Explore & Nourish

Where are all my travel buddies at?

This last week one of our very own went off to explore Puerto Rico! Sharon, is our adventurer and nature lover. She can tell you about all the awesome things she did on her trip but what you’ll want to know is how she ate. Is it possible to enjoy new cultures & maintain your healthy lifestyle?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Traveling can be overwhelming as you plan and execute all the details that go into your travels. Food is usually the last thing on our minds. “I’ll eat when I get there.” Right? How  much will power will you have when you’re starving and your only option right then and there is a chocolate muffin?

Set your self up for success. I tell this to all our patients struggling with not being prepared for those temptations.

I stash snacks in my car, my purse, my diaper bag, my pantry, my office, my friends houses. You name it. I don’t want to be tempted. & if I am I don’t want to succumb to it.

Traveling is no different. Do not rely on other establishments to provide you with the choices you know you need.

Pack your go to snacks, for the airport and your first couple days. Bring water & refill it often. Go to the grocery store as soon as you get to your destination and stash your snacks just like you do at home. Breakfast, lunch and snacks are what I would have if I were home. Nothing changes there.

My favorite part of traveling is the food. New foods. Foods rich in someone else’s culture. I want to try that!

Most of the time, that means they aren’t the healthier options when we sit down for supper.

This is what I do – I make special requests. I ask the local chefs to make me a sampler dish with their favorite recipes (usually two or three bites worth) & I share my supper with my travel buddies. Now, I’m satisfying my adventurous desire to be cultural – while not over consuming or flooding my body with sugars.

Add in the walking and hiking I do on trips & those suppers are nothing!

The biggest tip I can give you for traveling is preparation. Don’t allow yourself to be in a situation where you’re likely to make bad choices. Be prepared. Pick snacks that don’t need to be refrigerated, snacks with protein, snacks you can carry, snacks that will last you. And even if all you do is snack all day – that’s okay. I’m snacking for supper – because I know at the end of the day I’m going to try some new things and they may not be the healthiest.

Indulge yourself – Don’t lose yourself

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What it means to change your lifestyle.

So you want to lose weight.

You want to be healthier.

Really, you just want to be happier.

Our society is saturated with different ways to do these things. Unfortunately, we want someone else to lose the weight for us. We want to wake up 30lbs lighter. We want to be able to take a pill that makes us pee out all the fat we don’t want. Our lifestyles are not conducive to lose weight, be healthier or happier. Something’s got to change.


 It takes 21 days of consistently eating healthy for those choices to become a habit. But it takes 90 days for those choices to become life style changes. I know you’ve heard it before. 3 months. That’s how long your body takes to realize what’s happening to it. For it to forget what you’ve previously taught it. But also, for it to heal.

But how do you do it? How do you transition to healthy choices? What are our healthy choices?


The most important thing you can do to set yourself up for success in life is plan ahead. This decision is no different with your health. Find a nutritionist or do your research, decide what you need in your life to be healthy, set your goals and plan to reach them.

Grocery Shopping.

Make your meal plan and shop for each week. Pick a day you can do this every week. When you get home from grocery shopping, chop up your veggies and divide your meals up so they’re ready to go. Some people go so far as to do all the cooking that day and freeze their meals, if you have the time – that’s a great option! Groceries & prep are a big deal, you’re less likely to make bad decisions if the food you need is easily accessible.

Snack your heart away.

There is a huge misconception about weight and how to lose it. The best way to lose weight and to keep your metabolism functioning at optimum rates is to continually feed it with nutritious foods. Really, you should be eating about every 3 hours. But these meals aren’t huge and they should keep you satisfied. Again, talk to a nutritionist. Do your homework. Chips aren’t NOT a snack. Actually, you shouldn’t eat anything that comes prepackaged. Imagine that. Depending on your lifestyle goals your snack options will vary. But SNACK, if you feel hungry – your metabolism is slowing down.

H2O Baby.

Just drink it. It doesn’t really matter if you like it or not – your body thrives when you give it water. It’s just that simple. Water makes your skin look great, clears acne, replenishes your bodies ability to heal, helps every organ do it’s job. Water aids in digestion, helps prevent high blood sugar, strokes and heart attacks. Do I need to continue?

Accountability y’all.

Find someone to hold you accountable. Someone who has the same goals as you do, enjoy the same foods you do. Or who can at least encourage you to stick to your goals. Knowing that you’ll have to eat something not on your plan in front of someone who will know your cheating yourself is enough of a deterrent for most of us. But having someone to cheer you on is also a reason we excel in life. These people – your accountability partners- will help you make these new changes for life.


What if I fail?

You’re going to trip and fall. You’re going to break and cheat. It’s not easy to transition away from addictive foods like SUGAR. But you can do it. Just remember, one mistake is a small set back. It’s not a failure. Pick yourself back up and give it another go around. The only time you’ll fail is when you stop trying. When you no longer care about your health. So, let’s get this show on the road!


Meal Replacement 101

Do you use a meal replacement? Do you know whats in your meal replacement? Why do you use it? How does it work?


Meal replacements are used for just that, to replace a meal. For my busy little bees, the ones that tend to put their own nutritional needs on the back burner. A meal replacement shake is intended to replace a meal that would other wise be unhealthy. If you’re like me and you wait too long to eat you tend to make bad choices. Find a meal replacement. If you have a hard time eating breakfast, find a meal replacement. See, there are so many people out there that think skipping this meal is helping them lose weight. So wrong. Your body has been working tirelessly all night to heal, replenish, and restart. If you don’t nourish your when you wake up, you’ll hinder your metabolism.

We don’t like to use the word ‘Diet’.

But for the sake of this conversation I’m going to use it.


Diets fail because we associate this word with the restriction of food. Dieters restrict their intake of food, leaving themselves hungry. In my case, HANGRY. If you’re like me and you wait too long to eat you tend to make bad choices. You crave everything bad for you & you’re generally in a negative mood. Let’s say you lose the weight you intended through with your diet, which is possible. What happens? You go back to the eating habits your used to but you over eat. You binge eat. Because you’ve been starving your body the duration of your diet. And in the end you gain back what you lost and in most cases – more than what you lost.

Meal replacements can end that viscous cycle.

So, a meal replacement is intended to nourish your body when you’re hungry. Or if you don’t have time to cook. Or if your in between meals and you can’t go another second without sustenance. And here’s the deal meal replacements aren’t just protein in a glass.

Meal replacement shakes are NOT the same as protein shakes.

Protein shakes are intended to solely provide your body with protein. Meal replacement shakes can equate with protein but they are so much more than that. Meal replacement shakes have added vitamins and minerals – hello beautiful skin. & if it’s a good shake, it’ll have an appetite support to keep you fuller for longer. Great meal replacement meals are also versatile. Can you cook with your meal replacement? WE CAN!

There are a ton of replacement products on the market. So, how do you choose the right one for you? Read those labels!

Here’s why we think our meal replacement is top notch:

  1. 18 grams of protein – EIGHTEEN!
  2. Added vitamins + minerals
  3. Can be used to cook with – did someone say pancakes?
  4. Chocolate and Vanilla styles that don’t leave bad aftertastes.
  5. Appetite support via GREEN TEA – hollistic is the way to go.
  6. We’ll make you a sample so you know you’ll love it before you commit.

Chocolate Ice Cream

healthy chocolate ice creamIngredients:

  • 1/3 scoop of Essential Chocolate
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 2 -3 packets Truvia


Place ingredients in a Ziplock bag, seal it. Take another Ziplock and fill it with ice and table salt. Then place the Ziplock with milk inside the other bag. Seal it. Shake the bags for about 10 min or until the texture changes.

Chocolate Greek Yogurt Pudding


  • 1 cup of 2% Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 scoop of Essential Chocolate
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 packets of Truvia or Stevia


Place Greek yogurt in bowl, add Truvia and almond milk, then stir until smooth. Add Essential Chocolate and stir until well mixed.

Spicy Chicken “Wings”

This recipe is a crowd favorite every time I make it.


  • Approximately 1 -2 pounds skinless chicken breast
  • 1/3 cup organic coconut spread (brand – Earth Balance) or olive oil spray
  • ½ cup Frank’s Red Hot, Tapitio, Cholula or Louisiana Hot Sauce (you can use other brands – just check the ingredients for no sugar or fructose etc)


  • Heat oven to 500 degrees – a chef’s trick is to put the pan in there while preheating!
  • Melt the organic coconut spread (doesn’t take long) and then add hot sauce of choice
  • Set aside half the sauce for after the sliced chicken breasts are cooked
  • Toss the other half of sauce over the raw chicken and then pop on the hot sheet pan


  • Cook for approx. 20 minutes (depending on the thickness of your slices)
  • Drizzle the remaining sauce over the chicken breast slices and ENJOY!

Chocolate Pudding

Submitted by Tina Fritts
1 cup plain Chobani Greek yogurt
Liquid Stevia to taste
Cocoa powder to taste

Mix all together. May freeze slightly for frozen yogurt or just eat for chocolate pudding.

Raspberry Delight

Submitted by Ruth Hughes

1/2 cup Organic Greek Yogurt 0% Fat (Stoney Mountain)
1/2 cup Fresh Raspberries (or use Blueberries or Strawberries)
Stevia to taste

Mix together and enjoy.

Instant Strawberry Ice Cream


  • 1 lb. of frozen unsweetened strawberries
  • 14 fluid ounces of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/3 teaspoon of liquid Stevia extra (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice

Put everything in your blender and run it until the strawberries are pureed with an ice cream texture. This is insanely good!

6 servings

Homemade Gumdrops

(No Sugar Added)

  • 2 cups Stevia in the Raw
  • 1 1/3 cup Homemade Applesauce
  • 4 packets unflavored Knox® Gelatin
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Juice


  • Your choice of natural, organic extracts such as peppermint, vanilla, orange etc.
  • Your choice of all natural, organic food colorings (optional).
  • ¼ cup Truvia crystals to coat gum drops in.


  • Spray 11 x 7 inch baking dish with 0 calorie coconut cooking spray and chill. (If you are going to do multiple colors, you will need as many dishes as you have colors.)
  • In large saucepan, combine 2 cups Stevia in the raw, applesauce, gelatin and lemon juice.
  • Let stand for 1 minute to allow gelatin to dissolve.


  • Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute.
  • Immediately pour into cold 11 x 7 inch baking dish. (If using colors and flavors, separate equal portions of liquid and add coloring and flavoring, stir well then pour into baking dish.)
  • Should be about ½ inch deep.
  • Refrigerate for 3 hours or until firm.

Finishing Touches:

  • Loosen gelatin from sides of pan.
  • Flip over onto wax paper and using mini cookie/candy cutters to cut out your favorite shapes (about 1” wide). You can also just cut into 1” squares.
  • Place on waxed paper and allow to dry at room temperature for about 8 hours or until slightly sticky.
  • Roll in Truvia crystals for traditional gumdrop look.
  • Store in air tight container.

Serving Suggestion & Tips:

  • Serving size is 2 oz., and will count as a fruit, so plan accordingly.
  • This is a great treat for those of us who cannot have sugar!