Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Rebuilding the Temple

Recently, I've committed myself to revamping my life - mind, body, and spirit. I started by making positive changes in my thoughts, actions, and my environment. Then, I began to focus on my spiritual well being. Instead of being a "Sunday morning believer", I began to really focus my attention on God and on living the best Christian life that I can. As part of that commitment, I did a spiritual cleanse - a fast - abstaining from meat, bread, sweets, wine, pasta, and all of the things my body had come to love. For three weeks, I ate nothing but fruits and vegetables and drank only water. That meant none of my beloved coffee and tea each morning, no desserts, no fresh baked bread! While my family ate the delicious meals I prepared, I ate salads, sauteed spinach, and baked potatoes. But, my objective wasn't to lose weight. I wanted to abstain from these things that I love in order to focus my attention on God. When I felt a craving for something, I closed my eyes and prayed. Instead of picking up a cupcake or a cookie, I picked up my Bible or my gratitude journal and gave my attention to things that my spirit needed to focus on. Fasting isn't widely done among Christians anymore. But the benefits of it are absolutely incredible! My lunch hours were spent in quiet prayer and meditation instead of stuffing my face with burgers and fries. My sacrifice of the foods and drinks that I enjoy was rewarded with a spiritual awakening unlike anything I could have imagined! It was a major step toward my goal of rebuilding my temple (my mind, body, and soul) from the ground up.

Each Saturday morning, I rise early, say my prayers, read my Bible and head out to my local farmer's market. It is one of the best parts of my week! I stock up on pears, apples, fresh ears of corn, potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, onions, watermelon, kale, and all the things that the local farmers grow. Since my borough of Staten Island, NY doesn't have a Whole Foods Market, the local farmer's market is my haven. My family and I can attest to the fact that the organically grown foods at the farmer's market taste far better than the stuff sold at the local supermarket. It's cheaper, tastier and healthier!

Over the three weeks of consuming only fruits, veggies and water, I broke my addiction to sweets and to processed foods. (Which was no small feat! I LOVE SWEETS. So, being able to say no to a slice of cake was like an addict staring at their drug of choice and having the strength to walk away.) Sure, I still enjoy a cup of coffee from time to time. I still do a happy dance at the smell of dessert baking in the oven; still have a love affair with bread. But I don't NEED these things throughout my everyday life the way that I once did. I'm able to treat myself to these things every once in awhile, whereas before I had conditioned myself to have them on a daily basis - sometimes several times a day. In fact, once I went back to eating meat, I got so violently ill (nausea, diarrhea, and terrible gas and abdominal pain) that I have resolved to wean myself off of red meat altogether. I never want to feel like that again! As a self-professed junk food junkie, I never thought I'd be someone who embraces healthy eating. But I'm here to tell you that I'm now convinced that a healthy lifestyle is one that I can and will embrace.

I feel better than ever. The weight loss is actually a mere side effect of my newfound love of health and fitness. As many of you know, yoga is a big part of my life. There's real power in drowning out the noise of life and focusing our minds on our inner voice. Yoga is a spiritual, mental and physical workout. I adore it!

With my favorite season upon us (Autumn), I'm out each weekend taking in the beauty of the fall leaves changing colors in local parks. As my lungs fill with the crisp Autumn air, I feel renewed. As I walk around, gathering leaves (which my daughter thinks is incredibly CORNY! LOL), and snapping photos of nature's grand finale before winter starts, it's truly a treat for my eyes, my lungs, my spirit. I feel happiest at this time of the year.

At least once a week, I go outdoors and walk, jog, run, stretch...MOVE. (This past weekend, I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge along with my daughter. I absolutely LOVED it!) As so many people battle obesity, heart disease, fatigue, and overall poor health, I've determined that life is too precious to spend it living badly. After a workout, I feel FANTASTIC! There's a physical and mental reward for the hard work that goes into being active.

Breaking old habits is never easy. I used to smoke cigarettes, and I remember how hard it was to quit. But now that I have, I'm glad that I did. I used to approach food in an unhealthy way, also. I lived to eat, rather than eating to live. Since I changed the way that I eat, I feel better physically than I ever have before. Since I changed the way that I think and the way that I spend my time, I feel better mentally than I ever have before. Since changing my approach to God, to life, and honoring my own inner voice, I feel better spiritually than I ever have before. I'm still a work in progress. But for the first time I am actually MAKING progress! I'm treating my body as the temple that it is. And, while it's still under construction, a solid foundation has already been laid.

Maybe it's time you start your own construction project. Trust me, you'll be glad that you did.

 For more info on healthy eating and vitamin supplements, contact Sakina Iguina. Visit her webpage at
  or her Facebook page:!/groups/w.g.wellness/


  1. Another inspirational blog! And I love walking over the Brooklyn Bridge when I visit New York!!
    Sending you London love x x

  2. Tracy you are such an inspiration!!! Just this week I began the process to rebuilding my temple. Sweets are my weakness:) reading your blog has given me the push I need to keep moving forward with the process. As you have said, it's not easy but I'm determined to live healthy in this temple called a (Body). Thanks for always sharing... Can you blog some info on Yoga. I would like to start off with the beginners.