How to keep your purpose while losing weight

Have you ever felt like you lost yourself in something? It’s so easy to do, especially when you are experiencing significant change in life.

For example:

  • losing weight
  • pregnancy
  • adjusting to a new baby or family member
  • moving
  • job change

There are countless situations in life that can consume us and often spark one to actually place their identity in something other than the Lord. It happens so easily and it’s fundamental that we all learn to recognize when this happens.

Using weight loss as an example, when someone is losing weight or improving their health, it’s easy to identify with the loss of weight. However, YOU are not weight loss, right? You are YOU!

The change in your body is great, and something to celebrate as you make progress toward your goals, but don’t ever set your identity in something that changes, fades, or can disappear in an instant. God has a greater calling and purpose for you than to see numbers on a scale change!

losing weight is not your purpose.jpg

Personally, I have battled with this in all of my endeavors, from school and grades to seeing the scale change when losing weight. When my identity isn’t resting in the Lord it shows in my thoughts and behaviors. I’ll find myself short with my kids or irritated that my schedule isn’t on track for the day. You may notice that your day is made or broken by the numbers staring back at you on the scale, perhaps you have placed your identity in your weight loss. If you feel defeated by how your jeans fit today, you may need to stop and reset your thinking and identity placement in WHOSE you are, not what size you happen to be right now.

Just a quick reminder of who you are, and what your calling is…

I Peter 2:9

“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”

i peter 2-9.jpg

Find your worth, identity and purpose in Him and His calling for you!

For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

Thoughts On Spiritual Health & Nutrition Plans

Clean eating. Whole 30. Paleo. Weight Watchers. Intermittent Fasting. Atkins. Flexible Eating. Counting Calories.

When it comes to nutrition, it seems that there are as many plans and different approaches as there are people on the planet. I am of the mind that any diet or nutrition plan *can* work for you as long as you stick with it, because ultimately it’s math-less calories going in than what is being burned or going out. Are there some that are better than others? Yes, I think so. However, I can’t argue against the thought that the more organic, fresh, and dense nutrients you have in your diet, the better results you will have and feel as you are seeking to improve your health.

any diet.jpg

The more I have mulled on this idea, I began wondering how this relates to our spiritual nutrition and health.

When it comes to your spiritual health, you cannot merely focus on calories in-calories out. Quality becomes the most important aspect of what you are “feeding” yourself. If you feed your mind anything less than that which is pure, noble, and of good report, your beliefs, thoughts, actions, and life will follow suit.

BELIEFS become THOUGHTSTHOUGHTS become WORDSWORDS become ACTIONSACTIONS become HABITS.jpg

 

The Apostle Paul spoke very clearly about the importance of truth as we are renewing our minds. Philippians 4:8 states, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” This is a filter for what goes into the mind, just like a diet or nutrition plan will filter out the junk that inhibits you from reaching your goals.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on thes.jpg

If you want to see changes in your health, losing weight, training or toning your body, nutrition is a fundamental piece that will determine the outcome. The same goes for your whole life and emotional, mental and spiritual health. The path you are on and the plan you are following are what will determine your outcome.

So, what’s your goal? Any and all real change starts with a plan to get there.

All change starts with a plan..jpg

Just like when losing weight, a plan is key to reaching your goals. Want to lose 10, 20, or 100 lbs? Time to cut back the extras or junk in your diet, establish an exercise routine, and surround yourself with some accountability to help keep you on track. The same goes for your spiritual health.

Where do you want to be spiritually? Make a plan. Feed yourself what you need to get there, practice spiritual disciplines, and in 6 months you won’t even believe the difference!

For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

Beardsmen Spirit Tea Tree Beard Oil Review

My husband is often asked how he keeps his beard and facial hair groomed so well. I’m a fan of his facial hair, and without good products that keep everything tamed, I would NOT be so keen on keeping it around. When Beardsmen Spirit asked us to review their Tea Tree Beard Oil, I wasn’t very excited (I’m not a fan of the often overly strong scent of Tea Tree Oil), but Mason was eager to test the product.

Here’s what he had to say.

What I liked: I liked the way the beard oil smelled and I like the feeling it left on my face – fresh and cool

What I disliked: the feeling and the smell didn’t last as long as I wanted it to, but it’s understandable, if it lasted longer, the smell would be too strong at application.

What difference it made: The same difference it always makes-pinky, smooth, shiney, man covering. Shimmering, calling all others to gaze with awe, amazement, and jealousy.

I would only recommend it if men believed they were man enough to wear such awesomeness. Men with beards, not those man-child, top-knot, hipster kids…. those guys aren’t men enough!

Here’s my take.

I felt a difference in the texture of his beard when he was using it, and was surprised at how I did NOT notice the smell of tea tree oil. All in all, a WIN and I would recommend their products again and again!

Disclaimer: I received these products free in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255<http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Walk by the Spirit

Every day for the past few months I have been challenged by my fears. Fear of failure, fear or losing or screwing up my kids, fear of not taking action at the right time and missing the opportunities God has for me! Fear that I had already done so much to screw up my life and relationships that it was beyond repair or hope of being fixed or finding success. I felt like Satan had a choke-hold on me.

Then I went to First Steps to Success in DC at the end of April. Since then, I have been digging into truth, plugging into training, and Every moment of the day I have been more and more aware of the fears I have, and have been choosing to follow the Biblical process of change to cast them off and lean into walking by the Spirit.

It’s no coincidence that this was my scripture passage to start the week:

Galatians 5:16-17 states, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.”

As I studied this passage it struck me that to walk by the Spirit is quite an “active” thing to be doing. Just like going for a walk or running a race, it doesn’t just happen. You have to get dressed, put your shoes on, and actually step out of the door! Our fears WILL win if we don’t operate in faith.

walk by the spirit.jpg

Fear is so capable of gripping us and keeping us where we don’t want to be. Here’s another passage that reminds me daily of how I should be thinking,

2 Timothy 2:17, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”

Forget all the fear, and just trust as you take baby steps forward!

 For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

How to Process Anxiety and Stress

What do you usually do when you are feeling burdened and discouraged in life? Some people ignore, others act, still more wallow in circumstances. All three have been my response in differing scenarios, but I am realizing that each of them lands me somewhere I don’t care to be. Hang in there with me, I’ll explain this all.:)

I have allowed the rain we have had the past days and weeks to really discourage me. Yesterday was no different with overcast skies and moisture in the air. However, I desperately wanted to take advantage of my time before heading to the dentist for a mouthful of procedures (including having a wisdom tooth extracted). You might be thinking at this point that I’m a glutton for punishment attending a conference all weekend, barely getting back to our routine, and then having a bunch of dental work done. I know myself though-if I waited longer, I would come up with some excuse for why it shouldn’t happen and that would lead to a root canal or something MAJOR later.

Here’s the truth-I haven’t been to the dentist for 10 years! That reality didn’t set in until I was filling out paperwork at the office a couple weeks back, and I began to hold myself accountable. No more putting this off. As much as I have learned to make my health a priority, oral hygiene and preventive dental health is worth the investment of time and money. No more procrastinating!

So, as my anxiety and fear were in my throat, I fought to maintain self control and prepare for the inevitable recovery afterwards. Then, as I was on the brink of spiraling into an explosion of stress and feels, I focused on the simple steps I knew would help me process.

  1. Focus on truth.
  2. Fuel my body well.
  3. Pray and surrender my stress/anxiety.
  4. Do the things I need to prepare.

Each of these steps is really just keeping things simple, not over-complicating all that I’m trying to accomplish, and ultimately choosing to place my trust in the Lord. I repeated truth to myself every time I felt anxiety creeping into my chest. This verse was a steady reminder to me that the anxiety I was tempted with was just a distraction:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

-Philippians 4:6, NASB

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This first phrase, “Be anxious for nothing,” is thrown around as a band-aid of a platitude in an attempt to make someone feel better, but the real comfort comes in the latter half of the verse. We get the “how”, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

It’s in the surrender that we experience the dependence and trust that brings freedom from our anxious thoughts and feelings. Trust Him today, no matter what you are facing.

trust and obey.jpg

For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

Recipe: Clean Eating Snack Bites

We do our best to eat according to our meal plan (this not only keeps us following our clean eating, but also closer to being on-budget). However, the snacking habit dies hard, so when I am ready to tear through the house to find something to satisfy that sweet-spot, these are a much better option for me than junk or caving to baking a sweet treat!

This recipe is inspired by our go-to energy bit recipe from Maggie at “Smashed Peas and Carrots”. I have made so many variations of this basic recipe. I highly recommend you try it out for yourself!

Print Recipe

Double Chocolate No-Bake Energy Bites

 

Double Chocolate Snack BitesCourse: Snacks and Sandwiches

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 10 min

Total Time: 10 min

Serves: 10

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended.
  2. Warm honey and peanut butter in microwave or on stovetop just until you can blend the two. Add in Pure Vanilla Extract
  3. Pour wet over dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 min to an hour.
  5. Scoop (or spoon, or roll) into bite-size balls.
  6. Store refrigerated in an airtight container. Keep in the fridge for up to 1 week, up to 1 month in freezer.

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 For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

Recipe: Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt

There isn’t much better combination than peanut butter and chocolate…unless it’s peanut butter and DARK chocolate!:) Recently I have been on a kick with my peanut butter and chocolate, and came up with this delicious treat.

note-this post contains affiliate links.

Print Recipe

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt

Prep Time: 5 min

Total Time: 5 min

Serves: 1

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Blend greek yogurt with peanut butter, vanilla extract, and dark cocoa powder until powder begins to incorporate. It may still appear “swirled” from the cocoa powder.
  2. Top with mini chocolate chips, granola, or other toppings you like!
  3. 21 Day Fix/Fixate Container Equivalents: 1 red, 1 teaspoon, 1/2 yellow (more depending on optional toppings)

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 For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

Product Review: Beardsmen Spirit Beard Shampoo

We have reviewed a few Beardsmen Spirit products in the past (you can read those reviews here-scented and here-unscented), like their beard oil and mustache wax. Each time has been a positive experience, so when they asked us to review their Beard Shampoo, we had pretty high expectations. I am happy to say that they did not disappoint!
Mason’s Experience: I liked the smell, it was consistent with the beard oil of the same “flavor” – but it also wasn’t so overpowering. I liked the way my beard has felt after using it consistently, particularly the softness of my beard using the shampoo combined with the oil. When using it, the product wasn’t too sudsy as I lathered. There was truly nothing to dislike!

Overall, it left my chin and cheeks feeling clean. It also seemed to improve the results of the oils. Using them in combination had greater results than individually.

I’d definitely recommend it to any of my bearded friends!

For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

Disclaimer: I received these products free in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255<http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Booklook Review: The Princess Twins and the Tea Party

240_360_book-1854-coverAfter a great experience reviewing “The Princess Twins and the Birthday Party” (see our review here), I opted to get “The Princess Twins and the Tea Party” as well. In this story, Princess Emma is trying to make sure that every detail is ready and perfect for the tea party. She works so hard, striving in every possible area to be perfect, and is then reminded that only God is perfect. What a great truth!

Our daughter Maddy, nearly 4 years old and into princess-everything, was in love with this book. I’m pretty sure we read it at least 3-4 times as soon as it was opened. I don’t know that she quite comprehends the message of striving for perfection, but the story creates wonderful avenues for conversation on the topic.

I would recommend this book not only as a good “I Can Read” level 1 reader, but for those who have little ones like mine who want to grow up to be princesses. Mona Hodgson did a wonderful job writing this story in a way that is easy to understand. I would highly recommend for preschool ages and early readers.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Getting Real With Postpartum Weightloss

You can get your body back after baby!

6 Weeks to Abs Again!

Crunch away the baby belly!

Y’all. can we just get real for a minute here?

I know first-hand that as a mom you want to feel like you again. You want to fit back in your jeans, and your hips have spread so far they feel like they are in two different zip codes. So there with you, friend!

As I have been walking this postpartum journey again with our second, #BabyChallenger, it’s been a whole new level of learning to appreciate my body as God made it and trusting in the process of solid nutrition + fitness + support to get me to my end goal of being healthy (AND fitting in my jeans again).

 

2014-08-07 02.51.06-1
2.5 years after first pregnancy, 15lbs less than pre-pregnancy weight!

After our first, I had no idea what I was doing with my health and nutrition, and she was nearly 2 when I found a simple system that worked for me. At-home workouts, basics of nutrition and portion-eating, real food supplements that helped curb my sugar cravings throughout the process, and support from a community of people who were like-minded. I stayed consistent throughout the pregnancy with #BabyChallenger and the payoff was incredible.

-less weight gain

-less complications in pregnancy

-shorter labor (some aspects even easier)

-easier recovery

-stronger adjusting to newborn phase (carrying/holding baby, etc)

 

6 wks postpartum

6 Weeks Postpartum* after Second Baby #BabyChallenger 

*and you should know-I was standing with the best posture and core control I could muster here. As much as I had stayed active and worked to train my core throughout my pregnancy, the female body naturally adapts to take care of baby, which means your core goes through MAJOR changes.

8b7b2f2083aff589bd468eee8e20b0f1So, now I find myself with our baby nearing 10 Months old, and I was just sharing with a friend yesterday how I’m still a solid 15 lbs heavier than I was pre-baby. I calculated again this morning…make that closer to 20. However, I remind myself every day that I’m still breastfeeding, and the body’s natural response and hormones *tell your body to hang onto fat*! This is actually a good thing, because in case there is war or famine, you need to be able to feed your baby. Isn’t God’s design incredible?! Now, maybe there are other mommas who can breastfeed and get six-pack abs at the same time, but you shouldn’t feel “less than” if you aren’t in that boat.:)

So, while I still have a tummy, hips, some jiggle in my thighs, and I’m far from having a 6-pack, I am strong. I am healthy. I am learning to live my life in the image of the One who created me, and be an example of health to my family. I am feeding my baby and taking care of me at the same time. That’s a WIN!

For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

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