Fit Solutions

Raw Beanless Hummus, Zucchini My version.

I just made the most amazing dip and planned to try it out for my weekly snacks, but then I decided to put it on my salad for dressing, dipped with veggies, and have plans to top it on baked fish.  This is a great dip to bring to your Memorial day parties, and keep in your reciepes for a quick go to snack.

2 zucchini, choppedIMG_1526
¾ cup raw tahini (see below)

½ cup fresh lemon juice

2 ½ teaspoons sea salt ( use only 1 tsp of regular salt)
3 garlic cloves

1/2 cup of olive oil.

I also added 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds, and reduced my tahini to 1/2 cup.

Blend all ingredients in a Vitamix or high-powered blender until smooth.  Yum!  Use as a dip, dressing or atop your favorite baked fish.

I also added a half cup of sunflower seeds and reduced my tahini to only 1/2 cup.
Blend all ingredients in a Vitamix or high-powered blender until smooth

Changing lifestyle habits is hard.  Not only are they ingrained into our behaviors, thoughts, and daily actions, they are a part of our culture and the engine of the media.    Simply changing one behavior can led to a challenge for other behavior changes.  As a trainer,  I’m used to addressing the thoughts and emotions that go along with making changes.    I wanted to go deeper for my own challenges, and do more to help people with the great challenge of change – our thoughts   – so and I began praying for a way to do that.   Along came First Place 4 Health, and in October 2013 I began the process of equipping for ministry at my church.

Over these last 12 weeks, our first “Feed Your Spirit” group has completed our wellness class and bible study, focusing on our emotions, our thoughts, our heart, and our physical body.  I experienced God working through all these areas in my life in a whole new way.  It was as if all the bible studies and leadership training I’ve had over the last 3 years led up to this next step in my journey to know God more and who I am in Christ.  For the first time ever, I was able to follow my Lenten sacrifice, and shed light on some significant strongholds in my life.  As we studied obedience, confession, forgiveness, temptation, and renewal, I began to see a “new” renewal in myself.  The group participants were seeing the same thing, a greater trust in God, as we dug into the word and shared our thoughts on the study each week.

As in Romans 12:2 We are challenged not to conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

We receive clarity and guidance in how to step away from the behavior that damages our body and mind, and how to step towards greater wellness and fellowship with others who struggle against the culture too.

New 6 Week Class June 7th:  I look forward to the next 6 week summer study and our 12 week program in the fall.  I am super excited to see what God has planned for us next!  Classes include practical wellness topics in nutrition and fitness, as well as a new bible study.  The next class begins June 7th on Sunday mornings.  Get more details here.

Date Berry Energy Bar

The great thing about being a trainer is you get tons of recipes to try.  Often times, the recipes do not taste well or they are not really that much healthier than store bought.  Christina E. gave me this one to try when I have an extra hour or so in the kitchen.   While my Raw Advocare bars are my quick go-to most of the time, yet  I love all the ingredients in this one.

Date-Berry Energy Bar 1/3 c dark chocolate cocoa powder 1 ½ c pitted dates 1/3 c ground flax seed 1 tsp. cinnamon ½ c unsalted almonds ½ c unsalted walnuts 1 tsp. vanilla extract ½ c goji berries, cherries 1-2 tablespoon coconut oil Put your pitted dates in the food processor and puree until they’re smooth. Add coconut oil, cocoa powder, cinnamon, flax seed, and vanilla. Pulse a few times  until they’re combined. Add almonds and walnuts and pulse again. Depending on how fine you want the texture of the nuts, be careful not to pulse too many times.  Stir in dried berries. Transfer the date mixture to a pan lined with wax paper. Press the mixture down with a large wooden spoon until they’re about half an inch thick. Cover with Saran wrap and chill in refrigerator until they’re hard (at least an hour or so). Cut into squares.

Stuck at home on a snow day and planning on cleaning the house?  Or maybe your planning on sitting on the couch in front of the tube?  Here’s a quick workout that will get you off the couch for a few minutes and help you with motivation to clean your house!

Laundry Stair Climbers – For each trip down or up the stairs while doing laundry, carry the full laundry basket and make 10 extra passes up and down the stairs.  Finish with a few arm curls ups while holding the basket.  NO STAIRS?  Do 10 Sit back squats, with heals remaining on the floor,  keeping belly pulled in and basket touching your chest.  Finish with basket arm curls.  Throw in the box of soap for more of a challenge.

Plank Pickups – Drop and hold a plank on hands and toes or knees for 5-10 seconds each time you bend down to pick something off the floor.  Keep belly from sagging by pulling belly button up towards spine, hips in line with shoulders.

Vacuum Cleaner Lunges – Step forward into a lunge, each leg, keeping front heal on floor each time you finish a few passes across the floor.  20 in each room.Basic-Forward-Lunge

Counter top Pushups – Cleaning the kitchen or bathroom?  Pause and perform 25 incline pushups using counter top.  With hands shoulder width apart, Chest in line with counter, bend arms half way down and pushup all the way back up, keeping belly tight, tailbone tucked under .  Challenge by placing your hands on the side of the tub – planking your core.

Towel Rows – folding towels can be fun with towel row.  20 times. Grab body towel by the ends wider than shoulders, and with a little sag in the towel Begin with arms in front  in of chest and pull towel back, bending elbows to pull slack out of towel and draw towel towards chest.  Challenge – grab a partner, and take turns pulling until elbows are against rib cage and partners arms are straight (Sit facing your partner, feet braced against each others, back upright ) towel row

Wallah!  Workout done, chores done! 

Fit Solutions.  Move your body.  Fuel your brain. Feed your Spirit.  Revitalize your health.

Tuscan Garbanzo Bean Soup

I love it when I find an amazing recipe on the back of a can.  I’ve made this again for a hearty healthy simple winter time meal. Hummus lovers, you will love this.  Even if you do not like beans, this is sure to make you feel warm inside.  Enjoy!

From Bush’s Garbanzo Beans

1 cup of medium pasta shells, (cavatelli) I used a tricolor spiral pasta

2 tbsp olive oil

1 small white onion, chopped

6 garlic cloves, sliced

2 tsp of dried rosemary

1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes

1/2 cup of julienned sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained

1 medium carrot

2 cans of Bushs reduced sodium garbanzo beans, drained and divided

2 tbsp of pecorino or Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions.

At the same time in medium saute pan, heat oil over medium heat and add onion, garlic, rosemary, and red pepper flakes. Add 2 cups water, garbanzo beans (save 1 cup) tomatoes, and carrot and bring to boil stirring occasionally, then reduce heat and simmer for 7-10 minutes. Puree in blender or food processor and return to pan. ( I added another 1/2 cup water to make it thinner).Add beans and pasta to saucepan and heat through. ( I added another 1/2 cup water to thin) Ladle into bowls and top with cheese and rosemary, or extra pasta if desired.  Makes 6 servings.

Connecting to our spiritual selves can lead to life long happiness and longevity. Whether its growing in your relationship with God and His purpose for your life, meditation, or personal reflection, focusing on our soul’s need for truth and peace is a necessity for living a fulfilled life.
All you need is for this 10 days’s in the Word is a desire to connect to your spiritual self and a bible.  We will be centering on scriptures that feed our spirit.  Our person consist of four different dimensions of  perception for wellness –  heart (our emotional support or need), mind (our thoughts),  strength(our physical body), and soul (our spirit).
Especially during the holidays, the true spirit of Christmas can get lost among the shopping and parties. We will focus on God’s word each day, and I will be merely sharing what the holy spirit has put on my heart for you to hear. We will dedicate about 10 minutes each day and $10 towards a worthy cause. This will be an email and youtube based, as well as I will be using my conference call # to record some of my messages. 605-475-4700 code# 351619#

Your $10 Entry fee will be given as a donation to Community Helping Ministry, who provides: Emergency non-perishable food pantry, Pantry for personal hygiene and household cleaning items, Shower services for homeless individuals, Some financial assistance for utilities, housing, transportation, etc.

***We will begin this study on December 8th.   Group forming now.  
1. Email to  be added to our email list.
2.  Click link to donate.  You can make this donation in person or via paypal $12.00

If you have been on a journey to improve your eating habits, and influence the habits of your family and those around you, Cudos!  Changing lifelong habits of eating, cooking, and socializing around food can take up to a year or more as you try different ways of cooking, preparing meals, celebrations and holiday traditions, and trying new recipes.  

Looking for some easy simple tips to get through the holidays?  Check out this – A guide to ingredient substitutions by the Mayo Clinic –  one of the leading organizations in the country for health care.

What is important is that you give yourself this time to develop these new habits, while practicing perseverance and consistency.  It may take longer for your family or friends to accept your healthy changes, and that’s ok, as you may find that you may encounter snickers, a request to defend your new found healthy life, or even down right obstinate behavior and blatant nonacceptance.  However I encourage you to stand your ground for your health and your life.   You do not need to throw out Grandma’s recipes, but perhaps you can make some minor substitutions that carry over to your daily meal prep and planning. 


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