Read all about it #sodium

I reduced my sodium intake to less than 1000mg a day.  I had no idea how much sodium was in my daily intake until I started reading labels.  It was easier than I thought because I was no longer eating processed foods and I began adding other herbs and spices like garlic, oregano, basil, pepper, and thyme to my meals and leaving out the salt.  Once I started reading, I was shocked to see that I could consume my daily intake of sodium in one can of soup or chili.  It inspired me to start making my own so I could control what I was putting in.  I chose low-sodium or reduced sodium broth.  I chose fresh or frozen veggies over canned, which often contains added salt to increase shelf life.  Olives, pickles and other items that are packed in brine (pork) are high in salt.  And I don’t really have to mention fast food, do I?

Sodium increases your risk of high blood pressure which contributes to heart disease and strokes.  Sodium can also cause your body to retain excess fluid which makes you look puffy in your face and hands.

I learned that potassium counteracts your sodium intake.  Foods high in potassium are potatoes, apricots, spinach, raisins and bananas.  I have 4 dried apricots as a snack with my 7 natural almonds.

So the real point of this post is to stay healthy by eating fresh, non-processed foods and cooking your own meals.  If you want to stick with it, take your snacks on the road with you and read labels when you can’t.  Not sure, eat fresh unprocessed foods and build up your spice rack.  Who knows, you might find a new hobby.

Goal Setting

It’s February 2nd and Phil saw his shadow so we have 6 more weeks of winter.  By now most of us have blown our New Year’s Resolutions.

Never Mind, Hit Rewind.

When setting a goal you need to get going the moment you create it.  The “I’ll start on Monday” doesn’t really work.  It allows you to engage in that crappy behavior a few more days and is only going to make it harder when you start.

Find one small thing that you can commit to changing today.  It has to be something that is so attainable that you can fulfill it tomorrow, and the next day; and the next.  Then, overtime, you commit to more.

May I recommend something small that offers a HUGE change.  Drink 1 gallon of water a day. 128 oz.  Makes your skin look great, helps with metabolism and decreases cellulite. This is a great jumping off goal.  21 days to a new behavior.  Get a great water bottle to take on the go, have at your desk and helps the environment.

Here is 5 steps to get you started on setting a goal.

1. Be Specific:  I want to lose 20 pounds.  Then write what you are going to do.  Take a fitness class, walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes, change my diet…

2. Know exactly what you want:  “I want to fit into my prom dress.” “I want to live a healthier lifestyle so I will be around longer for my kids.”  “I want to be able to see my feet.”

3. Be Realistic:  How much time can you commit to?  If you take a class you also have to add in travel time and a shower.  If you are changing your diet you need to have time for shopping and prep.  You may need to prepare and portion your foods in advance.

4. Get Back Up:  If you fall off the wagon just pick yourself back up.  Not everybody is perfect.  Just remember having one bad day is not an excuse to have another.

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Change is Good

October 2nd.  The day that started my new outlook.  I answered 2 craigslist ads that gave me a push in the right direction.  I guess it was more like a shove.

On October 12th I started my workout journey.  I answered an ad to lose 20 pounds or more in 4 weeks.  I was sure that if I treated this adventure like a job I would reach my goal.  I already blogged about this but what I didn’t blog about was the end of that journey.  12 weeks and 29 pounds.  My life is forever changed.  What I really learned is that anything is possible if you believe it to be.  It was hard work.  Really hard.  I had to be dedicated.  Whining about how tired and sore my muscles were was just a coping mechanism.  Total body muscle recognition everyday!  Not only was I spinning everyday, I was doing Pilates, weight training, Jazzercise and this new technique that worked your booty.  Reality of the last quarter of the year was I had to follow through.  I won a few awards.  Perfect Attendance and Most Weight Loss.  I treated this challenge like I would a job.  I jumped in and did the best job that I could.  I learned to cook.  I learned how to eat for my blood type.  I learned that small changes can make big difference.

The other ad I answered was a new part time job.  Started on October 14th.  I was on the fence about it but after meeting Staci, I really felt like this could be something BIG!!!  She was so excited about what was going to happen.  I was more interested in coming into a start-up that gave me the opportunity to grow without limits.  So I became a Merchandiser for chloe + isabel.  An opportunity for the fashion-loving and marketing savvy woman that I am.  It also gave me an opportunity to reach out to old friends and in the process meet new ones.  For the past 3 months I have made the TOP 5 sales list for the company.  I have been featured on the Merchandiser Spotlight on the main website and I have won a contest.  It has been very rewarding and I never thought of this as a career option.  I love creating the displays.  My days are spent thinking of new marketing ideas.  Styling my outfits before I head out and pinning on Pinterest.  I love the fact that I can set my own schedule and decide how much I want to earn each month.  But it isn’t the 6 figure income I was used to earning.  http://valeriesoule.chloeandisabel.com

So as of today I decided I am going to mix my blog up a little.  I will still post personal adventures, but I am going to add recipes, fashionable looks, and suggestions to make your life a little healthier and more glamourous by using the Small Steps, Big Change motto.  I will credit the blogs and magazine and books I read.

Stay tuned…. as I wish everyone could be as happy in their life as I am right this minute.

Found this quote by Jillian Michaels:   What I’m sure of:  No matter how many amazing adventures I check off my must-do list, I’ll always replace them with more goals.