Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Healthy Plate for Portion Control
How does a person control portions in a society where excess and "supersized" portions are the norm? Here is a new way to look at portion control.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

3 Months Left in 2009 - What Do You Expect?

Okay, everyone. Tomorrow is October 1, 2009. There are now three months left in this year. Where has all the time gone?

I want us to really think about what we are expecting to happen these last 3 months, as far as our health and fitness is concerned. We really should have an expectation of what we want to see happen for ourselves. It has been said that if we fail to plan, we plan to fail. So for today, we are going to revisit our health and wellness goals and ask ourselves some questions.

First of all, what are your current goals? This is the very best place to start. If you haven't written down your goals, no worries. You signed up with Beachbody for certain reasons, so take some time and think back to those reasons. Why did you want to start changing your health for the better?? Write those reasons down.

Once you have your current goals (or your reasons for getting healthy), write down the answers to the following questions:

* How far are you from your ideal weight?
* How far are you from your body fat goals?
* How much exercise do you do each week?
* Are you doing more exercise than you did in January 2009?
* Are your eating habits better than they were in January 2009?
* What foods are you eating daily?
* What does your typical day look like from morning to night?
* How much sleep do you get each weeknight?
* What will you improve in your exercise plan by the end of 2009?
* What will you improve in your nutrition by the end of 2009?
* How will you improve your stress level by the end of 2009?
* How will you improve your sleep habits by the end of 2009?

These questions are based on what has happened the past 9 months and what you desire for the next three months, so do not feel bad about any answer you put down. These are your answers - no one will see them unless you share them!

So, once you know what improvements you want to make, what are you going to do about them? Set up new action steps and then start taking actual steps toward achieving them. Do not put those goals away - you CAN make them happen THIS YEAR! I am here cheering you on to the end!!

Let's use TODAY as the starting point for the BEST of your 2009!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Delicious and Healthy Recipes for National Seafood Month
To celebrate National Seafood Month in October, here are four delicious and healthy seafood recipes for you to enjoy - and share with family and friends.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Healthy Labor Day Menu Ideas
Labor Day is almost here! You can have a healthy, nutritious Labor Day menu that coincides with your much healthier lifestyle. Recipes that are full of flavor and health are showcased in this article.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy National Lasagna Day!!


Oh my goodness! An entire day dedicated to LASAGNA?

You know what? If I had known long time ago that there was such a thing as National Lasagna Day, I would have done SO MUCH MORE to celebrate!!! The house would be decorated in Italian flags, I would whip up a few lasagnas to take to family and friends, I would probably found a cable station with nothing but Italian opera or a soccer match with Italy playing and enjoyed lasagna to my heart's content. (Yeah, it would have been that deep.)

Honestly, I believe that there is no more perfect food than lasagna. It has all of the requirements for a complete meal right in one sheet pan. You have your grains, your vegetables, your dairy, your meat, and your fat, layered together in beautiful harmony. The fragrance from the oven is so overwhelming that you cannot wait for it to cool a bit before tearing in. And the first bite....pure heaven. Plus, you have tons of leftovers that you can take to work for lunch or freeze for a later date - more joy - whoo-hoo!!

Now that I have adopted a healthier lifestyle, I love a good vegetable lasagna and a heart-healthy lasagna along with the version I grew up eating (the italian sausage and full fat cheeses). Speaking of which, it is so funny - I always grew up thinking my mama had been to Italy because her recipe was just the absolute BEST! I found out later in life that her recipe was the one from the back of the lasagna noodle box with added bulk Italian sausage. Oh well.... :)

To commemorate National Lasagna Day, I want to share a couple of recipes for lasagna with you. I pray that you enjoy this wonderful meal with me.

Vegetable Lasagna

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups zucchini, chopped in 1/2 inch dice
2 cups yellow squash, chopped in 1/2 inch dice
1 cup portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 cup carrots, julienned
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (15 ounce) can tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, drained
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 (8 ounce) container part skim ricotta cheese
2 egg whites
1 package (5 ounces) shredded parmesan cheese
10 whole wheat noodles, cooked according to package directions
3 cups part skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add all other vegetables and cook over medium heat until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, and tomatoes and heat through. In a small bowl, mix ricotta cheese, egg whites, and parmesan cheese. Line a 13"x 9" x 2" pan with foil. Spread 2 ladlefuls of sauce at bottom, then layer 3 noodles over sauce. Add 1/3 cheese mixture, 1/3 sauce mixture, and 1/3 mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers, ending with sauce and reserving 1/3 of mozzarella cheese. Cover pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover, add remaining mozzarella cheese, and bake 15 minutes more until cheese is bubbly. Let cool before serving (if you can!). 16

Heart-Healthy Lasagna

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds ground turkey
2 jars marinara sauce
1 (8 ounce) container part skim ricotta cheese
2 egg whites
1 package (5 ounces) shredded parmesan cheese
1 package baby spinach leaves, washed, stems removed
10 whole wheat noodles, cooked according to package directions
3 cups part skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Saute onion and garlic until tender. Add ground turkey and cook for about 10 - 12 minutes. Add marinara and stir to combine. In a small bowl, mix ricotta cheese, egg whites, and parmesan cheese. Line a 13"x 9" x 2" pan with foil. Spread 2 ladlefuls of meat sauce across bottom of pan, then layer 3 noodles over sauce. Add 1/3 cheese mixture, layer of baby spinach leaves, 1/3 sauce mixture, and 1/3 mozzarella cheese, then cover with noodles. Repeat, ending with sauce and reserving 1/3 of mozzarella cheese. Cover pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover, add remaining mozzarella cheese, and bake 15 minutes more until cheese is bubbly. Let cool before serving (seriously, if you can!). 16 servings.

(p.s. If you REALLY want to do the regular version, go and pick up the Barilla Oven Ready [no boiling required] Lasagna Noodles and follow the directions on the box, adding 1/2 package of cooked Jimmy Dean Italian sausage to the meat sauce mixture. I know, sometimes you just need the full fat version of this amazing meal!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Celebrate Your Independence!

First of all, I need to apologize to you, my loyal customers. The month of June has been a trying time for me, and I did not make the opportunity to keep up with the emails to you. Well, I received some very "hot" emails from a few of you, basically telling me that the mid week motivations from me are seriously missed. I'm sorry for not being there when you needed me, and I pray that this will not happen again. You all are important to me, and I really do want to see you change your health and your lives for the better. If I can do anything else to encourage you or get you excited about what your future holds, please let me know.

Now, on with the motivation!

As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, please do NOT allow that to be an excuse to "be free" from the healthy habits that you are making. You have come too far to take a whole weekend off! I am not saying that you cannot have your favorites - not at all! Personally, I am going to enjoy my slice of pound cake with strawberries and Reddi Whip. However, I know that with enjoying the foods that are not so healthy, I am going to have to work that much more to maintain my weight loss.

Instead, find new ways to eat old meals. How about taking a pork tenderloin, putting it in the crockpot and slow cooking until fork tender, then shredding it and adding your favorite barbecue sauce? Or enjoying a beautiful light slaw recipe instead of the heavy mayonnaise version we are used to having? Even dessert can be a treat - puree some mangoes or watermelons, add water, and put in ice cube containers to freeze? YUM!

With your exercise routine, how about you and the kids go swimming for a hour or two? Can you get in an extra walk in the morning, before the heat of the day hits like a ton of bricks (or is that just here in Birmingham, Alabama??)? If you are going out of town, take a Beachbody DVD with you and work out wherever you go.

Celebrate the freedom to get healthy and the freedom to change your life for the better! You are amazing and so worth it!

Remember, have a Happy Fourth, and keep doing it BIG!

Enjoy this cool treat I mentioned in the motivation today:

Fruity Ice Cubes
1 cup mangoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cane sugar

Place mangoes, water, and sugar in saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium low and simmer for about 8 minutes. Pour mixture into blender and puree. Add to empty ice cube containers, then freeze until solid. If you like, after about 1 hour, put popsicle sticks into each cube. So good!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Live Today for a Healthy Tomorrow

I have been contemplating last night and today about the passings of Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson - all happening this week. Michael was preparing to go on his comeback tour in late July. Makes me thankful about the days that we have been given. What precious little time we have on this earth, and we really don't know when our time will come.

Since we do not know when we are going to take our last breath, it behooves us to make sure that every breath we are given is full of life, health, and wellness. I look back over my life, and right now, I have never been healthier. I eat foods that energize me, I get exercise as much as possible, and I love helping others to see their healthier future.

I pray that you will stop and take a moment to get back to the basics. Renew your commitment to yourself and your fitness goals. Make them a priority. Take charge of what you eat every day. Enjoy the time that you exercise - make it fun. Find something new to try, like a new recipe or a new activity, and take action. You may find something you really enjoy. Eliminate as much stress as you can from your life - no use being anxious or worried. (That's something I personally need to take time to do; get rid of the stress!!) Spend time helping your family get fit as well. Ensure a legacy of good health for years to come.

Live today so fully, so completely that at the end of the day, you fall into bed exhausted with the joys of your accomplishments, and the determination to start again tomorrow! Your healthier tomorrow starts right now, because tomorrow is not promised to anyone.

Be blessed, and keep doing it BIG!! :-)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

You are Capable of Greatness!!

Hi all!!

If you do not know already, I am getting married THIS SATURDAY, April 25!! I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off the past few weeks, but I wanted to make sure I got this motivational message out before I leave. I am hoping to be back to normal in the next two weeks or so, after the honeymoon, and moving to his house.

Now, on to the motivation!

You are Capable of Greatness!!

I was reading an article the other day (link is here -, and I was thinking about my goals and what I want to accomplish as far as my continued health is concerned. I had fallen off the fitness track during this month because of upcoming wedding and stresses at the job. My WOWY calendar for April is seriously sad. My eating has not been the best, either. I had gained a few pounds back, and was feeling bad about things. But reading this article and watching the video made me see that even though I had gotten off track, I was still capable of being GREAT!

My message to you today - you are also capable of greatness! Do not get frustrated and give up completely because life has you in a stranglehold. Do not give in because you missed your workouts or have not been eating clean meals. You are not a failure if you mess up; you become one if you let that messup stop you from succeeding. If you have been given one more day of life, that means that you have another chance to do better. Take advantage of the opportunities to be great each day! The things you do to be great do not have to be spectacular - little things mean a great deal! Get a quick walk around the block. Fix a healthy green salad with the dressing on the side. Sign in to WOWY and invite your friends and family to join you. Find a new recipe to try with your family. Look at yourself in the mirror and say positive and affirming things to yourself. What one thing can you do to create the greatness you know is supposed to be yours?

I want you to see a future full of health, vitality, and ENDLESS possibilities! Choose GREATNESS!! It is already inside of each of you, so let it SHINE! You are so worth that!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Recipe - Basil Chicken

Here's the great recipe that we had for dinner this past weekend - Basil Chicken!! This was a delicious dish, and so very fragrant!! I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did!

Basil Chicken

1 pound baby carrots
2 medium onions, sliced
2 cups celery slices and leaves
3 -4 pound whole chicken
1/2 cup cooking broth or white wine
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons dried basil OR 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine

Place carrots, onions, and celery in bottom of slow cooker. Place chicken on top of vegetables. Pour broth or wine over chicken. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and basil. Cover. Cook on low 8 -10 hours, or until chicken and vegetables are tender.

Looking for more great recipes? I encourage you to join the Team Beachbody Club and get recipes, tips for healthy living, and motivation to live your best life ever! Come have fun with me!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

How Bad Do You Want This??

One of the survey responses I received a few months ago asked about how to stay focused on your goals of losing weight or getting toned. That is an excellent topic to talk about today.

I was reading over the customer bios yesterday, and read goals that really touched my heart and got me excited for my customers:

"My goal is to lose 110 pounds, gain strength, and tone my muscle."

"I want to get prepared for my 20th wedding anniversary in 2009 by getting my
body back! I need friends and motivation to do it."

"I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I bought Power 90 to
help me change."

"My health has made a turn for the worse. My doctor says I need to
make changes now - no excuses!"

In thinking about how you can stay focused, I heard something on a CD that really brought it home, and I hope this helps you as much as it is helping me. There are two questions that you desperately need to ask yourself. Those two questions are:

  1. What do you want to change?

  2. What are you going to do about it??

These questions are very powerful. This puts the ball in YOUR court. You have to put the focus on what you REALLY want. A lot of people call this your big why. What specifically is it that you want to do with your health and your fitness? Why does this mean so much to you? Most importantly, ARE YOU WILLING to make the choices necessary to make your changes happen??

One of my customers has asked me to email her every Monday to ask about her exercise and nutrition plan for the week. In her words, she is "...not giving up this time and wants that accountability each week to help move her forward." That's why I am here - to help you in any way I can. If it's an email each week to motivate you or share information with you, then I will do it. If you want to workout with me, then I will do it if it fits my schedule. If you want to talk about nutrition options or get a healthy recipe, then I can do that too. As your coach, I will do what it takes to help you succeed!!

I believe in you and the power within you to make the best choices for your life. I know that you can make these changes. I am not just saying these things - I truly believe you can!! However, I cannot make the changes for you - you are the only one who can make the decisions and take the right actions for getting what you want. You are responsible for your life, and you only have one life to live. Take the actions to make your goals REALITY!!!

How do you stay focused? Honestly answer the two questions above for yourself. Then TAKE ACTION on what you stated!

How bad do YOU want this??

Let me know how YOU answered these questions - leave a comment below!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Don't Be FOOLED - Nutrition Is VITAL To Your Healthy Lifestyle

It's April Fool's Day, the day when people try to fool others with their words, making things seem like they are true. There are those who go all out in creating the best April Fool's joke. Some are good, some are a waste of time and energy.

One thing that really is no joke, however, is that in order to see results in your weight loss or your toning regimen, you absolutely MUST change what you eat. You can do Hip Hop Abs, P90X, Turbo Jam, or ChaLEAN Extreme for months. You can run miles daily. You can do all these things, but if you are still eating junk, then your body will not change. Period. Think about a car - if you keep it clean on the outside, but never take care of the inside, eventually it will stop working.

Everything you put into your mouth is going to bring results - either good or bad. Let's start today and focus on getting GOOD RESULTS!

Start by opening up that refrigerator and pantry. What kinds of things do you have in there to nourish your body? Are you looking at whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals? Do you see fish, chicken, lean beef, and turkey? Are the drawers full of carrots, salad greens, and other fruits and vegetables? Are your oils promoting health, like grapeseed, olive, and canola? Do you keep other herbs and spices to help flavor your food?

Remove those cakes, cookies, breads, and things made with white flour. Remove the fatty cuts of meat in your refrigerator. Remove the unhealthy potato chips and white crackers. Remove the junk foods that you enjoy so much. This is a process, so don't feel you have to remove everything overnight. However, the more you remove, the better things will go!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Working Out When Sore - Take It Slow

Hi all!

I hope that you are having a FABULOUS week, and that you got a chance to "Go Green" yesterday!!

Another topic that YOU asked me to discuss in the survey last month is about doing your workout when you are sore. I have three words of advice:


You have to take the time to listen to your body and gauge how you feel. Even though you may want to press through the pain and do the workout anyway, you do not know if the muscle soreness is just soreness or if it is a sign of something bigger. I have a friend on one of the Beachbody message boards that felt soreness doing P90X. She pushed through her next workouts, and the soreness got much worse. She went to the doctor and he has taken her off weights for the next 6 weeks to heal a stress injury. You may be totally different, but please take the time to listen to your body while you do your next workout and see how the soreness feels.

Here are some steps you can take to workout when you are sore:

- Step It Down: You can do this with any program! If you are doing P90X or ChaLEAN Extreme, then you can go with lighter weights or less reps while you are taking care of yourself. If you are doing Slim in 6, Power 90, or 10 Minute Trainer, you can do it with no weights or do less reps. If you are dancing to Turbo Jam, Hip Hop Abs, Yoga Booty Ballet, or Rockin' Body, then do a bit less quick movement or follow those who are doing the low impact version.

- Step It Out: Take a walk instead. Walking is easy on the joints and muscles, and it may help you with the soreness you feel. Stretching is excellent for soreness. That is just what a sore body needs - a good healthy stretch from head to toe.

- Step Within: Listen, listen, listen!! If you are doing something that is very uncomfortable for your body, then STOP! Do not try to power through the pain - your body is trying to tell you something. Be aware of your body's responses!

If you take the time to listen and take things slow, then pretty soon, you will be back to your normal workout - and better than ever!!

I hope this was a help for you! Have a wonderful Wednesday!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Grand Prize Winners of the Million Dollar Body Game!

Here are the two individuals that won $250,000 on March 14. All for losing weight and changing their health for the better! Remember, YOU can do the same when you make a commitment to your health and fitness goals. Let me know how I can help you SUCCEED - just like Kristy and Dallas!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Put YOU On Your Schedule!!

In the survey I sent out last month, so many people stated their number one fitness challenge was MAKING TIME. They are busy employees, business owners, mothers/fathers/brothers/sisters/sons/daughters, and even though they want to lose weight and get healthy, there is just not enough hours in the day to do so. This is true. In this day and age, we are all very busy people and do not take time out to focus on our needs.

I encourage you to SCHEDULE TIME FOR YOU! Put YOU on your personal schedule! So many positive things can happen during the workout time you have scheduled. You receive more energy, you burn calories, you may solve a pressing problem because your mind is focused on something else, you start making healthy decisions that will change your blood pressure, your cholesterol, your asthma, your heart disease, your diabetes, or any other health problem for the better. Think about it - what good does it do you to push yourself in your other tasks and set your health on the back burner? Later on, you may have to pay for your lack of self-care. Don't let that be your future. You can take charge, starting TODAY!

We write personal events and appointments on our calendars so we do not miss them. Why not write your own name in a 30 minute time slot and devote that time to our exercise regimen? Make yourself as important as your daily to-do list, because you ARE that important. Believe it.

During your planning session for next week, please find at least ONE 30 minute time slot where you can put your name. Write your name in that slot. When that time comes up, stop whatever you are doing and resist the urge to do some other work. Focus on YOU. Put in your DVD and work out, or go outside and walk, or do jumping jacks, stretch your body - just get moving!! After that 30 minutes is up, finish out your day and see how different you feel. Do you have more energy? Does your body feel better? Did you make healthier choices because of that time you spent exercising?

And that was all from 30 minutes of taking care of you!

When you get into the habit of daily scheduling time for yourself, you will start seeing results come quickly, and find a new excitement in YOU!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Exercise at Work

Walk in the door, check emails, get coffee/tea/water, meetings all morning, squeeze in a salad, launch the new website, prepare next week's presentation, create new software for the customers, service new customers, participate in the weekly videoconference, brainstorm ideas with the team, send out new articles, train new employees, delegate tasks for a new project, return phone calls, talk with contractors, enforce new processes, clock out, start all over again tomorrow!!!


Does this sound like YOU???

It's important that you take some time for yourself by getting some exercise. Work may not seem like a good place to get exercise but I beg to differ. Exercise boosts energy levels, helps you to stay focused on your tasks, helps you to sleep better at nights (no, not at your desk!), and is an amazing stress reliever. Benefits come with even 10 minutes of working out; you do not need a long time.

Here are some great exercises that you can do at your desk:

- Buy some resistance bands to keep in your desk drawer and do bicep curls (place band under feet and curl handles toward shoulders), overhead presses (place band under feet and pull handles up over the head), and side arm extensions (place band under feet and lift handles to the side up to shoulder length). Do at least one set of 10-12 repetitions.

- Hold on to the back of your chair and do standing calf raises. Lift onto your toes, then slowly lower your heels until you are 1/2 inch from the ground, then lift again. Do at least one set of 10-12 repetitions.

- Do some leg lifts while using your desk chair for balance. Do at least one set of 10-12 repetitions.

- Sit down in your chair and do leg circles (a set of small circles, and a set of large circles). Do at least 10 small and 10 large circles per leg.

- Purchase 1 liter water bottles and do a set of overhead presses and bicep curls.

- If you have a sturdy chair at your desk (without the rollers), you can get in some tricep dips by sliding straight out of the chair with your hands on the seat to support you, then dip your body down until your arm is at a 90 degree angle. Lift back up. Do at least one set of 10-12 repetitions.

- Wall squats are fun to do. Stand against a wall with feet wider than shoulder width and toes pointed out. Slide down the wall and slowly come back up. Do at least one set of 10-12 repetitions.

- Bathroom jumping jacks. Hey, don't knock it till you try it! Just remember to wear soft soled shoes so no one will hear you! :-) :-)

- Walking is always the best exercise! Lace up your sneakers and get away from the desk!!

Start today and get healthy - at your job!!

If you are looking for more, click here to find the best products on the planet for getting REAL RESULTS!! I am proof that it works!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Working On That Six-Pack!!

Summer is approaching pretty quickly! It's time to start preparing for swimsuit weather as soon as you can. A lot of people are looking for that six pack to show off at the pool or at the beach, but are just not certain how to get it. What can you do?

It is said that 80% of a person's transformation comes from the food that they put in their bodies. This is so true, because if you put junk in, you cannot see great things come out! Our bodies crave quality foods and surprisingly, it DOES RESPOND to quality foods. I have noticed in my own transformation that when I eat bad foods like cake, greasy burgers, french fries, and drink sodas, I feel sluggish and have absolutely no energy. However, eating minimally processed foods like fresh salads, multigrain breads and cereals, and drinking plenty of water keeps me energized and ready for the day. Eating the right foods also sheds body fat, so you can actually begin to see some results in your core area. It is important to include protein, carbohydrates, and the correct kind of fats in your meals. A great way to start eating the right foods is to take a look at Michi's Ladder (in the "Diet and Nutrition" tab of your main page). It is a guide to the best - and worst - foods to eat for phenomenal results in your transformation. Most of the workout programs come with an eating plan to show you the right foods to eat to help with the results. Take that back out and see if your refrigerator or pantry needs organizing!!

Oh, and don't forget to work out! Your workout program works your TOTAL body, including your core muscles. It helps your body to balance itself and get excellent results! Both cardio training (that gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat) and strength training (that help you build muscle) are needed to create the six pack abs that you are looking to have. Yes, it is okay to do ab exercises every day, but if you are not incorporating cardio and strength workouts, then how will people see those amazing abs you have built?? Balance is key for building your body. Take the time to get a workout in as often as you can. Even 10 minutes of activity is an excellent beginning. Walking, running, biking, jumping jacks, squats, lunges, or a Beachbody DVD - it all adds up!!

You can start TODAY getting the six pack that you desire for Summer 2009! I hope that these tips will help!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Packing Healthy Lunches

Life is really busy sometimes, isn't it? We tend to rush through our day, and we just do not have the time to stop and eat a healthy lunch. In those cases, we grab something from the fast food restaurants or we get something from the work cafeteria that may not be what we need to help with our weight loss journey. Those foods can be packed with sodium, cholesterol, excess fat, and sugar. And the portion sizes they give could feed you for a few days!!

How in the world do you handle lunchtime with this new lifestyle you are living??

You can start by packing your own lunch! It saves you time and money, you get what you want in the portions that are correct, and you know what is going in your food! Here are some tips to help you with this task:

1) Start planning your lunches for the week early. Make sure that healthy choices are in the refrigerator and pantry. If you need to make extra purchases, then do so! You can add this task to your weekly preparation time. This makes you more relaxed and focused on making the best meals for yourself.

2) Use a colorful lunchbag, a cooler bag with the ice packs, or something to help make preparing your lunch fun! I have a blue cooler bag and a red cooler bag that I alternate to give me some enjoyment in the preparation task.

3) Ensure that you pack a protein, a healthy carbohydrate, a beverage, and fruit for dessert (if you wish). This way, you are getting the correct balance of nutrients that you need to power through your afternoon. Proteins like chicken, fish, turkey, tofu, or beans are great choices for lunches. Healthy carbs include vegetables that have been lightly steamed, or a nice salad with light dressing. Excellent beverage choices include water with a splash of fruit juice or tea, and any type of fresh fruit is a great dessert option. You can review Michi's Ladder in the "Diet and Nutrition" tab of your Beachbody dashboard for more ideas. Oh, and leftovers make EXCELLENT lunches!!

Here are some sample meals that I enjoy taking to lunch with me:
  • Turkey wrap on whole wheat tortilla with lettuce, roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, and cucumbers with dijon mustard, broccoli slaw, water
  • Black bean soup, spinach salad with carrots, celery, mushrooms, and light dressing, hot tea
  • Grilled salmon filet, steamed kale, corn on the cob, peach green tea, granny smith apple
  • Baked chicken with Mrs. Dash seasoning (southwest chipotle flavor), brown rice, green beans, water with lime juice, strawberries
The possibilities are ENDLESS!

So consider preparing your lunch this week - you may be surprised at what you can create!!

I hope this helps, and remember, I am cheering for YOU!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Stop "THE AMAZING RACE" With Your Weight Loss!!

One of my absolute favorite reality shows is "The Amazing Race". The basic premise of the show is that a group of 11 pairs of people (with some type of relationship) race around the world for the ultimate prize of 1 million dollars. They make pit stops where they have to rest and recharge before they start racing again. They have things that they must do in each country they land, and they are just trying to get it all done and make it to the pit stop, so they will not be eliminated.

Did you know a LOT of people think that their weight loss journey is an "amazing race"? It's really interesting to watch - I know because I was one of these people!! They start off January 1 with big goals and begin the "race" to transform their bodies and their health. They will make "pit stops" because they think exercise and eating well are too hard to do. If they don't have someone to "pair" up with, then by the end of this month or sometime next month, they will "eliminate" themselves from their "ultimate prize" of being healthy and fit for life! Some people get into this cycle every single year!! Witness right here!

I am here to encourage you to STOP THE AMAZING RACE with your weight loss journey!!

This is a journey that is taken one step at a time, one meal at a time, one exercise at a time. You did not develop unhealthy habits overnight, and you will not get rid of those habits in one quick weekend. It is going to take time to lose weight. It is going to take discipline to learn the right foods to eat. It is going to take a change in your thinking to make all of this a habit. It is going to take consistency in making the right choices for yourself and your best health. Every day, you will need to take action on the goals you made for yourself. You should connect with an accountability partner to keep yourself on track. (Beachbody gives you a FREE fitness coach to be your partner!) Change is difficult, but it really does get easier the more you keep at it.

Remember, YOU are the key to making things happen - or keeping yourself away from all you desire.

Don't "eliminate" yourself from your very best life in 2009! Your success is right around the corner! Slow down, stay consistent, and WIN YOUR HEALTH BACK!

(Please contact me anytime to help you to YOUR success!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Kick it Up a Notch!!

Happy New Year!!

I hope that you had a restful and blessed holiday season, and you are now ready to get back in the groove!!

I love watching the Food Network. I enjoy watching the different chefs create delectable meals, and a lot of times I take those ideas and make them my own. One of the shows I like to watch is Emeril Live. It's not live anymore since he retired from the Food Network, but his shows are still great. One of the things he loves to say is "Let's kick this up a notch!" Usually after he says that, he adds something spicy, or something extra to the pot or pan.

For the New Year 2009, let US each kick it up a notch - in a HEALTHY way!!

In your exercise routine, add an extra 20 or 30 minute walk. Do an extra set of squats or an extra set of tricep dips. Invite 2 people to come and WOWY with you at least one time a week. Turn on your favorite CD or song on your iPod and dance. Play active games with the kids or grandkids for an extra 30 minutes. As you take the groceries in, do 10 bicep curls with the bags. Put that brand new Wii Fit to good use.

In your nutrition plan, try ONE new fruit or vegetable every day. Use your Beachbody meal planner or to track your calorie intake. Try a brand new recipe. Change your white bread to whole wheat or multigrain. Eliminate one soda from your current intake every week (or every two weeks if you need a bit longer). Add herbs and spices to your food instead of salt. Use ground turkey or lean ground beef instead of regular. Add one serving of fish to your weekly meal plan. Substitute fruit or frozen yogurt for dessert.

In your everyday life, take some time to BREATHE DEEP. Sit in silence (no TV, no phone, no internet) for at least 10 minutes a day. Reconnect with a friend or family member. Stretch your body for 5 or 10 minutes before you put in your workout DVD. Find a different way to combat stress in your world. Laugh out loud. Clear out the clutter.

These are just a few suggestions. There are countless ways that you can kick 2009 up a notch for yourself and your journey to excellent health and wellness! I encourage you to make this year your HEALTHIEST ever!!! If you are ready, then I am here to assist - just let me know!!

Keep doing it BIG, everyone!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

ChaLEAN Extreme - Day 1

ChaLEAN Extreme - Day 1

Good morning, and Happy Saturday!

I have been trying out ChaLEAN Extreme for the past couple of weeks, but today is my official Day 1 of the workout! It is going to be an intense workout, everyone! The basic premise is MUSCLE BURNS FAT, and you can lose up to 60% of your body fat with this program!

First, my starting stats:
Chest - 31.5"
Upper Arm - 10.5"
Waist - 28.5"
Hips - 37.5"
Abductors - 22.5"
Thigh - 22.5"
Weight - 135 pounds
Body Fat - 21.5%

My primary goal for this is to tone up and look FABULOUS for my wedding in April!

I wanted to use free weights for this, but my finances are pretty tight at this time and I will not be able to get any free weights. Plus the BowFlex Select Tech weights, where you can dial up the weight that you need, is totally out of my price range at over $400.00! So my first workout was done with resistance bands. I used the maroon bands, which are 20 pounds, and the red bands, which are 30 pounds. You truly have to use your muscles to get the bands above your head and all. But I love it so much!

I'll keep you posted on my progress - so excited about this! If you are interested in doing this with me and changing your body DRAMATICALLY for 2009, come visit me at! I would LOVE to help you succeed!