Friends, Fun, Health, Living

Just Me, My Metronome, and My Staples

Can you believe it’s September already? I keep hearing people say that fall is just around the corner, and my mind instantly says, “Noooooooo!” But, I really do like fall. I love the cool, crisp weather and the colors of the leaves as they change. What I don’t like is the shorter days. Fall also means that winter is just around the corner! That’s one more thing I don’t like about fall. If we could have fall without having winter, I would truly be a happy Camper!

We have had a terrific summer. There have been a few hot days here and there, but we have not had any extended heat waves. We have not had any scheduled runs or races that have been canceled due to the weather. I’ve had a couple of runs in which the weather was chasing me and I was trying to beat the storm, but I still got my run in.

While loading our vehicle last week, someone slammed the back hatch down on my head. This resulted in my having to go to the emergency room and get eight staples put in my head. The ER doctor did not give me a lot of instruction as far as what activities I could or could not do, and at the time I did not think to ask about exercising. The discharge papers I received said as a general rule to take it easy for the next two days, so I did go ahead and do that and did some walking instead of running.

This summer I’ve been running with a couple of groups. One very small, with just a few friends, and another larger group that meets once a week. With all of these scheduled runs, I’ve mostly been running with a group all summer.

This past Saturday I found myself without a running partner, so I decided to run from home and run a route I hadn’t done for quite sometime. Looking back, I think it’s been nearly two years. After my ankle sprain, I think I may have gone up and over the flyover one time. It’s a hot route in the summer because there is no shade, so I usually avoid it unless it’s cool and/or cloudy outside. I had forgotten how hot it can be, so it was a much warmer run than I had expected.

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy! (The last time I ran the flyover.)

Like I said, it has been a while since I’ve ran all alone in my neighborhood, so I had forgotten how nice it is to get out and enjoy the ‘hood. I had forgotten how encouraging people are along the way.

Less than a mile into my run, I met an older gentlemen that was walking. He said something along the lines of, “Way to go,” as I passed him. I went on and went up and over the flyover. It was like visiting an old friend. Somewhere along the flyover, I got a honk and a thumbs up hanging out of the driver’s window. I also met another runner on the flyover and we gave each other kudos.

On top of the world!

On my way back, I met the same gentleman again except this time he had a lady friend with him. They were holding hands and he said to me, “You’re still at it!” I said, “You’re doing better than me; you’ve picked up someone along the way!” The lady friend chuckled as we all continued on our way. (The fact that I’m the slowest runner on earth is what allows these interactions to take place–another advantage of being a back of the pack runner.)

The last mile of this run was rough. I was not as prepared for it as I should’ve been. I had some time off the week before, it was a lot hotter than I had expected, and I had a head injury. But, the encouragement of the people I met along the way kept me going and made the journey a lot more pleasant than it would’ve been otherwise.

Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.

Isaiah 35:3
Health, Living

Electrolytes and Girl Talk

It’s amazing the difference a few days can make. Last Wednesday morning we had thunderstorms and some nice, cool weather moved in for a few days. Today, we are under a heat advisory with the potential of today being the hottest day of the year!

Running in the heat has its challenges. One of those is electrolytes. What are electrolytes?

Electrolytes are certain nutrients (or chemicals) present in your body that have many important functions — from regulating your heartbeat to allowing your muscles to contract so you can move.

As you can see, electrolytes are very important for your body to function properly. It’s important to drink lots of water on hot days. Since electrolytes are excreted while sweating, you may need to replenish electrolytes on hot days or after vigorous exercise.

Thankfully, I have found a great electrolyte resource at Seeking Health. Most electrolytes are flavored and have added sweeteners to them. Seeking Health has those, if you’re looking for something that is flavored. I was excited that they have now formulated a “plain” flavor that has no added flavorings or sweeteners. It’s nice to get the things your body needs without anything else added to them. If you’re looking for an electrolyte or not excited about the one you have, I recommend giving this one a try.

For the ladies . . .

A few months ago I discovered seed cycling. I do not remember how I ran across it. I was able to find a way to get it to fit into the BLE lifestyle, so I decided to give it a try. It has made a huge difference for me. Read on, because it may be worth giving a try.

Seed cycling integrates different seeds into the diet at different times in the menstrual cycle to support optimal hormonal balance (Jesswein, 2012). The idea is that seeds carry certain oils, vitamins, and nutrients that can help support the body’s production, release, and metabolism of hormones. The seeds used in seed rotation are flax and pumpkin seeds, and sesame and sunflower seeds.

It’s so simple, you won’t believe it. The first 14 days of your cycle, you eat a tablespoon each of flax and pumpkin seeds. The second 14 days of your cycle, you have a tablespoon each of sesame and sunflower seeds. Of course, you want your seeds to be raw and organic. They are not difficult to find at your local health market.

Since I prefer weighing my food over using measurements, I was able to determine that one tablespoon of seeds equals about half an ounce. So, I have a half an ounce of each seed a day. This fits perfectly in within the BLE food plan since you can have one fat at lunch and one at dinner. For seeds, you can have half an ounce, so these seeds are my fat each day.

Flax seeds need to be ground for the body to digest them. Most websites I visited recommended that all the seeds be ground. I’m assuming it’s for easier absorption. For this I use my cup blender, and I grind two days worth of seeds each time so that I don’t have to do it every day. I weigh out an ounce of each seed into the cup blender and then give it a whirl on my blender.

The ground up seeds go great with most meats and vegetables. If I’m having hummus, I stir it into my hummus. I’ve also stirred it into tuna, cottage cheese, eggs, and other meats. Sprinkling it onto your vegetables and salads works fine too.

How do I know this works? All I’m saying is that it has worked for me. If you are suffering some of those awful symptoms that only women get, it might be worth a try. The cravings, tenderness, puffiness and other symptoms have completely subsided for me. I feel like I’m more on an even keel instead of a roller coaster ride. As always, do your research first and consult your doctor if needed.

Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;

Genesis 1:29
Family, Friends, Fun, Health, Living

Fourth of July Recap and Beyond

Good Wednesday afternoon! We are starting the day off with thunderstorms, so who knows what today is going to bring. Hopefully they will move on and we can go on with the day.

Here’s hoping you had a great Independence Day. We started the day off with a 4-mile race that benefited a local hospital. It’s a small race in a small town, but always lots of fun. It’s the third time I’ve ran this race, and it was my second best time, so I felt good that I was able to take four minutes off of last year’s time! The race starts off with two pretty steep hills. This was the first time I’ve been able to run up both of them!

This year we were blessed with cloudy skies for the race. Even though it starts at 7:30 in the morning, it’s still always a hot one. The last two years it was hot and humid with the sun shining and the heat was pretty intense. This year we just had hot and humid. It’s amazing what a difference it makes.

As always, we had a great time, and Fabienne got first place in her age group!

Later that evening we had a great time with friends celebrating the Fourth with hamburgers, hot dogs, and the fixin’s including homemade ice cream. The kids were also able to light a few fireworks and best of all, the Blue Angels flew right overhead! The precision these guys fly with is incredible. It looked like their wings were inches apart.

This week, we are getting ready for the county fair, so there are lots of projects going on at our house right now. Of course they all have a deadline, so things get a little intense sometimes. This weekend will be spent getting our things judged and helping with the fair. By Monday, we will be ready for some quiet time!

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

Matthew 11:28
Family, Friends, Fun, Government, Health, Living, Religion

Independence Day 2019

It’s hard to believe that it is July already. Summer just got here, but it seems like it is slipping away so quickly. Before we know it, summer will be gone, it will be fall, and we’ll be slipping into winter. After that comes the new year! Sigh.

Tomorrow is a big day here in the U.S. It is our Independence Day celebration. What are your plans for Independence Day? Growing up it meant a block party! There were five houses on our street. In the evening people would begin to gather. We had all kinds of homemade treats to sample. The most exciting treat was always the homemade ice cream. There was often a strawberry sauce to put over it if desired. There was always homemade hot fudge sauce. Once we had our fill of ice cream, cake, brownies, and fudge sauce it was time for the fireworks. Most of the time the weather cooperated. I can remember times that it was so cold that we were sitting out in the yard in our sleeping bags.

Times have certainly changed. We’re all much older now. Some have passed away, others have moved away. None of us have the metabolism or the stomach to eat pounds of sugar in one sitting.

Tomorrow I’ll start my day with a 4-mile race that goes to benefit a local hospital. This is the third time I’ve done this run. It’s a small race in a small town and lots of fun. Afterwards, I’ll have my BLE muffins for breakfast. They’re really good, but nothing compares to homemade ice cream and Mom’s hot fudge sauce! (Hot fudge sauce on a blueberry muffin? Now you’re talking!)

Later, we’ll get out our copy of the Declaration of Independence and give it a read. It’s a nice reminder once a year. I often do it in the car–it’s easy to hold everyone’s attention there.

Freedom is a valuable thing. We’ve had so much of it, that we often take it for granted. We have reaped a bountiful harvest yet are not cautiously storing up for the famine around the corner. We don’t even recognize when our freedom is slowly being taken away. Our founding fathers understood the value of freedom and what it was like to live without it. They and their families were willing to give up everything to guarantee that you and I would have the luxury of living in freedom. Let’s honor them, as we should, on this carefree day.

Physical freedom is a great thing. Let’s not forget where the most important freedom, spiritual freedom, comes from.

 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.  John 8:36

Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures has a nice Independence Day post. Hop on over there and check it out!

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Family, Friends, Fun, Health, Homeschool, Living, Parenting

It’s Summer!

Yes! Summer is here! It’s my favorite time of year. What’s yours?

I feel like summer is a time to be free and enjoy the outdoors. As a school-age child, summer meant no school and lots of time to play outdoors. As a homeschool mom, it’s almost the same feeling! It’s a time to lighten up on the academics and to concentrate on being outdoors and preparing for the next school year. Planning the next school year and seeing what we’re going to be learning is always exciting.

Summer is a time of lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in season. Lately we’ve had blueberries on sale in the grocery store. I love blueberries and have been able to have fresh blueberries instead of frozen with my BLE breakfast every morning.

I love going to our local farmers’ market and loading up on local produce. I take my fold-up wagon and buy what’s available–corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, eggs, fresh made bread, and the list goes on and on.

June 21st is often referred to as the “longest day of the year.” I know it’s not actually the longest day of the year since all days have 24 hours in them. However, it is the day with the most day light. That is the one drawback of summer–the days are going to start getting shorter in terms of daylight.

Our summer started with thunderstorms, a possible gustnado, and torrential downpours this morning. There were 18,000 people without electricity due to high winds and lightening strikes. There were over 25 water rescues due to flash flooding. However, tomorrow is bringing us warm, 90 degree weather. After a morning run, we are planning on being poolside!

What are your summer plans?

He made the moon for the seasons; The sun knows the place of its setting. Psalm 104:19

Friends, Fun, Health, Living

A Huge Disappointment, Second Quarter Update

April’s race was the Tortoise and Hare. This is a small race in a small town. I was not able to do this one last year due to a conflict, but I did run it with my two daughters in 2017. We had quite the weather change, and it was my first warm race of the year!

Transitioning from winter to summer is always difficult for me. It takes me longer than it should to shed the extra layers, so I often end up too warm. That was the case for this race as well. The forecast was for it to be foggy and cloudy that day, and I was counting on it. We were lined up at the starting line waiting for the gun to go off, when the fog lifted and the sun came out. I could immediately feel the warm sun on me, and my first thought was that this was not good.

I was wearing my running jacket that I really, really like. I quickly looked for a place to ditch it, but didn’t see one where I thought it most likely would still be there when I got back. Instead, I ended up taking it off and running the entire race with my jacket tied around my waist. It was aggravating, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

May’s race was the Brandon Russell’s Flash Dash 5K. I ran this race last year as well. This race is on a very flat course that zigzags through town. Last year it rained and rained until the race started. This year the rain started right before I got to the finish line. It was warm, so it felt good!

June’s race, the Hero Hustle, was a welcome surprise! I had a friend that had registered for a race but was going to be out of town, so she transferred her race entry over to me. She ended up canceling the trip and registering for the race again so we could run it together.

We have had the wettest May on record–ever. The original location set for the race is now under water and has a bridge washed out making it impossible to hold the race there. The race coordinators were able to find another location for the race. The race was held in a park with a walking trail. It rained and rained the night before the race, making it hot and humid. The shaded trail of the park was very much appreciated. My time for this race was not lightening fast, and I don’t expect it to ever be, but it was the best time I’ve had in a long time!

I mentioned in last week’s post that the Couch to 5K program was going to be kicking off this week and that I had been asked to help coach. We did not have enough people sign up for the program, so it has been canceled for this season. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was to hear this. However, our coach has offered to go ahead and meet with anyone that wants to, so we are still meeting! None of us are new runners, and we’re all training for various races and distances, so we are getting together and working on speed and distance. It’s going to be a great summer with lots of hard work ahead!

The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Fun, Health, Living

Celebrating 200 Days of Bright Line Eating

As of tomorrow (Thursday) I’ll be celebrating 200 days of Bright Line Eating (BLE). It’s sounds like such a long time, but it has gone by quickly. I’m not sure how to describe the last 100 days except to say that it keeps getting better and better.

What is so significant about the last 100 days you might ask? Not only does it keep getting better and better, it also keeps getting easier and easier. I’ve learned that my biggest weakness is in the grocery store where there’s lots of NMF (not my food) around. Actually, I don’t even call it food. I call it food-like substances. I’ve learned that if I pause and think about what my Indulger often tries to tell me, that I can counter those thoughts and leave the store without the NMF and without the stomach ache later.

I didn’t think it was possible, but I keep feeling better and better. I’m putting food designed by God instead of man into my body every day. My body is definitely appreciating it and making good use of it. It’s jumping up and down in excitement, so to speak.

I am the slowest runner on earth, but Strava keeps telling me after every run that I’m getting better. My number one person to beat every day is myself, and I keep doing that over and over.

Couch to 5K at our local community center kicks into gear next week. This year, I’ve been asked to help coach. I am really excited about this. I know I’m not bringing any great skills to the program, but I do want to encourage others to give running a try. I am definitely that person they can look at and say, “If she can do it, so can I.”

My encouragement to anyone new to BLE or any other program is to stick with it and give it time. I can imagine that most people start BLE as a way to lose weight, but there are so many other benefits as well. I’m glad I’ve stuck to it and am seeing the long-term benefits. Now there are so many reasons to keep on keeping on!

The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;  Genesis 2:16

Family, Friends, Fun, Health, Living, Parenting

It’s Global Running Day

Today, June 5, is Global Running Day. What is Global Running Day?

Global Running Day is a worldwide celebration of running that encourages everyone to get moving. It doesn’t matter how fast you run or how far you go—what’s important is that you take part, and how you do it is up to you. Run a lap around your block, take your dog for a long walk, or call your friends for a pick-up game in the park. The important thing is that you have fun being active—and you inspire others to join you.

I’m in a group that regularly meets on Wednesday nights, so we’re having extra fun tonight. We have a photographer coming to take pictures along our route and the pizza place we meet at is having specials for us tonight. It’s a time of fun and fellowship!

There are plenty of specials online as well. Discounts on races and drawings for prizes. Fun, fun, fun!

Our local running store is asking people to post pictures of their favorite running buddies which might get you a free race entry. My two daughters are my favorite running buddies.

My two daughters are my favorite running buddies.

The important thing is to get out and have fun with the people that you love.

If we say that we have fellowship with Him and [yet] walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
I John 1:6-7

Friends, Fun, Health, Living

The Blog Post About Nothing

The last several weeks I’ve had a particular topic that has come to mind that I wanted to write about. This week, I don’t have one.  I guess you could say that this is the blog post about nothing.  (Seinfeld fans will get that one.)

I feel like it’s taken a while, but I’ve gotten into a groove. After all, today is Day 185 in my Bright Line Eating journey. I feel like I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can ignore the Indulger and the Saboteur. This doesn’t mean that I have it all figured out and that I can let my guard down. I know I can’t. I know I’m just one step away from where I was a few years ago.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m loving running again. I know I’m never going to be fast or a superstar, but I’m getting better every time. I’m able to go further at a little bit faster pace each time I go out. I am working at it but still enjoying it and not feeling like I’m going to collapse when I’m done.

I’m feeling solemn, yet grateful today as we spent part of last night in the basement due to tornado warnings. We were fortunate that it doesn’t appear that we have any damage. But, not far away, there are people whose homes were leveled. Reports are that there were a few minor injuries—nothing major and no deaths. Absolutely amazing.

And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”  And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.  And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”  They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”  Mark 4:37-41

Friends, Health, Living

The Indulger

Who is the Indulger?  He’s that little voice inside of your head telling you that you “deserve” something.  He likes to hang out with the Rationalizer who will tell you that it’s ok–that little bite won’t matter.

My Indulger is alive and well.  He likes to talk to me when I step into the grocery store.  One day last week I ran into the grocery store to pick up one thing after running with friends.  We ran right at dinner time, so I was hungry and ready to eat.  I also knew that my dinner was at home waiting for me.

As soon as I stepped into the store, my Indulger started talking to me.  “You’re hungry.  You deserve it!”  Then the Rationalizer spoke up too, “You just ran four miles.  That candy bar won’t matter.  No one will know.”  I went to the produce department, grabbed the vegetables I came in for, and then headed for the checkout.  Since I only had one item, I went through the express checkout which also has less candy.  I turned my back to the candy shelf.  I kept thinking about how I would feel afterwards if I did get that candy bar.  I checked out quickly and made it through unscathed.

During another trip to the grocery store I had a cart full of things to pick up.  I was doing ok until the end of my trip.  The last aisle in my grocery store is the dairy section.  I picked up a few things and was ready to head to the checkout.

There it was.  That little shelf of tasty morsels that have been strategically placed as you’re leaving the dairy aisle.  And there’s the sign, saying that they’re 10 for $10, so at $1 each you know it’s a bargain.  And within reach, there they were–Sno Balls.  Pink Sno Balls.  Nostalgia and memories kicked in, and my Indulger started to go wild.

As a kid, Sno Balls were my favorite junk food.  They were always prominently displayed at the checkout counter.  I would beg my mother for them every time we would go to the grocery store.  She didn’t always give in, but I had them often enough.  One great thing about them is that there are two!  You can have one now and one later–that is if you can manage to put the second one away for safe keeping.

My Indulger was telling me that it would be ok.  I had just gone for a run.  The calories wouldn’t matter.  My Rationalizer was telling me that I could have one today and one tomorrow.  I stood there, I stared, I contemplated.  I knew that once I opened the package that I could not eat just one.

Finally, I walked away.  I felt a strong desire to go back and grab that package, but I didn’t.

It’s taken a while, but I’ve learned how to deal with the Indulger and his buddy the Rationalizer.  The first and most important step is to not give in right away–to delay that decision and to put them off for a few minutes.  If I can stop to think about how I’ll feel afterwards and how eating this “treat” is going to make me feel the next day (usually lots of inflammation), then I can make a better decision based on ALL the facts.  The truth is, it’s not worth how I’m going to feel the next day.  It’s not worth watching the scale go up overnight, and then taking the rest of the week to go back to where it was.  It’s not worth the cravings it’s going to put into motion.  It’s not worth taking two or three days to get completely back on track.

We were made to crave, and the food manufacturers know this.  Scientifically, they have figured out how to create food that we will crave and become addicted to.  Breaking the addiction and the craving cycle is very difficult.  However, we have more knowledge now about this than ever before, and it can be done.  This is what Bright Line Eating (BLE) is all about.

As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God.  Psalm 42:1b