Friday, July 20, 2012

Have you heard of foam rollers?

I hadn’t until I went to physical therapy.  Now I think they are the best thing ever.  When I did an internship in a physical therapy clinic, I learned that a MANY injuries are caused because of muscle tightness.  Often, people don’t even realize how stinkin’ tight they are… I certainly didn’t until I began using one of these!  Seriously, if you have never done it, you need to try.  You will not believe how amazing your body feels after using a foam roller.  Those tight muscles are not good for your body and can even lead to serious injuries!

You can find foam rollers online or from a physical therapy clinic near you.  The black roller is more dense than the white color, so it is a little more difficult.  Please let me know if you have ANY questions.

I am going to show you how to do three foam roller exercises for the lower body.  I do these every morning after my workout.  Please excuse the lack of professional quality photos ;-) *One warning… if you do have tight muscles, this is going to be painful the first few times! Don’t let that discourage you, as your muscles loosen up it won’t hurt at all!*

1.      Foam Roller for Gastrocnemius (Calf Muscle)

Begin with the roller right above your ankle, one leg crossed over the other.  Lift your bottom off the ground, supporting yourself with your arms.  Using your arms to move you, roll the foam roller to right below your knee and back down to your ankle.  Be sure not to roll over the knee joint!  Repeat 5-7 times.  Switch to the other side.

2.      Foam Roller for Iliotibial Tract (Side of thigh)

Lie with the roller below your hip.  Using your arms to pull you, roll down to right above the knee and back to your hip, being careful not to roll over your knee joint.  Repeat 5 times and switch to the other side.

3.      Foam Roller for Quads

Lie with foam roller under your upper thigh.  Using your arms to move you, roll down to above the knee joint and back.  Once again, do not go over the joint! Repeat 5-7 times.  If you’d like to stretch your hamstrings (not shown), flip over and do it on the backs of your leg (don’t go over the knee joint!).

So… there you have it!  The foam roller! 


I will be on vacation next week, so have a wonderful week!  Joyfully yours,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Me, Myself and I Link Party

Hi there! Today I'm linking up with some wonderful bloggers.  I'm super excited to be part of the PARTY and this month we are sharing five facts about ourselves.  Enjoy!

1. What is your biggest phobia?

Failure! I want to please everyone and be good at everything, but I can't! ;)

2. If you could relive any day of your life, what would it be and why

Hard to say.  There are so many great days that I would love to go back and tell myself “Hey, appreciate these moments!” Mostly days when my whole family was together and happy. 

3. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?

Hmm. I have no idea.  So far I have loved every year of my life (with the possible exception of 12ish).  I would like to enjoy each year but keep moving forward to the wonderful things that lay ahead (hopefully!)

4. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for

Mistaken for? None! I have heard quite a bit that I look like Carrie Underwood.  I don’t see it at all!

5. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Well, I don’t know about them being a “soundtrack” to my life, but at the moment I love these songs:
He’s Always Been Faithful by Sara Groves
Proof of Your Love by For King & Country
Beautiful World by Carolina Liar
Here Goes by Bebo Norman
Lean On Me by Bill Withers
What I Cannot Change by Leann Rimes
Ahh… should just stop here otherwise this list will go on forever :)

Joyfully yours,


Monday, July 16, 2012

Fresh summer recipe!

Happy Monday! It’s the beginning of a new week… I have a wonderful recipe for you to try this week!  I made this the other night and loved the flavors.  I served it with salad and yellow rice.

Grilled Chicken Thighs With Pineapple, Corn and Bell Pepper Relish (from Cooking Light Magazine)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cumin
¾ tsp salt, divided
¼ tsp black pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (~1 ¼ lbs)
2 cups cubed fresh pineapple (~ ½ pineapple)
½ cup fresh corn kernels (~1 ear)
1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar

Heat grill over medium-high heat.  Combine garlic powder, cumin, ½ tsp salt, and pepper; sprinkle over chicken.  Add chicken to grill, cook approximately 10 minutes on each side, or until done.
Combine remaining ¼ tsp salt, pineapple, and remaining ingredients in medium bowl.  Serve relish over chicken.

Makes 4 servings (2 thighs and ¾ cup relish= 242 calories)
P.S. I forgot to get the basil from the store! L I love basil and know it would have added a lot!

Joyfully yours,


Friday, July 13, 2012

Tooth tip!

I, for one, love beautiful teeth.  So I want to do everything I can to keep my teeth healthy and bright.  The last time I was at the dentist, I told them that I was beginning to have a couple sensitive spots that I was worried about.  The hygienist told me this interesting fact:

Acids can start to erode away the enamel on your teeth, which can lead to sensitivity and cavities.  How can you prevent this? By rinsing out your mouth with water immediately after eating acidic foods, including fruits, coffee, and wine.  And don’t brush your teeth instead of rinsing, because brushing will actually push the acid further into your teeth.  So, if you want to keep those pearly whites healthy and strong, try rinsing with water.  Good to know!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Growing friendships

Hi everyone!

Hope that last week was great for all of you.  I was at a church Youth Conference last week.  I had such a great time and came away so refreshed and inspired (despite the camping and a severe lack of sleep!)  Like I mentioned in my previous post, we were studying Thessalonians.  There are so many great lessons in Thessalonians and I would encourage everyone to go read it right now!  However, I am going to write about something that I have been thinking a lot about lately and GUESS WHAT? It happens to also show up in Thessalonians!  What is it, you may ask? Friendship!

I will start off by saying that I am no great expert on friendship.  In fact, I happen to have an extremely hard time making friends and an even harder time keeping those friends.  I tend to shut down and not let people in because when you let people in, you can get hurt!  But that is certainly not a good attitude and is definitely not scriptural.   The apostle Paul can sure teach us a thing about friendship in his letters to the Thessalonians. 

“We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers (1 Thess. 1:2).”

“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us (1 Thess. 2:8).”

“How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you (1 Thess. 3:9)?”

These verses are just a few of the verses where Paul speaks about his love for his brothers and sisters in this church.  He rejoices in their friendship. He says that he is thankful for ALL of them.  I think it is such a great example for us, because so often we only make an effort to be friends with the people who are in our little groups—just the cool people, or the people who are our age, or the people who are similar to us.  But Paul wasn’t like that.  Likewise, I think we really need to make an effort to go out of our way to care about EVERYONE, instead of leaving out the people who actually need us the most.  We have all felt friendless and lonely at some time or another, so let’s not stand by while others suffer the same. 

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing (1 Thess. 5:11).”

Paul also commends the Thessalonians for building each other up, but are we doing this?  Do we encourage others, or are our friendships merely superficial?  As followers of Christ, the way we treat others and care for others should set us apart from those who don’t follow Jesus.  We should be getting out there and stepping out of our comfort zone to reach people who need us. 

Lastly, I would like to briefly remind you of the wonderful example of the friendship of David and Jonathan.  Jonathan cared so deeply for David, despite the fact that David’s anointing meant that Jonathan would not be king.  Jonathan was even willing to stand up against his own father in order to protect David.  1 Samuel 20:17 reads:

“And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.”

Do we truly love our friends as we love ourselves?  If not, why not?  I am going to take these thoughts to heart and make an effort to build others up, to care about my friends, and to step out of my comfort zone.  I hope that you will join me!

Joyfully yours,