Posts

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Taste the Grainbow

With the wide world of grains we have access to, why have we by and large limited ourselves to rice? I invite you to join me as we experience the wonder world of grains. Rice is so yesterday, try a new grain today. Click To Tweet

 

Grains have been the central element, the star of the plate, for many cultures for innumerous years. From rice to quinoa, China to Peru, grains have nourished and sustained peoples all over the planet. If some of these are unfamiliar to you, I challenge you to try a new one this week. Many of these grains can be purchase at a health food store, food co-op, or even your commercial local grocery (though there may be a substantial markup in price). If you have access to a local food co-op, you’ll find these in the bulk bin section. If you’re nervous about trying something new, just purchase a small scoop and it will literally cost you about $2.00 or less. So let’s dive in to our wonderful world of grains.

 

Amaranth

At least 8,000 years ago, the Aztecs in Peru cultivated this tiny grain. Well, it’s actually not even a grain but a seed. It falls into the grain category because it is so nutritionally dense. It is a complete protein as it contains all the essential amino acids, giving it a higher protein content than most other grains, It’s a key source of vitamins and minerals and especially high in iron. Its even gluten free! You can enjoy it sweet or savory. Kick start your day by trying my breakfast preparation.

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Apples and Amaranth

 

Buckwheat

Here we find another seed commonly referred to as a grain. Studies conducted in population that consume a good deal of buckwheat have LOWER incidences of high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Buckwheat is a powerful antioxidant; it’s high in magnesium, manganese and copper in addition to being gluten free. I usually eat mine raw as in my recipe here.

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Raw Granola

 

Bulgur

This is a whole grain true to its name. We read time and again to eat WHOLE grains; well this one here is 100% whole wheat. A great source of soluble fiber, manganese and Vitamin B-6, this grain is a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. Tabbouleh anyone?

bulgur

 

Farro

I love the chewy nuttiness of this grain. While it’s recently been making it way to chic menus lately, this grain has been eaten around the globe for thousands of years. High in iron and fiber, it makes a great replacement for rice. It can be used in dishes from soups to chilled salad. Here’s my favorite way to enjoy farro.

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Farro Salad

 

Millet

If you’ve ever seen “bird seed” you’ve seen millet but this is not just for the birds. While it’s really a seed, again this one falls into the grain category. Used for thousands of years, its even cited in the bible as an ingredient in bread. Good for your heart and insulin levels, try my modern take on a vegetarian classic.

millet

Lentil Loaf

 

Quinoa

 In the last few years, quinoa has almost become a familiar household item. In my home it makes frequent appearances. From salad to soup, I cook up a big batch, then portion out and freeze for later use. Prepared sweet for breakfast or savory as a dinner side, we love it all the same. High in protein, iron, vitamins and minerals this one really lives up to its SUPERFOOD name.

quinoa

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Cornmeal Crusted Tempeh, Sesame Snow Peas & Quinoa w/ orange sauce

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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Healthy Kids Lunches

Tater Tots

 

Fries steamed in a plastic bag with wholes in it

 

Rubbery hamburger

 

Beefy Mac

 

Sloppy Joe

 

Pizza

 

Fruit cups

 

Cardboard tasting chocolate milk

 

This is what I remember about school lunch. Then in high school I moved with my vegan father and began packing my lunches daily. Tempeh sandwiches and wraps became my new favs.

 

back to school lunch bags

 

When I had just 2 children, their lunches were Pinterest worthy. They had bento boxes laden with artfully decorated food.  I used molds, animal toothpicks and cutters. Well, 3 children later, I’m just looking to get something healthy in their bags that they won’t throw away. For more on getting kids to eat right, check out one of my most popular posts by CLICKING HERE.

 

So PBJ’s aside, here are some of my go to healthy kids lunches for my tribe of 5.

 

Beverages are limited to water and rarely chocolate almond milk. I used to give 100% organic juice but stopped that to cut down on sugar.

 

Burritos

Leftover Chipotle At Home comes together in a tortilla for a quick and easy lunch.

 

Burrtios

 

 

Pita pizza

I always keep whole wheat pitas in the freezer. This is a lunch the children can make and pack themselves.

 

Pasta salad

Make one big bowl and the family can eat this for a few days. The variations are endless. HERE is an easy one that my children enjoy.

 

Corn muffins w/ string cheese & carrot sticks

Use THIS vegan Corn Muffin Recipe

 

Taco Salad

I can remix this from some of the above Chipotle At Home ingredients. Or you can try THIS recipe.

 

Side Bites

Fruit

Mini cucumbers

Carrot sticks

Cherry tomatoes

Hummus

Nuts

 

Snack

Make THESE healthy bars to replace sugary granola bars

Popcorn

 

 

I’m always looking for inspiration. What are some of your favorite healthy kids lunches?

 

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As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Eat Your Water

Since water comprises 60% of your body weight, you can’t live without it. The body goes through a constant cycle of losing and replenishing that water. Water helps your organs function as designed, eliminate waste, regulate body temperature, aids in digestion and more. Ensure you keep hydrated and supply your body with this necessary fluid.

 

We’ve been taught to drink 64oz of water a day. But drinking water isn’t the only way to get your water intake. Water intake varies for each individual based on height, weight, environmental conditions, health and more. We’re accustomed to drinking our way to hydration, but let’s add eating to that equation.

 

Eat Your Water

 

Fruits

 

Watermelon

About 92% water per volume.

High in lycopene and highly alkaline this fruit is a summer staple. So refreshing and cooling on a hot summer day, it’s a fan fav at BBQ’s and summer parties.

 

Strawberries

About 92% water per volume.

High in antioxidants and vitamin C, also a good source of vitamin A, manganese and potassium, these sweet, succulent berries are best when consumed in season. Their softness, ripeness and sweetness in season can’t compare. One cup of strawberries contains 160% of your daily value of vitamin C. And you were always told to eat oranges for C. Eat these and get your C and water in one swoop.

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Grapefruit

91% water per volume

When eating grapefruit you not only hydrate but also burn fat and control cravings. Now who doesn’t want that?! And grapefruit are encouraged for heart health.

 

Cantaloupe

90% water per volume

One serving will not only hydrate you but also give you 100% of your daily value of vitamins A & C. One of my favorite ways to enjoy is having cantaloupe/sweet potato juice.

 

Vegetables

 

Lettuce

95% water per volume

While iceberg gets a bad rap, it is the lettuce with the highest water content. Other lettuces have slightly lower water but are more nutrient dense. Most lettuces have are high in vitamins A & K and high in folate. From salads to smoothies and juices, lettuce has many uses.

 

Zucchini

Over 95% water per volume

A good source of vitamin C and potassium, this versatile vegetable can be added to nearly everything. From raw noodles to juicing, when these are plentiful during summer, make full use of them. You can even shred one and add to pasta sauce to up the nutritional value.

 

Celery

95% water per volume

High in water and very low in calories rich in vitamins A, C and K. It hasn’t always been one of my favorite vegetables because its flavor is so strong but I always keep it on hand because I know how good it is for me. From soups to juices, celery is a household staple.

 

Cucumber

96% water per volume

High in vitamin K and powerfully fighting free radicals this vegetable is also an anti-inflammatory food. Research even shows that drinking watermelon or cucumber juice after a workout is twice as effective at hydrating the body than water. So post workout grab your watermelon/cucumber juice and drink up. (And it isn’t surprising their so hydrating. They belong to the same botanical family as two above items: zucchini and melons).

 

For more on water, check these out:

8 Benefits of Lemon Water

Life Water {Coconut Water}

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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Feed Your Spirit

There’s lots of attention these days on eating clean, eating right, eating healthy, whole foods, real foods and the like. That is but a small part of TOTAL nourishment. A well-balanced, nourished life feeds the mind, the body and the spirit.

 

How crucial it is friends to properly nourish the spirit. Just as the physical body requires daily sustenance for optimal performance, the spirit if not more, requires daily nutriment.

 

You must feed your spirit.

 

And as the physical body sometimes needs additional nourishment by way of supplements, extra calories, increase of whole foods and decrease of processed foods coupled with extra rest, massage and maybe some chiropractic or acupuncture care, your spirit man may be in need of a boost through a time of consecration including prayer and fasting. Some things can ONLY be moved through prayer and fasting.

 

“However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 17:21

 

Have you ever been in a season where God is downloading nuggets of truth but you don’t necessarily know how to process the information?

 

Have you ever been in a season where you feel like you can’t hear from God?

 

Have you ever been in a season where you need CLEAR answers and direction from God?

 

These are all times that may call for additional prayer and fasting. You know like the holidays call for bigger more substantial meals, you may need a bigger meal to feed your spirit.

 

The Lord has really been doing a work in me. But it all seems so disjointed. He’s been giving me visions, had me engaged in frontline warfare, has me speaking in ways I’ve never spoken before, He’s stretching my faith. And all these separate occurrences I know will somehow work together for my good but its all so much, so quick. I can’t make sense of it. And what’s impressed upon my spirit is to not try to make sense of it in a way that makes sense to me. But to simply yield to Him and He will bring it all together seamlessly in His perfect timing.

 

Some of the things He’s spoken to me though require action on my part. To prepare myself to take action, I will clear my heart and mind to receive my instructions. I will consecrate myself through prayer and fasting so I can get my walking papers in hand.

 

To hear clearly I am minimizing things that can dull my spiritual receptivity. For the next 3 days, I will consume minimal food and drink, only in taking that which is necessary for sustaining health and vitality. A nourished spirit is a strong spirit.

 

You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

 

 

The Word of God will be my food. As I feast on God’s timeless truths, He will reveal the next steps I’m supposed to take. He will strengthen my inner man. As I crucify my outer man’s desires and longings for temporary gratification through food, He will feed me with spiritual food that will not only sustain me but will provide answers I need.

 

Answers to prayers I’ve prayed.

Answers that will bless others.

Answers that will move the Kingdom agenda forward.

 

When we pray according to His will, He hears and He answers.

 

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

1 John 5:14-15

 

His word is my SOUL FOOD. A heaping plate of fragrant, steamy goodness. As I delve into His word I will take my time, chew His words slowly, savor each morsel then swallow it down so that it becomes a part of me, nourishing my blood, muscles, bones, heart and mind. As that nourishment becomes a part of my being, I am strengthened and fortified to walk out my PURPOSE!

 

When was the last time you gave up something, sacrificially to hear from Him?

 

Are you in need of direction/answers?

 

Considering setting aside some time for prayer and fasting.

 

For additional inspiration and nourishment click the following links:

 

MIND

For The Rest of My Life

Battlefield of the Mind

Stinking Thinking

 

BODY

Healthy Eating On The Go

10 Keys To Eating Right

Who Else Wants To Get Fit

 

 

SPIRIT

Being Strong In Spirit

Engaged In Spiritual Battle

Lord, Here’s My Worship

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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I Don’t Have Time

I don’t have time.

 

I don’t have time to exercise. I don’t have time to prepare healthy meals. I don’t have time to get adequate rest.

 

I get it. Believe me, I really do. If anyone is short on time, it’s me. I have a tribe of five over here ages 11-2, a husband that works a gazillion hours a week, I work in ministry and my spiritual gift is exhortation so I just HAVE to make time to share a word of encouragement. Most of our family activity: school, work, church, recreation is 30 minutes one-way from our home. I get it. If anyone doesn’t have time it’s me.

 

But let me pull out one of my old hats for a minute. I used to be a certified facilitator for Franklin Covey’s What Matters Most. In this workshop participants acquire skills for effective time management, improved relationships and peace of mind. And what I learned from applying these principles is this: we are all given the SAME amount of time; we CHOOSE how we’ll use it.

 

Well the Word says something about utilizing our time:

 

Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep,

Arise from the dead,

And Christ will give you light.”

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,

redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:14-17 NKJV

 

Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.

Wake up from your sleep,

Climb out of your coffins;

Christ will show you the light!

So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!

Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants. Ephesians 5:11-17 The Message

 

So I venture to say we don’t have a time issue but a time management issue. I will go on to say as the scripture says, walk as WISE and redeem the time because the days are evil.  The time robbers are all around us: electronics, busyness, lack of focus, and the like.  You know them because they’ve crept up on you a time or two.  They tried to rob me too, but I resolve to redeem the time.

 

Time for devotions

Time for building relationships

Time for love and laughter

Time for exercise

Time for rest

Time for preparing healthy meals

 

I dare you, the next time you are watching TV, are on social media, watching a movie or talking on the phone, set a timer. If you do, you’ll find that you DO in fact have some time. Yes preparing healthy meals will take more time than microwaving a hot pocket or toaster strudel, but the investment in yourself is worth the time. Do I have hours to spend working out? No. But at a minimum I try to get in at least 30 minutes a day (except Sundays).

 

And if we don’t take the time now to foster those things that matter most, they’ll be at the mercy of that which matters least. If we don’t take the time now, relationships will wither. If we don’t take the time now to eat right and exercise we can put ourselves in a position of spending more time in the Dr.’s office and pharmacy line.

 

Time invested on the front end will yield huge dividends in the long run. Your relationships will be the better for it as well as your health. Your overall mind, body and spirit will be properly nourished with your investment of time.

 

My plea friends is to encourage not to discourage, to inspire not condemn.

 

In what areas do you need to redeem the time?

 

Next Wednesday I’ll be sharing some ways you can redeem the time in your kitchen so stay tuned. If you aren’t currently receiving these posts in your email inbox, please subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss a thing.

 

Here’s an extra little nugget on redeeming the time.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Happy today to be connecting with friends @

Missional Women

Equipping Godly Women

 

Photo Credit

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How to Get Them to Eat Right

He’s a picky eater.

Oh she’ll never eat that.

He doesn’t eat anything green.

 

I’ve heard parents say it all regarding their children’s food habits. I am persuaded that children can and will eat healthy foods. The onus is on the parent to know the way, show the way then go the way.

 

The home is a ministry center for nourishing the spirit, mind and the body. Just as we train them up to respect authority, to do well in school, to try their best in their extracurricular activities and the like, we have to train them to care for their health by consuming foods that nourish the body. It is our responsibility to point to way that leads them to eat right.

 

Train up a child in the way he should go,

And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

 

We can actually begin that training in utero. Flavors are actually transmitted through amniotic fluid. Flavors are also present in breast milk. So early on we can introduce our children to a wide variety of flavors. We can acclimate them to the tastes from different cultures and different cooking methods i.e. eating cooked foods and raw.

Joaquin green smoothie

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This Little guy is always snagging my green smoothies

 

Everything you present isn’t always going to be adopted right away. One of my children never liked oatmeal. But every time we had oatmeal she took 2 courtesy bites. Guess who loves oatmeal now? But she didn’t enjoy it until she was 9. And this morning we had oatmeal and she was the first one happily lapping it up. Studies suggest it takes 8-10 tries of something that one claims they do not like before it’s adopted.  And then some things, yes, they just won’t like.  And I’m ok with that.  I don’t eat potato salad and I don’t eat Okra.  But I try a bite every now and again…just in case my tastes have changed.

 

Oh how my heart is wrenched when I see parents who’ve adopted new eating habits yet let their children continue to consume unhealthy foods on a consistent basis. I believe the parents may be thinking the children just won’t eat healthy, they’ll never try it, I want peace, I don’t want to fight with them and similar lines of thinking. I know it’s hard Mom and Dad but we’ve got to be creative, diligent, persistent and insistent on helping our children eat right.

 

The way I eat now isn’t the way I was raised as a young child either. My favorite meal as a kid was Kraft macaroni and cheese with fried chicken wings and canned corn. My mother, bless her heart did the best she could with what she had. Besides she was the baby girl in her family and never learned to cook. But when we know better, God holds us accountable to do better.

 

For those that now desire a better way, God can redeem the time and restore the years that have already passed. Do you desire change but don’t know how to get your family on board? How to get them to eat right? Try these tips.

 

Invite them in the kitchen when you are preparing meals

 kids blend Ninja

chappati

 

kids eat collards

Let them help create the menu

Tofu Lettuce Wraps

 

Stock the fridge and pantry with nourishing foods

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fridge full produce

Well, when these are your options, you eat what’s here or go hungry

 

Let them choose one new item each week from the grocery store.

groceries

Take them to places that are rich in new food experiences

Dc Veg Fest

 

Kids Food Fest

 

Make healthier versions of stuff they like

Fries

granola bars

Serve food in the “make your own plate” style. This works well for Taco Bar, Baked Potato Bar, Tapas

chipotle at home

Teach them what a serving size looks like

 

Teach them to read food labels

Following are 2 examples of doing this with my children. A McDonald’s coupon booklet came in the mail and my daughter wanted the fries. I told her to look up the ingredients. Once she saw the list she said never mind. Another time she got a rice crispy treat from a school party. I told her to read the list of ingredients. She came across a few items that she couldn’t pronounce, including tert-Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ). This additive found in many packaged foods is a preservative and in high doses is a carcinogenic. In addition to food, it is used industrially as stabilizer to inhibit corrosion and is added to varnishes and lacquers. Needless to say we got a good laugh out of that one and she went on to eat the treat but hasn’t eaten one ever again. TBHQ and High Fructose Corn Syrup are now running jokes over here. Even my 6 year old reads the labels and if she sees sugar listed in the 1st 5 ingedients she’ll tell her siblings, “That’s not healthy!”

 

I know change is possible. The children of one of my friends would only eat pancakes for breakfast and chicken nuggets for dinner. That was their norm for several years. As God began to reveal a better plan to my friend, she slowly adopted new habits and it became a family affair.

 

Now I’m no health food Gestapo. My children do like pizza and ice cream. And I do let them indulge occasionally. Besides, they get enough junk from well meaning teachers, coaches, mentors, friends, and even the dry cleaner that they don’t need it at home too.  So as a baseline, we eat our food close to the way it looked when it grew.

 

At ages 10 & 9, my oldest children have gotten to the age where they are making many of their own food choices. At home, they are presented with healthy foods (with the occasional chips and cookies Daddy brings home. I love the guys but I swear sometimes I feel like he’s playing on the other team. Mommy’s offering raspberries and here comes Cookie Man, the hero to save the day). When at a friends house, church event, or family function, I simply remind them to choose well. I may also suggest to them to think about what they’ve already consumed that day and to choose well based on what nutrients or junk they’ve already put in.

 

Studies predict that for the first time in history, the next generation will have a shorter life span than their parents. And what makes that even more tragic is that the decline in life expectancy is primarily due to obesity related diseases that are largely preventable. Just as we desire to be in health and prosper even as our souls prosper, don’t we have that same desire for our children? If so, what are we doing today to make that a reality for our children?

 

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live. Deuteronomy 30:19

 

Being a parent is tough and requires us to make tough decisions. But as a parent you make the tough decisions out of the love you have for your children. We cannot be too passive, tired, weary, or frustrated when it comes to parenting and helping them choose well in honoring the temple is included in that.

 

Oh how much easier it would be for me to cook a boxed starch already seasoned, take a protein and douse it in a ready made sauce, heat some frozen veggies and call everyone to the table for dinner? How much easier it would be for me to go through the drive through on the nights we have Boy Scouts because after dropping 3 of the 5 to school, taking another to pre-school then taking the baby with me to grocery shop at 2 different stores come home put groceries away, wash, dry, fold and put away 3 loads of laundry, clean a bathroom, make ministry phone calls, take back overdue library books, pick up dry cleaning, go back to the school for afternoon pickups, take the 30 minute drive back home to change clothes and quickly eat dinner before we take that same 30 minute drive back out to the Boy Scouts meeting….whew the drive thru would have been real convenient. And in a rare pinch I may have to make a run to Chipotle but that’s rare. True nourishment comes from the love I infuse into the fresh fruits, vegetable, legumes and whole grains my family noshes on.

 

The food I offer them each day is making an impression not only on their taste buds in the moment but is being coded in their brains. They are developing a preference for salt, fat and sugar. It is my prayer that they would desire foods that nourish and honor their bodies.

 

The Lord gave me a major revelation as related to the health of my children and their children to come. I was filling out some initial new patient forms, one of which was the family history. I went down the line checking off ailment after ailment that my mother, grandmother and other immediate family members have had. Diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, glaucoma, migraines, autoimmune disorders and more…CHECK. In that moment the Lord said, “The choices you make today will break the curse”. In the church we talk about breaking generational curses and the Lord was telling me how I could have a direct impact on breaking some of the health curses over my family. He said, “Choose well and your children won’t have to check some of these boxes and then their children will check even fewer.” Can we say PRAISE HIM for revelation!

 

So out of my love for them, even if they don’t like me for it now, I’m training them to choose well when it comes to food. Sure, they’d probably like some McDonald’s fries on a Friday night but when I think about the 17 ingredients in there…I just can’t. My goodness, shouldn’t it just be potatoes, salt and oil? And sure I feel for them when they are ostracized at school for having “weird” food but I just have to remind them and myself that we are set apart, a chosen generation, and a royal priesthood. We are a peculiar people and I pray that in taking this small stance with being proud of what’s in their lunchboxes, that it will lay the foundation for when they come up against even greater persecution.

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I am confident that you are nurturing your children’s mental, spiritual, social and emotional well being. So what can you do today to ensure that you are positively contributing to their physical well-being as related to the food they consume?

Eli loves veggies

I know…the big knife’s a danger to the little guy.  He just loves raw veggies and is always reaching in to grab some.

Disclaimer

{This was a hard post for me to write, as I wanted to be sensitive to each family’s background, preferences, dynamics, finances, beliefs about food, etc. There is so much that plays into our relationship with food. Out of obedience to God, I’ve written it exactly as He’s given it to me so I pray hearts are open and receptive as I share only from a place of love and concern.}

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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I’m Done With Labels

Omnivore. Vegetarian. Pescatarian. Raw. Vegan. Flexitarian.

 

I’m so OVER labels.

 

Today marks Day 10 of a 10-Day cleanse for me. Over the holidays I did a little more social eating than usual. I nibbled on food when I wasn’t really hungry just because I was in social gatherings where food was present. So to kick off the year, I wanted to reset my body and start the year clean and strong.

 

The 1st three days of the cleanse I consumed juices and smoothies exclusively and days 4-10 raw foods only. The last 7 days haven’t been drastically different than the way I normally eat. I usually have a green smoothie for breakfast and eat raw for lunch so at least half my day I generally consume raw foods. Does this mean I espouse a raw food diet for everyone? NO.

 

What I advocate and encourage for myself, my family and for everyone is to rethink your plate. Somewhere along the line we’ve been taught to think that our plate should look like a Swanson TV dinner tray; you know the one, divided into sections, the largest section with a big hunk of meat, a medium sized portion of starch and a small side of vegetables (and perhaps a dessert).

swanson tv dinner

Well even the government is acknowledging the old model isn’t working for the Western diet. They’ve done away with the old food pyramid and have introduced Choose My Plate. And finally, the vegetable portion is the largest section on the plate.

choose my plate

And that’s my urge to you. Increase your consumption of whole food plant-based items. Eat food that closely resembles what it looked like when it grew. Eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and grains and less processed, refined, packaged dead foods. Eating foods that still have life in them will contribute to giving life to your blood, muscles, and organs. You are a finely crafted machine and you need high-octane fuel to run on.

colorful salad

Would you put regular gas in your Porsche Carerra? NO! That high performance engine needs premium fuel and so do you. When you put inferior gas in a high performance car you can experience knocking. And that’s also what happens to the body when you put inferior, processed, highly refined foods in it. Your body ‘knocks’ suffering from disease, inflammation, aches, pains, irregularity in elimination, and more.

 

God wants you to eat of the good of the earth. From the earth, He provides you with what your body needs.

 

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” Genesis 1:29

kale salad chickpeas

I pray you are INSPIRED to eat the bounty of the good of the earth. I encourage you to eat raw food at least once a day. When we heat our food to high temperatures we begin to kill essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes (though there are a few foods that benefit from heating).

 

I’m done with labels. When someone asks, “Are you a vegan?” I simply answer I eat mostly a plant based diet. Every now and again I do enjoy a slice of pizza and I’m not talking about a pizza with vegan Daiya cheese either. I’m talking about a slice of heavy, ooey gooey hot oily cheesy goodness.

 

I don’t care what you call yourself, just eat more of what’s good for you and less of what your body can’t recognize. When we consume highly processed and highly refined foods, our bodies don’t readily recognize them and as a result the body can react with inflammation, allergies, bloating and the like.

 

So what will you do today to honor your temple? There are plenty of things I like that do not honor my temple. I love Jax Cheese Curls, Macaroni and Cheese (my third favorite food behind popcorn and kale salad), Pizza and Ice Cream. But I have to make a decision to say YES to my health and NO to these items. As a rare treat I may indulge in one of those items.

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So here’s a start. Choose something on the Eat This to consume and something from the NOT THIS to get rid of. Or take one item that you normally eat and find out how you can prepare it in a different way that is lower in fat, lower in calories and retains more of the nutrients. One. Small. Step. At. A. Time.

 

Eat This

Apple w/ Almond Butter

Green Beans sautéed with fresh garlic

Baked Fish

Homemade salad dressings and sauces

Brown Rice, Quinoa

Maple syrup, Honey, Dates

Air Popped Organic Popcorn

 

Not This

Candy Bar

Green Beans cooked to their death in chicken broth

Fried Fish

Bottled salad dressings & sauces

White Rice

White Sugar

Potato Chips

 

Each moment of the day, we are presented with choice. I urge you to choose well.

 

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live. Deuteronomy 30:19

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired to Live Fully!

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10 Reasons to Eat This One Thing

Ch-ch-ch-chia. You remember the commercial from the 80’s advertising the pottery that grows. One would take the animal shaped terra cotta form, soak it in water, spread on the seeds, add water and watch it grow. You could buy them at stores like Rite-Aid, CVS, Ames and Woolworth, which makes this trip down memory lane even funnier because some of these stores don’t even exist today.

 

chia pet

 

Chia, which has been cultivated by the Aztecs for ages, means strength. This concentrated super food contains protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. It has a mild flavor and can easily be added to smoothies, cereal, baked goods and savory dishes. So here are 10 reasons why you should eat this one thing.

 

Easily Digestible

Unlike flax seed, the body can easily process chia seeds in their whole form.

 

Calcium

Calcium is essential for healthy bone, muscle and nerve function. While we’ve all been taught for years that you need to drink milk for calcium, here’s a great dairy free way to increase your calcium intake.

 

Phosphorus

A mineral that is present in every cell of the body. It is critical in how the body uses carbs and fat. It also helps with kidney function, the heart and nerve signaling. Again we are told to get it from meat and dairy but its right here in the chia. BAM!

 

Omega-3

We hear a lot about omega-3 in the news these days. This fatty acid can help lower bad cholesterol, curb stiffness and joint pain, and promote healthy development of a growing baby among others. Omega-3 has even been seen to help curb depression. Most often we are told to get it from fish. You can certainly get it there but a sprinkle of chia in your smoothie will do just fine too.

 

Fiber

Helps to keep blood sugar and hunger in check. Most Americans aren’t getting enough. Make sure you get enough by adding a teaspoon of chia to your oatmeal.

 

Manganese

My 6-year old daughter was recently asking me about the skeleton and how it supports the body. Well here we see another mineral that’s key to healthy bones. It is also needed to help absorb calcium and the functioning of the thyroid gland.

 

Protein

When I say protein your mind might immediately think meat. Every cell in the body contains protein too. Chances are you are getting enough in your diet but here’s an easy way just in case.

 

Iron

While most people are probably getting enough protein, I talk to so many people who are iron deficient. Iron is essential for growth, development and cell function. Many people end up taking iron supplements, which can cause constipation. Keep your plumbing running smoothly by just adding chia to your daily routine.

 

Zinc

Important to immune function and wound healing, zinc is also critical for smelling and tasting.

 

Magnesium

Helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function. It also helps your heart beat steady and bones stay strong

 

I hope you are on your way to buy your chia seeds. I get mine from the bulk bin at my local natural food store. You’ve been given 10 reasons to eat this one thing.  Taking small steps can vastly improve your overall health.  Here’s to your next small step.

 

Chia-Seeds

 

Your food is your medicine.

 

Here’s to nourishing your temple.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired to Live Fully!

,

10 Keys to Eating Right

“How do you maintain your weight?” This is a question I’m often asked. As a mother of 5, it seems that people want to know my secret for keeping the weight off. And keeping it off is what I have to do. On my mother’s side of the family, the women are tall and thick. In my early college days as I grieved the loss of my mother, I too got quite thick. But by educating myself, being disciplined in my eating, exercising, praying and obeying God in honoring my temple, I have been able to maintain my weight.

 

So I answer the question of how I maintain my weight as follows “I obey God, exercise and eat right”. One time after I said this I thought to myself “what does that mean? I eat right.” Based on one’s background that can mean different things. I was talking to someone once about getting children to eat right and she mentioned that she had switched to Capri Sun Roaring Water, Go-gurt yogurt and granola bars as a means of eating right. Now the items she mentioned are laden with sugar but based on her experiences this was an improvement and she believed she had the children eating right.

 

With the New Year approaching, many people begin to examine their health and make resolutions to eat right, get in shape, quit certain behaviors and the like. To give you a head start here are my 10 Keys To Eating Right.

 

  1. Eat Food That Closely Resembles Its Original Form

     

     

    Does this  Cheetos

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Look like this

    corn on cob

Sticking with food that closely resembles its original form is a good way to ensure you are giving your body food it can recognize and proper utilize. Your body doesn’t naturally recognize certain foreign substances and the body can become confused with how to process these foreign substances. And sometimes we see the body react to foreign substances as allergies, bloating, fatigue and more.

  1. Eat More Raw Food

In addition to eating food in its most recognizable, natural state, it is also advisable that you consume more raw foods. Cooking food generally leads to loss of minerals, vitamins and enzymes (though there are a few foods that have increased benefit after cooking). In addition to maximum mineral, vitamin and enzyme consumption, you have the benefit of the fiber to keep your plumbing from getting clogged.

Eli loves veggies

 

 

IMG_4657

  1. Rethink Your Plate

As a child I was taught that a plate was divided into fourths: 1/4 vegetables (albeit canned and soggy), 1/4 starch (Uncle Ben’s rice) and the other half meat. It’s time we rethink the plate. I know, I know years of seeing it that way have been implanted in your subconscious but we will retrain the brain to see it differently. Gone is the picture of the Hungry Man TV dinner. Who said you can’t eat 2-3servings of veggies, no starch and a piece of meat the size of a deck of cards? The next time you make your plate, double the veggies and reduce the starch and meat portions. I triple dog dare ya.

IMG_2178

  1. Read Labels

The 1st 5 ingredients tell the story. When you read the 1st five, ask yourself “Is this improving or detracting from my health?” The next time you go to eat food that came out of a package, wrapper or box, flip it over and read the label. It’s very telling. The label may say 100 calories and only 2 grams of fat so you may think it’s okay but it has 0 nutritional value and the amount of sugar in there is certain to stick to your body.

 

 

  1. Portion Control

What is a portion? As a country we’ve come to expect more and more and food portions are no exception. When I was a child, there were only 2 sizes of bags of chips that I remember, small and family size. Today, I see at least 4 different sized bags and many of the medium sized bags containing 4-8 servings are usually consumed in one sitting. Putting a heaping pile of rice on your plate? Next time take a measuring cup and measure out a ½ cup of your cooked rice so that you can see what the serving size looks like.

 

  1. Simple Swaps

Click here then print the list so that the next time you go to the grocery store you can swap out some of your old choices for healthier new ones.

 

  1. Choose Good Fats

Not all fat is created equal. The body needs fat it’s just a matter of choosing the right kind. Good fats include: avocado, olive oil, flaxseed, salmon and nuts to name a few.

 

  1. Eliminate Bad Fats

As my children would sing “Let it go, let it go”. Seek to eliminate bad fats such as processed meat, cheese, commercially baked goods, fried chicken, donuts and shortening.

 

  1. Cut Down the Sugar

It’s lurking everywhere. This is again where reading labels proves to be essential. From ketchup to non-fat half and half to peanut butter, too often it rears its ugly head.

 

How many different types of sugar are in here? So while this is a low calorie snack, all this sugar will stick right around your belly and make its home there.

Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate {Vitamin B1}, Riboflavin, {Vitamin B2}, Folic Acid), Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, High Oleic Canola Oil, Cocoa (Processed With Alkali), Cornstarch, Leavening (Baking Soda, Calcium Phosphate), Artificial Color, Salt, Powdered Sugar, Artificial Flavor.

Oreo 100 Calorie

Those are the 100-calorie snacks I referred to above.

We are being pre-disposed to crave sugar. Here we go again. Look at this.

Corn Syrup, Milk Protein Isolate, High Oleic Safflower Oil, Sugar, Soy Oil, Coconut Oil, Galactooligosaccharides. Less than 2% of the Following: C. Cohnii Oil, M. Alpina Oil, Beta-Carotene, Lutein, Lycopene, Calcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, Magnesium Phosphate, Ascorbic Acid, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Chloride, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ferrous Sulfate, Choline Bitartrate, Taurine, m-Inositol, Zinc Sulfate, L-Carnitine, Mixed Tocopherols, Niacinamide, d-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Cupric Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Phylloquinone, Biotin, Sodium Selenate, Vitamin D3, Cyanocobalamin, Potassium Hydroxide, and Nucleotides (Adenosine 5’-Monophosphate, Cytidine 5’-Monophosphate, Disodium Guanosine 5’-Monophosphate, Disodium Uridine 5’-Monophosphate)

similac-sensitive

In that baby formula the most prevalent ingredient is sugar.

10. Do Not Skip Meals

Really, this is so true. if you are skipping meals you are doing the opposite of eating right and maintaining weight. When you skip meals the body will think it’s being starved and go into preservation mode and store fat. I know a fit fitness professionals and they actually eat at least 6 times a day (small meals that is).

 

And just because I couldn’t leave this one off…

 

Don’t Bring The Stuff In Your House

 

If I buy a Reese Cup, chances are I’m going to eat it. But if I don’t buy it, I won’t eat it. If it isn’t stocked in the house, personally I will not make a special trip to go to the store for something I may want on a whim. With Christmas approaching, people may try to send you home with extra goodies. Find a way to perhaps take one small piece and decline the rest without offending the giver.  You can also check out my tips for maintaining weight over the holidays by clicking here.

 

It is my prayer that you would be in health and prosper. I’m sure some of this information isn’t even new to you. The KEY is application. What good is a key if you don’t use it? If you want to enter your home, you have to take your keys out of your bag, pocket or purse, find the correct key, insert it into the lock and turn it the right way for the door to open.

 

The same is true if you want to improve your health. You must be committed and disciplined to consume what’s good for you and reduce or eliminate what’s bad for you.  So please use your 10 keys to eating right.

 

BTW – I am a work in progress. One of my favorite snacks since I was a kid up until now is Jax Cheese Curls. Man I just love those things. But with genetically modified corn, artificial food coloring and monosodium glutamate I need to just leave them alone. I have to make good choices that honor my temple. But I love them. My decision is to just eat them 2-3 times a year. I get my fix then I’m over it. For me it’s moderation in all things. You may be an all or nothing type. Just do what you know you can commit to.

 

May you be rewarded for your discipline and diligence in honoring your temple.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired to Live Fully!

,

Lentil Soup

lentil soup & panini

The mighty legume…lentils. Rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. Lentils are a must in any well stocked pantry. We eat them many ways in our home but lentil soup is in our regular rotation. The smoky sweetness of the berbere, smoked paprika and chipotle pepper give this soup amazing depth. Those three smoky things are my secret ingredients (don’t tell anybody).

Lentil Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium diced onion

1/2 cup chopped carrot

1 rib chopped celery

2 teaspoons salt

1 tsp berbere

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 pound lentils picked and rinsed

1/2 cup diced tomatoes

1 chipotle pepper in adobo

2 large leaves kale deveined and chiffonade

2 quarts vegetable broth

Place the olive oil into a large pot and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, chipotle pepper, broth, berbere and smoked paprika. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low simmer with lid on but tilted until the lentils are tender, approximately 30 minutes. Add the kale and stir. Let sit for 5 minutes. Enjoy!