A story of healing…

As many of you know and have been celebrating with us, Micah and I are 1 year and a few days into this thing called marriage. It’s been a wonderful year and its hard to believe that it’s already been an entire year that we’ve been married. While I feel like this is the perfect time to share about all that God has taught me this year, today I’m going to go back a little further¬†because I feel like I’m just now truly seeing the beauty of how God’s been working and it’s just too good not to share!

I feel like in today’s society, we spend a whole lot of time preparing for our wedding day. We thought about it as little girls, naturally, and then still as teenagers. For me, I thought I would meet the man I was supposed to marry in high school and we would wed shortly after graduation. Keep in mind, I am from a very small town where this is a reality for many and that’s all I’d known. My parents had been “going steady” since middle school and eloped on prom night. Yep. That’s a story for a different day! ūüôā In today’s society, we have the ability to plan our weddings in great depth thanks to the likes of Pinterest and all of the wedding photographers and bloggers that have kept us dreaming. And I was no different. I knew very early that one day Micah and I would get married and let’s just say my Pinterest boards were full of ideas for the perfect day!

And it was perfect. However, on November 1, 2013 – exactly one year before our wedding day, the Lord spoke to my heart and gave me some brutal truth. See, Micah and I had been together two years at this point and I did not understand why the timing was not right still for us to get married. I had peace that he was the man I would spend my life with but did not understand why God was still telling us to wait???¬†And as I sat there at the base of Spring Point Lighthouse in Portland, Maine, sipping my Dunkin Donuts coffee and writing in my journal about Maine and how much I love it there, the Lord spoke to me out of the clear blue and told me that I’m not ready for marriage. He didn’t say that Micah wasn’t ready for marriage (which, if I’m 100% honest, I always secretly placed the blame on his shoulders), He said that I was not ready for marriage?? But even deeper than that, He told me WHY¬†I was not ready for marriage and that was not a conversation I was ready¬†to have.

I mean, is it ever exciting to have the Lord show you step by step where you’re in the wrong? Hello……. not so much! But this conversation deep dove even more than that. See, God wasn’t giving me a list on that foggy Maine morning of reasons why I’m terrible and that’s why I’m not ready to be a wife… No. God spoke to me about my heart and how I had not allowed Him to come in and heal my brokenness. I had been leaning on others to comfort me instead of letting the Father come in and heal me.¬†And that’s a day I’ll never forget.

Two years later, I’m still healing but the process has been so so sweet. It is not Micah’s job to comfort me on days when I’m in the desert (I’ll write more about that later!) it is my job to recognize my broken spirit and fall at the feet of Jesus. And that’s not easy for me to do. I’ve come to realize¬†that I’m a Type A Control Freak and while some might see that as a strength,¬†that does not make me strong – that makes me weak because it’s in those moments that I’m grasping control when I’m supposed to be letting go.

My prayer is that no matter where you are in your journey, that you’ll allow God to move in you and to heal you right where you are. We’re all broken and it’s when we recognize our brokenness that we can see the Lord’s hand bringing beauty from ashes. I’m going to leave you with¬†a song that has been on repeat in my head for weeks and I hope it encourages your heart as it has mine.


My New Health Journey!

This post is different than what I normally write.¬†I’m walking you through my story to introduce you to a new journey I’m starting today in hopes that you’ll be encouraged, I will be held accountable and together we can make strides toward happier, healthier lives.

Over the years, I have tried lots of different methods to lose weight. I have tried running, Zumba, weight watchers, myfitnesspal, ItWorks!, Plexus and many more weight loss rituals and exercising apps that I can’t even remember them all! Each one has shown me temporary success but nothing that has really stuck with me. I even lost 35 pounds last year but the transition to #wifelife took a toll on my body and I have gained half of that back.

A couple of months ago, my friend Brittney was sharing about her journey with JuicePlus+. I was under the impression that it was yet another weight loss option, I started asking her about it and even ordered my first round of JuicePlus+ Complete. I LOVED the shakes and was having them occasionally but wasn’t really committed to it. When Brittney started an October cleanse group, I decided to join because A. I’m not getting any thinner!! B. I needed an accountability group to help jumpstart some weight loss. and C. I wanted to really give this JuicePlus+ thing a try. Transform 30 was the name of the cleanse where you drink two shakes a day with the JuicePlus+ Complete, take the JuicePlus+ gummies or capsules, and eat clean – no gluten, no dairy, no added sugar – 30 min or exercise 4 times a week, drink¬†2-3 liters of water a day and get 8 hours of sleep each night. We were on a facebook group for accountability where Brittney posted recipes and helpful tips.

Now there are a few things you need to know about my former eating habits before you say things like “oh wow, there’s no way I could go dairy free/gluten free!” I can not function without coffee. I’m the girl that people know by first name at the Dunkin Donuts drive thru and know that I want my french vanilla hot coffee with cream and sugar. How am I going to function without cream and sugar in my coffee?? Also, I love cheese! Seriously. I love it. I love all kinds and I love it on everything!! Before this cleanse, I’ve never cooked a single dish that didn’t have cheese in it in some form or fashion. As far as the gluten free thing…it was easier for me than some. I’m not a person that demands some form of bread with every meal but I do love chips and dips – think of the girl that orders spinach and artichoke dip as an appetizer at every restaurant, I MUST have pizza once a week (We do Pizza Fridays at our house!) and I consume gobs and gobs of mexican food – aka, bring on the tortillas!

The first thing I did was prepare my kitchen and my husband for the cleanse. I also prepared my friends at work so that they didn’t think I was being ugly by not wanting to eat lunch with them every day anymore. I went to CostCo and purchased gluten free bread, fresh veggies, hummus, natural peanut butter and a huge bag of frozen chicken breasts. ¬†I went through my pantry and made my husband eat anything tempting the last week before the cleanse began.

I really thought I was going to struggle with not having gluten but it was the dairy that really took a toll on me. Every where I turned, I wanted sour cream in my chili or wanted a loaded baked potato. I did a fairly good job just keeping my mind of things I could eat instead of things I couldn’t but it was difficult. I finally had to think through my day and what I was going to eat the entire day and if I knew I was going to be eating out somewhere, I would try to think through the menu and have my mind made up on what I would order without looking at the menu once we arrived. During my first week on the cleanse, I had a work meeting where we went for lunch at one of my favorite restaurants that has the most divine buffalo chicken dip in all of Middle TN! My coworkers all decided to go in together and get a bunch of pizzas – except for Casey who asked for a grilled chicken¬†taco¬†salad, no cheese with salsa and guacamole instead of dressing. Once the food arrived, I really enjoyed my salad and I realized, I CAN DO THIS!!

I had a few cheat meals throughout the cleanse and let me tell you, I felt terrible each and every time!!! We went out of town for a few days and I cheated quite a bit and it took me a couple of days to get back on my ritual to really get to feeling better and that’s where it hit me! My body does not want these things! And through many conversations with Brittney about JuicePlus+, what I have found that I love most that is different than other products and companies is this: JuicePlus+ is a company that promotes healthy living with products that provide nutrients that your body is craving and through the flushing of toxins out of your body, you’ll find weight loss – so far I’m down 10 lbs! But this is not a weight loss company – this is a company that promotes healthy living and this is what I need more than anything.

October was the 5 year anniversary of losing my mom. She was 53, I was 23. My mom did not make healthy life choices. Our house ran on coffee, velveeta and wavy lays potato chips. My mom’s death did not come at the hands of an unhealthy diet but I know that the quality of the life she lived would have been elevated tremendously if she had made healthier choices during her time with us. This month on this cleanse has taught me one definite thing –¬†I’ve been given one body and I need to be a good steward with what I’ve been given and that needs to start now with healthy life choices.

And I’m going to do that with JuicePlus+! Here are a few questions I’ve already received from some friends over this past month of doing Transform30.

  • What do you eat if you’re not having gluten or dairy??
    • Here’s a rough sketch of my day to day: I make a shake with JuicePlus+ Complete – I prefer the chocolate!! ūüôā I use 1 cup of coconut milk, 1 scoop of Complete, 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter, 1 banana, and whatever other fruits I have available that I think will be good. I normally keep strawberries on hand but I also use raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, mango, apples…just anything that I feel will taste good! ūüôā I struggled the first couple of weeks with being disciplined to having 2 shakes a day but I packed my JuicePlus+ Complete in my lunch box, kept a carton of coconut milk in the fridge at work along with a handy dandy blender bottle. On days when I wanted something different for lunch, I normally grabbed a small chili from wendy’s and a plain baked potato. As far as dinner goes, I was given lots of recipes that I would put in the crock pot before heading to work and they’d be ready for us when I got home from work.
  • What did you do about Pizza Friday’s?
    • The first couple of weeks we ordered gluten free pizza with no cheese and lots of toppings from Pizza Hut. It was a lot better than what you’re thinking right now. The first problem with that is that they only serve gluten free pizza in a small which is just not enough pizza for two adults that love pizza! The second problem is that a small pizza that is not enough food for two adults who love pizza is $15 with tax!! Ouch! We ended up just using Pizza Friday as my cheat day where I eat normal pizza with light cheese – which made me feel not so great but what can I say? I love pizza! We did go¬†to publix and found some frozen gluten free pizzas that we could make at home on Fridays but they all had cheese. We tried one last week but I only made through 1.5 pieces and had my husband finish my second piece as I went and steamed¬†a bag of brussels sprouts. I could already feel my stomach turning so it just wasn’t worth it for me that night. We’re still on the hunt for gluten free with no cheese that doesn’t break the bank.
  • What snacks/desserts did you eat during Transform30?
    • Luckily, I love fruit! So I would pack my lunch box with an apple, banana, a ziploc bag of various berries that I had in my fridge. As far as desserts go, I fell in love with Coconut Milk Ice Cream!! The chocolate tastes just like an almond joy!!!
  • What about your coffee??
    • Well, that one was a little easier than I would have thought! I heard¬†once upon a time that if you feel the need to put tons of cream and sugar in your coffee (cough, guilty, cough!) it may be that you’re drinking bad coffee and that’s why you feel the need to pump it full of cream and sugar. The first couple of weeks, I didn’t drink coffee at all and had to power through the day with ibuprofen to get through the caffeine withdrawal headaches! Then Britt told me about almond milk vanilla creamer. I started putting just a dash of that in some coffee here at home and I have loved it! I still don’t drink it every day which has been nice since I don’t like feeling dependent on anything which I completely did before starting the October cleanse.
  • Isn’t JuicePlus+ kind of expensive?
    • That’s what I thought too when I first look at the prices. And then I started looking through my bank statements at how much I was spending eating out for lunch and breakfast each day. I didn’t normally eat out for both of those meals but I was eating out for one of those meals each day and that really adds up! When I looked at breakfast alone, I was spending between $4.16 and $4.82 for coffee and a bagel depending on my coffee size. If I did that 3 days a week, which I did… That’s an average of $54 a month. Now let’s be realistic and add in at least $7 spent 3 times a week on lunch each week. That’s an average of $84 a month I’m spending on lunch on top of the $54 spent on breakfast each month = $138 each month and that’s a modest estimate. Now, I order The Staples which includes JuicePlus+ Complete and the Basic Gummies which is $108 each month so I’m at least saving $30 and like I said, that’s a very modest estimate of what I was spending eating out for lunch and breakfast each month.

I’m really new to this whole JuicePlus+ thing and I’m learning more and more every day! If you have any questions for me, please let me know and I’ll be happy to find those answers for you! Thank you for reading this far! I know this is a super long post!! I hope this encourages you to pursue healthy life choices and that you’ll help me by holding me accountable along the way!! ūüôā