The Benefits of Accountability Partners

Accountability Partners

Have you ever wondered why so many people are unsuccessful in exercising and changing bad habits? Maybe it’s due to the absence of one crucial ingredient many need but doesn’t necessarily utilize; it’s an accountability partner. Without accountability, some of us will not do things necessary for good health. Sure, we all know we need to exercise; it’s just a matter of doing it.

Some friends hold me accountable for exercising, drinking water, and eating correctly. We check in once a week and give our weight gains or losses. In addition to this, we also encourage each other during the week to drink more water and eat healthy foods. Sometimes we post pictures of our meals as suggestions for others to try. We also have water consumption and exercise challenges.

Two are Better than One

A text in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10, says, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Now here are some of the benefits of an accountability partner.


If I become slack in my exercise or health management, I have someone to say, “Hey, you can’t quit now. Get up and keep trying.” Sometimes we may get tired of motivating ourselves, and that’s when an accountability partner steps in. When you run out of gas and feel like giving up, your accountability partner is there to motivate you not to give up. You may hear them say things such as, “That was just 15 push-ups. Give me ten more. Hey, keep going. You can do it. Don’t stop!”


There is nothing like an encouraging text, email, or note from time to time from someone who is in your corner when it comes to health. “Hey, it looks like you’ve lost a few pounds.” (they notice) “I found a recipe you may like. Try it and tell me what you think.”

“You drank eight glasses of water today? You go, girl!” Are you exercising for 20 minutes? “You drank eight glasses of water today? Way to go!” “You’re exercising 20 minutes? Maybe you can go for 30 minutes.” Have you had your mammogram or physical this year? Accountability partners give gentle reminders and suggestions.

Virtual Accountability Partners

Accountability Partners don’t always have to be someone who physically walks or exercises with you.  They can also be online.  You can do check-ins by phone or email and even use an app together.  The key to success is checking in with this person regularly.  The thing that hinders success is a lack of consistency.  Regularly doing a task, even for 10 or 15 minutes, is better than exercising for an hour every now and then.  Remember this: “Consistency is better than intensity.”


Workplaces and groups incorporate accountability into their health plans by putting systems to keep employees healthy.

They offer discounts, free gym memberships, online health education, weight loss programs, or health monitoring devices like Fitbit. Check with your place of employment to see if they offer any of these programs. 

Exercise buddies can be husbands, sisters, friends, co-workers, or neighbors. You can even find online partners and groups. There is a website called that has plenty of free resources for losing weight and staying healthy. They also have accountability partners/groups, recipes, exercise videos, and a wealth of other information. If being consistent is difficult for you to get an accountability partner. Remember, two are better than ONE!

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Understanding Cholesterol

Understanding Cholesterol

Many people are confused about cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  Women need to be careful and monitor these levels because heart disease is rising in this population.  Some say they do not understand how to read the lipid panel when getting test results.

Lipid Panel

Doctors will usually order a panel called the “Lipid Profile.” This panel includes Total Cholesterol, HDL, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.  Although I understood “Total Cholesterol,” I was a little confused about the LDL and HDL levels, so here is a panel breakdown.  I hope this brings some clarity to you as well.

What is Cholesterol?  

Cholesterol is a type of fat in the blood.  Our bodies need some fat, but if there is too much in the blood, it can lead to sickness and disease.  Too much cholesterol can clog and narrow the blood vessels and lead to health problems such as heart disease, stroke and blood vessel disease.

Total Cholesterol  

This cholesterol measures your body’s total amount, including LDL and HDL.  This number should be less than 200. If is is over 200 you have high cholesterol.


This cholesterol level should be low.  Many refer to it as bad cholesterol.  If this cholesterol is high, it leads to heart disease, causing clogged arteries.  It is best if this number is less than 100.


HDL helps remove the bad cholesterol from the body, and many call this good cholesterol.  Normal levels should be 60 or higher.  HDL levels of less than 40 put you at a dangerous risk for heart disease.


Triglycerides are fats. It increases the risk of heart disease.  These types of fats come from fatty foods.  Triglyceride levels should be less than 150.

Why You Should Be Concerned

Over and over again, in medical literature, diet and health books, the news, and many other media outlets, certain key aspects seem to be prevalent in many diseases, and the same is true for heart disease.  If we address the following things,  we can significantly reduce our chances of getting many health diseases. Understanding cholesterol is important for your heart and your health. Ninty-Four million adults over age 20 have cholesterol over 200, according to the CDC.


Lack of exercise increases the reis of heart disease.  Even though some realize this, they go day in and day out without exercising.  Physical activity must become a way of life.  Look at it this way: you must eat to live and be physically active to live.   Exercise is free medicine for the body.   

Increasing Good Cholesterol

Want to increase your HDL (good) cholesterol?  Then start exercising.  When I did my yearly physical at work, my triglycerides and cholesterol levels were pretty good, but my HDL was too low.   In my exit interview, the evaluator instructed me to increase this level by exercising regularly and that if I didn’t change anything, my results would remain the same.


You can lower your cholesterol by eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables rich in fiber.  There is also fiber in whole grains, nuts, and beans.  If you are trying to lower your cholesterol, the National Academy of Sciences states that women take at least 25 grams of total fiber per day.  Avoid refined sugar,  white bread, and pasta; try whole grains and natural sugars instead.


Saturated fats from animal products significantly contribute to high cholesterol and should be used sparingly or eliminated.  Labels that contain the words “partially hydrogenated” and choose an alternative product.  On the other hand, some foods considered healthy fats are avocados, ground flaxseed, olives, walnuts, almonds, and chia seeds.

Home Food Substitute Suggestions

1.  Substitute for oil – Applesauce
2.  Substitute for eggs – Egg Replacer, ground flaxseed, or the slimy film of boiled flaxseed.
3.  Substitute for sugar – Dried fruit such as dates, frozen bananas, Agave Nectar, honey, Turbinado sugar, raw cane sugar, and Stevia.

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Eat Your Vegetables

Vegetables as a Child

Can the concept of vegetables and weight loss be linked to childhood habits?  For me, I believe it does.  It all remains vividly clear to me, sitting at the kitchen table as a child and encouraged by my parents to finish all the food on my plate. My parents didn’t believe in wasting food. They found that to be healthy, we needed to eat all the food on our plates, and they thought throwing food away was wasteful.

Our family had six children, and we sat at a large kitchen table.  Three children sat on one side and three on the other, with our parents sitting at the heads of the table. I usually managed to eat everything on the plate pretty quickly, except when it came to vegetables.

Fresh Vegetables

Day after day, I always managed to be the last one sitting at the table, and I could still hear my parents saying, “Eat your vegetables.” Oh, how I hated vegetables! I would do anything to get out of eating them.

When my parents left the kitchen, I would quickly grab a fist full of napkins and slowly fork my food into my lap until it was all gone. I threw my napkins in the trash and put my plate in the sink, avoiding yet another night of what I considered nasty vegetables.

Vegetables and Parenting

Unfortunately,  I carried that lousy habit into adulthood and didn’t start enjoying vegetables until I had my children. I then started telling them, “Eat your vegetables.” My oldest son loved veggies and preferred them over have them over pasta, pizza, sweets, or any other type of food. My younger son was not much of a veggie-lover, but I got him to eat them.

Vegetables and Weight Loss

When people think about weight loss, they immediately jump to doing hours of cardio and eating “low fat.” While these tactics can work, there is one thing people forget — vegetables.

When I began losing weight, I thought about what kinds of food I could switch to that would help me in my endeavor, and I concluded that vegetables were the way to go. You don’t have to eat a whole plate of raw salad every time you sit down, but add veggies here and there. Most restaurants will have some options for you, and if you buy a couple of frozen veggies, you’ve got something healthy (and tasty) very quickly.

According to, women should receive between 2 ½ – 2 cups of vegetables per day, depending on age. The diet should include red, orange, yellow, and green vegetables. I have a few suggestions I use to get all of my daily suggested servings.  Vegetables and weight loss go hand in hand.  Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Try Veggie Burritos – I sauté my vegetables,  add mushrooms, beans, or anything else I choose, put them in a spinach burrito along with dressing and enjoy a meal.   Other ingredients, such as brown rice, corn, or beans, make a good meal.


2. Veggie Pizza – When my children were young, we enjoyed veggie pizzas full of fresh vegetables.

italian soup 2

3. Vegetable Soup – Soups are especially lovely to eat in the winter and can be prepared alone or in combination with other food items.

4. Vegetable Stew – Vegetable stew with more chunky vegetables and less fluid can be filling and hearty. Stew is another good choice for a healthy meal and an excellent way to eat those veggies.

5. Vegetable Juice – If you can’t buy or make vegetable juice, purchase Green Superfood. It offers the benefits of vegetables and easy mixing. (you don’t need a juicer), it can be put in smoothies or other dishes compared to other green drinks and has a great taste compared to many other green drinks or juices. It is also beneficial to those trying to lose weight.

6. Vegetable and Fruit Smoothies – These smoothies are healthy and taste great. I enjoy smoothies as a refreshing drink or an excellent way to get a meal in the morning, especially if pressed for time. I have a recipe that includes bananas and oatmeal. I questioned if it would be tasty, but to my surprise, it was pretty good.

7. Barilla Veggie Pasta – I also buy Barilla veggie pasta, pictured below. Their pasta is made from pureed in-season vegetables. One serving of vegetables is in 3.5 oz of this pasta. And if you add vegetables to the pasta dish, you get even more vegetables. They also carry whole grain pasta, another healthier choice. They won the best new product award for 2014 from Better Homes and Gardens. You can only tell by the smell of it cooking that vegetables are in it. When the dish is prepared, I cannot tell the difference between this and regular pasta except for the whole-grain version. It is sometimes hard to find vegetable pasta in some stores. See if your local grocery store carries vegetable pasta. If not, you can always order from Amazon.  Barilla vegetable pasta

vegetable pasta green
Barilla veggie pasta orange

Losing weight is an incredibly common goal for many people. They want to lose weight and feel better about themselves. The plan of action is normally to go on a diet, but many attempts using this method fail.

It’s a shame because diets are effective if you stick with them. However, most people don’t keep up with the diet because they get bored. People look for other solutions like taking pills or just living with the extra weight.

I have finally reached a point in my life where I can say I enjoy eating my vegetables. I’ve learned how to cook different dishes and share them with others who enjoy eating vegetables in new and different ways. If you try incorporating some of these suggestions into your health and fitness plan, you won’t regret it.  So go ahead, eat your vegetables!

Eat Your Vegetables