What Every Freshman Should Know

What Every Freshman Should Know

We all have that pile of papers in the corner of the kitchen or near the computer of “I’ll do it later” tasks. Don’t we? Well, I do. Correction: I did. I found this list my son’s high school gave out to him before the school year began. I’m so glad I found it.  Perhaps the title should read, “What EVERYONE should know”

Read each of the following tips.  How can you apply this to your life?  How can you share this information with others in your life?  What can you do to influence the world one small deed at a time?

  1. Remember that you have a clean slate and that whatever you did before, good or bad, does not matter anymore.
  2. Create a good relationship with your parents, they are the reason you are here.  They will be a great source of help throughout your high school career and life!
  3. Vianney, my son’s high school, is sacred ground.  So cherish it because it is made sacred by the people who walk it.
  4. The family you are joining has been years in the making, but we are still under construction.  We need your help with some positive fresh ideas.
  5. Value your time here.  It goes by fast.
  6. Do you work every night and start every day strong so you don’t fall behind early.
  7. Make the most out of everyday.  You don’t want to look back on your years with regrets.  The more you put in, the more you get out.
  8. The people you interact with will be your brothers and sisters for life and friends forever.  Treat each other as a brother or sister and don’t exclude anyone because they are different.  Your enemy from your first year might be your best friend your last year.
  9. Just be yourself.  don’t put on a false front so you can make more friends.
  10. Be proud to be a Griffin.  Represent Vianney well.
  11. Support your home teams.  All of them.
  12. Don’t blow off your faith because you might be embarrassed or think it is not a cool thing to do.  Pray every day.
  13. If you don’t make a sports team, try something else.  There are other things to do besides sports.
  14. Prioritize your time.  You might feel overwhelmed.  Make sure you focus on the important things in life.
  15. If you give respect, you will be respected in return.
  16. Do not get too focused on any one thing.  Balance your time and get the things done that you need to do.
  17. Use your free period.  You can get help with your work and talk with teachers.
  18. For any bad experience, there will be many good ones.  No need to focus on shortcomings or mistakes.
  19. Don’t overdose on the cookies.


Go back and read them again.  You may not be a Griffin, but represent whatever it is you are well.  Remind yourself the ground YOU walk is sacred because of whomever walked it before you AND because YOU are walking it right now.  Someone will follow your footsteps.  Who can you inspire on your path?

I love how it ends with “Don’t overdose on the cookies.”  I can certainly apply that one to my life!  Comment on your favorite.  How will you apply it?  Remember well done is better than well said.

Shepherd’s Pie by Ellipse Fitness

Hi Everyone ~

Happy First Day of Fall!  With the cooler weather, comes “comfort foods”, right?  Or what I like to refer to as “discomfort foods” because my pants are so tight afterwards that there is a bit of discomfort!  Remember when making those warm and gooey casseroles, soups, & fall desserts – they have CALORIES!  Even though they taste oh-so-good, it is important to indulge in just one serving and then put it aside!

This delicious Shepherd’s Pie recipe is simple to make and the more unsavory ingredients in the traditional style!  Give it a try, I think that you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

8    Small Red Potatoes, peeled & quartered
1/2  Tbsp. of Olive Oil
1/4  Cup Fat Free Milk OR unsweetened almond milk
1/4  Cup Shredded Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese
1/8  Tsp. Salt
1/8  Tsp. Pepper
1/2  Cup Onions, chopped
1.25 Lb. Extra Lean Ground Turkey
2    Cups Zucchini, sliced
5 Fresh Chopped Tomatoes (OR 1 Can chunky pasta-style)
1    Can (6 ounces) Canned Tomato Paste
1/4  Tsp. Black Pepper
1    Spray of Cooking Spray

Directions:  Preheat oven to 375.  Place potatoes in a pot and fill with water enough to cover potatoes.  Boil until potatoes are tender.  Drain potatoes and place back in pot.  Add 1/2 Tbsp. of oil, milk, salt, pepper, & 1/4 cup of cheese.  Mash until fluffy and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat skillet, then add turkey and onions and cook until meat is no longer pink.  Stir in zucchini, undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, and 1/4 tsp. of black pepper; bring to a boil.

Coat baking dish with cooking spray, fill with turkey mixture, spread potato mixture over top, and bake for about 30 minutes.

Serves: 5

Total Calories: 356   Carb=48g Prot=33g Fat=4.7g

Tiffany’s Tip:  When making this recipe, make sure to cut the zucchini in thick enough slices that it doesn’t get too soft when mixed together with the turkey!

Don’t hold on for another day…

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”  Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

How about a little Wilson Phillips’s to get you going… 🙂

Change yourself…

Change your attitude…

Change your perspective…

Do you still have the same hair-style from high school?  Serve the same menu every year at Thanksgiving?  Drive the same way to work and park in the same spot?  If your answer is “yes”… then my question is WHY??

Are you comfortable looking in the mirror seeing the same person everyday?  Afraid what your family will say if you don’t serve the baked sweet potato casserole?  Get anxious if your normal route to work in under construction and the parking lot is already full when you arrive?

I recently surveyed my Facebook friends and asked about their thoughts on change.  Thanks to those who shared their thoughts with me!  I was very surprised…and encouraged  to hear that so many were willing to embrace the thought of change in their lives.  It might be unwanted, uncomfortable, and even scary, but the consensus is:  Change is makes their lives better…happier…healthier…

I work in an ever evolving industry.  Fitness classes, the tools we utilize during exercise and nutrition and weight loss have changed dramatically since we started eight years ago.  We’ve changed at Ellipse Fitness many times too.  We have changed our Facebook page, website, AMP’D boot camp program and even added a new program (Evolve) just in this year alone!
In order to keep up with the times you have to face your fears and EMBRACE change!  We all need to stay ahead of the curve and be willing to bend.  Think about it….

Healthy School Snacks

Wow….Can you believe that the kids are back to school already?  Where did the summer go?  I ran into a friend in the grocery store the other day and she was looking through all the boxes on the shelf to find healthy snacks to pack in her child’s lunchbox and have available after school.  This gave way to this blog in which I want to offer you some healthy suggestions for your children’s snacks!

The Don’t List:

  • Pop-tarts!  Loaded with sugar and not the best selection for breakfast.
  • Potato Chips.  May leaving your child feeling hungry because of the lack of nutrients.
  • Pizza bites.  These pop in the oven treats are generally loaded with fat!
  • Sugar filled fruit snacks.  Too much sugar!!!
  • Candy!!  NO WAY….this will leave your child hungry and begging for more!
  • Cookies.  No nutritional value!

The DO List:

  • Fruit & Veggies are a MUST!  Loaded with vitamins and antioxidants to keep them healthy!
  • Low-fat or Whole Grain Frozen Waffles topped with peanut butter!
  • Gold Fish Crackers and Light String Cheese….a perfect mix of carbs & protein!
  • Air-popped popcorn mixed with a ¼ cup of dried fruit and ¼ cup of mixed nuts!
  • Tortilla shell with yogurt, banana, and cinnamon all wrapped together!
  • Yogurt with a ¼ cup of granola.

In addition, I went to our local Bulk Price Food Shoppe and selected several great combinations of snacks for you to serve to your kids!  Check out the video below for more great ideas!

Tiffany’s Tip:  A bulk priced food store is a great way to be able to purchase the quantity of food that is right for you, and not let food go to waste!  Ask the clerk to package your favorite item in the amount that you want!  Some local grocers are offering this now as well!  Be sure to ask for the nutritional information as most stores carry this info behind the counter and will be happy to share it with you!

Protein Pancakes by Ellipse Fitness

Hi Everyone,

Just in time for the holiday weekend, here is a delicious recipe for Protein Pancakes that will surely be enjoyed by the entire family!  I love to make a couple batches of these yummy cakes and just place the left-overs in the refrigerator to eat the next day.  Enjoy your weekend!

1/2  Cup of Egg Beaters (or 3-4 egg whites)
1/2  Cup of Low-fat or Fat-free cottage cheese
1/2  Cup of Oatmeal
2     Packets of Stevia
1     Tsp. Vanilla
Cinnamon to taste
1/2  Cup Blueberries

Directions:  In a blender, blend together all ingredients EXCEPT blueberries.  Once ingredients are to a liquefied consistency, add blueberries.  Pour mixture onto griddle in 4 individual pancakes.  Top with sugar free syrup, additional berries, or low-fat yogurt!

Total Calories: 419   Carb=61g Prot=36g Fat=4g

Tiffany’s Tip:  If you wish to decrease the amount of calories, you can count this as two servings!  Simply eat two of the pancakes and divide the number of calories, carbs, protein, and fat listed above in half!