Stand Tall

Temple Talk

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We will be working on these glutes because I used to have them so I know they are in there somewhere.

We will be working on these glutes because I used to have them so I know they are in there somewhere.

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Exercise is not something that I can say that I enjoy from my soul. It does amazing things for my body, soul and depression but actually doing it is not my version of fun. So I table it often. I can go for months without doing it but in reality it’s something that I must make myself do. My body is literally my temple and I have not been stewarding it well. My family health history is no bueno and I am not helping the cause.

So it’s time. Time to get this healthy living started. Sigh. I really have to mourn my bad healthy eating habits and lazy couch days for a moment because they are so incredibly comfortable, warm and friendly. I go back and forth on uncoupling with them forever or simply hollering at them every now and then. I just don’t know if I can move forward without knowing that I have access to them.

But what I do know, at the current moment, is that I have to be active at least 3 times a week. That means discipline, time and money because training myself is not my forte. I know my strengths and I need someone to coach me or it will more than likely not happen. Side note: if you want to work together with me in some way to strengthen my health and showcase your strengths, let’s make it happen!

So I started this week and got two days in. Those 2 days made me feel phenomenal. I know that I am on the right track and need to continue to push myself because health truly is wealth. I need to do this for my mental, physical and future. It’s not an option, it’s a must.

Of course, I ran into the problem of workout clothes. We are constantly in capri mode. And while that works, it shouldn’t have to be that way. So when I tried on these workout clothes from Long Tall Sally, I lightweight cried. Full disclosure, this doesn’t take much. I am known to shed tears over emotionally charged commercials but having workout clothes that fit definitely is a moment.

These workout pants are everything. I mean everything. They have just the right amount of stretch, are long and I LOVE a high waisted pant so these are my entire jam. The overlay tank is great as well but these pants are legit. In my opinion, they are worth the money because of the fit and construction. Think about how many $30 pants you have bought over the years. Think about how many of these pants that you could have bought with that money. Pants that fit and last? Yessir. Sign me all the way up.

That leads me to another thing I am working on. Quality over quantity. I am selling, giving and pairing down a lot of my things. Things that no longer serve you weigh you down. You have to release them to realize the full power of your path. So you will see me wearing these often because you don’t need a full closet of workout clothes to work out. What you need is a washing machine and I am blessed to have one. Side note: washing machines are a luxury item. Most of the world don’t have them. Be thankful.

I look forward to working on these things with you. I really appreciate you being here. I know it’s hard but I am thankful that we can stand tall through it all together.

XO, Alicia

Cold Shoulder

Marilyn Dress - Alloy Apparel Tall Shop /Neutral Pumps - Jessica Simpson via Nordstrom Rack (size 12)/Earrings - Charlotte Russe  Photo Credit:  LaKeela Smith

Marilyn Dress - Alloy Apparel Tall Shop/Neutral Pumps - Jessica Simpson via Nordstrom Rack (size 12)/Earrings - Charlotte Russe

Photo Credit: LaKeela Smith

I am incredibly thankful and positively overwhelmed by the amazing response to the My Life piece that MODE was kind enough to make about me. Your support means everything to me. We are built to tell our stories and I can't wait to share more with you. Thank you so very much!

I also received a ton of questions about the outfits that I wore in the piece. Just in case you missed it, I gave a full style breakdown HERE. In particular, the Marilyn Dress from Alloy Apparel was a hot topic!

I love this dress! Not only are the arms long enough for us, it's neutral, off the shoulder and the perfect throw-on glam for a date night or night out with the girls. What's not to love!

The price, like the entire Alloy Apparel Tall Shop, is on point! When was the last time you bought a tall dress for under $35?

So, you asked and I answered. The mystery dress is no longer a mystery! Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart and enjoy the Alloy Apparel Tall line:-)

In The Slow Lane

I am sure you have noticed that I have been posting a lot less lately both on my site and on social media. There are many reasons for this but the main and most important one is that I was on a Daniel Fast.

What is a Daniel Fast you ask?

The Daniel Fast is a spiritually based partial fast that is usually 21 days of abstaining from foods specified unclean by God in the Laws of Moses. During the fast you are to focus on God and be in intense prayer, Bible study and reflection. The intention of the fast is not about the diet yet the change in diet is a tool of focus to draw you closer to God.

So what do I have to give up?

Let’s focus on the positive shall we? This is what is included in your diet during the 21 day period:

-All fruits

-All vegetables

-All whole grains (including whole wheat pastas and tortillas)

-All nuts and seeds

-All legumes

-All quality oils

-All unsweetened milks derived from nuts (i.e. coconut, almond etc.)

-All forms of pure water

-Tofu and soy products

-Vinegar

-All seasonings, salt, herbs and spices

-All Vegetable based protein powders with no sugar additives

*Quick Daniel Fast Tip: Chipotle and Jamba Juice are both Daniel Fast friendly. I wouldn’t recommend eating them often during the fast but they are great in a pinch. Jamba Juice has all fruit smoothies and Chipotle has sofritas instead of meat. Add their grilled veggies, brown rice, guacamole and other natural ingredients for a filling on-the-go meal.   

I am certainly not a chef but here are some of the random things I made and ate while on the fast: Vegetable based protein (you can find at whole foods and Target. For the best results, blend it with peanut butter, almond milk and fruit)/Kale, fresh tomato, walnut and garlic almond milk sauce over whole grain penne pasta/Hummus with toasted pine nuts/ Daniel Fast cookies / Preparation for the fast (super important) /Almond butter, bananas and strawberries on a brown rice cake/ Daniel Fast Chili  with a kale, apple, balsamic-olive oil salad and  strawberry, lime and mint water /Whole grain oats with almond milk, almond butter, cinnamon, pecans, blueberries and raisins/Delallo Organic Whole Grain Pasta (which was my favorite brand on the fast)/For more Daniel Fast recipes, click  HERE  or the photo.

I am certainly not a chef but here are some of the random things I made and ate while on the fast: Vegetable based protein (you can find at whole foods and Target. For the best results, blend it with peanut butter, almond milk and fruit)/Kale, fresh tomato, walnut and garlic almond milk sauce over whole grain penne pasta/Hummus with toasted pine nuts/Daniel Fast cookies/Preparation for the fast (super important)/Almond butter, bananas and strawberries on a brown rice cake/Daniel Fast Chili with a kale, apple, balsamic-olive oil salad and strawberry, lime and mint water/Whole grain oats with almond milk, almond butter, cinnamon, pecans, blueberries and raisins/Delallo Organic Whole Grain Pasta (which was my favorite brand on the fast)/For more Daniel Fast recipes, click HERE or the photo.

And that my friend is it. No dairy, sugar, coffee, meat, sweeteners, leavened breads, solid fats, fried refined or processed foods.  I know this list is daunting but whatever you do, don’t stop reading now.

I can’t even lie. The first 3 days were hard. I found myself completely addicted to coffee. It was sad really. I come from a family with addictive tendencies and because of that, I have never tried even a sip of alcohol or any type of drug. I don’t want to start because I never want to finish. By no means am I comparing coffee to alcohol and drugs but as soon as I stopped drinking it, it became very apparent that my body was addicted to it. I had a terrible headache and literally couldn’t keep my eyes open. It was a humbling reminder that gluttony comes in many forms, even in a sweet cup of coffee.

Throughout the 21 days I dropped 11 pounds and after the first 3 days had an amazing amount of energy that I was not expecting. My skin cleared up and I really enjoyed finding different ways to cook the food that was included in the fast. To be honest, the nutrition part of the fast was quite easy for me. As a matter of fact, I plan to extend it in many ways. While I will enjoy sugar, meat, coffee and fried foods from time to time, giving them up showed me how much I do not consistently need them. 

The spiritual part however, was a bit more challenging and incredibly revealing. As I dove in to the plan, I began reading the Bible more and really praying specific prayers about things I am struggling with. I became frustrated because this practice is not something I should do just on the fast. This is something I should do in my everyday life. Why does it take a fast for me to spend consistent, quality time with God? It shouldn’t and moving forward it will not. For me, this spiritual slap in the face in itself made the fast successful. I love God, he is the center of my life, but I need to spend more time with Him plain and simple.

Another thing began to occur (especially towards the end of the fast)…I started being attacked from every angle.  A string of disappointing, soul stirring things arose that just baffled me. I was putting in the work, so why was this happening? Honestly, I let them get the best of me until I realized that a worthwhile walk will never be easy. This walk with HIM was never promised to be clear. In fact, Christian’s are targets for challenges. Tests and trails are the sand paper of our lives that shape us in to the exact person that God needs us to be. This is a lesson that we continually learn throughout our life and I certainly heard it loud and clear on this fast.

Overall, the fast revealed weaknesses in me that need a heck of a lot more training both spiritually and nutritionally. It slowed me down, showed me myself and I am incredibly grateful for every single moment of it. Ignorance is not bliss. Many people walk through life with spiritual blinders on thinking that they are right with the Lord, while all the while your steps are going in the wrong direction. No matter where you are in your walk with Christ, take time to slow down and assess your relationship with Him. This time I did this with the Daniel Fast and we must live our lives doing this in various, continual ways. I look forward to sharing in this process with you!

For more on the Daniel Fast, this was my go-to site for information and recipes. It really helped me throughout my 21 days and I hope that it helps you too! THE ULTIMATE DANIEL FAST.

Stand Tall every day, in every way.