Sunday, January 10, 2016

Choosing Wellness: What are you Drinking?

I grew up with a mom that was a firm believer in drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day.  If I poured some milk to drink, she was right there...

"How much water have you  drank today?"

I just rolled my eyes and drank my milk.

When I was nursing my first baby the nurse and still at the hospital, the nurse told me that I had to drink a lot of water to keep my milk supply up. I figured that water and Dr.Pepper was pretty similar so I drank both.  Not true!

What we drink and how much is really important. Keeping our bodies properly hydrated is not hard, yet the majority of Americans are dehydrated and don't even realize it.  If you are thirsty you are already dehydrated. If your lips are dry, chances are you are dehydrated. If you have a headache, you could be dehydrated.

I like this article by Dr. Mercola about dehydration. Take a moment to read it completely.

One of the first things I did when we became intentional about getting healthy was return to drinking mostly water. I am not good at measuring it, so I can't tell you if I am getting the right amount. An easy formula to tell you how much water you need is to take your weight & divide that by 2. That number is the amount of ounces of water you need a day. It's not an exact number, but a good place to start.

I get tired of just drinking water, so I like to add some citrus essential oils to my water. The citrus oils have some really important health benefits as well, so I'm not only flavoring my water, but maintaining my health as well.
My favorites are:
 I get my oils here and do not recommend using any other brand internally as I cannot attest to the purity of them as I can to Young Living's EO's.

Herbal teas are ok, but be careful of the brands. Some have caffeine in them and others are not worth the trouble. If it won't benefit my health, then I'd rather just drink a Dr.Pepper. I still like them & I still want to drink them even though I choose not to...most of the time. At the time of this writing I am going on 14 days with no DP.

Back to the tea. One of the things we had to become very intentional about was reading labels and avoiding chemicals. We find chemicals in things we never herbal teas!

Here is a great blog post by the Food Babe concerning what is in our tea.

If you need to remove something you are drinking that is not healthy, make sure you replace it with something healthy.

I need to stop drinking coffee, but am not there yet. This is a process and I'm not ready to ditch my morning mug of Java yet.  Scott went cold turkey on the coffee. He replaced his morning cup of coffee with fresh juice! He is the rock star!!

We drink fresh juiced fruit & veggies through out the day. He juices carrots, beets, cilantro, spinach, celery, apples & oranges and so much more. I joke that if I don't use up the produce fast enough he will juice it. I have gone to the refrigerator many times to get veggies to make for dinner only to find that he juiced them already. The struggle is real! We need a frig just for our juicing produce!  We have a Jack LaLanne juicer and really like it. We have had it for almost 10 yrs.

But there is no way we could eat that many fruits & veggies in one day that we are getting in our juice.

In addition to that, we drink Ningxia Red by Young Living! This juice is an even bigger boost to our health than the juice we juice ourselves. This juice is very high in antioxidants and supports every body system. We have seen big improvements in our health since making this a part of our daily regimen.  Our immune systems are strong, I sleep better at night and Scott only needs one short power nap during the day instead of several like before.

So what are you drinking?

Are you hydrated well?

Is what you are drinking, giving your body what it needs to function and way God created it to?

Don't forget...if you remove an unhealthy beverage, make sure you replace it with a healthy one.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Choosing Wellness: What are You Thinking?

Do you realize how powerful your thoughts are?

Please don't mistake this post as a feel good- just think happy thoughts - kind of post.  That is not what this is. One of the biggest things that had to happen before we could begin to experience a healthier life was we had to start believing it was important. We had to start thinking we were worth the effort. We had to start thinking that we really could make a difference.

How you think about yourself really does matter!

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”—Albert Einstein 

I learned a long time ago that our imagination is more than pretending. It is simply creating a picture in your mind of what you want to accomplish.  It is actually a very powerful tool when it comes to making changes. Our mind is the most powerful organ in our body. And what we allow ourselves to think is equally as powerful. Scripture tells us what we should think about. 

Remember the "Whatever" verse in Philippians?

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8

What we think matters! It sets the tone for how we live, how we communicate, how we dream.

Zig Ziglar said, "Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will."

I love that, because it is so true. If all I say to myself is, "I will always be fat, I will always be sick." how I can I expect anything to be different. We always accomplish more when we are focusing on the positive.

Ok, so what in the world does this have to do with choosing wellness? It has a lot to do with it. 

First I had to decide I was tired of the cycle of bad habits I had created for myself. I had to believe that I was worth the change and that I could change. I had to know that I needed to change for the sake of my health & the health of my family. It had to be very important to ME. 

I made a short list of a few things I wanted to change. It was short, because I still wasn't totally convinced I would accomplish any positive changes.

Then I began to make simple changes that helped me get closer to those goals. Drink more water. Walk 2 miles a day. Put down my phone & close my laptop to spend time with my God & my family.

My thought process and habits were at times all that kept me from falling away because I didn't see a difference very quickly. If I told myself that it wasn't working or it didn't matter I would have quit.  But I had to keep the Lord's promises in front of me as a reminder that even though it is hard, it is important.

Find 5 verses that inspire you to press on. Write them down. Print them out. Post them where you will see them everyday. Quotes are good, but nothing keeps me going better than the Word of God.

The secret to your success lies in your ability to control your thoughts. I don't know about you, but I need a lot of help with this and the Lord has always been faithful.

Today is a new day, a new month, a new year! There is no better time than today to begin making changes that you have thought about making for so long. We are spiritually new in Christ because of his sacrifice for us! But, by his grace we are also given new days, new opportunities.  What are you going to do with them? 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Choosing Wellness: Creating Healthy Habits

Knowing we needed to make changes meant we needed to create new habits. Our old habits are what got us in such bad shape. In order to create new habits we had to work to replace the old ones and this was simple, but not easy. We also had to recognize what habits needed to be replaced. Often that is the hardest part. I found that there was things I was doing that I didn't even realize I needed to change. 
This is where prayer really played a part. I needed the Lord to show me what needed to go. I was often shocked at what he showed me.  
And before you think this was all about diet & exercise, I'll tell you it wasn't. Most of my bad habits were in my thoughts, actions and time.  
I'm outlining in this blog post what the next 4 blog posts will cover. They represent 4 area's of my life I had to make changes in. 
What I drink, eat, how I move & what I think. Of all 4 of these, the last was the most important. Our thoughts play such a huge role in how we live & relate to others.
What are you thinking? My first habit to replace was disbelief that I was not worth the changes I needed to make. I also felt overwhelmed & didn't think I could stick with the changes. I didn't want to work hard only to back slide & be back where I started from. Changes made were not just to lose weight, but to be healthy overall. Physically and emotionally.

What are you drinking? This may sound silly, but this is a really big deal. I had to make a better effort to not only hydrate my body, but to hydrate it with nutritional beverages. I love Dr.Pepper & Sweet tea. Really sweet tea! When I'm at home, I drink water. But if I go anywhere... Drive thru's are my weakness. 

What are you eating?  This is the obvious habit that had to change. What I ate affected my moods, sleep and my weight. I thought this would be an easy change. I knew what I needed to eat, but choosing it wasn't easy. 

How are you moving? This is the one habit I had avoided for years.  I'm a stay at home mom. I don't sit down all day. I'm doing laundry, cooking, chasing a preschooler and wrestling with a son who has random meltdowns. I was moving, but not in the right ways.  I hate exercise. I'm allergic to it. I break out in a sweat all over every time I do it. (sarcasm inserted here) I thought this would be really hard for me. I'm not athletic at all. But, with the help of my husband, we together created new habits that have in turn made big differences in our health. More than I realized.

I found 3 R's to creating new habits. This was not intentional, just the way it happened. Then I found a blog post that described it so much better.

We knew that if any changes we made were going to be successful and long lasting it required that we create new habits that would encourage the changes we needed. And to create new habits we had to set some reminders to help us create a routine and then enjoy the rewards. It wasn't easy. It still isn't easy. I still have days when I want to drink a Dr.Pepper instead of water or herbal tea. And I still have days when I just go ahead and drink that Dr.Pepper (and often have a stomach ache later). 

Creating new habits is simple, but not easy. But very possible and you will never regret it! 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Choosing Wellness: Do what you can with what you have

Excuses.  They get the best of us every time!

I was full of excuses as to why I was not making the changes I needed to make.

  • I have no time to exercise (I didn't want to)
  • We couldn't afford to buy real food. (processed food is always more expensive)
  • My juicer is in storage (yes it was until recently, but that still was no excuse)
  • I can't read my Bible or pray while Charlie is awake.
There were many more, but those were the biggest ones.  

I wanted all of my ducks to be in a row before I did anything.

I had to get over that because if I didn't I would just continue to gain weight and be depressed. My ducks would never be in a row all at the same time and if they were they wouldn't stay that like that very long.

We started making changes slowly. The first thing we had to do was throw out all the excuses. 

We looked at our diet first.  What were we eating that we could replace with something better?

That is the key! If you are removing things from your diet, make sure you replace them with something else.  I'm really good at removing things, but not replacing them. So after time, I'm craving the bad stuff.

Snacks for example. At one time, we kept a lot of chips, microwave popcorn and crackers as snacks. It was easy to pull out a bag of chips to snack on or throw a bag of popcorn in the microwave. Now, our snacks are raw fruits of veggies, nuts, popcorn popped on the stove and healthy granola & nut bars. If I can't fit the already made healthy snacks into the budget then I find something I can make.

Exercise was a no brainer. I just needed to dust off my tennis shoes and walk. No gym memberships. No trainer hired to kick my butt everyday. Just get out of the house & put my shoes to the pavement. 30 minutes a day was our goal.  Surely I could walk for 30 minutes. 

My point of all this is just to say that we had to get rid of our excuses and just do what we could with what we had. We didn't have the money to shop at the farmers market. But we could begin buying healthier food that our body actually recognized as food at our neighborhood stores.

We didn't have to go to the gym to exercise, we could do it at our house..for FREE! 

It really all boiled down to what we decided was important. Until we understood the importance of taking better care of ourselves we would not do anything. It is a process. It takes time. The benefits far out weigh any excuse we ever had. 

You know where I learned this from?  Jesus.  He takes us the way we are and helps us grow and become more like him. He doesn't have a list of what we need to do before we can become his. We don't have to have our ducks in a row. We believe. I love that!! 

Just do it!

Search This Blog