The Ultimate Motivation

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For as long as I am a practicing dietitian, there is one question that I don’t know if I will ever find the answer to: what motivates people? Seriously. Of course everyone is unique, so different people are motivated by a variety of different things, while other people seem to be permanently unmotivated. Others get really motivated all of a sudden one day, but that excitement quickly fades and they fall right back into old habits. Think: New Years resolutions.

Some of us don’t get to choose what happens to us in terms of our health. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. I just had to watch one of my very best friends lose her dad after a vicious battle with pancreatic cancer. We were all so hopeful and prayed hard for thirteen months straight. He did everything he could to fight it, but ultimately, it took his life at the young age of 55. It just doesn’t seem fair. At all. He had two beautiful, amazing children and a lot of things he still wanted to do with his life. Every day since he passed I have found that I have a new perspective on life. I’m trying to worry less and appreciate the little things more. Be more patient with others. It’s way too easy to get caught up on little annoyances that happen at work or home, or your family members get on your nerves, but at the end of the day, thank God you have them. Right? Thank God. Unfortunately, not everyone can say the same. Getting the chance to hug our parents (or kids, friends, spouses, etc.) and tell them we love them is something we should never, ever take for granted.

So what does it take to motivate us to live a healthy lifestyle? Fear of dying at a young age? Fear of being on medications for life or wearing an oxygen mask just to walk from one side of the house to the other? Is that what it will take to make you clean up your diet or quit smoking or start exercising? Like I said, we don’t all get to choose what happens to our health. Some things just happen that seem to be completely out of our control. And for lack of a better word, that just absolutely sucks. For everyone involved. But what about the things that we can control? You decide whether you get fast food every night or cook healthy meals at home. You decide whether you sip on soda or water all day long. You decide whether you hit the gym after work, or veg on the couch all night. You decide whether you want to eat more fruits and veggies or stick with candy and processed junk food. You decide to pour salt on everything you eat because you’d rather die of a heart attack than eat “flavorless food”. I have always found positive encouragement to be a more effective motivational strategy than instilling fear, but is that what it takes these days to spark real, long-term change?

We make decisions all day every day. Big ones and small ones and some in between. No, not all of them are perfect. We are human. We make mistakes. We have wants that tend to distract us from our needs. We make a lot of decisions based on the fact that we want instant gratification. We live in a fast-paced society and that is what we have become accustomed to. We want ____ and we want it now, whatever ____ may be. We get impatient if the Internet takes more than 3 seconds to load (I know I do), and we can barely wait for the oven to preheat, let alone actually cook something. Try this (and try not to take offense): sloooow the hell down. Start making intentional decisions that will have a positive impact on your health in the long-term. Stop being so focused on what you want right this second and think about what you want your life to look like 10, 20, or 30 years down the road. You probably don’t want to look back and say, “Man, I wish I would’ve done things differently.” It’s never too late to make a change. And for some of you it may be a different category of your life other than your health. Perhaps the way you treat others or sticking with a job that you hate (which both relate back to health in a way.)

We can’t control everything that happens in life. But there are a lot of things we can control. So why wouldn’t you try?

The decisions you make regarding your health don’t just affect you. They will affect your kids, friends, significant other, siblings, parents, coworkers. Don’t you want to be there for your loved ones as long as you can? And be in good health so you can enjoy your time with them as much as possible?

Someone please tell me; I’m dying to know. What will motivate you to make a change?

If you have time, this Ted talk, “Health, Motivation & The Near Death Experience”, given by an emergency room physician, really helps put things in perspective. Why wait until you have a near death experience to make the changes it would take to prevent you from ever getting to that hospital bed in the first place?


My advice to you:

Take good care of your body; God blessed you with only one amazing machine. Tell your family and friends you love them more often. Cherish every second with the ones you love because that time is something we all take for granted way too often.

Rest In Peace Steve Hinderliter. Gone too soon, but never forgotten. #WithFaithAndPositivity

Ever since I started my blog I have definitely gotten more experimental in the kitchen. Many of the recipes that I post are adapted from recipes I have found on other blogs and/or Pinterest, and if I really like the way they turned out then I share them with you all! If I had more time and blogging was my full-time job (in my dreams), then I’d definitely be developing recipes more often. But until then, I will be creating them randomly as I go and I promise to keep sharing the good ones with you. 🙂 This is one that I did make up myself the other night and I must admit, it turned out deliciously! It’s very attractive too if I do say so myself. ; )

Garlic & Herb Shrimp Pasta


  • 3/4 cup whole wheat penne pasta, cooked
  • 6 pieces of frozen, cooked, peeled, de-veined shrimp (thawed and tails removed)
  • 1 wedge Garlic & Herb Laughing Cow cheese
  • 1/3-1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp reduced-fat feta cheese crumbles
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Cook pasta according to instructions on box.
  2. While pasta is cooking, cook shrimp in skillet over medium heat until it starts to lightly brown on both sides, about 5-7 minutes (it is already cooked, so you are really just heating/browning it). Season with black pepper.
  3. Sautee spinach in another small skillet sprayed with oil from a Mr. Misto or nonstick cooking spray for a few minutes.
  4. Drain pasta, then quickly add cooked pasta back into the pan. Add small pieces of the wedge of Laughing Cow cheese, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and sauteed spinach and stir to combine and melt cheese completely. Drizzle with ~1-2 tsp of olive oil.
  5. Pour pasta mixture into a serving bowl and top with cooked shrimp. Garnish with ~1 tbsp of reduced fat feta cheese.
  6. Enjoy! 🙂

Serves: 1  

FYI: the final product is pretty sticky. I personally like it that way, but if you want a creamier product, trying adding a splash of skim milk and a tbsp of plain Greek yogurt. I will try this next time I make it to see how it turns out!

Do something this week that your future self would thank you for.

[eat well. live well. be happy.]

Shanna, RD


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