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In Element 03, you’ve identified what you need to build new healthy habits that create the desired outcome for your life. In Element 04, we’ll explore the power of self-awareness and the tools for creating a healthy mindset.

One of the most challenging aspects on our transformation journeys is working through discomfort. If we understand how we approach our choices, we are more likely to make healthier decisions instead of slipping back into unhealthy habits in uncomfortable situations. In fact, experiencing discomfort can be necessary for growth.

In order to reprogram our habits when we’re faced with difficult choices, we first have to see the opportunities for making better choices. Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen offers some suggestions on becoming more mindful:

  • Plan ahead. Prepare healthy meals in advance or keep a Fueling handy to account for what you are going to eat before you become too hungry.
  • Keep a journal. Reflecting on your day and documenting the healthy choices you did make or could have made in Your LifeBook will help make you more mindful when these scenarios happen again.
  • Work with your Coach. Talking with someone regularly that supports and guides you through your health journey can help you see more opportunities for transforming your health.

Recognizing how our own habits are structured is the next step toward transforming unhealthy habits to healthy habits when faced with a difficult or uncomfortable situation. This practice is easier if you use Stop. Challenge. Choose.:

  • Stop. Take a slow, deep breath to help control your emotions. Recognize that you are triggering an unhealthy habit. Pausing and taking a breath helps to regain control.
  • Challenge. Think about why you are responding to the situation the way you are. Remind yourself of your goals and the choices you should be making to reach these goals.
  • Choose. Make the healthy choice that gives you a similar reward but is much better for your long-term health.

Like other habits, using Stop. Challenge. Choose. may take some time to practice and implement, but over time it will become an automated response.

Still need to order your NEW Habits of Health® Transformational System? Let’s connect today!

Join this week’s Habits of Health® Community Time, Your LifeBook – Element 04, on Wednesday, February 19th at 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT/5:30 p.m. PT, hosted by Independent OPTAVIA® Coach Amber Smithson.

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

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And Enter the Pin: 113312513#

Water makes up the majority of our body weight and is involved in many important bodily functions. In addition to staying hydrated, water also contributes to regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, and protecting the brain. The amount of water you consume daily plays a very important role in maintaining overall health. Here are some tips for staying hydrated throughout the day:

  • Carry your water bottle. The easiest way to remember to drink more water is to keep your water bottle handy at all times. Your water bottle becomes your visual cue to drink more water, and you are more likely to refill it as soon as it’s empty.
  • Drink the right amount of water.** Certain health conditions and lifestyles can determine how much water you really need. For example, pregnant women or athletes exercising in the heat may need extra fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Drink water with every meal. Drinking water with your meals will not only help you stay hydrated, but can also help improve your body’s digestion. If you are hydrated, your body produces sufficient saliva, which helps break down food into nutrients that the body can absorb.
  • Recognize the signs of dehydration. If you experience symptoms such as thirst, headache, muscle cramps, or fatigue, you should try to replenish your fluids as soon as possible.

Proper hydration is just as critical as healthy nutrition when achieving lifelong transformation. Ask me, your Coach, if you need other tips on how to stay hydrated!

** Talk with your healthcare provider prior to changing the amount of water you drink as it can affect certain health conditions and medications.

1 Leaner | 1 Healthy Fat | 3 Green | 3 Condiments

Yield: 4 servings

Total Time: 20-25 minutes


1/3 cup reduced-fat Italian salad dressing

½ cup chopped fresh basil

½ cup parmesan cheese, divided

1/3 oz. pine nuts (~55 kernels)

Cooking spray

2 medium to large zucchini (about 1½ lbs), cut, sliced, or “spiralized” into noodle-like strands (should yield 4 cups zucchini noodles)

1½ lbs grilled boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed or cut into strips

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. To make pesto, combine the salad dressing, basil, 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, and pine nuts in a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  2. In a lightly greased skillet over medium heat, cook zucchini noodles until just tender about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in pesto and remaining parmesan cheese, then remove from heat.
  3. Add tomatoes, top with grilled chicken, and garnish with crushed red pepper flakes.

Per Serving: 380 calories | 58g protein | 12g carbohydrate | 12g fat

Tip: To save time, use pre-grilled chicken strips. You can buy these frozen at the grocery store.

Visit our OPTAVIA Pinterest page for an extensive assortment library of Lean & Green meals.

The Turning Point

“Over the years, I was in denial about being overweight. I tried many different ways to lose the weight, including dieting and exercise, but I just continued to gain pound after pound. I knew I had to do something.”

In April 2017, Jenette weighed 378 pounds. She could barely walk up the stairs without her knees hurting or stand for long periods.

“I could not believe that I let my health get that bad. I had to get my clothes online because of the size I wore. I had a low self-esteem, which led to me drinking every day, which now I realize was the lowest part of my life.”

Jenette realized that it was all up to her to take responsibility and lose the weight. She started to eating healthier and drinking less alcohol.

“In three months I lost about 20 pounds, but I could not stop drinking and eating fried food. I was becoming depressed again, and had to start seeing a therapist.”

Then Jenette saw a post from Annie, who would eventually be her OPTAVIA Coach. Jenette was curious about Annie’s transformation, so she decided to reach out.

“I now realize was the turning point that would change my life forever. 

Jenette was determined to lose the weight, so she started the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan®. After incorporating healthy habits such as eating small meals every two to three hours, having a daily lean and green meal, and staying hydrated, Jenette’s quality of life had changed.

“I have a whole new outlook on my life. I sleep better and wake up so refreshed. I have not had a drop of alcohol since I started, which made a big difference in the way I feel about myself and my outlook on life. This program has changed my life forever.”

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


Kathy Glazer
3 Washington Circle N. W. #303, Washington,D.C. 20037, Also Falls Church,VA

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