I’m Owning My Health & You’re Invited Along

 

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I’m on a healthy lifestyle journey. The foundation of it all is my “WHY.”  We all need a WHY that is bigger than our WHY BOTHER? My “why” is that God has given my a purpose with my life and I can’t fulfill it unless I am healthy. I need to keep up with the 8+ children God is filling our lives with. I want to be able to laugh, play, run, hike, climb, and grow old with them. I want to be young and full of vitality, even when I’m in my 60s and 70s just like my grandmother was, so that my husband and I can travel and serve and enjoy this beautiful world together.

No one can walk the journey of health for us; we have to do it ourselves. Everyone knows it takes diet and exercise, but sometimes it’s hard to know which diet and what exercise. The list of supplements can get overwhelming. I’m simplifying my journey to the basics of what I know works for me and I’m inviting you to join me in doing the same. No more ten different supplements. I’ve been two years on an eating plan I love, a year and a half with exercise that helps, and now I’m settling one one supplement regimen that is easy. And, of course, I start each day with intention.

To do that, I take time in the morning to meditate on the Word. I believe that time in Scripture and prayer is foundational to every single aspect of life.

To build on that foundation, I focus on my health and healing by ensuring that I am getting the proper nutrition, exercise, and supplements. I’m sharing what I am doing and some links with you. If you purchase from those links, it doesn’t cost you any extra money, but it may bless my family a little bit with some commission or free product. You don’t have to use them if you don’t want to; a google search will bring you to the same sites.

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I think about my nutrition. I want the foods I feed my body to be good fuel, not just good tasting. I stick with whole foods whenever I can, but every now and again I like my bacon, some hot wings, Chinese, etc. But whenever possible, I make those meals a healthy as possible, too. Enter: Trim Healthy Mama. It helps keep my blood sugar in check, helps me manage my weight, is a balanced approach to nutrition, and has been amazing for me. I like a lot of Paleo and Whole 30 recipes, but the principles I live by are THM. It has been helping me heal, I’ve lost 50 pounds so far (I started out with about 130 to lose, so I’m more than 1/3 of the way to my goal!), and my family loves the food I make.

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After that, I think about exercise. I used to be a coach with a popular company and did a few different 90-day workout challenges with them. I never really saw a lot of results. Someone introduced me to T-Tapp and I was really skeptical, but the results were indisputable and I’ve loved it ever since. Not only do I tone and tighten, I am healing from the inside out. Yes, that’s right: my choice of exercise is helping heal my body by balancing hormones, getting my lymphatic system moving, and helping me stay in alignment which helps with body aches, elimination, sleep patterns, and more.

Lastly, I use supplements. I’ve been getting them from a variety of places and building my own regimen based on experience, research, and the guidance of a naturopath. However, even with all of that, I still ended up in the hospital with severe GI distress and issues. Over half of my stomach was covered with ulcers, and they were even blocking a large part of my tract so that food was getting stuck. I was very unhealthy and looked awful, felt horrible, and couldn’t do what I needed to do to get through each day. My hospital stay was only the beginning of a long road to recovery. It turns out that because of all of my issues, my body was starving to death even though I was eating and taking supplements. Why? Leaky gut.

Enter Plexus. After only 3 days of Slim drinks, I didn’t need the acid reducer or PPI to eat or sleep comfortable. WOW. Now I am starting Tri-Plex, which is a combo of three products that contain all of the various things I was taking individually and then some. I can’t wait to see my progress in this. I believe, after 7 months of researching the products and company, that this is going to be the missing piece on my healing journey.plexus

I’ve started a Facebook group for those who want to journey alongside of me. You can do what I’m doing, do your own thing, or sit back and observe. It’s up to you. But I know I love being a part of a tribe. Everyone does better with support and we all know how hard it is to eat well, exercise, and make our health a priority when life keeps us busy. Let’s nurture one another!

Support Adoption with a 2-Night Getaway to Orange Beach!

The most humbling part of adoption is the fundraising. While our family can financially support the addition of more children to it, it is hard to have a ginormous lump sum all at once to go bring them home so that they can be our new additions. That’s why we sell jewelry, do photo sessions, make art, mow lawns, do car washes, sell T-shirts, host spaghetti dinners, and just blatantly toss our donation links out there (see mine, on the right hand column of this blog? Or the very bottom, if you’re on a mobile device?). But it’s hard, often discouraging, and very humbling EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. we do it.  It’s exhausting, but it’s worth it.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank each and every one of you who have prayed for us, said words of encouragement, asked about our children, and supported us financially in this process.  You have been amazing, and I’m completely humbled.  One of my friends once told me… “To whom much is given, much is required.”  I have been given more than I could ever imagine, so I know that I will be required of much in this life. That’s why an opportunity to GIVE BACK makes us *so* happy. An amazing woman has offered us two nights at her stunning beach condo in Orange Beach as a thank you to one lucky person. 

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This absolutely, amazing, relaxing, LOVELY OASIS of a condo is 3BD/3BA on the bay in Orange Beach (a half mile from AL/FL line). It has deeded beach access across the street.  It has an indoor and outdoor pool.  You will also have access to a fishing pier and a small workout facility with dry sauna and steam room. 

Additional Notes:  Availability begins in May.  Cleaning fee is typically $150.  However, if you prefer to clean up after yourself, the owner has agreed to that.   The value of this getaway is $600!!!

HOW TO BE THE LUCKY ONE:

All donations made to our adoption fund through 11:59 p.m. EST on August 7, 2015 will be entered to win this 2 night stay at the beach!  Every $10 donation will be 1 entry!!   $20 will be 2 entries, $30 will be 3 entries, and so on.  There is NO LIMIT to how many entries you can get, woot woot!  You can book as early as August, if you want, as long as there are no reservations on the dates you request. When you win, I’ll email you the contact info to handle that.  As each donation arrives, it will be added to a spreadsheet with the appropriate number of entries and I’ll use a random generator to pick the winning number.

To make a donation to our adoption fund, send your contribution via paypal to lisaytucker@gmail.com as a gift to friends/family so that there are no processing fees involved. If you would rather send a check, please email me at that same address to request our mailing address.

 
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Fine Print: Must have at least 100 entries to draw. If 100 entries are not received by draw date, giveaway deadline will be extended.  Can only be redeemed on dates not already reserved.

Pizza Omelette (and a THM giveaway!)

pizza omelette pepperoni eggs breakfast thm low carb

 

Pizza omelette? YUP.  You’re welcome.

I love pizza. I would eat cold pizza for breakfast just as happily as I would eat it out of the brick oven for dinner at my favorite pizza joint. And my favorite pizza is pepperoni. You just can’t beat the spicy flavor of the ‘roni on top of the velvety smooth cheese combined with Italian spices. Now I want to run to my favorite pizza place and grab a slice.

But I can’t, because I’m a part of the EAT AT HOME CHALLENGE. Are you? It’s awesome. Check out this amazing THM-compliant menu plan with amazing recipes and a shopping list to keep you at home, help you eat well and stay frugal, and never sacrifice flavor! 8 of us have come together with our recipes to create this for you.  Now, back to pizza…I.WANT.PIZZA. Don’t you?

In fact, I’m about to go make this for a midnight snack, even though I originally made it as an awesome breakfast. I figured if pepperoni and cheese work on dough, why not try it on egg? I needed a protein packed start to a very busy day and I wanted it to stick with me and satisfy me. This did all of the above and is now and tried and true favorite around here. I especially love it because it’s frugal and easy.

All you do is heat your skillet and toss some pepperoni slices on it; I usually use five or six slices. There’s no need to add oil or cooking spray; the fat in the meat will do the job nicely. While the meat is starting to cook and come to a gentle crisp, get out a small bowl and whisk three eggs together. Add in a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper. Remove the pepperoni rounds from the skillet and pour your eggs on, using the grease from the meat in lieu of cooking spray and letting it add some zesty flavor to your eggs. Once your eggs are cooked through, top with a slice of mozzarella or provolone cheese and sprinkle on some Italian seasoning (if you don’t have some, oregano and basil will do wonderfully!).  I break my pepperoni into pieces, which is easy because it’s crispy now, and sprinkle them on.

Dig in! It’s that simple to have a healthy, protein packed pizza breakfast at the start of your day. And feel free to personalize this any way you’d like — take your favorite toppings and go to town, friends.

Don’t forget to PIN IT to save for inspiration in the future, too!

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5 Keys to A Life of Reckless Abandon for the Lord

I’ve been asked before why the name of this blog is Graceful Abandon.  Years and years ago, God put it on my heart to live with abandon for Him instead of myself, by His grace and unfettered by my past. I was inspired by this quote of Elisabeth Elliot: “I have one desire now – to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.” What does a life of reckless abandon look like? It is a life unfettered by the past and by misconceptions about Truth. 

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5 Keys to a Life of Reckless Abandon for the Lord

1. A life of Reckless Abandon is based only on Scripture

One of the hardest things in the world for me is to focus on what God requires of me instead of what is socially or culturally interpreted. It’s really challenging to set aside all of the voices in the Christian world that tell me what I ought to be. I could go on and on and on telling you all of the extra-Biblical standards I have bought into and failed at, only to have the Holy Spirit nudge me back to the Word to seek out the Truth. The TRUTH is that I need to love God and love people (1 John 4:7,8). The TRUTH is that God Himself gave us Scripture to teach us, train us, disciple and discipline us and to be our guide (2 Tim 3:15-17). The TRUTH is that I need to obey Scripture (James 1:22). The Truth is that God wants me to live with reckless abandon for Him, rather than abandoning my heart to a pale comparison found in this world.

It can be a real challenge not to read books, listen to teachings, pour over blogs, and engage in debates about what a godly wife looks like or a godly mother and to pick apart what Scripture says and then add my own interpretation to it. I’m all about looking nice for my husband, keeping my home as neat as I’m able, feeding my family healthy food, being a frugal steward over the resources my husband provides, and so on. However, those are things that are influenced by Scripture without being defined clearly by it. I need to keep clear what God says about my role and what I am adding to that. It is critical that I keep those standards in their proper significance in my life if I want to live with reckless abandon for God and not myself. I can’t allow them to eclipse the Truths that God has spoken over me: I am to honor my husband, to support him, to love our children, and to put my hand to the work God sets before me. Everything else may or may not have a place in my life, and its place will always be below anything God has spoken clearly about in His Word.

 

2. A life of Reckless Abandon is one that looks at God, not at self

I don’t know about you, but I find myself looking inward and examining my heart a lot. I look at my life and critique my own actions. Sometimes I even look at others and critique theirs. But you know what? God tells me to look at Him. He doesn’t want me to focus on me, but rather on Him and His purpose. My life will bear the fruit of what overtakes my vision; I want to bear God’s fruit, not my own.

Oswald Chambers, author of my favorite devotional book of all time (aff link), says this: “Christian workers fail because they place their desire for their own holiness above their desire to know God…[this] is a sign that the reality of the gospel of God has not begun to touch me. There is no reckless abandon to God in that. God cannot deliver me while my interest is merely in my own character. Paul was not conscious of himself. He was recklessly abandoned, totally surrendered, and separated by God for one purpose— to proclaim the gospel of God (see Romans 9:3).”

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3. A life of Reckless Abandon knows what else to abandon

To live with reckless abandon for God, I’ve had to abandon my own plans and dreams. I could plan many good things for my life, but they may not be what God has for me. Ephesians 2:10 says that God created me in His image and for good works that He has prepared beforehand. It is oftentimes much too easy to forget that and to chart my life’s course with goals that culture has told me are good: a stable home, a retirement savings, children who have a ‘good’ education, space to pursue my hobbies, nice hair and clothes, delicious meals on a well dressed table, a successful career, and so on. I have to tell you, it’s easy to value those things and I fall into the trap of reaching for them every single day.

But just today God shook me and showed me that these trappings that are glorious in a worldly successful life are traps in a recklessly abandoned life. They can tie me down like shackles from the good work God has for me to do if I pursue them instead of Him. Luke 9:23 plainly tells us that to come after Christ we have to deny ourselves and embrace the cross. We abandon what we value that is only temporal to embrace what He promises is eternal.

4. A life of Reckless Abandon is passionate about Love

1 John 4:7-8 tells us to love God and love people. 1 Corinthians 13 extols the virtues of love and then reminds us at the end that “the greatest of these is love.” Song of Solomon 3:4 says this: “I have found the One whom my soul loves; I held Him and would not let Him go…” I know that this is a love story, but my prayer has been for my heart to love God this way. To love Him from the depth of my soul and to cling so tightly to Him that we can never be separated. I don’t want to leave room for anything -especially my own self- to come between us. I want to not only yearn for God, but to yearn for people to love Him, too. I want to love others without regard for their station in life, what we have in common, or anything else that I might have previously used to judge the merit of another. I want to love them because they are made in the image of the One whom my soul loves.

5. A life of Reckless Abandon is contentment with God, not with circumstance

It’s super easy to look at life and say, “If only ____ were different, I could be so happy.” But Paul tells us in Philippians 4:11-13 that contentment isn’t based on circumstances. Therefore we know that it can’t be based on a change in circumstances either. What contentment does come from is a change in me. When I am discontent, it is most often because I am looking at what is happening in my life and feeling entitled to have it be something else. Instead, God is showing me that He alone is the One who satisfies and therefore He alone is the source of my contentment. This isn’t easy, and I’ve not mastered it, but what I’ve learned so far is that if I spend more time being busy than being still, I become discontent. It’s okay to have a full life, but even in the midst of my activity my heart needs time to be still before Him. I need to prioritize reading the Bible, spending time with others who love Him, and listening to teaching on the Word (and not just about what a Christian life should look like). That keeps my focus on God instead of my circumstances.