Healthy, Happy, Whole Blogging Patrol

What Everyone Ought to Know About Counting Calories

Counting Calories!?!?!?!?

Should I eat 1200 or 1400? Perhaps 1800. NO, maybe 1000? Geesh!!! Perhaps I will just skip breakfast. Or, maybe try every other day fasting.

No, wait…how about a 2 week juice detox? That’s it! I’ll just starve myself for 2 weeks.

Or not…Oh my…I don’t have a clue!!!!

Is this you? Does this sound familiar?

Are you jumping all around trying to figure out what to eat, how much to eat or when to eat?There seems to be so many variables involved in being healthy that it can become overwhelming.

One of the most basic, common struggles is figuring out how much food is enough. And, I get it! Counting calories is confusing!

Consequently, many people follow the “If all else fails, I’ll just cut my calories” strategy.

But, under-eating can be just as detrimental to your weight loss goals as overeating. For instance, many cut their calories too low. The initial result is often favorable–quick weight loss. Then, suddenly, the weight loss stops and the scale refuses to move any further.

tweet-graphic-trans Tweet: “Under-eating can be just as detrimental to your weight loss goals as overeating.”

So, what do they do? They exercise more and/or begin to eat less, giving their bodies less and less of what it really needs and ultimately pushing them further away from their goals.

Bottom line: under-eating and overeating both adversely impact your weight loss goals.

The food we eat acts as the fuel to keep our motor running. If we don’t properly fuel the body, our body won’t have the fuel it needs to perform.

counting caloriescounting caloriesThink of 2 vehicles—one a small 2-seater and the second being a large SUV. They have two different engines, perform differently, and therefore require different amounts of fuel. If you expect to fill up the tank on the large SUV with the same amount of gas as you put in the 2-seater, you will be in trouble! The SUV will run out of gas and won’t be able to perform its job. It will stall.

The same with weight loss. Everyone’s body is different and requires a different amount of fuel based on make and model (size and performance). If you don’t properly fuel your body, your weight loss efforts will stall.

Here is a quick tip on counting calories to ensure that your body is getting the calories it needs:

For weight loss, consume 10-12 calories per pound of body weight. For weight maintenance, consume 12-14 calories per pound of body weight. For weight gain, consume 14-16 calories per pound of body weight.

To be even more precise, use this online tool for counting calorie needs:

Remember, your goal should be long-term sustainable weight loss. End the vicious cycle of miserable, depressing, frustrating dieting. Practice healthy habits that will help get you to long-term goals that won’t quickly elude you!




golden rules for nutrition

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Be bold. Be confident. Be unapologetic.

I was just having a conversation with someone, and they made a comment about a person that didn’t like me. I found it amusing and wasn’t in the least bit bothered. You see, many years ago, a wise person once told me that if everyone likes you, then you probably aren’t being your true, authentic self at all times. A few years back, I remember reading Joyce Meyer’s book, Approval Addiction (amazing read), and it helped me gain further clarity and wisdom on that subject. I also understand that “like spirits attract”. And, thus, a person whose spirit is in contrast to mine, may not like me. And, I’m ok with that. I can co-exist with that person without issue.

tweet-graphic-transTweet: A wise person once told me that if everyone likes you, then you probably aren’t being your true, authentic self at all times.

But, I know who I am. I consider myself a pretty self-aware person. I am smart, a bit bossy, somewhat controlling , relatable, friendly, outspoken, an extrovert with introvert tendencies (ambivert) and have trigger points that can cause my not-so-nice Gemini twin to come out (working on that). I can be guarded and reserved until I assess a situation. I am highly perceptive, which works against me sometimes. If I sense that something is off with a person or our relationship, then I set boundaries accordingly. I am a work in progress.

Do you know who you are? Are you confident and bold enough to own your strengths, your challenges, your mistakes and your successes? Do you let others determine your value and worth? Do you apologize for being you?

Don’t allow other people to shape you into the person they would have you become. Be you. Own it. Embrace it. Keep striving for greater. Be bold. Be confident. Be unapologetic.

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Are you good enough? 7 Best Strategies to Achieve Your Goals

Are you good enough?

Do you ever ask yourself that question? Do you look at others and all that they  have achieved and question your ability to do the same?  I have.  And, if I must admit, I still do from time to time.

I mean…look around us!  There are so many people achieving so many great things.  It’s so easy to get caught in the trap.  Watching them and their success can be discouraging…and daunting…and downright damaging.

Damaging to our egos.  Damaging to our confidence.  Damaging to our belief that we can and are equipped to achieve the same things in our lives.

So, we continue to play “small.” We go with the flow. We stay in our comfort zone.

Because that’s easier.  Easier than being disappointed.  Easier than letting down our loved ones.  Easier than working hard with no guarantees.

Because..after all, maybe we aren’t good enough.  Maybe “that” life wasn’t meant for us.  Maybe we are better off staying on the sidelines watching others achieve their goals in life, right?

Ha!  NOT!

I talk to so many women who second-guess their abilities.  They believe that there are ceilings and limitations in their life.  They don’t accept that great things are in store for them.

So, they constantly question their desires for growth.  They challenge the assertions that they can be great.  They doubt those who push them to strive for more.  All recipes for stagnation.  

Where there is stagnation, there is death.  Death to hope. Death to dreams. Death to the drive to want and achieve more.

Foremost, understanding and knowing that we are capable is key in achieving any of our goals.  So often we watch others excel in an area and allow their success to discourage our possibilities.

Repeat: So often we watch others excel in an area and allow their success to discourage our possibilities. We are looking so far up the road that we can’t focus on taking the small steps to get us to our goals.


Tweet: “So often we watch others excel in an area and allow their success to discourage our possibilities.”

I, too, deal with those struggles.  I constantly have to take a step back and focus on me.  I remind myself that we are all uniquely gifted and have the same opportunities to excel if we operate according to our passion and purpose.  Below are the 7 best strategies to achieve your goals that I use personally and professionally with clients to help them stay in their own lanes and keep their eyes connected to the prize.

Are you good enough?

  • Clarify your goals

You must get clear on what you want to achieve.  No generalities.  What specifically do you want to achieve?  

BAD GOAL = I want a new career.  

No. You need to get specific.  Good goals clarify the action, the timeframe, are realistic and can be measured.  

BETTER GOAL:  In the next 12 months I will begin a new career as a personal trainer at a local-gym working part time. 

That goal has lots of “meat” and can be broken down into smaller, actionable goals.

Are you good enough?

  • Understand your why

You must get clear on understanding why you want to achieve your goals.  There is so much power in your  “why.”  It’s the force that will keep you going on days when you want to give up.  

My personal why is very connected to my children. I want them to see how possible it is to achieve their dreams by my example. So, on days when I want to quit and go back to the comfort of my 9-5, I don’t.  My why empowers me to press forward.

Are you good enough?

Nombre 2.21

  • See the big picture

If you achieve your goal, what would your life look like?  How would it feel? Who would it impact? Imagine it.  What it would be like to really achieve that goal. Experience the “big” picture.

Are you good enough?

  • See the small picture

If you fail to achieve your goal, what would your life look like?  How would you feel?  Who would it impact? Imagine it.  What it would be like to move forward never achieving your goal.  Experience that “small” picture.

Are you good enough?

  • Break it all down

Break your larger goal into smaller goals.  From the example I gave earlier  “In the next 12 months I will begin a new career as a personal trainer at a local-gym working part time”, you would break the goal down into smaller parts.

  • In the next 14 days I will find an accountability partner or mentor to help me through completing this goal.
  • In the next 30 days I will research and register for a Personal Training Certification program.
  • In the next 60 days I will begin my certification program.

These are examples of breaking your goal down into smaller, actionable goals that you can monitor and measure through completion.

Are you good enough?

  • Measure your progress

Establish benchmarks where you can regularly check your progress. Set up a system of how you will track your progress and measure it towards meeting the overall goal.  Keep a list of the small things you accomplish that help push you toward your goals.  Set-up a “check-in” schedule where you assess your progress and celebrate your wins.  

Are you good enough?

  • Accept that you are human

Life won’t be perfect. Sometimes you will get off track.  Just pick up and get back to it!  You are human.  You will have super productive weeks.  And you will also have weeks where you only accomplish one or two things.  But, the key is to just keep moving.  Stay connected to your why.  Keep commitment to plan.  Celebrate your progress.  And know that you are capable of achieving great things in your life. 

You are good enough.

God has equipped us with what we need to get where we want (as it aligns with His will and our purpose).  And, He provides provision to allow us to fill the gaps in the areas where we lack.  Have faith. Work hard. Keep your eye on the prize.  And know that you too can achieve greatness in your life!

No more questioning are you good enough! Use these 7 best strategies to achieve your goals.

Ready to really stop playing small and become GREAT?


Are you good enough? 

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are you good enough?

The Step it Up Challenge

The Real Skinny on Getting Skinny

I beat my head against the wall for years as I struggled to find myself in this world glamorized by society’s standards of skinny. For years I was frustrated because society had defined skinny as a very specific type–and it wasn’t me.  It left me continually fighting to fit the mold of what I thought to be the acceptable body image. Let me just say it was a fixed fight that wasn’t stacked in my favor. Over and over again I found myself in a vicious cycle of dieting that left me in the defeat of repeat. #sighs

When I was on the downswing—the time when I was extremely committed to following some plan, product, or pill—I would fight hard—only to temporarily land at about a 34:29:38. But, after I’d abandon that magical plan, product, or pill and go back to normal life, I’d be right back closer to that 34:32:44.  Only, over time, that 34:32:44 crept up to 34:34:48. I was fat (in my head). I was frustrated. And I was confused.

As I look back, I think it’s really screwed up how society treats some of us—glorifying these images that leave many of us feeling less than, ashamed, and hiding in the shadow of others—believing that we don’t/can’t/won’t ever fit the mold of what society deems beautiful. Don’t get me wrong…I never thought I was ugly, but I just didn’t feel I was at my best. And, at the time, I was confused in figuring out what my best was.  The measuring stick society gave was funked up! I wish I could seek restitution.

Perhaps you don’t relate, but I certainly know many women who do. Those feelings leave some of us obsessed with losing weight—in the wrong way, for the wrong reason, chasing the wrong images. It. Is. Not. Fun.  In fact, it’s hard…really, really hard. We spend our time chasing a magic pill, product, or program that promises to change our life once and for all. And (yet again,) it never happens. Yep, that’s why the diet industry is a billion dollar industry.

Their goal is to entice us with the catchy headlines, the catchy images, and the catchy claims of instant weight lost.  Based on negative feelings about our body image, the diet industry won many over.  Goal accomplished; we are extremely enticed!  Now, I can lose 30lbs. like Kim K., my cellulite will miraculously disappear, my butt will become a picture of envy and my six-pack abs will look phenomenal in that two-piece bikini that I always wanted to wear.

[insert cough here] Please allow me to extend my hand and pull us back into reality.

The problem is… well, there are a few problems.  Let’s break them down…

  1. Defining Our Skinny vs. The Catchy Images.

We are bamboozled to believe that there is a such thing as the perfect body—and we chase it. That’s why products are created every day. That’s why cosmetic surgeons are wealthy. That’s why women are risking their lives to get cheap butt injections.

The truth of the matter is that we are all different.  We have different body types. We are genetically pre-disposed to a certain build.  With that being said, we are all Exquisitely UNIQUE!   And instead of allowing society to define our skinny, we have to look in the mirror and embrace the skin we are in. That doesn’t mean accepting being overweight and unfit, but it means educating ourselves to understand our body type and understand what our personal skinny looks like.

When I finally defined my personal skinny, everything changed. It’s like the heavens opened up. The pressure to live up to society’s standards were gone. I was able to finally “get it.”  I was finally able to “get me.”  I learned about my body type.  I was able to understand my body, how it responds to different macronutrients, and no longer live as a slave to food, the scale, diet quick-fixes OR SOCIETY’S STANDARDS!!

  1. The Truth vs. The Catchy Claims

There are so many products that make bold weight-loss claims. And perhaps, there is some truth to the claims. However, the problem is the misconception on the sustainability of those “said” results. Many of the products and programs that offer these amazing results don’t lead to long-term sustainable results. And, they don’t give you the blueprint to understand a.) why this program made me lose weight so quickly b.) what do I do next to keep the weight off.

The companies who are promoting these quick-fixes do not care about the aftermath of individuals getting looped into a vicious cycle of dieting. Unfortunately, they only care about the Green—the Money—the Almighty Dollar! But me, I remember the frustration, the embarrassment and becoming depressed because of the rollercoaster effect with my weight struggle.  I remember the highs I felt when I lost the weight. Nonetheless, I can still feel the sadness of the lows I experienced as I watched the weight creep back up.

The truth is that quick-fixes are like a shot of expresso.  They amp you up only to bring you down.  There is no bridge to take you to “the other side.”  And, that’s the key.   Click Here for the steps to long-term sustainable change!

  1. The Truth About Life

To really define your skinny, you must have a clear understanding of how to make it a lifestyle.  You see, if you shadowed the healthiest “skinny” people, they aren’t taking a product. It’s not about a pill. It’s not about working out twice a day—6 days a week. It’s about understanding how to make being healthy and defining your skinny a lifestyle. Learn how to make it a lifestyle!

They don’t obsess about every calorie, or every workout, or every new product or pill. Instead, they obsess about the long-term lifestyle. They learn about the mindset and the habits of being healthy and skinny. They learn about their bodies and what makes them tick.

You see, the real skinny on being skinny is not tied to the quick-fix. It is not tied to society’s fake standards on being skinny. It’s not tied to a magic potion. It’s tied to you—you taking ownership of your health. Defining your skinny and educating yourself is key—taking true control of your life. That’s what I’ve learned and I’ve stuck with it.  Trust me, it’s not always easy, but it’s doable!  I define me—on my terms. I took control of my life and I got my happy back. I Defined My Skinny™. And it is time for you to do the same!

Get your free copy of my “Define Your Skinny™’s 10 Golden Rules of Great Nutrition” today!

Get it here!

golden rules for nutrition

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Workout beast

Bring Out the Beast

Bring out the beast!  Ha!! “Everyone wants to be a beast…until it’s time to be a beast!”  We spend way too much time talking and not enough time acting.  We make declarations about what we want to achieve, but neglect to step outside of our comfort zone and do the work.  We’re too busy screaming—I am an overcomer, I am a beast, I am going to start my own business.  However, when it comes to actually putting in the work, we quickly change our minds and fall back into the convenience of our daily lives.

Why????  Some of us just don’t want to do it—too lazy and too comfortable.  It requires way too much effort to work that hard without a definitive guarantee.  So, they play it safe and choose not to rock the boat.  Others have a hard time truly imagining themselves able to achieve such amazing goals.  “Those kind of successes are not meant for everyone—especially not for me.”  “I’ll never be that skinny” or “my business couldn’t really grow to that magnitude, could it?”  They are constantly professing these thoughts, putting so much negative energy out into the universe that they are defeated before they even begin.

How does one change that?  Well, it begins and ends in the mind. If we fail to control what we think and believe, then we will continually fail to achieve.  I struggle weekly, sometimes daily about pushing forth in running my online business.  I mean, I have a career in a safe job where I have been for over 20 years.  It provides a pretty decent income.  I mean, by standards, I should be able to live a comfortable life.  But, I don’t believe that my calling is to be comfortable.Unknown

Tweet: If we fail to control what we think and believe, then we will continually fail to achieve.

So, I keep challenging myself. Even when it doesn’t feel good.  I’ve made it a practice to schedule three activities each week that make me feel uneasy.  And, I mean uneasy in that they push me outside of my comfort zone—making me face my inhibitions head on.  The more I do it, the easier it becomes.  So, my challenge for you today—schedule an activity on your calendar that makes you feel uncomfortable.  Push yourself and just do it. Don’t allow for excuses.

Remember, if you want to walk on water, you must step outside of the boat!

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Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal Fatigue: Is it Sapping the Life out of You?

I clearly recall a period in my life when my health and well-being were adversely impacted by adrenal fatigue.  The discovery and understanding of adrenal fatigue is what helped me get healthy and overcome this condition.  As my husband always says, “To be aware is to be alive!”  So, let’s talk about adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue is a syndrome that manifests as a result of the adrenal glands not functioning at an optimal level. The adrenal glands are endocrine glands whose purpose is to produce several hormones. These hormones are engaged in a number of key biological functions.  Two of these hormones in particular, adrenaline and cortisol, play a key role in reacting to the body’s fight or flight response.

Adrenaline and cortisol are vital in the body’s response to stress—physical, emotional or psychological.  They regulate bodily responses that allow you to cope with stress and maintain a level of homeostasis.  However, when your body is in a constant level of high-stress, the adrenal glands are not able to maintain the level of homeostasis because they cannot maintain an adequate level of production of these regulatory hormones.

This over-stimulation of the adrenals causes a diminishing effect of its performance, resulting in adrenal fatigue.  Although the adrenal glands do continue to function, they don’t perform at a high enough level to counteract the impact the high level of stress is causing on hormone production. Note:  The stress can be an intense stressful event (death of a loved one or other crisis) or it can be chronic stresses that continue and have a cumulative impact.

Below are common identifiable signs of adrenal fatigue.  Do you commonly feel any of the following conditions?

  • I am tired and lethargic for no cause.
  • I can barely get up in the morning, even when I am well-rested with an adequate amount of sleep.
  • I can barely maintain my energy level during the day.
  • I sometimes have a bout of energy in the late evening.
  • I have a hard time dealing with physical or emotional stress.
  • I feel rundown and have a lack of enthusiasm.
  • I crave salty and/or sugary foods.

You cannot look at a person and determine that they have adrenal fatigue.  In fact, when I had it, in many regards I operated in a state of “normalness.”  However, on the other hand, I was generally “not well”—possessing almost all of the symptoms above.  While I offer no medical advice in dealing with adrenal fatigue, I was able to manage mine by dealing with the stressors in my life.  If you would like more detailed information on this subject, below are a two resources (none of which substitute seeking professional medical advice):

REMEMBER, as my husband says, “To be aware is to be alive!”

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5 reasons to drink more water

5 Reasons to Drink More Water

We hear it all the time. We need to drink more water. We need water to survive. Although we can live for days without food, we cannot survive for a day without water. However, the benefits of water extend far beyond hydration. Let me explain a few reasons why drinking water is a great and inexpensive diet tip.

1. Water helps you eat less. This is pretty basic. When you drink more water, you tend to eat less. Why, because water helps to fill you up. Thus, many recommend drinking a glass of water before consuming any meal. Studies have also shown that it is difficult to distinguish being thirsty and being hungry. A common suggestion is to drink water and wait 20 to 30 minutes to determine if you are truly hungry.

2. Water hydrates without the extra calories. It does not contain fat, cholesterol, calories and is also low in sodium. It will ALWAYS be the better option than your soda or fruit juice.

3. Water helps your metabolism. Drinking plenty of water helps improve the functions of your kidneys and liver. With both of these organs in top shape (through hydration), your body’s ability to metabolize fat is increased, helping your body to lose weight.

4. Water helps keep your skin looking good. Foremost, it’s important to note that the skin is 64% water. When the body is dehydrated, the skin looks dry and wrinkled. Proper hydration can help restore the skin to a healthy state. Although there is no scientific proof that water helps remove wrinkles or other super-natural claims that many share, I am a firm believer that water, partnered with a good moisturizer, help lock in moisture to keep the skin in its best state.

5. Water helps maintain normal bowel function. Sufficient water and fiber is the perfect combination to improve bowel function. Water helps in pumping up the fiber, which acts like a vessel to keep your bowel functions flowing properly.

These are just a few of the many benefits of drinking water. In all, increasing your water intake helps you far beyond just hydration. Water is a great, inexpensive supplement to a healthy lifestyle.


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How to Perform the Perfect Squat

While a squat is commonly considered a leg exercise, it is actually a full body, compound workout that engages many muscle groups in the body. While mainly targeting the thighs and butt, squats also work on the hamstrings and lower back.

When it comes to a squat, the first thing that should come to mind is not the foot position nor wide stance, but the proper trunk position.

To do the perfect squat:

1. Stand with feet apart, about a shoulder-width distance. Knees should be bent slightly. Hips should be stacked over the knees, and knees over the ankles.

2. Roll your shoulders back and down away from your ears. At this point, it is important to keep a straight spine all throughout the movement. Allowing your back to curl -like the shape of a turtle’s shell- can cause unnecessary stress and pain on the lower back.

3. Stretch your arms out forward such that they are parallel with the ground, with palms facing down. If it’s more comfortable, you can pull your elbows close to your body, with palms facing each other and thumbs pointing up.

4. To start the exercise, inhale then unlock your hips, slightly bringing them backwards. Keep sending the hips backward as the knees begin to bend.

5. While the butt starts to stick out, keep your chest and shoulders in upright position, and your back straight. Head must still face forward with your eyes straight ahead and still keeping a neutral spine.

6. Engage your core (with your body weight on your heels), then explode back up to standing position by using your heels. Squeeze the glutes at the top of the movement.

7. I tell my clients to aim to squat butt to knee level, with good form and safety being the focus. Squatting onto a box until the butt gently taps it is a reminder to squat low. Go only as low as you can with keeping good form: chest up, eyes looking straight ahead, knees in-line with your ankles, and weight in your heels. Optimum depth of squat would mean sinking your hips below your knees.  However, this is an advanced movement that should only be performed while maintaining good form. In addition, you can add weight to your squat: dumbbells, weight bar, weight plates.  However, this is also an advanced movement that should only be executed when you can safely do so while maintaining proper form.

Squat safe. Squat low. And squat consistently. Before you know it, the results will begin to show.


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