Five tips and tricks!

To help keep healthy living resolutions

Lots of us chose to re-evaluate our health routine at the beginning of a New Year. It’s always a great idea to shake things up with our habits and menu! I have been doing my best to cut out unhealthy eating habits and substituting them with better nutritional alternatives. I figured I’d share some of the tips I have been using, as a reminder, that it doesn’t take a whole lot of work to trade this for that!

Meatless Monday – There are great ways to get protein in your diet without meat. Some examples I love are beans, peas, eggs, and cottage cheese. Try making vegetarian fried rice or eggs for dinner. It’s an opportunity to get creative. I chose to make several meals a week meatless; it’s as easy as peanut butter and jelly. (Another tip: I make peanut butter mixed with maple syrup as substitute for jam/jelly with it’s refined sugar.)

Five servings of veggies and fruit per day –  Adding color to meals with fruit and veggies helps us get the nutrients our bodies need, so our cravings for junk food are less intense. Nutritionist say to stay away from starchy potatoes and pick vegetables with lots of colors. I love to make baked beets, carrots, and sweet potato mixture as a tasty colorful vitamin packed side dish.

Cook at home – It’s easier to make healthy meals when you are in your own kitchen. Plus, it gives us a chance to get better nutrition into our menu. I like to make soup and add lots of veggies, herbs and sometimes I use beans instead of meat. There are lots of ‘Hot Dishes’ and stir fry recipes that are quick, easy and a healthy way to get your veggies in.

Swap Snacks – Skip the Chips and grab a bag of trail mix. I’ve been cutting way back on processed sugar. So instead of a chocolate bar, I have been snacking on dates! They are delightfully sweet! You can also eat more apples! They have a satisfyingly sweet crunch to help with cravings and are full of fiber that keeps us feeling full!

Add exercise – I’ve got a Fit Bit and have been doing my best to get my steps in. When I have a hard time doing it, I just run up and down the steps a few times a day or make another lap or two around the grocery store. Did you know doing jumping jacks count too? You don’t need a fit bit of course, but even deciding to take the stairs more often and park farther away when you go out, is a good step towards progress.

One more easy (but important) to remember tip is to keep yourself accountable before you put food in your mouth. Ask yourself “Is this good for my body?” It sounds simple enough, but I found that when I ask myself this, I usually make the healthier decision!

I’ve been doing other things to up my diet game. I have quit drinking soda, coffee creamer and alcohol, they are full of empty calories, chemicals and have no real nutritional value. I have also been making sure that I drink more water every day. Substituting tea and natural juices also seem to work to curb any cravings that may strike.

Although I may have my moments of weakness and chocolate may be one of them…. I know that it is okay. I just keep getting back on the horse. I am doing my best to make better choices for my health and every little step forward counts!

I hope those of you who made New Year healthy living resolutions are doing well with them too! You can do this! I believe in you!

I’d love to hear what tips and tricks work for you! Please feel free to share!

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

 

Will you hold my hand?

Earlier this week, I had a minor surgery to remove a cyst in my neck. The procedure was performed in an operating room. As they wheeled me in, I saw a room full of stainless-steel equipment and nurses bundled up in their surgical garb and masks and remembered I was going to be fully awake for this procedure. The area numbed with Novocain before the doctor was to remove the growth with a scalpel.

Being awake, I made small talk with the nurses, who were very kind and chatted with me too. There was one nurse whose job it was to sit and keep me company, while monitoring my vital signs. I did not think I was nervous since I knew what was going to happen and how it was going to happen. Yet the moment they helped me on to the operating table I seem to have gotten cold feet. I wanted to run away!

When she strapped on the blood pressure cuff, my cover of small talk and cracking jokes was blown! My heartrate and blood pressure were through the roof! Even though I tried to play it cool, statistics showed my body was clearly in fight or flight mode. The nurse, in charge of my vitals, was a welcome distraction from the reality of a large incision being made to my body while awake.

When the doctor walked in, I chatted with her too. She’s become my favorite doctor and I feel very comfortable with her. In my head, I was trying to calm myself, by inducing my own meditative state of breathing deep and such. No luck, my body knew what was going to happen and even though my mind was very logical and factual, my blood pressure was not coming down.

It’s like my body knew trauma was coming and it was very scared. At that moment I knew I needed comfort. I looked at the nurse, who was right next to me the whole time, and asked her. “Will you please hold my hand?”

She obliged kindly and continued to hold my hand for the whole procedure. Doing her best to ask me questions and give me distractions from the doctor and scalpel working diligently behind me. Nurse W told me she was a seasoned nurse, working part-time until retirement. I could tell. She had calmness and caring demeanor only years of practice can produce. It made me feel like I could ask her to help me in the only way she could, by holding my hand.

Isn’t it funny how you can find comfort in a perfect stranger’s hand in a time of trauma, anxiety or extreme stress? Okay, maybe funny isn’t the word. It is quite a miracle and blessing that humans can form a connection so quickly in times of need. What is even more beautiful is the nurse who chose to make this her life path; to help strangers with kindness and compassion in very stressful moments.

Nurses, Doctors, Firemen, Police Officers, Caregivers, are often there for strangers on our most horrible or trying days. The men and women who stand with folks in their community to help them through it all, are very much a blessing to humanity. Not everyone is wired to be able to have a heart, so giving and open, to hold a stranger’s hand even on a regular day with no stress.

Do some people hold more compassion inside then others? I think so. But what I find is that even those of us who aren’t comfortable with unfamiliar people will still offer comfort in times of duress, even if they too are stressed. Is this a characteristic built into our DNA, to care for others when it is most needed? Is it an innate knowing that we are all connected by the spark of God, that brings us all to life? I do not know. But I’d like to think so.

What I do know is that I am very thankful for the nurse who held my hand that day. She kindly offered me comfort and did her best to divert my attention from the surgery happening while we talked. I cannot help but use this scenario as an analogy of life.

It is on our hardest, most challenging days, that we need others help us get through.

Unfortunately, these days aren’t always as obvious as being strapped to an operating table. Sometimes there are strangers walking past us in the grocery store or working in the cubicle right next to you; that are having one of the worst days of their lives. Inner trauma is just as painful as physical trauma, just in a different way.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all live heart-centered lives so that others would feel safe in asking; “Will you please hold my hand?” when they need it most?

Even if it is just for a short time, your compassion does make a difference. Kindness is a characteristic that we must practice to be good at. Seeing folks in our community as extended family, instead of strangers, is where we can start. Do unto others and such. Remember, even a kind stranger serving as a short distraction from pain (in any form) can make a huge difference in the world.

Thank you for reading my blog today.

May you find comfort and love all around you. May you have the chance to act as comfort and love to another.

Wishing you an abundance of blessings,

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com