Fit Chickpea: ‘Chocolate’ can be your friend

allison-by-harry-martin-610x300Guys I’m so excited to announce a new series I’m doing with my girl Allison! She’s amazing and I love everything she stands for. Get to know her here, and be sure to stay tuned for more from her!

Allison Norlian is a twenty-three year old Rutgers graduate with a passion for healthy eating, fitness, cooking and the media. She has made it her mission to promote health and wellness and teach her colleagues,  friends and family that healthy eating can be delicious and experimentation with recipe’s can be fun! She currently resides in south jersey and works at a radio station in Philadelphia. 

A round and tasty chocolate and sugary hunk of goodness staring and secreting its delicious odor towards my nostrils tempting me by its exquisite good looks and heavenly smell… I feel as though I am surrendering; forgetting all of the resolutions I made for myself after this sugar induced holiday season and promises I have made to eat clean and natural foods. Sugar is natural right? I’ll only eat this chocolate chip cookie today…or maybe I’ll eat two or three since they aren’t that big. I won’t eat dinner tonight so I can succumb to my temptations and give in to my yearn to crunch and have the chocolate on top of my taste buds, making me feel  all warm and fuzzy inside.

How many of you have had this internal battle with yourself as you stare at the home-baked leftovers of love that you received this holiday season? I am not going to lie- I too have had the little devil and angel on my shoulder this year. They argue back and forth about what to eat and what not to; until I remember why I eat clean and workout and why three years ago I made it my mission to be the healthiest human being I could possibly be, losing 30 lbs and being the most toned and in shape I ever have been in my life.

Note from Ilana: Allison and I met four years ago on a trip… and I thought she was stunning. While I haven’t seen her since, we’ve stayed in touch. When I heard she lost 30 pounds, I legit said “WTF ARE YOU KIDDING YOU WERE ALWAYS TINY!” She’s beautiful inside and out, and totally enjoys eating – how awesome is that!?

My motto is that eating healthy doesn’t necessarily mean eating bland and tasteless foods. Eating healthy is a beautiful thing filled with an abundance of flavors that even the anti-health human being may find attractive. I am not saying that a piece of double chocolate fudge cake will taste the same as my very famous and delicious chocolate mug cakes; however once you have adapted your palate to healthy eating and see the difference in how you feel and what you look like, it’ll make keeping that new year’s resolution all that much better.

How to stick to your goals in this New Year? Whether your resolution was to eat healthy or go to our website or the gym more often, your goals should be made a priority, and your desire to eat healthy needs to outweigh your yearn to eat that chocolate chip cookie. Like my mom always says, “A minute on your lips and a life time on your hips!” 

A few tips to staying on track with your diet: buy a journal and write everything you eat down and find inspirational quotes and pictures to place around your house in order to have constant reminders of the goal you are trying to complete. Writing your calorie consumption and placing encouragement around your house serves as a constant reminder to stay on track.

Rich Pohler, the Director of Fitness at Body Solutions in Voorhees, New Jersey says, “In order to hold clients accountable for their goals I also have them write their goals down.  I use the phrase “if you think it you should ink it“. Additionally I will have clients tell 2 friends about their goals this way they can support them and make sure they follow through. Lastly in order to make sure clients actually take action I will have them write down their current habits which are stopping them from achieving their goals.  Then we will come up with new habits in order to create a plan to be successful. ”

Personally, I eat healthy because it tastes good. I eat healthy because I believe my body deserves the nourishment. I eat healthy because I feel better. I eat healthy because my body is my sanctuary and yours should be too.

Here are a few of my most recent healthy recipe’s I have concocted that I hope you incorporate into your healthy eating schedule. They are all fairly simple to make and absolutely scrumptious. All my recipes are made with fresh and organic ingredients.

Coconut Shrimp Stir-fry:Coconut shrimp stirfry


  • 1 cup fresh cauliflower
  • ½ zucchini cut into small pieces
  • 2 large carrots cut into pieces
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 small onion
  • ½ tomato
  • ¼ cup scallions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Thawed Shrimp

Dressing ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons organic honey
  • ¼ tablespoon grape seed oil
  • 2 tablespoons organic peanut butter
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • Brown sugar to taste

Directions: Place vegetables in large sprayed skillet and let cook for about 5-10 minutes. Add shrimp, constantly stirring and flipping. While they are cooking, make the dressing by adding ingredients into a large bowl and mixing into a thicker consistency. Add dressing doing the same and cooking for about 5 more minutes until desired crunch and consistency. Serve with added cinnamon on top.

Vua-Lah!  Bon Appetito …and remember, if it was easy, everyone would do it. Stick to your goals…you are stronger then you think and will knock your own socks off months down the line when you look in the mirror and know you did it.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a registered dietitian  nutritionist or physical trainer…just a girl in love with food, fitness and health and a journalist who likes to do research on her favorite topics.

Please check out my website for more healthy eating tips and recipes!

Be sure to comment on facebook and below if you like the recipes and with any questions for Allison – stay tuned for more from her!

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