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In Element 02 of Your LifeBookKnowing What You Want to Accomplish, you identified the areas of your life you want to change, while also creating the building blocks for motivation. The next step is to identify what you need to build new habits that support your healthy behaviors and create the desired outcomes for the new life you want.

To start being the author of your life story, follow these steps to create healthy and consistent results:

  • Use structural tension. Identify and write down your primary macroHabit selection, such as healthy weight management. Create tension by listing what you need to change, and follow up with secondary selections. These are habits you can develop to help ensure you achieve your desired results. Writing all of this down will motivate you and help you resist temptations.
  • Set up a habit loop. A habit loop consists of a cue, routine, and reward. Create a cue, or a stimulant, to activate your new habit. Try setting a reminder on your phone or place a sticky note in a spot you will regularly see. Then, select one secondary choice, and write that down. This is the habit you want to install. In order to “close the loop”, set a reward such as an at-home spa day or new book!
  • Install microHabits. Start small by incorporating manageable microHabits into your daily routine. Make sure that these habits are appealing, achievable, and easy to activate. In general, after 66 days of completing this action, it should become a healthy habit.
  • Connect present actions to immediate and long-term rewards. Connect your present actions to your future self. Tell yourself how the healthy choices you are making in the moment will contribute to your end goal. When you do this, you are more likely to make decisions based on what you want in the future, rather than on what will satisfy you right now.

Once you learn to create what you want, installing and continuing your healthy habits will become second nature. Remember, you determine the habits you build, so you really can achieve your goals if you put your mind to it!

Ask me, your Independent OPTAVIA Coach, for additional tips on how to create what you want along your journey to Lifelong Transformation, One Healthy Habit at a Time. You can do this!

Join this week’s Habits of Health® Webinar, Your LifeBook – Element 03: How Do You Create What You Want?, on Wednesday, February 17th at 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT/5:30 p.m. PT, hosted by Independent OPTAVIA® Coach, Nancy Strauss.

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll):

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And Enter the Pin: 113312513#

Adding condiments, like fresh herbs and spices, to your Lean & Green meals are a great way to add flavor and zest to your dining experience.

However, it’s important to remember that condiments can contribute to your overall carbohydrate intake. This is why our Plans encourage you to read food labels, especially on items such as salad dressings, for carbohydrate information. Doing so will help you control condiment portions, which will lead you closer to achieving your health and wellness goals.

Keep in mind that a condiment serving should contain no more than 1 gram of carbohydrate per serving, so you can enjoy up to three condiment servings per day on the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan®.

Here are some tasteful condiment options and alternatives you can try:

  • Soy Sauce. Add one tablespoon of soy sauce to liven up your Asian-inspired dishes! For an even healthier option, try using low-sodium soy sauce.
  • Mustard. This ballpark favorite is a great condiment! Mustard is generally low in both calories and sugar. Feel free to add up to one teaspoon of Dijon or one tablespoon of yellow mustard to your meal!
  • Sour Cream. To add some flair to your food, add one tablespoon of regular or light sour cream. For an even healthier alternative, swap out the sour cream for plain Greek yogurt.
  • Hot Sauce. If you like some spice in your bites, you can enjoy up to two tablespoons of hot sauce per serving. This condiment is generally low in calories.

Ask me, your Independent OPTAVIA Coach, for more topping tips. For a complete list of condiment options, check out the OPTAVIA Condiment Guide to add to your Lean & Green meals.

Yield: 4 servings

Complete Lean and Green Meal: 1 lean, 3 green, 3 condiments

Total Time: 30 minutes


2½ cups zucchini “noodles”

1 tsp oil

3 whole baby bok choy, sliced in half

2 spring onions, trimmed and diced

6 cups beef broth

2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce

½ tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger root

1¼ lb. lean beef (sirloin, top loin, round roast), sliced very thin


1 tsp sesame oil

¼ cup Thai basil, shredded

¼ tsp ground black or white pepper

¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Heat oil in a wok or skillet and cook the bok choy and spring onions.
  2. In a large soup pot combine the broth, soy sauce, and ginger. Cover, and bring to a low simmer.
  3. Slice the steak as thinly as possible and add the strips to the soup. Bring the soup to a gentle boil, and then lower heat, cover, and simmer until meat is cooked through.
  4. Remove soup from heat, and add the zucchini noodles. Stir in the sesame oil, basil, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Ladle an equal amount of soup into each bowl and serve hot.

Per serving: 370 calories, 38g protein, 8g carbohydrate, 22g fat/p>


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

New Picture

Mary felt stuck for a long time. It was difficult to sleep, work, and even find the energy to take on regular tasks because she was overweight. She despised having her picture taken and felt embarrassed by her weight, so she signed up for the OPTAVIA Program.

When Mary started her journey on Plan, she told herself she would give it a month. But, that month flew by, and her mindset forever changed.

Mary quickly realized her mindset and unhealthy habits were ingrained in her mind. She had to teach herself new habits to change. She realized that food was not intended to comfort or cope with everyday stressors– two of the most significant factors in her weight gain.

"Now I look at the food as fuel. What I put into my body provides me the energy I need to thrive. And, I can still enjoy delicious Lean & Green meals, in addition to my favorite OPTAVIA Fuelings. I've been on my journey for nearly six months, and not only have I changed my macro and microHabits, but I've decided to live my life without making food the focus."

Mary has lost 50 pounds* to date, but she's also gained the confidence to continue with the Program and remain successful!

"Now, I am willing to take photos of myself, I have the energy to take my dogs on daily walks and hikes, and I look forward to continuing my journey to optimal health and wellbeing each and every day!"

Mary's success, coupled with her transformation, led to her decision to guide and mentor others as an Independent OPTAVIA Coach, so she could continue to pay it forward.

"Being a Coach is rewarding in many ways. I've welcomed many new people into my life and reconnected with others that want my help. I've created my own Community. We are a family and a support system for one another!"

To Mary, her journey today is not just about weight loss and taking new pictures; it's about helping others achieve Lifelong Transformation, One Healthy Habit at a Time.

*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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