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

Take Control of Your Life

A Tip of the day from Dr. A…
“Most people fail not because they don’t believe they can do it. They fail because they are not willing to do what it takes to succeed. Your level of commitment will determine whether you work hard to get to your goal or fizzle out and stop short.”
I thought this was worth sharing.  Dr. A has a lot of insights to share about how to reach your goal to live at your ideal weight.  Did you know that you can sign up for Dr. A’s tip of the day by going to www.habitsofhealth.net  and click on the request? Check it out!  It’s just one more way to stay committed to yourself and your health. Hard work? Maybe, but you will be the one to benefit the most!!
Now, for your homework…Please fill out the form below and send it my way. You should also print it off and keep it somewhere where you can look at it on a daily basis. You do your share and I’ll do mine….
Here is an idea for beef tonight 🙂
Slow Cooker Pepper Steak
2 pounds beef sirloin, cut into 2 inch strips
garlic powder to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cube beef bouillon
1/4 cup hot water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 large green bell peppers, roughly chopped
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, with liquid
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1) Sprinkle strips of sirloin with garlic powder to taste. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil and brown seasoned beef strips.Transfer to a slow cooker.
2) Mix bouillon cube and corn starch with hot water until dissolved. Pour over the meat. Stir in onion, green peppers,stewed tomatoes and soy sauce.
3) Cover, and cook on High for 3 to 4 hours, or on Low for 6 to 8 hours.

Take Control of Your Life!!!
1. Create your visual: How will you feel? What will you look like? What will you be able to do that you are looking forward to? ___________________________________________________

2. When someone offers you a cupcake, you will say…
a) “Thank you! I’d love one!”
b) “You know I can’t have that”
c) “No thank you. Although it looks delicious, I’m
going to pass this time.”
d) “I’m choosing to eat healthy these days”
e) Both C and D

3. I will take each day at a time and celebrate my success at the end of each evening by ________________________________
(ie: write in journal, take a walk, go to bed early)

4. I plan to weigh myself once a week on ____________. I will keep a chart of my success.

5. The people I can depend on to help support me are

My weight loss buddy is ______________________

My exercise buddy is ________________________

6. The situations or people that may make staying with my program difficult are: (ie: “happy hour” or “my boss”) ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

7. My secondary goals are: (ie: exercise daily, drink plenty of water, listen to support calls weekly)

8. I will reward myself for every ______ pounds I loose. Some choices I will pick from are….

9. I choose to exercise daily! The best time for me is _________. I will keep track of my progress in my journal.

10. I will keep a journal and keep up with the lessons in my Habits of Health System. I will keep in touch with my Health Coach.


Take Control of Your Life

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3 Reasons to Keep Going When You Want to Quit

Words of Balance

Success Failure Courage

3 Reasons to Keep Going When You Want to Quit

1. Nothing Great Came From Quitting 

What if Michael Jordan quit sports after being cut from his high school basketball team? What if Walt Disney quit after being told he had no imagination? What if Opera had quit after being told she wasn’t meant for T.V.? If you quit you will never know what greatness was in store for you.

2. You Know What Success Will Bring

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years like most people won’t, so you can live the rest of your life like most people can’t”. You know what success will be like when you get there and you know keeping on will be worth it.

3. It Is What You Are Meant To Do

You are reading this blog not to hide from your quitting but to face your desire to give up head on. You know…

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Celebration Day!


What are you celebrating? Weight loss for the week? New pant size? Weekend success? Back on track today? Even little celebrations are life changing. Each day that you reach small goals should be celebrated since they lead to the ultimate ones…the healthy life that you deserve! Don’t forget to include me. There is nothing that I like more than a celebration 😉  Now, let’s look at how we get to celebration day……
Many of us have been on just about every diet out there.  Sometimes you lose, but sometimes not.  The common denominator in the past has always been that the weight has come back…Why?  Well, at Take Shape for Life, we want to help you understand how to not only get down to your healthy weight but to learn how to keep it off for good!
It is all wonderful to get down to your BMI of between 19 and 25 that will get you going in the right direction.  But to keep you going in the right direction for the rest of your life, we want you to reach for your “Metabolic Fitness”.  Metabolic Fitness is achieved when your body is absent of all the metabolic and biochemical risk factors associated with obesity.  These risk factors include high cholesterol, high triglyceride level, elevated blood glucose, insulin resistance, high blood pressure and elevated fatty acid synthesis.  You can achieve metabolic fitness by a modest drop in your weight and a moderate increase in your physical activity.  Sounds easy enough, but the difficulty lies in the fact that so many people use food for non-nutrient purposes such as stress relief, emotional soothing, entertainment, to feel high or good, to rebel, to stop boredom, to procrastinate, and the list goes on and on.
So what should you do?  Well, the key to successfully losing weight and keeping it off for good is to change your attitude about yourself and the food that you choose to put into your magnificent body.
Here is an example that may sound familiar:
Ann just left her doctor’s office, and after quite a few tests it was revealed that she needs to lose 60 pounds to improve her health.  Ann’s concept of herself is that she will always be heavy.  Her whole family is overweight.  She has tried every diet ever invented and joined every weight program around, and although she may lose some weight, it always comes back on.  She feels that she can only stick to a diet for a few days. She loves food too much.  She also hates to exercise.  So, what her doctor has just told her is creating a lot of havoc in her brain.  What is she going to do?
Ann’s biggest obstacle is her preconceived concepts of herself and her relationship to food and exercise.  She needs to challenge these core beliefs about herself and make a shift in her attitude and thinking.  At first, Ann was very sad and grief stricken, she did not want to give up the “feel good” foods she had come to love, but they were killing her! She couldn’t imagine life without these foods nor could she imagine having to exercise.  Ann chose to get help from a therapist, who helped her to imagine other options other than to turn to food.  She chose the Take Shape for Life program, and took advantage of all the great support from her personal Health Coach, the online support tips and tools, and the weekly support calls.  She started exercise slowly by taking short walks daily.  She found friends and neighbors to exercise with and made it fun.  Ann had slowly but surely changed her self-concepts about herself, food, and exercise.  Ann has lost 60 pounds and lives an active healthy life. Now, how about you?
How you see yourself will determine much of your behavior.  If you perceive yourself as loving sweets, you will not let a brownie pass by without a bite.  If you see yourself as a vegetarian, you will never crave a juicy piece of steak.  If you claim that you are a triathlon competitor, you look forward to your daily workout.  You are what you think you are.  And just like Ann, you can change your attitude and ideas to healthier ones.

Hey! What about a recipe? I decided to offer  “Food for Thought” this week.
 Here are some steps to help you change your relationship with food…

1) First, write down your current reality…where you are right now in your body and mind.  Then look ahead to where you want to be in your body and mind… more energy, eating healthy, feeling great, metabolically fit?  Write it down in your journal.
2) Examine and challenge your basic beliefs about foods that are holding you back from getting down to your desired weight and health.
3) Redefine yourself as someone who eats healthy and exercises regularly.  Imagine a “new you” and begin to “be” that person.
4) Stop using foods for non-nutrient purposes and learn other ways to cope with stress.
5) Allow yourself to grieve over the loss of your unhealthy eating habits and then let it go!
6) Eat only at planned meal times and planned snack times.
7) Don’t focus on the scale and start focusing on healthy behavior and lifestyle.
8) Let go of the “I wish I were thinner” comments and work to make you the best you can be.  No comparing allowed!
9) Take advantage of the support from your TSFL program (health coach, online daily tips and tools, weekly conference calls).
10)Write down your goals for where you want to be in 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year.  Keep a daily journal.


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How about a lil movie trivia?

Mona Lisa Vito: So what’s your problem?
Vinny Gambini: My problem is, I wanted to win my first case without any help from anybody.
Mona Lisa Vito: Well, I guess that plan’s moot.
Vinny Gambini: Yeah.
Mona Lisa Vito: You know, this could be a sign of things to come. You win all your cases, but with somebody else’s help, right? You win case after case, and then afterwards you have to go up to somebody and you have to say, thank you.
Mona Lisa Vito: Oh my God, what a ****ing nightmare!
Author Unknown in My Cousin Vinny – 1992

Are you like our friend Vinny Gambini? (one of my all time favorites, by the way 🙂 That any new challenge that you take on should be accomplished on your own?  Maybe you think you’re different and don’t need the support of others to succeed in life.  But, if you ask the most successful people, no matter the goal, they will credit the support of the caring people helping them. A winner will always surround themselves with the like-minded and stay connected to keep themselves focused.
Weight loss, improving health and changing bad habits into good works the same!  It is the secret key to success!  So, the next time a caring friend wants to join you on your quest to achieve, invite them along…you BOTH win!!
 And that’s what we are all about on the Take Shape For Life team. No one has to go it alone. We all win when we work together. My reward is the excitement in your healthy smile 😀
And now for a movie night treat
Cauliflower Pizza
1/4 cup Egg Beaters (1/8 lean)
3/8 cup 2% low fat shredded Mexican 4 cheese variety (3/8 lean)
1 cup fresh raw Cauliflower, then shredded in a food processor (2 greens)
Dash of Italian Spices

1) Combine all ingredients and spread out on Pam sprayed foil pie pan. Pat down so that it all sticks together.
2) Bake in 450 degree oven for 20 minutes or until it starts to brown, then flip over and bake another 10 minutes.
You can bake a few at a time and freeze for a quick pizza anytime.
 Top with:
 2tsp. Ragu Pizza quick sauce (low in sugar!) (2 condiments)
1/4 cup 2% low fat shredded Mozzarella cheese.(1/4 lean)
1/4 cup Morning Star sausage crumbles. (1/4 lean)
1/2 cup of your choice of veggie)bell peppers,mushrooms,etc. (1 green)
3) Bake in the oven for another 10 minutes for the cheese to melt. Wowee!! Delicious and completely lean and green!

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It’s your choice

You might think that the slim person must be that way because it’s easy for them. That making healthy choices during their day is just natural and they must have some secret talent for maintaining a healthy weight to stay fit.

ummmm, nope. It comes from those choices made constantly during the day….everyday…Sometimes, tough ones. A person living at their ideal weight lives in the same health pollution ridden world as everyone. Tempting junk food is everywhere! Over-stressed schedules burdens most of us! Who really wants to spend time exercising when the couch calls? The only difference between healthy and not is in your CHOICE. Yes, the choice is yours.
I actually find that quite reassuring. I am in control. If I want to stay fit, I can. It may take challenging myself everyday to stay true to what I want, but the consequences of poor choices are not worth it. Boy, is it a struggle!
Making the choice between a healthy snack or calorie laden dessert, holding back on a portion size, working a lil harder in the gym all add up to the results at the end of the day. The best decision always becomes obvious. I do take comfort in knowing that if (when) I slip up that I can be smarter the next time. The cool thing that happens is the more often I consider what’s best, the better I get at it. The law of averages are in my favor as long as I keep at it… everyday.
I feel better when I choose what’s best for my health, soooo I choose …………HEALTHY!

This is a idea for your veggie serving tonight. Tastes like roasted potatoes and oh sooo yummy 🙂
Roasted Butternut Squash
Butternut squash (try a bag from Trader Joes) 1/2 cup is 1 serving
1)Sprinkle with a little olive oil (1 healthy fat)
2)Spread on a baking sheet
3)Sprinkle with your favorite seasoning
4)Cook at 400 until golden brown

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Super charging your metabolism is a great way to keep the numbers on your scale moving DOWN


Your body’s metabolism determines how efficient it is at using the calories that you supply by eating. The more you know about how to keep it running in top form the better your choices are in your daily routine. Take a look at these suggestions of simple steps that can really increase your metabolism and power charge your weight loss plan!
*Always eat breakfast! Eating breakfast within an hour of waking, then eating every 2-4 hours jump-starts your metabolism and keeps it in high energy all day. Women who skip are 4 1/2 times more likely to be obese. Take Shape for Life must have known about that one.
*Drink coffee, tea or a Medifast Calorie Burner daily. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and is shown to increase your metabolism by 5-8%. Brewed tea up to 12%. That’s up to 175 calories a day!
*Eat your fiber. Aim for 25gms a day. It can increase your fat burning by as much as 30%.
*Drink your water cold. Making your body work harder in warming itself uses 50 extra calories. That adds up 🙂
*Chose organic products. Pesticides can cause weight gain since pollutants are stored in the fat cells and lower metabolism.
*Always include protein in every meal. Your body uses protein to maintain muscle mass which increases metabolism. But also, when combined it slows down the rate that carbohydrates are broken down and enter the bloodstream. Medifast solves that problem too 😉
*Spicing food is very beneficial. Cinnamon increases metabolism twenty fold with as little as 1/4 tsp per day.
*Skip the cocktails when trying to lose weight. Alcohol consumed will be used as an energy source instead of fat and really slows the metabolism down. Two martinis can reduce your fat burning ability by 73%. That gets in the way of your goals for sure!
*Make sure you take your vitamins! (Unless you are on the 5/1 since they are included in your Medifast meals) A lack of Calcium can slow metabolism, while 120mcg of Chromium daily will boost it.
*Exercise!! Regular aerobic activity and resistance training significantly increases metabolism and also builds muscle which raises your resting metabolism when you’re taking it easy too.
Try this one for a good supply of protein combined with carbohydrates. Since it includes 1 lean and only 1 green, add a serving of veggies(2 more greens) to increase your fiber intake. Use your last condiment to spice it up too! Wow, did your metabolism just take off?!
Bacon Cheeseburger Soup
2.5 oz 93% lean ground beef, cooked (1/2 Lean)
1/2 cup 2% reduced fat Mexican Cheese (1/2 Lean)
1 cup low sodium beef broth (1 Condiment)
1 wedge Light Garlic and Herb Laughing Cow Cheese (1 Condiment)
1/2 cup diced tomatoes in juice – with less than 5 g of carbs per 1/2 cup (1 Green)
1 tsp Oscar Meyer turkey bacon bits

1)Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and cook over medium high heat until cheese has melted.

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Can you feel it in the air?

Yeah! Spring is on it’s way! With it comes all the inspiration you need to keep you going strong toward your goal of optimal health. Many of you have been working hard since your New Year’s Resolution to make a change for the better. Others are taking this time of year as a time of renewal and awakening. Either way, the healthier habits that you’ve picked up have really made a difference in how you feel and HEY! What about that vision in the mirror? WhooHoo!
Of course, learning more about how to care for ourselves doesn’t always feel easy. We all need encouragement to stay on track whether you’ve been maintaining a happy weight for a time or new to this. Dr. A has some great tips to keep in mind when faced with life’s challenges. You owe it to yourself to check it out.( see the link below) Remember that we all want to live up to our own personal best. What that is, is up to you.

Make it easy!.doc – https://docs.google.com/file/d/1gDr61P3eNWjxoOY2r276AdX_3QXrRKveyCTPOeZl2BvCbhCnPL1pYJ2XtpqU/edit?usp=sharing

What are you going to do with all of those hard boiled eggs from Sunday? Make them part of your lean on Monday of course 😀
Deviled Dill Eggs
3 hard boiled eggs (1 lean)
1 tablespoon yellow mustard (1 condiment)
1 dill pickle spear, finely chopped (1/2 snack)
1 tablespoon Chopped Chives (1/7 condiment)
1)Cut your eggs in half lengthwise so you have 6 halves. Scoop out the yolks into a bowl. Mash with a fork.
2)Add the pickles (reserving some for the top) chives, and mustard. Stir. Spoon back into the eggs.
3)Garnish with the reserved pickles, or you can use a pinch of dill weed, If you like your eggs hot, add a few splashes of hot sauce.
Medifast Info per serving:
1 lean | ½ snack | 1 & 1/7 condiment

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