If you have been keeping up with my Flat Belly diet then you know that I love chia seeds! I use them in my Flat Belly Waters and Meals that are delicious foods you can actually indulge in during your fasting window.
But Chia is much more than a tiny little seed stemming from a hearty plant that flourishes in the central and southern parts of Mexico. Chia was actually considered a staple food crop in the Aztec diet – eaten whole, ground into a fine flour, mixed into water as a drink, incorporated with other grains and baked into flatbread, and even used as medicine. In fact, Chia Seeds were most famously consumed by warriors and athletes as sources of energy and endurance.
Often consumed in competitions and situations of extreme perseverance, it was thought that an athlete could perform powerful physical output by eating nothing more than a tablespoon of Chia every few hours. Perhaps that’s why I continue to use premium organic Chia Seeds as my energy source when I’m intermittent fasting, which is why you’ll often see me making my favorite mix of water, Navitas Organics Chia Seeds and Sweet Drops during fasting periods. Chia Seeds have a gelatinous quality, meaning when they’re surrounded by liquid for as little as 15 minutes, they swell up with a jelly-like coating. These swollen Chia Seeds are often used as a fun textural agent in recipes like sauces and drinks, and it’s this same feature that makes Chia pudding so filling and delicious!
Chia, with its healthy fats, antioxidants, minerals and high fiber, is just as valuable today as it was back then for supporting overall health, vitality and energy. Benefits of Chia Seeds include omega-3s, protein and fiber to start—or end—your day right. I always choose Navitas Organics Chia Seeds because they contain 2,254mg of omega-3 fatty acids per serving!
Follow me on Instagram to see all the ways I use Chia Seeds and drop a comment with your favorite ways to use these powerfully nutritious superfood seeds!
So many of the celebrity clients that I work with are aware that corn syrup does break the fast because it’s high in sugar and people don’t realize that it’s also very inflammatory and processed, even more so than real sugar.
I’ve talked about corn syrup in many of my past books. It is so refined that it truly is one of the highest sources of contributors to belly fat and can be found in fruit drinks, sodas, and many other snacks.
The ultimate fasting swap for corn syrup is a plant-based sweetener. There are many types but my favorite is SweetLeaf that’s made with stevia.
Unlike many other stevia-based products, this is not bitter, it tastes just like sugar, and is delicious. Click here to learn more about stevia at our next meeting!
Click here to discover my favorite brand of stevia, SweetLeaf, including chocolate to caramel, yummy!
We all know that vegetables are a super-healthy food group, and they should make up a good portion of our diets. Quite simply, a whole-foods, plant-based diet is a way of eating that can help you take better control of your overall health. On my new Cruise Control Fasting program, I suggest that during your 8-hour eating window, 30% of your diet should include healthy carbs like veggies. Plant-based diets have also been linked to a slew of health benefits, including boosting brain health and reducing the risk of heart disease, some cancers, diabetes, and obesity. As they say, “you are what you eat”…and if you eat lots vegetables, you’ll look and feel great.
But eating lots of veggies can get really boring. Or, maybe you’re a picky eater and you just don’t like them — some veggies are an acquired taste, and you don’t enjoy eating them in their natural state. SO many of my clients complain that they have to force themselves to get all their servings of veggies in. If that sounds like you, then I have some great news for you — this shouldn’t and doesn’t have to be torture, people! Veggies can be tasty, surprisingly fun ingredients, if you can find more creative ways to work them into your meals. My friends at Cece’s Veggie Co. couldn’t agree more. Their delicious, natural, veggie-based noodles, rices, and meals offer a simple but twisted way to eat your veggies!
The folks at Cece’s named their company after their founder’s daughter, who was the original inspiration for creating a better way to eat more veggies. Cece has a gluten allergy, and her dad didn’t want her to miss out on fun, noodle-y meals with the family — but he couldn’t find a pasta substitute on the market that really fit the bill. There was very little that wasn’t filled with preservatives and other sketchy ingredients he wasn’t too happy about. But when Cece gobbled up tons of the raw veggie spirals her dad created in his early experiments, a lightbulb went off. Of course, veggie noodles and rices…what a simple, versatile way to get your daily dose of veggies.
The team at Cece’s likes to say that they were born to become everyone’s sous chef! From their curly spiral noodles to their exotic rices, these products offer a shortcut to pack more nutrients into any diet without sacrificing taste, time or quality. These guys truly believe that veggies are delicious and wonderful, and SO versatile. If you check out their website or their social media channels, it’s easy to see that Cece’s likes to introduce cool new ways to enjoy their noodles and rices, and there are a ton of recipes and meal ideas to suit every dietary need and palate.
Another thing I love about Cece’s is their naturally-sourced ingredients, which come from a group of farms that are spread out all over the country. And because so many families have to work around dietary restrictions and food allergies these days, it’s great to know their products are made in facilities that are wheat-free, gluten-free, peanut free, tree-nut free, shellfish-free, and soy free. So many of our kids – and their friends who hang out in our kitchens! – have food sensitivities, and we all need to be a little more aware of where our food comes from and how it’s made.
To take it another healthy step further, all of Cece’s products are also Whole 30 approved, certified organic, gluten-free and non-GMO. All the things you’d expect from a company that celebrates healthy, whole foods and organic farming. For these guys, it’s all about inspiring others to get their nutrients in while still enjoying delicious, creative meals with a truly healthy pasta alternative.
So if you’re struggling to find ways to get more vegetables into your diet, give Cece’s a try. They make twisty noodles from veggies that suit a wide variety of tastes, including beets, butternut and yellow squash, sweet potatoes – and of course, zucchini. And how about the wildly-popular ingredient that’s all the rage, cauliflower rice? I mentioned it a bunch and I included it in some recipes in my new book, “The Cruise Control Diet,” because I think it’s a totally brilliant swap for rice. I have an amazing fried rice recipe in the book that uses cauliflower rice, I know you will love it. They also make a broccoli rice and a veggie medley, which bring even more flavor options into the mix.
Like my friends at Cece’s say, you can eat them raw, sautéed, sauced, in a salad or soup. So, get creative! They know you’re going to love their natural pasta alternatives, and they want to see how you noodle. To find out more about Cece’s delicious line of products and to check out some recipes, head over to theirwebsite. And to keep up with all the latest recipe ideas and happenings in the world of Cece’s Veggie Co, check them out on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Man, do I love a good charcuterie plate! So many rich, exotic flavors, all combined on one beautiful platter. Charcuterie is a French word for smoked, dry-cured or cooked meats, and a typical charcuterie board is overflowing with meats, cheeses, and crackers or bread, as well as olives, nuts, dried fruits, and jam. But I often take a hard pass on some of those foods in a typical spread, because they just don’t fit into my current diet and lifestyle. Most prominently, the carb-heavy breads and crackers that are always piled high! But it’s natural to want to treat yourself from time to time, and in moderation it’s ok to splurge. Charcuterie is certainly a decadent treat that I reserve for special occasions. But there are some ingredients on the tray that can be regularly enjoyed as part of a balanced diet, as well as some smart swaps that can make a charcuterie board a little bit healthier.
Some of the items on a traditional charcuterie plate are more in line with a sensible diet than others! Parmesan cheese is one of those items – nutty, sharp, and delicious, it’s really versatile and complements so many different dishes. On my Cruise Control Fasting program — which is my own spin on the popular weight-loss trend of intermittent fasting — I show you how to cheat your 16-hour fast and never feel hungry by leaning on healthy fats like butter, avocado or MCT oil, and heavy cream. And for your 8-hour eating window, I share tons of recipes and ideas for creating yummy, anti-inflammatory meals, many made with parmesan cheese. In fact, if you check out my new book, The Cruise Control Diet, you’ll see a slew of meal options that include this tasty variety of hard cheese!
Given my affinity for parmesan cheese, it’s no surprise that I’m completely obsessed with ParmCrisps. Oven-baked and made from 100% aged parmesan cheese, ParmCrisps are crunchy little rounds that are perfect on their own as a snack, or if you want to add some texture and cheesy flavor to soups or salads. My friends at this awesome company like to say that with ParmCrisps, the possibilities are endless! I couldn’t agree more…they make truly delightful products that my boys and I really enjoy. So, is it possible to make a healthier charcuterie plate with ParmCrisps – YES!
I love to replace all the carb-heavy breads and crackers on my charcuterie platter with ParmCrisps. It’s literally THE carbless cracker! Whether you’re craving the cheesy crunch of the crisps on their own, or you want to layer other ingredients on top, there are so many tasty combinations you can create — without all the extra carbs you want to avoid. ParmCrisps are keto-friendly, gluten-free, packed with protein, and have ZERO carbs. So whatever your diet restrictions or your reasons are for avoiding carbs, these crispy wonders provide a really tasty alternative.
The folks at ParmCrisps care about their high-quality ingredients, and it shows in their products. The cheese used to make ParmCrisps is 100% aged parmesan cheese, and I really love that the team is committed to sourcing their cheese from right here in the U.S.A. ParmCrisps are oven-baked in small batches, and they’re seasoned with a special selection of all-natural spices for rich, authentic flavor. There are a bunch of delicious varieties to enjoy, and it comes in a bunch of convenient packages like pouches, tubs, and trios. It’s so easy to grab a package and go, too, since the pouches are resealable and totally portable. For snack-time, meal-time OR a healthier charcuterie plate (!), ParmCrispsare a great, savory option.
So go out and discover your favorite ways to enjoy this tasty, totally carbless cracker! To find out more about ParmCrisps’ delicious line of products, head over to theirwebsite. And to keep up with all the latest happenings in the world of ParmCrisps, check them out on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
In the 20+ years that I’ve been a fitness trainer and wellness expert, I’ve said this time and time again…I’m like a broken record. No matter what diet or nutrition plan you follow or what types of workouts you do, hydration is crucial to keeping your body in balance. There’s no question, our bodies depend on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies needs water to function properly. Dehydration occurs when we don’t drink enough water — through excessive sweating, diarrhea, vomiting or exercise. When we’re dehydrated, it’s common to feel faint, have a headache, experience cramps, or feel fatigued. Not fun!
One other thing I do during and after an intense workout besides rehydrating is making sure I get enough electrolytes. These are really important for keeping your body hydrated and in good balance. When you do intense exercise, you can sweat out too many of your electrolytes. Many sports-type drinks that have electrolytes also contain a lot of sugar and other nasty chemical ingredients. I’ve found an electrolyte product that I love that is totally natural called LyteShow. It’s a concentrate that you add to water, it adds a lemony tang, and a little goes a long way so it’s a great value.
On my new Cruise Control Fasting plan, which is my spin on intermittent fasting, I offer lots of ways to “cheat the fast” so you never feel hungry during your 16-hour fast. Many times, even when you’re NOT fasting – you can feel “false hunger” when you’re simply thirsty or low on electrolytes. So it’s really important to hydrate and also replace your electrolytes — especially before and after a workout.
My friends at LyteLine, who make LyteShow in addition to a whole line of amazing supplements, say they simply create BETTER hydration products. I know for a fact that the team at LyteLine always use, drink and take the products they make themselves. Their products don’t taste like your typical sports drinks — they taste so much better, because it’s not just the usual sugar water. LyteLine’s fresh flavor is intense, because their teams says their commitment to hydration is intense! They make a bunch of different types of products, including these awesome rip packs that I carry around with me everywhere, electrolyte drops, and LyteZone sports drinks. It’ll all have you feeling great after you drink it!
Are you finding it hard to get the recommended amount of water in each day? It’s super-important, not just for keeping your body in balance, but if you’re following a plan like my Cruise Control Fasting program, you don’t want to have any false hunger pangs slowing you down. Here are a few powerful tips for staying better hydrated:
As I mentioned before, drink before, during, and after exercise.
Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water – if you wait that long, you are already somewhat dehydrated!
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, which have a high water content.
Carry a reusable water bottle with you, so you always have a container to fill up wherever you are.
As I said earlier, if you think you’re feeling hungry, drink some water first. It may be false hunger and you may just be thirsty.
Drink water at a restaurant before you order. When your body is properly hydrated, it’s easier to tell how truly hungry you are. This can prevent you from overeating!
So make sure you get all your water servings in each day, and use products like LyteShow to keep your water brimming with crucial electrolytes. To find out more about LyteLine’s amazing line of hydration products, head over to theirwebsite. And to keep up with all the latest happenings in the world of LyteLine, check them out on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
I’ve been a busy guy in the past couple of weeks since my new book, “The Cruise Control Diet,” dropped. The book, which went to the top of both the Diet and Nutrition categories on Amazon, details my spin on intermittent fasting, where you select an 8-hour eating window, and you fast for the remaining 16 hours. I’ve never seen anything more effective for losing belly fat fast and transforming health, but there’s a catch to traditional intermittent fasting — you’re hungry! That’s what makes my Cruise Control Fasting plan different and BETTER…I show you how to “cheat” the fast with healthy fats, so that you never feel hungry.
A staple of my Cruise Control Fasting plan is, of course, my Cruise Control Coffee! It’s one of the Burn Zone Breakfast Beverages you can enjoy during your 16-hour fast, and it’ll keep you satiated for hours until it’s time to have your first meal. All of the ingredients work quickly and effectively to curb your hunger, all while you enjoy a delicious cup of hot, creamy, frothy coffee. So without further ado, here’s the recipe.
Cruise Control Coffee
*In this recipe you can choose between MCT or coconut oil, and between grass-fed butter and ghee.
1 cup (8 to 12 ounces) coffee
1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons MCT oil or coconut oil
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1 to 2 tablespoons grass-fed, unsalted butter or grass-fed ghee
1 tablespoon Cruise Control–friendly sweetener *I love Swerve!
*Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy.
In the recipe above that I mention that you should use a Cruise Control–friendly sweetener, and one of my absolute favorites is Swerve! My friends at Swerve, who make a variety of sweeteners to compliment any recipe (as well as cake and cookie mixes), like to say it’s the ultimate sugar replacement. Why? Because Swerve has zero-calories, it’s non-glycemic, and it measures cup-for-cup like regular sugar. Made from ingredients found in select fruits and starchy root vegetables, it’s sweet, safe and natural — and contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives or flavors. It’s even safe for those living with diabetes, since it has no effect on blood glucose or insulin levels.
Swerve is a blend of three ingredients. Erythritol is the most prominent ingredient, and is naturally made by fermenting glucose. Prebiotic fibers called oligosaccharides are then added to the mix, along with some natural flavor from citrus to provide just the right amount of sweetness. Unlike other natural sweeteners like stevia, there is no bitter aftertaste, which is a huge benefit to me. It just tastes more like sugar than the others, plain and simple! It’s also the only sugar replacement of its kind that browns and caramelizes, just like sugar does — so all of your favorite recipes will turn out just the way you like them. Me and my boys have a serious sweet tooth — so besides using Swerve in my Cruise Control beverages, we use it all the time to make delicious, sugar-free treats.
So I hope you give my Cruise Control Coffee recipe a try – it’s incredibly effective for curbing your appetite during those dicey “bumper zones” in the morning and at night when you’re fasting. And if you like your beverages sweet, I highly recommend using Swerve as your sugar replacement.
To find out more about Swerve’s delicious products, and to check out all of their super-tasty recipes, head over to theirwebsite. And to keep up with all the latest happenings in the world of Swerve, check them out on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.