Author Archive for: Diamond Grant

About Diamond Grant

Diamond Grant is passionate follower of Christ with a deep love for writing. After rededicating her life to Christ during her college years, Diamond became an advocate for women pursuing mental, emotional, and physical health/wellness. When she is not busy being a homeschooling mama to her son or mentoring women on the road to healing, you can find her with a stack of books and a journal nearby ready to take notes.
  • Ladies, it’s official- I am going vegan. This decision has been a long time coming. For about 2 years I have flirted with the idea, but in recent months as I’ve battled some personal health struggles I decided I didn’t want my diet to be a contributing factor. So now I am fully committing to […]

    A Beginner’s Guide to Going Vegan

    Ladies, it’s official- I am going vegan. This decision has been a long time coming. For about 2 years I have flirted with the idea, but in recent months as I’ve battled some personal health struggles I decided I didn’t want my diet to be a contributing factor. So now I am fully committing to going vegan. I often meet people who tell me they too want to go vegan and I am frequently met with questions as to how I am going about the process. So, I have compiled my top tips for making the switch so you can increase your chances of success.

    1.Define Your Why. Defining your why matters so much when making the switch to vegan eating because you need a motivating factor to keep you committed to the cause. There will be times when you find it hard to stick to this lifestyle, and you need to tap into your ultimate why so you stay on track.

    My personal why is two-fold. First, improved health. I battle with a chronic illness called Fibromyalgia, and it can flair-up when I eat certain foods or foods with certain ingredients. It started becoming clear that a few minutes of good tasting food wasn’t worth the days I’d spend in pain and barely able to move afterward.

    Second, my son is essentially a vegan by default. He has seven of the eight major food allergies, and it was becoming too tedious to prepare a separate meal for him and myself. It just made more sense to prepare one meal that was safe for both of us and that we both could enjoy.

    2.Do Your Research. I am a self-proclaimed research junkie. When I want to know something, I dig deep and I mean really deep. It was no different when I decided to go vegan. I started off researching the health aspect of veganism. I wanted to understand any pros or cons of vegan eating and how I could get protein in my diet in the absence of eating meat.

    I also spent a lot of time researching vegan products. I wanted to know what kinds of products were on the market, where I could find them and how much they would cost.

    The last area I researched extensively was vegan recipes. There are some meals I knew I wouldn’t be able to give up easily (i.e. all things Italian). Realizing that I could recreate dishes or flavors and still stay vegan came as a great relief.

    The myth was busted that going vegan meant a bland dietary life, and I was excited to recreate meals that I enjoyed in a way that wouldn’t be toxic to my body. Yes, you can have vegan pizza and lasagna that tastes amazing!

    3.Transition Gradually. Some people have the ability to go cold-turkey and immediately switch over to vegan eating, never to eat an animal product again. After 4 failed attempts over two years, I discovered that I am not one of those people. What I found to be more successful was
    cutting one or two items from my diet at a time.

    I started with dairy because in my research I realized it was probably one of my biggest triggers and because I figured it would be the hardest for me to separate from. If the Italian in me could go without dairy, then veganism would be a breeze.

    First, after trying a lot of options, I found and fell in love with flax milk. Next, I switched over to vegan butter and vegan mayonnaise. Then coconut milk yogurt, almond milk coffee creamer, and coconut milk whipped cream. I opted to give up ice cream in favor of sorbet. And finally, the cheese. After trying dozens of brands I found 2- 3 vegan cheese brands that I like and use frequently when cooking, making sandwiches, and baking.

    Once I conquered dairy, I moved onto other areas one product at a time until all non-vegan products were out of my diet.

    4.Get Support. Chances are you don’t know many people who are vegan. While there are certainly people who can go it alone, the chances of success are increased when you have a support system. In my case, no one in my immediate family or friend circle is vegan. However, I have developed an online community that makes me feel like I am not alone on my vegan journey. A quick Facebook search for vegan groups in your area is a good starting place.

    Personally, I have found some great vegan blogs that I go to for recipes. I’ve also cultivated a couple of virtual friendships by searching Instagram for vegan accounts and reaching out with questions or insights. This has given me people I can ask questions and just vent to a little when the vegan struggle gets real.

    5.Tell Your Circle. You may be wondering why you should tell people you are going vegan. I too didn’t think it was necessary until I got invited out to a birthday celebration dinner and found that the only thing on the menu I could consume was water and a fruit bowl. While your friends and family may not be ready to go vegan, they should want to support you in your efforts to do so.

    My friends and family always try to have vegan options available for me if they’re hosting an event at their home and if not, I’m always given the option to bring something myself. If we are going out somewhere together, they give me a heads up so I can scope the menu beforehand. And now there is no longer the awkwardness of them offering me something I cannot eat. It makes life easier and less uncomfortable for all of us.

    6. Attitude Is Everything. There is a saying that says, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. When it comes to transitioning to vegan eating, that’s not quite true. When going vegan, how you start is how you finish. If you begin your vegan journey believing that the transition will be challenging and that eating vegan will be boring and bland, then you are essentially setting yourself up to fail. However, if you have great expectations and a positive attitude, you will set the tone for your success.

    So there you have it ladies! With these tips you can jump start your vegan journey. Remember, you can do this! Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have and stay tuned for more vegan inspired articles coming soon!

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  • It’s probably safe to assume that most of us want to eat healthier, yet things like time and money often prevent us from doing so. While certain foods may be hard to give up cold turkey,, there are some amazing foods and herbs you can eat each day to build a healthy diet.   Blueberries […]

    5 Foods to Jumpstart a Healthy Diet

    It’s probably safe to assume that most of us want to eat healthier, yet things like time and money often prevent us from doing so. While certain foods may be hard to give up cold turkey,, there are some amazing foods and herbs you can eat each day to build a healthy diet.

     

    Blueberries

    Blueberries are considered a superfood, meaning they are rich in nutrients that make them beneficial to overall health. Blueberries are considered one of the most nutrient dense berries, with a cup containing about 4 grams of fiber, 24% the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, 25% the daily recommended intake of Manganese, and 36% the daily recommended intake of Vitamin K. Additionally, blueberries are packed with antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals. And if that’s not enough to excite you, blueberries are about 85% water and only have 84 calories per cup. So you can basically binge eat a batch of blueberries with no shame.

     

    Ginger

    Ginger has easily become one of my favorite kitchen ingredients. I literally try to incorporate ginger (preferably fresh) into every meal I cook. Gingerol, the primary bioactive compound in ginger, gives it powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Ginger is also great for digestion because it speeds up the emptying of the stomach, which combats chronic indigestion. Many people also rely on ginger for its effectiveness in easing nausea.

     

    Kale

    Kale is another one of those superfoods that is among the most nutrient dense foods in existence. Just a single cup of raw kale contains more than 100% the recommended daily intake of Vitamins A, C, and K, 26% the recommended daily intake of Manganese, and between 6-10% the daily recommended intake of Vitamin B6, Calcium, Copper, Potassium, and Magnesium. Many people don’t know that kale also contains antioxidants such as Quercetin and Kaempferol, which have powerful anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and even antidepressant properties.A cup of raw kale only has 33 calories, 3 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber.  

     

    Turmeric

    Turmeric is comprised of compounds called curcuminoids, with the most notable being curcumin, which is the primary ingredient in tumeric. Curcumin has been linked to improved brain function, decreased risk of brain disease, and decreased risk of heart disease. Curcumin is also praised for its anti-inflammatory benefits, which makes is a powerful aid for chronic pain conditions like arthritis.

     

    Quinoa

    Quinoa is one of very few foods that contains all nine of the essential amino acids. It carries  8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and more than 15% the recommended daily intake of Iron, Folate, Magnesium, and Manganese. Quinoa has some of the same anti-inflammatory properties as kale because of the Quercetin and Kaempferol. An added benefit for people who deal with gluten allergies or intolerance, since quinoa is gluten-free.

    Start with just one item on this list and substitute it for something you currently eat. A great way to start is by substituting quinoa for white rice or swapping potato chips for kale chips. You may not be ready to give up the sweets and salt cravings, but adding these foods, herbs, and spices to your diet one day at a time are sure to boost your energy and overall well-being.

    Your body will thank you!

     

     

    Reference: healthline.com

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  • The Fab Five: 5 Exercises to Help You Get a Great Workout in 5 Minutes or Less All of us want to look and feel our best selves physically, but it’s safe to say that most of us don’t have a massive amount of time to commit to working out. Between work life, home life, […]

    FAB FIVE: 5 EXERCISES FOR A GREAT WORKOUT IN 5 MINUTES OR LESS

    The Fab Five: 5 Exercises to Help You Get a Great Workout in 5 Minutes or Less

    All of us want to look and feel our best selves physically, but it’s safe to say that most of us don’t have a massive amount of time to commit to working out. Between work life, home life, church life, and whatever social life you have left after all of that, finding the room to squeeze in a good workout can be challenging. However, it is not impossible. There are exercises you can do for just a few minutes that will give your metabolism a jumpstart, give your heart rate a good boost, burn some calories and help you strengthen your body. Let’s get into this!

    Plank

    via GIPHY

    The plank is one of those deceptively easy exercises because it only requires that you stay in one position for the duration of the exercise. But after about 1 minute, the plank easily becomes my least favorite exercise. What is great about planking is that it’s a whole body workout with a primary focus on your core (abdomen). A strong core is a key to a strong body, and just a few minutes of this exercise will give your core, arms, and legs a good burn.

    Deadlift

    via GIPHY

    The deadlift is another powerhouse exercise because every major muscle group is activated when performing this exercise. Yep, every single one. And if that wasn’t reason enough to get off the couch and get moving, it turns out that lifting weights and resistance training can actually help you lose weight because it boosts your metabolism and burns calories even after you’ve finished the exercise. Plus, deadlifts tend to be a pretty simple and pretty safe exercise for most people which makes it easy to do and minimizes the risk of injury.

    Burpees

    via GIPHY

    If you’re anything like me you didn’t get excited to see the word Burpees in this list. Truth be told, burpees are my least favorite exercise on the planet. There, I said it. Why do I dislike them so much? For all the same reasons that the exercise is really good for you. For starters, burpees are a full body workout. Only a few reps in and every part of your body will be feeling it, but it’s a great exercise for targeting more than one muscle group at a time. Burpees are also pretty intense. If you are looking for an exercise that will get your heart rate up into the optimal target zone for maximum calorie burn, burpees are for you. That intensity also makes burpees a great metabolism kick-starter and calorie-burning exercise.

    Jumping Rope

    If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noticed I have a thing for full-body workouts. Why not get more bang for your buck? Or I guess, more bang for your sweat and effort in this case. So it should come as no surprise that jumping rope also falls into that category. Another huge benefit of jumping rope is that it burns more calories per minute than running and boosts cardiovascular levels. Plus, it helps to improve flexibility, rhythm, and muscle tone. You don’t even need a real jump rope to get the benefits. The simple act of pretending to jump rope will do the trick just the same.

    Mountain Climbers

    via GIPHY

    Last but certainly not least, we have mountain climbers. This hardcore exercise is right up there with burpees if you ask me, but they’re on this list because they are awesome (for your body that is). This full body exercise is especially beneficial for strengthening legs and core muscles. Plus, the non-stop movement of your legs gets your heart rate up and your metabolism revving.

    There you have it ladies- The Fab 5. These exercises will burn mega-calories, jumpstart your metabolism, and tone/ strengthen your whole body. What I love most about all of these exercises is that you can do them pretty much anywhere, no gym or equipment needed. Pick one or two of the exercises on this list and do them non-stop for one or two minutes right when you wake up or just before you get in the shower. Or challenge yourself and do each exercise on this list for 60 seconds each. Talk about a workout- you’ll be a bit tired and perhaps a little sore immediately after, but your body and mind will thank you.

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  • Learning to embrace God’s love can be one of our biggest struggles as Christian women. Personally, as someone who grew up in the church, I logically knew that God loved me, yet emotionally I didn’t feel it. I needed to do more than know God loves me—I needed to really feel His love for me. […]

    Your True Valentine: Learning to Embrace God’s Love For You

    Learning to embrace God’s love can be one of our biggest struggles as Christian women. Personally, as someone who grew up in the church, I logically knew that God loved me, yet emotionally I didn’t feel it. I needed to do more than know God loves me—I needed to really feel His love for me. So how did I get to that place? There were three steps I took that shifted my mindset and helped me to truly embrace God’s love for me, and it will for you too.

    Read God’s Love Letter (The Bible)

    We have to know God’s Word. I only learned basic scripture while growing up in church. You know, John 3:16, Proverbs 3:5-6, Romans 8:28, The Lord’s Prayer, etc. What I didn’t know was what God’s Word said about His love for me.

    Take time to really dig deep in the scriptures about God’s love and what it means. You can get index cards and post-it notes to write down every scripture you find. Then, post those “love notes” in places you would see them easily and regularly- on a mirror, a desk, walls, in a notebook, on the refrigerator; anywhere and everywhere. I did this for weeks, and every time I saw one of those scriptures I recited it out loud until I had memorized each and every one. Whenever you’re confronted with thoughts or lies from Satan that would suggest you aren’t loved, you can speak the Word (truth) and combat that thought or lie. Once those scriptures started getting into my spirit and permeating my mind, I no longer felt lonely.

    Express Love through Self-Forgiveness

    A large factor that contributes to feeling unloved is the inability to forgive oneself. I was so bound by the shame of things that I had done or things that happened to me in the past that I didn’t actually believe I was deserving of the love of God. Ladies, remember that guilt and shame are not of God. God our Father convicts us, but he does not condemn us.

    Conviction is designed to nudge our spirits in the right direction so we make the right choices and stray away from those things that are not of God. Conviction leads us to repentance and subsequently forgiveness, which ultimately leads us to redemption. That means our sins and our past are not held against us and we are not viewed by God through the lens of our past mistakes. Condemnation, on the other hand, suggests that you are nothing more than the sum of your past sins and mistakes. Condemnation is a mindset from the Enemy and it is a trap designed to keep you bound.

    You cannot feel God’s love if you’re bound by condemnation, guilt, and shame. You must know and believe that Jesus did not come to condemn the world (John 12:47) and that there is absolutely no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). We serve a loving and merciful God, so if He can forgive us, it is both okay and necessary to forgive ourselves.

    Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him. 

    [Isaiah 30:18]

    Build a Relationship with the Lord

    Many of us unknowingly carry an Orphan Spirit, that is, a spirit of abandonment, loneliness, and isolation which has existed on Earth since Adam and Eve’s disobedience alienated mankind from God. We must embrace the Spirit of Sonship (or in our case, “Daughtership”) that establishes us not only as children of God, but also joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).  

    The orphan spirit causes us to think we must earn the affection and approval of God and others. Under the orphan spirit, insecurity dominates, and we begin to compete with and compare ourselves to others. Those operating out of an orphan spirit are restless and unfilled, trying often to find identity in worldly successes. However, when we operate in the spirit of sonship, we have a firm understanding that we are unconditionally loved and accepted by God, our Father. Sis, Our identity is rooted in Christ and we do not need seek the world for validation. There is also no need to compare ourselves with others because God made us and loves us uniquely. Find security in Him.

    Let me tell you how beautiful it is to truly feel the love of God. It’s the greatest joy and deepest peace you’ll ever feel.

    There is security.

    There is acceptance.

    There is redemption

    Everything thing you could ever want or imagine is resting in the arms of the Father. So take the time to find out how deeply the Father loves you and cares about you and release those things that prevent you from feeling that love on a personal level. Let this be your Valentine Day’s gift. Trust me, it’s worth it.

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