Renewing You: With Food

By: Lydia Scott

Eat healthy

I remember being on diets as a kid, and my dinners would consist of things like baked fish with lemon, steamed plain broccoli and a scoop of plain brown rice. Lunches would usually consist of iceberg salad with some canned tuna and a drizzle of vinegar. Breakfasts revolved around a boiled egg and a slice of wheat toast.

That was the normal diet fare. And in some places, those are luxurious meals. Most of those places don’t have a population that struggles with being overweight. In this part of this country though, we are fortunate enough surrounded by a huge array of rich foods. They come at us from every angle…a variety of interesting, aromatic, flavorful foods. So, trying to force ourselves to stick to bland and boring cookie cutter “diet” foods “just until we get healthy” probably won’t last long. So don’t start what isn’t going to work.

Healthy Eating Should Not Be a Punishment

Think about it, how do you feel about foods we think of as healthy? Not all, but I’ll bet many of think less-than-happy thoughts when someone mentions good-for-you foods. And that is a big part of what contributes to so many of our unhealthy behaviors. If you struggle with that, why not start to change your relationship with good-for-you foods?

How do you know how to choose foods that will do your body, mind AND soul good? I mean, there’s about fifty kajillion different healthy eating plans out there: clean eating, low carb, low fat, primal, paleo, vegetarian, low sugar, fruitarian, vegan, ketogenic, and many more! So what do you do? Which style should you strive for? Should you even have an eating style?

Well, if you’re totally healthy and you have a healthy view of food, it seems reasonable to say that whatever you’re doing is working, so don’t change it! But if you’re not healthy and/or your view of food is causing you issues, it might be a good time to try something different, right?

Always consult with your doctor before changing anything, of course. Other than that, coming from someone who has tried what feels like every eating style out there, try this: Choose a way of eating that you think you could stick with for the rest of your life, AND FEEL GOOD DOING IT. That means you may want to try out a few Eating healthydifferent regimens for a month or three (if your doctor okays it) and gauge how you feel on them. Food should make your body and mind work better, not worse, once your body adjusts to the change.

For instance, if you just adore being able to munch on an endless supply of fruits and veggies and couldn’t care less about meats and other protein sources, then low-carb might not make you happy. Or, if you live and breathe by pre-packaged foods and totally love them, then Paleo, Primal, or clean eating probably would frustrate the daylights out of you. Basically, look at your lifestyle and look at what you really want to do, and try out plans that work in line with that. Work WITH your body, rather than against it.

My Favorites

If you are like I was, and need to make a healthy change, you may not know where to start. Iput together a short list of some of my favorite websites and a few of my favorite recipes that got me through different stages of renewing my relationship with food. Most of what I eat tends to not be heavily processed. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I officially eat clean, but I eat mostly clean, haha! Mainly because it just tastes better and makes me feel more energetic. Feel free to chime in with some of your favorites, too!

Low Fat and Clean:

Skinny Ms.:

I love this site! It’s full of a little bit of everything for beginners like me, and it’s all easy to find, with lots of instructional videos, too. I am currently doing the *exercise only* portion of the 6 Week Emergency Makeover, which you can purchase from the site for not much money. I love the workouts that Skinny Ms talks about because they are short, varied, have instructional videos, and I can change up the routine if there’s something I can’t do. I did try the diet plan on the Emergency Makeover, but found the higher carb, lower fat, lower protein content of it left me feeling empty and with a lot of cravings. However, one of my favorite snacks from this site was the Peanut Butter and Yogurt Dip. It was surprisingly delicious and filling!

Cooking Light:

Chock full of recipes that aren’t too difficult, but also tend a little more towards the gourmet side, Cooking Light was a haven for my low fat days. And if you like recipes with flair, try one of our favorites, the Thai Chicken Saute’. We loved it with Udon noodles instead of rice!

Courtesy of:

Low Carb and Clean:

I’mperfect Life:

If you haven’t read about the wonderful woman who runs this site, you should! She is such an inspiration! I go here regularly when I need motivation, plus her recipes are yummy! She’s great about having a viewpoint of all things in moderation, rather than being a food-dictator. I like that.

I Breathe…I’m Hungry:

This site was a goldmine for me! Ohhhh, the low-carb, clean and gluten-free recipes are right up my alley, because they aren’t boring! And the owner of the blog is SO nice because she gives you detailed menu plans for getting started on the low-carb, gluten-free way for FREE! One of my favorite recipes of hers is the Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Pesto Meatballs. And they weren’t hard to make either! So good! See? You want one now, right? Oh wait…maybe that’s me, haha!

Low Carb-ing Among Friends:

This is a Facebook page based on the book, Low Carb-ing Among Friends. It’s actually a GREAT page, with no “try this miracle cure!” spam, a supportive group of folks that run it, and a ton of fantastic recipes and ideas. Love, love, love! So far, my favorite recipe that I’ve found from this page is the Two Minute Microwave Coffee Cake. It is so darned yummy and easy! I will admit, I don’t put the Cinnamon topping on it. Instead, I spread one tablespoon of natural peanut butter and a drizzle of sugar-free maple syrup over it. Oh yeah…really filling and no sugary funky feeling afterward!

I admit, I often have a hard time NOT lightening up the calorie-heavy meals you can find in the low-carb world. For instance, we had Pork in Flameado Queso Sauce this weekend, and I couldn’t bring myself to make it as written (with just under 600 calories per serving). I know, I know…low carb is not really one you’re supposed to count calories in. But I do anyway! So, I cut half the heavy cream with plain, unsweetened almond milk, reduced the cheese and Chorizo by half, used extra lean pork tenderloin and doubled the amount, and added more peppers (not enough to increase the carbs substantially, though). It was extremely tasty, and the calories came out to under 400 with plenty of fat and protein and very few carbs.

All of this stuff is just based on my experience. I’ll bet y’all have all kinds of cool suggestions to add for folks who were in my shoes a while back and are new to trying to take care of themselves. What things, websites, books, and tips have helped you?

Mommy Must-Have: Girls’ Night

By: Leah Prescott


I am so grateful that through my life I have had so many wonderful girlfriends. Now that I am a Mom, I cannot imagine facing this monumental task without the support and advice of other women who have gone before, or who are currently “in the trenches” with me. Since I’m staying home with the kids, I feel sort of like these other Moms are my co-workers. We face the same challenges, we share strategies, and we commiserate with one another.

The “workplace” would be a lonely place without this fellowship! So through the last several years we have made it a priority not just to have playdates and parties as families, but to have girls’ nights, which we anticipate and savor. They are a life-saver! We share laughter, fears, and problem-solve together. How can I make potty training easier? How to approach modesty with our daughters? What can I do to cut down on whining between siblings? And, always; has anyone figured out a way to keep the house clean with all these little people running around? (The answer, for the record is, no.)

This week, we stepped outside the norm and went to the movie theater. I confess I have almost stopped going to the theater. I guess I am getting old, but I just don’t typically enjoy paying through the nose to watch 20 minutes of previews in a room of questionable cleanliness with tons of strangers who may or may not be respectful of other viewers. I don’t mean to sound like a prude, but why do they make movies these days so VIOLENT? Not to mention, my bathroom is not close at hand. Anyway, you get the drift.

I recently made an exception to the rule and gladly forked over my $9.50 to see “Mom’s Night Out” with some of my fellow moms. I wasn’t sure what we were about to see but I was pleasantly surprised. Hilarious, heartwarming, and poignant, this wasn’t a Christian movie, but a movie made by a Christian. Rather than awkwardly building a film around the message, this movie had a strong cast, fantastic writing, and smooth direction.  The uplifting theme was smoothly delivered without sacrificing entertainment value and I felt as if I had been personally thanked by the director at the end of the film for my service as a mom. I was smiling about this movie all week and there are a couple lines that may just become catch phrases among my crew. “Stress paralyzed” is definitely a thing.

I encourage you to make time to have girls’ night with your friends this week. Start a book club, craft night, margarita Monday, or just invite your neighbor over to share a cup of coffee. We all need the camaraderie and support. And if you have a chance to see “Mom’s Night Out,” let me know what you think!

Sneak It In and Tone It Up

By: Mary Pat Baldauf

Stuck Behind Your Desk

In a perfect world, we’d all schedule daily fitness activities, and we’d never miss a workout. But this isn’t the perfect world, and there are days that you just can’t make it to the gym or out for that evening walk.

For days like that, here are three great links:

  1. 12 Hip-Opening Yoga Poses (especially good if you spend most of the day behind a desk)
  2. Deskercise! 33 Smart Ways to Exercise
  3. 100 Tips and Tricks to Sneak in a Work Out at Work

For those days that you just can’t get out of the office, how do YOU add activity to your day?

LMC Nurse Notes

LMC is hiring nurses with at least one year of experience in Med/Surg, Critical Care and Labor & Delivery to work night shifts with a $2,500 signing bonus. Learn more:

 Leigh Warf, RN, MN, CWOCN, is a wound care specialist at LMC. We asked her, “What do you like about working as a nurse at LMC?” Her answer is below:
Leigh Warf

LMC Nurse Notes

LMC is hiring nurses with at least one year of experience in Med/Surg, Critical Care and Labor & Delivery to work night shifts with a $2,500 signing bonus. Learn more:

Katie Bedenbaugh, RN, OCN is a nurse for cancer patients at LMC. She has received the hospital’s Award of Excellence and LMC Gold for her great work. In this video, she talks about the experience of taking care of cancer patients and what she enjoys about being a nurse at LMC.

Brave (Little) Heart

By: Lara Winburn

My three year old started swimming lessons last week. Last summer, we did the age appropriate “mommy and me” lessons, and at the end she liked the water a little better and finished each class with a dum-dum lollipop, which she loved. This summer is a different type of lesson. There is a “coach.” He is not harsh,  but he is definitely firm and ready to make a swimmer out of this bathing beauty. They are not singing songs or blowing bubbles. They are learning to swim. As I handed over my sweet girl to the coach, her tears started and with one last cheer of “Listen to the coach and be a big girl,” I walked away with a lump in my throat to the designated parent area.

It started me thinking what brave little hearts we expect our kids to have. From the viewpoint of my daughter this is how the lesson went… This stranger is your “coach.” He will take you in a body of water, force you to hold your breath and put your head under the water and mommy will watch from afar. No dum-dum in sight. Brave little heart.

Babysitters are another example. A lovely young girl comes to the door, I give her some general directions about dinner and bedtime. Hand over a pair of pajamas, blow a kiss, and hit the door. Can you imagine if this same scenario applied to adults? “Hey, this lovely young girl is going to stay in your home with you, you do not know her, you may not leave and she is now in charge of your meal, bedtime and nightly activity. I will probably return while you are sleeping and you will see this same young girl in a month.” (A babysitter once a month …if I am lucky.) These precious children are really quite brave.

I often find myself running into a friend from work or the gym or some other place that my children do not frequent. Without a thought about whether they are feeling shy or having a bad day, I plunge right into demanding a greeting from my children, a high five, or some other adorable exchange. “This is mommy’s friend from work. Say hello, First soccer seasongive a high five, tell her how old you are….” Do you find yourself doing this too? Talk about forced socialization. What brave little souls.

Our first soccer season is also in the books. My little girl mostly sat on the sidelines watching and when asked if she wanted to play she would politely say “no thank you.” (And was probably give a forced high five.) I have mentioned before that I am not timid or shy and never have been. I have truly struggled with this baby that I know every inch of and how this behavior is so foreign to me. I wondered why she was not in the middle of the field. Not because I wanted her to be the star athlete (in truth, I do not know the first thing about soccer and was more the dance/cheer type growing up), but to me it seemed like the only way to enjoy the game was to jump right in. But you know what? Putting on those shin guards and sitting on the bench while a bunch of grown-ups cheered and the whistle blew was her idea of fun, and it was brave enough for me.

I don’t know about you, but I am not nearly that brave in my everyday life. Rarely will you find me trying new things, getting dunked in a pool, or entertaining strange house guests while my family is out on the town. These tiny treasures that moved in with me over the past 3 and half years constantly surprise and inspire me, and are teaching me a little something about having a brave little heart. (With an occasional dum-dum as a treat.)

It’s a Hard Knock Life…

By: Shannon Shull

Sun will come out tomorrow

I’ve discovered something major about life… we all have hardships. Everyone has a story.  A story they could share if they want, if they dare, that most likely someone, if not everyone, could relate to on some level.

It’s a hard-knock life.

I’ve been teaching my honors drama students about musicals. I’m a lover of musical theatre and it has been a real treat for me to get to this lesson with some of my special students…especially those who have an inherent appreciation for musical theatre and all its glorious wonder.  I love to see the zeal in their faces when they get so excited telling me about some of their favorite moments in the productions they love so much. Some of them get so excited they can’t help but sing the songs as they talk with me about them.

The most interesting element, though, is the fact that they relate to the characters they see on screen. In some cases we all do. That’s why we’re so drawn to them.  I was never an orphan, but goodness did I ever relate to Annie. I felt her pain, I lived her story as I sang her songs in my back yard as a child. I still sing the songs from Annie to this day and feel such joy, love, fun and hope. The sun will come out tomorrow… seriously, it just doesn’t get much better than that. Most of you from my generation know the musical and know it well. The sun will come out tomorrow. Think about it. When you’re stuck with a day that’s grey and lonely, just stick out your chin and grin and say… oh…

You know what that song is saying, right? In a very nice, cheesy way, it’s saying, suck it up, stop feeling so sorry for yourself and take note of reality! The sun is going to come out tomorrow and if not tomorrow, it’s gonna come out eventually at some point. So suck it up, stand tall and brave another day cause ya got nothing to lose and everything to gain from having a good attitude about the day that you’re lucky enough to be blessed with, which is a tomorrow.

Yep, it’s a hard knock life. No ifs, ands or buts about that. Life can tend to kick one in the pants and kick you down so hard you wonder why you even try to get back up. Then you take a cheesy song, like “Tomorrow” from Annie, and you let it touch your heart, and you begin to realize why you get back up. It’s a hard knock life, but who says we have to let it keep us down?  YOU control your destiny. Therefore, if you decide to let this “hard knock life” control and consume you, guess what? It will. If you decide to conquer it, and you show life all that you have to offer and that you refuse to let it run you down, then you can declare that the sun will indeed come out tomorrow and you plan to take every advantage of that tomorrow and all its potential and glory.

So go ahead… I know you want to. Sing it… yes, sing the song. “The sun will come out, tomorrow! Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, they’ll be sun…” It can be a fabulous experience if you just let yourself enjoy it, dive right in and sing it at the top of your lungs! Be grateful that you get a tomorrow! I bet your bottom dollar they’ll be sun… hang on until tomorrow, come what may…I love ya, tomorrow, we’re only day away! 😉

I know it’s goofy… but I guarantee it’ll make your heart smile. Show this hard knock life what you’re really made of and don’t even dare let it get the best of you, cause hey, we know …I know… you know…the sun will come out tomorrow. 😉

LMC Nurse Notes

LMC is hiring nurses with at least one year of experience in Med/Surg, Critical Care and Labor & Delivery to work night shifts with a $2,500 signing bonus. Learn more:

Ciji Bell, RN, BSN, is a brand new nurse manager in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at LMC. After spending years working as a traveling nurse everywhere from Anchorage to San Jose, she’s glad to be back home in South Carolina. Ciji has been with us for just 6 months. We asked her, “What do you like best about working at LMC?” Her answer is in the photo below:

LMC Nurse Notes

I Survived, Part 2

By: Chaunte McClure

Hiding behind out masks

Even when we look our best, we can be experiencing some of the worst times of our lives. We smile like everything is going well, yet we have so much hiding behind our masks. Hurt, shame, disappointment, and heartaches are tucked behind our masks because we don’t want to reveal the pain. I’ve been there. I eventually became depressed and I didn’t want to carry the weight of all those negative emotions any longer. Last month, I gave you a peep into my story about depression and now that the I Survived Women’s Empowerment Conference is over, today I will tell you more.

I got to a very low point in my life and I decided that I was too tired to continue living. I was tired of the struggles, tired of being angry, tired of being sad, tired of the stress and tired of fighting. One Saturday I thought I really understood why people commit suicide. I started wondering how I could do it. How can I end my life?

Then I saw the faces of some of my family members – the people whom I would’ve hurt the most. I have no doubt that was God’s way of stopping me from making one of the worst decisions I could have ever made. It was after that moment that I finally asked God to help me. I had been so focused on all of the situations and life changes that eventually led to depression, that God really wasn’t my focus any longer. I was overwhelmed with emotions, but I asked God to help me through it. I was too broken to even try to help myself and I realized that my situation required God’s power.

God said He would heal me, but it seemed like when I got two steps ahead, I would take one step back. I started getting frustrated, because I believed God would heal me, but I would occasionally have setbacks. I pressed forward and I anticipated the day when those symptoms would finally go away. I wanted to be healed right away, but it was a process and I believe God was teaching me patience and how to persevere through the process.

It was a long road to recovery, but I made it! I had to pray and I had to fight the negative thoughts that crept in mind because this was a spiritual battle and a mental battle, but with God’s help, I survived. You can too!

LMC Nurse Notes

Lisa Brown-Simpson, RNC, is certified in cardiac and vascular nursing. She’s been at Lexington Medical Center for 17 years. We asked her, “Why is it great to be a nurse at LMC?” Read her answer in the photo below:

LMC Nurse NotesLexington Medical Center is hiring nurses with at least one year of experience in Med/Surg, Critical Care and Labor & Delivery to work night shifts with a $2,500 signing bonus. Learn more at