3 Ways I Invite Faith Into Fitness

I have to remind myself of this often: if my ultimate goal is heaven, I can’t exclude God from anything. Not even fitness!

This hammered in during quarantine. Add that to the lessons learned in 2020 list!!

I lied. Eeeeeks. That’s not too grand for a Catholic blog. The faith and fitness pairing actually started two months prior in January.

I was longing for a community of people with like-minded interests in the form of nutrition and exercise. So I signed myself up for an experiment (what I call every new thing I add to my life) by identifying a Beachbody coach who was leading a group of ladies about this matter.

WONDERFUL women but I didn’t agree with the way they approached these topics. However, experimenting with their programming for a few months put me in the working out at home tribe…before the governor told us that was our only option. 🙂

I started in a spare bedroom that we only use for ironing clothes. But that room doesn’t have blinds and it felt odd if our neighbors were watching. They definitely weren’t but I moved to the living room. But that was too close to the back door so our dog would go in and out nonstop.

I ultimately landed in the office. I liked the office! It has space to move freely AND it’s far enough away from my sleeping husband because my optimal movement time is in the morn. Beyonce playlist before 7am? YUP!

Another perk of this room: there’s a crucifix on the wall that was gifted to us on our wedding day by my college professor. That crucifix slowly impacted my workouts. When I grew tired, I noticed that I didn’t fixate on the Beyonce lyrics to avoid the temporary suffering. Rather, I turned my gaze to the Lamb who was slain for me.

Being in the presence of my Savior who embraced suffering taught me to embrace it too. About 5-6 mornings per week, I began talking to Jesus through the discomfort. He surely knew the same feeling after taking on human flesh yeaaars ago!!

When gym doors opened back up, I rejoined the one I left in January. Contradictory to most NYRs lol. I walked back in with new tools through that time of literally being at Jesus’ feet for a few months. Praise God for Beachbody experiments and at-home YouTube workouts!!

Here are three ways I now invite faith into fitness:

  1. Talk to God first.

I don’t allow myself to workout unless I have sat down, opened my Bible, and journaled out my thoughts to my Maker. My iced black coffee and massive blanket are there for the party too!

They say to do the most important thing first in your day. Please don’t ask me who “they” are. But I listen to these mysterious folks and keep the most important thing on my agenda before brushing my teeth.

Prayer is my time to slow my mind down. It’s time to praise and thank the God that gifted me one body to take care of. It’s my opportunity to ask for intercession for myself and loved ones. It’s reflection on my entire life purpose which is ultimately to love.

Nothing good comes out of skipping that order of operations!! Pray first, move second. Always. Except when I get lazy and that never turns out for the best.

2. Select an intention to lift up during my workout.

Exercise is signing up for suffering, correct? We push our bodies to get uncomfortable so we can be more mobile, strong, and healthy. Even walking can entail slim suffering when the weather isn’t optimal or you’d rather be doing something mindless indoors.

So answer these questions for me: why not pair that suffering with an intention? Why not pick a person(s), cause, or current event to lift up during that temporary pain?

Ever since I started doing this about four months ago, my performance has amped UP. My little sister is the one to thank because she was a college athlete and told me that praying for each member of her team during practices and matches was fruitful to the max.

Pushing out one more rep for the Holy Spirit to move in the minds of mothers contemplating abortion – that’s easily two more reps.

Holding a plank for an extra ten seconds for eternal rest for a deacon at my church that passed away – make it 15.

Finishing a set for my uncle’s health during surgery even when “Eh, I’ve already done enough today” kicks in – ohhh we are finishing what we started!

After implementing prayer while my HR is increased, I can’t imaging forgoing prayer during this alone time. I set the intention during #1 (my quiet time before I put my tennis shoes on) and let the rest be sanctified.

3. Remain in the presence of a crucifix.

Don’t worry, I don’t take my home décor with me to the gym! When I transitioned into leaving my home to exercise, I simply made sure I was always wearing my crucifix (and Miraculous Medal) necklace.

When Evan and I joined bank accounts after returning from our honeymoon, our banker asked what was around my neck. After my response, he told me that Jesus and His Mother are the best duo. I agree, Mr. Fifth Third!!

I figured that if I was leaving the image that gave my workouts so much more purpose, I needed to bring the image with me in a reasonable way. The best duo came with me in the form of jewelry.

Yes, it can be annoying when it bounces around as I’m jumping. To that, I stick it in the strap of my tank top and move along. The opportunity to grasp Jesus and the Blessed Mother or look down at them is more powerful than any annoyance.

Forgetting to put my necklace on is up there with forgetting my headphones aka NO FUN! But regardless if you’re rocking Jesus on your chest or not, calling Him into your presence during moments of suffering elevates the ordinary.

That’s my main three!! I could’ve extended that list to discuss rest, Christian tunes, showing up when you don’t want to, and choosing strength training for both the interior AND exterior life. But trios are excellent.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Prayer, intention, and a crucifix.
Boom boom BOOM.

Enjoy your next workout sesh that I hope is fueled by something so much greater than yourself!!

I’ve Been Influenced! 10 Instagram Products I’m Loving

I think this post is quite funny because I’m not materialistic. I always tell my husband Evan, “I don’t like things!” when we are talking about the future car I’ll need any day now or deciding how to do Christmas gifts with each other. My joy doesn’t come from possessions.

HOWEVER, quarantine brought new wellness Instagram feeds to my life. And with that, I was introduced to a few products I wanted to try.  While I feel contradictory typing this,  I bought the things. “New to me” item experimentation came my way from March-August because:

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a) Certain influencers work on me. Getting a coupon code for myself while supporting them and the positivity they bring to my feed? I’m IN!  In my previous job, one of my main responsibilities was influencer marketing for clients. I know the drill and it’s absolutely effective when done right.

b) It keeps me excited to maintain my health-focused lifestyle. Staying on top of my habits is not something I struggle with buuut it sure makes it easier to workout when you are ecstatic to workout in your new leggings!

c) I give myself a monthly allowance to pursue my food/fitness hobbies while not going overboard. I work for two financial advisors and my biggest takeaway has been to first, save and invest wisely. After you’ve done that, enjoy the money you’re working hard for!! CHECK AND CHECK!

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Generally speaking, I still don’t like things. But I like these ten things. 🙂 I haven’t tested them for years but imma fan over the past few months and will be a repeat customer for all!

PS there are roughly 37 links below and the text doesn’t show it well SO hover over the bolded text, Instagram handles and other key words if you’re looking for a product or Instagram link!

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1. Weekly Moves workout program: During quarantine, I was doing a free POPSUGAR workout on YouTube 6ish days a week. I loved their trainers and dancing to Beyonce in between breaks in my home office. But eventually, I was never sore and wanted to build muscle, not burn calories. So I did Madeline’s free workouts that she posted on Instagram and got back into the gym to increase the weights. After seeing @lillieeatsandtells, @katiecrokus, @graceterbrock, @kalecouture, @laurenkaysims and more rave about her full workout program, I took the plunge. It’s hypertrophy based training on an app and holy moly, I am freeeaking sore throughout the week and no doubt getting stronger!

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2. Bolthouse Farms salad dressing: Cilantro avocado, honey BBQ ranch, caesar and regular ranch OH MY. This brand has fun flavors with ingredients that I like. It’s yogurt-based so it’s found in the produce department in the refrigerator right next to the salad mixes! Evan and I got real sad when cilantro avocado ran out because it makes burrito bowls transform from yum to HEAVEN SENT. I discovered this dressing on all the IG accounts I listed above hehe.

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3. Honest Extreme Length Mascara: I did some quarantine reading about clean makeup and tested a few products. This one was a standout! I got it after seeing it in @bewellbykelly‘s bathroom cabinet. The difference maker is the primer! Most days, I skip that part and just do the mascara but when I want to get extra ready, it makes my eyes pop….lock and drop it.

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4. Joseph’s Lavash: Thank you to @madeline_moves and @laurenfitfoodie for adding Crunchwrap > Taco Tuesdays to my life! These wraps are found at Walmart and it’s higher protein and generously sized so it can be wrapped up to make burritos, crunchwraps, gyros, etc.! I stuffed chicken sausage, eggs, spinach and sweet potato into the lavash burrito pictured above and it was amaze!!

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5. Lillie’s “The SHAKE”: I’ve always loved smoothies. So when I watched @lillieeatsandtells IG story highlight about her nightly shake, I thought “ooooh let’s try it!” I had chocolate protein powder on hand but bought the spoons she recommends (game changer when we’re chatting enjoyment experience!), MONSTROUS bag of cacao nibs, xanthan gum and followed her tip to only stir in the pb2 halfway. I had it for breakfast daily until I ran out of chocolate protein. It’s a mighty fine shake!

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6. Hope Fitness Gear resistance bands: Madeline of @madeline_moves strikes again. I had resistance bands that were pretty light and my dog Oakley chewed them up. Soooo new ones were on my mental wish list anyways. I ordered Hope Fitness Gear’s really only because I wanted to support all the helpfulness Madeline brought my way but also because the brand sponsors kids to alleviate medical expenses. They work well, upgrade my workouts and I’m all for their mission!

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7. FP Movement Way Home ShortsI first saw these on @jessclarke_. Then @laurenkaysims, @graceterbrock and of course, @madeline_moves. I wanted to get a new pair of active shorts for the summer and never had a pair of high waisted ones. Like most girls in this world, I’ll take high waisted everyday! These shorts were so popular that I checked their site DAILY until they restocked my size. Free People doesn’t sell them anymore so surrrry if you love ’em. As an alternative, I’ve heard that these high waisted Target shorts are winners!

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8. Colorfulkoala leggingsThese $30 leggings were recommended by @daniellewalker! I got the Cyan Leopard pattern like Danielle posts about when she is cycling through a Peloton workout. So so glad I did because these are the softest and lightest pair I have ever come across!! I hardly ever wear leggings around the house because I just prefer big baggy sweats but I put these on all the time because of how cozy they are!

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9. PEScience snickerdoodle for ZPO bars: ZPO = zucchini pumpkin oat = really really really tasty! @katiecrokus develops recipes on her account and this is by far what she’s known for! A star ingredient is PEScience’s snickerdoodle protein powder. I ordered a tub and it’s niiiiice. The kind of nice where you start laughing as you take the first bite because of how nice it is. Beyond ZPO bars, snickerdoodle protein is 10/10 in oats!

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10. SEED prebiotic + probiotic: I read about this prebiotic/probiotic in Kelly LeVeque’s Body Love Every Day. Through quarantine researching, I learned how important it is to check the quality of a probiotic because it’s difficult for bacteria strains to survive the harsh environment of the digestive tract is. SEED’s does woohoo! It’s not the cheapest but I noticed a considerable difference in my digestion after 1-2 weeks of taking it and don’t plan on reverting anytime soon!

That’s the “I’ve been influenced” list. I’m glad I was introduced to 1-10 but I’m set for a long while! Now I’m in the stage of enjoying them every day while I aim to become the best gal I can be! 🙂

6 Ways to Meal Plan Like a Catholic

I’m on the meal planning four wheeler. Four wheeler because train is overused!

I’ve been practicing it to some degree for about five years and you can call me a fan! I agree with the typical pro-meal planning rationale: it ensures you’re consuming nutritious foods, comes with grocery cost and TIME SAVINGS (oooh yes), helps create little to no food waste, etc.

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But like any thing on this side of heaven, it can go wrong. Meal planning can turn into tendencies of not being flexible for others, not adhering to your body’s cravings/signals and spending too much of the Lord’s Day alone in your kitchen.

Being Catholic, I believe that adding faith into every little thing we do is important. Especially when we’re chatting about how to take care of our bodies and families throughout the week!!

If it’s a pastime, add faith. If it’s a meal, add faith. If it’s both, we are adding faith ON faith!

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Six areas of meal planning stick out to me for how us Catholics Christians can plan our dining experiences like the daughter/son of God we are. Because our vocation of sainthood needs fuel in the form of carbs, proteins and fats, ya know?! Don’t forget those micronutrients too. 🙂

Let’s four wheel through this list of six ways to meal plan like a Catholic. If you have a 7, 8, 9+, I’d love to hear ’em!

1) Meal plan for yourself like you would a friend

Aka love yourself so much that you want to take care of yourself WELL. God doesn’t want you to restrict yourself from foods that will give you the right amount of energy to live out His abundant will for your life. Give yourself adequate portions and a variety of nutrient-dense and fun foods. That’s how you would feed a friend, right?

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2) Don’t put steak and scallops on the menu M-F

Feel free to replace those with whatever delicacies are on the top of your list. The point is to keep it simple. In the Bible, we see Jesus and his cuz John the Baptist and the apostles feeding themselves humble cuisine: fish, bread, locusts (don’t recommend but you do you), honey, etc. I’m not asking you to only serve yourself rice and beans because that’s for sure simplicity central. However, combining the Biblical model and our call to not be gluttonous, we have a refreshed perspective to not get all fancy 3x a day plus snacks.  That doesn’t save you a spot in heaven.

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3) Rigidity doesn’t have a place here

Grace does. For some, meal planning may feel like you’ve locked yourself into what you planned or else it will spoil. This is supposed to be a helpful tool so drop it if it’s a drag! Personally, I rarely make my breakfasts ahead of time, always make my lunches for the week over the weekend and keep dinner flexible with options on deck but no preparation before getting home from work. The reason: I have time in the morning to cook/blend up a smoothie. And I have a husband who I also feed and take into consideration what he’s in the mood for. Example A a few nights ago:

Me: “Evan, how does breakfast for dinner sound with a egg, veggie and roasted potato skillet?”
Evan: “Actually, I really want venison steak.  I already started thawing it.”
Me: “SWEET! Let’s do steak, potatoes and veggies.” <— space for grace!

When things pop up on the schedule and we don’t eat at home as we expected, the freezer is my BFF to pop a meal or pre-cooked meat and veggies in. No reason to fret!

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4) Use foods that had to grow, not solely ones that are produced by machines

Let’s take you back to Eden. I know neither of us were there but what did God create for Adam and Eve to eat? A garden and animals. We still have these and they do wonders for giving us the nutrition we need to thrive! I’m all for boxed graham crackers (I’ve been having at least one a day this week…it’s like a newfound treasure) but before those go into my grocery cart, I pay a visit to the farmers market or produce department. Let’s look to His creation, don’t overcomplicate those bright colors and simply enjoy the farmers’ harvest!

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5) Add hosting/dining out to your meal plan 

Meal planning fail #9: you eat your meals alone because you planned for you and only you. Please don’t do this all week long because a dinner table with little to no empty seats is where life happens! As people of faith, sharing a meal with others in your home, a restaurant or even the office kitchen is so powerful because you are stuck there until the conversation concludes…or you have to get back to work. Regardless, bring on the gooood chatter! Let me also remind ya that Jesus had a public ministry where he interacted with all sorts of people. Called to do the same? Oh yes we are!

One of my favorite Catholic writers, Emily Stimpson Chapman, sums up hosting beautifully in her book The Catholic Table. It’s stuck with me and why I commit to hosting often.

Inviting others into our home always costs us time, money and occasionally sleep (so many late nights doing dishes…). It gives us the chance to die to ourselves for the sake of others. It is an opportunity, in the midst of the daily business of life, to imitate Christ.

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6) Look forward to the best meal in the Eucharist

I have two reminders for you about the meals you’ll plan. 1) This is not your last meal. God willing, you will eat again. So it’s okay if it’s not perfect. 2) This meal is not the Eucharist. So it’s okay if it’s not perfect.

With those addressed up front, let’s focus on that latter part – Holy Communion. The most immaculate meal is contained in a tiny white host. Or as Fulton Sheen said, “The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white host.” Your Sunday AM meal (or whenever you go to Mass) needs to be the meal you plan above all else. Jesus makes himself so approachable in the Eucharist and wants to be near us that He allows us to be His tabernacles. No other meal is that grand. No other!

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I hope you meal plan like the Catholic you are. And if meal planning is still not for you, I hope you eat like the Catholic you are. There’s so much love to give and receive at the table.

I didn’t want to date a dude who did a fitness competition. But I’m married to him!

My dude was a bodybuilder. And I was WAY unattracted to that.

We’re talking a few years back – two years before I met Evan. But regardless of a then or now time frame, this fact made me seriously question if I wanted to spend time with this guy. Was he super into himself and his appearance? Does he have strict rules around food and social situations? How does he view his body in terms of a gift from our Creator?

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I discovered this about him before we stepped foot in a coffee shop for our first date. It was the typical “girl creeps on the guy on Instagram” while he was most likely doing the same on his end. I actually know he was doing so because he made a comment to me about how I’ve cooked with squid ink from this post. Highly recommend that and Sur La Table cooking classes btw!!

So when I stumbled upon the pic of unusually tan Evan with low body fat and shredded abs, I immediately thought, “Heck NOOO. A date with him doesn’t seem like a good use of my time. Boy bye!” Here’s my rationale vs my best friend and her now husband who I talked this through.

For context, my most recent internship/work experiences as a new college grad were at an eating disorder treatment center, Yelp and a food PR firm. I felt and still do feel strongly about not restricting your food and instead, using it to celebrate what your body can do for you and how it brings people together.

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2017 Me: “Why. Why would you spend your time preparing for a fitness competition where you have to take extreme measures to a) your personal health and b) your relationships?? You can’t eat what other people eat and you can’t fully enjoy the entirety of social functions because it doesn’t fit your plan. It’s so restrictive! That’s not how God made us to live. He wants us to live in community!”

My friends (one of whom recently wrapped up ROTC training at this point in time): “But Ker, that requires intense dedication. That’s super admirable! It takes tons of time and effort to work towards that goal. And he did 1, not 7 so it doesn’t seem like he has an isolated lifestyle.”

From discussing Evan’s college pastime with my friends to now, I’m actually on their side of advocating for the stranger I now call my husband. She even stood by my side as I vowed to love him forever last summer. Thanks x2, Morgan!! However, altering my perspective didn’t happen quickly.

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I remember it constantly creeping back up in my mind as Evan and I went on date #2, 3 and 4. When we started officially dating, my coworker took to social media to learn more about him. She brought up his competition in front of our entire team: “I saw he lifts and competed in a bodybuilding show. Does he still do that?!”

I shut it down. IMMEDIATELY and with a flushed face. I shared that he isn’t interested in doing one again because of how different you need to live each day from those around you <— paraphrased from the first time I asked him about it.

PS if you want to be judge Evan by his insta too, the stage picture still exists. There’s actually two back to back posts if we’re being technical over here. 🙂 You’ll have to scroll past my dude’s hobbies of fishing, hunting deer, his truck, shark catching, target shooting practice, his motorcycle, hunting wild boar, etc. Mhmmm, 100% American man in this house!

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My disinterest in his decision to take on bodybuilding persisted even though he looked completely normal (pretttay strong but a normal guy). He was and still is the most normal eater I know. There’s no lasting implications that cause any divide in our relationship about meal time, spending time with loved ones or caring for our bodies. Actually the opposite – it’s been beneficial!

What’s funny now is that the thing I’m probably most against is how fitness competitors are dehydrated the day of the show to avoid water covering up their muscles. How do ya say no to water?!! I sip on it all day long like the Flint, MI water crisis is coming back in two minutes!

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My perspective changed when two things happened:

1) It never came up in our relationship. Evan’s not opposed to talking about it but I was only making a big deal about it in my head. We’re both active but the extent of our fitness chats while dating was mentioning working out while recapping our day.

2) I learned that it’s never okay to judge someone else’s goals. You get your own life so create your own ones, Shirley!! Then, be so busy focusing on your lane that you only look around to cheer others on! I understand that sounds like a knockoff self help Hallmark card but I mean it. Ever since I started creating my own personal goals in 2018, that’s precisely how I’ve been viewing my life and those around me.

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So yup yup, I married the most incredible man who did a fitness competition. I’m (now) cool with that. More than cool because if I would’ve dismissed him because of his one-time sport, my best friend wouldn’t be doing life with me and that’s not the kinda party I’m cha cha sliding about!

Evan worked towards a goal and crushed it. He has maintained the habits of eating to support his lifestyle, moving his body and practicing serious determination. It’s a top tier value of mine to talk care of my body and soul so I tell him often that I admire how he does the same.

Because when someone prioritizes their well-being, there’s a good chance it’s going to overflow into the lives around them. I’m lucky to be one of those lives he cherishes too!

When Feasting Makes Me Sick + 5 Things I Do About It

We are feasting right now. Celebration upon celebration has me wearing a party hat for two months straight!

The reasons for my (party) hat hair: my parent’s anniversary, Mother’s Day x2, my brother in law’s engagement, my husband Evan’s birthday, my younger siblings’ birthday, my dog’s first birthday, our one year wedding anniversary approaching, my birthday and Father’s Day x2. Feeeeasting!

Today is also the seventh Sunday of Easter aka the Catholic Church is STILL recognizing and certainly not fasting about Jesus’ Resurrection?! Abundance over scarcity is the way we live as Catholic Christians!

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I prefer to use the term “feast” because the Church does. We are invited to the banquet of the Lord’s Supper to encounter the risen Lord every seventh day aka Sunday (CCC 1166). On Easter, the Church beautifully calls it the “Feast of feasts” as Christ crushed death and gave light to the whole word (CCC 1168, 1169). As the saving work of Jesus is celebrated with a communal meal as a foretaste of heaven, I too believe we should celebrate other special occasions that happen on this earth with a fine spread…while living and eating simply in between!

My fam and society at large agrees. Have you ever been to a birthday bash without dessert? NOT I! The joy of celebrating people I love with the people I love tends to be accompanied with ample servings and sweeter, saltier and fattier cuisine than the day-to-day. Most adopt the 80/20 rule in times like this but that doesn’t exactly work for me. I’m grateful I’ve self-experimented enough to know that!

I’ve been mentally preparing to be OK with not feeling my best during this time. As I shared in this quarantine health update post, my body has been HUMMING along with ample energy, incredible sleep, clearer skin and waking up without a sore throat because of how I’ve been treating it in isolation. I felt outstanding with noticeable improvements in my well-being before feast #1 and therefore, the kickoff of party hardy season.

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  • Mother’s Day at my parents: brunch finished off with a Resurrection roll
  • Mother’s Day that Evan and I hosted: a pre-dinner wine tasting of super sweet wines that my MIL loves and post-dinner gooey caramel brownies
  • BIL engagement: I gave the couple a lil bottle of champagne after I was hungover from the glass of wine from the previous event. You can take all my alcohol please!
  • Evan’s birthday: Pt. 1 = funfetti cinnamon rolls during our brunch. Pt. 2 = lasagna and garlic bread polished off with cookie cake and cheesecake
  • Oakley’s birthday: We let her lick off some icing on a personal cake and then tossed it for my blood sugar’s sake
  • Triplets’ birthday last night: Lebanese, Pizza Hut breadsticks, chicken wings, donut cake and cheesecake – that’s the beauty of having three minds orchestrate a menu

And the best is yet to come with four more celebrations on that list!!

I’m recounting what was on the kitchen table not for shameful purposes. Food doesn’t have a soul and therefore, the moral title of “bad” doesn’t apply to it or myself. However, understanding my body well enough to know that I don’t feel well the next day after any source/quantity of alcohol, concentrated sources of sugar or generous amount of grains but consuming all that anyways is indeed a time to call myself “bad” at remembering how those indulgences ruin my next day.  Often times, it continues its effects for days.

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Example A: I had to take pain meds for five consecutive days after my best friend’s bachelorette party in which I drank the least. But add on an afternoon cupcake and a plate of pasta for dinner that night? Yup, bad at remembering that time too.

Example B: I didn’t drink at my wedding (besides a few sips of champagne during the toasts) because I didn’t want my day 1 as a Mrs. and potentially our honeymoon to be miserable. Clapping myself up for that wise decision that I do not regret!

The issue here isn’t the feast. We are supposed to celebrate as Easter people! Furthermore, food is how we take care of ourselves and serve others. The problem is the endless string of feasts. One letter difference there.

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The repetition of acting outside my habits isn’t what my physiology loves. Evan enjoyed the leftovers we were sent home with while I sleepily laid on the couch with a headache, unwrapped cough drops to aid my throat and saw new breakouts in the mirror. Every single time, I accept that my attempt at mind over matter-ing the situation by eating what everyone else is eating because I want to be normal (and undercooked brownies are MY FAVE!) isn’t a good approach for me.

With four feasts to go and not wanting them to knock me down like Keri Hilson in 2008, here’s four wellness strategies that work for me. No rules, just a rough game plan to not turn someone’s celebration into a selfish time of waiting for my usual onset of symptoms.

  1. Showing up to the party with food in my belly. This allows me to enjoy the meal while not consuming anything that my body doesn’t agree with in excess.
  2. Offering to bring a nutrient-dense option (e.g. salad with a homemade dressing that nobody ever touches lol). If I’m hosting, I make sure a good chunk of the meal includes vegetables.
  3. Bringing a mocktail in my reusable water bottle with a straw! I wanna sip on a fun drink over feeling deprived while not making a scene of it. Seltzer water with a squeeze of lime over ice is my go-to! PS not pregnant.
  4. Serving myself my own dessert. Last night’s three-biter donut cake slice was a good move for my today’s self!

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There’s a fifth strategy that trumps the list above. It worked for the apostles as they navigated what life should look like when Jesus left the earth. I’ve found a lot of comfort in reading the Acts of the Apostles following Easter because in case you didn’t know, Jesus is still not walking this earth so we’re in the same boat as Peter and his boy band!

5. Participating in the communal life. Chapter 2 of Acts outlines this with immense clarity. Their days included prayer, togetherness and food. On top of that, it also clearly says that God agreed with that by adding to the number those who were being saved (Acts 2:47). Our days should mirror the same: talking to God, not isolating and eating for far more than fuel.

“Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying favor with all the people.” – Acts 2:46

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With a sincere heart > aching belly, we are called to eat in this communal and spiritual way in the feasting and in the random Wednesday. I’m treasuring my current two week break I have in feasts because of what daily life holds – meals shared with Evan, walks and phone dates shared with friends and (virtual) work shared with coworkers. There’s exultation in that too; the apostles said so!