I am currently reading PUSH by Chalene Johnson. I have been looking for a good personal development book to read and I have definitely found it!

Do you struggle with internal thoughts of not being good enough, thin enough, smart enough, etc? I know I do….all the time. In her book she talks about making a decision. If you are going to change your life in whatever direction that may be….you have to make a decision! She says ” Whether you believe you’ll reach your goal and maintain a happy weight the rest of your life….or that you’ve just wasted your hard earned money on yet another diet book, either way, you’re right!”

So often I tell myself I’m not good enough for that job…or I can’t stick with that workout program because I’m too A.D.D. “What you believe about yourself shapes the course of your life!” No wonder my life has taken the turns it has. It hasn’t been bad…but it is definitely not the life I had foreseen when I was younger.

Well….I’m making a decision to push past the negativity that I put on myself and I’m going to push myself towards my goals. I can do this and I will! What about you? Do you get caught up in this way of thinking too?

The first part of making your decision starts with identifying the most important things in your life that are your priorities.  Some may be so ingrained in you that you don’t even think about it.  They have become the core of who you are.  This is a difficult thing for me.  I have tried so hard over the past 8 years or so to provide for our family that I have lost sight of my priorities…or what makes me tick.  Family has always been at the core but I’ve lost sight of what makes me happy.  I am slowly learning to focus on these things again.  I guess I’ve never allowed myself to think about this.  I just keep forging forward.  But I’ve noticed that as I’ve trudged on, I have lost happiness and the energy that I used to have.  There was a day where I saw myself as an Internal Designer for large companies but then I realized that I would have to speak in front of large groups of people.  I told myself that I couldn’t do that….so I didn’t.  I then went on to become a teacher in elementary education but then in one of my internships early on in college, realized that I’d have to work with high energy, disrespectful kids and I told myself that I couldn’t do that.  So I didn’t.  Then one day I realized that I was good at helping others and I loved seeing them brought back to health so I worked my way through school and became an RN.  There were many times that I told myself I couldn’t do it…but I kept trudging on and finally after six years of taking one or two classes at a time, I graduated with my associates degree in nursing, took my national boards, and became licensed as an RN.  This was the only thing I did not talk myself out of.  Now I’m an RN on a cardiac unit and have recently obtained my bachelors in nursing (BSN) and I catch myself talking negatively towards furthering my education.  Mostly due to monetary issues but also for the fear that I won’t do well in whatever field I choose to go after.

So my priorities now are obviously to my family as I am a mother of two young children.  Decisions are a lot harder to make now that I have others to take care of before myself.  But I’ve realized that if I don’t take care of myself and do what makes me happy, I won’t be a very good example to them.

The one thing that keeps coming back to me as I think about this is that I’ve always wanted to work with the under-served, low income communities.  There were times I pictured this as mission work…and someday maybe I’ll be able to do this.  But I live in a community that struggles very much with poverty.  Poverty is very much in my face on a day to day basis.

My number one priority is to develop my own education in nursing, health, and nutrition so that I can aid in the health and betterment of the community around me!  I also want to be able to be able to be more present with my family as I raise my children.  I have exciting opportunities at my fingertips and I can’t wait to grasp them!


Thoughts on Forks Over Knives Chapters 3&4

If you’re like me, you’ve probably struggled with your weight your whole life.  And the funny thing about it really is that you never were “fat” growing up but just had a negative view of yourself.  I’ve tried Weight Watchers which really worked but I just couldn’t afford to go to the meetings and eat their food.  I’ve tried all sorts of diet pills and worked out extremely heavy….all of which I really don’t enjoy doing.  Don’t get me wrong, I know I have to put some effort into losing weight or maintaining my weight which means I have to exercise but I don’t enjoy tough workout regimens.  I just don’t.

So I read Chapter three which states in the title, “How Can Eating More Lead to Weight Loss and Better Health”?  Well….how can it!?!  The whole idea  behind the Forks Over Knives “diet” is that it’s really just changing the way you eat.  It’s not a diet!  It consists of eating whole, plant based foods: fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes.  It suggests that you avoid or minimize meat, dairy products, and eggs as well as refined foods like bleached flour, sugar, and oils.  That’s hard to do if you’ve always eaten a certain way.

One would think that if you only ate veggies and fruits you wouldn’t get enough protein, carbs, or other essential macro-nutrients. The point that they drive home right away is that you aren’t just eating green leafy vegetables.  They center the diet around starch-based foods and fruits.  Foods like potatoes, corn, and peas……foods that when you’re dieting you’re told to stay away from!  Say what??  They go on to say that “whole foods contain carbohydrates, protein, and fat”…”The foods you eat on a whole-food, plant based diet will most easily get you to a healthy carbohydrate, protein, and fat ratio, which lies somewhere in the range of 80/10/10” (Forks Over Knives, 29).  While you’re consuming these amazing macro-nutrients, you are also able to lose weight because whole, plant based foods are generally lower in calories per pound.  The only vitamins/minerals that they say you’ll have a deficit in is Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D; both of which can be supplemented. Because of it’s lower calorie density, you are able to take in more until you feel full.

I won’t lie, they do suggest that exercise is still recommended.  I can’t escape it!  The book suggests that when you’re eating this way, you may have increased energy and stamina and actually want to exercise!

Chapter 4 teaches us how to change the way we eat breakfast in the morning.  They suggest that you start the diet transition by changing your breakfast for a week, then lunch, and then dinner.  By the end of the four weeks you’ll have a good idea of how to prepare foods for each meal and whether this diet will work for you.

Every diet talks about reading labels but this one teaches you a whole new way to look at it.  This time you’re not looking at calories as much as you’re looking to make sure that it’s low in fat and that sugar isn’t one of the first three ingredients.  For the most part, you won’t have any labels since you’re not cooking with processed foods but you still may with plant milks, grains, etc.  The end of the chapter shows you what to look for when you’re cleaning out your pantry when getting ready for this diet and also what foods to buy when stocking your pantry.

My homework for this week will be to change my breakfast although I’ve already sort of begun.  Lately I’ve become accustomed to making 1/2 cup oatmeal and then adding about 2tbsp of homemade trail mix (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, golden raisins, almonds, walnuts, and choc chips) to sweeten it.  This helps me to not feel hungry about an hour later and it tastes good.

I’m looking forward to not having to count calories and starve myself anymore.  I’m excited to learn a new way of eating and one that will hopefully change my risk for inheriting some awful diseases that my family members deal with.  I hope this not only transforms the foods I eat but also the way I look at myself.  I encourage you buy the book from Amazon or watch the documentary on Netflix or YouTube.  Cheers!