Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Humble Veggie Stock

Wanna know the secret between good homemade soup and AWESOME homemade soup?

What I learned in cooking classes from Chef Ramis at True North Health Center was... to make an excellent soup; you must start from a homemade stock base. This stock is partially made or completely made from the “trash” that you would ordinarily compost. Veggies like corn cobs, Tops of tomato, onion, beet, & celery; & tops and bottoms from leeks; & broc stems, white cabbage core, & cauliflower.

What you don’t want to use are potato skins, carrots peels, artichoke, eggplant, turnip greens, or kale. These will either taste very bitter or give your stock a very strange-weird color.

This stock is made with no oil and NO sodium.... NO need! It is filled with amazing flavorfull spices!!

As always.... I DO Organic as much as possible!

Veggie stock is so great to have in the freezer because you can use it for anything. From cooking your rice or quinoa or beans to adding it to homemade salad dressings to sautéing veggies or stirring in your fry, it is truly the most versatile staple in your cooking repertoire. Chef Ramis showed us an amazing trick to caramelizing onions using only stock and WITHOUT using oil.

You can freeze it in ice cube trays and then when you need just a couple of tablespoons... there you have it ready.

And... oh wow! it does make the house smell fabulous when it simmers

Here’s the recipe for making a great stock, from there ....endless possibilities!

this makes about 4 to 5 pints

In a pot add:

(1) corn cob
(6) tomato tops
(4) sprigs of thyme
(1) celery top
(1) onion top several green onion tops
(1) leek bottom

Fill the pot with filtered water ½ inch above the veggies. Place on HIGH heat and bring to a boil. Turn down to slow rolling simmer for 30 minutes, only. No more.

While simmering add a couple of bay leaves, lots of peppercorns, and TONS of garlic.

After 30 minutes, let cool, strain and freeze.

And, oh yea, be sure and compost those cooked veggies!

Until Next Time.....


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

When Ya Demand Organic... But it Ain't There...

The world of Organic produce is certainly improving from what it was 5 years ago. Now, every major market has some amount of organic produce. I’ve found it inconsistent across the market spectrum. Some have a much larger selection then others, but at least the variety is expanding.

Still, sometimes you have to resort to purchasing “conventional” produce, which can be unsettling knowing that conventional produce is bathed in pesticides and such. But there is guidance on what to buy and what not to buy when it comes to non-organic veggies and fruits.

These are my humble thoughts when deciding about produce:

*Grow your own... this is the most ultimate and safe solution
*Buy from local organic farmers
*Buy organic from local hometown markets
*Buy organic from chain markets
*Buy conventional produce

Ok, so let’s say we are shopping conventional today. There is definitely produce that is “safer” to purchase then others. It’s important to know which “conventional” fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues, and which have the least.
According to Food News, here’s the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen:

Peaches, apples, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, imported grapes, pears.
VEGGIES: sweet bells, celery, kale, lettuce, carrots

Avocados, pineapples, mangoes, kiwi papayas, watermelon, grapefruit
VEGGIES: Onions, sweet corn, asparagus, sweet peas, cabbage, eggplant, broccoli, tomatoes, sweet potatoes.

Here’s the complete list.

Why can’t you just wash the produce with water? Most pesticides, etc get trapped under the wax that covers the produce to give it a longer shelf life. Washing with water will not wash away this residual film.

How about pesticide washes? Here are some very good recommendations.

So next time you head to the market and you have to buy conventional.... take this list with you...or download it on your IPhone... and you’ll be prepared and ready to avoid the Dirty Dozen!

Until Next Time.......


Monday, September 28, 2009


Are you interested in getting a tax break for taking care of your pets! Do you want to encourage others to take care of their pets? Then act now! This is so easy.. the form is filled out. All you do is type in your Reps name and send it off...


U.S. Representative Thaddeus McCotter has introduced the Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (“HAPPY”) Act, legislation to allow individuals to claim tax deductions for qualified pet care expenses. The bill would allow any taxpayer who legally owns one or more domesticated animals to take an annual income tax deduction of up to $3,500 for pet care expenses, including veterinary care costs.

This is absolutely ground-breaking!! We can make this happen. We can join together and not only, be reimbursed for our vet costs; but also, this will encourage pet owners to attend to their pets. In the economic crunch, unfortunately pet care is one of the expenses that goes by the wayside. This Bill can certainly make a big difference in whether pets get the care they need or not.

I challenge you to do your part! Whatever State you live in, send this form to your Rep and lets get this thing passed!


Until next time......

GOOD HEALTH TO ALL... including your pets!

Humble Gentle Beast

This past Saturday afternoon, I had the delightful opportunity to work as a volunteer at the table for the Great Pyrenees Rescue Society. This was the doggie social event of the year for the Responsible Dog Ownership Day at Veteran's Park. There were puppy dogs everywhere, all sizes, all ages, all breeds, all colors and all personalities. These babies were having the time of their life, licking, sniffing and ka-noodlin’ each other. There were contests for the tallest, the smallest, the loudest, the biggest, the ugliest, the prettiest..... lots of ribbons given out to worthy tail-waggers.

I was asked by a member of our Vegan/Vegetarian meetup group...VISION VOICE VEG*N’z for the Brazos work her table. She heads up the local Great Pyrenees Rescue Society. I had seen these beautiful creatures, but never knew the breed. These are the gorgeous white long-haired dogs you see out rustlin’ cattle. They are working dogs and keep the herds of cattle, pigs, goats and sheep in line. They don’t labor well here in Texas, as their coats are so very thick and long. Their bodies are not conducive to this heat and humidity.

Like all large dogs, for various “reasons,” they are “given up” and taken to shelters. Because of the size of these fabulous creatures, they are not readily adopted; and this means they are not kept long in the shelters until they are euthanized. Foster homes are needed for the Great Pyrenees. Their personalities are happy and eager to please. They are sweet natured, loveable and gentle beasts.

One in particular named Sully, attended the event. Sully was left on a highway with an amputated foot after suffering a broken leg. Now he can not use that leg and is need for an immediate prosthesis so he can walk comfortably again. Today, he limps and he suffers. Because of his 9 years of age, he is starting to see signs of arthritis and without the use of his leg, his skeletal structure is compromised. He will soon have hip, pelvic, spine and neck issues if he does not receive this prosthesis. Thru the help, generosity and expertise of several vets at the TAMU Small Animal Clinic and OrthoPets in Denver, Colorado, the cost of this procedure will only total $600.00.....a very small price that will give HUGE rewards to Sully.

“Saving one animal won’t change the world, but it will change the world for that one animal.”

If you are interested in donating to Sully’s prosthesis, please contact me.

Until Next Time.....


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Which Torture, I mean, Training Method is Best?

What's the best way to strength train? How many times a week should I lift? Should I breakup my body when I lift? (Ouch... no, that would hurt! LOL!)

These are just some of the classic questions I get asked all of the time. As a personal fitness trainer in the biz for 30 years, I've seen it all..... come and go.... thru many cycles. My best answer.... "It don't matter.... just DO IT!" But to get into specifics, there are so many different ways to weight/strength train that you can just take your pick, change it up frequently and get real benefits and results from all methods.

*FULL BODY: work upper and lower all in one work out (3x week, MWF)
*UPPER BODY: one work out (2x week M/TH)
*LOWER BODY: one work out (2x week T/F)
*ALL PUSH MUSCLES: one work out (2x week M/TH)
*ALL PULL MUSCLES: one work out (2x week T/F)
*UPPER OPPOSING MUSCLES: work push muscle, then its counter pull muscle in one work out (2x week M/TH)
*LOWER OPPOSING MUSCLES: work push muscle, then its counter pull muscle in one work out (2x week T/F)

The following is an example of Upper Body Opposing muscles. You will want to alternate with Lower Body Opposing muscles during the weekly work out. A schedule might look like this:

*Monday Upper
*Tuesday Lower
*Wednesday REST
*Thursday Upper
*Friday Lower

As always, if you have health issues, are deconditioned, have not worked out in awhile or lead a sedentary life check with your doctor before starting any exercise program!

Remember to “SUCK n SQUEEZE” and BREATH! Don’t hold your breath!

Have fun! Be careful... now GO GET STARTED!!!


*Military Pushups 4 sets of 20
Keep head parallel to the floor, eyes looking at floor in front of you. Keep the butt down. Modified version -> start on knees instead of toes

*Pull-ups 4 sets of 5 to 10
Try not to swing your body

*Bicep Concentration Curl (Pull) 4 sets of 20
Place hand not in use resting behind your back. Make certain elbow does NOT rest on top of quad. Elbow is positioned up against the medial (inside) side of the leg.

*Tricep Dips (Push) 4 sets of 20
Don’t use your legs to help with this exercise. Legs are positioned straight out in front of you. You can cross your ankles.
Elbows should not “fly” out like a chicken wing. Keep elbows close to body. Notice in the pic, how elbows are parallel with shoulders.

Until next time......


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Another Humble Chopped Salad

WOO HOO!!! It's Saturday! Lots to do today!

Here’s a quick chopped salad to enjoy this weekend! As always.... DO Organic as much as possible!

In food processor chop the following:
red cabbage
white cabbage
orange bell
fresh garlic

Spoon this into a large bowl and fold in:
broccoli (raw or lightly steamed)
fresh raw corn cut off the cob
mandarin oranges canned in own juice
steamed brown rice

Sprinkle over the top:
pumpkin seeds
sunflower seeds

Serve with favorite dressing on the side!

I know this looks like a salad for 4, but this is what my salads look like.... 2 lbs of raw, all in that bowl!!! YUMMO!!!

Enjoy this weekend!

Until next time......


Friday, September 25, 2009

Olympia Grill on Galveston Island

Ya just never know what "jewel" you'll find on Galveston Island. This past week, the hubby Bear and I spent some time visiting with the fun folks at Moody Gardens to plan an upcoming conference. Before we left I "googled" vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Galveston and came up with 3 options. They all looked pretty good. One of the gals at Moody Gardens recommended one of these options, so the choice was easy.

Olympia Grill is located down on Pier 21 by the Harbor House and Willie G's. Right on the Bay, graced with a deck all the way around, it offers a beautiful view. The decor was modern, hip, clean and sophisticated. It was a bit nippy so we set inside next to a window over looking the water. As we were escorted to our table, we were graciously greeted by the wait staff.

The menu offered a long list of great wines, but since I don't partake anymore, we chose not to order. There was such a great variety of foods from which to select. I love places that offer something for me, the Vegan, and something for the hubby Bear, "trying hard cut back on animal flesh, and doing very well." Among the mouth watering choices, we found:

*Wild Gulf Shrimp Avocado Cocktail
*Clams Bourguignon
*Keftedes (Greek meat balls)
*Tzatziki Sauce (Greek yogurt, cucumbers & garlic)
*Skordalia (garlic & olive oil)
*Melitzano Salata (roasted eggplant & Feta cheese)
*Grilled Gulf Shrimp
*Grilled Sesame Tuna
*Spaghetti Marinara & Keftedes (homemade Greek style meatballs)
*Gyro Plate with tzatziki sauce
*Filet Mignon
*Vegetarian Pita w/ lettuce, Feta & hummus
*Vegetarian Plate Greek salad, lentil soup, hummus, dolma, tiropita, spanakopita & tzatziki sauce
*Grilled Vegetable Trio Greek salad, layered grilled veggies served w/ tiropita & tzatziki sauce

Well, as soon as I saw Dolmas, I knew had to have those. Bear chose the chicken soup, turkey burger with fries... (what can ya do... I guess when ya have a burger.. no matter what type... ya gotta have those fries.) He said the chicken soup was really very good because it did not have the bold taste of sodium that accompanies most chicken soups.

I was glad it was nippy cuz I was in the mood for some steamy HOT soup, so I chose the lentil soup, along with the Greek salad, a plate of dolmas with hummus. The soup was absolutely extraordinary. No salt and the flavors of basil, oregano & garlic were fabulous. And... it was steamy HOT. The salad was great with greens, spinach, red onions, tomatoes, cukes and Kalamata olives. I had a tough time with the dolmas, however. They were "bathed" in olive oil. Since I don't "do" oil.... I had to try and soak off as much oil as possible before I ate them. They were not the best I've had. No spice at all, but the grape leaves were tender and flavorful. The hummus was very good, basic with no surprises.

All in all, the meal was great, the prices were affordable, & the service was exceptional. I was just so thrilled to find a place that both Bear and I could enjoy together for once.

So, the next time you are on the island, take some time and visit the Olympia Grill and try one of the many great selections... whether you are a meat eater.. or vegetarian or vegan... there is something for everyone!

Until next time.......


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Island of Destruction.. Nevermore..

Galveston Island... what a wonderful little island. It was 1 year ago September 13th that hurricane IKE tore this little island to shreds. I just returned from a quick trip with the Hubby Bear to meet up with the great folks at Moody Gardens to plan the annual TTVN user’s conference. I am lucky enough to help out with this fabulous conference each year and work with the awesome people at Moody Gardens.

Galveston Island is coming alive again. Recovering from the devastation and destruction of one year ago, the foliage is awakening with beautiful greenness, standing up and standing strong. The piles of trash left from cleanup and demolition are gone. For the most part, you would not realize how this island suffered and wept with sadness and disbelief one year ago.

There are still a few tell-tale signs remaining. A couple of hangers at the airport are left with only their skeletal structures, a few houses here and there look as if they were simply abandoned and a few billboards stand twisted and mangled. But, the one haunting reminder... is what I call "the monument of disaster", is the infamous Flagship Hotel..... alone.. beat up, violated and scarred, but still standing... even as one end partially exposes rooms with the walls ripped off. If you look closely from Seawall Blvd, you can still see the furniture and the curtains. This monument truly represents the courage, the strength, the determination of the island and its people.

As we drove by this amazing architectural structure, I could not help but think.....after the Flagship is long gone, will its ghost hover over this little island protecting it from Mothers Nature's next wrath of terror?

Welcome back Galveston Island!

Until next time .... when I share a fabulous vegetarian/vegan restaurant we found on the island!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Just a Humble Two Pounds of Raw.....

TWO pounds of raw daily.... when I tell folks that I eat at least 2 lbs of raw veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, & beans daily.... they find it hard to believe. I get comments like....."Doesn’t your mouth get tired?" or "bet you spend a lot of time in the john!" Heee... I really like the reactions I get... It's almost as fun as when people find out I am Vegan!

This picture is an example of 2 pounds of veggies and fruit. It's not that much, really. When you think about all the times you prepare your salad... what do you do while your chopping and slicing? Most likely you are chomping down on a carrot, several celery stalks, 1/2 dozen radishes, cucumber slices. Even before you've finished preparing the salad.. you've eaten maybe 1/4 pound. You don't have to eat it all at once... (although I usually do, as I eat more then 2 lbs. daily)... you can have a large salad for lunch and then have a plate of cut up veggies and fruit with some of my homemade hummus as part of your evening meal. You can include raw nuts, seeds and raw beans, as well. These go great in salads like my Humble chopped salads.

I follow the True North Wellness Center's nutritional plan. Located just an hour north of San Francisco, the director and founder, Dr. Alan Goldhamer has set up a very specific and strict Vegan nutritional plan that compliments the water-only fasting programs. When you eat TN's Vegan plan, your body continues to detox and stays "clean" after your water-only fast is completed.

In addition to eating 2 lbs of raw daily, Dr. Goldhamer's nutritional plan includes:

*No animal flesh or byproducts of animal flesh
*No dairy or byproducts of dairy
*No sugar
*No artificial sweeteners
*No sodium
*No oils or fats
*No processed foods
*No white flour or white flour products
*No alcohol
*No nicotine

On my own... I have included no consumption of all bread and bread products, as well as no honey and no soy of any type.

As followers of this plan, we are taught to eat raw first, and then steamed veggies, then beans & potatoes, followed by grains and nuts. We humans are naturally drawn to caloric dense foods.... you know that... right? When you see in front of you the choice between a salad and chocolate cake..... you know which direction you're gonna head! The objective of Dr. Goldhamer's plan is to fill your gut with lots of raw as this satisfies and fills you up. Then, you won't eat as much of the higher calorie foods.

What I enjoy about this plan, is I can eat as much of anything as I like... as long as I follow the order of eating....and not gain a pound!

This is a BIG step for most folks.... I just recommend trying to add a little more raw veggies, fruits and nuts to your daily food plan. And of course... you know how I feel about ORGANIC....

Go for as much ORGANIC as possible. You might find that you'll feel better, you won't eat as much high calorie foods, you'll discover a huge world of amazing produce that perhaps you never knew existed, and... You get your daily nutrients.

Until next time......


Monday, September 21, 2009

Humble Tabbouleh or Tabouli

Tabbouleh or Tabouli is a favorite salad dish from Lebanon. Lebanon’s food culture is influenced by many areas of the world. Some say Lebanese food is the most popular of all Middle Eastern cuisines.

Lebanese foods center around herbs, spices, and fresh ingredients, relying less on heavy sauces. Mint, parsley, oregano, garlic, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon are the most common seasonings. The Lebanese meal consists more of fruits, vegetables, rice and bread and less of meat.

Here is my version of Tabouli using spinach, flat leaf parsley and cilantro. Mine is oil free and contains fresh, chopped garlic. I invite you to not only, enjoy the explosion of flavors; but also, to savor the wonderful aromas of the cilantro, parsley, mint, the garlic, lemon and cumin. This is one dish I enjoy making.. cuz it smells so darn dee-lish!

Tabouli is best enjoyed when it is cold and has spent a night in the frig, as this allows the bulgur wheat to soften. You can also use Quinoa in place of bulgur. I enjoy the bulgur as it is a unique ingredient. Try this on a cracker, pita bread or rolled up in a lettuce or red cabbage leaf.

As always, I go ORGANIC as much as possible!

You’ll need a food processor.

Oil Free Tabouli

In a bowl:
½ to 1 cup Bulgur Wheat
Soaked in ½ to 1 cup filtered water
Set aside for 45 minutes.

In food processor add:
4 cups spinach
1 cup flat leaf Italian parsley
1 cup cilantro
2 to 3 fresh mint leaves
Chop. Be careful not to over do it. You don’t want a pesto consistency. (See picture)
Spoon into a bowl

In food processor add:
½ large fresh tomato (or you can use no salt added ORGANIC canned tomatoes)
¼ large red onion
3 to 4 pods of fresh garlic
½ cuke
½ yellow or orange bell
Chop. Again, don’t over do it
Spoon into spinach mixture

Squeeze juice of one medium size lemon. If you don’t like a bold lemon taste... use less lemon.
Cumin. I use a LOT of cumin... but taste for your preference. OR
Mrs Dash, salt free Extra Spicy seasoning
Mix all together

When adding the bulgur to this mixture, you do not want any liquid in the bulgur. Let it soak until all liquid is absorbed.

Mix all together. Cover air tight and place in frig over night.

Serve with chips, crackers, pita or lettuce or red cabbage leaves. You can hollow out iceberg lettuce and stuff the lettuce with the Tabouli.

I hope you enjoy how the flavors of the lemon, garlic and mint dance over your taste buds.

Until next time....


Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Butt of It All

Have ya noticed your butt sagging a little lately? Or your hams and quads don't have that "rock hard" look, anymore?

Try this routine 3 times a week for 8 weeks, and you'll like the way you look!

Do the "Suck n Squeeze"... you know.... suck in your gut and squeeze your butt. And remember to breath...don't hold your breath!

As always, if you have health issues, are deconditioned, have not worked out in awhile or lead a sedentary life check with your doctor before starting any exercise program

Butt Squeeze
Lie on your back and get into the modified bridge position.
Squeeze your butt 25 times, then squeeze and hold for 10 count, 25 times

Rest for 30 to 6o seconds

One Leg Squat and Reach
Stand on one leg with other knee bent
Squat down on one leg
Reach across with opposite arm and touch the floor
Stand up.. don’t touch foot to floor. Stay balanced on that one leg
Do this 25 times
Change to other leg and repeat 25 times

Rest for 30 to 6o seconds

Side Lunges
Start with legs together
Side lunge to the right, squat down, and return to legs together
Side lunge to the left, squat down and return to legs together
Do this 25 times each side

Repeat this interval 3 times.


Until next time.....


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Taking Your Workout to the Next Level

Workout getting boring?.... Not seeing results? Believe it or not, your muscles get “bored” with the same old routine... just as we get bored doing the same thing day after day. This can occur anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks depending upon your body. Once this occurs, the muscles stop “reacting” to work outs. They no longer respond to the same old lat row on the lat row machine, or the same old leg press machine. When the muscles don’t respond then they don’t grow and they don’t get stronger.

Try changing a variable like a different machine or movement that works the same muscle(s.) Instead of the lat row machine, go for the T-Bar row. Instead of the leg press, use the hack squat machine.

You’ll find out that just a small change, like switching to another machine that works the same muscles, will “wake up” those bored muscles and allow them to respond again!

Hey! It’s Saturday! See you at the gym :-)

Until next time...


Friday, September 18, 2009

Humble Frosty Shake

OMG! There are so many varieties of this shake. You can go Caribbean with pineapple juice, banana and shredded coconut. You can drink your apple pie by using apple juice (NOT concentrate), 1 small apple cored and peeled, 1/2 banana (for texture,) 1/4 cup chopped pecans and LOTs of cinnamon. If you like a "creamier" texture, add some unsweetened Almond milk along with the juice or use the milk alone. Just use your imagination.. the options are endless for this little guy.

This makes a quick shake for breakfast or a snack!

As always, I use as much ORGANIC as possible.

In a blender add:
1 cup of OJ or Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 cup of strawberries or a mix of your fave berries
1 large VERY ripe banana
2 t. vanilla extract or vanilla bean
1T. Agave Nectar
Ice and blend
Add more liquid depending on how thick or thin you like it
Serve in an chilled mug, with a straw and you are ready to enjoy!

Until next time.......


Thursday, September 17, 2009

"What Have You Done Today to Make Yourself Proud?"

My favorite TV show started its fall season Tuesday night. As a personal fitness trainer, it should be no surprise that I am talking about The Biggest Loser. Each season I am just blown away by these contestants and their heart-breaking stories, their courage, their determination, focus & commitment. This season is no different except, the contestants this fall are the largest in Biggest Loser history. One female weighs in at 475 pounds, giving her 2 "heavy weight" titles, the largest contestant and the largest female contestant since the beginning of the show 7 seasons ago.

Another contestant is from Texas. Abby is 35 years old and tips the scales over 250 lbs. 3 years ago her husband, their 5 year old and 2 month old baby were killed in head-on car crash. Abby's motivation is to honor those lives by losing the weight, getting fit and taking care of her body.

This year the average age of this group is 33.6. The average weight is well over 300 lbs. These contestants are sick with hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, & high blood pressure. This is a "young" group and sadly represents what is happening in this nation. 2/3rd's of this nation is overweight or obese. This has become the "norm." If you are well, fit and at a healthy weight.... YOU are considered abnormal. Does anyone see something wrong with this? What has happened to this nation?

Julio, well over 300 lbs, was asked "how did you get this big?" His answer was like most, "I don't know, it just happened." It DOES NOT "just happen!" Our lifestyles are "why" this happens.

Because of all the commercials, easy access to (cheap) junk and processed foods, lack of exercise, very little sleep and stressful lives, we are a sick nation. We make the choice to "drive thru" on the way home from work instead of going home and preparing a healthy meal. We make the choice to pick up boxes of Jumbo corn dogs, mac n cheese, bags of tator tots and jugs of soda pop at the market instead of choosing vegetables, fruits, grains, beans and nuts. We choose to skip our morning workouts and sleep in. We choose to stay up late and play video games or post on Face Book into the wee hours of the morning instead of getting a good nights rest.

Yes, these are the current lifestyle choices of this nation. We are a nation that blindly makes these choices resulting in cancer, diabetes, heart disease, & auto-immune disease and then we depend upon doctors, medications and hospitals to make us well. And if we don't have insurance or can' afford the premiums on our insurance, we cry "health care is unfair!"

It must start with taking responsibility for our own health to turn this desperate situation around. Making healthy choices for us and for our children that includes no more fast food, no more processed foods, choosing to exercise regularly, getting at least 7 hours of sleep, and finding ways to deal with the stress in our lives. It is not feasible, nor is it affordable to think that "someone" else will take care of our disease-ridden bodies.

So, stand in front of the mirror and ask yourself, "What have you done today to make yourself proud?"

I invite you to watch The Biggest Loser every Tuesday evening at 7pm central, NBC and take part in the journey of each contestant. Their stories, struggles and successes are inspirational, motivational and encouraging.

Until next's YOUR choice.....