Boxing Gloves On…here, let me help you with that!

Because life is full of unknowns- why not pay it forward?
I post this today for my brother-in-law, who I’ve known as my brother, nearly my entire life…he is a strong man and a true fighter now living in forward motion!
You may have checked in a few weeks ago when I was blogging about my brother-in-law’s bike accident story ,and I wanted to give you an update on his condition.

Support comes in many forms

He has a very aggressive and horrible leukemia even by other patients’ standards of the crappy things that happen when you find out you have cancer. He has been fighting like a heavy weight boxer for several weeks now and continues to do so.  Cancer is survivable for so many folks nowadays! As he makes his way through all of the very aggressive treatments available, he will have a shot at full recovery with a ‘stem cell transplant’!  It’s not as invasive as a bone marrow transplant and requires only a monitored blood bank donation…please, check out the link below for more information, share the link below & spread the word!

Did you know that only 1 in every 595 anonymous donors actually matches for marrow or stem cell donation? This is life saving and it’s easy! Improving the odds is simply a matter of adding folks like you to the donor list!!  Again, this is a life saving, fairly simple procedure as far as life saving procedure’s go, so just check it out, think about it. If you help someone else put their boxing gloves on then their chances are so much better for winning their fight! Be The Match Registry – National Marrow Donor Program.
Official Site. Get More Information.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Yes, it’s true that muscle weighs more than free fat mass; however, most of us are not body builders with a 26 inch waist and 40 inch shoulder span of solid muscle. SO
if you teeter between low and moderate risk (aka “normal” and “overweight”) on the
BMI scale, you have to simply and honestly ask yourself one question: Could I
stand to lose 6-24 pounds in order to fall in that low risk range associated
with weight?

It is ironic how many people walk into a biometric measurement situation (doctor’s office, work-site health screening or at the gym) and think they are 2 inches taller
and 20 pounds thinner just because that’s where they were in high school.

If obtaining a BMI number in the “normal” or low risk range seems difficult to wrap your mind around because it has been so long since you
actually paid attention to your weight, try making some simple changes to your
diet and daily activity. Applying yourself to better lifestyle habits like
purposely choosing more vegetables and less cheese plus a 10 minute brisk walk daily will help you control your weight and live a better life in forward motion!

You can make better choices everyday…you can!

Interested in a nutrition & fitness combo routine? Try Insanity! It is an awesome workout and stress buster, many gyms are using it as their video fitness! Click Here!

The thing about Girl Scouts…

The thing about Girl Scouts is:

  • They’re really cute & it feels good to support the entrepreneurial spirit of a young sales woman in the making…
  • They’re cookie sales support ongoing activities that are gaining pace with the outdoor activities of the Boy Scouts who sell those similar popcorn treats…
  • The Girl Scout cookie boxes have fewer servings then they used to, really, this is good
  • AND the “serving sizes” are getting smaller too!
  • You can always donate a box back to the troop for them to sell which shows support and self control…

Remember, 3500 calories is a pound- the 2012 box of Thin Mints has 1,120 calories in the box-so, if you already have them in the house, bring them to the office, share the sweet spirit and move more in order to burn off those sweet cravings! Walking a mile in 15 minutes burns approximately 224 calories per a 150lbs of body weight in an hour…how many miles and hours do you have to put in to balance your sweet tooth? Step wisely in forward motion!

Be flexible In Forward Motion

So often my clients make excuses about their health based on something that happened and recently changed their “regular” routine.

“Oh, I broke my leg and haven’t worked out in 2 months” or “I just changed jobs and can’t fit ‘it’ in anymore.” Harder yet, I hear about caring for aging parents and sick children…these changes too soon become the new “routine” for people and will certainly add mental and physical stress! Stress adds to weight gain through sleep interruption in-turn leading to poor nutritional choices and self care if you are not aware of your own wellness when there is significant change. Wellness is 360 degrees of your life, take a few moments and regain perspective; remember, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it!

Anytime you have a condition or a situation that interrupts, or lays the foundation for interruption, lasting more than 2 weeks- you need to adjust yourself to stay on the positive side of your own wellness. After all, if you are breaking down while caring for an ill family member, then that presents a whole other set of problems to compensate for…

It is more important then ever, in the face of challenge or change to your “regular” routine (fitness, nutrition and balance), to find a way to recommit to yourself for your continued health and wellness maintenance. If there is a “change” to your life that lasts longer then 10 days-2 weeks and  takes you far from the opportunity to get to the gym or “shop & cook” the best foods, well, then it is actually your new wellness journey! Pivot and turn in the new direction remaining in forward motion! Keep your eye on the ultimate goal…maintaining your personal wellness for the best health you can achieve given the current circumstance.

Wellness is paramount in the face of uncertainty. You choose your journey to stay as well as you can…for your children, for your aging parents, for your spouse, for continued success in your career, etc.  Unless you are laid up in the hospital with an unforeseen challenge, you can seize the opportunity to be flexible. Remember, if you are not able to maintain your “gym” routine, put effort into staying active with 10 minute bursts of aerobic activities 3 times each day (Boom 10). Walk, do jumping jacks, practice deep breathing with long sustained stretching (there you go, 3-ten minute activities!) which can, at the very least, help maintain aerobic fitness and bust some stress, during times of significant change.

Finding yourself on the road more than usual make sure to grab fruit and hearty grain bars for the car because these are better nutritional choices then fast food or those awful gas station energy drinks! Continue to drink lots of water, staying hydrated adds a better sense of well being; it helps your skin by flushing out toxins released by stress hormones during changes that are tough. Plus recall some positive moments from your life that can bring you better perspective on your current challenge with a five-minute self reflection everyday.

Too often I hear about “falling off the wagon”; however, choosing wellness at all times is less of a wagon ride to fall off of! Plainly speaking, your feet are on the current road and when the road changes direction you shouldn’t be walking backwards- you have to stay in forward motion as you move into the next set of life’s journey. Making better choices often actually helps you stay as balanced as possible during the peak times of life change which are actually your current life-reality.

It’s been a long week

13 years ago my husband came home from work and asked me to “teach him” how to run. A strange request because he was truly one of the most explosive speed runners I knew; but he meant distance, and he meant “together”…so we talked about how to accomplish this challenge.

Typical of us, we jumped right in and decided to train for and run a marathon together! Something neither one of us had ever done before. We took up a great cause and began raising money for the The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society without really knowing much about the diseases, only that the group offered good support for new marathoners. We thought we could run the marathon in Hawaii and use it as a little get away; we raised more than $7,000 in just a few months with the help of family and friends, and learned a lot about challenge and perspective at the same time.

No one understands why things happen: Life is hard, but God is good. When you live in forward motion you are doing good things for the right reasons, even when you don’t know “why” you are doing-what-you’re-doing in that moment.

Reflection today leads me back to my thoughts during that first marathon training: I remember wanting to quit after the first 18-mile run. I also remember, quite vividly, the fact that we had committed to “The Team” which is what kept me from walking away at that point! Whining, injured thoughts: Ugg, I have to do this now!? Too many people have donated to the Cause in our name, and we have to cross that finish line. There were other challenges for us during that same time, career hurdles with an unexpected job change; it was stressful.

Official Logo

When we felt beat up by the situation, in addition to the extensive running with the balancing act of 2 young children and a job search; we were able to use the Team in Training to gain real perspective which helped us to dig deep for the greater good…we had our health and could continue for this purpose which we didn’t know would touch our lives so closely down the road.

Fast forward 13 years: My brother-in-law went for a bike ride last week and after falling off his bike, doctors found leukemia.

This week has been a long week, full of powerful prayer and support. Moving at the speed of light, the doctor’s currently have him in a full-swing, knockout blow on the disease…with his family by his side, prayers and support are flowing!

I am certain this was not what he had planned for this week at all and surely found himself not wanting to “do this” either. This is a marathon nobody chooses to run; digging deep is the only option. We know that he is using the strength he has gained in living a healthful life all along to hurdle this challenge and begin recovering as soon as he has this cancer in remission.

My husband and I never did make it to Hawaii; instead we simply ran a local marathon that had a finish line. 26.2 miles- injured, tired and drained, I still remember crossing that first finish line & thinking to myself: If this is a glimpse at what leukemia patients go through, then WOW, they are strong!

Ironically, as our family hunkered down in prayer this week, my 14-year-old looked at me and quietly said, “They (the specialists) know more about this disease then any other.”  A friend of hers from school has just spent a month in the hospital fighting leukemia too and is getting ready to make a triumphant return to class in the coming weeks.

Perspective: I hadn’t really thought about my connection to The Team until she so confidently said those words, and it brought some hot tears to my eyes as I realized that somehow we contributed to that knowledge through those donations years ago.

You don’t really need to know “why” you need to live your life in forward motion…you just need to commit to your values, commit to a strong spirit and do good things because they are good things to do for yourself and for others. Go Team! Go Brother!


Laughter is a great thing — that’s why we’ve all heard the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.” There is strong evidence that laughter can actually improve health and help fight disease.

My funny cat!

Laughter is the physiological respo­nse to humor by definition. Laughter consists of two parts — a set of gestures and the production of a sound. When we laugh, the brain pressures us to conduct both activities simultaneously. When we laugh heartily, changes occur in many parts of the body. Muscles tighten, organs shift and change, your arms and legs go haywire…it’s just a complete and crazy package of fun for your entire being!

­Cool fact: The physiological study of laughter has its own name — gelotology.

The average adult laughs 17 times each day! That’s good…do you laugh this much?

Laughter stimulates your organs and lightens the load of stress. It may not cure everything, but it sure does make the day seem more manageable. “Lighten Up” or “Lighten the Load” whatever it takes, find pleasure and let yourself giggle; it just feels good. Laughter is also contagious, like yawning! Have you ever played a good game of “HA”?

I laugh uncontrollably when I am very nervous…can’t help it. Stress reliever I guess.

Bla bla knowledge: Stress is tied to a release of hormones called cortisol which actually slow the metabolism down and lead to weight gain. Oftentimes, over a long periods of stress, too much of this hormone hangs around and causes weight as a result. Suppressing your appetite at first from stress, but then surging cortisol makes you hungrier then normal- most of the time we refer to this response as emotional eating.

Being social & laughing is a powerful stress reliever. The physical benefits of the laughter are truly great medicine. Hang out with a friend, be silly and tell jokes instead of swapping “Woe is me” stories, and I guarantee you’ll feel better then you have all day! Put it on the ‘to do list’: Make a date with 2 friends at the coffee shop and have each one show up with 3 new jokes to tell!

Let me know how it goes! Be happy in forward motion!

“I used to be 2 inches taller & 20 pounds thinner…”

Working at client health screening, I ran into a guy I knew many years ago…he was always a super tall and kind of skinny guy. He could eat like there was no tomorrow! He played high school and college ball, and was just an active, fun and kind guy to hang out with – you know the type.

Well, he approached me after the education program for his company and theoretically “put up his dukes” about the ‘physical report’ he received from the screening with regards to his weight.

I guess he may have thought that I would see him the same as I did all those years ago.

“This report says I am “overweight” (he smiled, although he was very serious)?! Look at me, I am in great shape!”

So I did take an honest, clinical look at him (I don’t care to ‘judge’ so I only do this when put on the spot – Not too  far off track but an obvious “beer belly”…holding extra weight around the middle.)

I smiled and said, “You were always tall and thin, but over time our metabolisms do change. You are not obese by any means, that
is not what the ‘overweight’ category is about. Let me ask you something, do you exercise regularly anymore?” (He shook his head no and gave a sideways smile like he knew what was coming)…”Could you stand to lose about 12-15 pounds because that would clearly drop you into the “low risk” or “normal weight” category?” He slugged me on the shoulder and said, “Yeah, I could… You’re right.”

Just for the record, being right is not the point! This guy had just sat through an educational program about weight and health risks, he is smart; yet, he still approached me take up the “BMI fight” which is not uncommon.

As we get older, not many of us want to admit that we have changed. Showing how time changes our bodies if we don’t work, at least a little bit, to keep controllable health risks in check is what health coaching in forward motion is all about!  So, check your BMI and remember each digit is just 6 pounds!  You have to work on it!Time changes physical appearance, so actually check your current height and weight before looking to calculate your risk .You wouldn’t believe how many people think they are 2 inches taller and 20 pounds thinner than they actually are because they haven’t checked since high school..

What would it take to move into a lower risk weight range? 6, 12, 18pounds? Just attack it one BMI digit at a time! You can!

Remember, muscle burns fat. Click Here! 

Lowering your cholesterol with these product swaps!

Yum!How about an opportunity to try something new at the dinner table? Many people begin with nutrition when they are putting better practices into place. I encourage a cholesterol
free diet or as low in added cholesterol as you can get! Less than 50mg of dietary cholesterol daily is considered ideal, so make little changes to simply drop your added cholesterol daily using a swap product like Quorn. In my house this is not a “religion”, so if we are at a party or out somewhere that does not have cholesterol free alternatives, we use the “less is more rule” and go with the flow. Focusing on plant based menu options with variety is not that hard to do, and since I have done enough research and product tasting, you don’t have to do anything but buy the best swaps you can find! These great alternatives are in the grocery stores now mostly found in the “organic” frozen section.

Quorn products are fabulous!
My kids like them (crazy, surprise!),
and I love to eat and cook with them. These are meatless and soy-free products
that are easy substitutes for meat in many family dinner recipes like tacos,
chili, casseroles and soups! The products are made from a plant based protein called
mycoprotein which is cholesterol-free, high in fiber and low in calories and sodium, plus it has all the amino acids an adult needs daily! Quorn products are prepared the same way as ground beef, chicken or turkey in many of your favorite recipes. Simple swap.

I cook like many busy people I know, fast and easy! So many of you know this type of preparation is born out of necessity for quick, nutritious family meals
due to the busy lives we are all leading. I try to make it a point to have a hot,
wholesome, nutritious meal on the stove at least 5-6 nights each week. It’s
easier for me to be a quick cook, a better use of my time then traveling and sitting in fast food lines, and obviously a better choice than those type of options anyway. My stock pot gets good use, and I feel good that I can put some awesome food on the table
with typical planning and shopping methods most days of the week. Great products like Quorn make this much easier!

The Chili Recipe pictured above & other good product suggestions:

Quorn Meatless crumbles, saute with ½ onion in 2 tbs. of olive oil

Add your favorite chili “packet” with extra red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and cup of
water Stir in Del Monte Diced Zesty Chili (1 can) tomatoes and 1 can regular store brand diced tomatoes

Stir in Bush’s Chili Beans (mild or hot, depends on your taste)

1-2 cups frozen corn (depends what you like)

Saute 15 minutes

Serve with jalapeno slices & fresh chopped cilantro

I serve this over Barilla Whole Grain Pasta with Veggie Crumble Cheddar (also available in the organic refrigerated section of the store). An additional fabulous side,
Marie Callender’s Original Cornbread! Typically I avoid Marie Callender foods, they are filled with fat and preservatives, but this one is good…just look at the ingredients.

Eat well tonight!!


New Page

In the spirit of forward motion and the desire to “open the door” for discussion of health risks, there has been a new page added to this blog about Body Weight. You will find information about Body Mass and Body Composition on this page. Beginning to understand the spirit of wellness in forward motion, there is a need to embrace the lifestyle health risks associated with higher body weight.  It is a very touchy subject to many people, but I often find that understanding our lifestyles will help us “own” the risks associated with them. Too much weight is directly linked as a major health risk associated with coronary diseases like Atherosclerosis and Type 2 Diabetes. We cannot help our age or our gender as risks, but we can control our lifestyle diet and activity levels so that these diseases do not have “early onset” symptoms.

We can break the barrier of embarrassment about weight through education as it relates to the risks and empowering others to regain control!

Super Bowl Prep: Try my favorite dip recipe!

Black Bean SalsaI love this so much I eat it as a cold soup

1 can Bush’s Black Beans (rinse before
adding, it cuts down on the sodium)

2 cups frozen corn (it will simply thaw out in the bowl)

1 can Ro-Tel Original or with Green Chilies

(Original or Spicy Hot, depends on your taste buds)

1 bunch of fresh Cilantro cleaned & chopped

Awesome Chip Choices! Serve with

Tostitos Artisan Recipe Black Bean Tortilla Chips    or

TostitosArtisan Recipe Fire Roasted Chipotle Chips

Whole pieces of washed Romaine Lettuce
& celery stacks for a veggie

Pre-Game Tip: Take a long walk before the party, this will burn calories early
and decrease any stress brought on by the game excitement. By exercising before
any big game you will have earned the right to enjoy some extra snacks during
the Super Bowl party and you will enjoy the excitement more because your total
stress will have been reduced by the exertion. Activity and exercise always helps
manage your blood pressure during the excitement of any good game or stressful

Enjoy the game!