Are you packing light?

Ray & me on the Sea of Galilee, Israel
Ray & me on the Sea of Galilee, Israel

Several years ago Ray and I traveled to Israel, my dream come true. We carried way too much luggage, which hindered us on the trip! Our tour guide Yossi had a hard time fitting the huge suitcases into the trunk of his tiny car, and it was such a pain lugging around those big suitcases all over Israel, from hotel to hotel!

He doesn’t want you to carry around unnecessary weights like:

  • unforgiveness
  • anger
  • bitterness
  • resentment
  • stress
  • worry
  • anxiety
  • fear
  • discouragement
  • depression

“Then Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”~ Matthew 11:28, NLT

Several years ago, I recorded a podcast called Pack Light. Just click on the player below to listen.

What unnecessary weight are you carrying? Let it go so you can be free to enjoy this journey and adventure called life.

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Bacon wrapped pizza? Make a new good habit each week

I watched a webinar this week on losing weight and fitness. One of the things the instructor David said was the only way to lose weight was to make small changes at the right pace. We must change our HABITS.

Let’s face it, most of us would love to eat a piece of yellow or white cake with chocolate frosting – maybe SEVERAL BIG PIECES. The instructor David said you CAN control your thoughts, emotions, and desires.

Yellow cake with chocolate frosting www.bakingthroughmsbh.files.wordpress.com-2010-03-slice1
Yellow cake with chocolate frosting
www.bakingthroughmsbh.files.wordpress.com-2010-03-slice1

Will that piece (or pieces) of chocolate cake help me with my goals and dreams – or hinder them? An occasional helping of chocolate cake might not hurt. Chocolate cake every single day, or even several times a week, might.

If you’re thinking, “But I’m addicted to chocolate. I love cake. I could eat chocolate cake every day for breakfast! I just can’t help myself,” well, I love it too, and could easily eat it every day for breakfast, too. But we have to challenge our false beliefs and views that lead to  disruptive behaviors – like eating chocolate cake a lot, not eating raw veggies and salads, and not exercising!

David said people fail at diets because they are just that – diets, not lifestyle changes. You have to change your habits. He encouraged the audience to make one habit change a week. For example, this week you could focus on having a healthy breakfast every day.

What's ahead for you in 2015?
What’s ahead for you in 2015?

He gave 5 pillars to establish new healthy, fitness habits:

1. Breakfast
2. Dinner
3. Lunch
4. Exercise
5. Snack

These look simple, and we’ve seen it before, right? But do you skip breakfast? I know I constantly did, before last year and especially this year. Your body has been fasting through the night and needs fuel for the day.

Some healthy breakfast options are:

*2 scrambled eggs or an omelette with spinach or kale, garlic, onion or 2 eggs prepared any way – with a small piece of fruit (not a banana!), a handful of almonds or a couple slices of bacon, sausage, or ham

*oatmeal (without the sugar – you can make your own healthy oatmeal with blueberries or other berries, a tiny bit of raw honey, wheat germ and/or flaxseed 

*low carb, low-sugar pancakes with low-carb, low-sugar syrup

The instructor suggested that for your main heavier meal, such as supper (dinner), you can eat salmon (or other fish) or chicken with veggies, and you can even include a little wine because it has heart and health benefits.

Foreman's grill
Foreman’s grill

One delightful new gadget I just bought is a Foreman’s Grill.

It’s compact, I don’t have to cook a long time over a hot stove with hot grease, and it cuts fat and calories. And the meats are tasty! It takes 10 minutes from grill to plate!

For lunches, you can choose healthy options instead of pizza, cheeseburgers and fries, or other fast or unhealthy, starchy, sugary foods, such as:

  • salads with raw veggies
  • a vegetable plate with hummus
  • low-carb wraps with meat and veggies
  • cottage cheese and fruit
  • leftovers from the night before, etc.

What is your favorite lunch? What are some ideas you have for lunches for your kids/teens/young adults? I’d love to hear them! It’s not always easy to think of healthy lunch ideas.

Eating healthy is so important, but what about exercise? I know, I hate the word, too! It’s SO hard not to be lazy and to be a couch potato (or a desk potato, in my case…sitting for hours at the laptop, working!).

David said a lot of people will buy a new exercise DVD and do it a couple of weeks, and then quit because they are bored or discouraged with the lack of “results.” They want to lose 20 pounds in the next 2 weeks and it just ain’t happenin’!

Bacon-wrapped deep dish pizza Little Caesar's Pizza photo
Bacon-wrapped deep dish pizza
Little Caesar’s Pizza photo

Or they will say, “Next week I’m starting to exercise!” as they gulp down fast food with a 42 oz. sugary drink, brownie drizzled with chocolate and Rocky Road chocolate ice cream, or the new Little Caesar’s 450-calories-a-slice, bacon-wrapped, heart-attack deep dish pizza.

I heard about it on KLove Radio. It has pepperoni, 3 1/2 feet of bacon wrapped around it, and bacon sprinkled on top!I’m sure it’s delicious (I LOVE bacon, one of the few pork things I do like), but OMGosh! 450 calories! And you know nobody will eat just one slice!

stretching
stretching

David encouraged the audience to do 10 minutes of cardio exercise three times a week, such as walking, aerobics, etc. If you want faster results, do more and for a longer period of time – but just don’t overdo it! (Medical Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor! Check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program!)

You can also do strengthening exercises with your own body such as sit-ups, push-ups, etc. (I currently do the modified push-up and not that many!) You don’t have to get complicated – just do these exercises in your own home.

I’m still walking daily and on the days where it’s just too cold (it was 7 degrees this week – uh, NO, I am not walking in THAT cold of weather), I have a backup plan – a kickboxing video on Netflix that I do downstairs.

purpose
purpose

No excuses this year! It’s all about being healthy and fit so I can fulfill the purpose God has for me – to go where He wants me to speak and write, to minister, to do the mission He has called me (Ray and our family) to do.

What new habit do you need to do this week? Leave your comments below.

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It’s time to pivot

My new haircut/color
My new haircut/color

“You’re wonderful just the way you are. You don’t have to be perfect to be liked, loved, or looked up to. You don’t have to be perfect to take a first step, the next step, or a giant step toward your future. You don’t have to be perfect for your dreams to come true. You just have to be you!” – A Moment for You, Woman’s World magazine, January 12, 2015 issue

How are you doing with this year’s goals? I don’t make new year’s resolutions anymore, but pray and ask God for a “word or phrase” and a Scripture for the year, that acts as my compass for the entire year.

My word for 2015 is pivot/pivotal and my Scripture is John 20:16, The Message.  

So far, so good.  [Forbes magazine says that a study shows only 8% of people achieve their resolutions, so keep your list short and your goals specific.]

Health Goals

Smoothies: adding green veggies to your family’s diet

One of the changes I’m making this year (the way I am pivoting) is to aim for drinking a lot more water each day and adding green smoothies to my diet.

I use a blender, adding a little water after putting all the ingredients into the blender (you also can use a food processor). 

IMG_2948[1]
blender
 I found the smoothie recipe online. Here it is:

  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 1 bunch kale without stems (4 cups chopped)
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed
  • 1/4 inch ginger
  • 1 bunch mint (1/2 cup)

You can substitute spinach or other greens for the kale and add or substitute blueberries (or any berries) and other fruit like bananas or mango. If you’re just starting out, you can add less greens until you get more used to the taste. 

I halve the ingredients of the above recipe, and save 1/2 of that for the next morning. I like to add a little cinnamon to it, too. Cinnamon has amazing benefits.

The smoothie is a pretty Irish-green color once well-blended, and to my surprise it tasted okay. Not coke or coffee good, but still okay! Leah thought it was okay, too. And it is so healthy for you!

Smoothie with greens
Smoothie with greens

Wildtree Meals: Not having to cook over a hot stove! Love it!

I’m still making healthy Wildtree slow-cooker meals, prepping and freezing them when I buy groceries. Here is our daughter Heather’s Wildtree Facebook page if you’d like to check out the products.  They are organic:

 •  No GMOs
•  No Insecticides
•  No Pesticides
•  No Irradiation
•  No Preservatives
•  No Food Dye

When shopping, you read labels, too (sugar and salt are in so many things!). I warn you, reading labels like this at the grocery store can add an hour to your shopping trip! But it gets easier.

People are killing themselves with the way they are eating. (I’ve been so guilty of not eating healthy until the last few years!) Remember that the closer we get to nature in our eating (and less processed foods we buy), the better for us. We need to be healthy in order to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives!

Yes, it’s a lot of work in one day, but so worth it!

As I was sharing with a coaching client this week, it prevents that freak-out occurrence of “What’s for supper tonight?”  You know, not thawing anything out and after I work all day, then realize at 5 or 6 p.m. that I don’t have anything planned for supper – so we order pizza or eat fast food! NOT a good choice! The Wildtree meals have been a life-safer for our family…I just wish I’d found it so much sooner!

Donna Partow’s book – Becoming the woman you want to be!

Last January, I joined Donna Partow’s program, the 90-Day Renewal. I lost 20 pounds in the program and have maintained it (I’m still working on losing more weight!).

But the best thing about the program was how it shifted my perspective in so many ways. I realized that despite God’s deep healing in my life from childhood abuse, abortions, and adulterous relationships, basically, my life was still not in order! This was showing up in my marriage, extra weight (gluttony!), emotional meltdowns from stress, and financial struggles.

All the areas of my life are interrelated and impact each other: spirit, soul, and body. 

  • God’s Word and presence need  to be first place every day in my life;
  • My marriage needs restoration and to be more of a priority -it isn’t going to heal itself;
  • My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, not a trash can;
  • I need to live a life of self-discipline spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

Donna Partow book

Donna is a best-selling author and international speaker, and she walks her talk. She shares what she has learned in this book to improve your life in just a matter of 90 days – renewing you from the inside out.

I was especially interested in the health tips, and am now including this regimen in my daily life (besides the increased water, which she strongly emphasizes in this book, and the green smoothies):

  • Warm water with lemon juice first thing in the morning (Lemon juice detoxifies your body, helps with weight loss, adds Vitamin C that boosts your immune system, gives energy, and fights viruses);
  • 2 eggs a day (The eggs help with weight loss, raise HDL (good) cholesterol, add antioxidants good for eye health, and add protein);
  • Essential Fatty Acids (capsules or liquid – EFA’s assist in brain and nervous system function, and regulate thyroid, adrenal activity, and blood pressure);
  • Psyllium husk (Psyllium helps with weight loss, heart health, and regularity);
  • 1 teaspoon Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 teaspoon *raw* honey in 8 oz. glass of water (helps with weight loss, blood sugar control, and is good for heart health. Vinegar also whitens teeth, removing stains. Honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungus properties. It stabilizes blood pressure, balances blood sugar, relieves pain, calms nerves.

Donna also recommends:

  • 64 oz of water (this is a LOT of water – I’m still working on achieving 8 glasses!);
  • a multivitamin;
  • Ester-C (I have this on order at the herb store now);
  • as many fresh vegetables as you can consume a week (I am doing this now with Wildtree meals, salads, and smoothies);
  • a low-carb brand protein shake mix;
  •  healthy proteins (our Wildtree meals include this);
  • apples and/or grapefruit;
  • a rebounder (mini-trampoline for daily bouncing);
  • and an 8-minute workout video of your choice (dumbbells optional) or exercise of your choice.

Some of these I’m doing, and some I’m not. (It’s been 22 degrees Fahrenheit lately here. Too freezing cold to walk outside! I need to break out the exercise videos, right?)

I have been taking new steps since the last quarter of 2014 to enhance my health.

Try one or two of these a week, adding them to your health regimen for 2015. Remember the expression, “Eat the elephant one bite at a time.” 

What health goals have you set for this year? Leave your comments below. 

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