Heading to the farm!

I’m so excited that you’re going to get a two-part post because I can’t wait until tonight. I’m off to Devon Acres farm to purchase a share in their CSA. Lovely farm fresh, organically grown veggies for the rest of the summer! Hoping the kids will grow to love them more when the see how vegetables are supposed to taste!

I’ll be back to update with more details and maybe even pictures before long!

The Secret of Success found with Serenity, Courage and Wisdom.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.

The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

~John C. Maxwell

I love this quote. It really resonates with me and the situations I have found myself in, in my life, especially as of late. I also think this is a true statement in regards to the negativity you can bring into your life. We have so many routines that are a part of our daily life, have you ever stopped to think how those routines impact you? Are they positive or negative? Are they habits that are performed consciously or unconsciously?

My running has fallen by the wayside. I am working at it again, but without the momentum that I had embraced since January. I always knew that if I missed one day I would get derailed, and that day came. It was the day before my husband was to go into the hospital for an angiogram, the day before our world turned upside down and would be forever altered. The day before our family would find out that one of us was now going to have to find a way to live with “heart disease” so essentially, the day before we found out we would all be living with it. The day before a Cardiac Surgeon stood by the hospital bed and said “I’m sorry I couldn’t give you a better prognosis”. Funny – a time in my life when I needed the release that came with running, and routine and I let it slip away. It’s also the same time that I stopped posting here daily. But this post isn’t about the fallout from health issues that have impacted our family over the last month or so…one day I’ll post about that, but not today.

Today I want to re-focus on how daily activities can impact our lives. First, you need to be aware of them though. I love the Orange Rhino – a mom working her way through no longer being a “yeller”. I’m a yeller, so this rings true for me. I hate being a yeller, but sometimes it feels I cannot stop myself. You can find a lot of tips on her website here :http://theorangerhino.com/ along with her story. For me this is a negative behaviour that I want desperately to change. It affects my mood, it obviously affects my children, and my husband. It’s always a quick stress reliever, that never actually relieves my stress, just temporarily dulls it while the feelings of guilt and embarrassment come to the forefront. One of the biggest things I’m coming to grasps with is that I can’t control other people’s behaviours (gasp!! who knew!!) I can only control my own, and my reaction to those behaviours.

Another wonderful group are those working towards “A Complaint Free World”. You can read more about their mission on their website at http://www.acomplaintfreeworld.org/.

Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure.
~ Benjamin Disraeli

So be aware of the triggers that cause the negative behaviours, and look towards what daily activities you can do to promote health, happiness and success in your life. Don’t forget to look at all aspects of your life. You need to feed your body, mind and spirit to have a truly balanced and happy life. Here are a few ideas for daily behaviours to help you get started:

Find a calming start of day routine – making coffee and cuddling the cat, a tea and some bible study time, hot water with lemon and a few minutes with an uplifting blog. Notice – no internet news sites!! No mind-sucking negative-focused t.v. or media sites. Find something calming and relaxing to get you started, perhaps it will be an exercise routine. A Yoga practice or a quick run. You can increase your heart rate while calming your mind!

Crunched for time? Set a timer! Spend 10 mins playing with your kids. Go for a quick walk – look around, take in the surroundings and breathe deep. Play a game that you can walk away and come back to, like chess or a jigsaw puzzle. Write a to-do list. Sometimes having a plan, like a list, can take a lot of pressure off the many stressors of our day-to-day lives.

Have a little more time? Make a phone call to a friend, write a letter or send a card – just because! Write in a journal, or a blog (you can keep them private).

Looking for a few more ideas? You can find some great ones on Gretchen Rubin’s website.

Practicing something every day is not a new concept. AA uses it to encourage and support sobriety, many business leaders speak of perseverance in the name of success. Life coaches and personal coaches know the importance of healthy and productive repetitive behaviours.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Fat free and low fat translation!

So…I apologize for the verbage, but, it essentially rings true. Keep this in mind and keep as many poisons out of your body as possible!

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To make a product “fat-free” or “low-fat” the fat has to be removed from the item. But without the fat, where is the flavour? Along comes science, to add sugars and chemicals to “enhance” flavour and texture.

Remember…fat doesn’t make you fat – sugar does! It’s your body’s conversion of sugar that creates the visceral fat that is stored around our waistlines. This is exactly the kind that you want to avoid!

This is an overly simplified account. There are many other things to take into consideration, including the source of fats, but remember this:

Eat as close to a natural food source as possible, with as little human interaction (and intervention) as possible. One of the best places to see this in action is with peanut butter. The next time you are considering picking up that low-fat version, take a look side by side between the ingredients list of it and its natural counterpart. I can’t tell you what you’ll find on the ingredient list of a low or fat-free version of peanut butter, however the natural peanut butter I’ve got memorized: peanuts! People say they don’t have time to read the ingredient list on everything, imagine if there was only one thing on the list how much time you’ll save 🙂

Gluten Free? So what!!

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Ok…I’m about to go on a tangent…

A “Gluten free” label DOES NOT mean OK, Gluten free DOES NOT mean safe to consume, Gluten Free DOES NOT mean healthy.

Is there a place for a gluten free diet? Absolutely!! If you have Celiac’s, gluten is the equivalent of sugar to a diabetic. It can and will cause permanent and possibly, irreversible damage. If you have a gluten sensitivity, absolutely! Avoid it, to avoid inflammation in your gut, in your skin, in your organs, wherever the symptoms present. We want to avoid inflammation within our bodies, and if you know the source than by all means follow through on avoidance (This is obviously a little more involved, if you are cutting items out of your diet, ensure that it is with the guidance of someone who has training in how to support your nutritional needs.) That being said a gluten free product does not guarantee a healthy product.

Companies know how to market their product. They spend billions on it. Gluten free is one of the hot catch phrases right now and it’s getting lots of media attention so you can bet if a product is “gluten free” it will be getting that tag slapped on it, and if it can be reformulated to be made gluten free it will be. Is it nice to be able to have a brownie once and awhile? Sure! But I would hazard a guess, from the evidence I have seen and people I have talked to, that many assume that if it is a gluten free brownie this somehow makes it “healthier”. It’s still a brownie. And, these are still Cocoa Pebbles. Now – it may be obvious to some, that cocoa pebbles  are not really a “healthy” choice, but there are some people that willingly trust the marketing companies, and looking at the nutrition label vs the ingredient list, they think that this is a healthier choice then say, oatmeal.  Cocoa pebbles are still loaded with an unhealthy amount of sugar, and no real vitamins and minerals except for those with which it has been “enriched” (another word to look out for, but I’ll save that tangent for another day!). It’s not “food” – it’s a “food-product”. Be aware of labels and catch phrases. Don’t get suckered in to thinking something is healthier because of a what is on the package or the store where it is purchased (cough cough Whole Foods cough cough).

Off my soapbox now! Enjoy your Sunday breakfast! My kids are eating Vector I’m sure – not a healthy choice necessarily – the difference is – I’m aware of it. My choices aren’t always the best, but the key is I am making a conscious and knowledgeable choice. I have to deal with the outcome, don’t let others control the choices you make (not even me!). Become knowledgeable, so that every decision you make, is made consciously and with an awareness on what the outcomes may be. Eat your Cocoa Pebbles if you choose to, not because marketing told you it was a good choice.