Do you put kale and spinach in your fruit smoothies? It’s a great way to sneak another vegetable — you need at least five fruits and veggies a day — into your diet. In my book, you’ll find a bunch of secrets to veggie loading, sly ways to get more of those fresh, colorful fiber-rich, cancer-fighting, heart-healthy wonders into your meals without you even noticing them. Here’s five:
- Vibrant Living clients LOVE the ease of serving their entrees on a bed of fresh spinach. No extra cooking or cleanup. The heat of sautéed chicken softens the greens a bit — and your consumption of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients spikes with this simple addition to your plate.
- My “Sloppy Mollys” are full of nutrients, slipping sweet potatoes, butternut squash, red pepper and celery into a ground turkey and tomato sauce and served on a bun. (The recipe is in my new book Vibrant Living.) Get your kids and your spouse into the kitchen with you to chop and puree. Give them the “secrets” of caring for their bodies with vegetable-laden cooking.
- Deviled eggs become Angel Eggs when you lightly steam and then puree cauliflower and add it to the yolks and mayonnaise. (This one’s in Vibrant Living, too!)
- Try a veggie-laden cocktail. It’s so exciting to see chefs exploring all the flavor profiles of fresh vegetables – and getting creative with vibrant vegetables. Here, check out the sugar snap peas creeping into new beverages. I flavor water with cucumbers and garnish it with celery and herbs, treating the H2O I treasure so much like a fancy night-out treat.
- Tired of raw carrots and ranch dip? Cook your carrots and reap five times the benefits over eating them raw. Carrots have a cell wall that locks in the beta-carotene and makes it more difficult for the body to absorb. Cooking helps to dissolve some of the cellulose, so you can better use the available beta-carotene. According to the Institute of Food Research, the body’s absorption of beta-carotene increases up to five times. Cook the carrots whole, then cut or mash them. According to recent research, cooking carrots before chopping preserves more of their nutrients.
I can’t wait to hear about the ways you marry these earthy delights with more of the dishes and treats in your life. The combinations are endless — and the body benefits are immense!
Your head is pounding. And that’s reason enough to bypass the gym and head home after work. But before you self-medicate with couch time and comfort food, consider this: Researchers at Stanford University say getting active and getting hydrated may chase your pain away.
Tension headaches are the most common form of headache adults get – a band of pain, tightness or pressure around the forehead or the back of the head and neck. They often occur in the middle of the day – just in time to sabotage your plan to walk with a colleague at lunch, or the date you made with your hubby.
But before you abstain, consider the gain of . . .
- Working off the tension. In Current Pain and Headache Reports, study author Nada Hindiyeh, M.D., recommends 20 minutes of brisk walking or cycling, which can trigger pain-relieving endorphins and send your head pounder packin’.
- Moderate aerobic workouts, which proved to deliver pain relief. Save the running or the high-intensity cardio-boxing for another day. You need some fresh air and
- Water, water, water. Dehydration is the surest way to prolong an ache, according to expert Dr. Hindiyeh. Combat stress headaches by filling up your water bottle and taking well-earned gulps of water throughout your day – and even more with aerobic activity.
Within a week of starting Vibrant Living’s 21-Day Action Plan, I so often hear from my clients that their headaches have gone away. It’s remarkable how dehydrated many of us are without knowing it – but headaches are a sure sign. Exercise and the escape Mother Nature provides, does wonders, too.
So, before you resign yourself to a headache and a “Not tonight, dear,” try an evening stroll and a big bottle of water. The effects may very well surprise you – and turn your evening around!
A hot and juicy hamburger is staring at you. Or it’s the time of day you usually succumb to the office candy dish. Or the time of the month when French Fries are a salty solace. How can you resist?!
Research tells us focusing on the finish line – on the positive payoffs of your healthy choices – will help you evade the temptations. Try to . . .
- Pause. That’s the first step. Before you respond to those crazy cravings for salt or sugar, stop! The key to Vibrant Living and healthy, intentional choices is taking a moment before you allow the hefty burger or the cheesecake to attach themselves to your thighs – or your arteries.
- Think. Just pause and ponder, “How will I look when I have dropped a dress size? How will my jeans fit? How will it feel to slide easily into my clothes?” According to study author Sonja Yokum,Ph.D., you’ll better stave off overeating with positive thoughts than with negative ones. So don’t shame yourself away, dream yourself away — from the burger, the candy and the fries. Picture yourself on a beach, comfortable in a bathing suit, with energy to walk end to end — or to join in a game of volleyball!
- Act. That’s the last step in the Vibrant Living mantra: Pause. Think. Act. With visions of a new and healthier you in mind, make different choices. Take 12 gulps of water. Remove yourself, go for a walk or call a supportive friend.
As you know, I’m big on making goals – on keeping a bucket list of dreams you can’t wait to fulfill. The roadmap you make for your life helps you stay away from the dark side – from the fast food drive-through and from the late night binges.
Keep the goal of abundant energy alive and dancing in your mind. Use your dreams and visions of a new and vibrant life to stop cravings in their tracks!
Prayer works! What a powerful notion, that of joining our voices in prayer today, in response to the news of enormous strife and grief around the world. Listen and take a moment today to pray for peace.
Prayer changes us, as much as it changes the world. It centers us, reminds us of what we have to be grateful for, and gets us outside of ourselves — to our true calling. In the face of enormous odds and obstacles, prayer can bring us to a new place — a place of hope, a place of peace.
Be with me in prayer today — so that we can turn our shields into plowshares. Feed the world a dose of hope and love. Go out and love one another . . . right now.
How can you cheer yourself on to vibrant health and weight loss?
New research suggests you’re better off with little prizes, every two pounds, every week of healthy dinners made, etc. Create excitement and interest that propels you to more action – rather than relying on big payoffs or the same rewards, over and over.
Break down intimidating tasks – like losing the baby weight you gained, oh, 10 years ago – into small, reward-worthy steps, including:
- Three pounds down? That calls for 3D Movie Tickets. Five pounds? A manicure for sure.
- Chalk up 100 miles of walking? Treat your toes to a massage or new shoes.
- After a week of avoiding processed foods and eating REAL, brighten your dinner table with fresh-cut blooms.
- 10 hours of volunteer time this month? It’s time to invite a friend to lunch and toast the contribution you’ve made to your community.
Many weight loss programs fail because they rely on sustained deprivation. With the balanced approach of Vibrant Living, you’re much less likely to feel deprived. Add in the excitement you can create with frequent little perks and prizes and you can feel indulged instead! You’ll be surprised what a difference a little treat can make — a beautiful candle, an emollient hand cream, or a few peonies on your nightstand. You’ve earned them!
Of course, looking good and feeling energetic is its own reward. But mustering motivation for a lifetime of vibrant living will come more easily — if you have bonuses to claim every step of the way.
Last year, Sheryl Sandberg, an author and the chief operating office of Facebook, asked women: What would you do in your life if you weren’t scared?
My question for you is different: What would you do in your life if you weren’t too tired?
In my work, I meet thousands of men and women each year who tell me that exhaustion prevents them from grasping many of their dreams. They have little energy to make better and healthier choices.
How do you overcome this cycle — the fatigue-fueled overeating and skipping of workouts that, over time, packs on pounds and exposes us to health risks like diabetes and heart disease? This Moxie Lady article shows you: The first steps are very simple. And the results in your energy levels are nearly immediate.
Walk into the kitchen and fill your water bottle. My clients see their biggest results from proper hydration. If you do nothing else, I tell them, if you are too busy or fatigued to workout or eat real, then drink 90 to 120 ounces of water today. Let me repeat, if you do nothing else, drink your water. Nearly 99 percent of Vibrant Living members experience dramatic improvements in energy and immediate relief from headaches and fatigue from the water alone.
Take the baby steps today. It’s a back-to-basics approach and the biggest pay-off is the surge in energy. You can become a force of nature, with a zest for life and health that will propel you to new and happier heights.
The last thing on your mind these days, dashing from work to the kids’ swim team practices, is dinner. But if you stock up on these 10 items, rest assured that your head won’t explode the next time a loved one asks, “What’s for dinner?”
Better yet, by stocking your fridge and pantry with REAL food – healthy and minimally processed items – you will give your family the fuel they need for high energy summer fun AND the tools for beating chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. We’ve created a grocery list pad that makes REAL food shopping easy! Try:
- Fish on the grill delivers Omega-3’s for your heart, mind and mood!
- A bed of spinach or kale for your entrée and instantly up the heart healthy mix.
- Olive oil drizzled on tomato and avocado slices, a combo designed to lower your cholesterol and amp your antioxidants.
Set yourself up this summer for Vibrant Living. (There’s an extensive healthy grocery list in my book!) Tools like this enable you to pause, think and act – the holy grail of thoughtfulness for your body. And they buy you time – to pause, savor and ENJOY your summer!
Are the shorts that fit you last summer feeling a little snug? Want to feel more confident in tank tops and sundresses? Drop pounds and lose inches with 24 simple calorie swaps.
In each of these swaps, REAL food reins, and you are encouraged to bypass processed and high-calorie junk. Make these trade outs and reap all the benefits of vibrant living and more abundant energy.
Being a cover girl on a magazine was not on my bucket list. But I believe all of us are called to a vibrant life on this planet. So it’s an honor for my kids and I to be featured on the cover and inside the April/May Faith and Fitness Magazine, sharing the ways we choose to honor the bodies God has given us, and to pursue a life of purpose helping others.
Every day, YOU have choices, too. Choose to…
- Cultivate a more faithful observance of your body as a vessel; fill it with water and real food so you overflow with energy for good works.
- Go outdoors! Get active. God’s bountiful, beautiful earth is a constant reminder of how much we are loved and cared for. Relish those gifts as you move your body.
- Get grateful. Say grace at every meal. Respond to God’s gifts with vibrant living: healthy hydration, eating, movement and volunteering.
There’s no sweeter gift than the gift of vibrant health. Cheer on your mom and all the women in your life as they make daily healthy choices! Get on the path of health with them in 10 easy ways:
- Walk with her. What do we love more than your company? Nothing! Take a stroll after dinner or join her on a morning walking workout—add in some squats or jumping jacks to get your heart rate up!
- Do weekend cutting and chopping. Set mom and your family up for healthy meals all week long by pitching in with produce prep work on Sunday. Sauté chicken, wash lettuce, and put individual portions of healthy snacks in baggies.
- Get out of your comfort zone – with her. Our bodies and brains need new challenges to stay zesty and vibrant. Sign yourselves up for dance lessons or a painting class – something she’s always wanted to try.
- Give fresh greens instead of flowers. Sign mom up for a weekly or monthly share of community supported agriculture (CSA) and offer her recipes to use up all the seasonal greens, fruits and vegetables.
- Say a prayer with her. Moms need other family members to be the spiritual leaders sometimes. Volunteer to say the blessing. Hold her hand!
- Get matching water bottles. Commit to each other to make water the beverage of choice. Fill yourselves with clean, clear water every day.
- Read to and with each other. Mom loved reading to you. Take one of your childhood favorites to a nearby school and offer to read to the children. Record the experience for mom or go do it together!
- Go device-free when you’re with her. What mom and girlfriends want, what her soul craves, is your attention and presence.
- Volunteer with her. Sign up to walk or work a 5k together. Or cook healthy food and deliver it to a homeless shelter. Your hearts will soar, living for others and doing it in tandem.
- Take her out . . . to a farmers’ market. It’s a lot cheaper than a restaurant brunch, but the buffet of fresh fruits and vegetables is right there, waiting for you. Fill her fridge with God’s colorful bounty.