I started a month ago with the encouragement of my health coach, Lesley. One of the best benefits of the Optavia program is that you get access to a free health coach. This person is there to help you along on your journey, as little or as much as you wish. For the past four weeks, Lesley has been there to cheer me on and give me ideas when I needed them. She has shared recipes, listened to my ideas, and cheered me on with every pound I lost.
I really thought I would get more resistance from the fam when all this started. The truth is they did awesome. We have always been a relatively healthy family but we had a few bad habits we needed to break. I also found some sneaky ways to get extra veggies into recipes that makes it easier too. I will share those below so you can try them at home!
What are some ways you can start to make your family healthier? It isn't nearly as intimidating as you think. Changes can start small and before you know it, everyone is seeing huge results that will stay with you forever.
1. Don't Go Hungry
Snacking during the day (healthy snacks) is a good thing. If you have to eat on an empty stomach, you are likely to consume many more calories than if you hadn’t eaten on an empty stomach. To make this easier, keep your fridge and pantry stocked with pre-measured snacks that your kiddos can grab and go. Apple slices, raisins, and pretzels are perfect snacks.
2. Twenty Minutes of Exercise a Day
Keeping your daily workout goal short and convenient works. Getting in twenty minutes each and every day should be doable for everyone. Make it a fun activity that your kiddos look forward to.
3. Do the Grocery Shopping for the House
If you bring chips and cookies home, your kids (and you) will naturally want to eat them. Say no at the grocery store.
4. Drink Water
Encouraging the family to drink more water is a no brainer. It is healthier, makes your skin glow, flushes out your system, and is FREE.
5. Eat Dinner Together Nightly
Studies show if you want your kids to have an appreciation of how precious their bodies are, you can’t beat just sitting down together. This simple ritual improves not just kids’ eating habits but their grades and willingness to open up to you, too. No television, no radio, no phones. Just good old conversation. Teens will grumble, but they will survive...I promise.
1 Tbsp oil
3 leeks chopped
2 stalks celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 c fresh basil
2 cans crushed tomato (28 oz)
3 red peppers, roasted
6 c. vegetable broth
1 sprig fresh thyme
Combine oil, onion, celery, and garlic on medium heat in a large pot. Sauté for 3 minutes until onions are translucent. Add salt, pepper, tomato paste, peppers, basil, crushed tomatoes, broth, water, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover, simmering for 15 minutes. Uncover and remove thyme. Use an immersion or counter top blender to blend the soup until smooth. Allow to cool 2 minutes and serve topped with basil.
1 Tbsp oil
1 1/2 lb. chicken breast, cubed
1 tsp seasoned salt, divided
pepper, to taste
one small onion, sliced
1 med head of broccoli
6 c. milk
1 lb. bowtie pasta
1 c. shredded parm
1 c. shredded mozzarella
Heat half of the oil in a large pot. Add in the chicken, season with half of the seasoned salt and pepper, and cook. Once the chicken is nicely browned and cooked through, remove it from the pan. Set aside. Add in remaining oil, onion, and broccoli. Cover for 2 minutes. Season with remaining seasoned salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the onions begin to become translucent. Pour in milk and bring to a boil. Stir periodically so the bottom does not burn. Once milk is bubbling, add pasta and stir frequently until pasta reaches your desired doneness (approximately 10 minutes at medium heat). Add in Parmesan and mozzarella. Stir until cheese is melted. Stir in chicken until well incorporated.