4 Easy Ways to Beat Your Bad Food Cravings

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Now, no food is necessarily bad, as long as you eat it in moderation. However, it’s often the moderation part that trips people up. So if you’re struggling with a food that goes beyond moderate helpings, here are some tips to help you out!

  1. Starve it

The best way that works for me is to go cold turkey on whatever is giving me the most trouble. In particular, chocolate always causes me to binge eat, I could never get enough of it. So I just gave it up completely. Not only does this help it to get out of your system, even though it may take a while, but it also helps to teach yourself self-control. It is okay to tell yourself “no” when you want something.

  1. Eat Regularly

For me, my weakest moments are when I’ve forgotten to eat and feel famished. I have to grab something, ANYTHING! In comes the junk food or overly processed food that I definitely don’t need. But by cooking ahead and planning out my meals instead of leaving it to random chance, I’m less at risk of giving in.

  1. Eat things you like

Don’t take away everything that you like to eat at once or you’ll be more likely to revert back to old ways. Remember, the best change for your health is to change your lifestyle and not just make it a quick diet. Everything is okay to eat, in moderation. As long as you have control over it, go for it! If a healthy recipe doesn’t taste right to you, alter it! Play around with seasonings and experiment until you like it.

  1. Make Replacements

I love potato chips, I probably always will. But what I really love is the texture of them, that satisfying crunch! You know what else gives me that crunch? Granola, and it’s a lot healthier for me too. I also eat less granola when I snack on it and I’m happier. If you have a sweet tooth, get more fruit. And go beyond the basic fruits, try out something different. For me, pomegranates are a huge treat.

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Most importantly, if your cravings still continue it may be that your body does have a need for something. So make sure that you are eating well-rounded meals and that you’re getting enough vitamins every day.

What I Learned From Failure

Failure

I’m afraid of a lot of things, but I believe failure has always been my biggest fear. It’s funny because I could have nightmares of creepy little girls killing people gorily in mansions and chasing me without moving, but the scariest nightmares were of me failing an actual event in real life. And no, I don’t watch horror movies.

Failure has always loomed over me, as the thing that I wanted to avoid the most. So, I always played it safe. I focused on a few things that I knew with hard work I could just accomplish. I’m an overachiever and a perfectionist. I was the one carrying group projects to glory just so my grade would be perfect. But then, what happens when we actually experience failure?

The first thing to know is that, just because you might fail at something, it does not turn you into a failure.

That was mind blowing to me. That I could fail, but I was still myself, the world still kept on turning. I was traumatized over failure, I always have been. But this time it was different, this time I thought to myself, what could I accomplish, if I didn’t let the fear of failure hold me back?

My writing took a drastically different turn, I started writing with pure abandon and not questioning myself (which led to me entering a writing contest!) I started trying to learn animation with Autodesk Maya on my own again. But what if, I realized, what if the failure that I fear so badly has been the thing holding me back from my full potential? What if, all the self-criticism had me bound and wouldn’t let me progress where I need to go? What if fear, was my only true weakness?

Now it’s true, I’m not the greatest at everything. Especially not the things that I want to do with my life, but that just means I have to work harder. I have to want it more, I have to go after it with all the strength that I do have. This also requires me to learn to let go of what I have no control over, so I can put my effort towards what I can do.

Because at the end of the day, I’d rather have a long list of things that I failed at in trying to get better, instead of a long list of regrets for never even trying.

What are some things that fear has been holding you back from accomplishing? Let me know in the comments, if you’ve already overcome your fear, let me know about that too! We’re all in this together.

My First Public Writing

So I debated over this a TON. I’m very close with my writing. So close that I quietly write books with no intention of sharing most of them until I get better at writing. However, I decided in the meantime it was about time I start putting some of my writing out there, so here it is! I entered a fantasy writing contest (it’s totally free by the way if anyone else would like to join) and posted my complete fantasy story there. I’d appreciate a vote from you all, as only the top 10% of the voted will be judged. Every single vote counts! I’m so nervous about sharing things with the world, but I can’t write in the dark forever, right?

Check out my story here: My Real Imaginary Love

Real Imaginary Love Pic

Faith and Works

faith and worksMy mind is ultimately the greatest battle that I face daily. It can shred me to pieces if I allow it. Or it can build me up and give me the strength that I need to keep on smiling and encouraging others. There are times when even with all that I have learned about focusing on taking care of myself and depending on God, that the thoughts of what can I do? Still flood my mind.

I’ve been doing physical therapy over a month now, sometimes it goes so slow it’s frustrating. At times I feel like I’m going backwards, my knees have improved but everything else still hurts and my back hurts even worse than it did before. But then there’s the topic of money, sometimes I spend so much time worrying about where it’s going to come from next or how I’m going to make it. I spent half a day worrying about something I had no control over when it resolved itself, without me doing anything.

Although at the time I was freaking out and looking at culinary jobs (knowing I would only make myself 100 times worse), all I really needed to do was be patient. That’s the hardest thing for me to do at this point of my life.

I keep putting things in God’s hands and then pulling it back out to see if I can do something with it in the meantime. I still try to reanalyze and figure out the balance of faith and works, but here’s what I have realized:

Work as hard as possible on what God has given you to do.

Don’t overstep into the things that God is already working on, just do what you can with the strength that you can. There are things that we can’t force to work, but we simply have to believe, have faith and pray continuously.

God is infinitely bigger than whatever we go through, although at times doubt may flood our minds even when we are following along doing the things that we are supposed to be doing, it is okay. It’s up to us to push it back down, to take control of our mind and thoughts and let them know that there is a plan. That we will overcome.

4 tips for Cooking Healthier on a Budget

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Healthy eating doesn’t need to be expensive! I know, crazy thought, right? A lot of people may think that one excuse for not living a healthier lifestyle is how expensive it is to cook and eat healthier. However, you’d be surprised at how affordable it actually can be. It really just depends on where you shop and how you shop.

  1. Discount grocery stores

Overlooking discount grocery stores can be a mistake, plenty of times I have found high-quality items at these stores for better prices. A lot of the name brand food items can have very similar comparisons for less, you really are paying for the name. The upside is if you buy fruits and vegetables from here, they will often be ripe already and you won’t have to wait for them to ripen. This also means that you shouldn’t get more than you need at discount stores, but just get enough for the week.

  1. Buy in Bulk

If you have a large family, you can research in your area for places to buy fruits and vegetables in bulk. After some looking around, I found a food terminal in my area where I was able to buy apples and oranges by the box. Or pretty much anything I wanted. This was great for whenever I was making my own juice at home. They have a ton of amazing deals, all you need to do is look around and find them.

  1. Go for leaner meats

Chicken and ground turkey are very affordable. Sometimes I can find deals on fish, but mostly chicken and ground turkey are my go to staples for protein. I’ve switched out ground beef for turkey in quite a few dishes, not only is it healthier, but it’s often more cost-effective as well.

  1. Cook for more than one meal

If you have a lot of food already cooked and ready to eat, you’re less likely to need a lot of junk food on hand for snacking in-between. It also allows you to be prepared to eat many small meals in a day, instead of just three large ones where you are more inclined to overeat. By shopping and cooking in bulk, you can actually save money in the long run. If you have too much, don’t cook it all at once but freeze some for later.

These are just a few tips to get you started, but as always, I started with what I already had. Don’t feel like you have to eat up all the junk food or sweets in your house before you can start making healthier purchases, just start right now a little bit at a time. Buy a head of lettuce instead of the prepackaged bags, try out different vegetables incorporated with your normal meals. It’s the small changes that can help you gradually shift to a more permanent change and a healthier lifestyle.

I’m still working on my own changes and over the years, my body has started to crave more healthy, less processed food. I also don’t feel lethargic when I’m giving my body what it needs to survive, I try to take control of my health in any way that I can and I encourage you to do the same.

If you’d like to check out an easy recipe that I put up on my channel for chicken tenders at home, you can watch that here:

Health and Fitness: 6 Tips to Get Started

HEALTHY FOOD

Everywhere I look I see extreme diets or new exercise programs popping up. Being healthy and exercising has become so mainstream and money centered that people often ask me how I lost so much weight. They’re always shocked when I say, eating right and exercising. There’s no miracle diet and no reason to pour out your money on the next big thing, in fact, to get started all you really need is you.

  1. Start with what you have
Walking The track
I also walked around the track, sometimes backward

I started out with what I had, which happened to be a dancing game. From there I moved on to old workout DVDs for free, from the library. I don’t recommend spending hundreds of dollars on DVD’s or equipment when you’re just getting started. Try out some and see what you like! You can also get free memberships from most gyms to try them out. If you’re in college, check your college gym. If your job has a gym, see if there’s a special membership.

  1. Start out slowly

It’s okay to still eat some things that aren’t the best, as long as you’re planning on eating them in moderation and for some things, eliminating them entirely. In time. You don’t have to do it all at once, but you should start somewhere. The first thing I cut out was pop because I was drinking a LOT of my calories. I still have it occasionally but nowhere near as much as I used to. Now I turn to water for my main drink.

  1. AVOID THE SWEETS!
My last big sugar high
Last big sugar high

I’m not sure why, but everywhere I go or everywhere I look I see sweets. Once I began to take account of just how many sweets I was eating (especially during all the birthdays!) I cut back on and eventually eliminated them all. You don’t have to get rid of sweets entirely like I did, but for the moment I had to.

On the bright side, it’s helped me learn how to say no to people. A lot.

  1. Do what you enjoy

Make sure you find an exercise that you can do, but also something that you enjoy. You never want to be doing something that causes you pain, always check with your doctor before starting anything. And take it easy the first few days. Sports, dancing, and taking walks through the park are also great ways to make sure that you move around, that’s the most important thing. Get creative! And find an accountability partner.

  1. Don’t fear the scale

A lot of people view the scale as the enemy, I know because I used to be one of those people. My boyfriend encouraged me to start using it and weighing in weekly has really helped me, even when my weight fluctuates, I can think back over the week and see what unhealthy habits I can improve on for the next week. On the weeks when I’ve lost a few pounds, I feel really accomplished! Also, having a weigh-in day helps make me accountable for my own choices throughout the week.

  1. Start today

It’s easy to set plans and say what we could do and what we will do, but the best thing to do is just drop everything and start living a healthier life right now today. It doesn’t mean you have to buy all organic produce and completely get rid of everything you have. But it does mean to be more mindful of what you’re eating and the portions for what you’re eating. Ease in more fruits and vegetables and water, try out new recipes! It can be a lot of fun if you’re planning on making it a lifestyle change and not just another quick diet.

Praise Through the Storm

Job 1 21

I’m tired and weary. The thing about chronic pain is that you never get a break or a day off. It discourages me sometimes, even when I cling on to hope for a better future, I worry about how long it will take to come. On top of the pain, things seem to keep spiraling out of my control. I see prayers being answered left and right for other people I’m praying for, but when it comes to my own issues there’s a significant lack or slowness to the results.

What do I do when I feel like my world is falling apart and nothing is going my way? I read the book of Job.

Now I’m not the type of person who finds comfort that someone else “has it worse than me”. If anything it just makes me feel worse that other people are suffering too. But the curious thing about Job in the Bible, is that when literally everything was going wrong, just because the devil decided to see if he could make Job curse God, he still didn’t blame God for it. He still kept on trusting God.

Job was rich and had tons of children, he had a good life. And in one fell swoop, he lost all of it. His livestock and his children were all killed in one horrifying twist. Even then:

20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
    may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Job 1:20-21

But that still wasn’t enough for the devil to destroy his life, after that he went back and asked for permission from God to attack Job’s health next and said then Job would curse God, even with Job losing everything and his health in tatters, he still didn’t curse God. In time, God restored everything to Job and more. It always lets me know that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope for complete restoration.

I strive to hold on, even when I can’t understand what God is doing in my life right now. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m exactly where God wants me to be in my life. I’m blindly walking out on the water and trusting him to show me the way. I’m believing that the plan he has for my life, for all of our lives, is greater than any of us could ever comprehend.

If we continue to trust him through the storms, if we continue to pray and praise him when we hurt the strongest, when we have no way of knowing how things will work out, or when they will. Then we can all say “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Here’s a song I love from Joseph: King of Dreams (a retelling of the story of Joseph) that resonates with how I feel much of the time. It’s called You Know Better Than I: