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The Lunar New Year is a time of renewal, joy, and reflection for millions around the world. This year, the Chinese New Year, heralding the Year of the Dragon, invites us to embrace ancient traditions while focusing on our health journey with OPTAVIA. We believe in embracing cultural festivities while maintaining a focus on health and wellness. The Lunar New Year, with its rich traditions and symbolic significance, offers a wonderful opportunity to weave health-conscious practices into the festivities.

This bright occasion, marked by family gatherings, feasts, and the honoring of traditions, need not steer us away from our commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Let's explore how we can celebrate this joyous occasion while staying true to our wellness goals.

  • Nourishing Feast: The Lunar New Year feast is a vital part of the celebration, featuring a variety of sumptuous dishes. Embrace this tradition by incorporating healthier alternatives. Choose steamed or stir-fried options instead of deep-fried dishes. Include colorful vegetables and lean proteins in abundance. Savor the flavors of the season without compromising on nutritional value.
  • Mindful Eating: In Chinese culture, food symbolizes prosperity and abundance. Practice mindful eating by savoring each bite, appreciating the effort put into preparing the meal, and recognizing the symbolic significance of the dishes. Portion control and mindfulness can align celebration with your health goals.
  • Active Festivities: The Lunar New Year is a time of lively parades, dances, and various cultural activities. Participate in these festivities actively! Join a traditional lion dance workshop, take part in a community dragon parade, or simply engage in joyful dancing with family and friends. Embracing movement aligns celebration with your fitness objectives.
  • Tea Ceremonies and Wellness: Chinese tea ceremonies are deeply rooted in tradition and symbolize harmony and tranquility. Incorporate this into your celebration by hosting a tea gathering. Explore different types of teas known for their health benefits, like green tea or oolong, and savor the moment with loved ones while promoting well-being.
  • Sharing and Caring: The Lunar New Year emphasizes the importance of family and community. Use this time to foster connections by sharing your wellness journey with others. Encourage loved ones to join in your healthy celebrations, exchange nutritious recipes, and support each other in staying committed to health and happiness.

The Year of the Dragon is a symbol of strength, transformation, and prosperity. Let's celebrate this year's festivities in a way that honors tradition, cultivates harmony, and supports our commitment to a healthy lifestyle with OPTAVIA.

May this year bring you an abundance of health, joy, and success. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Check out Dr. A’s Element Stories here!

Winter is the perfect time to cozy up and enjoy comforting, flavorful soups that not only warm you up but also align with your OPTAVIA journey. Here are five fantastic soup recipes that will delight your taste buds while keeping you on track with your health goals: 

  • Cheeseburger Soup: Craving the flavors of a cheeseburger without the guilt? This soup is the answer! Packed with lean protein and savory goodness, this OPTAVIA -friendly version of cheeseburger soup will leave you feeling satisfied and cozy on chilly evenings.
  • Chicken Zucchini Noodle Soup: Swap traditional noodles for zucchini noodles to create a lighter, yet still incredibly flavorful, chicken soup. Loaded with veggies and lean protein, it’s a nutritious option that doesn’t compromise on taste.
  • Slow Cooker Beef Vegetable Soup: Let your slow cooker do the work with this hearty beef and vegetable soup. Tender beef, vibrant veggies, and savory broth come together for a comforting meal that’s perfect for a busy day.
  • Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs: Enjoy the classic flavors of Italian wedding soup with a healthy twist! Using turkey meatballs keeps this soup lean and protein-packed, while the combination of greens and broth creates a truly comforting experience.
  • Broccoli Cheese Soup: Indulge in a creamy, cheesy soup without derailing your health goals. This broccoli cheese soup is rich in flavor, thanks to the combination of broccoli and cheese, making it a satisfying option for those cold winter nights.

Why OPTAVIA-Friendly Soups?

These soup recipes are crafted to fit seamlessly into the OPTAVIA program, ensuring you stay on track with your health and wellness goals. They prioritize lean proteins, wholesome vegetables, and flavorful ingredients, making them ideal choices for a balanced and satisfying meal. 

Remember, with OPTAVIA, you're not just following a diet; you're embracing a lifestyle that prioritizes nourishing your body while savoring delicious meals. These soups perfectly embody that balance, allowing you to enjoy comforting flavors while staying aligned with your OPTAVIA journey. 

Warm up this winter with these delightful soups and discover how satisfying and delicious staying on track with OPTAVIA can be! 

Ready to try these recipes and explore more? Access these delightful Lean & Green soups and a variety of other healthy Lean & Green recipes on the OPTAVIA app! Consult your OPTAVIA coach or healthcare professional for personalized guidance on your health journey. 

Yield: 4 servings

Per serving: 1 Lean, 3 Green, 1 Condiment

Total Time: 60 minutes


3 cups halved or diced canned green chile peppers

3 cups frozen spinach, thawed

1½ cups reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1½ cups reduced-fat shredded Monterey jack, divided

2 tsp dried oregano (Mexican oregano, preferably)

½ tsp garlic powder

3 large eggs, beaten

3 tbsp fresh cilantro for garnishing (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350⁰F.

2. Using a clean kitchen towel or your hands, thoroughly ring out all moisture from the thawed spinach.

3. In a clean bowl, combine the spinach, 1¼ cup of each cheese (cheddar and Monterey jack), oregano, garlic powder, and eggs.

4. Using a 9x9-inch casserole dish, place half of the chile peppers on the bottom. Pour half of the cheese-egg mixture over the peppers and repeat using the remaining peppers and cheese-egg mixture.

5. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top (¼ cup of cheddar + ¼ cup of Monterey jack) and bake for about 30 minutes until the cheese has melted and the casserole has set and is heated through.

6. Remove the casserole from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

7. Top with cilantro and divide into 4 equal portions. Serve hot.


Nutrition Per Serving: 360 calories, 31g protein, 14g carb, 20g fat

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

Download the OPTAVIA App today!

A Healthy Embrace

Amber had weathered a storm of hardships that left her feeling like a shipwreck for years. At six, her sister's battle with childhood cancer had altered her family significantly, resulting in the amputation of her sister's leg and a lifelong struggle with health complications. Later, a turbulent relationship with an alcoholic ended tragically when her partner took their own life, shattering Amber's dreams and leaving her emotionally shattered. Adding to the burden, her mother's diagnosis of ovarian cancer plunged Amber deeper into despair, leaving her physically drained and emotionally depleted.

The toll was evident in her health—aches, acid reflux, sleep troubles, and excess weight that made her clothing uncomfortable, all contributing to her misery. Feeling trapped and lost, she had nearly given up until a glimmer of hope appeared in the form of a friend's post about OPTAVIA. Despite her skepticism, Amber reached out, desperate for a solution and said, “Yes!” to her future. To her surprise, OPTAVIA worked wonders. Shedding 60 pounds* was just the start; it brought back her self-confidence, joy, and a sense of reclaiming her life. It was a transformative journey that she felt compelled to share, leading her to become an independent OPTAVIA Coach.

Becoming a Coach was a pivot from her career as a dedicated special education educator. While she cherished making a difference in her students' lives, the bureaucracy and administrative burdens had drained her passion. The transition wasn't just a career change: it became a lifeline that renewed her purpose.

Helping others transform their lives through coaching brought her an unexplainable joy, reminiscent of the fulfillment she found working with her special needs students. It wasn't just about guiding others; it became a mirror to reflect on her own health journey, keeping her accountable.

Unexpectedly, the journey led her to love. Meeting someone through coaching, initially a stranger, then a Client, evolved into a deep connection. They became fellow Coaches and, eventually, partners in life. It was a love story she hadn't foreseen, adding a fairytale twist to her transformative journey.

OPTAVIA has done more than bring health back into Amber's life; it has given her a new purpose, breathing vitality and renewed energy into every aspect of her life.

*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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