#TKRgoesveg

I have a lot of ideas in this head of mine. Suggesting that about 80% of them are off-the-wall would be pretty close to accurate. I have dreamt planned about everything from adopting children and animals, to volunteering my life away in Africa… but not just any kind of volunteering, I really wanted to do it on a boat. And although those things sound noble and as if these ideas of mine should continue, those are just the “pretty ones”.

At one point in my life I was planing for a trip in which I would backpack throughout Europe for a month without any plans (or people) and literally only one backpack. I also decided at one point that I wasn’t going to have children but instead just get a lot of boats and water toys.

Then there was that time I decided to ride my bike 25 miles in one day after not being on a bike for about 5 years. This little personality trait of mine isn’t new… when I was much younger, about 8 or so, my parents got me American girl dolls for Christmas, and rather than playing with mine, I had this grand idea of saving them so that they would some day be collectables. I still have them to this day.

To no ones surprise, last week I had my latest decent “idea”. It came from being around some really cool people who are passionate about the environment and the toll we have on it as individuals. From recycling and chemical use, to meat consumption and biodegradable diapers, I was inspired to say the least. So inspired, that I decided to try something I have always promised myself and the world that I would never do…  I decided to try being a vegan for the day!

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The result was a delicious green pea and chickpea salad as well as the above hashtag. After eating the salad (it was amazing) and realizing that maybe getting out of my comfort zone for the summer isn’t such a bad thing… another idea popped into this brain of mine!

** What if I ate a few vegan meals every week… I wouldn’t be going completely vegan, just enough to open my eyes to the lifestyle as well as venture into the world of beans, legumes, fruits, vegetables and super grains.  Maybe I could do this every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Maybe twice on Monday’s in honor of Meatless Monday… maybe I will fail at this – but who cares, this sounds fun! **

At least that’s the conversating I had with myself in my head… so I’m doing it!

I figure that this will be a great experiment for me to depend a bit more on foods that are nutrient dense all the while being light and fresh for these summer months. I am also really excited to learn more about how eating meat and other animal products effects our environment. In fact, this is what I have learned so far about said topic!

  • Livestock are fed grains (soybeans, corn and wheat) that are grown with large amounts of pesticides which are known to reek havoc on the environment. (site)
  • 149 million acres of cropland are used each year to raise livestock, if this cropland was used to grown produce, it would be enough to feed 800 million people. (site)
  • A 2009 study found that four-fifths of the deforestation across the Amazon rainforest could be linked to cattle ranching… this translates to less natural air production and environmental homeostasis. (site)
  • The consumption of to much meat is directly correlated to high risk of cancer and heart disease. (site)

I genuinely have no intention of becoming a vegan long term… it’s hard, but I think that I can definitely change the amount of meat I eat as well as the ways I get it, not to mention all of the other animal products I am consuming. I am not trying to convince anyone of becoming a vegan, nor am I suggesting it cannot be a healthy lifestyle. Instead, I am suggesting that we all become more aware of our eating habits.

So join the party… if you are on pinterest, you can find me at kram_hael to follow along with all my meal postings, you can also search #tkrgoesveg for my posting as well as any other participants on instagram and twitter. If you want to find me on instagram you can do so at tkr_leah and on twitter at the same name. If you want to participate, make sure to use the hashtag above so that your meals can be looked at for inspiration as well.

I am shooting for 4 vegan meals a week, but you can do whatever you are comfortable with! Also, shooting is the key word… I promise not to be to hard on myself 🙂

If you are a blogger, feel free to grab the button I have below and link up on Mondays when I will be sharing with everyone what 4 vegan meals I have had the previous week! Remember that you can’t fail at this… this isn’t a competition and this isn’t about anything more than you being more aware of your eating habits all while having fun!

my vegan summer

If you plan on joining us, leave a comment below. If you already participate in a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle share with us any tips you have below as well. Maybe you have some concerns about giving “my vegan summer” a try… let us know what those are and maybe we can help each other over come some fears. Also, if vegan seems to extreme for you, consider trying vegetarian meals here and there this summer… just remember to stay in touch so that we can all inspire and motivate one another.

 

Why we should do and not just dream

I recently was very discouraged by a few people concerning my dreams.

Now, you see I have a very strong opinion about people who discourage other people’s dreams. I whole-heatedly believe that people who do not offer support, encouragement and love concerning your dreams, do so for a very valid reason. This reason is because they lacked this same support, encouragement and love concerning their dreams at some point in their life. The result is a very black and white thinking about how realistic your dreams are or are not.

The amazing thing to me is that even though I have the above opinion in my mind, being discouraged about my dreams hurts.

After a little “soul searching”, I realized something about the discouragement I received… it fed my own insecurities. By being told that I couldn’t do what I have been verbalizing to people, a part of me was validated… but not a good part.

You see, dreams are very healthy things. Dreams ignite the part of our mind that connects with our heart. At the same time, dreams are scary things… however I am coming to realize that the people who dream, are some of the most satisfied and enjoyable people in this world.

Dreams

I want to you to know that your dreams are something worth perusing. Maybe, with time, you will come to see that your dream didn’t pan out quite the way you expected it to, or maybe you accomplish making your dream a reality. Maybe your dream grows and morphs into something that looks a little different than what it did when it was first birthed within your heart.

It doesn’t matter the end result, what matter is that you keep dreaming. Keeping believing in yourself and your abilities and allow yourself to grow throughout the experience. I promise it will be worth it!

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My dreams –

I want to grow this tiny space on the interweb into a business that helps people take control of their health in a holistic and natural way.

I want to offer some sort of support to teenage moms… whether being able house some while they finish high school or by setting up a ministry of some sort that mentors and encourages them to love their children the way they wish they were loved.

I want to raise children knowing what hard work and love is. Whether this is by sending them to public school, private school or homeschooling them myself I really don’t care as long as they are hard working individuals who genuinely love to love others.

I want to have a small farm some day. I want to know where my food is coming from and understand the hard work that goes into getting it to my table. I want to be a part of everything involved in the nourishment that takes place in my home.

What are some of your dreams?

The Nashville Workout

When I travel, working out is at times difficult. I want to spend as much time as possible with my fiance, so going to the gym seems like a major drag. Add to the “problem” that I am a bit of a cardio queen, and he likes to lift heavy so we end up going to the gym just to not hang out together… I’ll pass!

TNW

The last time I was in Nashville, my main squeeze took me hiking two days in a row. We did a pretty good job because by the end of the weekend we had hiked and walked a total of 19 miles… it was so gorgeous out that he managed to get a little sun burn on his face. Needless to say, I was a little bit more than “in love” with him and our weekend.

When that Monday rolled around, I was itching to be active. The weather wasn’t working in my favor so I knew I was going to have to get a little creative if I wanted to keep up my momentum. Below is what I came up with, and let me tell you… it is a GREAT workout!

The Nashville

The beauty of this workout is that you are only competing against yourself. Depending on your fitness level, you may be doing 1 burpee in a minute or you may be doing 20 in a minute. The other great thing about this workout is that you don’t need equipment to complete it. All you need is a stop walk or timer, yourself and a towel to wipe off the sweat from your face! You also get both a cardio workout through your above new friend as well as some serious toning moves.

With this weekend being a holiday 3 day-er, I see this workout making it’s way into my morning a time or two. I really love that this workout get’s me sweating and feeling good to go so that I can enjoy the rest of my day being active without having to worry about it being proper exercise.

I hope you all enjoy this weekend as well as enjoy this workout! I’m excited to have a nice 4 day weekend and will be enjoying some time in the sun and with family. Do you have any plans for this Memorial Day weekend? What’s your favorite way to stay active during the summer holiday 3 day weekends?

My Body Is

According to our society, our body’s purpose is to measure up. We are compared to (by ourselves and others) models who have been hand crafted and photoshopped, we are compared to the other moms who pick their kids up from school, to the moms who work while we stay home, or those who stay home while we go to work. Our bodies are valued only by measurements, pounds, inches and cup sizes.

But all those things… they are lies!

My Body Is

My body, your body, is a beautiful thing that supports others. Your feet walk you through life and allow you to be used. Your legs, whether large or small, long or short, carry you to people, places and experiences. Your hands are the things that touch others, feed them, clean up after them, pray for them and help guide them. Your face… it may be wrinkled, have acne scars, “beautiful”, or just “normal”… but your face is the thing that makes people feel safe and at home. You face is the one thing that can calm your child during a bad dream, make a client feel at ease during a difficult business project, make your husband feel like his long day at work was all worth it and make your parents feel warmth, proud and joy.

Do you ever think about these things? When you are comparing yourself to others, do you think about the value of your body? I didn’t even mention things such as child bearing! How about when you feel like you are being compared to others? Do you place the value on your body that it deserves?

This isn’t a self righteous and prideful thing, this is truth.

After seeing my sister-in-law carry for 9 months my niece, then give birth to her, breast feed her, wake up with her many many nights and care for her in general… I started to realize that this is more beautiful then any thigh gap, clavicle bone being shown, perky set of boobs or toned muscles.

Your body has the purpose of showing love… whether to your children, family members, or even in the professional world. You are not a machine that should look and feel a certain way, but a beautiful human who shows and gives love!

Don’t compare yourself today to something other than yourself. But even in that, appreciate your body for the value of what it really is, in this season of life and even in this moment.

The Ice Cream Truck

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“Lala, why does the ice cream truck play that song I know?”

One day while driving little miss home from school, she asked me the above question. I held back saying “Because they want to entice little kids in hopes of you nagging your parents so that you can be one step closer to DEATH BY SUGAR all in the name of profit”. Instead I said, because everyone knows that song and we all love it, so they play it to make people happy. Oh the lies we tell children!

This question of hers made me think though… what will my stance be on the ice cream truck when I have children some day?

Most people don’t realize this, but much of my schooling was not just in the biochemistry of how food gets digested, absorbed and transported. Much of my schooling was in the psychology of food. Who, what, where, when and why people eat. How to counsel an obese minor, and their parents. What is does to someone’s social life if it is suggested to them that an entire food group be taken out of their diet, and so and so forth. So when I ask myself “What will be my future stance on the ice cream truck be” – in terms of my pretend children of course 😉 much more than “How many grams of sugar is in a spongebob ice cream treat” is taken into consideration.

Children are delicate beings, and I don’t just mean their tiny little bones. The psyche of a child is a precious, delicate and amazingly complex thing. It is wonderful and intricate and I honestly at times think that children can be smarter, wiser and more compassionate humans than a lot of adults I know.

What a lot of parents don’t realize is that the way you talk about food, use food and make food a part of your life will teach your child how to do the same in their lives. If a child is brought up to never eat sugar, they will be likely to go hog wild in college (discretely mind you), gain weight and then possibly develop an eating disorder. In the same way, a child who is brought up to eat whatever they want, whenever they want will most likely become tired, not interested in they normal likes and even emotionally distant over time. This scenario often leads to seeking out the help of medical professionals and rather than your young adult child viewing food as amazing, powerful and a healing fuel, them viewing it as just something you eat to satisfy taste buds.

Either way, in both extremes, the result is an ingrained theology of food to an individual that will harm them physically, emotionally mentally and possibly even spiritually.

So today I ask you, what is your stance on the ice cream truck? How do you teach your child about the who, what, where, when and why’s of food? Do you find that involving your child in the process of making your food helps start or direct a conversation with them? Maybe you are currently struggling in this area of parenting (who isn’t), if so, leave a comment below and maybe we can all help one another out by talking about healthy parenting concerning food.

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Hypothetically speaking, I would allow my children to get ice cream a few (like 3) times this summer under my supervision (because my parents and in-laws will spoil my children to no end and I’m thankful for that). This may be from the ice cream truck, or maybe I would offer than instead of getting it from the ice cream truck that we take a family walk (or a mommy-daughter/son walk) up to the ice cream parlor so that some “exercise” is included into the activity. I would attempt to communicate to my children why we weren’t getting it if they asked and I said no, something along the lines of – since we are going to nanna and pappa’s tomorrow, and they always have a lost of treats for you there, it’s probably best we don’t get ice cream today because I don’t want us to get belly aches… would you want to get a belly ache? Or maybe the conversation would go something more like… since dinner is in just a little bit, why don’t we eat that first and then look at making our own dessert tonight. The idea for me would be to give my child the memories of getting ice cream from the parlor or the truck so that they don’t feel deprived, however without going nuts and not caring about our health because it’s summer.

 

Treating Seasonal Allergies Naturally

Signs you may be suffering from seasonal allergies…

  • When answering your own phone, people are surprised that it is in fact you because “it doesn’t sound like you”.
  • You wake up in the morning to find a plethora of used tissues near your bed.
  • People who are around you all day make a drinking game out of your sneezing.
  • You get Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday and Thursday confused with each other because, well… you just aren’t sure what day it is anymore.
  • You cant wait until 5p.m. because that is when you get to take your next dose of anti-histamine.
  • You say to your brother “I want to remove my head from my body” in hopes of relieving some of the pressure headaches you have been getting.
  • People tell you that you look tired…. like all the time because your eyes look terrible.

This last week has been a bit runny for me… all of the above things have taken place and up until 2 days ago, I was ready to dress up like a bear in hopes of tricking people into letting me hibernate 6 months early. But then, my ever wondering mind got the best of me… after a few hours of reading journal articles, I came up with a hearty list of treatments for my seasonal allergies that I thought would be effective AND inexpensive.

They worked…. all of them! Or maybe only one of them did and the rest just didn’t make me worse…. I’m not really all that sure. I am sure however, that I am feeling better and it isn’t because the rain has stopped. No, it definitely isn’t because the rain has stopped. But I’m not complaining because remember, we all decided after experiencing the winter that never seemed to end, that we aren’t going to complain about this spring and summer!

I figured if I am experiencing these terrible seasonal allergies, some of you may be as well. I am also assuming that this weather (and the pollen) will not be getting any better, so these natural treatments have a fabulous chance of becoming my best friends.

seasonal allergies

1. Apple Cider Vinegar: You have heard me say before that our immune system lives in our gut! If you think about allergies and what happens when you are sneezing, coughing and scratching your eyes, you realize that seasonal allergies are a negative immune response. Apple Cider Vinegar however can greatly reduce this immune response due to the large quantities of enzymes it has in it. These enzymes help to balance your gastrointestinal tract and provide a better foundation for your immune system to live on. And this my dear friends results in less negative immune responses, A.K.A. seasonal allergy symptoms.

2. Vitamin C: Also known as, a natural antihistamine. I’m not a fan of medicines such as claritin and benadryl. Why, you ask? Well first off, I’m a terrible light weight and just 1 benadryl will knock me out within 20 minutes of taking it and leaves me drowsy for at least 24 hours. Also, when I was younger my allergies were just as bad as they are now, in fact some mornings my mom would have to wake me up with warm towels on my eyes because of how swollen they were. Anyways, all of the antihistamines in the world didn’t solve my seasonal allergy problems and now I am holding a grudge. Fortunately for me though, I have come to learn (and love) that vitamin C is an antihistamine that actually does the trick!

3. Dairy Free Diet: Dairy in the human diet is know to help increase mucus production. This has been known for many years, you may recall your grandmother referring to this fact at some point in your life when you were sick. Anyways, when you are already a little snotty from allergies, mucus is not something you want more of. Although omitting dairy from your diet will not salve any of the root problems here, it will definitely help you worst allergy day become a moderate allergy day.

4. Raw Honey: The key to this one is RAW and LOCAL honey! You see, the allergens you are struggling with, generally speaking come from pollen. Honey is made from bees who collect the pollen in your neighborhood. If you can get some of that pollen and allow it to be infused into your immune system, you will be able to build immunity to that pollen and potentially cure your seasonally allergies long term! What? Yes… it’s true! If you don’t believe me, check out this article on the subject.

5. Water: Drinking up this allergy season will help your body to flush out everything that needs to leave your Holy Temple! The more you drink, the faster your body can rid itself of toxins which will result in more mild symptoms and faster recovery. The water that is in your tea counts as your water intake but only if you aren’t loading up on sweeteners in it… other drinks such as soda and coffee count against your total water intake so make sure you are drinking plenty of H2O.

6. Garlic: First off, I must say that I LOVE garlic… so this remedy was very easy for me. Scientifically speaking, garlic is a natural antibiotic. A lot of people complain about pressure in their face comes allergy season. That pressure can lead to a sinus infection. When this happens, antibiotics are needed if you want to get better. The beauty of adding garlic to your remedy list is that as you get through the allergy season, you are warding off and keeping up with the battle of a potential sinus infection which will keep you ahead of the game in terms of having to go on any antibiotics. Garlic has many other healing powers, to read more on this check out this blog post.

7. Citrus: Citrus fruits are full of vitamin C, think oranges, lemons and limes. These powerhouse foods also contain something called antioxidants and do the body much good. Antioxidants help to detoxify the body, not in a severe way, however in a consistent and healthy way. By including citrus into your diet this allergy season, you can help your body get rid of any of the unneeded toxins that are in your body leaving it better equipped to fight off the allergens.

 

I found that of all the remedies I have listed here, that the Apple Cider Vinegar was the one that offered me the most immediate results. By mixing 2 tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar, with 1 tbsp of lemon juice and 1 tsp of local raw honey together every morning and drinking it, I saw my allergy symptoms decrease drastically.

How about you… do you suffer from seasonal allergies? What do you find to be the most helpful natural way to prevent and treat them?

 

 

 

 

Julie’s Story

 Today I want to introduce my dear friend Julie to you. She has been in my life since I was about 16 and we have developed a friendship over the years that I am extremely thankful for. She has recently been on a bit of a health journey and I asked her if she would share with all of us what it is she has done to regain her health lately.

Everyone, meet Julie!

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Julie

Body image and being overweight has been an issue for most of my life. I can recall beginning to feel self-conscious of my weight in middle school and I struggled with my weight ever since. I am your typical, notorious “yo-yo” dieter. I grow extremely motivated, commit fully until I reached my goal and then I would gain all the weight back.

When I grew tired of the extra weight I would find another quick fix, and another, and the cycle repeated continuously.   I tried weight watchers, counting calories, food journaling, paleo diet, my-fitness pal app, but could never stay consistent with the programs. I could tell that my eating habits were effecting my mood, my skin and hair, my digestive system, my sleep and really my overall health. I decided in early February to put a stop to the “yo-yo” dieting and try a program called Advocare 24 Day Challenge.

This program intrigued me because it was a combination of a cleanse along with allowing your body to absorb maximum nutrients while training your body to eat properly. I loved the program because it incorporated a schedule to follow and what categories of foods to choose from. I am an extremely structured individual, so I was able to follow the program effortlessly. I eliminated sugar, coffee, sodium, red meat, processed foods and dairy out of my diet. I strictly only consumed complex carbs, proteins, fruits and vegetables.

I taught my body how to eat 5-6 small meals a day rather than 3 large meals. I began looking at food as fuel, instead of a treat. I also drank 80-120 ounces of water daily. I immediately noticed a change in my mood, my sleep, my skin and my digestive system. I began to learn my body’s negative reaction to certain foods. By not consuming foods containing sugar or gluten I felt less bloated and sluggish. I also became increasingly aware of my sensitivity to dairy products.

By eating from the recommended food groups, eating every 2 hours daily and consuming 80-120 ounces of water daily I noticed my body slimming down and dropping weight. One thing that made this change of lifestyle successful was my dedicated time to grocery shopping and meal prepping every Sunday. I would cook & store my lunches and dinners for the week so that I would always have a meal to eat. This allows you to control what you are eating and it eliminates having to rely on eating out or eating something unhealthy.

Incorporating exercise 3 days a week for 60 minutes was important to me because I knew I could see maximum results if included some light weight lifting and cardio into my weekly routine. To maintain my results, I plan to continue exercising 3 days a week, continuing to make healthy meal choices for 80% of my meals and allow 20% of those meals to be what I consider a “cheat” meal. Allowing myself 2 cheat meals a week keeps me from feeling deprived or restricted and less guilty when I do want to enjoy a slice of cake or a piece of pizza! Another tip is trying new recipes. Finding healthy alternative to your favorite foods is so fun and is very satisfying!

The word “diet” is a drag to me. I like to think of it as a lifestyle change. Don’t be discouraged by the number on the scale, but rather focus on how you are feeling and how your clothes are fitting when you are trying to achieve results! Learning how to eat properly and making your goal to be healthy and happy is what is going to lead you to success.

Travel Time Tips

Today I have the honor of introducing you all to a new friend. One of the really cool things about writing a blog is that I get to meet new people all the time who have similar interest. Recently, I was contacted by a woman who wanted to reach out to all of you and share with you some of her favorite ways to live a healthy life with children when on vacation. Since vacation season is approaching us, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for all of us to learn a few ways to make our vacations this year fun, relaxing and memorable all with out being full of regrets concerning our health.

Without further adieu, take it away Kendra!

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vacation

Eating healthy and staying fit is important for me as a wife and a mother. I have always tried to make an effort to keep myself and my family fit at our home. At the same time, I try to keep us healthy when we are not at home, such as when we are on vacation. This can be difficult, but it can be accomplished well. Here are some tips that I have learned over time that keeps us healthy while on the road.

I try to make it a priority to eat at restaurants that feature local products. People may seem surprised by this action, but I have found that it is quite beneficial for my family as well as the economy. There is no doubt in my mind that local food, such as fruits and vegetables, taste better than imported produce. I would venture to say that local products look and smell better. Restaurants that use local products make an effort to feature each one in dishes and salads. Furthermore, when these meals are created, they are done in a way in which the flavors are enhanced. I like that, and it certainly beats having a meal in which caloric sauces and dressings need to be poured on in order to give a sense of flavor to a customer.

Hotels have really stepped up in terms of responding to the needs of customers who require healthy foods and healthy living activities. There are a number of establishments that have fitness equipment that people can use. Some may have a pool, walking paths, bike rentals, weight equipment and tennis courts. However, I do not assume that each and every hotel has what we need while on vacation. Therefore, I call ahead to various hotels before I book to ensure that we will get what we need and did so for our upcoming trip to Orlando. With so many places to stay, finding resources that are sort everything out are a huge help. Additionally, many hotels do not carry healthy food options in mini-bars. I do two things in response to this. First, I refuse the mini-bar key. Second, I make sure to bring in healthy snacks on our trip. If we need more, we can stop by a local health food store for more treats.

Everybody knows, or should know, that drinking water is important. This is especially true when traveling. Although a vehicle can be extremely comfortable, and a plane ride can be thrilling, the fact remains that it is easy to get dehydrated in both of these types of transportation. In addition to this, I have found that doing activities and visiting attractions can really slow us down, and this includes our children. Drinking water keeps us hydrated and active. I make sure that we have a cooler stocked full of water bottles. We can drink it whenever we need to.

There are times where it is fun to be silly. We try to have silly tournaments and games while on vacation. It helps keep everyone loose. Sometimes, we have competitions to see who can hold their breath the longest in a hotel pool. Other times, we run around at a secluded parking lot playing tag. The options are nearly endless, and it is a great way to get some exercise.

The biggest help I have found on vacation is to stick to a routine. We have a routine at home, and it can work while we are traveling. We stay active and eat healthy while we are a journey. We have never regretted that. It is great to be healthy and fit.

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I can’t thank Kendra enough for taking the time out of her busy day to share with all of us these great ideas of how to stay healthy while vacationing. If you are anything like me, you want to read more of Kendra’s healthy living ideas and I know she would love to hear from you. She can be reached via email at kendratravel3{at}gmail.com.

Food is Fuel

food is fuel

It’s one of the most “true” statements that I have ever heard, and ever said. Follow this statement up with “I don’t have an emotional relationship with food” and you lost me!

I have an emotional relationship with food. I know, I know…. I’m not supposed to, but I do. I think most of America does. I also think it’s part of the reason we eat turkey for Thanksgiving and ham for Easter. Yes, tradition plays into it and the whole Native Americans becoming friends with those from England… but let’s be honest for a moment. Thanksgiving would be really weird without a turkey for Thanksgiving.

The statement “Food is Fuel” is true in many, many ways. Food isn’t just physical fuel for us, even though it is supposed to be. Food also serves as emotional fuel, spiritual fuel, mental fuel and even social fuel.

Take for instance all of those holiday parties you get invited to near the end of every year. If you are a bit of an introvert, what nudges you to go to that party? Is it the social scene? The adult beverages that will be there? Maybe that one specific appetizer that the hostess is known for making? Food is sewn into every component of out lives, including our social lives.

Food is also a part of our spiritual lives… don’t believe me? Have you ever been to a church potluck? I thought so. How about our mental lives? Not only does our brain depend on glucose to work, but look at how visually appealing food can be. That is mental marketing. And then there is our emotional life… I’m going to be very honest with you and tell you exactly how food can be an emotional friend of mine.

I LOVE Jelly Beans… the flavor is wonderful and when I have not been having a wonderful day… Jelly Beans seem like they can turn that day around. Is it true… do they change my life circumstances? No. But for a moment, it seems like they could, due to the gratification they give in the moment. How about work… when I have a deadline that I am working towards (whether for school or work), I often find myself working through the evening and even possibly the night. Do you know how boring that is? Do you know what makes it NOT boring? Salty crunchy chips…. ok, well not long term. But in that moment, I’m 137% positive that they will help.

Maybe Jelly Beans and chips don’t do it for you. Let’s try another example then…

Are you a coffee drinker? Nine times out of 10, I hear coffee drinkers equate their morning cup of Joe to a “religious experience”… they don’t drink that cup of coffee every morning because of the burst of energy people talk about, but instead because it’s almost like a a daily tradition and ritual that eases their mind and get’s them off to a good day. If you can relate at all to this, then you my friend have an emotional relationship with coffee!

Do you remember the movie Finding Nemo? There is a scene in the movie in which a small group of sharks are at a meeting and are discussing their recent attempts to view fish as friends, rather than food. These animals (which we are too), are fighting their instance to view fish as food, and instead view them as friends. That seems absurd, hence why it was in a kids cartoon/comedy movie. But the reality of the situation in that we as American animals have to do the opposite. Because of the abundance of food in our society and the variety of it, we actually have to go against this newly found instinct to view food as our friend, and instead view it as fuel.

Hi, my name is Leah and I have an emotional relationship with food. Things need to change for me. This relationship with food that I have is a negative one and it will only reek havoc on my life in the long term. This relationship needs to become, at best a positive one, but hopefully a close to non-existent one. I’m not positive how it is going to change… I usually have some sort of action plan for my to-do lists, but this time I don’t. I know though, that this is going to change… through the grace and strength of God this journey of mine starts now!

Do you have a relationship with food other than for fuel? Be honest with yourself… maybe it’s coffee, or maybe it’s ice cream. Whatever it is, dig down deep and ask yourself if it is a healthy relationship. For most people, it isn’t and for most people, it’s not doing them any good. Let’s try and remember today that food is fuel, not our friend.

Oh and by the way… you can have such a strong relationship with food that you don’t allow certain things into your home, or you refuse to consume certain foods. Unless you have a true food allergy or a specific medical diagnosis, this is a negative relationship with food too.

 

Mother’s Day Gift Guide and Give Away

I used to be a very price specific gift shopper. I would often run into a store less than 24 hours before I was to give a gift and pick out $X worth of stuff and call it a day. The result was that I never felt good about the gifts I was giving. They were never very personal and I also felt a bit blahhhh about giving gifts.

Lately however, I have changed my gift buying style a bit. A price point still exists, however now I think a bit more about gifts. I try to buy the gifts that I will need in May, in April. And it’s just fine because the gifts that I needed in April were already bought in March! I know that a lot of people would look at this logic and immediately speak “I don’t have time for that”, and that is fine by me. Because, you see, I LOVE giving and receiving gifts, therefore this is something that matters to me.

Anyways, since Mother’s day is in less than a week, I thought today would be a great day to give a few ideas to all those last minute shoppers about what to buy for the mom in their life. I tried to keep this guide realistic for the mom receiving all the while still beng thoughtful and even a bit health conscious. So let’s see what I pulled together, shall we?

 

Mother's Day

 

1. A flat of flowers: I love this because it get’s the mom in your life outside, enjoying the beautiful weather, relaxing a bit and making her home a little bit more enjoyable. Of course, not all moms like to garden, however if yours does, I highly recommend gifting her with some beautiful flowers. If the mom in your life is a flower lover, consider taking her out for the day to pick out flowers she likes at a flower show. She will love the time with you a little bit more than she will love the flowers.

2. Anti-aging Serum: I find that all moms are a bit conscious of the changes that have been taking place on their faces. Although beauty is ultimately in the beholder, it also now comes in nicely packaged containers. Unfortunately though, many products out there that are anti-aging contain harsh chemicals and unnecessary ingredients. Give your mom the gift of healthy and beneficial anti-aging skin care with a product that is free of para-bans, alcohol and detergents.

3. An essential oil starter kit: Essential Oils are the new hot thing. For moms who are always interested in healthy living and self-healing, this is the gift to give. Essential Oils are naturally found oils that when applied correctly, can help the body to self heal from all sorts of ailments and sicknesses. If the mom in your life is quick to try new things, consider buy her an essential oil starter kit.

4. Gift certificate for a maid: I don’t care if the mom in your life is young or old, a clean freak or a bit of a messy body, all woman want help cleaning. A gift certificate for a maid service, whether just once or regularly scheduled will make any mom smile. The nice thing about this gift is that is can help in daily cleaning or a specific project. I promise this will be a real hit with your mom.

5. A fun and fresh apron: If your mom is anything like mine, she loves to be in the kitchen cooking up a meal for everyone and anyone who walks through her door. A fun apron would be a great gift if you are on a bit of a budget all the while still making your mom feel special and loved. If you are looking for a place to get an apron from, check out etsy or other online shops.

6. A massage: Now that I am a bit older, I look back on my gift giving years and often wonder, “why haven’t I gotten my mom a massage for every present that I have ever given her”. The gift of massage will help your mom relax and for that she will be very appreciative. This gift is also great because she can schedule this around her busy and not-so-busy days – if moms actually have those.

 

To celebrate all of the hard working moms out there, I will be giving one mom the apron that you see above. To enter this contest, leave a message in the comments below telling all of us what the best ever mothers day gift you have ever gotten was.