Monthly Archives: October 2014

Almost Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Bread



I had the hankerin’ for something chocolate AND pumpkin, so I went on a recipe search and found this yumminess.  I made some slight adjustments to the original recipe that I found on Living Healthy With Chocolate, so you may want to check that one out, but I’m quite fond of how these nuggets turned out!!  This is a perfect fall sweet treat!!!  It’s pumpkin perfection!


  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 3 tbs of Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 eggs, 1 egg white
  • 1 1/2  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup Trader Joe’s gluten free flour
  • 1 1/2  teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  •  2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  •  1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • chocolate chips


  1. in a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt, coconut oil, eggs, vanilla and honey
  2. in a separate bowl, mix the almond flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon and cocoa powder
  3. using a rubber spatula, gently mix dry ingredients into wet to form a batter. Do not over mix. The batter will be thick.  Add in chocolate chips into the batter if desired.  (The answer is – YES it is desired!)
  4. sprinkle chocolate chunks or chips on top and bake at 350°F until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, approximately 30-40 minutes

Paleo Chocolate Raspberry Chia Banana Bread



I got this recipe straight from one of my favorite Paleo sites – PaleOMG, and it’s pretty much perfect.  I did think it was better the next day once it had set more.  It tastes healthy but not “too” healthy, and is very pretty and very decadent!!  Yummmmmmm!!!

  • 1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 bananas)
  • 1 cup nut butter (almond butter, sunflower seed butter, etc.)
  • ¼ cup organic honey (or less depending on sweetness preference)
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon raw chia seeds
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • ½ cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips – I used Trader Joes chocolate chips
For the toppings
  • ½ cup rapsberries
  • 1 tablespoon organic honey
  • ½ cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips – or TJ’s chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon almond or coconut milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place bananas, nut butter, honey and eggs in a good processor and puree until smooth.
  3. Then add cocoa powder, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt to the food processor and puree until well combined.
  4. Add mixture to a large bowl and fold in chia seeds, raspberries and chocolate chips.
  5. Pour mixture into a greased bread pan (9×5) and bake for 55-60 minutes.*
  6. Once bread is cooked through, let cool on a cooling rack.
  7. In a saucepan or in the microwave, mix together raspberries and honey until raspberries break apart.
  8. In a double boiler or in the microwave, mix together chocolate chips and almond milk until melted.
  9. Add both the raspberry mixture and melted chocolate on top of the banana bread in any design you would like! Cut and enjoy!


Client Spotlight – Courtney Williams

Well, this is not a complete transformation story, this is just me bragging on an absolutely amazing girl, client and friend!!  Courtney came to me the first time wanting her courtney williams butt kicked (her words).  She showed up, and I took one look at her and was like – okay – first assessment – lighter weights, lots of reps, I’ll go easy on her.  Little did I know that she was about to blow me out of the water with her strength, focus and athletic abilities!  Courtney came to her first session 2 days after running THE FULL MARATHON IN NASHVILLE!!  If any of you have done the full – or even the half – you know how brutal it is.  I was in awe from day 1!

Since our first session, Courtney has completely sculpted her body, but the real success has been in her strength.  She is the prime example of girls that lift BIG but who are LITTLE, and by little I mean she’s ripped, but athletic, toned and slim.  Courtney can do absolutely anything – and I mean ANYTHING I ask her to.  She chest presses 30s in each hand like they are nothing and deadlifts free weights 40s and above like they’re air. She has an open heart, and an extreme willingness to be freakin’ awesome!!  She usually conquers the exercises and then asks for more weight or how can we make it harder, and always adds an extra rep “just for good measure.” 🙂 What a rockstar.

I wanted to share one of the exercises that I had her do while training.  Her form is impeccable!  Here’s a video of her doing some TRX weighted squats with a 15lb kettle bell.  Trust me – this is HARD, but she makes it look SO easy!!  Give it a go sometime, and you’ll see.  🙂

I’m always trying to come up with something that will challenge this athletic go-getter!  Last week I threw a weighted vest on her for the ENTIRE workout.  She did 300 step ups and about 150 reps of everything else including pushups and weighted TRX rows. Insanity.  I also happened to catch Zoe spotting her on her pushups…

IMG_0180 IMG_0183

Courtney is an awesome client because she challenges ME to be a better trainer and to come up with new, creative workouts that will keep her on her toes and keep her moving forward.  Thank you, Courtney, for always coming to your sessions ready to be challenged, for making huge strides, always having a smile and the willingness to work, and thank you for being an inspiration to me!

Here’s a little bit about Courtney Williams in her own words…

I am originally from Massachusetts and I grew up playing sports.  I was a gymnast for years until an injury to my right elbow forced me to stop, I played Lacrosse throughout High School along with running Cross Country.  After high school, I went on to get my Bachelor’s Degree in Economics with a minor in Journalism from Wake Forest University in North Carolina.  After college, I went on to work for a hotel management company.  I realized that I wanted a career switch, however, and I am currently in my second and final year of graduate school, receiving my MBA from Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management.
Since graduating college, I’ve become serious about running and I have taken up marathons (because who wouldn’t?!).  I ran the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon in 3:46:47, the 2013 Rock n’ Roll Marathon in Washington, DC in 4:00:01, and the 2014 Rock n’ Roll Marathon in Nashville, TN in 3:50:59. I am currently training for the Goofy Challenge in January, where I will run the Disney Half Marathon on a Saturday and the Full Marathon the following day.


GF Chocolate Nutmeg Donuts



When I had Kim over for dinner this week, I of course HAD to have some kind of dessert ready.  I decided to check out one of my favorite blogs Love and Lemons, and I took this straight from the blog.  These were perfect caked donuts, but very cakey, so you may try using a little less flour.  I also threw in some chocolate chips (as I always do), because chocolate makes everything better!  And let me tell you – we were wishing we had some vanilla ice cream to go along with these little guys!!!  Right out of the oven, warm with ice cream – just SHUT UP.  Perfect for breakfast, dessert or a snack!  The spices really give these a nice fall flavor too.

makes about 24 mini doughnuts, 16 mini-muffins, or about 8 regular sized doughnuts. 


1 cup flour(s) of your choice (I did Trader Joe’s GF flour)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2.5 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup milk of your choice (I used almond milk)
1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg


Preheat oven to 400 and spray or grease a donut pan or mini-muffin pan.

Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Stir in the rest of the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, whisk all wet ingredients. (if your coconut oil is clumpy, melt it slightly).

Combine wet and dry ingredients, stirring gently until just combined.

Fill doughnut pan, (don’t fill batter higher than 3/4 of the way up).

Bake for 5-7 minutes (possibly a bit longer if you are not using a regular sized doughnut pan). Doughnuts are done when they are puffed up in the oven. Be careful not to over-bake, especially if you’re making mini’s. They bake quick.

Let cool and dust with powdered sugar.

Cheesy Shrimp and “Grits”



OMG.  This dish is perfect for a fall or winter dinner!  It’s hearty and filling but healthy, and SO good.  You don’t need much to fill up!

A client and friend posted a version of shrimp and “grits” on her Instagram, and I just had to know more…GRITS?!!  Healthy grits??! She explained that the “grits” were actually quinoa… Brilliant!!   I then went on a mission to find a recipe and create this amazing dish. ..

It just so happens that my friend Kim Hughes and I needed a proper catch up annnnnd she asked me to make her dinner, which I jumped on, because I love to cook for people!!!  I found a recipe on From the Little Yellow Kitchen and it was perfection.  I used a mix of 3 blend cheese from Trader Joes and just added as much as needed to make the consistency right.


  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 small/medium clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups broth or water
  • ¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar (Dubliner was excellent)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • spinach or chard


Add water or broth and quinoa to a pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese and milk.  Add a little salt and pepper to taste if wanted.

Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Add olive oil and shrimp to a pan and cook until shrimp for 3-4 minutes, until shrimp are just slightly pink. Add lemon juice, parsley, and garlic and sauté for 3  more minutes. Put shrimp mixture onto a separate plate.

Add chopped spinach and chard leaves to the pan and sauté 3-4 minutes, or until wilted.

Serve chard and shrimp mixture on top of the cheesy quinoa. Enjoy!

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Donuts



It’s time to bring out the punkins!!!  I went to the pumpkin patch yesterday and even though it doesn’t quite feel like fall outside yet, it’s pretty much pumpkin everything.  So, I decided to ride the bandwagon and make these little nuggets of love!  They aren’t too sweet, and go great with a cup o’ Joe!  I found this recipe on The Frisky Lemon and naturally added chocolate chips.  Duh.  I also doubled the recipe just to have more to share (and eat myself).  Again, duh.


  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup light coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a mini donut pan with coconut oil.
  2. In a small bowl, combine coconut flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the coconut milk, pumpkin, coconut oil, maple syrup and eggs.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. If the batter seems a little dry, add another tablespoon of coconut milk.  Add the chocolate chips.
  5. Smush the batter into the donut pan and bake for 18 to 20 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
  7. Then try not to eat all of them at once…they’re so cute they’re hard to resist…

Spaghetti Squash with Avocado and Spinach “Cream” Sauce



I ran long today.  It was HOT.  And sometimes after a long run you crave CARBS.  So, tonight, I decided to trick my body into thinking that I in fact did have carbs!  I found the original recipe on PalOMG which is a GREAT site with so many wonderful recipes!  However, I didn’t have all of the ingredients, so I kind of made it my own.  I would check out the original recipe though – especially if you like onions and if you have fresh basil.  I didn’t have either, so I compromised and worked with what I had.  I also made enough sauce for just little ol’ me, so if you want more, then double the recipe.  You can add chicken or turkey to this for protein!

Below is a way to cook spaghetti squash in the oven, but I actually prefer the microwave because it’s quicker.  Google it, and you can find step by step instructions on how to do it!  Also – take liberties with your spices.  I always guesstimate on how much I’m really putting in, and sometimes you need a little more zing or zest – so make sure to taste test and see if you need to add anything.

  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 1, pits removed
  • 3 cups of fresh spinach (or more, if you’d like)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp  garlic salt
  • 1 tsp rosemary – I didn’t have basil, so I used rosemary, but dried basil would be great too I think!  And so would a handful of fresh basil!
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise, and remove the excess seeds and strings.
  3. Place open side down on a baking sheet and cook for 20-25 minutes or until spaghetti squash is soft when you push the skin or the threads easily come out when you take a fork to it.
  4. While your spaghetti squash cooks, place a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  5. Add 3 garlic cloves to your hot pan and then toss in your spinach. Let your spinach wilt down, then add it to your food processor.
  6. Then add the parsley, thyme, salt, rosemary and pepper.
  7. Add the avocado to your food processor along with your lemon, anything else to taste. Puree until smooth, then add your 2 tablespoons of your leftover olive oil.
  8. Once your spaghetti squash is done cooking and cooled, dethread your spaghetti squash and place threads in a large bowl.  I only used half for this recipe and put the rest in the fridge for tomorrow!
  9. Mix thoroughly and top with cherry tomatoes.
  10. Eat it like you mean it!