Follow up to fasting

The 21 day fast crept by like a slug across a bridge.  Not having candy wasn’t really that hard for me. Coke on the other hand was a constant battle!  I woke up every morning wanting to crack open that Mexican Coke. When I was tired or just needed to a pick me up, I wanted a Coke.  I realize that I also use Coke to replace a meal. So, what now?    As a habit I am trying to break or at least decrease, I am going to start there.  I will start with one Coke per morning with the goal of 2 per month or special occasions.  I don’t want to tell myself NO I can’t have it, but I also don’t want it to be a daily habit. Over the next month I will be working on this goal.    Candy, not as big of a deal.  I will bring a snack pack to work or something to eat.  I will also find substitutes. Since it’s summer, I will hit up the farmers markets once a week for cherries, strawberries and peaches.  If I have the fruit cut and ready, I will eat them.     UPDATED PLAN     1. Meal plan on Tuesdays (allowing for some meals that just need warming up)    2. Only one Coke each morning for a week    3. Continue to incorporate tea and water in daily.  Get all 64oz in each day.    4. Track all FOOD and water!    5. Attend weekly farmers markets with a list    6. Plan for snacks    I think this plan with help me bridge the gap between where I am and where I am going.  I will journal what I am feeling each evening.       Note, there is no exercise because I had a procedure on my leg that doesn’t allow me to swim or work up a sweat for 2 weeks.  I will get up and walk as much as I can though. Monitoring my steps daily and including the information in my daily journal.     Where are you in your health journey?  What tips or tricks do you use to stay motivated?        

The 21 day fast crept by like a slug across a bridge.  Not having candy wasn’t really that hard for me. Coke on the other hand was a constant battle!  I woke up every morning wanting to crack open that Mexican Coke. When I was tired or just needed to a pick me up, I wanted a Coke.  I realize that I also use Coke to replace a meal. So, what now?

As a habit I am trying to break or at least decrease, I am going to start there.  I will start with one Coke per morning with the goal of 2 per month or special occasions.  I don’t want to tell myself NO I can’t have it, but I also don’t want it to be a daily habit. Over the next month I will be working on this goal.

Candy, not as big of a deal.  I will bring a snack pack to work or something to eat.  I will also find substitutes. Since it’s summer, I will hit up the farmers markets once a week for cherries, strawberries and peaches.  If I have the fruit cut and ready, I will eat them.

UPDATED PLAN

1. Meal plan on Tuesdays (allowing for some meals that just need warming up)

2. Only one Coke each morning for a week

3. Continue to incorporate tea and water in daily.  Get all 64oz in each day.

4. Track all FOOD and water!

5. Attend weekly farmers markets with a list

6. Plan for snacks

I think this plan with help me bridge the gap between where I am and where I am going.  I will journal what I am feeling each evening.   

Note, there is no exercise because I had a procedure on my leg that doesn’t allow me to swim or work up a sweat for 2 weeks.  I will get up and walk as much as I can though. Monitoring my steps daily and including the information in my daily journal.

Where are you in your health journey?  What tips or tricks do you use to stay motivated?   

 

Fasting

Fasting seems to be all the fad lately.  But from the Bible we know that it has been around for thousands of years.  In the Bible, fasting was a way to get God to notice us or come closer to Him.  I knew God was trying to say something to me when two of the two sermons that I watched (one at my church and the other I watched online) both implored God’s people to fast as a way to enter God’s presence and ask Him to hear our cries.       http://cornerstoneweb.org/sermon/the-making-of-a-leader-week-4/      https://www.sdrock.com/messages/2018-06-03/     I am going to fast for 21 days.  There are many ways to do this. Or things you can fast from.  My fast is going to focus on coke and candy. I drink more coke than water or tea or ANY other thing I put in my mouth.  Because it is also a difficult thing for me to give up, I will need God to lean on and help me break the bonds of my dependence.       13 Jesus said to her (the Samaritan woman), “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14     What God is telling me, is that I can drink and drink and drink cokes forever, but I will still be unfulfilled.  If I drink the water that Jesus provides, I won’t be thirsty. Thirsty for emotional support and comfort. The way Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman, changed her entire life.  He wants to do the same with me. He wants me to know that it’s ok to make scary choices. God will be with me forever. He wants to show me respect and love, as He did with the Samaritan woman.  I just need to receive it.     It is also a reminder that I need to provide my body with the physical water Jesus provides to keep it healthy.    https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/big-benefits-plain-water-201605269675  This article summarizes how important water is to our bodies for weight loss and maintenance.  Don’t ignore this very important step in fasting and weight loss.     Ways to incorporate more water:    1. Get a new water bottle.  Pick one that speaks to you so you love using it.    2. Get a water filter if you need one.    3. Add fruits and vegetables to water if you want variety.    4. Tea is a great way to push water.  Don’t add sugar or milk. As I am trying to break a sugar habit, I won’t add honey.     5. Reach out to two friends that will support your fast.  Text them daily, for a quick update or word of encouragement.     6. Take a water bottle with you EVERYWHERE you go!    7. Find a scripture to use this week for added support.  Here is mine.      5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.  1 Corinthians 7:5     This verse reminds us that without self-control, we leave ourselves wide open for the devil to jump right in.  We need to close that door by handing over control to Jesus. I need to give the keys to my heart, mind and soul to Jesus.  Only He can provide the missing pieces in my life. He can’t do it alone. Without fasting and praying, I don’t give Jesus that “in” that He needs to change me.  Fasting and prayer go hand in hand. Do not do one without the other. My mind staying on Jesus will remind me of my goals and give me the resolve to make each day better than the one before.  

Fasting seems to be all the fad lately.  But from the Bible we know that it has been around for thousands of years.  In the Bible, fasting was a way to get God to notice us or come closer to Him.  I knew God was trying to say something to me when two of the two sermons that I watched (one at my church and the other I watched online) both implored God’s people to fast as a way to enter God’s presence and ask Him to hear our cries.  

http://cornerstoneweb.org/sermon/the-making-of-a-leader-week-4/

https://www.sdrock.com/messages/2018-06-03/

I am going to fast for 21 days.  There are many ways to do this. Or things you can fast from.  My fast is going to focus on coke and candy. I drink more coke than water or tea or ANY other thing I put in my mouth.  Because it is also a difficult thing for me to give up, I will need God to lean on and help me break the bonds of my dependence.  

13 Jesus said to her (the Samaritan woman), “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14

What God is telling me, is that I can drink and drink and drink cokes forever, but I will still be unfulfilled.  If I drink the water that Jesus provides, I won’t be thirsty. Thirsty for emotional support and comfort. The way Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman, changed her entire life.  He wants to do the same with me. He wants me to know that it’s ok to make scary choices. God will be with me forever. He wants to show me respect and love, as He did with the Samaritan woman.  I just need to receive it.

It is also a reminder that I need to provide my body with the physical water Jesus provides to keep it healthy.   https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/big-benefits-plain-water-201605269675 This article summarizes how important water is to our bodies for weight loss and maintenance.  Don’t ignore this very important step in fasting and weight loss.

Ways to incorporate more water:

1. Get a new water bottle.  Pick one that speaks to you so you love using it.

2. Get a water filter if you need one.

3. Add fruits and vegetables to water if you want variety.

4. Tea is a great way to push water.  Don’t add sugar or milk. As I am trying to break a sugar habit, I won’t add honey.

5. Reach out to two friends that will support your fast.  Text them daily, for a quick update or word of encouragement.

6. Take a water bottle with you EVERYWHERE you go!

7. Find a scripture to use this week for added support.  Here is mine.

5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.  1 Corinthians 7:5

This verse reminds us that without self-control, we leave ourselves wide open for the devil to jump right in.  We need to close that door by handing over control to Jesus. I need to give the keys to my heart, mind and soul to Jesus.  Only He can provide the missing pieces in my life. He can’t do it alone. Without fasting and praying, I don’t give Jesus that “in” that He needs to change me.  Fasting and prayer go hand in hand. Do not do one without the other. My mind staying on Jesus will remind me of my goals and give me the resolve to make each day better than the one before.  

Getting in my summer workouts

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I am so blessed to live in the San Francisco Bay Area because of the weather.  We get super weather 95% of the year.  This allows me to create a workout schedule that I can usually stick to most of the year.  But there are those to can’t possibly swim in a lake in the winter or hike in a forest in the dead of winter.  So today I would encourage you to get out there before the summer weather turns chilly.

This is what I did the last couple of weeks.  

CAMPING TRIP!  Oh yeah, we had a family reunion camping trip in Calaveras Big Trees State Park in the Sierra Mountains of California.  It was three days of family, food and beautiful weather.  Here a picture of my site outside the trailer (my dad gave me his trailer for the trip).  Seeing this beauty, TOTALLY relaxed me!

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This is the sunset in the forest that looks like the trees are on fire.

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And the lake I swam in…

 

I can not tell you how relaxing this was for me!  I came back to the Bay Area positive, recharged and my spirit was filled.

Yesterday I took a hike in a local park and found this cool monument in a local park (Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland).  I just stumbled upon it. COOL!

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And this is the view!


 

Soak up this beautiful summer and walk on the wild side!  What have you been doing this summer to improve your wellness both physically and emotionally?

Travel and our wellness

HOW DOES YOUR VACATION AFFECT YOUR WELLNESS?

 With summer upon us, what are your travel plans? Overseas?  Or a local staycation?  Research shows that we should take advantage of our vacation time for a happier life.  Particularly overseas travel.  And travel in sunny places.  Although I don’t believe they didn’t account for the beauty of the snow covered mountains and people who love winter sports.  I believe taking our wellness seriously, both mind and body is important.  So with that in mind, here are my tips: 

BUDGET FRIENDLY

I can’t afford it.  This is an excuse we give ourselves about almost everything that is good for us.  You don’t have to travel far for a wonderful vacation, just the desire.  Find what you love and do it.  Do you love music?  Find your favorite group or artist and visit a concert away from your home.  Maybe just a 3 or 4 hour drive from your home.  Rent a room on airbnb and meet some new people.    

  • Find a location that you can drive to

  • Stay in a room in an airbnb instead of an entire home

  • Go during off seasons when things are cheaper

  • Treat yourself to one or two meals out in the new city, instead of every meal.  

  • Explore your surroundings!  Go to historical places, the library, free outdoor concerts or rodeos.  Parks and the beach are FREE!

  • Use some of the time to mediate or read a book.  Quiet time away from the hustle and bustle.  

    I am going to continue to speak on travel and wellness for the next couple of weeks.  What are are your tips? How does travel improve your wellness?

  • I hope this encourages you to begin your adventures now.  Be good to yourself!

AN AVERAGE DAY

When learning anything new, I like learning about the person who is presenting the information.  A look behind the scenes as it were.  So here is your glimpse into my life. I am in my forties, a 1970’s baby.  I am 5’7 ½.  My lowest adult weight was 125 lbs after the birth of my 9lb 5oz son.  My heaviest weight was somewhere in the low 200s.  I was very active as a kid and young adult.  But later in life, I had jobs that I sat at a computer most of the day.  That’s when the pounds came on.  I have always prefered junk food and snacks over vegetables and quinoa.  So the weight caught up with me as I sat more than moved.

Now I have a job that allows NO sitting, I am a server.  I climb stairs and a busy shift could be about 19,000 steps.  But we are not always that busy.  I also have a gym membership to swim, hit weight machines and take classes.  However, I still like exercising in a natural way.  Walking to the store, swimming in a lake, skiing down a mountain.  I wish I had the time to do that, but like most people I don’t have hours to spend on natural exercise.

My work schedule changes every week.  I have set up a workout schedule that works for me.  That means before I do anything else, I workout.  Normally that is even before breakfast because once I get distracted, it’s hard to get back on track.    


Here is what habits work for me:

  • Exercise first thing in the am.

  • Put my workout clothes out on the bed at night and get into them as soon as I wake up

  • Always have water handy

  • Plan workouts

  • Plan meals AND SNACKS

  • Always carry some snack foods with you.  I like almonds and trail mix over a protein or meal replacement bar.

  • In the summers, I love to start the morning with a shake.  (Fresh spinach, greek yogurt, lemon juice, frozen berries, coconut water and apple or pear)

  • Always end the day with reflection on what I am grateful for

  • Write what worked for me and what didn’t (new recipe, workout for the day) so I can evaluate and adjust to the weather, seasonal fruits and veggies, events,etc.

  • Always forgive yourself if you don’t eat perfectly or don’t workout.  Start anew immediately!  The very next meal.  Add some steps in if you can’t exercise.

  • Lean on your community to support your efforts.  

 

Here is a normal day.

Today’s workout (day off)

 

What I ate today (day off):

Noon - Whole foods prepared foods: ½ bbq chicken breast, ⅛ cup of mashed potatoes, ¼ cup mac & cheese, 1 cup of steamed broccoli, one dinner roll with butter (the treat!)

4pm - air popped popcorn and cantaloupe with coke zero (with lemon juice)

7pm - 2 cups spaghetti with turkey sausage and ground turkey, 1 cup salad with 1 tbsp newman’s light salad dressings

9pm - 1 each skinny cow

As you can see, a meal is missing.  The way my schedule is, for most of the week I go in later in the afternoon or early evening.  I eat when I get off work at 1am - 3am at night.  Thus it ends up being 3 meals.  Again, adjust your eating habits to when you can sit down and enjoy every single bite!

I hope this gives you an idea of what I do to keep my mind and body on track to stay healthy.  As you see, I am not perfect.  Be well and have a good week!        

GETTING BACK ON TRACK AFTER YOU ARE SICK

I recently got a nasty flu that had me calling in sick at work (it is extremely rare for me to EVER call in sick).  If you are anything like me, getting back into your regular routine of working out and eating better is more difficult after indulging in some feel good foods.  Here are my tips to getting back in the swing of things.

  • Talk a walk.  Walking gets your blood flowing again.  You begin to feel better by just getting out of the house.  If you do it during the day, the sun will warm your skin and awaken your senses.

  • Do some soft yoga.  By soft I mean more stretching than pushing your body.  I would recommend this video by Yoga by Adriene:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLS9uQQQyB0.  

  • Drink lots of water and hot tea.

  • MEAL PLAN!  Starting with a hot soup of whatever is left in your fridge.  Chicken, pasta, and veggies are a great soup and healthy.  Or use to google to use whatever ingredients you have in your fridge or freezer.  

  • I take one multivitamin per day.  I don’t over medicate myself with airborne, emergency vitamin C, and other vitamin supplements.  It’s better to find extra vitamins in natural foods.  Such as oranges and grapefruits or carrots and spinach.  

  • Try a new exercise or class.  Now is the time to get excited about doing something new not return to the same ole, same ole plan.

  • BE NICE to yourself.  Positive vibes only when talking to yourself.

Once you find yourself feeling better, increase your workouts to 10 mins and slowly add minutes each day.  Within a week of feeling better, you should go back to your normal workout schedule.  

It is HARD to come back to my normal routine of working and life after a couple of days on the couch.  Just do ONE thing, then another thing.  Before you know it, your body will be ready for action!

 

BENEFITS OF VITAMIN D

My full time job is indoors without any sunlight.  Not to mention that I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.  And for a good portion of my life, I was overweight.  According to the Harvard (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-d/), these factors increase my risk of vitamin D deficiency.  

But what does Vitamin D do for your body?

* Vitamin D works with both calcium and phosphorus to help your bone grow strong as                 well as fight off disease and deadly cancer cells.  

* It is believed that Vitamin D also assists with strengthening muscles.  

* Prevent heart disease

* Studies show that the vitamin protects the body from type 1 diabetes and the flu

What can you do?

* Regular medical checkups with your doctor

* At least 15 minutes a day in the sunlight (with sunscreen on)

* Keep body weight within healthy BMI limits

* Daily multivitamin supplements (especially if you are losing weight)

When I think about how good it feels to sit in the sun for a few minutes, I do believe it feels good because it is suppose to be good for you.  Our bodies are amazing works of art.  If we take care of them, we can live happily and strong.     

What do you do to ensure you get enough Vitamin D?  Leave a comment below.  Love and happiness. - Jenn