health

The Sh-sh-sh-shakes

Yesterday a terrorist that looked like my child traded lives with him.

Granted, teeth are starting to plow through his gums at full force now. And he did have a rash on his little booty that was something awful. But my gawwwl. His discomfort propelled him into doing everything that he was not supposed to do with an iron will. I lost count of the tantrums by noon.

Several things happen when a day like yesterday sideswipes me with no forewarning from my periph:

1) I want to eat everything that is terrible

2) I want to watch everything that will make me feel like I am escaping

3) I get a jaw-clenching headache

4) The sh-sh-sh-shakes

5) I think of ways to sound extra desperate so that I can convince Daniel to come home

6) The thought of moving, much less working out, makes me hate life

7) I rarely, if ever at all, think to ask God for help

I can just hear the gasps of judgement coming through the computer screen as the perfect moms of America read this in complete shock and bewilderment. Praise God I don’t know too many of those. I’d punch them in their perfectly groomed hair.

Anyways, I feel like numbers 6 and 7 are pretty sucky. But besides being a sad state of affairs, I feel like they may be tied to one another in a way.

My normal inclination would have been to feel all of those things and follow through with them. But yesterday, somewhere in all of the frazzle-ness I mustered up enough life to work out. I ended up vigorously dancing for 25 minutes and burned about 200 calories. I also did 50 crunches, 15 in-and-outs and 10 push-ups. That’s incredible for a day like yesterday.

I also felt more peaceful spiritually. I was able to thank God for the day instead of dismissing Him all together. That’s incredible for a day like yesterday.

The physical and the spiritual seem to ignite each other. Sometimes when I feel like giving up on health, God encourages me through prayer, another person, a picture, something I read, etc. And sometimes when I don’t feel like having a relationship with God, exercise pushes me towards Him.

It’s pretty sweet. I don’t know, I feel like there should be a conclusion or a “moral of the story,” but it just feels really simple this time.

What kind of stuff defines days like this for you? What are you defaults when these days occur?

How do you fight it?

Easter is Over… And so is the Candy Binge

So Easter is over, and now my house is left with all kinds of delicious candies and treats. The kind of candies and treats that melt in my mouth and then stick in my thighs for 3 years.

I’m not gonna lie; I love candy. It is yummy and it makes me feel good….. but does it really? I mean. no. It might satisfy some immediate craving, but when all is said and done I’m left with a headache, a sugar-coated mouth and a billion extra calories that only a two hour run in the sand would work off. Now I don’t think there is anything wrong with being a child again and stuffing your face with all the sugar your poor mouth can hold on Easter. But like I said, Easter is over.

I have come up with some great replacements from my very own kitchen that I enjoy snacking on during the day. These are exponentially healthier and ultimately tastier than my bowl of holiday left-overs. And they are all easily accessible!

I feel like some of you may be looking at these skeptically and thinking, “Ummm… nah. Those don’t look tastier than what I’ve got stashed in my underwear drawer hidden away from my husband and children.” Well go wash your mouth out. Drink a few glasses of water and give your tastes buds a re-start.

Sambazon Frozen Acai packs are fantastic alternative to, well pretty much anything. Acai is one of those super foods that are packed with all kinds of life giving and restoring goodies. Throw a pack in the blender with a banana and some yogurt and you have yourself a thick smoothie! Not that hungry but just want something cold to sip on? One pack with a small amount of water, and you have yourself an acai slush. You can find these at Whole Foods. Don’t have a Whole Foods? Neither do I. We travel once a month to Jacksonville to stock up on healthy stuff. Don’t feel like driving far? Go to your local Publix, buy some Acai juice and freeze it in bags.

I like to call these my tiny fat destroyers. I ate these every day for dinner before I got married and lost SOOO much weight. Black beans are a fantastic snack, especially if you are really hungry but don’t want to blow it. They are stacked with fiber and can be a good source of protein if you are trying to stay away from a lot of meat. It has recently been discovered that the little cover of the bean is full of phytonutrients. They also do a great job of supporting your digestive tract. I like to spoon a half of a cup of these in a bowl with some pepper and salt and go at it.If you cook them on the stove-top, add some honey and cayenne pepper. It give it a sweet kick.

Well duh. Eat all of those eggs you colored for Easter! Eggs are a great and healthier choice for protein, choline and vitamin B, especially if they are organic! Their calorie count is low too. Each one only packs about 68-70 calories, which is not bad at all!

I’m sorry, but these are the best dang granola bars I’ve ever had. If you are like me, a typical granola bar is almost insulting to food. It’s like they pretend to be yummy but also have to be healthy, and they end up just making me so angry. But these Clif Crunch bars are my fave! You’ve got your whole grains which hold a surprising amount of fiber. 4 grams of protein, and delicious chocolate chips. One pack of these holds two bars, and is a total of 180 calories. These are great for meals on the go, like when you are driving. ALWAYS have one of these in your purse so that you are not tempted to stop at McDonald’s and order the double quarter pounder with cheese combo. You will most like feel like the worst person in the world for it. These organic lil’ guys will help hold you over for a while until you can sit down and eat a real meal.

And last but most certainly not least, the grapefruit. This fruit brings about a nostalgia every time I eat it. When I was really small, like 2 and 3 years old, my mom would have one of these every day for breakfast. We would sit down in the living room and she would share hers with me. It is a very sweet memory, but also a great lesson in eating healthy. Drenched in vitamin C and the tumor-fighting antioxidant lycopene, one of these in the morning will surely wake you up and get you going. A half of this mouth puckering fruit is only 40 calories. As with all fruits, I would suggest eating this first thing in the morning and then waiting 30 minutes to eat something else. When fruit is mixed with other foods at the same time, they often tend to ferment in the gut, and that is just gross.

 

Motivation.

Those days when we wake up and we say, “NOPE.”

We must fight those days. Today is like that for me. Sometimes we can identify the lack of motivation. Other times it’s not so obvious.

I read something at the very right moment this morning. I was battling in my head whether or not I was going to run today. I was browsing through my tweets and saw one that my friend Kacie had posted about a NVR STOP blog post.

“If you make doubt and fear your vacation home, it’s time to burn it.”

Umm, yea. What encouragement.

I’m almost three and a half weeks strong of consistent and challenging exercise. It only took me almost a whole year after Abram was born to finally identify what was holding me back from being healthy, even though I so desperately wanted to be. I can save that whole novel for another post on another day.

But it’s been great.

Accept for yesterday. And this morning. I just don’t feel like it. The few other times I have felt this way over the past several weeks, I would end up pushing myself further. I keep telling myself, “The more I don’t want to do this, the harder I am going to do it.”

I also have to remind myself when I feel like I can’t run any longer that I once pulled heavy Americans in a cart on the back of a bicycle for a living.

Sometimes I pretend like I’m racing the devil. HE CANNOT WIN.

I’m thankful for the moments when God shows up in the snares of laziness (like this morning) and has me read something that fills me with strength.

“He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:29-31

Whatever you are up against today, overcome it. And do it hard.

Burn that vacation home.