Tuesday, June 26

Finishing School: Personal Presentation...

Health

When I was a teenager, I became enamored with the idea or femininity. I loved the forties and fifties and happened upon a book entitled Emily Hunter's Christian Charm Course. It was full of sweet little line drawings and outdated information and I LOVED it! One of my favorite parts of the book was a chart of feminine attributes and masculine attributes. Many of the points on the list had to do with health... something that I really never thought of as having to do with femininity. Here are a few samples from the list: A Trim and Disciplined Body, Vitality, Abstention from Tobacco, Abstention from Alcohol, Self Control, and Sexual Purity.

Though the list in it's entirety was rather quaint, one cannot help but realize that the points on Hunter's list that deal with the health of one's body are right on the mark.

While I don't claim to be someone with vast stores of knowledge on the subject of health or someone who exercises daily, guzzles water, pops vitamins, and swears off fast food, I can tell you that making painless changes in your daily routines can give you better health both inside and out!

One of the easiest ways to improve your health is to move more. I don't know about you, but I hate the idea of traditional exercise routines (going to the gym, aerobics videos, classes, etc.). I much prefer taking a walk, jumping rope, going for a swim, using my pedometer to count the steps or miles I take throughout the day, and bike riding. There are hundreds of ways you can add more movement into your day without breaking a sweat. As Nike says, Just Do It!

Another simple thing to add to your life that will improve your health is to drink more water. You probably don't drink enough! Often we don't even realize that we are dehydrated. Here are a few tricks you can use to help make sure you are getting enough water during the day: Have an 8 oz glass with every meal, fill a pitcher with ice water and try to get through it by the end of the day, keep a water bottle with you when you head out the door, each time you go into the kitchen try to remember to pour yourself a glass... you get the picture!

While many of us try to eat healthfully, we may be falling short just a bit. Talk to your doctor and decide if a multi-vitamin is something that will help to give you all the nutrients you need to keep fit and strong.

Eating well is a more complicated step in the quest for better health but there are several simple ways to ease the burden. One of the things that I have found the most helpful is to limit the time that I spend in the center aisles of the supermarket. If I can stick to the outer rim, I know that I am going through the produce section, meats, and dairy. I can often eliminate the process foods I used to toss into my cart with glee. A second way eliminate the temptation of unhealthy foods in our home to to simply stick to the list you make and not bring them home.

One of my favorite authors on the subject of health and eating is Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don't Get Fat and French Woman For All Seasons. The author's perspective on food and life is one that I admire greatly. I gleaned a great deal of information from her books and was particularly impressed with the Fifty Percent Solution, which she talks about in her second book, French Woman For All Seasons.

Please remember that it is important to speak with your doctor before embarking on any changes you make with regard to your health.

Homework: What healthy habit have you formed recently? How did you go about this?

30 comments:

Mrs.Garcia said...

My Healthy Habits besides drinking plenty of water is to not bite my nails or scratch at scabs. Also my biggest healthy Habit is to not talk Negative about anyone but to remain Positive and speak Positive.
Mrs.Garcia

Courtney said...

I'm trying to eat less commercial food and more local/organic. For my soul, I'm working on keeping a cheerful attitude. That's been hard lately; I've definitely been feeling a little discouraged and discontent. "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." Proverbs 17:22

Anonymous said...

I have recently lost quite a bit of weight, and have gone down 10 dress sizes!! All of this weight loss is due to walking 2-5 miles a day 6 days a week and eating healthfully, along with water each and everyday!

~~Mrs. J~~

Elizabeth said...

One thing I've been doing is purchasing little snack bags. Then, when we do have snack-y foods on hand, I break them down into little portions and put them into the little bags. That way, we can't just mindlessly eat -- which is what gets both DH and me into trouble. Having things broken down into small portions forces us to think about whether we really want more or not.

I have a lot to do in the area of health. DH and I decided we were really going to work on this at the beginning of the year. DH depends on me to help him reach his goals . So, I need to be very, very creative and very, very disciplined.

Thanks for spurring us to think about this area. I agree that being a good steward of your health is an important foundation for loveliness, as well as the fact that it enables you to have more strength to serve others. There are many situations where women have health problems that are beyond their control. It's one thing if God, in his wisdom, places a woman in such a situation. He works all things for good, so a woman can be at peace about that. It's another thing when God has blessed you with good health, and you throw it away through neglect. I'm dangerously close to that and need to repent.

Elizabeth said...

P.S. Congratulations Mrs. J!
Elizabeth

Juliana said...

Over 1 year, 7 months, I lost 100 pounds. I walked/rode my bicycle. I also became a lover of Pilates. I can't say enough about what it has done for my body. My posture has improved so much! I used to have extremely poor posture. I am very tall (almost 5'11") and I used to slouch because I didn't want to be so much taller than other girls. The result wasn't that I looked any shorter, just more slovenly. I have a link on my blog for Pilates; I hope more people will try it!

Tish said...

I try to drink a big glass of orange juice everyday.

Alicia said...

I must say that I and my mom (my mom mainly because she's the one who buys the organic) have been eating better and healthier. I personally find granny smith apples very nice, they are tart so there like God's candy! We have been buying pretty much all wheat bread and I really don't drink soda much at all, I used to alot until I gave it up for lent and well, I didn't miss it! And then I did a report on water and had a part about soda, O the things it does to you! I also really like water, but also sugarless tea! The tea I think dehidrates you so that is not good, but it is better than sugared tea. I have been counting calories, everything in moderation! It is what I find the easiest thing to do.

I have also been trying to keep a positive attitude, it is very hard sometimes though! I have found myself slipping alot, and I plan to work on that this week!

Terri said...

Some of the things I have done is eliminate soft drinks and drink mostly water, switch to whole grain breads and cereals, and try to eat more vegetables. I recently purchased some stevia and used it to sweeten a pitcher of tea but my husband didn't like the taste of it. I would still like to find ways to incorporate stevia into our diet rather than sugar.

Juliana said...

I like using raw honey as a sweetener. It's very sweet...a little goes a long way!

Hannah said...

I keep a glass filled with water near me almost all day long, and when I really want to munch on something I get an apple, or, my favorite, celery and some peanut butter. :) We never have soda in our house, so I've not had to overcome that. Another thing my Mom and I like, is to drink our favorite tea at least once a day, and add a bag of green tea to it, for the antioxidants. You really can't even taste the green tea if you mix it with your other tea, as long as the other is fairly strong.
Walking is my favorite form of excercise!

Janna said...

Nothing really new here, but I try to incorporate more whole grains and less processed foods into our diet and reduce my portion sizes. I'm also trying to cut back on the amount of sweet tea I drink (my Southern weakness) and increase the amount of water I drink.

Homemaker said...

That is a different angle to look at all that. I like it. I'm currently following The Beck Diet Solution. This gives you tips on how to be healthy for life. I talk a lot about it on my blog.
Thanks for that post.

Margaret said...

Juliana and Mrs. J - thank you for sharing your successes with us. It is a true accomplishment - you should both feel proud.

You have inspired me to form new healthy habits of: walking and doing my pilates DVD 6 days a week, drinking lots of water and watching where/how/why I am eating.

I am making the Nike motto my motto as Emma suggested: JUST DO IT!!! :)

Julie said...

I have been drinking more water. I found that I drink it more when we have it in bottle form so I cut out some other stuff from our grocery budget that we did not need so I could splurge on bottled water.
I have also started using natural sweetners. We use honey and organic cane sugar mostly.
I have switched to brown rice and whole wheat flour as well.
As for excercise I spend some time while the kids are resting to ride our recumbent bike and read a book.

Anonymous said...

I really learned a lot from the "French Women..." books.

My latest focus has been to slow down and savor food, not just eat mindlessly. I know that losing weight is the key to feeling more feminine for me.

Meredith

Tammy said...

I loved Emily Hunter's book when I was a young teenager! Even though the drawings were outdated, most of the instruction was quite on target!

Mrs.B. said...

I've really been enjoying these last couple of posts..Thanks so much for taking the time to write them. (o:

Linda said...

One thing that has really helped me is to keep my doctor appointments and go for any tests that he suggests. That stops small things from being big things.

Tracy said...

I am now walking with a neighbor lady & drinking more water.

tamlovesran said...

I buy organic and hormone free when the budget allows and I have been participating in Menu Plan Monday. We were eating out too often, and simply having the food plan written down makes me more likely to consistently cook for my family and having snacks planned has me ready to nourish their bodies instead of allowing them to reach for junk food. I have also been using the menu planner at www.diabetescontrolfor life and enjoy that.

God bless,
Tammy

www.homeschoolblogger.com/hutcheson

Anonymous said...

I know that sometimes just what I do around the house is a work out in itself, but I like to (ideally every day) do something a little bit more. I find that it I put off doing my walk/run around the neighborhood until late afternoon the chances of me actually doing it are not very good:) So, I try to make a point to get my excercise time in first thing in the morning. Another plus to this is that I find when I do excercise in the morning it gives me more energy throughout the day too!
Mrs. B

CedarCityMom said...

Loved the post. I too am 27 years old but am a mama of two (5 yr old & a 9 mo old). Since I was pregnant w/ my second I have cut a lot of processed food ( there are a few I very much think are worth keeping. I have taken back my kitchen and have once again become a "good" cook. I've redecovered how much I love to cook and bake.
keep up the wonderful blogs/lessons.
Jessica

Jenny said...

Thank you so much for your lessons. They are both insightful and encouraging! I have started buying about 90% organic for our family. Most think this is too expensive, but I have managed to pull it off with the same budget as always. I do a lot of shopping at Trader Joe's (which is usually much less expensive than regular supermarkets), but I also shop at at least 2 other stores per shopping trip, in order to get the best deal. I am making more meals with less ingredients--no casseroles, more produce and whole grains. Our food is always very tasty and healthy!

Anna S said...

I'm here through a link from Mrs. B and I must say I simply love this idea of online finishing school. Thank you for taking the time to write!

Anonymous said...

My DH and I each have about 80 pounds we'd like to lose. We made a committment to ourselves and each other (and to our dog) to take a 3 mile walk every night (great loop near our house) and so far we've done it! I also have a 32 oz water bottle I keep with me constantly and whenever it gets empty I refill it right away. Keeps me drinking close to 96 oz of water a day!
I found that the times I eat the most unhealthy are in my car - either fast food or treats that I grabbed at the gas station or on my way out the door from work. So I made a rule not to eat in my car. If I want to stop for a treat then I either have to bring it all the way home with me before indulging OR I have to go inside and sit at the place and consume the treat. Either way it usually takes away the urge to give in.
More healthful changes to come...I want to be reporting a big weight loss (and HUGE healthful gain!) next year this time!

Holly in MN

Sharon said...

I started walking on a more consistent basis and am trying to drink more water.

I needed to lose some weight and I knew that I needed to exercise to achieve the weight loss. Cutting out soft drinks also has helped me greatly.

Sherry said...

I gave up Diet Cokes some time ago, and now they taste like the nasty chemicals they are. I must get on the treadmill more regularly. It makes such a difference in how I feel and look. Also, most processed foods contain MSG (in various forms) which food manufacturers add to increase the consumer's appetite. Processed foods really, really need to be avoided.

Jenny said...

I am trying to drink more water and less soda. I am also trying to make use of my collection of half a dozen or so fitness DVDs.

Anonymous said...

I use a liter water bottle to make sure I keep drinking enough water. I also eat organic foods. Once a month cooking is helping me with portion control.
My exercise routines are in fits and starts. I need to improve on more consistent exercise.

I really appreciate the work you are putting into these posts.
Rebekah

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