Fitness Strategies Part 1: Nutrition

I share a lot of my recipes weekly and I hope that you are enjoying them and trying new things!

That said, I’ve been wanting to start a series of posts to share my journey so far and my strategies to reaching your goals and enjoying the process.

As you can see, I’m currently following the Kinobody Goddess Toning Program and honestly, it’s not a diet so much as my lifestyle… But before you start thinking, “Oh, I’ve heard that before,” hear me out…

This program has really opened my eyes to how I should have been living my life, how I should be eating and (above all) how I should be treating my body.

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Fitness (and health in general) is all about finding something that works for you. It could be counting calories, low carb, lots of cardio… Whatever it is, do and stick to it! There is a program out there for everyone, regardless of your type of lifestyle… If you want it then go get – NO EXCUSES (and I’ve used them all!).

I’m going to share with you some of my tips and strategies to reaching those goals you have always dreamed about, but never thought you could reach…

I have been there, believe me. I know how it is to feel like you’re never getting anywhere – feeling like I’m starving from a diet, and burning myself out from all the cardio I’m doing.

Don’t Starve Yourself

I love so many things about Kinobody, but the thing I love the most is I CAN EAT!!! (Hey, we wouldn’t be in this situation if we didn’t love food!)

Book-Cover-wideLets be real here… I’ve tried many other diets and programs and I always felt like I was starving or depriving myself of the things I enjoy. I honestly can’t tell you how many times I went to bed hungry.

That is NOT how it should be!

Kinobody really will educate you on how to eat and what your body actually needs. For me, it helped that I created Kino Chef, the Kinobody cookbook because I had to measure, weight out and count every little thing I put into the recipes – which works out nice for you because you just need to make it and eat it.

Takes a lot of the work out it!

Here’s a peek at what my usual day looks like…*

Morning: coffee (the program says black coffee but I really struggle with that so I do use cream; just I make sure to measure it out and watch the sugar).

For my coffee I do 1 tablespoon of half and half and 1 stevia.

Lunch: Lately I’ve been making a lot of bowls for my lunches… it’s really easy to meal prep and you get a nice balance of protein and carbs. They also tend to keep me fuller longer.

Here is an example:

  1. Start with your protein, your choice of lean meat : chicken, turkey, plant based meatless ground (Beyond Meat is my favorite brand), and shrimp.
  2. Next 1 serving of jasmine rice, sweet potato, russet potato, or quinoa.
  3. Then I add veggies, my “go-to”s are broccoli, asparagus, brussel sprouts, corn, sugar snap peas, and cauliflower.
  4. Last but not least I top it all off with some salsa or hot sauce! (my favorite is the Green Dragon Hot Sauce from Trader Joe’s)

TIP: Make sure to invest in a scale and weigh all of these ingredients above to make sure your calories and macros are accurate… its very easy to under estimate how much rice or meat you’re having! 


Most of our dinners we cook right from the blog here including: *

* All recipes on the blog including serving sizes and nutritional information.

Chipotle Chicken Meatballs

These Chipotle Chicken Meatballs are something we make weekly they are so easy and delicious!

SnackCottage with 1 tsp. honey and cinnamon – or – nonfat Greek yogurt with a tbsp. nut butter (I’m kinda obsessed with peanut butter)

* These are just examples of the kinds of foods I eat. Portions are going to vary depending on your stats and your goals. The Goddess Toning Program will help you lay out YOUR specific portion sizes and what to shoot for.

Tip: What helps me stay on track is finding a handful of meals I love, then making those same meals every week (until I get sick of them). This makes it easier to know exactly what you’re having every week for lunch and some dinners and it won’t feel like so much work. Also, you’ll be establishing new habits and setting yourself up for success, which is what it’s all about. Don’t make it harder on yourself 🙂

After being on this program for a while you will start to really get a hang of the food part. I honestly think that’s the most important part because once it become effortless and second nature, everything else will fall into place.

You should never feel like, “Oh, well I’ll be done with this ‘diet’ next week and then starting it up again a few weeks after that…” It should be a new way of living; you might have a bad day or a bad meal, but you just keep going!

None of this “I’ll start fresh on Monday.” No, you start fresh your next meal!

Yes, You Can Go Out for Dinner!

A big part of my life (and I’m sure yours as well) is going out with friends and family and enjoying nice restaurants – or even just meeting up with a friend for lunch.

Now, don’t fear… You can do this! And guess what? You don’t always have to get a salad… Nowadays, most places have lightened-up menus along with other great options.

One of my go-to meal choices is a burger (preferably a turkey burger). You don’t know if they are cooking with tons of oil or butter, but if you account for it, you will be fine. I order my burger with no bun and add cheese with some kind of potato and steamed veggies on the side. Another no-fail choice would be any kind of fish or a lean meat.

No matter where you go out to eat, you won’t know exactly where your macros at, but if you make good and smart choices, don’t worry about hitting exact numbers. Just enjoy the evening out.

Great Choices When Going Out For Lunch Or Dinner

Lunch/Quick Meals:

  • Chipotle – I always go for a burrito bowl here. You can choose exactly what you want that allows you to hit the macros that you need… And lets face it, Chipotle is amazing! My husband and I have it at least once a week.
  • Subway – I don’t have this very often since I try not to have bread that much, but when I do it’s always good. And the same thing as Chipotle, you can add or take away as much as you want in order to hit your macros. There are many options and it is very filling.
  • Panera Bread – They have many options here, though I like to get one of their salads and add chicken to it. It’s always light and refreshing.


  • Bonefish Grill (this is jut one of our favorites) – I actually just went here for the first time a few weeks ago and it was so delicious! In general, they have lots of options for fish and lean meat, making it a great place to make healthy choices. I ended up ordering a an Ahi Tuna Steak that came with 2 sides, so I chose garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. It was so enjoyable and I felt full and satisfied!

Tip: Most restaurants have online menus with nutritional facts, so look it up before heading out. It’s a great way to get a few options for yourself so you don’t feel overwhelmed when you go to the restaurant.

Any other restaurants you go to should have plenty of options; you just have to start approaching going out differently.

Ever since I was little, whenever we would go out to eat we would always get something we wouldn’t have at home, something that felt like a “treat” (which always ended up being something deep fried and horrible for you).

Even moving down to Florida, we would come down here on vacations and always get a Fried Grouper Sandwich (which is unbelievable), but now living here when we go to eat I’ve had to change my approach and go for grilled or blackened.

It’s still so delicious and way better for you 🙂

Drinks and Desserts

peanut butter cheesecake squares

I can’t get enough of these peanut butter cheesecake squares!

SURPRISE!! You can have drinks and desserts too… In moderation, of course 🙂

But seriously – my husband has the biggest sweet tooth ever so we need to have great options for sweet treats.

One of our easy “go-to”s is Halo Top ice cream!! They have so many flavors like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Mint Chocolate Chip, Pistachio… I could go on!

What makes them so great is you could literally eat the whole pint if you want (usually my husband and I split one) and since they have protein in them you really feel fully and satisfied afterward.

Here are some other great dessert options to try from Cooking Up Happiness that won’t put a dent in the day:

There are many more, too… Check them out in the cookbook here.

Drinks are another thing that we tend to worry about when we are on our journey to our fitness goals. It’s really hard when you go out with friends and everyone is having a drink and enjoying themselves. You just need to find good options that won’t blow it out of the water and are still enjoyable.

…Just make sure that you allow enough calories to have a drink or too, even if it means saving up those calories earlier on so you have more wiggle room later when you go out.

Here I have a few options that will be great choices for anyone:

  • Corona Light
  • Bud Light Lime
  • Vodka Tonic
  • Diet Coke and Rum (sometimes I like to use Malibu Rum, which gives it a little tropical feel!)
  • Club Soda with Tequila and a lime
  • White Wine
  • Red Wine

…There are many more, which I wrote this whole blog post on.

Tip: The biggest tip I could say is to watch the serving size for these drinks – especially the wine.  As long as you stay within the serving sizes and make room for it in your calories, you can still be successful and have fun too 🙂

That’s it for this post… Hopefully it’s helped you and has given you ideas for staying healthy on your journey.

Look out for part 2 coming soon!


EMILY NESS is a full-time food and lifestyle author who’s passionate about developing simple yet mouth-watering recipes that anyone can make. Since founding her website in 2013, she’s went on to share her passion for cooking healthy and tasty recipes with the thousands of people around the world.
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Emily Ness - Cruise

Sharing a passion for food and fitness to live a healthy lifestyle - with the occasional hint of chocolate.