Archives for September 2011

resources for improving your health!

Good morning!  And Happy Friday!!

Tuesday’s post was just a small taste of the passion I have for that loaded topic.

After thinking about the content of that post, I decided that it would be good to share a few resources for jump starting or supplementing a healthy lifestyle.

These are just a few of the many articles I’ve found this past week, but each holds their own for providing healthy information.



interesting quote I came across this week:
”Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find the time for illness.”
-Edward Stanley


I hope at least one of these links helps someone learn how to be healthier.
I know I learned quite a bit through this search, so it was at least fun for me :)

Hope you all have a fantastic Friday!  Do something fun tonight!
I’ll be back tomorrow with my week’s workout summary :)

What are your go-to websites for learning about improving your health?

He saved You.

“Greater love has no one than this, that He lay down His life for His friends.”
John 15:13

thursday thoughts…smell edition

1.  I’ve noticed quite a few new readers and even some subscribers in the past week.  I first just want to say hi! thank you for reading! and please contact me with any questions you have!  Also, feel free to comment and say hello :)

2.  I’ve been thinking about Tuesday’s post (please check it out if you haven’t, I’m really proud of it), and tomorrow I’ll be sharing a few resources for simple healthy eating ideas/recipes, exercise advice, and sources to aid in spiritual growth.  There are so many great websites for finding health information (as long as you weed through the unreliable ones), and I’m hoping by sharing a few of them it will be easier for at least someone to jump-start or supplement their healthy lifestyle, so be on the lookout for that!

3.  Yesterday I had my student teaching interview.  It turned out to be more like an informational session, but it went well and it made me so excited about student teaching in January!  I find out my placement mid-November and can’t wait!

4.  FRIDAY is so close I can smell it!  (….I have no idea why I wrote “smell” there, but I’m leaving it in.)

5.  Does anyone know a good cure for headaches that doesn’t involve taking medicine???

6.  Has anyone heard about the movie 50/50?  I’ve seen both the preview for it and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen interviewed on Ellen–I’m hoping Jesse and I can get to it sometime this weekend.

7.  It’s rained here every day this week.  I honestly don’t mind because it makes it easier to sit in class and be at work, but this weekend is supposed to be sunny and in the 60s = perfect in my book.  Yay!

8.  I hope to bake these muffins sometime this weekend. (maybe that’s why I wrote “smell” earlier?)

9.  Due to my headaches and sore back, I decided to take a rest from my typical morning workout.  I know it’ll make me antsy later in the day, but sometimes you just have to listen to your body and give it a break, right?!

10.  When something frustrating happens today, remember this:  Happiness is Your Choice….enjoy your day! :)


Good morning!  Welcome to What I Ate Wednesday!  Feel free to head on over to Peas and Crayons and see the wonderful Jennifer’s work!

**the following shows what I ate on Monday, September 26th


handful of peanut butter granola (pre-workout snack)

a nectarine + 3 slices of a homemade mini banana bread loaf (2 topped with peanut butter, 1 topped with Earth Balance)


turkey sandwich on 100% whole wheat bread

celery with peanut butter


Trader Joe’s yogurt covered almonds


romaine lettuce, carrot,and  radish salad topped with english walnuts and fat-free raspberry vinaigrette dressing

brown rice + black beans + broccoli


cereal combo bowl: shredded whole wheat, Kashi Go Lean, homemade nutella granola, homemade peanut butter granola, chia seeds, cinnamon, blueberries, Silk unsweetened almond milk


I’m ready to get some new lunches in the mix for taking to work during the week…any suggestions??

our children are at serious risk.

warning: I’m about to get very passionate and opinionated, not to mention long-winded…

On an episode of The Doctors a couple of weeks ago, they reported that 1/3 of our nation’s children are overweight or obese.  ONE THIRD.  And that’s just our children.

My jaw literally dropped upon hearing that statistic.  One third?? I still can’t get over it!

I’m a huge advocate of children’s health.  I believe all children have to be taught how to treat their bodies with respect so that they can grow up being strong, healthy, and confident.  There are endless factors that contribute to making that happen.

No 5-year-old drives to McDonald’s and orders and pays for chicken nuggets, french fries, and a sprite for supper.  That child’s parents do that…It’s not our children who are to blame here, it’s the parents that are responsible for them.

**side note: most, if not all children go through stages where their bodies naturally add a little weight to their frame.  This is natural and healthy because they’re about to grow and their bodies are preparing them for that.  Many children at that stage become very sensitive and self-conscious and it’s essential for their parents to feed into their confidence and understanding during those times.  *What I’m focusing on in this post is not what occurs during those natural and healthy growth stages, I’m talking about when it becomes a long-term weight gain that doesn’t diminish with a growth spurt.

The risks of being overweight are truly life-threatening.  For some reason (one I will never understand), our country has decided that being underweight is life-threatening but being overweight isn’t–that’s just a “normal.”  That makes no sense at all!  Without enough weight on a body it doesn’t function properly, and with too much/excess weight on a body it doesn’t function properly either.  In both scenarios, the body’s organs slowly begin to fail.  They get overworked, and in each case, those organs will eventually give up.

Obesity in a child causes dangerous risks and increases their likelihood of having problems such as cardiovascular disease, bone and joint problems, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, asthma, sleeping disorders, the early onset of puberty, depression, and more.  Below are a few good sites to find more information about the dangers of obesity in children if you’re interested:

But enough about the effects….how do we prevent it and raise our children to be as healthy and happy as possible?

Just like there are endless contributing factors for an adult’s health, as are there for a child’s.  And maybe even more so because children’s bodies are changing and growing significantly every single day.

I believe the best way to teach our children how to be healthy is to surround them with adults who are healthy examples and who do their best to live a happy, healthy lifestyle.

So, in what ways do we do that?

There are so many ways to be good examples for our children, and since anyone who’s ever been around a child knows that in the end they will do what you do and not what you say, our actions speak the loudest.  Just a few of my ideas:

  • Choose healthy, satisfying foods whenever possible.  Enjoy the occasional baked goods and treats too, just show children that eating well truly makes you feel good!  Always eat a healthy breakfast (I could write a small book on the importance of this).  Include kids in meal preparation and let them pick out a few fruits and vegetables each grocery shopping trip.  Nix soda pops and high-sugar juices, and instead drink a lot of water, teas, low-calorie water mix-ins, etc.  Cook a few nights worth of meals on Sundays so that the option of just picking up fast food on a busy night is eliminated.  Try a new healthy food together!  And never feel ashamed or guilty for eating.  Ever.
  • Be active.  This is an obvious one, but make it fun!  Exercise makes you feel good and it’s important that we encourage our children to find activities they enjoy doing.  It can be anything that gets them moving; play tag with friends, run, go for a walk, play leap frog, have a dance party in the living room, ride bike, play soccer, catch, kickball, or tennis, swing, stretch or practice yoga, strength train, swim, and the list goes on and on and on.  Remember that the activities your children like might be different than the ones you prefer–that’s perfectly okay!  The key is to have fun with it–exercise shouldn’t be a chore or something you dread and if it is your motive should probably be adjusted.
  • Speak positively. This is huge: a child hears every negative (and positive!) self-image comment around them and that absolutely soaks into their minds.  Quit complaining about your stomach, butt, or arms when you look in the mirror.  Politely and genuinely accept compliments.  Be confident with the body you have so that your children will be confident with theirs.  Give your children positive compliments not only on their looks but also (maybe primarily) on their intelligence, humor, creativity, thoughtfulness, love, friendships, ideas, hard work, talents, dedication, success, etc.
  • Exercise your mind.  Read a nonfiction book, a novel, the newspaper, read anything, play piano (studies show this reduces a person’s risk for diseases such as Alzheimer’s) or another instrument, watch an informational program on tv, play a board or card game, do crossword or sudoku puzzles, etc.
  • Focus on how you feel rather than how you look.  Our society puts an insanely ridiculous amount of pressure on young people all people to look a certain way.  There is no one size or shape for each woman and man to achieve to be “healthy.”  Every person has their own set weight and unique body shape, and that silly number on the scale is only relevant in extreme conditions.  I’ve finally truly learned that how I look is not at all what’s important.  How I feel is important.  Thin isn’t necessarily healthy, but fueling your body with nutritious foods, exercising, thinking and speaking confidently always is.  Strive to find a balance that works for you.  And please don’t fall into the comparison trap, but rather, focus on how great respecting your body feels.
  • Strive for continual spiritual growth.  Practice what you preach!  Rejoice, praise, and be thankful.
  • Treat your body with respect.  You only get one life to live and one body to live it in, so you might as well do all you can to make it the best that it can be.

Other positive resources on being a great example:

There are so many ways for us to be good examples for our children.  They are our future.  They have their whole lives ahead of them.  Be an example for your son or daughter, niece or nephew, grandchildren, students, and neighbors.

There’s sooo much more I could say about this, but for now, please remember that the earlier children develop healthy habits, the better off they’ll be for the rest of their lives.  I’ve never heard a person regret striving to live a healthy life.

be brave and take the first step.

“Come near to God and He will come near to you.”
James 4:8

walks, a toaster oven, and date night

Good morning all!

How was your weekend?

Here are a few highlights from mine…

I had a fun Friday night with a few of my closest friends–lots of laughs :)

The weather on Saturday was absolutely gorgeous!  I went for a couple of long walks (one of them was towards the Farmer’s Market to pick up our week’s produce) and then spent some time out on our steps reading.

While at Target on Saturday I spotted this on sale–I’ve been wanting a toaster oven for quite a while now and was planning on just adding one to our wedding registry.  However, this little less than $14 one was too tempting to me so I bought it and set it up in our kitchen.  I’m uber excited to use it.  Giddy might (sadly) be a better word to describe it.

Date night with my man!

Other than that my weekend was filled with the usual…shopping, reading, church, catching up on homework, etc.

Any certain foods that are great to cook in a toaster oven?

like the golden rule…

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Mark 11:25

Workouts 9/18 – 9/24

For whatever reason, this week’s workouts kicked my butt.  I was always in the mood to push myself hard and give every move all I had, and that’s something I’m really proud of.  My abs were sore a few days this past week, and I ran further than I have in the past two weeks combined.

Sunday, September 18th:
living room circuits: 5-minute warm-up + 3 times through (30-second breaks between each) + 5-minute cool-down




60 seconds



Leg raises


Butt kicks

30 seconds

Jump squats


Bicep curls


Jumping jacks


Side arm raises (90* bend)


Standing crunches


Sumo squat pulse

45 seconds


60 seconds

Oblique v-ups

15 per side

Punches (while in deep squat)

60 seconds

Jump rope

30 seconds

Front-back kicks

10 sets per side

20-minute walk

Monday, September 19th:
.4-mile walk
3-mile run
.6-mile walk

Tuesday, September 20th:
rest day

Wednesday, September 21st:
33 minutes elliptical intervals
1-mile run (6:39!)
5-minute walk
15-minute ab ripper x video (p90x)

Thursday, September 22nd:
living room circuits: 5-minute warm-up + each circuit two times through (no breaks between) + 5-minute cool-down

Circuit 1

Jump rope

30 seconds

Bicep curls

15 (went up in weight today!)



Front-side arm lifts

20 total

Sumo squats (hold and pulse)

60 seconds

Circuit 2

Jumping jacks


Walking push-ups


Alternating lunges


Tricep dips



60 seconds

Circuit 3

Butt kicks

30 seconds

Shoulder pull and press

12 per side

Heels to heavens (while on hands & knees)

20 per side


60 seconds

Alternating horizontal scissors (while on back)

60 sets

Friday, September 23rd:
.5-mile walk
2-mile run
.4-mile walk
30-minute elliptical cross country intervals
15-minute ab ripper x (p90x)

Saturday, September 24th:
50-minute walk

25-minute walk

**I’m currently looking for a new YOGA video to buy (I’m getting tired of the p90x one), and I’m looking for a good one!  Any suggestions for me??**

homemade granola

This afternoon I made up two batches of granola from scratch.

I first made Peanut Butter Granola,

then made a batch of Nutella Granola (sans chocolate chips)–both recipes from Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers.

I typically buy Bear Naked Fit granola (which I love), but since I’m out I thought it would be fun to try making my own.  I know exactly what’s in it and it saves some money.

The peanut butter granola was my favorite of the two, but they were both delicious.  The recipes are extremely easy to follow and I plan to keep them both around to mix up again.  I think they would make great little gifts if jarred up during the holidays, too.

After making both batches I put together a cereal combo bowl that included; shredded whole wheat (plain, not the kind with frosting), Kashi Go Lean Crunch, both types of granola, cinnamon, chia seeds, raisins, blueberries, and Silk unsweetened almond milk.

Now to seriously enjoy my night… :)

Have you ever made your own granola?  If so, what was your recipe?