eating well

The science is in — eating well just became a WHOLE lot easier

I’ve gotta admit that I love it when my opinions are backed up by brilliant women and men wearing white lab coats.


It happened again last week when a new study published in JAMA confirmed that calorie-restriction ISN’T the best way to reach and maintain a healthy weight, and what really matters is food quality, not food quantity.


​For years I’ve been saying that WHAT you eat matters more than HOW MUCH you eat. And, when it comes to eating for self-love, we need to prioritize the foods that best nourish our bodies.

Eating well is how I overcame a decade of anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating; providing my body with the nutrients it needed allowed me to regenerate physically, mentally, and emotionally.


Obsessing about portion sizes, eliminating macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbs), or avoiding healthy foods because they’re calorically dense takes up WAY too much mental real estate. Think about all the time and brainpower you can suddenly regain by letting go of such restrictive thinking.


The study, which was carried out on 600 people, found that participants lost a significant amount of weight by replacing added sugar, refined carbohydrates, and highly processed foods with vegetables, complex grains, and whole foods. Not rocket science, right?

​But here’s the clincher: unlike other studies that set extremely restrictive limitations on specific food groups, participants of this study lost weight regardless of the calories or portion sizes eaten.


It’s not that calories don’t matter, but food quality matters more. Plus, it becomes a lot easier to eat an appropriate number of calories for your weight, age, and physical activity level when you eat real food. (Are you more likely to overeat a farro, roasted vegetable, and feta cheese salad, or a packet of Doritos or bowl of mac & cheese?)

The bottom line is this

Eating well is very easy to do and doesn’t require you to follow every trend that the diet industry throws your way. Focusing on food quality is the cheapest, easiest and most enjoyable way to lose weight and gain better health.


This week I encourage you to let go of food-phobia. Then ask yourself, how you can make the meals you’re already eating a little more nutritious?


Let me know how it goes!



With love,



In my program, Slim Down With Self Love Bootcamp, I teach women exactly how to do this, so that they can let go of food fear, and eat in a way that makes them feel well, look well, and live well. Registration for the program has closed, but you can join the waitlist for our October release HERE.



Buying Happiness

We have a bit of a joke in my house, about me being a Frugal Fran.


It started after my husband noticed that I reuse my teabags, wash our Ziploc bags, use the same handbag until the strap falls off, and wait for movies to show up on Amazon, rather than going to the cinema.


My thriftiness didn’t begin with our marriage. As a child I would loan my brother pocket-money after he had spent his last cent on video games and lollies; I remember keeping a running tally of what he owed me in a little pocket-notebook (interest column to the right)!


But there are three things that I don’t skimp on, which has allowed me to “buy happiness.”

  • I pay for good health
  • I pay for more time
  • I pay for experiences



While I can’t recall the last time I bought a new pair of shoes, I don’t bat an eyelash at spending $200 on groceries, $25 on a prenatal yoga class, or working with a coach or therapist, should I need. Funnily enough, I also can’t remember the last time I was sick, achy, or experienced anxiety.

To me, these things don’t classify as spending — they are investing in myself, for the present moment and the future.



Whenever my husband and I are in a particularly busy work period, I will happily outsource some of our necessary but time-consuming home tasks, such as housecleaning or visiting the dry-cleaners. As a family, this isn’t something that we do on a weekly basis, but if circumstances have led us to choose between spending quality time together OR scrubbing the shower floor, I will pick our time, every single time.

If it’s financially viable for my clients, I recommend that they look into grocery delivery services, house-keeping services, dry-cleaning, etc. If it gives them more time to focus on their health and happiness, then it’s a worthwhile expense.



Our Los Angeles neighbors may giggle at the fact that Nate and I share a car — a bright red, stick-shift, 2007 Mazda 3, to be exact — but we’re the ones having the last laugh as we jet-off on our annual international trip, host dinner parties, and take surfing lessons.

The excitement of a new possession wears off almost immediately, whereas the memories of a great experience last a lifetime. Paying for health, free time, and memorable experiences are worth more than anything you can pick up at the department store or via Amazon.



I bring this up, as today I was reminded of the saying money can’t buy happiness. To which I reply, it can… if you spend wisely.



What are you buying?

Does it make you happy?

And could you honestly say that the purchases you’re making are an investment in yourself, for now, and the future?


Leave a comment below and let me know.


Your blissfully frugal friend,

pistachio pesto

This is how I eat more vegetables…

There’s a social media trend that gets my goat.


It’s when “fit girls” brag about eating crap while showing off their size-two waists.


Example A: Fit-girl takes a crop-top selfie, and writes,“needed to crush it in the gym today after last night’s pizza binge!”

Example B: Fit-girl tags photo of fit-friend, and writes, “What a babe! Can you believe she LOVES donuts?”


I know these types of girls, and the reality is this: they exercise like the dickens and follow STRICT diets. They are not sitting on their bums, binge-watching Grace & Frankie, and sucking on bonbons.


For them, eating donuts is the exception and not the rule, so why highlight it?

Do they think it makes them relatable?




It reminds me of rom-com scripts that have a woman pretend to be a beer-swilling, football-loving hottie, to get the guy. It’s a clichéd, anti-feminist storyline that is SO 1990s.


These days, it’s cool to both be yourself, and take your health seriously (without being a wanker about the way you eat).


You can definitely have some junk from time-to-time…IF the bulk of your food is good for you.


My husband and I balance our Friday night takeout and Sunday croissants with the Brontosaurian amount of veggies that we eat during the week. It’s called the 80/20 rule, and it’s just the way healthy living works.


This is a principle that a lot of people gloss over:


“Too simple.”

“Too boring.”

“Not sexy.”


But it’s also the principle that will keep you healthy, sane, and able to enjoy life.


So, on Sunday, while the cool kids were drinking mimosas and posting about it on Instagram, I was in the kitchen, blending up the recipes below. These three hidden-veggie hacks are a simple way to get more goodness onto your plate (and make the 80% part of the equation as tasty as the 20%).


Perhaps you’d like to give them a go?


Chickpea Carrot Hummus

Blending chickpeas with steamed carrots, ginger, and turmeric adds more nutrition and flavor.

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, chopped, and par-cooked in microwave
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried turmeric
  • a decent grind of black pepper and a pinch of Himalayan sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • splash of water to thin, if needed

Add everything to a high-speed blender or food processor and whiz to combine. Refrigerate for up to five days (or freeze some and defrost in the fridge overnight).

Eat with veggie crudités, seed crackers, or spread on your lunch sandwich.

Beet-Berry Smoothie (serves 1)

This antioxidant-rich smoothie provides a serve each of fat, protein, and veggies at breakfast. I make three at a time and freeze them in glass jars. To defrost: place in the fridge overnight.

  • 1 small beet, peeled, quartered, and steamed in the microwave (about 1.5 minutes)
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla protein powder OR 1 tablespoon cacao powder (optional)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Add everything to a blender and process until smooth. This smoothie should be thick enough to eat with a spoon; if it’s too thick, add a little water. Feel free to top with fresh berries and nuts, if you like.

Loaded Vegan Pistachio Pesto

This recipe is lighter and more nutrient dense than store-bought pestos, as I’ve reduced the oil, omitted the cheese, and used a bouquet of different herbs. Pistachios provide potassium and magnesium, and they tend to be cheaper than the pine nuts used in traditional pesto recipes.

  • 1 bunch each parsley, basil, cilantro (fresh coriander)
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and squashed with the back of a knife
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • a decent grind of black pepper and a pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Add everything to a food processor and whiz until smooth. Add a little more lemon juice or a tiny dash of water if needed.

Transfer half the pesto to a glass jar and drizzle olive oil over the top. Store in the fridge for 4-5 days, and use as a dip, a spread, or to toss through veg and pasta at dinner. Freeze remaining pesto in ice-cube trays to use in soups, pasta, meat dishes, etc.


Remember, healthy doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to be boring. It should be simple, sustainable, doable, and desirable, and that’s precisely what I’ll teach you in my new 7-week online program, Slim Down With Self Love Bootcamp. Click here to find out more.

With love,

How to stop feeling lonely

Feeling Lonely? These six tips will help.

Today’s topic is pretty personal. As a somewhat private person, I don’t like using myself as a case study until I’ve figured out a solution to whatever problem I’m having.

I’m not so keen to wave my “dirty laundry” to the world in real time.

But, what I’m feeling is something that you might be familiar with too, so I thought to bring it to the table.

In this post, we’re talking about loneliness, why you shouldn’t be ashamed of feeling lonely, and what you can do to combat being alone.

In case you don’t already know, I am introverted by nature. My at-home joker confidence rarely makes it past these four walls, which is why large social gatherings often fill me with dread. I primarily work from our kitchen table in the vast, sometimes soulless city of L.A. My husband frequently travels during the week, and I live 7,497 mi (12,066 km) from my family.

It’s safe to say that I spend a lot of time by myself. But that’s not what makes me lonely.

The thing about loneliness is that you don’t have to be alone to feel it. In fact, it’s entirely possible to be surrounded by people and still feel isolated and forgotten.

Loneliness doesn’t come from lacking social-media “friends” or not having enough numbers in our contact list. It comes from missing the genuine human interaction that we are designed to have. It’s craving the acknowledgment that OTHER. PEOPLE. SEE. YOU.

(An experience that I find increasingly hard to come by in day-to-day life.)

It’s hard to feel lonely at a raucous family dinner, when laughing with friends, or after you receive a warm smile from an acquaintance who remembers your face.

Unfortunately, the virtualization of our lives and workdays has made it more-and-more “unnecessary” to have these real-world interactions.

But we absolutely must.

In the last decade, researchers and doctors have documented the impact of social isolation on health, well-being, and mortality.

The findings weren’t great.

  • They compared chronic loneliness with chronic disease (1)
  • Research in Britain found that it could be more devastating than obesity, and as bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (2)
  • And overall, the data strongly linked chronic loneliness with early death (3)

Now, I want to make it very clear that I am not chronically lonely, and I’m not suggesting that you are. We all feel the tug of isolation from time-to-time, and that is different from experiencing the extreme social isolation on which this research focused.

In fact, I would argue that, in the right doses, loneliness can be quite a good thing, as it forces us to connect with ourselves on a deeper level.

However, if it becomes chronic, it becomes a problem.

(Fine print: if you do currently find yourself at that end of the spectrum, it will require your immediate attention.)

What this tells me is that no matter your situation at the moment, we should all be more vigilant about strengthening our social skills, creating more opportunities for genuine interaction, and using our self-love practice to avoid spiraling into loneliness when we are merely alone.

Below I’m sharing six tips for mitigating (non-chronic) loneliness, but I’d love for you to add to this list. Please, leave a comment below telling me your number one strategy for feeling full seen, heard, and valued.

Feel Your Feelings

Step one is to acknowledge WHAT you’re feeling and healthily process those emotions. You might need to have a cry, a whinge, write in your journal, or let out a frustrated GRRR! You might think it’s got something to do with who you are (it doesn’t), or that other people don’t feel the same way (they do). Whatever you do, don’t block your feelings with food or unhealthy lifestyle habits; these will only make you feel worse.

Move Your Body

Next, you might like to move your body. You’ve felt the emotions, and you’ve processed them, now you have to let them out. Go for a walk or a run, dance in the living room, throw a few Kung Fu kicks, or circle your arms like a determined Pelican. Whatever you do, your nervous system will appreciate you taking those bottled-up emotions and tossing them out into the world.

Make First Contact

Nope, I’m not talking about an alien invasion. I sometimes think that if I reach out to other people, they’ll only hang out with me as a sense of obligation (silly, I know). But the truth is that everyone feels busy, everyone feels a bit lonely, and perhaps they’re just as nervous as you are about being rejected. The next time you feel a little too alone, pick up the phone and call a friend.

Do Something Private In A Public Place

This one is all about surrounding yourself with other people, but not relying on them for your entertainment. For example, take a book to a local cafe, eat your lunch in a public park, or watch a movie at the cinema. Sometimes it’s nice just to have others around.

Plan An Outing Every Week

As an introvert, I enjoy spending time on my own…just not too much of it. Every week I make sure that I have one or two things on my calendar that get me out of the house and having fun. An outing gives me something to look forward to and makes me appreciate the opportunity to retreat-and-recharge at home later on.

Appreciate The Social Connections You Do Have

Are you making an effort to interact with others throughout the day? Do you engage in conversation with your co-workers? Are you asking the guy bagging your groceries about his day? Will you bend down to pet your neighbor’s dog? Or do you just keep yourself to yourself? Remember, to receive connection you will also need to initiate it.


I’d love to hear what you think about this topic. What’s your opinion on the state of loneliness in society today? And what are you doing to combat it in your own life? Please leave a comment below!


Until next week,


How To Plan 90 Days Of Dinners In 60 Minutes

I enjoy writing to you in the early hours of the morning. This quiet time is best for thinking about what is working in my life that could also help you feel a little healthier, happier and more content in yours.

Today, my mind wanders back to last Friday in Napa, where I was speaking with my sister-in-law about meal planning. If you remember, I used to be an avid meal planner, before the whole thing became a little time-consuming. Since then I have focused on one meal at a time, rather than a weekly menu. Flying by the seat of our dinner pants did suit our schedule for a surprisingly long time. But recent life changes — namely my pregnancy penchant for eating at 6 pm — have required us to go back to the tried-and-true meal plan concept.

Which is why my little tete-a-tete in Napa was such an eye-opening conversation. My sister-in-law, a spreadsheet whiz, decided to make a monthly meal plan to use on repeat. She created four weekly menus, with many nights following a similar theme, and has been repeating it each month.

Aside from the time she saves thinking about food, the benefits of this routine include:

  • Having a ready-made grocery list
  • Knowing how much food will cost each week
  • And not defaulting to cooking the same meal night-after-night.

I imagine that Steve Jobs would have like this method of menu organization. The billionaire computer genius may have been famous for creating Apple, but he also makes a fascinating case study of daily habits. Jobs’ uniform of blue jeans and black turtleneck wasn’t a fashion statement, but rather a statement of intelligence: limiting the number of (useless) decisions one needs to make every day leaves more brain power for thinking, conversing and deciding on things that honestly matter. The choice to wear a turtleneck or a button-down pales in comparison to figuring out how to create the most revolutionary tech company in history.

Decision fatigue is a real thing, and when it comes to healthy eating, it can be your downfall. Figuring out what to eat every meal of every day is exhausting, but not pre-planning is a recipe for living on takeout, packaged food or grilled cheese sandwiches. 

My sister-in-law’s strategy is excellent for anyone who wants diversity on their dinner plate without reinventing the wheel every single night. On the hour-long flight back from Sacramento to LAX, I actioned her suggestion and came up with 28 dinner recipes to repeat for the next three months.

(I used this same technique to pre-plan my prenatal workouts and can see myself getting addicted to Excel organization charts…Sorry, Nate!)

Interested in making your own batched meal plan? I hope so! Here’s a video that shows you exactly how to do it:



Until next week, stay healthy, happy and content.


With love,

Cure for cellulite

My groundbreaking cellulite program

Back in 2013, I came up with my million dollar business idea — the ultimate cure for cellulite.

Compared to other sub-par cellulite programs on the market this one WOULD help women rid themselves of lumps and bumps forever, through a carefully curated, foolproof routine. It would be the ultimate cellulite solution.

The inspiration for this program came not long after I discovered my first derrière dimples at the tender age of 24. As I’ve written about before, this realization was soul crushing

However, as a pragmatic Taurean, I was buoyed in thinking that I could create a solution for millions of women around the world; this would no longer be a like it or lump it situation, I knew I could figure it out.

Fast forward three weeks: I was sitting at my dining room table, with hand-scrawled theories written on loose leaf paper strewn all around, and wondering why I hadn’t yet cracked the code for smooth, supple skin.

Following advice that I had found on the internet and read in books, I had:

  • Avoided crossing my legs for three weeks
  • Kept my feet elevated at night to reverse blood flow
  • Stopped eating chicken skin AND cottage cheese
  • Exercised my thighs with hundreds of teeny-tiny little pulses (thanks, but not really, Tracy Anderson)
  • Spent a medically unadvised amount of time in saunas and heated rooms to sweat out the toxins that contributed to my shameful cellulite
  • Dry body brushed on a daily basis: sweeping upwards on the thighs and downwards on the glutes
  • Popped collagen supplements and steered clear of any food that would further break down my skin’s apparently delicate structure
  • And I even spent $99 purchasing a “personalized cellulite removal schedule” that contained eight cellulite reversal exercises. You read that right, $99 for eight, one-move exercises.

But even with all of these interventions, one month later the little buggers were still there.

Ultimately, spending hours each day researching what I had to do to “look better” wasn’t a practical use of my time or my limited finances. As it turns out, weight loss trial and error is both time-consuming AND expensive.

So I archived my research and got back to real life. Eating chicken skin, crossing my legs and exercising in a way that made my entire body feel good.

As it turns out, while I’m still acquainted with my fair share of dimples (as is 90% of the female population), living a healthy, un-obsessed lifestyle did more for toning body than any “groundbreaking” cellulite program could.

Last week I invited you to join me in taking this year one day at a time.

Today I offer up another 2018 wellness proposal: be willing to follow through with sustainable, daily health and lifestyle practices, and stay committed to adopting an attitude of self-love. These two habits will do more for the look, feel and longevity of your body than any flash-in-the-pan fitness and diet plan ever could.


Have a beautiful day (and remember to not get bogged down in the details).


With love,


P.S. Just in case you’re wondering if I concocted this whole cellulite story…here’s a screenshot of my anti-cellulite research:


How to get rid of cellulite


Want to know how to make 2018 great?

Happy New Year! No doubt your inbox is already overflowing with advice on how to make 2018 great. Full disclosure: this is NOT one of those emails.

I learned years ago that any resolution made through the effervescent lens of a bottle of bubbly is fairly unlikely to come to fruition

Plus, when you consider that 92% of resolution-makers quit long before they reach their goals, it begs the question — should we make them at all?

In my opinion, we should not.

Rather than planning out the next 12 months, what if we just focused on the next 12 hours instead? After all, 365 pretty good days will turn into a damn good year before you know it.

That’s my plan for this year. Instead of spending time thinking about how I can improve myself and my life, I’m choosing to take it day-by-day and week-by-week, with the intention of being rather than becoming.

I have to admit, the idea of taking each day as it comes makes me feel a little untethered. The little Negative Nellie voice inside my head is already berating me for not doing more and being more. But I’m going to practice what I preach…and tell her to zip it!

Being rather becoming doesn’t mean you won’t make progress. In fact, I have a hunch that in doing rather than deliberating you will move ahead in leaps and bounds.

When we take life one day at a time we will quickly realize that we’re actually good at it.

It’s easy to forget how simple it is to be healthy, how easy it is to “choose happy”, and how valuable we already are, sans resolutions to lose weight, be better people, make more money or improve our relationships.

Instead of worrying about the rest of the year, start living for today. Today you can make a change for better health. Today you can choose to laugh instead of cry. Today you can be great!

In the words of our old mate, Albert Einstein:

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”



Until next week,