FIT TIP: Walt Disney, Katie Perry, Henry Ford, J.K. Rowling, J-Z, Jim Carey, Oprah, Stephen King, Bill Gates and Thomas Edison: We all know the names of these now successful people who failed MANY, MANY times before they got it right. Keep this in mind next time you feel discouraged, frustrated and like you can’t got on…;)


Take a look at this Self-Care list that one of my good friends and mentors shared with me.

Numbers 3, 6 and 7 are my most challenging ones. Which ones are yours?

Please feel free to print and post this list on your desktop to remind yourself that there’s only one YOU and you deserve some TLC!;)

Time and time again I hear of people upset and frustrated that they are “eating healthy” but still can’t loose weight. Here are 6 common foods that I often see as the culprits.

These foods usually cause people to hold on to the extra pounds because they are all higher in actual carbohydrates than people realize. ALL carbohydrates increase blood sugar and cause the body to produce insulin, the fat-storage hormone, to process them and clear them out of the blood.

  1. Dairy – Yogurt – Milk – Whey -Cheese
  2. Nuts – Nut Flours – Nut Butters
  3. Gluten-Free Products
  4. Artificial/Fake Sweeteners
  5. Starchy Veggies – Corn – Peas – Potatoes – Squash – Carrots – Beets
  6. Beans and Legumes – Hummus – Tabbouleh

You’ve heard me say it before but worth repeating:

To feel your best and get the lean and healthy body you want, you MUST understand some simple biology of how proteins, fats and carbohydrates actually work in your body. It’s not complicated but it’s critical!

Once you understand that not all calories are created equal, you will realize being fit and at your ideal body weight is not just a matter of “calories in and calories out”. This is an out-dated, hypothesis that we now know is inaccurate. We are not robots. Our bodies are WAY more complicated and dynamic than that! Rather, we now know there is a specific hormonal and chemical reaction to the different macronutrients in food which directly determines both your body weight and your moods. And please read your labels so you know what you are actually putting into your body! 

You don’t have to quit your day job to be fit. Just a little knowledge (of the hard science) goes a long way 🙂

If you are familiar with any of my work, previous articles, eBooks, workshops or webinars, then you know my philosophy is that a very important part of health these days is having the ability to resist the urge to quickly believe 2-minute, sensationalized sound bites on the news or the latest fad diet your brother’s neighbor’s friend is doing and instead learn the basics of how your body actually works and then using your own logic and body symptoms to know what’s best for you.

I’ve found the diet that works best for me – and apparently thousands and thousands of others, is following a natural, real food, low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat diet.

Research shows that It’s not only the most effective for fat loss and high energy but also in helping treat and often reverse various ailments including:

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Acid Reflux (GERD)
  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
  • Heart Disease
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • MS
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Skin problems
  • Longevity
  • Mood disorders
  • Energy problems
  • Low blood sugar/hypoglycemia

However a common fear I still hear from some people is that they are still conditioned with the faulty belief that eating saturated fat and cholesterol might actually be bad for health.

A look back at the evolution of the science of diet and health shows that traditionally people had always eaten diets with adequate amounts of natural healthy fats and minimal starchy carbs, grains, processed foods and sugars. And they certainly had much better health markers than we have today to show for it!

Time and time again, hard science has disproved the out-dated hypothesis that eating foods with cholesterol and saturated fat cause heart disease and illness.

There’s volumes and VOLUMES of published, high-quality research on this. If you’re interested to see if it might be right for you I encourage you to check out the HFLC diet.

Here’s a great article to get you started!


Amy Fournier considers herself a reformed People-Pleaser turned Healthy Lifestyle Entrepreneur. She specializes in emotional fitness, stress and energy management, work-life balance, natural health and beauty from the inside out.

She is the Founder of Miami Fitness & Lifestyle®, a lifestyle club located in North Andover, Massachusetts, which is a unique fusion of specialty fitness classes with community and fun for women. Amy considers herself to be a student of life and a work in progress – she is also an artist, workshop presenter, dance/fitness/yoga instructor, author, International fitness cover model, philanthropist, friend, daughter and lucky Mom to cute little fur-baby, Charlotte.  

Take a moment and get to know Amy!

Daring Spirits: Tell us about a decision that felt really bold.
Amy: Gosh, there have been so many times in my life where I feel life has given me the opportunity to be bold, brave, and daring and go out of my comfort zone and move from where I was, and they all involved a lot of fear and uncertainty. Thinking back on them, they all involved a lot of doubt and it was always scary to make the move I knew I had to do. Here are some top ones:

1. Deciding to get a divorce and then starting over
2. Leaving everything I knew: a safe and secure life with all my friends and family and established business to move to Miami, Florida, by myself and without any solid connections, job, or plan! 
3. Opening my own club! This was certainly a BIG HUGE one! 

All of these decisions forced me to dig deep and take action and just leap despite the fear and insecurity. For some reason, I’ve always had something driving me and I’ve known that the only way I can evolve and grow into the person I was meant to be was to risk and to keep expanding – just like the entire universe does. It is our example of how to live.
Daring Spirits: Describe a time when things went “wrong” and then the Universe delivered.
Amy: Well, if I understand this question correctly, I think you’re asking about a time when I thought something was “bad” and it turned out to actually be for my highest good. If so, I have to say that I just love when that happens – it’s one of my favorite things, and I find it so comforting! It’s like God’s way of winking at us and letting us know He’s out there and in charge and got our back’s so we don’t have to worry.

I have one very clear example of this. Let’s just say God removed someone from my life whom I thought was good for me and replaced them with some one SO much better than I could have ever dreamed. At first, I felt devastated and couldn’t image how I would carry on; yet at some point I realized that it was the biggest blessing in the world and actually an answer to my prayers!
Daring Spirits: What’s one thing you really want people to know (about the world, about you, about life — this is your chance to drop some knowledge!)?
Amy: I’d say to relax, to trust, and to just be yourself. Fight for the life you want, and to be the person you want to be. Stay focused on what matters most to you and what’s real. Go within for the answers you seek, and then have the courage to heed the answers that you will feel from your heart/your body. It always knows what’s best for you and what you really want. 

At the end of the day, all we have is each other, and the love and connections we have created and shared are all that matter. That’s it. Nothing else is really that important. Have the courage to just be yourself; it sounds so simple, but it’s so rare to see today and took me over 40 years to finally get it myself!

DS: Beach or Mountains?

AF: Gosh, both – it’s like saying left hand or right to me!

DS: Sweet or spicy?

AF: Sweet!

DS: Window or aisle?

AF: Aisle!! (gotta be able to get up!)

Daring Spirits: Stay focused on what matters most. Wise words, Amy, thank you for sharing your insights and energy. It’s clear to us that you’re aligning with what makes you light up!

If you’re like me you don’t have time to be sick.

You have goals, dreams and aspirations for your life that require a high level of good and consistent energy. You want to feel amazing as much as possible and you want to look as good as possible while doing it. You want to be highly functional, strong, lean and toned and be able to burn any excess body fat if necessary without being completely miserable, cranky and uncomfortable. You’re also smart enough to know that getting your diet right is a big part of making sure this can happen.

I’m here to tell you that to be lean and have the consistent, good (i.e. “happy”) energy you want, you need to turn your body from a Sugar-Burner to a Fat-Burner.


How to Know If You’re a Sugar-Burner and NOT a Fat-Burner

  1. You have energy highs and lows or no energy or motivation at all. You feel like your often “dragging”.
  2. You think about food all day
  3. You have a big appetite and are often “starving”
  4. You’re still hungry or unsatisfied after meals
  5. You’re have hair loss or have noticed a lack of luster, volume and texture of your hair
  6. You have poor skin: it’s less “plump”, more wrinkled, dry and “stressed/aged-looking”
  7. You need to eat every 2-3 hours
  8. You have problems with bloating, gas, upset stomach, constipation, IBS
  9. You require coffee/energy drinks etc. to get thru the day
  10. You have joint pain, fibromyalga or “arthritis”
  11. You are on medications
  12. You don’t sleep soundly every night and rarely wake up refreshed
  13. You have excess body fat and/or you have a muffin top (yup, no matter what your age!)

How’d you do? Don’t worry, most people in this day and age are Sugar Burners and don’t do too well on the list either but I’m here to share with you the good news:

If you’re willing to reconsider what you’ve learned as “healthy” eating and change the way you think about food, you can reverse most, if not all of the above “symptoms” and feel and look AH-MAZING by becoming a Fat-Burner!

Top Fat Burning Myths You Need to Ditch Pronto

Let’s start with clearing up some of  the top, misconceptions of a healthy diet:

  1. All calories are created equal  Weight loss and health is NOT all about calories in and calories out or “exercising more and eating less”! Science, biochemistry and empirical evidence shows this is just not accurate. 100 calories from a plate of broccoli will have different physiological and hormonal effect on our body than 100 calories of gummy bears. Rather than a calories in/out equation, we now know weight loss and health is about understanding how different food, hormones and meal timing work in our bodies and then using that knowledge to make them work for us rather than against us.
  2. Losing weight is about eating less and exercising more  Just look at any health club or gym: if this myth was true, everyone there would be fit and trim and we wouldn’t have a multi-billion dollar diet/fitness/book industry
  3. To prevent metabolic slow-down, you have to eat every 2-3 hours This is only true if you are a Sugar-Burner! When you become a Fat-Burner you don’t get “hangry” (hungry + angry) or suffer from low blood sugar and hypoglycemia and mood and energy dips when without food for a while
  4. Eating fat will make you fat  Only when eating the wrong types of fat can you get fat because they are toxic to the body. Otherwise we absolutely need plenty of the right fats to run our hormones, neurotransmitters and stabilize our moods and blood sugar
  5. Saturated fat is bad/unhealthy/evil/increases cholesterol We now have mountains of scientific research that has since debunked this faulty hypothesis.

Basic Principles of a Healthy Diet and Being a Fat-Burner

So let’s turn this ship around and get you burning stored body fat for fuel instead of relying on the sugar from the food you are eating for energy.

  1. Eat a diet high in good fat (SOURCES: coconut oil/butter, Ghee, olive oil, grass-fed butter, lard, avocado, grass-fed meats), adequate (not excess) protein, like .5-1.0 grams/pound of lean body weight/day (SOURCES: whole, free-range eggs, wild fish, sardines, poultry, free-range meats) low in carbohydrates (SOURCES: vegetables)  and REMOVE/AVOID: Starchy carbs: grains, rice, pasta, flours, fake foods, sugar, fake sugars, soy and vegetable oils (canola, soy, corn, safflower, sunflower, etc)
  2. Eat nutrient dense foods. You want bang for your buck. Don’t waste calories with low quality, low nutrition food. When you eat better you can eat less because you are satisfied and meet your body’s nutritional requirements. In general, the darker the food, the more nutrients it contains. For example dark green spinach has more nutrition than iceberg and fresh herbs like Cilantro and Parsley have more phyto-nutrients than any other food source!
  3. Determine your ideal food mix and you Personal Carb Quotient: Find out by trial and error the right amount carbs your body does best at. This will be different with everyone and will depend on how much metabolic damage has been done, your insulin-sensitivity, activity and stress level, current level of body fat, etc
  4. Eat real food (Don’t rely on shakes, boxed, packaged products, brand “meals”, meal replacements, etc. These are energetically dead “non-foods” that have no life-force.
  5. Identify any food intolerances or allergies and avoid. Soy, eggs, gluten, wheat, nuts are common ones but any food that causes inflammation is an irritant and is technically something your body is not tolerant of. A common sign of an intolerance is swollen, tight or achy joints like fingers, hands, knees, backs and necks.
  6. Read all food labels. You have to know WHAT you’re actually putting in your body!
  7. Do a Kitchen Makeover: Go thru your whole pantry, refrigerator, drawers, etc and get rid of the junk!
  8. Keep a Food Journal for 3 days to 1 week – Most people are horrified to know how much they are actually eating. Research has shown that almost all of us underestimate the amount of food we eat. Keeping a notebook or an APP on your phone is an incredibly simple, yet effective way to track your intake and give you an accurate indication of why you’re getting what you’re getting!

There you have it!

Follow these tips and switch from being a Sugar-Burner to a fat-Burner and enjoy more stable energy, a leaner body and best of all a liberated mind free to think of other things rather than food, eating and calorie-counting!