Traveling Healthy During the Holidays

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Healthy Holidays

Over the river and through the woods.

In a one-horse open sleigh.

Grandma got ran over by a reindeer.

Walking in a winter wonderland.

No matter how you travel this holiday season, you definitely want to arrive safe, stay safe, and return to your home – hopefully without a trip to the hospital!  I have already traveled over this holiday season with my two little boys, and I wanted to share some tips with you!

  1.  Eat healthy.  I know, crazy, and hard to do. But, this helps!  If you pack some fruit in the car, get applesauce, clementines, or fruit pouches when you go in for lunch at your favorite lunch place while traveling, and definitely if you get those fluids going.  This is especially hard when you are aiming for speed on your trip – because diapers need changing and if you are potty training then you stop often.  But, just know that fluids really do help your body (and your little one’s body) stay healthy!
  2. Get exercise.  When you get to your destination – and even on the way – incorporate exercise into your vacation plans.  My boys love parks and would play all day!  And at those rest areas, do some jumping jacks or run around in the grassy areas.
  3. Be prepared.  If you son or daughter takes medication, be prepared with how much you will need.  If they have allergies, make sure you understand the place you are going and what you might encounter.  Always know where a medical doctor is.  Whether it is a clinic, an emergency room, or a hospital – this is crucial.  We usually go places we know for the holidays, so I always know where places are.  But, if I’m going somewhere new, I would use Amino’s great guide to help you find what you need in your time of stress.  All on one site, too!
  4. Be loved.  Stress is such a killer during the holidays.  Whether its the traffic or the relationships, look on the bright side, slow down, love.

And with that, happy safe and healthy travels.  Thanks Amino for the hint!

September Reads

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September Reads

I think reading is one of the best ways to better yourself.  If you are reading the Bible – it is about learning the gospel of God to know God better.  If you are reading a cookbook, then you want to make your cooking better.  If you are reading a comic book, you want to laugh better.  Get it?

Before I get to the list of mine for this month, I want to encourage you to go read this post by Doug Wilson about how to read more.  It will be of benefit to you.  I know lots of seminary profs who are friends that read several books a week.  I don’t read that fast.  I would love to get through 2-3 a month.

So here are some I’m reading this month (mostly finishing up, because I’ve started all of these – and only have a few pages left in some, but I want to complete!!)

French Women Don’t Get Fat: I am so far loving this book.  I read it at night and it gets my mind reset to keep on my healthy journey.

A Woman’s Wisdom: This is a great book and helpful to women.  Lydia Brownback writes clearly to help women in any stage of life know how to apply the Proverbs to their lives.  This will be extremely helpful to me this month, especially in my parenting journey.

Peter Pan: I love any movie about Peter Pan – and I want to get to know more about Barrie in the future.  My mister and I are currently watching Hook which he has never seen, which I personally think is one of the late Robin Williams’ best roles.

Fierce Convictions: This is a biography that is about God, the gospel, justice, and women.  It is great – and I only have a little bit left to finish it.

What are you reading this month?


Living Well at 40 to Live Well at 80

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I love being surprised by books.  And I’m not 40 (yet), but my husband is past this mark.  And thanks to Crossway for this title.  I was intending on reading it right after the new year, but that never happened, but it has been perfect timing for me to pick up this book.

John Dunlop has written a great book, mostly for senior citizens, on how to live well and finish strong for the glory of God.  In Wellness for the Glory of God, Dr. Dunlop explores how people above the age of 40 can live well so that they finish well – not only in health, but in many other areas as well.

He does cover physical wellness.  He doesn’t talk about a particular diet, but he does talk about how our aging bodies need certain things to make them work to their highest capacity.  He doesn’t talk over his readers’ heads, but instead offers illustrations and practical steps to stir them up to good deeds in this area.

He covers mental wellness.  I actually think this chapter would be best read by children of aging parents.  This talks a lot of how to keep the mind sharp.  Again, a very practical chapter.

One thing he covers is social wellness.  He offers some advice to the aging adult – focus on others.  He gives tips on how to focus on others, ministering to them, pouring into them, getting out of your comfort zone, passing on knowledge, playing with kids and grandkids.  This is not only social wellness, but is greatly connected to the physical and mental wellness too.

In financial wellness – he covers tips on wills, leaving good financial legacies for your families, and not piles of debt to be a burden to those after you.  HE talks about giving and how that can be a blessing not only to you but also to the ones you give.

Spiritual Wellness is important.  Some aging adults find it difficult to physically be involved in church activities, but he encourages them to not their love of the Word grow dim.  Bible studies, prayer groups in your home, prayer ministries, mentoring.  Don’t spend all of your retirement years thinking you already know everything about the Word, but spend this time deepening your walk with the Lord.

Emotional Wellness concludes the book’s sections.  I know so many elderly who may struggle with two of the things Dunlop mentions: anger and boredom.  Forgiveness is such a crucial thing to emotional wellbeing.  Boredom should never be the case because this world is so big and we have so much at our fingertips.

What I figured from this book is that I need to start pursuing all these areas now – not wait until I’m 60 and my kids are in college.  Start taking these tips to heart and act upon them.  Be healthy.  Be giving.  Be smart with my finances.  And also that God intends us to be whole beings.  If we are healthy on the outside, but never help anyone or pray to our Creator, then our physical wellness doesn’t get us very far.

Whatever stage of life you are in, seek out how to best live ALL of it for God’s glory.

Fit and Healthy 2014 Goals

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5k with sarah

I think this might be the number 1 resolution of most of the world.  Somehow, in someway – choose to do something that impacts your health.  Where most of the world fails is in determination and accountability and in attainability.

Going on a reality show and working out 9 hours a day for 3 months is not reality.  Starving yourself is not reality.  Giving up a certain product for the rest of your life (for most people, not those with health reasons) is not reality.  So how will you choose to better your physical health this year?

Here are my goals for 2014:

1.  By 2015: I want to be 40 lbs lighter.  That is a number agreed upon by my husband and me – and no one else.  He is the one I want to please with how I look, so that is why I wanted his feedback.  He is also a great accountability partner and likes to walk and eat healthy too!  Thanks Love.

2.  Now to break that down into attainable goals.  The first one: lose 17 lbs by the first weekend in April which is my first 10k race in a few years!  I’m very excited.  That is a little over a pound a week which is SO doable and set at a great pace!  That will also get me back to pre-pregnancy weight!!!!!

3.  I want do to more 30 day challenges.  Right now, I’m doing the LBD challenge with some friends on FB.  It is fun and challenging and quick and changes up my routine from what I always do!

4.  I am about to sign up for my first 10k in April and then have plans and hopes to do one in October – a half!  I love half marathons.  A challenge and not too much (like a marathon).

5.  I want to hike Pinnacle Mountain here in Little Rock to get me ready to do Blood Mountain at Vogel in September.  Mister will be glad to do both with me.

6.  Mister and I have talked and made plans.  We plan to walk during his lunch break with the boys 2 days a week, walk or be active on Fri and Sat which are his days off, and then allow me to go early on 2 days a week to run or be active by myself!  He is so my biggest fan!

Love accountability and determination!  And my smaller sized jeans and tops and dresses!  What motivation!

What are your challenges this year?

(The above picture was taken at the Anthem 5k in Louisville in 2010 – 4 years ago.  My friend Sarah was a huge help in my running beginnings.  It was cold but we finished and finished well.)

Cholesterol Check

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YAY! What a great way to start a Monday! Plus, I got to sleep in! And had a delicious oats in a jar with blackberries morning! Life is grand.
The last time I had my cholesterol checked (and the first time) was May 4, 2009. I was pleased with the numbers, except for 1. My good cholesterol (HDL) was borderline low. I did everything they told me to do, I didn’t know why it was so low. And I am not the type to want to have to go on medication to raise it. So, good thing my other numbers were good. But, I strived this year to make that number go up! 🙂

Here is my results – with the key findings:

May 4, 2010
Weight – approximately 166
Total Chol – 156
Glucose level after fasting – 69 (almost too low she said this morning)
HDL (good) – 40 (40 is the number that you are too low)
LDL (bad) – 97 (in the good range)

March 15, 2010
Weight – 151 (still too high, but 15 lbs less than last year)
TC – 152 (dropped 4)
Glucose – 81 – she said this was more of a normal number which means your body is still operating well after not eating in so long (I last ate at 640pm last night and my test was at 915am)
HDL – 48 – WOW! Thats a jump in 8 points! I love it. I guess that is what a less-processed, olive oil, avocados, nuts, greens, and grains diet will do for you – and losing 15 lbs and running! 🙂
LDL – 95 – this even dropped 2 points. I’ll take it!

I am very pumped by these numbers. I just gotta keep up what I’m doing! 🙂
What good health signs have you seen in your life? How are you taking care of the inside of your body?