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A Dirty Secret… that adds to your BOTTOM line.

So…how is that tracking of what you’re putting in going? Are you surprised at what you’re consuming… or right on track?

How often do you eat out?  Maybe never… maybe once in a great while… maybe – A LOT.  We definitely don’t eat out like we used to… but sometimes it’s a must, and sometimes we like to work on training our children to be able to eat in public.

For fun, take a peek online at some of your favorite places to eat.  I don’t know why restaurants do this, but so many of the meals have enough calories for 2 people or enough calories for your entire day!

When I did this, I was surprised at what meals and items were worse than others.  You thought salads were supposed to be “healthy” – beware!

Chocolate Molten Cake - One of my favorites! This dessert has over 1000 calories though, so I split it and have it maybe 2 times a year! (followed by a workout for sure!)

It definitely takes some extra effort up front to get educated, but it’s SO worth it if you ever eat out. Take a peek at the nutritional value information of some of your favorite dishes and desserts you normally consume at the places you eat out at the most.  I always drink water, but check out some of the sweetened teas and treat drinks as well.

Suddenly not hungry anymore?  Yeah, ME neither.

Once I did that – and I realized just how much movement it was going to take to burn something off or how much sodium was in a dish… We actually started avoiding certain restaurants altogether, because nothing sounded good that was “worth it”.

That said…

Most places do have a some great healthier options though. So, take a look at the information, see what you can substitute… extra veggies, removing sauces or some bread… make a mental note of some of the better choices – so you can be more prepared NEXT time you go out to eat. Sometimes I choose to eat half of a whole wheat bun, or no bun (or we often bring Deli-Thins to put our sandwich on those!)  We also like to split meals.  Get creative on ways to get that number down without sacrificing taste, or things you enjoy.

NOTE: I don’t ever skip meals or snacks anymore – I keep a 90 calorie granola bar that is one carb choice on me “just in case” – to insure the worst doesn’t happen. In the van, we keep healthier
option applesauce cups with spoons for the kids, nuts and other smart choices while we travel or run errands. We pack a cooler with carrots, yogurt and often salads for “meals in the van” to supplement any take out. I don’t want my body reaching that “rock bottom” starving feeling – and I want my family to have the best options too!

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2

Your Body – the food processor!

Here's a great example of a meal we would eat now to glorify God in our bodies. Trying new things isn't always easy with little ones, (or big ones for that matter!) It's simply stir fry, and instead of rice - Organic Red Quinoa. It was a hit with (almost) everyone.

I never realized just HOW much hormones and internalizing stress affected my ability to process food!  When on the diabetic “diet”… I could be following the rules, eating the right things and having my healthy snacks…

and my blood sugar numbers would still be high!

This was beyond frustrating for this black and white personality.  God definitely “blessed me” with this to teach me a few lessons.

Did you know that if you don’t get enough rest, your body is stressed and tries to fill that energy void with calories, particularly sugar?  Ever wonder why your CRAVE junk when you’re tired?  You may think a pop will fix it (guilty here!), and it really is poor quality band-aid.  Lack of sleep, being ill, or being stressed with environmental factors ALL affect the way your body processes foods.  On the UP side… exercise helps decrease your stress, improve your health, AND helps you burn more calories in a day by increasing your heart rate and helping you build muscle!

Before I had gestational diabetes, I was often reacting to what life was throwing me day-to-day.  Over the years, I got into some really horrible eating trends while pregnant that carried into my “normal” postpartum life as well.  When you have several small children, it’s difficult think some most days.  So if you have children, or a stressful job, or a lot going on in your life – these are the times that are MOST important to make sure your body is being properly fed, because it’s already struggling.

My tendency was to say, “Oh I’m too busy…  I can’t focus on that…  I don’t have time…”  (Have you ever said this??)

Seriously, I didn’t have time.

What I mean was….  By my actions, I wasn’t MAKING the time.

In 2005, I  used to eat a big bowl (read: WAY beyond the serving size) of cereal for breakfast… my favorite that specific pregnancy was Cocoa Krispie’s.  (I’m pretty sure there isn’t actual COCOA in those.)  By mid-morning I had consumed a chocolate muffin, or maybe some pop tarts…and a pop or latte (hello 9 tablespoons of sugar!).

By lunch time I was starving

At the time, this didn’t make sense to me, as to WHY.  I had eaten all of that food!

*ahem*

But the quality of food was …. not quality … in the least.

My body had burned through that refined sugar… quickly – and there was no protein or fiber or anything of substance for it to draw lasting energy from at one of the most important parts of the day.  The rest of my day wasn’t this poor, but I often skipped eating dinner altogether when doing a photo shoot, or perhaps I would have some ice cream or more cereal before bed.  When I tally up the carbs and sugar in those days, I could go into a carb coma instantly.  Not to mention what it was doing to my metabolism and blood sugars, going from too many calories and carbs to starvation, only to repeat the cycle AGAIN.

This is why we need to be consuming things God created for consumption, and really be AWARE of what we’re doing to ourselves.  It makes our temple a smooth running machine, and we can feel at our best.

You may be thinking “I don’t eat THAT bad.”

Honestly, neither did I … [the song “Slow Fade” comes to mind, by Casting Crowns].

This was for a short time – but it’s the worst of the worst in my life… and I share it with you as encouragement.  Look at where I came from… and look at where God brought me today!  Thank you God!  All things are possible through Him.

Enjoy the holiday, and some treats – but cut out what you can… things like white buns, rich desserts, and sugary drinks can be kept to a minimum… eat a little less and move a little more – every little bit does count.  I’m anything but perfect, but I can bring my struggles before God daily, and ask Him to fill me with the strength to say no to things that aren’t good for me.

Don’t settle for that short-term satisfaction – Keep your eyes on Him! 🙂

that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.”  Hebrews 12:16-17

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