3 Reasons Lucuma Powder is the Superfood to Lower Your Sugar Intake (And Lose Weight!)

We all know that eating too much sugar  isn’t healthy. Sugar is linked to weight gain and various diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

But oh it tastes so good. We love sugar. We crave sugar, and no wonder. Sugar releases dopamine in the brain, triggering addictive tendencies. It can explain strange behavior, like running out to the store late at night to feed that craving.

So how can you reduce your consumption without going crazy?

Try Lucuma Powder As A Sweetener

lucuma powder is a sweet, healthy superfood that can be used as an alternative to sugar. Low on the glycemic index so helps with weight control. Maureen Kemeny certified health, fitness, wellness coach Buffalo NY


Lucuma is an amazing sweet and delicious superfood.  It’s a fruit that is found in Peru, Chile and Ecuador. Peruvians use it in their baking and are famous for their lucuma flavored ice cream.

The pulp of the lucuma fruit is dehydrated to produce the lucuma powder, or flour.

Why is it considered a superfood?

1. It’s Healthy:  Lucuma provides 14 essential trace elements, including a considerable amount of potassium,  sodium, calcium (keep bones and teeth strong), magnesium and phosphorus (bone and protein formation).

2. Low On The Gycemic Index Scale:  Which makes it a wonderful alternative to sugar. It doesn’t cause spikes in blood sugar and this makes it a good choice for diabetics and anyone trying to lower their sugar intake.

3. Taste Is Sweet and Delicious:   It adds a nice caramel flavored sweetness to foods.



What is the Glycemic Index?

The Glycemic Index ranks carbohydrates based on their rate of conversion to glucose. Glycemic Index uses a scale with higher values given to foods that cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar. Pure glucose serves as a reference point, and is given a Glycemic Index (GI) of 100. You want to pick foods that are 55 or lower on the glycemic scale. These foods are less likely to cause large increases in blood sugar levels. You want to avoid foods that are 70 or more on the scale. These foods cause a rapid rise in blood sugar and are more likely to cause weight gain and chronic diseases related to obesity such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

You can find the glycemic index of any food at  http://www.glycemicindex.com/

The Glycemic index number for Lucuma is about 25, way below the suggested value of 55 that is recommended to keep blood sugar low.

Where to Find It:

I’m fortunate that I can buy lucuma powder at our local grocery store, Wegmans. If your local grocer doesn’t sell this product, you can also find it  on Amazon. The brand I buy is Navitas Naturals. It’s organic, non gmo, gluten free and raw.


How to Use It:

I like to put 1 to 2 tsp in my morning smoothie.

You can find a lot of yummy recipes at  navitasnatural.com.

Here’s one of my morning smoothie recipes using Lucuma!

Maureen's Morning Smoothie, certified health and wellness coach. Buffalo NY

I would love to hear if you use lucuma powder or another healthy sugar substitute. Let me know in the comment section.

Best Health,


How to Be Smart and Successful with your 2015 Health Goals

2015 goal setting, maureen kemeny, certified health, fitness, wellness coach, buffalo ny

I love this time of year because it’s an opportunity to renew some commitments, revisit old goals and set some new ones. It can also be a time for deep reflection and soul searching.

I encourage you to take this opportunity to set some of your own goals for 2015 that will create healthy change and greater purpose.

Make this the year you commit to improving your health. Once you experience how amazing it is to feel healthy, you’ll never turn back.

Be wary of the New Year’s resolution pitfall: More than 75% of people keep a new goal going for ONLY the first week, then slip back into old behavior patterns.

Most people have never been taught how to set effective goals. Those are the people who end up being one of the 75% we just talked about.

Change isn’t easy. If it was, we wouldn’t have unhealthy habits in the first place.

To support you, I want to share with you some of  the steps I use, as a certified health and wellness coach, to help clients move towards their visions and create permanent change.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO CHANGE?  Do you want to replace a bad habit with a healthy one? Do you want to learn a new skill, or improve interpersonal skills?

Whether you want to lose weight, quit smoking, improve relationships or start an exercise program, these same steps apply.


Get crystal clear about what you want (not what you don’t want) in the next twelve months and how you’re going to get there.

health, fitness, wellness coach in Buffalo NY

Here are some questions to help you get started.

  • What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
  • What are your unspoken dreams?
  • If you were asked to paint a picture of your ideal, healthy self, how would you look and feel?
  • What scares you?

Take the time now, or put aside time in your calendar to write or make a visual representation of your vision.

To see my 2015 Vision Board, go here. I built my 2015 Vision around 3 theme words – Clarity, Confidence and Community.

Go here to read more about how to create your vision statement

Success TipPost your Vision in a visible place to remind yourself every day what you intend to do. If you make a vision board, use it as your screen saver, or place it on your bathroom mirror, or refrigerator as a reminder of where you are headed.


Behind every goal, there is always a much deeper purpose. Take the time to connect with your Why and you will find the motivation you need to push forward on your intended path, even when the road gets tough.

  • As you set a goal, ask yourself “Why is this important to me?”

The answer may not be apparent right away, but it will come, perhaps as you’re driving in the car, in the shower, or on a run.

  • When you have the answer, challenge it again with the same question.
  • Keep asking yourself “ why is this important to me?.”

You may be surprised that the answer evolves with every time you ask the question. Eventually, you will peel away the layers and discover the core.

When you dig deep enough, you find the SOUL BEHIND THE GOAL.

What will you commit to in 2015?


  • Research shows that it takes 90 days to prepare for change, build a new behavior, become confident when faced with triggers and move beyond relapses. Brain research also supports that it takes a few months of practicing a new behavior before creating permanent change.
  • You will have days when you falter. The fact is, EVERYONE experiences relapses. Before you even get started, create a list of roadblocks and brainstorm strategies that will keep you on track.  



goal planning, maureen kemeny, certified health, fitness, wellness coach, buffalo ny

  • One relapse does not undo your previous work. A slip is not a fall. You won’t feel much different after eating one salad, but after 30 days of eating  salad at lunch you most likely will notice change. Likewise, you won’t feel much worse after eating one dessert, but after 30 days in a row, you’re going to notice change.


  • Ask yourself “What new behaviors do I want to be doing consistently in 3 months  that will bring me closer to my vision?
  • Make a list of what would improve your health and happiness.
  • Pick 2 to 3 goals from your list that are related.

Research from the University of Rhode Island suggests that we are just as likely to be successful with two changes at once, especially if they are related. So if your goal is weight loss, you might pick eat healthier and exercise regularly as two related goals.

Some examples of 3 month goals:

  • I will walk 3 times a week for 30 minutes.
  • I will eat a healthy dinner at home 5 nights a week.
  • I will meditate 10 minutes a day Monday through Friday.


  • Look at your 3 month goals and ask yourself “What can I do this week to bring me closer to the 3 month goal in question.
  • You probably already know that goals should be SMART. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
  • Write your goals so that if given to 2 different movie directors, the exact same scene will be produced.
  • Your statement will be very precise and include days, dates, times, quantities.
  • Use verbs that are action oriented, and will guide you to do something rather than wanting something.
  • Keep your goals small and achievable. Doing baby steps consistently is the best strategy to achieving your goals.Example:

EXAMPLEI will walk 10 minutes on the treadmill during lunch hour on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Success TipOnce you’ve written your goal, ask yourself “on a scale of 1 to 10 how confident am I of  success this coming week?”

If you answer less than 7 re-write your goal until you know you can be  at least 70% confident of your success.


Remember to write goals that you can be at least 70% confident in achieving. Review your goals at the end of the week and assess how successful you were.  You’ll know a goal was well written when you have at least 70% behavior success. If not, go back to the drawing board and re-write your goal.

Consistency is key. Every journey begins with a single step.

Success TipThe power of accountability is huge. Share your plan with someone, join a group, or partner with a friend who has similar goals.

The majority of today’s diseases originate in poor health choices. There’s nothing more important to your health than doing this work. Working with a certified health, fitness and wellness coach will significantly increase your success. I WOULD LOVE TO HELP YOU MAKE THIS YOUR MOST AMAZING YEAR YET!! Contact me here and wel’ll get started.

 What will you commit to in 2015? Let me know in the comment section below. I’m going to pick a winner and that person will win ONE hour of personal training or nutrition coaching to kick start their year.

Have an amazing year and I wish you much success in 2015

Maureen xxoo

Exercise Routine For Maximum Calorie Burn at ANY AGE

routine for maximum calorie burn at any age blog by maureen kemeny  holistic health coach buffalo ny


Pressed for time and still want to get great results in fitness and weight loss?

I’ve been using this effective and fun format for years. I love it because it doesn’t take a lot of time, I can do it at home and I can keep mixing up the exercises for variety. Less boredom = more commitment.

The format uses circuits, cycles and full body movements.  Remember, the more muscles you use, the more calories you burn. Always think of safety first and choose exercises that are appropriate for your fitness level. I’ve given some examples of exercises with each circuit, but you can substitute these exercises with your favorites.

A circuit is one completion of all the exercises in each category. A cycle is completed once you’ve progressed through all the categories: Strength, Cardio and Core exercises.

The only rest you take is the time it takes to set up for the next exercise. The less rest you take, the better.

Your TOTAL time commitment is 30 minutes. Each exercise is performed for only 30 seconds before you move on to the next exercise.  Use a stopwatch and stay true to the time. This means you are moving constantly. If you start to get tired, tell yourself “I only have to do this for 30 seconds. I can do anything for 30 seconds.”

If you keep up the intensity you WILL see results in fitness and calorie burn. If you take breaks, you will get results but you won’t get a maximum calorie burn.


  1. Perform 3 Strength exercises for 30 seconds each (one circuit)
  2. Repeat the same 3 exercises again for a second circuit
  3. Next do 2 Cardio exercises for 30 seconds each (one circuit)
  4. Repeat the same two cardios for a second circuit.
  5. Finally do 2 Core exercises for 30 seconds each.

Now you’ve  finished Cycle 1. Continue in this order of Strength, Cardio, and Core until you complete cycle 4, then it’s cool-down time.

The Routine:

Warm-up – 3 minutes.

The idea with any warm-up is to get blood pumping to your muscles to prepare you for the work to come with less chance of injury. Don’t skip this step. If you are short on time, it’s better to take time away from the more intense part of your workout than the warm-up. Choose any activity that will help you warm up, like skipping, jumping jacks, or incline walk on treadmill. You can stick to the same activity for the 3 minutes or change it up.

Strength – 3 minutes

Perform 3 strength exercises for 30 seconds each, and then repeat the circuit. The first time through, choose body weight exercises or exercises that require little weight (3 to 8 pounds).

Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3 Cycle 4
squat lunge step ups plank
push-up fly squat + row chest press
deadlift skater lunge plyometric squat lateral squat

Cardio – 2 minutes: 2 exercises performed for 30 seconds then repeat the circuit.

Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3 Cycle 4
alternate knee lifts mountain climbers invisible jump rope lateral squats
jumping jacks run on the spot burpees stairs

Core: 1 minute: 2 exercises performed for 30 seconds.

Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3 Cycle 4
reverse plank russian twist glute bridge marching side plank

Repeat the format of strength exercises + cardio + core for a total of 4 cycles = 24 minutes.

Change the exercises for each cycle. I’ve provided 4 examples, but you can substitute your own exercises. Each cycle is 6 minutes. If you are short on time, do fewer cycles.

Cool-down – 3 minutes

With a cool-down you want to gradually lower your heart rate. Don’t use static stretching. You want to be sure you are moving your body. Examples include walking and yoga sequences.

Remember that exercise isn’t always comfortable but you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable to get the results you want.

Let me know in the comment section below how this routine worked for you, or tell us what your favorite routine is.

Disclaimer: The content above is for informational purposes only. No claim is made as to its effectiveness in any purpose. Use at your own risk. Be sure to get your doctor’s approval before starting an exercise regime.



you can control your destiny by maureen kemeny health and wellness coach buffalo nyDO OUR GENETICS REALLY CONTROL OUR FATE?

Sure DNA is important, but it’s a misconception to think that our fate is only controlled by our genetics. Most of us have a parent with some kind of illness, maybe obesity, cancer or depression and it’s pretty normal to fret about our biology. It becomes a problem though when we allow this belief to stop us from moving forward and taking control of our health.

I’ve been there too. I know how easy it is to think that genetics might be responsible for our behavior. My mom has Alzheimer’s and I catch myself thinking and even saying that maybe my forgetfulness is an early sign of the disease. I understand how hard it is not to worry, but it certainly doesn’t mean our fate is sealed.


Your genetic history is important, but to believe ONLY it determines your fate is a belief that simply isn’t true and needs to be challenged.

The research shows that more than the majority do not share the same problems as their families. Take my family for instance. My father is one of 10 kids and my mother is one of 12. Between the two, their families showcase almost every disease, but my parents are pretty healthy. Both are in their 80s and have been following a healthy lifestyle for decades.

The work that is being done in obesity clearly demonstrates that predisposition does not equal fate. It’s showing that even though many adults carry a certain gene for obesity it doesn’t mean they will be obese. Other factors, like a healthy diet and exercise, have a huge impact on the gene’s expression.

The steps to  challenge the course of your biology:

  1. The first step is to be aware and notice if you’re using biology excuses to hold you back. Most of us are to some degree. Write these beliefs down.
  2. Then challenge these thoughts. Ask yourself, does every person in my family suffer from all these ailments? Do you know a family whose parents are depressed, divorced and addicted and whose children do not share their problems?
  3. Choose a health goal and use the research to reassure yourself that your efforts to eat well and exercise will influence the genetic expression.

You too can rise above your genetics. You can CHOOSE to live a healthy lifestyle and determine your fate rather than letting your genetics predispose you to a fate you don’t want. Don’t let biology stop you from acting. Don’t let it disempower you. You have the power to make health changes that can alter your predisposition for the better.

Our Focus Becomes Our Destiny

And remember how you think affects your behavior which in turn affects your biology. If you want to read more about how your thoughts influence your behavior and health, I highly recommend one of my all time favorite books ‘Anatomy of An Illness’ by Norman Cousins.

Make a commitment to yourself  to recognize and challenge these thoughts. YOU are worth it. You can do it.

Now it’s your turn. I would love to know if you have any limiting biology beliefs that are holding you back and need to be challenged. Let me know in the comment section below.

 To your health

signature for maureen kemeny a health, fitness and wellness coach in buffalo ny


health, fitness, wellness coach in Buffalo NY

I finished a half ironman race on the weekend and it was an amazing experience! Time seems to stand still for a few hours. On the course, NOTHING occupies my mind, but the present moment. Breathing, movement, scenery. I feel totally ALIVE. For me, this is the attraction that makes the journey worthwhile.

I am extremely aware and grateful for every moment I am in motion. I decided on this race several months ago and made it happen, not by wishful thinking, but by having a vision.

To complete any fitness, health or business goal, you need to know what you want and figure out how to get there. How can you possibly get to a place when you don’t know where it is you want to go?

As a health and wellness coach, I hear from so many that they feel they aren’t living the life they want. Something is missing. They feel unfulfilled.

There are many adventures they want to do.

Races they wish they could run.

Trails they would like to explore.

They want to get off the couch and be more active, lower their cholesterol or find enough energy to get through the day.

People sort of know what they want, but they don’t know how to make it happen.

They don’t BELIEVE they can make it happen. So they do nothing. Maybe they wish, but they don’t act.

Where do you start?

How do you follow through consistently?

How do you make health a priority in your life?

The first and most important step in closing the gap between where you are today and where you want to be is to create a COMPELLING VISION

Your Vision is a clear definition that paints a clear picture of how you will look and feel when you are the person you dream of being. In health, fitness and wellness.

  • Who would you like to be in 6 months, 1 year or 5 years from now?
  • Your Vision statement is your target: the destination around which you will build your roadmap.
  • And a well written vision will direct your behaviors on a day to day basis towards that vision.

My goal, as a health and fitness coach, is to help you dream big, expand your vision and get you started on your fitness, nutrition and wellness goals.

My wish for you is to experience how making self-care a priority will help you get the excitement you want in life.

This is the purpose of my blog: to help you figure out HOW to start, HOW to follow through and HOW to move beyond excuses.

I will do this by providing high quality educational and practical resources that will support you on a journey to a healthier version of yourself.

So let’s get started in creating your vision!  [Read more…]