Makeover Your Plate in Five Minutes or Less

Makeover Your Plate in Five Minutes or Less

I'm not sure if my brain actually froze or if it just cramped as I looked over the list of foreign ingredients for this "healthy" recipe. I began to add up the cost of purchasing five new spices, then cringed, and swiped the recipe away on my phone. And, so I proceeded to buy the makings for an ordinary meal I was confident my family would like.

I sighed in frustration as my efforts to make better choices eluded me, once again. Would things ever change? Yes, but not in the way I expected! 

Have you ever been there? Your heart desires to live a healthy life that glorifies God and yet the gulf separating you seems far too wide.  The truth is, it can be.

Thankfully, there is another way.

If the idea of eating 100% healthy today overwhelms you or if your efforts to eat "perfectly" crash with one slip that turns into a food-fest, I'm here to help. In this post, you'll learn simple hacks that will improve the quality of your diet and won't cause overwhelm or lead to all-or-nothing thinking.

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The Best Caribbean Quinoa Salad Recipe- Simple, Healthy, and Delicious

Guest Post by Suzanne Loving

Caribbean Quinoa Salad - A fresh new take on quinoa. This recipe is easy and packed with superfood nutrition!  #quinoa #superfoods #recipes

Executive chef and former restaurant owner Suzanne Loving has a passion for good food. She also knows that if you view cooking as a chore, it won’t taste as good. That’s why the culinary school graduate wants to help you save time and money so you can reclaim the fun in food.

Though Suzanne has called Nashville home for several years, her east coast upbringing is where her love affair with colorful food began. She understands that your food needs to look AND taste good.

The personal chef specializes in organics, food allergies, nutrition and helping you become a meal prepping rockstar.

Like Julia Child, she believes, “People who love to eat are always the best people.”

Her superpower is taking a daunting new recipe and making it practical, yet enjoyable, for even the most novice cook. 

Tools needed: 

  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Spatula/Spoon, for stirring
  • Small Sauce Pot
  • Large Skillet
  • Measuring Cups/Spoons
Caribbean Quinoa Salad - A fresh new take on quinoa. This recipe is easy and packed with superfood nutrition!  #quinoa #superfoods #recipes

Ingredients: 

½ cup Quinoa, uncooked

1 ½ cup Water (or Stock of any kind)

1 Bell Pepper (any color), diced 

½ White Onion, diced

½ Asparagus bunch, diced

1 cup Red Cabbage, diced

1 cup Kale or Spinach, chopped

3 Garlic Cloves, minced

2 Tbsp Unrefined Coconut Oil 

Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions:

Start by getting your quinoa going on the stove. Add the quinoa to the small sauce pot of water.  Add salt and pepper to the quinoa water. Heat on med/high until boiling. Lower to a simmer. Stir quinoa intermittently. Rinse and chop veggies. Mince garlic. Heat coconut oil in a skillet over low/med heat. Toss all veggies in the pan with coconut oil,  garlic, salt and pepper. Stir around until everything gets mixed in the coconut oil. Keep heat at low/med until onions start to soften. You still want a little crunch. By this point, your quinoa should be done and you can add it to this veggie mix! Remove mix from heat and add salt and pepper to taste! Store in the fridge for 5-6 days.

Pro Tip: Taste as you go! Get to know these veggies when they’re raw and while they’re cooking. You can adjust salt and pepper, as needed. 

Caribbean Quinoa Salad - A fresh new take on quinoa. This recipe is easy and packed with superfood nutrition!  #quinoa #superfoods #recipes

What I love about this dish:

This dish is SO VERSATILE! You can use ANY mix of veggies you’d like! Don’t like the coconut flavor? Use refined coconut oil. Hate garlic? Maybe try fresh ginger! Prefer a different grain? Go for it! 

Intermittent Fasting- For Beginners

Intermittent Fasting- For Beginners

Curious about fasting but not sure where to start?

I get it! 

There is a wealth of information available about fasting on the interwebs, and it can be overwhelming.

While fasting may seem to have gained popularity recently, it goes all the way back to biblical times. 

There are so many health advantages associated with fasting, as well as the spiritual benefits. 

Three years ago, I decided to delve into the fasting world. 

After conducting my own research on different fasts, I decided to give Intermittent Fasting a try.

I settled on the 16/8 method.

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6 Reasons You Should Be Fasting

6 Reasons You Should Be Fasting

What do you think of when you hear the word, "fasting?"

Having to give up certain foods?

Starvation? 

If you check the Bible for details on fasting, you will find kings and prophets fasting with a purpose—the purpose of clearing their minds, and their stomachs, so they could be in a position to hear from God to receive direction for decisions they were facing.

You will also find God’s people being directed to fast in preparation for God’s hand to move. 
And patients preparing for a medical procedure are often required to fast, or not eat after midnight, before going into surgery or having bloodwork done.

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How to be Fit, Healthy, and Whole: Tips from a Regular Woman

How to be Fit, Healthy, and Whole: Tips from a Regular Woman

Is it bad that I'm eating a tub of chocolate candy while outlining ways to embrace healthy living?

Of course not. I had baked tilapia and carrots for supper. 

That, my friends, is balance. 

And balance is the key to being fit, healthy, and whole.

Before you ask, no, I am not a doctor. Nor do I have a degree in dietetics. I am no nutritionist. I have never bought a meal plan or owned a gym membership. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Just kidding. Those commercials crack me up.

Seriously, if there is one thing I've learned about life, it's balance. I'd like to share with you how at forty something I am feeling better than ever, and you can too!

Be Fit... on a budget

The most valuable literature to speak on physical wellness is the Bible. It is packed with evidence for why we need endurance, stamina, and strength. Consider Romans 5:3.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

So then...

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The Battle of Weight: How I Lost 300 Pounds

The Battle of Weight: How I Lost 300 Pounds

“Why don’t you just do something about it?”

Ever wonder why some people have crazy awesome transformation stories and some people, well, they just don’t? 

I mostly just wonder why I can’t be the one with THE transformation story. 

Well, what you probably don’t know about me is that I actually have lost over 300 pounds!  Yep, you read that right, 300 pounds.  You see, instead of THE transformation story, I have transformation stories, as in plural—more than one.  So no I never weighed 400 pounds, but I have managed to spend the last 30 years gaining and losing the same 20-40 pounds.  Over and over.  And over.  Again.

So what gives? Why do we battle? Is it really because we don’t know what to eat and how much to eat?  Is it really that we don’t have time or can’t afford to be healthy or go to the gym?

Or is it that, well maybe if we are honest with ourselves, we don’t really WANT to.  Ouch.

When I was in medical school I had two (skinny) guy-friends who just couldn’t relate to what I was saying about my body, my eating, and my fitness.  In complete honesty and genuine ignorance to my struggle they stared at me confused as I blubbered on one day.  And then as if premeditated, the onslaught began as one of them said the innocent words I’ll never forget, “Well, why don’t you just do something about it?”

Oh no he did-ent?  Ugh…he did!  They did. 

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No Excuse Ways to Create Healthy Meals When You're Too Busy

No Excuse Ways to Create Healthy Meals When You're Too Busy

Excuses.  We all have them.  Somewhere in our lives, we have a reason we don’t do something we should because, well, we just don’t want to.  Except that’s too hard to swallow sometimes.  It’s just easier to find a reason we shouldn’t or we can’t.  But isn’t it really that we just won’t? 
 
That’s the hard question I want to ask you today.  Which is it?  Can’t? Shouldn’t? or Just plain WON’T?  I think it’s often a mixture of things that come in and trip us up.  We often know what to do, but we just don’t want to.  Sometimes, though, we haven’t a clue.  
The list of reasons we aren’t our best selves can be long at times and short at others.  We can blame our genes, our jobs, our kids, you name it— even ourselves.  One of the biggest excuses we all have probably used at one time or another when it comes to taking control of our health is something we all are given the same amount of in any given day: TIME.

TIME.  

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Forgiving This One Person Changed My Life: and it will yours too

Forgiving This One Person Changed My Life: and it will yours too

We’re supposed to forgive.  Yeah, yeah. I get that.  I don’t always like it, but I get it.  

So recently I was sitting in a typical Sunday morning church service when my pastor said he was going to ask us to do the hardest thing we’d ever done.  We’d not be able to do it on our own accord, but we’d need the power, strength, and love of God to make it happen. 

I immediately thought, surely he isn’t going to ask me to hold a piping hot, freshly baked batch of gooey chocolate chip cookies but not even eat a single morsel, right? For the love of all things human, he’d never! And, he didn’t.  Whew!

What he did ask us to do is answer this exact question: “Who is that one person who has lived her life so selfishly that she has hurt you and those closest to you?”

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The Struggle to be Skinny: what does God have to say about it?

The Struggle to be Skinny: what does God have to say about it?

I want to be skinny.  There.  I said it.  I mean who sits around thinking they WANT to be overweight.  I know I sure don’t.

For years I obsessed about this.  I beat myself up time and time again.  And if I’m honest with myself (and you), I still take Satan’s bait on this one from time to time.  Sometimes when I’m overweight and, hear this, sometimes when I’m actually quite thin and fit I fall prey to the enemy’s body image lies. 

For those who struggle with body image issues, our thought life related to our weight can be all consuming.  For some, that looks like a number on the scale.  It may look like a certain pair of jeans that MUST fit.  For others, it’s eating just the right number of calories in a day.  Or maybe it’s that thigh dimple that shows each time you sit down.  The obsessions can take all shapes and sizes—just like our bodies. 

Early in time before the fall of man, Adam and Eve walked in a garden of perfection, get this, totally naked.  Can you imagine?  I try and sit sometimes to ponder what it must be like to have total freedom in your body, to just walk around with no thought as to what you look like and what others must be thinking about what you look like.  I really can’t even go there.  And then, food enters the picture to ruin it all.  Ok, not exactly, but it helps me feel better to blame it on the food.

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3 Myths About Losing Weight- Debunked

3 Myths About Losing Weight- Debunked

There seems to be a new diet out every day claiming to be the "miracle" that will help you lose weight.  

LIE

They promise if you eliminate this one thing or add that one thing or do this one exercise, you will lose weight and maybe have rock hard abs.

LIE

If losing weight and getting abs are that simple, how come none of it works?  I mean if this is really the case shouldn’t I be able to make a few tweaks and add an exercise and have those air-brushed abs? Hey, it’s about to be summer, after all.

Oh, that’s not what how it works? Dang it! If only…

Well, now what? What's the TRUTH?  

Ok, here’s the deal, what you eat matters.  There, I said it.  Ugh!  Why must this be so?!?! 

I know, I know.   I wish somehow magically I could make this reality disappear, but it is FACT.  What we put into our bodies makes the majority of the difference in how we look, feel and function.  NUTRITION MATTERS.   

We have been fed lots of misleading information over the years about how to lose weight and be healthy.  Eat less and exercise more, right? WRONG!  

Yes, ultimately on some level calories matter, but to only focus on the number of calories you eat is doing your body and your brain a disservice.  I want to bring to your attention a handful of other, more relevant, things to pay attention to and the related myths we hear. 

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Emotional Eating and One Good Decision at a Time

Emotional Eating and One Good Decision at a Time

Have you ever made a commitment but decided to throw in the towel?

You started to believe the lies in your head or came up with reasons to justify your indulgence?  

I’m no expert on nutrition, and thankfully there are experts in the Tribe that can give you qualified advice. What I can do is speak from personal experience from my ongoing health journey and pass on some tips to help you overcome some roadblocks on your path to a healthy life.   

There are many great books, websites, and podcasts that have helped me learn more about nutrition, exercise, and overall healthy lifestyles.  Instead of going into all of that now, I want to share with you how I was able to make one good decision because that is what I feel God calls us to do--make one good decision at a time, humbly walking towards him.

I was able to say no to this delicious box of Duck Donuts that a friend surprised me with last weekend, and this one good decision is part of my journey to humbly walk towards God, one step at a time. 

Please take a moment to pay respects to these sweet, sweet donuts.  

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What is "Health" Anyway? 5 habits of physical health

What is "Health" Anyway?  5 habits of physical health

Turn on the television or stand in the checkout line at the grocery store and you can’t miss it.  Health is important.  If you’ve heard it once then you’ve heard it a thousand times, right? Yea, yea, but what does that mean anyway?  

Health and wellness can be incredibly overwhelming, and we are all juggling more balls than we can seemingly handle already.  It can make you want to leave your overflowing cart right in the checkout line and run to the parking lot pulling out your hair and screaming at the ridiculousness of it all.  Does it even really matter? Does the Lord care if I am healthy? What is “healthy” anyway?

In Mark’s gospel we are called to love God with our hearts, mind, souls, and strength.  This means that health must involve all aspects, and indeed good self-care does.  You can’t maintain a healthy body without a healthy mind and vice-versa.  A healthy heart and soul are also interconnected to these.  

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6 Tips for First-Time Runners

6 Tips for First-Time Runners

The first time I was invited to run I thought, "Sure, why not." I had never run before-- well, not since I was in elementary school I'm sure. I chased after my son when he was two, but I doubt that constituted as running. I think I jogged to the mailbox a time or two to beat the rain, but again, that probably didn't categorize as a run.

I remember that first run. I remember my thoughts too. They were something like:

 

Who does this...on purpose...by choice?!

Oh my gosh,  this sucks.

What in the world am I doing?

Are we almost done?

I think I'm dying...I can't breath...can we stop?!

 

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