pan. Once the chicken is basically cooked, add in bean sprouts and green onions. Add cooked rice to meat mixture. Put in sesame oil and Tamari.

Make sure the heat is up on your pan so you can get a little crisp to the rice.

Then make two holes in the mixture and crack an egg into each hole. Let the egg cook for a second before tossing the rice with both eggs.

Once everything is mixed, enjoy!

On our high carb days we keep our protein intake the same, but try to get no more than 50 grams of fat, which isn’t easy after being so used to eating high fat!

However, there are only 42 grams of fat if you eat ALL of the fried rice that the above recipe makes. This really should serve about 4-6.

(Picture to come tonight after I make it!!)

Also, a big shout out to Epic! Awesome training session today! Haven’t climbed a rope in a while. Also got to experience my first faux knife fight! LOVE IT! You guys are awesome!

All talk?

Do you love talking about health and fitness?


Do you love to find the latest trend and read about it and go all gung-ho for like three days and give up?


I feel like over the past few years I’ve met a ton of people who seem to like TALKING about healthy eating and working out, but that DON’T actually do it.

And those are the same people who wonder why they aren’t getting results.

Sorry but talking about being healthy doesn’t make you health.

You’ve got to actually WORK AT IT.

You’ve got to PRACTICE what you preach.

I don’t sit on the couch eating chips and bread as I tell you to eat only meat and veggies.

I don’t ask anyone to do something that I haven’t done before or am not willing to do myself.

I don’t try a new diet or workout program AND RAVE ABOUT IT only to give up on it a few days later.

Every guideline, every recipe, every workout or tip I’ve written about I’ve tried…And believed in.

As with everything, I’ve evolved. I haven’t given up…I’ve just found better ways of doing things.

So what I’m saying is…

For one, you’ve got to actually give something a try. You can’t just get all pumped about a new diet and talk about it to everyone. And rave about how great it is going for the first week only to give up because of some dumb excuse the next week.

For two, once you give something a try…like really give it a chance to find out if it works, you CAN’T stick with it after it has PROVEN not to work for you.

Basically I’m telling you that you can’t just talk about being healthy or rave about something that isn’t getting you results.

And if you want results, you’ve got to give your diet and exercise experiments a chance to prove if they work. At least a month is needed of strict adherence to know if that program works for you.

On the flip side, if you want results, you also can’t stick with something that you’ve tried and hasn’t work. You can’t just stick with something because it worked for someone else. Don’t just keep following something like a drone. Think about it!

Anyway, the point is that you won’t get results by just talking about being healthy. You’ve actually got to go after it. You’ve got to try things…and I mean really try them. You’ve got to find things that work and things that don’t work and you’ve got to keep growing and evolving.

So stop talking about getting fit and start DOING IT!

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies

Yes to the dress...just maybe not this one...

Yes to the dress…just maybe not this one…

Around the holidays, I kind of feel like Cookie Monster – I see cookies and I want to stuff them all in my face as fast as possible.

And may times, I give in.

However, the last two holidays, I’ve actually had to keep my diet fairly clean in the weeks before the holidays (when it seems that almost everyone is bringing in junk food!).

Last year, I had to make weight for the powerlifting competition and this year, I had to look good for wedding dress shopping.

Two very different motivations…both equally compelling.

This year, I knew we would be looking at dresses when my Mom and sister came out to visit, which meant that I needed to feel confident and good about how I looked. I didn’t want to be bloated and full of cookies and burritos and other indulgences.

But it wasn’t easy to turn down all of the cookies.

I think that is what motivated me to try the potato diet experiment. I was motivated to stick to it because I wanted to see how it worked. (Interestingly enough that diet actually hindered my weight loss. I finally dropped all of the weight from my vacation binge once I went back to my low-carb, high protein and fat diet.)

However, the clean diet before the holidays was worth it.

I looked great AND I found the perfect dress! YAY!

Actually getting the weight off made dress shopping easy AND fun because I felt like I looked good in almost everything I tried on.

If I’d been up and bloated from a ton of bad food, I wouldn’t have felt as confident which would have probably made me feel more down about how everything looked.

Let’s face it – how you feel you look DOES influence how you feel things look on you!

So I avoided the sweets and felt good.

However, that doesn’t mean I’m going to totally deprive myself!

The holidays are a time to indulge and enjoy. BUT that doesn’t mean you have to binge eat for weeks!

My point is that you can plan ahead, look great for any events by eating super clean BEFORE the holidays and still get to indulge in plenty of cookies during the holidays before returning to your clean eating program!

So if you have a wedding coming up or are doing some major dress shopping this January, don’t let the holidays derail your progress! Plan ahead!

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