The Philosophy of Being Healthy, according to me…

I spend so much time thinking about being healthy and eating well. Literally. All the time.

I’ve come a long way in how I approach food. When I first did WW so many years ago and then did 21 Day Fix last year I literally planned out every bite I would take, what exercise I would do and approached weight loss as a General planning an attack. Even if I did not feel like eating what food I had planned I still had it because that was what “fit” for that day. I analyzed each food for calories, fat, fiber and nutrition. I was so regimented in my eating that I forgot to enjoy food and being social (!) and was pretty miserable.

I have to say I really have come to dislike (okay, hate) the words Rules, Off limits, Diet, and No. To my mind they represent restriction and hardship. Food and eating better should not have to be fraught with all these issues. Food is food, some of it better nutritionally than others but it’s just food. We need food to survive.

Exercise was often engaged in as a “payment” for eating; if I eat this then I have to walk/run/bike etc to balance it. I exercised to the point of being exhausted and sore for days. I have so many videos and all kinds of equipment that I could have a personal gym. We need to move in order to keep our bodies moving well but it doesn’t have to be hard every time.

So, my Philosophies on being healthy.

I’ve come to believe in being Practical and Simple.

No “Rules”. No guilt. No crazy planning.

These are my Guidelines:

* I try to live by the 80/20 principle: if you choose more’nutritionally dense food’ (further said as healthy/healthier)  in both type and portion you can splurge or choose something less healthy the other 20% of the time. Life is about balancing the two.

The same can be said for being active. I used to run, a lot. But it became less fun and injuries occurred and I just kinda stopped doing it. I love to walk (and hike) and I have a really fast pace naturally. I love walking with other people; conversations and sharing ideas happen so easily when you fall into the rhythm of moving. Most of the people I  walk with just are not as fast paced as I am.Just saying, but I am okay with that because I also reap other benefits of relaxation, breathing deeply and just enjoy moving. Could I focus on it not being a ‘high intensity’ workout? Sure, but why? I could force myself to do a HIIT workout and be so sore that I am unable to do it again for several days or I can just enjoy moving. I’ve come to realize that there are so many options to being active that to force myself to endure something I dislike just to burn a few more calories is absurd.

*No guilt about my choices. I could drive myself crazy thinking about every bite of something I ate that might not be the best for me or guilt myself for not exercising for 2 days but it serves no purpose. For most instances I find that guilt backfires: it leads to more of the same and suddenly you just give up and go back to old habits. Instead use it as a learning tool to see where you might change the circumstance (if you can). Most of our “bad habits” are just that–a learned reaction to a stimuli. Stressful situations often lead to just grabbing what is handy instead of a better choice (nutritionally). It happens. Maybe something that can avoid it is to keep a snack (granola bar or similar) in your bag. Super busy? Sneak in moving by taking the stairs, parking farther away or anything that makes you move like walking while you are on the phone.

*Being Prepared is half the Battle! While I no longer plan every bite I do try to food prep every week so I have healthy/ier options available. I cut up veggies, make brown rice and often precook chicken for salads. I make sure I have yogurt available.  Having these  things available helps to avoid choosing the other options that don’t keep me healthier. Helps, but everyone slips up especially when busy or tired.

*Make time to reflect and see the Big Picture. So often we get so caught up in living and working that we forget to have a life. We dream about what we would do ‘if we just had the time and money’ but rarely do anything to get there. I’m learning to simplify and have been getting rid of material possessions that I don’t need to that just add clutter. I feel calmer giving things to people who can benefit from them. I am being much more selective about what I purchase. My husband and I discovered kayaking this summer and started doing a lot of research. For what we want in terms of function and size it will run about $2000 for 2 kayaks, gear, travel stuff and little things. We could have put them on a credit card but we decided to save until next year and decide if it is truly something that will bring us joy and an opportunity to be together (or alone) in Nature or if it is just  a spur of the moment interest. So what does this have to do with being healthy? A tranquil mind often has a trickle down effect into eating well and being active because we are not trying to find a substitute for being happy in either food or drink.

These are my big guidelines. Am I a perfect example of a healthy person? No. Am I making progress? Yes, definitely. One day at a time.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and feelings.

Kindest regards,






21 days later…

Sometimes things just happen. They just kind of all add up to the right time and place and suddenly you know. You resist it, but the urge remains. You debate it and then, you take a giant leap of courage and just jump in.

So what am I talking about? I became a Beachbody Coach. I’m still trying to get my head around it but I’ve joined one of the biggest fitness and nutrition companies and I am both scared to death and excited by the prospects of helping other people become more healthy.

I’ve always loved nutrition and fitness. I love the feel of being active and rarely say no to an invitation to exercise with someone. But the thing is my own eating and exercise habits are not always perfect. I think its human nature to fall into an eating rut and to let exercise become boring and mundane just by the fact that most people crave routine and resist change.

This is where my story gets interesting. Many of the ladies I work with were doing something called the “21 day fix” and seemed to be happy doing it. I looked into it, asked questions, did a lot research and realized it is a great program!

21 Day Fix Challenge Pack

21 Day Fix Challenge Pack

So what is the “21 Day fix”? This is what I found with my research– It is a program developed by Beachbody based on portions and HIIT workouts (High Intensity Interval Training). There are color coded containers to help with portion control and eliminate the need to otherwise weigh, measure or count points. Following a formula based on your current weight you determine the calorie bracket you need to create a calorie deficit and you have a guideline of the number of each container to eat daily. The key thing is you are choosing foods closest to their natural form ie Clean Eating and avoid processed foods. Eating all the containers is very important– it will give you a 40-30-30 (carbs-protein-fat) balance that is optimal for good nutrition. Also, without enough calories you won’t lose weight since your body will see it as too much of a deficit and go into a lower metabolism burn to save calories thinking you are in a starvation situation.

Once you get the ball rolling it is actually very easy to think this way.  I’m not saying that it happens overnight but once your tastebuds are clean it is hard to imagine eating “junk” on a regular basis. The cool thing about this program– its a 21 day fix to fix bad habits. Becoming more trim and losing weight are the perks of learning to eat this way. On average people who follow the plan lose between 5-15 pounds in a 21 day period (as per the website). After 2 cycles I am now down 10 pounds and about 14 inches!


The workouts you ask? I’m not gonna lie–they are challenging but doable. There are always modification options to the moves but you are encouraged to keep moving any way you can for the 60 seconds. Oh, I forgot you may not be aware of what HIIT workouts are. A quick summary: for 60 seconds you perform one move, say a plank or a weighted move. You do this with correct form for 60 seconds, rest 15-20 seconds and do the next move for 60 seconds. You do this for 30 minutes and you are done! The workouts are Total Body, Upper body, Lower body, Pilates, Cardio, “Dirty 30” and Yoga. Some are with weights, some just a mat but all of them give you results. And honestly, muscles you didn’t know were there.

I absolutely fell in love with this program and the feeling of control I had over eating and being active. When my own coach suggested I become a coach myself I really had to think about it. I love helping other people live healthier lives but to do it “for real”? As a job?  I really resisted doing it because I really am not a salesperson (working real estate taught me that!).  I hate pressuring people to buy things. But then After a discussion at work I had a change of heart and mind: I believe in this product and the company. By not doing this I am possibly short changing other people of the chance to live healthier lives. Being a nurse I help people while they are in my care, but by becoming a coach I am  helping others live healthier lives even when I am not around.


And so there you have it….Janice Doty, Beachbody Coach.  Interested? Want to find out more? Check out my Beachbody website

The 9 Highest-Calorie Meals at Chain Restaurants

Wow– Not the healthiest choices to start with but the numbers surprised me!

Health News / Tips & Trends / Celebrity Health

Photo: Getty Images Photo: Getty Images

So you’re headed out to a chain restaurant and want to pick the healthiest one. Red Lobster should be good, right? Seafood’s low in calories, high in protein, and full of good-for-you omega-three fatty-acids, right?

Think again.

While seafood can indeed boast all those nutritional perks, Red Lobster itself just had the dubious honor of being the “winner” of the 2015 Xtreme Eating Awards, held yearly by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to highlight the chain restaurant menu items with the highest calorie, saturated and trans fat, sodium, and added sugar counts. Head to the Lobster for a Create Your Own Combination meal—with a Traditional Lobsterita to drink, natch—and you could down 3,600 cals in one sitting. That’s over a third more than the 2,000 calories the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends the average woman eat per day.


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NSVs–always a good thing!

Being At Home with Myself

NSVs  (or Non-Scale Victories) are great things!  (NOT to be confused with STDs!!)

Sometimes that scale is just a plain liar! Our weights are always changing depending on the time of day, foods eaten the day before of even that “time of the month”. You can exercise like crazy, watch your eating down to the last calorie and STILL the scale does not move! So frustrating!405295_293934440667704_218106824917133_790173_611535280_n

So what is a health striving person to do?? That is where the NSVs come in.

Some common NSVs that you may find that pertain to you:

1- You lose inches but not weight. This is a big one for most people but they don’t realize it. Before starting a health journey take a minute to measure and record your body measurements: axilla, chest, midriff, waist, hips. You can also measure arms and legs but I see the biggest changes happening in those places.

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Go take a walk, or hike or a ride!

No matter what you choose to do just get outside– the effects of being active in Nature are amazing!

Being At Home with Myself


March 28 is Opening day for trails!! Go join in the Movement  with thousand of others today! Rails to Trails is a great organization changing the outlook for the future. Converting old rail beds and land corridors into usable trails takes a lot of work and dedication– thanks RTC for working to get us healthier!

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Sometimes one unplanned workout makes the best leaping off point.

I realized yesterday that I was doing the interval runs because I felt that was the next logical step in fitness…but then I realized why it was not working: I don’t have a goal to run a 5K, half or other races. Why was I putting myself into such a funk about running (and not really wanting to) when there are so many other options?

I felt I really needed to do something–anything= to keep myself from becoming inactive…so the treadmill. Ironically, I really enjoyed the “mountain walk” program on the treadmill yesterday because it so resembled my hikes. I LOVE being outside and being in the woods! Granted I am not a hard core hiker but it really is my favorite form of exercise.

So, the point? With so many options for being active, choosing what I love to do makes so much more sense than making myself do what I don’t enjoy and in all likelihood will not continue with.  I’m going to plan on the hiking prep and railtrail walking. If I happen to break into a run (just because it feels right) now and then, so much the better.

This was our dinner tonight–with minor adjustments–I realized I had only gotten a 1/2 pound of shrimp and added 1 larger chicken breast, diced–what a surprising and delicious combination!!

Being At Home with Myself

Its a cold and blustery day here in New York. Its hard to believe it is April and last week was so warm you could wear shorts. Today its in the 40s and so windy it takes your breath away!

We definitely needed a hot meal for dinner. I’ve really been trying to eat healthy and I was in the mood for something spicy so I decided on “Cajun Shrimp”. I’ve tried several recipes over the years but this one is the winner–quick, easy, little prep time and…delicious!

I normally serve it over Brown Basmati rice but it could easily pair with couscous, quinoa, grits–basically any grain you have on hand. They could even be a great base for a wrap.

SO …the recipe:

Start your rice first, I use an Aroma Rice Cooker and the brown rice takes about 30 minutes. Do your vegetable and shrimp prep while this…

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Kicking the “old me” down the stairs….

I met the old me in the kitchen today–she was busy cleaning and doing laundry and whatever she could to avoid -err, delay–actually exercising. “I’ll exercise in the afternoon” was the rationale. To tell you the truth, she really annoyed me!! So I kicked her down the stairs to the basement…where the treadmill is. The really weird thing–she liked it down there. I cranked the music up since no one was home to object–heavy on percussion and she just zoned out and it was over before she realized!

Alright, so seriously–despite my good intentions it was just a bit of a mental challenge this morning but I was really glad I was strong enough mentally to see it through and do the right thing–the Smart Choice! I chose a Podrunner called “Restless” at 139 bpm which for me works out to be a 4.0 mph pace. Brief warm up with intro at 3.5 mph/ 2% incline and then got right onto the 4.0 pace, with and without incline. I set the time for 40 minutes but I really did zone out to the beat and movement and honestly lost blocks of time since I was so “in sync” with my body today.

I followed with the abwork, changing it up just a bit. I have to admit it–they were tough today! I felt every crunch-especially #10-25!

So the stats:

Podrunner “Restless” 139 bpm

Treadmill time :40 minutes

Pace 3.5 (warmup ) then 4.0 mph

Incline 0-2%, alternating

Distance 2.653 miles

Caloric burn: 307 (per treadmill)

Ab/core work:

Crunches with ball–1 set 25 reps

Reverse curl with ball–1 set 25 rep

“rope climb”-1 set 25 reps

Standing side bends with weight (10# dumbells)-1 set 25 reps each side

I have to say I can’t wait until Saturday!! I may just walk again in the morning I feel so motivated–going to blow the 100 minutes out of the park!

I won’t be home on Saturday so I am packing my gear including my Forerunner305 which is now fully charged and my ipod nano (the old kind!) so I can stay on top of stats….looking forward to beach walking and around the gorgeous riverfront properties…

See you tomorrow for updates and motivation! ~Janice


Countdown to 48

It occurred to me the other day–I have about 5 weeks until I turn 48. Not so old really, but I am using it a motivational goal–to consistently eat better and exercise to enter that year as my healthiest yet.

So starting tomorrow I will be posting daily thoughts and actions on the blog as a “Countdown to 48″….join me by sharing your thoughts on the blog—keep me motivated/ hold me accountable to do this awesome thing: give myself the Gift of Health!


I actually started yesterday so I will count it toward my goals……

This week:

Tuesday/ Thursday / Saturday–minimum 30 mintes fast pace walking plus minimum 100 ab repetitions ( combination of 4 @25 rep each)…this should work out to about 100 minutes of exercise this week.


I took a pre-work nap and then got up and hit the treadmill:

30 minutes of active time  with a warm up at 3.5 mph/1% incline and then worked at 3.8-4.0 mph/ 0-1% incline.

1.94 miles / 216 caloric burn per machine

Podrunner “Easy Does it” at 139 bpm


Abs–with Bender Ball:

crunches with ball under / at base of spine–1 set 25 reps

reverse curls -squeeze ball between knees with ankles crossed–1 set 25 reps

“rope climbs” (Does anyone know the real name?)–lay on back, legs up/feet flat and reach up to outer edge of feet with opposite arm while squeezing ball between feet–1 set 25 reps

obliques–ball under side of ab and do oblique crunches–1 set 25 reps


I have to confess–my outer glutes are sore today!!  I also walked a lot at work last night and use  Reebok Easytones as a RN to keep my feet comfortable–double workout!


So–motivation and accountability are welcome. Feel free to offer advice, suggestions and thoughts!! I’ll try to get some pictures done so you can see the progress and results!! ~Janice

Buttermilk Bread–Updated–>Buttermilk Wheat Bread!

So we really loved the Buttermilk Bread!! This is without a doubt the easiest and best bread for toast or sandwiches! It holds up well as thin slices for sandwiches and nice thick ones for toast!  But I wanted to play with it a bit to add a bit more ‘health’ to it–and it worked!

#Smart Choices Healthy Living Buttermilk Wheat Bread

Buttermilk Wheat Bread–just as good as the Original!

Take a look at the original recipe for instructions but switch the flour to

3 cups white bread flour

3 cups white whole wheat flour

Use all the same proportions and directions for the original one. wheat breadEven with the wheat flour it still rises really nicely!

I used a big loaf pan with a springform so I could make it higher for sandwiches. It really rose well–almost too well! I baked this one just a little less (375*F for 30 minutes) since it was a longer loaf.

#Smart Choices Healthy Living Buttermilk Wheat Bread
Buttermilk Wheat Bread–just as good as the Original!