Eat Your GREENS!

If you are trying to get well, lose weight, eat better, get off sugar, dealing with inflammation – greens NEED to be in your plan. Filled with a ton of nutrients and fiber, greens have special powers! They are the superheroes of the plant-world.

Greens are high in protein, yes Dorothy, vegetables have protein! They help with hunger, blood sugar issues, and sugar cravings. If you are dealing with incessant hunger, or find yourself needing to snack throughout the day, increase your greens and see what happens.

Greens have a bitter taste which helps with any kind of sugar cravings. We are not used to eating a ton of “bitter” flavors. The diet in our culture leans more towards sweet. But, since sweet begets sweet, we just get more cravings for sweets. Greens help balance that out.

Greens are filled with fiber. If you are a “slow mover” and you know what I mean, increase the level of greens you have in your daily intake. Ideally, you want to “move” 2-3 times a day. So many of us do not have this occur 1X a day. One of the biggest reasons is we do not eat enough fiber. This doesn’t mean you should eat more cereals with “added” fiber, or down some fiber supplements. Eat greens! The synergy between the fiber and the nutrients are what you are looking for.

Key tips….
• Eat them raw! The more you cook greens, the more you kill the nutrients.
• Eat them fresh. If you can get them freshly picked, go for it.
• Now is the time to get used to them. If you are not a greens eater, introduce them now, in the summer. Since they are more tender and sweeter now, you will hopefully like them more and be better able to tolerate them in the winter.
• Add them to just about any dish. Eating your food on a “bed of greens” is a great way to get in an extra serving or two.
• Blend them into your smoothies. Adding in a handful or two, or three of fresh greens to your smoothie willpower boost it! If you find it to be too bitter, try taking the “spine” out of the green before blending.
• Add them to the end of stews and soups. Don’t boil!
• Use them as a wrap instead of sandwich bread.

Go easy at first. I am about “always loving” my food, so if you don’t like it, try again. Try with less. But try it!

Would you like some help to make BETTER food choices and really starting to feel the absolute BEST you can feel? I offer Personal Nutrition Counseling, Kitchen Makeovers, Nutritional Support via Email as well as Skype. Let’s talk!

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Vegan Taco Recipe

Are you ready to make your life more vibrant and healthful? YES! The transition to a healthier lifestyle can sometimes be daunting. Cooking and preparing are meant to be fulfilling and fun. Here’s an idea for a simple recipe makeover that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser! It’s fun to experiment with recipes and figure out what works for you and your family.

Vegan Tacos

Combine in a large bowl
• 2 large chopped 2 tomatoes
• 2 ears of corn – corn removed (this can be either steamed, used frozen corn or raw)
• 1 bunch of cilantro – chopped fine
• juice of one lemon
• 1 tsp sea salt
• pinch of organic cayenne
• 1/2 tsp chili powder

Mix well and set aside

In a hot sauté pan add
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 onion – chopped fine
• 1 green, red or yellow pepper – chopped
• pinch of salt

Stir until onions become translucent.
Combine this mixture with raw vegetables.

1. Place Bibb lettuce in organic corn tortilla shells
2. Top with vegetable mixture
3.  Enjoy!

Serve with a side of salsa and consider topping with a scoop of guacamole.

Interested in more delicious, easy, family friendly vegan recipes?  Check out “Balanced Bodies: Vegan Cookbook” – (PSSST – there’s a 15-page free preview!)


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Reestablishing Balance after Travel with a Mini Detox

My life the last 2 months has been a whirlwind.  I had three trips back to back culminating in a trip to Argentina.  I kept it together for the first two trips, but while in Argentina, I must admit, things fell apart a bit.

Oh yes, it happens to us all.

Argentina is a dream place for me.  I love the smells, the streets, the parks.  I love so much there.  It is my total happy place.  This visit, I started off touring with a group of people to explore new places and ended with a few days of family and work time.  I got a more intense “mate” experience along with lessons from a few experts!  I found new mates and bombillas to bring back.  I got up early each day and worked a lot.  I stayed up late to spend time with family.  That meant that I was exhausted and did not do much self-care.  That also meant that I used food as fuel, and not the good kind!!

I came home like a bloated croissant!

Time to replenish and detox!!  Time to relax and rebuild.  I created a plan and thought I would share it with you, in the event that you have experienced something similar after travel, or even if you have had a hard week.

I have created the detox with three levels.

1) Pussy-Willows
For those just starting out, or needing to just change things up a bit

2) Sunflowers
For the more adventurous, maybe those that have dipped a toe into the “detox waters” before

3) Yerba Tree
For anyone wanting to do a radical cleanse, total detox

You can do this for 1, 3 or 7 days.  You can even do this for 30 days!

Upon Waking
All levels: warm water with lemon, yerba mate,
Optional: probiotic, spirulina, vegetable juice, celery juice

Pussy-Willows: choose one of the following, recipes listed below
Fruit alone

RECIPE: Smoothie
1 scoop of protein powder (optional) choose a vegan one like Sunwarrior or Vega One
1 cup frozen berries
2-3 frozen bananas
1 cup greens (baby kale or baby spinach)

RECIPE: Oatmeal
2 cups Organic, Gluten Free Oats
5 cups water
pinch of salt
1 cup berries
banana, vanilla, raisins and cinnamon optional

Place water and oats in a pot and simmer.
Stir often
Add pinch of salt
Cook about 5-7 minutes or until desired consistency.
Turn off the flame and add fruit, vanilla, and cinnamon if desired.

Sunflowers: choose one of the following, recipes listed below
Fruit smoothie
Fruit alone

Yerba Tree
smoothie (fruit and greens only)
Fruit smoothie – no protein powder
Fruit alone

Lunch – you can add salad with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (greens and veggies), pick any or all of the following in each category

Steamed veggies
Baked potatoes – no oil on top (can use salsa or 1 tbsp of hummus)
Beans, lentil soup or chili – made oil free

RECIPE: Eazy-Peazy No fat vegan Bean Chili
1 1⁄2 tbsp. cumin
1 white or red onion, cut into small pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 zucchini, diced
1⁄2 cup chopped sweet or white potato
Two cans of organic black beans rinsed well
One can of organic kidney or garbanzo beans rinsed well
One 14-ounce can of crushed organic tomatoes
2 cups water
1-teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 cup kale or spinach, chopped
Fresh cilantro (optional)

Put everything, except for the greens in a pot, cover with water and simmer about 1.5 hours or until beans are cooked through.
When done, turn off heat and stir in greens.
Serve over baked potato or greens.  Can top with fresh cilantro.

RECIPE: Yellow Lentil Soup
2 cups lentils (soaked overnight – discard soaking water and rinse well)
3 carrots
1 Vidalia (or any other) onion
3 stalks of celery
Pinch of salt
3 cloves of garlic
4 tabs of miso (I used mellow miso)
Spring onion

In a pot put onions, celery and carrots, cover with water and simmer.
Add salt
Add lentils and cover with water.  (Make sure that water line is about an inch above the lentils and when it gets low, just keep adding water)
Bring to boil and simmer about an hour and a half or until lentils are soft.
In a separate bowl, put the miso.  Add a bit of the broth and stir until miso is completely dissolved.  Keep adding broth as needed.
After the lentils are done, add the miso.  You never want to heat miso too high or boil.  So, I always turn the flame off.  Stir miso in.
Add soup to a bowl and sprinkle a few slices of spring onion.

Steamed veggies
Baked potatoes – no oil on top (can use salsa)
Beans, lentil soup or chili – made oil free

Yerba Tree
Steamed veggies
Baked potatoes – no oil on top (can use salsa)

Dinner – can be the same as lunch, or…..

Steamed vegetables
Brown Rice
Baked potatoes – no oil on top (can use salsa or 1 tbsp of hummus)

Steamed vegetables
Brown Rice
Baked potatoes – no oil on top (can use salsa)

Yerba Tree
Vegetable Juice
Steamed Vegetables
Baked potatoes – no oil on top (can use salsa)

Pussy-Willows: choose any of the following, eat as much as you want
Fruit smoothie – with protein powder
Fruit – any and all fruit except coconut and avocado
Mochi –a pounded rice snack that you put in the oven.  It puffs up and is delicious
Sliced cucumbers, rice cakes or celery with hummus
Banana NICE cream – frozen bananas with a bit of water in a blender, can add unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla and/or dates to sweeten

Sunflowers: choose any of the following, eat as much as you want
Fruit smoothie – with protein powder
Fruit – any and all fruit except coconut and avocado
Sliced cucumbers or celery with hummus
Banana NICE cream – frozen bananas with a bit of water in a blender, can add unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla and/or dates to sweeten

Yerba Tree: choose any of the following, eat as much as you want
Fruit smoothie – without protein powder
Fruit – any and all fruit except coconut and avocado

For more detox suggestions, please chek out my book “Balanced Bodies: 7 Day Detox & Reset”


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Accomplish One of These Small Steps This Week and Watch Your Life Improve!

Sometimes it only takes a cue, a little trigger to change your life and walk towards your goals.  There are tons of articles and blogs out there, showing you how to change your entire life.  Sometimes the steps they discuss are enticing and you get lured in by the promises.  There is this huge temptation to take it on with gusto and bravado.  So, off you go, buying new kitchen appliances and workout gear.  Slowly, though, as the days or weeks go by, the new step climber starts to collect dust and the junk food that you have sworn off starts creeping back in.

So, how about this, what if we just took small steps?  What if we just broke this whole “new life” thing down to smaller steps.  What then?  What if we could do what we could do and stay there until we feel the need to take on the next step?

I’ll tell you about one of “small steps” I took.  A few years ago, on my journey, I came across Joel Furhman’s work.  I read 2 of his books back to back and watched one of his webinars.  “Genius,” I thought!  “Brilliant”  “I want to do that!”  But, trouble was, I was still doing animal protein and didn’t want to let go of the oils.  So, I started doing his food program, but I added in the proteins and the oil.  I learned a ton!  I stepped forward!  I learned to eat tons of produce.  I learned what kind of produce I liked.  I learned what produce traveled well.  (dates, apples, grapes, rice cakes….) I lost some weight.  My skin looked better.  My mood improved.  A couple of years later, I was ready to let go of the animal protein.  I figure that as long as you are improving, you are not going backward.  So, I am listing some easy to do “next steps” you might want to consider for your journey.

1.  Use your Sundays to package up salads.  Get yourself 4 or 5 salad containers and wash and chop your veggies for those days.  Then, when you get up in the morning, you have more of a “grab and go” meal, rather than using that time to wash your carrots!

2.  Make chili and freeze it for the week.  Making chili, whether made stovetop or in a slow cooker, is a great way to have an easy meal for your week.  I usually freeze 3/4 of it in individual zip locks so I have it the rest of the week. Putting chili over a baked potato, cut greens or brown rice makes a great and filling meal.

3.  Trade up ingredients.  Buy Celtic sea salt and throw out the white refined salt.  Get Bragg’s Amino Acids and throw out your soy sauce.  Replace white or wine vinegar with Apple Cider Vinegar.  Replace white quick cook rice with brown rice.  Use real olive oil instead of vegetable oil.

4.  Buy big containers of greens and freeze them!  Buying spinach or baby kale leaves is sometimes depressing when they go bad before you go through them all.  Feel free to bag them up in freezer bags and freeze them.  Then, you can easily add greens to cooked soups or chili to increase the nutrients and protein.

5.  Freeze lemon juice for hot lemon water in the am.  I have posted many blogs and videos on this idea.  I love the idea of hot lemon water in the morning.  Talk about ultra hydrating and alkalizing! (These were made with lemon, ginger, and parsley. Yum!)

6.  Drink Yerba Mate.  Yerba has incredible healing properties.  Consider trading out your energy drinks or sweetened coffee drinks with Yerba mate.

7.  Use fat-free, sugar-free salsa.  Salsa is a great way to spice things up.  Top steamed vegetables with a couple of tablespoons of salsa.  When cooking soup, use a cup of salsa to season it after you turn the flame off.  Use salsa at the end of cooking beans.  Stir fresh salsa into the pot of cooked beans.  This is a great, oil-free way to add a big punch of flavor to your foods.

8.  Drink water!  “The solution to pollution is dilution.”  If you are wanting to detox, you don’t have to do much more then drink water.  If you are addicting to sports or energy drinks, drink a glass of water in between.  Get used to the taste of water.  Water is the main way the body hydrates itself.

9.  Reduce trigger foods.  Cravings don’t just happen, they are “created.”  So, start getting curious about your cravings. When do they come?  What do you crave?  What meal do they come after?  Notice when you don’t have cravings and pay attention to what you have eaten.  Most of the time, cravings come from an imbalance of the foods that you have eaten during the 24 hour before the cravings hit.  Working this way, you might come at a healthier lifestyle from a place of choice, rather than “white knuckling” it.

For more tips and tricks like these, consider getting a nutrition consult from Ana.  Skype and phone call sessions available.  Please visit

You can contact her using the form here, too! She will get right back to you.

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Life Is A Little Sweeter with Stevia

Growing up, I used sugar to sweeten my mate. My grandmother used to drink mate through a sugar cube placed between her front teeth!! Later in life, I had major weight issues and searched for solutions. I needed to sweeten my mate and used artificial sweeteners. Those sweeteners came with a host of side effects. Thirst, sweet cravings, hormonal changes…. as you can imagine this was not the perfect solution for someone wanting to lose weight.

Enter Stevia!

For the last 10 years, I have been drinking yerba mate sweetened with stevia.

As a nutritional counselor, I love the health benefits of stevia. Stevia is a blood sugar stabilizer and actually helps with weight loss as opposed to artificial sweeteners. It won’t give you the sugar drop or make you crave. Now that I am at a weight that feels good to me, I use stevia for everything it continues to do for me.

I was tickled to hear that stevia is actually a South American herb that had been used for centuries by the Guarani Indians. They, in fact, would chew the leaves as they drank mate. I had to move half the world away to find out that stevia is actually native to where I was born!

So, stevia plus yerba mate is an incredible drink to use if you are dealing with weight issues, blood sugar issues, constant hunger, cravings, sugar binges, digestive issues and hormonal changes. This combination is so incredibly healing and revitalizing. Try Yerba Mate and feel the health benefits for yourself.

Please visit for more information about Yerba Mate and its health benefits!

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Recipe: Vegan Protein Energy Balls

These little beauties are packed with yumminess, protein, and superfoods. They are great on a trip or as a pretty dessert option. You can roll them in different ingredients to create different colors and “effects.”

12 Pitted dates (soaked in a bit of water for 30 minutes)
1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight and rinsed)
1/4 cup water
2 tbs chia seeds
3 tbs @Sunwarrior protein powder (This is a raw organic powder)
4 tbsp raw cocoa powder
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup of rolled oats

1. In a food processor place dates, cashews, water, chia, protein powder, cocoa, and salt.
2. Mix until it becomes a thick paste.
3. Place cocoa powder, rolled oats, and sesame seeds into separate and shallow dishes.
4. Wet hands. Grab small chunks of paste with a tablespoon and roll in hands to form balls.
5. Roll balls in cocoa powder or sesame seeds.

Substitute vanilla Sunwarrior Protein Powder instead of chocolate
Add cinnamon to ingredients
Add vanilla powder to ingredients
Coat the balls in coconut flakes

Interested in more delicious vegan recipes? Check out “Balanced Bodies: Vegan Cookbook”

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Top 10 Changes for Detoxification and Healing to Stay Vibrant



  1. Eat raw produce as much as you can.  Raw produce is loaded with fiber for detoxing, vitamins and minerals for nutritional support.  Al the supplements in the world can not replace eating pure and fresh fruits and vegetables.  Get in at least one serving per meal.  Use fruits as your snacks, make vegetable soups, add vegetables to your meals by steaming or sautéing.  Throw in some greens for extra good measure.
  2. Eat before you are hungry, you will make better food choices.  When you are transitioning to a healthier lifestyle, cravings and hunger can completely derail you.  Carrying food and snacks are your safety net.  Eating BEFORE you are hungry will make sure you stay “at choice” with your food rather than having to eat “whatever is available.”  When you depend on others for nourishment, you will not always get what is in line with your goals.
  3. Switch out coffee, sodas and energy drinks for Yerba Mate which is an adaptogenic herb.  Adaptogenic herbs help calm you when you are fraught with tension and help bring you up when you are dragging.  Yerba Mate will give you the benefits of caffeine without the jitters or “Come down” of other drinks.  Sweet coffee drinks, canned energy drinks or protein shakes can be quite acid forming and deplete the body.  Drink Yerba Mate for the energy boost, not nutritional drain. Ready to start drinking mate? Here is some wonderful information from “Love from Argentina – Connecting The World One Mate At A Time” –
  4. Go low-fat!  If you are looking to detox and renewed vitality, then you need to cut down on the fats that are slowing you down, adding inflammation and sludge to your system.  This also applies to denatured fats, meaning fats that have been heat-treated or processed.  So, avoid –

• roasted nuts or seeds

• vegetable oil

• soybean oil

• fried foods

• shiny, greasy “sautéed vegetables or proteins”

• cottonseed oil

• canola oil

• corn oil

• fried corn, potato or wheat chips

• processed salad dressings

  1. Find a workout you love and GO.  Working out not only burns calories.  Working out is so much more than that.  Getting the body up and moving is critical to wellness.  Finding a community and being social is also good for the brain.  What is the most effective workout ever?  The workout you can stick to!
  2. Seek advice, inspiration, and mentors.  Find people who “have what you want.”  Working with people that are a few steps ahead of you is critical for keeping you on track.  Having a kind of daily inspiration works well to move you towards your goals rather than having your goals drag you down.  Get a great coach who specializes in wellness, subscribe to some wellness blogs, take someone that is in your community and who you admire, out for tea.  Ask for support!  Choosing wellness is not mainstream.  You will do better at staying on track if you find others who are on the path also.  This needs daily recommitment.
  3. Get friendly with your local grocery store.  Most people hate going to the market because it is an hour long process.  For some, this is not sustainable.  Repeat visits to the same produce department will help familiarize you with where things are and make the process go quicker and smoother.  Have a pad of paper in your kitchen dedicated to your shopping list.  Take this list to the store with you and get great at “getting it done.”  This way of eating requires two weekly trips to the market at times.  It helps and becomes less tragic if you have a list and can go “zip zip” through the store.
  4. Carry water with you…and DRINK it.  A wise teacher once told me “The secret to pollution is dilution.”  To help with detox, drink water!  Most think you need to guzzle 8 glasses every day and don’t get enough water because they dread the thought of it.  Rethink this!!  A few sips every hour might be the perfect invitation to this step.  Go slow!  Just a warning, pay attention if the thought of drinking pure water turns you off.  This may be a sign that you are eating foods that are either too sweet, salty or refined.
  5. Try a plant based (not whey) protein powder to help with hunger and cravings.  Protein powder is a great tool and trick to use.  Carry a screw top bottle with a few tablespoons of powder in it.  Then, BEFORE hunger strikes, add some water and ice when available, shake and drink.  The protein and nutrition in the drink will help ward off cravings and level out your blood sugar levels.  You will come to your meals on a whole different level once these are taken care of and protein powder is a great and easy way to do that!
  6. Be patient!  Working towards wellness is not for the weak hearted.  IT take diligence and commitment.  While the rewards are extraordinary, the beginning sometimes is a bit daunting.  Slipping off your plan is part of the process.  Expect it.  No one is perfect, and perfection is not required to achieve your goals.  Keep your eyes open, notice the signs your body is giving and act accordingly.  Tackle steps one at a time and realize that results will not come overnight, but rather will slowly happen as time goes on.  In the meantime, as you are changing and improving your lifestyle, your skin will start glowing, you will feel more energetic, the inflammation will go down and you will become more and more committed to your growth.
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