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In this Element of the new System, you will learn the importance of increasing your activity level, and NEW ways to increase that level based on the NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) System.

NEAT is the energy expended from everything we do when we’re not sleeping or exercising. Just by making NEAT motions throughout the day, you’ll burn extra calories. And best of all, there’s no intense workout involved—you’re actually setting the stage for exercise at your own pace.

Here are the six NEAT categories along with a MicroHabit tip to help propel you to your target goal:

  • Stance. You can still practice NEAT while you’re sitting. While sitting in an upright chair that supports your posture, flex your stomach muscles and take deep breaths.
    MicroHabit: Add two additional minutes of focus on the core position per day.
  • Standing. Get out of your chair as much as possible. Instead of sitting, stand while you're talking on the phone or working on your laptop.
    MicroHabit: Add 10 additional minutes of standing per day.
  • Strolling (Walking). Take standing one step further and walk when you can. Park your car further away from the store so you can get some extra steps in or take a lap around the mall before you begin your holiday shopping.
    MicroHabit: Add 100 additional steps per week.
  • Stairs. Climbing one flight of stairs is equivalent to walking 100 steps. Instead of taking the elevator, use the stairs to burn some quick calories!
    MicroHabit: Add one additional flight of stairs per week.
  • Samba (Dance). Turn on the music and get moving! Music helps boosts physical and mental performance. Tapping your foot, nodding to the beat, or even singing will get you moving.
    MicroHabit: Add 10 additional minutes of music per day; work up to an hour or more of dance per week.
  • Switch. To switch means to do things by hand instead of using a machine. Instead of loading all the dishes in the dishwasher after the holiday dinner, take the time to wash them by hand. If snow is in the forecast, get your team out to shovel instead of hauling out the snow blower.
    MicroHabit: Add one or two substituted manual tasks per day.
  • Stay tuned for next week’s newsletter featuring Element 18—how to give yourself the gift of fitness and optimal health.

    As we get closer to the New Year, if you still need to order your NEW Habits of Health® Transformational System, it’s time to reward yourself with this optimal gift of health and wellbeing! Let’s connect today to discuss more!

Join this week’s Habits of Health® Webinar, Your LifeBook—Element 17: How do you become a perpetual motion machine? on Wednesday, December 4th at 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT/5:30 p.m. PT, hosted by Independent OPTAVIA® Coach Nicole DeWard.

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll):

Or Dial (US Toll):

And Enter the Pin: 113312513#

The holiday season is upon us and although it can be the most wonderful time of year, it can also be stressful! Whether it’s attending countless holiday parties or making your home a winter wonderland, the demanding holiday season can wear you out! Although the holiday season can be demanding, there are several ways to minimize stress so you can enjoy this festive time of the year. Here are some tips to help keep your holiday stress levels to a minimum:

  • Plan your shopping. Organize your shopping strategically by setting a budget, writing down your gift list, and determining the stores you plan to visit to do your shopping online or in person. Take a day off or get to the stores when they first open to avoid the crowds.
  • Invest in yourself. The more you have to manage on your to-do list, the more important it is to take time for yourself so you can approach your tasks with presence and positivity. Give yourself an early present by dedicating time to your favorite activity or treating yourself to a massage at the spa.
  • Choose quality over quantity. Keeping up with traditions and planning holiday activities are fun, but can be overwhelming. We can also go overboard while trying to make everything perfect. Spending quality time with loved ones is most important, so don’t stress if you can’t host an event or if you don’t get around to sending out holiday cards this year.
  • Know your limits. If you are overwhelmed with extra chores or tasks this holiday season, pull in others to help. Prioritize which items need your attention first, and if certain tasks can wait, place them on the back burner and revisit them when the holiday hustle and bustle begins to settle.
  • Take a mindful break. If you’re feeling symptoms of stress or anxiety, or if you want to set the stage for an optimal day, stop and take a quick relaxation break. Try a breathing exercise or take a quick walk to calm and center yourself.

Don't let the holidays overwhelm you. Instead, identify your holiday triggers and make a plan to address them in advance. May your holidays be filled with love, happiness, and health!

Per Serving: 1 Lean | 3 Green | 3 Condiments

Yield: 4 servings

Total Time: 30 minutes


10 oz. zucchini and/or yellow squash

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 scallions, trimmed and diced

3½ lbs. extra firm tofu, sliced

1½ cups vegetable stock

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 sprig fresh thyme

8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced

¼ cup sour cream

¼ tsp each (or less) salt & pepper (optional)


  1. Shave zucchini and/or yellow squash into wide noodles with a vegetable peeler, mandolin, or spiralizer. Set aside.
  2. Combine garlic, scallions, tofu, stock, soy sauce, thyme, and mushrooms in a skillet, and simmer gently for 5 to 8 minutes until mushrooms are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, blanch the zucchini pappardelle in a pot of boiling water; drain well.
  4. Remove tofu mixture from heat, and stir in sour cream. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
  5. Serve stroganoff on a bed of zucchini pappardelle.

Per Serving: 290 calories | 33g protein | 17g carbohydrate | 10g fat

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

Nourished and Satisfied

“I went on my first diet at the age of 15. I remember the snap of my "NO" when my boyfriend at the time asked for a bite of my only allowed snack, a half piece of peanut butter toast. This diet made me mean because it didn’t satisfy me.”

As a young adult, Susan became interested in health and grew preoccupied with finding the "perfect" diet and exercise plan to get and keep her slim.

“I read books, took courses and studied in search of that "perfect plan". I tried juicing, fasting, raw, vegan, paleo — and yet I would always be hungry and have cravings for sweets.”

Susan exercised every day, ate organic, and taught yoga but was still overweight, tired, hungry, and unsatisfied. She knew she couldn’t sustain being hungry forever.

“A nutritionist friend of mine introduced me to the idea of becoming an OPTAVIA Coach. So I tried the OPTAVIA Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan® to understand what my Clients would experience. Of course, I was still in search for a way to lose that extra weight!”

Susan was skeptical at first because she didn’t think a medically formulated program was her “thing". But after her first Fueling, her brain and body felt satisfied, something that she hadn’t experienced from green juice and raw almonds.

“I was transformed! I loved the Program's ease and structure. I loved having more energy and not feeling hungry or being ruled by my cravings. I was beyond excited that this Program was something I could do for the long run.”

Susan reached her target weight* without stress or struggle and continues to maintain her healthy weight in her 50s by following the Habits of Health®.

“I am nourished daily by our incredible Community of support and I am filled with a sense of meaning when I can help people with what I had struggled with for so long. My pain became my purpose and I can offer hope.”

Susan loves that her husband and children get to see me build a career and lifestyle that is so rewarding and fulfilling.

“They saw me grow and become successful. Before coaching, we had no money in the budget to go out to eat or take vacations. We missed family celebrations that required flying out of town. Now we can pay for college and create more fun memories together.**”

I cannot imagine life without this Program. It has meant so much to me and my family. I feel nourished and truly satisfied now!”


Liliana VanLaar
OPTAVIA Health Coach
New York, New York

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** OPTAVIA makes no guarantee of financial success. Success with OPTAVIA results only from successful sales efforts, which require hard work, diligence, skill, persistence, competence, and Leadership. Please see the OPTAVIA Income Disclosure Statement ( for statistics on actual earnings of Coaches.