Food for Fitness

When it comes to exercise, leaning out, and building muscle, the proverbial nutrition plan in modern history has been akin to Rocky Balboa’s. For those of you too young to remember in the 1976 movie, Rocky, Sylvester Stallone plays a lovable loan shark debt collector with a dream. In this rag to riches story, he gets a shot at the title of the heavyweight championship of the world. He ruthlessly trains in a “no pain, no gain” style, using sides of beef as punching bags while eating lots of meat, washed down with pints of raw eggs.

Spoiler alert! He wins.

These days, fitness is a bit kinder. Some athletes no longer subscribe to the “no pain, no gain” theory: as it can lead to too many injuries. Others have stepped away from the “ham-and-egger” approach: as it can result in too many heart attacks.

Enter plant fitness. In 2018, The Game Changers, a different kind of fight movie, hit theatres. It’s a documentary film starring James Wilks, an elite Special Forces trainer and winner of The Ultimate Fighter. His quest starts as he’s recovering from an injury and looking for ways to heal faster. He comes across information about the remains of Roman gladiators found in a burial site. It turns out the remains of these fighters show that they ate a predominantly vegetarian diet. He travels the world on a quest for the truth about meat, protein, and strength.

Spoiler alert! Plants win.

According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a plant-based diet provides supreme nutrition for training sessions and competition. An optimal sports diet for performance, recovery and health is found in the Power Plate—grains, vegetables, legumes and fruits. By choosing generous servings of these nutrient-dense foods, your body will reap the benefits. Watch the movie, The Game Changers, to learn about the stunning results today’s elite athletes are experiencing.


Whole grains: Choose whole-grain bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. They are rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, zinc, and B vitamins. A single serving also provides about two to three grams of protein.

Vegetables: Choose a variety of colorful red, orange, and yellow vegetables, in addition to leafy greens for vitamin C, beta-carotene, and other antioxidants that will protect your body from the stress of exercise. These foods also provide iron, calcium, fiber, and a modest two grams of protein per serving.

Legumes: Choose a variety of beans (chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, great northern beans), as well as soy milk, tofu, tempeh, and textured vegetable protein. They are not only high in protein, (about seven to ten grams per serving), but they are also rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, iron, calcium, and B vitamins.

Fruits: Choose a variety of fruits and fruit juices for extra vitamins, especially vitamin C. By choosing fruits of different colors, you can ensure a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin B12 supplement: A multivitamin/mineral supplement or vitamin B12 supplement can be taken daily or every other day to cover nutritional needs. Fortified foods, such as fortified breakfast cereal or fortified soy and rice milk substitutes, may also contain the active form of vitamin
B12, cyanocobalamin.

If you are an athlete looking for extra protein, top salads with a variety of beans, including chickpeas, kidney beans, great northern beans, and black beans. These legumes have as much as seven to ten grams of protein per serving. Blend non-dairy milk substitutes or soft tofu with your favorite fresh or frozen fruits for a thick, delicious, creamy high-protein shake. Marinated tempeh or veggie burgers, grilled on a bun or added to pasta sauce, offer a quick protein boost to any meal.


Makes 3 servings

Fruits are antioxidants that help muscles to repair after a workout. Blueberries and raspberries have the highest antioxidant levels. They are a great source of carbohydrates and sirtuins. Sirtuins modulate cellular death, inflammatory pathways in the body, metabolism, and assist with recovery. This enchanting bowl will help you reach your fitness goals.

1 ½ cups frozen blueberries

1 cup frozen raspberries

1 cup sliced frozen or room-temperate overripe banana

2 cups baby spinach leaves

1 tablespoon orange juice

2 to 3 tablespoons vegan vanilla protein powder, optional

1 cup plus two to three tablespoons water or non-dairy milk substitute, for a creamy texture

½ cup sliced ripe banana

½ cup seasonal fruit, such as sliced kiwi, sliced strawberries, chopped pear, or clementine segments

Chia seeds, to taste, optional

Coconut flakes, to taste, optional

In a blender, add one cup of the water or milk with the blueberries, raspberries, banana, spinach, juice, protein powder (if using), and puree. Add the remaining water or milk one tablespoon at a time, if needed, to thin. Only add as much as is needed to be able to blend, so the mixture stays very thick. Divide among three serving bowls and top with ripe banana, seasonal fruit, coconut flakes, and chia seeds.


Congee is a rice porridge that reminds me of risotto. It’s the Asian version of American chicken soup. It’s what I make for people when they’ve got a cold or flu. Congee is also a great source of restorative healthy carbohydrates. It’s like a warm hug on a cold winter day. Fear not, spring is almost here.

4 cups water

4 cups vegetable broth

1 medium onion chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced (or 4 teaspoons of minced garlic)

1 cup jasmine or brown rice

2 inches fresh ginger, minced

2 carrots, chopped

1 medium sweet or russet potato, cubed

10 ounces mushroom, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Greens for serving, optional

Optional toppings (use your favorites):

Green onions


Tangy/spicy sauce of choice
(I like Tiger or sweet chili sauce.)

Soy Sauce


Sesame seeds

Shelled edamame

Tofu cubes

In a six-quart pot or larger, add all ingredients, minus any of the suggested toppings and greens. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for at least one hour and up to 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the rice to break down to a creamy porridge. Once cooked, add salt and pepper to taste.

Wilting greens upon serving will add vital nutrition. Toppings are optional but highly recommended. I enjoy plain congee, but it’s more delicious with sauces and additions.

High Vibe Foods

Welcome to February, the month where we celebrate the heart—in health and in love—with both Valentine’s Day and National Heart Health Month! In Feb. 2016, I spent the days by my sister’s side as she recovered from open heart bypass surgery. It was her 52nd birthday.

In the year leading up to this event, I inquired with her medical team about the impact of a plant-based diet on her heart health and asked the team to consider food as a way to heal. My attempts to support my sister in recovering her health more naturally were dismissed. I can’t lay blame on health care providers. Given that our current medical system receives little training in nutrition, why would they view food as medicine?

Life eating the Standard American Diet (SAD)

My sister had the surgery, endured a painful recovery and ended up back in the same boat just a year later. This time she made a different choice. These same doctors were shocked to learn that, although her first heart bypass had failed and she was facing another, she chose to refuse surgery and heal with food instead.

Several months into her plant-based journey, she met with her cardiologist. Upon examination, after a nuclear stress test, it was confirmed that she no longer needed the surgery. The cardiologist was so shocked and so impressed with these results he later went plant-based too.

Life eating HIGH VIBE foods

Eating a highly raw, whole-food, plant-based diet did for my sister what pharmaceutical drugs, five stents and invasive surgery could not do. She healed her heart disease and many other medical conditions by avoiding meat, dairy and eggs, and replacing them with fruits, vegetables, grains and beans.

My life transformation was more emotional than physical. When I gave up meat nine years ago, I noticed a greater sense of peace and my “vibe” was higher. I was more joyful and loving. I’ve come across many others, including my sister, who have had similar experiences.

What is the magic of plant-based eating which not only helps heal the physical body but also helps to heal the emotional body too? How does it help to heal our hearts?

I believe it has to do with love. When we make food choices from a higher perspective, vibration or intent, such as self-love, self-care, love of animals or for the planet, we are compassion in action. We are living love. We vibrate higher on all levels. This can only lead to a healthier heart in every way.


1 cup water or plant-based milk substitute of choice

½ cup frozen cherries

½ cup chopped raw beets

½ cup frozen strawberries

1 banana

1 handful of spinach (optional)

Ice, as needed

Add liquid to the blender. Then add the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.


Makes 4 Servings

2 medium green zucchini squash

2 medium yellow squash

2 medium shallots

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

10 halved cherry tomatoes

4 tablespoons (or more) water
for sautéing

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Fresh basil, to taste

Scallions, for garnish

Wash and dry the squash and zucchini. Cut off the stems and cut the squash and zucchini in half. Use a vegetable spiralizer to turn the squash and zucchini into spaghetti-shaped noodles. Peel and cut shallots into thin rounds.

Add water to a 24-inch skillet and heat until smoky. Turn heat down to medium and add shallots, garlic, and zucchini and squash noodles. Stir with a wooden spoon for two minutes. Add cherry tomatoes. Cook for five minutes while stirring.

Finish by seasoning with salt, pepper and fresh basil. Serve hot in a bowl with scallions.

This Strange Tapping Thing – In Action

The practice of Tapping might look strange at first, but one quickly gets over it when the magic kicks in. I am the “client” in the video below as a colleague and I work with each other on clearing blocks, cliches and limiting beliefs. You too may have some beliefs that are driving your unconscious thoughts and choices. Ever hear yourself saying ” Money doesn’t grow on trees” “Everyone in our family is overweight” “Nobody said it would be easy”. How is that serving you, and how liberating would it be to release these anchors?

Even though I was a magnet to mosquitoes, which was irritating, you’ll see that at around 1 minute and 15 seconds there’s a shift in my body. I recall the moment. What was happening is “happy” chemicals like Dopamine, Serotonin, Endorphins or Oxytocin were entering my bloodstream. Did you know you can access these feel good neurotransmitters any time by Tapping?

If you didn’t catch my blog last week, go back an check it out: Tapping Into a Delicious Life in No Time Flat.

I have used Tapping with great success to help friends, family and clients with pain, anxiety, phobias and panic attacks, but it’s my desire to transmute emotional overeating that inspired me to pursue advanced training. If you weren’t using food as a form of anesthesia, what emotions might surface for you? Sometimes we don’t know the answer to this question because we’ve never been “without” the food. The overeating continues so the emotions don’t surface. Are you numbing yourself and if so, what is it you are trying to supress?

But, this strange Tapping thing is too powerful to NOT use it for just about anything that keeps us from living our most delicious life. EFT uses elements of Cognitive Therapy and Exposure Therapy, and combines them with Acupressure, in the form of fingertip tapping on 12 acupuncture points. Over 100 papers published in peer-reviewed medical and psychology journals, including dozens of clinical trials, have demonstrated that EFT is effective for phobias, anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, pain, and other problems. So, if you have any roadblocks to being, doing or having what you most want to experience, I’d love to put this in action for you and show you just how much easier the shift can be.

I am passionate about helping others reach their best physical and emotional body. Are you ready for a supportive, interactive approach in taking charge of your life and health? Are you ready to rewrite your story? If the answer is a resounding YES! Contact me HERE

Watch this transformational video   “To Die For” A Double Entendre

Need help rewriting your story?    Let’s get in touch

The Astonishing Effects of Food on Your Mood

Nearing the end of a weeklong workshop at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, I’m in a really good mood. As I write, I’m watching fellow visitors enjoy the beautiful wooded setting and magical energy of this place. People here break into spontaneous laughter, song, music and dance. The energy at Omega is palpable, and its Energy Work, specifically EFT Tapping, that brought me here.

Food has the power to heal many things. It’s my go to medicine and first line of defense against anxiety and chronic disease. But, how do we maintain a healthy lifestyle long term? What is the best way to manage stress and daily triggers? Core beliefs about ourselves, the universe and how we fit into the world shape our life experience and our choices. And if we are seeking positive change in our health and want long lasting transformative shifts to occur, we need to uncover limiting beliefs and emotions that lay locked in our mind and even in our bodies. Often, it needn’t be a long or difficult process. That is what energy work can help us to do; dissipate stress and habits that don’t serve us. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) has been well documented, studied and has been proven to be extremely effective. More on that next week.

What I want to talk about this week is how food effects your mood. When I stopped eating meat cold turkey on January 1st, 2012, I had no idea that I was on a journey to a more peaceful and delicious life. If you read my blog on Rewriting Your Story, you know that I narrowly survived a suicide attempt in 1981. What I didn’t know back then is that I was overfed and under nourished. My body was overloaded with sugar, processed foods and chemicals that triggered mood swings and depression. My body was also starving for healing foods and mood regulators found in whole plant foods. Continue reading “The Astonishing Effects of Food on Your Mood”