Friday, February 25, 2011

Small Steps to Better Health ~ Step One

I don't know about you, but I am the kind of person that can get overwhelmed when I am bombarded with a list of 100 things to do to make yourself and your family healthy!  I have found that when people start talking about getting healthier, they defeat those they are trying to win over just by the shear impossibility of it all.  We are constantly shown how this cleaning agent, that food, these cosmetics, this medicine, this drink...are no longer healthy for us.  And study after study does seem to show that most of these findings are correct.  I find it as no surprise that this is the case.  We have chosen fast food, over God's food.  We have gone for quick and easy over healthy and nourishing.  We have become so much a part of the unhealthy culture that finding a way out seems like climbing Mount Everest!  And we copy what we Mom cooked like this, or my grandma ate this...etc. that we don't question and say, "But is this the best choice for my family?"  Does food even matter to God?  After all, we have Christian liberty right?  Yes, we do have Christian liberty...liberty to follow the commands of God which are freeing for us, for our good and for His glory.  Food is no different.  If our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, then is it not our Christian service to keep that temple as healthy as possible?  If we know that eating and drinking a certain way will make us more effective for the Kingdom's work, why would we not do it?  I have asked that to myself many times...and my answer...because I like those yummy Aussie Cheese fries from Outback...or the MSG laden Chinese food down the street...or the Coffee frappuchino from Starbucks!  They taste great...and they give me an emotional lift.  But, I quickly found that the down they produced afterwards, the wear and tear on my body, the headaches I got from not having my caffeine, the emotional swings that came because I needed that lift and didn't have my comfort food...those I could live without.  And so, I began systematically changing the way I eat and drink and have begun to creep back to the land of the living.  Well, I should say limp back.  I will tell you that I was born with an auto-immune deficiency.  Things that affect me greatly may only slightly seem to bother another.  And the issues that I am now facing health wise stem from mercury poisoning in my body.  If you know anything about mercury, it never leaves the body, but it can be lessened and the effects diminished greatly.  I am therefore on my own quest (which may take years if God does not sovereignly heal) to a healthier body.  The fact that I have good days now is a testament to God's healing foods.  I do not claim to be a doctor or an expert on any of these matters.  I am only sharing what I have learned in my own life...with my own health.  You must pray and seek God concerning these issues for your own life. 

I have chosen Fridays for these posts because my hope is that if you do desire to make a change and you need to purchase something, or prepare in some way, that you will have the weekend to do that and implement your changes for the next week.  My steps are small ones...incremental baby steps so that hopefully you will not feel overwhelmed with the prospect of changing your habits for healthy living.  And so, without making this post too terribly long, I now give you small step number one:

1.  Drink more water everyday.  See, I told you they would be small.  But every small step will bring you closer to the big payoff of a healthier lifestyle.  So, this next week, your challenge is to drink more water.   Did you know that water makes up sixty percent of our bodies?  Here is a quote about water from Dr. Joseph Mercola:

     Drinking eight glasses of pure water is an important foundational health principle for most people.  An alarming number of Americans don't follow this guideline and are constantly dehydrated.  Dehydration is subtle and most don't feel the thirst on their tongue, but their bodies are suffering-without sufficient water intake they cannot properly detoxify and aid their bodies in the elimination of wastes.  Some minor symptoms of insufficient water intake are headaches, feeling tired and groggy, constipation and dry skin.  If left untended, dehydration can contribute to a variety of serious health problems with blood pressure, circulation, kidney function, immune system function and digestive disorders.

The problem with most of us is we drink too much of the wrong things and only reach for water when we "feel" thirsty.  But, in reality, our bodies need it long before we ever feel it.  So, this next week...try to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water everyday...and make sure your children are drinking enough as well.  A good rule for little ones is to take half their body weight and have them drink that in ounces.  If you need to mark down how much you drink until it becomes second nature to you, then do that.  It will pay off for you in the long run.  Blessings to you!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Consensus Is...

First of all, I want to thank all those that answered my questions about upcoming blog topics.  Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to this...I have been a little under the weather lately.  It seems the most popular blog topics are 1. Training Our Daughters to be Proverbs 31 Women, 2.  Small Steps to Better Health, 3. Book reviews, and the others taken up at some point.  So, what I am planning on doing, providing I can get to the computer often enough, is to have the Better Health Series on Fridays.  That way, it will give you time to find out how to implement it if you choose to after the weekend.  And right now, I will try and post my series on training daughters on Wednesdays.  The beginning of that series however will be for all children as the basis for child rearing is the same.  Other days in the week will be for catching up on what is happening in our home, books reviews, marriage topics, etc.  Thank you all again for your cooperation.  I am greatly looking forward to exploring these topics with you!  May the Lord bless our efforts to do all things for His honor! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Somebody's Ten!!!

Well, we just finished celebrating another birthday at our house.  Our oldest son Josiah turned ten!  He liked the strawberry cheesecake ice cream cake his sister Julia had so much that he decided he would get the same.  We had them change the icing to blue to make it look a little more manly.  But, of course, when something tastes that good, who cares what it looks like?

He chose for his birthday dinner, chicken pot pie, macaroni and cheese and pasta salad.  He is a big fan of noodles and cheese. 

This is one of the few times Julia is motivated to eat...when dessert follows.  She knows she only gets dessert when she eats her meal.  Joel is waiting patiently for the cake...I never have to tell him to eat.

I actually decided to get in a picture this time.  Sometimes when you are the one taking pictures you forget to put yourself in some.  Here I am with my sweet birthday boy.

Daddy getting ready to cut the cake for us.  Remember he always cuts big pieces, so the children prefer him to be the official cake cutter.

A very happy Josiah with one of his presents...this one from his Nana.  These are from Vision is a military patrol boat and they are compatible with Legos.  We got him a Jeep and a couple of men that go with the set and a video, "Soldiering Through History: The War Between the States."  Josiah is our military historian.  He can already far surpass his mother with facts about battles of all kinds.  I have no idea how God is going to use that knowledge, but we are excited to see how He does.   Happy birthday Josiah.  We love you!

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Question for My Dear Readers

I have been contemplating blog posts lately. I have been thinking about starting a series or two and wanted to have the input of my dear readers.  When I started this blog, it was for the purpose of keeping friends and family in touch with what is going on in our family, and that will still be a priority.  But, over time, it has become something more...a place for me to write about what God has been teaching me...a place to gather my thoughts...a place for me to share my heart.

So, I am asking for your help.  I have some ideas about future posts, but can't quite seem to make a final decision about which ones to write about.  That is where you come in.  I would like to know what you would like to read here.  Here are some ideas I have been mulling over:

1.  Making the Most of Our Marriages
2.  Training Our Daughters to be Proverbs 31 Women
3.  Small Steps to Better Health (I have been thinking about posting a once a week health challenge for healthy eating/living.  With my own health issues and those of my children, the Lord continues to teach me concerning proper eating and herbal supplements)
4.  Ways to Show Love to Our Families
5.  Book Reviews

Those are a few mulling over in my mind.  So, please leave a comment and let me know what you would like to see on my blog.  I am greatly looking forward to your comments.  And thank you in advance for your cooperation!  Have a great day in Jesus!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Someone Turned Five!

It is hard to believe that my baby girl turned five on Sunday!  We had her birthday celebration on Saturday.  She was so excited.  We don't have a lot of birthday traditions...but there are a few.  The birthday child gets to choose what we have for dinner that night...Julia is a great fan of spaghetti.  She takes after my Dad on that one.
We do not watch a lot of movies, so the birthday child gets to choose a movie from our collection that they want to watch.  She picked "Runners from Ravenshead" from Vision Forum.  She likes that movie a lot because all the actors are children.  And their Nana usually gets them the cake of their choice.  Since she is a wonderful baker...she makes from scratch red velvet, carrot or pound cakes...but she mentioned ice cream cake to Julia...and the others were quickly forgotten!  So Julia had a strawberry shortcake ice cream cake from Dairy Queen.  We do the not so healthy cakes on their birthdays.  I abstained from eating some...but it was hard!
Daddy cut the cake and gave them a much more generous portion than Mommy would have!  I have a feeling they will no longer want me to cut their cake anymore! 
I cannot imagine my life without my fifth blessing.  She has brought such joy to our lives.  She is by far our pickiest child!  She doesn't like to try new foods...doesn't like anyone messing with her hair...only wants to wear certain dresses again and again...and yet, she is so caring and loving in the next breath.  She is one of the first to crawl in my lap and give me a hug.  She is free with her "I love you's."  God has made her unique...and it is my prayer that this little girl will grow to be a giant of the faith! 
I am so thankful God has blessed my life with you Julia Haddassah! Happy birthday my sweet girl!