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!

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!

 

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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’.

 

A success story-weight loss strategies too!

Ready to give up on this healthy living idea?  Frustrated because it seems to be taking too long?  Read Cecile’s story and be encouraged!

My friend lost 141 pounds and went from a size 24 to 12-14! Cecile, was a faithful member of the support group I led. She also attended Weight Watchers in the summer months. Her health journey has taken over 7 years. Cecile is still on her journey to health and well being.

Cecile has had great success and I’m really excited to interview her.

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  1. When did you realize you needed to make some changes?  I realized I wasn’t taking good care of myself and I didn’t like how I felt about myself. I used to say to myself, “what’s the use? I’m doomed to be fat.”

  2. What do you think led to your weight gain? I never thought I would gain weight. It just happened over the years. Like a lot of women I ate for emotional reasons.

  3. What was your light bulb moment when you decided to lose weight? When I walked my back and hips really hurt. My Mom, (who was very loving and helpful during my life) had Alzheimer’s Disease and needed to be in a wheelchair and I didn’t ever want to be in a wheelchair. I wanted to be able to walk and take care of myself.

  4. Were you part of a support and accountability group? Yes, I had prayed and asked God for a Christian weight loss group. When Dixie invited me to join the group I was very happy. How did it help you? It was good because we exercised together and we studied the Bible, and other good books. We shared our needs and supported each other. When I left the meeting I felt good and ready to keep working.

  5. What were the most important changes you made to be healthier? I have a small plate that I use to help me with my portions.  I am getting better at saying, “no thank you” when dessert is served. I don’t feel bad about saying no.I exercise everyday.If I am hungry in the early evening I eat carrots and celery sticks.I don’t eat anything after 8 o’clock at night; I shut the kitchen light off!I had high cholesterol and so I changed the food I ate and lowered my cholesterol.I realize that God’s grace has brought me to the place I am at today!

  6. What would you say is the most important factor in your weight loss?Changed eating habits? Exercise? Changed thinking? All of them! I eat a lot less food. I like to eat 6 small meals a day. I take snacks with me in the car so I’m not tempted to eat fast food. When I choose food I think about whether it is good for me and my husband teases me because I’m always reading the labels. I exercise everyday. I also changed my thinking- now I have a positive outlook on life. I’m very thankful. There is lots to live for! God helps me everyday to appreciate my life.

  7. What keeps you motivated when you get discouraged or have a slip up? I pick myself up, talk to somebody and I often exercise. I also read my Bible and God encourages me. I have a friend that says, “keep looking up!” I read Dixie’s blog and it encourages me to keep taking little steps.

  8. Are there any foods you outright avoid and do not have in your house? I don’t have any hot chocolate, or ice cream and no chocolate bars!

  9. When it comes to eating well what are your top recommendations?  Eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Eat mostly fish and chicken. Drink at least 5 glasses of water a day.

  10. What is your favourite form of exercise? I like to do exercise DVDs, I have a treadmill, and in the summer I like to walk outside. I like to try new things. This winter I went cross country skiing and skating. I signed up for a Zumba class and I loved it!

  11. Do you include weight training? Yes I use 3 and 5 pound weights and a resistance band. Why? I know that tones my body and helps me lose inches.

  12. What was the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your weight loss journey? Admitting that I needed to change and get healthy.

  13. How important has your family’s support been? My husband, son and daughter are proud of the healthy changes I have made.  I just attended a family reunion and every one commented on the changes I have made. They were happy for me. It encouraged them that they could make some changes to be healthy too.

  14. Do you have a favourite verse?  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Philippians 4:13

Thanks Cecile for sharing some of your health journey. If you were to give some last advice to anyone who is struggling to get healthy what would you say? You are at a very important place in your life. Keep taking little steps. God will never give up on you!

No matter how slow the weight loss is don’t give up! You are worth it. You are special in God’s eyes!

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I hope Cecile’s story encourages you my friend!

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

 

 

 

 

How will I cope with the empty nest?

 

Our last little chickie is leaving the nest!

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Our daughter Katie will be moving out of our home. She will be working in full time ministry.

She will be the Program Director at Galilean Bible Camp.

We are pleased with the good choices she has made. God has blessed her with many gifts, which she will be using to serve Him.

This mother hen has been preparing for an empty nest.

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That’s my style.  I like to be prepared. I’ve chatted with my empty nest friends and got some excellent advice.

One said, “Allow yourself time to grieve if you need to.”

Another said, “Enjoy time with your husband again, like when you were newlyweds!”

I think I already understand the vast difference in the feelings behind those statements.

I read a really good book called Barbara and Susan’s Guide To The Empty Nest, Discovering new purpose, passion and your next great adventure. These women write with experience.

They also give some exciting challenges, like don’t fill your calendar with activity.

Take a rest if you need to.

I really liked the idea of pursuing some long lost hobbies and passions.

After years of child raising and meeting their needs first, that season of my life is coming to a close. I will have my time back!

The big goal when you have children is that one day they become self-sufficient adults and move out.

So that big goal is met! Wow!

I’m 57 and ready for my new stage of life!

I’m just defining what the empty nest stage will encompass.

I do know there are two new activities that I will be pursuing.

There are some young women who are interested in having me mentor them.

I love to come along side young women especially Moms and encourage them.

I’m old enough now that I can embrace the ‘older woman’ role with ease.

I have been given opportunities to speak at Women’s meetings. It is exciting for me to share my Little Steps to Health ideas.

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I also like to share encouraging messages that offer women hope and confidence in God’s love for them. I will have the time and energy needed to study and write!

Chatting with you through this blog is another activity that will continue to be a priority. I’m working on some big changes with the help of my tech. guy! Thanks Mark!

This week I’m helping Katie pack and move some stuff. I need to be involved in that process. It’s part of the letting go. You know cleaning the new place, measuring windows for curtains and helping her settle in?  It’s a Mom thing!

TODAY’S little STEP: Be fully engaged at whatever stage of parenting you are at! Time flies! Before you know it, you too will have an empty nest!

 

 

Healthy snack bar recipe!

Craving something sweet? Here’s a recipe for a healthy naturally sweet snack bar! I took some of these bars to share with my friends and everyone wanted the recipe.  That’s the best compliment!

Ingredients

1 ¼ cup of black figs

2 cups of nuts (your choice)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup of coconut

2 teaspoons of hot water

12 small squares of dark chocolate

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Directions

I use my little food processor for this recipe. It works great and does the chopping and mixing in just a few minutes.

Place the nuts in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

 

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Cut stems off of the figs. Place in food processor, add vanilla and pulse on high until they are well chopped.

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Add 2 teaspoons of hot water and pulse until they have the consistency of jam.

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Place fig jam in a small mixing bowl. Gradually add the chopped nuts and mix well by hand.

 

IMG_1104Gradually add the coconut and mix well.

Line a small cake pan – 8 by 11 with foil wrap and spray with oil.

Place mixture in pan and pat down.

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Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave on low heat.

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Once melted, pour and spread over bars.  Place in the fridge to cool.

Once cooled, cut into small bars.

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Store in a closed container in the fridge.

These are a great alternative to chocolate bars or granola bars that are loaded with sugar.

I found this recipe at cotter crunch.

Enjoy these  great  grab and go snacks.  Lots of healthy protein and natural sweetness!

TODAY’S little STEP:  Try a new recipe.  Especially one that is low in sugar and high in protein.

 

 

How to access God’s promises, presence and power!

I’ve tried to change. I can’t complete or follow through with anything permanently.

Can you relate to that statement?

There’s hope!

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

The God of the universe cares about you!

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God wants to be involved in helping you become healthy. It’s important to Him.

I let my imagination go for this blog post.

I imagined what Jesus might say to us about our health journey. Remember this is imaginary but based on the character of Jesus Christ the Son of the one True God.

“Introductions are not necessary. I know everything about you, your successes, your struggles, and your stresses.

I know the details of your thoughts and dreams.

I know your secret heartaches.

“I love you more than you can imagine.

My love is not dependent on your behavior. It is a love that will never end.

“I am delighted with your commitment to get healthy.

“You are tired of failing. But, you can do this! Trust Me!

“I want you to claim My promises, My presence and My power.

“Claim My promises. I always keep my promises. ‘So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Don’t be discouraged.

I offer you My strength when you are weak. I am holding you with my right hand.

“When you pray, remind Me of these promises, and claim them.

“My presence is always with you.

When you became my child, by accepting my gift of salvation, your body became the home of my Holy Spirit.

‘Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?’ 1 Corinthians 6:19

Cry out to me, day or night. I’m with you.

“When you feel alone, remember that I made a promise to you. “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b

“As the Son of God I offer you My power.

Power to fight temptations and struggles.

I know when you are weak and tired and I can help you.

Call out to Me. ‘No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it’. 1 Corinthians 10:13

“I say, ’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness’. 2 Corinthians 12: 9,10. Claim My power especially when you feel weak!

“As your Guide, I want you to know that together we make this journey to health and well-being.

I am holding you with my right hand.

Rest in MY promises, MY presence and MY power.

Read my Word, the Bible and I will speak to your heart through it. Learn to listen. Trust Me because I love you.”

TODAY’S little STEP: Read this imagined talk from our Guide regularly throughout this next month. We need to be reminded of His love for us and His promises, His presence and His power! Find other verses that speak to your life and your heart.

I’d love to hear how you are claiming God’s promises.