12 Steps to Replace Fast Track Promises

Promises, promises, and more promises. Assurances that you will become a better you are the claims made by companies who shall remain nameless. But you know who they are.

Pay us “X” amount of dollars monthly and we’ll do the work for you!

I read three different plans on one company’s site.

  • Basic daily plan of $10.18 per day… that’s $3,715.70 annually
  • Core daily program of $11.07 per day… that’s $4,040.55 yearly
  • Uniquely yours daily plan of $ 12.50… that’s 4, 562.50 per year

I searched another business. If you join “today,” the one-time enrollment fee is slashed from $99 to $49. You then pay a $19 monthly meal plan. After that, you’re hooked for about $20 per day, which amounts to “around” $7,300 annually! Get the heck out of here!

From a monetary standpoint, my question to you is, are you financially stable enough to afford the fees for the rest of your life? Does the diet plan align with your financial goals?

I get it. It’s tempting because it appears to be more straightforward than the “other” route.

The lure to unpack the product of a poor diet, lack of physical exercise or the side effects of medication or a physical condition is tantalizing. You want it off and off now.

Marketers play on your frustration and eagerness to find results with catchphrases:

“Rapid weight loss.”

“Fast track to weight loss.”

I decided to write this piece because, in addition to seeing a family member’s kitchen full of this stuff, I’ve also had several people ask my opinion about these type of programs. Taking photos of the packaged food was something I could not resist doing.

Can you imagine buying these products for the rest of your life? You’d probably get tired of eating this stuff anyway. The person who was on this particular plan lost 25 pounds in six months. Eventually, she went off the plan and attempted to maintain on her own. She was unsuccessful, gained the 25 pounds back and then some. She is not alone. I am not saying it’s the same for everyone but what I am getting at is that if you don’t do the work, no program is going to work or last.

 

Marketers know you want it badly. The truth is NOTHING fast, quick or rapid will sustain you for a healthy lifestyle.

My problem with these programs is that, as long as you buy the meal plans, you lose weight. But when you discontinue the plan and try to do it on your own, you fall short.

You fall short because you relied on someone else to do work for you that you needed to do for yourself.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Sure, you see big-name celebrities with deep behind pockets endorsing the brand, but with each ad, their pockets get deeper. Cha-Ching! $$$$$. Most celebs can afford the long-term financial commitment. Can you? I’m just sayin’… Evening setting the money spent aside, how healthy is pre-packaged food? Perhaps you might supplement with fruit, but it’s still packaged. IJS.

I encourage you to invest your time and your money into educating yourself on how to adopt a restorative life by making informed decisions that improve your overall health and wellness.

  1. Gauge your physical health. Make your annual doctor appointments (Dentist, General Practioner, OBGYN, etc..) and discuss your blood work and exam results. What’s right and what’s pressing that needs your immediate attention?
  2. Assess your mental health. Problems such as Depression, Anxiety & Panic Attacks, Eating Disorders, Bipolar Disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychosis, Obsessive-compulsive Disorder, etc..) can keep you from living your best life. Your mental health deserves the same attention as your physical health.  Don’t be afraid of seeking help.
  3. Size up your support network. Who are the people in your life? Do they encourage you? Who puts you down or laughs at your ideas? Commit to making the necessary changes by letting go of the toxic people in your life.
  4. Set goals. (SMART) – Not a new concept nor is it my idea, but it works.
    1. S – Specific
    2. M – Measurable
    3. A – Attainable (Action-Oriented)
    4. R – Relevant or Rewarding
    5. T – Time-Bound or Trackable.
  5. Learn how to read food labels. The internet has endless resources. How many servings are in that bag of chips or cookies you enjoy?
  6. Research the ingredients in your food. Again, hop on the net. Educate yourself and understand more about the food (or chemicals) you eat.
  7. SLOWLY modify your diet. Incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats (if you eat meat). SLOWLY reduce your sugar intake. Drink more water and fewer sodas, juices, and alcohol. Purchase less processed foods and eat cleaner. If you want apple pie, bake your own, and you control the ingredients instead of buying processed food full of preservatives, sugar and other chemicals.
  8. Evaluate your physical fitness regiment. Do you exercise? If so, what do you do and how frequently? Are you getting the results you desire? Why or why not? If you do not exercise, why not? How can you change this? What are your fitness goals? Whatever you do, add strength training/weight training to your program. With a solid nutrition plan and a consistent strength training program, you will get maximum results.
  9. Engage in self-care. Do something for YOU such as a massage, a short or long getaway, skydiving, Floatation Therapy, or something else you’ve been dying to try.
  10. Survey your finances. If you’re overwhelmed with debt, seek financial counseling. The problem won’t go away on its own. Take action to stop nagging phone calls from bill collectors.
  11. If you have a significant other, take a measure of your relationship. Are you happy? If so, fantastic! If not, it’s time to explore why. Ask yourself the difficult questions. Be honest with yourself and your partner. Is counseling the answer? Get the ball rolling.
  12. Explore your career. Are you happy or satisfied? If so, awesome! If not, set fear aside. Consider your interests and explore your options.

The idea is to unmask the root of your issue(s). Quite often, the problem isn’t what we think it is. If you take a 360 approach to your life and visit all aspects, you will uncover underlying issues that have kept you bogged down and going in circles.

This post is longer than planned but it is also an excellent roadmap to jump-start you on your road to wholeness. There is NEVER a quick fix to ANYTHING.

Consider high performing athletes. They don’t arrive at the top of their game overnight. Years of training, overcoming injuries, self-doubt, and naysayers pass before they reach the top of their game.

Our journey is no different.


Gaining Clarity In A Vegan Life

You could easily argue that I picked the worse time of year to partake in a Vegan Challenge.  Strangely I never considered the approaching holidays.  I had already been thinking about eliminating meat and seafood from my diet.  The dairy thing was a last minute bonus.

I am an athlete.  Athletes are competitive spirits.  We like to win. Success is our addiction. The natural progression was to make the choice to take the personal challenge myself.  I went back to read more about plant-based living, and dove in.

Update.

In three days, December 14, 2017, I will celebrate two months of a plant-based diet!! Yay!!  It has not been a struggle. Since the challenge, (and one slip up in early November), I have dined out at several wonderful restaurants. Hubby and our dinner dates devoured meat but I was cool and passed on it.

Lately, my hands roam the spice rack with a strong desire to add a punch to ordinary food. My latest infatuation is turmeric in my veggies! Below is a delightful dish of turmeric cauliflower. Eat them as a snack while watching a movie or a good game of football (as I did when the Eagles won) or add them to your dinner plate.

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My infatuation with turmeric leads me to a new discovery… I bought two heads of cabbage and, in a pan,  layered most of the cabbage with sweet onions and other seasons. All of the cabbage did not fit in the pan. Creativity kicked in and, before I knew it, my hand was on the turmeric. I hesitated. Maybe curry. No. Turmeric. I ran out of onions. But added one jalapeño pepper, freshly minced garlic, season salt, and olive oil….covered and cooked on low.

Dang or Yay!! I’m laughing out loud because I added too much turmeric and needed a starch to absorb some of the spice. What’s a cook to do? I added some leftover brown rice to the pot, a little more garlic powder, (God forbid it’s bland), and stirred well. The pan was drying out so I poured a little (about a half cup) of low sodium vegetable broth.

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The dish looked pretty but lacked protein. Garbanzo beans would make a perfect addition but I was out of them. I did have one can of organic black beans. So I rinsed them well and added them to the rice and cabbage.

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This was delicious!!!

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img_6484While rummaging through the fridge, I found two large sweet potatoes. Since the oven was on, I quickly peeled them, cut the potatoes into large chunks, melted coconut oil, sprinkled a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and stirred them well. I placed them in the glass dish and baked uncovered at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes.

Folks!! Chile!! Peeps! The coconut oil enhanced the flavor of the sweet potatoes and they were unbelievable!!! Even hubby liked them. 🙂

Last night’s dinner was a hodgepodge of freshly cooked and leftovers, which brings me to an important point. If you’re going to attempt a plant-based diet or any new diet plan, you must have extra food on hand. And when I say extra I mean the type of food that’s in your new plan.  If you don’t have food prepared, at some point, you’re going to get jammed up and will end up with a setback. Even if you have a setback, they are normal… Don’t look back–look forward!!

Above is my post-leg workout meal from yesterday morning. Steel oats, coconut almond milk, blueberries, and plant-based protein. A side of zucchini bread and homemade cooked apples.   I finally decided on a plant-based protein.  It’s much lighter than the whey protein. The vanilla flavor is milder than what I previously used.  The biggest difference is I’m used to buying a 5 lb. tub for $47.  This one was $37 and is just over a pound and half.  Yikes!

 

Overall I continue to feel well. As a result of the Vegan diet, I have not noticed a change in my performance at the gym and wasn’t expecting a change, but only time will tell.  As far as my physique is concerned, in the past week, I have lost inches not pounds.  I am paying close attention to muscle development.  Why?  I want to participate in another figure competition.  It has been a few years and although I am older, my body remains conditioned–I am confident that I can do well in another competition.

I know that I am not getting enough calories but that has nothing to do with a vegan diet.  Moving to a new state and not working outside of the home has me feeling discombobulated. I am used to a busy and jammed-packed schedule. But now, I don’t have that.  The free and unstructured time is negating meal-prep and my routine of eating every three hours. Perhaps I needed the six-month downtime because it has been one hell of a year.  Selling one home, buying a new home, moving south with hubby, our son, and my mom.

As a result of my vegan diet, in a previous post, I wrote about having more clarity.  I realize that for the first time in my life, I can do anything I want–I mean, I don’t have all the restrictions of a 9-5, my son’s football scheduled, or hubby’s work schedule.  I’ve also figured out that to accomplish my personal and professional goals, I must add structure and discipline to my new lifestyle.

Now I can easily do some of the things I have always wanted to do– I wouldn’t be honest with you if I didn’t tell you that chartering unfamiliar territory (again) is still scary.  But so was walking on a stage in 5-inch stilettos, wearing an itty bitty suit and years ago, quitting a job without another one and vacationing in Disney, but I did it well and landed on my feet.

I am living as I encourage you and everyone around me, and this is to live mindfully.  It may sound like a fad or a cliche but I assure you it is not and takes focus and practice.  Doing so will heighten your hedonic capacity–your ability to experience positive feelings.  In less than one month, people will be absorbed by the hype of celebrating the New Year.  My New Year already started, I couldn’t wait until January 1, 2018.

We are hosting Christmas dinner at our home but are expecting fewer than the 31 family members who filled our home for Thanksgiving but we’ll still have a house full. 🙂  Meanwhile, I am scouting out both vegan recipes and dishes for the carnivores (without judgment).

Making it through Thanksgiving was relatively simple; I don’t foresee a challenge during the remaining weeks of the year. While I’ve given up meat, seafood, and dairy, I continue to indulge in my favorites… 337 , Darkhorse and a few others.

Until my next post…  Smooches!


Why You Should Eat A Dish You Hated As A Child

Life’s ironies are surprising.  Childhood repugnances grow to become adult favorites.

Recently grabbing a bag of Lima beans and placing them in my shopping cart had me cracking up.

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Because as a child, if you told me Lima beans were being served for dinner, my face became contorted and jacked up. Without throwing shade to any of the cooks in my past, no matter who cooked Limas, they were dry as hell.  But you knew not to complain; that was never an option.

I’ve decided to make an attempt at veganism again.

I am NOT discouraged by failure.

In 2016, for three months I was successful with a vegan diet.  I am not sure exactly why I started eating chicken and turkey again.  But I do remember having concerns about protein intake. In bodybuilding, protein intake is a crucial element to building muscle mass.

To be successful this go-round, I am better prepared and have 1.  Read more articles like this.   2. Substituting more plant-based protein then I did before. I have plenty of vegan recipes pinned to my board on Pinterest. 3.  Instead of overwhelming myself with an “I will never eat meat again” goal, I have set weekly goals, will plan better, and allow for hiccups.

So today I cooked the Limas in the crockpot.  I forgot to measure the seasoning and broth but it’ hard to go wrong and its more about getting the flavor that you enjoy.  Cooking beans are easy.  I don’t bother soaking them.  I toss everything in the crock-pot and cook on low for around  6 hours or cook on high for 4-5 hours.

  1. 1 lb bag of  dry beans
  2. 2 Jalapeno peppers (1 is fine).
  3. Fresh ground ginger
  4. 1 large sweet onion (chopped)
  5. Freshly Himalayan sea salt (or another salt)
  6. Fresh ground pepper
  7. 1 1/2 boxes of low sodium vegetable broth (enough to cover the beans because you don’t want your beans to dry out)

I know, I really have to learn to measure my food.

After the beans soften up, taste test and add seasoning to your taste and enjoy over quinoa, brown rice, black rice, spaghetti squash or something else.

 

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Crock-pot Prepared

 

Mmm… these Limas are moist, delicious and healthy.  Considered a “Fiber Allstar,” only one-cup of Limas are packed with 29 grams of protein. Read more about Limas here.

If you’ve hated these as a kid, give ’em a try, you might like them now. I do!

 

 


Try this quick and healthy dish

Now that I am retired, and although I am not quite settled,  you can expect to hear more from me more than you ever did in the past. Yay!

I want to share my lessons with you and to improve my writing. One way to get better is to write more frequently.

Sleeping past 4:30 a.m., my old morning ritual, is doing my mind, body, and spirit well.

After the gym, I felt a strong urge to whip up a nutritious meal in the kitchen.  Of course, my new kitchen is fabulous and enhances my cooking experience. I thank God every day.

If you keep vegetables in the fridge, you can always put together a fast meal.  Even if you think you can’t cook, I betcha that you can do this!! 

When I opened the fridge, I did not know what I was going to cook.  That said, check this out…

Mushrooms, sweet onions, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, crushed red peppers, and olive oil sautéed in a pan.


My new and simple toy. A George Foreman grill.


Unseasoned natural turkey patties. I buy them when they are on sale and keep them in the freezer.

Since I am shopping in a new community and at new grocery stores– Kroger and Publix, I am feeling my way through the aisles, looking for healthy food items at the best prices.


I recommend buying meat unseasoned because you can control the amount of sodium and other ingredients.  Here I sprinkled freshly ground pepper, a dash of sea salt and a little Cheyenne pepper.


I planned to make a kale salad, so I had a bunch of kale already cleaned in the fridge. I grabbed two handfuls and tossed them in a pan with onions. Sprinkled with the same seasoning, except the Cheyenne pepper, they cooked for less than 10 minutes.


Finished product- two turkey patties smothered with mushrooms and Vidalia onions (no gravy, sauce or additional condiments needed), next to freshly sautéed kale.

There is no way possible that you can convince me that you can’t cook this. Give it a try and please tell me how you made out.

Besides this dish is an ideal post-workout meal, it’s an easy meal prep idea, as well as dinner.  I could take this turkey patty to a new level but the idea was to be simple.

If you don’t eat turkey, sub with beef or seafood. If you’re a vegan, have the mushrooms over quinoa.  There are always options, the main idea is to put your creative hat on and have fun.  Cooking shouldn’t be serious.

After lunch, I unpacked more boxes.

As I write this from my cell phone, I’m getting a much-needed pedicure. My feet are tired.

I worked legs this morning at the gym and the hardwood floors at home make the bottom of my feet and ankles hurt.  I recovered a few years ago from a severe case of plantar fasciitis. I should not be walking barefoot on hard surfaces but I am a woman with island roots so I love to walk barefoot!  Hahah! But no more. Tomorrow I’m buying footwear that is it strictly to wear at home.