,

Energy, Strength & Stamina: A Mother of 5 Reveals

Sitting across from Rae Lynn and Audra, I listened to the cacophony of chatter emanating from my peers; a bunch of 9th and 10th grade students maximizing on one of the free moments in the day, lunch time. In between the babble, they took bites of beefy macaroni as I nibbled on a tempeh sandwich. Needless to say, being an African-American vegan child in the 80’s & 90’s wasn’t so easy.

Thus were the early years on my health & wellness journey. My father has been a vegan since 1976. I was raised by my mother as a meat eater but went to live with my vegan father when I was 14. The transition was quite jarring. To go from ham, greens, and mac & cheese for Sunday dinner to brown rice, lentils and steamed broccoli: to go from a gallon of cow milk in the fridge regularly to homemade almond milk prepared freshly right before I left for school was a transition indeed. I was already ‘different’. My dad is Jamaican with floor length dread locks and I dressed differently. I wanted to be the social butterfly and be liked which led me to talk A LOT often brash and loud but really I was a bookworm. So the food was yet another thing that set me apart.

In college I did what many college females do, I gained weight. Coupled with the fact that my mother died suddenly two months into my freshman year in college, I ate late and ate lots of prepared foods, which I almost never did when at home with dad. And it was not until my early-twenties, suffering from hyperthyroidism, high cholesterol and weighing 178 lbs. that I realized I was far removed from the healthy, nourishing, plant based diet that I experience when with my dad. I expressed my concerns to my then boyfriend (now my husband) and he committed to helping me get my health under control. With his help, I learned to manage my thyroid disease, manage my cholesterol and lose weight by eating differently and exercising regularly.

After I became pregnant with my 1st child, the desire to nourish my body grew stronger. I wanted to provide the best conditions I could for the growing baby. I read and read and finally began to know and understand some of the food decisions my father made. I finally knew for myself why we had eaten bee pollen, umiboshi plums and miso soup.

For over ten years now, I have been on this amazing journey of health and wellness. In a year, I consume hundreds of books, articles, documentaries, demos and the like, teaching myself to honor my temple through proper nourishment, rest and exercise. While my name is Tyra, I’m no food tyrant. I simply seek to make choices that are God honoring and since He has taught me how to care for my temple, following through on that is the least I can do. Furthermore, His word says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Wednesdays here on the blog are Wellness Wednesdays. Each Wednesday, I will share a nugget with you that I have learned along my journey with the hope that you will be inspired to implement the suggestions so that you are living fully. And to live fully and feel alive, you must be intentional about caring for your temple. I want to come alongside you to inspire you as you walk out your journey of health and wellness. And the journey requires not only proper nourishment but also adequate rest and exercise and we will tackle all of these here on Wellness Wednesdays too. Thank you for allowing me to partner with you on your journey.

I look forward to sharing some of the best practices that have worked for me. Here are just a few that I’ve implemented which have helped me remain energetic, youthful, strong, and focused.

~ I eat whole, unprocessed, unrefined, plant based foods 85% of the time.
The other 15%…well, I give myself room for a little indulgence.

~I meal plan. Every other Sunday I sit down with my coupons, grocery list
and menu-planning sheet to create a plan for the next two weeks.

~I have a green smoothie for breakfast, a raw salad with some type of protein for lunch and a nutrient dense dinner almost everyday.

~I’ve nearly eliminated dairy from my diet. When I did I immediately noticed all mucus and sinus problems were gone…like instantly!

~I exercise at least 3 days a week. In my ideal world, I would go to Zumba or African dance but since that doesn’t fit into my schedule and family dynamic, I make use of my treadmill, on demand videos, YouTube videos and an occasional boot camp class when I can get there. I also keep my resistance bands in my car for impromptu working out.

These are just a few of the best practices that have enabled me to honor my temple, manage my weight and nourish not only myself but my family as well.

I look forward to our continued journey. So where are you on your health and wellness journey? Let me know because I want to support you.

As always it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully. If you’ve been inspired, please comment and share.

,

Uncontrolled Emotion Leads to Brain Damage

Click media button. Nothing. Click media button again. Nothing. Ok. Don’t panic. Close the window and reopen it. That should work. Click media button again. Nothing…With each click my emotions swelled. Like the tide coming in, a mighty rush of fear, dread and panic swept over me. “What’s wrong? Why today? How will I fix this?” Then doubt crept in. “Am I really supposed to be doing this?” For half a second, I was ready to quit before even coming all the way out of the gate.

This was my status on Saturday morning as I attempted to do more tinkering on this website that had just launched. After testing, restarting, troubleshooting, nothing seemed to work. In fact, it still doesn’t. This post was sent using my phone. I can’t do anything to my site at present.

The capacity to experience a full range of emotions is good, even necessary for survival. It is when our reactions are overwhelmingly negative that we put our health in danger. Chronic occurrences of fear, stress, anxiety, anger and the like disturb cognitive functions. If left unchecked, allowing emotions to run free can actually damage your brain. When emotional outbursts become our baseline behavior, we wire our brains to default to that. Instead of having survival mode instinct for emergencies, it can become our norm.

Yet we live in a culture that says let your emotions be your master. Go with what you feel. Do what makes you happy. Whatever makes you unhappy, get rid of it.

So what are we to do? How can we control our emotions?

Surely I can give you some advice like breathe deeply, meditate, count to ten before reacting. Those are all great. But…if the negative emotions are chronic, there is a deeper, underlying issue. I pray that the next time a situation arises that causes you to be overwhelmed by negative emotion, you pray for God to expose the root of it. The power of the spirit at work in you is capable of mastering your emotion. “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such, there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

We are also better able to control our emotions when we KNOW who we are.

Karen Ward, Founder of Beyond Two, LLC helps people maximize their potential by understand their personalities. Karen says when people understand who they are, they make better decisions. You can find out more about Karen by visiting her on the web at beyondtwollc.com

What can you do today to master your emotions?

, ,

Honor

Man is composed of three parts: Spirit, Soul {mind, will, emotions} and Body.

The spirit is real and active and occupies space in our physical bodies.

Should we not then, create an environment suitable for our hosting our spirit?

When a woman is pregnant and carrying a baby, isn’t it wise for her to create conditions suitable in which the baby can thrive? Some of those conditions will happen automatically like increased blood in the body but others the mother has a direct impact on like: eating nutritious foods for optimal minerals and vitamins, getting adequate exercise and rest and avoiding things which are harmful to the developing baby.

The same can be said for our temple where the Holy Spirit dwells. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

As such, it is imperative that we honor the temple by eating the good of the land, getting adequate exercise and practicing the art rest.

I have to be intentional about caring for my temple.  In caring for my husband, five young children and the women I minister to, the time and energy for self-care could easily fall by the wayside.  To be diligent in caring for my temple, I have implemented a few strategies that have proven successful.

~I nourish my body by eating a green smoothie almost every day for breakfast.  I eat a raw salad for lunch then a sensible, well-balanced, low-calorie, nutrient dense dinner.

~I exercise 3-5 times a week.  I’m no fitness buff but I want my heart strong and my body quick and agile to keep up with my children.  I have 3 sons.  Need I say more?

~I practice to art of rest.  Rest includes sleep, moments of quiet and stillness throughout the day, quiet meditation on God’s word, and the like.

In order for you to carry out your purpose, you have to do that through your body so it is crucial that your physical body functions in optimal condition.

What will you do today to honor you temple?

 

,

Embrace

Jesus makes it very clear that it would do us good to focus our time, energy and efforts on this present moment.

He says in Matthew 6:25-34 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?  Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?“ So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

We would be wise to follow his instructions in this.

SLOW DOWN

Bask in the beauty, majesty and splendor that abounds at this very second. The wonderous way your body was made. Feel your heart beating within your chest. Inhale. Exhale. Breath in the breathe of life.

What sounds do you hear? What beauty lies before your eyes?

DSCN3762

 

This moment; NOW, is all we have. The past is gone and the future isn’t here yet. Embrace THIS moment now. Be encouraged, empowered and equipped to be present for His presence by embracing Him in this moment.

Challenge: Examine where you spend most of your thought life?  Are you dwelling on the past?  Are you concerned and anxious about what’s to come?  Be intentional about embracing this moment called now; the now moment.

,

OBEY

You’ve probably seen items from the OBEY clothing line.  This line while rooted in pop culture considers itself quite counter culture.

That reminds me of Jesus…a sensitivity to the issues of the day yet taught the first shall be last and the last shall be first.

The call to OBEY doesn’t come from a clothing line but comes directly from The Lord himself.

Walking the straight and narrow line of obedience accelerates our growth and maturity. Psalm 84:11 tells usFor the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.” Your Father in heaven is looking to accelerate your personal, spiritual, emotional, social, and physical well being but He needs you to work in concert with him, closely following him and being swift to obediently carry out his commands.

In order to do this, we must be strong and courageous. But no need to fear. He’s taken care of that too. Joshua 1:7-8 promises “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

God’s desire is to give YOU His absolute best, but He needs YOU to do your part; to cheerfully, swiftly obey Him.

In my obedience to God I have surrender material possessions, my job, my womb, my husband, my children, my emotions and on and on.

So tell me, what will you do today to delightfully, cheerfully, obey God?  This is not a rhetorical question.  I want to hear from you.

, ,

Welcome to Inspired Life!

Guess what?

You get to be in the delivery room with me as I give birth to my newest baby.  Every other year for the last 10 years I have given birth.  I am the mother of five wonderful children ages 10 and under.  Today, I am birthing baby number six; not a live birth but a spiritual birth.  This baby is…

InspiredLifeLogo-HighRes-color-notag

This baby has been in gestation for over three years.  I have nurtured this baby while in utero, talked to this baby, read, sang, prayed for and named this baby.  I’ve had friends come alongside to do the same for this baby.  And today we get to have a massive virtual birthday party for my new baby, Inspired Life.

This inspiredtolivefully website serves of your ONE STOP portal to be empowered and equipped so you can live a fully inspired life.  Through weekly blog posts and monthly videos (vlogs) you will receive nourishment for your spirit, mind and body.

I thank you for visiting.  Want to ensure you don’t miss a post? Enter your email above to the right then click the green button to receive the blog posts directly in your inbox.

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

,

Farro Salad

IMG_6702

For my friend Nique, these are not your grandmother’s beets. Beets are good and good for you. To Marcy, you quickly secured a place in my heart with this salad. Posting my version of the recipe here allows it to live on. Thank you friend.

2 cups farro

4 cups water

1 medium cucumber peeled, deseeded and diced

1 large lightly steamed beet, diced

1/4 red onion diced

1/3 cup feta cheese crumbled

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes quartered

1/3 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

tzatziki sauce (optional)

Bring water to boil. Add farro and cook 20-30 minutes (al dente or to your liking) then drain. While farro is cooking, prep the vegetables. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to make a dressing. Pour dressing over farro and toss. Add veggies and feta toss again. Serve with a dollop of tzatziki.

,

Apple Pie Smoothie

IMG_4899

My favorite smoothie. Cool and creamy. Rich and decadent. Dessert in a jar. I usually have this for breakfast once a week.

3 cubes ice

1 cup almond milk

1 medium green apple cored and cut into chunks

1 cup of spinach

1 tbsp nut butter (I use almond or sunflower seed)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 medjool dates

Blend in high speed blender until smooth. Enjoy.

,

Lentil Soup

lentil soup & panini

The mighty legume…lentils. Rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. Lentils are a must in any well stocked pantry. We eat them many ways in our home but lentil soup is in our regular rotation. The smoky sweetness of the berbere, smoked paprika and chipotle pepper give this soup amazing depth. Those three smoky things are my secret ingredients (don’t tell anybody).

Lentil Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium diced onion

1/2 cup chopped carrot

1 rib chopped celery

2 teaspoons salt

1 tsp berbere

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 pound lentils picked and rinsed

1/2 cup diced tomatoes

1 chipotle pepper in adobo

2 large leaves kale deveined and chiffonade

2 quarts vegetable broth

Place the olive oil into a large pot and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, chipotle pepper, broth, berbere and smoked paprika. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low simmer with lid on but tilted until the lentils are tender, approximately 30 minutes. Add the kale and stir. Let sit for 5 minutes. Enjoy!

,

Amaranth and Apples

IMG_4709

Amaranth is an ancient grain rich in fiber, iron, protein and calcium. It can be prepared many ways but my favorite is for breakfast.

1 cup Amaranth

3 cups water

1 tsp Cinnamon

2 Medium Apples, peeled, cored and diced

¼ cup Pecans or Walnuts

Drizzle Maple Syrup

In a pot, combine seeds, water and ½ tsp cinnamon and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until grains are fluffy and water is absorbed. While the seeds are cooking, prepare the apples. Saute apples in a pan with a splash of water. Add last ½ tsp cinnamon and cook until just fork tender. Add amaranth to bowl. Top with apples and nuts and drizzle on maple syrup.