Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Instead of making a vague New Year's resolution of "eat healthier" or "go on a diet", why don't you try to make a few small changes first. Maybe drastically changing how you eat all at one time will work, or it might not. So how about making gradual changes that you'll be more likely to continue throughout the year?
Here are some ideas for changes you can make to the food you're currently eating:
Snickers : trail mix, mixed nuts
Reese's : apples & peanut butter
Chips : unsalted/unbuttered popcorn or pretzels
Pastries : fresh fruit, smoothie
Cookies : protein bar, meal-replacement bar
Wow, dessert sounds pretty good right now! You might not have as big of a sweet tooth as we do, so here are some other thoughts:
Try trading in your current carb-filled items with the whole wheat/grain option: whole wheat bread & pasta.
Reduce the amount of meals with red meat down to 1 or 2 a week.
Serve fruit and/or veggies with every meal. We usually split an apple or orange with dinner.
Obviously you can't completely cut all of the unhealthy items from your diet. You're going to find yourself in situations where there might not be a ton of healthy options (birthday parties, office celebrations, date nights, etc...). But the point we're trying to make is that you can always choose the best of what is in front of you. You need to decide what will work for you. By all means, celebrate with loved ones and enjoy a large meal or dessert once in awhile. But don't let one decision snowball into a day/week/month of poor food choices.
Drink more water! I'm sure you've heard/read this so many times. I know I have and I tend to ignore it. Then at the end of the day when I can't figure out why I'm so thirsty and my head hurts, I remember I've only had a cup of coffee all day. Yikes! Trust me, the added trips to the bathroom are very much worth it! Try trading in your second cup of coffee/soda/tea for a cool glass of water. There are many products out there that can help flavor your water for little to no added calories.
Gradually try these small changes. We hope you'll be able to stick to your goals! We're always here if you need encouragement!
What diet changes do you have planned for the New Year?
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
I am excited about reviving my home this year. Last year, I had a new baby and had just moved so making my house a home was low priority. Getting everything put away and set up was my main goal. This year, I am ready to create a space that my family can thrive in.
We are home a lot with James and June, so creating a home that is warm, inviting, and fits our family needs is important. Here are some ways we've come up with to revive our homes and make it a place of comfort.
DECLUTTER and CLEAN- Getting rid of things you don't use is a good way to create a clean space and mind.
1. Turn all the hangers in your closet backwards. When you wear an item in your closet, flip the hanger the right direction. At the end of a set time (2, 3, 6 months, etc.) get rid of things you haven't worn.
2. Start with high traffic places. These are the spaces you spend the most time and use frequently. (Kitchen, living room, bathrooms, bedrooms) Start small and assign a space a week and take time to declutter.
3. Remember the forgotten places. (Coat closet, pantry, fridge to name a few) Sometimes these places can be throw-all places where you things just start to accumulate.
REDESIGN and REARRANGE- If you spend a lot of time at home, it can get a little boring looking at the same thing every single day. Take time to make your space your own.
1. Rearrange your furniture. This is quick, easy, and can give you a new perspective.
2. Paint! Paint an accent wall or stain existing furniture. It is inexpensive and if you like to paint, a fun project.
3. Create a personal space. Have a space that you can call your own and go to to have quiet time. Whether it is a room you redecorate or just a part of a room, make it somewhere you will enjoy. If not for yourself, maybe for another family member.
QUALITY TIME- Make the time you spend in your home purposeful and life giving.
1. Create screen free zones. These are places where there may be no electronic devices present; areas where you want to spend most of your time interacting with your loved ones.
2. Play music instead of television. When I clean, I like to have noise in the background and it is usually the TV. Now, I like to play music that makes me feel at peace. It is calming and who doesn't like to dance a little while sweeping?
3. Have dinner at the dinner table. Sometimes it is nice to sit and eat dinner while watching a show but like having screen free zones, the dinner table is a great place to build relationship. Talk about your day and take time to wind down the day with your loved ones.
I hope some of these inspire you to revive your home and create a space you and your family can thrive in. I get eager, but creating the home I want will take time! Also, remember to have fun with it!
What ways will you be reviving your home this year?
I will definitely be decluttering! I want to have a home that is clean and use only the things we need. For me, physically make sure the clutter is gone helps me have a clear mind.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
"Work out more" and "stay active" seem to be at the top of most people's New Year's resolutions list. Unfortunately, a lot of these goals can be very generic and lofty. We can become discouraged when we set unspecific goals that are out of our immediate reach. We need specific ideas for ways we can see results quickly in order to maintain an exercise routine. Here are just a few of our ideas:
1. Printables: Check out our exercise printables HERE and HERE. There are tons of monthly ideas like these out there that you can find to suit your needs. They're a great way to set a short term goal for your specific need. Don't be afraid to tailor it down to your ability, but don't stay stagnant! Push yourself!
2. Use your breaks wisely!: Find a way to get up from your chair and move that tush! Use your break and lunch times to go for a walk, eat lunch standing up (if you're not already standing for most of your day), find a work-out online that you're excited to try out that evening or next morning, and talk with your accountability partners.
3. Speaking of accountability...: get some! It helps when those around you are trying to make good decisions for their bodies as well. Help each other! Stay in constant communication about your goals, triumphs, and failures. They'll be there to cheer you on and encourage you when you need it.
4. Small changes: Make small changes to your daily routine that will become new habits. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, wait 30 minutes before walking in the door before turning on the TV (how about a walk around the block instead?), do a few push ups/sit ups/whatever immediately after getting out of bed, make yourself earn that shower (do a quick 5-10 minute exercise right before). Take a look at your schedule and pick a few things you'd like to change. Start small with one or two behaviors.
5. Have fun with it!: Let's make your favorite TV show more interesting! Pick an exercise (push ups, squats, burpees, sit ups, lunges, plank...) to do during commercial breaks. See if you can hold that plank until the show comes back on! Or pick a fun game for exercise during the show. Example: Every time Character A says _______, do 5 push ups / Every time they eat at _______, do 10 squats. Make up a few for your favorite show and get the family involved, too! Turn this time when you normally just sit and stare at a screen into family fun!
It would be great if we all had time in our daily schedule to spend an hour at a gym, but that's just not the case for most people. Hopefully these tips will help you stay moving, even if it's not at a gym!
What do you like to do to stay active?
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
January is a month known for making goals and starting anew. It is always nice to have a fresh start at the beginning of the New Year. For me the most important thing this year is reviving my spirit. When I am in a good place in my spiritual life, I can approach my goals with confidence since God is giving me the strength to do so.
Here are a few ideas and tips on refreshing and reviving your spirit. Start small and choose a few, or go for all of them! I hope these suggestions help you move towards the goals you have set for yourself spiritually.
Accountability is the most important when it comes to goals. Having someone to help you along and help you stay on track with your goals is a good way to meet them. Whether it is a friend, a group of friends reaching for the same goal, or a mentor, reach out to whoever can help keep you accountable. Check in with them daily or weekly and talk about how you are doing doing in reaching your goals. Don't be afraid to talk about short comings. Whoever is keeping you accountable can help get back on track. And lastly, celebrate victories, big or small and remember them because it'll help you be encouraged!
2. Schedule Your Spiritual Time
Don't be afraid to schedule out time to read the Bible or pray. It is okay to write it or enter it into your phone calendar to remind you. The Lord sees that you are making an effort to get closer to Him and He loves it when we want to be close with Him. When it becomes a habit, you may not need to write it down anymore!
I love devotionals. There are devotionals that last a month and some that last up to a year. Some are long for deep study, and some are just long enough for a coffee break. I love they have devotionals that will fit any need. It is also fun to get together with friends and do a devotional together.
4. Prayer Calendar
Sometimes prayer can get monotonous or there are times where you are just lost for words. A prayer calender is such a great way to make your prayer life purposeful and strong. It is great to pray for what you pray for on a daily basis, but also praying for other matters in the lives of people around you, in the nation, and world is also important. We have one available, just CLICK HERE. For each day of the month, I like to fill it with a specific prayer. I like to general and very specific. For a general prayer I might say, all those ill with the flu. When being specific, I might go as far as choose a specific person by writing, Jane Doe's last trimester of pregnancy. I look forward to looking at my prayer calendar everyday and lifting others up in prayer!
5. Get Involved
Whether a group of friends getting together at home, a Bible Study at your church, or as simple as getting involved at a church, plug yourself in. It helps to get out and have to physically go somewhere as well as have a group to stay accountable too.
6. Giving Back
When it comes to giving, always give what you can and give what you feel to led to give. Feeling obligated or guilty for not giving leads to not giving with a joyful heart. Giving with a joyful heart is what livens up and enriches your spirit. Give to places that are near and dear to you or places the Lord wants you to give. We recently did a post on giving and have some ideas of where to give, find it HERE.
7. Stay In Check With Your Spirit
When getting involved, giving, reading your Bible, and praying make sure to stay in check with your spirit. What I mean by this is make sure you're just not going through the motions or that you are still doing things with the intent that you want it to. If you find yourself losing interest in something or feel like it is getting monotonous, it may be time to change something. Maybe you need to change where you have your quiet time or sit down with who you are staying accountable with talk things through. The point is that whatever you is refreshing and reviving to your spirit, or it is not worth doing. It is okay if one way isn't working, just reevaluate and try again.
What kind of ways will you be reviving your spirit this year?
I am looking forward to reading through Scripture with some girlfriends and praying with my family daily!
Friday, January 2, 2015
We hope you had a great time bringing in the New Year with your family and friends!
January always signifies a fresh start and renewing ourselves. (Although fresh starts can happen at anytime!) Next week we will be starting a month long series on reviving four specific areas: Spirit, Body, Home, and Diet. We want to offer easy, simple ways to give you a fresh take on daily life without feeling like you need to commit to making huge resolutions. We hope you join us every Wednesday this month!