Welcome to the Steps to a Healthier Me blog. I am pleased to inform you that I had several people respond with encouraging words, ideas, and shared views about wanting to be healthier yesterday. It was a tremendous encouragement to me personally, and I hope the comments that are posted here on the blog and on my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/leahmorris for those of you that may want to be friends on FB) encouraged you too.
Here are some of my successes from yesterday towards my goal to a Healthier Me. I spent time studying my Bible. I had a great motivator, this Blog that is focused on not only helping myself, but helping others! I also, was focused on making healthy food choices because I don't want to be hypocritical while participating in Steps to a Healthier Me. I also went out to eat, practiced self control, made wise decisions, and it was a spur of the moment trip too.
Today, I want to go to 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
I tend to be a happy go lucky kind of gal. However, I will tell you that most of the mirrors in my house don't show the full me. I can also tell you that I hate having my picture taken, but I will not shy away from the camera for one reason. I know the people wanting my picture love me and love me like I am. They may want me to be healthier, but they want that picture for their memories. So I grin and bear it knowing if I see the picture I will be disgusted by what I see, but at the same time, I treasure those pictures too because of the memories being made with loved ones.
I learned a long time ago to hide feelings that hurt behind a mask of pleasure. If something hurt your feelings, or if some one's words hurt your feelings they must not know. If they did it would be worse for you in the long run. Yet, I was not really happy, I was miserable.
As a student of the Bible my entire life thanks to my mom, I tended to read stuff, and let it go in one ear and out the other. I would remember just enough to fool my mom, do well in my Bible class, and spit out Biblical beliefs when called upon. I did not allow the wonderful morsels of God's Word to soak into my heart. Today I want us to focus on, to SAVOR, some of the Word of God and the food we eat.
1. God wants us to be happy! How can we "rejoice evermore" if we are not happy. This means when applying it to food issues that we should be able to enjoy our food without guilt. We have to learn how to do it. Portion size matters. Quality matters. So today, try to think of healthy foods you like and enjoy them. Rejoice that you can have a healthy portion!
2. Pray without ceasing. God wants us to be in communication with him all the time. Is there anyone you stay in touch with on a daily basis? Do you text, phone, email, FB, Tweet, etc., to stay in touch with anyone or more than one person daily? If yes, now ask yourself if you spend as much time with God via prayer or Bible study? It really puts it in perspective doesn't it!?! Today, as you rejoice over healthy food choices you have thought about, savor each bite and as you slowly chew your healthy portions pray without ceasing as you embark on your Healthier Me goals!
3. It is hard to over eat when you give thanks for food that you have and reflect on the many others who do not. As you make your healthy food selections today remember to be thankful. Thankful that you have food in your home, or money to go to the store to buy food.
4. Understanding God's will. What does this passage tell us? That God wants us to be happy, to talk to Him all the time, and to be thankful. So if you are asking yourself questions about getting healthier today reflect on God's will for you as shown in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Then apply these principles to your food choices today.
I want a healthy relationship with God more than a healthy relationship with food. However, I believe I have to get my unhealthy eating habits under control, or else I am enslaved to them. God sent Jesus to buy me out of bondage, yet, when I live in a sinful way I allow myself to be placed back in bondage. God does not want that for me or for YOU.
Here are some cheap ideas about eating healthier on a budget with common foods.
1. Check out the dry bean isle at the grocery store.
I am looking at a 15.5 oz can of Tiny Green Butter Beans. The contents are: Lima Beans, Water, Salt, Sugar, and Calcium Chloride. The can also cost $.87 for 3.5 servings. I promise one can of Lima beans will only dish out 2 servings of beans, but according to the label it 3.5. That comes to nearly $.25 per serving when going by their recommended servings. Plus, I am getting what quality of water? (I recommend water with no fluoride, chlorine, etc. Zero tolerance on added chemicals whenever possible!.) You are getting salt and sugar too...and what is calcium chloride??? It is a salt of calcium and chlorine according to Wikipedia. Now, do we really need this extra salt, sugar, salt, or chlorine in our foods.
I am now looking at a bag of dried black beans. Now, I realize I am comparing butter beans and black beans, but I am using what is on hand. We are doing things on a budget remember! LOL! One 16 oz. bag of black beans costs about $1.80 (I think. Memory Lane is not what it used to be.) It tells me that there are13 servings. Which is about $.14 per serving. Every time you serve dry beans verses canned beans you have a savings potential of $.11 per serving. For a family of 4 that is $.44 of savings per meal. As I look at the contents label I am shocked to see the following listed: Black Beans. No, no, no, I want my added sugar, salt, and calcium chloride!!!
Just by choosing to expend a little extra time soaking dry beans (this will also help in getting rid of the gases that cause us to have gas.) and tossing them in a crock pot to simmer away all day I can save a lot of money. If it takes 6 cans of processed beans to yield the 13 servings I get from one bag of beans then I stand to save a lot of money. If the cans cost $.50 each that is $3.00 v. $2 or less for a bag of dried beans. It is definitely worth the little extra work to bypass the chemicals and other added ingredients that we get in processed foods.
2. Grow your own foods or find local farmers to buy from. Many of us don't have time or the know how to garden these days. However, you would be surprised at the amount of produce you can yield in very small containers. I encourage you to learn about container gardening. If you have flowerbeds, use them to grow food. I also recommend that you use non GMO - genetically modified - heirloom seeds for all things you grow.
Caution on corn. Sadly, even if you use a heirloom seed, you must be careful to not allow cross pollination to occur, or your corn will be corrupted by a GMO product by cross contamination via the pollination process. Other than growing your corn in a green house with a controlled population of butterflies/bugs/bees to assist with pollination or an air pollination system there is not really any way to prevent this from happening. Especially, if you live in my neck of the woods where we are surrounded by GMO corn Fields.
If you know of a good local farmer ask if you can help with the gardening in exchange for produce. Many hobby farmers get overwhelmed at times, want to go on vacation during the summer, or just need some help and may be glad to trade out services.
If you do garden remember to save your seeds. They are like free food for next year. You can very easily Google proper drying techniques or seed saving guides online. You may want to reap the knowledge of any family members from the gardening era in your family!
3. Another incentive of portion control. You make your groceries go further. Plain and simple. If you eat only half of what you normally do in a day's time you have saved 50% right off the top.
When I first started portion control meals I was shocked at what my intake really was. I even commented that "it is a wonder I can fit through the door ways!"
I hope that by sharing with you my ups and my downs, and some of the things that helped me get to where I am today with my weight and my food struggles, that you find some encouragement. Just knowing that you are not alone as you struggle to be a healthier you. That it is not only you that stands in front of the pantry knowing you are not hungry but wanting something to fill a spot inside of you, and hoping something you are looking at will do it.
So today join me as I rejoice in all the things and the healthy food God has blessed me with, as I seek Him out in prayer all day with a special focus on the healthy food he provides, and as I try to be so very thankful for all of my blessings, and one of them is you!