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Bemovelive.com Blog features the latest fitness and clean eating advice from John Holley, MS, CSCS. Blogs focus on exercise, nutrition, sleep, stress reduction and getting the most out of your workouts.

Filtering by Category: Diet

HEALTH MYTHS THAT MUST END

John Holley

Welcome to get-fit-quick season! Advertisers are working as hard they can to pitch you everything from ab crunching widgets to weight loss pills to miracle diet plans and you’re buying. I predict it’ll be another big season for the diet and fitness industry. The fact that most of the widgets, pills and diets will not be the answer you’ve been looking for won’t be remembered in a year. My aim with this article is to dispel a few myths before you start making your 3 easy payments.

Crunches, situps or (insert the device here) will give you a 6 pack. Enough already! You can do crunches all day long and not have visible abs if your body fat is not low enough. Besides, situps and crunches with bad form, can lead to back pain for people who do not follow a sensible workout program. You can’t spot reduce!

More exercise is better. Sure, if you want to get hurt and have to deal with cravings and lose your friends because you have no time for them anymore. Look, we are made to move, but let’s use some common sense about intensity and frequency. Your body needs time to recover and this becomes more and more important as you age. Insomnia, an elevated heart rate upon rising, general aches and pains, irritability and headaches are all symptoms of overtraining.

Want to find a balanced and effective workout plan?

5 ESSENTIAL WORKOUTS

available on Amazon.

All fats are bad. First of all, this is basically marketing hype leftover from the 80’s when the low-fat/no-fat movement was in full force. You need fat as part of a healthy diet and to live. It is important for normal bodily repair, energy, absorption of certain vitamins, and protection of your organs. The key is to get as many healthy fats as possible from sources like grain products, fish, beans, fish oil and nuts. While saturated fats from animal sources should be kept to a minimum, the only truly “bad” fats are trans fats, which you’ll find masquerading as hydrogenated oils in boxed and convenience foods.

Carbohydrates are bad. This is another marketing misnomer, which has just enough truth to it, to give it legs. Refined (white) carbohydrates are best avoided because they are stripped of all nutrition and will spike your insulin levels. Sugar also should be kept to a minimum because of the affect it has on your cravings and your waistline if over-consumed. What are important are complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as oatmeal, brown rice, vegetables and moderate amounts of fruit.

The point I’m making is the only “secret” to weight loss and long-term vitality are moving every day, eating quality foods, getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night and living your life with purpose. Everything else is hype to sell you something.

MINDFUL WEIGHT LOSS WORKSHOP

John Holley

One of the very best things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.

-Luciano Pavarotti

Eating is one of the great pleasures of life. However, if you do anything multiple times a day, every day, it tends to get stale. Eating is no exception; and in an age of distraction, feeding ourselves has become our most unconscious activity. To prove my point, ask yourself, what did I eat last night for dinner? Or, what did I eat in the car on the way home from the grocery store? Another good question is how many cookies did I eat while reading in bed?
 
If you can answer those questions, congratulations! You know what you ate. However, were you eating with mindfulness? Try to answer these questions:

What were the textures of the food?

Did the aroma remind you of anything?

Were the colors on your plate inviting?

I wager that most people cannot recall their last meal, much less describe what they ate in the car, during the meeting, at the game, over the sink or on the couch.
 
You are invited to join me at the Cohn School in Nashville on Thursday, June 28 at 6pm for Mindful Eating and Weight Loss. In this interactive workshop you will  experience mindful eating and learn practices to reshape your relationship with food.

 

MINDFUL EATING AND WEIGHT LOSS

John Holley

Can you describe what an apple tastes like? What is the texture of a sweet potato? What does the smell of baked chicken bring to mind? Too often a busy day leads to mindless eating, which means you might not remember how much you ate or even what you ate at your last meal, or while sitting at your desk or in the car. If you have a goal of losing weight, or improving your health or becoming more present, start with the manner in which you nourish yourself.

MINDFUL EATING IN 5 EASY STEPS

Slow down by chewing eat bite slowly and you’ll find more flavor and more satisfaction from the food you eat.

Be hungry when you eat. Eating at regular intervals is a good way to maintain your energy and avoid overeating, but be aware of whether or not you are hungry or simply eating out of habit or boredom.

Understand your cravings by allowing each one to arise and pass. I’m not saying you can’t satisfy the craving, but do so with awareness.

Be satisfied but not stuffed. The Japanese practice of hara hachi bu encourages eating in moderation. In Ayurveda, the rule is to fill the stomach with one-half food and one-quarter liquid.

Be grateful for the nourishment you are enjoying. Whether you pray or not, awareness of the texture, smell and sound of the food you eat is central to conscious eating.

If you'd like to know more about how mindful eating aids weight loss, check out John's latest book, MINDFUL WEIGHT LOSS.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN PERFECTION?

John Holley

There is a moment in every trip I’ve taken with my sons that is perfect. One was during a monsoon in New Orleans when we were huddled together under an overhang waiting for the squall to pass. The storm changed our plans for the day and the din of the rain and the wind made it impossible to talk, but being with them watching the oaks sway and the rainfall was somehow perfect.

I’m not writing this to laude my parenting skills (far from it!). However, these moments do make me wonder how many perfect moments are overlooked every day because they don’t look like we think they should. How much energy and angst do we invest in trying to steer the people and events in our lives a certain direction? Moreover, how do we whip ourselves for not performing to an arbitrary level?  What about all of the wasted regret over what we didn’t do or say?

As addictive as guilt and regret can be, there is only one way out and that is forward. You are welcome to stay right where you are, but if you desire a different outcome, you have to do something you’ve never done. That may sound obvious, or terrifying, or confusing, and the time to start is now.

What’s the next right thing to do?

 I love this question, which I am borrowing from Mathew Kelly, the author of many books including The Rhythm of Life. When I am stuck and unable to see any kind of perfection around me, asking this question can reveal the next step. Taking that next step is the practice, which can lead to perfection.

The next step can become a ritual you can rely on to take you where you want to go. Do you want to lose 20 pounds? You can’t do it in a day, but you can walk for 30 minutes every morning and not eat after 7pm at night.

Do you want to have more energy? You can establish a ritual of turning off the tv and taking a bath every night before bed, so you sleep better.

Do you wish to finish a half marathon? Today you may have to walk, but eventually you will run if you do the next right thing.

Perfection is in the eye of the beholder.

To me, being caught in the rain with my sons that day was a perfect moment. This is a perfect moment because I am able to write this for you (and me). You know the next right thing to do, and even if every moment isn’t perfect, the practice of moving forward  will bring you a little closer to your perfection.

WHAT'S NEXT

John Holley

This last installment of our Better Every Day series asks, what's next? No matter how long you've been exercising and eating right, you're not finished. This is a lifelong journey and requires you to accept the changes which will come your way, adapt to these new realities and allow yourself the time to adjust. The most important thing is to find a way to keep moving!

FEEL BETTER

Focus on the way different foods make you feel. Are you energized after drinking a smoothie or eating a chicken breast? Do you ever feel a craving for carbs, eat them, and then feel lethargic? Observing how food affects your energy level, and even mood, can teach you how to use it for your benefit.

EAT BETTER

A great way to control what you eat at work is to make the choices beforehand and bring much of your food with you. This takes the temptation of restaurants, convenience stores and the vending machine out of the equation. However, if finding time to put together a lunch and snacks before each workday is a challenge, try preparing and freezing each day’s food the weekend before. Then it will be done for the week and you’ll have one less thing to do at 7am.

MOVE BETTER

Once you meet your fitness goal, what will your new goal be? It could be as simple as maintaining your weight, or you might want to consider completing a 10K or entering another competitive event. Another approach is to promise yourself (in writing) you will exercise every day. Always having a concrete goal is another key to maintaining your fitness level.

CONSISTENCY CONSISTENCY CONSISTENCY

John Holley

FEEL BETTER

Consistency is the key to success in any endeavor and that is always true when it comes to maintaining your level of fitness. No matter your gains (or losses) to this point, now is the time to start preparing yourself to keep the weight off and the muscle on. The key is to have a written plan in order to maintain your results. The plan doesn't have to be complicated, in fact, the simpler the better, but written goals have the power to help you stay consistent with your workout and healthy diet.

EAT BETTER

Smoothies are an easy and tasty source of nutrition any time during the day. More than that, you can “hide” some good-for-you foods and supplements in them and not even know they are there. Try wheat germ or a few greens in the next smoothie you make, or even add some Omega 3 or flaxseed oil to pump up the nutrition without changing the taste.

MOVE BETTER

Try putting yourself through your own 30-minute workout on a weekend day. Take some of your favorite exercises and do 15 minutes of strength training and 15-20 minutes of cardio. Remember to keep moving for the entire session.

SLEEP TO FEEL BETTER

John Holley

One of the most effective actions you can take to feel Better Every Day is to do nothing. Give yourself the rest and sleep you need to recover and watch your performance improve.

FEEL BETTER

Sleep is an integral component to overall health. Most of us require 7-8 hours each night to be at our best. The REM cycles in particular are vital because this is when human growth hormone is released and muscle repair and growth occurs. Sleep is also important if you want to keep your metabolism burning at a high rate.

EAT BETTER

…something “healthy” other than salad. Think of the all the broiled, roasted and baked options you have so your new and improved diet doesn’t bore you. For instance, roasted vegetables are a tasty option any time of the year. Try frozen bananas or blueberries in a smoothie. And if you don’t like veggies, puree a few and cover the taste in that same smoothie.

MOVE BETTER

As your cardio intensity increases, form becomes more important. The knee is an amazing joint and handles enormous pressure with every foot strike, but it is also the place where overuse injuries can first occur. Remember to keep most of your weight in your heels on the elliptical machines or bicycles and try to keep your toes pointed forward, while landing on your mid-foot, when you walk or run.

TAKE CONTROL

John Holley

So many Christmas parties, so little time...One of the best things about this time of the year is spending time with family and friends, and that time is almost always spent with delicious food made by someone else. No problem, a little planning can go a long way.

FEEL BETTER

Eating at restaurants doesn’t have to sabotage your diet, if you know what to expect when you open the menu. So, the focus this week is on taking as much control of the situation as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how food is prepared. Also, remember to go with baked, broiled, grilled and steamed options with sauces on the side.

EAT BETTER

For a satisfying and nutritious afternoon snack, try a handful of almonds or walnuts. Besides being a great source of the good omega 3 fats, they possess protein and fiber to take the edge off your hunger until dinner. Remember, a serving of nuts is a small handful.

MOVE BETTER

Once you have lost a significant amount of weight, made big strength gains, or cut time off your personal best, your progress may plateau as your body seeks homeostasis. Shake things up by adding new exercises (like the ones below) to your cardio and strength-training routine. 

THE NEXT LEVEL

John Holley

FEEL BETTER

Eat every three to four hours. From the time you get up in the morning until 7pm, eating small meals every three hours will keep you feeling full all day long. This will keep your energy level up and reduce cravings. A bonus is your body will be burning more calories throughout the day as it digests the food.

EAT BETTER

You can eat great tasting and healthy food like that found in The Art of Clean Cooking. Read your food labels and look for these nutritionally superior substitutions for higher-calorie foods:

Turkey bacon

Skim or 1% milk products

Whole or unrefined grains

Spinach

Flank steak, roast beef or tenderloin (with the fat trimmed)

7% fat hamburger or ground turkey

Natural peanut butter (fatty, yes, but the good kind without the sugar)

All fruit jellies and spreads

Sherbert or frozen yogurt (just watch the sugar content)

Marinara sauce

Baked chips

Thin crust or whole wheat crust pizza (two slices max)

California or tuna rolls

MOVE BETTER

Continue with your cardio, but instead of only going for time, try taking your workout to the next level during a shorter cardio session. Aim for an 7 or 8 on a scale of 10, with 10 being all-out effort. You will burn more calories and make your body adjust to something new.

BETTER EVERY DAY

John Holley

This is the second of the Better Every Day series, which will keep you progressing even through the busy and temptation-filled holidays. Let's start the New Year ahead!

FEEL BETTER

No food, especially carbs, after 7pm. Your metabolism naturally slows in the evening, which makes excess calories even more likely to be stored as fat. A bonus to not eating in the evenings is how much sounder you’ll sleep and how much better you’ll look and feel in the morning.

When it comes to carbohydrates in your diet, focus on whole, unrefined grains, fresh fruit, and vegetables. In other words, avoid the white stuff! White flour, bleached flour, enriched flour, and sugar are devoid of nutrition and may supply a quick rush of energy, but stimulate the appetite because the fiber and vitamins have been stripped from them, leaving you hungry soon after you eat.

My latest book, The Art of Clean Cooking, will give you all the ideas you need to eat better.

EAT BETTER

…and write it down. Numerous studies, including one in the August 2008 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found those who tracked what they ate lost more than twice as much weight as the non-diary keepers. Knowing you have to record everything you put in your mouth makes you stop before you pickup that cookie, or go back for seconds. Seeing what you’ve eaten in black and white also helps you understand the areas of your diet you need to change in order to lose weight more quickly. In short, knowledge is power.

MOVE BETTER

In your workouts continue to focus on high repetitions and lighter weights. Cardio on the days you don’t strength train is great, as long as you don’t feel lightheaded, burned out, or simply in need of a day off. You can push hard, but listen to your body. Rest is sometimes as important as the work.

ARE YOU BETTER EVERY DAY?

John Holley

The holidays are just around the corner and I know you wish to stay focused on your healthy lifestyle, while you enjoy time with friends and family.. This is why we begin a series of Better Every Day blogs designed to help you stay on track through the myriad of culinary temptations you are sure to face in the office and from your family this month. Remember, you can enjoy the holidays and stay on track toward your goals for your health.

FEEL BETTER

Your body craves water to simply maintain basic bodily functions related to metabolism and repair of tissue. This is why it is important to drink a minimum of 8 glasses (64 ounces) of water every day. Coffee, tea and juice are not substitutes for water because coffee and tea are diuretics and cause your body to lose fluids, while juice is loaded with sugar, which can spike your appetite and adds calories to your diet.

EAT BETTER

Clean foods are those you usually won’t find in a box or bag. Clean foods never wind up in the cookie aisle and certainly aren’t advertised during Saturday morning cartoons. Clean foods are nutritional superstars, which will make you feel better, get stronger and lose weight. Oh, and once you start eating clean on a regular basis, don’t be surprised if you begin to like the foods your mom always tried to get you to eat.

MOVE BETTER

Workout this week with higher strength reps (12-15 per set), with cardio intervals designed to keep your heart rate up, while burning extra calories. If you need workout ideas check this out:

 

 

 

HOW TO BE A CAVEMAN

Jessica Hill

A lot has changed in our diets over the last 10,000 years, so let me bring you up to speed. 8000 BC marked the approximate end of the Paleolithic Era and the beginning of the Neolithic Period. Homo sapien, which had become the dominant member of the homo genus, was a hunter gatherer of animals, birds, fish, fruits, nuts and berries. These homo sapiens planted the early roots of civilization by building permanent settlements, establishing agriculture, domesticating animals and opening the first Starbucks.

A few thousand years passed and man had domesticated more animals and developed specialized tools for hunting and agriculture. Then in what is known as the Mesolithic Period, many groups evolved into food producers rather than food gatherers. The first cultures known to produce grains developed during this time in the Tigris and Euphrates Valley. Of course, grain has to be ground, milled or processed to be edible so the process of producing cereals soon followed. The Romans expanded the scale of processing grain to meet the needs of their expanding empire and were the first to sift milled grains into flour. Shortly thereafter, the first Dunkin Donuts opened at the Colosseum. Fast forward 2000 years or so and flour has gone from a Roman symbol of wealth to a villain.

Absurd? Perhaps, yet while the foods we eat and our daily level of activity has changed radically our genes have remained largely the same over the past 10,000 plus years. Does it follow that the dramatic rise of obesity and degenerative disease may stem from mankind’s recent adaptation of processed foods, many of which contain grains or products, such as gluten, which come from processing grains? This is a contention behind what I like to call the Caveman diet.

Supporters of this diet, such as Colorado State University professor, Loren Cordain, PhD contend the modern diet is responsible for the obesity epidemic and the rise in heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions.
“Clinical trials have shown that the Caveman [sic] Diet is the optimum diet that can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, markers of inflammation, help with weight loss, reduce acne, promote optimum health and athletic performance,” said Cordain.

Not everyone is so quick to recommend this approach to eating. American Dietetic Association spokesperson Heather Mangieri, MS, RD said, “This diet has some great aspects, but the limitations make it another diet that people go on but can’t sustain for a number of reasons, including a lack of variety, [cost], and potential nutritional inadequacies” because certain food groups are eliminated.

Keith Ayoob, EdD, RD, assistant professor at New York’s Albert Einstein School of Medicine, added, “People who eat diets high in whole grains, beans, and low-fat dairy tend to be healthier because these foods are nutrient-rich and there are mountains of research about the health benefits of diets that include, not exclude these foods.”

Even if you don’t eat like a caveman all of the time, limiting your intake of processed foods, refined flour and dairy products may offer health benefits. Cordain suggests trying the diet for two weeks to see if you find it beneficial.
Intrigued? Here are a few caveman-inspired ideas you can include in your diet and lifestyle:

Eat like a caveman. No, you don’t have to spear an antelope and cook it over a fire pit, but that’s the spirit! Paleo enthusiasts argue that it’s not calories alone that cause weight gain, but sugar and refined carbohydrates, which spike our blood sugar and trigger the insulin, which signals our body to store energy as fat. A simple strategy to avoid refined carbs is to eliminate fast and convenience foods from your diet.

Move like a caveman. Just because you’re hairy and you sweat at the gym, doesn’t mean you’re caveman fit. Change up your routine often and get outside to reap the benefits of adapting to unstable terrain (build your stabilizing muscles), running on grass (easier on your knees and plantar fascia), and breathing fresh air (a stress reliever). Oh yeah, leave the iPod home once in a while for even greater benefits.

Rest like a caveman. Our ancient brethren may have had some stress between hunting for food, surviving the elements and running from wolves, but it doesn’t compare to the constant level of stress we face today. Our constant exposure to electronic devices, our sedentary jobs and the addiction many of us have to Facebook, texting and our phones, leave little unplanned, stress-free downtime. What about real, deep sleep? How many of us sleep with our phone next to the bed or leave the tv on or bring a tablet to bed?

Think like a caveman. First of all, turn off the damn tv and put your phone in the other room, so you can think. Constant attention to the media, incessant worries about money, stress from work and concerns about your son’s grades won’t be alleviated by this season of The Walking Dead. Maybe not thinking so much will allow the frontal lobe of your brain to calm down and your body will follow…seriously, try 5 minutes of silence or sit outside and listen to the breeze or take a warm bath or a walk in the rain.

Be a caveman. We have much in common biologically with our friends from 10,000 years ago. We have to eat. We need rest. Movement is good for us. Adopting a cleaner, caveman-style diet will benefit our health. Is that enough? The next step is to get back to the important basics, which include strengthening our closest relationships, reconnecting with nature and spending time in silence.

THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF HERBS AND SPICES

John Holley

The following is an excerpt from my latest book, The Art of Clean Cooking, which is all about enjoying the benefits of herbs and spices in your healthy diet.

The art of clean cooking may be in how you use herbs and spices to make your healthy food delicious, but there’s a lot more to know. The seasonings you use may also provide important health benefits. Here is a breakdown of 12 common herbs and spices and the therapeutic benefits they may provide:

Basil is a versatile herb that can be added to practically anything. It has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties and can help prevent osteoarthritis. Basil is also being examined for its anti-cancer properties. Fresh basil is amazing (use twice as much as the dried variety in recipes) and can be sprinkled on omelets, meat vegetables and salads or included in soups.

Cayenne pepper is type of chili pepper you may avoid if you don’t like spicy foods. However, don’t shy away from cayenne completely if you are trying to lose weight. The active ingredient in this pepper is capsaicin, which has been shown in numerous studies to reduce appetite and increase fat burning. One gram a day sprinkled on food or added to a smoothie has been shown to aid weight loss in people who normally don’t eat cayenne peppers.

Cinnamon is a spice most of us have shoved to the back of the spice cabinet, but it is time to bring it back into your diet. Cinnamon has the highest antioxidant value of any spice and has been show to reduce inflammation, control blood sugar and lower triglyceride levels. If you are trying to lose weight, it aids in fat burning. The minerals manganese, calcium and iron are found in this spice, which is a great add to everything from curry to coffee to homemade granola.

Cumin is the second most used herb in the world after black pepper. You may be familiar with it as an ingredient in Mexican dishes, but it is also an important addition to dishes with curry powder. Cumin has antimicrobial properties and helps reduce flatulence. Use cumin in chili, Mexican and Middle Eastern recipes.

Fenugreek is most often used in Ayurveda for the enhancement of testosterone levels. While the evidence for this is inconclusive, the science is more promising in regards to its effects on blood sugar. Fenugreek contains the plant protein, 4-hydroxyisoleucine, which can improve the function of the hormone insulin, thereby reducing blood sugar levels. Fenugreek can be added to the curry recipe in this guide.

Garlic is another very common seasoning and you may already know how much flavor it adds to your favorite recipes. Fresh cloves of garlic are best for flavor and for garlic’s anti-cancer benefits, but you can find it in powdered, granulated and powdered forms.

Ginger has way more to offer than a cookie recipe. Studies consistently find 1 gram of ginger successfully treats nausea, including that caused by morning sickness, chemotherapy and motion sickness. Ginger also possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties and can help with pain management in a manner similar to aspirin or ibuprofen. For greatest benefit, you can boil ginger root to make tea or grate it onto food.

Mint is easy to grow and thrives all over the world. You are probably most familiar with its use in toothpastes, gums and teas, but it can be used in meat dishes, on salads and in dessert recipes. Mint helps alleviate nausea and calm digestive troubles.

Oregano is part of the mint family, but stands on its own as a versatile herb. Common to Italian and Greek cuisine, oregano has antiviral, antibacterial, anticancer and antibiotic properties. It is very high in antioxidants and has antimicrobial properties against food-borne pathogens. Use oregano liberally and in combination with basil, garlic, marjoram, thyme and rosemary for the greatest benefits.

Rosemary is often included in spices blends, but its benefits make it a stand out by itself. It has a high concentration of antioxidants and may have value in cancer treatment, as a digestive aid and in how the body utilizes cholesterol. Rosemary boiled in water can be used as antiseptic. Add it to meat, vegetables and soup recipes.

Thyme is a member of the mint family and contains antioxidant and wound-healing properties. Tea made with thyme can be used to treat athlete’s foot and yeast infections topically, or ingested to speed recovery from illness. Thyme is often used in French and Italian cooking.

Tumeric is gaining renown for its natural anti-inflammatory properties, but is also a staple of Indian cooking. Tumeric contains several compounds with medicinal properties, the most important of which is curcumin. This powerful antioxidant helps fight oxidative damage and boosts the body’s antioxidant enzymes. Morevoer, curcumin has such a strong anti-inflammatory properties it may match the effectiveness of some drugs. Other studies indicate turmeric may improve brain function, relieve arthritis and reduce the risk of heart disease. Add it to eggs, soups, meat recipes, sauces and baked foods.

 

FIRST THING FIRST

Jessica Hill

When you awaken in the morning, you have not eaten for eight hours or more and your body is in need of energy. Skipping breakfast leaves you famished and your body responds by burning fewer calories in order to save energy. So if you are trying to lose weight or maintain your weight loss, you must eat breakfast. You’ll burn more calories and will be less likely to overeat later in the day.Then again, I know how hard it is for some of you to eat breakfast and that means you have a decision to make. What do you really want? Smaller pants, more energy and an omelete, or an elastic waistband, the third cup of coffee and ravenous urges at 9pm?  At least give breakfast a chance. Here are a few healthy and easy-to-make options.

Read More

CLEAN & SIMPLE (and DELICIOUS) COOKING

John Holley

If you want to eat better, but think you don't have the time to select and prep the recipes, try my new book, CLEAN AND SIMPLE: Healthy Recipes for Your Busy Life. Inside you'll find delicious, easy-to-make recipes with a nutritional punch. Try the smoothies, soups, meat, fish and salad recipes and you'll discover how easy clean, nutritious eating can be! Here's a taste:

CLEAN RECIPES WITH FIVE OR FEWER INGREDIENTS
 SALSA LIME CHICKEN
Combine 1 lb of chicken with a jar of your favorite salsa and cook on low in a slow cooker for 4 hours. Squeeze fresh, lime juice on the chicken when your serve it.
Per 4 oz serving: 190 calories / 1 g fiber / 32 g protein / 4 g fat


PINEAPPLE CHICKEN
Marinate 4 chicken breasts in the juice of one cored pineapple for one hour. Cut 8 pineapple slices and place on the chicken as you grill or bake it until done. Serve with the remainder of the fresh pineapple. 
Per 4 oz serving: 270 calories / 2 g fiber / 33 g protein / 4 g fat


BBQ CHICKEN
Place 1 lb of chicken and 1 cup of BBQ sauce in a slow cooker on low for 4 hours. Serve with baked sweet potatoes for even more nutrition. 
Per 4 oz serving: 250 calories / 1 g fiber / 32 g protein / 4 g fat


LEMON PEPPER CHICKEN
Marinate 1 lb of chicken in a ¼ cup of lemon juice for one hour. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and grill or bake until done. Serve the chicken over a bed of romaine lettuce.
Per 4 oz serving: 190 calories / 1 g fiber / 32 g protein / 4 g fat


GRILLED TILAPIA WITH LIME
Squeeze the juice of one lime over a 4-6 oz piece of tilapia. Grill or bake for 20 minutes and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Per 4 oz serving: 110 calories / 0 g fiber / 23 g protein / 2 g fat

 

YOU MUST DECIDE

John Holley

I want to sing with all my might a lifelong song,

Even if some notes come out right and some come out wrong,

‘Cause I can’t take none of that through the door,

I’m living for more than just a funeral,

I want to burn brighter than the dawn 

“Live It Well” by Switchfoot

I was driving home from taking my mom to a doctor’s office visit when the Switchfoot song quoted above started playing.  Maybe it was the disappointing health news we received from her doctor, or the fact that my sister and I are in the process of moving her to an assisted living facility, but the spirit of the song really struck me. As you can tell from the verse above, it is about living your life to the fullest. As I listened to it over and over one fact impressed itself upon me:

There is no time to waste.

Whether you look at it from a mystical, quantam physics or anecdotal perspective, you have no time to waste. The days may feel long, but the years are short and tomorrow and the day after are coming faster than you think. What do you want them to look like? Are you content to float along hoping for the magic lottery ticket, the perfect partner or the ideal time to learn to how to cook, or are you ready to decide right now what tomorrow will look like?

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Am I willing to decide, is a question you need to ask yourself. What is a decision you have been avoiding in the hope it will be made for you? Are you waiting to commit to daily exercise because work is too busy right now? Or will you start eating healthier when you spouse stops ordering pizza? Maybe you can’t decide because you’re afraid. If that’s the case, you’re on the right track. When you truly decide to move forward the stakes will be higher, you will feel a rush of energy (call it fear, call it excitement, call it whatever you want) and you will put action behind the decision.

It's clear we need to make conscious decisions. Start with one decision you have been putting off and write it out. Writing it out will make it tangible and will help you decide to do it, or not to do it. Just get the cursed indecision off your shoulders! This is not about adding an item to your to-do list, but it is about deciding what you desire in your life.

Got your decision? Next, feel the emotions, which emerge and take action anyway.

Don’t die with your music still in you.

Dr. Wayne Dyer