Tuesday, February 26, 2019

10 Tips for Healthy Eating in the Workplace

Hello!!!!  Healthy and wealthy peeps.
Today's blog post is shared from one of our internal health emails at AccuWeather. -Alicia

We spend a great deal of time at work, so it’s no surprise that the things you eat and drink there affect your overall health (and waistline). Here are our practical tips for healthier eating at work.

  1. Pack your lunch. Planning your lunch ahead gives you a nutritious meal and prevents the need to settle for whatever options are available in the work cafeteria or even worse, the nearest fast-food restaurant.

  1. Keep a bottle of water nearby. Healthy eating isn’t just about the food you consume, but also the beverages. It can be easy to forget to stay hydrated throughout the workday, which is why I recommend keeping a water bottle nearby. By having the bottle visible, you will be reminded to drink. You can also keep track of your consumption throughout the day.

  1. Empty the candy bowl (or keep it out of sight). You may not realize it, but a snack here and there can really add up to additional calories each day.

  1. Schedule your lunch. If you find yourself skipping meals and relying on snacks to make it through the day, break the cycle now by scheduling your lunch. This will ensure you can tackle the challenges ahead with a clear mind and feel energized.

  1. Have a backup plan. Sure, packing your lunch and avoiding fast food traps sounds easy — but it’s not always ideal, especially when you have marathon meetings and late nights. Instead, make a list of go-to healthy restaurants or healthy options and keep the list in a safe place. When the occasion arrives, use that list to order the healthiest option.

  1. Snack smart. Some studies have shown that snacking is more likely at work than at home, so it’s important to have healthier options available. Keeping a few healthy snacks in your desk drawer or office refrigerator can prevent a trip to the vending machine as well. Think items like fresh or dried fruits, nuts, protein bars, vegetables, and fat-free yogurt.

  1. Be ready to be assertive. The office environment can be full of unhealthy temptations. From the company potluck to the bake sale, it seems someone is always offering food. Deciding to say “no thank you” can be really helpful when you don’t want to indulge. Most people will not take offense at this and when you have practiced ahead of time you will feel more confident.

  1. Avoid fancy coffee. Many of us depend on our morning coffee or tea and look forward to sipping on it throughout the morning. But if the morning ritual is packed with syrups, honey, cream, and whole milk you may be adding extra calories unknowingly. And while it doesn’t seem like a big deal in small doses, according to Gallup the average American drinks about 2.7 cups per day.

  1. Rethink your drink. Again, added calories, sugar, and fat can be lurking in beverages as well as food so make sure that you are mindful about the drinks you are consuming and what’s in them.

  1. Follow food safety guidelines. About 83 percent of Americans regularly eat at their desks. If you are one of them, remember to put your food into the refrigerator as soon as you get to work, always eat in a clean desk space, and wash your hands before consuming foods.

Baked Broccoli Tots

Who doesn't love tots? Instead of frozen tots, give this fresh, healthier option a try. You can even add your favorite herbs like cilantro or rosemary and dunk them into your favorite dipping sauce. 

2 cups or 12 ounces uncooked or frozen broccoli
1 large egg
¼ cup diced yellow onion
⅓ cup cheddar cheese
⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
⅓ cup Italian breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons parsley (or cilantro or rosemary)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a baking sheet with a thin layer of oil or line with parchment paper and set aside.

Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute then remove and shock with cold tap water to stop the cooking process. Drain well.
Chop broccoli finely and mix thoroughly with the egg, onions, cheddar, breadcrumbs, and seasoning. Scoop about 1.5 tablespoons of the mix using an ice-cream scoop or your hands and gently press between your hands into a firm ball, then shape into a tater-tot shape. It helps to wash your hands after every few tots to keep them from sticking onto your hands. Next, place on your prepared baking sheet.

Bake until golden brown and crispy, 18-24 minutes, turning halfway. Remove from the oven and enjoy hot with ketchup, sriracha, ranch dressing, or your favorite dipping sauce!

Recipe and photo from gimmedelicious.com

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Keeping Up With The Joneses: The Comparison Trap

carlrogers1.jpg (600×315)We live in a world which thrives on comparison. Every where you look, someone wants to build something bigger, faster and with more bells and whistles than a so-called competitor. You only need to scroll through any social media feed to see snippets of someone's extra fabulous life of accomplishments and acquisitions. While I believe most people are not necessarily bragging, just celebrating moments, these posts can create a distorted facade of reality. Witnessing and hearing from so many people daily, living in discontent, frustration and envy about what they don't have, compelled me to write this post. It is troubling to hear how many people wish their lives mirrored one of their friends or someone they believe is more successful, instead of enjoying and appreciating where they are in life.


Lifestyle-Design-B.jpg (900×498)

Who are the Jones? They are the fictitious family created long before me or this blog. They seem to have it all on the surfaces: homes, cars, clothes, money and every material possession imaginable. They are the benchmark for social class. As a kid, I used to hear people say, "I can't keep keep up with the Joneses" so often, I started to believe they were real. Oh, how I didn't understand then, what I know today. The Joneses are alive and still doing quite well! Just follow anyone on social media.

keep-calm-you-can-t-keep-up-with-the-joneses.png (600×700)

I recently read and wrote a book review for ministry school on ‘Mistakes Leaders Make’ by Dave Kraft. His book paints a clear picture of how comparison replaces contentment and opens the door to trouble.  Kraft introduces us to “Jim” an executive pastor, who began to lose his motivation in ministry when he fell into the comparison trap.  Jim wanted to be a lead pastor.  Frustration set in when he started looking over his life’s accomplishments and realized he was not content in his current role.  He began to think critically about the lead pastor, saying things like, “I could do better than that.”   The Holy Spirit convicted Jim while he was reading Bible passages in James 3:14-16.  These are verses which call out jealousy and self ambition.  Jim began reviewing his life and realized comparing and coveting had been a problem for as long as he could remember.  

haters-only-hate-the-people-they-cant-be-and-the-things-they-cant-have-quote-1.jpg (500×660)

The aha! moment Kraft reveals is “mistakes are often not a single event but an attitude, habit, or mind-set that has been forming for years.” There is, however a caveat to covetousness according to  Kraft.  He says it is a good idea, as long as you are comparing what is happening...within yourself with what could potentially happen...with God’s grace.”  The author believes the principle and practice is being “content with who you are, where you are, what you are doing, and what God is doing through you.”   
Even if you are a non-believer, you probably would agree, focusing heavily on the works of others, leads to distractions and gets your plans off track. My plea to everyone is to bloom where you are planted, be grateful for your situation and look for way to improve it so you can help others. This life is not about living in isolation and having near-sighted goals (just for your benefit). Together, everyone achieves more! (T.E.A.M). Sounds cliche', but it is so true!

All of us have talents and gifts which can be used to change the world. Encourage one another, congratulate each other on achievements, be a mentor, ask questions about how someone achieved what they have and stop hating. Be content with yourself - just don't be complacent. Health, wealth and wellness start inside of you!

Health-quotes-spend-wealth-to-regain-health-quotes.jpg (506×506)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

When Life Hands You Lemons - Try A New Recipe!

The start of 2018 has not been uneventful for me.  We are just into the third week of January and I am doubting some of my decisions, mostly made in 2017, yet carrying over into the new year. Just when I was about to throw one of my infamous, solo pity parties, I had a revelation:  "Obviously I am on track and where I am supposed to be in life, because that's when fear usually takes hold."

Trust me, coming to this conclusion was not as simple as it seems.  The very end of 2016 and all of 2017 was a long year of trials, tribulations, growth and peace, believe it or not.  The journey is not over yet either.  It's just the beginning.

So what do you do when life hands you lemons?  I say try a new recipe!  That's right!  I don't mean whip out the old cookbook or google lemon recipes (unless you really want).  Try something new with your life.  Stir things up a bit, add some flavor - simply try something, anything different.  

One of the ways I decompress is reading.  I read an entire book in one day last week.  My 14-hour trip to California from Alabama (Pony Express was faster), allowed me to crack open my latest pick in my quest to understand the purpose on my life.  It is called 'Four Cups,' written by my Pastor, Chris Hodges.  The book uses the celebration of Passover to illustrate His promises for our lives.  LOVED IT!  Last year, I read 3 other books, all which gave me clarity, a vision and helped me discover a sense of calm in my storms.  If you want the titles, they were 'A Purpose Driven Life' by Rick Warren, 'Frequency' by Robert Morris and 'Fresh Air' another book written by Chris Hodges.  Reading takes me away from issues at hand and helps me look at them from another perspective.  Basically, I put away my natural understanding and look at things from a spiritual perspective.  Now that's refreshing!

Another way I get refocus my life and attitude is by writing.  Take this blog for instance; as long as I don't stress about what to write, the ideas flow.  The infamous "writer's block" we all hear about vanishes and the ideas flow.  Stress is the very reason I got off track writing in the first place.  Even though I have a lot on my plate right now, I refuse to neglect one of the passions which helps broaden my feeling of FREEDOM!  Yes, freedom!  Writing is my spiritual gift and I want to embrace it more - not view it as a burden as I have often in the past.

Lastly, the other way I am getting better of not allowing lemons to sour my life is by taking less focus off me!  Easier said than done, but I can tell you it works wonders.  I have a top 5 list "to do list" I hit every day.  When I divert from this list, my day is not right.  Therefore, I make an effort to complete this list without fail.  My top 5 consists of prayer, praise/worship, working intently on my purpose, make a positive deposit in someone's life and to do something for myself.  You see, I still get to address my needs, but overall, it's because of all the other nuggets, I feel complete.  Prayer is important to me because it acknowledges the creator who gave me life.  Praise/worship displays my gratitude, not in just what I say, but what I do.  Working intently towards my purpose glorifies God's plan for me and highlights its importance.  My favorite part of the day is doing something positive to uplift someone.  It gives me great joy to see people smile, to let them know how much they are appreciated and I'm rooting for them. Doing something for myself is a challenge.  What I have learned, I don't have to spend money to make myself happy.  Today, it's writing this blog and actually taking care of some financial obligations I haven't been able to in a while.  Sound corny?  That's OK!  This is my recipe and it works for me.

I ask the question one last time: What do you do when life hands you lemons?  Reply in the comments and share your recipe for the soul.

Friday, December 29, 2017

The Dissolution of Resolutions: Plan to Succeed

The perpetual season of making a list of resolutions is among us again.  Most people live by the adage "Out with the old - in with the new." The problem is the "old" undoubtedly rears its ugly head in the new year because underlying issues were never addressed. Many people focus on the results of what they want to achieve instead of establishing sound, healthy habits to reach and maintain their goals. This is why I have enacted for myself and now propose to you, the dissolution of resolutions.  Let's take a look at a couple of brief definitions of the words "dissolution" and "resolution."  I believe this will help you better understand my theory.




  • 1.the closing down or dismissal of an assembly, partnership, or official body:"the dissolution of their marriage"synonyms:cessationconclusionendendingtermination... more
  • 2.debauched living; dissipation:"an advanced state of dissolution"




  • 1.a firm decision to do or not to do something:"she kept her resolution not to see Anne any more"synonyms:intentionresolvedecisionintentaim... more
  • 2.the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter:"the peaceful resolution of all disputes"synonyms:solution toanswer toend toending tosettlement ofconclusion to
  • Oxford Dictionary
  • Dissolution and Resolution are similar in what they are deemed to achieve; the closing down or dismissal of something...the firm decision to do or not to do it.  For some, the approach is by any means necessary. While dissolution and resolution appear to put an end to an issue or problem, I believe they open doors to new opportunities to achieve success in every area of your life.

When we tell ourselves we cannot have or do something we want,  it can lead to an overwhelming sense of negativity and feelings of deprivation, which may produce a loss of motivation and devastating outcomes.  We want what we want, but after we get it, we emotionally lash out at ourselves because we believe we have failed.  There is no such thing as failure as long as you keep trying.  Whatever you choose as your course of action,  make sure it's something you can live with and/or enjoy.  Baby steps in areas you'd like to improve can be a more positive approach instead of tackling things cold turkey.  Sounds simple enough right?  Well, it can be,  with a positive approach to understanding why you do what you do. This concept works in a countless number of life scenarios, particularly the ones we make resolutions for every year: losing weight and getting out of debt. 

If you need to lose weight, the first thought is "I need to eat less and work out." Starving yourself is not the answer. Nor is working out for two hours a day doing every fad workout on the planet!  Even if you think eating fewer calories or working out are the answers, the all or nothing method does not work for long.  You see the numbers go down on the scale, but happens when they don't, begin to creep in an upward direction and then explode off the charts?  This is no different than the debt dilemma we find ourselves swimming in year after year.  We allow this to happen when we do not  steward our finances well,  not acknowledging the need for a budget and living above our means (yes, I know we don't mean to!).  Then, usher in a job loss or other unexpected circumstances and we are still faced with paying bills. But with what and how?  Whether it's weight loss or debt, we begin to say, "I'll do better next week, next month, next year." Unfortunately so many of us never have learned why we struggle with weight or money or how to control them instead of the issues controlling us.  

Take a stand with me right now to stop making resolutions. Begin to design a plan of action!

Since weight loss is the number one resolution most Americans make every year, we'll use this as an example to illustrate the process.  First, if you need to lose weight - stop dieting.  It's time to change your mindset and your diet!  You have to understand why you eat what you eat and own it!  And guess what, it's OK!  I love Reese's cups, carrot cake and butter pecan ice cream.  And I don't need a reason to eat them.  If they are in my house, I will enjoy them.  The major change for me is I have changed my habit of when and why I buy and eat them.  No longer do I do it just because I can.  I only get them when I really crave them.  And now that I understand my eating habits, those delectable goodies are usually on my radar when I am stressed, tired or I revert back to my mindset of "well, they're here, they must be eaten!"  Figure out what's eating you and you can begin to digest a game plan to healthier living.  

It has been proven it takes 21-30 days for a person to change a habit or create a new ones.  You can begin by adding in more fruits, veggies, water, different foods, smaller portions and exercise.  The key is to not do this all at once. Pick one thing and add it to your routine once a week.  So, if you fall off one meal, one workout or an entire day, get back on track the very next meal or day.  Choose an accountability partner who can share the ups and downs of your journey without judgment.  We are looking to establish healthier habits which will last a lifetime and not until the next season of resolutions.

Use this same concept when it comes to spending habits, completing a big project, your spiritual walk or anything you feel you want to improve but have had your sights set on destination procrastination!  I believe the two biggest choices you have to make are what you want to change and who you want to support you.  You were not designed to do life alone.  There are times when isolation is good, but overall, we grow stronger through our relationships/support system - good or bad (marinate on that for a moment) - Selah. 

I encourage you to give the idea of the dissolution of resolutions some thought.  We all have dreams, goals and visions of how we'd like our future to look.  Do not get caught in the trap of giving up if your choices lead to a setback.  Look at the situation as a set-up for something greater.  Make a plan and then make another one when it doesn't work or the game changes. When we fail to plan, we plan to fail. Keep pressing forward with your eye on the prize - but with your mind on the process.  Learn from it, enjoy it and trust it.    

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Passionate About Purpose

Hello my health and wellness friends!!!  It has been a long time since I last put my fingertips to the keyboard to pen a blog post.  Please forgive me.  I am so sorry.  I should have never stopped doing one of the things which gave me an extreme amount of energy, excitement and motivation.  Sharing my thoughts, advice, tips and laughs with you, was a daily treat!  This fueled my love for living a healthy and wealthy life and my desire to help you do the same.  I have to admit, I allowed life to get the best of me, I lost my passion and I stopped writing my blog.

Well baby I'm back!  Yes!  Back in full effect.  I have made a ton of mistakes, experienced life like I never imagined - and I don't mean in a good way, but it's OK, really.  These last three years, 8 months and nearly two weeks (if that's accurate) are the lessons I needed to learn to become passionate about my purpose again.  I have experienced divorce, moving to a new state, removing/gaining relationships, losing jobs - yes jobs, not finding a new job yet, growing closer to Christ, starting ministry school, considering grad school, gaining weight, losing weight, teaching Zumba, not teaching Zumba and consistently changing my hair!  The list goes on an on!  While it seems the deck is stacked against me, I know God is for me and I am fighting from a place of victory!  None of these "challenges" can defeat me; they can only make me stronger! This revelation helped me regain my passion for my purpose.  

My purpose was not always clear to me, but it has always been in front of me: 'Love God, love people, be like Jesus and and serve others.'  God gave me several gifts and talents and I was made to use those to be a Blessing to others.  Once this clicked in my head, life didn't seem so horrible.  I could have peace through chaos on earth.  When you begin to understand your purpose and submit to the fact your life is not your own, you too can have peace through your storms.

I won't go deeper today into the topic of purpose - but I would like for you to give yours some serious thought. There's a saying the two most important days in a person's life is the day they are born and the day they discover why they were born.  This does not discount any milestones along the way.  It actually helps you connect and disconnect to life's episodes and stay passionate about your purpose!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Who's your BFF? Gluten: Friend or Foe?

Who's your BFF?  Do you hang out with them everyday? A few times per week? Or just once in while?  Whatever your response, I bet you hang out with gluten more than your beloved best friends, family and co-workers!  Wanna bet?   Here's another question:  What did you eat today?  Did it come from a package or was it "sandwiched" in between 2 slices of your favorite bread, rolled up in a wrap or slathered with a tangy sauce?  Maybe it was a bowl of your favorite cereal, or better yet - your daily vitamins and supplements.  If you read labels and know anything about food preparation then you know there is gluten galore in nearly everything we eat - particularly if it's processed.

If you're thinking "What the heck is gluten?", I'm sure you're in the majority.  Most people don't know what it is nor heard of it until recent years, but truly still don't "understand" it.  Gluten is a protein that is present in wheat, barley and rye.  It's not harmful unless someone is managing celiac disease.  Roughly 1% of the population is affected by the disease - which prevents them from digesting the protein.  Some of the symptoms include bloating, abdominal cramps, constipation, chronic fatigue and unexplained weight loss.  If celiac disease is not properly treated it can be fatal. 

Now, let's attempt to determine if gluten is your friend or foe.  I'll give you the broad strokes of the pros and cons and leave the rest of the investigative work up to you.  Here's what I do know:  According to the website www.knowswhy.com and the dozens of health practitioners I've studied say 40%  of the population is gluten sensitive.  And while people with a gluten sensitivity can consume wheat with gluten on occasion without any side effect, those with celiac disease have to avoid gluten completely.  Have you allowed gluten to become your BFF and is it now acting more like an enemy?  If so, it might be a good idea to reevaluate your relationship with this protein.

Here's the major reason why in my opinion, we should strive to eliminate or at least decrease our exposure to gluten.  It destroys our small intestine over time and could lead to a nasty condition caused leaky gut syndrome.  The small intestine turns food we eat into fuel. That fuel is used by our cells for nourishment.  So, if the small intestine is damaged, body will not get fed and a number of problems can develop.  Some of those include autoimmune diseases like asthma and arthritis, stress, Lupus, chronic pain, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), thyroid issues and a host of other maladies.

If you are one of my dedicated readers, you know I avoid getting too technical or medical.  And the issue of gluten intolerance/sensitivity is one of those topics that venture into those territories.  Therefore, without offering any medical advice, I will offer you my two cents.  If you have any chronic condition or experience any of the symptoms, an elimination diet could be a way to determine if gluten is your friend or foe.  Please, talk to your health care practitioner or seek the advice of a certified or licensed holistic/nutrition specialist who can help you navigate through this. There are many whole-food substitutions that can replace gluten in your diet and you won't miss it at all. 

Bob's Red Mill is one of my favorite product lines!!!

Take care and feel free to share your healthy and wealthy tips and questions in the blog comments section, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ritechoicenutrition or on twitter @AliciaBettes.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Big Comeback! Did you miss me?

Wow, can you believe it's been over six months since my last post?  I can't.  But when I actually think about it, it feels like it's been a whole lot longer.  I have missed chiming in once a week - and a little more sometimes.  Honestly, there wasn't one day that I didn't think about sitting down and penning a post.  Unfortunately, I let life get in the way and then I got in my own way too.  These first few months of 2014 have been eye-opening, mind-boggling and life changing.  I don't know if words could ever capture the gamut of emotions I am experiencing at this time: disappointment, heartache, uncertainty, happiness, excitement, confident, positive, cautious, prayerful, mindful, sadness - are just a few of the twists and turns I have encountered.  But the glue that is all holding it together for me is FAITH.  I know things are going to work out the way the are supposed to because I have put in the work.  I continue to put in the work and I am not afraid to put in some more.  Pepper this with a lot of patience and it's the perfect recipe for SUCCESS!  I am just so excited to walk into what God has prepared for me.  I can feel my eyes swelling right now with tears of joy!  All of my heart's desires, my dreams, my family, my abundance of health, wealth, happiness, peace and most of all love  -- they are all mine!!!

I thank God for the countless blessings he allows to flow my way.  No matter how big or small.  And they are not all material either.  I praise and thank Him for the wonderful, insightful, encouraging, intelligent, savvy, beautiful, spiritual people He puts in my path.  If you are reading this, then you are a blessing to me as well.  Bet you didn't know that!?!??!  Well you are!  And don't you forget it!

As I close out today's post, I am reminded of these words Pastor Joel Osteen shared via social media yesterday:

"The enemy will tell you all the reasons you could never become what you were created to be. Don’t believe those lies. God has already arranged a comeback. There’s victory in your future!"

I believe it and receive it in Jesus' name!  Amen, Amen, Amen!

Healthy and Wealthy never felt so good!