60 Day Challenge
As a busy mom, fitness expert Andrea Metcalf knows how difficult it can be to get fit, stay stress-free and serve healthy meals. So she teamed up with Mission for the 60-Day Life Balance Challenge. Starting Jan 8, 2009, participants received weekly tips from Andrea on fitness and stress reduction, plus healthy recipe ideas, and coupons. But this challenge was about more than just losing weight. It was about balancing family, fun, fitness, and healthy eating habits. With the Life Balance Challenge, Andrea’s goal was to help busy moms fit all four into every day. That’s why participants measured success with short surveys and handy fitness tools like a BMI (Body Mass Index) calculator. Questions covered areas like energy levels, stress levels, and family time.
The sign up period for the 60-Day Life Balance Challenge is now over. But like Mission’s new better-for-you Life Balance products, the 60-Day Challenge was created to keep you and your family eating healthy and feeling better.
Great job last week, pushing yourself to squeeze in 10 minutes of daily exercise. This week, focus on your muscles and try to engage in activities that build strength – at home, at work, or at the gym. Gaining just one pound of muscle can burn an extra 100-120 calories each night as you sleep. Visit andreametcalf.com for free exercise downloads for your laptop or MP3 player.
“If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.”
Eating healthy is easier than you think with these simple suggestions:
1. Replace lard with canola and olive oil.
2. Replace soda and sugary drinks with low-fat or fat-free milk, water or low-calorie flavored waters.
3. Eat more fruits and vegetables – ideally, 5 servings daily.
4. Broil, grill, or bake foods instead of frying them.
Carb Balance Ensenada Fish Tacos
Prep Time (min): 12-15
Cook Time (min): 10-12
Type: Main Dish
Prep Tool: Grill
4 Mission® 96% Fat Free Heart Healthy 8 inch Soft Taco Tortillas, warmed
Mission® Chunky Salsa, Medium
1 1-ounce package Chicken Taco Spices and Seasonings, divided
1/2 cup Sour Cream
2-3 tablespoons Milk
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 tablespoon Lime Juice
16 ounces Cod or Orange Roughy Fish Filets
1 cup Red Cabbage, thinly sliced
Sliced Green Olives
Cilantro, fresh shredded
Monterey Jack Cheese
1. Sauce: Combine 2 teaspoons chicken taco spices with sour cream and enough milk to thin to pouring consistency; set aside.
2. Seasoning paste: Combine remaining seasonings, oil, and lime juice. Brush seasoning paste over entire fish.
3. Grill or broil until fish begins to flake easily, about 10 to 12 minutes. Flake cooked fish into large chunks.
4. Evenly divide fish among tortillas, evenly top with cabbage and sauce, fold in half, and serve with lime wedges and garnishes.
STRESS REDUCTION TIPS:
Try this simple meditation technique. Close your eyes. Imagine you’re at your favorite beach. Picture the sand, the water, the sky. Imagine the breeze, the smell of the ocean, and the sun’s warmth. Then relax and feel your stress melt away.
Take a 10-minute exercise break.
10 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot of time. But 10 minutes of daily exercise can really help your body, whether it’s a 10-minute walk, 10 minutes of stretching or 10 minutes of strength training. Try to do this every day of the week.
“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.”
Start the day with a balanced breakfast.
Never skip breakfast or try to curb your appetite with caffeinated drinks. Eating a good breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day, providing energy and improving concentration. As a guide, a healthy breakfast should contain some protein and some fiber. Look to low-fat meats, eggs, beans or dairy for protein, while fiber can be found in variety of foods, from whole grains, vegetables and fruits to Mission Carb Balance Tortillas. Conveniently, one large Carb Balance Tortilla fulfills most of your daily requirement for fiber intake.
Carb Balance Sunrise Burrito
Prep Time (min): 5
Cook Time (min): 5
Prep Tool: Stovetop
4 Mission® 10 inch Burrito Carb Balance Whole Wheat Tortillas, warmed
6 Eggs, whole
Iodized Salt to taste
Coarse ground Black Pepper to taste
1 cup Ham, cooked, small chop
4 tablespoons Water
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 cup Refried Beans (optional), hot
4 tablespoons Sour Cream
1. In a small bowl, whisk eggs with salt & pepper, add ham and water and mix together to evenly combine.
2. Pour egg mixture into an oiled skillet or omelet pan, over medium-high heat.
3. Cook until eggs are firm, but moist, approximately 5 minutes.
4. Place warmed tortillas onto work surface and evenly divide eggs onto each tortilla. Evenly top each tortilla with grated cheese, refried beans and sour cream.
5. Roll up tortillas. Serve with fresh salsa, if desired.
Hint: To make this low-carb meal low-fat as well, use fat-free refried beans, low-fat cheese, light sour cream and egg whites.
STRESS REDUCTION TIPS:
Get your sleep.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, try placing a pillow under your knees, and counting backwards from 300 by 3’s, or breathing deeply after each number. Another helpful trick is to use your bed only for sleep instead of other activities, like watching TV or using a laptop computer; this helps your body reinforce the connection between your bed and sleep. Last but not least, make sure your room is as dark as possible.
Stretch your entire body, starting with your ankles; slowly and gently move each joint in every direction it can move. Do this for 30-60 seconds, then repeat the process for the knees, hips, back, shoulders, elbows, wrists and neck. This helps you relax and increases circulation.
“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”
Add fish to your diet.
Besides being a base for lots of delicious meals, there are many benefits to eating fish. It’s an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and especially omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent heart disease. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends eating fish twice a week. For those who are pregnant, the omega-3s in fish also play an important role in a baby’s brain development. Just make sure to buy fish that is low in mercury, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and other contaminants. You can find out more information about what’s safe and what’s not in the Healthy Fish Guide, prepared by the Washington State Department of Health, at http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/oehas/fish/fishchart.htm
Mission Life Balance 6” Flour Tortillas
Fajita grilled steak strips, frozen, pre-cooked/grilled (freezer to microwave)
Tomatoes, red garden variety, small dice
Iceberg lettuce, shredded, prepared (could also use chopped romaine lettuce)
1. Heat pre-grilled fajita seasoned strips of steak and place in the middle of a warm Mission Life Balance 6” Flour Tortilla.
2. Top the steak with a dollop of guacamole, diced garden fresh red tomatoes and crisp shredded iceberg lettuce.
3. Roll each Beef “LT” topped tortilla into a cylinder and enjoy as a snack, or serve more as a dinner entrée.
STRESS REDUCTION TIPS:
Laugh a little.
A few laughs can go a long way towards releasing stress. Visit with friends, watch a funny TV show, or cruise comedy sites online.
You don’t need a gym to get fit.
With a little extra effort, everyday activities can become great ways to burn lots of calories. Here are a few ideas:
1. Take the stairs.
2. Pace while you’re talking on the phone.
3. Do pushups against the wall.
4. Stand on one leg while brushing your teeth.
5. Do squats while unloading the dishwasher.
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
Prepare meals ahead of time.
During the weekend, set aside time to plan and prepare the week’s meals with your family. Cooking at home saves both time and money, and reduces the temptation to order fast food – which, like many on-the-go foods, is high in fat, sodium and cholesterol. Get everyone involved and excited about eating healthy by giving each family member a responsibility, like making the grocery list, or preparing certain dishes. This approach lets you enjoy each other’s company and gives everyone a sense of pride in the meals you share.
Chicken Salad Wrap-Ups
Prep Time (min): 8-10
Cook Time (min): 7-10
Type: Main Dish
Prep Tool: Oven
10 Mission® 96% Fat Free Heart Healthy 10 inch Burrito Tortillas
4 6-ounce Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 tablespoon Fat Free Ranch Dressing
1 16-ounce can Pear or Peach slices, drained and chopped
1 11-ounce can Mandarin Oranges
1 cup Red or Green Bell Pepper, diced
2 Scallions or Green Onions, sliced
1/3 cup Fat Free Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Lime Juice
1 dash of Cayenne Pepper
1. Arrange chicken breasts on a broiler pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Brush with ranch-style dressing. Broil at 500 degrees four inches from heat for 7 to 10 minutes. Dice chicken. Reserve.
2. In a bowl, combine the diced chicken, peaches, oranges, bell pepper and green onions.
3. In separate bowl, stir together mayonnaise, lime juice and cayenne.
4. Stir dressing into chicken mixture and toss gently. Spoon mixture onto center of each tortilla, fold in sides and roll up tightly to serve.
5. The chicken salad can be covered and chilled up to 24 hours in advance.
STRESS REDUCTION TIPS:
Take 10 deep breaths.
Sit at the edge of your chair and place your feet evenly on the floor. Squeeze your shoulder blades as you inhale and relax your shoulders as you exhale. Try this for 10 deep breaths.