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Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen, co-founder and an independent OPTAVIA Coach, defines optimal health as "the highest achievable level of well-being." To attain and sustain optimal health, it's crucial to align your life with your most significant priorities.

Fulfillment, purpose and motivation are key components on the path to optimal health and well-being. Yet, discovering what genuinely fulfills and satisfies us can sometimes be a challenging endeavor.

Here are some ways to enrich your life as you embark on your journey towards optimal health:

  • Embrace a new interest: Explore a hobby, craft, sport, or adventure that has always intrigued you and set a goal to try it before the end of 2023.
  • Reconnect with nature: Reestablish your bond with the natural world by incorporating daily walks into your routine and breathing in the fresh air. In many regions, autumn provides an ideal climate for outdoor enjoyment.
  • Tune into your mood: Develop the ability to recognize when change is needed in your life and adapt your lifestyle accordingly to promote emotional well-being.
  • Prioritize restful sleep: Sleep is a cornerstone of physical health, cognitive function and emotional balance. Aim for seven to nine hours of quality rest each night to give your body ample time for rejuvenation, revitalization and repair.
  • Effectively manage stress: Realize that you have control over your life, forming the foundation of stress management. Take charge of your thoughts and emotions by identifying key stressors and employing healthy and productive coping strategies.

For additional strategies to nurture optimal health and well-being on your journey towards Lifelong Transformation, One Healthy Habit at a Time, don't hesitate to reach out to me.

Check out Dr. A’s Element Stories here!

Having a supportive network is a fundamental aspect of cultivating healthy habits. Among these support systems, your family and loved ones play a pivotal role because they greatly influence your motivation to prioritize your health. Given that you spend a significant amount of time with your family, their encouragement can serve as a continuous source of positive influence.

As you embark on your health journey, why not involve your entire family? Let's explore some practical tips on how to foster healthy habits together as a family unit:

  • Integrate Family Time. Schedule dedicated daily or weekly family time when you can provide your loved ones with your undivided attention. This could be a weekly date night or regular neighborhood walks together.
  • Cook Together. Engage in meal preparation as a family. Spending time in the kitchen together not only promotes togetherness but also allows you to create healthier meals. Consider trying out the Lean & Green recipe provided below for a delightful and straightforward dish, perfect for those upcoming chilly fall days.
  • Minimize Screen Time. Find opportunities to reduce screen time as a family. Whether it's turning off cell phones during dinner or planning a weekend camping trip, disconnecting from screens can help you be fully present in the moment and strengthen family bonds.
  • Share Active Hobbies. Explore active hobbies that the entire family can enjoy. Activities like family walks, shooting hoops or a fun day at the bowling alley not only encourage physical activity but also foster stronger relationships among family members.

Building these new habits requires effort, time, and attention, but with motivation and mutual support, you can create a healthier lifestyle that benefits the entire family.

For additional guidance on incorporating healthy habits into your household, feel free to contact me. Together, we can work towards a healthier and happier family life.

Yield: 2 servings

Per Serving: 1 Lean, 3 Green, 3 Condiments

Total Time: 50 minutes


1-pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 tbsp basil, shredded

1 tsp olive oil

10 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese, drained

7 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella

4 tbsp grated parmesan

2 egg whites

¼ tsp ground nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 350ᵒF.
  2. In a medium baking dish, toss the halved cherry tomatoes, the chopped garlic and the basil with the olive oil until coated. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, chopped spinach, shredded mozzarella, parmesan, egg whites and nutmeg.
  4. Make 16 dumplings (about 1-ounce per dumpling) with the ricotta-spinach mixture; place in baking dish with the cherry tomatoes.
  5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until dumplings are lightly golden and springy to the touch.
  6. Serve the dumplings with the roasted tomatoes (per serving: 8 dumplings and half of the roasted tomatoes).


Nutrition Per Serving: 370 calories, 20g fat, 20g carbohydrate, 31g protein

Discover other plan-approved Lean & Green recipes in the OPTAVIA App. 

Download the OPTAVIA App today!

From Darkness to Donor

In August 2017, Nicole's life was covered in darkness. She found herself using food as a source of comfort, trying to fill an unfillable void. Nicole candidly admits she was the person who could consume an entire package of Oreos in one sitting. Food had become her coping mechanism, akin to a drug. That summer, etched in her memory, was a time of despair and desperation.

Though she had heard of OPTAVIA, Nicole initially believed she couldn't afford it. Nevertheless, Nicole found the strength to overcome these doubts and began her weight loss journey, supported by a beautiful Community of Coaches and newfound friends. In May 2018, she reached her goal weight*, but her journey was far from over. Nicole's story underscores the importance of self-compassion in the face of setbacks and the unwavering support of the OPTAVIA Community.

"The power of transformation lies within us, waiting to be ignited," Nicole reflects. "OPTAVIA didn't just help me lose weight*; it helped me find the strength to give the gift of life."

The turning point came in spring 2019 when Nicole learned about a young boy in need of a kidney transplant through social media. Remarkably, she reached out, despite having no prior connection to the boy or his family. In August 2019, she received a fateful call from a nurse to determine her suitability as a donor. What Nicole learned that day left her awestruck – had she not shed those excess pounds, she wouldn't have qualified.

In February 2020, Nicole donated her kidney to a complete stranger. Little did she know her kidney would journey to Florida and cross paths mid-air with the kidney intended for the little boy she had learned about. Now, four individuals are forever connected by this miraculous exchange – two recipients and two donors. If it hadn't been for OPTAVIA's support in Nicole's weight loss journey, she shudders to think about what might have transpired.

Today, Nicole shares her story to inspire others. Her decision to prioritize her health not only gave her a second lease on life but also enabled her to bestow a priceless gift upon another. Her message is clear: embrace your health journey with an open heart and soul. Nicole's journey is a testament to the power of OPTAVIA and the remarkable transformations possible when one takes that first step toward a healthier life. We salute Nicole for her incredible journey and wish her continued success in all her future endeavors!

*Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan® is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks.


Rebecca Lange
Independent Certified OPTAVIA Coach
P.O. Box 38941
Greensboro, NC 27438

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