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

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The perfect time is today

What are you waiting for??
 They’ll go on a family trip next year..We’ll fix the fence next week…You should call Grandma tomorrow….I’ll do something about my weight after the weekend…

I see a pattern here. If you wait for the perfect time, guess what? Something always gets in the way until it becomes critical.
But life is so busy after all!!  Unfortunately, life has a way of taking over.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 We stress out… the cows get out…we lose touch with loved ones..you have your first heart attack…                                                                                                                                                      Is “pre”diabetic just a warning sign to ignore? I think the warning sign to take seriously should be the excuses that we keep making for ourselves. It just makes sense to close the barn door while the horses are still inside!  When we allow excuses to make our important life’s decisions we are functioning in the negative. They get in the way of progress.  A positive attitude takes action! Action moves you forward toward what you want or need. Now you are in control. If you are faced with un-wanted weight, there is little reason to put it off. Waiting only makes room for more excuses and the unfortunate consequences. Don’t wait for serious warning signs to stress you into action.
I know I’m handing out a little tough love this week, but it’s only because I care ❤
Here’s one that you won’t need an excuse to make
Halibut with Lemon Pesto  serves 1 lean portion
6oz. Halibut or other firm white fish fillet
cooking spray
1/8 tsp salt(divided)
dash black pepper
1/4 cup firmly packed basil leaves
1 Tbsp fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 garlic clove peeled
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1)Prepare grill and place fish fillet on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Season fish with salt and pepper.
2)Cover and grill 4 minutes on each side or until fillets flake easily.
3)Combine remaining ingredients in a food processor until finely minced.
4) Serve cooked fish over pesto.

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The ingestion of trans-fats and saturated fats increase the risk of suffering depression, while ingesting olive oil appears to protect against depression. Participants with an elevated consumption of trans-fats (fats present in artificial form in industrially-produced pastries and fast food, and naturally present in certain whole milk products) showed a 48% increase in the risk of depression. Also, the more trans-fats consumed, the greater the harmful effect they produced.
Public Library of Science, February 2011

What a bummer. That explains why feeling down in the dumps seems to follow a fast food lunch and the energy monitor on our body’s internal engine hits bottom. Yet, the food industry continues to produce consumable “stuff” (just because you can eat it, doesn’t make it food) full of these un-healthy fats and sugars to cut costs. Their profits go up and so does our waist line! It’s all part of what Dr.A calls our “obesigenic world”.  Thankfully, we have a choice in the matter.  Instead of giving in to harmful, health-robbing meals that leave you wondering “why did I eat that?”,  make the decision to fuel up on nutritious foods or Medifast MR’s and smile. See? You took care of the inside and out!!
–I don’t always have time for anything but “fast food” for lunch. OK, I never have time for anything else, but, here is the perfect solution for  days when a “lean and green” is scheduled to be earlier but needs to be quick!
Tuna Salad
1 6oz can tuna, drained
1/2 cup total: diced dill pickle
bell peppers
2 Tbs low fat mayonnaise
2 cups mixed salad and sprouts
1)Drain the tuna.
2)Dice the dill pickle, celery and bell peppers. Mix in a bowl with 2 Tbs low fat maynnaise.
 3) Serve with over salad and sprouts. Add your favorite flavor of Medifast crackers or Soy Crisps for extra crunch!

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What are your intentions for the day?

I love the practice of Yoga. Attending a class, I experience such a feeling of well-being and stability for my “go-go” day. Along with a healthy diet, practicing Yoga can lead to improved fitness, better sleep patterns,reduced stress, relief from pain…well, you get the idea! During my last class our instructor was guiding our thoughts and encourgaged us to consider our  Samskara.

Samskara=impressions stored in the mind that form the basis of our beliefs,attitudes and personality.

She described samskara as our intentions. I believe that our intentions can work for us or against us. What are your intentions for the day? Will you set out with an attitude of confidence, ready to take on whatever challenges arise? Or will stress take over and you feel defeated before you start? We can effect our thoughts through positive reinforcement. Everytime you do something for yourself to promote a sense of well-being you are telling yourself that you believe that you are a worth it and improved health will be yours.
So, take care of your body,mind and spirit!  Your self will love you for it
UMM, food that is good for the body is good for the soul…this may be a bit different. Maybe we need to try something outside of our norm to break into a NEW intention!
 Spicey fried tofu with basil  serves 6
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 small fresh red or green chile peppers, seeded and minced
1 lb. extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Tbs. tamari or soy sauce
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch lengths
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1)Heat wok or large deep skillet over high heat. Add oil and when hot, add garlic and chilies and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes.
2)Add tofu and stir-fry until tofu is heated through, about 2 minutes.
3)Add tamari or soy sauce and mix well.
4)Add beans and cook just until bright green, 1 to 2 minutes more.
5)Add basil and mix thoroughly. Transfer to warm platter and serve hot.

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Exercise is not just for “Gym-Rats”

Most people know exercise keeps muscles strong. Did you know strong muscles burn more calories? Muscle mass is metabolically active tissue. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn even when you’re not working out! For each pound of muscle you add, you will burn an additional 35-50 calories per day. So, an extra 5 pounds of muscle will burn about 175-250 calories a day or an extra pound of fat every 14-20 days.
Mayo Clinic
This is good news for the “gym rats” , but what about everyone else? More good news!  Exercise comes in any form of movement. So, anyone can add muscle!  I always suggest finding an activity that you really enjoy. If you like the activity, it becomes more of pleasant way to spend time, there is never that psyching yourself out to get it done, and  in fact you may have to reason with yourself that you shouldn’t feel guilty, it’s good for you!  When it has become a part of your daily routine, (oops, there’s that habit word again) you actually feel weird when it gets missed.  So, what does that look like to you? Walking with your best buddy after dinner? That favorite sport you loved when you were young(er)? Or maybe taking up an activity that always looked like fun to you, whatever it is, you will be amazed at how it improves how you feel on the inside  when you take time out for yourself ❤
Some of you may think I’m from another planet, but I like to watch the food network while working out in my home gym. Maybe it’s some kind of extra incentive, or I maybe I just really like food. I’ve always enjoyed running and lifting weights. I never push so hard that it stops being fun, consistancy always gets me there! This sounded so good, I can’t wait to try it!!
Red Pepper Scallops
1 1/2 pounds large sea scallops
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon, zested
Freshly ground black pepper
4 large red bell peppers
1)In a bowl, combine the scallops, olive oil, lemon zest, and black pepper, to taste. Preheat the broiler or prepare coals for outdoor grilling.
2) Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove the stems, seeds, and ribs. If cooking in a broiler, place the peppers cut side down on a baking sheet.
3)Broil or grill the peppers until blackened, 6 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper bag, close the top and let steam for 10 minutes.
4)Remove the charred skins and cut the peppers lengthwise into 3/4-inch strips. Wrap a pepper strip around each scallop to cover completely, overlapping the pepper ends. Secure the strips by running a 10-inch metal skewer through the scallop and pepper.
5)Use 6 skewers; add scallops to each skewer until filled. Grill skewers over a medium-hot fire, turning once, until scallops are almost firm to the touch, 1 to 2 minutes on each side.(or cook under the broiler for about 3 minutes per side)

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Let’s do the “Happy Dance!”

“Hi Barbi,
You just can’t see me, but I’m doing a happy dance today.  I hit 40 pound loss this morning!  Excited? No, it’s beyond that!!!  I’m now over half way to my re-set goal.  No way to tell you how much I love MF and how grateful I am that I found TSFL….all things are possible.
                                      Happy.happy, ”

I couldn’t help sharing this with ya’ll because it so beautifully follows up with the point I was making last week. Does this TSFLer sound like she’s having fun? YOU BET SHE IS!! So much so that she is extending her goal to make room for more progress.  With everything in your life that can cause stress, the goal to lose weight should not be one of them. Making the decision to do something for yourself should be cause for excitement and anticipation of the possibilities! Remember that colt with the pretty turn around? Motivating? Now, let’s have fun with building health and well being in your life. By working at it a little everyday, watching the scale numbers go down, and the face in the mirror getting slimmer, that progress will be so fun and rewarding that you will soon be doing the “happy dance” too!! WEEEEE!!
One last thing. You friends of mine who need a little extra help, I have lots of ideas to share that might help with your personal struggles. Call me as often as you like so we can work together. I would hate to see you miss out on the party !
We made party wings last week, what about something to go with them? I have a couple of large Eggplants in my garden to pick. This looks like fun!
Bruschetta Eggplant with Tofu
30 ounces Mori-Nu Silken extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2-in cubes
1 1/2 cups raw eggplant with peel, cut into 1-in cubes
1 cup (1-2 medium) plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 clove garlic, minced
Non-stick cooking spray
Dash of salt and/or pepper, if desired
1)Preheat oven to 400° F. Lightly mist a large (or two medium) non-stick baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray until lightly covered. Place eggplant and tofu, well-spaced, in a single layer on baking sheet. Lightly drizzle olive oil over eggplant and tofu. Sprinkle on garlic powder. Bake 7-10 minutes. Flip and bake an additional 7-10 minutes, or until eggplant is tender when tested with fork.
2)In large serving bowl, combine tomatoes, scallions, garlic, and basil. Add eggplant and tofu. Salt and pepper to taste if desired. Toss gently to mix. Serve and enjoy.

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Freedom of Choice-Happy Independance Day!


Isn’t that what we all want?  To have the freedom to decide what will benefit us the most? Life is always shaped by the choices we make. Whether we choose to work at a solution or ignore the problem, be active or sit around or maybe eat something that supports health or eat a snack that we will regret later. We are in control of life shaping choices.  Sure, there are always circumstances to consider, often getting in the way of what we are ultimately striving for. But, that’s just a part of the decision-making process. It still is in your control what the final choice will be under the present situation. I find this realization to be quite stress relieving. Take charge of my own life and put aside what is out of my control.

Then why do so many struggle to create healthy habits in their lives?  I think when someone is faced with the big picture they are over-whelmed, become defeated and choose to ignore the problem rather than take on the more difficult choices. (see, it’s always comes down to a choice!) I like this tactic. Break it down into small, manageable pieces. We are faced with hundreds of choices everyday. Take on one at a time.  Decide to stick to your weight loss eating plan for today. Easier choice then a whole week, since who knows what tomorrow will bring?  Tomorrow, choose again. Decide what activity is best for today. Tomorrow, choose again. After a week, you begin to establish habits that make each healthy choice easier!  Don’t look now, but you’re on your way to creating healthy habits in your life!  Day by day, one step at a time that big picture looks much smaller from this view looking back!  How empowered are you now that YOU are in control?  Daily choices are so much more manageable and accumulate into long-term results!

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Health Alert: On Your Knees!

10 million Americans suffer from knee osteoarthritis (OA). Due to obesity and symptomatic knee OA, Americans over the age of 50 will, in total, lose the equivalent of 86 million healthy years of life. Reducing obesity to the year 2000 levels would prevent 173,000 cases of coronary heart disease, 711,000 cases of diabetes and 270,000 total knee replacements.It would save 19.5 million years of life among US adults aged 50-84.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Annals of Internal Medicine, February 2011 –

Wow, those are sobering statistics! It’s time we all take a look at how we care for our health. If we are laxa-daisy about it, what should we expect in return? A little commitment to taking care of ourselves goes a long way. What would you rather spend your time on? Tracking in and out of the doctor’s office or tracking around your favorite activity? A day filled with worry, or days filled with expectation? The choice is yours. A life lived to it’s fullest potential is a life lived!! Don’t let preventable disease take that away from you or someone you love.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Zucchini

  •  1 tablespoon lemon 
  •  1 clove garlic, minced 
  •  2 teaspoons olive oil 
  •  1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves 
  •  1, 5 oz. lamb chop 
  •  1 1/2 cups zucchini 
  •  salt and pepper to taste

 1)Combine lemon juice, garlic, 1 teaspoon oil and mint. Marinate chops in oil mixture for 2 hours or overnight. 2)Transfer from marinade to broiler pan or grill. Place zucchini on the grill and brush with remaining olive oil, turning once.

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