Category Archives: Best Healthy Diets Recipes

July Better Healthy Living Challenge Is Live

The Better Healthy Living Challenge is live!  Just a bit behind in posting since I was traveling home from an amazing vacation. I’ll tell you more about that in another post.
The details for this months challenge are below.  Glenneth and I sure hope you’ll join us.  I’m so excited to have her join me as a co-host this year.  You can read more about Glenneth AND get the buttons/banner for the challenge here.
There are going to be 4 different challenges this month. Each week we’ll focus on something different. You can find the topics below. And choose one or more things that will challenge you to live a healthier life.
The topics are:
Week 1: Fitness (run faster/longer, workout 3 times a week, walk 20 minutes a day)
Week 2: Nutrition (no fast food, drink more water, add more fruits/veggies, take your vitamins)
Week 3: Health (get more sleep, take time out for yourself, set up a long awaited doctor’s appointment, have family dinners)
Week 4: Pick any focus you might have struggled with from above and push yourself to accomplish more!
Who is this challenge for?
We have a mix of participants, from beginners to advanced so these topics work well for ANYone. We look forward to challenging ourselves too.
This post will be where you’ll check in for week one.  Feel free to keep a conversation going in the comments below.  Or shout out your goals, struggles and SUCCESSES on social media using the hashtag #BHLchallenge.
Looking forward to an active and fit July.  How about you?
To have a chance at winning challenge prizes, all you need to do is use the hashtag #BHLchallenge. You can blog about, tweet, share on Facebook, Instagram and Google+. We will pull a winner for each prize at random from everyone who used the hashtag and/or you can comment on any of the weekly challenge posts like this one for WEEK 1.
Are you interested in sponsoring and/or donating a product/service for the challenge? Please get in touch with me! Your company/website/blog will be promoted throughout the month of July in various ways (here on the blog, Twitter, Facebook and more!).
Now get out there and get your FITNESS on this week.  Share your goals/struggles/successes below so we can help inspire one another.

2014 Better Healthy Living Challenge

It’s about time for the 2014 Better Healthy Living Challenge!  This usually takes place in June but I had to move it to July.
Like last year, I’m partnering up with someone for the challenge.  I’m SO excited to have Glenneth from Let’s Talk and Walk partnering up with me this month. We have a fun month planned for you!
Glenneth is a health and wellness coach and a certified personal trainer. She lives in Tennessee and enjoys walking, Core Barre, weight lifting & yoga. She’s a fitness gadget junkie and like me a huge office supply junkie. Glenneth is a fellow FitFluential ambassador too. You can read more about her here.
From beginner to advanced, anyone can participate in the Better Healthy Living challenge. We’ll have a focus for each week where you’ll push yourself to set a goal and make a change that will impact your life in a positive way.
I like to keep these challenges simple and not make you jump through a ton of hoops to participate.  There will be prizes at the end and maybe even some throughout the month.
Are you ready to kick some negative habits out the door?
I am going to challenge myself to get outdoors and walk more, stick with eating at home more often rather than having meals out and I want to take time to myself to read more while using the recumbent bike.  I want to learn to cook too (healthy options of course). What about you?
You can go ahead and start talking about the challenge and promoting it by using the #BHLchallenge tag on all of your social channels. Feel free to save the images below to use on your blog.

   

We will be choosing prize winners from all types of shares on the web (blog posts, tweets, Instagram pics, Facebook, etc.) using the hashtag. We will have one post a week on each of our blogs asking you to check in to stay accountable.  You can comment on one or both of those posts. If you don’t participate in social media, you can just comment on any of the blog posts.
Are you interested in sponsoring and/or donating a product/service for the challenge? Please get in touch with me!  Your company/website/blog will be promoted throughout the entire month in various ways (here on the blog, Twitter, Facebook and more!).
Looking forward to a fun and successful month!

Week 3: Making Healthier Choices

Making Healthier Food Choices
Week 3 went OK. I lost 1 lb but have gained a whole lot when it comes to changing the way I look at eating. No special diet except juicing/smoothies and lifestyle changes that will work long term.
At the beginning, I had given myself the option to enjoy a treat once a week.  The 1st week was the only time I gave in to something but I still limited myself at that time.  The next two weeks passed without any sort of special treat.  Then came week 3.
I had been having a ton of different cravings over the last few weeks but none of them stuck with me except sushi and frozen yogurt with toppings from a local shop (not together of course).  We had sushi for dinner one night and I did very good with choices but most of all not eating until I was stuffed.  I enjoyed that meal.
The froyo was a different story. I had wanted it so bad and so we went the other day.  I got HALF of what I would have normally put in that cup so I thought that was good.  But a couple hours later, I was truly paying for it. All that sugar and dairy played a number on my stomach.  Needless to say I am no longer craving that and believe I have cured myself from wanting more.  I used to LOVE that stuff!
Anyway we are heading on vacation this week and I am going to try my best to make wise food choices. I have done really well not eating any bread, crackers and other things like that. I have cut down on dairy too. Eating out is not easy so most of our meals have been at home.
We went to Sweet Tomatoes this weekend and I did really well there.  If you have been there before you know they have a big salad bar, soup bar, pasta and bread bars plus a dessert bar.  I was so proud of myself for sticking with the salad bar (light on the dressing) and I had a vegetarian soup.  That is all. I never even got near the other ones but I did see the corn bread that I so badly wanted and turned right away.
This month has been a challenge with juicing but my taste buds are a changing.  I’m really excited about it and plan to stick with it on our trip (wish me luck!). I don’t think I’ll have an issue plus I’m going prepared with almonds and other healthy snacks for the plane.  We are also packing protein powder packets just in case we get into a bind.
Overall week 3 went fine.  I’m looking forward to the last week of June and moving on into an even healthier July.  Hopefully I’ll be able to add in more fitness to the mix.
My 4th annual Better Healthy Living challenge has been moved from June to July so be on the lookout for a fun month. We’ll be posting about it soon.
How did you do this week?

Eat Your Vegetables: A Roundup!

National Eat Your Vegetables Day
Today, June 17th is National Eat Your Vegetables Day.  This month is all about veggies and fruits for me because I have been juicing.
So it’s the perfect month to do it and I didn’t even realize it. Some of my all time favorite vegetables include asparagus, steamed broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cooked carrots.
Need to get more calcium in your diet? Look for greens, dark leafy greens are best.  Any of these would be great though.
Broccoli
Spinach
Swiss Chard
Kale
Cabbage
And the list goes on.  Add carrots to the above to keep your heart healthy!
Ways to Eat Your Vegetables
Start juicing.
Add veggies to smoothies
Add veggies to meals (they are yummy in omelets or scrambled eggs)
Grill them.
Grilling veggies gives you a whole new taste and the char brings out an amazing flavor too.  In the last week, we have grilled portobello mushroom caps, white mushrooms, red & yellow peppers, tomatoes and onions. Delish!
Here’s a delicious vegetable roundup:
Hope you enjoy!
Be sure to check out Agrilicious.  They are at the heart of the food movement and provide an exciting way to take part in the local food experience. They feature over 100,000 local farms, farmers markets and much more.
Speaking of Farmer’s Markets, we just found a new one locally and I hope to get there to check it out this Friday. There is nothing like a home grown tomato. Right?
What is your favorite vegetable?

Good Music for Workouts: Top 10 for June 2014

Good Music for Workouts
Here’s this months release from Chris at Run Hundred,
“This month’s top 10 list provides a succinct argument for the dominance of electronic music on the pop charts. To put this into perspective, consider January of 1992, when Nirvana’s album Nevermind famously replaced Michael Jackson’s Dangerous as the number one album on the Billboard chart.
This unlikely feat marked not just a change in fortune for Nirvana, but signaled a larger change in folks’ tastes.
Skipping back to the present, the last month has seen the release of new singles by Katy Perry, Coldplay, Jennifer Lopez, and a collaboration between Justin Timberlake and (fittingly) Michael Jackson. As was the case in 1992, each of these chart toppers has been replaced by a newer act in a previously overlooked genre. To that end, none of the folks above made the cut in this month’s list—as the majority of the votes went to club rockers like Avicii, Afrojack, 3LAU and Bright Lights.
Like fashion and film and most other cultural goings-on, music is cyclical. So, DJs won’t be replacing pop stars entirely—not permanently at least. Moreover, there’s plenty of room for outliers. The changing musical landscape doesn’t seem to have hurt Pitbull or Imagine Dragons—both of whom turn up in the list below. But, if it seems like dance music has a near monopoly on the airwaves these days, this month’s playlist is proof of that change.
History and context aside, there’s a lot to be excited about here. Plus, if there was ever a time for huge beats and raging synths, it’s the summer. So, check out a few of the high energy highlights below, grab a few favorites, and take them for a spin.”According to votes placed at Run Hundred, the web’s most popular workout music blog the songs below hit the top 10 for June 2014.
I love John Legend’s music and that remix is fun.  I also really enjoy Ariana Grande and Pitbull.  Fun, upbeat music.  The other songs I could do without.
To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.
What is your favorite workout song?

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to my dad and hubby.  In the picture to the left you’ll see a beautiful brownie cookie cake that Kev got from our neighbor (cookie cakes are one of my favorites) but I didn’t have any, score.  You also see my stepson and granddaughter in the other pictures.  Love my family!
Week 2: I lost another 4 lbs
Week 2 went well even with a Father’s Day picnic thrown in.  I’m happy to say I didn’t cave AT ALL.
There were some yummy looking treats on the dessert table but I passed on all of it. I took a baggie of celery, a veggie burger and almonds.  The only thing I did do was have a little ketchup on my burger. I was really hungry, hot and I had a headache so when we got home I had another healthy smoothie.
This week was harder because my juicing buddy Rikaine had to leave in the middle of the week so we are keeping each other going via phone/text.  She packed up foods from here to help keep her on track too.  When she goes back to Honduras in a few weeks, we’ll be staying accountable then too.
We stopped eating bread, rice, crackers, things like that.  She stopped dairy but I am not giving that up however I am limiting it a lot more this month.
Foods that are keeping me full in between juicing/smoothies and dinner are the following:
Almonds
Hard boiled eggs
Cauliflower (dipped in jalapeno mustard)
Celery (also dipped in mustard)
For dessert, I have been having 2-3 Medjool Dates, some of those times with a little peanut butter on them.  These are sweet enough to get me over the ice cream/cookie cravings.  Like I have mentioned before, I am not giving up all goodies forever but I am doing this so I can make wiser choices.  I am looking forward to having some froyo with toppings though.  Not until vacation though. Pushing through.
For some reason this week I have been approached by quite a few people wanting me to join their network marketing companies. Just to let everyone know up front, I am trying to do this with REAL foods, no pills or packaged smoothie mixes.
I am always up for trying new whey protein powders and protien snack bars but I’m not going to be joining any companies to do that. Just sayin.
I personally enjoy making my own smoothies and juicing.  I don’t particularly like the clean up after juicing but I would rather put veggies/fruits in my body over pills and vitamins although I am not opposed to vitamins and usually take them when I’m not juicing as much. Surely you can understand!
I try to teach people here that you don’t have to do anything really special to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. And if you are smart, you don’t have to spend a lot of money either.  That’s the great part.
Heading in to week 3 I am feeling pretty good.  I really don’t know how some people can do only juicing for more than 7 days so big kudos to you.  I’m glad that I chose 1-2 times a day. And I look forward to going to once a day in July if I feel I can stick to making the right choices for my other meals.
We have our 1st vacation coming up so I won’t be juicing but I sure plan to make the most healthy choices I can (while still enjoying some goodies).  We’ll be in Carmel and San Francisco California so it should be OK.  And we’ll be on foot a lot so that will be a nice bonus.
Overall June is going well so far. I would like to get more walking in this week though.
How are you all doing? Did you set any goals for yourself this month?

Week 1: 8 lbs Down

8 Pounds Down
Just a delay in posting but the first week of juicing commenced this past Sunday.  It was not an easy week that is for sure.  I did my best to juice twice a day (I did smoothies too) and and have healthy dinners.  A few days we juiced only once.
I can tell you, I had to fight with myself quite a few times not to give in and just go get my favorite Culver’s sundae. I’m not saying I won’t have one and I do believe we should enjoy some things on a very limited basis.  But I need to go through this phase to make wiser choices.
For some reason the veggies/fruits that were left out in our open drawer rolling cabinet went bad really quick.  We don’t have that much extra room in our fridge but we made it work.
There has been a bit more sodium in my diet than I would have liked but I’ll work on that this week.  My goal this month is to just look at my food options better. I am still drinking coffee in the morning.
And one of the biggest things that happened was I ate MUCH slower than I usually do.  I normally scarf a meal down and am done way before anyone else. Not the 1st week.
The two cravings I gave in to were: Starbucks iced coffee with soy milk and 3 very small biscuits with a tiny bit of butter and strawberry jam.  Found out that I love dipping cauliflower into any kind of mustard.  So much better than ranch dressing I think.
I am trying to stay active daily too.  So far so good. We went on a few nice walks the first week.
So I’m proud to say I cut down/out a lot on processed and packaged stuff. I ate HEALTHY fats and carbs and feel really good.
We made some yummy juice concoctions in the process.  I’ll be compiling those and adding them here on the blog.
Do you juice? What are some of your favorite combinations?

Out Before the Rain

Just a quick check in. Today was another successful juicing day for breakfast and lunch was a healthy smoothie.  I am having almonds in between meals but my stomach is still growling. I’m not doing a full juice cleanse but I am choosing better food options.
So when I got hungry today, I had sweet yellow tomatoes as well.  We are having normal dinners and then for dessert, I had 2 Medjool dates.
Oh and FYI I’m not giving up coffee in case anyone is wondering.  I do however only use one packet of Truvia, 1 TBSP of creamer and 1 TBSP of sugar free Torani syrup in my coffee.
We’ll be making juice again tomorrow morning. Yum! I think I want to whip up some apple juice for when the sweet tooth kicks in.
I also got my walk in this morning before the rain.  It was only a 23 min walk but part of it was a HUGE hill that had my calves & lungs screaming.
How did your day go?

Happy June: My Goals

I can’t believe it’s already June!  I’m not complaining because that means vacations are coming up.  And we cannot wait!
This month would normally be my annual Better Healthy Living challenge but I have moved that to July due to some other commitments.  I posted about that here.
I have a few goals for this month though.  I am going to try juice/make smoothies for breakfast and lunches and then have healthy dinners. When we go on vacation I will not be juicing.
I’m big on dessert and want to cut that down/out too. So I’ll be having sweet homemade juices, fruit like strawberries, raspberries, etc. or Medjool dates.
My goal is to move every day as well.  At this time, I can only walk and ride the recumbent bike but hey at least it’s something.
Today, June 1st got off to a great start.  We juiced for breakfast and lunch plus made a juice for dessert.  We also had a healthy dinner of grilled fish and veggies. So.so.tasty after juicing all day.
We also took a 45 minute walk early this afternoon which was really nice.  My Ryka shoes did well although I think I really should get some walking shoes.
I don’t know that I could ever do a juice fast because I get irritated easily lol but the goal for me personally is to clean out the system a bit and make healthier choices. We are going to make up our own juices and thanks to Pinterest I have found a lot of ideas and other juice/smoothie options.
I look forward to seeing what June has in store.
Have you set your goals for June? Please share!

2014 Better Healthy Living Challenge Update

For the past 3 years I have done the Better Healthy Living Challenge in June. This year, I need to change it to July due to personal and business commitments.
I would love to partner up with someone for this next challenge so if you are interested, let me know. The goal of the challenge is to commit to making positive changes throughout the entire month of July.
For those who need to get back on track and/or who travel a lot, it’s going to be perfect.  This challenge is for everyone from beginners to advanced. We’ll all go at our own pace but have the awesome support of others.
I’m looking for challenge sponsors and prize donations again and I’ll be reaching out to those of you who have donated in the past.  I truly appreciate all of you and look forward to a successful healthy living challenge.
Mark your calendars and get ready for another fun challenge! And don’t forget we’ll be using the #BHLchallenge hashtag on Twitter.
Have you participated in this challenge in the past?  Got any suggestions?  I am totally open to feedback.
Speaking of challenges, I have some personal challenges I’m setting for myself in June. I’ll share that in my June goal post.