What’s Your Vice?

I’ve been knocking it out of the park with my Ella food recipes lately.


These mini muffins are a hit—my family even started sneaking bites of these! I made these with a mix of healthier gluten-free flours, no added sugar {just dates and bananas}, and baby girl loves them!


Many of you left me some great feedback when I introduced the concept of this “100 days til’ summer”  project. Now that I am putting some things together I want to see if anyone else wants to chime in or elaborate.

When I started blogging, I had absolutely no idea this “HLB world” existed. Friends, family and clients in real life were always asking me about why I ate  almond butter. Or rolled their eyes when I explained why certain produce should be absolutely bought organic, when available. What’s the science behind these facts, or “how do I change my habits?”McDonalds offers veggie burgers now, they’re healthy, right?” or proud to say: “I drink black coffee with three packets of sweet n’ low.”

Or this: “What do you eat, Laury?”

Most people I knew were confused about their healthy habits. So I started a blog. People could chose to read it or not, and all of my rants and raves were in one spot at their disposal.

Then, I discovered other healthy living blogs.

Wait? There are people out there just like me?

As my blog evolved I found myself just talking about nutrition or “health foods” without going into these long winded posts explain every mundane detail as to why I eat certain things, why it’s important to treat yourself when I enjoyed something rich and chocolaty, or what exercises to do for X, Y, Z, and so forth.

My point in bringing any of that up is because I think I still have readers, I mean I know I have readers {virtual and friends IRL} that don’t really know where  to begin. That said, I need to find a balance between long-winded and assumption.

First off, you don’t have to do everything you see on a healthy living blog. I have my reasons for eating hemp seeds and protein powder, and using coconut oil and I’m happy to share those reasons. I actually really truly wholeheartedly enjoy the things I eat too.


I am pretty sure there are many people that don’t even know why they eat some of the things they do. They do it because they see others doing it or on blogs. Just like everyone suddenly becomes gluten intolerant -because it’s a trend of some sort.

Like I said last time I want this challenge to be about feeling better about yourself and your health as a whole by summer. I want to give you a forum to make you accountable, give you motivation, and teach you some things along the way.

I’ve been a trainer for almost 10 years now and I have seen so much over those years I couldn’t even put it into a post. The fact that I have this space and can reach out to so many of you makes me an even better trainer and coach. Working on this project is going to further that even more.


^healthy does not equal deprived!

With that said, while planning these posts, based on some of your feedback {thank you} from before and some of the things I have gone through with clients I want to ask the following in regard to the healthier habits aspect:

What is your biggest vice?

I already asked about habits you would like to change and things you would like to improve upon {if you didn’t answer feel free to chime in!}.

Why do you “fall off the wagon?” Do you feel healthy eating is too restrictive for you? Do you think certain things are disgusting? Do you feel it’s all or nothing? {<—I find this problem with most new clients}.

What “health foods” are you most confused about? What would you like to learn more about—how to use, shop for, incorporate, etc?

Is your family open to change? If not, if this a challenge for you?

What do you consider “being healthy”? This is a big one I want to discuss. I have a lot to say about this, as my ideas have changed a lot over the years!!! You all may be surprised at what I have to say!

Friends in the fitness/health industry:

What barriers have you seen with your own clients? I may be asking a few friends to help me out with posts/guest posts to get another perspective.

You can always comment anonymously if you don’t’ want any your business made public. Or email me:

I’m really excited about the stuff I have planned for week 1!

I look forward to all of your feedback along the way! I want something that everyone can stick with, that’s not too intimidating, and fun!  The only way I can do that is by really understanding what it is you need from me. So email, comment or tweet –whatever you’re comfortable with, I’m here!

Unrelated Question for Brides:

My future sister in law asked me about some questions she should as wedding venues. Tips on planning, etc. I am putting together list but would love some feedback from brides, or brides to be! I was married almost 4 years ago, but was MOH in 2 weddings recently. Still, some of it’s a blur!

Talk soon!

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  • Reply Lisa

    Ok, so my biggest client barrier is for (mostly, but not always) women. They want to change, but they feel they have to have junk (or foods they don’t want to eat) in the house for (1) their children or (2) their husband who refuses to eat differently.
    I try to avoid getting into the marital issues there, but having someone try to break habits and food addictions while living in the midst of those foods is a big challenge!
    My pre-requisite for clients now is that they are ready to change (unless in the corporate setting, then anything goes)….so the clients I have are “ready” and willing, but they just need to address the barriers of food around them.
    So I think the second most common downfall is the social aspect of food—weekends “ruining” their progress and throwing them off the wagon. Due to a change in routine or going out to eat, or being around friends, etc.

    We come up with strategies, but it’s just an ongoing struggle!

    For me…biggest vice is when I’m about to get my period and I want to eat everything in sight (and don’t care until later), or when I’m drinking alcohol and lose my logical food-decision making skills!

    March 8, 2012 at 7:26 am
    • Reply laury

      YES! I have seen that so many times. In the beginning of me career I barely even had a boyfriend so I couldn’t relate to the “I cook XYZ for my husband, kids and I eat that too etc.” It is SO hard to break habits when that food is all around you!

      Once I had a client who’s WIFE & sister in law called me to hire me for him because he needed to lose weight/ get healthy/ etc. The sis in law did it with us and I would go upstairs after a session and the wife would be preparing a frozen deep dish pizza with sausage, french fries and hamburger helper to their young child. I was really young then too so I didn’t really know how to approach it without coming across as judgmental. But it’s about having a good support system too!!! And knowledge!

      March 8, 2012 at 11:04 pm
  • Reply jen

    biggest vice: no matter how hard i plan for parties, its so hard to turn away from all the food other people eat. some stuff is easier, since i dont eat meat, but i always end up eating something i regret!

    wagon fall of: defintiely i struggle with seeing results. the fact that i dont eat meat, stay away from dairy 95% of the time, and dont eat processed foods, i should not have a weight problem, but here i am, almost 20lbs up ( most since i got married in sept) and i can honestly say that that reason alone, and frustration and constant thought about it, makes me want to just give up sometimes. ive read on 4574 blogs “i started eating whole natural foods and the weight just FELL off!”, and i just dont see that.

    i think the health food im most confused about is coconut oil. i do use it instead of other oils, and throw half a TB in my smoothies, but the things i read about it are confusing. is it good? is it not good?

    mixed reviews on my family. my husband, mr meat and potatoes is actually getting very interested in all of this. hes eating less meat, less processed foods (and of course immediately dropped weight), and the other night went on a verbalrampage about how people can knowingly put junk and poisons in their body by eating HFCS, dyes, and chemicals.

    i consider being healthy feeling good. even with the 20lbs i need to lose, i have tons of energy, have great skin, and am able to push my body during workouts. although, the fact that im only wearing about 20% of whats in my closet outweighs those good feelings. i feel so embarrased by how i look, and totally feel like people look at what i eat and wonder how im anything but thin.

    as for wedding tips, my best advice is to not get caught up in the stupid magazines and websites, the countdowns, and all that. i had a BLAST planning and going to my wedding, and most of my friends who got married could have been on Bridezillas. They got so swept up in all the “I’m so imprtant, its MY big day and i want it to be the best day ever, so Im going to micromanage everyones lives”. I had one month by month countdown planner i used as a loose guide, and i didnt look at trending styles. we just picked stuff we liked. Two specific things we did that was awesome: photobooth (there was never that downtime transition, like between arrival and dinner, and then between dinner and dancing- people went there, got hilarious pictures, and had a BLAST (they still tell us that our wedding was so much fun bc of that). Also, we gave our centerpieces away in a fun way- the dj played sitcom themesongs and each table had to guess what show it was from- the first one to yell the name won the orchid plant. we’re a rowdy crowd so it was pretty funny.

    March 8, 2012 at 8:27 am
    • Reply laury

      Very interesting about mr meat and potatoes! refreshing too!

      thanks for the wedding advice! I will pass it along! And thank you for sharing! I am definitely going to be talking about some of what you mentioned!

      March 8, 2012 at 11:06 pm
  • Reply kaity

    my biggest issue is peanutbutter! ive done the out of sight out of mind but when my family buys it its there and i could go for awhile with out , but then bam! ive tried self control and its worked sometime but then it wont.. i use to be great with it i dont no what changed! so annoying… good project tho hope alot of people join in on it!

    March 8, 2012 at 9:25 am
    • Reply laury

      Oh, the dip in the PB jar ! You don’t know how many clients I have that say they can’t have it in the house! It’s so healthy but it’s also portion control!

      March 8, 2012 at 11:07 pm
  • Reply The Delicate Place

    honestly, i don’t really feel like i have any ‘vices’ so to speak because i’ve had enough time away from junk foods to know how terrible i used to feel. i’m always the type of person who has to make the mistake and then learn from it. i had no idea how much better i could feel cutting out gluten/dairy from my diet. it was a slow start that began in 2009 when i found marks’ daily apple but still with dairy & several dips into the gluten drawer along the way. in 2010, i managed to mostly get rid of dairy and still cheating with gluten from time to time and 2011 went paleo (with goat dairy on rare occasion) to this year finally strict paleo. i know my mother thought i was crazy since her diet is mostly comprised of white foods (bread & cheese as main food groups). i feel better than ever so to each their own right?

    March 8, 2012 at 11:00 am
    • Reply laury

      That’s great, Melissa! Not many people are as determined to figure out things on their own–and even so, not willing to give up foods they enjoy. I know many people who are most likely lactose intolerant, major digestive issues but still won’t lay off the heavy greasy cheese!

      March 8, 2012 at 11:08 pm
  • Reply Maria@healthydiaries

    I can’t wait to read your posts with all the great advice you’ll have!

    My biggest vice is fighting that sweet tooth! Being on a detox I can see how my cravings diminish when I don’t have any sweets, but I know that’s not possible for the long run. I want to learn how to enjoy healthy sweets without triggering my sweet tooth. I can eat really healthy meals and then when 7 pm rolls around, so does my sweet tooth.

    I also find that even though healthy fats like nut butters, avocado and coconut oil are so good for you, it’s sometimes hard to only eat one serving. Since they are calorie dense I feel like I worry I will eat too much of them. I’ve been thinking of thinning out my nut butters with milk so I can eat more of it!

    March 8, 2012 at 11:02 am
    • Reply laury

      Sweet tooth–aghh—isn’t that all of us? Ha! Definitely mine too! But yes there are ways to still enjoy sweets and it not be detrimental to your health!

      March 8, 2012 at 11:09 pm
  • Reply Heidi

    I am at a good place with eating healthy. I still enjoy the food I eat, so I don’t feel deprived. I think when people try to cut out too much of what they love, they fail. My biggest confusion with healthy foods is which protein powders are the best. I don’t eat meat or dairy, and I avoid whey protein. I like Vega and Sun Warrior, but there are so many others to choose from! I consider being healthy eating foods that nourish and fuel your body and exercising your body to keep it strong.

    I am looking forward to your 100 days till summer!

    March 8, 2012 at 11:03 am
    • Reply laury

      Exactly. That;s what I tell all of my clients! And at times they don’t listen and end up where they were a few months ago!

      March 8, 2012 at 11:10 pm
  • Reply Beth

    I fall off the bandwagon because I don’t always trust my body. I would love to eat intuitively and not feel guilty about it. (I eat a vegetarian diet with a tons of veggies, whole grains, no added sugar, seafood, greek yogurt, eggs etc.) Healthy fats (nut butter, avocados, almonds etc) are my weakness. I know that they are good for my body but there’s still this internal battle of don’t eat a lot of fat because you’ll gain fat mentality. I’ve been experimenting lately, cutting back a little on working out (aka listening to my body), adding some more healthy fats to my diet and I gained 4-5lbs. However my measurements have stayed the same. Its a mental battle that’s not easy. I actually think my body needs a higher fat diet in order to stay satiated/run efficiently but I’m just too scared too sometimes.

    March 8, 2012 at 12:38 pm
    • Reply laury

      It sounds like you eat a very clean, healthy diet! Good for you!

      Very interesting how you say you don’t trust your body and about the healthy fats! My body definitely thrives on a higher fat diet–but yes, you still need to be mindful of portions with any food, “healthy” or not.

      And yes, listening to your body is the way to go!

      March 8, 2012 at 11:11 pm
  • Reply Amy Williams

    I have HUGE issues with sticking to something longer than a few weeks. I like the initial weight loss, feeling great and doing well. Exercise is easy for me, I love to run and I attend a boot camp class 3 days a week as well. But food is my vice….junk food….animal crackers, peanut butter, CANDY, you name it….I can leave it for awhile and then I find myself craving and then digging right in. And having no will power or self control. UGH! It is a horrible cycle!!!

    March 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm
    • Reply laury

      Aghh the sugar cycle! We will definitely touch on this and hopefully give you some tips that will help!

      March 8, 2012 at 11:12 pm
  • Reply Julie (A Case of the Runs)

    My biggest vice is sweets… for sure… carby sweets like muffins. Believe it or not, I gave up most of these for a month (pretty much; I allowed a couple of days where I could have them) and felt on edge pretty much every single day!

    No real tips on wedding planning… I feel like the most apathetic bride ever. We did get a venue back in January, solely based on the menu and partly on location. Luckily, the price was right.

    March 8, 2012 at 2:08 pm
    • Reply laury


      Interesting about feeling on edge giving up sweets!
      IMO the band, the food and the alcohol are all that your guest remember. For the bride I think the dress and making sure you have a good photographer to document are key! Thanks!

      March 8, 2012 at 11:14 pm
  • Reply Katharina

    That is so cool that youre taking on this project! I think there’s so much information out there that we can easily inform ourselves. Personally, I think a lot about intentions–why we do the things we do… and the same for food. Some don’t know why and just go on without reflecting. Anyway, lol, I’m looking forward to what you are going to share.

    Biggest vice? Hmm… not too long ago it was nuts, trail mixes, and nut butters. I was stressing out a lot and then I felt like I woke up not being able to wear my pants, acne, and still feeling stressed 🙁 I’ve taken an extended trip at my parents’ home in Florida and I already feel better… more balanced and less of a looming darkness over my shoulder 🙂


    March 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm
    • Reply laury

      So glad you are feeling better, sweetie!!! Enjoy the time with your family!

      March 8, 2012 at 11:14 pm
  • Reply jenny

    One of my biggest problems with eating healthy food was not knowing what to do with it or how to cook the food to my taste, or how to combine textures, etc to satisfy my cravings. I would eat something healthy and then snack on something junky because I wasn’t satisfied. Or turn to comfort foods even though I had a fridge full of healthy food…because I would look at it and have no idea what to do with it. I’m slowly learning how to put healthy combinations together to where they are satisfying. I eat A LOT healthier than I used to and I like what I eat…it just takes time to learn how to cook it or combine it to make a wholesome, favorable meal. Also it took me a while to decipher my cravings and gain some control over them. Healthy eating is a long process and you can’t get there overnight, I think that is where many people mess up and then give up. Also, knowledge is a wonderful thing. The more I learn about nutrition, the more experimenting I do with healthy cooking the more nutritious I eat.
    My pitfall: parties

    March 8, 2012 at 8:20 pm
    • Reply laury

      Interesting! So many times clients come to me and say “I know what I need to do, it’s just a matter of DOING it.”

      Health is an ongoing process. You absolutely can not make major changes overnight. Baby steps!

      I love hearing the steps you took to get there!

      as far as parties go, I figure unless you are LiLo or Paris and go to parties every night, having treats will not kill you. Unless you do what someone recently told me an old friend did at a reunion party–take an entire bowl of hummus [like the one for the guests] and the tray of brownies and go out and eat them alone on the deck 😉

      March 8, 2012 at 11:18 pm
  • Reply Shanna like Banana

    Being healthy for me is an all encompassing lifestyle and is not necessarily all that food focused. It has a lot to do with balance as well as doing those things that make me feel mentally content. There are times that I indulge or take a hiatus from working out if it means more family time and a long scrumptious dinner and/or dessert.

    All fabulous discussion topics!

    March 8, 2012 at 9:35 pm
    • Reply laury

      Exactly! Well said! It’s about balance!

      March 8, 2012 at 11:18 pm
  • Reply Katie

    Being healthy to me means finding a balance with everything in life. Whether it be what you eat and fitness, shopping, work, or fun… too much of something isn’t always a good thing. I actually found I’m MUCH healthier when I tell myself I can eat whatever I want. You know why? Because if I know I can eat those french fries anytime I want, I don’t feel like I HAVE to have them right that second. I can pass them up knowing that if I wanted them tomorrow, I can, and half the time the craving goes away and I won’t even want fries for another month. By not overdoing something, or going to extremes, I think is when (myself at least) is most successful. 🙂

    On a random note: you have a juicer, right? What kind do you have? My apologies if you mentioned it before and I just missed it. 🙂

    March 8, 2012 at 10:27 pm
    • Reply laury

      Exactly, Katie!

      I DID have a juicer {RIP} 🙁

      It was the Jack Lalane power juicer, the cheaper one. It died. I’ve heard great things about the higher end one, it’s not too expensive. Next time we have some extra income I want to get that one!

      March 8, 2012 at 11:20 pm
  • Reply Pure2raw twins

    haha loved how you mentioned that people start eating things just because they someone (a blogger) doing it. although it is sad to think there are people who do rely do much on others on what to eat and do instead of listening to their own bodies and needs. but guess you do have to start someone and it is good to have role models. to get inspired. and do love when people try new things and open to new ideas. anyways sorry to get off topic, but i guess the hardest thing i find with healthy eating is feeling guilty for enjoying something that you love but get so much hell from others that it is bad. for instance, coffee. lori and i both love it. it is our one little thing we enjoy daily because it makes us happy. but we get hell for having it…how could we have something acidic, etc. then we start feeling guilty. which should not be the case. i understand people have their own opinions and all, but sometimes it is hard not to take what everyone says to heart. and just keep doing what makes me happy.

    March 8, 2012 at 10:43 pm
    • Reply laury

      I meant more in a sense of “I’m going gluten-free” or eating “raw vegan”–not that they are nec bad things, but the sole reason is because someone they want to look like is doing it. They just eat ways because someone else did and have no idea why. not that you need to know every fact about every thing you eat! I actually know people who said they wanted to go raw but knew NOTHING about the diet, or why, and had really no ethical reason. Someone thin and pretty was talking about it so they wanted to do it!

      I definitely have eaten things I saw for the first time on blogs–and I hope to inspire people to try new things they see here too! I know I have seen some new things on Pure2Raw I would have never thought to try 😉

      And yes–you should do what makes you happy. If coffee is the worst thing you do, then, well, I don’t even know. How many people smoke, drink every day, eat fast food, etc. I wouldn’t let it bother me if I were you!!!! 🙂

      March 8, 2012 at 11:26 pm
  • Reply Morgan

    Such a good post Laury! Its funny because I havae been feeling similar to you about kind of taking it back a notch here and there on SOME posts and teaching or showing something basic and not overwhelming for the newbies out there reading my blog. I forget that sometimes peopel are new to making healthy changes, and overwhelmed by all the new ingredients they have never heard of, and they may go to a recipe that has handmade crust, fresh nut cheese or sauce, marinated tempeh, freesh dressing, all in one recipe! I get so many emails about “I got a block of tempeh, now what the heck do I do with it?” Thats why I decided to start the back to basics series that I will occasionally post on just talking about or teaching something very simple and that is really good to know, and I need to stop assuming that every single person is an expert on these ingredients. :/ And I totally agree with you, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. That is so true. So I am totally with you on sometimes bringing simplicity to the table/blog for those that really need it and benefit from it!

    Ok, so on to my vice…I would have to say that its the seasoned fries from Native Foods OR the sweet potato fries from Veggie Grill. I think I just love fries. LOL About HALF the time I order the fresh raw salad as a side at Natives (which is awesome, dark greens, raw beets, carrots, tons of good stuff and balsamic) and the other half and I get nice side of fries all for ME! ha ha I try not to order them everytime, just like , half the time. LOL

    Have a great weekend Gorgeous woman!

    March 9, 2012 at 6:51 pm
  • Reply thehealthyapron

    Biggest vice: sugar. Especially now that I’m pregnant.

    It’s hard to answer your “fall off the wagon” question bc things have changed so dramatically now that I’m pregnant. One week it could be that XYZ doesn’t sound appealing or the next I feel like I could eat an elephant (in small meals 6 times a day ha). I honestly feel like I”m eating healthy compared to 95% of the population but I’m suddenly not a few bites kind of gal, I’m more like an I’ll eat the whole thing and more kind of gal. Oh dear.

    Barriers: Not ready for TRUE change. I actually wrote about it in the post that is currently up. It’s all about being THIN to my clients and not about actually being healthy. The “health” always comes second (or not at all). I think it’s really important with this challenge to KEEP explaining that it’s about the HEALTH and not the THIN that makes you eat, exercise, etc the way that you do!

    Can’t wait for this challenge! 🙂

    March 10, 2012 at 9:21 am
  • Reply Tiffany @ Snack Snark Bark

    My vice is salty snacks–like so much that I can’t keep tortilla chips in the house because pair that up with some salsa and I will kill the whole bag in an evening. But when I’m having a craving I give in b/c if I dont I get out of control and an order of loaded nachos and four margaritas, I’m down for the count!

    March 13, 2012 at 12:21 am
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