With all my heart,
I have recently realized that the phrase “separation of church and state” really means separation of Christianity and the state, and state run institutions. In my daughter’s class, she learned about the all seeing eye from the Hindu religion. The all seeing eye also has origins in the occult. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not opposed to her learning about another religion, or even about the existence of the occult. In fact, I am for it. I think that it is only when we know what we believe and what other’s believe, that we can truly defend our own beliefs. If your belief system is sound, then you have nothing to fear from the knowledge of other religions. I don’t want to live in a world in which I close my ears to all other belief systems. I don’t have to embrace them as my own, but I do need to learn about them. Because if I really believe in truth, then I must make sure what I believe is true. The only way to do this is to study not only your own religion, but the religion of others, and see if yours stands up to reason, logic, historical facts, archeological evidence, eye witness accounts, and etc. A fancy word for this is apologetics. So, with that said, I don’t have a problem with her learning about it, I just have a problem with the fact that I am sure she would never be allowed to do a presentation in front of her class on Jesus. But a presentation on the all seeing eye is deemed acceptable. Where is the separation of church and state here? The last time I checked Hinduism is in fact a religion, and the occult functions like a religion as well.
Now on to the devil. How does he come into play here? Well, my son was being traumatized by a website that several kids were going on at school. It is called scaryforkids.com. When I went onto this site, it was certainly scary for kids. There were evil horrific pictures on it and links to movies such as The Exorcist, Halloween, and The Amityville Horror. The kids couldn’t link to the films themselves, but they could read about them and also read hundreds of other terrifying stories of murder and possession on this website. In defense of the school, they did not know kids were going on it until I pointed it out. However, they did not strictly forbid the kids from going back on it, they just strongly suggested the kids make better choices. Honestly, I did want a stronger response from the school; as in we will block this site completely. So even though murders and unspeakable evils happen everyday in our world, the devil is treated like a plaything or like an innocuous being. Has his existence been completely erased? People may not realize it, but he leads his own religion too. It is very covert and he is definitely not separated from the state.
And that’s all I have for today folks.
With all my heart,
This week I am in snowy Breckenridge drinking in peace and relaxation with my good friend and pastor, Jean Hess. I am reading, studying, eating, and just simply being. It is wonderful. We also have a little fox that we see every day and he is a source of much joy.
Since I have been here, I decided to take two of my practice tests for my Group Fitness Certification. I was really nervous to take them, b/c I was afraid I would fail them. But, I knew that if I took them, it would show me where I needed to focus the rest of my studies before taking the real exam next month.
I took the first exam and I failed it. I got 42 answers correct out of 60. Not too bad, but not good enough. I then studied all of the questions on the exam, retook the exam, and passed it 100%. Then I took the second exam. This one I passed on the first go. Whew! Now, I didn’t feel like a complete idiot. My biggest worry now is taking THE exam. What happens if I fail? I have told myself that I will tell no one about when I am going to take the exam so that if I do fail, then I don’t have to tell anyone. This is pride right? Why am I so afraid to fail? I have put in a lot of study and plan to put in a couple of weeks more before I go and take this giant exam. I am nervous and afraid. I am afraid that if I fail it you will all think I am a big dummy. I will think I am a big dummy too.
My other fear is that even if I do pass the test, that when I am leading classes and people come up and ask me a question, I still won’t know what I am talking about. Will I automatically remember all the muscles and what they do and everything else that I am supposed to know? I don’t know. Fear is such an ugly thing. I have struggled with it for a very long time. However, I won’t let fear stop me. I will pass this test even if it takes me more than one try. Hopefully, it won’t though. I plan on being very prepared for it.
If you are afraid of failing, that’s okay. Whatever it is you want to do, do it afraid. That is what I’m doing. I’m doing it afraid.
With all my heart,
This post is for a few friends who have been wanting to lose a few pounds. It seems at some point in all of our lives we will begin to put on a few pounds for one reason or another. I know I gained weight a couple of years after getting married while working at an American comfort food restaurant in Chicago. I had never worried about my weight, and then it just started creeping on silently. I was also very inactive. I never was consistent with a workout regime. I would last 6 mos. or so and then quit. Yes, I was a lazy, unmotivated quitter.
One night Brian and I were at a movie in the park in Chicago and that is when he broke the heavy news to me that I looked like I had gained a little weight. A trip to the gym verified his suspicion. Although I was devastated by his observation, he was right. I had put on 14 pounds. And before I could lose it, I was pregnant with Liam. When I delivered Liam I was around 175 stones. For the next 5 years I would stay in this slightly overweight zone. For my height I like to be at 130 lbs and considering the fact that I have very small muscles, this weight was all fat. It wasn’t sexy strong muscle.
When this happens to us, what do we do? Well, here is one way to take the pounds off w/o cutting calories. You can cut calories, as this is a very effective way to lose weight, but if you don’t want to be hungry all the time and feel deprived, here is another alternative. It is called Somersizing. The plan was developed by Suzanne Somers and her doctor. Follow these rules, which might seem overwhelming in the beginning, but after a while, you will be a pro at it. My friend Anna lost 70 lbs. this way. She also worked out.
1) Eliminate foods that are really high in sugar such as:
Bananas, carrots, potatoes, white rice, white pasta, white bread, sweet potatoes, yams, yucas, anything in the potato starchy family. Corn too. This includes sugar of any kind and all sugar ladened goodies. And no alcohol.
Many of the foods to be eliminated are high glycemic index and the idea is that by avoiding these foods the blood glucose levels will remain more stable which allows the body to burn fat more easily.-Suzanne Somers
2) Eliminate combo foods:
These are foods that contain protein and carbs and are a bit high in sugar. Such as: nuts, peanut butter, dried fruit, avocados, olives. Also, eliminate whole milk, and whole yogurt.
3) Eat fruit all by itself.
Wait 1/2 an hour before you eat anything else. Fruit is also high in sugar and can raise your glucose levels. Eat as much as you want, just eat it alone. Eat it on an empty stomach. You will be eating your fruit in the morning.
4) Drink caffeine by itself.
For example: If you have a cup of coffee, wait an hour or two before eating. Caffeine is another insulin trigger. If you have it with food or close to food, it will make you store fat. So have it by itself with a non fat creamer or just black. You can sweeten it with stevia in the raw if you like it to be sweet.
5) Eat Protein and Fat with no Carbs.
For example: You may eat a steak fried in olive oil or butter with some veggies and cheese, but you may not have any carbs or fruit with this meal as the sugar in the carbs will make you store the fat in the steak and the cheese.
Meal examples: Roasted Chicken with fresh salad with full fat dressing. Scrambled eggs with cheese and butter with a side of fresh salsa.
6) Eat Carbs with No Fat and No Protein.
Meal examples: Brown pasta with roasted garlic tomato sauce cooked w/o butter or oil. Brown rice with steamed broccoli. Whole grain toast or bagel with fat free cream cheese or fat free hummus with sliced tomatoes.
7) A word about beans.
You can eat beans on this plan, but since they are a combo food as well, don’t eat them with fat or carbs. You can have a bowl of pintos with fresh tomato salsa and a dollop of fat free sour cream or plain fat free yogurt. Try to find a yogurt that doesn’t have artificial sweeteners. This can be tricky.
8) Wait 3 hours between meals of different combinations.
If you follow these basic rules you will begin to lose weight. Your body’s glucose will stay low and your body will begin to access the fat stores that you already have and break those down instead of utilizing the fuel in the food that you have just eaten. It is very clever and you don’t have to eliminate any food groups completely. You will feel deprived a little I’m sure, but you will be much fuller than when counting calories. If you include some kind of movement along with this, you will be on your way to reaching your desired weight. I have lost weight this way and so have several of my friends. I know it works.
Good luck to all!! Please comment below if you have any questions about this way of eating.
With all my heart,
One other tip: If you eat too many carb meals this will slow your weight loss down. Try to eat more Protein Fat meals than Carb meals.
You can also buy or check out any of Suzanne Somers books on Somersizing. They are dirt cheap on Amazon.
I know, I know. I haven’t been blogging much lately. I have come to the conclusion that since I sent my kids to public school, I have way less to complain about. Yes, we still have our ups and downs, but life here at the ranch is much better. The kids are enjoying school, I am enjoying studying, and in general we tend to get along quite well. I am wondering then, what in the heck am I going to blog about? It seems I have lost my blogging voice.
My blog originally started out as a fitness blog, but not many people wanted to read about fitness, at least not my initial audience. It was then that I began to notice that when I mommy blogged, way more people would read it. So, in order to get traffic to my site, I began to blog primarily about home schooling, my kids, my emotional outbursts, so on and so forth. Daily drama is way more interesting than learning how to cut a few calories.
For now, I ask you to bear with me until I find my new voice, which will probably be a combination of mommy woes and fitness trends. If you do stick around to read my fitness posts, you just might learn a thing or two. Who knows?
The kids had their parent/teacher conferences this past week, and they went great. My kids were praised by their teachers as the wonderful gems that they are, and I was very proud of them. I have to say that as a former homeschooler I have to eat some of my words and some of my assumptions about the public school system. Although many public schools are screwed up, the school my kids attend is very impressive. The teachers go out of their way to help my children to be successful. I am very grateful for them.
I plan on taking my test next month to become a group fitness instructor. I can’t wait.
So until I find my voice again, please stick with me.
With all my heart,
PS: The image is not mine. I got it from the cowshow.com.
Yesterday when I got home from my workout I happened to look in the mirror for some reason. It is then that I noticed that I had a big white booger in my nose. This was a long plank-ish booger, the thin wispy kind, that could easily fly out of one’s nose without any warning. Needless to say, I was horrified by this little flaky discovery. For you see, I had just left workout with 3 other women and I had been in the library all day studying and intermittenly conversing with others, some of whom were taller than me, and some of whom were shorter than me. You see where I’m going with this don’t you? The people who are shorter than me, or on eye level with me, must’ve seen my hanging kite booger. How could they not, since it was enormous. If it had been an occupant renting my left nostril, it would’ve not had room to have a roommate. My mind then went to each separate scenario wondering who saw my booger and what was going on in their head when they did. I will now be known as the booger lady or the girl with the booger. Oh well. What is a person to do? I just wish that if someone had seen my booger that they would’ve told me about the booger. Isn’t this what true love and kindness is all about, telling people that they have a boogie? I would tell you if you had a boogie.
I was thinking that we need a universal symbol for booger. If you make a certain sign with your hand that will signal to the person, “Hey, you have a boogie! Do something about it.” I thought the sign language symbol for the letter B would suffice for this purpose. You hold up the letter B and viola, the person knows what to do without being pulled aside and being embarrassed. Of course, you have to show them the signal covertly. I call this Operation Booger.
Now you may ask, what did I learn from this whole situation. I learned that there are many ways to be humiliated and having a booger in public is one of them. God certainly knows how to keep me humble.
The Booger Lady
This morning I went to the coffee shop here on the campus of Denver Seminary. I was feeling a little sluggish so I thought another cup of coffee might do the trick. Upon receiving my coffee, I went to the sweetener and creamer station to doctor my brew. I have to say these little places are a real source of aggravation for me. You see, “Solid Grounds” like many other nice coffee shops, offers these little perniciously poisonous artificial sweetener packages that make me want to scream. Why are businesses comfortable with the fact that they are aiding in poisoning ignorant and uncaring people with these little chemical cocktails? They sit there so cute in their pink and yellow and blue packages making you think you are making a better choice. This really bothers me. ”Solid Grounds” offers very healthy food items and protein bars and things of that sort, so why offer up this toxic triad? They probably do it because that is what the consumer wants. We need to want something else, don’t you think? There are better alternatives to sugar than these little devils.
Let me introduce you to stevia. Stevia is an all natural herbal sweetener. It is grown in South America where they have been consuming it for around 400 years. You can put it in your coffee or tea, and you can cook and bake with it. So you ask, why would I want to use stevia instead of sugar or other sweeteners? Well, for one thing, stevia was made by God, not by a chemical company like Mansanto, and number two, it has many health benefits, which I am sad to say are lacking with sugar and artificial sweeteners.
1) It does not create an insulin response. Therefore, it doesn’t make you store fat. Therefore, if you use it you will lose it. Weight, I mean.
2) It won’t rot your teeth.
3) It isn’t addictive.
4) It can lower your blood pressure.
Why sugar is bad, bad, bad for you:
1) It makes you gain weight. It raises your insulin level.
2) It rots your teeth.
3) It is addictive. We love it don’t we?
4) It has zero health benefits. I’m not saying it doesn’t make you happy. But that is pretty much all it does. So please have sugar in moderation and when you do, have organic sugar. And remember, you get all the sugar you need from fruits and vegetables and carbohydrates. For example, bananas, carrots and potatoes are all very high in sugar.
Why you shouldn’t use artificial sweeteners like Nutrasweet, Splenda, and Sweet n Low:
1) They are crap.
3) Nutrasweet-Two reasons: aspartame and methanol. This stuff is simply poison. Don’t touch it, don’t even look at it! Run when you see it!! Aspartame has been linked to brain cancer in numerous studies. Oh and by the way, aspartame makes you thirsty, which is why people become addicted to Diet Coke. Diet Coke is simply disgusting.
4) Sweet n Low-contains coal tar. Need I say anymore?
Listen people! It is better to have either real God-made sugar in moderation, or stevia. If you are a sugar addict, then definitely you need to make some modifications in your diet. I do this all the time. I am a sweet tea junkie. So now instead of having tea everyday with sugar, I have it with stevia in the raw. I have it with real sugar on Sunday. I call it Real Sugar Sundays. You can easily make similar modifications. You can also bake with it. Experiment. My friend Anna made me a sweet potato pound cake with stevia and it was the BOMB!
Now a word about Stevia: There are several brands out there of stevia and let me tell you what I think about them.
1. Stevia in the Raw-This is my favorite of all the stevia products out there. It has no additives, and has the best taste in my humble opinion. You can get it in a big bag, and in single serve packets.
2) Truvia-Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. And I’ll say it again. Yuck. Comes in a pretty box, but that’s about it.
3) Pure Via-Not too bad. It comes in single serve packets and if I’m in pinch, I will use it. It is almost as good as Stevia in the Raw.
4) Stevia powder from Trader Joe’s-This is also a yummy one. This would be my second choice for sure. It might be my first choice if it came in a bigger package. Trader Joe’s also has liquid stevia which I have never tried.
So that’s the skinny on stevia. Please use it, or use organic sugar. And never ever use any artificial sweeteners or products that contain them. Do you hear what I’m sayin’?
Since my children have been going to public school, I thought I should be more intentional about spending time with them since I will see them less. So, I have started taking them on dates. Now I have done this in the past, usually for their birthdays, but now I am going to try and do it more frequently. What I have found on these dates is that my children tend to open up to me and begin telling me things that have been left unsaid. I think because we go someplace with few or no distractions that their minds have time to settle and they can begin to verbalize what has been going on in their world.
I also found this to be true one evening when I looked up from my laptop and noticed that my kids were each in their own internet or TV world. I suggested to the kids that we take a couple of strolls around the chapel. To my surprise they readily agreed and we set out on a quick journey. The air was crisp, the sky was black and littered with a few stars. The lights were on in the chapel/classroom building since classes were in session. Everything was quiet. We walked/biked and my kids began to talk. They began to offer up more information about their day, their interests, and some of their concerns. We also took a quick tour of the sky’s constellations and discussed the likelihood of life on other planets. Without realizing what I was doing, I had created space for my children to talk to me.
If you are a parent and you just don’t think your kids are opening up to you, then create some space for them to do it. Find a quiet coffee shop, a bookstore, a serene walking path, and watch and listen while the magic unfolds. Now I don’t have teenagers, so I don’t know if this applies to them or not. But for my saplings, it works wonders.
With all my heart,
As you know, I have enrolled my kiddos in public school so that I can focus on becoming a group fitness instructor. I have been studying for the exam for the past 4 months. I was feeling like a bit of a loser b/c I am still stuck in study land, but I read yesterday that ACE wants you to take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to prepare for the exam. Now, I don’t feel so bad. It will take me about 5 or 6 months to be ready. The anatomy is pretty overwhelming although extremely fascinating. I have to say that I am loving the studying process and I enjoy my days spent in the library with my head stuck in a book. The human body is amazing and God was so incredibly thorough in His design of it. The more I study it, the more I am convinced that we must be good stewards of this beautiful gift that God has given each one of us. When we abuse our bodies, we are destroying something precious.
The kids are still adjusting to school and have days in which they still don’t like it, or they love it. I told them thank you this morning, since they are giving their mommy a great opportunity. I can tell that they are growing in new and challenging ways. I am so proud of them. They are learning a little bit more about the world, but no more than they were already learning on the campus of a Christian seminary. And I say that in love. Finn came in the first week of living on campus and spelled the word S-H-I-T on the whiteboard and asked, “Mom, what does that mean?” And my son Liam was bullied on campus for about 4 months until I finally stepped in and put an end to it. So, yes the world is a scary place, but unless you keep them in the house with you all the time, they will face difficult things.
My husband is working 30 hours a week in Denver and taking 3 classes. Greek, theology, and training and mentoring. This is his third semester of Greek and it is eating his lunch. Don’t tell him I told you that. They are translating Romans and next semester they will translate the entire book of James. What fun!! He enjoys it, but just wishes it wasn’t so hard.
Altogether we are one big happy family. We live in an amazing community surrounded by amazing people. Professors, students, wives, mothers, singles, kids, Americans, Koreans, Africans, Scots, Chinese, Japanese, and lots of bunnies. Who could ask for more? I feel so blessed and thankful.
With all my heart,
I signed Finn up for an event called Girls on the Run. She will train and run a 5k in November. I thought it would be a fun and challenging activity for her and her friends. However, once there and running around the school building, some little mean witches began picking on my daughter and calling her fishy. When Finn told me what had happened, I am ashamed to say my first response was not to tell her to turn the other cheek. (She did turn the other cheek, by the way. I am so proud of her.) My first response was blurting out in my very proper Texas drawl, “I”m gonna slap ‘em up side they heads!” Finn just looked at me when I said that with the words “Like seriously, Mom?” in bubble letters above her head. I had to let her know I was semi-joking. My other idea of having her spit in their faces or stomp on their heads wouldn’t have been appropriate either. I can see how these things can get out of hand. She was also annoyed by a classmate today who was deliberately kicking her under the table and putting her feet on her chair. I am certainly going to have to grow a compassionate heart for these little monsters. In the meantime, Finn knows not to take any of my bad advice.
With all my heart,