Interviewing Joel Marion – One Mom’s Journey Toward a Healthier Life

Interviewing Joel Marion – One Mom’s Journey Toward a Healthier Life

Tracking PixelReading through the Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion , I started to notice that everything I was hearing sounded almost too good to be true. When I started putting it into practice, however, I realized within a few days that the claims the author made were absolutely realistic. I wrote about my apprehension in the first post as to why this mom is reading Always Eat After 7pm.

The first couple of days I was tempted to eat like normal in the morning (the book uses nutritional study after study to debunk the myth that breakfast is the most important meal of the day). Joel provides three boosters in the morning in the form of low or no-calorie drinks that rev your metabolism and suppress hunger, and those helped immensely.

This post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed above are my own.

What I found to be most beneficial, however, was this little gem from a dietary study:

“Late-night eating also curbs calorie intake the next day. In a four-week study, dieters added a snack to their daily regimen 90 minutes after dinner every night, and check this out: late-night eaters ate an average of 397 fewer calories per day.”

Though I scoffed at this initially, I found that it held out to be true. When I accepted that if I was going to follow this diet I had to eat at night, I simply wasn’t as hungry the next day. Because my blood sugar didn’t dip as low while I was sleeping, I wasn’t a starving wreck when I woke up. We’ve been traditionally taught to avoid carbs, have an early dinner, and never eat before bed. But the fact is, the latest scientific research shows us this earlier model is not the most ideal.

When I received my advance copy of the book, I had the opportunity to speak with Joel Marion about the reasoning and process behind its creation. I was primarily interested in the science behind the diet and what spurned him to think differently regarding long-held beliefs about eating near bedtime.

Interviewing Joel Marion

Amber (AT): Thanks for the book, Joel! I’m finding that it’s working quite well, despite going in the face of everything I believe about eating and weight gain. What inspired you to write it in the first place, considering the traditional views of meal timing?

Joel Marion (JM): After authoring 6 best selling books it was glaringly obvious there were 2 huge misconceptions about dieting that needed to be exposed. The first is that you can’t eat late at night or before bed, which science now shows is NOT true. And second, you can’t eat large portions that satisfy your natural instinct. This book solves both these problems by providing an evidence-based, enjoyable approach to dieting that can be used by any person to quickly achieve their weight loss goals.

AT: I doubt many people are aware of the science behind what they believe about the way we eat. After you did the research, how long did it take for you to develop the diet?

JM: It actually took several years of researching for me to discover the real science of eating late night. After a few years of tweaking and refining, I finally came up with a rapid fat loss solution that overcomes all the pitfalls of traditional diets.

AT: My husband does keto and though he loves it, I think we’re both bored at times of the restriction of it. How difficult is the Always Eat After 7 PM plan to follow in the long term?

JM: It’s not. And that’s exactly why I wrote the book. While any diet is never truly easy, it can be more enjoyable and much easier to adhere to when you understand how Always Eat After 7pm works because it caters to our bodies’ natural instincts.

Talking with Joel cleared up some of my fears about the diet. He’s obviously healthy and he’d taken the time to do the research. In the short time I’d been on the diet, I felt better, woke up easier and slept more deeply, and I had lost a few pounds.

The Always Eat After 7 PM plan consists of: The 14-day Acceleration Phase to kick-start the program and see rapid results, The Main Phase where you’ll learn exactly which foods to eat when in order to achieve your weight-loss goals, The Lifestyle Phase to keep the weight off for good. When I spoke to Joel, I was still in the 14-day acceleration phase, but I was determined to make it through that and move into the main program.

Check back and see how this shapes up (or rather, how I shape up). It’s late here, so I’m going to go eat a snack and head to bed, something I really never thought I’d be doing, especially as research, but here we are.

Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion is now available to purchase, and you can learn more about the book and purchase it here.

This post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed above are my own.

Why Your Kids Should Watch The Dragon Prince And You Should, Too

Why Your Kids Should Watch The Dragon Prince And You Should, Too

Netflix has come a long way since they were essentially streaming whatever content they could license. They are now a huge producer of exclusive content – for better or worse – but sometimes they really knock it out of the park.

Why Your Kids Should Watch The Dragon Prince And You Should, Too

The Dragon Prince is a show that my son stumbled upon one day while watching Netflix on his tablet. Normally he’s pretty into tablet-time, but I’d never seen him so engrossed in any other show. He talked about it at dinner, he talked about it before school in the morning and it was what he wanted to talk to my husband about when he got home from work.

And when he ran out of episodes, he legitimately cried; he was that into the story. I started to wonder about just what was the deal with this show? Could it be that good?

With season 3 just having been released to Netflix, we were determined to sit down and watch it with him. When we told him it was out, his face lit up like it was Christmas and he excitedly started explaining the backstory (which we will do in a much less sugar-hyper-six-year-old style).

Particularly if you or your children were fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender, which was written by the same person, then this show is going to just click. Even if you’ve never seen Avatar, though, there are plenty of reasons to greenlight this show on your kids’ watchlist. Let’s take a look at why.

Epic fantasy without tedious exposition

The world here is rich with complex characters, backstories and fantastical elements, and the show does a fantastic job fleshing it all out. Particularly, it does this without out-of-place exposition, layers of indecipherable names and convoluted plot points. This isn’t Game of Thrones for kids; it’s better than Game of Thrones and it’s easier to understand.

The show is set in Xadia, a continent with elves, humans and dragons. The elves and dragons find power in the elements, giving them magical abilities and giving each faction a unique concept. There are fire elves, sea elves and so on. The humans – who always seem to ruin everything – can’t use elemental magic, so in their lust for power, they dive into dark magic. This requires the life force of magical creatures and animals, and so the humans are banished to section of the continent to ruin for themselves; we are why we can’t have anything nice.

The dragon prince himself comes into the foreground when, after 1,200 years, the humans kill the dragon king and take his egg, which holds the titular character. Without spoiling anything, the story progresses as the humans move closer to war with the elves and dragons. Season 3 picks up beautifully from where season 2 left off and everything about it is well-designed, with a complex story that isn’t heavy and doesn’t require a supplemental book to keep up.

It’s beautiful

The animation is again very similar to The Last Airbender, but even more refined. Creatures are truly fantastic and whimsical, like the little adoraburrs, but can also be impressively threatening like the dragons of Xadia. Visually, it’s awe-inspiring and really is just as gorgeous as it is good at telling a compelling story.

Dragon Prince is exceptionally inclusive

One of the very first things we noticed was that a human captive of the Sun Elves – the general Amaya – is deaf; she communicates with sign language. It’s not until you see a deaf character in a show that you realize how often you don’t see deaf characters represented. This isn’t a throwaway character, either or a half-hearted attempt at the fascade of inclusion. The creators of the show consulted with sign language experts and coalitions for the deaf to create a very real, very powerful character.

Mixed families are also represented in that the king of Katolis is raising the son of his deceased wife, whom she had in a previous marriage. The royal family is biracial as well, another aspect of everyday life that somehow gets left behind when creators write characters.

The elf assassins Runaan and Ethari are married and male. Whereas many shows might introduce a gay couple and have some characters balk at the concept or at least fidget, the show simply presents them as a couple. I asked about the characters and my son simply said something about “his husband”. It didn’t throw him off or make him ask questions; it simply was a fact that these two elves loved each other.

The primary protagonist is a literal child

Prince Ezran’s journey to reunite the dragon prince, Zym, with his mother is complex. Ezran can speak with animals, a magical ability that humans simply don’t possess. He has to make difficult decisions, and the morality of the story is not often clean-cut. Ezran is not a philosopher king nor is he held up as a perfect leader; he makes choices for the best of his people, but as a child would. This represents a lot for kids, who are often used to watching fantasy shows about adults.

Ezran is endearing, strong and authentic, and this makes the entire thing very enchanting.

It’s a genuinely funny and heartfelt story

I found myself laughing out loud multiple times per episode. The characters are charming and awkward at times, but the storytelling is top-notch and uses visuals to drive the plot as much as dialogue. During our season 3 binge, we were asking our son about characters and eventually we could tell he was getting annoyed, so we’ve resolved to re-watch all three seasons again. It is any interesting paradigm, though, being the one who won’t be quiet during a show – we like to think of it as preparing him for parenting.

The Dragon Prince deserves a binge-watch

The episodes are short, around 30 minutes each, and the show is utterly enjoyable. It’s teaching our kids bravery, inclusion and that children can make a difference and should be heard. Especially now that winter is coming and watching Netflix is a nice way to spend a lazy Saturday, give The Dragon Prince a try. Chances are you’ll join us in bemoaning that there aren’t any new episodes left and that we have to wait for season 4.

Why This Mom is Reading Always Eat After 7pm

Why This Mom is Reading Always Eat After 7pm

Tracking PixelIn the past, my husband had lost over 200 pounds with a ketogenic diet, and he is always excited to help other people on that journey. Not me, however – I cannot stomach the idea avoiding carbs and the diet always just felt extremely restrictive.

Before we get into the good stuff, I do want to mention that while this post is sponsored by Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion , the views within are my own.

I do want to lose weight, however, so I started looking around for other ways to go about shedding some pounds. I found “Always Eat After 7pm” and was automatically caught up in the premise that eating at night could actually help me lose weight. After all, it’s been my belief my entire life that eating at night makes you gain weight and with my husbands sort of carbphobia, I was extra scared of late-night snacking or before-bed pizza.

Why This Mom is Reading Always Eat After 7pm

What drew me to “Always Eat After 7pm” is that it claims to offer consistent weight loss while flying in the face of everything I “know” is certified science. Turns out, that’s not the case – in fact, the author points to multiple studies that indicate better sleep and lower calorie consumption the next day when food is eaten before bed.

But to be frank, the thing that piqued my interest was this quote:

“Fact is, most diets are extremely narrow with regard to food choices and variety, and many even limit entire macronutrients altogether over the course of the entire program (think low-carb and low-fat diets). Three months with no carbs? No thanks. Such practices not only are entirely unnecessary, but make for a miserable, unsustainable experience.”

Based on surprising science, Always Eat After 7 PM debunks popular diet myths and offers an easy-to-follow diet that accelerates fat-burning and allows you to indulge in your most intense food cravings: Eating the majority of your calories at night. 

I looked at my husband with his 12 eggs a day habit like some kind of real-life Gaston and thought “no thank you”. I’d rather eat whatever I want, especially if I want a late-night snack. And that had me hooked – I decided to try this method.

Ever the skeptic, my husband poked around through the book and watched this video of the author Joel Marion explaining the science behind his method:


Once my husband realized what was being pitched would actually work, he begrudgingly stopped judging the bowl of cherries I was furiously maxing on at 9 pm.

I’d tried other diet plans in the past, like ones where you need hyper-expensive workout videos or meal delivery systems and I hated them. They worked, mind you, but I hated them and they were costly. If this plan could help me lose weight and keep up with my kids, and the entry fee was only the price of a book, I was quite frankly sold.

We’ve been traditionally taught to avoid carbs, have an early dinner, and never eat before bed. But the fact is, the latest scientific research shows us this earlier model is not the most ideal and a diet simply won’t work at ALL if you don’t stick to it. I remember my mom doing juice fasts as a kid and she was always irritable, had no energy and she still barely lost weight, all of which sounds like horrible torture.

I was determined to apply this book’s concepts and objectively see if it worked for weight loss, so I picked up an advance copy. I’ll be working on the concepts in the book, starting with the 14-day acceleration phase that claims to help you lose up to 1 pound per day (I’m particularly excited about that). I’ll be writing about my success with the program, so keep coming back to see how I’m doing.

Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion is now available to purchase and you can learn more about the book and how to purchase it here.

Always Eat After 7pm book review

This post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed above are my own.

Using Postmates To Help Relieve Stress

Using Postmates To Help Relieve Stress

Right now in our homes, we’re all stressed; the kids, the spouse, our parents. It’s scary and uncertain and there’s a pall of tension over everything, and even mundane tasks like going to the grocery store feel like suiting up for dangerous missions.

Between taking care of the kids, working from home and trying to keep things organized, going to the grocery store was not high on my list of wants, but having food is definitely high on our list of needs. A friend of mine suggested I try Postmates, and they gave me the promo code FOODMATES, which gives $100 off of delivery fees, so I decided it was worth a go. That said, please note this is a sponsored post, but it in no way reflects my view points or opinion.

Postmates Review

I had heard of Postmates when I lived in Chicago, as it was a popular courier service, but they’ve branched out and now deliver just about anything, anywhere. This includes food from local restaurants, groceries, medicine, etc so we used them to get our weekly grocery order delivered.

The app is incredibly simple to use and the delivery was fast, no-contact and painless. I didn’t have to fight crowds, wear PPE, or wander around a grocery store – our weekly meal plan was completed with a few clicks of an app.

Plus, by ordering through Postmates, there was no chance I was going to impulse buy anything; I got exactly what I needed and didn’t have to leave the house.

It’s not guided meditation or a 5-mile run, but anything to prevent some stress right now is welcome. Having our groceries delivered by Postmates freed up a huge amount of time in my day, and by using the promo code FOODMATES, I didn’t even have to pay for delivery (though we tipped of course).

Do yourself a favor and give them a try and see how much less stressful your life can be when things you need are brought to you.

Offer Details

$100 Off Delivery Fees from Postmates

Valid for new users only.

Use promo code FOODMATES

Download the iOS (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/postmates-food-delivery/id512393983) or Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.postmates.android&hl=en_US) app

Grocery Shopping Tips For Quarantine

Grocery Shopping Tips For Quarantine

While the world is staying safe and keeping our distance, there are still those of us who must go out and work, shop and interact at least in some ways with the outside world. Though we’re all counting the days to when we can get out and mingle again, for right now our trips to the grocery store need to be quick, efficient and frugal.

Grocery Shopping Tips For Quarantine

These tips are designed to help us all make our quarantine grocery shopping healthy, safe and efficient, but they’re useful for when all of this ends as well. Wrangling your grocery excursions each week can save you thousands of dollars over the year and tremendous amounts of waste, and might even improve your health.

Make a meal plan before your grocery list

Everyone knows that you shouldn’t go shopping hungry or thirsty because it increases your chances of impulse buying. Did you know it’s just as detrimental to not have a plan in place for all your groceries?

A good meal plan flows into each day; buying a value pack of ground beef can make burgers one day and the leftovers can be used for chili the next. Cooking a pork roast for dinner on Sunday is perfect to make pulled pork on Monday or Tuesday. Planning meals like this saves money and prevents waste, and it allows you to use fillers like beans or rice to make your meals stretch farther.

Avoid Instacart unless you absolutely cannot

Though it seems like getting your groceries delivered is a great way to save time and minimize risk, ultimately someone else is still out there shopping, meaning even though you’re not exposed, someone else is. Additionally, this person is looking at your list and touching things, putting them back and spending more time in the store than you would because you know where to find your routine purchases.

Services like this also mark up the cost of each individual item and charge you a fee. Combined you might be looking at paying over 20% more than if you had shopped yourself.

For high-risk people, these types of services are likely necessities, but many grocery stores offer special hours for high-risk, elderly and emergency services customers. These are low traffic times with extra precautions taken, so if you can, use these hours to your advantage.

Try expanding meatless Mondays

Meat is usually the most expensive part of a meal and with supply chains becoming hindered, it’s increasingly scarce, limited and costly. Meatless Monday is a popular concept that helps people reduce their carbon footprint, reduce meat intake and increase their vegetable intake for better health.

Beans are a great substitute for meat as they provide proteins and cost dramatically less. Dried beans last a considerable amount of time when properly stored and they’re not difficult to cook at all. When coupled with rice, most beans provide a complete essential protein profile and again, both are pantry staples that last for years.

If you want an idea of how much meat to buy for your family and how much each serving costs, there are calculators online that help with that. Applications like these can show you just how much you spend each week on meat, and how much each serving costs, and you can compare different proteins against each other for cost-effectiveness as well.

Batch cook and streamline

With quarantine days bleeding into each other, it’s best to automate as many healthy practices as possible. Your brain likes to make habits out of the mundane, but different experiences feel more special when we make certain parts of our days automatic.

To this end, making big batches of easy breakfasts and lunches is a great way to eat healthy with little thought and to save money. A big container of tuna salad or a breakfast casserole are both extremely cheap, can feed a family for days and can be tailored to be delicious and healthy. This also makes it so that your dinners or weekend meals are more special, because they differ so dramatically from your daily meals. Canned tuna also keeps for a long time, making it an ideal purchase during quarantine when you want to maximize your shopping trips.

Safety and efficiency

Going to the store should be as quick and efficient as possible. Plan a grocery list based on what you pass by as you flow through the store. Produce and meat are usually on the outside, with pantry staples in the middle of the store.

Take a list to ensure you only need to go past each area once, and don’t waste time browsing. Getting in and out as quickly as possible is your top priority, as is maintaining distance. Going as early as possible is another great idea to minimize interaction with other people and maximize how quickly you can get through the store.

Redefine your overall budget

Your grocery budget should be robust enough to feed your family well, but not bloated and including things you really don’t need. Reconsidering your entire budget is a great step during these quarantine times because money is probably becoming more tight, but even if it’s not, there’s never been a better time to step back and evaluate where your money is going and how it’s working for you.

Take the time to sit with a budget calculator and plug in the data to determine how much you should be spending on groceries versus how much you are, and find ways to make those numbers more closely match up.

Grocery shopping has changed dramatically in a few months, and what was simply another chore has turned into something that begs deeper consideration. You can, however, make it a positive, efficient and money-saving experience with just a little bit of planning, budgeting and forethought.