Goal Setting- Finding the TRUE Goal

National Nutrition Month is a great time to start fresh and focus on making healthier food choices for yourself and your family. The way to stick with these healthy changes is to find some intrinsic motivation. What is driving you, what will keep you accountable, what is the goal or result you are looking for?

When I am working with clients, the first thing I ask them is what their goals are. We  need to be on the same page so I can help coach them to the best of my ability. The program needs to fit their individual needs and needs to help them reach the goals they have set for themselves regardless of what goals I may have in mind.

I hear the typical answers: I want to lose weight. I want to be thin for my cousins wedding. I need to tone up.

While this can be a great start, it is only a start. Statements like this are only the beginning stages of goal setting. This is where we start to play 20 questions and figure out what is the TRUE goal here.

Take the weight loss goal. I want to lose weight. Great. Why? Do you simply like seeing a certain number on the scale, do you feel better at a certain weight, do you associate weight loss with other side effects like increased energy, improved mood, feeling better about yourself?

Sometimes a client will take a step back and realize, yes I actually just want to have more energy during day and not fall asleep at my desk by 2pm. They’re thinking weight loss will solve this problem, but now we actually have a plan. How can we increase energy? Perhaps it is the food choices and timing of meals that we can adjust. Guess what? By following a healthier nutrition plan full of nutrients, energy boosting foods, and keeping your meals small enough to fuel but not send you into a food coma you will see your energy increased as well as some weight loss if your new plan is an improvement from an old unhealthy plan.

Had we simply left “weight loss” as the goal, we could have done that by skipping meals, falling into fad diet gimmicks but the energy problem would not have been solved. See why it is important to figure out the actual goal and then the steps that will lead to the goal?

I ask clients this question all the time- Would you be happier if the number on the scale showed you had lost 10 pounds but your clothes were still the same size, or would you be happier if the scale showed you only lost 2 pounds but you were able to fit into a smaller clothing size? Meaning, is it the scale that defines your success or is it actually another goal you have in mind?

Step one is being able to articulate the actual goal and from there finding the steps that will take you in that direction. So step back and ask yourself, what is it you are truly hoping to accomplish? What steps can you take to get there?

Recipe: Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie Bowl- my answer to wanting something sweet but still feeling like I’m eating something instead of just drinking a smoothie in the morning. I feel more satisfied if I chew my breakfast as opposed to drinking it.

This is a recipe that is all about learning the method and then adding your own favorite flavors. I opted for a berry smoothie bowl:


1 banana

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup frozen strawberries*

1/4 cup fresh strawberries

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

6oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1 tbsp. walnuts, raw and unsalted

Combine half a banana, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, and almond milk in a blender and blend until smooth.

In a bowl, layer 3oz Greek yogurt and then the smoothie mixture. Top with remaining fresh blueberries and banana. Add remaining 3oz Greek yogurt, top with fresh strawberries, and garnish with walnuts.



*I like the consistency of adding some frozen berries instead of ice to blend the smoothie. Instead of buying frozen berries, purchase fresh and freeze them ahead of time after washing and prepping.

Breakfast Tacos

Eating healthier can be fun with the right flavors and ingredients. Challenge your culinary skills and taste buds this month and don’t be afraid to experiment. You might land on something amazing!

This recipe was a complete accident, just happened to be inspired and went for it!

The inspiration all started from this beautiful bouquet of lettuce.

lettuce Super fresh from the Farmer’s Market, still attached to the root!

Needing a quick snack, I added some turkey to a nice big leaf of lettuce and made a little lettuce wrap. Suddenly it hit me- I needed a little more flavor. I quickly scrambled an egg and TADA! Breakfast Tacos were created. Super light and delicious and takes no more than 5 minutes to assemble.

Feel free to get fancy with extra garnish such as avocado, fresh tomato, or cilantro.

Grilled Watermelon Salad

watermelon_saladIf you have never tried grilling watermelon, I recommend trying it at least once. The heat brings out the natural sweetness of the melon. The great grill marks gives the melon extra pizazz for presentation, and the fruit takes on a slightly smoky taste.

Two things I love in the summer months: Grilling and Refreshing Salads. This is the perfect combo!

Here’s what you’ll need:


Fresh Spinach and Arugula

Feta Cheese crumbled


Balsamic Vinaigrette (try making your own)

Rinse the watermelon, and slice it into half moons (good surface area for grilling)

Add the sliced watermelon to an preheated grill or grill pan and cook for a few minutes on each side. Just looking for grill marks here.

Bring the watermelon off the grill and once it is cool enough to handle, remove rind and dice melon into cubes.

Assemble the salad with fresh spinach and arugula, cubed watermelon, a sprinkle or walnuts and a sprinkle of feta cheese. Serve with dressing on the side.

Save Time on Breakfast

We get it- it’s a mad rush to get out the door on time getting the kids to school, sometimes different locations, making sure they have their homework, their lunch, and that you have everything you need for your day.

This is still no excuse to skip breakfast! It may mean that breakfast needs to be portable and eaten in the car, and here at ABLE Nutrition & Fitness, we have some ideas on how to make it happen.

1. PB&J– always a popular option. Take whole grain Sandwich Thins (smaller for kids, less calories for adults) add any nut butter and jam. Make it fancier with natural almond butter and fresh strawberry preserves or even better- fresh strawberry slices (whoa, too fancy? ;)) This can be made in 2 minutes in the morning, or even better, the night before. Get it in baggies the night before so they are ready and waiting for you in the morning.

2. Cereal– Skip the bowl, spoon, and milk if you have to. Combine a healthier cereal option (think high fiber, low sugar) with dried fruit and nuts. Again, this can be thrown into a baggie the night before and can be eaten as finger food while driving to school.

Start with these simple examples and as you get used to the routine of planning and prepping ahead, start branching out for more variety. The kids can help too- let them assemble their own breakfast baggies!

August is Kids Eat Right Month

Commit to helping kids eat right this month. Healthier kids means more energy and concentration in school, better performance in sports, and more positive attitude the better they feel. As a family, find one thing to do each week that benefits everyone’s health. This can be as simple as choosing one night each week to cook dinner together, trying one new fruit or vegetable each week, letting each family member have a night to choose the cuisine or one item on the menu. The more involved kids are, the more they engage in the meal and can appreciate the foods they are eating. Even little ones can help break the ends off green beans, stir items together in a large bowl, or rinse vegetables in the sink. Bigger kids can start peeling carrots, sweet potatoes, and can progress to some simple chopping. Make the process of meal prep fun and exciting and kids are more apt to try new things!