Thanksgiving Is Upon Us

Can you believe it’s Thanksgiving already?  The holidays are upon us, and so are all those parties and foods that can easily add to the waistline.  Here are some suggestions for avoiding that dreaded holiday weight gain.



  • Nutrient-dense foods.  They are more filling, provide optimal nutrition to prevent food cravings & keep energy levels high.
  • Take high-quality supplements that provide optimal nutrition to prevent food cravings & keep energy levels high.
  • Balanced nutrition shakes & bars with protein, carbs, essential fatty acids & fiber will help balance blood sugar, promote detoxification, and lower the inflammation that holds on to belly fat.

When we feed our bodies whole foods in their most natural form, our bodies are able to absorb and utilize the nutrients the way nature intended.  We eat less, resulting in fewer calories consumed.  When we feed our bodies calorie-dense junk food, our body will force us to keep eating until it has the sufficient amount of nutrients in order to function properly.  Ergo, we crave more food. Nutrient-dense foods tend to be bulkier (not heavier), filling us up much faster.  You will notice once you start feeding your body properly, your cravings will disappear, and you will be much less hungry.

Never skip meals in anticipation of over-indulging later in the day.  You are much better off if you eat regular meals throughout the day, and snack on a healthy snack prior to going to any holiday party.  If its a potluck, bring a deliciously healthy appetizer with you so you know that you’ll have at least one good choice.

Here’s a recipe for sweet potato casserole I thought you might enjoy:

Sweet Potato Paleo Casserole



  • 5 large sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp ghee, divided
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted


  • Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes until fork-tender. Remove from heat and drain.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add two tablespoons of ghee and maple syrup, the pot with the sweet potatoes. Stir in the vanilla, one teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mash until smooth. Adjust salt to taste. Transfer to a baking dish.
  • 3 In a small bowl, toss the walnuts with the coconut flakes, coconut oil, remaining ghee and syrup, and teaspoon of cinnamon. Cover the sweet potatoes with the walnut topping. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the walnut topping is golden. Serve warm.


  • Servings: 4-6 as a side
  • Difficulty: Easy
Thank you Paleo Grubs:

Are You Including Balance Training in Your Workout Program?

Young couple run together on a sunset

Young couple run together on a sunset

Balance exercises improve physical health by enhancing joint stabilization and postural control during active movement. In addition, balance exercises improve our body’s ability to respond effectively to unstable environments. This important element of training can improve one’s overall physical health, help prevent falls, and help prevent injury.

Click Here for More Information on Balance Training

Push, Pull, Swing Your Way to a Great Body!

Young couple run together on a sunset

Want some exercises to do when you aren’t with me?  

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What’s In Your Smoothie?

Ann Prokenpek - NASM Elite Trainer

Do you know what’s in that smoothie you just bought at a local smoothie shop?  Did you know that some smoothies may contain as many as 400+ calories and 82 grams of sugar?  Your smoothie could be sabotaging your fitness goals and causing you to gain weight.


To make sure that your smoothie is low in sugar and healthy, it’s best to make your own.  You can make a delicious, healthy smoothie by adding a cup of frozen pineapple, half-cup each of Greek yogurt, milk, and orange juice.  For added benefits, add spinach and/or kale, and you have a delicious, nutritious treat without all the sugar and calories of the Smoothie Store smoothie.

Running Without Injury

Young couple run together on a sunset

Ever since I became a Corrective Exercise Specialist a few years ago, I always watch how people walk, run, sit, lift weights……  Whatever they are doing, I am scrutinizing posture and form.  This morning was no different.  I’m not a running coach, but watching the dozen or so runners by the river this morning was interesting.

Out of the dozen or so runners, only one person looked like he had some type of formal training.  His form was as perfect as it gets and he looked as though he was just gliding over the pavement.  Others were almost fun to watch flailing arms, odd foot strikes, and high impact on the pavement.  One man out there should not have been running at all.  He was wearing knee supports, landing hard, and was very obviously running in pain.  He was compensating for the pain by running with very awkward posture.  He will not only make his current injury worse, by compensating he is setting himself up for creating a new injury.

If you enjoy running, make sure you do your research on proper form right down to proper foot strike.  Better yet, hire a running coach for a session or two to make sure you are running for optimum performance, and injury prevention.  If you have an injury, take time off from running so that you allow your body to heal and do not set yourself up for another injury.  Walking is also an excellent form of exercise, especially during the rehab phase of an injury (depending upon the injury of course).


As always, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new physical activity.