Resolution Solutions: The Importance of Support

Visibility Creates Accountability. Talking about your goals to your friends, family and coworkers can be a key element to your success. The more you put them out there, the more people know what you are setting out to do, and the more support you create around you!

You will soon get that friend asking you how it is going. You’ll get the co-worker who lets you know that they have wanted to do the same thing and would absolutely love to do it with you!

Better yet, ask friends and family members to set a goal and share it with each other. Then to make it even more interesting, decide on a reward you all can share – like a movie, concert, or spa trip together. This will keep you all focused on the prize!

If you set it up so that all of you must meet your goal to attain the reward, your support for each other will only increase.



Black-Eyed Peas and Rice Salad

Let’s prevent cancers! Beans are a super food and this is one of the many bonuses they may offer our health.

You’ll Need

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black-eyed peas
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup minced parsley

Continue reading “Black-Eyed Peas and Rice Salad”

Resolution Solutions: Reward For Long Term Success

We’re human and like to be rewarded for our accomplishments. For the new year, we often have goals for ourselves, and those goals should come with rewards!

The key to these rewards is to make them support your efforts, rather than work against them. For example, if your goal is weight-related, don’t make that reward be some kind of triple fudge caramel macchiato ice cream caloric explosion. That’s going to work against you.

On the other hand, if your goal is to be more active, perhaps your goal for meeting the metrics you set could get yourself a new pair of running shoes or workout clothes. A goal to be more mindful could come with a reward to give yourself a trip to the spa.

In addition to creating goals that support your efforts, it’s a good idea to have multiple small goals to help pull you along. Remember, the big changes come from the everyday lifestyle activities you follow through on each day. So reward yourself weekly – in some small way – when you make your weekly goals as well.  If you meet your goal for an entire month, the reward yourself with something more substantial. This kind of tiered reward system can help sustain your efforts over time.


Slim but sedentary might face same heart risks as overweight

(Reuters Health) – Adults with a healthy weight but a sedentary lifestyle may have the same risk for heart attacks or strokes as people who are overweight, a recent study suggests.

Researchers found that normal-weight people who spent much of the day sitting but still hit minimum recommended weekly exercise targets of 150 minutes of moderate activity had about a 58 percent lower risk of a heart attack or stroke than overweight people.

But when individuals with a normal weight sat around most of the time and got very little exercise, their risk of serious cardiac events wasn’t significantly different from that of overweight people.

“Being at normal weight is not sufficient to be healthy,” said lead study author Arch Mainous of the University of Florida in Gainesville.

“This matters for patients because they may get a false sense of security by just looking at the number on the scale,” Mainous said by email. “A sedentary lifestyle can erode the advantage of a healthy weight and increase the cardiovascular risk to that of their overweight counterparts.”

When people are sedentary – especially in middle age and beyond – they lose lean muscle mass and cardiorespiratory fitness, Mainous said.

Participants in the current study were ages 40 to 79, without a history of heart disease. Researchers used the standard American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association risk-factor calculator ( to assess people’s risk of events like heart attacks and strokes. A high risk was at least a 7.5 percent chance of this happening over the next decade. A “low risk” was a less than 7.5 percent chance.

Researchers identified people as being at a healthy weight if they had a body mass index (BMI, a ratio of height to weight) of 18.5 to 24.9 and overweight if their BMI was from 25 to 29.9. (A BMI calculator is online here:


Overall, 35 percent study participants had a high risk of events like heart attacks or strokes when risk factors other than BMI were also taken into consideration, researchers report in the American Journal of Cardiology.

Among individuals with a normal-range BMI, about 30 percent had a high risk of cardiac events.

For example, when researchers looked at fat in the gut region (or “sagittal abdominal diameter”), they found normal-weight participants with too much of this fat were more than twice as likely to be at a high risk of cardiac events as participants with a normal BMI and without much of this fat.

And, adults with a normal BMI who got short of breath during exercise were 35 percent more likely to have a high risk of heart attacks and strokes than normal-weight individuals who didn’t have breathing issues with exertion.

One limitation of the study is that researchers measured respiratory fitness based on how often participants reported shortness of breath, and not with objective breathing or exercise tests.

Even so, the results underscore the importance of staying active even with a healthy BMI, said Dr. Michael Hall, a researcher at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson who wasn’t involved in the study.

“While being in the normal-weight BMI category is good, reducing sedentariness and increasing physical activity still has important benefits,” Hall said by email.

“Unfortunately, many people have sedentary jobs, so it is important to work in time for moderate to vigorous exercise,” Hall added. “Small things like taking the stairs, adding in a few brief walks in the day or other intermittent activities may help attenuate some of the risks associated with sedentary behavior.”

SOURCE: American Journal of Cardiology, online December 4, 2018.


Resolution Solutions: Barriers To Your Goals

Even well-written goals can fail. And that failure may not come from the goal itself, but from life circumstances that get in your way. The key is to acknowledge that there are barriers, identify what they are, and then plan a fix for them.

There are so many kinds of barriers that it would be impossible to list them all in a blog post. It would be easier to have a method for finding yours.

Get into the practice of looking backward when you find that you did not complete a goal and reconstructing just what happened. This sounds simple to do, but it’s really not because you can be so rushed to get things done that you really never take stock of what happened!

When you pause to find that you missed a goal for the day, piece together the events that led to the moment when that incompletion happened. Think about the reasons why, and what would need to change in order for it to be complete the next day.

Making this a practice will help you be more self-aware of your goals and your own efforts to achieve them. It will also help develop the vital life skills of self-reflection and correction, which you could use in many aspects of your life!




Resolution Solutions: Face Forward

The new year is a time when people often reset expectations for themselves, to have a brighter future.

One great exercise in facing forward is to answer the following:  Life is short, so today I will [fill in the blank].

Take a moment each morning to reflect on what you can do to get the most from the time we have.

This simple exercise can be a potent daily reminder of what is truly important, and what may be simply a distraction.

Not only does this help our mental peace of mind, but can also improve our current and long-term health.



Resolution Solutions: One change solves two problems

In the new year, many people make resolutions to better manage such things as their finances and their health. But there is one activity that can allow you to do both: make your own food in your own home.

For example, eating out might cost $10 for breakfast, $15 for lunch, and $25 for dinner. Over a week, this equals $350 each week! What could you purchase for $350 per week!? Compare this to your weekly grocery bill, and think about how much you could save by simply making your own food in your own home.

For your health, eating at home is far better for you. For example, 80% of sodium and 70% of sugar consumed is obtained through foods purchased outside the home. When you make your own foods, you’re automatically eating better foods because zero people add hydrogenated oils and synthetic food ingredients to their plate — let alone those pounds of salt and sugar!

So, making your own food in your own home is a total resolution solution that not only kills two birds with one stone, but is super tasty too!



Crockpot Chili

Chili works well for a afternoon meal while the football games are on and family and friends have gathered.

You’ll Need

  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped mushrooms
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • 28 ounces stewed tomatoes
  • 15 ½ ounces kidney beans, cooked
  • 1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper


  • Brown beef, drain fat and put in Crockpot.
  • Add rest of ingredients, except kidney beans.
  • Cook on low 8-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.
  • Stir occasionally.
  • Add beans about 1 1/2 hours before you serve.