Recipe: Healthy Chocolate Chip Muffins by Sylvia Fallas–Perfect to Bake at Home with the Kids!

Thank you, Sylvia for this great recipe, perfect right now for parents or caregivers who have kids home from school due to the coronavirus and are looking for things to do together while remaining at home and indoors. Cooking together, especially baking, is something most kids enjoy tremendously, but unfortunately many parents and their children don’t have a lot of time to do these kinds of things together given the parents’ hectic work schedules and the busy schedules of their children with school, studying, and extracurricular activities. May you find this recipe comforting and an inspiration and perfect excuse to take advantage of the time we now have as a result of this unfortunate situation and use it to bond and make positive memories with those we love.

From Sylvia:
We don’t know what’s ahead. But I do know (or have a feeling) that you’ve probably got a bag of flour to use up. Maybe a feeling that you want to do something productive. Possibly a bored kid who’s bored of climbing the walls. Call it a fractions lessons and make these!

Chocolate Chip Muffins
Sylvia Fallas
1 c white whole wheat flour
1 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 c plain Greek yogurt or skyr
1/2 c maple syrup
1/3 c oil
1 TB lemon juice
2 TB milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 c chocolate chips
Note: it’s fine to use 2 c of white (all purpose flour)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, whisk yogurt, maple syrup, oil, lemon juice, milk, vanilla and eggs. Sprinkle flour mixture over wet mixture. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir gently until just combined. Fold in berries.
Scoop muffins into 12 greased muffin cups. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Allow to cool slightly in muffin pans before transferring to a rack.

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UPDATE (3/19/20): EVENT POSTPONED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS, NEW DATE TBA. Fred Bollaci Invited to Showcase Both Editions of “The Restaurant Diet” at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL Saturday April 25, 2020, 10-4 At Independent Bookstore Author Event

Join Author Fred Bollaci on Saturday April 25th, 2020 at Tampa’s famed Oxford Exchange as part of the annual Independent Bookstore Author Event, showcasing many great local authors!

Oxford Exchange is a unique bookstore, cafe, restaurant, community gathering space, and home goods store, one of the most Instagrammed places in Tampa Bay!


Naturally, this and all scheduled events will depend upon the coronavirus situation going forward. Please check back or confirm.

NOTE: The event at Felice’s in Clearwater, originally RESCHEDULED for Sat. 4/25 HAS BEEN MOVED AGAIN TO ACCOMMODATE BOTU EVENTS, and will be Sat. 4/18, 11-2.


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Coronavirus Update, Event Cancellations/Rescheduling, Client Access, Support Local Restaurants and Businesses

For immediate release


March 13, 2020

Dear Friends, Family, Followers, Clients, and Colleagues,

I have made the decision to cancel all upcoming events and appearances through the end of March, 2020.

These include:

Felice’s Italian Deli, Clearwater, FL  3/21, RESCHEDULED to Saturday 4/18/20, 11-2. Book signing and food, beverages including soft drinks and wine will be served.

Trevini, Palm Beach, 3/25, NEW DATE IN MAY TBA.


Bice, Palm Beach, 3/26, NEW DATE IN MAY TBA.


My appearance at the Bologna Cafe Florida Winefest Dinner on 4/1 has also been POSTPONED UNTIL Weds 10/28/20, all April Winefest events in Sarasota will now take place 10/28-11/2/20. Visit for more information.

Additionally, until further notice, I will be coaching exclusively via phone, Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime. There will be no coaching sessions at restaurants or in public places out of an abundance of caution.

That being said, I still plan to support my local restaurants and businesses that remain open, ordering takeout and/or delivery of food and other products when possible. Local businesses especially rely on our support, and will be hurt the hardest by the current situation. As long as our local businesses remain open to serving their communities, I strongly encourage everyone to support them whenever you live, even if you are not inclined to dine out or go out for health reasons. How would any of us feel if some of these businesses didn’t survive a decline in business that lasts weeks or possibly months due to the current situation. What about their employees? We owe business owners and those who work for them and serve us our support especially in times like this.

Be safe and healthy everyone! God bless.


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CROPJuice: Sarasota’s Favorite “Cold-Pressed, Raw, Organic, Produce” A New Platinum Palate Favorite for the Best Organic Juices, Smoothies, Bowls, Immunity & Detox Beverages, Vegan and Gluten-Free Meals Available, Locations in Sarasota, Florida



As part of a healthy lifestyle, I am always in search of new (and convenient) ways to improve my nutrition and health. In recent months, I have been striving to further improve my health ten years after losing 150 pounds eating out 4-5 nights a week, starting and building a company, being a food writer and blogger, and lifestyle coach who travels frequently, works long and sometimes unusual hours, and is constantly “on the go,” I made a decision to “cleanse” or clean-up even more what I was consuming. I wanted to take my health to a whole new level, by concentrating on organic, fresh, and local whenever possible. I have been seeking out the best produce, fruits, and vegetables to juice or create smoothies at home, but typically find I don’t have the time or patience to do it all myself–and clean the juicer afterwards! Looking for a variety of fresh organic produce like celery, parsley, cucumber, collard greens, kale, dandelion greens, beets, carrots, mango, pineapple, ginger, cilantro–you get it, the list goes on! These ingredients are expensive and finding that “perfect combination” of fruits and veggies I want to give my body for nourishment, and simultaneously create a tasty snack or beverage takes even more effort–often running to several stores, farmer’s markets, etc. That’s all great, and I do it at times. However, it is really nice to have a “go-to” spot that takes all the legwork out by finding, pressing, and blending all the combinations I could possibly want at a price point that is still affordable. Fortunately, a friend turned me on to CROP Juice and they have quickly become my “go-to” for the best and freshest juices in the Sarasota area, and an indispensable part of my new and improved health regimen. I start every day I’m in Sarasota with two 12-ounce bottles of their organic cold pressed Celery Juice, and typically stop in at one of their locations most days I’m in the area to grab a juice or two for a snack. There is nothing more satisfying after a workout! My body feels good, and my mind feels good knowing I’m doing my body right at CROP. If you are in the Sarasota area, and are looking for something healthy and delicious, visit CROPJuice and tell them Fred Bollaci sent you!


Juicing has become an increasingly popular way for Americans “on the go” to get their daily dose of nutrition–essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. I’ve learned by trying a lot of different juice places that not all juices are created equal. Not even close.


Only 1 out of 7 people consume the recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

At CROP, their objective is to help you meet your nutritional goals by packing several servings of nutrient dense produce into one glass bottle.


It has been estimated that 80-90% of all cancers are caused by environmental factors, and as much as 30-40% of those are directly related to diet. The effect of pesticides is one environmental impact that we wish to minimize by using organic ingredients.



Their Menu Includes The Most Nutrient Dense Juice Available

I can be confident whenever I purchase and drink juice from CROP that I am getting the best. I feel better than ever since I have made their products part of my daily routine in Sarasota, and miss them whenever I am away!

All Organic Produce Packaged in Glass

No Preservatives, Fillers, or Added Water

Each Bottle is Individually Hand-Crafted
Cold pressed Raw Juice (CROP) vs Cold pressed HPP (High Pressure Processing) vs Pasteurized juice

Raw juice is unprocessed, pure and perishable with typically a 4-5 day shelf life. Consuming raw juice is the easiest way for the body to assimilate essential enzymes and micronutrients.

HPP’d juice is preserved by using pressure which typically extends the shelf life of a juice to 30-45 days. There have been class action lawsuits over the claim that a juice is still “raw” after this process. Our opinion at CROP is that a 30 day old juice is no longer raw. All cold-pressed juices for sale on retail shelves are HPP’d.

Pasteurized juice is preserved by heat to extend shelf life but vital qualities of fruits and veggies are lost when juice is “cooked.” If not HPP’d, the juice you purchase at the grocery store is pasteurized!


CROP is Vegan, Gluten-Free, and 100% Organic!

In addition to fruit and vegetable juices, CROP features an assortment of Acai and Superfood Bowls, Detox and Immunity Shots, Smoothies, Cleanses, Vegan Meals and Treats, and so much more!


At CROP, leafy greens are the base of the juices because ounce for ounce they are recognized as the healthiest for you, and as we like to say, nutrient dense. Leafy greens are a rich source of chlorophyll which acts as a detoxifier in the body and helps deliver oxygen to the cells. They are loaded with live enzymes, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, C, E, and K along with many B vitamins. Phytonutrients in leafy greens have been shown to protect the body against free radical damage and support the immune system.


Glass packaging is the material of choice at CROPjuice. The non-porous nature of glass alleviates any concern of harmful chemicals leaching into your 100% organic juice. In our opinion, the safety of plastics is too questionable at this time so we use the safest, most trusted, sustainable packaging. The non-porous nature of glass keeps your juice tasting as fresh as possible and also slows the oxidation process, ensuring you get the maximum benefit from your handcrafted libation!

CROPjuice bottles are returnable/recyclable! Prior to returning your bottles, please rinse the bottle and throw away the cap. CROP will donate 25 cents to a local charity for each bottle that can be re-used. Please help us pay it forward! If you cannot return your bottles to CROPjuice, please place them in your recycling bin because glass is 100% recyclable and can be endlessly re-used without loss in quality or purity; no other food or beverage packaging comes close.


Yes! CROP’s philosophy is to use cold pressed juicing as a supplement to a healthy diet and lifestyle, and they offer a complete line of cleanses to compliment this objective.

Please call 941-923-8640 during regular business hours or stop in for more details, and to taste an assortment of juices.


Removing the fiber from juice means you can pack more veggies/fruit in a juice than a smoothie/Vitamix. By cold press juicing, your digestive system is able to most rapidly absorb vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients..the result is a great feeling of energy and wellness!


​Karen Odierna- Founder/Chief Mixologist CROP Juice Sarasota


Karen Odierna, owner of CROPJuice is a former oncology nurse, longtime fitness instructor. “Juicing is a great way to get a concentrated amount of fruit and vegetables, and the juice gets into your bloodstream in just 10 to 15 minutes.” Fruit and vegetable juices also retain most of the phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals that are found in the whole versions of the foods, making them an easy—and portable—way to get those daily recommended servings into your system when you don’t have time to actually eat.

Why cold-pressed juices? “The juicers people have at home are typically centrifugal.  “Heat and air are driven into the spinning, and you drink the juice right away. It also starts to break down a lot faster. Cold-press juicing is a two-step process: You masticate all of the fruits and veggies, and then they are pressed in cloth and the juices are very gently extracted. The finished product stays nutritionally intact for three to five days because of that gentle juicing process. It’s way more time consuming, but it’s the best-tasting juice ever, and it’s packed with nutrients.”

Odierna creates each juice recipe herself—“I strive to put great flavors together”—and generally 10 to 12 CROPJuice juices are in rotation on any given day, all made from 100 percent organic fruits and vegetables and packaged in glass containers. “We use local farmers as much as we can, like Jessica’s Stand and Aloe Organics, and we have Yellow Submarine, a weekly organic co-op, at our store on Wednesdays.”


CROP Juice currently has three area locations, with plans for more.

Gulf Gate-Sarasota
2320 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota, FL 34231
M-F: 8AM – 6PM
Sat: 8AM – 4PM

UTC-University Park
8211 Tourist Center Dr, University Park, FL 34201
M-F: 8AM – 7PM
Sat: 8AM – 6PM
​Sun: 9AM – 4PM

Downtown Sarasota
1605 Main Street,
​Suite 108
​Sarasota, FL 34236
M-F: 8AM – 6PM
Sat: 8AM – 4PM

CROPJuice has been recognized with the Platinum Palate Certificate of Excellence by Fred Bollaci Enterprises, for their commitment to the very best in quality products which leads to better health for their customers!

Photos and information from CROP via the company website. For more information, visit

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Fred Bollaci Book Signings at Two Palm Beach Happy Hours, Trevini March 25th and Bice March 26th

Photo: Spaghetti Pomodoro by Bice.
See you in #PalmBeach for back-to-back book signings Boat Show week! At two great happy hours! Weds 3/25, Trevini, 3-5pm and Thurs 3/26, Bice Palm Beach, 4-6pm. #TheRestaurantDiet both editions will be available for signing/purchase and you’ll have the opportunity to talk with me 1 on 1!

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