Author Archives: Dixie Elliott

About Dixie Elliott

I'm your supporter, encourager and challenger in your quest to be healthy and well. Let's climb the mountain of health and well being together, one little step at a time. Every little step makes a difference!

15 TIPS AND TRICKS FOR WATER HATERS

We all know we need to drink more water.

But what if you hate it?

What’s a girl to do?

But I hate water! Tips and tricks to drink more!

Keep reading for some tips and tricks.

 We know that we need 8 to 10 cups of fluid, each day. But it all doesn’t have to be water! We also learned that if we drink water before our meals it may help us lose weight.

I’ve made water my BFF and it is my beverage of choice. But I know some people who really hate to drink water. They would never choose water. Here are some tips and tricks I use and some I found on the internet.

  1. Whenever you brush your teeth drink a small glass of water.

  2. Buy yourself a really pretty water bottle. Take it with you.

  3. Experiment with temperature. Maybe you’ll like ice-cold water or room temperature. Pick one!

  4. Buy a fruit infusion water pitcher. Place frozen or fresh fruit in the insert and add water. The water is lightly flavored and colored.

  5. Buy some sparkling water. It has some sodium added but no extra calories. It is a good substitute for soda, or pop as we call it in Canada.

  6. Add lemon or lime slices to your water. Or try cucumber. This adds flavor and nutrients.

  7. Drink herbal teas. Just limit the sugar you add.

  8. Eat more fruits and vegetables that have a high water content. Watermelon, cucumber, celery and tomatoes are all good choices.

  9. Try drinking with a straw. It is easier to sip and you will be surprised how quickly the glass empties.

  10. You can get techy and try an app to track your consumption. cool app

  11. Try diluting a strong flavored juice like grape or cranberry with water.

  12. Filter your water to enhance the flavor. Purchase a filter pitcher like Brita.

  13. Buy bottled water. It’s worth every penny if it helps you drink more.

  14. Make it a habit. Associate drinking water with something you enjoy. When you watch TV, sip from a pretty water bottle. When you first get home have a glass of water. After your morning shower have a glass of water. You get the idea.

  15. Reward yourself for drinking more water.

Resources used:

increase-water-consumption-hate-water-8265.html

drink-water

Remember our core Bible 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

This was a previous post that is worth reposting, and I’m on summer vacation and  taking a much needed break.

TODAY’S little STEP: If you are a water hater, choose 4 of these tips to try this week. Remember this little change will make a difference!

Every mountain is climbed one little step at a time!

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Why we need to drink water!

 Will drinking more water really help you be healthier?

Let me share what I found. Oh, but first go get a glass of water and drink it while you’re reading this.

1.Why should you drink water?

  • It improves your mood! Mild dehydration can negatively affect your mood and your ability to think.

    When you’re feeling cranky, have a glass of water!

  • It relieves fatigue! Wow! That’s reason enough for you to drink more water. When your body is dehydrated, feeling tired is one of the first signs.

  • It helps headaches! At the first sign of a headache drink some water. It won’t take away the stress in your life but it may ward off a headache. Headaches are often caused by dehydration.

  • It helps in digestion and boosts your metabolism!  Drinking sufficient water boosts your metabolism and helps the body properly break down food. That means water helps your body burn calories! It also aids with digestion so your system works well. I won’t go into details – you can read between the lines.

  • It aids weight loss! When you substitute water for other high calorie beverages you are reducing your calories. Even healthy orange juice has 112 calories. Eat an orange for 45 calories instead.  When you drink water, it fills your stomach and reduces the tendency to eat more.

  • It flushes out toxins! Drinking water helps your body to get rid of waste primarily through sweat and urine.  It also promotes kidney function and reduces kidney stone formation. Prevention of kidney stones and the pain associated with them is another really good reason to drink more water.

  •  10-health-benefits-of-drinking-water.html

2.How much water should you drink?

Fluid is lost in sweat, urine, digestive processes, breathing, and through the skin. This fluid needs to be replaced every day.

There is no perfect formula for how many cups of water each person should drink. Research suggests the amount of fluid you need is based on your weight, your activity level and the climate you live in. Generally 8 to 10 cups of fluid each day is recommended.

That sounds like a huge amount of water to drink. But about 20% of it comes from the food we eat. Many fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water by weight.  The other 80% comes from the beverages we drink.  Milk and juice, and tea and coffee can contribute to the 80%, as they are composed of mostly water.

Water is still your best bet because it’s calorie-free, caffeine free, inexpensive and readily available. nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256

3.When should you drink it?

When you are feeling thirsty your body is sending a message that it needs fluid. Don’t ignore your thirst. Rehydrate with water.

The timing of when you drink water can contribute to weight loss. One study found that drinking water half an hour before meals is effective. It can make you feel more full, so that you eat fewer calories (28, 29).  In another study, people who drank 2 cups of water before meals lost 44% more weight, than the control group that didn’t drink water before the meal. (30).

It appears that drinking water before your meal will help to fill up your stomach. You will eat less food. It takes less food for you to feel full. This will eventually lead to weight loss.

Drink water it's your body's BFF!

TODAY’S little STEP: Gradually increase your water consumption. With the goal of 1 glass before each meal and with each snack. Substitute water for higher calorie beverages whenever you can.

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Strategies for summer struggles!

 I want you to know that I struggle too. I have reached some of my health goals but I have to continue to take these little steps to health.

I am still climbing the Mountain of Health and Well-being.

Writing this blog helps me stay accountable.  I find the summer especially hard because there is less routine and summer equals fun food!

Here’s how I stay on track and some strategies that work for me.

Veggies and hummus are a part of most of my lunches. I fill half my plate with the veggies first.

Then my plate looks really full when I add anything else.

Here’s a picture of what I might have for lunch.  I would add some crackers and cheese.

 

IMG_0286

When we have hamburgers I use a smaller bun or I cut the burger in half.

I spread salad dressing on the wrap before I assemble it so there is taste in each bite and I use much less. I fill my wrap with mostly vegetables and added white chicken meat.

If we have potato chips I include them as part of dinner. I don’t buy salt and vinegar ones, as those are my favorite and too hard to resist. A small portion of potato chips, a nice sandwich and fresh raw veggies is a fun supper on a super hot day.

We have cubed watermelon available or popsicles for dessert.

A small hand dipped ice cream cone is a treat we enjoy, just not every day. When we have them at home I can control the portion. Licking an ice cream cone slows down the eating process and every lick tastes so good!

sunny-ice-cream-picjumbo-com

One of my best strategies is to not have foods that tempt me in my home. Then I won’t hear them calling: “Oh Dixie….this is the big container of delicious mixed nuts and candy calling you. Stop by for a yummy treat. You deserve it.” Can you relate?

My husband Don deserves a shout out because he is very supportive. He doesn’t like rich desserts and I’m so glad, because I would make them all the time.

He appreciates that we eat healthy.

When I do occasionally overeat at a meal – yes, I still overeat – my temptation is desserts.

I make sure the next meal is healthy and a little lower in calories.

I also try to make sure I get some exercise that day.

Every little step does make a difference!

Let’s claim our verse again! “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: Keep taking little steps to be healthy. Use some of these strategies.  They work.  Every little step makes a difference.

If you like what you have read, please take the time to sign up to receive new posts as a weekly email. The subscription button is located at the top of the page, to your right.

If you have found this helpful I would love it if you would share it with your friends on Facebook or Pinterest.

Rest much, talk often, and laugh regularly. Summer is too short!

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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