~Choose Health~

In this page, I will share with you some reasons why we should aim for a healthy lifestyle I will also share some healthy recipes and some fitness quotes.
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Why is it so hard to eat healthy?

Healthy eating has always been a huge struggle for me. I am constantly falling off and getting back on the "healthy eating wagon." And because of this, I know what it feels like to eat both bad foods and good foods for my body. When I cave and load myself down with fast food junk, processed foods, dairy, and a whole lot of sugar, I gain weight and my immune system gets compromised. I will get sick (usually around the winter months when I eat a lot of sugar!) Whereas when I eat the food that comes from plants, full of nutrients, I am able to lose weight, gain muscle, feel less bloated, my mind is clearer, and I am more motivated, etc. 

Why is it so hard to eat healthy? Because of three reasons...

(1) Fast food is convenient. And (2) food that is unhealthy are the tastes we crave the most. Lastly (3) Some people just don't know how too eat/cook healthy. 

In our busy schedules, it's hard to meal plan and meal prep for healthy dishes. Some of us just don't have the time to spend cutting up veggies, and creating meals that are healthy. In this page, I will hopefully shed some light on easy ways to eat better and exercise more! 

But before I share with you some tried and true healthy recipe/meal plans, lets first talk about why we should do our best to care for our body's. Because we won't stick to a healthy lifestyle if we don't have a clear motive on why we are choosing to eat healthy. 



What does the Bible say about healthy eating? 

~1 Corinthians 6:19-20~
"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's"

Our bodies are a temple of God. The Holy Spirit lives within our hearts and we are to glorify God in our body by keeping it pure and clean.

~1 Corinthians 10:31~
"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

It specifically says that whatever we eat or drink, we should do all to the glory of God.

~Genesis 1:29~
"And God said, 'See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food."

In the very beginning, God created plants, fruits, and herbs to be used as food. His perfect design makes it possible for us to thrive off of a plant-based lifestyle. 

~Daniel 1:16,17~
"Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams."

The very first chapter of Daniel is not only a amazing story, but also a very valuable lesson in food choices. 

~Matthew 4:4~
"But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' " 

When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he used food to tempt him, just like today when we are tempted to eat things that are not good for us. But Jesus quoted scripture to Satan. This is what we should do when we are tempted, use scripture verses! Jesus wants us to be healthy so we can further His work but Satan will try to use bad food (that taste good) against us to fog our brain.

Satisfying our taste buds should not mean everything to us, because Jesus is our bread of life. (John 6:35)

~*~

In Romans 14, it says that we should each be fully convinced in our own minds. I believe that God impresses what is a healthy lifestyle for each of us differently. For myself, I don't eat meat, and if I were to eat meat, I would not eat meat that is unclean by the Bible's standards (Leviticus 11:1-47 and Deuteronomy 14:8). 

I am a vegetarian for multiple reasons, but one of them would be that I love all animals and couldn't bare to eat them. Another would be that I don't think that meat is healthy for my body. Some might say that you have to eat meat in order to get enough protein. I strongly disagree with that statement. There are so many ways (through plants) to get your protein in without consuming meat. But that topic is for another day! 

Back to my main point, what each of us decide that we should or shouldn't eat is between us and God. What we choose to eat is not a salvational issue as long as we are following God's will for us. That is why I encourage you to search the scriptures and keep your mind open to what God is telling you about healthy eating. 

Up above are some of the Bible verses that stand out to me when I think of healthy eating. 



Diet vs. Lifestyle

"I can't eat that, I'm on a diet." 

"Hand me some more of that chocolate (or fill-in the blank!), my diet doesn't start until tomorrow." 

"I need to go on a diet to lose some weight because my trip is coming up." 

"I am on my diet for only thirty days, then I can buy that ice cream I want." 

"I'm not eating sugar today, but you can save me a piece of that cheesecake for tomorrow."

Yes, we have all been there. ^^ The dictionary definition of going on a diet is a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons. Diets are restricting. It normally means taking certain foods completely out of your eating habits for a short amount of time while you count calories, fat, cholesterol, sugar, etc. Basically you are watching what you eat. But so many times we will eat more before and/or after our diet because we have the eat-it-now-because-we-won't-get-it-tomorrow feeling.

I believe there is a definite time and place for going on a diet, but I don't believe that finding a healthy eating balance revolves around the roller coaster of hopping on and off to the healthy eating wagon. 

Diets are temporary, and so are their results. A healthy lifestyle is a way of life, and it's results last for a lifetime.

If you are truly wanting to be healthier and make better choices in your eating, then trying the latest and greatest diets won't help you in the long run. Finding a healthy eating lifestyle that works best for you is what will help you find that balance. Sure, there will be "cheat day's".  Instead of feeling restricted, you will be making a conscious choice about your eating habits.




Personal Testimony 


On May 1, 2015 my dad had a heart attack. 

He was out weed wacking and had chest pain. After a while of still having chest pain, he told my mom about it, but continued to work. My mom insisted (thank goodness God gave us moms) that he go to the hospital. Our small town has a hospital, but it is known for being a “band aid” hospital. Because of this, My mom decided to drive him to a bigger town, almost 2 hours away. They both walked in and said he had chest pains, and that hospital had him back in a instant. Come to find out, his widow maker was 100% blocked off. They put stints in his heart and he hasn’t had any heart problems since. That was such a scary time for me and my family. But that goes to show that there really is power in prayer! God is so good! 

Before that day, my family was vegetarian, but we weren't vegan or plant-strong. We ate a lot of cheese and dairy (note: I try to eat mostly vegan at home, but I will eat dairy occasionally.) We also ate a lot of extremely processed vegetarian "meat." Ever since that day, our whole family has kind of had a wake up call. We saw first-hand how important a plant-strong lifestyle really is. Keeping our bodies healthy is all in what you eat. You can exercise all you want, it is so good for you, but in the end what you put into your body is what counts.

My dad also has diabetes… and eating a plant-based diet (not a diet, but a lifestyle) has really turned my dad’s health around. Healthy eating/cooking is so hard, but in the end, you have to look on your plate and ask yourself if it is worth it. 

Is this carton of ice cream I'm eating worth it five, ten, fifteen years down the road? No. Is it worth all of the hospital bills and medications? No. 
Is spending a extra few minutes preparing a healthy meal worth it five, ten, fifteen years down the road? If it keeps you healthy, Yes, it's worth it! 

Choosing health takes a lot of time, commitment, and dedication. 
Choosing health means saying no to things you crave, 
and instead finding a healthy substitute. 
Choosing health means learning new recipes and trying new things. 
Choosing health means getting your butt out of bed crazy early to go to the gym. 
Choosing health is when your arms are sore form lifting weights the day before. 
Choosing health is when you've crossed that finish line of the 
race that you didn't think you could do. 
Choosing health is when you have formed better habits and broken old ones. 
Choosing health is when everything inside you wants to give up but you don't. 
Choosing health is hard, but it is 100% worth it! 

Healthy Recipes 

So, you want to start eating better, but you don't know how to prepare healthy foods? Never fear, Brooklyne is here! *winks* I have compiled a short list of my most favorite healthy recipes to get you started! If you would like to try more of my (my moms) recipes, then feel free to shoot me an email and I would be most happy to give you more of them to try! We also have some great raw recipes if you are the more adventurous type.

There are four categories below. The first is breakfast foods. These are fairly quick, giving you a extra boost of energy to start your day! The second is lunch-y foods. The third is dinner. And the last is things used throughout the everyday meals such as sour cream, mayonnaise, ranch... things that are little but make a huge difference! 

Breakfast: 

~Beans and Rice~
Beans and rice is my go-to favorite healthy breakfast!

Time: approximately 35 min. 
Appliances: rice cooker, stove to heat beans
Instructions: rinse long-grain brown rice then put in rice cooker (Our rice cooker takes 35 min. for it to get done.)
Open cans of beans (I use one pinto, one black, and one great northern) and heat up on stovetop.
Season beans with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and nutritional yeast (seasoning that tastes cheesy...) 
Once rice is done, fill your bowl with one serving of rice and beans. Top with avocado, salsa,  dairy-free cheese, green chillies, ranch and/or sour cream. 

~Smoothies~ 
Smoothies are a great way to get in your fruits! And greens... We usually drink our smoothies with some veggie-breakfast sausage. (Field roast brand)

Time: approximately 20 min. including clean up
Appliances: blender, freezer so you can have frozen fruit...
Instructions: This is a hard one for me, because I don't usually follow a recipe. (I basically throw stuff in!) so, I will tell you what I use. There are two different smoothies that are my favorite. 
-The first is a PB&J smoothie: frozen strawberries, frozen cherries, frozen raspberries, one frozen banana, almond milk, vanilla, peanut butter and maple syrup. 
-The second is a chocolate peanut butter smoothie: one frozen banana, almond milk, cocoa powder, maple syrup, ice, and peanut butter.
-Healthy blueberry smoothie (that is not green!): soy blueberry yogurt, frozen banana, spinach, frozen blueberries, almond milk, maple syrup, peanut butter, hemp seed, and chia seeds(optional).

~Fruit bowl~
Fruit bowls are what my dad usually has for breakfast! 

Time: however long it takes you to cut up fruit! ;) 
Appliances: none 
Instructions: cut up fruit (banana's, strawberries, kiwi, mango, etc.) and put on a bed of power greens. Dust with cocoa powder, hemp seeds, and/or chia seeds. (and if you are my dad, put green chillies and hot sauce on top!) <-- I personally don't recommend that! 

Other breakfast ideas...
Corn cakes
Pancakes 
Oatmeal 

Lunch: 

~Sandwiches~ 
Most of the time, we will have leftovers for lunch, but we also really like having sandwiches for lunch!

Time: 10 min. 
Appliances: none
Instructions: just kidding! I think you know how to make a sandwich, but here's what I put on mine... veggie lunch meat, mayonnaise, mustard, relish (homemade!), and bread (duh). If we are trying to be extra healthy with our bread choice, we will use Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Bread. 

Other sandwiches...
Peanut butter and jelly
Peanut butter with banana drizzled with honey

Dinner: 

~Tacos~ 
My family LOVES tacos! I actually eat mine more like a taco salad though! 

Time: 30 min.
Appliances: stove
Instructions: get your taco meat (using boca meat (vegetarian) crumbles, barley, or seasoned mushrooms and cauliflower as the meat) heated and seasoned in a frying pan. Note: if you do not want to use the oil, we use no-chicken chicken broth instead...
Then get your beans heated on the stove. Warm your corn taco shells then assemble! Top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, dairy-free cheese, and ranch. 

~Soup~ 
Soups are so versatile and so good for winter! 

Time: 60 min. or a day if using crock pot
Appliances: stove, blender, and/or crock pot
Instructions: my mom makes the best soup ever! But it would take too long to right out every single one she makes.
These are the kinds I like the most... Stuffed pepper, chili, tomato, bean, and vegetable. They are even better with homemade croutons or bread to go with it!
One of the things that we do differently when it comes to soup is that if it has a creamy base, we will blend cashews for the base. If it is a broth base, we use vegetable broth or no-chicken chicken broth. 

Other Dinners...
Burgers (bean burgers or oatmeal burgers)
Nachos (using steamed broccoli for those who don't want chips)
Lasagna (using zucchini for those who don't want the pasta)


Everyday: 

~Mayonnaise~ 
Made with artichoke, raw cashews, water, dijon mustard, xanthan gum, salt, and lemon juice. Trust me, it's good! 
~Sour Cream~ 
Made with soaked cashews, lemon juice, sea salt, nutritional yeast, water, and xanthan gum. Better than real sour cream! (Although I would not use for making California strawberries...)
~Ranch~ 
Made with ^^ mayonnaise up above, unsweetened almond milk, lemon juice, dill weed, garlic powder, onion powder, chives, parsley, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Yummm! I could put this on pretty much anything! 

~*~ 

Obviously, I couldn't go into much detail with food prep and such, but hopefully I gave you an idea of how we make some of our most favorite meals! 

Fitness

Staying fit is one of the key parts to living a healthier life! Working out doesn't have to be about losing weight or gaining muscle (those are just a bonus!) but rather it is about taking up a challenge and sticking to it. It's about starting from the ground up. Starting with the lightest weight and working your way up to a heavier one. Walking one mile to running ten. You have to start somewhere. Embrace it.

You don't have to go to the gym to workout. Your living room will do just fine! No excuses, just do it, you'll thank me later! 

Every other day I like to trade off. One day I will do arms (shoulders, triceps's, biceps) and then the next day I will work legs. Each day I try to fit in some core workouts which would be abs. And when weather permits, jogging.

No, I don't always keep my schedules and some day's I get up too late. But that doesn't change that working out is something I strive to do more of. It's good for you, and you really do feel more accomplished when your done! 

One of the most important things to have when you have decided to dedicate time for working out is this. And accountability partner! Someone who is going to cheer you on when you hit a milestone, someone who is going to crack the whip when you are two lazy and hit the snooze. The best thing is that accountability partners work both ways, it's a win-win!

Also, quick tip, stay hydrated!!! Drinking water is so important!  

Here are a few fitness motivational quotes I found on Pinterest: 







In the end, it's all a journey. A journey that is original and unique to you. I hope this post was encouraging to you in your journey to choosing health! 

What kind of healthy foods do you like to eat? Do you have a favorite workout quote? What are some steps we can take to live a healthier lifestyle? 



7 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I'm so glad you liked this page, Patience! Thanks for being the first to comment! <3

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  2. Wow, I could not agree more!! I have been REALLY conscientious about the food and drinks I put in my body and cut back considerably on sugar. Cancer loves sugar and junk food :D Thank you for sharing this with people, Brooklyne!! It changes lives <3

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    1. The health message is out there, it just takes dedication and perseverance in order to stick with a healthy lifestyle. It's hard to eat less sugar, isn't it? I struggle a lot with eating too much sugar! But, we are all a work in progress, and with lots of prayer and encouragement, we can change our eating habits!
      A lot of times if we are trying not to eat refined sugar, depending on the recipe, my family will substitute apple sauce, maple syrup, and honey. Or if you're craving sugar, eat your favorite fruit. That will help satisfy your sweet tooth!
      Yes, I have witnessed the changes a healthy diet can make, and it truly does change lives!
      Well, I just wanted to let you know that I have and will continue to pray for you, Izzy! <3

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    2. So true! I used to overdose on sugar LOL. Yeah, we use more maple syrup or honey than real white sugar. White sugar is so potent! And yes, I've now been able to turn the word "candy" from "a sweet food made with sugar" (Dictionary.com) to oranges, carrots, and grape tomatoes. Man, after I was off candy for awhile, I ate some carrots......THEY WERE SO SWEET!!!!!!!!!
      Thank you so much for the continued prayers <3 <3
      ~Izzy

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    3. Yes, sugar can be very addictive. And maple syrup is definitely a life saver when it comes to refined sugar alternatives! Honey is great too! :)
      I totally know the feeling! We are on a 17 day meal plan right now and we aren't having sugar or flour... it makes fruit all the more sweet and candy like!
      You're welcome, Izzy! xx

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