The REAL Reason You Reach for Junk Food

Ever notice that when Friday comes your week of eating well and staying hydrated goes right out the window? 
Trust me, I know the feeling. 
You spend the whole week working out, eating clean foods and then the weekend hits and you’re off to parties and events, and before you know it, you’ve had 1 too many glasses of wine, indulged in just a little too much sugar and you feel incredibly guilty for it. 
So here’s the deal… you’re human and these things are bound to happen! Just chill ok? 
If you find yourself caving into junk food all the time (not just on the weekends) and are struggling to find a healthy eating routine, it’s important to understand why you’re craving these foods in the first place. 
Sure, we could talk about will power, but honestly, it goes deeper than that. 
Your body wants so badly to be fueled with good food. If your looking for some much-needed energy, trust me, it doesn’t lie in the Grande Starbucks latte you like to enjoy or the sugar filled donut or cookie you slip in the afternoon.
There’s a few reason you reach for those foods…
  1. You’re stressed – this causes a serious imbalance in your hormones, particularly cortisol, causing you to crave comfort foods, such as bagels, pasta, donuts, cookies and anything else that is beige and filled with sugar.
  2. You’re blood sugar is imbalanced – you might have skipped breakfast, or decided a bowl of corn flakes with your antibiotic and hormone induced milk was the best way to fuel your body. Add a latte to the mix and well, you’ve just entered into blood sugar roller coaster zone. Good chance your memory won’t be as sharp and you’ll be cranky and moody most of the day.
  3. You’re body is asking for nutrients – most of the time we think we need to reach for sugar or carbs to fuel us, but really, our body is just asking for some nutrient dense food. Leafy greens, healthy fats, quality protein, this is what your body is really asking for.
  4. You’re actually thirsty, not hungry. How many times have you gone through the day only to drink coffee and tea and not even had a sip of water? Be sure to bring water with you everywhere you go and make it a point to stay hydrated all day long. 
  5. You’re distracted – yup, this is a common one. Your either on the phone, working on the computer or watching tv. Which often times can lead to boredom and so we decide to reach for food because it makes us feel good and causes even more distraction (from our boring tasks or work). Trouble is, we lose sight of what we’re eating, because in this case we reach for something fast and often sweet, and we over eat, not ever paying attention to the amount of food we’re shoving down our throats!
So how can you break out of an unhealthy eating rut?
Instead of trying to completely overhaul your entire diet, just pick one thing to start with. Maybe it’s to drink more water, or eat more vegetables, or incorporating a simple green smoothie into your diet. 
These small simple changes, over time, lead to incredible long lasting results. Overhauling everything in a day or week can cause you to feel overwhelmed and most likely give up.  
It’s also important to eliminate distractions! Don’t eat while watching TV, or while working on the computer or talking on the phone. Sitting down to eat is part of your self-care. Sit quietly, peacefully, be grateful for the food in front of you and remember to eat slow. There is no need to rush through your food. 
Here’s a delicious, blood sugar balancing smoothie you can make today that will support you hormones, increase your energy and provide your body with some much needed nutrients! It’s especially important to make a smoothie like this on those days when you know you might be over indulging. 
Lean and Clean Green Smoothie
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  1. 2 cups non-dairy milk
  2. 1 scoop of Progressive VegEssential All-in-One in Vanilla (I like this one because it not only provides protein, but a ton of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega's and fiber)
  3. 2 cups of spinach or kale
  4. Half a green tipped banana (not a ripe banana!)
  5. 2 tsp chia or flax seeds
  6. 1/4 of an avocado
  7. 1 tsp cinnamon
  8. Ice (optional)
  1. Add all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until well combined.
Holistic Wellness
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Foodie Fridays! The Best Ever Kale Caesar Salad

Feed me some leafy greens and I’m one happy girl! I eat them so frequently you’d think I’d be sick of them by now. 

In fact, even as a little girl I loved Kale. My grandmother used to use it in many dishes, sautéed with lots of garlic, and my mom makes this amazing Caldo Verde Portuguese soup. It basically means collard green soup and it is my favourite! 

Collard greens, swiss chard, kale and other cruciferous veggies like broccoli and brussel sprouts are so incredibly detoxifying, support liver health and supply you with an incredible amount of magnesium.

Plus, they are rich in antioxidants, contain anti-inflammatory benefits, cancer protective compounds and cholesterol lowering properties. How ahhhmazing is that? But wait… there’s more! Kale also contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6, plus omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, fiber, iron and potassium. 

So if you’re not eating kale by now, you better start! In fact, when I hear people say how they don’t eat any veggies or would never even consider trying kale, it breaks my little (big) heart. I know what eating nutrient rich food can do for your health and without these magnificent greens in your life, you’ll be suffering with inflammation, brain fog, sleeplessness, anxiety, pms, hormonal imbalances and lack of energy. Who wants that?

Which brings to my creamy, leafy, amazing, kale caesar salad. I’m gonna say it’s the best ever (because it is) and so ridiculously delicious that you’ll want to make it all the time! Or at least it may start to replace your traditional caesar salad recipe. 

There’s just something about caesar salad. For me, it’s the creaminess. I so regularly make olive oil, lemon and balsamic dressing that it just gets kind of boring and unexciting. 

This caesar dressing is perfect as a dip for veggies or even used as a spread on sandwiches. 

So before we get into this amazing recipe, let’s have a quick chat about massaging kale. Yes, I said massage. I’m sure you’ve heard of this before, right?

Well, curly kale (which is what I use in this recipe) can be a little on the tough side. To break it down and to allow for your body to absorb and assimilate all of the vital minerals and nutrients, you first need to massage your kale with a little bit of olive oil, lemon and sea salt. 

It’s easy. Before you make the caesar dressing, wash and de-stem your kale. Add it to a large bowl and drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of sea salt. Then massage. Use your hands to really get in there and soften up the leaves. You’ll want to do this step as it lends a much nicer texture to the kale, making it more enjoyable to chomp on. 

Then, let it sit while you make your dressing. 

So now, onto the goodness! 

Enjoy 🙂 

Kale Caesar Salad
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. 5-6 cups (1 large bunch) raw kale, massaged (see above)
  2. 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  3. 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  4. Organic or homemade croutons (I use the sprouted croutons from LIVE ORGANIC FOODS), this is optional
  1. ½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or for 4 hours
  2. 1 tablespoon tahini
  3. 1 cup water
  4. 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  5. Juice of 1 large lemon
  6. 3 garlic cloves
  7. 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  8. Black pepper & sea salt to taste
  1. Massage kale in a large salad bowl and set aside.
  2. Add all caesar dressing ingredients into a food processor and blend until well combined. You may need to add more water, depending on the consistency you like.
  3. Add dressing to salad and top with hemp seeds, nutritional yeast and croutons.
  1. *You can always step it up a notch and add some parmesan cheese and bacon to this recipe. I've done it many times and it's delicious! You can also serve this with some grilled or poached chicken or salmon for a healthy nutrient packed lunch!
Holistic Wellness
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Chocolate Hazelnut Protein Power Bowl

Your breakfast needs a pick me up!

One of the biggest complaints I hear from my clients is that they don’t know what to eat for breakfast. Enter this power bowl. It’s not just any power bowl. It’s a friggin chocolate hazelnut bowl and I totally approve of you having it for breakfast! 

My breakfast varys often. From oats, to eggs (which can be made poached, fried or into a delicious veggie filled omelet) to leftovers, I eat quite the variety of things in the a.m.

And yes, by leftovers I mean I’ve eaten my leftover poached salmon with avocado and a side of greens for breakfast. It’s delicious, healthy and full of protein to fuel my body for a busy day. You should try it sometime!

I often tell my clients that they need to get over the idea that breakfast has to come in the form of a bagel, a donut, a box of cereal or any other type of breakfast-y type food. Breakfast is just another meal of the day, so don’t limit your choices. 

This power bowl has definitely gotten many of my clients up and out of bed in the morning. Even their kids enjoy it (which is a huge win!).

I mean, what kid (or adult) is going to pass up chocolate in the morning? I use cacao in this power bowl and if you haven’t gotten on the cacao-powder bandwagon, then I suggest you join. I use cacao in a lot of my smoothies and baking recipes, because it contains no artificial sugars, junk, or crap that you find in a typical cocoa powder. 

Cacao is a superfood and it’s rich in vitamin C, magnesium and lends a perfect chocolatey decadence to just about anything.

Have you tried my Black Bean Brownies yet? They contain a delicious amount of cacao and are perfectly gooey, rich in protein and packed with fiber. Click here to get that recipe. 

Oh! and ladies! This power bowl is perfect for those sugar craving PMS days where all you want is chocolate and you’ll rip someones heads off until you get your fix. You know what I’m talking about! The thing is, when you’re craving chocolate around your period, what your body is actually telling you is that it needs magnesium.

Magnesium is a very important mineral that helps to ease cramps and release muscle tension. It’s basically like the perfect PMS mineral! So take some, or eat cacao. 

So get out that blender, whip up this delicious chocolatey goodness, bask in your all day soaring energy and tame the PMS monster. 

Chocolate Hazelnut Protein Power Bowl
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  1. 1 frozen banana
  2. ¼ cup hazelnuts, soaked 30 minutes
  3. 3 tbsp hemp protein (I used Progressive Organic Hemp)
  4. 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  5. 1 scoop of your favourite chocolate protein powder (I love Progressive Harmonized Chocolate in this recipe)
  6. ¾ cup coconut milk
  7. 1 tsp cinnamon
  8. ice (optional)
  9. 1/4 avocado (optional and may be needed for additional thickness and consistency)
  1. Banana
  2. Strawberries
  3. Cacao nibs
  4. Shredded coconut
  5. Hemp seeds
  6. Chia seeds
  7. Goji berries
  8. Hazelnuts
  9. Sesame Seeds
  10. Pumpkins Seeds
  1. Place all ingredients (minus the toppings) into a blender and blend until well combined. Pour into a bowl and top with your favourite ingredients. Topping with hemp seeds, chia seeds and other superfoods will give this bowl a super antioxidant kick and supply you with a ton of plant based protein and healthy fats.
Holistic Wellness
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Sweet Potato Mac n’Cheese

I don’t think I’ve met anyone that doesn’t like mac n’cheese. Who doesn’t love a bowl of macaroni covered in creamy gooey cheesy goodness?

If you’re dairy and gluten intolerant, I’m sure you’re cursing me at this moment as you’d love to dive into a bowl of mac n’cheese, but your tummy wouldn’t be so pleased with you! I know the feeling. I avoid gluten and dairy 90% of the time, but there are definitely some treats and slip ups here and there. 

Enter Sweet Potato Mac n’Cheese. No gluten or dairy here! Creamy and gooey and almost cheesy like, this recipe is sure to please. Of course, if you can handle diary (always buy the best quality!), then you can feel free to sprinkle some on top. Some parmesano reggiano would be nice 😉 

My boyfriend loves mac n’cheese and every so often we try to whip up a health conscious version to indulge in. This one really does the trick! 

You can also try my Butternut Squash Mac n’Cheese recipe, or my Gluten Free Mac n’Cheese, which contains dairy and has been a fan favourite so far 😉 I think it’s the cheesy crust that wins everyone over!

In the meantime, you can ditch the dairy and still enjoy a creamy bowl of mac n’ cheese. This recipe will surely win you over. The sweet potato (which is loaded with potassium, magnesium and vitamin C) lends the perfect creaminess to this recipe and replaces the dairy.


Sweet Potato Mac n'Cheese
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
  1. 1 pound elbow macaroni (I buy GoGo Quinoa brand)
  2. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1/3 cup Bobs Red Mill gluten free all-purpose flour
  4. 1 1/3 cup mashed cooked peeled sweet potato, (about 1 medium sweet potato)
  5. 3 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  6. 2 teaspoons sea salt
  7. Fresh black pepper
  8. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  9. 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  10. 1 teaspoon coconut aminos
  11. 1 teaspoon lime juice (optional)
  12. 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  1. To cook sweet potato: Peel and cut sweet potato into 2 inch chunks. Add to a pot, cover with water and bring to a broil. Turn heat to medium-low and cook until sweet potato becomes soft. Approximately 15 minutes. Mash and set aside 1 1/3 cup.
  2. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, make a 'paste' by whisking the olive oil and flour over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. It will become clumpy.
  4. Add mashed sweet potato, almond milk, salt, pepper, garlic, mustard, coconut aminos, and lime juice to the saucepan and bring to a slight boil, whisking frequently. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until the sauce thickens, 3-5 minutes.
  5. Whisk until smooth. Some sweet potato chunks may remain. This is fine.
  6. Add rosemary and combine.
  7. Add cooked pasta to the large saucepan and mix well until all ingredients are combined.
  8. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Adapted from From Chef Chloe
Adapted from From Chef Chloe
Holistic Wellness
 Happy Cooking!

Samantha xo


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Summer Strawberry Salad

I’m sure I’m not the only one enjoying sweet summer strawberries. I love this time of year because there is just much fresh produce to enjoy. And so much of it is local too!

I can’t resist adding berries to my salads this time of year. It adds a delicious sweet flavour, plus it takes the nutrient content to a whole other level!

Strawberries are loaded with vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and vitamin K, all of which help to strengthen your bones. Plus, strawberries help to keep your hair and nails strong due to being rich in biotin. 

One of my favourites ways to enjoy strawberries, aside from eating them, is to use them as a face scrub! Yep! That’s right, a nutrient rich face scrub. Before you go ahead and throw out your super mushy strawberries, mash them up instead and use them as a scrub. The tiny seeds are powerful little scrubbers that help to rid the skin of impurities, and the deep red colour will actually give your skin a gorgeous youthful glow! Oh… and your skin will smell delightful!

So get scrubbing, and while your at it, make this amazing nutrient rich salad to serve for dinner tonight!

Summer Strawberry Salad
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
  1. 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
  2. 2 large handfuls of your favourite mixed organic greens
  3. 2 cups cucumbers, chopped
  4. 2 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
  5. 1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  6. 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  7. 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  8. Crumbled goats cheese, optional
  1. 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  3. Juice of 1 lemon
  4. 1 tsp dried oregano
  1. Place all salad ingredients into a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients.
  2. Drizzle dressing onto salad and toss well to combine.
Holistic Wellness
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Gluten Free Chocolate Oat Bars

What do you reach for when craving a snack?

I’m sure most of us crave something sugary, or salty during that 3pm crash. If you haven’t nourished yourself all day with the right amounts of nutrients, and your on your second pot of coffee by 3pm; there’s a good chance sugar and salt are on your mind!

I’ve been there… we’ve all been there, and it’s time to get outta there!

Fruits, nuts, seeds, a protein shake; these are all great snacks to have mid day. I always encourage my clients to reach for a whole food option when it comes to snacking. No prepackaged special K bar is good in my books. And to think, as a teenager I used to eat those! My I’ve come a long way 😉

These bars are just what you need for that afternoon fix. In fact, they are full of nutrients and goodness, that they would be great along side a bowl of fruit in the morning for your kids, before sending them off to school. I mean… don’t you think it’s time to ditch the pop tarts?!

So let’s get to it…

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Gluten Free Chocolate Oat Bars
(recipe adapted from Joyous Health Book)


2 and 1/2 cups wheat free rolled oats ( I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup chocolate whey protein powder (I use Progressive Organic Whey)
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional, but great for extra sweetness for kids! I like Enjoy Life chocolate chips)
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground vanilla bean
1 cup raw almond butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
2 tbsp real maple syrup


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a large baking dish with coconut oil.
In a large bowl, combine oats, protein powder, sesame seeds, coconut, chocolate chips, walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and ground vanilla; mix well. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt almond butter and coconut oil together. Add to dry ingredients and quickly stir. Then add almond milk and maple syrup and mix well. Stir until well combined. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and press down evenly with hands. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from oven, keep oven on, and let batter cool slightly for about 10 minutes. Then cut into desired pieces and place on a cookie sheet. Cutting the batter into bars may get crumbly. Be careful when transferring them to a cookie sheet. Transfer back to oven and bake for another 12 minutes, until edges of bars start to crisp up.

These bars are amazing as is, or you can crumble them like granola and serve over your favourite sheeps yogurt or with some homemade almond milk.

Happy Baking 🙂

To Your AWESOME Health & Abundance,
Samantha xoxo


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Why You Need to Eat Brazil Nuts

Heart health, thyroid health, cellular health… all reasons why you need to eat brazil nuts!

Brazil nuts are super creamy and buttery. In fact, they make the perfect nut milk.

Just replace almonds with brazil nuts in this easy to follow recipe here – HOMEMADE ALMOND MILK.

Watch my 1 minute video below explaining why brazil nuts are soooo good for you and your health!

Enjoy 🙂


To Your AWESOME Health & Abundance,
Samantha xoxo

HAVE YOU DOWNLOADED MY FREE BEST BREAKFAST RECIPE EBOOK? This recipe book is full of delicious and nourishing breakfast recipes. Some vegan, some paleo; all delicious! There’s something for everyone 🙂




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Spaghetti Squash Bake with Italian Sausage and Herbs

Oh yum!

I think I just made on one of the most delicious and satisfying dinners ever.

You know you’ve cooked up something good when your boyfriend asks for thirds!! Not seconds, but thirds!

I love me a good recipe. Especially one that is healthy, satisfying, and is free of glutinous grains and starches.

Most of my carbohydrate sources comes from more nutrient dense sources such as sweet potato, squash, pumpkin and some fruits. I’ve given up most glutinous grains and ‘white’ sources of nutrition-less breads. The one thing I can’t kick is oats. I love my oats. My favourite brand is Bobs Red Mill wheat free rolled oats. They are great for making homemade oat flour and using in baking recipes, or for a delicious and warming morning oatmeal.

Have you kicked the grains?

Are you still eating gluten?

I highly advise you ditch the gluten and start replacing your carbohydrate sources with more satisfying and nourishing squashes. Ditching white bread for whole wheat is a WHOLE other issue. Going gluten free includes ditching wheat too! And may I add….going gluten free doesn’t just require that you swap out your typical glutinous loaf of bread for a gluten free loaf. It really doesn’t work that way! Most of the gluten free breads are loaded with junk. So my honest advice, ditch the bread altogether!

It’s easier than you think! Especially once you try this recipe, you won’t miss the ‘starchy’ carbs. In fact, you just may beat the bloat and feel a whole lot better 🙂

Now onto the goodness…

Image 2

Spaghetti Squash Bake with Italian Sausage and Herbs
(recipe adapted from

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 pound italian sausage (turkey, chicken or pork will do) – source out organic/antibiotic & hormone free*
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup pizza sauce (homemade or store bought – no sugar added) – organic & clean ingredients*
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chill flakes
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • (optional: add anything you like with pizza: veggies, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, etc)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the skin of the squash becomes slightly soft and you can puncture it with a fork. Remove squash from oven and reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
  3. Remove threads from squash (using a fork, scrap down the squash to form spaghetti) and place in an 8×8 greased baking dish.
  4. Place a large pan over medium heat. Add italian sausage and onion. Break sausage up into pieces and cook until pink no longer remains.
  5. Add pizza sauce, dried herbs and spices and salt and pepper to the pan and mix well.
  6. Add sausage mixture to the 8×8 baking dish and mix well with spaghetti squash threads.
  7. Lastly, add whisked eggs to the baking dish and mix everything together well, until you can no longer see the eggs.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour or until the top of the mixture forms a slight crust. It will look as though the top layer is covered with cheese!
  9. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  10. Optional – feel free to top with shredded mozzarella or chopped fresh basil.


Guaranteed you’ll go back for seconds…and thirds 😉

To your Good Health & Abundance,

Samantha xoxo

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Foods to Eat to Lose Weight!

Dieting does not need to be difficult!

We do a very good job of complicating weight loss and diet regimes.

I think it’s safe to say that we ALL KNOW how important it is to eat fresh, whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, good quality meats and heart healthy fats.

Following this type of diet is a whole other story 🙂

In my quick video below, I share tips to starting a diet protocol and offer up my approach to weight loss.

If you’re struggling to eat right and lose weight and would like to re-vamp your diet and get SEXY, STRONG and HEALTHY, let’s work together! I can help to give you the right tools and strategic plan specific for your goals and body type.

Click HERE to choose the BEST program that works for you!

In the meantime, enjoy the video below! 🙂



Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂



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