Sick of Dieting? You’re in the right place.

Sick of Dieting? You’re in the right place.

Sick of dieting?  I was too.  That’s why I created this website.  Like many of you, I grew up dieting. I can remember being thirteen years old and worrying about how much fat was in a slice of cheese. Crazy, I know. By the time I was in high school I was always dieting.  This was the late 90’s and thin was in.  I had no idea that all of the dieting was wreaking havoc on my metabolism and only working against me in the long run.

Fast forward a few years. I decided that my love of food wasn’t something to be ignored (despite the fact that I wasn’t eating all that much of it!) I attended Johnson and Wales University and got my first degree in Culinary Arts. While there, I had a bit of an epiphany and realized that as much as I loved food, I was still afraid of it. Most of all, I was tired of battling my body. So I got my Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Nutrition, became a Certified Nutrition Coach and finally food and I became friends  

Since that time, I’ve been cooking up inspired, restaurant-style dishes that are centered on whole food to nourish the body and most importantly, have the right balance of complete protein, carbohydrates and fat.  As a Certified Nutrition Coach and Chef with twelve years of experience and thousands of nutrition clients under my belt, I’ve learned that counting calories and dieting never work in the long term.  They only slow our metabolism and cause future weight gain (stay tuned- that particular topic deserves it’s own blog and I’ll post one soon.)  The truth is, I’ve seen every diet and weight loss trend come and go (from Atkins to Paleo).  The one thing I know for sure is that stabilizing our blood sugar levels by eating balanced meals every few hours gives our body the fuel it needs to naturally release stored body fat, increase metabolism and boost energy levels.  You’ll find that my recipes reflect this science.

I’ve also learned that good intentions go right out the window when your food is boring.  My job is to make sure that every recipe I share is mouth-watering and delicious enough to serve in your favorite restaurant.    

Intrigued? Here are some of the cool things you’ll find on my website: 

-The recipes on this site are special because they are designed to go far beyond “healthy”.  While I appreciate and even teach the natural foods movement that is so trendy right now, I worry about the lack of balance in all of the gorgeous and colorful meals I see people promoting as “health food” on social media.   You see, the balance literally determines whether or not a meal is going to work in your favor and boost your metabolism or work against you and cause you to store fat and feel sluggish.  For example, a big bowl of banana “nice cream” or a massive stack of gluten-free pancakes looks beautiful and seems healthy on the surface.  But the reality is, too many carbs in one sitting (even natural, healthy ones like fruit) will send your blood sugar through the roof and cause weight gain.  It’s science and there is a HUGE difference between eating healthy and eating correctly.

My natural recipes have an ideal balance of complete protein, carbohydrates and fat to help you to naturally stabilize your blood sugar, release stored fat and increase your metabolism. And when a recipe isn’t balanced (like dessert or a side dish of veggies for example), I teach you what to add to it to make it balanced in the What’s the Nutrition Balance? section, found at the bottom of every recipe.  Also, while I don’t have the time to post the nutrition breakdown (nor do I want you to focus on calories etc.), I have well over a decade of professional experience creating balanced recipes.

This website is not about me. It’s about YOU! So while I happen to be mostly dairy free and gluten free, not all of my recipes are.   And you don’t need to be an expert in the kitchen, though if you follow my easy recipes you may just become one!  My point is, there’s something here for everyone.

My recipes are short and sweet. I believe that recipes should include a simple intro, an enticing picture, a clear and easy recipe and the nutrition balance.   That’s it. Who the hell has time to scroll through 8 paragraphs about someones day just to get to the recipe?  I don’t and I know that you don’t either.

The only place I will get chatty is on my blogs because they are meant to be a source of information.  And I will of course cover nutrition, fitness and lean and clean cooking in depth.  But I think I’m also going to delve a bit into my personal life too.  My sometimes insane, newly single personal life.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you 😉

-The two adorable little dudes you see in a lot of my pictures and cooking videos are my nephews. Justin is 9 and Reese is 6.  They make life worth it.

– My free newsletters are coming soon and will include exclusive nutrition and cooking tips, recipes and more. To sign up (and immediately receive my Exclusive Forever Young & Fit Recipes FREE directly to your inbox), simply fill out the sign up box at the top, bottom or right-hand side of my website.

My Shop Page is ever-growing and I only create items that you suggest. Seriously. I reach out to you on social media and ask you what you want and then I create it. I’m a bit of an over-achiever, so you’ll find that these items are incredibly in-depth and so helpful towards achieving your goals with a clean and fit lifestyle.

More than anything, I created this site to teach you how to  let go of dieting and learn how to prepare easy, mouth-watering meals that get you fit.  I want you to learn how to be friends with food, just as I did.  I hope this site becomes a daily source of reliable information, recipes, inspiration and laughter for you. I promise you, it’s the most liberating feeling in the world achieving your goals without dieting.

Because let’s be honest. Diet food sucks.

So, what’s your biggest challenge when it comes to getting in shape and eating healthy?  What answers do you need so that you can achieve your personal nutrition and health goals?  What do you want to learn about in regards to nutrition, cooking lean and fitness?  Let me know here and I promise to write back.  And please share this post so your friends and family can write in and makes requests too.

xx Valerie

  • Debbie
    Posted at 00:15h, 20 August Reply

    I have been looking forward to this for quite some time…thank you Val

  • Olivia
    Posted at 14:47h, 01 September Reply

    Sounds like you’ll be making something really great here. Can’t wait to see what you come up with! 🙂

    • valerie
      Posted at 14:53h, 01 September Reply

      Thank you Olivia for reaching out!!! I appreciate it. And yup, there will be a ton of great stuff coming to the site. Stay tuned. And feel free to share any requests or questions…it’s what I’m here for!!!

      • Lisa giaquinta
        Posted at 01:14h, 08 September Reply

        Loving the site!

        • valerie
          Posted at 01:28h, 08 September Reply

          Thank you Lisa! Tons more to come 🙂

  • Curtis Sligh
    Posted at 00:06h, 09 September Reply

    Hi I can lose the weigh but I’m having a hard time losing body fat.

  • Sarah
    Posted at 02:21h, 14 September Reply

    Hi Val, in addition to eating appropriately (pfc) what type of fitness do you recommend to assist with weight loss?

    • valerie
      Posted at 04:55h, 14 September Reply

      Good question Sarah! Most important is the nutrition (that’s 80% of it). Then cardio is a must- both red fiber fat burning cardio and then interval training a couple times a week. And resistance training is really important as well. For that I recommend working with a personal trainer who can develop a fat burning routine specifically with your goals and health in mind. So for fat burning cardio, think going at a pace where you are breaking a good sweat but your not out of breath 3 to 5 times per week atleast 30 minutes (walking- which is what I do because it’s easy on your joints and you can do it anywhere, jogging, climbing stairs). Interval training should only be done for 30 minutes max (so you don’t tap into your lean muscle) and it should be one minute fast, one minute reallly slow for 30 minutes (again you can do this walking, running or even cycling etc.). Stretching is also important to elongate muscles, reduce stress and prevent injuries. And if you have a sport or activity (zumba, yoga, tennis, whatever) throw that in and count that as your cardio- if it makes you happy and you do it consistently it’s all good :). Hope this helps Sarah and thanks for reaching out! xx Valerie

  • Viki Gibbs
    Posted at 15:22h, 14 September Reply

    Valerie – I’ve just recently lost 94 lbs. I’ve done this by eating the right way. I’ve noticed that all your recipes do not have the actual nutritional info. I appreciate your goal to have people eat right instead of “by the numbers”, but I would still like to see the nutritional info. This makes it easier for me to figure out how to incorporate proper nutrition into my maintenance plan. Thanks

    • valerie
      Posted at 19:18h, 14 September Reply

      Hey Viki! Thanks for reaching out and congrats on losing 94 lbs- that’s fantastic and you must be so proud!!!! And good for you for doing it by eating well! I would recommend that if you are focusing on numbers, that you plug these recipes into your favorite nutrition software. Venice Nutrition offers a great one with their Body Confidence online plan (full disclosure: I am Head Chef and Master Nutrition Coach for Venice Nutrition) and offers an awesome free one that you might like. Though I do not plan on adding the nutrition breakdown to the recipes on this website, if you click on my Press Page you can find some projects I did for where I did do the nutrition breakdown. Hope this helps and keep up the great work 🙂

  • Traci
    Posted at 14:04h, 15 September Reply

    Hi Valerie! I’m so excited about your website. I’ve been following you for a while with Venice Nutrition and love all of your information. We sound a lot alike from the past (your information from the 90’s) except I’m still stuck there. The hardest thing for me is easy, quick recipes and eating more regularly. I’m working on it though!! Two things that I find really upset my stomach is avocado and eating almonds. It seems avocado is in a TON of recipes. Is there a substitute I can use for avocado? Have you heard this from anyone else? I need to experiment a little more with almonds. I’m not sure if it’s just when I eat raw almonds. I will need try adding a little in recipes to see if they bother me that way. I’m so looking forward to more of you and your information. Thank you!!!

    • valerie
      Posted at 16:26h, 15 September Reply

      Hey Traci! Thanks so much for reaching out! If you do not tolerate avocado well, just skip it! Avocado (and almonds) are both heart healthy sources of fat so you can easily swap them for other heart healthy sources of fat like extra virgin olive oil, nut oils, other nuts besides almonds (just make sure they are not roasted in oil), all natural nut butters. And let’s say it was a meal that was Mexican-inspired like fajitas- you could do a little bit of real cheese or sour cream instead or use oil to cook the meat. The key is getting a little bit of fat in every meal (but not too much- so you wouldn’t want to eat cheese, plus sour cream plus oil) in one meal.

      As far as quick meals, I hear you :). It’s all about being prepared. I would recommend that you stock up on quality protein bars and protein powder. I like Power Crunch Bars, Rise Protein Bars (make sure they are the protein kind) and Power Crunch Proto Whey Powder or Nutiva Hemp Powder. I use balanced protein bars and smoothies (check out my smoothie recipes) when I’m really busy or on the go to keep my blood sugar stable. If your struggling while grocery shopping, check out my Healthy Shopping Guide and Product List in the Shop Page- it’s basically all of the foods and products I buy and why.

      The other trick I always use is making three key food items in bulk for the week- chicken, either sweet potatoes or brown rice and a big salad. Then I use these clean foods for grab and go meals all week long.

      I will make sure to add a blog soon on quick balanced options for those times when your on the go.

      Thanks again Traci for reaching out!!!!

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