Food

My Simplicity: Lemon Water

Lemon and Water

 In college, when I attended Palm Beach Atlantic University while living with my two bests, my first class of the day during fall semester was Spiritual Formation. I know the name of that class sounds funny, but it was honestly one of the best/most memorable classes I took. The main book we used for the entire semester was Richard J. Foster’s The Celebration of Discipline. He split our class up into small groups that we would meet with at the beginning of each week to discuss what we learned from the chapter we were supposed to read and practice the week before. It was odd, having to do that for a grade… but I discovered a new facet of faith that I do believe was a part of the beginning of my sanctification process.

My favorite chapter ended up being the one on the discipline of simplicity. At first, I dreaded the thought of reading through that and remember fearing what it would require me to do. But, after a day of unplugging my life so to speak, I discovered a peace and tranquility that I’d not quite felt before. I didn’t use my phone or watch tv that day, and I didn’t eat out. I made food at home, didn’t fill my time with plans, and spent the evening sitting on an abandoned life guard tower at the beach by my house. I read, wrote, prayed and listened to the waves crash onto the beach.

I felt like I could breathe.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take that “homework” and really implement it into my life. It’s taken years to slowly discover what makes life more simple and find the courage to apply it. But that chapter on simplicity has stuck with me ever since.

Several of you reading know my battle with self-image and comfort eating. It was a back and forth fight for so long, and sometimes it rears its head. I’ve gone from mantra to mantra, diet to eating plan, always trying to fix the symptom and not the issue.

As my beliefs about my worth have been changing and being made whole over the last year or so, the need to have some elaborate eating or exercising lifestyle has left me.

Right before I got pregnant, I had begun to struggle again, as I felt physically yucky all of the time and wanted out of my skin. Life was a bit chaotic at that time, as we were I’m the process of buying a house during the holidays. Cooking healthy meals wasn’t a priority. Instead of hopping on pinterest to find the latest diet craze (like I’ve done so many times before), I googled “drinking water”. I knew at that time, I wasn’t drinking enough water and wanted to be encouraged to do better at that.

Just more water intake, that’s all I wanted to try.

I stumbled over some articles on drinking fresh squeezed lemon in a glass of water every morning, and the exhaustive list of benefits that it provides for the overall health of the average human being was enlightening. So, I decided to start there. I was going to drink lemon water every morning when I woke up, along with two more glasses of water before breakfast, and I was going to keep surrendering my image and worth in prayer.

The benefits of a glass of lemon water

Simple.

1 full glass of water with squeezed juice from half a lemon (or a whole one, if it’s small).

After less than a week, I noticed an overall change in the way I felt. Choosing to start my day with water and lemon made me more aware of how dehydrated I had become, and how good it felt to start my morning waking up my body by hydrating it. I became more aware of what I was putting in my body, and was more intentional about getting at least 64 ounces of water a day. Cravings for certain things disappeared, and my regular bouts of fatigue were gone. After  several weeks, it hit me that my migraines and body aches were completely gone. I dropped 5 pounds in a few weeks, but didn’t know it until I discovered I was pregnant and weighed myself. I also noticed that my eyesight improved, and haven’t needed to wear my reading glasses in a long time.

I know this sounds really weird, but it felt like my cells were being nourished.

Obviously, I’m not able to show normal results over an 8 month period, because I’ve been pregnant for most of it. But I decided to carry on this new discipline into my pregnancy, and I think it’s helped in a lot of ways. Pregnancy comes with a lot of physical discomfort, but a glass of lemon water actually aids in the aches and pains. I still drink one glass of it when I wake up, and will often drink another glass later on in the day when the afternoon fatigue hits.

This may be one of the first disciplines/habits I’ve started that I’ve actually stuck with. It’s just a part of my every day life, I don’t even think about it anymore (unless we are out of lemons, and then I take notice). It was a simple choice paired with the understanding that no action is going to change my heart, and it is working. If nothing else, my body is hydrated and my migraines and aches are either at a minimum or non-existent. I know that there’s more good stuff going on inside my body as a result of the awesome junk that’s in lemons, (read about the benefits and myths over at the Wellness Mama Blog), but I don’t really care to focus on those. I feel better. It’s made my existence more simple; freed up some physical energy to spend on living life.

If this is something you want to try, I think that’s great, but ask yourself some questions first:

1) What is my motivation for doing this?
2) Do I believe that I’m enough?
3) Am I surrendered to the fact that disciplines HELP us navigate the heart issues, but do not ultimately cure them? If not, what do I need to surrender?

Now, go drink some water :)

Market Monday: Green, striped and prickly

This morning I went to one of my favorite places in Lake City, KC’s Produce Market. It’s conveniently about a half a mile down the street from my house and has a real sweet atmosphere. The only thing better than the customer service is the unbeatable price of produce. Most prices in there are cut in half compared to any grocery store, and in some cases even more.

Usually Abe comes with me and helps pick out what we need, and I’ll let him pick out a few things that he would like. It’s nice, because I can teach him colors and shapes while also displaying the importance of consuming fruits and veggies. However, he wasn’t with me this morning, so I was able to shop leisurely for our produce for the week. It was heavenly!

Here are my three favorites from today!

green onions

Green onions are such a great addition to so many meals. I absolutely LOVE the way they smell! I also have some nostalgia that is tied to them as well. When I was going to school at NGU, there was a field close by that I would walk to and sit in by myself. One day I discovered that it was a field of green onions, and the owner was happy to let me pick as many as I wanted!

heirloom zebra tomatoes

Heirloom Zebra tomatoes are a new discovery I made today. I’m a big fan of all tomatoes, so trying a new kind is fun. I sunk my teeth into one of these this morning, and it was so rich and sweet. I also find them to be visually pleasing.

pineapple

 

When a ripe pineapple enters our house, it is usually gone within a few hours. Daniel and I mean about a juicy pineapple.

Where do you enjoy shopping for your produce? What are your favorite fruits and veggies?

Runapalooza 2013 Update 1: It’s Coming Along

Couch to 5K Chart

 

I’ve decided that I’m calling my quest to run at least one 5k this year my Runapalooza 2013. Ever since Daniel and I joked about  WedFest 2010 (which ended up being what we permanently called our wedding, it was on the invites and everything) I like to name the events in my life as such. It’s fun and it motivates me for some weird reason. I also keep a huge chart at the top of my mirror so that there’s no way I can forget or be tempted to skip a day. Getting to cross a day off is like finishing a college final. It feels so good. I have missed a few days because of last minute scheduling conflicts, but I make them up by adding that missed work out onto the next day.

Anyways, I wanted to share my progress so that there’s  a level of accountability between you and me. This is my third week of Couch to 5k, or Interval Training (I like the latter MUCH more). It only requires  running intervals 3 times a week, so I’m working out in between my run days. I will say that this method of training is really working for me, and each day I run it feels a little bit easier, and I can run for a little bit longer. I use the nike run app to keep record of what I’m doing, and it’s encouraging to look back on each week and see the progression.

Guys, I’m SOOOOO out of shape, it’s hilarious. For my work out days, I’ve been attempting the interval workouts, where you do a really extreme exercise for 50 seconds, and then take 10 seconds rest, and then do the next really extreme exercise for 50 seconds, and so on.

I seriously almost barfed when I had to do star jumps. And don’t even get me started on burpees… I can do 2. I don’t understand how only 4 years ago I was able to pull giant tourists around on a bike for 12 hours, and now doing a jumping jack makes me die. It just goes to show how easily and quickly our health can turn to crap when it’s not an important part of our daily routine.

I think my biggest struggle right now is consistently making healthy food choices. I can be so rockin’ awesome all day long, eating the right amount of calories and putting the best foods in my body, and then at night it’s all ruined by over eating (i.e. last nights beer-coffee-chocolate Chili, corn bread and 2 rice crispy treats…)

Self Control is so hard! Especially when you struggle with a comfort addiction (news flash: we all struggle with that). It’s just really hard when that comfort you long so deeply for lies in those fresh chocolate chip cookies… or at least you think it does. But alas, I digress.

I’m just taking it one day at a time, and not beating myself up at the end of the day if I make some mistakes. I surrender the mistakes and the control I want to have over it, allow myself to be forgiven, and resolve to start anew the next morning.

It’s working out!

What about you? What’s your biggest strength/struggle in the uphill climb to a healthy lifestyle?  How can I help you stay accountable? What advice do you have for me?