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Vegetarian, Vegan, Whole-Food Plant-Based? What's the Difference?


There’s no denying the rise of plant-based eating worldwide. Take a walk through any grocery store aisle, and the term “plant-based” pops up everywhere, from the chips aisle to the cleaning products. According to Good Food Institute (an industry group based in the US), sales of plant-based products are growing faster than total food sales.

What do the terms have in common? 

Vegan, vegetarian, and whole food plant-based eating all encourage you to reduce or eliminate meat, dairy, eggs, and other animal-based foods from your diet. On the surface, the terms may seem interchangeable, but there are significant differences between them. If you’re new to healthy eating, the terms can be very confusing.

In this article, I’ll explore the differences between all 3 of these lifestyle choices and the health benefits/risks associated with them, with an eye to clearing up the confusion these terms can create. 

Ready? Here we go.


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Do You Need Protein Powder?

“What protein powder should I use?” As a Personal Trainer, fitness business owner, and nutrition coach, I hear this question almost every day from clients. It doesn’t matter what goals they are working on (weight loss, strength gain, muscle building). It seems to be common knowledge that to be healthy, you need protein powder in your life.

Just because something is generally accepted as true doesn’t mean that it is. For centuries, we believed that the earth was flat. We now know it’s not.

So, is it true?

Do you need protein powder to be healthy?

I’ll start by saying protein is an important part of the health equation. You need to eat protein daily to maintain a healthy body.

Here’s why protein is important.

Protein is made of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of human tissue. This is true for muscles, skin, organs, and even bones, which are 50% protein. Everything that makes the human body what it is requires amino...

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How to Know if You're Self-Sabotaging and What to do About it

Do you amplify your wins or your losses?

Most of us amplify our losses, and I'll bet you do it, too.

Not sure? Answer these questions:

1. You were feeling kind of tired today when you went to your workout. You completed most of your plan but not everything. When someone asks you how your workout went, what do you answer?

A) It was great! Instead of ditching the gym, I did what I could.
B) I got it done, but I didn't finish everything.
C) It was terrible. I was too tired to complete everything.

2. You set a goal to drink a gallon of water every day. Today, you barely drank half that amount. At the end of the day you say:

A) Ugh! I failed to reach another goal.
B) That didn't go as planned, but I drank more than I normally do.
C) Why can't I do anything I plan to do?

If you answered B or C for #1 or you answered A or C for #2, you amplify your losses.

Why does this matter?

Without getting all metaphysical about energy and negativity, the fact is that we like to do things that make us...

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Do This During the Day to Sleep Better at Night

I had the best night’s sleep last night. A full 7-and-a-half hours uninterrupted. No bathroom run, no uncomfortable sleep positions, just 7+ hours of unconsciousness.

When I woke up and checked my phone, I fully expected it to be about 3am. That’s the time I usually pop out of my sleep cycle for whatever reason.

What did I do differently?

I ran 3 miles yesterday.

Can I say for certain that it was the run that had me sleeping so soundly?

Without hesitation, yes.

Does this mean you have to run miles each day to sleep soundly? No.

Struggling with Sleep? You're not Alone.

Did you know that up to 70 million Americans don’t get the recommended amount of sleep each night to maintain great health? As a matter of fact, a Gallup survey from 2022, shows that 33% of Americans rate their sleep as fair or poor. You may count yourself among them.

What can you do?

One of the simplest ways to improve sleep is to move your body more. A scoping review (similar to a meta-analysis)...

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5 Weird Benefits of Living a Plant-Based Lifestyle

There are so many health benefits to living a plant-based lifestyle. The benefits compound when you ditch (or greatly reduce) the animal-based foods and beverages in your life.

You may already know the big benefits:

  • Weight loss
  • Reducing or eliminating medications.
  • Reducing joint pain and inflammation.
  • Reducing cholesterol and blood pressure.

Did you know there are even more benefits?

I’ve been living a plant-based lifestyle, and I coach my clients to do the same. Here are some of my favorite benefits that I don’t see anyone talking about. They can show up in kind of weird ways.

  1. Spend less time cleaning up. This is probably my favorite. I use less dish soap, and I rarely scrub any pots or pans. Nothing sticks. There are no drippings to clean up, no grease to get rid of. Most of the dishes only need a rinse in hot water. I actually love doing the dishes these days, well, as much as you can love any chore that you have to do. It takes me minutes, and my dishes are...
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3 Exercises to Build Total Body Strength for Women Over 50. No Gym Required


What’s different about strength building for women over 50 versus someone in their 20s? A lot and not that much.

 It’s not that the exercises are different, but how you do them is different and how you progress them is different.


If you’re starting over at 50, you will be less strong now than you were in your 20s (assuming you’ve led a typically sedentary but busy life of most mid-life adults). That means starting weight in your 20s will probably be out of reach for you in your 50s.

The good news is that while you may be starting a bit behind the start line, you’ll be able to progress and build strength quickly. And your workout doesn’t have to be complicated. As a matter of fact, the simpler you keep the exercises, the more likely you are to complete them.

Here are 3 simple exercises you can do anywhere and how to increase their difficulty as you get stronger.

  • Squat. This basic human movement has a wide range of options. The simplest...
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Follow This Simple Formula For Weight Loss and Wellness

Health and wellness can seem complex and overwhelming, especially when you’re a woman over 40. By this time in your life, you feel like you’ve tried everything to manage your weight and health. On top of your own experience, every friend and neighbor has a story to share with you about their own weight loss or health journey. Things can get complicated very quickly.

  • There are all things you haven’t been doing for the past 20 years (or more).
  • Then there are all the new fitness crazes (should be doing Pilates or HIIT?).
  • Throw in the complications of Keto, Intermittent Fasting, and Menopause, and it’s easy to see why you might opt out altogether.

There has to be an easier way.

And there is.

Meet The Four Fs.

I like to think of health and wellness in terms of The Four Fs… Food, Fitness, Feelings, and Friends. Mastering each of these categories is simpler than you think.


What you put into your body determines what comes out in terms of weight and...

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Skip Intermittent Fasting. Do This Instead.

I’ve been helping women (and a few men) to lose weight and sustainably embody strength and health without starvation or body-breaking workouts for over 20 years.

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is hugely popular in the weight-loss world. Popularity is not an indicator of effectiveness. I know that sounds weird.

If it doesn’t work, why is it popular?

There’s a bit of legend, machismo, and toughness that is implied with IF. If you can successfully deny yourself food for any length of time, you’re “conquering” yourself. You’re exhibiting willpower of steel. At least, that’s what people think when they hear you talking about it.

That has not been my personal experience with IF, nor has it been the experience of my clients.

The reality is that IF doesn’t work for everyone. For some, it sets up binge-purge cycles. Others are left with an overwhelming sense of failure when their bodies rightfully overrule their willpower.

Here are the top 3...

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Why Are There No Before & After Pics On My Website?

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If You Want to Lose Weight Stop Saying This

Want to feel Ah-MAZING in your own body? 

If you answered yes, this is for you.

If you want to go from cringing every time you look in the mirror to loving the skin you’re in, then you have to STOP telling yourself these 3 things: 


  • Stop telling yourself that you suck for letting yourself go. 
  • Replace it with:
    I love me for everything I've gone through and survived. πŸ’–


  • Stop telling yourself it’s too late to have the body and the health that you want.
  • Replace it with:
    The best time to change my body and health is right now! πŸ˜


  • Stop telling yourself you fail every time you try to make a change. 
  • Replace it with:
    I keep trying until it works.🀩


You’re probably asking yourself, why does this matter to me right now, at this particular moment in my life? 

Here’s why this matters (or it should matter) to you most…

  • You're not going to lose 30 pounds in 30 days, but the only way to see...
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