Three Ways to Manage Stress around Food and Fitness during the Quarantine

Three Ways to Manage Stress around Food and Fitness during the Quarantine

As soon as this quarantine began, the posts on social media about fears of gaining weight, eating all of the “bad” foods, or lack of exercise began to flood my feeds.  While I can certainly empathize and understand these fears I am here to tell you that this is not the time to worry about this. Your body has a physiological reaction to any stressor and we all have enough to worry about as it is.  For instance, lack of income, homeschooling, and our overall health and well-being.  Adding weight gain and food fears to this list does us no good.  Instead of telling you to take a walk, do yoga, or mediate, all of which are amazing things to do to help with overall stress, I am going to outline three things you can do to destress around food, exercise, and weight gain during this quarantine.  

Eat the Damn Ice Cream

Just like I tell you to eat the banana, I am telling you to relax and eat the ice cream or whatever you are craving that you think is bad for you.  One of the first images I saw on instagram after we were told to stay home as much as possible was a picture of ice cream and a picture of “healthier” options being compared to each other.  The message was, “you don’t have to let this be an excuse to eat nothing but ice cream while under quarantine….here are healthier options to keep in the house”.  While I understand the value of eating nutrient dense foods most of the time, diet culture is rearing its ugly head at an even more alarming frequency due to the quarantine.  Posts like this perpetuate the fear around gaining weight during this time, thus increasing our stress levels.  

restriction pendulumAs I have explained numerous times, restriction and deprivation lead to an increase in stress and pre-occupation with food, and can inadvertently lead to excess weight due to higher cortisol and of course the inevitable binge cycle.  As Christy Harrison, author of Anti-Diet, explains, restriction and dieting is like a pendulum.  Basically, you restrict restrict restrict and when the pendulum starts to drop because you can no longer resist your cravings it does not stop in the middle.  It naturally sways to the complete opposite side; in this case bingeing.  There is no way you can go right from restriction to a healthy relationship with food in other words.

Add to that, as I outlined in my blog on why diets don’t work, diets are not a long term fix.  They increase your obsession with food, lead to rebound weight gain, disconnect you with your body’s natural ability to experience hunger and fullness, and wreak havoc on our mental well-being.  So I will say it again, eat the damn ice cream and enjoy it!  

Get Rid of Your Scale

Being stuck at home for days on end can certainly cause us to go off the rails on our road to intuitive eating or eating disorder recovery.  We aren’t as distracted by every day life so it is easy to fall back into the habit of obsessively weighing ourselves.  Especially because we all feel a little bit out of control in relation to this virus and quarantine.  

If you cannot stop weighing yourself or are obsessed with the number you see on your scale, try to just get rid of it.  Our weight fluctuates so much day to day and even hour to hour and as outlined in my blog on weight set-point ranges, there is not a whole lot we can do to permanently control our biological set-point.  In addition, weight can fluctuate up to 2-4 pounds throughout the day depending on what we eat, drink, do for exercise, our stress levels, and even sleep, so weighing yourself every day or even multiple times in a day is futile and ends up being mentally harmful. Not only is the scale not accurate, it can trigger eating disorder behaviors and is not an indicator of overall health.  Try to replace weighing yourself with a more beneficial activity.  For instance, when you feel the need to weigh yourself, mediate, journal about it, or go on a walk.  Slowly you will start to remove this habit from your life and I promise you will be much happier!

Give Yourself Permission to Chill

It is challenging not to compare ourselves to others when our social media feeds are filled with people doing workouts, cooking healthy meals, and homeschooling their kids as if it were their full time job.  If you struggle with comparing yourself to what others are doing and it makes you feel less than, get off of social media or limit your time.  Social media can be beneficial in replacing the much needed social time we are all not getting at the moment but it can also be very detrimental to your overall happiness.  Pick and choose what you want to follow and go from there.  

In regards to learning how to chill, it is challenging to lose our normal workout routine but it is also ok to do different things to move our bodies and stay active.  In fact, our bodies need a break from high intensity training and this time in quarantine is the perfect time to try a new activity or skill.  This is the time to relax and do things you do not normally do.  Read books, take naps, go on walks, play games with the family, or get some much needed yard work done.  Do whatever makes you happy and don’t feel the need to go balls to the wall every day to be the most productive quarantine family in America.  There are no awards or medals for this.  We are all in this together.  

If CrossFit, OrangeTheory, or some other form of high intensity interval training is normally your thing and you don’t have access to it, try going on some outdoor runs or get a few pairs of dumbbells or kettlebells and make up your own lower key routine to move each day just a little bit.  It is not about how high intensity your workouts are, it is about simply continuing to move your body and stay active.  These weeks off will go a long way to help you when you return to normal activity so take advantage of it.  

Not only does this give your body a chance to recover, but it allows you to be more creative with your exercise routine.  Who knows, maybe you will discover something you will learn to love and incorporate into your routine permanently.  Try a Zoom Yoga class, download the Peloton app, and try some guided bootcamps or meditations or simply google “at home workouts”.  Give yourself permission to chill and do what feels right RIGHT NOW.  

In summary, there is no wrong way to do this quarantine thing but I do know that you do not have to stress over food, weight gain, or your exercise routine changing.  This too shall pass, and there are more important things to worry about like spending time with family, catching up on sleep, and finding toilet paper, so let’s all just eat what our bodies tell us to eat and move forward people!  




How PANS Put My Intuitive Eating Philosophy to the Test

How PANS Put My Intuitive Eating Philosophy to the Test

PANS and Intuitive Eating must go hand in hand.  My 8 year old son was recently diagnosed with PANS.  A child who could eat en entire package of bacon if you let him or an entire personal gluten free pizza in one sitting suddenly could not eat a thing.  Everything was “too chewy” or felt weird in his mouth.  It started slowly and then BAM suddenly he was down to nothing but smoothies, apple sauce pouches, and yogurt.  As of late we have added goldfish and cheez-its even though they have gluten (he is a gluten free child).  At first I was wondering if he was looking for attention but when I saw him visibly sad and angry about being unable to eat his favorite things I knew something was off so we went to our amazing pediatrician.  

What is PANS?

PANS is the acronym for Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome, a more recently defined disorder which encompasses the more familiar medical condition, PANDAS or Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal infections. PANDAS is now considered a subset of the broader classification, PANS.  The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) acknowledged that PANS, a treatable autoimmune condition, could be triggered by any number of infections (other than strep), and that patients could be diagnosed with the condition even if the infectious trigger(s) was unknown.  

“Parents will describe children with PANS as overcome by a ‘ferocious’ onset of obsessive thoughts, compulsive rituals and overwhelming fears. Clinicians should consider PANS when children or adolescents present with such acute-onset of OCD or eating restrictions in the absence of a clear link to strep.”

— Dr. Susan Swedo, NIMH

This has been a huge challenge to say the least.  As a parent and in my own life, I like to promote balanced nutrition and intuitive eating.  In my blog “Raising the Intuitive Eater” I discuss many strategies to encourage this philosophy to prevent children from being obsessed with food and diet and to help them feel free to choose what their body wants at any given time.  Of course I still try to make sure he gets an ample amount of protein and vegetables in his diet and try to let him fill in the rest.  As a parent it is our job to provide the general structure and let our kids fill in the rest as they learn to ask for what they want in the hopes that they will choose nutritious options most of the time.  We all want our children to learn how to fuel properly and learn what their bodies need to survive and thrive, but we want them to learn to make these choices on their own eventually.  

When his diet switched to smoothies, apple sauce, yogurt, and processed goldfish/cheez-it crackers due to this medical condition my intuitive eating values were put to the true test.  At first I did not have a lot of patience.  Trying to explain to an 8 year old who has no idea why this is happening that he still needs protein and vitamins and minerals to feel his best and to grow is like talking to a wall.  I found myself reverting back to the “you need to eat and clean your plate philosophy” real quick and even telling him that he would get sick if he did not eat enough.  Very easy to fall back into that when your motherly instinct is freaking out that your child is not getting proper nutrition.  I was literally losing my mind and he witnessed my mommy tantrums in their finest moments.  

After about a week of this stressful battle I realized I needed to let go of all control and let my child decide what he wanted to eat even if that meant cheez-its and ice cream for dinner.  So challenging.  Have I found ways to sneak protein in?  Yes, we do almond milk and chocolate protein and his smoothies have protein as well but it has been very hard to accept that his dinner includes something processed like goldfish and cheez-its every single night.  You learn to pick your battles and learn that right now it is out of your control.  

Intuitive eating allows you to have freedom and allows you to let go of control but this has truly tested my intuitive eating philosophy and made me realize that I have to let him choose right now.  That means giving up all control and letting him eat chocolate chips for dessert.  It means only packing yogurt, goldfish, apple sauce pouches, and a drink for lunch, knowing that is not a complete meal.  It means experimenting and sending protein bars to school just in case he might want to try one again.  It means offering up anything that he might want to try again in the hopes that he will try it and not run out of the house and spit it in the back yard.  It means possible judgement from other parents if they see what my child is eating on a regular basis.  And, it means acting like it is no big deal in front of Liam’s face but crying behind closed doors when he is in bed at night or after he is dropped off at school.  The stress is real and the struggle is real but I know this too shall pass and his happiness and sense of normalcy in his life is most important right now.  

There comes a time when you have to accept what is right now.  If goldfish is the new normal then that is the new normal.  If grinding up his vitamins in a smoothie because he can’t stand the texture of his once favorite vitamins is the new normal then so be it.  This is true intuitive eating here folks.  Perspective is key.  With any medical condition or diagnosis, eating and nutrition and any social norms surrounding food consumption, are out the door.  I have to let him eat exactly what he wants and celebrate that with him even if it is a food that I know does not serve him well.  After all, this is what I would want if I were going through something similar.  So, thank you intuitive eating Gods, I hear you loud and clear and Liam appreciates it.  

Meal Preparation Made Easy

Meal Preparation Made Easy

One of the most popular questions I get is about meal planning and meal preparation.  You know the deal.  You start each week with all of the good intentions.  You plan to eat “clean” all week and make good food choices in order to feel your best and then Monday knocks you on the ass.  The kids give you a hard time getting their teeth brushed, your boss is breathing down your neck about a 24 hour deadline, and you spill your coffee on your lap on the way to work.  Lunch time comes around and you do not have anything prepared so you eat on the go and by the time dinner comes you are too tired to care so popcorn and wine become the easiest choice.  You are exhausted and feel like crap only to start over again on Tuesday.  This is not to say that some days you might not intentionally choose to go that route, no judgment if you do, but if you are being honest with yourself you would probably rather have great meals ready to go that make you feel great and taste amazing right? 

meal preparationEnter meal preparation.  To most this task seems so daunting and tedious so we just skip it and try to eat as we go.  The scenario illustrated above happens all too often and is not in our best interest for the most part so I am here to tell you that meal planning does not have to be that difficult nor does it have to take over an entire day of slaving in the kitchen.  Meal prepping can be very simple and very rewarding and you do not have to be an incredible Pinterest chef to plan your meals for the week.  Below is a very simple and painless way to handle meal prep, and it will allow you to be creative so that you do not get bored eating the same exact meals every single day for a week at a time.  

Grocery Shopping

Pick one day of the week that you like to shop and prepare your food.  If that is Sunday, cool, if it is Wednesday, so be it.  There is no hard and fast rule about when is best, just pick a day that works best for you and your schedule and family.  Also, you do not have to buy food for an entire week at a time if that is too overwhelming.  I personally like to go on Sunday and buy for 3-4 days at a time and play Friday and Saturday by ear as our family sometimes eats out on those days.  

When meal prepping you will want to make sure you have all of the macronutrients represented in each meal.  You will need protein, carbohydrates (including vegetables), and fats.  If you shop the perimeter of most stores you will find all of the ingredients that you need.  Every meal does not have to be some creative casserole or extravagant meal so for the purpose of this article I am talking just the basics folks.  Of course, you can reserve a night to make a special dinner for your family that will yield lots of leftovers but keep it simple if your life is super busy and there is not ample time to prep that much.  

While at the store purchase 3 protein sources, 3 carbohydrate sources, 3 vegetables, and 3 fat sources.  Ideas and options for that will be listed below.  No need to decide what will go with what.  Just focus on getting the basics and prepping them how you like and you can go from there.  This of course does not include snacks, fruits, and nuts you might need between meals but you get what I am saying.  


Simply cook your protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables so that you have 3 types of each ready to go.  You can do this in bulk and it should not take more than a couple of hours at a time if you are just using simple ingredients.  Now, you have several different combinations of meals you can make.  You do not need to prep them all in perfect serving size containers like you see on Instagram.  Just put them each in their own designated container and portion out what you want when you want it.  

If you have to take a meal to work the next day get it prepared in a smaller container the night before with a serving of protein, carbohydrates, vegetables, and fats and voila, you have a meal ready to go!  You can mix and match thing so that you do not get bored, and you can change up the fat source for each meal if you wish too. Just make sure each meal is covering all of the bases.  Bring snacks with you for in between meals if you need and like to snack and you should be good to go.  Below are some of the food options you can rotate through week to week.

Protein (for the importance of protein click here)

  • Meats (lean or fatty) beef, steak, or wild game
  • Poultry – chicken, turkey
  • Eggs
  • Seafood – wild caught fish and shellfish
  • High quality deli meats
  • Jerky
  • Beans and Lentils
  • Tofu and Tempeh
  • Protein Powders and bars


  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Legumes
  • Fruit
  • Quinoa
  • Whole grains
  • Pasta
  • Oatmeal


  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Oils
  • Avocado
  • Cheese
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Chia seeds
  • Full fat yogurt

Like I said, you can buy different foods each week and mix and match as you see fit or based on your cravings on any given day.  Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be overly creative and keep it simple y’all!  If you have any questions feel free to let me know and as always thanks for reading and sharing!  


Why Diets Do Not Work

Why Diets Do Not Work

Let me tell you why diets do not work!  For decades we have been chasing that magic number on the scale or that perfect figure that we see in the magazines and Instagram yet we are still running around in circles trying to fit into our skinny jeans or be able to see visible abs in the mirror.  In fact, the very first diet “book” that was ever published was William Banting’s “Letter on Corpulence” in 1864 in response to his weight loss success when he replaced sugar and carbs with mostly meat, fish, and vegetables.  From there fad diets began to appear in many different forms.  

It is easy to see that the “solution” is something we cannot seem to find when you scroll through facebook and see ad after ad about the newest and greatest diet trend that will “help you lose the weight for good”.  If diets worked wouldn’t we all be fit and thin?  If diets worked would we continue to see trend after trend of the latest and greatest way to lose weight?  The worst part is that diets leave us thinking that we are less than, that we failed yet again, and that it is all of our fault.  I am here to tell you that it is not your fault.  You did not fail yet again.  Diets just do not work long term.  In fact, most of the time you end up back where you started and then some.  

In fact, a comprehensive study done by Traci Mann, UCLA associate professor of psychology, found that people who diet will probably lose 5-10% of their body weight in the first six months of dieting but regain most of their weight back.  Also, one-third to two-thirds actually gain more weight on top of that within four to five years.  

“We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more. Sustained weight loss was found only in a small minority of participants, while complete weight regain was found in the majority. Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people.”

“one of the best predictors of weight gain over the four years was having lost weight on a diet at some point during the years before the study started,”

I know that it is hard to believe because we are conditioned to think, if I eat less and move more I should drop the weight.  That is what we have been told our entire lives.  I ask that you open your mind and listen to what I have to say.  I want to also add that I am in no way saying that you should ignore health and nutrition.  If you want to that is your choice, but I do believe that we should be making sound choices that benefit our health in the way of food, fitness, mental health, and physical health.  

I get messages on Instagram all of the time asking what I mean by just eat what you want.  I mean just that, eat what you want, but I also think that we need to listen to our bodies and I am pretty positive that our bodies do not want to live off of ice cream and cookies all day.  I say eat the cookie or the ice cream when you want it, don’t treat it as if it is the devil, but also listen to your body and how it reacts to foods.  I guarantee your body will feel better if you fill it with nutrient rich foods most of the time but overall, your mind and body will function best if you do not demonize any food groups as well.  It takes practice but that is for another blog.  Now that your mind is open lets get to why diets don’t fucking work!

Dieting increases your preoccupation with food and leads to food obsession

One of the most famous studies that I see referenced in my reading and research is the Minnesota Starvation Study.  This study was done by Dr. Ancel Keys in the 1940s.  He recruited four hundred of the most psychologically and physically robust men to participate in a semi-starvation diet of around 1600 calories a day.  This is obscenely low, especially for a man!  At first many physical changes such as complaints of feeling cold, tired, and hungry presented themselves but the most dramatic issue was that suddenly the men were OBSESSED with food.  They obsessed over how they would eat, how they would distribute their calories each day, and some even started collecting cookbooks and obsessing over recipes.  They even began hoarding and sneaking food.  Not normal for men in their 20’s I would say!  

This same thing happened to me when I did my very first formal diet.  I was in my early 20’s and decided to try Weight Watchers.  While it did help me lose weight and opened my eyes to eating more vegetables, not for the nutritional value but moreso because they had a zero point value, but I became obsessed.  I thought about food all of the time, I couldn’t wait to eat my next meal, I cautiously planned each bite that went into my mouth, made sure to do an hour of cardio per day, and I had to give myself a cheat DAY every Saturday where I proceeded to eat everything I saw that had sugar and things I had restricted all week long.  Not healthy at all!  

The point is, when you restrict you will obsess and eventually find ways to binge on the food that you deny yourself.  Forbidding something intensifies the desire to have it and ends in bingeing and guilt.  Not your fault.  The scarcity mindset sets you up to believe you will never get that forbidden food again so you go overboard and vow to start over tomorrow.  A viscous cycle that harms us physically and mentally.  

Dieting eventually makes you eat more, not less

As mentioned above the restriction leads to bingeing and causes you to go overboard above and beyond what you might do if you had a healthy relationship with food.  You restrict, you binge, you are guilty, and repeat.  Studies have shown a causal relationship between dieting and overeating.  Dieters end up eating more in the end due to the restrictive nature of most diets and end up overcompensating.  This perpetuates the all or nothing mentality where you eat one cookie and think, “well I ate that cookie and should not have, so I may as well eat the entire bag”.  

Take me for example.  During my time with Weight Watchers I became obsessed with this sugary Chex Mix and made sure to down an entire bag every Saturday as a treat for myself.  Had I had a better relationship with this particular food item, I may have rationed that out in handfuls throughout the week and only go through half a bag per week rather than an entire bag in one day.  In essence, I was eating more than I would have had I felt more neutral around food.  

Dieting makes you lose sight of your body’s natural hunger and satiety signals

This one is the most detrimental result of chronic dieting.  Our bodies are hardwired to tell us when we are hungry and when we are full or satisfied.  We have actual hormones that tell us these things.  When we diet we ignore our hunger, ignore when we are full, and in essence ruin our relationship with our body.  We render ourselves unable to trust our body’s natural signals.  If we cannot trust our own bodies what can we trust?

Ghrelin is our main hunger hormone. Ghrelin receptors are located in the hypothalamus, an area of the brain responsible for appetite controls. The more you ignore hunger the more ghrelin is produced. So, the more you restrict, the more your body fights back basically.  Even more eye-opening, when you eat, ghrelin is suppressed, but if you are a chronic dieter ghrelin may stay elevated due to you being in an energy deficit. Studies have shown that ghrelin levels in someone who has been dieting can be elevated for up to one year!  Hence, the rebound weight gain!

On the flip side, Leptin is the hormone that tells your brain when you have had enough or when you are full.  If we are ignoring this we have a tendency to overeat past the point of fullness.  If we learn to stop and listen to this natural signal, we may not even need the amount of food that is designated by our macros, points, or strict diet regimen.  We learn to stop when we are full and save the rest for later.  When dieting we ignore these feelings and eat what we are told.  

Dieting is mentally stressful and exhausting

Studies have found that restriction can increase feelings of depression, anxiety, guilt and powerlessness.  Also, dieting can increase the likelihood that you will eat in response to these negative feelings rather than in response to natural hunger.  We have all had a bad day and gone home to down a gallon of ice cream right?  Not that there is anything wrong with that but if you are a chronic dieter you are more likely to handle your feelings of distress with food rather than in other more helpful ways like, yoga, meditating, exercise, or a good conversation with a friend.  

The moral of the story is, it is not your fault.  Diets may serve a purpose at first but the long term effects to your mind, body, and soul are not worth it.  Diets are scientifically set up to make you feel like a failure.  Learning to listen to your body and eating intuitively is the way to go.  It is empowering and healthy and you are allowed to be a real human when learning to eat intuitively.  You can make mistakes, learn from them, and move forward.  Contact me if you are ready to drop out of diet culture.  I have dropped out and have never looked back.  Join me!  



Hormones and Metabolism:  An interview with Kim Schaper

Hormones and Metabolism: An interview with Kim Schaper

Nutrition and exercise are a huge part of the equation when it comes to overall health but there are often two things that coaches and doctors miss:  hormones and metabolism.  Hormones have a huge effect on us, especially women, as we age.  From the age of 30 things start to change and can have a negative impact on our mood, sleep, energy, metabolism, and a whole host of other issues.  I am no expert on hormones, although I do recommend that my clients get bloodwork so that we can know what other issues may be hiding in the background.  In an effort to bring awareness to this topic I am excited to share my interview with my good friend Kim Schaper, online hormone/metabolic reset coach.  


Introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do and how you came into this line of work. In other words what is your why?

Hi, I’m Kim!  I’m an online hormone/metabolic reset coach and I love helping women get healthy, balanced and happy without the obsession.
I got into this line of work back in 2015 when I was burned out from training numerous clients a day within the confines of a small gym.
I knew in my gut I could reach more women and while I loved my clients, I was itching to get in the online space to make a bigger impact.  


Why have you made the shift into hormones and their importance to women’s health?

After being in the fitness space for a while I quickly realized there were many coaches and trainers missing the boat, myself included.
For many females, especially those who are 30 and above, hormones play a big role in overall health.  They feel as though they’re doing all the things like eating well and exercising enough and not seeing the results they want.
I dove into hormones because I had a series of hormonal issues that were not getting resolved just from eating right and exercising.  No matter how much I did, the weight would not budge and I hear this from so many women.  You’re not alone!
From women who experience adult acne to mood swings to weight gain, many coaches are not well educated on how to handle their clients health issues.  This is why I’m super passionate about hormones and metabolism because we’re all uniquely different and what might work for one person might not work for another.  
Hormones are essential for every woman.  I don’t care who says they’re not, they are lying and it’s mainly men who say it, lol.  Hormones and metabolism are the building blocks to our entire system.  If your thyroid is off, your mood will be dampened and your body will store fat.  If you are insulin resistant, you’ll struggle with excess belly fat and feel like you gained 20 pounds when you look at carbs.  If you have high stress, you can bet your cortisol will get elevated and you’ll hold onto inflammation and store more body fat.
No one talks about this stuff.  Most just think if they put you on a simple meal plan you’re supposed to lose weight right away.  Women feel discouraged, frustrated, and feel like a failure when they cannot maintain this level of dieting.  Our bodies don’t care if we want to fit in our skinny jeans, our bodies just want to feel balanced and they will do whatever they need to to get to that state. Even if that means slowing down your metabolic rate or keeping some extra weight on you because of the high stress.
I believe all hormones are important for any female.  To be honest, most women don’t know about their cycle, hormones, or endocrine system and to no fault of their own, we’re just told to trust our doctors and carry on.  


Which hormones do you believe are the most important to discuss and be aware of for a woman?  What tests should women ask for when going for bloodwork and why?

The ones I like to address the most are:
  • Thyroid
  • CRP-inflammation markers
  • Pregnenolone
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone
  • Estrogen
  • DHEA
I’ve also found there are 4 main contributors to women’s issues: (not all but most)
  • High Cortisol
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Estrogen Dominance
  • Low Thyroid

How do you help women?

I really love helping women feel good in their bodies again and educating them on body intuition.  I also want them to know if they feel like something is going on, do not dismiss it!  We know our bodies better than anyone else.  I like to look at the entire picture.  
How’s my clients sleep, nutrition, hormones, exercise, and stress?  All 5 are important for optimal health and wellness.
I’ve gone through all of this and it has become my mission to help other women heal quicker than I did and give them access to top notch professionals.  As a female, we’re already wearing a million hats:  mom, wife, daughter, sister, boss, etc. and we don’t have time to run around and find doctor after doctor.  We need guidance and a one stop shop where we can get everything under one umbrella.  


How can people get in touch with you?

You can email me at and I’m on Facebook and Instagram: Kim.Schaper.  I also have a FREE facebook group: balancing hormones naturally.
I met Kim when I was working in Atlanta back in the early 2000’s and an so thankful and honored that she has allowed me to interview her and share her with my following.  She is an amazing resource and I highly recommend reaching out if you need her services.  
As always, if you want to change your relationship with food and your body please reach out to me and I would be happy to help!  
Protein Bars:  My Top Picks

Protein Bars: My Top Picks

Last week I wrote about protein and how important it is for our bodies and our health.  I suggested that eating protein bars is a great way to squeeze in extra protein each day.  There are so many different options so I figured I would share my favorites with you and break them down based on price, ingredient quality, taste/texture, where to find them, and protein type and amount.  I know that there are literally 100s of protein bars to choose from but I am going to share my top picks and of course I welcome any suggestions that you may have.  Just DM me on my instagram and I will gladly try what you like!  I am going to go from my least favorite to my absolute favorite.  Here we go!

Quest BarProtein bars: my top picks


$24.99 for a box of 12 bars

Ingredient Quality:  

Most of the ingredients are ok and can be pronounced but one is definitely suspect.  Sucralose is definitely not my favorite artificial sweetener.  I prefer to go with Stevia or something like honey or dates to sweeten my protein bars and I get headaches from sucralose, but that is a personal preference.  It does contain milk and almonds so if you have known allergies to those definitely stay away.  I do like, however, that they use actual vegetable and spice extracts for their colors instead of chemicals and that they are certified gluten free.

Taste and Texture:

There are 21 different flavors ranging from birthday cake to oatmeal chocolate chip.  I have tried many of them and I have to say my favorite flavors are oatmeal chocolate chip, cinnamon roll, and chocolate chip cookie dough.  The texture is kind of chewy so what I do for an after dinner dessert sometimes is heat them up for 10-15 seconds and it turns into a gooey delicious soft treat!  

Where to find them:

Everywhere!  I have seen them at gas stations, Publix, CVS, Amazon, Wal-Mart, and of course you can go to  

Protein Type and Amount and other Macronutrients:

Whey and Casein based; 21g protein, 4g net carbs, 6g fat, 14g fiber (yes!)

Overall Rating (on a scale of 1-5; 1 being worst and 5 being best):

I rate quest bars with a 3 overall because they are easily accessible, they taste amazing, and you can heat them up and make a delicious dessert out of them.  They do not get a 5 because of the sucralose and the texture can be kind of gummy.

Protein bars: my top picksONE Protein Bar


$24.99 for a box of 12 bars

Ingredient Quality:  

Not a fan of the way they sweeten this bar (sucralose again) but I just learned they have made a new bar called ONE Basix that is sweetened with Stevia.  I haven’t seen these bars in the stores yet but I’d be curious to try them.  They are certified gluten free and many of them contain milk and nuts for those with allergies.  

Taste and Texture:

I absolutely love the taste of all of their bars!  They are a quick treat between coaching for me sometimes and of course serve as a great dessert sometimes.  There are 15 amazing flavors and my favorite is maple glazed donut.  Duh!  Texture is perfect.  It is coated with a yummy layer of goodness and is nice and soft on the inside.  

Where to find them:

Everywhere!  Publix, gas stations, CVS, Planet Smoothie, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Target, Wal-Mart. and online at or Amazon. 

Protein Type and Amount and other Macronutrients:

Whey based; 20g protein, 10g net carbs, 9g fat, 8g fiber

Overall Rating (on a scale of 1-5; 1 being worst and 5 being best):

I rate these a 4 only because they have sucralose in them and that doesn’t sit well with me.  Now that I see they have a stevia sweetened bar I would probably give them a 5 if I had a chance to try those.  

Rx BarProtein bars: my top picks


$25.99 for a box of 12 bars

Ingredient Quality:  

I LOVE the ingredients in this bar!  Egg whites, dates, nuts, and whatever natural flavors they need for each bar flavor.  Real ingredients and no B.S. as they say!  Gluten free and Paleo friendly if that is what you prefer.

Taste and Texture:

Taste is amazing but the texture can be kind of rough.  Be careful if you have any dental work that may come out because these bars are very chewy and sticky.  They all taste incredible but the texture is a personal preference.  There are 17 flavors and the most amazing flavor is the Maple Sea Salt.  Highly recommend trying that flavor!  

Where to find them:

Whole Foods, Amazon, Publix, Wal-Mart, Kangaroo gas stations, The Fresh Market, CVS, Lucky’s, Walgreens, Target, and  

Protein Type and Amount and other Macronutrients:

Egg White Protein based; 12g protein, 23g carbs with no added sugar, 9g fat, 5g fiber

Overall Rating (on a scale of 1-5; 1 being worst and 5 being best):

I rate these a 4 because they are too damn chewy for me.  I used to swear by them because of their no B.S. marketing but now I prefer to also love the consistency of my bars.  They are a great choice for on the go and you know you aren’t getting any fake bullshit in them.  

Bulletproof BarProtein bars: my top picks


$27.96 for a box of 12 bars

Ingredient Quality:  

I LOVE the ingredients in this bar!  Cashew butter is the base usually which is YUM and they use their Bulletproof™ XCT®­ oil powder and Bulletproof™ Brain Octane­® oil which are really great fats for your body and brain.  Depending on the flavor there are nothing but real organic ingredients in each bar AND they are sweetened with stevia leaf extract.  Winning on all accounts!  

Taste and Texture:

The taste and texture of these bars are incredible.  You will not find a bar like this anywhere else.  It tastes like dessert no matter what flavor you get.  There are 6 flavors and my top two are Lemon Cookie and Mint Chocolate Chip.  The texture is great and it does fall apart a bit so I like to store mine in the fridge before I eat them.  

Where to find them:

Whole Foods, Amazon, and right now they are 20% off at  

Protein Type and Amount and other Macronutrients:

Collagen protein based (great for skin, bones, and joints); 11-13g protein, 16g carbs with no added sugar, 12g fat, 1g fiber

Overall Rating (on a scale of 1-5; 1 being worst and 5 being best):

I rate these a 4.5 on my scale because they are so small!!!  I wish they were a bit bigger so they weren’t gone so fast.  They are also pretty pricey for the size.  They are an amazing treat though and it is great that they are so good for you.

Perfect BarProtein bars: my top picks


$24.00 for a box of 8

Ingredient Quality:  

Duh!  These ingredients are amazing.  I cannot say enough about these bars and how great they are.  All of the ingredients are non GMO, gluten free, and there are no artificial preservatives in these bars.  They use whole food proteins and they are soy free.  Also, there are 20 organic superfoods found in each bar.  Click above to learn more.  You won’t be disappointed.  No, I am not being paid to say this!

Taste and Texture:

If you know me you know these are my absolute favorite bars in the entire world.  I use them as a meal in between coaching classes daily and they all taste amazing.  They are bound by honey so there is the perfect amount of sweetness in them and the texture is second to none!  You have to keep them in the refrigerator due to the ingredients which is another great thing.  No preservatives so they can expire!  Every flavor I have ever had is amazing but my favorites are Maple Almond and the seasonal Pumpkin Spice.  You cannot go wrong with any of them really.

Where to find them:

Publix, Wal-Mart, Fresh Market, Whole Foods, Lucky’s, Earth Origins, Target, Starbucks, Earth Fare, and

Protein Type and Amount and other Macronutrients:

Egg, Rice, and Whey protein; 15g protein, 25g carbs, 19g fat, 3g fiber

Overall Rating (on a scale of 1-5; 1 being worst and 5 being best):

These bars are a 5++++ for me and my all time favorite bar.  Enough said!

Protein bars are not for everyone and I definitely think that actual whole foods are the primary way to go, but sometimes we need something quick and easy to grab on the go.  I usually have one bar per day and fill the rest of my day with whole food meals and snacks.  I do realize there are many more protein bars out there but I chose my top 5 for the sake of article length.  If you have any suggestions on bars that I may not be aware of I’d love to hear about them on my instagram (linked above).  Happy snacking!