Aj’s Health watch- day 21-23 Welcome to phase 2 :)

This is my Advocare 24 day challenge- days 11-24 kit

This is my Advocare 24 day challenge- days 11-24 kit

I know it has been a few days since I last posted. Sorry. The weekend truly got away from me.

So, today is day 12 of my Advocare 24 day challenge. I have completed the 10 day cleanse and honestly- I can’t believe I made it through. (Remember me saying how hard it is for me to complete things?) So now I am on to the final phase of the challenge. (day 11-24)

The picture above shows exactly what I am doing. Basically – the 10 day cleanse detoxed my body. Got rid of all the toxins and bad bacteria. This second phase is where I am adding in the nutrition and vitamins that my body TRULY needs in order to function properly.

In the morning I drink my spark. Still love that stuff. Then I drink my chocolate meal replacement shake. Surprisingly, it’s actually really yummy- AND FILLING!

I take A LOT of vitamins, but it’s better than injections from a hospital bed, right? Right!

As far as my eating goes, I am still staying strong with my staple of spinach and grilled chicken. However, this Saturday- my final day of the cleanse I decided I was GOING to have pizza. I didn’t call Papa Johns- I made a mess in my kitchen and made EVERYTHING from scratch! I googled how to make a buckwheat flour pizza crust and home made pizza sauce (using ONLY FRESH, not canned, ingredients)  and here is the final product:

photo

It’s a buckwheat and tapioca flour crispy crust with fresh garlic, basil mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and spinach on it. SOOO GOOD! We had friends over to watch The Help (which I HIGHLY recommend seeing) They ordered Papa Johns. I faithfully ate mine. My hubby tried my pizza too and said it tasted soo much better, and fresher than Papa Johns. (made me feel good! lol!)

So, I keep pressing on. I am still working out three days a week with our amazing, SUPER SUPPORTIVE trainers, walking every day and eating healthy. (food wise and portion wise.) I can feel a difference in the fit of my clothes and my energy levels. Looking forward to seeing how I feel at the end of this thing. (day 25)- Another cool thing: I find myself NOT craving sweets, breads, fried foods or soda anymore. That is so weird, but seriously true.

Also, another cool thing?? I have only had ONE fibromyalgia flare up since I started. Before- it was acting up almost everyday. Also, I have noticed a lift in my depression. These are all pluses in my book.

Makes me wonder why I fought getting healthy for so long?

Until next time,

See ya on the Random Side,

Aj Luck

 

Ashes Remain

 

I am a sucker for a new band. I love to listen to new projects and I get really stoked when they are mind blowing good!

A few weeks ago Tate and I had the honor of sitting down with two of the five members of the up and coming- Fair Trade services artist- ASHES REMAIN.

They were in Florida visiting several radio stations with one of their label reps. One of their stops just happened to be Z88.3. Tate wanted me to come to the station and meet them and hear them sing for the staff. I went, not knowing WHAT to expect. Ok, well, that’s NOT entirely true. I knew that Trevor McNevan of Thousand Foot Krutch (My ALL time FAVORITE band) co wrote with them and collaborated on some projects with them. SO- In my heart I had already decided this band was gonna be pretty good. They had the “Trevor” stamp on them. :)

When I got to the station everyone met in the conference room with lead singer- Josh Smith

and bass player- Jonathan Hively. They played a few songs off of their new album,  “What I’ve become” to be release August 23rd, 2011.

Before they started playing, they apologized for not having their full set there but said they would still like to play a few songs- acoustically for us. I sat, waiting…and then BOOM!

I was hooked!

The first song they sang is their current release “Everything Good.”

The lyrics were something that resonated more of a modern day psalms. Heart cries of hope and brokenness mingled beautifully.

You are everything good, everything true, when all the world is fading, your everything new. You are my eyes when I can’t see. When all the world is broken you will always be- everything good.”

They said they wrote that from the perspective of Paul and Silas sitting in chains and in prison in the bible singing to praises to God. What a simply beautiful picture of hope in something bigger than us.

Then they sang another song for us-

Change my life“- WHO HASN’T asked that question at one point or time in their own life.

Once again, the lyrics reached up and grabbed me by the proverbial lapels-

I’m still awake tonight, broken up inside. I wanna run, but I don’t know where to go.-

Calling your name, through the pain, will you turn your face to me. I’m crying out. I need a miracle!

If you could make the sun burn through the night, and you can make a dead man come alive, and if you can make the oceans run dry, then I know you can change my life.”

How beautiful. To me this portrayed bottom line honesty to God – creation to creator.

I was given a copy of the pre release album to listen to and review. And if I am being honest, they gave it to Tate but I snagged a copy for myself too. :)

After the gathering at the radio station the record rep, the band and Tate and I all went out to lunch. It was there that I got to really hear their hearts about the band, the projects and their purpose for what they do. I can honestly say they have such amazing hearts for God and broken people.

It was a very refreshing conversation. (and they were very gracious and answered ALL of my questions as I asked way too many!!- it’s the writer in me….I guess.) Here’s a peek into their heart… thanks to youtube.

Interview with Ashes Remain

When lunch was over they took off to head back to Baltimore, MD- where they hale from. Tate and I headed back to the station. I had the cd in the player before I had the ignition turned completely over.

I was a fan from the first song in. The project resonates music similarities to Nickelback, Shinedown, Kutless, Skillet and a little Decyfer Down- all rolled into one. Even though I could hear the similarities- They still stood out as a unique voice and a captivating artist.

I cranked up the music and NONE of it disappointed! NONE! Josh’s lead vocals are guttural and gritty- but passionate especially in lyrics like “My mind’s a loaded gun, and no one can hear me screaming.” from the track “Keep me breathing.”

My personal favorite song out of the entire project has to be- “On my Own.” For me, the lyrics are my personal anthem right now. A realization that I do not have to fight things alone in this life. I have the very one that created me walking right beside me…helping me every step of the way….

Here are the lyrics:

There’s gotta be another way out

I’ve been stuck in a cage with my doubt.

I’ve tried forever getting out on my own

Every time I do this my way

I get caught in the lies of the enemy.

I lay my troubles down

I’m ready for you now.

(Chorus)- Bring me out- come and find me in the dark now

Everyday by myself I’m breaking down, I don’t wanna fight alone anymore.

Bring me out from the prison of my own pride

My God, I need a hope I can’t deny.

In the end I’m realizing I was never meant to fight on my own.

Every little thing that I’ve know is everything I need to let go

Your so much bigger than the world I have made

So I surrender my soul, I’m reaching out for your hope.

I lay my weapons down

I’m ready for you now.

(Repeat Chorus)

I don’t wanna be incomplete

I remember what you said to me

I don’t have to fight alone.

(Repeat chorus)

I truly enjoyed getting to meet these guys and I am sooo excited for this project to hit the shelves on August 23rd. Their album “What I’ve become” is the debut release for them and for Fair Trade services.

Please go and pick it up!! You won’t be disappointed. I promise.

Follow them on Facebook and Twitter too!!

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/ashesremain

http://twitter.com/#!/AshesRemain

Until next time,

See ya on the Random Side,

Aj Luck

People, Places and things 2010

As 2010 draws to an end I thought Boaz, my trusty partner in crime, and I would like to take a moment out to reflect back on some of the more memorable moments from this past year.

The first “catagory” would be places- and there was one place in particular that really made a huge impact on my life…I had to wing my way to the West coast….but every mile was worth it..Back in May, Tate and I were invited to head out to LA to visit the Dream Center- what an incredible place….They truly are the hands and feet of Jesus and reach out in so many ways to the lost, the hurt and the broken…read about this incredible place here 

Also here is an earlier post shortly after our return home as I reflected back on our time there. Tate and I met so many amazing people, our hearts were broken and healed at the same time…Life really is about selfless acts.

The second “category” that really made an impact on me this year were things….and to be more specific…I am focusing on media related things. Books, movies and music.

Books- well, if you have followed this post for any amount of time you know that I have just finished reading Luke Romyn’s – The Dark Path- truly a great book with some serious talent.

I have also delved into another dark novel earlier this year by someone you may or may not have heard of….a Mr. Ted Dekker….donning the pages of his fiction novel- Adam…wow. Seriously disturbing…but what a great read.

One final shout out in the book arena is Mary DeMuth’s – Thin Places. This is her personal memoir. Although dark and sad in many places, she so beautifully allows her heart to become transparent on the pages and shares her story in order to encourage others. I cried and laughed throughout this memoir and will forever be changed at the way she has allowed God to use her story to share His.

As far as music- I have had a few CD’s that have been played TO DEATH in my car….they have meant so much to me, and still do…

Their lyrics have really spoken to me while walking through some valleys this year as well as standing on some mountain tops:

Chasen- “That was Then and this is NOW”-

Disciple- Horseshoes and handgrenades

Thousand Foot Krutch- Welcome to the Masquerade

Stephen Petree- Weakness makes you beautiful

Need to Breath- The Outsiders

Music in general is such a healing thing if you allow it to be.  Again, such a big THANK YOU to each of these artist for all that you do, for the Miles that you travel and the masses that you reach.  You are loved and appreciated!!!

Movies?? Some are from this year and some are not. They still rocked no matter what the release date..and they made me stop, slow down, relax and stop stressing so much..

and the winners are… (Dramatic drum roll please….)

Of course.- The Never Ending Story…this will always be near and dear to my heart. And yes, I still want a Falcor- flying doggie dragon. (don’t you?)

The Ultimate Gift  and of course the greatest story based from real life- The Blindside!!

The final “category” is people…

Tate and I have met some amazing people this year and our lives have truly been made better by knowing them. Part of me wants to name names and give shout outs but then again the other part wants to just smile and say…You know who you are…know that you are loved, appreciated and we are so honored to call you..Friend.

And what would the walk down 2010 be without the honorable mention of the best memory of all 2010???

I will allow Boaz- to introduce the “No No bad dog award” for 2010 and the winner goes to – Carson Luck..and here is why:

These are just some highlights…something to look back over and smile….

but honestly, the best part is…God granted me another year to make friends, create memories and share every moment with my family. Tate, my amazing husband has endured alot this year and I still consider him to be my number one hereo every day. I love you very much Tate…you make me want to be a better person each and every day. And my little man Marshall- he has rocked my world this year and reminded me to look at life through a child’s eyes….

Looking forward to what God has planned for our family in 2011… I sure hope you will join us on the journey.

Until then,

See ya on the Random side,

Aj Luck