What is the next little thing?

Hmmm… what is the next itty bitty thing?

Do you realize that you are right where you need to be to take the next step? There’s absolutely nothing about your present circumstances that prevents you from making progress. All you have to decide is what to do next (just the next itty bitty step). It really is that simple. You don’t have to have it all figured out to take that next step and move forward. Just do the best you can until you know better. Once you know better, do better.

Remember: Never make permanent decisions based on temporary emotions. Many people make choices and plans when things aren’t going so well. They look for relief in the despair of the valley; instead of waiting for the clarity that comes from being on the mountaintop. . . The best time to make decisions is when you’re succeeding — or calm! If you fight your way through the valley, you’ll make better decisions at the summit.

I am pretty sure nobody is going to stand up at your funeral and state that you had an amazing couch and fabulous shoes.  Life is not about things, stuff and junk.  It’s about memories, experiences and feeling alive.  It’s about impacting other people, in a positive way.  So what is the next itty bitty thing that you need to do in order to move forward? If you don’t know the answer to that question, take a deep breath ~ and figure it out. Go get yourself that very next AHA moment !

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

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Smoothie Secrets

As someone who struggles with SED (Selective Eating Disorder) and getting the ‘good stuff’ into my body; Smoothies are my salvation. The possibilities are endless. Here are some thoughts on getting into the Smoothie / Protein Shake habit.

A few things to consider…

Have your fridge and freezer ready to make your perfect smoothie. When you can buy fresh ripe produce in season…take advantage and prep it in portions for your smoothie.

I have often bought bananas and let them ripen, peel them, and cut into 4ths and freeze in bags. Bananas add creaminess to smoothies and provide some suspension for the other ingredients. Bananas are also great as the base for frozen desserts like nice cream.  Avocados work well in this aspect too.

Apples, oranges, and pineapple can also be prepped for the freezer. Those are great to throw in a smoothie. Be sure to peel and remove as much pith from any citrus. It is a good idea to section apples and oranges into smaller pieces and pineapple into manageable chunks.

Strawberries and raspberries are good to pick up when you can get good deals. Do a quick soak in water and white vinegar and then another rinse. Let them dry some on paper towels and then pat dry and freeze. Some folks like to remove the hulls and tops from the strawberries…some people do not.

Now let’s talk Greens…I personally only use baby spinach. Some folks like to rotate their greens but I do not as I don’t seem to do well with other greens. Now put that spinach in a colander and rinse it well ~ then divide it into sandwich bags with about 2 1/2 cups per bag which equals 1 serving. Then put those smaller bags into a larger gallon freezer bag. Be sure to squish down the smaller bags to remove extra air and they store flatter.

Ginger and turmeric root can be prepped for the freezer to extend its life. Make sure to scrub it well and either peel or not peel ~ that part is up to you. Then slice it and put it into freezer bags. Just take out a few slices to toss into a smoothie or other shake creation.

I will also grab prepackaged fruits at the store when I can get a deal. I am open to many ways of getting ingredients for my smoothies.

Supplements are not always necessary if you make a rounded smoothie with a variety of ingredients. However; for me I use my smoothie as a building block that allows me to add extras that provide more anti-oxidants, omegas, fiber, and other heart healthy ingredients. Play around with Chia, hemp, and flax seed, probiotics whether from a yogurt or a powder, protein from nut butters or PB2…and protein powders. The choice is yours. If you need suggestions, let me know, I have an arsenal at my disposal.

The bottom line is this: Don’t be afraid to experiment! If you need recipe ideas, let me know that too.

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

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Food Rules

I believe in simplicity. Truly. No point in making things complicated ~ when there is no need to complicate them. So in case you were ever wondering; here are my simplified rules for eating. I’m not a big fan of telling people WHAT to eat; I’m not a registered dietician and everyone is so different. However; there are some basics I try to follow, teach my kids, and share with those interested.

  1. If it comes out of the ground or from a tree/vine/plant ~ and doesn’t kill you, you can eat it.
  2. If you cannot pronounce something on a label, try avoid it.
  3. Eat natural fats.
  4. Eat lean protein.
  5. Drink pure water.
  6. Eat when you are hungry….just start with natural fiber. Raw veggies are the best. A good trick is to eat an apple, or celery or a carrot about 10 minutes before you eat your meal. Drinking water before a meal is genius as well.
  7. Choose complex carbs over simple carbs.
  8. When choosing a snack/meal – aim for the perfect trifecta – a combo of good fat/protein/carbs. Carbs are not evil -they just need to be balanced with healthy fats and protein.
  9. Limit sugar … but if you’re going to have it – have the real stuff, not fake stuff.
  10. Eat slowly. Enjoy your food. Allow your brain time to catch up with your digestion.

Well, there ya have it. My simplified take on nutrition. We can call it Deb’s Diet Plan if we want. Or we can call it common sense.

Oh ~ and for the record ~ it’s perfectly fine to eat cake on your birthday! At least I think so, anyway.

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

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Get a Grip

How’s your grip? Not your grip on reality but rather your grip on objects.

One of the things I learned when I was studying for my personal trainer certification is how important your GRIP is. People always think to work out their arms, legs, shoulders, core, etc. However; not a lot of people pay much attention to their grip. If you fell off the side of a building, how long could you hang on? Hopefully that never happens. Regardless; your grip and your ability to HANG on as well as grab things, is important. It’s a basic skill that often gets ignored.

Have you ever heard of finger grips? Check this out.

Strongman bodybuilder doing exercise to lifting the book illustration.

Image source: Directions from Molding a Mighty Grip (1932) by George F. Jowett:

You may be surprised to find out how weak the fingers will prove to be providing, of course, you use a book of fairly good weight, as shown above. You will notice that the book is placed upon the fingers only and is not even touching the hand. You may also note that the hand is not resting on the table. These two points are important. Surely, you will understand you must use a book of sufficient weight but not so heavy as to make the exercise impossible. A straining movement has no value to you. It is the several movements – which are executed properly – that count. Keep in mind; if you allow the back of your palm of your hand to rest on the table ~ then the major value of this exercise will be lost.

Notice how far the book is placed on the fingers and that the thumb has no part in the exercise. Your first effort will be to raise the volume as high as possible with the index finger as shown. When you have thus raised the book to your limit, lower back to the original position and employ the next finger and so on until every finger on both hands has exercised with the exception of the thumb.

You may practice raising the book with each finger several times in succession before passing on to its mate. This is really a better practice.

As you pass on to the little finger you may find it somewhat difficult to juggle the book. The far side of the book may touch on the table, but do not let that concern you. It is perfectly fine as long as you feel the resistance.

When you have satisfactorily concluded the individual exercises, as just explained, try raising the book with the fingers one after the other, quickly, in the manner used to play a piano. This will create speed for your fingers; as well as strength.

Nimble as your fingers may be under ordinary circumstances; you will find they will acquire an awkwardness when called upon to operate quickly and strongly as required in the piano movement. If you have a volume sufficiently heavy you will find operating all the fingers of the hand at once a very good exercise also.

Finger exercises of all kinds have a very stimulating and gratifying influence upon developing the difficult muscles of the forearm which, at the same time, will naturally tend to increase the thickness of the wrist.

Reverse Finger Lifts

Strongman bodybuilder doing exercise for finger lift illustration.

Image Source: Directions from Molding a Mighty Grip (1932) by George F. Jowett:

To practice this exercise you simply reverse the position of the hand with regard to the table as the illustration shows. This will be a little more difficult to some than to others, but you must not be dismayed, the exercise is not so difficult. This exercise will bring into action the forcep muscles of the thumb and of the little finger. As these two forcep factors operate you will notice the difference in both control and power. Control will be better and power will be more evident.

You go through the same process as explained for the first exercise, exercising the fingers individually and quickly in piano play fashion. The only action in this exercise requiring more care than in Exercise 1 [Finger Lifts, above] is when the little finger becomes involved. As your fingers travel individually to the small finger a natural inclination will be felt to operate the thumb, commencing with the third finger and becoming more pronounced with the little finger. This last member has a certain amount of forcep action which, with the thumb, plays the major muscular action in closing the hand and gripping an object.”

Now if all of this seems too much for you … start with simply trying to grip things and see how you do. Find a jungle gym or playground and see how long you can “hang” on. Let me know how you’re doing.

As always, make champion choices!
The Healthy Habit Lady

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Do You Plan to Fail?

An oldie but a goodie … how do you plan your fuel ?

The Healthy Habit Lady


Do you plan it or wing it?   One of my amazing sisters (in-law) says ‘failure to plan is planning to fail’ … or something like that.  I think she rocks at the whole planning thing, even with three kids.  I kinda stink at this.  Truly, I do.

So I dare to ask you this question: Do you prepare your food in advance? If by chance, you do, then you probably know  this:  It is far easier to reach your nutrition goals when you plan your diet.  If you don’t, that’s fine too, but it means you surely have to plan well for the week that lurks ahead.

When you do not plan in advance, you are far more likely to snatch unhealthy meals, hit up the fast food drive-thru or gulp vending machine snacks ‘on the go’.  Sound familiar? It’s okay, you don’t have to raise your hand.

So many people, busy hard working people, choose those…

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