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March 2012
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May 2012

May I get healthier while stressed?

Are you ready to get healthier during the month of May inside a 28-Day Health Challenge? Or are you in the middle of a "Stress Storm" and feeling burdened to do even the basic Habits of Health?

Here's a great video to remind us being "stressed" is a choice and there are actions we can take to relieve and minimize stress:

Individuals who enter stressful situations will often slow or stop their progress toward achieving their health goals. I call these “stress storms” because just like bad weather can prevent someone from climbing a mountain; “stress storms” can prevent a person from achieving their goal either temporarily or completely. Unfortunately, most who are unprepared to weather the “storms” will head back down the mountain and return to their comfort cave or old habits.

With maturity most learn that storms are part of life and it is best to deal with them immediately rather than waiting for better weather. There are seasons where we climb toward bigger and loftier goals and other times when we rest and maintain our position. However, when we’re either about ready to experience a storm or are already in one, we have to learn how to continue climbing in spite of the weather.

There are many types of stress storms that cause us pain including:

Physical Stress Storms (i.e. general pain, injury, disease, inflammation, or other trauma) can cause us to decrease our activity levels in order for our bodies to rehabilitate.

Mental Stress Storms (emotional, relational, spiritual, etc.) can be some of the most challenging as they can last many years if we don’t climb beyond them.

Financial Stress Storms (loss of financial security) can include looming debt(s), reduced income/cash flow issues, career or business transitions or the general lack of financial security due to the volatility of the economy.

So how do you deal with these storms? It is important to finds ways to make incremental progress every day or the situation will stay out of control. Coaches often ask climbers who have stopped climbing “why.” Why have you stopped climbing? Is there a storm that’s preventing you from climbing? If so, how bad is the storm?

If a storm is really bad, then it is important to make the progress steps really small so that the person is not overwhelmed. During storms it is important that the person be surrounded by those that can help and not be abandoned. Seldom are storms dealt well with on one’s own.

Are you currently in a storm? What can you do to improve your situation right now? What kinds of storms are you dealing with or are the storms on the horizon ready to set in and make your climb up the mountain more challenging? If you can see the storm for what it is (a simple storm or a season of life), you can usually deal with it since it is likely a short term event. Other storms may take longer to pass. The point is that we get stronger while inside a storm if we continue to stay focused on where we’re going and continue our climb toward the top. Success eventually comes if we continue climbing. A key indicator of success is our progress. The best way to monitor our progress is through measurements.


By taking time to reflect on our progress and accomplishments, we learn more about what we’re capable of achieving given our time, talents, skills, and abilities. It is important not to let another month, week, or day go by without measuring our progress toward our health goals.

Just as mountain climbers review their maps to make sure they are hitting their mark, so too must we review what we’re actually achieving. We need to know what’s working and ramp that up. In areas where we’re not making progress, we need to find out why in order to resolve the cause of the problem.

What to Measure

• Our dreams or desired outcomes – are they clearly defined? Are they realistic or do they need to be revised?
• Our action plans – do we have a clear plan of action with attainable goals and specific action steps to take?
• Our progress – are we seeing measurable progress on the plans we’ve established? Are we headed in the right direction?
• Our use of time – are we squandering valuable time on activities that are unrelated to our goals and dreams?

How Often to Measure
• End of the day – did we do what we needed to do?
• End of the week – was our week productive?
• End of the month – were our monthly goals accomplished?
• End of the quarter – are there achievements to celebrate?
• End of the year – was the past year successful? Is there a reward?

"What you measure is what you get. What you reward is what you get. By not aligning measurements and rewards, you often get what you're not looking for." – Jack Welch

Three Types of Exercise


“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”
~ Edward Stanley

There are 3 types of exercise; aerobic, flexibility and strength/resistance training.  It is a good idea for you to start exercising once you have gotten acclimated to a healthy eating plan.  Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and a habit that you will want to continue once you have reached your goal weight in order to maintain that weight and optimize your health.

Below I’ll discuss each type of exercise, their benefits and examples of each….

#1 - Aerobic Exercise

•          can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure

•          reduced body fat-burns lots of calories

•          increased metabolism

•          strengthen the heart and lungs

•          can reduce stress


•          walking

•          running

•          biking

•          swimming

•          anything that gets your heart rate up

•          couch to 5K is a good choice for beginners because it starts off very slowly and only goes to 30 minutes

#2 - Flexibility training

•          decreased risk of injury

•          improved posture

•          increased blood and nutrients to body tissues

•          improved coordination (important as we age)

•          decreased low back pain

•          decreased joint pain 


•          yoga

•          Pilates

•          Simple stretching

#3 - Strength training

•          help to build and maintain bone mass

•          change the shape of your body- especially during and after weight loss

•          burn more calories at rest types


•          weight lifting

•          plyometrics (using your own body weight) such as squats, pushups, lunges

Again, all of these types of exercise are important and should be incorporated into an ideal exercise regimen. You can begin each or all of them very slowly and build up to longer durations or more intensity.

Want more healthy exercise and eating tips?  Visit and accept the 28-Day eHealth Challenge today!


Weight Loss, Health, and the Power of Choice

Habits are those things we do regularly without thinking. These patterns are set up and reinforced in the brain through repetition, day after day.

Feeding the dog, getting the mail, driving home from work—these are all patterns that become engrained so we can accomplish daily tasks (and get rewarded) without engaging the brain in decision-making.

How your brain works
When you do something pleasant—like eat something delicious—your body actually releases chemicals that go to your brain, carrying a message of pleasure or reward.

Eating unhealthily can literally be habit-forming. We are much more likely to repeat the behavior to get the pleasant reward again—because overly sweet, fat-laden processed foods send these powerful chemical messages to the brain.

Habits are set in motion by triggers or specific "happenings" we experience in our lives:

• We arrive at a familiar intersection - and we automatically turn left.
• We come home from work - and instinctively reach into the mailbox.
• The dog is waiting by his bowl - and we unconsciously reach to get his food out of the cabinet.
• We sit down for the big game on Sunday - and the chips and dips appear whether we're hungry or not.

Our proactive choices form our habits and our habits determine our health. View this quick motivational video for more thoughts on the power of one choice

Small simple things you do every day can either lead you toward disease, or toward optimal well-being and longevity. Your proactive choices create healthy habits and these habits support your goals—one choice at a time!

Changing your choices and habits, step by step:
1. Incorporate choices that support Optimal Health into your daily routine.
2. Make yourself aware of your daily choices that do not support health—without using negative self-talk or blame.
3. Break the habit of nutritional pollution and give your body and brain a break by eating healthy and nutritious meals and snacks.
4. Think long term—make choices now that support health now and in the future.
5. Create a microenvironment of health by decreasing your exposure to potential triggers.

Let's make healthier choices this week and keep climbing to the top of Extraordinary Health Mountain!

Celebrating Easter and Easter Baskets Tips

Before you fill the traditional Easter basket for your children, think about
how you are setting them up for the weight loss struggles that you might be
battling. Chocolate bunnies, Peeps™ and candy eggs can add to the obesity habits of

Did you know 1 out of every 3 children in America is over-weight and one out
of every five 4 year olds are obese? Do they need an excuse for more sugar?
Children learn by example, so no matter how you try to teach better food habits,
they will follow what you do. That means you have to lead by example.

Think before you use candy or deserts as the “treat”. “You can have desert
if you eat all your vegetables…” Do you hear the mixed message?

Reflect on your childhood. If you have struggled to lose weight in the past,
then chances are you heard those same mixed messages, which still have a
negative effect on your relationship with food. Why set up your children for the
same struggle?

What can you do to help your children during Easter? Keep in mind the 3

Be Creative. Instead of a basket, get an appropriately sized
beach bucket with shovel and some sand toys for summer play. Add in crayons,
coloring book, card games, small toys, dried fruit snacks, raisins or trail mix.
If you don’t have the courage to say “no” to candy, then at least choose small
amounts or use sugar free candies.

Be Realistic. Holidays are prime times for retailers to push
sweets and junk that they want you to believe you must have. You don’t have to
buy what they push. Holidays have meaning, and it’s not found on the candy

Be Future Minded. Think about the mixed messages with
sweets and junk that send children on the road to diabetes, heart disease and
other medical conditions, which are further compromised by obesity.

What can you do for yourself? As the adult who is making a serious effort to
lose weight and restore health (or maintain health) here’s 3 B’s to remind you
how to enjoy the Easter/Passover holiday without falling into old calorie
indulging traps.

Be Prepared. Have a healthy snack before you arrive at your
family or church gathering. This takes the edge off your appetite so you can
make sensible choices. This is also the time to keep a bar in your purse or
pocket in case dinner is served later than you expected.

Be Picky. Look over everything at the buffet or on the table
before making choices. If you are eating at a restaurant, ask the server to have
your food prepared without gravy or butter and request substitution of green
vegetables for potatoes. When eating with the family, make the same request of
the hostess. If you feel that you cannot ask, then do your best to adapt the
food or eat less of it without sparking a family drama.

Be People Centered (rather than food centered). This weekend
is about spiritual connections, family and celebration. Stay focused on the
reason that this time is special. Plan to spend twice as much time talking as
eating. As with any holiday overstuff on good conversation and you will “gain”
wonderful memories.

Want a healthy, lean and green recipe idea that’s suitable for holiday
dinner? Who says you have to eat ham at Easter? Leave the ham and butter for
Paula Deen, here’s a better option:

Mediterranean Style Tilapia & Spinach Salad

Fresh thin slices of Tilapia fish

1 can chunky tomato-garlic (or tomato-okra)

1 package fresh Baby Spinach

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pan sear for 5 minutes on each side on medium heat in Canola Oil or Soy

Take Tilapia out of the pan and drain the oil.

Add in a can of chunky tomato-garlic (or tomato-okra) and stir around

Put Tilapia back into pan with tomato and simmer for ten minutes at lower

During the slow cook, rinse Baby Spinach for salad.

Serve Tilapia with a small amount of flavorful tomatoes and a side salad of
Baby Spinach topped with a shake of Extra Virgin Olive Oil or no-cal vinegar/oil

Doing the Remarkable

Below is a great article to remind you what you CAN do, be or have this week vs. focusing on the negative aspects of life. You can do some remarkable things in your life! As you begin a new month (and possibly a new 28-Day Challenge) you need to remind yourself of the power you hold when you make the fundamental choice to do it. When you choose to live the life you were designed to live and not be overwhelmed with life's circumstances you can do remarkable things!

Get encouraged and pack a positive perspective during the month of April and let's do the remarkable!

Doing the Remarkable by Jim Rohn

When it comes to meeting and conquering the negativity in your life, here is a key question: What can you do, starting today, that will make a difference? What can you do during economic chaos? What can you do when everything has gone wrong? What can you do when you've run out of money, when you don't feel well and it's all gone sour? What can you do?

Let me give you the broad answer first. You can do the most remarkable things, no matter what happens. People can do incredible things, unbelievable things, despite the most impossible or disastrous circumstances.

Here is why humans can do remarkable things: because they are remarkable. Humans are different than any other creation. When a dog starts with weeds, he winds up with weeds. And the reason is because he's a dog. But that's not true with human beings. Humans can turn weeds into gardens.

Humans can turn nothing into something, pennies into fortune, and disaster into success. And the reason they can do such remarkable things is because they are remarkable. Try reaching down inside of yourself; you'll come up with some more of those remarkable human gifts. They're there, waiting to be discovered and employed.

With those gifts, you can change anything for yourself that you wish to change. And I challenge you to do that because you can change. If you don't like how something is going for you, change it. If something isn't enough, change it. If something doesn't suit you; change it. If something doesn't please you, change it. You don't ever have to be the same after today. If you don't like your present address, change it?you're not a tree!

If there is one thing to get excited about, it's your ability to make yourself do the necessary things, to get a desired result, to turn the negative into success. That's true excitement.