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April 1, 2016 Meeting Recap; Embracing Rest: Caring for our Body and Soul Through Exercise

Happy Spring fellow MOPsters!  Our new topic for the month of April is Embracing Rest:  Caring for our Body and Soul Through Exercise.  To start us off we had an inspirational speaker, Corinne Baur, author of  Running By THE BOOK.  After feeling so connected to God while running, she began writing down her thoughts when she got home.  This developed into a race training program book (for half marathon and 10K races) that correlates with a Bible study each week.  Here’s some of what she had to share with us today:

–Find the time to exercise and do a type of exercise you enjoy.  You will be happier, have more energy, sleep better and likely try to eat better once you incorporate exercise into your life.

–Include your family, either by exercising with them or helping them see how important this is to you.  It sets a great example for your kids to see you exercising.

–Give your spouse time to exercise and be supportive of that, and ask the same of him.

–Benefits of exercise:  controls weight, combats health conditions/disease (such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, metabolic syndrome, depression), boosts your energy level, promotes better sleep.

–The pros of exercise have to outweigh the cons to really make it part of your life. Motivation comes first, then consistency and priority next.

–What motivates you?:

:My family – be there for them when you’re healthier, kids follow our example, become an exercising family

:My friends – exercising can be a social time, for example running with friends, feeling motivated by each other

:Alone time – connect to God, time to think

:Scary wake up call – a health crisis

–Practical ways to apply your motivation:

:create accountability – for example, Corinne shares a personal trainer with friends who count on her to be there for financial reasons and support.  Put a race or a fitness class on the family calendar to help with accountability.

:set tangible, realistic goals

:involve your family

:make it FUN!

:reward yourself (ideally not with food although that’s OK sometimes!  Maybe get a pedicure or a new workout top)

–We can’t separate the physical from the spiritual (Genesis 2:7).  Both need to be exercised and strengthened.

There are no shortcuts to growth, both physical and spiritual.  Both take work and both are worth it!  Same with marriage and raising kids.

–Find joy in the race!!  “Therefore…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us”  (Hebrews 12:1 ESV)


You can find out more about Corinne and her powerful message at:




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In an evening class at Stanford University, the last lecture was on the mind-body connection — the relationship between stress and disease.

The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman. … . whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends.

At first everyone laughed, but he was serious. Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically, this quality “girlfriend time” helps us to create more serotonin — a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being.

Women share feelings, whereas men often form relationships around activities. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very GOOD for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.

There’s a tendency to think that when we are “exercising” we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged? Not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!

So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health! We are indeed very, very lucky. Sooooo let’s toast to our friendship with
our girlfriends. Evidently it’s very good for our health.

Thanks to all the girls in my life who have helped me stay healthy, happy, and feeling very loved.


December 5th Meeting Speaker Recap

Our speaker this morning was Sarah Newman, a Dr. Sears Certified Health Coach. She provided a wealth of information on nutrition and healthful eating for ourselves and our families. Information included:

Foods that fight infections and are a natural antibiotic:

  • Tomatoes
  • Chickpeas
  • Spinach

A vegetable that is high in protein and beneficial for diabetics:

  • Artichokes

Natural cough expectorants:

  • Radishes
  • Onions
  • Chili peppers

Foods that fight against cancer-causing pollutants:

  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Berries

Overall top 3 fruits:

  • Avocado (stabilizes blood sugar, high in vitamins D and A, and keeps you feeling fuller longer)
  • Guava
  • Papaya

Marketing can be confusing when trying to buy healthy foods for our families.  Sarah suggests looking at the following numbers when reading labels:  Dietary fiber should be at least 5g, (especially in cereals), sugar (less than 5g is ideal), and protein.

She also explained the concept of “traffic light eating”, which separates foods into 3 groups. Green foods are fruits and vegetables (eat as much as you want). Yellow foods are foods that you need but that should be eaten in moderation (examples include black beans, cheese, nuts, yogurt).  Red foods are foods that you only eat every so often (e.g. desserts). You and your family should decide what’s right for you.

Our MOPS moms had some valuable input as well.  One idea for getting your kids to try new foods is to put a cotton ball in a jar whenever they will try a new healthy food/make a healthy food choice and then provide a reward when the jar is full.

Organic foods can be expensive but one mom shared websites where coupons are available, including organicdeals.com and organicdealdiva.com.  Another resource shared for “real food” eating is the blog 100daysofrealfood.com

Lastly, our speaker provided tasty recipes for smoothies containing vegetables, fruit, and protein.

Chocolate Shake

1 cup spinach

1-2 frozen bananas

3 Tbsp hemp seed (adds 10 g of protein)

1 Tbsp raw cacao

1 cup milk of choice

Blend well.

**I made this one for my kids after MOPS and they loved it!

Blueberry Smoothie

1 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 green apple

1/2 frozen banana

3 Tbsp hemp seed

1 cup milk of choice (suggested:  coconut milk)

1 cup spinach

Blend well.

Mango Madness Smoothie

1 cup frozen mango

1 carrot

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 cup milk of choice

1 orange

3 Tbsp hemp seed

Blend well.


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Naughty and Nice List for the Holiday Season

Healthy Holiday Tips – Preparing for the Season

 Reposted from:  https://uo178.infusionsoft.com/app/hostedEmail/1804960/450a65a3cae48eea?inf_contact_key=fa5f0230d9e54a0753a0a501e535dec33ee8eefe719b6e059a8c3421a1ebb4f8


Many of us are aware of howto live a “healthy” life but are often tempted or exhausted into making poor choices during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Ensuring that you stay on track may seem to require nothing but a big serving of willpower, but in actuality, there are many things you can do to set yourself up for success.


Here are a few tips to keep you off the ‘naughty’ list and help you maintain healthy habits this holiday season.


               Naughty                                             Nice


DON’T skip meals. DO eat breakfast, as well as other meals throughout the day. Consuming regular meals will support balanced blood sugar levels and provide you with consistent energy and an improved stress response.
DON’T go shopping hungry. DO eat a meal or light snack before going to the mall. This will ensure levelheaded decision making and less hasty choices.
DON’T rush to holiday parties famished. DO bring your own side dish to be sure there is at least one thing you can consume that is healthy. We often revert to poor food choices when there is a lack of healthy choices available.
DON’T give into temptation all of the time. DO choose your indulgences and save up for them. We all have special items that we look forward to all year – your mothers candied yams or your grandmother’s pecan pie. Consider your top favorites and then save up for those. This will limit meaningless indulgences, saving room for the ones that count.
DON’T splurge without reason. DO allow yourself a splurge, but do something healthy before, such as taking a walk or eating some vegetables. This will make the indulgence that much more worth it.
DON’T feel shackled by traditional holiday recipes. DO incorporate some healthy alternatives to those ever-so-calorie-dense traditional holiday meals (see below for some recipe ideas).
DON’T consider beverages a free pass. DO be mindful of beverages. Not only do they often contain a hefty amount of sugar, but alcoholic beverages lessen inhibition and can render us more likely to overeat.
DON’T leave exercise for your New Year’s resolution. DO find some time for activity and movement to encourage stress relief, mood stability and a metabolic boost.
DON’T leave everything until the last minute. DO plan ahead. Create a “To Do” listnow to allow yourself the time to accomplish all that you need to throughout the holiday season. This will prevent last minute stress.
DON’T miss the sentiment of the season. DO enjoy loved ones, participate in gatherings and find gratitude for all that you have in your life.