Are you setting joy-goals or lack-goals?

I have lists of goals.  There are six-month goals, one-month goals, 5-year goals, pie-in-the-sky goals, lots and lots of goals.  I’ve been doing this for a long time because I am a list-making fool.  And what I realized a couple of years ago was that the goals I actually achieved were joy-goals and the goals I fell short of were lack-goals.  And I am certain this holds true with most of you.  Let me explain:

A lack-goal begins with a self-critical thought

I don’t like my body.

The goal that is created from that thought is phrased like this:

I need to lose weight so I will go to the gym 4x a week.

Just reading those two sentences makes me feel restricted and small.  Yuck. Yet this is what most of us do.   And it does not work.

A little backstory on me:  I struggled with my weight during my 20’s.  I was heavier than my friends and while they could seemingly eat whatever they wanted, I could not.  I put myself on diets, I Jane Fonda-ed it up at home, I thought about food ALL THE TIME, and what did that get me?  Depressed.  Angry. My negative self-talk was LOUD and it was MEAN.  I had all kinds of goals like the one above and I never achieved a single one of them.  So what turned it all around for me?  When I had a joy-goal.

I made a list in 1998 of lifetime goals, things I wanted to learn or achieve or try,  (seriously, did I mention I love lists?) and #1 was “learn how to kick box”.  I moved to Los Angeles in 1999 and began training in the French art of kickboxing called Savate.  I loved it from day one.  I felt like a badass and it brought me so much happiness.  There was NEVER a question of missing a class or a “crap I really don’t want to go to the gym today” moment.  My kickboxing goal was created out of joy. And when I decided to fight for a spot on the American team for the 2000 Savate world championships, I weighed myself for the first time in months.  Guess what? I had lost weight.  Without even trying.  It wasn’t my motivation behind my goal.  And that made all the difference in the world.

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Joy-goals.  Try it out.

Psychologist Kelly McGonigal from The Willpower Instinct states, “Study after study shows that self-criticism is consistently associated with less motivation and worse self-control.”  So the next time you bemoan your failure to achieve a goal, stop a moment and investigate the source of that goal.  Is it coming from that negative, nasty place inside us all?  Or is it coming from your quiet, joyful place?

I bet I know the answer.


The recipe this week is from the Thug Kitchen Cookbook.  If you have never heard of these guys and swear words don’t offend you, I highly recommend you check them out!  They are devoted to a plant-based lifestyle and their recipes reflect their joy and passion.  Plus, they are irreverent, raunchy, and hilarious.  My favorite kind of people!

White Bean and Red Lentil Burgers

  • 1/3 cup red lentils
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups cooked white beans
  • ½ red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of your favorite no-salt, all-purpose seasoning blend
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Grated zest of ½ lime
  1. Combine the lentils and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let that all simmer until the lentils are soft and mushy and the water is mostly gone, about 10 minutes.  Drain away and extra water and let the lentils cool while you prep all the other shit.  (I warned you!)
  2. Mash the white beans in a large bowl and then add the lentils and the rest of the ingredients. If you find the mixture too wet to hold its shape, add some more breadcrumbs.  Shape that mix into patties (you know, burger size) and put them on an oiled baking sheet.  Chill that in the fridge, covered, for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  3. Crank the oven to 400F when you’re ready to go. Coat the patties lightly with some cooking spray and bake them for about 30 minutes, flipping them over halfway.  You want them to be golden on both sides.  Serve them up with whatever the fuck you like on a burger and then go to town.

Questions? Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!

Eat well.


We SERIOUSLY are all the same!

We go through our days wrapped up in our life. Our trials and tribulations that we believe are uniquely ours: work, kids, traffic, husband, wife, friends, eating, when am I going to exercise?, my life is so crazy, I just don’t have time! But recently, through an exercise done with the running teams I coach, what became blindingly obvious was this:

Even though we are unique and wonderfully weird and crazy in our own way, we all worry and stress about the same shit.

 So this was the workout:

  1. Write down a grudge or a bad habit or something that you always worry or stress about that you will COMMIT to letting go of for two months. Next run a mile as fast as you can. The pain you feel running that mile is a symbol of that negative pattern leaving your body.
  2. Now you write down something positive you are committed to manifesting in your life. It can be anything and it does not have to be connected to what you chose to let go of. Then you run a mile at a nice easy pace and come up with action steps you will take in order to manifest your intention.

First of all, I take no credit for coming up with this workout. so when I say it’s brilliant, I am not merely bragging. It was a powerful experience for a lot of my runners. And when I read what they wanted to give up or let go of, guess what? They were all the same. Out of roughly 130 runners, they broke down into 3 categories:

  1. Body image. Too skinny, too heavy, not fast, not strong, whatever. We all have it and we all seem to be worrying about it.
  2. Finances. Regardless of how much or little someone makes, they still stress about money.
  3. Relationships. They want one, they don’t want one, their kids are making them crazy, their friendships aren’t satisfying, they feel disconnected from their coworkers – you get the idea.

While we worry and stress and COMPARE (see my last blog about the comparing if you didn’t already read it) ourselves to others, they are busy doing it, too. NO ONE escapes it, so why don’t we all just stop? Stop because what has the worrying and stressing ever done for you anyways? Did it make it better? Did it resolve it?

I know the answer! NOPE.

Worry 2

This is not to belittle the challenges that life just loves to throw at us, but holding on to grudges and bad habits and negative self-talk are NOT productive and, ultimately, destructive. Focus on what you can change RIGHT NOW IN THIS VERY MOMENT and let everything else go. All that other stuff does is rob you of your happiness and joy. And you should all know by now how I feel about joy. It’s my drug, my reason for being. Get on that joy train, people! Or, as one of my most favorite people to quote, states:

life is short

You know something you can do right now in this very moment? Make this quiche. It is so, so easy and absolutely delicious. And the variations are endless.

Spinach and Feta Quiche with a Quinoa Crust

Taken from Cooking Light.

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, chilled
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
  • ½ cup low-fat milk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  1. For the crust, preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Combine quinoa, pepper, and egg in a bowl, stirring well. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes; cool.
  3. For the filling, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil and onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add spinach; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool.
  4. Combine milk and next 5 ingredients in a boil; stir with a whisk. Arrange spinach mixture in crust; pour egg mixture over spinach. Sprinkle with feta. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes; cut into 4 wedges.

Questions?  Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!

Eat well.