5 benefits of eating your veggies!

This super food is low in calories, high in nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber.

It comes individually packaged and can be eaten raw or cooked.

It’s Doctor approved and recommended.

What’s your guess? Fruit?

Nope, it’s vegetables!

Eating more vegetables is one of the simplest changes we can make to improve our overall health.

We all heard it while we moved the slimy cold brussels sprouts around and around on our plates. “Eat your veggies. They’re good for you”!

Some of us grew up hating veggies because they were chosen for us and poorly prepared. In my case boiled until they were mushy.

The choices available to us are incredible!

We aren’t limited to frozen corn or brussels sprouts anymore!

The produce section of the grocery store is a feast for the eyes!

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Such a variety of color and texture!

This week’s little step is to eat one more serving of veggies.

If I’m writing to a veggie hater I am confident you can find at least one veggie that you like.

Add a half-cup of raw or cooked veggies to your daily food intake.

If you already love veggies add a half-cup to your daily food intake anyway.

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photo credit Greg Westfall

In case you need to be reminded again that they are good for you.

Here are some of the amazing benefits.

Eating more vegetables can lower our risk of developing arthritis, heart disease, stroke, dementia and cancer.

Vegetables fill our stomachs with nutrient rich, low calorie fuel!

We also feel fuller for longer because of the high fiber content.

When we replace higher calorie foods with vegetables, we win. Especially when we step into our clothes and they fit loosly.

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A plate of raw veggies can help satisfy the hand to mouth, crunch and munch craving.

Those are good reasons to eat our veggies!

Personally, I like to eat most of mine raw and crunchy at lunchtime. No more boiled and mushy veggies for me!

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Today’s little step: Add a one half-cup serving of vegetables to your daily food intake. Choose ones that appeal to you.

Every journey begins with one little step.

 

 

 

 

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Yesterday’s failure does not define today!

Does your inner critic lie to you? “It’s been a busy stressful day. You deserve a reward.  There’s some cake left. Go ahead. Enjoy a nice big piece!”

Then after you’ve had the cake she taunts you. “Do you know how many calories were in that? What happened to your plan to eat healthy? You are such a loser. You’re just doomed to be fat forever!”.

 

Your inner critic is a nasty

There is always hope!

Each morning when we open our eyes we get a fresh start! Keep taking little steps to health because they do make a difference.

Yesterday’s failures do not define today!

Anne of Green Gables is one of my favorite books. Anne is forever making embarrassing mistakes.

One time she put liniment instead of vanilla into her cake and then served it to company!

After many tears her spirit of optimism shines through and she says, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

I love that line because it reminds us that each morning we get a fresh start.

Yesterday’s failures do not define today!

Read that line again.

Now believe it!

Every day is a fresh start.

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photo credit-Wil Stewart

I am also reminded of God’s love and kindness. “But this I call to mind; therefore I have hope. The Lord’s royal kindness never ceases; His compassions never end. They are new every morning; your faithfulness is abundant.” Lamentations 3:21-24 New English Translation.

God’s compassion is as sure as the sunrise!

TODAY’S little STEP: When you wake up each morning – start fresh. It’s a new day!  Yesterday’s failures do not define today!  Take little steps to health.

Every little step makes a difference!

 

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A slow learners guide to accessing God’s power!

Discipline, willpower, consistency … whatever we call it, it’s hard work.  It takes a lot of power.

Most of us tackle this health journey in our own power. I think that is why we have so many setbacks. We don’t truly access the power available to us as daughters of the King.

Accessing God’s power is the most important change most of us need to make on our health journey.

Accessing God’s power will impact every area of our lives!

But how do we do that?

I’m learning. I don’t have it all figured out. But I will happily share what I am finding out about accessing God’s power. I’m a slow learner it seems.  It takes me a long time to learn an important truth.

I’m learning that when I have a problem I need to focus on God.

My usual tactic is to go into problem solving mode. I analyze my problem from all kinds of angles. I lose joy, sleep, time and peace because I get laser focused on what I need to do.

I think I need to study more.  I should pray more. I should read my Bible more. I should serve others more.  I should control my thoughts better.  I think I need to go on a new diet.  I should exercise more.  I should just be more disciplined.

Did you notice all the I’s in that paragraph?  When I focus on the problem it’s about me!  All the power is supposed to come from me. But there are some days when the discipline and the power are all gone!  I don’t have the power.

I’m learning that when I have a problem I need to focus on God.

My God is sitting on His throne in Heaven. He is aware of everything! But God is more than just aware of everything – He is in control of everything! I can rest because He’s big enough to handle my problem.

Then I think of all that God has created. He formed the Universe. He devised all the laws of science that keep our world in existence. He created the marvelous human body with amazing attention to detail. The creator of everything has the power over everything.

This next thought amazes and humbles me. The God of the Universe desires a relationship with me! That’s amazing! He is my Heavenly Father. He loves me. He wants to know what is going on in my life. So I cry out to Him and tell Him my problems, my hurts, my struggles and worries.

I think about the God of the Bible – the one TRUE GOD! The God who performed amazing miracles with astonishing power! I think of some of my favorite stories. When people cried out to God and His power was evident.  When God shut the mouths of the lions so Daniel was not eaten. When God sent down fire to burn up an offering, stones and water. When God sent a fish to swallow Jonah. When God provided food everyday for the Israelites as they wandered for 40 years in the desert.

God is always the same. He never changes. The God who performed those amazing, astonishing miracles is the very same God who loves me! That same power is available to me when I cry out to Him.

I’m learning to believe – God’s power is available. It’s not about what I need to do. Instead it’s about God’s power. Letting Him be in control.

His power is available when I focus my thoughts on Him! When I find my thoughts going down a worry pathway I stop and focus on God. I say a healthy self-talk statement, which is also a prayer. “God, You are on Your throne. You are in control. I know You are the God of infinite power. Thank you for how You are at work. I rest in You”. Some days, I say this statement again and again as I so easily slip back into problem solving mode.

I’m learning that God’s power is available through His words.

These are some of my favorite Bible verses. Verses that talk about God’s power and His strength.

I love you O LORD, my strength

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and His mighty power”. Ephesians 6:10

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”. Romans 15:13

Today’s little step: When problems arise, don’t go into problem solving mode. Instead focus on God and all that He is! Access His power by focusing on Him!

Now you know how this slow learner has made progress.  I’d love to hear from you.  How are you accessing God’s power?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is getting healthy a burden you carry? Throw it away today!

 

Confused about what diet to try next or what new book to buy? Facebook and the Internet are always offering us some magic diet or worse, a magic pill. Don’t be taken in! There is no magic diet or pill. But there’s hope and help!

Instead of focusing on what food to eat or not eat or how long to exercise I encourage us to focus on Jesus!

Jesus wants to help us. He wants to be our Guide on our health journey.

I’m convinced that a personal relationship with our Guide is essential. Jesus Christ is my Saviour and my faithful Friend. I am so blessed to be called His daughter. I can’t imagine life without Him as my Guide.

But, some days I live like I don’t need a Guide. I’ve got things figured out. I like to be the one in control. I don’t need any help!

I look and sound like a wilful two year old. Ah yes that age when we strive for independence but without the skills to achieve it!

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I don’t need any help!

Let’s imagine I am carrying a huge pack up a big hill.

I know that I can carry the pack. I have a plan. I’m strong. I don’t want any help.

The first 15 minutes I walk with confidence. Then I take a look at the hill. It starts to look too hard to climb. I won’t ever make it to the top. I feel like giving up.

I get grumpy. I start to complain about how hard it is to climb with this big pack. No one else has to climb with a pack. My life is harder than anyone else’s.

I’m not watching where I’m walking and I stumble over a root and fall. I fall hard on my hands and knees. I roll back down the hill. I get up and struggle on, grumbling and griping.

All the time my loving Heavenly Father is walking right beside me. He says, ‘Dixie could I carry that pack for you?’ I refuse His offer. I’m strong! I can do this on my own! I don’t need any help!

I’m frustrated and discouraged and feel like I’m not making any progress. In a fit of temper I glare at my Heavenly Father and throw down my pack. I shout, “I can’t take it anymore! It’s not worth it! It’s too hard!”

Then He smiles at me and He picks up my pack. He says, “ I’ve been waiting for you to ask for help.”   We continue the climb side by side. My Heavenly Father carries the huge pack. My steps are lighter.

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Sound familiar? I’ve had different packs or burdens that I tried to carry. I’m guessing you have your burdens too.

Maybe getting healthy is a burden you’ve been trying to carry on your own. Jesus wants to help. Accepting help doesn’t mean you are not strong. It means you know your limits.

I’m getting better a letting Him carry the burden. I pour out my heart to Jesus. I relinquish control! I confess that I need His help. I find a verse from the Bible that encourages me.

The Bible says, “Casting all your care upon Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

Casting means throwing. Throw that burden down! Give it to Jesus and let Him carry it.

Some days I pick up the burden again. I have to keep giving it back to Him throughout the day.

He’s proven Himself over and over again! He is a good and trustworthy Guide.

Jesus wants to have a deep personal relationship with each of us. If you don’t already know Jesus as your Saviour and friend please know that He loves you. I would love to hear from you if you would like to know more about Jesus’ love for you. Leave a comment and I will be in touch. Or click on this link steps to life with Jesus

 

Today’s little step: Call out to Jesus. Throw your burden on Him. He will carry it for you. He wants to help; you just need to ask.

 

Need support when the food temptations are strong?

Feeling alone in your health journey?

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Wish you could chat with women who know what it is like to struggle on a daily basis with food issues?

Wish you could get support on the days when temptations are strong?

Wish you could get encouraged when you feel like a failure again?

Wish there was someone to applaud your success?

Wish you had an accountability partner?

I’m not your fairy godmother but I can grant you those wishes!

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You are invited to join my little steps to health Facebook group!

You each have a unique story to share.

I’d love for us to be able to get to know each other; to cheer for each other on the days we feel confident, when making healthy choices seems easy.

To encourage each other on the days we fail miserably and want to quit again.

To come along side each other when the temptations are strong and stress sends us to the fridge for comfort.

We can offer each other support.

We can speak words that bring hope to your heart and mind, with no condemnation.

You can have chats with women that encourage you and empower you to keep trying, because they know your struggles.

The Bible says “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up…though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10,12  That’s good advice!

I started a Facebook group called little steps to health.

It’s a place for us to chat about our day-to-day struggles and successes.  It is my hope and prayer that we will become a team of women: women who challenge, support, encourage and pray for each other as we take little steps on our health journey.

TODAY’S little STEP: Go to Facebook.  If we are not already friends search for Dixie Elliott, my Profile beside my name says blogger at little steps to health – that me!  I’d love to add you as a friend!  Then find my little steps to health page and join the  support group.  And if none of that works just leave me a comment or a message and I will connect with you!

 

Reflections from a brand new empty nester!

Our nest is empty. But my heart and mind are full.

Full of memories.

Full of laughter and tears.

Full of God’s goodness and grace.

Full of hopes and dreams.

Here are some reflections of a brand new empty nester.

For the last month Katie has been sorting through all her stuff. We’ve been making lists, shopping and packing. I loved being part of that process. It reminded me of the ‘nesting’ feeling I had when I was pregnant. I wanted Katie’s new nest to be well set up.

She packed the car and we made a couple of quick trips to her new place to clean and get organized.

Then she and her Dad packed the trailer.

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Our nest was looking pretty empty.

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On April 2 we moved her into a 3-bedroom main floor apartment in a house.

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I did the Mom things I wanted to do. I cleaned and organized cupboards and set up the kitchen. I ironed and hung curtains. A house looks lived in when there are curtains on the windows.

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Katie and her Dad moved furniture, fixed some things and hung pictures. She even set up a fun music room.

Now she can play those drums as loud as she wants!

There was a lovely welcome sign crafted by Katie’s 5-year-old neighbor and a basket of treats, all from the Camp Director and his family.

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After some kind words of thanks from Katie and two long lingering hugs – we were on our way.

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We’ve dropped Katie off at Galilean dozens of times but this one was different.

This was her new home.

We were leaving her.

The little chickie had a new nest!

 

It was a quiet ride home, each of us with our own reflective thoughts. We were emotionally fragile.

There were lots of long sighs.

Tears were very near the surface and some did break the surface.

Yet at the same time there was a sense of accomplishment!

For the last 28 years we had deferred to the needs, wants, and schedules of our two children.

We were done with day-to-day parenting.

By God’s grace we had raised two children who were making good choices in life.

What a blessing from God!

The first week of the empty nest we didn’t feel like celebrating.

There was a mix of emotions. We let the sad feelings come.

I guess we did some letting go of the old way of life. It’s too big of a change to not acknowledge it.

At the same time there were feelings of excitement too, Don and I are on our own again.

We feel like honeymooners, but with years of experience loving each other! That’s a very good thing!

This second week of the empty nest we feel more like celebrating. We’re planning a special dinner date.

We are anticipating lots of time at our cottage.

We are setting some new goals and dreaming about this new stage of life!

As I hugged Katie goodbye I said,

‘we are both at a new stage of life. We are ready for adventure and excited to see how our Great God uses us in His ministry.’

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TODAY’S little STEP: Embrace every stage of life. Everyday is a gift from God. Live with no regret!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Little words you should never say!

Change just two little words and feel empowered not deprived! Two little words that put you in control!

Sounds too simple to make much of a difference? I thought so too, but there is research to back it up!

According to James Clear words can make us feel like a victim or empower us.

The two little words you should never say are, ‘I can’t’!

Switch from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I don’t’.

James states the phrase, ‘I can’t’ indicates, “you’re forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do”.

When I was on a diet I would say, “I can’t have dessert anymore.” That immediately makes me feel deprived.

It also sounds like the power is someone else’s and that I have no control.

‘I don’t’ puts the power and control in our hands.

Now that I live with a healthy lifestyle and not a diet I say, “I don’t eat dessert everyday.  I save it as a treat.”  I am the one with the power!

A recent study concluded that when participants used the words ‘I don’t’ they made better choices and were able to keep up the healthy lifestyle.

As part of our little steps to health we are learning about the power our thoughts have over our actions.

Let’s take back the control!

 

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I’ve thought of a few ‘I don’t’ statements we can use.

Let’s try them out in a few tempting scenarios.

GROCERY STORE

‘I don’t’ buy potato chips.  I don’t have them in my house to tempt me’.

RESTAURANT

‘I don’t’ order French fries; they aren’t worth all those calories.  I don’t order dessert unless I share it with a friend’.

FRIEND’S HOME FOR DINNER

‘I don’t’ overeat; I try a small bit of everything.  I don’t let anyone bully me into over eating’.

BIRTHDAY PARTY

‘I don’t’ eat big pieces of cake.  I’m satisfied with a small piece’.

YOUR OWN KITCHEN

‘I don’t’ eat as I cook.  I don’t eat late at night’.

EXERCISE TIME

‘I don’t’ miss my daily walk.  I always find a way to fit it in’.

QUIET TIME

‘I don’t’ miss my Bible reading and prayer time.  ‘I don’t’ want to start my day without talking to Jesus’.

TODAY’S little STEP: Substitute ‘I don’t’ for ‘I can’t’! Be empowered before the temptation hits!

If this has encouraged you please share it on Facebook or Pinterest.

I’d love to hear your own personal ‘I don’t statement’.