BLE and Bullet Journaling — Katie’s Bright Kitchen

Have you tried bullet journaling?  I wanted to, but it seemed so complicated.  I read articles and even a book on how it MUST be done.  The thought of being so organized sounded wonderful, but it also sounded so complicated that my perfectionist self wouldn’t even try it in fear of doing it “wrong.”

Once I read this post on Katie’s Bright Kitchen, I ordered a simple bullet journal and a couple of fine-point pens from Amazon and I’ve been loving it.  The first week I did mine in pencil because I felt like I didn’t have a clue what I was doing or what I wanted.  It’s been pen and ink ever since and I’ve learned that you can always use white-out or you can choose to live with your mistakes.

I’ve been able to put a week’s worth of meal plans, gratitudes, lists, and reminders all on a two-page spread.  I’m not the artist that Katie is, but it is working for me.  If I continue as I’ve been doing, this one journal will last me over a year.

I encourage you to click on over to Katie’s post.  You’ll be amazed at how simple bullet journaling can be.  It doesn’t have to be done any certain way.  It doesn’t have to be done the way the “experts” say it must be done.  It only has to be done in a way that works for you.  It only has to be done your way.

I posted this picture of my bullet journal on instagram yesterday, and everybody kept commenting that they wanted to buy it, which tells me that those people don’t understand the basic concept of a bullet journal. That’s ok, neither did I once. The beautiful thing about a bullet journal is that it doesn’t have a […]

via BLE and Bullet Journaling — Katie’s Bright Kitchen



Last summer I did participate in the Couch to 5K program except that our coach also offered a 5K to 10K program.  The race we’ve traditionally run at the end of the program offers a 5K or a 10K option, so it was an easy addition to the program.  I registered for the 10K program.

I ran more miles last summer than ever before, but I made a huge mistake.  The school year before had been stressful and difficult, so I really felt like I just needed to rest and relax.  So, I decided to relax and have fun with my running.  Instead of listening to a metronome to keep my pace on track, I toyed with listening to music.  I tried different genres and different tempos, but never found a tempo to keep my pace where it should be.  I know a lot of people listen to music or podcasts while running.  It just doesn’t work for me.

I naturally want to run slow and with a long stride, so that’s what happened.  My stride got longer and I got slower which makes for more work on the body.  By the time I realized this, it was so late in the program that I decided to not try to correct it at that time.

I did complete the program and ran my first 10K!  It was a great feeling of accomplishment.  Cinderella participated in the Couch to 5K program for the first time and did a great job as well. By this time, I was the heaviest I had been for a few years.


I’ve learned that relaxation can come in the form of self-care.  That has been my focus in 2019, which is why I’ve shared with you some of the new things I’ve been doing this year–like journaling and Bright Line Eating.  Little things like this add up quickly and can give us the energy we need to do other things well.

If you’re feeling tired, exhausted, discouraged, or burned out, I encourage you to find some things that you can do regularly to take care of yourself.  Think of it as maintenance just like you would maintain your car to keep it running smoothly and efficiently.  Filling it up with gas, keeping the oil changed, keeping the tires aired up, giving it a wash and wax every now and then are all important in keeping your car running smoothly so it will perform the way you want it to.  We must do the same for ourselves, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28

My 10-Year Journal

Journaling or keeping a diary is not something I’ve ever kept up with for very long.  As a kid I had the typical diary with the lock and key–you know, the kind that anyone can open.  That lock always made it seem so exciting and mysterious.  However, I never kept up with it for very long.

I have always enjoyed writing, however, as long as I had someone to write to.  In seventh grade, we had a teacher that sent off and got pen pals for the entire class.  I did get a pen pal, maybe two, but again that didn’t last long either.

My favorite and most faithful pen pal was my grandmother that lived 600 miles away.  Remember, this was before any form of electronic communications.  Snail mail was the way to go, and getting a personal letter in the mail was exciting.  This was also the time of being billed by the minute for long-distance phone calls, so talking on the phone to someone outside of your city was really special–and expensive.

I am once again trying journaling.  Some of the books that I’ve enjoyed reading are made up of people’s journals.  I found a 10-year journal on Amazon that I am really enjoying.  Once I get a few years under my belt, I’m wondering if I’ll enjoy going back over the previous years’ entries.

img_20190403_1341545269144366937936730.jpgEven though this journal claims to be a 10-year, it’s technically an 11-year journal because it goes from 2019 to 2029!  It has a very nice leather cover and comes in a variety of colors.  It also has very thick pages that are of high-quality paper.  There is no worry of your ink bleeding through with this journal.

The people that created this journal have thought of everything.  First there is a table of contents and then an introduction that explains the various pages of the journal.  There are some lined pages for notes, and then a planning page for each year.  Then you’ll find a 12-year calendar.

For each month of each year there’s a monthly summary page to record something short and sweet that you want to keep track of.  It could be your weight, your blood pressure, the weather or outdoor temperature.  It’s up to you.

Next come the daily entry pages.  There’s plenty of room to make your entry for the day, along with a place to put the page number if you have a long entry for that day and need to continue it on to the back of the journal.  Almost like reading the newspaper and finding the article continued to another page.

In the back you’ll find an Address & Phone book page for just that.  Then you’ll find an Event Tracker page for each year where you can record medical events, automobile repairs, or anything else you’d like to record.

Last, but not least, is a Monthly Memo page where you can record birthdays anniversaries, and other celebrations.  Once recorded, everything is in one spot.  No more missed birthdays!

This is the first pre-printed journal that I have enjoyed.  After trying a few others that I did not, I spent a lot of time looking and viewing the inner pages before purchasing this one.  I am enjoying stopping to think about the day’s events and recording the ones that I think are noteworthy and that I’ll want to be reminded of in the years ahead.  So, if you’ve tried one in the past but decided that journaling just isn’t for you; I encourage you to do some contemplating and further looking.

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.  Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Do you journal?  Why or why not?  Tell me about your journal.

Are You Drinking Enough Water?

I know during the winter that I do not drink as much water as I should. When it’s cold, I don’t want to drink anything. So, I usually don’t. Maybe some hot tea occasionally, but I know I don’t drink nearly the quantity of liquids that I should.

All you have to do is google something like “how much water should I drink” and you’ll get all sorts of websites with all sorts of answers. Some give a number of ounces for all men and women, while others offer formulas calculated on your age and weight. If you decide to set a goal on how much water to drink daily, how much is going to be up to you.

What I needed was some prodding throughout the day to remind me to drink water. I was sure that was the only way I was going to meet any goal. I found an app for my phone called Water Drink Reminder that shows your progress and reminds you to drink water throughout the day. I picked this app because:


  • it’s free
  • it had a high rating
  • it would remind me throughout the day to drink water
  • the reminders would also show up on my Garmin

The app also has all kinds of settings that you can choose such as between what hours you want it to remind you to drink water, how often, and if there are times of the day that you don’t want reminders.

The first couple of days were tough, and I came very close, but did not reach my goal. After that, I knew the only way to be on top of it was going to be to get up and start drinking lots of water right away. The app has an arrow that slides along a bar to show you where you should be during the day. I like this feature, and I try to stay a little ahead as much as possible.

I think I’m seeing all of the expected results, including a more dramatic weight loss. One of the unexpected results I’m seeing is dry hands. I think washing my hands more frequently has led to dry skin on my hands. I am in turn using more hand lotion!

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? “You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:10-14

How I got Rid of Food Hangovers

One of the things that I love about Bright Line Eating (BLE) is that you do not have to “track” your food.  What I mean by that, is that all of your food is weighed, so there is no need to track calories.  The program defines what serving sizes are and what servings you can have at each meal.  For example, for breakfast, if you are a woman on the weight-loss program, you will have one protein, one fruit, and one grain.  There is a simple chart available that lists each category and serving size.  It’s so simple, that I had most of them memorized in no time.

This also means that since sugar and flour are the only things that aren’t permitted, that there are some choices that are better than others.  I knew this.  I always knew this.  But, I also know that I am not good at knowing or realizing how caloric some foods are.  The same goes for sodium, which I have horrible inflammation from if I eat very much of it.  I was having times that I was waking in the morning with what I call a food hangover–eyes, fingers, etc., swollen with water retention; weight gain; and feeling groggy.

Considering all of this, I decided to start tracking my food.  It’s not something that I like to do, but I considered it a necessity.  For that, I am using a program called Cronometer.  Here is why and what I like about it:

  • The free version tracks your nutrients for free.  Most other programs, require you to pay for this.
  • I believe it to be very accurate.  Not just anyone can add food to the database.  If you have a food that is not in the database, you can add it and then submit it to Cronometer.  You have to input all the nutrient information from the label and submit photos.  You can then use it in your tracking as a custom food.  Once Cronometer has reviewed your submission and it is verified, you will be notified that it is now in their database and it will be removed from your custom food list.
  • Since all my food is weighed, I need to be able to log my food by weight, not volume.  This has been easy to do with Cronometer.  This has not always been available for me in other programs.img_20190319_231453
  • It does a nice job of importing my weight, sleep, pulse, and activity from my Garmin.
  • I can creat custom foods and recipes.

What I don’t like about Cronometer:

  • Cronometer does not export my food consumption to any app or device that I have.  This has been a huge disappointment.  I have been manually imputing my calories at the end of the day into My Fitness Pal because that is what Garmin uses to track your calories.

This has been an enlightening experience for me.  As I said before, I was not very good at knowing what the caloric and sodium content of foods are.  But, with Cronometer I was able to quickly see a few foods that I was eating that needed to be cut.  With BLE, potatoes are considered a grain.  That means you can have hash browns for breakfast, and I found some hash brown patties at the grocery store that I fell in love with.  Not only were they high in calories compared to other grain choices like oatmeal or shredded wheat, but they were also loaded with salt.

Another food that I love that is high in calories are nut butters.  It was shocking to see how high in calories they are compared to other protein choices such as yogurt.  I now split my nut butter with another protein which saves me about 100 calories.

So, March has been a time of fine tuning and making adjustments–otherwise known as researchimg_20190319_231230.  It’s been a good experience.  It has made me more aware of what is in the food I’m eating and how it affects me.  It’s also made me try foods and food combinations that I don’t normally eat.  With Cronometer I can view my nutrients and with the touch of a button, view what I’ve eaten that day that contains those nutrients.  This has been a huge help in cutting down the sodium.  It’s nice to be on more of an even keel instead of having the ups and downs.  And, I’m glad to report, no more food hangovers!

Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.  Isaiah 30:18


Celebrating 100 Days of Bright Line Eating

Last week I reached 100 days of Bright Line Eating.  Were all my days perfect?  Not at all.  I’m sure I had a few days in there that were a complete failure.  But, I did feel like I had acomplished something–that I had reached a milestone.

I’m glad that I stuck with it for this long.  I feel like it’s taken me this long to get in my “groove” so to speak.  It really never was difficult at all, but now it feels like a breeze most days.  I think some of the automaticity is starting to kick in.

I am losing weight, but at a snail’s pace.  It can be discouraging sometimes to see other people losing it at a much higher rate.  When this happens, I remind myself that losing weight at a snail’s pace is much better than gaining or none at all.

The peace of mind Bright Line Eating has given me is worth the slower pace.  Since I’m no longer eating foods that are addictive, most of the time my saboteur is kept at bay.  He’s locked away in his little cage, and I don’t want to go back to eating sugar and flour and releasing him from his little prison.

After losing over 105 lbs. through other methods, I am now finally dealing with my relationship with food.  I now realize that I am a binger.  Just as the Lay’s commercial says, “Bet you can’t eat just one,” I really can’t.  I cannot open a bag of chips and eat just part of the bag.  I cannot open a sleeve of cookies and eat one or two cookies.  I cannot leave a pan of brownies sitting on the stove without eating one every time I walk by.

Bright Line Eating has given me the consistency to beat the addciction.  Since my meals are planned the night before at a time when my stomach is satisfied and I’m thinking clearly, I can make the right choices.  If I wait until right before mealtime or when I’m already hungry, I’m liable to eat the first thing I find.  Since all my food is weighed now, I know exactly what and how much to eat.  My saboteur cannot later whisper into my ear and question my food, my quantities, anything.

Whether you have weight to lose or not, you can have peace of mind too.  Bright Line Eating is a lifestyle, not a diet.  There is a program for weight loss, but there is also a program for maintenance.  You too can be happy, thin, and free.

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.  
I Corinthians 10:31


Bright Line Eating

Hello, Friend.  I know it’s been a while since I’ve written.  I’m starting my posts again on the same schedule as before, Wednesday evenings at 6:00 pm Eastern time.

This week, I’m republishing a post from 2017.  I had discovered Bright Line Eating then and dabbled a bit in it.  I am now following the program and have just celebrated 100 days!  It truly is freeing.  I feel like it’s taken me this long to get settled in the program and get into a groove so to speak.

The journey continues.  Thank you for coming along.  You don’t know what an encouragement it is to me.

Bright Line Eating is a lifestyle routine created by Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson.  She recently published a book by the same name.  What makes this book interesting, is that it is written from an addict’s and scientist’s point of view.  Instead of talking about nutrition and how this is good for you and that is not, Dr. Thompson addresses how addictive sugar and flour is and how we need to break that addiction.  She even has an addiction susceptibility test that you can take on her website.

First she tells you her story of drug and alcohol addiction.  After getting clean and sober, she decided to study addiction.  Then she became a food addict and obesity set in.

After successfully conquering food addiction and obesity, Dr. Thompson has created her own food plan.  Except, that it’s much more than just a food plan.  Bright Line Eating is a lifestyle.

The idea is to make your eating automatic–to move the decision making of what you’re going to eat, how much, and when to another area of your brain so that no emotions are involved.  Just like you automatically do certain things every morning when you get out of bed–make the bed, brush your teeth, etc., –the idea is to automatically plan and prepare your meals.  The decision was made the night before, now all you have to do is eat it!

Bright lines are lines that you don’t cross.  The four bright lines are:

  1. No sugar:  no sugar or sweeteners of any kind.
  2. No flour:  no flour of any kind.
  3. Meals:  three meals a day, no snacks, bites, licks, or tastes.
  4. Quantities:  all food is measured.

Dr. Thompson also covers a myriad of topics and situations to keep you on track.  She recommends having a buddy that you can text or call when you’re about to go off your food plan.  She covers situations such as restaurants, traveling, and parties.  She also covers what to do should you break your bright lines.

Dr. Thompson also recommends things such as meditation, journaling, and a nightly check-off list.  There is also an 8-week boot camp and online support groups.

You do not have to be overweight or wanting to lose weight to benefit from this book.  This book could be helpful to anyone wishing to get their eating habits under control.

I have been following the Bright Line Eating plan the last few weeks and have been steadily losing weight.  This is a great feeling after maintaining my weight for the last year.  Following this program has taken away the worry of ‘what am I going to eat?’, ‘how much?’, ‘am I eating enough?’, ‘am I eating too much?’, etc.  Overall, I am now eating more food than I was before I started following the program, so I have never been hungry.  This is truly the simplest thing I’ve ever done.

A warning to you juicers, Dr. Thompson is not a juicing fan.  In fact, she is completely against it.  However, she does hint at customizing the program to fit you and coming up with your own bright lines.  That is what I have done.  I am following a 5:2 plan, where I am juicing two days a week.

I am also continuing to exercise even though Dr. Thompson recommends not exercising while trying to losing weight.  I know it completely goes against everything we’ve been told, but her reasoning for it makes sense.  Since I’ve been exercising regularly for a few years now and it is not something new that I’m trying to add into my life, I’m going to stick with it.

I recommend this book to anyone wanting to get their eating habits under control whether they are wanting to lose weight or not.  I found the science sited in this book very interesting.  I was expecting this book to merely be an introduction to Dr. Thompson’s program with a ploy to get you to buy more of her products, but it is not.  Everything you need to know is contained in the book.  With this book and a food scale, you’re set!

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. I Cor 10:31