fresh strawberries and dark chocolate

Live Positive! Newsletter – October 2020 Edition

fresh strawberries and dark chocolate

I don’t know about you, but when Halloween candy starts popping up in stores I am reminded of all those seemingly sweet temptations in my life. You know the ones that grab your attention and offer the alluring promise of comfort and immediate gratification. But, that temptation to give up the rewards I really want in my life in order to settle for what I can have now is as empty as the calories found in that Halloween candy. Worse, it can leave us feeling guilty for not staying the course. Luckily, there are sweet rewards in life much that we can enjoy guilt-free!

In This Issue

  • Welcome Erica West
  • Article of the Month
  • Mindset
  • Fitness
  • Nutrition
  • Recipe of the Month
  • You’re Invited!


Join Us in Welcoming Erica West

Erica West

I am very excited to announce that I have recently appointed Erica West as Chief Operating Officer of Golf Positive and Live Positive companies. Erica is an entrepreneur who brings 16 years of experience in nonprofit business and institutional advancement to the O’Connell team. Her professional experience combined with her passion as a motivational speaker and transformational coach uniquely positions her as the company’s first COO.

It’s a pivotal time in the company’s growth. This new position is essential to ensuring the operational excellence of Live Positive and Golf Positive. Erica is a high energy professional who brings the kind of operational expertise, heart-centered customer service, and inspirational leadership we need!

To learn more, visit the company website or follow my posts for more information on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Article of the Month

Hands holding a trophy in an office setting while colleagues applaud

7 Rewards of Self-Improvement

When unexpected life-altering events occur, it can be a challenging time for all involved emotionally, mentally, spiritually, socially, financially, and even physically. The good news is there is a way to lessen the damaging effect of such hardships. Reduce the negative impact on your health, relationships, current responsibilities, and future goals with the power of positive thinking and a winning mindset.
Read the full article.



The Power of Goals and Guiltless Rewards!Happy young businessman and big city

Are you tired of making the same mistakes every day? What if there was a way to avoid falling into those bad habits that hold you back from reaching your full potential?

When you feel like you are on a merry-go-round with no exit in sight, it’s time for a new strategy.

Making a Plan can Be Exciting!

Starting over when viewed through the right mindset can be fun! Think of it as a blank slate where you get to reimagine what you want your life to look like. After all, you’ve learned a lot about yourself since the last time you dared to dream big.

Doing What You Love

This is often the point when we learn the most about ourselves and make the biggest strides towards discovering a more fulfilling purpose. Here, you have an opportunity to reassess your goals, sharpen your skills, and find out what makes you happy in life. When you have held a dream in your heart for a long time, it could be the rewards you were originally seeking are not as powerful today to hold your attention because your interests have changed. Therefore, this is the perfect time to ask yourself what will bring you the most satisfaction and give you that nourishing feeling of accomplishment?

Maintaining Your Focus

Now that you have a more updated direction, begin asking yourself what it is that gets you up in the morning and adds excitement to your day’s activities. This should be at least one thing you love about your life now to build your confidence as well as something you hope to accomplish in the near future to provide a goal to work towards. Hold tightly to these cherished treasures in your mind to help you push past your stressors, temptations, and mistakes that leave you falling short of your daily goals. Soon, with practice, perseverance, and a positive champion mindset, you’ll be closer than ever before to attain those newly revised rewards you seek!

In other words, while you feel unable to move past your old patterns today, the great news is tomorrow brings another opportunity to succeed! With the right tools and mindset in place, those newly revised rewards you seek can finally become attainable and the yo-yo and merry-go-round cycles can become a thing of the past.

Going Deeper for More Sweet Rewards

Learn more ways to strengthen your resolve and create a clear path to your goals in my Keys to a Champion Mindset course starting the 17th of October and Group Breakthrough course on November 7th. Here, I will share what motivates champions all over the world to continue pushing forward past what once seemed to be an impossibility to turn their dreams into a reality. The time to stop feeling guilty about giving up or giving in and start discovering the motivating rewards that help you develop healthier patterns and can ultimately lead you to victory is now! Accept the invitation to receive the keys to unlock your potential by registering on my website today!



A woman HIIT training


How to Burn 150 Calories in 15 Minutes by Chrysten Crockett on Today

Burning off what you put in is the key to dropping extra pounds. By incorporating high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, into your fitness routine, you can cut down on the time you spend exercising while still getting a quality workout.

Using this 15-minute circuit with the five exercises below, you can easily burn 150 calories or more.


Woman performing butt kick exercise
MOVE 1: Butt kicks with arm circles Duration: 3 Minutes

Start by kicking your heels, one foot at a time, up toward your butt as if you’re running in place. At the same time, place both arms out to the side and rotate them in a circular motion.
This compound exercise will help you start to increase your heart rate while stretching out your lower body, engaging your core and getting some blood flow to your arms.

Woman performing jump squats

MOVE 2: Jump Squats Duration: 3 Minutes

Drop down in a squat position with your hands out in front of you. As you jump your feet together, place your hands on your hips to help you balance. Continue to jump into a squat position, getting as low to the ground as you can.
Be sure to force your weight into your heels when you squat down in order to engage the hamstrings and glutes.

Woman performing ski jump exercise

MOVE 3: Ski Jump Duration: 3 Minutes

The ski jump is a great full-body exercise that keeps your heart rate up. As you jump to the left with your left foot, kick your right foot behind the left. At the same time, you’re going to reach down with your left hand to tap the floor. Repeat this motion on the right side and continue to jump left to right. By keeping your hips and back low, you will work the core and target the lower back muscles even more.

Woman performing jump lunges

MOVE 4: Jumping Lunges Duration: 3 Minutes

Begin in a lunge position by stepping back with one foot and dropping your knee toward the ground. Place your arms in a running position to give you momentum as you jump into the air. As you jump, switch legs and land with your opposite leg behind you and your knee dropped toward the ground. Continue in this jumping motion, staying low the entire time to really feel the burn.

Woman performing high knees exercise

MOVE 5: High Knees Duration: 3 Minutes

This move is performed exactly as it sounds! Drive your knees toward your chest. To give yourself a goal to work towards, put your hands out straight and try to tap them with your knees. This exercise will really bring up your heart rate!



17 Healthy and Delicious Alternatives to Candy by Ariane Lang, BSc, MBA at HealthlineLittle girl with raspberry

Candy is popular worldwide but mostly made from sugar, artificial flavors, and food dyes, which provide calories but very little nutrition. In fact, eating it may increase your risk of cavities, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. If you’re craving sweets but want to stick to a balanced diet, there are plenty of treats you can indulge in instead of processed candy bars.

Here are 17 healthy and delicious alternatives to candy.

1. Fresh fruit

Fresh fruit is naturally sweet and packed with nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It may also provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Unlike candy, fruits are usually low in calories and high in fiber.

For example, 1 cup (144 grams) of strawberries provides only 46 calories but 3 grams of fiber and 94% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C.

2. Dried fruit

Because it’s dehydrated, dried fruit is highly concentrated in nutrients and sugar, making it even sweeter and calorie-denser than fresh fruit — so be mindful of your portions.

Still, studies suggest that people who eat dried fruit have good diet quality and nutrient intake, two factors associated with lower body weight.

You can find almost any fruit dried, but make sure your product doesn’t contain added sugars.

3. Homemade popsicles

Homemade popsicles give you all the benefits of fruit without the extra sugar and artificial ingredients of packaged varieties.

To prepare them, simply blend your choice of fruit with water, juice, or milk. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds or plastic cups, place a popsicle stick in the center of each, and freeze overnight.

If you prefer a creamy texture, blend with yogurt instead — or simply insert a popsicle stick straight into a yogurt cup and freeze for a quick dessert.

4. ‘Nice cream’

‘Nice cream’ refers to fruit-based ice cream, which you can make by blending frozen fruit with optional add-ins — like peanut butter, honey, or coconut milk — and freezing the mix.

Here’s an easy recipe to get you started:

Strawberry-banana ‘nice cream’

1 large, peeled, frozen banana
1 cup (144 grams) of frozen strawberries

Cut the banana into slices and the strawberries into halves. Pulse in a food processor until smooth, scraping the sides when necessary.

5. Frozen fruit

Contrary to popular belief, frozen fruit preserves the nutrients of fresh fruit because it’s fully ripened before being frozen (6).

At home, you can freeze fruit with yogurt for a quick, simple snack.

Frozen-yogurt-covered blueberries

1/2 cup (148 grams) of blueberries
1/2 cup (200 grams) of low-fat Greek yogurt

1) Cover a baking tray with parchment paper.
2) Stab a blueberry with a toothpick and dip it into the yogurt, making sure it gets fully coated.
3) Place the yogurt-covered blueberry on the baking sheet.
4) Repeat with the rest of the berries and freeze overnight.

6. Fruit and veggie chips

Fruit and veggie chips are cut into thin slices before being baked, which gives them their characteristic crunchy texture.

These chips boost your daily fruit and vegetable intake, which may help lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers.

Instead of choosing store-bought options that may harbor added sugar and preservatives, make your own fruit and veggie chips by following one of these recipes.

7. Homemade fruit leather

Homemade fruit leather is a sweet and chewy treat loaded with nutrients.

You can use any fruit you want — but choosing high-sugar options, such as mangoes, means you won’t have to add too much sweetener.

Mango fruit leather

2–3 cups (330–495 grams) of mangoes
2–3 tablespoons (15–30 ml) of honey
2 tablespoons (30 ml) of lemon juice

1) Blend the mangoes in a blender or food processor until smooth.
2) Add honey and lemon juice and blend a little more.
3) Pour the mixture into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread to 1/8–1/4-inch (0.3–0.6-cm) thickness.
4) Bake at 140–170°F (60–77°C) or the lowest temperature on your oven for 4–6 hours.
5) Allow to cool, then remove from the tray.
6) Cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) strips and wrap with parchment paper before rolling them up.

8. Energy balls

Energy balls are typically made with wholesome ingredients that provide enough fiber, protein, and healthy fats to keep you feeling full.

Oats, nut butter, flax seeds, and dried fruits are the most common ingredients. However, you can mix in almost anything you want, from protein powder to chocolate chips.

Nevertheless, they pack a lot of calories, so try to limit yourself to one or two at a time.

Coconut-dusted energy balls

1/2 cup (72 grams) of raw almonds
1/2 cup (58 grams) of raw walnuts
1 cup (73 grams) of raisins
3 pitted dates
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup (93 grams) of shredded coconut

1) Finely chop the almonds and walnuts in a food processor, then add the rest of the ingredients — except the coconut — and pulse until you get a sticky mixture.
2) Form 1-inch (2.5-cm) balls with your hands, then roll them in shredded coconut until fully coated.

9. Homemade honey-roasted nuts

Nuts are packed with unsaturated fatty acids, which may promote heart health by reducing heart disease risk factors. In fact, research suggests that eating nuts may lower LDL (bad) cholesterol by 3–19%.

They’re also high in fiber, high-quality protein, and beneficial plant compounds.

Roasting nuts with honey makes a perfect sweet-and-salty treat. Try this recipe for your next candy replacement.

10. Dark-chocolate coconut chips

Dark chocolate is known for its high levels of antioxidants, which may improve heart health, brain function, and insulin sensitivity.

Meanwhile, coconut is an excellent source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of fat that may boost weight loss, fat metabolism, and gut health.

The sweetness of coconut chips masks the slight bitterness of dark chocolate, making a crunchy treat that can be eaten alone or used as a topping for yogurt.

You can make dark-chocolate-covered coconut chips at home by following this recipe, or you can purchase them pre-made — in which case you should check the ingredient list to avoid added sugars.

11. Dark-chocolate-covered strawberries

Dark-chocolate-covered strawberries are another way to reap dark chocolate’s benefits.

What’s more, strawberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that may help prevent heart disease.

To prepare them, dip berries in melted dark chocolate. Place on wax paper and freeze for 15–20 minutes.

12. Trail mix

Trail mix typically combines nuts, seeds, grains, dried fruit, and chocolate, providing you with fiber, protein, and many beneficial plant compounds.

However, store-bought options may be loaded with added sugar, so it’s best to make your own.

For a healthy, homemade version, mix cashews, cranberries, pretzels, pumpkin seeds, and dark chocolate chips.

13. Sugar-baked chickpeas

Chickpeas, which are also called garbanzo beans, are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

One cup (164 grams) of cooked chickpeas pack 15 grams of high-quality protein and 13 grams of fiber.

Moreover, they may boost heart health and reduce your risk of certain conditions, including type 2 diabetes.

For a chickpea-based treat, try this simple recipe.

Cinnamon-roasted chickpeas

1 cup (164 grams) of cooked chickpeas
1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil
2 tablespoons (30 grams) of brown sugar
1 tablespoon (8 grams) of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon (5 grams) of salt

1) Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C) and bake the chickpeas for 15 minutes.
2) In a bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
3) Remove chickpeas from the oven, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with the cinnamon topping.
4) Stir until fully coated and bake for another 15 minutes.

14. Healthy cookie dough

Edible cookie dough is an egg-free batter that makes a scrumptious snack.

For a healthy version, use chickpeas instead of flour to increase the fiber and protein content.

Chickpea-based edible cookie dough

1 cup (164 grams) of cooked chickpeas
3 tablespoons (45 grams) of brown sugar
1/4 cup (65 grams) of natural peanut butter
3 tablespoons (45 grams) of oats
1 tablespoon (15 ml) of skim milk
2 teaspoons (10 ml) of vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
a pinch of salt
a handful of chocolate chips

In a food processor, blend all the ingredients except the chocolate chips. When smooth, place the dough in a bowl and mix in the chocolate chips.

15. Avocado-chocolate pudding

Avocados are a great source of healthy fats, fiber, and beneficial plant compounds. They also provide vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, folate, and potassium.

Research shows that the fat and fiber in avocados may help reduce appetite, which is essential for weight control.

You can make a creamy pudding by blending this fruit with just a few simple ingredients, such as cocoa powder and a sweetener of your choice. For example, this recipe uses maple syrup for a delectable treat.

16. Baked apples

Apples are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other plant compounds.

One medium-sized apple (182 grams) packs 17% of the DV for fiber, 9% of the DV for vitamin C, and powerful plant compounds, including polyphenols that may protect against chronic disease.

Studies show that people who eat this fruit regularly have a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain.

To make baked apples, cut them into chunks, add a bit of melted coconut oil and cinnamon, and bake for 20–30 minutes at 350°F (176°C).

17. Homemade gummies

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. Its main purpose is to help tissues resist stretching.

It offers multiple health benefits, especially for your joints and skin, and is present in some animal parts, such as pork or chicken skin and beef or chicken bones.

It’s also found in gelatin, a common food additive made by cooking collagen.

This ingredient is often used to make gummies. Though store-bought versions usually contain added sugar, you can make your own at home using just fruit juice and honey.

Check out this recipe for tart cherry gummies if you want to give them a try.

The bottom line

Plenty of delicious, healthy treats can replace candy in your diet.

Candy is often loaded with sugar and additives, so you should avoid it whenever possible.

The next time you crave something sweet, try making yourself a nutritious treat from ingredients you have on hand.

Recipe of the Month

peanut butter cups stacked

Healthy Peanut Butter Cups

Posted on Fit Foodie Finds

An easy sweet for under 200 calories per serving!
Prep Time = 15 Min
Cook Time = 0 Min
Total Time = 15 Min

Yield – Serves 12

Serving Size: 1 cup Calories: 157 Sugar: 5 Fat: 13 Saturated Fat: 6 Carbohydrates: 8 Fiber: 1 Protein: 4


Bottom (Chocolate) Layer:

1/3 c creamy all-natural peanut butter
2.5 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp pure maple syrup

Top (Peanut Butter) Layer:

1/3 c creamy all-natural peanut butter
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
Himalayan sea salt


  1. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners.
  2. Spray with coconut oil cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir all ingredients for the bottom layer (chocolate) together until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In another medium bowl, stir all ingredients for the top layer (peanut butter) together until smooth. Set aside.
  5. Scoop a heaping 1/2 tablespoon of the chocolate layer into each muffin cup.
  6. Repeat until you’ve filled around 12 cups.
  7. Then, pick up the entire muffin tin and shake and tap until the layer is set evenly. (You should get around 12 cups.)
  8. Repeat the same thing with the peanut butter layer, plopping around 1/2 tablespoon on top of the chocolate layer.
  9. Pick up the entire muffin tin one last time and shake and tap until your cups are even.
  10. Sprinkle each cup with some Himalayan sea salt.
  11. Place the muffin tin in the freezer for 30 minutes or until firm. Enjoy! (Be sure to store healthy peanut butter cups in the freezer to enjoy for later.)

1. Make sure you are using all-natural drippy peanut butter for this recipe. We recommend Smuckers All Natural, Trader Joe’s All Natural, or Fresh Thyme All Natural.
2. Store healthy peanut butter cups in the freezer to enjoy for later.

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-Personal Challenge –

What amazing skills do you possess right now that can help you move through this trial and soar in the next step of life’s journey?



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