Crockpot Chicken and Bean souparolle/True food porn

I’m going to start by saying that I think all “pretty” pictures of food are crap. I mean, really… If you make the best food ever, are you really going to take the time to make it look all fancy?? No. You’re going to stuff your face because it’s so amazing. I give to you, my half eaten bowl of my crockpot/crock pot chicken, bean, and veggie stuff that I made yesterday, AKA: The TRUE FOOD PORN.

Yep, take it all in. A used scrunched up napkin, dirty bowl, and my shaker bottle full of water. My DELICIOUS water that doesn’t need to be in a fancy cup…

Yum. Pure Yum.

Now that you’re probably drooling, here is what I did and what I did it with. Take note that everything is approximate, as I just chopped and dumped (which is what you’re supposed to do for a crockpot meal anyways).

  • 1 package chicken breasts (1.5 lbs?)
  • About 2 cups white beans (Lima maybe? I got them fresh from the farmers market and they are AWESOME!)
  • 4 carrots chopped
  • 5 stalks of celery chopped
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • smoked paprika, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme
  • 2 chicken broth cubes (not clean, I know… sue me. I like the taste!)

If you have fresh dry beans, soak them for about an hour. They will be mush if soaked any longer, due to them being fresh. Some recommend soaking overnight. Chop your onions and mince your garlic. Cook on stove top just for a couple minutes and toss in the crockpot. Do the same with your red pepper, chop and cook just a little bit, probably not necessary but I like cooked red peppers better. Chop your celery and carrots. Throw everything in the crockpot with the chicken. Use as much seasoning as you would like, everyone is different. I used a bunch of salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Cover everything with water and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred your chicken and mix in before dishing out. My crockpot was stuffed full. This was actually supposed to be a soup, but I always fill it too full with veggies and meat that it usually turns out to be a casserole, which is why it’s named “souparolle”.

And I think the boyfriend liked it, too…

Stuff your face. Don’t be ashamed to take a picture of your “true food porn” and put it in the comments!! 🙂

See more recipes, workouts, and meal planning ideas on our blog at www.kinesisphoenix.com/blog

Christmas in a cup

So I think I have a problem. I want it to be winter/Christmas every day of the year. Temps are barely under 100 still and I’m watching Christmas Vacation and sipping my healthy version of Baileys and hot chocolate. Shout out to Britterbug and Megdog, I know you girls are proud of this post.

I’m on a very high fat, low sugar/carb nutrition plan, so I try to get as much fat as I can, especially in the mornings. Also a short side note on protein powder- please be careful what powder you get. A lot of proteins are made via heat, which completely denatures the protein so you’re basically drinking flavored water. This is also why I heated up the coconut milk and water before I added the protein powder. Read your labels, get the good protein.

Here is the recipe for the perfect, healthy cup of “Baileys” and hot chocolate.

1/3 can of full fat coconut milk

1-2 cups of water

2 Tbls coconut oil

1 scoop pure, organic chocolate protein powder

2 drops organic peppermint essential oil

Microwave or heat up your water and coconut milk. I did mine in a mason jar so it’s easy to heat and shake up. Add your coconut oil, protein powder, and peppermint oil. Shake up and enjoy while snuggling on the couch with your favorite person under your Packers blanket!

More recipes and nutrition information under blog! http://www.kinesisphoenix.com

imageGinger bread houses with the nephewBentley is so good at gingerbread houses!

Stress Management

This week on our Groll Family Fitness Balanced Plate Wellness Program, we talked about stress management. The effects of stress on the body, lifestyle changes to manage stress, and ways to avoid, reduce, and relieve stress. I want to share the lesson with my blog readers, because there is a TON of unnecessary stress in this world! Just think of all the wrecks that could be stopped from drivers being less stressed and late, how happy you could be if you knew how to manage your stress at work and home, how much better your relationships could be without a stressful environment! Even if you don’t think you’re stressed, just take a look at some of the ways you can learn to relax. There is some very good information here!

Lifestyle Changes For More Effective Stress Management

Learn to Plan:  Disorganization can breed stress. Having too many projects going simultaneously can cause tension, confusion, forgetfulness and feelings of being overwhelmed. Planning and prioritizing make things more manageable and can give us a sense of peace and personal power. 

Recognize and Accept Limits:  Unreasonable and perfectionist goals for yourself can also cause stress.  Nobody is perfect.  Don’t set yourself up for a sense of failure or inadequacy no matter how well you perform. Set achievable goals for yourself. 

Embrace the Positive:  Avoid a negative, complaining, critical, fearful mindset.  Learn to praise the things you like in others.  Practice an “attitude of gratitude” in assessing your life.  Notice and reward yourself for your good qualities and for even small improvements. 

Have Fun:  You need to occasionally to escape from the pressures of life.  Find a pastime which is absorbing and enjoyable to you.

Learn to Tolerate and Forgive:  Intolerance of others leads to frustration and anger. Engaging in rigid, black or white thinking about the way things “should” be can cause harmful, fatiguing emotions.  Flexibility, acceptance, and finding the gray area can reduce stress and increase serenity. 

Avoid Unnecessary Competition:  A competitive, win-lose orientation that makes life into a series of contests tends to put your self-esteem on the line in every situation and can create excessive tension and anxiety. It can, also make you unnecessarily aggressive. 

Exercise:  Regular physical exercise not only gives you more strength and energy to deal with life’s demands, but also helps release a myriad of emotions such as anger, tension, and depression. You will be more likely to stay with an exercise program if you choose one that you really enjoy, rather than one that is hard work and drudgery. 

Learn a Drug-Free Method of Relaxing:  Meditation, visualization, progressive relaxation, yoga, tai chi, massage, etc. are ways of quieting the mind and relaxing the body. A little bit goes a long way especially if you incorporate this into to your daily life. 

Express Your Feelings:  Talk out your troubles, worries, concerns with a friend, counselor, or anyone you trust.   If you do not feel that you can confide in anyone, write in a personal journal. Expressing your bottled-up tension can be very freeing. 

 
50 WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS

Stress is a fact of everyday life. It is associated with happy events (weddings, promotions, and vacations) as well as unhappy ones (divorces, burglaries, and job layoffs).  It can be triggered by trivial matters (burned toast or a missing button) as well as by major life crises (births and deaths).  It also builds up gradually when you have more things to do than time in which to do them.  

Too much stress leads to chronic headaches, high blood pressure, ulcers, heart disease and other health problems. In fact, some doctors believe that 90 percent of all illnesses are stress related. But stress is not necessarily bad. A life without it would be stagnant and boring.  Some people encounter more stressful events than others, but the way we perceive and react to stress is often more significant than the amount we face. And the accumulation of minor hassles (long lines, wrong numbers and surly salesclerks) can be just as stressful to some people as a mugging or a serious illness. 

There is no need for anyone to suffer from the kind of stress overload that result in health problems. There are many practical ways to avoid, reduce or relive stress. Here are fifty suggestions.  They won’t all work for you, but all you need to find is a few new ones you haven’t already thought of yourself. There are a couple bold ones that I pointed out that really apply to me!

AVOIDING STRESS

  • Get up fifteen minutes earlier. Morning mishaps are less stressful -and also less likely -when you have time to spare.
  • Prepare for morning the night before. Set the breakfast table, get the coffeepot ready to plug in, make sack lunches and prepare the clothes you plan to wear the next day.
  • Never wear ill-fitting clothes. If shoes pinch, pantyhose creep down or a waistband binds, even a stroll to the mailbox can be stressful.
  • Set appointments ahead. If you’re always waiting for others, tell them to meet you ten minutes earlier than you plan to arrive. “When I give a dinner party,” one hostess admitted, “I give different times to different guests, depending on whether they’re usually prompt or chronically late.”
  • Don’t rely on your memory. Write down addresses, directions and phone numbers and take them with you to unfamiliar places. Leave notes on your mirror, refrigerator or car door to remind you of important dates and errands.
  • Practice preventative maintenance. You’ll have fewer breakdowns for automobiles, heaters, air conditioners, washers and other machines you depend on if they’re cleaned and serviced regularly.
  • Make duplicates of all keys. Exchange house keys with a trusted neighbor, hide car keys in your garage, keep extras for luggage, storage closets and strongboxes in a safe, convenient place.
  • Rearrange work hours, if possible. A thirty-minute change in arrival or departure times can make a big difference in traffic, crowds and other stress producers.
  • Say “no” more often. It’s amazing how much stress can be eliminated by giving up unrewarding activities, refusing inappropriate requests and turning down invitations from people you don’t enjoy.
  • Never shop for clothes with critical teenagers, skinny friends or those who look terrific in everything. Everyone has imperfections. Why call attention to them? 
  • Take advantage of off-hours for banking and shopping. Shop by mail, phone, or internet whenever possible. Why put up with crowded stores, long lines and impatient clerks if you don’t have to?
  • Rearrange mealtimes. If it’s a hassle to get dinner ready on time, try postponing it. Your family won’t starve if they eat an hour later. 
  • Be more tolerant at meals instead of getting upset about little things. It’s nice to get the whole family together for meals, but you may have to endure spilled milk, sibling squabbles and cranky remarks about the food.  Remember that these times will not last forever.  
  • Keep an emergency supply or necessities (soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, tampons) and dip into it only in emergencies.
  • Walk everywhere you can. Exercise has a soothing effect – especially when it permits you to avoid traffic jams, crowded buses and costly taxis.
  • Make copies of all important papers and keep the original in a safe place~ Never let go of an original deed, birth certificate, will or important receipt. Send copies instead. When originals are required (such as securities, passports, and insurance policies), send them by registered mail. 
  • Anticipate your needs. Make sure you have plenty of coins for toll collectors and vending machines, batteries for children’s toys, pens and pencils that still write, and pantyhose without runs. And always stop for gas before you really need it, especially at night and on holidays.
  • Don’t put up with anything that doesn’t work properly. No one needs the aggravation of a malfunctioning alarm clock, a key ring that loses keys, or appliances that smoke.
  • Make advance reservations at hotels, restaurants and theatres. Confirm time, location and other details before you go. 
  • Allow extra time. If it is usually thirty minutes to get to the airport, allow an hour. It’s better to arrive well ahead of schedule than to fret over every stoplight or traffic tie-up along the way.
  • Be prepared to wait. A long line at the post office or a delay at the dentist’s office is almost pleasant when you have a good book with you.
  • Never arrange a meeting place that has no telephone. An unavoidable delay can be a nightmare when there is no way to contact who you are meeting. If it’s impossible to meet at a place where you can receive calls, agree on a number you can both call if something goes awry.
  • Find the humor in it. Every disaster has something funny about it if you look for it. 
  • Keep a busy kit handy when you travel. Transportation snafus are easy to ignore when you have your music to listen to, a favorite magazine, or a needlework project with you. You may even learn to speak French by playing French language CD’s when chauffeuring your kids around. 
  • Relax your standards. Doing everything perfectly is not only unnecessary, it’s boring. Life is a lot easier if you ignore a little dirt, take more shortcuts in the kitchen, and let the sheets go a few more days between launderings.
  • Get help with the jobs you hate. If you find that certain chores always make you tense, such as paying bills, defrosting the refrigerator or scrubbing bathtubs, get someone else to do them or help you do it. Beg, barter or pay for help if you have to. It’s worth it. 
  • Establish a serene place of your own -even if it’s just a comfortable chair in a quiet corner. If the sound of your teenager’s stereo, your husband’s ballgame or the neighbor’s barking dog still penetrates, wear earplugs.
  • Change your perspective. Instead of worrying about what will happen if… Try asking yourself, “So what?” So what if your mother’s birthday gift is a few days late? So what if you can’t get your best dress dry-cleaned before the party? So what if you actually miss your train or plane? Will it matter next week or next year? Even if your worst fears are realized, they often turn out better than you thought or at least tolerable.  
  • Count your blessings. No disaster is so bad that it couldn’t be worse. It helps to remember that. After all, you could have burned the entire dinner instead of just the rolls. The doctor could have kept you waiting two hours instead of only twenty minutes. You might have lost a thousand dollars instead of ten. 
  • Keep time fillers by the telephone. You won’t mind being put on hold if you can spend that time reading mail or writing a letter. And you’ll be more sympathetic to a friend who “needs to talk” if you can do your mending or file your nails while you listen.
  • Memorize your favorite poems and recite them to yourself whenever you’re forced to stand on a crowded bus or get stuck in an elevator.
  • Keep some individually wrapped candies or sugar-free gum handy. Getting one out, unwrapping it, and popping it into your mouth can be a welcome distraction that takes some of the tension out of bad moments.
  • Travel light. The less you have to keep track of when you’re away from home, the easier it is. If you never take more than you can comfortably carry onto an airplane, you can avoid lost luggage, long waits at baggage-claim counters and frustrating searches for porters. 
  • Be prepared for rain. Don’t try to outguess the weatherman. Stock your handbag, work place and car with rain hats, plastic rain capes, umbrellas, and shoe protection.
  • Ask questions. You’re less likely to make mistakes or get lost if you make sure to get detailed instructions first.
  • Take advantage or your body rhythms. If you’re at your best early in the morning, that’s the time to schedule complicated tasks that require concentration. If you don’t reach your peak until later in the day, start with easier things that don’t require much thought. It doesn’t matter when your peaks and valleys come as long as you plan accordingly.
  • Make a contingency plan. A rained-out picnic, a sold-out theatre or a closed restaurant is disappointing, of course, but it won’t spoil your day if you’ve made alternative plans “just in case”.
  • Un-clutter your life. Get rid of clothes you never wear, objects that just collect dust, furniture you hate, activities you don’t enjoy. Anything you can do to simplify your life helps reduce stress. 
  • Avoid reliance on chemical aids. Alcohol, smoking, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, etc. may reduce stress momentarily, but regular use increases stress in the long run.
  • Get in touch. Hold hands, stroke a pet or hug a loved one. Physical contact is the best stress reliever of all
  • Take time out to breathe deeply, stretch your muscles, nap, meditate or do a few tension-relieving exercises. If you can’t arrange a brisk walk, try raising your shoulders in a high shrug, hold ten seconds, release and repeat.
  • Find enjoyable ways to exercise. Experts agree on the benefits of aerobic exercise -the kind that raises your heart rate and makes you breathe hard. But if you hate to jog or jump rope, you’ll create as much stress as you relieve. Try swimming, cycling, aerobic dancing, racquetball, or a few fast sets of tennis instead.
  • Get it off your chest. Bottling up feelings just increases stress. If you buy defective merchandise or receive bad service, write a letter or complaint. If a friend lets you down, express your disappointment. If your husband hurts your feelings, tell him. You’ll feel a lot better afterward. 
  • Talk to a loving friend or relative. A sympathetic listener is always helpful. “When I have a birthday, one woman said, “I always call my grandmother. To her, I can do nothing wrong.”
  • Reward yourself after stressful activities. Relax with a favorite television show or book after cleaning the house. 
  • Take leisurely baths. Showers are more efficient, but a long soak in a hot, fragrant bath is more relaxing. (Just unplug or turn off the phone first.)
  • Schedule more fun. Don’t give up seeing friends and doing things you enjoy because you “have too much to do”. Pleasurable activities are important. And work goes faster and produces less stress when fun comes first. 
  • Take a break from the children. Babysitters are not just for emergencies or special occasions. You also need time to yourself to listen to music, pursue a hobby or have a heart- to-heart talk with a friend. If you can’t afford to hire a babysitter, trade child-care time with another mother.
  • Have a massage. Tension just melts away under the touch of experienced fingers. But a talented amateur -a friend for whom you perform the same or an equivalent favor – can probably do almost as well.
  • Unwind before bedtime. Do some stretching exercises to get the kinks out, then read, listen to music, and do needlework or some other relaxing activity. It helps you sleep better – and that’s a great stress reliever!

Brussel Sprouts and Chicken Sausage

Can I first just say how awesome it is that when I click on “new post”, the WordPress thinking wheel says “Beep Beep Boop”

Gave me a giggle 🙂

ANYWAYS… this is another thing that you should make and eat every day of your life just because it’s that stinkin’ delicious. 

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Any natural chicken sausage- I use Aidell’s chicken and apple or bacon and pineapple… or cajun (heck, they’re all good)
  • Newman’s Own Ranch dressing- I actually used a natural BBQ sauce this time and it was a winner

Cut your brussel sprouts into bite sized, whether it be in 1/2’s or 1/4’s. Throw them in a pan on med-high heat with some oil (I used bacon fat… mmmmm adds extra flavor) and cook for about 5-10 minutes, or until they’re tender. You can either use that pan or a separate one for your sausage, chop it up into bite size pieces and cook with some oil about 1 minute on each side. Pour it all together and put just a smidgen of some type of sauce, whether it be BBQ, a ranch… it really doesn’t matter. Just don’t overdue the sauce, the meal is good enough without it even!! Then…

chow down. Savor every bite, because you’re going to be sad when it’s all gone. 

The only negative thing about this recipe is that there really isn’t that much fat in it, so I usually put a Tbsp of olive oil over it when it’s done cooking 🙂 Enjoy!

Oh yes, look at that close up… mmmmm get in my belly!

IMG_1714

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken

The easiest, most amazing, super addicting pulled buffalo chicken. I’m not sure where I got the recipe or if it just popped into my brain, but this pulled buffalo chicken is super easy and knocks my craving to double fist a dozen wings (love wings with my whole heart). Just try it. That’s all I have to say.

  • Chicken (however much for however many people you’re feeding, boneless any type of meat)
  • Chopped onion- again, based on how much chicken you have. I do a package about 1-2lbs with one whole onion.
  • Frank’s buffalo sauce- Don’t be shy, POUR IT ON!!!!

I wanted to do ranch seasoning in there (it’s amazing without, too)… BUT look at the ingredients of that crap. In stead, I did*:

  • 2 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. dried onion flakes
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried chives
  • 1 tsp. salt

I cut it in half or even more and eyeballed it… who needs to measure, anyways? I usually give everything a light stir to be sure everything is coated in hot sauce (should just pour it in my mouth…)

So, there you have it! Cook on low for 6-8 hours and shred with a fork, or whatever you like to shred with. I eat on a bed of kale with some avocado, black beans, cheese if I’m feeling feisty, olive oil, and Newman’s Own Ranch dressing. The BF usually throws it in a wrap or has it on one of those thin buns. Ah, if only bread and tortillas were good for you. This is amazing for meal planning. I mean, I can eat buffalo chicken every day for every meal and be okay with is, so eating this for lunch every day is completely okay with me. 

ANYWAYS… ENJOY!!

 

 

*Source: http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/homemade-ranch-seasoning-mix/

Daily Food Intake

This past week, I’ve been working a lot for our corporate wellness business doing body compositions and nutrition counseling for those who participate in the program. A lot of people’s results came out to have a lower amount of muscle than what they had last body comp, 90 days ago. This tells me either A. you’re being lazy and not doing any strength training, let alone any physical activity and/or 2. you’re not eating enough to feed your body what it needs to rebuild itself. You can exercise and lift all you want, but if you’re not feeding your body enough to build that muscle back up, you’re going nowhere with muscle growth, and may even be losing muscle.

First, let’s think what happens when you exercise- you break down muscle fibers, which is the first step in building muscles. Step 1- break down muscle fibers, step 2- rebuild muscle fibers during recovery. Muscles get stronger during the recovery period following the exercise, not during the actual workouts. After you have a high-intensity strength training day (whether it’s legs, chest/back, full body…) those muscles require 48 hours of rebuilding until the next time you workout and break them down again. Nutrition plays a HUGE roll in this recovery process.

Deficiency in just one nutrient could slow or even stop your recovery process, aka: YOUR MUSCLES WON’T GROW QUICKLY OR EVEN AT ALL IF YOU DON’T FEED IT THE PROPER NUTRIENTS. Even if you’re not exercising/lifting as much as you should but eating what your body needs to feed those muscles and burn fat for energy, you shouldn’t be losing much muscle mass.

Aside from muscle recovery, I’ve talked to numerous people about being in “starvation mode” which is an instinct of the body to slow the metabolism and burn lean tissue for energy in response to the lack of food. Sounds fun, right? Wrong, my friends. Don’t want to burn your hard earned lean tissue for energy? Then eat the amount of food/calories that your body needs for daily energy and rebuilding. Simple as that 🙂

I’ve done a myfitnesspal food journal to show how a day of eating should look like for someone my size (it’s what I’m eating today!) I’ll be doing a hard workout so I may add a handful of almonds for that little bit of extra calories that I burned during the workout.

daily intake

 

Remember- net carbs are total carbs minus fiber, so I’m at 24 grams of net carbs. A little higher than what I have it set at for my goals, but that’s fine if it’s real food and not processed junk. I was a piggy this morning because I was starving, so distributing the avocado throughout the other meals is fine, too. The nutrition plan you should be on is just eating real food. So there you have it! A day in the life of Cola’s nutrition. Not saying I don’t think about chocolate every day… it’s hard, but the results are worth it.

Eat well, build well, and be well.

Steps to sticking with your wellness program

Many of us have struggled to live a healthy lifestyle consistently. I have… I know Lindsay has. Do you ever wonder why you’re unable to stick with your program or to see results? How much better could your life be if you took care of your body?

The first step to sticking with a wellness plan is to know why you’re doing it. Part of our new years REVELATION is to throw the resolutions out the door. 75% of people only stick with their new years resolution for 7 days. It’s become more of a joke than a real time for personal goal setting. Starting your new years revelation requires you to dig deeper than just “I want to get healthier” or “I don’t want to drink as much this year”.

Your WHY is the thing that keeps you motivated, that keeps you going when times get tough. Your WHY is the reason that you need to live a healthy lifestyle, and if it doesn’t make you cry, dig deeper. Think about everything that is important to you- your family, your friends, your job, your personal well being, then picture yourself being healthy and happy. Now, think about those things again. How much better could your job, time with your friends and family, your personal well being and your life be? You can see your kids and grandkids living a healthy lifestyle with tons of  energy and excitement for life!

You can also see yourself being energetic and living life to the fullest, not just surviving it. Imagine waking up bright eyed and bushy-tailed every morning instead of barely staying awake all morning. What else can you see happening for yourself when you chose to live a healthy lifestyle?

Your WHY is way more than a week of clean eating. Your Why is your life, your future. And that’s gonna be the thing that keeps you going! The thing that pulls you back on track and reminds you why you’re taking care of yourself. It’s something that can always stay on your mind and in your heart.

Now that you have your WHY in mind, heart, and on paper, many many times, step two is making a plan to stick with your revelation. It all starts with cleansing everything negative from your life. Go through your house and toss out everything that’s processed, made of grains, has added sugar, and go to the grocery store to buy huge batches of greens, proteins, and healthy fats. I’ve said it over and over, if anyone is like me and I know bad foods are in the house, I’m going to eat it. Cleaning out all of those tempting foods is always such a powerful first step to a healthy lifestyle. Now that you have all of the bads out and goods in your kitchen, use the goods. Make your breakfasts and lunches for the week so there’s no excuse to eating bad.

Not only should you cleanse the bad foods from your life (and body), cleansing any negative energy, negative people, and negative thoughts is something that will help you grow as a person.

Everybody knows that person who always complains and is just negative towards life. You tend to act like the people who you’re around the most, so cleansing those negative people out of your life as much as possible will help you think more positive and to be grateful instead of complaining. 

Surrounding yourself with positive and energetic people will help you think more positively and energetic

–> positive thoughts generate positive feelings and attract positive life experiences.

Negative thoughts are something that happen way too often and should be banned from your thought process. Do whatever it takes for you to get those destructive thoughts out of your head. Leave notes for yourself or name the alarms on your phone that say “you’re beautiful”, “smile”, “don’t worry, be happy” or “I’m awesome”. It sounds corny and almost ridiculous, but do what it takes to nail positive thoughts in your brain. Decide every morning that you’re in a good mood and are going to have a good day, wake up and have a positive thought immediately. Even if you don’t have a good day, finish your day with a positive thought, hit the reset button, and wake up with a positive attitude all over again.

The second part of your plan should consist of balancing your life. You have your WHY, you have your positive attitudes, and have cleared the negativity out of your life, it’s time to balance and prioritize (your life, not only your carbs, proteins, and fats). Write down the things that you need to spend time on. Work, family time, cleaning, meal prepping, YOU time. Once you have recognized everything that’s taking up your time, prioritize which is most important to you and identify when you have time for that.

Obviously you have set hours that you need to work, so those hours that you’re not in the office need to be used to their full advantage. Example of what a prioritized week can look like: MWF nights are time to spend with your family, tTH nights are put aside to be productive- getting your to do list done, no procrastination, no laziness on tTh nights, Saturdays are your “you” days- things that make you happy, visiting friends, going out or staying in, Sundays involve more family time, maybe family that you weren’t able to see during the week, and Sunday nights can be your meal planning and prepping nights. Take a grocery store run and actually take the time to make your weekly meals.

Make your “to do” lists. Make one for work, one for home, one for cleaning, a list for groceries… get in the habit of making and prioritizing those to do lists. It’ll help you get more done and feel more like you’ve accomplished something rather than looking at everything that you have yet to do. Accomplishing your to do list will also help you think positive thoughts about yourself and proves to yourself that today was a successful, constructive day!

You have your why, cleansed negative things from your life, balanced and prioritized your time, now it’s time to get out the building blocks. Your life is constantly able to be built stronger. Build healthy relationships and friendships, build your confidence in your life and your work, build muscle, build fun times with good people…

Think about your past and how long you have been tearing down your well being. Eating bad, treating your body terribly, disrespecting or being negative towards the people around you…. All of those things tear you down. It’s time to build back up with positives, not negatives. Build other people’s confidence, you’d be amazed at how good it can make you feel to give a compliment per day. Be sincere, be kind, and that’ll help you build yourself up to be a good person.

Everything that you do every single day, ask yourself: will this make me a better person? If it’s arguing with another person, thinking negatively towards a task, eating a terrible meal, always stop and ask yourself, if doing this activity will make you a better person than you were yesterday. That way, when you look back on the day before, you can see what you did yesterday that made you grow into a more incredible person. You can be a good person. You can be positive. But there’s always room for improvement. Strive to improve yourself, outside and in, and that’s when you’ll start noticing what life is all about.

Honestly, in order to get to the top, you have to take people with you. Good attitudes are contagious, so being a positive and happy person towards your peers will also help them be positive and happy. Help them see the positives in life and go back to what I just said, compliment people. Encourage and love them. Who knows, they might be going through a rough time and need the extra love. Love them where they’re at no matter what the circumstances.

Whether they’re a day or a year long, little or big, everyone has hiccups in their wellness plan. Falling off is easy, trust me I’ve been there, but getting back on track to a healthy lifestyle is so incredibly hard. From now on, getting back on your wellness wagon is going to be easier. Why? Because you have YOUR WHY. You have that reason in your heart why you need to take care of yourself. If you lose somebody close to you, have a traumatic life experience, or even just go on vacation and fall deep in a wellness slump, sit down, close your eyes, and think about your WHY and all of the reasons you have to help you better your wellness.

Personal example: I lost my uncle Slim due to health reasons a little over a year ago and boy did I plunge deep into crappy foods, beer, not working out… anything bad really. It was one of the worst times I’ve fallen, physically and mentally.

A few weeks after my nose-dive, I laid down, closed my eyes, and thought… man, he wouldn’t want to see me like this. He wouldn’t want me to be unhappy, especially with myself. And that was it. That same day, I went to the store instead of Taco Bell day and got meats, veggies, as much healthy fats and proteins that I could afford at the time. After that, I told myself that I would never treat myself like that again because I know that he wants me to be living my life to the fullest.

The reason I decided to share my personal story with you is because my Uncle died after he quit taking care of himself. He struggled with weight for his whole life, went low carb for a while and dropped a lot of weight and looked amazing! Then…he just stopped trying. He didn’t clean, leave the house besides for work, watch his diet… I don’t wish that kind of unhappiness to anyone.

I want you to take a good look at yourself, especially if you’ve fallen off the healthy lifestyle track, and really decide why you need to get back on. That’s why your initial “WHY” needs to be the key to your heart, to help you over that hiccup and back on track to taking care of yourself in a healthy lifestyle. Hiccups are going to happen, they really can’t be avoided sometimes, but now that you have your why to pull you back on, you’re ready to succeed for life.

There’s a lot of people in this world. But out of this entire world, how many of yourself are there? There’s only one you, you have control over your life. You wouldn’t give others your accomplishments, so why would you make them responsible your problems?

This is the part of your plan where you stay accountable for yourself. You are in control of what you eat, how active you are, your lifestyle. It’s time to stop blaming others for your problems, mentally and physically. No more “they’re stressing me out” or “work makes me stressed so I just eat”. The worst thing you can do when you’re stressed or angry is to make your body stressed and angry. Go for a walk, work it off, or just drink a ton of water! Commit yourself to a healthy lifestyle. Be liable for your own personal wellness and get it done! No more putting it off. This is your time to start actually living life. Don’t do it for me because I preach it to you, do it for yourself, do it for your WHY.

You guys, the thing I want most in life is for YOU to succeed with your wellness. Don’t give up. It’s a bumpy ride, but suck it up and GET IT DONE!!!