January 23, 2018

Three Mistakes to Avoid to Have a Consistent Exercise and Healthy Eating Program…#3


Over the past two weeks, I have shared two mistakes to avoid in having a consistent exercise and healthy eating program. The third mistake, in my opinion, is the most important and can be a game changer.

Not Identifying the Right Motivation

So often, I hear women say, “I just can’t seem to stay motivated.” Have you ever said that? If so, you may be trying to stay motivated by something that does not even motivate you. Stop for a moment and think about that statement.

Let me give you an example. Maybe you lost weight and exercised regularly 15 years ago because you were trying to get fit for a class reunion, beach trip, or wear a certain size pants. However, today, those things are not that important to you if you really think about it. If you struggle to stay motivated, take a few minutes to write down all of the benefits you could receive from exercising and eating healthy.

For instance,
• Having more energy for your children and husband
• Managing your stress
• Having confidence in yourself
• Honoring God with your body and food
• Living a longer life to enjoy your family

Remember this: What motivated you at one time in your life may not be motivation for you today. Dig deep in your soul and think about why you really want to change and allow that to become your new focus and motivation.

Imagine what it would be like if you had the following:

  • A weight loss plan for your unique lifestyle
  • An exercise program that fits your busy schedule
  • Guidelines to organize your time for healthy eating, exercise and personal faith
  • A plan to maintain a healthy weight and balance with all of life’s professional and personal responsibilities

By setting realistic goals, following a plan that works for you (and not someone else), and identifying the right motivation you will have a consistent exercise and healthy eating plan.

In Good Health,

Three Mistakes to Avoid to Have a Consistent Exercise and Healthy Eating Program….#2

stick with it

Last week I asked if you have stuck with your exercise and healthy eating program that you started at the beginning of the year? If not, you may have made one of the three mistakes to avoid in order to have a consistent exercise and healthy eating program. I shared how setting realistic goals and expectations will lead to success as well as motivate you to keep going.

The #2 mistake to avoid is…

Attempting to Follow What Works for Someone Else

Your Exercise Program
Let me be honest, if someone told me I had to swim every day to get into shape or I had to exercise in the evening, it would not happen. Although other people may get results by swimming or working out in the evening, I would be setting myself up for failure if I tried. My highest level of energy is in the morning and swimming does not fit into my schedule or interest. To stay consistent, which is the key, running and lifting weights keeps my interest and is adaptable for MY personal schedule.

Have you been guilty of trying to do something just because you see someone else doing it, only to discover it did not work for you? I do believe in, and suggest, trying new things to discover your niche and avoid boredom. You may even need an exercise partner or a coach; but find and stick with what works for you.

Your Diet
I am often asked if a particular diet will work. My simple answer is this—Can you do it for the rest of your life? Trying to follow something that is unrealistic such as special meal plan that someone else follows or omitting certain foods completely from your diet never works for long. Learning HOW to eat a variety of foods as part of a well-balanced diet and knowing HOW to prepare quick healthy meals and snacks (even with things getting busy) leads to continuous success.

Attempting to follow what works for someone else is definitely one mistake to avoid in order to have a consistent exercise and healthy eating program

In Good Health,

Three Mistakes to Avoid in Your Exercise and Eating Program

Think back with me for a minute…Did you decide at the beginning of the year to start exercising again and eating better? Maybe you bought the new socks, shoes, workout clothes… purchased all of the food and ingredients for the diet which you heard gets results?  If so, here is my question: Did you stick with it or did you make one of the three mistakes that need to be avoided in an Exercise and Eating Program to be successful?

Over the past 20 years in the fitness industry, I have seen so many who start out with good intentions to exercise and eat healthy, but quickly throw in the towel when it seems to be too much. If that sounds familiar, have you ever felt:

  • Overwhelmed because it feels impossible to work for your schedule?
  • Frustrated because you cannot maintain a healthy weight when things get too busy?
  • A lack of confidence in making the right food choices because you follow a prescribed “diet”?
  • Unclear of HOW to take the knowledge you have and actually do it?
  • A lack of peace and balance because this one area of your life is affecting so many other areas?

If you ever felt that way, I would like to share three mistakes to avoid which can lead to a consistent program and give you results.  This week, we will focus on:

Setting Unrealistic Goals and Expectations

It is too much of a shock on your body and lifestyle to go from no exercise to attempting to exercise 5-7 days a week; nor is it realistic to try and change everything in diet.

Before writing an exercise plan for my clients, we look at their schedule to assess what type, intensity, and duration would be best for them to meet their fitness goals as well as accommodate their lifestyle.  Do you evaluate your goals and plan to assess if they are realistic and doable for your schedule as opposed to setting out to exercise with no rhyme or reason?  For example, you may have been able to work out at the gym every day at one time in your life, but now it is more realistic to exercise at home 3 days a week.  With the appropriate type and intensity, you can still get results.

Instead of trying to eliminate everything you think is unhealthy from your diet all at one time, consider making minor changes that are doable and will build your confidence to continue.  Small changes may look like:

  • adding 2 servings of fruits and vegetables a day,
  • preparing a healthy lunch to take to work instead of eating out,
  • cutting out just one unhealthy choice

Be realistic and avoid this mistake in your exercise and eating program by  setting realistic expectations that fit into your schedule.  You will see that you can have  CONTINUOUS success.

This week, I challenge to you think about how you can set realistic expectations for yourself.  Next week, I will share the 2nd mistake to avoid to have a consistent program.

In Good Health,

Get Results in Your Weight and Fitness in this Season of Life

photo (3)

“I have been doing this work out for the past ten years, why am I not seeing any results?”  Have you ever felt like that like?  Trust me; if anyone likes routine and schedules, it is me.  But even with a routine, workout and exercise programs have to change or our fitness level and weight begins to plateau.  Don’t get in the habit of doing the same thing over and over—that will get you stuck. Change the type, intensity, or duration of your exercise.

Have you ever said, “When I used to work out, I did _______; now I can’t stick with anything…”?  The reason is your life and body may be different now. You are a busy woman. Think back…how was your life when you were consistent? How is it different from today? If you get into the habit of thinking you have to exercise the way you once did, exercise may never become a habit for you.

Over the past couple of years, my life has gone through some major changes. Prior to these events, I had a set schedule and, although I changed my exercise with intensity and type, my schedule and routine were consistent. With a new schedule and different responsibilities, I had to change my way of thinking of when I should exercise (if I wanted to get in any type of work out). If I tried to do what I had done up until this point, I would have quit. It simply does not work now.

The Bible tells us,

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

I am in a new season of life and my old way of thinking needed to change. I can’t get frustrated because I can’t do what I once did. It’s a season to create new habits.

I’m curious…

What season of life are you in? Is it time to start forming new habits that will allow you to get the results that you want?

Never Give Up!

never Give Up

I blew it…again.  I am a failure.  Why should I even bother?  I will never get it.

Any of these sound familiar? I’ve been there, experienced and felt it. What I am learning and continue to learn is that “blowing it” gives us an opportunity to re-evaluate how to do it next time.

For example: It’s Saturday night, a group of friends call to go out for Mexican food. Dinner is great, but the next morning you wake up feeling bloated. Not only that, but you feel guilty and like you are the world’s biggest failure (which is a common feeling for many women).

You have two choices:

1.  Continue in the same pattern because you feel like there is no use in even trying


2.  Evaluate how you could have done it differently and have a plan for the next time you go out for Mexican food

My advice to get over the feelings of guilt, is option number 2. You have never messed up so bad that you can’t get back up and try again. Need some more words for encouragement?  Listen here to one of my favorite songs by TobyMac, Never Give Up.   Read these words.

 “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”  Thomas Edison

Honey Corn and Scallion Quinoa….an Easy Side Dish


Eating out does not have to be the only option during a busy week.  There are simple strategies and recipes that you can implement at home to save money and calories. One of my new favorite dishes is Honey, Corn, and Scallion Quinoa.

If you have followed me for a while, you know that I love quinoa.  It is easy and higher in nutrients than the typical rice or pasta side dish. Once again, I love it because I can cook quinoa in my rice cooker which makes it easy and quick to prepare this delicious dish of Honey, Corn, and Scallion Quinoa.

While preparing my meals for a busy week ahead, one of my strategies is to cook enough chicken for a couple of meals. I then change up my side dishes with simple healthy choices that can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. Here is what a mid-week meal may look like after a busy hectic day.

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The chicken was ready to eat and my only task was to roast zucchini and eggplant in the oven and prepare my quick and easy Honey, Corn, and Scallion Quinoa side dish.  It CAN be that simple.


  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of corn, drained
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of  “I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter”
  • 4 Scallions
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Prepare quinoa according to directions (I cook in rice cooker)
  • Melt butter and mix all ingredients together
  • Pour over and mix well with quinoa
  • Salt and pepper

Nutritional Facts:

  • Makes 8 servings
  • Calories – 160
  • Fat – 3gms
  • Protein 6gm
  • Fiber 3gms

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

In Good Health,


Get This Workout for Results in Your Weight and Fitness


Have you ever said things like this? 

  1. “I have been doing this workout for the past ten years, why am I not seeing any results?”
  2. “When I used to workout, I did…….,  now I can’t stick with anything?”

What is going on?  What is happening?

First, if you are like me, you like routine and schedules.  But even with a routine, workout programs have to change for there to be results in your weight and fitness.

Second, the reason you may not be able to stick with your workout is because your life and body may be different in this season of life.  Think back how your life was when you were consistently exercising.   How is it different today?  Consistency is what gets results in your weight and fitness goals and, if you are trapped by thinking you have to exercise the way you did in the past, consistentcy will always be a struggle.

If you cannot fit in a workout to your schedule or you have hit a plateau in your fitness or motivation, look at changing one of four things.  Try these suggestions for your workouts:

Your TYPE of Exercise

  • 1 minute intervals of jogging during your walk every 5 minutes for 30 minutes.  This will save time by allowing you to accomplish more during a shorter period of time.
  • Replace one day of cardio with strength training.  Be sure you are lifting the appropriate amount of weight to get results and think outside of the box. After designing a strength training program at home for a client, she is more consistent because she does not feel the pressure to get to the gym for a workout.

Your INTENSITY or How Hard You Work

  • Decrease your exercise time and work a little harder by either walking faster or increasing your intensity on an exercise machine.
  • Increase your weights in your strength training program.  If you are lifting the same amount of weight as you were last year, it is time to increase your weight by 1-5 lbs.

   Your DURATION of Work Out

  • Pick one day a week to add an extra 15 minutes to your cardio time.  Avoid putting this pressure on yourself to do it for every workout which can lead to feeling overwhelmed and giving up.

Your FREQUENCY or Number of Days You Work Out

  • Add one more day of exercise to your schedule.   What?  That can’t happen, right?  Think about this, decrease your time of exercise so that you can fit it in, work harder during that time and add another day for a quick workout.

The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1,

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”

As women, we go through different seasons of life. It may be time for you to change our way of thinking to get results in your weight and fitness.

In Good Health,


Healthy Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

chicken tortilla soupIt is one the busiest times of the year for me. With two kids at baseball park almost every night of the week and balancing work and home life, once again, I could not survive without my Crockpot.

One of my new favorite recipes is this Healthy Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup.  It leaves you feeling full, yet it is  light and healthy, and a crowd pleaser at my home.  Check out these easy ingredients and directions.

Healthy Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup


1# boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 (15 ounce) can of sweet whole corn, drained
1 (15 ounce) can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 (15 ounce) can of pinto beans, drained
5 cups of chicken stock
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1+½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper


1. Place chicken breast in Crockpot
2. Pour all ingredients over chicken and stir together
3. Cook 4 hours on high or 7 hours on low
4. Prior to serving, remove chicken and shred with fork and knife; place back in Crockpot

Serves 8
Calories – 300
Fat – 3grams
Protein – 30grams
Fiber – 9grams

Tip:  To kick it up a little for the kids, I add a little shredded cheese with a healthy portion of crushed tortilla chips on top.  Add this to your menu this week and double it, if desired.  With this Healthy Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup, you can have two meals in one week for those busy late night evenings.

In Good Health,

Crystalball season

Why Would We Want to Honor God with our Body by How We Eat and Exercise?


Last week, in my blog, I encouraged you to think of the way you exercise and eat as an opportunity to honor God.  It can be motivating to do it unto Him and not out of our own desires and needs.  However, what if that is still not motivating enough?  How do we even get to the point of wanting to honor Him in all that we do, including how we eat and exercise?  If it is still a struggle, let me share with you what I have learned from my own experiences and why I now want to honor God with my body by how I eat and exercise.

God’s Love and Grace

My friend, when I think about where I would be without God’s love and grace in my life, I am overwhelmed with appreciation toward Him. He has set me free from the bondage of sin and shame and given me a life of joy and peace.  Let us not take for granted John 3:16 and remember that God sent His ONLY son to die for us. Ephesians 1:4 says He chose us to be ‘holy and blameless.’  In verse 6 he reminds us that He “freely” bestows on us His grace.  I am so blessed to walk in His amazing grace everyday that I want to honor Him in EVERYTHING I do.

By accepting and understanding the fullness of His love, grace, and forgiveness, you may discover you have a heart to give back to God.

My Confidence is in Him, Not Others 

Have you gone on crazy diets or tried to stay motivated to exercise because of what you, others around you, or someone from your past has said about the way you should look?  Ladies, we do not have to be imprisoned by the media, what others say, or the voices in our head.  Those pressures can lead to yo-yo dieting or extreme exercise which finally leads to quitting because of a lack of motivation.  How beautiful is it to hear God tell us that we are wonderfully made.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.
Psalms 139:14

Once we can become confident in who we are in Christ, and believe what He says about us, our motivation is for Him and not for ourselves or others.

If you are struggling to stay motivated, I encourage you today to stop “trying” to eat healthy and exercise on your own.  Take some time and devote yourself to learning and accepting two things that can change your life.

  1. God’s love, grace, and forgiveness He freely gives you

  2. What God says and feels about you

When we understand these truths, God’s says in John 8:32 that the truth will set us free.  Through this freedom, our motivation can change to give back and

 Honor God with our Body by How We Eat and Exercise

In Good Health,


Do You Eat Healthy and Exercise as a Way to Honor God?

glory of GodHave you ever been frustrated because you cannot seem to stay motivated long enough to consistently exercise and eat healthy? Do you feel like you have the discipline for a short time, but then fall back into old habits and quit caring because it feels useless? Here is a question for you to ponder.

How might things be if you decided to eat healthy and exercise as a way to honor God?


As followers of Jesus Christ, there are things in our lives we have decided to give to Him such as finances, time, resources, marriage, children, work, etc.  Why then, as women, do we sometimes try and take on the battle of our health and fitness by our own strength, discipline, and power?


Can you relate to one of these scenarios?

  1. You know you should get up and get in at least 30 minutes of exercise, but you cannot seem to find the motivation or desire to do it.
  2. You have had a stressful day, you are tired and frustrated, and you think you have earned the right to overindulge with “comfort foods.”

How do you think you might handle the situation differently, if you paused and asked yourself, “What is the best way I could honor and bring glory to God with my body right now?”

1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever, you do, do all to the Glory of God.”

God wants us to worship Him with our body. Deciding not to overindulge, eat out of emotions, and taking time to care for our body through physical activity can bring Him honor.

Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through HIM who strengthens me.”

God does not want or expect us to “try” harder on our own.  He will give us strength to face the big things and the small things.  Our health is just as important to Him as it is to us.  Why not ask Him for strength that is not of our own so that we can eat healthy and exercise as a way to honor Him?

If you are ready to make a change and find the right motivation, I would love to help you make healthy living a part of your life.  You can learn how to exercise and make the right food choices, in your busy world. Email me at crystal@yourfitnessdesigner.com to schedule a time for a for a free telephone consultation.

In Good Health,