Sep 29, 2010

Things I Loved to Eat Today!

Today I marinated some chicken breast in this yummy vinaigrette from Kraft. Vidallia Onion vinaigrette and marinade. I put about 1/2 cup of this in a gallon sized baggie, along with about 1/4 cup onion flakes, 1 tsp Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic and about 1 tbs. olive oil. Marinated this for about 3 hours then grilled it up on the grill with mesquite briquettes! IT WAS SO YUMMY!

Recently I figured out a fun way to prepare asparagus. I put it on a cookie sheet, spray it with Crisco butter spray, sprinkle some sea salt on it and the secret ingredient, is...CHICKEN BULLION, in powder form! Then I broil it on low for 4 mins and is it delish!!

Sep 26, 2010

When the Scale is Stuck.

Every now and again we all face this horrible nightmare during our weight loss journey; you walk into your bathroom with that great feeling that you have done all you can this week and you can't wait to see the rewards for your efforts showing up on the scale. Then, to your horror, the number is the same it was last week...or even worse, IT HAS GONE UP. Your head spins, your face gets hot, you fell a surge of rage rush through your body. You pick up your scale and while screaming, "I KNEW YOU WERE FROM THE DEVIL," you hurl that evil device across the room with all of your force.
Does this sound familiar?? I know I have been there more than a few times. It can be so frustrating to our efforts, and in a lot of cases this little problem can make us want to throw our hands up and quit. This is part of the "diet" trap. We have convinced ourselves that the only way to gauge our success is by seeing the numbers drop on the scale. But, please, take a step back from Satan's measuring tool and consider a few factors.

1. Where are you in your cycle? Could it be possible that you are retaining water? If so, stay calm my sister STAY OFF OF THE SCALE, and give it a few days. If you stay on your plan, you may even end up a few extra pounds down!

2. Are you under a great amount of stress? Stress is a proven way to make your body pack on a few, or hold on to the pounds you are trying to loose.

3. Are you getting enough sleep? Sleep deprivation can cause our bodies to skip the all too important "recovery" phase of our sleep cycle causing us to store extra fat.

4. Are you drinking enough water? If you are not, your body has no way of flushing out the excess. Up your water and see how well that works! Your urine should be virtually colorless, if not, DRINK MORE!

5. Are you eating higher glycemic foods? Some fruits and vegetables really aren't that desirable for weight loss. Check out the Glycemic Index, and try to pick foods with the lowest numbers. During weight loss, those foods will speed up the process!!

6. Where are you in your journey? During the entire first month your weight according to the scale can shift dramatically. Water weight is a finicky thing. Weigh yourself at the same time every day, and weigh less often. I read in a book to weigh on day one, and then not again for a whole month...I couldn't wait that long, but at least only weigh once a week for a while until your body gets into a rhythm.

7. Are you keeping track of inches? Sometimes you may not loose pounds, but you are still loosing inches. Remember THIS post when we discussed the differences in fat and muscle? If you are working out, you may be building muscle and that very muscle may be taking the place of fat. So you may weigh the same or more, but your body is still shrinking.

I challenge you to look for other ways to rate your successes.
1. How do my clothes look and feel?
2. How have my physical capabilities improved?
3. Are others noticing me looking happier?
4. Do I feel happier (other than when I look at the scale)?
5. How has my muscle tone improved?
6. Am I making strides in changing bad habits within my family?
7. Am I setting goals and achieving them outside of weight loss?
8. Am I setting a good example for my friends and family?

These are all things to think about each day. Forget the numbers and focus on the idea of Optimal Health!
There could be so many more factors to a plateau, but just keep in mind...if you are obeying the rules, and making good choices, you WILL be rewarded. Stay positive and do your best!

Sep 22, 2010

21 POUNDS!!!

And it feels so good!!

I started exercising this week and I know it has made all of the difference in the world. I had been stuck for a few weeks and with the help of one AMAZING homeopathic physician named Dr. Nuzum, and an INCREDIBLE soft tissue therapist named Dr. Race I have overcome the plateau. I started an herbal suppliment called Colax that the good Dr. gave me, and while some of you may find this to be an overshare, I feel like it is all part of the journey...anyways, let me just say, it is amazing to me how much my body has been holding on to. I read once that the average person carries around 7-15 pounds of excess waste. Waste that is never fully cleansed from the body. In the last few days yes, I have been feeling the churning in my body, but I still feel so much better just being able to cleanse out my system.

If you have been reading this blog for some time, or if you know me personally, you know that I injured my leg while running back in February. It has been a tough and strenuous journey back to having a pain free leg. I am almost there. I was able to complete day one of my couch to 5k training the other day and that was a tear jerking accomplishment for me. To go from never running in my entire life to running a 5k, and then to have it taken away from me was heartbreaking. It feels so good to be back out there running and feeling good again! Thanks Dr. Race!!

Oh yeah...did I mention...21 POUNDS!!!!!

Sep 20, 2010

Things I Loved to Eat Today

I have used this dressing before, but sort of forgot about it until I was at the grocery store the other day looking for something new. I grabbed a bottle of Kraft Light Raspberry Vinaigrette. This dressing is amazing with chicken and tonight I made a salad with:

6 oz. cooked chicken
2 baby cucumbers peeled and sliced
2 cups artisan lettuce blend from Costco
3 tbs. dressing

I loved this salad! I have discovered another little gem...the artisan lettuce blend. I was so tired of romaine lettuce and plain ole iceberg wasn't cutting it either. So I tried this last time I went to Costco, and I LOVE IT! These flavors ad a little zing to your regular salad blend!

Sep 17, 2010

Does Muscle Really Weigh More Than Fat???

I have always loved it when people say that to me...yeah, I am this weight because muscle weighs more than fat...right??? NO! Remember that old riddle what weighs more, a ton of bricks or a ton of feathers? THEY BOTH WEIGH A TON! Something that is true however is the fact that fat takes up more room in our bodies than muscle. Here is a perfect example. 5 months ago before I got pregnant I weighed 156 pounds. Being pregnant for four months and having a miscarriage caused me to gain 21 pounds. I have since lose 19 of those pounds and am only 2 pounds away from my lowest weight 5 months clothes DO NOT fit the same. I chalked it up to the pregnancy weight shifting in my body and my hips changing until the other day when my husband said something that flipped a light on in my head. I was complaining about my pants not fitting when my husband said,"honey, when you were 156 pounds 5 months ago, you were working out like crazy and jogging every day, you had a lot more muscle." OHHHH YEEEAAAAHHH, I kind of forgot! Of course my clothes don't fit the same.

So take a look at these pictures. The top one is 5 pounds of fat vs 5 pounds of muscle and the bottom one is an image of what a person would look like if they weighed the same amount but one has more muscle.

So what does this all mean? It means that I need to stop fixating on the numbers I see on the scale and start worrying more about the way my body looks and feels. I am going to do more weight training and see where the road leads me!!

Sep 16, 2010

Can Gum Change Your LIfe??

I SAY YES!! I bought this on a whim the other day because my favorite flavor of anything is mint chocolate chip. I put it in my purse and forgot about it until this morning. Can I just say...this gum has changed my life!! Call me crazy but to feel like I am eating dessert without actually eating dessert is a major plus! Trust me, buy some, and you will see!!!

Sep 15, 2010

Something old...something NEW

Usually every couple of days I like to try new things, and usually you see it as my,"Things I love to eat" posts. Well, life has been so so so busy this last couple of weeks with my hubby starting at BSU, Z man starting preschool, me changing my schedule at work, and so on and so on. With all of this going on, I have not made time to try anything new. Tonight since Mitch was working late, I took my favorite chicken and some asparagus over to a friends house and cooked it there and had dinner with her and her sister.

It is a rare occasion when I try a new vegetable and I don't gag. My friend and her sister were eating fresh red peppers, and I got a bit gaggy just thinking about it...but then...I bucked up and tried one...and was pleasantly surprised. I think with a bit of tweaking, I may be able to find a way to enjoy fresh red peppers in my diet. I will be racking my brain trying to come up with the perfect companion sauce or dressing to make them delectable.

So, the point of this is to encourage you to try something!! You never know, you may love it!!

Sep 13, 2010

Making Changes for the WHOLE Family

It's funny, as I have begun to make changes in my habits, and in the way I see food, I have had an awakening about my family's nutrition. My husband...heaven bless him...will NEVER, EVER, EVER be fat. He is 28 and can still wear the clothes he wore as a sophomore in high school. He throws a party every time the scale gets kind of close to 140 pounds. He has always been able to eat whatever he wants and not gain a pound. Now, our dear son seems to have inherited those very same skinny genes, and has never been chubby, nor will he ever be. In the past, I have always used this as a justification to let them eat whatever they wanted. Now, however, I see that it is very possible to be thin, and at the same time be very unhealthy. I also see, that it will be up to me to teach our family about health and nutrition. I want my children to have a different relationship with food than I did. I have tried to keep the junk food in our house to a bare minimum. When people visit us they joke about the lack of any, "good" food in our pantry...but that isn't enough. I have challenged myself to start making changes in our home. To start offering healthier choices, and to begin to teach my son better habits. So if you are a parent, or even if you plan on being one someday, make the choice now to ensure your children have a healthier future. Educate yourself on what goes into the foods we buy, I promise, you will think twice about feeding it to your children. I have started small, making easy changes where I can. One major change is that I am cleansing this house of all things made with high fructose corn syrup. It will be hard, but one by one, I am replacing things in my house. I am also trying to offer veggies to my son more often, and I have stopped buying juice all together. I am not saying that all bad food must leave your life forever, but the idea is to make better choices when and where you can!

Sep 8, 2010

Don't Forget About The.....

Click HERE for the details!

My Favorite Tricks and Tips!

So now that I am a coach, some of my clients will be reading this blog. I am going to use this as a source for me to share my favorite tips tricks and recipes. Don't worry, for those of you not using TSFL, I promise, the blog will remain relevant for you too! I just wanted to share a list of some of the ideas that have been shared with me that have helped me along the way!


When using any of the soups I find that the flavor is best if I make them the night before and let them sit in the fridge. If I am eating soup, I use my optional snack to add the medifast crackers to my soups. I love the garden vegetable.

Chicken Noodle:

I add some chicken bullion, some parsley flakes, a dash of sea salt, and I microwave it with a bay leaf which I remove the next morning.

Chicken and Rice and Cream of Chicken:

I combine these two flavors and use it for two meals. I add the same things to this that I add to the chicken noodle.

Cream of Tomato:

I add chicken bullion, Mrs. Dash tomato basil garlic seasoning, a dash of garlic salt and make sure this one has overnight to sit.


I have not used the chili, but I have heard it is great over some salad...kind of like a taco salad. Also, I heard adding some Tabasco sauce helps.


The best tip I have for shakes is to find a place locally that sells coffee and Italian soda flavoring syrups. You can have up to 4 tbls of the sugar free variety each day. The hot cocoa is amazing as a chocolate shake. I actually like it better than the dutch chocolate. I also prefer the shakes with about 6 pieces of ice blended up in it. I bought straws from the store to drink my shakes with. It sounds cheesy, but using a straw makes you slow down a bit and I don't feel like my meal is gone in 2 seconds!

Strawberry shake and White Chocolate syrup
Hot cocoa with just about anything!
Orange cream with vanilla dreamsicle!
Vanilla shake with brown sugar and cinnamon syrup with a dash of ground cinnamon
Banana Cream shake with a dash of cinnamon and Caramel syrup


I have only tried the peach oatmeal because it came in my free week package. I did not even try it at all the first month. Recently, I thought a hot bowl of oatmeal sounded good so I tried it. Not the best, but not bad. If you add some cinnamon to it and a small packet of Splenda it is ok. I had the best results with it when I used a bit more water than called for and cooked it for a bit less time than called for.

Soft Serve:

I blend the soft serve with the right amount of water, but with way more ice. I add more ice to make it thicker, then I add 1-2 tbls of sugar free flavoring to makeup for the extra ice. I love the soft serve and am trying new combinations every day!

Coffee soft serve with hazelnut syrup
peanut butter soft serve with raspberry syrup
Coffee soft serve with Caramel syrup
peanut butter soft serve with Caramel
peanut butter with toasted marshmallow syrup
Chocolate mint soft serve with extra chocolate or extra mint syrup
Chocolate mint with Caramel

You get the idea

Fruit Drinks:

The fruit drinks are so yummy when blended up with ice and diet sprite or 7up or Fresca. They blend up to a slushy consistency!


I am trying this tip today, so I will report back later! But my coach told me to freeze the pudding and eat it more like ice cream. This gave me an idea! I am going to freeze the vanilla pudding and put it in a diet root beer and see if I can't make a root beer float!


I happen to love the brownies the way they are, but to enhance the flavor, I sometimes substitute one tbls of the water with a tbls of flavoring syrup. I also under cook my brownie by about 10 seconds so it has a more fudgy consistency.

Okay folks, these are a few of my tips for now. Be on the look out for when I find out more fun info! Enjoy and as always, if you have any questions at all...please feel free to email me at!

Sep 4, 2010

Things I Loved to Eat Today

We spent the most amazing day at Eagle Island today. This morning when I was packing our food I had this genius idea to marinate some chicken so we could bbq it at the park. I was a bit nervous about the outing being my first time "out" while on medifast. I was nervous I would feel triggered to eat so I made sure to pack lots of water, diet coke and I made a fabulous dinner ahead. Can I just say, this was hands down the best chicken I have ever had in my LIFE...and here is what I did:

1 pound raw defrosted chicken tenders
I used tenders because for a picnic setting they cook faster and because they are smaller, you get more char around the corners to enjoy!!


In a large gallon sized baggie combine the following
1/3 cup Kraft Sun dried Tomato Vinaigrette
1/4 lemon juice
3 tbl. olive oil
1/4 cup dried onion
1/4 sun dried tomatoes
1 1/2 tbls Mrs. Dash Tomato basil garlic seasoning
1 tbls. garlic salt

Marinate 4-6 hours

We used Mesquite coals on the grill and grilled the chicken until slightly charred on each side. I then grilled some asparagus that had been coated in Crisco butter spray, sea salt and garlic salt. This was seriously the most decadent chicken ever!

If you are reading this blog and not yet a follower, BECOME ONE! I did a giveaway back when I first started, and I think it is time to do another!! Here are a few ways to be entered for the giveaway!

For New Followers

1. Become a follower
2. leave a comment on this post
3. ad me on facebook (April Peterson Johnson) and leave me a comment on my wall

For Existing followers

1. leave a comment on this post
2. leave a comment on my wall on facebook

So are you asking yourself, "What's in it for me?" Well let me tell you! The winner gets a copy of Dr. Anderson's new book "Habits of Health". This book has changed my life and even if Take Shape For Life isn't for you, this book is amazing to read. So, enter and enter in every way you can. The winner will be decided on October birthday! Good Luck!

To Be Whole

This seems like a reachable goal...right??? This is, you know the foundation of most life changing programs; to become whole in mind body and spirit. I know people attain this "wholeness" in their lives, I am sure it exists, but in my life there has always been one missing link keeping me from the trifecta of balance. If I am in shape, I am obsessing over myself therefore inhibating me from becoming truly spiritual. If I am overweight, I get depressed, so my mind becomes a hot mess. And right now in my life I feel like all three are kind of a mess. I have tried very hard to overcome the loss of our baby and to move on and to get my body in shape thinking it would make the other parts of my life fall into place. Then, just as I get on a roll with my weight loss, my body failed me and my knee gave out again, then I feel depressed because my efforts seem defeated. Yesterday I had a bit of a meltdown following the third migraine I have had this week. I felt so sick and tired of being sick and tired. I am making HUGE sacrifices to change my health and my body and truly living the healthiest life I have lived in a long time, so why should the rest of it be so hard?

So this morning as I was driving home from an early morning appointment at the salon...I thought to myself, "April, it may take you your entire life to have it all". This journey is why we are here, to achieve balance. To learn how to be the masters of our lives. If I had it all figured out by 27, what would I have to learn the rest of my life?? Sometimes it seems overwhelming, but I am sure that I will constantly be working on the balance of life. This is all part of our imperfect mortal minds and bodies. Our health can't always be perfect, even if we are making perfect efforts. Our minds can't always be sound because life gives us trials meant to challenge our resolve. Our spirituality can't always be in tip top shape because we are mortal and that is part of the test.

So, here I sit, feeling less defeated and more hopeful. Today is a new day, and even if it ends up being just as crappy as yesterday, there is always tomorrow!

Sep 2, 2010

Things I Loved to Eat Today

Garlic and Lime Pork Chop

4 pork chops about 1 inch thick
4 tbls fresh lime juice
2 tsp olive oil
garlic to taste
2 packets Splenda

Marinate the chops for 1-6 hours depending on how strong you want the flavor.
Place on hot grill and grill 4-5 mins per side

1 serving of pork is 5 oz cooked

This is seriously the best pork chop I have ever had! I served mine with some asparagus that was sprayed with Crisco butter spray and then topped with sea salt and garlic. This dinner was AMAZING!