Fit(…ish)

Food seems to be the theme of my postings lately, which is just fine as I really love food.  At the same time, I do feel guilty posting so many unhealthy recipes and meals out when I try to maintain a fairly healthy lifestyle.

I often refer to it as living Fit…ish.

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The question I’m asked most often is have I kept off the 100 pounds that I lost over the last several years, or like many who undergo such a drastic transformation, have I put it back on?

The truth is, I’ve gained and lost the same 20 pounds multiple times over the last two years, staying fairly consistent with someone in maintenance.  I know very few people that don’t fluctuate with their weight over time.   The key is maintaining, knowing when to make changes and catch yourself when falling back into bad habits.  At this moment I am on the heavier side of that 20 pounds.  While I know how to eat and how to exercise, I am still am emotional eater, so when stress sets in (moving, owing taxes, transmission going out in my car, having a car accident….) I eat.

{And y’all, I do love food.}

The gym is still my best friend, which really helps with maintaining my weight, and I do eat pretty healthy throughout the week.  Recently though, maintenance is not enough and I really want to finish the journey that began over four years ago.  I’ve not posted on a healthy lifestyle in quite a while and with summer right around the corner, there is even more desire to feel great as well as a desire to look good before vacations and weekend adventures.

Even though the calendar announced spring, winter and dreary weather seems to be lingering around.  When the weather is dreary I love a flavorful soup for my lunch!

Using simple, but fresh ingredients, this quick recipe for one makes a delicious and filling meal full of healthy benefits!

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Add to your shopping list, organic chicken bone broth, baby kale, yellow bell pepper, purple potatoes(just because they are so pretty!), garlic, lemon, baby bellas, and avocado oil.

 

Purple-Potatoes | Fiddle Dee Dee

First, you’ll make a lemon based chicken broth for your soup, then add the veggies (starting with the potatoes so they can soften), simmering for the flavors to blend and the kale to wilt.  Baby kale is not as bitter as traditionally served kale, so I really like using it.

Kale-and-Potato-Soup-Ingredients | Fiddle Dee Dee

I top my soup off with a little avocado oil for the addition of a healthy fat.

Avocado-Oil | Fiddle Dee Dee

Season with black pepper and you have a savory soup that leaves you filled with energy instead of feeling lethargic and bloated.

Kale-and-Potato-Soup | Fiddle Dee Dee

You can print off the full recipe for Simple Kale & Potato Soup here.  Just double it if you want to share.

Here’s to kicking off a healthy spring and reaching all of our goals!

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Staying Stylish with Candace Cameron Bure

While in college I loved flipping through fashion magazines and talking with some of my girlfriends about latest styles and makeup. We would dress up, do our makeup and head out for dinner; a stroll through the conservatory at the Opryland Hotel, or walk through downtown Nashville. I didn’t have a lot of money to invest in clothes, but it was always so important that I looked and felt my best whenever I was out in public.

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I couldn’t afford a Laura Ashley jumper, so I made this blue plaid one to wear in college…. Saved a fortune!

Times have certainly changed. Casual and fun conversations with the girls about style and makeup have morphed into convos more about being exhausted, teenagers and husbands. I miss the innocent chats that led to girls night out and were so stress free! I oftentimes I think as women we’ve let our style go out the window.

Pajama bottoms in public, ill-fitting clothes not made for a body type, your husband’s oversized tee-shirts, and dressing down more and more instead of taking pride in our appearances.

Y’all, I actually saw a woman get out of her car and walk to the ATM in her bathrobe and house slippers just over the weekend!

I get it.

After raising four kids, all who were heavily involved in sports and youth group while my husband traveled for work, I totally get the desire to dress down and let yourself go. I’m tired, your tired, we’re always rushed, but whether we like it or not, we live in a society that judges based on appearances (it’s been that way for 100’s of years, and is not new by any means), and for that reason I want to look my best.

And y’all, some days my best is a coordinating workout outfit (even if I’m not going to the gym), with a light touch of makeup, or LuLaRoe for a quick run to the grocery or the pick-up line at school.

The struggle is very real, but as long as you are making an effort, you can feel pretty good in just matching workout attire.

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Reading Candace Cameron Bure’s new book Staying Stylish reminds me of those times past with girlfriends talking about what to wear, what looks good, and how to wear makeup. Her laid back writing style is conversational, encouraging and uplifting.  It’s also like hearing from a friend as you read through each page.

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Candace is the perfect choice for a book on this topic for ladies of all ages.  Married for 20+ years, raising three kids, a Hallmark channel movie regular, and now helping her husband run a winery Candace knows how busy life can be, yet she always looks amazing!

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In Staying Stylish ideas are offered to help you build your own style outside of pajama bottoms and ill-fitting clothes.  From t-shirt basics to a night at the theater Candace shares affordable (and a few spurges) to help you build your own style that is appropriate for all occasions!  She even offers tips for traveling well, which is always a challenge for me!

Once you have ideas to update your wardrobe, Candace tackles skincare, hair and makeup.  While I love makeup, I do not wear it everyday but without a doubt I spend time on skincare, both morning and evening.  In my opinion I would rather invest in taking care of my skin now, than want to spend 1000’s on it for facial procedures when I’m 50. Besides, when you take care of your skin, not only do you look younger, but when you do wear makeup, it goes on much more evenly and look so much better!

Finally Candace tackles health, fitness and feeling good from the inside out.  I’ve learned from experience that taking care of yourself matters.

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Y’all, who is going to take care of you, because you’ve neglected yourself?

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From healthy eating to fitness, several great tips and ideas are shared that will inspire you to make little changes; changes you can even introduce to your family.  Self care isn’t just physical and Candace touches on that as well.

To close out her book, Candace touches on ways to nourish your spirit as well.  As wives and mommas we know how our spirit get tired affecting our daily living with the family. From encouragement in our prayer lives to tips for managing stress Candace has found an easy way to encourage us all.

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I am so excited to give away one copy of Candace’s book here on the blog to close out February!  All you have to do to enter to win is leave me a comment on this post sharing a way you practice self-care in your life.  That’s it!

The book will be coming from the publishing company to you, so it will be 4-6 weeks after I announce the winner.

And if you want to share the giveaway I would appreciate it as well!

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New Year Resolutions to Make (That don’t Involve Dieting)

Once again the time has arrived; January, where we all make a list of resolutions or goals that we want to accomplish in the upcoming year.  Some of these we will keep, some of these we will break in a matter of days.

While I have not polled my friends, based on many conversations and Facebook statuses, it seems a common theme of most resolutions seems to be diet and weight loss related.  These are also the goals that are broken the quickest.  In this battle of the waistline that I have fought for the last several years, I have learned many things.  The most important of those lessons is that winning the war for your health is a mind game.

Practicing mindfulness in many areas of your life is a sure way to make improvements!  When you have your mind in the right place, the weight loss and good health often seem to follow, so today, I’m offering fifteen suggestions (in no particular order) to make your New Year’s resolutions that don’t involve dieting, but will improve your health!

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*Organize your schedule.  Buy a real day planner.  Color code your family and write it all down.  Don’t allow yourself to over-schedule your time and let busyness consume you.  Be mindful of your time and what you are doing with it.  Take a few minutes each Sunday night to look at your week and adjust what you can to make your week as stress free as possible!

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Two of my three girls keep color-coded planners as well

*Say “NO” more often.  It’s definitely OK.  We tell our kids no on a regular basis; now learn to say it for ourselves.  Don’t add more to your plate than you can handle or you will find yourself gasping for air wondering where your days, weeks and months have disappeared.  If you are already in charge of multiple projects, try delegating so that you aren’t in charge of every detail.  Save your sanity and say no to more.

*Unplug after supper.  If you are spending your evening answering email and text messaging, it’s time to step back.  Leave your job in the office and savor your moments at home.  Set a pretty table and linger to talk with your family longer after dinner, read a magazine, cuddle with your spouse; there are so many better ways to spend an evening at home.  There have been numerous studies that say unplugging helps you calm down and even sleep better.

*Speaking of sleep, go to bed early.  Our sleep is when our body and mind recover from the day.  We need rest.  You can always record that late night show to watch on the weekend or even catch it onDemand.  Rest is so much more important than a show.  Make your room a sanctuary from the world (no TV, etc… ), dress up your bed with fabulous sheets and covers, and dive in to rest at night!

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*Take care of yourself.   Seriously, if you don’t take care of yourself, who is going to do it for you?  Enjoy downtime and don’t fret if you are not busy.

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Go to the gym, take a walk, indulge in a hot bath, read a book, eat more fruits and veggies and less Chick Fil A, get a hair cut…  Little things go a long way to taking care of yourself.

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*Go Outside.  Yep, take a walk around the neighborhood.   Head off to a dog park and play with your furry child.  Plant a flower garden. Visit a local state park and walk.  Try following a couch to 5K plan.  Stroll through a farmers market.  Just get out more and sit less.

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*Explore where you live.  I know we all don’t have a Central Park, Williamsburg or Stone Mountain …. OK I live 15 minutes from Stone Mountain, but there are plenty of options for exploring.  Visit a state park and walk the trails or rent a canoe for the afternoon on the lake.  Investigate a little local history and walk or drive around looking for historical locations.  Take a day or weekend trip with the family to a touristy destination in your state.  There is a big ole world out there, and it begins in your backyard!

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*Turn the TV off.  Open your mind to reading, enjoying a new genre of music, visiting with your family, or even preparing a gourmet dinner every once in a while.  With so much negative and trashy stuff on TV these days, turning it off only enriches your mind! Turning it off also adds a considerable amount of time to your day! Just so you know, I’m not saying never watch TV.  We all need our Chip and Joanna fix, the excitement of a Georgia Bulldog football game, and to enjoy the cheese of the Hallmark channel regularly, but don’t let it consume you!

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*Let go of toxic people.  There is always that one person who is never at fault for the things they constantly complain about in their lives.  The one who spends more time being jealous of you than being happy for you. The one who demands all the attention no matter the occasion and is mad at you when they don’t receive it.  And the one who is always at the center of drama “yet never knows why.”  I’m not saying never speak to them and to just drop them, but there are far better people to have in your circle of friends, I promise.

 

*Eat out less and cook more!  Not only does this benefit your checkbook, you know exactly what you are eating!  Who wants a ton of additives and artificial ingredients as well as other people’s DNA going into their food, when you can easily control every aspect of what your are dining on.  You can meal prep on your off day or fix a little extra with supper the night before.  And there is nothing wrong with a yummy sandwich on whole wheat bread and crisp veggies for lunch at work.  You’ll feel better eating real food, and you might find yourself tightening your belt a little as well.

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*Drink more water.  Replacing common beverages like cokes, juices, and booze with water can have a significant impact on your health and wellness.  Staying hydrated with water can also improve your physical appearance and keep you feeling full.  When your body is dehydrated, you often think you are hungry, when you really aren’t.  If you are bored with plain old water, dress it up with fresh fruit and a little mint!

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* Find a new hobby.  Learn a new lettering technique, to cook French cuisine, a new language, try weight lifting or barre,  or paint and rearrange your own house.  Extend yourself!

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*Give back.  There are days I feel so locked up in myself its hard to remember there are people who need us.  Read to the elderly at a nursing home, become a mentor, volunteer in a soup kitchen, work an after-school program… this list goes on and on of ways you can help others.  You will encourage someone else by giving back, and you will feel better not focused on just yourself.

*Forgive someone.  This is not for them, but for yourself.  Holding onto grudges or feuds has a negative impact on your health both mentally and even physically as stress and anxiety develops over the issues.  Sometimes you just have to say I forgive you, apologize for whatever you may have done as well, and let it go.  What the other person does with the forgiveness and apology is on them.

*Finally, practice gratitude each and every day.  We all have bad days, but even on the worst of days, there are little things that are still good.  Practicing gratitude improves your mood and attitude.  Try to keep a list throughout the day (write it in that day planner you’ve invested in) so that you are focused on the good things in your life no matter how big or small.

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Nothing like ending the day with a little peace of mind.

Happy New Year my friends, and I wish you much success with your resolutions!!

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Tyler Perry’s Higher is Waiting & a Giveaway!

When the days get shorter, the temperatures become cooler and it feels like I’m being pulled 100 different directions with mom life, there is nothing more comforting than a cup of tea, a cozy and worn patchwork quilt and a good read.

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Those moments of peace are some of my favorite and a great way to expand my thoughts beyond, “What’s for supper,” “did I get Bradley’s wrestling gear washed,” and “is this the weekend Madeline is coming in from school?”

While I love good historical fiction, a sappy (not trashy) romance, and a decorating book full of inspiration, without a doubt I will always choose nonfiction over it all.  And this fall nonfiction seems to be dominating my reading list!

“Ever since I was a little boy I’ve always known there was something greater than myself, This holy force was protecting, loving, and keeping me close. It was helping me live through physical pain and emotional heartache and guiding me to envision and believe in extraordinary possibilities.”

~Tyler Perry (Higher is Waiting)

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Tyler Perry has established himself as a cultural icon through acting, writing, producing, directing, as a playwright, and even songwriting.  Of course Perry is most well known for his Madea movies, but the road to reach this status was rough and troubled.  Perry’s new book Higher is Waiting is one of inspiration that will resonate with me for quite a while.  A little biography, inspiration and faith this book encourages readers to keep going in their lives reaching out for a more purposeful life, looking for something greater than self, and of course, never giving up.

“My childhood was a story of discouragement, belittlement, and unthinkable abuse.  There was no way I could have found any kind of happiness, hope or vision if my mother Maxine and my aunt Mae hadn’t shown me the grace of God.”

Due to hit shelves this week, Perry’s book is described as a “spiritual guidebook, a collection of teachings culled from the experiences of a lifetime, meant to inspire readers to climb higher in their own lives and pull themselves up to a better, more fulfilling place.”

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Perry’s life story is truly extraordinary and in sharing his experiences he hopes to inspire others to reach for the stars.  His success with the Madea franchise, television shows and plays is a stark contrast to the hardship he faced in an abusive home living in poverty, growing up in 1970s New Orleans; an area still suffering from generations of Jim Crow law.  He recalls the beautiful moments that shaped him despite the brutality that also existed through physical abuse of his father and sexual abuse from a neighbor.  He kept his dreams quiet, but worked hard with determination to reach higher.

Throughout Higher is Waiting, Tyler Perry affectionately recalls the people that kept him going, while instructing him in integrity, faith, discipline and even forgiveness.  He shares stories of his mother’s never-ending faith who always maintained “God is good,” no matter the pain she lived through at home.  Seeds of experiencing God even in the little things planted by his aunt Mae, and the kindness of a blind man, Mr. Butler who taught him that sometimes you have to stand still, wait and be patient when looking for answers to prayer.

 With each memory shared, Perry also shares a devotional thought and scripture encouraging you to dive into your own faith.

The book is divided into four sections using the metaphor of a tree: planting seeds, nourishing the roots, branching out and harvesting the fruit.  From early childhood and dreaming big despite the obstacles in his path, it is so refreshing to read of a man’s faith developing over time in an age where so many are content let their faith sit stagnant.

Perry’s vivid recollection of recognizing God’s presence growing in his life, learning to listen, carry on in the toughest of times, and choose faith over fear will inspire you to step out of your own box and reach higher in your own lives.

Higher-Is-Waiting-Tyler-Perry | ohfiddledeedee.com

I am giving away one copy of Higher is Waiting to one of my readers.  All you need to do is leave me a comment here on the blog, telling me someone who has influenced your life and faith.  I will announce the winner on December 3, 2017.  Winners will receive their books in 4-6 weeks after the giveaway ends from Penguin Random House.

** If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again.

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Review Wire Media for Penguin Random House. I received information to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

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