Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Coincidence? Probably Not.

The more life experience I gain the less I believe in coincidences.
The "probably not coincidence" I am experiencing right now is related to living with debt and sacrificing to get out of debt ASAP.

 Firstly: This past week a sweet teammate from college and her husband posted their "we"re debt free" scream video on facebook.

I have been dreaming of experiencing that moment ever since!

Secondly: My husband has been wanting to sit down and discuss our finances more and more often lately. He wants us to both be 100% on the same page and 100% in agreement about our goals.

Thirdly: I came across this blog post yesterday titled "Becoming Debt Free & 6 Odd Tips That Helped Us"

Fourthly: My PT program hosted a job fair Monday that made finances and getting into the work force seem so much closer and more real. (even though in reality my PT, DPT status is still (hopefully only) 15 months away)

I know, this very well could be coincidence, but I'd argue more so it is the Lord trying to prepare me for when the day does come when I am earning a paycheck.  He is trying to shape my heart and mind to be in line with my husband's. To quote the blog post mentioned above:  Paying off debt in agreement as a couple and taking longer is better than paying off debt by a bureaucratic tyrant and doing it quickly.

That really did challenge me because I am more of the free spirit in our relationship.  Always making the argument that we should live frugally within reason and that we should live joyfully, which sometimes requires a break from the daily grind or a date night to clear our head. Its in this region where we occasionally butt heads. And I am embarrassed to say, I paint my husband has the bureaucratic tyrant.

I know submitting to my husband to accomplish the goal of paying off student loan debt will be even more difficult for me when I am working and there is more room for "my" and "yours" to creep in.  Which is why focusing on respecting and submitting to my husband and his development & maintenance of our financial plan now is so important.  Luke 16:10 says "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much."

I want to be the couple whose marriage is strengthened when living with little to be strong enough to handle living with much.  I know that the condition of my heart will be one of the biggest obstacles we will have to overcome.  I want to be debt free, but my actions do not always support my words.  I hope and pray with everything in me that we will not let things and finances cause division in our marriage. Through prayer and constant petitioning of the Lord for humility, I am sure He will provide exactly what we need.

Friday, October 25, 2013

It Finally Came!

I have been watching ebay for weeks for an inexpensive juicer. Unfortunately, since juicing and specifically Breville juicers were featured on the documentary Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead, the prices since my parents bought theirs ~4 months ago had sky-rocketed.  Juicers were featured in home magazines and were actually included in catalog kitchen layouts.  My husband is convinced I am jumping on a bandwagon, and I guess only time will tell, but for now I can't wait to start juicing regularly.  I spent most of October off and on sick and knew I had to try something different.  This is my attempt to change my diet and in doing so, a greater attempt to boost my health and immune system.

I chose the Breville Juice Fountain Compact because I wanted Breville quality and simplicity with cleaning, but was unable/did not want to invest too much in an item I was unsure I would actually use long term.

I thought I would share some of the juicing tips I have found through Google and Pinterest over the past few weeks :)

There are definitely some discrpencies as to some of the best fruits & veggies to juice.  Here is a combination of quite a few lists:
  • Collard Greens
  • Swiss Chard
  • Cucumbers, which are very cleansing and good for skin health.
  • Celery, anti-inflammatory and alkalizing; also said to lower blood pressure.
  • Beets, a super liver cleanser and great vegetarian source of iron.
  • Carrots, rich in beta-carotene, beneficial for eyesight, and also a great liver/gall bladder cleanser. Use caution with carrot juice, as it's also high in sugar.
  • Spinach (occasionally), high in iron, very alkalizing, and great for skin health.
  • Wheatgrass, overall great detoxifier and also alkalizing.
  • Fennel, excellent for digestion, reduces bloating. Great licorice-like flavor.
  • Herbs are great, too; use parsley, cilantro (helps to chelate heavy metals), and ginger (good for digestion and cleansing). Throw in some raw garlic if you're brave or want to ward off vampires. It's great for immune health
  • Apples
  • Pineapple
  • Cranberry
  • Lemon
I found this website most helpful.  There were a few points that I found noteworthy, due to the popularity of juicing specific vegetables.  For example these two points especially stuck out to me:
"Use raw spinach, beet greens and chard sparingly. They contain oxalic acid, which can irritate the the mouth and intestinal tract and block iron and calcium absorption. Oxalic acid has also beed linked to the formation of kidney stones."
"Stay away from juicing raw cabbage, collards, bok choy, kale and broccoli. All cruciferous veggies are goitrogenic, meaning they contain substances that suppress thyroid function when consumed raw. They may also cause gas, bloating and stomach upset in some folks. Don't get me wrong; the cruciferous have wonderful health benefits when cooked or lightly steamed. Cooking deactivates the goitrogens."

I wasn't sure of the site's credibility and I definitly didn't just want to go around spreading unfounded rumors. 
Especially with natural medicine, I tend to question some claims, simply because there is often not research to back them up.  I don't believe research is necessary or infallible by any means, but it never hurts to check more than one source. So, in an attempt to be thorough, I searched Google Scholar and found this case report:

Getting, Jane E., et al. "Oxalate Nephropathy Due to “Juicing”: Case Report and Review." The American journal of medicine (2013).

I did not read the entire thing, but in the abstract I found that the claim made about kidney failure (nephropathy) was sound, as well as this article:

which stated that a study was conducted on women in New Caledonia which found that there was a higher incidence of thyroid cancer in those with iodine deficiency who consumed large amounts of cruciferous vegetables. In case you were wondering, New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Just in case.

Due to the sources available to support those points, I wholeheartedly recommend the MindBodyGreen website when it comes to juicing :)
Here are some links to other sources I found helpful: one two three

I made my first vegetable juice this morning with things I had in the fridge, tomato, cucumber, celery, and some lettuce and so far so good! And clearly Peyton is none the wiser :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October Updates!

So so much going on!

Fall break was last week, filled with lots of research and class projects for the most part, but we did get to head to Atlanta for the weekend :)
  Quick Nashville trip Saturday for Aud's soccer game, back to Atlanta that night. Sunday was packed full, beginning with an awesome service at Apostle's, which was followed by Aud's first shower, and concluded by celebrating her 21st birthday that night (which was followed by a LATE night drive back to Cola).

At the shower
"Innocent" in the kitchen while making meatballs Friday night

The weekend before that DJ and I completed our first Olympic triathlon, woohoo! To say it was tougher than we expected would be an understatement! I had been sick the two weeks leading up to race day and in the end ended up having to day-quil my way through, but we made it and loved it!  We went back and forth about investing in wet suits but were SO thankful we did! A small price to pay for how helpful they were, not to mention we would have frozen without them! So much family came to watch, we felt so loved!

The night before the race we were able to catch this hot air balloon light show in Anderson, SC!
Pre-race: antsy as all get out!
So much fun to see everyone afterwards!

The Thursday before that DJ forced me out of study mode and to the SC State Fair to eat corn dogs and watch Corey Smith in concert.  Watching him took my back to high school, we had so much fun meandering around the fair and re-hashing high school memories.  Definitely not as exciting listening to his song "twenty-one" from my now over twenty-one perspective though :P
Felt like such old folks! (I thought we were going to get shot with DJ all UGA decked out!)

Loved it! Every minute!

As far as continuing tri training goes, I dream about doing a half and maybe someday a full Ironman. Unfortunately right now I don't have cold weather cycling clothes and 1. am not able to invest in them right now and  2. cycling through 30-something temperatures sounds absolutely terrible. For those reasons (and many more) I have chosen to train for another marathon!  I missed running so much when tri training, the running aspect for us was an after thought due to our inexperience/lack of practice in the other two sports.  Another reason I am returning to running for now is that the time tri training required was just too much for our life right now.  I would sit in class all day (DJ would work), we'd work out for 2-3 hours, and after that would still need to take care of dinner and studying/school work.  It was just too much.

Going to try Hal Higdon's Intermediate 1 marathon training program and can always knock it down if its too much during the holidays.  If I start the week of November 2, the 18 week training program will get me to race day, which will be the Columbia Marathon on March 8, 2014!

I am going to try to integrate Pilates into my training schedule this time around.  I know I needed to integrate more strength training in my tri training to be more effective, just could not justify the added time commitment.

In other news, I ordered a juicer yesterday and hope that helps me stay healthy this season.  I have been fighting colds/sore throats for the past 3 weeks and am about ready to be done with it!

Super excited for the holidays!  Although Halloween is not my favorite, $3 Chipotle burritos, pumpkin carving, and candy eating is hard to beat! We're planning on staying in Cola for Thanksgiving, followed by finals week, Audrey's bachelorette (WOOHOO!), Christmastime, and then WEDDING TIME!

So much coming up, I can't wait, just need to finish classes strong and get onto celebrating! :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Moving Into Fall: A Quick Reminder

I am so jealous of all of the bloggers who are able to complete 31 days of blogging this month and completely enjoying all of the reading.  While I was reading this post, I was reminded how rewarding wearing the right colors can be.  As someone who enjoys shopping second hand, if I enjoy the look of an item I tend to buy even if the color is less than ideal.  After reading that post, it is a mistake I will stop making now.

I'm pretty sure I am a Deep Winter. I didn't go through any testing or anything to determine that, just compared my eye, skin, and hair color to the swatches on the pictures.

Happy fall shopping! :)

Here are some links that are helpful to determine your own colors: