Blogger Recognition Award

Blogger Recognition Award!

Being a new blogger is a little intimidating! When I started blogging, I delved into a world of unknowns. I had so many doubts and fears; this is why being nominated for the “Blogger Recognition Award” is so exciting! This community of bloggers has been so encouraging and have shown such support. Thank you so much for the nomination!

I want to start out by saying a huge THANK YOU to Lauren Najar from Laugh Always for giving me the nomination!  Her blog https://laughalways.net/home/.  She had started a blog three times and finally felt like it was the right time. She was right because she has received two blogger awards! Congrats to her for getting nominated as well!

So what is blogger recognition award?

Blogger Recognition Award is given to bloggers by bloggers to encourage and acknowledge the hard work and effort that goes into creating posts.  It’s an opportunity for bloggers to recognize one another for each of our contributions to their blog and the blogging community!

How did you start your blog?

I have always had a desire to write, and I have been writing stories since I was a little girl. I also have a passion for nutrition. Throughout my career as a dietitian, I kept going back to writing. I have been a freelance writer, written a nutrition column for our local paper, and written for our church blog. Over the years I have written so much on nutrition and about my faith that I thought that instead of letting the information just sit in my office at home, I should share all of it with others. I hope that my blog can provide inspiration and usable tips to others.

Two pieces of advice for newbies:

  • Support other Blogger – The established blogger have been such a help to me. They have been ready to answer my questions and give encouragement. I hope to be able to do the same for other new bloggers.
  • Be Patient- I had to overcome a learning curve when I began blogging. Little by little, I have learned more and more. I know I have much more to learn. I know knowledge will come over time.
My nominees:

When you are nominated, there are few simple steps that you need to take to accept the award nomination and the guidelines are as follows:

  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 15 other bloggers to nominate.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

Congrats to these nominees – all of these blog sites are beautiful!  I can’t wait to see your posts!

 

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“So What Does a Dietitian’s Diet Look Like?”

Ahh lazy summer days…. Summer is the time for relaxing in the sun, exploring magical and exciting places and dining on delicious cuisine while on vacation. This summer has been full of all kinds of wonderful deliciousness. Yet half way through the summer I began to notice a few little changes. I was getting a little softer and my stomach was beginning to hang over my shorts a little more. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think we should stress over every imperfection, and we shouldn’t panick over every little weight fluctuation. But we should practice awareness and notice when we need to tweak our lifestyle a little before we go down an unhealthy hill. If we get to the bottom of that hill, the climb is going to be much harder than if we make the changes quickly.

I have often told my clients that when they notice they are begining to have unhealthy habits then it might be time to re-take the diet assessment and come up with solutions to our weight control weight loss barriers. And I have found re-assessing my own diet helpful as well. So I decided it was time to do just that. People often ask me “as a dietitian, what does your diet actually look like, and can you please explain in detail?” So here it is, my plan as well as how I developed my plan.  I took my own assessment to develop my plan.

This is what this dietitian’s diet looks like.

So Step-by-Step here is what I did:

Step 1:

I took the “DIY Diet Assessment” located here. In other words, I answered the questions.

Step 2:

 After taking the assessment, I discovered my major barriers.

(Below is a picure of a portion of my own assessment. I went through the assessment and circled all my issues. I jotted down my answer with a pencil. Excuse my sloppy handwriting.)

I noticed that my meals and routine varies from day to day. For some meals, I eat by myself. For some meals, I cook for others. Also, we have been known to frequent restaurants on busy nights.  With such a varying routine, I needed some tips that would work in every scenario. Eating too much can be an issue in all of these situations so I looked at the “Portion Control” post, the “Calorie Counting” post, and the “Mindful Eating: Step by Step Guide” for possible solutions.

I also noticed that I nibble on my children’s uneaten food, especially in the evening. According to the assessment, if this is an issue, I should look at the “Snacking for Weight Loss” post.

Since I do cook at home, I wanted to find a few ideas on the “Grocery Shopping for Weight Loss,” the “Reducing Calories in the Foods I Already Eat” and the “Reducing the Calories AND FAT in the Foods I Already Eat” posts.

I also eat out regularly, so I clicked on the “Eating Out” link as well as the already selected “Portion Control,” “Calorie Counting,” and “Mindful Eating” posts.

I go to social events often so I needed to check out the “Social Gatherings Weight Loss Tips” post.

Finally, I noticed that emotional eating is not so much of an issue (except for being tired) BUT I could use a little motivation. So I planned on picking up a few tips from the “Motivating Weight Loss” post.

Step 3:

After I picked which articles would work best for my issues, I needed to narrow down the tips I was going to implement from each blog. This blog contains over 400 tips, tricks, or diets so I should be able to develop a detailed plan that specifically works for me.

(Below is a picture of the printed Portion Control post. After printing the posts which were most benficial for me according to the assessment, I circled the specific tips I wanted to implement).

And here it is…

Disclosure: This site may provide affiliate links. Since this is a post about my actual diet, the affiliate links I share are for products I actually use. (See full disclosure)

 My Final Detailed Plan:

  1. First and formost, focus on mindful eating. If I use the Mindful eating techniques, I can easily be satisfied without seconds even if I eat on a smaller plate. When I use Mindful Eating techniques, my 1600-1800 calorie range (which is my individual recommended calorie range) will feel like plenty of food. When I am eating out, mindful eating will also help me feel satisfied and full even after putting much of my food in a box (another tip I decided to implement). When I mindfully eat, I pause before eating to notice my food. I  pray and thank God before taking my first sip and bite. When I pause I remind myself to be mindful of God’s presence. Eating becomes an act of worship for me. I remind myself I am taking care of God’s creation (me). I want to glorify God by eating slowly and nourishing the body God made. I remind myself of 1 Corinthians 10:31 which says, “so whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Wow! What a great reminder!  1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 reminds me that my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and that I should glorify God in my body. When I mindLESSly eat, I miss the opportunity to be in awareness of God’s presence. Finally, I take my first sip of drink and only then begin eating. I eat slowly and notice each bite. I put my fork down and completely chew BEFORE even reaching for my drink. I take a sip of drink, then pick up my fork and prepare my next bite. *Note that when you are use to larger portions, eating a healthier portion may seem small to you; however, take the time to pause before eating and look at your food. As you look, think about how long you are able to enjoy your food when you mindfully eat.When you do this, suddenly the portion looks plentiful. 
  2. I keep up with my calorie intake using my Fitbit app. My goal is 1600-1800 calories per day. I use the Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband, Teal, Small (US Version).
  3. I eat breakfast AFTER getting my kids off to school. So first thing in the morning, I drink a shake to give me the energy to get the kids ready for school. I sit down and mindfully eat a healthy breakfast after taking the kids to school. Several healthy nutritious shakes are currently on the market. I am currently drinking Beachbody shakes called “Shakeology”. I get my shakes through the the official Beachbody coaching site of Heather Wilson. If you want more information click here. I am so tired in the morning that I just want to grab something nutritous and energizing before I can start my day. These shakes do this for me. They have even helped me cut down on my little vice, diet cokes. I usually don’t use shakes as a meal replacement. Many feel that they need to chew to feel satisfied; therefore, shakes as a replacement meal may not be ideal. This is true for me as well. I mostly drink a shake to get added nutrients and to hold me over until I can sit down and eat breakfast after my children are in school. The only time I drink a shake for a meal is when I have zero time eat. Drinking a nutrient-filled shake is better than skipping a meal.
  4. Like many families, we tend to stick with around 20 of the of the same recipes and only occasionally eat something new. I made a list of these recipes as well as a list of the lunch and snack foods we tend to eat. Then, I made a master grocery list based on this. Following this grocery list when grocery shopping helps me avoid impulse buys.
  5. When grocery shopping and cooking at home, I look for the lower calorie and whole-wheat version of foods.
  6. I also try to purchase mostly healthy snack foods and avoid keeping unhealthy snacks in the house, especially our most tempting unhealthy snacks.
  7. When cooking, I prepare no more than four food items. If you cook too many options, you often eat too much.
  8. I keep gum in front of the snack foods in my pantry. When I feel the urge to mindlessy snack, I grab a low calorie piece of gum instead. This is such a small thing that has had a big impact for me.
  9. I also often spend one day a month cooking and freezing dinners for the whole month. This helps prevent impulse eating out.
  10. I try to drink water before my first bite at every meal. In fact, I will grab a glass of water before I put anything in my mouth to make sure I’m not thirsty instead of hungry. Pausing to drink water before eating also helps us eat mindfully.
  11. I portion control at home by eating on a small plate. I avoid filling my plate with seconds unless I am physically (VS. emotionally) hungry. However, when I mindfully eat, I usually am satisfied without seconds.
  12. When dining out, I usually ask for a box before I finish eating, and put enough food in the box to make the portions left on my plate appropriate. If we pause and truly look at our meals, we can usually tell if our plate looks overfilled or appropriate.
  13. When eating a sandwich at home or out, I will remove one piece of bread, and eat an open face sandwich. This is just one way to reduce calories.
  14. I do a 25-30 minute “Beachbody on Demand” exercise every morning, 6 days a week. Sometimes I will do extra classes at the gym when I can. This was a solution to one of my newer barriers. I love taking classes at my gyms, LA Fitness and B-Fit Studio; however, consistency was becoming an issue. With fitness classes, you have to be available at the exact time the class is scheduled. If I have a doctors appointment, kids camp, a meeting, or anything at the time of the class, then I can’t go. Or if the instructor occasionally has to cancel because, you know, life happens, then I miss my scheduled workout. To combat with this problem, I knew I needed something I could do anytime, but I also knew I am the type of person who needed someone to motivate me and push me. The instructors on beachbody do this for me. I still workout at the gym, but I don’t worry if I can’t get to the class. I count my beachbody video as my workout. The group classes at the gym is just extra and for fun. As I mentioned earlier, I order my Beachbody products through an official Beachbody coach, Heather Wilson. With Beachbody on Demand, I have access to all of those amazing Beachbody exercise programs that you see advertised on TV like P90X, Insanity, 21 Day Fix, Hip Hop Abs, Cize, and more. I have always wanted everyone of them! With Beachbody  on Demand, I can get all of them for a year.
  15.  Group boards, forums, or challenge groups, are great sources of motivation. In groups, you can support and encourage each other. Health and Fitness Groups give you a place to cheer each other on, share your success stories and weaknesses. We also discuss ideas and recipes. For motivation, I regularly share my successes and challenges with a Beachbody coach and team. A Beachbody coach is really someone who facilitates the conversations and starts the challenge groups. You can also purchase Beachbody products through an official Beachbody coach. Click here for more information.
  16. Remember I also get motivation and insiration  by pausing before I eat to remember those awesome Bible verses from 1 Corinthians that I discussed earlier
  17. Social gatherings, I drink a glass of water before eating or drinking anything else and I try to eat mindfully.

 

 

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You are free to retain any and all content here for personal use, but need permission to use it anywhere else on the internet.

 

 

 

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God Moments: Did That Just Happen!

God Moments: Did That Just Happen!

Seeing God’s Presence Today

Disclosure: This site may provide affiliate links (See full disclosure)

Mindfulness can help us stop to notice God’s presence in our lives, but sometimes God does something so cool that we notice even when we are not being particularly mindful. This is one of those experiences. Read until the end because the end is the best part!

How It All Started

About a year and a half ago, my then six year-old son took an ambulance ride from urgent care to the hospital. Before that ride, he had been on antibiotics but just kept getting sicker. When we arrived at the ER, the doctors diagnosed him with Pneumonia and admitted him to the hospital for five days. After being released, he just couldn’t get rid of that cough and kept getting fevers about every two to three weeks. An X-ray showed that he had a collapsed lung from all these lung issues. They released my son from the hospital in December. It was now June, and he was still coughing, struggling to breathe when he ran, getting tired easily, and getting frequent fevers. He had taken so many antibiotics that I had lost count. He had been put to sleep twice for minor lung procedures.

In June, the doctors decided to get a CT scan to see if he had a condition called Bronchiectasis. The CT scan confirmed he had this condition, which is defined as abnormal widening of the bronchi or their branches, causing a risk of infection. I had never heard of it so, of course, I looked it up online. The things I read terrified me. I was not handling the diagnosis well. I was walking around constantly on the verge of crying, but trying to seem cheerful for my children. Many nights I would pray and let out all of my pent up tears. I was scared of what this meant for my son. I can’t even bring myself to type all of the worries I was feeling. If you are a parent you can probably imagine the fears going through my head.

I Wanted to Cancel

The very same week that I learned of the diagnosis, I wanted to shut myself off from everyone, but our church book club was suppose to meet at MY HOUSE! I came inches from canceling. Most of the book club regulars were not able to come, so I started thinking no one is going to show up anyway. But then a new girl sent me an emailed saying that she would like to come and bring two of her friends. I didn’t want to cancel when new people had expressed interest, so I decided to push through. The funny thing is the new girl who had originally expressed interest was unable to attend, but the two friends she had mentioned in her email did come. These two girls, who only attended this one time, probably didn’t know what they were walking into. I was unorganized and monopolized the whole conversation. I ended up pouring all my emotions out to these brand new people. They were such patient listeners, and although I don’t know if they got much out of book club, I felt much better after that night.

Life Went On…

After that night, life went on. The doctors were trying all kinds of treatments. My son was now on continuous antibiotics three times a week and doing 30-minute treatments twice a day.

Below is a picture of the breathing treatments my son was doing twice a day.

My son was now going to doctors in Rock Hill, Charlotte, and Chapel Hill. By now a year had gone by since receiving that initial diagnosis and pouring my heart out to those random new girls at book club.

Can I Ask You A Weird Question?

The doctors decided it was time to talk about having a surgery to remove the damaged lobe of his lung. So I called the first office on the list to set up a consultation with a surgeon in Charlotte, NC. I started talking to the receptionist. She started asking basic questions like, “What is the appointment for?,” and “What is your home address?.” Then she paused and says, “Can I ask you a weird question?” I’m thinking, ‘What in the world is she going to ask me’, but all I said was “Okay.”  She then says, “Do you happen to have a book club with St. John’s?” Shocked and confused, I exclaim, “Yes!” She then exclaimed, “I think I have been to your house!” When I was answering her questions over the phone, she remembered hearing a similar story a year earlier at this book club she attended once. She then realized she recognized the address I had just given her. She figured out that she and her friend, who also works in the same office, (you know, that other new girl) had been to my house the week my son had been diagnosed a year ago!

 

Knowing that people at the surgeon’s office knew our story and had known our story since the diagnosis was such a comfort to me.

God’s Plan to Bring Comfort and Guidance was Put into Action a Year Earlier

You know what else? I thought to myself, ‘wow, when I was walking around terrified and wishing I would feel God’s presence, God was right there’. I felt like God was giving me comfort on that book club night. Little did I know, that same book club social would give me comfort not only that very night but also a year later. Did God somehow help me cross paths with these ladies right when my son was diagnosed? Did God know this journey would lead to a big surgery way back then? Many of us have learned that God knows all, our past and our future, but to truly witness this was humbling. This experience made me feel like God was  giving me a warm hug. I could feel God’s Presence and realized just how present God had been the whole time. As, I processed this, the tears began running down my face and chills began running up my arm.

Today my son is doing well. The surgery so far seems sucessful. We continue to praise God for warm hugs, comfort, and guidance.

Do you have any stories about experiencing God’s presence, comfort, or guidance?

Please share any of your stories in the comments below. I love these stories!

If you are looking for good books about people experiencing God’s presence in their lives, two of my favorites are  The Narrow Road: Stories of Those Who Walk This Road Together (International Adventures) and Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World:


Want More God Moment Stories? Check these Out

God Moments: We Prayed and Then This Happened!

God Moments: God Follows Through

God Moments: We Chose the Same Picture

God Moments: I Was So Afraid

God Moments: We Ran Out of Gas

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The ONE Thing I Did to Lose Weight AND Strengthen My Walk with God

The ONE Thing I Did to Lose weight AND Strengthen My Walk with God:

Disclosure: This site may provide affiliate links (See full disclosure)

The Weight Loss Journey

Middle school is tough, especially when you are on the heavier side. Fortunately by 8th grade I had lost all of my excess weight. In fact, my weight struggle is what inspired me to major in nutrition in college. I managed to keep off all the weight all way through high school, college, and grad school; and learned the best practices for weight loss and nutrition in college and grad school. When I practiced what I preached, I was able to keep the weight off, and I kept the weight off until I got married….

After I was happily married, the weight began to creep back on. For the first time since middle school I was overweight again. Using my training and dietetic counseling skills on myself, I was able to muster enough will power to lose the weight again. (You can read more about my weight journey and training here). Four years later, I had a baby and managed to muster up the motivation and willpower to lose the baby weight again.

break room photo

 

Mindfulness was Life Changing

As I began getting older, the weight was harder and harder to keep off. I noticed cheat days had much more of an impact. When I became pregnant again, I didn’t want to gain as much weight as I did with my first child. However, I didn’t want to diet while pregnant. I decided to use only one weight loss technique. I decided to simply mindfully eat. For the first time, I did not need willpower. After the birth of my daughter, I continued with the mindful eating, and the weight just dropped off. The. Easiest. Weight. Loss. Ever!

yoga outside photo
Photo by StevenSimWorld

I didn’t deprive myself and didn’t even feel the need to have cheat days. I discovered the most important component of mindfully eating, for me, was to PAUSE before eating. That pause or lack of the pause was the determining factor for whether I would mindfully eat or not at that particular meal. So why is this pause so crucial?

When I pause, I remind myself to take my time, notice my food, notice if I am eating an appropriate amount, and most importantly, I thank God for the food. During this pause, I remind myself to eat God’s gift of food for enjoyment and nourishment. I remind myself to take the time to pay attention to my food instead of over consuming without even noticing that I am eating.

Mindfulness Did so Much More than Help with Weight Loss

This one pause before the meal was crucial for my nutritional health, but I also began to notice how crucial the pause was in every aspect of my life. The Bible talks about praying continuously. In a way, the pause in life helps me pray more continuously.

prayer photo

I began to notice the impact of pausing and praying before entering any new environment whether the new environment is a park, a friend’s home, or the grocery store. Pausing and praying, was life changing. I began to notice the importance of pausing and praying when I felt angry, or before saying something difficult, or before even talking with my children. I noticed the importance of not only pausing and praying before meals and snacks, but also before bed and before getting up in the morning.

When I forget to do this, I notice the difference in MY actions and my strength to endure life. On the days that I do a better job of pausing, I notice God’s presence and God’s guidance more. When I pause more, I feel like I am truly letting God lead me, and I am reminded that no matter what happens, God is right there. I can feel God’s presence in the very room with me, and I feel I have the strength to focus on God’s will instead of my emotions. We don’t have to rush into every situation, and we don’t have to rush to speak. We can and should PAUSE and take our time in life.

Want to Learn More About Mindfulness?

To learn more details about how to incorporate mindful eating into your life click here. If you would like to do your own nutrition assessment and develop your own weight loss plan, click here.

You can also get some great mindful eating for weight loss techniques by reading The Mindful Diet: How to Transform Your Relationship with Food for Lasting Weight Loss and Vibrant Health.

Have you ever tried pausing more often in life? Or before meals? Did you notice and appreciate how amazing God is more often?

*If you would like to evaluate your own diet and determine which tips work best for you, please take the free DIY Diet self assessment and evaluation developed by a registered dieititian.

Copyright © 2017 Mindfulness in Faith and Food.

You are free to retain any and all content here for personal use, but need permission to use it anywhere else on the internet.

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