Are your friends and co-workers making you UNHEALTHY or HEALTHY? 

Support-bottleStudies show you become like the five people you spend the most time with.  The power of association is too strong to ignore on your journey to the top of Extraordinary Health Mountain. If you want to achieve your health goals, you’ll need to spend time with others who value the same goals.

Who are the five people you spend the most time with?  Whether you realize it or not, they are influencing your health decisions.  Do those 5 people live a healthier or unhealthier lifestyle than you?  Do the things you do together help move you closer to the top of Extraordinary Health Mountain or further away from it?

To improve the number of your healthy relationships, you don’t have to eliminate friends and family from your inner circle. Simply  identify people you may already have in your life who value healthy choices and become intentional about building relationships with them.  Engage them in conversations regarding health goals.  If you share your goals and updates to your progress, others will most likely share theirs. This allows you to begin a formal or informal accountability partnership.

You can also become intentional making sure the positive health influences outweigh the negative ones by about surrounding yourself with them in online health discussion boards, formal support groups or health education classes, and partnering with a personal health coach, trainer, or mentor.  

A good coach often makes the difference between an athlete winning or losing.  The same principle applies to our health.  Having a good coach can mean the difference between an ordinary life and an extraordinary one.

Most people are resistant to change, not because they don’t want better, but because it is not comfortable to change.  It is easy to get cozy inside the Comfort Cave.  A coach can help a person to break out of their cave and move towards excellence.  They do this by helping us see beyond the comfort to the benefits of fulfilling our dreams.  By reminding us of our dreams and what we truly want, they offer us accountability and perspective.  We all face distractions that tempt us to stay comfortable, but by reminding us of our dreams, they help us refocus on what is really important.  When we stay focused on what we want, we can’t help but move towards it, which gives us direction in our actions.  Coaches move us toward an extraordinary life by offering accountability, perspective, focus, and direction.    

Often we think of a coach as a person who works face-to-face to teach or inspire an individual or team toward a championship. This is just one example of coaching. Coaching can come in a variety of forms including:

  • Personal or professional growth books, DVDs, or audio programs
  • Interactive websites, podcasts, blogs, or other virtual resources
  • Live training courses or workshops
  • Mentor or accountability partner
  • Mastermind group of individuals who challenge one another
  • Personal coach who works with you one-on-one

I hope you found this list helpful and wish you the best in success and optimal health in the days, weeks, months and year to come! For more tips, please visit

Budget Friendly Grocery Shopping

By: Sumi Tohan, RDN, LDN

Money-LaundryHealthy eating is often perceived as being expensive. Here are some suggestions on how to save money while buying nutritious foods. Remember, foods that are high in starch and sugar tend to be the cheapest things you can buy at the grocery store.

In comparison, buying fresh, nutritious foods seems costly and is often the reason many people find it challenging to sustain healthy eating habits. A low-carbohydrate meal plan can actually be a cost-effective way to get better nutrition. When you look at how much it costs to get all of the nutrients you need, rather than just calories, meat, eggs, dairy, seafood, and vegetables actually provide the most value. Starchy and sugar foods, although cheap, do not provide essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, or protein.

Here are some suggestions to help you shop effectively:

Rely on cheap protein. Good sources are eggs and tofu. Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are more cost effective protein sources for vegetarians rather than pricey mock meats.

Favor simplicity. Use herbs and spices as condiments rather than specialty products labeled low-carb.

By produce in season. Not only will it taste better, it will also be cheaper.

Be aware of holiday specials. This is a good time to buy extra and freeze it to have on hand during times when meat is full-price.

Where’s the beef? The price of beef is continuing to rise. Opt for other protein sources, such as poultry or even plant-based options like tofu or seitan.

How about stocking-up to save? Choose products that have long shelf-lives, will be used regularly, and can be used in multiple ways.

Invest wisely when it comes to those kitchen gadgets. Only buy kitchen gadgets that will help you save money.

Don’t be a short-order cook. Learn how to adapt ingredients to suit varied tastes in the home in order to have to only cook one meal to save money and time.

Doing your own prep-work can save you money as well. For example: A whole chicken is cheaper than the sum of its parts, so de-bone and separate it it yourself.

Bulk-up. Buy protein in bulk-packages for a lower cost per serving, then batchcook and freeze it until needed.

Drink like a fish. Hydrate with plain water instead of expensive calorie free drinks.

Go international. Try Asian or international markets to find competitive pricing on produce, seafood, tofu, nuts, and even spices.

Practice menu-planning. Use the store circular to figure out what’s on sale, and use those foods to plan your weekly menu.

Is FEAR Standing in Your Way of Health?

"Fear is the natural reaction to moving closer to the truth."-Pema Chodron.

Life is full of scary things. When you start to address your fears and change your life for the better, you will feel free. Yes, more fears will arise. Yes, "bad" things will happen. Yes, difficulty will always present itself.

But you'll realize that the paralysis that fear causes is worse than any pain that fear can inflict. You'll experience good things alongside the bad, and things will get easier.

If you sit in silence and do nothing, waiting for the perfect time or'll WASTE your life away. There's never the perfect moment to start eating healthier or losing weight. There's never the right time to leave your old life and start anew. But there are moments, there is time, and there are ways.

So will you sit in silence? Or will you laugh out loud and face your fears? Be brave. Take risks. Believe in yourself!

Journey to Health

How do you feel today? Are you having a hard time making the choice to change your life for the better? Did you start to make changes, only to fall back into old habits? Do you need a boost to help you continue down a healthier path?

The power of your lifestyle can reshape your destiny at the very level of your genes. Healthy eating and exercise habits can reduce your risk of developing a chronic disease, and sometimes can reverse a disease you already have or prevent a recurrence.

When you choose to improve your health, what will that mean for you? What will it mean for those who love you? How will life feel and look from that vantage point? What will you do when your health improves that you can't do now? What problems can you avoid by taking that step forward?

Making choices to improve your health will help you to relieve stress, gain strength, increase energy, and lose weight (if applicable). For the most part, diets fail to produce long-term weight loss and results. They work in the short term because of rules about what and when you can and can’t eat: They prevent you from going off-course with external discipline. Instead, let's learn mental discipline and practical, daily behavioral changes that will change your health, and your life.  

It’s time to begin your journey.

Healthy Holiday Plan

TurkeyChristmas is almost here and the season of holiday get togethers, candy at the office, more lunches and dinners out, more traveling for some and vacations and of course, more stress than normal and this typically leads to weight gain. But you can succeed in getting healthy over the holidays. As a matter of fact they call them "holi-days" not "holi-weeks" so there's only a few days where your healthy holiday action plan will be challenged.

Here's a few important things to add to your healthy holiday plan…

1. Don’t skip a meal (slows your metabolism and increase hunger/cravings)

2. Go for a "Mocktail" instead of a "Cocktail". Alchohol leads to more empty calories and weight gain so swap it for a healthier option like Club Soda with a lime or other non-caloric beverage.

3. Skip the peanut butter and cheeses. They are full of fat calories!

4. Lay off the unhealthy snacks. They're likely full of simple carbohydrates, fat and/or sugar.

Now let’s go over a few strategies that will help you get through this tempting time....

1. Seek Support!  Have healthy conversations with your family and friends. Be accountable to others and challenge them to join you in having a healthier holiday season.  People do what people do!

2. If there is a special holiday food that you will feel deprived of if you don’t have…then take one or two bites-just a taste and you will be surprised how satisfying it is.

3. Eat more of the salads and green veggies at a dinner party and make the meat a “side dish”

4. Don’t serve family meals family-style.  Keep pots and dishes away from the table where it’s all too easy to go for seconds!

5. Learn to “eyeball” the proper serving size that is right for you and stick to them when dining out or dishing up meals.

6. Eat healthy fast foods (i.e. protein based meal replacements and other healthy snacks)! Don’t leave home without them!

7. Physical activity is a good way to burn calories and it makes you feel great before going to a party, and remember to drink a shake on your way out the door!

8. Have fun and focus on the fellowship and not the food.  

9. Have a Plan in writing!

My Daily Holiday Plan

____________ Wake up

____________ Breakfast  ____________________

____________Mid Morning ____________________

____________Lunch  ____________________

____________Mid Afternoon ____________________

____________Dinner  ____________________

____________Evening  ____________________

Snacks ______________________________________

Type of exercise today___________________________

I exercised for how long? _______________

Today I feel…__________________________________

My Challenges were_____________________________

What did learn? _________________________________

My Plan for tomorrow_____________________________

Fall Back To Health and Fitness

IfNotNowWhenAbout this time every year, you probably start gearing up for your New Year’s resolution to lose weight and start a regular exercise routine. Then, just before tacking the new calendar to the kitchen wall, you empty your home and office of all those unhealthy snacks and goodies.

Sometimes you give them to friends and coworkers; other times, you muster up a great deal of strength and toss them in the trash. But far too often you polish off every crumb yourself—and start the new year about ten pounds heavier, your body full of leftover holiday pies and cookies.

What if you could get through the holidays and reach January 1st with a loss, instead? If you limit splurges to the holiday meal, like Thanksgiving dinner, you can keep your weight in check and reach your health goals even faster.  They call them "holidays" not "holiweeks" right?

So what about Thanksgiving? We know what the traditional turkey-day table looks like: buttery mashed potatoes, syrupy sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green beans with potato sticks, and a big, juicy bird. Don’t even look at the dessert table! You know what’s there: pumpkin and pecan pies, carrot cake, cookies.


MountainbikerAre you waiting until after the big holidays to start a fitness regimen or get your eating back on track. There’s something so logical about starting fresh each new year; that’s why everyone does it, right? It’s like getting a clean slate to do it right once and for all. Besides, who starts a fitness plan in November?

You, if you’re smart!

With New Year’s Day looming, it’s often a race to the finish—finish off the chocolates, polish off the cakes and pies, devour all the snacks. And many find themselves with even more weight to lose. Here are a few compelling reasons to begin now.

You’ll be cool.
The heat of summer months can sometimes make us sluggish. And a 95-degree day is not necessarily the best time to walk a few miles, as it poses some additional dangers, especially for previously inactive people. Likewise, the cold winter months make us feel insular; the air is a little too fresh. We are often pressed for time and energy when the days are so short, especially after a full day of work. But fall—with its clear mornings and evenings, its invigorating fresh air, and its gorgeous colors—is the perfect time to make a commitment to rigorous movement.

You’ll be consistent.
It takes some time to turn actions into habits. Though information varies, a recent study showed that the average time it takes for a new practice to become habit is about 66 days (1). So it makes sense to build up that momentum now. When January 1 rolls around, you’ll already be so dedicated to your routine—and to its positive effects—that you won’t even have to think about whether you’re in the mood to work out on a cold January morning. You’ll already have a couple months of daily exercise under your belt—and off your stomach!

You’ll be creative.
Working out isn’t only about speed and mileage and reps. Sometimes it’s simply about working—out! Sweep, rake, bag leaves. Do some cool-weather gardening. Prepare beds for spring. Chop firewood. Of course, traditional workouts like biking and hiking are even better when the air is cool and the leaves are colorful! So get out there and fall for fitness. Establishing regular, healthy practices now can make sticking to them in January a breeze.

1. Source:;jsessionid=96C09908C95A8D1B4B624FBCF4DE9867.d03t01