3 Tips to Get Out of Your Funk

I don’t know what is going on these days, but I’ve been speaking with a lot of my clients and friends who have said they are feeling “Blah!” when it comes to their jobs, their relationships (or lack thereof), their finances, their family, and their health/fitness. I don’t what it is, but I wanted to share my 3 tips that have helped me and I’ve already heard back from a few who have said my tips have helped them.

In the video below, I break it down into the following:

  1. Get Clarity in what you want.  If you are unhappy, it’s important to know exactly you are unhappy about and what exactly you want to change.
  2. Get Organized and clear the clutter. When our life, house, minds, fridge, etc is packed with clutter, it can create more anxiety and stress about the current situation and it can prevent us from seeing opportunities and possibilities to change ourselves, our situation or our perspective.
  3. Get a Goal that you can use to focus your attention and energy.  Once you know what you want to change and you have created space for change to happen, you have to take action by moving forward in a positive direction.

Watch the video to get a bit more about these tips and to help you get on track to getting out of your funk!

10 Tips to Successful Self Care

Happy girlHappy September, did you know that this month has been dubbed #SelfCareSeptember? I personally thought that this was so fitting as this month, I am focusing on Self Care and doing a the new online yoga program, 3 Week Yoga Retreat, and the 21 Day Ultimate Reset detox program. So, I figured that I would also do my best to focus on other areas of Self Care and want to challenge you to do the same.

You don’t have to do all 10 of these, but you should definitely think about adding a few these into your daily regimen, because taking care of yourself is critical.  Most people think that “Self Care” means being selfish, but I promise you, it’s the complete opposite. If you are stressed out that opens up the door to a bunch of things like poor sleeping patterns, poor eating and fitness habits, negative emotions, strained relationships and finances, and the list goes on and on. When you make self care a priority, you will find that your life is more balanced, you have more energy, and you are finding that your health, finances, relationships, and everything in between will improve!

Here are my tips for Successful Self Care

  1. Start your day with Gratitude: Gratitude is a big part of living an abundant life, when we focus on things to be grateful for, I believe, that we receive more things to be grateful for.  Find 3 things each day that you can be grateful for and if you can’t think of anything, simply waking up, having a sound mind, and an opportunity to make a positive impact in the world.
  2. Take a Morning Moment: Each morning, I take a moment to reflect on the day ahead, it helps to remove any anxiety about what is to come, but it gives me a chance to plan a head, set my intentions, and remove any negativity. My morning moment typically includes prayer, journaling, meditation, or reading the bible. Try to do one thin
  3. Eat Healthy & Nourishing Meals: The food that you put into your body is the fuel that runs your body and if you are putting junk and crap into your body, you can’t expect to have high energy to run your day.  I personally ensure that every morning my breakfast is healthy and nourishing, because that sets the tone for the rest of the day. Try adding more greens, lean protein, whole grains to your diet and limiting the processed, refined junk food for September.
  4. Fill your brain with Positivity: There is so much “crap” on the news, media, and on social media that can bog us down, but I am challenging you to fill your mind with positivity.  Each day, I read or listen to Personal Development to make sure that I’m developing myself.  You can find a podcast or audio book to listen to on the way to work or while you’re walking the dog, you can read 10 pages of a book, or even watching more positive movies and TV and listening to more positive radio stations.
  5. Drink Water: Hydration is a big part to feeling and looking great, your body uses water for a ton of reasons and a few years ago when I struggling, drinking water was a big part of feeling better.  You should aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. To spice it up, add fresh fruit to your water.
  6. Move your body for at least 30 Minutes: The idea of being holed up in a gym for hours is not necessary for getting great results, I tell my clients to simply move your body doing anything that gets your heart rate up and that you enjoy, can have the same benefits.  Find a dance or zumba class, go for a walk with a friend, or try a new fitness program. Exercise helps to reduce stress, blood pressure, and increase bone density, improve your mood, and make you feel better.
  7. Spend some time alone: In a time where we are always connected, it’s nice to be able to disconnect and spend some time with yourself to check in with yourself. It doesn’t have to be a long time, even 5 minutes of alone time can help to clear your mind and provide a bit of peace in a stressful day.  I like to sit outside and have a green tea or take a bath for 20 minutes or sometimes I take myself out on a date, yup a movie or dinner for one and just enjoy myself!
  8. Spend quality time with loved ones:  There is emphasis on the world “quality” when you are spending time with your family, friends, spouse, etc, it’s important that you are present in that moment. Solid connection with people, when you are present in the moment, can lift your spirits like none other. So put the phone away, let work be done with for the day (or at least that moment) and focus on the people that you are spending time with.  Take time to share about your day (the highlights), laugh over funny moments and memories, eat dinner together, or lay on the couch and watch a funny show together. Call up a friend and chat for a bit and be focused on enjoying the moment.
  9.  Spend Time In Nature: Nature recharges me and living in San Francisco, with so many beautiful hikes and trails and the bay surrounding me, has done wonders for my peace of mine.  But even if you don’t have access to a breathtaking trail, you can find a nice park or take the scenic route home and roll the windows down to enjoy nature.  One of my clients, before coming into the house after work, she sits on the hood of her car for 5 minutes to simply listen to nature – birds chirping, the insects buzzing.  Another one of my clients can witness the most perfect sunsets in the WalMart parking lot by her house. Find your way to connect with nature and let it recharge you.
  10. End your day with Peace: How you start your day and end your day matter. Ending your day with peace is a surefire way to have a restful night of sleep where your body can regenerate and you wake up feeling ready to tackle the day.  Set a “shut down” time where you turn off the TV, the phone interactions, and other connections with electronics.  Start to unwind and relax. You may want to lay out your clothes for the next day, or create your to do list for the next day so your mind isn’t buzzing about what you have to do, because you can have peace that you have a plan for tomorrow, or simply lay in bed and read a book or do a guided meditation.

Give one or all of these a try for the month of #SelfCareSeptember and see how your life changes!

How to eat healthy as a “Picky Eater” 

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I hear this all the time from clients, when we move on to talking about their diet and nutrition. And to be honest, I can’t relate, because I literally love all types of foods!  There is a very small list of foods that I don’t like to eat, which creates a completely different problem. (We will get into that in another blog post! LOL)

When I start working with a “picky eater”, my focus with them is to help them change their mindset and find solutions that will help them stay on track. Nutrition is a huge part of the transformation process and you can’t out exercise a bad diet. So, you have to get this under control if you want to get lasting results.

1.Focus on the foods that you like: I think that a lot of people get so caught up on what “healthy eating” is, and they believe that in order to be healthy they have to stick to a strict list of foods that are acceptable. I once had a client say that she couldn’t eat healthy, because she didn’t like spinach. In her mind, if she couldn’t eat what her friends were eating on their diet, it was pointless for her to even start.  So I asked her, “What foods do you like?” From there we came up with a list of foods that she does like and started to focus on creating a meal plan that included those things. So, if you don’t like kale, don’t eat kale, there are many other healthy vegetables that you can eat to stay on track. 🙂

2. Experiment with new recipes and new preparation techniques. It’s 2016, which means there is an unlimited amount of resources available to find recipes. Once you have an idea of what foods you do like, go to Google or Pinterest and type if “[FOOD YOU LIKE] Healthy Recipes” and voila! You will have a list of options that you can start to work into your daily routine. Also, try new preparation techniques, like using a Crock Pot or trying grilling your chicken instead of baking it.

3. Expand your horizons: Once you have a hang of trying new things with the foods that you like, take a step further and start to add new foods into the mix.  I don’t mean a huge overhaul, but maybe trying one new vegetable, or grain, or new way to prepare your meal.  This is one of the best ways to keep things from getting boring or stale, unless you like that (some people do like eating the same thing, because it helps to keep them on track and relieves some stress).

At the end of the day, just because you are a “picky eater”, it doesn’t mean that you are doomed when it comes to getting a handle on your nutrition.  Try these 3 tips and give it a shot!

If you are looking for a way to get a better handle on Clean Eating, check out my free Clean Eating Guide, which includes a sample meal play and grocery list that you can check out.  Click here to download the guide. 

How to Stay Healthy at Restaurants

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Eating out at a restaurant can sabotage your health and fitness goals, mainly because most restaurants serve HUGE portions and typically use tons of oils, processed ingredients and tons of salt.  While I do believe that you should cook most of your meals, I also do know that we are all human and there are many of amazing restaurants out there.

I tend to take the 80/20 Rule with my eating, where I cook 80% of my meals and go out 20% of the time.  I may not have time to cook or get invited out to eat with friends or family, or sometimes I am just craving a burger from my favorite Pub down the street. However, your progress doesn’t have to ruined, especially if you follow some of these tips that I share with my clients and practice myself:

  1. Preview the Menu before you Arrive: When you are aware of what to expect before you go, you can manage your expectations and set boundaries on what you will order.
  2. Decide on your Indulgence: If you preview the menu and see that they are famous for their Salted Caramel Cake with Cardamom Ice Cream, and you cannot pass that up, then don’t! Just make sure that you stay focused on skipping the appetizers and eating a healthier option for dinner. Think lean protein and veggies, since you’re going to indulge in the sweets/carbs.
  3. Skip the Bread: Seriously, it’s simply a waste! You will fill yourself with bread, rather than enjoying a nice meal out with friends or family.
  4. Eat Veggies Before You Go: Typically, most people don’t get adequate amounts of vegetables when they go out. Each week, I make Veggie Snack Bags, and I like to eat one before I head out to eat. This way, I’m ensuring that I”m eating the veggies I need and it also helps to make sure that I don’t overeat while I’m out.
  5. Drink a Glass of Water Ordering: This just makes sure that you don’t mistake hunger for thirst, plus it helps to prep the body for digestion.
  6. Cut your portions in half: When you order, ask the waiter to serve half of the meal on the plate and to box up the rest immediately.  It’s a great way for you to manage portions and not overeat, plus you have another meal that you can enjoy later.  Or you can share a meal with someone, trust me, restaurants serve huge portions that are meant for two people, not one.
  7. Slow Down: Going out to eat is a social and fun thing, and you should be present with your company and your food (that you didn’t have to cook!)So take your time to enjoy each bite, put the phone away, enjoy the conversations, and chew slowly.  The brain takes 20 minutes realize that you are full. So take your time to avoid overeating.
  8. Listen To Your Body: This piggy backs off of #7, but it’s important to listen to your body. Once you are full, put the fork down.  I repeat, put the fork down. Another thing to keep alert on, if you are full, don’t let anyone guilt you into “sharing” anything or “just one bite”. Also, this is not the time to hear mom or dad’s voice in your head from childhood admonishing you to finish your plate before you can leave the table. Put the fork down. 🙂
  9. Practice Grace: Now, if you ended up ignoring all of the aforementioned tips, then this one is KEY! Remember, tomorrow is brand new day and you can get back on track tomorrow and start over.  Don’t let one meal determine your success on this journey.

I hope this tips help you and give you a bit more of comfort in knowing that you can do this and be successful. 🙂

10 Sneaky Ways to Get Healthy

shutterstock_217194712Most people don’t realize that can actually be pretty easy to get healthy, the key is to remember that small changes compounded over time can lead to big results.  This is a concept I learned from reading The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. So, I wanted to share a few ways that you can actually “sneak” in healthier habits into your day.

  1. Keep Healthy Snacks EVERYWHERE: If you are surrounded by junk food, you’ll eat it when hunger strikes.  If you keep healthy foods stocked in your desk at work, glove compartment, and in your house, you will be sure to avoid giving in to junk food.
  2. Do something physical during mundane tasks: One of my clients likes to respond to emails while she is on the treadmill, it’s easy for her to do both and kills two bird with one stone.
  3. Set reminders in your phone: If you have a super busy day, it may be in your best interest to set reminders in your phone to alert you to “Get up and walk around” so you don’t sit for too long or to “drink a glass of water”.  A lot of times our days get the best of us and we simply get stuck at our desk.
  4. Schedule your workouts and meals: Piggy backing off of #3, if you plan your days and schedule your workouts and meals into your calendar, you are more inclined to respect that as a meeting with yourself and will take the time to go workout or eat a real meal.
  5. Keep a pair of sneakers nearby: If you have your Sneakers under your desk at work or in your trunk, if you find that you have some free time that comes up, you can swap out your shoes and go for a nice stroll during that break.  “Not having shoes” can no longer be your excuse!
  6. Keep Bottles of Water Visible: I tend to not drink enough water during the day, so I started to keep water bottles in visible places – on my desk, on my night stand, in my cup holder in my car, and next to the couch. This way, when I see it I’m prompted to drink more water.
  7. Create a Fitness Inducing Playlist: One of my clients needs tons of motivation to work out, so I had her create a playlist of her favorite mood boosting, booty shaking tunes. I then had her to listen to it not only when she works out, but also 30 minutes she is scheduled to work out with me so she is pumped.  She says she now listens to the playlist when she feels sluggish or unmotivated in other areas of her life.
  8. Drink Your Fruits & Veggies: If you follow me on Social Media, you know that I love Shakeology, because it gives me everything I need to get my fruits, vegetables, minerals, vitamins and more.  You can also make a Superfood Smoothie at home, here is a list of Green Smoothies that you can try.
  9. Make Fitness Social: If you are typically meeting up with your friends or having date nights that are centered around food and cocktails, maybe try to switch things up and do something physical together. Maybe date night can be a hike or ice skating, or you can swap out happy hour for going bowling or rock climbing.  It’s the perfect way to make fitness fun and it’s always better when you have a partner to do it with you!
  10. Cook More Meals at Home: Each month I run a 5 Day Clean Eating Group via Facebook and typically my challengers lose 3 – 5 pounds during that challenge. The kicker about those groups is that everyone cooks all of their meals, because I provide a meal plan with a grocery list and recipes.  When you cook your meals, you can control what goes into them and the portion sizes (which are always too big when you eat out).

When I share these tips with my clients and they begin to implement them, they find that they are more consistent with their workouts and eating clean, but also find that they feel better, tend to lose weight, and feel empowered by developing healthier habits.

If you are looking to get a better handle on developing healthy habits, send me a note on Facebook or comment below.

 

3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Reach Your Weight Loss Goals 


Many people think that there is a perfect time to get on track to lose weight and get healthy, but the reality is, “someday” usually never comes. If you are infamous for saying “I’ll start someday”, I want to give you 3 things you can do today that will get you into action to start your successful journey of losing weight and hopefully keeping it off for good! 

  1. Do a Kitchen Audit: This is one thing I do with my clients, because it forces them to take immediate action and it eliminates temptation to fall off track. We pull out everything from their fridge and pantry and go through each item to determine if we keep it, throw it away or donate it. We keep the foods that are clean and not overly processed. We throw away any expired or extremely unhealthy foods, and we donate any non-perishable goods that are not going to help them reach their goals. If there is no junk in the house, you won’t be tempted to eat it. 
  2. Start Tracking Your Food: When my clients start working with me, I ask them to write down everything the put into their mouth from breakfast to a breath mint. This helps me to get a better idea of what they are eating and to help me develop a better meal plan for them, but for the client it gives them a clear picture of how healthy they truly are eating. I find that most people believe that they eat healthier than they really do, which causes them to not take their nutrition as seriously as they should when making changes. 
  3. Make a commitment to yourself and share it with someone: We bend over backwards to make and keep our commitments to others but tend to flake on ourselves. Take a moment and think about one thing you plan to do that will lead to you being healthier and happier. Once you figure it out, write it down and then share it with someone or even better post it on Social Media and ask your network to hold you accountable. When you put it out into the open, it holds you accountable and it allows for others to support you. It can be hard to stay on track if you feel like you’re doing it alone. My most successful clients are those who have a strong support system. 

You don’t have to make big changes, to get amazing results, but you do have to take action! Give these tips a try and if you need more help with getting on track to reach your goals, connect with me on Facebook. 

How I lost 3 lbs on a 8 day all inclusive vacation in Mexico!

13754460_10111174801729644_1663793885540118672_nWhen most people think of all inclusive vacations, they immediately are drawn to the allure of the all you can eat and all you can drink portion of that package.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to eat and I love my Margaritas, but this time around, I had to be very intentional about what I ate and drank on my 8 day vacation at the Now Sapphire Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

On July 6th, I started the 21 Day Fix Extreme program which also included replacing one meal a day with Shakeology.  This 21 day program focuses on 30 minute workouts which vary from upper body, lower body, total body, plyometric, pilates, cardio, and yoga. On top of that you have a very simple nutrition plan that you follow that incorporates portion control containers and a list of foods that you are able to eat.  The whole thought of this program is simplicity, it takes out calorie counting or spending endless hours working out, yet yields pretty amazing results, because you do the program for 21 days without rest days or cheat meals.  In my mind, you can do anything for 21 days, but I will say when 8 of those days are spent abroad, I was a bit nervous, but I am happy to report that I actually lost 3 pounds while on vacation and feel like a total rockstar for staying on track.

Here are a few things that I did, that made this possible and actually pretty doable for the vacation:

  1. SHAKEOLOGY EVERY SINGLE DAY!: I made sure that every morning, before leaving my hotel room, I used one of the ice cold bottles of water and mixed it with one serving of Cafe Latte Shakeology. It was like my morning Iced Coffee that I didn’t feel guilty about.  Shakeology is packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, protein, and has 9 servings of fruits and vegetables. This was my morning fuel.
  2. Beachbody OnDemand & the Gym: Since the resort had free wifi, I was able to bring my phone or laptop to the resort gym and do my 30 minute workouts each morning. Since the program uses dumbbells and resistance bands and doesn’t take up a lot of space, I was able to get the workouts done. Plus, the gym area with the weights was pretty empty, as most people either stuck to the cardio machines or used the cable weight machines.
  3. Make Friends with the Chefs & Wait Staff: The chefs and waitstaff were pretty regular and I made it a point to make friends and explain my dietary needs on day one.  This way, it was easy for me over the course of the 8 days to get foods that I could eat. I frequented the grill area, where I could order a piece of fish, steak, or chicken to be grilled for me on the spot. I brought over the olive oil that was near the salad bar and asked them to use that instead of the oil that was next to the grill, which wasn’t olive oil and didn’t have any additional additives. I also, brought over fresh veggies from the salad bar and asked them grill or sauté them for me and they did without blinking an eye.  I opted out of the fried foods or foods drenched in salty sauces, and ate mostly grilled protein and veggies at each meal.  I also indulged in tropical fruits that we don’t typically have here in the states like Mexican Papaya with a squeeze of lime juice, dragon fruit, and tons of melon, pineapples and mangos. For breakfast, I stuck with egg white omelets with a bit of cheese and tons of veggies.
  4. SKIP THE ALCOHOL: The 21 Day Fix Extreme doesn’t allow for alcohol, which was a bit of bummer, especially seeing all of the cool concoctions being served in pineapples or hearing people order a “Dirty Monkey” from the pool bar.  However, I was able to still have a refreshing “mocktail” – Sparkling Water with muddled mint and lime with a pineapple slice. It was the perfect drink and still felt fancy and tropical. I actually didn’t even miss the alcohol, being that it was so hot and humid, my drink was perfect and I could drink them all day! Which was helpful, since I needed to make sure that I drink at least 10 glasses of water.
  5. Challenge Tracker App & 21 Day Fix Tracker App: To help me stay on track, as when I am on vacation I rarely know what day it is, so having a tool to ensure that I was eating on track and doing the correct workouts for the day, was key.  Plus, I was a part of a Challenge Group, where I was able to see everyone else checking in with their meals and workouts, it was a great reminder when I didn’t want to workout or wanted to pig out at the buffet, that I had goals and made commitments and that I wasn’t alone on this journey.

I am pleased with myself and my results so far, especially because I didn’t make excuses and stayed on track.  If I can do it, that means that anyone else can.  This just proves the power of having a true system and plan for your nutrition and fitness that is simple and sustainable, coupled with an accountability system and tracking tools.  If you are interested in trying the 21 Day Fix or the 21 Day Fix Extreme, I have a Challenge Group starting soon and I’d love to have you join me and the rest of the group.

Click here to learn more!

Sweet & Savory Post Workout Parfaits

Many people ask me about what to eat after a good workout and yes, protein is important, but many of the protein shakes on the market are not the cleanest of healthiest for you.  Here is an option, that I have fallen in love with and it’s a perfect recipe that you can meal prep a few in advance for a nice grab and go snack, that’s as filling as it is fancy!

I typically use plain greek yogurt for my parfaits, but I wanted to try something a little different, especially since my basil plant, Peter (yes, I named him), was started to wilt so I wanted to make use of the basil I had on hand.  So, I figured I’d swap out the yogurt for cottage cheese, which I have never been a real fan of, until now, and figured that strawberries would be a nice pair with the lemony basil.   For added sweetness and depth of flavor, balsamic vinegar and honey round out this recipe.

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  • 1/2 Cup of Cottage Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup of Diced Strawberries
  • 1 Tablespoon of Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar 
  • 1 Drizzle of Honey
  1. Place cottage cheese at the bottom of a bowl or a mason jar.
  2. In a small bowl, combine Strawberries, Basil and Balsamic together and add to cottage cheese. 
  3. Drizzle with honey and enjoy!

For more of my recipes, I now have a Clean Eating Instagram account – www.Instagram.com/iCookClean. Follow for more recipes and meal prep ideas!

Happy & Healthy Cinco De Mayo

It just hit me that today is Cinco De Mayo, mainly because many of my Friday clients have asked to train later in the day to recover from tonight’s festivities. I wanted to share some of the tips that I shared with them and some recipes that I found that can be a great alternative to still celebrate!

This week I made Creamy Stuffed Bell Peppers and they came out delicious (see photo below), so I figured that you could do the same thing and make Bell Pepper Stuffed Tacos. Just skip the tortilla and use a bell pepper. Genius, right?!

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Also, for my Margarita loving friends, your best bet is to aim for a Skinny Version where you keep it simple with Platinum Tequila, Lime Juice & Agave Syrup. Feel free to add fresh fruit puree or a slice of jalapeno for extra punch!

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Lastly, remember one meal won’t ruin your progress, so tomorrow will be a brand new day and you can get right back on track.  I still have 3 spots left in my Make It Happen in May Fitness Challenge, if you want more info just respond to this email and we can chat more about it!

**Click the highlighted links to get the recipes. :)**

DIY: Fruit-at-the-Bottom Yogurt

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I remember growing up and seeing all of the commercials of women in active gear eating “Light” and “Fat Free” yogurt, claiming it was a big part of their “diet” and plan to lose weight.  In my teens, I started to follow suit and eat all types of yogurts that were artificially sweetened and flavored to taste like pies, cakes, and chocolate mousses, with the same hopes of being skinny and thin.  Unfortunately, those yogurts tend to be full of tons of preservatives, chemicals, and other additives that aren’t the best for the body and truth be told, do not provide much nutritional value to help create a healthy body.

Now, I love making my own yogurt cups for an easy grab and go breakfast, snack or dessert.  I add this to my weekly Meal Prep time and because it’s so simple, you can mix it up and never get bored.

Here’s my basic recipe:

  1. Choose your fruit(s) of choice.  I like using fresh berries, but also frozen fruits work well, because as they thaw out, they release juices that provide more flavor.
  2. Sweeten with a 1/2 teaspoon of pure maple syrup, agave nectar or honey.
  3. Top with Plain Greek Yogurt (you can add a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla beans if you want more flavor.  Another option is to mix in your favorite Vanilla Protein powder, sometimes I use Shakeology to give it a nutritional boost and make it more of a meal)
  4. I like to use a Mason Jar because it easy to fill, easy to store and easy to clean. Plus it looks cool 🙂
  5. Store in the fridge for up to 2-3 days, especially if you are using fresh fruit.

Here are some of my favorite ideas for flavors

  • Fresh Strawberries with Orange Zest
  • Pineapples & Mangos
  • Frozen Peaches and Frozen Blueberries
  • Cinnamon Apples or Pears (Sauté an apple or a pear in one teaspoon of coconut oil and add cinnamon)
  • Frozen Mixed Berries

 

Toppings – You can also add some additional toppings for more flavor:

  • Nuts
  • Homemade Granola
  • Rolled Oats
  • Cinnamon or Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Coconut Flakes
  • Flax or Chia Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds

The moral of the story is that the possibilities are endless and it’s a great way to save calories, save money and save yourself from eating yogurts filled with artificial flavors, sweeteners and chemicals.  Your body will thank you!