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.
  • The U.S. National Center for Health Statistics defines a chronic illness as a condition that is persistent or long-lasting that generally cannot be prevented by vaccination or cured by medication, meaning most chronic illnesses are lifelong. Conditions that fall into this category include cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, arthritis and fibromyalgia, a condition I was diagnosed with […]

    Coping with Chronic Illness: Thrive Don’t Just Survive

    The U.S. National Center for Health Statistics defines a chronic illness as a condition that is persistent or long-lasting that generally cannot be prevented by vaccination or cured by medication, meaning most chronic illnesses are lifelong. Conditions that fall into this category include cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, arthritis and fibromyalgia, a condition I was diagnosed with nearly 3 years ago.

    When I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia it rocked my world. I was in my early 20’s and I now had a chronic illness that I hadn’t even heard of prior to being diagnosed. After the shock of the diagnosis I decided that I wanted to do more than survive my chronic illness; I wanted to thrive. The following are ways I have managed to do just that.

     

    Research. 

    One of the best things I did for myself after my diagnosis was to thoroughly research my condition. I wanted to know all I could so that I could properly advocate for myself. Medical professionals may have educational knowledge and on the job experience, but we know our bodies best. I never wanted to be in a position where I blindly took a doctor’s word without any understanding or knowledge of my own. Being educated on my condition has helped me find natural ways to address many of my symptoms and it has made me feel more in control.

     

    Find a Community. 

    Chronic illnesses can be so isolating, especially since many chronic illnesses are not visible to the naked eye. Often times people just don’t understand the severity of the pain the condition causes or just how much it impacts one’s ability to live a normal life. The absence of community left me feeling depressed and anxious. Community offers support and understanding that is necessary when coping with chronic illness. A community provides a space for you to share your struggles, be heard without judgment, get feedback and even suggestions. My community is a safe place for me to go when I feel like no one else gets it. They always listen, always understand, and always care.

     

    Prioritize Self-Care.


    A lack of self-care almost always leads to physical breakdown, especially when coping with a chronic illness. I learned very quickly that if I did not set aside time for myself to recoup and recover that I would ultimately suffer. I follow the 1 x 1 x 1 rule. I set aside time to do something for myself each month, something for myself each week, and something for myself each day.

    My once a month activity is getting my nails done. It’s 90 minutes of me sitting still and letting someone do something for me and it makes me feel pampered and pretty.

    Once a week I pick a day and spend it away from my child for at least two hours to do something like take a bath or a nap, go for a run, or even catch up on my Netflix shows. This time revitalizes me and gives me just enough space and time to pour into myself so I have enough to pour into my son.

    For my Once a day activity I choose to do absolutely nothing for fifteen minutes each day. I sit in silence in the dark on my bed and just be. It’s a big deal for a busy body like me. The scripture Psalms 46:10 serves as my reference point which says, “…be still and know that I am God.” It’s amazing how much peace and revelation comes in those 15 minutes of stillness in the presence of God.

     

    Don’t Lose the Faith. 

    When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I struggled with bitterness. I felt like God had failed me because I now had to cope with this lifelong condition, which up until that point had caused me a lot of physical pain and been a huge inconvenience in my life. I fell into a ‘why me’ self-pity party. Here is the thing- God doesn’t stop being good just because our circumstances are bad. The fact that I was chronically ill didn’t change the fact that God was a Healer. I took my eyes off my good God and put them on my bad circumstances. Much like when Peter was walking on water, the moment I took my focus off God I began to drown in sorrow and pity. God hadn’t abandoned me and he wasn’t punishing me. He was simply using this situation to draw me nearer. Once I stopped blaming Him and started relying on Him, I found peace and joy in the midst of my situation.

    Chronic illness does not have to be the end all be all. Honestly, it can be a the beginning of a new journey between you and God.As you learn to lean on Him more, He’ll reveal Himself to you in new and miraculous ways. Keep your head up and rest on the knowledge that the God who brought you to it will carry you through it.

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  • Ayesha Curry, the wife of NBA superstar Stephen Curry, made a statement during a recent interview on the Red Table Talk… and the world went crazy! In an honest and vulnerable moment she admitted that the lack of male attention causes her to feel insecure at times. In response, there was such a rush to […]

    Ayesha Curry Admits Insecurities From No Male Attention- And I, A Christian Woman, Can Totally Relate

    Ayesha Curry, the wife of NBA superstar Stephen Curry, made a statement during a recent interview on the Red Table Talk… and the world went crazy! In an honest and vulnerable moment she admitted that the lack of male attention causes her to feel insecure at times.

    In response, there was such a rush to judge her that people hardly took the time to really understand what she meant.

    But I understood her. And if I am standing completely in my truth, I can totally relate. My guess is that I am not the only woman who heard what Ayesha said and truly felt her heart.

    When Ayesha shared her truth, here is what I did not hear:

    I did not hear a woman who is reliant on male attention to form the basis of her identity. I did not hear a woman who is unsatisfied with or ungrateful for her husband. I did not even hear a woman who desperately wants the attention of other men.

    What I heard is a woman bold enough to say that there are times where she, like many other women, have doubts about her value, worth, and beauty because she is not a recipient of the kind of attention the world typically offers as a means of validation.

    What I heard is a woman who occasionally sees the attention that is so readily and heavily showered on her husband, and then questions what she may be lacking that would leave her absent of the same kind of attention from men.

    What I heard is a woman who wants to feel wanted, because life as a wife, mother, and businesswoman is often very unglamorous, thankless, and filled with moments of feeling unseen.

    I also heard a woman who occasionally struggles with comparison when she sees other women acknowledging and pursuing her husband and then compares that to what is or isn’t happening with her. This is the most dangerous part.

     

    The thing about comparison is that though it is subtle, it is also destructive. It can take the most content and satisfied person and gradually transform them into someone who is unsure and unsatisfied.

     

    You think you’re attractive and admirable, until you see that you’re not getting the attention your husband or even other women are getting. You think you’re doing well in life until you see someone else doing better. You think you’re making a big impact in the Kingdom, until you see someone else who appears to be doing something bigger. I know you’ve heard it, but comparison really is the thief of joy.

    Ayesha, like all of us, is a human being and all human beings struggle with insecurity and comparison. Some of us battle more fiercely than others, but we battle nonetheless. And guess what? You can be a Christian and struggle at the same time. Wow, a shocker I know, but it’s completely true.

    We shouldn’t be condemned by man for our transparency in sharing our human struggles when we have a God who understands those struggles and embraces us fully in spite of them.If a perfect God can shower unconditional love and acceptance upon us, who are we as imperfect beings to judge and dismiss one another for being human?

    Let me be the first to tell you that the struggle of insecurity and comparison isn’t the real issue. It’s how we respond to that struggle that can become the issue. God knows we are human and will face challenges. He is after all the one who made us. However, He has also given us tools to fight against the attacks of the enemy and win the battles we are faced with.

    So what do we do when faced with the struggles of insecurity and comparison?

    Keep our eyes on God and our portion. Imagine a world where you can’t compare because you aren’t aware. In Ayesha’s case it’s kind of hard to not be aware that women are vying for her man. But for most of us, it’s a lot easier to control what we see. You can hit the unfollow button. You can fast from social media. You can distance yourself from certain people. Don’t get so focused on what’s going on with someone else that you lose sight of your identity, confidence, purpose, or anything else.

    Remember who defines us. There is absolutely no one or nothing that has the authority to define you, other than God. There is no social media acknowledgment or lack thereof that defines who you are or are not. There is no attention or lack thereof that can speak to your worth. God says in His Word that you are created in his image (Genesis 1:27), chosen (1 Peter 2:9), precious (Isaiah 43:4), wanted (John 15:16) , and loved (Jeremiah 31:3). When we learn to look to God instead of man for affirmation, we find true and long-lasting validation.

    Reaffirm who we are in the Word of God. As I’ve said, we all struggle. However, we don’t have to embrace and accept the struggle. We can fight against it using the Word as ammunition. When we need affirmation, we need to look to God’s Word instead of other people’s. When we start to feel less than, we need to turn to the Bible to see what it says about who we are. When we start to compare ourselves and our lives to other people, we need to hop in the Word and remind ourselves of who God says we are and what God promises us. When we start to feel unwanted, we need to open our Bibles and read about just how wanted we are by God. When we are reminded of who we are in God, there will be nothing able to shake our identity, confidence, or security in Christ.

     

    The truth is, lack of attention probably doesn’t cause insecurity. Rather, it speaks to insecurities that already exist. But we serve a God bigger than any insecurity we may face and He has equipped us to conquer them. Don’t feel like you have to defend yourself to man simply because you’re brave enough to acknowledge you fight a battle we all face from time to time. Instead, look to God for the strength and encouragement and remember your battle won’t last always.

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  • I’ve had problems with clear skin since puberty. Not the annoying pimple that shows up once a blue moon. I mean real skin problems, you know, the massive oil production, whiteheads, and of course, the picture day favorite—acne. After battling with it for well over a decade, and trying every product and solution known to […]

    4 Simple Habits for Brighter, Healthier Skin

    I’ve had problems with clear skin since puberty. Not the annoying pimple that shows up once a blue moon. I mean real skin problems, you know, the massive oil production, whiteheads, and of course, the picture day favorite—acne. After battling with it for well over a decade, and trying every product and solution known to man, I’ve finally figured out what works. It turned out to be some relatively, simple lifestyle changes that produced the most positive results. So, if you’re struggling with skin problems, or simply want to enhance your skincare routine, these four tips will do the trick!

     

    1. Monitor Your Diet

    The food I ate accounted for approximately 50% of all my skin problems. It may sound crazy, but it’s true. It took being diagnosed with a chronic pain condition, and a subsequent decision to remove dairy from my diet and limit sodium intake, that helped me realize how detrimental my diet was to having healthy skin. As soon as I removed those two things from my diet, my skin became clearer, literally in a matter of weeks.

    Here’s what I learned: dairy products can prompt the release of hormones that can contribute to acne. Additionally, consuming too much salt can dehydrate the skin and lead to swelling that makes acne harder to heal. I am not saying you have to give up your pizza and potato chips, but I am saying that keeping an eye on how much you consume may help you get to the root of the issue.

     

    2. Maintain Hydration

    Along those same lines of watching what you eat, it’s also beneficial to ensure you consume an adequate amount of water on a daily basis. Water helps the body produce new red blood cells which enable oxygen circulation within the body, the key component in flushing out toxins. If you aren’t getting enough water, those toxins remain within you, which causes and increases breakouts. Lack of sufficient hydration also makes the skin look dry and dull, since water rejuvenates skin cells. Do your best to get the recommended 6-8 glasses of water each day to keep your skin free from breakouts and glowing.

     

    3. Avoid Touching Your Face

    I hate to break it to you ladies, but your hands carry a lot more bacteria than you’d think. Consider the amount of objects you touch throughout the day that hundreds of other people touch without washing their hands. Now think about how many times throughout the day you usually touch your face. Every time we touch our face, we are exposing our skin to the bacteria from everything we’ve touched throughout the day. That’s every door handle, tabletop, dollar bill, keyboard, and handshake. The less we touch our faces throughout the day, the less buildup of dirt and bacteria on your skin. It’s also good to develop a hands-off policy when it comes to our blemishes. As tempting as it is to squeeze and pop those irritants, it just aggravates the skin even more.

     

    4. Develop a Skincare Routine

    The most important factor to clear skin is consistency. This means taking the time to wash, tone, and moisturize your skin every morning you wake and and every night before going to bed. This also means remembering to remove your makeup every evening. Trust me, ladies, repetition is essential and proactive. Consistency helps eliminate flare-ups and breakouts. It ensures your skin is clean, has time to breathe, and is cared for in a way that supports skin clarity. That extra five minutes might seem like an inconvenience now, but your skin will thank you. reflect your positive efforts.

     

    And there you have it, ladies. Simple lifestyle changes that can lead to fewer breakouts, clearer skin, a more radiant glow. And remember, ladies, we all have good days and off days. No matter how your skin looks or how you feel, you’re still beautiful. We are created in the image and likeness of our Lord [Genesis 1:26]. Don’t allow anyone to tell you otherwise!

    “I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvellous are Your works are wonderful, and that my soul knows very well.”  [Psalms 139:14]

     

     

    *Hero image Photo by Fernanda Latronico from Pexels

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  • 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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