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Hey Everybody!

Hope you had a wonderful Fall, and are enjoying the holiday season. November was a fun but busy month for me. I had two workshops in the Boston area as well as Boston Mania. I fell in love with the city as well as the people I met- hard core and real! It always amazes me how quickly you make connections with people when you share a common passion!

As a nutrition and fitness counselor, I often wonder why people make the choices that they make. They come to me to get healthier, lose weight, get lean, yet so often they continue to make poor choices. These are the exact choices that are responsible for making them feel unhappy with their body. It leads me to wonder if people realize how much power they have.

I have been thinking a lot lately about choices. Particularly how choices give us power over our bodies, health and well-being. Your choices create your destiny. I often tell this to my 10 year old son Ben. You can imagine how much he hates to hear it! But one day he will realize how true it is. When he makes a bad choice, whether in words or deeds, there are consequences which he suffers. It is his poor choices that lead to his destiny for that day, or week. It is the same with our choices. Are we making the best ones for ourselves so that we do not have to suffer the consequences?

Choices give YOU power and control over your life. Sadly, many of us do not realize this. We feel that we don't have choices, or we consistently make bad choices. We give our power away to other people or other things. It is someone else's fault that we can't lose weight or are unhappy. It is always someone or something that is responsible for our predicament, not us. I know that makes us feel better in the short term, but it is so untrue and unfair. Let's stop acting like we are helpless and our hands are tied behind our backs. Step up to the plate; Look in the mirror. Figure out where YOU have control and what YOU are doing wrong. Stop making excuses. Start making good choices and see how you and your life will change. Remember choices give YOU the power.

Here are just a few examples of daily choices that can make a big difference in your life:

  • Choose to eat healthy foods. Before you eat something, ask yourself "Is this good for my body?" If it's not, either choose something else, or moderate the amount you eat.
  • Choose not to drink calories. Let the bulk of the liquids that you drink be water or green tea. If you drink alcohol, moderate it and choose drinks with less calories (wine instead of daiquiris, light beer instead of margaritas).
  • Choose to exercise as intensely as you can. Don't say "I can't." If there is a class that you have been avoiding, try it. Get rid of the boundaries that we set for ourselves. We can do so much more than we think we can! A defined toned body requires work...hard work, especially as we get older.
  • Choose to have some quiet time for yourself each day. Relax, meditate, do whatever you need to do to de-stress your body and mind. When you are always busy or with people, you don't have time to get in touch with your thoughts and feelings. I try to put about 15-20 minutes into each morning where I can read and meditate. I love starting my day this way.
  • Choose to stay positive. Have a good attitude. Even if you don't feel like it, just try. Fake it until you make it. You don't have to act like you feel. Your power source is your mind and whatever you think about you will empower. Empower the positive and try to minimize the negative. This in itself is a life-changing choice.

These are just a few examples of choices we make on a daily basis that can transform our lives. If you make good choices MOST of the time, you will see what a big difference it will make in your body, energy, health and happiness. Take care of yourself like you would take care of your children. Love yourself like you love your children. If we only did this, our lives would probably be much different. Just think about it. Start putting some time into YOUR well being. Make yourself a priority. Start taking responsibility for yourself and begin thinking about consequences. If we did this consistently, think how different our life would be! Make good's that simple!

Until next time, keep eating clean, get Horizontal and stay positive. Happy Holidays!



3/.3 CEU hours for AFAA/ACE
January 21, 2012
Spears Family
YMCA Greensboro, NC
Contact Beth McKinney for more information 336-387-9622

6/.6 CEU hours for AFAA/ACE
February 25, 2012
Mt. Brook YMCA
Birmingham, AL
Register here

February 3-5, 2012
Register here


•  Think about your fitness routine. Make sure you are including cardio, muscle, and flexibility. A balance of all three components is key.

•  Remember cardio does NOT build muscle. You must overload to build muscle.

•  Get out of your comfort zone with some of your workouts, especially your muscle workouts.

•  Horizontal Conditioning is a perfect way to get out of your comfort zone. It will challenge even the fittest client, and define your body like no other workout.

•  Make sure you are incorporating at least one rest day into your weekly routine. Your body needs rest to build and repair itself.


•  Treat yourself to my Fuel + Fitness Book. It is a must have for anyone wanting to be lean, healthy and energetic.

•  Get junk out of your diet. You don't need it and neither do your kids.

•  Get off artificial sweeteners. They are not good for you or your kids.

•  Drink lots of water or green tea. It helps with metabolism, digestion and makes you feel better.

•  If the changes you need to make for 2012 are overwhelming, just make one nutrition goal each month. Baby steps will get you there.

Recipe of the month

This recipe was created by a doctor here in town who has fallen in love with the Fuel+ Fitness program. Several times a year he hires me to educate his patients on nutrition and fitness. Our philosophies are very similar, keep people healthy...preventive medicine...which I, of course, love!

Cool as a Cucumber Shrimp Cocktail
by Calvert Dodson, III M.D.
  • 1 lb. fresh boiled shrimp (peeled, deveined, cut into 1/4 - 1/2 inch pieces)
  • 2 Avocados peeled and seeded and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 cucumber washed and diced into 1/4 inch pieces (peel is optional)
  • 1/2 to 1 Jalapeno pepper seeded and minced
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped (vary amount according to taste)
  • Juice of 1 or 2 limes
  • One small red onion finely chopped
  • One cup grape tomatoes cut in half
  • One Tbs. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients into a large serving bowl and chill for several hours or enjoy immediately. Serve healthy over a bed of mixed greens or eat it as is. Can also add black beans (rinsed and drained).