Breaking the Count

So many people buy into the vicious lifestyle of counting calories.  Why do we do it?

We are told calories in have to equal calories out or we will gain weight.  That is true.  However, we never really know how many calories we eat.  We never know for sure how many calories are in our food.  Plus, each of us digest and synthesize our food differently.

I bought into this whenever I was training for my half marathon.  I had to eat so many calories, so much protein, etc.  It came to the point that if I didn’t “count” I would get irritable.  It started to consume me.  Thankfully, I have a very supportive husband who loves me enough to confront me when I need to be confronted.  It didn’t take long before I realized that I was in bondage.  

It is much more freeing to listen to your body and eat when it tells you to eat.  We think that we have eaten our “calorie allotment” for the day, so even though we are hungry, we do not eat.  What we are doing is starving our bodies, if we are in fact hungry.  This puts our bodies in starvation mode and it begins to store all the nutrients we eat as fat in case you decide to starve it again.

Not exactly what we are going for right??

Another lie we buy into is “health” foods.  These low-fat, low-calorie foods.  They seem great, a dieters dream!  However, they are stripped of their nutrients.  So, you might have had that 100 calorie snack pack filled with words you can’t pronounce and high frutose corn syrup, but your body is still hungry and sluggish.  Why?  You didn’t give it anything to fuel itself.  Instead, eat real, whole foods.  

Some rules that I live by now:

  • Don’t be afraid of healthy fats- your body and brain need them to function.  Eat carbs.  Your brain uses them for immediate energy.  Eat lots of colors.
  • Don’t be afraid of nutrient dense foods if they are whole foods.  Example: avocados 🙂
  • Don’t worry with what the nutrition label says.  For example, my bread says for 2 slices of bread it is 57 grams and 120 kcal.  I did an experiment.  I weighed one slice of bread.  It was much more than 28.5 grams!  That means it is more that 60 kcal.  Who cares??
  • Listen to your body.  Sometimes you need more calories than you think.   You might be fighting off an infection, your body might be trying to heal itself, or ladies- during that time of the month, your bodies need more calories.  🙂

How do I know if I am really hungry or just “have the munchies”?  I go through this every night.  I ALWAYS want cereal at night, but I’m not always hungry.  The way I gauge if I am truly hungry is I ask myself if I want carrots or an apple or something else healthy.  If the answer is yes, then I get something.  If not, I usually eat the cereal anyway, but I try to listen to my body!

As long as you are honoring your body and eating whole foods, don’t worry about it.  If you go on vacation and you gain a few pounds, who cares?  You had a great vacation.  If you go out to eat with friends and over indulge.  So what?  You spent quality time with friends.

Relax.  Let your body do what it was designed to do.  How do you get over counting calories?  Remind your self that you are worth more and your time is more valuable than worrying about how many calories are in your food.  It’s a mystery anyway.  Over time, you will begin to not count.  It is difficult at first, but don’t get discouraged.

If you are fueling your body with healthy, whole foods, just think of it as giving your body a present.  You are giving your body the fuel and equipment it needs to keep you strong and vibrant.

Do any of you struggle with counting calories or not eating certain foods because they might be too fattening or calorie dense??

Disclaimer:  Please keep in mind that I am not a dietician or a medical doctor.  Check with your physician before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.

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The Knight with a Shiny Spatula

Things have been busy around here, and it is only the start of my school semester!

I just realized that I have neglected my recipe page for a WHILE.  I’ll get on that this weekend…  😦  Sorry y’all!

My class this semester is a long 2 1/2 hours.  It isn’t so bad, however, because it is a nutrition based class.  Right up my alley… right?!?  I absolutely love it!  I can proudly say that I can sit through the entire class and my eyelids never get heavy.  Such an accomplishment for me!

By the time I get home at 7:45, I’m ravenous!  My handsome prince whipped up a quick, delicious, and brain fueling meal for us.  Seeing Luvy in the kitchen makes my little heart flutter.  🙂

He whipped up a great Tex-Mex meal.  Ready in less than 30 minutes!  Boo-ya!

  • Millet (we had leftovers) or you could use any grain here- quinoa, rice, etc.  We kept it gluten-free.
  • black beans cooked with cumin, salt, and pepper
  • stir fried veggies- bell pepper, onion, corn, okra, and broccoli with chili powder

Kroger has the best frozen veggies.  They have a pack of frozen bell pepper with onions for the times (like tonight) when you are in a mad dash.  All of our veggies were frozen, except the okras.  Those babies are from our friends’ garden.  YUMMY!

Pile it all in a bowl over some freshly chopped greens.  Top with salsa, fresh cilantro, cheese, corn chips, and guacamole!  I had a fresh avocado, but I forgot about it until the meal was over!  Big bummer.

I ate 3 big bowls and 1/3 of a large mason jar of my Daddy’s salsa.  Working my brain worked me up an appetite!

Luvy was definitely my knight in shining armor tonight!  Happy belly = Happy Brittany.

What is your favorite throw together meal?

 

Sex and the City Uncovered, Chapter 5

I must tell you all that this is a sensitive subject tonight.  We are going to be chatting about looking for love in a hook-up.

Just because this might get a little uncomfortable or awkward, don’t stop reading.  Even though you, personally, may have never “hooked-up” there are several things you can still take away from this chapter.  If you have messed up, this is not a beat you over the head chat session.  There is healing…

Marian talks about how Hollywood and TV  make sex look like a normal and positive thing outside of marriage.  They strive to make sex “just sex”.  However, we know this is not the case in the real world.  Sex comes with consequences.  Sometimes those can be emotional, mental, or physical.  So is sex bad?

Absolutely not!  God designed sex.  As Marian puts it on p. 109, God loves sex!  (I bet you had never thought of that before!)  So many times I think we, as Christians, make sex look like a bad thing.  We don’t talk about it, and we tell kids/teens- just wait.  But why?

God created it for us to enjoy.  However, God, like every loving father, wants to protect us.  That is why sex is only for married couples.  Sex does something almost magical- it is the blending of two souls coming together as one.  In Genesis chapter 2, God performed the first wedding ceremony.  It says that they became one flesh, meaning union in a sexual relationship.  Marian says on page 111, “God designed sex to be a bonding mechanism, or the super glue between the husband and wife, in which they become one.”

A lot of times, we as justify “fooling around” and foreplay as “not having sex”.  However, whenever we are sexually active in any sort of sense before marriage, we give parts of our soul away.  Let’s stop fooling ourselves and call sin for what it is.  If you are asking the question, “how far is too far?” you are asking the wrong question.  You should be thinking about how you can glorify God with your body.  I told my girls that they shouldn’t do anything they wouldn’t do in front of me or their grandma!

Whenever we don’t save sex for marriage, there are emotional consequences and scars left behind for us to deal with.  Marian points out that the sexual revolution in the 60’s and 70’s brought women the freedom to have sex with anyone at anytime.  However, Marian so cleverly points out that it also “freed” women from the things we desire such as commitment, RESPECT, faithfulness, and REAL LOVE!  She also talks about how in the physical act of sex certain hormones are released.  It gives a whole new perspective on sex- I highly encourage you to read this part.  It is found on page 114.

There are several risks that Marian points out that go along with sex outside of marriage that I want to share with you all.

  1. When you have sex outside of marriage a strong sexual bond is formed with that person, whether you like it or not.  When this bond is broken, you have intense emotional pain left.
  2. When you have repeated making and breaking of sexual bonds, it will lessen your ability to bond correctly in future relationships.
  3. Have you ever heard of “love is blind”?  Well, sex can make you blind.  When a woman is sexually bound to a man, she can sometimes mistake this bond for real love.  She may also look past true problems in a relationship because she is blinded to the truth.
  4. Women can find themselves “stuck” in a bad relationship, because their hearts are bonded to a guy that isn’t good for them.  I’m sure you all can think of a situation like the one I’m describing!  What keeps battered women returning to an abusive man?  9 out of 10 times- sexual bond!

Obviously sex isn’t “just sex”.

Over time, women can feel used and can eventually see themselves as an object rather than a priceless treasure.  After the sexual bond is broken, women feel empty, used, lonely, broken, and worthless.  From there, they either continue the vicious cycle by convincing themselves they don’t care, or some build up walls of defense and they never allow anyone in.  Either way, neither of these types of women will have healthy future relationships.

Sex outside of marriage also has physical consequences.  Right now, there are around 25 sexual transmitted diseases (that we know of!).  1 in 5 Americans currently have an STD.  Crazy right?  Every day, 41,000 Americans are infected with an STD.

That guy looks like a dream boat now, but you don’t know what he might be carrying.  Marian does a great job of detailing some the most common STD’s in the book on pages 119 and 120.  I won’t go into detail on here, but please read it.

Not only are there STD to be concerned about, but you may also become pregnant.  Condoms are not 100% effective, and neither is birth control.  There is only one way to be 100% certain you don’t contract a STD or become pregnant.  Wait for marriage, and have sex only with your spouse, and your spouse only with you.  Have it this way for the rest of your life.

Pregnancy outside of marriage lead to several complications.  Ask any single parent.  However, abortion leads to even more serious emotional, mental, and physical consequences.  I can’t stand seeing the MTV and other shows that glorify teen pregnancy.  They make it look so easy and glamorous to have a baby outside of marriage.  I have friends who have had babies outside of marriage or very young, I promise- it is nothing like it is on TV.

If any of you have had sex outside of marriage, please get yourself tested- just in case.  Many of the STD’s are curable.  Knowledge is power.  Be knowledgeable about your bodies.

So, what if you have messed up?  What does Jesus think?  Jesus offers grace and a new beginning.  Jesus wants to give you a fresh start.  He wants to wipe the board clean, free you from all your emotional baggage, and he wants you to have healthy relationships.

We must put away this culture that TV and Hollywood sends us that women are supposed to be sexual and that defines her worth.  God sees you as a treasure worth waiting for.  On page 130, Marian states “God’s view of sex is so grand that He has one basic command and it is this: any man who is worthy of having sex with you should be willing to die for you.”  If that’s the case, he won’t mind buying a ring and waiting to have sex until you are married.  If he can’t wait, he isn’t the guy for you!  Period.