Fad Diets - What's all the fuss about? And do they truly help with weight loss?

In my family, making sure everyone gets what they want to eat during the holidays (or any family meal) can be tricky! Everyone seems to follow a different diet - everything from Paleo, to vegetarian, carbohydrate restricted, pescatarian, vegan, and the Bullitproof diet - so how do you satisfy everyone's nutrition needs?

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Most people would say "you don't!", BUT being the passionate dietitian and self proclaimed foodie, chef and baker that I am, I say it CAN be done. For Thanksgiving I tried my hand at homemade cranberry sauce, vegan chocolate cupcakes (and frosting) and cauliflower rice, dishes that everyone was able to enjoy. The result? Delicious, nutritious food and happy people.

The moral of the story: as long as this diet is something you can stick to forever, more power to you. If you are trying it out as a weight loss tactic, make sure to have a game plan on how to transition back to real life eating after the weight is lost.

Contact us today to find out which fad diets work best for weight loss and create a personalized plan to lose weight and keep it off: contact@thriverd.com or 415-763-5544.

Insurance reimbursement now available - just ask!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Makes about 3 cups


  • 12 ounce bag of fresh or frozen cranberries

  • 1/2 cup juice (pineapple, apple, orange, etc.)

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/4 cup water

  • Zest of 1 tangerine, lemon or orange (I used tangerine)

  • 1-2 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie seasoning


1. Put cranberries, juice, applesauce and water in a large pot and bring to a boil.

2. Turn heat down and continue cooking until cranberries pop (stir occassionally).

3. Once the sauce reaches desired consistency (about 10-15 minutes of cooking), add zest and cinnamon. Allow sauce to cool and put in the fridge until it's time to serve.

**Sauce will thicken as it cools**

Mini Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

(Recipe adapted from Minimalistbaker.com and Cooking Light magazine)

Makes about 2 dozen mini cupcakes


Ingredients (for the cake):

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or soy milk)

  • 1 tsp. apple cidar vinegar

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce

  • 1 espresso shot, cooled (or about 1/4 cup strongly brewed coffee)

  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil (or coconut oil)

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1 cup + 1 tsp. unbleached all purpose flour

  • 1 cup cane sugar

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp. salt (optional)

For the frosting:

  • 1 avocado, mashed

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or soy milk)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease mini muffin tray.

2. Mix almond milk and vinegar in a large mixing bowl and set aside for a few minutes, until the milk starts to curdle. Add the applesauce, espresso or coffee, oil and vanilla extract and beat until foamy.

3. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt to a sifter and sift over wet ingredients while mixing. If you don't have a sifter, mix the dry ingredient in a separate bowl and then add to wet ingredients while beating. Continue mixing until no lumps remain.

4. Pour batter into mini muffin tray and bake for 20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool before frosting.

5. While cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting: place mashed avocado, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and almond milk into a food processor and blend until desired texture.

6. Frost cupcakes, add sprinkles if desired and enjoy!

Cauliflower Rice

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  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into chunks

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1 tbsp. coconut, olive or grapeseed oil

  • Salt and pepepr to taste

  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime (optional)

  • Cilantro, parsley, basil, or any fresh herb of choice (optional)


1. Place chopped cauliflower chunks into food processor and pulse a couple times.

2. Add garlic, oil, salt and pepper and pulse until it becomes a rice-like texture.

3. Seasoning with fresh herbs and juice of 1 lemon or lime if desired.

For more healthy, family friendly recipes and to learn how to lose weight and keep it off, contact us today!

Contact@thriverd.com or 415-763-5544

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