Surround yourself with people who have the same goalsPublished 9:19am Friday, September 10, 2010
A week ago, many of the employees at the Albert Lea Tribune began a friendly weight-loss competition amongst ourselves to encourage each other to live healthy lifestyles.
Every two weeks through the end of the year, we will be weighing in at Albert Lea Medical Center. That will get us through some of the toughest holidays of the year: Halloween, Thanksgiving and most of the Christmas season.
But hopefully — and even more importantly, at least for me — we will have the time to develop a change in habits.
I’ve already seen some real benefits by participating in this.
While I’m extremely motivated by competition, it has also been motivating this first week to simply be surrounded by people who have goals to live healthy — especially considering how much time I spend here.
I’m reminded of one of the lessons of Blue Zones author Dan Buettner to surround ourselves with people who have similar goals as we do. If we hang out with friends who are overweight, we have a higher percentage of being overweight ourselves.
The same applies to being healthy. If we hang out with friends who are healthy, we have a higher likelihood of being healthy, too.
We will be exchanging recipes, encouraging each other with our exercising and giving uplifting words along this journey.
This first week went well for me, and it’s helping give me a more forceful nudge to stick with it.
Here’s a great recipe I’ve tried this week:
Healthy stuffed green bell peppers
4 whole green bell peppers
1 lb. lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 c. brown rice
1 can crushed tomatoes
1/2 c. chopped onion (optional)
1 garlic clove, minced
15 oz. can of tomato sauce (garlic and herbs)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cut the tops off of the peppers and set aside. Remove seeds from inside peppers.
In a large pot of boiling water, boil the peppers until they are tender.
Brown the ground beef with salt, pepper and onion, then drain. Add can of tomatoes.
Cook rice. Combine ground beef with rice, tomato sauce and other herbs.
Fill the peppers with the meat and rice mixture. Place the tops on each like a hat.
Cover the entire dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven until the peppers are hot. The tomato sauce will be bubbly.
If you’re willing to add a few calories, you can put grated cheese on the tops, too.
Sarah Stultz is a reporter at the Albert Lea Tribune. It is her goal in 2010 to get back on track with a healthy fitness and eating plan to ultimately lose weight. Her column appears every other Wednesday on the “Food” page in the print edition and as a blog on AlbertLeaTribune.com.