Archive for April, 2009

A Modern Day Treasure Hunt

I’ve always been frugal; a miser. I’m the person who extends the life of goods far longer than they should probably be useful. To me, the thought of throwing something out when it even has one ounce of value to anyone is horrendous!

According to “The word junk is an example of the change in meaning known as generalization, and very aptly too, since the amount of junk in the world seems to be generalizing and proliferating rapidly. The Middle English word jonk, ancestor of junk, originally had a very specific meaning restricted to nautical terminology. First recorded in 1353, the word meant “an old cable or rope.” On a sailing ship it made little sense to throw away useful material since considerable time might pass before one could get new supplies. Old cable was used in a variety of ways, for example, to make fenders, that is, material hung over the side of the ship to protect it from scraping other ships or wharves. …The big leap in meaning taken by the word seems to have occurred when junk was applied to discarded but useful material in general.”

Maybe my affinity for frugality really has purpose after all?! Maybe I should simply share my 80/20 rule with you. My goal is to recycle 80% of the stuff my husband and I no longer need and to trash the rest (regrettably). Here are my 7 tips.

1. Donate: I’m a huge fan of St. Vincent de Paul. Did you realize they can even reuse torn clothing (for the fabric)? That’s cool. And, they take almost anything. It makes me feel good to donate things we can no longer use.

2. Repurpose: I may have made this word up, but I use it lots. It means finding new uses for old stuff; yes, those strange glass jars also do make beautiful candle holders and that grosgrain ribbon may be ironed and reused to wrap another gift …

Click here to read more about “A Modern Day Treasure Hunt” by Lisa Ryan in the March – April issue of LiveLiving Christian Health and Wellness eMagazine, De-junking Your Life


April 29, 2009 at 1:09 pm Leave a comment

How to Reduce or Prevent Low Back Pain

One of the primary sources of low back pain is tight hamstrings.  I have often found that people will workout so hard at the gym, especially, yet leave without stretching.  You are doing your body or muscles a huge disservice by not stretching after a workout.  Most people will stretch prior to exercise, and that is fine in moderation, but you can’t stretch a “cold muscle”!  What do I mean by this?  Imagine what will happen if you stretch a cold rubber band.  It is likely to break.  Similarly, your muscles are like elastic bands.  Warming them up with cardio prior to working out or stretching is far better.  After a tough weight training workout, it is even more vitally important for you to stretch out the muscles you have trained. 

One great way to stretch out the hamstrings is with a yoga belt:

  • Start by lying on your back, legs stretched out on the floor and your chin tucked in.
  • Place the strap around the ball of one foot.
  • Inhale and slowly raise the leg up towards the sky or ceiling.
  • Keep the opposite leg on the floor. Don’t let the thigh or knee come off the floor.
  • Hold the strap with both hands and raise your leg till you feel the initial stretch in your hamstring.
  • Pull your toes toward your body flexing your foot and contract your quads keeping your knee straight.
  • Hold stretch for 15-20 seconds and perform 3-4 repetitions on each leg.

This stretch can increase the flexibility of the hamstrings and calves, prevent varicose veins, increase blood circulation, and relieve lower back pain.   Go ahead.  I challenge you to give it 21 days and see how great your legs and body will feel.

April 27, 2009 at 11:29 am Leave a comment

Discover the Guarantee

In Exodus 14 Pharaoh agreed to let the Israelites go but later changed his mind. He pursued them and they cried out to Moses. But Moses reminded them of God’s promise to deliver them despite their circumstances.

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. Exodus 14:21-22

In my early twenties I was diagnosed with a medical condition that affects about 1 in every 2500 people. Besides an occasional cold I was always very healthy. For many years I gave this condition far more attention that necessary. It took me many years to finally accept that God has got my back. Just as the Israelites focused more on their circumstances and not God’s promises, I had done the same. The Israelites could not see the work God was doing because of the darkness of the night, but he performed a miracle for them. He worked in their time of darkness without fail. Over time I came to realize that God also works for me even when I cannot see the work he is doing.

Have you ever tried to do things on your own but it just didn’t work out?

Have you ever felt alone?

Have you ever needed healing but it seemed like there was no solution?

We ultimately have two choices. See our circumstances as they are with no faith for change. Or look to God, study His word and discover the life of wholeness and healing he guarantees.

Lord, I thank you that you will never leave me or forsake me. You give me hope and show me light in the darkness. You give me peace that surpasses all understanding. I am ever so grateful for your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

April 24, 2009 at 3:37 pm Leave a comment

The Power of Journaling


Stuff! So many thoughts, so many ideas, so many events, tales of the past, worries of the future, emotions more tangled than a ball of yarn crowd our minds. Journaling can be a powerful therapeutic, problem solving, refocusing, clarifying tool for bringing harmony and balance to our lives. With the aid of the Holy Spirit, here are four reasons the power of journaling can be an effective counseling tool for ridding the mind off of STUFF that can back up like a sewer in our lives.

1. Catharsis: Journaling can be a cathartic experience, releasing emotional tension that can restore or refresh the spirit. Many of us have experienced the relief of lying down to sleep after a hard day – only to toss and turn whilst reruns and replays of the day continuously play out in our minds! Writing down what happened that day and about our feelings can provide an emotional release. Or simply putting our unedited thoughts on paper can be a healthy form of confession that can purge our souls.Click here to read more about “The Power of Journaling” by Ellie Grimes in the March – April issue of LiveLiving Christian Health and Wellness eMagazine, De-junking Your Life.

April 22, 2009 at 1:17 pm Leave a comment

I Want a Six Pack

I want a six pack!

 No, I am not talking about beer, soda, or any other beverage that is purchased as a six pack.  Those beverages do nothing but destroy the beautiful shape of the rectus abdominis muscle and any effort in having a six pack.  The rectus abdominis muscle is the long, most superficial of the six abdominal muscles that every man and woman wants to show off in his or her summer time attire. It extends from the front of the ribs to the front of the pelvis at the pubis symphysis. When the layer of fat is stripped off, the top of this muscle leaves you with a beautiful six pack.  The ability to show this muscle takes a lot of dedication and hard work.  It will not be visible by just performing abdominal exercises alone.  So please don’t be fooled into thinking if you do enough abdominal crunches, you will have a six pack.  It just won’t happen.  To make this muscle visible, it will take a combination of cardio training, the elimination of sugar and simple carbohydrates from your diet, and the training of the abdominal muscles. 

 An excellent tool in strengthening the rectus abdominis is the swiss ball.  It allows you to move throughout the entire range of the muscle for the most efficient workout.

  • 1. Lie face-up with the swiss ball resting under your mid/lower back.
  • 2. Cross your arms over the chest. For more of a challenge, you can place them behind your head or add a weight to hold over your head.
  • 3. Contract your abs to lift your torso off the ball, pulling the bottom off of your ribcage down toward your hips.
  • 4. As you curl up, keep the ball stable. Do NOT roll forward on the ball. Lower your back down, feeling a stretch in the abs.

Perform 3 sets of 15, working your way towards 4 sets of 25 as you become stronger.

April 20, 2009 at 6:27 pm Leave a comment

5 Ways to De-Stress

Looking stressed and defeated my coworker asked me if I had heard that her husband was terminated from his job. She seemed as if she needed to be assured that everything would be okay. She talked about having a little money saved up that would help them cover their bills until he hopefully found other employment. I encouraged her to remember to trust God; seek him prayerfully and faithfully for solutions, and not to become discouraged or disheartened because of the way things may seem. She thought of her health and expressed that it wasn’t a good idea for her to feel stressed because of the risks. She has experienced many health challenges which include insomnia, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure and obesity.

I believe one of the catalyst for many illnesses is stress. How we deal with stress can make the difference between health and wellness, life and death. When we look at the world around us in ways contrary to the word of God it affects our spirit, ability to think clearly and the people around us. So how do we manage the stressors in our life without losing ourselves into a sea of hopelessness and defeat?

Here are five ways to promote freedom from stress:

Be consistent in exercising. Endorphins (good hormones) are released during exercise that calm the mind and relax the body. Regular exercise is one of the best defenses against stress. Consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.

Positively direct your thoughts to break negative conditioning. Focusing on and replaying negative thoughts in your head keeps you in a negative state of mind. Focus on what you need from God and pursue it diligently without letting distractions derail you.

Be the real you
Whenever you find yourself contemplating over change to become the person you desire, stop and repeat this phrase, “I do not need to become, I choose to be this person starting right now.”

Have faith
God is greater than any problem you face. Miracles happen only when you believe. Never doubt what God can do for you. Start celebrating the expectation of a miracle in your life.

Meditation is the best vehicle to put things into perspective and promote freedom from stress. It is one of the best methods of learning to concentrate, relax and spend time with God in solitude.


April 17, 2009 at 12:39 pm Leave a comment

What Are You Waiting For?


Tomorrow may never come. What is wrong with Today? Make a decision and stick to it. How many times have you said, I will start on Monday or I will start in January. Well, guess what? It is the New Year and TODAY is your day! GET STARTED! The mind is powerful. Trust me. I know; I have been there. First you say, I will start on Monday and I am going to give myself thirty minutes a day. Tuesday comes and you find yourself just a little tired and sore so you may say, well, I think I will just start with three days a week instead of five. Next Wednesday comes, and you have once again found yourself with another excuse not to exercise. Stop with the excuses. They will only deteriorate your health and your body. As long as you are alive, there will always be an excuse not to exercise.

Click here to read more of “Making Room In Your Schedule For Your Workout” by Dr. Tonya Mitchell in the March – April issue of LiveLiving Christian Health and Wellness eMagazine, De-junking Your Life.

April 15, 2009 at 12:28 am Leave a comment

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