Category Archives: encouragement

September routines – make a great start for the New Year !

Happy New Year! I know it’s not January. But September is a time of new beginnings.

I guess it’s because school starts and lots of programs start in my Church and community. It’s the time of year that I make decisions about the upcoming year.

I have also learned that the routines that I start in the first few weeks of September are the ones that stick, the good and the bad.

So setting those new routines requires careful thought, as they will quickly become habits.

This vacation I spent a lot of long slow mornings at the cottage. I sat by the lake and drank tea and read and drank tea and read. You get the picture?

 

But I know that September’s morning routines will need to be different. I need to be disciplined and organized.

I want to intentionally make some new routines this September/New Year, which will become good habits.

Decisions

I know I need to do some strength training. I’m over 50 and I want to keep toned. I have a nice little routine that takes about 15 minutes.

But I don’t do it regularly.

I am going to tie the strength training with another part of my routine – breakfast.

Before breakfast or right after will make sure it gets done! It will mean I need to get up a little earlier.

What about you? Maybe you need to link a new activity with something you already do?

My other new routine is to make my husband’s lunch right after dinner. I know he sounds spoiled but one of his love languages is ‘acts of service’. When I make his lunch he feels loved!

But when I’m making that lunch I have a few too many samples, especially if it’s later in the evening. So I will make the lunch right after dinner. I won’t be tempted to eat and I can be out of the kitchen for the rest of the evening.

My friend shuts the light off to signal that the kitchen is closed. I like that idea.

So what about you? What are your new routines going to be this year?

Be careful and intentional when starting those new routines.

Little choices soon become habits.

All these little steps really do make a difference, don’t get tired of doing what you know is right.

13079381314_906acc3f2c_z

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.

TODAY’S little STEP: Pick one September step for a new routine this fall. Every little step makes a difference!

If this has been helpful please share it with your friends.

 

 

Advertisements

10 tips to sneak exercise into everyday!

Exercise seems hard to add to our already crazy lives.  But when we add incidental exercise into our day it makes a difference.

Incidental exercise is the exercise we get during daily activities. Activities like taking the stairs, walking the dog and doing housework.

Every little change we make to be more active helps us be healthier.

If you move during every commercial break while watching 2 hours of TV you can burn 270 calories a day. That’s one sneaky way to add incidental exercise into our lives.

On those crazy busy days you can still add in little steps!

 

dr. quote

Here are some ideas

  • Use waiting times. While cooking dinner do standing push-ups while you wait for a pot to boil. Stand about an arm’s length from the kitchen counter, and push your arms against the counter. Push in and out to get toned arms and shoulders.

  • Phone calls. When talking on your phone pace around your home or office. Remember just 10 minutes makes a difference.

  • Wear a pedometer everyday. Keep track of a regular day and then make a goal to add 2000-3000 steps a day. check out pedometer resources here.

  • Take the stairs. Whenever possible take the stairs, up or down, instead of the elevator.

  • Park further away. Park at the far end of the parking lot and take your packages to the car yourself.

  • Stand more. Standing burns more calories than sitting! Stand more often than you sit.

  • Walk briskly. Don’t dawdle, walk at a quick pace, like you are late!

  • Get outside. Mow the lawn, garden, sweep the walk or wash the car by hand. These activities engage your core muscles.

  • Go get it yourself. If you need something from the basement or upstairs, get it yourself.

  • Store it downstairs. Purposely put frequently used items in the basement. Then you will have to take the stairs.

  • Walk at children’s sporting events. Pace the sidelines during soccer, climb the stairs during swimming or walk during half time breaks.

Most of these incidental exercise tips are ones I use. They have become part of my healthy lifestyle.

My kids still tease me that I find the farthest corner of the parking lot for my parking spot.

My family has gotten used to me walking on the spot during tv or movie watching, as long as I don’t block their view.

I purposely keep frequently used items in the basement so that I have to take the stairs more often.

I am convinced that these little lifestyle changes have helped me to keep the weight off.

 

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

TODAY’S little STEP: Pick 3 tips to incorporate incidental exercise into your daily life. Every little step does make a difference.

Sites used as research.  Check them out for additional ideas.

easy ways to boost incidental exercise

lazy girl fitness

fitness the easy way

small changes that take off big pounds

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.

Summer smart eating tips!

Do you find the summer a hard time to stay focused on your healthy eating journey? Here are 20 tried and true tips to use this summer.

Tips that really work!

 

I find summer difficult because there is less routine, more bbqs and summer vacations.

A big part of my summer vacation with my family is….. the food.

When my extended family meets for a week of rustic camping we all bring our favorite treats and snacks.

IMG_0199

I bake some special treats just for that week at the lake. It seems I’m constantly going into the cabin to grab a little something. The evening campfires always involve sharing fun treats.

Here are some of the strategies I use for the summer! These tips and tricks really work!

Give them a try!

 

  1. When eating in a restaurant skip the appetizer, as it is usually high in fat. Have a salad with the dressing on the side. Choose an entrée that has meat, fish or poultry, either potatoes or rice and vegetables. Stay away from sauces and anything deep-fried.

  2.  Treat yourself to a fruit tray and some prewashed vegetables. When the work of preparing has already been done, it makes it easier for you to make good choices.

  3. When you are tempted by those treats and snacks, pop a piece of gum in your mouth. Your mouth will be busy and you are less likely to eat something sweet or salty.

  4. Find ways to exercise everyday. Go for a long walk with a family member. Play games with your children, swim, canoe, and kayak; find fun ways to move your body everyday.

  5. Have some treats with your meal. Have your sandwich and raw veggies for lunch and then have a measured portion of some chips or cheezies. You won’t eat as much of the treat and you won’t feel deprived.

  6. Drink lots of ice-cold water. Use your fun water jug and stay hydrated.

  7. Eat a healthy breakfast every morning. Include some protein and fiber. You’ll feel full longer and you will have given your body some good fuel to start the day.

  8. Don’t eat out of the bag. Always serve yourself a portion of snacks in a bowl. Mindless eating can lead you to eat way more than you need or want.

  9. Read the labels on snack bags. Find out how much the suggested portion is and how many calories it contains. Then measure out that portion.

  10. Educate yourself, find out how many calories are actually in a s’more (it’s 268!). Decide if you really want to eat 3 or if 1 may satisfy your sweet tooth.

  11. Ditch the total deprivation mode. Allow yourself to enjoy your favorite treats. Totally depriving yourself will only make you feel sorry for yourself.

  12. When visiting the ice cream shop choose your favorite flavor and order the smallest cone size. You will be satisfied and eat approximately 260 calories for 1 scoop or a baby cone, of something really yummy. With each scoop the calories add up much too quickly. If you are not careful, what was to be a treat becomes a whole meals’ worth of calories!

  13. When you do overeat, relax and don’t start the negative self-talk. Accept that you overate at that one meal. Forgive yourself and get back on track.

  14. Keep your discipline; enjoy treats and snacks in moderation. Don’t have days when you relax all your healthy eating rules. It’s too easy to slip back into those old comfortable habits. Stay disciplined!

  15. Plan your menu when camping to include lots of summer produce. We have an abundance of amazing fruits and vegetables available from local farmer’s markets and in our grocery stores now.

  16. When eating at a backyard bbq choose smaller portions of pasta salads as they usually have higher fat content. Instead choose the green salad and serve the dressing on the side. Have a hamburger and don’t eat the top bun. Choose fruit for dessert. When finished eating, leave the food area and visit with friends.

  17. Before you go on vacation increase your activity level and cut back on your calories. You will have built in a little cushion for the upcoming vacation and you won’t come home with extra pounds.

  18. Eat sweet treats with a meal. You will likely eat less than if it were a snack. Your blood sugar levels will be much more even.

  19. Put the snacks and treats in the cupboard. If it’s out of sight it’s out of mind. No mindless eating, be intentional!

  20. Relax and enjoy your vacation! Enjoy your time away from your usual routine. Enjoy your family and the opportunity to make memories.

I shared these tips last summer and decided they were worth reposting.

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

TODAY’S little STEP: Enjoy the summer with your family and friends. Pick a few of these tips and put them to use this summer.

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!

 

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?

 

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

IMG_0382

What she did to triumph and get healthy!

IMG_4699

Every little step makes a difference!

Best use of 10 minutes of my crazy life!

THE BEST EVER 21 NON-FOOD REWARDS

IMG_5921

1 sneaky trick to lose weight

non-food reward

21 non-food rewards for you!

21 UNIQUE AND CHEAP NON-FOOD REWARDS

Recipes

 

img_0522

Delightful pina colada yogurt, too yummy to be healthy?

IMG_0811

 

Cinnamon maple chickpea nut – snack hack!

 

IMG_0437

BEST NEW DESSERT RECIPE OF THE SUMMER!

IMG_7636

 

EASY KALE SUMMER SALAD

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

Authentic love: the priceless gift!

 

This Valentine’s Day will be different!

Yes, we’ll have a candle light dinner, with chocolate cake for dessert, like always.

But the expressions of love this year are intensified because of the recent loss of a well-loved brother.

Oh, the people I love are so precious!

 

When you experience this kind of shocking loss it puts life into perspective.

Priorities change.

Irritations lose their power.

Stuff loses its appeal.

Careers lose their supremacy.

Tasks and to-do lists can wait.

What really matters in life?

PEOPLE

I HAVE the time to stop and chat with an acquaintance.

For coffee shop visits with good friends.

Telephone calls and long texts are WORTH the time.

There IS time for interruptions. Interruptions involve people.

There IS time for long conversations, even late at night.

Time to share a joke or a good memory.

Time, one of our most valued commodities, needs to be spent on

 PEOPLE!

love-yourpeople-well

With this recent loss came FEAR.

FEAR that I too may lose those I love most.

With God’s help I am not letting FEAR be immobilizing.

Instead it is a FEAR that moves me to action!

This FEAR moves me to the action of loving my people well.

Hugs and kisses are given and received everyday.

The value of dinner preparation and the time spent around the table laughing and talking is priceless!

Acts of service done in love speak volumes.

Kind and loving words reach deep into hearts.

Memories are made and cherished everyday.

I don’t want time to dim the intensity of these feelings!

I want to live a life of no regrets!

I want to love my people well!

TODAY’S little STEP: Love your people well! They are a precious gift from God!

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