Friday, June 29, 2012

Health. Fitness. Strength.

Health and fitness has always been a passion of mine, before I decided to enroll in the Vet Tech Program I was actually taking prerequisites to become a nutritionist or sports trainer. It amazes me how we can do so much to improve our health and strengthen our bodies simply by what we eat and what we do physically! God has blessed us with  SO many ways to nourish and heal our bodies with food, the right food, and the potential strength and endurance our bodies has is incredible! Just take at look at the Olympic athletes, WOW! 

Some of you may know that at the beginning of this year, due to some personal health problems, I gave gluten and sugar the cold shoulder. This will be my 6 month mark on the change! It has made a huge difference in how I feel overall and has now become a part of my everyday lifestyle.. it has not always been easy, especially when I realized that sugar is in EVERYTHING it seems like! everything!!! Yikes! Sugar will still trip me up every once in a while without me knowing, but I am learning how to avoid it's tricks! Education is important when it comes to food...research, read, become knowledgeable as to what you are putting in your body! Going gluten free was much easier than I expected... there are a lot of options out there nowadays and plus, when I eat gluten; I feel bad, when I don't eat gluten I feel great and can focus better, so the choice has been easy! I have to say though that it has been one of the best health choices I have made so far...

However, now that I feel like I have a handle on that area, or at least I'm able to focus less on it, I am realizing that fitness goes hand in hand with being healthy!
I've come to look at fitness this way..... instead of seeing it as a chore, something everyone seems to be doing to look great or lose weight, I see it like this : the stronger I am, the more fit I am, the longer my endurance is-- the more I can do for others. The stronger I am the more I can do for my family, I can do a better job at work, the more I can do to serve the Lord!

When reading about the virtuous woman in Proverbs I realized how much of a woman of DOING, service, and physical activity she is and a couple verses really caught my eye.

" She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms" Proverbs 31:17
"Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come." Proverbs 31:25

This incredible woman was a woman who saw the need to be physically in-shape!
 ( not to mention spiritually in-shape!)
I was inspired that someone so praised in the bible, took the time to "strengtheneth her arms." surely this is something I should take note of and put into action myself?

With all that being said, I have really started to add exercise into my daily life. Pinterest has been my best friend in helping me find workouts  that I can do at home and with my sister. ( my new workout partner!). If you check out my Energize board you can see what I am doing daily! I throw in about 20-30min of cardio if possible ( I love to run outdoors! and so does my dog Titus!) and then I usually do one of the daily workout plans. The one above is my favorite right now! It breaks it down into days/target areas and includes a lot of strength/weight training. It also takes the time to explain how to do each workout!  Saturdays I usually do one of the other workouts I have on there, or a combo of a few of them. Sunday is my day off!

images courtesy of Pinterest.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sister Love

My one and only older sister had a young man ask for her hand earlier this month, and she said yes!

Sara is the big sister every younger sister like myself needs. She is sensible where I am impulsive. She is a servant where I am demanding. She is giving where I am selfish. She sets an example and  has kept me in line more times than I would care to admit! She brings my scattered, big dreamer brain back to reality. 

Being the oldest sibling of six, Sara has always carried a motherly type quality with her. ( in my younger days I called this something else..."Bossy" ha ha!) I often took this for granted, and there were many moments where we butted heads a little... (I am often too headstrong for my own good!) 
On the flip side Sara is my best friend. 
While we were often polar opposites growing up, as we've gotten older I have noticed that we seem to have met in the middle. Sara has become more of a free spirit and I am slowly learning how to control my impulsive energy and  headstrong behavior. We no longer see each other as "just" older and younger sisters....but the best of friends.  The close friendship of sisters is priceless and cannot be matched by any other friendship. 

When Kenneth proposed to Sara, and she showed me the ring, I thought of all the moments that had been spent talking about this day. When would one of us get engaged?Who would the guy be? What would it feel like? How would he propose? It seemed so far away in the future, and we spent many nights giggling and dreaming about it, yet  here I was staring down at a ring on my sister's left hand. 

She is going to be a married woman soon.
She will be LEAVING our family and starting her own.
One of my best friends will be living in another state.

The moment that I thought would never come is here.
Funny how life sneaks up on you like that.
I have never seen Sara more happy!
Yet now I realize that my days having her so close are numbered. 
I also realized that I will be the big sister of the house soon, and what big shoes I have to fill.

Cherish every moment you have with your sister, because one day her beloved knight will come and take her away to live happily ever after!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Team USA

In case some of you are completely out of the loop and live on another planet, the Olympic games are this summer! I am a HUGE fan of the Olympic games, and just a sports junkie in general. I am constantly inspired by the sheer determination, will-power, and hard working mentality that these Olympic athletes have. To reach such a level requires a lot of sacrifice and responsibility! Not to mention an intense drive and competitive attitude.

Out of all the Olympic sports, I have been following one in particular VERY closely ( watching it like a hawk!) and trying  to stay as up to date as possible. It's a sport that hits very close to home for me, something I'm personally involved in and quite obsessed with.....I'm sure you all have NO idea, right??

US Olympic Dressage Team Member: Steffen Peters and Legolas 92
(Image courtesy of Google,) 

The Equestrian sports. Especially Show Jumping, Dressage, Eventing , and the Equestrian Paralympics.
I feel like this year the US Equestrian teams and overall sport are finally getting some of the publicity and attention they deserve! Every year the sport seems to be growing in fan-base and awareness, and with the Olympic Games fast approaching and US team members being named, the equestrian community is blowing up with news!
USA Show Jumping Olympic Contender: Reed Kessler and Cylana
(Image Courtesy of Google)

What makes this sport different from other sports? Well for starters it's a team effort between a rider and their 1200+ lb steed, the horse,  an amazing and athletic animal. One cannot make it without the other. The bond between most Olympic level riders and their horse is incredible and has taken years of hard work, riding, and training to form. Horse and rider know each other inside and out and have formed a beautiful partnership, making a difficult  and daunting task like jumping a 5ft+ course of 14 fences or more, performing a pattern of difficult movements perfectly on cue, or galloping at top speed across miles of open fields and woods all while flying over fences, easy.
USA Olympic Eventing Contender: Allison Springer and Arthur
(Image courtesy of Google)

This is one of the only sports that men AND women compete against one another, and age difference is not a factor! Take our US Show Jumping team, for instance,  that was just recently named for the Olympics; the youngest rider of the four will be 18 soon and is on the same team as a 53 year old veteran of the sport. Incredible! They all compete for the same reason, the love of the sport and most of all, their love of horses!

US Olympic Showjumping Team: Reed Kessler: 17, Rich Fellers: 53, 
Beezie Madden: 49 ,McLain Ward: 35

Even Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney's wife, Ann Romney,  co-owns a horse that will be on the Olympic Dressage Team! How cool is that?!
Ann Romney's horse, Rafalca and rider Jan Ebeling 

Can you tell I'm just a tad bit excited about all of this? Even though I am not an Equestrian Olympic contender, it even has me working harder at my riding and pushing myself a little more- I am inspired and motivated! Go Team USA!!!

If you are interested in finding out more about the Equestrian sport, and keeping up to date on what's going on with the sport right now I highly recommend you check out these websites!

Horse Junkies United
I got a lot of my sources from this website, they are amazing! Loads of informative blog posts and videos!

NBC Olympics
Find out everything you need to know about our Olympic Athletes!

USEF Network
Watch live streaming and fantastic coverage on the latest equine events!

Enjoy and Happy Riding!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Life Lately

What I've been up to through my iphone photos. ( Now I can't claim this idea for my own- I was inspired by this amazing blog to start posting iphone pic updates.) 

Happy Friday!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Check this out and Spread the Word!

A young friend of mine, Sofie , just recently opened her very own Etsy shop! She is incredibly talented at crocheting and makes beautiful handmade products including stuffed animals, gorgeous earrings, hand warmers, blankets, and more!

I personally own a pair of her earrings, and I love them! They are incredibly lightweight and I love the bright pop of color, perfect for summer! She can customize the earrings to your favorite color or outfit!

I had the privilege of modeling her first line of earrings for her and I wanted to take the entire set home with me!  Sofie is slowly adding more wonderful handmade products to her inventory so keep your eyes open for them!

You can buy her handmade products by visiting this website-

P.S. It would mean the world to her and to me if all you dear blog friends would be so kind as to share this blog post - spread the word!