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Get Better Results with This Checklist of Changes

Do you feel like you are in a rut? If you’re starting to feel lost then it’s time to get back to healthy basics and follow this checklist. Whenever you are falling off the wagon refer back to this list to help steer you back to healthy.  Sometimes all you need is a push.

  • Limit yourself to one coffee a day. Try switching to a less milky option, like a long black with a dash of milk. Or better yet try not drinking coffee at all!
  • Talking about drinking, swap every drink for a glass of water. Drinking more water is a great way to control unnecessary and unhealthy snacking and keep your body hydrated.
  • Create a positive affirmation just for you. Example for me is “I am fearless.” Does that sound like you! Write it down, say it aloud each day!
  • Take a walk! Even if you’re not feeling like going to the gym, take yourself for a walk — you’ll appreciate the fresh air and the calorie burn. Even in the heat!
  • Start weight lifting! Incorporating weights into your weekly workout rotation will help you get results faster. Many gyms have a free one time fitness training program to get you started. Weightlifting will help get you toned and help with weight loss.
  • Don’t fall for the diet fads.  The All fat diet, the no fat diet, the cabbage diet – WTH! They’ll derail your progress.
  • Add a superfood to every meal. Here is a link to 52 of the healthiest Superfoods J
  • Get your sleep! Everyone needs it!!
  • Keep electronics out of your room! If you need your phone in your room then switch it to night mode (or Night Shift mode, for those with an iPhone) to help with eye strain.
  • Make more time for you (you deserve it)!! Make sure you’re giving yourself time to do things for you. This can be a long luxurious bath, reading a good book, making lunch for tomorrow, exercising, and more!

Hope these help you become an even better version of yourself! Love yourself and get moving!

Review of Noom

When I saw the Facebook ad for this service I was excited to jump onboard.  They have a free 2 week trial period and it is built around having a coach, articles and a group of peers to commiserate with during the trials and tribulations of dieting and making the lifestyle changes needed to succeed.  J

The cost is $25 per month and they say it will take at least 16 weeks to succeed so they will bill you accordingly.

This portion is really interesting: ” After the free trial period ends, all fees and charges assessed are non-refundable. Your subscription will remain active until the end of your subscription period and no subsequent charges will be processed.” So it looks if you do not cancel before the free trial you are sticking with the program for the duration of the program

This app states that it provides you with articles that revolve around your “weight loss Demons.” Things like sugar cravings, social eating and drinking, and being active, and more

It also has a coach to help you through all of these steps, one you can talk with to help you along the way.

The group was my favorite part, as you can talk to them about anything, and get guidance from them, or commiserate with them on issues you are having.

So I signed up right away!

Here’s what’s happening so far…

To sign up you must first fill out a form to have a customized plan that’s fit for you!

First question is how much weight do you want to lose.

Second is your height and current weight.

Third question is your age group.

Fourth is gender.

Fifth question is “how healthy is your current lifestyle.”

  • My diet and activity need a lot of work
  • I have some healthy habits
  • I mostly eat well and stay active

Sixth is “Are you at risk of any of the following: heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, Osteoarthritis, kidney disease, Other or none.”

Seventh is “What’s your biggest Challenge with making healthy choices?”

  • Time — there’s never enough of it!
  • Temptations when I go out
  • I just need a little extra support
  • I don’t know where to begin…
  • All the conflicting advice out there

Eighth question “Which situations would likely trigger unhealthy habits for you? Choose all that apply.”

  • A stressful day at work or home
  • Parties or social events
  • Feeling angry, sad or lonely
  • Eating out at restaurants
  • Sweets in the break room
  • Walking down the aisles of the grocery store

Ninth Question is “What is the best way our course can help you?”

  • Help me balance all of my responsibilities and yet make my health a priority
  • Find a solution that sticks for the long-run
  • Learn how to navigate my environment — from making healthier choices when out to finding ways to cope with stress

After this question you build your plan!

When I signed up on Thursday, my week started Monday. There was articles and whatnot that I assumed that I was supposed to go through. It wasn’t very clear, if I should go back to just move forward.

The Articles I thought were to assist you with your specific issues, but I think it’s more generalized ones. I was given articles on trying to be more active, but in my questionnaire I told them that I was indeed pretty active already. Other articles were, risk factors of being overweight, complications of being overweight, etc. I am not really sure these articles are specific enough for me, bu t I am aure are great for others.

There are 2 coaches that you work with. One is your goal specialist, she works with you about once per week, and if you text her it does take a while to get a reply, usually on the day she said that she will chat with you next. You have a facilitator that is in your group chats and asked questions and tries to get the group engaged.

You also have a concierge to start you off, but I can’t seem to find her any longer.

My big to-do was about the group, I was so excited to commiserate with others about snacking and temptations, and again a big reason why I signed up, but my group is pretty quiet. I ask questions a lot and my facilitator takes them and asks the team to get input but they are fairly quiet.

I am not sure this is the right product for me, so I am trying to cancel the service before I get billed as it looks like I will not get a refund if this goes through.

Canceling I think will be harder than I thought. They have how-to’s but none of them work and they say to speak to the coach but she doesn’t answer the chats for a lengthy amount of time. I may be stuck, even though I have another week before my trial is up. I can keep you posted.

Has anyone else tried this app and how is it working for you? I had just high hopes for this to work.

Easy Things To Remember When Developing Yourself

The act of deciding to become a better person is a big step toward fulfilling your life. Everyone knows that there are ways to improve their lives whether it is coping better with day-to-day stresses or trying to improve your communications with your loved ones or colleagues. The fact that you are internalizing your actions is enough to pat yourself on the back because it proves that you have a good soul. Here are some ideas that might inspire you to act on your good intentions to improve yourself.

Keep studying personal development resources to identify new ideas, maintain focus and get inspiration. There are tons of books, tapes and videos out there to assist you in reaching your goals. By making a habit of reviewing these resources you can pick up new tips and tricks to make your own personal development routine more successful.

While going through the many emotional crisis that can occur in your life, some self help suggestions always help. Although, while trying to help yourself mentally, it is as important to take care of yourself physically. Healthy eating and exercise will leave you with many more positive thoughts than you had before doing such.

Become awake to your true personality. This is easier said than done, especially when friends, family and significant others depend on us being who they think we are or who they need us to be. Look beyond the “you” that you present, and find the deeper, real soul that lives in your spirit. Strive to bring new parts of that soul into the reality of your daily life, every day.

Things that may limit your personal development primarily stem from a negative state of mind. This inhibits your ability to become more and attain more as a human in regards to your career, finances, and your emotional and physical states. If you limit your beliefs and disregard all of the positive qualities about yourself, you will not be able to move forward with your development.

Stop thinking so much about yourself. That may seem counter-intuitive, but when you start paying attention to what you can do for others instead of worrying about yourself so much, good things can happen. The appreciation of others when you’ve done self-less acts is just icing on the cake and you’ll improve how you view yourself, too.

Always challenge yourself. If everything in life were easy, nobody would grow, improve or change. Challenges and adversity are the keys to growing as a person. Try doing something that you are afraid of. The feeling of confidence in yourself when you conquer your fears can push you to new heights.

A good self help tip to combat anxiety is to go to a small get together with friends. This is like a low key party, so you will be able to socialize and get comfortable around groups of people, but you should not get overwhelmed as there are not too many people there.

Be sure to get some exercise every day. Physical activity has been shown to improve mental health as well as physical well-being. Improving health in general is important to continued self-improvement. As the body begins to feel better, self-esteem improves, and life is just better!

If you suffer from anxiety and constant worrying, consider allocating a small portion of every day in which you can mull over your problems and concerns. Make a conscious effort to relegate anxieties and worrisome thoughts to this limited space, whether it is after work or during your daily trip to the gym. You will not be avoiding your problems, but you will be setting them aside so that they do not compromise your productivity and mental focus.

Improve your self-esteem by adopting a realistic body image. Models, actors and actresses make their living by looking good and devote all their time as well as their money to acquire an unrealistic “look.” What they cannot accomplish for themselves is obtained through professional makeup, airbrush, and cosmetic surgery. Don’t compare yourself to a false image. Remember, you are a real person!

While it might seem counterintuitive to growth you need to come to grips with the fact that you are small. In the great universal scheme of things, you are quite tiny and know very little. When you grasp this fact, it becomes easier to open your mind to learning and hearing (and accepting) other people’s beliefs.

Gratitude

Keep a gratitude journal. This is a great way for you to realize that your life isn’t as bad as you think it is. Come up with 10 things every day to feel thankful about and write them down. After a while, you won’t have to think so hard because you’ll begin to develop an “attitude of gratitude” that makes you appreciate your life.

When you are thankful for the blessings in your life and you let other people know it, you are giving a gift to those around you. People love to know that you appreciate what they’ve done for you, so be sure to express your gratitude, often. Not only will it make you them feel good, but you will feel good, too.

If you focus too much on what you want, then you create reasons for why you can not have what you want. This leads you to dwell on your weaknesses. Rather, focus on gratitude. Every day, you should focus on things that you are grateful for. This will give you a positive outlook on life.

Gratitude is a very important step to personal development. You must be thankful for each day as it comes. No matter if it was a terrible day, you should still show appreciation for the day that you did have because you have probably learned a valuable lesson that will benefit you in the future.

So now is the time to act on your inner-thoughts of self-improvement. You have decided that it is time to grow from within and the sooner you begin the journey to becoming a better version of yourself, the better you will feel and live life to it’s fullest. Open your eyes to a newer and brighter future.

Chocolate Lava Cake in the Slowcooker

OK, so this isn’t necessarily a “healthy” recipe but I love Chocolate, and cannot pass up an opportunity to try this out for a future pot luck (Making this on On Monday)

Chocolate Lava Cake
Serving of Chocolate Lava Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 package devil’s food cake mix (regular size)
  • 1-2/3 cups water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups cold 2% milk
  • 1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl combine the cake mix, water, eggs and canola oil. Beat on low speed for combine then on medium for about 2 minutes until well mixed. Add to a greased slow cooker.

In separate bowl whisk pudding mix and milk. Let set for approximately 2 minutes to it starts to set, then spoon this onto the cake mix.

chocolate lava cake prep

Sprinkle with Chocolate chips.

Cover and cook on high for 3 or 4 hours or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Serve Warm and Enjoy!

 

12 servings

Nutritional Facts

3/4 cup: 215 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated fat), 28mg cholesterol, 254mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (22g sugars, 2g fiber), 3g protein.

How To Avoid Unnecessary Stress

If you’ve ever been under stress, you know that uncomfortable feeling that comes along with it. That feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach comes along with stress every time. If you ever want to stop having that feeling, you’re going to have to learn to deal with stress. Here are a few ways to do that.

Try your hardest to keep your stress levels to a minimum. High stress levels are related to many health problems including cardiac problems, hypertension, ulcers, depression and even physical pain. Getting adequate sleep will minimize stress and can even reduce the possibility of getting sick.

Meditation can be a great way for you to relieve stress. Try meditating each night before you go to bed. Turn off anything around you, close your eyes, and clear out your mind. Don’t think about things you need to get done or problems that you need to solve. Just let your mind relax for a little while and focus on each breath. If your mind starts wondering, just bring it back to your breath. Shutting off your brain takes practice, but each practice session is working off your stress.

To help cut down on your stresses, just say no! If you try to do everything that is asked of you, it will quickly cause stress in your life. Set limits and be clear, you cannot please everyone all the time, so stop trying or your stress will continue.

A great tip that can help you keep your stress levels down is to stop procrastinating. If you have projects that need to be completed, you should make sure you finish them on time. Procrastinating might feel comfortable at first, but it will ultimately lead to a lot of stress.

Many people turn to drugs and alcohol to help them when they are feeling stressed. When the way someone feels about their life turns entirely negative, substance abuse offers an escape from the pain. Drugs, which include alcohol, are not a solution. Not only does partaking in these substances not help, they can make your life even more complicated – meaning they are not the solution to your problems with stress.

If you feel like you are chronically stressed out or upset than you should consider introducing exercise into your routine. Many people swear by running for stress relief but any kind of heavy exercise will help you to free your mind and will also increase your fitness level at the same time!

Although it seems unimaginable, cutting the stress out of your life is a goal you can achieve. The key to achieving this is making an effort to find out what actually causes stress when it occurs. If you learn your triggers or reasoning, you can adapt and find a solution at the root.

Try giving a friend a call when you’re feeling stressed out. Even if you don’t talk about what’s bothering you, just chatting with a friend for a little while can really relax you. It can rejuvenate you and give you the energy you need to tackle your problems with a clear head.

Spearmint oil is a good stress reliever. Anytime you feel stress settling in, put a bit on your neck and temples. Doing small things such as this can provide a great deal of improvement in your overall mood, so give it a chance!

A great way to help you fight stress is to substitute walking for driving whenever you can. Everyone knows that driving can be a highly stressful activity. You can bypass all of that by simply walking to where you need to go instead. You’ll feel much better and your stress will go down.

A great tip that can help you keep your stress levels down is to stop relying on your alarm clock to wake up in the morning. Waking up to an alarm clock can make you very stressed out. Learning to wake up naturally is a much better alternative to an alarm clock.

To deal with very stressful situations, it can really help to give yourself some distance. See if you can get away for a day or two and go somewhere calm so that you can think about the problem objectively. Being stuck in the thick of a situation makes it difficult to see what a disconnected observer might find obvious.

Make sure that you practice proper money management so that you do not find yourself in a hole when it comes time to pay your bills. Do not spend money on unnecessary items, which will leave you cutting it very close at the end of the month. Proper money management is important to reduce tension and pressures.

If in any way possible, take a short nap during the day when you are feeling stressed. If your body is exhausted, you are sure to feel more susceptible to stress. During sleep, your conscious mind will rest and your unconscious mind can find the solutions to the situations that are causing the stress.

Listening to music can help to reduce the amount of stress that you are feeling. When you feel stressed out, pop your favorite track on, and sit back and focus on the music. This will allow you to break from what you have been focusing on, or what had been stressing you out.

Work Stress

Since work can be such a major source of day-to-day stress, develop your own techniques in order to leave that work stress at the office and out of your home. Whether it’s stopping on the way home to hit a few golf balls, cranking up your favorite music on the radio, or calling a trusted friend or family member, coming up with a method to tackle stress from work will keep your job obligations from invading your home.

Use these tips as a starting point; use them to start dealing with stress in a way that is healthy and positive. By handling stress this way, you’ll be able to lessen the effect stress has on you, including that sinking feeling. Take control of yourself and stress will diminish.

May Challenge – Drink More Water!

Hello Everyone! For May’s challenge I wanted to do something a little differently. While this challenge is not exercised based, I still think it will be quite hard to complete!

drink water

Those who have documented their 30 day challenge noted that they were feeling a little nauseous if they drank too much at once(especially at first), and that their skin within the first few days began to break out due to the water pushing toxins out of their body. But by the second week they began to feel more energy and less bloated from drinking the water. Then on week 3 people actually had a craving for water, so consuming a gallon didn’t seem like a challenge at all.

The major takeaways from this challenge that I have read was, by many, that by the end their skin complexion had improved, they had more energy, and slept better at night. Some also stated that they experienced less headaches and weight loss due to filling up with water every day.

 

Drinking too much water? From Webmd.com-

“In rare cases, drinking an extreme amount in a short time can be dangerous. It can cause the level of salt, or sodium, in your blood to drop too low. That’s a condition called hyponatremia.It’s very serious, and can be fatal. You may hear it called water intoxication.

How much would you have to drink? An enormous amount. Gallons and gallons of water.”

So don’t go overboard!

Print out this list to help you meet your goals!

water challange 2

Need To Know About Time Management? Read This

 

Are there days in which you think that there are not enough hours in the day to complete everything that you need to do? If so, you are one of the millions of people who can no longer manage their time. Now you can change all that by reading and following the time management tips presented here.

If you’re packing a smartphone, investigate all of its abilities if you want to manage your time wisely. Most modern phones come pre-loaded with calendar and to-do list software which can make it much easier to keep track of your essential tasks. You can also download third-party apps designed especially for time management to boost your productivity even further.

Take about five minutes before your tasks and calls for deciding what results you wish to achieve. This can help you see success before you begin. It can also slow down some time. Try taking about five minutes after every activity and call to figure out if you achieved the desired outcome. If you didn’t, what did you miss? How can add the missing element to the next task?

Learn to let the little things go when you are overwhelmed by a busy day. People who tend to fuss over less important matters often lose their focus on the big picture, thus wasting precious time. Have your priorities straight and don’t allow small problems to get in the way of managing time efficiently.

A big reason that people cannot effectively manage their time is that they are not organized. Take some time and organize the files on your computer and in your office. So much time is wasted searching for things that are not in the right place. Every file and folder should have a place and be put in the right place every time.

If you have a task that you have been dreading, break it up into several sittings. If you work on the project for ten or fifteen minutes at a time, you can get through it much easier. You will not have to dwell on the stress and pain that you are going through while doing it.

Sometimes, people have problems with time management because they do not set a time limit on tasks they need to accomplish. Write down each task that needs to be finished on your daily schedule. Now, set a time when each task should be finished. As an example, if your have morning correspondence, then set 10am as the time all correspondence must be completed.

Look at your schedule. Are there nonessential tasks on it that you can get rid of? Are there things you can delegate to others to do in order to free up some time? Delegation is a great thing to do when trying to manage time. Let things go and you’ll have more time for your own tasks.

One of the most fundamental steps to better management of time is using a calendar. The type of calendar you use is totally up to you. Some people like to write activities on paper, so they buy some type of paper calendar. Others may choose to keep their calendar of events on their mobile phone or other portable devices.

 

Take on the toughest tasks first. Any task that takes up a lot of time should be done as soon as possible. This makes you feel less stressed when you do less urgent tasks. Finish this early so the rest of your day is a breeze.

The time you spend planning your day can help you keep yourself on time throughout it. Devote a few minutes each morning to mapping out your tasks and appointments, giving yourself at least 10 minutes between each. This helps to avoid rushing, and should help you to manage the total time you have to work in the day better.

A simple yet effective time management tip is to keep a detailed journal each day that includes all tasks performed and errands run, and how long each one took. Try to maintain this type of log, especially on your busiest days so that you have a good reference for future planning. In this way, you will be able to craft efficient schedules for yourself that do not waste valuable time.

Building flexibility into your schedule will really help you with time management. Leave a portion of every day open for unplanned activities. You can use this time to address new concerns that come up in the course of the day. By routing unexpected issues into this specific time, you’ll make the rest of your working day more productive.

Sometimes, time management problems arise because you do not say “no”. When you take on more than you can handle, of course you will not finish all of your tasks on time. When a new task is thrust upon you and you already have a full schedule, either give a firm “no” or defer the task to a later period of time.

The tips above gave you a great way to think about time management. Don’t be a person that can’t manage their time. Just use this advice to manage your time effectively day after day.