Food For Thought
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Friday Faves


Get yourself a bowl of yonanas sit down and relax with our great reviews from our friends!  Thank you to all for the continued support.  Have a great weekend and Enjoy, Candice!

“Thought you should know: my freezer just went out, and my first thought was not concern about my organic chicken or pork roasts or steaks. My FIRST thought was, “Oh no!! My frozen bananas are defrosted!!” Seriously. Look what you’ve done to me!”  😉 – Tracey D.

I am Looking forward to trying Yonanas.  It was recommended by a friend who makes the best homemade ice cream on earth but has now converted (very enthusiastically) to a healthier long-term option with yonanas.  – Mary Ann M.

“My daughter is allowed to eat anything on her birthday – she picks the meals…and even unhealthy ones are allowed.  This year…breakfast was yonanas, afternoon snack was yonanas and instead of birthday cake she wanted yonanas!” – Stefani C.


Space: The Final Frontier

Ah yes, you might guess I am a bit of a Star Trek geek, from the title of my post, but I am not going to discuss Klingons or the Prime Directive. I am here to plant a seed in your mind to get you through this hectic time of year and create some space for you to breathe.

Read this paragraph, and then close your eyes and take 10 slow, deep, intentional deep breaths.  It may help you to say to yourself “I am inhaling… I am exhaling”, or slowly count as you breathe.  Then come back here.  I will wait…

Done?  How do you feel? Chances are you will feel a bit lighter, a bit more focused and a bit calmer.  You may have a sense of clarity or peace.  Or you might feel agitated and want to run away, how should I know? I am just a bunch of words on a screen! If you feel that agitation, sit back and do it again, or come back to it tomorrow.  Nothing is easy or perfect.

Now think for a moment how your life would change if you could find that sense of lightness, clarity and focus on a regular basis.  How would your work be affected? Your relationships? Your to-do list? Your road rage?  Aaah…to not get angry when that person stops short and doesn’t use his turn signal! The good news is this IS possible.  It is possible to find that sense of calm on a daily basis. The bad news is, you will have to do a little work, set a few boundaries, and truth be told, it’s not easy.

Ten minutes a day, that’s all I suggest.  Wake up 10 minutes earlier, or set a timer for yourself at a specific time of day, or better yet, log off of the internet (especially facebook!) for 10 minutes. It will still be there when you get back, I promise you won’t miss anything.  Pick a timeslot, put it in your calendar for 7 days.   Find a comfortable place to sit.  Don’t be picky, just be comfortable.  If this is on the sofa with your grandmother’s afghan on your lap, then so be it.  If you have to lock yourself in the bathroom and sit on the commode, so be it.  You do not need any special cushions from Tibet, or blankets from India, you don’t need to burn incense or wear special clothing. And you certainly do not have to sit in a full lotus position. Just be comfortable.  Turn off the TV, the laptop, the iphone, and tell the family that you are not to be bothered.  Set a timer for 10 minutes.  Then close your eyes, and begin to breathe.  If you get distracted, let it go and get back to breathing.  As you breathe, do a scan through your body and just note how things are feeling.  No need to get caught up in the story, just acknowledge how the body parts are feeling at the moment.

I suggest keeping a log. How did you feel before you sat down? How did you feel afterwards? What were the challenges? Maybe you will increase your time or the frequency, maybe you won’t.  Commit to this practice for just a week, sitting, breathing, and logging your experiences.

Things to remember:

  • Set Boundaries- Tell your family or house mates, that you need 10 minutes to yourself that you are not to be interrupted unless someone is bleeding or unconscious.  That is all you need to say.  You don’t have to explain that you are meditating unless you want to.  If you tell them, be prepared to discuss and defend your actions, people like to debate!
  • No Expectations.  Just Experience. – Do not expect to ascend to an enlightened state of consciousness and float away into never never land.  Chances are you will struggle and check the timer, fidget, sneeze, itch and move around.  No expectations means you won’t be let down.
  • Stuff Happens- Even with the boundaries in place, interruptions occur.  Sirens will wail, clocks will tick, alarms will ring, children will scream, dogs will bark, cats will climb on your lap, spouses will interrupt.  Take care of the distraction if it is urgent, and then come back to your meditation.

This is a challenge, I know it.  I also know that this short practice can bring an abundance of goodness into your life.   This is the busiest time of year, full of holiday parties, family get-togethers, shopping, headaches, food, and drink.  You may decide you want to wait until January 1 to start this practice.  That is fine, but just know, there is no time but NOW, the present moment, to create change in your life.  There will always be chaos and commitments.  If you can find 10 minutes for yourself now, think how good it will feel to already have that discipline in place once the New Year begins!

– Stephanie Smolik, Yoga and Pilates Instructor

For more information about Stephanie or if you think these offerings may help benefit you,


Friday Faves

The holidays are rapidly sneaking up once again!  It is a time of year to give thanks and be close with the people that surrond you.  We, at yonanas, would like to say thank you to all of our friends and fans! The posts for this week have to do with eating healthy which we belive is especially important around the holidays.  We are amazed at how much yonanas has helped our fans acheive thier amazing weight loss goals and stick with it. Have a healthy and happy holiday season!  -Candice


“I recently purchased a Yonanas. I love it! I am a recently diagnosed diabetic and a Weight Watchers member. In 12 weeks, I have lost 35 lbs and my blood glucose numbers are now in the normal range. Having my Yonanas makes it so much easier to stick with my plan. I bet there are NO Yonanas left in Richmond …I took my box and recipe book to my meeting with me and had a Show and Tell. On the WW plan you can have fruit at zero points plus values…which means we can have dessert any time we want….even at the end of the day, when I have used up all my points for the day!!!!”

This was a post from a Fibromyalgia and Arthritis website!  “Items like this allow us to minimize foods/additives that can increase flare ups. I have made several of the recipies now and I have enjoyed them all…I wish I could rate this product after potsing it…IT IS A 5 STAR FOR SURE :)”1cookie

“I got a yonanas machine and I am HOOKED!!! I decided recently to lose weight, and to that end, I’ve changed my eating habits drastically…to make a long story short; I began eating like 1 man instead of 4-6 men!  I have already lost over 60 lbs. and was well into a routine that seemed to be working pretty well, but I really did miss ice cream…then yonanas came along! It’s everything you want…and nothing you don’t…literally.  YOU choose everything that goes into a creamy, delicious frozen treat! Along with Dole bananas, I’ve tried strawberries, peaches, plums, mango and I even added some vanilla extract for flavor one time!  You decide what you want it to taste like.”  DjKen Heath


Don’t Pack that Holiday Punch

Tips for eating healthfully this holiday season and keeping off those unwanted pounds!

Yes, the holidays are here, and this is the time for over-indulgence and putting on some extra weight for a lot of us. Cookies, stuffing, cake, pie, you name it, we put it in our mouths at this festive time of year.  Parties are plentiful and so are the extra pounds. This is the time when your health must take precedence over all-else. Willpower needs to kick in, but more than that is your dedication and commitment to yourself and a long, healthy life!

So, in the spirit of a joyous season, here are some great tips on keeping yourself healthy and weight-gain-free this holiday season. Is that an oxymoron!

  1. Holiday Parties: If you are going to a holiday party and you know there will be plenty of sweets, eggnog and other ways you can sabotage your health, make sure to eat a healthy, complex carbohydrate meal with a lean protein beforehand. The complex carbs will give you good staying power and will work with the protein to help to stave off sugar cravings. Once at the party, if you are having a hard time resisting that dessert table, allow yourself to have one treat. I always like to live by the 80/20 rule; eat healthy 80% of the time and allow yourself to have a 20% window by which you enjoy some special treat or snack. This rule allows us to have fun, and not deprive ourselves. It allows freedom without feeling restricted.
  2. BYOF (Bring your Own Food): There have been plenty of times when I have gone to a friend’s house for dinner and brought my own food. Being a vegetarian and healthy eater is sometimes frowned upon by society. Most people think it’s high maintenance or weird. And they sometimes take offense when you tell them you are going to eat your own food.  If these people were really your friends, and really concerned about your happiness, they wouldn’t be offended about your lifestyle or the fact that you need to bring your own food with you! I find that once they see my delicious dish, they most always want to try it and end up eating more of my food than their own! So, go ahead, BYOF and enjoy a healthy meal in the company of others!
  3. Use Alternative Sweeteners: If you are baking some special treats for this holiday season, find ways to use alternative, lower glycemic sweeteners such as; Agave Nectar, Molasses, Brown Rice Syrup, Xylitol (a sugar alcohol made from Birch Trees) and Stevia (an all natural herb that is 300 times sweeter than sugar). All of these sweeteners will enter your blood stream less quickly than refined sugar, and won’t give you that sugar crash that we are so familiar with, leaving us wanting more. It’s a vicious circle. Do yourself a favor and be creative. Experiment with these natural sweeteners. They are great to sweeten tea and coffee too!!!
  4. Cut back on Alcohol: Drinking alcohol is one of the biggest culprits of weight gain during the holidays. Alcohol turns to sugar once it’s in our system, and sugar turns to fat!!! Do your best to have only one drink if you are at a party, and make it a weak one. Be sure to drink 2 glasses of water for every alcoholic drink you finish, so that you stay properly hydrated. If you feel awkward at a party not drinking, than order some water in a fancy glass, throw in a lemon or a lime and pretend! No one will notice the difference! Oh yea…and make sure you laugh a lot too.

Taking charge of your health during this time can definitely be a challenge, but just think of how happy you will be when January 1st comes and you don’t have to join an overcrowded gym with the rest of society to lose that extra weight! Stay strong, commit to your health and wellbeing, and have fun doing it!!!!

-Happy Holidays from Karma Chow!

Melissa Costello, founder of Karma Chow has always had a passion for healthy, delicious food and nutrition. As a child, Melissa would spend hours in the kitchen with her Italian father making homemade tomato sauce and pasta.  When she became a vegetarian at age 19 she began experimenting with healthier versions of everyday recipes, which led her to her passion for vegetarian cooking. Her collection of simple yet delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes and desserts, has become popular among many top names in the film & music industry.

Melissa’s dedication to health, nutrition & wellness naturally led her to study nutrition at N.H.I in San Diego as well as become a Certified Wellness Coach through the Spencer Institute. Melissa has been coaching clients one-on-one, and in groups for the last 4 years, on how to live a healthier and happier life through nutrition, exercise and a whole foods diet.

As personal chef to celebrity fitness guru, Tony Horton, creator of the highly popular workout system, P90X, Melissa is constantly finding creative ways to keep Tony and her other clients happy, fit and healthy through a whole foods way of life.

She was featured in TV Guides, Secret of the Hollywood Body along with multiple radio interviews and cooking videos produced by Beachbody, a multi-million dollar fitness and wellness company. She currently has her own video series called Food & Flow, which blends healthy eating with Yoga.

Her mission is to educate the planet about healthy, whole food eating as well as how to keep our planet “green” for generations to come through vegetarianism and eco-conscious solutions.  She travels throughout the US with Tony leading nutritional lectures at his fitness camps. She also brings her wellness program into corporations to teach others how to implement a healthy way of life. Melissa also hosts hands-on cooking classes at local Whole Foods stores in Los Angeles, in private homes and across the US.

Melissa Costello- Vegan chef, wellness coach and nutritional educator.  To learn more about her and her services, visit her website

Staying Fit & Healthful this Thanksgiving

Did you know that at the Thanksgiving meal, the average adult eats approximately 2000-3000 calories! Try the following strategies to make your holiday meal more healthful:

Do not come to the Thanksgiving table starving! Make sure to have a healthful breakfast and lunch before arriving at dinner. When you are extremely hungry, you eat very fast and tend to overeat.

Make time for exercise, especially on Thanksgiving Day. Try starting a family routine like going for a bike ride, hike or for a long walk.

Fill your plate with salad and veggies first and then leave a small amount of space for higher calorie options like stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and etcetera. Do not deprive yourself of your favorite dishes, think in terms of moderation!

Distance yourself from the hors d’oeuvre table… munch on fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably organic) instead of high fat appetizers.

Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated, many of the foods served on Thanksgiving are high in sodium.

Go skinless… most of the fat is in the turkey skin. Have your turkey breast, leg or thigh without the skin to trim major calories and fat.

Eat slowly… put your fork down every few bites and drink water. Your brain will have time to catch up with your stomach and you will find that you are satisfied with less food. This is a great time to begin mindful eating… enjoy the experience!

If you are the host, try making healthful alternatives such as steamed green beans with a drizzle of olive oil and almond slivers (instead of green bean casserole) and baked sweet potatoes (instead of baked yams with butter and marshmallows) to decrease calories and fat and increase nutrient density.

Most importantly… enjoy yourself. Be thankful and gracious to those around you…enjoy the spirit of the holiday and what it means to you.

It is a holiday about being thankful, not a holiday solely about food!!!

Curried Butternut Squash Soup:


-1 tbsp olive oil

-1 medium onion, chopped

-2 garlic cloves, minced

-2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes

-6 cups vegetable stock

1 tbsp plus 2 tsp curry powder

-2 tbsp honey

Directions: Heat oil over medium heat in a stockpot. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft but not browned. Add butternut squash, stock, curry and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until squash is tender. Remove from heat and stir in honey and puree with a hand help immersion blender until smooth. Season with salt to taste.

*This is a delicious addition to the Thanksgiving table. Try serving in hallowed out mini pumpkins and garnished with roasted pumpkin seeds.

– Nicole Meadow -Registered Dietitian


Interview with Nicole Meadow

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Nicole for many years!  She has worked as a consultant and volunteer on many projects.  Her expertise and passion has led to a thriving business in Los Angeles, and you may also recognize her as the Pediatric Dietitian on the yonanas infomercial.

Nicole has dedicated her life to helping children and families through healthy food.  As a busy mom of two young children, I’m inspired by her endless energy.  She volunteers in her community, and advocates for children with allergies while running her practice and working at the hospital.  It must be all the healthy food she is eating!

Nicole has an amazing presence, and is brilliant at boiling down complicated nutrition information into easy to understand steps that we can all take.  We are so excited to have her share her knowledge as a guest blogger!


1.      What is your health & wellness philosophy? 

I strongly believe in the principles of balance variety and moderation.  Being a pediatric nutrition specialist and a mom, I feel that it is extremely important to be good role models for our children in all aspects, especially when it comes to eating and being physically active.  By allowing all foods in moderation and emphasizing the importance of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins healthy fats and calcium containing foods and not having any “taboo” foods we can help future generations have a healthy philosophy of their own about eating and physical activity!

 2.      Is there a diet or fitness plan you don’t believe in and why?

I do not support any diet plan that is extremely restrictive meaning it limits entire foods groups without a medical justification or is extremely restrictive in terms of overall caloric intake.  These types of messages are very detrimental to children and adults and can create disordered eating patterns and usually result in weight gain, not weight loss!

3.      What motivates you?

I am extremely passionate about helping my patients and my clients… I LOVE what I do and that is the best motivation a person can have.  When I wake up in the morning, I am excited about what the day has in store for me.  My family is another motivating factor for me.  Thinking about going home to my 2 beautiful children and my loving husband after a long day puts a smile on my face at any time!

4.      Do you eat yonanas?  When?  Favorite recipe or flavor?

I LOVE Yonanas and so do my children.  Actually our favorite recipe is to use frozen mango as the base and add either raspberries or strawberries… mmmmm, can I have some now?

5.      Favorite Super Hero & Why?

My favorite superhero has to be Wonderwoman because she is, well… WONDERWOMAN!  (We also have an inside family joke about her- my son will laugh when he reads this!



Nicole Meadow, MPN, RD, is a Registered Dietitian with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Masters degree in Preventive Nutrition from the University of Southern California.  She specializes in working with infants, children and young adults who have a variety of nutritional concerns such as overweight/obesity, failure to thrive, food allergies, eating disorders, Celiac Disease, selective eating, and many others.  She works with clients and their families privately in her office in Encino or in their homes and teaches classes in the community.  In addition to seeing clients in her private practice, NutritionWise (, she also works part time as a clinical dietitian at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  Visit her blog for more information or follow her on twitter @nutritionwise.  Nicole’s most meaningful job is being a mom and a wife.   She has a 6 1/2 year old son, Andrew, and an 18 month old daughter, Emily, (and 3 dogs)!  Family is the fuel behind Nicole’s fire.


Friday Faves

TGIF! We are absolutely loving the positive feedback and we love sharing all of your comments, please keep them coming!  Here are your Friday favorites for today, enjoy and have a great weekend! – Candice

“I love my Yonanas machine.  We no longer buy ice-cream or sherbert.  Who needs all the extra fat and sugars when it can be easily avoided with Yonanas!” – Andi Dunlop


“My daughter and her firend asks for Yonanas every day after school.  I even put it in a cone to make them feel like they are getting a real treat.  I happened to have ice-cream at the house yesterday and they both chose yonanas over ice-cream.  Way to go Yonanas!” – Heather Johnson


“I really love how easy to clean it is. Knowing it takes just moments to make and clean means it’s not just another appliance that’ll collect dust but something I’ll use.” – Danette Williams


Action and Accountability

So many people ask me how I lost over 150 lbs.  The answer?  Action and Accountability!  What does this mean exactly?  Simple, be responsible for yourself, and get moving!

Regardless of what you blame your weight issues on (childhood, relationships, family, care taking, career, etc), you have the power and the control to make a change for your own good.   If you have abuse issues or binge eating tendencies, seek out professional help.  Take care of yourself.  Put the past behind you and move forward.

You don’t need any magic pills, or programs, you don’t need to join a gym, or buy any special food.  You don’t need to cut out whole food groups.  What you do need… is a bit of truthfulness and a lot of commitment.

Hold yourself accountable for what you eat.  Write it down, all of it, the good and the bad.  The take out, the fast food, the nibbles off of your child’s plate, the tastes of dinner that fall into your mouth while you cook, I mean all of it.  Chances are within a day or two you will feel overwhelmed and guilty and want to give up.  Don’t.  Stick with it, you are making a change, and change is hard, very hard.  I did not say this would be easy.

Once you have done this for a week, find a website or an app or whatever works for you, and put in your stats, and find out how much you need to eat to lose the weight.  Count the calories, the points, whatever it is that works.  For me, the website is  It is free, simple, and incredibly easy to use.  Try it out for a week, and just put in what you normally eat, you may be shocked to realize you are eating 2-3x more than recommended.  Once you wrap your head around that, you will most likely want to start cutting back.  You will soon become aware of what foods fill you up for less calories, and once the weight starts to drop, you won’t want to turn back.

No cheating.  If you want to eat a cupcake, do it.  Enjoy it. But log it in and see how many calories that treat is going to ‘cost’ you.  Once in awhile, no problem, but don’t let it become a habit.  The habits you want to create are eating more green leafies, more produce, and less processed food.  Begin to make better choices.

The other thing you need to do, is get up off of your bum, and move!!  Start walking, biking, hiking, playing basketball with your kids, take a yoga class, rock climb, dance, Zumba,….what you can get out and do is up to you.  Regardless of your current fitness level, your financial situation, your lifestyle, you can get up and move.  There is an overabundance of information and availability of exercise out there.  You have no excuse.  I know people who have multiple children, jobs, responsibilities, and injuries, and they STILL find time to get in 30 minutes of movement for themselves.   Can’t commit to 30 minutes?  Then I ask you, how much time do you spend on facebook or watching TV?  Think about it, then reassess that 30 minute commitment.  You can find it, I guarantee it.

You do not have to spend a lot of money on a gym membership, nor do you have to sign up to run a marathon.  Even just getting up and walking in place during a commercial break is a step in the right direction.  Find something you like, because if you don’t like it, you won’t do it.  If you have to take care of others, such as children or aging parents, find a way to incorporate them into your movement.  This might mean taking them on a walk with you, or possibly, finding support in your responsibilities, and reaching out for help so that you can make some time for yourself.

The most important piece of advice I can give to anyone who wants to lose weight, is… you are important.  You are more important than you know.  If you have people that depend on you, you need to take care of yourself first.  Stop putting everyone else’s needs in front of yours.  This means finding the time to get active, and treating yourself with respect.  Put good food in, and you will be rewarded with a lighter, stronger body, more energy, and that in turn.. will give you a better life!  You will be able to meet the needs of your life, your family, your job, with new found energy and maybe even a zest for life that you didn’t know you could have!

-Stephanie Smolik