Saturday, October 13, 2012

So, WHY Do Mormons NOT Drink or Smoke??


It's been TOO long, but I'm so excited and grateful to be sitting here typing again.  The kids are kind of settled in school, we are pretty much moved in, and it's as quiet as it's going to be so I'm seizing the moment and writing! :)

Today, as far as health, I thought I'd address a topic a little closer to home for me.  Usually, I keep this blog pretty religion-neutral, but today I am going to share something about my personal beliefs.  Maybe it's because of the terrible assasination of Malala Yousufzai who was shot and killed for sharing her views.  I can so easily share mine and rarely do.  Maybe it's because I registered to vote for the first time yesterday (I know, it's embarassing- I'm almost 30 and never have before!)  Or maybe it's because of everything on the news as another debate approaches and one of the presidential candidates is Mormon, or a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint.  Probably, it's because I "happen" to be teaching the lesson in church this Sunday and was assigned the topic of "Temporal and Spiritual Blessings of the Word of Wisdom." So I thought I would take the time to answer the question "Why Do Mormons Not Drink or Smoke?"

Well, there are a lot of reasons and at the same time, just one.  The chapter called The Lord's Law of Health in the LDS Church Gospel Principles Manual explains it this way:

"One of the great blessings we received when we came to earth was a physical body. We need a physical body to become like our Heavenly Father. Our bodies are so important that the Lord calls them temples of God (see 1 Corinthians 3:16–17; 6:19–20). Our bodies are holy.
"Because our bodies are important, our Father in Heaven wants us to take good care of them. He knows that we can be happier, better people if we are healthy. The Holy Ghost can be with us if our bodies and minds are clean. Our Father knows that we face temptations to treat our bodies unwisely or to take harmful things into them. For this reason He has told us which things are good for our health and which things are bad. Much of the information God has given us concerning good health is found in Doctrine and Covenants 89. This revelation is called the Word of Wisdom."
One of the big differences between my beliefs and those of other Christians is that Mormons believe God still talks to prophets, just like he did in times of the Old Testament and times of Christ.  I know that might sound crazy at first, but I find it logical and comforting.  If I believe in a God, a Father in heaven that loves me, wouldn't it makes sense that he still talks to prophets and tells us how we can live a happy life and be closer to Him? 
The Word of Wisdom is a revelation that was given to the Prophet, Jospeh Smith, on February 27th 1833.  At the time, the brethren were using tobacco during their meetings.  Both he and his wife Emma, who was cleaning the room afterwards, wondered if it was good for them to smoke and use tobacco.  Joseph prayed about it and received the Word of Wisdom.  Here is a link to a 2 minute video about this and what the Word of Wisdom is...basically it's a code of what is good and not good for our bodies.
Here is an explanation of what we do and don't do to stay healthy, again from our Gospel Principles Manual.  Please keep in mind that the exact revelation of the Word of Wisdom (in which we were taught not to drink alcohol, coffee, smoke, or use tobacco) came in 1833, WAY before any scientific evidence of these substances harms to the brain, a fetus, our lungs, etc. 
"The Lord commands us not to use wine and strong drinks, meaning drinks containing alcohol. The First Presidency has taught that strong drink often brings cruelty, poverty, disease, and plague into the home. It often is a cause of dishonesty, loss of chastity, and loss of good judgment. It is a curse to all who drink it. (See “Message of the First Presidency,” Improvement Era, Nov. 1942, 686.) Expectant mothers who drink can cause physical and mental damage to their children. Many automobile accidents are caused each year by people who drink alcohol.
"The Lord has also told us that “tobacco is not for the body” (D&C 89:8). It is harmful to our bodies and our spirits. We should not smoke cigarettes or cigars or use chewing tobacco. Scientists have shown that tobacco causes many diseases and can harm unborn children.
"The Lord also counsels us against the use of “hot drinks” (D&C 89:9). Church leaders have said that this means coffee and tea, which contain harmful substances. We should avoid all drinks that contain harmful substances.
"We should not use drugs except when they are necessary as medicine. Some drugs are even more harmful than alcohol and tobacco (which are also drugs). Those who misuse drugs need to seek help, pray for strength, and counsel with their bishop so they can fully repent and become clean.
"We should avoid anything that we know is harmful to our bodies. We should not use any substance that is habit forming. We should also avoid overeating. The Word of Wisdom does not tell us everything to avoid or consume, but it does give us guidelines. It is a valuable temporal law. It is also a great spiritual law. By living the Word of Wisdom, we become stronger spiritually. We purify our bodies so the Spirit of the Lord can dwell with us.
"Fruits, vegetables, and wholesome herbs are good for us. We should use them with wisdom and thanksgiving.  The flesh of birds and animals is also provided for our food. However, we should eat meat sparingly (see D&C 49:18; 89:12). Fish is also good for us to eat.  Grains are good for us. Wheat is especially good for us.
"In addition to Doctrine and Covenants 89, other scriptures tell us how to be healthy. They tell us that we should “cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; … cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated” (D&C 88:124). We are also told, “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work” (Exodus 20:9). The Lord counsels us not to labor more than we have strength for (see D&C 10:4).
"A latter-day prophet has told us that we should keep our bodies healthy. He counseled, “Nutritious meals, regular exercise, and appropriate sleep are necessary for a strong body, just as consistent scripture study and prayer strengthen the mind and spirit” (Thomas S. Monson, in Conference Report, Oct. 1990, 60; or Ensign, Nov. 1990, 46).
"Our Heavenly Father has given us health laws to teach us how to care for our bodies. The scriptures tell us about God’s laws: “No temporal commandment gave I … , for my commandments are spiritual” (D&C 29:35). This means that His commandments concerning our physical state are for our spiritual good.
"When we keep the Lord’s law of health and obey His other commandments, the Lord promises to bless us physically and spiritually.  Physically we have been promised good health. As a result of this good health we “shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint” (D&C 89:20). This is a great blessing, but the spiritual blessings He has promised us are even greater than the physical ones.
The Lord promises us that we “shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures” (D&C 89:19). We will be taught important truths by the Holy Ghost through revelation.
"President Boyd K. Packer taught: “Our physical body is the instrument of our spirit. In that marvelous revelation the Word of Wisdom, we are told how to keep our bodies free from impurities which might dull, even destroy, those delicate physical senses which have to do with spiritual communication. The Word of Wisdom is a key to individual revelation” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1989, 16; or Ensign, Nov. 1989, 14).
"The Lord also promises that the destroying angel shall pass us by. President Heber J. Grant said, “If you and I desire the blessings of life, of health, of vigor of body and mind; if we desire the destroying angel to pass us by, as he did in the days of the children of Israel, we must obey the Word of Wisdom; then God is bound, and the blessing shall come to us” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant [2002], 192)."
I have lived by the Word of Wisdom my entire life.  It was a great comfort to know that when I unexpectedly found out I was pregnant, that I had not consumed anything that could hurt my baby.  It's incredible to have a marriage and relationship with my parents that isn't marred by the effects of alcohol and drugs.  Substance abuse is a painful thing that affects every family, including mine through extended family.  When you can live day to day without relying on the caffeine in coffee or without being burdened by needing to take a smoke break you are more free to live your life. When we exercise regularly, get sleep, and eat healthy foods our bodies can function at their best and WE can BE AT OUR BEST! :)
Of course, not all my friends are LDS.  I've been to events and will all my life, where there is responsible drinking and smoking.  As a Mormon, I want you to know that I don't judge you.  Our entire religion is based on the freedom everyone has to make their own choices.  I'm just grateful that I choose to live the Word of Wisdom because of the blessings of physical health it's given me.  Every choice has a consequence and I love the consequences I've had of living the Word of Wisdom.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!  Thank you so much for reading.  Next time, some yummy and healthy recipe replacements for Artichoke Spinach Dip and Pizza!  Mmmmmmm.... :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's Been A While...Some More Sympathy and Support :)

So, it's been a while.  I started this journey months before my birthday, after it seemed like our bills were under control and my youngest was sleeping through the I thought.  Recently, we've had some surprises with our finances (like our house supposedly under foreclosure...) and Sam decided that sleeping through the night was just fun for a couple weeks and has been back to being awake at random hours. 

The only thing that did happen as planned was my birthday- I got older. :)  But even that wasn't entirely as planned- my oldest ended up screaming in pain that evening, almost went to the ER but fell asleep with her Daddy singing to her instead.  I opened my presents with just my four year-old in attendance.  And I didn't mention the ants!  Our house has been over run!  They are in our cereal boxes, our dishwasher, our shower, our vents, our beds- it's unreal!  Ironically, the birthday cake my son chose for me had big plastic ants all over it. :)

So, exercise time has been minimal and for me one poor choice often leads to another.  Also, I've had at least one if not two picture sessions a week which means I'm definitely working part-time and not entirely used to that.  I'm having to relearn how to balance or juggle it all.

In otherwords, I'm sympathizing with all of you who feel there isn't time or energy to exercise.  As someone who enjoys exercising, if there isn't a lot of time and I'm exhausted, it still doesn't happen.  Today is the first day in weeks I woke up and did pilates because I crashed in my bed (actually beside it at first because it was covered in laundry) then crawled into bed and didn't get out until morning since Hubby got up for baby.  I feel like a new woman!

So, with that little bit of hope and rest I'm sharing some more of that list I started to share months ago. :)  My number one is wear a sports bra all day- I hate them, but I'm that much more ready to do some real cardio at any minute I can catch it.  The following ideas are from  Again, I will highlight my faves, but feel free to comment on yours or share some more!

21. Watch your portions. Avoid the buffet line and never supersize. Instead make sure you're following what the nutrition label recommends for a serving.
22. Switch to calorie-free drinks. All calories count, whether they're liquid or solid. So unless it's low-fat milk, opt for tea or water. Or something I was introduced to in the Netherlands -- large bunches of mint, lemon and hot water.
23. Weigh yourself. Studies show daily weigh-ins help enhance weight loss efforts. Don't live and die by the number. And of course a scale doesn’t decipher between fat and lean body mass, but it can still be of benefit to keep things "in check."
24. Eat whole eggs. Daily. A study published a couple years ago showed that those who ate whole eggs versus a bagel for breakfast ate less at the next meal. A similar study showed eating whole eggs increases HDL (good) cholesterol.
25. Eat breakfast. A review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that those who eat breakfast are more successful with long-term weight maintenance. Other research has shown the same for weight loss. Grab hardboiled eggs, scrambled eggs, Greek yogurt, a piece of fruit and handful of nuts, or make a smoothie. It doesn't have to be fancy.
26. Eat the bulk of your meals in the A.M. Then eat progressively less throughout the day. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that eating most of your calories earlier in the day positively influences weight changes.
27. To burn more calories, stay upright. This means not sitting in front of a computer, TV, phone, etc., all day. Stand and you'll burn more and be more productive. This could even save your life. Discover Why Your Office Chair is Killing You.
28. Use the stairs. That's right: Skip the escalator and elevator. This won't make or break success, but every little bit helps. So get in all the movement you can.
29. Eat low-energy, dense foods. These are foods that are high in water and lower in calories, such as fruit, veggies, soups, and salads. Studies at Penn State University have showed that the inclusion of these foods helps individuals eat less total calories overall.
30. Don't grocery shop hungry. If you do, you'll buy everything in the aisle -- instead of sticking to your list. And most of the time, the foods you buy when hungry will be the kinds that sabotage your weight loss efforts.
31. Replace side dishes with steamed veggies. Restaurants will often allow you to substitute the fries or chips with steamed veggies. All you have to do is ask.
32. Bake, don't fry.
33. Use the fat-burner in your backyard: Your grill. (And make sure you have a copy of Grill This, Not That! -- the extraordinary guide to grilling that can help you lose 10, 20, 30 or more pounds.)
34. Order dressing on the side. But here's the bigger secret: Dip your fork in dressing, and then in the salad. This saves a ton more dressing than if one was to order it on the side, and the pour the entire cup on the salad anyway. Fewer calories equal less weight.
35. In the airport: Carry your luggage, don't roll it. Again, not a deal breaker in terms of success -- just another way to increase energy expenditure.
36. Skip the "Venti lattes" and opt for plain coffee. (Or better yet, tea.) Those extra large "designer" coffees can pack a belly-inflating 500 or more calories per serving!
37. Embrace oats. Plain rolled oats will help fill you up more than the high sugar breakfast counterparts. Moreover, one serving provides a lot less calories than the sugar coated alternatives.
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38. Fidget. A study published in the journal Science showed that those who fidgeted more often -- for example, changed their posture frequently -- weighed less than those who didn't. This extra movement was termed NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis).
39. Laugh often. A study presented at the European Congress on Obesity found those who laughed hard for approximately 10 to 15 minutes each day burned an additional 10 to 40 calories/day. Multiply that by 365 and those calories can add up!

40. Leave something on your plate at the end of the meal. Every little bit counts.
41. When out to eat, split a meal. The portions are usually big enough to feed a family.
42. Skip dessert.
43. Don't socialize around the food tables at parties. You're more
likely to munch mindlessly, even though you may not be hungry.
44. Don't eat your kid's leftovers. Every little bit of food adds up, including what we call "BLTs" (bites, licks and tastes). SERIOUSLY! :)
45. Keep chips, dips, and other high fat junk foods out of the house. It's not about willpower; it's about being realistic.
46. If you have a dog, take him for a walk. It's better for both him and you than just letting him out the back. (Bonus: He'll love you even more!)
47. If you don't have a pet, offer to walk a neighbor's dog. Make friends; lose weight.
48. Use smaller plates and bowls. There will be less room for you to fill up and it makes less food seems like more.
49. Skip buffets. It's a foregone conclusion: If you don't, you'll feel like you have to get your money's worth and overeat. For more instant weight-loss secrets – delivered to your inbox every day -- sign up for the FREE Eat This, Not That! newsletter.
50. Slow down. It takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes for your stomach to sense it's full. If you wolf down your food like a starving dog, you'll likely out-eat your hunger.
51. Decrease your food intake by 100 calories per day. Theoretically this translates to losing nearly one pound per month (1 lb = 3,500 calories) -- with hardly any effort.

52. Buy a pedometer and accumulate at least 10,000 steps each day.
53. When possible, walk or bike to do your errands.
54. Don't buy in bulk. The more that is there, the more that you'll eat.
55. Plan ahead. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
56. Keep some healthy snacks -- like nuts -- in your glove compartment so you're prepared at all times.
57. Take before pictures.
58. Get new friends. If your friends prefer pizza, wings, nachos and beer on a regular basis, find one's who are like-minded and want to be healthy. Research has suggested that friends enhance (or can hurt) success.
59. Put yourself first. Many people (women in particular) put everyone else ahead of themselves and let their health fall by the side.
60. Remember: It's not all or nothing. If you fall off the bandwagon, jump right back on. Don't let yourself continue to fall until all progress has been lost.
61. Wake up early to exercise. You're more likely to get it done if you don’t wait until after work.
Looking for more than simple lifestyle tweaks? Discover the doctor-approved eating and fat-loss guide in Dr. Travis Stork's best-selling book, The Lean-Belly Prescription.
-- Chris Mohr, Ph.D., R.D., is a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant, and the owner of
It's kind of funny.  I love and use a lot of these ideas, which is probably why I've lost 25 pounds.  I know that I'm not at my "goal weight" of 140, but I also recognize that I am healthier so there's not as much pressure to really work hard at making healthy choices.  But I NEED TO!  Would you drive your car around on empty? No way!  And when I don't make healthy choices I have less energy.  So back to taking care of my family by taking care of me.  I will let you know how that goes with ants, waking babies, part-time working and whatever else surprises us in the near future. :)  Love, Eva


Monday, July 16, 2012

Finding Success Through Failure...Joining The Failure Club

The past year I've been following a show on yahoo called "Failure Club."  It follows the lives of some New Yorkers who are trying to live their specific, big dreams.  The idea is that without failures along the way, we can never achieve success.  We have to be willing to fail, even happy to fail, to succeed.  (How many prototypes did Edison have for the lightbulb?)

One of my college professors called it "Collecting Your No's."  In otherwords, if we thought it would take 20 rejections before a manuscript was published or produced, then we should start submitting and collecting our "No's."  Discouragement shouldn't even appear until we had at least received our 20 rejections.  Failure was part of the process of success and we need not fear it, but maybe even look forward to it.  We would be that much closer to success.

On the second most recent episode of this show a comedian had the chance to perform on Amateur Night at The Apollo, a stage that has started many careers.  She was booed off.  :(  But her energy and excitement after being booed off the stage was incredible!  She said that the worst possible scenario had happened and it wasn't that bad.  She had nothing left to fear now, so she had that much more gusto with which to pursue her dream.

Well, I have joined the Failure Club.  I admit it.  After losing over 20 pounds I got scared.  I started to tell myself the next 20 pounds would be that much harder.  I lost my motivation to work out with the heat, our schedules, and wanting to be with my family.  I told myself I didn't look so bad (which is true.)  But all of this was really just part of wanting to stop my progress so I wouldn't have to face failure.

The result?  I gained weight.  And you know what?  After a day or so of thinking about it, I realized the worst was over!  And it wasn't so bad!  So why not keep trying?!  Even if there are weeks I gain, I know I will be stronger and healthier inside.  I know exercising helps me relieve stress, which I DEFINITELY need. :)  I know eating right isn't just about me, it's about improving the health of my entire family and influencing them.  And you know what?  It's working!  Last night my dear husband grilled chicken and zuchinni without any oil or salt and kept asking me "This is a healthy meal, right?" :)

So I'm back on the bandwagon.  I exercised all last week.  We've been eating yummy all-fruit smoothies and veggies from our garden.  And I feel better than ever!  So, go on!  Try failing at something!  Really, whenever we try something we are trying to do something that will end with success or failure.  The big difference is if in the face of failure, we keep going...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Will I Ever Be A Size 2? NO! Do I Need To Be? NO! :)

First, I've just got to say I KNOW THAT WEIGHT IS ONLY A NUMBER.  It doesn't necessarily determine how kind you are, how beautiful you are, what kind of integrity you have...there are a lot of other values that are more important than the health standards you maintain.  At the same time, I know for me, I feel better when I take care of myself.  And if I feel better, I can take better care of others, be more kind, feel more beautiful and be confident and have the kind of integrity I want to have.

I remember for a while I didn't even want to try losing the baby-weight.  I felt like I was good mom regardless of what number was on the scale, so what did it matter?  The result?  I ended up over-indulging in junk food.  I ended up really out of shape, making it impossible to keep up with my kids in a ten minute game of tag.  As a result I felt worse about myself and depressed.  Basically, I wasn't living my life to its fullest.

Do I still get depressed?  Yes.  But it is a lot easier to get out of if I've exercised and am eating good foods.  Remember, according to my doctor, 45 minutes of intense cardio is more effective than a dose of Xanex!

Will I ever be a size 2?  NO.  Do I need to be?  NO.  Like I've said before, size doesn't matter so much as taking care of and respecting yourself does.  Taking care of yourself means eating lots of frutis and veggies and getting regular exercise.  Respecting yourself means allowing yourself the time to do so.  Will you lose weight and get more fit along the way?  Probably.  But that's simply the bonus from the other already rewarding choices.

It's funny, now our "treats" aren't really treats.  We had pizza last night, just a couple cheese slices, and both my husband and I were not feeling too well afterwards.  Our body is trained to not like that grease anymore!  LOL  So, if I was going to add my own tip to the list I'm about to share with you, it would be to only eat things that will let you still feel good after eating them. :) 

It's funny, but some of my favorite articles on health have come from Men's Health Magazine.  I don't know if the voice writing the article just sounds more practical than the one's in women's magazines, but whatever the reason, it's great to have some concrete ideas that connect and work.  It feels like I always need some new tips to keep the motivation up, and keeps my body changing.  So when I enjoyed this article, I wanted to share it.  You can find the entire article 61 Easy Ways To Lose Weight by clicking on the link, or I will be including it in 3 segments on my blog (minus some of the ads.)  Here is the first chunk, with my favorite tips highlighted.  What are some of yours?  Please comment! :)  Love, Eva

From the article...

A few years ago, one of my friends at Men's Health stepped on the scale and was horrified by the result. He'd somehow managed to pack 20 pounds of flab onto his previously skinny frame. When he looked into the mirror, he saw a fat guy staring back. He decided to make a change, quick. 

That day, he gave up his beloved soda. He was only drinking two or three bottles a day, but over the course of six months, he dropped those 20 pounds. It was a small change to his lifestyle -- no big deal, really. And yet, it had a massive impact on his health and his body. (No surprise: Drinking calories is one of the 20 Habits That Make You Fat.)

My point: Making small decisions each day can result in big-time fat loss.

Below are dozens of simple ways to lose weight. Start with one -- today! -- and watch the weight begin to melt away. Trust me, this is going to be easier than you think.

1. Have a clear goal. It should be one that anyone in the world can measure and understand.
2. Drink tea. Research suggests that those who drink tea -- black, green, or white, as long as it’s from real tea versus herbal tea -- have lower BMIs and less body fat than those who don’t consume tea.
3. Eat cayenne pepper. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that when compared to placebo, capsaicin -- the active ingredient in cayenne -- increased fat burning.
4. Decrease/eliminate processed carbs. They do nothing for you outside of creating a favorable environment for gaining fat.
5. Eat more veggies. They fill you up, without providing many calories. Just avoid the high-calorie dressings.
6. Eat more fruit. No one ever gained weight from eating more fruit. And that includes the so-called "high sugar" fruits like bananas and melons.
7. Lift weights. Heavy weights. Build more muscle, burn more calories.
8. Cut down rest time between sets. This will keep your heart rate elevated causing an increase in calories burned. The good news: You can sky-rocket your heart rate and torch belly-fat fast with The Spartacus Workout for Men and The Spartacus Workout for Women -- the most popular fat-blasting workouts in Men's Health and Women's Health history.
9. Do intervals. Study after study after study continues to show intervals are more effective and time efficient than longer activity
10. Eat more protein. Replacing refined carbohydrates with lean protein will not only help satiate you, but will also increase your metabolism -- through something called the thermic effect of food.
11. Eat protein more frequently. It's important to also time your intake so you're eating protein regularly throughout the day -- not just in one lump sum, like most do at dinner. Every meal and snack should include some protein.
12. Supplement with fish oil. A study published in Lipids fed mice diets enhanced EPA and DHA -- a.k.a. fish oil. The researchers learned that the mice fed diets higher in omega-3 fats had significantly less accumulation of body fat. Other studies have shown similar results.
13. Do full body exercises. Think: Squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, and push-ups. You'll get more bang for your buck out of each workout. Want even better results? Discover the 100 Greatest Fitness Tips of All Time.
14. Cycle your carb intake based on your activity level. Sure, carbs are important. But on the days you don't work out, you simply don't need as many compared to the days you exercise hard. Rule of thumb: The more active you are, the more carbs you can eat, and vice versa.
15. Start your meals with a salad. Salad will provide some bulk to help fill you up -- so that you eat less calories overall.
16. Don't forget the fiber. Think of fiber like a sponge; it absorbs water and makes you feel full.
17. Drink water. Professor Dr. Brenda Davy and her Team from Virginia Tech University found that giving people 2 cups of water before each meal resulted in greater weight loss after 12 weeks. The reason? It helps fill you up.
18. Add beans to your salads. It's a nice way to add some additional fiber, protein and healthy carbs.
19. Replace one meal a day with a large salad and lean protein. This is a simple way to instantly improve your diet.
20. Keep a food journal. There's no better way to track what you're putting in your mouth.
21. Watch your portions. Avoid the buffet line and never supersize. Instead make sure you're following what the nutrition label recommends for a serving.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Again, It's Been A While...

Sigh.  I don't remember exactly what I wrote in my last post, but I didn't reread it because I as curious to see how today's comments would compare.  Again, I've had a long gap in writing.  Did I learn something and then already forget it again?!  I seriously think that is one of the most important reasons to journal.  It's kind of like taking notes on life.  In a class we learn things every day, or at least write them down so we can review them and really get them into our memory.  Life is the biggest, longest class, with the most learning opportunities!  So here are todays notes for me...

When I write I'm happy.  When I exercise I'm happy.  It may be difficult during the process.  I may get interrupted 20 times and have to remind my kids that the toys they have out are plenty and now it's "Mommy's quiet time" but IT IS WORTH IT.  When I've exercised, I may be sore, but I walk with my head held higher, my posture better and my smile bigger.

Does it solve all my problems? NO.  Do I still have squabbles with my husband?  Yes.  Do my kids still try to convince me their room IS clean, as I can see in and view dirty underwear on the floor?  YES.  But at least I know I've done something for myself no one, or bad moment can take away. :)

For the last 3 days I've exercied consistently, more than I can say for the past 3 weeks.  And guess what?  I just wrote again too.  I know they are connected.  One good choice leads to another.

And it's that connection with myself, learning from myself  and with other mommies and friends out there that keeps me going.

Love, Eva

Monday, June 4, 2012

An Eva Update...A Milestone...And Some Recipes!!!

WOW!  It feels like SO LONG since I've written!  It's only been two weeks, but it really feels like a lifetime.  What have I been up to?  A crazy, good time!  Sophia graduated Kindergarten!  My parents and sister came to visit for a week!  We all got the flu!  It's been awesome!

And, dun-duh-duh-dun!!!!!  After several weeks of losing .4 lbs or so, I am finally in the 150's!  So glad I didn't give up, although I did give up trying to turn this picture around...
Posted by Picasa 
Mostly, I've just been living the life I've wanted to be living, which is why it's been hard to sqeeze in a lot of writing time.  Yes, I still have down moments.  Sam is NOT sleeping very much!  (again, why it's hard to find time to write)  But I'm getting through the melt downs and moving on.  Eating healthier and fitting in exercise isn't always the tastiest or funnest (yes funnest is a word!  I'm an English Major!)  but I know it makes for a happier Eva in the big picture, so it's worth it.

I got a great phone call from my sweet mom today who said visiting with me "inspired" her to start eating healthier, walk more often and plant a garden.  GO MOM! :)  She in return inspired me to hop back on here and share some basic meals I use to keep me healthy and give me time to really live life.  For me, a healthy lifestyle is like keeping a clean house.  It's not necessarily the MOST important thing in life.  But by staying on top of it I'm FREE TO DO the important things in life.  

For the first time the other day I played with my kids and they got worn out before I did!  HA!

I'm wearing clothes that two months ago I was going to donate, or even worse had just bought only to get home and find out the size I thought I was was too small.  Well, they fit me now!

I know we are saving money by eating-out less and cooking more, as well as having more quality family time.

So, here are some quick, inexpensive meals I cook regularly...

Chicken Quesadillas- I use mozzarella chz or fat free chz for mine- both are lighter than regular cheddar cheese.  If it seems dry you can put in some light cream cheese too.  Don't even think about using butter!  There's no need, with the cheese and some spices thrown in if you like!

Ground Turkey Tacos- Make sure to put some beans in there, lettuce, and tomatoes and olives- whatever veggies you like!

I load up on the cilantro and fresh lime for extra flavor for both of these meals!
I've also been making fresh salsa by throwing some sweet peppers and a tomato in my food processor, along with 1 tbsp of Fat Free Italian dressing and 1 tbsp of oil.  So yummy!  Eat it with cucumber slices and smother your taco with it like I do! :)

Homemade Pizza- By homemade, of course I mean store bought dough!  I've got three kids to watch and a workout to fit in people!  Our Wal-mart had two wheat ones for under $5 in a pack.  Throw on some sauce and cheese and again turkey pep or chicken for meat, and lots of veggies and you have a great, tasty meal for the whole family.  Serve with a salad!

Spaghetti- So easy to make a healthier version by using Heartland or Garden Delight noodles or any that have dried veggies in the pasta.  Saute some veggies (in 1 tbsp of olive oil or canola oil only if you HAVE to use it) and cook up some ground turkey.  We've been grabbing the premade turkey meatballs to make the healthy meals happen that much faster.  Use your leftover pizza sauce and you're good to go!

Stir-Fry- I know "Fry" makes you think fatty- but not necessarily.  I basically steam all the veggies and microwave or George Foreman Grill the chicken and serve it on brown rive with some yummy low-sodium sauce.  Yes, it swirls in the wok a little to mix the flavor, but nothing is actually fried- Delicious!

I hope these ideas "inspire" you to cook something lighter.  There's your menu for the week!  I've done the hard part, right?  LOL  Have a great one!  Love, Eva

Monday, May 21, 2012

Our Family ANGEL WALK 5K!

The Angel Walk 5K was amazing!  I felt like the luckiest Mom ever to be with there with my family.  I was privileged to say the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the National Anthem with everyone there, including my daughter- yes, she knows almost every word!  You can see the little angel we walked for in his Daddy's arms in the picture above.  The school principal spoke too about his enthusiasm for life and watching basketball!

This is Chad explaining to Michael about how not every kid can run and play like he can.  Clearly, it was an eye opener, but a good thing to understand too.

There was a great family making balloon art for the kids for free!

We got in line with the stroller brigade!

And we were off, along with many other families from all walks of life...

Below is the one stop sign on our main street through town- no stoplights in Homedale!
 This cracked me up!  The dogs were drinking from the canal!

The child in front of us got his balloon sword untwisted somehow and began to cry.  Chad learned how to make balloon animals and toys though while doing a service project on his LDS Mission to Holland, so he stepped in and saved the day!

A tired baby...  He's walking so much! :) No, really he was SO well behaved for the almost two-hours he was in that thing!  And so was Sam. :)

We made it!  Look how happy my kids are.  LOL  No, but really, except for a minor fiasco where Michael had to use the bathroom and we had to knock on a (kind) stranger's door for a potty break, they were great the whole 3+ miles!

Me with my angels...

They put hearts on our hands at the halfway mark, and here we are showing ours off!  I don't think there's anything my family could have done to show more love and support for me that Mother's Day Weekend.  Love you and THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!  -Eva  
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Friday, May 11, 2012

My Downhill Slide... :( And Uphill Climb!

This week was hard.

It started with the hotdogs and chips they were giving out for free after the 5K.  I knew there would be food, and hotdogs, but I thought there would be some healthy options too.  I also thought one hotdog wouldn't hurt too much if there weren't other healthy options.

So I ate it.  And the chips.  My first mistakes.

Then I had to run errands and only had some granola bars in my purse- good ones, but still a packaged, convenience food that doesn't make my tummy very happy.  My stomach felt worse.

Then I got home to a house of stressed out, whining people.  The contrast from the high-spirited, inspiring event I had just left was drastic and depressing.  But there was a birthday party to get ready for, so it was rush, rush and more food, food, food.  It was easy to think, "I've already had some junk today and ran a lot, so I'm just going to let today be a day off."  A huge slice of cake, bite of cookie, scoop of ice cream and glass of punch later...I felt awful.

I used to be able to eat this and feel fine.  Yes, I was larger but I felt fine.  But my body cannot handle it now.  It had been weeks since I'd been uncomfortably full and now I had felt that way after several meals.  So you'd think I'd start the next day off great, right?

No, I woke up physically ill.  When I didn't eat I was nauseated and when I did eat I still was nauseated.

Monday, the same and another celebration to be part of.  I got my favorite fresh salsa and cucumbers to eat it with and was checking out when BAM!  I saw a sale!  Tortilla chips, Gluten Free, two bags for $3.  I grabbed a couple so other people could enjoy the salsa too.  Of course, I ended up eating most of the first bag.

Leslie Sansone (yes, from the cheezy DVDS where you can walk miles in your living room) says "One good decision leads to another."  I totally believe that!  You eat a good breakfast and you want to eat a good lunch.  You get a good workout and you want to fill yourself with healthy fuel.

But it's important for me to remember the converse of this too.  For me, One bad decision leads to another.  Do you think I wanted to exercise on the days I ate poorly and the days after when I felt sick?  No way.  The only thing that kept me kind of going was remembering that my Dad would want me to make the most of each day I have with my body and if he had the chance he would take the walk.

So my weigh in wasn't a gain...

But it wasn't much of a loss either.

Still, I took that small loss as a blessing and moved forward with it.  My family (kids and hubby and sometimes dogs) and I have taken walks four evenings this past week.  I took a morning walk wearing Sam on my back and pushing Michael in the stroller and saw goats!  Then we had to do the walk again so the whole family could see goats! 

 We've played at the park and stayed active and I'm grateful for that. 

But I am going to remember Jillian Michael's quote more:  Self-control is overrated.

On the show The Biggest Loser there's an episode where they're at a restaurant.  When she see's what someone on her team ordered she dumps an entire salt shaker on his plate so he can't eat it.  Well, I know now that if I have it around me I will take that one bite to "give it a try" or "just have a little and not be too healthy", and then I will take one bite more and then another and another.

Lab rats in experiments have proven it!  They will walk across hot metal plates to get to sweet and salty foods even when they aren't hungry, while the starving rats won't walk across those same hot plates for bland food.  The level of dedication to get that processed sweet or salty food was almost as high as the addicted rats trying to get to their cocaine (from The End Of Overeating.)  Our bodies are programed to want that flavor and the best way I've found to avoid it is to AVOID IT! :)

So here I am avoiding it...  That other bag of tortilla chips is going to be part of my work out as I jump rope on top of it and crush it to pieces. :)

More about the Angel Walk tomorrow!  Happy Friday!  If you're eating out try Subway or Blimpies like Chad and I did tonight  and "Eat Fresh"! LOL   Love, Eva

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The 5K Report...Pictures of "The Force" Finding A Cure For Type 1 Diabetes

I am finally writing about my 5K run for Type 1 Diabetes!  It has taken so long to get to this place emotionally (and physically) where I felt like I could write.  I will explain why in another post.

Here are some things I learned...

Darth Vader supports finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes! It was nice to see "The Force" and the Dark Side come together for this event.  Although it was sad to hear a child call the Yoda, "Shrek."  Somebody get that kid an episode of Star Wars!

I LOVED ALL THE TEAMS!!!  Families of all ages and backgrounds were there, walking together and supporting this cause as a group.  There was a Smylie team...

I love this old man wearing a Smylie T-Shirt.

A bunch of young girls were there to support Team Kendra... 

And then a group in the camouflage was there for Ashlynn.

I could see her wearing a shirt that said "Find a Cure For ME!"  Here she is with her friends looking at the cars from the car show.  The kids with Type 1 Diabetes got to have their picture taken in their favorite one.

You can see this family with their faces painted, in support for a toddler with Diabetes.
Type 1 is a kind that you are born with and can present itself at any age, young or old, although it usually presents itself in children.  Having this disease is not related to how you eat or exercise.
These children's bodies do not produce insulin.  Insulin is the hormone that converts sugars, starches and other foods into energy for the body to use.  These kids may have to prick their fingers and check their blood's insulin levels up to 6 times a day.  
 Still, through all of this event there was such a positive feeling!!! 
The pink shirts below say Diabetics are Sweeter!  :)
Here I am with the Skunk of the Stinker Stores, a gas station chain here that helped sponsor the event and where I first learned about it.  And that's the Red Robin of Red Robin who also helped sponsor the event.
And then there's me, who also helped sponsor the event!  Well, kinda. :)

Also, apparently Darth Vader likes dogs, although this one didn't seem certain if it liked him.
 I loved the many posters I saw telling people's stories...

Even though these little boys were being "tough" they were wearing shirts with two little girls on them, two little girls who live every day with Type 1 Diabetes.
Once the opening ceremony started, the Boy Scouts led us in the Pledge of Allegiance (wow, it's been a while since I've said that!) and we of course were privileged to hear a great performance of
The National Anthem.

Moms and kids alike listened as they announced we had not only reached the goal of raising $140,00 at this event for Type 1 Diabetes research, but they estimated an actual total of $155,000.  That is incredible! Especially considering the economy we are in...

I am truly inspired and grateful to all the people who donated to help us reach these numbers and who encouraged me to be part of this race and fundraiser.

The sweet Dad below was there with his two girls and a red wagon to participate in the walk, one even with Down Syndrome.   I'm telling you, these people were so positive, happy and supportive of each other! I felt humbled and lucky to be there.
 Finally, it was time for the 5K to start!  We migrated from the stage to the start.  I love this teenage boy's shirt: "I'm with diabetic ->" LOL
 Ashylnn and some other children with Type 1 Diabetes cut the ribbon...
 The man with the white hair helping is the CEO of the program.
And we were off!  Team Smylie took the lead and then the line just kept going...

 and going...
 and going!  The line literally stretched for miles!
 At one point in my running I caught up with a boy.
He started talking to me, so I turned off my music and talked too.  After seeing his shirt I asked him if he was running for a friend or family member.  Who was "Austin?"
 "I am" he said.
I was caught off guard.  I guess I felt like the person the team was there for would be surrounded by his team.  On the contrary, he had forged ahead on his own.  He had sprinted the majority of the race and I had just caught up to him at the last mile.
We talked, him sharing with a smile and twinkle in his eye that they had raised $456 at a spaghetti feed at his school last week.  Then he found a friend from his team and they continued to run together.
I'm so glad I slowed down to talk with this sweet boy and get to know him a little.
As the finish line loomed closer, I got close enough to read the back of the Smylie shirts...
"Until There's A Cure We'll Keep Smyling."

At the finish, runners were given high-5's by the Star Wars cheering team and treated to lunch.
I was one of the first 30 people to finish, mostly because I ran it while the majority of the people were walking together.  I don't know how my time compared with my last 5K, but I DO know that I felt different.  I felt better.  I felt amazing because I was running for something I already cared about, learned more about, and had been blessed to see and meet some of the people it affected.  The race was not about how fast my time was, it was about giving my time to be there.
Even after I had lunch and started to drive home the powerful parade continued.  I took this picture from my car just before leaving...
I love this family, a picket sign and stroller in the lead, marching with love, in hopes for finding a cure.

There is so much good in this world.  Yes, there is a lot of bad too.  The news usually chooses to cover the bad because people have always been entertained by freak shows and calamities.  You've seen it, people slwoing down to see the damage of an accident as they drive by.
Well, I hope this post sheds light on a "force" for good in this world, a charity trying to find a cure for Type 1 Diabets.  That day I got to slow down my car and stop because a group of friends, families, and strangers were blocking traffic.  Their shirts said things like "Find a Cure For Kendra" and "I Walk For Ashlynn."  And I was happy to wait and watch hope march forward to the finish line.
Love, Eva
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