Proverbs 3:27: Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
Today, especially in the United States, we are so richly blessed. Most of us don’t wonder whether we will have water, food, heat, lights, etc. We take it for granted those luxuries are there. Yes, they are luxuries. Many people around the world don’t have any of these things regularly. They often must humble themselves to receive these things from the kindness of strangers. When was the last time you were that stranger? What have you given lately to help someone in need? Not because you wanted to look good, but simply because God has blessed you with more than you need and likely more than you deserve. Simply look in the mirror and ask if you have been a good steward of your blessings. The fabulous fact is that if your answer is no, you can change that with your next breath. There are people all around you in need. Some will simply need a kind word or a smile. These cost nothing but a little effort. Some will need clothes or shelter, and if you have more than you can use, share. Some will need the fast food you just bought or the overflowing freezer you have. This article was inspired by a friend who has been struggling with so much difficulty in her life. She has shown courage, compassion and kindness to so many that she deserves to be reached out to. In our conversation, she was thanking me for helping her family and I simply said that I would rather die broke than broken. Helping others helps you. It heals you and builds you. It’s a two-way blessing. I ask you to stop for a minute and ponder when the last time was that you responded to someone out of compassion and kindness by helping with whatever ability you have. It isn’t difficult, or time consuming, or expensive to simply be kind. If you need a new pair of gloves, buy two and drop one at the nearest homeless shelter or give it to someone who lives on the street you go by every day on the way to work. People NEED people. Sometimes all they need is to know someone cares, or listens. If you aren’t doing these things, I assure you that you are likely broken. So, “If you had to choose, would you rather be broke, or broken?”
When the day is done and YOUR days are done, what is it that will be said of you? We are blessed to be on this earth for as many days as our Heavenly Father grants us. What are you doing with your days? Are you living your life as if every single moment of every day matters? Are you just trudging through life wishing the day away? Are you impacting the world or spending your time taking the impacts? Will you bless those around you or will you waste your time judging others. I can’t say how you will spend your time, but I know how I am going to spend mine. I will spend my time learning and growing. I will spend time sharing and caring about others, and raining blessings everywhere I go. Some will accept them some won’t, but that won’t determine whether I continue or not. It is my personal mission to help and encourage others. This has been true as long as I can remember. I am not sure anything makes me happier. I encourage you to dig deep and ask yourself what you want to really be known for 30 years from now. What is it that is important to you? How would you write your own obituary? She watched a lot of great TV? He didn’t have very many friends, didn’t go out much? Died with lots of money with no one to give it to? It may seem morbid, but at the end of the day, what you accomplish in this short time on earth is what you will be remembered for. Decide what is important to you. Make a plan to accomplish each and every goal you have because you can create a legacy of meaningful accomplishments through kindness, caring, and determination! I am blessed to be a blessing.
Everyone repeats the statement “Fake it until you make it”. Yes- I am putting it right out there- I HATE this saying so much! Why? Because it feels like saying, “please go ahead and pretend to be something you aren’t”. Lie to people’s faces because eventually you will believe it, too. Then, if and when I make it, it won’t be a lie anymore. Is this sound advice? NO! Control your mindset! Wear the most important fashion you can EVERYDAY; The cloak of confidence! Seriously, let’s face reality and create a positive mind space where we admit who and what we are at this precise time, and recognize we have room to grow and develop. We are in fact on a journey! It’s why we don’t start at the finish line. There is plenty of learning along the way! Enjoy the journey and the growing process. Don’t be fake, or say things that just “look” like you are successful. DO things that create success. Be up front if you are working towards a promotion or a rank or advancement of some kind. Put it right out there for everyone to see and hear. You can’t FAKE confidence; you FEEL it. You also can’t have it unless you claim it as yours. Sometimes people will try to dig at you to make you think you don’t deserve to be confident or successful, or that you are less than what you have already achieved. That is simply a reflection of their own inadequacies and weaknesses. Don’t FAKE it- you will come off as FAKE! Stand in your confidence! Learn everything you can to be strong, educated in your field, a leader and believe in yourself and your talents and gifts. BELIEVE you will achieve your desired goals and you won’t have to fake it, because before you know it, you will have it! Use your talents. Don’t waste time faking it. Make it happen! #BELIEVEYOUCAN #BEREAL
How about plant protein specifically, instead of what probably just came to your mind. Are you aware that the average American consumes almost twice the protein the body needs? The formula is: at least 10% of your daily calories, but not more than 35% of calories, from protein, according to the Institute of Medicine. Protein is essential, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Excess protein can’t be stored in the body, and is more difficult to eliminate. There are many health challenges that can occur because of excess protein over time. Excessive protein consumption has been linked to certain cancers, kidney disease, and osteoporosis. Consider deriving these protein needs from some plant based alternatives as opposed to meat and dairy forms. There are many alternative plant based protein forms. Since protein is made up of amino acids, they are considered essential and foundational for great health. Our skin, hair, nails, muscles, and much more are healthy (or not) because of the protein we take in. Some forms of protein come with unhealthy fats that, given our family medical history, we don’t need. Because of my family history of heart and stroke issues, I chose to reduce my animal proteins. I haven’t eliminated them, I just work hard to diversify my diet. I ask you to consider spending the next 30 days experimenting with various meal choices, where maybe 1-3 days per week you eat only plant based proteins. This isn’t an all or nothing experience. It’s about being aware that food is fuel and that nutrition is key to excellent health! Anything eaten in its whole form will be better for your health. Consider using whole grain bread for toast with almond butter, which packs a whopping 16 grams of protein in a ¼ cup. Or perhaps a smoothie with a ¼ cup of flax seeds ground into it, which provides 7 grams of protein. Proteins are very valuable, as they produce feeling of satiety as well as being good for your body. You will feel full longer. With cooler weather upon us, consider making a soup or chili, but use 4 kinds of beans instead of meat. Experiment and enjoy the process! Protein builds strong bodies!
These are my older blog posts, which originally appeared in my Exposure Magazine Column, "Healthy Living."