Category Archives: intentional living

Confidence Unveiled: Physical Identity

WDYT or FOFO???

Let’s remove some veils before we smother.

We are living in a culture of extremes that glorifies the smallest to the biggest of sizes.

We are either obsessing with appearance (WDYT) or settling with health (FOFO). And, because we’re at one extreme or the other, we usually “weigh in” with either pride or despair….

Can anyone relate?

In the event you don’t think I’m reality based, here are recent facts to substantiate:

  1.  1 in 2 deaths in the U.S. is due to lifestyle choices.
  2.  Plastic surgery apps on your phone now make it possible to cut yourself to a smaller size before posting onto social media.

 

 

We listen to the voices of culture that begin to play inside our minds creating thick, internal veils….

“I’ll never measure up.”

“What good does it do to take care of myself? I’ll die of something…”

Culture sways…Satan speaks….We hit “Play” and our Identity is Taken Away!

Whenever you compare yourself to others, you’re actually lowering your standard because you’re one of a kind…the unique combination of your physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual components that make up YOU in totality.

Let’s offer some HOPE, shall we?

What would it be like to approach each new day with the following mindset….

“What can I do today to care for my body?”

“How can I eat properly so my body and mind are nurtured well?”

“How can I work my body to keep it strong and active?”

“How can I appreciate (and even like!) the one body God gave me?” (Psalm 139)

“How can I use this body to fulfill God’s earthly mission since it’s the vessel He has given me to accomplish my daily tasks?”

A healthy balance is to take pride in your appearance without being prideful.

A healthy balance is to be proactive with your health, especially if you know your medical history.

The question ISN”T “Why Do I?”…. The question IS “Why Wouldn’t I?”

Two points to offer hope:

  1. Selectively focus on the traits you DO you like when you gaze in the mirror!
  2. Focus on what you’ve got; stop trying to look like someone you’re not!

Remove those veils of obsessing and settling and UNVEIL some confidence today.

 

 

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Go Nuts with this Recipe!

I go nuts over walnuts.  That’s probably why temptation got the best of me while shopping @Costco before Christmas when I spotted this Kentucky bourbon cake.  I discovered that the topping was what I loved — a mixture of nuts, chocolate, and sugar.

So I decided to tweak my temptation in a healthy way by using this original recipe to substitute one for the other.

Sauté walnuts in a 1/2 – 1 T. coconut oil (amount of oil depends on amount of walnuts).

While sautéing, sprinkle the following: cocoa powder, stevia, and cinnamon (and any other  spice that’s appealing to you!).

Remove from heat after coated and rest on paper towels until cooled. Store in airtight container.

It’s not just about deleting something from your daily intake; it’s about substituting something healthier!

Unless you’re allergic to walnuts, find ways to incorporate them into your diet.  They contain fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins, and Omega-3 fats (the healthy kind!). Use on salads, greek yogurt, or eat a few as a snack.

If you’d like clean recipes, visit Amazon.com and order my gluten and dairy free cookbook to get you started (Recipes Unveiled by Shirene Gentry).

Remember:  Simple.  Easy.  Clean. In 2017!

This is Hope Unveiled!

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Eat Clean in 2017!

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to a New Year! A New Year means resolutions and change for many.  And you can guess what the number 1 resolution is:  weight loss.

For me, it’s not just that I’ve overeaten…I have pretty much binged on sugar. So now the clean eating begins….

When I say, “clean eating,” do you feel defeated?  Don’t!  It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1.  Protein
  2.  Veggies
  3.  Healthy fats

As long as you have these items on hand, along with some kitchen basics (e.g. reduced sodium broth), you can eat clean EASILY.

Here’s how simple this original recipe was….

Leftover zucchini, red bell peppers, sweet onions, green beans, chicken meatballs, and chicken broth.  Add cracked pepper or other spices if desired.

In summary, sauté any and all veggies you have on hand.  Add broth and protein.  You’re done!  It really is THAT easy.

Soup with protein and vegetables fills you up and gives you all of what you need to eat clean.

This is Hope Unveiled.

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Anxious Living: “C” in R.E.S.I.L.I.E.N.C.Y.

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The “C” in R.E.S.I.L.I.E.N.C.Y. acknowledges four concepts for buffering stress. Consider the following:

CALM

Learn to cultivate calm evenings.  In particular, there are two recommendations:

  1.  Do not discuss “heavy” topics at night with family members.  This activates the brain in ways that is not conducive to restful sleep.  If needed, discuss stressful topics during daytime hours.
  2. Develop a calm bedtime routine.  This may include a relaxing bath, soft music, no blue light (for an hour and a half before bedtime),  reading a hardcover book, etc.

CONNECTION

Share your stress with a trusted friend or professional.  You are a “jar of clay” (2 Corinthians 4:7) and need to have an “inner circle” to connect and commune with during challenging times.  In addition, these trusted individuals can bear the burden of your stress by either just listening, or actively serving you to lighten the load. In either instance, put pride aside.

CAFFEINE

The tendency to be stimulated during a time of stress is a vicious cycle, especially if you haven’t been able to sleep well.  Be intentional about greatly reducing your caffeine intake.  If you’re used to caffeine at all three meals, begin by deleting it at the dinner hour.  Once your body is used to this, delete the caffeine at lunch as well.  Ideally, drink your cup of Joe in the morning and be done.  Your body is already stressed enough; caffeine doesn’t help the cause.

CRY

My grandmother always told me that a good cry was good for the soul.  Neurobiology has confirmed her wisdom.  The hormone that causes the production of cortisol is found in your tears.  Specifically, a 2-4 minute cry has stress reduction benefits. So go ahead and cry; however, beware of a pattern.

With these 4 concepts in mind, how can you…..

A. Make one change – and eventually more – in your bedtime routine to alleviate stress?

B.  Identify a trusted friend, family member, or professional to share your stress with?

C.  Monitor and delete your caffeine intake? Perhaps a family member to hold you accountable?

D.  Not suppress your feelings and give yourself permission to cry?

In summary, use these tips to manage stress.  Remember: The idea is to buffer and build (resiliency).

This is Hope Unveiled!

 

Anxious Living: Plate Juggling

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This post will be the first in a series on stress management.

You’ve probably said it when someone inquires how you’re doing:

“I’ve got too many plates to juggle.”  “Busy.”  “A lot going on.”  “Trying to keep up.”  Here’s a fact:  Whatever happens (or doesn’t) during the day is drastically affecting the quality of sleep in this country.

If you REALLY want to get a grip on your proverbial plates, you must examine and evaluate what your priorities are.  REALLY.  It’s not an issue of time management, it’s an issue of personal management. Here are some coaching tips for managing all your “plates.” Ask yourself these questions:

  1.  What keeps your daily schedule so busy that you have no cushion or margin? Write down those daily activities that devour your day.
  2.  What stresses you? Stress is unique, and what stresses you is probably different from what stresses out someone else.
  3.  What are your BELIEFS that drive your behavior?  Remember:  All actions only follow a set of (automatic) beliefs that motivate you to keep juggling.

You may feel that you have no choice.  Guess again.  And that’s the good news….you DO have a choice!

Start with the basics:

-Examine your schedule, your spouse’s schedule, and your kids’ schedule.  What needs to go?  A huge part of stress management is learning to say “NO” to many things, often good things.

-Stay true to what you value as a family. Time with each other. Down time. Yes, down time is good.  Parents, allow your children to see you relaxing and don’t sign them up for too many extra curricular activities.  Believe it or not, they’ll be in college with or without the padded resume.  They’ll be just fine.

-Think about 5 years from now.  Will you be content to say you “did it right” and slowed down long enough to place an emphasis on what is REALLY important to you? If you keep up this pace will you have later regrets?

-Make room for relationships.  Yes, intentional scheduling to be with friends.  It won’t happen by default. Your “to do” list will be forgotten.  How you developed relationships won’t.

Get rid of some of your “plates.”  You can only eat off one at a time.

This is Hope Unveiled.