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With the popularity of the Paleo diet, and noticing one of my friend’s Facebook photos of her Atkins meals, it made me wonder, “Was Dr. Atkins right all along?”

What scared me about Atkins was the high fat everyone talked about, but now I’m thinking that’s not such a bad thing.

What is bad is for everyone to go low-fat and substitute it with a lot of processed foods and junk. Since I am past Lent, I am able to enjoy meat again, though I wasn’t eating it all that often anyway. Somehow (hello sugar!) I gained 5 pounds during Lent.

This week, I decided to Paleo/Atkins my meals and have been enjoying organic eggs for breakfast, free-range chicken salad and organic green salad with balsamic vinaigrette for lunch and a lean meat, green vegetable (broccoli/spinach/asparagus/kale) for dinner. I’ve completely cut out sugar and “bad carbs” and lost 3 pounds since Monday.

I like eating vegetarian most of the time, and will probably go to a more vegetarian Atkins-type diet down the road. My body just does not crave meat like it used to.

If you would like to try out the Atkins plan and see how your body reacts,you can find it here:

If you are curious about what the Paleo diet is all about, you can find that here:

I personally think that sugar is the culprit in most of our health problems. I saw a poster on Facebook recently that said, “Love Sugar? So does Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes and Arthritis!” It really made me stop and think.

My father passed away in 2002 from heart disease. He used to stay away from cheese because he said it was bad for his cholesterol. You know what he did eat? Bread, Little Debbie cakes and sugary treats. My father was not overweight. In fact, when he was at the hospital before his bypass surgery, the doctor commented, “You have the physique of someone who is 25 years younger than you chronological age.”

His outward appearance was not showing the mess his organs were in because of the processed foods and sugar intake. I can’t help thinking he may have been better off eating the cheese and leaving the bread behind.

So, I have come to the conclusion that Dr. Atkins was on the right track. I will stock up on eating more veggies, add some lean protein in and eat healthy fats. I’m going to say goodbye to sugar, with the exception of my nightly treat of 2 squares of 88% organic dark chocolate after dinner!

Let me know how you are eating and living healthier!

DAILY4

Daily Vitamin for the Soul

DAILY3

Daily Vitamin for the Soul

DAILY2

Daily Vitamin for the Soul

ABUNDANCE

“Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.” – Wayne Dyer

Abundance is something I keep hearing about lately. Or, perhaps it’s just because I think about it all the time and so I notice it more these days. You know, like when you decide you’re going to buy a Jeep Liberty and all of a sudden it seems like you’re seeing them everywhere?

That is the way the word “Abundance” has been for me.

Being a stay-at-home mom was important to me. It was so important that I was willing to go without nice things in order to be at home with my children. After my relationship with God, they were my priority.

They still are. However, something happened about a year ago that snapped me out of my, “I can live without the nicer things in life as long as I get to stay home with my kids.” I guess Oprah would call it an “Aha!” moment. The light bulb went off in my head.

I could not longer coast through life, wishing for a nicer house, a better car or more financial security, pinning all of my hopes and security on my spouse. I would get really excited if something looked as though it was going to work out well for us, then crumble when it didn’t. This would lead to anger at my husband for not giving me the lifestyle I saw others enjoying around me.

Putting your future, your dreams and your security in the hands of someone else is not living in abundance. It’s living in dependence.

I came to the decision a while ago, that I was no longer going to just coast through life, depending on someone else to get me what I want. I was going to live life to the fullest, which mean I would live it abundantly. I may have faltered at times, but my resolution to make my life exactly as I envision it has not changed. It is something I am passionate about. It is something I will pursue relentlessly.

Once that decision was made, I started to wonder why everyone wasn’t living their life in abundance. Why did it seem to me that most people go through their day-to-day lives coasting and not really living? Do they lack motivation or inspiration? Or worse, is it because they have lost hope?

I have now to decided to start helping others live their lives more abundantly. This will encompass several areas of a person’s life:

1. Purpose – What is your life purpose? What is it that motivates you to get up each morning? What drives you? What is your passion?

2. Health – What kind of fitness level would you like to have? What are you willing to sacrifice or change to get it?

3. Relationships – What are your relationships like? Are they satisfactory, not only for you, but for those around you? Especially your relationship with your family members?

4. Financial Security – Are you where you want to be financially? Where would you like to be and are you willing to map out a financial road map (and follow it) to get your there?

5. Spiritual – Do you have a spiritual connection with your Creator? Do you spend time every day in meditation and prayer? Do you show gratitude for your life?

Over the next several months, I will be putting together a program that will help you better define what the answers to these questions are and how you can map out your own life plan to get from where you are, to where you should be.

I want to help you live a more abundant life too. Will you come with me?

Have a blessed day!

DAILY1

Daily Vitamin for the Soul

daily5

Daily Vitamin for the Soul

Ideas for a Happy Life

April 16, 2014 — 2 Comments

HAPPY

I have long held the idea that each individual’s happiness lies within his or her own hands. No matter the circumstances you may find yourself, you can choose to count your blessings and be happy.

In other words, happiness is a choice.

My mother was a happy person. Despite the fact that she contracted polio at age 8 and lost the use of both her legs and her beloved father passing away soon after, she always remained positive and happy. She could have chosen to be miserable and unhappy. She could have chosen to bemoan her circumstances and held self-pity parties every day. Instead, she chose to keep a smile on her face. She chose to rise above her circumstances and get an education. She chose to work hard and be kind. As a result, she had many, many friends. So many that when she died in 2001, the large church could barely contain the people in attendance.

My mother is just one example. Here is another. There is a woman who shops at the same health food store I do. I have encountered this woman 3 times in the last year and each time I have seen her, she carries an air of bitterness. Her shoulders are rounded downward, she scowls at everyone and no matter what the people around her try and do to accommodate her, she is angry. I imagine she lives a pretty miserable life.

By contrast, there is another woman (she told her her age is 88) who is always happy. Whenever I find myself in the store at the same time she is, I smile. There mere sight of her makes me happy, mostly because she’s always smiling and happy. She has a smile for everyone. She is tiny, but her body is straight. A smile is always on her face. She always friendly and grateful to everyone she encounters.

I aspire to be a person like my mother and this woman as I age.

I found this video on YouTube for a Ted Talk by Sam Berns. His story is quite inspiring as well and I hope his guidelines for finding happiness will help you.

Have a blessed and happy day!

DAILY3

Daily Vitamin for the Soul

th-1

Over the weekend I was taking some trash to the dump and sitting on the ground was a huge cast iron skillet with a little rust on the cooking surface. Oh the memories I have of my grandmother frying chicken in a big cast iron skillet! I remembered seeing a Pin on Pinterest talking about how to recondition old cast iron skillets, so I picked it up and took it home.

I’ve been working on it for several days, usually about 10 minutes a day and it’s almost ready for me to reseason it. Here is the video I used and recommend (and yes, it’s true that all you need is salt, a potato and some vinegar):

As I was reading more about cast iron skillets and cooking with Cast Iron, I found across a great article on Natural News. Here are their top 10 reasons to use Cast Iron.

1. Replacing a non-stick skillet with a cast iron one allows you to avoid the toxic fumes that accompany most non-stick cookware. Cast iron can also replace aluminum cookware, which may also pose health hazards.

2. Besides the stove, you can use a cast iron skillet in the oven, at any temperature. This comes in handy for making corn bread, frittatas, and flat bread.

3. It is nonstick. Surprisingly, a preheated cast iron skillet rivals the qualities of non-stick cookware, as long as it is properly seasoned and cared for. You can quickly move up this short learning curve by talking with employees at your local cookware store or by reading a book or Internet article about cast iron care.

4. Cast iron is easy to clean up. Not only does food easily lift off from cast iron cookware, soap is not needed or recommended, since it erodes the seasoning.

5. There are health benefits. You can actually boost your iron intake from eating food cooked in cast iron cookware. This vital mineral is crucial for maintaining energy levels, and it helps strengthen immune systems.

6. It is inexpensive. Cooks looking to replace non-stick cookware often investigate stainless steel. However, a high-end, 12-inch stainless skillet runs well over $100, while a similar-sized cast iron one costs less than $30.

7. Food cooks beautifully. Using a cast iron skillet you can create restaurant-quality, homemade fish sticks, potato pancakes and French toast, complete with golden brown, crispy exteriors. Contrast this with non-stick cookware, which makes browning nearly impossible.

8. Cast iron is sturdy and wears well. Since it does not scratch, there is no need to use plastic utensils, and there is no fear of using your silverware to stir or scoop. It lasts for so long that many people still use cast iron cookware inherited from their parents and grandparents.

9. In an emergency, cast iron cookware can be used over any heat source. As such, many disaster planning lists include cast iron as the survival cookware of choice.

10. It has been used for thousands of years. Natural News readers already understand how new technologies are often the least healthy, while those used by earlier generations are often more beneficial and more in line with how we are designed. Our cookware choice is no exception.

If you’ve not ever cooked with cast iron, I highly recommend you give it a try. While it is very heavy, just look at it as though you’re getting a good workout while adding some extra iron into your diet!

Have a blessed day!