How to Get Started with Healthy Eating at Home

This is an age old tip, but one that is worth repeating:

“If it’s not in your house, you won’t eat it.” 

Sigh. If you’re like me (K), this is a hard one. But oh how effective it is! Tonight we spent time cleaning out all of the remaining holiday goodies. If it’s not in the healthy eating strategy, it is now tossed. Truth be told, we had to toss things that had gradually found their way back into our lives over the last quarter of the year. Things we rarely ever eat. The timing was perfect because the trash pick-up for our neighborhood is tomorrow! One of the reasons it seems so hard is that we were taught we should not be wasteful. The second part of this for us was going to the market together tonight, holding each other accountable, and not buying anything that wasn’t on-plan.

So how do you get started with this step of your #resolutionrebellion?


Ask yourself if it fits in your healthy eating strategy. 

Easy enough – if it doesn’t fit, it goes.

Really simple examples –

  • Are you going to be eating mayonnaise on your healthy eating plan? If not, toss it, and keep the mustard.
  • Have a few different kinds of cheese? Toss the deli sandwich stuff and keep the shredded parmesan.
  • Have veggie oil that you used for baking over the holidays? Toss it and keep the olive oil.

If it’s in a bag or a box, it probably should go.

This helps you get a lot of the low-nutrient, processed temptation out of your reach. Don’t let yourself be fooled. Several days into a raging sweet tooth and you’ll be eating those cookies whether you really like them or not. I can tell you – I’ve eaten a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips and spoonfuls of jelly. Be prepared, your pantry is going to look bare. Don’t be scared! Fill the empty space with things like nuts, seeds, oatmeal, beans, brown rice, spices.

If it’s a leftover in a disposable container and it’s not a veggie or meat, toss it. 

When we say toss it, we mean in the trash and not your mouth on the way! Don’t fall for the temptation of eating all the bad stuff like it’s the last supper. You’ve had enough of that casserole and pie – be brave and walk straight to the trash can.

If it’s a beverage that is not water, coffee, unsweet tea, a milk alernative (like almond or cashew) or a fresh squeezed juice, toss it!

All your efforts with your eating can be undone with sugary drinks, and that includes alcohol. I know – no one wants to hear that. There, I said it.

More tips:

If you have a hard time tossing anything unopened, bag it up and take it to a food kitchen.

Every time you mentally beat yourself up for being wasteful but throwing out food or drink, remember what it does to your body. We believe it’s better to waste food than health.

Midnight snack neon sign on brick wall background

What this does for you:

You can’t eat it. You will have to consciously get in your car to go get it. This is much less likely to happen, and if it does, you will have enough time driving to your destination to change your mind.

It works! Tell us what was the hardest thing for you to toss!


Now that it’s not in your house or car or hidden stash, it simply cannot be eaten. If you don’t buy it, and you don’t steal it, and you don’t take it when someone hands it to you, you cannot eat it. It’s so simple it’s ridiculous. Simple but not easy. More strategies to come on how not to buy it, but basically the core strategy is…don’t buy it.

Tell us something you recently resisted buying!!


10 Tips for Success with the Ultimate Reset

Ultimate Reset KitI am starting the Ultimate Reset this week, and since I have done it before, I thought I would share my top 10 tips for having success with this plan. I also plan to share my journey here on the blog and any additional tips I come up with this go-round. Here they are!

1. Set your start date for about a week or more after your kit is to arrive.

This will give you time to get your kit, go through everything, do your prep work, shop for groceries and connect with your coach for questions and additional information.

2. When you get your kit, read your entire booklet front to back.

You will find a ton of information in there, and once you’ve started is not the time to read it for the first time. Many of the questions you may have pop up are answered in this book. It will help you get started right.

3. Set up a spot to keep all your Ultimate Reset supplies.

The first time I used a basket on my kitchen cabinet for everything to be in one spot. Now I am a bit more mobile and I use a carry caddy just because it’s easier to move around.

4. Log on to the Ultimate Reset website with your Team Beachbody username and password that you used to purchase the kit.

This will log you onto the participant portal, where you can print shopping lists, find the recipe information and other additional information for support during the reset.

5. Print and mark your shopping lists.

Go through the booklet and read the recipes for phase 1. This way you can mark each item for which day you will need it. For instance, if there is some produce you need, but not until day 5 or 7, you may not want to buy it before starting Day 1. I found that going to the grocery a couple of times a week for produce helped me keep fresh items without wasting anything. One easy way to break up the shopping is to review your pantry and fridge and see what you already have. Take a trip to buy your non-perishable staples like spices, oils, etc. Then get your produce right before you start. Be sure to note that while you will have three different lists, one for each phase, the first list for week 1 will  have items marked that are actually the amount you will need for the entire reset.

6. Prep your produce as soon as you buy it. 

If you bring home things like salad greens, bell pepper, cucumber, carrots, etc., the best thing you can do is set aside some time to prep your veggies – wash, peel, chop, whatever you need to do to them. It will be much easier if you are hungry or in a hurry when fixing your food if all the prep work is already done.

7. Be open-minded.

There will be foods on this reset that you will already know you don’t like. My best advice is to try them. The recipes are tasty and you might be surprised. Don’t be a wienie – be brave and try it! If you absolutely know you can’t eat a certain food for any reason, talk with your coach about how to substitute and still get the nutrients you need. Then come back here and tell me if you like beets, because I think they taste like clods of dirt. Also, you won’t be working out (exercise) the way you may be used to for the entire 3 weeks. Walking, restorative yoga, stretching are recommended. Other than that, you need to calm down and let your workouts be internal for a few weeks.

8. Pay attention to the water requirements.

There are tips in the booklet on how to set up your water for each day. The point is, you are going to want and need to drink much more water than you are probably used to on this reset.

9. Get focused.

Before you start, it’s more than just getting all the supplies together. It’s a mindset for 21 days. Look at your schedule and don’t even try to do this during travel. Keep your schedule as clear and easy as you possibly can. Don’t be afraid to say no. Take a bath, take a walk, take a nap, take 15 minutes to breathe deep. You are going to need this, it’s all part of the process.

10. Make notes about your experience.

It’s a great idea to keep a journal. Here is what happened with me the first time – I had headaches the first few days and joint aches about mid way through the first week. I felt tired too. After that, I had energy, clarity, focus. I got a LOT of things done instead of snacking or being on the couch. I got rid of some negative emotions. I learned to love epsom salt baths. I took naps. I dropped weight. My taste for foods I thought I wanted totally changed. I slept like a rock. I learned that I wouldn’t die if I didn’t workout for 3 weeks. I did deep breathing for the first time ever.

Have you done the Ultimate Reset? What are your best tips? Share them with us!

If you haven’t done the reset and would like more information, just let me know.

Why should I do a reset?

Stress ManTell me if any of this describes you right now:

Tired, distracted, a bit apathetic, stressed, unfocused, fat, bloated, achy, unattractive, burned out, unhappy, full of carbs, irregular, crash and burn, dragging, sleepy, irritable, angry, blue, depressed, anxious, poor attitude, critical, cranky, behind on everything, out of control, weak, out of breath, unsociable, people make me crazy, impossible to please, jealous, bitter, poor judgment, risky, just don’t care, need help!!

Do you realize that how you eat and care for yourself is impacting every single one of these things? If you are feeling any of this, doing a reset can be life-changing. I’m not talking about a crazy Hollywood style lemon juice, cayenne pepper, pooping for days kind of cleanse. I’m talking about a high nutrient, tender loving care kind of reset to refocus and change your life.

I am embarking on one beginning Wednesday May 6, 2015. Just like you, I know all the stuff – eat clean, don’t eat too much, cut out sugar, lift weights, do some interval training, get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, drink lots of water, breathe, etc. Knowing it and doing it are two different things! One of the greatest tips I ever read was this – even coaches need coaches. Because I need to get myself out of it essentially, I need some coaching. So I am going to be doing a very specific, laid out plan and kit, called the Ultimate Reset. This is the same kit I used when I did this in July 2012 with outstanding results and refocus. It completely changed how I viewed food, cooking, exercise and caring for myself.

I will be blogging about my journey for the 21 days that are specific to the plan. If you would like to join me at any point in time, please let me know. I’m happy to pay it forward and coach you through it!


Supplements Don’t Matter Yet

The question “what supplements should I take?” is one of the most frequent questions we are asked. It’s a legitimate question. What you would like to read right here, right now, is exactly what you should be taking to help you reach you goals. If someone would just tell you, just share the secret, you would go buy them right now and take them faithfully to get your results.

There’s only one problem. They may not matter yet. 

What?! Of course they matter! They are all over the place, everyone is taking them, and I’m reading about them all the time! Surely there is something I should be taking, that is the answer for my ____________ (weight loss, hard-gainer muscle building, inflammation, muffin top, joint pain, overeating, heart health, peak performance, cellulite, digestive disturbance, slow metabolism – you get the picture). I’m pretty healthy, I’ve been dealing with this a while, and I’m not getting anywhere. I know I’m missing something. The answer is out there somewhere. I want to know what I should be taking to get results. Someone just tell me and I will do it!

Here is the hard truth: supplements don’t matter until you build the foundation. 

Would you build a house on a damaged foundation? No. Would you paint and put new wheels on a car that had no engine? No. So why would you invest in supplements to try to enhance or boost something that is not there yet? Sure, we are learning more about supplements that can benefit our overall health. We’re not talking about someone with specific health needs, or telling you to disregard new science. But our point is this – without having the fundamental components in place allowing your body to first run the way it should, taking supplements for enhancement makes about as much sense as a bald guy hurrying to a haircut appointment.  Bald man head

Why are we willing to spend money and be faithful to quick fixes, but not the basics? The fundamental components aren’t new and they aren’t sexy. They are the things most people DON’T WANT TO DO,  because they require focus and discipline. Here they are: 

1. Sleep

If you don’t get enough sleep, and we mean 7 or more hours a night, you are basically undoing the effort you put in during the day. Make this a priority! Supplements can’t help you if your hormones are out of whack, you’re exhausted and running on fumes, your body can’t recover from workouts and you can’t control your eating because you can’t think clearly. Stop cutting your sleep short!

2. Water

Your body is like a machine, and if you want it to run well, you will give it plenty of water. Even small degrees of dehydration can negatively impact function. Supplements to enhance your workout performance are wasted if you are voiding them out with dehydration. Muscle repair will be slowed if you’re dehydated & nutrients can’t be shuttled in to the tissue.

3. Clean Eating

Your body is tough and smart. It will try to make do with anything you throw it. Just don’t expect your body composition to be high lean and low fat if you’re not going to give it the fuel it really needs to perform, repair and grow. You are slowing your results if you’re giving your body plenty of food, but not plenty of nutrition. There’s a difference, and it’s about more than just protein. Your body needs lean, clean, whole, fresh, unprocessed food. Until it gets that on a consistent basis, money is wasted on diet pills, fat burners, expensive protein powders and random vitamins. Give your body what it needs with real food. If you can’t get enough whole food in each day, make a balanced protein, veggie, fruit, fiber, healthy fat smoothie in your blender or drink Shakeology. It’s the only meal replacement we use and recommend.

4. Exercise

You can lose weight without exercising. It’s completely true. Problem is, that weight is going to be a mix of water, lean mass and fat. Lean mass is a precious commodity. Exercise and proper nutrition will help you keep it. Cutting calories, cutting out entire food categories and most dieting tactics just make you a smaller version of the bigger you. Your body is designed to move, so get up and get moving. Consistency and intensity matter. You can reshape your body and build strength, size and speed without supplements.

5. Stress control

Stress is killing us. It impacts all the other components. If we can’t sleep, we’re drinking everything but water, we’re grabbing comfort food on the go, and we’re not getting our workouts in, THEN STRESS WINS, AND WE LOSE. Ditch the sleeping aids, alcohol, caffeine loading and macaroni and cheese. Work on the other components, do whatever it takes to get some down time, find your perfect stress tactic. Make this a priority.

So there you have it. Sleep, water, clean food, exercise and controlled stress. Concentrate on these things. Put in the work it takes to master them with a high level of compliance. THEN your body will help you know exactly where it needs extra assistance! 

Is Agave a Good Choice?

agave emptySo I seriously don’t like what I’ve been hearing lately concerning agave. Some of you may be like me, looking for the most righteous sweetener possible. I don’t sweeten a lot of food. I’d just like to have a sweetener I can use in oatmeal or in my coffee without feeling bummed about it or worrying that I am going to grow a third eyeball in the middle of my forehead or something. Over the last several years I graduated from plain white sugar to raw sugar or sucanat, and from Equal and Sweet-n-Low to Splenda. Then I went totally Splenda. Then I discovered stevia and agave and dropped the Splenda. One problem for me is that I like stevia in hot tea, but not in coffee, so agave seemed to do the trick. It has a hint of a molasses flavor and is sweeter so I didn’t use as much. Agave is lower on the glycemic index so it doesn’t spike blood sugar like honey would, it’s plant based, and you can get it organic. What’s not to love? Now I’m hearing that agave is too processed and may even be so processed in some cases that you might as well be using high fructose corn syrup! Good grief! How can we take plants and mess them up that much?

My most recent purchase of agave was organic, raw agave that is low-heat processed. Apparently in agave this is the best we can do, but some experts I know are recommending we not use it. Word now is that stevia (also plant based) or small amounts of raw, local honey are the best in cases when you MUST have sweetener. There are some other natural sweeteners that aren’t readily available, one is Grade B maple syrup which is harder to find. Better yet to not use sweetener at all.

These are the two I’m using now – stevia and raw, local honey. But now I’ve found out that the pollination process with the honey involves cotton and soybean plants. I’m not a betting woman, (ok, maybe a few rolls of quarters in a slot machine once in a while), but if I was, I’d bet these could be genetically modified crops. Drats!!!

Well, my mom always said if you didn’t drink it black you weren’t a real coffee drinker anyway…

What sweeteners do you use, and how do you use them?