A common fruit that’s your best choice!

blueberries

Can you guess which fruit is rated the best? It’s sweet and juicy. It has no fat, 82 calories for a whole cup and as an added bonus it has 3.4 grams of fiber. It’s packed with vitamins and antioxidants. It’s small and round and blue.

Blueberries are one of the best fruits we can eat.

There has been a great deal of research regarding the benefits of eating blueberries. They are high in antioxidants and they fight free radicals. Ok, that sounds impressive but what does it mean.

Let me tell you what I learned.

Free radicals are not good.

“Free radicals cause cell mutations, damage immune function, cause wrinkles and aging and are a contributing cause behind many diseases including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and others.  

Antioxidants are good.

In simple terms, an antioxidant is a chemical compound that protects cells against the effects of free radicals.” Says Lindsey Getz 
of Today’s Dietitian

“Food is the best source of antioxidants,” says Joanne Larsen, MS, RD, LD, of   www.dietitian.com

Blueberries are one of the fruits that have the highest levels of antioxidant.

Here are 5 reasons why blueberries are good for us.

1.  Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit and are rich in vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, selenium, zinc and iron. Blueberries boost your immune system and prevent infections.

2.  Helps to preserve vision: Blueberry extract was used in clinical studies regarding vision. The results suggest that blueberries can prevent or delay age related eye problems like macular degeneration, cataract, myopia dryness and infections.

3. Aids Digestion: The high fiber in blueberries keeps your system working well. The fibre helps to fill you up and help you feel full for longer. Blueberries also promote a healthy urinary tract, which helps to ward off infections. The vitamins, sodium, copper, fructose and acids improve digestion.  http://www.womenfitness.net/blueberries.htm

4.  Aid in the prevention of high blood pressure or hypertension.  A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed a large group of men and women. They ate more than a ½ cup of blueberries a week. The results showed that the blue-red pigments found in blueberries called anthocyanins—offer protection against high blood pressure. Eating blueberries reduced their risk of developing high blood pressure by 10 percent compared to those who didn’t eat any blueberries.

5.  Blueberries are low on the glycemic index, which means they do not have a big impact on blood sugar levels. They are good for everyone, but they are a super food if you have diabetes.  http://www.womenfitness.net/blueberries.htm

How to Choose?

Choose fresh blueberries that are firm and have consistent colour. The whitish bloom means they are ripe. Shake the container gently, they should move easily.

Frozen berries are a good alternative. Freezing the berries does not alter the antioxidants.

How to eat them?

  • Use blueberries as fresh toppings on your cereal, oatmeal, waffles and pancakes.

  • Add to greek yogurt for a parfait.

  • Whip up a smoothie using frozen berries, low-fat milk and yogurt.

  • Mix fresh or dried blueberries into your regular salad.

   Be creative and find ways to eat them your favorite way.

There you have it!  You need to eat blueberries everyday!

Today’s little step: Incorporate ½ cup of blueberries into your daily food choices.

13 healthy yummy foods to eat!

What can I eat today? Yummy food is one of the blessings of my life.

I won’t live a life of deprivation!

I want to eat delicious food that’s good for me too.

Here’s my list of healthy yummy food that I’ve researched and found to be some of the best!

Nothing is too weird and everything can be found in a regular grocery store.

Lifestyle changes work because we are focusing on what we can have!

Here’s your

healthy grocery list

 

Almonds are high in protein and healthy fat. This is my go-to snack for protein. I have this with an apple. Serving-23 almonds

Apples contain lots of fiber and have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Serving-1 small My favorite are Royal Gala as they are sweeter and have a great texture.

Bananas have high levels of potassium which helps blood pressure levels and they are high in fiber. A banana added to my peanut butter toast is delicious and keeps me full longer. Serving-1 small

Beans are good for your heart as they have lots of soluble fiber, which can reduce cholesterol. I’ve discovered hummus, which is made from chick peas, which are also known as garbanzo beans! I like the roasted red pepper flavor and I have it as a dip with fresh vegetables. Serving-¾ of a cup

Blueberries, the super fruit that has the most antioxidants, which help the body guard against heart disease, cancer and memory loss. Frozen blueberries are part of my yogurt parfait almost everyday either for breakfast or as a dessert. Serving-½ cup

Broccoli, consider it the number 1 cancer fighter. I like it raw with hummus, or cooked. Serving-½ cup

Greek yogurt is a great source of bone building calcium and lots of protein. It contains beneficial bacteria, which inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. My favorite is the sweetened coconut flavor. When I have this with blueberries for breakfast I’m satisfied for a long time. Serving-¾ cup of low fat

Kale, another great cancer fighter. It is also full of fiber and Vitamin K and antioxidants. I like it as a salad with a sweeter poppy seed dressing. Serving-1 cup fresh or cooked

Oatmeal continues to be a healthy choice. It is high in a special fiber called beta-glucan, which helps to lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol. It is a whole grain. I make it into granola and add a small portion to other cereal or my yogurt parfait. Serving-¾ cup cooked

Quinoa is now considered the new super food. It is packed with protein and fiber as well as many vitamins and minerals. I’ve tried it in salads but I think I like it hot better as an alternative to rice. I add some chicken stock for flavor. Serving-1 cup cooked

Salmon remains as one of the healthiest fish to eat. It is rich in Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the heart, and the brain. My husband loves salmon so we have this once a week. Usually I bake it in the oven and drizzle with maple syrup. Serving-3 ounces

Spinach is chock full of nutrients, iron, calcium and Vitamin A. As well as folate, which helps the body form red blood cells. I don’t like it cooked at all, but in a salad or on a sandwich I love it. Serving-1 cup fresh or ½ cooked

Tuna is high in protein, vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna salad made with low fat mayo is a great protein boost for my lunch. Serving-3 ounces fresh or canned

TODAY’S little STEP: Add these foods to your grocery list. Then just like me you can enjoy yummy food and reap the health benefits.

Every mountain is climbed one little step at a time!  Keep taking those little steps!

“And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation

 

Life still crazy? Take the summer challenge!

How’s your crazy life? It’s June and most schools are getting out soon. Church programs are winding down. The weather is warm, the days are longer and the summer is just around the corner!

Do you still feel stressed, grumpy and like life is too busy? Me too!

I recently read a great blog post by Michele Cushatt and she put out a great challenge. Check out her summer sabbatical plans. A challenge to unplug from social media, the Internet and some other computer related tasks for June and July!

Take the summerchallenge!

That seems pretty drastic but I wonder what we could do with that time?

Could we read a book?

Take a nap?

Work in the garden?

Go for a walk?

Chat on the phone with a friend?

Better yet meet for coffee with that friend?

Pray?

Read the Bible?

Play with a child?

Just sit and enjoy the silence?

Play a game?

Stroll in the Mall and window shop?

Sit by the lake and watch the waves?

Oh that list sounds like fun to me! Things I’ve been too busy to do and miss in my life.

I extend a challenge to you today!

TODAY’S little STEP: Take a break from social media, or whatever technology takes up too much of your time. Get back to the basics. Rest your mind and your body and be refreshed!

I have prescheduled the next set of blog posts so that my blog spot is still active.

I will be taking a break from Facebook and Pinterest and using that time to rest and restore.

I will still be using Email and my phone.

Who’s with me?

 

Can we give grace for poor service?

What does everyday grace look like? Do you give grace when the waitress gets your order wrong? Do you give grace when someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you give grace when you receive poor service?

Grace is underserved favor. It’s a term that is used a lot in Christian circles. We talk about God’s grace for us. But when we need to give underserved favor to someone else, it’s hard. When someone doesn’t deserve our kindness, it’s much harder to give.

I’ve been praying and asking God to help me give grace to others. I should know that if I pray that kind of prayer – a test will be given to see if I really mean it.

Yikes! God did give me a test! I didn’t do very well. I think I got a C.

On Friday I went to my hairdresser. We have good discussions about God and she is learning about God’s love. I went in for a root touch up. However, when I returned from the sink I was shocked to see that my hair was much darker than I expected!

salon-md

I was disappointed because I’m not really a risk taker when it comes to my hair. I like the change to be subtle, a change that only my family and close friends would notice. I chatted with my hairdresser as she styled it and she assured me that the darkness would fade. She told me I could come in on Tuesday if I didn’t like it and she would do something.

I went home with my dark hair. But every time I looked in the mirror I was surprised and I said, “it’s so dark”. My husband and children were very supportive and that helped.

I thought about my new hair color a lot those first 2 days. I thought about it too much. I was sure everyone who looked at me would notice the big change. (surprisingly hardly anyone noticed or commented) Guess I’m not that important after all. Tee hee!

I was pretty sure that I would call on Tuesday and complain. I would get her to do something to lighten it up. It was within my rights as a paying customer to get better service and she told me to call if I didn’t like it. My family said it would be ok to go back and complain.

But God reminded me that I wanted to learn grace. This was my opportunity to give undeserved favor to my hairdresser. This was my test, could I do it?

On Monday morning I read my devotional book by Oswald Chambers. There was one paragraph that seemed to written just for me.

“Is my life exhibiting the essence of the sweetness of the Son of God, or just the basic irritation of myself? No matter how difficult something may be, I must say, ‘Lord, I am delighted to obey You in this.’ The moment you obey the light of God, His Son shines through you in that very adversity.”

Wow, this was my opportunity to exhibit the sweetness of God or just focus on myself and my wants.

This was my test, could I give grace? Could I be obedient?

I decided to keep my darker colour. I wanted to have a different reaction than other customers; I wanted my Christianity to make my response different. So I gave her grace – undeserved favor, she didn’t even know. But I do and so does God!

When I look in the mirror it will be a prompt. I will thank God for His grace for me and I will thank Him for teaching me. I think I will smile too at my Heavenly Father’s sense of humor.

TODAY’S little STEP: Be sensitive to God’s leading in your life. Watch for opportunities to display everyday grace to the people you come in contact with. But, be careful. You may get a test real soon!

Just for your information the darkness did fade and I really have grown to like the new colour.

This is a post from last year that really encouraged me when I reread it this week. Hope it encourages you to show grace too!

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If you have found this helpful, please share it with your friends.

Favourite quotes and pictures!

Here are some of your favorite quotes and pictures from this last year.  Save them to a Pinterest board.

Or you can make them the background for your phone or computer.

Pick your favourites and put them where you will see them!

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drink water

Drink water it’s your body’s bff

GQVPIS7V8S bible

This next one is my one of my favourite quotes and

I am the author!

holiday healthy self-talk

weight loss plan

photo-1445633743309-b60418bedbf2mom whispering

motivation

I just had to raise my arms in praise to our Great God!

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This quote sums up how I have made lifestyle changes!

healthy habits

This next quote applies to friends that want to lose weight for a special event.

we-fail-because-we-are-seeking-a-result-not-a-lifestyle

Let’s put this next quote near the bathroom scale!

A number does not define my self worth

Repeat this next statement often!

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TODAY’S little STEP:  Pick your favourite quotes and put them where you will see them!  Remember every little step makes a difference!

 

Happy 2nd Anniversary!

My life is crazy! But crazy in a good way! This last weekend we celebrated my daughter Katie’s graduation from University with family and friends.

Don and I also celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary! How time really does fly!

We spent the whole weekend at the Elliott Lake House!

I reviewed the stats. from last year and found some of the most read posts.

Just click on the link and review some of your favorites!

 

Post Favorites

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What she did to triumph and get healthy!

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Every little step makes a difference!

Best use of 10 minutes of my crazy life!

THE BEST EVER 21 NON-FOOD REWARDS

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1 sneaky trick to lose weight

non-food reward

21 non-food rewards for you!

21 UNIQUE AND CHEAP NON-FOOD REWARDS

Recipes

 

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Delightful pina colada yogurt, too yummy to be healthy?

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Cinnamon maple chickpea nut – snack hack!

 

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BEST NEW DESSERT RECIPE OF THE SUMMER!

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EASY KALE SUMMER SALAD

TODAY’S little STEP: Reread your favorite posts. Keep taking little steps of imperfect progress!

EMBRACE IMPERFECT PROGRESS AND HAVE AMAZING HOPE!

Thank you for inviting me into your life every week! It is my privilege to speak words of hope and encouragement as we navigate this crazy life together.

We’ve been taking little steps to health for 2 years now!

Happy Anniversary!

Now don’t beat yourself up because you think you should have made more progress by now.

Don’t let that negative self-talk take over!

Our health journey and this blog are about imperfect progress.

Sip Sip-2

imperfect progress even in my graphics!

Imperfect progress is a mix of good days, when most choices are healthy and

bad days when there are more poor choices.

That’s what real life is like!

We don’t let the bad days be an excuse to quit, because everyone has bad days.

One of the smartest things we can do is accept the bad day or the poor choice and make a U-turn right away.

Make the next choice a good one and take the next step of imperfect progress. Every little step does make a difference.

I say it all the time and it’s true – “every mountain is climbed one little step at a time”.

Remember our core verse! “And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation 

TODAY’S little STEP: Embrace imperfect progress – a mix of good and poor choices. It’s a realistic approach to our crazy lives!

Please share this with your friends – we all need hope!