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Halloween Candy: TRICK or treat?

Let’s talk Halloween candy! Is it a TRICK or a treat???? 😀

halloween candy

I admit, candy is very tempting to me- especially bite-sized chocolate candy. Those small little candies just don’t seem that significant but boy do they add up quickly!  I mean, I could totally eat 1,ooo or more calories of it in one sitting. 🙁 It’s EASY to do if I’m not being mindful!

As you can imagine, I’m tempted in every way that you are to dig into my kiddos’ candy and snag a few of my favorites. I don’t alway resist the urge, but below are a few of the strategies I use to avoid eating ALL the abundantly available Halloween candy!

Here are a few strategies that I employ during this week of TRICKS and TREATS! Halloween candy be gone!

1. Don’t purchase your candy just yet! I LOVE to be organized and prepared, but having candy staring at me all week isn’t helpful. So, I’ll either have my non-sweet-toothed husband purchase candy and keep it at work or wait until Halloween (or the day before) to buy the candy.

2. I don’t buy candy that I love. 🙂 This is obvious. If your bowl of candy has all of your very favorite treats, how tempted will you be ALL.NIGHT.LONG?!? That’s a TRICK indeed!

3. *IF* I choose to eat candy, I pick my very favorite few pieces and then leave it alone. Set a limit of 2-4 pieces and stick by your guns!

4. Most importantly, I REMEMBER that candy is available 24/7, 365 days of the year. It’s not a special treat. You can buy it literally ANY time you please. This is BIG PICTURE thinking! Don’t allow the fear of missing out (FOMO) guide your decisions. You aren’t missing out of a Butterfinger or Twix. They will both be available November 1st. 😉 I PROMISE!

5. I have my kids sort their candy and pick out 10-15 pieces to keep and throw out the rest. If you don’t like the idea of “wasting” candy, you could also donate the candy at local dentist offices that in turn mail them to our troops.

Be kind to your body! Be smart this Halloween season! Be mindful. Have a plan in place (like the strategies above) to keep you on track. 🙂


I want to hear YOUR suggestions. 🙂 Head over to the facebook post below and COMMENT on YOUR  strategies to keep holiday eating in check! Let’s help each other stay the course!


Let’s talk Halloween candy!I admit, candy is very tempting to me- especially bite-sized chocolate candy. Those small…

Posted by Jill Jacobs – Lifestyle Coaching on Monday, October 27, 2014


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{Recipe} Grain-Free Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin bread is one of my favorite fall treats!

Every year for the last several years, I’ve made a particular recipe for Pumpkin Bread that I found in a Southern Living recipe book (with a few of my own tweaks). It’s always been a hit at home as well as among my friends! This year, I decided to attempt a grain-free (and therefore gluten-free), lower sugar version. I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out incredibly delicious and was very easy to make!

Here is a slice I enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee. It was perfectly moist and tasty! 🙂

pumpkin bread slice

If you’d like to try your hand at this recipe, here is how I made it….

Grain-Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe (makes 2 loaves)

  • 3 1/3 cups of almond flour
  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups of Truvia for baking (depending on how sweet you want your bread – I went with 1 1/2 cups because I have a major sweet tooth! If you use something besides Truvia, it needs to be equivalent to 3 cups of sugar.)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 oz. all natural, no added sugar apple sauce
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 15 oz can of pure, preferably organic, pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling – needs to be 100% pumpkin)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and stir until incorporated. Combine all wet ingredients until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir together until well incorporated. Divide batter into 2 large (9×5), greased loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for at least 10-15 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

Slice each loaf into 10-12 slices. 1 slice equals 1 serving. Serve cold or warm. To warm, heat a slice in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Enjoy!

The Finished Loaves

p.s. This recipe freezes well, so I froze one loaf for later. 🙂

p.p.s. If you’d like your own copy, sign up below to receive a printable version of this recipe! Check your spam/junk folder to confirm your subscription. 🙂

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{RECIPE} Super Easy Pumpkin Turkey Chili

I love autumn….. and pumpkin turkey chili!

This is the time of year to get excited about the cooler weather, football season, beautiful changing leaves, and ALL THINGS PUMPKIN!

I was going through some old recipes recently and came across this beanless Pumpkin Turkey Chili recipe that I picked up at the grocery store a few years back. I never made it and honestly had forgotten about it.

I searched the pantry and refrigerator and had most of the ingredients. I changed the recipe slightly to fit my own preferences and had my grocery-shopping husband, David (yeah… he grocery shops! #winning), pick up the couple of items we needed. Last night, David threw this lovely recipe together (yep, he cooks too!), and we enjoyed this super quick and easy Pumpkin Turkey Chili.

It was surprisingly delicious! The pumpkin thickens it up nicely without the beans, so I really didn’t miss them at all. It gets 2 thumbs up from us!! It’s perfect for a lazy weekend day or for serving at a game day party. Enjoy!

pumpkin turkey chili fb

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of crushed red pepper (optional but delicious if you like spicy things!)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute’ the onion, bell pepper, and garlic until tender. Stir in the turkey and cook until browned. Pour mixture into a soup pan or crock pot. Mix in tomatoes and pumpkin. Season with the remaining spices. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes OR cook in the crockpot on low for 4-5 hours.
Serves up to 6 people. Feel free to double the recipe for a larger crowd.

Once you make it, let me know what you think over on my facebook page!



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Tailgating 101: Lean Up Your Tailgating Experience

If you’re anything like me, you LOVE football season and all that goes along with it…including tailgating!

Where I live in the Southeast, football RULES this time of year. That means team spirit, fall weather, loud cheers, bands playing, huge rivalries, seeing college friends at homecoming, pick ’em tournaments, and TAILGATING! Fun, fun!

Contrary to popular belief, tailgating doesn’t have to be a junk food fest. Scoot over chips, dips, fried foods, and nachos! There are ways to have a delicious tailgating experience and still eat with your physique and training goals in mind. Good news, huh? 🙂

Below I’m offering my best tips for a nutritious tailgate party whether in the comfort of your own home or out in the parking lot on your favorite college campus.

My Lean Eating Tailgating 101 Tutorial:

  • First, before gathering with your friends and family to cheer your team on to a WIN, complete a short, intense workout. The workout can be as short as 10 minutes of intense bodyweight exercises or heavy weight training if that’s all you have time for. Make sure to utilize your legs! The larger muscle groups like the legs and glutes are the ones that rev up your metabolism via testosterone and HGH production, and keep it going for up to 48 hours! Try 3 rounds of 1 minute each of squat jumps, burpees with a vertical jump, and plyometric lunges resting as needed. Finish with 1 minute of push ups. Those 10 minutes will do the trick. 🙂
  • Secondly, Be sure to have a protein-filled breakfast or snack before leaving home. This will help you avoid feeling famished and wanting everything in sight! It’s easy to over-do your eating when #1, it’s buffet style and #2, you’re starving.
  • When it’s finally time to chow down, fill up with protein and fibrous veggies FIRST. Choose meat with no bun, grilled kabobs with meat and/or veggies, or any lean protein source available. Step away from the bread/buns!
  • Take your own delicious dish to the gathering that is in line with your goals. Some easy suggestions: lean meat to throw on the grill, fresh fruit salad, a veggie tray, meat and cheese tray, or veggie kabobs.
#FitMom time management tip: I like to pick up barbecue (pulled pork or chopped chicken or turkey) with the sauce on the side. There are lots of great barbecue joints where I live! This provides a quick and easy protein source that is yummy!
  • Use portion control. Don’t pile your plate full of foods that are calorically dense. All things in moderation, but limit the “extras” like sugary slaw, mayo-filled potato salad, and other sweets/desserts to just a few bites. Be picky! Only choose your very favorite things!
  • Slow down! Eating slowly helps your body have time to digest your food which allows you to feel full before over-consuming.
  • Choose your condiments wisely – My favorites are hot sauce, mustard, Bragg’s Aminos, soy sauce, chili sauce, Worcestershire, and herbs/spices.
  • Throughout the day, drink LOTS of water. This will help keep your body happy and hydrated for a long day outside. Shoot for 96 ounces each day.
  • Limit or eliminate booze. Alcohol has so many hidden calories AND halts your fat loss efforts while it’s being metabolized. If you must drink, choose clear liquor and water or diet drink combinations. Sweeten with stevia (if needed) and flavor with fresh lemons and limes. Add an extra glass or 2 of water for every serving of alcohol to help flush your system. TIP: Treat yourself to sparkling water with fresh lemon or lime to replace adult beverages. 🙂
  • Lastly, you can always bring a fat-loss friendly dessert to share! This will help keep you on track without feeling “left out”. A quick and easy choice are these low-carb peanut butter cookies. The 3 ingredient recipe is below!

Low Carb Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1 cup no-sugar-added natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 4 cup sugar substitute (like baking Truvia or Stevia in the Raw)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat egg and combine with the peanut butter and sugar substitute until the mixture is well incorporated. Place 1 inch balls of cookie dough onto a greased baking sheet. Press gently with a fork. Bake 10-12 minutes until cookies are slightly brown. Makes around 10 cookies. Enjoy!

*You can play with this recipe by adding vanilla or unflavored protein powder and egg whites to give it a protein boost!

(Note: I found this recipe on Metabolic Effect’s facebook page a few years ago.)


You can see that tailgating is not only FUN, but it can also be nutritious. It does NOT have to be disastrous to your health goals. Comment below with your favorite tailgating traditions!

Happy Tailgating!


p.s. Head over to the facebook post below and share your favorite tailgating traditions!

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your pricing does not go up, but if you purchase through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!

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2 Week Progress Report for #OperationRefocus

You may recall that I announced a couple of weeks ago on my facebook page that I hired John Romaniello to be my coach for the next 4 months (minimum) for some goals I have. Below is my 2 week progress check in!

  •  My Plan general overview from coach Roman: I’m in the middle of an “insulin reset” phase so my carbs are low (for me) on my 3 strength training days and almost non-existent on non-training and cardio days. I’m working out a total of 6 days – 3 strength, 1 bodyweight circuit, and 2 cardio/HIIT style workouts.
  •  My Successes: I was eating mostly nutrient dense, healthy foods before, so I haven’t had the headaches and dizziness that sometimes come with starting a new nutrition plan. In the gym, I feel really strong and love the new workouts. They are challenging but doable! I’ve never done stationary bike HIIT workouts but am LOVING those!
  •  My Struggles: I abhor the treadmill cardio portion! Lol. I’m running treadmill intervals on certain days and I’d much rather be outside running regular sprints. On the nutrition front, Roman has me tracking my macros to make sure I’m getting the correct amount of everything for this insulin reset period. That pretty much stinks and is time consuming. However, it helps me be accountable to everything I put in my mouth! I’m also having trouble eating enough food on my strength training days. The macros are pretty high for me on those days, so it’s a struggle to get in all the protein and fat.
  •  My Outcomes so far:
    • I’ve lost…
    •  in bodyweight – 1.6 pounds
    •  in body fat – 1% (no muscle gain or loss)
    •  in inches – 1/2″ from below my belly button, and about 1/4 of an inch from both my thigh and upper arm, no inches lost in the other areas I measured (waist, rib cage, hips)
  • PLUS….
  • I’m feeling more confident!
  • I’m feeling very focused! I’ve not been this focused on me and my own goals in over a year so it’s nice! 😀

That’s it for now. I plan to post every 2 weeks and fill you in on what’s going on!
Head over to the post below on facebook and share some of your progress as of late! I’d love to hear from you and cheer you on!!!

xo ~Jill

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How Bacteria Dance With Your Immune System

If you’re anything like me, you are interested in seeking your optimal health through nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. With that in mind, I’m SOOOO excited to bring you a guest post from the fabulous Dr. Jillian Teta of Fix Your Digestion. She goes into detail about how exactly our gut health impacts our immune health in an interesting and thorough way. Take it away, Dr. Jillian…


immune health

Dr. Jillian Teta

By: Jillian Teta ND

Keoni, my husband, is a wonderful dancer. He loves to salsa. If you watch two people who know what they are doing dancing together, you will notice a harmony there. Palms together, there is a perfect tension of push and pull that works seemingly effortlessly as the dancers twirl around the floor. Sometimes, one is moving forward and the other backward, sometimes one dips while one swoops. Taken as a whole, the dance is beautiful. It works, it is functional.

Then, imagine someone in there who does not know how to dance. In this case, me, as I hopelessly stomp on toes, trip over my own feet, and grin sheepishly at my patient partner. Though I may enjoy singing off key in the car or shower, a dancer I am not. So, the dance looks off. It loses its function with my imbalance. No longer cohesive, the dance falls apart. It doesn’t work the way it should.

What on Earth does this have to do with immune health and your gut? Great question.

In your digestive tract, there resides an enormous colony of beneficial bacteria. When I say enormous, I mean it. They pack a population of about a hundred trillion strong. To give you some context, know that YOUR human cells are numbered at about ten trillion. These guys outnumber you ten to one and they live in your gut and only weigh about 4 lbs, total. Think on that one for a while. 😉

Although they perform innumerable functions for us – many of which we are just beginning to understand and many more we have not yet discovered – one of their prime, most important gigs is communicating with and helping our immune system keep us safe and healthy.

Did you know that two thirds – a huge majority – of the immune system lives in the digestive tract? Isn’t that a convenient place to commiserate with our gut bacteria! It makes great biological and evolutionary sense, however, as we consider that the bulk of pathogens and harmful substances we are exposed to come in through the digestive system.

Your gut bacteria dance with your immune system very much like two people, touching and pressing into each other, moving to a rhythm. When the body gets the right inputs in the form of food, water, sleep, exercise and un-stressful activity, the dance is beautiful and harmonious, and the immune system and gut bacteria function wonderfully and we don’t get sick.immune health

But say we are stressed out. We’re not dealing with the stress well and maybe we are overeating sugar. A dancer misses a step, stumbles, the balance is lost, and BAM! We catch a cold. The nasty bug that was going around finally hits its target.

Or, in another way, if another imbalance occurs, or there are multiple imbalances that remain long enough, we develop food sensitivities, environmental allergies, asthma, eczema or even an autoimmune condition.

It all boils down to the fine tension in that dance.

To keep our immune system functional and health harmonious, we need to keep the gut bacteria happy. That, at least, is a major part of it. Luckily, there is a lot that you can do to keep your good guys dancing. These simple tips are for you to utilize this winter and beyond to increase the health of your colony of beneficial bacteria, your digestive system, immune function and overall health.

  1. Don’t eat foods that don’t work for you: Some foods help, others can hurt. One man’s medicine is another’s poison. There are few hard-and-fast rules when it comes to your own unique sensitivities, but there are some guidelines we can follow. White sugar is suppressive to the immune system (and often something we reach for when stressed, oops!) but there are other groups of food that are classically problematic that you could have a look at: gluten, dairy, soy, nightshade veggies, beans and legumes. This by no means is an exhaustive list, but a reflection of common sensitivities that I see in my clinic. Ensuring your body gets the right inputs help the immune system execute the dance better. Emphasize proteins, veggies, healthy fats and plenty of clean water. Excessive caffeine and alcohol can be a problem, as can excessive orange juice. Yup! You heard it right. Orange juice has vitamin C, sure, but has loads of sugar and is mucogenic: mucous-producing. It’s way better to get your vitamin C from eating veggies and fruits than by guzzling down a bunch of OJ, I promise.
  2. Load up on antioxidants: Antioxidants help give the immune system ammunition to take care of the bad guys, and then clean up the mess afterwards. The gut bacteria take antioxidants that we consume from plants, animals or supplements and humanize them, essentially tuning them so they can be used for our purposes. Eating a wide variety of brightly colored vegetables and fruits will help you get antioxidants, but sometimes taking a supplemental antioxidant is a good idea too. Look for a blend like ACES + Zn.
  3. Wash your hands with soap and water, get rid of the antibacterial squirt sanitizers: If I had a wish, it would be to remove all of those pump dispenser hand sanitizers full of triclosan and alcohol. They do NOT work better than plain soap and water, and contribute to drug resistant bacteria (the bad guys), superbugs and food and environmental allergens. Wash those hands.
  4. Incorporate fermented foods: Foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha are loaded with healthy bacteria to assist your good bacteria and immune system both. If you can tolerate dairy products, yogurt and kefir are also considerations.
  5. Consider taking a probiotic during the cold and flu season: There are several good ones on the market. Look for a probiotic that is *just* probiotics – no prebiotics or enzymes or other additives. Preferably it will be dairy and soy free. Aim for 20-50 billion CFUs per day. Probiotics are supplements to the beneficial bacteria and also help the immune system as well.
  6. If you get sick, rest: If you do end up sick, even if it is just a simple sniffle, take the time to give your body rest. Rest is a powerful immune booster. Often, people do not heal fully or well, or recovery takes much longer than usual simply because they don’t take the downtime required. The amount you need to take varies, from one to several days for a cold, to one to two weeks for the flu. Listen to your body.
(Note from Jill:  If you are interested in digestive health, this FREE online event is for you! Sign up here to reserve your virtual seat at “The Digestion Sessions.”  The FREE educational series will take place in November with a ROCK STAR line up of digestive health experts including Dr. Jillian! Topics will deal with with GERD, bloating, healing your gut, food sensitivities, show cooking demos, and more. Be sure to share this with friends and family that suffer with digestive health issues. They will thank you! ♥ )
Dr. Jillian’s bio:

Dr. Jillian Sarno Teta, ND is the co-author of Natural Solutions for Digestive Health.

Jillian blogs at Fix Your Digestion and is the creator of the Fix Your Digestion coaching group. For more information on Jillian’s programs, contact clinic@metaboliceffect.com.

If you love social media as much as Jillian does, she would love to connect with you. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Jillian received her doctorate in naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University. Prior to that, she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Boston University in Biology and Energy and Environmental Analysis, respectively.

She practices at the Naturopathic Health Clinic of North Carolina in Winston-Salem and writes for several publications, including Natural Triad, Forsyth Woman, Pain Pathways, OnFitness, Dr.Oz Online, the Gluten Intolerance Group National Letter, and others. She is a local and national speaker. Jillian is currently the President of the North Carolina Association of Naturopathic Physicians (NCANP).

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your pricing does not go up, but if you purchase through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!