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The Skinny On Shakes

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You know the trend.  You have seen it.  If not, you probably live under a rock.  Meal replacement shakes are everywhere.  You can buy them at the store, at the gym, or from your friend who sells them.  They come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors.  Some taste great while some not so much.  Some are affordable while others will rob you.  Below are my thoughts around meal replacement shakes:


Shakes for meal replacement and weight loss can be part of a healthy well rounded lifestyle.  These shakes offer calories, protein, and nutrients to keep your body working while cutting down on total calories.  But, be warned.  These drinks are not the end all be all.  Nor are they the magic bullet or should substitute you from eating real foods.

These shakes are exactly what they are named for.  They are meant to replace a meal.  They provide a full meal in a portable and easy to consume drink.  Most of them contain all the nutrients you need for a meal and help you lose some weight.

When looking to use meal replacement shakes, consider these “rules” (for lack of a better term).
-Replace ONLY ONE meal with your shake.  They are not supposed replace chewing.
-Choose shakes with high protein and low sugar
-Choose reputable brands.  If the shake seems to good to be true, it probably is.
-You still need to exercise to lose weight.  These shakes do not give you a free pass.
-Do your research.  Find your nutritional needs and make a plan to incorporate these drinks.

Bottom line, meal replacement shakes can be a fun, easy, and affordable strategy in your eight loss plan.  Do your homework.  Choose the best shake for you.  Drink these knowing they are part of your plan and not the only option.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve! 

Finish Strong

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You can’t go back and change the beginning.  But, you can start where you are and change the ending” -C.S. Lewis
“The person who starts the race is not the same as the person who finishes the race.”
-Unknown

I’ve been there so many times.  I have started something with glee.  I started a new workout plan, diet, or project. I am so excited at the onset.  I think to myse;f “I am goint to CRUSH this.”  For example, I recently signed up for a 10K charity run.  I was excited to start training and adding in more cardio.  I was confident that this would be a piece of cake. I ran a 10k before.   Heck, I ran a half marathon before! This would be a proverbial “walk in the park.”  I had a positive mindset and nothing was going to stop me from reaching my goal.

Or, was it? 3 weeks before the race, I started to train outside.  I quickly realized that I was not in the kind of shape I used to be.  I would get tired and pained quickly during my runs.  How was I supposed to run 6 miles?? My confidence and belief wavered.  You see, the deeper you go and continue to work, obstacles will almost always rear their ugly head.  Maybe you get tired. You get injured.  You get tempted and give in.  Is that the end?  Some would say so.  You failed. You “fell off track”.  It’s al l over once you hit a rut.

Or, is it?  You see, struggles and obstacles are part of the process.  They test your behaviors, discipline, and will to go on.  They make you want to turn back.  You feel like throwing in the towel.  But, These obstacles are just speed bumps. The glory lies in continuing on.   Working through and past obstacles.  Your spirit and will are stronger than the small obstacles in your way.  In the end, I did run that race.  I worked through the discomfort the whole way.  I committed to the process and took one step after another.  It was tough.  But, I knew there was an end to it.  As I reached the finish line, adrenaline kicked in.  I sprinted the last few hundred yards after an hour plus of running.

When you feel you are struggling, do not take the easy route.  Do not turn back or stop trying.  No, no, no.  Straighten yourself up. Proclaim that you will not be deterred.  These measly obstacles will not thwart you from reaching your goals.  Keep trying and pressing through your struggles.  You will come out stronger and smarter than ever before.  I promise.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve! 

Start Slow

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“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible”. -St. Francis of Assisi
“Start where you are. Use what you have.” Do what you can.-Adam Ashe


A few months back, I signed up for a charity race.  My company was sponsoring the event.  I had to work the vendor table before the race.  Naturally, I decided to run the race as well.  The problem was that I signed up for the 10K without a training plan!  Not the best strategy I assure you.  Even so, I began working toward running 6 miles.  At first, I ran on the treadmill for 10- 15 minutes.  After doing so for a week, I bumped up the time.  I ran for 20 minutes, 25 minutes, and so forth.  I worked up to 45 minutes comfortably on the treadmill after a few weeks.


Then, the weather finally improved enough for me to run outside.  I was stoked!  It had been close to a year since I have ran outside.  I was so confident I could pick it up quickly.  To my dismay, I STRUGGLED on that first run.  I had to stop at 3 minutes!  I eventually did a loop that took me 45 minutes while jogging and walking.  It was tough!  That run made me realize how different a jogging on treadmill and outside really are.

With 3 weeks before the race, I knew I was in trouble.  I was not prepared.  My endurance and weight was not where it should be to run 6 miles!  But, I did not want to turn back.  I did not want to shy away from the challenge.  So, I ran anyway.  Sufficed to say, I ran the race and finished.  I didn’t break any records to say the least.  Some lessons did come from this experience:
  1. Start any new goal/ venture/ change slowly
  2. Pace yourself and your progress
  3. Train with he same activity as your end goal/ event
  4. Work p to a goal
  5. Do not overwhelm yourself with a huge goal!!

Overall, the race was a great experience and I am glad I stuck to my guns and ran.  Next time, I plan to train more appropriately and seriously.  Have you ever set a goal and worked up to it?  Comment below! As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

Labels- Do’s and Don’ts (part 2)

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The nutrition facts label.  It’s like another language isn’t it?  So many words, numbers, and terms.  It can make your head spin!  Most of the time, people ignore this important tool.  They buy the food they like without even looking at this label.  They choose foods because of price, taste. or convenience.  Sometimes, they do not even realize what they are putting into their mouths!  Put simply, the nutrition facts label can be a helpful tool in your decision making.  It gives you valuable information on that food product.  You can make more informed and good decisions when reading these labels.  Here are some simple tips to make it easy deciding from a food label:
Don’t                                                                  
Blindly chose foods without reading their label
Think a package is 1 serving
Add salt or butter to salty or buttery foods
Choose foods high in sugar Choose foods high in fiber
Eat foods with long ingredient lists
Do
Choose foods lower in calories from fat
Eat the serving size on the package
Choose low salt and fat options
Choose foods high in fiber
Choose foods with short lists
The nutrition facts label can be a helpful tool when making healthy decisions.  It can be intimidating.  Start slow.  Practice with foods at home.  Decide if the food is helping or hurting you from the information included on the label.  You will catch on quickly.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve! 

Standing Firm Against Dietary Temptations!

Wonderful thoughts from Ellie! So often I get tempted and justify my behavior. “Just this once” or “It’s not a big deal”. Strengthen your faith, confidence, and belief that you can overcome temptations and make the best choices!

New Creations Ministries

“When tempted, no one is to say, “God is tempting me” For God cannot be tempted with evil, nor does he tempt anyone, but each one is tempted when by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.”  (James 1:13)

Let’s face it, Satan does NOT want us to succeed. If he sees a Christian or church growing closer to the Lord, he will influence them by throwing roadblocks, half-truths or unholy actions into their midst to disrupt their progress.

In the same way the devil will do anything in his power to steer the health- conscious away from reaching positive goals. He doesn’t want us to honor our earthly temples of the Holy Spirit!

And don’t be fooled, Satan isn’t the ugly red monster with horns and a pitchfork we see in cartoons. Satan is a beautiful, enticing creature – the George Clooney of the angels. He…

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