Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Little Black Dress

Coke is one of the amazing sponsors of the Genghis Grill Health Kwest competition. They support a campaign that encourages others to get healthy and get back into the size they once were, or choose a dream outfit they'd like to fit into. Learn more about their campaign here

I use to have a goal size that I wanted to be and maintain, but the more weight I lose, I've decided to let my body naturally go to where it needs to be. I care about being healthy more than anything.

One of my dear friends is getting married in August and I'm so honored to be a bridesmaid on her big day! Because of the weight loss journey, I have no clue what size I'll be in August. I purposely ordered a dress a few sizes too small just to be safe. I've got some work to do!!!!!! So here's my "Little Black Dress." Who knows, maybe the dress will be too big  by then! Stay tuned to my blog to see my progress!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Everything is changing...

Can I just tell y'all about my day?? I find it interesting that today's task is to write about emotional and physical changes. I woke up this morning and logged into YouTube to check the view count of my Genghis commercial. To my surprise, YouTube removed the video and said that I violated their terms. They re-uploaded the video and now my views were back at 0. What?? I wrote an original song and it's taken down because of violation? Something just wasn't right. So I immediately sent Jackie an email stating what happened. Keep in mind I had over 3000 views before I went to bed last night. I was able to log into my account's video manager and see the view count of the old video. I took a screen shot and sent that over as well. 

                                                      The screen shot of my original commercial

You know I'm upset right?!?! All that hard work writing the song, recording and editing the footage took some time. All throughout the day I'm checking YouTube to see if they answered my request and made the video public. No change. About noon I just gave in. I prayed and asked God to give me peace about the whole situation. He reminded me of how far I've come with my weight loss journey. I started the year off drastically changing my lifestyle and I've lost weight! What a blessing! Sometimes we get so focused on the little things that we can't control and forget about  all of the wonderful things that are going right in life. Conviction...

It's 3:05pm and I get an email out of the blue saying, "Congratulations, Stephanie, you won!" I'm shocked!! All of that worrying I did this morning about my video being removed, and I won?!? Wow, God is good!! The whole YouTube event was out of my hands and God took over! 

A few weeks ago I wrote on my Genghis calendar that I would win the commercial challenge! Faith!

How do I feel now? I feel at peace. I feel blessed! I feel like a winner, knowing that I'm doing the best I can. I'm eating healthy and working out on a regular basis. Is the weight coming off as fast I think it should? Nope, but it's definitely coming off!! I've got a long way to go and I'm loving this journey:-)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bring the Beat In

I'm a music lover. Gospel, old school, jazz, classical, r&b, you name it, I love it. I grew up in the church and was surrounded by a diverse background in music. My parents are musicians, my grandmother played the piano and I have a host of relatives who are incredible singers. I love music so much that I decided to study it in college!

Our Genghis Grill Healh Kwest task is to share our workout playlist. It was extremely difficult to pick my top 10 songs. Here's a list of my favorite songs to put on repeat while i'm out for a walk.

1. Walking by Mary Mary
2. God's Got It by J. Moss
3. He Turned It by Tye Tribbett
4. Quarter Master by Snarky Puppy
5. You Can't Hide Love by Earth Wind and Fire
6. Amazing by Ricky Dillard
7. Window Seat by Erykah Badu
8. Love on Top by Beyonce
9. Green Light by John Legend
10. Happy by Tasha Cobbs

My Genghis Grill Commercial

Check out my Genghis Grill commercial here I had a blast writing the song and making the video!

Friday, March 14, 2014

I Admire You Debra Peek-Haynes

I'm so excited about our task today for the Genghis Grill Health Kwest Competition! We were asked to interview someone that we admire. In my weight loss journey, I tend to gravitate toward people who have been down the road I'm traveling.  There's nothing like getting advice from people who know what it's like to overcome health challenges. I decided to reach out to Debra Peek-Haynes who is the First Lady at my church, Friendship West Baptist Church. I was a little hesitant at first, but after seeing her encourage so many people, I thought i'd give it a try! I first learned about her health journey when I took a healthy eating class at church. I was so inspired to try holistic living and have definitely changed how I think about health.

Debra Peek-Haynes is an author, entrepreneur and a sought after speaker of healthy eating and living. Her mission is to instruct, inspire, promote and to remind us that God provides resources for better mental and physical health.

SB: What made you decide to choose a healthy lifestyle?

DPH: When I was told by five physicians that I had a less than 5% chance of getting pregnant, I knew that God had an answer and I kept looking for it. Through a series of events, I found a holistic doctor that helped change my mind, my diet and put me on a path of healing. I maintained a macrobiotic diet during my process. Within a couple of months my body responded and within a year I became pregnant. My husband and I had a healthy baby girl. I lost all of the pregnancy weight within three weeks after delivery. Our daughter only had about two ear infections her entire infant and toddler years. What the mother consumes during pregnancy greatly impacts the infant. I did not eat dairy products but I ate lots of dark green vegetables, which contain high amounts of calcium and other nutrients. During my healing process, I had to read books on emotions and physical health. I became very knowledgeable about health issues.

SB: How important are mental and spiritual health? Do you believe they play a role in your physical health?

DPH: Many times we separate our emotional health and spiritual health from our physical being. We need a holistic approach to create a better lifestyle. 

SB: You've just released a book. What inspired you to write about healthy living?

DPH: The book is called, The Beginners Guide to Healthy Living. I wanted to share what I've learned in a practical approach that anyone can follow. 

SB: What advice would you give to someone just getting started on the journey to better health?

DPH: Get my book and change your thinking about your health. 

SB: My favorite recipe from your book is Deb's Veggie Chili. What's your favorite go to meal for someone who doesn't have a lot of time to prepare a healthy meal?

DPH: The veggie stir fry is simple and delicious. I had several men taste it at my cooking demonstration and theyall asked for more. Generally, if a man likes a dish the women will too. 

SB: How can we get in touch with you? Where can readers purchase your book?

DPH: It's available on I can be reached via email at or facebook at Debra Peek Haynes' Healing Kitchen. 

Wow! What a beautiful testimony of how changing your thinking can lead to a change in your health. To learn more about Debra Peek-Haynes, find great tips and to purchase her book, visit her website Listen to Debra every Wednesday at 3:45pm on KHVN 970 am or online at Find her on youtube here

Debra Peek-Haynes was also on The Broadcast. Check out her segment here!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Genghis Grill's Limited Time Only Ingredients

Genghis Grill offers various "limited time only" ingredients on their menu. This season, they're offering the pulled pork. Although I don't eat pork, there are wonderful combinations available to make it a heart healthy bowl. 

I'm always a fan of loading my bowl with veggies. Try cabbage as your base/starch and load with onions, peppers and an uncommon veggie like bok choy. You could even use tortillas as a carb and fill it with the pulled pork, pico, mango peppers and onions, jalapenos, mushrooms and carrots to give it more of a fiesta feel. There's also the signature bowl option, Sweet N Sour Pork. Season the pork with 1 tsp of salt and pepper. Add in the 3G Mix, pineapples, green onions and choose 1 oz of Sweet and Sour as your sauce. Try 1/2 cup of steamed white or brown rice as your starch. This bowl is 614 calories and has about 30g of protein. 

There are various health benefits to eating lean pork. Pork tenderloin and loin chop cuts have less fat than other cuts of pork. They also give you the flavor that you're looking for, but with less calories from fat. 
If you're looking for variety this season and want a break from your normal protein, try the pulled pork! you won't be disappointed!  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I love tea! Thanks Red Diamond!

I've always been a tea drinker. Peppermint, chai, black, chamomile, lemon, ginger, echinacea, green name it, I love it. When I saw that Red Diamond gifted us with a box of tea, I was excited! They sent over a box of their Gourmet Green Tea. I love the slogan on the front, "For Your Health" and on the back, "A "Gem" In The Cup." 

There are so many wonderful health benefits to drinking tea. Health experts have found that drinking green tea can help prevent cancer and heart disease, lower cholesterol, aid in weight loss and act as a healing agent to cold and flu symptoms. Red Diamond's Gourmet Green Tea is filled with over 200mg of antioxidants with each serving! Check out the other wonderful benefits of below.

Last nights cup of Red Diamond Green Tea

Black tea helps to protect the lungs. White tea is filled with anticancer properties. Because echinacea is an herb, it helps to heal colds, respiratory infections, flu and even gum disease. Chamomile tea has been used to heal cuts and wounds. It also helps to calm nerves and soothes stomach pain. Peppermint tea helps to clear the skin, gives sinus relief and aids in weight loss.

                                           Red Diamond Green Tea with breakfast this morning.

Drinking tea is a win-win situation. Lol! Be sure to check out Red Diamond's website., for more information about their healthy tea and ground coffee. Thanks Red Diamond!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Choose Brown Rice!

I use to love eating white rice when I was younger. We'd have it as a side with dinner quite often. I'd load it up with butter and sugar, and eat tons of it mixed with my vegetables. Lol! I had no idea how unhealthy that was until I got older. I was later introduced to brown rice and other healthy grains like oats and quinoa.  I love loading my Genghis bowl with vegetables and beans, and using brown rice as my my starch.
Why do I choose brown rice over white rice? Well, white rice is stripped of its nutrients and eventually breaks down into sugar when it enters the body. This isn't good for insulin levels and can put you at risk for type 2 diabetes. Brown rice is actually a grain that is filled with nutrients like magnesium, copper, antioxidants and vitamin B. It has fiber and selenium that aids in the prevention of colon cancer. Eating brown rice is also great for weight loss, lowering cholesterol and cardiovascular health. These benefits are just too good to be true! All of this in brown rice? Yep, i'm hooked. Cheers to more servings of healthy brown rice! 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Stress Ball

It's Tuesday and my alarm goes off at 5:25 am. I pray, read my devotion and get up for a quick 20 minute morning workout.  I hop in the shower, get dressed and run to put my oatmeal on the stove. I prepare lunch in the morning because I totally forgot to do it the night before. It's 6:20 and my drive to work is about 35 minutes. I have to be there at 7. I run to the car and quickly realize that it's trash day. I run back in the house, gather all of the trash and set it outside to be picked up. It's now 6:27. I make it to work at 7:02 after praying and blasting my praise music to help me make it through the morning. I made and sound. I get off work around 4, choir rehearsal is at 6:30, praise team practice is right after and the drive from my house to church is about 45 minutes to an hour in Dallas traffic. Between 4-5:30, I have to get to Genghis, make sure I remember to do my task and eat my healthy bowl. I get home at about 5:30, change and get ready for choir rehearsal and praise team practice only to realize that there's an accident on the tollway. I'm paying toll to sit in Dallas traffic?? I pray everybody involved is ok!! I make it to rehearsal and am totally at peace. Music ministry is my passion and rehearsal always lifts my spirits. I make it home around 9, try to prepare my lunch, head to bed to do it all again the next day. On the other evenings that I don't have activities, I'm able to fit in a great workout.

Does my schedule seem a little stressful? Yea...sometimes it is, but when I think about the journey to a healthy lifestyle, it's all worth it. I've learned through this competition that you will make time for what you really want to do. I'm not changing my eating habits and working out only during the 60 day Health Kwest Challenge. This is a lifetime commitment. Making the time to workout, eating at Genghis and finishing my tasks is teaching me time management. It's hard sometimes, but if I don't change now, I never will.

I believe in God and I have a spiritual life. Stress starts in the mind. When my mind starts to go left, I pray and change my focus. Keeping my focus on the bigger picture is extremely helpful. I'm not changing my life just for me. I've got to think about my future children and the rest of my seed. Many of my family members suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other illnesses. I want to prevent those diseases from entering my life the best way I can.

When I don't feel like getting up to workout, I remember my weight loss goals. When I don't feel like cooking a healthy meal and drive past dozens of unhealthy restaurants, I remember that I only get 1 chance to have a healthy body on earth. When I don't feel like driving to Genghis after singing at two church services on Sunday, I remember that I have do things even when I don't feel like it so that I can get results i've never had. When I don't feel like working on tasks, I quickly remember that I was just on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest. I have plenty of time to work on tasks! Lol! It's all in my priorities. When I think about the other contestants who are going through the same things I am, I remember that we're a team going for the biggest prize that will last a lifetime...good health.

Stress comes and stress goes. Such is life. Preparation and time management are huge keys to avoiding stress. Some things we can't control, but when we can, we have have to be responsible.

Here are a few scriptures and quotes that help me.

"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you, he will never let the righteous fall." Psalm 55:22

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path." Proverbs 3:5-6

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela 

"We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right." Nelson Mandela

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." Anais Nin