Planning It All Out!

Well, we are a few weeks into the new year and I’ve been using my new planner.  I LOVE it!  I was really looking for a better way than using the app on my phone.  It worked okay, but I really love paper/pen planning.

Most of you know that I do NOT consider myself crafty, but I’ve been making my fitbit jewelry and I’m getting into decorating my planner.  Think of it a little like scrap booking, but I am having a blast with it!

So I thought I’d share with you how it is going for me.


The Erin Condren planner I chose is working out perfect for me so far.  The planner has it broken into morning, afternoon and evening.  I don’t use it that way.  I use it for my to-do list, important things to remember and my daily food and workout log.  Like I said, this one seems to be working very well for me.  There are MANY kinds of planners out there, you may want to do a little research to find the one that works best for you.  The Erin Condren planners are a bit pricey ($50), but you use it the whole year and it has so many wonderful features.

There is a monthly page like the one above and this one.  I LOVE the layout of this one!


Then there are the weekly pages – this is where all the action really is!



If you decide you’d like to get one like mine, if you use my link, you can save $10 and I get a $10 credit too!  Then you can share your link to get credit for yourself!  They have a lot of fun things to purchase to go along with your planner, or you can save it up for the next year’s planner!  Hey, It’s a plan!

Do you use a planner?  If so, what kind and how do you like it?  I’m always on the lookout for new ideas!  Do you decorate it????

Make those appointments!

I’m not sure how it happened, but I’ve gone from happy hours and having a good time with friends and family to now having to getting a colonoscopy and other medical treatments…..  oh getting older stinks!

So, in that frame of mind, I want to take a moment to remind you to schedule those pesky medical checkups that are needed.  I find that it is always a good time to do it around the first of the year or your birthday.  This way you will remember when it is time yet again.

I recently had my colonoscopy and mammogram and bone density tests done.   What a way to start the year with a reminder of getting older!  I say that in jest because I really don’t feel my age!  I really don’t!   But, it is so important to get these check-ups as you need them.


So, pick up the phone and make that appointment TODAY!  Your health is so important and your family needs you to be around for a LONG time!

Who doesn’t love pizza?

Who doesn’t love pizza?

This is a healthy version of a chicken pizza:

homemade healthy chicken pizza recipe

This healthy homemade pizza is topped with lean chicken, fresh ingredients, and a touch of Parmesan cheese.

Total Time:​ 18 min.
Prep Time:​​​ 10 min.
Cooking Time:​ 8 min.
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients for Pizza Dough:
¼ oz​​​​ active dry yeast
1 cup​​​ warm water (100–110° F)
2 tsp.​​​​ sugar
3–3¼ cups ​​​whole wheat flour, divided use
½ tsp.​​​​ fine sea salt (or Himalayan salt)​
2 tsp.​​​​  olive oil, divided use

Ingredients for Pizza:
½ cup all-natural pizza sauce, no sugar added
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
4 oz cooked chicken breast, boneless, skinless, shredded
1 cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup thinly sliced mushrooms
2 cups fresh arugula


For Pizza Dough:
1. Place yeast, water, and sugar in a medium bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until yeast becomes foamy.
2. Combine 3 cups flour and salt in a small bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to yeast mixture. Mix with clean hands until mixture does not stick to your hands. Add additional flour if needed. Roll dough into a ball. Brush with ½ tsp. oil. Place in a bowl; cover with a towel. Let rise for 2 hours.
3. Punch down dough to remove air; knead and roll into a ball. Brush with ½ tsp. oil. Place in a bowl; cover with a towel. Let rise for an additional 2 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 450° F.
5. Roll dough until it will no longer stretch. Let rest for 5 minutes. Continue to roll until it reaches your desired diameter, about 10 to 12-inches, and about ½-inch thick. Place on baking pan lightly coated with spray.
6. Brush with remaining 1 tsp. oil.

For Pizza:
1. Spread pizza dough evenly with pizza sauce, stopping ½-inch from edge.
2. Top evenly with cheeses, chicken, mushrooms, and tomatoes.
3. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, or until crust is golden.
4. Top with arugula.


Brian and I love pizza and one of my favorite ways to cook it is on the grill.  If you haven’t tried do it!  You will love it!

Holiday Stress????

Surviving Holiday Stress: The Power to Choose in Five Easy Steps

By Dr. Pete Sulack


Stress expert, writer and speaker, Dr. Pete Sulack is the founder of Exodus Chiropractic and Unhealthy Anonymous – a wellness support program that provides tools for healthier living.


Choose not to host the holidays.

  • Give yourself permission to take a pass this year, even if you’ve always done it…especially if you’ve always done it. Instead, consider helping with smaller tasks – offer to help clean up or even host next year when there is time to plan and prioritize.
  • Tell your family that in order to take care of yourself and live longer to serve them, you must keep the stress to a minimum in your life.
  • Don’t feel guilty if you choose this option, and don’t make excuses. You are worth it!


Choose to delegate.

  • Oftentimes it is easier to do things ourselves than to watch someone else muddle through them – but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your general sanity and health.
  • Delegating requires letting go of control a bit. While it might be uncomfortable for some, it must be done if others are to step up. If the turkey isn’t Hallmark-holiday-perfect or the tree isn’t decorated the way you would do it, who cares? Everyone will live, and the earth will go on spinning. Take a deep breath, and let it go.


Choose to sit at the “kids’ table.”

  • This sounds silly, but actually it works. Kids are much less judgmental about what you are eating, how slowly you eat, or if you are eating at all. They don’t care – people don’t become “food pushers” until later in life.
  • Chances are you will never get into an argument about politics, religion, or old family history at the kids’ table. You may have to learn more about “Power Rangers Megaforce” than you wanted, but it will give you a chance to enjoy a lighter, more carefree side of the holidays.
  • No one will be drinking alcohol at the kids’ table, so there is a good chance the conversation will remain civilized. Enough said.


Choose to remove yourself from dangerous situations.

  • If you are going to someone’s home for the holidays, consider staying in a nearby hotel (if you can afford it) so that you have somewhere to retreat if the situation gets stressful. You’ll also be able to stock the mini-fridge with safe, health snacks and foods.
  • Most hotels have workout facilities so you can start or end your day with a few minutes of aerobic exercise. If they have a pool or hot tub? Even better.
  • Take your own car, even if it means more money in gas. That way you can volunteer to make those last minute trips to the store that get you out of the house – and allow you quiet time to breathe, relax, and regain your mindfulness. Use that time to think about how you will handle potential challenges and conflicts when you return.


Choose to initiate activity.

  • Take a walk after a big meal, and invite others to join you. Everyone will benefit from the fresh air and exercise.
  • Instead of being glued to the couch watching television, choose to grab the kids and shoot a few hoops or initiate a game of hide-and-seek. Even breaking out a board game will usually bring the young-at-heart to the table and away from the couch.
  • Offer to walk the dog. It gets you some fresh air and exercise, as well as time alone to get centered and remain focused on your goal of getting through the holidays in a healthier, happier manner.

MotionX 24/7

If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you know how much I love my fitbit.  I’m a bit addicted!  A lot of you have indicated that you didn’t want to wear a device on your arm or on your clothing, or you couldn’t afford one.  Now I have a solution for you and I might be a bit addicted to it as well!

Check out the MotionX 24/7 mobile app.

motion x

Life-tracking app MotionX 24/7 today announces the version 10 update of its medical grade sleep and activity monitoring iOS app. The update includes Sleep Score and Move Score features derived from a series of advanced algorithms and patented technologies that monitor and track round-the-clock activity. The app also offers daily coaching tips to help you in set appropriate and achievable health goals.Learn more about MotionX 24/7 and download here:

The 24/7 Sleep Score is generated using data from a series of user input variables ranging from total time spent sleeping to the ratio of deep sleep to light sleep, and the number of sleep cycles and wake events experienced throughout the night. The Move Score is generated using data such as total active time versus total idle time, intensity of activity and how often a user is active throughout the day. Both scores take into account a user’s biological data such as age, sex, weight and height and compares it to the appropriate demographic standard for sleep and activity compiled from millions of days of activity and nights of sleep tracked and analyzed. The app also leverages advanced machine learning to provide even more accurate and relevant personalized sleep and move scores.

24/7 also boasts a noise detecting feature that automatically activates the microphone and records all sounds made while sleeping, making it possible for users to monitor their sleep talking, snoring or apnea habits. Users can take advantage of the app’s sleep cycle alarm clock, which wakes users at the optimum time in their sleep cycle to help you wake up refreshed. 24/7 also measures and correlates resting heart rate to sleep quantity and quality by using the iPhone camera to detect pulse from a fingertip.

24/7 will monitor users’ daily movement and activity with personalized “Get Active” alerts and personal goals used to encourage frequent activity breaks. Users simply carry their iPhone in their purses or pockets as usual and 24/7 accurately tracks steps taken and calories burned throughout the day.

“The increasing consumer desire to know more about their everyday health has allowed us to leverage our expertise in the biomechanics of natural human motion and sleep optimization, enabling us to offer iPhone users a fully comprehensive life-tracking solution,” said Mark McCormick, Vice President of Business Development at Fullpower, developer of 24/7. “The integration of the Sleep and Move scores allow us to provide our users with understandable metrics they can use to improve their health and ultimately their quality of life.”

24/7 encapsulates seven years of rigorous research and development in the biomechanics of human motion and sleep and aims to improve overall health in a natural and non-invasive manner.

App Features
24/7 features the following:
·       Personalized Sleep and Move Scores
·       Custom coaching tips and suggestions based on sleep and daily activity metrics
·       Monitor and analyze sleep cycles
·       Advanced and accurate sleep cycle alarm clock for optimum wake-up times
·       Audio recording that captures snoring or other background noises during sleep
·       Resting heart rate monitor that correlates heart rate with sleep quality
·       Smart alarms programmed for optimal length power naps
·       Visual breakdown of time spent awake, in deep sleep, light sleep and total sleep
·       Fingertip pulse detection using the iPhone camera
·       Advanced automatic Get Active alerts
·       Step and activity recorder with optional live voice coach

Pricing and Availability
24/7 is the #1 top paid Medical app available for $0.99 in the iTunes App Store here:

All you have to do is set the app for either steps or sleep or whatever you are going to monitor.  It is recommended for the sleep mode to place your phone under the fitted sheet before you go to sleep.
If you decide to try it out, let me know what you think!  I find it interesting to have my sleep data at my fingertips!

Pinterest WIN!

A few weeks ago I was looking at my makeup table and it was so cluttered I was embarrassed.  It had all kinds of things on it, perfume, jewelry, (lots of bracelets and my fitbit jewelry) and my makeup mirror, my basket with my hair dryer and brushes.  Yet, I couldn’t find a thing without moving everything around and I decided I needed some organization.  So, of course I turned to pinterest for some great ideas…..

I found the cutest jewelry organizer and I decided that I knew someone who could make this for me…. Brian!  He’s pretty handy to have around and he looked at it and said, sure, he could do it.  But, he decided I needed to be more involved than just the idea gal!  WHAT?  

So I got busy finding the right background paper ( I used scrapbook pages), he made me go to Lowe’s to get all the “ingredients” ( I am a baker, not a handy-woman).  I picked out drawer pulls, the right chicken wire and of course, hooks and the tension rods.

I had all the stuff to make it happen and then I sat on it for a week or so…..  Was he really going to make me do it myself????  Then I better just wait a bit, I might make a mistake or really screw this up!

So I very politely asked Brian this weekend if he would “help” me.  He did ask if I really wanted help or if I just wanted him to do it…….  of course I said I wanted him to do it!!  But, I helped and we were able to get it done in just a few hours.

I absolutely love it!  It turned out great and I’m very thankful to my dear friend that let us have her barn wood!

finished jewelry organizer

I might be a bit bracelet obsessed!  I’ve even been making my own.  This is HUGE for this non-crafty girl!!

pintrest win

I think it is a pinterest WIN!  The first picture is the one on pinterest, the second one, our version!  Go Brian!


Healthy cookies ARE possible!

The only thing better than cookies are healthy cookies. And, yes, there is such a thing. Well, that is, if you make them with Shakeology®. The best part is, since you don’t bake them (you chill them in the fridge), you’ll never feel the least bit guilty about scarfing down the dough. Enjoy!

no bake cranberry shakeology cookies

What You Need

  • ½ cup all-natural smooth almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk (or unsweetened coconut milk)
  • ¼ cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 1½ scoops Chocolate Vegan Shakeology
  • ¼ cup finely chopped almonds

What You Do

1. Combine almond butter, almond milk, oats, cranberries, and Shakeology in a food processor; pulse until it forms a dough.

2. Shape mixture into fifteen 1-inch balls; flatten each slightly into the shape of a cookie.

shakeology cookies how to 1


3. Press both sides of cookies in almonds.

shakeology cookies step 3



  • Calories: 96
  • Total Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 45 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Sugars: 3 g
  • Protein: 4 g

Want to make these, but don’t have any Shakeology?
Get yours here!

The Forks Over Knives Plan

No More Eating for Single Nutrients . . . Focus on the “Package” and the Foods You Enjoy
By Alona Pulde, MD, and Matthew Lederman, MD,
Author of The Forks Over Knives Plan: How to Transition to the Life-Saving, Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet

Forks over Knives plan

The idea of eating a particular food for one nutrient is pervasive in our culture. We have been led to believe we should eat meat for protein, dairy for calcium, fish for omega-3 fatty acids, and even tomatoes for lycopene, among many others. This sort of thinking is misguided and has caused grave harm to human health. The quest for protein, for example, has steered us toward meat consumption. In this quest, we not only consume protein in excess of our needs, but also many harmful substances like dietary cholesterol that are only present in animal foods.

No food is a single nutrient, and we should never think of foods in that way. Any given food has countless nutrients. What matters most is the overall nutrient profile, i.e., the whole package. Whole, plant-based foods contain all the essential nutrients (with the exception of vitamin B12*), and in proportions that are more consistent with human needs than animal-based or processed foods. So our question is really this: Why waste any of what we eat on inferior packages? As long as — over time — we choose a variety of whole, plant-based foods, we will easily meet all of our nutritional needs.

Whole, Plant-Based Food Will Provide the Best “Package” of nutrients

When eating fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes to comfortable satiation, you will get superior nutrition without also getting all the unhealthy elements present in animal-based and highly processed foods. Among other things, you will effortlessly consume:

  • A nutrient profile consistent with human needs. All whole foods contain carbohydrates, protein, and fat. These are the macronutrients, which are the source of virtually all calories, or energy. Different foods, how- ever, contain each of these in different proportions. The foods you eat on a whole-food, plant-based diet will most easily get you to a healthy carbohydrate, protein, and fat ratio, which lies somewhere in the range of 80/10/10. We discuss each macronutrient in the chapters that follow.
  • Lower-calorie-density foods that will leave you neither underweight nor overweight. Whole, plant-based foods in general are significantly lower in calories per pound (calorie density) than animal products and processed food. Higher-calorie-density foods lead to excessive calorie consumption and overweight bodies. Many chronic diseases are caused by the same foods that result in being overweight or obese. (We explain calorie density and how it affects body weight on page 30.)
  • A sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals. Every vitamin or mineral you need to thrive is present in a whole-food, plant-based diet in amounts and proportions consistent with our needs. The only exceptions are vitamin B12 and vitamin D, which we discuss on page 37.
  • Dietary fiber. Fiber plays a key role in signaling to our brain that we have eaten enough and is also an essential part of digestion, normal colon function, and binding and removing toxins that would otherwise be re-absorbed into the body. Animal foods do not contain any dietary fiber, so we must get it from whole plant foods.
  • No cholesterol. We do not need to consume cholesterol in our diets because our bodies can make all that we need. Avoiding dietary cholesterol is a great way to decrease our risk of developing heart disease. Excess cholesterol is involved in the thickening and hardening of arteries, or atherosclerosis, which leads to serious problems, such as heart attacks and strokes. Animal foods, even the low-fat varieties, contain cholesterol.

The above is an excerpt from the book The Forks Over Knives Plan: How to Transition to the Life-Saving, Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet by Alona Pulde, MD, and Matthew Lederman, MD. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy and references.

Copyright © 2014 Alona Pulde, MD, and Matthew Lederman, MD, authors of The Forks Over Knives Plan: How to Transition to the Life-Saving, Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet

Authors Bios
Alona Pulde, MD
, is a family practitioner specializing in nutrition and lifestyle medicine. Alona developed the Lifestyle Change Program used for patients in the film Forks Over Knives and in her clinic, Transition To Health. She is the author of the book Keep It Simple, Keep It Whole: Your Guide to Optimum Health. Alona joined Whole Foods Market in 2010 as a health and wellness medical expert.

Matthew Lederman, MD, is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician specializing in nutrition and lifestyle medicine. Matt has lectured for the eCornell T. Colin Campbell Certificate Program in Plant-Based Nutrition and appeared in the films Healing Cancer From the Inside Out and Forks Over Knives. With Alona, he cofounded Transition To Health and coauthored Keep It Simple, Keep It Whole. Matt joined Whole Foods Market in 2010 to help direct various health and wellness projects.

For more information please visit and follow on Facebook and Twitter

This is one of my favorite recipes from the book, super easy and quick, on-the-go breakfast!

The Quickest Breakfast Wrap

Makes 1 wrap

1 10 inch whole grain tortilla

2 tbsp nut butter ( peanut, almond, or cashew)

1 tbsp unsweetened apple butter or other fruit butter

1 ripe banana, sliced

2 tbsp raisins

1.  Place the tortilla on  a flat surface.  Spread the nut butter across the middle of the tortilla and top with the apple butter, banana and raisins.

2.  Fold the ends of the tortilla in toward the center and roll the wrap up like a burrito.

Serve and enjoy!


50,000 step day recap

I had my 49th birthday this week and for some strange reason, I thought it would be fun to walk 50,000 steps.  I know ,right?


I am in a group on facebook and I kept seeing people get 100,000 steps in one day.  I really thought about it and couldn’t imagine how someone could get that many steps in one day.  I just didn’t think it was possible.  But, I was curious.  I kept thinking about it.  I thought, I could try for half of that someday.  Then it dawned on me that I am about to turn 49, why don’t I do a “I’m not fifty, 50,000 step day”.  Now, I am not concerned about my age.  It’s only a number to me and I certainly don’t feel my age, so it really isn’t about age.  But, I wanted to see if I could do it.

Luckily, I have crazy friends.  They decided they wanted to do it with me.  Again, I know!

Susan, Lauren and I decided we would have to start early and get going and probably would have to walk most of the day.  Lisa lives in Kansas City and she couldn’t come down to my neck of the woods, so she decided she would be with us in spirit and get her steps in at home. ( I have a new found respect for her doing this all alone without a friend along, you just have no idea)

We got our first 12 miles done in 3 hours while it was cool.  We took a break, showered and headed out for some much needed nourishment.  By then it was hot and muggy out, so we decided to finish up at the mall.  This was CRAZY!  We walked the 1 mile loop around the mall too many times to even think about it!  We were there 5 hours and walked 14 miles.  I think the fact that it was boring and there were other people there slowed us down.  We took several 10 min breaks, but we finally made it.  Julie joined us for part of our walked and she got in 20,000 steps!

I was a bit discouraged because Lauren was 6000 steps ahead of me and Susan was 2500 steps ahead of me.  We all walked the exact same steps.  I’m not sure if my fitbit has a problem or if I just don’t swing my arm enough or what.  BUT, they stuck with me until I got my 50,000 steps too!  Susan and I decided that since we were so close to 26.2 miles, the same as running a full marathon, we would just go for it.  We did it!  I can say I have walked a marathon!

We finished up in time for dinner with the family and friends and it was a good day.  I wasn’t as sore as I expected to be.  My knees were a bit sore the next morning as well as my shins.  But, I pampered myself this week and got a reflexology session, a massage and a pedicure.  Whew, turning 49 is hard work!

After all is said and done, I’m glad I did it, but I have NO desire to do 100,000 steps in one day and I don’t even want to do 50,000 in one day again!

Huge hugs and thanks to everyone that supported me along the way – whatever the form.  I think my favorite was from my mom – “You are doing what?  You are truly crazy, enjoy it, I know you will”.  She knows me all too well!

50000 birthday


Vacation Memories

We had a fantastic vacation!  We started in Gulf Shores AL, with all the kids joining us!  We had a GREAT week.  Swimming in the ocean, fishing, shopping, eating good food and just enjoying each other’s company.

Emma and Madelyn had a great time.  Madelyn rushed into the water, and Emma took a couple of days to warm up to it!

beach memories 2

I took a lot of walks along the beach each day, usually one in the morning and again after dinner.  Funny how walking along the beach is so much more fun than just walking at home!

beach memories 1


After our amazing week at the beach, Brian and I took off to New Orleans and Memphis to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.

gulfshores 2014


brian and Dana 30th anniversaryI’m already ready to go again!  Now I just need to do laundry and finish unpacking and get back to work!

Have you taken a vacation this year?  Where did you go?