Tips For Maintaining Weight Over The Holidays

Many reports suggest that people gain from 7-10 lbs during the holidays. How can you ensure that you don’t fall into that group? Simply follow the tips below. Honor yourself by honoring your body. Everything you consume either contributes to or detracts from your health. I encourage you to choose well. To help you in choosing well, here are some tips for maintaining your weight over the holidays.


First Things First

Schedule your exercise for the first part of your day so it doesn’t fall to the mercy of the extra holiday errands you’ll probably be running. Picking up food for the office party, a gift for the hostess, Christmas shopping; these extra errands can cut into your time and before you know it, the whole day is over and you haven’t exercised. Author and blogger Ann Voskamp says “Word In, Work Out, Work Your Plan” in that order.


Don’t Skip a Meal

Skipping breakfast and lunch so you can really throw down at dinner? No. Don’t self-sabotage. You need to adequately fuel your body for optimal energy and performance throughout the day.


Make it Count

If you’re consuming calories, make them count. Why waste a significant portion of your caloric intake for the day on empty beverages like alcohol, soda, cider and eggnog? I LOVE eggnog but I don’t love what it does to my body. Your average cup of eggnog has nearly 350 calories and 19 fat grams! So I have to exercise self-control and stay away from the stuff. I’ll save my calories for the small treat that I’ll allow myself to enjoy.


Portion Control

On most round dinner plates there is a ridge about 2 inches in from the edge. Your food should be contained within that inner circle. But most of us fill the plate to the very edge. To prevent overeating, we can exercise portion control by eating off of a salad plate instead.


 Be Selective

Does EVERY item present need to be on your plate? For Thanksgiving I’m going to be selective. I am indifferent when it comes to stuffing so I’m not even going to put it on my plate. Rice pilaf and mashed potatoes, well I could eat those anytime and they aren’t my favorites either so I’ll pass on those too. Again it’s about making those calories and fat grams count.


Beware Of The Sneaky

Oh the sneaky calories that can catch up on you when you aren’t paying attention. You are standing around chatting at a party and each time the hors d’oeuvres come past you grab some. Pretty little phyllo purses filled with goodness, fried little somethings, wrapped little somethings, cheese and crackers, all manner of spreads and dips…and before you know it, BAM! It isn’t even dinner and you’ve consumed enough fat and calories that equate to a dinner.


Wait Before Having Seconds

After eating it takes the brain 20 minutes to register that you’ve eaten. So before you go for that second plate, wait a while. There are also times we mistake thirst for hunger so while you’re waiting sip some water.


It is my prayer that by following these tips you’ll maintain your weight over the holidays and not feel the guilt or weight (no pun intended) of carry around those extra holidays pounds. If you remain steadfast, you can enter 2016 feeling great about your choices and perhaps won’t have to have the proverbial LOSE WEIGHT New Years Resolution.


As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been inspired to live fully.


Photo CreditPhoto Credit


I Choose To Be Healthy

I haven’t always honored my temple.


I haven’t always known how.


When I look at pictures of myself from my thicker days, I thought I was doing some things right then. But I was young and didn’t have all the answers. I didn’t understand that though my frozen dinners were low in fat, they were high in sugar and sodium. I didn’t know that drowning my salad in blue cheese dressing undid all of what I thought I was accomplishing in eating the big plate of leafy greens.


Tyra in college


When I did learn how to honor my temple, I didn’t always obey. But I have to ask myself, “Do you want to be in health and prosper even as your soul prospers?” We have to decide. I choose to be healthy.


Even now, some days are difficult. Just recently I engaged in the battle of the bulge. You can read more about that here. I’m happy to say I waged an all out assault and have since claimed rounds 1 & 2 victorious! I’ve been even more disciplined in my exercise regime, I try to get adequate rest, though I think a new bed would greatly help in that area and my eating habits are good.


I would say my diet is very clean. That means I consume food that is minimally processed and most closely resembles its natural state. But even in that, I knew I could clean it up even more. So for those of us who already eat clean and for those who want to do better, here’s how I’ve raised the bar for myself in the past few weeks:


~Cut Back Sugar

On average, Americans consume about 20 teaspoons of added sugar a day. I probably consumed on average 4-6 teaspoons a day. It lurks in nearly everything. Even in a clean diet it can add up. Even if my healthy friends aren’t consuming refined sugar, several teaspoons a day of maple syrup, agave, honey, coconut palm sugar, Stevia, fill in the blank…add up. So see if there are ways to cut back. I used to have 2 teaspoons in the morning in my coffee. Then I cut that back to 1. Then I cut my coffee. Jesus is still helping me with that transition. You can read more about cutting coffee here. I also cut my “natural” treats like coconut milk ice cream, again the sugar.


~Cut Carbs

I am not waging a war against carbs. But really, do I need to eat pasta more than once a week, even if it is whole-wheat pasta? Do I need to eat a grain with every meal? I’m constantly challenging myself to rethink the plate. We’ve come to know the plate as large section of meat, medium sized portion of starch and small portion of vegetables (read more on that here). So lately I’ve been swapping out my pasta with zucchini noodles, cutting the amount of rice (even though it’s brown rice) and having no baked goods (bread, muffins {even though the muffins would be homemade using all natural ingredients}, cookies).



~Cut The Salty Snacks

Oh dear, I really love and miss tortilla chips. I could easily have tortilla chips 1-3 times a week. A moderate serving size coupled with my favorite hummus. I had rationalized, “I’m eating healthy here Lord, cut me some slack. It’s just organic blue corn tortilla chips and homemade hummus.” And while those snacks are much healthier than Lay’s potato chips, tortilla chips are still fried. And hummus while it is healthy is high in calories for a small serving. So again, it’s obeying God and knowing where I can cut back a little. I’m not saying I won’t eat them again, I’m just cutting back for a while as I temper my actions and taste buds with self-discipline and self-control (I also had to comfortably get back in my jeans). Even raw nuts, which are one of my go to healthy snacks have to be consumed in moderation because they are high in fat (albeit good fats but still high) and they are acidic. And really, who can eat just one serving of nuts? One serving of almond is just 14 almonds! Man, I can eat 3x that easily.


I keep this statement before me as a caution in helping me decide to choose well.


What will I do today to add to not detract from my health?


So throughout the day, when I am presented with CHOICE, I ask myself…


~Will eating a croissant add to or detract from my health?


~Will this cup of coffee add to or detract from my health?


~Will this kale salad add to or detract from my health?


~I’m sleepy but will this exercise add to or detract from my health?


There is no food Swiss neutral. What you consume either promotes or negates good health.


While this may be radical for some, for me it’s just obeying what God has called ME to do. I am not only responsible for my health, but I have to provide nourishment for my husband and my five children. The decisions I make today, will directly affect my children’s DNA thus directly affecting their children to come. I have to be an example for the women I serve in ministry. I need to be strong and healthy in my body to carry out all that God has tasked to my hands. I do not want to defile my body but want His light to radiate uninhibited from this temple so that it draws others near to Him and the decisions I make throughout the day directly impact that. Sometimes it is hard. Sometimes I fail.  But I will try.


What is God whispering to you about what you can do to honor Him by honoring your temple?


So again I ask, not what can you do, but what WILL you do to add to not detract from your health today?


I choose to be healthy. And you can too. Discipline, self-control and obedience pay off.   I am still a work in progress but I feel strong and capable to run with endurance the race set before me.

before and after

Tyra Lane-Kingsland


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

Feature Image Photo Credit
Happy to connect with friends at Dance With Jesus & Fellowship Friday


Being Strong In Spirit

Sunday at church I joined the congregation in high praise singing:


Be glorified in the Heavens

Be glorified in the earth

Be glorified in this temple


Jesus, Jesus, be thou glorified

Jesus, Jesus, be thou glorified


Worship the Lord in the earth

Worship the Lord in this temple


Jesus, Jesus, be thou glorified

Jesus, Jesus, be thou glorified


And as I sung, “Be glorified in this temple”, I knew the Lord was talking about my physical temple, my body as opposed to the physical church building.


My temple, this body of mine…presented as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable unto God.


The spirit of the living God takes up residence in this temple and whatsoever I do to my physical body, because my spirit, body and soul are one, impacts another part. To neglect my body, is to neglect my spirit, is to neglect my mind because after all they are one…three yet one.


The veil was torn. Jesus gave himself up. He was faithful to send the Advocate who now resides in you. You are the sanctuary that houses the spirit of God living in you.


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? 1 Corinthians 6:19


After service, as I looked out at the sea of the congregants, I thought to myself “Are we as a body glorifying Him in our temples?”


And my answer to myself was no. It was and is so grievous to me that the body of Christ isn’t radiating as the salt and light of the earth when it comes to our health. I am nearly in tears as I type this. God has given me a tremendous burden to encourage his people to OBEY Him. I was speaking with Dr. Celeste Owens, Author, Certified Natural Health Professional and friend about the mandate God has given me to call his people to obey. I want to shout from the rooftop “OBEY YE THE WORD OF THE LORD!” And my friend, the good Dr. Celeste said to me, “Tyra in what area are we (the body of Christ) most disobedient? In our health and no one is really confronting it head on.”


Oh saints, we’ve got to do better. Oh how I weep for the body of Christ right now. I trust that the Lord has been whispering, nudging, prodding you to honor your temple. I implore you to harden not your heart and obey his voice.


Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you. Deuteronomy 6:3


Those who love him, obey him. For those who have begun making incremental changes, I rejoice with you for each victory and I cheer you on as making the decision to choose well when it comes to consuming whole, nourishing foods is not easy. But by the power of the spirit that resides and works in you, you are more than a conqueror so stay the course.


So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.  But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16


We will purpose to eat well. We will eat in moderation. We will enjoy tasty, nourishing foods yet we will be mindful that the Bread of Life is our unfailing source of nourishment.


Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags. Proverbs 23:20-21


Even if you feel like you “eat right” the mental hold that food has over us can be great. Our fixation to have certain foods at certain times can also be a stronghold. I love, love, love Lindt’s Lindor Truffles, small round decadent individually wrapped balls of chocolate. I’d only eat one a night. Because I exercised moderation in eating just one I thought I was doing good until this one night. I was preparing to go to bed and I needed, just had to have that one Lindor ball. So as I proceeded to make that long walk downstairs to my kitchen, the Lord whispered, “You don’t need that.” To which I replied, ”Um, but I really want it.” He whispered, “Not tonight.” To which I replied, “It’s just one.” To which he responded, “Do you want the candy more than you want me? Find comfort and solace in me.”


OUCH! That one nightly piece of candy had become a source of comfort, joy and peace that I treasured and my attachment to it became unhealthy. Not too damaging to my body but interfering with my spirit. Needless to say, I haven’t had my beloved Lindor Truffles in over a year.


Our physical appetites warrant as much self-control as our appetites for lust, anger, and greed. We hear preaching from the pulpit on those topics but very little about our relationship with food.


Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41


And food is so deeply rooted in church culture. Even the word fellowship has been watered down and has become synonymous with food. Sunday afternoons across America can find congregants gathering over hams, fried chicken, meat slathered in gravy, biscuits and baked goods galore.


Let us embracing being strong in spirit by being strong in body through consuming foods that honor the temple. For assistance in choosing well, check out these posts:


In order for us to have optimal wellness, our minds, bodies and spirits must be nurtured and tended; any one area left unkempt tips the scales. Can we truly embrace being strong in spirit yet neglect the body? I venture to say no. So what are we to do?


Consume foods that add to not detract from our health


Eat appropriate portions


Obey the Spirit’s guidance as to what an optimal diet is for you. As my friend Dr. Celeste says, God has a tailor made diet for each individual.


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

Honored to be connecting today with my friends at Missional Women


Healthy Eating On The Go

Running at a frenzied pace.


Out the door.


In the car.


Drop 3 at school.


Drop 1 at preschool.


Back in the car.


Errands. Errands. Errands.


Do it all again in reverse.


Boy Scouts, Church, Robotics.


In and out and in and out.


How about you?


Home, to work, to the gym, to the dry cleaner then back home again? In between all the GOING and DOING we can get a little hungry. So what do we eat when we’re on the go? How do you stick to your commitment to eat better when short on time or in a hurry? How do you prevent from falling into the quick and easy junk food trap?


How do you not succumb to pulling into the drivethrough?


What the formula to ensure healthy eating on the go? By always keep some healthy snacks on hand, that’s how you do it.


At a minimum I keep snack sized ziplock bags and dried fruit in the car.


Healthy Eating On The Go:


~Grapes (wash & dry them as soon as you get them home from the grocery and      store them in snack sized ziplock bags


~Clementine oranges

~Apples & Almond Butter

snack 2

(Not a prize winning photo but real time eating on the go from my passenger seat)



~carrot sticks

~Smoothie/Juice made the day before

2014-10-28 08.59.16

~Water (sometimes we confuse hunger for thirst to this is my 1st go to)

~Raw Revolution Bars (I buy these rarely to have on hand in a pinch)


As I often say, Proper Preparation Prevents Pitfalls. It is the first week of February.  If you made some health goals for this year, stick with them.  If you’ve fallen down while trying, that’s ok.  Pick yourself up and try again.  It’s one small decision at a time that secures the victory.  Now go and prepare those healthy snacks and  throw them in your bag so you’ll be prepared the next time hunger strikes.


Tell me some of your tips for healthy eating when you’re on the go.


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


Amaranth and Apples


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.