Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Weigh-in and Week Ahead

Hello, hello!  This last week was awesome - lots of new friends/clients and some really neat experiences!

If you missed any of the blog posts, here's your recap:

Tuesday: Recipe - Lean & Green approved: Stuffed Bell Peppers 
Wednesday: Health Tip - Is Food Your Addiction?
Thursday: Recipe - The Veg Butt (seriously - make this!)
Saturday: Health Tip - The Importance of Exercise
Sunday: Great family day!

After a busy week with some great workouts, here are my numbers:

Last week: 181
This week: 180 

One pound down, but boy do I feel AWESOME!  I have been weight training (toning) and exercising consistently and the closer I get to my goal range, the more things will slow down as I incorporate more exercise into my active lifestyle.  I love the way I feel and I SO enjoy the workouts with Mr. hour of my day!

Here's what we have in store for you this week on the blog:

Tuesday: Recipe - Teriyaki Chicken with Tofu Noodles & Veggies
Wednesday: Your Health - Steph's "numbers" and Obesity Trends in America
Thursday: Recipe - Luscious Lobster and Veggies
Friday: Family Fun Weekly Recap
Saturday: Health Tip - Fitness
Sunday: TBA

Saturday, February 25, 2012

To Exercise OR Not To Exercise.... That Is The Question?

A lot of people ask me the question, “How does exercise or fitness fit into your health program?” The answer in short, IT IS ESSENTIAL! In order to achieve optimal health, you have to move your body! Now that doesn’t mean you need to train like Lance Armstrong or the Williams sisters, but getting 20 minutes 4 to 5 times per week can make a huge difference in your life.
If you've been looking for the motivation to get moving or get back into working out regularly, here are 10 fitness facts that may help to inspire you to get off the couch and take the kids (or dog) for a walk.

1. Exercise Boosts Brainpower
Not only does exercise improve your body, it helps your mental function as well. Exercise increases energy levels and serotonin in the brain, which leads to improved mental clarity. And as you can probably guess, makes for a more productive day.
It is clear that those who are active and who exercise are much more productive at work. Improved productivity not only makes you a better worker, it makes things better for everyone in the workplace. Companies with less wasted work hours and less sick time end up with lower health care costs -- and an improved bottom line (not to mention an improved bottom end!).

2. Movement Melts Away Stress

As much as it may stress you out just to think about exercising, once you actually start working out, you'll experience less stress in every part of your life. Exercise produces a relaxation response that serves as a positive distraction. It also helps elevate your mood and keep depression at bay.
You're not the only person who will benefit from more happiness and less stress in your life. When you're less stressed, you're less irritable -- and that could improve relationships with your spouse, kids, and co-workers. I am living proof that this principle WORKS! 

3. Exercise Gives You Energy
You might be surprised at how, say, popping in a workout tape for 20 minutes in the morning can change your whole day. When endorphins are released into your bloodstream during exercise, you feel much more energized the rest of the day.

And when you improve your strength and stamina, it's easier to accomplish everyday tasks like carrying groceries and climbing stairs. This also helps you feel more energetic over the course of the day. Hehe.. you said.. endorphins!

4. It's Not That Hard to Find Time for Fitness

The key is to use your time more wisely. Think about killing two birds with one stone.
Take your kids to the park or ride bikes together, and you're getting physical activity while enjoying family time. Beyond that, go for a hike, take the kids swimming, or play hide-and-seek, tag, softball, or horseshoes in the backyard.
At work, schedule a meeting on the jogging track or on the golf course. GOLF, did someone say golf?  Squirrel!

5. Fitness Can Help Build Relationships

Think of what exercising with a partner can do for a relationship, whether it's with a spouse, a sibling, or a friend you used to go to lunch with once a week. Not only that, but exercise is always more fun when there's someone to do it with. Make a plan to walk with your spouse after dinner every night. Meet your sister or that friend for tennis or an aerobics class instead of lunch. Besides, people who have exercise partners stay with their programs and reach their goals more often than those who try to go it alone.
"For long-term weight loss, you need to have social support," again, gotta love those health coaches!


6. Exercise Helps Ward Off Disease

Research has shown that exercise can slow or help prevent heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis (bone loss), and loss of muscle mass. It also helps ease some aspects of the aging process.
Because exercise strengthens the muscles and joints, it is going to reduce your odds of having some of those “aches and pains” and problems most adults have, mostly because of the inactive lives they lead.
Provided you don't overdo it, exercise can even boost immune function -- so you spend less time down with a cold or flu. Who wouldn't want that?

7. Fitness Pumps Up Your Heart

Not only does exercise help fight disease, but it creates a stronger heart -- the most important muscle in the body. That helps makes exercise -- and the activities of daily life -- feel easier. Ahhhhhh!
Your heart and cardiovascular system will function more effectively and your heart will build up less plaque. It will become a more efficient pump. When the heart becomes stronger, it pumps more blood per beat; so at rest your heart rate is lower & It's not going to have to beat as fast to expend the same amount of effort.
Within only a couple days after you start exercising, the body readily adapts to the stimulus it's getting and it becomes easier. You will feel less fatigue. It will not take as much effort when it comes to breathing. You shouldn't have as much pain or soreness. NO MORE BEN-GAY!

8. Exercise Lets You Eat More

Pound for pound, muscle burns more calories at rest than body fat. So the more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate. And…… of course, you also burn calories while you're actually exercising.
All this means is that "cheating" with a healthy treat once in a while isn't going to take you back 10 steps. Can you eat anything you want, whenever you want? NO! But when you are at a healthy weight, you can afford to enjoy some of the things you really like. You can better get away with those things in moderation than you can when you're not working out.


9. Exercise Boosts Performance

After a few weeks of consistent exercise, you may feel your clothes fitting differently and see that your muscle tone has improved.
You may also notice your newly pumped-up muscles in other ways, especially if you're a recreational golfer or tennis player, or like a friendly game of pick-up basketball. Exercising consistently will strengthen your muscles, increase flexibility, and improve your overall performance.

10. Exercise Can Help You Lose Weight & Feel Great

Weight loss is the reason many people exercise in the first place, but it's certainly not the sole benefit of an exercise program. Really, you should think about the level of functioning in the activities of daily living. That can serve as the motivation to keep you going back for more.
So whatever weight loss goal you have when starting a fitness program, don't make it your only goal. Strive to feel better, to have more energy, to be less stressed. Notice the small things that exercise does for you quickly, rather than getting hung up on the narrow goal of the number on a scale.
With a goal of losing weight and enhancing health, exercise has to become a part of a person's life, not just an afterthought.

Okay Forrest, hit the ground running!

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Feliz Cumpleaños Christopher!

Our eldest child - the one who made parents out of us (and we a guinea pig of him), turned 11 today!  I can't believe I have an 11 year old!  
So in honor of Christopher, here are some (11 not counting the duplicates!) of my favorite pictures of him from this past year:
First day of school in Florence!  It was awesome, just seconds before I snapped these pictures, "someone" locked my keys in the car (along with all the backpacks & lunches) was a rad way to start the school year.

Me and my big guy on a field trip at the beginning of the year. 

Best zombie EVER! 

Daddy passing the Christmas-tree-cutting-torch (er, saw) down to Christopher for the first time. 
Does he look a little scared?  

If you haven't already noticed by the recurring sweatshirt, guess who his favorite college sports team is? 


He is always so good with his little brother.  I'm so glad they have each other. 

His heart broke when Payton had to be hospitalized again.

My smiley boy on a hot, summer day!

Hanging with cousins at Ollie's pirate party!

Way back in March - a quick shot after his basketball game - look how much he thinned out this year!  Crazy!

Happy Birthday, Buddy!  We love you!  May your next 11 years give you much fulfillment and joy (& us, fewer gray hairs)!

You can read about Christopher's crazy-awful-amazing birth story HERE.  

And his birthday last year HERE.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


When I was a poor and lowly college student, I lived with a wonderful couple on their llama ranch.  It was my dream job - working at the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine (Camelid Research) and living with Marc & Nancy on their ranch.  I have SO many stories to tell!  Every Friday night was date night for them and they would go to a few different restaurants (rotating through their favorites), one of which was Burton's.  It was located in downtown Corvallis on 3rd St.  Sadly, Burton's closed its doors a couple years ago, but it still lives on in my memory!

So I would hear about this restaurant and Nancy's favorite sandwich: Cucumber Croissant Sandwich.  The first time we went there for lunch, that's what I had - it was fabulous.  The original recipe consisted of cucumbers, avocado, sprouts, cream cheese, tomato, carrots and sliced almonds on a croissant.  Yummo - but the croissant was a deal-breaker, so I changed it up a bit for the kidlets...

And Mr. Charming gave it a new name: The Veg Butt (what kid won't love that?!)
Gooood stuff: Whole wheat bread, cucumber, carrot, avocado, tomato, sprouts, cream cheese, almond butter

Spread cream cheese on one slice of bread.

Lay cucumber slices on cream cheese. 

Then avocado slices... 

and carrots... 

then sprouts... 

and finally, tomato. 

Spread almond butter on the other slice of bread. 

Put your Veg Butt together! 

Slice in half (or quarters, or make fun shapes with cookie cutters) 
Isn't that lovely?  Look at all of that yummy goodness just waiting for you to sink your teeth into it!

Yep, I'll take one of those!

We served these for the kids in quarter cuts (1/2 sandwich) with sliced bananas and yogurt.  They went bananas! hehe

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The Veg Butt
Serving size: a whole lot! 
Whole Wheat Bread as needed
1 Cucumber, peeled and sliced thin
1 Carrot, shredded
1 small bunch Alfalfa Sprouts
1 Avocado, sliced thin
1 Tomato, sliced thin
Neufchatel Cream Cheese for spreading
Almond Butter for spreading
Salt and Pepper to taste

Spread 1 tsp almond butter on one slice of bread and 1 tsp cream cheese on the other.  Layer veggies on cream cheese side in this order: cucumber, avocado, carrot, sprout, tomato, salt & pepper, then almond-buttered bread!  It's THAT easy!

Slice sandwich in half and serve with fresh fruit - or fruit and yogurt!  These are really yummy and SUPER customizeable!  Some kids don't like sprouts, others want extra tomato, one doesn't like almond butter, so we use peanut butter, etc.  And it gives you an opportunity to try out other veggies on your kidlets - we cut these into fun shapes (or just tiny triangles) & it makes it even more fun!  

Try these - change it up and report back!  I love hearing how our recipes are being used (and changed) - good for you!  Make it your own! ;o)

Nutritional Information HERE. *this is for 1/2 of a sandwich (the big kids can eat a whole one)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lean and Green Meal Ideas: Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed peppers are one of my favorite dishes.  Both Mr. Charming and I grew up eating them with ground beef, white rice and ketchup!  Yummy, but a tad high on the glycemic index, so we decided to come up with our own Lean and Green approved recipe!  Please try these - they're fabulous!

The goodies:
I forgot to put the garlic in the picture...but don't forget the garlic!!  I also forgot that we added a scant teaspoon of Chili Garlic Sauce (also not picture)...I'm on a roll here!

Chop up your tofu noodles (we're going to pretend they're the "rice") 

Put the ground beef, red onion, garlic, garlic chili sauce in a bowl

Add the egg and salsa... 

Then your spinach and tofu noodles... 

And have fun!  Smasherate your mixture until well incorporated

Remove the tops and seeds of your bell peppers and clean them well. 

Stuff each bell pepper with the meat/noodle mixture 

Pop in preheated oven and bake for 30 min (or until beef is properly cooked) 

Removed and place on plate: 
Now that is a thing of beauty!

Top with salsa if desired 
Sink your teeth in and enjoy!  These are so flavorful and satisfying!

Now go make your grocery list and make this dish this week!  You'll be so glad you did.  If you make variations, I would love to hear about them!

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Stuffed Bell Peppers
3 large Bell Peppers (yellow and red work well)
8 oz Lean Ground Beef 97/3
8 oz Tofu Noodles, chopped
1/2 cup Spinach, chopped
1 large egg
1/4 cup Red Onion, diced
1/4 cup Salsa (can put some on top as well)
1 tsp Garlic, pressed

Preheat oven to 350°

Mix all ingredients, accept bell peppers, in a large bowl until well combined.  Stuff mixture into clean, seeded bell peppers with tops removed (see above).  Bake for 30 minutes, or until beef is completely cooked.  

Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve warm.  Top with salsa if desired.  Enjoy!!

Nutritional Information HERE.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Weigh-in and the Week Ahead

Gooooood Monday all!  I'm back from a FABULOUS weekend in Vegas!  What an amazing experience to be surrounded by people who are healthy-minded and give so freely of their time to help others!  I've said it before and I'll say it again: I LOVE WHAT I DO!!


I will be recapping some of the incredible things I learned in the next week or so - stay tuned!

I have to say, the only downside to Vegas was the water - YUCK!  I am so spoiled to live in Oregon and have such fabulous drinking water at my disposal 24/7!  I spent a fortune on bottled water during my stay there (a local warned us not to drink the water)!  But aside from that, it was pretty awesome!

If you missed it, here's what we were up to last week:

Wednesday: Recipe - EPIC Health Muffins
Thursday: Health Tip - #1 Weight Loss Secret
Friday: It's a vlog! - (no, I'm NOT pregnant!)
Saturday: Vlog - Visualization and Red light/Green light thinking
Sunday: Came home from Vegas and spent lots of time with the ones I love most!!

Ok, back to today!  I was looking forward to my weigh-in.  I didn't have a great loss last week (1/2 lb), so I was pretty sure good things would happen this week:

Last week: 184
This week: 181 


I'll take a 3 lb weight loss any week! ;o)

Looking ahead to this week on the blog:

Monday: Weigh-in
Tuesday: Recipe - Stuffed Bell Peppers
Wednesday: You Health
Thursday: Healthy Eating - (my kid's favorite sandwich) The Veg Butt
Friday: Family Weekly Recap
Saturday: Health Tip
Sunday: TBA

So just for fun I thought I would share this video with you all.  I came across it while uploading my vlogs to my youtube account.  This was me (and my glorious friend, Sarah) at about 285 lbs (still 30 lbs lighter than my heaviest)! Crazy to see this!!  Hooray for feeling good - it makes me sad to see my former self in video.  I remember this night vividly: Payton was just a newborn (maybe 3 months old?) and I had NOTHING to wear for the part of Glinda, so my sweet friend, Katie  wrapped her sari around me (it's gorgeous, but it just looks like drapes on me!).  I was so self conscious.  It's hard to think about feeling miserable for that long and knowing what it feels like now to be free of the food addiction and able to control how I live my life and fully ENJOY it - I only wish I had found this program sooner!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Vegas Training Vlog

Oh my gosh you guys!  This weekend has been so amazing!  I've learned a TON and feel so inspired for where I need to be with my health program and where I want to take my business.  I need to get home and decompress, then I'll go through my notes and share some great stuff from this conference!

Kim introducing Mike Dooley - sooooo amazing!

Me and Kim - she's such an incredible leader! 

Mike and Kim (receiving her roses) 

Mike and I 

My duds - it's all about the salmon...and the bling (j/k - they were like a buck!) 
But I love the yellow nail polish!

We walked around the strip late last night - one word: CRAZY!  This place is so dirty!!  Yikes! 
Aimee and I

And then Jack Sparrow took me hostage! 
He was harmless - my ransom was only $1 - wait, does that mean I'm cheap?

I've had such a great time and needed to share a little snippet from our training today!  Thanks for watching!

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