How to Stay Healthy Over the Holidays! Part One…

happy-new-year-small-1

 

So I raise my glass and propose a toast to staying well and also not gaining weight over the Christmas Season! The actions we take to stay well AND the actions we take to not gain weight are one and the same, go figure! They simply go hand in hand.

There is no reason in the world why we have to bring in the New Year  feeling sick, miserable, and ready to take on insane exercise routines and diets. Let’s just SKIP ALL THAT this year! Here are some things I am going to stay conscious of…No rocket science here, but as I was thinking through my strategy I thought I would share it with you!

1) Drink more water than ever! I am trying to do a full 32 oz water bottle by lunch and another by supper.

2) Get some detox tea or echinacea tea and drink it hot several times a week. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to swap out your lunch most days this month with a homemade protein shake with flax seed, chia seeds, spinach, berries, and all the good stuff that helps keep you squeaky clean and well-nourished.

3) Take a daily 10-15 minute “nap”, eyes closed, no TV. Yoga wouldn’t be a bad idea either, I love it!

4) Have some Oscillicilium (Sorry, I have no idea how to spell this!), Cold Eeze zinc tablets (yes, I know they have disgusting artificial sweetener in them which I usually avoid like the plague), and Vitamin C powder packets on hand ON TOP of your regular whole food vitamins. It is truly amazing how these three things, or even just one of these, can shorten a cold. Also, I have learned with having bad allergies that it doesn’t matter whether your symptoms are from a cold or just allergies, you need relief! So, stock up on antihistamines so that when the icky drippy stuff starts happening, you can dry it up and keep from getting an infection. My favorite one is Chlor-Trimeton, it works wonders for me.

5) Get in bed before 11, with just a few exceptions you crazy party animals!

 

Learning How To Eat…(just in time for the holidays, sorry!)

This week I was thinking of what I was thankful for, and I know this is going to sound weird, but I am really thankful that I have learned how to eat! I thought back to different seasons of my life and how miserable I was, exercising 40 minutes a day, eating what I thought was good for me, and yet hating how I felt and looked.

I am not skinny and don’t think it’s in the realm of possibility for me to ever wear a bikini 🙂 but I weigh what I did in high school and my clothes fit. Yay! I am no longer addicted to sugar (to God be the glory) and I know what to eat to feel good and not gain weight.

I have shared this with people in the past and many of them have found freedom, too, so I will briefly share this with you! I just laughed at loud that I wrote “briefly”. Yeah, I’m not good at briefly.

When to Eat: Every 3 hours, no in-betweens

What to Eat: A protein, such as eggs, beef, chicken, turkey, cheese, milk, yogurt, nuts, seeds, beans. A carb, such as fruits and veggies of all kinds and/or grains such as brown rice, quinoa, corn, oats, or non-wheat tortillas.  These are non or minimally processed whole grains. Bread, buns, bagels, muffins, and most cereals really don’t fall into that category. 🙁

How Much to Eat: One serving of the protein, and one serving of the carb. It is safe to say a serving should fit in your hand. A great thing is that you don’t have to limit fruit and veggies. Nobody ever got fat or unhealthy eating lots of fruits and vegetables for goodness sake! There IS fructose in fruit and that does affect your blood sugar/insulin levels, so if you’re just gonna really go wild on fruit one day, aim for low sugar fruits like any type of berry, but honestly i don’t know anybody that binges on fruits and veggies too often! Best kept secret: frozen berries!

Exercise: Not too much. I think a steady 15 minutes every day of the week is wonderful. This 15 should be intense, like power walking or weight lifting at least 3 days a week with the other 4 days being a nice walk, yoga, or an aerobic video or class. It really doesn’t matter that much what you do as long as you are intense for 15 minutes, at least 6 days a week. Currently, I’m doing 15 minutes of something (one of the things I mentioned) plus a 5 to 10 minute walk with my dog most days of the week. This added bit has helped me break through a plateau.

Caveats: There’s no room for fake food in this plan, and there’s no room for a weekly “off day”. On special occasions, I eat what I want but if I ate what I wanted as much as I wanted every Friday, for example, I would never have gotten healthy. I have learned the hard way over many years that consistency is the most valuable aspect of this! Also, there’s no room for wheat. Do your body a favor and stop consuming it! Lastly, there’s no room for sugar. I have written blogs and will write more blogs about how bad sugar is for us.  I personally believe ANY type of sugar is harmful and not doing us any favors, and this means honey, maple syrup, evaporated cane sugar, but that may be because when I used to eat it, I didn’t eat it in small amounts. Any way, our bodies need every bite to be nutrient dense, and these 3 things bolded are NOT.

There are so many great foods that will benefit our bodies. I have seen people quit this type of plan because they said they couldn’t afford it. Sorry, not possible. Healthy food isn’t cheap, but when you take out the junk and eat the correct quantities of real food, anyone can do it. I’ll show you my budget! If I can do it, you can, even if that means you eat beans and rice several nights a week! Also, I’ve seen people quit because some of the new foods were too weird and some of the old foods were too tempting, and I have been there. I remember it taking me YEARS to buy coconut oil and quinoa! For some of us, it is just a slow transition, but as long as we’re moving in the right direction, there’s reward at the end!

God bless you and if you have any questions about learning how to eat this way and want some help along the way, I’d love to help!

 

Truth #2: It’s Worth It

IMG_2918

 

One of the greatest lies that keeps us down is:

“It doesn’t matter what you do, you probably won’t see any change anyway…so just live how you want.”

Well, I am here to say that this is not true! If the changes we make are significant enough, we will see a result! Sometimes the result is just knowing that you could do it, that you could do whatever you set your mind to. Sometimes the result is total freedom from a pit you used to dwell in! And sometimes the result is a change physically that everyone can see. Either way, when we don’t give in to this lie and we persevere, we emerge transformed.

It’s worth it.

Personally, my health forced me to make the choice to be wheat and (mostly) sugar free. I now have sweets at certain special occasions and no longer feel the need to abstain 100% of the time. But most of the year I was sugar free with no exceptions, and there were so many times I thought, “I still have fatigue…My body doesn’t look better…I still have trouble sleeping…I don’t know if I’m going to see results or not, I just wanna say forget it!” Still to this day, after 10 months and losing 20 pounds, I do still struggle with some (but not ALL) of the physical problems I had when I started. So, for me, there have been some physical results and rewards for sure, but the real reward, the real harvest I have reaped from the seeds I have sown (BY GOD’s GRACE) are that my natural habits have changed!

It is no longer the norm when I feel tired or upset to turn to sweets. Is the thought or the temptation there each and every time I feel down, to eat Oreos or ice cream? YES. But it’s like that was the old me, and I feel it- almost tangibly- the correlation between a frustrated, confused, even more tired, sick Lyndsay and the Lyndsay who grabbed cookies and simple sugars whenever she felt low. That was a dark, deep pit! Sugar wasn’t the only bad component of that pit but it almost symbolizes it for me! God has taught me how to rise above and say HECK NO to the steps leading down to that place.

There is a spiritual principle that is undeniably true: We reap what we sow. If we sow self control in those hard moments, if we sow lifestyle changes in the day in day out, if we sow prayer, truth, scripture, hope…we WILL reap a harvest! And that harvest could bless a lot of people.

Whatever you need to do for your health, do it, keeping in mind that your life affects more than just you. I want to live a self controlled life that has appetites for all things under the leadership of Jesus Christ in order to show my daughters that I can’t just live however I feel in the moment. If nothing else, if no other benefit comes from a healthy relationship with food (meaning we eat it for fuel and not to meet an emotional need), but exemplifying this to my children, it’s worth it.

It’s worth it!

 

Truth #1

healthy-living-woman

Well, first, I’ll start with the lie…that’s how it usually begins for me, anyway.

We’re trucking along, doing our thing, and a lie begins. Someone says it, a tv show alludes to it, whatever. But there it is. And subconsciously, we begin to think we’re abnormal or missing out if we ourselves don’t go along with that suggestion. And in this case, since this is a blog about nutrition and even more so about the freedom to be well, I’m talking about lies that take us ever so subtly off the good path of healthy eating and exercise that we were walking.

So Lie #1, have you ever let this one get to you? Is this familiar at all? It sure is to me.

“You’re not under the law. God wouldn’t have you under strict rules about eating, that’s ridiculous.”

Don’t you love it when a lie has just enough truth in it to trip you up?

So here’s Truth #1 to counteract that lie:

“God loves us enough to give us boundary lines, yes, restrictions, yes, rules, and sure, call it law if you want. But just like laws keep us safe when we obey them, having clear cut boundaries about eating unhealthy foods or over eating or something even more specific are ultimately for our reward and freedom. God is a good parent. He disciplines those He loves. He cares about us: soul, mind, and body.”

This is a hard path. I want to do what I want, eat what I want, live willy-nilly. But you know what? I hate the results of that. There are too many reality moments, too many mornings-after, and those hurt. Here’s the deal: We can’t have it both ways. We will reap what we sow, period. We can’t have the freedom to be well, the rewards of wise eating, without submitting to the boundaries long-term.

Everyone has different boundaries, and you don’t need me or anyone telling you what yours ought to be. But we can come together on this truth, wherever you are in your journey to wellness. If the doctor, or your own research, or the Lord as your Wonderful Counselor has shared with you a better way for a better life, it will include boundaries and it will not feel fair. There may be some kicking and screaming and even some disobedience. We’re children, we’re sheep, He knows. But the sooner we get on board, the better, for us.

So don’t let anyone tell you that you’re missing out on fun or that “it couldn’t be God telling you what to eat or not eat” when you are sticking to a commitment you have chosen to make…or at least, don’t let it get to you! Let the Lord bless you with these Fatherly boundaries He cared enough to guide you to make and when the going gets rough, be ready to combat this lie with TRUTH!

God is crazy in love with us, regardless of what choices we make. (Thank You, JESUS!!) But He often sees our suffering, that we have brought upon ourselves, and says, “If you want to be free, here’s how to do it.” We so quickly forget that this is how the boundaries began in the first place…they were birthed out of necessity, His intimate knowledge of our personal struggles, and out of His great love for us.

 

 

Anyone Insane Yet?

tumblr_mcv0qsaRZE1rsxb7s

So…has everyone heard the definition of insanity? Someone told me a while back, and it kind of comes back to me on a regular basis. It’s pretty wise, honestly. Insanity is when you keep doing the same thing but expect a different result. Or at least that is what will make you insane! And when it comes to trying to be healthy, many of us including myself, have been driven to the point of near insanity by doing a plan and continuously seeing no change in clothing or size or weight.

There are fewer frustrating things in life than trying really hard and not seeing any results at all.

I’ve been there for about 4 months with my exercise and eating routine. The thing is, whatever you choose to do to lose weight, that will only work for so long. Then you plateau and have to take it up a notch. This kinda stinks. It’s like we were already doing our darndest to get here, and now we have to change something else? The good news is that the change doesn’t have to be huge to get out of maintenance mode and into losing again, if you truly do have anything to lose. It’ll be slow but it will happen.  At least you will know as you make genuine changes that things won’t be stuck forever.

This post isn’t about details of what diet I am following or what changes I made, I may write about that another time, it’s simply about this reality: Don’t go insane! If your plan isn’t working for you or you’re unhappy with it, find a new plan! Make changes that you can live with, because if you plan to keep the weight off, live with them you must! Make your firm commitments–get specific with it or they won’t work–and see the fruit of your labor again!

God is calling us not to frustration but to freedom. Getting free and staying free can surely feel frustrating, but the rewards along the way let us know we’re in the right place. 🙂

Peace!

First “Journey Well” Blog Post

I’ll be honest with you.

I’m not sure if I’m going to have time to really stick with writing a blog about nutrition.

But I’m going to try, because as I journey through this-trying to make it less battle and more balance-I come across insights that help me and being a natural born encourager, I like to share good stuff with anyone who will listen…and maybe that someone is you.

I name this place “Journey Well” because I believe our relationship with food can play a key role in our wellness, but even more so I think this journey is about a lot more than physical health. Who we are spiritually, mentally, emotionally, socially matters just as much…actually more. Not to keep circling around, but our relationship with food (our bodies, our expectations, our illnesses, our defeats, our victories) all make an impact on the other parts of who we are, like it or not.

And we have to start somewhere to get focused and know that God has given us dominion over ourselves, at least to a certain extent. So, no more excuses, no more wishing; just hoping, learning, and changing.

Let’s journey well together.

Wheat and Sugar Free for Kids!

So, a friend asked me to give some healthy meal and snack ideas for kiddos. Here are some of the things we eat around here. I don’t think there will be anything exciting and new, but maybe it will help!

We eat combinations of a protein and carb at most meals. Proteins are: meats, beans, legumes, dairy (but we rarely eat dairy), nuts, seeds, etc. Carbs are: Veggies, fruits, grains. So you can see in most meals here, both are present. We also add a healthy fat usually to meals where the protein is lean, such as roasting/grilling veggies with olive oil or a salad with dressing made with olive oil, or protein shake with coconut oil.

Meals and Snacks:
Almond milk and flaxseed pumpkin cereal (or another organic, low or no sugar added cereal)
Eggs (scrambled and boiled are our favorites) and blueberries or strawberries
Omelets with cheese, red or green peppers, red onion, and sometimes sausage or bacon–confession!)
Oatmeal (with a little “real” maple syrup and frozen blueberries)
Protein shakes with spinach, ground flaxseed, frozen fruit, whey protein powder, coconut oil
Salad: spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, fruit, pumpkin seeds, carrots, walnuts
Raw walnuts, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, or cashews with raw veggies like carrots, cucumbers, peppers, or broccoli
All natural peanut/almond butter with celery, rice cake, apple slices, or just a spoonful of PB and a fruit or veggie
All natural pb with spreadable fruit on rice cakes
Taco salad: Spinach, tomatoes, beef browned with cumin & chili powder, maybe some shredded cheese, non GMO corn tortilla chips (Aldi’s or Trader Joe’s), black bean and corn salsa
Chili with Laura’s lean beef (Kroger), beans, etc., adding in pureed sweet potato
Other homemade soups like Pasta Fagioli, chicken tortilla soup, veggie, etc, all pasta is brown rice pasta
Spaghetti with brown rice pasta, beef, and low sugar or homemade spaghetti sauce
Many different “chicken in the crock pot” meals with brown rice and a salad or quinoa and a salad
Roasted veggies like sweet potato fries, broccoli, potatoes, etc with chicken or fish
Beans and brown rice
Grilled veggies like peppers, onions, mushrooms with grilled chicken or fish
Frozen fruit: pineapple tidbits, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, straight from the freezer

That’s pretty much what we eat around here! We try to keep anything processed or junky out of the house. It is so easy to grab stuff like pretzels, chips, granola bars, and gummy fruit snacks when we’re hungry…and then we over eat these “foods” because none of them have nutrients that nourish our bodies. So keeping these all out of the house helps a lot. We try to make half of every plate raw veggies and/or fruits.

Also, we pack snacks every day that we are leaving the house so we don’t get stuck in town starving! We pack baggies of nuts, seeds, green peppers, raisins, carrots, grapes, strawberries, apple slices, and sometimes rice cakes and peanut butter. Wish I had more exciting foods to share with you, but these are all nutrient dense and filling, and I’m sure we’ll branch out and find new things as we learn!

Kids will eat good food if that’s all they are offered. Try cooking the veggies in different ways, or just keep offering them raw, maybe one slice of green pepper a day. They aren’t going to like all of them, but they will get used to many and eventually this will be the new normal. We have a couple types of dips in the house, like ranch dressing (as all natural as I can find until I learn to make my own), and I think if kids need bbq sauce, salad dressing, butter, or cheese to eat these foods, that’s fine. Eventually they will not need these extras. Tastes change! Whole food supplements such as Juice Plus can help them change; it’s really amazing!

Journey Well

I am that girl who both loves and struggles with certain things. I have several of those “love-hate” relationships in my life. For example, I love to write, but often when I go to write about something, it feels like I am staring down the face of a mountain. I love to run, but it’s more about how I feel afterwards than during the actual experience. And lastly, I love the topic of nutrition and holistic wellness, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my fair share of struggling with the knowledge I obtain! It’s a lifelong game of tug-o-war, pulling between what I am genuinely passionate about, or what I genuinely know I need to do, and the fear of failure (or sometimes just laziness) that tugs the other way!

When it comes to nutrition, I’ve found that many people I know feel the same way. We care about nutrition, we believe food matters to our health–some believe this to a greater extent than others–but there is a challenge there to find the right path, get on it, and stay on it. Three years ago when I was diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue, I thought I was a healthy eater. I was raised to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, only whole grains and whole wheat products, the only liquid I consumed was water, and I went on a walk most days of the week. But I had acid reflux, I was overweight, I had headaches almost every day, and I hate to say it, but I was losing handfuls of hair daily! When my blood work came back, my cholesterol was high and several other numbers were not showing the insides of a healthy woman. I had to learn (and I admit I took the slow path) what my body needed. But eventually, after trying the path of least resistance with no results a few times, I got to my goal weight, almost every number on the blood work got back where it belonged, and I eventually became sugar and wheat free which eliminated even more of my health symptoms.

And because of that, because of the journey I have been on to greater health in this crazy-perspective-on-food kind of world, I am excited to begin training as a Health Coach! Under the mentorship of my Nurse Practitioner, Shelley Roby, in Elizabethtown, I’m beginning to some of see her patients (and others outside of her practice) to help them get on an eating and exercise plan. A large part of this experience will be not only suggesting pairing nutrient dense foods in the right amounts throughout the day, but partnering with these clients, encouraging them on their journey to wellness. I am not a medical professional, and will only be offering information that clients could obtain themselves from a variety of sources if they wanted to do their own research. A Health Coach is to a Nutritionist what a Life Coach is to a Licensed Therapist. I will suggest and encourage all-natural and balanced plans, with foods that can be locally bought on clients’ varying budgets…and I will help them stick with those plans as they encounter the hurdles that inevitably will come.

To begin with, each client that I meet with will fill out a Health Questionnaire which gives me information on their current lifestyle in regard to food, exercise, rest, etc. Then we’ll talk through what I call “Green Light Foods” and “Red Light Foods”. As the client shares with me what they like to eat from the Green list, we’ll make a list of sample meals and what a perfect day of eating (and being satisfied!) will look like. Items from the Red list will be avoided as much as possible, but we’ll talk about alternatives to many of these “foods”. We’ll discuss what these foods (both good and bad) do for you, and why your physical and even emotional health depends on you making good choices. We’ll make a plan for exercise and splurges, and also everyone will have the accountability of a food journal to turn into me weekly by email. We’ll meet together as necessary, and also correspond by email often.

Feeding ourselves seems like something we should have figured out at the age of 3, right? But this ever important task is more than just filling our tank with calories and making it from day to day. Food makes the difference between rising and shining, or just dragging from event to event. It makes the difference between being able to think clearly or be foggy-headed, living in a body you like or constantly feeling ashamed.  Who knows what medicines will be tossed out and what sizes we will easily slip into when we eat the way the systems of our bodies need us to, as opposed to being enslaved to traditions, cravings, and addictions.

You can email me at journeywell@lyndsaytaylor.com if you’d like to have a consultation and begin partnering with me on this journey to wellness! Everyone has different needs, desires, and paces in which to travel, and I would love to walk with you for awhile. I really believe I can help you know what to do…and actually do it! And you will know that I am doing it right there with you, because this is a lifelong challenge!

Nutrition Group!?!

I am really excited about an idea…

And it feels do-able…

So here’s the details:

 

Over the past couple of years, I have come across a good bit of pretty life-changing information about food. When you have kids, you typically start looking into the health of what they’re eating (since they eat so much and so often!), plus I wanted to lose weight, plus I was dealing with fatigue, insomnia, and just illness in general. As stones were turned over and I put things in practice, I began to see long term change in each of these areas. Now, the real issue is do I follow all the good advice and do all I should now that I know what I know? Unfortunately, I can’t always say I do…but when I do, I absolutely see results and I know that if I can see results on the outside, then there are definitely results on the inside. (Plus, blood tests have proved it anyway.)

 

So, what I want to do is start a nutrition class/support group, and share what I have learned (and am still learning!) I want to cover what to eat, what not to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, and the biggest thing: the why behind it all. I want to talk about issues like good fats that you need to cook with/eat vs. ingredients that you should really never put in your body. I’d also like to talk about weight loss stuff (I’m always drawn to this topic because it’s always been an issue for me) and using food, supplements, and natural medicine to deal with many illnesses that especially women deal with. After the “teaching” time is done, (maybe four sessions) we could continue to see each other once a month just for support. I could personally use that. It is hard to stay on the straight and narrow!!!

 

I do sometimes wonder if everyone else already knows this information and I was the slow one…If that is the case, we can at least be a support group for each other even if no one learns anything new!

If you read this blog and are interested in joining the group, respond by answering some of these questions:

*Would you rather come to a one-time seminar or 4 meetings (once a week for a month)?

*Would you be interested in continuing as a support group for a few months after the teaching?

*Would you want to come mornings or evenings?

 

*Would you like to be notified when I write a nutrition blog?

Thanks! I really believe there is a lot of unnecessary suffering–sometimes even in things as serious as insomnia, depression, fatigue, diabetes, obesity–due to lack of knowledge. I have SO much to learn and what I have learned, I want to share!