Author: Brenda Sue

Escape Anxiety and Meet Your Goals

Anxiety, Depression and Goals

Setting and working towards goals can reduce anxiety and depression and help you lead a happier life. (1) When we are constantly motivated to move towards a goal, we tend to organize our lives in that direction. We have less time for negative thoughts that weigh us down and hinder our progress. We make moments count to achieve those goals and simply don’t have the time or energy to dwell on the people, places and things that weigh us down. The next time you are having a bad day, instead of giving in to the overwhelming feeling of sadness and loss of control that accompany anxiety and depression, get up and make progress towards a goal. Work out, write, prep your meals, pre-track those meals, go for a leisurely stroll or a difficult hike, whatever will contribute to your overall health and wellness, and I guarantee that you will feel better. None of this is supposed to be a cure for major depression. We are not doctors and cannot diagnose or treat any condition. These are tools that you can utilize to improve your quality of life and again, exercise only with your doctor’s permission.


When we work out we change our brain chemistry but there are other ways that exercise helps stabilize our mood. We are exercising control. We have made a choice. This gives us the accurate feeling that we are not helpless. While there are many tragedies that befall us, we still have control over a whole lot. Making the decision to do something that moves us towards our goal of ultimate health and longevity takes us out of the victim mentality. Suddenly we are in the drivers seat and while we may not be able to choose the ultimate destination in the worst case scenarios, we can certainly choose the route. By doing what is best for us by eating healthy, exercising, resting and avoiding negative input and influences, we have chosen the Interstate over the pot-holed, gully-washed back road that nobody travels because it tears up their car. Many times we can also choose the destination. That’s what goal setting does. When life-changing tragedies occur, some destination choices may be lost, but with the exception of tragedy, you can choose your path and also where it leads. Exercise this power in your life. By focusing on long term goals, you change your present mood and also take yourself one step closer to your goals.

Take Out the Trash

Part of what we teach is to “Make Your Life Small”. This is a huge part of controlling your mental state and reducing anxiety. There are always people who want to drag you down to their level. Sometimes these are “well-meaning” people who actually believe that making your life a living Hell will somehow help you. They constantly criticize. Nothing is ever good enough for them. They tend to criticize the very tools and people who help you reach your goals as if they resent others having input into your life. When you do make a mistake, they love the “I told you so.” Although they profess to be your friend or to love you, their actions do not show it. They make you miserable and produce anxiety, depression and chaos in your life. Quite often, you will be moving along at a good pace and somehow they manage to interject a hindrance that can derail you for months or even years. Do I really have to say this? Cut the dead wood out of your life. Think about the lost time and energy and all the bad feelings that come with that person. If they are a relative, the challenge can be greater but you can disconnect from them in many ways. Don’t answer their calls or texts. Bam! You just took control. If there is a true emergency, sooner or later, you will know. Allowing these negative people to ruin almost every day of your life is a bigger emergency. This kind of stress can raise your blood pressure, cause insomnia, affect job performance and other relationships. The question is, do you want that person inconvenienced or do you want to live with the constant negative input? Make the decision that is healthy for you. They are responsible for themselves. When we remove these people from our lives, we are better able to focus on what we need and reduce anxiety as we create our lives to nurture our souls, moving ever closer to our ultimate self.

Two Tools Identified

Co-author of a study on reducing anxiety, Michelle G. Newman, Phd. stated that the study was initiated to understand how to reduce rates of negative thought patterns and behaviors. Two tools were identified, (1) Goal Persistence, (“When I encounter problems, I don’t give up until I solve them.”) and (2) Positive Reappraisal, (I can find something positive in the worst situations.”) It is imperative that you set and work towards goals and allow only positive people inside your inner circle if you truly want to be healthy. Interestingly enough, self-mastery, the belief that you can do anything that you set your mind to do, did not help. It was working towards those goals with positive persistence that was the deciding factor in the participants state of mind. It’s the effort and focus applied to the goal, not the goal, that changes how we feel and think. Notice the bicycle logo on our Home page, “Life Is a Beautiful Journey, Enjoy The Ride.” Note something that we say often, “Create Your Life”. It’s the positive journey and the creating that gives us joy and alleviates negative thoughts and feelings. When we do achieve a goal, all the better. Set a new one.

The S.M.A.R.T. model is a popular strategy for achieving goals and staying focused on them in the process.

S- Specific Goals are important.

M-Measurable David says “What Gets Measured, Gets Done.” Write down your workouts and your progress. Keep accurate records. Otherwise you will not progress.

A-Achievable Can you do what you need to do to achieve this goal?

R-Realistic Is this goal something that can happen?

T-Time-bound-Do you have or can you make time to achieve this goal?

You’re In Charge

So often we short change ourselves by simply not exercising authority in our lives. You are in charge of your life. Set goals and work towards them and soar right past many negative emotions that can destroy you.

“Create Your Life.”



6 Habits of Highly Successful People


Success is a relative term. What looks like success to one person may not look like success to another. Your success will be achieved when you set and meet goals that are important to you and improve your life.

There are habits that all successful people have that are easy to cultivate with just a little effort. It would be well worth your time to focus on these characteristics and make them your own.

1-Don’t procrastinate. Procrastination will slow your progress and possibly derail your efforts. The longer you wait to get started, the more anxiety builds. Start every day full speed ahead towards your goals. Don’t hesitate. You can make great progress early in your day if you just begin. Hesitation can put you so far behind that you never begin.

2-Set specific goals for yourself. Once you have clearly stated goals it’s easier to make every decision with those goals in mind. If you know that you want to lose 10 pounds you are much more likely to plan and track your meals instead of just drifting through your day taking pot luck. If you want to get more sleep, you will get your evening chores done in time to wind down instead of continuing on social media until a good night’s sleep is a passing fantasy.

3-Give yourself time. If you are committed to a long term goal you are much more likely to keep working towards success in the hard times. When we want instant success we tend to bail out at the first sign of a downturn. Commit for the long haul. Some of the most successful people work at their dreams for decades before they realize their reality. A few years is very little in your lifetime and that kind of commitment can make the difference in realizing your perfect life or not. Relax into success and just keep doing the right things, over and over. As David says, “Trust the process.”

4-Don’t Quit! I’ve seen the quote “It’s not how many times that you fall down that counts. It’s how many times you get up.” Just keep working your plan. If it seems that it’s not working, reconfigure but don’t quit. Find a way that works that will carry you to your goals.

5-Make mistakes! It’s necessary to make mistakes in order to find what works. There’s a lot to learn by trying to find the best path to your goals. You will make mistakes. Allow yourself to be wrong and learn from it. Don’t wallow in it. Move on better equipped to advance towards success. By eliminating the wrong way, you narrow down the possibilities of what will actually work best. Get up, dust yourself off and go again with new knowledge to pursue your heart’s desire.

6-Befriend your competitors and learn their skills. There is room for everyone on the road to success. Share your knowledge and they will be more likely to reveal their trade secrets to you. Another person’s success is not your failure. Work together towards common goals. You can both thrive with enough knowledge and dedication and will produce better, more usable work and results.

Oh yes, let me reiterate, DON’T. QUIT. That’s the most important part. You will get there if you just don’t quit. This is the true magic that will weave a rich satisfying life. Get up and go again and bask in the glow of a job well done.

Active Rest, Days Off Are Important

Contradictory Term?

The term “Active Rest” sounds contradictory but it simply means that you don’t do your hard workout. You rest from that and stay moderately active. When we work out really hard, it’s more work than fun but on Active Rest days, we can do fun things just to keep moving and get in a little light cardio. I am a lifter so on my Active Rest days I hike, walk or find an outdoor activity that is physical by nature. I recently took a day to go on a zipline adventure. It was great. I had tons of fun that was a workout but still much less intense than my weight lifting sessions. In these times, our bodies can build muscle.


When we work out hard, we actually tear muscle fibers and cause inflammation in those muscles. On active rest days our bodies repair this damage by sending specialized cells to the area that form a “bandage” to repair the injured area. These cells remain as new muscle. Without these days “off”, our muscles will never have a chance to build because we are constantly tearing it down with hard workouts.


Sometimes when we get all gung-ho about working out, we may think that we don’t want to take those off days. When I first began to lift heavy I went through a short lived phase of not wanting to take rest days. My Trainer gave me just enough rope to hang myself. He said, “Try it.” He had already told me what I should do and he’s not one to be ignored. It has always been understood that I would do as he advises because he wants me to make maximum progress without injury. Rest days are critical to both. Without rest, I would never develop my maximum potential and would greatly increase my risk of injury. Sure enough, my progress halted and I began to regress. The Overhead Press was the first to suffer but very shortly, my Squat, Deadlift and Bench Press were following suit. When I acknowledged this to my Trainer, I pretty much got a “I told you so.” That whole experiment lasted about three weeks. It was a disaster. I’ve always been zealous for progress in my numbers and in my appearance. This was not the way to achieve either. He told me that he gave me enough rope to hang myself so that I would learn and to listen to him. Lesson learned. Now I so look forward to my off days. I find fun things that I really want to do and go for it. My progress is steady. I began my program with a 135 pound standard barbell set in February of 2018. In March of this year, 2019, I bought a 300 pound Olympic set and a power rack. I’m closing in on a 200 pound deadlift. I’m not there yet, but it’s coming. That will be about 1 1/2 times my body weight. After that, who knows? I do know that this would never have happened without rest days. At 62, I’m proud.

Mental Benefits

No matter how dedicated we are to our fitness program, if we are working really hard, there is a part of our brain that sees our workout as just that, work. Guess what? All work and no play really does make Jack a dull boy. I refer to this old saying frequently because you may not have read the other articles where I mention it and it summarizes burnout. Heavy lifting is the best thing that ever happened to me for so many reasons. It has changed much more than my body. It has taught me that I can do anything. If I can stand up from a heavy Squat, I can certainly pull myself up that incline at the end of the Burma bridge on the zipline course. If I can break that heavy deadlift off the floor, I can certainly take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’ from anyone who wants to dish it out. At the bottom of a heavy squat, I have to get in touch with my Super Hero and just rise, Baby, rise. I love it. It makes me a bonafide Badass, but let me tell you, it’s work. There are days that facing that barbell seems like anything except pleasure. That’s why I need days off. I can escape the hard work of dedication to a hard thing and be a child again. I can play. Days off from our workouts are as necessary as days off from work. You’ll go slap crazy without them and most likely quit. Take your rest days. Don’t even try to work out hard every day. I’ve already done that. It won’t work. Take your rest days and enjoy without guilting yourself all day. Stress relief is a part of the process and guilting yourself will hinder you.


Working out is supposed to enrich our lives. I’ve noticed that some people seem to adhere to the “No pain, No gain.” ideology in everything like it’s a curse to enjoy life. Please. That’s just illogical. Why in this world would you say that you’re trying to have a better life and yet think that you have to miserable all the time? Without off days we will be sore and achy all the time because our bodies can never repair the self-inflicted damage that is necessary to building muscle. We will grow weary with our well-doing and seriously desire to quit at some point. Our minds will never have any time to reset with creative play. Work out and work out hard, as long as your doctor approves, but take those active rest days and benefit in body and mind. Enjoy exploring your playful, childlike side again with active adventures and days of curious joy as you rediscover the relish of playful activity. Remember what you enjoyed as a child and pursue it on these days or do things that you’ve always wanted to do and never thought that you had the time. Make time. Your health depends on it. I always wanted to be a ballerina…Anybody got a pink tutu?

Zipline Adventure!

Special Shout-Out To Andy, John, Blake, Eric and Matthew my Guides and Managers at The Screaming Eagle, Lake Guntersville State Park, Guntersville, Alabama. They are exceptional. Thank you for keeping me safe.Want To Fly?

Hot, sweaty, adrenaline pumping, daredevil fun in the beautiful, lush, deep woods of Lake Guntersville State Park in Guntersville, Alabama…that was my day, yesterday, I’m a 62 year old female. Life is good here at David’s Way.



When I booked my adventure, I wavered between Level 1 and Level 2. Level 1 has 10 zip lines and 4 suspension type bridges with lengths up to 400 feet and heights up to 80 feet. It is a 1-2 hour adventure.Level 2 has 15 zip lines and 8 suspension type bridges with lengths up to 2000+ feet and heights up to 250 feet. It is a 2-3.5 hour adventure. Of course, I chose Level 2. I mean, I live to defy age, not just my age but the ravages of what we perceive as the ravages of age. I have a different opinion. I believe that so much of that is the ravages of poor choices. Every moment of every day we make these life altering choices. Think about how you would feel if every decision that you made was made to promote your health in the best way possible in that particular situation. Would your overall health and energy be better today than what it is?


Be Ready!

Zip lining may be misunderstood by some. I believe that there’s a misconception that it’s like an amusement park ride. You know, you just show up and hop in a “seat” and ride. Guess again. It’s necessary to arrive on time because nobody’s leaving the woods to come back and get you if you’re late so if you purchase an online ticket, research your route before you go because Google Maps stopped on me yesterday. Some zip line courses are so deep into the woods that you may not have internet coverage. Know your route.



Fitness Helps

While on this particular course, we zipped, hiked and climbed towers and suspension and Burma bridges. The Burma bridges have one rope underneath your feet. There are ropes to hold on each side but at the end you pull yourself up a bit to land on the next zip line platform. You must be fit enough to keep up. You need some upper body strength and overall stamina for Level 2. Our final hike was 2-3 miles of easy hiking through the rolling foothills of the Appalachians. At this point, you are pretty well exhausted. You need to have some stamina. You will probably breath a little heavy here just because you’re already tired.



Wow!That about sums it up but for the sake of communication, I will elaborate. On my first line, I had the sensation that I had to hold myself up. I was glad that I had upper body strength. The truth is, you really don’t have to hold yourself up. Thank God, the harness does that. You will have to initiate your zip, however. You will choose, on the signal of your Guide, when to jump or step off the platform. When you begin to fly your arms will feel your body weight. Lake Guntersville has liberal weight restrictions but personally, I believe that you need to be relatively fit and in good health to do this. I lift heavy weights on a program with an excellent trainer who pushes me to my safe limit and I also hike for miles and I found this course to be a challenging workout. I am 5’6″ and weigh 137 pounds and about 18% body fat. I wouldn’t want to have any more body fat if I was going to do this. You need your muscle and fat will literally weigh you down.


Fly, Baby, FLY!!!

The lines vary in length and one of them is about a half mile long. You will disappear into the forest as the wind rushes past your face. If you have long hair, it MUST be in a ponytail holder or be secured in some other manner. Imagine having it caught in the apparatus that supports your body weight as you zip through the woods at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour. Most likely it would be snatched out at the roots or you would wish it was. I must say, I balked at the ponytail. I had little to no problem with jumping off a platform 250 feet in the air but I really didn’t like the ponytail…at first. After the first zip, nothing in this world mattered except the next line.



As we age we tend to have fewer and fewer good adrenaline producing experiences. As young children we crave these events. As we “mature” and take on “Adult” life, we settle into a job and a family role and even if we have a great life, these playful, adrenaline pumping events can become a thing of the past. Life may seem mundane and boring. Sadness and melancholy for the bliss of youth or childhood can become very real. Think about it. How different is your life now from what it was when you were younger? Do you remember zooming down a steep hill on your bicycle, hands in the air, hoping Mom didn’t find out as you plunged down that hill to what could have been your certain death? Now, seriously, how long has it been since you felt that way? Diving off of the high dive at the city pool or plunging into the deep, icy cold escape of the local swimming hole would do the same thing. Do you miss that? Our brains need balance. There is an old saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Sometimes we need to get in touch with our mojo, our confidence, energy and enthusiasm for life. This adventure will not only put you in touch with it, it will give you a little extra.


The Illusion

At the beginning of the adventure, you are flying above the tops of the trees that seem to be fairly close to you. You have the sensation that the “bottom” is right there. It is an illusion. The floor of the forest is 20-75 feet below you here. Later, in Level 2, the canopy falls away and you will jump off of a platform that is 250 feet in the air. Sand Mountain is the local “high place” and you seem to be on level with it. There is certainly nothing higher than you anywhere around and you are looking down at EVERYTHING! As your Guide hooks you onto the line and you look down, or not… ūüôā … there is absolutely NOTHING for a long, long way. You will jump into thin air. The canopy is far below. By this time you are pretty well committed and you trust your Guides and the equipment and the process. You will get an adrenaline boost as you step off into nothingness and you will feel your harness and the line instantly begin to zip you away safely. Listen to your Guides. They are there for your safety.


Tried and True

Zip lining is an ancient form of transportation used for everything from personal transportation to bridge building. It is considered safe when safety rules are followed. Less than 1% of zip line adventures end with an accident and then the simple act of making sure to be “hooked on” every time that you climb could have prevented some of those. Driving to the course is potentially much more dangerous. Ziplining is good fun. Show up well rested, fueled up with good nutrition and well hydrated. You won’t be going to the drive-thru and water will be available at limited times and is it really necessary to say this? BE SOBER. Do not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when you zipline. You want a safe, fun experience that you will always remember. It’s a once in a lifetime experience for many. Relish it. You won’t need or want the drugs or the alcohol. You will, however need to be well fueled and well hydrated. Enjoy!



All things considered, I believe that I have been an experiment for David’s Way in this venture. I live what we teach to the best of my ability. I have stress and a real life just like you. I am 62 and work a high stress full-time job as a Charge Nurse. I have special family members that require a “little extra” and have dogs. I burn the candle at both ends, nurse by day, blogger by night. I am quite often repping out deadlifts at 3AM. My life is not”easy” and I’m no special case. I am proactive concerning my health.


Follow us.

David and I are both Certified Nutrition/Wellness Consultants and are on a mission to help the world to be a healthier place. We are Certified health freaks and we’re proud of that. I think that my performance on this course proved that our way works. I was well able to reach up and pull myself along the zip line when I stopped a bit short of the platform. They will pull you in but I pulled myself a lot of the way. On some lines, we were told that we would probably stop early and we did. No problem. David’s Way has made me strong. I was told that I am an inspiration and that I performed well. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and my Guides were exceptional, kind, professional and pleasant. If you ever get to Guntersville and have an afternoon to spend on fun, you might want to find The Screaming Eagle. It’s in the park. Happy Trails!



Low Carb Sloppy Joe Casserole

Servings 8

Calories 249

Carbs 9.2 grams

Net Carbs 4.6 grams

Protein 23.7 grams

Meat filling:

1 1/4 pound ground beef

1 Tablespoon dry minced onion or 3 Tablespoons fresh

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

6 ounces canned tomato paste

2 tsp Swerve sugar equivalent

Top Crust

1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella

4 Tablespoons butter

1 large egg

4 Tablespoons almond flour

3 Tablespoons coconut flour

1 teaspoon onion powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Brown meat with onion and drain

Stir in Worchestershire sauce, soy sauce, tomato paste and sweetener.

Spread meat mixture into 9 ot 10 inch pie pan

In large bowl, melt mozzarella cheese in microwave

Stir butter and egg into melted cheese. Then knead in almond flour, coconut flour and onion powder with hands or spatula. Microwave for 5-10 seconds if needed to better incorporate the ingredients into the cheese.

Shape crust dough into a ball and roll out between sheets of wax paper to a diameter to fit pie pan.

Remove top sheet of wax paper, then invert rolled crust on top of meat mixture in pie pan. Crimp edges of crust if desired.

Bake pie at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until browned on top.

Do It Anyway

The Facts

There is one thing that is certain. Working to be healthy takes a commitment to yourself and also to those that you love. You obviously need to be healthy for yourself but you can’t help anyone else without taking care of yourself first. There are times that thinking about doing this for yourself may not be inspirational enough. In those times, remember that if you are alive and healthy into a rich old age, you can take care of others. Sometimes that is a stronger motivation.

You First

Quite often people around us resent the time and effort that we spend working out and studying nutrition and planning our days to be maximized to give us the greatest benefit health wise. These same people have no problem with asking us to spend our time and resources on them. What they don’t seem to realize is that the stronger that we are, the longer we can care for them.

Controlling Behavior

There are many people who simply want control of our time and resources. If we invest our time and assets in our health, then the controlling personalities cannot manage them for themselves. Quite often they want to determine how we spend our leisure time, where we work, who we associate with and even minute details of our lives such as when we sleep. They almost always want to control our finances. They may argue about a piece of workout equipment and then make a ridiculous purchase in the same day. Just go ahead, invest in yourself. They will be glad you did when they need you.


The resentment that is fueled by self-care is intense and illogical. I have actually been told that serious problems in other people’s lives, that they have had their entire lives, are my fault because I don’t quit working out. Being health conscious provokes anger in those who are not. It’s quite often pure jealousy. The one’s who make poor health choices, and pay the consequences, are jealous of the commitment and strength shown by others who carry through with good health practices. Honestly, the only thing you can do with this is just keep staying on your Program because if they can make you deviate one time, they will get worse. If this person is not a pivotal individual in your life, drop them fast. Otherwise, they will not rest until they fully undermine you. I have lived this. Get away from these toxic people.

Be Honest With Yourself

Blaming others with our bad behavior is an easier way out of a day full of bad choices than just being honest about our behavior. How many times have you heard someone say, “Oh, she just wouldn’t hush til I tried it!” That is not a reason to make a bad choice, it’s an excuse. There’s a difference. A reason would be, “My car broke down and I hadn’t eaten all day and the tow truck driver offered me a candy bar.” An excuse is “She wouldn’t hush.” Genuine hunger has to be satiated. Peer pressure is best left for high school and even then, it’s a bad idea.There are methods to overcome peer pressure and the negative influence of others.

1- Spend time with those who resist peer pressure. Learn from them. Read the blog!

2- Learn how to be assertive, say “No!”

3-Ask for help. We both answer comments and questions.

4-Get out of the situation. Go home…

5- Choose your friends carefully.

6- Use the delay tactic. Don’t answer immediately. This will buy you time and then RUN!

7- Think and plan ahead.

8- Provide your own positive influences. Read the blog.

9- Learn to be okay with being alone. Bad social acquaintances are still bad, and bad for you. Be alone rather than with those who are a bad influence.

10- Go with your gut. If a behavior feels like it’s a poor choice, it probably is. Follow your instincts and stick to your Program.

With forethought and determination you can avoid the negative influence of people who work against you. Plan to be healthy and start now. You have nothing to lose except low self esteem. Press in and create your very best self. Do it anyway.

Low Carb Red, White and Blue Berry Ice Cream Pie


Serves 12

Calories 401

Carbs 10 grams

Protein 7 grams

Ice Cream Ingredients

2 cups heavy  cream

1 cup half and half

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup 4% cottage cheese

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup Swerve Confectioner’s Sweetener

1 Tablespoon  Vanilla Extract

1 Tablespoon  glycerin ( to make the pie easy to cut)

1 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries

No Bake Crust

2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup salted butter, melted

1/4 cup  almond butter

1/4 cup Swerve Confectioner’s Sweetener


1. Combine all the ice cream ingredients (except  the berries) in a blender and process until smooth. Churn in an ice cream freezer.

2.Prepare the pie crust and chill.

3. After ice cream is ready, stir in berries. Spoon  into the pie crust and freeze the pie for 5-6 hours.

4. Remove the pie from freezer about 10 minutes before serving. Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form and mix in the sweetener and put on top of pie. Decorate with fresh berries and slice and serve.



Low Carb Chocolate No Bake Cookies


These cookies have only 7 grams of carbs per serving. Similar chocolate no bake cookies made with sugar have anywhere from 18-25 grams per serving. Get your fix and save those  carbs wasted on sugar for real food!

Serves 9

Calories 140

Carbs 7 grams

Fiber 2 grams

Protein 3 grams


1/8 cup solid coconut oil

1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate

3 Tablespoons Swerve Confectioners Powder

2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Peanut Butter, or whatever unsweetened nut butter you prefer

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup unsweetened Coconut, shredded

1/2 cup almonds. slivered


Melt the coconut oil and chocolate together in a double boiler until fully melted.

Add nut butter and combine.

Remove from heat and whisk in Swerve.

Stir in salt and vanilla.

Mix in coconut and almonds.

Drop onto parchment paper.

Refrigerate until hard.



Summer Is Here!


Party Season

It’s¬† almost¬† officially¬† Summer and hot enough to be convincing. Sometimes¬† when this time of year arrives, all of our hopes and dreams of getting into great shape to rock that bikini begin to drift away. The party mentality of the Season has taken hold. This means different¬† things¬† to¬† different¬† people.

Lazy Days

For some, it has turned¬† into¬† a lazy time. You may say that it’s just too hot to work out and tend to lounge by the pool or just kick back in your recliner under the air conditioner. You may opt for drive-thru food instead of standing in a hot kitchen. Family get-togethers and church socials are laden with cold or frozen desserts and the temptation to try them all, coupled with peer pressure to just join in the festivities seems like an easy excuse to loosen up. You may think that it will be easier in the Fall. Guess again. That’s¬† when the festivities increase.


If you are the Party Animal then this is the Season of cold beer and frozen Margaritas. Once you have downed a few of these icy enticements, food sounds and looks even better. Your inhibitions are non-existent and it’s all too easy to have one more drink and one more hot wing. The nonstop party action of Summer can easily pile on 20 pounds over the entire Season. A pound is 3,500 calories. One 16 ounce frozen Margarita can be 850 calories, one Pina Colada, 650 calories. a Mudslide 820 calories. Get the picture? There are 806 calories in 10 small chicken wings. Do I need to continue? Maybe not, but let’s not forget pizza and beer. There is 390 calories in one slice of Meat Lover’s pizza and 145 calories in one 12 ounce beer. The point here is ONE. Seriously? Who eats one slice of pizza after having one beer and who ever stops with one beer?

The Problem

If we haven’t met our health and fitness goals by this time of year it’s easy to become discouraged. The reason is that quite often our motivation was a little off in the beginning. If our motivation to get healthy was to look good in shorts, and that hasn’t happened, it’s easy to say “What the heck?!? I might as well “enjoy” the Summer.” and just let everything go to Hell.


While looking good is an admirable motivation, it’s really not the best one. The best one is to be healthy and to rock your entire life. You can be “skinny-fat” and look pretty good in summer clothes but you won’t be healthy. “Skinny-fat” is a condition that is known as metabolically obese, normal weight individuals who look fit and healthy but, due to a lack of exercise and/or poor diet have health problems lurking. (1) If you want loads of sexy muscle and low body fat so that your blood chemistry is good and you have energy to burn, along with looking awesome, you are much more likely to stick to your commitment of getting healthy this year. Remember, without good health your looks really don’t mean anything. You can’t back it up, Baby. Work towards getting healthy and you will think twice before downing that third Margarita.

Work It

If you are hot and tired and don’t feel like doing anything except lounging, much less cooking, try some of our recipes.¬†¬† is a low carb recipe for a pizza casserole that is quick and easy to prepare.¬† Pair that with the Mock Wendy’s Frosty at¬†¬† ¬†and you will not miss anything this summer. Being healthy does take a little work, sometimes hard work, but let me ask you, is it easy to be overweight and unhealthy? There is a quote that I love, “Losing weight is hard, Being overweight is hard. Choose your hard.” Spending all of your time and money in the doctor’s office and the pharmacy is the hardest life imaginable. If alcohol is your biggest problem, I strongly advise you to seek medical intervention. The health hazards of alcohol abuse are profound and the end of it is a horrible death. Seek professional help today.


With forethought  and insight, you can enjoy this Summer and continue to improve your health. If you like to swim or hike, this is a wonderful Season! Get out there! Take advantage of grilled meats and fresh Summer produce. Leave off the heavy comfort foods that provide anything except comfort when you look in the mirror or your doctor comes in with your lab results. Instead of being swayed by the masses of unhealthy precedents that are often set in a social environment, be the example. Show those that you love and enjoy being around that health is a choice, not a chance. Conquer this Season and go into the Fall Festivities with renewed confidence and determination to weather the Winter in a healthy fit body.




Your Second Heart

The Heart Needs Help

Our heart is an amazing organ that pumps blood throughout our entire body with a single squeezing action. It sends oxygen to the farthest reaches of our body in a moment. There is one problem, to get the blood back to the heart it takes more than that single pump. To get it back to the heart, the calf and ankle muscles assist the heart in circulating blood throughout your body.

The Problem

Our blood is returned to our hearts by venous return. The foot pump initiates the action and this occurs with each step. When the heel touches down the blood pools and as the toe touches, the blood is shot upwards. The blood then enters the soleus muscle that extends from the ankle to the back of the knee. Every time this muscle contracts, it applies pressure to the veins and helps return blood to the heart. Then the blood moves into the veins in the groin and travels through the largest vein in the body, the vena cava, to the heart. (1)

This network of veins work together but none of them can do their job without a strong calf muscle.

There are one-way valves in the veins that prevent blood from flowing back to the feet when the muscles aren’t active. This is how the body fights the biggest challenge to the calf muscle pump, inactivity. When you stop moving your legs and blood pools, your heart will apply some pressure to the veins, but blood flow is drastically reduced. This predisposes you to blood clots in the deep veins. Swelling, pain, cramping and ulcers can occur. Clots can travel throughout the body. Infections in the ulcers can become systemic and present grave health risks.

You’re at a greater risk of these complications if you are sedentary, stand for long periods or are overweight.

One study found that people with chronic heart failure have smaller calf muscles than people with fully functional hearts. This leads to overexertion during exercise. Small calf muscles are the result of muscle atrophy. David wrote an article entitled, “Looking Good As We Age”.

Looking Good As We Age

that discusses age related muscle wasting, or sarcopenia. (2) It’s an important article that thoroughly discusses the importance of keeping your muscles strong.


Muscle atrophy is affected by diet and exercise, as discussed in David’s article. Good nutrition is mandatory but the best thing you can do for them is to lace up your sneakers and get moving. Walking is one of the best things that you can do tho keep them strong. Get up and move for at least five minutes out of every hour. Calf raises, lunges, walking on your toes and foot pumps, simply pointing and flexing your feet will all help keep these vital muscles in good health. You can wrap a towel around the bottom of your foot, hold the ends gently and pull towards your body. This will increase blood flow in the moment. If we do nothing to prevent loss of this vital muscle, atrophy will occur with age.

Get up and get moving today, with your doctor’s permission. Taking care of your legs will improve your overall health. I encourage the people that I work with to be proactive in caring for their legs due to the extensive health problems that can arise otherwise.

You will also rock those summer shorts, get moving. ūüôā



Looking Good As We Age