One of the things I love about the south is that people  talk to you. When I was at Joann’s a lady offered to help me with my sewing, recipes are shared at the grocery store, and people chat with you at the gym.

While doing my dumbbell bench press a guy looked over at me and said the he could tell that I really like what I’m doing. He then went on to express that, like him, I’m a mature lady who has found a way to get and stay healthy…… Our conversation continued as we shared our thoughts on aligning spirit, soul, and body with God’s plan and purposes in our lives.

But I’m still stuck on the mature lady part. I know that I’m only months away from being 50 but I don’t feel like I’m old enough to be that old. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, happier than a clam in the mud, wiser than my years, and I seem to get prettier each and every day. (See, ladies I do practice what I preach by complimenting myself instead of criticizing myself.)

I’ve finally learned not to live in the past, maintain regrets, or try to control everything and everyone around me. I’ve come to accept family and friends for who they are while expecting me to be my best self.

I’ve even gotten used to the idea that my daughter lives in another state and that I won’t be a daily part of my grand-baby’s life.

Heck! He’s right! I’m one mature lady, aren’t I?

More on Diet Sodas

Mark Hyman, MDI’d like to quote a passage from The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman.

If you are thinking that diet soft drinks are the answer, think again. Diet drink consumption has increased 400 percent since 1960. They may or may not cause cancer, but the evidence is mounting that they lead to weight gain rather than weight loss. Those who consume diet drinks regularly have a 200 percent increased risk of weight gain, a 36 percent increased risk of pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome, and a 67 percent increased risk of diabetes. A study of over 400 people found that those who drank two diet sodas a day had five times the increase in waist circumference as those who did not drink soda.Seems you can’t outsmart Mother Nature….

If you would like to read more from Dr. Hyman, please click on the picture to purchase the book from Amazon.

Instead of reaching for that diet soda, try adding a fresh peach to a pitcher of green tea!

Remember this…..

In my personal opinion this was the absolutely worst drink ever produced on the planet. But I drank it anyway because I was young and believed the lie it told  through advertising. And that lie was that I could drink sodas and be skinny. (You might also remember that these were the days of Virginia Slims…..)

And many still believe this lie. So for the next several days I’m going to be posting links along with my own thoughts about diet drinks…

Before you read the following article, please take a moment and think about the verses below and ask God to reveal the truth to you about these products that will set you free!

You are of your father the devil……… Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father oflies. John 8:44

and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32


Is there a link between diet soda and heart disease?




I’m a big fan of diet soda. I like the taste, and I love that it doesn’t have any calories. I can drink two or three diet sodas a day and not worry about gaining weight. But a new study has me wondering if enjoying the sweetness of soda without the sugar and calories is such a good thing after all.


University of Miami and Columbia University researchers followed roughly 2,500 New Yorkers for 10 years. All of the study volunteers were over age 40 and had never had a stroke. At the start of the study, each participant indicated her or his diet soda intake as “none” (less than 1 per month), “light” (1 diet soda a month to 6 diet sodas a week), or “daily” (1 or more a day). Each year, researchers contacted participants by phone to ask them about changes in risk factors and medications, as well as any health problems and hospitalizations that may have occurred.


At the end of 10 years, the daily diet soda drinkers were more likely to have had a stroke or heart attack, or to have died from vascular disease. The increased risk remained even after study investigators accounted for smoking, exercise, weight, sodium intake, high cholesterol, and other factors that could have contributed to the difference. The results were published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.


Both regular and diet soft drinks were linked with certain, but separate, cardiovascular disease risk factors. In this study, frequent diet soda drinkers were more likely to be former smokers and have higher blood sugar, high blood pressure, and, ironically, larger waistlines. They were also more likely to have metabolic syndrome. That’s the name for a cluster of risk factors—high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels—that occur together and increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Folks who drank regular soda were more likely to smoke and eat more carbohydrates, but were less likely to have diabetes or high cholesterol.


A study such as this one can only hint at an association between diet soda and cardiovascular risk. It can’t pinpoint a cause and effect. But it’s not the first to implicate diet soda as a cardiovascular risk factor. A report from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, published in the journal Diabetes Care, found that people who drank diet soda every day had a 36% greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome and a 67% greater risk of developing diabetes. Both of these conditions greatly raise the odds of having a stroke or heart attack. It’s a little surprising that diet soda drinkers were more like to develop two particular components of metabolic syndrome: larger waistlines and higher fasting glucose levels (results consistent with the New York study results).


So far, research on diet soda’s relationship to cardiovascular disease raises more questions than it answers. For example, do people who drink a lot of diet soda have other behaviors or conditions that independently increase their risk of cardiovascular disease? We also don’t have a good understanding of the biological effects of artificial sweeteners (see this Harvard Health Letter article for more on this topic). Manufacturers use a variety of artificial sweeteners in soft drinks, and surely new ones will come on the market. So it is difficult to tease out the effects of a particular sweetener—or beverage for that matter, because a range of drinks come in sugar-free form, not just soda.


Sometimes making a healthful choice is a slam dunk. Quitting smoking and exercising more are very good for you. There’s no debate about that. Other times it’s a tougher call. Surely, no one needs to consume soft drinks of any kind. But is it a problem to do so?


My husband gently (but persistently) tells me there is nothing good about drinking diet soda, not even the taste I claim to enjoy so much. The evidence seems to back him up. For me, I have realized (time and again) that I just feel better when I don’t drink diet soda. When I make the effort, I’m reminded how much I enjoy other beverages such as carbonated water or iced tea.


Wish me luck as I once again try to get off diet soda.


Posted February 21, 2012, 12:36 pm

Nancy Ferrari, Senior editor, Harvard Health



I got up for the early service at the East Gate Christian Fellowship this morning. The people were very welcoming and invited me to join them for various events and to come to the Women’s Bible Study. I enjoyed the teaching and look forward to visiting them again in the future.

Afterwards I took myself out to breakfast and The Egg & I. I had the apple cinnamon granola pancake and it was quite delicious. Once again I realized that I’m not the average American cause I left more than half the pancake on my plate….. Every now and then it’s okay to treat yourself but always remember that you don’t have to eat all of it!

Then I went to the Farmer’s Market for fresh fruit, veggies, and homemade pita bread. I also stopped by the spice guys for some fresh spices to send to Hannah in Ohio. Seriously, you can’t beat their spices or their prices!

I decided that I didn’t want to take a nap or spend the afternoon at the beach so I went to check out The Fresh Market in Destin. I did take a detour at the Bass Pro Shop to have my picture taken with the Duckmen!

Bass Pro Shop, Destin FL

ImageOnce I got home, I grabbed a half of a piece of pita bread, a bottle of water,  and a  salad to end the day with a picnic on the beach.

What a wonderful day God has given me!

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 2 Corinthians 10:12

Comparisons are never, ever wise. If I go to the gym and compare myself to some of the ladies there I will definitely leave  depressed and feeling as if I’ve just wasted an hour of my life. And if I compare myself to some of the bodies that I see laying on the beach I’ll end up feeling much better about myself than I should.

Both comparisons are extremes. And that’s how we measure ourselves. We go to the extreme, don’t we? We either end up feeling good or horrible about ourselves.

These comparisons are not limited to body image….

We compare

  • spouses
  • children
  • houses
  • finances
  • spirituality
  • churches
  • careers

The results are much worse than how we end up feeling. These comparisons can destroy a relationship or stop a new friendship from ever developing. We can get so caught up in the comparison that we fail to see the person that we are comparing ourselves to.

It’s possible that they we really need each other but can’t move past our feelings of insecurity to get to know them.

(Just so you know, when you compare yourself with someone and come up ahead of them that’s also insecurity!)

Rather than doing all this unwise comparing, let’s just simply choose to be wise,  be our best self, and do the best we can with where we are and what we have, and accept that the other person as she is.





Farmer’s Market

ImageThe sun was shining this morning which meant that the Farmer’s Market was OPEN! I absolutely love going to this market. My new Israeli friends were there today and this is just a small picture of the great veggies they brought with them. If Hank were here with me I probably would have bought one of everything. However, being by myself, I decided that it would be wiser to think smaller and stop by the Fresh Market if I need anything else.

ImageSo, here’s my well-stocked fridge…. I’ve got Almond Milk for my protein shakes, fresh peppers, yellow zucchini, tomatoes, purple onions, spinach,  spring mix, and fresh figs. I also picked up fresh Greek Seasoning from the Farmer’s Market to make a vinaigrette. (Please note that the cream cheese was left behind by my very pregnant daughter who wanted bagels for breakfast.)

A rotisserie chicken will give me that extra protein in my salads and I’m sure that I’ll make it by the seafood market at some point in the week!

The only way to eat well is to plan well.  By choosing not to stock my fridge with processed foods, I’m choosing to eat from God’s bounty!

While at the market, my new friends explained to me that a good marriage is like growing a garden. The wedding is like planting a seed but without water, sunshine, and weeding that seed will not produce fruit…..

Happy Sunday! And thanks for taking the time to read my blog and looking at my pictures!

Blame.  Guilt. Shame.

These are words and emotions meant to manipulate, control, and condemn. Blame is a cruel reminder of the past. Guilt locks the door in the prison of regret. Shame dissolves hope.
And, often, weight-gain is the concertina wire that surrounds the prisoner locked into this prison.

Conviction. Repentance. Forgiveness.

These are so much more than words. They are the work of the Holy Spirit who
gives freedom from manipulation and allows condemnation to be shaken off like the sand on our feet. The Holy Spirit transforms regrets into opportunities.

I believe that once we begin to walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit we will discover that the prison doors, locks, and concertina wire are no longer needed and that extra weight can begin to melt away.



Relationships, part 3

“Our parents care for us as children and we care for them in their old age but we always know that there will come a day when they will see Jesus long before we do.” (July 2, 2013)

As  parents age and move closer to the end of their lives many adult children may find themselves stepping into the role of parent, care-giver, and nurse while trying their best to honor their parents.

When in this position, it’s necessary to try balance parents, spouse, children, and grandchildren too. Throw in work and church, it  feels as if there is absolutely no time to take care of oneself.

Some days it may feel as if one is walking a high tension wire and just about to go crashing to the ground.

There seems to be no time for exercise. It may even seem selfish for wanting an hour to take a walk or go to the gym.

Comfort foods are used as a stress-reliever. Indulgences become a reward.

And it’s about so much more than finding balance, dealing with stress, or being bone-tired. Caring for our parents comes with the childhood wounds, family tensions, and the building frustration of the unfairness of it all. Brothers and sisters seem to go on with life as normal. While they were only there for a few hours to visit,  parents go on and on for days about how good it was to see him or her. To add insult to injury, the absent brother or sister is the parent’s favorite child who does no wrong.

If you are in this position, then I want to tell you that you absolutely, positively need to begin caring for yourself. You can’t on like this indefinitely! If you continue to try to balance it all, you will come crashing to the ground sooner rather then later. And then what? Who will step in and pick up the pieces?

Not only will it all come crashing down but you may find that you’ve put yourself in a place where someone needs to take care of you.

It’s time to ask for help! You’re not weak because you can’t keep it all balanced and you’re not selfish because you need a few hours a week to take care of yourself…..

(Disclaimer: Due to distance, I am the kid who shows up for a few days to help out and then leaves. My husband, Hank, tries to pick up his mom and takes her out of town for a few days so that Judy can get a break. Thank you Judy and Rhonda for all that you do to take care of our parents! )

thinking about food

A verse from my daily reading….

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?

When we read this verse we tend to think of those who are going without, don’t we? But what about those of us who have become consumed about what and how much we eat, about the size of our hips, and getting some spanx to make us look thinner.

We’ve kept food journals, measured serving sizes, and counted calories. Instead of saying our nightly prayers, we tried to recount everything we ate throughout the day. We start each Monday on a diet. And end each Friday rewarding ourselves with food for making it through the week.

We’ve spent countless hours thinking about food, haven’t we? And in doing so, we have been in direct disobedience to Christ. (OUCH!)

Isn’t time that we break this vicious cycle? Don’t you think we be concentrating more on God and his kingdom, family, and friends than we are going to eat or what we shouldn’t have eaten?

Now this doesn’t mean that we should just eat absolutely anything our heart desires because then we’ll wake each day more disgusted with ourselves than we were the day before.

It means that we should be eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. We should be eating the foods that God placed in the Garden of Eden and not what we find at the food courts in our local mall.

ImageLet’s stop looking for the magic pill that will allow us to eat those things that got us into this shape, stop paying Jenny Craig for her advice, and begin following the plan of the ONE  who designed and provided the perfect meal plan for us during creation.




Relationships – Kids

Spending some time with Hannah on the beach before she moves to Ohio.

Let’s talk about our kids….I’ve said things like I’d take a bullet for my kid, I’d die for my kid, my kid is my life. And now I’ve discovered that I’m willing to live for my kid!

By taking care of my body, I’m actually choosing to live for my kid and I’m investing in her future peace of mind.

I love my daughter more than words can ever express and I don’t want her to bear the burden of having to care for me when I’m old. I don’t want her to have to make difficult decisions about my health and well-being.

Choosing to eat well and exercise are the only things that I can physically do to ensure that I’ll be able to live on and take care of myself as I age.

And it’s my gift to Hannah.

I’ve watched illness and disease destroy more than one life…. I’ve watched countless adult children fall into the position of nurse and care-taker. I’ve seen adult children torn between taking care of their own children and caring for their parents.

I’ve also seen the toil that it’s taken on the finances. If you think you have to get sick to die then you must also realize that it’s the most expensive way to go. It takes more than your money, it steals your children’s inheritance.

I’m not going to do that. By taking care of myself I’ll be able to fulfill the scripture that instructs us to leave an inheritance to our children’s children. (Proverbs 13:22)

So, on those days when I feel guilty about taking care of myself that’s when I  remind myself that I’m also taking care of that kid I love so much!