For The LOVE of Your Body…EAT MORE FOOD!

Cutting Board 1

I have my own journey in food and eating. It has been a long and often difficult journey from restriction to freedom. I know MANY people could tell the same story and are probably still living the story.

The standard restrictive method of dieting is prevalent in our society.

The “1200 Calorie Diet”


I really don’t know who came up with the idea that 1200 calories was the standard number of calories for losing weight.  But, someone did and now you will read about it in magazines, see it on the TV, and hear people talking about it.

I was just as guilty of this early on in my weight loss/health journey.  I made a point to eat only 1200 calories a day for months on end.  It WORKED!  I did indeed lose weight but eventually it stalled.

I have learned a lot about the human body since then.

I had an “AH HA!” moment awhile back.

Check this out:

Let’s say I go into a coma and I’m in the hospital depending on the staff to care for my every need. The staff would need to feed me through a tube and they would use a formula based on my sex, age, height, and weight to figure out how many calories I would need to sustain life. This is called your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). This is how many calories per day your body needs to continue breathing, heart beating, kidneys filtering, stomach digesting, brain functioning, etc.  You get the idea. I would not be moving at all outside of assisted turning and such.

Well, I did some calculations and found that my BMR is right around 1450 calories.

1450 calories MINIMUM to sustain a healthy life!!!

(Note: You can calculate your BMR using the calculator HERE.  Enter in your information and calculate.  The first number is your BMR or what you would need if in a coma.  The second number is your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure).  That takes into your estimated activity levels each day and how many calories you need to sustain that level.)

But, I’m not in a coma.  I am moving around.  I am a MOM. I am on my feet all day.  I bend. I lift. I chase. I talk. I think.  I eat. I exercise.  All these things require calories to function.  That goes on TOP of my BMR (1450 calories per day).

Are you following me?

So, WHY the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks, would I ever eat 1200 calories?

Once I had this realization and started to EAT MORE FOOD many great things began to happen.

  • I was more satisfied throughout the day.
  • I’m not always gunning for the next meal.  I’m steady.
  • I have far less cravings.
  • I do not binge.
  • I am more in tune with my body and what it needs or does not want.
  • I eat less junk.
  • I have more energy.
  • I sleep better at night.
  • My body is CHANGING! It is a wonder (okay, not really) that I am actually achieving the body I’ve always wanted by giving it the fuel it NEEDS!

Now, I could eat 1200 calories a day and still live. I’ve done it and I’m still alive today.  The body is amazing at its ability to do what it needs to do to sustain life.  It will shut down less critical functions so that its energy can go to maintaining life.

What does that mean?

It means that you live at a less than optimal level.  You aren’t truly healthy and you aren’t happy.  Your body just doesn’t have the resources to maintain those aspects of living.  You are alive but not really.

So, I now eat well above 1200 calories a day.

I eat well above my BMR (1450 calories/ day) every day.

I eat what most people would shudder at the thought of eating.





And my body is doing what I am asking it to do!

So, Please!!

For the LOVE of Your BODY….



I’m always here!


For The LOVE of Your Body…EAT MORE FOOD!

Why Diets Are Not Rocket Science…

rocket 1

Let’s talk about “Diets” today. 🙂

That is always such a fun topic, isn’t it??

I remember the first time I really learned the word “diet.” I was in the Girl Scouts and my troop was in front of a grocery store trying to sell our cookies to passersby. It took me awhile to break out of my shy shell to actually ask them if they would buy my cookies. A few did buy a box or two but the most common thing I heard was, “No Sweetie. I’m on a diet.” That scene has stuck in my head every since. Funny how our memory works sometimes.

Anyway, Now it seems like everyone and their mother is on a diet.

The Adkins Diet

The South Beach Diet

Weight Watchers

Slim Fast

Sugar Busters

The Virgin Diet

Body by Vi


Plexus Slim



(* This article is written in regards to people making changes in their way of eating in order to lose weight and/or change their body composition. It is not written towards those who have adopted a new lifestyle based on religious and/or ethical reasons. Carry on. )



Juice Fasts

Green Smoothie Diet

Do I need to keep going?? Get the picture. There is a diet for just about everybody. If Diet A didn’t work for you then try Diet B. When Diet B doesn’t work then try Diet C with more gusto. And the pattern keeps going on and on and on.

But, here’s the deal with these diets. They are NOT Rocket Science!!!

I say that because in the end they have the same objective. They reduce calories.


The root of any nutrition plan for the goal of reducing weight/fat is to eat at a deficit so that you are consuming less calories than your body needs so that your body burns fat to retrieve the energy it needs.

Now, most of the diet books you read will tell you that THEIR diet is the ONE because it helps you eliminate this, that, or the other and by doing so you have discovered the SECRET to dropping pounds and inches.

You drop processed foods.

You drop gluten.

You drop grains and legumes.

You drop animal products (meat, eggs, and dairy).

You replace meals with shakes.

In the process of eliminating certain foods or perhaps even meals you replace those foods probably with more fruits and vegetables and other healthier options. If you are coming from a fairly typical SAD diet (Standard American Diet) you are going from a pretty processed diet to a more whole foods diet.

You are reducing calories.

Whole Foods tend to be nutrient dense and not calorie dense. You can eat more but still get less calories.

So, you are eating at that magical calorie deficit.

It isn’t hocus pocus. It isn’t a DIET SECRET that some scientists discovered and the Hollywood star endorsed. It is not rocket science.

Reduce your calories and exercise more. You will lose pounds and inches….just like that**.

This is something you can do on your own by making smart choices and developing good habits one at a time.

Replace the junk with a whole food.

Drink more water.

Drink tea instead of soda.

Drop the sugar.

Get a lean protein at every meal.

Eat more vegetables and fruits.

One step at a time. You can make choices on your own. You can take control of your own health without all the chatter out there from “diet gurus.”


If you really don’t think you can do this on your own then a Nutrition Coach is a splendid idea.  As your Nutrition Coach I will guide in making those healthy habits.  I will hold your hand.  I will encourage you. I will point you in the right direction. I will give you a sensible plan that does not involve a single “diet.” It is balanced and it is sustainable. No Absolutes.


I’m always here,





**Another disclaimer. I acknowledge that there are people out there who are in situations physically that make it harder to lose weight. Hormones. Food Intolerances. Etc. That is why I strongly recommend you hire a Nutrition Coach or even a Nutritionist or Dietician to help you on your path. For the vast majority of the American population, however, it is easier than book publishers and the diet food industry would like us to believe.

Why Diets Are Not Rocket Science…

“No Absolutes” Nutrition Coaching

woman holding apple 2

You might remember my post from Monday. It was rather long and rather hard to write. I had to admit to things I never thought I would admit to.

If you haven’t gotten your chance to read it, go on over to ‘Coming To Peace with Food: My Journey from Restriction to Freedom.’

I admitted to how disordered my relationship with food has been for so many years. That is until now. I have finally found freedom with food through much prayer, soul-searching, and learning.

And I want to share this awesome and liberating freedom with other people.

THAT is why I have become a Nutrition Coach through Precision Nutrition.

In my previous blog post I wrote about all the different ways I tried to lose weight.  I tried….

Meal Replacement Shakes

Low Fat

Low Calorie


Dairy-Free / Gluten-Free

Extreme Competition-Type Program

I bounced from plan to plan to plan.  It had to be something wrong with the plan!

Not once did I think that there was something wrong how I viewed food.

I had an UNHEALTHY relationship with food.

Now that everything makes sense I can see how my story can help other people.

Courtesy of

Enter my “NO ABSOLUTES” Nutrition Coaching

When I serve as your Nutrition Coach I will guide you on a journey to better eating and healthy living.

I will help you make the right food choices that you can carry for the rest of your life.

I will show you that healthy eating is fulfilling and delicious.

I will give you tools so that you don’t go to food for comfort.

I will help you find your limiting factor (that “thing” that prevents you from being successful) and we will bust through it together.

I will give you a meal plan that includes a healthy calorie allowance for the day and  I can break those calories down into macro-nutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) if you desire to be more advanced.

I will stay with you every step of the way.  Bit by bit.  Step by step.  Forward progress no matter how slow.


What does that mean?

I won’t tell you that you can’t eat fruit or certain fruits.

I won’t tell you can’t eat bread, pasta, oatmeal, or rice.

I won’t tell you can’t eat out on the weekends or during lunch.

I won’t tell you can’t eat meat, eggs, or drink milk.

I won’t tell you can’t eat a cookie or a piece of cake.

I won’t tell you NO.

Okaaaaaaaaay? That sounds too good to be true. How does this work?

Well, I give you a meal plan that is customized to you and your goals. Follow that plan and you will lose weight. I will adjust your plan as needed as your body adjusts to the plan.

I will tell you calories and perhaps, the macro-nutrients you can have each day to reach your goal.

How you fill up those provided numbers each day is up to you. I will give you ideas of how to eat in the most nourishing and filling way but ultimately it is up to you.

Overtime, I believe you will realize that the best way to fill your personal numbers is by using whole, real foods. Those foods make you feel good and feel full all day long. You choose to eat that way everyday because it works.

Then there will be days when you REALLY want that cookie. Oh, I get that. Trust me. I will show you WHEN to eat the cookie so it affects your plan the least amount.

You will also need to log that cookie into your log sheet and recalculate those numbers. You then realize that you just used up a bunch of carbs for the day when you could’ve had fruit and been more satisfied.

See how it works?


I will never tell you NO.

I will tell you HOW.

Does that sound good?

Please let me HELP YOU!

You can contact me through my “Contact Us” form or by emailing me at sarah(at)clothedwithstrength(dot)com (repleace parentheses with actual symbols)

I am always listening!


“No Absolutes” Nutrition Coaching

Honesty Builds Trust


Hey Everyone!

I have a confession to make.


I’m not perfect.

There I said it.

I guess I could present myself as the perfect coach who has complete control of my food and exercise at all times. I never have a craving.  I never have a cheat meal. I never miss a workout. I drink a gallon of water a day with no fail and I never get less than 8 hours of sleep.  I could say my body is perfect and the envy of all those who come near me.

But, then I wouldn’t be a real person, would I?

Could you believe and trust someone who does not struggle like you?

I don’t know about you but I could never approach the people in the gym who exuded ‘perfection.’ My thought was always, “What is she hiding?” I need someone who struggles like me.  I need someone who understands my fears and insecurities.

I need someone who knows what she’s talking about and can coach me, but also someone who can truly HEAR me and help me change.

I need someone who GETS me.

I believe that HONESTY builds TRUST.

Well, I totally understand the struggles so many of you go through.  I have the same struggles.

Want to know about my most recent struggle?

Starting in January I started a fat loss, or ‘cutting,’ phase in my training after a period of muscle building.  I had some fat to lose from eating in a surplus and obviously, from the festivities of the holidays.

January started out well.  I had a solid nutrition plan and an awesome workout plan.  I followed it and I was seeing results. YEAH!

And then reality hit. I got sick with a nasty cold that lasted for too long. It got super cold and yucky down here in the South.  It was the perfect storm that lead to more than I’d like to admit emotional eating.

My results slowed waaaaaaaay down. I did not back track to where I started but my progress crawled at a tortoise pace or stopped all together.

UGH!!!   LIFE!

So,  I ask myself what would I do for a client to figure out why progress was not happening?


Me Coaching Me

1) I would ask how compliant I am to my Nutrition plan.  If I am 100% honest how close was I following the plan that was working in the beginning?

Not so well.

So, it was ME not that plan that was failing.

2) How was I at following my workout plan?  Was I missing workouts I shouldn’t?

I am doing much better with workouts than I am with my nutrition plan.  But, even then if I have to miss the gym I should make a bigger effort to workout at home even if it is a short workout.

3) What is my plan to remedy this situation?

Track every single bite, lick, and taste that goes into my mouth.

I will use the app called FatSecret to record everything I eat so I can see and understand where I am the weakest and then adjust accordingly.

I will use a form I offer to clients to record and figure out level of compliance. Am I at 50% compliance?  Am I at 80%?  Where am I?  Once I know where I am I can improve on that.

Knowledge is power.

It isn’t easy to admit that your coach has flaws too.

But, I really want you to know I am a person and I do totally GET IT.





Honesty Builds Trust

Seven Bad Eating Habits That Need To Be Obliterated Now

Republished from July 11, 2013………….

cookies and coffee

We all do them.  Me included.  And these are the things that will completely unravel a fitness and nutrition plan.  All that hard work down the drain.  What are they?

Bad Eating Habits

And what makes this even tougher is that we don’t always know we are doing them.  They sneak in and before we know it our very own habits are usurping our otherwise hard work.  Ugh!!

Let’s discuss what these habits are so we can name them, avoid them, and come out victorious.

1) Eating Too Fast

Our culture is so fast.  We live at a pace that is just unhealthy and one of the main areas is our eating.  We shovel food in way too often.  We eat the biscuit in the car while we drop off the kids.  We eat dinner in front of the TV.  What happened to slowly eating and enjoying every bite? I am guilty of eating dinner over the kitchen sink or by the kitchen counter.  You know.  Finish the meal so you can do the next thing.  Well, food is meant to be enjoyed and savored and our body is hardwired for that.  It takes about twenty minutes or so for your brain to register satiety (that full feeling).  So, if  you take your time to eat you will ultimately eat less because your brain registers the satiety no matter how much you eat.  If you shovel the food in like a dog eating a treat you will eat far more and probably come out feeling stuffed and sick. Be mindful of your food.  Enjoy it.  Savor it. Slow down.

2) Drinking Our Calories

UGH!!  Guilty!  I do love my coffee, lattes, frappacinos, and smoothies.  It is quick (see above), portable, and delicious.  Most of this stuff is full of fat and calories and no good.  How often do you feel full and happy after a drink?  Okay, maybe for a little while but it doesn’t last.  Your body wants solid food and more of it.  Get your nutrition from real meals and save the drinks for special treats.  You will be more content.

3) Emotional Eating

This is the thorn in my flesh.  It doesn’t matter what the emotion is for me.  Happy?  I celebrate with food.  Sad?  I grieve over food.  Angry?  I take it out on food.  I feel good for a few seconds as the food is going in.  But, then I feel so yucky.  I feel guilty for giving in to my emotions this way and I feel angry with myself for being weak.  Then that  just makes the original feelings that much worse.  It is a terrible cycle of defeat and I hate it.  It is okay to feel and embrace your emotions.  That is healthy.  But, reacting with food is not healthy.  We need to find other outlets.  Go for a run? Friends? Writing? Art?  Whatever it is find an outlet that will build you up and not tear you down by undermining your goals.

4) Licks and Tastes

Did you just lick the spoon after making your child a peanut butter and jelly?  Did you lick the beaters after making cupcakes for the classroom?  What about grabbing few crackers while packing a lunchbox?  HaHa! I caught you.  It is hard to say but those licks and tastes add up and they add up quick.  You may be completely on plan for an entire day but it means nothing because of those random licks and tastes sprinkled throughout the day.  I know it is hard because you don’t even think about it.  We need to be more aware of what we put in our mouths.

5) Skipping Breakfast

I think this one goes with number one above.  A lot of us are in such a hurry in the morning that we choose to save time by skipping breakfast.  Unless you are following a specific nutrition protocol called ‘Intermittent Fasting’ it is pointless and not healthy to skip breakfast. Your body needs that energy in the protein and carbs of breakfast especially after not being fueled during the night. You will also be hungry and more likely overindulge later in the day. You might become more reactionary in your eating due to hunger instead of intentional. Slow down and take a few minutes every morning to eat your breakfast. Maybe even enjoy breakfast with your family.

6) Eating Too Late

I think eating too late goes along the lines of mindless eating.  It is a myth that eating to late will cause weight gain.  You are fine if you are staying within your caloric needs.  But, what kind of eating is late night eating usually?  It is usually in front of the TV or computer while you watch a favorite TV show. You are not focused on what or how much you are eating.  That includes drinks (ex. wine).  All these things add up quick.  You will also benefit more from going to sleep than staying up for that TV show and snack.

Finally, ….

7) Eating Junk

We live in a junk food society.  We are in a rush and love convenience food.  The truth is that NONE of this food is beneficial for our body.  I don’t care what the claims are.  That food in that package is no good.  Throw the plastic wrapping away.  I also don’t care if it is “diet” food to help you “achieve our weight loss goals.”  UGH!!  Okay, that will just have to be another rant (ahem….blog post) for another day.  Focus on REAL food.  What do you think is better?  An apple with a spoonful of natural peanut butter or that pre-packaged “protein bar?”  These junk foods do taste good.  Trust me. I know.  I do LOVE Cheeto’s.   But, they are so bad for our bodies. They do not fill us up and they only leave us wanting more.  Thus, an obesity problem in our country.  What is the solution?  Shop the outside walls of your grocery stores.  Stick to foods that will spoil if you don’t get them in the fridge quick.  Eat foods that were once alive be it vegetables, fruit, milk, and/or meats.  Your body thrives on those foods because those are the foods your body is supposed to eat.  Stick to those and you are far more likely to hit your goals.

How do all these points add up?

Well, I think it comes down to being mindful and intentional about what we eat.  We need to slow down and think about how we fuel our bodies.  Eating is a process that we need to consider with care.

And if you feel totally lost in navigating the world of food, please consider hiring a nutrition coach. I can help you break bad habits and develop new ones along the way. You won’t be sorry. Check out my Nutrition Coaching page for more information. 🙂

Let me know your thoughts!!

I am always listening!!


Seven Bad Eating Habits That Need To Be Obliterated Now

I NEED A Haircut!!!

Watch this video to get the scoop!!

(Note: Yep!  That’s me in the RAW! 😉  It has been kind of a rough week with sickness, cabin fever from the winter storm, etc. etc. etc. But, I wanted to get this video made and up.  I am a REAL person. HaHa!)

Did you catch the deal?

If I get 5 ORDERS….


10 ITEMS ordered

by March 7th …

EDITED TO ADD: The event is actually MARCH 8th. OOPS!!! My video still stands, though. You have till March 7th to get those orders in if you want to see me go bald. 🙂

I will SHAVE MY HEAD for St. Baldrick’s Day on March 9th (8TH!!!)

Do you remember reading this blog post from awhile ago? I talked about my experience with St. Baldrick’s Day from last year.  IT WAS AWESOME!!!

Here’s a picture from last year.


(Note again: And YES that is same fleece I’m wearing in the video. I love it that much. I bought it when I was studying abroad at Oxford University in England. It is so warm and comfy and it is over 15 years old but hardly shows any age. So there! )

This year I decided to let y’all make the decision for me.  I kind of want to do it again…, let’s make this happen.

Go HERE to make your order and then sit back and wait for freshly shaven pictures.






I NEED A Haircut!!!

And ADVOCARE Makes a Trifecta


You know about my PERSONAL TRAINING SERVICES and my NUTRITION COACHING SERVICES.  You know that I can help you reach your body composition goals and performance goals through training plans and helping you to develop healthy eating habits.  Nutrition and Exercise are the majority of the equation.  Get those right and you will go far.

But, there is another part to the story.


Supplements are not the most important part of your journey to better health but they can definitely help.  Supplements can range from multivitamins to protein powders to energy drinks to meal replacement shakes.  It is a big world.

I have used many different kinds of supplements over the years.  Some of made me pretty happy and others have made me think, “What a waste of money!”  It wasn’t until I tried Advocare that I found a line of supplements that make me very happy all the time.

What am I taking now?

Spark Energy Drink



Herbal Cleanse


I will go into more details of each of these products later on in a future post.  Just know that I am extremely happy with each one!!

How did I get involved with Advocare as the third part of my health passion?

A good friend helped me to see that not only is Advocare an awesome supplement company but they are also an awesome business opportunity.  Hmmmmmm….

You got me on how good the products are but I’ve always been hesitant at joining business opportunities.

I researched and I researched and I researched.

I prayed and I prayed and I prayed.

I sought Godly wisdom.

Here is what sold me:

Advocare is a Christian company.

Advocare has been growing for twenty years .

The Endorsers.  The straw that broke this camel’s back was when I heard that Rich Froning signed as an endorser.  The “World’s Fittest Man” has been using Advocare for years on his own dime and has just now joined the team because he believes in it. It speaks volumes to me that all the Advocare endorsers used the products on their own before they became public endorsers.  These people are Olympians, NFL,  Bodybuilders, etc. The level of performance is astounding.

The Focus on Performance. Advocare does indeed have “weight loss aids” such as the 24-Day Challenge but they are very clear that it is used in conjunction to a healthy diet and exercise.  The system they offer will NOT work without the work of healthy eating and being active.  Once again, supplements are just PART of the equation.   There are no magic pills here.  Don’t ever assume there is and don’t think I am claiming it. And the TRIM line is just a small part of the catalog of offerings.  There is also the ACTIVE, WELL, and PERFORMANCE ELITE lines.  All of these offer aids to improve your performance in the gym and in life.

This is a product and a company I can stand behind.

So, with all that being said, I am an ADVOCARE INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTOR!!! (All the links to Advocare go to my personal microsite where you can buy all your products and I earn a small commission).

I am very excited to add ADVOCARE to my offerings.  It makes me a one-stop-shop!!!

Personal Training

Nutrition Coaching


The Future looks bright and I can’t WAIT to help YOU!!!

Feel free to ask me questions!!  Peruse my microsite! Let me know your thoughts!


To the NEW YOU!



And ADVOCARE Makes a Trifecta