Category Archives: Nutrition

Grilled Chicken Tenders

Who doesn’t love a good chicken tender??? Although they are a good source of protein, they come with extra calories because they are fried in oil. Not so good for your waistline. If you are open to a healthier alternative, keep reading.

What you’ll need:

  • small bowl
  • fork
  • dinner plate
  • 1-2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
  • 2 eggs
  •  “George Foremang Grill” or knockoff
  • Italian breadcrumbs


Plug in your grill to heat it up. While it’s heating, take a fork and whip 2 eggs in the small bowl. Spread a layer of bread crumbs on a plate. Dip your tenderloins in the eggs, then roll on the bread crumbs to evenly coat. Do this to all of your chicken. Place 4-5 tenderloins on your grill at a time. Cook until they aren’t pink in the middle. Make as many as you want. You can cook a big batch and eat the leftovers later. To reheat without being soggy, preheat your oven to 350, then place the chicken tenders on a baking sheet lined with foil (nobody likes to do dishes). Bake for 10 minutes and you’re good to go!


Pumpkin Pie Super Shake

With the arrival of the fall weather, pumpkin flavored everything is now available. There was a time when I liked pumpkin spice lattes, until I learned more about nutrition… and that they could be 700 calories.  On top of that, I noticed that when I had them, I would get an upset stomach. So now avoid them. You ever notice certain foods just don’t get along with you, but you like them anyway? That’s another topic, but to get my pumpkin fix other than pumpkin pie or beer, here is a recipe I made this morning in the form of a super shake.

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree – not pumpkin pie mix (1 fist)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/8 cup walnuts (1 thumb)
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein of your choice (I suggest one that has at least 20g of protein per serving and not much sugar or fat)
  • 1/2 banana (cupped hand)
  • pumpkin pie spice to taste
  • 4-6 ice cubes

I use the fist, cupped hand, and thumb in reference to the hand method for portion control. You can learn more about that here:

Take all ingredients in a magic bullet type blender, turn it on. Once it’s smoothly blended, enjoy!


Estimated nutrition facts:

371 calories, 15g fat, 29g protein, 30g carbohydrate (15g sugar)

So as you can see, this has calories equivalent to a small meal, so this is not a “free” meal in your daily routine. Think of this as a meal replacement. This is great if you want something different for breakfast or if you’re crunched for time.

It’s no secret that I am a big fan of the Precision Nutrition “super shake” template. I followed that template to make this shake. You can find that here:

If you are interested in more nutrition knowledge, I now offer nutrition coaching. I am Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified.


Got Time for Breakfast???

The answer is, you do. Everyone can find 10 more minutes.

I often hear from clients that it’s hard to make a balanced breakfast in the morning. I just wanted to prove that it doesn’t take much time, and can taste really good too! Here is one of my go to meals in the morning.

Poached eggs, whole grain toast with butter and honey, and berries.


First step, oil your pan with canola oil or olive oil. Turn on the heat!


Crack some eggs. Remember the hand method, one palm-sized serving for women (~2 eggs), 2 palm-sized servings for men (~4 eggs)


Cover the eggs after you add whatever you want to them i.e. hot sauce or pepper. While you do this, put your bread in the toaster. The hand method for carbs is one cupped handful for women, 2 for men. I figure that 1 slice of bread is a 1 serving. This is just a starting point, obviously don’t overeat if you’re too full with 1 slice.


Once your eggs are cooked, toast is done (with a little butter and honey), add some berries (1 fist), and you’re done!

Oh, and by the way, it only took me 8:55 to make it all including heating up my pan. So my point is, everyone can squeeze in 10 extra minutes to make a good breakfast. No excuses, this was done at 5am!

All or Nothing

Does this situation ever sound familiar: “It’s Monday, I don’t have any meals planned, the fridge is empty, I guess I’ll just eat out and I’ll start over next week.” In my experience, I have noticed that many people are all or nothing when it comes to their nutrition habits. What I hope to teach people is that it doesn’t have to be so drastic. Instead of an on/off switch, try to be more like a dimmer. According to Dr. John Berardi of Precision Nutrition, most people will benefit if they can stick to doing just the basics 75-80% of the time. Let’s see what that looks like: say someone averages 5 meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2 snacks), 75% adherence to sticking to the basics would be 27/35 meals. That leaves 8 meals to have some wiggle room. I hardly ever see depriving yourself of “bad foods” work more than just the short term. If you want to yo-yo less, learn some habits that are sustainable. Here are some of the basics:

  1. Eat slowly, only until 80% full
  2. Eat less processed foods and more whole foods
  3. Eat more lean protein (1 palm sized portion for women, 2 for men)
  4. Eat more veggies (1 fist sized portion for women, 2 for men)
  5. Drink more water (half your weight in ounces, 200 lbs = 100 oz)
  6. Eat more healthy fats (1 thumb sized portion for women, 2 for men)

Focus on one behavior change at a time; you can measure your adherence to each using a chart like this:

Meal # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Consistency
Monday __/__ = _%
Total __/__ = _%

From week to week, you can measure if you are getting better at changing your behavior, and if you’re landing in the 75-80% range. So I guess my point is that if you mess up Monday, doesn’t mean the whole week has gone to crap. Plan out a menu for the week, when you’re going to the grocery store, and when you’re going to cook, and do it! Same for workouts, there is still Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday left. If you don’t have time, be honest with yourself. Do you really not have 30 minutes somewhere you can squeeze in?

Meal Prep

Life often gets hectic and making healthy decisions gets thrown out the window. The biggest problem I hear is time. It takes less time to go out to eat than it does to go to the grocery store and cook something usually, but your waistline will stay thinner and your wallet fatter if you cook meals at home.  When you make time to cook, make extra. You can freeze the extra and eat it later if you don’t want to eat the same thing a couple days in a row. If you make enough meals at once, you can rotate them throughout the week. The key is have a plan each week and stick to it. Look at your schedule and plan accordingly, say if you’re in sales and are in your car all day, you probably don’t want lunches that require heating up.

Here are just a few examples of healthy meals you can make it bulk. If I can make them, you can make them. I am self taught.

Turkey Taco Salad


  1. Chop up 2 hearts of Romaine lettuce, rinse, and spin in a salad spinner.
  2. Brown 2 lbs of ground turkey breast and use low sodium taco seasoning according to directions on the packet.
  3. Open a can of low sodium black beans, rinse them in a colander.
  4. Cut cherry tomatoes in half (only when you’re going to eat them soon).
  5. On a bed of lettuce, place your taco meat, beans, 2% Mexican blend shredded cheese, guacamole, and salsa.
  6. Eat it.
  7. Store the rest in the fridge and save for later. This isn’t half bad with cold meat either if you don’t have access to a microwave at work for lunch.


Salmon Fillet with Green Beans and Sweet Potato Chunks


  1. Set the oven for 425.
  2. In a glass baking dish with a little olive oil coating the bottom, place your salmon fillets.
  3. Sprinkle the fillets with lemon pepper seasoning to taste, and cook until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. (10-15 minutes)
  4. Place your green beans in the steaming tray of a rice cooker. Steam them according to directions for your rice cooker. Steam until they are al dente.
  5. Peel and chop a medium sweet potato. Place in a microwave safe dish. Add a dash of water and sprinkle cinnamon on the chunks. Microwave on the vegetable setting, or 4 minutes or so if your microwave isn’t fancy.


Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry w/ Asparagus (my wife pinned this on Pinterest and I made it)

Link:I’ll never admit I used Pinterest



Snacks Examples:

  1. Trail mix (small handful, this is very dense in calories)
  2. Beef jerky or turkey jerky
  3. 1-2 pieces of low-fat string cheese, 1-2 hard-boiled eggs, 1-2 handfuls of grapes, and 1-2 thumb-sized portions of walnuts. (1 for women, 2 for men, that day I was really hungry so I had 3 eggs…)

*Note, not all of this together is a snack, I hope that is obvious.


Grilling Season is Here!

With the warm weather and longer days, it’s a lot more enticing to get out the grill.  Just because you’re grilling, doesn’t mean that it can’t be healthy.  Here is my latest creation from my little Weber grill.

No Bun Sirloin Burgers:

  • 2 lbs of ground sirloin
  • 2 tbsp of lite soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced (I used a garlic press)


Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Form into patties, place on the grill. Cook until done. Top with whatever you want. I used slices of tomato, avocado, spring mix greens, and natural ketchup. Easy.

Grilled Mixed Veggies:

Cut up whatever veggies you like. Add some healthy oil (canola, olive, coconut etc.) and black pepper, toss together in a bowl. Place in pan and grill until done.



Here’s what it looked like before I devoured it all:


Note: If you worked out prior to eating this, you could include some good carbs, like a whole wheat bun a small sweet potato.



My Thoughts on Nutrition

As I continue to learn more, I have changed my thought process on things related to training and nutrition, and in some cases, I’ve changed my mind more than a few times.  I’ve used websites like myfitnesspal or the dailyplate to track food and count calories, trying to get people to stay under the recommended calorie intake for what their needs were calculated to be.  I’ve even used services that generated meal plans for my clients, breaking it down to what and how much to eat for every meal, and generating a shopping list to take with them to the grocery store.  That all sounds great, but none of those methods worked long term for ANY of my clients.

I’ve learned that it is best to keep it simple.  Most importantly, I’ve learned that there is more than one way to fix someone’s nutrition habits.  Not everyone needs to eat 5-6 small meals per day.  Not everyone is hungry in the morning. It’s also ok to eat late, it doesn’t all turn to fat when you go to bed. In fact, eating some protein, especially with casein in it, can help you recover when eaten close to bed time because it breaks down slower and lasts while you sleep. You can buy casein as a powder, or it is naturally in foods like cottage cheese.  To be honest, I was probably doing the whole square peg, round hole thing. Everyone is different. If you aren’t hungry in the morning, I’m not going to tell you to eat a big breakfast. If your schedule is crazy and you can’t stop every 2 hours to eat, then 6 small meals a day probably won’t work for you.  I want my clients to learn to be intuitive with eating, listen to their bodies, know when they are actually hungry, and learn to stop at feeling 80% full. Sometimes when you feel tired, you might actually be dehydrated. Instead of grabbing a donut or an energy drink, maybe you just need to drink water.

I think the best way to start making changes is taking what a person is doing currently, and coach them to make small improvements over time.  Behavior change experts have figured out that people who make drastic overhauls all at once, are less likely to still be doing those behavior changes one year later, versus people that change one behavior at time.  If you want to see awesome results ASAP, like if you are getting married in 6 weeks, then short term fixes are ok.  Just realize that you’re probably not going to keep that up.  I want to help coach my clients to do the little things, so that they don’t end up yo-yoing.

“Practice daily to build skills. Build skills to achieve goals.” Success is the sum of several small victories.  Try to think of process goals instead of just outcome goals.  For example, focus on how you can get to your goal, instead what your goal may be.  Keep the end in mind as your vision to keep you going, but the process is what you can control every day.  Here are some examples of small changes/process goals:

  1. Practice eating slowly
  2. Recognize when you are actually hungry, not just bored or stressed
  3. Drink more water and less fruit juice, soda, and alcohol
  4. Eat more lean protein at each meal
  5. Eat vegetables at every meal
  6. Eat less processed foods
  7. Make your own food, rather than dining out.

All of the above are examples of process goals that will lead to you losing fat, gaining lean muscle (if you are weight training), and feeling better. Focus on eating slowly first for two weeks. Reevaluate to see if you are actually doing that. If you’ve mastered that, great, if not go back until you can master that one skill. Once you’ve mastered that, move on to the next skill. Keep working on these skills, and build your momentum.  You’ll get on a roll and get one step closer to your goal every day.