December 29, 2011

Healthy Living, Jesus Style: Same Old Blog; New Name & Design!!!

Hi to all my faithful readers!
Please don't let the new background & name fool you: this is the blog formerly known as "Healthy Living, Jesus Style".  I had never revamped this blog, and I was very tired of the old, boring design as it made me say "blah!"  So, I picked a different template.  So please believe me when I say that this is still the same blog you've been reading for the past 3 years, I promise!!!!
And, the URL (web address) is still exactly the same:!

Ugg or Yuck?

I recently bought myself a pair of these super-cute, on-the-nose trendy "Ugg"-like brown boots with an amazingly soft sheepskin lining.  They were on a ridiculously-good discount, but that's beside the point.  These boots, just like the uber-popular Ugg boots that first revolutionized cold weather fashion back when I was in college in Ohio, (and are even more popular here in the Pacific Northwest, if that's even possible), could likely be the cause of millions of young ladies' foot and even back painThis article here from explains that these types of extremely popular boots (and insanely expensive; I mean come on peeps, do Uggs do the walking for you, or do you still have to actually step forward when walking, putting one foot in front of the other?  I thought so.  So then, why are you willing to spend so much of your hard-earned money on them?)  Derailed.  Sorry.  Back to this interesting article. 
These types of boots offer no arch support for your beautiful little footsies.  None.  You are in effect, walking on a totally flat surface with no support, which may be perfectly fine if you're simply wearing them around the house, or to & from the mailbox, but that's not typically the case, now is it?  Usually, girls wear these all day at school, or carousing around the mall for hours on end.  This is not an ideal situation for your poor feet.  Need more proof?

Here's an experiment.  Take a shoe off (if you're wearing one), and look at the bottom of your bare foot. You see that area stretching from the ball of your foot to your heel?  That's your arch.  And look closer.  Unless you are severely, abnormally flat-footed, you'll see that your arch is in fact a graceful curved slope.  This means that you want to wear shoes whose shape mimics that of your feet.  Shoes with a slight slope, or what us "experts" like to call arch support.  Arch support in your shoes is a very, very good thing.  If you don't have it, you're feet can ache, your arches can fall (which hurts; trust me I know from experience from horrible Junior High Homecoming shoes), and can cause your hips and back to hurt as well from the inadequate support. 
That is the other reason why I had refused the tantalizing call of boots like these for so long:  because I've heard for years about how they could wreak havoc on your feet.  And since I'm a sometimes, when-it's-not-too-cold-or-hot-or-wet-outside runner, I know that protecting my feet from injury is paramount. 
So, I suppose the bottom line is this:  you can love these boots, but do not wear them too often, or you may regret it.  And not just because you may realize how ridiculous you look wearing these with a pair of shorts.  Uggs and shorts do not mix, people, please hear me:  there is no logical reason to wear an outfit consisting of Uggs and shorts.  It needs to be one or the other.  Either it's too hot outside for Uggs and you should wear shorts with sandals, or it's too cold for shorts and you should wear pants with those Uggs.  *Sigh*

*image credits:,

December 12, 2011

Herniated Disks & My Favorite Back Exercises

"The Plank" is probably my favorite exercise, especially because I, like many woman, seem to be on a never-ending quest to firm up my core.  When I say the word "core", I'm not just talking about my abs, but the term also applies to muscles in the back, shoulders, and all throughout the torso.  These muscles help stabilize the spine, prevent injuries, and help improve posture.  Having strong core muscles also makes performing everyday duties easier, like household chores, lifting children or items, and bending over.
My mother has a lower back problem known as "herniated disks", which is where a fluid-filled sac surrounding the vertebrae is torn and the spine vertebrae rubs against another, causing pinched nerves, sciatica, and intense pain in the back and along the buttocks and backs of legs.  She has already had one back surgery to relieve the pain and pressure, and is going in for another surgery soon. 
Spinal disks degenerate naturally as we age, but the process speeds up for some people for various reasons:  a spinal injury earlier in life can possibly cause disks to degenerate faster, and also carrying excess weight on your body frame for years can also cause degenerative disks. 
Since my mother has back issues and the exact cause is still somewhat unknown, I have been trying to take precautions to protect myself against such back problems, in case I have a hereditary risk for developing this. 
So this exercise called "The Plank" (see picture above) is my favorite core muscle builder (among others) because it is a static exercise, which means you just hold it steady and do not have to do any tightening of loosening of muscles; you simply tense the muscle and hold it for as long as you can.  So, in my mind, the Plank is fairly easy to learn how to do and to perform it.  The real trick, of course, is making your muscles stronger so you can hold it for longer and longer!
I also like performing another exercise that I call the "Superman" because I lay on my stomach (face down on the ground) and use my lower back muscles to lift my shoulders up off  the ground, and hold that for as long as I can.  This puts the focus on my lower back muscles, to target them and strengthen them. 
What about you?  Are there any back exercises that you swear by?  What are your favorite back exercises?  Do you have any tips or advice for preventing herniated disks or back strain?  Let me know your thoughts and advice!  My tips and thoughts here are in no way meant to be exhaustive, and I only mentioned the exercises that I most prefer, and please speak with your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen! 

Image Credits:,

September 28, 2011

Ideas for Healthy Road Trip Foods?

My husband Eric & I are relocating to Seattle, WA on October 17th! We're almost ready to put our house on the market and embark on driving across the country on a 7-day road trip! We'll be driving a UHAUL truck and Eric's parents will be driving my car, so there will be 4 of us total, but also 3 pets: our puppy Levi and our 2 ferrets (Oscar & Oliver). So us and our little zoo will be packed into the moving van, and I'll be traveling further west than I've ever been in a car. I've flown to Seattle several times, but I haven't driven any further west than Missouri.
So my question to all of you is this: what are some healthy, low-calorie treats & snacks that you'd recommend for road trips? I would also prefer they be wheat free (I'm intolerant to wheat), but I can cheat on this a little bit if need be.
We'll probably take some Trail Mix and some deli sandwiches, but I'm a bit out of ideas after that, so I welcome any suggestions from y'all! (Also, they need to be cheap!) Let me know! Thanks!

September 27, 2011

Appreciating Brewed Java Again!

You all know how much I LOVE my fancy schmany coffees like mocha lattes, right? Well, I recently tried an iced coffee with some added chocolate flavor and whipped cream on top. To my surprise, I loved it! I figured it would still be too bitter for my taste, and it almost was, but I actually really loved it! And, because there's no milk in it, it's less calories than a mocha. The brewed coffee has basically no calories, so the only ingredients with calories would be the chocolate and the whipped cream, which I can always leave off. So yeah for finding tasty, chocolatey coffee drinks with fewer calories! I'm told that the folks at Starbucks call it an "iced coffee mocha", if you'd care to give it a try. I think you'll enjoy it!

picture credit:

September 13, 2011

Dodging Diabetes

Please check out my other blog about Diabetes info, advice, and more healthy lifestyle stuff on this new blog:

Dodging Diabetes

August 30, 2011

My Other Blog

Readers, please remember that I also write another blog about "Living the simple life", getting back to basics, and appreciating the little things in life (which may turn out not to be so little after all!) on my blog "My Lovely Little Life."
Check it out here:

I WILL continue to write on this blog, however, do don't worry, I haven't forgotten about it! It just seems that living a "simple" life has been my life lately, so I decided to adopt it as my motto.

August 15, 2011

Daring to Defy Diabetes

My grandmother has had Type 2 ("adult onset") Diabetes for the last 20ish years. She was first diagnosed with it in her late forties/early fifties. She has never taken insulin, but doctors have been nagging her to start taking insulin for the last several years, but she refuses. She's had lots of heart issues, and no one knows if it's because of her unchecked Diabetes or not, but I'd venture to guess that if she had taken better care of herself and had taken insulin when needed, that maybe she could have avoided at least some of her heart issues. About 5 years ago, she had triple bypass surgery, had a pacemaker put in, and had a pig's valve put it to replace one of her own heart valves. She is currently fairly healthy, but sees numerous doctors who monitor her often. My grandmother is 70 years old.

My mother is 52 years old and just got diagnosed with Diabetes. She has much more access to educational literature, knowledgeable doctors, and exercise that my grandmother did not have much access to back in the 80's when she first got diagnosed. So my mother and grandmother have become a team, trying to fight this disease together with modern warfare: meeting with a dietician, counting carbs, learning all they can about Diabetes and how to eat the right foods, and keeping online food journals on sites like and

So now about me. Diabetes is heading right for me. I am apparently genetically predisposed to it, and if I do not make a drastic effort to avoid it, it will happen to me too. So that is why I have been eating healthy, exercising, and taking time to de-stress for the last couple of years. I have vowed to myself that I will do everything in my power to avoid getting Diabetes. If I make all the right lifestyle choices and I still get Diabetes someday, then at least I will know that I did everything I could to prevent it. And maybe, even if I do eventually get it because of my genes, then maybe I won't get it when I'm near 50 like my mother & grandmother, but perhaps I can stall it until I'm 60 or 70.

Most physicians and dietitians agree that Diabetes can be altogether prevented or at least put off for years with the right lifestyle: eating a 'controlled' carb, healthy diet with lean meats & lots of fruits and veggies, and exercising at least a few days a week. Go easy on all sugars, especially refined white sugars, and avoid any processed foods. Rest, relax, unwind, play, destress, and sleep at least 8 hours a night. Maintain a healthy weight. Get lots of antioxidants and nutrients in food, like drinking green tea.

I do most all of these things, I will continue to do them, in order to prevent one more member of my family from getting Diabetes. I will beat this thing, and hopefully be an inspiration to others in the process. I will do it for my mother & grandmother. I will do it for my husband. I will do it for my future children. But most of all, I will do it for me.

June 8, 2011

A Fluke or Fact?

I have lost about 3 pounds in the past 2.5 weeks!!!! I'm so incredibly thrilled, but I'm also hesitant to believe that it's true fat loss. It could simply be a fluke, so I'm trying not to get too excited by it, but the number on the scale has been lower than it has been in quite some time!
Even with my body normally fluctuating about 2-5 pounds, my weight has stayed consistent for the past several days, so I'm excited about it! I hope it continues!

My New Blog About Inner & Outer Simplicity!

Hi all!
Please check out my new blog about appreciating & achieving inner and outer simplicity in life, at!
I have already mentioned this new blog in a recent post, but I wanted to direct you to it once again. Thanks for reading here, and I hope you also enjoy reading about "My Lovely Little Life"!

June 6, 2011

The Secret Ingredient.....Water?????

So I'm going to vent just a little bit here.
I was recently reading Oxygen magazine, which is a female hard-core fitness and weight-lifting magazine. The cover model, a extremely fit woman who was bordering on being scary-buff, was asked in an interview to share her "#1 secret" to looking so great, and she replied, "I drink tons of water!"
Water?!? That's her serious, honest-to-goodness answer to why she looks so fabulous & fit?
I wish she just would've said the truth, instead of watering it down for me (pun intended).
The truth: this woman has incredible genes, a Speedy Gonzales-like metabolism, is insanely strict about every morsel she eats, and works her butt off in the gym everyday. She works out like it's her job, because let's face it; it is! And she's a model, so she's already beautiful and has "that look" to her.
But yet she says drinking water is her secret? Water did not give her that body, that's for darn sure!
Here's proof: If I drank tons of water everyday, would I look like her? At all?
Um, no I think not.
I may have less bloating and may lose a few pounds from the sheer amount of bathroom runs I'd be doing, but would I look like I gained 15 pounds of muscle and lost 30 pounds of fat? I wish!
Of course drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated, especially if you're physically active, is a great idea, and your body does need plenty of water to function. But getting fit from drinking water?
Girl, please!

My Link Isn't Working!

Well, for some reason the link to my new blog is not working, but this is the address, which you'll just have to type into your address bar.

My New Blog About the Simple, "Small" Life!

Hi all!
I'm excited to introduce my new blogging endeavor, "My Lovely Little Life" Blog right here on!
Go here:
I have been pondering some ideas lately, and when I connected them in my mind, they became a cohesive line of thought, about living a "simple" life.
I have decided that I love the words "simple", "small", and "little" when referring to my life. I know that usually these terms could be construed negatively, but I am here to offer the idea that maybe these are/can be positive terms when referring to one's life.
For example, I have been trying to live a "simple" life lately, by emptying my mind of regret, guilt, self-loathing, resentment, disappointment, and fear. Fear is a big one for me, because I have so many unanswered and unfulfilled prayers. I catch myself thinking, "I trust God, but what if? What if He chooses not to answer my prayers for another year or so? What if He says "Wait"?"
God telling me to "wait" for a while longer is not a death sentence for my dreams; it's not a "no" answer, and it's not a reason to be afraid. I know these things, but I routinely forget and become fearful.
Our messages at church recently have been about mental & emotional health, and learning to let go of past hurts, and release any resentment, anger, or bitterness we may be harboring against someone who has done us wrong in the past.
But I thought it a good idea in my life to take this one step further, and to release any bitterness, guilt, & disappointment I have with myself! I am truly my own worst critic, and tend to be very hard on myself.
So I've been doing lots of "spring cleaning" of my thoughts, my inner attitudes, and my own self image, forgiving myself for past mistakes, and releasing guilt I still carry around.
This is, of course, a continual, daily practice, and not a one-time gesture. This is a practice that I will have to work at everyday for it to become a habit.
So no more negativity, especially against myself!
Instead, I'm going to learn to focus on the positives, the blessings, and the good things in my life. This actually simplifies my life, because it simplifies my thoughts and my emotional reactions to them. This is my first example of how I'm simplifying my life, or making my life smaller.
I hope to talk much more about focusing on how I've been blessed, and how great my life is, even when things go wrong, or my prayers go unanswered.
Tune in for more soon, and thanks so much for reading! I'd love to hear any comments you have.

June 4, 2011

Disappointment, Hoping for Deliverance

It's been an incredibly long time since I wrote here. I do not have the Internet at home, so I only have access to it at a coffee shop, which is where I am now.
My last post, a few months ago, was about me going off of the Depo-Provera birth control shot and starting Yaz birth control pills. I have recently decided to stop taking Yaz as well. There are a few reasons for this, but first & foremost is because I have continued to gain weight, even with eating around 2,000 (or less) calories a day, and exercising at least 3 days a week.
My husband & I decided that I would go off of Yaz altogether, and use "other" methods of contraceptive, which for us means spermicide in-conjunction with condoms. So don't anybody go getting excited; we're definitely not ready or trying to have children yet! :)
I now weigh 191 pounds--the most I've ever weighed in my life. Ever. This fact disappoints and devastates me, because I desperately want to be a slender, fit, muscular, active person!
While still on the Depo, late last year, I began going to a nearby community center, which housed a gym with free weights, weight machines, and cardio machines like ellipticals and treadmills. It was a cheap membership ($20 for 3 months!) and close to my house, so it was perfect.
I began going to the gym last September, and went almost every day, for about 1.5 hours each day. I typically did cardio and weights, although some days I only did one or the other, and I always alternated which muscles I worked on each day, giving my muscles at least 24-48 hours before working them again.
I really gave it my all while at the gym, and felt like I was working my butt off. If only I literally was! But I wasn't. My butt, like the rest of me, didn't budge.
This helped me not gain any more weight, however, and so I stayed at around 185 pounds during this time. I really wanted to train for the Flying Pig Marathon that happened in May, so I decided to step up my training. However, it didn't happen. Here's why.
The gym had only 2 treadmills, and one has been broken the entire time I've had a membership. And the other one was almost always in use when I got there, and for the entire time I was there. So I began using the elliptical for as much cardio conditioning as I could get. I would typically be on the elliptical for 45 minutes to 1 hour at a time, really working up a sweat. I certainly got a workout on the elliptical, but it wasn't the same as running.
So I attended the gym from late September to May, and never lost a single pound. My gym membership expired, and I couldn't bring myself to spend another $20 (that I really didn't have) on a gym membership when I was experiencing such a lack of motivation and disappointment. It was 8 months, people. Eight months of no weight loss, no noticeable muscle gains, no noticeable increase in endurance. I was desperately hoping to completely change my body in 8 months, which is plenty of time to make at least some drastic changes, and instead, I was still the exact same. And, I realized that since I have a treadmill at home, I could save myself $20 and just go back to doing most of my exercising at home.
It was been almost 3 months since I stopped taking Yaz, and I occasionally jog & walk on my treadmill at home. I do body-weight exercises (push-ups, plank, crunches, stability ball stuff, back exercises, etc.) on my living room floor every other day.
I am still so disappointed in myself, in my lack of weight loss, in the fact that I am again gaining weight. Oh yes, I have gained about 6 pounds in a little over 1 month, even which light-moderate exercise and eating between 1,600-1,900 calories a day. I bought a detailed food journal, and have been trying to keep my calorie intake around 1,600 calories a day. I am hoping to finally see some fat loss, but I'm not holding my breath. It's like I'm gaining weight and there's nothing I can do to stop it!
I am convinced (and I hope that I'm right about this) that it's the hormones from the Depo & Yaz still in my system, that has made me gain so much weight and prevents me from losing it. I hope & pray that these hormones leave my body soon, although I've heard that it can take up to a year or two for them to finally exit the body.
So here I am, knowing that I could do a bit more, but so disappointed from all this that I am just trying to do what I can.