Recipe: Rosemary Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Mixed Nuts

This is one of my favorite holiday treats! (ok, being honest, cookies are the favorite – but this is one that comes with a little nutritional boost!) A little salty, a little sweet, and a little spicy – all rounded out with hint of Christmas pine, and rich comforting maple.


In addition to being lower sugar than most holiday treats, a 1/4 cup serving of these provides healthy fats, copper, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Rosemary Sweet 'n' Spicy Mixed Nuts

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


  • 2 1/4 cups Mixed Nuts, unsaltedIMG_20171218_155651608
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/2 Tbs Rosemary powder
  • 1 pinch Cayenne powder
  • 2 Tbs Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbs Purse Maple Syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 Tbs Butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Spread nuts onto baking sheet, bake 10 minutes
  4. Remove nuts and let cool
  5. While cooling, melt 1 Tbs butter. Set aside
  6. Mix remaining ingredients to make sauce
  7. Pour nuts into a large bowl and stir in melted butter, tossing to coat.
  8. Add sauce and toss to mix evenly
  9. Spread nuts back onto baking sheet, and bake 5 minutes. Stir, and bake another 5-7 minutes until golden and bubbly
  10. Cool for about 20 minutes; serve warm

Serving Size: 1/4 cup

You can heat the sauce mixture on the stove top over low heat to thicken it up. Then instead of a nice sauce, it becomes a thicker syrup and makes this treat more like a brittle.


Recipe from

Rosemary Nuts

Have a great holiday season, however you celebrate!

10 Reasons To Eat More Fresh Produce

(*At the end of this post, there’s a special bonus offer for Dublin Life Time members!*)


In my research, I have come across many tidbits and studies that help shape my nutritional philosophies. Other times, I find information that doesn’t tell me anything new, but states it in a new way, and makes a bit of an impact. This was one of the things that jump-started my own transformational journey.

In Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live, he had a graph that depicted the correlation between fruit and vegetable consumption, and risk of disease. Now, I know we’ve all been told to eat more fruits and vegetables, but I guess I’m visual, and this graph just grabbed me! The almost perfect correlation was just so glaringly obvious in his graph that it really struck home for me.

QK motivation (90)

The left side indicates HIGH disease state, and LOW produce and plant-based food intake (“unrefined plant foods”)… then you gradual move to the right, and see that as that produce intake begins to rise and finally peeks at the top right corner with HIGH produce intake, the disease rates have dropped significantly!  Pretty much a perfectly proportionate shift. (Yes, I’m aware correlation is not causation)

The old USDA adage was “5 a day,” but Life Time recommends 5-6 cups per day. Wahl’s protocol recommends 9 cups per day of a variety of categories.

And I am on board with that high amount with Wahl’s as the ideal to strive for.

So, what can a high produce intake do for you?

  1. SATIETY: Fill your stomach with a large volume of low-calorie foods, thus helping you feel full while staying low in calories.
  2. NUTRIENTS: Boost your vitamin and mineral intake in a natural way
  3. IMMUNE SYSTEM: Boost your body’s ability to fight infection
  4. MORE ENERGY! ’nuff said
  5. BRIGHTER EYES, SKIN, AND HAIR: Begin to heal your body on the inside, you start to glow on the outside.  You can “Grow Younger!” as your old and tired cells are replaced with nutrient-rich healthy new cells!
  6. REGULARITY: Get extra fiber that can help with keeping you regular, which helps fight that awful bloated feeling you may get on other foods
  7. DETOXIFY: helps your body with its natural elimination of stored up toxins in your system.
  8. HYDRATION: Get extra water that remains in the fresh produce, which means extra hydration for you! (and your skin – helping to keep it from looking tired and dry)
  9. CRAVINGS: Lessen cravings for other processed foods, over time. You crave what you eat, believe it or not, and eventually people who eat more fresh produce crave more fresh produce as they break old habits and sugar addictions

I aim for vegetables at every meal – you can add veggies to omelets; add spinach to smoothies; have salads; sautee, stir fry, and roast vegetables; puree and add to soups. Fruit is a great snack, mixes into oatmeal well, and can add a sweet tang to many dishes. Try something new!

Have a wonderful, fresh-filled day! I’m going to go eat a fruit salad 🙂


If you are struggling to get your high intake of fruits and vegetables, I recommend trying the Life Greens. It’s not a permanent replacement for fresh fruits and vegetables, nor an excuse to bail on produce, but while you are working to make new habits and increase your whole-foods intake, it is a beneficial way to supplement your diet and help keep you healthy!

Use Trainer Code 208455 in the Cafe or Online to get 10% off; Set it up for Autoship, and get 20% off.


  • Reduce risk of obesity, cardio vascular disease, mental health issues
  • Helps balance thyroid and stress hormones
  • Protects bone density
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • May help with increased fat-burning
  • Improved immune system
  • Improved glucose metabolism


  • Balances anabolic hormones (muscle building)
  • Preserves muscle and protects bone health
  • Reduced carb fuel utilization
  • Improves time to exhaustion

RECOMMENDED DOSING: 1 scoop up to 3 times daily. There are non-shake ideas on the handouts at the booth.

Life Greens

Fuel Up! Pre-Workout Eats

You lace up your sneakers, don your effects, and rush out the door to get to you workout. You start exuberantly, motivated, and energetic… but halfway through, you start to slow, and feel there’s just no wind in your sails. Or you finish, and you’re famished, entering that “hangry” state.

Did you skip a pre-exercise meal or snack?

The topic of what to eat before exercise can be confusing. A multitude of different organizations, from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, to the American College of Sports Nutrition, or Dietitians of Canada, and more, all have their own recommendations for what you should consume before you go workout, down the specific gram of carbs/proteins/fat to kilograms of your body weight. (We can dive deeper into that another time. The focus here today is just on some baseline ideas.)

Thankfully, they all agree on one important point: do what feels best for you! And it may take some trial and error.

“Training Low,” or intentionally training in a carb-depleted or fasted state, is starting to be studied more. But currently, it is not a typical recommendation. (Speak to your coach or dietitian to see if this is an individualized approach that can safely be done for you, if you are interested) Normally depleted stores are associated with fatigue, reduced work rates, impaired skill and concentration, and increased perception of effort. So generally it is recommended that you consume some proper foods before physical activity to help fuel you towards your goals of weight loss and/or muscle gain.

Having something to eat before going to workout can greatly enhance your efforts. Eating some carbohydrate-rich foods will give you more fuel in your body to help push harder in your workout. A little bit of protein will help with muscle feeding and repair. Hydration is also key, as even mild dehydration can cause drops in your performance, which usually means fewer calories burned or less weights moved. Why not get the most bang for your exercise buck?

It is the amounts, timing, and form of food that are highly dependent upon your own preferences and tolerances. The goal is to provide enough food and fuel before your workout that you can achieve a top-notch effort without feeling hungry, but not too much nor too close to the workout time as to cause cramping, nausea, or other stomach distress.

If you eat 3-4 hours before you exercise, you may do better with a more meal-sized intake. If you eat only 1-2 hours before, a snack will usually do. If you don’t have time to eat well ahead of the activity, a small snack or liquid form may sit best. Just make sure you’re not undoing your weight goals by consuming excess calories! Simply plan ahead to spread your food out around your workout time.

Pre-workout Meal Ideas:

  • Bowl of oatmeal with fruit or honey
  • Brown Rice and Veggie Stir Fry
  • Whole grain bagel with chicken and avocado
  • Salad topped with beans and corn or quinoa

Pre-workout Snack Ideas:

  • Handful of almonds and a cheese stick
  • Fruit and a ½ cup of yogurt
  • Slice or two of wheat toast with nut butter
  • Wheat pita and hummus

Pre-workout Drink Ideas:

  • Low fat milk (some people like chocolate milk, but there is added sugar, so decide if that is right for you)
  • Small fruit, protein powder, and milk/milk substitute smoothie
  • Meal-replacement drink that includes 15-30g Carbohydrate

Bonus Boost: having coffee about an hour before a workout has been shown to boost results! Caffeine is a common aid to help increase time to exhaustion in aerobic endurance exercise bought, decrease ratings of perceived exertion, and improve physical performance even during periods of sleep deprivation.


American College of Sports Medicine, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, a Joint Position Statement. “Nutrition and Athletic Performance.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. (2016) 543-568. Print.

Campbell, Bill I., Spano, Marie A. NSCA’s Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition. Human Kinetics. 2011. Book.

Dunford, Marie; Macedonio, Michele. “A Step-by-step Process for Helping Athletes Achieve Optimal Performance Weight and Body Composition.” Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo. Nashville, TN. 4 Oct 2015. Conference Presentation.

Patgieter, S. “Sports Nutrition: A review of the latest guidelines for exercise and sport nutrition from the American College of Sport and Nutrition, the International Olympic Committee and the International Society for Sports Science” S Afr Journal of Clinical Nutrition 26.1 (2013). 6-16. Print.

“Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance” Journal of the American Dietetic Association. March. 109.3 (2009): 509-527. Print.

Phytonutrients and Phytochemicals

Phytochemcials and Phytonutrients have been popular health buzz words in the past, and often have been seen as just some abstract term that comes across simply as “something healthy.” If you food is “rich in phytonutrients!” or “has healthy phytochemicals!” you think “oh, great! That must be some good stuff!” And it is! …But what are they?

Phytochemical and Phytonutrient are actually interchangeable“Phyto-“ comes from the Greek word for “plant.” So then, these words are simply broad terms referring to a multitude of nutrients and chemicals that come from plants.  I push fruits and veggies… but don’t forget that other good plant sources include legumes, nuts, whole grains, and even tea.

Phytonutrients include a vast array of chemicals that we’re only beginning to discover. In fact, in one little orange, there may be over 170 different types of phytonutrients.

Some of the known phytonutrient compounds can include allicin, carotenoids, chlorophyll and chlorophyllin, curcumin, flavonoids, indoles, isoflavones, isothiocyanates, phenolics, phytosterols, and resveratrol! Whew! Those are just a few of the many different types.

Different phytonutrients correspond with different health benefits. An dietitian group I belong to – Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine (DIFM) – sent out their quarterly newsletter with a large article on the different colors and how Americans are doing with regards to getting enough.  In short, for the most part, most Americans are not getting enough plant foods at all! And that’s looking at the small current recommendation of 5 servings per day. The USDA is considering increasing to 10 per day because of how integral produce is to a healthy life.

Blend your way to a phytonutrient goldmine with a green smoothie!

Whole Grains 102

Welcome back, class, to Whole Grains 102! We will be continuing that exciting topic of making sure you’re getting what you want regarding whole grains. (And I’m really hoping that you WANT those whole grains, and opposed to refined “glorified sugar” versions on foods!)

I want to start off with the simple way to make sure that you ARE getting a good product – and then I’ll touch on the tricky ways companies market around it.

First, and easiest – with rice, you want brown rice (or Black Rice.) Simple! It’s brown (or black) because of that outer bran layer. The white rice has had that removed, and so reveals its naked white self. Scandalous! Put your bran on, little rice! You’re better that way!

Oats I will get in to next time.

For other items like pasta, tortillas, breads, and buns, the simple way to make sure your product is a whole grain is to check the ingredient list. The first product listed should include the word “whole.” “Whole grain flour,” “whole wheat flour,” “whole oat,” etc. Makes sense, doesn’t it? You want Whole Grains, make sure it says is HAS Whole Grains!  If the first ingredient is “wheat flour,” do you notice what’s missing?  The word “Whole.”  Even if it’s “enriched wheat flour,” you’re missing that wholeness.

The second thing to check is the fiber content. Look at the little nutrition label and make sure you’re getting at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.

Getting enough fiber is very important. Studies see a connection between high fiber diets and decreases in colon cancer, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases. Fiber is also critical for your natural cleansing process! It’ll push the junk on out of ya! And on the way out, it is helping prevent constipation, hemorrhoids (don’t strain!), diverticulosis, and it can even sweep out some cholesterol, helping to keep those numbers in check.

That’s pretty simple! Just look for “whole” ingredients, and 3g fiber.

I could stop there, but I want to point out a few marketing trickeries, so you are aware.

A wheat product isn’t the same as Whole Wheat or Whole Grain. As shown in the 101 posting, that entire kernel was a WHEAT kernel! So, even when that kernel is processed down and the good parts are removed, they can still call it Wheat Bread. But you’re smart enough to not be fooled by that now, aren’t you! You want the WHOLE grain – bran, germ, and all.

For those types of products, the ingredient list will often show “enriched” in the first ingredient. Enriched white flour, enriched wheat flour, etc. And again, that enriching processes means that after refining the grain and stripping it of its natural health, they added back synthetic nutrients to replace the goodness that was lost, and usually in smaller amounts than originally present. Avoid these items.

Those products usually contain little in the way of fiber – maybe having none at all. Usually I see a whopping 1 gram listed on those.

For you over-achievers out there, here’s a little side topic about a newer wheat product: What about those “white wheat” breads?

The Mayo Clinic says these are actually made with a different type of wheat. Traditional wheat products are made from Red wheat. But there is a strain of Albino wheat, and “white whole-wheat bread – like regular whole-wheat bread – is made with the whole grain” and retains the fiber and nutrients. It is a softer version, more like white bread, marketing to those who are not ready to adjust to the heartier, nuttier flavors and textures of traditional whole wheat breads

Sound too good to be true, oh White-bread lovers out there? It just may be.

In a USA Today article about this new type of bread, Marion Nestle (a favorite author of mine) is quoted as saying:

“Bread is flour, water, yeast, salt. Period. This [white wheat bread] has something like 20 other ingredients…. Why not buy your kids real bread?”

Evidentially, albino wheat is still treated with a long list of conditioners and chemicals to make sure it replicates that doughy, soft texture of white bread. If so, that would be a far step from natural.

I’ll have to check out albino wheat bread at the store sometime to see the ingredient list for sure, but for now, since it doesn’t seem to be available in Saipan anyway, I’ll pass on the “white wheat.” Personally, I like sprouted bread, but that’s for the advanced Whole Grains 201 class in the future.

Your homework: check the ingredients and fiber on your breads, pastas, wraps, buns, and cereals. See what you’re getting!

*bell rings*

That’s all for today!