Karen Donaldson

Registered Dietitian & EFT Certified Weight Loss Coach

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If you’ve ever asked yourself the question “I know what I’m supposed to do to lose weight, so WHY can’t I do it?”, you need this book.

Holistic Health in Pocatello

As a holistic health practitioner, Karen is thrilled to be able to offer her clients techniques that not only help them lose weight but find peace in many other areas of their lives. Her compassionate and non-judgmental approach to women’s emotional eating issues have made her a highly sought-after holistic health practitioner not only for weight, but for a multitude of other issues as well. Her mind-body techniques include EFT, meditation, visualization, mindful eating lessons, affirmations, and clearing negative belief systems.

Karen completed her master’s degree in Microbiology from the University of Minnesota. She has two Bachelor of Science degrees from Idaho State University – one in Microbiology and the other in Dietetics. Her academic background makes her highly qualified to guide women through the ever increasing – and often confusing – nutrition world. She is often praised – and thanked – by clients and medical professionals alike for her skill in making complex information easy to understand. She is often asked by her clients “Why didn’t my doctor tell me all this?

As a certified personal trainer for over 20 years, Karen is also uniquely qualified to help women lose weight with exercise. Knowing which type of exercise is needed to achieve specific goals – and how to have fun in the process – is key for successful body composition changes.

Karen was named one of ten Idaho Health Care Heroes in 2010 and was named Businessperson of the Year for Service in 2002 by the Idaho State Journal/Idaho State University/Chamber of Commerce. She is a motivational speaker, author, and developer of educational materials and healthy food products!

If cravings and emotional eating issues are jeopardizing your weight loss efforts and compromising your health, you can schedule a free complimentary Discovery Session to see if working with Karen is right for you.  Find out more about Karen’s holistic health practice and her services by visiting her webpage:  EXCEL Weight Loss Solutions

Karen's Healthy Recipes

  • This recipe conjures up great memories of my mom, Lana Collins.  The directions are even written in her handwriting!  Make a pan or two and enjoy the good times with your family.  I double the recipe so there would be plenty of leftovers. As always, this recipe is easy and delicious.  Love ‘ya mom.

    Ingredients for the meatloaf:

    1 ½ pounds ground beef

    2 cups soft bread cubes

    ½ cup celery, finely chopped

    1/2 cup onion, finely chopped

    1 green pepper, finely chopped

    1 ½ tsp salt

    1 egg

    ½ cup catsup

    Ingredients for the sauce:

    One, 16-oz jar of salsa, mild or medium – your choice

    ½ cup catsup

    1 tsp dry mustard

    3 TBS brown sugar


    In large mixing bowl, combine ingredients for the meatloaf, mixing well.    Use your hands to squish and blend if needed – that’s what mom always did!  Spray 9 x 5 inch glass baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and pat the meatloaf mixture evenly into the pan. 

    In medium bowl, combine ingredients for sauce.  Mix well.  Spread sauce evenly over the meatloaf.

    Bake 60-90 minutes at 350 degrees.  Test for doneness with meat thermometer.  Enjoy!

  • Flank steak is often ignored because it can be tough – and it doesn’t recipes pocatello have much fat –  but the secret is to marinate it for several hours before cooking.  To make it easy, use a prepared marinade.    Grill it hot and fast after several hours (or all day) in the marinade and carve it against the grain to prevent it from being tough and chewy.

    I served mine “as is” for dinner and then used the leftovers for fajitas the next day. 


    1 large flank steak
    One, 17-oz bottle Mr. Yoshida’s Sweet Teriyaki Marinade


    Place the flank steak in a large, flat dish.  Cover with the entire bottle of marinade.  Place in refrigerator.  Turn often during the day so that the meat soaks up the flavor.  You can pierce the steak with a fork or knife to increase tenderness.

    Grill over medium-high heat, turning once.  Serve when done to your specilfications!

    Delicious with a baked potato and green beans on the side.

  • When you’re short on time but you still want something healthy and yummy and FAST, this recipe works!  I always keep some cans of beans on hand for easy meal prep.  Simple warm the beans and mix with the veggies.  Delicious!


    2, 15-oz can black beans, drained

    Two, 15-oz can refried beans

    1-2 tsp Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy Seasoning Blend

    1-2 large tomatoes, chopped

    1 head of lettuce, finely chopped or shredded

    1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

    Mexican cheese, shredded, to taste


    Combine beans and seasoning in large pan or skillet.  Cook over medium heat until warmed through.  Assemble salad fixings and top with beans.  Add shredded cheese to taste. 

  • Bake some extra potatoes ahead of time to make this meal come together fast!  This works great for breakfast but is also a nice change for dinner.  Serve with red apple slices for a colorful plate.


    8 red potatoes, baked then chopped into bite-sized pieces

    2 TBS olive oil

    1 pound Italian sausage

    ½ onion, chopped

    1-2 cups shredded cheese (Mexican blend works well)

    1 avocado chopped

    2 apples, slices

    Garlic salt and pepper to taste


    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash potatoes well.  Coat the potatoes with about 2 TBS olive oil and wrap in foil.  Bake about 1 hour.  If preparing ahead of time, let cool a bit and then store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

    In large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until done (about 20 minutes).  Remove from skillet and saute the onions until soft.

    Combine potatoes, sausage, and onion in the skillet and heat until all ingredients are warmed. 

    Top with shredded cheese and avocado. 

    Serve with apple slices for a healthy source of carbs and fiber.

    Mark your calendars for our Reduced-Fee Health Fair on Tuesday, January 17.  Call us at 406-1084 to set up your appointment to get your cholesterol, thyroid, and blood sugars checked.

  • Another fast, versatile, and super delicious meal or snack.  This recipe boasts tons of fiber from the avocado and beans, as well as protein.  Use it as a spread on toast or crackers, or wrap it up in a Romaine lettuce leaf for a wrap.  You’ll probably want to double the recipe it’s so good!


    1 can garbanzo beans, drained

    1 avocado, seed removed and peeled

    2 tsp lemon juice

    1 tsp minced garlic

    Salt and pepper to taste


    Blend all ingredients in a food process.  That’s it!  Serve as a spread or in a lettuce wrap.  This recipe is very versatile and yummy.

  • If you’re watching your carbs, you don’t have to give up your Alfredo. Substitute spaghetti squash and enjoy the flavor! 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash has about 75 calories, 10 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fiber. 1 cup of cooked spaghetti pasta has about 220 calories, 43 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of fiber.

    1 jar Bertolli Garlic Alfredo sauce
    1 large spaghetti squash, cooked
    2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
    2 TBS olive or coconut oil
    1 onion, chopped
    Fresh Parmesan cheese, to taste

    Wash the outside of the spaghetti squash and cut about 4-5 small slits in it with a sharp knife. Place on a foil-lined baking pan. Bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Turn the squash over onto its other side and return to oven. Bake for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Carefully slice the ends off and allow it to cool about 5 minutes before cutting it half, lengthwise. Once cut, use a spoon to remove seeds and then use a fork to “shred” into strands.

    While squash is baking, saute chicken breasts and onions in the oil until chicken is cooked thru and onions are tender. Add the Alfredo sauce and simmer on low, keeping warm until the squash is cooked. Add extra Parmesan if desired.

  • I found these versatile Don Lee Farms brand Chipotle Black Bean Burgers at Costco and they come in handy for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Each “burger” has 200 calories, 28 grams of carbs (5 of which come from fiber), and 10 grams of protein. They are also gluten free and organic. See below for a great breakfast idea.

    1 black bean burger
    1 small flour tortilla
    Cheese, to taste
    Salsa, to taste
    Avocado (if desired)

    Cook burger according to package directions. They can be microwaved, but I like to pan-fry them in a bit of oil to get them crispy on the outside. You can cut the burger in half and stuff in a tortilla with salsa and cheese or leave “as is” to reduce the carbs. Top with cheese if desired and a few slices of heart-healthy avocado. This meal is not only fast and delicious, the fiber can help lower your cholesterol.


  • If you’re looking for a high fiber good that is also high in in protein, look no further than lentils.  1 cup cooked has 40 grams of carbohydrates, but 16 of these come from fiber which means you get to subtract them from the total (40-16 = 24 grams “net” carbs).   These “net” carbs are the ones that raise your blood sugar levels.  With only 24 grams, a 1 cup portion fits well into most low-carb diet plans.  Plus, each serving has 18 grams of protein.  Lentils are also high in iron, manganese, and phosphorus.   You could add leftover meat (chicken, sausage, etc.) to this recipe, but it has enough protein on its own to make it a great meal.


    1 pound lentils

    1 large onion, chopped into bite-sized pieces

    2 cloves garlic, crushed

    2 bunches of asparagus, washed and broken into bite-sized pieces

    2 TBS olive or coconut oil

    8 oz Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing

    Salt and pepper to taste


    Cook lentils according to package directions, about 20 minutes.  Drain off excess water when finished cooking.

    Saute onions, garlic, and asparagus, over medium heat,  in the olive or coconut oil.  Cook until veggies are just tender, about 8 minutes.

    Combine the veggies, lentils, and dressing in a large bowl.  Mix well.  Serve warm (for dinner) or cold (as leftovers for lunch). 

    Karen Donaldson, MS, RD, LD is a registered dietitian, personal trainer, and an EFT Certified Weight Loss Coach who specializes in helping people with emotional eating issues.   Her office now accepts insurance for nutrition counseling.  She can be reached at EXCEL Weight Loss Solutions at 233-0593.  Her address is 845 West Center, Suite 115 (near the Public Library, across from Del Monte Meats). 

  • Another great find at Costco to make dinner fast, easy, and healthy! Start with Aidells Brand chicken meatballs. They are antibiotic free with no nitrites and no added hormones and they come in the family size so you’ll have lots of leftovers! I used the Teriyaki & Pineapple flavored ones for an Asian flavor. Simmer with a sauce of your choice and add some veggies for a quick entrée than you can serve over rice or in a wrap.

    Teriyaki and Pineapple Chicken Meatballs
    1 large package Aidells Chicken Meatballs, Teriyaki & Pineapple flavor
    1 bottle sweet and sour sauce of your choice
    2 yellow peppers, chopped into bite-sized pieces20160225_191439
    1 onion, chopped into bite-sized pieced
    Cooked rice or Romaine leaves for a wrap

    Combine chicken meatballs and sauce in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat about 10 minutes. The meatballs are precooked so they don’t take much time. Towards the end of the cooking time, add the chopped veggies and mix well. Cook another 5 minutes to heat thoroughly. Serve over rice or in a lettuce wrap. Yummy!

    To listen to a FREE seminar on Emotional Eating, go to excelweightloss.com and click on “Releasing Emotional Obesity”. The seminar is tonight (March 2) at 6 pm MST.

    If you’d like more help with your nutrition, call EXCEL at 233-0593 to schedule a visit with Karen.  Her office now accepts insurance for nutrition counseling.  Karen Donaldson, MS, RD, LD is a registered dietitian, personal trainer, and an EFT Certified Weight Loss Coach who specializes in helping people with emotional eating issues.

  • Here’s one of my favorite things to do for meals.  Start with a salad from the deli and “doctor it up” to make it a meal.   You still get all the yummy flavors without as much work.   The salad came with sundried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts and spinach leaves.  I added some arugula and pine nuts and served with protein on the side to make it a complete meal.  The name sounds fancy but the prep was easy!20160713_194748


    1 ½ pounds Mediterranean Orzo Pasta salad (I got mine from Fred Meyer)

    5 or 6 cups arugula (in the produce section)

    ½ cup pine nuts (almonds would work as well)

    2 packages Aidell’s Brand Chicken Sausage – Roasted Garlic and Gruyere Cheese Flavor


    Combine the pasta salad, arugula and nuts in a large bowl.  Mix well.

    Slice the chicken sausage into bite-sized pieces.  Place in a large skillet with about ½ inch of water.  Simmer over medium-low heat about 8 minutes to heat through.  Let the water evaporate to brown the sausages.

    Aaaah!  A yummy dinner in a short amount of time. This beats the drive-thru any day!

  • This dinner comes together in just minutes and is SO tasty.  I used Uncle Dan’s brand Creamy Ranch Dip Mix because it has no added MSG.   Be sure to make enough for leftovers!


    2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets

    Garlic salt and pepper to taste (for chicken)

    1 TBS olive or coconut oil

    One, 12-oz carton Greek Yogurt Dip, Cucumber Dill flavored

    1 package Uncle Dan’s Creamy Ranch Seasoning and Dressing Mix

    8 pita pocket halves

    1 tomato, thinly sliced

    ½ red onion, thinly sliced

    Shredded lettuce

    Feta cheese


    In large skillet, saute the chicken tenderloins with the oil, over medium heat, until cooked through (about 5 minutes).  Season with garlic salt and pepper.

    Add Ranch Seasoning to Greek Yogurt Dip and mix well. 

    Open pita pocket half and spread a layer of the Dip mixture inside.  Add chicken, veggies, and cheese to taste.  Eat and enjoy! 

    If you’d like more help with your nutrition, call EXCEL at 233-0593 to schedule a visit with Karen.  Her office now accepts insurance for nutrition counseling.  Karen Donaldson, MS, RD, LD is a registered dietitian, personal trainer, and an EFT Certified Weight Loss Coach who specializes in helping people with emotional eating issues.   

  • You can use store-bought hummus or easily make your own for this delicious and healthy recipe.  Hummus is made with chickpeas which are high in fiber and protein as well as tahini (ground sesame seeds), garlic, and healthy oils.  Use it as a dip or make a wrap using Romaine leaves.  I added some whole cashews for a bit of crunchy goodness!

    Hummus Wraps


    1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

    ¼ cup tahini

    2 gloves garlic, crushed

    2 TBS olive oil

    1 TBS lemon juice

    Romaine lettuce leaves

    Salted cashews


    Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the hummus onto each Romaine leaf.   Top with about 5 or 6 cashews.  Eat and enjoy!

    To learn how carbs can hijack your brain and lead to fat, visit excelweighloss.com to watch some fascinating videos!

  • If you’re trying to lose weight, what you put into your body is as important as what you leave out. Supercharge your smoothies by adding the right “stuff”. This recipe feature plain kefir as part of the liquid. Kefir is a fermented beverage, kind of like a liquid yogurt. It’s made by fermenting several types of bacteria and yeast, which leads to a very high probiotic count. Probiotics are important for the health of your gut and may also boost your immune system and aid in weight loss. Choose an unsweetened, organic kefir and each 1 cup serving provides 11 grams of protein, 40% of the RDA for calcium, and several B vitamins including B12 (for your blood and nervous system), B1 (for stress) and biotin, a B vitamin that helps your body use other B vitamins.

    ½ cup plain kefir
    ½ cup vanilla almond milk, unsweetened
    1 scoop protein powder with greens (you can find this in this health food section)
    1 cup organic berries, fresh or frozen
    ½ cup organic kale, frozen
    ½ cucumber
    1 TBS coconut oil

    Place all ingredients in blender and blend until mixed. Adjust consistency with water.
    Enjoy this smoothie knowing that you are worth it!


For more information or to contact Karen, click below.

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Or call 406-1084


(Subject to Change)

Strength & Cardio 5:30 to 6:30 am
Cardio & Strength Training 10:00 am Family
Fitness Family Fitness 3:00 pm
Strength & Cardio 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Strength/Balance 11:00 am
Step Class 12:15 pm
Dance Fitness 5:15 pm
Yoga 6:00 pm

Strength & Cardio 5:30 to 6:30 am
Cardio & Strength Training 10:00 am
Strength & Cardio 5:00 to 6:00 pm

Strength/balance 11:00 am
Step Class 12:15 pm
Yoga 5:15 pm

Strength & Cardio 5:30 to 6:30 am
Cardio & Strength training 11:15 am
Dance Fitness & Strength 5:00 to 6:00 pm

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