Posts

8 Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

Sour. Tangy. And down right thirst quenching. That’s my take on lemon water. I drink it every day, all day and have been doing so for at least 6 years now. We’ve all been taught to drink our 8 cups a day. Why not up the benefits quotient of your daily water by adding lemon.

 

Lemon

 

It’s like holding the sun in your hands. Its color radiates brilliance. From being used in the 1700’s to successfully fight scurvy to today’s lemon water hype, the Lemon has:

 

~51% of your daily value of Vitamin C

~Vitamin B-6, Thiamin, Magnesium, and Potassium, among others.

~Antioxidant Power

 

8 Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

 

It is suggested that lemon water:

~Makes Your Belly Flat

~Improves Digestion

~Helps The Liver Perform Optimally

~Keeps Sickness At Bay

~Helps Improve Acid/Alkaline Balance

~Helps Improve Skin

~Helps Increase Iron Absorption

~Is An Anti-Inflammatory

 

A few studies have been done to substantiate many of these claims. We can also surmise a few things that just MAKE SENSE as related to the benefits of drinking lemon water.

 

~Lemon does contain pectin fiber, which can help control hunger. So chances are that can help curb your eating thus impacting the belly.

~Lemon water can help relieve symptoms of indigestion and increase production of bile aiding digestion.

~The typical American diet is highly acidic. This causes a condition in the body called acidosis. Drinking lemon water can help bring acid/alkaline levels back into balance.

~Vitamin C is important in the formulation of collagen so yes drinking that lemon water would seem to make your skin glow and appear taut.

~Iron is more easily absorbed when paired with Vitamin C so add a squeeze of lemon juice to your protein or spinach for better iron absorption.

~Lemons are antioxidants which cut down free radicals, boost the immune system and help you heal faster.

 

Personally, I find that it quickly quenches my thirst. When drinking lemon water I am apt to do less mindless eating and I am satiated so that could contribute to keeping the belly from getting big. I rarely get sick, don’t have inflammation and my skin looks well. Should I attribute this to drinking the lemon water? All I’ll say is it’s working for me. And hey, even if you aren’t the recipient of all the wonderful things lemon water is touted to do, you can still feel good about yourself for having consistently drank water and adding the lemon wasn’t taking much of a risk. So go ahead and drink your lemon water.

 

For more on the benefits of lemons click here

 

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

 

Photo 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

,

10 Reasons to Eat This One Thing

Ch-ch-ch-chia. You remember the commercial from the 80’s advertising the pottery that grows. One would take the animal shaped terra cotta form, soak it in water, spread on the seeds, add water and watch it grow. You could buy them at stores like Rite-Aid, CVS, Ames and Woolworth, which makes this trip down memory lane even funnier because some of these stores don’t even exist today.

 

chia pet

 

Chia, which has been cultivated by the Aztecs for ages, means strength. This concentrated super food contains protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. It has a mild flavor and can easily be added to smoothies, cereal, baked goods and savory dishes. So here are 10 reasons why you should eat this one thing.

 

Easily Digestible

Unlike flax seed, the body can easily process chia seeds in their whole form.

 

Calcium

Calcium is essential for healthy bone, muscle and nerve function. While we’ve all been taught for years that you need to drink milk for calcium, here’s a great dairy free way to increase your calcium intake.

 

Phosphorus

A mineral that is present in every cell of the body. It is critical in how the body uses carbs and fat. It also helps with kidney function, the heart and nerve signaling. Again we are told to get it from meat and dairy but its right here in the chia. BAM!

 

Omega-3

We hear a lot about omega-3 in the news these days. This fatty acid can help lower bad cholesterol, curb stiffness and joint pain, and promote healthy development of a growing baby among others. Omega-3 has even been seen to help curb depression. Most often we are told to get it from fish. You can certainly get it there but a sprinkle of chia in your smoothie will do just fine too.

 

Fiber

Helps to keep blood sugar and hunger in check. Most Americans aren’t getting enough. Make sure you get enough by adding a teaspoon of chia to your oatmeal.

 

Manganese

My 6-year old daughter was recently asking me about the skeleton and how it supports the body. Well here we see another mineral that’s key to healthy bones. It is also needed to help absorb calcium and the functioning of the thyroid gland.

 

Protein

When I say protein your mind might immediately think meat. Every cell in the body contains protein too. Chances are you are getting enough in your diet but here’s an easy way just in case.

 

Iron

While most people are probably getting enough protein, I talk to so many people who are iron deficient. Iron is essential for growth, development and cell function. Many people end up taking iron supplements, which can cause constipation. Keep your plumbing running smoothly by just adding chia to your daily routine.

 

Zinc

Important to immune function and wound healing, zinc is also critical for smelling and tasting.

 

Magnesium

Helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function. It also helps your heart beat steady and bones stay strong

 

I hope you are on your way to buy your chia seeds. I get mine from the bulk bin at my local natural food store. You’ve been given 10 reasons to eat this one thing.  Taking small steps can vastly improve your overall health.  Here’s to your next small step.

 

Chia-Seeds

 

Your food is your medicine.

 

Here’s to nourishing your temple.

 

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

,

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.