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Does Apple Cider Vinegar Truly Have Health Benefits?

Apple Cider Vinegar Detox

Apple Cider Vinegar has been touted as a miracle tonic everywhere from Instagram to Good Morning America! I actually drink it every morning to help me detox and hydrate my cells and truly feel “off” when I miss my morning drink. After chugging the mixture shown above my belly settles and I feel ready to take on the day. I also use it to make a simple salad dressing of ACV, honey, mustard and olive oil. It is tangy, slightly sweet and goes with just about any greens you like. I have seen it used as a toner, hair clarifier, a weightless product and like most vinegars ACV has strong anti bacterial properties and can be used to clean wounds or make a homemade cleaning solution.

Like coconut oil, the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar seem to be shouted from the rooftops. The benefits seem endless, but there is honestly not a ton of real hard SCIENCE to back up all of the hype. If I am being honest I love using apple cider vinegar, but learned my lesson the hard way by taking a shot of it which in turn made me immediately bring up my breakfast. I have yet to try it as a toner, but like I said before, I literally have a health tonic of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper every morning and it makes me feel like a new human!  I travel with a mixture of it to add to water on my travels, and It is the one thing that works to truly kickstart my day. It will be a mainstay for years to come. The lemon helps to detox and the cayenne pepper revs the metabolism. Most days, I focus on making my gut feel as relaxed and happy as possible and this tonic is my go-to every. single. day.

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

I wanted to share a little bit of the science behind Apple Cider Vinegar from my friends from Baptist Health South Florida. The article states that the science has proven: “Apple cider vinegar’s effect on the digestion of starch may prove beneficial to diabetes patients and explain the weight loss that has been credited to ACV.” According to a study completed by the University of Arizona, apple cider vinegar has positive effects on those individuals deemed pre-diabetic and those with type 2 diabetes. The study found that a chemical compound found in ACV and other vinegars known as acetic acid helps to decrease the amount of insulin released when consuming starchy vegetables.

When connecting ACV to weight loss the article also states: “this effect of vinegar on insulin production could also prove beneficial to people without insulin sensitivity. “The acetic acid in vinegar limits the absorption of carbohydrates by our bodies,” she said. “That means fewer calories are being consumed and some weight loss may occur.” If you are on medication for diabetes and taking apple cider vinegar make sure to check with your doctor as you may need to lessen your dose of insulin. For more on benefits and other ways to use apple cider vinegar check out this post from Baptist Health South Florida.

Join me in Taking the 21 Day Apple Cider Vinegar Challenge!

If you want to kick-start your day on a healthy note, hydrate your cells and rev your metabolism then I would LOVE for you to take the 21-Day challenge! It takes that long to build a habit and if you focus on doing something healthy for your body first thing in the morning you will continue to put your health first throughout your day!

***This has been a sponsored conversation brought to you by Baptist Health South Florida.




3 Ways to Incorporate Collagen into Your Diet Today

Collagen Chaos

***This is a sponsored conversation that has been brought to you by Vital Proteins

How to Use Vital Proteins Collagen

I have been posting quite a bit about Collagen lately and using it in everything from soups to smoothies to baking and coffee. As we head into the late fall and the winter months our immune systems tend to run low and sicknesses become hard to ward off. A well balanced diet rich in whole grains, fruits and veggies and lean protein are vital to giving your body proper nutrition to thrive! Unfortunately, as processed foods become more prevalent our bodies become void of important nutrients like collagen that were once part of an average american diet. Thankfully many nutrients can be supplemented and can work wonders on your health and well being.

I have three different types of Vital Proteins Collagen in my cabinets right now and I wanted to share a little bit of how I use each one. Sometimes I feel like we as Americans buy things we see on shelves at Whole Foods, on TV, or as we scroll Instagram, but after receiving them we try them once or twice thinking they will offer you the miracle you have been searching for. More often than not, they end up sitting in our cabinets, on our shelves and never get used. I have to  admit that I let my Beauty Greens hang out for a while before I used them as I am pretty much addicted to my plain collagen peptides that I use every day, multiple times per day. More on that below.

Here is how I use my favorite Vital Proteins Collagen Products: 

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

Collagen Peptides: As you may have learned in this and this post Collagen Peptides are tasteless and will dissolve in anything hot or cold. They can easily be added to your favorite egg dish, smoothies or baked goods, but my favorite way to use them is to upgrade my coffee. With a simple mix of collagen peptides, MCT oil and grass fed butter. They froth up into a sumptuous smoothie.

If you are a guy or gal that is always on-the-go they have individual packets and now have collagen creamers in coconut, vanilla and gingerbread! They are getting rave reviews and are made from organic coconut milk, collagen peptides, vanilla bean and organic spices like nutmeg, ginger and clove. You can keep them on your desk or bring them in your suitcase for an added health boost in your morning java! You can learn more about collagen creamers here.

Vital Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

 Bone Broth Collagen

Bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline. The Bone Broth Collagen from Vital Proteins can help heal your gut lining and battle inflammation. When “bad bacteria” in your body gets overgrown your body will become unable to absorb the nutrients necessary for your body to work in tip-top condition.

I love adding Bone Broth Collagen to soups and casseroles like my chicken soup or butternut squash mac and cheese. If you keep the dishes savory the Bone Broth Collagen will remain flavorless and completely dissolve, but you will gain all of the gut healing benefits. You can even make a simple bone broth with vegetables, bones, herbs and Collagen Bone Broth and sip on it during the winter months. Just like you would a cup of tea.

Collagen Beauty Greens With Vital Proteins

Collagen Beauty Greens:

I am not going to lie. I let these Collagen Beauty Greens sit out on my counter for over a month before using them. I have added them to lemon water as a quick post-workout, but my favorite way to use these powdered greens is in a smoothie. The Collagen Beauty Greens are made of a blend of high quality Marine Collagen, combined with organic trees that offer a daily serving of vitamin A, hyaluronic acid and a punch of probiotics for gut health. Which BTW has been a total digestive game changer when added to a high fiber smoothie. If you want clearer and more strong hair skin and nails and increased gut health then I would definitely try these Collagen Beauty Greens.

Green Goddess Smoothie

2 Servings of greens like kale or spinach

1/2 Banana

1 Tbsp flax seeds

1 Carrot

1 Inch of fresh
ginger or turmeric root (If using turmeric add a dash of black pepper for absorption)

1 C of cashew milk

1 Scoop of Collagen Beauty Greens

1 Serving of whey or plant protein

Collagen is making waves in the health and fitness world for good reason! Over time you should begin to notice clearer skin, strong hair and nails and less joint pain. I love that collagen is chock full of protein and can satisfy you between meals or used as a great pre or post workout.




10 Tips for Portion Control and Your Favorite Foods

10 Tips on Portion Control

Portion control is something that every American most likely struggles with. Why? Because every restaurant you have ever walked into since you were a kid has probably served you extremely oversized portions. Overeating has become a normal part of the S.A.D. or Standard American Diet; however, even  the healthiest people run the risk of over eating. Maybe not on kale and spinach, buton healthy foods like nuts, nut butter, avocado and protein.

A couple of months ago Cory and I were in L.A. and we wandered down to a very un-chic yet deliciously indulgent establishment. This restaurant had a bull you could ride for fun and live music so we took a seat outside and let the good times roll. I ordered a summer chopped kale salad with grilled chicken and a side of truffle mac and cheese; obviously the angel/devil debate was a total wash! Cory ordered pasta for his main course and when it arrived I literally almost fell off my chair. A normal size portion is 1/2 of a cup of pasta. Which is the size of your fist and almost always a european portion, and enough to fit a small bowl. Cory literally had a PLATTER of ziti the size of 2 1/2 dinner plates with sausage and cheese sauce in front of him. I could not believe my eyes! It was literally enough pasta to feed a small army, and NO, he was not running a marathon the next day.

 I wanted to share a few measurements today to help you on your portion control journey and offer a few tips from my friends over at Baptist Health South Florida.

 Natalie Castro, R.D., (pictured), chief Wellness dietitian for corporate wellness at Baptist Health South Florida offers her tips for portion control:

1. Use small plates: When serving yourself a meal or a snack, try using smaller plates.
2. Pick veggies: Load up on vegetables first. Reach for 1 cup or a large handful.
3. Measure protein: After the veggies, put protein on your plate. The amount of protein on your plate should equal the size of a deck of cards.

For more from Natalie, check out THIS POST !

Lucette Talamas, a registered dietitian, (pictured) with Community Heath at Baptist Health South Florida:

1. Downsize creamy dishes: Reduce your portions of high-calorie foods like creamy dishes, pastas, thick salad dressings, pizza, cheesy items, fried foods and desserts. Research shows that consumers eat less high-calorie foods when served a smaller portion.
2. Ask for to-go boxes: If eating out, share a meal or ask for a to-go box at the time you get your entrée. Before eating, pack your to-go box. Remember:  Even half a restaurant entrée can still be too much for one meal.
3. Use kiddie plates: If eating at home, stock your cabinets with smaller dishware to encourage smaller portions.  When serving food, consider using children’s tableware or a salad plate instead of the entrée plate.

For more from Lucette, check out THIS POST !

Tips for Portion Control

Over the next couple of weeks I challenge you to focus on your portions and measure them at every meal. You will most likely be surprised at what an actual portion of your favorite foods look like.

Lean Protein: 4-6 Ounces for a meal. 2-3 For a snack.

Oatmeal: 1/2 Cup

Starchy Vegetables (Squash): 1/2 Cup

Grains: 1/2 Cup

Popcorn: 3 Cups

Bream: 1 Slice

Hummus: 2 Tbsp

Beans: 1/2 Cup

Non-Dairy Milk: 1 Cup

Dairy Milk: 3/4 Cup

Cottage Cheese: 1/2 Cup

Yogurt: 3/4 Cup

Whole Eggs: 2

Egg Whites: 4

Berries 1 C

Banana 1 Small

Cheese 1 ounce

Oil and Dressing 2 tsp

Avocado 1/4

For more tips on portion control make sure to head on over to Baptist Health South Florida.

***This has been a sponsored conversation brought to you by Baptist Health South Florida.


8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet

I have a love/hate relationship with food and protein bars.  On the upside, protein bars are a convenient way to have an on-the-go snack that is packed with a satisfying amount of protein and fiber to keep your blood sugar stable and keep you full between meals. You can even find certain food protein bars that act as meal replacements; however, you need to be careful as many food bars moonlight as nutritious when in actuality the amount of added sugar and preservatives is comparable to a candy bar.

The ingredient list on any packaged food is actually more important than the actual nutrition label itself. You see, when consuming packaged items the ingredients are listed from highest quantities to lowest. For example, most granola bars that we find in the grocery store like: Nature’s Valley, Power Bars and even the beloved Quest Bars all have high amounts of sugar and preservatives. For example, a typical granola bar should have granola or oats listed first. If you are buying granola bars with high-fructose corn syrup in the first, second or third spot or there are tons of ingredients you cannot even pronounce JUST WALK AWAY. I repeat JUST WALK AWAY. There are tons of health bar options that I love and I am here to share my favorites. Most of these bars cost more than your average bar, but the quality ingredients are well worth it!

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet Primal Kitchen

Primal PRIMAL KITCHEN™ Chocolate Almond

Like all PRIMAL KITCHEN™ products, there are no artificial ingredients in these Dark Chocolate Almond Bars. Just: Almonds, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Grass-Fed Collagen, Isomalto-Oligosaccharides (Cassava Root), Water, Coconut Flakes, Honey, Natural Flavors, Coconut Oil, Bitter Chocolate, Cocoa Powder, Himalayan Pink Salt, Monk Fruit Extract, Tocopherols (Vitamin E).

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet Strong and Kind


Sweet KIND bars are yummy, but can be high in added sugar and preservatives. The newish Strong & Kind line pack a whopping 10g of protein and only 5g of sugar. These bars are chock full of healthy spices and are a yummy alternative to their sweeter counterparts. They get their protein from nuts and pea protein and are a good pre or post workout snack.

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet SHANTI Bar


Organic Energy Bars are 100% USDA Organic Certified, Non-GMO Project Verified, Paleo Certified, Paleo Vegan Certified, Kosher Certified, Gluten Free, RAW, Vegan and are made with only real ingredients like celtic sea salt, coconut, maca, goji berries, hemp, spirulina and more! Each bar houses at least 7g of plant-based protein and what you see is what you get.

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet RX Bar


The “Real Food Protein Bar”. RxBar is list the ingredients on the front of every bar. The last ingredients being: No B.S. Just the way I like it! These bars are quit chewy, but are great for a pre-workout and come in a variety of flavors! The blueberry is my fav!

Health Warrior Pumpkin Seed Bars

I love all of the Health Warrior Bars, but the ingredient list in the Health Warrior Pumpkin Seed Bars are short, sweet and to the point!

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet GO MACRO

GOMacro Bars

Are certified organic, NON GMO, Certified RAW, Vegan and gluten free. I believe GoMacro bars are great for pre-workout purposes because they do use brown rice syrup which is sugar substitute derived from brown rice. It will elevate blood sugar levels so eating one about 45 minute to one hour before your workout will give you the resources needed to fuel your next workout.


8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet LARA BARS


LÄRABar is known as the the original fruit and nut bar. I absolutely love the apple and cherry pie flavors. They are great for curbing a sweet tooth and are made simply of dates, fruit and nuts.



8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet Perfect Bars

Perfect Bar

Perfect Bar is has the best name because in my opinion this bar is literally PERFECT! I am addicted to the Peanut Butter and limited release Pumpkin Pie bars. They have a blend of 20 expertly hidden superfoods and complex carbohydrates that will fuel even the most intense workouts. Peanut Butter Perfect Bars pack a whopping 17g of protein are are a great way to recover and restore glycogen burned during a grueling workout. You can find a variety pack of 12 bars at Costco for $19.99.

If there is a bar you love, but is not listed here send me note in the comments below!


Forward Food: A Plant Based Approach With Baptist Health South Florida

***This Forward Food conversation is presented by Baptist Health South Florida. As always all opinions are my own.

Forward Food Check Wanda White

Forward Food Check Wanda White

Forward Food Baptist Health South Florida

The concept of Forward Food is helping grow a healthier, more sustainable food system that eventually we as a community can help bring food forward.

Did you know that if you swapped three meals per week to a plant-based breakfast, lunch or dinner you would save you and your family $1,500 dollars per year? Over the course of your lifetime that is some serious coin! Last week, Baptist Health South Florida held a plant-based chefs training to encourage plant based cooking within their hospitals. When I was first introduced to the Baptist Health South Florida team at the Grow2Heal garden I was so impressed about the way they spoke about their health system. Their main goal is actually to offer programs that keep patients out of hospital beds; which is why education is a key component in their process.

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Eating Organic: The Clean 15 vs. The Dirty Dozen

Let’s face it, eating healthy in today’s society takes work. Eating an apple or potato today is not the same as it was when our grandparents sat down at their dinner tables. GMO’s and pesticides have become the new norm and food shopping can be more like navigating a jungle than a walk in the park. Organic produce is not sprayed with with pesticides or grown with genetically modified seeds. Organic foods are foods that are grown to comply with the organic standards of farming and restrict the use of certain pesticides or fertilizers. Pesticide induced diseases include: certain cancers, autism, Alzhaimer’s, endocrine disruption, fertility issues, asthma, allergies, diabetes and more! Crazy, I know.

I a not writing today’s post to scare you, but more to sprinkle some knowledge upon you to help you navigate this difficult landscape and help you decide what items to purchase organically. A good rule of thumb for me when food shopping is that if I am going to eat the skin I always buy organic. Greens, no question! I learned my lesson in non-organic greens last year when I was in a bind. I opened the bag, washed and prepared my salad, only to take a bite and it literally tasted like cleaning fluid!  Although organic may be better for you it can also be quite expensive; however, if you shop with the seasons, take advantage of weekend farmers markets and go to stores like ALDI and Trader Joe’s you may be surprised to find affordable organically grown options. Produce that is grown organically is always going to be a better option for you. So today, I am sharing what is known as the “CLEAN 15” and “THE DIRTY DOZEN”.

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Hydration Station: How Much Water Do You Really Need?

This hydration conversation has been sponsored by Baptist Health South Florida. As always, all opinions are my own.

Hydration_How Much Water Do You Need

Summer is still in full swing here in South Florida and since I have been on the road for two weeks I almost completely forgot what true humidity was until I walked out of the American Airlines terminal on Tuesday evening. As the doors whizzed open I was immediately engulfed by the warm, moisture filled Miami air. Everyone is New York was complaining last week about how hot and humid it was, and honestly, I cannot believe I used to be one of them! Living in South Florida, has taught me a little something about the two H’s: humidity and hydration.

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Collagen Peptides by Vital Proteins

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

You may have been hearing all about collagen lately from TV to magazines to your favorite blogs. I started using collagen protein peptides about a year ago when to “upgrade” my coffee with coconut oil, butter and collagen. I have kicked the butter to the curb a little while ago as I do not follow a strict Ketosis diet; however; Vital Proteins collagen peptides and powders are  here to stay. In my coffee I combine collagen peptides, coconut milk creamer, MCT oil and cinnamon into my Nutribullet to whip  up into a protein packed, gut-healing energy drink to start every day.

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides are sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides to ensure a natural, high quality, and sustainable source of this ancient nutrient. Vital proteins collagen peptides are flavorless, odorless, can be used in cooking, baking and can be dissolved in cold or hot temperatures. Throughout the next few months I will show you you how I incorporate the peptides into everything from soups to donuts (Yes, donuts!) and like I said before…C-O-F-F-E-E!

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

So what are the benefits?

 1-Collagen Peptides improve hair, skin, nails, joints, tendons and ligaments. If you are above the age of thirty the odds of you experiencing tendon, ligament or joint related pain is very high. I struggle with tendonitis and after using collagen peptides consistently my flair ups have been reduced dramatically.

2-It is bioavailable, which means it, is available for absorption into the body immediately.

3-As stated above Vital Protein collagen peptides actually dissolve in hot or cold liquids for use in almost any of your kitchen creations. Vital Proteins also offers collagen “beauty water”, bone brothwhey protein, beauty greens , marine collagen and on-the-go packs to make consistency convenient.

 Vital Proteins collagen peptides yield only 70 calories per serving and offer a whopping 18 grams of protein. Which is what I have been adding to my for a quick and easily post-workout pick-me-up.Over the next few months I will be sharing my favorite recipes using the collagen peptides, bone broth and marine collagen.

Flexible Meal Planning: My Week in Food

Strict meal plans work for some people and others like flexibility! I LOVE flexibility and a flexible meal planning is the only way find balance in my hectic life. I love to cook. I know what works for my body and I love offering my clients new recipes and ways to “un-diet”.  My goal through this blog and my health coaching is to help men and women create lifestyles that are abundant in nutrient dense foods like complex carbohydrates, whole grains, healthy fats and more greens than you could ever ask for! And YES, complex carbs and healthy fats have been clinically proven to aid in weight loss and a healthy well rounded diet. Carbohydrates are NOT the enemy; however, processed carbohydrates are.

 My style of coaching is a guided discovery approach to weight loss which is why I feel a flexible meal planning is a great way to stay on track while feeling completely in control of what you consume. The number on the scale should not be a major focus, but with a lifestyle overhaul and a focus on healthy eating, weight loss will simply be a bi-product of a healthier lifestyle! [HOW BOUT DAT?!]  When you feel good on the inside I guarantee you will glow on the outside.

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Baptist Health South Florida “MeLaβ” at the Frost Science Museum

Last week I had the honor to spend some time with Baptist Health South Florida at the grand opening of the Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami! The Frost Science Museum is located a hop, skip and a jump away from the American Airlines Arena and Bayside Marketplace and is the perfect place to spend an educational and super fun weekend with your family. The museum boasts a planetarium, aquarium, a space exhibit, a seeing exhibit and of course The MeLaβ brought to you by Baptist Health South Florida.

I was so excited to spend an afternoon at the museum and learn all about eggplants at “Veggie Phobia” where we learned tons of fun facts about eggplants and made the most delicious eggplant dip known as Baba ghanoush. Wow! It was one of the best  I have ever tasted and here is the full recipe!

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