Who doesn’t love a great massage? If you think massage is the same everywhere, it’s just not true. There are many kinds of massage; Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone, aromatherapy, and others. Massage is a very valuable health asset. Massage increases blood flow, stimulates the nervous system, helps rid the body of toxins and is plain old relaxing for most people. Massage can also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Are you aware that there are many mobile massage therapists who come to your home, set up the massage table and let you slide like jello off the table afterward and head off to bed if you like? My husband and I love the option of this type of massage. In speaking with Karen Horath, LMT and owner of Because You Matter Mobile Massage, based in Springfield IL, there are many benefits to mobile massage aside from the massage. Karen shared that climate is essential for people’s comfort and finds that the home is where people are already comfortable, because they are more relaxed in their personal surroundings. She loves the flexibility of this type of massage as opposed to being in a brick and mortar setting. She also does massage at a local salon two days out of the week for those who prefer that setting. However, her passion lies in the mobile massage end of her business. She was motivated to pursue this type of business model for a very personal reason. Her husband is legally blind, and therefore would be unable to drive himself to a massage appointment. She thought about him and others who weren’t able to transport themselves. She saw a problem and a way to solve it. She also does events such as employee appreciation days, provide massage service at local hotels for guests, and has even do chair massages at a party. One of her favorite things is when she sees her clients roll off the table, relaxed, and knowing they won’t have to worry about the stress of getting into traffic or feeling too sleepy to drive. Mobile massage is a growing trend as we become busier in our daily lives and work long hours. Treat yourself to this amazing healthy option for relaxation and health benefit. If you are lucky like me, you can have one at home with your cat sitting on your feet. Karen just smiles and keeps on working her magic…
Many people stress over trying to figure out how they can “fit” exercise in to become more fit. Being fit and creating a healthy body isn’t about time. It’s all about mindset and commitment. We were made to thrive, not just survive. If you don’t commit the time, you may find that down the road the time you do have here on earth is spent enduring ailments and simply existing. The first step is to dispense with the thought(mindset) that you need to spend an hour every day. This is not true at all! Staying fit and becoming healthy is really accomplished in smaller increments, consistently. Walking daily at a semi brisk pace will strengthen your heart and reduce blood pressure. Walking can even improve mood, balance, and coordination, according to the Mayo Clinic. It’s kind of like eating an elephant one bite at a time. Start small in your planning. Maybe it’s 5 minutes of walking each day. Seriously, you could walk and eat a piece of fruit at breakfast or lunch time. Talk to a different friend each day for 10 minutes while you walk. You will catch up with them and they will be happy to hear from you and will contribute to you becoming a healthier you. If you are a social exerciser, find people who will commit to walking with you each day! STOP making it hard. Most of all, STOP making excuses. Don’t allow yourself to fall in to the category of people who find themselves with a health challenge they can no longer avoid or correct! Why wait until you can’t correct something? Let us be proactive in this quest. Be that person who says- yes I want to watch “XYZ” show but I haven’t walked my 10-30 mins for today yet so I need to do that first. That’s mindset and also why we have DVR’s! Hence- there is your commitment: we can all walk for exercise. Yes, we can even lift weights sitting on the couch or at our desk at work. We can ALL make excuses also. Life is all about choices- good and bad. Invest that 30 minutes a day to design a healthier body today. We simply want to make sure that what we do today creates the life we WANT to live tomorrow!
(Originally in the July 28, 2017 Exposure Magazine.)
Have you ever heard this quote? Friends for a reason, friends for a season, and friends for a lifetime. I have been pondering this quote this week as several of my friends and I have been discussing the different types of friendships we have had over the years. And how to our dismay, some we thought would be for a lifetime turned out to be simply for a season. I find it interesting that being so close to the relationship we sometimes can’t discern what the nature of the relationship will be. I believe even those who are there only for a reason or season can still impact you for the rest of your life with the lessons you can learn. Even though the person doesn’t remain, the lesson does. Often these are the painful ones. But you can choose to use your pain to power your purpose. Interestingly, I think sometimes, this will lead you to a lifetime friend because of shared experiences. I have been through some severe bumps in the road the past few years however, God has blessed me with some of the most impactful, courageous, most inspiring people I have ever met as a result. Had my pain not pushed me to choose a different course, I would not have been connected in the time and space to these individuals. I thank Almighty God and my Creator for being smarter than I am, knowing whom I should be surrounding myself with and gently nudging me in that direction. I hope you will spend a few minutes in quiet and assess who are the people closest to you and why. Who fills you up emotionally and why. Consider what kind of friend you are as well. We sometimes get what we give. If you feel empty, maybe you need to look at who’s cup you have been filling? Are you pouring into others or draining someone else? You need balance. This is the exact reason there are three kinds of friends. Some people just need to go because they are only drainers. Listen to your gut and your intuition. That’s God speaking His wisdom in your ear. We just need to listen. Surround yourself with like-minded people and step into your greatness with ALL of your friends!
(Originally in the July 21, 2017 Exposure Magazine.)
It’s that time of year, and the zucchini are abundant! HOORAY! There are many benefits to zucchini, such as weight loss (low calorie, high volume), manganese for healthy heart function, vitamin C, and fiber. It is a fabulous fruit/vegetable to add to your diet. Usually seen as a vegetable, zucchini is actually classified as a fruit. Regardless of what you classify it as, consider adding it to your healthy eating! There is a tremendous amount of beta carotene in the skins so unless it’s the size of your arm, leave the skin on! And don’t throw those giant zucchinis away- stuff them! You can find many recipes on Pinterest, including Zucchini boats, zucchini fries (my favorite) and even stuffed like enchiladas. I enjoy using my spiralizing vegetable cutter and making zoodles instead of starchy noodles. All this zucchini talk makes me think of Dr Seuss’s Green eggs and Ham poem. Except for me, it’s more like;
I like Zucchini, I do, I do,
So I say, how about you?
I would eat them made into a lasagna boat,
I would eat them stuffed with cheese from a goat.
I will eat them in a restaurant, and at home,
I eat them wherever I roam.
They are so good, so good, you see,
And they are so good for me!
I will eat them on a plate,
I will eat them at night, very late.
I will eat them as part of my healthy diet,
The calories are so low, no cause for a riot.
And I will eat them at my house,
And I will eat them with butter I can douse.
I will eat them here and there,
SAY, I will eat them anywhere!
I even eat zucchini with my fam,
Thank you, thank you,
Sherri I am.
Perhaps not as amusing as Dr Seuss, but none the less- Eat up your zucchini! Go ahead and sauté it, bake it, grill it or fill it- just eat it for your health!
I have been thinking about this topic a lot lately. We all define success in different ways, so it literally means something different to everyone. I am not the skinniest or most muscular person you will ever find. Compared to where I started, I am super proud of myself. However, since I don’t wear a picture of myself 5 years ago on a lanyard, who would know? Balanced with the fact many of my healthy changes have occurred inside, people probably find it easy to judge and say I don’t “look” that healthy. I believe health originates in your mind, and you wear what’s in your head on the outside. It’s why it is said that confidence is the sexiest outfit you can put on! This is exactly why I am able to share and love on other people, and guide, mentor, and help people daily on their health journey. Even though I don’t look like Jillian Michaels, I am a real person with real challenges- the same ones you have every day regarding diet, finding time for exercise, and eating out in a healthy non-diet killing way. I believe in taking time for things that help us feel good inside and out. Whether it’s getting your hair done, booking a weekly massage, running every day, or meditating each day- do it. Locking arms with success really equates to being who God designed you to be in whatever shape that is. The only person’s opinion that matters is yours! Set reasonable, attainable goals and be kind to yourself. This isn’t a race. You aren’t in competition with anyone else. Because one person loses 10 pounds and you lost only 3 doesn’t mean they were more successful than you. You and your journey are the only thing that is important. Lock arms with YOUR vision of success because nothing else matters!
(Originally appeared in the June hard copy edition of
We worry about eating well, exercising, sleeping, and being physically healthy, but we tend to forget to care for our mind health. Our mind tells our body what to do, how to respond, and ultimately creates your happiness and health. Our body is incredibly responsive to our thoughts.
Stands to reason that one might want to spend some time thinking about what and who you are. Many people today enjoy telling us who we should be, how we should think, how we should dress and who we should become etc. I have some great news for you! YOU are the boss applesauce! I spent many years teaching my children to recite this very line every day before school. I needed them to understand they would decide who they were and what and how they would think about themselves. This was my way of preparing them in case they were bullied or ridiculed. Who is preparing you and protecting you from yourself?
You know the voice in your head- yes, we all have one- the one that sometimes says “Wow, you look really fat”, or “How could you be so stupid?”, or maybe it’s “I wish I was as funny, smart, attractive as my sister or co-worker”. The bottom line is that negative self-talk will manifest itself in negative ways, fighting against your physical well-being. Someone who constantly degrades themselves mentally will often eat for comfort. Gaining weight results in affirming your own negative words as true. It’s a cycle no one enjoys or benefits from. Even those around you will suffer. Please be kind to yourself.
Motivational Speaker, Michael Clouse explains it this way. We should never say anything to our self in our own head that we wouldn’t turn around and say to our mother or best friend. Seriously- self check here. Are you being nice, kind, patient and loving to yourself? If not, then why not? I believe strongly in the Law of Attraction: we bring about what we think about. You will most certainly manifest what you continually tell yourself, whether it’s true or not. We can only control two things in our lives - our own thoughts, and our actions or reactions. Make it easy to obtain a fulfilling and positive life by filling your mind space with positive words and thoughts. Read uplifting and joyful material and say good words to yourself. In fact, repeat them over and over. Your mind doesn’t know the difference between fact or reality but it will continue to work on whatever you feed it. Say good things to yourself. You deserve it boss!
(Originally Published in Exposure Magazine July 7, 2017)
There are so many diet plans and schools of thinking on which plan is best and most effective. I believe it boils down to you and your goals. If your desired goal is to lose pounds your choice may be a a bit different than someone who is desiring only to build lean muscle. One concept rings true though in all plans in my opinion. The more you focus on “I can’t eat that”, the more you will want it. This is a perpetual set up for diet failure. My advice is you control your eating plan, don’t allow the eating plan to control you. If you love a certain food and you know you are going to your favorite restaurant for it-modify it, instead of avoid it. The problem comes in when we deprive ourselves of all the things we love. I encourage moderation instead. Plan on sharing the favorite food with another at the table or take half home for a different meal. Don’t frustrate yourself by avoiding all things you love. You won’t be fun to dine with either. Plan your excesses a bit in advance. Not only will this increase your feelings of control, you will have a better end result. Eat what you love, just a smaller amount. I don’t really encourage light versions of things either. Honestly, I would rather eat a tablespoon of my favorite food than a whole bowl of something that is less than I had hoped for. It simply doesn’t satisfy the same way. I encourage you to eat well, exercise 3-5 times a week to balance your small indulgences and to plan those indulgences. Utilize this strategy for maximizing success. Allow yourself 2 cheats if you work out for 30 minutes 2 times that week. Or for each small cheat you plan, you have to work out for 15 mins for each. Planned cheats are always better and less guilt producing. It’s best if you can work out and get in a fat burning range for 12-15 minutes, before you have your cheat moments. Keep your fat burning engine going and in high gear before you ever indulge. You may find you don’t want as much anyway. Enjoy your journey and never spend time beating yourself up for not staying perfectly on track. Every day is a new day to improve and become better! Stick to moderation rather than deprivation and continued success on your healthy lifestyle journey!
(Originally posted in Exposure Magazine July 4th, 2017.)
When we commit to changing our diet, we face all kinds of challenges we don’t anticipate. How can I NOT eat Grandmas fudge, and why are carbs EVERYWHERE? With yet another holiday coming up, we must find a way to not train wreck our healthy choices, but still be able to attend our family gatherings, picnics, reunions etc. Yes, the fourth of July will be fraught with potato salad, greasy burgers, and hot dogs. And we won’t even mention the brownies and the desserts. You know the one your sister-in-law brings to every function that everyone wants to eat before they have the meal. This is our reality. We often love people with food. I am simply going to ask you to love yourself a little bit more. It is actually fairly simple. You can also plan to fail and just commit to eating anything, in any amount, you want. Or you can plan your eating strategy ahead of time. Think of it as a game you must win. First step to success is bringing something you know you can binge on heartily without guilt. Perhaps it’s a vegetable tray or a fruit tray. Perhaps it is something high protein/low carb to help you feel satisfied. You have total control of what you bring. Make a plan to eat in moderation, not deprivation. If you catch yourself saying “I can’t eat those things”, you are planning to fail. Eat it, then you feel guilt, followed by shame, and then you give up. Negotiate your cheats. Simply eat a tablespoon or two of your favorite dish, not half a plate followed by seconds. Don’t drink your calories either. Plan to eat slowly so you can give your stomach a chance to catch up with your brain. This generally takes at least 20 minutes. Plan on drinking plenty of water before arriving so you don’t confuse thirst signals with hunger signals. Have a really good, solid cardio work out with some weights thrown in before the dreaded “food event”. Get your body into a fat burning stage before you ever arrive at the event. This is crucial to having that occasional binge or not-so-perfect eating day. Stay active and keep your body in a calorie burning mode. If the family starts a flag football game, join in and get moving to help keep those calories burning. If that’s not for you, take a few of the people with you on a brisk 20-minute walk. Be the person who plans their cheat days and meals and is able to stay on track to design the fit life you deserv
(Originally Published In The June 23rd Edition Of Exposure Magazine.)
The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?
Life is about choices. Often, we have a variety of choices. Other times, we aren’t so lucky and all the choices seem bad. This is typically where our friend/foe fear enters. Fear is a healthy tool and should be used for discernment. People can use fear as a means to ensure personal safety, which is healthy. However, I believe that we have become a society that uses fear as a containment tool, typically referred to as staying in your comfort zone, inside your box or mental paralysis. There have been many acronyms for fear such as: False Evidence Appearing Real, Forget Everything And Run, and so forth. While fear is a healthy indicator in a fight or flight circumstance, today many people have created personal mental prisons. They are unable to become fully engaged and enjoy life because of the unknown, having life not be totally planned out and scripted. I am here to shed some light on this. The prison is simply in your mind. The box is in your mind as well as the comfort zone. What you are missing is everything that is possible. Facts have nothing to do with these walls. What is on the other side of fear? Prosperity, abundance, confidence, and peace is very likely what you will find. Will it be worth it to you? Can you peak outside that comfort zone or box and actually see what is possible? Can you get out of your own head long enough to allow yourself to grow in the sunlight of possibility? I wish that for you more than anything. Embrace new challenges, and possibilities will multiply and create new futures and enlarge your vision for your life. We are designed for greatness and to live life fully. Break down the walls that fear keeps us so tightly sealed in. Be more! Do More, Expect more! If you don’t know where or how to start, simply ask the person in your life who seems the most daring and confident and bold. They likely don’t have these walls or have already gone through the process of knocking them down. We can’t let fear keep us from becoming the most beautiful version of ourselves. I encourage you this week to plan to do something you have never done. Go somewhere and step up to volunteer to do something you personally have never done. Together we can break down the walls of mediocrity. We will live large and conquer! This is what F.E.A.R. means to me:
Face Everything And Rise!
(Originally Published In The June 16th Edition Of Exposure Magazine.)
A couple weeks ago, we talked about how making your food with a variety of color tends to make it more attractive to eat. Interestingly enough, this week I learned that people are also affected by what vegetables or foods are named. Research suggests that similar thinking persists in young adults. In a research letter published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine Bradley Turnwald, Danielle Boles, and Alia Crum explain that people in a university cafeteria were much more likely to eat vegetables labeled with indulgent descriptions than vegetables labeled in a descriptive way or in a way that highlighted their health benefits. It definitely points to how much the brain is involved in our eating preferences. We are attracted by what it is called and also by what it looks like. I know this is true for me and for many others as well. When I am searching for a new recipe on Pinterest or a recipe site, I am always drawn to recipes that provide pictures and descriptions. Words are important. How it looks is great, but how it fuels your body is most important.
You can create a menu that looks, sounds, and tastes great, and still fuels your perfectly designed body. I encourage parents to use menu planning with their children. Help them understand that food is fuel, and should look appealing. Let your children create a fun and nutritious menu and encourage them to name the menu items. Discuss what the meal will look like, what vitamins are in certain foods, and when it comes time to choose a vegetable or fruit, ask them what they think would be a nice color and flavor to go with the rest of the meal. This kind of creative meal planning will help you avoid the starch laden, repetitious meals of chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and corn. If you have young kids, a better way to teach is to simply have pictures. You can print, laminate, and attach a magnet to the back of each picture. You can sort the various food groups and help them pick the meal based on balanced nutrition, color and content. As part of their morning routine, post the pictures of what the nights meal will be on the refrigerator. When my three children were young, each family member was responsible for choosing a dinner menu for one day a week. We planned the whole months meals at one time and I wrote it all out by hand. It was always posted so that everyone knew what was coming. Grocery shopping was much easier and efficient. Each dinner had to have a main dish, a side dish and vegetable or fruit. We also always had to choose two out of three items on the menu that everyone liked. I was the master of the planning so we didn’t eat the same thing 3 times in a week. My husband and I chose last so we could provide variety. This was a truly joyful experience and one that helped our children learn about food pairing, balancing a meals nutrition, color and variety. If we had only known we could have named the meatloaf Marvelous Mouthwatering Meatloaf instead! I think we might have missed out on a bit of fun!
These are my older blog posts, which originally appeared in my Exposure Magazine Column, "Healthy Living."