How to Actually Start Cooking at Home

How to Actually Start Cooking at Home

Take the time to cook your food.

How possible does that seem to you?

We are a society that is so rushed and most people do not take the time to cook delicious, nutritious meals!!⠀

Need convincing on why you should?

Here are all the benefits –

1. You get to pick the ingredients that you like and enjoy. ⠀

2. You get to control what’s added to your meals. Most restaurants use cheap oil when they cook your foods. Did you know this can lead to excess inflammation in your body?⠀When you’re in the one in control, you are able to be in charge of not only how amazing your food tastes but how it leaves you feeling when you’re done eating.

3. You can try new foods, seasoning and ways to prepare your food. This is actually fun and it can get you out of that spaghetti-taco-meatloaf-pizza rut you’ve been in every week for the last 10 years!⠀

4. When you slow down at meal time, not only to cook but to eat, your digestion improves and your body’s absorption of nutrients increases.

5. The more you cook at home and control what you are putting in your body, the easier it will be to lose fat and meet your health goals!⠀


1. Plan to cook 2 new meals this week- see how it goes and try for 3 next week. (I’d love to see the meals you’re cooking! Share them online and tag #cookathomewithcarmen!) ⠀

2. Write out your meal plan, prepare your shopping list, and then go buy all the shit you need. You can even make this feel like “me time” by preparing your meals and shopping list on a Saturday morning while you enjoy your cup of coffee or tea.⠀

3. This is the important part…actually cook the meals no matter what! There will always be an excuse, but know that you will feel so good making your own meals! Consider this to be an exercise of putting yourself first – above all your outward commitments and things you should be doing.

4. Make sure to save all the recipes you really love, so you can use then again!⠀


Send me an email at if you’d like to chat about how you can implement this in your life and finally start feeling the way you want to feel! I’ll be sure to send you a few ideas on how you can put a plan of action into place. ⠀

Trust me, together we can be healthy and live our best lives.


In order to help you start cooking at home, I’ve created 12 recipes for you featuring all things pumpkin. Click here to grab your free download! I know you will love them and that they will become a part of your weekly rotation this holiday season.

Wishing you a ton of light and love,


The 90 Second Rule

The 90 Second Rule

Have you heard of the 90 Second Rule? This is something that I have used to become super conscious of my relationship with food. (Don’t think you have a relationship with food? Keep reading!) I will definitely share the 90 second rule with you below, but first, let’s start with some questions…

  • Ever find yourself reaching for something sweet or indulgent anytime you’re going through a hard time? (Aka using food to numb yourself of unwanted emotions)
  • Are you familiar with reaching for a snack when you’re sitting on the couch as you try to find a TV show to watch?
  • Do you need more than one hand to count the times you’ve eaten out because a friend or coworker invited you to lunch or Sunday brunch?
  • Is there a certain of the day you routinely pop open a bag of chips or candy?

If you said YES to any of the above, it’s time to interrupt this negative pattern and enter the world of food freedom.

But let’s be honest, for starters, I have been guilty of saying YES to all of the above which at their core mean using food in unhealthy ways to – 

  • Numb your feelings
  • Entertain yourself when you’re bored
  • Fit in with others
  • Mindlessly eat out of routine rather than necessity

Again, I have been through all of these before and never stopped to listen to my body and check in with myself. It felt like a never ending cycle that I could not break. ⠀

Now, what’s this “food freedom” thing you ask? For me, food freedom means eating when you’re hungry, eating a variety of foods that make you feel good and having the utmost control to refrain from eating half a jar of peanut butter at a time. 

Here’s how to get started. Use my 90 second rule! The 90 second rule works because when we experience a feeling or emotion, it only takes 90 seconds for us to feel it and allow it to pass. By sitting with yourself for a full 90 seconds, it stops you from reaching for food, it interrupts the pattern and it allows you to be in control of your choice. These are the steps – 

✖️Whenever you feel like you’re itching to eat something, stop and be still for 90 seconds to check in with yourself. ⠀

✖️Feel the feeling you are trying to ignore. Is it stress? Worry? Sadness? Boredom?

✖️Ask yourself what you need- do you really need food or do you need to have a conversation, go for a walk, take a shower… do something that continues to interrupt your “normal pattern.”⠀

✖️Repeat as many times as needed. ⠀

At first this will be challenging and it should be, you’re trying to break years of programming! With practice, it will get easier and you will start to see and feel the results! ⠀

Need help working through this? This is only a part of what I help many ambitious women, just like you, work through in order to level up in their life. I’d love the same for you! If you’re interested in learning more about what having a coach is like, email me at and we’ll chat about it.

Wishing you a ton of light and love,


4 Tips to Make Healthy Eating Simple

4 Tips to Make Healthy Eating Simple

Have you ever wished that eating healthy could just be simple? *insert raised hand emoji*

Sure, there are many cookbooks, recipes, diets, etc. out there offer so much information, but for someone who is just trying to get started or get back on track, that can be pretty freaking overwhelming.

Even after years of experience in nutrition, I choose to keep eating simple.

Here are my four personal guidelines that I think can help you.

1. Focus on These Four
Focus on having veggies, protein, and fat at each meal and then add carbs as needed based on the days’ activities. Here are a few of my favorites in each category –

Brussel sprouts

Chicken breast
Turkey breast
Eggs & Egg Whites
Flank Steak

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sweet potato

2. Gut Health
Add fermented foods and flaxseed or chia seeds to 3 meals a day. (Gut health is important!)

3. Flavor is Your Friend
Which essentially means that seasonings are your sidekick. Don’t be afraid to add a ton of flavor to your meals! Healthy eating still means that your food can be delicious! Use seasonings, kimchi, salsa, hot sauce, fresh citrus fruit and fresh herbs. Here are a few seasonings and herbs that are my pantry staples:

Sea Salt and Pepper
Chili Powder
Store-bought/pre-packaged seasoning blends are also great but be sure to do a quick label check and make sure there are no added sugars.


4. Be Your Own Chef
Try your best to cook at home for the majority of meals during the week focusing on real, whole food. I know, grabbing food to go may seem faster, but hear me out… batch cooking is the way to go. Not only does it actually save you a shit ton of time and money, but it ensures that you are eating foods that give you energy, are nourishing to your body and make you feel good! (I wrote this other blog on batch cooking so you can learn how – trust me, it’s so doable.)

I know this blog post will be helpful for you, but if you want to take it a step further, you can join my 28 Day Clean Eating program that delivers recipes, shopping lists and weekly doses of inspiration straight to your inbox. (You can currently get 7 days totally free – that’s 7 whole days of meals already planned out!)

If you’d like more help on getting started on your nutrition and wellness journey, I’d love to help! Feel free to reach out to me at

Wishing you a ton of light and love,


How To Eat Healthy While Traveling

How To Eat Healthy While Traveling

With summer still in full swing, it’s super common that there’s a lot of travel going on for everyone! Travel can often be a big stress point for people who are trying to keep up a healthy lifestyle regime and let me tell you, I get it. Maintaining healthy eating while traveling is still a work in progress for me! However, I’ve come to understand I can approach trips with one of two mentalities… and one is an absolute game-changer.

Diet Mentality (aka NOT the game changer)

It’s possible that you have found yourself here before… Restricting yourself before your trip, then going all out eating and drinking whenever you want, often in large quantities, and it ends up making you feel like shit. So then you restrict and over exercise when you get home all while feeling guilty about your choices during your trip, and dwelling on negative self-image thoughts.

How freaking miserable does this sound? I’m not for it. So instead, I’ve been focusing on feeling good.

Focus on Feeling Good Mentality

Focusing on feeling good has been my new approach to eating healthy while traveling. It’s actually been my approach to eating healthy in general! Instead of having a mindset focused around restriction, I eat foods that nourish your body and that I enjoy daily. I choose foods that allow me to feel good daily (this could be a big ass salad or a piece of cheesecake) but do so in normal quantities and I eat foods that keep my energy high. This all leads me to feeling amazing and refreshed when I return home.

Here are two things to consider so you can adopt this as well –

  • Consider the idea that you can enjoy food, enjoy your life and feel good all at the same time. What this means for you is that you get to choose.
  • Prior to eating, ask yourself, “How do I want to feel?”
  • Then ask yourself, “What foods will help me feel this way?” If you can focus on feeling good and having energy daily you will find so much more confidence, excitement, and joy in all of your life experiences.

As I said before, this is still a work in progress for me. The summer tends to be a huge travel season for me and nourishing my body has not been on point every day, but the reflection on how I feel propels me to keep figuring it out!

Here is what I have learned over time:

  •  Vegetables are a non-negotiable for me daily.
  • Traveling with ground flax and magnesium is also a must because it helps me poop daily… otherwise, things are not moving!
  • Alcohol is OK, but not every day. Everyday consumption leads to inflammation, water retention, and low creativity.
  • How I eat is HOW I EAT and nobody else’s business. I focus on what makes ME feel good.
  • Limiting snacking and focusing on satiating meals is the way to go for me. (One day, I ate two Quest Nutrition bars, chocolate, and a salad. I did not feel good the next day)
  • Trying new foods, experience and flavors is fun, but knowing what works best for me makes meal planning easier.

When is your next trip? Want help? I’ve just recently launched my Monthly Meal Plan program that is complete with recipes and shopping lists so it takes all of the guesswork out of healthy eating! Over time, it’ll become easier and easier for you to cook your own food that is healthy, gives you all of the energy and makes you feel amazing!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at

Sending you a ton of light and love,


5 Simple, Healthy Recipes to Make at Home!

5 Simple, Healthy Recipes to Make at Home!

Five Simple Healthy Recipes You Can Make At Home!

Here’s the thing, so many of you think that eating healthy is expensive- and I agree, it can be if you are relying solely on the store to do all of the work!  This week I am bringing you 5 recipes (including how-to videos) for simple and healthy recipes that you can make at home to save a ton of money.  Also, by making these recipes at home for items you’d normally buy at the store, you control the ingredients.  When you control the ingredients of your food, it makes it so much easier to be healthy, lose weight and actually enjoy the food you’re eating.  Each of these recipes are gluten free, dairy free, soy free and refined sugar free.  But hey, you’d never know because they are so delicious!!

 Product recommendations:

Protein Powder: Tone it Up (Plant Based Protein)

Chia Seeds: Bob’s Redmill

Cacao Chips: Pascha Chocolate Chips

 Below are the recipes and be sure to check out the videos too for my tips!!

Day #1: Pickled Red Onions

12 Servings, 2TB


·        2 Medium Red Onion (medium-large, thinly sliced or spiralized)

·        3/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

·        1 tsp Chili Powder (optional, sub garlic powder)

·        1/4 cup Water

·        1 tsp Stevia Powder

·        1 tsp Sea Salt


  1. Thinly slice the onions, leaving them in rings. Carefully place the rings into a pint size mason jar and sprinkle with the salt and other seasonings.
  2. Pour the vinegar and water over the rings to fill the jar and put the lid on. Leave at room temperature for two hours so flavors can meld.
  3. Transfer to the refrigerator for up to two weeks (though ours are usually gone in a couple of days!).

Day #2: Cashew Milk

4 Servings, 1 Cup

2g protein, 3g carbs, 4g fat


  • 1 cup Cashews (soaked, drained and rinsed)
  • 4 cups Water
  • 2 TB Pitted Dates
  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt (optional)


  1. Soak cashews overnight, or for 12 hours, in water with 1/2 tsp sea salt.
  2. Drain the soaking water and rinse the cashews well. Do not keep this water to re-use as it contains phytic acid and is best to discard it.
  3. In high-speed blender combine cashews and pure water along with vanilla, sweeteners, or any other optional ingredients. See the notes for some flavor suggestions.
  4. Blend 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Mixture will expand some, so make sure your blender is not full before starting it.
  5. Strain mixture into a large bowl through a sprout bag, cheesecloth, or thin kitchen towel.
  6. Pour into glass jar or pitcher and store in refrigerator for up to four days.

Day #3: Cashew Butter

16 Servings, 2 TB Each

5g protein, 11g carbs, 16g fat


  • 4 cups Cashews (raw)
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 325F and place raw cashews on a medium-sized baking sheet. Spread evenly in one layer and toast for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Let cashews cool on pan for 10 minutes. Place slightly cooled cashews in bowl of food processor and cover with lid. Then, grind your cashews in a blender then transfer to food processor. This is not necessary, but I find that the cashew blend better that way.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, then blend in food processor. After blending for 5 minutes, scrape the sides of the processor and mix, let the processor cool then begin blending again for another 5 minutes. It usually takes about 15-20 minutes unless you have a high powered food processor.
  3. Transfer cashew butter into jar with lid and store in fridge.

Day #4: Chocolate Protein Bars

5 Servings, 1 bar

15g protein, 33g carbs, 16g fat


  • 1 cup Pitted Dates
  • 1/2 cup All-Natural Peanut Butter (sub cashew or almond butter)
  • 2 TB Unsweetened Cacao Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt (if peanut butter is salted, leave this out)
  • 1 TB Of Water (if needed)
  • 2 TB Organic Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Protein Powder (sub collagen powder)


  1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Add dates, nut butter, protein powder, cocoa powder and sea salt into the base of your food processor. Process until everything is combined and peanuts are broken down into tiny bits.
  2. At this point the mixture might be sticking together well and forming a ball of dough. If so, great! If not, it may be dry and not really sticking together (it will depend on how moist your dates were). If this is the case you’ll want to add a little water. Add 1 Tablespoon, run the food processor and see if the mixture starts holding together. If not, add another tablespoon and blend again. You’ll likely only need to add 1-3 Tablespoons of water.
  3. Once the mixture is holding together, transfer into the loaf pan lined with parchment. Fold the parchment over top and press the mixture evenly into the pan. Once even, add chocolate chunks and press those into the top of the mixture as well.
  4. Place the mixture in the freezer for 1 hour to harder up before removing from pan and cutting into 5 bars or 15 squares. A serving would be one bar or 3 squares.
  5. Store bars in fridge for up to 1 week or wrapped up in the freezer for 2 months. Enjoy cold or at room temperature.

Day #5: BBQ Sauce

16 Servings, ¼ cup

1g protein, 9g carbs, 0g fat


·        3 cups Water

·        3/4 cup Tomato Paste

·        2 TB Stevia Powder (sub monkfruit)

·        1/4 cup Honey

·        1/4 cup Coconut Aminos

·        1 tbsp Liquid Smoke

·        2 tsp Dijon Mustard

·        2 tspSea Salt

·        2 tsp Smoked Paprika

·        1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

·        1 tsp Black Pepper

·        1 tsp Onion Powder

·        1 tsp Cayenne Pepper


  1. Dump all ingredients into a sauce pan, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove from heat and cool. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks in a tightly-sealed container.

Enjoy making these delicious recipes at home and be sure to check back often to my blog for more!

Eat Real Food.  Be Healthy.  Feel Amazing!

Guide To Stabilizing Your Hunger

Guide To Stabilizing Your Hunger

I do not find it fair to ask if you have struggled to stabilize your hunger because the truth is we all have at some point in our lives.  The real question is, what are you doing to create those hunger cravings and what have you done to satisfy those cravings?

Below are some feelings that have probably crossed your mind:

  • I am hungry but have no idea what the ”right” thing is to eat!⠀
  • If I eat another boring, flavorless meal I’m going to explode!⠀
  • I do great during the day with eating healthy foods, but when night time comes, I eat whatever I can get my hands on- healthy or not. 
  • I wish there was an easier way to eat healthily, lose weight and break free from food that makes me feel like shit.

Stop right here and let me tell you, I FEEL YOU! ⠀

And you know what? So do a ton of other women just like you!

Look at the list below.  What resonates most with you?  What steps can you take to break these patterns?  Keep reading below for my tips… 

  1. STRESS – You will make the worst food decisions when you are stressed because you will reach for “comfort food.” 
  2. BOREDOM – Simply reaching for food to pass the time even when you are not hungry. 
  3. LACK OF SLEEP –  Find the sweet spot when it comes to the amount of sleep your body needs to perform. Personally, this is where I have struggled in the past.⠀
  4. CUTTING FOOD GROUPS (without medical necessity)  – Cutting food groups will lead to binge eating. Try not to do this! For example, if you are a sweets person, why would you take sweets from yourself? If you like chocolate, have a square now and then, shoot have one daily. Why? Because this will help keep you from having a whole bag of chocolate at the end of the week. It is important to eat the things you enjoy in moderation, this will lead to a healthier relationship with food. ⠀

Use my “make your plate” guide to be sure you have the following at each of your meals:

  • Greens/Fiber (aka veggies- 2-4 cups) 
  • Quality protein (3-6oz)
  • Healthy fats (1-2 tbsp) at each meal 

This magic combo will help fill your stomach, keep you full longer, and minimize your cravings.  If you focus on nourishing your body at each meal and stop the “eat less” mentality, you will find that it will be easier to finally be able to be free from food! If there are any other food challenges you are struggling with or have a question about certain food groups etc., reach out! Send me an email at or find me on Instagram @carmenohling. Lastly, don’t be hard on yourself. This is a learning process for all of us (even me) and I am here to help you!


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