Category Archives for "Nutrition"

What is Clean Eating?

If I polled 100 people, there could easily be many definitions and viewpoints.

However, after years of detailed research, personal experience, and conversations with certified nutritionists and dietitians alike, I’ve developed a definition that is the heartbeat of Take Back Your Kitchen. It’s throughout all my recipes and incorporated into my personal life.

Clean eating is enjoying food in its purest form. This directly translates to the number of ingredients used to create the food you eat. In other words, the fewer ingredients, the better.

Do you see yourself in any of the following descriptions?

  • A reluctant and picky eater
  • Feel you lack time for meal prep
  • Don’t enjoy cooking
  • Are you simply bored with the same old recipes

I can guarantee that clean eating is right for you! It will look distinct for each individual, but when you tackle it one healthy habit at a time, the benefits of clean eating will quickly become obvious. 

CONSEQUENTLY, WHAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR BODY, DIRECTLY CORRELATES TO HOW YOU FEEL FROM THE INSIDE – OUT. Your gut health controls your emotions, your physical pain, sleep and more day to day functions. When you can get your gut biome to a healthy state life just works out so much better in every aspect.

So ask yourself this? Do you feel any of the following symptoms on a regular basis:

  • lack of energy
  • poor digestion
  • exhaustion and fatigue
  • hair loss
  • weight gain
  • muscle tension 
  • headaches 
  • mood swings 

Clearly, these symptoms are often caused by the food one consumes on a regular basis.  While I am not a doctor and am not claiming to know your specific situation, choosing to be intentional about the foods you put into your body is a great place to start.  

Likewise, sometimes your body needs more help than just choosing clean foods. 

Unfortunately, many people not only need to take out inflammatory foods (see descriptions and ideas below) but they also need to ADD something to help them gain and maintain a healthy gut. This will allow your body to absorb all of the nutrients it needs to get the BEST results overall. I recently have had success and LOVE the program that Arbonne uses and would love to tell you more about it. The products are 100% vegan and full of 21 vitamins and minerals. The program itself is full of products that re-align the PH balance of your gut biome as well include delicious protein shakes fill you up to get you to the next meal. These plant-based products are clean eating at its best!

Here are some thoughts to consider when choosing ingredients:

Does the ingredient cause inflammation in the body? 

The only way to find out what’s causing the inflammation is to remove ingredients from your diet.  Hit that reset button! 

Likewise, while many people do not have an allergy to gluten or dairy, many products Americans consume are mass produced and full of additives and GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). These products are hard for your digestive tract. Over time, those extra sugars, chemicals, and artificial junk turn into fat and inflammation in the body. Furthermore, since these hidden ingredients are in so many foods with labels claiming to be “natural” or “healthy” or “no high fructose corn syrup”, they still contain variations of corn syrup. This alone is a leading cause of higher spikes in blood sugar. 

Solution: Look for products that have 5 or fewer ingredients that you recognize. Furthermore, unless the product is something that is naturally sweet, avoid buying brands that include unnecessary sugars. Overall, this will cut down the added sugars, sodium and additives that turn directly into fat in the body.

What food does my own food eat? 

Identifying what is pumped into proteins is also important. If your food eats it, guess what!? You’re eating it! Many of the ingredients you’ll see unnecessarily added to proteins like sausage, bacon, and even ground beef is:

  • Nitrates (preservatives)
  • Dextrose and Maltodextrin (a form of High Fructose Corn Syrup)
  • Sugars
  • Added artificial colors and flavorings

Why are they added? It’s cost-effective. But if I’m being honest, it’s only cost effective for the manufacturer.  Choosing to add preservations that will keep food on the shelves longer means they can sell it to you for slightly less to the consumer, but sell more due to the lower cost. As the consumer, you might save a few bucks over time, but is the cost of your health worth it?

Solution: Look for organic and grass-fed products if its in your budget. This helps to eliminate those unnecessary ingredients. When choosing sausage, stick with the leaner version like chicken sausage. However, indulging in a local, quality version of sausage is okay in moderation. Most importantly, read labels and know what you’re putting into your body. There is always a wiser option. 

Do I have to give up dairy?

As a general rule of thumb, I avoid dairy. However, I do include goat, sheep and lamb milk cheeses as they are lower in lactose and easier for the body to process. Keep in mind that quality cheese that is aged for over one year is lactose-free. So check with the deli counter at your natural food store for one of these quality cheeses when you want to indulge. 

Solution: The quality of ingredients is key. Treating dairy as a treat rather than a daily ingredient will make all the difference. Including Greek yogurt with zero additives is a great addition to healthy digestion. Adding fresh berries or organic honey will make it sweet enough. Over time, these are small changes that will directly affect how your gut feels and how it looks! 

Ghee is my butter substitution. It is simply clarified butter that is lactose-free. 

Are my baking ingredients plant-based Products?

Grains commonly used in baking flour, pasta, and bread tend to be genetically modified and overly processed. They are one of the leading causes of poor gut health and inflammation. 

Solution: Stick with plant-based products, as you’ll see in the pantry must-haves section. These are all waistline friendly. But like anything you eat, moderation is key.  

If you have any questions concerning clean eating, message me! I would love to hear from you and be able to answer your questions.

In Health,


As Seen on SA Live – 3rd Time’s the Charm

A year ago I was connected with the producer of SA Live, a local TV show that brings the community of San Antonio together. At this point I was just starting to write a few of my own recipes and trying to get my name out there. Little did I know that one year later I would be a published author!

SA Live: 1/2/2019

I honestly didn’t think I had it in me then as I am a home cook who has taught myself how to make healthy eating a lifestyle. It was time to dump the fad rollercoaster diets. Now that I’ve adopted clean eating habits, I have balance in my life. I enjoy the occasional meal out but find ways to make flavors come to life with my recipes and still keep it from draining my bank account or adding inches to my waistline.

After my first appearance on SA Live, I started to believe I had something to share. And that’s when it clicked! The recipe ideas kept coming and I continued to better my practice. It takes grit and risk to take your dreams from an idea to reality and I am so thankful for the support and opportunities I’ve been blessed with this last year.

To learn more about my food philosophy, take a few moments to watch these segments from the January 2nd show. Consider how you and those closest to you, can make these small and meaningful changes.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below:

What is one manageable step you’re going to take this month to create a new healthy habit in your life?

Personally, I need to get my water intake back up! 1/2 of my body weight in ounces is the magic trick. I plan to track my ounces on my monthly habit tracker that is included in my book. Have you got your copy yet? There are so many helpful resources, not just the recipes, to help you finally get off the rollercoaster and take small steps to a healthier you.

Have you got your copy yet? There are so many helpful resources, not just the recipes, to help you finally get off the rollercoaster and take small steps to a healthier you.

5 Easy Switches for 2019

Take Back Your Kitchen

It’s always fun to coin a phrase, like my new one:  Take Back Your Kitchen.

But while the meaning is clear in my mind, I recognize it could mean something different to each person that reads it.

I grew up with a family of home cooks. We didn’t eat out a ton, except to West Salem’s best pizzeria; Walery’s Pizza. This is the place where I ironically ordered my famous burger: meat, ketchup and bun. Yep! I was THAT kid. Now if you just lost all faith in my judgment, fear not, I have grown up quite a bit. Life is about balance… so I do enjoy the occasional burger from Hopdoddy and I can make a mean plant based pizza at home. (food allergies are no joke!)

Wallery’s was more than a pizza joint! The arcade was the best!

Needless to say, as I grew older and learned my way around the kitchen, I realized cooking soothed me and allowed my creativity to shine. And the final outcome…oh so delicious!

I was shocked when other people commented on how odd it was to them that I cooked most of my meals. It seemed so taboo within my generation and more so over the last 5 years. But I still don’t understand the fuss of cooking at home. I’ve done the math and it definitely is cheaper. There are thousands of recipes that are guided with videos, pictures and 10 ingredients or fewer. And when chosen correctly, it’s better for your waistline.

So again, what’s the hangup? Lack of knowledge and education on how to make clean eating at home simple, cost and time effective, and delicious!

As a personal trainer, I have seen first hand how WHAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR BODY, aka your diet, directly correlates to your outcomes. I’ve had clients battling with under eating, overeating, and eating the wrong types of foods. So often, people are unaware of their day to day habits. It’s usually those habits that directly link to the overall success of any goal.

What has been the most helpful in my client’s lives is the education on healthy eating habits and tips on small steps to create better ones. With this empowerment of creating one new habit at a time, they have seen total transform in their bodies and mindsets.

3 of my clients came to me with zero physical activity in their lives. Even though they were adding exercise to their new routine and seeing some results, they were frustrated with their overall outcomes after a few months. Once we dug deep into their individual habits;

  • skipping meals
  • double portions of healthy foods
  • lack of the right levels of macronutrients (carbs, healthy fats and lean proteins)

they were able to refocus and the weight and inches began to fall off. Better yet they had more energy, less cravings, higher motivation and overall: MORE LIFE!

Small changes led to incredible results.

She’s made clean eating work for a family of 6!











Going back to the basics within your mindset surrounding food will change YOU from the inside out. You start to realize that healthy food doesn’t have to taste bad, cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, and eating out doesn’t have to RUIN your hard work.

Creating healthy habits is possible when taken one step at a time, but often the education is needed.

So if any of this relates to you, take a moment NOW to contact me. My at home 3 hour sessions and corporate events are the 1st step for your success!

Healthy habits begin one step at a time.

Stir the pot to make positive changes.


My focus is for each individual to find tangible actions they can take to make those small changes that will add up to incredible results.

So contact me so I can create a personalized session just for you!

Are you ready to Take Back Your Kitchen?