Week 20- blog- Refresh, Renew, Refine


Today I want to refresh, renew and refine the basics of what our focus should be to start this year. In the coming weeks, we are going to continue to hit very important topics for your health, immune, body and mind. But today let us slow and get back to the basics. Let us start with our fueling.

A. Eating to boost energy- our world is stressed, overweight, stagnant in movement and have poor eating habits. With the “YOLO” attitude, we are the unhealthiest generation to this point. Many people do not plan anything except their vacations or excuses! Am I hitting home with anyone? I am asking only in love to my RefineMEnt family. I see very low energy levels in all age groups. When we do not fuel our bodies correctly, over time, we will see break downs- mentally, with our immunity and our resistance to disease processes. Stop right now and think about what you are doing in terms of food intake. My hope is that over the last 20 weeks, you have made small steps to improve not only your thought processes toward eating, but your whole picture of what total health is.

-Let us start to maximize your energy now!  Here is how:

       1.-Eat more often- You say Yeet! She is giving me the okay to eat all the time. But when you really stop and think with your brain cleared, it is not a license to junk up your body. Eating every 3-4 hours helps fuel a healthy metabolism, maintains muscle mass and helps prevent unhealthy snacking (HANGRY ATTACK). We hear so much about metabolism and every one says theirs is either slow or low. Your body is always working and using energy. This energy comes from the food and drinks we consume. Your metabolism controls how much of that energy your body uses. Your metabolism is working to maintain your weight. A balance of good habits will help in this fight.  So, focus on small healthy meals to keep your fuel tank filled. Eat More Often

2.Eat lighter- Focus on smaller more appropriate portions. Use smaller plates and glasses and use leftovers for future meals. Start this year by paying attention to your body and also what AND how much you are actually eating. Are you eating because you have the hunger pangs or are you eating because it is a set time? You should feel hungry when it is time to eat. Overeating is a habit that we all can work on starting today.  Eat More Often, Eat lighter

3.Balancing your food intake- a balanced meal includes lean proteins, whole grains, fresh fiber rich fruits and vegetables, fat free or low-fat dairy and very limited amounts of healthy fats. Limit your butters, sauces, dressings, creamers, added sugars and gravy. Start reducing the number of fried foods by substituting baked, grilled or broiled items. Replace sugary drinks with water at least 2-3 times/day.  The key is to balance your plate with wholesome foods for sustained energy. Eat More Often, eat lighter, Balance your food intake.

4.Snacks as a bridge- When people think of snacks usually, they grab a candy bar or other health-less food. Snacks are important when utilized correctly. Snacks should include protein and fiber-rich carbohydrates to provide ongoing energy. Some examples= Greek yogurt and fresh berries, apple and a few nuts (listen to the Going Nuts podcast for ideas), baggie of carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers and celery and a slice of mozzarella cheese. Snacks are a bridge from one meal to the next. It is not a fill me up! Eat More Often, eat lighter, Balance your food intake, Bridge meals with small snacks

5.Get rid of energy downer drinks- Sugary sodas, coffees loaded with sugary additions and energy drinks may give you a fake boost which follow with an energy crash. Better choices are water, low-calorie flavored water, unsweetened tea. I have found a new favorite- HINT- zero calories, no sugar, sweeteners, preservatives- on and on. It is just like its name- a HINT of flavor.  For you sugar lovers, it will take time to get used to the absence of sweetness, but it will be worth it health wise! Eat More Often, eat lighter, balance your food intake, Bridge meals with small snacks, Rid yourself of energy downer drinks

       6. Plan- RefineMEnt podcast week 4 had great ideas on planning meals. Planning and goals set us up for true success. Eat More Often, eat lighter, balance your food intake, Bridge meals with small snacks, Rid yourself of energy downer

drinks, Plan

B. Choosing your nutrients right. In most cases, we eat for pleasure and enjoyment. We should like the foods we eat. We can find nutrient-rich foods in all 5 basic food groups. Make it a habit to select high nutrient foods first.

-bright colored fresh fruits and 100% fruit juice

-vibrant colored raw and fresh vegetables

- 100% whole grains, ancient grains and fiber-rich grain foods

-lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts

-low-fat and fat-free milk, cheeses and yogurts

The key is moderation and portion size!

We are now eating to boost our energy and choosing nutrient rich foods. You may say- eating healthy costs to much. I will respond- it is about the planning and shopping smart!

C. Eating Right on a budget. To get the most for your budget, you must plan.

- Plan your menus for the week. Looks at your recipes for needed ingredients. Check your shelves for what you have on hand. With that, make a physical list of what you need to buy. When shopping from a list and after a meal (full stomach), you tend to spend less on grab and go items.

- Decide on how much to make- If you make a double batch, you can use the extra portions for a lunch or dinner a night when your schedule is busier. You can also freeze a batch or leftover for a future meal.

-Shop around for best deals- Check store Apps, online or flyers for coupons and sales. At the store, check prices between brands and sizes. The unit price is usually located on the shelf below the products.

- really look at the foods you are purchasing and stop buying or cut the number of times you buy the items that are nutritionally worthless. Simplify your food buying by spending less time in the center aisles of the grocery store. Basics, basics, basics!

Once we get a tight grip on what to eat and are shopping smarter, we can focus on input and output to maximize energy. Next, let us look at calorie balance:

What is calorie balance? Calories going in our mouth from foods and beverages each day should balance (equal) with calories you burn daily in basic body functions and physical activity (MOVE).  1-1=0      If you eat 2X   2-1-1 (weight gain)

If you are eating and maintaining- fabulous. If you want to shed a few pounds this year an adjustment must be made with intake AND output. To find balance 1- decrease portion sizes- intake  

2- limit useless calories (high sugar foods and drinks) Intake     3-MOVE! Be active to maintain weight and more MOVEMENT to see the scale number go down.  output


To maximize energy and establish calorie balance, we must be active.


 Physical activity is important for children and adults of all ages. Being active as a family can benefit everyone. Adults need 2˝ hours a week of physical activity, and children need 60 minutes a day.

10 tips for becoming more active as a family:

1.            Set specific activity times. Determine time slots throughout the week when the whole family is available. Devote a few of these times to physical activity. Try doing something active after dinner or begin the weekend with a Saturday morning walk.

2.            Plan ahead and track your progress. Write your activity plans on a family calendar. Let the kids help in planning the activities. Allow them to check it off after completing each activity.

3.            Include work around the house. Involve the kids in yard work and other active chores around the house. Have them help you with raking, weeding, planting, or vacuuming.

4.            Use what is available. Plan activities that require little or no equipment or facilities. Examples include walking, jogging, jumping rope, playing tag, and dancing. Find out what programs your community recreation center offers for free or minimal charge.

5.            Build new skills. Enroll the kids in classes they might enjoy such as gymnastics, dance, or tennis. Help them practice. This will keep things fun and interesting, and introduce new skills! For adults look for classes at the senior center, YMCA or rec league.

6.            Plan for all weather conditions.  Choose some activities that do not depend on the weather conditions. Try mall walking, dancing, walking or marching to music at home. Try a yoga DVD or an exercise APP on your phone. Do whatever it takes! Enjoy outdoor activities as a bonus whenever the weather is nice.


7.            Turn off the TV. Set a rule that no one can spend longer than 2 hours per day playing video games, watching TV, and using the computer (except for school work). Instead of a TV show, play an active family game, dance to favorite music, or go for a walk.

8.            Start small. Begin by introducing one new family activity and add more when you feel everyone is ready. Take the dog for a longer walk, play another ball game, or go to an additional exercise class.

9.            Include other families. Invite others to join your family activities. This is a great way for you and your kids to spend time with friends while being physically active.

10.         Treat the family with fun physical activity. When it is time to celebrate as a family, do something active as a reward. Plan a trip to the zoo, park, local playground or lake to treat the family.

For those whose families are grown or for those who like to exercise by themselves, keep it interesting. Find new safe places to walk or bike. Local school tracks or their parking lots are great for after school or on the weekend walk, runs or bike rides. Always be aware of your surroundings. Safety first!


In review today: Renew, Refresh, refine

As we renew our commitment to continue improving ourselves, refreshing our knowledge, refining our goals and plans to maximize our energy, we must have a plan and be consistent in nutrient rich food choices. Get a grip on portion sizes, plate balance and meal and snack timing. Listen to your body and come to know when you are physically hungry and when you reach the full but not stuffed limit. Plan your shopping and use all available coupons and weekly sales. Shop with a definite list and start cutting out health- less items.  It may be helpful to keep a log of everything you put in your mouth- food and beverages as well as a MOVE log. Stop, think and then when focused, move positively forward. What goes in your mouth must equal your total body output for maintaining of a healthy weight. If you desire to shed a few pounds this year, then the equation must be less in and more out! Be creative in your personal and family MOVE time. Life is too short to be miserable- make it fun!

Many of you are new each week. I am proud of you for desiring a healthier you starting today! Please go back to week one of the RefineMEnt podcast to catch some important topics as you build your knowledge. Week two of the podcast we discussed physical activity or what I call your MOVE. For those new to RefineMEnt, start your assessment and this week and next week your MOVE goal is 10-15 min/day for 5 days this week. Get your walking shoes on and go! Any speed of movement is better than nothing. If you have been part of the RefineMEnt family for many weeks, Your MOVE goal is 40 min/5 days this week. Everyone- new and those refining-fuel your body right, hydrate, get your sleep, and finalize those new year goals. The time is NOW!

 I want to give a shout out to my dad. He is in his 80’s and is fighting mightily a health issue that he has had for years. There are days he has little energy, yet he chooses to go to the YMCA to walk about 5 times/week. Not only does the walking keep his muscles tone, it helps with his balance and gives a boost to his immunity to fight infections.  Somedays it is a few laps and on other days he can walk well over a mile. The bottom line is that he is just walking. Way to go dad and of course mom! Mom is the track warrior- she can outwalk the 30-year-olds!! Every day most of us do not feel motivated to do many things- but winning in life happens on the down days. Those down days build who we are- mentally, physically and spiritually. Pushing through positively strengthens not only our bodies but also our attitudes. I challenge you to- Focus, get out the door and go!

Quote of the week-   If I persist long enough, I will win. Og Mandino     What a great quote. Make this your daily self-talk!