Good Holiday Recipe-Blackberry Chicken

Blackberry Chicken
This recipe makes a wonderfully healthy family meal. Use organic berries and chicken to get the most from your meal nutritionally and flavor-wise. Serve your chicken on a bed of steamed veggies or on a dark leafy green salad.

Servings: 4

For the Chicken:
1.5 pounds organic, skinless, boneless chicken tenders
1 cup organic blackberries
1/4 cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
1/4 cup plum vinegar
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/8 cup yellow onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 packet Stevia
Rinse the chicken tenders and pat dry. Place in a large ziplock bag.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.
*optional* Strain the seeds from marinade (If you don’t mind the crunch, then leave the seeds in!)
Pour the marinade into the bag of chicken, seal and place in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place the marinated chicken in a baking pan and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, drain off excess marinade, then place under high broil for 4 minutes, watching closely. Remove when golden.
For the Blackberry Sauce:
1 TBL coconut oil
1 cup organic blackberries
1 packet Stevia
1 Tbl plum vinegar
In a skillet over medium low heat, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a simmer.
Simmer, stirring often, until the blackberries become bright and the sauce reaches desired consistency.
If you wish to thicken the sauce more, add 1/2 teaspoon of arrowroot powder.
*optional* Strain the seeds from the sauce (If you don’t mind the crunch, then leave the seeds in!)
Serve over the cooked chicken.
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 287 calories, 7g fat, 655mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, and 36g protein

How To Fight Cravings to “Bad” Foods

Sign up with us to your right to receive my Newsletter every Monday!!!

You wake up each morning with every intention of eating “good” today.

You’ll skip the drive thru line on your way to work. You’ll refuse to get fast food with co-workers at lunch. You’ll boycott the vending machine in the mid-afternoon. And you won’t even think about having dessert after dinner.

But then your cravings kick in…

Your friend drops by with a big fluffy muffin and a latte for breakfast. A group of co-workers invite you to that greasy spoon down the street for lunch. Cake is passed around at the mid-afternoon staff meeting. And after dinner your honey surprises you with a bowl of your favorite ice cream.

You tell yourself that tomorrow will be different.

Tomorrow you won’t give in to food cravings.

But then tomorrow comes with its own special circumstances, and cravings get the best of you once again.

Why Do Food Cravings Always Win?

Let’s face it, we live in a world where food temptations are everywhere…which leads to cravings, which leads to eating things that you shouldn’t, which leads to pounds gained. Again. And again. And again. Until you’re so fed up with your body that you don’t even know where to begin to get yourself back on track.

Stores display the most tantalizing junk food items right where you could easily reach them. TV commercials for greasy, fattening foods portray them so scrumptiously that you literally salivate. Sugary snack items have full-page, glossy pictures in your favorite magazines. And as if all of these weren’t enough, the people in your daily life are another (constant) source of food temptation.

To make matters worse, you’ve been conditioned since childhood to have a positive association with the act of indulging in your cravings. You use food as a reward. You use food as a source of emotional comfort. You use food as a way to relieve stress. And quickly these associations and uses of food become habit. A habit that’s not easily broken.

New Technique to End Food Cravings

Food cravings don’t need to have the upper hand on you anymore. Here’s how you can fight back using your most powerful asset: your brain.

Remember that your mind is an amazing thing. Once your mind is made up about something it’s nearly impossible to change it.

Try This Powerful Mind Exercise: Imagine that you are peacefully floating down a river on a raft. The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and you are having a fun, relaxing time. You feel wonderful about the river because it’s making you feel happy.

Now change perspectives for a moment. You’re now in a plane flying over the river and the raft. Instantly our eye is drawn to an enormous rocky waterfall. Then you look back to the person floating on the raft, having a wonderful time, headed straight for the treacherous falls.

With this new perspective of the river, do you think that you’d agree to get on a raft and take your chances floating toward the falls? Laughable, right? You’ve seen the hidden danger of the river. You know it leads to pain and suffering.

Now your negative association (watery death) with the river has replaced your initial positive association (relaxing fun).

This is the key to overcoming food temptations and putting an end to food cravings: building negative associations in place of existing positive ones. I’ll break this process down for you in two steps:

Step One: Create a STRONG Negative Association with Unhealthy Food

You may not have realized it, but up until this point you’ve placed unhealthy, fattening foods on a pedestal in your mind. As long as the wrong foods are on that pedestal you’ll continue to give into your cravings and will continue to gain fat.

Take the wrong food off that pedestal by listing off everything negative about them…
These foods make you unhealthy.
These foods cause weight gain.
These foods drain your energy.
These foods kill your confidence.
These foods lessen your quality of life.
These foods damage your love life.
Every time that you feel tempted to eat an unhealthy food, focus on your list of negatives. Kick the junk off the pedestal and put something healthy in its place.

Step Two: Create a STRONG Positive Association with Wholesome Foods

Now that your mental food pedestal has been cleared, put truly wholesome food items on it. Juicy fresh fruit, crispy vegetables and savory lean meats are the place to start.

List off the things that you love about healthy food…
These foods make you healthy.
These foods promote fat loss.
These foods boost your energy.
These foods build your confidence.
These foods improve your quality of life.
These foods enhance your love life.
I encourage you to immerse yourself into the world of healthy, wholesome foods. Browse the aisles of your local natural foods store. Stroll through a farmer’s market. Pack healthy snacks to bring to work. Clear your kitchen of junk.

Use the technique above consistently and you will soon find that healthy, wholesome foods are your favorite. And craving the wrong foods will be a thing of your past.

Call or email me today and I’ll get you started on a fitness program that will change your life and your body forever!

Join our Training Camp! November 8th, 2015!!! ~With Kayce Gorman and Gigi Cardella

photo 4-3


WHEN: Sunday, November 8th @ 8:00 AM-9:30 AM

WHERE: Saguaro High School Stadium-McDonald and Hayden Rd

WHAT: 1 hour bootcamp including: stadiums, plyometrics, core training, upper body arm toning drills, and more!!!

Led by:
Fitness Coach and IFBB Pro-Kayce Gorman and National Bikini Competitor-Gigi Cardella

FOLLOWED BY: 30 minutes Nutrition and Fitness Lesson

Led by:
Certified Nutritionist and National Bikini Competitor-Gigi Cardella and IFBB Pro Kayce Gorman
(You will be provided with a take-home packet including recipes, workouts, and more!!

HOW MUCH: $30/person
(25 person max)

T-Shirts and Firebird Nutrition Goody bags will be given out to the winners of the challenges!!!

RSVP to to reserve your spot as well as include the following to have your invoice emailed to you: full name, address, email OR pay cash

Creative Cardio

Cardio training is something that some love and some absolutely do not. Everyone has a perception of what “cardio” entails, but there are so many creative ways of making it fun and productive at the same time!! Basically, as long as you are allowing your heart rate to increase and decrease and challenging yourself at a safe maintainable level, you will have success and results if done consistently. Yes, the treadmill, stairmill, elliptical, bike, those are all considered forms of cardio.

Fortunately, there are more ways to get it done and make time fly! Try incorporating sprints, rope training, bootcamps, dance classes. All of these have the characteristics of a cardio session and will help you increase your heart health and burn fat!! For example: if you are going to train with the ropes, try using both hands going up and down as fast as you can at the same time or alternating. Do this in short bursts timed, or for a set number of repetitions each side. Take a 60 second rest in between and continue to repeat. You could work sets of ropes (i.e. 5-10 sets) in with sprints (i.e. 40 yards both ways) and continue for a duration of around 20-30 minutes and BOOM, you did your cardio!!!!!

Make sure to eat something solid an hour to an hour and a half before so you don’t get lightheaded and to give you POWER during your training!!


There are 7 calories per gram of alcohol.  That is only 2 calories less than per gram of fat!!  When you consume alcohol, you also will tend to crave more saltier fattier foods which can result in derailing your normal or healthy eating regimen.  Alcohol can cause you to lose a significant amount of water that the body needs and can last for over a day causing dehydration.  Yes, the calories consumed from an alcoholic beverage are “empty calories”, but why would you want these when they serve NO positive purpose on the healthy of your body.  (I totally get how it might help your mental from time to time ;0) )  Keep in mind, alcohol is technically a poison and can cause you to frequently make bathroom stops because your body is trying to dispose of it and get it out as quickly as possible.  When you process alcohol, it passes through your liver.  Your liver will then decides what to do with it which results in it processing and metabolizing it as a fat.  Depending on many other factors, age, genetics, etc, the liver with then store it where ever it pleases causing you to build fat in different areas of your body.  I am a believer of moderation and I do believe in indulging and celebrating life, occasions, and successes.  Try planning and making specific choices when it comes to indulging in some happy hour fun!!! Think of it like a cheat meal regimen.  One to two times a week.  The remainder of the time, try to stay in a consistent routine with your exercise, supplement, water, and nutrition!!!  Plus, it always feels more rewarding when you feel you have earned something indulging!!

Body Fat Percentage

A common question I get is “what is a good body fat percentage to be at?” or “What does my body fat percentage need to be when I compete in a show?” It is hard for a woman to reach dangerous levels of body fat because the female body produces hormones such as estrogen that keep us a little higher than men. A healthy range for an in shape female is around 14-16%. This same range is a healthy “off season” range for a female bikini, bodybuilder, or figure/fitness competitor also. Keep in mind, age and height can make these percentages vary. It can be risky for a female to reach a body fat level under 10% for a longer period of time. This could possible put a woman at risk for health concerns such as low bone density and can cause her to lose her period for a long period of time or cause her cycles to become irregular. Lifting weights and cardio are going to help you reach a lower body fat percentage along with proper nutrition and consistency. If you are lifting weights, it does not mean that you will get “bulky”. This will all depend on your diet, supplementation, and type of training. When you do build muscle ( a little or a lot) this will also contribute to assisting you in fat burning in conjunction with your weekly cardio regimen and nutrition plan. This, too, will help your body fat percentage drop. I have had some clients that continually drove themselves CRAZY with getting on the scale everyday. This can DERAIL your progress and cause you not to follow through with your entire plan of nutrition, cardio, and weight training. Track your measurements or have your trainer track them and try to wait 4-6 weeks depending on your consistency to reevaluate. JUST STAY IN YOUR PLAN AND STAY CONSISTENT. My dad once told me “if you try to watch a pot of water boil, it will never happen, but the minute you walk away, it will happen!” Think of this that way. Sometimes, a client will come in for a re measure and her weight will be down 5 or up 5 but her body fat percentage would drop a good amount. This is GOOD! This means you are putting on muscle and burning fat. There are several ways to measure your body fat percentage and some are more accurate than others.


Skin Fold Caliper is my preference when it comes to being as accurate as we can when repetitively measure body fat every month. This involves different formulas and involves pinching the skin in certain areas measuring in millimeters the amount of fat within that area. Depending on the formula, you will record millimeters of several different areas on the body and input these with your age, weight, and height. This is accurate as long as you have a professional helping your or someone the proper ways to measure and can be done over and over. I like it because there are certain areas on different people that drop more or do not drop more than others and it can help determine where he or she is holding and what the next adjustment might be to nutrition, weights, or cardio to help break a plateau.

Drop Sets

One way to switch up your regular weight training routine would be to incorporate “Drop Sets” into your exercises. This means splitting up your repetitions as follows:


For example: Bicep Curls:
Perform 8-10 reps at a heavy weight and slow momentum
Then, Perform 12-15 reps fast pace at a lighter weight as fast as you can
This helps work the muscle and accelerates the blood flow into the muscle to help it develop and grow efficiently.
Also originally known as the “multi-poundage system,” this technique has gone by many different names including, triple-drops, down the rack, strip sets, stripping technique, breakdowns, and descending sets. Everybody may use all or one of these terms so get familiar!!
Drop sets also allow you to recruit to certain muscle fibers and then stripping the weight allows you to reach different muscle fibers which also enhances muscle growth and development that a heavier/lighter weight cannot reach. Try this method of drop sets, “Running the rack” with an exercise you like. Get ready to feel the burn!!!

Set 1:  – chose a weight you’d fail at 4-6 reps.

Set 2:  – reduce weight by 5lbs. 8-10 reps

Set 3:  – reduce weight by 5lbs. 10-12 reps

Set 4:  – reduce weight by 5lbs. 12-15 reps

Set 5:  – reduce weight by 5/10lbs. 15-20 reps


Rules: 1st set should be heaviest. No rest in between drops sets. “Walk down the rack” selecting weights.

Maintenance Routine

After Completing a fitness goal such as a wedding or competition it can be a mental challenge to keep that mindset going to prevent yourself from going backwards. I provide myself and clients with maintenance nutrition and workout plans to follow and maintain momentum in a fitness routine. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to stay in a routine instead of “taking a break” This can cause a downward slope in which you can rapidly gain weight, eat unhealthy, and become very upset. Not to mention, it is very hard on your body. Keeping yourself going with weights cardio, and a monitored eating schedule will keep your metabolism high and is the best time to build muscle and get stronger as well as burn fat. I can show you how to slow down your pace after an intense program, but still make progress in the right direction and keep making progress. Balancing your carbs, fat, and proteins can be tricky, but it also can be very simple once you get the hang of it. It may take some falling down a few times before you get the hang of it, but just be patient with yourself and try again.


A key component in this is to make sure you are including protein in each meal such as chicken, greek yogurt, fat free cottage cheese, lean red meat, fish, turkey, and eggs, Another key component to this is your timing. Instead of eating 3 large meals a day, try eating smaller meals every 3 hours and try to stay between 6-7 meals a day. Sounds like a lot, I know, but when adding in a cardio and training routine with it, you will be hungry within a few weeks!!!! You might have to do some “mental work” right away, but you will be thankful you did once you start feeling and seeing the changes. Just be consistent with yourself!!! If you are looking to do a competition for the first time, this is a great place to start first to get yourself in the routine and habits before jumping into a strict regimen right away. This will prevent you ending up in the same or a more difficult place later