Encouraging friends to be their best by building healthier lifestyle habits <3

What does someone who wants to lose weight look like?

tall/short? old/young? pretty/less so? lots/or just a little?

 I’ll tell you what they look like on the inside….Anyone who has come to that point in their life when they decide that they deserve so much more than what their weight allows. They are done with being held back by always feeling tired or run down, depressed or discouraged about how they feel looking in the mirror, and they are ready to make whatever changes that will turn those negative feelings into positive thinking about what those changes could mean to their health! That positive attitude is what makes the difference!! It’s an active decision and takes action!

 So, it doesn’t really matter what you look like on the outside.(sorry beauty queens) It’s the inside that is more important to improve upon. Our thoughts often control our emotions which often control our behaviors. When we successfully change our thinking, we take charge ! Negative thoughts? They lead to negative behaviors, whether it’s overeating, smoking or drinking. So, rephrase any negative or “toxic” thoughts that come into our heads into more positive ones. A more pleasant state of mind helps avoid what may be a trigger to overeating.

Negative Thought: I ate the whole box of cookies. I am a failure.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nourishing Thought: I ate the whole box of cookies. I am not a failure, and I am allowed to make mistakes. I will learn from this experience and put cookies away where they do not tempt me.                                

Negative Thought: I only lost 5 pounds. I will never make it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   I Nourishing Thought:If I can lose 5 pounds, I can and will lose 5 more.

Negative Thought: I hate being on a weight-loss program.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nourishing Thought: Changing my eating habits is not easy, but it will make a huge difference in my health and help me reach my goals.

We all need food to meet our nutritional needs and satisfy hunger. It can also help heighten positive emotions or buffer the pain of negative ones. BUT, it’s a mistake to make it your only option. The less you rely on food to meet your emotional needs, the more successful you will be with health, weight and many other aspects of life.

 Here’s a meal that satisfies your nutritional needs and taste buds !!

Broccoli Chicken Dijon

  •  2 6oz boneless,skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 cups broccoli
  •  1/2cup reduced sodium chicken bouillon
  •  2Tbsp Dijon mustard
  •  1Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  •  2tsp olive oil
  • 1clove garlic

1)Mix chicken broth and soy sauce, set aside. 2)Heat oil in a large skillet and saute broccoli and garlic until crisp/tender.Remove and set aside. 3)Add chicken to skillet and cook until no longer pink. Drain, add broth mixture and bring to a boil. 4)Stir in Mustard. Return broccoli mixture and heat through.

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Seriously, I love what I do

What a month we’ve all  had!  Whoo Hoo!  I’m so privileged to be a partner with so many on their weight loss journey. Working as a health coach has been a very rewarding area of my life.  I want to thank each of you for allowing me to witness your commitment to improving your health and reaching your personal goals. I love the community of support you offer me as well.  Weight loss is a team sport!   As promised, here is a list of those “helpful tips” that everyone has shared. These little things that make the 5-1 plan a little more interesting day to day. It’s amazing how diverse the plan is without sacrificing convenience. Some of these are really creative! You guys are into it!
Eggs= Try adding salsa,season mixes,chopped onion or hot sauce to zip them up
Chili=   Add your favorite seasoning,salsa,non-fat yogurt or even use crumbled meatless protein to kick it up.
Maryland Crab Soup= same goes for the soup. A little canned salmon makes it more of a meal.                                                                                                                                                                      Vegetarian Sloppy Joe= Goes very well tossed with chopped cabbage.                                                                                                                                                                                                         Oatmeal/Pancakes= If you are on the seniors 4-2-1 plan,it allows a serving of fruit. Mix in dried berries for added flavor or mix together a slenda packet with cinnamon and sprinkle on the top. Use your dairy condiment by adding non-fat milk to your cereal.
Shakes= My personal favorite is stirring in a vanilla shake in my morning coffee or a Starbucks ice tea. Change that a little and mix 1/2pack of instant coffee into a Dark Chocolate shake. Here, the possiblities are endless. In a small blender( we have a magic bullet) add crushed ice and any combination of sugar-free syrups or extracts.
Extracts/Sugar Free Syrups=Speaking of,  these are better than sliced bread!  Add them to everything from shakes, oatmeal, pancakes, soft serve or pudding. Great in coffee or one of the Medifast Hot drinks. Most popular flavors seem to be almond,maple,cherry,mint or coconut extract. Hazelnut,raspberry,peanut butter,Irish Cream for the syrups.
Nuts= Top salads,or any meal with this optional snack.
Cheese substitute= Use to zing up your lean and green. Cheesy Cauliflower anyone?
What about sharing a brownie/chocolate pudding dessert with your buddy?
Here’s something out of the oven 🙂
Pita Bread   serves 2
1 package Medifast Scrambled Eggs
1 package Medifast Cream of Broccoli or
Chicken soup
1 pkg Medifast Multigrain Crackers
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
5 tablespoons water

Dash black pepper (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon bas
1)Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2)Add dry ingredients together. Add water and mix thoroughly.
3) Spread mixture in oiled pan to about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 5 minutes, pull it out.
4)Spray with non-stick cooling spray and sprinkle on pepper and basil to taste.
5)Place the bread under the broiler until the top turns brown.
6)Pull it out and let it cool. Once cooled, cut the bread then cut with a knife down the side of each piece to create an inside pocket.
These are just the beginning! There is NOTHING boring about eating light 🙂  Be sure to check serving sizes before adding a condiment or optional snack. The idea is to follow closely to plan and continue to lose weight. Keep up the good work everyone! And keep the ideas coming!


Now, tell me. What was I doing?

Life’s distractions sure can get in the way of what we want. In our artificial world it’s more important than ever to have a plan to get where we want to go or risk finding ourselves wandering in circles having gone no where. It’s all about the choices we make! We need a solution. That’s where structural tension comes in. Define for yourself what it is that you most want and why. Make those choices positive. Not “I want to move, I don’t like it here” but more like “I want to live closer to family”. Or “I’m tired of being overweight, I don’t feel good” changed to “I want to live at my ideal weight so that I can be more active”. By clarifying your vision, you take “will-power” out of the equation! We all know how will-power let’s us down when we get distracted!

Now, be honest. Describe your current reality. “I can’t afford to move”,or “I take Rx drugs for health conditions because I eat too much junk.” The further apart these two are, the more tension is created. This tension is what leads to action. This action becomes your plan, the power to change destructive behaviors, take control of the wheel! But wait, you’re still not there yet!

The fun part is devising the plan. As you travel forward, never look back in the rear view. You’re gonna make mistakes, oh well get over it, learn and move on. Success comes from learning. It goes like this: Action-evaluate-correct-action-result-evaluate- and so on. You get the picture. I’ve been studying Structural Tension,( can you tell?) I look forward to supporting my clients while working to achieve their goals! When we talk, they share with me what they dream about, and together we create a map to get there!

Healthy eating needs a meal plan too. This one probably needs a trip to the market. Sometimes it’s fun to take the time to plan/shop for a meal and explore new choices.

 Chicken or Shrimp Pad Thai serves 4

• 2 tbsp sesame oil

• 18 oz cooked chicken, or 22 oz cooked shrimp

 • 4 x 8-oz packages House tofu shirataki flat noodles (found in many grocery stores in the refrigerated produce section)

 • 1 cup mung bean sprouts

• 1 cup green onions, chopped

 • 1 shallot, minced

• 1 tsp. garlic, minced

 • 1 egg

 • 1 x 6-oz package smoked or baked tofu, cut into cubes or matchsticks

• 4-8 lime wedges For Sauce:

• 2 tbsp vinegar

 • 1 tbsp fish sauce

• 2 tbsp Splenda

 • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1)Wash & rinse bean sprouts, drain & rinse noodles. Pat noodles relatively dry. 2)Saute garlic, shallots and tofu in oil until aromatic and tofu begins to brown. Add noodles. Stir briskly to avoid sticking. 3)Mix sauce ingedients and add to noodle mixture. If still very liquidy, raise heat. 4)Add cooked chicken, shrimp or other meat and toss until warm throughout. 5)Push noodle mixture aside and scramble egg into the wok or pan. Fold in when scrambled. 6)Add the onions, and bean sprouts. Cook, stirring often, until everything is heated and noodles & meat are well mixed. Serve with a wedge of lime (don’t forget to squeeze it over the noodles before eating).

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It’s all in your mind

Mindful Eating

 We all have eating behaviors and patterns. It’s helpful to learn your own behaviors to help you become more aware of when you crave certain foods or why you overeat. One good way to begin changing food behaviors is mindful eating.

Mindless eating happens when you plop down in front of the TV or to visit with a friend and before you know it the tray of cookies is gone!  How many times have we found ourselves holding an empty bag of chips?  It’s never a good idea to take the whole carton of ice cream out of the freezer telling yourself that you’ll only have “a lil”!  Distraction comes way too easy!  Learn to recognize patterns where you slip up. It’s a much better strategy to plan ahead so you catch the behavior before it catches you 🙂

Mindful eating is simply when you think before you eat. Be aware of what you are about to consume. Consider if the food choice will be in line with your goal to lose weight and properly fuel your body. Always have a picture in your mind of  what you will accomplish by making this choice and feel good about it!   Before you sit down to eat, decide exactly how much you are going to have, instead of just eating until you’re full. Most times you will end up eating less. Try it and see!

Here is how I planned ahead for dinner.  This is just one of the tips from “Support in Motion”. Are you taking advantage of this great learning tool? Another very useful tool that TSFL offers is the nutrition support. I came home to a 2lb zucchini in my garden. I contacted nutritional services and they modified my stuffed zucchini recipe so that we stayed on plan! Lance added a little Tapatio and had a great dinner. Here it is!

Stuffed Zucchini

cooking spray

2 8oz. zucchini

1.5 lbs 85%-94% lean ground beef

 4 slices onion, chopped

2 packs Medifast crackers, crushed

1 egg

2 cups crushed tomatoes

 1)Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray lined cookie sheet. 2)Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scoop out the seeds. Chop and reserve about 3/4 of the seeds for the stuffing. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, chopped onion, cracker crumbs, egg and reserved zucchini seeds. Place the meat mixture equally into the zucchini halves. Mixture should be piled up over the top. Place the filled zucchini halves onto the cooking sheets. 3) Spoon the crushed tomatoes over the filled zucchini. Bake approx. 45 minutes. 4) Season with your favorite spices or hot sauces.

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Crossfit 101

This video says it all! Thank you for sharing! Reminds me of how important my work is as a health coach. I’m on a mission to get America healthy!!

Joy in the Day

I’m doing everything in my power not to think about running this week. Hence the overload of Crossfit talk.

Many of my friends ask about Crossfit having the faintest idea of what it all entails. They think it’s a bunch of crazy shirtless meatheads lifting weights. Or think if you can’t lift 250lbs you can’t do Crossfit. This is when I respond incorporating the word ‘ridonkulous’.

A few pointers for you first-timers from moi. These are my opinions as a student. I’m not a trainer.

  1. Anyone can do Crossfit. YES, that means YOU! If you go to a CF gym that makes you feel bad about your fitness level RUN far FAR away! And then come see TJ at my gym because he rules and will make you feel like a rockstar.
  2. Your first time will feel foreign and you might puke. Wait keep reading! You’ll only puke if you…

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Brain Food

Turkey Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash

·       1 tablespoon  olive oil
·       3 tablespoons chopped onions
·       2 garlic cloves, minced
·       18 ounces raw ground turkey
·       1  tablespoon  chopped fresh oregano
·       1  tablespoon  chopped fresh basil
·       1  tablespoon  chopped fresh parsley
·       ½ teaspoon salt
·       1  teaspoon  black pepper ·     
        3 cups chopped tomatoes
·       1 ounce low fat shredded asiago or Parmesan cheese
·       1 Spaghetti Squash
1) Cook the spaghetti squash by poking holes in it with a knife, then microwave it for 10 minutes or until fairly tender. Careful when you remove it from the oven, it will be very hot! Slice it down    lengthwise, scoop out all the seeds and fork out the flesh.
2) Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook 5 minutes or until tender stirring frequently.
3) Add turkey and brown til crumbly.
4) Add oregano,basil,parsley,S/P and tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
5) Serve over cooked squash and sprinkle with cheese.

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Your brain needs exercise too!

What common English word will describe a person or thing as not being found in any place and yet with no changes other than a space between syllables, will correctly describe that person or thing as being actually present at this very moment? ( Answer in a moment…..)
Here’s another Brain Teaser for you… Did you know that 10 minutes of mental exercise builds brain fitness? You may not think of the brain as a big calorie burner but in fact our brains consume an incredible amount of energy maybe accounting for as much as 25% of our metabolic rate!  Researchers have discovered that our brain cells and neurons have an amazing ability to develop in size and connectivity as we age. That means improved health and longevity for you when we stimulate those brain waves!  So, build those muscles and increase your metabolic rate. Learn something new,solve a puzzle, anything that challenges you.  It’s all part of the healthier life style we’re after.

The word is “NOWHERE”. When a space is placed between the ‘w’ and ‘h’, you get the words “NOW HERE”.

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The lighter side of our goal to lighten up!

I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape,
So I got my doctor’s permission to
 Join a fitness club and start exercising.
 I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors.
 I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour But,
 By the time I got my leotards on, The class was over.

This just makes me giggle!  Laughing is a wonderful way to see our humanity in situations that most of us can relate to. The important point to this scenario is that our narrator is taking those first steps towards their goal to get back into shape!  It’s ok to feel silly, in fact, join the party! Everyone starts somewhere 🙂

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De-stress your life by chosing wisely what you eat

If you lose your possessions, you’ve lost a lot. If you lose your health, you’ve lost a great deal. But if you lose your peace of mind, you’ve lost everything. – Proverb

Did you know that Cortisol is an important hormone in the body secreted by the adrenal glands and helps with functions such as proper glucose metabolism, regulating blood pressure, release of insulin for blood sugar maintenance and inflammatory response?  It’s also been termed the “stress hormone” because it’s secreted in higher levels in response to “fight or flight” and is responsible for stress related changes in the body which can have very negative effects. Unfortunately, in our high-stress culture, the body’s stress response is activated so often that cortisol levels remain chronically high putting us in danger of some serious health problems such as suppressed thyroid function,hyperglycemia,high blood pressure,decreases bone density and muscle tissue, increased abdominal fat which of course leads to you know what!  Definition?…..BAD!

So you can see why stress is harmful to our overall health and causes us to gain weight.
 Solution? It may be time to take another look at your daily routine. Learn how to help your body’s relaxation response be activated and return to normal following a stressful event. Simple lifestyle and diet changes aid in how we react to stress in the first place. Try  music, breathing exercises, and quiet time. Practice optimism and get plenty of sleep. Avoid “food stressors” like sugar,caffeine and alcohol. Instead eat plenty of vegetables, fruit and oil-rich fish that replace the vitamins and nutrients that cortisol has robbed us of. Oh and drink lots of water! Wow! who knew that what we eat has such an influence over how we feel during our day?
Hmm, it’s been a hectic week for me. I could use a long hot shower and play with the dogs while dinner is marinating. Salmon is just what the therapist ordered 😉
Salmon with Garlic and Basil
5oz salmon fillet
1Tbsp fresh basil
1Tbsp lemon juice
1tsp olive oil
1/2 clove garlic,minced
S/P to taste
1) Combine basil,lemon juice,olive oil, and garlic in a small bowl.
2) Add salmon and marinade for 1 hour.
3) Spray broiler pan with non-stick cooking spray and place salmon skin side down.
4) Sprinkle with salt and pepper. You may cook salmon with some marinade for extra flavor.
5) Broil for 10-12 minutes, turn and cook additional 3 minutes or until skin is crispy.
Add some of your favorite veggies to your plate and turn on the tunes. Relax! You’ve earned it!

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