(Originally published in Exposure Magazine.)
As we stroll through life we are presented with people and opportunities that change us. This lovely lady I speak of has changed me in the short time I have known her. Micca Donohoo is a registered dietician who knew early on she wanted to help other people live a healthy life, push away from the table, push away the guilt and shame related to their food choices and manifest a better healthier lifestyle. Not necessarily just by learning about your plate choices, but by the choices we make in our head. She refers to it as manifesting your health, not being on a diet. She helps people of all shapes, sizes and ages.
Sherri: Being a dietician for over 16 years has brought many types of people your way. What type of person would you say you enjoy helping most?
Micca: I worked with bariatric patients for over 10 years from start to finish, pre-surgical to lifetime post op. I see surgery simply as a tool, embedded in the concept of a lifestyle change. To create any lifestyle change, there needs to be adequate and continued support. I loved being that support.
Sherri: If someone wants to make some small yet significant changes immediately what would you recommend?
Micca: 1. Put yourself on your own to do list. YOU are important. 2. Schedule healthy snacks during the day. Honor your hunger! Hunger is a sign your body is requesting fuel/food. 3. What is your plate size? Plates should be 9-10 inches in diameter for best results. We eat with our eyes first. Our eyes LOVE a full plate. When working on portion control, its more appealing on a smaller plate.
Sherri: You are about to start on a new adventure. Can you share a little about what you are creating?
Micca: My vision is to create a loving space to be able to serve the bariatric surgery community in a global way. I envision this program to be flexible, and accessible to all, anywhere at any time. This new branch of NiCHE Nutrition and Health will include a virtual community, a monthly resource toolkit, online courses, and personalized coaching. To build a healthy and loving community, I aim to partner with local, national, and global medical experts that share my vision.
Thanks to Micca Donohoo from NiCHE Nutrition and Health for sharing a way to help our friends to better health! You can contact Micca at NIche Nutrition And Health by clicking on the Contact button.
I should clarify, I don’t mean you actually have a problem in your head. I am referring to what happens when you have “stinking thinking”, and it rolls out over everything in your life. Your mindset manifests in your entire body. Your attitude will be the cement that holds all the faulty thoughts and excuses together. There are some cliché sayings about (blank) my life. The negative words that get filled in grate on my last nerve because they reflect an unhealthy mindset. When you contaminate your thinking to a point where everything in your life references a negative circumstance, it is like you send a beacon for more negative circumstances to occur. You are calling it to you like a magnet. STOP! Clean up the space between your ears. Your brain continues to work on whatever you give it to work on. If you are focused on negativity, it continues to create and sustain that because your brain is a great worker. Unfortunately, it can’t decide on its own whether it is good or bad for you. Your brain controls every single aspect of your body. It tells your lungs to breathe, it keeps your blood circulating, and it also works to continue to keep flowing whatever good ideas or bad thoughts you choose to ruminate on. I am known to say “You only have control over two things: Your thoughts and your actions. Make good choices.”. What you think about determines your actions. More widely known is “What you think about you bring about“ (Earl Nightingale). For many people, the thoughts are simply excuses. These excuses determine the action or inaction. Some examples of how people differ in how they think about this sound like, “I can’t exercise because I have ____.” Or, “I exercise because I have _________, and exercise will improve my health.” This is a choice. You can insert any kind of ailment or impediment you want. One person will use it to make an excuse why they can’t, and the next person will use it for why they should. Insert a few things relevant for you into the sentence above, such as being 50 pounds overweight, blind, high blood pressure, diabetes, no legs, etc. Still don’t think you can do it? Look at Erik Weihenmayer as an example. As a blind man, he has climbed Mt. Everest and kayaked the entire Grand Canyon. He refuses to allow his blindness to be a reason why he cannot do something. He allows it to propel him to do ALL the things people can’t even imagine him doing or even wanting to do. He carefully controls the thoughts he entertains and aligns his actions to meet the greatness he sees and cultivates in his mind. He controls his mindset. Your greatest asset to a healthy life is keeping the space between your ears free of excuses, stinking thinking, and self-loathing, and fill it with positive, beautiful strong thoughts and images of you conquering every challenge that comes before you. Control your thoughts and actions because you can!
There truly are two kinds of people. Actor vs. Reactor. Do you
know which one you are? I am certain of this now that I have
shared a premium nutritional supplement for the last 3.5 years.
While listening to a video by Mel Robbins (The Author of the 5
Second Rule) , I discovered this is a real thing! It’s actually brain
science. Imagine that! We are one of two kinds of people in life. 1.
The people who believe they control their life- and 2. The people
who believe Life just happens. Simply said, the Actors and
Reactors…lol Which are you? It is a great question to ask yourself!
A check up from the neck up! I generally run across 2 types of
people- the ones who control their life and health through diet,
exercise, and mindset, and the others who simply wait until they
are faced with a massive life altering health challenge and
PANIC!!! The Reactors start scrambling, looking for diets, quick
fixes, try to exercise for an hour a day when they have sat on the
couch for the last 8 years… Zero sustainability for what they are
doing! Fear is generally not a great long-term motivator. Mel
Robbins teaches how to become that person of action, retraining
the brain to lean towards action and controlling your life rather
than reacting to it! I love this! Why not live your life so loud
people need to cover their ears and shield their eyes because you
shine so bright and your happy is so loud!!! Live in Action mode,
BE a PRO-active person instead of a reactive person- Smash out
your goals and create the life you want to live- the life you
DESERVE to live- The life God perfectly designed you for! Check up
from the neck up…which person are you?
You know that feeling you have when you see that a celebrity or actor who you enjoyed watching on television as a kid has passed away? Even though you don’t know them personally, you still feel a sense of loss. Today, I invite you to take a few minutes to sit back and make a list of people who need to know you care about them. One of those people for me is my dad. He is 86 years young and one of the kindest, most loving, calm, and patient men I have ever known. He has had many health challenges along the way, and has truly been a champion through all of them. He hasn’t loved being the poster child for ailments, but he hasn’t spent too much time feeling sorry for himself either. He has been cherishing the gift he has been given because he KNOWS life isn’t a guarantee. When it’s our time to go- it just is. I encourage you all to live life fully, engaging every day with positive people. The way most people roll through life is like a tumbleweed, reacting to whatever comes their way, and bumping along and into things instead of creating the life they deserve. Create your best life by staying connected to those who bring out the best in you. Distance yourself from the people who pull you down or don’t leave you filled with joy. Spend part of your day in gratitude for the people God has chosen to place in your life. Be thankful for them and share that gratitude directly with them. Today I say thank you to my Dad, Paul, for being that bright light in which to follow. He has always been a wonderful role model! May you all be blessed with such fabulous people to follow and keep close to you. Use your power of discernment to make sure those people who are close to you need to have a role in your life. Stay connected closely with people who fill your joy tank, the ones who affirm for you that life IS a gift, not a guarantee.
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 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 peek 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!
(Originally Published In The June 9th Edition Of Exposure Magazine.)
1 Peter 4:10
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
We are all graced with different abilities and gifts. When we share those gifts with others we feel good inside. Ask yourself where you may be of value. Pick something you are passionate about. Share a little bit of your time and talents by helping another without benefiting yourself. Serving others can provide the opportunity to feel good about helping someone in need. There are so many amazing opportunities to impact your community. Think about who you might like to spend time with. You can lend a hand in helping the elderly, children, pet shelter or community group. Do you have a talent to entertain with, mentoring capability, or you fundraise better than anyone? We are all graced with different ways to bless others. There is a Carnegie Mellon study that suggests that volunteering actually lowers your blood pressure. What could be better than a health benefit while serving others? Feeling good emotionally and receiving physical benefits also? Just say yes! It’s a definite win-win.
Another study in 2012 by Health Psychology suggested that as long as one volunteers regularly, with an altruistic intent, one will likely live longer. The ROI, return on investment, may be surprising. I encourage you to share a part of your life so you too can live a healthier and longer life filled with blessings!
(Originally in the June 2nd Edition of Exposure Magazine.)
Food is fuel, but most people eat strictly based on taste. We need to remember that it is important to make selections that are appealing to the eye as well as the palate. As we may get bored with eating the same meals over and over, we also tire of seeing the same mono chromatic color in our food as well. Even when we love the ingredients, we may not find it appealing if it’s all the same color.
The other night I was cooking dinner. I had cut up several small zucchini. I then added fresh garlic and green onions and a big handful of asparagus chopped in pieces. I sautéed them in coconut oil. While it smelled heavenly, it just didn’t make me happy looking at it. I added some seasoned chicken and still thought it wasn’t right. Color, that’s what it was missing. I threw in about a cup of steamed carrots slices. I literally laughed out loud! I thought “now it is perfect”! We have to spend some time in meal planning to make sure we are attracted to what we need to eat. Eating healthy isn’t a chore, but it does take some thought. I might have added some red pepper if I had one on hand. Color makes us happy and food is no exception. Your eyes don’t eat, but they do motivate you, so be sure to take some care with presentation. Think about the last time you had a green salad. Did you eat just lettuce or spinach? Did you create a masterpiece and add some tomato, shredded carrot or cranberries or blueberries? If two salads were put in front of you, and one had varied tiny bits of flavor and color and one was just green, which would you choose?
When creating your next meal, give some thought to how you can make your meal a piece of art, pleasing to the eye as well as your mouth!
These are my older blog posts, which originally appeared in my Exposure Magazine Column, "Healthy Living."