Tiny Balls of Energy

My oldest son (age 5) and I made these recently for our mom and son time.  We made 2 flavors, a “regular” kid friendly chocolate chip and a mom inspired pumpkin spice. I had wrongly assumed that the pumpkin spice ones would be all mine, however, they ended up being a hit with everyone.


Dark Chocolate Chip and Pumpkin Spice Energy Balls

These balls are a delicious and portable snack, while still managing to pack a healthy punch.  The oats, flax and pumpkin are full of healthy carbs and fiber, that helps to keep you feeling satisfied and providing fuel for your day. Not to mention the pumpkin provides lots of micronutrients, like vitamins A, E, C, K and potassium and magnesium.

Now, don’t freak when you see the fat content. There is a healthy dose of monounsaturated and omega-3s (aka healthy fats) from the pumpkin seeds, flax, chia and nut butters. We need healthy fats in our diet. Look for an article later discussing the importance of healthy fats, but the short of it is: there are many body tissues (hello, our brain!!) made up of fat. (EDIT: updated article on Fat is here.) This makes the type of fat we consume pretty important.

Pair these bad boys them with some lean protein (maybe some cottage cheese? Or how about a latte with skim milk?) and you have a nice balanced snack.

The Pumpkin Spiced Energy Balls

  • 1 1/2 cups Oats (Use old fashioned or Rolled.  Do not use instant or quick)
  • 1 cup Pumpkin (look for pure pumpkin, not pie filling. I like Libby’s brand, it doesn’t taste as vegetal)
  • 2 Tb Unsweetened Shredded Coconut, toasted
  • 6 Tb Ground Flax Seeds*
  • 1/3 cup Maple syrup (Use the real stuff!)
  • 1/3 cup Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1 tbsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds

Mix all ingredients.  Then place in fridge for ½ hour.  After they have gotten nice and chill, roll into balls.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and freeze.  Once frozen, transfer them to whatever you plan to store them in (I use a freezer baggie)

I keep them in the freezer and defrost what we plan to eat. They defrost quickly and will keep for probably 1 week in the fridge.

Makes about 20-24 balls (depending on the size and how much sampling happens.) *Depending on the consistency of your Peanut butter you may need more or less ground flax.

Nutrition info:  Calories: 153 Fat:9 Carbs: 15  Protein:6

Pumpkin Spice not your thing? No problem! Try this regular chocolate chip variety.

Chocolate Chip Energy Balls

  • 1 cup Old Fashioned Oats (again no quick or instant here)
  • 2/3 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup Almond Butter
  • 1/3 cup Maple Syrup (use the real stuff!)
  • 1 Tb Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup Flax Seed
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chip
  • 1 tbsp Chia Seed

Mix all ingredients.  Then place in fridge for ½ hour.  After they have gotten nice and chill, roll into balls.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and freeze.  Once frozen, you can transfer them to whatever you plan to store them in (I use a freezer baggie)

I keep them in the freezer and defrost what we plan to eat. They defrost quickly and will keep for probably 1 week in the fridge.

Makes about 20-24 balls (depending on the size and how much sampling happens.) *Depending on the consistency of your Peanut butter you may need more or less ground flax.

Nutrition: calories: 133 Fat:10 carbs:11 protein:3

Adapted from Clean Food Crush and Gimme Some Oven



Motivation is a bunch of crap

Relying on motivation to achieve your goals is pointless.  It is an emotion.  It waxes and wanes. It’s high, it’s low. It’s there sometimes. Sometimes it’s not.  That is why you need to rely on habits, and not motivation, when trying to pursue health and fitness goals.


You wake up and ask yourself, “Do I want to go to the gym today?”  It happens to be day where you have low motivation.  You mind says “Heck no! Don’t go. Stay in bed” If you are relying on motivation alone, you won’t end up going. Now, if you made the habit of working out every MWF and today happens to be Wednesday.  Well you put on those gym clothes and you go to the gym.

Same applies for nutrition.  You look at the fridge; you think “I don’t want oatmeal today. I want a doughnut*” But if you grab that oatmeal, well then, you just said eff you to motivation and relied on a habit.

(*Don’t get me wrong.  Doughnuts are great and I don’t believe in bad foods.  I am all about moderation, but the problem resides in eating a doughnut (or whatever the food might be) every single time you feel like it. You need to look at how often doughnuts can fit into your diet and still reach your goal.  Say once a week? Once a month? As part of my coaching program, we would work together to find a healthy doughnut balance.)

Ever notice how much harder it is to get back on plan after a vacation?  It’s like you come back from vacation and all your motivation is in the toilet.  You assumed a week off would do you good and you’d come back and be ready to crush it. Instead you can’t drag your butt to the gym and your eating plan is out the window.  Or more like all your food is coming though the drive through window.  It is because your previously healthy habits are broken.

If you are relying purely on motivation to power you through changing your lifestyle, you are setting yourself up for failure.  You need to create the habit, and the lifestyle will follow.  First, pick one habit that is easy to implement.  Once you’ve mastered that habit (and by mastered I mean hit that bad boy consistently for at least 2 weeks) add in another habit. For example, you are going to ditch the doughnut drive through window on your way to work.  Instead you are going to make ahead a bunch of healthy breakfasts on Sunday to get you through the week (like these high protein overnight oats).  After 2 weeks of consistently hitting this habit, you can then add in another one.


High protein peanut butter chocolate chip overnight oats.

Maybe you want to make a workout related habit. Try setting an alarm that tells you it’s gym time.  Say every MWF at 9 am, (or whatever your day and times might be) the alarm on your phone goes off and it says “gym time!”.  After 2 weeks of hitting they gym whenever you hear your alarm, you have now formed a new healthy habit! There is an actual study (1) in the Journal of Health Psychology that showed a direct correlation between an auditory noise and making a new habit stick.  Short of it is, those who heard a noise every time they began their new habit (Like an alarm telling them to hit the gym) were more likely to stick to their new habit.

So forget relying on motivation to power you through.  Pick a new healthy habit. Follow that bad boy for 2 weeks.  Then add in another.  Don’t go all gung-ho and add multiple habits at once, stick to one every two weeks.  Before you know it, you’ll have a whole new set of heathy habits and will be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle.  What are some healthy habits you have successfully implemented into your day? I’d love to hear them! Leave them or any questions below.


(1)Phillips, L. Alison; Gardner, Benjamin “Habitual exercise instigation (vs. execution) predicts healthy adults’ exercise frequency.” Health Psychology, Vol 35(1), Jan 2016, 69-77.

Overnight Oats


These oats are a huge hit. They are super easy (and I mean e-a-s-y) to make (hello, no cooking!) and they are a delicious way to get a nourishing breakfast, full of protein and fiber!  Just layer the ingredients in a small mason jar, shake and refrigerate. That’s it! They will be ready to eat in 12 hours and will keep for 3-5 days.  (However, you may need to add more liquid the longer they are in the fridge).  When ready to eat, just give a quick stir, add in any fresh fruit and sit down and enjoy! No need to heat them (though you could if you wanted).

On Sunday, I like to meal prep a large batch.  Usually at lest 2 of each flavor! Then they are ready to eat all week long.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip

Seriously, this bad boy tastes like a cookie!  If you are not familiar with PB2 it is a defatted peanut powered, you can find it in most grocery stores now and on Amazon. (There are also different brands available, I think I saw one by Jif recently.)  Fairlife Milk is an ultra-filtered milk, so there is more protein, less sugar and no lactose.  It is carried near the regular dairy milk in most major stores.

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (use sweetener of your choice, honey, stevia. etc.)
  • 2 TB powdered defatted peanut butter (I use PB2)
  • 1/2 cup Nonfat Fairlife milk (can use any “milk” here, but Fairlife will offer the most protein. Just make sure what you choose is unsweetened)
  • and last but not least 1 Tb chocolate chips.

Banana Nut Overnight Oats.

These guys remind me of a nutty banana bread.  Make sure you don’t add the banana until right before you eat it.

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (again use sweetener of your choice)
  • 1 Tb chopped walnuts (pecans work good here too)
  • 1/2 cup nonfat fair life milk.
  • When its time to eat it, top with 1/2 a chopped banana! And maybe some more nuts if you’re feeling it.

Chocolate Raspberry Oats 


These guys are not sweet, but you can make them sweeter by increasing the sweetener, using cocoa instead of cacao or topping with chocolate chips. They do pack a healthy punch.  They are full of antioxidants and polyphenols from the raspberries and cacao.  As written they have 14 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein.

  • 1\2 c. Oats (rolled, uncooked)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tb Cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup Fairlife nonfat milk (use milk of your choice, just note it will have less protein)
  • 1 tsp cacao chip or chocolate chips for sprinkling on top.
  • 1/4 c raspberries, don’t add till ready to eat.


After you make a batch, let me know. What did you think? Which flavor was your favorite?


My Why.

keep-itI have been sitting here with writer’s block for days.  How do I put “why I started this business” into words?  Then I remembered my motto, “Keep it simple, don’t over complicate.” It applies to nutrition, to writing, to parenting, to everything really.

So, here is my why, and it is simple. . . I like it. I like helping people (INFJ here!) I thrive on it.  I want to help others not only reach their physical goals, but also learn to love themselves in the process.  There is no hating yourself lean here (spoiler alert, that doesn’t work anyways). Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the geeky science stuff too.  More than that, however, I enjoy applying the geeky science stuff to the everyday and then teaching that to others.

There is so much information out there, and now with the world at our finger tips, it is easier than ever to get overwhelmed and confused.  Most of the time what works for one person (your BFF, blogger on your newsfeed, or guru on the morning talk show) may not work for you.  We are all different with different needs and different genetics. I want to help people navigate through the over supply of information and work with them to find out what work for them.

Most diets and lose weight quick schemes fail.  They fail because not only are they unsustainable for a long period of time, but also because they are addressing only one piece of the puzzle.  By learning new healthy eating habits, one at a time. You will learn how to choose the healthiest option and not hate it.  This is a lifestyle, not a diet.

I have taken my knowledge and applied it to how you can eat to reach your goals. This can be done without removing entire food groups from your diet. You still get to eat the foods you love (just in moderation).   Your goals are achievable without crash diets, tons of supplements, or working out till you puke. And, for the record, I do not believe in bad foods.

By learning some healthy habits and the proper mindset you can not only achieve your goals but maintain them. And I want to help you do that!

So, that is my why.  What is yours?