Note From Author: As I continue my “conference to Conference” exercise of finding healthy living inspiration from the Book of Mormon. the gems just keep appearing! Today’s scripture provides twinkly holiday lights to brighten December, the most difficult month of the year for healthy choices.
Happy Monday after Thanksgiving! Hopefully the leftovers have been reduced to nothing more than a light turkey vegetable soup, if not then cleaning out the fridge is today’s priority! If you’re still feeling bloated, Dr. Miller’s digestive tonic (Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda into 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and drink after meals)) is very helpful for getting things moving quickly. Our greatest blessing today is that it’s time to tuck it all –the fun, the food and the feasting –into the “happy memories” treasure box and move forward.
Most of us have heartily welcomed “he holidays” into our lives with the joy and beauty they bring. The biggest challenge we face is that “the holidays” often become an excuse for continuing Thanksgiving feasting and indulging. The tempting foods, advertising and events that are not kind to healthy eating and regular exercise are now our constant companions and always before our eyes.
Hello King Benjamin! In Mosiah Chapter 1, he is teaching his son’s about their history and the commandments. The only reason they have this information is from Nephi’s courage to go back and get the Brass Plates (Read more at my article “Because Though Hast Not Murmured”). He tells them not once, but twice, the importance of having these teachings and the commandments “always before their eyes” (Mosiah 1: 5 and 6). He tells them that without these words, even their fathers would have dwindled in unbelief.
His words ring as true for us now as the bells on Temple Square and adapt themselves easily to weight management in December. Without some constant reminders, the next four weeks turn into a food frenzy! Having truth and wisdom “always before our eyes” will lead us to New Years with pants that fit, glowing energy and self-confidence, rather than “starting again”.
Here are 10 Simple Ways to Keep Healthy Living a Holiday Priority:
1) Put a picture of the Savior or a beautiful Christmas card of the Holy Family on your refrigerator to remind you of what the Savior ate: a Mediterranean diet loaded with vegetables and not a lot of processed anything. Remind yourself that the Savior’s treats, in keeping with the diet that was available, did not include the sugar and carb-laden foods that are common to us. To eat as he did is an easy way to be like Him! Google “what did Jesus eat” for more information.
2) Keep your walking sneakers by the door. A recent article by Dr. Oz reports that even 15 minutes of walking each day can extend your life by three years. In December what matters more than three years at the end of your life is stress relief and a good mood right now! A short walk will provide just that. Keeping your shoes at the door, always before your eyes, will be a good reminder to follow President Kimball’s advice to just do it!
3) Treat yourself right now to an early Christmas gift: Dian Thomas’s new book Tipping the Scales In Your Favor and keep it in the kitchen where it will be always before your eyes. It’s very important to realize that she lost the first 100 pounds in five years, and 25 in the next two years. In other words, every baby step adds up (even the ones in December!), and she’s proof. Whether you’re ready to start her easy program or not, there are wise words and great recipes and tips to sustain you throughout the month and to prepare you for January. Keep it in the kitchen where you can use the recipes. Who cares if it gets a little sticky. It’s a keeper and if it keeps you on a healthy eating path through December, it is well worth the few dollars you’ll spend. (You can read my review here.)
4) Take a few moments each morning to place crisp fruits and prepared veggies front and center in your refrigerator where they will be always before your eyes. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure! Prepare and prevent rather than repair and repent!
5) Be brave and weigh yourself sometime this week. On a small piece of paper, write that number and tape it to the refrigerator. No one else will even notice it’s there, but as you cook and prepare meals, having it always before your eyes will be a constant reminder to make the choices that will hold that number steady until January. It might even inspire you to even lose a few pounds!
6) Get a calendar of December just for you and circle the dates of the social events where there will be challenging food served. You will quickly see that it’s not every day and that most of the month can proceed in a healthy way. Once again, put that calendar somewhere so that it’s always before your eyes as a reminder that frosted Christmas sugar cookies are not scheduled to be eaten alone at home when you’re stressed, tired or upset.
7) When food gifts start arriving remove them from being always before your eyes. Quickly re-gift them (consider it baking you don’t have to do yourself!) or have a family member hide them for special occasions where you can enjoy them in good company. I will never forget the year that I alone ate an entire large Costco-sized jar of double-dipped chocolate peanuts given to the family by a friend. The biggest reason I ate them is that I used the excuse that the container was too big and too pretty to put away, so it sat on a counter in the kitchen. In short, it was “always before my eyes” … until I’d eaten the whole thing.
8) Put a picture of a gift or print the words “I Need and Deserve The Gift of Health!” and put it wherever you can. Let it be always before your eyes as a reminder that your health, good mood and energy are a gift to everyone in your circle! Like the oil in the virgin’s lamp, true health cannot be given to you and must be guarded carefully. Those little oil lamps did not hold much oil and had to be refilled often. In the same way, even baby steps for health (beautifully outlined in Dian’s book) all add up!
9) The stairs and parking lots that are always before our eyes are the best exercise ever! Park on the outer perimeter and walk to your destination. Take the stairs as often as possible. One of the best thigh exercises around is to firmly place one foot flat on the first step, then lift the other leg to the step above and lightly touch the step with your toe. Then return it to the starting point.
Do it 15-20 times, then do the other leg. You’ll feel the burn!
10) Keep the scriptures close and “always before your eyes“. Though they may not contain low-cal recipes or weight loss tips, they do contain the word of God that strengthen us to the most inner part of our beings. They invite the Spirit and bring God, His power and personal inspiration into our lives to help us carry on and succeed in all our challenges, including the ones of finding the time and motivation to take care of our health.
With these strategies always before our eyes It’s going to be our best, happiest and healthiest Christmas ever!
P.S. If you’re interested in an easy de-tox after Thanksgiving feasting, I’m running a 15% Off Thanksgiving special at http://www.MyMiracleTea.com. Just put the word THANKSGIVING into the coupon code when you order!
Carolyn Allen has been providing weight loss inspiration since 1999 both online and in community venues in the Washington, D.C. area. Her favorite food is steamed broccoli (lots of it!) with a little butter and lemon-pepper. Learn more about her herbal health tonic and colon cleanse at www.MyMiracleTea.com