Living a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to mean counting every calorie and spending every free minute at the gym, but there are smarter food choices that help you make the most of your workout. Philadelphia health and weight loss coach Jessica Procini shares three of her favorite nourishing recipes to optimize your time spent at the gym while still enjoying delicious food.

Jessica Procini, CHHC AADP CTCM
Your Path To Health
315 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(609) 634-2066

Jessica Procini is a certified holistic health and weight loss coach who has trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and the Institute for the Psychology of Eating and is certified in the Transformational Coaching Method. She has combined her health studies with her experience in stand-up comedy to develop her weight loss plan “Laugh Yourself Skinny” – a fun, interactive way to help women lost 20 pounds in 90 days without worrying about calorie counts. After conquering her own struggles with her body and food, Jessica quit her corporate job to help other women reach their own goals with long-lasting results. She was also chosen as one of the Top 100 Health Coach Blogs.

Fruit and Spinach Smoothie


  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 8 seedless red grapes
  • 1 cup kale or spinach
  • 1 cup coconut drinking milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 heaping spoonful of raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup ice


  1. Place all items in blender and blend on high until smooth.

This pre-workout smoothie is full of antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients guaranteed to put some pep in your step without reaching for one of those chemical energy drinks on the market. Cacao, also known as raw chocolate, is a superfood (one of the most potent, super-concentrated, nutrient-rich foods on the planet) and naturally boosts your energy and mood.

Related: Guide To Philadelphia Farmers Markets

Silver’s Power Balls


  • 1/4 cup Maca Powder (Navitas Naturals can be found at Whole Foods)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or organic peanut butter)
  • 1 cup dates, with pits removed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut


  1. Soak dates in water for about 10 minutes.
  2. Drain water and place in food processor and blend into a sticky paste.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and processes until a thick sticky dough is formed (it should be sticky enough to roll into small balls).
  4. If dough is too sticky, add more chopped walnuts. If dough is too dry, add a little water a teaspoon at a time.
  5. Roll into little one-inch balls and enjoy.
  6. Refrigerate leftovers.

This pre-workout snack contains the superfood Maca which naturally increases energy, endurance and strength. It is also an adaptogen, helping the body cope with stress.

Related: Top Vegan-Friendly Restaurants In Philadelphia

Chicken Pumpkin Chili


  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeños and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add ground chicken and cook through.
  4. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and add beans. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.
  6. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.

This post-workout dinner makes six servings and takes about 45 minutes to make including clean-up time. To make your weeknights even easier, make this on the weekend and just re-heat when you get home after the gym during the week. Pair with a salad for a complete meal. This chili also freezes well for future meals.

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Michelle Hein is a copy editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer boyfriend would love to open.