Peach-Pecan Vinaigrette…and Hot Rocks!

By Katie, 7:46 am

Admittedly, it’s a bizarre title for a post. But I assure you it makes total sense. :lol:

So today is officially the first day of summer, which means that we all have one thing on our minds – SALADS. Ok, maybe not. 8-) But I bet we’re all eating a lot more of them than we were in the cold of winter, right?

I am not usually one to whip up exciting, impressive salad dressings; most of the time I’d rather put my effort into the non-liquid components and then just squirt some olive oil, vinegar, agave, or thinned-out hummus on top. But ’tis the season for main-meal salads, so giving due attention to all of the parts seems a bit more necessary.

A few days ago I entered the world of homemade salad dressings with this.

Peach-Pecan Vinaigrette! If you’re into fruity salad dressings, this one is a winner! As the name implies, it’s just a mix of pecans, peaches, water, and red wine vinegar.

Given a quick whirl in the food processor.

Ta-Da!

Served atop a very colorful mixture of greens, cherry tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, carrots, cooked sweet potato, and golden raisins.

Peach-Pecan Vinaigrette
Inspired by the latest Whole Foods Market flier
Serves 6-8

Ingredients
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped peaches (I used thawed, frozen ones since fresh aren’t in season yet)
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Puree all ingredients in a food professor or heavy-duty blender until smooth. Add more or less water, depending on how thick or thin you like your dressing.

Easy as pie! Well, actually, significantly easier than pie! ;-)

And now onto the Hot Rocks! This weekend I had the absolute pleasure of meeting up with my old friends Beth and Barbara for dinner. You may remember Beth from the Broad Street 10-Miler, but I hadn’t seen Barbara in years! We actually got back in touch after she came across this little blog I’ve got going here. Barbara, if you’re reading, it was so great to see you!!! :-)

We dined at the White Rose Bar & Grill in my hometown of York, PA, where I ordered something a tad bit bizarre. 8-O It was from the “Hot Rock” menu, which apparently means cooking on “volcanic stones.” The stone is heated in an oven for 6-8 hours, and then you literally just cook your food on it at the table.

I ordered some jumbo scallops and shrimp.

Here’s the hot rock, which I first sprinkled with salt to keep the seafood from sticking.

It was good, but I honestly don’t think I’d order it again…merely because when I eat at a restaurant, I want them to do the cooking for me! Ha! :-)

The three of us also split an order of crab fries, which were ridiculously good.

And this slice of peanut butter-chocolate love.

Obviously all of this food was divine, but I will be the first to admit that I went a little overboard. How do I know? Because my body was physically uncomfortable afterward. :-( I haven’t felt like that in a long time, and it wasn’t exactly pleasant. I suppose it was my body’s way of reminding me that such decadence should be a special indulgence rather than a regular occurrence. Thanks for the nudge, body! ;-)

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Now it’s back to the grind!

What’s your favorite salad dressing? Do you usually buy it pre-made or make your own?

AND

Does your body ever tell you when you’ve overdone it a bit at a restaurant? How do you deal?

The Bachelor or the Bike?

By Katie, 7:32 am

It’s 8:00 at night. You’ve worked an 8-hour day, cooked a balanced dinner, and put away the dishes – and now it’s finally time to unwind. If you’re like most people, that means a date with the television remote.

The Biggest Loser, The Bachelorette, maybe some Real Housewives. It’s all pretty harmless, right? Not necessarily. :-?

According to this 2008 study I recently came across in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, “television exposure is associated with deleterious effects on physical activity, diet, and body weight status.”

Of course, that finding shouldn’t really surprise us; as the study points out, we only have so many hours of free time in a day, and the more of those we spend channel-surfing on the couch, the fewer we have to be engaged in exercise. And we all know how easy it is to get so wrapped up in Dancing with the Stars that by the time Carrie Ann Inaba judges the final pair that bag of chips is mysteriously empty…

(Source)

Don’t get me wrong here – I’m not trying to demonize television, especially considering my love of such gems as Top Chef, Property Virgins, and Modern Family. But the study estimates that most adults spend an average of 4 hours per day watching television; children are averaging 4.5 hours per day. 8-O

I think we can all agree that that’s excessive, and the ultimate victim is our physical health.

So what’s to be done? Is there a way to enjoy vegging out in front of the squawk box without doing irreparable damage to our bodies? I believe there is, and – not surprisingly – it’s all about balance.

  1. Have discriminating taste. Don’t watch TV merely for the sake of watching TV. Instead, choose a set number of shows per week that truly deserve your attention. Chances are there will be a few nights when there’s just nothing worthwhile on; dedicate that time to unwinding in a way that’s better for your body, like taking a relaxing walk around the block.

  2. Make friends with your DVR. No commercials = less time on the couch. Plus you can save your television viewing for a rainy day, when you’re less likely to be outside jogging anyway.

  3. Snack mindfully. I am generally against any kind of eating/television-watching combination, only because it makes it immensely more difficult to truly pay attention to and savor your food. At the same time, I do recognize that noshing through American Idol can be fun. Just make an effort to keep portions in check, perhaps by bringing a small plateful of chips to the couch as opposed to the entire bag.

  4. Make use of commercial breaks. Because commercials are generally stupid and annoying anyway, right? If you’re like me and don’t have the luxury of TIVO, use that advertising time to your advantage by sneaking in some movement. Do some cardio intervals, switching up the activity after each commercial. (I do things like jumping jacks, butt kicks, high knees, skater jumps, and single-leg hops.) Or do some strength training moves (think push-ups, wall sits, chair dips, crunches, plank holds, or other moves that don’t require getting out the dumbbells). Or, if you’re like me and tend to skimp on stretching, this might be a great time to squeeze in a couple of yoga poses.

Let’s face it – television isn’t going anywhere. But that doesn’t have to mean the downfall of our health. It just means we need to watch more wisely. :-)

How much time do you spend watching television? What are your favorite programs? Do you utilize any of the tricks mentioned above?

No Time Like the Present

By Katie, 7:43 am

Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect. - Alan Cohen

Tell me if any of these phrases sound familiar:

  • I’ll start eating healthy on Monday, after this weekend’s BBQ/birthday party/holiday celebration is over.
  • I’ll join a gym once I’ve lost a little weight.
  • Since I’ve already gone overboard on cookies today, I might as well eat whatever else I want; I’ll get back on track tomorrow.

At one time or another, I’ve said or thought all of those things. :-?

You will never win if you never begin. – Helen Rowland

(Source)

I was basically putting off my health and my happiness, constantly living my life in anticipation of the future instead of embracing it today. There was always something getting in the way, some circumstance – be it a food-filled gathering, a feeling of body self-consciousness, or sometimes just plain laziness – that made it appear more logical to wait and get healthy tomorrow.

Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident, and more and more successful. - Mark Victor Hansen

But you know what? Putting off your health – putting off the quality of your life, really – is never logical. There is no reason not to start right now. We don’t have to begin by charting a vigorous workout routine or by completely overhauling our diets. We can simply make the next best decision for our bodies, minds, and spirits.

Whatever you want in life, start today. Not tomorrow…today. Let it be a small beginning, a tiny beginning. Your happiness depends on starting today…every day. - Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Embracing a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean avoiding cake and ice cream, so I can start right now even if that’s the next meal I will eat. Fitness centers don’t exist solely for those who are already in top shape, so I can use one regardless of my current weight or fitness level. And being healthy doesn’t guarantee that I won’t occasionally go overboard on Snickerdoodles, so even I just did that, I can still make today a healthy one.

I’m not starting Monday or next week or once I lose those first few pounds. I’m starting today. I’m starting right now. :-)

Have you ever put off living a healthy lifestyle, or embracing life in general? Are you waiting to go after a dream or a goal until the ideal circumstances emerge? I hate to say it, but that might never happen. You’ve gotta go for it now – there’s no time like the present!

A Tale of Two Pastas

By Katie, 7:06 am

Prepare yourself. I am about to write something completely outrageous, scandalous, blasphemous even!

I am not a huge fan of pasta. 8-O

There. I said it. I adore most carbohydrates – all kinds of bread and cereal products are welcome in my tummy – but when it comes to pasta, I can take it or leave it. I mean, I don’t dislike it. I just don’t love it.

That said, I probably make a pasta-based dish for dinner at least every other week, if not more often. Why? 1. The Hubs, like the majority of the population, adores it. 2. It’s quick. 3. With just a few simple additions I can easily turn it into a one-dish meal, no sides required.

Recently I’ve made two blog-worthy pasta dishes – both great upgrades from your standard spaghetti, but also simple and fast. I figured most of you probably enjoy the stuff more than I do, so why not pass on the goodness to those who can truly appreciate it? ;-)

First up, one for the sun-dried tomato lovers in the crowd.

Not bad looking, huh? ;-) The inspiration for this dish came from Simply Life’s recipe for Pasta with Artichokes and Sun-Dried Tomatoes. The only real change I made was using water in place of the white wine because I didn’t have any on hand. To make 4 servings I used 8 oz. of dry pasta (a mix of whole wheat penne and rotini, just b/c it’s what I had), 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, 1 can of artichokes, and 1/4 cup of grated Parm.

And for those of you looking for something on the greener side…

This would be Broccoli-Avocado Pasta, recipe courtesy of Cate’s World Kitchen. You can’t tell from the photo, but this pasta is coated with a garlic-lime sauce that has a pleasant kick of heat. It takes your spaghetti noodles to a place they ordinarily don’t go.

The only changes I made to the recipe Cate posted were to use additional broth in place of the white wine (again because I didn’t have any, but I think it would have made the sauce even better), and to omit the zucchini so Dave wouldn’t turn up his nose. :-)

** Note that both of these meals were eaten out of a bowl. For some reason I find pasta significantly more appealing when consumed from a bowl instead of a plate. Bowls just seem more…comforting, maybe? Anyone else?

So the next time you’re craving penne, rotini, spaghetti, or whatever pasta shape happens to be your favorite, I urge you to consider trying one of these combinations. Because if the non-pasta-lover over here enjoyed them, then they must be pretty good, right? ;-)

Are you a pasta lover? What’s your favorite pasta-based dish?

A Personal Trainer in Your Ear: iTrain Review

By Katie, 7:54 am

I love the whole concept of personal training: a program tailored to my specific goals, plus an actual person whose job it is to ensure that I reach them? Sign me up! But what I don’t love is the price tag. :-?

So when I first read about iTrain, I was intrigued. It’s been deemed a way to “democratize personal training” by making it available through a gadget most of us are already using – an MP3 player.

The process is simple: you purchase a workout through the website, download it to your MP3 player of choice, then head to the gym and get your exercise on. :-)

I was recently given the opportunity to try an iTrain routine to review for the blog. I chose a 35-minute workout of drills on the treadmill; it included a warm-up, steady-pace running, sprint intervals, hill intervals, an endurance drill, and a cool-down. Here are my thoughts.

What I Liked

** Broke the Rut

I had been finding my running routine to be a little ho-hum, if you will, because every week was basically the same. Throwing the iTrain workout into the mix definitely helped beat the boredom problem; it was a great way to mix up my workouts a bit.

** Personalization

Even though my trainer was in the form of a recorded voice talking into my ear – rather than a physical person standing next to me – I really did feel like I had a coach guiding me through the workout. I loved it! At one point, as I began a hill interval, the trainer said something to the effect of, “You better not be holding on right now!” Sure enough, that’s exactly what I was doing! :oops:

** A Greater Challenge

I often find it difficult to push myself; it’s naturally much easier to stay in my comfort zone, and who’s watching, anyway? Using the iTrain workout motivated me to challenge my body in a way that I probably never would on my own. (In other words it kicked my butt – in a good way!) For example, at one point the trainer had me jogging up a hill on a 10% grade. 8-O It was my first time putting the treadmill above a 5% grade!

What I Didn’t Like

** Music

The music that went with my workout wasn’t awful, and I liked that it coordinated with the drills I was completing. But it just wasn’t the same as when I have my Lady Gaga tunes blasting, you know? Obviously music comes down to personal preference, and I just wasn’t feeling all of the tunes.

Other Thoughts

** Cost

The download-able workouts range in price from $9-$15, depending on length, which I actually don’t think is too outrageous. You can also pay $150 for unlimited downloads for one year.

** Variety of Activities

This is not just for runners! There are cardio programs that coordinate with treadmills, elliptical trainers, bikes, and rowing machines. In addition, there are strength training programs, yoga, and stretching routines.

** Different Levels

My treadmill workout had options for walking, jogging, and running. (Basically the trainer said things like, “Walkers set the pace around 4.0, joggers around 6.0, and runners around 7.0.”) I like that the workouts are accessible for all fitness levels and exercise preferences.

** Lots of Other Options

There are plenty of choices when it comes to level of difficulty (you can choose from beginner, intermediate, or advanced), length (range of 20 to 80 minutes for the treadmill routines), and type of workout (such as speed intervals, hills, etc.).

Is iTrain Right For You?

Just because I enjoyed my iTrain workout doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. If you’re considering purchasing a download, I suggest asking yourself these questions.

1. Am I in an exercise rut? Could my routine use a little spice? If so, iTrain might be a quick and easy way to mix it up!

2. Do I like the idea of having a motivational trainer or coach talking me through a workout? I personally love a little pep talk when I’m pushing through a tough workout, but I also know some people (cough, Dave, cough) who find that kind of encouragement just plain annoying.

3. Am I successful at challenging myself? If you tend to stay within your comfortable limits, then this might be a good way to push your body a bit further than you ordinarily would.

4. Am I tied to my own playlist? I know some people simply cannot work out without their regular gym mix, and that’s that.

5. Am I willing to pay for these benefits? Like I said, I don’t think the cost is unreasonable or anything, but I also know that budgets are tight these days, so it’s worth noting that money is a factor.

So that’s my take on iTrain! If you have any questions about it, you can check out the website, or feel free to leave me a comment or shoot me an email.

Have you ever worked out with a personal trainer? What was your experience like?

AND

Do you think you would be interested in trying an iTrain workout?

Disclaimer: Although iTrain provided me with one download-able workout free of charge, the opinions expressed here are solely my own. Photos courtesy of iTrain.com.

Eating After Overeating

By Katie, 7:12 am

I hope I never give the impression on this blog that I have the whole emotional eating business totally under control. The truth is that I still struggle; it’s a battle I expect to fight for a long time. But with each encounter I face with the binge monster – regardless of whether I win or lose – I get a little stronger and a little smarter. And a little better at bouncing back. :-)

I received an email from a reader asking me to address the issue of post-binge eating. She wasn’t asking about how to handle the emotions that were covered up by the food, or how to manage the guilt that is so often associated with overeating. She simply wanted to know how to carry on when the next meal rolled around.

Her question is an extremely important one. I am convinced that how we eat after a binge – what we consume the next day – has a lot to do with whether we come back strong or end up overeating once again.

So what should one do the day after a binge? My answer is simple: RESUME REGULAR EATING.

You see, the old, weight-obsessed Katie would have spent the entire next day or week trying to “make up for” the overeating episode. Skipping a meal or snack. Denying my hunger. Only touching the safest, “healthiest” foods possible.

I’d drive myself mad trying to calculate and then cut the exact number of calories I had consumed in my emotional state. Which led to another emotional state, not to mention a hungry one. Which inevitably led to another binge. :-?

I have since learned that – at least in terms of one’s eating habits – the best thing to do after overeating is simply move on. Forget about it. Expunge the experience from memory. Because the game of trying to undo the overdoing is a never-ending one. Attempting to control the ever-tipping scales of overeating and under-eating will surely make you crazy.

(Source)

So instead, I say RESUME REGULAR EATING. That means waiting until you feel physical hunger once again (and you will, even if you swear you won’t), then eating what your body wants and stopping when your hunger is satisfied. No counting involved. ;-)

I have found that our bodies are amazingly resilient. If I truly listen to my body – instead of my mind – after overeating, it always naturally brings me back to a place of balance. It’s when my brain starts interfering with thoughts of weight and body image and emotional mumbo-jumbo that I remain off-kilter.

While I’m at it, I’ll say that I believe this rule of thumb holds true for exercise as well. The old Katie would use abuse exercise as a way to both “counteract” the food and punish herself. She would tack on some extra miles or push out another 30 minutes on the elliptical, even as her exhausted body screamed at her to stop. Today I try my hardest to follow the same rule as with eating: RESUME REGULAR EXERCISE.

Like I said, the emotional aspect of this is totally separate; it is very important to confront the emotional demons that led to the edible overdose in the first place. But in terms of the food, don’t bother with the compensation game. Instead, trust your body to do its job – restore you to equilibrium.

What’s your take on eating after overeating? Can you relate to the “old Katie” who attempted to compensate by under-eating and over-exercising?

Around the World

By Katie, 7:22 am

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you had a fabulous weekend! :-D

Mine had a bit of an international theme. Let’s globe-trot a bit, shall we?

We’ll begin at home.

World Cup

As I mentioned, Dave is a huge soccer fan, so Saturday’s U.S.-England World Cup match was a must-see. We viewed it in style.

And by “style,” I mean heat. I’m talking 90º. But that did not deter me from waving my flag with pride! 8-)

We turned into sweaty messes rather quickly.

Cherry snowball to the rescue! There’s nothing quite like ice + sugar on a hot day, am I right? ;-)

We were pretty into the game, but some people got really into it. It was fun to see so many fans dressed up, faces and bodies fully painted. :-)

You’ve probably already heard the outcome, but if not, it was a draw: 1-1. Which actually isn’t bad for the U.S., considering we were definitely the underdogs!

Japan

After the game we were in need of some eats, but the idea of a hot meal was not appealing. We went to a huge grocery store around here called Wegmans, where I picked up some sushi. This brown rice California roll totally hit the spot.

On the side, seaweed salad, which unfortunately got stuck between every single one of my teeth. :-?

And a mass of fresh fruit. (Note to self: limit fruit at grocery store salad bars. Fruit is heavy, and hence more expensive since they charge per pound. This container cost more than the sushi! 8-O Ah, well.)

Next stop…

India

I am extremely happy to report that my first attempt at homemade Indian food was a complete success.

My success can be attributed to this lovely lady, who does such a great job of breaking down her recipes into easy-to-follow steps that even a caveman can do it. :roll: (I am so sick of those commercials, by the way.)

So when Andrea posted this recipe for Chana Masala, I knew I was about to add homemade Indian food to my cooking repertoire. I followed the recipe according to Andrea’s modifications, except that I used ground ginger and only 1/4 tsp cayenne, which was enough of a kick for me!

Final stop…

Greece

To complete my culinary weekend around the globe, Dave and I took a trip to Baltimore’s Greektown neighborhood.

After clapping along with some dancers donning traditional garb…

I chowed down on chicken souvlaki – grilled pita bread with chicken, tomatoes, parsley, onions, and tzatziki sauce, which I love.

OPA!

Dave and I also split this spanakopita, which was filled with spinach and feta.

And of course, there was baklava. Flaky, rich baklava.

Unfortunately I don’t have the means to be an actual globe-trotter, but that’s not stopping me from expanding my taste buds beyond our national borders. :-)

Have you enjoyed any international cuisine lately? What region of the world features your favorite ethnic eats?

Eating Flowers and Tapeworms? And Other Hot Links!

By Katie, 7:18 am

Are you ready to be bombarded with links? Because I’ve got a whole slew of them to share with you! There’s definitely some worthwhile reading for everyone in this list. :-)

Munching on a Bouquet

Turns out flowers are more than just a guy’s way of getting out of the dog house…they’re tasty too! ;-) Check out care2.com’s list of 42 flowers you can eat, plus tips on how to do so safely.

40 Ways to Boost Your Body Image

The ever-inspiring blog Weightless shares a long list of tips and suggestions for turning body-hatred into body-love. My favorites: create your own body image mantra, make an inspiration board, and try yoga.

Tools for Healthy Cooking

You’re armed with the drive to eat healthier and maybe a couple of great recipes, but to succeed in the kitchen you also need some basic gadgets. Here the blog Cheap, Healthy, Good outlines the 10 essentials for healthy cooking.

Think Before You Sip

A vitamin water that has as much sugar as two Good Humor Eclair bars? Believe it! As this interview with David Zinczenko – author of Drink This, Not That! – points out, beverages have taken a turn for the worse. This guy calls out specific companies for loading up their drinks with excessive amounts of sugar, and then using fancy marketing to make it sound healthy. Related: The worst drinks in America, including the worst soda, beer, and bottled coffee.

How Fit Are You?

What does being fit really mean, anyway? Here Runner’s World magazine stresses that fitness is about more than strength and endurance; it’s also about flexibility, mobility, and balance. Take the test to see where you’re strong…and where you could stand to improve. (It’s flexibility for me – I am not naturally bendy!)

Stop Being Busy!

We’ve all got jam-packed schedules, but what if we could stop being so busy by…simply choosing to stop. This interesting post from Zen Habits argues that being busy is more about our mindsets than our schedules, so if we want to slow down, we simply need to decide to do so.

Do You Have an Eating Disorder?

Seems like a simple question, right? The truth is that many people don’t realize their eating habits are dangerous because such habits have become so normalized in our society. I specifically remember telling someone years ago that I thought I was too obsessed with food and my weight, and that I was overloading on ice cream for no apparent reason. The response? That’s totally normal; that’s just what women do:-x I disagree, or at least I believe we shouldn’t resign ourselves to that’s just the way it is. (Related: Someone once told me I wasn’t thin enough to have an eating problem. Au contraire! Disordered eaters come in all shapes and sizes.)

Music and Your Mood

Stereo.com’s website reads, “Behind every song there’s always an emotion…maybe that’s why we love music.” On the site – which calls itself Emotional Internet Radio – you can choose from a plethora of moods and activities, and it generates tunes to match!

Most Bizarre Diets in History

And you thought the grapefruit diet was wacky! Check out this article on 15 seriously-crazy weight loss fads. Stapling my ears? Eating a tapeworm? Bathing with “slimming soap”?  :roll: I think I’ll stick to healthy eating and moderate exercise, thank you very much!

On another note, in case you weren’t aware, today is a very special day because at 2:30 p.m. the U.S. plays England in the World Cup! Dave is a hard-core soccer fanatic, so I’ll be spending my day attending an all-out soccer fest and watching the game on a giant outdoor screen. In honor of this momentous occasion, I leave you with this funny YouTube video, properly titled “Why Women Hate World Cup Soccer.” Enjoy! :-D

When a waiter brings your salad and you see a beautiful flower right in the middle…do you eat it?

AND

What’s your favorite beverage? Do you think it’s on the “Drink This” list or the “Not That” list?

AND

Any soccer fans out there? Will you be watching the World Cup today?

Friday Pats on the Back

By Katie, 7:36 am

Some time ago I wrote a fun post called Monday Confessions in which I publicly admitted my unhealthy habits and encouraged others to do the same.

But then last weekend I wrote about the importance of self-acceptance, and it made me realize that while there’s value in recognizing the areas where we could be healthier, it’s equally important to congratulate ourselves on the areas where we’re succeeding. And who couldn’t use a little boost at the end of the work week, right?  ;-)

And so, in the spirit of self-lovin’, I present to you my Friday Pats on the Back!

Friday Pats on the Back

1. Not Hitting the Snooze Button

I’ve reached the end of week number two in my new role as a nine-to-fiver, and so far my exercise routine hasn’t suffered a bit. By 5:30 a.m. almost every morning, I’ve been out the door for a run or a trip to the gym. Yes, I’m a natural morning person. Yes, I’ve always been the type to pop right out of bed in the morning. But I’m still counting this as a significant accomplishment!

(Source)

2. Brown Bagging Success

In those same two weeks, I have managed to take 15 minutes each night after dinner to pack a balanced, nutritious lunch to take to work the following day. Doing so is what has enabled me to get those a.m. workouts in; I’ve never had to give a second thought to my food short of pulling my lunch bag out of the refrigerator.

3. Surprise Dessert

This is a big one for me. Yesterday I went into work and was greeted with the news that it was one of my co-worker’s birthdays, and we’d be celebrating with a full-out ice cream sundae bar. Do you know how the old, disordered-eating-plagued Katie would have reacted to that? 8-O Let’s just say there would have been lots of anxiety as I attempted to shuffle around my meal plan and figure out how to account for the extra calories, or as I planned some silly excuse as to why I had no interest in an ice cream sundae. :-?

But not this week! This week I felt nothing but excitement; instead of fretting over it, I enjoyed every creamy bite of my vanilla-with-peanuts-and-homemade-chocolate-sauce sundae. :-D

(Source)

4. Accepting Mistakes

Alternate title: Accepting that I am human. This week I made a small yet significant mistake at work. And yes, it bummed me out. But in the past I would have really beaten myself up, refusing to accept that errors are a part of my life. This time around I took it in stride – I felt bad for a bit, but then learned from it and moved on.

5. Nurturing My Soul

I’ve been pretty busy this week, and often when that happens the first thing to go is my spiritual wellness. I stop making time to chat with God, or write in my gratitude journal, or think about the bigger picture of my life and this world. But this week I successfully forced myself to keep those kinds of activities high on the priority list. I belted out praise and worship tunes while cooking dinner. I made several lists of the blessings in my life, for which I am so grateful. I did a couple of meditative practices. Because yes, the laundry needs to get done, the dishes need to be washed, the trash must be taken out – but not at the expense of my peace, of my faith.

YOUR TURN!!!

What’s your Friday Pat on the Back? Don’t be shy; go ahead and brag a bit! :-D

Gettin’ Healthy for God?

By Katie, 7:02 am

I love hearing about people’s personal journeys toward health and wellness. When people share these stories, they usually include some pivotal turning point in their lives, some memorable experience that provided the ultimate motivation to start taking care of themselves.

For some, it’s receiving frightening news from the doctor. For others, it’s the expansion of their family, the desire to be their best selves for the sake of their children. Few people seem to cite their faith as one of their primary motivators for getting healthy. And yet I think that many people – myself included – feel that treating their bodies and minds with care is closely connected to their deeper values and beliefs.

(Source)

I remember when I first made this connection. I was always very familiar with the well-known verse in the Bible that tells us our bodies are temples:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? [...] Therefore honor God with your body.”

In the very conservative church I was raised in, I was only ever taught that that verse meant that I shouldn’t have pre-marital sex or get a tattoo. It wasn’t until much later, as I was struggling to overcome my disordered eating thoughts and behaviors, that I realized this verse means so much more.

I thought about how I would treat a temple, or any holy space:

  • I would keep it clean, wouldn’t I?
  • I wouldn’t purposefully break things inside of it, would I?
  • I wouldn’t say cruel things about it, make fun of it, or otherwise demean it with my speech or actions, would I?

No. So why was I doing these things to my body and my mind?

When I truly began to think of my body as precious and holy – as a gift, really – it made it much more difficult to stuff it with cakes and cookies. Abusing food as a way of dealing with difficult emotions became more than just an ineffective coping tool; instead I came to see it as a road block, barring me from what I really needed, which was to rely on my faith. Every moment that I was obsessing about calories and fat grams was a moment I was ignoring what I believe our time on Earth is really about.

Now, when I have an “off” day where I find myself obsessing a tad too much about my weight, or over-eating emotionally, or refusing to give myself a mental break from the stress of everyday life, I remind myself that God wants me to live my life to the fullest. And I simply cannot do that if I’m not making healthy choices in terms of my body, mind, and spirit – in other words, if I’m not recognizing myself as a temple.

What’s your motivation for striving for health and wellness? Do you see a connection between your spiritual beliefs – whatever they may be – and your healthy living journey?

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