Optimal Health!

I’ve been on vacation—on a little lake in eastern Canada, far away from civilization.

It’s quiet.

Except for the birds in the trees and the haunting melodies of loons calling to one another on the lake.

For the most part, I’ve stayed off the grid.

Instead of working, I sit on the beach with the lake lapping at my feet, or go kayaking into the middle of the lake, or even go fishing on the boat. And sometimes, I take luxurious naps in the afternoon on the screen porch.


I will admit, I’ve cried a bit, too. I’ve thought a lot about my mom, how much I miss her and what a relief it is to know she’s no longer suffering.

I’ve cooked epic meals on the lopsided stovetop, drank wine and dove into some great conversations about life, love, what’s important and how do you get there—still haven’t figured it all out, but is that possible?

I’ve made some personal assessments of the direction I want to go in my life. Where I want to live, who I want to be around, what I want my life to look like.

I’ve assessed my health as well—am I living in optimal wellness, can I do better, what more do I need to do to get there, what am I missing?

From all of this quiet time, I’ve made some huge decisions—one of which I’ve share with you earlier about my own health and weight.

I’ve done great losing 45 pounds. I feel good, I’m proud of my accomplishment and my blood test numbers look good, too.

But the nagging question remains—can I do better?

Am I as fit as I want to be? Am I at my absolute ideal weight? Can I feel better than this?

The answer to the main question—“can I do better” is a resounding YES. There’s always room for improvement.

And NO, this isn’t perfectionism…not at all.

It’s a QUEST. A journey…seeking more for my life. Dialing in what I know and adding to my “knowledge bank” so I can apply it to my own health and ultimately, the enjoyment I can wring out of my life.

And the reason for all of this is because it’s all so very interconnected.

I’ve found personally (and I’ve seen it too, in my own little Take Back Your Body community) that you cannot divorce yourself from your body! It’s all together, your mind, heart, body and soul. And ultimately, your wellbeing is tied to that body whether you like it or not.

This isn’t a post about body shaming.

I’m also not talking about not accepting yourself as you are.

It’s not about fitting into your skinny jeans, wearing a bikini or a little black dress, either.

I’m talking about a gut wrenching, honest evaluation of where you REALLY and truly are.

So 2 questions for you—

Are you living your life to its fullest?

Is your body serving you as the vehicle to get you there?

Those are the big, overarching questions you need to ask yourself.

Life is too darn short to live it only halfway.

Because here’s the truth—

You have a life you want to live…and you have the life you’re living.

The choice is yours to make the journey or to stay put.

What will you choose?




How to lose weight on a Paleo diet

How to lose weight on a Paleo diet

By: Leanne Ely

If you’ve been following a Paleo diet, you might be frustrated at why your weight loss results aren’t as great as you thought they would be.

I stand firm in my belief that Paleo is the ultimate way to meet nutritional requirements and to maintain good health. And this way of eating naturally comes a svelte figure…if you go Paleo the right way!

It’s very easy to adopt poor habits when eating Paleo, or to completely neglect the basic premise of the diet in the first place—consuming organic plants, healthy fats, and locally sourced protein. That’s basically it.

Eat a ton of veggies and some lean protein with some healthy fat for each meal. That’s Paleo in a nutshell.

If you’re calling yourself Paleo but that isn’t how your diet looks, you might not be doing it the right way!

Many people do Paleo by eating bacon with every meal, eating the odd salad, and filling up on fruit and nuts. That is not the way to do it if you want to slim down.

Keep the following tips in mind if you want to get lean while eating Paleo.

  • Drink water. You need to drink about 2 liters of water per day. Water is essential for the body’s metabolic processes and is a major ingredient in weight loss.
  • Eat vegetables. Fill your plate with a variety of colorful vegetables. Add some healthy fat (either sliced avocado, or a nice drizzle of olive oil), and lean protein like chicken, fish, or beef. Our Perfect Paleo Protein is ideal if you can’t imagine eating a plate of meat and veggies for breakfast! Just scoop it into a smoothie and off you go!
  • Go easy on the fruit and nuts. It is very easy to overindulge in healthy foods, because, well, they’re healthy! But you still have to watch your portions. You can easily eat 1000 calories worth of nuts in a sitting without realizing it. And then you wonder why your pants feel tight!
  • Don’t go overboard with the Paleo treats. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You do not need another muffin! Paleo treats are just that…treats. Just because you see a great recipe for a date/almond/banana brownie doesn’t mean it’s okay to cook it up and eat the whole thing! Paleo muffins and cookies are great to toss in the lunchbox as an alternative to a packaged processed food, but remember they are to be eaten in strict moderation, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. (Note: Just because a flour is gluten-free does not mean it’s calorie-free!)
  • Eat fewer calories. If you eat too much of anything, you’re going to gain weight. Well, maybe except for celery. Just be conscious of how much you’re eating. Try plugging your daily food intake into one of those online calorie trackers and see what sort of damage you might be doing. You might surprise yourself!
  • Eat more calories. Yes it can go the other way! Look up your healthy calorie range and try to be sure to eat at least your minimum daily requirement of calories. Too few calories and your body goes into starvation mode. That means it holds onto the fat you’re trying to lose.
  • Adjust carb intake. If you’re not working out and you’re eating a lot of carbs, try eating fewer and see what happens. Too many sweet potatoes and Paleo treats will put weight on you.
  • Eat more protein in the am. Most of us don’t eat enough protein in the morning. Again, our Saving Dinner Perfect Paleo Protein powder is ideal for this, but if that’s not an option for you, have some leftover chicken or fish or something in the morning. It will really help to fuel you and set you on the right path.
  • Sleep more. You need 8 hours of sleep a night. Period. I know it sounds a little bit impossible, but if you’re doing everything right and the scale isn’t budging, sleep on it! In a nice dark room. For eight hours. 🙂

If you’re interested in trying the paleo diet, I recommend you give our 21 Day Knockout a shot!  The Knockout includes 21 days of new paleo recipes, and is designed to help you lose fat and rejuvenate your health!  Click here to learn more

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How to get your appetite under control

How to get your appetite under control

By: Leanne Ely


We’ve all been there.

Our plan is printed out, the food shopped for, the preparation done—we’re ready. We are excited—this time, we’re really going to do it!

Then out of nowhere, suddenly this urgent, silent craving hits you upside the head and makes all your good intentions fly out the window with record speed. It’s depressing, it rocks your boat and shakes your self-confidence. You ask yourself, “Can I really do this or am I going to have to battle these cravings forever?”

I know that feeling all too well. I’ve been there and done battle just like you have. And I have good news. There are ways around them!

Here are some of the tactics I’ve deployed in my war against cravings:

More good fat. I try to eat healthy fat with each meal, whether it’s a few nuts as a snack, some avocado on my salad or butter on my veggies. Eating plenty of healthy fat helps you feel nice and satisfyingly full.

More water. I really don’t have to tell you that drinking water is essential for a well-functioning body. Being hydrated facilitates all of your body’s processes, and you should always have a glass of water at the ready. When I started drinking half my body weight in water in ounces every day, it started making a big difference in bloating, weight loss and as a bonus, my skin looked amazing.

CLA and B6. This summer I added CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) to my supplements, which can help those of us with thyroid issues lose weight. CLA has been shown to decrease abdominal fat, increase the metabolism, help lower cholesterol, enhance the immune system, and it may even lower insulin resistance. I also upped my B6 intake (along with my B-complex; B’s work together better) which also helps with metabolism.

Krill oil. I bumped up my krill oil, too. That’s because of the high concentration of Omega 3s in krill oil that help encourage weight loss when a healthy eating plan is followed. Look for a very good quality krill oil. Mine is from the Arctic Ocean—you need a clean source.

Crave Crusher and MetaFixer. These two supplements work to kill cravings and boost your metabolism like nothing else I’ve ever tried (and I’ve tried every supplement there is!). In my opinion, they’re two of the best supplements on the market today—that’s why I take them myself and decided to carry them!

There’s even more that can be done—l-glutamine is an amino acid you can add in loose powder form to your smoothie to kill sugar cravings. Making sure to have adequate fiber and protein is another, plus having an accountability partner or group makes a world of difference!



An old fashioned weight loss tip with real results…can you guess it?

An old fashioned weight loss tip with real results…can you guess it?

By: Leanne Ely


To date, I’ve dished about barre classes, my diet, getting plenty of rest, and keeping tabs on my thyroid and how this has all made a big difference in my weight.

And today, I’m going to talk about a classic weight loss secret that seems to be totally ignored by so many. Probably because it’s not sexy or considered a “hack” or is geeky enough to grab an ohh or an ahh from anyone.

I’m talking about portion control.

It’s that simple, but don’t freak out!

I’m not talking about weighing food, counting calories, grams, fiber, carbs, etc. I’m talking teaching your body to understand how much you need and eating that amount, period.

I’ll share how I do it, not how it’s traditionally done because that will make your head spin right off its shoulders!

First of all, begin with a plan. Your plan is to eat healthfully as possible. You want lean, clean protein, green veggies, something colorful (think orange, red or yellow veggies), something starchy that isn’t a grain and a nice helping of fat, the good healthy kind.

The key to getting full is this combo: adequate protein, fiber and fat. Each has a role in satiation.

Now that you know what belongs on your plate, you can eyeball what should go there.

If you’re a small woman, a serving of protein should be roughly the size of a deck of cards, a serving a veggies the size of your fist and for your fiber (I like sweet potato or some kind of winter squash), half the size of your fist.

You may not eat exactly this way—you may have rice or some other grain in there and that’s fine, just as long as you get your veggies in.

Now remember I said “if you’re a small woman.” For me, that wouldn’t cut it. I’m 5’8” tall and about 145 pounds. I need about “a deck and a half”. But not always, sometimes, just a “deck” will do, other times, I need more. The point is to learn where your satiation point is and stop eating.

Don’t be a cleaner upper of your plate or anyone else’s. You’re not responsible for world hunger anymore than I am so stop that habit, stat.

Learning how to portion your food according to your needs takes work and practice. Remember, if you call it wrong and you’re hungry, you don’t have to stay hungry—get some more to eat!

There’s more to all of this of course—portion control is just a part of mindful eating.



Thyroid: it’s the key to weight loss

Thyroid: it’s the key to weight loss

By: Leanne Ely


The 2 biggest questions I get asked is, 1) how did you lose all that weight, and 2) how did you drop it so quickly? I hear it all the time–from friends, family and our Saving Dinner community.

I’ve shared some things I’ve learned along the way that have made a huge difference—changing my diet, exercise and even my rest/sleep.

But I also got my thyroid under control. It was tough going, but with the help of blood tests and a good doc, I feel like a new woman.

I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune thyroid disease. My thyroid was being relentlessly attacked by my own body, leaving me exhausted and slowing down my metabolism to a snails crawl. People like me either have a hard time losing weight and/or have an easy time gaining weight.

So to fix that issue, you have to know what you’re dealing with which means, blood tests. Like I always say, blood tests don’t lie and they tell you exactly what’s going on. So if you’re frustrated because you’re doing all the “right” stuff, this is definitely a place to start.

Blood tests can tell a great deal about what’s going on with you… from the inside out! This includes factors that can make a big difference in how you manage your weight.

If, for instance, you ask your healthcare provider to order a weight management panel for you, he or she will have access to a comprehensive metabolic panel, a lipid profile, glucose levels, and hormone levels.

That’s a great start—but it still doesn’t address the entire scope of your thyroid if that’s the issue. Ask your provider to add a full panel thyroid test. My experience is sometimes insurance will pay, other times it won’t and believe me, I’ve paid for some of these tests out of pocket. Not too expensive and so worth it when you’re trying to determine what’s going on!

These numbers will allow your integrative healthcare provider to help dial you in with medications if necessary (for me, this is the case) and get some good recommendations for supplements, all based on what’s happening with your body’s actual functioning.

Bottom line? You know if something just isn’t “right”. So go get your blood tested. This could be the beginning of your journey to taking your body back!

PS–Just a few days left to take advantage of the discount on the Take Back Your Body membership!  Click here to get started

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