edoced_46esabedoced_46esab Kardenas Kitchen - Part 2

Snacking: Good vs. Bad

Posted by Kardena

I gathered up some munchies and beverages from the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim.  I found good examples of healthful and not so healthful products.

Unhealthy “Health” Snacks

A really popular snack lately are different varieties of puffy bits in a bag.  They are advertised as a healthy replacement to chips or popcorn, but they are loaded with refined carbohydrates and little protein, and should be thrown to the curb! However, I did find a similar puffy product, Nature’s Options by Olympian Labs, that is a healthier choice,  because they made a conscious effort to make it low glycemic and  high in protein by adding pea protein as a main ingredient. I haven’t seen it on the market yet, but keep on the lookout for it.   FYI, I do not recommend this as a regular part of your diet, but as an occasional treat.

Unbelievably popular products are bars, and clients often ask me which ones I recommend. I would recommend staying away from bendable, gooey, chewy bars because the first ingredient listed in them is typically sugar or syrup.  Actually, I’ve found four to seven different kinds of sugars listed in one bar, such as cane sugar, brown sugar, honey and brown rice syrup. These are a definite indication that a food is not healthful!  Also, advertising on the packaging use key words like “nourishing” and “high in vitamins A and C”  — but beware, because that does not always mean that a food is healthy, so be sure to look at the list of ingredients on the back of the package, rather than the advertisement on the front.

Refined Sugar & Healthy Sugar

Scientists report that eating too much refined sugar will not only make you gain weight, but it also damages the collagen in your skin causing wrinkles and sagging prematurely. Collagen is essential in maintaining the skin elasticity. The scientists recommend dates, stevia, xylitol, and agave.  Beauty truly does come from within.

Healthy Snacks

Larabar is better than many kinds of bars on the market because it’s made of all natural whole foods, but eat them sparingly because it does contain alot of dates and nuts.  Also, watch out for bars with chocolate and refined sugar.  I recommend bars from a company called GoRaw (see earlier videos for an interview with the owner). The bars are low in calories and high in omega fatty acids,which most people are deficient in.  Some ingredients in the GoRaw bars include sprouted seeds, dates, pumpkin seeds, bananas, sesame seeds, spirulina, sometimes a touch of agave and easily digested protein sources. GoRaw also makes healthy bite size snacks, which include chocolate and lemon-flavored cookies,  with dates instead of refined sugars. Their products are made with all living ingredients and are high in enzymes and easy to digest.  Rawnola bars are also a favorite of mine, containing only about 5-7 wholesome ingredients as opposed to up to 25 ingredients in other processed snack foods.


I saw so many varieties of beverages, such as coconut water, teas, waters that are alkalizing, high in oxygen and electrolytes and I would like to talk a little bit more about them.   I have been drinking coconut juice for over 8 years and enjoy bringing them home fresh, cracking them open and drinking directly from the coconut. Coconut juice is becoming extremely popular by professional athletes and is now being substituted for other sports drinks that are high in sugar.

Coconut juice is high in electrolytes such as magnesium, potassium and sodium, helping with hydration and feeding your red blood cells; it further acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. Coconut water drinks are one thing I recommend to take with you to the gym for re-hydration after a workout. One coconut beverage I saw at the expo contained a little cranberry juice and stevia for extra flavor, but still maintains low sugar.

Be Aware – I also saw  flavored teas that taste oh-so-good, but with 34 grams of added sugar per bottle, I do not recommend drinking them.  With so many bottled tea companies out there, beware of added sugar and make it a habit always to check labels.

Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds are from South America are the last product on the list for today. Chia stands for strength in the Mayan language, many Aztec and Mayan warriors would eat chia seeds for endurance. The easily digested seeds are high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, help to balance blood sugar and cut cravings for food! They can be added to smoothies and salads. They are entirely organic, which is good for your body and for the planet.

Have you seen any new items on the market that you’d like to share?"Easy Veggie Meal Plans"

Kardena Pauza

Author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans– 90 day vegetarian weight loss plan
Certified Personal Trainer- Edge Personal Training

If you would like to lose weight in a healthy vegetarian manner, go to easyveggiemealplans.com and pick up my easy 90 day low calorie vegetarian meal plan.


Natural Products Expo & Fabio

Posted by Kardena

Here’s Part 2 of my tour of the Largest Natural Products in the world.

Cool Products and Cool People, (Hint,”I can’t believe it’s not butter”)

Check out the video to see the actual interviews.

Let’s start with my favorite muffin company. For the record, in the past I never ate muffins before I found these. Usually muffins are too high in carbs and sugar.

Zen Bakery! They have a 6 pack of little muffins called fiber cakes. Zen Bakery makes other muffins and cookies but they don’t fit my standard and criteria so don’t touch’em. These “fiber cake” muffins have only 80 calories, 13 grams of fiber. Wholly moly that’s a lot! And  12 grams of insoluble fiber provide for a “sweeping out” of the digestive system, keeping things nice and clean.One muffin contains only 2 grams of sugar and no refined sugar, just fruit juice sweetened!
I like them for a snack or for breakfast warmed with peanut or almond butter, a dash of cinnamon & melted coconut oil.

Zukay Salad Dressing
What’s so cutting edge about this company is they use raw, natural, organic ingredients, fermented with friendly bacteria to make this product a probiotic rich. No oil is added, so buyers are free to mix in olive oil, flax seed oil or other favorites. I think the dressings are a little light so you could add a little more salt, at least for my taste. Good news is there’s no processed sugar added. I would definitely recommend this Salad dressing. Or if you don’t have it in your area this can give you ideas of how to make your own dressing at home by using vegetables, herbs & fruits!

Go Raw Snacks
The owner of Go Raw, Robert created these really great tasting snacks from 100% organic sprouted seeds, whole ingredients, and no fillers. Now he really knows how to make snacks taste exceptional. What’s so special about 100% sprouted seeds? Sprouts are the most enzyme-rich stage of the plant’s life. That means there is more life force (energy) in the food that is transfers to you. The packaged snacks are still so much alive that they will actually sprout if water is added. That’s amazing! Check out the video to see this!

Vapur is a water bottle designed to be used anywhere and stored conveniently. It can easily be carried in a purse or a child’s backpack. The company is owned by an athlete who is aware of the problem of dehydration, which can cause people to overheat while exercising and also encourages people to drink more water since lots of people mistake thirst for hunger and over eat. The product has no harmful chemicals to leach into the drinking water and can be washed and reused. It is dishwasher-safe and can be frozen overnight so that cold water will be available for a morning walk or trip to the gym. It is available from Eddie Bauer, Macy’s and sporting goods stores around the country. I like using my glass bottle but sometimes I drop them and make a big mess. This is a great convenient on the go option.

Fabio has a new product out right now. It’s a pure protein supplement that includes amino acids derived from whey. No heat is used in it’s processing, so the whey protein is not denatured and the product remains biologically active. It is scientifically proven to help the muscles to burn fat naturally. If you are vegetarian, this may be an option for you.  I don’t personally use whey but this is supposed to be a great quality from Europe so there are no concerns about rBGH (growth hormones). I use Life’s Basics which is a combination of chia seeds, pea protein, hemp, and rice protein. A great combination to cover all the essential amino acids. I can’t believe it’s not butter!!! Funny but that’s what I think of when I met Fabio. Fabio is very knowledgeable and still looks great!

Look for the next videos in the Natural Products Expo series… Look out for a giveaway coming up also."Easy Veggie Meal Plans"

Kardena Pauza
Author, Easy Veggie Meal Plans 90 Day Vegetarian Weight Loss Ebook


I had the best time at the largest Natural Products Expo in the US. Zillions of products and hundreds of people, lots of sampling going on, I was in heaven! I should have not eaten two days before to save myself.

Just kidding, nobody should do that…

I even rubbed shoulders with celebrities like Jillian Michaels, Fabio & Tv host- Ajay Rochester (super amazing).

I interviewed the Italian Heart throb so look for that video in an upcoming article. Honestly, I didn’t know I was a fan until I had the chance to meet him. He looks great, he’s still in great shape & was very nice!

My tour of the Natural Products Expo will be broken up in to segments since there was a lot to cover and interviews to be done about products I think are helpful to your health & weight loss program & some that are just interesting & entertaining so check out the following posts also.

Lara Bar

In the beginning of my tour we headed to Lara Bar. It’s an all raw bar and their original bars are made from dates, nuts and fruit. Their newer additions to the line have included chocolate & other flavors that could include processed sugars, so watch out. I would stick with the original bars as a quick after workout snack for fast energy.

Yerba Mate

I personally don’t like the flavor of coffee anyway but Yerba Mate is touted as a substitute for coffee. You coffee drinkers will probably tell me, “It doesn’t taste anything like coffee.”  That’s true because it’s not coffee, your taste buds have to get used to the new flavor. Give your body a chance to like it. In the video she talks about all the benefits. Here’s a couple points- It is a stimulus plant but a lower amount of caffeine, it contains potassium, manganese, magnesium, I recommend drinking the non-toasted version and steep in warm water not boiling water to get the maximum benefit of the cholesterol lowering benefits as well as the antioxidant benefits.

Coconut Water

Coconut water is a great beverage to bring to the gym. Coconut water is one of the best drink replacements for electrolytes like potassium & magnesium that’s lost through working out. Some coconut waters are now adding fruit juices to their coconut waters, BE CAREFUL! Once they add the fruit juice, you are increasing your “liquid sugar” intake and this will sabotage a weight loss program. So go with the original coconut water, no added fruit juice or if you have them available to you, but the fresh coconuts!

Earthlings Organics

EO is a cool raw company make snacks like rawnola matcha (green tea) bars, pumpkin seed bars, and coconut bars. The higher-protein snacks are great for taking to the gym, light on your stomach and easier to digest giving you energy pretty quickly. This is a cute, up and coming company with a great foundational philosophy, great tasting, healthy bars, and contains all raw vegan ingredients. Kardena approved!

Now this next product is out side the box but I think it’s pertinent. What do you think?


Millions of people chew gum, I know I do once in a while, especially if I’ve had one of my garlic surprise dishes or salads and I’m meeting someone right afterwards! I don’t want to scare them away.

A little disclaimer about gum- it won’t whiten your teeth like the commercials say and it actually makes ME hungry because the chewing action triggers the release of HCL in my stomach because my body thinks I’m eating food that needs to be digested. The body’s so smart!

You Will Be Shocked!

Now most commercial gums are terrifyingly bad for you. Here’s a list of their main ingredients-

-Synthetic rubber & polymers just like what rubber tires & panty hose are made from. What ?!

-Aspartame/Saccharin (carcinogen)

-artificial colors (carcinogen)

-preservatives (embalming material)

– HFC’s (high fructose corn syrup)

There’s a solution!

Awwww..Chicza Gum is made of all natural, 100 per cent organic and biodegradable ingredients from  sapodilla tree sap without any petrochemicals used to make tires. We like that!

Host of Australia’s Biggest Loser

I had the pleasure of meeting Ajay Rochester, former host of Australia’s Biggest Loser .  Ajay once weighed over 300 pounds and lost 170 of them. What a huge accomplishment & inspiration. I love her energy and her “never give up” attitude. She has also created a recipe/weight loss book that she will be sharing recipes from in a future article so look for it!

After meeting the bubbly Ajay, we cruised the aisles & found a range of products from vegan cheeses, organic wines, chocolates of all kinds. They are getting bold with chocolates these days, chilli chocolate!? My favorite is still chocolate and peanut butter. I ate my way through the vegan meats, veg samosas, coconut bliss ice cream,  raw treats, coconut drinks, dips of all flavors, colors, & consistencies.

All types of nut and seed butters like sunbutter made from sunflower seeds which is great for people with allergies to nuts & the availability of the protein and lower fat content.

Now, some of the products I mentioned above may not be found in your local grocery store or health food store. However, my tour will at least give you new ideas and understanding of healthy options and you can seek out a similar product if this exact one is not available in your area.

I have several more captivating interviews in upcoming articles.

What do you think so far?

Wishing You Wellness,

Kardena Pauza

Fitness Trainer/Owner

Author- Easy Veggie Meal Plan


There is no reason why vegetarians cannot eat out in restaurants. Some restaurants now serve vegetarian food or are strictly vegetarian, and provide a relaxing haven where vegetarians can order anything on the menu.

Even that great American symbol of beef and cholesterol, McDonald’s, has Caesar salad, side salad, and its snack size fruit and walnut salad, as well as apple dippers with low calorie caramel dip. Ok, I’m not saying I condone eating at McDonalds because you still have to watch out for the salad dressing etc… But in a pinch you have at least something to eat! Remember, it’s key that you eat small meals throughout the day and not skip meals so have a little something to keep your metabolism going.

Check out the side dishes at nice restaurants-

A little secret I have for eating out at nice restaurants is looking at the side dishes.  I have had some amazing sauteed brocolini in sweet & spicy sauce, sautéed Spinach with garlic, oh so good! They add some wonderful flavors and spices to their veggie options.

Even chain restaurants like Outback Steakhouse offer side dishes of baked potatoes (eat sparingly), fresh seasonal veggies, sweet potatoes, wedge salads, and pecan chopped salads. Put some of those sides together and you have a good vegetarian meal.

Just ask

Most restaurants that do not list a vegetarian dinner will make a special vegetable plate if a customer asks for it. Think outside the box and ask for help being creative. They are usually more than happy to help.

Between the two extremes of vegan and carnivore lie most restaurants, which offer at least some veggie plates such as veggie pizza and lots of varieties of salads. So fear not, vegetarian, to eat out in restaurants. There’s enough out there that you will surely find something healthful to fill you.

In my area, we have The Loving Hut in the city of Orange. It’s a small, unpretentious restaurant with veggie burgers and other vegetarian Asian inspired faire that’s really delicious! They also have restaurants across the USA and internationally! Native Foods Café, with such tempting menu items as Poncho’s Quesavilla, has three Orange County locations. Au Lac in Fountain Valley serves such yummy Chinese and Vietnamese veggie dishes such as veggie spring rolls with peanut sauce, sates, pho, sweet and sour soup and a complete raw menu. The Veggie Grill and The Wheel of Life in Irvine and 118 Degrees Restaurant in Costa Mesa also specialize in vegetarian foods.  Of course, those restaurants are in the minority, but there is no restaurant that does not serve at least some fruits and vegetables.

Just do some research in your area and I bet you will be pleasantly surprised!

These websites may help you find the locations of vegetarian restaurants in your area.




Bon Appetite Veggie style!

Kardena Pauza

Author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans


Easy Veggie Meal Plan Thumbnail

Some people have asked me about my 90-day Easy Veggie Meal Plan Ebook, so in case you have questions about it, here you go!

I made a vegetarian weight loss meal plan because so many people I know kept asking me how to lose weight while being vegetarian. So I looked online to see what was available to you wonderful people around the world and there was literally no meal plans available! I was really surprised!  And what I did find out there was not too helpful like a 7-day meal plan with really boring foods and no calorie accountability.  Even the vegetarian recipe books in the bookstores might have some great recipes but they do not portion out the calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat that your body needs. In the vegetarian recipe books, it just says: makes 4-7 servings. Not Helpful…

This was when I decided to dedicate all my time and resources in to creating a 90-DAY done for you vegetarian meal plan! Read the rest of Tell Us a Little about Easy Veggie Meal Plan


This was a sad weekend for America. Jack LaLanne, a health n’ fitness pioneer, legend & family friend has passed away at the age of 96. He was a powerhouse of inspiration, innovation, enthusiasm, passion & knowledge about living a healthy life. He led by example his entire life, what a huge commitment he had to himself and everyone else.

Uncle Justus Motter, My Brother Harry, Jack LaLanne, Kardena Pauza (Motter)

I had the privilege of meeting Jack LaLanne several years back, what an honor. My father and uncles helped establish Muscle Beach with Jack back in the 1940’s. My father & uncle shunned the fast food industry and junk food and opted for the nutritious food to fuel their Vaudeville shows and hand balancing acts to entertain the people of that exciting time.

I could relate to Jacks story of growing up sick, pimply faced, weak and wanting to hide from people. Maybe that’s why I am also such an advocate for living a healthy and vibrant life. I know what it’s like on the other side and it’s a horrible place to be. Once I started exercising and changed my diet, my appearance dramatically change, I had tons more energy, my acne cleared up, my thoughts were more positive.  I got so excited about life, I wanted to share my new discovery with the world, just like Jack.

This man had such a huge vision for humanity that his passion helped invent gym equipment, the introduction of gyms, introducing women to exercise, and age defying acts that to-this-day no one has attempted.

My Father Eddie Motter and Uncle Jus- Vaudeville shows

He was such a beacon of light for so many people, inspiring millions. With his passing I look to carry on the legacy and inspire millions to make massive & profound changes to a healthier & vibrant lifestyle.

My heart goes out to his wife, family & closet friends. The world was a much better place with him in it! 🙂

Please share how Jack LaLanne changed your life? We bought a Jack LaLanne juicer for my husbands parents. They love it & share with us they have so much more energy! Got a juicer!?

Kardena Pauza- Fitness Trainer, Author, Speaker, Coach
Author, Easy Veggie Meal Plans


Happy Holidays Everyone!  I loved drinking eggnog when I was a kid. Come to think of it, I loved anything that was high powered sugar and fat. Boy,was I hyped up on sugar as a kid! Good thing they didn’t know the word ADD back then or I probably would have been put on medication.

I still enjoy the traditional flavors of the holidays but I can do without the super heavy 400 calorie eggnog with the unhealthy high fructose corn syrup, heavy cream, and egg.
There are such better options now for enjoying and celebrating the holidays without packing on the statistical 5-10 lbs of holiday weight.
I’ve been making this eggnog for several years now and my parents, sisters and brother absolutely love it. It has a silky creamy smooth consistency without the super heavy feeling. It’s packed with the same great flavorful spices you find in traditional eggnog.

Watch the video to see how easy it is to make! The recipe is written below for you.
***BTW- I recommend a high powered blender like a Vitamix or Total Blender.

Healthy Raw Vegan Low Cal Eggnog
2 1/2-3 cups water
1 cup raw almonds   (Optional: Soak 12 hrs in Water-Healthier & Blends easier)
1/4 cup raw unsalted cashews  (Optional: Soak 12 hrs in Water-Healthier & Blends easier)
Blend the nuts & water, then strain the pulp out by using a nut milk bag

4-5 dates (can use agave nectar or stevia)
1 tsp vanilla extract (alcohol free)
1 tsp. pumpkin spice or 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cinnamon & dash cloves (all ground)
dash salt

Blend nutmilk and the rest of the ingredients together in the blender until dates are completely blended smooth & silky.
You are done and it’s ready to serve! You can serve it cold or warm.

The almond fiber that’s left over after straining the nut milk can be used to make cranberry orange scones. Go to this link to see the video and recipe. Now you’ll have made eggnog and scones for whatever your event may be!"Easy Veggie Meal Plans"


Kardena Pauza,

Author of easyveggiemealplans.com

a 90 day vegetarian weight loss meal plan.

(Optional: Soak 12 hrs in Water-Healthier & Blends easier)


I had to share with you a surprise I had recently.  Some of you may know I love to go camping and be outdoors so, I put together a camping trip with some close friends.

Everyone brought food for our community meals and some of them haven’t read my blog it seems. That’s ok, it gives me more to write about.

We grilled up some veggie patties and grabbed for some tasty BBQ sauce. My brother did the honors.


Brother & Christine BBQing

BUT remember,

My # 1 rule before eating anything from a package is to read the ingredient list & then the nutrition label. DO NOT trust the front of the label, always read the back.

I read the ingredient list on this BBQ Sauce and what do you know,

the first ingredient was High Fructose Corn Syrup!

Since high fructose corn syrup was first on the list, that means the main ingredient is HFCS. That’s absurd! 2 tablespoons contained 17 grams of sugar!

It was like spicy tomato syrup.

HFCS is the worst type of sugar you could put in your body don’t forget about the extra calories these sauces bring.

If you added some kind of sauce, dip, dressing, spread, or jam that added an extra 100-200 calories to each meal.

You could be potentially gain 1 lbs. a week! Easy Veggie Meals eBook

Watch out for those extra condiment calories! They can add up fast!
Kardena Pauza
Author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans– 90 day vegetarian weight loos plan
Certified Personal Trainer- Edge Personal Training


Unfortunately, fruits and vegetables do have some calories. Eating must be planned and limited even on a vegetarian diet. The good news is that a plant-based diet tends to have less fat and fewer calories than the same amount of meat. An ounce of fried bacon, for instance, has about the same number of calories as about 13 ounces of apple slices. That does not mean that you can eat an unlimited number of apples and expect to be normal weight, but a 200 calorie snack consisting of 13 ounces of apple slices will satisfy you more than the same 200 calories in only 1 ounce of bacon. The amount of fiber and water content and gives apples more volume therefore it’s more filling.If you were to plan to have a salad for lunch you would likely have enough food to fill you up without filling your fat cells, but only if you controlled your portions. Here is any easy recipe for a filling salad:

  • 2 cups of lettuce
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1/4 cup of mushrooms
  • 4 slices of tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of water chestnuts
  • 1 tablespoon  of sunflower seeds
  • a slice of diced onions
  • 5 olives
  • 1 cup of  of diced cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup of celery
  • 1/2 cup of carrots
  • 1 tablespoon of dressing

Size: Diner Plate Calories: 333

To fill the same sized plate with a hamburger and French fries you would have more than 800 calories. Of course, 333 does not equal zero so if you continued to eat salads all day your weight would go out of control.

The myth of “negative calories” is an impossible dream. It takes very few calories to chew celery or mushrooms, so eating all you want will not make you lose weight.

A vegetarian diet is not a magic bullet, but used judiciously it can help lead to good weight control and general good health.


Bad vs. Good Guacamole

Posted by Kardena


Today is all about  a product health watch. Somebody (no names!) brought a zesty guacamole to our kickball game and it never got opened or eaten. It sat in my refrigerator for a couple days, but I got hungry and I went to eat it.

It looks like it came from a traditional supermarket, but then I stopped and looked at the ingredients. I thought guacamole is supposed to be vegan or vegetarian? Not in this case! Looking at the ingredients, the 1st one is milk, which is strange (it should be avocados), the 2nd one is soybean oil and the 3rd one is tomatoes. Turns out that avocados account for less than 2% of the ingredients!

When I looked closer look at the label, it says zesty guacamole “flavored dip.” If you’re like me, I thought it was guacamole, but it’s really just the flavor. If you read the ingredient list, it has over 35 ingredients! Crazy!!!  There’s whey, egg yolk, sugar, dried milk, sodium benzoate (a preservative, but also a known carcinogen, when combined with vitamin c, it creates benzene, known to damage DNA and cause diseases; it also affects children with ADHD and makes them more hyper, malt dextrin (another sugar), gelatin, cornstarch, blue #1, red #40, yellow #5 and yellow #6. Why food coloring? This is nasty! I guess with all those ingredients they couldn’t get natural avocado green. If the first ingredient is skim milk, then we know the majority ingredient is milk, so they have to color it somehow. These food colorings contribute to allergies, cause asthma, thyroid tumors, etc.

Keep it simple! Shame on you zesty guacamole dip!! The only person who should eat this is the sink monster!

Let me show you how to make a natural, easy and super yummy guacamole that only takes 8 ingredients!

  • 1 whole avocado
  • 1/2 Garlic Clove
  • 1/2 to 1 Serrano or Jalapeno Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 of an Onion
  • 1/2 a large  heirloom tomato
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro
  • 1/2 a Lemon or Lime Juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Cayanne Pepper (if  no peppers available)

Slice the avocado in half around the seed, twist in half to separate the halves, then tap the seed with a heavy knife, turn and remove the seed. Scoop out the avocado and put it in a bowl. Mix it up with chopped onion, tomato, cilantro and seasonings. Mix and serve! It’s super health, natural and it’ll taste 100 times better than the guacamole dip that the sink monster ate!

Sink Monster!!!

Sink Monster!!!

Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments. And if you don’t have the 90 Day Vegetarian Weight Loss program, go to EasyVeggieMealPlans.com and get one there.


Kardena Pauza
Author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans – 90 Day Vegetarian Weight Loss Program
Certified Personal Trainer