People don’t want perfection, they want inspiration!

Here is a little inspiration for today… 

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Blueberry Cheatcake 

For those of you who don’t know me or my husband well, we live 2 doors down from a locally praised resturaunt on the corner of our street. They are widely known for their “steaks, crepés, and Sunday brunch”… however, they also have some darn good cheesecake.

As I made my way home, pulling into the driveway, it hit me… that sultry temptation to go order a slice. (Since I eat gluten free, I occasionally indulge in cheesecake minus the crust!) 

And then my mind recalled a recipe I heard using gluten free cherios for “crust”. Hmm…

The result was a “gluten free” Greek yogurt mini cheatcake. 15+ grams of protein, and no added sugars – just some erythritol. 


“Crust”

-1 Cup plain (unsweetened) cherios

– 1 Tbsp butter or substitute (I used coconut butter spread)

– 2 Tbsp maple syrup 

(Instead of REAL maple syrup, since I’ve been trying to limit my sugar, I made my own using: 1 cup Water,1 cup Powdered erythritol, 1 1/2 tbsp Maple extract,1/2 tsp Xanthan gum)

**crush up the cherios and mix with the melted butter and syrup.

For the topping:

I made it easy and used one of the Oikos Triple Zero Greek Yogurts. They are sweetened with stevia. 

Vanilla, plain or banana taste great! But any Greek Yogurt would do.

I topped it off with some organic blueberries and set it in the freezer! 

Bon Apetit! 😘

Jules

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

Tripping on (lactic) Acid?

Some of you may know that I recently started going back to school at a local college. My goals are to gain an associates of science and become a certified trainer. Despite the long lecture hours and stressful homework assignments, I’m really enjoying my college experience. I think this is because I am finally studying something that I chose, something that I am interested in! It really makes all the difference in working hard because “I have to” and working hard because “I want to”.
One of the things that I enjoy is the discussion. I looked into online classes, but I’ve found that discussion within the classroom is a large part of my learning experience.

During one of my classes last semester, the theory that Lactic Acid causes muscle soreness came about our discussion. But is this just a myth? Why does Lactic Acid get all the blame? And what DOES cause us to moan and groan in agony after “leg day”?

Here are some basic Facts.

– Glycogen (a complex carb chain of glucose used for energy) is stored in the muscles
Lactic Acid is produced when that glycogen is broken down during anaerobic glycolysis (the “breaking down” or “catabolism” of glycogen) to form lactate when minimal oxygen is available (“anaerobic” means “without oxygen”)
– Lactate is actually used by the body, and is only detrimental in very high levels. (Lactic acidosis)

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (or DOMS) is the feeling of inflammation and pain you get after 24 hours of your strenuous workout. This is actually caused by tiny micro tears in the muscle fibers. Essentially, it is all your hard work! “The soreness is caused by eccentric exercise, that is, exercise consisting of eccentric (lengthening) contractions of the muscle. Isometric (static) exercise causes much less soreness, and concentric (shortening) exercise causes none.” (Wikipedia)

So there you have it guys! Keep on keepin’ on, and feel that burn. 😉

xoxo,
Jules

My Super Bowl (of guacamole) 

Hey guys, hope you had a fun Super Bowl evening. Lord knows I wasn’t watching the game, but I sure enjoyed the snack foods! Here’s what I brought to the party this year. It’s our homemade guacamole, my favorite snack!

( I got a little silly and even decorated it with a spicy football on the top)


Ingredients:

-4 avocados 🥑 

– fresh lemon 🍋 or lime (juice) 

– 1 jalapeño pepper

– 2 cloves of garlic (or 2 tbsp garlic powder)

– 1 bunch of fresh cilantro

– 1/2 small onion

– chipotle seasoning or smoked paprika (for decoration)

– salt and pepper (to taste) 
Directions:

Cut up 4 avocados and mash in a large mixing bowl. Take your onion, garlic, cilantro and jalapeño and mince. (I like the onion kind of chunky, but you can make it as fine as you like.) Add the juice of 1 lime and mix together. We didn’t have limes, so we substituted lemon and I have to say, it just wasn’t the same. Add salt and pepper to taste. I would say we used about 1 tbsp of pepper and 2+ tbsp of salt. My hubby likes it too salty for my taste, so taste it as you make it. 😉 

Finally, add some of the smoked paprika or chipotle seasoning to the top. I did mine in the shake of a football with cilantro stems as the stitches. I garnished with more cilantro around the edges as well. Mix it all together when you are ready to eat, and enjoy! 

Jules

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