Lemon Parmesan Popcorn

Popcorn makes for a great snack, but most popcorn is covered in butter which adds a lot of calories without adding a whole lot of flavor. You know

source: Flicker

source: Flicker

what’s better? Adding some tasty flavor to air popped popcorn!

Try this on for size… lemon pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese!


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 3 cups air popped popcorn
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Whisk the lemon pepper and olive oil together and drizzle it over the still hot popcorn.
  2. Toss the popcorn and sprinkle cheese on top.
  3. Serve while still hot.

If you don’t have air popper — you can cook it the old fashion way.  Click here for a great recipe.

I make my popcorn the old fashion way and I use a combo of veggie and coconut oil.


Suriviving Memorial Day Weekend

Don’t be that girl sitting on the sidelines during Memorial Day BBQs. Each year I write ways to help you survive brazilian churrasco restaurantwith out having the guilt feeling on Monday night, when you are unbuttoning your pants and rubbing your food belly! Come on, we’ve all done it!! LOL.

I want you to enjoy this weekend without feeling guilty!

Here a few past posts to help you glide into the weekend.

5 ingredient clean grilling recipes

You have control

10 ways to fight holiday weight gain

Looking for  a blueprint check out my summer sprint. You’ll receive 4 weeks of emails to help you glide through the summer with clean eating.


[Day 11] Shh.. Fat Loss Secrets Revealed

Here are 6 ways to truly jumpstart fat loss.

  1. Eat Breakfast — I know for most that’s pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t. Also make The Four Food Groupssure you are eating breakfast within 30 min of waking.
  2. Drink Water — Water flushes out our systems. Drinking a big glass of water whenever you feel hungry and before a meal or snack fills the stomach briefly and makes you feel fuller and stop eating sooner. Hunger is often confused with thirst.
  3. Eat Frequent Meals — You’ll want to keep your metabolism fueled so you’ll want to eat every 2-4 hours. Depending upon when you get up in the morning you’ll want to eat at least 5-6 meals.
  4. Strength training — When you strength train, your metabolism for up to 38 hours after the workout. Strength training coupled with diet and cardio burns fat far more than cardio and diet alone.
  5. Post workout nutrition — Within 30 min of strength training you will want to eat a protein and a fast acting carb. I will go into more detail later in the program as to why this is important.
  6. Green tea — This must be fresh, it can’t be the pre-bottled kind. You can’t take it in a pill form. Green tea, helps to slow down digestive enzymes. It must be at the perfect temperature 140°F – 150°F. BTW — It doesn’t suppress your appetite.

Today’s challenge

  1. Drink a 1/2 gallon of water — you can add lemon or other fruits to it to give it a little more flavor. Sorry coffee doesn’t count.
  2. Eat 5-6 meals today.

Don’t forget Leave a comment below. Write a facebook post on the Fabulous Fit Squad. If you have a personal blog, write a blog post. Make sure you link back to the site so we can cheer you on and hold you accountable.

Just joining now?? Don’t worry you can catch up.
Day 1 — Intro the challenge
Day 2 — Getting your mind straight 
Day 3 — Goal setting 
Day 4 — What’s on your plate
Day 5 — Lift
Day 6 — Cardio
Day 7 — Living on your own terms
Day 8 — Rest day
Day  9 — Forming a habit
Day 10 — Just Breathe


[Day 8] Rest Day!!


Today challenge assignment is to play catch up. For those of you who have been plugging along this is a day of pure rest. For those of you who have gotten a little behind. Then you get a little breather.  We are more than 1 week into the challenge and I would love to make sure I’m answering your questions, so please leave any questions you may have below.


Don’t forget Leave a comment below. Write a facebook post on the Fabulous Fit Squad. If you have a personal blog, write a blog post. Make sure you link back to the site so we can cheer you on and hold you accountable.

Just joining now?? Don’t worry you can catch up.
Day 1 — Intro the challenge
Day 2 — Getting your mind straight
Day 3 — Goal setting
Day 4 — What’s on your plate
Day 5 — Lift
Day 6 — Cardio
Day 7 — Living on your own terms

Stay tuned……


[Day 4] What’s On Your Plate?

KimBarnesJeffersonFirst I want us to agree make some agreements.

  1. We are no longer going to count calories. Calorie counting sucks out loud. I haven’t counted calories in years!!! In all my years of competing it was NEVER about the calories.
  2. We are going to read the back of foods to review the INGREDIENTS list, not just to look at the calorie count see number 1
  3. Snacks will no longer consist of  just 1 food item. (ie. just nuts, fruit etc)
  4. We are going to learn how to cook 1x week.

The key to nutrition is meal timing. We were taught to eat 3 meals/day. Well that’s really hard and leaves us with low energy spots in they day. Those low energy spots cause us to crave. You want it’s like when you crave. You need to be tied to your chair with chains to keep you from the object of your desire.

Eating should include all food groups, we are not going to ban ANY food group. You have limited quantities but all food groups are include in your plan. ** With that said, some of you many have certain intolerances or food allergies that keep you from eating certain foods. All meals should include:

  • protein — unlimited lean protein (cheese is not a protein; keep diary to a minimum)
  • unlimited veggies and fruits (exceptions — bananas, mangoes, pineapples, papayas, grapes)
  • starchy carbs — limit the breads, pastas obviously the desserts

You’ll want to avoid alcohol, it’s considered a treat, we’ll discuss treat meals at later time. Artificial sweeteners, if you must use stick with Stevia.

Okay now let’s put that together.
Shopping list — grab your list from the email
7 day meal plan – grab this from the email

Okay now that you have an idea of what to eat how do you make it happen?? Well.

  1. Go grocery shopping every week. This way you have fresh foods in the house and there are no excuses.
  2. Cook 1x week, yes you heard correctly. Every Sunday I set aside 2 hours and I cook ALL my food for the week. I know you are asking will it say fresh. Yes.. I leave in the fridge 3 days worth of food and then I freeze the rest and then thaw it when I need. Now I don’t do this freezing every week because it depends on what I’m having, but if I’m cooking up a bunch of chicken or other protein yes this is what I do.
    • My protocol
      • Saturday
        • Grocery shop
        • Marinate any protein that I’ve purchased ( use store-bought that doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup or make my own)
      • Sunday
          • Chop veggies. I will roast or grill them — I like to have flavor (my quirk its post competing syndrome)
          • Grill or roast protein
          • Chop any fruits that need it and put a squeeze of lemon to keep from browning
          • Once I’m done cooking I put everything into glass containers — I recently switched from tupperware.
          • Depending on how much I’ve cooked 1/2 goes in my fridge and the other half goes in the freezer. You can take the freezer stuff out the night before and put it in the fridge and it thaws quite nicely.


              • Recipes
              • Even more recipes
              • Need more I’m a sucker for Pinterest, be sure that you put a timer on this could be a time suck =)
              • Protein powder that I use is called Isagenix — no artificial sweeteners, all organic. Also available dairy free.  For  a free sample shoot me an email with your mailing address. In the subject line write free shake sample.

        Today’s challenge

                1. Review the menu and create your own menu
                2. Make a shopping list
                3. In the comments below on or on my Fab Fit Squad Facebook page please let me know how you feel about today’s challenge, did you learn something new. Where you confused by anything. Do you think this will be hard to sit with or does this seem like something you can achieve.

        BONUS– I’m attaching a measurement sheet. Now… you don’t have to do this or publish where you are but it’s nice to know where you started from.

      Missed a few day — play catch up

    • Day 1 Introduction
    • Day 2 Mindset
    • Day 3 Goal Setting

    ** As with any exercise or weight loss program, you should consult with your doctor and consider any current or past health conditions or injuries before participating. Information provided here is based on my experiences as a certified ACSM personal trainer, fitness professional, Lifestyle Management nutrition manager and ACSM wellness coach.


“Buyer Beware” Not All Protein Powders Aren’t Created Equal

What price would you put on having peace of mind that your body is receiving quality protein daily? Consider that a recent report from Isalean Vegan Dairy Free ConsumerLab.com found 31 percent of other protein powders reviewed failed to meet the claims they advertised and/or were contaminated with excess heavy metals.

For the report, ConsumerLab.com bought, tested, and analyzed the quality of 17 protein-based products that are used for everything from bodybuilding to weight management. What they found was surprising: some protein powders exceeded limits for lead, contained more carbohydrates or cholesterol than advertised, or less protein than advertised.

A total of five products out of the 17 tested and ConsumerLab.com gave them a “Not Approved” grade—as in “Buyer Beware”. The products were tested to check the accuracy of label claims (total calories, total protein, etc.) as well as possible lead contamination. The products that raised red flags were then sent to another independent lab to confirm the findings.

Of the five products that failed to meet testing requirements, quality problems they had included:

  • Less protein than what’s listed: One product actually had 16 fewer grams of protein than listed on the label—that’s almost 70 percent less! Also, the same product had 16 more grams of carbs than listed, including 3 extra grams of sugar.
  • Contaminated with lead: One protein-based meal replacement shake had 12.7 micrograms of lead per scoop, which can exceed daily limits (as outlined by U.S. and Health Canada regulatory guidelines) if two or more are consumed daily.
  • More cholesterol and calories than what’s listed: One product that claimed to have “0 mg” of cholesterol actually had 10.2 mg. Another product had 25.7 additional calories per serving.

For consumers who are looking to meet health or athletic goals with products like these, it’s easy to see how inaccuracies could be problematic. That’s why it pays to have a company like Isagenix with a “No Compromise” quality policy.

Isagenix products are rigorously tested to be sure they meet label claims. This means that when the label says “24 grams protein,” it’s what you’re getting. Our Isagenix Quality Assurance department performs routine testing of label claim accuracy for the duration of each product’s shelf life, too.

The strict quality policy at Isagenix also involves testing of raw ingredients and finished products for microbial activity, pesticides, and heavy metals including lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium. Isagenix uses independent laboratories for testing to guarantee quality and safety.

The process that Isagenix uses for continual inspection of raw materials and analysis of finished products is an expensive enterprise. Because of the high cost of testing, other companies will often cut corners and avoid such extensive testing. At Isagenix we believe that meeting and exceeding safety guidelines is absolutely necessary as integrity and the health of our customers, friends, and family is paramount.

Once again, as evidenced by this latest report from ConsumerLab.com, you just can’t trust every protein powder or drink product you come across.

Reference:  Product review: protein powders and drinks (for body building, sports and dieting). ConsumerLab.com 2013.


Quick Spinach Basil Stir-Fry With Pine Nuts


taken by: Daniella Segura

taken by: Daniella Segura

3 tsp high olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bags (12 oz total) fresh spinach
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
dash red pepper flakes
2 cups fresh basil leaves, torn
optional: fresh grated Parmesan cheese

In a very large skillet, add cooking oil over medium-low heat.
Add pine nuts and cook, shaking skillet gently, until just starting to brown a little, about 2 minutes.
Add minced garlic and continue cooking, stirring constantly for 1 more minute.
Turn heat up to medium and add spinach, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Toss spinach around in skillet for about 3 minutes or until it just starts to wilt.
Add fresh basil leaves, tossing to combine, and continue cooking for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Grate fresh Parmesan cheese on top of each serving if desired.


{Day 21} You Can’t Out Run A Bad Diet!

Do you find that you are working hard and often but still cant’ drop the weight? Get in line, many face the same challenge.  A new study from the University of grocery ladyWashington has found that while more people are exercising, the rate of obesity is climbing too.

The findings imply that many people are ramping up their exercise routine with hopes of losing weight quickly.  

Let’s do the math.. If you workout 5 times/week and you just do cardio you’ll burn on average 500-600 calories/session. You do that 5 times/week you’ll burn 2500-3000/week. It takes a 3500 caloric expenditure to burn 1 pound of fat.

Weight loss is more about what you put in your mouth rather than the time you put in at the gym.

Americans are not doing enough to control what they eat,” said the study’s senior author Ali Mokdad in a press release. “They still consume more energy than they burn off through exercise.”

Exercising more is always a good thing, since exercise boosts health in multiple ways—keeping your bones and muscles strong, pumping up your energy levels, and reducing overall risk of chronic disease.  There’s a difference between exercising and over exercising to compensate for a “big weekend” or “birthday cake”.  If that happens, you accept that you fall of the wagon. Dust yourself off and then figure out what caused you to fall apart and start all over again.

Physical activity can rarely compensate for overeating a poor diet. Consider that an average 150-pound person would have to run more than 5 miles just to work off the calories found in a fast food milk shake or a quarter pounder (~600 kcals). Exercising off excess calories daily is not always easy when you are continuously tempted by high-calorie foods.

Sticking with a only they’re finding out that weight loss is more about what you put in your mouth rather than the time you put in at the gym. I tell everyone it’s 80% nutrition and 20% effort in the gym.

Earlier in the program we discussed the foundation for good nutrition and a strength training workout.

Today’s Challenge:
At this point on the 30 day challenge, I want you to revisit between training and nutrition where are you stuck?? Are you better with your training and no so much with your nutrition OR better with your nutrition and no so much with your training.  Once you determine that, figure out what you need to do make a change.

Don’t forget Leave a comment below. Write a facebook post on the Fabulous Fit Squad. If you have a personal blog, write a blog post. Make sure you link back to the site so we can cheer you on and hold you accountable.

Just joining now?? Don’t worry you can catch up.
Day 1 — Intro the challenge
Day 2 — Getting your mind straight 
Day 3 — Goal setting 
Day 4 — What’s on your plate
Day 5 — Lift
Day 6 — Cardio
Day 7 — Living on your own terms
Day 8 — Rest day
Day  9 — Forming a habit
Day 10 — Just Breathe
Day 11 — Fat loss secrets revealed
Day 12 — Can you pinch an inch
Day 13 — Dedicated and Focused 
Day 14 — Doubt
Day 15 — Rewards and Consequences
Day 16 — Damn Hormones
Day 17 — Pre and Post Workout Meals
Day 18 — Successful Weight Loss

Day 19 — Know Before You Go
Day 20 — Courage and Strength


Delivery Of Organic Food On The Rise

For those of you who live in buildings without elevators and have to lug your groceries up several flights of stairs, having your groceries veggiesdelivered can be a wonderful opportunity.  Delivery of organic food is on the rise and has prompted many websites to appear which offer such a service.

Perhaps you have a local organic market that makes deliveries.  Or if you prefer, you can go online, order your groceries and relax until they are delivered.  For senior citizens, this can be a welcome gift.

No more having to make several trips up and down stairs lugging bags of groceries.  Whether it’s a local market or online service, everything is delivered to your door or apartment.  Another benefit of having organic food delivered is that you do not have to tote the familiar wagon to and from the supermarket which, during the holidays, is most likely stuffed to the gills.  No more worrying about hitting a rise in the pavement sending the wagon on its side, or worse – falling over it.

Researching the many organic food stores on line, you will find comprehensive lists of items they offer and also delivery schedules.  All perishable items are packages to ensure the temperature remains the same.

In addition, most organic websites give you their telephone numbers and fax numbers in case you ever need to call.  Orders are usually shipped within 48 hours, so you can ensure you are home when the delivery arrives.

Further, there are several websites where no membership is required.   Thus, they are open to anyone who is interested in purchasing organic products that are of the highest quality.  Another website cites that they have over 300,000 products which afford you the opportunity to choose among the finest organic brands that are environmentally friendly as well.

Today, with households where both parents work, there doesn’t seem enough time to do everything that is demanded of you.  With taking care of the home and the kids, it’s nice to know that you can shop for organic food in the comfort of your home and have it delivered to your door.

Even non-organic grocery delivery is on the rise as well.  It’s a great time-saver, allows for more quality time spent with loved ones and, quite frankly, you don’t have to push a wagon up and down aisles that are full of boxes and people.

Check out the many home delivery sites online that cater for organic products.  This is especially beneficial for those of you who do not live near any local markets.  It’s the best of both worlds.


Debunking The Myth Of Eating Less To Lose Weight

One of the biggest myths about losing weight is the idea that you need to eat less in order to shed pounds. New studies have shown that this is simply not the case.  As a matter KimJ063of fact, it’s just the opposite. Let’s take a look at why you need to eat if you want to lose weight.

The Scientific Benefits of Breakfast

People who eat breakfast on a daily basis tend to lose weight easier. The National Weight Control Registry performed a study that showed people who eat breakfast have a better chance of maintaining a 30 pound, or more, weight loss for at least a year. Studies in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association showed similar results.

Another research group analyzed government data on over 4,000 adults and found those who ate a regular breakfast tended to take in fewer calories during the day and had a lower fat intake. They also noted that regular breakfast eaters were more likely to engage in routine exercise.

Eating breakfast also jump-starts your metabolism, says Elisabetta Politi, RD, MPH, nutrition manager for the Duke Diet and Fitness Center at Duke University Medical School.  She states; “When you don’t eat breakfast, you’re actually fasting for 15 to 20 hours, so you’re not producing the enzymes needed to metabolize fat to lose weight.” In fact, sumo wrestlers don’t eat until late in the day for the sole purpose of gaining weight.  If you don’t eat breakfast, you are actually following the sumo wrestler diet.  Now, that is a scary thought.

Keep Your Metabolism Going All Day

With the right mechanisms in place, your body will naturally burn fat.  But, what are the right mechanisms?  That’s your job;  to find your body’s balance between energy consumed and energy burned.  Metabolism is the name of the game.  When you eat healthy small meals, starting early in the morning, your metabolism is set in full swing, mobilizing and converting fat stores into energy.

When you eat breakfast along with regular snacks and small meals throughout the day, your body gets the nutrition it needs and goes to work, breaking down your food into energy.  If you wait until you’re starving before you eat anything, that gnawing feeling in your stomach is telling you something. Your body will start by robbing your muscle tissue of anything it needs first, like protein, then it will store fat because it thinks it’s in famine mode. By eating early and often, not only are you protecting the muscle that supports your frame and allows you to walk, sit, and stand, but you are also keeping your metabolism going so it works all day to give you energy.

Simple Weight Loss Tips to Get You Started:

  • Eat slowly. It takes twenty minutes for your stomach to tell your brain you are full.  Don’t eat and run.  You’ll be looking for your next meal way before you need it.
  • Pick out foods you need to chew. Try apples, whole grain hearty breads, celery, and other raw vegetables. These foods will slow down your eating and satisfy your chewing instinct. Raw nuts are another option. Just be sure to monitor the serving sizes as you snack.
  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of cold water per day. This helps to feel full and as your body works to raise the temperature of the water, you are burning calories.  Keep bottles of water filled in the refrigerator and sip, sip, sip.
  • Eating whole fruits are much more satisfying than just drinking the juice. Keep this thought when choosing other fruits and vegetables.  Whole is usually better.
  • Have a healthy snack before you start cooking dinner. This will help with overeating while preparing the meal, and after.  Munching on celery is the perfect way to keep you satisfied while cooking. I like to munch on romaine lettuce leaves or carrot sticks.

The less you eat, the more your body protects itself and begins to go into starvation mode, holding on to more food, storing it as fat and robbing your muscles of nutrients. Make sure you eat a good breakfast to start your day right. Then, keep your metabolism working throughout the day with small meals and healthy snacks.

Stop starving yourself so your body can relax and start to lose that weight.  Adding foods instead of subtracting foods?  It’s so crazy it might just work.