Holiday Meal Swaps

There are a lot of holiday dinners from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. Studies show that the average person gains 7 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas, WOW! It’s cool to spend time with family and friends making memories, but you do not to give up on the goals you have been working on. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to be a hermit, you just need to know how to modify your meals. While you are making lifestyle changes, know that your meals can taste great and be even healthier if you swap out old standbys for some healthy recipes.

Here are a few to get you on the right track.

French Onion Dip

Appetizers are often the first course of the evening. Consider veggies instead of chips!


You don’t need to miss them or smother them with butter. Here are two great additions to the menu.

Green Beans with Lemon and ThymeRosemary Roasted Yams

Mashed potatoes can have a substitute with Roasted Cauliflower Mash!

Can’t forget the gravy! Try this Simple Gravy

Nothing says the holidays more than sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie. These recipes will be excellent additions to your meals.

Pecan and Sweet Potato Pie

Pumpkin Pie with Walnut Crust

Consider these alternatives. You may have some new favorites and some requests for your recipes.

Try adding a bit of healthy eating during the holidays as much as possible!  Remember it’s not what you do every now and then that causes adverse effects, its the daily malpractice.  So enjoy in moderation.

Until next time,

Nicole, your healthy lifestyle partner.

Easy Steps To Reclaim Your Health From Sugar Cravings

Sugar is almost everywhere. It’s not only in our pastries and desserts, but it’s also in our coffee, in our soup, even in salad dressings!  Many people are addicted to sugar and don’t realize it.  They don’t think they eat a lot of sugar because they don’t eat a lot of candy, cakes, and pies, but the problem is that sugar is hidden in many foods, including breads, muffins, and even dried fruit.


Sugar robs the body of nutrition, creates an acidic environment in the body making it acceptable to diseases like heart disease, cancer.  Sugar not only rots your teeth but it can cause fatty deposits to build up in your liver.   When the liver is overloaded with sugar, it begins to expand, and the glycogen is released in the form of fatty acids.  This fatty acid known as excess fat is then deposited into areas such as the belly, hips, thighs and your butt. It is the main cause of cellulite, body fat, and other metabolic issues.

Getting off of sugar will help you to ditch the afternoon energy crash, stabilize your blood sugar, look younger, and create a more alkaline environment that your body will thrive in.


So you can see why it would be important to kick sugar to the curb and swap it out for healthier alternatives.

Now, I’m not about deprivation. Not in the least. I like a sweet treat as much as the next person. But I make sure that what I’m eating isn’t going to negatively impact my health, so I make sure that any treats I’m eating are sweetened with a healthy sweetener, like honey or maple syrup, or natural sugar substitute, like stevia or xylitol.

Once you start switching to healthy sweeteners and low-sugar substitutes, you’ll notice that you have fewer and fewer cravings for sugar.  You’ll also find that you’re tasting the natural sweetness of fruits and vegetables without needing to put anything on top of them.

Try these tips to help reduce your sugar intake:

sugar by other names

  1. Get rid of the obvious culprits like, sugary foods – candy, cookies, cakes, pies, muffins, and sodas and other refined, starchy carbohydrates
  2. Read Labels.  Although you want to eat as many foods that don’t need labels, when you do  be mindful the longer the list of ingredients, the more likely sugar is going to be included.  Be sure to check the grams of sugar, choosing products with the least sugar per serving (a teaspoon of sugar is roughly equal to nearly 4 grams).  Learn the hidden sugar terms like all natural sweeteners, agave, corn syrup, corn sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, honey, cane sugar, cane crystals, fruit juice concentrates, molasses, turbinado sugar and brown sugar.
  3. Enjoy low glycemic fruit as a snack when you feel the need for sweets
  4. Drink Plenty of water.  Adding fruit to water can curb cravings and false sense of hunger.
  5. Incorporate more spices like cinnamon, Coriander, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom to sweeten your foods naturally and reduce cravings.
  6. Try Chromium /  L-glutamineBoth are known to relieve sugar cravings as the brain uses it for fuel. Research has shown that chromium supplementation has the ability to even out blood sugar levels while enhancing the body’s fat-burning metabolism. as well as helpful in suppressing appetite and sugar cravings.
  7. Do a 3 Day Reset to cleanse your system.
  8. Eat more bitter foods.  Bitter foods decrease your cravings.

By eliminating sweets and carbs, you will give your body a break from sugar.  Your liver will have a greater ability to remove toxins, and releasing toxins, releases weight.

What tips will you swap out these week for a healthier, low-sugar or sugar-free alternative?

Until Next Time,


*This blog does contain affiliate links.


Bitter is Better….?

So the other day was peach cobbler day and I totally forgot. I used to love me some cobbler. I still do ~ a taste and I’m good.  You see once you really, really make a change, your taste buds your cravings change. 

One trick I use to get rid of my desire to eat sweets is to eat #bitterfoods Now I’ve never been big on candy but baked goods were a different story. 

Did  you know the more bitter foods you eat the less sweets you crave.

What are bitter foods?  I’m glad you asked.


Yep that’s right, enjoy delicious kale, spring mix salads, or grapefruit sprinkled with cinnamon, how about a piece of dark chocolate. 
Bitter foods are great detoxifiers. While they decrease your appetite for sweets they increase your desire to enjoy nutrient dense foods. 
Bitter foods are great for the digestive system.  Close your eyes and picture a lemon.  A nice bright yellow  juicy lemon.  When you peel the lemon you get that citrus burst, you know its a good one.  As the smell emanates, and you anticipate the taste, your mouth begins to water. Feel the saliva as it begins to formulate in your mouth, now taste the lemon, your mouth tightens and you swallow that extra saliva to help tame that bitter/sour taste.  You see when you eat bitter foods, such as a lemon your body creates more saliva which is the first step of the digestive process.  

Grab a bag of spring mix filled with baby kale, arugula, dandelion, spinach and radicchio talk about power. 
You cleanse your blood, liver, get all kind of vitamins and minerals like calcium and magnesium oh and a bit of an energy boost.

Here’s a list of some bitter foods and herbs that aren’t listed above:

Bitter melon – Nettles – dill – Sesame – Horseradish – Watercress – Parsley – Radish – Milk thistle – aloe – Japanese eggplant – Gentian – Cilantro – Turmeric – Fenugreek seeds – Basil – Green tea – red wine

If you’re looking to kick sugar to the curb click here so you can say goodbye to sugar, dairy, and gluten with little to no effort.   I’ll supply you with easy to follow meal plans, and daily tips sent to your inbox to make it easy as possible for you. So easy and delicious you’ll forget you’re cleansing your system.


Cheese Please

In honor of Grilled Cheese Day, I thought I would write this.

Who doesn’t remember enjoying a grilled cheese sandwich, mac & cheese at Sunday dinner, or how about the blue box mac n cheese that the kids love and give me anything parmesan. I mean if you messed up a meal all you have to do is sprinkle some cheese on it and everything was well with the world.

But then there’s the person who starts to notice constipation, sniffles here and there and high cholesterol levels. You grow up and realize the blue box man n cheese didn’t even contain cheese (yikes)

Yep that was me from one phase to the next. For a while I would say I’m going to give up dairy. But who else knows once you say you’re going to give something up that’s all you think about? I listened to the stories of people saying how hard it was to give up cheese. My friend told me she could teach me how to make macaroni and tease. It just didn’t sound right so I turned that down, thanks Cherie. But the reality of it was, it wasn’t hard.

I just stopped thinking about giving up dairy. I decided to focus on my health. I changed how I was cooking and eventually the cheese was out. One day my son wanted to make a quesadilla and said, “hey mom where’s the cheese?” I replied with “We don’t have any.”  After a few gripes and a oh yeah we haven’t had cheese in a while huh, that was that and a small victory was won.

You see because of my health concerns the decision to change started. I created meal plans and dishes that didn’t include dairy, because I decided I wasn’t going to buy cheese anymore. I decided to find different meals; meals with meaning. Meals that work with your body to reverse the damage from years of recipes that we ate out of habit to be honest. And some of the bad eating was due to misleading marketing, and maybe out of emotion seeking just for comfort 😉

Shortly after that I stopped buying milk. Yep, I just didn’t buy it. The kids would ask where’s the milk and I said it’s in there. Almond milk! That’s nuts!  I’m sure they wanted to say I was nuts LOL.  They complained at first because it wasn’t the same but slowly they weren’t either. Their taste buds started to change and they felt different.

My son noticed that his seasonal allergies didn’t flare up as often. My nasal congestion had died down to little to none and my youngest son’s yearlong eczema bouts diminished.

Now don’t get me wrong when we dine out if they decide they want a quesadilla or nachos they get it. If I forget to remind the waitress no cheese on my beans or salad I just avoid it as much as possible if I’m not in the mood for having them take it back because I forgot to mention it.

Now I share my dairy free meals in my Jumpstart plans. Delicious meals that you will forget that you are cutting out dairy.

If you aren’t ready to give up cheese but want to try healthier versions click the image below for three cheese macaroni casserole or try the recipe using daiya.


If you know someone who suffers with post nasal drip, allergies, or simply want to give up dairy hit me up or share this post with them because sharing is caring.

Until Next Time My Good People,

Nicole, Your Online Health Coach/C.H.A.N.G.E. Agent


What Are You Eating!!?

When you think about the fact that what you are what you eat, you can remember the phrase, “junk in junk out”. In most cases although the food is released, it leaves a souvenir behind.  Over time one may notice constipation,  inflammation and other issues. Why? Because  the food we eat creates our blood.

you are what you eat

Our blood flows through our bodies and feeds our systems,  organs, and glands.  Your body will respond to the quality and types of food you eat.

Anti-inflammatory foods

Just a quick reminder to help you to make wise choices and enjoy the benefits of your food.  Remember:

  • Don’t be fooled by tricky marketing buzzwords: all natural often isn’t, enriched is a poor choice, and fat-free can often cost you, health-wise!
  • Find the ingredients list first! The fewer, the better: Avoid unrecognizable words, and stay away from partially hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup.
  • Then check out the serving size and nutrition facts.
  • Tip: Fiber is our friend, but sugar is not!

New week, New goals.

Until Next time,

Nicole, Your Health and Wellness Coach

No Guilt Chips and Dip

Zucchini Chips (Low-Carb, Whole30-Friendly & Gluten-Free)

zuccini chips


  • Medium zucchini, washed and dried – 1
  • Olive oil – 1 tbsp
  • Scant Kosher salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper – 1/2 tsp
  • Onion powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Garlic powder – 1/8 tsp
  • Paprika – 1/2 tsp


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Thinly slice the zucchini with a knife or mandolin.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the oil, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the zucchini slices to the bowl and toss well so that each slice is coated with the seasoned oil.
  5. Place the zucchini slices on the prepared baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes watching very closely. When the zucchini starts to show some brown spots remove from the oven and set aside.
  7. Reduce the oven temperature to 180-200 degrees. Return the zucchini to the oven and cook for an additional 20-40 minutes or until the slices are crispy.
  8. Remove from the oven and cool.

Easy Clean Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt (plain) or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup seeded diced cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon minced mint
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp dried dill
  • 1 pinch of kosher salt

For more recipes go to: HEALTHY EATS

Recipes from: Food network, and lanas kitchen