Monthly Archives: September 2011

*Motivation* From LiveStrong has some ideas to keep you on track. Click HERE for the full post. Read up and stick with the program! 🙂

Advice for Diet Motivation

Advice for Diet Motivation

Advice for Diet Motivation


Many people decide to lose weight but never quite reach their goals, or go back and forth gaining and losing. One common obstacle to weight loss is motivation. While short-term motivation is usually easy, long-term motivation to reach your weight loss goals can be more difficult. With the right goals and thought processes, it will be easier for you to reach your goal.

Positive Thinking

People who think about their bodies, their goals or themselves in a negative way have more difficulty sticking to a weight loss plan than those who think positively, Dr. Timothy McCall says in his book “Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing.” If you feel like you can never reach your goals, like you are a failure, or have other negative thoughts, you are likely to give up. Conversely, if you forgive yourself for small failures and feel good about your goals and your ability to achieve them, it will be easier to reach your goals.


Instead of making lofty, hard-to-reach goals, come up with realistic, attainable goals that work up to a larger goal. Jessica Matthews, for the American Council on Exercise, suggests coming up with weekly, monthly and long-term goals that you recurrently assess and change if they are not working. Also, make targeted goals. Instead of a vague goal like weight loss, think about how you will do it and what specific areas you want to work on. With specific, attainable goals, it is easier to succeed than it is to fail. You succeed in many small ways along the path to your ultimate weight, fitness level or other goal. This creates more positive feelings than if you couldn’t reach a goal that was too large or unattainable. Real weight loss takes time and you won’t be an instant success.


When rewarding yourself, Matthews writes that intrinsic motivation works better than extrinsic motivation for long-term success. Intrinsic motivation includes internal feelings of accomplishment for yourself and feeling good about yourself, whereas extrinsic motivation is more external to yourself, such as recognition from others for your hard work. To achieve intrinsic motivation, associate positive feelings with healthy eating and exercising, remind yourself of why you want to achieve your goal and remember that weight loss does not happen in an instant.

Buddy System

Some people can motivate themselves to lose and maintain weight, while others need some assistance and guidance from others. If you feel like you need someone to hold you accountable, find a friend who wants to lose weight with you. Don’t compare yourselves to each other, but focus on your own goals and needs. Use your buddy to keep you on track, help you exercise when you don’t feel like it and to vent to — and help her to do the same.

Read more:

*Breakfast* Baked Blueberry French Toast

From A Taste of Home

Baked Blueberry French Toast Recipe Baked Blueberry French Toast Recipe

Photo by: Taste of Home

12 Servings

  • Prep: 15 min. + marinating Bake: 50 min. + standing


  • 24 slices day-old French bread (1/2 inch thick)
  • 1 package (8 ounces) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, cubed
  • 2/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups egg substitute
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar


  • Place 12 slices of bread in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. In a blender or food processor, combine cream cheese, milk, sour cream, yogurt, syrup, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add egg substitute; cover and process until smooth.
  • Pour half of the egg mixture over bread; sprinkle with blueberries. Top with the remaining bread and egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  • Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 20-30 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Yield: 12 servings.

Editor’s Note: If using frozen blueberries, use without thawing to avoid discoloring the batter.

 Nutritional Analysis: One serving (2 slices) equals 228 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 14 mg cholesterol, 391 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 11 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fat-free milk, 1/2 fruit.

*Reminder* Don’t forget to report your weight!

I am going to be out of the office 9/22-9/30, returning on Monday, 10/3. While I’m out, please continue to report your weigh in results each Thursday. I will tally the results and post them as soon as possible once I’m back in the office (most likely Monday night, 10/3).

 You can report in the following ways while I’m out:

 1.) Email me your weight each Thursday

 2.) Leave a post-it with your initials and weight in the designated envelope on my desk (I’ll have one for each week)

 Also, we are approaching our halfway mark. Are you where you want to be? Here’s a little incentive:

 Halfway Contest!

 The top THREE losers for Week 6 will win a free lunch from the Cafe! (Thanks, Office Services!!!)

 So, what are you waiting for? Shake a leg! 🙂

*Recipe* Salmon and Asparagus

I found this one at…. Salmon is one of my favorite foods and it is super good for your heart!

Makes: 4 servings

Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 12 minutes


Views Nutrition Facts


  • 1  poundfresh asparagus spears, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1-1/2  teaspoonsextra virgin olive oil
  •   Course sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1  poundfresh or frozen salmon fillets with skin
  • 1  teaspoonfinely shredded lemon peel
  • 1  teaspoonsnipped fresh parsley


1. Place two (1 large and 1 medium) cast-iron skillets or oven-safe heavy skillets in a cold oven; heat oven to 450 degrees F. In a medium bowl combine asparagus and 1/2 teaspoon olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush the remaining1 teaspoon of olive oil on both sides of fish; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

2. Carefully remove hot skillets from oven. Place fish, skin side down, in the large skillet. Place asparagus in medium skillet. Return skillets to oven. Bake for 12 minutes, or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork and asparagus is crisp-tender.

3. To serve, sprinkle fish with lemon peel and parsley.

*Success Story* Tammy – Jillian Michaels

Have you heard of Jillian Michaels from the Biggest Loser? She has her own weight loss program, and apparently it’s working well for some people! Click HERE for her website.


Success Stories - Tammy
Tammy, Houma, Louisiana

Tammy has lost 142 pounds* and finally knows just how strong she is. Plus, as a Challenge winner, she received a training session with Jillian herself! 

I have been overweight my entire life, but the weight gain became noticeably more significant around fifth grade. My home life as a child was far from ideal. Although I didn’t realize what I was doing as a small child, I used food and my increased weight as a bandage and a form of protection.

The event that spurred me to make a major change was when my husband asked for a divorce in November 2007. I took the following month to really look at my life. I started by asking myself one simple question, “Are you happy?” I quickly realized that if I was honest with myself, the answer was no. I was only going through the motions. I had hit rock bottom, and was just so tired of being tired. I began by making a list of what I really wanted my life to look like. I wrote down everything that came to mind. Nothing was too big or too little. It included things like “Go back to college and finish my nursing degree,” “Dare to have my beautician cut my hair with a razor instead of scissors,” “Lose weight,” “Take a vacation just because I want to,” and “Tip a waiter/waitress $100 regardless of the price of the bill and make his/her day.” I carried that list around with me for the full month of December, and any time something came to mind, I’d grab a pen and add it to the list. At the end of the month, I looked at all the things I’d written on my list and reevaluated my life. I decided to start with two items: a large change and a small one. On January 5, I had my hair cut with a razor and I began my weight-loss journey.

I had never watched The Biggest Loser, but I’d heard of Jillian’s reputation and decided to give her online program a try. Once I’d joined and spent a few minutes browsing the site, I felt as though a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I had tried to lose weight on my own countless times throughout my life, but I’d always failed. Jillian’s approach made sense. Weight loss is a simple math equation: calories in, calories out. You had to burn more calories than you ate. Simple. Not easy, but simple.

When I first began my journey, I followed Jillian’s program pretty strictly. I worked out five days a week with, two rest days, used her circuit training from the site, and followed her suggested calorie limit — between 1200-1400 per day; I also kept a diary of my food intake each day. In addition, I used Jillian’s DVDs. In the beginning, I was ashamed of my size and very self-conscious about being in a gym with other people. I joined a 24-hour gym and would workout between midnight and 2 a.m. to increase my chances of being alone in the gym. After following this routine for four months, I decided to change to a gym that offered classes. I soon discovered that not only did I not care what other people thought (or whether they might be watching me), I actually enjoyed working out with people around. Their presence helps push me further in my workouts and keeps me moving when I’d rather stop. Today you’ll find me in the gym six days out of seven. I work with a trainer once a week and take strength-training, kickboxing, step, and cardio classes, and I’ve recently added running to my routine — I go out with a group of friends from the gym. I still use Jillian’s circuit-training routines from the site, as well as her DVDs, to enhance my workout.

The same day I began this journey, I joined a local weight-loss competition. I competed against 24 other people for a prize worth $2,500. I didn’t win the competition — I placed third behind two men — but the prize I won was far greater than any amount of money: I lost 45.5 pounds in 10 weeks. The competitiveness and having something to strive toward helped me remain focused in those beginning weeks. Then in April, it was announced that I was the winner of Jillian’s New Year Challenge, and I learned that Jillian would be coming to my home to spend the day with me and give me a one-on-one training session. My upcoming day with Jillian kept me motivated and on the right path. Having had the opportunity of a lifetime to spend the day with the person I respect and admire most in this world continues to be what drives me to reach my goal. Having said that, I realize that not everyone has the same situations or opportunities I was blessed with, but find whatever it is that encourages you — something you can strive toward or look forward to. Focus your sights on that goal and keep moving forward.

Obviously, I am physically different from the way I was, but I am emotionally different too. Physically, I can exercise for hours, I can run, clothes fit me, I have muscles, I am strong. But I think the bigger changes, for me, have been the emotional ones. We all know Jillian is a fantastic trainer — she can pull hundreds of pounds off people and “beat” them like no other — but what sets her apart from everyone else is the love and compassion she gives. I truly believe the battle of weight loss is 98 percent emotional, and that is where Jillian does her best work. Her heart is so much bigger than her beatings! The hardest and most productive workout was the beating given between my ears. She made me see how strong I truly am, and what I can do, not what Ican’t.

I believe in myself more than I ever have before. I have a greater sense of self-worth; I put myself first often; I am able to make decisions and follow through with them even if it hurts or is scary; and I’ve learned that change can be a good thing and an opportunity to grow. One of the most rewarding changes has been that I’ve gained people in my life whom I consider invaluable, and whose paths most likely would never have crossed my own had I not made the decision to change my life. My journey will never be over — this was a lifestyle change for me. I am currently 11 pounds from my goal weight, and I have no doubt I will reach the finish line!

Best compliment: Each compliment I am blessed to receive touches my heart and means the world to me, but the greatest compliment came from Morgan, the 3-year-old girl I take care of as a private nanny. One day a friend and I had lunch together, and I had Morgan with me. The waitress came to the table to take our drink order and asked Morgan what she would like to drink. She answered, “Water with lemon because it’s healthy for you.” The waitress giggled and said, “You’re right! That is healthy!” Morgan then said, “I’m gonna grow up to be strong like Tam.” She made my eyes well with tears. It made quite an impression on me, and I’ll never forget it. Her life will be different and healthier because of the way I’m changing my own life.

Activities now: I recently ran my first 5K race with seven dear friends who have come to feel more like family to me. But it’s the little, everyday things that most people take for granted that have made such a difference to me. I can climb stairs and not lose my breath. At home, I can lean over the bathtub to bathe a baby, cut the lawn without stopping, tie my shoes with ease, and scratch the center of my back. When I go shopping, I can find something that fits me in any store. On an airplane, I can easily buckle the seat belt and have to tighten it. Also, for the first time in my life, I can cross my legs at the knees, not only at the ankles.

Advice for others:

  • Educate yourself on weight loss and health as much as possible. Listen to those who’ve been there before you, and allow them to help you.
  • Find a workout buddy, a partner in crime. Pick someone who will push you when you need the encouragement but who can also comfort you when the stress gets hard to manage.
  • Use to your advantage. Ask questions, get to know people on the Message Boards, use the circuit-training workouts and the recipes, the Weight Tracker, and the Fitness Diary.
  • Take pictures along the way. I have trouble seeing changes in the mirror, but I can tell the difference in photos.
  • Believe in yourself and know that you’ll cross the finish line. No one can want it bad enough for you. You have to want it for yourself — and more than anything.

I love that for the first time in my life, I believe in myself, feel I am worth something in this world, and know I can do and have anything I want. I am strong… The next step is always mine to take.

*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve similar results.

*Snack Recipe* Grape Kabobs

So, this recipe couldn’t be any simpler… and it’s fun!!! Click HERE for the source…

Here’s a great (or should I say grape? hee hee) submission from Sheri at Vegan Family Inc.:

“These are photos of our new fave summer treat…frozen grape-kabobs!

“To make: Wash grapes, and thread them onto bamboo skewers (I buy these at the dollar store in a pack of 100). Lay the skewers on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for several hours or overnight. That’s it!

“My kids made these by themselves, and were super-excited to have them for breakfast. Such a fun food!”

Thanks, Sheri! My grapevines are loaded with ripe grapes right now, so I may have to give this a try!