Who’s Ready for Summer?

Looking for ways to navigate all the summer BBQ’s and parties? 

I’m sure I speak for many of us (at least those of us in Ontario) when I say “bring on summer!”  I think we’ve had just about enough of the winter weather and are getting excited about what the summer will bring.  I know I am!  I love everything about summer; the sun, the hot weather, the beach, the family BBQ’s and all the other social gatherings that are sure to come with the warmer months.  I know many of us might get a bit anxious about the food that we will consume at all these social gatherings especially if you’re working towards a goal.  The seasons and life does not stop because we are working towards something.  So rather than fight it, why not embrace it?  Here is one fresh summer recipe that you can bring to any family BBQ or social gathering and not feel guilty about eating it.  You will be the hit of the party!

Quinoa Salad

Summer Fresh Quinoa Salad


1-2 cups of uncooked quinoa (depending on big the party is)

1 can of black beans

1 small zucchini

2 cups of baby kale

1 bell pepper in each colour (red, yellow, orange)

1 can of corn niblets

2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. of white wine vinegar

1 tbsp. of Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste


Cook quinoa according to package.  Allow to cool completely (usually about 1 hour) in a large glass bowl.  Drain and thoroughly rinse black beans and add them in.  Using a mandolin or a steady hand and a sharp knife, thinly slice the small zucchini and toss it in the bowl.  Wash and finely chop the baby kale.  Add to the mixture in the bowl.  Remove the seeds from each pepper and chop into small chunks.  Toss the chopped peppers into the bowl.  Drain and thoroughly rinse the corn and add it to the bowl.  Toss all ingredients together in bowl and add the liquid ingredients and salt and pepper, stirring thoroughly.  You can always add more of any of the liquid ingredients as per your taste buds.  And voila!  Great way to get a healthy meal that looks bright and fresh and tastes amazing!  See below for the macros for the whole salad (using 1 cup of uncooked quinoa).

1261 calories, 211g carbs, 58g protein, 23g fats

This salad makes 8 servings, serving size is 1 cup so the macros for one serving is below:

158 calories, 26g carbs, 7g protein, 2.8g fats


If you’re looking for more fun recipes for summer or for any other time of the year, sign up for my blog www.myflexibledieting.blog so you don’t miss out!

Happy cooking!


What’s All the Hype About Water?

We’ve all heard the saying “you should drink 8-10 glasses of water per day.”  Has anybody ever told you why?  Is it because it’s good for you?  Why is it good for you?  Is 8-10 glasses even accurate?  So often the general population does things simply because someone has said it’s good for you.  But how often do we really question those theories?

It’s true, water is good for you.  Water is actually the second most important nutrient (yes it is a nutrient)!  Our bodies are comprised of 60-80% water and not just our flesh.  Here are some fun facts about how much water our body is comprised of; the brain is comprised of 95% water, the blood is comprised of 82% water, the lungs are comprised of 92% water, our muscles are comprised of 70+% water, our bones are comprised of 25% water and our fat is comprised of 20% water.  That’s a whole lot of water!  I think it’s starting to become clear why water is so important for us.

So what does all this wonderful water do?  There are some pretty basic functions of water in the body.  Water is the primary component of ALL cells, tissues and organs!  Water also plays a critical role in our metabolism, circulation, maintenance of pH level, body temperature, neurological function and of course excretion.  It serves as a lubricant in our bodies and is the basis of the fluids that surround our joints.  Basically, our bodies depend heavily on water for a number of reasons.

Did you know that water is a natural appetite suppressant and it helps to metabolize fat?  What?!  Does that mean consuming an appropriate amount of water helps with fat loss and managing our weight?  Oh yes it does!!!  How?

Hydrating the body properly makes exercising much easier and it’s absolutely 100% necessary when we are adding lean muscle mass.  Remember muscles are over 70% water.  When the body is dehydrated, it actually slows down the fat burning activity of muscles and fat cells.  Dehydration is seen as a threat by the body so in an attempt to compensate, the body holds on to every last drop of water it can and this can lead to that bloated feeling or water retention.  It’s actual the complete opposite of what the general population thinks; more water equals less water retention and bloating!  As if that’s not enough, dehydration leads to a decrease in blood volume which results in a reduced supply of blood and oxygen to the muscles, which leads to feeling tired!

Would you believe there are even more benefits to drinking adequate amounts of water?  Well here they are!  There are several health issues that may be helped by drinking more water.  Heartburn, arthritis, back pain, angina and heart pain, asthma, migraines and high blood pressure.  The list is endless but I’ll stop there.  I think it’s becoming crystal clear why it is so important to consume enough water.

Wait, do you want to hear more?  There are studies that show consuming at least 8 glasses (250mL) of water per day reduces the incidence of colon cancer by 45%, reduces the incidence of bladder cancer by 50% and reduces the incidence of breast cancer by a staggering 79%!  Wow!!!  Why wouldn’t you want to drink adequate amounts of water?


Drink water frequently throughout the day because by the time you are thirsty, you are already moderately dehydrated.  So what is an adequate amount?  0.5 to 1 ounce per pound of bodyweight!  So if you weigh 140lbs. you should be consuming between 70-140 ounces per day!  I would err on the side of caution and drink 140 ounces (which is essentially 4 litres).  Dehydration at various stages can lead to some serious health issues and if allowed to progress beyond a 10% loss, it could be fatal!

It’s such a simple thing to drink more water throughout the day and the fact that it has SO many health benefits, and helps to prevent a number of health issues should be our motivator to do it!

What are you waiting for?  Go grab yourself a big glass of water!  Cheers to your health!


Do You Supplement?

There are many views and opinions about supplementing our nutrition.  For those new to the game of supplements, they can be extremely valuable and can add significant benefits to our lives with respects to our health.  They must be used appropriately and we must understand what supplements can do for us.

Why take supplements?  There are many reasons to add supplements to our daily nutrition.  For some, it is because they are under a significant amount of physical or mental stress.  For others it is because they feel tired, fatigued, rundown, anxious, depressed, forgetful, apathetic or simply not quite right.  Other reasons might be if someone is under any significant amount of environmental stress (i.e. pollutants or noise), if someone has digestive issues, if someone has immune system problems or challenges or simply because someone chooses to proactively enhance their health and prevent disease.  For me personally, I choose to add supplements in order to stay healthy and at the top of my game.

So what supplements should we use?  I’m sure there are many recommendations and differences of opinions but my suggestions are the following:

Protein – as mentioned before, protein is by far the most important macronutrient that our bodies require.  Without it, we cannot thrive.  Depending on your goals, there is a wide variety of protein supplements to suit your needs, we just need to do our research.

Fiber – ideally, we should be having a bowel movement everyday for each meal that we regularly consume.  I know what you’re thinking, that might sometimes be 3 or 4 times a day!  Perhaps that doesn’t seem feasible or even right, but we should at least have 1 bowel movement per day.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) – these are things like Omega 3’s, 6’s and 9’s.  Did you know that by cooking foods we severely damage the essential fatty acids that occur naturally in some foods?  Processing food does the same.  Since it’s unlikely that we will all go around eating only raw foods, it’s important to get these EFA’s from somewhere else.

Food Enzymes – when foods are cooked, the heat actually destroys an entire category of nutrients called enzymes!  These help in the digestion of food and literally perform up to 50% of the basic breakdown portion of digestion!  So taking food enzymes helps with digestive support.

Multivitamin – in this day and age, foods are primarily grown on nutrient depleted soil, so we need to make up for the lack of nutrients through a quality multivitamin.  Be weary of what you choose, do your research!  Also be aware that only 10% of the multivitamin and mineral supplements on the market are of high quality.

Vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, potassium, iodine, vitamin D3 and K2 – even the best multivitamins out there tend to not have high enough amounts of these that are required by our bodies.

Beneficial micro-organisms (or healthy bacteria) – there are over 400 species of beneficial bacteria that have been identified.  These bacteria perform many positive health functions for our bodies and they need to be replenished regularly.

Antioxidants – these are things like vitamins A, C and E and minerals such as magnesium and zinc

Adaptogens – these boost one’s response to handling stress, trauma, fatigue, etc. by enhancing our ability to maintain or regain homeostasis (which is essentially balance in our bodies).  There are many herbs that have been categorized as adaptogens (i.e. ginseng, maca, rhodiola, shwagandha, cordyceps, reishi and noni).

Who should take nutritional supplements?  That’s a great question and the list below is not exhaustive but it will give you a fairly good idea.  Pretty much all women during their childbearing years are recommended to take folic acid, calcium and iron.  Senior citizens often have reduced digestive and absorbative abilities and so should supplement their nutrition.  For obvious reasons, people who are dieting and thus in a calorie deficit, people with eating disorders, people who eat processed and fast foods often, children and teenagers with irregular eating habits and people with a history of demonstrated nutritional deficiencies should also supplement their nutrition.

In my humble opinion, everyone can benefit from nutritional supplementation and it’s up to each and every one of us to do our homework and find out what is best for our bodies.  After all we are only given one body and we must care for it!


Nutrition Labels – What to Look For

How many of you know what you are looking at when you read nutrition labels on the foods that you buy?  Have you ever wondered what some of the items or numbers mean?  Have you often said to yourself, I can’t even pronounce some of these words!  Food labels can be tricky because sometimes that’s what companies are trying to do in order to make their product more appealing.  Here’s my top 10 list (plus 1) of what I look at when I am at the supermarket:

The Ingredient List – find and read the ingredient list.  What you want to pay attention to is the order in which the ingredients are listed.  Ingredients on packaged food must be listed in order of weight.  Some of you may be aware that a trick that manufacturers use is to use 2 – 4 (or more) very similar ingredients with different names, thereby allowing them to be placed lower on the list than if a single ingredient were used.  Can you guess what the most common ingredient is that manufacturers do this with?  You guessed it sugar!  Sugar is also known as: dextrose, fructose, glucose, sucrose, invert sugar, agave syrup, corn sugar, and the list goes on!  So be weary of the ingredient list and the order in which they are listed.  If you don’t like what you see, put it back on the shelf!

Serving Size – next you want to look at the serving size.  The serving size can be deceiving when you are looking at packaged food.  Generally, we want to be able to have a larger serving size so ensure you check this out.

Calories – check out the number of calories that are in a serving size.  For some this may be where they stop depending on what they are looking for.

Fat – look at the types of fat in the product.  The type of fat is far more important than the amount of fat that is found in a particular product.  Saturated fats are not as “bad” as long as they are not trans, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated.  For those that don’t know, we do require fats in our diet in order to lose body fat!

Cholesterol – you can basically ignore this information because cholesterol is not harmful unless it is oxidized (and the label will not give you that information)

Sodium – sodium gets a bad rap for being the cause of high blood pressure.  This information is pretty useless unless someone has a sodium sensitivity.  Unless you are one of the few who have an excess of sodium, we need not be concerned with this number.

Carbohydrates – these are not the enemy, in fact, we need carbs for brain function, mood and energy.  Aim for 30 grams per meal and 30-40% of your daily calories.  Again, this is where you want to ensure you know the serving size.

Fiber – in general, the more fiber, the better.  This is actually listed under the carbohydrate section but it really shouldn’t be.  We generally do not get enough fiber in our diets.

Sugars – as mentioned it comes in many different terms.  We always want to aim to keep this number as low as possible.  Go for single digits per serving size.

Proteins – this is a very important number to look at.  We all know that protein is the most important macronutrient and we want to aim for about 20-30 grams per meal so that we can properly digest it.  The more sugar we consume at the same meal with protein, the more difficult it can be to digest the protein.  We want to ensure that we are able to digest the protein first and foremost as it is what will help keep us satiated.

And the bonus number 11, vitamins and minerals – in most cases, the amounts provided are negligible.  Unfortunately, because our soil has been depleted, in many cases the food simply does not have the level of nutrients it once had.  This is where nutrition supplementation comes into play, which I will discuss in my next blog!

So the next time you are at the supermarket, take a look at the food labels on the packaged food items you buy, you may rethink what you put in your cart!

Cheers to your health!



Eating Organic on a Budget

It’s so expensive to eat healthy.  Packaged and processed foods are so much more affordable and easy.  Have you said this to yourself or others?  I have to say I used to say the same thing.  While it is more costly to buy organic, it is even more costly when you are suffering from several health issues.

I love to look at flyers!  I am by no means a coupon queen but I do seek out the best deals when it comes to the food I buy.  So when I’m heading to the supermarket, I am already armed with where to buy the items on my grocery list for the best price.  Granted, if you live in the larger cities, this might not be a viable or even cost effective option however, I’m going to share with you my tips on how to buy organic and eat healthy on a budget.

Meat!  There are a couple ways I save when buying antibiotic and hormone free meat.  Buying in bulk actually costs less.  Supermarkets often have specials where you save even more when you buy more than one.  Invest in a good deep freezer if you don’t already have one.  The other option that I have explored is to purchase the actual animal for raising.  Just this past year, my family and I decided (because we all love beef so much) that we would share the cost of buying our own cow.  We were responsible for providing the feed (which was all grain or grass) and we were also responsible for paying the butcher to do his work.  This was by far the best way to get the best meat for a great price!  When you share the cost, it actually is cheaper than buying your meat weekly.  You can do this with any animal, as long as there is someone in the area that provides this service.  In my research I have found that there is a farmer in every town!

Grow your own garden!  Now I am not a green thumb by any means but the wonderful thing about packets of seeds for vegetables is that they have the instructions right on the packet!  These are pretty fail safe!  And you don’t need a big greenhouse or outdoor garden to do this.  I have used laundry totes, window boxes and even empty Greek yogurt containers to start my plants and grow anything from peppers to romaine lettuce!  As long as you can create the environment the vegetables need, it can be done!  Now before you say, “well I live in a condo and I have no space to do this,” I will tell you that I have seen it happen!  I have a couple of friends who both live in small condos or apartments, either with a large balcony, a small balcony or no balcony at all and they have grown their own vegetable garden with much success!  And the trick is to grow enough of it so you can freeze some for later!  You will always know what you put into your own soil and there would be no need to spray with pesticides!

Depending on what climate you live in, you can also grow your own fruit.  Strawberries grow like wildfire if cared for properly.  As do raspberries.  I’ve also had a plum tree in my back yard and I live in Sault Ste. Marie, a small little northern Ontario town!  We don’t have the absolute best weather for growing a large variety of fruit, but we can certainly get some.  And with the others, check out your local farmer’s market.  Failing that, buy on sale at the supermarket.

Finally, filtered water does not just come out of the tap for most, if not all of us.  Rather than buying cases upon cases of filtered water, invest in a filter that you attach to your tap.  Chances are you will be saving tons more money in the long run with this option.  Not to mention, we will also be helping to save our already damaged planet.  That seems pretty simple right?

How much will you save?


If you’re anything like me, you sometimes struggle against an all or nothing mentality or attitude.  You are either all the way in or all the way out.  There doesn’t seem to be a happy medium or any forgiveness for missteps along the way.  We can apply this mindset to  anything really but I am speaking specifically about how it relates to diet and nutrition.

For many years I was a yo-yo dieter trying the latest fad of diet in the hopes of achieving the physique I wanted.  I would start a program, have some success and if something went wrong or “got in the way” of my achieving my goal, I would completely give up because, well, what’s the point if I’ve already messed up right?  Perhaps that was my way of playing it safe; if I don’t succeed too much, then nobody will notice so then I won’t have to “keep up appearances” or disappoint anyone.  My mentality was truly all or nothing.

I did not believe that to achieve the physique I was after meant to I could have things like chips, chocolate, doughnuts, or pasta.  If at any point I “succumbed” to the desire to have these things, I felt as though it was all over, that there was no point in continuing on this path to a leaner, healthier me.

This went on for several years; if I had to count, I would say at least 10 years.  I made myself a prisoner to my diet with no chance of escaping.  I did not think that I would ever be able to free myself of my diet prison, especially if I wanted a leaner physique.
So, over the years, I tried everything, every fad diet and new gimmick.  I followed the South Beach Diet, the Atkins Diet, the Suzanne Somers Diet, the Biggest Loser Diet and even this crazy diet my mom had on the fridge at home (3 days at 900 calories per day and 4 days at 1200 calories per day)!  You’re probably asking yourself, what kind of way is this to live?  I certainly was miserable for a good portion of those 10 years.

So what happened?  In recent years, I became more and more interested in trying to find a way that I could achieve my physique goals and live the life I have been longing to live.  I wasn’t ready to give up on trying to find a strategy that works (that’s my competitive and stubborn nature kicking in)!  Through much research, continuing education and a truly amazing coach (Coach JVB), I discovered a flexible dieting strategy that wasn’t like a diet at all!  If the food fit into my macros, I could eat it.  Surprisingly enough, the minute I stopped telling myself “I can’t eat that” it became easier to achieve my goals.

For those that have heard about If it Fits Your Macros (IIFYM), it truly was the strategy that allowed me to break free from my own diet prison.  The premise is really quite simple; if I can fit the food I am after into my daily macronutrient ratio, I have it!  Most, if not all foods fit into one of the three macros (protein, carbohydrates, and fats).  This opened up a world of variety and flexibility when it comes to food.  It took away the “forbidden fruit” idea because I stopped telling myself “I can’t have that.”  I changed my language.  If I wanted to have something, I would.  I’m sure we’ve all experienced this; when we are told that we cannot have something, we want it even more.  When you tell yourself you can have whatever you want, it takes away the appeal.

So now, my days consist of whole, healthful foods that I enjoy and if I feel like incorporating things like Kettle Cooked Salt and Vinegar chips, I know exactly how to make them fit!  I have them with NO guilt!

Stay tuned for more on the flexible dieting strategy and how to achieve your own goals!


Yippee for holidays and tropical vacations!  When you live in a cold climate it is so much fun to escape to a tropical paradise on the other side of the world!  Or is it???

If you are in the midst of changing your eating habits and behaviours in order to achieve a particular goal, you may think that a vacation just isn’t in the cards until you’ve reached that goal.  Why stop living life to the fullest just because you are on a journey to a healthier lifestyle?  I’m sure by now you’ve realized that time does not stop and wait for you to achieve your goals.  Life always seems to get in the way.

Rather than fret over how you will manage your food during your spectacular vacation, embrace the opportunity to be creative and try things you have never tried before.

I’m going to share with you my top 5 tips on how to manage your goals and use flexible dieting strategies while travelling and away on vacation.

Tip #1:  Pack snacks and lots of them.  I’m sure we’ve all been on that flight that gets delayed multiple times and all of a sudden we are forced to spend countless hours in an airport.  I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen anything fantastic in the way of options at airport food shops.  There aren’t always on plan items available in airports and often times you will find food items that have been packaged and have been sitting out all day.  So what do you bring with you?  Good quality protein bars (something like Interactive Nutrition bars are always a great option because it has a decent serving of protein and carbohydrates in one bar).  Nuts (like almonds and cashews) are also a great option and are allowed when travelling.  Depending on where you’re travelling to, fruit that will easily last out of the fridge for a day or two is always a good choice (i.e. apples, plums, nectarines).  Finally, you will often be able to find a decent salad with mixed greens and a standard protein option (like chicken breast) in most airport restaurants.  Just ask for one with the dressing on the side so you can still get your greens while travelling.

Tip #2:  Drink plenty of water!  I know this means that you will have to frequent the washroom but it’s better than feeling dehydrated, swollen and cranky when you are travelling.  With the rules about not bringing liquids more than 100mL through security, it just means that you will have to buy water when you’ve gone through security.  Most, if not all airports (with the exception of places like Kenora) have a canteen, vending machine or other pop up shops that sell bottled water.  What I do is bring my empty 1 litre refillable bottle with me so it’s easier for me to keep track of what I’m drinking.  Depending on how much time I have before boarding, I will usually buy a few bottles and keep refilling my own water bottle.  Unless you’re flying Bearskin Airlines, there is always a washroom on the plane and if you’re flying long haul flights, there’s usually at least 4 of them.

Tip #3:  Do your research!  Depending on where you’re travelling to and how long you will be there, you can easily research the types of restaurants and food shops that are available in the area. For example, there may be a nearby grocery store that you can shop at if you are staying somewhere that has a full kitchen.  Or, you can review the restaurants that have a variety of foods available.  Again, depending on how long you will be away, you can also research whether or not the place you are visiting has meal prep places (similar to JW Foods Meal Butler in Scarborough, Ontario).  You can easily create a custom meal plan from the many options they have.  For example, I am currently in Adelaide, Australia for another 4 weeks.  Rather than spend my entire vacation cooking and meal prepping, I researched meal prep places and found several.  I reviewed their options online and chose one that allowed me to create my own meals based on my calorie and macronutrient breakdown!  It gets delivered right to my door, packaged and ready to heat up and eat! Score!

Tip #4:  Know your stuff!  If you are working on a certain caloric and macronutrient breakdown, know what that breakdown is and learn to identify what the three macronutrients are (protein, carbohydrates and fats).  If you have been doing this for awhile, chances are you have become excellent at guesstimating what 90g of chicken is.  Or if you don’t want to leave too much of it to fate, bring along a pocket or travel food scale.  They are easy to get (on Amazon or at any kitchen store) and super easy to travel with!  They will fit in your carry on, in your purse or some will even fit in your pocket!  If I am going to use the pocket scale, I always make sure I can get my hands on a plastic cup or bowl that I can easily discard once I’ve weighed out my food.  Again, that’s if I choose to weigh my food.  The idea behind flexible dieting is to learn about what foods fall into what categories and to ensure that you control your portions.  It’s very important to remember, that with this tip you may not be 100% on all the time and that’s perfectly okay!  Always be cognizant of how much you are eating.

Tip #5:  Do not overthink it!  While it is important to have goals in life, it is equally important to enjoy life and all the wonderful things it has to offer.  Do not obsess or overthink the choices you will make while away on vacation.  The key is to choose responsibly, indulge a little and control the things you can.  It’s one thing to have complete disregard for the foods and beverages you consume while on vacation.  It’s another to be strategic and responsible with your choices.  It’s really not that difficult.

So where are we travelling to next?


Jekyll vs. Hyde

I remember all too clearly my very Italian grandmother always encouraging me to eat every time we were over at her house.  For those that don’t know, food in the Italian culture is what brings families together.  As a child growing up in an Italian household, there was never a time where I went without as far as food was concerned.

Going back to my comment about my grandmother; even though she encouraged me to eat, she would also ask me “why can’t you be skinny like your sister?”  To a young girl growing up, who always struggled with her weight, this was quite hurtful.  Although I know my grandmother did not mean it in a harmful way at all, that is just part of the culture.  Or so I thought…..

If you tell someone who is overweight or obese to love their body or love their size no matter what, isn’t that the same as encouraging  an alcoholic or a heroin addict to love their addiction?  In my research, obesity related deaths are among the same numbers as those deaths related to alcoholism.  Similar to alcohol, food can be an addiction as well and I think it’s time we start seeing that reality.

Can we really say that food addictions are not really addictions in the traditional sense of the word?  It ultimately is a choice we make.  Sometimes we make the choice to eat in order to numb painful feelings, or to cope with stress in our lives, or even to create a temporary high like gambling or shopping can.

It can be quite challenging to navigate the conflicting emotions that we go through when attempting to make better choices for our health.  It’s almost impossible to keep our foot on the gas and on the brake at the same time.  That is, we cannot decide that we are going to exercise for three or four days and eat only whole healthful foods and then binge for two or three days thereafter.

We do not need to choose between whole healthful foods and what we consider “fun” foods.  That’s what flexible dieting is all about!  All we need is a plan, a good calculator, and a little bit of know how.  Once we have calculated what our macros are for the day, we can plug in whatever foods we wish to have that fit those macros.  For example, if I am to consume 1600 calories for the day, split between protein (130 grams), carbohydrates (138 grams) and fats (53 grams) and we know that 1 gram of protein equals 4 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates equals 4 calories and 1 gram of fats equals we can plug in the foods we wish to have that day.  Again, this does take some planning but after some time, you will become efficient at determining the macros in several foods without having to look it up.

Isn’t this a much better way of living rather than trying to please Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde separately?  This is what truly saved me from yo-yo dieting and binge eating.  Now I live a life full of energy, eating the foods I want to eat and I haven’t looked or felt better!

If you want to learn more about this strategy, please email me and we can get started on freeing you from the fight between your Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.



Weekend Strategy

The weekend is here, as is the holiday season with tons of wonderful food and drinks at many social gatherings.  What do you do?  Get anxious and completely avoid social situations for fear of falling way off plan?  Give up your journey to a healthier lifestyle because you may have an all or nothing mentality?  Or do you face the challenge head on and determine your plan of action?  I would personally choose the latter!

The weekend is not a licence to forgo everything you have worked so hard for during the week but it’s also not a time where you need to be anxious about how you will navigate social situations.  Planning a night out with the girls?  Sounds like it will be fun!  So what do you do?

Decide in advance where you are going to go for dinner.  Take a look at that restaurant’s menu (most places have their menu online).  Choose what you will have for dinner, including a dessert should you wish to.  Determine the calories and macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats) for the foods you have chosen to eat (My Fitness Pal is a great tool to help you determine and calculate the calories and macros for several hundred food items).  Knowing your total calorie and macronutrient requirements for the day, work backwards; subtract the calories and macros of your chosen dinner from your daily requirement.  With the remaining calories and macros, fill your day with whole healthful foods so you don’t feel like you’ve steered way off the tracks.

Another strategy is to use a free meal.  If you have remained 100% on plan all week, choose to have a free meal with no guilt and no shame.  Choose wisely as far as portion size is concerned and enjoy!

There is absolutely no reason why we should “sacrifice” absolutely everything in life to achieve our ideal physique.  A flexible dieting strategy will win out every time.  Yes it will certainly take time to learn it, adjust to it and master it, but I can promise you this, once you do, you will forever be free from dieting in the old school traditional sense.


Diet Prison

We are always on the hunt for that golden ticket to a leaner, healthier physique.  Do we find it in the vast array of “diets” that have flooded the media?  Do we find it in something that our parents have taught us?  Or do we find it in a flexible strategy that allows us to be free of what my coach calls diet prison.

I have been a prisoner of many fad diets over the years resulting in my weight to drop and then creep right back up again.  I have tried them all, and followed them all very religiously.  Restricting calories, reducing carbs, increasing fats, and eating nothing but chicken and asparagus.  These diets, or ways of eating only taught me that to be healthy, it would take a lot of sacrifices, some of which led me to be very unhappy.  They did not teach me how to properly achieve the goals I was after and maintain those goals.

What happens to your metabolism when you go through periods of yo-yo dieting?  It decides to slow down dramatically and becomes damaged.  What happens when your metabolism slows down?  Your body holds on to anything you give it, thus actually gaining body fat (or weight as pop culture calls it).  Imagine this happening and not understanding why you can’t seem to get leaner when you are trying all the latest trends out there.

Fast forward several years when I finally realized that fad diets were not going to help me achieve the goals I was after, I discovered flexible dieting where I could eat a variety of foods and still have success in losing body fat and getting the lean physique I had always dreamed of.  It took a long while, but learning about what the body needs in the way of nutrients went a long way to saving me from the diet prison I had been in for several years.

I now fully understand what it means to eat flexibly, incorporating the macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) that our bodies require.  I’ve become an expert at this strategy which has helped me be free of my diet prison.

Stay tuned for more as I share my journey of going from being a prisoner of fad diets to gaining control of my life and my nutrition in a flexible way to achieve the results I was looking for.  I hope you learn as much from my journey as I did!