This morning as I was reading my bible, there was a passage that stood out to me. From the Wisdom of Sirach 18:18 in my Orthodox Bible it says, “Before you speak, learn, and before you get sick, take care of your health.”

Not only did it stand out for me when I read it, but I have my Bible on my Nook and it got stuck on that one page, so every time I tried to swipe the page to keep reading, it wouldn’t let me and I kept rereading the same passage.

I figured it was a sign!

So what does that passage mean? It means you don’t neglect yourself and your body until it’s too late. It means you should start eating the right foods and exercising and taking care of your health before you get diagnosed with high blood pressure or heart disease or diabetes or cancer.

Don’t wait until you have a stroke or a heart attack to stop eating sugar and greasy fatty meats. Don’t wait until the doctor gives you a diagnosis of skin cancer before you protect your skin from the sun.

Start now. Whether you are 20 or 40 or 60 you can start to take care of the body God blessed you with. Start fueling it with good for you food instead of just thinking about good-tasting food.

Think about what foods will heal your body and not about what foods will ease your emotional pain.

Start thinking about what movement will do for your body instead of what the next plot twist will be on your favorite show.

Take care of yourself. Eat right. Exercise. Spend time with family and friends doing things that make you happy and joyful.

Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Start today. Start now. Make better choices before you have no other choice.

Your body will thank you!


Heart Health

Several years ago, I began a healthier eating and living journey. I call it a journey, because as I learn, I try and do better. There are obstacles and I am by no means perfect.

The hard part is, I enjoy food. And frankly, sometimes I just don’t feel like getting up and working out, even though I know it’s good for me.

Every day is a decision. Every meal is a decision. Every bite of food I put in my mouth is a decision for health or disease. I understand this and like most people do the best I can, even though I may slip up and eat something really not good for me.

I will say this, overall, I eat better now than I did 4 years ago and that’s something.

My main reason for watching what I eat is because I take after my father’s side of the family. Now, I don’t have any scientific studies to back up my reasoning, but I look so much like my father, I think his genetic makeup must be pretty strong, so I’m more concerned with the health risks on that side of the family (though my mother’s side was the same).

High blood pressure and heart disease run rampant on both sides of my family tree. No cancer, but the high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes are there.

This makes me feel as though I should lean toward a more heart healthy way of eating and living, which includes eating a more Mediterranean based diet of fruits, vegetables and lean protein.

Last week, I read an article in The Atlantic about a town in Finland who took up a new way of eating and reduced their incidence of heart attacks by 80%.

From The Atlantic:

To Puska and the researchers, the roots of the disease were clear. Before World War II, North Karelian men were largely lumberjacks whose diets revolved around hunting game, picking berries, and fishing. Besides the occasional bear mauling, their main health concerns were tuberculosis, infectious diseases, and death at childbirth. After the war, veterans, as part of their compensation, were given small plots of land. Lacking agriculture skills, they cleared the land to raise pigs and cows. Predictably, pork and diary consumption skyrocketed. Butter soon made its way into almost every meal: butter-fried potatoes, buttered bread. Even traditional fish stew was half butter. They had fried pork or meat stew for dinner, chased with buttered bread and milk. Vegetables were considered food for the animals. Adding to the problem, GIs had returned home with a new habit: By 1972, more than half of all men smoked.

So, it would seem that not smoking and changing to eating a plant-based diet low in animal consumption is key to keeping your hearth healthy.

I’m not saying you must give up eating meat entirely, but add more vegetables and fruits into your diet and cut back on the meat and dairy.

It may just save your life!



black beans

Okay, maybe not magical, but there are a lot of good things in those beans!

Yesterday, my daughter received her learner’s permit and as a reward (because getting the permit apparently was not enough) she asked if I would take her to Chipotle for lunch. I agreed and off we went.

We were placing our orders and I noticed she never puts beans in her burrito. In fact, the only other person in our family who will eat beans, is my 13 year old son and the only beans he’ll eat are black beans.

This shocks me, because I swear my son would live off of pizza, taquitos and spaghetti if I’d let him. He hates almost everything. But he LOVES black beans. We were on a family vacation in Miami a few years ago and were eating at a family-owned Cuban restaurant. This child ate TWO very large bowls of black bean soup for dinner that night.

I don’t get it, but I’m happy he likes the black beans.

Anyway, as I’m standing in line to get my vegetarian bowl, I started thinking about how great black beans are for you.

From Natural News:

1. The dark color of the black bean is a surprising source of powerful nutrients

2. Black beans are a fantastic source of protein

3. This protein-powered bean gives you a longer feeling of satiation, which can help you feel good all day long.

4. If you are looking to add healthy fiber to your diet, and support your digestive health, and reduce your risk for colon cancer, consider black beans

5. Looking to keep heart disease at bay? Add black beans to your diet to boost your heart health

Natural News goes into far more detail about the health benefits of black beans, including citing research articles.

I found this Pin on Pinterest and here’s the link to the recipes. Some of the recipes are vegan as well!




Are you ready for change?

Many people are afraid of change. They are afraid of the unknown, even if the unknown may make their lives better.

I really love one quote from Oprah Winfrey. She said, “As you become more clear about who you really are, you’ll be better able to decide what is best for you – the first time around.”

Change is not always easy, but you will find it easier to accept and move toward if you know who you are and where you are headed.

Will the change move you closer to where you want to be and who you want to be? Or, will it move you away from your ultimate goals in life? Once you know your purpose, your decision-making becomes easier and your purpose clearly defined points you in the right direction.

Are you ready to change your life for the better? Are you ready to live the life you have always dreamed of and imagined? You can! It is always possible to live out our dreams. However, those dreams will require hard work and change.

To be someone you’ve never been, you must change. There is no way to avoid it. You must become someone who is that person who want to be.

That could mean going back to school, taking classes, stepping out on your own or anything beyond what you are currently doing. Change is good, but only if it moves you forward toward your purpose.

Many people profess to be ready for a new life and ready for change. However, when faced with the hard work required for that change, they are unwilling. Are you one of those people?

Don’t be someone who says they are ready to change, but afraid of the commitment necessary to make real change happen. Decide. Commit. Become who you yearn to be, whatever that means for you and whatever that takes.

Here are 10 steps you can take to make positive changes in your life:

1. Define Success - Everyone is different and everyone’s definition of success will be different too. What does success look like for you? Be specific.

2. Visualize Success – Visualize how you will feel when you reach your goals. Feel it as though you are already living it.

3. Forget entitlement - You do not deserve success just because you were born into a certain family or went to a certain school. Success is only deserved by those who work for it and don’t give up.

4. Think small to achieve big things. It is the small everyday things done every day, add up to big success.

5. Be Consistent – Don’t procrastinate. Don’t treat your dreams and goals as something you can work towards sometimes and then leave alone for awhile before coming back to it later and expect to build momentum.

6. Prioritize – Do the most important things on your to do list first. Those things that are the most important to achieving your goals.

7. Delegate - If there is something you need done, but don’t have the time for, delegate. Whether that is grocery shopping, lawn care, house keeping or anything else. If you can, find someone else to do the things that will not help you achieve your goals.

8. Find mentors – Find others who have travelled the road you wish to go and ask for their advice. Learn from their mistakes and wisdom.

9. Stay motivated - Read motivational and inspirational books and blogs. Listen to motivational speeches. Keep your fire burning.

10. Re-evaluate your position and keep going. Quitting is the surest way to fail at anything. Don’t give up, just re-evaluate, adjust and keep going.

Life is meant to be lived and lived fully. Live your life abundantly.