Today I Found Hope

Today I Found Hope

I found hope

Today I found hope. I am a Truck Driver that does long haul. There are pros and cons to driving a truck. The pros are seeing our beautiful country and getting paid to do it. Meeting new people and knowing that what I delivered is needed by them. I have hauled many different commodities, from cattle to military vehicles, bridge forms, JetA fuel to fill helicopters that fight wild fires burning in the mid-west. The cons are being gone from home for weeks sometimes months, missing my family, friends and my horses. Another downside is the lack of keeping in shape. I have gained weight and my journey starts today in loosing the unwanted pounds with that I have gained from holding a steering wheel over the last 4 years. My goal is to loose 20lbs over the next 10 weeks. I realize that I will have challenges but without the challenges given to us how will we become stronger.

Today I will start making changes with the help of my friend Fadi and his associates.

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Can Diet and Exercise Help Control Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – ADHD?

Can Diet and Exercise Help Control Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral condition in which children/adults have difficulties paying attention and focusing on tasks. This common disorder begins in early childhood and can continue into adulthood. If not recognized and treated, it can cause problems at home, school, and work and with relationships. Many adults do not realize that they have ADHD until their children become diagnosed, and they begin to recognize their own symptoms. Adults with ADHD may find it hard to focus, organize, and finish tasks. They are often forgetful and absent-minded.

Eating a balanced diet can help all people—including those with ADHD—function well. Those concerned about diet and ADHD hypothesize a toxic or allergic effect by some foods. The most commonly targeted foods are milk, wheat, dyes, preservatives, sugars, and caffeine. These diet elements are believed to cause or at least contribute to ADHD and ADD Symptoms.

Foods to eats for those with ADHD

  •  Vitamin B Complex- Yeast, Liver,Nuts Milk, Eggs, Meats, Fish, Fruits, Leafy Green Veggies, Soy
  •  Protein- Add some protein powder to your smoothie, Make a protein smoothie for you kids when the come home from school.    Brown rice cakes with hummus or any kind of nut butter like almond or cashew
  •  Calcium/Magnesium – Green Veggies like Broccoli, Kale, Collard Greens,Whole Grain Breads, Nuts Seeds,  Milk and milk products are a main source of calcium. Green veggies such as spinach are a great source of magnesium, as are beans and peas, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
  •  Trace Minerals- micronutrients that are needed by the body every day, but in small amounts, include zinc and iron. Studies have shown people with ADHD have low levels of zinc in their bodies compared to those without ADHD. 

   Foods To Avoid

  • Sugars
  • Additives- Artificial dyes and flavors (Food Coloring like red and yellow), MSG so when ever possible choice natural choices
  • Hydrogenated oils Generally are the ones that at room temperature are a solid – Bad Fats inhibit healthy nerve functions. Trans and saturated fats. Try using Flaxseed oil, Canola,or Olive Oil
  • C affine
  • Salt- Too much salt in a child’s diet can interfere with a child’s internal equilibrium. Salt can also deplete the body of some minerals needed in the body.

            Best rule of thumb to use is read the labels of the food you choice also shop the perimeter of the store you will find most natural foods there.

Exercise is a fantastic and highly recommend way to combat ADHD it helps push past failures and helps you attack things you didn’t succeed in before. Exercise helps reduce learned helplessness. It also helps the Brain release important chemicals like Endorphins that help regulate mood, pleasure, pain. Also exercise helps elevate Dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels. These brain chemicals affect focus and attention, which are in short supply in those with ADHD.  Contact one of our fitness professionals today to start a fitness program

  • Walking 30 minutes  four days a week.
  • Team activities or those with social components.
  • Exercises like Tae Kwon Do, Ballet, or Gymnastics, all these, you have to keep the mind focused to the activity at hand.

Some well known celebrities that have ADHD include Justin Timberlake, Jamie Oliver who both help keep it under control with diet. Katrina Smirnoff, Will Smith, Michael Phelps, Jim Carey, Ty Pennington Paris Hilton,Christopher Knight, Howie Mandel, Terry Bradshaw who frequently speaks out on mental disorders telling even big guys get it taken care of., James Carville, Pete Rose who found his undiagnosed ADHD may heave been a contributing factor to other addictions like gambling, Michelle Rodriquez, Bruce Jenner, Solange Knowles who was often mistaken for being high or drunk due to untreated ADHD.

Statistics have shown a person who has ADHD is  300% more likely to start their own business like Richard Branson, and David Neelman, who credits his ADHD for founding JetBlue. Having it gives you creativity and the ability to think outside the box. So does Paul Orfalea, the founder of Kinkos (the name comes from a nick name for his curly red hair).

If you and/or your child is diagnosed with ADHD with proper diet and exercise can be controlled.


Apricot Granola Bars

Apricot Granola Bars

Homemade Granola Bars For The Kids (Or You!)

Apricot Granola Bars

Apricot Granola Bars

Apricot Granola Bars

 The ultimate satisfaction is when I make something nutritious for my kids and they gobble it up and ask for more. I knew this would be a winner just by looking at the recipe; my kids were standing in front of the oven waiting for these babies to come out. I got the original recipe from Vanilla & Spice. I didn’t change much either, just the type of fruit I used , type of salt, and type of sweetener. These bars are chewy, crunchy, and sweet. Oh and they make the house smell divine!


1/2 c. raw almonds

1/4 c. dates, chopped

1/4 c. dried apricots (make sure there’s no sugar or sulfur added)

1 c. quick oats

2 tbsp. dry millet

1/4 c. mixed seeds (half pumpkin and half sunflower-unsalted)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. pink himalayan salt

2 tbsp. ground flax seed

1/2 c. almond butter

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tbsp. honey (optional)*


Preheat oven to 350. Prepare an 8 x 8 pan by lining with parchment paper. Place almonds, dates, and apricots in a food processor until roughly chopped). Transfer to a bowl and add oats, millet, seeds, cinnamon, salt, and flax. Use a whisk to mix thoroughly. Place almond butter and mashed bananas together in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave for 15 more seconds. Stir until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and honey. Pour wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until evenly coated. Pour mixture into prepared pan and press down firmly with spatula. Bake for 22-27 minutes, until edges are brown and top is firm to the touch. Cool completely, then slice into 8 bars.

*If I was making these for myself, I would leave the honey out to make them less sweet. Macros below include the recipe WITH the honey.

Macros per bar: 285k cals, 15.9g fat (1.1g sat, 3.2g poly, 6.1g mono), 31.7g carbs (6.9g fiber, 12.5g sugar), 8.3g protein, 62.2mg sodium, 205.2mg potassium


Vanilla & Spice – Healthy Treats and Vegetarian Eats

Fadi Malouf – Nutritionist and Personal Trainer



Blueberry Mango Smoothie

Blueberry Mango Smoothie

Drink Your Fruits and Veggies

Blueberry Mango Smoothie

Blueberry Mango Smoothie

Blueberry Mango Smoothie

I can’t believe I let the whole summer go by without posting a smoothie recipe. What was I thinking?! Well, better late than never. This one is worth the wait. There’s lots of fruit and veggies in this drink; along with healthy fats, anti-inflammatory and detox properties, and an energy boost. It’s so refreshing too. I’ve had one three days in a row and honestly, its been the highlight of my day. You might say I need to get a life if this drink is the highlight of my day or you may just need to try it yourself and see if it doesn’t have the same effect on you. For real, do it. Now.


1 c. unsweetened almond milk

1 c. kale, chopped and packed

2 c. spinach, packed

2 leaves romaine lettuce, chopped

1/2 lemon, peeled

1.5 c frozen blueberries

1 c. frozen mango chunks

15 g raw ginger

1/4 avocado


Using your food processor or blender (I have a Ninja), begin by adding the almond milk and the greens. Blend until liquid. Continue adding ingredients and blending along the way until you’ve added everything. Be sure not to overheat your machine; stop every little bit to give your machine a break and to scrape the sides. This makes two servings and looks even more appetizing in an adorable mason jar. Drink one immediately and share the other with a friend. Or do like I do, and save it for later by stashing it in the back of the refrigerator where nobody else will find it.

Macros per one out of two servings: 170k cals, 6.2g fat (.7g sat, .6g poly, 2.1g mono), 33.5g carbs (8.9g fiber, 19.2g sugar), 4.4g protein, 132.1mg sodium, 659.8mg potassium


Fadi Malouf – Nutritionist and Personal Trainer


Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Low-Calorie And Quick Salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

 Have you noticed a theme yet? If its quick and easy and if it can be turned into a salad, I’m all over it. Another salad creation here that’s perfect for summertime. And this is probably the easiest one yet, because some of the ingredients (dare I say it?) are canned. I don’t normally use canned ingredients, but sometimes you’re just in a hurry and its better than nothing (also better than falling prey to a fast food place). I just look for the no sodium/low sodium version of whatever it is I need. A lot of canned items have a ton of added salt. Why let someone else determine how you season your food? If its beans, I rinse really well before using. Enough about that, though, here’s your dinner for tonight and get ready for lots of pictures.


1 medium tomato, chopped

5 mini cucumbers (or 1 regular), sliced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 medium avocado, chopped

1/2 of a small red onion, diced

1 container of low sodium albacore tuna

1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1 tsp. evoo

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

dash of black pepper

1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped


In a bowl, mix together tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper, avocado, and red onion.

chickpea_salad_1 chickpea_salad_2 chickpea_salad_3


Add the tuna and garbanzo beans. Stir to combine. Then drizzle with evoo and balsamic vinegar. Add pepper and toss to coat.


Finally, top with cilantro and you’re done! Enjoy!



Macros per one out of four servings: 233k cals, 9.3g fat (1.1g sat, .9g poly, 5g mono), 29.9g carbs (9.4g fiber, 5.5g sugar), 16g protein, 12.5mg cholesterol, 357.4mg sodium, 478.3mg potassium


Tania Funduk – Food and Fitness Guru

Fadi Malouf – Nutritionist and Personal Trainer