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Read my guest post on Shannon Vannatter's blog.

Rebecca Carey Lyles – Romantic Excerpts – Part 1 of 1


Grandma Gone Granola

Simple Inexpensive Tips for Healthy Living from Becky Lyles

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Slipping Out of Summer

Posted by: Becky Lyles on: October, 2016


Think of all the great things you did for your health over the summer. You left your air-conditioned house and went outside to play, which means you stretched and strengthened your muscles and soaked up lots of fresh air and Vitamin D. Along with your burgers and hot dogs, you ate strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, Swiss chard, beans and melons from your garden and enjoyed roasted zucchini from your neighbor’s abundant harvest.


You relaxed with a good book or good music on the beach or the patio, by the pool or the creek and rejuvenated your mind as well as your body. You left home for a vacation, experienced a change of scenery and reconnected with loved ones. You took time to sit back, reflect, regroup, refocus and plan your next steps.


As we slide from September sunshine into October’s crisp mornings and evenings, what can we do to maintain our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health? Here are just a few ideas. None of them is original, all of them are borrowed.


Snag a bit of sunshine and fresh air every day


Continue to find ways to move your muscles


Swim, bike, walk, hike, climb, fish, canoe, kayak


Clean your garden beds, trim your trees and bushes


Cut the carbs, boost the fruit, veggies and protein


Worship your Creator first thing every morning


Immerse yourself in a good book


Stay in touch with loved ones, share a hug


Walk your dog, bike to work


Organize your office, kitchen and closets


Smile, sing, dance, jump, skip, relax


Listen to God, listen to others, apologize, forgive


Think of ways to give rather than get


Accept gifts and kindnesses with grace, say “thank you”


The sweet lady who cuts my hair, Tiffiny, always writes gratitude on the appointment cards I take home with me. What a good reminder to be grateful! What are you thankful for this fall? I’m not talking turkey at Thanksgiving. I’m talking daily response to our Creator for gifting us with all that goes with another beautiful day on this beautiful planet called Earth. Gratitude!





Don't Let Anyone Pull the Wool Over Your Eyes

Posted by: Becky Lyles on: January 15, 2015

I recently read “Wool,” an enormously successful science-fiction novel by Hugh Howey. I don’t normally read sci-fi, but I’d seen and heard enough rave reviews of the book that I decided to read it for myself.


Why am I discussing a novel, especially a science-fiction novel, on a health blog? Hang with me. I have my reasons.


“Wool” tells the story of a group of people who’ve spent centuries surviving in a huge underground silo drilled deep into the earth – one-hundred and fifty-plus levels, if I remember correctly. Each level has a different function. Some contain gardens, others host shops and restaurants, and others have infirmaries and law enforcement quarters. The residents live near their places of employment. Mines and miners are on the lowest levels. Generators and pumps and the mechanics who keep them in operation exist above them. The supply rooms and staff are even higher. And up it goes to more “important” departments, like IT.


One long, spiral staircase connects all the levels and all the silo people. The only way to see daylight is to tread the winding, metal stairs to the topmost level, which has huge windows that display, via camera lenses, the overcast, windswept, lifeless, toxic landscape outside the silo. Few people make the trip on a regular basis.


Are you feeling claustrophobic yet? I did while reading the book. Mr. Howey is an excellent writer whose story immerses the reader in a world that lacks the sunshine, freedom and beautiful vistas we take for granted. In case you’re wondering why anyone would read such a depressing story, I want you to know that love for friends and family is the driving force behind the plot.


Although “Wool” is a fun read, I was struck by its cultural authenticity and the similarity between the silo society and the real-live, repressive, religious cult that segregates several people I love from the rest of humanity. Here are ten of the many commonalities between the two worlds:


•  Fear-based control

•  Focus on shame and punishment

•  Taboo subjects

•  Approved marriages

•  Forced birth control

•  Limited education

•  Limited communication between members

•  Limited contact with other groups

•  Community “order” structured on and regulated by the leader’s lies

•  One person has all the control and enforces with an iron fist


Every aspect of our health is important. Emotional and mental health are just as vital as physical health. Fear and domination take their toll, whether a single person is manipulated and abused by another person or an entire organization or country is under the thumb of an authoritarian and his or her minions. If even one aspect of the above list rings true for you, seek help. Seek freedom.


Freedom-Seeking Resources:


- Freedom of Mind Resource Center:


- Freedom of Mind Resource Center phone: 617-396-4638


- National Domestic Violence Hotline Website:


- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1−800−799−7233


- National Human Trafficking Resource Center:


- National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888


- Wellspring Retreat & Resource Center:


- Wellspring Retreat & Resource Center phone: 740-589-5600/740-589-5601


I’ll conclude with the heroine’s thoughts near the end of “Wool.” “So much about her previous life made sense. Things that had once seemed twisted now had a sort of pattern, a logic about them…it was all designed. She’d seen hints of this before but never knew why… It turned out that some crooked things looked even worse when straightened. Some tangled knots only made sense once unraveled.”







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