Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Weight Loss Struggle

  There are a lot of people out there that struggle with weight loss. I have found that I am one of those people too. Watching others lose weight fast is frustrating. You think, "why can't i be like that?". It seems as if no matter what you do, the weight just doesn't come off. Well this is how i feel. Knowing i have to lose 35 lbs to be back to my "normal" size is overwhelming. Here are some things that could potentially interfere with you losing weight.

  • Thyroid imbalance 
  • Lack of nutrition 
  • Lack of exercise
  • Stress
  • To much processed foods
  • Not enough sunlight (Vitamin D!)
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Counting calories, but not eating clean wholesome foods
  • Sugar
  • Food allergies you are not aware of
 Thyroid issues can be a huge cause for not losing those pounds. When your thyroid isn't functioning well, it throws your body off balance. Eating the right foods though can help. Like eating more greens to your diet. Americans today just don't eat enough vegetables (that are NOT cooked). This leads me to my next points.

 Lack of nutrition, exercise, and sunlight. These 3 things your body can NOT go without. When you cooked foods for every meal, your body is not getting the required nutrients it needs to function, which sends your body into "starvation" mode which stores fat. Now, i know it's hard to eat 100% raw fruits and veggies. I'm not asking anyone to (yet). Start out slow, change one meal to all raw. And raw doesn't have to be salads all the time. There's a huge collection of raw recipes out there! Check out Raw Loulou for a list of some great raw food blogs! Next, go outside and exercise! That way you get your sunlight and exercise at the same time!

 Reduce stress. Stress is a major factor in weight gain. Go do something that is fun. Watch a funny movie, laugh, or just sit and have some quiet time to yourself. If you still can't get stuff off of your mind that stress you out, try herbs in supplement form such as passionflower.

Eating to much processed foods can wreck havoc on your system. Not only with weight gain, but also with your general health. Try eating more whole foods. Instead of eating those lucky charms for breakfast, try a smoothie, or homemade fruit salad.

Lack of sleep can be a huge problem to your over all health. Make sure you get plenty of rest. Stress can cause sleeplessness, so when you correct the stress in your life, sleeping better normally is a side affect.

Counting calories, but still eating "garbage" can cause people to not lose that extra weight. What good is counting calories if you are still eating processed junk food? Beware of products that say "low fat" or "low calories" because they will be more processed than other foods. If you are eating good whole foods, and still want to count calories, than go ahead! You may be surprised that most fruits and vegetables have low calories anyways.

Sugar. That delicious white substance that makes everything better. The one thing that most people are addicted to and have cravings for. If you can't get away from the sweet, try some alternatives. Like local raw honey, stevia, dates, or raw agave nectar. Dates are my personal favorite. And you can make lots of raw desserts with them. Bottom line though, stay away from sugar!

Finally, make sure you don't have any hidden food allergies. You may be eating foods that your body is reacting to, which will cause weight gain, or lack of weight loss. Many people have food allergies that they don't know about.

My best advice to those who can't lose those extra pounds is to eat good clean wholesome foods, and exercise daily. It is tough, but we are in this together! For the month of May, i will be cleansing, and eating as much raw and wholesome foods as I can. Join me on my journey!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies (Vegan)

 If you want a delicious, light and fluffy cookie, this is the one for you. This cookie has a lemon taste, with poppy seeds and is fluffy. You can choose to either use dairy or non dairy yogurt depending if you want 100% vegan or not. I used plain dairy yogurt in mine.

Lemon Poppy Seed Vegan Cookies

Wet Ingredients
3-4 T Fresh lemon juice
3 1/2 t Lemon Zest
1 Cup Plain Yogurt of choice
2 T coconut oil (melted)
1/2 Cup coconut sugar (or raw sugar)
1/4 Cup coconut Nectar (or agave or honey)
1 t Vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients
2 3/4 Cup Flour
1 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 T Poppy Seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix dry and set aside (don't add poppy seeds till end after mixing wet with the dry)
In separate bowl mix wet ingredients
Put whole in dry and add wet and fold in. Add poppy seeds at end.
Bake for 10 minutes or until light brown on edges. Cool for 3 minutes

Friday, April 19, 2013

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

I love having oatmeal for breakfast, but sometimes heating it up in warm weather just isn't that fun. But smoothies are! So i came up with a recipe for a smoothie that has raw oatmeal and fruit, plus omega 3's! 

Strawberry banana Oatmeal smoothie
5 Strawberries
1 Banana
1/2 Cup Raw Organic Oatmeal
1/4 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
1/4 Cup Almonds
1/2 Cup Rice milk or Almond milk
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
3 Ice cubes
Grind oatmeal, Chia seeds and almonds till ground in a fine meal. Add fruit, spices, and milk and ice. Blend till smooth. Enjoy this Yummy breakfast smoothie!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gardens and Allergies

                                                                                Picture of Union University Jackson, Tn. 

   I know I said I would post some recipes, but internet has not been steady and I haven't had the time yet. Right now I am sitting in the offices of American Access, where my family works. I have had a good visit so far here in Tennessee, but I am ready to go home to Virginia. I am planning what vegetables and herbs I will grow on my deck. Anyone have suggestions for small space gardening? I am planning on growing these :
Bush Beans

   These are the only ones I could think of that could do ok in a container garden. But spring is finally here and I am love spending as much time as i can outside. Here in West Tn. they have this green pollen that goes everywhere! I found some on my computer, that was in the house. I went out the other night with a flashlight and saw what looked like snow through the light, but it was pollen! So crazy! So glad I don't get allergies, but I know others do, so this is what I did last year that got rid of my allergies within 3 days.
The secret? Raw apple cider vinegar, 1-2 tsp 3 times a day with water. People get allergies when their immune system is down, the apple cider vinegar (ACV) boosts the immune system and breaks down mucus that causes stuffy nose, coughs, and that nasty drainage.
  Also pure lavender oil helps with the allergies. Garlic and cayenne contain an anti-histamine called quercetin that helps with the inflammation response system in the body.
  You can also add raw honey to your ACV drink, and it will sweeten and help with allergies. Consuming raw local honey helps build your system to local pollen.

Here is some info on helping with allergies naturally, and information on Raw Apple Cider Vinegar.
Natural Remedies For Allergies
Ten Ways To Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Helping Allergies With ACV and Raw Honey

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Easter Weekend Sunset Pictures

This Weekend we went to Mission To Missionaries in Crossville Tn. It was beautiful there! You can visit their website Here . We had a lovely Easter weekend and had a very good hike along a creek that had several waterfalls. 

Kidney Stones

Well i have had the experience of having kidney stones. Talk about very painful!! I believe i got them from having a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). So after lots of water and lemon juice they passed.

On another note i have a friend who is doing ministry and if you could donate some $ i know she could use it to go on a mission trip. Here is her blog Check it out!