My New Favorite Lunch

20190108_121515Reese’s celery sticks. I think the name says it all: any meal involving “Reese’s” has to be good. I was packing celery sticks with soy butter (my son is allergic to peanuts) for me and Nutella sandwiches for my boys for lunch one day and thought “What if I…? Oh yes, please.” If you use smaller amounts of nut butter and Nutella, it makes a cravable, mostly healthy snack. When I find myself looking forward to celery, I know I’m onto something good.

For other healthy snack ideas check out 100 Calorie Snacks and More 100 Calorie Snacks.

 

“Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift—a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds.” Genesis 43:11b

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Today is the Day

Has the glow of the New Year, New You, New Resolutions faded to “this new year sure feels a lot like the old year”? Good. Let those unrealistic dreams die and let’s get down to reality.

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Me in 2012

Step One in any weight loss journey is a decision, not just to lose weight but to do it now. I was overweight for a decade and had a lot of false starts when I decided to lose weight but never did. But I remember looking at my weight, my health, my age, and thinking “I don’t want to be this big when I turn 35. When I turn 40.” I realized it was going to get harder, not easier, the longer I waited to take action. Why not start now?

You can set a goal or not. If you do, I recommend choosing a goal that’s not a number on the scale. Choose a jean size. Choose a number of miles walked or pushups you can do in a minute. Choose to measure your success by number of vegetable servings consumed each day, but not by the number on the scale. That number is useful, but it is notoriously uncooperative. If you do set a weight goal, give yourself some other goals to shoot for along the way so you can see progress.

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Me in 2018. I blinked, sorry.

The New Year IS a good time to take stock, make a plan, and change your life. But it’s helpful to focus on one change at a time. That’s why I love the way the Sex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating book is set up: it focuses on one healthy habit at a time. Pick one habit and start today. Go to bed on time, go for a walk, eat something green (like a plant, not an Icee), drink a glass of water, or eat your chips from a little bowl not the big bag.

Start today. Not because it’s a new year but because in six months you’ll be so happy you did.

“Seek good, not evil, that you may live.” Amos 5:14a

Walk a Human this Christmas

Merry Christmas!

people-walkerThis week a 60 second documentary about The People Walker popped up in my Facebook feed and I have to say, I loved it. (The mini doc, not the fact that facebook clutters up my feed.) Chuck McCarthy hires himself out as a walking companion in California. His customers get accountability, exercise, and conversation; they get out and get moving and that’s the part I think is fantastic.

This Christmas you will spend time with people you’re related to but haven’t seen in months. This can feel awkward. Take them out and walk them: it’s easier to have a conversation when you’re walking instead of staring at each other.

Other people you spend time with will be people you see very often, perhaps too often. Take them out and walk them: it gives you a break from the hustle and bustle and clears your head. You can even spend the time together walking silently.

If you’re spending time with mini-people, take them out and walk them. Maybe run them. The more energy they use outside, the less hustle and bustle there will be inside. If the mini-people complain about the cold, tell them to walk faster.

May your Christmas be Christ-filled and Merry! Happy People-walking!

 

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  Ephesians 5:1-2

Giveaway: 12 Days of Christmas

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Hallee Bridgeman, author extraordinaire of Christian fiction and whole foods cookbooks, is hosting a 12 Days of Christmas giveaway now through Dec 31st. Twelve great prizes are being offered and entering the giveaway is easy. Day 3‘s prize is a gift basket from yours truly, so enter yourself and tell your friends!

hallee 12 days christmasI’m already entered into the drawings and excited: Day 1 is  a Walking Bread cookbook and pan, Day 2 is a detoxifying face mask and perfume,  and Day 4 is a Fifty Shades of Gravy cookbook and gravy boat set. If you sign up for Hallee’s newsletter, you get a free romance e-book. So many ways to treat yourself! A new prize is revealed each day so check back often. Good luck!

 

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

All About That Fat (song parody)

Before we get humming, a few notes. When talking about the brain, fat and cholesterol are positive things. Your brain is a very fatty organ and 25% of the body’s cholesterol is found in the brain. This is why we are about to celebrate fat in song. But before you reach for the cheese and chocolate “in the name of brain health”, you should know that your brain does not need you to eat cholesterol: it makes its own. So crank up the karaoke  and sing along!

 

Project - Drawing 1710617230All About that (Brain) Fat 

 

Because you know I’m all about that fat

‘Bout that fat in my brain

I’m all about that fat, ‘bout that fat

‘Bout that fat in my brain

 

Yeah it’s pretty clear I’ve got cholesterol

But my brain makes it makes it like its supposed to do

‘Cause it forms myelin sheaths that all the axons need

All the right fat in all the right places

 

I see cholesterol building cell membranes

You know that stuff we need

Come on now hormones too

If you’ve got fatty brain cells just raise ‘em up

‘Cause every neuron cell needs fat from the bottom to the top

 

Yeah, my momma she told me don’t worry about your brain

She says “cells like omega 3 fatty acids to ease their strain”

You know myelin sheaths protect the axons of my nerve cells

So electric transmissions

Can go ahead and move along

 

Because you know I’m all about that fat

‘Bout that fat in my brain

I’m all about that fat, ‘bout that fat in my brain

I’m all about that fat, ‘bout that fat in my brain

I’m all about that fat ‘bout that fat

 

I’m bringing HDL

My brain makes all it needs to keep me well

So I’m just eat to lower LDL

But I’m here to tell you that

Every neuron cell needs fat from the bottom to the top

 

Parody of Meghan Trainor’s All About that Bass

Reference: https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/cholesterol-the-mind-and-the-brain

Thanks-braining

Fennel Apple Salad 2Today’s post will not help you lose weight, but it will be cool. We’re going to talk about the brain, an organ that comprises 2% of the body’s weight but uses 20% of its energy and oxygen. It’s the organ that does all my thinking and yet I rarely think about it. I’m grateful for my brain and I want to take good care of it. Let’s look at the healthy habits of sex, soup, and two fisted eating and see how they affect the brain.

But first, a brain joke: What kind of fish performs brain surgery?

A neurosturgeon

Sex stands for sleep and exercise. Sleep gives your brain time to process all the information it took in while you were awake. It also allows your brain to clear out all the a-beta proteins that have been discarded during the day as the neurons work. If left in the brain, these a-beta proteins tend to clump together and harden forming plaque. This plaque is one of the symptoms found in brains with Alzheimer’s. Scientists are still trying to prove whether plaque is a cause of Alzheimer’s or just a symptom. Either way, sleep is important for your brain.

And now, a joke: What do you call a skull without 86 billion neurons?

A no-brainer

2015 September SS2FE recipes 337Physical exercise gets your blood pumping to every nook and capillary to bring oxygen in and move toxins out. Getting mental exercise, such as learning new things and challenging the mind, has been shown to help ward off dementia.

And now, a joke: What kind of bees eat brains?

Zombees

Soup stands for water and vegetables. Your brain is 73% water and being only 2% dehydrated can affect your attention, memory, and other cognitive skills, so drink up.

And now, a joke: I once had a neuron working for me. I fired him.

There is a “second brain” in your intestines that contains 100 million neurons. Gut bacteria make dozens of neurotransmitters including serotonin. These good gut bacteria need healthy foods to keep your intestinal flora in balance, so feed them vegetables.

And now, a joke: I wasn’t going to have a brain transplant…but then I changed my mind.

Baked Lentils 2Two fisted eating stands for portion control and enjoying our food so we’re satisfied with less. This brain connection is a loose one, so humor me. Stress and depression can shrink your brain (which is bad) so savoring your food–the textures, flavors, aromas–can make you feel happy which is neither stressful nor depressing. If you want to be depressed, you should know that the average IQ has gone down 13 points since the Victorian era. If you don’t want to be depressed, read this joke: what do neurons do on their birthdays?

They cell-ebrate

Was that joke depressingly bad? Try this one.

What kind of photos do neurons take?

Cell-fies

Your brain is amazing. Take care of it so it can take care of you. And don’t break the brain scanner. That would be a CATastrophe.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 

References: Worst Jokes Ever, Reddit.com, bebrainfit.com, piedmont.org, sciencefirst.com

Food photos are of: Fennel Apple Salad, Hearty Lentil Soup, Baked Lentils