Take a Break

So, I recently taught a workshop titled, “Stress Less Healthy Holidays.”  It was really fun and the girls that attended were more helpful for me than they realized!

See, I had planned this whole workshop to help others take control of their holiday season.  To plan it out so that it didn’t feel overwhelming and dreadful.  And then, I didn’t do any planning for myself.  Even though I have been more conscious of what I allow (especially in my mind) this holiday season I still don’t feel as peaceful as I could.

And if I’m honest… I need a break.

You ever feel like that?

I’m working three jobs, remodeling a cabin, raising two puppies, taking care of my home (not very well I might add), being a sister, going to Bible study….. yeah.  Life is overly full sometimes.

And if you’re anything like me and your life is full to the max then I might suggest something that one of my workshop participants said:  “It’s okay to take a break.”

So, I am going to check out for a few weeks.  Take a break.  You won’t see a blog post or receive an email newsletter.  I am going to take this time to prepare my heart and mind to receive Christ in this Christmas season.  (And do a little planning for some really fun stuff in January!  Be on the lookout!)

Wanna join me in taking a break?  All you have to do is say yes.  🙂

What Kind of Words are You Speaking?

I just finished listening to Brene Brown’s book, Braving the Wilderness.  Wow.  Game changer.

Through the whole thing I’ve been challenged, overwhelmed, saddened, and encouraged.

I want to give you a few quotes from her book and I’d love to hear your reactions to these!  I’d love to hear if they challenge you, overwhelm you, make you sad, or encourage you!

“Don’t study this moment.  Be in it.”  -Brene Brown

I love this quote!  And it challenges me.  The context is she is a researcher.  She’s always trying to figure things out and gather information and apply it to whatever question she’s working on.  And she found herself doing this in her own personal time too; in conversations with friends and family.  She realized she was studying the moment and trying to figure out what was going to be the next best response instead of just listening.

Ummmm…. yeah.  That’s me.  Sigh.  So, I have been challenged to really live into the moment.  Listen fully.  Not just hearing so I can say what I want to say next.  I am practicing being in the moment.

“We’re hard wired to believe what we see.” -Brene Brown

Judge a book by it’s cover kind of thing?  She discusses quite a bit about stereotypes.  You know the way our culture assumes things because of a label put on people – on everybody.  We all have labels – self-given, other-given, and culture-given.  But what if we CHOSE to believe the best about people?  instead of assuming they are what we see?

You know how our minds can cultivate the worst possible scenario? Ok, my husband said he would be home an hour ago.  He’s probably dead in a ditch or has been abducted by aliens….  Brene suggests what if we choose to believe the best about someone or a situation instead?  How would that change our reaction and how would that change our stress levels?

Whoa!  Game changer!  This quote also challenges me.  To believe the best about others and to really lean into my faith too!  Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (NIV)  I am choosing faith in God first and foremost and faith in humanity next!

“Bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.” -Brene Brown

Ok. Sorry for the bad word.  I don’t like it anymore than you do, but I really wrestled with her point here – trying to figure out the difference between bull…t and lies.  So, many times people just talk and talk and talk when they really don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.  That is the bull….t she is referring to.  This kind of talk isn’t productive and doesn’t bring people closer together.  And lies certainly don’t do that either.

What if instead of pretending we know all about whatever the topic is, we say something like, “I don’t really know much about that.  Why don’t you tell me about it and why it is so important to you.”

Doesn’t that feel good to read?  It felt good to me.  And that kind of statement challenges us to swallow some pride and admit we don’t know everything.  We must be real, honest, authentic, and most of all true to ourselves.  Because at the end of the day, we know exactly what words we spoke and if they were true, lies, or bull…t!

Have you read this book?  If not, I highly recommend it!  And I’d love to hear your opinions of the quotes above!

Need a Healthy Holiday Meal Plan?

So, I know we just had Thanksgiving!  But are you already thinking about food for Christmas dinner and parties and friends, and…?

Well, maybe you are and maybe you aren’t.  But either way, Christmas is going to be here before we know it!  And I want to help you be prepared to have a healthy holiday!

Well, part of cultivating health during the holidays requires more than well wishes.  It takes planning and cooperation!  (I recently taught a workshop on this topic and two sisters attended.  They said it was most helpful that they were there together!  They could plan and prepare with the things they learned from the workshop in mind!)  So, get your family and friends in on the planning.  The planning might even be the most important part!  The execution will just be following the plan!  Easy peasy!

So, what are some healthy options for a bountiful holiday meal?  I’m so glad you asked!  I have created an entire day of healthy recipes to take part of the stress of the holidays off of you!  Want a copy?

All you need to do is send me an email requesting a copy!  (And I’ll add you to my email list so you won’t miss out on any other amazingness!)

Here’s a sneak preview into what you’ll receive:

Recipes for Breakfast, Appetizers, Snacks, Lunch, Dinner, and Desserts!

One of my favorite is the Raw Chocolate Pomegranate Bark!  Hope you enjoy!!!

True Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you and your family have abundance and notice God’s blessings especially this week!

So, at a time when we focus on our gifts and are thankful, let’s look at true gratitude and what that really means.

Robert Emmons defines gratitude as two things:  “First, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received.”  Secondly, he says, “we recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves.…”

So, gratitude is receiving good things and recognizing those good things come from someone besides ourselves.  And if you’re a Christian, we recognize those gifts come from God – even if they come through another person.

Psalm 31:19 says, “How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.”  (NIV)

So, gratitude is recognizing the good things God has given us.  And I might add, even those things we don’t see as good in the moment.

For example: my depression.  In the midst of it was the worst thing I’d ever experienced.  In my eyes it was not good.  But coming to the other side of it, I can see all the good it did for me.  It allowed me to deal with my past, it gave me great compassion for others, and brought me to the place I am now – which is soooo much better than where I was.  And if you are a Christian you know that what the devil intends for evil in your life, the Lord will use for your good – if you allow Him.

So, gratitude is being grateful for ALL things.  Sigh.  That’s hard.  Especially hard in the hardest of things.  So, how do we cultivate gratitude in the midst of the hardness?  OR how do we continue to be grateful in the good times?

Here’s what has worked for me:

My counselor helped me begin to cultivate a gratitude practice.  In the middle of my really sticky messiness when I was so far from having a grateful heart, she invited me to begin writing down every single day 3 things that went well that day.  And I also wrote down one thing that I would do differently next time.  This went on for months and months.  And then she invited me to begin writing down 3 things I was grateful for every morning.  And at the end of the day writing down 3 amazing things that happened that day (and it might be as simple as I made it through the day and am still alive).  And currently, I practice gratitude as often throughout the day as I can.  I am constantly noticing the beautiful things God has placed around me and stopping to say thank you.

Gratitude is a journey.  It’s not a destination.  And the more we notice the blessings and say thank you the more God will pour out from his heavenly storehouse on us!

If you’re wanting to begin cultivating a gratitude practice but aren’t sure where to start or how it will look for you, I encourage you to check out Ann Voskamp’s book and devotional, One Thousand Gifts.  It was super beneficial for me in cultivating a gratitude practice.  It’ll help you get started and guide you along the way.

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.

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?

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.