The Last Diet Plan You’ll Ever Need

Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, raw foods, or pegan?

The number one question I get asked by my health coaching clients is, “What diet should I be on?” And my answer is always the same, “The one that works for you.”

People are so busy trying to follow the latest trends that they don’t take the time to figure out what actually works for their bodies.

We are all unique. What works well for you may not work for someone else. I think there are some tried and true theories that are good for everyone; add more vegetables, drink more water, cut out the sugar, and stop eating processed crap. But whether to follow a specific diet plan is a very individual thing.

Let’s face it, there’s a new diet book out it seems like every day. And there’s always a celebrity touting the latest plan that helped them shed weight. That’s fine for that celebrity, but that doesn’t mean it will work for you.

The best diet is the one that helps you get to and maintain a healthy weight, one that gives you energy and makes you feel vibrant, and one that helps to manage or eliminate health concerns such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

So then how does one know what to eat?

First, start paying attention to what you eat and how you feel after you eat it. If you have diarrhea every time you eat dairy, that might be a clue that dairy is not your friend.

One of the saddest days of my life was when I realized I couldn’t eat M&Ms any more. Every time I ate them I got a migraine. Okay, maybe one of the saddest days of my life is an exaggeration, but, it was pretty traumatic to an M&M lover. Still, I knew that they were the culprit of my pain and so I gave them up.

I also don’t eat dairy. I noticed that whenever I had it, I would have stomach issues. It was only through paying attention to what I was eating that I figured that out and once I stopped eating dairy, the issues went away.

Start writing down what you eat, even for just a week, and then write down how you feel. If you are feeling lethargic, have headaches, or have gastrointestinal issues, see if you can link it back to the food you are eating.

If you can stand to do an elimination diet, that may help you pinpoint the foods that are giving you trouble. There are lots of ways to do an elimination diet (you can find information on how to get started in my book Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes That Add Up to Big Results! available now at amazon.com) and doing the diet can help you really figure out what foods are working for you and what foods are not working for you.

Have you ever been here? Your friend orders the latest and greatest diet book, follows the plan, and loses 40 pounds! Then, you get the same book, follow the same plan, and lose 10? It may not be that you did something wrong, or even that the book is wrong, it just may not be the right plan for you.

Instead of following along with each new thing that comes by, try figuring out what uniquely works for your unique self. Sure, you can find lots of information on Google, but Google doesn’t know how much you sleep, your blood type, your stress level, what allergies you may have. So skip the Googling and be your own search engine. Search for what makes you feel your best and stick with that.

Need help? That’s why I’m here. Contact me TODAY for your free health consultation, karen@thecaringcoachingcenter.com. No obligation, no hard sell, just a chance to some health and wellness information that is unique to YOU!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out.


Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.


The Last Diet You’ll Ever Need


The Grapefruit Diet. Jenny Craig. Weight Watchers. The Cabbage Soup Diet. The Hot Dog and Ice Cream Diet.


Have you been on more than one diet…at a time? I have! I’ve tried them all and then some. I am now on a new diet and I’m confident that it is the last diet I will ever need, so I’m sharing it with all of you.

First off, I have completely changed my definition of “diet”. When I talk about my diet I am not talking about a regimented eating plan, I am talking about the way I eat every day. Diets don’t work because they are rooted in deprivation and making you feel bad. My new “diet” is essentially just my new way of eating.

Here’s the diet:

1. STOP EATING CRAP! Seriously, step away from the Devil Dogs and pick up a banana!

2. Eat when you’re hungry, stop eating when you’re full. Sound simple? Yes, it does, but it’s so hard to do. Practice mindful eating, that is, pay attention to how your body feels. If you feel like the button on your pants is going to pop off and knock someone’s eye out, you’ve eaten too much. Stop before you get to that point.

3. Don’t eat distracted. Turn off the TV, put down your iPhone, seriously, nothing is that critical, and focus on eating. Stop multitasking while you eat.

4. Focus on clean eating. Eat real food with ingredients you can pronounce. If you don’t recognize an ingredient, your body won’t either.

5. Be sure to treat yourself every so often. If you follow the 90/10 diet, you’re essentially eating healthy 90% of the time, and splurging on goodies 10% of the time. It’s okay to have a treat every now and again, but you can’t have a treat every day because then, they are no longer treats! Birthday cake is supposed to be a treat…not dinner on a random Tuesday night!

Don’t make things more complicated than they need to be. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full, stop eating crap, and treat yourself once in a while.

Take Care of Yourself, be Nice to Yourself and Be Well!

And until next time, veg in, don’t veg out.


Want to get your diet, your body, and your life in shape? Contact me TODAY for your free health consultation, http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com


Happy, Healthy Hearts


It’s February, and t’s American Heart Month. It’s so important to take care of your heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. While exercise and living a tobacco-free life is crucial, it’s important to note that 25% of heart attacks happen in people who don’t smoke and who have healthy cholesterol levels. There are so many things you can do to help keep your ticker healthy, including adding in some of the following foods.

Berries and Citrus Fruits – Fruit-eaters have been shown to have a lower risk for heart disease. Aim to get three different types of fruit each day. You can include favorites like berries, mangoes, and oranges. Can’t get good, fresh fruit in February? Get some frozen varieties to incorporate into smoothies!

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – EVOO contains antioxidants that combat inflammation and help bring down LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Use it in salad dressings or drizzle over sauteed veggies.

Dark Chocolate – You can thank me for this tidbit! An ounce and a half of dark chocolate a day has been shown to provide health benefits. Cocoa flavanols are the key. Be sure to stick to good quality dark chocolate (we’re not talking Snickers bars here!) Look for chocolate with at least 70% cacao. Want an extra boost? Pair your dark chocolate with berries for a really powerful antioxidant punch!

Fish Oil – Fish has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease and sudden death. Eating low-mercury fish such as wild salmon, herring, sardines, or sole, 2 – 3 times a week is best. If you don’t eat that much fish in a week, aim to get 1,000 mg daily of fish oil through a high-quality fish oil supplement.

Wine – You can thank me again here! Studies show that drinking alcohol (in moderation, of course) boosts HDL, or “good” cholestoral. Red wine is especially desirable because it contains resveratrol, which has been shown to reduce heart disease risk. Stick to just one drink a day for women, and two drinks a day for men.

Walnuts – An ounce of walnuts a day will provide you with antioxidant phenols that can improve blood vessel function almost immediately!Toss some crushed walnuts in your morning oatmeal or bake them into my world’s easiest cookie recipe!* Look below!

World’s Easiest Cookie Recipe

These cookies are a staple in my house! I make them almost weekly and they are a huge hit with my family and friends. It’s so easy! Mash up one banana and mix with 1 cup of oatmeal! That’s it! That’s the base. From there, you can add anything you like. Walnuts, as mentioned above, honey to sweeten, a little vanilla, some vegan chocolate chips, craisins, raisins, or a scoop of peanut butter. The possibilities are ENDLESS! Bake your cookies at 350 degrees for 15 minutes on a WELL-GREASED cookie sheet. ENJOY!

And until next time, veg in, don’t veg out!


Like the blog? Did you know that you can listen to the blog LIVE every Friday night at 9 pm EST? That’s right! Just go to http://www.dtmwickedradio.com, click on the show icon, and listen and chat. Each week I share great healthy living tips, recipes, and strategies to help you live better and feel better. Check me out!