Health Topics, Healthy Recipes

Monday Motivation – snacking

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I miss eating something “crunchy.”  So what are good HEALTHY snacks?  

  • 12 roasted, lightly salted almonds
  • 10 mini carrots
  • 6 mini carrots
  • KALE chips!

What?  You’ve never tried Kale chips?  I LOVE them, and they are so easy to make!  Kale is very inexpensive (usually around $1.00 for a bunch at most grocery stores).  Buy a bunch (or two – if you have children, they’ll love them).  

  • Pull the leaves off the kale stems, wash them, and let them dry very well.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.img_3677
  • Put the kale in a large bowl; shake on a little olive oil and some sea salt. (Careful with the salt or you’ll make it too salty)
  • Place the kale pieces on a baking sheet that you have sprayed with Pam (or some other baking spray).
  • Cook the kale for 12 to 15 minutes.  I like mine a little browner and crisper, so I cook for 15 minutes.
  • Dry on a paper towel.  
  • Store in a ziplock bag (if you and your family don’t eat them all first!)img_3680
Health Topics

Let’s Talk about sugar . . .

<a href="“>

The Sugar in Shakeology

(by Shea Stanford, certified nutritionist)

Critics sometimes raise questions about Shakeology® and it’s nutritional value. One of the most common questions skeptics (and prospective users) have when they read the label is, “Why “so much” sugar?”


So, what’s up with that? There are six grams of sugar in a single serving of Shakeology®. For a nutritional meal, that may sound like a lot.  But let’s break down what we are comparing and the type of sugar we are talking about.


An apple has 23 grams of sugar…and, Shakeology® has 6.

The American Heart Association recommends that women should consume no more than six teaspoons (24 grams) of sugar per day, and men should keep their sugar intake down to nine (36 grams) teaspoons or less.  Four grams of sugar is equal to one teaspoon.


There’s a significant difference between the sugar found in Shakeology® and the kind found in that sprinkled doughnut you may be thinking about.    Dr William Coda Martin defines refined sugar as the “sweetest poison of all”.  Refined sugar is different than natural sugar.  Shakeology® contains no refined sugar.  It’s consists of a natural sweetener blend of non-GMO fructose and stevia.  Steve Edwards, Beachbody Director of Results and Fitness Advisor, says, “Fructose is a natural sweetener from fruit.” He explains that the original goal for Shakeology® was to create a vegan formula that was sugar free. However, to meet up with necessary taste requirements, a combination of natural sweeteners had to be negotiated.

Derived from beets, the non-GMO fructose has a low glycemic index and works in the formulation as a transport vehicle for the nutrients and for taste, says Edwards. This is unlike glucose sucrose (table sugar) or high-fructose corn syrup (chemically altered sugar). The sugar found in Shakeology® is sent directly to the liver for absorption, minimizing the impact on insulin and blood sugar levels. It’s processed cleanly in GMP-certified (Good Manufacturing Practice) facilities and doesn’t affect your body negatively the way other sugars do. The Westin Price Foundations suggests replacing refined sugar with natural sugar:

“Get in the habit of reading labels and avoid products made with white sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, and ALL artificial sweeteners. Instead use natural sweeteners, including pure maple syrup, molasses, stevia, Rapadura (dehydrated cane sugar juice), brown or green stevia or raw unfiltered honey. Many health food stores offer products made with natural sweeteners, like cookies and ice cream, and even licorice, although it is better to make your own. ”

Oh OK!  I get it now!  But what about OTHER shakes?
In comparison to other shakes that may read ZERO sugar:  How do you think they are achieving that?

YES!—>  Artificial sweeteners and chemicals.  And those are big health no-nos.  Here’s why.

I promote questioning the ingredients found in Shakeology® AS WELL AS any other food, for that matter, especially the sugar content. Label readers know to look for unsuspected sugar as ingredients in all sorts of food ranging from “unsweetened” orange juice to pasta sauces to soda to “healthy” granola or breakfast cereals. Not only do foods high in added sugars fail to have nutrients your body needs, but they also contain empty calories that are counterproductive to your goals. Additionally, getting too much sugar can significantly increase your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to a study reported by the American Heart Association. It’s only natural to want to make sure that a product you’re considering isn’t full of added sugars.

Diabetics certainly need to know about the quality and amount of sugar contained in Shakeology® and other products they are considering for their fitness journeys. Shakeology has a very low glycemic index- meaning what is in it, is not going to spike their sugar levels. Many diabetics drink Shakeology® daily, they attest to the fact that the low glycemic index of the sugar contained in Shakeology® does not negatively affect their health.

Remember that while the sugars in Shakeology® are naturally-occurring and combined with natural brown stevia, your shake might contain more sweeteners than you suspect. When you add milk (especially the whole variety) or rice milk to your shake, you will seriously increase the sugar levels in your daily dose of nutrition.   Hey we can all get carried away with adding too much fruit and creamy milk!

As long as you follow the guidelines suggested for mixing up your dense daily dose of health, you are well within safe levels of sugar intake. Shakeology® is not a sugar-laden shake to take lightly — it’s serious nutrition derived from whole foods and natural ingredients. It is NOT chocked full of unnecessary added sugars. It’s NOT made with high-fructose corn syrup. And, it’s not going to throw you into insulin overload due to its sweetener content.

Rhonda’s Comments . . .

So, what DOES Shakeology® contain?  Superfoods!  Most “Protein” shakes that you find in Walmart, Costco, Sam’s, GNC, etc. are simply Whey Protein.  They’ll just add weight and make you feel less hungry, but they don’t contain the nutritional value of Shakeology®.   

Shakeology_TropStrawBag_012816_Web (1)

(This is from the ingredient list for Strawberry Tropical Vegan Shakeology®.  Other flavors contain very similar ingredients, and calorie counts vary from 130 to 170 calories.) 

Because many of these ingredients are found all over the world in the areas where they grow best, they deliver the BEST results!

Why the cost?  $130 for a 30-serving bag?  That amounts to $4.00 per shake or $4.00 per meal!  One shake is typically 56 to 72 oz.!  What you purchase from Walmart or wherever, may cost less, but how many shakes does it deliver for you?  Probably 15. One-half a month.

When you buy food at Sam’s and Costco, don’t you buy larger bags, knowing that your family will eat it over several months.  We might buy a huge roast and cut it into four smaller roasts that we’ll freeze for later.  Also, ask yourself, how much food do you throw away every week or every month?  How much food spoils in your refrigerator, cabinet, or freezer?  Probably more than you realize.  John and I don’t throw away much food anymore.

Health Topics

Team Beachbody Updates

See link to sign up for a FREE 30-day membership to Team Beachbody and Beachbody on Demand under the Health News link in the Top Menu!

Great NEWS!  Team Beachbody has created 3 new options for Beachbody on Demand!

What is Beachbody on Demand? BOD streams Beachbody’s best workouts on the internet, so you can workout whenever and wherever you want.  Currently, there are more than 44 programs available through Beachbody on Demand!  When a new program is released, you have the option to “digitally unlock” that program, which is 50% less than the cost of purchasing the DVDs.  The current library just recently added Focus T25 and The Master’s Hammer and Chisel to other well-known workouts like P90X, Insanity, Hip-Hop Abs, Turbo Jam, Brazil Butt Lift, and many more.  Check out this video for more information: BOD .  Beachbody on Demand is also great for those individuals who love a great workout, but aren’t interested in Shakeology!

Now, you have 3 new options for payment:

  1. When you purchase a Challenge Pack*, you typically receive a FREE 30-day trial of Beachbody on Demand, followed by a 90-day membership.  You are billed $38.87 (or $13 a month) for that 90-day membership every 90 days.
  2. You can now PRE-PAY $59.97 (or $10 a month) for a 6-month membership.  (If you aren’t satisfied, Beachbody provides a 30-day money back guarantee.)
  3. You can also now PRE-PAY $99.95 (or $8.50) for a 12-month membership!  How many gyms offer UNLIMITED workouts for that price?

*Challenge Pack purchases will still provide the free trial, followed by a 90-day membership.  If you wish to upgrade to a 6-month or 12-month membership, you can do this by visiting at least 3 days before your free trial is over.


Team Beachbody is also adding new Customer Service Options, beginning in August:

  • Customers will receive an email notification 7 days prior to the scheduled ship date of your next Shakeology order.
  • You will have 4 days after receiving the email to make changes to your order, such as:
    • change your Shakeology flavor (a great way to try a new flavor)
    • order individual packets rather than a large bag (individual packets are great for traveling)
    • update your address or credit card information
    • postpone your shipment for a month OR
    • change your ship date 

Interested in Shakeology?  Send me an email, and I’ll contact you!

Interested in becoming a Team Beachbody Coach?  You save money while you make money!

Health Topics

Traveling with Shakeology

My Shakeology® goes everywhere I go!  I just returned from my sixth year at the AP English© Literature Reading in Louisville, Kentucky, and for the past three years, I have substituted at least one shake a day for the lunch thshaketraveley provide.  Since the Convention Center is cooking for THOUSANDS (yes, thousands) of high school teachers and college professors, the meals are typically pretty carb heavy, which would put me to sleep in the afternoons, I’m sure!

This year, Café Latté was my “go-to” breakfast.  I would take a cinnamon or caramel Café Latté  with me and also eat some protein for breakfast.  Then, I would decide whether the lunch menu or dinner menu was within my meal choices.  Our hotel was only two blocks away, so a quick walk would take me back to my room, allow me time to mix a shake, to rest a little, and then to walk back to our reading room.  

I love my immersion blender!  I take the individual packets and a few “mix-ins,” and use water (couldn’t find my Almond Milk at the local CVS), ice, and whatever fruit I might find at snack time.  You don’t have to take a Shakeology® break just because it’s vacation!  If you’re interested in a “sample” of Strawberry, Vanilla, Chocolate, or Café Latté, send me a message, and I’ll tell you how to get one.

Health Topics

My RA Story

This is a story that I’ve been wanting to post for quite some time.  In so many ways, it connects to my Shakeology® story.

For many years, I was a fitness fanatic, especially after the birth of my second child in 1984.  I was a “stay-at-home” mom of two toddlers, and two days a week, I would join my other mom friends at an exercise class held in our church gym in Shreveport.  This was the 80s – the days of leotards, leggings, leg warmers, headbands, Jane Fonda workouts, and aerobics. Nancy Greer, our instructor, was all I ever wanted to be twenty years later:  fit, cute, and bubbly.  Her class was challenging, but I loved the joy of moving to the music; my children loved playing with their friends in the church nursery; and I lost my “baby weight” and more!  On the days when we didn’t have class, I’d exercise with my Jane Fonda VHS at home, take walks with my children and/or husband, and chase children around the house.  When I became pregnant with my third child, I continued to exercise until the 7th month of my pregnancy when I could no longer bend over and do most of the exercises, and I changed my routine to daily speed walking until she arrived – a month early but a healthy 6 pound, 15 ounce baby!

Soon after Molly’s birth (baby #3), we moved from Shreveport, Louisiana, to Germantown, Tennessee, because of my husband’s new job.  It was difficult to find an exercise class as challenging as Nancy’s.  I finally found one and continued to workout at home as well as run in my neighborhood.

When Molly began the 4th grade, I returned to teaching English at Briarcrest Christian High School in Memphis.  God simply placed that position in my path because I began as a long-term substitute, on the Friday BEFORE school began on Monday, and finished the remainder of the year, continuing to teach there for seven years!  When I returned to the classroom at age 37, I was still active in a fitness routine.  Often, I was running three to five miles a day; sometimes I used my VHS tapes; and I would join in an exercise class on Saturdays or Sundays when we weren’t running the kids from ball games/practices or dance lessons.

My children – Matt, Meg, and Molly – joined me at Briarcrest, and I began sponsoring the Varsity Cheer squad, later moving to be the Pom squad sponsor, since that group cheered at basketball games and my son played basketball.  I would run with the Pom squad, so physically, I was great! However, something happened to my immune system in February 2000, the year my son was a high school senior (I was 42).  I had not been feeling “quite right” for about a year, but I couldn’t explain why.  My gynecologist and gastroenterologist had both done numerous tests which showed an overproduction of cortisone but no one could explain why.  Within two weeks, my body swelled, and I broke out in hives (that lasted several months) and gained 20 pounds!

I had always remained 115 to 120 pounds, but suddenly, I found 145 pounds on my 5 foot, 2 inch frame!  My face was also swollen as if I had been taking steroids.  I was sent to an endocrinologist who couldn’t explain anything.  In my stubbornness, I began to actively work to lose the weight by going to our church gym everyday – running on the elevated track and/or working out on the eliptical.  I was able to drop the 20 pounds, but my feet began to hurt.  I found a Morton’s Neuroma between two toes on my right foot. I had a student at that time whose father was an orthopedic surgeon, so over the Thanksgiving holiday of 2001, he removed the neuroma.  When I returned for my follow-up visit, he revealed that he had found something interesting about that neuroma.  Attached to the Morton’s Neuroma was a Rheumatoidal Nodule.  He didn’t know my back story of the testing by my other doctors.

We were scheduled to move to Dallas in May 2002, due to my husband’s job.  I scheduled a visit with my gynocologist so I could obtain all my records for future doctors.  (I had a difficult time with a surgery at age 33, so I wanted to carry as much information as possible with me to pass along to new physicians.)  I told my gynocologist about the orthopedic findings, and he personally took the film and records from that surgerty to a rheumatologist who confirmed – yes, I had rheumatoid arthritis.  Since we were moving, the timing was such that the Memphis rheumatologist said to wait until we were settled in Dallas and begin working with a rheumatologist there.

It wasn’t until May 2003 that my knees began to ache, damage to my toes appeared, and I began medicine that finally put my RA into “remission.”  I’ve learned much about RA and endured almost every medication available in the past 13 years.  It would take another 1,000 word post to explain all of that!  But the connection to Shakeology® and my RA is this:  I feel so much healthier, energized, and I take less medicine than ever.

Some autoimmune medicines cause weight gain, and I did gain weight,  which is not good for my joints.  However, Shakeology® and Beachbody® have helped me lose 75 pounds! You can find out about Shakeology® by clicking the link on this page.  Also, feel free to contact me for any questions.

Health Topics

21-Day Fix

I’m ready for this!  Who’s with me?  John and I are starting our 21-Day Fix on Sunday, March 6.  If that’s not a good day for you, start when you can and stay with us.  March 6 – March 26 (21 days) will have you finished the day before Easter.  Here’s how the 21-Day Fix works:

    1.   Determine your CALORIE LEVEL

A.  Your current weight (in pounds) X 11 = YOUR CALORIC BASELINE

B.  Add 400 (fix calorie burn) to your CALORIC BASELINE = YOUR CALORIC NEEDS

C.  Subtract 750 (your caloric deficit) from your CALORIC NEEDS –> YOUR CALORIE                       TARGET

     2.  Take your BEFORE stats (measurements) and your BEFORE picture


     3.  Find the CALORIE CHART2 that corresponds with your CALORIE LEVEL

     4.  If you don’t have the 7 COLOR-CODED CONTAINERS, you can order some or                       create your own:

  •  Green Container = 1 cup (8 oz.) –> vegetables
  •  Purple Container = 1 cup (8 oz.) –> fruit
  •  Red Container = 2/3 cup (5 oz.) –> protein
  •  Yellow Container = 1/2 cup (4 oz.) –> carbs
  •  Blue Container = 1/4 cup (2 oz.) –> healthy fats
  •  Orange Container = 2 Tbsp. (1 oz.) –> seeds and dressings

 What can you eat?  

 21-Day-Fix-Food-List-Reference-Guide (foods for each container)          21dayfixmenu1.jpg (sample menu for a week)                                           21 Day Fix Meal Plans (website with great ideas for meal plans and recipes)

     5.  Don’t forget to DRINK WATER (1/2 your body weight is recommended! So if you weigh                 160 pounds, you should drink 81 oz. of water per day.)

 You can add any “mix in” for flavor:

  • lemon wedges
  • lime wedges
  • orange slices
  • strawberry slices
  • kiwi slices
  • cucumber slices
  • frozen grapes
  • watermelon cubes
  • mint leaves
  • basil
  • grated ginger
  • rosemary

     6.  Print out your TALLY SHEET (use the chart closest to your calculation from above)

2100 – 2300 calories
1800 – 2099 calories


1500 – 1799 calories
2100 – 2300 calories

      7.  I’ll send you some HEALTHY RECIPES, but search 21-Day Fix on Pinterest for                     many more recipes!

      8.  Add a little ZING while you get healthy

  • Shakeology can still be a meal replacement or you can use it as a snack.  (I recommend using Shakeology as your breakfast or lunch and using your “snack” for fruits, nuts, or veggies.)
  • You can have coffee or tea, but avoid creamers, sugar, or syrups (low/nonfat milk – 1 or 2 Tbsps., almond milk – 1 or 2 Tbsps., honey – 1 to 2 tsps., or Stevia – 1 to 2 tsps. are okay)
  • Seasonings are considered “free food,” so “enjoy!
  • Tasty Beverages are okay, but only 3 times a week – they would replace one of your yellow containers (8 oz. of lowfat milk; 8 oz. of unsweetened Soy milk or 6 oz. of sweetened Soy milk; 16 oz. of unsweetened Almond milk or 8 oz. of sweetened Almond milk; 16 oz. of Coconut water; 8 oz. of fresh fruit juice; or 4 oz. of wine)

      9.  Combine your EATING PLAN with your favorite WORKOUT – every day!