What Are Healthy Vital Signs

Your weight and good nutrition are not the only indicators of good health.  Today, I will cover some vital signs that will give you a clearer picture of your health condition.

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According to John Hopkins Medicine, there are 4 vital signs that show the general health of a person:

  • Pulse
  • Respiratory rate
  • Body temperature
  • Blood pressure

When you go to your doctor and in the hospital, these are measured and assessed. Some pharmacies have blood pressure monitors in the waiting area, as well as blood pressure cuffs and thermometers that you can use at home.  For more information on how to get these measurements or take them yourself, ask your physician or pharmacist.  The Hopkins website, also, provides this information. I recommend that you review it.

John Hopkins Medicine Vital Signs

 Normal measures for these vital signs are:

Vital Sign Normal
Pulse 60-100 beats per minute (Some athletes and runners may have a lower pulse near 40 beats per minute.)
Respiratory Rate 12-16 breaths per minute
Body Temperature 97.8oF – 99oF
Blood Pressure Less than or equal to 120/80

 

Here are a few simple steps to check your pulse from Medical News Today

Using your wrist:

  1. Turn one hand over with your palm facing up.
  2. Using your other hand, place two fingertips side-by-side gently in the groove on the forearm, down from the fold of the wrist and within an inch along from the base of the thumb.
  3. When the position is right, you should feel the pulsation of your heartbeat.

 

To check your respiratory rate, count the number of breaths for 15 seconds and multiply that number by 4.

We will talk about some of these vital signs more in later topics. If you find that your vital signs are frequently outside of the range of normal, have a conversation with your physician. Let’s learn, be better informed, make better decisions, and achieve the good health that we need to live our best lives. I welcome your comments and look forward to hearing from you. Have a marvalous day!

Tips for a Healthy Diet

What will I eat? What we eat is the largest factor in how well our body functions and our overall health. You have probably heard the saying “trash in and trash out.” Well, that is true of our bodies, as well.  Our bodies require fuel to help it function optimally. Nutrition is key. Poor nutrition can deflate even the best workout.

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Today’s topic is not a simple one. There are multitudes of diets that are publicized, for example, Keto, Paleo, Atkins, Macros, Weight Watchers, and so on.  I am not here to validate any of these,  rather share the importance of a healthy diet and where to get more information on what that would look like for you.

Let me start by saying that my eating habits are not the best. I like sweets, salty foods, fried foods as much as I do the healthy ones.  I will probably not give up eating cake for the rest of my life to reach my weight goal and reach a healthier state of being. However, I can practice moderation, eat more of the good stuff, and occasionally indulge. Ah, the best of both worlds.

Where do we start to improve our diets? We go to a trusted source for information on healthy food. I recommend a few places to get this information.

Trusted sources:

  • The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control has a Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/index.html. On this webpage, you will find links to information on nutrition, healthy weight, etc. Take some time to explore. We need to educate ourselves on good nutrition so that we can make healthy choices and not just follow a diet plan blindly.
  • The United States Department of Agriculture, choosemyplate.gov, has a wealth of information on nutrition. Check out the “Start Simple With MyPlate.” It provides information on fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and a lot of healthy tips for your diet.
  • Local hospital websites – Search the website for a hospital in your community. Once you find their webpage, search nutrition or healthy diet. There often information on links to information on proper nutrition and healthy diet habits.
  • Your physician is an excellent source. Talk to him or her about your plans. They have information for you, or can even refer you to a nutritionist. Depending on your health condition and medical coverage, the nutritionist may or may not be at an additional cost to you.

My  tips for a healthier diet are:

  1. Drink up to 4-8 glasses of water per day. There is varying information if 8 glasses is more than or what is needed. However, it will not be harmful to for me drink this amount of water. I will need to work my way up to 8 glasses. Although, it is much easier on days that I exercise. A cold drink of water is so refreshing after a workout. Remember: Good hydration is great for help to eliminate waste from our bodies, cells to function properly, promotes healthy skin, and healthy weight.
  2. Drink a full glass of water when your first wake up in the morning. Keep bottled water or glass of water handy, if the walk to the kitchen seems too much when you first get up.
  3. Reduce, not eliminate, salt from my diet. I use Morton’s Light salt.
  4. Limit sugary sweets to 1 serving 1-2 times a week. This means I can have a cookie on Wednesday and a slice of cake on Sunday. Some weeks, I may only have 1 and possibly none.
  5. Use a sugar alternative, like Stevia.
  6. Eating a piece of fruit to curb a sweet craving.
  7. Adding 1-2 different vegetables to my meals. I love broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, kale, sweet potatoes, cabbage, etc.
  8. Increase my intake of vegetables by adding spinach and carrots to my smoothie. 38DC961C-5177-461C-9FB6-D81A68836B47
  9. Reduce the starches in my diet, e.g. white potatoes, bread, and white rice.
  10. Eat until I am satisfied, but not full.
  11. Incorporate healthy fats, like olive oil and avocado.
  12. Eat a good amount of protein. I will opt for salmon, tuna, chicken breast, and ground turkey, instead of pork and beef.
  13. Plan meals for myself and my family in advance, so that I can use the leftovers for lunch the next day and avoid making poor food choices if healthy options are not available at home or work (in my prepared lunch).

 

Please share your thoughts on what helps you maintain a healthy diet or even your diet struggles. We all have them. Some days are better than others. Regardless, we keep striving to consume what is best for our bodies. Don’t expect perfect, but let your passion get you there. Have a Marvalous day!

What is a healthy weight?

Many of us judge our personal health by our weight.  However, in order to know if our weight is healthy, we must answer the question, what is a healthy weight?

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Per the Mayo Clinic, a “healthy weight means that you have the right amount of body fat in relation to your overall body mass. It is a weight that allows you to feel energetic, reduces health risks, helps prevent premature aging (such as worn out joints from carrying around too much weight), and gives you the best quality of life.”1 This is an excellent definition of a healthy weight. There are some key phrases that I want to point out to you:

  • “the right amount of body fat”
  • “feel energetic”
  • “prevents premature aging”
  • “best quality of life”

Basically, we do need to have some fat, energy to function, slow the wear and tear on our bodies, and live a best quality life. The next question is what is a healthy weight for you and me?

The Mayo Clinic, like many in the medical community, recommends using your body mass index (BMI). BMI is a better measure of body fat than the weight on the scale which includes, fat, muscle, water, tissue, etc.  The Mayo Clinic has made it easy with the use of a chart for you and I to find our current BMI, and with a target BMI of 19-24 to find our goal weight.  Click the link to access the chart:    Mayo Clinic BMI Chart

Now, that we have a clear picture of where we need to be for our best health, here is some helpful information on our weight:

  • The best time to weight is in the morning. If mornings are too hectic, weight yourself at the same time of the day on the days you take your weight.
  • Use the same scale to avoid scale variability in sensitivity. Sometimes that difference between the numbers past the decimal point, for example 0.7 and 0.5, may make us feel differently.
  • The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) recommends that losing 1-2 pounds per week is a healthy rate of weight loss.2
  • Weigh once a week on the same day. Make it a ritual.  You may choose to weight yourself more often, but with a healthy goal of 1-2 pounds, you may not see much of a difference on a daily basis.
  • Talk to your doctor about your weight to make sure the goals that you set are healthy for you.

 

As we journey together, incremental improvements will lead to lifelong habits that will keep the weight off and not cause us to rebound. This is a process. We are worth it.

 

References:

  1. The Mayo Foundation for Education and Research. 2019. What is your BMI. Accessed on 3/29/2019: http://diet.mayoclinic.org/diet/eat/what-is-your-bmi?xid=nl_MayoClinicDiet_20160426
  2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019. Losing Weight. Accessed on 3/29/2019: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html

Check In on Day #5

Hello to the 5th day!  Yes, we are 5 days in on this 30-day journey.  Have you made the commitment with me? I have achieved the task each day. As I progress to the next day, I work to maintain what I have already started.

Water

What has been most important to me in this first week is the daily consumption of water. Our bodies need water for our organs to function properly, for the blood in our bodies to flow well to all of our tissues that it feeds with nutrients and oxygen. Some debate on whether water is best warm or cold. My stance is this… Drink it however you like it. The main point is to drink it. I did find that drinking the glass of water before my meals resulted in me eating less. So I did tweak my day #2 on day #3 with drinking water with my meals. I drink a decent amount before the meal and throughout the meal and then end my meal finishing my water. I would actually drink more water that way. This morning, I noticed that y skin was clearer, too.

What can you do you do not like the taste of water? Here are a few suggestions to increase your water consumption without drinking a glass of water:

  1. Dilute your drinks with water. For example, apple juice mixed 1:1 with water tastes great. Try it!
  2. Opt for juices instead of sodas or other carbonated drinks.
  3. Be careful with the sugar content of your drink. Try drinks sweetened with stevia or low glycemic sugar alcohols, e.g. erythritol. My favorites are Bai Strawberry Lemonade, Bai Gimbi Pink Grapefruit, and Vitaminwater Lemonade.

    Bai Strawberry Lemonade

    Bai Strawberry Lemonade with a homemade steak burrito. Both were delicious!

  4. Keep your water cold with an insulated cup or thermos during your workouts. It will taste more like a refreshing treat during your work out.

 

As for today’s task, plan your meals and add fruit or vegetable to every meal.  Here are 2 tip that I use to keep fruits and veggies in my meal options.

  1. Breakfast: Add a banana or sliced apple to your breakfast or have a  breakfast smoothie that contains veggies and fruit.  I love a spinach, blueberry, and strawberry smoothie.
  2. Lunch or Dinner: Including a salad, steamed and reasonably seasoned veggies, e.g broccoli, cauliflower, cooked green beans, or soup with vegetables.  Also, I eat more of the vegetables earlier in my meal.

 

I hope these tips help you, as they do for me. These thirty days are mean to be stress-free and simple ways to improve your health. Modify, as needed to make the small changes in your life that will lead to larger and permanent changes in your health. If you are just joining, use the link below to access the 30-day Healthier Habits Plan.

EM 30 Day Healthy Habit Checklist

 

Thirty Days of Healthy Habits

The world feels really heavy right now. The stressors of COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, racial injustice, discrimination, the economy (personal, local, national, and global), the educational system, and so many more have reminded me of the value of my health and well-being.  As they say, “your health is your wealth.” Unhealthy lifestyles and habits are not good for us, especially now. We need to be as healthy, both physically and mentally, as possible, for ourselves, our families, and those we serve in our community or at work.  As such,  I have decided to take the month of July to put more emphasis on my health. The better I am, the better I can serve my family, those in my community, and at work, and right now they all need me more than ever.

Today, July 1st (Day #1), I am committing to me, my family, and you to improve my health through purposeful actions every day for the next 30 days to strengthen my body, my mind, and my soul.

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My plan for today and the next 29 days is available for download at the link below. I am ready to get started! I welcome you to join me.

EM 30 Day Healthy Habit Checklist

Golden Sunday

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Monday through Friday, I am primarily consumed with my work responsibilities and in the evenings Mommy duty tasks. Saturdays can be equally daunting with household duties, Mommy duties, and squeezing in time for self-care, and social activities. Then comes the beloved and golden Sunday.  Sundays are great to restore my energy levels both physically and spiritually. That can be a challenge since I have numerous irons in the fire. I either want to completely check out to rest or I want to work on getting as many things done as I can.  For me, neither are good options. Doing nothing all day is a lost opportunity to work on my personal tasks that I find fulfilling. And doing too much on Sunday will lead me into exhaustion for the week starting the next morning.  I found and am still working to optimize my Sunday routine to achieve better balance or arrest and activity.

My morning cup of coffee is starting each day with prayer, meditation, and on Sunday mornings church service.  I need that time to center myself. I express my gratitude for all that I have been given, remind myself of who I am, what I am to do, and where I am to go. Therefore, I find it necessary to maintain a planner and a personal notebook.  There is power in the written word. There is the power of God in the bible and power in my transcribed thoughts to paper.  Rather the power of His word to influence my thoughts and bless my steps is the power I use to live each day.  In my notebook, I write down the biblical lessons that I believe God is speaking into my life daily. In addition, I also write the following:

  1. What I am grateful for.
  2. A few positive words about myself.
  3. Any special prayer requests.

In my planner, I write down my to-do list for the day (including rest) and what I want to achieve and at last one must involve a personal goal that I have set for 2020.  I recommend having no more than 4 “To-Dos” on Sunday, including rest. Then I set times to get these things done. I am excited about my special Sundays. These days are cherished and used in a way the relaxes, energizes, and sets me up for a great week. I hope that my process will be helpful to you. Please share your experience and what you do on Sunday.

Have a Marvalous day!

 

The Joy of Raising Sons

I am the oldest of my sisters. I don’t have any brothers and so having 2 sons was a completely new and wonderful experience. I am enjoying every day with them. I am excited for the wonderful gentleman they are becoming and the possibilities that the future holds for them.

When I was pregnant, friends warned me about how fast they will grow. The best advice given was to pray for them, not only for today, but for the future, as well. I am that I heeded that advice. All of my prayers end with, “may God’s will be done.” The oldest is a teenager and  the youngest is on the brink of his teen years. It does go by fast, too fast. I’m blessed to see how my prayers for them have been answered and continue to be answered.

It is a blessing to be a mother. I cherish the privilege to help raise my sons. It is a joy.
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#momofboysforever

Happy 2nd Anniversary Everyday Marvalous

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The boys looking out from the 5th floor hotel window above Dallas Street, Houston, TX in 2015. This reminds me to keep looking up.

It was 2 years ago today that I first launched Everyday Marvalous.  Despite the joy that I get from working on my blog, a few other things came up this year that kept me from it. Some were of high priority like family and work, and there were some that were just time wasters.

Facing 2018, I realize that a few things need to change.

No. 1 – Aligning my every day with God’s plan for me and not my own. What God has for me is far greater than anything that I can give to myself or get from someone else.

No. 2 – Spending my limited and valuable time on what really matters most, God, myself, and family. (Note: It is not selfish to make yourself a priority before your family. By this ranking, my intent is to fulfill number three below. It is true, that better that you take care of yourself, the better you can care for your family.) 

No. 3 – Maintaining my commitment to a healthy lifestyle. I am a gift to myself and others. Without good health, I would not be able to offer to others as much as God has planned for me.

On this second anniversary, I am prepared to close out 2017 with thankfulness for all of wonderful things that happened and challenges from which I learned . Further, I am committing to make the needed changes so that 2018 will be even more fruitful.

This life we live is beautifully complicated and simple. The complication comes in with the challenges that we face.  However, if we keep our priorities in order, it simplifies our lives, keeps us focused on what really matters, and we find that we can more easily navigate through the challenges.

Blessings to you on this wonderful New Year’s Eve! It will be a “Marvalous” 2018!

 

 

More good stuff in 2017

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The year 2016 did not quite live up to the “sweet sixteen” that many had hoped.  We can always remember the negative so much easier than the positive. Every year brings it own set of blessings and challenges. This is what we call life. We must live it to the fullest. Let’s make a promise to each other to love more, laugh more, forgive more, grow more, and trust God more. I am starting 2017 with open eyes and an open heart.

Love and God bless to you all!

This past weekend…

Oh how I miss the past weekend and, yet, long for the coming weekend. I thoroughly enjoy the time spent with my family.  I am working to focus on the really important things in life, like family, good health, and a strong relationship with God. When I consider these things, I realize how blessed I really am. Then all of the inconveniences, disappointments, or plans that just don’t quite work out seem insignificant. So on Wednesday, I will fondly remember this past weekend and look forward to the one coming. Here are some pictures from that weekend. Enjoy. Have a “marvalous” rest of the week!

 

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Fancy new hair cut on Friday!

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Watching Ted and the boys pass the football in the front yard on Saturday.

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Sunday, in the kitchen making meals for the family. Dinner was fresh steamed broccoli, shrimp scampi with angel hair pasta, and for sandwiches later I made tuna fish salad. It was all delicious!

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My new favorite picture of my hubby and I ready to leave for church. Who left the power cord plugged into the wall?

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These are my favorite Vince Camuto shoes from  a few seasons ago. Love them!

What I’m Excited About

 

The past few weeks have been full of work and a lot of fun. There are some things lately that I am really excited about and have enjoyed tremendously.

5. Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara – It will make you look like you have on false lashes!

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Copied from: shop.Nordstroms.com

 

 

4. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick – It smells delicious and the Fiery (red) is a vibrant and beautiful color.

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Copied from: shop.Nordstroms.com

3. Fruit Smoothies – I have been preparing these at home with bags of fresh fruit that I freeze so that they will be ready to blend every morning. I blend it with coconut water, apple juice, whey protein, spinach, a drop of lemon juice, and my bag of fruit. Healthy and delicious! (Thank to the Real Ladies of Lakeridge below for getting me started on the smoothies!)

 

2. Diner en Blanc Dallas – It is one of the most fabulous night of the year in Dallas. You get dressed up in white, pack your dinner, table, chairs, and are bused to a secret location to party the night away with at least 2000 other people.  If you have not heard about this, please, check it out on Facebook. There are many other cities that host these events, like New Orleans, Altanta, Paris, etc. It will certainly fascinate you. There is no experience like it. I love it!

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We are dressed in white and ready to go.

 

1. The Real Ladies of Lakeridge – These ladies are new friends of mine and neighbors. We share the love of good health, fitness, healthy eating, and having a great time together. Our walks are filled with great conversation and laughter. These ladies are so much more to me than a walking group. We encourage each other with activities to promote good health, support philanthropic events together, socialize, pray for and spiritually encourage each other. These ladies are more like sisters and a blessing in my life.

 

These are some of the things and people that I am excited about lately.  What about you? It doesn’t have to be a big event to get excited. Blessed is the person who finds joy in the small things in life. When you do, it makes the big events even more spectacular. God Bless! Have a marvalous weekend.

 

 

 

Missed you!

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I am back from a very long absence of blogging. There have been major events in our family and my work that required my time and attention. My blog, Everyday Marvalous, is my passion and creative outlet. This is a great opportunity for me to share that things that I love and enjoy, gives me a voice beyond my social circle, and hopefully encourages others to live a life of love and fulfillment. I have also missed you, too. I appreciate all of the kind words and thoughtful feedback that you have given me. I am so grateful and feel so blessed.

This morning, I want to share one of my favorite Psalms with you. I have incorporated this into my daily prayer. I hope it blesses you, as it has me.

XOXO

Marva

 

Psalm 150 (NIV)

Praise the Lord.

  Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens.

Praise him for his acts of power;
    praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
    praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.