SUGAR ME THIS?

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SUGAR ME THIS? This morning I would like to walk down memory lane. I thought how much eating has changed since I was a lot younger and slimmer. Today’s world has changed a lot. After I explore the “sugary days” I will provide some healthy information on avoiding sugar in our healthy eating lifestyle but let’s reminisce first. We live in a world of instant this and instant that. We are blessed to have great cake makers and for everyone in my hometown, your thoughts probably went to Holt’s Bakery, home of the sugar adventure land. However, I want to walk some of you back to a time when we made birthday cakes at home. I realize I still make some cakes but now, with time restraints this process has been replaced by the commercial bakeries.

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The time I am talking about was when it was usually the only way we had the birthday celebration with cakes baked by Mom and we helped decorate the cakes with the edible sugar decorations as seen in the picture. I searched to find a picture of the ones I remember so well and this was close but not the same. I remember the candle holders with different colors and we had to be careful when we put the candles in them. I remember the precision we peeled and placed the letters HAPPY BIRTHDAY in the direction we felt was the best one. We took pride, we discussed, we had fun decorating the cake and building up the anticipation of the surprise; though hardly ever was it a surprise since we had grown to expect the party.

All of this is hope65b95-douglas2bga2b92bholtsfully to jog your memory and then to bring you to the focus of this message…..eating the decorations. Talk about sugar fixes; we ate them like we were never going to get any more….ever! How sugary they were but we didn’t mind. We were into sugar thoughts and now I am diving into deeper thoughts……Life is somewhat like the sugar thoughts. We have to go through a lot of tasks in life; we build up anticipation on upcoming events like birthdays, weddings, church events, family reunions and during this anticipation of how good life is going to taste, we take pride in how we place our decorations such as our home, our cars, our clothes, etc. Then, it happens! We have the celebrations of life; our spouses, our children, our families, and our friends. Those are the sugar thoughts of life. When we witness a sweet thought of life like graduations, birthdays, new jobs, new children and for the lucky ones, grandchildren. This is when we know we have reached the time of life’s party when you get to pull of the sugary decorations and enjoy the sweet taste of life!

To Stay on Our Healthy Lifestyle read the article below from the American Heart Association. My thoughts: Reduce the Added Sugar and Add the Natural Love and Sugar from Life!

How to Reduce Added Sugar in Your Diet

If you want to decrease your risk for heart disease, it may be important for you to reduce the added sugar in your diet. As you know about sugar and heart disease, while sugars are not harmful to the body, our bodies don’t need sugars to function properly. Added sugars — sugars that are not found naturally in foods — contribute additional calories with zero nutrients to food.
Depending on the foods you choose and the amount of physical activity you do each day, you may have calories left over for “extras” that can be used on treats like solid fats, added sugars and alcohol. These are discretionary calories, or calories to be spent at your discretion after you have met your daily calorie need.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance.
Finding added sugars in food
The first step to reducing added sugars in your diet is finding them. Unfortunately, you can’t tell easily by looking at the nutrition facts panel of a food if it contains added sugars. The line for “sugars” includes both added and natural sugars. Naturally occurring sugars are found in milk (lactose) and fruit (fructose). Any product that contains milk (such as yogurt, milk or cream) or fruit (fresh, dried) contains some natural sugars.
Reading the ingredient list on a processed food’s label can tell you if the product contains added sugars, just not the exact amount if the product also contains natural sugars.
Names for added sugars on labels include:
Brown sugar
Corn sweetener
Corn syrup
Fruit juice concentrates
High-fructose corn syrup
Honey
Invert sugar
Malt sugar
Molasses
Raw sugar
Sugar
Sugar molecules ending in “ose” (dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, sucrose)
Syrup
Furthermore, some products include terms related to sugars. Here are some common terms and their meanings:
Sugar-Free: Less than 0.5 g of sugar per serving.
Reduced Sugar or Less Sugar: At least 25 percent less sugars per serving compared to a standard serving size of the traditional variety.
No Added Sugars or Without Added Sugars: No sugars or sugar-containing ingredient such as juice or dry fruit is added during processing.
Low Sugar: Not defined or allowed as a claim on food labels.
Although you can’t isolate the calories per serving from added sugars with the information on a nutrition label, it may be helpful to calculate the calories per serving from total
Keep in mind that if the product has no fruit or milk products in the ingredients, all of the sugars in the food are from added sugars. If the product contains fruit or milk products, the total sugar per serving listed on the label will include added and naturally occurring sugars.
Tips for getting less added sugar
Use these simple tips to reduce sugar in your diet:
Remove sugar (white and brown), syrup, honey and molasses from the table — out of sight, out of mind!
Cut back on the amount of sugar added to things you eat or drink regularly like cereal, pancakes, coffee or tea. Try cutting the usual amount of sugar you add by half and wean down from there, or consider using an artificial sweetener.
Buy sugar-free or low-calorie beverages.
Buy fresh fruits or fruits canned in water or natural juice. Avoid fruit canned in syrup, especially heavy syrup.
Instead of adding sugar to cereal or oatmeal, add fresh fruit (try bananas, cherries or strawberries) or dried fruit (raisins, cranberries or apricots).
When baking cookies, brownies or cakes, cut the sugar called for in your recipe by one-third to one-half. Often you won’t notice the difference.
Instead of adding sugar in recipes, use extracts such as almond, vanilla, orange or lemon.
Enhance foods with spices instead of sugar; try ginger, allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg.
Substitute unsweetened applesauce for sugar in recipes (use equal amounts).
Try zero-calorie sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose or saccharin in moderation.
Learn more ways to live heart-healthy on Go Red For Women.

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FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Ecclesiastes 5:18 ESV 

Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot.
(c) copyright 2012-2018 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.

WHILE I DETOX, I CAN DETOX MY TIME

WHILE I DETOX, I CAN DETOX MY TIME is my message today. I started a 28 day detox tea regiment and it came to me that while I detox my body from those years of unhealthy eating, I could detox my time. I have been changing my WOE for a couple of years and have maintained my diabetes without having to go the route of insulin. I have decreased my meds through consistent changes and adjustments to my lifestyle. However, while changing my eating habits I became “addicted” to social media and maneuvered into a dependent state to post every thought and every food I prepared and I think I exchanged the toxicity of bad food to bad management of my time. Have you felt this same dependency? How many times a day do you check all of the social links such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In, etc? Can you go a day without looking? If not, you may benefit from my detoxing my social life while detoxing my body. Let’s think about it.

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To kick it off, I found a great article in Psychology Today

Addicted to Social Media?

What can we do about it problematic, excessive use?

Posted May 07, 2018

 

The use of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tinder has become the cornerstone of modern communication and connection as it allows users to create a sense of belonging and redefine their way of being. Despite the many positive benefits and impacts of these sites, the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal has reignited discussions about the place of social media and social networking sites in our lives.

From a mental health perspective, concerns have been raised about the negative impact of excessive use of social networking sites on the health and wellbeing of users, especially that of young people, who are enthusiastic users of this technology. Back in 2011, Dr. Daria Kuss and I were the first academics to systematically review the scientific literature on excessive social media use. Although there were few studies at the time, we did find that for a small minority of individuals there was a significant detrimental effect on many aspects of their life, including their real life relationships and academic achievement among those still in education. We argued that such signs are indicative of addiction.

Over the past five years there has been a proliferation of studies assessing how excessive social media use can impact negatively on health. In a recent paper Dr. Kuss and I again reviewed the latest research on the topic and showed that social media use for a minority of individuals is associated with a number of psychological problems, including anxiety, depressionlonelinessAttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and addiction. Because social media is most frequently accessed via smartphones, their usage is intimately intertwined and their mobile nature contributes to excessive checking habits, which often derives from what is commonly labelled as the ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO).

The good news is that very few people are genuinely addicted to social media. However, many people’s social media use is habitual and it can start to spill over into other areas of their lives and be problematic and dangerous, such as checking social media while driving. Other behaviors may be annoying rather than dangerous, but may be indicative of problematic social media use, such as checking social media while eating out with friends or constantly checking your smartphone while watching a movie at the cinema. Others may snub social contact with their loved ones or friends and prefer to check out social media on their smartphone instead (so-called ‘phubbing’).

If you want to check whether you may be at risk of developing an addiction to social media, ask yourselves these six simple questions:

Do you spend a lot of time thinking about social media or planning to use social media?
Do you feel urges to use social media more and more?
Do you use social media to forget about personal problems?
Do you often try to reduce your use of social media without success?
Do you become restless or troubled if you are unable to use social media?
Do you use social media so much that it has had a negative impact on your job or studies?

If the answer to all six of these questions is “yes,” then you may have or be developing an addiction to using social media. We say “may” because the only way this can be confirmed is through a diagnosis from a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist.

If you answered “yes” to a few of these questions, it is more likely that you are a habitual social media user and that what you should do is engage in ‘digital detox’ strategies that simply allow you to reduce the amount of time spent on social media. This can include simple steps, such as turning off sound notifications and only allowing yourself to check your smartphone every 30 minutes or once an hour. Other simple steps include having periods in the day where there is self-imposed non-screen time (such as during meal times) and leaving your smartphone in a separate room from where you sleep (just so you don’t get the urge to check social media before bedtime, during the night, and when you wake up).

At a societal level, steps need to be taken by governments or organizations to help minimize and (in some cases) prohibit the use of mobile devices. Some such steps are in place in many countries, such as the banning of smartphone use while driving. Given the loss of productivity in both the workplace and educational settings, employers, schools, and colleges need policies in place to ensure that individuals are focused on what they should be doing. Many schools ban the use of smartphones in the classroom. Prohibition in other contexts such as workplace settings may also be justified if it is practical to do so. Some restaurants are now providing discounts on food bills if customers refrain from using their smartphones during their meal. These positive reinforcement strategies may well be the way forward in trying to decrease time spent on smartphones checking social media.

Digital literacy and awareness of the effects of excessive social media use need to be embedded with work and educational settings. More controversially, social media operators (such as Facebook) could start using their behavioral data to identify excessive users and provide strategies to limit time spent on their products. This is already being used in the online gambling industry and could easily be applied by social networking sites.

For the small number of individuals that are genuinely addicted to social media use, treatment is warranted. However, the goal of treatment for this type of addiction (unlike many other addictions) should be controlled use rather than total abstinence, as it is not feasible to stop someone from using devices that have Internet access (i.e., their smartphone). The most successful type of treatment for online addictions appears to be cognitive behavioral therapy (which is a talk therapy designed to help people change the way they think and behave), although there are relatively few published studies examining its efficacy in relation to internet addictions. Other more specific ways of how to treat individuals with excessive and addictive Internet use, including social media use, have also been outlined elsewhere.

 

Social media

This probably has you thinking how much time you spend with social media. Please do not misunderstand as I am not advocating total withdrawal as in my eating program I allow myself some “good toxins” and they are my fixes. They allow me to continue the healthy way of eating by not being so rigid that I begin feeling sorry for myself. This same way of thinking can and should go over into social media activity. Use your time wisely; read encouraging posts; eliminate those negative nannies; and avoid arguments; and realize if people on social media are missing you when you take a break you must have done something right in your posting. But your social media life is not YOUR LIFE so we have to be careful, as I had to realize to not live your life online. LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; LIVE AND LOVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by living it and not posting it. Sharing is wonderful and reconnecting to friends but share yourself with your friends and family while we live.

Side note from blog author, Arline Miller: I have taken a break from regular posting on my social media links and have spread my blog posts slightly. I have noticed the internal detox seems to be calming my body and the break from social media posts have allowed me time to do some individual family things. I miss the interaction but I feel I have been freer to rest, meditate, and spend quality time. No, I am not giving up all of the interaction as a dear friend, Mary Kathryn Gentry, who had a precious fur baby Tobey and we said goodbye to him and we have watched her grieve. On a sneak in to Facebook, I see she is getting a new fur baby, a mini Aussie this Saturday and you can believe I will have to see those welcome to your home photos. She will have the best smile on her face and I do want to see both her and her husband happy.

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material, if source is known, is referenced to original author and location.

 

WHY DEPRIVE? CUT PORTIONS & THRIVE

 

Healthy Bites
My Mahi Mahi with Tomato Mango Salsa on HEALTHY BITES

TODAY THE WORDS are WHY DEPRIVE; CUT PORTIONS AND THRIVE. I have been doing a lot of re-thinking my eating program. I hate to use the word program as it depicts some sort of the forbidden word “diet” but it is important we think not worry. Today I would like to share some of my thoughts about WHY DEPRIVE; CUT PORTIONS AND THRIVE. In order to do this, I want to shake up some of the ideas we have been supplied over the past few decades. From all of the great “resolves” most of us have ended up with more weight on our bodies from all of the deprivation.

When I covered my decision to use the Tablespoon of the No-No foods during the holidays and shared it with some other friends; I realized from the follow up discussions with the ones who exercised this technique (by the way, nothing to buy or special products) they didn’t gain during the holidays and now are excited about becoming very serious to get in control of their health. In other words; they didn’t feel deprived. Neither did I.  I am not advocating eating the No-Nos every day but when we can feel we had the pleasure of tasting some of the No-Nos but not overindulging; it is a good day.

Let’s take a walk down memory lane and remember how school lunches USED to be created. They were selections from the food groups. We had protein, starch or good carbs as veggies, fruit, bread, and even dessert. Think about how few kids were overweight; yes that is right. It was very unusual for a child to be chubby. We were active and not sitting idle. Hmmm??? Maybe that is a different topic for another day. Here is the focus of what I am thinking…..Portions! We were given a certain amount of each food group and not allowed 4 portions of starches or bread or even dessert. It was proportionately divided to insure we ate from all of the food groups. May I ask a question? Why did we change the way we used to eat when life was grand and all of the fish were jumping?

Commercialism is the culprit. Along came the microwave and the fast food (which I believe is the fast track to our demise). We grabbed on that destructive train with a vengeance and became lazy. This didn’t help us in the activity area either. I can remember going to the garden and picking the foods for our dinner or at least preparing for the freezer for later. Here is my thought on what has caused more obesity than having a cookie once in a while, a piece of bread with butter on it occasionally, or even a serving of lasagne or spaghetti……it is the ability to grab any quantity of fried chicken, pizza, burgers and fries super sized, or buffets where the philosophy is to eat as much as your body can hold because you are paying one price for whatever. You may not agree with my thinking but at least think about what you are eating and remember portions. You can or cannot count calories (that kind of stuff messes with my ADD) but a portion is the way to go in my mind. One piece of meat, one or two vegetables, one moderate size carb, one toasted or dark bread, and occasionally something sweet but try to stay away from gooey or a portion of fruit will go a long way in your system working right. At least consider changing from the idea of I can’t have to How much of any of the food group should I have.

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May you find your way on the eating trail of life. I am not a health expert but I have found that the so called diets do not work for me and I don’t want to deprive; I want to cut portions and thrive. Here is an article giving great advice about portion control:

8 Tips to Reduce Food Portions Without Increasing Hunger
When you’re trying to lose weight, you might start by eating less.

But how do you scale back your portions without going hungry? Thankfully, there are several strategies you can use to cut calories while keeping hunger at bay.

This article contains 8 great tips to reduce food portions without making you hungrier.

1. Make at Least Half Your Plate Veggies
Vegetables have lots of filling water and fiber, but not a lot of calories (1).

By replacing half the starch or protein of your meal with non-starchy vegetables, you can eat the same volume of food and still slash overall calories (1).

And research has shown that the amount of food you eat is a factor in feeling full (2).

In one study, participants were each given the same amount of pasta, but with differing amounts of vegetables.

Participants ate similar amounts of food regardless of how much veggies they got, meaning those who had the highest proportion of vegetables ate the least calories without even knowing it (3).

Try scaling down the portions of other foods and fill the rest of your plate with non-starchy vegetables.

You can apply this same concept when making mixed dishes. Just add more vegetables to your favorite recipes to make them lower in calories and more nutrient-dense.

SUMMARY:
Veggies add volume to your meal, letting you eat fewer calories for the same amount of food.
2. Eat Protein With Every Meal or Snack
Science has repeatedly shown that protein increases feelings of fullness more than carbs or fat (4).

One study from 2012 looked at the effects of eating high-protein meals on feelings of fullness. Participants ate meals with 20–30% of calories from protein.

The researchers found that individuals who ate the protein-rich meals felt fuller in both the short and long term, compared to when their meals contained half that amount of protein (5).

Take advantage of protein’s filling properties by including it in every meal and snack.

Focus on lean sources of protein, such as eggs, skinless poultry, dairy, seafood and fish. Plant-based proteins are also good choices, and may include beans, bean dips, tofu and nut butters.

Here are some ideas for getting a protein boost in different meals and snacks:

Add some plain Greek yogurt to your breakfast smoothie.
Pair whole-grain crackers with string cheese or hummus.
Poach an egg in vegetable soup.
Add beans or a hard-boiled egg to salad.
SUMMARY:
Protein helps your body feel more full than carbs or fat do. Include protein with each meal and snack to boost its power.

3. Drink Water With Your Meal
Drinking calorie-rich beverages like juice or soda doesn’t make you feel full, but does leave you with extra calories you don’t need (6, 7).

For older adults, drinking water right before a meal could help fill you up and reduce the likelihood you’ll overeat.

In one study in older adults, people who drank about 2 cups (500 ml) of water before breakfast ate approximately 13% less than the participants who did not drink any water before eating (8).

Drinking water before a meal doesn’t seem to have the same effect on younger adults. Nevertheless, replacing high-calorie drinks with water can save you total calories at your meal (9).

Drink water or other zero-calorie beverages with your meal to quench your thirst without increasing your calorie intake.

SUMMARY:
Drinking water with your meal saves you extra calories. What’s more, drinking a glass of water before a meal helps some people eat less.
4. Begin With a Vegetable Soup or Salad
It might seem counterintuitive to eat more courses in order to eat less food, but starting your meal with a soup or salad can help you do just that.

In one study, participants ate lunch in a lab once a week for five weeks. When they were given soup before the entrée, they ate 20% fewer calories for their entire meal than when they just ate the entrée (10).

That same researcher found similar results when she gave people salad before an entrée of pasta (11).

When people ate a small salad before their pasta, they ate 7% fewer calories during their meal than when they dove directly into the pasta. When they ate a large salad, they ate 12% fewer calories.

Light vegetable soups and salads have something in common: they have a high water content, are full of fiber-rich veggies and are generally low in calories.

This high-fiber, high-water combo seems to be a great way to curb subsequent calorie intake (12).

However, watch out for salad dressing, which can quickly rack up the calories.

SUMMARY:
Starting off with a low-calorie soup or salad takes the edge off your hunger, priming you to eat less of the main course.

5. Use Smaller Plates and Forks
It might sound strange, but the size of your plates and eating utensils affects how much you eat.

In one study, researchers found that people tend to fill their plates about 70% full, regardless of plate size (13).

That translates into a lot more food if you’re using a 10-inch plate compared to an 8-inch plate — 52% more food, in fact (13).

And when you have more on your plate, you’re likely to eat more (14).

In other studies, people have served themselves more ice cream when using a bigger spoon and have eaten less food when using a small fork (15, 16).

So harness the power of illusion and use a smaller plate and utensils. The same portion will look bigger and you’ll likely eat less.

SUMMARY:
Using smaller plates can help keep portion sizes in check while tricking your brain into thinking you’re eating more.

6. Eat Mindfully
Between your smart phone, the television and a hectic lifestyle, it can be all too easy to eat while distracted.

Distracted eating tends to lead you to eat more, not just at that meal, but for the rest of the day (17).

Mindful eating, the practice of paying full attention to what you eat without distractions, helps you notice your body’s hunger and fullness cues, so that you can actually know when you’ve had enough (18).
Mindfulness can also help you distinguish between physical hunger and emotional hunger (18).

When you feel hungry, ask yourself if you’re actually hungry or if you’re just wanting to eat because you’re bored or experiencing another emotion.

If you’re in the habit of eating emotionally, try some other strategies before eating, such as going for a walk, exercising, having a cup of tea or journaling.

And instead of multitasking at mealtime, try setting aside at least 20 minutes to tune into your food, taking time to smell it, taste it and feel its effect on your body.

SUMMARY:
Limiting distractions and being mentally present while you eat can help you better recognize when you’re hungry or full.
7. Spice Up Your Meals
Adding hot peppers to your food may help you eat less.

A compound in hot peppers called capsaicin can actually help reduce appetite and hunger (19).

In one study, participants who consumed spicy red pepper as part of an appetizer ate 190 fewer calories during a subsequent lunch and snack than those who skipped the spice (20).

If you can’t take the heat, ginger may have a similar effect.

A study in 10 overweight men found that participants felt less hungry when they drank ginger tea during breakfast than when they skipped the ginger tea (21).

SUMMARY:
Adding hot pepper or ginger to your meal may help you feel more full and eat less.
8. Eat More Soluble Fiber
In general, fiber-rich foods can help you feel full.

And foods with soluble fiber, such as oatmeal, pears and beans, are particularly filling. That’s because soluble fiber holds more water, giving it bulk.

In the digestive tract, soluble fiber produces a thick gel that helps slow digestion, keeping hunger at bay (22, 23).

Recently, researchers found that adding soluble-fiber-rich flax or chia seeds to meals increases feelings of fullness (24).

As a side note, those same researchers found that using chia seeds reduced the hunger hormone ghrelin by the end of the six-month period, compared to starting levels (25).

Here are a few easy ways to increase your soluble fiber intake:

Add chia or ground flaxseeds to smoothies, yogurt and cereal.
Top whole-grain oatmeal, buckwheat or millet breakfast bowls with diced apple or pear.
Add beans to soups, salads and entrées.
Eat more squash. Both winter and summer squashes are high in soluble fiber.
Snack on fruit.
SUMMARY:
Soluble fiber helps keep hunger at bay. Find it in oatmeal, chia seeds, squash, beans, apples and pears.
The Bottom Line
Eating fewer calories doesn’t have to mean feeling hungry.

In fact, there are many things you can do to keep hunger at bay.

Try bulking up your portions with veggies, eating more protein or tricking your mind by using smaller plates.

These simple tips can help you control food portions without feeling hungry.

HEALTHY BITES has been created to offer healthy recipes and you can click on this page for them. Also if you follow me on Pinterest, or even if you don’t, you can find great healthy recipes on many boards. Until we read or eat again…….Arline Miller, author and fellow eater!

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with rights and permissions reserved. Third party material is sourced if known for credit references.

HUMMINGBIRDS ARE HUMMING ALONG

HUMMINGBIRDS ARE HUMMING ALONG and soon they will be leaving our area and for some reason those little hummers leave their mark on our lives. I thought I would share some of our experience with some of the most fascinating creatures. Are you a hummingbird watcher? Do you have a mass supply of feeders in your yard to catch the illusive bombers? If not, you are missing out on one of nature’s mesmerizing creatures.

As a child, I don’t remember seeing hummingbirds. I remember blue jays, woodpeckers, cardinals, sparrows, etc. but for the life of me, I don’t remember hummers. Do many of you remember seeing them in the 50’s or 60’s? I am smiling since many of you weren’t born yet but to all of us who have been bird watchers for a long time, I may have missed many years of joy.

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First, let’s learn or review some basic facts about hummingbirds from this article from Defenders of Wildlife

BASIC FACTS ABOUT HUMMINGBIRDS

Hummingbirds are small, colorful birds with iridescent feathers. Their name comes from the fact that they flap their wings so fast (about 80 times per second) that they make a humming noise. Hummingbirds can fly right, left, up, down, backwards, and even upside down. They are also able to hover by flapping their wings in a figure-8 pattern. They have a specialized long and tapered bill that is used to obtain nectar from the center of long, tubular flowers. The hummingbird’s feet are used for perching only, and are not used for hopping or walking.

Hummingbird, © Matthew B. Propert

© Matthew B. Propert

DIET

Hummingbirds primarily eat flower nectar, tree sap, insects and pollen.

The hummingbird’s fast breathing rate, fast heartbeat and high body temperature require that they eat often. They also require an enormous amount of food each day. Hummingbirds have a long tongue which they use to lick their food at a rate of up to 13 licks per second.

POPULATION

It is difficult to estimate population numbers since there are many different species spanning a large geographic area.

RANGE

Hummingbirds are found only in the Western Hemisphere, from southeastern Alaska to southern Chile, although most live in the tropics. There are more than 300 species of hummingbirds, 12 of which summer in North America and winter in tropical areas.

BEHAVIOR

Like other birds, hummingbirds communicate via visual displays. Hummingbirds are very territorial and have been observed chasing each other and even larger birds such as hawks away from their territories.

Reproduction
Gestation: 13-22 days.
Clutch size: Between 1-3 eggs.
The young start to fly in 18 to 30 days.

THREATS

Historically hummingbirds were killed for their feathers, today they face different but equally devastating threats.

Habitat loss and destruction are the hummingbird’s main threats. As hummingbirds are often specially adapted to each unique habitat, each species of hummingbird currently listed as vulnerable or endangered on the IUCN red list are all threatened due to habitat destruction and loss.

The earth’s changing temperatures due to climate change are affecting hummingbird migratory patterns, causing different species to be spotted in locations well outside their normal range, where it may be harder for them to find food.

REASONS FOR HOPE

Hummingbirds in the U.S. and around the world have the benefit of being garden and backyard favorites. Many people put out hummingbird feeders or grow flowers that attract hummingbirds in the warmer months that allow these birds to refuel during their long migratory journeys. What’s in sight is often in mind, and many fans of hummingbirds are doing what they can to keep every backyard, park and garden a friendly place for these beautiful birds.

 

 

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My husband and I are equally thrilled when we spot one or more at our feeders and we have joined a group for hummingbird lovers. If you are a watcher of the hummers you may want to check out Hummingbird Haven Friends and Family on Facebook

Hummingbird Haven Friends and Family on Facebook

I thought I would share a slideshow of some of our yard hummers and hopefully you are humming along with these lil creatures as you are guaranteed a smile when they show up hungry and allow the thrill of them being so close. I hope you Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the fullest with a little hum now and then.

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Slideshow courtesy of Greg Miller

(C) Copyright Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known, to original location for credit references.

STARTING OVER AND OVER AND OVER

STARTING OVER, AND OVER, AND OVER is the topic which came to my mind  after a week’s break from social media and apparently from my healthy eating lifestyle. Oh wow, how many times do I start over? Do you start over many times or are you one who is disciplined enough to remain loyal to any routine, habit, exercise, or eating program? We are about to get real on this blog post so no need to give excuses, justifications, and blatant lies, oops caught us didn’t I?

I have started many programs to lose weight, get in better physical shape, eat healthier, etc., and etc., and etc. I am elaborating on all of the extras by the over use of etc. but it is  a point in this discussion.

Let’s examine how we get to the mental state and the reasons we repeatedly quit over and over again. Have you given thought as to why it becomes necessary to restart our engines, turn our bodies off, and then why we try to start our engines again?

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First, an interesting article to ponder the ways and reasons to start over. You can click on Starting Over to go directly to this article by:

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10 Ways and Reasons You Can Start Over

Once you honestly commit to changes, you’ve started the process.

Posted Jan 17, 2010

Starting Over

Instead of making a resolution, which most of us aren’t all that great at keeping, why not look for some areas in your life where you’d like to begin anew? Here are some tools to make starting over a little easier and your new year a little more emotionally fit.

1. Starting over is not the same as recouping from a failure. It is a new beginning. This mindset is helpful because it keeps you from wasting your time being too hard on yourself.

2. Moving through life is like climbing stairs. You go up a level and then you level off. Nothing is ever a straight shot. Have some patience with yourself and with your newfound direction.

3. This new year is also a new decade. It could also be a new life if you approach it in the right way. Sometimes little ideas can turn into big things. Try writing that letter to the editor or, if you need to, make the choice to drink a little less alcohol.

4. Endings are not necessarily bad things. Even if the past year was your best so far, the one ahead might just leave it in the dust. This is also true if it’s been your worst year so far, and you’ve suddenly found yourself unemployed or unattached.

5. Starting over may feel scary, but it’s really a cause for celebration. Think of it as exciting, and many of your anxious feelings will begin to fade.

6. Remember that your future is not governed by your past. No matter what has happened in your life, you can find a way to make things a little better for yourself, and hopefully for those around you as well.

7. Having to start over is different from choosing to start over. For those whose lives are still in chaos because of manmade and natural disasters, starting over is not a choice. Giving support to those in need and being able to accept it when necessary are great qualities.

8. Healthy alternatives to negative lifestyle patterns abound. Take baby steps if you don’t feel comfortable making all your changes on January 1. If you can’t stop a bad habit, start by cutting back. It’s okay to give yourself a little time to moderate or stop something that’s hurting you.

9. It’s not all about joining a gym to get fit. What about taking a dance class to get in shape and have fun at the same time? Starting over can mean chasing your dreams. We’re happiest when we’re moving toward a goal.

10. Starting over is about giving yourself a chance at real happiness. You will have to be brave and get good at learning new things, but how bad can that be? At the very worst, you will acquire the skills you need to start on the next project.

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Being a pro at starting over I gave this some thought about the positive approach to starting over and not fearing it. Here are some of them for your thought process:

  • Starting over is like taking a refresher course. We know all of the facts but some of them should be reviewed to make a deeper impression of the whys and why nots to contemplate whether this is worth the effort to try again.
  • Lots of things in life do not offer a “Do Over” but we need to take advantage of the things we can “Do Over” and have a shot at achieving a better score, a fitter body, a healthier life, and a more successful financial situation.
  • I think failure is not measured by how many start overs and/or tries but for the end result. How many millionaires and billionaires had to stop, think, usually feel like they failed, and then kick themselves in the rear, pick themselves up, and go at life like a winner.
  • I keep the idea of starting over in the same mental category with the phrase, “If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try, try again!”
  • How many times did it take when you tried something that you love to do? Did you fall trying to ski? Did you bust your rear end on the floor when you roller skated? Did you ride your bike without a fall and when you fell, did you throw the bike away or get up, dust your seat off and go at it with even more determination?

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Life is a trial and a trial means many attempts at getting it right and getting the job done. Live Life, Love Life, and Live Life to the fullest by learning from your mistakes and improving all things by starting over and over and over again. Good living my friends!

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material, if sourced, is given original location and ownership. 

GETTING REAL WITH REALITY

GETTING REAL WITH REALITY may be a little too real this morning but this topic will be similar to sand paper and rub you the wrong way but to create a good finish, it has to be hurtful. Recently, several instances and events occurred around me and others and it seemed meaningful to GET REAL not only with myself but others too.  I looked up the word realism and analytically, IT IS WHAT IT IS.

  1. 1.
    the attitude or practice of accepting a situation as it is and being prepared to deal with it accordingly.
    “the summit was marked by a new mood of realism”
    synonyms: pragmatismpracticalitycommon sense, levelheadedness

    “optimism tinged with realism”
  2. 2.
    the quality or fact of representing a person, thing, or situation accurately or in a way that is true to life.
    “the earthy realism of Raimu’s characters”
    synonyms: authenticityfidelityverisimilitudetruthfulnessfaithfulness

    “a degree of realism”

    When you read through the definitions, what are the words that stick out? Did “as it is” or did “authenticity” or “levelheadedness” hit you smack dab in the face? This brings the topic to the forefront of this blog.

    Here goes my opinion: In a world of fake-ness and this is not going to get political, but fake news, it is too easy to buy into all of non-realism. To me, it started when women first with fake breasts, butt augmentation, and nose jobs and then men began to alter their appearances too . The alter realism or fake world began. If truth be known, the judgment of each other became a common place. When men looked at women, they liked what they saw but found natural women less attractive and for some reason put fake-ness on a higher platform. When celebrities pushed the button and a natural curvy woman became a thing of the past, a renaissance image; the world began to admire the fake image or what was perceived as beauty but never was it perfect enough.

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    We lost the era of calendar girls, even the Marilyn Monroe image and it led to giving up the Law of Attraction’s Accepting philosophy. I may not agree with everything but watch the video for positivity with assertion of confidence. You can view the video by clicking on the link below.

    The Truth on Changing your Appearance

     

    Did this video help you to see what we see in ourselves and accepting how we truly look and act can actually attract acceptance from others? Put this theory to the test by getting real and being real. If we are blessed to have gifts, share them. If we aren’t the prettiest girl or guy on the block, remember that Lucille Ball was a beautiful women but she is remembered by her zany actions and odd facial expressions. So was Phyllis Diller, the comedienne, and she played the zaniness up to the max. We can also look at the men who made the most of their “normal looks” by hamming it up. Can you think of John Candy, Red Skelton, and Mr. Bean?

    We live in a materialistically cruel world and to survive and what I like to think “Thrive” we rid ourselves of false expectations. I was reminded the other day when I Portrait Pro’d a photo of myself by my husband who said why did you do that? I said to look my best for the author site and he laughed and said, “You don’t need any fixing, you look beautiful the way you are.” I am not repeating that for vanity but realism. We should love each and every wrinkle as those are experience lines, both good and bad. It speaks volumes for our journey of life.

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    I will give you one more example for your soaking of reality and how it is that one magic moment in your life when you find out you are more than enough, sufficient within your soul and life, and special because of your uniqueness. I will remind you when you are watching the shows that are related to nature and the host or the animal trainer or rescuer comes on, would you relate to them if they weren’t tan or even leather skinned, weather worn, dressed in khaki or similar common but practical clothes? True or not true? When have you seen a fancy, dancy outdoorsman or woman? It is simply how true realism works and if we apply that truth, we let down our guard and become a real person, with the good parts, average parts, and even the parts we aren’t the fondest.

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    LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY GETTING REAL  with REALITY. I wish you the very best life has to offer.

    (C) Copyright Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and permission reserved. Third party material is sourced to original source for credit references.