A Night to Dare to Dream

My Full Disclosure Policy

Dare to dream!

What happens to a dream deferred? When you were a child, I am sure that you had a lot of dreams for your adult life. Some were nonsensical like you want to live in a house made out of chocolate. As you got older your dreams became more realistic, you want to be a celebrity athlete or president of the United States.  We all are dreamers at some point in our lives. Some people are bold enough to pursue those dreams, others forget their dreams or defer them because they let their current situation get in the way and then there are those who dream for their entire lives and never put it into action.

Why is that? Why do some people have the freedom pursue while others get stuck just dreaming? Is it that they never received the skills to dream? Is it that no one gave them the resources they needed to attempt their dream. Or someone in their life told them that dreamers were for nighttime sleep and once the sun comes out they need to put those dream back to bed.

 

A Night to Dream

Last Thursday was one of those nights that are good for the soul. I was invited to the Disney Social media Mom celebration, and as soon as I RSVP’d, I was excited I had no idea what to expect but to be in a room full of Magic was all I needed to look forward.  The night was great to see other bloggers I hadn’t seen in a while and some that I had just hung out with in Vegas for the last few days.  It was a great room of familiar faces one face that stood out from the crowd immediately in a room of mostly women was a young well dressed young man whom I later got to know as Jordan.  He was well poised but very young, so I was immediately curious to meet him.

Disney Dreamer Alum Are Making Dreams Come True

Some people’s presence simply shines, and Jordan is one of those people.  I later found out that he is the alum of a decade old organization called Disney Dreamer’s Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine.  Have you ever heard of the DDA? Until Thursday I was unaware of the opportunities that Disney has been providing our youth to dream. Steve Harvey himself has a very active role in speaking and working with the Disney Dreamer Academy Participants.

The Disney Dreamer’s Academy is something that my daughter Kyhia will be applying for before October 31, 2017, and I encourage you to share this with any dreamer that you may know the ages of 13-17 or high school student.  Dreams are not meant to be contained in dream catchers. In our world of technology, dreams are leading to significant innovations in our society as well as easing hardship for many people all over the world.  Containing a dream is a dangerous thing these days, and that’s why hearing what Walt Disney World has been doing for the last decade needs to be shared with everyone.

Word from an Alum

Jordan Williams owner of Young Mogul Brand according to their website is “an urban clothing line that promotes teen entrepreneurship with positivity through clothing wear.” Jordan is a great example of the potential that is happening with our youth and the encouragement and influence that they can have on our world. Jordan comes from Atlanta, Georgia where from a young age he inherited his father entrepreneurial ambitions. By the time he was a senior in High School not only was he an excellent student but he had three business’ under his belt and currently the owner of a brand for youth entrepreneurs.

Jordan applied for the Disney Dreamers Academy after seeing the effect of the program on his best friend and business partner returned motivated and inspired to follow his dream. Brandon (Jordan’s best friend) encouraged Jordan to apply.  Thousands of teens apply every year, and Walt Disney World and Steve Harvey chooses 100 applicants to attend Disney Dreamers Academy.

 

What happens at Disney Dreamer Academy?

These candidates go to Walt Disney World for four days and learn how to dream; they have a full itinerary working with DDA Alum, professional dreamers, and networking among each other. Exploring what it is to dream truly and how to make those dreams come true. Discovering potential career opportunities in all fields from computers, animations, culinary whatever your little dreamer is dreaming WDW is providing hands on experiences for these high school student.  Walt Disney along with Steve Harvey is empowering our youth to look past what they are given and see what they aspire to have and be.  I love that this 10-year organization has this opportunity for any highschooler with a dream to apply.

Can anyone apply?

The application process is seamless and straightforward. It has three questions for the applicant to share their dream. No high school transcripts required, no letter of recommendations the screening criteria is if you have a dream and if you can articulate those dreams. I am a big dreamer my husband not so much he often gets grounded in reality. I think this opportunity to show my thirteen-year-old Kyhia that not only is it okay to dream but there are other dreamers out there like you.  I want her to get the opportunity to begin to meet the dreamers and the doers of our future. I also want her to know what and how to accomplish her dreams.  We have applied for this year, and it’s not too late for you too.  Application deadlines are October 31, 2017, and you can begin by applying here.

A great night full of laughs

It was so nice to get dressed up have a delicious meal and meet people who are dreamers and doers. It is also exciting to think that my daughter has an opportunity to meet 99 other dreamers who are going to eventually make an impact on our world.  We must encourage our children to dream big, bold and without limits. It’s been proven that dreams do come true for those who only dare to dream.  What are you cultivating in your little dreamer’s life? Fulfillment?

Eat Your Rind

 

Watermelon Rind

Happy Independence Day!  Are you planning on attending a Barbecue today? Will there probably be Watermelon served? Have you been told that if you eat the Watermelon Rind, it will make you sick? Well, I am a living testament that is a myth. People toss the watermelon when it gets to the crunchy white part of the watermelon, but this is probably the most nutritious part of the fruit. The entire watermelon from flesh to seed is edible and delicious. I prefer the rind over the pink flesh, but I am not your typical person.

Seeded Wateremelon

Watermelon Rind has so many great nutrients in it, a very mild flavor and an excellent way to save on waste. If those reasons don’t persuade you there are also these four:

  1. Chlorophyll
    Helps with blood building contains more of the amino acid; Citrulline than the pink flesh.
  2. Additional Vitamins
    Contains Vitamin C, Fiber, Potassium and small amount of Vitamin B6
  3. Low Calorie
    It contains fewer calories. Therefore, it will add bulk and variety without adding to your caloric intake.
  4. Taste
    Taste like a cucumber; everything from skin to seeds of a watermelon is edible.

Watermelon is a staple at our house whether cooking out or just another day is Watermelon. I typically keep the rinds and freeze them to juice. So, I will cut the skins off before serving and place them in a storage container to freeze. I try to stock up during the summer in Watermelon Rinds because they are readily available and useful for you all year long. They have very bland flavor and if eaten raw a big crunch.

There are so many ways that you can eat Watermelon Rind; pickled, preserved, chutney, raw, in a salad, stir-fry, juice or a smoothie. The easiest way that I have found to get my kids to eat it is to make it a refreshing smoothie or popsicle. It’s a great way to get those wonderful nutrients in and save the waste.

watermelon rind popsicles

I’ve tried it both ways with the skin and without the skin. If you have a good blender, like a Vitamix or Ninja would include the skin because it is edible and will break it down so that it doesn’t affect the texture. If you do not, I would recommend including the skin because it can be a weird texture kind of like pulp in Orange Juice. Also, as far as taste goes it will not overpower the Popsicle so don’t be scared!

Eat Your Rind

Eat Your Rind

Ingredients

  • 3 cups seeded watermelon including the rind (skinned or with skin is your choice but there are more nutrients in the skin), fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled
  • 2 lemons freshly squeezed lemon juice,
  • 2 tbsp of fresh mint (2 or 3 leaves depending on type of mint)
  • 3-4 tablespoons raw clover honey
  • 3 cups ice cubes made from coconut water (great to naturally sweeten)

Instructions

  1. Prep the watermelon – cut into bite size chunks. Freeze the watermelon chunks for a few hours or overnight {best}.
  2. Peel the Cucumber skin Cut in half lengthwise,and remove seeds. Discard seeds.
  3. Just use mint leaves discard stems.
  4. Add all ingredients to the blender. Blend on high speed until combined and smooth. If you’re not able to blend it well add a little (like 1 tbsp at a time) of coconut water. You don't want it too wet!
  5. If making Popsicle place in Popsicle mold and freeze till solid.
  6. If making a smoothie; Serve immediately and Enjoy!
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Meal Time Monday

 

 

IDEA World Convention & Blogfest 2017 Recap

IDEA Convention Recap

Sitting back scrolling through pictures of another exciting, re-energizing blog fest! Now I am about to spill as much as I can remember so this is a grab something to grab your LaCroix 😉 and read about my experience at IdeaWorld Convention. Now, everything I mention in this post has been sponsored, but this is entirely my perspective and opinion.

This year was an entirely different experience than last year! First of all, I am not a new blogger wide eyed and bushy tailed. When I left blog fest last year the information and knowledge that I learned and applied allowed me some fantastic opportunities with my blog. It also allowed me to connect and collaborate with some great companies and gave me a better idea of the world of fitness blogging. When I came this year I came prepared to soak it all in, continue to make connections and meet some new friends in the blogger world. I wasn’t as apprehensive to say Hi to someone new and ask them their story, and I was pleasantly surprised by the amazing and inspiring women that showed up a blog fest this year.

Strong By Zumba Certified

Before I even began BlogFest, I attended the Strong by Zumba Certification at which I am now a Strong By Zumba certified instructor, Woot woot! The certification was kind of challenging last 9 hours with a 1-hour lunch break and about 6-7 hours of exercise and education on the program. It was a sweaty fun day, and now I can teach others this new dynamic workout. I am going to share why you should be trying Strong by Zumba in your town, but I am thrilled to be able to be an instructor in the South Jersey Area. It was so cool being instructed by the best and one that personally stood out for me which was Ms. Jeanette Jenkins! She has been teaching “in Lycra” for 27 years and gave us so many tips and tricks! AND she is a woman of open faith, YES!! Kelley Buzzard is a BEAST, and she kicked our butts all day long with Abraham Martinez taking it to the POWER level all day long. The three of them left us spent but psyched which says something for their enthusiasm for STRONG by Zumba!

35 Year Celebration

Blogfest is a recent extension of the 35-year celebration of the Idea World Fitness Convention where fitness professionals from all over the world gather to learn and network with each other. The place is electric, and the passion is fervent at Idea World, but the camaraderie of thousands of strangers all to help improve people’s health and fitness is contagious. It was just what I needed to continue to ignite my passion for helping people through fitness.

Sweating Pink

Blogfest is coordinated by a group of women from Fit Approach who’s hard work and dedication has in the past two years created an amazing experience for bloggers. Blogfest is educational workshops and opportunities for fitness bloggers to hone their skill and get up and personal with some leading companies in the fitness and food industry. This year’s line up was power packed with inspiration and leaders in the fitness industry.

Carleeh M from Healthy Socialite a fellow Sweat Pink Ambassador blogger organized a walk/run before the day of events. She had me at the walk because I only run if I have to but I prefer a good stroll. I also wanted to catch up and meet other bloggers, so my roomies Aida from Girlfriends with Goals and Shenie from Sheylu Fitness joined the walk around Vegas. Every year I come to blog fest other bloggers that not only inspire and influence lots of women but inspire and motivate me too. It was nice to be in such great company of fun ladies willing to venture out into the hood of Vegas, haha (but really it’s pretty ghetto in some spots). We did find some picture perfect moments along the way, and in true blogger, the style had lots of selfie moments. We also recruited some of the Casino staff to practice his photog skills. After the warm up both socially and physically we made it just in time to begin.

Lets’ Eat

The best way to put a group of bloggers in a good mood is through food (at least that reign true for me) Siggi’s® and California Almonds® provided not only tasty snacks but also gave us recipes to make ourselves. You haven’t had an almond until you have had a California Almond they really are delicious. I personally am nuts about nuts and can take it overboard and learned of the perfect portion. Which is 1-2-3 or 1 ounce equals 23 almonds basically, telling me to stop De at 23 too much of a good thing is never good and that mainly runs true with nuts?

As we happily snacked (anytime I eat I am happily doing it) and we got to learn from some of the best in the industry. ‘A great blogger Katy Widrick gives us some applicable tip on how to make our old content new again. So, get ready for some refresh in the future. It was great to get some tips that you could easily apply. Then we got an opportunity to hear from our sponsors Great Lakes Gelatin which are a long standing gelatin company in the industry. I already knew of the benefit of Collagen and consumed Collagen daily but was great to know of the quality that Great Lakes puts into their products and another option for my supplement needs.

Then we got to hear some knowledge bombs from Lindsay Valdez anyone who works virtually knows the importance of SEO yet might not necessarily know how to optimize it! Well, you should have been at blog fest because Lindsay did an excellent job of breaking it down and making it simple. With the 5 Most Important SEO elements on a blog post. I have personally did webinars and self-studies and the value that her presentation gave far exceeded my hours self-study lots of great information.

Opening Ceremonies

My favorite part of Idea World Convention is the Opening Ceremonies and Keynote presentation. This is when you get to gather in a room of the best in the industry, and we get to celebrate the achievements of those who have been serving people through fitness. Women like Jessica Matthews who won the Idea Fitness Instructor of the Year and Debbie Bellinger who was the Idea Program Director of the Year and Michael Piercy a Jersey Native who was the Idea Personal Trainer of the Year. The admiration and respect that I have for these individuals and the fact they all showed glory to God inspires me to work to achieve and inspire others as they have done. The highlight is always for me Elaine Lalane who is 91 years young presenting Todd Durkin with the Jack Lalane Award. Todd Durkin inspired me personally last year at Blogfest with words of encouragement on my weight loss journey and yet again his “Contagaism” motivated me to do better. Idea World Convention is 35 years old and us fitness professional was amused and entertained by the founders Peter and Kathie Davis dancing routine! It was so much fun!

IDEA World Fitness & Nutrition Expo

We got to explore the Idea Convention & Nutrition Expo which is also a great experience. This is where you can find what is new in the industry from workouts, equipment, apparel, and food. Anything that you can think it’s like a playground for me and I was ready to try EVERYTHING! I always find a few things that stick out to me every year and this year was the Spyder 360 and the Axle Workout! As soon as I saw these two things I had to strap in and give them a spin.

The Axle Workout is a barbell that is affixed to a wheel which can add a whole new dynamic to your workout. I am hoping to get certified and become a Master Trainer in September. This thing is a simple exercise equipment that challenges your core stabilization because it is on wheels. The Axle can be used in so many different ways, and I am excited to add this to my skill set.

The Spyder 360 is something that appealed to me for my husband’s business especially, and that was the Spyder 360. I am excited to work with this equipment to help build strength and stability in my clients as well as use it for ACL tear strength and stability exercises for my husband’s players. I will be working with the Spyder 360 in the fall and sharing why this new equipment is a must have item in the fitness world and for your workouts.

There was so much more than that I met Elaine Lalanne, Bennie Wylie from NBC Strong! who actually remembered me from last year and instead of encouraging me to continue on my journey as he did the year before this year his inspiring words was to share with others which is exactly what I plan to do using a lot of what I have learned at IDEA World and will continue to strive to learn more.

Tasted lots of different protein bars, nuts, an alternative sweetener that I think I can get down with it’s made of Monk Fruit and your body processes it as a her I am excited to try some new recipes with it and research the benefits of this sweetener that I got from Lakanto.

Day Three, Second Day of BlogFest

The next day I was tired, and ModelFit was the morning wake up I needed. I was grateful I didn’t have to jump around, but the workout was an intense balance. I still got a sweat on without all the jumping and enjoyed the exercise that Propel Propel Water provided for us! Thirst was quenched with my sweat session.

I was very excited to meet Jorge Cruise author of tiny and full™: Eat more, weigh less, and turn off hunger all day. I look forward to trying out a few recipes and reading the book and learning more about harnessing the power of thyroid boost. After the ModelFIT workout, I was happy for breakfast even though I am always glad to eat. I loved the grain free granola and needed to have that in my life.

 

I think I have figured out a way to be with my VIP Clients and train them! I am excited to explore the possibilities with GymGO and know that my clients would enjoy this service too. GymGO allows clients and their trainers have one on one or group video Sessions.

I have a guest blog for a couple of other outlets, but I can now hone the craft with some tips on “Everything You need to know to make money” lecture from Amanda Vogel was excellent information on how to continue to make use blogging as an income source. I found her presentation to be great and will be applying some things to my blog.

Have you ever written off something over a bad experience just to find out years later you’ve been missing out? That would be me! I had fig Newton’s as a kid and wrote figs off as a thing I won’t eat until I tried the fresh and dried California figs. They were so good and so good for you? I have been missing out all these years. Now I plan on adding these little yummies into my diet pronto! They are loaded with Fiber, Antioxidants, calcium, potassium, and magnesium I rather get my micronutrients from food instead of pills and plan on experimenting with figs in the kitchen.

Experiencing Todd Durkin

I just keep experiencing Todd Durkin, haha LAst year, I attended Todd Durkins Bootcamp at Idea World, and it was a highlight of my trip. I belive it was one of those many moments you have you on your journey that propels you to greatness.  This time it was an overwhelming experience as well.  Todd shared his story with us of trials and triumph and what pricked my heart especially is how he gave and showed all glory to God.  While speaking, I had so many ah ha moments of things that I have been struggling with in the recent months.

Todd’s emphasis on “Be Different” and “Tell your Story” still resignates in the back of my mind.  The fact that he openly is a faithful man of God also made me realize I am not the only one.  I share my feelings on how faith and fitness work together daily and weekly I get feedback from all sorts that can sometimes be discouraging especially fellow Christians but that’s what is different is about.  Todd also gave us his new book The WOW Book! Which I will be reviewing soon.  I feel it is no coincidence that our paths crossed again this year and I thank God for using Todd to reenergize and give me clarity and focus on what I have feel I have been called to do.

Trigger Point Ambassador

The remainder of the blog fest was networking in different aspects. First, we listen to the panel discussion with the sponsors of blog fest to find out how we as bloggers can build long term relationships. Then we were given the opportunity to pitch directly to our core sponsors of blog fest. As well as an opportunity to got to the expo and network and pitch. I can’t wait to share some of the great products that I will be representing this year. I am grateful to be a Trigger Point Ambassador this year. I will be showing you the value of Self Myo Fascial (SMR) with Trigger Point products I find SMR and stretching to be a significant part of fitness and can’t wait to share more about their dynamic products.

Winging It

There were so many highlights to my trip and so much to share. I also got to meet two-time Olympic medalist Gracie Gold on Friday night at the Red Bull Networking party and not only did I get to meet her but I got some more knowledge bombs dropped at the party. I miss research everything never really put much research into Red Bull products and ingredients. I couldn’t read them, so I wrote them off entirely but some of the long unpronounceable ingredients that you can find on the back of can is actually things that I would consume other wise such as Vitamin B12 I also found out what the ingredient of Taurine actually was among all the other things that Red Bull is doing.

They are not only helping give you wings, but they are also making people fly with their Not For Profit Research Foundation “Wings for Life.” This research foundation is for spinal cord research, and it is a “simultaneous global race that is dedicated to supporting spinal cord injury research. It is very cool that this race begins at the same time across the globe so whether it’s 2 am or 5 pm everyone is starting at the same time to raise money to help find a cure for spinal cord injury. You can learn more or donate at www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com It was a great night and Red Bull really hooked us up with great food, some Red Bull to sip on and some JayBird which is just what this lifter needs they are fabulous, and a big thank you to Red Bull!

I couldn’t stay too long at the Red Bull Networking because I had to also network with my fellow bloggers and our great sponsors who had given us so much yummy food, tips, and opportunity. I also wanted to say good bye to bloggers I may not see for the rest of the weekend which was different CEC (Continuing Education) classes for me, and I will be sharing “All da things” I learned over the weekend.

Happy Hour

My third networking party of the night I was losing steam but the energy at BlogFest Happy Hour was great! Was able to play around on the TRX while sipping a LaCroix cocktail nibbling on Figs and Cheese from California Figs. It was a great night, and I was toast by the end. I had to get back to our room shower and pass out in that order. The next two days were filled with workshops and workouts from a different specialist from all over the country and some world. I took a lot of course on TRX Programming, Functional Fitness, and Generation X and my brain are still throbbing.

BIG Thank You

This amazing opportunity would not have been possible without the sponsors, and I want to say thank you!  California Figs, Great Lakes Gelatin, GymGO and Siggi’s as well as General Mill’s for breakfast. Propel Water and Strong by Zumba for the workouts. Todd Durkin for the inspiration, Arctic Zero, Eggland’s Best, La Croix, Qalo, Takeya, TRX, California Almond®, and especially Fit Approach and Idea Convention this was all possible because of you and thank you!

Inspiration

I think the best part of the entire trip was the fellow bloggers that I have met.  Talk about some inspirational stories there are some amazing women and men who have amazing stories that should be shared. I am hoping to be able to collaborate with a few and share why they inspire me and I know they will inspire you too.  Blog fest is an amazing experience and every year I learn and grow so much from it. I am definitely going to be there in 2018 God willing and if you are a fitess and healthy blogger, enthusiast or professional you should join me there too!

Intermittent Fasting Lowdown

My Full Disclosure Policy

I have confession I haven’t been 100% forthright in my weight loss journey.  For about 10 months I have been intermittent fasting.  When people ask me how I lost 70 lbs I always say it was through Pray, Eat Well and Exercise. It never occurred to me that Intermittent fasting had something to do with it too but looking back it probably has helped me tremendously.  It wasn’t until I was talking to someone about how I intermittent fast and she said, “Well, De that sounds like your secret formula.” I never thought of it like that because at this point it’s second nature I have been doing it for almost a year now.  

Intermittent Fasting is an eating pattern that alternates through fasting and feasting periods.  Fasting has been practiced since Biblical days and now modern day science can give you a definition of the benefits of this long time practice.  It is also very popular in the Fitness and Healthy Industry and now there is a resurgence of people fasting other than for Biblical purposes.

According to the National Institute of heather there are so many benefits to fasting:

  • Reduces  inflammation . Inflammation can have some adverse affects on the body. It’s the way your body responds to outside threats like stress, infection, or toxic chemicals. An overreaction can cause your body to “fight” itself which can lead to chronic diseases among other things.  Fasting has been
  • Optimize energy metabolism- your body uses what is has more efficiently during fasting.
  • Bolster brain function.  According to a National Institute of Health Study, “The behavioral responses to Intermittent Fasting are associated with increased synaptic plasticity and increased production of new neurons from neural stem cells” (Lee et al., 2002). Meaning your brain sends signal better and creates new signals more often.
  • Protects against diabetes, cancers, heart disease there has been studies that intermittent fasting during chemotherapy has helped reduce the toxicity levels in cancer patients and improving their well being during treatment.(Lee et al., 2012).
  • Protects against neurodegeneration (such as Alzheimer’s), When you are fasting your body will utilize fatty acids for energy, meanwhile, your brain is usying ketone, amino acids and other free fatty acids. Studies show that “a human can survive for 30 or more days in the absence of food.”  It has also been hypothesized that the process of Ketolysis that happens during prolonged fasting has had improved  the aging process and had a positive effects on mice with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Reduces obesity, hypertension, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Fasting has the potential to delay aging 

How I do it?

You’re going to find a lot of different methods.  Everyone has the secret sauce but if you do your research, follow comon sense you can fast too.  Three methods of intermittent fasting can be found with lots of different names and variations but I will give you the fundamentals.

There is the controversial 5:2 Method: Where you eat your calorie regimen for 5 days but two days consecutively you eat 500-600 calorie.

There is the 16/8 Method:  This method was popularized by Leangains and has been called “Leangains protocol”; You do a 16 hour fast and then an 8 hour feast or eating period.

There is the Eat-Stop-Eat Method:This is when you feast the you fast for 24 hours 1-2 times per week.  It’s usually dinner to dinner so you have overnight but it’s still hard to withstain from food for 24 hours.

I do a combination of the 12/16/8 method and Eat Stop Eat Method.  It sounds very confusing but like anything once you’ve been doing it for so long you it becomes second nature.  I do a 12 hour fast daily; kitchen curfew is 8:30pm (which is late) and then the I don’t resume eating till after 8:30am.  On arm days I typically do a 16 hour fast I will do kitchen curfew at 8:30pm and then begin eating the next day at 12:30p.  On Sunday’s I usually do a stop eat.  From Saturday dinner time to Sunday dinner time I fast. I’m not going to lie at first it was crazy hard but now I don’t really have an appetite until dinner Sunday.  I don’t usually do anything other than Church and nap it’s a nice day to relax, fast and worship.

Why I do it? How 

I feel better.  I feel like I have more energy.  I am not snacking all day and it’s easier to hit my macros in the my 8-12 hour feasting span. I plan less meals and they are larger and more nutrient dense to get all that I need.  Having lots of little meals has me in the mindset of continually nibbling and I need to sit and eat meals if not I end up nibbling more than I intended. It helps to boost my metabolism as well while I am eating for my goals.  I have found it very effective in my weight loss journey and contribute it to my belly fat loss as well.

Should you do it?

If you are currently underweight or have a history of eating disorders I would not recommend fasting.  If you want to try another approach at your nutrition and the way you eat I would try it for a week and see if it makes a difference.  Try it longer to have a lasting effect.  It’s really up to you but I would inform myself prior to “joining a challenge.” The most adverse side effect of intermittent fasting has been found to be hunger.  Other than that it is beneficial unless you have a preexisitng condition that prolonged fasting would effect such as diabetes.  With any nutrition program you should consult your doctor first. Also, intermittent fasting is not going to replace getting prayer, rest, exercise and eating nutrient dense food.  This is in addition to your existing exercise routine.

Where do you begin?

Begin with a 12 hour fast for at least 3 days a week and graduate as it gets easier.  Nothing crazy just stop eating at a certain time every night and don’t begin again until 12 hours later.  I would also encourage you to drink up your water during this time it will help you with cravings and meet your hydration needs.  It’s really that simple. The more complicated it the less easily it is adapted.  You’ll know when you’re ready to try other methods of intermittent fasting.

Some common considerations:

  • While fasting it is okay to drink, water, coffee, tea, and no sugar beverages.  I like to start my days off with BulletProof coffee which is Organic Coffee, 1 Tbsp . Coconut Oil, 1 Scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen and a little Cinnamon or Chai Spice Mix I don’t do Protein Shakes, Meal Supplements or Dairy Products while fasting
  • I thought breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it should not be skipped.  Breakfast is important but the positive affects of fasting on your body supersede the effects of well balance breakfast.
  • Should I take supplements or medications while fasting. Most supplements and medications recommend consuming with a meal because they are fat-soluble. Of course, consult a physician but you should probably wait until you resume eating to take your supplements and medications.
  • If you workout early in the morning and concerned about fasted workouts they are find.  There has been lots of research of the benefits of a fasted workout.  I also recommend Branch Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs to drink before or during your workout.
  • I don’t want to lose my muscle gains.  Muscle gains are from proper protein intake.  During your feasting time you should be making sure you are getting the proper amount of protein to nurture muscle growth and prevent loss. There has been studies that intermittent fasting will result in less muscle loss than if you restrict your caloric intake.
  • I don’t want to get Metabolic Damage from fasting and slow down my metabolism.  GRR!  Another lack of research that is going around I’m not sure if it’s to scare women or people just don’t check their facts but short term fast boost metabolism.  It’s fasting for long periods of time of over 3 days that can cause damage and a suppressed metabolism.

Have you ever intermittent fasted?

 

 

Progress in Action

When was the last time you admired yourself in the mirror? When have you showed your self love? Gazed in the mirror and saw God’s beautiful creation. I find that we use the mirror incorrectly. Instead of finding why we are special we are critiquing why we don’t live up to some fictionalized standard. It is so easy to get overly critical of our appearance, character, actions, and habits; Especially when we are not meeting our expectations of what we should.

self love

My Mirror Avoidance

Throughout my weight loss journey, my vanity and worldly views would steal my joy.  Looking back now that I am mental, spiritually and physically happy I realize this is a big problem for lots of people.  Hindsight is always crystal clear.  I would consider myself pretty confident, but I let the enemies whispers of self-hate and conditional love ring in my ear.  Believing these lies just didn’t feel right.

Psalms 139:14, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

self love

Has this always been?

I am the oldest of six children in a blended family; four girls and two boys. My mother was a great example of loving who you are for what you are. I always remember her encouraging us to love ourselves. Physically I have always been thin, physically active, overachiever who did not shy away from anything.

When I got pregnant with my first daughter, I gained 95 pounds; who knew eating for two was just an expression? (Not I) It took me a while, but I lost the weight and got back to myself. Then, I had my second daughter elated and educated I tried not to make the same mistakes. Eighty-five pounds later I got back on that horse again and worked off the weight. Next, was baby girl number 3; I was determined to gain the recommended weight, walked, ate right and I did a little better only a measly 75 pounds.

This time around getting back on that horse has not been a smooth ride. When I reached a year postpartum, I was still carrying that baby (weight), still exercising, eating right but to no results. So, like most overachievers for the and last year I have been working harder and beating myself up for only losing 5 pounds or whatever number.

1 Thessalonian 1:1 To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power

self love

Going back to bad habits
Then, I did the obvious but sometimes second nature to me. I have the bad habit of thinking I can solve problems on my own.  I prayed about it; it’s funny how I know I have no control yet, I still think I have some control. After praying daily for God’s guidance and strength, he answered almost immediately and led me to people who could help me, Scriptures that could encourage me, and a devotional that could guide me.  Just add the personal trainer to the list of the alpha and omega. It took me six months till I felt myself coming back.

Psalm 30:1-2 I will exalt you, Lordfor you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.

 

Proverbs 16:3 (NIV) “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.”

Getting over self made hangups

I think my biggest issue I have and am constantly needed reminders and refocus is asking God for help in everything. Remembering how much He loves me for who I am right now today and not who I will be in the future. He doesn’t stop loving me because of what I did in the past, what I look like today. Even the small insignificant things that I feel wouldn’t matter to Him I must come to Him. If they matter to me, they matter to Him, and I should seek Him in all things. Once I got over my insecurities, relied on God’s strength and had faith in His sovereignty; my life became better, my mind got better, my insecurities dissipate, and I now can shine His light to others who felt as I once did. I now want to invite the love of Jesus to others and share the gift of self-love that He has given me.

What do you see in your mirror’s reflection? How can God help you know what you are looking?

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