My Story in Songs

Before I was a health coach, before Ignite Life, and before courage, God spoke to my heart.  He told me, “I want you to encourage women with your story.”

My first reaction was NOOOOOO!!!! Anything but that!

But, I have had the experience of saying no to God and know what happens.  And I didn’t want to experience that again.  So, over the past four or five years God has been preparing me to tell my story.  He’s given me opportunities to tell small groups of people and a few friends and family.  And now he’s asking me to go public with my story.  Sigh.

And if you know anything about me you probably know part of my story:  the depression, anxiety, food allergies, etc.  But you might not know the rest of the story.

So, while I wait for him to guide me in exactly how He wants me to do that I’ll offer a few sneak peaks.

Music is huge in my life.  It moves my soul like nothing else, and it is a form of worship for me.  During the last ten or so years there have been some songs that I clung to during different periods of time that I think help you see where I was mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  These songs also give you a glimpse of the goals I had during those times too.  Take a listen and see if any of these songs resonate with where you are in your journey.  I’m including a few lyrics that specifically spoke to me during those times.

“Take Me to the King” by Tamela Mann

“Truth is I’m tired, options are few, I’m trying to pray, but where are you?  I’m all churched out, hurt and abused, I can’t fake, what’s left to do?  Take me to the king, I don’t have much to bring, my heart’s torn into pieces, it’s my offering.”

 

“Awesome” by Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago

“My God is awesome.  He can move mountains.  Keep me in the valley, hide me from the rain.  My God is awesome, heals me when I’m broken, strength where I’ve been weakened, praise His holy name.”

“Marvelous Light” by Ellie Holcomb

“With years of keeping secrets safe, wondering if I could change, ’cause when you’re hiding all along, your heart can turn into a stone, and that’s not the way I want to go”

“If We’re Honest” by Francesca Battistelli

“Truth is harder than a lie, the dark seems safer than the light, and everyone has a heart that loves to hide, I’m a mess and so are you, we’ve built walls nobody can get through…”

“Shoulders” by For King and Country

“I look up to the mountains, Does my strength come from the mountains?  No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven and earth, and the mountains”

“It is Well” by Bethel Music

“Far be it from me to not believe, even when my eyes can’t see, and this mountain that’s in front of me, will be thrown into the midst of the sea.  It is well with my soul.”

And I continue to have songs that resonate with me more different weeks or seasons.  What song or songs do you cling to?  What songs give you hope, peace, comfort, support on your journey?

My Lust for Doughnuts

So, if you know me very much at all you know how much I LOVE doughnuts!  The kind with chocolate and sprinkles on top!  Mmmmm!!!!

And if you know me at all you also know that I have been healed of a barley allergy.  (Barley contains gluten and is in nearly all things!)  What you might not realize is my motivation for healing my barley allergy was so I could eat doughnuts again!  Haha!!!

And through prayer, dedication, and strict diet and supplements I was able to achieve that goal.  And then I ate sooooo many doughnuts!

And I began to realize how awful those doughnuts made me feel afterward.  All that sugar and who knows what else (I’m not even looking to find out all the bad things in doughnuts!).  So, I began slacking off on eating them.

Then every so often my husband or I would bring home a dozen of those hot and ready yummies (Oh my!  My mouth is watering just thinking about them)!  And I would have no control.  I would eat 3 or 4.  Then a few hours later I’d eat 3 or 4 more.  And the dozen would be gone before the day was out.  Sigh.  I seem to have no control when doughnuts are in the house.  I can control myself with ALL other foods.  What is it with the doughnuts?!?!

So, I have now resorted to only getting one or two at a time and only a few times a year.  And I recently came across some very interesting information from a book I was reading.

“When you turn to food to to relieve anxiety or satisfy a lust for sweets, salt, and so on, you will lose control, and the results will negatively affect your health.”

-Neil T Anderson from The Bondage Breaker

Yikes!  Perhaps my loss of control is a need for something else!  More Jesus perhaps!  No, I’m certain I need more Jesus.

I’m told to:

“Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

-Romans 13:14 (NIV)

But what if I don’t?  I’m told to:

“Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” -2 Corinthians 10:5

But what if I don’t?  I’m told to:

“Therefore put on the full armor of God…” -Ephesians 6:13 (NIV)

But what if I don’t?

 

Then, I am submitting to Satan’s tactics to try and steal me away from Jesus.  I am allowing him to create a desire so deep I can’t seem to control it – and it turns to lust, which is sin.  Over doughnuts of all things!

What are we to do?

Well, I have lately been “clothing myself with the Lord Jesus Christ,” “taking every thought captive,” and “putting on the armor of God.”  And I haven’t brought doughnuts into the house yet, but I’m praying that my lust will turn into dust and I will find complete and total satisfaction in the one true King, Jesus.

How about you?  What is trying to draw you away from Jesus?  What is Satan using to capture you?

The Comfort Zone

Do you ever find yourself going in the same stall in the bathroom just because you’re used to that one?

Or, do you always park near the same place because it’s what you’ve always done?

I found myself doing these exact things and really thought about my comfort zone.  Perhaps a different stall might be even better, or cleaner, or have purple toilet paper!

My comfort zone is a place where I have experienced certain things and outcomes and know exactly what to expect. It’s comfortable there.

What I also began to realize was my comfort zone kept me in a place that I wasn’t supposed to be, but it was what I knew. I called it my comfortable hell.

I was miserable. I knew God wanted something else for me. And yet, I also knew what would happen if I stayed because I was comfortable there.

God wants us to find comfort in Him, not in our circumstances.

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.” Isaiah 40:1 (NIV)

Are you in a place, a relationship, a job, a home, a city, a Starbucks rut…. whatever?!?! that God is calling you out of? Is He asking you to step out and trust Him? Then your comfort might just be what is holding you back.

One thing I have learned is that if you seek God with all your heart and follow his will you won’t be residing in a comfort zone for very long. And once you get to a comfortable place, He’ll ask you to change something again!

See, God wants us to consistently and constantly trust in Him. And if we are relying on ourselves and our comfort zone then He doesn’t usually get honored and get credit for what’s going on in our lives. Comfort is a place we can handle on our own. Instead, if we step into a place God calls us where we are unequipped, nervous, or not ready then we have to rely on God. We have to trust Him.

That is His favorite place to shine! He loves to be the strength in our weakness, the comfort in our storms, and the peace in our dark valleys!

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s Power my rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

So, if God is asking you to step out of your comfort zone and trust Him, know that your choice will be rewarded greatly!

And in the meantime go ahead and try out a different bathroom stall! 😜

Is Keto a Fad Diet?

Well, the keto diet sure is all the rage right now. Keto is short for Ketogenic. The basic gist is to eliminate all carbs and eat a high fat and high protein diet to put your body into ketosis- which is a fat burning mode.

This diet eliminates many vegetables, most fruits, and all sugars.

Green Smoothie Girl wrote an excellent article with the help of 22 experts about low carb diets like keto.  Read it here.

Here’s my opinion on this and basically any other diet plan out there:

If you are sick or trying to heal a certain diet with strict rules might be just right for you.

In my personal healing journey I did the GAPS diet where I started out eating just bone broth for two weeks. That’s about as strict as you can get besides fasting. And this diet was something I needed to heal. I totally believe that there are certain diets for certain issues.

I don’t believe that rules of a diet, such as keto, are for everybody for a lifetime. Perhaps a season, but not a lifetime. Strict rules are not sustainable, meaning they get burdensome and no fun to follow after awhile. Who wants to live their lives feeling deprived all the time? Not me!

See, all diets were created for one particular individual. And the rules meet the needs of that one person. More than likely you are not that person. Perhaps there are a few pieces that might work for you, but the whole thing isn’t suited for your body- again as long as you are not trying to heal.

Plus, God created our bodies to need fruits, veggies, carbs, and meat. If we’re not eating all of these then our bodies are being deprived of some form of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, amino acids, or so many other things. With that being said, I don’t believe we need to have meat every meal. Perhaps once a week or a few times a month might be enough for your body.

So, how are we supposed to eat healthy, lose weight, and create longevity in our lives?

That’s exactly what I help clients do! Figure out what works for their unique body!

Do some experimenting to see what foods give you energy and what foods take away energy. Simply paying attention to how you feel after eating a certain food can give you a lot of information.

And I might add that what is healthy for one person may not be healthy for you! In addition, our bodies need different things during different seasons of our lives. So, what works for you this year may need to be adjusted next year, or in five years.

If all this is too overwhelming to try and figure out on your own, let me know! I’d love to help you figure out what foods your body needs so you can create a healthy lifestyle, not just a diet.

Being the Sunshine in a Dark Valley

Have you ever been somewhere that felt like a dark valley? A place that is full of negativity, condemnation, and just plain icky?

How can you even begin to bring a little positive light to a place like this?

Well, that is what God has asked me to do in a certain situation I’m in. And if I’m honest, I’m struggling with it. But God spoke some truth to my heart recently.

Joshua 10:8 says, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.”

So, a little backstory about this passage: Joshua is leading the Israelites into the promised land and they have to battle all the people who are already living there to be able to take possession of the land. And it’s scary. And God tells Joshua not to worry because the battle has already been won. He just has to follow through with the fighting.

Now, I’m not thinking God wants me to fight with people. But he does want me to be a light for Him in this particular place. And he’s telling me the battle is already won. I just have to keep my eyes on Him and “fight” through the darkness with my sunshine.

I’m going to press on. How about you?

How can you be sunshine in a dark valley?

Want More Energy? Try These 5 Ideas!

I feel like everyone is tired. Including myself. We’ve been running ourselves ragged, filling our schedules, and in turn are depleted.

Sound familiar?

So, how can we have more energy and still do all the things?

Here are 5 ways we can gain more energy today:

1. Get more sleep

This one may seem obvious, but some of us struggle to get the amount of sleep we need. The optimal time we need to go to bed is set by our own circadian rhythm. So, listen to your body. When do you get sleepy? Do a little experiment and try out a few different bedtimes and a few different number of sleep hours and see how you feel.

Side note: We’re going to need different amounts of sleep for different times in our lives. So, honor the season you’re in.

2. Stop eating sugar

I may get shot over this one! 😜 But sugar actually depletes our energy. I know that is counter intuitive, because if you need a pick me up you probably grab something sugary. Sugar actually takes a ton of energy to process and it steals that energy away from you! Instead, try eating something with more protein: nut butter (sugar free of course), cheese, or any food that gives you energy.

Want a list of Magic Snacks I share with my clients?  Email me and request it!

3. Do a detox

Over time our digestive system gets buildup. This could be from toxins or foods that aren’t the best for our bodies or other sources. Think of it kind of like the pipes in your drain. Occasionally, we need to unclog the buildup. While our digestive system is far more sensitive than our kitchen drain, it still needs cleaning out. I like to do a simple detox a couple times a year to keep “my pipes” working the best they can.

Click here to read more about the detox I use myself.

4. Exercise

It doesn’t seem to make sense to use energy to gain more energy. But, that’s exactly what happens with exercise. Movement actually triggers endorphins in our brain to tell us we’re happy and we have energy. So, find a movement you enjoy and get to it!

I like to hula- hoop!

5. Say No

You may be asked to do some really amazing, good things! They honor God, serve your community, or even help the homeless. But if you’re overworked and exhausted, saying no may be the best thing for you.

I recently had to say no to helping out with a charity event because it didn’t fit in my schedule and honestly, I didn’t feel God telling me to do it. It’s hard to say no to good things. But, what’s most important is that you honor God in your decisions. Pray about it and ask God what he wants you to do.

This is obviously a short list of ideas to help you get more energy. So, what would you add to this list? How do you get more energy?

Is Fall the Season for Personal Change?

I’ve been reading many articles recently about people seeing fall as a second New Years. With school back in the routine, the weather beginning to shift, and the days growing shorter change is all around us.

Perhaps, it could be a time for personal renewal. A time for recommitting to goals or setting some new ones.

The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran states that goals that are set for a 12 week time frame have a higher success rate than goals set for an entire year. With about 12 weeks left in the year, maybe this is just the right time to step into a new or renewed goal.

So, what could that look like?

Maybe you want to lose some weight, take better care of yourself, eat healthier, get rid of some pain, do something good for your community, grow closer to Jesus….

Whatever your little heart desires!

So, how do you get started?

Well, start by choosing a goal. You want it to be reasonable, measurable, and achievable. And make sure to tell people about your goal. Don’t just keep it to yourself.

Then, decide why you want that goal. What’s the why underneath your why? That means dig deep to uncover what is the driving force behind this desire.

After that, MAKE. A. PLAN.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Eek! Choose small steps that will help you reach your goal by the end of the time frame.  Then, put that plan in place! Work your plan!  Sounds simple enough right?  Well, what happens if I fall off track or lose momentum or willpower?

Great question! Return your mind to your why! Why did you decide to step into this goal? Why did you decide to do the hard work? This is where the why underneath your why is super powerful! Take a deep breath (or 100) and decide to step back into the game, step back into the plan. And pray!  Ask God to help you stick with it!

“So I say to you:  Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”  Luke 11:9 (NIV)

Change doesn’t happen because it’s easy. There will always be hard choices, hard work, and dedication to make it to the end. But it’s not impossible! Especially if you commit your plan to God. He will order your steps to help you be successful.

“Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.”  Proverbs 16:3 (MSG)

Need help in putting all this in place? Need help setting yourself up for inevitable success? I’m here for you! Let me know how I can help! And then, go get those goals!

Happy Fall New Year!!

Why Should I Eat Organic?

There are debates going on all over kitchens and grocery stores about eating organic. Why we should, why it doesn’t matter, who cares anyways?!?!

Here’s why I care.

Conventional food sprayed with pesticides and antibiotics are straight up toxins- poisons really.  And we ingest those when we eat fruits, veggies, and meat that aren’t organic.

Our bodies were designed to process toxins. However when we overload our bodies every single day it doesn’t quite know what to do with all of them. So, it begins storing them in our bodies. This might result in chronic pain, fibromyalgia, sinus issues, headaches, sleeplessness, ADHD, skin issues like psoriasis, and others.

This dis-ease in the body leads to chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, Crohn’s, and so much more.

I know this first hand because I had toxic overload and was having severe pain as well as tons of other health issues. And as I began to detox and eat more organic foods, my symptoms began to subside.

My body was able to process the toxins in my environment I wasn’t able to get away from (like pollution) and the dis-ease began to become ease.

So, when it is in my control, I choose to eat organic whenever possible. Yes, my grocery bill is a bit more expensive. But I’d rather spend my money on healthy food than at the doctors office.

Do you eat organic? Why or why not?

Headaches and Poop Pains

Haha!!!

I know you’re probably thinking, “This girl has lost her mind. She said poop!”

I spent 17 years of my life teaching elementary education in a public school. I have become very comfortable with the word poop. 😆

I have also become very familiar with headaches too! Literal and figurative ones! What? You too? Yeah. Seems this world is full of them.

So, let’s talk about how these two literal things can be connected:

Hydration.

Lack of adequate water in our bodies is the number one cause of chronic headaches and constipation (which causes poop pains).

Our bodies are composed of approximately 60% water. And if we’re not replenishing that water daily then we will become dehydrated.

Dehydration causes our bodies, organs, and cells to not be able to function their best. This is prime headache conditions.

In addition, imagine this:

You’re at a water park. The water is flowing as you go down the water slide. You slide easily around the curves and twists and splash into the pool below. Wheeee!!!!

You climb the stairs to slide again, but this time the water is turned off. You think, “Well, I’m wet from the first slide. I’ll be fine!” So, you step onto the slide and give yourself a good push. It doesn’t go so well this time. You’re getting plastic burns, leaving skin behind, and having to push yourself all the way down.

This is how your poop feels when you don’t drink enough water. 😳

It gets stuck (causing those poop pains), leaves pieces behind (causing fermentation in your gut which gets reabsorbed into your blood), and there’s no easy, fun plopping into the small round pool in our homes (your toilet).

So, how much water should you be drinking to avoid the dry water slide in your intestines?

I recommend drinking between 1/2 and 3/4 of your body weight in ounces of water a day. So, if you weigh 150 lbs then your body needs between 75 and 100 ounces of water a day. Just for reference: 120 ounces is a gallon. And if you drink coffee, alcohol, or do lots of physical activity then you will need to up that amount.

So, I invite you to begin tracking how much water you drink. Because what you keep track of you can improve. And also, notice your headaches and poop pains- or lack thereof.

If you need tips for how to get more water into your day (especially if you don’t like to drink water) send me an email letting me know. I have a handout I’ll be happy to share with you that will give you some great ideas!

Click here to email me.

Why I Drink Raw, Unpasteurized Milk

Pasteurization was created to make milk from slop farms safe to drink back in the 1880s. This process removes ALL the bacteria. That means even the good bacteria that our bodies need for a healthy gut, body, and mind. It also removes essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.  The majority of farms in America are no longer slop farms.  Most of them have safe, clean environments for the milk cows.

So, raw milk has no additives and is not pasteurized.

Yes, the FDA and CDC are going to tell you that raw milk is dangerous and unsafe and avoid it at all costs. They’ve even made legislation to make it really difficult to acquire raw milk.

Dr. Axe wrote a great article explaining this in detail. Check it out for documented facts about the safety of raw milk.

I know far too well about bacteria in our gut and why it’s so important to feed the good and get rid of the bad. We NEED bacteria in our guts. That is our immune system- our first line of defense against outside threats.

So, I drink raw milk because it’s safe, tastes delicious, and it boosts my immune system.

I do recommend getting your milk from a farmer you know and trust.  In addition, you want to make sure your farmer does not use hormones or antibiotics on the cows.  I am part of a herd share and get my milk here.