Who is Megan Salazar, RD CSSD?

Photo courtesy of Afton L Dains Photography

I realized the other day that I haven’t really taken the opportunity to introduce myself and give my background to you. I have a lot that goes into why I do what I do and how that impacts everything.

Currently, I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with Board Certification in Sports Dietetics (CSSD).  I have a Bachelor in Dietetics from the University of Northern Colorado, as well as a Bachelor in Psychology from the University of Colorado (GO BUFFS!). I have 6 years experience with coaching individuals towards their goal of weight management, sports performance (like Half and Full Ironmans), gut health improvement, disease management, and hormone balancing.

But 10 years ago I was just starting my second Bachelor degree (the dietetics one) which led me to where I am today. The reason I started that degree is because 12 years ago I had just been diagnosed with fibromyalgia after multiple tests to try to figure out why my hands (especially my left) were constantly tingling and sometimes in pain. The doctors started me off with muscle relaxers and nerve blockers, all while I was downing NSAIDS (like ibuprofen) on a daily basis with no knowledge or education of what that could do to my body. I kept going back to the doctor complaining of the side effects of the meds (like insatiable appetite and weight gain) to which they responded with the testing. They thought I might have Multiple Sclerosis, so off to the MRI I went. That came back negative, so a trip to the neurologist was next with an EMG and nerve test. Inconclusive. So the neurologist insisted that I had fibromyalgia.

Mind you, I have little medical knowledge at this point, but from what I understood, fibromyalgia was a catch-all. To me, it was a we-don’t-know-what’s-going-on-but-can’t-call-you-crazy-so-here’s-a-diagnosis-diagnosis. Not to undermine people who do have issues consistent with fibromyalgia, but it was a brush off to me. I was devastated.

I had been discussing all of these issues with my dad, a very knowledgeable family physician who tried the Adson’s test (in short – hand on pulse while hand is down by side, then hand is raised above head to see what happens to pulse). My pulse went away quickly and completely. This is more indicative of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – which would also explain the tingling/numbness/pain. Main therapy is muscle activation/relaxation of certain muscles surrounding the shoulders. So while I am still in constant pain, I have learned better ways to deal with it – like chelated magnesium for muscle relaxation and curcumin to reduce inflammation, along with stretching, massage, and strengthening of the supportive muscles.

After all of this, I decided to make a change to my nutrition and started a popular weight loss program. I lost some weight on this, but decided that I didn’t really like the quality of the food that the program was recommending, so I started tracking my own calories with even more success – losing 30 pounds through it all. At this point, I was hooked on the process and knew that this was a new career path that I wanted to take (since my current one in the finance industry wasn’t very rewarding). I went back to school while working full-time to get my second Bachelor in Dietetics. It took me a while to get into an internship, but I fully enjoyed my varied experiences in a dialysis center, within a hospital, writing for a vegetarian group, working in a long-term care facility, and finally working in a school disctrict. It was the work within the school district that ignited a passion in teaching others what and how to eat properly. In that position and at my first job in a long-term care facility, I began to have a growing passion that I wanted to impact adults in order to impact the families around them.

For the next 6 years, I worked in a large fitness facility doing nutrition coaching of a variety of adults and metabolic conditions. I increased my knowledge further by learning how to do resting and active metabolic assessments using an indirect calorimeter, assessing someone’s basal metabolic rate or their heart rate zones, respectively. I also did some independent study to pass the test to become a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD).

In those 6 years, I also went through the joy (and pain) of having 2 kids. Along with working full-time, I was pretty well exhausted – my sleep was starting to suffer, I wasn’t losing the weight after my second like I did after my first. I tried going low carb, then tried keto – only to have these back-fire on me with blood sugar that was on average too low. This can actually be more detrimental to health than high blood sugar. In this blood test, there were several indicators that my zinc was too low as well. I decided that it was best for MY body to implement more carbs again and once I did I began to gain back normal function again, in addition to losing some weight. Right now my goal is to grow a healthy baby, due in February 2019.

Photo by Afton L Dains Photography


My own experience with my health has taught me over and over that there is not one right diet for everyone. And that there is a time and a place to implement certain dietary challenges – whether it be to improve blood levels or to decrease weight. Factors that affect this time and place are stress, lifestyle, time, personality, and desire.

This brings me to where I am today – I am committed to helping women get out of the revolving door of diets through science-based behavioral coaching. Including myself, so many women try several different types of diets to not see results, have the weight come back or gain more weight than they lost initially. I want to help them, and YOU, stop the cycle. Sorting through all of the information (and much of it misinformation) out there can be exhausting and you need someone by your side to walk you through the fire.


How unrealistic goals can sabotage your success

You have the right intentions. You make the goals like everyone else makes – lose 20 pounds; decrease body fat percentage by 10%; fit into a size 8 pants. Then you make a plan of action – start exercising, eat better, stop drinking alcohol, sleep more, etc.

So you start all of these things … and then the scale doesn’t move. Or your pants don’t fit any better. Or you don’t like not being able to have alcohol on the weekend. Or you really don’t feel any better. And you say all of these things on Friday afternoon.

So screw it. Stop exercising – if I’m not seeing results then why waste the time. Stop trying to eat better – nobody likes kale anyways. And let’s go OUT this weekend, girlfriend! I can’t lose weight, so might as well drink anyways.

Then Monday comes around again and you’re still not happy with how you look or feel.

So what went wrong? Was it you and your lack of willpower?

Or was it how your set your goals and came up with a plan to achieve that goal?

First off, there is nothing wrong with setting a goal with a measurement and time-based expectation to it. That is called a SMART goal (specific, measureable, attractive, realistic and timely). However, it’s the WHY and the HOW behind the goal that can make or break you.

If you are setting a goal based on a weight that you had in high school, then you may be reaching to far. Most of us (not all of us), have no idea how good we had it in high school when it came to our weight and metabolism. We usually can’t go back to that lovely, still-supporting-growth metabolism, unfortunately. Not saying people don’t/can’t do it, but that may not be your initial goal.

If you are setting a goal based on what a fitness/health professional says is best for you, then you need to fire that person. Your goals need to be something YOU want to do and shouldn’t be based on someone else’s ideal of the best version of you.

So let’s start with WHY… a very good place to start.

  • WHY does the scale matter in your goal – is it for a competition where you need to be in a certain weight class, then this is a good goal to set. Does it matter what you are going to look/feel like, then this may not be the best measure of your success. The scale is very fickle – many people can lose inches, body fat percentage, look better, feel fantastic and still be the same weight (pounds, kilograms) as they were when they started. The scale is just a number – not a representation of your value to yourself, your family and friends.
  • WHY does body fat matter in your goal – are you going to be judged on stage for the amount of muscle seen/shown, if so, this is a good goal. Are you (and maybe your significant other) the only one that sees yourself in a state of undress most of the time? Yes? Then body fat may be a good measure to calculate on occasion to see how something is working, but know that it can very much depend on the amount of water you drink (or don’t), your sodium intake, how much sleep you had the night before, your stress levels, your type of food intake, etc. Too many factors can shift this number on a hour-to-hour, day-to-day and even week-to-week basis. That being said, it’s a better way to measure success than total weight is, but it’s still not perfect.
  • WHY does your pant/dress size matter in your goal – unless you are buying the exact same brand, color, fit, then this can be as fickle as the scale. One manufacturer may make a size 8 out of one proportion of a woman, and another manufacturer base it on an entirely different size woman. For example, my 5-year-old daughter fit into one size of skinny-cut jeans and another pair of straight-leg jeans were too big for her in that same size (same manufacturer). So to compare yourself in size of dress/pants may be ill-fitting for your success. Now if you fit better in that pair of jeans you have in your closet or have to go to a size smaller in that same fit/manufacturer, then that may be an indication that changes are happening,

WHY behavior matters more – in 12 weeks, I want to be exercising on average 5 days a week, eating vegetables at every meal, and sleeping without waking from 10pm-6am. Are these goals SMART ?- for someone they may be! But it’s also HOW they get to them that matters as much as the WHY.

HOW – start small and one at a time.

Say this person is not exercising once a week and wants to get to 5 times a week. Most people would start at the 5 times per week, but I say – have room to grow. If you start at 5 times per week, this is such a BIG adjustment from your normal routine. This may seem attainable, but probably will only happen for 1-3 weeks max before things fizzle out. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen time and time again.

The pyramids weren’t built in a day – start with one stone at a time.

Instead, start working out 1 or 2 days a week, and make those a solid routine before adding on more. BONUS – when you do add on more days then you are also using more calories than you did the week before, so you will still likely see progress towards your composition goals. Also, your body adapts after about 2 weeks to whatever change you impose, so you have to keep changing the equation.


WHY you want these goals matters most – I want to be a healthier, fitter, better version of me for my joints/kids/heart health/mental health. Go deep with your goal setting, trying to focus less on the surface and uncover what is really bothering you. Are your joints aching when you walk – even just to the bathroom? Are you having a hard time keeping up with your kids, even if it’s just playing in the backyard for 20 minutes? Is your cholesterol/triglycerides/blood sugar getting to the point of out of control? Are you not feeling like yourself anymore? Whatever it is, knowing these WHYs will also keep you going past the week of no changes on scale/body fat%/pant size. You’ll say, who cares, I know I have to keep doing this for _________________ (you fill in the blank).

So dig deep, my friends. Obtain that seemingly elusive success by setting yourself up for it with the best WHY and HOW in mind.


Cinnamon Nut & Seed Granola

I love granola. It adds a nice balance to yogurt for breakfast and can be another way to get in some whole grains and healthy fats. The only problem is that most grocery store brands contain preservatives, poor cooking oils, and lots of refined sugar.


What’s wrong with those? For the short term, nothing. Don’t feel you have to make your own granola if it’s more convenient to improve your habits by switching to it as a better choice than something else.

For the long term, you may want to consider these facts:

  • Preservatives: Things like magnesium stearate, soy lecithin, carrageenan, xantham gum, guar gum, BHA, BHT and more are additives in foods that help to keep the foods shelf stable for longer. There is some research that suggests that these can be harmful to some and many anecdotal reports of negative reactions. For best health, I recommend avoiding them as much as you can.
  • Poor cooking oils: Sunflower, canola, and soybean oils are commonly used in many processed food items such as granola, chips, popcorn, sauces, dressings, and other pre-made goods. When a oil that is high in omega-6s is heated at high temperatures it can change the molecular structure, which can have a negative impact on your cardiovascular risk when consumed repeatedly. When omega-6s are in whole foods, like nuts, they are also combined with other nutrients that protect the oxidation of the oils and therefore offer a protective effect.
  • Refined sugars: In excess amounts, as with any food/nutrient, refined sugars can have an negative effect on your weight, heart health, immune system, and gut balance. There is no evidence that a small amount of sugar, especially when combined with a diet high in whole foods and an active lifestyle, will have a harmful effect on your health. Sugars like maple syrup and honey have other benefits to increasing your vitamin and mineral intake, as well as boosting your immune system.

So if you have time on the weekend or want to make this with your kids after school, it can be a great addition to a healthful routine.


Cinnamon Nut & Seed Granola
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts
1/2 cup raw sliced almonds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sprouted pumpkin seeds or raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
3/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the oats, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, salt and cinnamon. Stir well.
  3. Melt the coconut oil and mix with the maple syrup.
  4. Pour the oil & syrup over the oat mixture. Stir well to coat the oats, nuts and seeds.
  5. Pour the granola onto the prepared pan and spread out evenly with a spoon.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  7. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
++If you want crispier granola, bake for 10 minutes longer. Just keep in mind that granola crisps up as it cools.
++Want to add some sweetness? Add mini chocolate chips to the mix after it cools. I like these dairy-free ones.
++Like dried fruit in your granola? Add a 1/4 cup in with the oats – you could try raisins or cranberries to start.
++Serve your granola over yogurt, with your milk of choice and maybe some fresh fruit.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Protein Muffins

I love zucchini. It is so versatile to be able to use it in savory and sweet ways. As much as I love spiralized zucchini with a red meat sauce, I will always love it in breads and muffins more.

However, most of the time those recipes are heavy in sugar and flour, without much substance to keep you full after eating them. I wanted a recipe that I could give to my kids in the morning before taking my daughter to school that would last her awhile. These are the perfect option for that or a fun afternoon snack that feels like a treat.


Double Chocolate Zucchini Protein Muffins

Double Chocolate Zucchini Protein Muffins

Makes about 14 large muffins or 42 mini-muffins

  • 3/4 cup of oat flour*
  • 1 1/2 cups super fine almond flour
  • 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites (or 6 Tbsp liquid egg whites)
  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 cups grated zucchini, about 1.5 medium, pressed
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. Add all of the dry ingredients (oat flour through cinnamon) to a large bowl. Stir until combined, set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and egg whites together. Add in the mashed banana and stir until combined.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir until the batter comes together.
  6. Press the zucchini by placing it between paper towels and squeezing. Add the zucchini to the rest of the batter and mix until well distributed.
  7. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  8. Fill the muffin cups with the batter until about 3/4 the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes for regular muffins or 11-13 minutes for mini-muffins. The muffins should have lightly browned edges and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days (if they last that long) or in the freezer for 3 months.

*You can make your own oat flour with 3/4 cup of rolled oats in the food processor, blender or coffee grinder.



Hello and welcome to my brand new business page!

I am excited that you have landed here and I appreciate the time you have taken to look over my site. I would love to help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

Please reach out at any time to connect for a quick 15-minute consult if you want to meet me first before you commit.


Have a happy, healthy day!