Stress and cortisol

person people woman hand

Last week I have to be honest, it was a very stressful week. Death, job, and personal stuff just so compounding. I don’t need to go into details because I don’t want to seem my stuff is greater than yours. We all go through things.

But it is how we go through things so that we can grow stronger. Stress and stuff makes us weak – or does it really need to if we have the tools, education and knowledge to press through we can rise above and become the diamond from the ashes.

Excess Cortisol is a beast. A Beast. It can cause inflammation, organ failure, fluffy, puffy faces, bodies, weight gain, added fat gain, just funk and with funk can come more frustration and anger.

So, combat and reverse.

High amounts of Cortisol can suppress the immune system rapidly. I recommend herbs: Lavender – either tea or essential oil. Drink the tea and lather self in the essential oil or smell it. I apply it to my skin then cup my hands around my hose and mouth and breath deeply for relaxation technique.

art blur cappuccino close up

Reduce or eliminate alcohol and coffee – ACK !
I need coffee and alcohol to handle my issues!!!

No you don’t that is just society giving you a reason to drink. Drink because you like to socially and be cool when you do it – don’t drive after drinking and don’t drink if you cannot afford a uber.

Also, it can cause depression and bankruptcy. It doesn’t solve your problems, it doesn’t make you money and it reduces B and C in the body to help you enhance the immune system. my issues.

Photo by Chevanon Photography on

You can grab some wheatgrass powder or juice and it will help reduce cravings and help with immune system. Also, what will help is Glutamine and BCAA both will help. The amino acid Leucine will curve the appetite for carbs and alcohol while helping maintain the sugar levels in the body.

What is Glutamine?

It helps muscle recovery, and development. No, you won’t be a body builder looking type but you will feel great because your body is able to maintain or return to homeostasis. Which homeostasis balance will help reduce or keep cortisol from getting to extreme levels. You have to keep a good head on your shoulders when you are going through Stress Stuff!

B vitamins are helpful with keeping a good head on your shoulders. It helps the central nervous system stay cool. The B’s work together like a family, each having its role and each having a function to help the other process, metabolize either that B or some other nutrient.

So B -12 shots, well… you are probably not maintaining a good lifestyle so you might want to look at that and incorporate some other B’s into your day. B and C will reduce every 2 to 4 hours depending on the gender, person, age, activity and stress level. Why? Because B and C is reduced by heat and light. Heat and Light is another form of stress in my opinion. Because when you do not return to homeostasis, the body gets hot or increase temperature levels … mercury rises so to speak when you get angry, stressed, or depressed to name a few.

Stay cool man, don’t be uncool – you gotta make it through this moment in style.

So, BCAA – branched amino acids are the guys that help with fat reduction too. When cortisol increases, the body increases fat – it is a protection thing and the fat increases around the organs, and under the skin; places where it is hard to get rid of.

Folks with round, hard bellies have a lot of stress inside the body even if they don’t have a stressful environment.

Exercise is essential but I recommend water exercises, and yoga as part of your routine (I am speaking to you runners! ) Running is great but it has to complimented with other forms of activity. Why? because as a runner for 36 years, your body uses the large muscles and most of you guys run on the concrete, or asphalt which by the way it doesn’t matter how “cushion” your $170 shoe is, your joints will feel the impact. Bike, yoga, swim… train like a triathlete, eat like one too! But love your body and love who you are. Love your environment. It is always changing and no it is not always roses. But you can at least do something about it and stop aging yourself. Reverse the signs of aging through de-stress. Reverse the cortisol and stop the side effects of excess cortisol from making you look and feel older.

The brain: Excess cortisol affects brain function: memory, decision-making, circulation… to name a few that you need because the brain is like 60% fat.  There is nothing worse when you are young and cannot remember where your keys are, your phone, your car, your anything because your brain is affected majorly from stress.

Teas containing: lavender, ginger are great.

Take Q10, Gotu kola no more than 400 iu, ginko biloba I take 50 three times per day.

To enhance / help the immune system every day stuff ….

BZINCC is what I like to say

B vitamins – varies on which one so a b-complex is good start to take. Pretty much everything has some type of B in it. Choline and Chromium  (decreased by processed foods by 93%) and folic acid super important: egg yolk, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, peanuts, fish, leafy greens

Zinc: 10-15 mg per day in foods that are tear drop shape because it also increases your baby making stuff for male and females. So be careful if you are not into making some babies.

Iron: depends on the person but is decreased by antacids. FYI menstrual cycle you lose average 30mg of iron. Start increasing 2 weeks before your nutrients and GLA for menstrual cycle loses. Food: kelp, brewer’s yeast… see below more friends.

Calcium – important mineral for everything. Another way the body can produce calcium is pairing foods together that contain Tryptophan (amino acid) and Vitamin C… for example: Turkey marinated in Pineapple. Or pineapple period. Or Add red bell pepper to your salad ( add salmon if you can) Salmon has important fats. Vegetarians: Stuff red bell pepper with avocado, spinach, corn, legumes/ beans).

Tryptophan foods: legumes, nuts, eggs, dairy, seeds, grains, corn, milk casein. Vitamin C: red bell pepper, kiwi, pineapple, citrus, lemons, seeds, tomatoes, asparagus, parsley, dark greens, cabbage, papaya,.. just so you know C stands for collagen and collegan makes your skin supple and sexy.

Vitamin C as stated above the sources…

Eat Well -Eat Smart – Love Life


Foods to incorporate:

wheatgrass, mango, carrots, brewer’s yeast, dark greens, nuts, seeds, eggs, salmon, broccoli, cauliflower, watermelon, cucumber, fleshy fruits, kiwi, swiss chard, dates, green peas, edamame, parsley, wheat germ


This article is my opinion it has not been tested by FDA and is not funded by anyone on TV, or government agency. It is an Advice column and the statements have not been approved by the FDA. This is from my professional opinion and personal experience – that is all. Seek a medical person for help.

Tracy CEO of  Skinny South Incredible Treats, speaker, chef by trade, author, runner and community adovocate of health. Lives in the USA with kiddo and friends.

product line: 305-985-2140


Photos: Thanks to Photo by Public Domain Pictures on


Feeling Fluffy

Sometimes you wake up, feel irritable and just want to go back to bed. It is a day that you feel “fluffy” and weird. You feel if you workout 2 hours that the fluffiness will go away or that you will not be irritable anymore. When really it is an affect that your nervous system is responding due to an imbalance within.


The nervous system loves the nutrients C and B. When you have too much sugary stuff like wine, white carbs, sugar treats – your body gives off the vibe of pissed off but YOU don’t know WHY?

Sugars and processed foods deplete B vitamins by 93% and stress depletes it even more – as to why sometimes you just want to stay in bed.

C vitamins helps your immune system which helps the nerves chill – return to homeostasis meaning a balance within the body.

Zinc helps this duo out so your immune system doesn’t go haywire and a rash or cold goes along with the stress you or your environment has or is causing.

How much do I take?

Well depending …

and is why you eat small meals throughout the day – B and C is depleted by the most stressed out every 2 to 3 hours depending on the gender (women deplete more than men per hour) and if you workout hardcore or leisurely.

B is found is everything. B has 15 types – b12 is the most popular but B12 cannot work alone as to why in my professional opinion B12 shots are not wise alone. If you do take one, it is important to consume a healthy meal/ choices so the B family can have a successful reunion and you have a great day.

Sluggishness – coffee … yep, doesn’t work. Funny thing, coffee especially the kind you get at the store is a direutic and depletes B vitamins… So, if you want your coffee – have more B. Some shops say they add B in but remember heat, and light deplete C and B quickly aka stress, heat (temp) and light (store in a cool, dry place) the milk carton use to be yellow mug instead of glass or clear now its yellow, frosted, whatever but not glass which acts as a heat conductor. 

Food. food is food – ingredients are ingredients. It is what you do with it and how you pair it that is important to know.

Food rich in B: dark greens, eggs, meat, beans, rice (enriched with niacin), grains… 

Foods rich in C: red bell, kiwi, citrus, cabbage

I like to include that increase oxygen levels in my blood like quinoa and amaranth – grains yes and important for B’s and oxygen levels in the blood

C: 1000 mg won’t hurt ya to have per day get that in a sleeve from the EmergenC or Immune people packets. If you workout, like me – hardcore I do a packet before a run or workout and one after to replace C lost

B: Rock it with a B-complex like companies: The complex is level and you get what you need. Some multi-vitamins are great make sure you take it with meal, breakfast or dinner.

reason for dinner is because when you go to sleep you begin the repair process of the cells, muscles, etc.

Smoothies… go to a goooood smoothie maker like my friend, Danny A., owner of Smoothie Shop and master smoothie maker in Miami Beach.


3 D’s of life:


Have outlets like running, swimming or yoga something where your brain is being productive with your body.


Keep a journal to keep the junk out of your body – brain


Great foods to the body so it can produce success for you throughout the day ! 


Tracy Knight, owner of Skinny South, chef, runner, nutritionist and loves the science of food and the body. Has a daughter who has a disability but yet she does great in life. Life is life, love is love. Put them together and feel the joy – LoveLife !

Butternut Squash Sage Pizza

pizza recipe

Click on the link above for the Butternut Squash Sage Pizza, which is rich in destress nutrients, and Omega 3.

If you don’t want pizza, look below for Butternut Squash served as a side dish


Healthy Heart Recipe !


Recipe for:

Butternut Squash & Sage Pizza

by Tracy Knight, Owner

Skinny South Incredible Treats, Inc

Butternut Squash & Sage Pizza

Oven Preheat to 400 degree Fahrenheit


2 TBSP olive oil

2 Shallots, finely chopped

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (about 1 pound) 1” cubes

16 sage leaves or one packet found in the produce section; and cut in long halves

1 jar of 365 chunky Spaghetti sauce or 2 x14 oz cans chunky tomato sauce

4 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced

4 ounces feta cheese

salt and pepper, freshly ground

One large 365 plain pizza crust (quick version, instead of making your own)

Utensils needed:
1 large skillet

1 stone for pizza


1 tbsp

sharp knife

serves 4


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  2. Stove for Pizza is best (no oil needed to go onto stone)

  3. Put the butter and oil, heat in oven for a few minutes then add the shallots, squash, sage leaves in a roasting pan, toss to coat in to oil and butter, and roast for 15-20 minutes until tender

  4. Raise the oven temp to 425

  5. lay out 365 pizza crust

  6. brush the olive oil onto crust

  7. spoon out the Spaghetti sauce, leaving ½ inch edge all around

  8. Put Squash/Sage mixture on top then top

  9. Add the mozzarella and the feta cheese

  10. Add the rest of the uncooked sage (left in the packet) onto the top

  11. Season with salt and pepper

  12. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden

If you want to make your own crust: gluten Free

½ tsp active dry yeast

pinch sugar

4 cups of gluten free flour

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter


  1. put 1 ½ cups warm water in a measure cut. Add Yeast and sugar (let sit for 5-10 minutes)

  2. Sift the flour

Recipe for:

Winter Vegetable Side Dish

by Tracy Knight, Owner

Skinny South Incredible Treats, Inc

Winter Vegetable Side Dish

Preheat the Oven to 400 degrees


1 apple, cut in 1 ½” cubes

1 purple onion, large sections

1 sweet potato, cubed 1”

2 cups of butternut squash, cubed 1”

1 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

8 sage leaves, cut in half longways

Salt and pepper, fresh ground to taste



cutting board




  1. Preheat oven to 400 degree F

  2. Put the garlic, olive oil into skillet. Place into oven a few minutes

  3. On the stove top, heat an eye over Medium or 5

  4. Take the skillet out of the oven and add the apple, purple onion, sweet potato and squash and saute until tender

  5. add sage half way through the cooking process

  6. Add Salt and Pepper

Serves 4





Guiltless Double Chocolate Vegan Pudding



Guiltless Double Chocolate Vegan Pudding by Tracy Knight


  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 tbsp stevia
  • ¼ cup No gmo cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup almond milk unsweetened
  • 1 cup coconut milk unsweetened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
  • ¼ cup honey (Local)
  • ½ cup chocolate chip (Enjoy Life chunks)


  1. In a medium bowl sift togther stevia, cocoa, cornstartch, and salt
  2. Add to a medium saucepan
  3. Add Almond Milk and Coconut Milk over medium heat stir constantly – no lumps fork works just as well as a whisk
  4. Use a spatula to remove from sides from here on out use the spatula it will help keep it from sticking to the bottom and sides
  5. 2 minutes allow for it to come to a boil stirring constantly until thickens
  6. Add honey and vanilla
  7. Remove from heat and stir dark cocoa chunks
  8. pour into bowls and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours
  9. Top with coconut whipped cream

Coconut whipped cream by Angela Liddon

yields 1 cup

prep 10 min


1 can full fat coconut milk chill for 24 hours

2 tables of honey

½ tsp vanilla extract (opt)


  1. one hour before put mixing bowl in refrigerator
  2. after chilling can of coconut milk, open the can and scoop the solid white coocnut cream into the bowl. Discard the coconut water or save to make coconut water ice cubes
  3. Whisk (electric) beat the cream until fluffy and smooth. Add in sweetner to taste and vanilla
  4. Return whipped cream to refrigerator until use (up to 1 week)

    Purchase one of these fine protein chocolate pieces at

Follow us @skinnysouth Instagram, Twitter

guiltless-double-chocolate-vegan-pudding-nutrition-labelNutrition Services call 305-985-2140 mention Fairchild Garden for discounted price

Meals on a Budget for the family or just one

meal ideas:
Lunch or Dinner
1. Rice and Bean with salt and pepper dash of each
– gives you energy, repairs muscles, fill you up with fiber
2. Rice 1 cup, Beans 1 cup, salt and pepper to taste; cayenne is optional and not much
(added vitamin C)
3. Rice 1cup, 1 can corn (drained and rinsed) and 1 can of peas(drained and rinsed) cook
rice then add the drained corn and peas to dish salt and pepper to taste
4. mac and cheese solo 2 tbsp when a side item, ½ cup when by itself
5. mac and cheese with peas
6. sausage sliced up with bread and jelly – 1 link
7. sausage 1-2 links diced up with Rice 1 cup and beans 1 cup
8. ¼ cup of cornflakes (gives it the healthy fried effect) and roll chicken in it bake at 350
degrees until done side of peas, corn or green beans and corn
9. chicken rolled in applesauce( make a sweet taste) roll in crushed cornflakes. A sweet
taste without the added sugar
10. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich 1 tbsp peanut butter per 2 slices of bread with ½ packet
of jelly to spread
11. Peanut butter sandwich
12. half of peanut butter sandwich with side of applesauce
13. toast peanut butter on one slice of bread add jelly after toasting if you want
14. baked chicken shredded with one can of cranberry sauce mixed together side of peas or
green beans and ½ slice of toast ½ cup chicken with 2 tbsp peas, 2 tbsp green beans,
slice up the toast with 3 slices per piece of bread
15. marinate chicken in oj (from the frozen juice can after you create the mixture) bake to
create the same dish as if you were going to create orange slices over chicken with side
of green beans and peas
breakfast and lunch :
1. Peanut butter toast
2. Butter and toast or dry toast
3. peanut butter toast with dash cinnamon
4. applesauce ½ cup with box of raisins feeds 4 kids under 7 years old add cinnamon : as a
dessert item
5. applesauce with cinnamon as a dessert
6. peanut butter and raisin sandwich
7. sausage slices with toast
8. graham crackers 2 per child with 1 tsp peanut butter
9. 10 raisins per child – not the whole box
10. break in half grandma’s cookie
11. break in half grandma’s cookie and add 1 tsp peanut butter – snack
12. wheat thins with jelly
13. wheat thins 6 crackers by themselves
14. sausage and beans
15. toast and jelly : breakfast 1-2 slice ; 1 slice for adults; you can get 3 long slices in each
piece of bread : if you slice it up and add just a few raisins in between the slices it looks
like more food.
16. plain popcorn
17. popcorn with raisins (sweet and salty taste)
18. popcorn with cayenne (adults helps with weight loss and adds vitamin c)
19. Milk and cornflakes – ½ cup cereal with enough milk to not completely cover cereal: ⅛
cup ; teens 1 cup ceral to ¼- ½ cup milk
20. milk, cornflakes and raisins 3-5 per bowl
21. cereal with peanut butter mix it up 1 cup of cereal with 3 tbsp peanut butter: snack that’s
filling and fun to eat . roll into balls for easy little hands to eat
22. grape juice with added water ½ water ¼ grape juice
23. grape juice for kids small cup not a large glass adults too
24. if you have whole milk divide into 4 jugs and add water; if you have 2% divide into 2 1-
gallon containers half with milk and half with water; add ½ tsp of sugar for flavor
25. you do not have to add sugar to the cornflakes instead: add raisins or add a little of
another cereal to it
26. cranberry sauce 1 tbsp per person served with sausage or chicken with a side of green
beans and corn
Key tips
-Serving sizes are small; put on a smaller plate to feel more full (tricks the eyes)
drink a lot of water: fills the belly
-don’t use food as a reward or punishment: kids will tend to overeat when you do this.
-sugar does not fill you up: fruit fills you up because of fiber
-Vegetables are important for your colon, cells, eyes, skin, brain
-fruit is important to think clearly and to help get fat where it needs to go in the body and it
prevents colds only if you have it daily





Meal ideas for a family


TIPS: It is a breakfast that puts protein and carbohydrates together. Very important that your breakfast has these two things. Sometimes we have to put pinto beans and pasta together but together they work like warm oatmeal.

  1. 1 Cinnamon Toasters
  2. 1 slice ham with 1 slice toast
  3. ¼ cup of diced pork and ½ of scrambled eggs
  4. ¼ cup pinto beans and 1 slice pork =250 calories
  5. ¼ cup pasta and ¼ cup pinto beans = 350 calories
  6. cold spaghetti


TIPS: to make the canned items healthier for your heart, especially those with high blood pressure. Drain and rinse the items in the can.

  1. 1 slice ham and toast
  2. ½ cup spaghetti
  3. ¼ cup pork diced up with a side of 2 tbsp of mac and cheese with 2 tbsp of green beans
  4. ½ cup green beans with 2 tbsp diced ham side of cranberry sauce
  5. 2 tbsp corn, 2 tbsp green beans, 1 slice of canned ham and slice of bread
  6. ¼ cup ham with 3 tbsp instant potatoes and 2 tbsp green beans
  7. ¼ cup of pork with 3 tbsp instant pototoes, 2 tbsp corn, 2 tbsp green beans
  8. ham sandwich with pringles on the side


  1. slice of ham
  2. ¼ cup of pork
  3. ¼ cup cranberry sauce
  4. 2 tbsp of raisins
  5. cinnamon toaster
  6. lance crackers – idea, you can twist the lance cracker open and have the peanut butter on one side, and on the clean side put the velvetta from the mac and cheese on it
  7. 1 cup juice


Important, the dinner for adults is the smallest meal. Also, dinner for kids is not an adult portion. Kids use up energy all day and are fed at school too.

anything from lunch

  1. salmon with green beans, corn and ½ cup juice
  2. ¼ cup ham, carrots, 2 tbsp pinto beans and 2 tbsp of instant potatoes
  3. mac and cheese with pork and green beans
  4. green beans, pork , carrots, instant potatoes
  5. ham (marinate in orange or pineapple juice and then sear in pan) serve with green beans, carrots and instant pototoes
  6. in a casserole dish: combine ham, carrots, corn, velvetta cheese and instant pototoes with a pat of butter and bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes / golden brown on top or cheese bubbles


Cheesy ham chowder


  • 10 bacon strips, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 2-1/2 cups cubed potatoes
  • 1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
  • Pepper to taste
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups cubed fully cooked ham


  1. In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels to drain. In the drippings, saute onion and carrots until tender. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually add milk and water. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  2. Add the potatoes, corn, bouillon and pepper. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add cheese and ham; heat until cheese is melted. Stir in bacon. Yield: 10 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1/2 cup) equals 209 alories, 16 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 32 mg cholesterol, 528 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 8 g protein. Please make sure you take in less than 1 cup to stay healthy.

Originally published as Cheesy Ham Chowder in Quick Cooking September/October 2000, p7

takes 30 minutes to prep and cook makes 20 filling ½ cup servings.

Fear Not…

Does today feel like a borderline day? Do you feel that you can go either way with your day?

Everyone has those days when you feel like giving up but aren’t completely sold. It could be business, it could be your eating or exercise. Whatever the case, they are all the same. The decision you make will alter your life in some way. The verse, Isaiah 41:10 says

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold yo with my righteous right hand.”

The cool part is the one before ” I have chosen you”

If you pray, seek God he will show you what to do and how to do it. Many times we get discouraged because we aren’t “hearing” anything from God and we get so hyper-focused on that, we miss the blessing or direction. Don’t focus on the weightloss, business, finances… but, focus on God. It says in Phil 3:14: Keep your eyes on the prize, do not look at what is behind you but strain toward what is ahead. Press forward to the prize for which God has called YOU.

Like in Proverbs 4:27, “Do not sway left or right but keep your foot from evil”. Meaning do not let your eye wander from what God has you to do, regardless as to what is said. Now, we are to pray because we could be on a path and if the path doesn’t make sense or we are making the wrong decisions and God brings someone into our life to help guide us the right way, we need to be open to that person. As to why, pray without ceasing and to keep your eyes on him.

Only God can move that mountain but it is your faith in him that will move that mountain. You ask, with faith, without swaying and it will be done. But there are some things in which God does give us to teach us a lesson because we just won’t get off of it.

Be careful what you wish for, is the saying. God may grant it but are you ready for the responsibilities it will bring. That’s why in business slow growth is important. (Proverbs 13:11).

The rule 10% applies in running, training, and business. It is the same. Success can happen overnight but rarely is it forever. A hurricane and tornado can rise up in an instant and destroy everything in its path.

Have discipline in your work, be persistent and knowledge to grow your wisdom to make the right choices, pray without ceasing. Do not lean on your own understanding as to why something is going on. Know that you are not in control. But in the same hand, do not worry. Worry is fear, and fear is distrust. Then why pray if all you are going to do is “give it to God” then talk about all the negative that you have, what you don’t have and how you don’t know how you will do it.

If you live alone , don’t have anyone for support. Know that God is your provider, your cheerleader, your dad, your friend. Like a phone call to a person, you have to call on his name. The sparrow has nothing to worry about, for that little bitty thing knows that food will be provided. A child has no fear and goes for it. Sometimes our extended knowledge of the world brings us fear. Fear isn’t real. Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.

Nothing is impossible for everything is possible through God. You, ” I am Possible” I am possible to do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Go out into the world and change your fears into possible things. Cast your fears far from  your thoughts because it is in your head that you can harm your health, and make you think you can’t do it. Anxiety, worry, fear… are all in your head. Cast out the thought so it doesn’t move down into your heart, to your stomach and make you sick with worry, fear, anxiety… which is the leading cause of so many health issues, stomach, digestive issues.

sunriseToday, put your feet on the floor knowing today is your day to make a change and be the best you can be with what you have, eyes open, ears open like someone on high alert ready for positive change and success.

Whether you believe in God or not, the thing is that Proverbs has a lot of wise advise so does a lot of the bible that makes sense and many apply what is in the bible to life that don’t know they do…. interesting but true.

Love one another.



Southern Fusion Cuisine, Can It Really Be Health?

Rizzo’s Diner

492 S Main Street

Memphis, TN 38103

When you think Memphis, you think BBQ, beer, music… and soul food. Well, in South Main there lies a diamond in the rough that like a handful of talented chefs in Memphis have gravitated towards, Southern fusion. Southern fusion is where country meets city. Its like the hip grandma everyone wanted, where you have sunny side up egg with steak and avocado.

To understand the healthy side of Southern Fusion, I decided to take to Rizzo’s Diner in Memphis, TN to show you that this Southern food isn’t forgetting Grandma’s sincere advice to eat your vegetables.

From top to bottom we will explore Rizzo’s Diner.

As you walk into this crisp, cool bar, you will feel the warmth of the staff from the front to the back; you will feel at home.

The aromas will gravitate towards you and this is where the metabolism starts. As you smell the delicious foods, the salivary glands begin to produce in the mouth preparing it for the cuisine.

The first thing you do is order water. This will cleanse the palette of anything you had during the day. It will set the pH level in the stomach at a better place. Also, if you have any alcohol you will begin to feel hydrated, allowing for you to enjoy your meal better.

If you want to have a glass of wine, it is better to drink alcohol with your meal to keep the sugars of wine balanced in the bloodstream. If you have alcohol solo, the sugars tend to spike causing the alcohol levels in the blood to be higher than with food. The cool thing about the nutrients in the meal, it will help protect the cells, process foods and proceed through the blood at a safer rate.

Rizzo’s Diner has many great delicious food choices particularly beautifully designed to please the palette. But does it really hold the true nutritional food pairing? Read on to find out about Rizzo’s Diner in Memphis, TN.

Chef Michael Patrick has done a fantastic job of pairing the foods together to please the palette some of the favorite patron choices is the Lobster Pronto Pup, Lamb Belly Taco, Ahi Tuna, South Main Salad and the Filet.

Not only will this blog guide you to the right menu choices to enhance effectively your nutrient intake but think of it as a way to help you adequately with post workout needs like marathons, runs, crossfit, yoga, walking, losing weight, heart disease, diabetes…. and so forth.

(The following are suggestions and are not supported by the FDA, consult your doctor when it comes to medication, and what your regime should be)

Post Run (PR) perfect for runners, post races and hard workouts. Why? It contains nutrients that are the perfect blend needed for the proper electrolyte replacement which is not just water, salt and sugar/ citrus. In order to really utilize the electrolytes and get them into the system effectively, you will pair them with foods rich in C, niacin, E, Calcium, magnesium, salt, protein. Also antioxidants which will help reduce the stress the race ran havoc on your body, you have to not only repair the muscles but cells too. No one wants to look good from the neck down. Collagen from the C as well will help fight anti-aging of the cell which antioxidants work together with the amino acids in foods to do.

Dish The Healthy 411


Seared Pork Belly Good for PR ; contains antioxidants, helps fight fatigue, contains fat solubles (ADEK) that absorb the fat, may reduce stress and process proteins faster.
Lobster Pronto Pup

perfect for the long day in the yard. Rich in Zinc which fights off mosquitoes, build the immune system, increases the sex drive, burns fat (with the spices and vinegar in the dish)

Lamb Belly Tacos

PR, rich in antioxidants, helps with electrolyte replacement, rich in C, B, potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, vitamin K, D, E and protein. May help with psoriasis, helps strengthen hair and creates fuller hair, reduces aging of the skin and increases breast size possibly as well as helps with infertility.

Soups and Salads

Cheeseburger Soup (PR) contains electrolyte replacement nutrients: niacin, E, Calcium, magnesium, salt, protein
Avocado Crab Salad PR; all the time runner meal. Rich in beta carotene, rich in omega 3’s, healthy heart dish, fat burning ingredients, helps with fatigue, increases oxygen to the bloodstream; contains tryptophan and creates more calcium in the body (which is not just for bones but relaxes the muscular walls ie heart)
South Main Salad

PR; Rich in E, immune building, rich in omega 3, healthy heart dish, fat burner, rich in Vitamin C and beta carotene. Contains tryptophan and creates more calcium in the body for a healthier heart.


Seared AHI Tuna PR; all the time runner food, yoga, crossfit. Electrolyte replacement nutrients; rich in zinc, helps with sex drive, healthy heart, omega 3’s; fat burning ingredients, boosts immune system.
Sea Scallops Immune building

increases sex drive

Shrimp and Grits (PR) runner food

rich in Calcium, zinc, protein, beta carotene, C, magnesium, iron and Niacin which are De-stress nutrients

Immune boosting

recommendation: have the Seared Pork Belly appetizer to help increase the fat burning from the cheddar

Chorizo Meatloaf

Prepare your body for high fat foods with citrus before you meal. Vitamin C and increased pH in stomach can help burn faster. Try and ale with an orange or red wine with your appetizer. Another recommendation is that you have ¼ of orange or ¼ of apple to increase the metabolism one hour before you go to dinner.

Recommendation: to help process the high fats from this meal choose the South Main Salad with the meal but not before. Because the function of the salad is to cleanse the body therefore it has no function before the meal.

Hemp Encrusted Salmon PR; all the time runner food, crossfit, hard workout. This dish is full of protein, and immune boosting nutrients essential for a post workout, or marathon. Rich in Omega 3; increases oxygen in the bloodstream; healthy heart. Very high in protein.

Fresh Blackened Seafood Pasta: With blackened dishes, I recommend having potassium rich foods like the banana pudding for dessert or spinach like in the South Main Salad because potassium helps balance the sodium levels in the cells which can cause inflammation and larger fat cells.

Fresh Blackened Seafood Pasta With blackened dishes, I recommend having potassium rich foods like the banana pudding for dinner or spinach salad like the South Main Salad because potassium and E help balance sodium levels.
Vegetable Plate

Rich in Antioxidants; omega 3; healthy heart dish. Recommend the Avocado Crab salad to enhance nutrient absorption. As well as the banana pudding for potassium/ sodium balance.


French Toast Banana Foster Potassium, calcium, protein
Banderas Memphis

PR; all the time running; the avocado is rich in E (cell protector aka antioxidant ) and Egg which is rich in E, typtophan which will calm the body. Iron, B, calcium Rich in immune boosting and de-stress nutrients: B, Zinc, Calcium, Iron, and E. Good for after an all-nighter at BBQ fest.

Vegetaian Eggs Benedict

Perfect blend of electrolyte replacement needed for post workout, or post party night.

Curry Edamame Tofu Scramble

Rich in protein, nutrients for the heart, curry is perfect spice that has a high amount of iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, low sodium, rich in fiber, folate, B-6, phosphorus even has 1g of protein. Edamame is a rich vegetable protein source and with protein vegetables they are digestible by 90% into the body, higher than animal meat. Tofu is a soy protein source and increases breast size. This is a perfect healthy dish. Recommendation is to pair this with the avocado crab salad for quinoa, giving that one more extra punch of protein.

Try it out and let us know what you think !

Soul food ain’t all bad, knowledge is power.

Tracy Knight

Tracy Knight is the owner of Skinny South Incredible Treats, mom, nutritionist, wellness expert for 15 years. She is a avid runner, and swimmer. She is the author of Eatfit plan, Food Pairing (release date 2016) Journey Within (release date 2017) and several nationally published articles.

Skinny South Cookies and Eating Disorders

Guiltless Nutritious Treats




Baking away, daily is what I do. Along with marketing, finance, janitorial, speeches, and so forth.

But, I never thought that my product was touching  the lives of those with eating disorders. One day, I had a woman with her mother come into my bakery in Miami. She proceeds to tell me that she purchased my product at a store in South Beach, FL.

I listened as to hear how the ingredients on the back quinoa, millet, flaxseed meal, chia seeds, protein, apricots, honey plus the information “Why We Use These Ingredients” on the website educated her on how these foods work for her and not against her.

At 26 years and 10 years of bulimia, her mother tells me that she no longer has this problem and has proceeded to start cooking for herself and understanding foods.

We spent a few days together, as for they flew in from Paris, France to meet me. I was honored. I was amazed. It is things like this that keep me going daily as a small business owner. Some can say, well isn’t it money that keeps you going. NO, because we can quit at any time.

That day, 4 people were blessed.

I still keep up with the girl from Paris. I still keep doing what I do.

Tracy Knight is the owner of Skinny South Incredible Treats. Has several national articles written has been on television, and radio.

Why we Use these Ingredients!


Helps with weight management, enhances immune system, improves: energy level, bone density, reduces risk in heart disease & Type II diabetes, lowers risk of lower intestinal cancer, low glycemic index number, high fiber, calcium and iron


Rich in Manganese, Vita E, Magnesium, calming properties, rich in potassium, lowers blood pressure, Vitamin B2, may help protect against diabetes


High in Protein, iron and calcium as well as B vitamins and fiber


Rich in vitamin C, antioxidant, regulates blood sugars, rich in fiber, health teeth, B vitamins, energy, rich in calcium, magnesium


Rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, low in sodium, rich in potassium, rich in phytosterols, antioxidant, rich in protein, Helps with healthy skin, eyes, builds immune system


Heart Health, anti-inflammatory, reduces or prevents arthritis, cancer prevention of the: mouth, skin & prostate gland


Protects heart, controls blood pressure, strengthens bones, quiets cough


Good Source of Fiber, can improve urinary tract health,

protects your heart, stabilizes blood sugar and boosts memory


From a thistle plant, contains 20% protein, fiber, B vitamins, potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, phosphorus


antioxidant, healthy skin, improves eye sight, anti-cancer, reduces strokes by 68%,

blood sugar regulation, prevents macular degeneration in older adults

Chia Seed

Prevents Sugar spikes, improves cardiovascular health, fights belly fat, contains fiber (also helps you feel full), Omega-3 (fights belly fat), stronger bones (contains high amounts of calcium), high amounts of manganese & phosphorus, and protein


Boosts thyroid, increases metabolism, promotes a lean body and weight loss, supports a healthy immune system, rich in antioxidants, treats skin disorders, healthy hair, and strong bones

Dark Chocolate 60% and above

Anti-oxidants, anti-aging

lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, increases sex drive, muscle repair, calming properties

anti-depressant, mono-unsaturated fat, reduces risks of heart disease

Dates, Medjool

Rich in calcium, Beta Carotene, potassium, low in sodium, Magnesium, iron, helps with healthy bones, and teeth. Helps utilize carbohydrates and fats, helps repairs tissues and cells, growth and maintenance, helps in the production of protein synthesis and the production in nucleic acids in DNA and RNA. Helps with the fat emulsification. Helps with muscle contraction, regulates heartbeat

Flaxseed Meal

High in Omega 3’s, Rich in Fiber, Protects against: breast, prostate & colon cancers, Protection against: cardiovascular disease, diabetes & inflammation


GLA, ALA.. essential fatty acids, 9 essential amino acids, easily digested, 35% protein, calcium, iron Vitamin E, phosphoruss, magnesium, phytosterols, phospholipids (lecithin), zinc

Omega 3 and Omega 6, low carb and low sugar

Gluten Free Oats

Stabilizes blood sugars, complex carbohydrate, oats used are gluten free, healthy heart properties, 15% protein, great source of fiber, folic acid, niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid as well as a good source of iron, copper, zinc, potassium, manganese, calcium and copper

Honey (local, bee-friendly)

Immune booster, natural energy booster, may reduce the risk of cancers and tumors, healthy hair, health digestion, weight loss, lowers cholesterol


Rich in iron, protein, fiber, calcium, good for the heart, bones, weight loss, easily digestible


15 % in Protein, high in fiber, sweet is extracted from the grain to produce sorghum, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, high in iron, potassium and magnesium.


lowers blood pressure, prevents breast cancer, lowers bad cholesterol,

prevents prostate enlargement, weight control, regulates moods, high in Protein, regulates blood sugar,

delays the onset of age related motor neuron diseases.

Pumpkin Seeds

Healthy prostate, improves bladder function, anti-depressant, lowers cholesterol,

prevention of cancers, prevention of osteoporosis, increases bone density,

Rich in zinc, increases sex drive, anti-inflammatory, treatment of tapeworm and other parasites, high in magnesium, high in protein

Raw Quinoa (not flour)

Provides more oxygen release into the blood, it contains high source of protein, iron and calcium with a mixture of B vitamins and other minerals. It is considered a superfood from all its amazing properties. Contains more powerful nutrients rather than grinding into flour; so we kept it whole and raw

Sweet Potato

healthy bones, prevention of degenerative diseases, prevention of heart attacks,

high in vitamin C, boosts immune system, helps with stress, anti-depressant,

healthy skin, mood stabilizer, supports thyroid gland, anti-inflammatory


Decreases fat in blood, improves cell function, highest in antioxidants among nuts, fights fat,

prevention in heart disease, certain cancers, gallstones, controls blood sugars, rich in Phytonutrients,

high in omega 3, anti-stress, anti-depressant, supports weight loss

Pea Protein Isolate

Body digests 98% of the protein, healthy hair, cells, brain, calming properties, aids in weight loss, b vitamins, rich in increases muscle thickness, No chemicals, regulates blood sugar, healthy heart, less allergens, complete protein, builds lean muscle, helps regulate hormones


all spice

Rich in calcium, iron, potassium, beta carotene, C, folate, Omega 3 & 6, protein. Rich in antioxidant


detoxification, eliminates: bloating, nausea, gas, constipation




insomnia, some cancers, antioxidants, respiratory disorders, colds


can reduce bad breath and body odor


anti-nausea remedy


strengthens immune system, prevents leukemia, improves circulation, strengthens cognitive function, detoxifies body, skin health, oral conditions, indigestion, pain reliever


helps smoothe stomach

antioxidant, helps with digestive problems


antioxidant, helps with circulation, relieves headaches, and respiratory problems


helps with sour stomach, helps with detoxification in kidney and liver, antibiotic


anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-stress


Function, definition and pairing


Body is 99%, fat burner, increases LDL (with the help of magnesium), helps balance acid and alkaline, aids in digestion, healthy nervous system, healthy teeth, bones, stress, pair with magnesium, phosphorus, A, C, D, helps with PMS, osteoporosis, cramps


Paired with protein. Transports oxygen from lungs to tissues, combines with protein and copper yielding healthy red blood cells, helps with stress, antioxidant, helps with myoglobin (transports oxygen)


Pair with sodium and potassium to create healthy cells, corrects acid and alkaline balance. Regulates the sodium / potassium in the cells. Stimulates production of hydrocloric acid; aids in digestion, detoxifies liver, aids against hepatitis


Within the bones 70% and 30% in soft tissue and body fluids. Found inside cells where it activates enzymes for metabolism of carbs and amino acids. Pairing with Calcium: it helps with the nervous system, muscle contraction and acid-alkaline balance in the body. Helps the body absorb: Calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium. Enhances B, C, . Have to have to convert sugar in the blood for energy.



Now known for helping lactating moms with let down. Manganese paired with choline. Helps synthesize fat and cholesterol. Helps B vitamins. Helps with sex hormones, nervous system and brain


nuts, grains, seeds

In every cell. Pair with Calcium. Body musts maintain a ratio of 2.5:1 phosphorus respectively. Aids in carbohydrate, fat and protein digestion. Helps with the contraction of muscles like the heart. Has to be paired with niacin and riboflavin to for those two to be even digested. Important for cell division and reproduction, kidney function, transfer of nerve impulses, growth of bones, tooth development. Acid and Alkaline balance


Aids in diabetes, alcoholism, insomnia, bones, healthy digestive system, allegeries, muscle contraction, gout, RA, acne, stress. Combined with potassium helps regulate water balance in the body, decreases bloating, helps with the conversion of glucose to glycogen for energy.


Found mostly in the liver and kidneys. Pair with E. antioxidant, helps with anti-aging, elasticity of tissues


pumpkin seeds, quinoa, almonds

Anti-aging, anti-stress Aids in other nutrients absorption in the body. Helps breakdown alcohol. Helps ward off bugs, mosquitoes, heals wounds, and burns, helps with the synthesis of DNA, detoxifies body. Helps with healthy heart. Healthy sex hormones, reduces cholesterol


borderline. Diagnosis

There are some people out there that have borderline diagnosis and you don’t know how to handle it because you feel you don’t need to take meds for this or that and are fearful of the side affects of one when the other you don’t need.

Or You are given a half diagnosis and not sure if that really is it. Many are reading today about their symptoms and taking the results they find to the doctor. But, will the doctor listen. Or like this story, You give them the diagnosis and they want to conduct their own test because the last doctor, which was a month ago didn’t do some other test or they have to have this test for their own office when it was the exact same test the last doctor gave.

or you have private insurance and not medicaid so certain services you really need are not covered and you can’t get because you don’t qualify for financial state assistance.

It is scary and frustrating.

Take a child, who now is 12 years old. At 3 years old the teacher pulls you aside and says, your child has signs of autism. At that time this is Greek to you and autism sounds like a backwards acronym. At  the age of 4, you are starting to have trouble. Trouble you have never had before. Not understanding you take her to the doctor… no physical signs of trauma so, they send you home. You don’t understand how to discipline because your child reacts differently or the trouble caused is baffling as to how it took place to begin with… it is not normal behavior.

Years pass…. you have trouble at school, at home. She has cut off all her hair, ran under the desk, wears ungodly amount of clothing, screams and runs around. You just don’t understand.

Lost. Confused. You change environments. Alone. Afraid. Single. You try to get a psychotherapist to help you. Now more confused after 500 tests and 4 more years gone by. No one can help you.

You get ODD, ADHD, ADD, PCC, DDD, HCD, schizophrenia, bipolar, PTSD,  parasympathetic disorder you name it… she had it.

But what, so you go through therapy, again.

This time you feel you are getting somewhere, seeing a psychologist once per week and she seems to be getting somewhere. But then you have her in therapy at school. Then the insurance is no longer accepted at that particular place and you have to start over.

By now, the borderline, misdiagnosed child has seen 6 schools by the time she is 8 and about to go into her 9th school. Why ? you ask. Because. Each school cannot handle her and one after one, doctor after doctor the story gets retold… oh, well we can help her. We can get her on medication. Let’s do blood work to see what kind and how much dosage she needs.

Tired. Afraid. Broke.

Living back at mom’s trying to make sense of all of this. Trying to understand why. Is it me? Is it the doctors? Is it something consumed during pregnancy? All these questions you ask yourself because frankly you don’t know.

You can’t work outside the home because you keep getting called to school to keep her from getting expelled because of some tasmania devil reactive trigger that no one can seem to explain.

You are in meetings each week. The schools are just passing her to get them out of their class or they tell you we cannot accommodate your child because of her behavior, but yet, no one. No One can seem to tell you what is going on. And no one can help you

Because you either have private insurance and they want money up front like $400 per visit and then say, oh she is lovely there is nothing wrong. BS people.

And they say she needs help.

and then, there is YOU who needs help as well.

You need  help. You need someone to talk professionally because honestly your conversations are consumed by your child whom you are trying to figure out why is she borderline.

You can’t get help because she has no physical flaw. You can’t get help because she has an IQ of 110 and aces state tests.

however, she pulls all her hair out, eyelashes, eyebrows, hair…

Borderline. Where from here?!

First: to get a child off sugar is like trying to get a monkey off your back.

Second: get a child who doesn’t like to go outside and doesn’t like to be around people

Third: get a child to play an instrument who can play the instrument but is all over the place with focus.

Fourth: Get a child to do their homework when 1. the school refuses to help you with this and 2. she will not tell you that she has homework.

But , she is borderline. Misdiagnosed. Parent: frustrated yet persistent.

She pulls out her hair. And they say nothing is wrong.

OMG, really?!

As the basis for the story is set, I will walk you through the masses of information and the 2 feet of paperwork that has been conducted over the last 8 years. I feel that there are others out there who share this frustration and pain. Maybe we can work together to help the  children who are misdiagnosed or borderline. Where some parents are unable to get help because they are just on the cusp.


To keep the family private, the names have changed but the story is real.


food RX

There is many debates whether or not food is considered I find interesting helpful.


What I find interesting is that people can make statements such as ” you are what you eat” … food is fuel.. but yet the one thing is that food is in pharmaceuticals and food is in helpful cures. Baking soda, vinegar, apple, cider, … the list goes on.
What I teach is food pairing.
It is important to know what foods work with each other.
C + Selenium
Calcium + Magnesium
Protein + Fat
Tryptophan + C
Love and War = the balance within  ( a little side item of thought )

Kale which is rich in A needs a fat, like olive oil in order for it to absorb.. A is a fat soluble.
Protein like deer which doesn’t have fat needs fat to absorb the protein.
Calcium when obtain unnatural or too much in a non natural form will need to be taken in by pairing tryptophan and C to produce more Calcium in the body.

Quinoa high in protein naturally has high fat content so it can be readily absorbed. as well has high in iron… which this memicks meat.
Apple contains C and calcium + selenium

Many foods already have within them paired necessities.
I feel, like a color wheel, a food wheel would be appropriate to show.
Some foods like Kale need olive oil for better digestion and better absorption
Pairing quinoa with kale, with rice and salsa = 21 amino acids which means complete protein.