Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Injury Prevention & Exercise Health

I have received a few questions about injury prevention and how to remain healthy while working out or running.


I’m not a doctor or trainer, so it’s important to consult a doctor before beginning a new program, and especially if you have previous injuries. That being said, here are some of the things I do regularly to stay healthy:

1. Always warm up and cool down. Both are important.

2. Stretch often. It is especially important to stretch AFTER a workout when your muscles are already warm. I try to do a yoga DVD once a week.

3. ICE! I have found that bags of frozen veggies work well. I aim to ice within 30 minutes of my workout and keep the ice on for 20 minutes.I also put water in Dixie cups and freeze them for ice massages (you can peel the cup away as the ice melts).

4. Soak in hot Epsom salt baths. Research shows it relieves sore, achy muscles and brings relief after tough runs or workouts.

5. Invest in a foam roller. They are about $20 at Target and can roll out any tight spots….IT band, hips, gluts, etc. You can watch tutorials on Youtube to learn how to use it if you’ve never used one before.


6. HYDRATE!!! Super, super important. And it needs to be water. Depending on your diet and workout intensity, electrolytes may need to be replenished as well, but water is key.

7. Get enough sleep and REST when needed. Listen to your body. It will tell you when you need to take a rest day. Although you have to push yourself for results, it is also important to rest so your muscles can recover and rebuild.

Marathon 072

8. Pay attention to your fuel. Food is more than pleasure- it is fuel for your body. Just like your car needs proper gas and oil to run effectively, your body needs lean protein, fruits and veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats to be able to work hard. Skip the junk, yes, but also make sure you’re getting enough of the proper nutrition.

9. Check your form.  Working out with improper form can result in injury. If you have never been instructed on how to work out properly, I would suggest doing some research, recruiting a knowledgeable friend, or hiring a trainer if you have the means.

10. Have the right gear. And by that, I mostly mean shoes. You don’t HAVE to have a gym or equipment to work out, especially with all the at-home workouts, workouts DVDs, and great body-weight exercises we have access to now. Still, shoes can make all the difference.

What do YOU do to stay healthy???

America is in TROUBLE.


I don’t typically discuss my political views on any social media avenues because I don’t really think it’s appropriate and I am not one for heated debate. I am writing this because I am concerned about the LACK of interest and involvement our generation has in politics and the government (as a whole- I know there are some who know what is going on with our country). It blows my mind that people spend hours daily blowing up Twitter and FB, but most likely couldn’t tell you anything about the primaries, the GOPs, or the issues at hand. Hopefully this will encourage you to become more involved and aware of what is going on with our nation.

Last night I stayed up wayyyy too late watching coverage of the primaries and the GOP speeches.  This morning I was listening to the news coverage as I was on the elliptical, and I came to a harsh realization.

To be honest, this is the first time I have been actively involved and concerned about the election. I have done some minor research in the past to be an informed voter, but definitely NOT to the extent I should have. So no, I am not judging anyone here because I have never been as educated about politics as I should have been in the past.

However, I am developing a passion for politics, and as random and lame as that sounds to some people, I am so thankful. (Yes, I’m sure there are people who read the first line of this post and quit reading. That’s exactly the problem I’m talking about here, friends.)

I now realize that my lack of interest in the past was immature and I was not contributing as effectively as I should have been as a citizen of the United States.

I am concerned because our nation is in big trouble (DUH! We all know that and vocalize it, but aren’t doing anything about it). Although I am extremely worried about several of the issues that the candidates are discussing and how they are affecting us now, I am also nervous about the state in which we are leaving our nation for future generations. For my kids and grandkids.

Our lack of concern, overall, is SO scary.

I understand that politics may be boring to some. I understand that Survivor, the Bachelor, Glee, and blogs, Facebook, and Pinterest are far more entertaining to many people.  I also know that many of us are discouraged with our choices. And that is all fine, but it is NOT an excuse. We aren’t passionate about anyone, so we’d rather just ignore it. We are more content with continuing to complain and blame everyone high up, but not take any personal responsibility.  We are not willing to do the research or keep up with the election so we can become informed voters who are passionate about helping America begin a restoration process.

No wonder professional athletes, actors and actresses, and musicians/singers make RIDICULOUS incomes with multi-million dollar contracts and are THRIVING; while many other occupations with a much greater impact on our nation’s well-being and future, are struggling. It’s very clear where we have our priorities.

It is PATHETIC to me that we know more about the American Idol contestants than that we vote for than the men running for PRESIDENT of OUR COUNTRY.

Our country is in crisis, no doubt. There are so many issues plaguing us…the economy, the budget deficit, gas prices, the housing market, and illegal immigrants (P.S. Google “Coming to America” when you get a chance- VERY interesting documentary coming out soon) just to name a few. The list goes on.

We have a choice. We can continue playing the blame game, which is definitely the easy way out. Or we can become informed, educated (not in an intellectual sense- I’m talking about awareness about what is going on in Washington) voters who CAN make a difference. 

I pray that our nation wakes up and gets serious about this next election, as we have a lot at risk. I hope that we are smarter than to be fooled my someone’s physical appearance or eloquent speaking abilities. I hope we don’t opt to put someone in office with NO business experience and less than a term serving in the Senate. This lack of leadership experience hardly qualifies a person to run our country, yet we expect this person to “make a change.” I pray we choose a man who will value improving the state of our nation’s economy and focus on our many issues, rather than taking 16 luxury vacations and playing 90 rounds of golf. (Yes, I KNOW the president needs time off to clear his head so he can be more effective; however, the past presidents have taken trips to Fort David.) COME ON, AMERICA!!!

If you’re still with me, kudos to ya. Thanks for listening to my rant. I’m going to drink some hot tea and take some deep breaths now, as I can feel my blood pressure going rising as I type.

God Bless America!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Comparison/Affirmation Devotion

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about comparing our lives to others. The Lord has really dealt with me on that issue and I feel like with His help, I have it more under control.

You can read it HERE.

Here is a similar devotion from today that I just had to share.

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Stop judging and evaluating yourself, for this is not your role. Above all, stop comparing yourself with other people. This produces feelings of pride or inferiority; sometimes a mixture of both. I lead each of my children along the path that is uniquely tailor-made for him or her. Comparing is not only wrong, it is also meaningless.

Do not look for affirmation in the wrong places: your own evaluations or those of other people. The only source of real affirmation is my unconditional love. Many believers perceive me as an unpleasable judge, angrily searching out their faults and failures. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I died for your sins so that I might clothe you in my garments of salvation. This is how I see you: radiant in my robe of righteousness. When I discipline you, it ins never I anger or disgust. It is to prepare you for face-to-face fellowship with me throughout all eternity. Immerse yourself in my loving presence. Be receptive to my affirmation, which flows continually from the throne of grace.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. – Luke 6:37

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. - John 3:16-17

I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness. -Isaiah 61:10

My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in." -Proverbs 3:11-12

Thursday, February 23, 2012

FaVoRiTe ThInGs LiNk-Up!!!!

I hosted a FAVORITE THINGS party back in December, and it was a huge hit! Everyone had a blast, and several of my sweet blog friends said they wished they lived closer so they could have come.

That sparked a thought in my mind, and I thought it would be super fun to host a FAVORITE THINGS link-up!!  My mind is definitely more creative and I couldn’t think logistically of a way to organize it so we can actually swap favorite things, BUT….I thought it would at least be cool to have a link-up where people can share there favorite things. Maybe you’ll see something new you just HAVE to try, and who better to have a recommendation from than some of your favorite blogger friends!!!

So here goes….it is super easy!!!  Grab the button and write a post with all of your favorite things! You can include as few or as many favorite things as you want, and it can be limitless!!! Include your favorite books, beauty products, accessories, articles of clothing, shoes, recipes, snacks, drinks, perfume, air freshener, movie…WHATEVER!!!

Butler, Favorite Things

In case you’re new here….HI THERE! I’m Danielle….Nice to meet ya!fall_001[3]
And here are a few of MY FaVoRiTe ThInGs!!!!

E.L.F. Studio Shimmer Palette
**The perfect highlighter for under your eyebrows. And super cheap!
Jesus Calling
**My favorite devotion book ever….helps me start my day with the right perspective.
Memory Foam Pillow & Mattress Topper
**Sleep is super important to overall health. Maybe you can’t afford a whole new mattress, but I know Kohl’s has memory foam mattress toppers and pillows that are really reasonable prices. I sleep like a baby!
Amazing Grass
**”Infused with acai and goji berries to help you achieve your 5 to 9 daily servings of fruits and vegetables. A full spectrum of alkalizing green superfoods, antioxidant rich fruits, and support herbs unite with organic Complete with pre & probiotics and digestive enzymes to ensure rapid nutrient absorption and healthy digestion.” PERFECT to add to your smoothies!!!
Dark Chocolate Covered Acai Berries (or Pomegranate)
De-lic-ious!!! You HAVE to try them! Perfect sweet snack full of antioxidants. You can order them online or get them at Costco. You’ll thank me for introducing you.
Paul Mitchell Smoothing Super Skinny Serum
Helps me tame the beast.
Teasing Comb
Any kind will work. Volume is SO in….and everyone knows a little poof is always hot!
**Proven to remove WAY more dirt, oil, and makeup. Gently exfoliates and leaves your skin feeling super smooth.
Pier 1 Peach Reed Diffuser
**Lasts forever and smells AWESOME!
Tazo Zen Flavored Green Tea
There are SO many reasons why you should drink green tea. This is my favorite brand….very light and refreshing.
Tazo Teas 25793: Zen Green TeaGreen Tea
Now go write your own post about YOUR favorite things to share with us!! I can't WAIT to read everyone's!!  Be sure to check back regularly and find out all these lovely ladies’ favorite things:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oh, How Pinteresting…

Here are some pins that are making me happy right now…

BEAUTIFUL color combo!

{I really need a PINK room somewhere in my house….trying to get Big Jon on board!}

Pinned Imagea hope and a future. #verses, #quotes, #wisdomI need to live this.Pinned ImagePinned Image

Happy Wednesday!!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Boost Your Immune System

This type of year is rough. People are sick everywhere!!

Here are some simple practices you can do to help boost your immune system!

Eat yo antioxidants. We think we’re only harming our waistline when we eat refined sugar, processed foods, and other junk. Studies show that these types of food can actually weaken your immune system. Food is meant to be used as fuel and medicine, and when we do not consume it in that way we are not reaping the rewards it is meant to offer us. Think COLOR!!!

Get some Amazing Grass Green Super Food. I have berry flavor and I just drink it with water at breakfast, but you can also add it to smoothies. Check out the product on Amazon and read all the benefits….it’s AWESOME for you and helps strengthen your immune system.

Amazing Grass Green SuperFood, Berry

Get enough sleep. When your body is sleep deprived, your body automatically goes into survival mode and your immune system is compromised.  And speaking of sleeping, wash your pillow cases and sheets often.

Take some vitamin C. I have Emergen-C packets with added vitamin D and calcium. Kill a few birds with one stone! Actually, I would also add in a multi and probiotics to your regimen as well. Even if you eat healthy, the soil is not as nutrient rich as it once was, and most of our food still has deficiencies. I know there has been controversy, but I fullybelieve it is essential to supplement.

Teach/practice the “chicken wing.” This is what I call it with my kids because they think it sounds cooler, but basically it is just coughing/sneezing into your elbow. We are taught from a young age to cover our mouths with our hands, but if you don’t sanitize immediately after, you are simply spreading those germs to everything you touch.

Sanitize “high traffic” areas. If you don’t like chemicals, vinegar or hot soapy water will do the trick. Frequently wipe down door handles, knobs, counter tops, refrigerator doors, and other areas you or your family touch frequently.

Use your elbows to hit elevator buttons. They have been found to be one of most germ-ridden surfaces, along with gas pumps. I keep hand sanitizer in my car and use it when I finish filling up.

Exercise. I totally understand that some people don’t like to work out, but there are things I don’t like to do that I do anyway because it is important. You’ll look better, you’ll feel better, you’ll strengthen your heart and bones, you’ll heat up your sex life, and ward off diseases and cancer. Not to mention, exercise helps with stress and can lead to a stronger immune system. If nothing else, go on a walk!

Take deep breaths. Stress weakens our immune system, and something as simple as taking the time to breathe deeply a few times a day can reduce your stress levels.

Obviously it stinks to be sick, but healthcare costs and medicine can be very expensive. Plus, you can’t be the most effective version of yourself if you’re sick, whether that is being a good wife, mom, teacher, employee, friend, witness, whatever. Taking a few preventative measures to boost your immune system are so worth being healthy.

These are just ideas off the top of my head. What do YOU do to strengthen your immune system??

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Health Quotes from Doctors & WHY Eat Salad!

There is an article in this month's Self Magazine that has and interview with the doctors from the show The Doctors
My favorite was question # 5, which asked "What do you wish people knew about their health?"  Here are the answers:

**"Being healthy has to be a lifelong habit. It encompasses so much more than going to your doctor once a year. If you eat healthy, exercise, an decrease stress, you're going to feel good about yourself." -Dr. Masterson

**"You don't have to go to medical school to be in charge of your health. Know your history and your body. Treat it like a machine you want to run forever." - Dr. Ordon

**"If you eat well, you're healthier. You perform better at school, work, and athletics. You have better skin, eyesight, energy and attention, and less chronic illness. You also feel better on a day to day basis. I eat well because I love feeling 10 years younger. Who wouldn't?!" - Dr. Sears

**"You have control. If 30 percent of what happens to our health is genetics, then 70 percent is determined by the choices we make." -Dr. Stork

So true!!!

Here's another tip from Men's Health Magazine explaining WHY we should eat our greens!!  According to researchers at Penn State University, if you add a salad to your entree, you'll consumer 11% fewer calories than when your meals don't include green. Eating a salad increases satiety levels without packing on calories.

Works for me...

Hope you've had an awesome weekend!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Word to Parents…(Worth reading!)


I am always hesitant to write anything about parenting or raising children because obviously I do not have kids yet. I know things change when you do; your attitude, feelings, perspectives. I’m sure I will do things I thought or said I would never do. I know I will make many mistakes. I know everyone has different views, beliefs, and approaches to parenting, and I am not saying mine is right or will be better than anyone else’s. In fact, I’m not comparing. I will say this though…. Jonathan and I have already determined that our parenting will be based on Biblical standards. That is the only standard we plan to use. We both already pray for that and have been praying for that for a while, and I feel confident that is one thing that will not waiver.

Anyway, with that little disclaimer (that I am NOT bashing parents or judging others’ parenting skills), I do want to share some of what I have seen take place with this generation of youth. I feel like I can offer some valuable perspectives because of of the extensive interaction I have with young people. I teach 150 students every day….nearly 600 students a year….and interact with 1200 students throughout the school. For the last 6 years I have been in and out of schools across the county. I also serve in the youth group at church, teach a middle school Sunday school class, have coached several teams, worked at summer camps, volunteered at youth events, and taught pitching lessons to several young people throughout the past 6-7 years. I feel like working with youth is “my calling,” so I interact with this generation of youth A LOT.

Unfortunately, I have seen a lot of the harmful behaviors they are participating in multiply exponentially in the past few years. Students as young as 11 are smoking pot, taking prescription drugs, drinking, are sexually active, lie to their parents, sneak out, post or text inappropriate pictures of themselves, having crazy grinding or rainbow parties, cutting themselves, and claiming to be bisexual….just to name a few.  I think anyone would agree with my that those behaviors are NOT acceptable (any time in my opinion) at such a young age. But it is reality.

Although I do blame the media for setting a poor example for our kids, even more than that I feel as if it is a parent’s responsibility to guard and protect their children from the corruption. Students are watching shows like Teen Mom, Secret Life of the American Teenager, Jersey Shore, South Park, Family Guy….Listening to Lady Gaga, Pit Bull, Katie Perry, Lil Wayne, Mac Miller, Nikki Manaj, etc….watching movies like The Hangover, Hot Tub Time Machine, and Knocked Up,…playing video games like Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, Modern Warfare, etc. How can we help our kids make good choices and live pure, holy lives when they are constantly watching and listening to inappropriate crap??  How can we help them enjoy their childhood when we are allowing them to throw their innocence out the window by being exposed to this type of stuff? 

I believe exposure to the (inappropriate) media desensitizes them (and us) to sin, and they are more likely to participate in inappropriate behaviors themselves. While their minds are still so impressionable and they are molding into who they will be in the future, parents need to be involved in and aware of what their kids are exposed to.

It robs them of their childhood. I see every day girls that are trying to look and act WAY older than they are….getting highlights and spray tans, wearing Victoria’s Secret and a full face of makeup, as young as elementary school. What happened to the days of playing outside?? Or playing with Barbies? I know times are changing, but it is not for the better I’m afraid.

One thing I see a LOT of is parents trying to be their child’s friend. They allow their children way too much freedom, control, and choice. Children are running their households (which in my opinion is why our society is so screwed up….our homes are out of order). They don’t discipline because they don’t want to hurt their child’s feelings and don’t want their kid to be mad at them. They defend their child when they screw up. They promote partying, sexual immorality, and sin by buying alcohol for them, allowing co-ed sleepovers and unsupervised parties, etc. They go into debt so their children can have the latest and greatest. They do not prepare them for “real life.”  I also know there is a difference between protecting and sheltering. I think there is a balance in teaching children about the thing of this world so they recognize and know how to guard their hearts against it, and completely sheltering them so they are shocked by reality and don’t know how to handle it appropriately when they are on their own.

The Bible calls parents to LOVE, teach, guide, direct, protect, instruct, discipline, and pray for our children.  That is our responsibility as parents. I think even non-believers can agree that although they may not go by Biblical standards necessarily, they still want to raise their children to be responsible, mature, honest, hardworking, thriving, productive members of society and protect them form behaviors that could harm them.

I have heard several parents give their children condoms, birth control, or alcohol to drink in the home (because they know they are safe there) because they want to protect their kids. That seems like an oxymoron to me. They say they don’t condone those behaviors, but they’d rather them be “safe” than end up pregnant, getting someone pregnant, or drinking and driving. Parents teach their kids it’s okay to break the law, but then get mad at them for not obeying their rules. I think parents don’t understand that while they may be protecting their kids from worldly consequences, they are not protecting their hearts. Their innocence. Their youth. Kids are not emotionally strong enough or mature enough to handle adult decisions….and although we may not see outward consequences, I can promise they are hurting on the inside.

I have also seen things, like on Facebook, where a daughter posted something really hateful and hurtful about another person. Her mother liked her status. They both claim to be Christians, but that is not very Christ-like. I know that I screw up every single day and fall short….but when I do I am usually convicted and ask for forgiveness. I hope I never get to a place where I am encouraging my child to be hateful, gossip about others, or hurt others intentionally.

One thing I have learned in my 5 years of teaching is that kids CRAVE boundaries. They desire positive attention. They will rise to high expectations. They want to know where we stand on issues and want to be instructed on what is right and wrong. They want to be encouraged and loved.

They need to be taught that you reap what you sow. Their childhood and innocence needs to be protected. They need to be loved, and in loving them it is our job to lead, guide, direct, instruct, encourage, discipline, protect, and teach them.

This was on my heart this week as I have seen seventh and eighth graders broken over losing their virginity…As I have been in the mall and heard students using disgusting language and wearing really inappropriate clothing…. As I have seen Facebook interactions that make almost nauseas. I know many parents may not know what is really going on with this generation, and I certainly did not write this to be discouraging.  We blame the youth, but I believe they are a product of their raising.

I just wanted to be a reminder about the great role and responsibility we are entrusted with as parents….

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” Mark 9:42

“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 6:7

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Weaknesses, Problems, & Anxiety: A Devotion

This is the devotion I was talking about from Jesus Calling yesterday that was so powerful to me. It was SO good, I just had to share….

Come to Me with all of your weaknesses: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Rest in the comfort of My Presence, remembering that nothing is impossible with Me.

Pry your mind away from your problems so you can focus your attention on Me. Recall that I am able to do immeasurably more than all you can ask or imagine. Instead of trying to direct Me to do this and that, seek to attune yourself to what I am already doing.

When anxiety attempts to wedge it’s way into your thoughts, remind yourself that I am your Shepard. The bottom line is that I am taking care of you, therefore you needn’t be afraid of anything. Rather than trying to maintain control over your life, abandon yourself to My will. Though this may feel frightening, even dangerous, the safest place to be is in My will.

Luke 1:37, Ephesians 3:20-21, Psalm 23:1-4

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday….

Happy Wednesday, my friends!!


I’m having a fabulous week so far and loving LOTS of great things.

I’m LOVING my gorgeous flowers that are blooming on my desk!!

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I’m LOVING my devotion today in Jesus Calling. It’s exactly what I needed to hear. If you’ve been looking for a new devotion, I HIGHLY recommend this one. It’s phenomenal.

I’m LOVING that I get to sleep almost two hours later than I was able to during marathon training. It’s AWESOME.

I’m LOVING that I’ve eaten 100% clean for the last 2 days…no sugar or sweets, nothing fried, no coffee…just lean protein, whole grain, and veggies. I feel GREAT!! My blood sugar is so stable & I like knowing I’m putting such good fuel into my body.

I’m LOVING that my hubby LOOOOOOOVED his V-Day present! Major wife brownie points!!!!

I’m LOVING these quotes:

God's plans for your life far exceed the circumstances of your day. ~Lou GiglioWhy I Teach.Hemingway    before you...Women

And I’m LOVING my nightly workouts with Big Jon. I think it’s important to have shared interests or hobbies you enjoy doing together, and I’m thankful ours is something that makes us both healthier. Plus, I love watching my stud of a husband work out.

{Check out this pic of us a few years ago….Don’t I look 12?!?!)


What are you loving today??