Dreams, Goals and Staying Young

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Have you ever noticed that every once in a while something comes along that just gets you so excited and motivated that you can’t concentrate on anything else?  That’s where I am today…I can’t stop thinking about how to help people live longer, healthier lives!   In October of last year I decided to pursue my dream of becoming a health coach.  While I was taking classes and studying and trying to learn I wasn’t really excited yet, but I was motivated to learn.  Now that I’m finished with my training and ready to get started helping other people, I’m just overflowing with excitement.  First, I have my very own website that I built mostly by myself (of course with the help of my good friend Raven), maybe it shows, and that’s pretty exciting to me.  Second, in the process of going through my classes I have come across Juice Plus and it has completely changed my life.  I know sometimes people think i’m just saying things to get a sale, but I don’t care if I sell it or not, I love it.  My family has only been taking Juice Plus since April 1 and we can already see a difference in how we feel.  Maybe some of this excitement I’m feeling is due to the fact that not that many months ago I was really feeling dragged down and exhausted, but today I am so motivated and encouraged and looking forward to my future.  Is that because of Juice Plus or is it because I am finally following my dreams?  I’m not sure, but I’m going to keep doing both!  I have worked in construction and manufacturing for most of my adult life, always thinking there had to be more to life.  When my father died in 2013, I decided that there definitely is more to life than just working a forty hour week and trying to collect a bunch of stuff, I just had to figure out what that was.  It took me the next two years of growing, working through some hard stuff in my life and learning, but I finally figured out that you’re never too old.  You should never stop dreaming.  When you stop dreaming, you stop setting goals and when you stop setting goals, you just quit doing much of anything.  I believe that’s why a lot of people get sick and die too young after they retire…they stop dreaming.  There is always something you can learn and do, no matter how old you are.  Never stop dreaming, never stop setting new goals to achieve, and always find new things to learn…it is one of the secrets to staying young!

Salmon-The Top Superfood

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One of the things Dr. Sears recommends more than anything else is that you eat more seafood, but specifically salmon.  Not just any salmon though, we should be eating more wild caught, cold water salmon. This is what Dr. Sears says about eating fish: “Omega-3 oils-especially those found in cold-water fish, such as wild salmon and tuna-are the most healthful anti-inflammatory foods you can eat.  Omega-3’s act like anti-inflammatories and anti-coagulants. They prevent excess clotting and damage to the arterial walls, in effect keeping the surface of the road smooth and the traffic moving.  Omega-3’s act in much the same way that aspirin and some prescription drugs do but without the side effects.  Studies show the higher a person’s blood level of omega-3’s, the less likely she is to be someone who is suffering from pain and inflammation.”    Here’s an overview of what science says about the health benefits of omega-3’s:

  1. Builds better brains: lowers the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease; lessens age related cognitive decline; acts like a mood stabilizer to relieve aggression, anxiety, and depression; prevents strokes; alleviates attention deficit disorder.
  2. Helps hearts be healthy: lowers high blood pressure, lowers high blood cholesterol, prevents the heart from misfiring, prevents blood clots, prevents heart attacks.
  3. Is good for the gut and endocrine system: lessens inflammatory bowel disease, reduces the risk of colon cancer, lessens diabetes.
  4. Enriches eyesight: lessens age-related macular degeneration, improves visual acuity, moistens dry eyes.
  5. Builds better bones: lessens osteoporosis, “oils” squeaky joints
  6. Improves immunity: prevents illnesses such as arthritic, bronchitis, colitis, dermatitis
  7. Alleviates asthma: potent anti-inflammatory against bronchitis
  8. Reduces cancer: especially colorectal and prostate cancers
  9. Softens skin: prevents dermatitis and eczema
  10. Helps with weight control: fills you up with more nutrition in fewer calories.

Now you know why Salmon is one of the sixteen superfood, in fact, it is the top superfood according to Dr. Sears.


Add First, Subtract Later

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Most people, when they diet, focus on what to stop doing or stop eating.  I believe you have to stop looking at dieting as something to quit and think of it as something to start.  Perspective is everything.  I hate quitting.  When you quit something, that’s all you think about.  If you quit smoking, all you can think about it how much you want a cigarette and how you shouldn’t have one, and you’re using all the will power you can muster to keep yourself from smoking that cigarette until the desire finally takes over and you give in.  My philosophy is to stop putting so much focus on that thing you want to quit, instead, find a healthy replacement and focus on that.  For instance, my “one thing” that I have struggled with in the past has been potato chips.  Plain, thin, original Lays potato chips.  I could sit down and eat way more than necessary, because I just love potato chips.  I don’t care as much about the flavored ones, but those plain ones, they could really do me in.  The thing is if I focus on how bad they are for me and how I shouldn’t eat them, that’s all I want to do is eat chips.  So, instead I try NOT to think about the potato chips, and I think of something else instead.  On the other had, if I really want potato chips and nothing else is going to satisfy me, I eat some, but only a few.  And I try to have other foods around that are more healthy and easy to get to like carrots, celery, and almonds.  They aren’t the same as potato chips, but honestly in the last several months I’ve been wanting the healthier stuff instead and I can just eat a couple of chips and I’m content.  One thing I learned a long time ago is that if you have a craving for something the best thing to do is eat just a little bit of whatever you are craving.  Don’t eat a whole package of Oreos, just eat one or two, then your craving will be satisfied and you can go about your business.  Otherwise, you might end up eating even more just trying to satisfy that craving.  Let’s face it celery just isn’t going to satisfy an Oreo craving! 🙂  In time, if you keep adding healthier choices into your diet, those not so healthy choices will naturally start to be less appealing without all that stress.

My Tower Garden

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I just ordered my tower garden!  I can’t wait to get it and set it up and start growing vegetables without dirt!  I have my raised garden that my husband built for me, and I will still plant some vegetables out there, but the idea of growing vegetables and not having to pull weeds or water it daily when it’s hot outside or worrying about too much rain really excites me.  As soon as I get it I will be posting pictures on my Facebook page Lifestyle Muse of my progress.  I also plan to take it next weekend when I go to the Vendor Blender at the Collinsville YMCA in Collinsville, VA.  Come check it out!

My Passion

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Maybe it’s just me, but as I get older I realize that things have become sort of boring.  Not boring in the sense that I have nothing to do, or that there is not a lot of activity in my life, but in the sense that it has just become a routine.  When I was younger and married to my first husband we traveled a lot.  We worked in construction and went from job to job, and it was fun and exciting for me.  I loved meeting new people, seeing new places, and I’ve lived all over the United States.  When my oldest son started high school he begged me to please stay in one place so he could go to high school at one school.  That has turned into twelve years in the same place at the same job.  So when I say things get boring, I just mean that you kind of get in a rut. Go to work, go home, pay the bills, get some rest, then go start all over.  Life had gotten to the point for me that I was just doing what I had to do to pay the bills and not really getting a lot of enjoyment out of life.  I have always had a passion for cooking and health, and my job has absolutely nothing to do with either of those things.  A few years ago I started getting this feeling like there has to be more to life than just this.  I’ve thought about different things over the years, like go to work in the school district so I could have summers off with my youngest son, or get a job in the food service industry, but nothing ever really clicked.  Then around the end of last summer I started really thinking about what I could do that would get me out of this office with no windows and out into the world where I want to be, meeting new people, being outside when the weather is nice, and doing something that I love.  That’s when I came across the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.  Right away I knew this was going to be something I would love!  I decided to get my health coach certification and change my vocation altogether.  In October, I stated my courses and I finished in February with three certifications.  I went on a few weeks ago to get qualified to do online training as well.  And since starting my courses as a health coach I have learned about Juice Plus, which has also changed my life in a positive way.  My passion has always been to help other people, but also to improve myself, and now I can pursue an occupation that will combine both of those passions.  I am not only trying to help others pursue their health goals, but I also want to be successful at meeting my own goals.  It is possible to have a job that you can use your talents and gifts, I only wish I had realized that a lot sooner!

Frozen Chocolate Coffee

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Not to be redundant, but I love coffee.  I love it hot in the morning, and in the afternoon on cold days, iced on hot days.  I love coffee shakes as long as they don’t have ice cream in them and they’re not too sweet.  I really actually like the taste of the coffee, so I don’t like it overwhelmed with other flavors too much and I am extremely sensitive to milk products, so that eliminates the ice cream.  This recipe is awesome.  It doesn’t use dairy milk, but you could substitute if if you prefer,  and unless you just really like your coffee sweet, you don’t have to add any sweetener.


4-6 oz. brewed coffee (use high quality beans)
1 1/2 cups ice cubes
4 oz. unsweetened almond or coconut milk
1 scoop of Chocolate protein powder
tiny drop of vanilla extract or a bit of pure vanilla bean (optional)  I usually have vanilla beans around because I make my own vanilla, so that’s my choice! yum
1 tsp. cocoa powder

If you want extra sweetener add a pinch of stevia or a bit of agave syrup.
Blend in a blender until frothy.


I just tried this.  I mixed up the recipe above and it’s really good, but I wanted to add a little something to it.  A while back I came across a post about freezing bananas when they get to the point where you can’t really eat them anymore, but they’re good for breads etc.  So, my friend Sheri Ann made a shake the other day with the Juice Plus Complete chocolate, almond milk and a frozen banana.  It was delicious, and I’m not even really big on banana.  So, to the recipe above I added one frozen banana and a Tbsp. of all natural peanut butter.  It is amazing.  And I won’t need lunch now. 🙂


How to get kids to eat vegetables

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Honestly, I didn’t do a very good job at this.  When I was growing up, my grandparents always had a garden and we had fruit or vegetables at most every meal.  I can remember when we were at Grandma’s she would have us help her set the table for lunch and dinner.  She would always have a “salad” plate at every meal.  This consisted of a small desert plate with a piece of lettuce on the bottom, a scoop of cottage cheese on top of the lettuce, and a piece of home canned fruit (pears or peaches).  I always liked vegetables and fruit when I was a kid, so I didn’t mind eating them all the time.  My kids do not love vegetables like I did and I did not “make” them eat vegetables when they were small.  Even though I loved vegetables and cooked them for myself and their father, when they refused to eat them I didn’t push the issue.  I’m not sure if that was the right approach or not, but there you have it. Both of my boys are healthy for the most part and my oldest son will eat vegetables now because he has learned to like them.  The youngest, a teenager, still doesn’t like most vegetables and quite honestly would rather eat pizza or fast food, that’s why I started getting Juice Plus.  Kids immune systems are naturally much stronger than ours as we age, so they can afford to eat more junk food than we can, but they still need the nutrients that you get from vegetables and fruit.  It’s just not healthy to only eat processed foods and high fat, high calorie foods with little nutritional value.  Dr. Sears says that it takes up to 10 times of trying something new to decide that you like it.  So, my advice to parents who have young children is to at least get them to try something new once a week.  Sometimes, if they don’t like something right away, if you can get them to keep trying it, they may decide eventually that they like it.  My son will eat foods at a friends house that he won’t eat at home, so try getting family members or friends to introduce new foods to your kids….it just might work!

Peanut Butter Chia Energy Bites

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Peanut Butter Chia Bites 620

Peanut Butter Chia Energy Bites

Yields 45

Total Time: 15 min


1 cup oats
2 T chia seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 T vanilla


  • In a medium bowl, combine the oats, chia seeds, shredded coconut, mini chocolate chips, and wheat germ.
  • Stir in the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla until well combined.
  • Roll into small balls and place on parchment paper.
  • Refrigerate for 1-2 hours and then store covered in the refrigerator

Breakfast (New Smoothie)

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This morning I decided to try a variation on my smoothie.  Usually I don’t blend my smoothie because I get up at 4:30 am during the week, and the rest of my family doesn’t.  This morning, since it’s the weekend, I decided to blend my smoothie and add Juice Plus Complete powder.  It was absolutely delicious.  I did leave out the agave syrup though, because the Juice Plus Complete is a little sweet already.  This is probably how I will do my smoothies from now on.  Maybe I’ll just have to mix them the night before. 🙂


Tower Garden

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I just learned about one of the most amazing things!  It is called a tower garden.  This thing is so amazing, you can grow plants, indoors, all year round, with NO dirt!!!  It uses aeroponics.  There is no weeding, since there’s no dirt, and you can have fresh greens or whatever else you like all year long.  I am definitely getting one of these, although I will have to put it in the back bedroom and make it a NO CATS ALLOWED room!  One of my cats, Lightning, will actually get up in a chair at the table (which I discourage vehemently) and try to take greens off of my salad plate.  I DO NOT allow my cats anywhere near the table, but she loves trying to steal my greens.  Most of the time I just drop one or two on the floor for her so she will not be tempted to get up to the table.  Anyway, as soon as I get one I’ll post pictures of it so you can see how cool it is!

Here is a video telling about it…it’s so cool.