Recipe of the day: Sweet Summer Salsa


Chop & mix:
– 1/4 watermelon
– 1 1/2 Cup pineapple
– 1 Cup cucumber
– 1 1/2 Cup red onion
– 1/2 cup bell pepper
– 1/4 cup lime juice
– 1/4 cup cilantro
– jalapeño (optional)
– salt to taste!

We made this recipe fresh tonight, but I think it would be bomb with grilled fruit and veggies! 

Xoxo, Jules 

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What does it mean to be “healthy”?

Here is an excerpt from a paper I wrote this past semester in school. Our assignment required us to give an extended definition, and I chose to explain my definition of “healthy” in comparison to what I often see in our country.
Thanks for reading,

Julie

What Does It Mean to Be Healthy?
America, as a nation, has long pursued the “American dream”. Part of that dream includes our health, wealth, and prosperity. In our culture we are bombarded by images of pretty people, and a façade of smiles and skimpy clothes showing perfectly toned bodies all over social media. But in today’s society, the reality is that, America is anything but “healthy”. Most Americans are busy working their nine-to-five jobs, over forty hours a week, to acquire a decent pay-check with health care benefits. We’ve settled for little free-time, and lots of stress. We have strayed from a balanced, healthy lifestyle, and traded it for money and things that we cannot afford. Ghandi once said, “It is health that is real wealth, and not pieces of gold and silver.”
So what is health? Is it your BMI?  Or the “perfect” physique? Perhaps it is the 5-foot-nine-inch, supermodel frame. Or could it simply be a life free of sickness and disease? The definition of health is much more complex than these things alone. It is a vast, complex, idea that crosses the physical, mental, and spiritual boundaries of our lives. Health must be a balance of all of these aspects, working together to benefit our state of being.
Physically speaking, “health” has a broad definition. As a Health and Fitness Technology major at Cincinnati State, I’ve been learning a lot about the physical aspects of health. Some people think being “skinny” equals being “healthy”. Doctors often use charts with recommended Body Mass Index (BMI) numbers to determine if you have a healthy weight. But BMI does not account for overall bone and muscle mass, or different body types. A general “rule-of-thumb” is to keep your waist circumference under half of your total height in inches. Eat right, exercise, and avoid consuming more calories than you burn, and you will maintain a healthy weight. It is a simple concept, that is not always so simple to maintain. We are overrun by food ads on television and the latest “diet trends”. It can be easy to lose balance in our diet and exercise habits that promote healthy weight-management. But if you happen to be in a “healthy” weight category, according to the charts and graphs in the doctor’s office, does that make you healthy?
What about sickness and disease? Health is more than just looking good or being able to run an eight-minute mile. Health is the quality of life to accomplish our activities of daily living with excellence. Our current healthcare system and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are not always the most helpful in achieving this goal. Most foods in the modern American diet are ridden with hidden pesticides, genetically modified ingredients, and artificial colors and flavors that make our foods easier to produce and harder to digest. “It probably comes as no surprise to you that food addiction is actually one of the top addictions in America right now.” (Beni Johnson) Corporate businesses are enjoying the profits, but we are suffering the physical consequences. Diabetes and hypertension are at an all-time high, with no signs of improvement, and “approximately 39.6% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetimes”, according to Cancer.gov. These debilitating diseases prove that our society is not where it needs to be. Our healthcare systems are the best in the world, but we are still killing ourselves slowly. “Fat” or “thin” is simply not a picture of what health means.
Our physical health decline is also, without a doubt, effected by the way we handle ourselves emotionally. Self-esteem is greatly affected by physical fitness, and quality of life. With the barrage of beauty products and super-model secrets, our young men and women are desperate to get a “quick-fix” to beauty and happiness. We have developed a need for instant-gratification, and won’t stop until we achieve what the media deems perfect. “Comparison is the thief of joy”, according to Theodore Roosevelt. When we are in constant comparison physically, or materially, it leaves us dissatisfied and in emotional stress. Enough is never enough, and we become dependent on acquiring more. More food, more clothing, more technology, and even more relationships. We will grab at whatever satisfies our emotional need in the moment. This emotional dependency is not healthy. It creates a rollercoaster of actions that may fluctuate, moment by moment, based on how we feel at the time. This is a rollercoaster of instability and selfishness that can lead to all kinds of problems for ourselves, and others.
This lack of fulfillment and emotional dependency on people and things is the result of a deeper health problem, spiritual health. “A merry heart does good, like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). Spiritually, we are all created for wholeness, but we live in a broken and fallen world. We may strive for perfection, but we are far from it. Our physical selves are just a piece of who we are as humans. The spiritual part of us was made for a deeper purpose and sense of meaning, a connection with God. Without a deep connection to God, that place in our heart is left empty, and we are left trying to fill it with whatever will give us some temporary fulfillment. The result, again, leaves us feeling unsatisfied and without purpose. But the Bible says “seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be given to you” (Matthew 6:33). God knows our need for the physical things of this world, but He also knows our need for relationship and love. He created us for relationship with Him, the greatest love we could ever know. That love is like gravity, always pulling us toward something bigger than ourselves. God is love. God also designed each one of us with unique desires, gifts and talents. The more we seek His will for our lives spiritually, the more connected we become to our purpose, and therefore sense of fulfillment.
As spirit beings, we are connected to our physical bodies. When our minds and spirits are not well, we may also become physically sick. This brings me back my original question – what does it mean to be healthy? Since we are not just a physical body, that means health is not just physical. Since we are more than just our mind, it means it is not just emotional. And since we are more than just a spirit being, this means it is not just spiritual. It is a continuous triune thread, made by a triune being, that requires balance and consistency to maintain. To be healthy is the state of being fully alive. It is a journey. “As hard as it can be to stay on the journey of health, the price for wavering is even greater.” (Beni Johnson)

 

 

 

“Cancer Statistics.” National Cancer Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics
Ghandi, Mahatma. “Famous Quotes at BrainyQuote.” BrainyQuote. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mahatmagan109078.html

The Holy Bible. “Proverbs 17:22” New King James Version (NKJV) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=proverbs17&version=NKJV

 

Johnson, Beni. 40 days to wholeness: body, soul, and spirit: a healthy & free devotional. Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, Inc. 2016. Print.
Roosevelt, Theodore. “Get Inspired. Get Motivated.” Quotefancy: Wallpapers With Inspirational Quotes. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.
https://quotefancy.com/quote/33048/Theodore-Roosevelt-Comparison-is-the-thief-of-joy

“Chick”ing In!

It’s almost Easter everyone, and I just wanted to “chick” in with everyone! 🐥 (peep,peep!) I know I’ve been busy with school this year, so my posts have been few and far between. 

First of all, thank you to everyone who came to Keith’s fight, or watched it on my live stream (April 8). It meant a lot to him, even though he was displeased with how the fight went down. We are blessed by the victory and God’s promises for our future, but Keith says he knows he has a lot to work on! 


The process of training and cutting weight for this fight was different than what Keith had previously done. He is used to water loading over a gallon or two each day, cutting calories a day or two in advance and then killing himself with some cardio and a sweat suit. It’s rough, but it works. He has also tried the old “bathtub” method with Epsom salts and alcohol, and then rolling up like a burrito till you sweat. I thought he may have a heart attack! 

We decided, since calories = energy, and excess energy = fat, to cut his calories much sooner and gradually drop the 10+ lbs. 

It worked well. Im not sure how his strength and cardio was overall, but I know he was not so sickly and drained looking from dehydration the day before the fight.

While Keith was meal-prepping like a champ, it gave me some ideas and maybe a little kick in the seat for not doing the same thing. 

School has somewhat obliterated my diet, but I know I can be doing better. It also showed me that he can survive on almost half of what he is used to consuming – it’s a problem that I can barely cut 200 calories from my diet! I have managed my calories in the past, but it was always a struggle, and it all goes back to the “binge” mentality. 

As many of you know, since I was young, I struggled with hiding my eating habits, binging at night, overeating and snacking throughout the day. I’m still in the process of learning more about myself and how this habit occurred, but I will say it was always an outlet for frustration or stress. I would crave something sweet or salty, and then that “out of control” feeling would come.

So I tried following Keith’s method of meal-prepping and planning. I have to say, it helped significantly while He was on it. I’ve found that, like most people, I just need some extra support until the new habits are formed. Typically people with any struggle or disorder state that they do not feel they have the support they need. 

I also have seen a newer product one of my classmates has from six-pack fitness. It is a meal planning backpack that stores your prepped Tupperware (or glassware) in the bottom or side of the bag! This is what I need for school! 😉 

Despite all the work and prep it takes for me to manage my calories efficiently, I know the root of this is within. I can have support from Keith to do right, and still struggle throughout the day. 

So I’ll leave with this thought. The Lord has been speaking to me a LOT about this season I am in of Trust. Trust with school/grades, trust with Keith’s fights, trust with my family relationships, and a lot of trust that He actually wants me to be healthy and knows what is best for me. Trust is largely brought to me through another concept He’s given to me about rest – and resting in His presence. That is where true change occurs. I tried over spring break to do a “fast”, and wouldn’t you know that I ate more that week than I had the week prior! It’s all a mind game, and about the relationship I have with food. During that week, however, I did hear from the Lord. He said He wanted to teach me to EAT, not how to fast yet. So I have to trust that he knows what is best. Despite my efforts to lose weight, I know he wants to redefine my relationship with food first. 

This morning in my devotional, I saw a verse “pop out” to me. It was 1 Corinthians 6:12


Wow, that is truth. Do not be DOMINATED by anything. (I know there could be a whole tangent on alcohol here, but that does not dominate me. Food sometimes does.) I was so encouraged by this verse, I didn’t even realize it was THE WRONG VERSE! my devotion said 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Also good, but not the same. Wowsers. 

God is with us and FOR us, who or what can be against us? 

In case I don’t stop by this weekend, Happy Easter everyone! 🌤⛪️🐰💐

Jules 

Create Your Tomorrow

   “Yesterday and its failures are gone and a thing of the past. Today, you have the ability to create your tomorrow.” – Beni Johnson

I’ve been on this recent journey to take back my health for several years no, but had taken a decline recently. Over the past 2 years, I would say the weight and anxiety had crept back in. I gradually gained 10-15lbs back and felt tired and sluggish again. I even struggled with my emotional eating once more.

But I knew this year would be different. God healed me of one of my health problems during the OneThing 2016 conference over New Year, and it sparked a change. That was the word that I recieved for this year. (Lasting) “Change comes from resting in the Presence” of God. So that has been my focus these first few months of 2017. Trying to lose weight during my first year of college is not the easiest or most convenient, but the nutrition and anatomy classes I have to take for my “health” major is really solidifying this journey.

Along with all the information I am absorbing from classes, I picked up a new devotional by Beni Johnson, pastor Bill Johnson’s wife. It’s called 40 Days to Wholeness, and it is exactly what I needed. It is a quick daily read that starts my day with a positive thought about myself and my body, rather than the gloomy cloud that was trying to linger around my mind before.

My husband is also now a part of my journey. In the past, we had two different lifestyles. He trained like a maniac, so he basically would eat whatever he wanted. He is not very muscular now, but he fights at a lower weight class, so he has never put on a lot of weight. Still, since he would eat whatever he liked, he would have to kill himself when he was cutting to drop the extra 10-15 lbs. Now 10-15 lbs is all I really want to lose, but I have never really had his help as a permanent lifestyle.

This time around, something is different. He noticed my emotional binges and struggle to maintain a healthy caloric intake. He has been cutting his calories to safely lose the weight for his next fight and offered to keep me accountable. He has been meal prepping and counting calories along with me!! It is a slow, steady, and beautiful process, this time. Not a quick fix but, I believe, a lasting change.

Again, this journey is about HEALTH: spiritually, emotionally & physically. Not one or the other.

Here are some tips I have been learning in the physical journey:

It’s all so basic, but simple is good. It’s doable. Weight loss/maintenance is a science. It is math.

Burn > Consume

1) allow 10 calories per pound of body weight you have and then decrease as you begin to lose weight or plateau. So if I eat 1,500 and burn 200, that’s 1,300 calories and I weight 130 lbs. if I want to weight 120, I can cut back my calories and continue to workout to maintain 1,200 net calories. 

2) working out is just as important. It helps strengthen your bones, muscles and metabolism. It also helps to maintain permanent weight loss/lifestyle and increase longevity. 

3) weight yourself infrequently and aim for 1-2 lbs/week. Gradual and steady weight loss is more promising than a “quick fix”. It doesn’t take a week to gain 20 lbs, so why should we think it can take a week to lose it? 

Cheers to all! Xo,

Jules

Here’s to the ones who dream…

Ok, everyone, you should know I do not use this blog as a place to typically put a pitch in for anything. But if you haven’t seen Lalaland, go see it! I don’t care what your “interests” are. If you have aspirations to do ANYTHING with your life… go watch this film. It is artistic and lovely, and it may not be the perfect fairy tale. But it will hopefully inspire you to dream a little more and truly live – not just exist. 

Something I personally drew from this film was to live in the moment, and live whatever stage I am in to the fullest. It’s ok if I’m 26 and just beginning my college journey. Because it’s never to late to get better and pursue those dreams! 

Beyond the binge 

 I wanted to take just a moment to confess to anyone who may be reading or following this page. However, I’m not coming here to wallow in my choices or complain that I am still 5-10 lbs from my “goal” BMI. I know that the keys to health and vitality are not numbers. The key to leanness isn’t starving yourself. And the key to health is consistancy. As an amateur “health blogger”, I feel the need to be fully transparent and say – “we make mistakes too!” 

With that said, I may or may not have had cookies and ice cream for dinner last night… 😬 it’s that time of month and I caved. After visiting the grocery store for a couple of items, I walked down the forbidden snack aisle right to the cookies. What could go better with my low sugar cocoa infused Halo Top than some luscious, gluten-free animal cookies!? I must have taken the bag from the shelf and replaced it 3 different times before it finally found it’s way in my basket to the check-out. My resistance almost won out! “It could be worse”, I thought to myself. 

The issue I’ve found isn’t that I had some “sweets” or junk food. It’s that I ate 6 out of 8 servings of said snacks. 

You see, the problem with a binge for me doesn’t lie in how often I take the plunge. It would be safe to say that it may occur once a month or LESS. This is a far leap from an almost every night battle I dealt with in high school. But the real struggle is appetite over hunger. My brain will get caught up in the pleasure and forget to turn off the craving for more. Appetite wins out. Now, if I’m honest, that’s all it was. A craving. And I know that those are possible to overcome. It’s just habit. And for me, I like to come to you with accountability, and most importantly, honesty. It helps me to be honest, and I hope it helps you. 

I recently presented a project in my Psychology class on eating disorders with a focus on Binge Eating Disorder. It is amazing how many people do not see this as a psychological problem, disorder, or disease. I believe this is like any other addiction that causes you to feel out of control and then shameful. 

However, I woke up today feeling better than before. I woke up hopeful, knowing that mistake didn’t own me. I drank lots of water, came prepared to school and ate a healthy breakfast and lunch, and I’m feeling much better today! 

Final thought: be honest and don’t let your mistakes own you. God breaks every chain and we can chose every day to be better than the last – even if we take a couple steps back, run full force forward again. 🤗

Jules

A New Day

Here we are – January 20, 2017

As I look up at the television glaring back at me in the school fitness center, I step onto the oliptical. I begin my workout – my time. My meditation. I watch as Mrs Obama enters the scene. Then former president Obama and Biden casually arrive. Finally Mr Donald Trump enters through the elegant double doors, onto the red presidential carpet. This is America’s royalty. The speech was short. The prayers were gracious. A light rain graced Trump as he took the stand – as Franklin Graham said – “as a blessing”. Throughout the streets, pressure grenades can be heard as lines of police move in to surround the antics of a thousand protesters. And before I knew it, the Obama’s were off the scene before the luncheon begins to commence. 

After the luncheon, the parade began. It was a very simple show. No fancy banners. No ticker tape. No extravagance beyond the classic patriotic band marching along. As the limousine that carries the new President slowly makes its way closer to the White House, we see thousands of protesters lining the street.  Finally, the moment arrives as the limo, fondly referred to as “the beast”, comes to a stop. The First family exit the vehicle and walk down Pensyvania Avenue past the international Hotel stamped with his namesake. What are his thoughts? What is Melania thinking as she grabs for his hand with her own perfectly gloved match? Fear, Anticipation? Hopes, dreams? Fulfillment, Sacrifice? The parade is short. And so begins a new legacy.

Welcome to the presidency Mr Trump. 

God bless.

Welcome to 2017!

Well everyone, welcome to a brand new year! I know it’s been some time since I last updated regularly. School has kep me busy. 😉 

But here we are in 2017! I’m not posting any resolutions. Not because I’m afraid I’ll fail them, but because our lives are not meant to be one temporary fix to another, but rather a journey of transformation. 

I do however believe in words to meditate on for the year. This year, I really felt I heard the word “change”. Good change! Things in the natural seem to be changing – school, work, schedules, Keith’s fighting, etc. I believe we are genuinely growing and pursuing more without fear. And I believe that is a transfer supernaturally. I have a renewed desire to be with God, in his presence and to prophecy. I believe, like Melissa Hesler said, our Perspective needs to shift into CONFIDENT sons and daughters. 

My husband recently asked me what my favorite “promise” of God was. Well I haven’t been reading His word as much as I used to, but the first thing out of my mouth was “He that is IN ME is greater than He that is in the world”. You see at the end of last year I was battling some anxiety. Then through lots of prayer it began to shed off of me. I won’t say it doesn’t come back, but even for a moment, I got the right perspective. When it feels like the world is literally caving in and pushing on all sides – you are stronger because HE is with you! So good. I’ve been reminded of these things several times in several ways over the past 2-3 weeks. We were recently at OneThing in Kansas City over New Years. Wow, so much joy and refreshment came on that trip – and a renewed mind and desire for purity. Lots of words were spoken over me. Lots of prophecy. Lots of joy. Lots of healing. Even prophetic dreams! But when I returned, Keith got sick. Not severely, but enough that he was confined to his bed for a week. I was so full of Joy, it was easy to clean and take care of, not just him but the whole house! A week later and I let some anger back in. I let distracting and disappointing thoughts and anxiety back in. Even just for a moment. The next day, I woke up sick. 

Is it really that simple? A mental shift can do that much? So today it was worse and we decided to still go to church looking like a hot mess… together. When we got home I had had enough. I sat just thinking about things. Anxiety started again. School and work at tomorrow! I have so much to do! I’m tired! I should find a sub! 

No. that is not my portion. I could sulk in my sickness and expect to be waited on by Keith who is not a little better than me, but instead I asked him to pray. Not like “get better” or “wake up better”. But with a revelation that I am better and it will manifest – like praying for the dead! Just me expressing that seemed to trigger a word. It was like Jesus telling the woman “your faith has made you well”. He said my mentality is what will change it. So I got up and did laundry! Haha 

Let’s have a mental renewing of what we have and who we are. And let’s do our very best to walk in that. I slip and fall so often. I do. But let’s be honest and pick ourselves back up. 

As I started moving around I thought of He words “be healed”. It’s interesting to me that it is not “act healed” or “ask for healing” or “pretend you are healed”. No we say “BE healed”. It is not only creating something, but it is a state in which we can live in! We are human BEINGS. We are. So we ought to likewise BE healed. This reminded me that when we are sick, we do the most to take care of our bodies – no sugar, extra vitamins, tea, broth, essential oils. Why not just live this way? We might never get sick! Haha 

Well, with that said – let’s challenge one another to stir up our healthy bodies, take care of it and our souls. 

Happy 2017! 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I believe 2017 will be a year of great change. God is always willing and on the move, but when we catch a glimps of what He is doing – it changes everything! He longs for us to go to the deep waters or life, where things can be a little risky. It’s there that we really trust and grow and begin to swim farther. 

May this year be full of trust in God and in the steps ahead. May we fully experience His pleasure. And may we step more fully into our calling. 
Here is a post from our recent trip to OneThing in Kansas City over New Years. 

Back to the books! 

Hey everyone! I apologize if youve been following this blog for any length of time for not being consistently dedicated to updating. I do however have some news and explanation for my absense. This year I decided to go to college for the first time in my life.

You see, I graduated high school in 2009. Soon after, with a series of dramatic events, the Lord led me to Kansas City to intern at the international house of prayer. It was there that God really opened my eyes and I became familiar with Holy Spirit.

After moving back to Ohio later that year, I settled into my minimum wage job and began to fade back to my old life. After Keith (my husband) and I started dating again, it was only about a year and a half later and we got married and went to India for a month long mission trip where I developed more digestion and allergy issues. I was so sick when we came home, I felt like dying. I’ve been recovering and pursuing health ever since then.

In 2012 I would say I was my healthiest. I was eating a “Candida diet” to cleanse my body. I was at my lowest % body fat. I worked out at Bootcamp every day and pretty much had a six pack.

Since then I’ve fallen off the preverbial wagon several times an I am no where near as thin, but I have learned a lot. During this season, I began studying to be a personal trainer through ACE. I was 5 points from passing and wasn’t about to pay over $200 more just to attempt the test again with a 50% chance.

It wasn’t until this year while working at Pure Barre that broke down with compassion for a girl who was in class that I realized I was made to help people. And that helping people get healthy was my passion! My heart strings were pulled and stretched and I knew that “compassion” was from God. So now what? I felt I needed “tools for my toolbox”. And again, my heart strings pulled in one of our small group studies. I wanted to go to school.

So here I am. A month and a half in. I’m majoring in health and fitness technology at Cincinnati State. And I’m excited for the future. It took courage to take the steps needed. “You’re too old”… “you’re too fat”… “you can’t afford it”. So many thoughts told me I couldn’t do it. But I’m glad I dove in head first.

I want to thank everyone who has prayed for me and lifted me up while on this journey. I especially want to thank my parents who have supported my decisions and given me the emotional support to try new things.

Love you all!

Jules

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