When Blogging Gets Hard

Hi friends –

Every couple of years, I feel the need to write a post for my fellow bloggers. In 2012 I wrote this one after I’d been blogging for a year and a half – Things Blogging Has Taught Me – Part 1. A little over a year later, I wrote this one – Things Blogging Has Taught Me – Part 2. Now here we are in 2015. I’ve been blogging for over five years. My blog has continued to grow and evolve and now I’m lucky enough to call it a job.

Like any job, it has its ups and downs and after a tough couple of weeks in a bit of a blogging rut, I felt inspired to share a few more blogging truths, along with some of the tips, tricks and lessons I’ve learned on my blogging journey.

Because, in the spirit of keeping it real….no matter where you are in your blogging journey, you WILL end up in a blogging rut at some point.

Blogging is hard. It takes work – both on the front and back end.  It takes time – probably more than most people imagine. And it’s not always fun.

Here are some blogging truths:

There will be fails. You will have weeks where you make 10 recipes and every.single. one will end up in the trashcan. There will be a post that you spends hours crafting and writing, that you think it’s the best thing you’ve ever written and when you publish it – no one will like it.

You’ll let your stats dictate your mood. Your pageviews will reach an all time high and you’ll be on cloud nine…and then they will nosedive, for no apparent reason, and you’ll spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking WTF did I do wrong?

You’ll get jealous. Someone else will publish a recipe that’s so brilliant that it immediately goes viral that you’ll spend the rest of the day wondering “why didn’t I think of that”. You’ll read a post about how someone makes thousands of dollars for a single sponsored post when you’ve never made any money off your blog. You’ll see someone taking an amazing trip without having to pay for any of it and you’ll think – why can’t I be that lucky?

You’ll fall behind. No matter how organized you are, or how far ahead you plan, there will be weeks when you don’t publish as many posts as you planned to. There will be emails that don’t get answered in a timely manner. There will be nights you stay up until 2am trying to finish a post because you forgot about a deadline.

You will feel overwhelmed. The sea of social media can drown even the strongest swimmer. And just when you think you’ve figured out some sort of schedule, the next big thing will ignite like wildfire and you’ll find yourself wondering how the hell you could possibly have time to do one more blog-related thing.

You’ll be criticized and judged. There will always be people out there who live to rob others of their joy. There are mean-spirited people who have nothing but negative things to say about you, your blog, your recipes, the way you dress, what you eat, etc. Blogs are, for the most part, a public forum. You’re putting yourself and a part, sometimes a large part, of your life out there for the world to see. And people won’t be shy about sharing their positive and negative opinions about the choices you make.

So when all of that stuff happens, here’s what you need to do:

Take a deep breath and re-center yourself. No matter how great your job is or how much you love it, there will be days when it sucks. And that’s ok. Remember that every day is a new day and a new chance to start over with a positive mindset and work on changing the things that didn’t go well yesterday.

  • Inhale determination, exhale stress.
  • Let go of the negatives and focus on the positives.
  • Take a break if you need to. A day off, a week off, whatever it takes to allow you to come back excited and refreshed!

Keep trying. Not every recipe will fail. Not all your photos will have weird lighting. Not every post will be your most popular, but they won’t all be your least popular either.

  • Don’t force it. Feeling like you HAVE to post a recipe that includes xyz ingredients just because everyone else is doing it might not turn out so well. Instead, get back to having fun and cooking or writing about what YOU are passionate about.
  • Take a photography course or buy in ebook. There’s always something new to learn and good photography is so critical to blogging.
  • Focus on finding your niche and defining your ideal reader. Learn everything you can about your readers and then think about what kinds of posts you can create that will help them solve a problem. That’s what will keep them coming back

Redirect your focus. Numbers aren’t everything. Instead of spending your time worrying about your stats, STOP CHECKING THEM. And don’t worry about how much money or how many pageviews anyone else is getting either. Shift your mindset toward doing whatever you can to make yourself better!

  • Focus on things that are more easily within your control. Have you made it as easy as possible for people to share your content with share buttons, plug-ins, etc?
  • Have you optimized your bests posts for SEO to help improve the chances they’ll come up in google searches?
  • Are you taking high-quality photos that will encourage people to pin and share your content?
  • Have you thought about other ways to diversify your income such as company collaborations, ebooks, etc so you aren’t as reliant on pageviews as a source of income?

Stay humble. When success does come, remember that pageviews don’t equal entitlement. Having 500,000 pageviews a month doesn’t mean you’re any better than the blogger with 1,000 pageviews.

  • Continue to prove yourself by creating great content.
  • Don’t lose your moral compass for money. Stay true to yourself and what you believe in even if it means turning down money.
  • Remember that while you control some of your success, so do your readers, the people who feature your work, etc. Respect them and thank them.

Produce good content. If you build it, they will come. Invest your time in building your blog brand, creating posts that are helpful and well written with great images.

  • Find a balance of evergreen content that is always relevant and seasonal content that fits the here and now, but can be re-promoted every year at a certain time.
  • Choose quality over quantity. Posting 2 amazing posts a week is better than 5 haphazard, unorganized posts.
  • Be smart. Good content is whatever content YOUR readers find most valuable. Don’t worry about anyone else’s readers.

Seek inspiration. You can find it everywhere.

  • Step away from the computer and just LIVE.
  • Revisit old posts and think about how you can repurpose them into something new.
  • Browse Pinterest, cookbooks, etc and think about how you can put your own spin on something.
  • Just ask. Post a question on social media or send a survey to your readers asking what they’d like to see from you.

Be flexible. Because, life. You’re living it. And sometimes it gets in the way.

  • Have a tentative schedule but don’t be afraid to change things around if needed.
  • Leave room in your calendar to throw in a great idea if something pops up.
  • Give yourself a loose schedule and then let creativity take over and see what you come up with.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t go as planned.

Prioritize. Repeat after me – you CANNOT do it all. And if you try, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You’ll get so overwhelmed that you’ll end up not doing anything well.

  • Pick a few social media platforms you enjoy and do them well. Don’t worry about everything else.
  • Get help if you need it. Hiring an assistant can free up your time to focus on other things that require your skills.

Give back. Karma is real, my friends. And believe me when I say that what goes around, comes around…in both a positive and negative way. Take the time to promote others, help others, answer questions, pay compliments, show respect etc and it will come back to you twofold. Celebrating someone else’s success does nothing to diminish your own.

  • Read a great post? Share it. Pin it. Tweet it. Link to it.
  • Love someone’s photos? Tell them! And ask them for a tip or two.
  • Love the way someone worked with a brand or wrote a sponsored post? Tell them! And then take notes and learn from what they’re doing well.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. Let’s chat:

What’s your best tip or piece of advice for when blogging gets hard?

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America’s Fittest BBQ and A Reebok Giveaway

Thanks to Reebok for sponsoring this post!

Hi Friends!

Just popping in to share some fun fitness news! My friends over at Reebok are having a fun Instagram contest this weekend and would love to have some of you guys get in on the fun! Reebok believes the gym is everywhere and it’s their mission to  encourage people to get fit and healthy whenever (and wherever!) possible.

So this Labor Day weekend they’re hosting a contest to find the Fittest BBQ in America (#AmericasFittestBBQ). They’re asking you guys to share a :15 Instagram video that exemplifies what makes your BBQ the fittest in the USA. This can be anything from food to fitness! Are you having a handstand contest in the backyard? Serving a bunch of healthy appetizers and side dishes? Playing tag with the kiddos? Reebok wants to see it! The winning entry gets an awesome prize pack from Reebok including 20 pairs of Reebok Nano 5.0s and 20 sets of head-to-toe Reebok gear. Everyone at your BBQ will love you!!

Here are a couple tips to help keep your weekend on track if you have a BBQ to attend:

      • Try to squeeze a workout in ahead of time! We have a community workout at our gym every Saturday at 9:15. It’s a great way to kick off the weekend, socialize and work up a sweat before going on about your day. Head out for a walk, hit the gym or do a quick at-home workout before the day gets crazy.
      • Bring something healthy! All the food at the party might not be healthy, but you’re in control of what you bring.
      • Be mindful. It’s definitely ok to treat yourself but no need to go completely overboard! Tune in and be present no matter what you’re eating and make sure you’re eating slowly and enjoying it!

  Need some healthy ideas to bring to your BBQ? Try one of these!

Greek Hummus Plate

Mexican Layer Dip

Almond Butter Protein Balls

Pumpkin Energy Balls

Tomato Cucumber Salad

Pesto Corn Salad


Cheers to a healthy weekend! Now go enjoy your BBQ, make a fun video and enter to win cool stuff. Be sure to follow Reebok on Twitter and Instagram and search the hashtag #AmericasFittestBBQ to see more entries from the contest! Tag me on IG too so I can see your video!

Oh yeah, and before you go, I have something for you! Reebok has generously offered to hook one of you guys up with some goodies. As in, a pair of sweet Reebok Nanos and head-to-toe Reebok gear!!! Giveaway ends at 11:59PM Monday Sept 7th.

Check out the Rafflecopter giveaway below to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway




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7 Tips For A Healthy Relationship With Food

Hi Friends!

As we head into the three-day weekend, I have a special treat for you today! My friend and fellow RD Corinne Dobbas is filling in for me  to share a great post about forming a healthy relationship with food.  I love her life philosophy and the work she’s doing with women to help them love their bodies.

Read on and be sure to go check out her blog if you enjoy today’s post!

Nobody teaches you how to have a healthy relationship with food … or your body. At least no one taught me when I was growing up. And oh how I wish they had.

Below are 7 tips for a healthy relationship with food you can start using today. I’ve gathered these tips through my own personal work and after helping hundreds of clients. I hope these ideas help you just as much as they helped me and my coaching clients.

  1. Food is nourishment

It’s easy to make food the “bad guy.” After all, if you’re trying to button-up your favorite pair of jeans – that used to fit – you’ll likely be told to eat less or stop eating that. The constant chatter to restrict to look prettier or more desirable, leaves us forgetting the very simple fact that we literally need food to survive. In fact, when we eat the “right” foods (real whole foods and lots of plants), food can actually heal.

Shift your perspective from food being the “bad guy” to being nourishment and with that thought alone, you’ll start making making healthier choices and feel that much more free.

  1. Trust your body 

Have you ever watched a child eat? They start when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full. They trust their bodies. You used to do this too. And you can do it again. Instead of counting calories or points, start tuning-in to your hunger. Think of your hunger like a scale. It starts at 0 (starving) and goes up to 10 (I ate so much I feel sick stuffed). You want to eat when you’re feeling hunger pangs (around a 3) and stop when you’re satisfied (around a 6 or 7).

Check-in with yourself throughout the day and before a meal to see where you’re at on the hunger scale. And throughout your meal, breathe, taste, and tune-in to where you are on the full scale. When you hit comfortably satisfied (a 6 or 7), you’re golden. Practice with the hunger scale and overtime it’ll become natural. Repeat after me: I choose to honor my hunger and fullness.

  1. Learn to play in the “grey”

Black and white thinking is such a downer. It looks something like this: “I ate the entire bag of chips. There it goes! The day is ruined. I might as well eat whatever I want now.”

Don’t do that to yourself! Instead of getting so judgmental and emotionally wrapped up in your decision, take a step back and look at WHY you did what you did. When you can observe and figure out your WHY, you can then make a better choice next time. Remind yourself that observation is power for change.

  1. Focus on how you feel instead of the scale

The scale can make you crazy. And if you’re like every other woman out there, the number changes all the time, based on when you just worked out, how much water you’ve had, time of day, time of month, your recent sodium intake … and the list could go on.

Ditch the scale and start focusing on how the foods you’re eating make you feel. And I don’t just mean how they make you feel short-term. Because let’s be honest, if that were the case, I’d down an entire bag of Reese’s Pieces. In the short-term, that bag would make me feel awesome, but no doubt, within an hour, I’d feel sick. Bottomline: choose foods that make you feel good long-term. With this outlook, choosing whole fresh foods (and lots of produce) will become your way of living.

  1. Connect the dots 

Take a step back and begin to ask yourself questions.

Am I really hungry – or just bored?

Do I want to overeat every time I get off the phone with her?

Or (gasp!), is my nightly ice-cream routine just a habit?

When you’re done with diets, you stop relying on meal plans telling you when and what to eat. Instead, you start to connect the dots between why you do what you do. You start to observe, and when you have this powerful information and are ready for true change you learn how to continually make better choices that stick.

  1. Find your tribe

Who are you spending your free time with? If they’re people who don’t make you feel good after you hang out with them, it may be time to reconsider your social circle and start rebuilding. For example, if you’re focusing on nourishing your body, uplifting your spirit, and exercising to empower and connect with yourself, and you’re hanging out with people who are constantly trying to lose 5 pounds, get rid of cellulite, and working out to burn calories, you’re going to have a hard time being happy.

Get clear on what type of people you want in your life. Once you’re clear, think about where they’d be (Yoga studios? CrossFit gyms? Book clubs?) and then go out and make some friends. Over time, you’ll form a new like-minded crew that will allow you to flourish in mind, body, soul, and spirit.

  1. Keep it simple

There are so many diet rules and books out there and by this point, I bet your eyes glaze over when you see them. Ditch the food rules and go back to point #2, trusting your body and honoring your hunger and fullness. And when it comes to food – keep it simple – real whole fresh foods.

Here’s an easy motto I share with all my coaching clients: protein and produce. The idea is you want to make sure all of your meals have some form of protein (beans, lentils, chicken, seafood, fish, bison, turkey, tempeh, eggs, yogurt, etc) and produce (vegetables and/or fruit). The protein will keep you fuller longer and fuel lean muscle mass. And the produce, especially veggies, will fill you up with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. You can’t go wrong with too many vegetables.

Lastly, if you’ve been having a really hard time shifting away from your diet mindset, stop thinking of what you can’t eat and start thinking of what you should be eating more of. Nine out of ten times (even for myself at times!) the answer is more vegetables. It’s a simple mindshift, but it gets you thinking more (not less), and that’s a good thing.

What tip did you find most helpful? Or, maybe you have something to add to the list? Would love to hear from you in the comments below!

Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian, Wellness Coach, and yogi (in training) with a Masters in Nutrition. Corinne helps kind, caring, compassionate women develop a healthy positive relationship with food, their body, and themselves. Specifically, Corinne helps women get MORE. More life. More laughter. More friendships. More health. More happiness. More self-love. More self-acceptance. Visit her at www.CorinneDobbas.com


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Best of the Bean – Year 5

Hi Friends!

Today’s a special day. My little blog is celebrating its 5th birthday! So hard to believe. You guys, SO MUCH has changed since I first started blogging. In the beginning, I had about 5 readers, blogged only about food,  didn’t use any social media, took terrible photos and used ridiculously corny blog titles. Instagram and Pinterest didn’t even exist and I didn’t know what Twitter was.

Over the past five years I’ve expanded by readership base considerably, started working with brands, made friends, figured out how to take decent photos, learned about SEO, joined a million different social media platforms, gone back to school, become a Registered Dietitian, become a mom and so much more.

It seems to be customary in these blogiversary posts to share a list of lessons learned about blogging. Since I know many of my readers are not bloggers, I’m going to do something a little different this year and share some blogging lessons via Periscope.  Have you heard of it? It’s another form of social media for you to add to your ever-growing list. Here’s an article that will give you the basics, but basically:

Periscope is a “live video streaming platform”, which basically means you can transmit a live recording of yourself to your Persicope and Twitter followers. Imagine Skyping someone, but instead of video calling a single person, you’re instead linked up to the whole community. Not only that, whoever’s watching you can comment and ask questions. These show up on your screen whilst broadcasting making it easy to answer and interact.

So anyways, I’ve been looking for an excuse to try out Periscope and this seemed like a good occasion. So, here’s the short list:

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging:

  1. Define your ideal reader & write a mission statement for your blog.
  2. Choose quality over quantity.
  3. You cannot do it all.
  4. Know your worth.
  5. Remember why you started.

If you want hear me ramble on in more detail about each of these things, download the app and follow me on Periscope. Since it’s connected to Twitter,  you should find me under my twitter handle @LeanGrnBeanBlog. I’ll probably be broadcasting sometime around 3:00 PM (EST) but I make no guarantees. The good news is if you miss the live broadcast you can watch the replay for up to 24 hours. I’ll be posting the link on social media so you can check it out!

So anyways, on to the main reason for this post. Every year I round up my best posts and recipes from that year of blogging and share them for you all together in one post. See previous Best of the Bean posts here.

Take a look and maybe you’ll find something you missed the first time around. I would LOVE it if you clicked through to a couple of recipes that look good and pinned them!!


Sausage & Egg Vegetable Bake
Berry Crunch French Toast Cups
Apple Cinnamon Blender Waffles
Egg Waffles
Double Chocolate Granola
Sweet Potato Waffles
Breakfast Nachos
Berry Green Smoothie
Pumpkin French Toast Bake
Pumpkin Apple Protein Pancakes


Mexican Layer Dip
Spicy Red Pepper Feta Dip
Easy Cucumber Tomato and Cucumber Salad
Chili Lime Corn
Pesto Corn Salad

Spicy Roasted Garlic Hummus

Lunches & Dinners

Crockpot Meatballs
Italian Wedding Soup
Beer Braised Pulled Pork
Mexican Skillet Casserole
California Turkey Burgers
Chili Cornbread Skillet
Paleo Turkey Sweet Potato Meatballs

Sweet & Spicy Bacon Wrapped Chicken
Freezer Chicken Tenders
Salsa Verde Chicken Casserole 
Zoodles with Chicken & Spicy Almond Butter Sauce
Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad
Kale Panzanella with Chicken Sausage
Sausage & Wild Rice Stuffing 
Thai Chicken Salad

Baked Shrimp Cakes
Tuna Quinoa Cakes
Curried Tuna Salad with Apples
Spicy Shrimp Tacos
Shrimp Edamame Succotash
Paleo Shrimp Scampi

Lentil Macaroni & Cheese
Crockpot Loaded Sweet Potatoes
Tex Mex Migas
Cheesy Cauliflower Mash Bowls
Ribollita *omit bacon*


Baked & No-Bake 
Banana Cream Pie Bars
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Lemon Cashew Cream 
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
Almond Butter Banana Cookies
Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pumpkin Cranberry Oat Bars

Wild Blueberry Ice Cream
Wild Blueberry Yogurt Pops
Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups
Frozen Yogurt Pumpkin Pie Bites
Peanut Butter & Jelly Ice Cream Pie
Vegan Ice Cream Sandwiches

To celebrate my 30th bday, I rounded up desserts from my fav bloggers!

30 Healthy Dessert Recipes


Pumpkin Energy Balls
Frozen Yogurt Bites
Almond Butter Protein Balls
Coffee Protein Shake
Wild Blueberry Mini Muffins
Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins
Easy Pumpkin Bread
How To Roast Chickpeas
Homemade Raisin Newtons
Almond Sweet Potato Flatbreads
Wild Blueberry Energy Bars
10 Healthy Toddler Snacks

25 Quick & Easy After Work Snacks

Homemade DIY

Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Homemade Chocolate Milk
Salsa Yogurt Dressing
Maple Cinnamon Sunflower Seed Butter
Frozen Spinach Cubes
How To Make Chia Jam
How To Cook Spaghetti Squash
Homemade Oat Cereal For Babies 

Tips & Tricks

7 Tips To Reduce Your Sugar Intake
20 Kitchen Tips and Tricks
12 Ways to Use Leftovers
5 Food Prep Tips For Beginners
Don’t Be Fooled By The Sugar Free Label
Tips For Gluten-Free Baking


10 Things That Surprised Me About Pregnancy
5 Traits I Hope Our Son Gets From His Dad
Introducing Baby Bean
Breastfeeding is Hard
10 Tips For New Moms
The Difference A Year Makes
Crossfit After Baby
I Want to Freeze Time
You’re Still a Great Mom If
How to Modify Baby Led Weaning
A Baby Wearing Workout

If you’re interested in my Dear Chase monthly letters or the occasional day in the life posts, you can find them here.

Weekly Meal Plans

Check out the direct links below!

A Week of Gluten-Free Meals
A Week of Slow Cooker Meals
A Week of Quick, Healthy Meals
A Week of Vegan Meals
A Week of Spring Meal Ideas
A Week of Grab and Go Meals
A Week of Kid Friendly Meals
A Week of Paleo Meals
5 Easy Weeknight Dinners
A Week of 5 Ingredient Meals
A Week of No Cook Meals
A Week of Grilled Meals
A Week of Summer Meals
A Week of Dairy-Free Meals
A Week of Meals Featuring Blueberries
A Week of Meals with Chicken
A Week of Spiralized Meals
A Week of Meals Featuring Nuts and Seeds


A couple other notable posts:

Registered Dietitians Who Blog

We opened our own Crossfit gym.
Crossfit 1803

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Thank you so much to each and every one of you who reads this blog, whether it’s every day or just occasionally. Your support means the world to me and I wouldn’t be where I am today without you guys!



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4 Ways To Drink More Water

Thanks to Nestle for sponsoring this post. 

Hi Friends!


Let’s chat about water today! As a Registered Dietitian, I think any time is a good time to talk about positive nutrition choices but sometimes the seasons make it easier to chat about certain subjects . Winter brings the holidays, a perfect time to talk about making healthy choices at parties and family gatherings. Spring brings the opening of farmer’s markets which makes it easy to talk about upping your vegetable intake and eating locally. Summer brings hot weather, which means it’s the perfect time to talk about hydration, ways to drink more water and why it’s important!

You’re probably familiar with the My Plate image, but did you know that many health professionals are encouraging the government to add water to the diagram to remind people to drink more water? I think it’s a great idea!

The reality is, there are far too many people out there drinking too many sugar-sweetened beverages and not enough water. Did you know that on average 20% of daily calories and nearly half of all added sugars come from beverages (not counting milk and 100% fruit juices)? Almost half of all kids and adults drink at least one sugar-sweetened beverage per day – ranging from coffee and tea to soft drinks to fruit and energy drinks.

Need another visual eye-opener? One 12 oz sugar-sweetened beverage has about 10 teaspoons of sugar! That’s over 3 Tablespoons!

So here’s the bad news- obesity rates (for both children and adults) are far higher than they should be and most people simply don’t drink enough water throughout the day. Americans purchase about one billion beverage servings (canned, bottled or in a cup) every single day and studies show that if bottled water isn’t an option, almost two thirds of people will choose soda or another sugar-sweetened beverage.

The good news is, people are starting to take action. Many studies have shown that the majority of Americans are interested in reducing their soda intake and bottle water sales are on the rise. The simple act of replacing one 12-oz (140 cal) sugar-sweetened beverage with water each day would cut 50,000 calories and more than 65 cups of sugar from your diet in a year!

When I talk to people about nutrition, I always make sure to address liquid calories. Beverages can quickly add hundreds of calories to your daily intake and many people fail to take this into consideration. In reality, your total daily calories from beverages should only be about 10-15%. That’s about 200-300 calories for a 2,000 calorie diet.


There are lots of reasons people don’t drink enough water but if you’re on a mission to increase your intake, here are four easy ways to make water more enticing:

  • Add bubbles.
    • Recently, my hubby made the switch from drinking mostly beer in the evenings to drinking unsweetened sparkling water and I’m so proud of him. It’s such a healthy change and for him, the carbonation and hint of flavor make it more desirable than plain water. He’s even lost a few pounds as an added bonus! And it’s cheaper than beer 🙂
  • Add flavor, but not sugar.
    • Buying unsweetened, flavored water or making your own flavored water using fruit or herbs can definitely make water more exciting.
  • Change the temperature.
    • If room temperature water doesn’t do it for you, change things up. Add lots of ice to make it ice cold, or heat it up. Remember that unsweetened tea can also be a great way to hydrate and add flavor!
  • Make it available.
    • The simple act of having water on-hand and available can also make a huge difference in your quest to make better beverage choices. As a general rule for many people, if something is there, they will eat or drink it. Take advantage of this built-in mentality and make water easily accessible. It’s easy to store in your lunch, purse, gym bag or car and just seeing the bottle is an easy way to remind yourself to drink more of it!

*Important note – During the summer months, when many people are more active and sweating more, it’s extra important to make sure you’re staying well hydrated and water should be your #1 choice! Be sure to bring water with you as you head to your workouts.

Let’s chat:

Are you happy drinking plain water or do you have to jazz it up a bit in order to get excited about drinking it?



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Dear Chase – Month 6

Dear Chase-

We did it, buddy! You’re halfway through your first year! Crazy! It’s time to recap month six, but if you need to catch up,  check out Months 1 & 2, Month 3,  Month 4 and Month 5.

We took you to the doctor Wednesday for your shots and checkup and you did great. You’re growing like a weed and you currently weigh 20 pounds, 5 oz, are 28 inches long and your head circumference is 18 inches. That’s 90th percentile for weight, 95th for height and 95th for head. You’re a big guy but totally proportional!

You love to eat and have been eating solids for over a month now. We didn’t really try any new foods this month. You still love avocado and sweet potato and roasted red pepper strips are another favorite. I shared a post about how I make your homemade oat cereal and you still love that. I usually mix in some pieces of fruit. We switched you to all 6 oz bottles and you typically get 5 of them per day and then around lunch time i’ll give you some solid foods while daddy eats his lunch- usually a couple strips of red pepper, a couple sweet potato or squash sticks and some avocado. You love your Graco High Chair and love to sit and bang on the tray if I don’t feed you fast enough. I usually give you a couple tablespoons of oatmeal and some fruit in the evening. We use these Munchkin Soft-Tip Infant Spoons and sometimes you grab on and practice feeding yourself but at this point you’re better with your fingers than with a spoon. And you still drink your formula out of these Born Free Glass Bottles which we love!

You went to the park for the first time and played on the playground, but then it got cold again so we haven’t been back. I think it’s finally starting to warm up again now so we’ll go back soon!  You celebrated your first Easter and colored some eggs and even went to your first drumline show. Your daddy used to be in drumline so we took you to watch and even bought you some protective headphones. They must’ve worked because you slept right through the show!

We can’t stop buying you ALL the plaid things and button downs! You’re still in size 3 diapers and wearing pretty much all 12-18 month clothes now. We’ve got lots of fun shorts and t shirts for you to wear this summer!

Mommy turned 30 this month and for her birthday she got an ERGObaby 360. You like being able to face forward when we go on walks and go the store. We’re finally reached the point where you like to pull your Babiators  and hat off more than you like to wear them.

Mommy went on her first trip without you this month. Mimi and grandpa came to stay and help out while daddy was at work and I think it’s safe to say they spoiled you. You were a good boy and we face timed!

You’re doing pretty well sleep-wise. Still sleeping in the pack and play at night but we did start introducing you to the crib at nap time a couple weeks ago. It’s going alright. I try to get you in there at least once a day to nap. Sometimes you’ll cry for 30 minutes and fall asleep, sometimes you cry for 2 hours. I rock you, put you in there when you’re sleepy, turn on your music and leave…then I let you cry and go in every 15-20 minutes to calm you down. It’s hit or miss but we keep trying. It will be interesting to see how it goes over the next few weeks.  At night you eat your last bottle around 10 or 11 and usually sleep until 6 or 6:30 and then go back to bed until 8ish. Unlike last month when you hated your tummy, now you tend to end up sleeping either on your side or stomach as the night goes on.

Last week you started your first swimming class! We take you two nights a week for a half hour class. You seem to be enjoying it. You love the tub so we figured you’d like the pool. It’s a lot of singing and moving you around in the water!

You love the animals and like to watch them walk around. You have also started “petting” them, although sometimes “petting” means grabbing ears or pulling tails.

You LOVE sitting up and aren’t really into lying down anymore. You can sit up on your own quite well, but you’ve recently starting doing a little bucking bronco action which apparently means you’ll be crawling soon.


This guy💙

A video posted by Brett (@bgliving) on


When we set you up to play for the day we put a body pillow behind you to cushion your occasional falls 🙂 You love your toys but don’t need anything fancy. Some of your favorite things include a plastic laundry detergent cup, some plastic baby food containers that you can stack like blocks and empty Starbucks cups. You love any kind of bottles, including mommy’s water bottle and the doctor told us yesterday we can get you your own sippy cup! You’re also obsessed with phones and grab for them incessantly! Sometimes mommy gives you her old one to play with.


You will put ANYTHING in your mouth. General train of thought is: “Is that a tangible object?” If yes, I will try to eat it.

Current squish philosophy- Is it a tangible thing? Yes? Then I’m going to want to touch it and probably try to eat it. A video posted by Lindsay L, RD (@theleangreenbean) on

Some of your favorite toys this month are your Oball Rainstick Rattle , Rusty the Robot  and your Busy Bee Baby Buzz’R.

For the most part you’re a happy baby, but like anyone, you have your moments 🙂

Happy 6 months sweet boy. We love you!


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Registered Dietitians Who Blog

Hi Friends!

As you may or may not know today is National Registered Dietitian Day. For the past 3 years I’ve rounded up a list of Registered Dietitians Who Blog and today’s post is pretty much the ultimate resource. My list has quadrupled in size over the past 3 years! As an RD who has been involved in blogging and social media since the thought of becoming an RD was just an idea in the back of my mind, I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see so many of my colleagues becoming active in the online world.

There are so many great dietitians out there now sharing CREDIBLE nutrition information, recipes and other great nutrition resources with all of you!

{some of the images above provided by Alice Henneman}

My challenge to you today is to spend a few minutes checking out some of these blogs that you’re not familiar with and giving these RDs some love and appreciation for all they’re doing to make the world a healthier place!

I don’t care how you pick them- by their name, their tagline, how pretty their header is, randomly- whatever works for you! Just do it!

[Tweet “It’s National RD Day! Check out these 130 Registered Dietitians Who Blog via @leangrnbeanblog!”]


Here’s the list from my first post, updated to remove some who no longer blog….clickable links are at the bottom:


  • Anne at Fannetastic Food
  • Lauren at Foodtrainers
  • Nicole at Prevention RD
  • Sally at Real Mom Nutrition
  • Melanie at Nutritious Eats
  • Deanna & Serena at Teaspoon of Spice
  • Robyn at The Real Life RD
  • Janet at Nutrition Unplugged
  • Carlene at Healthfully Ever After
  • Heather at Side of Sneakers (she also blogs regularly at Babble)

I also gave special shoutouts to Alexis at Hummusapien and Carissa at Fit2Flex who were dietetic students like me at the time. Both are now RDs.




Last year I added a bunch more RD blogs to my Feedly. Here they are with clickable links at the bottom:


Find them here:

  • Steph at Food Coach Me
  • Rachael at An Avocado A Day
  • Alex at Delicious Knowledge
  • Francesca at Energy We Bring
  • Helen at Food & Nonsense
  • Dixya at Food, Pleasure & Health
  • Wendy at Just Wendy Jo
  • Kath at Kath Eats Real Food
  • Meme at Living Well Kitchen
  • Kristina at Love & Zest
  • Megan at Nutrition Awareness
  • Caroline at Caroline Kaufman Nutrition
  • Christina at The Fueled Athlete
  • EA at The Spicy RD
  • Melissa at The Valentine RD


Find them here:

  • Debbie at Dietitian Debbie Dishes
  • Lisa & McKenzie at NourishRDs
  • Janice & Liz at Meal Makeover Moms
  • Danielle at Food Confidence
  • Nic at Nic’s Nutrition
  • Kristen at Real Food For Fuel
  • Cassie at Dietitian Cassie
  • Jenna at Make Healthy Easy
  • Melissa at Sound Bites
  • Jessica at Nutritioulicious
  • Chris at Mohr Results
  • Sharon at Sharon Palmer, RD
  • Regan at Healthy Aperture – *various RD blog authors, plus a gallery to submit recipes to
  • Stone Soup – the blog for Food & Nutrition Magazine written by a variety of RDs

I also gave a special shoutout to two future RDs- Min at MJ and Hungryman and Kylie at Yeah Imma Eat That, who weren’t quite there yet but well on their way! Min is now officially an RD and Kylie is OH SO CLOSE!



Last year I asked readers to leave their favorite RD blogs in the comments if they weren’t already on the list. Here are some that were recommended:

Find them here:

  • Ginny at The Vegan RD
  • Jennifer at Foodess
  • Mary at Flavor RD
  • Emily at Sinful Nutrition
  • Kelly at Meals For Miles
  • Emily at Zen & Spice
  • Cait, Rebecca & Dana at Rebel Dietitian
  • Diane at Cape Fear Nutrition
  • Jen at Down To Earth Dietitian
  • Helen at Hevil’s Healthy Devil – RD student


And here we are at year 3. This year I have even MORE new RD blogs to share with you!

Find them here:

  • Kristy @ Chocolate Slopes
  • Stephanie @ The Grateful Grazer
  • Holley @ Holley Grainger Nutrition
  • Katie @ Mom to Mom Nutrition
  • Abigail @ The Soul of Health
  • Gretchen @ Kumquat
  • Brittany @ Your Choice Nutrition
  • Rebecca @ Be Truly Nourished
  • Colleen @ Colleen Gerg
  • Jennifer @ Nourished Simply
  • Elizabeth @ Enjoy Every Bite
  • Sheena @ A Fillipino Foodie
  • Robin @ Robin’s Bite
  • Marisa @ Marisa Moore Nutrition
  • Vicki @ Simple Cravings. Real Food

Find them here:

  • Shelly @ Skinny Louisiana
  • Lauren @ Bite of Health
  • Tina @ Food Doc
  • Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian
  • Lauren @ Whole Living Lauren
  • Alanna @ Eat Real Food
  • Lauren @ Eating With A Purpose
  • Cheryl @ Cheryl Meyer RD
  • Sara @ The Organic Dietitian
  • Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen
  • Ayla @ Eat Simply
  • Anne @ Craving Something Healthy
  • Katie @ Mom’s Kitchen Handbook
  • Cindy @ Newlywed Nutrition

Find them here:

  • Louisa @ Cook Low Fodmap
  • Rebecca @ Positively Healthy
  • Toby @ Toby Amidor Nutrition
  • Roseanne @ Chew the Facts
  • Renee @ Renee’s Healthy Weighs
  • Erin @ Mouthful Blog
  • Lauren @ Lauren Minchen Nutrition
  • Bri @ Simple Delights
  • Michelle @ Pediatric Nutrition Blog
  • Abby @ Abby Langer Nutrition
  • Jennifer @ Neily on Nutrition
  • Kathleen @ Source 4 Women
  • Sarah @ Food Family Fiesta
  • Leslie @ Born To Eat
  • Corinne @ Eat Love Thrive

Find them here:

  • Amy @ Farmer’s Daughter Consulting
  • Jill @ Just The Right Bite
  • Leah @ Ingles Nutrition
  • Jamila @ No Nonsense Nutritionist
  • Brooke @ Bitchin’ Nutrition
  • Jennifer @ McDaniel Nutrition
  • Sarah @ Sarah Krieger
  • Lisa @ The Trim Traveler
  • Heather @ The Nutty Nutritionist
  • Sylvia @ Hispanic Food Communications
  • Heather @ Heather K. Jones
  • Marie @ Performance Nutrition
  • Jenny @ My Cape Cod Kitchen
  • Heather @ Dietitian on the Run
  • Maria @ The Blonde Pantry

Find them here:

  • Susan @ Food Fit Fabulous
  • Faye @ Foodie on Campus
  • Maryann @ Raise Healthy Eaters
  • Andie @ The Baking Dietitian
  • Katie @ Healthy Bites
  • Alice @ Cook It Quick
  • Ashley @ The Fresh Beet
  • Ginger @ Ginger Hultin
  • April @ This RD Eats
  • Chere @ Chere Bork
  • Jamie @ Dishing Out Health
  • Jessa @ In Wealth & Health
  • Grace @ Nutrition Works For You
  • Paige @ Paige Smathers 
  • Joanne @ Real Bite Nutrition

  • Janel @ Eat Well with Janel
  • Jesseica @ Smart Nutrition
  • Bethany @ Fusion Wellness 
  • Melanie @ Nutripilot
  • Elisa @ Elisa Zied
  • Christy @ Christy Wilson Nutrition
  • The RD team at Good Measure Meals


Still want more? Find 800+ RD Bloggers at Nutrition Blogs Network!

I’m sure I’ve missed some great ones, but this roundup  should give you a good start if you’re looking for some new reading!

I also can’t let this day pass without giving a huge thank you to every single RD who has helped me on my own personal journey. Special thanks to my mentor and boss Regan, who has believed in me from the day we met…every step of the way…She gives me the opportunity to do what I love every single day and I couldn’t be more grateful.

If you’re an RD who blogs and you’re not on this list, leave your blog URL in the comments!!



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7 Tips To Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Hi Friends!

As a Registered Dietitian, I get asked for diet and nutrition advice quite frequently. When people ask me how to improve their diet, reducing their sugar intake is almost always at the top of my list.

I think that slowly but surely, people are starting to realize that sugar, especially added sugar, can be linked to a lot of the healthy problems people are struggling with today. More and more frequently I’m hearing about about people making an effort to reduce their sugar intake by quitting cold turkey. They’re doing Whole 30, juice cleanses and other sugar-free challenges.

While that approach may work for some people (more power to you!), I know there are lots of people out there who would struggle with a challenge like that – myself included!

Recently, my friend Amanda over at Run to the Finish, reached out to ask my thoughts about ways to reduce your sugar intake without using a sugar-free challenge.

Here’s what I told her:

7 Tips to Reduce Your Sugar Intake

1) Start by cutting back. 
In my experience, for many people, completely eliminating something only serves to make you want it more.  When I started really watching my sugar intake after I graduated from college, I did it in small steps. So what does that mean? If you’re eating two sugary snacks a day, cut back to one. If you put three packets of sugar in your coffee each morning, cut back to two, then one. If you like juice, start mixing in sparkling water and reducing the amount of juice. As your tastebuds adjust to lower amounts of sugar, you’ll probably find that if you return to your original eating habits, things will taste overly sweet!

2) Find the hidden culprits.
Sugar is hidden in so many foods. It often replaces fat in low-fat/fat-free foods and you’ll find it in things that can really be made from just a few ingredients like nut butters, breads and salad dressings. For example, there are many brands of peanut butter that are made with added sugar, when in reality all you really need to make peanut butter is one ingredient- peanuts.

{Fruit Pizza w/ Oatmeal Flax Crust}

3) Eat real, whole foods.
If you have a sweet tooth, try satisfying your cravings with sweet foods like fruit. When you do eat packaged foods, check the ingredient list and know the various names for sugar so you can spot it in the foods you’re eating. Remember that low fat/fat-free often means high sugar.

…To read the rest of my tips, check out my guest post over at Run to the Finish!

Let’s chat:

Have you tried to reduce your sugar intake? What worked for you?

[Tweet “Want to eat less sugar without going cold turkey? Here are 7 tips from @Leangrnbeanblog!”]



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Dear Chase – Month 3

Dear Chase,

You’re 3 months old today and I can hardly believe it! It’s pretty amazing how much you’ve changed in the past month.

You’ve learned how to hold your head up. It’s still a little wobbly sometimes, especially when you’re tired, but for the most part you have pretty good control over it. You love sitting in your bumbo chair. Sometimes when you’re fussy I’ll pop you in there and you’ll happily sit and look around the room for 10-15 minutes. You love sitting up. If we’re holding you, you’re always leaning forward trying to sit up instead of just laying back like you used to. Now that you can hold your head up pretty well, we no longer have to use the infant insert when we put you in the Ergo! The weather was warm enough for us to take a few walks and you loved looking around. We even bought you some sunglasses!

You also love your activity mat. This month you really seemed to figure it out. You regularly swat at, grab and hold onto your hanging jungle friends and sometimes you’re quite content to lay there and entertain yourself for a while, which is a nice break for mommy. You’re still not a huge fan of tummy time, but we’re working on it. Most days we can get through 10-15 minutes without a major meltdown, but you usually just lay there. You don’t spend much time pushing up with your arms, but you do move your legs around a lot. Honestly, mommy hasn’t been very good about making you practice every day. You also discovered your feet this month and spend a lot of time looking at them and trying to grab them.

You’re a talker, that’s for sure. You’re slowly figuring out how to make more and more sounds and you happily chatter away to me all day long.  When it’s really quiet, you love to let out a loud WHOOOOO! like an owl to let us know you’re there. You have the best smile. You smile for mommy and daddy all the time but around other people, or when I get my phone out to take a picture, you quickly put on your serious face. I took you to your first modeling gig and you didn’t crack one smile the entire hour we were there!

You’re sleeping pretty well. You usually nap an hour or two in the morning and then take a longer nap in the afternoon. Most nights you’ll sleep downstairs while mommy and daddy hang out in the evenings and then have your last bottle around 11-12 and then head up to bed with mommy. If I’m lucky you’ll sleep until 6:30 or so, eat and then go back to sleep for a couple more hours. Just last week we moved you from the rock and play to the pack and play so you can get used to sleeping on your back and we can eventually move you to your crib. It’s going pretty well. You definitely have a lot more space, so you spend a lot of time flailing around like a fish out of water before you finally settle down and go to sleep. You’ve also been waking up a little earlier to eat this past week and I think it’s because you’re waking yourself up in the pack and play. But I think you’ll get used to it.

You’ve never had any trouble eating. Right now you usually get 6 bottles a day, some 4 oz and some 5 oz for a total of 27 or 28 ounces per day. Daddy weighed you the other day and you’re over 16 pounds. You go to the doctor next week so we’ll get your official measurements then!

You’re wearing pretty much all 6-12 month or 9 month clothes and mommy went on a little shopping spree at Gap and Old Navy to get you some new clothes! We also had to buy you some new socks because your feet are growing!

You have a few different blankies to snuggle with and you seem to like them all. You love your binkie and also still like sucking on your thumb/hand. This month you figured out how to hang onto some of your smaller toys. Grandma got you a rattle that was the perfect size…and then your dog brothers chewed it into a million pieces. But don’t worry, mommy ordered you another one!

You like reading books and you love listening to music. Daddy’s been playing his guitar and you like to watch him jam out. You also love it when we sing to you. You like bath time. You stay pretty quiet, but you LOVE kicking your feet and splashing water all the way up the wall.

Happy 3 months, sweet boy.





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Pin It Party 6

Hi Friends!

It’s time for another Pin It Party! Are you following me on Pinterest? If not, CLICK HERE.

In case you missed out on the last one, here are the rules:

All bloggers are welcome to participate! Here’s what you do:

  • Round up 5 blog posts you’ve written that you would like to see on Pinterest.
  • Make sure there is a nice, pinable image or photo included in each post.
  • Write a short post featuring the posts you chose- ie, put 5 nice images & links to the posts all in one place, along with a short description of each post.
  • On Thursday, publish your post, then visit The Bean and add your post to the linkup! (If you’re just reading this today and still want to participate, just publish in the next few days…I’ll leave the linkup open for about a week!)

The only rule is this:

If you add your post to the linkup, please take a few minutes to visit at least three other posts  and pin some of their images!

That’s it! Hopefully this will be a fun way to get some Pinterest exposure to some of your best posts and to help drive traffic to your blogs.

If you’re a reader, you can still join in the fun if you’re on Pinterest! Remember that pinning images from blog posts you love is a great way to support your favorite bloggers! It helps more people see the posts and can help the blogs grow! So, if you’re a reader in the mood to pin, visit the Pin It Party, check out some of the great posts that are linked up and pin away!

So, here are 5 of my posts I’d love to see on Pinterest. You can click the photo or link below to go to that post to pin:


Frozen Yogurt Pumpkin Pie Bites 

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Veggie Corn Muffins 

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Brownies

Jalapeno Cheddar Sweet Potato Puffs


In the mood for more pinning? Check out my last 5 Pin It Party posts to find some more tasty recipes to pin!!!

CLICK HERE to pin these recipes!

CLICK HERE to pin these recipes!

CLICK HERE to pin these recipes!

CLICK HERE to pin these recipes.

CLICK HERE to pin these recipes.

Add your link below to join the party! Happy Pinning!


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