Moving Beyond Limiting Beliefs


I was originally introduced to this prompt through Food Matters TV, an online resource for everything from nutrition lectures, breathing and meditation workshops, to documentaries about expanding your mindset to achieve your biggest dreams. It’s worth checking out. I recommend starting with the documentary series called, Transcendence. There is no kick-back to me in anyway. Instead, it is a resource that I feel I needed to share because of how much it opened me up to my dreams and has helped me push beyond years of self-doubt.

After watching Transcendence, my wife and I purchased a monthly subscription to check out what else they had to offer. We stumbled across a Masterclass called “Shifting Limiting Beliefs”. In short, it was profound.

The Take-Away

When we clearly identify our fears and limiting beliefs, we begin to break them down. We can then affirm who we are and what we really want. We begin to feel empowered.

I studied A LOT of mindfulness based techniques and psychological theories when I got my Master’s degree in Sport Psychology a few years ago. So when I say that this series of questions goes right to that deep place to help you wake up, I mean it. It combines a reality check with soulful introspection and comforting affirmations to change your life, immediately. Again, it has been so impactful to me that I thought I would take the risk of copyright infringement and share the questions here.

So take out your pen and paper or open up a new google doc and write it out. I gave my actual answers when I did it, but feel free to write about whatever areas resonate with you. We will each have different strengths, struggles, goals, and dreams.

The Power of Beliefs

Step 1: Identify Your Positive Beliefs

Write down every area of your life that you feel you are having great success with. For example, this could be with health, relationships, work, business, friendships, family etc.

For each of these areas of success, write down your beliefs underlying these outcomes. For example:

Health- I believe that I am a healthy, fit person who is able to do anything physically. I also believe that I know what healthy food is. I eat a lot of fruits and veggies.

Belief: I believe that I am a healthy person

Business- I believe that we can learn how to do just about anything and work hard enough to achieve our dreams. I believe that people value education and therefore I will continue to learn and grow. I believe that learning and growing is important in business.

Belief: I believe that I can learn anything and work hard.

Relationships- I believe that marriage takes work. You must put into it every day otherwise the bucket will run dry. I also believe in communication, that we should be able to have open conversations with people we are in relationships with. I believe that supporting the other person’s dreams is vital to the health of the person and both people in the relationship.

Belief: I believe in the work and communication I put into my relationships and marriage.

Step 2: Identify Areas where you are not seeing results and are struggling. Write your beliefs about why you are struggling.

For example, this could be a physical limiting belief such as, “I believe that my body is holding me back”. Or “ I believe that I could be healthier if I lived in a different house”.

It could be a limiting belief about finances, such as “I don’t deserve to make X amount”.

It could be a limiting belief about work, such as “I don’t like my job but I don’t feel like I could get hired where I really want to work”.

Step 3: Fast forward your story

If you keep these limiting beliefs what will your life look like 5, 10, 15 years from now?



With work?

With your health and happiness?

Step 4: Rewriting your story (The good part!)

Write down the things you want to achieve in your life and why you want them. How would you feel with each one?

Go big here. This is your life.

Now write down the belief you would need to have in order to achieve those dreams.

For example: (These are mine. Full vulnerability).

  1. I want to be financially free. I would feel like I have every option. I would feel like I had total freedom. I would need to believe I am capable of handling the responsibility of that adventure and that my ideas are big enough to achieve it.

  2. I want to own a successful business that makes me and others feel deep fulfillment. I would feel smart and worthy of success. I would feel like I had a purpose and was helping people. I would need to believe that my business would be successful if I focused on the customer/client above all else and provided an exceptional service.

  3. I want to create a life in which I get to meditate and get closer to God every day. I would feel a true sense of why I am here on Earth. A deep purpose and a connection to God. I would need to believe that the time I am putting in every day to connect was valuable to my spirit.

  4. I want to be a healthy weight and achieve it in a healthy way. This would make me feel confident about who I am and what I teach. I need to believe that I am capable of being a healthy x-pound person.

Step 5: Create your Affirmations to Move Beyond Your Limiting Beliefs

From your dreams above, write down your affirmations based on the beliefs that you would need to have to achieve those dreams.

For example:

  • I am capable of handling the responsibility and the adventure of owning my own business and that my ideas are big enough to achieve it.

  • I believe that my business will be successful when I am focused on the customer/client above all else and provide exceptional service.

  • I believe that the time I am putting in every day with meditation is valuable to my spirit.

  • I believe that I am capable of being a healthy x-pound person.

Cool right? It feels good to let yourself dream but it is also so powerful to identify the thoughts that come up when you think about pursuing those dreams and goals.

I am curious to know if this was helpful for you or if you have any questions. Please feel free to share in the comments section below or send me a message.

I hope you feel awake and ready to achieve your dreams!



Emotional Overeating and Sustainable Results

"The TRUTH: sustainable change is founded on creating new habits."


When I first started working as a personal trainer in 2008 I lost 40 pounds in a summer. Everyone wanted to know what I did. Everyone wanted to know "the secret". But what I didn't want to tell everyone is that I was barely eating and running everyday. This wasn't sustainable and I eventually injured myself. I started to gain the weight back. 

How do some people make fitness look so effortless?

I was frustrated and wanted to give up. 

But I also wanted to know the truth. How can I break the cycle of being overweight?

I wanted to go deeper than the magazines and the plethora of diets (of which I have tried many). I wanted to know what was actually going to work. What was going to help me be lean, healthy, and develop a better relationship with food?

I really wanted to know how to be happy.

One year difference after adopting a habit-based approach in 2015.

One year difference after adopting a habit-based approach in 2015.


I kept making the same mistakes: 

Feel bad about myself and my body >

Diet >

Lose weight >

Feel overwhelmed >

Overeat >

Gain weight >

Feel bad about myself and my body >



To get answers, I knew that I needed to get to the root of what was causing me to binge eat. I tried, for years, to figure this out on my own. But I was broken. I knew I couldn't do it by myself. I found a therapist that fit with my schedule using an app called TalkSpace. 

With professional help, I was able to peel away the layers, suppressed by years of overeating, elucidating the reasons I turned to food in the first place.

The food was not the problem. Self-doubt and the fear of not being good-enough were the real issues driving me to compulsively overeat. The food was just the temporary remedy helping me to feel numb. 

But I kept meditating, sharing the dark stuff that gnawed at me, and working at saying yes to more things that scared me.

Once I started finding the triggers and becoming more mindful of the actions that followed, I was able to begin to change my habits with food. 

I'm not perfect. I have to work hard to show self-love. I still have bad days, but those days are fewer and farther apart. 


During the process, I became a certified nutrition coach. I figured that since I had used science-based resources to build my exercise programs, why not do the same for nutrition?

And in going deep into the realms of the Kreb Cycle and glucose metabolism, it became evident that knowing is different than practicing. 

Changing the way you eat means that you need to change the way you live. Coaching is more than knowing biochemical reactions. Helping someone to achieve their goals through diet modification is based on changing their daily habits.

I'll repeat:

The TRUTH: sustainable change is founded on creating new habits. 


It started with me changing my habits first. 

It wasn't fast, but I was seeing results every month, feeling healthier, and becoming less obsessed. 

My mindset and my body slowly changed with my moment to moment decisions. 

The deeply ingrained patterns were shifting and my brain was developing new feedback loops, a new way of living.

While I still feel like I have a long way to go, I now feel like I know how to live a happy and healthy life. That feeling is invaluable to someone who has been on the diet-wagon most of her life. 


Helping other people break free from the dieting cycle now gives my life purpose and reason. My goal is to be there for others, as their coach, to help during the inevitable ups and downs while they too change their habits and create the life they've dreamed of living.

If you're ready to develop a healthier relationship with food, get stronger and leaner, and make lasting changes, I'm here to help.

With Love,


How much sleep do you really need?

Performance enhancement is often thought of in a sports setting, but in the last few years, next-level self-care practices have made their way into the corporate environment. To compete with the growing demands of being unceasingly connected, it’s more important than ever to develop healthy habits. At the foundation is better sleep.

Most people know that they should get more sleep. And while most research circles back to getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night, this is a far stretch for most. A more realistic and productive focus for long-term success is to concentrate on developing better sleep quality, using one habit at a time.

Poor sleep hygiene not only negatively impacts immunity, hormone regulation (think weight gain), neuroendocrine function (think memory), and mood, but it also costs money. A lot of money. According to a RAND study $411 billion or 2.28% of the gross domestic product is lost each year due to poor sleep.

For sustainable change, it’s important to build the habit of better sleep. Focus on the consistency of these actionable steps, one at a time if needed. Choose the low-hanging fruit, first.

  1. 45-60 minutes before bed shut down all screens that emit brain-wave disrupting blue light (smart phones, tablets, laptops).

  2. Keep your room cool (research shows that 68 degrees is optimal).

  3. Get black-out curtains

  4. Leave your phone charging in another room (less temptation to look at it if you wake up in the middle of night, no dings to wake you up)

  5. Practice a breathing meditation before bed (if using an app like Headspace or Insight timer, do these before the 45-60 minute power-down, not right before bed).

  6. Cut the caffeine after 12 pm

  7. Limit water consumption within 60 minutes of bed.

  8. Even one glass of wine can disrupt sleep cycles and leave you feeling alert at 3 am, unable to fall back asleep. Alcohol also increases sleep apnea. My most successful clients save the wine for the weekend or have stopped drinking entirely. Do what works best for you.

  9. Focus on protein, fat, veggies, and smaller amounts of carbs at dinner. Higher carb meals, especially from processed carbs can disrupt sleep cycles. Including one to two cupped handful portions of minimally processed carbohydrates like quinoa, brown rice, potatoes, or beans will have a less drastic effect on blood sugar levels than eating their tasty, although disruptive counterparts.

  10. Nap time- when napping, focus on 15-20 minutes; longer than this will bring you into the next part of the sleep cycle and leave you feeling groggy.

  11. Stick to the same bed time, even on the weekend. Physical repair processes happen when our growth hormones levels are highest between 11 pm- 2 am. Psychological repair occurs between 2 am- 6 am. Achy body? Make sure you’re getting to bed by 11 pm each night. 

  12. Get the recommended 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity 5 days per week. Not there yet? Don’t worry, even one day will help to improve sleep patterns.

I teach my clients to focus on what is in their control: their behaviors. Using outcome-based decision making, we are able to test which behaviors work and which don’t, based on their life and work demands. This list includes actionable steps that lead to overall better sleep quality, and ultimately better productivity and health. While I will always recommend getting the recommended 7-9 hours each night, test what works best for you.

Kali Stewart, MS, CPT, Pn2

Got questions? Email me at


Resistance Bands and Accessories for At-Home Workouts

Hey Guys!

These are the resistance bands, the foam roller, and the door-hanger that I recommend for using in your at-home workouts.

Looped Bands

41” Resistance Band and Bonus eBook
$16.99 $44.99

Door Hanger for bands

Foam Roller



Plant-based Meatball Recipe

Credit: @celenakinsey

Credit: @celenakinsey

From Thug Kitchen.

Makes about 2 dozen 1½-inch meatballs, enough for 6 people

2 cups dry brown lentils

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 large yellow onions, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

3 celery stalks, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

5 tablespoons tomato paste

10 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced

½ cup bread crumbs

½ cup chopped fresh parsley

¼ cup finely chopped walnuts


1. Put the lentils and 2 quarts water in a medium stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are soft but not falling apart, about 25 minutes. Drain the lentils and let them cool while you get to work on the rest.

2. Add the ¼ cup of olive oil to a large frying pan or wok and sauté the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and salt over medium-high heat, stirring a bunch, for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and starting to brown. Add the tomato paste, stirring constantly, and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 15 more minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Yeah, keep you gotta keep stirring to cook it all evenly. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and let cool.

3. When the veggies are cool enough to mix with your hands add the lentils, breadcrumbs, parsley, and walnuts, mix it all up with until everything is incorporated. Taste and add more garlic, thyme, salt, tomato paste, or whatever you think it needs. Place the mix in the refrigerator for 25 minutes to let the flavors mix.

4. While the mix is chilling in the fridge, warm up the oven 400 degrees F. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside. 

5. And now it’s go-time. Again using your hands, roll the mixture into round, golf-sized meatballs (about 1½ inches), making sure to pack the vegetable mixture firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, allowing ¼-inch of space between the balls. Keep rolling until you run out of room, meatball mix, or patience. Place the tray in the oven and roast those balled up b's for 30 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through.

6. Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes on the baking dish before serving. Add them to pasta, a sandwich, or put them out for dipping with your favorite marinara (*COUGH* our House Marinara from Book 1 or Blender Red Sauce from Book 2 *COUGH*). YOUR BALLS. YOUR RULES.

Get Fit for Life, Not Just Summer.


👉🏼 I want to feel proud at the beach with my shirt off, but more importantly, I just want to feel comfortable being me. 🙋🏼

⚠️ When we focus on our bodies in negative ways, we lose the enjoyment of the moment. 

📿 gratitude = perspective.

✅ When we open up our eyes and see life from a wider perspective, we see beauty 🏔and appreciate ability 🏄🏽‍♀️

The other day I literally saw a 🐬 dolphin, a seal, and a pelican in those moments of focusing on my surroundings and what was in front of me instead of being in my own head about how white my legs looked, or how I wish my swimsuit fit differently. What else have I missed?! 🤔

👉🏼 The point is that when we focus on being fit so that we can enjoy life fully, instead of just for a few months, our perspective changes. We start to appreciate our body's amazing abilities 🚴‍♀️🏄🏽‍♀️🏊🏼‍♀️🏂🏋🤸🏽‍♀️ instead of the limitations or things we don't like about ourselves.

💜 As always, I hope that this helps. If you want to connect and chat about fitness, nutrition, surfing, tiny animals,🤷‍♀️ feel free to send me a message.


The Power of Visualization


🤜🏼 Let's talk about the power of Visualization.

When you're picturing your goals, it's important to make sure that you are able to clearly visualize the outcome. 

If you want a six-pack, visualize yourself with a six-pack.

If you want to do a marathon, imagine yourself training, running through each mile, and crossing the finish line. 

If you want to get started on your fitness journey and don't know where to start, that's ok too. The following will still help you find your path.

These THREE STEPS enhance the POWER of visualization, according to research:

1. Make sure that your mental video has a purpose (cross the finish line) 🥇

2. Use all the senses (what does your dream look, feel, smell, taste, and sound like). What emotions do you experience? 

3. What is the concrete, real step-by-step process that will take you there? Imagine these steps every day.

⭐️ You can even use this visualization technique to work through situations that are holding you back from your goals. ⭐️. 

⭐️Work through the "trigger" situations before they happen. Feel the emotions. Evaluate what happened in that scenario and play it out. And then create the outcome you want, playing it out until it feels possible⭐️

⚡️What does your "successful self" look like? 

 I hope this helps! As always, feel free to ask me questions.  - Kali

Consistency > Perfection

The very first action I teach my clients is: MAKE TIME⏱ 

🔹 Make time for exercise

🔹 Make time for meals 🥙

🔹 Make time to chill

🔹 Make time for you

We literally get their calendar out and block out when they're going to the gym or on a hike when they are going to grocery shop🥒 and cook or order food online, and make time to chill and do what they need to feel recharged⚡️

⭐️ CONSISTENCY starts with making the TIME for your values, priorities, and your goals ⭐️

Today: Pick one aspect that you want to make time for (even if it is just 10 minutes, one day) and put it in your calendar for the week ahead! You got this! you're worth it!

 I hope this helps! As always feel free to ask any questions! - Kali

The Kitchen Makeover: 10 Steps to a Healthier Home

crate&barrel glass canisters

So you want to get healthy, maybe lose some weight, or feel better in your swimsuit this summer? You already know what's coming. 

The food. 

You've heard all of the trite sayings. "You can't out-train a bad diet." "Six-packs are made in the kitchen."Losing weight is 80% diet, 20% exercise."

And it's true.

A good diet is a foundation for health, let alone a lean physique, and one of the most important parts of getting healthy is to ensure that your environment supports your goals. 

So it is time to get focused, and the best place to start is in your kitchen. 

Here are 10 steps to Getting Better Health with a Kitchen Makeover:

The Following is adapted from Precision Nutrition with some additions.


Step 1: Decide that you're ready to make some changes

Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired? Good. Let's start.

Step 2: Prepare the Mindset

Decide in advance:

Which food will stay (and why)?

What foods will go (and why)?

What foods/kitchen appliances will need to be added (and why)?

The kitchen makeover should be a family/house decision. All members deserve to have a say. So hear them out and come up with what works best for everyone. Don't forget to explain why your goals are important and how your family/household members can support you in your healthy journey. 

Step 3: Prepare the Tools

Grab a few garbage bags, a compost bin (if you have one), and a recycling bin.

Step 4: Take before pictures of your kitchen.

Cabinets, fridge, pantry, etc. 

Step 5: Red Light/Expired Foods- Terminate

Terminate the foods that aren't in alignment with your goals. And trash any food that is expired, fury, or weird colors. Ew.

A quick word on the Red, Yellow, and Green-light Food Philosophy:
Red-light foods are often described as people's "trigger foods." They're the ones that you know you can't have in the house because you'll eat the whole sleeve, bag, box, or pint, etc.. 

Yellow-light foods are those that you should go slow with. They can be part of your meals in moderation, like butter and bacon. 

Green-light foods are health and goal-supportive and make you feel great. These foods should make up the majority of what's in your kitchen.

Alcohol is up to you. Think about and decide how much drinking is right for you and what you're prepared to trade-off. For example, "I won't keep wine in my house, but I'll go out a get a glass with my friends on Friday." 

Remember that this is not about "good or bad" foods, but about consciously creating an environment that supports you and your goals to get healthy/healthier. 

Step 6: Read ALL Labels Carefully

Once you have dumped the obvious red-light foods, start reading the labels on what foods are left. Read them carefully and critically. 

As my coaching company, Precision Nutrition states, "Never assume any product is "healthy" or "natural" or “crap-free.” Manufacturers are sneaky!"

Based on your findings, decide whether these foods you’ve evaluated are worth keeping, and why or why not.

Step 7: Trade-Offs

Once you’ve eliminated some obvious triggers and foods full of industrial chemicals, now you get to the negotiation stage.

1. What are you willing to keep… with modifications?

2. What is an effective compromise for others in your household?

3. Is there a way to arrange things, so everyone wins?

Step 8: Restock the Kitchen

Now you get to re-stock your kitchen with "Green-light/Wanted" foods and any other easily accessible, convenient, and nutritious foods. 

Here is a list of 21 Superfoods from Precision Nutrition for some ideas:


 1. Lean red meat (grass-fed preferred)
 2. Salmon (wild caught preferred)
 3. Eggs (omega-3 and cage free preferred)
 4. Plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or coconut milk yogurt
 5. Protein supplements (whey, milk or plant protein sources)
 6. Spinach
 7. Tomatoes
 8. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower)
 9. Mixed berries
 10. Oranges
 11. Mixed beans
 12. Quinoa
 13. Whole oats
 14. Raw, unsalted mixed nuts
 15. Avocados
 16. Extra virgin olive oil
 17. Fish oil (or algae oil)
 18. Flax seeds (ground)
 19. Green tea
 20. Liquid exercise drinks (or branched-chain amino acids)
 21. greens+® (vegetable concentrate)

* These are just some examples. Feel free to explore new veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, high-quality proteins, etc. 

[Here is a link to a free downloadable version of this list]

This is also when you can decide what kitchen upgrades you might need such as a good knife or two, a cutting board, a slow cooker, a blender/food processor, and some small containers for storage. 

*I personally love the tall, glass storage containers we bought for our pantry from Crate & Barrel for $7.95 each. We keep dried goods like beans, rice, quinoa, and walnuts in these durable, twist-top canisters. I appreciate the aesthetic uniformity and knowing that I always have food that I can make. Also, We have saved money because we buy more food in bulk now! Score!

Step 9: The After Photos.

Take pictures of your kitchen and all the junk you tossed out after you have restocked with healthy foods. That is a makeover you can be proud of!

Step 10: Check-in

Set a reminder on your phone or in your calendar for one month from your makeover date to check in and see how things are going. 

Did any red-light foods sneak back in?

Do you have a rhythm with healthy green-light meals or do you need some new ideas? Perhaps you check out blogs for healthy recipes that work with the List you created.

How do you feel overall? How do the other members of your house feel? Are things going smoothly or do you need to check in with everyone again to recommit?

And those are the 10 Steps to the Kitchen Makeover! Your future self will thank you!

Happy Cleaning!

- Coach Kali


*This Kitchen Makeover Method is adapted from the Level 2 Coaching Certification through Precision Nutrition. 

Why do I coach?

Photo courtesy of: Outside Magazine

Photo courtesy of: Outside Magazine

I want to be better. I want to help people reach their goals and live happier lives. To do this, I read and study and try new things. I never want to stop learning. A recent series of questions came up in the nutrition coaching master class I started: 

1) What is a coach?

- Helps guide you towards your fitness and nutrition goals

- Helps you create and execute a plan

- Helps keep you on track when life happens

- Continues to learn and synthesize information to make it easier for the busy client to access knowledge and information

- Sets an example through their actions

2) Why do you want to be a coach?

- To help people create healthy, thriving bodies so that they can pursue their goals and dream, eventually leading to greater happiness for that individual.

- Because it brings me satisfaction. It is my dharma, or that which guides me to greater Self-realization. In other words, helping others live healthfully feels like my purpose.

- To help people overcome physical and mental limitations about their health and fitness.

3) What does it feel like to be coached by you?

- I am going to ask my clients, but my hope is that they feel understood, supported, confident in my knowledge and plan for them, and happy to be around me! My hope is that they feel like they have developed a relationship with someone who deeply cares about their wellbeing. 

4) How do you define and measure success?

- When clients text, email, or call me to say that they have hit their weight loss goal, were able to do seemingly impossible physical feats like heli-ski down a mountain or win a surf contest, or say that they feel happier and more in control of their life.

- When clients no longer feel limited by their body and pursue the deeper aspects of their lives. This is usually confirmed verbally and through their actions.

- When new moms have healthy babies and easier recoveries from childbirth and thank me (as if I was the one that fed them salmon and did their lunges!)





It’s 7am and I am running up the stairs at the beach. It’s the beginning of the week during a late September “Indian summer” and already 85 degrees. Hot, gusty winds, called Santa Anas, are blowing in from the desert. As sweat pours down my face from my forehead, I quickly wipe it off before it stings my eyes. In front of me I hear my panting client sneak the words out, “Wow, look at this! Aren’t we lucky?” He’s looking at the Pacific Ocean and the distant peninsula called Dana Point. On a clear day like this in San Diego, you can see the detailed outline of the mountainside 45 miles away. Yes, we are very lucky.

Does this scene of the blue ocean and clear horizon make it “easier” to work out first thing in the morning? This view has no doubt been an incentive numerous times to get me out of bed earlier than I prefer. But for me, waking up to work out isn’t dependent on the location. Even during my college years in Chico, California where it is 105 degrees and sunny or pelting rain, with a few blissful weeks in the Fall and Spring, I would ride my mountain bike, run in Bidwell Park, or go hiking in the local mountains, most days of the week. I adapted to my environment to suit my priority of working out and being healthy. The location didn’t change my commitment, only the type of movement I performed. 

As I started to think about exercise and health on this hot, windy morning I realized that this is my lifestyle. This is the life I have created. At that moment I realized that movement is one of my top priorities. So I wrote it in the sand, “Priorities,” to talk about it with my client. He agreed, and reminded me that "the habit is more important than the intensity”, a statement that has become a mantra for us both. And he told me that his success with health, fitness, and life is dependent on his daily habit of working out, something that he too has made one of his top priorities. I can relate.

The reason I have devoted my life to helping people get fit is because I have experienced the joy that an active lifestyle brings to all of the other aspects of life. That one hour of concentrated movement at 7am fills me with the motivation to live a healthy life for the other 23 hours of the day. It spills over into the decisions I make with nutrition, sleep, meditation, and in the ways I connect with other people. This daily ritual of movement actually happens because it is a habit that I have made a priority. What you value is how you’ll make your decisions and ultimately how you’ll live your life. Of course I would have loved to sit in a coffee shop that morning sipping an iced latte while I worked. That coffee-shop scenario almost always sounds better to me than making myself sweat in the heat, but it is the feeling of being done, the experience of having accomplished something, and the resolve it gives me to live a healthy life (for myself and others), which makes it worth it every time.

Questions to ask yourself:

1. What am I doing right now to live the life I want? How is that working out for me?

2. Is health a priority to me? Why?

3. What can I do today to be a little bit better?


Sending Health and Love,





Macronutrients: What are “macros” and how can knowing yours help you get the body you want?

Macronutrient Guidelines:

There has been some buzz, and INCREDIBLE results, around the idea of counting macronutrients or #macros for weight loss or to gain lean muscle. Actually, if you do a quick google search for macros, you might find that the search results pop up with terms like “if it fits your macros” (IIFYM), “flexible dieting”, or “macro counting” with pictures of some very ripped guys and gals. So what are macros and why is it important for you to know about them?

Macronutrients are simply the three building blocks of our diet: carbohydrate, protein, and fat. These are the three types of calories, or energy, contained in all food (we can talk about calories from alcohol another day). In the fitness world, people refer to these building blocks as "macros". When you look at a nutrition label and see calories of protein or fat, you're looking at that food's macros. Comparatively, micronutrients are the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (plant nutrients) in our food. These are equally important to consider for good health and living optimally. For now let’s focus on how adjusting your macros can help you get SHREDDED! (Toned, lean, ripped, whatever you prefer).

The lovely world of sports science has been able to give us very specific formulas to calculate how many grams of protein, carbs, and fat we need based on how active we are and what our goals might be. The optimal macronutrient amounts will be different for someone trying to lose weight than for someone trying to gain muscle, for example. This goes beyond just counting calories.

Nutrition science has now given us a way to know the types of calories that help us get leaner, have better health, become stronger, and recover faster. Additionally, we can know when the best time is to eat those calories. In other words, nutrient density, quality, and timing can be manipulated in our favor. In fact, if you have ever been on myfitnesspal and put in your goal and activity level, you might have noticed that the app generates macronutrient and calorie recommendations for you. The same is true for IIFYM (a web-based macro calculator). Listed below are the same formulas that these websites and apps use to create macro plans for their clients.

Calculating Macros

We need to know how many total calories to take in before we can decide on what ratio of protein, carbs, and fat those calories should be. Don’t worry, we are getting to YOUR numbers in a second.

The energy/calories we need is based on our:

1. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

2. Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF)

3. Exercise Activity

4. Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)

No need to get overwhelmed here. Basically, this is the amount of energy our bodies need to function and move, plus the energy it takes to digest food. Yes, it takes some calories to digest calories. Protein requires the most work to assimilate, which is why one might get “meat sweats” after eating a big hunk of steak! However, don’t run out and eat only protein thinking it will make you burn enough calories to be skinnier, as it is not that big of an effect.

Step 1: Determine Calorie Needs

I know, ew, Math!

Example 1: A 140lb, moderately active woman interested in fat loss would begin by taking in 1680 (140 lb x 12) and 1960 (140lb x 14) kcal/calories per day.

For the record, kcal or kilocalorie is the appropriate abbreviation here, but we use cal or calories on the labels in the U.S., so that is what I will use to keep things familiar.

Example 2: A 190 lb, moderately active man interested in muscle mass gain would begin by taking in between 3420 (190lb x 18) and 3800 (190lb x 20) calories per day.

Step 2: Determine Macronutrient Split

Once we know how many total calories we need in a day, we can start to break down that number into percentages of protein, carbs, and fat. Again, this is based on how much we move, our weight, our gender, our age, our goals, and of course genetics or body-type.

Before you get too excited here, these are just general somatotype or body type recommendations. You might fall somewhere in the middle and that is just fine. Or you might just be looking to get healthier, in which case you're good to go with the middle block. You can use these percentages as a base for a trial period of one month. If you start moving in the direction of your goal and feel good, you’re golden. If you’re low energy or not seeing any results, then you can change the percentages slightly and try again. Increase or decrease by 5% and see how you feel. Since everyone's bodies are so unique (which is a big part of why cookie-cutter diets don't work for everyone), it's a great idea to treat this as an experiment!


So let’s put this together in an our example from before:


Example 1: 140lb moderately active woman

Step 1: Determine body type and goals: she is naturally broad and thick and wants to lose fat.

Step 2: Calculate her specific energy/calorie needs: 1680 and 1960 cals/day (average = 1750 cals/day).

Step 3: Identify macro ratio from the chart above: 35% protein, 25% carbohydrate, 40% fat.

Step 4: Convert to grams of macros from percentages:

- 35% of 1750 cals/day = 612 cals should come from protein

- 25% of 1750 cals/day = 437 cals should come from carbs

- 40% of 1750 cals/day = 700 cals should come from fat


Translated in grams this looks like:

-153 g of protein(612 calories/4 calories per gram of protein)

-109 g of carbs (437/4 calories per gram of carbohydrates)

- 77g of fat (700/9 calories per gram of fat)


So there you have it! Macros! This woman will need to eat the following macros per day to get to her weight loss goal:


153 g of protein

109 g of carbs

77 g of fat


Yes, there are calculators for this, but be careful that the macro splits provided are for YOUR body-type and goal.


The PROS of Counting Macros

- You know the specific amounts of protein, carbs, and fat for your goal, making the process of getting to your goal potentially faster and more efficient than simply guessing.

- You will likely have better recovery from your workouts and energy throughout your day (if you’re eating foods that are also high in micronutrients. This is a post for another day).

- You get to see your body change in ways you never thought possible potentially resulting in more instagram followers from the awesome pictures of your quads and abs you’ll be posting (As an aside, I’m in the process of writing another blog post on how “comparison kills the spirit” in regards to social media).

- It gives you more freedom and flexibility to choose the foods that you LIKE to eat, instead of a fixed meal plan


The CONS of Counting Macros

- It requires time, effort and energy for meal prep, planning, weighing, and measuring to be done perfectly

- You will still need to record your food intake in an app or website like myfitnesspal to know your macro count

- It encourages eating foods with labels (often the least healthy for us) because the grams of protein, carbs, and fat are easy to find. Side note: you can find all your produce and bulk goods in myfitnesspal, I promise.

- It doesn’t focus on the quality of foods, which could potentially lead to worse health (Twinkie diet, anyone?)

- Knowing your macros doesn't mean you know when to eat them (i.e.- Should I have carbs or protein after my workout? How many grams of each? What about for each meal?)

- It fails to address one’s habits around eating, like listening to natural hunger cues, and the relationship one has with food

All in all, macro counting can be a great method for getting to your body composition goal. For those that want to give it a shot and need some more assistance, please feel free to connect with me!


So, Is there another way to get fit, lean, and healthy without counting macros?



After trying out the macro counting/flexible dieting with some of my very willing and ambitious clients, and of course with myself first, I realized that it wasn't for everyone. Additionally, it was tough to try to teach nutrition in this way because it didn't address individual behaviors, patterns, or emotions. The idea of counting macros made my already BUSY, working professionals even more stressed out to have to weigh out their food and log their numbers in an app. And most of them didn’t last with the process. It was just too unrealistic and while I appreciated that it was more specific than calorie counting, it still required the adherence of logging food. Boo! Was this sustainable for the long-term? Not really.

After sifting through different coaching methods, I found and tested a curriculum that actually worked for changing people’s body composition without overwhelming them. And because of the slow, steady changes, my clients started to feel better, become healthier, and feel more in control of their eating. The refreshing part was that this method of changing one habit at a time didn’t require counting calories, measuring ounces, or following some crazy meal plan with supplements. 

Why I love habit-based coaching and how it can help you get leaner…

One of the biggest cons about only counting macros and calories is that it doesn’t address the fact that we are talking about a real person, with real emotions, and really ingrained habits. Research has consistently shown that our habits dictate our actions, and not just with eating. We are essentially a product of our habits, both good and bad. Additionally, macro counting doesn’t address our emotions around eating and dealing with everyday stresses that affect our body composition, nor does it change our habits. Tell me to eat 50 more grams of protein and steamed broccoli and log it in an app after a long, stressful day when all I want is to mow down a bag of cookies. Yeah, right! There has to be a better approach.

Long-term weight loss and living healthier is about changing the deep-seated habits that have been learned over years. This takes some effort, but it can be done, with one, small habit at a time, practiced consistently.

In my first group that used habit-based coaching, I was hoping for wide-spread change, but wasn't sure what to expect. 

After 11 weeks, the average weight loss was around 8 pounds, with 10 being the biggest loss. The average inches lost were 5, with one person losing 22 inches!

And the feedback brought tears to my eyes:

"I am more conscious about what I am eating and being more aware helps me to be more in control. At the end of most days prior to a few months ago I was eating fast food at least once a day and my habits felt out of control and almost compulsive. I am planning better, having healthy food around the house, and even when I don’t have a great option I am making reasonable choices. I am also eating less processed food than I have in years." — E.G.

“Over the last few weeks:
-I’ve lost weight
-I have more energy
-My core is starting to feel stronger
-I’m making healthier choices and exercising more frequently".

“Precision Nutrition dives deeper than anything I’ve tried before by looking at what behavior drives our food decisions. It has empowered me to be more mindful in my eating. Additionally, Kali’s experience as a personal trainer and individualized exercises combined with her continual feedback have already enabled me to feel stronger and see results." — A.F.

While I have had success in the past helping people to achieve their fitness goals, the process often lacked the structure and support that daily nutritional coaching provides. This system that clients will get to experience now, works better than I could have imagined and I am so excited to help more people reach their health and fitness goals.

If you’re ready to change your health and your life, I’m here to help! The next group of coaching clients is starting January 9, 2017. If you’re interested, I highly suggest saving a spot on the pre-sale list. I am only going to take a small number of people to be able to continue to give the highest level of coaching and attention to each person. As always, feel free to connect with me if you have any questions!

Best in Health,

Kali Stewart



Berardi, J., & Andrews, R. (2015). The essentials of sport and exercise nutrition: Certification Manual (2nd ed.). Precision Nutrition, Inc.