Pumpkin Pie Protein Squares

Pumpkin Pie Protein Squares

About a year ago, around this time, we decided to have a pumpkin recipe challenge at work with our Black Iron Nutrition clients. I was excited and up for the challenge. I decided I wanted to make a high protein pumpkin bar. We got all kinds of healthy delicious ingredients, and then Krissy and I went to work in the kitchen trying to develop the perfect fall treat. A few hours later and multiple attempts to save whatever it was I was mixing together and throwing in the oven, I decided my creation was a failure and not worthy of sharing with the group. 

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9 Nutrition Tips for Healthy Travel

9 Nutrition Tips for Healthy Travel

I get asked a lot of questions like "how do I eat eat healthy when I'm traveling?" Or "how do I stay on track with my diet when I'm on the road and choices are limited?" And I completely understand these challenges. But I've also learned over the years how to travel and make it work. If being heathy is a priority of yours (and I'm sure it is or you probably wouldn't be reading this) then I hope this list comes in handy. Whether you travel for work or pleasure and whether you're on a road trip or flying somewhere far away, having a plan is key. Convenient food is not always the best option, but when you're taken away from your kitchen and your routine, what are you expected to do?

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8 Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Food

8 Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Food

For a large part of my life I've had an unhealthy relationship with food. Growing up as a competitive gymnast I could eat whatever I wanted, but I was also very aware of the social pressure to be small, thin and light. As I got older (late teens, early 20's) my body began to change. When I started college and I wasn't training nearly as much as I had when I was in competitive sports; I started to gain weight. I didn't really know how to nourish my body properly, I just thought I should eat salads and avoid fat. I'd lose weight because I was nearly starving myself, and then I'd binge on a bunch of junk food because my body couldn't take it anymore. It was a vicious cycle. The good old yo-yo diet. 

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Flexible Dieting

Flexible Dieting

I finally decided to delve deeper into what is known as "flexible dieting". Why the sudden interest? Well it's actually not so sudden, and as you know I've talked a lot about counting macros, trying to better understand macros, and what I've done to find a healthy and sustainable diet. This has all been based off of a loose macro guideline and what I've learned about nutrition through personal experience and experiments. But I never truly understood the science behind it all and how macro and micronutrients affect our body. My younger sister is the one who first suggested I read more about it. She had read books on flexible dieting from a friend of ours Krissy Mae Cagney. Well actually she read them long before we even knew Krissy, but ironically we've both crossed paths with her separately. Although I knew Krissy through social media for quite some time, I finally met her a couple years ago at Mark Bell's gym in Sacramento. Krissy lives in Reno and dates a good friend and teammate of mine. She's also very involved in the CrossFit community so we cross paths often now. She's a good friend and an awesome person. 

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Find Your Healthy Balance - a sustainable diet

Find Your Healthy Balance - a sustainable diet

I have a confession to make, I splurged this weekend! Okay good, I’m glad that’s out. 

When I started counting my macros a little over a week ago one of the things I promised myself (and you) was that I’d be honest about everything I ate and I wouldn’t obsess over it either. In my opinion, obsession leads to failure. Maybe that isn’t the case for everyone, but I’ve learned a lot about myself over the years, and if I’m too strict with myself I give up. I want to be able to enjoy food and life. This is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. I mean, has anyone ever found a “quick fix” that lasts? Mine never have, and that’s why years of yo-yo dieting got me nowhere.

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Understanding Macros + my detailed food journal

Understanding Macros + my detailed food journal

I’ve been counting my macros for a week now, so what have I learned? I’ve learned that I have some more experimenting to do that’s for sure. But the experiment so far has been good. My goal going into this was to learn more about how my body reacts to food, how monitoring my macros can improve my performance in the gym, and what an ideal day of food looks like for me. I’ve found a fairly rough guideline that’s helped me lose the few pounds I was hoping to lose while still maintaining my energy in the gym.

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Counting Macros Week 1

Counting Macros Week 1

Yesterday I decided I was going to count my macros. Currently, I'm at a healthy, easily maintainable weight. I have a good relationship with food and I enjoy what I eat. But, I'm also a competitive athlete heading into my season and I would like to dig a little deeper into my diet to find out if a few tweaks here and there and a better understanding of the portions I'm eating could affect and improve my performance in the gym. I ate just as I normally would yesterday and I've already learned where I need to make some changes. Carbs and fat are easy to come by, and I need to be cautious not to overeat them. On the other hand, my protein intake is on the lighter side so I want to be a little more aware of when and how much I’m eating at each meal and snack. 

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Counting Macros

Counting Macros

I’ve decided to count my macros. Why? For multiple reasons. I feel like I do a good job of balancing my carbs, fat and protein at each meal. It’s all an eyeball guesstimate and I listen to when my body tells me I’m full. But at the same time I often wonder, are my eyeball guesstimates right? If I tweaked this or that would my body respond better? Could my performance in the gym improve simply by a few adjustments to my diet? Well, I’ve decided to find out!

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Breakfast Bruschetta on Sweet Potato Slices

Breakfast Bruschetta on Sweet Potato Slices

This recipe is inspired by The Charming Detroiter. I came across her blog recently and she had a post for the most incredible trio of non traditional bruschetta and I just wanted to devour them off of my computer screen. I had most of the ingredients she’d used in my house and I just wanted to make a simple paleo version. I decided to slice up and bake a sweet potato until it was a bit crispy, and then I topped it with all the tasty things I could come up with.

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New Year, New You: Resources to Reach Your Goals!

New Year, New You: Resources to Reach Your Goals!

Some of us set New Years resolutions and some of us don’t. Either way, I think a new year is a great time to reflect on the past and it’s the perfect time to think about what we want for our future. 

I’ve shared tips for Living a Healthy Life and How to Get Started. I believe in setting realistic goals, building a support network and putting actionable steps in place to make sure you’re successful in achieving your diet goals. I also believe that it shouldn’t be hard! If you’re making it too difficult or you’re too hard on yourself, you’re already setting yourself up for failure. Read the tips I have HERE to get started living healthier today.

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