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This whole sugar is bad for my brain, sugar will make me dumb, and sugar will kill me knowledge is definitely a cross to bear sometimes. I mean, whatever happened to enjoying that sugar fix from time to time? Here’s what I tell myself every time I just want that cookie, dammit!
- It’s just one. One won’t hurt.
- I only eat sugar on the weekends or when I’m with friends.
- I’m kinda stressed right now, I need it to take the edge off – it makes me feel so much better.
- I don’t have a problem. I mean, I’m not that overweight.
- It’s not that big a deal. I can quit whenever I want.
So, I was at a party and ate a glorious looking homemade chocolate chip cookie.
And it tasted terrible.
No, really. Not because it wasn’t baked with love. Because my taste buds have changed.
So the next time you hear me talking about sugar like I’m a typical drug addict, gently remind me of this post and my quest for better health. Because in the end, I want to be the 85 year old grandma playing with my great grandkids in the park, and not the one they visit every month in the old folks’ home.
This is my go-to daily chocolate fix. No sugar, just wonderful chocolatey goodness!
You’ll notice I don’t include measurements. Mostly because I fly by the seat of my pants when I mix this together, adding whatever goodness is in the fridge and strikes my fancy. I like to make this in my little Bullet blender – it makes a perfect one serving size that way.
Layer into blender:
- About 6 ice cubes
- 1/2 or one whole banana
- handful of frozen blueberries
- 2 heaping spoonfuls of almond butter
- 2 heaping spoonfuls of raw cacao/cocoa
- 10 oz (or more) unsweetened almond milk
- handful of spinach leaves or other greens (you won’t even taste them, I promise!)
- 1/4 to 1/2 frozen or fresh avocado (makes it lusciously thick and creamy)
- scoop of egg white protein powder for added protein
Blend and ENJOY!
Variations & Update: Doggone it! My recent blood test shows high triglycerides and I therefore must be more careful about my fruit intake. Bananas (my daily favorite) are a no-go for awhile because of their high glycemic content. So, I substituted half an apple and this was almost as good as the original!
I knew I was going to make some changes. Just not YET, I thought.
Well, it’s time. It’s more than time. It’s downright urgent. I have a family history of women living to be 90 and above, and if I am going to do the same while living a full and vibrant life, I’d better get serious about changing up the things that will keep me from that life.
As I’ve said before, just thinking about making changes gets you nowhere. Not until I give a voice to those changes will things begin to happen. So I did. I announced to the world that I’d answered a challenge by Dr. Daniel Amen and his wife, Tana, to become a Brain Warrior. In doing so, I will be doing all I can to avoid Alzheimer’s, heart disease & diabetes – among so many other things.
The date was set. Wednesday, May 4, 2016.
And then what did I do? Knowing what was coming I proceeded to eat the sugar, the popcorn, the chips, the ___________ (anything and everything) so that by the time the 4th came, I’d gained 3 pounds and was feeling very sluggish. I wasn’t going to let that cute couple with the healthy brains take away my happy food!
Except it didn’t make me happy. The sugar gave me headaches and restless sleep. The popcorn and chips made me feel bloated, and the extra pounds made me frown every time I got dressed to leave the house. But darn it, I wasn’t deprived!
Or was I?
The sense that I would never, ever, ever eat anything “good” again sent me reeling into a cesspool of a scarcity mindset. It won’t matter if I eat this handful of chocolate chips, or these few Hershey’s Kisses left over from Easter, or a couple of chips with some salsa, or. Or. OR. Especially since I won’t ever eat anything good again.
Emotional eating is a curious thing. It creeps up on you when you thought you had your resolve conquered. I mean, I know the right things to eat. I’ve done the Whole 30 Plan before. Quite successfully, in fact. But man, do I get blindsided by the sight of a chocolate tidbit.
It turns out Mindset is the number one item on Daniel and Tana Amen’s mastery list. And it’s a biggie. Without the right mindset, I can’t make progress. That nasty boogie man called scarcity will rear his ugly head and take me down.
What I learned tonight from Tana Amen, is that this program is not about deprivation – it’s about abundance.
I like that word. It makes me feel vibrant and alive. It gives me a handle on my business. It makes me a better wife, mom and grandma. It makes me a better me.
Leaving behind the scarcity mindset to walk in abundance is a choice I’m making. Starting now.
Let’s do this together – you can join the livestream by signing up here. Six months from now you’ll thank your healthier self.
Twenty years from now you’ll thank you even more.
I love springtime. It brings the promise of new life and change. At any given moment, the new songs of birds and vibrant colors of budding flowers saturate the senses. I was granted life in springtime, which may be why I love it so much.
Seasons come and go in life. Like the coming of spring, a new season has been brewing in me for awhile now and just when I’m reaching the age when many women slow down, I’m feeling a desire to ramp things up.
Life. Isn’t it funny? Change is inevitable, and we can either embrace it, or fight it. We can grow with it, or stunt our growth by kicking and screaming our way to oblivion. Okay, that might be a bit dramatic. Think about it, though… don’t you know that person who just wants to quit on life? To just sit and vegetate for the rest of his or her days? I do.
But that’s not me. And if you’re reading this, I suspect that’s not you either.
We know we need to change and grow. It’s a strong desire we think about. A lot. What I’ve found though, is a chasm of disconnect between the knowing and the doing. I know I need to lose a few pounds. I know I need to organize my life. I know I need to allow for some down time to relax and recharge. But do I DO it? Nope. Not whole-heartedly, anyway.
It’s nice to think about changing myself. I envision what it would be like to be my ideal (for me) weight and shop for clothes without disgust. I think about how efficient I would be if my office was tidy. I love the idea of how much my mind would be cleared if I got rid of some of the clutter in my home. I fantasize about taking a day off to play with my grandson without feeling like I have a ton of things that need to be accomplished.
A month later, I’m still thinking. There is no doing. And in all of this thinking and not doing, I’ve learned something very important: I have to speak the change I want to happen. It must have a voice. Thinking about it to myself gets me absolutely nowhere. Goals and visions for my future must be written down and spoken to allow for my conscious brain to actually get it, and begin moving towards the changes I seek.
Okay, so let’s make a deal: I’m in if you are. I’m 57 years old today and I’ve got big dreams and plans. None of it will happen unless I take the leap of giving a voice to those things that must change in order to reach those dreams. I’d like a fuller life, but there’s some stuff in the way. How about we work together on voicing change to a fuller life?
That sounds pretty good.
Today is my birthday and it’s time for a change. I’m giving it a voice.
I don’t know about you, but at the beginning of the year I take inventory of my life. Last year was good, but I had little focus and follow through. It seemed the success I had was haphazard, at best. Lucky me, I did fairly well in spite of myself, but there was something missing.
I’ve been thinking and praying a lot lately about having a theme word for 2016. I did this in 2014 and the word was DEEPER. That year, I went deeper in all areas of my life – my walk with the Lord became more resolute and He brought me to new places because of my commitment to going deeper.
Have you ever asked God for a word to set the tone for your year? It’s quite eye-opening. I chuckle at the fact that God has such different ideas about what needs to be accomplished than I do. I was inspired by Nikki’s choice of the word SIMPLICITY, because who DOESN’T need to pare down and remove all the distractions? Kristin’s choice of CONSISTENCY spoke volumes to me as well – I could use some consistency in my life.
I filled 3 pages with words I was hoping might inspire me to move beyond my sluggish vision for myself. They were all great words. Any one of them would have been appropriate. Perfect, even. Words like
MOMENTUM * FORWARD * EMPOWER * GROWTH * RESOLVE * ACTION * INTENTIONAL * CONSISTENT * SAVOR * IGNITE * COMMIT * FOCUS * DILIGENCE * SOAR * PERSISTENCE * YES * DISCIPLINE* BALANCE * BRAVE * RISK * PURPOSE
You get the idea.
But God doesn’t see what I see. So I asked Him to show me a word to adopt as my theme for 2016. On those 3 pages, I first highlighted all the words that jumped out at me, or “spoke” to me. Now I’m left with about 25 words. Funny thing, I had written the word Intentional about 4 times and highlighted it each time. But I still wasn’t convinced.
Now, instead of SEEING the word “intentional” periodically, I began HEARING it. I’m not kidding. It was everywhere. So much so that I chuckled at God’s sense of humor each time I heard the word. A couple weeks ago on a Saturday I attended a business training class where the speaker emphasized the need to be INTENTIONAL in our business. Emphasized is not even a strong enough word – she must have said it at least 20 times. The very next day, my pastor preached about beginning again in the new year. As he spoke about not settling for being comfortable, about how God has called us move out of our comfort so he can speak to us and through us. This requires being INTENTIONAL about how we use our time and resources. He added, “Don’t you dare set your agenda for the year. Give God the pen and let HIM write your plan.”
Okay, got it. My foray into being intentional needs to include hearing from God for each step.
In 2015 I neglected to choose a word and I was floundering. Busy without being productive. I felt a sense of disconnect between my calling and my reality. Nothing seemed to move forward. My year was okay, but certainly not great, and most certainly not fantastic. And not even close to being spectacular or even fabulous. I believe God has placed spectacular gifts inside of us, and it is up to us to use those gifts.
I want the best God has for me. So this year I know the word I need to focus on is INTENTIONAL. I know beyond a doubt that God has called me to great things, as I believe He has called each one of us. The key is, will we answer that call? Will we look toward intentional living so that we are effective for the gospel? Daily that word is before me, and daily I am taking steps to live a life of INTENTION.