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

Happy New Decade!

Happy New Year! Can you believe it is here? The start of a new year . . . the start of a new decade! Have you thought about it? Where were you (physically, spiritually, emotionally) in 2010? How has your life changed?

Physically, I weighed more than 100 pounds than I do today. I truly did not realize how big I was. I could not walk from the front door of my house to the street/mailbox without huffing and puffing. My oldest graduated from high school in the summer and moved to Florida in the fall. My dad passed away in June. My husband had his third joint replacement surgery in less than a year. It was definitely a year of ups and downs. It felt like the downs outweighed the ups in 2010.

Sometime after that, I decided that it was time for me to pay attention to myself and what I needed instead of devoting all of my time and energy to others. My two older children were out of high school, married, and on their own. My youngest was not school age yet, so I had the time and energy to focus on what I needed.

I started by walking. I didn’t really focus on my diet. I tried to eat “healthier,” but my focus was getting exercise. After all, we hear all of the time that to lose weight you need to eat less and move more. Eventually I tried some group exercise classes at my local community center. The best thing I got from that was a personal trainer that convinced me that I could do anything I wanted.

A friend at church introduced me to juicing. This was a big influence in changing the way I ate. Not only did juicing itself help stop the cravings, it also acted as a stepping stone to adopting healthier food choices. I decided to cut out as much highly processed food as possible. This put an end to most junk food and foods containing flour and sugar. Adopting the Bright Line Eating lifestyle was just another step from where I already was.

Most people over estimate what can be achieved in a year and under estimate what can be done in a decade.

Neil Martin

Convinced that I could accomplish anything, I signed up for a Couch to 5K program. After watching me run my first 5K, my oldest daughter started running with me and came up with the crazy idea for us to run a 5K a month. This has kept me running all year long and has led to meeting new people and some wonderful friendships.

Now, as we go into a new year and a new decade, I’m thinking about not only how my life might be different in a year, but also how my life might be different in a decade. Ten years ago if you told me I’d be starting off 2020 with a run with my running buddies, I’d tell you that you were crazy–and so were they! Today, I can’t wait to get out there!

That said, I’m excited to see what the next year and the next decade have in store! In the next decade, my youngest will be an adult. I have grandchildren that will be teenagers. Perhaps there will be more grandchildren! Will I still be running? Will I still be writing this blog? I can’t imagine how technology will change between now and then. What are your expectations for the next decade?

‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11
Health, Living

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

Friends, Fun, Health, Living

Water, Weight, and Couch to 5K

Yeah!  Spring is officially here.  For me, the unofficial start of Spring is the beginning of daylight savings time; but now it’s official.  It’s been a cold, gray winter and so far a cool, gray spring.  I’m ready for some sunshine!  I’m ready for warm weather, green grass, and open windows.

My local community center has decided to do a spring Couch to 5K program.  This is an abbreviated version where we’ll be meeting twice a week for eight weeks.  This means we’ll have one day a week where we’ll need to do the program on our own.  You’d think that I’d eventually graduate from this program, but I haven’t yet.  I don’t know why on rough days it’s easy to text your friends and tell them that you’re not going to make it for your scheduled run, but if I’m signed up for a program like Couch to 5K, there’s nothing that will keep me from showing up.

fd031a5b-4b80-4744-bc99-c67d2432bb91.jpg

For now I’m still planning on keeping up with my other runs as well as the Couch to 5K.  We’ll play it by ear and see how it goes.  Four nights a week is a lot to commit to and may not be very realistic once the distances increase with the Couch to 5K program.

We’ve all heard the debate about whether or not to weigh every day.  I’ve weighed myself every day (or at least most days) for quite some time.  I’ve continued to do it because I’ve read over and over that people that weigh every day lose more weight.  Since the scales haven’t been moving in the direction I would like I decided to take a break from weighing myself every day.  When I stepped back on the scale for the first time in several days, I did not like what I saw.  It was ugly.  So, I’ve gone back to weighing every day.  It certainly seems to help keep me on track.

As I wrote in a previous post, I unintentionally took some time off from juicing.  In February I tried Jason Vale’s Super Blend Me! program for 10 days.  It was ok, but for me it definitely is not a substitute for juicing.  For a few weeks, I made some juice and had a juice a day.  I’ve decided for at least the rest of this month to go back to the 5:2 plan.  Five days of eating and two days of juicing.  The 5:2 plan keeps me feeling my best.

During the summer and warmer months, I naturally get thirsty and drinking plenty of water is not a problem.  In the winter and cooler months it is difficult for me to drink the proper amount of water.  I came up with the simple solution of setting alarms on my Fitbit to remind me to drink water.  My Fitbit is always on my wrist and vibrates for each alarm.  The alarms are virtually impossible to ignore yet won’t bother other people.  My first alarm goes off at 8:00 am, and the following alarms are set to go off every two hours until 10:00 pm.  At every alarm, I drink a 16 ounce glass of water.

If I drink a glass of water at every alarm, it comes to 128 ounces or 1 gallon of water a day.  However, there are times that I’m not home or in the car driving and know it’s not going to be a good time to be drinking a lot of water that’s going to cause me to go looking for a restroom.  So, I’ve set more alarms than necessary so that I will drink water at most of them and be properly hydrated.  This has been working great, and I know I’m drinking a lot more water than I would otherwise.

Do you have difficulty drinking enough water on a daily basis?  What is your trick to keeping properly hydrated?

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 4:13-14.

Family, Friends, Fun, Health, Living, Parenting

Spring Update

Right now we have a brief lull in activities, so I’m trying to lay low and take it easy.  Spring is always a busy time, with April being the busiest month of the year, so I know it’s not going to last long.  And this year we have a grandbaby coming in April as well.  In a few weeks, it will be time to shift into overdrive!

I already have an event planned for every weekend in April.  They keep stacking up, so there are some Saturdays that I have three places I need to be.  Ain’t gonna happen!

Last week I ran four miles for the first time since I sprained my ankle.  It was slower than all get out, but that’s ok.  My doctor says it should be healed and he thinks the pain I’m feeling is just from it being stiff and not as elastic as it used to be, so I’m trying to move more and keep it loosened up.

I am definitely loving daylight savings time.  It is so nice to have more daylight in the evening and to be able to get outside.  It certainly is taking some adjustment, though.  Everytime I look at my watch, it’s an hour or two later than I think.  It seems like it’s making the time fly away.

time-flies-2470848_640

I unintentionally took a break from juicing for several months.  I just got out of the habit of making it.  I was starting to feel the effects of not having juice in my diet, so I have gotten back to making juice again.  I was expecting it not to taste good to me after not having it for so long.  Actually, it was delicious, and I felt like I had been missing something special.  Lesson learned.

It seems like it has been a longer, harder winter than what we’ve had in the past.  It got cold earlier in the fall than what we’re used to.  I remember going to the sports store looking for winter running accessories in October and the sales clerk telling me that it had gotten cold earlier than usual so they weren’t going to have winter items in for a few weeks yet.  We didn’t have a lot of snow this year, but we had a lot of small snow falls or even sleet and ice.  Our weather wasn’t necessarily harsh or severe, it just made it more difficult to get out.  As you know, once you start slacking off, it’s easy to continue.

nettled-iris-3221133_640

Now that we are in daylight savings time and it’s a bit warmer, I feel like spring is just around the corner.  Time to break free!

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.  John 8:36

Health, Living

Blending/Smoothies

In February I tried Jason Vale’s Super Blend Me! program.  This is a new program Jason Vale has put together.  As the name implies, it is a blending (think smoothie) program versus a juicing program.  All you really need is a blender, which it seems most people own.

There is a book available along with the app.  At the time I tried it, the book was not yet available in the US, and the app was only available on Apple products.  However, the book is now available in the US along with the Android app.  Whether or not you buy the book, the app is well worth it.  It has videos and recipes for each blend, along with the ability to make a shopping list for any or as many days as you’d like.

I liked that a lot of the blends could be prepped ahead of time.  The ones that could, I put in baggies, labeled, and put in the freezer.  On the label I wrote the name and anything that needed to be added to the blend.  Most of the blends in this program have a protein added to them whether it be a protein powder or some type of nut butter.  The protein and the liquid (usually a nut milk or coconut water) I added at the time I did the blending.

The blends are super convenient.  I was able to make all of them in the cup blender of my Ninja.  The ones that I didn’t prepare ahead of time only had a two or three ingredients, so all I had to do was put them in the blender and go.  The ones that I prepared ahead of time also only took a few minutes because all I had to do was empty the bag of frozen food into the blender cup, add a thing or two, blend, and go.  I also used a lot of frozen fruit over fresh, so that in itself made the blends very convenient.  Since I was using frozen fruit, I did not add ice to the blends.

These blends are heavy on fruit, so if you’re looking for a way to get more fruit into your body, this will do it.  I recently read that people that are cold all of the time often are so because they do not eat enough citrus fruit.  After doing the program for ten days, I noticed that I was no longer having that cold feeling.  It has made enough of a believer out of me that I have continued to eat an orange everyday with my lunch.

However, I have decided that this program is not for me.  I did lose a few pounds, but I did not get that boost of energy and all around great feeling that I get from juicing.  I’m glad that I did it and gave it a whirl.  I’m also glad I have the app and the recipes.  They were all delicious, and I’m sure I will have one now and then.  In fact, my plan is to prep a few and put them in freezer bags in the freezer so that they’re ready to go.  There are also some other recipes within the app for protein balls that I would like to try.

Do I recommend this program?  Absolutely.  I realize that we’re all different and what works for me may not work for you and vise versa.  If your diet could use some better quality food and this is what it takes for you to get it, then go for it.  If this is what it takes to get you to make the first step towards eating more plants, it’s worth a try.  If these blends are too much fruit for you, you could try making them with a little less fruit and more greens.  Make it your plan, your way.

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

Health, Living, Religion

2018: Faith, Food, and Freedom

As we often do this time of year, I have spent some time reflecting on last year in order to look ahead for 2018.  Last year, I created a list of things to work on, and went at it.  I made it a point to look at my list each month to see how I was doing.  I thought I was doing pretty well until the last quarter of the year.

When I cross off the things I was able to accomplish, one thing stands out:  I have the exercise part down.  When I look deeper, there’s one more thing that comes to the surface:  I can maintain my weight.  I ended this year at about the same weight as last year.  I spent this past year losing the same 10 pounds over and over.

So, what am I aggravated the most about?  Not getting to my goal weight.  What am I going to do about it?  I’m going to concentrate on getting my food under control.  This year’s overall theme is “freedom.”

I actually started working on this the middle of last year.  I spent the summer going through closets and drawers getting rid of things.  It has been so freeing to get rid of things.  I still have a room that has been used as a family room, office, and school room that needs a deep cleaning and decluttering.  I started using paper plates when we have people over for dinner, and I put everything I can in the dishwasher so I’m not spending time washing dishes by hand.

I’m not going to try to read everything nutrition and exercise and put myself in information overload.  Instead, I’m working on unsubscribing from groups and emails that I’m really not that interested in.  I’ll still run and exercise, but that is not going to be my main focus.

I know you’re thinking that I have to have a plan.  Yes, I do.  I know the focus this time of year is exercise, exercise, exercise.  But mine is not. I’ve found a journal that focuses on food and faith (instead of food and exercise) that I should receive in the next day or two.  My plan is to implement that using a sensible food plan.  I’ve been doing Bright Line Eating this week and that has gone well.  Jason Vale also has a Super Blend Me! program that I am looking into.  Both of these plans are simple and freeing.

So, this year I don’t have a long list of things I want to accomplish.  Instead, it’s going to be the year of not doing and getting rid of.  It’s going to be the year of freedom and freeing myself up.

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.  John 8:36

Health, Living

Bright Line Eating

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

Health, Living

305 lbs. Hitting the Century Mark

This week I am re-posting a post from May 11, 2016.  It fits into the timeline of my current posts.  At the time, I was very hurt and my head was still swirling, so I did not want to go into to detail as to why the evening before was dark and stormy and why I could not share this goal with my corner coach, Mr. G.

Looking back, I think I’ve made more progress this past year in the fitness department than I have the weight loss department.  Last year was a rough year all around.

He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken. Psa 62:2


I took this screenshot Saturday morning, May 7, 2016.  I am excited to say that I have passed the century mark on my weight loss.  It is an exciting goal that I’ve been trying to reach for quite some time.  I’ve been very close the last month with my weight tottering up and down.

I was not expecting to hit it that day.  The evening before was very dark and stormy personally.  Seeing these numbers Saturday morning was like a rainbow after a destructive and devastating storm.  Yet, I am saddened that I cannot share this exciting news with the one person that has been my biggest cheerleader this past year.

Image 5-7-16 at 10.20 PM.jpeg

By Lori Camper

Health, Living

I refuse to listen to nay sayers, no matter how many letters are after their name

Last week I had a trip to the emergency room for chest pains.  Thankfully, the ticker is doing fine.  However, it seems that my esophagus is having spasms.  In going over my “risk factors” with me, the doctor said the ‘O’ word.  Yes, I’m still in the “obese” category.  That stung.

What amazed me was the questions I was never asked.  I was never asked whether or not I exercised on a regular basis.  I was never asked what my diet consisted of.  I got the feeling that it was assumed that I was a junk-food-eating couch potato and that was what landed me there.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, I had just drank a green smoothie; and that is what brought on the chest pains.  I also missed my Tuesday night run with my running buddies because I was at the hospital.

This doctor, a woman, had no idea who I was or where I have been.  I am proud of what I’ve accomplished the last few years.  I’m not where I want to be yet; but I know that, so I’m going to keep working on it.  I refuse to listen to nay sayers, no matter how many letters are after their name.

Instead I will listen to the encouraging words I have heard this week.  At a conference this past weekend, I saw someone on Friday that I only see once a year or so.  She referred to me as “tiny.”  Saturday morning, I had breakfast with a former co-worker that I haven’t seen in probably 20 years.  She was flabbergasted that I’m still in the obese category.  This evening, a woman in the grocery store recognized me from the Couch to 5K program.  She stopped me and told me that I looked “great.”

This is why I never criticize anyone on their appearance.  Unless it is someone you know, you don’t know where they’ve been or what they’re thinking.  Perhaps that very large person that you just poked fun at is in the middle of a weight loss journey and has already lost a substantial amount of weight.  Or, maybe she just started her weight loss journey, is having a hard time, and really needs some encouragement right now.  Or maybe that skinny lady that you’ve been envying is on the other end of the spectrum and is desperately trying to gain a few pounds so she, too, can be at a healthy weight.

I realize this doctor was doing her job, and the majority of her patients probably are obese, junk-food-eating couch potatoes.  Still, those people need encouragement too.  Most people listen to their doctor.  Perhaps with the proper encouragement instead of negativity, they would make the changes needed in their lives.

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.  I Thessalonians 5:11

Health, Living

“Juicing Not Only Changed My Life, It SAVED My Life”

This week’s post is my interview with Neil Martin at Natural Juice Junkie.  This interview is about more than just juicing, so go ahead and take a look even if you’re not interested in juicing.  I hope this will be an encouragement to others that are on a health/fitness journey.  Thank you for the opportunity, Neil.

Be sure to check out Neil’s website.  He has some great resources on juicing and fitness.  I especially like his videos on our attitude or way of thinking about ourselves.  The link to my interview is below.

“I believe juicing has not only changed my life, but also has SAVED my life” says Lori, a 40-something stay-at-home-mom, in Midwest USA

Source: “Juicing Not Only Changed My Life, It SAVED My Life”