Peaceful Preparation: Day 22 OBS


Does November do a number on your health habits?  For me, November presents several challenges.  First, my sleep is disrupted by the time change.  The older I get, the longer it takes me to adjust—about two weeks this year!  Unfortunately, I feel so fatigued that exercise seems impossible.  I give walking a half-hearted attempt but can’t perform up to speed, so I give up.

This year I got sick in mid-November and took a few days off work.  No exercise was possible for those achy days.  Then, my healthy eating habits took a nosedive at Thanksgiving.  Busy December hasn’t yet begun, and I’m struggling to keep my health intact.

This week I’m making a fresh start.  I’m getting back on track with fruit smoothies or eggs for breakfast rather than carbs.  I’m taking homemade soup or salads for lunch rather than heavier supper leftovers.  And I will squeeze in a half-hour of exercise before the sun sets, gaining a much-needed serotonin boost from sunshine and activity.

I’m returning to my healthy practice of weight training with planks, squats, and jumping jacks on my mini-trampoline.  I know from experience that walking alone won’t help my pants fit better.  Strength-training is essential, and I must carve out time for it before the endless carb parade begins in December.

My cookie dough is mixed up, ready to slice and bake.  Come back on Friday (Day 25) to see my favorite Christmas cookie recipe!  But I’ve promised myself to only eat one cookie per day before evening arrives, so I have time to burn it off through exercise.

Every time I cook supper, my goal is to use the cook once, eat twice method.  I encourage you to download the sheet I prepared, which inspires me on what to do with my prepared food.  This past weekend we smoked two turkey breasts and I made nine quarts of stock out of the bones.  Many healthy meals will spring from that one afternoon of cooking.

I’ve been thinking about this verse regarding physical health:

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8 NIV

I’m thankful God’s word tells us physical training does hold value.  Healthy exercise, sleep, and eating habits prepare us for tip-top service in God’s kingdom.  But I want to keep my primary focus on growing more like Jesus every day, and I can do that better by preparing well for healthy habits.  My preparation for my health in busy December will help me serve others more faithfully as a peace ambassador.

Questions for you:

Which healthy habit you currently keep brings you peace?

Which healthy habit can you adopt to prepare for greater peace in busy December?

Our theme verse for this week:


Find the printable Bedside Reminder Card of this verse here.

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  • This was so encouraging, Sarah! I struggle with many of the same healthy downfalls in November and my mindset tends to drift into-after Christmas I’ll work on being healthy again. But why not start now? Thank you for your encouraging tips! The biggest thing that helps me to stay healthy and motivated is keeping the house clean and organized. Once the clutter builds, I tend to see healthy habits fading and lazy ones sinking in. I’m going to start today with being healthy again! Can’t wait to see how God works through it 🙂

    • Sarah

      I agree Nicole! My house is in a clutter state right now, and I plan to get some exercise in by putting things away. Cleaning and exercising at the same time, both good for my physical and mental health! I tend to self-condemn for not keeping up with chores, so I will chip away at them and thank God for the small successes. Praying the same for you!

  • Karen Del Tatto

    Thanks for sharing these very wise tips for December.

    After a VERY hectic November, I too became run down and have been battling a couple of bouts of sickness and have not been able to reach my 10,000 steps as much as I’d like.

    Great reminders to slow down and take care of ourselves so that we can be the most useful for God’s Kingdom work.


    • Sarah

      Hi Karen, looks like we are in the same boat for the November struggles. Working my way up to 10K steps 6 days a week again. Last night I remembered my promise: If I’m reading, I’m walking. So I walked around while I read a marvelous Anthony Doerr novel. Need to get back on the treadmill and read the books backlogged on my Kindle! Thanks for visiting today!

  • I’m right there with you, Sarah. The time change did such a number on my this year. The days felt SO long and my sleep schedule was off. And then with a super busy schedule, I started eating what was in front of me – which may have included a bag of crispy M&M’s. But…as of this week, I’m back to healthy choices as well. I’m doing a clean food, anti-inflammatory cleanse from Beyond Diet which I’m actually really enjoying. And I’m back to my morning workout which I just grin and bear. It feels good to have the structure and discipline as well as knowing I’m making wise choices for my health. You’ve encouraged me here today! Thank you!

    • Sarah

      Thanks Tiffany. M&Ms are my favorite candy, and a strong temptation for me, so I can relate. Yes, I’ve lost 2 pounds since Thanksgiving by eating lots of broth-based soup, oats, and eggs. Still need to watch my food intake along with upping my steps. Blessings to you as we take the same journey toward better health in busy December!

  • Meghan Weyerbacher

    I don’t have a specific diet but we don’t really buy snack cakes anymore and we buy more things like oranges and baby carrots to snack on than the fatty stuff we used to eat a lot. We still snack on choco don’t get me wrong, but my desires have changed and I have more self control I think (with God’s help!) ‘

    One tip I took from Joyce Meyer years ago was, “When I feel full now, I stop eating instead of stuffing myself.” She said it helped! We didn’t go anywhere this Thanksgiving due to sickness in our home so I wasn’t as tempted to hoard my plate LOL.

    I don’t really exercise on a regular basis and THAT is one area I know I need to pray about. With all I have on my daily list it always feels like my “care” about that one falls so far on the scale but I know I need to pay attention to my body and take care of it.

    Thanks for sharing this today!

    • Sarah

      Meghan, I am snacking on a bag of clementines instead of carbs now, and I am consulting my Fitbit Zip for the encouraging smiley faces when I get more steps in daily. Glad you found this post encouraging. Keep up the good work!

  • bluecottonmemory

    I need to stay low-carb during the holiday season, but it is so challenging when I do so much cooking for family and friends. I’m thinking of doing veggie smoothies for lunch, but I will have to see. This is the first area to fall apart when life gets hectic.

    • Sarah

      I’m so glad you commented, because I have enjoyed your blog for a long time, and haven’t visited it in a while since I switched from to .org. I miss the Reader feature from .com, but .org is helping me grow my reach. Now I will jump over and read your blog!
      Another note…this is my favorite smoothie recipe: 1 frozen sliced banana, plain Greek yogurt, 1 packet Truvia, dark cocoa powder, peanut powder, and milk. Loaded with flavor and protein–this is my go-to breakfast smoothie. Hope you enjoy!

  • heather marshall

    Hi Sarah! I totally feel your pain on the time change!! The one healthy habit I had cultivated this year was walking outside in the evenings- but now that it’s just about dark by the time I get home, I’m having to regroup…! I love your idea on cooking once and eating twice- this worked great for me about 2 weeks ago, but I haven’t been able to find my cooking groove again since! Going to check your tips!

    • Sarah

      Hi Heather, thanks for stopping by! Yep, I love walking outside before it gets dark. Last night I set up the Christmas lights on the porch and enjoyed the sunset. I hope my cook once, eat twice page helps you…let me know which idea you like best!

  • Chris Malkemes

    Nice! I like this reminder. I am totally in need of slowing down to eat right. Thanks

    • Sarah

      Hello Chris, thanks for stopping by, and blessings to you!

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