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Worship The King

Adoration.

 

Glorification

 

Exaltation.

 

Worship.

 

We were created to worship the true and living God. What an honor and a privilege to give Him my absolute best. Worship is the act of giving sacrificially of yourself out of your love for God.

 

But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 4:23-24

 

True worship comes from the heart. As I open my heart and open my mouth in recognition of the great, mighty, powerful, loving God I serve, I move closer and closer into that sacred space with him. When we worship not only do we demonstrate our love, reverence, awe and honor for God but we also create an atmosphere conducive for having a personal encounter with Him. He says, “If you draw near to me, I will draw near to you”.

 

I am just coming off of a 3 days immersed in worship. Dr. Celeste Owens Ministries hosted The Surrender Healing Retreat. During my time at this retreat I was completely immersed in a worship experience. In fact, the experience was so overwhelming I have been having a difficult time adjusting back to my normal routines. I feel like I am in a fog of sorts but in a good way. I have continued to cry, pray, and praise. I have been at a loss for words, which is rare for me.

 

Oh to bask in God’s glory. To feel the radiant heat of His love saturate the atmosphere and fill me. I am bubbling over. I literally feel as if my body cannot house my spirit, like my spirit has been so ignited that I will combust. Whoo God! And I want to remain in this sweet space.

 

But that sweet sacred space

Of meeting Him face to face

Ignites my soul

It makes me whole

I am forever changed

No longer the same

Filled with love and light

My spirit takes flight

As I worship the King

 

Standing on Holy ground

All love grace and peace abound

Standing in the most place

Seeing the Master face to face

As I worship the King

 

Commonly, worship is associated with music only. While music is a conduit to ushering in worship, it is not our only form of worship. We can engage in worship through:

 

Obedience

 

Serving

 

Making Joyful Noise

 

Giving

 

Proskuneo is the word used most often for worship in the New Testament. It implies having deep reverence, to bow down or fall down before. In its early usage, it was designated for falling down and lying prostrate before a king to kiss his feet, hem of his garment or the ground. As believers, our worship is not only a physical act of lying or bowing, but our spirits should maintain a posture of being laid out before our holy God. Every day all day we should remain open, sensitive and humbly connected, rooted and grounded in the Father’s presence.

 

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

Psalm 29:2

 

Oh friends I invite you to take your shoes off, dust off your feet and join me. This is holy ground! Leave the cares of this world behind as we move into the most holy place to commune with our God. Worship the King.

 

What will you do to create an atmosphere conducive for pure, authentic, uninhibited worship?

 

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

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The Battle Of The Bulge

One leg in, next leg in. Pull up. Bring the two sides together east to west to button my pants…and…this can’t be?!

 

I can hardly button my pants!

 

Oh no. How did this happen?

 

When did this happen?

 

I was crushed. I guess I hadn’t noticed it before because I was wearing pants with a little give or a poly/cotton blends. But these slacks had no give so it was an accurate assessment. Either my pants have gotten smaller or I have gotten bigger and I’m sure it’s not the former.

The entire day I was beside myself. I couldn’t shake it. Even now it’s difficult to write but I’m sharing with you so that you might be encouraged if you have ever fought the battle of the bulge.

 

ME & Weight

The ladies on my mother’s side of the family are THICK. As a child, I was average size. As a teen, I was shapely, still pretty much average size. Then during my freshman year of college I gained double the freshman 15. Poor eating habits coupled with the grief of losing my mother found me at the bottom of a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Wavy Gravy often. And I carried that weight around until my mid-twenties. You can ready more about managing weight here.

 

For the last 12 years I’ve been pregnant every other year. Actually last year finally broke that record of not adding a new baby to our home. So for the first time in forever, without the influx of pregnancy I have to manage my weight over a long stretch. Because I have been heavy before (the mid-twenties me) I am fearful of getting big again. I try to focus my attention on eating right and exercising and less on weight. But now with the whole pants debacle…

 

Size

I rarely get on a scale. Only when I go to my primary care doctor and they insist. I just use how my clothes fit as the gauge of my size. Well that encounter with that pair of jeans last week has revealed the size is shifting.

 

So I asked myself, how did this happen?

 

I am so committed to eating clean, honoring my temple and being disciplined. I usually do some type of workout every other day (though I don’t always push myself as far as I know I could). But really, gaining weight? Come on Lord help me out here. What more can I do? I actually had an attitude with the Lord because I feel like I’m trying to do everything right as related to my health and this is my reward?

 

Then the Lord answered. You see, He has a tailor made diet for each of us but we have to be OBEDIENT to His voice. I was disobedient. I lacked self-control.

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

 

Oh dear, when it comes to my favorite food, I have to admit I have no self-control. With food I am an otherwise disciplined, self-controlled person, but put a bowl of popcorn in front of me and I will demolish the whole thing. Yup, you read it right; popcorn is my all time favorite food. Not my favorite snack, but my favorite food. And I am disciplined enough to measure out just a single serving. But then I’ll come back for another and another.

 

The Lord was gently whispering to me, “Moderation”. But the popcorn was so good I lacked moderation. Now I love popcorn any way you serve it and I make a mean batch at home popped in coconut oil with my special blend of spices. But I found this organic white cheddar popped in coconut oil at Costco and from then on my friends it was a wrap. For a month straight I ate this popcorn nearly every day and now I’m paying for it. I knew it had gotten bad when I went to Costco JUST to buy a single bag of popcorn.

 

Just an aside, on Monday I talked about uncovering guilt, shame and regret so that we can be healed, you can click here to read more of that but I’m so happy right now to disclose this issue of the popcorn with you because revealing it is part of my healing. I am moving forward and will not harbor guilt for my gluttony.

 

While my issue is just with popcorn, my lack of self-control with it is major. One of the three pillars of my mission is to honor the temple. What an embarrassment for me to have fallen in this area when I am supposed to be encouraging you and setting an example. But I can give full disclosure because we are in this race together and I want you to keep pressing toward the mark for the prize.  There may be days when we stumble but I want you to get back up and try again because this isn’t just about food, it’s about our walk with God.

 

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

 

I do not wish to disqualify myself from the call God has given based on my lack of self-control so I bring my body under the subjection of Christ and will heed His voice.

 

He’s also whispering to me about my daily cup of coffee. One thing at a time Lord, baby steps please.

 

If you’ve ever been in the battle of the bulge, you know this is not an easy fight. You must remain committed and stay the course. Your future and the future of your family are hinging on it. YOU are worth it.

 

P.S. I went to Costco yesterday and in shopping my routine aisles, there it was staring at me, my beloved popcorn. Glory to God for self-control because I left there without purchasing any.

 

“The one quality which sets one man apart from another-

the key which lifts one to every aspiration

while others are caught up in the mire of mediocrity-

is not talent, formal education, nor intellectual brightness –

it is self-discipline. With self-discipline all things are possible. 

Without it, even the simplest goal can seem like the impossible dream. “

-Theodore Roosevelt 

 

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

 

Photo Credit

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Nutty Seed Granola

Nutty Seed Granola

 

We love granola in my house. But our favorite organic granola is SO expensive. This family of 7 uses our resources wisely and buying a luxury item like this granola seems wasteful to me when I already have all the ingredients at home to make my own. I can also control the amount of oil and sweetener by making it myself. So let’s grab a few pantry staples and whip up a batch of Nutty Seed Granola.

 

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

½ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup sliced almonds

¼ cup raw sunflower seeds

¼ cup flax seed

4 tbsp coconut oil melted

3 tbsp honey

1 tbsp maple syrup

½ tsp cinnamon (I use 1 tsp because I really really love cinnamon)

 

Preheat oven 350. On a baking sheet, toast oats in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove oats from oven and lower the temp to 250. Mix all contents in a bowl and pour onto baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden. Stir midway through baking.

Granola on baking sheet

Cool then store in airtight container.

Nutty Seed Granola

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

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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

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How to Get Them to Eat Right

He’s a picky eater.

Oh she’ll never eat that.

He doesn’t eat anything green.

 

I’ve heard parents say it all regarding their children’s food habits. I am persuaded that children can and will eat healthy foods. The onus is on the parent to know the way, show the way then go the way.

 

The home is a ministry center for nourishing the spirit, mind and the body. Just as we train them up to respect authority, to do well in school, to try their best in their extracurricular activities and the like, we have to train them to care for their health by consuming foods that nourish the body. It is our responsibility to point to way that leads them to eat right.

 

Train up a child in the way he should go,

And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

 

We can actually begin that training in utero. Flavors are actually transmitted through amniotic fluid. Flavors are also present in breast milk. So early on we can introduce our children to a wide variety of flavors. We can acclimate them to the tastes from different cultures and different cooking methods i.e. eating cooked foods and raw.

Joaquin green smoothie

2014-10-10 10.19.06

This Little guy is always snagging my green smoothies

 

Everything you present isn’t always going to be adopted right away. One of my children never liked oatmeal. But every time we had oatmeal she took 2 courtesy bites. Guess who loves oatmeal now? But she didn’t enjoy it until she was 9. And this morning we had oatmeal and she was the first one happily lapping it up. Studies suggest it takes 8-10 tries of something that one claims they do not like before it’s adopted.  And then some things, yes, they just won’t like.  And I’m ok with that.  I don’t eat potato salad and I don’t eat Okra.  But I try a bite every now and again…just in case my tastes have changed.

 

Oh how my heart is wrenched when I see parents who’ve adopted new eating habits yet let their children continue to consume unhealthy foods on a consistent basis. I believe the parents may be thinking the children just won’t eat healthy, they’ll never try it, I want peace, I don’t want to fight with them and similar lines of thinking. I know it’s hard Mom and Dad but we’ve got to be creative, diligent, persistent and insistent on helping our children eat right.

 

The way I eat now isn’t the way I was raised as a young child either. My favorite meal as a kid was Kraft macaroni and cheese with fried chicken wings and canned corn. My mother, bless her heart did the best she could with what she had. Besides she was the baby girl in her family and never learned to cook. But when we know better, God holds us accountable to do better.

 

For those that now desire a better way, God can redeem the time and restore the years that have already passed. Do you desire change but don’t know how to get your family on board? How to get them to eat right? Try these tips.

 

Invite them in the kitchen when you are preparing meals

 kids blend Ninja

chappati

 

kids eat collards

Let them help create the menu

Tofu Lettuce Wraps

 

Stock the fridge and pantry with nourishing foods

IMG_2177

fridge full produce

Well, when these are your options, you eat what’s here or go hungry

 

Let them choose one new item each week from the grocery store.

groceries

Take them to places that are rich in new food experiences

Dc Veg Fest

 

Kids Food Fest

 

Make healthier versions of stuff they like

Fries

granola bars

Serve food in the “make your own plate” style. This works well for Taco Bar, Baked Potato Bar, Tapas

chipotle at home

Teach them what a serving size looks like

 

Teach them to read food labels

Following are 2 examples of doing this with my children. A McDonald’s coupon booklet came in the mail and my daughter wanted the fries. I told her to look up the ingredients. Once she saw the list she said never mind. Another time she got a rice crispy treat from a school party. I told her to read the list of ingredients. She came across a few items that she couldn’t pronounce, including tert-Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ). This additive found in many packaged foods is a preservative and in high doses is a carcinogenic. In addition to food, it is used industrially as stabilizer to inhibit corrosion and is added to varnishes and lacquers. Needless to say we got a good laugh out of that one and she went on to eat the treat but hasn’t eaten one ever again. TBHQ and High Fructose Corn Syrup are now running jokes over here. Even my 6 year old reads the labels and if she sees sugar listed in the 1st 5 ingedients she’ll tell her siblings, “That’s not healthy!”

 

I know change is possible. The children of one of my friends would only eat pancakes for breakfast and chicken nuggets for dinner. That was their norm for several years. As God began to reveal a better plan to my friend, she slowly adopted new habits and it became a family affair.

 

Now I’m no health food Gestapo. My children do like pizza and ice cream. And I do let them indulge occasionally. Besides, they get enough junk from well meaning teachers, coaches, mentors, friends, and even the dry cleaner that they don’t need it at home too.  So as a baseline, we eat our food close to the way it looked when it grew.

 

At ages 10 & 9, my oldest children have gotten to the age where they are making many of their own food choices. At home, they are presented with healthy foods (with the occasional chips and cookies Daddy brings home. I love the guys but I swear sometimes I feel like he’s playing on the other team. Mommy’s offering raspberries and here comes Cookie Man, the hero to save the day). When at a friends house, church event, or family function, I simply remind them to choose well. I may also suggest to them to think about what they’ve already consumed that day and to choose well based on what nutrients or junk they’ve already put in.

 

Studies predict that for the first time in history, the next generation will have a shorter life span than their parents. And what makes that even more tragic is that the decline in life expectancy is primarily due to obesity related diseases that are largely preventable. Just as we desire to be in health and prosper even as our souls prosper, don’t we have that same desire for our children? If so, what are we doing today to make that a reality for our children?

 

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live. Deuteronomy 30:19

 

Being a parent is tough and requires us to make tough decisions. But as a parent you make the tough decisions out of the love you have for your children. We cannot be too passive, tired, weary, or frustrated when it comes to parenting and helping them choose well in honoring the temple is included in that.

 

Oh how much easier it would be for me to cook a boxed starch already seasoned, take a protein and douse it in a ready made sauce, heat some frozen veggies and call everyone to the table for dinner? How much easier it would be for me to go through the drive through on the nights we have Boy Scouts because after dropping 3 of the 5 to school, taking another to pre-school then taking the baby with me to grocery shop at 2 different stores come home put groceries away, wash, dry, fold and put away 3 loads of laundry, clean a bathroom, make ministry phone calls, take back overdue library books, pick up dry cleaning, go back to the school for afternoon pickups, take the 30 minute drive back home to change clothes and quickly eat dinner before we take that same 30 minute drive back out to the Boy Scouts meeting….whew the drive thru would have been real convenient. And in a rare pinch I may have to make a run to Chipotle but that’s rare. True nourishment comes from the love I infuse into the fresh fruits, vegetable, legumes and whole grains my family noshes on.

 

The food I offer them each day is making an impression not only on their taste buds in the moment but is being coded in their brains. They are developing a preference for salt, fat and sugar. It is my prayer that they would desire foods that nourish and honor their bodies.

 

The Lord gave me a major revelation as related to the health of my children and their children to come. I was filling out some initial new patient forms, one of which was the family history. I went down the line checking off ailment after ailment that my mother, grandmother and other immediate family members have had. Diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, glaucoma, migraines, autoimmune disorders and more…CHECK. In that moment the Lord said, “The choices you make today will break the curse”. In the church we talk about breaking generational curses and the Lord was telling me how I could have a direct impact on breaking some of the health curses over my family. He said, “Choose well and your children won’t have to check some of these boxes and then their children will check even fewer.” Can we say PRAISE HIM for revelation!

 

So out of my love for them, even if they don’t like me for it now, I’m training them to choose well when it comes to food. Sure, they’d probably like some McDonald’s fries on a Friday night but when I think about the 17 ingredients in there…I just can’t. My goodness, shouldn’t it just be potatoes, salt and oil? And sure I feel for them when they are ostracized at school for having “weird” food but I just have to remind them and myself that we are set apart, a chosen generation, and a royal priesthood. We are a peculiar people and I pray that in taking this small stance with being proud of what’s in their lunchboxes, that it will lay the foundation for when they come up against even greater persecution.

IMG_1770

I am confident that you are nurturing your children’s mental, spiritual, social and emotional well being. So what can you do today to ensure that you are positively contributing to their physical well-being as related to the food they consume?

Eli loves veggies

I know…the big knife’s a danger to the little guy.  He just loves raw veggies and is always reaching in to grab some.

Disclaimer

{This was a hard post for me to write, as I wanted to be sensitive to each family’s background, preferences, dynamics, finances, beliefs about food, etc. There is so much that plays into our relationship with food. Out of obedience to God, I’ve written it exactly as He’s given it to me so I pray hearts are open and receptive as I share only from a place of love and concern.}

 

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

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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!

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Who Else Wants To Get Fit?

A sucker punch in the face. That’s what happened as I read the words on the screen. For years I had believed I was doing my body good by being “active” until I came face to face with this starling truth, active and fit are not created equal.

 

I used to say that running around, playing with my children and running errands with my children was my health club membership. I believed I was getting enough exercise. Besides, I did workout from time to time albeit a brisk stroll on my treadmill and lifting 10 lb. weights every now and again.

 

Then a friend invited me to a fitness studio called Fit Like Me Divas. I had watched her metamorphosis, both internal and external as she committed to this new way of life. She invited me and when I could finally get childcare I decided to go.

 

Well initially, I thought, “These ladies are crazy”. “They are working way too hard and it doesn’t take all that.”  Though I had a great workout and pushed my body to perform things I never imagined possible, I was a bit annoyed that my hair was ruined because of all the sweating. Really?! Did it take all that?

 

Nonetheless, the next week, I was right back in there with trainer, Nevie Gray who it turns out isn’t crazy but determined to see women living up to their full potential. Not only was she guiding these ladies in how to get fit, she was guiding internal transformation as well.

 

After a few weeks of attending the Saturday bootycamp class, I received the blog post from Nevie Gray that collided with my foundational truth. My previously held belief that being active was enough was…well…not enough.

 

Being ACTIVE is engaging my body in physical activity i.e. playing with my children, standing while cooking, standing while helping children with their homework. Sure all that standing and movement could help me reach my fitbit goals but would that translate to being fit? And while my weight, stress test and cholesterol numbers may all be good by being active, I don’t want to feel my arms burning from carrying a few bags of groceries or get winded chasing my 2 year-old son or struggle to support the weight of my elderly grandmother.

 

Being FIT is pushing my body to achieve what it’s capable of performing in terms of strength, endurance, flexibility, speed and agility. As we can see, Active & Fit, the two are indeed NOT created equal.

 

I want my body to be able to perform at its peak ability. I can only get there by pushing myself, testing my limits and moving from the active zone to the fit zone. I was able to get into that zone with the PUSH from Nevie. She would say, “Get out of your head”. The head is the active zone. Then I’d be thrust into the fit zone where I felt strong, courageous, healthy and capable. When I operate in the fit zone, I almost feel lighter than air, like I’m walking on water. There is an extra bounce in my step.

 

Now let me back this train up just a bit here to address one more thing. I am no fitness buff. In fact, half the time, I’d rather write, read or clean than exercise. And my favorite forms of working out: African Dance class and Zumba aren’t a possibility with my family dynamic. Despite my schedule, childcare challenges or any other reason I can conjure up, I have a mandate to honor my temple.

 

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

The way that I honor God with my body is by honoring my temple through proper nourishment, rest and exercise.

 

So who else wants to get fit?  If you want to move from the active zone to the fit zone here are a few things you can do:

 

~Get support by joining a fitness community. If you’re in the Metro Washington DC area please check out Fit Like Me Divas

 

~Schedule your exercise just like any other appointment

 

~Make your exercise count i.e. 30 minute treadmill run {active} vs. 30 minute high intensity internal training {fit}

 

~Properly fuel your body. Like any piece of fine machinery you have to properly fuel your body by eating food that is alive and unprocessed

 

~Carry weights, bands, kettle ball, or other equipment in your car and use them

 

What do you do to maintain a fit lifestyle? Please share your comments below.

 

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

 

Photo Credit

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10 Simple Swaps

GMO, Organic, High Fructose Corn Syrup oh my. Information on healthy eating can be daunting and overwhelming. The onslaught can be paralyzing; forcing you to throw your hands up in resignation and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar.

 

Well, the holidays are upon us and I think it’s the perfect time to examine our health, honor our temples and be purposeful about making decision that NOURISH LIFE. Everything we eat either improves or detracts from our health. So to get you started (or to keep you motivated) here are 10 Simple Swaps for Nourishing Life. Since you are probably going to take several trips to the grocery store between now and Thanksgiving, just print this out and take it with you.

 10 Simple Swaps*

 

1. Vegetable Oil/Canola Oil

Olive Oil

Grapeseed Oil

Coconut Oil

Rice Bran Oil

 

2. White Sugar

100% Maple Syrup

100% Organic Honey

Rapadura & Turbinado are natural, organic unrefined sugars

 

 3. Iodized Salt

Sea Salt

Himalayan Salt

 

 4. Salad Dressing

Annie’s Naturals

Homemade is the best. Chances are you have most of the ingredients at home. Your basic dressing will generally have a balance of oil, acid (i.e. balsamic vinegar), sweet (honey).

 

 5. Seasoning Salt

Spike

Virtuous Living Spices I can personally vouch for this line of spices which I use frequently in my kitchen. These products are responsibly sourced, gluten-free, Kosher and non-GMO. And the owner is a sweetie too!

 

6. White Rice

Organic Brown Rice

Quinoa

Millet

 

7. White Bread

100% Whole Grain Bread

Sprouted Bread (Ezekiel is a popular brand and sold in most conventional grocery stores)

 

 8. Dairy (Overall limit intake of dairy. Will expound on this in a future post)

Milk: Almond with no Carrageenan

Cheese: Organic. Non-dairy cheese

Yogurt: Plain Greek, Coconut Milk Yogurt

 

 9. Soda/Fruit Drinks/Juice

Make your own infused water: citrus (orange, lemon, lime), raspberry lime, mint lime, pineapple mint

 

 10. Canned Vegetables

Frozen vegetables

Fresh produce from local farmer’s market

Fresh produce from ‘pick-your-own’ farm or CSA (community supported agriculture)

 

*The 1st item listed is more commonly known and readily available in most conventional grocery stores. Subsequent items may be found in conventional grocery or may require a trip to your natural food store.

 

If you have questions about any of the items listed, please comment below. And after you’ve purchased something from the list, come back and let me know.

 

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:2

 

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

 

Photo Credit

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The Secret of Doing Better

So the old saying goes…”When you know better, you do better”.

 

Well, I don’t know if I fully concur with that statement. I would venture to say most of us “know” plenty. I don’t think we have a knowledge problem but more of an application problem. There is another saying. “Knowledge is Power”.

 

Well yeah, knowledge is power but only if it’s put to use. Where I live, in the Mid-Atlantic it’s starting to get cold in the evenings. Now my furnace itself is in great condition and functioning well. My natural gas supplier has sent the gas to my home. But if I don’t go to the thermostat and turn it on to begin the heating cycle I will remain cold. So what good is the power if it isn’t accessed and applied?

 

It’s Wellness Wednesday here on the blog and it is my goal to inspire you to honor your temple through proper nourishment, rest and exercise. This truth is one of the three pillars on which I’ve built Inspired Life. But guess what? There are times, even with the vast encyclopedias worth of knowledge I have in my head that I just don’t want to do what I know is right. Half the time I don’t want to exercise. I want to in my head, but making that happen with a 3 school age children, preschooler, a toddler, 2 loads of laundry, cooking for 8 people, and walls to wipe down, and floors to sweep and bank runs to make and on and on all in one day. Whew! You see there went my motivation to workout.

 

The same can be said for eating right. Well, most days I do want to eat right. But after my hands get raw and cracked from having them in water so much from all the produce I handle daily and the cooking and chopping, and cooking some more and washing and peeling, man I would really like the luxury to just throw a frozen family sized entrée in the oven. Some days I would like to just eat 4 slices of pizza. When I am in the grocery store and I look into the cart of the person behind me and hers is filled with soda, frozen dinners, chips, Lunchables, Rice-A-Roni and more, I think “Why can’t I just do like that instead of reading every food label, and picking, picking, and picking over produce and worrying about GMO (Genetically Modified Organism). ”

 

BUT…then I am reminded of this.

 

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17

 

I don’t now about you, but I don’t desire to willfully disobey God. As such, since I know better, I MUST do better. And by the power that works in me, I am capable of doing better. As it relates to honoring my temple, I cannot feign ignorance to the knowledge God has made known.

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. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

 

So what does it take to do better?

 

DISCIPLINE!

 

So I guess the secret of doing better isn’t a secret at all. It’s just a matter of being disciplined enough to make the best choice. The spirit at work in us enables us to choose well. And choosing well doesn’t necessarily mean exercising everyday or else you’ll be morbidly obese. Nor does it mean eat healthy every day or else you’ll die of heart disease, that’s being legalistic. But it does mean that I purpose I will choose well. It means I will be self-disciplined. Instead of 4 slices of pizza, maybe I’ll eat one or even a half because all I want to do is satisfy that initial hot, salty, cheesy longing. It means that occasionally my family will eat dinner from the Chinese restaurant. It means that even if I don’t feel like exercising because everything else is competing for my attention, I will give my body back 30 minutes of exercise for the 1440 minutes God has given me today.

 

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

 

What will you do today to be disciplined?

 

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

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Broccoli in Garlic Sauce

Save your money and eat at home tonight. Everyone in my house loves Chinese Food. And what’s not to love about it? The flavors tantalize the palette with the perfect balance of salty, sweet, and acidic. Here is an easy healthy recipe that’s in regular rotation in my home. The bonus is the dressing has multiple uses i.e. add Sriracha and have Szechuan String beans, use as a marinade, add peanut butter and make Sesame Noodles. The options are almost endless.

Broccoli in Garlic Sauce
1 lb broccoli
2 large carrots
4 sprigs scallion sliced on bias
4 large cloves garlic peeled and minced
1 tbsp ginger grated
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sesame oil
¼ cup soy sauce (or a little less, to taste)
¼ cup water
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp honey (optional)

Bring a pot of water to boil. Trim broccoli into florets. Peel and cut on bias into ¼ in slices. Blanch broccoli and carrots by placing into boiling water for 2-3 minutes. While the broccoli is cooking, prepare the liquid for the sauce. In a bowl combine soy sauce, water, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger. Whisk to combine. In a separate small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 2 tbsp water. Remove broccoli from pot and place in an ice bath (large bowl filled with ice water). This will preserve the bright green color and stop the cooking. Drain and set aside. In a wok heat the olive oil over medium. Add broccoli/carrot and sauté for 3 minutes. Pour soy dressing in wok. Toss. Add cornstarch mixture. Sauce will begin to thicken. Add scallion and cook additional minute. Serve with brown rice. Enjoy!IMG_7459.JPG