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

Check into the gym like you’re checking into a health clinic……..

As the saying goes…”Use it or lose it” That goes for everything from physical fitness, an active healthy body, any skill that you’ve worked to perfect to an active healthy mind. You can never assume that what was once there will stay there unless you pay attention to maintaining it. Same goes for your body’s ideal weight.
Ever wonder how it all ties together?
Exercise can be helpful in ALL of these areas. Aerobic exercise, resistant training, yoga, circuit training all are beneficial by increasing oxygen levels and fat burning hormones, enhancing blood flow, adding bone density, increasing strength, reducing stress, the list goes on and on. A person engaged in physical activity has a sense of empowerment and control over their life. Motivation is a natural side affect. 🙂
I think the benefits to the brain are particularly interesting. The release of endorphins decrease cortisol levels and improve mood. Exercise has been recognised as an effective treatment for depression and actually unblocks neural pathways to effectively “re-grow” the brain.. Studies show that activities such as boxing have a positive physiological responses when given the opportunity to punch something, yoga an ability to relax and focus, group classes a sense of community and social interaction. Water exercise has a lot to offer since the buoyancy lifts the body as well as the senses. The properties of being in water stimulates the skin, conducts excess heat away, provides multi directional resistance and gives a feeling of lightness! Whatever activity you chose, make it something you enjoy! When you are active and working toward physical goals you feel like you can achieve anything that you set your mind to and your waist-line shrinks too!!
Exercise truly is medicine.
If doctors prescribed exercise in the same way as pharmaceuticals, we would all be a lot healthier 🙂
I recommend a post work-out treat this week 😀

Fast Salmon with a Ginger Glaze
4(8 ounce) fresh salmon filletssalt to taste
1/3 cup cold water
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon hot chile paste (such as sambal oelek)
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh Basil
1)Preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate.
2)Season salmon fillets with salt.
3)Place salmon on the preheated grill; cook salmon for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
4)Combine water, rice vinegar, brown sugar, chile paste, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat.Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until barely thickened, about 2 minutes.
5)Sprinkle basil on top of salmon; spoon glaze over basil.

If you’re pumping iron salmon could make you stronger. With 22 grams of high quality protein per three ounces, this smart catch provides the building blocks your body needs to re- synthesize muscle tissue after a tough workout. And that’s not all. Salmon is also nature’s number one source of vitamin D, a nutrient that many of us don’t get enough of. That can make it harder to build muscle according to a 2010 Osteoporosis International study which links low vitamin D levels to decreased muscle strength.

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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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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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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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I truly believe this!

  Weather you imagine yourself as a world-class competitor (showing for the world title maybe?) or a lean, mean fighting machine. It is absolutely up to you.  Maybe it’s just my way of looking at life, but I have always thought that life is a precious gift to never take for granted. That, whatever I thought was important in my life deserved my full dedication. That however I envisioned myself, it was worth working for.  Now, of course it’s necessary to be realistic when it comes to setting goals. Maybe that’s why I never dreamt of a singing career.( Seeing as I am terrified of public speaking.)  But living up to my physical abilities IS a realistic goal and requires me to take my health seriously. That is something that I can create.
I encourage you to do the same. Take your health seriously and decide that it’s important enough to work for.  Only YOU can create YOU!!!
Remember, I am always here to do what I can to encourage you. It’s that important!

 Doesn’t this sound good? I didn’t say healthy had to be a drag 🙂
Roasted Veggie Soup makes 8 serving- Each serving= 2 greens, 1 condiment, 1 healthy fat
2 1/2 cups chopped zucchini
2 cups chopped asparagus
2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
8 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups water + 2 chicken bullion cubes OR 3 cups low sodium veggie or chicken broth
1 1/2 cups no salt added canned diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves

1)Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread all veggies on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper, salt and garlic powder.
2) Bake ~30mins, stirring occasionally until roasted.
3)Meanwhile, combine water/broth, thyme, tomatoes and bay leaves in stock pot and bring to a simmer.
4) Once veggies are roasted, add to the stock pot, bring to a boil and then simmer 15mins.
  ** You can also use this for Maintenance and add 2cups chopped Brussels sprouts and  1/2 cup brown rice per person. The rice counts toward the grain serving!

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Think about that wheel around your middle as needing to move. We all know that every time we tell ourselves “I will worry about doing something about it next week, I’ll just have dessert tonight or  I’ll be good tomorrow”, we push that wheel to get bigger and bigger and it goes faster and faster down the path of gaining weight!
It’s all down hill from there  :[
The good news is that we can stop it! We can put our foot down in front of the turning wheel and make it turn the other way. To build momentum the other way you may have to push it a bit to get it going. Maybe up hill at first, maybe a little work at first, but once you get it up and over the hill it starts to roll easier and easier every time you make a choice for health. “I’m going to enjoy a calorie flavor infuser instead of a evening glass of wine” or “I’m going to stay on the 5-1 plan this weekend instead of cheating” . Every healthy decision gets that wheel (and the scale) moving so that it gets smaller and smaller and easier and easier.  momentum
  And of course,  I have a recipe for everyone who loves food and healthy eating  too!! 
Turkey Cutlets with Rosemary-Tomato Sauce
Fresh tomatoes really make a difference in this simple, chunky sauce. serves 2
            2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
            8 (2-ounce) turkey cutlets
            3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
            1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
            1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
            1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
            1 1/2 cups chopped tomato
            1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1)Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
2)Sprinkle turkey with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add turkey to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; keep warm.
3)Add 1 teaspoon oil, rosemary, and garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add tomato; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
4)Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and vinegar. Serve over turkey.
Each serving is 1 lean, 3 condiments, 1.5 vegetables. Remember, you get a total of 3 servings of veggies, so add another 1.5 servings of salad or your favorite steamed veggie.

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How to Overcome Emotional Eating

Below are some thoughts shared from our behavioral specialist that I thought were excellant and worth sharing. We all succeed when we work together 🙂

 It can certainly be very difficult to make changes in our eating habits when we have long work hours, financial strains, and other distressing things going on in our lives that conflict with our ability to care for ourselves… I mean who has time for self-care?! Food can certainly fill that role. When we experience stressful events or negative emotions such as anxiety, anger, emptiness and sadness food can bring us comfort. I mean, they don’t call it “comfort food” for nothing do they?! Food helps us feel better (temporarily) if we are feeling stressed or upset or tired. Because food can make us feel better it is really easy to develop the habit of seeking food to improve our moods. Over time, as neural pathways link the change in mood with the experience of eating food, the association grows stronger. Past sensory emotional associations with food stored in our brains are called “mental ghosts.” Environmental cues (like being home after work) and emotional triggers (like stress and feeling tired) drive eating by stimulating our “mental ghosts.” When they’re triggered they bring forth our expectation that food will bring us pleasure and/or relief from distress; when we expect something to bring us pleasure and/or relief from distress, that expectation actually amplifies the rewarding value of food. Expectation then drives our action and the pursuit of food. Then the food makes us feel better which only strengthens the association of a change in mood with the experience of eating food. This is what we call a “vicious cycle.” Now, there is absolutely something we can do to change this cycle however there isn’t really much we can do to stop this vicious cycle dead in its tracks. This is because this habit has developed over many years and will therefore take patient and persistent action, over time, in order to change it. In fact, trying to stop this cycle is kind of like trying to stop a runaway freight train. An impossible task that will only leave us frustrated, disappointed and completely flattened. Again, we can’t stop it dead in its track but we can change this habit over time. Here’s how you do it: The most effective method is a three-pronged approach including Critical Perceptual Shift, Healthy Competing Behaviors and Planned Responses. Let’s go through each, one-by one.

First, Critical Perceptual Shift is when we change our emotional appraisal of food. As I said before we have an expectation that “food brings me pleasure and/or relief from distress.” In order to have success in changing we will need to change this expectation. Think of this as “retraining your brain” to think in a different way. We need to flip these expectations on their head by drawing towards what you want and pushing away from what is no longer desirable. Develop a statement that draws you towards healthy eating habits. Something like “I feel great when I choose a healthy way to cope with my emotions!” Next, develop a statement that pushes away from using food as a coping mechanism. Something like “Eating to comfort myself actually makes me feel more miserable.” Again, we are trying to “retrain the brain” to formulate new expectations and thought patterns. Every day, read your new expectations to yourself over and over again as many times as you can until you begin to truly believe these statement. This process is called counterconditioning.

Next, Healthy Competing Behaviors are going to be those healthy coping skills and enjoyable activities that will replace food. You see, if this all comes down to seeking pleasure and/or relief from emotional distress then we will need to find alternative activities that accomplish this! My suggestion is to develop a “Menu” that lists any pleasurable activities that you can think of and any comforting activities that you can think of. This way you will have a list of options that you can use to obtain pleasure and/or relief from emotional distress. Right now you might feel like food is your only option to make yourself feel good. You can help this by brainstorming a list of other possible ways that you can experience pleasure and relief from emotional distress. Then you can look at his “Menu” and decide what would be the best options for you to try in place of food. Some examples of “Comfort Menu” items include: Deep Breathing, Meditation, Positive Imagery, Squeezing a Stress Ball, Giving Yourself a Hand Massage, Make a Stress Free Zone to Relax Within, Spend Time Outdoors in the Sun, Stretch, Take a Quick Walk, Listen to Your Favorite Song, Write Your Emotions Down, Light Scented Candles, Smell Citrus or Coffee, Talk to a Friend or Cuddle with a Pet. Identify as many options as you can and choose what makes the most sense to you.

Finally, Planned Responses means having a set of rules designed to de-condition habitual responses to food. The shift from wanting to behave differently and actually doing so requires setting rules and practicing them until they become programmed behavior. A planned response should include the “cue” that sets off the emotional desire for food, the “reward” that food would provide, and a new “routine” that will change the automatic response. You can use the items on your “Comfort Menu” to fill in as the new routine. This should look like this: “When [identify the cue], I will [identify the new routine] because it provides me with [identify the reward].” Here’s an example: “When I feel stressed, I will take a walk because it provides me with a sense of calm and peace of mind.” Whereas the old automatic response would be to eat when feeling stressed, the new routine would be to take a walk. This planned response is a guideline for you to follow. Write it down. Read it. Practice it. You may not be able to do it every time but that doesn’t matter. We are going for progress, not perfection. Change is a process, not an event. As long as you pay attention to this new planned response, think about it, try to do it and continue to practice it… then this new routine will eventually become your new automatic response!

If you are able to create a Critical Perceptual Shift, a list of Healthy Competing Behaviors, and Planned Responses incorporating those new pleasurable and comforting activities you will experience two pretty incredible things. First, you will change your automatic responses which will increase your ability to resist cues (like emotional distress) to eat. This success will then breed more and more success. Second, the intensity of your desires for comfort food will begin to diminish and you will be able to find other things just as or even more rewarding than food was in the past. As  said before, none of these things will stop that vicious cycle dead in its tracks but if you practice these things, over and over, until they become programmed behavior then you will have changed this habit! Remember to focus on making changes in your habits in order to get the weight loss results that you desire.

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Why wait another day?


Now, in the second month of the new year is when it really hits the pavement! Everyone is doing great at building those healthier habits for sustainable results! Measurable progress large and small, we can now see what is truly possible. Let’s face it, to be in this for the long haul (your life time) takes determination. It’s more important than ever to be strong in yourself. Believe that you can reach your goals…trust yourself to not give up…work hard to take good care of your body so that it will be there to work hard for you. It’s easy to lay blame at your own feet for past failures, forget it!! Failure only happens when you give up!
I am so proud of my friends who have made up their minds that they can live the healthy life that they deserve and anything else is unacceptable. The effort is worth it, why wait another day?
If you are still living for the day when you will finally get to work towards that healthy body that you’ve always wanted….I encourage you to make that day today. It’s the ONLY way to make the first day yesterday!!

We had this for dinner one night last week. I like how cooking the noodles first gives them a crunchy texture 🙂 ENJOY! You’ve worked too hard to not live it up!

Spaghetti Squash Casserole
4 cups spaghetti squash, cooked and shredded
8oz part skim ricotta
8oz reduced fat mozzarella cheese, divided
2 Tbsp egg beaters
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups Italian diced tomatoes, divided
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 tsp olive oil
5 oz ground turkey, browned and seasoned to taste.

1) Heat oil in skillet over medium heat and saute squash “noodles” for a few minutes until they begin to brown. Add garlic powder, salt and pepper.
2) Mix ricotta cheese, Parmesan, egg beaters and 4 oz of mozzarella cheese together.
3) Puree diced tomatoes.
4) Preheat oven to 375. Pour half of the puree in the bottom of a 9×9 casserole dish. Add squash. Top with ricotta mixture, then cooked ground turkey. Spread the rest of tomato puree over the meat.
5) Bake for 35 minutes. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and bake additional 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly brown. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
4 servings of 1 lean, 3 greens, 1/2 fat and less than 1 condiment.

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