For the past 10 years, I’ve had a garden.  I usually do raised beds with tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and other vegetables.  I also do some herbs and spices…along with chamomile.

Why do I garden?

It’s certainly not because I’m awesome at it!  In fact, last year, I lost my entire tomato crop to some sort of fungus, which is making me wonder if I want to plant again as the risk of the same fungus affecting this year’s plants is pretty high.

It’s certainly not because it feeds my family – because, truth be told, I’m pretty much the only one who eats the stuff.  My daughter will eat tomatoes and my son love garden carrots.  But I’m the only one who likes the rest of it.

It’s certainly not because I have an abundance of time on my hands during the summer months and I just have to come up with a way to spend it.  Ha!  I wish!

It’s certainly not because it saves me money.  By the time I buy the plants and have my tomato plants attacked by fungus, have my zucchini plants attached by squash bugs…the yield is pretty low overall.  No money saved, really.

I’m in love with the process

I garden because I love the process of gardening.  I love watching things change and grow.  And….at the end of a very long, hot summer I get to have the fruits of my labor on my dinner table.

Cucumber vines attaching themselves to the supports. Nature is so cool!

I garden because it’s something my husband and I do together.  He eats nearly nothing from the garden!  Yet, he’s right beside me picking weeds and making sure we get the tomatoes out of there before it’s too late.  He also reports the first sign of critters, or anything else, that may be attacking my beloved plants.

I garden because my children are watching….they learn where real food comes from and how to grow and harvest it.

What has gardening taught me?

Gardening has taught me PATIENCE for what is possible if enough care and planning is put into something.


It’s taught me that it takes a long time, and a lot of work, for the final result to be worthy.

I’ve learned there is always next year….if a fungus attacks my tomato plants.  And, that I may need to do some research to find out how to prevent, or deal with, it if it happens again.  (Fingers crossed it doesn’t!!)

I can pretty much count on the fact that I’m going to be quite sick of the garden by mid July.  That the sweaty, sticky mess I become in the back yard most evenings will become something I dread but find oddly satisfying.

Why am I telling you any of this??

Because, like gardening, the weight loss journey is one of love/hate.

There will be times you are motivated and nothing can stop you.  But, there will also be times when a fungus attacks your tomato plants and you have to pull the entire crop.  There will be others who won’t eat vegetables from your garden and you must tend to it by yourself….drawing support from the simple fact that you are doing something great for yourself.

You will put in weeks to months of work for very slow, if any, yield.  Watching the plants slowly sprout and grow daily over the summer months, you’ll wonder what kind of success you’ll have when they start to produce.

There will most certainly be times when you must drag yourself off the couch to go pick weeds, or do some watering.  But, you make yourself…knowing that the end result will be worth it.

Finally, there will be times when you are ready to till it all under and just be done with it.  The effort it takes to maintain, even WHEN producing great fruits and vegetables, can become overwhelming and you just want it to be OVER.  Yet….you persist until the end of the season.

In the end…

In the end, the most important thing to know about gardening is how long it takes to get the results you want.  For example, even if you plant tulip bulbs, you will wait an entire YEAR to see those tulips bloom year after year.  For whatever reason, you are patient and understand the process.

If you grow a vegetable garden, you will wait months for most of your vegetables to produce something that you can actually eat.  Yet, you forge on – you put in the time preparing the soil, watering, weeding, pruning, etc.  You UNDERSTAND there’s a process involved to get the RESULT you want.

If you garden, you KNOW the fruit (the thing you want the most) comes at the END of the work.  You also know that to keep GETTING that fruit, you must continue to take care of that plant.  You don’t just pick tomatoes once and call it done.  Day after day, you do what it takes for that plant to keep producing for you.  You are A-OK putting in the time and effort to get the results what you want….knowing they are NOT immediate….but come after weeks to months.

By this time…..

It’s probably obvious what I’m trying to do here.

Everywhere I look, I try to see parallels between what we do in life and the weight loss journey.  What lessons can we learn?  What skills that we already KNOW, or already DO, can be applied to our efforts to lose weight?

Friends, this is what I try to do – show you that weight loss doesn’t have to be anything that starts from scratch.

I guarantee we all have things within our lives, like gardening, that require many of the exact same skills it takes to be successful at weight loss.  And, remember, that has nothing to do with “you didn’t tell me what to eat.”

It has to do with routines…habits…mindset!

It’s all about how you LOOK at the task at hand.

If you’re ready….

If you’re ready to learn more about what skills you already have that can help you with your weight loss journey – book a call with me.  If I can’t help you, I’ll try my best to point you in the right direction.

Find my book on AMAZON

Did you know there are 4 things you’ve probably NEVER THOUGHT OF that can rapidly destroy your weight loss efforts?   Yep – sure enough…just when things are going well these things can sneak up and you are suddenly fighting for your dieting life.

Well, I guess I shouldn’t use the phrase “sneak up”…because all of these are things we actually invite into our lives.  We simply may not realize their impact in our lives.

Your Diet is Not Only What You Eat

I’m talking about general CONSUMPTION…not what we eat per say, but all the things we consume as humans in today’s society.   In other words, what we allow our energy to be spent on and where we place our attention.

We are bombarded with nonstop INPUT from all directions nowadays.  Our subconscious minds are constantly trying to filter out what’s important and what isn’t.  Yet, we tend to focus on topics that are relevant to our lives at this moment.

So, here are 4 things that can sabotage your weight loss efforts before you even realize it.

1. What You Watch

What are you allowing yourself to watch?  Are you stopping to watch the gooey goodness on that Facebook video highlighting double chocolate brownies?  Do you find yourself drawn to IG photos of people with body types you’ll never have (…genetics!).

Being mindful of the video content we are exposed to is extremely important….video is THE way to get a message across nowadays!  Why is it so popular??  Because it works!

Look at who you follow on social media – if you find you are constantly exposed to negativity, violence, sub-optimal foods, etc – maybe consider an “unfollow” here or there.  The same is true for the programs you choose to watch….  If you are left feeling lonely, empty, or depressed after watching a program or movie – maybe opt for comedies, documentaries, etc.

2. What You Hear

Did you hear about Sally?  She lost 30 lbs in a month and did literally nothing except eat lettuce topped with ice cubes.  She’s the happiest she’s been in years and feels great!  Obviously, you should do exactly what Sally did!

The ability to filter out BS comes with age and experience – but, to avoid exposing oneself to worthless content we must fine-tune that skill!  People will pay attention to whatever is an emotional topic in their lives at the moment.  For example – want to lose weight?  You’ll subconsciously pay attention to anything you hear about weight loss. It’s just how we work.  Another example – if you discover a car you think you may like, you suddenly notice them everywhere.  You’ll fixate on that car and turn your attention to it every time you see one on the road.  That car will consume your attention and energy even if it’s a complete LEMON!

Recognizing when a conversation has no value to you, and could actually cause you harm, is a powerful skill.  Being able to tune-out the static and focus on what really hits our ears is essential to avoiding content that does nothing more than use up our precious, limited energy!

3. What You Read

When I was traveling a lot for work, I always had to have something to read or watch on the plane.  One afternoon, I was looking for something to read in an airport shop and was browsing the magazines.

I took a step back, suddenly realizing that there wasn’t one single thing on that magazine display that would bring me any sort of joy.  In fact, every one would likely leave me with more thoughts of how I wasn’t good enough, thin enough, or rich enough.  I’ve not bought a magazine since!

Given we have this little do-hickey called the “internet”…we can read about any topic under the sun any time we want.  We can search a topic and read countless articles until we find one on page 43 that tells us what we want to hear.  All the while, we’ve spent time and valuable energy consuming information that likely has very little value – if it’s not straight up harmful!

4. Who We Hang Around

I’ve always said there are two kinds of people:  Energy Givers and Energy Suckers.  Are you hanging out with people who make you feel energized and vibrant?  Or, are you finding yourself exhausted and spent after socializing with certain people because they’ve sucked the life out of you?

Obviously, we can’t just get rid of everyone that may provoke some negative feelings in us.  Chances are, those are people we love and we simply have to learn how to set boundaries.  But, if you seem to keep having to explain over and over to your friends why hitting Dunkin’ Donuts in the mornings isn’t great for your weight loss plan – yet they aren’t willing to try a new place – maybe it’s time to reconsider your people or your routines.

It is incredibly common for people who undergo major life changes, including getting healthy, to be forced to find new friends and hangouts.  If your friends or loved ones aren’t willing to grow with you and the changes you need to make for your health – these relationships need to be reconsidered.  Or, at the very least, they need to be limited to specific times and places.

Your Diet is Not Only What You Eat

Your “diet” is the sum of all that you consume – physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally.

Taking a good, hard look at the content and influences surrounding you is a great way to find hidden motivation, time, and energy thieves.  Be mindful of the content you invite into your life – and we truly do INVITE these things into our lives if we are not eliminating them.  We all have only 24 hours in the day and we have a finite amount of energy. Protecting those valuable assets is essential to have the time and energy required for your priorities and success.

If you are ready to get serious about weight loss and want to stop the endless cycle of dieting, check out my book and online program.

Click here to get a FREE 7-day KETO Meal Plan!

You totally want to ditch your scale, don’t you?

I mean, that number you see on there doesn’t define you (obviously)….you know that, RIGHT?

What you weigh does matter but only to a certain extent. Did you know that waist circumference can be a better indicator of your health risks?

Let’s look at your waist circumference (well…you look at yours and I’ll look at mine).

Waist Circumference (AKA “Belly Fat”):

Do you remember the fruity body shape descriptions being like an “apple” or a “pear”?  The apple is kinda round around the middle (you know – belly fat-ish, kinda beer belly-ish) and the pear is rounder around the hips/thighs.

THAT is what we’re talking about here.

Do you know which shape is associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea, blood sugar issues (e.g. insulin resistance and diabetes) and heart issues (high blood pressure, blood fat, and arterial diseases)?  

Yup – that apple!

And it’s not because of the subcutaneous (under the skin) fat that you may refer to as a “muffin top”.  The health risk is actually due to the fat inside the abdominal cavity covering the liver, intestines, and other organs there.

This internal fat is called “visceral fat” and that’s where a lot of the problem actually is.  It’s this “un-pinchable” fat.  

The reason the visceral fat can be a health issue is because it releases fatty acids, inflammatory compounds, and hormones that can negatively affect your blood cholesterol, blood sugars, and blood pressure.

Apple-shaped people tend to have a lot more of this hidden visceral fat than pear-shaped people do.

So as you can see, where  fat is stored can be more important than how much you weigh.

Am I an apple or a pear?

It’s pretty simple to find out if you’re in the higher risk category or not. The easiest way is to just measure your waist circumference with a measuring tape.  You can do it right now.

Women, if your waist is 35” or more you could be considered to have “abdominal obesity” and be in the higher risk category. Pregnant ladies are exempt, of course.

For men the number is 40”. 

Of course this isn’t a diagnostic tool. There are lots of risk factors for chronic diseases.  Waist circumference is just one of them.

If you find yourself measuring at or around these numbers, please schedule an appointment to discuss with your physician. You can also find a specialized weight loss physician to help you via the ABOM website. These are physicians, such as myself, who have extra training and certification in weight-loss medicine.

Tips for helping reduce visceral fat:

  • Eat more fiber.  Fiber can help reduce belly fat in a few ways. First of all it helps you feel full and also helps to reduce the amount of calories you absorb from your food. Some examples of high-fiber foods are brussel sprouts, flax and chia seeds, avocado, and blackberries.
  • Add more protein to your day.  Protein reduces your appetite and makes you feel fuller longer.  It also has a high TEF (thermic effect of food) compared with fats and carbs and ensures you have enough of the amino acid building blocks for your muscles.
  • Nix added sugars. This means ditch the processed sweetened foods especially sodas and juice (even 100% pure juice).
  • Move more.  Get some aerobic exercise.  Lift some weights.  Walk and take the stairs.  It all adds up. Moving means getting up outta that chair at least every 45 minutes and walking around, stretching, marching in place, etc. Just MOVE.
  • Stress less. Seriously!  Elevated levels in the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to increase appetite and drive abdominal fat.
  • Get more sleep.  Try making this a priority and seeing how much better you feel (and look).

My book Weight Loss that Works: Secrets to Restoring Confidence and Reclaiming Your Body is now available via KINDLE! But, if you’d still prefer the PDF form for printing, you can find that here.

Recipe (High fiber side dish): Garlic Lemon Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Serves 4

1 lb brussel sprouts (washed, ends removed, halved)

2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

dash salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.  

In a bowl toss sprouts with garlic, oil, and lemon juice.  Spread on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper.

Bake for about 15 minutes.  Toss.

Bake for another 10 minutes.

Serve and Enjoy!

Tip:  Brussel sprouts contain the fat-soluble bone-loving vitamin K.  You may want to eat them more often.


Those of you who know me already know that I get excited about stuff that’s…well….not usually exciting. One thing I get super pumped about is food prep. I like planning. I like spending a whole morning cooking and organizing my meals for the week. I like knowing that this few hours will save me a ton of time throughout the next several days. Not only is the food prepped and ready to go, but I also don’t have to spend time THINKING about it.

You know what I’m talking about…. You are either at work at 4pm wondering what’s for dinner and remembering the fridge is bare. Or, you open the fridge and it’s full…..but everything requires actual cooking and it’s already 7:30pm. The kids (and you) need fed NOW.

Both of those scenarios often have the same outcome – heading out to get something to eat. Ugh. Going out to eat is fine, but throwing your hands up and heading to the drive-thru because you’ve not planned well is the last thing you want. When we make rushed, frustrated decisions like this, rarely are they decisions that benefit us long-term.

So, I’m going to take you through my food prep from yesterday – where I cooked and/or prepped the following:

  • One whole chicken
  • A pot of paleo chili
  • A pot of beef-cabbage soup
  • An entree of chicken, baked sweet potatoes, and asparagus
  • Snacks consisting of fresh cut veggies, hummus, and salmon
  • Boiled eggs

One thing I always thought was lacking when I read about doing all this was the “little” things that truly made the tasks easier. Once prepped enough, I came up with some of these on my own so I want to mention those to you along the way.

Soups Need Time

The first thing on my agenda was to get my soups going. The paleo chili wasn’t for me, but it needs to simmer most of the day before being ready for my family. I’m not lying when I say this is the best chili I’ve ever had. It’s “paleo” so there are no beans. The other soup was on my assigned meal plan for the week from my trainer, a beef-cabbage soup. I started my morning by browning all the ground meat for these two soups, as well as cooking the vegetables that will be put in the chili.

Two crockpots later – they are both well on their way!

TIP: For the chili, I end up getting two pans dirty: the skillet that cooks the meat/veggies and the crock pot. That’s it. My whole tomatoes, sautéed veggies, and spices go into the crockpot where I then use an immersion blender to liquify it all at once. No transferring liquids between pots = no splatter.

I Ain’t No Chicken

I then set out to cook my whole chicken. Normally, I just do chicken breasts but the dark meat has some nutritional benefits, so I did the whole chicken this time. One of my favorite kitchen gadgets is my Instant Pot. We use it 3-4 times a week, and it’s always used on prep day. I have the 6-quart pot and it’s plenty big for what we use it for. I had to search for a recipe to do a whole chicken because if it comes out too dry – I won’t eat it. So, I did some searching and settled on this one. It came out PERFECTLY!! I had more than what I needed to do my own meals for the week, so the extra will be used for whatever is cooked for the kids on night.

TIP: One of the things that the recipe calls for is to let the chicken cook in a bit of oil at high temps before starting the pressure. Obviously you need to do both sides. In the past, I’ve had one helluva time getting the chicken back out of the Instant Pot to turn it over. It’s hot! However, a few months ago, I bought these nifty little things because our oven mitts kept getting super gross and washing them never seemed to get them clean. (Okay, full disclosure – I’ve gone the silicone direction for a ton of things in the kitchen lately!) With these babies, I was able to simply reach down and removed the chicken, flip it over, and gently set it back inside the IP. I then just washed off the gloves!

Veggies & Hummus & Salmon

My veggies were then cut up while all that was busy cooking. This week, I chose zucchini (yes, I eat it raw), red bell peppers, sugar snap peas, green beans, and asparagus.

Nothing fancy here – I just cut them up and measured out 2 cups and put them in containers with a small soufflé cup of hummus. One thing I’ve noticed since I’ve been eating hummus again (besides the fact that I love it) is that many brands are super thick. Hummus is expensive!

TIP: Use a good quality oil to dilute your hummus if you find it’s too thick. I like mine with a lighter consistency and the additional oil will not change the taste at all. Also, always read the label when you purchase hummus! There should be NO SUGAR!

As for the salmon…I eat salmon nearly every day. Three ounces in the afternoon with some veggies. I’ve discovered that my Instant Pot can take frozen salmon and have it done in 4 minutes! (Obviously, there’s the additional time to bring it up to pressure.) FOUR MINUTES! I put the frozen salmon fillets on the trivet, set the timer for 4 minutes, and walk away. I use a bit of lemon pepper seasoning for the salmon.

The Dreaded SCALE!!!

Calm down!

I’m talking about a food scale.

I used to have a plastic dial-type scale but recently upgraded to a digital scale since I started measuring and weighing nearly everything I ate. My meats typically get prepped in 3-ounce serving sizes…..MUCH easier to do with a digital scale. (The scale I’ve linked about has over 14K reviews on amazon. I don’t own this one – I got mine at Target.)

My containers, digital scale (to the far right), silicone oven mitts, crock pots, Instant Pot….

Putting It All Together

I wish I could say that assembly is easy, but I find it to be the most difficult part of food prep because I simply don’t have enough room in the fridge for every meal or snack to have it’s own container. I also wish I could say that I used awesome glass prep containers, but I don’t. I use plastic. These are the best I could find, and are also economical and easy to clean. If I’m just going back and forth to the office for the day, I use these. If I’m packing for night shifts, I use my 6-Pack Fitness containers with the actual cooler as these don’t fit as well in my cooler.

However, as I look up the links for you, I’m wishing I’d noticed THESE!!! How fun! I may have to order!

Time Spent Now = Freedom Tomorrow

I can’t stress enough how much time all this will save me this week. You guys know my schedule! It’s either commit to this, or I may as well not even try. I’d much rather commit!

I feel better. It’s much less stressful to NOT think about my food all week. Plus, if some of this can double for the family meals – it’s even better.

*My book – Weight Loss that Works: Secrets to Restoring Confidence and Reclaiming Your Body is now available on KINDLE! And, it will be available in paperback shortly! I’m overlooking the proof as we speak.

*Some of the links above are “affiliate links” – meaning I get a small percentage if you order the product. This does not cost you any extra! Please note that I do not endorse products that I’ve not used myself. If I’ve not used them, the text will say so.

The word “metabolism” is thrown around a lot these days.  I’m sure you’ve heard that if yours is too slow you can gain weight.

But what exactly does this mean?

Well technically “metabolism” is the term to describe all of the biochemical reactions in your body.  It’s how you take in nutrients and oxygen and use them to fuel everything you do – even the things going on in the background like thinking and digesting your food.

Your body has an incredible ability to grow, heal, and stay alive.  And without this amazing biochemistry, humans probably would not have lasted long on the planet.

Metabolism includes how the cells in your body:

  • Allow activities you can control (e.g. physical activity etc.).
  • Allow activities you can’t control (e.g. heart beat, wound healing, processing of nutrients & toxins, etc.).
  • Allow storage of excess energy for later.

So when you put all of these processes together, it’s no secret that they can be “off” for one reason or another, resulting in a metabolism that is too slow or too fast.

Which brings us to the “metabolic rate”.

Metabolic rate is simply how fast your metabolism works and is measured in calories (yup, those calories!).

The calories you eat can go to one of three places:

  • Work (i.e. exercise and other activity).
  • Heat (i.e. from all those biochemical reactions).
  • Storage (i.e. extra leftover “unburned” calories stored as fat).

As you can imagine the more calories you burn, the easier it is to lose and maintain weight because there will be fewer “excess” calories to store for later.

Metabolic rate has several components, but one is the “resting metabolic rate” (RMR) which is how much energy your body uses when you’re not being physically active.  Your RMR has a lot to do with internal processes and, to a large extent, is something you may not have a large amount of control over.

Another aspect of metabolic rate is the “total daily energy expenditure” (TDEE) which measures both the resting metabolic rate as well as the energy used for “work” (e.g. exercise, fidgeting, walking to your car, chasing the kids) throughout a 24-hour period.  You do have control over the TDEE by choosing activities throughout the day that add to the overall energy burn.

What affects your metabolic rate?

Well, if you have a few days to learn it all…… KIDDING!  But, in all seriousness – there is a lot that goes into metabolism.


The first thing you may think of is your thyroid. This gland at the front of your throat releases hormones to tell your body to “speed up” your metabolism.  Of course, the more thyroid hormone there is the faster things will work and the more calories you’ll burn at rest.

Your size

Larger people have higher metabolic rates.  That only makes sense, right?  Think about it, an NFL linebacker is going to have different energy (food) requirements than a jockey.

Body composition

Pop Quiz:  What is more metabolically active – muscle or fat?

Obviously – muscle!  So the more muscle mass you have, the more energy your body can burn and the higher your metabolic potential.  Even when you’re not working out.  This is exactly why weight training is often recommended as a part of a weight loss program.  Because you want muscles to be burning those calories for you, even at REST.

You’ve heard of passive income, right?  Well, this is like passive metabolism!

Weight loss

With weight loss the metabolic rate often takes a dive.  While this is natural, we want to minimize this as much as possible. One way to offset that is by working hard to put on more muscle mass.  Aerobic exercise also temporarily increases your metabolic rate because your muscles are burning fuel to move


Your body actually burns calories to absorb, digest, and metabolize your food.  This is called the “thermogenic effect of food” (TEF).  You can use it to your advantage when you understand how your body metabolizes foods differently.

Fats, for example increase your TEF by 0-3%; carbs increase it by 5-10%, and protein increases it by 15-30%.  By trading some of your fat or carbs for lean protein you can slightly increase your metabolic rate.

But hold on!   Don’t go thinking these increases can substitute for the moving and activity you should be doing. They are but one small part of the big picture.

Another bonus of protein is that your muscles need it to grow.  By working them out and feeding them what they need they will help you to lose weight and keep it off.


Don’t forget the mind-body connection. Plenty of research exists that shows the influence things like stress and sleep have on your metabolic rate.   While these things affect the metabolism indirectly by altering many of the body’s hormonal processes, they can make quite a difference!

Metabolism can change

Understanding metabolism is like parenting a toddler – the second you think you have it figured out, something changes and what you thought was working…. suddenly doesn’t.   We age, have illness, have babies, work nights, etc….   Our lives change and so does our body’s response to that change.

Aside from obtaining you Ph.D in metabolism physiology, the best thing you can do is make sure you are fueling yourself with appropriate, whole foods and stay as active as you can.  Strength training and flexibility are two important keys to longevity and being able to stay active as you age.

You can learn more about dealing with your changing metabolism in my new ebook coming out in October! Click here to find out more or to be notified when the ebook is available. 

Recipe (Lean Protein): Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken Breasts

Serves 4

2 lemons, sliced

1 tablespoon rosemary

1 tablespoon thyme

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)

dash salt & pepper

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive old

Preheat oven to 425F.  Layer ½ of the lemon slices on the bottom of a baking dish.  Sprinkle with ½ of the herbs and ½ of the sliced garlic.

Place the chicken breasts on top and sprinkle salt & pepper.  Place remaining lemon, herbs and garlic on top of the chicken.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Cover with a lid or foil.

Bake for 45 minutes until chicken is cooked through. If you want the chicken to be a bit more “roasty” then remove the lid/foil and broil for another few minutes (watching carefully not to burn it).

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can add a leftover sliced chicken breast to your salad for lunch the next day!

Check out my new ebook that is sure to PREPARE you for your next diet!

Weight loss starts with your MIND…not with your BEHIND!

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