dairy-free, high protein, chocolate-licorice smoothie under 250 calories

coco smoothie

If you like sweet treats with licorice and chocolate notes, you’ll enjoy this low calorie snack, or mini meal. I’ll have this as my pre-workout drink. I use carob instead of cocoa powder because it’s sweeter and has a creamier consistency when blended.

High-protein, dairy-free, chocolate-licorice smoothie

  • raw fennel stalk (save the bulb for a salad or soup), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 T carob powder
  • ½ cup frozen green grapes
  • ½ frozen banana, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • ¼ cup plain collagen protein powder (I use Great Lakes)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (I use Sprouts)

Blend ingredients in the order above. Mix with a large spoon and put in the freezer for 2 minutes. Remove from the freezer, stir with large spoon and drink right away.

Nutritional information:

Calories: 247    gross carbs: 30    fat: 3 grams    protein: 26 grams


how to commit to an exercise/diet program & succeed

I can do this!

If you’ve ever bought an exercise or diet plan, the first reaction is usually excitement: “Cool!” You’re looking forward to dropping excess weight and envisioning a more fit and fabulous you. Now, everyone’s reaction is a little different, and some may take different paths. The second reaction, may be either: “This is different; that’s what I need. I’m going to follow it.” Or maybe it’s: “Wait…I don’t like this!” This last reaction is usually out of fear. It takes you out of your comfort zone, and making these changes makes you uncomfortable. This is where most people stop, never move forward, and never make progress. Don’t stop here. Try the next step:

If the plan doesn’t fit you, for whatever reason, some people tell themselves: “I’ll just cross off stuff I don’t like.” If it’s foods you don’t like, I get it, see if you can find a similar food, like swapping out broccoli for asparagus. Or if it’s an exercise you don’t like, try swapping out the leg press for reverse lunges. If the exercise is awkward or difficult, that just means it’s something you need to work on. The more often you do it, the easier it gets. If the exercise hurts, stop. No exercise should hurt. Know the difference between a muscle being worked, and pain. You should never be in pain. On that same note, a diet shouldn’t be so restrictive that it’s making you depressed, that you can’t ever go out to eat, or you can’t sleep properly. Maybe some small changes are in order, instead of tossing the whole plan out the window.

The next step some people go to, is giving up on trying something new. They say something like this: “Maybe I’ll just do my own thing.” Please don’t! What you’ve been doing doesn’t work! Please move onto the next step.

Acceptance. You tell yourself, “What I’ve been trying either doesn’t work, is too hard, I lose weight, but gain it back, so, the methods I’ve been doing, doesn’t really work. I should, at least, give this new plan a try.” Then, you follow the program as best as you can. You may not do it 100%, but you are trying (that’s what counts).

Be honest with yourself. Are you really giving it your all? If you’re working with a coach, let your coach know what isn’t working, and why. Maybe you’re too tired after work to exercise at 6pm. Maybe the morning traffic is too stressful, and causes you anxiety. Is there a better time to get to the gym? Can your coach change the time, or come to your house? Or maybe you hate cooking. Is there a food preparation company you can get your meals from that you, or your coach, can customize the macros (carbs, protein and fat?), so you can still lose weight?

Final outcome: The plan is working, you’re getting results at a slow, but steady pace and you understand that progress takes time, and you’re going to continue. Or, the plan isn’t your cup-of tea: start a brand new program. Not every diet or every exercise program is good for every person. I don’t give my Indian clients American or Chinese recipes, when they tell me they prefer Indian food. I don’t give my seniors the same exercises or weights as I do with my clients in their 20’s and 30’s. The point is, don’t give up when things become difficult; think of it as a challenge you’re going to excel at. Try your best, try something new, and never ever give up on yourself. Accept imperfection, and strive for improvement.

P.S. I offer personal training sessions, a workout plan that I customize for each client, and I also sell two books: the High-Five Diet, and Slimming Dairy-Free Smoothies and Desserts, both available through me, or on Amazon. For detailed info and to place your order, go to my website at theHighFiveDiet.com

results in 2-3 months of exercise & dieting

client Zack front before and after photosDepending on your current body fat percentage, you could see impressive results in just 2-3 months with consistent, strategic exercises (full body weight training with some cardio). Check out my client Zack’s progress photos. He lowered his body fat (BF) percentage 10 points, from 20% BF to 10% BF, in less than 3 months. He did this by lifting weights two times a week, working with me as his personal trainer, copying our routine and doing it again two more times later in the week. He walked daily, and took exercise classes, or went on hikes, on days he didn’t lift weights.

He also changed his diet, by cutting out processed foods, but he still went out to dinner and had drinks with friends, but he chose healthier meals, and limited his alcoholic drinks to two. Take a look at his before and after photos and you’ll notice that he’s much happier, has more confidence, and got a cute haircut.

While not everyone can take the exact steps that Zack did, this shows that if you’re really motivated and follow your coach’s advice, you will see results of your hard work.

client Zack before and after back photos


eat meals, not snacks for weight loss


People tend to freak out when I tell them to eat a meal instead of a snack, but most of the foods people snack on, like chips and salsa, a bar, or cheese and crackers, typically don’t contain sufficient protein, fiber, or nutrients. These snacks may curb your cravings initially, but they don’t provide what you need, so you’ll end of eating more calories, and snacking more throughout the day.

When I tracked my snacks, I realized I was eating about 700 calories in snacks alone! My meals are 350 calories, so my snacks were equivalent to 2 meals. Try dividing your meals into smaller portions, eating more frequently, and cutting out the snacks, and you’ll find you’re less hungry, have more energy, and see those extra pounds come off quickly.

P.S. Wouldn’t you want to eat tacos as instead of a snack?

instead of probiotics for gut health & weight loss, eat this


Eating a few burgers, with fries, a soda, and topping it off with a milkshake, and then going for a walk to burn it off, is equivalent to taking probiotics with the hopes of improving gut health so your body will be more efficient at fat burning, is ridiculous. If you keep eating unhealthy foods, taking a probiotic is not going to fix your gut, or reduce your weight.

The way to improve your gut health is to greatly reduce the foods that are making you overweight and sick (lethargic, acid reflux, stomach pain, type 2 diabetes, joint pain…etc. ). So, cut out the fried foods, soda, juices, Gatorades, cereals, dairy, fast food, processed foods, sugar, pasta, and bread.

The foods that will improve your gut health are vegetables, and eat lots of them. You can eat potatoes, corn and peas, but lean towards less starchy veggies like green beans, green (red and yellow) onions, broccoli, cucumber, radishes, squash, brussels, cauliflower (use cauliflower rice instead of rice for fewer calories and more veggies), artichoke hearts (I get them in a can), asparagus, and cabbage. Use oil sparingly (I use a little bit of olive oil when I roast vegetables). You can steam vegetables in stock, or put them into a soup to get the most nutrients.

Stop putting a tiny Band-Aid on a huge gaping hole. Quit wasting your money on probiotics, and get real results of a healthier gut and weight loss, by cutting back on junk and adding in more veggies.

The clock diet for weight loss

food clock

Instead of eating whenever you’re hungry, pick specific times that you can adhere to, every day, when you want to eat breakfast, a snack, lunch and dinner. This will re-program your body to cue your hunger signals at, or about 30 minutes before those times. What this does, it prevents you from eating throughout the day. Those little snacks add up fast!

To start, decide how many times you want to eat a day. Then figure out how many meals, and how many snacks you want to eat daily. Lastly, pick the times to eat that work best for your schedule. For instance, I’ll eat breakfast at 8am, lunch at noon, a snack at 3pm, and dinner at 5:00pm. On occasion, I’m so hungry, I cannot wait the four hours from breakfast to lunch, so I’ll eat half my lunch at 10:30am and the 2nd half at 12pm; this way I’m still eating the same amount of calories, while listening to my body. And if I’m not hungry, that’s my body’s way of signaling that I shouldn’t eat, either because I’ve eaten enough, or because I’m not feeling well.

Even though I’m usually hungry between meals, I drink about 20 ounces of filtered water between meals, which helps fill my belly until mealtime. While there may, or may not, be an actual diet called, The Clock Diet, it just means to schedule and eat your meals at certain times, which is similar to the concept of going to bed and waking up at the same time; it keeps your body running more effectively.


You’re not eating it, neither should kids

healthy snacks for kids

I’ve had several moms tell me that they have snacks in the house, like cookies, chips, bars, soda, pretzels, crackers, and/or candy just for their kids. Why is it okay to have your children eat sugary, salty, calorie-dense, nutrient-lacking foods? It’s not okay! You also don’t want to be tempted to grab those items when you’re hungry.

You want your children to be healthy, the proper weight for their age and height, and to get adequate nutrients, which most don’t, so don’t have junk food in the house for them. Start them young to eat vegetables.

Eating fruit, veggies, protein, nuts, seeds, and beans, and limiting junk food, feeds their bones and cells, and protects against disease now and in the future. Picky kids typically end up being picky, overweight adults with medical issues.

Make your children (or yourself) healthy snacks like apple slices smeared with a little bit of almond butter, a fruit smoothie with almond milk and vegan vanilla protein powder, celery with peanut butter, vegetable soup, or even little carrots with hummus. They’ll feel better, get more nutrients, feel fuller, and maybe even be less cranky (but no promises!).


Why this diet works


If a diet produces fat loss, but the weight comes back, that’s not a diet that works. You want a diet that’s sustainable, one that’s flexible enough so that the weight stays off. This diet works because it’s flexible enough so you can go out to eat, have desserts, and eat the foods you enjoy, without counting calories, excessively limiting carbs, or eating a lot of protein.

So, what is this diet? The High-Five Diet, is a dairy-free diet and nutrition book with over 40 delicious dairy-free recipes. A dairy-free diet has been shown to reduce cholesterol, clear up skin conditions, alleviate stomach issues like bloating and cramping, and rids the body of excess bodyfat. It’s up to you decide if you love milk and cheese more than looking and feeling good. Once my clients stop eating dairy, they are so much happier, and have a ton more energy. They even tell me that they don’t crave dairy products anymore.

With the carbohydrate and calorie-controlled dairy-free recipes provided, High-Five Diet proprietary program, tips and tools, this plan is not only easy to follow, it’s a healthy-food promoting plan that can reverse or protect against many diseases, that you can use for the rest of your life that will get rid of that unhealthy excess weight once and for all.

Click this link: https://thehighfivediet.com/  to order your copy and start your new weight loss program today.

why I stopped eating coconut

coconut increases cholesterol

Coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut milk, and dried coconut flakes contain a substantial amount of saturated fat, which can increase cholesterol. Even though my cholesterol levels are normal, it’s not a good idea to eat products often, that contain saturated fat, so I’ve swapped out coconut milk for almond milk. I try to use olive oil instead of coconut oil, and I limit the amount of coconut flakes I add to my desserts and smoothies.

neck pain relief with one simple stretch

lat stretch 1

Neck pain is awful! I sit a lot and end up with lower back aches, and neck tension. These lat (latissimus dorsi: the largest muscle in the back) stretches are very easy to do, and alleviated my neck pain in just one week. I do these stretches three times a day, and will continue to keep doing them because my lats are really tight.

lat stretch 2These are the stretches that I’ve been doing. I gently, and slowly, move in and out of the stretch in all different directions.


lat stretch 3



The key is to keep the arm straight and pull gently; you should feel tension, but never pain.




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