Healthy Living with Jilisa Ghareeb: One Bite at a Time

Happy February!

The month of love. Shouldn’t every month and really every day be about love?  Love for family, friends, neighbors, strangers and do not forget about yourself!  Last month I wrote a list of 10 things that you could do to start the year off great and keep doing.  Did you start any of them?  Where are you with your goals?  I hope you are still moving forward.

Like many people who start something new you may have faltered, you may have already quit.  I encourage you to keep going.  The first week is the easiest because it is new and you are excited.  The 2nd week you still have some excitement, but it is already starting to wane.  If it is not gone already it will probably be by the 3rd week.  Ouch! Painful reality check right there.  It is the truth though and sometimes the truth hurts.  There is something you can do…you can keep going.  Look back at your why, the reason you wanted to start in the first place.  Let that reignite the fire.  One of the reasons your why needs to be strong and resonate deep in your soul.  You can do this.  It does not have to complicated and grandiose.  Do not make it that way.

Our bodies are complicated enough, and we do not need to add to that by overthinking everything. We already know that we should not be eating donuts and pizza every day, so stop eating that stuff EVERYDAY but do not (over)think that you have to replace it with meals that have 100 ingredients.  We also know that sitting on the couch for hours watching tv is not good for our bodies or minds.  But thinking that we need to go from doing nothing to working out for 2 hours 7 days a week is making the process complicated and causes us to quit before we even get started.  What we need is to eat more whole foods, get some sunlight, and intentionally move our bodies daily.  Okay you got me on the sunlight in Michigan in the winter.  But you can supplement with a happy light!!  I have a Verilux VT31.  I use it around 15-20 minutes a day especially on the days with no sunlight.  It is not an exact replacement for that good ol’sun but when you live in a state that sees almost no sun for the better part of 6 months, it helps!

Let’s take this back to the basics and keep things simple.  At the same time realizing that you are not going to lose 20lbs in 2 weeks or build a million-dollar business in a month.  We must make changes on a consistent basis and keep moving forward.  Consistency is going to build inner momentum for you. Showing up day after day is going to build discipline.  You may have heard me say before that when motivation is gone, discipline shows up and takes over.  But in order to have that discipline, you have to build on the motivation with consistency.

I have a project that I started recently and was discouraged very quickly.  I had to keep (and am still) repeating to myself “How do you eat an elephant, Jilisa? One bite at a time.”  I have said that so many times in the past week that my kids and husband think I am crazy.  In fact, my daughter has asked why I want to eat an elephant.  It has helped me though.  It has kept me moving forward, because I know that with every step forward, I am that much closer to completing the project.

Now I know you are saying to yourself that it is not always that easy. But I am here to tell you, IT IS!  You can be the person that completes projects and takes leaps forward in your life because you are eating the elephant one bite at a time.  I am the type of person that finishes things in the 11th hour and I don’t want to be that person anymore.  It is a stressful way to live.  I have found in the last 6(ish) weeks that the more things I do immediately the more time I have to do more things.   What?  Let me explain…if I answer an email, text or call immediately then it is done and I no longer have to think about replying.  If I put away or wash my lunch dishes right after lunch then I no longer have to think about all the dishes I will have to do after dinner.  I am making more time for myself to do more later.  I swear it makes sense!

Also keeping things simple and not overthinking them saves time too. Let’s relate that to our meals.   I stated earlier that we need to eat more whole foods, if we are learning to incorporate these foods into our diet we will want this to be simple and not take a lot of time. One of my favorite meals is one of the simplest to prepare and only takes about 25 minutes.   Grilled chicken and roasted vegetables (see my article from January for a simple vegetable recipe) are yummy whole foods that are simple, delicious and nutritious.   I make my chicken the same almost every time.

Chicken breast, thighs, or legs (whatever cut you like)
Extra virgin olive oil
Himalayan pink salt
Course black pepper
Onion powder
Garlic powder

Throw on a hot grill and cook until no longer pink in the middle!   And always make an extra piece or 2, so you have left overs for a few meals.

I can’t  show you a simple delicious recipe without also showing you move you can do anywhere. The wall sit is an effective move that works your quads, hamstrings, calves and your core.

Start with your back against the wall. Slide down as if you were sitting in a chair.  Your knees will be at a 90 degree angle.  Hold that position for 30 seconds up to a minute.  If you cannot get to a 90 degree bend in your knees, start by modifying (see picture for position) and progress to that 90 degrees.  If you are already able to do the wall sit without modifying and want to progress the move, you can hold your arms straight in front of you, holding nothing, a dumbbell or a ball. You could also hold a weight at chest level. And if you are feeling stable and strong you can do a full lateral raise, arms extended and lifting straight over your head.  Make sure you are maintaining a proper grip on your dumbbell. If it feels to heavy, lower the weight. Always practice good form and safety when lifting.

Remember to keep things simple and that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time!

Jilisa Ghareeb has been a Beachbody coach for 5 years.  Her favorite part of being involved with fitness and nutrition is watching her clients change and open up a whole new world.  As a coach she, is able to help others by introducing them to a change that is often scary, intimidating, and full of “what ifs” to an encouraging and inspirational lifestyle full of “I cans”. She uses her own story to show others that everything is possible with hard work and determination.  If you’re interested in reaching out to Jilisa for more information you can contact her via email ([email protected]), on Instagram ( or Facebook (

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