edoced_46esabedoced_46esab My Story | Kardenas Kitchen

I promise to show you how to eat a vegetarian fat loss diet that is simple, healthy, cost-conscious, environmentally-friendly, and easy.


My name is Kardena Pauza, and I’m a personal trainer and certified nutrition expert. I’ve also been married to my wonderful husband Mark Pauza for 3 years, and I’ll tell you a funny story about how I met him in a minute.

Like most of my personal training clients (and probably just like you!), I was brought up on the Kardena and Mark PauzaS.A.D. diet (as I like to call it). That stands for Standard American Diet.

In fact, I probably ate one of the unhealthiest diets in the world, even though I lived in the USA where I had every healthy food available to me!

I grew up on pizza, burgers, burritos, ice cream, soda, and my “world famous” kool-aid (that I made with extra sugar). As you can imagine, this diet caused me to gain weight, break out in acne, and feel completely miserable and lazy all the time.

However, something happened in my teenage years that helped me start connecting food with how I felt. There were a few embarrassing moments when I got violently sick after eating factory farmed meat and at age 18 I stopped eating beef and drinking milk. But it would still be a few years later until I stopped eating chicken, turkey and fish as well.

One day on another long car ride to my grandmother’s house, I decided to skip the gas station road-trip munchies that I usually bought and I ate apples and drank water instead. When we arrived, I felt amazing, unlike in the past when the fast food left me feeling nauseous and fatigued for hours.

By paying attention to my body, I was slowly figuring out that the S.A.D. diet was the worst thing I could feed my body. And as I began my career in health and fitness I continued to study nutrition every chance I had.

Finally, in 2003 I completely changed my life by adopting a meat-free diet. And since then, I’ve been living the vegetarian lifestyle and loving it.

Vegetarian Meal Plans

vegetarian meal plans

At first I made many common vegetarian eating mistakes, but with the help of a pioneer in the world of raw food and vegan eating, I’ve developed a simple, high-energy diet meal plan that has helped me build the body of my dreams.

And I’m here to show you how to do it as well. Once you get started with a meat-free diet (and even dairy-free and egg-free), you’ll be amazed at how much mental and physical energy you can have all day long.

You’ll no longer feel sluggish or tired after eating big heavy meals. You won’t fall asleep at your desk. You won’t be a zombie at work or at home when your kids want to play. And best of all, the body fat will just melt right off of you thanks to your new diet.

When I first started eating my vegan diet I quickly realized I had so much energy that I felt like a “rock star”! I know that sounds cliché, but I was able to get everything done on my “to do” list and I no longer was making excuses or procrastinating.

People could see that I was much more vibrant and radiant but they were shocked when I told them about my diet. As you can imagine, people have a lot of preconceived notions about a vegetarian diet and think that it will just make them weak, tired, pale, and sickly looking. But that is NOT the case if you eat the right foods.

One day at the gym, I met a charming young man named Mark Pauza. Like most busy young men, Mark was working long hours at his software job and eating the factory-farmed, processed foods typical of the S.A.D. diet. As a result, he was tired and overweight. He had lost his vitality and energy.

So I shared with him my secrets to eating a vegan diet. And within just a few short weeks, Mark had lost over 37 pounds and the side effects that go along with being overweight – including excessive sweating and body odor.

Mark - Before

Mark - Before

Mark - After

Mark - After

Today, Mark and I live the vegetarian lifestyle to the fullest. We eat only raw, living foods and have more energy than people half our age. And I want to share this lifestyle with you.

But don’t worry if this sounds extreme or complex, because it’s not. It’s actually quite simple to adopt a meat-free diet. And if you don’t want to drop dairy or eggs, we’ll show you how to eat those foods in a healthy way as well.

However, once you try going completely animal-free, I know you’ll be hooked on the new vitality and energy in your life.

I look forward to helping you, and please let me know if you have any questions!Kardena Pauza Vegetarian Vegan Raw Foods

See you in the kitchen,

Kardena Pauza
Easy Vegetarian Weight Loss Meal Plans

31 Comments Leave a Comment

Comment by Anna
2009-07-15 03:27:20

I like your site, and I like your philosophy. Great to see that you are on the training scene with this kind of nutrition – it was about time!

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2009-08-06 02:19:43

Thanks Anna, I will be posting more info on the site on a regular basis so stay tuned!

Comment by carolam
2009-07-16 15:57:36

i too am a certified fitness/nutriton counselor ..i have been teaching clients for over 30 years now and how refreshing it is to see someone else who cares and thinks the same…. thank you carolan

Comment by admin
2009-07-16 23:45:17

Thank you Carolan for spreading the word of health also!

Comment by Rainer Oliveira
2009-07-22 01:53:22

Hi,Kardena !
It´s realy refreshing for me to hear about your website. Mostly everywhere you just hear about meat as a essentiel food in a diet. Thank you that you proof the opposite and that a vegan/vegetarian diet works very well, too.


Comment by Anna
2009-07-23 14:26:00

Absolutely awesome to hear you eat raw and living foods and that your meals plans follow this lifestyle. This is exactly what I need some meal plans to follow.

thanks, Anna

Comment by Jennifer
2009-08-29 19:31:49

I just watched your video on traveling and eating healthy! Thank you for taking the time to put out your ideas and helpful information! I would have never thought to do that since airports have gotten so strict! Also, I love, love, love your eating plan! I can’t express enough how much I appreciate that you put this together!

Best Regards,


Comment by Kardena Pauza
2009-08-30 21:43:47

Thanks Jennifer! Yeah, it’s good to know what you can and can’t bring on the plane. You don’t want to upset the security people. I accidentally had a kitchen cutting knife in my cooler pocket. oops! they did take that:) The plan is really to make your life simple and it’s all spelled out for you. Thanks for the great feedback. Wishing you wellness, Kardena

Comment by Rebecca
2009-09-07 22:59:24

Wow, Kadena great information. I am proud of you and your husband is amazing! Rebecca

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-03-03 13:08:03

Thanks Rebecca,
We are just proof of what’s possible for other people.

Comment by Joe
2010-01-04 09:49:55

Wonderful web site. I am working to reduce my sodium intake. The only way seems to be eliminating processed foods and making sound choices. Great ideas on your site. I’m using your “mung bean” sprouting ideas.

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-01-11 01:51:24

Hello Joe,
I just found out the biggest craze in India right now is sprouted mung beans because they are so nutritious for you, talk about high energy, full of life food! I appreciate the feed back! Kar

Comment by ember
2010-02-20 20:48:29

Hi there, Loved the aldmond milk recipe. I used to make “nut cream”but never thought of making milk, so thanks!Got Referred to your site by andrea Allbright

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-03-03 13:16:12

Excellent! Glad you liked it. IT’s a great way to have milk or nuts in a much lighter and low calorie way than nut butters. It’s easy to over eat on nut butters. I know, I love nut butters. Andrea Albright is awesome!

Comment by Perry
2010-02-26 15:27:36

Great site and great tips. I’ve been a total vegetarian all my life and I recommend your site to everyone. Maybe you should consider your own TV segment on cable TV…like a “healthy food minute” on CNN or Oprah or others.

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-03-03 13:17:02

That’s a great idea! That may be in my future! Keep your eyes peeled for me out there!

Comment by Fm
2010-03-22 08:58:43

I’ve been looking for info for my vegan friend. I found that its quite hard finding bodybuilding type information for a pure vegan. Glad to have found your blog.

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-04-18 21:39:03

Pass it on. It will help them definitely.

Comment by G
2010-05-07 10:29:27


Big fan of the site and Easy Veggie Meal Plans.

I’m looking to get into the Nutrition field and was wondering if you could give me some info. on how to get started; any info. is greatly appreciated.


Comment by Rebecca
2010-06-01 20:47:07

Hi Kardina

I bought your Vegetarian Weight loss book last year which I think is great, but now I am changing to a vegan diet but I wanted to know how do you go about training to get that fitness model body that is lean, low body fat like you are doing for your competition?

I mean what do you eat more or less of, how much protein drinks per day, when to have the protein drinks.
What is your daily nutrition plan for preparing for a comp & how long for?

I would really like your advise as I am not bale to find much on women vegan cutting nutrition plans. Also, as part of the buying of your book I think we were able to get a consultation with you, is that possible.

Thank you so much for reading and I can’t wait to hear from you

Best Wishes
Rebecca x

P.S. Good luck with your competition

Comment by Liz
2010-06-23 21:00:25

Hi Kardena,
How adaptable are your vegie eating plans to a gluten free diet? None of your video blogs seem to call for flour at all, but I just needed to check, as I can’t have wheat, barley, rye, oatmeal.

Comment by Jerrin Bennett
2010-08-01 10:33:12


I have come across your site and I feel very inspired to get at least 2 veg meals in for my family per week. Unfortunately, my wife has a Peanut allergy and we try to keep them out of the house. Is there a way to eat more raw foods without the nuts and without getting protein deficient? Any help would be appreciated!

Thank you in advance.


Comment by rene
2010-09-07 18:24:34

Great tips… and pasta recipe… on your bio a lil typo

We eat only raw, living foods and have more energy than people have our age.

I think you meant half our age right…

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-10-01 01:23:07

Too funny, Thanks! You got my back.

Comment by Heidi
2011-01-23 03:45:29

What about egg whites? Is it unethical to eat?

Comment by Heidi
2011-01-23 03:49:25

What about egg whites – is it unethical/unhealthy to eat (protein)?

Comment by Mark
2011-04-20 13:14:55

I am enjoying your website very much. I was raised a strict vegetarian and enjoyed wonderful health most of my life. Over the past few years in a management desk job I have slipped away from my healthy eating and exercise habits. I am on my way back, and your site is really inspirational. Thank you.

Comment by Kardena
2011-04-21 22:17:30

Look for a college or institution in your area that has nutrition programs.

Comment by Kardena
2011-04-21 22:19:10

Thanks Mark,

You are either investing in your health or lining doctors pockets. Get your health back first and foremost. Preparation is key if you have a busy lifestyle.

Comment by Kardena
2011-04-21 22:27:00

Hello Heidi,

Eggs can be a good source of nutrients. Try and find a local source that raises animals humanely, open air, organic. They are easier to digest than meat.

Comment by Kardena
2011-04-21 22:44:08

Hi Rebecca,
It is a little different when I’m getting ready for a competition. When I get closer to my competition I cut more calories. I start with approx. 1380 calories in a ratio of 40% protein, 45% carbs, & 15% fat. Then I cut a little more a couple weeks out along with doing cardio almost everyday and weight training.
I have a protein shake for breakfast (25 gr. protein powder, 1 cup strawberries,1 Tbl almond or peanut butter. For snack I have salad, 1/2 oz. almonds, 1/2 cup berries, and 1/2 Tbl olive oil, lemon & salt on salad. Lunch I have 7 oz beans and veggies, 1 oz almonds. Snack I have another salad with 1/2 Tbl olive oil and 1/2 cup berries. For dinner I have 1/2 cup of beans, 1 cup veggies and salad with lemon, seasoning and salt. Before bed another shake- 25 grams of protein.

That’s my competition meal plan! simple and effective!

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