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Posts by Ross

Measure In Love

Please read these lyrics and think about them…

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes,
How do you measure, measure a year?

How about love? How about love? How about love?

Measure in love.

Today is the one year anniversary of Higher Purpose Fitness, and it’s the reason that I came home today and typed in “Seasons of Love.” The song that always brings tears to my eyes… The song that just sparked this blog…

When I look back on the last year, I definitely measure it in love.

I measure it in love that is from our Heavenly Father. A Father that has blessed us with Higher Purpose Fitness and has shown us so much favor. A Father that has never forsaken us – He has provided for us every step of the way. A Father that has proven over and over again that He is abundantly available. A Father that has always said, and is always saying, “trust Me and let Me lead the way.”

I measure the last year in love that comes from our amazing clients. Clients that have been dedicated and have worked their butts off! Clients that have completely trusted us. Clients that have become so much more than clients. Friends. Supporters. Encouragers. People that have been genuinely interested in the success of our business. The stories of our lives. The success of our lives. If I could give you an exact measurement of the love that I’ve felt from our clients, I would say that it’s to infinity and beyond. =)

I measure the last year in love that comes from my business partner. Without him, I wouldn’t be here typing this blog about our business. He has pulled more than his weight. He has done more than his fair share of work. He has given so much of his time and energy to make this business successful. He has been supportive of me and my desires/visions for HPF. He’s trusted me to run wild with my ideas. He’s listened to my praises and to my complaints. He’s seen me succeed and fail. He’s dealt, first hand, with the good, the bad, and the ugly of Nikki.

I measure the last year in love that comes from Josh and Holly, the husband and wife team that owns The Dojo American Karate Center that we operate out of. I don’t know where we would be without the two of them! Josh has given so much of his time to us. He has answered 5,000 of our questions and has given us great advice and suggestions over and over again. He has put his faith in us and trusted us to run our business out of his studio. He has promoted our boot camps to so many people, and we are forever grateful to him. Holly has supported us from the start as well, and she’s been one of our hardest working boot campers. What a blessing!

I measure the last year in love that comes from the relationships that I’ve formed with clients outside of boot camp. A particular boot camper has welcomed me into her life and into her Bible study group that’s full of incredible ladies. Several different boot campers have hired me for babysitting jobs. Their love has welcomed me into their homes time and time again, and has entrusted me to watch, care for and love on their children. Their love has provided for me when finances were tight. Another boot camper has welcomed me into her life. The deepest parts of her life. We have created a friendship that is so genuine, so transparent, so raw. A friendship that contains zero judgments. A friendship that God has been using to bring about change and growth. There are so many love stories in this area… My list could go on and on…

I measure the last year in love that comes from family members and friends that have supported me during this business venture. Without their love and encouragement, I don’t know if I would have made it this far. They have cheered for me during the great times and the not so great times. I’m so thankful for their words of wisdom and their financial blessings during some of the more difficult times. I love my family and friends!

I measure the last year in love that comes from me. Nikki. I have learned to have confidence in myself and to find my strengths in my weaknesses. I have learned to trust myself. To listen to my gut when it talks. I have learned to conquer fears. I have learned to risk. I have learned that with the help of my Father, I can do anything. I have learned that life is so short and that there are no guarantees. That we are vapors. I have learned that love is a choice. I have the ability to choose love every single day. I have the ability to measure life in love. Not in fear. Not in hate. Not in bad times. Not in darkness. But in love. The gift of love that has been given to us by God.

Will you choose to measure the last 5 hundred 25 thousand 6 hundred minutes in love? How about the next 525,600?

Simple Nutrition For Fat Loss

Simple Nutrition Made Easy

I do 95% of my shopping at Whole Foods and get almost everything I need there, but, you can head to a farmers market like Dekalb Farmers Market and get everything you need for even cheaper. Keep in mind, everything I’m about to share with you can be purchased at your local Whole Foods. It is just super convenient for me because it’s so close to my house.

There will always be a local farmer there selling every kind of meat you could ever want. The best part is it’s all grass fed, free roaming, drug, hormone and disease free, top quality meat. Any type of meat you buy on the cheap at the local supermarket is laden with drugs, grains, diseases and poor fatty acid profiles. Ingesting that type of garbage is not a good idea if you’re interested in staying healthy and performing at your highest level.

So stock up on enough local, organic meats and eggs to get you through to the following week. Next, load up on fresh, organic fruits and veggies. Since these don’t keep as well it’s best to only buy a few days worth and then restock midweek. I average 2 trips per week but they are very quick and easy.

Most farmers markets have a stand that sells nuts and seeds as well. Whole Foods has really good variety too. These are a great part of a healthy diet and an easy way to get high quality calories so I recommend getting a few bags for the week.

Everything You Need For a Simple and Healthy Diet

With one quick and simple trip to the farmers market or Whole Foods, you have just about everything you need to eat for the week- meat, eggs, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds.

If everyone ate nothing but what they could buy at a farmers market a lot of doctors and hospitals would go out of business and people with REALLY good looking abs would be as common as the oxygen we breath.

What if You Want to Have a Cheat Meal or Day?

First of all, it’s gotta be scheduled. When it’s scheduled you have to earn it. Plus, you have something to look forward to. A few weeks ago my cheat day consisted of some pure awesomeness from Whole Foods. I had some of their delicious pizza with 3 of my favorite toppings, chicken, bacon, and pineapple. While I waited for the pizza to be made I had some incredible ‘cookies n cream’ gelato and a double shot of espresso 🙂

If you bring cheat food in your house, do NOT keep it there. Get rid of it. Give it to someone else. If you keep it around it will be staring you down every time you open the fridge or cabinet and sooner or later you’ll give in or get knocked down. Never have cheat food sitting around the house. Buy just enough of it on the day you plan to consume it. Re-Up next week and repeat every seven days.

Mmmm... Pizza!

Exactly What To Stock Up On:

In The Fridge

Variety of Vegetables

Variety of Fruits

Organic, free roaming eggs

Grass-fed Beef

Free range, organic chicken

Wild Caught Fish

Aged Cheese

Greek Yogurt

Real Butter

Real Cream (for those of you that like something in your coffee)

Animal Fat (for cooking)

*I recommend organic for all of these, especially the meats and dairy products.

In The Pantry

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Unprocessed Palm Oil


Apple Cider Vinegar



Nut Butters

Legumes (High Carb – Include ONLY if you’re at your ideal body fat percentage)

Wild Rice (High Carb – Include ONLY if you’re at your ideal body fat percentage)

Steel Cut Oats (High Carb – Include ONLY if you’re at your ideal body fat percentage)

Green Tea

Organic Coffee

Omega-3 Fish Oil

Multi Vitamin (for those of you that don’t eat many fruits and vegetables)

*I recommend organic whenever possible.

I promise you this approach to nutrition, similar to what our grandparents or great grandparents probably followed, will be far better for your wallet, mind and body.

I’ll Take The Heavy Weight, Please!

I’ve been in this industry for over 6 years now, and I continue to hear the same ole’ concerns and myths about heavy lifting, especially from the ladies.  Being a female myself, I totally understand the initial concern about heavy lifting.  I’ve been there!  For years, I was stuck in the mindset of doing cardio, cardio, cardio with a little bit of moderate-high rep weight training.  I thought that doing all of that was going to help me get lean and toned, giving me the look that every woman wants.  Before I started lifting heavy weights I was a CARDIO QUEEN.  My schedule went something like this:

Mon – taught New Kids class for 1 hour, played Ultimate Frisbee for 1 hour (lots of running)

Tues – taught Spin class for 1 hour, taught Circuit class for 1 hour (endurance weight training with high reps, low weight)

Wed – same as Mon

Thur – taught Circuit class for 1 hour (endurance training with high reps/low weight)

Fri – taught New Kids class for 1 hour

Sat – worked out with weights for 45-60 mins (moderate weight/moderate reps)

Sun – rested

Most people that are stuck in the “old school way” of thinking will probably read over this schedule of 9-10 hours of exercise a week and assume that I was super lean, super toned and super healthy.  But guess what?  That’s not the case!  My HEART was very healthy and I could’ve outrun someone if I had to with all of that Frisbee playing, but that was about it.  I worked out all the time, I was hungry all the time, and I ate all the time! I weighed 155-158 pounds, and I was lean, but not in the lean way that I wanted to be.  I definitely had fat on my body, and my legs and arms didn’t look “toned.”  They just looked like normal, skinny arms and legs.  Yuck!

In the summer of 2007, I decided to give the “heavy weight lifting” thing a try.  I started doing low reps and heavy weight.  I initially trained heavy 1-2x/week, and I threw in a 3rd/4th day with moderate/lighter lifting.  I stopped doing cardio altogether, aside from the heart work that I was getting with my weight lifting workouts. I definitely started seeing some awesome changes in my strength and in my body.  That went on for about a year or more, and then I really focused on my nutrition in the fall of 2008.  I monitored my caloric consumption and focused on the quality of my food, and I began to see even more results with my body.  In Jan 2009, I decided to do a program called Maximum Strength.  It was 4 months of heavy lifting with big body movements and very little isolation work.  I did the basic exercises that all of you boot campers are familiar with like squats, single leg squats, dead-lifts, lunges, push-presses, pull ups, push-ups, chest presses, and more.  BOY, DID MY BODY CHANGE!!  I was so shocked to see my results over the 4 months.  I finally got to be the super lean, ripped chick that I had wanted to be for a long time!  I was so strong, so healthy and I was 10+ pounds lighter!  I had a 6 pack, amazing arms, legs and the whole 9!  What a great feeling!  I regularly received compliments like “look at those guns” and “your back looks amazing!”

So there you have it!  I’ve been there and done that!  I know the miserable feeling of working my butt off doing hours and hours of cardio and some weight lifting without seeing results.  No one deserves that kind of torture and dissatisfaction!  Every single one of you that’s reading this deserves to look amazing, feel amazing and be lean, super toned and functional in your daily living.  If that’s what you want for yourself, then you HAVE TO LIFT HEAVY WEIGHT!  Here are the benefits of heavy weight training:

•      You burn calories while you are working out with heavy weights, especially in circuit fashion like we do at HPF.

•      A full body workout with weights will give you 1-2 days of caloric after burn, unlike cardio.

•      The more muscle that you have in your body, the more calories you burn at rest  à  your metabolism gets higher and higher as you put on more muscle (whoo hoo!)

•      People think they aren’t working out hard during heavy days, but that’s not true.  The heart has to work hard to supply blood to your body during heavy workouts.  So you’re not dripping and completely out of breath?  Big deal!

•      Aesthetically speaking, it’s the way to go!  Muscle takes up a lot less space than fat.  If you’re building muscle and losing fat, you’re going to see the results that you want.  Your clothes WILL fit differently, and you WILL get compliments.

•      We know that lifting heavy strengthens your muscles, but it also strengthens your bones and connective tissues which protect your body from injuries.

•      Heavy lifting enhances functionality in your daily life.  You can do more things with ease like picking up stuff, moving furniture, climbing stairs, balancing, pushing the kids around in a stroller, etc.  Heavy lifting even carries over to other types of exercise and makes those easier as well.

Don’t Just Stand There, Bust A Move!

Nothing makes me happier than dancing!  I’ve been dancing since I’ve been on this planet.  I’ve taken Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Modern, Clogging, Salsa, Hip Hop, Swing and anything else I’ve been able to get in to.  Aside from classes, I have dance parties all the time – in the car, in the bathroom while I’m getting ready, in the kitchen while I’m cooking, and when I’m just hanging out.  I have a hard time staying still as it is, but especially when there’s a good beat playing in my head or through the speakers.  During our boot camps, I’m constantly snapping or clapping to the beat of the music.  My body just won’t resist the movement!  I thoroughly enjoy watching dance videos online, dancing shows like So You Think You Can Dance and those SUPER CHEEZY movies that revolve around dance.  (Yes, I still love me some Dirty Dancing!)  They all inspire me to get off my butt and dance, dance, dance!!!

My point with all of this is that I have an activity that I really enjoy AND it keeps me moving.  Every time I dance, I work my brain, my muscles, I burn calories, I improve my agility and coordination, I have fun, there’s no obligation, time goes by quickly, it helps me deal with stress and it makes me EXTREMELY happy.  I want YOU to find something that you’re passionate about that will keep you moving and healthy.  Maybe that means joining a Tennis club or a Football league.  One of my former clients was on a Kickball league, and I have had others that were part of a Running club.  I used to play Ultimate Frisbee two times per week, and I absolutely loved it.  Maybe you enjoy yard work or running around with your kids outside.  It doesn’t have to be a sport or a class, just an activity that you really enjoy.  I challenge all of you to participate in your favorite activity AT LEAST two times per week.  I promise that you won’t regret it!  Your mind, body and spirit will thank you!  =)

What about YOUR kids?

I just read an article that included the following statistics about childhood obesity:

  • The rate of childhood obesity in the U.S. has more than tripled in the past 30 years, and that’s across the board with regard to age, gender, race, ethnic background and socioeconomic status.
  • The childhood obesity rate does vary widely, however, by geographical region, although with a few anomalies. The Southeast is home to the highest proportion of obese kids, with Mississippi leading the nation in rates of childhood overweight (44.5 percent) and obesity (21.9 percent). Kids in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia were twice as likely to be obese as those in Oregon. Then again, so were kids in Kansas and Illinois.
  • Western region kids were, overall, the slenderest, Oregon having the fewest obese children at 9.6 percent, and Utah the fewest overweight kids at 23.1 percent. But even as the childhood obesity rate fell by 32 percent in Oregon between 2003 and 2007, it rose by more than 40 percent in Arizona and Colorado.
  • Nationwide over that four-year period, obesity among all Americans aged 10 to 17 increased by 10 percent and among girls by 18 percent.
  • A separate study of American children ages 2 to 19, published in the Journal of Pediatrics in March, found that 7.3 percent of boys and 5.5 percent of girls are now “extremely obese.” That’s right: extremely.

These statistics are very disturbing and sad!  Every time I read about childhood obesity, I get fired up and angry at parents.  Parents, you guys are the ones that buy the groceries and make the rules.  Have you scanned the pantry lately to see what kind of snacks and beverages are available to your kids?  Have you really thought about the foods that you buy and prepare for your kids?  Do you buy those foods because they’re healthy or because they’re easy and convenient?  Do you monitor the amount of time that your kids spend watching TV, playing video games or being inactive? 

I don’t have kids, but I’ve spent a lot of time with them.  I have five nephews and a niece that I’ve hung out with for the last 19 years, and I’ve done a lot of babysitting in my 29 years.  Kids are not moving anymore!  They are sitting in front of the TV or computer or Wii for hours and hours and hours, accomplishing very little.  And let me tell you what I’ve seen kids consume regularly, in the past and recently:  pop tarts, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, candy bars, green beans, white rice, cake, popsicles, fruit rollups, gushers, spaghetti o’s, dry cheerios, granola bars, s’mores, pizza, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, sodas, kool-aid, sugar free crystal light, gatorade, juice boxes and my list could go on forever.  Does any of that sound familiar?  Do you think any of these items are healthy??  Here is the breakdown of my list:

If I see another kid eat a Pop Tart I’m going to scream out loud!!!  Pop Tarts are one of the WORST foods you can feed your kids.  Do you know that Pop Tarts have 50+ ingredients in them?  SERIOUSLY??  It takes fifty ingredients to make a pastry with some jam inside of it??  There is zero nutrition in Pop Tarts!  They are full of chemicals, preservatives, sugar and sodium, plus a sprinkle of fat and protein.  I wouldn’t feed my dog a Pop Tart!!

MOST hot dogs that I’ve ever seen are made from the byproducts of the meat instead of the lean high quality meat from the animal.  Hot dogs are full of sodium and preservatives like sodium nitrates/nitrites.  These preservatives have been linked to a variety of cancers and brain tumors.

Macaroni and cheese is easy and cheap, but it doesn’t provide a lot of nutrients for your kids.  If you’re using real natural cheddar and real butter, then it wouldn’t be the worst food ever.  But what about all of those carbs your kids are getting from the noodles?  Check out my Carb Cycle blog for more information and to see what’s happening with your kid’s bodies.

Chicken nuggets are packaged, which means they are loaded with sodium and preservatives.  If you are cutting up your own chicken, slightly breading it and cooking it in the skillet, then it won’t be a bad choice.  But how many of you parents are doing that?  Please give your kids the best meats available and prepare them yourself!

I don’t even have to tell you about candy bars, fruit rollups, gushers, popsicles, cake, s’mores, sodas, gatorade, kool-aid, and any other processed sugary snacks and drinks.  I’ve heard of parents using these items as rewards for good behavior.  REWARDS??  Please reward your kids in healthy ways like taking them to the park or playing with them in the backyard.

It’s time to go from this:

To this:

Green beans and white rice aren’t the worst possible food choices, but they certainly aren’t the best.  White rice is nothing but carbs and green beans aren’t nutritionally dense.  If you want your kids to have carbs, I’d prefer that you give them a small portion of a baked sweet potato.  Skip the green beans and go for a nutritionally dense green veggie like broccoli or spinach.

Be careful with dry cereal and granola bars.  Most of them are extremely processed and are full of chemicals and ingredients that I’ve never heard of.  Please buy cereals and bars that have very few ingredients and are in their rawest form.  You’ll be doing your kids a favor!

Spaghetti O’s are terrible!  They are packaged, which again means they are loaded with sodium, preservatives and chemicals.  Get those cans out of your pantry!

Pizza and PB & J sandwiches can be bad, but they can be good.  It depends how you make them.  A really thin crust pizza that’s covered with colorful veggies, tomato sauce, some natural mozzarella cheese and some healthy, lean meat, will taste great to your kids, plus they will be getting lots of good nutrients.  A PB & J sandwich should be made on minimally processed bread with natural peanut butter and minimally processed jelly.  It will be a better option than most things on my list!

I don’t recommend sugar free drinks and foods for kids, especially.  When they get to be 18, then they can pick their poison – sugar or sugar free.  I’m convinced that artificial sweeteners wreak havoc in your body, even if it doesn’t show up until years later.

Juice is fine as long as it’s 100% natural juice, and it’s not full of other ingredients.  Do remember that juice contains natural sugar, so limit the amount that your kids consume.  Capri suns and most juice boxes are full of everything but juice.

Parents, I challenge you to take a stand and do what’s right for your kids! Please educate them and encourage them to move and eat healthy foods.  It’s not a perfect world and kids will be kids.  They’re going to play video games and they’re going to have sugar here and there, but at least limit it to the best of your ability.  I know several parents that have strict rules about “technology time” and healthy eating.  If they can make it work, I know that you can make it work!  The ball is in your court!  What are you going to do with it?  Will YOUR kids become a part of the national childhood obesity statistics?

How To Spice Up Your Huevos

“Anyway, like I was sayin’, shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sautee it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it.”

-Bubba from Forrest Gump

I love this quote!  It’s one of the few that actually sticks out in my mind every time that I think of Forrest Gump.  You can do a million things to shrimp, and you can do a million things to other foods.  You’ve just got to be creative!

Over the last couple of weeks, I have heard several of our boot campers say that they are getting sick and tired of eating eggs for breakfast.  Most of them have been preparing their eggs the same way, so I totally understand why they’re getting tired of them.  Variety is the spice of life!  I really enjoy eating eggs that are poached, scrambled, fried and boiled.  I enjoy adding veggies to them, and salsa, and cheese, and bacon and sausage and salmon, you name it!  I love being creative in the kitchen, so here’s a couple of my own egg recipes. 🙂

1.  Mexican Egg Awesomeness

– 1 avocado, cut into small cubes

– 6 pieces of natural bacon, cut into bite size pieces

– 5 large organic eggs

– 3 oz. of natural cheddar cheese, shredded

– 3 tbsp. of natural salsa

Cook the bite size bacon in the skillet, and drain off a little of the grease.  Mix your 5 eggs and shredded cheese and add it to the skillet.  Add the cubed avocado once the eggs are 80% done.  Once the eggs are cooked and the avocado is heated, remove from the skillet.  Top it with your favorite salsa and enjoy!  I like to add a little salt and pepper for more flavor.

3 Servings = 427.5 C, 34.4g of Fat, 7.8g of Carbs, 24.1g of Protein (each serving)

4 Servings = 320.6 C, 25.8g of Fat, 5.88g of Carbs, 18.03g of Protein (each serving)

2.  Fried Egg with Topping

– 1 tsp. of olive oil

– 3 pieces of bacon

– 1 egg

– 1 oz. of cheese, cut in half

Cook the 3 pieces of bacon in the skillet, oven or microwave then break them in half.  Crack one egg and fry it in the bacon grease or 1 tsp. of olive oil.  Once the eggs are 90% done, cut the heat down and add the 2 cheese slices to the top of the egg.  Once the cheese is melted, remove from the skillet and top with your 3 pieces of bacon for a delicious breakfast!

1 serving = 364 C, 29.5g of Fat, 7.1g of Carbs, 17.3g of Protein

Why YOU Should Be Doing Kettlebell Swings

Today I’m going to talk a little bit about the kettlebell swing. After that there will be a video waiting below for your viewing pleasure. 🙂

Kettlebells blend strength, cardio, and mobility into one super-efficient workout. The kettlebell swing is the foundation of kettlebell training. It is an explosive movement that works the posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings) like no other. Ladies (and yes, guys too) this is one of the BEST exercises to perform if you want to have an amazing butt… or to make your already amazing booty even better. Please keep in mind this is not a magical exercise – if you do lots of swings but still don’t have your eating on point, you’ll still have a flabby rear end. :/ Remember, the nutrition should be simple: Get rid of processed foods and eat fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. Okay, before I get carried away on the nutrition front – back to the swings!!!

Here are a few cool facts about the kettlebell swing:

1. Kettlebell swings are an awesome conditioning and fat burning tool.

2. They develop back endurance which Dr. Stuart McGill, a leading spine/back expert, says helps with the reduction of back injuries.

They are the foundation of the kettlebell snatch which was shown to burn at least 20.2 calories per minute during a recent study in which the participants performed a 20 minute snatch workout!

Swings work the abs and strengthen the core muscles.

They work the all the muscles of the posterior chain including the glutes, hamstrings, and entire back. It is extremely important to develop all these muscles, especially if you do a lot of sitting. This will also help out with your posture.

6. Did I mention they’ll make your butt look WAY better?

If you want to learn how to burn twice as much fat in half the time by using kettlebells, come check out our indoor boot camps. We offer a RISK-FREE 21 day trial!

Watch this video to learn how to do a kettlebell swing:

Involved or Committed?

“The kamikaze pilot who flew 50 missions was involved-but never committed.”

-Lou Holtz

When it comes to your health and fitness goals, are you involved or committed?

Do you eat healthy and workout only when it’s convenient for you?  Do you show interest and engage yourself when you realize that it is New Year’s resolution time or that you have a dress to fit into or that bikini season is right around the corner?  Or do you workout and eat healthy no matter what is going on and coming up?

People that are involved with their health and fitness goals typically spend more time complaining about their gut, their spare tire or their junk in the trunk and less time acting to get rid of it.  They are usually the yo-yo dieters, the sporadic exercisers, and the people that are full of excuses.

People that are committed to their health and fitness goals do NOT complain and do NOT make excuses.  They are the people that eat healthy 80-90% of the time, workout regularly and are active in their daily life.  Whether they know it or not, they have a “No Exceptions” policy in effect.  Nothing will stop them from being healthy and taking care of their temple, their body.

Now that you’ve read the descriptions, I’ll ask the question again.  Are you involved or committed?  If you’re involved, what will it take for you to be committed?  What will you have to sacrifice?  And would you prefer to make small sacrifices now or huge sacrifices later?

A SMALL sacrifice is skipping your $4 Grande Non-Fat Latte that you purchase daily. This will help you save money so that you can join Higher Purpose Boot Camp or hire a personal trainer.  Another small sacrifice is cooking and packing your food instead of eating out so often.  This will allow you to monitor your caloric consumption and eat clean, healthy foods.

A HUGE sacrifice that you could experience later in life is spending a significant amount of your time confined to a hospital bed or a couch, recovering from a heart attack.  If this were to happen to you, you would be missing out on life, you would be forced to be inactive – there’s no physical way you could work or play, and you would be financially burdened from the surgery and hospital visit.  And who knows how long it would take you to get back on your feet!!

Please think long and hard about all of the things I have mentioned.  It’s your life, your body, your health!  You can do anything that you put your mind to!

Be committed!


The lists that I’ve included in this blog are from the book, THE 4:8 PRINCIPLE: The Secret To A Joy-Filled Life. I highly recommend this book to anyone that is looking for lots of joy and happiness. It is an easy read, and it’s full of great content! I copied 25 of Newberry’s negative thoughts and 25 of his positive thoughts from his list of 40 for you to compare. Read the thoughts and see if any of them sound familiar to you. Are the majority of your thoughts from the Joy-Producing List or from the Junk-Producing List? Do you realize that you have a choice? You can choose to think positively and find the beauty in everything or you can choose to complain and take your blessings for granted! I challenge you to find joy in your thoughts, your conversations and your experiences. Do you think you can do it for 24 hours straight?? I KNOW you can! Start there, and see where it gets you! Let me know how you feel at the end of the 24 hours!

(When you’re done reviewing the lists, please take 2-3 minutes out of your day to watch the video that I’ve included!)

25 Junk-Producing Thoughts
1. I’m never going to be that happy again.
2. That’s just the way it is.
3. This probably won’t work.
4. I don’t have what it takes.
5. That always happens.
6. I hate myself.
7. I am not worthy.
8. I could never do that.
9. I have to accept my limitations.
10. That makes me sick.
11. I don’t need this.
12. I can’t.
13. That’s typical for me.
14. If such and such happens, I’m going to be sooo mad.
15. It’s never going to work out.
16. It isn’t my fault.
17. I used to have so much energy.
18. That’s just my luck.
19. That’s just who I am.
20. It’s never going to be like it used to be.
21. I’m living proof of Murphy’s Law.
22. I’ll just have to put up with this.
23. Nothing good ever happens to me.
24. Everything I eat goes straight to my waist.
25. It’s hopeless.

25 Joy-Producing Thoughts
1. I expect the best, and it shows!
2. I trust God; my faith is strong.
3. I am responsible.
4. I take deliberate action to reach my goals.
5. I now accept the best that life has to offer.
6. My metabolism works effectively.
7. I believe in the most perfect outcome of every challenge in my life.
8. I am healthy and strong.
9. I have boundless energy!
10. I surround myself with winners.
11. I experience abundance now and forever.
12. God has great plans for me.
13. Everything I need, I already have.
14. My brain works perfectly.
15. I change what I need to change.
16. My memory is crisp and vivid.
17. I’m making progress.
18. I control my thoughts.
19. I can improve this situation.
20. I ask, and I receive.
21. I am supercharged with joy.
22. I am ready for a breakthrough.
23. I am lovable.
24. I think about what is good, just, and gracious.
25. I am learning a lot through this experience.

Make sure you turn up the volume for this video! 🙂

Ten Healthy, Balanced Snack Ideas

These snacks are delicious and easy to prepare.  They will fill you up and hold you over while providing your body with good nutrients and energy.  Skip the bars, the shakes and the smoothies and go for one of these!

  • 6 oz of Greek Yogurt Mixed With 3 – 4 Chopped Walnuts
  • 1 Large Stick of Celery, Sliced & Dipped In 2-3 Tbsp. of Hummus
  • Small/Med Apple Dipped In 2 Tbsp. of Natural Peanut Butter
  • 4 – 6 oz. of Low-fat Cottage Cheese & Small/Med Piece of Fruit
  • 4 – 6 Natural Whole Grain Crackers With 1-2 oz. of Low-fat Cheese
  • Hand Full of Almonds & Small/Med Piece of Fruit
  • 1 – 2 Cups of Steamed Edamame In Pods
  • 4 – 6 Natural Whole Grain Crackers Dipped In 2 Tbsp. of Egg Salad
  • Small/Med Baked Apple, Topped With 3 – 5 Chopped Pecans & Sprinkled With Cinnamon
  • 6 – 8 Baby Carrots & 1 Piece of Low-Fat Mozzarella String Cheese