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Pay for your health NOW

Pay for your health now, or your sickness later, you have a choice!

Many people tell me that eating healthy is expensive, as they text away on their newest iPhone and tap their designer shoes in annoyance.  While I do not judge people for having nice things, because after all if you’ve worked your butt off you should be able to use that money at your own discretion. Sometimes I think we need to reevaluate our priorities. I do not say any of this to cause a riot but what do we need to survive? Instagram, Orange is The New Black, and Nike Metcons? No. Our basic human needs are food, shelter and water, that’s it.

We as Americans spend LESS of our hard earned dollar than any other previous generation and most countries out there on food.  We think that food should be fast, CHEAP, easy and unfortunately fake, we forget that without food that nourishes us we have nothing. Without food, what good would an instagram be anyway?

you are what you eat quote

This sassy way of thinking almost got me in trouble the other day while teaching a real food lunch & learn. One of the participants became openly upset with me and told me I obviously did not understand that healthy living is expensive and it is outrageous to think that anyone could afford it. I ended up shutting down and ending the lecture early because the member of the audience was becoming so argumentative, making it near impossible to explain anything to her (as she typed away on her new iPhone 6). I understand people get sticker shock while shopping at farmers markets, Whole Foods and beyond but what they do NOT see are the end results of buying cheap non-nutritious foods.

When I worked in a hospital setting I would go home some nights and cry to my husband. I felt that what I was doing was not nearly enough for those that were sick beyond belief. I had to push sugar & vegetable oil laden products (that should probably be another post at some point) at them and it was NOT working. I may be biased because I am a dietitian but I KNOW that many of my previous patients were there because of poor diet and lifestyle habits and choices, some of which were brought about by other health care professionals. I had NOTHING to give them but advice on what to do when they left the hospital because after all, have you ever seen what we feed SICK people in a hospital? SAD (standard American diet) food. A typical breakfast tray consists of pancakes, artificial sugar-laden syrup, cereal, skim milk, orange juice, toast and maybe some egg whites. I consider this a crime. People go to the hospital to get healthy and we are feeding them food that will add to their sickness. As I tell my clients, you can choose to pay for your health now or your sickness later, you pick.

I am not trying to throw hospitals, dietitians or other health care professionals under the bus, but we NEED to do better. We have become a society that may be RICHER in posessions but we are POORER in health. We would much rather have the newest version of our phones and live off of Cheetos and cheap store bought eggs then spend money to enjoy a grass fed steak and some delicious full fat yogurt. I have had enough of it. I have NEVER apologized for paying too much for food. If you know me, the only reason I have cute clothes is because my mom is worried I would wear ragged old gym clothes EVERY day of the week (and she’s still fighting an uphill battle.) I still own clothes from high school, and wear them all the time because lucky for me they still fit (I’m going to throw this out there it may be because I spend money on healthy food). I also have a shattered screen on an old phone. While I could choose to pay for an upgrade I choose to spend that money on food that nourishes me and protects me from chronic diseases. I am unapologetic about that.

Call me crazy, but I’ve seen too much to NOT spend money on good food. I want to live my days playing, laughing and loving. I do not want to spend it trapped in my own body playing games on my iPhone wishing I was living the life of someone else’s Instagram pictures. I want this for you too, so the next time you think food is too expensive, ask yourself if being sick is too expensive, because it is. Plan ahead and prioritize. You don’t need cable but you do need nutritious food. Vote with your dollar and hopefully the food suppliers will realize we WANT healthy food.

I say this all with the upmost sincerity, I want you to be healthy, I want you to want to be healthy and I want you to eat real food. If you need help, check out this new program I am launching for support :) Stay tuned for a few more blog posts on how to eat healthy on a budget as I recognize you do have to save money. Heere are some resources to get you started:

How To Save Money and Still Eat Great by Diana Rodgers at Sustainable Dish

Home Much Does Real Food Really Cost?! By Deliciously Organic

Paleo Poor: Your Guide To the Grocery Store by Whole9

100 Days On a Budget by 100 Days of Real Food



I want to hear from you!

Is healthy eating too expensive?

How do you prioritize healthy eating/living?

Sassy Signature

#1 Lesson on Love



#1 Lesson on Love

I know I normally gush on all things food, nutrition and fitness but today I want to take a minute to talk about love. I believe that love is an important part of our health and well being and is something we often forget to talk about. Love is the reason I wake up in the morning with a passion for what I do. I love my husband, my family, my friends and so much more. Without love I do not know what meaning there would be. At the risk of getting to deep I will say that love always wins and I am so blessed to get to love and be loved by those around me. Take time today and let those around know you love them, time is short and you never want to feel like you missed an opportunity to let them know :) Happy Birthday to my ever loving husband! I love you! (more…)

20 Real Food 4th of July Recipes

20 Real Food Recipes for 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!

Hi friends! This weekend marks the 4th of July and while it is an amazing time to celebrate the Independence of America a lot of us use it as a time to mark the beginning of Summer and have parties GALORE.  We at Team Nutrition Genius are all about you unwinding and having a good time but this is not a time to forget all about your Real Food Lifestyle. This weekend and any other celebration you have this summer is just an extension of your Real Food life and should not derail you from all of the great things you have done for yours. Need some help staying on track? Check out this new program that can help you do just that.

This week we wanted to give you a rundown of recipes that can make this weekend fun but keep you on track. It’s a fun way to shout out both past recipes of our own and those from some other amazing chefs and foodies. We want to hear from you in the comments, let us know what you will be eating this 4th of July! If you are in the Capital District of New York, check out the magazine Edible, you will find some surprise blueberry recipes from yours truly!


Sweet Potato Chips & Dip

Sweet Potato Chips


Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Bacon & Guacamole Sammies

Sweet and Salty Broccoli Salad

Tomato and Basil Salad


Lamb Burgers

Lamb Burgers


Grilled Pineapple Burgers with Spicy Avocado Cream

Lemon Basil Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Chili Lime Chicken Wings

Chipotle Sweet Potato Sliders


Triple Fudge Brownies 

Triple Fudge Brownies

Lemon Fruit Tart

Mint Chocolate Chip Avocado Popsicles

Lemon Meltaway Balls

Grilled Pineapple


Pearl’s Pomegranate Margarita

Pomegranate Margarita


The Domestic Man’s Barbecue Sauce

Sugar-Free Ginger Ale

Iced Vanilla Latte

Fruit Infused Water

We want to hear from you!

What are you eating for The 4th of July weekend?


Have a happy and healthy weekend!

Sassy Signature



#49 SMART Goal Setting

1525130_820415801313138_3914028480565980800_n SMART Goal Setting

Following our episode on weight loss, an important part of losing weight is goal setting. However, goal setting can be useful for anyone whether you are trying to lose weight or not. This episode brings you the who, what, why, how, and when of goal setting.

“A goal properly set is halfway reached” – Zig Ziglar/Abraham Lincoln

Comments? Reviews? Criticism? Head over to iTunes or Stitcher if you like what you hear to leave us a 5 star review and you will be featured on the podcast! Thank to WorstHorse for our 5 star review of the week:

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 8.36.31 PM

Or, if you just want to say hello you can also send us an email at OR write a testimonial. (more…)

Summer Tomato Bisque

tomato bisque (gluten-free, dairy-free)

Sassy’s Easy Tomato Bisque

Hi friends! You may be wondering why I am giving you a soup recipe when it has been SO hot and humid this past week. Well for starters I love soup year round and we just happened to get some of this delicious tomato puree in our Field Goods delivery this week so I could not let it go to waste.

I also have recently been introduced to Bilinski’s Chicken Sausage and had a package on hand so I figured why not try the two together. I had a hectic week planning for a real food event and a crossfit event so there was minimal time to cook, BUT this was SO simple and delicious and the Sassy Hubby even asked for more. The great thing about a soup like this is you can add veggies and puree them so that the pickiest of eaters won’t even know! Hooray, veggies for the win! This soup even tastes delicious chilled so make sure you keep the leftovers and enjoy later.

Summer Tomato Bisque


  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 cups fresh tomato puree
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Optional: 1 package chicken sausage


  1. In a dutch oven or large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, saute for 3 minutes, until they start to sweat.
  3. Add garlic and mushrooms, sauté for 4-5 minutes until onions become translucent.
  4. Add tomato puree, coconut milk, basil, salt and pepper.
  5. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes to marry flavors.
  6. Using an immersion blender (or regular blender/food processor), blend on high for 1 minute until smooth in texture.
  7. If using sausage, sauté sausage in skillet with an additional 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil for about 5 minutes until heated through. Add to tomato soup and enjoy.

Alright, let me hear from you!

Do you think soup can be eaten year round?

What’s your favorite way to eat vegetables?

Sassy Signature

Top 5 Kitchen Essential Tools (Q&A #28)


Essential Kitchen Tools

This new short and sweet (but not too sweet) episode is all about kitchen tools! We give you tons of delicious recipes but how do you prepare them? Listen in on this episode for the top 5 essential kitchen tools that we recommend!

Check out our NEW Q&A podcast (or any of your favorite episodes) on iTunes or Stitcher. This week’s question…

Dear Sassy & Pearl,

I am loving the show and have been trying to apply your takeaways to my real food lifestyle but I just am curious what are your favorite kitchen essentials (you know the non-food variety)? Thank you so much ladies! Mary

Have a question of your own? Let us hear it!

If you like what you hear please leave us a review!!

Don’t forget to hashtag #AdventuresofSassyandPearl and #NutritionGeniusRadio while you are listening!

Connect with us:

Laura’s Instagram
Marie’s Instagram
Our new Team Nutrition Genius Instagram


See our top 5 pantry items on our Q&A #25….

Our Top 5 Essential Kitchen Tools:

A Crock pot
A sharp knife
Food processor (or blender)
Dutch oven (or large stock pot)
A large skillet (preferably cast iron)

Friday Shout Outs #5

The Sassy Dietitian's Shout Outs

Friday Shout Outs

TGIF! Wow, this week has flown by and what a crazy week it has been. We have been ramping up at the gym for our big Open House and if you are in the Albany area please stop on by and say hi! Check out the schedule here and come to any of our free events all day long. Yours truly will be giving a FREE nutrition talk at 11am all on REAL FOOD….so come on out!

Alright, enough about me, this week I have some shout outs for you lovely people. While it’s been a hectic week there are many bloggers and instagrammers that I like to check in on for inspiration and I want to share them with you! There is also some food that I’ve been digging, so scroll down for some tastiness!


The Domestic Man by Russ Crandall
Alright well if you’ve been following along you know that we just interviewed Russ on our podcast this week about his new cookbook. His blog deserves a shout out because it is well played out AND he posts a brand new recipe weekly. In fact, this week he posted a recipe from his new cookbook, so go check it out!

Primal Bliss Nutrition by Kathryn Kos
This real food mama is such an inspiration and happens to be a new found local friend! Her blog is packed with real food nutrition information and has recipes galore. She is so hard working and caring and deserves a Friday Shout Out!


@thefeistykitchen can you say hello beautiful FOOD! Yes, I may be partial to food pictures on Instagram but this one is for all you foodies out there.  You can find pictures of eggs (with the yolks), bacon and coffee, so clearly you know why I follow along! #nocoffeenoworkie

@thehealthymaven this gal, Davida, has a love for food…and brunch! She also leads an active lifestyle and her pictures are beautiful. She is also one half of The Blogger Project which is an amazing resource we gave a shout out to during week 1 of shout outs.


Fresh cherries from Field Goods a local produce delivery service that I have been working with lately. They source their farm fresh LOCAL food from 80+ farms int he Hudson Valley and Upstate, NY regions. It’s a weekly service that is VERY flexible and the food does not disappoint.

Epic Bites (Jerky) these bites were a surprise for me. So I decided to pick them up for our hike for our 1st Anniversary (more on that to come soon).  It was DELICIOUS! If you are looking for a great on-the-go snack with all REAL FOOD ingredients, then this is for you!

Bonus: Maple Cinnamon Swirl Coconut Chips, yes that’s right this is a #sassyapproved (and Sassy created) recipe and it deserves a shout out because it is SO delicious and simple to make, yum!


We want to hear from you!

What has been your FAVORITE meal this week?

Who deserves a shout out this week? 

Sassy Signature

7 Foods A Dietitian Wants You To Eat

greens1Don’t eat pasta, avoid all the IPAs, stop going out for fast food. WAHHH WAHHH WAHHHH who wants to hear about all the food you can’t have?! Not this gal. It’s always better to focus on what you can and should add to your diet and eventually all the good will crowd out the bad.  Here it is friends, 7 foods a dietitian wants you to eat.

Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens are some of our most nutrient-dense foods meaning they have a TON of vitamins and minerals for very little calories. They are packed with vitamins A, C, and K, and contain smaller amounts of our B vitamins and vitamin E. They are also a great non-dairy source of calcium and contain appreciable amounts of manganese, choline, iron, copper, and magnesium. Not only are they full of micronutrients they also contain phytonutrients like carotenoids and phenolics. These phytonutrients work as antioxidants in our body fighting off free radicals and the damage they cause which can lead to a whole host of chronic diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s to name a few. I honestly don’t care what kind you are eating as long as you’re eating them. Some options are mustard, turnip, collard, dandelion and beet greens, kale, swiss chard, bok choy, cabbage, spinach, arugula, and watercress. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts even count Cooking is as easy as sautéing these guys with butter, salt, and pepper and finish with lemon juice.

Eating liver is basically like eating a whole food version of a multivitamin because one of the liver’s many functions is nutrient storage. A 3 oz serving of beef liver gives you more than your daily needs of vitamin A, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and copper and is also a great source of niacin, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, iron, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, and selenium. It’s far more nutrient dense than the muscle meat we typically eat. Even if you aren’t ready to dive headfirst into liver and onions you can always blenderize liver and add it to meatballs, meatloaf, burgers, or Sassy’s Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf Muffins. (Try the meatloaf muffins, they are contest winning!)

Fatty Fish
Fatty fish including anchovies, salmon, mackerel, whitefish, sardines, tuna, herring, and trout are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential fatty acid meaning the body is unable to make it and it is therefore essential we obtain it from our food. We need omega-3s for our brain development and function and they are precursors for anti-inflammatory compounds in our body. To learn more about the dreaded inflammation check out Nutrition Genius Radio Episode #30. The average American consumes less than half of the recommended dose of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. To make sure you’re getting enough of this good stuff bump your fish intake up to twice weekly.

Herbs and Spices
Not only are herbs and spices packed full of nutrients but they make food taste much more flavorful and interesting. Think broccoli tastes bad? You’ve obviously never cooked it in salt, pepper, garlic powder, and butter. Roasted chicken and potatoes seem boring? Add rosemary and dill. Scared and unsure of how to use spices? Try Jesus’ Tears Curried Chicken, it will take you to another world. Similarly to fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices also pack a wicked phytochemical punch and have been found to decrease inflammation, act as an antioxidant, and some even have antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Whole Eggs
I don’t think there is anything that drives a real food dietitian more insane than someone saying they had an egg white omelet for breakfast. THE NUTRIENTS ARE IN THE YOLK. Seriously, look at this yolk to white comparison. Crazy, right?! So eat the whole egg which will give you omega-3 fatty acids and over 20 vitamins and minerals. Eggs are one of the best sources of choline which is required for the structure of cell membranes, functionality of the nervous system, and replication of DNA. We’re egg enthusiasts here at TNG and have all the egg recipes for you- Everything but the… Egg Frittata, Savory Oatmeal with Eggs, Smoked Salmon Egg Frittata, and Bacon Wrapped Egg Muffins.

Tea is also full of phytonutrients and has the added benefit of adding compounds from plants that you don’t typically eat. Research has show green tea has anti-cancer, anti-obesity, anti-atherosclerotic, anti-diabetic, anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects and herbal teas have shown many different benefits depending on the plant components involved. Not only do they have the above health benefits but some teas such as chamomile, lavender, and peppermint may help with sleep which would give you even more of a health improvement.

Fermented Foods
Fermentation is the process of bacteria converting carbohydrate into acid, gases, or alcohol. These foods contain bacteria typically referred to as probiotics which help with digestion, nutrient absorption, and maintenance of the immune system. Research is also looking at our intestinal bacteria for the beneficial role it can play in attenuating inflammation, playing a preventative role in heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease and allergies, and improving mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Not only do the bacteria contribute to our health but they break down components in the food that our bodies can’t and give us additional vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and enzymes. Some of our favorite fermented foods are kombucha, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Stay tuned for a kombucha recipe soon!

Which of these foods do you need to add to your diet? What super foods are you already eating? Let us know in the comments below!

xo pearl2





#48 Russ Crandall “The Domestic Man” & Paleo Takeout


Paleo Takeout with The Domestic Man

Have you committed to a real food lifestyle but still crave your favorite takeout dish like chicken nuggets, sweet and sour chicken or calzones? Well you are in luck! This week we chat with Russ Crandall from The Domestic Man about his new cookbook Paleo Takeout. Sassy got to review one of his recipes earlier but now you can get his book and taste for yourself. He dishes on how he changed his own health with a real food approach and what led him to writing an entire cookbook dedicated to making takeout “fast food” healthy. Russ will head out on a book tour this week to promote his new cookbook, check out where he will be and go say hi! (more…)

Maple Cinnamon Swirl Coconut Chips


IMG_4673Coconut Chips

A lot of people tell me they do not know what to snack on when they clean out their diets and while I normally just tell them to eat a “mini meal” (aka something that looks like their breakfast, lunch or dinner) I understand that sometimes we want something to satisfy that crunch.  Enter these delicious & simple coconut chips! I love to snack on coconut flakes as is but if you are looking for a dessert type snack that won’t blow all of your healthy real food efforts, this one is for you. Just remember with coconut a little bit goes a long way. These would even be tasty in a home made trail mix, on top of some home made ice cream or even on top of a salad, yum! (more…)

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