Quality Vitamins

Do you take vitamins?

There’s debate over this within general and medical communities.  I tend to fall into the take them category.  Unless, of course, you are absolutely certain you’re getting all the necessary vitamins from your food.  Are you eating loads of high quality fruits and veggies, lean meats and fish?  The recommended daily amounts are HUGE.

Where do you fall?  Do some research.  Talk to a doctor or two.

My suggestion is to take quality vitamins.  But make sure to talk to your doctor about it.  You don’t want to overdo it or have interactions with any medications you’re taking.

But PLEASE take this advice.  Buy quality.  In general, stay away from the Wal-Mart aisle unless you know you have success with it.

My two life examples:

At 3 we discovered my son was anemic (iron deficiency).  This seemed crazy to me.  We live in the heart of beef country and consume quite a bit.  But for some reason a blood test showed us he was low on iron.  That was causing random pain in his feet and legs.  What do you give a 3 year old?  Flinestones with iron!  And yes there is debate whether you should give your child Flinestones.  But, 3 weeks later, another blood test showed his iron levels were normal.  Yeah!  To this day, if he forgets to take them he has issues.  So we know they’re working.

Then there’s my personal experience.  I struggle with tension headaches.  Yuck.  A chiropractor told me to try magnesium.  Muscles need calcium to contract, and magnesium to relax.  She told me I couldn’t OD on it (like you can some other vitamins, like iron), but it could cause diarrhea if I took too much, too fast.  She game me a mg range.  So off to Wal-Mart I went.  Buying a “name brand.”  I started on the low side just to be safe.  Gratefully, I did not get diarrhea.  HOWEVER, I had horrible gas.  Oh. My. Word.  Let’s just say it was a good thing I was alone in the house that day.  I think the whole house stunk!  Shortly after I went to a vitamin store in a city nearby for my magnesium.  I could up my dose with NO side effects.

Try this with your vitamins.  Put one in a glass of water.  If it doesn’t dissolve in 15 minutes or so, get rid of it.  It probably isn’t doing you much good.

There’s something to quality, people.  You’ll pay more, for sure.  But isn’t it worth it?  This is your body and time we’re talking about.  Make it count.

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Coping Alternatives

Counseling is nothing new at our house. Some of our kids have hard backgrounds that need to be worked through.  Some of them have bad coping skills.  Did you know that a tantrum or a rage is a coping skill?  Lying can be a coping skill?  Sleeping can be a coping skill?

None are healthy ways to cope.  They need to be taught new, healthier forms.  Forms that actually work.

Guess what?  I have a poor coping skill.  Eating.  Eating junk. If I coped by hitting the carrot bag I wouldn’t count it as poor skill.  But ice cream, chocolate and chips (not necessarily together, but maybe) eaten in varying amounts qualifies as poor.

Lately I can add TV watching.  Which if you know me is weird, because I’m not an avid TV watcher.  In fact, if you put it on in the morning when I’m not fully awake you might get punched. Yet, I’ve been turning to it’s mind-numbing properties.  Not a good coping skill either. What goes well with TV?  Junk food of course!

Is ice cream inherently bad?  Nope.  Is watching TV?  Nope (unless you count the fact that it’s brainwashing us, but I digress).

Used as a coping skill are they bad?  Yep.  So why do we do it?

Well, let’s address the eating issue.  Eating can give us momentary pleasure hormones.  Sugar can give us energy.  But eaten in the wrong amounts and the wrong way will lead to a crash that will make us feel worse.  Instead of listing all the ins and outs, take a look at this article:

Stress and Emotional Eating.  What Causes Emotional Eating.

If you do a Google search, you’ll find many other articles like it.  I even found one about a bra sensor that can tune you into when you are stressed.  No joke!  Although it made me laugh.  Personally, however, I tend to know when I’m stressed, with or without help from my bra.

Therapists will tell you not only do you need to STOP the bad coping skills, you need to REPLACE it with good ones.  Or the bad ones will come right back.

I have a good friend that hits her bubble bath. Exercise is a great coping skill for me.  However, it doesn’t work when I only have a minute to spare.  In that minute the donut looks very appetizing.

Let’s get the ideas rolling, people!  Comment and let me know your thoughts.

 

 

 

Thanksgiving vs. Christmas

Well, Thanksgiving weekend is just about over.

I didn’t do too bad at the Thanksgiving dinner table.  However, I did go away for the weekend with my three oldest girls and ate way to many sweets!  But, a new week starts tomorrow…errr…today.  A chance to begin anew!

The weekend has has me thinking…which is harder on your health, Thanksgiving or Christmas?

It is quite common to gain weight over the holidays.  Food…especially the not-so-good for you kind, abounds!  But what’s worse, Thanksgiving or Christmas?

In my opinion, it’s Christmas.  Don’t get me wrong.  Christmas is a wonderful season.  Full of wonder and joy.  For myself, as a Christian, full of wonder and joy at the birth and sacrifice of Christ!  But, whereas Thanksgiving is a day or maybe a weekend to overindulge, Christmas is a season.

Advertisers have been enticing us with the Christmas season since the beginning of November.  But now Thanksgiving has passed.  Advent is upon is. It is officially the Christmas season.

What does that mean?  It means soon your lovely neighbor will bring a plate of holiday goodies to your door.  Eggnog may show up in your fridge, begging you to indulge it with a little nutmeg for a late-night snack.  Christmas programs with bags of goodies thrust in your hands.  Co-workers bringing Pinterest Christmas cookies to work, begging you to just try one.  And that’s just the beginning of the season.

If they haven’t started already, parties will arrive.  Family parties.  Work parties.  Parties with friends.  And what is a holiday party without lots and lots of food?

And on and on it goes.

So, what’s my suggestion?

Go in with a plan.  The holidays season should be a joyous time.  Let’s enhance that by feeling healthy and not guilty.

Am I suggesting NOT eating any goodies?  Absolutely not.  Only to have a plan, and stick to it.

Here are some suggestions:

  • No mindless eating.  Don’t eat in front of the TV.  When you eat, enjoy every bite.  When I’m trying to cut down on sweets, a simple piece of good chocolate can taste heavenly. Much more enjoyable than an entire chocolate bar eaten on the run.
  • Drop out of the Clean Plate Club.  This one is tricky for many people taught to clean their plates as children.  It seems engrained!  Even if we try to think small, often our eyes are bigger than our stomachs.  STOP when you are full.  I’m not talking Thanksgiving miserable full.  Eat slowly, and stop when you are starting to feel full.  If you’re in a restaurant here’s a great incentive–take 1/2 of your food home and you’ll get it enjoy it for the next’s days lunch!
  • Drink lots of water before and during a party.  You need at least 64 oz. a day anyway.  Drinking water will help you feel full and curb some of the urge to overeat.
  • Give food away.  Have too many goodies in the house?  Share!  Your kind neighbor doesn’t need to know you shared it.  And if she does find out?  Tell her it was just too good not to share.  Then tell her they want the recipe.  You’ll make her day!
  • Don’t use junk food as an quick energy source.  So often we do this.  The holidays can be so hectic.  And let’s face it, often this season is draining.  Keep forefront in your mind what truly gives your body energy.  Good rest, plenty of water, exercise and eating healthy will do so much more than that 30 minute boost you get from those truffles.  You won’t miss the crash either.
  • Pray and read your Bible regularly.  Spend time with your Lord.  So often I turn to food when what I really need is quality time with my Father.
  • Treat yourself.  Don’t deny yourself all of those fun holiday treats.  Choose wisely.  Enjoy it.
  • Don’t beat yourself up.  You are human.  More than likely, you will fail.  When you do, pick yourself up, and try try try again.

Here’s to a healthy holiday season!

 

The I.Don’t.Care. Syndrome

Words of wisdom:
Curiosity killed the cat.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Two wrongs don’t make a right.
Never say never.

And, tonight…
…Honesty is the best policy.

Who has trouble with the I.Don’t.Care. Syndrome?

Me, myself and I.

Many times on weekends.  Sometimes in cases of stress.

Me.  Me, the owner of the “let’s get healthy together blog.”  I have days where I just don’t care. Especially the days when I need to care the most.  Or on weekends.  Or…just because.

Yesterday and today were a couple of those days.  Those I.Don’t.Care. days.  At least I didn’t care as much as I should have.  Healthy habits down the drain.  Not all, but many.  Journal?  Nope (who wants to keep a record of wrongs, even though that’s part of the point?).  Too many sweets?  Yep.  Exercise?  Nope.  Good amount of sleep?  Nope.

The scary thing?  I.Didn’t.Care.

Yikes.

Total honesty? This is what gets me every time.  Moments where I just don’t care.  I WANT my old habits, doggone it.  They’re comfortable.  They’re easy (in the end that’s a lie, but they appear so).  And maybe that’s just who I am.

Ooh that last one is a doozy.  Good enough to repeat it.  “That’s just who I am.”

If I have to guess, that’s a lie straight from…well you know where.

Cuz a woman who doesn’t care is NOT who I am.  Who am I? I am a child of a King. The King. The King of Kings.  The Almighty.  Not only am I wonderfully made (Ps 139:14), but my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor 6:19).  AND…and….and…and…

…in Christ I am a new creation (2 Cor 5:17).

Each day.  Each minute He works with me.  Strengthens me.  Teaches me. Loves me. Through my success and failure.

I will not give up.  I will keep on.  I will care.  I DO care.  I truly believe God’s plan for us is to take care of ourselves.  His holy temples.  His workers.  His disciples.

Tomorrow is a new day.  Next weekend is a fresh chance for success.  Because I’m not only the author of a “let’s get healthier together blog,” I’m the author of a “trytrytry again” blog.  And try I will.

A few more words of wisdom to my Challenge friends: If you stay up late writing a blog post you will lose sleep points! Good night, my friends.

Inner Turmoil and Habits

Last night didn’t turn out the way my family planned.  We had an auction for a local charity to attend.  We go every year and have loads of fun. My son, Gabe, had a birthday party at the local skating rink so he didn’t join us.  He was very excited to have fun with his friends.

Not long into the auction I got a call.  Gabe had fallen at the ice rink and probably needed stitches.  My husband and I ran out and took him to the ER.  Five stitches in his chin and a few scrapes on his forehead and back to the auction we went (per his request).  Fun?  No.  Getting stitches is not fun (although cool later on for a nine year old boy). Blessed?  Completely.

I returned home from the auction and was very uneasy. I knew why but I didn’t want to deal with it.

You see, the day before a 3 year old in our area died from a head trauma.  Her short life and death has affected so many people.  And honestly I don’t know how they will recover.  I don’t know how I would recover.  Only by the grace of God.

Even though I don’t know the families involved personally…I was still struggling.

My son hit his head on the cold hard ice and walked away a little banged up and sporting a few stitches.

Why do I still have my son?  Praise the Lord God Almighty that I do.  But why were we spared and they were not?

I didn’t want to deal with my feelings.  So I hid under old, unhealthy habits.  It was late when I got home and I should have gone to bed.  Instead I hit the fridge.  Ate my feelings.  I watched TV to ignore my feelings. Stuff them.

Finally, late into the night, I went for what I was really craving…Jesus.  The only one with answers. I paced and prayed.

Did He give me answers to the “Why?”  No. 

Did He give me comfort?  Yes.

Did He mind that I paced and raged at the injustices in the world?  No.  He took it. 

Did He listen as I asked Him to hurry up already and return because it seems our world is falling apart?  Yes.

All this after He had waited for me.  He waited as I turned to food and mind numbing television before I turned to Him.  He put up with my old habits and waited.  And He was there when I turned to what I was really craving.

My Savior.

Day by day.  Hour by hour.  Minute by minute.  He will help me to fill my needs, cravings and inner struggles with His grace and love instead of things that don’t satisfy.  Habits that hurt me instead of help me.  Together we will overcome.

He will come again.  Today?  Maybe.  Five hundred years from now?  Maybe.

But until then, He will always be there.  My faithful Savior.

Kids and Health

I’ve been struggling lately with the “right” way to help my kids make healthy choices.  Especially my 12 and 15 year old girls.

Growing up I was taught some unhealthy eating habits by people who meant well (that’s another post).  Coupled with my natural tendencies I’ve never had a healthy relationship with food.

Of course most parents want better for their kids.  So I set out with that in mind.

I don’t use food as a comfort item.  As in, don’t distract them with a cookie after they skin their knee.

I don’t use food as a reward.  Oh, wait.  I do that.  Sometimes. Not on purpose, but yes I do.  The dentist office has a McDonalds close by with a play center.  So where do we go after the dentist?  And if we need shots?  Ice cream as a treat afterwards.

But I try, I really do.  I imagine you do as well.  I encourage them to eat healthy.  I don’t keep sweets from them but don’t always have them around (to their dismay).  I don’t talk about fat/skinny.  I talk about being healthy.

Lately I’ve been noticing some bad habits, especially with the older girls who are a bit more independent.  So the struggle continues.  How do you teach your kids to make healthy choices, without putting too much emphasis on food?

My husband and I decided to have the older girls do the Challenge with us.  My oldest is 15 and old enough to join the whole group.  So she can check up with the Challenge Facebook group, and with a friend or two also participating.  My 12 year olds are not in the large group, but are doing it at home.

To up the ante and give motivation, we’ve established cash rewards for the girls and myself.  An at-home challenge of our own, if you will.

The prizes are:  $100 for first, $50 for second, $30 for third, and $10 for fourth.  We gave a prize for last so no one would just give up if they were running last.

Those are fairly high dollar amounts, but I was pretty certain if I worked hard I could take the first prize.

Uhm….they are kicking my butt!!

My twelve year olds each had a perfect week last week!!!  If you’re doing the Challenge with us be thankful they aren’t in the big group! My 15 year old is a close second.  If I’m not careful I will be LAST!

I am quite amazed.  Two girls had praise team practice this morning.  I asked them if they needed breakfast or had it provided at practice.  They said they would eat at home because they were having donuts there.

What?!?  You’re skipping donuts?!?  Wow.

I went shopping with my eldest a couple nights ago.  Of course when you’re shopping it’s hard to eat supper before 8.  At least for us.  So we lost those points.  Not wanting to lose more points she jumped on the treadmill when we got home at 9:30 pm.  Wow.

I don’t imagine they can keep this up for all 6 weeks.  Honestly, I don’t want them to. I don’t want them to burn out.  We’re striving for a healthy lifestyle. Lifelong habits. Perfection is not attainable day after day even in one area of life.  I want them to make good choices.  Like my oldest deciding to forgo sugar points for a piece of Daddy’s birthday cake.  A conscious decision.  And she enjoyed every bite.

But I’m so very proud of them.  And it is my prayer that many of these habits will stick.

Would love your feedback or ideas on how to hand down health to the next generation.

Get Back Up Again

Ever had a bad day?  Of course, everyone has.  Ever have a bad week?  Yep, those too.  Bad month…or year even.

Disclaimer:  This post is primarily for those on the Challenge, but everyone can benefit.  So read on!

I’ve been asked if people have to lose points for circumstances out of their control.

What about the nasty 24 hour bug?  Lying in bed all day.  Can’t eat…so no veggies and fruits.  Can’t exercise.  Can’t even drink water or contact someone else on the Challenge.

Is that fair?  Should a person lose points?

Fair?  Uhm, nope.  But is life fair?

Just ask my kids, they’ll tell you.  Life’s not fair.

More than likely it will happen to someone else on the Challenge too.  No, probably not everyone.  But most.  Someone else will have a child who’s sick all night long.  Or a family emergency.  Maybe a work emergency.  The list could go on and on.

So, yes, you’ll lose points.

What about the person who gets influenza or pneumonia and is out for a week?  They lose so many points, should they just give up?

Granted, this is a contest of sorts.  But if you’re in it for the prizes you’re gonna be disappointed!  Not that I won’t do my best.  But at this point my website isn’t making a dime.  I’m not doing it for the money, so that’s ok.  But…that means there is no trip to Jamaica for the grand prize winner!

So what are YOU in it for?  Health, I hope.  And life long habits.  Cuz a prize, or the glory of a win is just momentary.  But healthy habits?  Those can change you for a lifetime.

So if you find you’re losing points for a day, or even a week, what do you do?  You get back up, baby!  This is your life!  Grab hold and don’t let go.

Blessed

I am in awe.

I felt God’s nudge to start this website for a long time.  Honestly, I put it off.  What do I know about starting something like this?  What if no one likes it?  What if I fail and let people down?

After starting this site and the Facebook page, I was amazed at the response.  I have over 120 “likes” on my page.  Not large by business standards, but so big to me!

But now?  Now I’m in awe.

I also delayed starting the Health and Habits Challenge.  It’s something I did in the past when I managed a exercise facility and it helped many people.  But to start it on my own?  Over the internet?  What if there wasn’t much interest?

So I procrastinated.  The Challenge was actually supposed to be 7 weeks long but because of my procrastination and insecurity it is now 6…so we can be done before Thanksgiving.

Lying in bed one night I thought…Carey, get it started already!  You need it, too!  And if you only get 5 people, so be it.  It will be an intimate group.  Still worth your time.

As I am typing this post…we have almost 90 people in the Challenge.  Yes, NINETY.  Wow.

God has blessed this.  It has gone so much further than I ever thought.  Glory to God!

I will be in prayer for all of you.  That God uses this as a blessing in your life.  To make you healthier and stronger.  To help you establish life-long habits.

For those not participating in the Challenge, please don’t feel left out.  You can still come and be encouraged!!  Welcome welcome welcome!

To God be the glory, great things He has done!

Health and Habits Challenge

Health Challenge 2013Are you in need of some motivation to get healthy before the holidays?  Do you need accountability?  Would you like to make some new healthy habits?

Then join us!  Join what?!?! Well, here’s a bit of information.  You’ll get a few more details when you join.  Leave me a comment, or let me know on Facebook that you’d like to join.

What you need to know:

  • This is an 6-Week Challenge from Monday, October 14-Sunday, November 24, 2013
  • Cost is FREE!
  • Challenge is limited to people 13 years old and up
  • There is a weekly point sheet for each of the 6 weeks
  • You will be given a journal sheet to keep track of your food intake
  • There will be a Facebook page set up only for Challenge Members to encourage each other!
  • We are focusing on being healthy, not the number on a scale.  HOWEVER, many times weight loss is necessary for some to be healthy.  If you want additional help with this (for example, counting calories) please contact me.
  • Turn in Points. Each week, you’ll email me your total points for that week
  • Help and Honesty!  This challenge requires each individual to be completely honest and take no short-cuts when calculating points.  Please don’t give up your integrity for the sake of a few points! If you need help calculating your points, I’m here for you.
  • Prizes will be given to the top three people who have the most total weekly points!
  • Mark your calendars–there will be an end of Challenge party for those in my area on November 26!

Here’s an example of the point sheets:

week 1You can do this.  We can do this together.

If there’s something we’re working on that you just can’t accomplish PLEASE don’t let that stop you from joining.  For example, if you are a mom of a little one and there’s no way you can get 8 hours of sleep, that’s ok!!  Try your best, that’s all that’s required.

Join us!  Leave a comment here that you’d like to join, or comment on my Facebook site.  I’m excited to work with you and join YOU in your journey for a healthier life.