I hope you enjoy this free Health Guide but more importantly I hope you
use this guide to put in perspective your health and how you treat
also, hope that you will become more active in your health routine and
I hope you know just how important you are.
Let's begin by discussing the the basics-eat right, exercise,
strengthen your mind, body and soul.
In the end, I'll share my story.
To your health!
Yes, there is a
great deal of confusing and even contradictory information about diet,
diets and what you should eat.
My advice is simple: If you eat somethin
notice how you physically
feel afterwards not emotionally. Do you feel energized or just full or
sluggish? Are you hungry again within an hour or so or are you fine?
Ask yourself questions like, "Was what I ate worth the price? Are there
healthier choices I can make so that I don't feel deprived?"
I know you know these but some other proactive things you can do are:
- Add fiber
- Eat small, frequent meals
- Drink about 8 glasses of water a day
- Eat whole grain foods
- Limit meat
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Take vitamins and supplements
your diet is poor in variety
- Eat a variety of foods
- If you can, eat organically grown foods
- If you must have chocolate or desserts, eat
This is going to be the shortest guide with
only one suggestion.
Just move it, move it. Exercise.
- Do what you can, when you can.
overdue it if you are prone to over-doing but everything else is all
I like to play basketball, jog and play on the Wii Fit. My biggest
problem is fitting in the time to actually play basketball or go
jogging or even to pull out the Wii. Another problem specifically with
the Wii is the temptation to play games like
Hero World Tour. I
suppose the games could be a reward for working out. Sounds like a good
plan to me.
Seriously, the real solution to the main problem is two-fold.
- Find something you like to do and do it.
- Make a commitment to show up. Put it on the
schedule or on your calendar. Make it your habit to play and/or
exercise. Make it fun.
Guide: Regular Checkups
Dentist, Eye checkups, Physicals, PAP and
Schedule them and go. Don't give me excuses. I know them all. Make the appointments.
Healthy Guide for Women: 5
things You Must Do
1. Regular Pap
Now, if you are a male reading this, please don't go and ask your
doctor for a PAP smear.
This is a simple procedure and there
is some discomfort involved but it
is so important to get this done regularly.
2. Mammogram according
to recommended guidelines
Again another important test to have done. Early detection and
treatment can save your life. Just go and get the test if it is time or
if you find a lump. Don't
wait. In fact, if you need either a PAP smear or a
mammogram, grab your calendar right now, find the Drs. number and call
and schedule an appointment, as soon as you can. This does not mean to
call next week or to schedule the phone call.
Just do it.
3. Eat Healthy-
most of the time
If you read my story below, this
will make more sense. Of course, you
have to eat but there are so many choices and sometimes we slip into
patterns of not making healthy choices. If you catch yourself in one of
these bad patterns try to refocus on healthier choices.
I can't say much here. I regularly stay up late but in my defense I
generally get sufficient amounts of sleep every night and I get up at
basically the same time every morning. I am not running on a sleep
The problem is when you short change yourself on sleep regularly. We
all know the effects of not having enough sleep and until you
choice to go to bed earlier or sleep later there isn't really advice I
can give you.
With sufficient sleep, you will feel better, be more alert and better
able to handle the stress of a typical homeschool day.
5. Immune Defense
There are things you can do to bolster your immune system. Take your
vitamins. Get extra rest if you feel like you are getting sick.
Products like Emergen-C can give you an extra boost when needed. If you
don't want to get a separate product, drink orange or grapefruit juice.
There are supplements that you can take. Use common sense with
supplements. If you are taking 20 supplements a day that is probably
too much and perhaps just focusing on eating a better diet might be an
easier and tastier approach.
Healthy Guide: Your Mind
As a homeschooler, you know how important an
education is to your child's future but I want to stress that keeping
your mind active is also important.
Someday, your children will be out in the world and on their own. What
will you do then? I hope that you will follow your passions whatever
those may be.
Keeping your mind actively learning isn't difficult to do while
homeschooling. Read along with your children. Read age level adult
books on the topics they are studying. Live to and love
to learn. Our world is fascinating. The people are intriguing. The
ideas and concepts of others can be enlightening but we have to make an
effort to explore and seek out what the world offers.
Try new things regularly in front of your children and be honest in
your assessment. It is ok not to like everything....just be careful of
how you respond. Children will mimic you and you don't want them to
say, "Ewwww, this is disgusting," after trying Grandma's new turkey
Healthy U Guide: Your Soul
What nutures and lifts your spirits? Every
homeschooler I know leads a very active life, at times running to so
many things that it becomes stressful. It is important to recognize
when you are feeling stressed and before it gets to a breaking point,
pay attention to the signals and take some time to unwind, calm down or
I have gotten to a point, where
it is difficult for me to relax. I feel
guilty if I spend the afternoon reading a book but I know there are
times when I need to do just that. I get a feeling that I need to get
away, I need to set aside the worries and frustrations and I think you
too know when you need to do that. Heed those times and take the break.
If you have to, schedule it in your calendar. Unless of course, you
like feeling stressed, worried, anxiety ridden and depressed.
outside, go on a field trip, read a book, meditate, pray, close your
eyes, take a nap, have a piece of chocolate, create something, draw,
paint or do an activity that engages you so much that you can only
focus on that one thing and free you from the worry trap.
Signals to Watch For and
Generally, you know when something is wrong. Admit it and get
- Frequent headaches
- Persistent lack of enthusiasm
- Abnormal mood swings
- Unusual female pains
- Persistent insomnia
- Unusual lumps
- Unusual skin changes
- Intense sadness/fear without cause
U Guide: Organization
Some people are naturally organized, and can keep everything straight
and neat even with children running around...I haven't quite mastered
that yet but I do have a few suggestions that work for us.
- If you have rules about where
things need to
be, make sure everyone knows the rules.
- Put things away when you are done
working/playing with them.
- If you are a paper piler, de-pile on a regular
- Clean up spills right away, pick up trash and
throw it away.
- Recycle, if you can and have the room, if not
either throw it away or give it to someone who recycles.
- Do mini clean-ups. Have everyone help. We do a
5-10 minute pick up and the room is usually acceptable. 5 people doing
5 minutes of cleaning = 25 minutes of cleaning time.
- Give the children chores and hold them
responsible....do not do the chores for them unless they are sick.
- Bathrooms-swish and swipe daily and clean the
shower after you take a shower with a little bit of soap and a scrubby
- If you have room, designate a
place for all
school related items. Use organizational items to store and keep papers
- Keep counters/tables/ clean and floors swept.
Assign one person to sweep in the mini clean up time if you don't like
- De-clutter often. Get rid of anything that
doesn't fit, work or you don't want or need. Use common sense
here-don't let your children get rid of their math books because they
don't want them. :)
- Create a short daily routine that works for you
and covers the areas that bother you the most, for me those areas are
the floors and the counter tops.
- Socks can be rubber banded together before
being thrown into the washer. Then the matching is done and the washer
will get to eat fewer socks.
Healthy U: My Diet Story
do not have a diet plan to sell you. I don't have miracle drugs that
will help you lose weight and I am not going to recommend any amazing
new diet discoveries. I am going to tell you my story. Of
course, you have the option to not read it.
As a teenager, I was not concerned about my weight. That probably was
an oddity but I was active and ate regularly and wasn't overweight.
I ate what I wanted to eat but it is important to note, I
lived on a farm and I didn't have access to junk food or a lot of candy
and sugary products.
As an adult things changed. With each new pregnancy (I was pregnant 5
times) I gained weight. By the time I hit my 40's I weighed as much as
I did when I was pregnant full-term with my first child. At first, this
bothered me. I tried to lose weight. I watched what I ate....and not
just as it went in my mouth. I wasn't totally inactive and I did
exercise. The weight just would not come off.
It was then that my attitudes towards food became dangerous.
On some levels I accepted my weight, but I certainly did not
want to gain more. Unfortunately, it seemed like if I even ate
small portions, or in some cases looked at a dessert I would
gain weight. If I ate normal portions. I gained weight. If I
didn't eat my body went into survival mode. Also, if I overate, I
I suspected my thyroid was not working right....but everytime I had
thyroid tests they came back normal.
I wanted to quit eating but I'm not stupid. I knew I had to eat but
when the topic or
idea of eating came up, I noticed I was cringing internally as if I had
Preparing meals, planning meals, hungry children and husbands became
something I didn't want to deal with or do anymore. I focused on
preparing quick, easy meals they could and would eat. I showed them how
to make them. Ok, that was a good thing. The motive was wrong but it
was a good thing to teach them to cook.
I was extremely frustrated with the whole situation and I knew food
was part of the problem. Another part of the problem was my
attitude and the lack of truth in information about what you need to
eat to be healthy. There also is so much quackery in the diet industry
that I didn't trust any of them.
I was beginning to give up. I was obese. I tried to accept that; some
days I could accept it, some days, I could not.
Now, my eating habits weren't all that bad, some of the things I was
doing were the right things to do. I did them consistently.
I drank water.
Limited caffeine, dairy and meat.
I ate vegetables and small portions.
I even exercised regularly.
I went to the doctor for a regular check up. The doctor's advice was to
eat less and exercise more. I
tried. For months I took the children to a track 18 miles away just so
we could jog. I did jog for at least 30 minutes, 2-3 times per week,
but my weight only went up.
My frustration increased and again I focused on trying to accept my
weight. I prayed for
help. It came.
In December of last year, some strange things began to happen. During
that time of the month, I felt like I was bleeding internally. Yes, I
know what that feels like. I attributed this feeling to stress over
traveling and the holidays. I shouldn't have done that. The next time I
had my cycle start I ended up in the ER. The pain was horrible, I was
freezing cold and I wasn't a priority in the ER. I asked for a blanket.
They didn't have any. They brought me a sheet. I couldn't stop shaking.
I couldn't get warm. Again I felt like I was bleeding
having contractions. No, I wasn't pregnant. I suspected I was
going into shock. I thought, maybe
then they would take me back to see the doctor.
Finally, they took me back. The first temperature reading they took
didn't even register. They ran all kinds of tests, gave me fluids and
treated me ok but as
the tests came back clear they had no idea of what could be wrong and
gave me that feeling like I was wasting their time. Eventually, the
pain subsided and they told me to go home. I was glad to leave but I
knew something wasn't right and I knew I had 28 days to find out what
was wrong and get it fixed.
I made an appointment with a new OB/GYN doctor and he did some follow
up tests and eventually surgery. I will spare you those details.
After the surgery, which didn't find any real problems, like cancer or
tumors or cysts, I noticed that I started to lose weight. I
didn't really do anything differently but this was encouraging. I made
a few adjustments like exercising more again and eating and eating
wiser and now I have lost
several pounds. For the first time in years I am below that full-term
weight. I am hopeful that I will continue to lose weight but I can only
say my weight loss is not because of anything I am doing differently.
due to God's intervention into my struggle.
The good news is that even though I may never really enjoy food or see
food as anything other than something necessary for survival, I can now
eat without hating every bite. I still make as few meals as possible
though. It was a scary and dangerous path my own mind and body was
taking me on and I am thankful to be off of that path.
The point of this story, is that sometimes there is no apparent reason
for weight gain or loss. There likely is a cause, but it is not
always what you expect it to be or what other's expect or believe.
You know when
something isn't right. Don't wait to see if there is a problem or brush
it off. Get it checked out before it gets worse. Take the time to be
aware of the signals and heed them.
I have shared this story in hopes that if you are having some health
problems and you know that something is wrong, you will be proactive
and get help.
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