my little garden

This morning, the rains are here and I don’t mind a bit. It’s helping the boys sleep in a little and it’s watering my little garden. Or, I should say He is watering my little garden. I keep telling my husband that it’s one of my most favorite places to be in the whole world. Summer is half over and it saddens me to think that my garden is coming close to its peak…well, I’m sad and excited at the same time. From a distance, it looks like a mess!

My messy little garden

My messy little garden

But, if you look more closely, you’ll see the good stuff!

God has blessed my little garden and I’m so thankful.

My baby boy, Elam, will be one on Monday! Isn’t that hard to believe? Looking back on a post from a year ago, time has flown and he’s changed so much.

Little Ezra is 3.5 and is saying the funniest things. Like, shoulders are “shirtles”. Gotta love it.

My Thrive ministry is taking off slowly. Check out my separate website for more details about that.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Monday’s Seminar + A Walk/Jog/Run Group?

Monday’s seminar was such a blessing! I had 15 lovely ladies show up to listen to me rattle about wellness the way God intends. Then, we sweated out a 30 minute exercise session and enjoyed some healthy snacks and fellowship. I meant to take pictures and get a video, but totally forgot in all the excitement. I’m so thankful to each lady and am looking forward to presenting again soon as soon as I can find another location & book it!

Also, another lady I met recently asked about starting a running club, and at first I cringed. Running is not my strength. When I run, it’s more like a jog, and it’s not that frequent that I jog! When I do, I love it, but I would rather do other things. 🙂 Anyway, I prayed and thought about it and want to offer a walk/jog/run club for ALL fitness levels… This will be a FREE thing on Thursdays around noon. We’ll meet in Galax, VA (New River Trail, Galax Rec Department, etc.), share a prayer/devotional, then hit the trail for 30 minutes or so. I’m open to ideas. Our first meeting will be Thursday, June 25 at the Galax Rec Center/Felt’s Park. Please let me know in advance if you plan to attend so we’ll be looking for you. More details to come early next week!

Eat the Rainbow

“Eat the rainbow.” all the health nuts say. Well, not only is it good for you, it’s mighty tasty! Monday is a good day to get started on a healthy food kick (well, ANY day is, but Monday just seems fresh for some reason). Here’s what I did for my lunch…

Picked some kale from my garden! I planted the little plants a month or so ago and now it’s harvest time. First time I’ve ever grown kale and it’s easy. 🙂

Then, I chopped up some yellow squash and halved some cherry tomatoes. Heated some olive oil on medium heat, tossed all those things in and added grated carrots and a drained can of great northern beans. Cooked about 15 minutes with some salt and pepper and topped with some Italian blend cheese. Let me tell ya, it’s good eatin!

What’s your healthy meal that’s easy and ready in a pinch? What are you growing in YOUR garden this year?

Today's lunch!

Today’s lunch!

oh, blog, how i’ve missed you!

I have missed blogging so much (among other things). My life is moving is warp speed, which I’m sure is the case for most of you. Since November, I’ve been Acting Director at the fitness facility where I work. It’s been challenging, both professionally and personally. The holidays were good and I tried to separate work from home life, but I did find myself thinking about work too much while at home.

My boys are growing up so quickly and they seem to change daily. The oldest will be 3 at the end of the month and the baby will be 6 months in a couple of weeks as well. They’ll be 18 before I can blink, I’m sure. I really am trying to enjoy every minute with them. Don’t get me wrong, there are moments that are trying when your two year old screams, “No, mommy!” when you try to tell him something to do, but thankfully those moments are fewer than the good ones.

I did manage to set some 2015 goals for myself a week or so ago. If I don’t get them down on paper and in my face this month, they aren’t going to happen. This is what I have on tap for me this year:

  • Spend time studying and applying what I learn about the Fruit of The Spirit
  • Take each aerobics class offered at our wellness facility in order to better help members and guests
  • Spend more quality time with my husband, kids, and extended family
  • Compete in one sprint and one international triathlon (I missed last year since I was pregnant)
  • Get back to meal planning and cooking
  • Reduce the sugar in my toddler’s diet
  • Expand our vegetable garden and can/freeze some produce at harvest

I looked back over my 2014 goals and I’m happy to report I met most of them! These are the ones I missed…

  • Help lead one person to Christ – No one came to me and said they were saved because of anything I said or did this year, but I hope I’ve witnessed more. I feel like I have been more comfortable in that over the past year.
  • Perform at least one pull up – I give up on that one. I don’t think I’ll ever do that.
  • Potty train our son – They say that happens on the kid’s own time. I have to add that back to the 2015 list because it has to happen this year or BUST!

What’s goals have you set for yourself this year? I hope to make it back to blog before February…at least by Groundhog Day!

kickin’ sugar habit and lovin’ it

christianfitness

I’m leading a team of 5 folks in a weight loss competition right now – we have 2 weeks left after this one and so far, my team members are doing great. When I say “leading”, I’m the personal trainer for the group. I meet with them once a week for an hour to discuss nutrition and we do a workout. Anyway, the past two I’ve led, I was pregnant, so weight loss was not on my personal list. However, now I’m 3 months postpartum and really trying to get back into shape. I was losing some weight, but then I got stuck. Then, I contracted the stomach bug and lost 3 pounds over a weekend. After that, I was on a roll again and I think I’m back down to my pre-baby weight of 155 pounds (within a pound depending on the day).

A lady that was on my first weight loss team came to speak with the current team members about how she has lost 36 pounds in 10 months. It’s pretty much common sense, but she has opened my eyes to the devil SUGAR! It’s in everything (which I already knew), but I’ve really started paying attention to it.

Did you know that adults shouldn’t really consume more than 24 grams of added sugar in a day? That’s the equivalent of 6 teaspoons. Check out this recent article by Reader’s Digest that backs it up and also gives some recipes and tips on breaking your addiction. My friend that gave the lecture brought me a newspaper article just this morning with even MORE sugar info. Here’s a short excerpt to put it into perspective:

So it pains me to use M&Ms as an example, but one ordinary-size packet (1.69 ounces) contains 31 grams of sugar. This year, the World Health Organization recommended that sugar consumption should equal no more than 5 percent of your daily caloric intake. For the average adult, that’s about 25 grams of added sugar per day. The WHO isn’t just worried about the 69 percent of Americans who are overweight or obese. Diabetes and obesity are rapidly becoming a global concern.

My packet of M&Ms already exceeds 25 grams of sugar. If on a day that I eat the M&Ms I also have a 12-ounce Coke (39 grams of sugar), a one-cup bowl of Raisin Bran Crunch (19 grams), one serving of Campbell’s tomato soup (12 grams) and a 6-inch turkey sub from Subway (7 grams), that puts me at 108 grams of sugar, or over 400 percent of the WHO’s daily recommendation. And that’s in 950 calories. So either the WHO’s recommendation is ridiculously low or much of the reason the world is getting so fat — and not just fat, but sick — is that we’re swimming in an ocean of sugar and don’t even realize it.

Either way, about 2 weeks ago, for some reason the desire for sweets just kind of left me. I still add a teaspoon of raw sugar to my coffee each morning and I like my iced tea mildly sweet, but I’ve really cut out the cookies, cakes, etc. I feel better and I’m dropping the weight that is normally hard to get off.

I encourage you to look at your sugar intake and see where you stand, then make modifications if need be. There are TONS of resources out there to help, but let me know what your hurdles are. My best piece of advice – DON’T BUY IT! If you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it. 🙂

Next up…how to get my toddler down to 16 grams or less of added sugar. This one is gonna be fun…

recipes and halloween

I got on a kick this week and cooked a bit more than I have in a while. Baby Elam is finally starting to take some longer naps, plus I had Wednesday off which allowed me to cook a bit. Here are the recipes I used:

  • Wheat Beer Bread – I’ve always wanted to make bread, but it seems so daunting. This recipe was easy-peasy and I whipped it up in just about 5 minutes last night. I liked the bread, but my husband wasn’t much into it. I also baked fish my dad had caught in the river and then I sauted up kale in oil olive and threw in a can of drained black eyed peas. Good supper.
  • Apple Muffins – I follow the blog “100 Days of Real Food” and she posted a neat muffin recipe to try. I didn’t have walnuts and I only had 1/2 the syrup it called for, so I left out the nuts and did half syrup/half honey for the sweetener. Ezra gobbled his down and Mike (hubby) even liked them.
  • Baked  Eggplant – A vegan man that is a member of the gym where I work brought me an eggplant earlier this week that I needed to use, so I made this dish for my mom and me. I added Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder. I liked it but mom loved it and made it again at her house. I served it over raditorre pasta with marinara sauce.
  • Monkey Bread – This one I learned in middle school home economics and it just stuck. You take a can of biscuits and cut them into quarters, then roll in melted butter. After that, dip them in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon and bake at 350 for a few minutes. Ezra actually helped with this one and ate the raw dough (just a little). He’s such a picky eater that I let him just about anything that won’t make him sick! 🙂 It’s not the most healthy dish, but it’s a nice little treat from time to time. I need to find some wheat biscuit dough or make some from scratch.

Speaking of picky eaters, earlier this week I downloaded some neat docs and watched a short video by Tribe Wellness about picky eaters and how to remedy the issue. I learned some good tips and I encourage you to check it out if interested.

Another cool thing on the “100 Days of Real Food” blog was alternatives to Halloween candy. My son is having a pre-school party for Halloween and I think I will take some non-candy treats for that. The teacher sent home a list of what each kid needs to bring…the list included cupcakes, cookies, chips, cheese puffs, and pizza. I am responsible for the chips and I think I will bring some fruit salad to show folks you can still have fun with good foods…

Well, let’s get ready for the weekend. I hope yours is filled with fun, good food, and some physical activity!

19 signs you’re a foodie fanatic

I got this in an email today and liked it so I thought I would share (check out the article online to see cute little animated images). If you’re not familiar with Take Part, check them out! I’ve bolded the ones that apply to me and added a few notes along the way. 🙂

The eating habits of Americans are changing. Kids no longer cry for Happy Meals, people who aren’t hippies are reaching for Kombucha instead of soft drinks, and organic grocery stores are popping up in the most unlikely places. Last month, McDonald’s saw its biggest slump in sales in 10 years. Other food industry giants, such as General Mills, are taking note.

Obesity rates are still soaring, and the government still needs to better regulate Big Ag, but there’s plenty to celebrate, thanks to a growing community of conscious food consumers. So really, there’s no shame in being particular about what you eat. Here we list 19 signs you’re a foodie fanatic.

1. You own all of Michael Pollan’s books. (I own one…)
2. You think Monsanto is pretty much the worst company in the world.
3. You have strong feelings about GMOs—and your friends (and some strangers) know it.
4. You obsessively check food labels, and you know which ones are bogus.
5. You roll your eyes at beef that’s not grass-fed.
6. You consult a phone app before eating seafood to check if it’s sustainable. (I probably would if I had a smartphone).
7. You jumped for joy when Ben & Jerry’s announced it was going GMO-free.
8. You have an excessive number of reusable bags on hand at all times.
9. You have a garden.
10. You spend a lot of time perusing restaurant menus and peppering waiters with questions.
11. Watching your friends gobble up junk food physically pains you.
12. You freak out when you oversleep and miss the farmers market.
13. You ask baristas where the coffee beans come from and whether they have hemp or quinoa milk.
14. You started drinking coconut water before everyone else did (and are now considering maple water). (I just cannot get on the coconut water bandwagon…it’s so gross to me, no matter how good it is for you).
15. You love Trader Joe’s.
16. You get irrationally angry about food mash-ups and wish you lived in simpler times.
17. You spend most of your money buying organic everything.
18. You Instagram every meal. (Again, I probably would if I had a smartphone). 
19. You’re considering naming your child Kale…or Quinoa. (I have a friend whose dog’s names are Basil and Olive!)

http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/09/12/19-signs-youre-foodie-advocate?cmpid=tpfood-eml-2014-09-13-foodie#article-comments