The world of fitness and fat loss is often confusing, with contradictory information swirling about. I’m going to cut through the confusion and make things really simple for you.

Below is a list of 5 foods that you should never eat.

These foods will derail your fitness and weight loss efforts every single time.  In addition, I will suggest a healthy substitute for each of these off-limits foods.  By simply swapping out the items below you will quickly and effortlessly become healthier, leaner and fitter than you are today.

Do-Not-Eat #1: Anything Fried

Fried food is loaded with fat and calories while offering zero nutritional value. It’s a lose-lose! Sure, fries and chips TASTE good, but healthier items also taste good. Just say no to the deep fried items on your menu. You’ll be thinner, healthier and won’t have greasy fingers.

Try This #1: Broiled
If you simply must have a French fry, then make them at home in your oven. Use sweet potatoes, as these are a more complex carbohydrate. Cut into matchsticks, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil along with a dash of salt, then place in your oven on broil. Mix every 5 minutes until the fries are tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Do-Not-Eat #2: White Bread

White bread products have zero nutritional value and are quickly converted by your body into sugar. So you may as well eat a cupcake. Even breads that are technically wheat, but are as soft and smooth as white bread, should be avoided. Don’t be afraid to discard the bread from your sandwich or to push away that bread basket. Your waist will shrink and you’ll lose that bloated feeling that high carbohydrate meals give you.

Try This #2: Sprouted Grain Bread

If you must have bread, then stick with sprouted. Sprouted grain bread is a lot easier on your digestion and is packed full of nutrients. Two delicious brands are Food For Life’s Ezekiel bread, and Manna Organics. Sprouted grain breads are often kept in the freezer section since they don’t contain preservatives to prolong shelf life.

Do-Not-Eat #3: Creamy Salad Dressing

You were so good to order a salad, but then you ruined it by drenching the salad in fattening creamy dressing. Just a few tablespoons of creamy dressing contain more than 20 grams of fat and hundreds of calories.

Try This #3: Vinegar Dressing
Salad dressing is meant to lend flavor to the salad, not fat and calories. Vinegar-based dressings pack amazing flavor in with minimal fat and calories. You can even mix your own dressing at home. Take high quality vinegar, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper, your choice of dried herbs, and a bit of olive oil.

Do-Not-Eat #4: White Rice
I’m sure by now you’ve heard that white rice is not a healthy choice. Just like white bread, white rice has zero nutritional value – other than calories. Fiber and vitamins have been removed and the glycemic load will quickly prime your body for storing fat.

Try This #4: Brown Rice
Brown rice has three times the amount of fiber, more B vitamins as well as other nutrients, won’t sky rocket your blood, and will keep you feeling fuller for longer. That should be enough to convince you to swap your large pile of white rice out for a small pile of brown rice.

Do-Not-Eat #5: White Sugar

Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are the epitome of anti-fitness food. Nothing will destroy your progress, expand your waist and plummet your energy levels like sugar will. If you only take away one “Do-not-eat” food from this article, please let it be sugar.

Try This #5: Fruit

Don’t turn to artificial sweeteners to get your sweet fix, instead turn to nature’s wholesome source of sugar: fruit. Eat organic fruit that is seasonal and locally grown. Stay away from dried fruit and fruit juices, as these are high in simple calories.

Eating right, along with challenging exercise, is the formula for a toned, lean body —so guarantee your results by teaming up with me.

Together we will come up with a fitness plan that is uniquely yours, one that fits your lifestyle and brings you promptly to your goals.

Call or email today to get started.

Your New Year
We are close to the New Year – have you decided on any resolutions? If you haven’t made any resolutions this year, consider taking the time to commit to one small healthy change. Here are some suggestions:
•    Don’t eat after 7pm.
•    Drink a healthy protein shake for breakfast.
•    Cut out that daily sugary snack.
•    Exercise a minimum of 4 days each week.
•    Join one of my exercise programs.

Sprouted Grain French Toast
Just because you gave up white bread and sugar doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a delicious plate of French Toast! This recipe is made with sprouted grain bread, egg whites and protein-packed Greek yogurt. The whole family will love it.

Servings: 5

Here’s what you need…
•    5 slices cinnamon raisin, sprouted grain bread
•    1 cup egg whites
•    6 oz fat free, Greek yogurt
•    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•    ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
•    dash of salt
•    Optional: additional fat free Greek yogurt and pomegranate seeds for topping.
Instructions:
1.    Preheat a skillet, or pancake griddle over medium high heat. Lightly coat with cooking spray.
2.    In a shallow bowl, whisk the egg whites, yogurt, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Mix until well combined.
3.    Dip each slice of bread in the egg white mixture, flipping to coat each side. Place on the prepared skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, until the eggs set and turn golden.
4.    Serve immediately with the additional yogurt and pomegranate.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 127 calories, 0 fat, 157mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 12g protein.

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It’s hard to find a dinner more satisfying than a steaming plate of flavorful pasta, but by now you’re well aware of just how fattening that is. Let’s not give up on our favorite pasta dishes…let’s make these dishes lighter, healthier and just as delicious by using noodles made from vegetables, rather than traditional, carb-laden pasta.

If you’re new to cooking with veggie noodles, have no fear! It’s simple and satisfying to create comforting guilt-free pasta dinners, and I’m going to show you how…

Guilt-Free Pasta Recipe #1: Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is the easiest of all the veggie noodles to prepare since the noodles are already formed in nature. Cut a spaghetti squash in half and you’ll find a mess of seeds and stings in the center of thick, firm, yellow flesh. The seeds and strings are discarded, and that thick, firm, yellow flesh is cooked until tender and scraped off the skin, into a neat pile of soft spaghetti-like noodles. Pretty cool, right?!

Make Spaghetti Squash Noodles:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Rub the inside of each spaghetti squash half with coconut oil and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Place, cut side down, on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Serve with your favorite spaghetti sauce and meatballs. Enjoy!

Guilt-Free Pasta Recipe #2: Zucchini

Zucchini is such a tender squash that it really doesn’t require cooking, and in fact cooking zucchini noodles quickly turns them to mush. I’ve found that pouring hot spaghetti sauce over a pile of zucchini noodles is all that it needs to heat it up without causing it to get mushy. You’ll need a spiral slicer –a little kitchen contraption that spirals zucchini through grating holes to create long, spaghetti-like noodles.

Make Zucchini Noodles:

  1. Wash the zucchini and remove the green skin with a veggie peeler. Run the peeled zucchini through a spiral slicer to create long, thin noodles.
  2. Top with warm spaghetti sauce and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Guilt-Free Pasta Recipe #3: Butternut Squash

While zucchini and spaghetti squash noodles are light and soft, noodles made from butternut squash are a bit heartier. Not only does this translate into a more filling meal, it also means that need to be cooked on their own, before applying the spaghetti sauce, in order to achieve a tender consistency.

Now there’s a little bit of technique involved with cutting your butternut squash in the best way to run it through a spiral slicer. I’ve found that the narrow part of the squash, that’s completely solid, is the piece that works really well with a spiral slicer. Slice off the skin and then simply run it through the slicer. The part of the squash that’s hollow in the middle is trickier to use with the spiral slicer, since those pieces are pretty thin. A quick option is to simply chop those pieces thinly and use that along with the long noodle strands.

Make Butternut Squash Noodles:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the narrow part of both squash off and peel off the skin. You should have 2 nice solid pieces of squash (no hollow section). Run this through a spiral slicer to create long, thin noodles.
  2. Toss the noodles with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread over a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until tender.
  3. Serve immediately with the spaghetti sauce of your choosing. Enjoy!

Guilt-Free Pasta Recipe #4: Asparagus

Talk about truly guilt-free pasta – one made from asparagus spears! Rather than serve this one with traditional spaghetti sauce (although you could) I’ve included a dressing to toss the noodles with and I’d recommend serving it with meatballs for some added protein.

Make Asparagus Noodles:

  1. Wash one bunch of asparagus spears. Resist the urge to chop off the tough stalks, these are your handles! Cut off the asparagus tips and save. Hold onto the tough stalks and use a vegetable peeler to peel long asparagus noodle strands into a large bowl. Mix in a Tablespoon of fresh dill.
  2. In a small bowl combine 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon honey and a dash of sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Heat a Tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the asparagus noodles. Sauté for 2 minutes then remove from heat. If you’d like, sauté the asparagus heads by throwing them in the pan after 1 minute. Toss with the dressing.
  4. Serve the noodles warm and garnish with fresh dill. Enjoy! Eating healthy, low carb meals like these are what it takes to have that lean, sexy body that you want. But don’t forget that a fit body also requires a consistent, challenging exercise program! Call or email me today and get you started on the fitness plan that’s custom designed for you. Let’s do this!
Eat with Purpose
Judge the food that you eat based on how nutritious it is. How full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein is it? Does it contain vital nutrients in each bite? Be picky about what you eat – and avoid those items that aren’t crammed with nutritional purpose. This is another reason that veggie noodles are superior to traditional noodles – simply compare the nutritional content of the two!
Flat Zucchini Noodles with Parm

Here’s another guilt-free pasta recipe for you! You won’t need a spiral slicer for this one, simply use a regular veggie peeler – like the kind you would use to peel the skin from a potato – to create long, flat zucchini noodles. This recipe has a scrumptious, nutty flavor that will make you forget all about traditional noodles. Feel free to serve with some sliced chicken breast, sliced hard-boiled eggs or steak for added protein. Enjoy!

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon almond flour
  • 4 large zucchinis, peeled with a veggie peeler
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, about two minutes. Add the coconut oil, and once it’s melted, add the almond flour and a pinch of salt.
  2. Stir often with a wooden spoon, until it’s toasty brown, about two minutes. Remove crumbs from the pan and save for garnish.
  3. In the same skillet, add the peeled zucchini noodles. Sauté them until just tender, about one to two minutes. Turn heat to low.
  4. In a new pan on low heat, combine olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes, stirring with a spoon until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
  5. Transfer the zucchini noodles to garlic and oil mixture. Toss and stir until they’re coated.
  6. Turn off the heat and add parsley, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle with almond flour crumbs before serving. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 165 calories, 12g fat, 72mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, and 6g protein