Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Beauty Sleep

OHHHHH yes, sleep! We all seem to love it, but how many of us are actually getting enough z's nightly? You have probably heard enough times that sleep is important for you, all aspects of your health. It is not called beauty sleep nothing. However, do you know the importance of sleep for your waist line?

There are important connection between sleep and the amounts of what we eat and even the foods we eat. There is a pesky hormone called ghrelin. In recent times you might have heard about it, due to its importance for weight lose and our better understanding of this hormone. As a norm, you will hear ghrelin in combination with leptin, as they work together. A little about ghrelin, we will not get to deep into it, beyond the scope of this blog. Ghrelin is produced in the stomach. We have a higher production rate when we are hungry, an increase. When we are full, the levels drop. Leptin comes into play to help you full the fullness factor, or as we call it, satiety.

How sleep effects this. When we do not get enough sleep, our ghrelin levels are higher thus signaling to us that we are hungry. We eat. What we tend to eat is more sugar because it is instant energy for out body and causes greater weight gain. When we have gotten enough sleep, we have lower levels or ghrelin and thus eat less. When we eat less, we can lose weight or maintain, the name of the game.

Try an experiment for yourself to see how this will play out for you. After you have not had a good nights sleep, keep track of what you eat for the day. After several nights of little sleep, you will begin to see a pattern of being hungry and eating a lot of sugar and or carbs. Then try to get to bed earlier so you can get seven to eight hours of sleep. Again, keep track of what you eat over a period of several days. Then, compare what you have eaten from noting sleeping enough to sleeping enough. What you should find is you are eating less on days when you sleep well and are more rested.  After a few weeks of more sleep, you will begin to feel better, look better, and lose some weight.

Just a little trick in the fight against weight lose! It might seem simple, but remember, it is the simple things that usually work the best.
In the Love of Christ,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday Recipe:...Leek & Majoram Chicken

Today's recipe is one I came up with on the fly. I had some ingredients in the fridge that I needed to use so I started throwing together. In the end, it turned out yummy. You know it is yummy when Hublet likes it and requests it!

What you need:
Bundle of leeks, usually come in a bundle of 3
2 TBS of raw apple cider vinegar
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
Half bunch of Parsley or several TBS of dried parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Whole chicken

Wash off chicken and pat dry. If the chicken is small enough, it can be done on the stove, so stick it in a pot with a lid. For the leeks, cut off the roots and right around where it begins to turn green. Dice it. I usually put mine in a colander to rinse them off. You have to rinse the inside part of the leeks as well due to the fact they are grown in sand. You can also use a bowel with water. Place the leeks in the bowel, swish all around, dump the water and repeat until all of the dirt and sand are gone. Rinse both them lemon and the parsley, if using fresh and then chop the parsley. If doing this on the stove top, brown the chicken on all sides, you might want to put in a little butter in the pan. Once browned, put all of the rest of the ingredients into the pan, put the lid on and allowed the chicken to continue to cook. Every 10 to 15 minutes turn the chicken over so it does not burn and cooks on all sides. I usually do about medium to medium high heat. Depending on the size, it will take about 45 minutes to an hour to cook. Generally, there are enough juices from the chicken and what you have put in to have a gravy. You can put in a little corn starch to thicken if you wish.
 If you are doing this in the stove instead, place the chicken in an oven roasting pan with half of the ingredients. Every 15 to 30 minutes bast the chicken so it does not dry out.

There you have it! An easy meal. Serve with some veggies on the side and you have a great meal! Enjoy.
In the Love of Christ,

Saturday, November 12, 2011

You Think You Live In A Free Country....?

America is "suppose" to be a free country. I have family who have who have fought for the freedom of this great country. By the grace of God, none of them have died in war. THANK YOU!!!!! What outrages me though, is I have these family members who have fought, and all of out other soldiers who have fought and died for the freedom of this country. And yet, we are not free. You are probably asking what I mean. Take a look at these videos:

This is the outrage I am talking about. Here you have a farm growing true organic food, the God intended food to be, having a professional chief come in and these people can not eat it. The pigs can not even eat this food! For crying out loud!!!! If these people can not even choose what they themselves want to put into their own body, how are we free? Some low level health inspector comes in and her only reason this food is not safe for any consumption, of human or animal, is because "she said so". She had no legal right to do this. Yet, to a certain extent, she got away with it. All of the food had to be destroyed, thrown away and bleach powered over it. Once the police did arrive, she did not have any of the proper paper work and nothing legal to have the owners or guests arrested. So, she was escorted off the farm. It was not a full victory. I have a hunch, she is being slammed in Nevada for what she has done. I hope sever action is taken against her and her supervisor also, but I am sure that will not happen.

You do not think this can happen again, think again.  It is not the first time a thing like this has happened. Their was an Amish farm in Pennsylvania that was raided. There have been farms in California raided, in almost every state there have been farms raided. All from the USDA and FDA throwing their weight around. In fact in some states a farmer cannot even drink his own raw milk or feed it to his family because the FDA, CDC and USDA said no. This happens more and more frequently. It is time to stand up to the government and tell them enough is enough. They need to again be fearing the people of this country, not the people fearing their government. 

I ask the question, are we really a free nation? How far are you willing to go to support your right to put what food you want in your body? As crazy as you might think I am, it could come down to giving your life so your family and friends can eat real, whole, nutritious food. the food God intended for us to eat, not the crap the government tells you to eat. Wake up before all of our soldiers who have fought and died for the freedom of this country is a waste of their lives.

For great information and how to get involved to help stop things like this from happening again and going further, visit this web page.

Demand real, whole, nutritious food, God's food.
In the Love of Christ,

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Benefits of Walking

I am a big walker, I love walking in fact, especially with  my two boys, Mungo and Otto. Walking is just as important for our four legged family members as it is for us! If you think about it, walking is really in our genes. Our ancestors walked miles most likely daily, hunting, gathering, finding and bringing water back, along with moving for the seasons. There were no motorized vehicles to carry them around. It was their feet! Why would walking be bad for us now?

Well, it is not bad for us. There are great benefits to walking. Walking is also not just for people who cannot do other forms of exercising, like jogging, HIIT, sprinting or other forms of heavy exercises. Walking is a wonderful all around exercise for all, from the most fit to the least. Still thinking I am crazy, well.... Look at people from Europe, Asia, Russia, basically anyone from another country. The one thing we all notice is how lean they are. What is one of the things they do that we here in America do not do? Walk.They walk and they walk and they walk. I actually have a friend who lived in Russia for a few years while her hubby worked there. When she came back for a visit, I could not believe how much weight she had lost, not that she had any to lose in the first place. I asked her what she had been doing? She just said walking. I walk every where there and because of this I have lost weight.

The reason walking is so great for us is the fat burn we obtain. Doing a low to moderate exercise will burn the fat that is in our blood stream. One of the best times to walk is after a hard circuit, HIIT training or first thing in the morning before you have eaten, doing a fasted workout. The reason going for a walk after this type of training is beneficial is because these workouts release the fat into our blood stream. Walking will use that fat. Any fat that is in our system, walking will use up! This is true for fasted walking also.

This does not have to be some endurance walk either. This is a moderate exercise we are talking about here. Something you could keep up for six hours, all day if you need to. How do you know if you are doing moderate workout? You want to be able to carry on a conversation with someone. If you are so out of breath you can no longer talk, you are going to hard. If you are just beginning, this will not take a lot, if you are more advanced, you can walk up a the side of the mountain and carry on this conversation. Yes, I do this and people think I am crazy. But I tell you, it is one of the best workouts I have ever done. And you will have a great perky butt doing hills. And who does not want this?! Do not start out with a hills or the mountain. Begin on something flat and even and work up to hills. I do not want you to kill over dead. If you begin breathing very hard and heaving, stop and rest. For the type of exercising we are talking about today, this is to hard. As all disclaimers, talk with your doctor before beginning a walking regimen.

It is easy to add walking into your daily routine as well. It will just take some adjustments. Also remember, walking, as with all exercises adds up. You do not need to do it all at once, you can break it up. In time, I would suggest trying to get in a half hour walk a day, along with these other changes. Here are a few ideas:
   Instead of parking at the front of the parking lot, park in the back and walk, this goes for all parking lots.
   When there are stairs, take the stairs. If you are beginning and need to walk up five flights of stairs, begin with one flight. After a week or two, try adding in another flight of stairs until you have worked up to doing all five. Try doing this with a co-worker instead of on your own.
   When you have a break at work, instead of sitting there bsing with everyone, go for a short walk either in the building or preferably, outside if you can. This can be a great time to clear head.
   Instead of sitting in front of the TV for hours on end everyday, take one of those hours, half hour, and go for walk as a family or for a date with your spouse. Dates do not have to be dinner and a movie, they can be working out instead. Exercising together can have many benefits, many...
   Wake up 20 minutes earlier, I know how precious sleep is, but just getting up 20 minutes earlier and going for a short walk, you will begin your day on a better note. Doing a fasted workout can also help you to eat less through out the day.
   Make going for a walk family time, time to spend with your spouse or a friend. It is always easier when you have someone else to walk with, to motivate you. For your children, this can show them the importance of exercising and be a fun bonding time, create memories.

These are just a few ideas to begin incorporating walking into your daily life. Think about your day and see where you can find ways to walk more.

Here is a link to a great article on more benefits of walking.

Well, I am off to take the boys for a walk. Maybe I will see you out there!
Until next time
In the Love of Christ,

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday Recipe, Apple Syrup

On Saturday Morning, I decided to make breakfast for my Hublet. I gave him the choice of whatever he wanted, what a nice wife. And yes, he is spoiled, I mean well loved! He decided he wanted waffles. I saw I had several apples sitting in my fruit bowel and thought an apple syrup sounds really yummy to top the waffles. So, creativity began!

What you need:
Apples, I used Fuji, which was not the best apple to use, but what I had on hand. Pick an apple for what you want the taste to be, a sweeter apple or a more tart apple. I think next time I will use a more tart apple.
Raw sugar or honey
Sea Salt, just a touch to bring out flavorings.
Butter, I used butt I had made the night before. Yes, I did make my own butter. I used this recipe from marksdailyapple.com however, any butter will work.

Cut apples into bites sizes pieces, I did leave the skin on. Put the apple pieces in a pan with that has a lid. Put all of the other ingredients in as well. Turn on the burner to medium heat. Put the lid on and let it cook down. When the apples are cooking, they will begin to release their juices, along with the sugar bringing out some of the juice as well, making the syrup. Every few minutes stir the apples so they do not stick and all cook evenly. It took four apples about 20 minutes to cook down. The apples are ready when they are soft, not mushy. Enjoy! They were tasty on the waffles as well as the protein pancakes. I did not use any other syrup or honey on my waffles or pancakes with this recipe. Hublet did use some more syrup because he likes really sweet things.

Try different apples to find which you like best. Also, what you are putting them on top of will make a difference for wanting sweet or tart apples.

This did reheat well. If you want to make a larger batch and then have it to eat as a snack or to use as a topping for something else later, it will work well.

Hope you enjoy this sweet treat for the fall!
Until next time
In the Love of Christ,

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I was reading a book the other day from one of my favorite authors, Mathew Kelly. In the book he was talking about needing to simplify our lives. And how we over look the simple answer. If it is simple we tend to think it canmot be the answer, how can it when it is so simple. We go to the complex, complicated, convoluted way looking for our answer, because if it is simple, it just cannot be the answer. How many times do we come back to the simple answer, that often times was right in front of our faces? Fitness and nutrition are no different.

Today, the area of fitness and nutrition has become very complicated. You have to eat certain grams and calories of protein, fat and carbs, they have to be eaten at specific times, or you will not lose weight you will gain. Exercises have to be done with purple poked shorts, with leggings underneath, a green sports bra with a yellow top that has strips which are vertical and your hair has to be just right! Along with that you have to stand on one foot, balance a weight in your right hand and think the correct thought. I know that is all a fabrication, but I think you get my drift. Magazines, trainers, nutritionist, web sites, late night infomercials all make exercising and nutrition sound complicated. So complicated in fact that many people through their hands in the air and say who cares. I have tried to lose weight and get into shape, but all of the complexity is over my head. I cannot understand how to lose weight and stay in shape. So, they stop trying. It is like every other problem, it is simplifying and going back to the basics.

When we simplify weight lose and exercising, we find it is not all that complicated. What it boils down to is eating real food. If God did not create it, it was man made, then do not eat it. Other than butter and bacon. God did create those, we just have to turn them into those forms! Learn to listen to your body. It will tell you the real food it needs. Your body does not want to be sick or out of balance. God created our bodies to know what they need and when they need it. Just like an animal in nature, they know what to eat and not eat. How do they know this, listening to their bodies.

To make it even more simple, stick to single ingredient foods and combine them yourself. It is not complicated to eat healthy. It is retraining your body to crave the whole foods and learning to eat and enjoy whole foods.

Exercising is nothing more than getting up off your butt and moving. You do not have to go to the gym for an hour everyday to lose weight. Go outside and play with your kids. Don't have kids, take your dog out and play, run around and chase each other. Exercising does not have to be some ridge, rule stricken aspect of your life. If you want it to be, you can. Exercising should be something fun and even spontaneous. Yes, to get the best results, you need to push yourself, you should still enjoy it though. If the gym is not your thing, find something that is. Remember, the simplest thing can be a great work out. If you want to get up in the morning, whenever you want to work out, and do:
 10-15 push up
 15-20 lunges
 30 seconds of mountain climbers
15-20 jumping squats
30 second plank
Repeat this set 3-4 and then do it 3 times a week and then go for a 45 minute to an hour walk daily, I would let you know, you are well on your way to improving your health. I really just made that set up as I was typing this. This is how simple getting into shape can be. You do not need more "stuff", your body weight is the best thing you can use. If you do not believe me, Youtube videos of gymnasts and then tell me what you think. Most of their training is body weight training, I know from personal experiences.You already have all of the information you need. The fitness world needs it be very complicated to keep you coming back for more and thinking you do not have the tools. You do. Keep it simple, simplicity is the key to success.

Until next time, remember to look for the simple!
In the Love of Christ,

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tuesday Recipe... Steamed Veggies

I know steamed veggies are nothing new, people make them all the time. However, I do get asked questions about how I make mine and what to do. So, I thought I would do a post on them.

What you need:
Veggies, what ever you want. You can either do one veggie or a variety
A pot with a lid
A little water
Butter/olive oil
Seasonings, sea salt, pepper, oregano, basil, dill weed, pick whatever you like. Hublet and I like spices from a company called Penzeys. The have different mixtures which are yummy.  By allowing everyone at your table to pick their own spices you will also help them to eat their veggies. If they like it, they will eat it and that is what the name of the game is all about!

Put veggies in the pot, poor in some water, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Put the lid on and place on the stove top. You will want the heat about medium high. Every few minutes shake the pan, keeping the lid on. The veggies are finished when they begin to turn a brighter color. The first few times you may want to try one to check for doneness. Be sure they are not over done, you do not want them soggy or mushy. Turn off the heat. If there is any water left, drain it. After this, add your butter or olive oil. If you have read any of my posts, you know I like my veggies dripping in butter, so yummy. Put on the table, with a pot holder, and serve. Allow everyone to put their favorite seasonings on and enjoy.

Steamed veggies are a very easy, healthy way to prepare vegetables. By steaming veggies you are far more likely to uptake the vitamins and minerals in them. The main thing to watch out for is not over cooking your veggies. You do not want them limp and mushy, at this point you have cooked out all of the vitamins and minerals. You still want them to have some firmness to them. Most of the vitamins which can not tolerate heat will still be present and those which need some heat to bring them out, will be brought out. Steaming is a great!

By adding some fat, like butter or olive oil, at the end will help you to assimilate more of the vitamins and minerals. Fat allows you to get the most out of your veggies, however they are prepared. There are many vitamins and minerals we can not uptake unless there is fat along with them. By eating fat free you are not getting the most from your veggies. Who wants to eat veggies with no fat, that is what makes them taste yummy anyway.

Enjoy your veggies!
Until next time,
In the love of Christ, If you have a passion for cooking, maybe you should look into accredited online colleges for culinary school.

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