The Weight of the World on His Shoulders 

Hello again neighbors, what a week! Hurricane Matthew turned out to be quite a destructive force. I just have to say how proud I am to live in Alma. During the hurricane many of our first responders and good Samaritans helped those in need. We have many men and women in reserves and outage crews that have worked endless hours to restore power to our area as well as other areas. Alma, seems to have been spared once again from a hurricane.

We prayed for peace and a hedge of protection as Matthew hit land and headed toward our town. While the storm came through Friday night, my family gathered on the couch for a movie marathon with all the hurricane necessities including our lighted candles. We never lost electricity or internet. I got up three times to look outside just to see if the wind was still blowing trees back and forth. The boys had moved our wrap around couch up close to the kitchen bar making a sort of fort with blankets and pillows. I was lost somewhere in the middle nestled between my boys, our Boston terror, our Doberman and peace.

Over in Wayne County, my twin Heather McDaniel was with her family at her father-in-law’s house gathered around his bed side. While Matthew tore threw, leaving trees toppled, houses damaged and most out of power, the family stood vigilant beside Mr. Jerry’s bed. The family was called in by a nurse and asked if they would like to pray over Mr. Jerry Mcdaniel. Each member said a prayer leaving little Jerry to pray lastly over his father. As little Jerry said Amen, Mr. Jerry passed away. I received a text from my sister that Mr. Jerry had just passed away peacefully and all were fine and at peace as well. They never lost power.

How can we experience peace when people are dying or hurricanes are threatening destruction of our homes? Jesus. When we stand to lose everything that we’ve built over the years, spouses walk out and jobs are lost, how can we continually have peace? Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 said, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Jesus came to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders so that he could conquer every battle for us. It’s already been won.

Picking back up with our workout series today let’s talk shoulders or in human anatomy, deltoids. This week I have three exercises to target the front, middle and rear deltoids.  Although I have given you one muscle group to train each issue thus far, several muscle groups can be trained together. The only rule of thumb is to not train every muscle in one day every day.

Starting with the front deltoids, the shoulder press is an exercise you can use dumbbells, barbells, cables or bands. Anybody at home or at a gym can perform this movement with store bought equipment or improvised equipment. Sitting or standing begin the exercise with dumbbells at shoulder level. Press dumbbells toward the ceiling until elbows lock out. Return the dumbbells to shoulder level to achieve one rep. Three sets with ten to twelve reps is a good place to start for this exercise as well as the following exercises.

The dumbbell lateral raise works the side deltoids. This exercise you will be standing. Hold dumbbells down at your sides. Raise arms out to the side in an arc until dumbbells reach shoulder level. Slowly lower the dumbbells back down to your sides. Control your speed in the upward as well as the downward movements. This will allow muscle tension during the entire movement. Be aware of your knees during this exercise. Never lock your knees during any of your upper body workouts.

The last exercise focuses on your rear deltoids. The rear deltoids get the least attention and usually get overlooked all together. This exercise you will bend forward at the waist holding two dumbbells at arm’s’ length. With your palms facing together, raise dumbbells upward to ear level, keeping elbows slightly bent. Lower dumbbells back down to starting position. Especially pay attention to your weights when returning to the starting position, gravity makes this exercise hard to control your speed.

All three of the exercises can be used with bands. If you’ve had shoulder surgery or find that your shoulders are too weak to work with the weights the bands would be a better choice to start with. Bands can be tied off to most anything stationary or you can anchor them by stepping directionally on them. Bands come in different colors that represent their intensity.

Lastly before we say goodbye let’s talk food. The weathers getting cooler and wild game is showing up at the tables this time of year. Wild game is still one of the healthiest meats. Venison is lean and hasn’t been feed with tons of hormones and fillers. This week I have a venison and roasted vegetables recipe.

Pan-Seared Venison and Roasted Vegetables

1 lb. Venison

1 teaspoon Rosemary

1 teaspoon Coriander

1 large Garlic clove

Olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Pat dry venison and rub with herbs, salt and pepper. Chill for 20 minutes. In a hot cast iron pan coated with olive oil and sear venison for six minutes on each side. Transfer meat to the center of the oven at 450 degrees. Cook for seven to ten more minutes or until meat thermometer reaches 125 F. Remove from hot pan to a plate and cover.

Roast Vegetables

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Cut up carrots, peppers, potatoes, onions, asparagus, brussel sprouts and toss in olive oil. I like to add rosemary salt and pepper to mine but you can add any herbs you like. Place vegetables in a roasting pan and bake for thirty minutes.

Slice up the venison and add roasted vegetables to your plate. I like to serve wild rice with this favorite dish. Bon appetite!


Getting Back to The Basic’s

Getting Back to The Basics

Welcome back guys! I’m excited about this article, getting back to the basic’s. In this new age of technology, we are constantly looking for the next “new” thing. That new workout, diet or pill that’s going to get us instant results. We are a society of instant gratification, with no work involved. We’ve all but lost that sense of a good day’s work, that feeling to have worked hard and be proud of what we’ve accomplished at the end of the day.

Maybe this is why so many people have decided that exercise or making changes to our diets are not for the average person but that of the athlete. Sometime in the early nineteen hundreds, “physical activity was no longer the medicine of the masses but the privilege of elite athletes,” reads Time Magazine. You can thank the insurance companies and government spending or lack thereof for the shift in our ideal about exercise and who can participate in getting fit.

I honestly sat down to write about the back and the different types of exercise, even my title was supposed to be a pun of the back. But really getting back to the basics is really about getting back to physical exercise and the health benefits. So for this article let’s take a break from our series of large muscle groups and discuss the benefits of exercise.

Billions of dollars have been spent researching the numerous benefits of exercise. Some of the benefits of regular exercise include cardiovascular function, lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, improved lipid profiles and glucose control, positive changes in the function of the brain and in the epidermis at the cellular level. Exercise speeds up the cardiovascular system, pumps blood throughout your body delivering nutrients and fresh oxygenated blood keeping the body from fatiguing prematurely. Weight bearing activities build bone density. Exercise also decreases anxiety and depression, enhances feelings of well-being, speeds up the healing process of wounds, decreases incidence of several cancers, improves memory and “for now prevents or delays onset Alzheimer’s” according to Time Magazine. Studies are now working to understand how exercises may improve eyesight. So what does all these benefits boil down to? Exercise helps keep you looking younger, stronger, smarter, and reduces illness.  It just makes you feel better!

With all of the evidence pointing to better health and wellness why aren’t people exercising?  Time, is one of the answers I’m commonly told. My mom, Dinah Nichols born in the 1950’s, called while I was writing this particular article. We talked about what I was writing and I explained all the benefits of exercises and popped the question to her, “why don’t people exercise anymore, I remember you exercising growing up?” Her response, “Because times have changed. It was all about work when we were growing up, we got our exercises. You had to hand wash dishes after you pumped the water. You had to grow your own food before you could harvest it. You had chores to do, animals to feed, eggs to pick up. Now we have dishwashers, grocery stores and microwaves. You know Heidi, we don’t have a bit more time.”

Fear, has been another reason for not exercising, fear of either looking foolish or failing at something. This is where the battle of the mind is forged and conquered. You can have courage and be fearful. “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear,” says Ambrose Redmoon. Fear and anxiety are some things I’ve struggle with in the later seasons of my life, I was fearless in my younger years. Not debilitating fear just that nagging headache, anxious stomach and nauseating dread. I don’t do well with drama or conflict. It’s a waste of my time and I try and veer well away from it. But sometimes, …sometimes though, I find that there are things, people or opportunities in life that are worth stretching for, that something else is more important than my fear.  2 Timothy 1:7, “For God did not give us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”. My fear and anxiety are just feeling, your fear and anxiety are just feelings. We make the choice daily if we are going to have a good day or a bad day. Children of God have power, love and a sound mind. It’s our birth rights, and “All the kindness of Jesus, it draws me in” sings Big Daddy Weave.

Money, is another reason that keeps people from exercising. You do not have to have a gym membership to work out or have store bought equipment. Some of the best exercises are the basic such as pushups, pull ups and situps.  Get outside and visit your local parks. Use empty water bottles filled with sand as hand weights. Bands are great to take to parks and tie off to work upper and lower parts of the body. Be creative and use house hold items for weights and turn chores into fun workouts. Gardening is a  great outdoor activity to work arms and legs. Dig in the dirt and grow something. Get your kids out there and get dirty and have fun!

Scientist are studying the benefits of exercise but the fact is undisputable, exercises is good for the body and soul. We’ve come full circle as a society. Once a people defined by history as a health conscience society is now a nation satisfied as being spectators.  We get our exercise sitting in the bleachers watching football or tuning in to the Olympics. Use that time to do something that is going to benefit you and your family. Get outside with your kids and start teaching them the keys to health. This community has too many opportunities not to do something positive toward a better life style. Change doesn’t happen overnight and it’s hard to start a habit but it’s well worth the uncomfortableness if not for you but then your children or grandchildren.

Remember, if you’re saving my articles you will have a total body workout at the end of this series.  You can find my WordPress page by hitting the contact button on my Facebook page, It’s a matter of the heart. Also don’t forget that you can participate in my 30/30 Cardio Challenge, Pika-Pika run, that gets you out in the community where we walk or do some form of cardio for thirty minutes daily for thirty days. This time you will only check in on Fridays to my Facebook page. This month’s drawing will be awarded to one lucky person.  They will win a diet and exercise consultation by me and a one-month free membership to Anytime Fitness gym here in Alma! Next time we will be back on our series, large muscle groups, the back.

I want to leave you with this thought. Changing our outside is the easy part, it’s science.  Changing the way, we think about situations and ourselves, well that’s the tough part. Nothing changes until we determine that we are worth it and we take intentional steps to correct negative thought and behavior. You have a heavenly Father that said you are worth it, you are dearly loved and you do count. My friend, I’ll talk with you next issue until then get out and get active!

Its a Matter of the Heart

Heidi Martell





Here I am sitting, trying to decide how to start this journey with you; this journey to better health. Let me start with where mine began over eight years ago. My oldest, Nicholas had just turned seven and in all his sweet innocent boyness bounced on the bed where I was laying. He laid his head on my stomach and said, “Mum, I love your big squishy stomach!” As hard as he squeezed me I felt deflated. I was caught off guard. When did I decide that I wasn’t important enough to stay healthy. I had always been small framed but each time I entered the hospital to deliver my boys I weighed 200 lbs.  I didn’t lose the weight.

The next day I checked out an Anytime Fitness gym and decided to join. I was lost and didn’t know where to begin and I couldn’t afford a personal trainer. I started looking into study materials to research what I could do to learn how to correctly exercise and lose weight. For me the ACE program was the best choice. During the next few years I started out with small changes, studied for the ACE test and changed my diet. I also got back into my Bible studies.

Being healthy to me is not just about the outer appearance but it’s also about the soul. It’s a matter of the heart. Change the inside of a person and the outside just naturally follows. Isn’t it funny how we can tell our neighbors how much God loves them but we find it so hard to believe he loves us. He knows our secrets. People we love leave, miscarriages happen and life kicks us in the butt. It almost took me out. I’ve always had a relationship with God since I was a child but somewhere along the way I got lost. I was involved in church but my soul was wounded and I chose to walk in the world. I forgot who I was and who I belong to. That’s where God met me.

God is a good father and full of grace. He loves you and your precious in his sight. He will pick you up right where you are, pull you in his lap and hold you tight.  That’s just who God is, full of love and grace.

Today I’m happy and healthy. My soul is not broken and I’m really, really ready for what God has in store. I’m excited about where God is leading me and my future that he’s intentionally molding. Hopefully, you will decide to take this journey with me biweekly as I share my knowledge of exercises, healthy meals and a little soul health. This first article in keeping with my title, let’s discuss ways to keep the heart healthy.

Cardio, is one of the best things you can do for yourself and it won’t cost you a thing. No excuses. Not having a gym membership will not get out of this one. The American Heart Association recommends you get thirty minutes each day, five times a week.  If you can’t manage thirty minutes at one time, break up the thirty minutes to three ten minutes’ bouts per day. Cardio is anything that while in motion increases your heart rate. Different types of activities that you can participate in are walking, biking, hiking, tennis, swimming, (floating does not count) etc. Get your kids involved and go outside and play football.  If you really want to ramp up your cardio, climb stairs or get out on the roads and run.  If you’re bound to a chair or not as mobile, put some music on and throw those arms up in the air and wave them like nobody cares!

Oatmeal is one of the best things you can do food wise for your heart.  Medical daily, list concerning the benefits of oatmeal are booting energy, soothes irritated skin, supports weight loss, prevents diabetes, boost heart health, and reduces colon cancer. Oatmeal also lowers cholesterol and is naturally low in fat.  It’s the good carb.  Don’t like oatmeal? Grind it up to flour and add it to your shake. Blueberries high in antioxidants, cinnamon a natural metabolism booster and pecans in healthy fats are great choices to add to oatmeal.

Toasted pecans

Bake at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet for eight to nine minutes. Cool on a dish towel and store in an airtight container.     Save for upcoming recipes.


1/3 cup of whole old fashion oats

¼ cup frozen blueberries

½ cup water

2 tablespoon of heaping toasted pecans

A couple of dashes of cinnamon

Place in the microwave for 1 ½ minutes.  If you need a sweetener, try some of our local honey here in Alma, Ga.. Jerry McDaniel, my brother in law swears his allergies have calmed down since he’s added 1 Tablespoon of local honey to his breakfast every morning.


Remember, it takes thirty days to make a habit! Grab a support buddy. Someone that’s cheering for you. Not everybody that calls you friend is your friend.  Sometimes the real friends will tell you the truth even if it cost them a friendship. Those are the ones you want in your tribe. Let’s do this together, check in daily after you finish your thirty! Nothing happens overnight, so plan on stay in it for the long haul. Follow my facebook page, Heidi Nichols Martell, for videos and pictures that go along with articles and check in daily for accountability.   Next issues begins series on full body workouts.  See you next edition with new fitness and wellness tips!