Fuel 2 Live

Fuel your belly. Fuel your soul.

Month: January 2015

Keeping That New Year Resolution

New Year Resolution

Are you one of the many people who made a ton of New Year resolutions? Or did you just make one big resolution, like weight loss, quite smoking, eat better, or start exercising? The New Year seems to be a great starting point to step out on the ledge and make some changes. I, myself, believe any time is a good time but totally understand that the beginning of the calendar year might make it easier for some. It’s like starting your gym rotation on a Monday. It makes sense.

Chances are whether you made one big resolution or many small ones this New Year; you most likely will not make your goal. STOP! Before you throw your skinny caramel macchiato at your computer screen in hopes that I felt it, I am just the messenger, so please don’t shoot me. The truth is that more than half of the people who vow to make changes at the beginning of the new year barely make it to June before quitting. So much for calling it a lifestyle change when it only last six months. So why are so many people unable to fulfill their New Year Resolution? The short answer to this is that they did not plan well. So what does good planning look like? Well here are a few tips to help you stay on track.

Take It Slow

Many people hit the pavement at full speed straight out the gate. I admire their enthusiasm and understand it well but they must be careful not to burn themselves out. I know this firsthand because I struggle with this myself. It is better to start slow, like committing to only 30 minutes of exercise one or two days a week until you get the hang of it. You might not feel like you are getting anywhere at first, but you are. You are training your body to be active and that is a big thing. After a month or so start adding time to your gym sessions and adding extra days a week. This way you build yourself up to a full gym schedule and your body is prepared for the energy it is going to exert.

Narrow It Down

It is a great thing to want to make so many changes for personal growth but it is just not realistic to change them all at once. Trying to lose weight, stop smoking, read more books, go back to school and find the love of your life all in one year is just way too much to take on. Start small. Write down the list of thing you want to change and pick out the ones that matter most to you. It is also a good idea to start with a building block goal, one that will build up to a greater goal. If you want to lose weight, eat right, and exercise more than it might be a good idea to start with exercising first. Make your resolution and goals around exercising only and don’t think too much about the eating right and weight loss. When you start exercising your body will naturally start craving what it needs to fuel your workouts, plus you will automatically make healthier choices to make sure you don’t undo all that hard work you’ve put in. When you start working out and eating healthy you will start to see weight loss. It’s like a domino effect and you have met three of your goals without overwhelming yourself.

Make Goals You Can Reach

One of the biggest mistakes people make when setting up their resolutions is not making them realistic. You recently watched one of the many food documentaries on our countries food and have now made a resolution to only purchase all organic, gluten free, fair trade and vegan food for your children. The thing is you are a single mom and money is tight. Unless you are the greatest master of budgeting this world has ever seen, it just is not a tangible goal. (By the way, if you happen to be doing this please give me a call because I could use those awesome budgeting skills!) How about you start with cutting out highly processed foods and replacing them with fresh fruits and veggies from a local market. Getting your children to eat more fruits and vegetables a day will be extremely beneficial for them whether they are organic or not.

Track Your Progress

Sometimes we just need to visually see how far we have come, like a gold star on a chore chart. Make a list of the steps needed to achieve your goal. After each step is completed, cross it off your list. I do this with my everyday task and I feel like I get much more done than when I don’t do this. I also pencil in my gym time like it was an appointment in my planner and after I go I cross it off list. You are more likely to get up and go to the gym if you actually made time for it in your schedule. Seriously, this really works.

Tell The World

Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your coworkers. Sharing your plans and later your ups and downs with the people around you is necessary for the journey. It helps you from doing it all on your own. It also holds you accountable because people will ask you how your resolution is going. You might want join a support group or stick with friends who made similar resolutions. These people will be your own personal cheerleaders!

Prepare For A Fall

Plan for the best, prepare for the worst. That saying is one I live by. Some say if you have a plan B then there is no way you are going to be successful. I say that’s a bunch of hooey. There are many unexpected things that can happen in life. Kids get sick, cars break down, work runs late. Life happens. It is best for you to at least be prepared for it. Can’t make it to the gym, it’s ok. Plan to do a little home workout, or do 15 squats every time you go to the bathroom. Aunt Flo is coming to town and you have suddenly eaten every bit of salty and sugary snack your side of the equator. It… is… ok. Get a hold of yourself and put those meal-planning skills to use. Also plan to fill your house with healthy alternatives next month when Aunt Flo shows. Have a plan for when things don’t go as planned. Period.

 

Hopefully these tips help you in your journey.

Homemade Hot Cocoa & Whipped Topping

Homemade Hot Cocoa

Hey all! Sorry I have been MIA for a few weeks. I had on tough quarter at school and was approaching my finals and really need time to study and knock them out. After the quarter was over we went down to Florida to visit some family for the holidays. But I am back and here to give you the hot chocolate recipe I promised on Instagram awhile back.

 

So it’s that time of the year again, cold weather beware! The other night it got down to single digits in Atlanta. It was a “cover your plants, bring your pets inside, and drip your faucets” freeze warning. To those of you that are northerners that might make you giggle a little because you have already received snowfall and have been bundled up for a few months now. No matter where you live or whether winter has already kissed your city or not I declare it is a good time for homemade hot cocoa. As a bonus I’m including a recipe for homemade whipped topping too!

 

Homemade Hot Cocoa 2

As soon as the weather drops a few degrees and we decide to turn the heat on, my kids’ first request is for hot cocoa. They absolutely love homemade hot cocoa over store bought and this new recipe I made had them head over heels. I think it might have been the whipped topping! Either way it was a hit in the Claiborne house and one that will be repeated many times this winter.

Homemade Hot Cocoa 3

Hot Cocoa

Ingredients:

4 C milk (or any milk substitute of your choice)

1 C cocoa powder

1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 coconut sugar

1 Tsp vanilla extract

1/2 Tsp cinnamon

Directions:

1. Heat a medium size saucepan on medium-low heat. Place milk, cocoa powder, chocolate chips and coconut sugar into the pan. With a whisk slowly stir the pot continuously making sure the milk does not burn on the bottom. Note: you could use a double boiler if you have one but it is not necessary.

2. When all the chocolate chips have melted into the milk place the vanilla and cinnamon in. Continue to stir for a minute or so. Serve immediately.

Whipped Topping

Ingredients:

1 C heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Add ingredients to a bowl and with a hand mixer, mixed until you see the mixture thicken and have stiff peeks. Note: Many people use a standing mixer, so if you have one you can use that. For those of you out there who have yet to drop a few hundred on a standing mixed, using a hand mixer works just fine.

This is a basic hot cocoa and whipped topping recipe but I am experimenting with different flavors to add so make sure to stay tune. Let me know how you and your family like this one or if you have any flavor ideas you would like to see.

Homemade Hot Cocoa 4

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