3 “Dieting” Myths

Lately I have seen a lot of misrepresentations about healthy eating for one reason or another, and I wanted to address a few of the main things I frequently see. Read on to find out if you’re guilty of any of these. (Confession: I used to be guilty of all 3!!)  


Myth#1: Healthy food doesn’t taste as good as the bad stuff.  I am guilty of thinking this in the past so I completely understand if you’re thinking “it’s true!” But here’s the real deal-if you are used to eating fast food, fried food, and tons of salt/sugar/butter/oil/cream….then OF COURSE healthy food isn’t going to taste good to you, at first.  But I want you to think of your taste buds as “trainable” and just like you have to train your body to get in better shape, and your mind to quit finding excuses, you also have to train your taste buds.  The first week or two will be hard because your body is basically detoxing from all of the sugar and the fat and the salt which, by the way, are physically addicting.  But beyond that? You will begin to crave healthier things.  I am not a vegetable fan, and never have been, but now I find myself craving them after a day or two of a less-than-stellar diet. And when I eat a greasy burger or some french fries….they still taste good, don’t get me wrong, but afterwards I do not feel as good as I know I can feel.  A few years ago I NEVER would have guessed that would happen!

Myth #2: Adjectives like sugar-free, diet, low-fat, lite, etc mean something is better for you. NO. No no no no.  Every time I see someone posting about this on Facebook or Instagram, or I see their cart at the grocery store full of products like these, I want to scream.  When you see a phrase like that, I want you to imagine what kind of chemicals are required to achieve that claim.  And those blue, pink, and yellow sweetener packets you like to add to things? STOP IT!!!!! If you slowly cut down on the real sugar you use, your taste buds WILL adjust (see Myth #1).  Clean up your diet so that you can enjoy the occasional full-sugar, full chocolate, full-fat treat.  You’ll enjoy it much more and so will your future body. 

Myth #3: Organic/Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluten-free means it’s better for you, so you can eat more. Again, this is something I used to think.  But let’s break this down:

Organic:  I have eaten predominantly organic foods for years now but I was/am still overweight.  Organic means it is grown or made without the use of artificial chemicals.  I am a big advocate for organic meats and produce. Would you spray your fruit salad with pesticides right before serving, and then eat it? No? Well that’s basically what you’re consuming when you don’t buy organic.  BUT-none of this changes the caloric components. Organic sugar is still sugar.  So, while it’s better for you in some ways, organic is not a license for “all you can eat.”  

Vegetarian/Vegan: I once went vegan for 2 weeks and gained 2 pounds.  A vegetarian or vegan diet can be great if done correctly, because you’re consuming more fruits/veggies/whole grains/fiber.  But these days there are a lot of ways to be a vegetarian or a vegan without consuming a lot of veggies.  There are also a lot of non-dairy (vegan) options for most things-cream cheese and mayonnaise are two that come to mind-and those things still contain all the fat that the dairy versions have.  Also, did you know that things like Oreos and Swedish Fish are vegan? I think we can all agree that those are not healthy. Check out this list of accidentally vegan foods if you’re curious to know more.  Bottom line: simply being vegan or vegetarian doesn’t make something “good” for you.

Gluten-free:  Avoiding gluten seems to be the new “fad” but, folks, unless you have a gluten-intolerance (AKA, you are physically sick and uncomfortable when you eat gluten), there is no benefit to you not eating gluten!!!  If you cannot eat gluten, then these products were made for you, and I’m really glad that it’s becoming more common to find such items. But-and I think any person who is gluten-intolerant or has celiac disease will agree with me when I say-if you can eat gluten, do so and enjoy it!!  Somewhere along the line gluten-free became synonymous with “healthy” and “weight loss” and I’m not sure how that happened, but it’s simply untrue.  Check out this article for more info on how calories are basically the same for gluten vs gluten-free items.


If you’re looking for more information on any of the above, I would love to hear from you. And, of course, if you’re struggling or lacking support on your journey to get healthy, join me!!!!

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Zucchini “Chips”

So, I saw this recipe somewhere (probably on Pinterest…somewhere between Cookie Monster cupcakes, and a “Get ripped in 10 minutes a day” random workout) and in the picture, they looked so light and toasty and “chip-like.” So I made them…but mine looked burned to a crisp.

The Pinterest pic:


My actual pic:

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NAILED IT!!! Open-mouthed smile

However, they tasted good to me, so I’m still sharing. In fact, they often don’t make it to our plates because we end up munching on them while the rest of the meal is cooking, and they’re gone before we know it!

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photo 2 (6)


Zucchini Chips

1-2 zucchini, sliced THIN (if you have a mandolin, use it)

Salt (to taste)

Pepper (to taste)

Smoked Paprika (to taste)

Garlic powder (to taste)

1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (I do 1 tsp per zucchini)

Coconut oil cooking spray


Heat oven to 400 degrees**.  Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with coconut oil.  Slice zucchini, place on cookie sheet and drizzle with oil and sprinkle with spices, then toss to coat-just use your hands! Make sure the oil and the spices coat each piece. Then separate them and line them up so they each have their own little space to cook. If you don’t arrange them in a single layer, they will just be soggy.  Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 25 minutes. Then (this is the trick) let them sit for about 5-10 minutes, so they crisp up). The thinner you cut them, the quicker the cooking time-so keep that in mind and just keep an eye on them.  The smoked paprika adds a little spice to it, so if you’re not a fan of spicy stuff, just leave that out or use regular paprika.

**You could also try this, but heat the oven to just 225 degrees and bake for about 45-60 minutes.

If you’re doing the 21 Day Fix, measure the zucchini with your green container and use 1 tsp of evoo and count it as 1 green and 1 teaspoon. Smile

❤ Raya

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Protein Pancakes

I haven’t eaten a regular pancake in months, because these make me feel so much better! Normally I would eat a whole stack drowned in syrup, and then feel GROSS for the rest of the day.  Not to mention, hungry an hour later.  This is my go-to recipe for protein pancakes and I easily eat them 3-4 times a week!


Protein Pancakes (serves 1)

(adapted from this recipe)

1.5 scoops of Sun Warrior protein powder

2 TBSP whole wheat flour

1 egg white

1/4 cup water

a pinch of baking powder (I don’t measure, I just sprinkle a bit)

3-4 drops of stevia

2 dashes of cinnamon

1/8 tsp of the extract of your choice-I’ve done vanilla, almond, hazelnut, etc (this is optional)

I usually top mine with 1/2 sliced banana, 1-2 tsp peanut butter, and 1 tsp pure maple syrup. 

Some other fave toppings would be cinnamon apples (simply chop up an apple, cook it in a little bit of water until soft, then sprinkle with cinnamon), or blueberries (same method as the apple, maybe add 1 tsp of syrup and some xantham gum to thicken up the berries to make a kind of “compote.” You could also put the blueberries in the pancakes!! Or, if you’re wanting an extra treat, add 1-2 teaspoons of chocolate chips to the batter. 

If you’re doing the 21 Day Fix, I count this as 1 yellow, 1 red, 1 purple (for the fruit topping) and 1 teaspoon (peanut butter).  Remember to measure accordingly with the fruit.  If you use the chocolate chips, use 1 tsp only and it counts as ANOTHER yellow. 

Enjoy! And let me know if you try it!  

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Southwest Breakfast Tacos

Hi friends! Today I’m sharing one of my current breakfast faves.  Usually I am a big fan of protein pancakes for breakfast.  Either that, or Shakeology if I’ve got somewhere to be early.  But once in a while I like to mix things up and make a savory breakfast, and this is what I’m loving right now.  When I was pregnant I had zero desire for anything spicy (or anything healthy, for that matter), so it’s so nice to have jalapenos and hot sauce back in my life.


Southwest Breakfast Tacos (serves 1)

2 corn tortillas

1 egg, scrambled

2 slices reduced fat turkey bacon, chopped

Handful of fresh spinach

1  jalapeno, sliced

1/2 cup of the following combo: diced onions, diced green peppers, diced tomato

1 teaspoon of olive oil

Favorite hot sauce (I like Arizona Gunslinger Red Jalapeno)

Heat pan over medium-high heat and “toast” each tortilla on a dry, hot pan for 30 seconds to a minute on each side. Place tortillas on plate, lower heat to medium, and add turkey bacon to pan.  Once bacon crisps up, remove from pan and set aside.  Add 1 tsp olive oil and onions and peppers. Once the onions and peppers are softened (3 minutes or so), add in egg, spinach and tomato.  Once eggs are cooked, add bacon back in and combine.  Divide mixture evenly between the two tortillas and add LOTS of hot sauce Winking smile

Serve with a side of fresh fruit! And as always, please let me know if you try this! I’d love to hear your feedback.

For my 21 Day Fix friends, this counts as: 1 yellow, 1 red, 1 green, and 1 teaspoon. Add 1 purple if you serve with fruit like I did.

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Why I Became a Beachbody Coach

It started for the discount (doesn’t it always?).  25% off of Shakeology and all other products? Yes, please.  I said I wouldn’t tell anyone unless I was asked (ha!).  Then, I started using the 21 Day Fix…and I simply could not believe that no one had thought of this earlier.  It was everything I needed as a busy new mom.  And the portion controlled containers? GENIUS.  As I started to get results, I began to see the value just in that program alone.  The 21DF is not the first Beachbody program I’ve tried-but it is the first one where I’ve committed myself to

1. Drink Shakeology daily and

2. Join a challenge group on FB to hold myself accountable…

So it’s no surprise that this is the first Beachbody program to give me BIG RESULTS (down 22 pounds and counting!).  And as if that wasn’t enough, I started to see the people on my team slowly earning enough money to leave their jobs.  And I thought…WOW. What an opportunity to do something I love, and be able to spend more time with my sweet little baby.   

Did I have objections before I signed up? ABSOLUTELY! My two big ones were:

1. It’s too expensive.  Yes, Shakeology is pricey…I completely understand.  What I’ve found is that it’s about priorities.  I would spend $3-4 a day just at Starbucks, or I would go to Target and somehow spend $75 when I only had one thing on my list.  I 100% believe that Shakeology helps with my cravings and is feeding my body superfoods every single day.  I feel SO good about myself now, that I can’t even put a price on that!


2. Is this a pyramid scheme? Yes, I asked this.  No, it is not (those are illegal).  Beachbody uses a network marketing business model.  For more info on that, you can use Google or check out the book Go Pro (great read!).

Other than the great programs and results that Beachbody continues to provide, there is more that I love about the company!

-They do not alter or Photoshop their before/after photos in any way.  I could go on and on about this, but basically-what you see is what you get. REAL RESULTS.

-As a coach, you don’t have to hold any inventory.  And you can CHOOSE who you want to work with.  It is essentially your business to do as much or as little as you would like. 

-The company focus is on ending the obesity epidemic.  You cannot live in America and deny that we have a problem! People need help in this department.  I needed help in this department!

-Beachbody promotes personal development, first and foremost. I love this, because I was actually looking for books to improve my professional skills before I even began my coaching journey.  Some of my favorites so far have been The Compound Effect, Go Pro, and Go For No.

-No one will ever tell you this is a “get rich quick” business (if they do, RUN).  The only thing I have heard from the leaders on my team are that it takes time, consistency, and passion.  Helping the most amount of people is the goal!

I could keep going, but instead I will just say this.  I used to sell make-up for a company that I won’t name, and as much as I tried, I could never muster enough enthusiasm to be truly passionate about it. I would do makeup parties and I felt awkward, nervous and sweaty.  But you know what I realized years later? I hardly wear any makeup on a daily basis!!!! That company didn’t align with my personal values.  But fitness and nutrition is something I have been interested in for the last 10 years, if not more.  I am certainly not a salesperson, and I feel uncomfortable when people say that I am “selling” Beachbody products…because I don’t think of it that way.  I am offering people a solution to their problem…and there are many solutions out there.  This is just the one that I have used and that I believe works best.  There is nothing more rewarding than helping someone achieve a goal that they so desperately want.  The best way that I can sum all of this up:

 Beachbody has given me a vehicle that I didn’t know I needed, for a passion that I’ve always had.

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