Tag Archives: Living

Morning Routine

A person’s morning routine is so important.   More and more studies and research are showing that the way someone starts their morning sets the stage for how productive their day will be. Search it up! There is sooooo much information out there around this very topic.

Since my early 20s, I have woken up early to go for a run.   It did not matter where I was… at the beach, on an island, at a hotel, wherever and whenever, I found a way to get this run in. The endorphins were beyond addicting at the time; they were life changing.

However, like any addiction, it is important to be able to break it for several reasons.  Still, I ran and I ran…I refused to do anything else in my routine and if I did a class like spin or yoga, I would still find time to run.   I knew it was not healthy to depend on anything so much even if it was something healthy  like running.   Balance…balance…balance and there was no balance.

Since I had run throughout my entire pregnancy with my son, I pretty much started running right after delivering him.  Knowing my running history, my doctor had told me that I could restart again after almost a week but slowly.   This then turned into months later, I was running 6-8 miles a day.   It was too much on my body and soon I started to experiencing knee pains and other related running issues. I was overused, worn-down and my muscles were yelling at me to, “Slooooooow down!”

Still, it took my daughter and that second full-term pregnancy to slow me down.  I could not run once I hit the third trimester.  It was not possible without terrible pains and so then I was forced to find a new morning routine… Thank you God for that!

So, I started to walk every morning on my treadmill instead.  This was unless I was tired, which then I would take off against my will for my body and baby. Still during these first morning hours I continued to write. It started after a miscarriage that I started to pray each morning and then write scripture-based poems.  This continued for two years until I started to desire even more of the Word and writing.

This is how my morning routine gradually turned into one of balance and peace.   And while I am sure it will change over the years to come, I know that this is where morning need to start:

  1. Wake up early (weekdays at 4 and weekends usually around 6 thanks to my son… ha) Early riding definitely means early bedtime as much as possible too.
  2. Pray
  3. Read the Bible (There are great plans out there to help guide you through the Bible.  I am currently doing read the Bible in a year on the Bible app.  I highly recommend.)
  4. Scripture-based poetry that I send to close friends and family as a daily devotional/reflection/motivation.
  5. WAR – This is what I call it… I write for this blog, poetry or my book as I run (on my treadmill of course).   I use the Mutu System for my abs (my goal once summer hits is to become more constant with that) and I run still.   However, I now only do 3 miles when I run.  And the best part is…. I no longer NEEEED to run.  Although I do enjoy it, I skip it and do the elliptical sometimes and plan on branching out more this summer as well. Running is just a part of my morning routine. Therefore, I do not NEED it like I used to.
  6. Celery juice (16 ounces) on an empty stomach
  7. Warm lemon juice (16 ounces) 30 minutes after the celery (Sometimes, I switch these up but always waiting the time in between.)

And then I am ready for the craziness to begin as I finish the last minute touches of breakfasts and lunches and jump right into the day knowing that my mind, body and heart, and if needed some Kombucha, will continue to power and empower me throughout it all…

The Missing Ingredient

 

stuffing (dairy, egg & peanut free) (1)

I have always loved to bake, and try out new recipes of all types. After TJ’s anaphylactic reaction, I put that on hold for awhile out of fear and trying to process it all. That was until I realized that that was not the solution. Instead, together we started to create a whole new cookbook, pushing the old ones aside… for now.

Our allergy-free cookbook is filled with delicious meals and desserts from these past four years. And as we continue to add to our collection and experiment with our creations, we are always searching for the correct ingredients and amounts.

But if these years have taught me anything, it is about a crucial ingredient, that is often missing…

Prayer!

stuffing (dairy, egg & peanut free)Where do I even start?

With prayer!

Now, this is an area that I consider… a work in progress. However, its importance is one to share even before it is perfected. Is it ever really perfected?

Everything can cause us anxiety. The news, our food system, food allergies, irrational workloads, sicknesses, hectic days, hectic lives … to even the enjoyable aspects of life like trips and parties … they all have the ability to stress us out and steal our peace. There was a period of my life, (okay who am I fooling) …for most of my life, I handled the anxiety the same way:

Let it pile up…internalize it… let it pile up some more… try to do it all by myself… try to vent to someone about… let it pile up even more … fear the worst…explode …then repeat.

What is the saying accredited to Albert Einstein again? “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Maybe we aren’t insane, but we are overworked and over-worried, and missing one element (or at least I was), one important ingredient to the recipe of life, prayer!

So how does it work? It works everywhere and for everything.

To start, before each meal, pray over the food quietly or with your family and friends.

Thank You God for this food, blessing our bodies with it and for the hands that prepared it. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

Worried about that allergy or doctor appointment coming up for your child or yourself?

Thank you God for healing his body from allergies. Thank you for protecting him and the good news You will provide.

Or

Thank You God for healing and restoring my body. Thank You for the great news I will receive at this appointment and the beauty that you will create from my pain. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

Anxious about whether or not you should take the new job or do the new diet?

Pray over it. Thank You God for the blessing that this job … this diet … etc … will bring my life and my ability to do Your will through it.

Is your kid acting like they lost their mind in the car as you commute to work and school? (The Lord knows I’ve screamed back a time or fifty …)

Pray over them.

But it’s not just the missing ingredients from our needs, it is also the key part of even the moments of grace.

Is your heart beating a mile a minute as you just somehow avoided getting in a major accident with your two kids in the car? Pray and thank God for getting you out of that lane before the car behind you crashed into the one ahead. Pray for the people who did get hit every time you see an accident even if the accident is the reason you are late to work. Don’t curse and don’t stress. Pray, pray, pray.

It will help you breath better. It will help you think better. It will help you react better. It will help you understand better. It will help you love better. It will help you live better.

Do. It. For. Everything.

I’m not saying it will make your washer that broke restart or finally get money to grow from that tree in your backyard. Although sometimes God touches down in those situations too… (well maybe not the money-growing spruce…)

But what will it hurt? It can’t hurt. It can only bring you peace in places and times anxiety wants to steal just that.

Prayer is the ingredient I was missing for way too long. And even though we may have moments we feel like life in unfair…. What are these allergies even for? Why my kids? Why didn’t I get that job? That promotion? Or the other millions of questions that our days through at us?prayer is needed.

For we are called to pray for the blessings that these challenges will bring… the blessings that we cannot even comprehend that are waiting for us just around the corner.

So while our allergy safe cookbook may only be half written and stored away in our anything but organized cabinet, we are learning to pray through our mess… believing for more.

 

TIPSy TUESDAYS – Going on Vacation

Because I am currently trying to get my own health in order, I am reposting my first “TIPSy TUESDAY.”  I posted this right after our first family vacation after learning about my son’s multiple food allergies. Since I look forward to our next family adventure, I looked back and wanted to share some tips…

Going on vacation with food allergies


 

Now, at least in my experience with having a son with multiple food allergies and skin sensitivities, everything new is a scary ordeal.   Every new food, new lotion, new soap, new visitor, new school year, new milestone, new experience, new environment, and everything else you can have a new of can be nerve-racking.

With that being said, going on our first family vacation since my son’s diagnosis was a huge new experience with many new environments to inspect and learn to trust. Therefore, while I was excited, I was full of anxiety those first days.

Here are some tips that I found to be helpful.

  1.  Be prepared: Check to see where the local hospital/urgent care is.  Also, make sure to bring the proper medications and emergency plans.  In our case, we searched the nearest medical centers beforehand.  Since I always carry Epi-pens and Benadryl on me, we also packed extra of these.  I copied TJ’s recently updated “Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan” before we left  to keep with us all the time.
  2. Plan Meals Beforehand: Since TJ was only 15 months during this trip, we still made most of the food that he was eating.  Therefore, we planned ahead, making sure that we had enough of his food for the duration of the trip, or least the food that we thought we may not be able to get on vacation.  We also made sure that the place we were staying had a kitchen with a refrigerator and oven to help with his food.  Because of the reality of cross-contact, we also brought his own pots, pans, trays, containers, and utensils. (See more information about cross contact here.)
  3. Scope out the scenes everywhere: (To some,  this tip may seem to be a bit much;  however, I find it to be extremely critical.)
    1. Check out the place you are staying.   Even though we stayed at a very well-kept place, we wiped down the surfaces all around, emptied out unsafe foods left in the refrigerator by previous people, vacuumed, etc. When we first arrived as my husband was unpacking the car (before we had time to wipe down and vacuum) , the first thing TJ wanted to do with his toys was put all of his farm animals on one of the dining room chairs.   I quickly scanned the chair and noticed a larger piece of Parmesan cheese.   Therefore, we cleaned everything where he would be. I truly believe that you cannot be too cautious.
    2.  Scope out the locations you visit throughout the day such as the beach and aquarium.   While I know that this tip may sound irrational,  we learned that scoping out the beach is extremely important.   On our vacation this time around, I checked out the area of sand that TJ was playing in and it seemed safe.   However, when he started to run around, I noticed peanut shells nearby.   Later in the afternoon, I noticed pistachio nut shells. Apparently lots of people eat nuts and peanuts on the beach so just check out the area.  This was just something I never thought of beforehand. In addition to nuts on the beach, we also had to be careful when we visited the aquarium on a rainy day.  This is because the facility sold buttered popcorn.  As people walked around, many ate and dropped a ton of this buttery treat all over.   It was safest, especially on the first floor where it was sold, to hold my son or keep him in the stroller.
  4. Bedding/Washing: With TJ’s eczema and skin sensitivities, we have to be careful with detergents and soaps.   While for many months we only used Soap Nuts to wash all of our laundry, we now use a free and clear detergent that doesn’t affect TJ’s skin negatively. Therefore, we brought this detergent as well as all of TJ’s safe soaps. In addition, we brought all of our own bedding and towels which many people do anyways.
  5. Have fun: While you should always be on guard, like a close family member reminded me a week ago, we all need to “live a little.” With the proper preparations, trips can be super enjoyable and totally worth the pre-trip anxiety.  Because our first family vacation with food allergies was a huge success, we smile on and look forward to the next…