Saturday, February 19, 2011

A day of beginnings

So today I learned a few things about myself and how to be successful over the next few weeks. This morning I woke up around 8 (set my alarm for 7:30... hit snooze for 30 minutes. OOPS) As I was enjoying my morning off work I began realizing how tired my body was from yesterday's workouts. Yesterday I ran 2 miles in the morning and took a kick boxing class at night, busy day! I so badly wanted to just stay in bed and NOT run today. Some things that went through my head were:

'I can always run tomorrow.' 'I had a great workout yesterday, no need to do it again today.' 'But i'm le tired.' 'No one will ever know if I don't run today.'

All of those were words from the Devil trying to push me away from what I am working on. That's one of the hardest things about this journey... He is always trying to discourage me and distract me. I need to listen to the Lord's truths that I can do this and he will always be with me. One of my favorite verses (Joshua 1:9) says, "This is my command- Be STRONG and COURAGEOUS! do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you WHEREVER you go."

I absolutely love the truth in that verse. For me, sometimes that is a physical location. We move a lot with the Army, so something I need to remember he is with me in Illinois and in Georgia and in Texas. But sometimes I think that is also a journey you go on. Right now I am on this journey to finding new beginnings, new habits, and new truths. He is holding my hand through the entire thing.

This morning I ran for 20 minutes. My body was exhausted from yesterday and all I wanted to do the entire time was walk, but i didn't! Yes, I only jogged today, but that slower pace is what allowed me to be able to do this in the first place. Sometimes it's not about how quickly you do something, or how you do it in general, it's just that you do it! I'm not going to always run this slow pace, but for today it was all I had. And that is okay!

Today I begin reading Made to Crave, which I am very excited about! I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow!

OH! and i forgot one item on my list from yesterday:
9. Get into the Word daily.
You can see how much a habit that one is.... I didn't even remember to put it on the list! :-/

What are some habits that you want to begin working towards?


Friday, February 18, 2011

21 days make a habit

So it's been a little over a week since I posted, sorry about that! It's been crazy lately. A few weeks ago I chose to switch two of my classes to online. It was already 4 weeks into the classes so I have had tons of homework to catch up on! However, I am almost completely caught up! All I have left is 1 paper in my English class. so after this weekend I will be totally caught up! I can't wait! :)

Have any of you heard that it takes 21 days to make a habit? Research has shown that it typically takes 21 days to create a new habit. So starting tomorrow I am going to put that into action. Here is my plan:

1. Run 5 days a week adding 5-10 minutes to my run each week
2. Do toning workouts 2-3 days a week such as situps, crunches, and lunges
3. Keep calories around 1200 each day and try to avoid processed foods when possible
4. Put make up on each day and do my hair
5. Read "Made to Crave" by Lysa TerKeurst
6. Do yoga each day
7. Do homework each day
8. Pick up my room daily

The entire goal of this is for me to make new habits and begin taking even better care of myself. If anyone would like to join me you are welcome to! You can change everything to fit your lifestyle and needs. Hopefully, I can begin to really make some changes towards a better lifestyle!

What are some simple changes you make towards a healthier lifestyle?


Monday, February 7, 2011

Yoga, Yoga, Yoga.

So one of my favorite things to do during my "me" time is yoga. Not only does it help your flexibility, but also your balance, focus, and relaxation.

Flexibility: Yoga helps you begin to stretch your body. Each pose can stretch a different part of your body from your legs to your arms, to your back. Not only does stretching like this feel amazing, but it will also help your body move more easily throughout the day.

Balance: Yoga is amazing for your balance. At first, it may be really hard to hold a pose more than a few seconds, however, the more you do it you will be able to hold each pose longer without needed to use something to balance. This will help you feel more centered throughout the day.

Focus: It takes a lot of focus to do yoga. When balancing, you need to use your focus to be able to hold the pose. It also causes you to focus on your body as you do the poses. This will help you be able to focus better during the day.

Relaxation: Yoga is very relaxing in nature. It gives you a chance to focus on yourself and your body. The longer you do it, the more relaxing each pose can become. You begin to find new ways to calm your body and relax your mind.

Here are a few realistic, everyday examples of where yoga can be beneficial:

1. If you work at a job that requires you to be on your feet all day, try this pose:

Find a area of the wall with nothing on it. Lay on your back with your butt as close to the wall as possible and your legs tucked into your body. begin to straighten your legs up against the wall so that your body creates an "L" shape against the wall. Scoot your butt as close to wall and lay back and allow your legs to rest against the wall.

How this helps: By putting your legs up against the wall, you allow the blood to flow from your feet throughout your body. When standing on your feet all day it's harder for your body to circulate the blood that flows down to your feet. This pose will help take some of the pressure off your feet and ease some pain and discomfort you may experience.

Add a little challenge: You can add a bit of a challenge to this pose by adding a blanket under your lower back.

2. Here is a pose that not only helps with balance, but is also a great stretch for your thighs:

Stand with your legs together and put your arms our parallel to the floor, hands facing down. step your right foot forward so that your legs create a "V" shape and face your right leg. Point your right food towards the front. While remaining standing flat on your left foot, begin to slowly turn your foot so your toes point between 90 and 45 degrees of the front. (you want to turn your foot inward towards your body to avoid injury, however, it may take a few times to get used to this foot positioning). Once your feet are in place, begin to lean into your right leg working towards making your thigh parallel with the floor (don't be alarmed if you can't get there right away, you will with time). Point your right arm towards your right foot and your left arm towards your left foot. Hold then repeat with the left leg.

How this helps: This pose not only help with balance, but it also helps stretch and strengthen the ankles and provides support for your back. It is also a great stretch for sore thigh and calf muscles.

Add a little challenge: You can make this pose more challenging my raising your arms above your head holding them next to your ears parallel to eachother.

3. The Final pose is a little more tricky but it's great if you want a bit of a challenge and you want more balance (one of my favorites poses):

Begin by standing with your legs together and your hands to your side. Take a few deep breaths and try to really focus your mind. If you need to find an item in front of you to focus on. Bring your right foot up near left knee. Place the bottom of your foot on the side of your knee. Bring your palms together near your heart. Focus on the item in front of you, take a deep breath and (if you can) begin to slowly raise your hands above your head. Repeat with left leg. Don't be alarmed if you can't do this pose right away. It took me several tries to be able to hold this pose.

How this helps: This a great pose to help create more balance in your body. It also helps with focus because you have to focus inward to find the balance.

Add a little challenge: If you feel you can do this pose easily, begin to pull your leg up each time you do it, holding it closer to your thigh. Eventually you will be able to immediately pull your foot and rest it on your thigh rather than your knee.

These are a few of my favorite poses. :) Let me know what you think or if you have some other poses you enjoy or would like to try!

Take some time for yourself tonight.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Decently uneventful weekend

So not too much has happened this weekend. I recently transfered two of my classes into Online courses. So i have spent most of my time studying. I'm only like halfway done with catch up too. :) So I get to spend my super bowl sunday studying.

Recently I began doing workout classes. They make working out so much fun!! If you haven't taken any workout classes before you should look around your town and see if they offer any you can take. You should definitely check them out! My favorites are step class, kick class, and ride class. Kick is a GREAT upper body workout! Step and Ride are great lower body workouts. They all are really good Cardio workouts.

It has been wonderful getting my eating and working out in order. I feel so much better and healthier. Here are a few things I have recently learned to look for when grocery shopping:

1. When buying bread items - look for no enriched flours or bleached flours
2. Try to avoid items with Sugar in the first few ingredients listed.
3. Avoid hydrogenated oil in the ingredients

Try these simple changes when buying your groceries and it can help change the way your body feels. Every little change you can make to your diet is an amazing change for your health!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

That Blizzard was Crazy

So yesterday we got an insane blizzard here in Normal! School was cancelled yesterday and today! It was wonderful!!! This morning there was so much snow covering our driveway, you couldn't even see that we had one. Some of the snow drifts were upwards of 8 feet tall! I couldn't go to work this morning simply because i couldn't leave the house. Although some people were getting stir-crazy being cooped up in their houses for 2 days, I rather enjoyed the time away from regular life. Being somewhat of a homebody, getting time to just stay home was wonderfully needed.

Of course, I took the time to make a fantastic dinner! (although i forgot to take pictures this time, so sorry about that)
However, here is my wonderful (and original) dinner recipe.
I made grilled chicken with a cheese sauce, potato wedges, steamed veggies and fruit salad. It was tasty and all healthy!

Erica's scrumptious cheesy sauce (Makes enough for about 6 pieces of chicken)

1 c. fat free skim milk
3-4 T. flour
1 c. shredded swiss cheese
1/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 spoonfulls ricotta cheese
1 T. parmesan cheese
1/2 T. chives
1/2 T. parsley

pour the milk in a 8-10 in. skillet (either size will work). Add 2 tablespoons of flour and mix thoroughly. Once it begins to bubble begin to add the cheeses. First add the swiss cheese and allow it to begin to melt. Then follow with the mozzarella, ricotta, and finally the parmesan. As the cheese is melting mix in about 1/2 T of chives and parsley. Sprinkle with salt and pepper for taste. For a thicker sauce add another 1-2 T. of flour until desired consistency. For a thinner, runnier sauce add another 1-2 T. milk until desired consistency.

Serve over grilled chicken.

Erica's Homemade healthy potato wedges (serves 6)

6 potatoes
olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash the potato then cut each potato in half, then cut each half into 3 pieces, cutting towards the center (You will create a "wedge" shape or a triangle). Place in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Take a large spoon and begin to mix the potatoes allowing the olive oil to get on each potato. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix again allowing each piece to get an even coating of salt and pepper. Then place in the oven for about 25 minutes, turn each potato wedge over about halfway through. (If you are short on time you can also broil them for about 5 or so minutes on each side. Just keep an eye on them so they don't burn.)

Serve along side your chicken and cheese sauce.

Tonight's dinner was fantastic! I love getting a chance to create new recipes and try new things!!! Again, i'm so sorry I didn't have pictures from the dinner, however, you should still definitely try this recipe! The whole family enjoyed it!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Soldier of the Month!

So this past Friday, Kendall went in front of the Soldier of the Month board. He has to study a ton of information ahead of time. I was so proud of him though. he put so much time in studying the potential information he needed to know! and it all paid off!!

Kendall won Soldier of the Month. and I am so proud of him!!! This should include a promotion here in the next few months :) He most definitely deserved this honor! So here's to you honey!
I am beyond proud of you!

However, Kendall is not only Soldier of the Month, but he is also Husband of the Month to me :) Since Valentine's Day is 14 days away here are 14 things I love about my hubby!

1. I love how he always takes time out of his day to spend with me, even if he's exhausted.
2. I love how he shows an interest in my life and the things I do.
3. I love how he always pushes me to work towards being a better Me.
4. I loves how Kendall is always trying to grow as a man and a husband and I respect that so much!
5. I love how he has WAY more patience than i do.
6. I love how he balance me perfectly. Where i struggle he is strong and where he struggles I am strong.
7. I love how his passion is every present and he is always working towards the things he loves.
8. I love when we love to dream together. Dream of our life together, dream of the places we are going to go, dream of our family, etc...
9. I love that he loves doing nothing, as do i.
10. I love the way he looks at me.
11. I love that he is my best friend!
12. I love how we can talk about absolutely anything together.
13. I love how handsome he is :)
14. and I love that he loves me back!

I love you Kendall! :) Thanks for being such an incredible husband and best friend!
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