Tag: authority nutrition

The Secret to Eating for Energy and Cutting Sugar Cravings

In the first post in this series all about sugar, I shared what we’ve learned about how much sugar we’re eating, how it’s hidden in many of our favorite “healthy” foods, and why so many of us are addicted to it. If you missed it, check it out here!

If our drive to eat these foods is so strong, how do we overcome it? How can we eat for energy instead of always turning to sugar or caffeine to pick us up?

How do we set ourselves up to reduce sugar cravings? 

The good news is that our taste buds are highly adaptable. They can change over time. It’s important to know that the more sugar we eat, the more sugar we crave.

If we give our body a break from artificial sweeteners and refined sugar and eat naturally sweet foods (like berries), then when we do eat a sweetened food, it may taste too sweet to us!

Aside from eating less sugar, one of the keys to cutting sugar cravings and eating for energy is to eat satiating meals and snacks that stabilize our blood sugar. To do this, we’ll want to include a combination of protein, fiber and fat…PFF for short.


The most satiating macronutrient we can eat is PROTEIN.

Protein isn’t just for building muscles either.

The building blocks of protein (amino acids) are the foundation of everything from tissues like muscles to neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, hormones, and enzymes. Protein keeps us full and is key to controlling our energy and weight. Check out this article all about protein and why we need it.

Here are a few of my favorite sources of protein (seeds, nuts, lentils, peas, beans, wild caught fish, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised and cage-free eggs and poultry).


You can find sustainably raised animals products near where you live by searching the website LocalHarvest.org.

For me, one of the most filling sources of protein is lentils. They’re packed with protein AND fiber, so they really fill me up for a long time. One of my favorite lentil dishes to make when the weather cools down is this Crock Pot Lentil Chili. Check out 11 recipes that will make you fall in love with lentils.

Another blood sugar-stabilizer is FIBER.

Fiber is only found in plants and helps our blood sugar release more slowly over time, so it keeps us feeling full and helps us get off of the blood sugar roller coaster. By doing that, we will feel better and have more sustained energy.

Not only that, but fiber-filled foods are nutrient-rich foods (packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals) that nourish and satisfy our bodies at a biochemical level. Instead of being overfed and undernourished, we’re giving our body all of the goodness it needs to feel awesomely energized.

Some of my favorite sources of fiber include the foods below (leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, root vegetables like sweet potatoes, squashes, berries, stone fruits like cherries and peaches, lentils, peas, and beans)


As you start eating more fiber, do so slowly and increase your water intake at the same time to support your body in getting rid of waste. That way, you can feel your best and reduce some of the common side effects of adding in more fiber (such as gas and bloating) to an otherwise low-fiber diet.

Incorporating enough fiber in our diet is one of the keys to eating for energy.

Last but not least, we can recover from the advice given to us by the dietary guidelines and…

Stop fearing FAT.

Remember this chart from the first post in this series?


We need dietary fat for a number of reasons.

For starters, 60% of our brain is made up of fat, so healthy fats like the ones below are essential for brain health and functioning and also play a key role in satiety.

I like to think of fat as a condiment, with most of my meals consisting of fiber and protein. It’s especially important to eat fats when we eat plants containing vitamins that need fat to be absorbed (like the vitamin K in kale). I focus on eating whole food sources of fats as much as possible vs. oils.

Here are just a few of my favorite fats (avocados, flax seeds, hemp seeds, nuts and seeds, pasture-raised cage-free eggs, grass-fed ghee (clarified butter), coconut, and wild caught salmon.


When we include Protein, Fiber and Fat in our meals (PFF for short), we give our body a better chance of controlling our blood sugar, stabilizing our energy and weight AND cutting cravings.

Eating this way has significantly impacted my energy level and has helped me cut cravings, too. Give it a try for yourself, and see what happens.

In the third post in this series, we’ll take a look at the concerns about artificial sweeteners. We’ll wrap up with a bonus 4th post about the BEST natural sweeteners to use and why!

Quick & Easy Mexican Black Bean Scramble {Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free}

“What should I eat for breakfast??”

I hear this question a lot and have an answer for you 🙂

When we crowd out things like bagels, bread, milk, and processed and sugary cereals and granola bars, it can feel like we’re not left with many options aside from smoothies (which are my personal go-to!).

I’m here today with some good news and a brand spankin’ new breakfast recipe that I think you will LOVE!Mexican Black Bean Scramble

When I was writing last week’s post about my favorite upgraded Mexican-inspired dishes for Cinco de Mayo, I was inspired to blend some of those ingredients together for a filling, satisfying and energizing breakfast dish.

As I’ve shared before, the key to all-day energy is to combine Protein + Fiber + Healthy Fats in our meals to keep our blood sugar stabilized. This is important because it helps us prevent blood sugar peaks and crashes, which lead to cravings and trouble controlling our weight.

Most of us, especially women, don’t eat nearly enough protein at breakfast (we’re not going to find it in a Nutrigrain bar or a bagel with cream cheese), so we end up feeling unsatisfied and with cravings later in the day. Eating adequate protein at breakfast is one way to combat that.

I love this dish because it combines protein (beans, eggs), fiber (beans, avocado), and healthy fats (eggs, avocado)…and it tastes AMAZING! My husband Bill liked it so much that he had it for dinner last night and breakfast this morning.

One ingredient in this recipe that I want to focus on is the beauty-boosting, health-promoting avocado.

I didn’t even TRY an avocado until I was 25.

As a picky eater, I had deemed avocados a “weird” and “gross” food, never having actually tried them. It’s so much easier to write off certain foods than give them a chance and run the risk of not liking them.


When I finally did, I was hooked! According to nutritionist Kimberly Snyder, here are just SOME of the many benefits we can get from eating avocados:

  • One of the TOP anti-aging, beauty foods, especially for supple skin
  • Powerful anti-aging effects on skin and joints
  • Rich in skin-smoothing vitamins – A, C, E, and K
  • Contain glutamine – an amino acid that helps protect our skin and curb cravings
  • Source of glutathione, a liver-loving, anti-aging antioxidant
  • Excellent source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and fiber

If you want to geek out a little more, check out the top 12 benefits of avocados from Authority Nutrition.

I’m going to dedicate a future post to why we NEED fat, but in the meantime, the bottom line is this: Stop fearing fat. Healthy fats are not making us fat. In fact, most of us don’t eat enough of them.

Refined and processed sugars and flours are the key offenders driving our weight gain and health issues. When we started making everything lite, low-fat, and fat-free, we started gaining weight.

Eat fat for beauty, health, and happiness 🙂 It makes food taste awesome, keeps us feeling full and satisfied, protects us, and helps us look our best!

Mexican Black Bean Scramble

Huevos Rancheros Upgrade {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free}Mexican Black Bean Scramble

Serves 2 (cut recipe in half for a single serving)


1 tablespoon coconut oil, divided (you’ll use half at the beginning and the other half later)
½ cup yellow onion, diced
½ teaspoon cumin powder
1 cup black beans (drained and rinsed. We use Eden Organics)
4 eggs (from pastured, cage-free chickens. We buy ours from Hometown Harvest)
¼ cup salsa of choice (we like Drew’s)
½ avocado
A few sprigs of cilantro
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Add half a tablespoon of coconut oil to a medium skillet set to medium high heat.
  2. Add onion, cumin and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until onion is translucent but not brown. Add black beans and toss to combine. At this point, you can either set the bean/onion mix aside in a bowl, scramble the eggs in the same pan and then add the beans back in (pics above) OR just move to step 3.
  3. Add remaining oil to skillet with beans. Whisk eggs together in a bowl and pour them into the skillet. Add another pinch or two of salt and pepper to taste and scramble eggs with beans to your desired texture and consistency.
  4. Once eggs are cooked to your liking, put them on a plate and top with salsa, sliced avocado and cilantro. ENJOY!

Cinnamony Snickerdoodle Smoothie {Paleo, Vegan}

I always loved Snickerdoodle cookies as a kid.

My brother Zack and I would go to The Great Cookie whenever we were at the mall to buy a few of their warm and soft but perfectly-crunchy-around-the-edges Snickerdoodle cookies.

Fast forward a few decades, and snickerdoodles are now one of my husband Bill’s favorite cookies. My mother-in-law is known for her snickerdoodles, so he’s done quite a bit of taste testing 🙂

I looked around online to see if I could learn anything about where these tasty treats come from and came to the conclusion that “snickerdoodle” comes from a really long German word for “cinnamon sweet roll.”

snickerdoodle soothie

I have plans to make another snack ball treat inspired by snickerdoodles (here’s the recipe for those!), but in the meantime, I thought I’d give a snickerdoodle smoothie a try! I was surprised by how much cinnamon I had to put in to get the flavor I wanted, but I was happy with the final version 🙂

The tahini (sesame paste) in this smoothie is a good source of calcium, iron, heart healthy fats and protein. Learn more about tahini in this post about my Top 10 Pantry Essentials. Tahini also adds some creaminess. The hemp seeds are another source of healthy fat and protein, which we need to help balance our energy and blood sugar levels.

Cinnamon – the signature ingredient in Snickerdoodles – is a naturally sweet tasting spice that helps us regulate our blood sugar, which is key for sustained energy. Check out the top 10 proven health benefits of this super spice from the folks over at Authority Nutrition.

smoothie banner


  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 Medjool date, pitted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (learn how to make your own here)
  • Pinch of sea salt


Put all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy, about 45-60 seconds.

What was your favorite treat as a kid? Let me know below, and I’ll try to recreate it in a healthier way! 

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