27 January 2020

Promises From Psalms; Psalm 12:6,7

The first words in this Psalm are, "Help, Lord." Once again David is calling out to God for help. The Psalm ends with verses 6 & 7 speaking of God's word.

Psalm 12:6, 7 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Psalm 12:6, 7 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 

Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

David knows he can trust in God's word and uses the refining of silver as a comparison. In his mind there was nothing more pure. Like the refined silver, God's word is perfect; without impurities. 

David knew that in all of his troubles, God's word was something he could stand on. God's word is so much more powerful than the men who were seeking to destroy him. Not only that, he proclaims that God's word will stand for all generations; that we too can know this truth and trust in God's word.

May I never take for granted the fact that I can hold God's word in my hands; that in any situation, I can turn to the pages of this book and simply say, "Help, Lord."

Join me again next week as I look at another promise from Pslams.

Psalm 12:6,7 KJV

Read our previous Promise: Psalm 9:9,10

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23 January 2020

4 Healthy Choices For a Quick Start to Weight Loss

Apparently, January 17th is Ditch New Year's Resolutions Day, and here we are a week past that date. How is everyone doing? I prefer to set goals, rather than make resolutions, but if I don't have some plans set in place to reach those goals, then they really are no more beneficial than a resolution, and I'm no more likely to succeed. 
A couple of weeks ago I wrote Maintaining Wellness; How do I Get Back On Track? One area I wanted to get back on track with is my weight. I've gained back a little of the weight I lost two years ago, and need to head off that upward trend! Today, I'm talking about some of the foods that help me do just that. I'm not a nutritionist; I'm just sharing some of my favourites.
Making healthy choices to quick start weight loss

Some of my favourite foods for a quick start to getting back on track with healthy eating and weight loss.

  • Juicing
  • Smoothies and shakes
  • Homemade Soup
  • Overnight Oats

Juicing

Something I'd gotten away from but have started again is juicing. I got a juicer several years ago, and tend to forget about it until I need a jump start. So, I've pulled out my juicer this month and stocked up on some nutritious fruits and veggies. There are varying opinions on the benefits of regular juicing, but there's no doubt that it's a good way to get some extra nutrients. I would never eat the amount of fruit and veggies that I put into one glass of juice.
I don't have any particular recipe. I've found lots online and added them to a Pinterest board: Juicing & Smoothies. 

I always do a mix of fruit and veggies. As with most things, I just use whatever I have in the kitchen, but I do have some staples that I use: apples, carrots, and celery go in most recipes. Then I might add these: sweet potatoes, beets, greens, blueberries, pears,  peaches. My daughter's favourite blend is: apple, orange, pear, and sweet potatoes 

Something else I've found helpful is a fibre drink. This can be mixed into my juice or just water. It's great to have this right before a meal to help me feel fuller. It also adds extra nutrients to my diet and aids my digestive system.


Adding fibre is a healthy choiceJuicing can be a healthy choice
I know some people feel like juicing is a waste because you're left with all of the pulp, but we've found some ways to use that as well. We've used it in cookies and muffins as well as creating our own crackers. We spread the pulp out on a cookie sheet and bake it at 150 for a couple of hours, then break it up. A dehydrator would be even better if you have one. A quick search will give you lots of ideas for how you can make use of this yummy pulp.

This article might help you decide if juicing is for you:  Juicing: Good or Bad?

Smoothies and Shakes

Nutritious smoothies are a healthy choice
Smoothies can be a great choice for a meal replacement depending on what you put in them. A lot of people like green smoothies, adding spinach or other greens to fruit. I'm not particularly adventurous when it comes to the ingredients in my smoothies. My favourite combos are not necessarily low calorie but are really just something to help me swallow my supplements! 
I usually use banana and peanut butter or banana and blueberries with milk. Any kind of milk can be used depending on your needs. I've used almond milk, but usually just regular 2% milk. Plain yogurt is another option.


Crave blocker shakes are a healthy choice

An alternative to a smoothie is a shake, using a protein or meal replacement powder mixed with water or milk. Some of these also contain a crave blocker, or extra fibre to make you feel full. 
Protein powder can be added to a regular smoothie for extra nutrition, but of course, the calorie count will be higher.




Homemade Vegetable Soup

Soup is a perfect meal for a wintertime kickstart to weight loss. It's filling and delicious! Unfortunately, with my OLP, I've had to make adjustments to my recipe...no more tomatoes or potatoes for me!

Veggie soup is a healthy choice
The best thing about soup is you can just throw in whatever veggies you have on hand, or whatever your favourites are. I just use a store-bought soup broth as a base and add salt and pepper and my favourite way to add flavour...dill weed. My favourite vegetable to use is cabbage. I love the flavour, and it cooks down, making for a heartier soup.


There are way too many benefits of cabbage for me to list here, but if you're interested, check out this article.

My soup is more of a borscht, as I also add beets, one of my husband's favourites. You can read about the benefits here.

Another of my favourite vegetables is rutabaga, although I tend to call them turnips. There IS a difference. Rutabagas are more yellow and have a milder flavour, but I'll use either. I found the benefits of rutubaga are here.

I always add onions to pretty much anything I cook, much to the displeasure of some of my kids! I often just throw in whatever I have available. There are so many other great options for soup as well; carrots, celery, green beans, peas, to name a few. 

Whatever your favourite veggies, soup is a great way to have a nutritious, low calorie, but filling meal.

Vegetable soup is a healthy choice

Last, but not least is my favourite...

Overnight Oats

I started eating overnight oats after I was diagnosed with Oral Lichen Planus. One reason is that I was looking for foods that wouldn't cause irritation to my sore mouth. Because I can't eat citrus fruits, tomatoes, spices, or even potatoes, I needed some healthy alternatives in my diet. 

Overnight oats were a surprisingly delicious discovery for someone who hated oatmeal as a kid! I prepare them the day before and put them in the fridge overnight. Because they keep well, I often make a couple of days supply. I sometimes eat two bowls a day, so this saves some time. I now tell my daughter, it's like eating ice cream...although I haven't quite convinced of that yet.
The funny thing is, I've discovered I don't even mind them warmed up now. On a cold winter day, the last thing I want is cold food, so one day I decided to give it a try and popped my bowl into the microwave, and found out they were rather tasty.

My other reason for making oats a regular part of my diet is that they are so good for me!
Overnight oats are a healthy choice

A few of the benefits of eating oatmeal:

Oatmeal is a whole grain and as such, has a high fibre content, and can help lower cholesterol levels. My cholesterol is a little higher than is optimal, so foods that keep it lower are ideal.

Because it is high in fibre, it digests slowly helping you to feel full longer. Of course, this helps anyone who is trying to lose weight!

It has a low glycaemic index, which can help maintain blood sugar levels. In the past, I've been borderline diabetic, as was my mom, so anything that helps in this area is great!

Oatmeal is nutritious! It's a source of protein and is rich in thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium, and iron.
You can find more info on the health benefits of oats here.

Adding apples and blueberries to my overnight oats increases the nutritional value as well. 
Apples are another good source of fibre and vitamin C. Applesauce may not be as nutritious, but I don't want to add sugar, so unsweetened applesauce is a good choice for a little flavour.

Blueberries are a source of vitamin C, as well as being a source of low-calorie fibre. According to Mayo Clinic blueberries also contain phytonutrients that may help chronic disease.


When I have them on hand, I also like to add Chia seeds to my oats. They too provide fibre, iron, and calcium, and are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants.

So, that's my four favourite foods to get back on track with weight loss. I don't eat (or drink) these every day, but when I want a quick start to getting back on track, each of these makes a good meal replacement. The overnight oats and smoothies are the ones I have most frequently, sometimes alternating between the two, oats one day a smoothie the next. Generally, my 5 pm meal is whatever I've prepared for my family. But the key, not only to weight loss, but overall health is taking a good nutritional supplement along with any meal plan. I know my nutritional needs would never be met without supplementing.

I hope this has been helpful. If you have some favourites to add to these, please share in the comments.


You can read more posts in My Wellness Journey

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20 January 2020

Promises From Psalms; Psalm 9:9-10

Psalm 9 speaks again of praising the Lord and rejoicing. I've been more intentional about spending more time listening to songs of praise to God. When I praise God in song I draw nearer to Him and I'm more at peace. I've always known this, and yet I forget and go days without music being a part of my day.

Psalm 9:9,10 KJV

Today's promise is found in Psalm 9:9-10 

v.9 The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

Even in the best of times, I need to spend time apart from everyday activities and spend time in God's word and commune with him. He IS my refuge; he stills my heart from the cares of this world.

v.10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.


No matter what I'm struggling with, whatever my burdens, I can put my trust in Him. He has all the answers I need. 

Again, my obedience is the key. All he asks is that I seek Him. He will NEVER forsake me! 

Join me again next week as I look at another promise from Pslams.

Psalm 9:9,10 KJV

Read our previous Promise: Psalm 5:11-12

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16 January 2020

Beyond Decluttering, Does It Ever End?

So, you've spent a few months, or maybe a year, decluttering your home.

You've dumped all your clothes on the bed and only kept what you love...folding them neatly Marie Kondo style, you've pared down your bookshelves to only your favourite authors, you've given away all your nicknacks, emptied the basement and garage...you've even tossed all of the expired medication! You can finally breathe a sigh of relief...it's done! Until you open a closet or cabinet and aaaarrgh it's overflowing again! Or the junk mail and flyers have once again piled up on the kitchen counter! Picnic plates in the winter? And what are those tools doing in here? Please tell me I'm not the only one who's had this problem!

A place for everthing, and everything in it's place

13 January 2020

Promises From Psalms; Psalm 5:11-12

Our second Promise From Psalms is found in Psalm 5:11-12.

 This Psalm is a prayer of David crying out to God for help and direction. In verses 11 and 12, the Psalmist speaks of those who put their trust in God.  Because He defends them they can rejoice and shout for joy; those that love His name can be joyful in him. God will bless the righteous and with favour will compass him with a shield. 

Psalm 5:11-12 KJV