Archive for the ‘Healthy Living’ Category

Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes I get out of the “habit” of some of my good habits.

We’ve recently moved (not just into a new house, but moving onto land that had to be cleared and into a new house that is being readied for a Home Visit next month also).

Some of our routines have gotten all outta whack.

We don’t function well that way.

However, many things are finding their way back into the proper places of our lives as things start to become more of a steadied pace rather than the nearly hysterical frenzy they were for a while.

As I’ve finally gotten some time to survey and do some planning for the year, as always, I’ve come across things that were very timely and encouraging.

“The care of her own health is another responsibility which should be made over to the young maiden. She cannot learn too soon that good health is not only a blessing, but a duty…”
(Vol 5, p.246, CM )

My oldest son is on a gluten-free, casein free, dye free “diet”, so this is always an issue in our home. It is not so much because of me, but more because my child would either “sink or swim”, if you will, that nutrition has been a daily topic around here.  We’re at a place where we’re seeing additional changes need to be made to improve things for him. Honestly, it’s a great time to sweep out some bad habits that we have let creep in for all of us during this time of transition. Really and truly, healthy eating is something we cycle in and out of, I’m sorry to say. Our kiddos are always kept on a good track, but we neglect ourselves and therefore neglect the example we are to our children ~ as Miss Mason refers to it = our “duty”.

But, not to despair! Even though we have allowed “the move” and the Home Study preparations to affect how we’ve been eating and taking care of ourselves, I’m reminded that I can do all things through Him who gives me the ability to do so. He really is the best resource for helping instill good habits. I would even say that any good habits in our family are there because He enabled us to create them! I’m also confident that we can get back into some healthier routines around here regarding what we eat. Just yesterday we were experimenting with some fun stuff:

Welch’s 100% Grape Juice + Seltzer = a fun bubbly drink

(without any of the icky stuff)

and eating this on Saturday:

Healthy Peanut Butter Fudge!

I also found this encouraging to read just this morning:

When it comes to unhealthy temptations, don’t give into the “I deserve it” – “it’s a special occasion” or “just this once”, voice inside your head.  Truth is, it’s never “just once” and there are “special occasions” almost every week. What you deserve is to give yourself the best health you can. You do more for your health by eating high-quality, real food than you do by giving in to processed unhealthy food cravings. Think about that today as you walk past the bowl of M&Ms on your coworkers desk or you get invited to the break room to celebrate yet another birthday. YOU CAN DO IT! (from Vanessa @Healthy Living How To)

Charlotte Mason asked this in Formation of Character:

“How many know that health is a duty, and not merely an advantage; that a serviceable body, strong and capable, is a debt we owe to ourselves, our kin, and our kind?” (Vol. 5, p. 386)

She always asks the best questions!


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We usually run Tuesday and Thursday nights together as a family…2 or 3 miles. I generally go for a couple more on my own.

It’s been quite hot and humid here in the South, so we’ve only been running a couple of miles after 7 or so in the evenin’. However, I was feeling a bit stressed and tense yesterday. I couldn’t exactly pinpoint any one factor, but a nice run always seem to help my stress level. I wanted to go for that reason alone, even though it was sultry. I also knew that since we hadn’t gone on Tuesday because the temperature was up over one hundred (we opted for some interval training at home that evening!), it wouldn’t be easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy for me. Going several days without running generally makes it hard for me to get goin’ again.

Before I left, I stopped by Books Should Be Free

I usually do not run with music, but I felt like I might need the company with the heat, humidity, and lack of running up to that point!

And….I am so glad I did! It only took a few minutes to get Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (an all time favorite of mine) from the website, to our iTunes, and onto my husband’s phone. I grabbed some headphones, and we were off!

The fellas ran the first mile with me, then opted to practice guitar, play on the swings, and read a chapter of their book together. I, however, ran three more miles by myself…or rather with fine company of Jane Austen! The hot, sweaty, humid time flew by!

A wonderful, familiar book

~like an old friend~

3 miles for just myself

~leaving my stress behind on the pavement~

Talk about Mother Culture!?!?!


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An Evening Stroll

Sometimes the chores of home-making and the day to day challenges of home-educating can take their toll on a mom’s good attitude. In order to keep our homes and families happy, we need a bit of refreshment; this is the whole idea behind Mother Culture! We must occasionally, as Charlotte Mason encouraged,

… have courage to let everything go when life becomes too tense, and just take a day, or a half a day, out in the fields, or with a favorite book, or in a picture gallery.

In our busy-ness, I believe we too often neglect to look for time to re-connect with our husbands in a relaxed, enjoyable way. Date nights are wonderful, but not always easy to accomplish (or afford!), and just don’t happen often enough. And sometimes it’s necessary for dad to give mom a little break from the kids for her own time of refreshment. But when possible, why not include our husbands in this time of refreshment? He certainly needs refreshment as much as you do, and our marriages need it, too!

One of my favorite times to reconnect with my husband is in simply taking an evening stroll together. It costs nothing, but it is worth much. We both enjoy the time together, talking and walking. We are revived by the fresh air and a bit of exercise — and we both feel recharged when we arrive back home. This is good for us individually, and it is good for our relationship, too.

Another habit my husband and I have established is spending at least a few minutes every day after he gets home from work to talk just each other — no kids. We’ll walk out in the back yard, or even go in our bedroom and close the door. Our children have learned to let mom and dad have a few minutes together uninterrupted (usually!), and it’s a nice reminder for the kids to see that we make our marriage a priority.

Do you include your husband in your time of refreshment, and if so, how?

JamieJamie is a blessed wife and homeschooling mama with three kids in a delightfully blended family. Visit her at See Jamie blog, or catch up with her on twitter.

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Time For Me

A Guest Post by Samantha Kelley from The Kelley Eight

…a journey back to something she loved…


I know what it is like to deprive yourself of time for “me”. When I first became married, and expecting, I threw my love of exercise out the window. My time was replaced with nursing and teaching this little sponge the many things he needed to learn.

As a result- the pregnancy weight didn’t budge. Then came baby #2.

After 23 months of nursing I decided to give workouts a place back in my life.  It was a good month- I went to the doctor to find that I had lost 14 pounds that month, and baby #3 was on the way. Just a few months after #3 came, we learned #4 was coming.

I think somewhere in there I just completely gave up me.

I was both nursing and expecting the last 3 pregnancies. I was exhausted. By the time our 6th child arrived I had come to terms with the fact that I would forever be in a body I couldn’t stand.

When we started homeschooling, I had even less time for me. I used all of my time perusing blogs, and curriculum sites, searching for what  I needed to do this right.  We are surrounded with scoffers, and the last thing I wanted was to fail in front of them. So I gave my time. Every bit of it.

The turnaround happened at 30.

I decided I would love me, no matter the size. I bought new clothes in a size that made me cringe and decided this was the rest of my life.

A week later, I was crying and a realization hit me- I didn’t have to love myself enough to accept my weight, I needed to love myself enough to change it! I knew I was not living authentically, and I was not the only one suffering!  I was cranky, and edgy, emotional and no fun to be around.

After talking to my husband, I decided to get me back. He not only supported me, but carved  an hour out of his evening 5-6 days a week, for  10 months. I had moments of guilt. I thought I shouldn’t be taking that much time away from my family.

I kept going.

I found a workout that I loved.

I started smiling.

I flirted with my husband.

I laughed with the kids.

I ran and danced around.

I felt alive.

I lost 78 pounds in those 10 months . I now maintain a few pounds above that. I ended up losing 23 pounds more than ever imagined, and most likely ended on a number my body couldn’t maintain. I am still in my healthy range, and still workout 5-6 days a week. I went from a size 18 to a 6-8.  I am in my second year of maintaining my weight loss.

I now workout in the morning. I like having that time just for me. I pray, read the Bible and then take care of this body I have been blessed with. Then, and only then, I plan the day.

Don’t underestimate how much better you can be when you take time for you. Don’t give up on yourself. Your mind, body, spirit- and family will thank you.

Before/After pictures can be seen here.

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