Labels- Do’s and Don’ts (part 2)

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The nutrition facts label.  It’s like another language isn’t it?  So many words, numbers, and terms.  It can make your head spin!  Most of the time, people ignore this important tool.  They buy the food they like without even looking at this label.  They choose foods because of price, taste. or convenience.  Sometimes, they do not even realize what they are putting into their mouths!  Put simply, the nutrition facts label can be a helpful tool in your decision making.  It gives you valuable information on that food product.  You can make more informed and good decisions when reading these labels.  Here are some simple tips to make it easy deciding from a food label:
Don’t                                                                  
Blindly chose foods without reading their label
Think a package is 1 serving
Add salt or butter to salty or buttery foods
Choose foods high in sugar Choose foods high in fiber
Eat foods with long ingredient lists
Do
Choose foods lower in calories from fat
Eat the serving size on the package
Choose low salt and fat options
Choose foods high in fiber
Choose foods with short lists
The nutrition facts label can be a helpful tool when making healthy decisions.  It can be intimidating.  Start slow.  Practice with foods at home.  Decide if the food is helping or hurting you from the information included on the label.  You will catch on quickly.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve! 
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Standing Firm Against Dietary Temptations!

Wonderful thoughts from Ellie! So often I get tempted and justify my behavior. “Just this once” or “It’s not a big deal”. Strengthen your faith, confidence, and belief that you can overcome temptations and make the best choices!

New Creations Ministries

“When tempted, no one is to say, “God is tempting me” For God cannot be tempted with evil, nor does he tempt anyone, but each one is tempted when by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.”  (James 1:13)

Let’s face it, Satan does NOT want us to succeed. If he sees a Christian or church growing closer to the Lord, he will influence them by throwing roadblocks, half-truths or unholy actions into their midst to disrupt their progress.

In the same way the devil will do anything in his power to steer the health- conscious away from reaching positive goals. He doesn’t want us to honor our earthly temples of the Holy Spirit!

And don’t be fooled, Satan isn’t the ugly red monster with horns and a pitchfork we see in cartoons. Satan is a beautiful, enticing creature – the George Clooney of the angels. He…

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Labels- Do’s and Don’ts

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Labels- we seen them everywhere.  We label people.  We label products.  We label foods.  Depending on the label we give something, it will change the meaning and the perspective we take.

For example, we label people.  We generalize.  We label rich people as “greedy,” “grimy,” or “despicable”.  We label overweight individuals as “lazy”, “losers”, or “undisciplined”.  These labels we use create how we interact within the world.  If you see the people I outlined above in this way, would you interact with them?  Probably not.

What if we turned this concept inward to ourselves.  If we see ourselves as “lazy”, “uncommitted”, “no good”, or “weak”, how do you think we would act?  Like losers, I’m sure.  So, why give yourself labels like that?  Consider changing the way you see things. Change the way you see others and yourself.  Choose constructive thoughts, words, and actions when viewing other people, yourself, and products.  Choose products and people that will benefit you in your mental, physical, emotional, behavioral, and spiritual health.  For example, call yourself “loved”, “worthy”, “enthusiastic”, or “strong”.

Don’t
Allow others to determine your identity
Choose friends who do not want the best for you
Listen to negative messages
Dwell on negative thinking
Beat yourself up

Do
Choose a strong personal identity
Choose people who raise you up
Listen to positive messages
Cultivate positive thinking
Love yourself unconditionally

Choose people who support positive labels about you.  Choose people in your live who call you “smart”, “great”, “helpful”, “compassionate”, etc. They will support you both when you are on top or rock bottom. You will notice how you feel about your confidence, self-esteem, and decision-making.  Do this over time.  You will not only take on behaviors of positive labels. But, you will become more of those qualities!  As Always, Eat, Move and Improve!

“P”atterns

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The direction of our lives depend on the patterns we create each day.  This means our behaviors, habits, thoughts, words, and actions form who we are and where we go. They are subtle but they drive our actions and interactions with the world.  If we are not careful, our minds will choose the patterns that are most accessible. Mostly, negative messages and tones from around us! I let that happen to me before.  Not a road you want to go down.  Trust me.  Want positive changes in your life?  Choose positive “P”atterns throughout your day.  During the day, I will speak these words to myself to repeat these patterns so they become second nature. Below, I outline some “P”atterns I use.  Find the words that speak to you and focus on adding them to your daily routine!

Peace: In this day and age, it is so difficult to find a mindful calmness.  We have distractions, loud music, annoying people, and electronics that keep us busy.  Finding peace and quiet almost means locking yourself in an empty room with nothing to do.  Or, does it?  The secret to outward peace is inward peace. Our minds create peace or chaos depending on what we feed it. If we feed busy distractions and fill our lives with commotion, our body will feel the business.  If we fill our minds with peace, quiet, kindness, and compassion, we will feel such.  Give yourself some quiet time and your body and mind will thank you.


Positivity: Our world throws so many messages at us.  Negative news, rude people, tough situations.  It’s sometimes easy to dwell on the negatives in this life.  It is so critical to develop a positive mindset.  Practice gratitude, looking at the bright side, interacting with positive media, and smiling.  You will see how your perspective will change for the better.


Passion: Passion is tough to define.  A dictionary definition seems cheesy here.  To me, “passion” means a burning desire to spend time with something or someone you love. Life seems dull without it.  Passion makes life exciting and meaningful.  Find your passion and you will find your direction and reason in life.


Power:  The world makes us feel powerless sometimes.  We get beat down.  We fail.  We get criticized or discriminated.  DO NOT allow the world to make you feel powerless.  YOU are powerful!  You have the power to make decisions and determine your outcome. Personal power comes from owning who you are and your choices.  If you do this, no one can make you feel any less about yourself.  Own who you are and step into your personal power!


Presence: Our culture and thinking has a way of turning us away from the present moment. Technology, distractions, the news, situations all have a way of taking us away from a mindful moment in the here and now.  We dwell on the past on past mistakes.  Or,we overthink and overanalyze in the future.  Past and future thinking robs us of the peace in the present moment. Find strategies that put you in the present moment.  You will feel more at peace and powerful to make great decisions.

Patterns make us who we are- good and bad.  Choose patterns and behaviors you can be proud of and see your life change.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

How to Eat Well When Traveling

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“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” -Benjamin Franklin

“Unfortunately, there seems to be far more opportunity out there than ability…. We should remember that good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.”  -Thomas Edison

If you’re like most people, you travel every now and again.  That’s great!  It is important to explore this world and see all of it’s wonders.  In fact, I have seen stats that suggest traveling lowers depression.

When you are looking to make a lifestyle or behavior change, sticking to your plan can become difficult on your trip.  Food is quite available when we are traveling.  But, the food available usually does not fit into your plan.  We pass gas stations, sit down restaurants, dessert places, and fast food joins as we make our way around our new surroundings.  It is critical to stick to your plan despite being in a different zip code.  You do not to lose all the progress and momentum you have built up before the trip.  Here are some ideas on how to eat well when traveling:

-pack a lunch or snack on the road before you leave
-Choose healthy snacks when you make stops on your trip
-When arriving, locate a grocery store nearby.  Stock your fridge and cabinets with foods that fit into your plan
-Choose salads, light entrees, or vegetable dishes when eating out
-Drink alcohol in moderation.  Only 1-2 at a time
-Choose an appetizer or dessert.  Not both.
Remember, you are trying to make lasting changes in your life.  Do not allow the temporary time away ruin your permanent behavior change.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

The Brighter the Better

 

 

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.”- Allen Klein


“People in this world shun people for being great, for being a bright color, for standing out. But the time is now, to be OK with being the greatest you”.-Kanye West


“Revolution begins in putting on bright colors”.-Tennessee Williams

The other day, I walked past a woman in a parking lost.  She wasn’t hard to miss.  She was dressed in pink from head to toe!  A pink hoodie, pink sweatpants, and pink shoes.  Another man commented “that’s a good color on you”.  Without a beat, the woman responded “the brighter the better!”  That made me think.  Made me think back on some well known athletes who dress brightly- Tiger Woods on Sundays, Connor Mcgreggor at press conferences, Serena Williams on the tennis court, Rey Mystery Jr. in the wrestling ring.  They stand out.  They make a statement.  You cannot miss them.

More so, these athletes have a confidence about them.  They are enthusiastic and passionate individuals.  They give off positivity and swagger when they compete.  This made me think deeper.  Dressing in bright colors can help us as individuals.  We want to become our best selves in life and in the gym.  We want to be noticed.  We want to show off.  We want to feel confident and have that swagger in life. I am not sure what comes first- the bright colors or the attitudes of belief, confidence, swagger.  But, it doesn’t really matter.  They are both intertwined.  Next time you want to feel better about yourself and get noticed, dress in bright colors: bright shorts, shirts, socks, shoes, bandanas, you name it.  Put on your bright look and kill your workouts!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

#Despite

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“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”-Elon Musk


“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” —Conrad Hilton


“Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor.”—Marianne Williamson


I have been having a tough time lately.  Whatever I do, it seems things have not been working out.  To add to this, I had a few challenges all at once in a single week.  I’m ok with one or two challenges at a time,  But three to four?  Give me a break!  I felt like I couldn’t catch a break!  I felt stuck.  I was anxious and overwhelmed.


But, something interesting happened.  I spoke with my friends and share with them what was happening.  They reassured me and gave me some perspective.  They made me realize that these circumstances were only temporary.  On top of that, they weren’t as big as I made them out to be!

These events made me rethink difficult times.  They reminded me that we all have challenging times.  They reminded me that I am not alone in my journey.  They made me realize that i can overcome difficulties despite obstacles.  I can survive DESPITE hard times.  They are only temporary!

If you are going through a difficult time, know this:  it is not here to stay!  Things will get better.  You will get better because of it!  You will persist DESPITE your circumstances.  Use these strategies to get through your tough times:

-call a trusted friend and share your struggles
-journal your thoughts and experiences
-reframe your expectations or perspectives on the event
-take care of your body- eat well, sleep, and stay active.
-do what you can at the moment.  Your strength and spirit to confront the big stuff will return.
-LAUGH!  Do something you enjoy that puts a smile on your face

In the moments you feel down and challenged, remember that challenges are temporary.  They are actually good for us because they make us stronger and more resilient.  Next time that you are in a challenging time, decide to persist DESPITE the challenge!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!