Sunday, September 25, 2011

We Are on the Move!

Hi Everyone
We moved our blog to WordPress. Come by and see our new digs and also "LIKE" our new facebook fan page. (Click the links to go directly to these pages)

God is doing great things 4 His Temple. Can't wait to see you!

Your body is the temple of the Living God! Live Well in His Name!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Embrace Change...30 Day Challenge Day 30 ~ Guest Blogger Josh Copeland

Here we are, the last day of your 30 day challenge! Praise God! Whew! You accomplished your goal if you tried your best, learned something about yourself, developed some discipline, or developed a health and wellness plan that you can maintain in the future. These 30 days were not about dieting or focusing on 30 days of health. Can We Talk?!

The author of Made to Crave…said “Diets don’t work for me…so I’m not on a diet. I’m on a journey with Jesus to learn the fine art of self-discipline for the purpose of holiness.” I hope that you understand that these 30 days were very much a physical, emotional, and spiritual journey with Jesus to begin living a healthier life. The plan for healthy living is different for each of us. Read guest blogger Josh Copeland’s account of his journey with Jesus over the past 30 days.

I had high hopes. When my mom presented this challenge I felt ready to dive in. I received a copy of P90X and I had big dreams of getting through these 30 days with an amazing story of how I stuck with it and made all of these improvements. I even started a week early by mistake and felt like it was a good warm up for the challenge. But then life took an unexpected turn.

I started a new job at a catering company and the hours are normally pretty stable and consistent except for the fact that I don’t know what time I have be at work for the next day until the day before. That’s normal in the corporate catering world. I did not know that this is one of the busiest times in the year for my company because of the back to school rush. So my work schedule turned upside down to the point where I was working 60 hour work weeks. I was working up to 16 hour work days which would leave me barely enough time to sleep on most days. This went on through the entire span of the challenge.

As you can imagine with barely any time to sleep on most days working out was the last thing on my mind. Of course I would get the emails and tweets my mom was sending out during the challenge but I felt that my work situation couldn’t fit in with the challenge. So since I couldn’t work out I pretty much threw my diet out of the window. I’m not even going to try to downplay my bad habits. I was popping fresh baked chocolate chip cookies in my mouth like breath mints. During this time I didn’t really have a chance to sit down and have meal so I always had to eat on the go and without any kind of plan I took whatever I could get.

You may think that because of this that I failed this challenge. But the reality about it is that through this time I learned a great deal about myself and how important it is to call on the Lord to help with the process. The mistake that we often make in dieting and our walk with God is that we get so caught up in the letter of the law that we miss the true freedom of being in the Spirit of the law.

Look at what Paul asks the Galatians when they wanted to live by the law and not by the Spirit…So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? Galatians 3:5

We have to ask ourselves this when we are taking on any challenge in our lives. Are we going to make it through a challenge because of the rules and regulations or are we going to make it through by the Spirit of God? Are we going to strive for a healthy lifestyle because we truly believe that it is what we need for our lives or are we just doing this because 4 His Temple said so? In my walk I made my health journey about the 30 days so when I couldn’t participate the way I wanted to I settled with doing just a little. Had I lived in the spirit of the challenge, which is committing to a healthy lifestyle, then I would have been intentional about planning around my circumstances instead of letting the circumstance control me.

I believe that this challenge was intended to be a starting point for a healthy life not just a healthy thirty days. Although I didn’t have any amazing before and after pictures like I imagined I was going to have on Day 1, I eventually got to the point where I didn’t gain or lose any weight during the 30 days. I spent these days adjusting to my schedule, my faults and my weaknesses, and mainly praying and asking God for help and repenting for my mistakes. He showed me things that I could do to counter my schedule and He used the Holy Spirit to convict me when I popped that third cookie of the day in my mouth. But most importantly God was there to extend His grace to me. I admitted my faults and I prayed for God to help me “want to” change at my core through my thinking, my emotional reactions, and by helping me to change my desires. I can proudly say that as of this past Monday I instituted a new life challenge.

Every morning I will wake up before work and do a short and intense cardio workout before I go to work. I always knew I NEEDED to do this but I never WANTED to do it. God is not a respecter of person to where He changes the rules just because we don’t feel like following them. The Lord wouldn’t let me snooze past my planned workout time even though my flesh didn’t want to get up. In fact I started waking up before my alarm went off. After I finished my last rep the first words out my mouth were “Thank you Lord!” Not just out of exhaustion but because He took me through a process that led me to this point that I desire more of Him and more change in myself. I know He will do the same for you if you believe that being healthy in all areas of your life is crucial.

“Faith in God does not entitle us to expect different results from doing the same old things. Embrace change and you will progress.”

Your body is the temple of the Living God! Live Well in His Name!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Change Your Mind Change Your Life 30 Day Challenge Day 25

Well, here we are Day 25 of your 30 Day Challenge! 5 more days to go!! You've come a long way baby! (I've always wanted to say that). Can We Talk?!

I want to hear all about your successes and struggles on this journey. Some people in the community have already sent email, twitter, text, and facebook messages about their progress. What have you learned? What can you take away from this experience? Hopefully, you will plan your own 30 day challenge in the weeks and months to come until we do it again. Yes, we will do it again!

You might start a personal 30 day challenge to help you get rid of habit like smoking or drinking, help you to strengthen your marriage by being kind, loving and attentive to your mate, or help you tame your tongue by only speaking words that uplift, encourage, and empower for 30 days. Think about it, pray about it and start your own 30 day challenge. The outcome will be a BETTER YOU that glorfies the Father and only He knows who you will bless along the way.

We have been talking about eating healthy and sharing recipes during the challenge. What about people who prefer not to cook? Remember we talked about a lifestyle change and how what we decide to do, must work for our lifestyle or we can't sustain it. I was also talking to someone the other night about the cost of eating healthy. It can be expensive. I wanted to share the comments from Janice in our community. She is excited about the change she experienced during the challenge and she is eager to share it.

Dear Aqua

I'm hanging in there on the 30 day challenge. I have noticed a different mindset within me as I take this walk. It took me a while to settle on what I would do for the challenge, but I finally settled on picking up my meals from My Fit Foods & exercising 5 days a week. I've fallen a few times, but that is where God gets the glory! Usually when I get off track, I enjoy the unhealthy food & find it hard to get back on track, well during the challenge, I have found that I'm enjoying unhealthy food less & less! I've been praying for God to give me a craving for healthy foods & a "want to" stick to healthy behavior. I feel that my prayers are being answered!

My health tip for the challenge is my source for healthy meals, My Fit Foods. This is a growing chain of healthy fast food. The stores consist of large refrigerators from which you come pick healthy meals to go. Simply microwave & eat! I pick up my meals at the beginning of the week & keep them in the refrigerator. No cooking, cleaning up or heating up the kitchen for me! I actually find it to be more economical than the grocery store. Good luck to all!


Dear Janice

Thank you so much friend! I am excited about what God is going to do with you and through you as you journey with Him to a healthier you! All praise be unto Him!! When we started this passion project back in March we said that to change our bodies and eating habits we have to change our mind! Old ways of thinking will keep us bound to old habits and old ways of living. God's Word tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. I'm so happy for you Jan and proud of you for sticking with it! You are well on your way sistah!

Your body is the temple of the Living God! Live Well in His Name!
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

How Am I Doing? 30 Day Challenge Day 20

Can you believe it? Just 10 more days to go on your 30 Day Challenge! Stay with it. Don't give up now. Press into Jesus and press through these next 10 days fully committed to the work you started. Can We Talk?!

Ask am I doing on this challenge? Be honest! Nobody is looking but you and God. Maybe you ate something you said you wouldn't during this 30 days. Maybe you didn't wake up every morning and have that quiet time with God. Maybe you celebrated too much and gave into that piece of cake or glass of wine. Seriously, it is not the end of the world and more importantly God doesn't love you any less.

What I hope you get from this 30 days is that through Christ you have the strength and power to change your life. If you recognized that you overindulged, haven't been in fellowship with the Lord, or that you skipped a workout AND you sought to rectify that you are achieving success on this journey. Remember when you had no recognition. You were just eating any and everything whenever you wanted it and exercise was not even an afterthought? You prayed only on Sunday at church, but longed for a conversation with God during the week. Remember that time? Well, now it is long gone and you started a new life! You had a breakthrough. Look at you Overcomer!

I hope that you are learning to discipline yourself spiritually, physically, and emotionally during this last 20 days to deal with what's eating you so you can deal with what and how much you are eating. Maybe you have a heatlthy diet but you just don't like exercising. I feel you. Trust me. When I first started this journey I questioned God about every session. Are you sure Lord? Now I look forward to working out (most days that is). I hope this 20 days has given you a passion for moving your body!

Let's face it folks, we are getting older and it is in our best interest to move our bodies as much as we can while we still can. The earlier we start the better. Teach your children the value of a good healthy lifestyle that includes exercise. I'm praying that the Lord will give us a long healthy active life until we meet Jesus on the other side. Hopefully, another benefit of this 30 day challenge is that your children have seen you and you are setting a good example of how to live a healthy life that honors and glorifies our God.

As I have been talking to people throughout this 30 days I have made some interesting observations about what people think about health, food, and fitness. I want to share them with you in case you hold some of these ideas too.

  •  Thin does not equate to healthy. Exercise has more benefits than just weight loss.
  • You cannot out exercise a bad diet. Period. You have to add exercise to your life and you have to make some changes in food choices.
  • Vegetarian is not synonymous with healthy. 
  • Just because a food package has healthy, wheat, or organic on it doesn't make it true. Read the label and ingredients.
  • There is a mountain of information and how to tips out there. Be a careful consumer. Not every diet and exercise tip is going to work for you or fit into your lifestyle. To maintain the new tip it has to work for you or you have to make changes to make it work.
  • It is implausible to believe that you will never overindulge again or have something fattening that you have given up once you start eating healthy. It is going to happen so don't beat yourself up about it.
What's For Dinner?

Here are the recipes I promised. Also made some great fish tacos. Let me know if you want the recipe. Picture below.

Praise-Worthy Pepper Crusted Tuna

• ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
• ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
• ¼ teaspoon paprika
• ¼ cayenne pepper
• 2 (6-oz) Ahi steak, about 1 1/2" thick
• 2 tbsp fresh coarsely ground black pepper
• Olive oil
• Field greens
• Fresh Fruit
• 2 Tbsp Salad dressing (light vinaigrette)

In a small bowl combine the spice mixture…combine salt, coriander, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Lightly coat fish in olive oil so that pepper and seasoning stay on the fish. Lay the tuna steaks out on a plate, and sprinkle the spice mixture evenly on both sides. Then roll the tuna in the ground pepper (coating the sides of the tuna) and gently press it in so that it adheres to the surface, being careful not to smash the flesh. Place tuna in a very hot lightly olive oil coated skillet. Cook until desired temp. 2-4 minutes of each side. Rare tuna ~ 2 mins. More medium rare ~4 mins. Add the tuna to your favorite salad combination. Here I paired the tuna with field greens, strawberries, cucumbers and red onions.

Heaven Oven Roasted Veggies (Before)

Heavenly Oven Roasted Veggies (After)

Take your favorite fresh veggies, coat them lightly with olive oil, your favorite herbs, and seasonings then roast them at 450-500 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Here I used corn, asparagus, tomatoes, red onions, green beans, carrots, garlic and, red and green peppers. Vegetables should all be relatively the same size for even roasting. I seasoned with kosher salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, coriander, rosemary, thyme, and basil.
Wholly Halibut Fish Taco
Your body is the temple of the Living God. Live well in Him.
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Monday, August 15, 2011

Get Back In The Game! 30 Day Challenge Day15 Guest Blogger ~Keda"

Congratulations! We are at the halfway point of our 30 Day Challenge! I encourage you to dig deep and finish strong! You are not alone. He who began the work in you is faithful to complete it! Now that's good news! Can We Talk?!

As we move through this thirty days we have to make sure that we begin thinking about how we are going to maintain and modify our "how to" for the rest of our lives. I hear ya, I only signed up for 30 days...yeah yeah! Certainly if we are doing 2 a days for this thirty days it may be unrealistic to maintain that pace for the rest of our lives. So what will my exercise routine be at the end of this journey? If we are eating vegetarian, unless we convert full time,we probably will want to have some meat once the challenge is over. But what about the benefits of decreasing red meat in our diets? What about that quiet time with the Lord? It's been so fulfilling, but is waking early every morning really on my agenda? Only you can really answer these questions.

The thirty days, 10 pounds, increased energy and stamina, fitting into that inspiration dress, or rekindling of a relationship with the Father are just the beginning. If we don't think about how to maintain what we have started, then this 30 days will have been for nought. One of our community members is thinking about just that, moving forward after the 30 days. We certainly MUST celebrate the small victories, but we have to keep our eyes on the prize. Listen to what Keda offers to encourage us to start thinking beyond the 30 days. Think higher, better, greater, and deeper!

When I was a little girl, my Dad signed me up for the PeeWee Soccer League. We were a bunch of 5 and 6 year olds who had no idea what we were doing, so our games often resembled a swarm of honeybees hovering around a spherical, black and white flower, but our parents seemed to get a kick out of it.

The only game I remember of the season is the one where I magically broke out of the swarm with that black and white treasure and scored a goal. I am convinced that I had never been that excited in my entire 5-year-old life. I jumped up and down waving my arms frantically over my head in victory, scanning the crowd for my family. "Did ya see me? Did ya SEE ME? I scored a GOAL!!!" I'm sure they were excited, but their immediate response to me was, "Good job, but...GET BACK IN THE GAME!" You see, while I was busy rejoicing over my minor victory, my swarm of teammates and competitors had blazed their way to the other side of the field, leaving me behind.

This second week of the 30-Day Challenge has reminded me of my little tale of victory and defeat. I was so mentally occupied with my small victory of fitting into a dress that has hung unworn in my closet for 2 years, that I lost track of the overall goal of eating healthily, exercising to the best of my ability, and spending time with the Father to ensure my physical and spiritual success. Can't you just picture me in my dress, jumping up and down with my hands flailing over my head shouting, "Did you see me, guys? Did you see me?" Well, when you do see me, just tell me, "That's great, but...GET BACK IN THE GAME!!!"

Still Journeying in Christ, Keda"
Papillon - perspectives of life and love

Your body is the temple of the Living God! Live Well in His Name!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Journey To Healing Begins With a Single Revelation 30 Day Challenge Day 11

We never know where our revelation is going to come from. Sometimes it is one obedient act in seeking God's grace, goodness, help, or mercy that will lead us to that revelation. We could be reading the Word, talking to our best friends at breakfast, or sitting in church listening to a message. God is not trying to hide anything from us. He wants us to get IT. Whatever your IT is. He wants you to know. Can We Talk?!

This week we spent some time talking about the "how to" of living healthy lives to honor God. I wanted to make sure that we also talk this week about the "want to" of living healthy and why it is so important for us to maintain this way of living for ever. Forever? Is this possible? I only signed on for 30 days! I hear ya. But, no, 30 days is only the beginning. It's the beginning of your new healthier life in Christ.

In the book, Crave, that I mentioned at the beginning of the challenge, the author is talking about defining ourselves by the numbers on a scale and she writes "Define your week by obedience, not by a number on the scale. The scale can only measure how much your body weighs. ...So I had to stop and ask myself the following questions:

Did I overeat this week on any day? No.
Did I move more and exercise regularly? Yes.
Did I feel lighter than I did at this time last Wednesday? Yes.
Did I eat in secret or out of anger or frustration? No.
Did I feel that, at any time, I ran to food instead of to God? Nope.
Before I hopped on the scale, did I think I'd had a successful, God-pleasing week? Yep!
So why oh why do I get tied up in a stupid number?"

So friends as I mentioned before there are lots of ways "how to" lose weight, stay in shape, reach certain fitness and health goals, but our "want to" must come from a desire to be obedient and to please our Father. She also writes in the book "Numbers on the scale are an indication of what your body weighs, NOT an indication of your worth". I hope this helps you settle some inner feelings you might be dealing with in your own journey to a healthier you.

Know that God loves you right where you are right now. He is not waiting to see if you can lose any weight or get through this 30 days without any mistakes before He loves you. Thank Him that! He knew you before you were born and His love for you is infinite and never failing. It is not predicated on the numbers on the scale, your waist size, or anything! Nothing can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. God just simply passionately loves you, period! I want you to love you and never let anybody make you feel that you are unworthy or unlovable because of the numbers on the scale.
Today we have not so much of a question as a testimony and revelation from a sistah in our community who is learning some of the "how to" by calorie counting. Please remember to pray for one another as we journey together.

Dear Aqua

I tried to start right today. I only have 680 calories out of 1400 for today :(
Inst oatmeal 2 pks plain #cal = 220
Yo crunch lowfat strawberry-banana yogurt 6oz #cal = 180
Cashew pieces 2 oz #cal = 320
(220 + 180 + 320 = 720) OMG - I spent 720 cals on this food.
16 oz H2O. Only 680 cals rest of day. Really an eye opener. Revelation!!! for me. WOW & OUCH.
I'm learning something. Still got my training wheels on. One meal at a time.

 I am so glad that you are learning to track your calories. When we first start out it is a good idea to right them down and count them religiously. Once we get better, reach weight and fitness milestones we can eyeball the meal, add the calories then we can move to tracking which is less stringent.

I am also loving the revelation! You could have had more filling meals for 720 calories. Nuts in general are good for you, but make sure you don't over indulge. Have your nuts in a healthy trail mix. Add Cheerios to mix to decrease the calories even more. Try to keep your snacks at no more 200 calories.

We have to know how many calories we are consuming each day if we are going to reach our goals. If you splurge one day on a sweet treat, you should account for the splurge in your dietary totals.

As you move through this process you will learn more about your body and what kinds of modifications work for lifestyle. Ask God to always be your compass so that you can make good choices for your temple.

I am proud of you and thrilled for you. Press on 20 more days to change your life!

Remember that revelation without action is just information. The important step to revelation is the action applied to the information that causes you to move, change, grow and BECOME in Him!
Your body is the temple of the Living God! Live Well in His Name!
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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What's For Dinner Tonight? 30 Day Challenge Day 9

When we start eating healthier we have to learn how to cook our favorite foods in healthier ways. Yeah, no more ham hocks in the beans and bacon in the greens. Don't kill the messenger! Sometimes we miss the gravy and sauces that were staples in our diets and we can get bored with grilled, sauteed, pan-seared. We want something hearty. So many times, it is NOT what we are eating it is how it is prepared. Can We Talk?! 

On this journey to discovering the healthy you that has been screaming to get out, we have to change the way we think about food. I told you this before. This is not a diet, it is a way of life. So, the question is how do I incorporate the foods I like into my new way of thinking and living? Well, only you can really answer that question, because you know what you like. I will give you some observations that I discovered over the past 2 years and you can tweak them and build on them based on your lifestyle.

You don't have to use pork fat to season your food. I know that is a tough one for some of us. But trust me, you can give this up. You can start with using smoked turkey and then gradually work your way to nothing, if that is what you desire. For the 30 Day Challenge I have been eating vegetarian and adding new fruits and veggies to my diet. I did not use any meat to season my food this time.

I like to cook, but I don't like spending all day in the kitchen. I like meals that can be cooked quickly and easily with little effort, but at the same time I want something filling, hearty, and delicious. I discovered that the crockpot is a healthy girls' best friend! Check out these two recipes. I'm a kitchen sink or kitchen pantry sort of cook. I throw everything in pray something good comes from it. Most of time I get it right. I like trying different combinations of seasonings. Don't be afraid to experiment!

 Believer’s Braised Kale

• ½ cup chopped peppers (Tricolor)
• ½ cup chopped onions
• ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
• ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes or 2 dashes of cayenne pepper
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 2 bunches of kale (cleaned and torn into pieces)
• 2 cups low sodium chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
• Capful of apple cider vinegar
• ½ cup of red wine
• 2 bay leaves
                                 • 3 sprigs of thyme

Wash Kale in a sink of cold water, filling the sink several times until the bottom of the sink is clean. Place all ingredients in the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. Greens should be tender.

Switch It Up: If you don't like Kale you can substitute any greens you like. The cooking time will decrease for greens like Swiss Chard. Mustard greens and collard greens will be about the same time.

Spirited Spicy Navy Beans

• 2 cups of Navy beans rinsed and drained
• ½ cup chopped peppers (Tricolor)
• ½ cup chopped onions and celery
• ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
• ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 2 dashes each of ground coriander, ginger, oregano, cumin, chili powder
• 4 gloves of chopped garlic
• 3 cups low sodium chicken stock
• 2 bay leaves
• 3 sprigs of thyme
• 1 – 8 ounce can of chopped chipotle tomatoes
Place all ingredients in the crock pot on low for 9-10 hours or on high for 7-8 hours. Beans should be tender and broth should start to thicken. Serve with brown rice.

Switch It Up: Don't like navy beans, try pinto beans or your favorite type of beans. Add some ground turkey, chicken, or beef to the beans. Use a smoked turkey leg to season the beans. Use tomatoes with no flavor for less heat. Add 1 cup chopped (large chunks) carrots.

Some other observations:

Swiss Chard reminds me of spinach in both taste and texture.

Kale doesn't remind me of anything I've ever eaten before. Except for when I was a kid eating grass. Haha! It's good though. I promise.

Eating vegetarian and getting in the proper amount of daily protein is challenging.

The first time I had vegetable stir I really missed meat. Not so much the meat  itself, but the fat from the meat marrying with the veggies when cooked together.

Drinking 90 ounces of water a day is VERY challenging. (We'll talk about H20 consumption later)

Think you're eating healthy? Before that first bite "google" what you are eating to find out how many calories and calories from fat you will be consuming. For example...How many calories in a cup of brocolli and cheese soup from Jason's deli? or How many calories in a subway meatball sub or How many calories in a piece of fried chicken? You just might make other choices.

You have recipes or observations that you would like to share? Love to share them with the community.

Ask me how to make these dishes.

Heavenly Oven Roasted Veggies

Before Roasting
After Roasting

Praise-Worthy Pepper-Crusted Tuna Salad

 Your body is the temple of the Living God! Live Well in His Name!

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Challenge IT and IT Will Change~ 30 Day Challenge Day 5

Congratulations! Five days have already come and gone for your 30 Day Challenge. 25 days left to create the lifestyle you want to live for the rest of your life. A healthy life that honors our temples and our God. Can We Talk?!

These last 5 days have NOT been without challenges. I was confronted with this dessert tray at a birthday lunch. YIKES! I'll have one of each! No, seriously. I didn't indulge and I stayed true to my plan. I share this because the weekend is coming and it is so easy to get off course when we are celebrating. We say...I'll just have a little and start over tomorrow. 500 calories later, well you know the story. In these moments, pray and ask God for strength. Excuse yourself if you can't handle the pressure. Sometimes you are going to have to say "NO", you won't be able to leave. Challenge it and it will change!

For some Templers, Day 1 out of the gate was a struggle. Others met challenges as the week progressed. Fear not, do not be discouraged. Our bodies and our health did not get in this state overnight and it won't change overnight. I also heard some praise reports. "I lost 4lbs", "I feel great". Congratulations to them and all glory to our Father! Challenge it and it will change!

I wanted to encourage you for the weekend. Weekends can be the hardest time to stay on track with our plan. Everyone is relaxing and socializing. For so many eating goes hand and hand with this environment. And exercise is no where on the agenda. Be mindful of this trap and stay on the path this weekend.

I also wanted to share with you a tidbit of information that is important to those of you putting in extra exercise and/or eating vegetarian. Minister Ron Marshall of TheOne Training challenged us to make sure that we are getting enough protein. The amount of protein we should get ranges from 40-70 grams each day depending on your gender, age and situation. You can calculate your the amount of protein you should receive. You can get protein from other sources besides meat.

Also if you have exercised everyday this week. Good on you! But make sure you take a day off. Sunday is a great day to worship God for your success this week, ask Him to strengthen you for the week to come, and rest in His marvelous presence.

Enjoy your weekend! A healthy lifestyle can be fun and exciting! See you Monday! Keep those journals, praise reports, and even miss steps coming in. We will pray and praise with you!
Your body is the temple of the Living God! Live Well in His Name!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Spiritual Journey to Wholeness 30 Day Challenge Day 3

Twenty one people signed up for the 30 day challenge. I have been hearing from some of them by email, text, twitter, and facebook about their progress to date. I'm thrilled to hear that so many people want to gain control of their health by taking back what the enemy stole. As we move through this 30 days we must be mindful of our immediate goals and plans AND the future goals and plans that will sustain us for a life time. Can We Talk?!

When God directed me to start this ministry, I was concerned that people would think the ministry was about weight loss or vanity goals. I really wanted to convey the message that this ministry is about God and His great love for His people. God cares about the intimate details of our lives and if we are living healthy we can better partner with Him for Kingdom building. It's more than about how much we weigh or can we fit into our jeans from high school. I still can't by the way. It's about living a healthy life that honors God. God cares less about if you can wear that old wedding dress from 10-15 years ago and more about you prospering and being in good health, even as your soul prospers.

One of the community members who signed up for the 30 Day Challenge sent me her prayer request and she wanted someone to hold her accountable. This is her email to me and my response to her. I hope that you are encouraged, enlightened, and empowered by her plan, message, and commitment to God. I think she does a really good job of conveying the message I described above. Glory and honor is due Him. 

Dear Aqua

My challenge is spiritual & physical. My plan is to wake up 30 minutes earlier than I normally would & have a real intimate time with the Lord. I'm also challenging myself to start reading my bible plan everyday. I'm challenging myself to eat more fruits & veggies. No sweets, no added salt, no sodas, fast food, fried foods or STARBUCKS (YIKES). My exercise plan is the same but I will add arms & abs to my workout. I'm gonna fast on Wednesday's from 6-6. I will email you my stats nightly to make sure I'm on point.

I'm my mind right...Thanks for doing this... Not only will I come out of this physically healthier but my spirit is gonna be on FIRE 4HisTemple.

Dear J

Sis!! Oh my God! You get it! You get #4HisTemple. Can't wait to see what God is going to do to you and through you. You know I have to share this email in a blog post. I want the community to see it's more than weight loss. It's a spiritual journey. Will be lifting you up each day. The enemy is coming hard after you now that you have made the decision to change. But you know this already. Stand firm. If you get knocked down, miss a day morning worship, eat something off your plan. Repent and start over the next day. I look forward to your updates and helping you stay on target. What's time do you need to get up?

Asking the Lord to be near you, guide you, hold you, lift you, protect you, motivate you, and give you the strength to help others when it is all over. The next 30 days are a new beginning for anyone committed and taking this challenge seriously. Wow! I love you!

Stay on the path Templers! God has so much in store for you if you commit and endure this 30 days of sanctification.

Your body is the temple of the Living God! Live Well in His Name!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Welcome to the 30 Day Challenge~Day 1

Congratulations to the 17 people who committed to starting the 30 Day Challenge today! Today is the first day of the rest of your life! Sound too good to be true? Can We Talk?! If you commit yourself fully to the next 30 days your life will never be the same. That's a promise. No matter the workout routine or eating plan you decided upon, if you submit those plans to the Lord, surrender your will to His, and allow Him to minister to you daily you will surely be VICTORIOUS on August 31.

Remember I said this was going to be a spiritual journey. Don't try to walk this journey alone with just YOUR willpower. You will fail. If we could have done it with willpower we would have already conquered the demons that contribute to our unhealthy lifestyles. Years of feeding our flesh whatever it wanted whenever it wanted it, slothfulness, and allowing the flesh to control our thinking and our appetites.

As you eat ask God to give you the desire for the foods you are eating. As you exercise ask God to give you a passion for exercising, give you strength for that workout day and ask Him to guide you to the right exercises for where you are right now. Seek council.

Now that you have made this decision Satan is coming in like a flood. That's no surprise. All the excuses of why you cannot do it now will come up. Remember that "it easier to make excuses than to change." Obstacles are going to get in your way. Cravings will seemingly come from nowhere to overwhelm you. BUT GOD and His grace! If you slip one day, don't quit! Start over immediately. Don't start over everyday for 30 days though, you might need to reevaluate your commitment and resolve to change.

We are putting Satan on notice today! He has no authority and we will no longer work with Him to destroy our lives. Healing begins today for you and for your family! The curse of unhealthy living is broken today!!

My good friend gave me a book for my birthday that she hoped would help with 4 His Temple Ministries. I will share some excerpts from the book over the next 30 days because I think the book is powerful and God breathed. The name of the book is Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire With God, Not Food by Lysa TerKeurst. I hope some of it resonates with you so that you can receive revelation, power, and healing on this 30 day journey.

"Spiritually. I had to ask God to give me the desire to be healthy. I knew a vanity-seeking "want to" would never last. Shallow desires produce only shallow efforts. I had to seek a spiritual "want to" empowered by God Himself. So, I asked. I begged, actually. I cried out to God. And day by day, God gave me just enough "want to"  laced with His strength, to be satisfied by healthy choices. God also settled in my heart that this is an issue of great spiritual importance. ...I can honestly say that this is one of the most significant spiritual journeys I've ever dared to take with God. I hope you soon say the same thing"

I thank God for this ministry because I know that lives are being changed and I thank God for you and pray that you will be empowered to help someone else on this journey. Please feel free to share your successes and your struggles with us as we travel this journey together. If you would like to guest blog or just share with the community your plans for the next 30 days, please email me. 

Your body is the temple of the Living God! Live Well in His Name!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Ready, Set, Go! 30 Day Challenge

We have just 2.5 days left before we begin the 30 Day Challenge. If you have not decided to join us yet it is still not to late to set your heart and mind right to do something that could change your life. That's not hyperbole folks. This challenge could be the beginning of how you think, eat, and live for the rest of your life. Can We Talk?!

This challenge is not about weight loss. Weight loss is a byproduct of the process of living a healthy life that honors and glorifies God, caring for the temple that He gave us. During this 30 days we want you to deal with and get in touch with what's eating you so you can address what, why, and how much you are eating. We want you to learn to love exercise! This is going to be a spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional journey. Are you ready?

As I told you last week, you won't be alone. I've already heard from 13 people who are ready, willing, and able to face this challenge head on. Some have already started! 11 women and 2 men have said...enough is enough! I want my life, health, and strength back. I want to be more available to God, my family, and my community. The enemy has been winning this war long enough! 

We are going into this challenge with God at the center of every food and exercise choice we make. I will be praying for you daily. I'm asking you to also pray for the 4 His Temple community of believers who are taking the challenge. Pray before you eat and exercise and any time you feel powerless to go on. You cannot do this without God. Give us 30 days to plant and water seeds that will motivate, inspire, and change your mind about living a healthy life that pleases God. Many unbelievers are getting healthy and changing their lives, surely the people of God have the POWER through Him to do the same.

We haven't named one specific diet or exercise program that we want everyone to do for this 30 days because we are all different and respond differently to changes in our eating habits and workout routines. Remember this is a move to a lifestyle change, so we don't recommend fad diets. You have to do something that will work for you, that you will continue doing for 30 days, AND that will motivate you to keep moving forward once the challenge is over. 

I do want to share with you what some of the 13 say they are going to do for 30 days to get you thinking and get you started. There are many "how to" or ways to get started. What we want to do is help you have the desire to or the "want to" to change your life. I am available to help you map out something that works for you based on where you are right now. Set!

Here is what the community is doing.
  • P90X
  • Insanity
  • Ripped in 30
(You cannot go from couch potato to the 3 above) I use the term affectionately, because I was one.
  • No meat for 30 days
(Please remember you still need to get in enough protein from other sources if you don't eat meat)
  • 2 a days
(2 workouts per day for 30 days, make sure you take a break to give your body time to rest and rebuild)
  • Adding new fruits and veggies to the diet
  • Adding more exercise days to current routine
  • Tracking calories in a journal
  • Schedule workouts on a calendar with a reminder
We will also have guest bloggers who are taking the challenge who will be sending out encouragement, inspiration, and information to keep you on track. We'll blog often but not everyday. We want you to have to time to meditate on, digest, and incorporate what you read. If you are interested in being a guest blogger to share your experiences, your decision to join the 30 day challenge, provide tips and tricks to stay motivated, share recipes, successes or even miss steps, please email me

The one thing that I am asking that we all do is to be mindful of the diet and health  killers and refrain from them for at least 30 days. NO SMOKING, NO ALCOHOL, NO FAST FOOD, NO SWEETS, NO SODA. You might be surprised that you don't go back to them once the challenge is over.

If you would like to join and wish to be added to the daily prayer list, please send me your name and specific requests. Invite a friend to join you so that you can have an accountability partner. Go!

 Your body is the temple of the Living God! Live Well in His Name!
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Friday, July 22, 2011

4 His Temple 30 Day Challenge

Are you in diet and exercise rut? Have you failed to get off the couch and get started although you have a desire to do so? Is your regular routine failing to give you the results you once realized? Can We Talk?!  

On this journey our bodies will reach plateaus. During this time the body is saying "you are going to the gym three days a week, you are eating 1800 calories a day, OK, I can adjust to that". Ever heard your body say that? Ha..probably not. But trust me your body has figured out and adjusted to your current strategy and no longer responds to that regime. 

Often times we need to change up our regular routine because our bodies have gotten accustomed to the demands of that routine. We also may not be as diligent as we were when we first started losing weight and see results. We need to kick start our new routine by increasing intensity and refocusing our diet.

I have been at the same weight for more than six months, in fact I gained eight pounds. I know what you are thinking eight pounds that is no big deal. But if you are trying lose weight or maintain what you have already accomplished AND you are putting in the work, it is something that you should keep an eye on. Eight pounds can quickly lead to 10 to 15 to 20. You see where I am going here.

So why am I telling you all this? Ha, I'm glad you asked. On August 1 we will start our first 4 His Temple 30 Day Challenge. For this 30 days we are asking you to recommit yourself (or commit yourself) to spicing up your workout and diet to get the results you desire. In some cases, get the results the doctor ordered. I've heard some of you say "my doctor told me to lose 10 to 50 pounds". You won't lose 50 pounds in 30 days, but what you will do is refocus yourself and make your choices (food and exercise) work for you. This 30 days can help you establish or reestablish a lifestyle of healthy living. Are you in?

So here is the plan for 30 days. Add some exercise to your current level of activity. I heard the other day that working out twice a day turns your body into a fat burning machine. You like that! Boosts your metabolism. Just 20 minutes twice daily for 30 days. You can do that. Yes, you can. Stop thinking of excuses and obstacles. You won't be doing this alone.

Depending on your current fitness level, one good program is Jill Micheal's 30 Day Shred. I am going to try Jill Micheal's Ripped in 30. Taking off Sunday each week. One person in our community and her husband are going to start P90X. What are you going to do? Let us know so that we can share.

OK, you can't leave out your diet in this plan. Really commit to eating the amount of calories and portions that are right for you. Also for your diet...NO SMOKING, NO ALCOHOL, NO FAST FOOD, NO SWEETS, NO SODA and increase your H2O intake. C'mon it's just 30 days! You mean you can't bring your flesh under submission for 30 days? Seriously?! You won't be alone. We will be there and God is our present help.

If you are joining the challenge, please send me your name and prayer requests. If you need help deciding what to do for 30 days I will be more than happy to chat with you one on one. Just email me at

So join the challenge, dare I ask the question? What have you got to lose? Think about it!

Your body is the temple of the Living God! Live Well in His Name!
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

How Low Can You Go?

Hello Temple Lovers 

I pray that you are maintaining your new healthy lifestyles and that you are sharing your results with others; encouraging them to join you on this journey. We have started a movement of healthy living among the people of God that inspires us all to LIVE better, DO better, and BE better for His glory.

Today we have a question from twitter. If you have a twitter account follow me there as I tweet about everything temple related. We provide encouragement and support and we also share tips and tricks to help you stay motivated and committed to your lifestyle. If you look to the right of this post you can see the twitter feed to see what kinds of information we post. If you have a twitter account, you can search the hashtag #4HisTemple.

If you are having trouble with your workout don't give up. You can always modify the exercise or do some alternate exercise. You may have to seek medical advice during the workout regime if you are having pain or problems that trouble you. If you have preexisting injury or you haven't worked out in a while you may want to see a physician before beginning your workout.

Dear Aqua

I am doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. I am on Level 2 and the exercises are high impact on the knees. I am doing squat thrusts, plank jacks, rock star jumps, and lunges...Sheesh! My knee is starting to hurt from the workouts. No idea what I'm doing wrong. Suggestions?

Dear K 

Let me ask a few questions and respond at the same time. I completed the 30 Day Shred three times when I first started working out and I highly recommend it to jump start a regular work-out regime or it is great to help you get back on track if you fall off your regime. I also had problems with my knees during Level 2 because of some old injuries from playing volleyball in high school. Even now, some days I have to do alternate exercises instead of the high knee impact exercises such as lunges. Other days I can do these exercises with just a little modification.

1) Do you have any history of knee pain? Previous knee injury can be a sign that you will have problems when you start working those knees on a regular basis during exercise.

2) Are you stretching and warming up before your workouts? Stretching is crucial before we exercise. A good warm-up helps increase performance, minimize injuries, facilitate recovery, and decrease pain. A good warm-up can be 5-15 minutes depending on the exercises you are planning.

3) Have you tried modifying the workout? Try modifying the workouts by decreasing the impact on the knees. Don't jump as high, don't go as low, and make sure that your landings are soft. Don't slam down at the knee. If you cannot tolerate the pain and the pain does not ease with warm-up and modification go on to Level 3. Don't force it. There is less impact on the knees in Level 3. The downside is that Level 3 is tough and you will have to do it for more than 10 days.

4) Are you drinking enough water? Increase your fluid intake. Drink more water before, during, and after your exercise. Water intake is important for many reasons and there are many health benefits from keeping your body well hydrated. The joints and cartilage in the knees require good lubrication to decrease friction and ensuing pain.

5) How is your posture and form? Make sure that you have correct posture and form when doing these exercises. For example, when you lunge you want to see your toes in the front as you bend your knee. If your front knee extends over your toes, your form is incorrect and you can cause damage to your knees.

6) Is there swelling? Have you taken anything for the pain? Finally, as a last resort you might need to use heat or ice (if swelling is present) and a pain reliever.

Certainly you could have more serious knee pain, but based on our communication I don't think that is the case. Should you believe that your pain is more serious please see a doctor.

Your body is the temple of the Living God! Live Well in His Name!
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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Urgent Opportunites to Serve

Our ministry mission is encouraging, supporting, and advocating for healthy living to the glory and honor of God. We believe that through these lives surrendered to God we will allow Him to use us in a greater way to build up His Kingdom. One of the ways we pray that you will do this is through serving the community. Can We Talk?!

As our lives and health improves we pray that you will see a need and seek God's guidance on how to meet that need. Sometimes God directs us to pray for the need. Other times He directs us to get involved. 4 His Temple Ministries is hoping that you will join us in meeting two urgent needs if you live in the Houston area.

First, The Bread of Life contacted Kristen Tucker, Outreach Coordinator for Hope Church Pearland and asked for some help. Most of you know that Hope Church partners regularly with the Bread of Life to meet the needs of the homeless in our community. Please see Kristen's note below and contact her directly to help.

Note from Kristen
I was contacted by the Bread of Life today and they are in need of help for breakfast this Saturday, July 2, 2011 from 7:30-8:30 am. Please forward this to all and if you could respond by the end of Thursday to or 713-689-0593 that would be excellent. I hope that we can help them out this weekend.

Then, the Star of Hope has urgent needs for toilet paper and diapers (sizes 4, 5, 6, 2T-6T). 4 His Temple Ministries will have ongoing drives for the Star of Hope in the future, but we want to meet this urgent need ASAP. Please contact me to make arrangements to pick-up of your donation.

Our brothers and sisters who are without homes would love an opportunity to live healthier lives, but for now some are without even the basics necessities. They need to know the love of Christ and that someone like you cares. Please take just a minute to pray and help.

For those of you who do not live in the Houston area, we challenge you to find some community work in your area for the month of July. Please share with us what you have done to make a difference.

If WE BELIEVE that ours are the HANDS of God we will EXTEND THEM, if ours are the FEET of God we will GO, and if ours is the Heart of God we will LOVE. Bless you!

Your body is the temple of the Living God! Live Well in His Name!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Food for Thought for the World Traveler

Summer is the time for vacation and travel. Did you know that you can stay on track with your new lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise with some simple planning and thought? Can We Talk?!

Today we have question generated from our last post Stay on the Path. This question was related to food, but staying on the path applies to all the paths in our lives that God has set before us. Got questions? I would love to answer them! Enjoy!

Dear Aqua

I stayed off course when I was on vacation. This has always been a struggle for me, since I have been traveling a lot. I got tempted to try all these pastries/ foods and I kept thinking to myself that this is only  "temporary". When I got back from vacation recently, I still have that left over feeling that I still carried on, until I had a reality check from my friend. Now I am getting it together again, trying to stay on course. Any advise on how to stay on track while on vacation, especially out of the country? L

Dear L

I don't think traveling abroad makes it more difficult to stay on the path, UNLESS we have not yet learned to discipline ourselves fully before leaving home. Ouch, I know! We have to learn how to incorporate our healthy living into all the activities of our lives, including traveling, eating out at restaurants, and holidays.

Remember this is a lifestyle change, so our healthy living fits into our life. We shouldn't pick it up and put it down when it is convenient for us. Although, when we are first starting out that is exactly what we do. Eventually, this new life should become part of who we are as a person. For example, a vegetarian won't eat meat just because they traveled to a country that has the best Kobe beef.

When most people travel of course they want to have the full experience of being on vacation, which often includes tasting the local food. The key is tasting and not indulging in such a way that it creates the slippery slope that you described. What I mean is that you are on holiday for three weeks and for that time, you eat whatever you want whenever you want and how much of it you want. That's never a good situation. That's not good when you are at home or on vacation. Most often when you return home you find it difficult to find your center again and get back on track. The calories and the pounds add up very quickly.

The advice I would give to travelers is:

1) As much as possible stick to your regular eating habits. Plan, plan, and plan some more.
2) Have bites and tastes of the foods you want to try. Remember you don't have to eat it ALL. EVER.
3) Portion control is key. Have a little, don't overindulge.
4) Don't make the whole trip about food. Find other ways to create memories.
5) When you plan your trip also plan how/where you are going to get in your exercise.
6) Avoid trigger foods. Foods that once you eat them they trigger you to overindulge and keep eating once the vacation is over. Sweets, carbs, and fast foods are trigger foods for some people.
7) Above all else...Have a great time! Your lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise should be something that you enjoy and it should not put a damper on your vacation or the vacation of others. No one wants to hear us complain about what we cannot eat for the duration of a vacation. Keep it simple.

To stay on the path of healthy eating and exercise we are going to have to have to learn to love the food we eat and learn to love exercising. Yes, I said it! Learn to love exercise! If we don't we won't be able to maintain the lifestyle change. If the change is always a burden it simply won't last.

I would also add this note for diabetics. There are certain foods you must avoid at all times and other times you can make substitutions. If you are following a diabetic diet you know this already. You should stick very strictly to the foods that help you maintain good consistent blood sugars levels, which we will give you the best opportunity for healthy outcomes.

I hope this helps for your next vacation. Bon voyage!

Congratulations again to Al Austin! She was the 1000th guest to the blog last month and won a $25.00 Shell gas card.

Your body is the temple of the Living God! Live Well in His Name!
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