Wine & Wellness

marcia   September 16, 2016   No Comments on Wine & Wellness

I am so excited!  I’m getting ready to have a wine & wellness workshop at Hamlet Vineyard in Bassett, Virginia!  I have been trying to find just the right place and last Sunday I went to visit Hamlet Vineyard and it is so beautiful!  I didn’t take any pictures of the inside, but I sat on the tasting patio and it was heavenly.  As you can see, the vines are all right there!  In case you didn’t know anything about Hamlet Vineyards, they are located at 405 Riverside Drive in Bassett, right after you pass CVS the driveway is on the left. 🙂

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My husband wasn’t feeling well that day, but he was nice enough to still go with me and wait in the truck so I could visit with Virginia and have a glass of Sangria.  You see I’m not much of a wine drinker myself, but my three sisters love it, so I try it every now and then.  They had this beautiful pitcher of wine with fruit floating in it and I just had to try it.  It was delicious!

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It is so peaceful and out of the way at Hamlet Vineyards and they have a room inside where we will be able to meet, drink some wine (or non alcoholic beverages if you prefer) and have some appetizers while I share some stories about wellness and learning how we can live a life of good health.

I had a couple more pictures that I took on Sunday, but I realized there were people in them that I had not asked permission to post their picture, so I guess you will have to come see for yourself.

I will need to know exactly how many people will be coming by September 26, 2016, so if you are interested, please let me know as soon as possible.  There are several ways to sign up!  I will be adding a Facebook event this afternoon that you can comment in the discussion, you can comment on this post, you can email me at lifestylemuse@yahoo.com, or you can call me at 276-252-0686.  I will be posting more information on Facebook and handing out flyers as well.  I’m really excited about this, I hope you will join me.

Here is where you can find me on Facebook!

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Have a great day! 

 

 

 

Let’s Fight Back Together!!!

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Have you ever got a phone call, email or text message from a friend, or maybe an old friend you haven’t heard from in years, that said, “Hey!  I just want to tell you about this new thing.”  And you think to yourself, “Oh, no, what are they selling?”  I know, I’ve gotten those phone calls, emails and texts, too.  Sometimes, what they are selling is good.  Sometimes I have no use for it, but I at least try to give them the time to share it with me because most of the time they are moms trying to make a little extra money without having to leave their babies.  I can relate to this idea.  I went to work when my oldest was three so I could help out a little financially.  I missed out on a lot of my kids’ younger years and their growing up years in the name of taking care of my family.  I made my choices, some days I wish I had known a little better way.

The point is, I have a really hard time calling people, emailing people, and texting people to tell them about Juice Plus.  I don’t want to be annoying, I don’t want to engage people in conversations that they are only being tolerant to involve themselves in.  The problem is, that I really do believe in Juice Plus.  I believe it really can make a difference in so many people’s lives if they were willing to try it, but the question is, how do you talk to people about something when there is already so much out there.  I picture walls going up the minute I even think about talking about it.  I really do understand, though, sometimes my walls go up, too.

So, I decided to write a post sharing my heart with you.

My dad passed away in 2013 and if you still have your parents you will only understand the impact when you lose one.  If you have already lost one or both of your parents you will understand what I am about to say.  When my dad died, my whole world turned upside down, or maybe it started turning right side up.  I won’t go into a lot of details, but on the outside my life looked pretty good, but on the inside I was broken and desperate.  After dad died, I decided my life was going to change.  I needed to find a purpose other than proving I was as good as a man, or that I was worth something in general, or proving I could be a success in a “man’s world”.  So, I started back then praying and asking God, “Isn’t there more to life than THIS?”

In September of 2015, God answered my prayer.  I learned about Dr. Sears Wellness Institute and I decided to pursue a career as a health coach.  Starting in October, I took classes until February of 2016 and received my certification.  I was so excited.  I have struggled with my weight my whole life and now I had finally learned how to actually BE HEALTHY instead of skinny.  I know when you look at me you are probably thinking, “She struggles with her weight?”  Most of my family and friends who have known me my whole life know that I have never been fat.  Well, unless you count when I was pregnant with my first son, I kind of let myself eat whatever I wanted for the first time in a lot of years.  When I say I struggled with my weight I mean I struggled with my perception of my body.  I had anorexia, so when I looked in the mirror I saw fat, no matter how thin I was.  I believed that thin meant healthy, but I also had a very distorted view of my self so no matter how I looked, it was never good enough.  Starting my health coaching journey with Dr. Sears, talking with my very good friend and counselor, and starting to go to zumba all started reforming the way I looked at myself.

During this whole process, I learned about Juice Plus.  Dr. Sears recommended it and it is the only supplement he takes.  He is in his 70’s and he is not on any medication at all.  He has recovered from colon cancer and he is a very well known pediatrician in California as well as all over the United States.  One of the main things Dr. Sears taught me is that we need to consume nine to twelve servings of fruits & vegetables every day, and there needs to be a wide variety at that.  A serving size is the size of your own fist, by the way.  As an anorexic, the thought of eating my fist sized anything was ridiculous, and to think of doing it nine times a day was just not even a possibility.  So when I learned about Juice Plus, I loved the idea!  I really got it for my youngest son Isaac, he doesn’t eat ANY vegetables, and isn’t really interested in trying them.  Well, that was before he started taking Juice Plus, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.   I signed up for the Child Health Study right away, because the idea of getting my fruits and vegetables so easy and getting some into Isaac was a perfect idea for me.

With the child health study, whoever signs you up for it partners with you to get your child’s Juice Plus free.  You pay for your Juice Plus, and we take care of your child’s.  What other company offers that? (I believe so much in Juice Plus that I am willing to share in the expense for you to get your child started.)  So I signed up right away.  We started taking Juice Plus in April of 2016.  My friend, Sarah, who signed me up said that it could take up to 4 months to notice any difference at all.  That’s why with Juice Plus an order consists of a 4 month supply.  It takes time to get your body back to what it should be.  I noticed a difference within a couple of weeks.  Now remember, I was thin, and I was already working out a little; walking, biking, kayaking a little here and there.  I was already eating healthy.  I had quit diet drinks several years ago, and I haven’t drank a regular drink since I was in high school.  I eat vegetables, and low fat meats, and I don’t eat a lot of bread, but I wasn’t getting anywhere near the 9-12 fruits and vegetables every day.  So, the first thing I noticed was that my headaches were gone.  After starting my health coach studies I had already started cutting out many of the artificial ingredients & preservatives I had been consuming and was already starting to feel better.   I had suffered from scitica pain, joint pain and headaches for many years.  I have not taken ibuprofen or tylenol in close to a year now.  I have had to take medicine for migraines maybe three times since I started taking Juice Plus.  If I didn’t get any other relief at all, that would be worth the $71 a month alone.  Not only that, but Isaac has become more aware of the things he is eating and he’s even agreed to start trying vegetables to see if his tastes are changing.  Normally in the fall his allergies are so bad he can barely breathe and he normally ends up missing school and using his inhaler continually.  So far this fall, his inhaler use has been minimal and I don’t think he’s even taking his allergy medicine at all.  Also, in the process of Isaac and I starting on Juice Plus, my husband and my oldest son have decided to start taking it, too!  These may not seem like big deals to some, but to me they’re huge.

There are so many other benefits to taking Juice Plus.  The thing is, when God created us, he created us to heal ourselves.  In the Garden of Eden we were given every green thing to eat, and I believe our bodies were pretty much indestructible.  After the fall, of course things changed, but I don’t think God intended for them to change quite as much as they have.  I know that God told Peter that all things are clean now, and I believe he meant people (both genders, all races) as well as animals, trust me I’m not a vegetarian….yet. 🙂  I also have seen and heard so many people talk about their stories of healing and good health after starting to take better care of their bodies.  We have allowed ourselves to start eating things that I don’t believe God ever intended us to eat.  There are so many chemicals in our diets that are causing so many diseases.

I’m not going to tell you that taking Juice Plus can change your life, that is for you to decide.  I can’t tell you that Juice Plus can cure diseases.  It’s not a miracle cure, or a magic pill, but it is whole food….it is fruits and vegetables, 30+ of them, and a huge variety.  It is really easy to take and very inexpensive, especially if you are juicing right now.  It is just like juicing except without the mess, without the grocery store trip trying to figure out which fruits and vegetables are organic, or what will taste good.  I’ve wasted a lot of juice, because the combination just didn’t taste good.  I can tell you that many people, including people with cancer, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, psoriasis, eczema, high blood pressure, anxiety, asthma, auto-immune disorders, ibs, ADHD, autism, and so many other disorders and diseases have shared their stories of how Juice Plus has helped them in so many ways.  Some stories are of remission, some are of complete healing, and others are stories of just improving their quality of life while dealing with a certain issue.  There are so many people around the world that have been helped just by adding the RIGHT foods into their diet, by flooding their bodies every day with fruits and vegetables, just like God created us to do.

I know this has been long, and I hope you have made it this far.  I don’t want to be annoying, and I don’t want people to run when they see me coming, but I have something very valuable to share.  I know this is not the same as sharing the Good News of Jesus, but I hope you will allow me to make a comparison.  When I found out that God loves me no matter what, even after I accepted Jesus into my life, and that Grace is for ME, I wanted to share it with everyone.  I think people got tired of hearing me talk about it. But I was excited!  This was really good news for me!   I am so excited about Juice Plus, because we need our spirit rescued and redeemed, but we also need our bodies redeemed.  I believe I can make a difference in so many people’s lives by sharing what I have learned about health and specifically Juice Plus, and I want to share it with everyone I know!  I see so many people posting about how someone else they know has been diagnosed with cancer, or some other disease or they have something wrong that no one can figure out.  I want so bad to send them an email and tell them about Juice Plus, but I worry that they will think I am just being an opportunist.  That is not the case, I really truly want to help and I believe that Juice Plus can help!

I refuse to be a pest, and I will not try to sell you something that you don’t want, but I do want to share the information with you. 

If you want to know more about Juice Plus or how to make some changes specifically in relation to your health and eating habits, please feel free to email me at lifestylemuse.net, send me a message on facebook or twitter or check out my websites.  I really want to make a difference in lives that will last a lifetime!

Tower Garden Update

marcia   August 20, 2016   No Comments on Tower Garden Update

You know, I really consider myself to be fairly intelligent, definitely not dumb,but when it comes to websites and downloading/uploading pictures and getting them to work right, it can make even the smartest person feel a little dumb.  Several days ago I took pictures with my phone, thinking I could just upload them to my website right from there and it would be so simple.  Not simple at all.  I ended up taking the pictures again with my camera and loading them on to my computer so I could attempt to get them uploaded without such a struggle.  So this is the resulting update. 🙂

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We had a few pretty dry weeks, so my dirt garden is looking a little rough.  Actually, everything except the peppers are pretty well done for.  I did water a little bit here and there, but for the most part, I kind of let nature have it’s way.  I have gotten a total of about 2 1/2  dozen tomatoes from the tomato plants in my dirt garden.

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My tower garden on the other hand, is still flourishing.

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These pictures were taken last week.  I had so much trouble with my website uploading pictures that I couldn’t get things to work right until now.  Having faster internet has certainly helped!

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I had to trim off some dead leaves, etc. so these are pictures I took today.

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The following pictures are of my traditional dirt garden.  It is looking pretty sad.

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So far I only have two new flowers on my dirt garden tomatoes, at least most of the leaves are still green.  I’ve trimmed back all the dead leaves, so there’s not much left.  As you can see, I’ve kind of let the weeds grow up again, too.  It has been way too hot to be out there weeding the garden.   On my tower garden I have dozens of flowers and I counted 17 tomatoes and 7 peppers so far.

The peppers were my most successful plants in my traditional garden.  I harvested a bunch of hot banana peppers and a new pepper that I tried this year called a Cajun Bell.  They are pretty spicy, but really good.  The bell peppers have not done very well, I think I’ve harvested two and I have about four out there now.  I’m counting on my tower garden to come through on those.

In all I harvested about 3 dozen tomatoes from my traditional garden, and I had about twenty plants.  I have harvested nearly a dozen from the tower garden and I have seventeen more growing.  The only thing I’ve noticed is that it seems the growing time for the tower garden is longer than the traditional garden.  I did put the tower garden under my step daughters arch from her wedding since it was here and I didn’t want the hot Southern Virginia sun beating down on my tomatoes in the heat of the day.  Oh, I almost forgot!  My basil in the tower garden is still doing great as well.  I have to say my herbs that I grew in dirt this year have done very well.  Next year I plan to grow even more herbs since I have figured out how to grow them now.

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I am really happy with my tower garden so far.  It has really been very little physical work at all.  I check it just about every day, mainly because I sit at the table right next to it every chance I get.  I check to make sure the water level is right, and I check the pH fairly regularly as well.  The tomatoes seem to like the higher pH but the peppers not so much.  It really is quite simple, even when I have to trim the roots back.  The only thing I’m wondering is how am I going to move this inside in the fall?  I’m tempted to build a screened porch that I can close up in the winter just to keep my tower garden growing all year!

 

 

 

 

Serious about my health

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I am pretty serious about my health, I always have been.  When I was young, maybe even as early as 5 years old, I started having headaches.  Back then there wasn’t a lot of information in our circle about migraines, but as I’ve gotten older I believe they were migraine headaches.  My mother has said that I would come inside from playing and lay on the couch and cry because my head would hurt so bad.  She would try to get me to stop crying because it only made it worse, but as a small child you can’t always understand how that works.  My mother and grandmother tried to research and find out what could be causing the headaches, they thought maybe allergies, but my grandmother passed away when I was 13 before really finding out what was causing my headaches.  We didn’t go to the doctor all the time, which I’m thankful for today, so we didn’t have a lot of tests done or take any prescriptions.  I remember taking Tylenol to school with me as early as 10 or 11 years old, just so I could get through the day.

When I was around 21 or 22, maybe even when I gave birth to my oldest son, my headaches seemed to lessen.  I had spent a good share of my teen years starving myself so that I could lose weight, so it’s very likely that nutrition had a part in causing the headaches.  As I got older, I noticed that certain times of the month the headaches would appear for a few days and it was my father who introduced me to Excedrin for Migraines.  I literally lived on that stuff for a while.  Fortunately for me, if I caught the headache early, the Excedrin would usually kick in (especially if I drank a cup of coffee with it) after about 30 minutes and I could feel sort of human.

I also struggled with joint pain from a very young age.  My paternal grandmother had crippling arthritis, so I guess I just assumed I was going to have arthritis as well, so I just accepted it.  I started taking ibuprofen on a pretty regular basis starting in my late teens.

Even though I was experiencing quite a bit of pain, I never liked the idea of taking prescription medication.  When I gave birth to my first son I planned to have him naturally, without any medication.  Unfortunately we had to have an emergency C-section so natural didn’t happen, but even when I came home from the hospital and they wanted to prescribe me something for pain I didn’t want to take it.  When I had both of my bunions removed at the same time they gave me some sort of pain prescription which I took the very first day.  It made me sleep so much I decided to stop taking it.  I have a hard time understanding how people can get addicted to something that just makes them sleep all the time.  I totally understand being so depressed that you would rather sleep, but I am just way too active for that.  Exercise definitely does more for me than sleeping does.

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My point in all this is that I really hate prescription medicine for anything.  There are too many adverse side effects and most of the time you’re only masking the symptoms.  So, about a year ago I began researching a diet that would help with inflammation and pain so that I could live a life that reflected how young I feel, even if I’m not really that young. 🙂  The very best diet for inflammation, pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and many other ailments and diseases is a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and lean meats (preferably poultry and fish), nuts, grains and beans.  The Mediterranean diet is a great example of this type of diet.  I started trying to implement the Mediterranean diet as soon as possible, but I found it was really difficult to get enough fruits and vegetables in my diet.  I love fruits and vegetables, but I just couldn’t eat enough of them.

After I started eating more fruits and vegetables I noticed a change in my headaches.  I was getting them much less frequently.  Then I found Juice Plus.  Juice Plus is a capsule or a gummy that you take every day.  It is not a vitamin.  It is whole fruits and vegetables, including the skin and seeds.  This is a quote from an article I read today:

Research shows that 90% of a fruit’s or vegetable’s antioxidant power is in the peel or just below the skin. Does your supplement contain the peel, skin and pulp? More importantly, is it safe to take these isolated supplements in a pill rather than as part of the food they naturally occur in? Or could there be side effects from taking them in a way that is not natural to our body?

The naturally occurring compounds in whole foods allow the body to identify the nutrients, thus the body can use what it needs and discard or store any excess of the nutrients.

Since I started taking Juice Plus in April of this year, I can count on one hand how many migraines I’ve had.  The few headaches that I’ve had have been very mild and I think I have only taken Excedrin twice.  I have not taken any ibuprofen for pain in over 6 months.  For those who don’t know me very well, this might not seem like a very big deal, but I was taking ibuprofen every 4 hours while I was awake pretty much daily.  I no longer struggle with sciatica pain, I have minimal (almost non-existent) migraines, and very little joint pain.  I do occasionally have muscle pain related to zumba, walking or other exercise that I have implemented into my life to reduce the amount of time I am sitting at my desk.

I share all this with you because I believe in Juice Plus.  I believe in a healthy diet with exercise, and I believe that people can and should be healthy.  We can all take control of our own health if we really want to. It isn’t always easy.  I know trying to change our diets in the world of fast food and eating out more than we eat at home can be difficult.  If I had the money to open a fresh fast food restaurant I would do it in a minute.  We need more healthy options out there!  For now, I am going to keep telling people about Juice Plus and I’m going to keep buying it for my family, because I know it works!

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If you want more information about the health benefits of Juice Plus, including helping with symptoms from chemo therapy and other cancer related side effects, check out my website at m-t4.juiceplus.com or email me at lifestylemuse.net with any questions you may have.

Today

marcia   July 27, 2016   No Comments on Today

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It seems to be a common theme lately in the things I’ve been reading that we just have to learn to live in today.  I think all of our lives we’re taught to plan for the future in one way or another.  From the time we are born our parents are thinking way ahead so they can help us figure out what we’re supposed to do with the rest or our lives.  When we are in school, we wish time would go by faster so we can get home and play, watch tv, play video games, or talk to our friends.  When we are at work, unless we really love our jobs, we’re wishing we could get home to do all those things we want to do at home.

Looking back I have found that most stages of my life I have wished I could be at a different stage.  Especially when I’m going through something really difficult, I wish it would pass, I wish for better days, hope for things to improve.  The problem with that view of life is that we are always looking for something else, something other than what we have right now.  The truth is, all we have is right now.  There is no guarantee that tomorrow will even come, but we wish for things, hope for things and dream about what could be.  Obviously, dreaming, hoping and believing are a very necessary and important part of life.  The problem comes in when we don’t take care of today, because we’re too busy worrying about, or planning for tomorrow.

I can remember when my first husband and I were struggling financially.  I had a budget figured out that would help us get out of debt and hopefully save some money.  Each week I would look at the bills that needed to be paid and figure out how much of the paycheck had to go to each bill.  All week long I waited for that paycheck so I could pay those bills and mark one more thing of my list.  Then payday would come, I would go to the bank, pay the bills and get a few groceries and then I would start waiting for the next paycheck.  It was a sad routine, not one I would wish on anyone.

Its easy to tell someone to stop trying to live in the future and live in today, but its a little harder to actually do it.  We need to make some plans, have some goals and dream about the future, we just can’t live there.  If you have kids, you know how hard it is not to be thinking way into the future and trying to figure out how to help them get where they (or maybe just we) want to go.

I’ll be honest with you.  I haven’t mastered this living in today yet.  I’m still working on it, and I have to keep reminding myself to do it.  I like making lists and marking things off, I like setting goals and reaching them, and I like having a plan, but more than that I want to actually enjoy the little unplanned things that happen.  Like selling my car yesterday after trying for over a year with no success.  Now I have to find another car a little quicker than I anticipated, but I am looking forward to enjoying the experience and trying not to rush it by.  Hopefully I will even find a car that I really like, so I don’t keep wishing for a different one.

My youngest son will be a junior in high school this fall and I distinctly remember wishing he would get out of the terrible twos!  Now I find myself wishing he would slow down a little.  I think as we get older, we all wish things would slow down a little.  My best advice is, try to enjoy today.  Try not to numb yourself to the problems, or the pain or the difficulties.  Try to learn from them the best you can and experience everything life has for you.  The more you learn to accept that today is all you really have, the easier it will be to actually enjoy it and the easier it will be to let other people enjoy it, too. Let your kids be kids today, learn to laugh at the silly things that they find funny.    Let yourself live and feel and experience every moment that comes to you.  If you don’t like how things are going, figure out how to change it.  If you do like how your life is going right now, find a way to keep things that way.

Most of all, take care of yourself today.  Do the things today that will help make you healthier, stronger, happier and wiser.  Read that book you’ve been meaning to read.  Take that walk, or go buy that kayak you’ve been talking about.  Call that person you really want to talk to, but haven’t had the nerve to contact yet.  Do the very best thing you can for yourself today, and then tomorrow you can do it all again.

 

Iced Coffee & Relationships

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Some days I just wish things were easy.  Well, let’s be honest, most days I wish things were easy, but they rarely are easy.  It would have been easier to stop at Sheetz or McDonald’s (yuk) on my way home from work today instead of buying a bag of ice and coming home and making my own iced coffee.  I have figured out though, that I really prefer my own iced coffee and it’s much less expensive than most places.  I know it seems like a silly reference, but I love coffee, and especially iced coffee on a hot afternoon, so coffee it is.

My life right now is very mixed up.  I’m trying to learn as much as I can so I can help people learn how to live more healthy.  I’m trying to share about Juice Plus as often as I can so I can help as many people as I can to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet.  I’m trying to exercise myself, as well as teach other people how to get active and move more.  Even more than all that, in the last several years I have been trying to figure out who I am.  And now, in the midst of all this (and more), my marriage is seriously on the rocks.  My family is hurting and my husband and I are trying to figure out where we go from here, but more importantly, HOW we go from here.

I was talking to my sister yesterday and she said something that really stuck with me.  She said if you don’t know how, you can learn.  Seems so simple, but it’s true.   And to learn, sometimes you have to find someone smarter, or maybe just more experienced than you and be willing to learn from them. It’s hard to admit when you’ve allowed things to get so bad that you just don’t want to deal with them anymore.  It’s even harder to admit that you’ve known things were bad for a long time and you just weren’t willing to do what you needed to in order to make things right.  We all get that way sometimes.

Really everything in life can be related to our relationships and iced coffee.  When you let things go in a relationship, it starts to get unhealthy, but you don’t always get it taken care of right away.  Then eventually, things get so unhealthy that you wonder if you shouldn’t just scrap it and start over.  Lots of people have allowed their bodies to get to a point that they are unhealthy and they either don’t know how to get better or they’re not willing to make the changes it will take to get healthy again.  So, they go for the quick fix and get a prescription, hoping it will make them feel better, and for a while it does.  But eventually they realize they are spending a lot of money on medications that really aren’t fixing the problem, they are really only masking the symptoms.  Most people realize, even if they don’t want to admit it, that unless you get to the core problem, you’ll never really be healthy.  It’s true of your physical health and its true in the health or your relationships.  In both cases, it takes a lot of determination and dedication to make the changes that are necessary for healing.  In the case of relationships, all of the people involved really have to be committed to making changes or the relationship(s) will not survive.  Fortunately, when it comes to our bodies, we are the only ones who really have to be committed to making the changes.

How does all this relate to iced coffee?  Well, if I stop on my way home from work and get iced coffee from somewhere, nine times out of ten I’m going to be disappointed.  It takes a little more time and effort on my part to come home and make it myself, but it is so much better.  I am rarely ever disappointed in my own iced coffee.

Even at my age, I realize that I have a lot to learn about relationships.  I am still learning about myself, who I am, who I want to be, and where I’m going.  I am willing to take the time to learn more about how I can improve, what I need to do to have better relationships, and what it’s going to take for my marriage to survive what seems to be a major shipwreck.  I am also willing to learn what it’s going to take to be healthy, both physically and emotionally, and I’m willing to commit to doing what it takes.  I know it won’t be easy.  Sometimes I will probably feel like giving up, scrapping it and starting over, and I’ll probably feel like running away sometimes.  The truth is, there are lots of times in life that I have run away, scrapped it and started over and even quit, but the best results come from sticking with it, working hard, and seeing things through. It takes more work, but it really is better in the long run.

I know this is really kind of personal, but I think that sometimes we have to share who we really are with each other.  I don’t have it all together.  Sometimes I don’t eat right, some days I just don’t feel like exercising, and some days I’m not as nice as I wish I was, but I keep at it.  Sometimes it just helps to know that we are all in this together, and we can help encourage each other and try to be positive, even when things don’t look all that positive.  There is a writer that I follow, Glennon Doyle Melton, who says, “We can do hard things” and it’s true.  We CAN do hard things, especially if we do them together.

My Juice Plus Story

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I would like to share my “Juice Plus story” with you.

I wish I could say that I have had a dramatic, life changing experience since starting to take Juice Plus, but I have to be honest and say the changes are not miraculous…yet.  The truth is, I’ve always been really obsessed about my weight and my health, so taking Juice Plus for me was a no-brainer.  I mean, I love vegetables, but I just don’t eat a lot, so I know I don’t get my 9-13 servings of fruit and vegetables a day.  On top of that, my teeth are extremely sensitive to fruit for some reason.  I used to tell my mom that my teeth felt “squeaky” after I ate grapes, “squeaky” doesn’t really cover how it feels, I just couldn’t come up with any other way to describe it.  Fingernails on a chalkboard is more how I would describe it today.

My journey to finding Juice Plus is a little more interesting maybe.  A little over a year ago, I was struggling with sciatica pain.  I had been accustomed to working a very physical job for about 8 years and then I got a promotion which required me to sit at a desk for most of the day.  I am not ashamed to admit to you that I have never liked sitting, I have always been very active and busy (just ask my mom).  Needless to say, after a couple of years of sitting for most of my work days, and not getting the exercise I was previously used to, I started experiencing some uncomfortable symptoms.  I was taking ibuprofen like my life depended on it and when that wasn’t working I was adding acetaminophen to the mix.  I was taking vitamins, all kinds of herbs and trying to eat right, but none of that seemed to be helping much.

My husband and I took a trip to Alabama for some training related to his job and stopped off to see my oldest sister (the clothing designer: see mjcreates) and I was in so much pain I was in tears.  She suggested that I find an herbal solution that would treat internal hemorrhoids.  I was like, “I don’t have hemorrhoids”.   But I was in pain and I had tried everything else, so why not?  Well, I will tell you it worked.  I found some great herbal anti-inflammatory capsules (Hem-B-Gone) and after taking two rounds of them, I have not had sciatica pain since.  This revelation caused me to really start searching out the influence of inflammation on my body.  I started researching diets that dealt specifically with reducing inflammation, and guess what?  All of the diets I found that help reduce inflammation focus on consuming more fruit and vegetables, more seafood, and less meat (specifically pork and fatty beef).  This in turn got me interested in becoming a health coach.  I mean, people need this, right?

In my quest to become a health coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, I became familiar with Juice Plus.  Dr. Sears himself takes it and recommends it as one of the only supplements he takes (he is a colon cancer survivor as well).  So through the process of becoming a health coach, researching a diet that would help me reduce inflammation in my body and coming across Juice Plus, I found that I was no longer taking ibuprofen, at all!  It wasn’t that I just reduced the amount of ibuprofen I was taking, I had stopped needing it at all, ever.  As of today, I really cannot remember the last time I took it, but it has been several months!  Now, in fairness, I had stopped taking the ibuprofen before I started taking Juice Plus, but I had changed my eating habits drastically already and I had started going to zumba at least twice a week and I was going to the gym.

me

The important thing I want to share with you about all this is that I have taken ibuprofen for years.  Not just for my sciatica pain, which only started a few years ago, but for joint pain that I have experienced for much of my adult life.  I thought it was just something I was going to have to learn to live with.  Most people will tell you, once you turn 40 everything starts to fall apart.  I just don’t believe that anymore.  I believe you can stay healthy for your entire life, you don’t have to get sick and broken down, or you don’t have to stay that way if you already are.

Some people don’t like vegetables and fruits, like my sixteen year old son, Isaac.  My husband can’t stand most green vegetables, and my oldest son is pretty choosy as to what vegetables he will eat, too.  And unfortunately, all of my family loves fast food, except me.  So, I make sure I have Juice Plus for them to take every day, because I believe it will help by providing nutrition where they are definitely lacking.  Our bodies need the nutrients that fruit and vegetables provide and they just don’t operate optimally without them.  It has always been difficult to get my son, Isaac, to take any type of vitamin or supplement at all, but since I have been buying Juice Plus, he takes them every day religiously (you can get them in capsules or gummies).

fruits

One reason is because we are doing the Juice Plus Children’s Health Study.  I buy my Juice Plus and get his free, so I have to fill out some information about once every three months to document the changes I’m noticing.  He has asthma and allergies and has had trouble with having to have tubes in his ears since he was 9, so I’m hoping to see definite changes in those areas.  They say it takes about four months to notice a difference, so we’re about half way there.

One thing I will tell you for sure I’ve noticed since I started taking Juice Plus is that my hot flashes have nearly stopped altogether.  I was having hot flashes during the day, at night, it was incessant. Within only a month after starting Juice Plus I noticed all of a sudden that I was not getting hot flashes anymore.  If you are a woman going through menopause and have experienced hot flashes, you know that it is worth almost anything to get them to stop.  I can’t say this will work for anyone else, but it has for me.  I feel a lot more energetic since starting the Juice Plus as well.  I used to feel like I was going to fall asleep at my computer every day after lunch, but I haven’t had that happen in a while.

It’s true, I was pretty healthy already when I started taking Juice Plus, but I also really love to eat vegetables and chicken and healthy foods. I don’t eat a lot of sweets and I try to get my exercise.  Juice Plus is not a magic pill that makes it so you can eat whatever you want and not have to get up and move, but it is an asset to an already improving lifestyle. I sincerely recommend it!

smoothies

Since I wrote this post my oldest son has decided to start taking Juice Plus as well.  He told me yesterday morning that he noticed a difference almost immediately.  He said he felt the energy that he used to get from drinking an energy drink, only without the crash.  He is also trying to quit smoking, so I will keep you updated on his progress.

My tower garden

marcia   July 13, 2016   No Comments on My tower garden

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This is my new Tower Garden!  I got it last week and I decided to document my progress in putting it together, planting the seeds and growing my own fresh vegetables.  When it comes, it’s in a very large box, but it’s not terribly heavy so you can move it around pretty well where you want it.

tower on table

This is everything that was in the Tower Garden box.  It looks like a lot, but it’s really pretty simple to put together.  I did it all in about 30 minutes or so.

tower set up

I will say it is a little bigger than I pictured, but still easy enough to move around and light enough to pick up and move myself if I need to.  I took it to a vendor fair last weekend and it wasn’t all that difficult to transport.

seeds

This is right after I planted the seeds.  I have them in the house to start with, after they get big enough I will put them in the tower garden and hopefully put them out on my front porch.

sprouts

After only a few days, I already have sprouts!  Mostly the lettuces have sprouted, but I’m sure in just a few days my tomatoes and eggplant and peppers will be coming up as well!   As soon as they are big enough to transplant into the tower garden, I will post more pictures!!!

This past weekend, May 13, 2016, I worked on setting up my tower garden with the plants in it and got my raised garden weeded out and planted.

tower garden set up

It took me about an hour to get the water in the base, add the proper amount of minerals, and then test the ph and get it set up correctly.  Then just a few minutes to put the plants in the mesh pots and turn it on.  I tried to choose a spot in my front yard where it will get sun, but not too much of the hot afternoon sun.  Then, last night the temps got down to 34 degrees.  I’m hoping when I get home today my plants are still alive.  Also on Friday, I spent several hours getting the weeds out of my raised garden and then finally planting my raised garden.

full garden weeds

garden partially weeded

garden weeded

garden planted

For anyone who has ever prepared and planted a garden, you know just how much work it is.  It takes time and a lot of effort to get all the weeds out and then run the tiller one more time.  My husband usually does the tilling, but this time I really wanted to get the garden in on Friday, so I did it myself.  He makes it look a lot easier than it is, I can tell you that much.  The end result is that I have 36 plants in my raised garden.  I have 2 zucchini squash plants, 4 yellow squash, 3 different types of peppers (6 plants in all), one mini eggplant and the rest are tomatoes.  All of this is planted in approximately 160 square feet  of dirt.  I also have 20 plants in my tower garden (if they survived the cold last night) including eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and basil and the tower garden only takes up about 2 square feet.

I really enjoy getting out and working in the yard, I welcome the exercise, but I know there are some people who cannot get out and work in a garden.  And there are people who don’t have the space to grow a garden as well.  People in some states really struggle with being able to water their gardens, so quite often they don’t even try to grow their own food.  These situations are where the tower garden is so helpful.  The initial investment in water is only 20 gallons, and over time you will  need to add more a little at a time.  The investment in the tower garden itself may seem a little pricey at first, but when you can harvest all year it really does pay for itself.  I am looking forward to having fresh tomatoes growing in my house all year long, so I don’t have to buy those bland, flavorless tomatoes you get in the grocery store anymore. To find out more information about the tower garden, you can visit my website at m-t4.towergarden.com.

tg update

This is how my plants look today.  I did lose the original seedlings to the very cold night we had unexpectedly a couple of weeks ago.  I bought new plants at the farm market and washed all the dirt off the roots and planted them in the tower garden.  They are growing very well and I actually already have a tiny tomato growing already.  I can’t wait to see how quickly they grow.  My dirt garden is doing very well also! (May 30, 2016)

I thought it may be time for an update on the tower garden.  I spent a couple of hours the last two nights weeding my dirt garden and staking up my tomatoes.  I will say they have gotten a little out of hand.  Here in Southern Virginia it has been a little cooler the last two days so I was thankful for that, but it was still pretty hot.  I thought it would be funny to share that I spent several hours working on my dirt garden and then I spent about 10 minutes checking the ph on my tower garden (which was perfect, by the way) and looking over my plants.  The tower garden plants are not as thick as the ones in the garden, but they look very healthy and I have a few tomatoes already.

garden 1  garden 2

tower garden 1tower garden 2

I’m really looking forward to comparing the harvest when I start getting tomatoes and peppers.  My basil on the tower garden is looking really great!  I will have to discipline myself to count how many I get each time or I’ll forget to compare!  (updated 6/10/2016)

Ready for the weekend!

juice

I am really looking forward to the 4th of July weekend!  We don’t usually have or go to big cookouts or parties, but I know a lot of people do.  It’s really difficult to stay on track around the holidays!  Even if I am just home for a much needed day off, I have to be careful not to forget all about the habits I’ve begun to form.  I have some holiday weekend advice for you!  Don’t stress about it!

I know you’re probably thinking, “Don’t stress about it!?! I’ll gain five pounds if I don’t stress about it!”  I’m not saying don’t be mindful of what you’re eating, I’m just saying don’t make it the focal point of your weekend.

I think in so many areas of our lives we sabotage our own plans by focusing so much on the things we want to change.  For people who want to quit drinking, all they think about is NOT drinking. People who want to cut back, diet, start eating better, all they think about is food.  If you’re trying to quit smoking, what is always on your mind???  DON’T smoke!  Am I right?

So what if this weekend, instead of focusing on what you’re not supposed to eat, you try focusing on spending time with people you love.  Try making a more conscious effort to talk to people, and enjoy every bit of what you experience.  Savor the foods that you do eat, don’t just mindlessly eat them.  Try to spend more time in face to face conversation with the people in the room instead of looking at your phone to see who said what on facebook, twitter or instagram.  I honestly think that we eat and drink too much when we are not paying attention to what we are doing.

Take the time this weekend to really enjoy everything.  Experience everything you can, and be intentional about what you experience.  I think you will find that if you just focus on having a good time and stop focusing on all the things you shouldn’t eat, drink, do, you will do the right things naturally.  You’ve been working hard to make new habits, just have faith in yourself that you will keep on the right track!  Have a great 4th of July and try to relax and have fun!

Feeling pretty damn good

I’m feeling pretty damn good right now.  Maybe it was the two hours of zumba this morning for a good cause, with just a couple of breaks for a quick drink of water.  Maybe it’s because I got two compliments from complete strangers on my outfit (the one I wore for zumba and then went to Lowe’s). Maybe it’s because I’ve gained a ton of confidence in the last eight months or so.  I’m not entirely sure why I feel good, but I like it.

I’m not saying my life is devoid of frustration, struggles, aggravation and heartaches, that is far from the truth.  I am saying that somehow in the last little while I’ve figured a few things out.  One…I am not ok all the time, but that’s ok.  Two…it’s ok to feel good about myself.  Three….I don’t need any particular person, ie. spouse, friend, child to make me feel loved.  Let’s face it, if you’re counting on any of them, you’re probably going to be disappointed. I’ve figured out that I am loved regardless of what I look like, what I feel like or what I’ve been doing.  That’s pretty important to me, because I’ve spent a good share of my life doing what I thought other people expected of me so they would love me.  Not anymore.

I figured out something else, too.  I feel pretty damn good about what I look like, especially lately… in bright colors.  I’ve spent a lot of my life wearing drab colors and trying to blend in, trying to stay on the outside edge where no one will really notice me.  Somehow I thought that was protecting myself and other people.  My grandmother used to say that the women in her church were too drab, she loved color.  In that way, I think I’m becoming more like her.  If someone doesn’t like the fact that I LOVE tie dye, or that I’m learning to love the brighter colors, too bad!  I’ve also learned that if you take your picture from above you look a lot better. 🙂

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I have to give credit where it’s due.   I started going to zumba around 8 months ago.  My sister in law kept asking me to go, but I was afraid.  I was afraid people would see how I have no rhythm, or that I was uncoordinated and they would laugh at me.  Eight months ago that would have destroyed me.  But, I finally decided to go.  I wanted to do something that was just for me.  So, I went and I actually loved it.  I couldn’t do most of the moves, I was behind most everyone there and I probably looked ridiculous, but not one person laughed at me.  That meant more to me than the exercise. And people seemed like they were open, caring and real, and I needed that, too.  Jackie Lynch was leading the group then and I  was immediately drawn to her.  She is so lively, and excited and happy!  I decided to find out what church she went to, because I hadn’t met anyone like her in a really long time.  That’s when I started going to Bridgetown.

I met a lot of people at Bridgetown, and I have started going there as regular as I go to any church.  My confidence has been building all this time.  The more I go to zumba, the more I learn how to do the moves, the better I feel about going.  I’ve met so many awesome ladies that I have become friends with that I wouldn’t even attempt to name them all.

The point I’m trying to make is this.  I’ve pretty much weighed the same for the last sixteen years, but until just the last eight months I have been self conscious, uncomfortable in my own skin and pretty much not feeling pretty or attractive at all.  Today I can honestly say I feel good about myself.  I am starting to actually enjoy exercise, especially zumba, and I am feeling stronger, prettier, and healthier.  The truth is, I feel pretty damn good.