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One of the Best Tools to Help You Lose Weight!

Do you use a food log?

I have used a food log off and on for a very long time! I personally have found it to be beneficial for me to use one!

It helps me to see my overall eating and to make sure I am eating enough and that I’m not eating too much of the wrong things!

So, today, we are going to be looking at the benefits and the disadvantages of using a food log!

I will also be giving you some suggestions of apps, websites and a paper food log for you old school peeps!

Benefits-

There are so many benefits to using a food log, especially when you first start trying to lose weight!

It not only helps you stay accountable but it also can make you aware of how much or how little you’re eating!

Keeping a food log can reveal eating patterns to you! Perhaps you’re a stress eater and if you log your food in, it can help you relate that eating pattern back to that time that you’re extremely stressed!

Or if your weight has stalled, you can go back and see if you were eating too much, not enough or just junk food!

Using a food log a lot of times will encourage you to make better food choices! Since you’re writing it down and you have to account for that food-whether its just for you to see, your coach or a nutritionist, it’s going to be seen and you usually want to make better choices!

A food log can also help you make sure that you were not getting any nutritional deficiencies! One example is if you don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables,you’re obviously not going to get enough vitamins and minerals in your diet. You can go back and check over the day or week and see how many vegetables you’re eating in your meals! Or whatever type of food you need to eat more or less of!

It also is a great way to track your water intake, as well as, your exercise. A lot of apps have those options and if you use a paper one you definitely can write it down!

Cautions of Using a Food Log-

If you are someone who is dealing with an eating disorder, or has suffered from one in the past, a food log might not be a good option for you! It all depends on where you are in your journey of healing and if you’re seeing a professional for counseling or recovery. They may already have you using some type of journal. Consult with your doctor or nutritionist first before using one!

Other cautions for using a food log, might be if you are very legalistic or rigid. Sometimes it can just be too much and it becomes an obsession. If you feel you lean towards that type of behavior again consult with a doctor, a nutritionist or a counselor first! Remember they are just a helpful tool and not indication of who you are as a person!

Different Resources-

Apps

There are several really great food log apps you can download to use!!

You can download all of these for free on iTunes but, there usually are upgrades you can pay for of these!

My Fitness Pal

Lose It Calorie Counter

Calorie Counter-My Net Diary

These count calories and macros as well-

My Macros

MacroTrak Macro Tracker

My Plate Calorie Counter

Macro Tracer

Websites

There are also many websites that offer food logs as well!

My Fitness Pal

Lose It!

Spark People

Cronometer

My Food Diary

Paper Food Logs

I researched several and there really are just too many to list!!!

I found several on Amazon as well as Etsy.

The main thing to look for in a food log is there to be a place to write down what you ate, your water intake and a place for calories, Carbs, Protein and Fats if you keep track of those things!

I also have a printable one I will post if you’d like to print it out!

You Decide

Using a food log can be very beneficial! It can be one of the most useful tools in your weightloss journey if used properly! Today you have so many options on which kind of format you choose to use! Do you think you would benefit from using a food log?

Which format do you think you would use? App? Website? Or Paper?

Do you count calories, macros or just like to keep track of the foods you eat?

Let me know your thoughts and if you use a food log, especially if its one different than the ones I listed!

I’d also love to know how you track your food intake!!

I’m looking forward to hearing from you all!

XOXO- Amy

What Does the Bible Say About How We Should Eat?

My last post was about Clean Eating. As well as what it was and how to eat clean.

I also discussed what the definition was, “The definition of Clean Eating is eating food as close to its natural state as possible. As well as-if it grew in the ground or on a tree, swims, flys or had a mother then you can eat it!”.

This a very healthy and well rounded way of eating! You don’t cut out any food groups, you get plenty of variety and you should get plenty of vitamins and minerals that your body needs .

So, in this post I am going to build upon Clean Eating and go a little deeper by looking at what the Bible says about how we should eat or Eating God’s Way!

Eating Rules in the Bible-

If you read through the Old Testament especially the first 5 books of the Bible you will find many food laws. From what you can and cannot eat, to how to prepare different foods, butchering meat and so on! There is a lot of information!

It can be a bit overwhelming especially if you go reading through all the laws there are about foods! It is hard to sort out what exactly you should do! There are several good resources, books and websites.

There are several “Christian” based diets out there that center around specific verses in Genesis and even follow Jewish Kosher guidelines. The Makers Diet, the Daniel Diet or Daniel Fast and the Hallelujah Diet are the ones I am most familiar with, that focus specifically on verses in the Bible that pertain to food.

The Makers Diet:

Some of the basics of the the Makers Diet are found in the Old Testament. It is fairly flexible in that you have a lot of foods to choose from, along with some notable ones that you cannot eat! Pretty much all fruits and vegetables, some nuts, nut butters and legumes, dairy, fats from coconuts, olive oil and real butter. Sweeteners are prohibited except for raw honey. Meat is where there are some specifics. You can eat “Clean” meats such as some cuts of beef, lamb, buffalo, venison and goats. Chicken is allowed as well. Pork is NOT allowed. (Which here in the South would seem to be ungodly).Fish that have fins and scales are allowed but shellfish are not. Both pork and shellfish are considered bottom feeders. Meaning they eat the refuse that settles either in the dirt(Pork) or the bottom of the sea(Shellfish).

The Daniel Diet or Daniel Fast-

This diet is based upon the book of Daniel in the diet. It pertains to the time Daniel and his friends were in captivity. They were some of the kings advisors at this time and they request to be fed only vegetables and fruit, even though the king had put in a rule that they be fed the richest and best food in the kingdom. Most of these foods went against the Jewish food laws that they grew up observing. Their caregiver agreed and at the end of the time Daniel and his friends ended up being healthier and their skin better looking than all the others who ate, what the King had demanded. Today’s Daniel Fast follows the same principles. You are to eat fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and vegetable fats such as olive, coconut and avocado oils. Essentially it is a vegetarian diet. There is also the Daniel Plan by Rick Warren. It is similar in that you eat a vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes and vegetable fats such as olive, coconut and avocado oils. But, the biggest difference is you may eat lean meat and chicken as well as fish(and yes, shellfish). It is very similar to the “Eat Clean” diet.

The Hallelujah Diet-

The Hallelujah Diet is based on a verse in Genesis 1:29, “Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” This diet primarily focuses on vegetables, fruit, grains and vegetable fats. It does not allow for any added sweeteners except for stevia, date sugar and dates. You are also urged to make fresh juices. It is not a raw diet but encourages you to eat as close to natural as possible. It is also a vegetarian diet.

Take Aways-

If you have a hard time just eating a vegetarian diet than the Daniel Fast and Hallelujah Diet are going to be hard for you. The Daniel Fast book suggests doing the fast(which again is primarily vegetarian) for 21 days which to me I could do. The Makers Diet is a well rounded diet with a few foods cut out. It would be worth exploring especially if you are having some health issues. This diet primarily follows the Kosher Laws that are listed in the Bible and overall is a healthy diet.

As you consider how and what you should eat-take time to pray about it. Ask God what specifically He would have you do. God is concerned with the small stuff that we have in our lives. He wants us to come to Him and ask for guidance about everything!

Would you consider one of these diets?

Do you feel God is leading you to change how you are eating and maybe even to follow some these diets?

Is God calling you to surrender to Him in all aspects of your life?

Comment below! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!!

Clean Eating? Just What Is It?

Last week, I posted on Facebook if anyone was interested in knowing what “Clean Eating” was as well as “Eating God’s Way”. I was overwhelmed with the responses!!

This post will focus on “Clean Eating”.

What is Clean Eating?

Does it mean you wash your veggies, fruit and meats? HAHA! Nope! Sorry, I am being silly!

Clean Eating is more than just a new diet fad. It’s been around for quite a while!

The definition of Clean Eating is eating food as close to its natural state as possible. As well as-if it grew in the ground or on a tree, swims, flys or had a mother then you can eat it!

It is also defined as not eating food that is processed or has added chemicals or flavorings. Clean eating is not a specific diet, meaning you are not omitting food groups or eating veggies raw.

What Clean Eating Is Not-

Clean eating is not a specific diet, meaning you are not omitting food groups, eating veggies raw, or only eating meat and potatoes! It is a well rounded, healthy way of eating. Diets like Keto, Paleo, intermittent fasting and many others can have clean eating implemented in their plans.

When we talk about processed foods, think about foods that come in a package and are made in a plant. Cookies, crackers, chips, pastas, breads, artificial sweetners and most foods in the center aisles of the grocery stores(although there are some exceptions such as tuna, salmon and some canned veggies and fruits). The only exceptions that are usually made are for Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, kefir, butter, peanut butter and healthy oils-all of which should be more organic and processed as little as possible. I also make the exception for good, quality whey protein shakes as well.

All veggies, fruit(fresh as well as dried) as well as potatoes, sweet potatoes and bread that is made out of ingredients that are processed as little as possible. Meat(beef, pork), Poultry(Chicken and turkey) and fish(shellfish included) as well as eggs are considered “Clean foods”.

How to Eat Clean-

There are some great books out there about Clean Eating. One of my Favorites is “The Eat-Clean Diet” by Tosca Reno. There are several others as well. Just google “Clean Eating”.

The first step is to clean out your pantry. Take a good hard look at what is in there. Get rid of anything that is processed! If it is unopened and you feel guilty about throwing food away-give it away! Donate it to a food bank.

Next, clean out the fridge, same as the process above! Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit the Clean Eating criteria! Again donate anything that you can!

The next step is to go shopping. When you go to your local grocery store the best way to insure that you get food that falls into the “Clean Eating” criteria is to shop the perimeter of the grocery store. It’s not 100% but its close! You will want to swing through the frozen section and get frozen veggies and fruit. This is also where a lot of healthier bread options are located as well. I buy Ezekiel Bread when I don’t have the time to make bread(this is where I can control what goes into my bread!). It is always in the frozen section because it doesn’t have preservatives!

One of the best things to do is to also hit up your local farmers market! There you can get tons of fresh veggies and fruit as well as farm fresh eggs. Some markets also have fresh cuts of meat as well!

Clean Eating Meal Ideas-

Breakfast- 2-3 boiled eggs. 1slice Ezekiel Bread fresh fruit

Lunch- Tuna fish(canned in water is fine) 2c. Lettuce Olive oil mixed with splash of apple cider vinegar, spices and a drop of honey dried cranberries to sprinkle on top

Snacks- Greek Yogurt(plain), blue berries and a drop or two of honey, and a sprinkle of sliced almonds

Trail mix of raisins, nuts and seeds

Celery and natural peanut butter

Dinner- Grilled chicken breast sauteed vegetables(zucchini, carrots, peppers whatever you love!) Baked sweet potato with coconut oil and cinnamon

There are so many meal options that this is a drop in the bucket!!

What’s Next…….

My next blog post will be about “Eating God’s Way”!

Keep an eye for it in a few days!

Do you have any questions about “Clean Eating”?

Meal Planning 101-Or My Version of It!!

Like most everyone else I am busy, busy, busy!

I often struggle with what to fix for dinner for my family because I am often working in the evening. Dinner needs to be healthy, not take forever to fix and able to be kept warm for a while!

Last week, I blogged about my instapot and how I use it for many of my meals! It really is a life saver, but there are times I don’t want to use it for every meal!

I am really bad about flying by the seat of my pants and that really adds stress when figuring out what to fix. If you’re like me, you don’t need anymore stress in your life!

So, I am going back to what has worked for me in the past!

Meal Planning-

When my boys were younger, I was primarily a SAHM. We also homeschooled them and they were always in lots of activities and sports. I had to maximize my time and budget every week!

So I meal planned!

Now that my boys are young adults and have their own schedules(two are still at home for now), I am finding now I am the one who is always busy! I am reverting back to my plan that always worked back then!

Here I share my method for meal planning. It’s not perfect and I am sure there are better ideas! But this works for me!

There Are Several Options-

One option:

– I know people who make a list of recipes, gather their ingredients, then cook several of the same or variations of meals and freeze.

-Some cook hamburger, chicken breasts, even rice and freeze them as well.

Both types usually keep a list of food prepared and how it can be used as well as cooking instructions.

I never seem to have the extra time to make things ahead, but that is a great, easy option!

My method:

-Get a notebook, shopping list or you can copy this sheet and print off. (By : http://www.papertraildesign.com).

-I only plan for dinners-not all meals! I do have breakfast and lunch options on hand!

-I find recipes I want to make. I may go through cookbooks or look up recipes online. AllRecipes.com, foodnetwork.com and just simply google some recipes! I also have some family recipes that are popular with our family!

-Next, I look at what staples I have on hand-flour, sugar, baking powder and spices. I make a list of what I am in need of.

-Then I look over the recipes and make a list of ingredients that I need!

-I always make sure I have one extra super easy meal on hand incase I need a quick back up. I usually will let the guys pick it out. So its usually unhealthy! Pizza rolls, frozen pizza or chicken nuggets are usually their choice! But I will usually have salad or fresh fruit as a side available as well. It will balance out-I guess! LOL

-I always plan for salads, fresh veggies(celery, carrots, broccoli and cucumbers) and fresh fruits. It can make a meal a lot healthier!

Keep It Simple-

Whatever you plan, keep the recipes simple unless you are into making complex meals!

For me, it usually needs to be 30 minutes or less, not have a ton ingredients and not take every pan I have in my kitchen!

I promise I’m not lazy, just busy!!

I also find that too many ingredients and flavors can easily be messed up! I will often play it safe!

One rule I do have is have several colors on your plate or recipe! Bright colors in your veggies will ensure you are getting a good mix of vitamins and antioxidants!

What About You?

Do you have a method for meal planning?

Do you plan ahead?

Care to share some good recipes? I am always looking for new recipes!!

Please share!

Here’s to good eating!

-Amy

Hot, Hot, Hot!!! How to Exercise When It’s Too Hot!!

Here in North Carolina and I’d say about 99% of the southern states often deal with extremely hot weather in the summer! I know often we have 100% humidity and 99+ degree days! It can be miserable!

It also can be dangerous to exercise in!

When dealing with such extreme temperatures and humidity you can be at risk for hyperthermia, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke if you workout in the heat of the day! Also some underlying health issues can be aggravated by the heat as well! High blood pressure, blood sugar and breathing conditions such as asthma and COPD issues can all cause concern in high heat and humidity! None of these are something you want to deal with!

How to Avoid Over Doing It-

  • Pay attention to the weather! If its going to be really hot out that day or the humidity is going to be high, schedule your workout early in the day or late in evening-again watching the temps and humidity!
  • Hydrate-Hydrate-Hydrate and hydrate some more! Make sure you are drinking at least half your body weight in pure water! Then add some more or even possibly some Gatorade. I don’t often like those but if you are working out, outside in the heat, one to two bottles can be helpful-BUT-get your water in first!!!
  • Try another workout! For instance, today I want to get some cardio in. I really wanted to go for a walk but it just too hot! So I am opting for water walking in the pool. If you don’t have a pool but have access to an air conditioned gymnasium or gym-hop on a treadmill or go walking in the gymnasium(you could also run!).
  • Wear light colored and moisture wicking fabric!!! It really does make a difference! You don’t want any extra sun beating down on you and you certainly don’t want a heavy material sitting against your skin! A cotton t-shirt may feel good when you’re out and about but when your working out it can actually retain heat!!!
  • And lastly-try breaking up your workout! You might do half of it in the morning and then finishing the rest in the evening. Or break it up into 10 minute increments, scattered throughout the day!

Please just make sure you take precautions the next couple of months when dealing with this heat! There have been times we have had summer temps all the way into October!

There is nothing more frustrating to be making progress in your fitness journey and then get sick and be set back a week or so. So taking precautions can help you further your fitness journey!!

What are some of your favorite summer time workouts?

Comment below-I’d love to get some new ideas!!

XOXO- Amy

What’s Your Favorite Healthy Meal?

We all have our favorite “unhealthy” meals but do you have some favorite healthy meals?

If you’re like me, I go to cook dinner and my mind goes blank!

Or I fall back on my old standard-protein, non starchy veggie and a starch- Chicken, green beans or broccoli and a sweet potato, potato or rice!! Which can be incredibly boring!

I do have some favorite healthy meals that are easy and tasty!

Sheet Pan Meals-

I love to make sheet pan meals!

I like these because for the most part I don’t really have to measure and I will alot of times use what ever veggies I have on hand! These consist of taking some type of meat, your favorite veggies and you can also add a starchy vegetable(s).

So, my favorite sheet pan meal is chicken, bell peppers, onions, carrots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and potatoes all cut up in bite size pieces. Or whatever your favorite veggies might be! I then mix about a 1/4c olive oil with garlic, oregano, chives, salt and pepper and sprinkle over the ingredients! I heat the oven on 350 degrees and cook around 30 min. If you don’t use a starchy veggie(potato or sweet potato) you could put the veggies and meat over some rice or even some whole wheat pasta. If you plan to put it over pasta you could use about 1/4c-1/2c of pesto and sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese!

  • Another favorite sheet pan meal is fajitas! I use either sliced chicken or beef as well as 1/4c to 1/2c olive oil. I like to again use bell peppers, onions(or any other veggies you like) as well as fajita seasoning, salt and pepper! You can purchase fajita seasoning or mix up the following in a small bowl:
  • 1Tablespoon Cornstartch 2 teaspoons chili powder. 1 teaspoon salt. 1 teaspoon paprika. 1 teaspoon white sugar(You can also use 1/2 tsp of stevia) 1/2 teaspoon onion powder. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Stir the meat, 1/2 of the mixed up seasoning (or packet) and 1/2 the olive oil in a bowl and spread on the sheet. Then take the veggies, rest of the seasoning and olive oil and stir together and again place on the sheet. I usually cook for about 30 minutes on 350 degrees. Until meat is cooked and veggies tender. You can then serve on tortillas or rice. It’s healthy and filling!

    Insta Pot Meals-

    So let me share this-I don’t have an actual Insta-Pot. Mine is a Farberware brand so just know that yours may be a little different in the set up instructions. But for the most part all electric pressure cookers have similar processes!

    Another confession-I didn’t pay an arm and a leg for it either! It was $56 from Walmart! But it is the BEST $56 I have EVER spent!

    OK-the recipes!

    One of my favorites is a simple creamy chicken dish!

    I take a package of white chicken meat(breasts or tenderloin)

    I add a can of 97% fat free cream of Chicken soup and add almost a cup of water. I also add a dash of salt, pepper and garlic powder!

    Cook it according to your cookers chicken setting.

    It will be liquidy, so after its safe to open the pot, you could add any veggies your want to cook as well. Peas, broccoli or carrots are all really good! You can also set your cooker to simmer or sauté to boil the veggies. After veggies are cooked I then mix a tablespoon or two of cornstarch with water and add to the pot. This thickens the sauce and makes it super yummy! It just seems really rich!

    This is also really good over rice or whole wheat pasta. You could also do zucchini noodles too!

    I have also made Potato soup as well!

    I cut up about 5-6 potatoes(depending on size), add 1c water and 1c 2% or skim milk, salt, pepper and lean diced ham! You can get it at most any grocery stores where there is ham. I also add a tablespoon of butter(but optional). My pot has a soup/stew setting and I use that. After the steam is released I again mix 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch to 1/2c water and add to thicken. Again I set it to the sauté setting for just a minute or two! It doesn’t take long! You could also add a little bit of cheddar cheese to add some richness!

    There are tons of great sheet pan recipes and Insta-pot recipes!

    I will be adding more recipes in the near future!!

    I love to cook, but it has to be healthy and quick as most nights I am personal training and need it to stay warm for my family!

    Do you have any easy healthy recipes that you’d like to share?

    I am always on the hunt to try something new!!

    Feel free to add some in the comments!

    Much love!

    Amy

    5 Things I Have Learned on My Path to Fitness

    So I have worked out for years and have often taken two steps forward and 3 steps back! I have learned there are things that work and things that well… you should avoid as much as possible!

    Since teaching tons of fitness classes these past 17+ years, I have learned some things that can make starting out much easier! Much of this is from personal experience and from working with many in classes!

    5 things to consider when starting your fitness journey!

    Number 1-Don’t Do Too Much at the Beginning:

    When you start an exercise program don’t workout like you’ve been doing it for years and are advanced. This only results in injuries and soreness that can be discouraging and delay you even more. As an instructor I often see class participants get injuries in their feet and knees when they jump in and do too much at first!
    To avoid this, try these things:
    Let the instructor know you are just starting out and need some beginner options. If you are working out on your own, start by walking and light weights. Try lower impact options in classes or videos. Wear good shoes and comfortable workout clothes! Don’t eat right before exercising! If you’ve exercised in the past and have been off for a while-don’t jump right back in where you were, ease into it! Maybe buy a few sessions with a trainer!

    Number 2-Choose the Right Workout:

    Decide what your goals are first!

    If you want to be more flexible then you might want to choose yoga or a stretching class and not a Crossfit workout! If you want to get stronger I wouldn’t choose a step aerobic class!

    Think what your goals are and work towards that! If you have a physical limitation take that into consideration as well. If you have rheumatoid arthritis starting a high impact fitness program might not be a good choice, but a low impact class may be.

    And ALWAYS talk to your doctor and make sure you know if you have some limitations!

    Number 3-Don’t Workout Injured-Maybe:

    So this is a “maybe” because there are times when your doctor will say you can workout but per their limits!

    Recently I sprained some tendons in my foot. I put off going to the doctor and made myself, “get by”. Then it became chronic and was considered tendonitis. I finally went to the doctor, had a cortisone shot and was put in a boot for a week. I was also told to limit my “impact” for 6 weeks-so I was allowed to do cardio on a bike or swim-just no running. Guess what I did it! I listened. I was completely healed when I went back at 6 weeks!

    So, there are times when you can continue to workout but may have to modify it!

    If your doctor tells you to lay off exercise, then listen! Let your body heal!

    Number 4-Watch the Weather:

    Are you sensitive to heat or cold?

    Do you have a health condition that makes heat or cold a health threat? There are specific conditions that can be impacted by the temperature! Asthma, sjogrens, some skin conditions as well as blood pressure can be problematic in different temperature situations!

    Always check with your doctor!

    Number 5-Listen to Your Body:

    If you’re tired or sick- rest!

    If you’re sore, take a break. Take necessary steps to recover possibly by taking a epsom salt bath or by getting a massage.

    Sleep is the number one recovery tool you can do! When you sleep your body repairs and heals itself! Try for 7-8 hours a night if you can!

    Your body often needs two to three days off from exercise to recover each week. Whether its mixed in between workout days or consecutive days. You need to let your body rest and recover!

    I think this is the biggest lesson I have had to learn! I have suffered many overuse injuries due to not resting!

    So What about You?

    If you are considering starting a workout routine or have been off for a while, please take some of these things into consideration!

    If you are thinking about starting to workout- What type of exercise are you interested in? What are some of your goals?

    If you’ve exercised in the past but had to take some time off due to sickness or injury- When do you plan to start working out again?

    Just remember fitness is a journey NOT a destination!

    Its taking small steps that add up to health!

    XOXO,

    Amy

    4 Reasons Why the Church Needs to Be Physically Healthy

    There are many statistics out there showing that the church as a whole is estimated to be around 75% significantly overweight! The national estimate is 65% of adults are considered significantly overweight!!

    This of course is no surprise because any given Sunday you could visit a Southern Baptist Church (or any church for that matter!) and be greeted with doughnuts and sugary coffee during Sunday school, a potluck after morning service and even finger foods at the evening business meeting! We all know this is not carrot sticks and low-fat crackers being served!! It’s creamy, fat laden, noodle filled casseroles and fried chicken! Oh and don’t you dare forget dessert!!

    SO many of our church activities are centered on-you guessed it- FOOD!

    The question needed to be asked are we over doing it?

    Excess weight and obesity may be caused by some medical problems, but could being overweight be a spiritual problem as well?

    There are 4 Reasons why the church needs to be more physically healthy-

    #1-Over-eating(Gluttony) is a Sin-

    God has given us the need for food as well as the ability to enjoy food. The bible gives us many examples food being the center of a celebration but the problem comes when we over eat or allow food to have more importance than the One we are celebrating!

    The Bible even tells us not to be gluttonous!

    Proverbs 25:27-28. It’s not good to eat too much honey, and it’s not good to seek honors for yourself. A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.

    Proverbs 23:20-21. Do not carouse with drunkards or feast with gluttons, for they are on their way to poverty, and too much sleep clothes them in rags.Food is meant to be used for the bodies physical needs, not for comfort, soothing emotions or solving problems-that is God’s job!

    This is when food becomes a sin!

    #2-Being Obese Tears Down the Temple of God-

    1 Corinthians 6:19-20. 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

    If our bodies are God’s home, why are we destroying it with excessive weight and inactivity? We are being bad home owners!

    Being obese and under active account for many premature deaths every year. It is linked to the nation’s number one killer-heart disease. If you’re dead God can use you to reach those that don’t know Him!! Obesity can also be linked to diabetes and other chronic illnesses that can inhibit you from serving God as you should!

    Why is it that even with this knowledge and commandment from the Bible many Christians are destroying God’s temple with excess food, lack of sleep and exercise!?

    #3-Obesity is Being a Bad Steward of Your Body-

    1 Corinthians 6:20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

    Obesity keeps you from doing the job that God has planned for you! We are to be physically prepared to do whatever He asks of us and whenever He asks!

    Obesity not only is poor stewardship of your body but also of your financial resources as well! Medical costs soar every year and health insurance costs go up every year-especially if you are obese!

    Now I’m talking obesity not just that 5-15 pounds overweight.

    Eating healthy is way more cost effective than being sick and in the hospital!

    #4-Overeating can Indicate Walking in the Flesh Instead of in the Spirit-

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

    When we are not able to control our eating habits we are lacking self control. Self control is one of the Fruits of the Spirit. If we don’t take care of the our body we often can’t give attention to the spiritual, because we have to place our focus on getting well.

    When you are exercising the Fruit of the Spirit and letting Him lead you, you are able to place proper focus on food and a proper focus on the spiritual!

    So What Should We as the Church Do?

    We can start by putting food in its proper place in our lives- and in our churches as well. It should be used to nourish our bodies and not take more importance than -Who- we are there to serve!

    Ministers and church leaders can also take a look at themselves and set a good example for church members.

    Also, the church leaders can encourage health and fitness in their churches. If you have a family life center on your church property offer walking, fitness classes or physical activities such as basketball and other sports!

    There are also many bible studies out there that address proper eating and groups can be formed to offer support to those who are participating!

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    What do you think? Should there be an emphasis in our churches to eat healthier and be more active? Are eating healthy and being physically active a biblical discipline? Does your church offer any fitness opportunities and bible studies on healthy eating>

    How Not Resting is Hurting Your Progress

    Being Hard-Headed

    Most of my life I have had this all or nothing attitude when it came to getting fit.

    Sound Familiar? Maybe it’s you as well.

    If I was going to diet, I was going to do it perfectly. I was not going to question my trainer why I was eating so little. I had to do it right-at a 100%-exact. I had to stick to the plan.

    If I was going to do a weightlifting workout, I was going to do exactly as directed even if I were hurting or sore. Again, I had to get the workouts in 100%. No matter what!

    If I were directed to do cardio 5 days a week, I did 5 days-even if I had taught 4 cardio classes that same week. They didn’t count.

    Ok, I know it sounds ridiculous. But your trainer can only do so much.                         They can’t force you to rest!

    Learning the Hard Way

    Now, because I over-exercised and underate for way too many years, I am dealing with weightloss resistance, hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. Some of these are hereditary but they are definitely aggravated by the abuse I put my body through.

    It took me too many years and too many injuries (that I’m going to carry with me the rest of my life) to figure out that-REST- is an important component of your fitness routine.

    Experiencing Burnout

    Burnout is a very real thing.                                                                                                                     It can be from exercise, stress, heart break, illness, health conditions-chronic and acute as well as just life in general.  Some doctors will go as far as calling it Adrenal Fatigue, but they are far and few in between!                                                                                   I experienced burnout in 2008 when coming off a competition diet.  I just hit a wall. I was too depleted and ended up getting mono. I had a hard time recovering and I still get that deep set fatigue from time to time!                                                                                            Burnout is a very real condition!

    So What Exactly is REST?

    There are probably a ton of descriptions out there but I will give you mine.                   You should workout anywhere from 3-5 days a week. That is-weightlifting, cardio, yoga, fitness classes, walking and etc.

    BUT-Rest is at the VERY least is taking 2 days off completely from exercise. Either in succession or break them up.  It’s really what works for you!

    If you are dealing with an injury, take longer.

    If you are really sore, make sure you stretch or take an easy yoga class.                           Hot baths with epsom salt added and a drop or two of Deep Blue essential oil blend added can help with soreness as well!

    S-L-E-E-P-

    This is probably your number one component to help in your getting fit journey!

    I, on average, don’t require a lot of sleep-5-6 hours is about all I need!

    But, in order for your body to recover and rebuild itself you need to be getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night.  This also ensures that you have normal hormone regulation-especially cortisol. Cortisol levels should be higher in the morning and lowering throughout the day.  When your sleep is messed up, it can cause an imbalance in your cortisol levels, which can cause weight gain and make getting fit harder!

    Good Nutrition

    You simply must eat well, if your body isn’t getting enough protein, carbohydrates and fats it can’t repair and replenish itself.  Your can’t recover well if the body isn’t fed.            I have learned this the hard way.

    Protein is the building blocks for growing muscles.  Think of it as you are building a LEGO house and you have some blocks missing.  It can’t get any taller until you add those pieces!                                                                                                                       Carbohydrates are your quick energy stores, its like gasoline in your car.  It gives it the short term energy to do your daily tasks.                                                                                                Fat is like your oil in your car.  It’s there for the long haul and is pretty long lasting(Oil is there 3,000-5,000miles!!).  Fat is your long store of energy.  When the carbs run out your body will utilize fat for energy.                                                                                              Balance is so important for your body to run as the well built machine it is supposed to be!

    What About You?

    Sometimes you have to ask yourself the hard questions.

    Are you over doing it?                                                                                                                                 Are you taking the proper amount of rest days?                                                                           Are you pushing yourself even when injured?                                                                                                      Are you short changing yourself with sleep?                                                                                 Are you eating a good well rounded diet?                                                                                                 Are you working out all the time, watching everything  you eat and still not making progress?

    Take time to reflect!

    Let me know if you are dealing with these issues and I will be glad to help you work on fixing it!