Putting your health first is a good thing

| December 2, 2020 1:00 AM

I’ve been busy of late — but really, that's true for all of us — especially this time of year.

But you know what? I still make time to get my workout in every day. It didn’t always use to be this way. If I was “busy,” my workouts suffered. I just didn’t work out. I would play catch up the next day. Or the day after that … or the day after the day after that … (Sound familiar?)

But here is what I’ve noticed over the last 14 years of training clients. If you don’t make your workouts a priority, nobody else will either. Your workout should be on the top of your “to-do” list, then, everything else comes after that. Make sense? Especially this time of year.

I see clients fade off during the holidays with the mindset of: “Oh yeah … blah, blah, blah … I’ll start back up after the first of the year. I simply shake my head because I know all too well what happens during the holidays. The scale goes up and we push out the date on something we could easily start today. I think it’s a no-brainer. Especially

when we remind ourselves that a heart attack doesn’t wait. Boom.

Discipline is what gets you there and what and keeps you going. Some think it’s more motivation. You aren’t gonna get motivation from me. I can’t motivate you. You motivate yourself by doing the thing that you don’t want to do. That’s the harsh reality.

Discipline is doing the thing that you don’t necessarily want to do … but, you know the outcome will be greater for you, for your health, for your family so you do it. Then, you know what, it becomes a habit. But you do it until …

You don’t do this healthy eating thing or the exercise thing for a few weeks and then quit. That’s silly. You do it every day, always and forever. It is the healthy lifestyle that you continue — just like breathing or brushing your teeth. Right? Right.

OK, enough of me preaching. You know, after many years of me coaching, writing articles, speaking engagements and screaming, what it’s all about.

So, now, a few things for you.

  1. A yummy, healthy recipe is printed below.
  2. My website is packed with a ton of great information and ideas.
  3. For those of you wanting an exercise plan, accountability and food prep ideas … I have a few ideas. Give me a shout.

And now the promised recipe for braised balsamic chicken I found on allrecipes.com — it’s a fabulous site I use often.

Braised Balsamic Chicken


6 skinless, boneless

chicken breast


1 teaspoon garlic salt

ground black pepper

to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 (14.5 ounce) can

diced tomatoes

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon dried


Season both sides of chicken breasts with garlic salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook seasoned chicken breasts until chicken is browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add onion; cook and stir until onion is browned, 3 to 4 minutes.

Pour diced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar over chicken; season with basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Simmer until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 15 minutes.

Steamed spinach is delicious with this recipe.

Natalie Dreger is a certified fitness professiona and can be reached at nataliedreger.