“Trust yourself – you know more than you think you do.”

This anonymous quote is stuck to my oven in the form of a magnetic sticker, given to me many years ago. Like most ideas, its meaning has changed for me as time has gone by. I think it was initially given to me as a way to boost my self-confidence and remind me to trust in my own judgment. Seems like great advice for all of us, right?

Now, as I see it, the quote encourages me to take a different type of action when I’m having “a moment of temporary insecurity,” as Martin Rooney, one of the fitness industry’s best motivators, states. The moment of insecurity he speaks of might cause me to freeze from fear of failure, or simply be unwilling to make a change to better myself. To overcome that insecurity, the action I’m now inspired to take may actually surprise you.

The fact is, I really should trust myself, because I do know the answer. The answer may lie, funnily enough, in the fact that I don’t know what to do!

I know that I don’t always know what to do.

Doesn’t sound all that profound, I know. But if I come to terms with the not knowing, it opens up an opportunity for me to seek advice from others that I do trust, others who are more knowledgeable than me in that particular field. I can even choose to look for answers by researching the matter at hand on my own. Once I’ve collected the knowledge I need (knowledge is power!), I can move forward.

Moving forward might be the most important part. Move not only to better yourself but also to accept responsibility for your hopes and dreams, or even be an inspiration to others! On some level, most people want a little guidance. When you know the right thing to do, and you take action, you are paving the way for others to follow. You are a living, breathing example to your family, your friends and to those who may look to you for inspiration when they “don’t know” and need your advice. Each time you take a small step, it builds momentum for a leap, and just like that, you become someone who has the knowledge to pass on.

Whether you do or don’t know your next move in response to a challenge, understand there is a definite action to carry you to that next step. Know that you will make mistakes. If you’re like me, my guess is you have already made many mistakes in your lifetime – and you have overcome them. You will overcome again and again, each and every time.

What is it that you want out of your life? Are you working toward becoming healthier, progressing in your career or being a better parent, spouse or community member? Whatever your aim, trust that you know how to get there…and trust that sometimes the “knowing” is asking for help.


Kim's Corner

Spring is in the air! The sun is shining! Energy levels are on the rise! It’s time to spring forward, literally!! No more thinking about eating better….let’s do it! And let’s not make it too complicated! Let’s DO something we know we can do! Often people tell me they are quite successful throughout the day, but they usually fall apart nutritionally in the evening. Let’s see if we can create a healthy eating habit just one night a week – what a doable start!

This was dinner for my family on Sunday evening – It’s unusual as I am the only one in my family that likes fish. In fact, most of the time, I am preparing myself something completely different from what the rest of my family will eat. But not this Sunday! I decided to just DO IT and they enjoyed it!

food-300x300 Here is Halibut baked in parchment paper with a side of fresh green beans and half a sweet potato. The Halibut is delicious, flavorful and really easy to make – here is the recipe:

You will need:

1/2 sweet onion, chopped
8-10 shitake mushrooms, chopped
1 14-oz can artichokes (in water) drained and chopped
1 tsp thyme
2 cloves of minced garlic
3 tbs olive oil
1 cup white wine
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth (this is optional)
1 14-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
several dashes of tabasco
1/4 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
4 6-oz Halibut filets, skinless (or any other white fish that you like that is similar: cod, rockfish, etc. will work just as well)
Old Bay seasoning
freshly squeezed lemon
4 pieces of parchment paper (about 15 inches long)

Sauté’ onion and mushroom in olive oil for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add minced garlic and thyme and sauté’ for another minute. Add wine and chicken broth and allow to simmer and cook down until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add tomatoes, tabasco, sugar, salt and pepper and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. Now, add the artichokes and stir. Allow to cool.
(This ragout can be made a day in advance and kept in the fridge if that is easier for you.)
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Take your parchment paper and fold it in half to make two rectangles. Spray the parchment paper lightly with cooking spray. Place about 1/2 cup of ragout on one side of the parchment paper (next to your fold line), then place the fish filet on top of ragout.Salt and pepper the fish and then add some Old Bay seasoning. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the top. Fold the other half of the parchment paper over top of the fish and bring the edges of the paper together. See the video below on creating your parchment packet. It’s super easy! Don’t think about it – just do it – you can! Place all packets on top of a cookie sheet.Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes – it will be done perfectly – no need to worry. Once out of the oven, place on plates and cut an “X” in the top of the parchment. You can either eat it in the parchment or simply slide it out onto your plate with all the yummy ragout! Enjoy your fish with a green salad or green veggie and half a sweet potato or brown rice. Or, eliminate the potato/rice all together and just double your veggies!

So, this spring – just do it. Cook an easy, delicious and nutrient-dense meal at home just once a week. I will keep posting recipes this month for you to try. Challenge your cooking skills weekly – creating a weekly habit of healthy eating will be realistic to achieve and oh so good for you!Let’s build on these good habits all spring long – adding a healthy breakfast in a few weeks (recipes coming) and so much more! Spring forward, summer-ready!

Bon appétit!


Kim's Corner

As seen on The Hunt Country Scout Guide blog…

HeadshotsWhenever I hear someone call a person a “go-getter,”I know the words are meant to show admiration for a person’s ambition and energy. In this country, we show off our busy lives like a badge, telling anyone who will listen how busy we are. This outlook probably evolved because we value hard work, and we want to be seen as tireless go-getters who do everything we can for our families.

One day I really started to examine the way of life of a go-getter. I started to consider what this term actually means.

If you really think about it, the go in “go-getter” is a directionless word, absent a destination. In life, we’re all about the go, go, go, spinning in circles but not always making measurable progress toward an objective.

Imagine how your life would change if you knew exactly where you were going. If we all took a moment to establish a few specific goals each day, week, month, or year, and went after them with purpose, our lives might feel more rewarding and less chaotic.

Take a look at these short-term goals and think about which ones you’d like to see happen in your life more often:

– Spend 2 hours more each week with my family members
– Prepare a meal at home tonight and sit down as a family to enjoy it
– Mindfully relax for at least 10 minutes each day
– Pack my lunch a few times this week instead of going out to lunch
– Enjoy a date night with my spouse
– Commit to 3 days per week of exercise
– Replace soda with more nutritious drinks
– Explore another form of exercise and discover something I might really enjoy
– Complete a project at work that I’ve been procrastinating over

Now that we’re in January, consider all the fresh opportunities to set new and long-term goals for the year. Our lives can certainly stay busy, but we can feel better about how our hours and days are spent when there are tangible priorities and goals on the horizon.

Instead of go, go, go-ing into each new day, steer towards something that’s important to you and to your family. Be a goal-getter! Your accomplishments will amaze you.





Kim's Corner

Recently, out of sheer curiosity, I joined the trend to ‘drink’ my veggies. I wanted to find out if I could blend kale, broccoli, Swiss chard, spinach or avocados and ease into the green with a sensational and delicious drink that even the most resistant green-eater might like (I’m looking at my husband).

After numerous attempts, my Vitamix and I finally came up with a drink that I love – AND that my husband will drink every morning!

Before I share my new green routine, I want to address a couple of points if you’re new to embracing veggies in this form:

1) To do this right, you need a good blender! I finally decided to bite the bullet and bought a Vitamix. It is an investment worth making – I use it for everything from shakes to soups to sorbets, and it delivers an absolutely flawless consistency every time.

2) Ease your family into this by using more fruit in your shake. Up to 60% fruit is fine in the beginning, and it adds a delectable sweetness and consistency that is still very healthy.

3) When integrating veggies into your smoothies, always use citrus to balance out the bitterness that certain greens (like kale) tend to have.

4) Follow my recipe to the letter if you are just easing into the green. It tastes delicious and fruity and offers plenty of quality nutrient density.

So here it is, in this order:

– 4 oz of pure pineapple juice (100% juice)
– 4 oz water
– 10 red seedless grapes
– 1/2 just-ripe sweet green pear or 1/2 sweet apple (like Honeycrisp or Gala)
– 1/2 ripened avocado
– optional, 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
– 4 broccoli florets
– 2 large leaves or 4 small leaves of kale (Swiss chard or spinach work great, too!)

1 cup of ice

Blend the ingredients at a very high speed until smooth. Swallow your vitamins and nutrients in the form of whole foods blended into a sweet and scrumptious shake.

The holidays can be a very busy time for everyone, and eating nutrient-dense foods can sometimes be a mighty challenge. To keep your body’s health in check, create smoothies that include healthy greens, healthy fats and proteins. This wonderful habit will help you and your family stay on track all year long, and it’ll keep you looking and feeling your best! Enjoy!


Kim's Corner

The holidays often leave us with wonderful memories…and a few extra pounds.

Here are some fitness tips to help you kick off a healthy new year that can easily be incorporated into your daily routine–without breaking the budget.

Start a journal of foods and exercise. You’ll be surprised what you eat!
Get support from family and friends for your healthy lifestyle efforts.
Walk for 30 minutes a day at a good speed.
Spend time physically playing with the kids, grandchildren or your dog.
Run up and down steps a few times a day.
Get your heart rate up.
Park and walk. Find a parking space as far away as possible and walk.
Eat smaller portions (think salad plate) instead of filling a dinner plate.
Cut down on sodas, lattes, sugar. Don’t buy these items for your home.
Eat and drink slowly and in moderation.
Bring your own healthy lunch to work each day.
Fill up on salad and veggies.
Drink water before dining out.
Start a meal with a non-creamy soup such as a bouillon or broth.
If you’re traveling, take along healthy snacks you’ve already prepared.
Work out at with a friend; a work-out buddy can be a great inspiration.

Now you’re now on the road to a healthy new lifestyle and truly happy new year!


Kim's Corner

How many times have you jumped into an exercise or weight loss program full-steam ahead only to find within a few weeks you are burned out, discouraged and sometimes even a few pounds heavier than before you began?

You are not alone.

Popular culture has brought us up to believe there are quick-fix secrets to getting in shape and “having the life and body you have always wanted.”

The truth: there are no permanent quick-fix secrets. Healthy living is a lifelong journey- not a 5, 10 or 100 pound weight loss destination.

Getting in shape for life requires planning, setting realistic goals and expectations and taking it one day at a time, one step at a time.

So let’s focus on the journey!

First, take a little time to sit down and answer the following questions thoughtfully and honestly:

Are you physically ready to begin exercising? Have you spoken to your doctor?
Envision how your life would be different one year from now if you were to become physically active. Where would you be? How would you feel? What would you look like?
Why do you want a healthier and more active lifestyle? For change to be successful, it has to be aligned with your core values. Be honest here. Why is this change important to you? What is your primary reason for becoming more physically active?
How will you personally benefit from becoming physically active? How will your family benefit from this change? List at least four benefits to help you stay focused.
What obstacles and challenges will you face when beginning your fitness program? How will you overcome them? Be specific.
What people, resources and systems can you rely on for support? Make a list of the types of physical activities you enjoy or can envision yourself trying.

Next, don’t hesitate – get started today! Click here (.pdf) to download a free six-week fitness planner.

Commit to making the small suggested changes each week as part of your personal wellness plan.

You will soon find fitness becoming a regular, pleasurable and gratifying part of your life; and you will be amazed at how great you will feel.


Kim's Corner

Anyone who has spent an afternoon outside in the heat of a Virginia summer can attest to the importance of hydration.

Remaining hydrated (having enough water in your body to maintain crucial functions) is beneficial when trying to lose weight. It is also particularly important for athletes, regular exercisers and individuals who participate in summer outdoor activities where the body loses electrolytes through perspiration.

Electrolytes are electrically charged particles that help the body function normally. Some of the more familiar electrolytes include calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. Calcium and magnesium help muscles contract and relax. Sodium and potassium help water stay in the right balance inside and outside of cells. Sodium is the electrolyte lost in the highest concentration in sweat.

A few of the symptoms of dehydration are headaches, hunger pangs, and/or fatigue. Dehydration sometimes is mistaken for hunger, so make sure you drink 8 oz of water, and wait 10 minutes before consuming additional calories. Often the symptoms will subside, which indicates you just needed to hydrate yourself. However, if after 10 minutes the hunger pangs are still there, enjoy a healthy snack.

Many of us overuse sports drinks, flavored beverages and sodas that contain a lot of wasted sugar and calories. In fact, some of the most popular sports drinks have as much sugar as a regular soda! (Did you know that 11% of the total calories consumed in the United States come from soda beverages? This alarming statistic helps us understand how these empty calories have a direct impact on our obesity epidemic.)

As a general rule, sports drinks become beneficial only after 90 minutes of high-intensity exercise. Up to that point, water is the perfect hydration choice. Some people tell me they don’t like water. If this is the case, dilute your sports drink with water and create a 50/50 mix. You will still get the flavor you like, with half the calories and sugar.

Doctors recommend adults consume eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids per day. Active adults should add two or three additional eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids per hour of exercise. These fluids should be water or come from water-rich whole foods, which are the best choices for keeping the body hydrated and maintaining electrolyte balance.

Whole foods include the replenishing electrolytes magnesium, potassium and calcium. Examples are: green leafy vegetables, whole grains and lentils (magnesium); bananas, raisins and potatoes (potassium); and yogurt and milk (calcium).

Challenge yourself to stay active AND properly hydrated this summer with the right choices for your personal level of activity.


Kim's Corner

When you first begin an exercise program, results are noticeable almost immediately. Most individuals reach a point, however, where they are no longer growing faster, stronger or losing weight. This frustrating experience is known as reaching a fitness plateau. Don’t let a plateau discourage you! Follow the tips below to put your body back on the forward track.

1.) Keep Your Body Guessing

If you consistently perform the same types of exercises, you will consistently see the same results. Keep your body guessing by introducing different types of physical activities. If you always use the elliptical machine or stationary bike, for example, try a group fitness class or running outdoors instead. Vary your workouts weekly for optimal results.

2.) Check your Diet

Keep a food journal for a week or two and take a good look at the types of foods and amounts you are putting into your body. It is easy to pick up small habits that add up to big calories (such as drinking iced mochas instead of black coffee in the summer months and snacking on handfuls of popcorn and candy at the movie theatre).

3.) Increase the Duration, Intensity and/or Frequency of Your Workouts

Slowly increasing the duration, intensity and frequency of your workouts is a great way to progress your personal fitness program and push through plateaus. If you have been exercising for 30 minutes, three times per week, try going up to 45 minutes, three times per week. If you have been walking, pick up the pace to a light jog.

4.) Get Inspired! Consider Training for a Fitness Event

Training for a special event or activity is a great way to stay inspired and take your fitness routine to the next level. Consider joining a sports league or registering yourself for a charity race.

5.) Make Sure You Are Getting Enough Rest

Too much exercise can also lead to fitness plateaus if your body is tired and burned out—so be sure not to overdo it. The quality of your workouts is much more important than the quantity. Also be sure you are getting enough sleep so that muscles have time to recover between workouts and you have the strength and energy to perform at your best.

A fitness plateau is simply our body’s way of telling us it is time for a change–so go ahead, mix it up!


Kim's Corner

It’s hard to believe we are entering into the last few months of 2010. Whether you have been exercising on a regular basis or are trying to get in shape after a summer break, today is a great day to reflect on your personal wellness and set some new fitness goals for you and your family.

The term “wellness” is quite the buzz word these days. The media has taken a great interest in “wellness” as result of the rising levels of obesity and diseases that are directly related to our sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits.

What is wellness exactly? Webster’s provides two definitions:

1) Services focused on the promotion or maintenance of GOOD HEALTH versus the CORRECTION OF POOR HEALTH

2) A dimension of health beyond the absence of disease including social, emotional, physical and spiritual health.

Focusing on health maintenance is the ideal interpretation of wellness. In our country, however, correcting poor health (which is often directly related to poor preventative wellness planning) is the trend.

Personally, I am tired of hearing about how lazy and fat we are, and that the young people in our nation are fatter than their preceding generations. It is time to do something about this growing epidemic!

Here are three great tips to help you achieve real, lasting wellness results:

1) Make a simple commitment to your exercise program.
Don’t buy into fad diets and diet pills–instead, buy a calendar/journal! Take your calendar out right now and choose 10 days this month where you will commit to exercising for at least 45 minutes. Commit to eating 4-5 small meals per day. Write down what you eat for 30 days.

2) Vary your routine.
Have you ever met someone who says they exercise week after week, year after year and aren’t getting any new results? Our bodies adapt to stimulation over time and in order to continue to improve, we must progress and change our routines. If you are spending the time exercising, make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck! Change up your routine, and change it up frequently.

3) Be accountable.
This is my most important tip. Check out these research statistics:
Researchers divided people starting a walking program into 2 groups. Every week, each person in one group received a phone call asking how their walking program was going, the other group received no phone calls throughout the program. Guess what? Forty-five percent who received the phone calls were still walking compared to 2 percent of those who did not get a phone call! This study suggests that accountability increases the likelihood of sticking to your exercise program by 2,200 percent!

The moral of the story here is that a strong support system equals stronger results. Enlist your family to participate in your exercise program, encourage a friend to join a fitness center with you or get a coach to encourage personal accountability!

I challenge you this fall to commit not only to your own personal wellness routine, but to also serve as a positive wellness role model within our community.

Use the three secrets above to fuel your fire. Being fit will positively affect everything in your life: your health, your sex life, your mood, your relationships, and your financial success…yes, EVERYTHING! So what are you waiting for?


Kim's Corner

Childhood obesity is a fast-growing epidemic that is capturing national media attention and captivating the medical community and, predictably, politicians.

A national task force has even been created to identify potential solutions to the problem.

Just in case you have not heard, here are some of the facts:

More than 50% of American children do not achieve the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity daily.
Between 15 and 20% of American children are overweight or obese (meaning approximately 10 million American children are developing risk factors for chronic illnesses very early in life. Research tells us this will be the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than ours!).

This past September was the first-ever National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Sounds like a great initiative…but is it? Why are American children overweight and obese? Perhaps they are simply following in our footsteps.

Check out some of the adult obesity statistics in America:

67% of Americas are overweight or obese
Nine out of 10 Americans will be overweight at one point in their life
Weight-related illnesses are exceeding the rates of diseases from smoking
More than 50% of adult Americans do not achieve the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity daily
370,000-plus Americans die of obesity related diseases each year!
Direct obesity related costs exceed $150 billion dollars each year, making obesity the number one health care expense in our country!

Do we really think we can have healthy children and unhealthy adults?

Are we asking our CHILDREN to serve as role models?

As a local health and fitness leader, I’m familiar with the reasons parents provide for why their children are obese. I hear all too often, “I can’t get my child away from the video games,” or, “I’d like to get my child off the couch, but he gets mad at me when I ask him to play outside” or, “we’re simply too busy with activities to cook meals at home on even a semi-regular basis.” Or, “they don’t eat unhealthily at home…it must be school lunch or the vending machines full of junk food.” Or, “we can’t afford to eat healthily.” The truth is…you can’t afford not too!

There’s no doubt the world is different than it was 40 years ago and that families are faced with more difficult challenges when it comes to managing their time, households and resources.

We do have choices, however, and providing our families with healthy meals, packing healthy lunches and choosing family activities that promote health and wellness must be a priority.

We need to take a long hard look in the mirror and acknowledge that we don’t just have a childhood obesity epidemic; we have an obesity problem in adults and our priorities have gotten misaligned.

It is time to take responsibility for our own health and accept responsibility as role models for our children.

As we enter the holiday season I encourage you to invest some family time in discussing wellness and whole health. The new year is right around the corner. With it comes a sense of renewal and rebirth—in other words, the perfect time to adopt some new behaviors and get back to some basic family priorities.

According to researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, “the factor that puts children at the greatest risk of being overweight is having obese parents.”

Study after study confirms one irrefutable fact: children of healthy and active parents tend to be active and healthy themselves.

Period. End of story.


Kim's Corner

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