Adapting & Balancing Personal Nutritional Needs

The Freedom to Choose

As some may know, three years ago I decided to stop eating meat and dairy. My choices were primarily health reasons and animal welfare & our planet. I knew that I would get kickback from people and that’s ok because one thing we need to realize sooner than later is that food choices are exactly that, a choice. If people disagree based on their passion, the great thing is you can write your own blog about your beliefs or choices.

Nutritional choices are also not about being right or wrong, it’s about a journey of learning about our bodies and what works for us, and not necessarily will it always work for others, it’s freedom of choice and respecting each other’s choices.

Media & Persuasion

Now, if you have Netflix or access to the internet you will see an argument for every diet out there today, from Keto to Vegan to Paleo. I will be the first to say that many documentaries will glorify their cause & hammer the opponent that doesn’t agree, and they ALL do it.

This is where we as the consumer and people should make our own personal decisions based on either experience or scientific knowledge that’s been proven, which many diets have not been around long enough or studied enough to backup their claims.

Chemistry & Hormones

As we all know, age is a process that has no bias and with it comes many many transformations, especially for women. For me, this past year and half I started perimenopause: still getting your period but all the symptoms of menopause: when you stop getting your period. Up until 47 (a year ago), I felt like a vibrant, energetic & healthy thirty-something year old. Seriously, I wish I had of bottled it all back then so I could take it now.

It turns out hormones can change everything from the hair growing on your chin & falling out in your head, to your biochemistry and digestive system issues.

Back to the Drawing Board

Lo and behold after recent systemic issues like bloating, stomach pain, nausea and headaches I’ve come to realize after research and personal trial and error my body can no longer digest lentils, beans or legumes, the sad truth is that that’s where a lot of my protein has come from over the years since going plant based. It’s the oligosaccharides, sugars(complex carbs)that don’t digest anymore.

I had a naturopath suggest I take a probiotic or other digestive enzyme to help aid in digestion but I can’t reason eating one thing to support another, although I do think taking a daily probiotic is great for you.

I will be getting some bloodwork done & urine tests to rule out any other possible health concerns but besides coffee and gluten being a huge problem for my digestive system, some things I used to eat just can’t be digested anymore.

After much thought and trial and error the last 3-4 months, especially after experiencing recently horrible systemic issues I’ve decided to include wild salt water seafood(tuna,wild salmon, trout) to my nutrition. 

Labels…blah blah blah

One thing I decided from the get go was that I would never get caught up in the “label trap”, you know, vegan, plant based, keto, paleo, vegetarian, pescatarian, etc etc . One way of eating for the rest of your life is impossible! Don’t believe me, wait till you approach 50! You’ll see, your biochemistry will change and so therefore your nutritional requirements will too.

Labels are like religions, it separates people & causes a lot of useless arguments. Hey! If what your eating is working for you, fantastic! my hope for everyone is that they will be healthy & live a life of vitality and if what your eating is doing that for you….why wouldn’t you eat it?

Moving Forward

I’m so excited to find my balance at this age now as I approach my 50’s it’s more important to me to find that balance and to enjoy those golden years with VITALITY!

I encourage you to talk with naturopaths, holistic specialists and have tests done periodically as you go through different stages of life to make sure your getting optimal nutrition.

Optimal Nutrition;

It’s the difference between “being” and “living”.

A Rekindling, A Fresh Start

Can you feel it?

Not sure if it’s just me lately but I feel there is a shift coming for many people in 2020.

Those of us who started something weeks ago, months ago, or even years ago….however long it’s been, whatever your task, whatever your purpose, GREAT or small….I believe that this is the year that all those tearful prayers, dark battles & physical demands are going to bare a vineyard of sweet fruit!

I am a spiritually grounded woman (still in the sanctification process I must add😉),and so all that I look for around and in me must make sense spiritually & deep down I feel God telling me that those dreams, ambitions and purposes I thought had died are going to resurrect & come to life. I’ve already seen & experienced it; in my marriage, in my soul, & in those amazing people around me who I call friend, family, brother or sister.

Keep your eyes on Jesus!

There is only one way you will know that you are in the right place at the right time and that’s having your eyes fixed on our loving Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Let’s face it, many who will read this will admit to themselves that they’ve been let down by the church in one way or another, they had expectations that left them downcast or broken. Maybe it wasn’t even the church itself or the leadership, maybe it was a member of the church or someone you called brother or sister or perhaps it could even be a spouse, a child, or a parent.

Let me encourage your sweet soul today, no man, no woman, no experience(bad or good)can ever remove you from the love of God or His plans for you. Romans 8:35 God still has you in the palms of His hands

There is something called “healing” that MUST take place in your heart & soul before you can move forward to fulfilling your dreams & God given purpose, in fact it’s something Jesus told us we needed to do before He could use us. Matthew 6:14,15 Forgiveness is healing.

Time to Move Forward

How many times a day do you rehash the negative experiences in your life? Either things others have done to you or perhaps maybe something you have done to someone else. Regardless of what it is, it’s time to STOP! Don’t waste another minute going over the negative emotions attached to that traumatic experience you had. It’s OVER! It’s New year, a new beginning, behold all old things are passed away & behold all things are become new.

Today is a NEW DAY! It’s the “present” 🎁 you have been given. You are alive!

What happened to you is done, don’t let it rob you of anymore of the precious minutes and hours you have left to live. If we don’t let go we can’t move forward my friend. I’ve been in the depths of depression and I can honestly say that there were times I let my mind wonder too long in the pits of life & what has been done to me & I got stuck.

My friend, it won’t move you forward, it will keep you bound, STUCK, held back & hopeless.

I want to be sensitive to your pain and say that pain is pain, no matter what we may say is worse than another, our pain is individual and it hurts. My heart goes out to you, even now maybe someone is facing a horrible situation with a child, perhaps a divorce, maybe an illness, I am sorry, truly. I know you CAN make it through, God loves you more than any human being, there is no other love like His, He wants to be your comfort, your friend, your confident, your strength, your joy.

JOY in the MORNING

January 1st, 2020 you will have a choice to make, you can say to yourself, (put your name here) “—————-” we’ve been here to long now and we have a purpose and dreams to fulfill, so let’s get up, get dressed, shake off all these cobwebs & move FORWARD…..OR you can wake up & just sit and stay in the same place you’ve been the last several years, months, days & decide that your PAIN is worth more than your PURPOSE. Ive always been a firm believer that there is PURPOSE in PAIN, but there comes a time you have to let the pain go so that your purpose can be fulfilled.

You can decide that even though God has given you many gifts to use for His creation and glory, you will squander it & keep it hidden under a rock.

I suggest that you wake up January 1st determines to have a renewed JOY…renewed PURPOSE…renewed FAITH…renewed HOPE…and a renewed STRENGTH.

It’s time to breathe again! It’s time to raise your hands and worship the Father in Heaven again with your whole heart. Live in the now! Who is promised tomorrow? Not one of us….life is precious dear soul.

Let 2020 be the year for rebirths, unveiling, purpose, rekindling, new birth, vision….& GROWTH!

Psalm 30:11 you have changed my sadness into a joyful dance; you have taken away my sorrow and surrounded me with joy. 

Gratitude

What is Gratitude?

Just what is gratitude and why does it seem to be more and more the centre of conversations when talking about health & wellness.

Gratitude ….the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

So it seems by the definition that more and more people are finding that the practice of being thankful & showing appreciation has so many health benefits.

Benefits of the practice of Gratitude

Who would have ever guessed that being thankful in our lives for so many reasons would actually help make us better as an individual, better employees, experience deeper more meaningful relationships & ultimately have a more positive outlook on life.

Here are some of the scientific findings of what happens when people practiced gratitude;

  • Better nights sleep
  • Increase in self-esteem
  • Mental stability/well being
  • New relationships & restoration of broken relationships
  • Better nutrition
  • More energy
  • Less irritability & more compassion & understanding for other
  • Less envy & jealousy of others
  • Counteract depression & suicidal thoughts
  • Better cardiovascular health

There are more but can you BELIEVE it! This is a pretty long list of great benefits just for being THANKFUL!

If you ask me this is the cheapest therapy there is out there today.

Putting it into Practice

When I first researched this a few months ago & discovered all the benefits, I started practicing right away. Was it easy? It’s not that it’s easy or hard, the challenge is, it’s just not in our human nature to do such a thing.

Let’s be honest, we as humans can be pretty selfish & often entitled. There are many times I just take things for granted, example; there is food in my fridge, or, I am able to see, touch, smell hear and taste….who would think that our five senses are something to be grateful for? Right?!(sarcasm:)

How & where do we start?

The best times to practice gratitude are first thing in the morning and right before bedtime. It’s like resetting your grateful clock every day, morning and night.

Being grateful for at least three different things each day is a great start. If we can’t think of at least three, we’re in deep waters & perhaps grabbing a friend or loved one to coach you is a great idea.

You can speak these three things out loud & even better, you can write them down, this is now your chance to purchase that fancy dollar store journal.

A tangible thing you can do to practice gratitude is to volunteer. This is a HUGE one for me, I was practising gratitude for years and didn’t even realize it. Serving others freely with no strings attached or recognition is a great way to show gratitude because it not only blesses you, it’s a two way street of blessing others as well.

When to Start

NOW! There’s no better time. I started back in June & I will admit it’s definitely not consistent as much as I would like it to be, but I’m definitely better than I was. I’m more cognitive of my behaviour as well & I am not moved as much by the actions of others. It just really humbled you & keeps you grounded.

Final thoughts

Have you ever been going through a storm in your life and thought this can’t get any worse?, then all of a sudden you find yourself having this inner conversation in your head; “somebody else is going through worse than me, so I need to stop worrying & be THANKFUL for what I have, it could be worse! Did you know that is GRATITUDE? It sure is, gratitude also puts things into perspective and builds an appreciation for what we have in this moment, in the bad times and the good times.

So before you grab your phone first thing tomorrow morning when you wake up, try practicing gratitude by thinking of, then speaking out loud three things you are GRATEFUL for!

Letting Pain – Propel you to YOUR Purpose

Why?

Have you ever asked yourself, “why have I gone through all this pain in my life?” It’s a question I have often asked myself over the years, probably since I was a child if I were to be honest.

PAIN is something we all experience, it may be different experiences with different degrees of pain, however, pain is pain & the bigger picture is to figure out the why so that we can begin to live our lives to its fullest potential and stop letting our past pain control so much of our future.

The Source of our Pain

Growing up I spent much of my life grounded and confined to my room. If I had to break it down by percentage I would say between the ages of 4-13, I spent approximately 70% of my time alone, isolated and feeling rejected.

For years I often wondered to myself what I had done to deserve such isolation & what made me such a nuisance to my family. To this day I still haven’t figured it out and out of respect for my parents I won’t assume anything.

That isolation however over the years came with several side effects including social phobias, anxiety, low self-esteem and the need to be seen and heard in destructive patterns later on in life leading to promiscuity, alcohol abuse, & self-identity issues as a teen as well as into adulthood, affecting life long decisions in regards to careers, marriage & other relationships.

Heavy Baggage

It’s easy for anyone to sit back and say to themselves, wow, I have a lot of baggage I’m carrying from my life. For some it can be heavy as early as their first 5 years of life as a child to be carrying an insurmountable load of baggage sadly.

So how do we accept our pain for what it is & move forward from the pain of the past to live our best life? the biggest question to ask ourselves is; who do we become because of it? Well, this is where the word PROPEL comes into my post today. This morning as I was meditating on who I’ve become over the years, I thought of three words; PAIN -PROPEL & PURPOSE. I believe I have finally come to the resolution & the acceptance of my pain being the propeller to my purpose in this life.

Letting Go!

From the beginning of time, pain was a part of the human race. It’s often hard for us to conceive that a loving God would allow destruction & pain to enter our world, however, freewill was the very first act of love God gave mankind. With that freedom man chose the path that led to pain & suffering for the course of the human race.

If I were to be honest I have pointed my finger at God for my pain and suffering at certain times in my life, even as recent as several months ago. Thankfully by His grace and mercy He is not affected by our wayward thoughts & feelings.

Through struggle, conflict, betrayal & rejection, I have chosen to meditate & pray my way through the pain of the past & I have taken much personal inventory over the last couple of years especially & I’ve decided to allow the pain in my life to propel me to my purpose.

Purpose in the Pain

Strength Just like gaining muscular strength by repetition & weight, painful experiences strengthens us. Pain will either help you find your strength or lose it.

Perseverance….the ability to endure the storms of life & not allow fear to over take your mind affecting how you handle tragedy & trials.

Maturity …pain will choose for us how quickly we mature or we also have the choice to revert & remain stunted in our development.

Wisdom…without pain we learn that we would never embrace hope or faith.

Humility …pain helps us to relate to others who are hurting. It keeps us from becoming unresponsive to the pain others suffer around us.

The Need for a Saviour….yes, pain will force us to our knees in search of God & putting our trust in the One who truly can save us and give us life! My darkest moments in life propelled me to find the light, the truth & the love of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The Ultimate Purpose?

So what is my purpose?, the purpose from all the pain?, simply, it is to be like Jesus to the world. It is to love the “unlovable”, to feed the hungry, to be a living sacrifice in every area, to be a loving mom, to be a loving wife, a loving friend, a loving coworker, a loving stranger….etc.

You see, our pain identifies with the pain Jesus suffered for us. There was no greater pain and suffering than that which He experienced and for what?, all for us to be able to have a purpose in our pain in this life.

He knew we would suffer in, remember at the beginning of my post?, the “free will” He gave us was the ultimate factor in our fate all because He decided not to make us robots and force us to love Him. What kind of love would it be if we forced others to love us?

His purpose in His pain was to bring the world the gift of salvation & a hope that will live beyond our life here on this earth.

So I leave this with you today, do not let your pain lie dormant & useless. Do not allow it to make you bitter. Do not let it rob you of peace and joy.

Choose today to let your Pain Propel you to YOUR Purpose!

James 1:2-4, discover the purpose behind your pain. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”

If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ might I suggest saying this prayer below & opening your heart to the One who can teach you how to live a life of purpose despite the pain you have experienced.

Prayer,

Dear Jesus, I do not understand in this moment what I am doing or even saying but I trust by faith that you will hear these words and open my eyes of understanding and show yourself to me. I choose to allow you to become Lord over my life & even though I cannot see you or touch you, I choose to believe by faith that you are the way, the truth and the life and that no person comes to God the Father except through you.

Please forgive me of any sin that has separated me from you & make me clean this day. Renew my mind and spirit I pray.

I ask that you lead me to people of faith & that you will order my steps from this day forward.

I give you my pain and ask that you will make it my purpose in this life & that hope, faith and love will be my foundation form this moment forward.

I pray all these things in Jesus precious name! Amen!

If you prayed this prayer and would like to share with someone please feel free to contact me.

God truly loves you!

Women, Aging & ABs

Photo credit: Billie Cedillos

Do I have To!

Sometimes it can seem like a daunting task trying to flatten and shape our abdominals right? Or is it just me -no way!

If I were honest it’s one of those “do I have to” workouts that I put off as much as possible.

Let’s admit it, it’s a lot of effort for little gain especially after your 40’s!

ABs made in the Kitchen, yes & no!

We’ve all heard that ABs are made in the kitchen and there is definitely some truth to that, however, as women enter their late 30’s-50’s, there’s a lot more to take into consideration.

Thanks(but no thanks)to estrogen levels dropping during peri menopause and menopause, the body fat from hips and thighs begin to transport to the abdomen.

Good fat vs Bad fat

Do keep in mind that no matter how many crunches, mountain climbers or reverse curls you do or how much you tweak your nutrition, we will forever have some what of a pooch which is just subcutaneous fat which we all need some.

The fat that is concerning is the belly fat that we gain over 2-5 pounds below the abdominal wall which is called visceral fat & this typically lies deeper in the abdomen; this fat is not good as it can cause inflammation in the body and eventually contributing to more serious conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

What now? Good habits vs Hormones

So, what do we do? As hormones starts to change? Start here;

•drink plenty of water

•choose whole foods like veggies, whole grains, fruits)

•do cardio at least 3x a week for 30 minutes or longer OR do HiiT interval training, I do high intensity intervals in my treadmill 3-4 days/week for 10-15 minutes total

•incorporate resistance training 3-5 days/week if you haven’t already, this spikes your metabolism & tones and defines, especially important during the menopause stage.

•get a good nights rest

•practice meditation

•include a wide variety of abdominal exercises, not all AB exercises have to be crunches

One day at a Time

Don’t let this list stress you out, that is the LAST thing a mindful coach wants to do, instead I want you to look at it like this, one small change makes for consistency. This is key to any thing new we start in life. If we put too much pressure or expectation on ourselves, we will almost always end up quitting.

Rome was not built in a day & neither can ABs or a healthy lifestyle

Remember to love yourself for where you are in this moment & take one day at a time on your journey of being your best & most of all, ENJOY THE RIDE!

Passion, Pain & Purpose …New Beginnings

Have you ever heard that saying; “good things come to those that wait?” Well, I do believe that saying is true to a point…..it has indeed taken over 25+ years to get here today; so I’ve definitely waited, however, in the “waiting” it’s important to be “doing”, what exactly do I mean by that? Continue reading….

Conception

While living in Mississauga, Ontario at 22 years of age & on my own, I realized there had to be more to life. I felt unfulfilled & wanted a challenge. I was working as a personal trainer & aerobics instructor at the YMCA at the time. A year prior to that I began my own healthy lifestyle by going vegetarian, giving up smoking, eating all the carbs after midnight, and drinking (quite a lot) & of course this lifestyle included an exercise program.

Picture above: 24 years old…3 years of adapting a healthy lifestyle.

Passion & Purpose

When I had decided to work at the YMCA & quite my waitressing job at a five & dime truck stop, I knew that wherever I would plant my roots it would always be in the health and fitness industry. I was going to change peoples lives one person at a time, I had a vision of getting people healthy & teaching them how to enjoy their lives and beat the odds (or at least try)of disease & a mediocre life.

Purpose on Hold….

Shortly after working for the YMCA & finding my “passion & purpose” I got bad news about my father, he had had his very first stroke at 51 years of age. My heart broke, that strong willed, independent & hard working man became vulnerable and lost his greatest passion in life after 35 years; becoming an owner/operator of his own trucking business for a large company, Phillip Environmental.

His dream came to an abrupt end & my passion for something in life was just beginning.

More bad news

Shortly after the sad news about my father, I was in shock & sadness to find out my mom had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Life was changing quickly & I realized more how important it was for me to keep my focus & to take care of my own health. Staying healthy & focused gave me the ability to help my loved ones who needed me for the first time.

I decided a year later to leave Mississauga & go live with my mother & help her through the next stage of her life and recovery from so much trauma.

Some 10 years later in October of 2003 I lost my dad. After several strokes, a prosthesis, and an infection he sadly lost his battle with heart disease. One of the hardest times in my life; I was a daddy’s girl & he was the only rock I had when I needed one. (Miss you dad).

Labour First THAN Delivery

Years later, after marriage, children & a new found faith in Jesus Christ plus lots of mountain top & valley experiences & learning to become my BEST through it all; I am ready to help others & coach them to become the BEST version of themselves, MIND BODY & SPIRIT

Don’t get me wrong, my marriage & my children are my greatest purpose & passion, however, I believe there is an individual purpose & passion inside all of us apart from our loved ones.

What I have learned the most is that anything worth value in our lives comes with sacrifice & a lot of hard work. The mountains & valleys in life are the very things needed for us to grow & develop, I often think of life’s greatest blessings unto that of the birth of my children, I needn’t explain it to the mothers reading this as you would agree that that final PUSH, that final drop of sweat & PAIN is the greatest pathway to our greatest blessing, our children.

And so it is with our PURPOSE and PASSIONS in life.

New Beginnings….On my Own

Thus, the birth of BE UR BEST ON THE GO, a Health & Fitness business delivering all your needs to become the BEST version of you!

Registered & now a sole proprietor, I have the responsibility to change lives & help others adapt to a healthy lifestyle & learn to love themselves enough to prioritize their health; One day at a time!

BE UR BEST at any age! You are WORTH it!

Thai Coconut Curry Squash Soup

 

Butternut Squash; Thai Coconut Curry Soup

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Fall is on the horizon

Many things about this time of year appeal to me, but nothing more than homemade soups. I am always on a mission of creating a new recipe for a delicious, satisfying and visually appealing soup.

There are many soup recipes out there and anyone who knows me understands that I never ever follow a recipe(unless I’m baking :)). I don’t like being put in a box when it coms to cooking, this is where each individuals creativity can be unleashed!

Thailand and it’s amazing flavours

Ahan Thai is the national cuisine of Thailand, balance, detail, and variety are of paramount significance to Thai chefs. 

Thai food is known for demonstrating “intricacy; attention to detail; texture; colour; taste; and the use of ingredients with medicinal benefits, as well as good flavour”, as well as care being given to the food’s appearance, smell and context.  This is perhaps why I like to add Thai infusion to many of my recipes.

Butternut Squash

A few weeks ago I decided to make a butternut squash soup which I have made numerous times, however, I thought I would put a Thai twist on it and I’m so happy I did.Butternut squash is a wonderful vegetable. It is versatile and can used in many different ways. Soups, stir fry, steamed, baked, desserts are just a few to mention. Butternut squash instructions.

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Thai Coconut Curry Soup Recipe

Not sure why on a hot day in summer I felt like making this soup but I had a couple cans of organic coconut milk in my cupboard and a 2 week old butternut squash and I thought, what the heck, lets make a warming flavourful soup tonight.

One of my favourite spices is curry, in fact if blood types are correct(I’m type O-), curry is supposed to be a great spice for you. Curry  tumeric and many other spices of the east are very beneficial and used for many medicinal purposes.

I did not use any other recipe for this soup. This is all from scratch and I will try my best to give exact measurements(Sorry I don’t measure & I made this soup 3 weeks ago). The best thing to do when cooking is add a little bit of ingredient at a time and taste it as you go especially when adding spices.

OK, so here it is below, oh, and don’t forget! the best side to a delicious soup is of course fresh bread, my go to is sour dough. 🙂

Recipe Serves 4-5 (When chopping ingredients, do not be picky as you will be blending all these ingredients in a blender once boiled.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Butternut squash 1-2 lbs (peeled, cubed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil OR coconut oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 green pepper(chopped)
  • 1 medium onion(chopped)
  • 1 leek (chopped) be sure to clean really well inside leaves. How to clean and slice leeks
  • 2-3 cloves garlic OR 2 tablespoons jar chopped garlic
  • sea salt/ground pepper to flavour
  • 1 teaspoon curry(of choice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon corriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 1/2 can (400 ml) organic coconut milk
  • 2-3 small fresh basil leaves(Thai sweet basil or asian basil is best)
  • 2 cups low sodium veggie broth

Method:

  1. In a large saucepan sauté peppers, onions & garlic in olive oil on low until translucent.
  2. Add 2 cups of veggie broth and rest of ingredients EXCEPT the coconut milk.
  3. Once squash is firm & tender(not mushy) you can use your blender(vitamix), magic bullet, etc…and carefully add all ingredients(you made need to do two separate portions at a time. Blend until smooth.
  4. Place soup mixture into a soup pot and bring to boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Once boiled, turn down to a simmer for 15  minutes.
  5. Add coconut milk at this stage and continue to simmer for another 15-30 minutes to absorb all flavours.

Serve with fresh basil leaves on top and with your favourite bread of choice & enjoy!

Living a social (media) life ?

Refreshing…Insightful…Social Media Truth

Juli's Nom Noms

I guess I am what you call a food blogger. Some emails and cooperation requests are even telling me I am an influencer. Well if I am all I want to do is to influence people to use their own head, confront themselves with their emotions and problems and find solutions that in the end will make them happier with their lives.

152A3605-Bearbeitet-2 Kopie

What I see is that social media is ….an insane thing! After shutting down any mobile devices for almost two weeks now I can see things more objectively again.

Some people, a very small percentage though, seem to be able to really and fully participate from their work on social media. I recognized though that it is predominantly the people who manage to TRANSFER their online based work and CONTACTS to REAL LIFE, make real life friends and build a business that actually includes working with people face…

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A Marriage of Crisis & Connection

A Little Girls Dream…

It seems it wasn’t that long ago when I would dream about my Prince Charming rescuing me. He would be tall, dark and handsome. He would have long arms to wrap around me and keep me safe. He would NEVER say a mean word to me-ever! He would do everything I asked and without hesitation.

Whether it was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or Cinderella or perhaps Pretty Woman, there has always seemed to be this elusiveness that led many of us women on a trail of disappointment in the search for our so called “Prince Charming”.

Seventeen years ago I believed I had found my Prince Charming. I mean I met him in church, how perfect he would be, right? In just over a year we were engaged, married and expecting our first child. Life couldn’t be better. Truth be told, from the beginning after our honeymoon, things quickly disintegrated as we both experienced the lows and disappointments of unmet expectations.

From the Castle to the Dungeon..

It wasn’t long before I realized that my dreams of the perfect man were beginning to fade and the Castle I set up in my mind began to look more like a Dungeon.I was no spring chicken when I met my husband, I was 30 years old. The problem was not a matter of age but rather it was a matter of pride between two very broken people.

Intentional vs Unintentional

It was never our intention to wound one another -EVER! If your struggling in your marriage and feeling like giving up, keep reading. But the one thing I want you to know right now is, your spouse is NOT intentionally trying to hurt you. Pain is a natural symptom of brokenness, as you have probably heard before, “hurting people hurt people”.

Both my husband and I came into our marriage with a lot of baggage, like most couples do. So what made our path that much harder than the average married couple. Well, we both lacked the communication skills necessary for a successful marriage & we were not equally yoked in our relationship with God. Being “Christian” is not enough or be equally yoked.

The Chemical Reaction

I’ve often thought of the union of a man and a woman coming together as a science experiment, here me out; as men and women, most of us have the basic understanding of just how differently we are created by God. When you join a woman and a man together by a marriage covenant an amazing and spectacular event takes place, the two literally become one. It is a Spiritual Phenomenon . That is the first concept EVERY marriage experiences.

This is now a spiritual union that will take LOTS of discipline, a discipline many couples do not practice after the honeymoon ends.

So where does the chemical reaction go wrong?, when you take the complexities of a man and woman and the fleshy battles we face every single day and then add all the baggage from each other’s past, BOOM! you have a chemical reaction that goes wrong and the breakdown begins. This is the result of married people who do not nurture their marriage with prayer and the Word of God, but more importantly, who do not make an effort to heal from their past in order to become healthy for themselves first and then for their spouse.

Where there is Sin, there is MERCY

In saying all of this, I believe there are certain situations where God will step in and allow His grace and strength for those who spouses have either turned from God or never knew Him in the first place.

Let me just stop for a moment and say this; the single people who are looking to be married, pray first and truly get to know who your future partner will be. This is the rest of your life. Never look at marriage as a “chance” event, it is a destiny decision that is, well, till death do you part. That means forever. It is not a decision you want to make lightly. I had people tell me the same and of course, I took it lightly and it cost me, my husband and our children unwanted pain.

Perfection is not the Goal..

Finding a spouse for life is not about finding the perfect person. That will never happen, we all know that. But if you or your spouse or “spouse to be” have pain from the past you have not worked out, it’s a must before you commit OR if you want to salvage your marriage that is crumbly.

If you have managed to get by and everything is fine in your marriage still but you have things you know are hurting you and you haven’t confronted it yet with yourself, God or your spouse, might I suggest dealing with it now before it shows up in a negative way. Unresolved hurt always has a way of revealing itself later in life at one point or another and when it does, it can be very painful. An untreated wound only gets worse.

Where it went wrong for Us

My husband and I both loved God and had a reverence for His Word, however, about 5 years into our marriage, selfish and pride set into our hearts towards each other and our marriage became a very cold and lonely place. Our past toxic relationships and toxic remedies were beginning to show up and those same self preservations we had all our lives took over our marriage and well, we became roommates…

For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭6:43‬ ‭KJV‬‬

We went about family life for the next 10 years living like a roller coaster. I can’t say we didn’t have great times together, we definitely had some beautiful moments as a husband and wife and with our children, but our marriage was lacking the fruit that a content marriage requires and that God desires for us to have.

The Tides of Change

I am happy to say that heading into our 18th wedding anniversary we have DEVELOPED and come a long way. Anyone looking on the outside or even those people who know what we have been through would have perhaps thought we would not have made it this far.

Well, we still have a long way to go, however, healing and growth will be a continual thing in our marriage and this is the consequences of not learning how to deal with unresolved pain from our pasts and during our marriage. Side note: sweeping any difficult situation from your marriage under a carpet will never resolve anything, it will eventually show up & when it does, it’s painful. Communication is a whole other blog one day.

Family is always worth the fight

There truly are some things worth fighting for in life, to me, FAMILY is one of them. Today, it doesn’t seem the norm however. The family unit has taken its fair share of dismantling over the last decade. Just look at the statistics.

I have chose to fight, again and again and so has my husband. Have we both wanted to quit, yes, many times, even this past year to be honest. But, there is something deep down inside of me that says, “Billie, you have fought for many things in your life, why not continue to fight for something sacred?, something that will have generational effects long after your gone. Fight for what you love, your husband, your children, heck YOURSELF!”

Let’s be honest, divorce is not at the top of anyone’s “to-do list” and my heart goes out to those who gave it all they had and it didn’t survive. I’m not here to judge anyone’s walk. I’m speaking of my own experience. There are clearly situations where divorce is sadly the only option for very serious reasons.

I just want to encourage you that if you feel you have done all that you can do, dig maybe a little bit more deeper, to the part of you that you don’t even know existed. It’s called “fight”, I believe we all truly have it deep down, here is the key to the “fight”, it’s not yours, you can’t do it alone. You will absolutely need the strength that is supernatural that only comes from the Spirit of God. Remember the same spirit that joined you both together? That’s the same One that will keep you together and give you the ability to overcome the unbearable.

LOVE is a Process….not instantaneous

I can truly say that by the end of 2017, my husband and I are falling in love. You may ask, “what? it took 18 years to fall in love?, YES!, true love and real lasting love I believe is built on struggle. The meaning of relationship is, the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.

We have always loved each other, but we were never “connected”. We are now becoming connected for the first time the way God intended, that is, connected to each other as one with God. The fruit is slowly growing and we are believing for a harvest.

I can honestly say today, without God, we would not be together today.

Our Fairy Tale & Unknown Certainties

My idea of finding the Prince Charming was not a bad idea, but it was totally unrealistic. Looking back I realize that it was both of us that contributed to the failures and the successes of our marriage and it will take the two of us to keep growing and staying connected. The KEY, keeping God at the centre where He belongs.

I cannot say what our future holds, none of us know that, but what we do know now is that we have lived a marriage without God and now we are living it with Him, and with Him at the centre and our willingness to stay humble there is no reason that our marriage shall not REMAIN.Strong in Him

What is Happening?Hormones & Havoc

Have you ever asked yourself, how can I feel like a loving kind tender woman wanting to save the world to a raging bull wanting to rip the head off of the idiot who just cut you off the road?

Or, perhaps you went to bed at night in a bed dry as a Sahara Desert and woke up startled by the cold pool of water you happen to be laying in from sweating all night.

Then your watching your husband who is lying under your car doing the oil change for you and all of sudden you start having thoughts of tearing off his clothes and acting out a Harlequin romance novel, then 30 minutes later you feel like knocking him out for eating your last handful of potatoes chips.

Sound familiar?

Well, if any of this resonates with you, You may just be entering the stages of perimenopause. Some of these symptoms you may experience during your monthly cycle as well, however they will become more intense depending on you and your genetic make up.

Learn to Let Go!

I have to tell you that from someone who suffered from crazy PMS her whole life, it’s got nothing on perimenopause.

If your like me and like to be in control, you better learn now how to let go! Or you will find that peace will be a rare commodity in your home.

And just when you think all is well and nothing can push that psycho button(you know y’all have it), BOOM! someone or something comes out of no where and takes you for a ride.

There are many ways to handle the unexpected when your hormones and body are going through these changes. We can either let them take over our emotions and live by our feelings,( and drive everybody nuts around us, including ourselves) OR, we can learn to start reasoning with ourselves and take responsibility for our actions and do the things necessary to help us walk through this “next stage” of our lives.

Understand, I am smack dab in the middle of this season of my life right now and I feel your pain ladies, however, just letting every emotion take over our minds will only lead you into more frustration in the end which causes more stress and leaves us in a tailspin, worse off than when we started. Learn to have those inner conversations and when you do lose it, de-brief with yourself, forgive yourself and move on.

It’s Serious

So as much as I joke or lighten up the topic of perimenopause, there is a also a serious side to this stage of life for many women. It is no joke.

Because of the drop in estrogen many women can begin to experience depression, anxiety & other mental health problems that can seriously affect every area of their lives, including, career, family, friendships and an overall healthy lifestyle.

a few statistics ………

Nearly 40% of women have mood swings associated with hormonal changes—from feelings of rage to intense moodiness, anxiety and even crying spells. Studies show that the risk of depression doubles when women enter perimenopause; and if you’ve suffered from PMS or postpartum depression, you may be even more prone.

Men are not Psychiatrists

Ladies, the men or boys in your life DO NOT understand women when it comes to hormones and the changes we go through. It’s a fact. They may know some of the science behind it, however, they will NEVER truly “understand” because their bodies will never go through the same changes. We need to lighten up on our men and stop making them feel like they can’t measure up when they drop the ball. They are going to annoy you on the worst days and it’s NOT intentional.

At the same time, if any of you men are reading this, NEVER say out out loud, “it must be her hormones” OR “she must be PMS-ing,”, if you have ever had the misfortune of saying that around a woman who was truly having just a rough day, you might have felt a little of her wrath and rightly so.

My suggestion of sharpening your communication with the men in your life is too teach them. Share some research you have done and pick a time when they are not distracted, you know, not while they are watching sports or reading their favourite magazine.

Give them the facts only, that’s all they want and thats all they can handle(I mean that respectfully), men cannot retain the amount of gigabytes our brains do ladies. And, you will also have to remind them often.

Finding Relief

There is hope for us women to reduce the problematic symptoms we face.

One place to start and the one I highly recommend is your nutrition. Every thing that goes into your body affects your body either positively OR negatively. This is one thing we do have CONTROL over.

Food is medicine as they say and whatever your feeding your body is how your body and mind will respond to the hormonal changes.

Here are just a few things you can do starting now to prepare & to help alleviate some of the perimenopausal symptoms;

  • Eat healthy whole foods
  • Reduce sugar intake
  • Eat through out the day healthy snacks in between meals
  • Get enough sleep
  • Exercise
  • Socialize
  • Remind yourself the changes are normal, your not alone
  • Let your loved ones know when your not feeling well-COMMUNICATE
  • meditate
  • Take a deep breath when you feel overwhelmed and remove yourself from the situation – I call it Take 5
  • Do something you enjoy..painting, shopping, dining out etc
  • Read a book
  • Start a new hobby
  • REST!! listen to your body
  • Deep breathing
  • Listen to music

Many of these tips will help with PMS symptoms as well.

Remember ladies, we have faced puberty, marriage, child birth, and who knows what else, and we will get through this too!