Relaxation……

Years ago, my doctor told me, ‘someone like you need to exercise a lot”. I would never forget his advice.

Here are the reasons: 1) All my adult life I have been engaged in an occupation that required me to sit for hours; 2) I am a deep thinker and can easily become anxious about the cares of this world. 3) I am an introvert and suffer from social anxiety, this means that I love my house and because I am very creative, I can find enough things to do to keep me indoors. Note however, that I do love outdoors, on my terms of course. 4) My body often feels tense from thinking too much and doing too much and not having a proper balance – work/relaxation. I then become irritable and not much fun to be around.

I have discovered that not only does exercising do me good but relaxation. Anything that allows me to escape into a place where I do not have to think too much but just embrace my surroundings.

Hear are some things that works for me all the time;

1. Journaling or writing an article for my blog – I write until I feel as if I have emptied myself of my expressions, deep thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I write a little bit of how my day went and a little bit of what I intend to achieve tomorrow. On my blog I share life experiences I feel comfortable sharing and I also share general life principles that I hold strongly to.

2. Driving out and sight-seeing – Choosing a day when the traffic is not congested and finding great sights and seeking to capture the moment by taking pictures; fresh air and peaceful environments is heaven on earth for me. My preference is to do this with small groups.

3. Soaking my feet in warm water. Ahhh another heavenly episode.

4. Going to the beach and lying on the sand listening to the sound of the waves and the birds and just enjoying the beauty of the trees with their well designed branches. I can enjoy the beach without stepping into the water but if I step in, the water needs to be fairly calm and warm, at least a little. Cold rough waters are not my cup of tea.

5. Meet with a trusted friend and just talk, talk, talk.

6. Curl up on my bed with my bible and soak in the word of God, preferably a little at a time.

I can go on and on but I would stop here. I am grateful for what I can enjoy! I am grateful that God saw it fit to create things we all can enjoy. The older I get the more I desire RELAXATION!

What helps you to relax, release stress and feel rejuvenated? Are you satisfied that you are doing enough?

Covid-19 March 2020 to……. How do we stay healthy and hopeful?

Life has changed all over the world and life has changed in my homeland, Grenada. On March 25th a “Limited State of Emergency” was declared, to take effect the following day. It was our last day at our Physical Offices. The doors of Grenada were slammed shut and we had no choice but to resort to our homes. It didn’t matter if our homes were uncomfortable or not, we were commanded to stay indoors. There was a looming threat outside lurking, hovering, waiting to strike, that threat was Covid-19.

Before our Limited State of Emergency was declared, schools were closed securing the nation’s children, our future. Now, we were all heading home. Employers wrapped up their activities and the doors of all other functioning entities or organizations, including churches were closed. We were told to go home and stay home. We had no idea what shape or form this Pandemic would take. We were waiting and watching, some of us were praying and trusting God to keep us safe. We wanted to stay safe, we shunned the thought of a community spread dilemma.

First case, second case, third case, fourth case, fifth case, it happened. COVID-19 hit us subtly but confidently, hoping for lawlessness to prevail permitting a welcoming and fertile environment to thrive in. Our health officials and the Royal Grenada Police Force, stood their ground and fought like they should. They sought to be vigilant, to communicate effectively to the masses and to spread hope. During this period, we even had a national day of prayer and praise.

We stayed home from March 26th to May. Some businesses that were closed, opened their doors again in May, others in June. Fast-forward to today July 19th, we are no more on lock down, there is no curfew but limitations as it relates to our social lives continues as we are far from being out of the danger zone. We now have three new cases to try to figure out, where did they originate? How come they were missed? Questions and no answers yet. Because of the dread reality of Covid, we must be creative in our thinking and in our efforts to keep healthy, especially mentally. I wish to inspire all of us to believe that we can conquer this disease together with each family focusing on their household. The main reason for this article is to remind us that even through this crises, we can ensure our lives are tasteful and enjoyable even while applying caution. We can be bearers of hope. Let’s set out to do things that would provide a level of social and creative stimulation with our families that would pull us away from the social media (facebook, Instagram, twitter etc.) addictive dull-drum and the addictive binging of television shows or movies. We also need to keep ourselves away from slumber and from other unproductive practices. It is a serious caution to be heeded, as we need every fiber of our being to stay healthy. COVID-19 will have further devastating effects on our societies (Grenada and abroad) if we are not careful.

So now, I wish to inspire you as I inspire myself. Hear are some things I will be seeking to undertake or continue to undertake to keep myself and my family healthy and to keep our lives tasteful. Some of these activities I need to pursue right away as we do not know what tomorrow may bring. Please feel free to submit your ideas in our comments section.

1. Visit the dentist and get teeth cleaned or address any other work that needs to be done.

2. Visit the beach (not too frequently) remembering to practice physical distancing and all other protective measures.

3.Invite other parents to participate in a book swap, limiting the need to purchase books. This is particularly useful if you have school-aged children in your home. This provides reading as an option of things to do at home.

4.Clean your home, redecorate, redesign; give it a fresh look.

5.Visit a waterfall with a small group of persons (no more than 20).

6.Take full advantage of online seminars, bible studies and worship sessions.

7.Start a kitchen garden or spend time taking care of house plants.

8.Learn a new language online.

9.Get involved in creative projects eg: use your old toilet paper and tissue roles to create something you can use, design a piece of clothing and sew it.

10. Create meals together; clean and decorate your porch and verandah, spread a blanket on the floor on a moonlit evening and have dinner together.

11.Play church, each family member given a role to play, song-leader, scripture reader, singer, preacher :).

12. Do something different with your hair or for men your beard; there is a beard thing going on these days. Soak your feet or retreat to a quiet place with lighted scented candles after a lovely bath.

13.Excercise, make it fun!

14. Finally, pray more together.

That’s it for now. I have already started this list and I hope to try every activity over the next month. Let’s see how it goes.

Did I inspire you to be more creative with your time?

Saturday Motivation

This morning I woke up somewhere between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. and contemplated going for a walk. My body did not feel like it at all. I felt tired and desperately in need of extra sleep and lots of “doing nothingness”. As I laid on my bed, I looked at the time again and thought, it is just the right time to go walking, it is not too early nor is it too late; the temperature outside is just right. ” I can do this!” I thought. I must mention that I thought about walking last week Saturday and the Saturday before but was successful in talking myself out of it.

Not today! I was determined to make it happen. In about 10 minutes I was dressed and heading out the door. Packed my phone, water and a small umbrella into a little nap sack and placed it over my shoulder. I was off. My route began from “The Coconut” up through Mt. Parnassus connecting to the St. Paul’s main road. For those of you who have never visited my lovely Island, Grenada, that’s about a ten (10) minute walk.

As I approached the junction I felt a bit faint and thought, I could easily turn around, this would give me a good 20 minute sweat (10 minutes each direction). I decided to push myself and head for a longer route, previously envisaged. After drinking a little water, I shook of the temptation and the feeling to give in and turn back. Instead I escalated my steps, determined to conquer a longer route.

My entire route entailed “The Cocunut”, unto Parade and then White Gun, down to Marrast Hill, up to Tempe and Back to Mt. Parnassus. I am so happy I did not turn back but decided to push through. I made it and for me that’s a big deal.

I don’t know what you have been talking yourself out of but we are too often guilty of this defeating habit. It is always easier to turn to the other side of the bed and snuggle your way to sleep again, it is always easier to reach for the chocolate rather than prepare the fruits for blending, it is always easier to scroll through Facebook or Instagram instead of reading a good book, it is always easier to think you can rely on your past experiences all your life than to start your degree program.

We all know that if we wish to achieve better we must reach, we must make the effort, we must be o.k. sweating and be willing to sacrifice our comfort. Whether it’s sleep or having to give up some of your alone time or whatever is necessary to accomplish greatness.

Keep pushing, Keep stretching, don’t allow you to discourage you. Focus on the outcome, the benefits, the results and not on the journey.

God bless you!`

I appreciate you taking the time out to subscribe, visit my blog and share with others. Please continue. God bless you!!

In 2017, I accepted God’s way of renewing my purpose in life by taking my writing from little random, “spur of the moment” Facebook posts to longer articles, delving more into the topic at hand. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would start a blog on my own. Everything happened so seamlessly! I am writing today to inspire and uplift someone, anyone and everyone. I write from my heart, my joys and my pain, I write from my passion and I seek my very best to write from a pure heart. My desire is always to express my ideas only when I believe them to be true, sincere and practical. I write on topics that interests me most. I write within the framework of biblical principles because I believe they were created for man’s success.

To you who have subscribed to my blog and have been reading as I write, please know that you encourage me to keep writing. I truly believe that if I had only five readers, I would keep writing and that’s because I believe this is one of the ways I am living out God’s purpose for my life.

Thank you for reading, sharing, commenting, subscribing, liking or just soaking it all in and allowing each article to lift you and inspire you daily.

You are my motivation! I would love to receive more feedback from you so as to get a better understanding of how you have been impacted by my writing and to be able to connect with my readers even better.

The Health Journal Idea

About a month ago, I received a gift from a friend.  It was a lovely rectangular notebook with a beautiful painting of flowers on the bottom half of the front cover.    As you can see from the featured picture, the upper half carried the letter “J”.   “J” means a lot to me and to my family.  My first and last name begins with “J”, my daughters’ name begins with “J” and my son’s name begins with “J”.

Some people call me “Jay” others “JJ”; some prefer to call me by my official first name “Janel”.

The point is, this note-book is special to me because, I count the giver a genuine friend and as stated before, because of the cover.   I wanted to use it for something really meaningful to me and while I received it about a month ago, more like two months ago, only one week ago, I finally knew how I wanted to put it to use.

My pretty, most valued notebook is now my health journal.  I have fought to start a healthier lifestyle, internally motivating myself to take small steps towards this goal, but it has not been easy.    I do not intend to give up however.

Two days ago, I started my health journal as a  further push to myself to go big.  I must say that it has helped me thus far.  As I embark on this journey, I am seeking to apply things that work for me and not others.   I cannot achieve the success I want by wishing I can do what others are doing.   I must find ways to meet “me” where I am at, understanding that I can only be “me”.

For me lifestyle changes has and would continue to include, better planning of my meals, healthier choices, healthier methods of preparation.

Progress thus far (note that my journey started a while back but I have just been struggling with consistency:

Nutrition:

  • I limit “milk” in my diet – not good for my sinuses and allergies –  I do have milk now and then, maybe once every three weeks.
  • The sugar content in my juices and teas are limited and sometimes none.
  • I enjoy (not often enough) blended smoothies, one of my favourites is beet root with bananas and spices with Almond milk;  I add anything I wish to add to that, eg: carrots.
  • I seek to have a portion of vegetables everyday.
  • I use whole grain rice and not white rice.
  • I try to limit the use of other oils, sticking to “Olive Oil”

This is progress and listing them makes me feel really good.

I am currently doing a water therapy, meaning I am rehydrating myself with lots of water, more than usual, and I already feel the effects of its cool refreshing properties.

For me, constantly telling myself to keep pressing and imagining a body that is more awake and alert is my motivation.  Now that I have started the journal, I have taken it a step further.

I would share more next time.

Let this little experience inspire you to keep working towards “the start” or the “re-start”.

Remember, to live out God’s purpose, we need to feel well!

 

Carrots and Cantaloupe are good for us

Last Tuesday I blended carrots and cantaloupe together and enjoyed a refreshing drink; no sugar added.

Why, carrots and cantaloupe?  Well, for one, they were the only available fruits in my kitchen, at the moment, and as far as I knew they were good for me.  Every now and then however, we need to refresh our knowledge of what these fruits provide, so that we can maximise on their use.  So here are a few reminders or, for some of us, this could be news.

Let’s first look at carrots.  How can they be eaten and what benefits do they have for our bodies?

  • Carrots can be eaten raw as a snack (carrot sticks), or in a vegetable salad. They can also be blended with other vegetables to make a nutritious drink (like I did).    They can be steamed with other vegetables and boiled in soups of all kinds.  I have also seen carrots used in cakes and buns.  I love grating the raw carrot and mixing it into the rice immediately after the rice has been cooked.  I am sure there are many other ways to use the carrot, maybe you would love to share.
  • Carrots are great source of fiber. They also provide vitamin A (beta-carotene), one of the B Vitamins, Biotin, Vitamin K1, Vitamin B6 and Potassium. By now you should know that fiber is very important to having a healthy bowel movement.  It also helps us to feel fuller longer and can improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels.  Vitamin A, helps us to maintain healthy vision and is important for growth and development as well as healthy immune function.  What about Biotin?  It is one of the B-vitamins and plays an important role in the metabolism of fats and proteins. The other vitamins K1 and B6 are responsible, respectively, for bone health and for converting food into energy.  As we say, last but not least, carrots also provide Potassium, an essential mineral, useful for keeping the blood pressure under control.

Let’s look at the second fruit, the Cantaloupe.   I must say, around my family, friends and associates, this fruit is not popular at all.   It is not my favorite either; I enjoy it best when it is mixed with other fruits, as in a fruit salad or blended.

The cantaloupe however, has nutrients for us as well;

  • They provide a range of antioxidants, phytonutrients and electrolytes. The word “phytonutrients” was new to me, so I had to do some further research.  phytonutrients are nutrients found in plants, in fact “Phyto” is the Greek word for “plant”.  These nutrients are really chemicals which help to protect plants from germs, fungi, bugs and other threats.  Sounds like a good pest controller to me and maybe it is the secret to the healthy skin cantaloupes enjoy.
  • Looking closer to the nutrients provided to the body, in addition to the three benefits mentioned (antioxidants, phytonutrients and electrolytes), the Cantaloupe offers much more;

It provides Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, B vitamins such as thiamine, niacin, as well as folate.  It also provides magnesium and fiber.  I believe by now you agree that we need to eat more cantaloupe.  There is even a bonus for you; the seeds are edible, they provide omega-3, fatty acids.

I encourage you to do much more research on your own, but I do hope that this little peek into the benefits of consuming carrots and cantaloupes would inspire you to make healthier food choices.

Sources;

https://draxe.com/cantaloupe-nutrition/

https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/phytonutrients-faq#1

https://linwoodshealthfoods.com/ie/2013/11/20/why-dietary-fibre-is-so-important-for-your-diet/

 

Regular exercise in “2018”

Regular exercise for “2018” !    This statement is not a promise, or a resolution, it is simply a necessity, now, more than ever.   If I ought to continue to fulfill God’s purpose for my life, I must listen to his voice, to get up and get active.  He wants me to be healthy.

So I have made a list of to-do’s that would allow me to have a simple, do-able start, and I believe that there are others like me,  who need to become more disciplined at practicing regular exercise.  Like me, you are accustomed to exercising, but you have not been doing it for a while and you need to get back on track.  Even though, it is totally new to you, you can embrace it as a new lifestyle change.

So let’s go!  Remember we are doing it because it is a necessity.   Anything that is a necessity MUST be done, Right?

  1. Get a scale that is easy to read and is durable.  – If I have a scale, I can be aware of my weight movements.   If, I am to be responsible for my body, I should at least know what is going on with my weight.  I would love to loose a few pounds, it would certainly help me to get fit and be able to enjoy some of my favourite out-fits.
  2. Get a few outfits that would be comfortable for exercising; clothes can motivate you, choose wisely.
  3. Get me a skipping rope.    I choose a skipping rope, because I have great memories skipping as a child and I enjoy it still.  Also, if the weather does not permit me to be out-doors, I can easily pull my skipping rope and skip-idi-skip on my porch or anywhere in my house where there is sufficient space.
  4. Begin my exercise of choice and do it two times a week; my exercise of choice at this point is simple.  I will be walking home from work, twice a week to start with.   The intention is that once I start, it will be consistently two times each week.  Once I have gotten into the habit of doing it twice weekly, I can consider increasing the frequency.  The goal is to start simple and with a plan that is manageable.
  5. Resume worship dancing with my daughter, at least every other Saturday.  I love worshiping God in dance and have decided to allow my daughter to explore this side of her, she loves dance as well and needs to appreciate how her dancing can be used to share the gospel.
  6. Visit the Beach at least once a month and be sure to be involved in some form of physical activity when doing so.

That’s it for me, my plan for regular exercise in “2018” is not a “pie in the sky” , it is not fancy or expensive, neither is it done for popularity purposes.

It is about inspiring you to find a way to make exercising a part of your lifestyle.  Remember it is a necessity.  Try creating a plan that represents you and allows you to be active doing things you enjoy.

Let’s not forget our eating, we need to always strive to eat healthy.

I hope to share with you a bit of my experiences as I seek to fulfill God’s purpose in every area of my life.

Here are some simple ideas to help you create a simple plan:

  • Visit the beach more often and take a brief jog;
  • Go on family walks;
  • Work-out to suitable work-out music on you-tube right in your living room;
  • Walk home instead of driving or taking the bus;
  • Dance to your favourite songs;
  • Play outdoors with your children on week-ends;
  • Find an exercising partner at work and do some exercising before leaving the office.  In this case you would need a suitable space for this purpose and make sure your boss is fine with it;
  • If there is a pasture or playing field in your community, go jogging with your children or on your own or with a friend, at a time convenient to you;
  • And of course, if you think you are ready to commit to a gym membership, go for it.

Feel free to share with us on this blog  through the reply comment form or via my e-mail; fleurjerry4@gmail.com.

Hope to hear about your simple exercising plans.

My energy booster

My favourite energy drink needs to have beet in it.  Beet works magic in my life, seriously.   I become alive when there is beet, my brain functions well and I feel a lovely sense of well-being.

Today I blended another one of my beet drinks, making sure to note the ingredients used, so I can assess the finished product and try to improve.

My ingredients were:

  • 2 small to medium-sized beets
  • 2 small to medium-sized carrots
  • 1 small banana
  • 2/1/2 Cups Almond Milk
  • ½ t-spoon Almond essence
  • A pinch of grounded ginger
  • A pinch of grounded bay-leaf
  • Two t-spoons sugar (brown) or honey (my preference is usually honey)

Method:

Carrots and beets were washed, peeled and grated, the banana was sliced. They were all placed in the blender with all other ingredients, and blended; ice added.

Assessment of finished product:

First noticeable taste was the banana, carrots and milk; the beet was the after taste.  The essence was noticeable in a mild complementing way.  There was a slight taste of sugar (just right for me).  I was not satisfied however with the effect of the ginger and the bay-leaf”.   Next time, I would use nutmeg instead of bay leaf and I would increase the quantity.  Overall, the result was tasty and refreshing.

If you love your drinks loaded with sugar, then this drink is not for you.  I am usually always thinking “limited sugar”.

I have mixed beet with cucumbers and celery as well (no milk added), enjoyed that too.

Have you ever tried blending vegetables and observed how it made you feel?

For me, I am a strong believer in blended drinks that has beet; it works for me.

I urge you to drink healthier, for a healthier, more energetic you.

 

 

 

 

Guard your heart – Part 1

The heart that pumps

Science tells us that the human heart is a muscular organ about the size of a closed fist.  The heart keeps us alive by functioning like a circulatory pump, taking deoxygenated blood through our veins to our lungs, where it is filled with oxygen and pumped into our arteries.  Our arteries are then charged with the very important task of bringing the oxygenated blood to our tissues daily.

Once our heart is functioning as it is designed to function, we would enjoy good health that can be characterized (but not limited to) as follows:

  • Normal blood pressure 120/80
  • An energetic feeling
  • Healthy heart rate (70 to 80 beats per minute)
  • Even breathing, you should be breathing comfortably even if you were to start jogging.
  • The ability to remain calm in stressful situations.
  • The ability to perform physical activities
  • A steady heart beat with no murmurs.

I think it is amazing what happens in the heart daily, to ensure we stay alive.  We move about every day, running about, here, there, and everywhere and many times we do not stop to think about the condition of our hearts and keeping it healthy.

The physical heart vs. the spiritual heart (our spiritual condition determines our behavior).

Let’s get deeper, let us talk about the unseen heart that is manifested through our behaviour and attitudes; the seat of our will, motives and moral persuasions. I was motivated to get deeper after listening to a message one Sunday morning entitled “Hearts and Minds”.   I wanted to better understand the status of “the inner me”, my spiritual condition.   I felt the need to have my heart examined because I desire to have a healthy heart.

Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?”  Do you think this is going too far, I mean, aren’t we better than that?  Well, these are words of the Almighty God so “it is what it is”, we are who we are.   I am sure, if you stop and think for a while, you would ask yourself, why is man so bent on doing what is wrong?  Why do we pursue the very same thing that can destroy us? Why do we steal from hard working men and women? Why do we frame others when we know they are innocent; why do we pretend so we could look good in the eyes of others?  I think we have enough evidence that the word of God is true.

It is important for us to admit to the true condition of our hearts, if we must grow and experience change.  I love this verse; Proverbs 4:23 – It says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” KJV or “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” NIV.  I love this, it says so much.

Guard your heart? Should I walk around with a mini-sword hiding under my clothes to protect my heart? The word of God is speaking of taking intentional steps to keep, protect and preserve our hearts, the seat of our will, from which the issues of life emanate.  It is necessary to point out however, that we are not meant to guard our hearts on our own, we are enabled by God himself; he makes it possible.

To be continued……

Moringa – A Healthy Choice!

Have you ever heard about the Moringa Tree?  “Trees for Life International” has shared an enormous amount of information, it will amaze you.  Seriously!!!  http://www.treesforlife.org/our-work/our-initiatives/moringa.

Moringa Diagram: Tiny leaves. Enourmous benefits.

In Grenada, where I live we also have the Moringa Tree and many have tried to be industrious with the various parts of the tree.

I am in love with the work of Eleanor Swan (featured picture) a Small Business Entrepreneur who manufactures soaps from the moringa plant.  She also produces T-Bags from the leaves of the tree.   The name of Eleanor’s business is “Spice up your life creations”.   Love the name!

I am sharing this because it is a clear example of someone who is seeking to live their life to the fullest.    One of my admirations for this business is that there are bible verses printed on the packages; awesome!

Eleanor also does beautiful  hand-made cards; I must say making hand-made cards is fun and inspiring.

Let me know if you wish to contact Eleanor through my contact form.

You may want to ask yourself “What am I drinking?” is Moringa Tea a better choice?

Let’s take advantage of the healthy opportunities around us and in turn support small businesses driven by God-given purpose.

Have a healthy & creative day!!