Monthly Archives: March 2012

I Didn’t Die… Yet.

You should be the very first to know…

I actually DRANK some calories…  and I didn’t die.

You know how I feel about this.  Drinks with calories … are for people on the go.

I’m not on the go enough to drink calories.  I like to EAT too much.

Coffee, water and tea… all plain.  That’s just me.

I don’t juice, I don’t smoothie… I just don’t.

[Not to mention… the color of food on those veggie-drinks… bleck!]

I have a real issue with textures of foods, and foods that I eat – NEED to be apetitizing.   Do you think my stomach struggles, over the years, have anything to do with those issues?

No, huh-uh.

I decided I needed to figure out a way to get some more calories and nutrition in fast – that is plant-based vs. processed.

I chose to TRY…

A version of the “Green Monster Spinach Smoothie” by Iowa Girl Eats.

I can handle this…. I think.  I like spinach.  I like peanut butter. I like bananas…

OH wait!  I don’t like soy milk or greek yogurt… 

I’m desperate, I can revise this and scale it back – it’s worth a shot.

I mix it all up in the blender, and choke it down.

Definitely NEEDS ice.  (My banana wasn’t frozen and this {in my opinion} needed to be COLD!)

So I try it the next day…  colder.  With ice.

Mmmmmmmmmm much better.  My son agrees.

It does the trick, and my stomach didn’t hurt after I ate it.  Success!

Today I tried another recipe from Spark People.  (similar to = Weight Watchers) I would definitely change it up, and NOT put water in it.  I prefer it thicker, vs a water-juice type of drink.

That Silk stuff is a lot less disgusting than I thought! It has some great calcium, and no carbs! Only 35 calories per serving! (plus it's not super sweet like soy!)

Spinach Smoothie

2 cups fresh spinach

1/2  cup of light soy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

3 whole frozen strawberries

1/4 cup blueberries

1 clementine (aren’t they SO cute!?)

1/2 banana

1/2 cup of water (if I make this again, this is not going in – ice instead!)

144.6 Calories

1.7 g Fat

31.1 Carbs

5.2 Protein

My goal, is to search out a few good options to try now and then – when I simply don’t feel like eating but NEED calories, and need to feel full without processed junk.  There are LOTS of high calorie, high carb smoothie/juice recipes out there.  BE SELECTIVE.  Adding in some types of yogurt, and often times – lots of fruit – can add up the calories SUPER fast.

Know what you’re putting in.

Watch to make sure the SERVING SIZE for what you’re making… so you’re not eating for TWO!

Personally I tried to look for something that was “around” 150 calories with carbs around 30.

I had this and some low-sodium, oven-roasted chicken slices wrapped in some lettuce.  Not a bad choice at all, and 3 hours later – I’m NOT hungry.

I did learn that one of the benefits of “eating” your spinach this way is it goes directly into your system within 15 minutes, vs when you chew it up – it’s tough to chew, and a lot of fiber for your body to break down also… (meaning, you’re not able to absorb all of the great vitamins it has to offer!)  So if you like spinach, and I DO… then give it a whirl.  We just have a regular blender, and it worked great to mix it all up!

“Now these were more noble minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness,

examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so.”  Acts 17:11

Who Do You See?

I read a book several years ago that talked about having a picture image of who it was you wanted to see when you looked in the mirror to keep your goals on track.

I’m not talking vanity.  Although, sometimes it can be an important motivator as you seek to be healthy for Him.

I know many of us have those moments now and again… we see a picture of ourselves, and we do not recognize that person.  At. All.

It’s as if someone has stolen our body, and replaced it with someone else… only the face (may or may not) look the same.

I would review and review in my mind … the image of who I saw – was NOT who I was.  I would keep up the fight for my health… and stay on track.

Society would tell me I shouldn’t look like I did when I was in my early 20s… after all now I was “a mom”.  I needed to be rounder, fuller… I need not focus on being fit, and healthy and strong.

You know what?  They were partially right.  I shouldn’t look like I did in my early 20s, I should look BETTER, and healthier and stronger…  because I know BETTER.

How did things get so far off track?

More importantly, how could I get them headed in the right direction?

You know, I always talk about how I felt – because I truly related how I felt, while being overweight… to how I looked.  I remember at one point thinking – “THIS” is all my kids know me as…  They don’t even know “ME”…

I wanted to give them more, not just of me, but for THEIR future – I wanted them to know that healthy WAS important.  My health is important, and so is theirs!

For me, I wanted to look in the mirror and see the person I knew was underneath all of those unhealthy food and portion control choices.  I knew there was muscle that God designed me with just screaming to come out and be seen.  I knew there was more comfort in Him and His word, than in food… and I wanted to show them what that looks and feels like.

I kept this image in my mind of how I felt when I was engaged.  It was the prime of my life.  I felt full, and happy, and I worked hard to be fit for our wedding and honeymoon.  I loved how almost everything fit me.  I enjoyed getting dressed, vs. dreading it.  Yes… THAT is how I wanted to feel again.  I wanted to feel that “love” for health again.

I no longer look at images and cringe about not looking like “myself.”  Sure, I look older… and I could pick apart things, as we all do.  But ultimately I see an image of health.  I see someone who is striving to please the Lord and feel good each and every day…  and THAT feels great.  I didn’t like trying to hide myself in the pictures, or hide parts of my body…  and that didn’t send a good image to my kids either.

Praise God today for the body He gave you!  Praise Him for each day we have the opportunity to make better choices that bring Him glory.  Thank Him also for the AMAZING foods He has provided to us – with all of the colors and varieties beyond our imaginations!

Nurses used to blow vessels in my arms trying to find a place to stick me. As you can see, that is no longer a problem. I'm not one for big "man" arms on a lady - but strong, toned arms are a plus.

“So I ask you not lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.  For this reason I bow my knees before my Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He many grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God.”

-Eph.  3:13-19

Getting a Clue?

Now and then, it seems like some restaurants are getting a clue…  perhaps they’re actually listening to some of what is being said.

I know I hear more people paying attention to what they’re ordering, or being utterly shocked at how many calories are in (what they THOUGHT) was a “healthy salad”…

But oh my… we still have a LONG way to go to continue being educated.  We certainly can’t let the restaurants do the math, and assume they have our best interests at heart.  No, we have to consider what their objective is – for us to buy whatever it is they sell.  It’s not ultimately for us to be healthy.

But I’ll give them credit where it’s due, they’re at least TRYING.

One of our kid’s favorite places to eat when we’re traveling (and if they’re in the area), is Culver’s.  “Home of the Butterburgers”….  You can imagine how this sits with me.  I used to LOVE their Wisconsin patty melts.  (When I ate rye bread, slathered in butter… swiss cheese all melty and stuff.)  Some days I even ordered a “double”… 616 calories and 35 g. carbs.  Ouch on the calories especially.  Now I just get a double butter burger with lettuce and mustard only – and eat it (without the bun of course).  Sometimes I have a salad with it – no cheese, croutons or dressing of course…  it fits the bill for A LOT fewer calories and carbs.  Not the best choice – but much better for me.

I was a little surprised that with their “Mindful Choices” options, they failed to offer something less of a 4″ white-bread bun!  That’s 160 calories RIGHT THERE of no nutrition… Remember: Think! WHY am I eating this?  What’s the point?

Culver's "Mindful Choices" selections

Online Culver’s even has a “Nutritional Meal Builder” to give you the 4-1-1 on what you’re going to stuff on in, and pray it processes.  They also have an allergen “grid” for their products.  Very nice.  I think while their product offering is mostly of the “fast food” sort – they are trying to make better options available for their customers.  That’s more that I can say for a lot of other companies!  Just be more aware of what you’re eating.  Don’t just 500 calories is what YOU should be eating at a meal just because that is their smallest offering.  Most people need LESS than that.

“Share in suffering as  a good soldier of Christ Jesus.   No soldier  gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”  2 Timothy 2:3-4


Hungry for Change?

Have you seen it?  You can sign up now to view it for free…

If you’ve already seen it – what do you think??  Some great aspects to this.  Praying MORE people realize the key to health through this video.  Be knowledgable about what you’re putting in or on your body.  There isn’t in any special product you can buy to get and stay thin.  When you read a list of “main active ingredients” of a product, be sure to also look at the sin of omission … how about the other ingredients??  What ARE they, and what could they be doing to your system??  Don’t let good marketing LIE to you.  Know the Truth.

We are poisoning our bodies with products every. day. … and we live in denial.

What change can you make TODAY for Him?

Spring in Kansas! Thank you God for your glory!

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.   They have no speech, they use no words;   no sound is heard from them. Yet their voicegoes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.   It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,  like a champion rejoicing to run his course.  It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.

The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,  making wise the simple.  The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart.  The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.   The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous.

They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.  By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.  But who can discern their own errors?  Forgive my hidden faults.  Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.   Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart    be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

Psalm 19

What’s Happenin’?

Just a heads up that this week at Target, a bunch of their “active” and workout gear is on sale.  One of my favorite workout bras is $3 off per bra – and I also picked up a cute sleeveless workout v-neck!  Definitely worth a stop by if you’re at Target this week!

Limited time sale - hurry!

Also, if you didn’t know…  Starbucks came out with a TRENTA size for their tea.  In my case – my world just got that much more go-go juice as the TRENTA offers 31 oz. of my black tea goodness for only $.50 more!   Yes!!

The *NEW* Trenta size from Starbucks!

Hope you’re having a great week!  We got home late tonight, and instead of just passing on my workout at 11pm.  I talked myself into a 20 minute workout, which led me to add-on another 15-20 once I got my heart pumpin’.  Sometimes I just have to play mind games with myself.  If can say, “Yeah, I can do at least 15-20 minutes…” and then I realize, once I’m moving – I have a bit more to give!

“Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your Truth;

give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”  Psalm 86:11

Kick, Jump, SCORE!

Organization is a must this season. At noon we set out all of our items needed for practice... and the pile is getting longer and longer!

It’s that time again around our house.  Soccer season!!

I may have officially lost my mind, as we agreed to let 2 more children start playing soccer – for a total of SIX in soccer.

Yes.  I know.

Praise God that in our rec. league, the powers that be – put the teams together with families in mind by doing this:

– Group kids of the same family, on the same team when ages allow.

– Keep children with the same coaches/team that help them to bond, and grow together as they improve on their skills.

We love soccer for three main reasons: 

First, it’s GREAT exercise.  Lots of running = fit heart and body!

Secondly, there is a spring and fall season.  For us, that’s two great seasons of a sport for less $$$ – because it’s the same equipment (as long as kids don’t grow 4 shoe sizes like our son did from fall until now!  Praise God for hand-me-downs – right?).

Thirdly,  for us, it’s a family thing that doesn’t destroy our family time.  Meaning, it doesn’t rip us apart – which would be easy to do with kids in lots of activities and multiple ages.  We play in the spring and fall, and most nights of the week – the kids are all in the same spot (this is where having our kids close in age really is a blessing for us!)  The younger kids can play on the play ground while the older kids get in their practice time.  If the weather is nice, often times we’re all together for practices and Saturday morning games.

For a short time it might seem like a big pain to some people, but for us, it’s perfect!  We think the idea of sports is a good investment of time – but we certainly don’t want it to be a worship that over takes our lives or rips us apart as a family.  No SPORT is worth that.

What types of sports and activities do your children do?  Do you have limits on the amount they can be in?  What do you like or dislike about it?

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”  Eph. 2:8-9

Butter, Cheese and Stuff Like That!

Once at family camp, when I was a small child,  I grabbed a stick of butter and attempted to eat it.

I guess I was hungry?


You’ve been there before.  You turn your head for ONE minute… and you to turn back to your child doing the unthinkable…

Butter “scoops” have often be confused with “ice cream” or whipped cream to our children.  More than once, I’ve stopped a child attempting to eat the fluffy mound at a restaurant.

For whatever reason, that seemed to cure me of desiring butter… for MANY years.  Even now, I shutter at the thought, and I think I was only 2 when that happened.

Good memory of a terrible event.

Currently, due to some stomach issues, I’ve given up the butter, milk and cheese I can…  and it’s been a worth-while sacrifice.  I feel A LOT better.

I almost giggle at how I was repoisoning myself, time and time again – and I could have avoided that…  Well, if I’m not giggling yet – I will someday.

Butter and cheese are items that can add up quickly… and often times you really can do without them.

Every pat of butter is about 36 calories.  If you step that back, you could save 1008 calories a week, 4032 calories in a month, or 48,384 calories in a year!!

Since 3,500 unused calories = ONE POUND OF FAT…

You could lose 14 lbs in one year – not even trying that hard.

While I don’t recommend eating a stick of butter, so that you’ll NEVER desire to eat butter again.  Think about the possibilities that can add up – by making simple changes!

God celebrates when we make healthy choices for Him!

Happy St. Patrick’s day!  If you don’t know much about St. Patrick – look him up!  Such a great example, and the only person to have a world-wide holiday celebrated in his honor.  We honor him on the day he died, March 17th, 460 A.D.

What are you doing or wearing GREEN today? We made these fun treats for my daughter's Bible club.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

Crazy People.

I see crazy people.  Lots of crazy little people.

I’m going to guess I’m not alone.  Kids get a little crazy when they’re sick… and they can sometimes turn you a little nuts yourself.  You teeter between not giving them meds if they’re going to act well enough to fight… and enjoying some of the time when their fevered bodies be cuddled and stroked.

Then there is the middle of the night waking, bath giving, and kids coughing so hard they throw up.  You wonder… did I purposefully sign up for this?  I should have read the contract a bit more closely.  Maybe I’m on candid camera, and someone will pop in letting me know the gig is up.

Sorry.  It’s part of the gig…   Jesus came to serve, not be served.

When I care for my sick kids, I often reflect on how I was cared for when I didn’t feel well.  People who made me feel the most loved, and cared for… made the most impact in showing me Christ’s love.  It might be the reason, even as an adult – we miss our mommy when we don’t feel well.  We all like being taken care of.

This is what bronchitis looks like at our house. Antibiotic/Steroid cocktail anyone?

It’s EASY to love people when they’re at their best.  Who doesn’t want to be around someone who is all sunshine and rainbows?

But what about when people are stormy and rainy?  What about those who make mistakes and are unlovable?

Granted our kids aren’t completely unlovable, even when they’re sick…  but I bet you can think of a few people who might qualify in that department…  Maybe it’s you.

Think about how you treat your body.

Are you gentle?  Loving and kind?

Do you mistreat it?  Fill it with garbage and then wonder why it doesn’t perform better?  Skimp on exercising?  Talk badly about it?  Question God’s design in creating you?

How about a little more love… and bit more grace towards ourselves?

How about giving it your all on the days you feel strong.  Eat our best, workout with every last bit of energy we have to give.  It’s not a diet, it’s how you live.  Healthy for HIM!

Our bodies will thank us for it!

“If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others?

 Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”   Matthew 5:46-48

Closets and Crock Pots

It’s rainy here in Kansas, and looking like spring might be arriving this week.  Can I get a fist pump?  What better thing to do on this day of rest, than to organize closets and sort clothes!  I really enjoy it when things are completed, but the process itself, is always an ugly one [sound like any other transformation process?]  No?  Yeah, me neither…

It reminds me of how thankful I am that we HAVE clothes, and it also reminds me that we don’t need so MANY clothes, so it steers me to buy less.  Hand me downs are great, IF you can remember to find every tub that you need each season.  Several of my children just pass right down, season after season – so that is nice [and easy].  For the ones that don’t, I sort, fold, label and tuck away – praying I will find that box when I need it!  This is when the family closet idea sounds a lot better than the set up we have!

Sundays are the day we set aside for our Lord.  It’s a day of rest, reflection, rejuvenation – and preparation as we begin a new week.  This week we add in swimming lessons for 6 of the 8 on Wednesdays – so we got our suits, warm-ups and towels all packed in the respective bags.  Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights we have soccer practices.  This means I need to start planning our meals. On nights we have practices – a crock pot meal is ideal.  I’ve tried to find more things I can cook without cheese – or add the cheese in later, so that I’m not making two meals every time.  I thought I’d share one of our new favorite dishes with you!

As you prepare for the new week that begins today – remember God wants our hearts ready at anytime, for we do not know when He will return!  Forgive, give grace, love and try your hardest each day.

I layer it like this, stir, then set the raw chicken on top!

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili


Calories: 203.7, Carbs 33.3 – Serving Size 1 1/4

-1 onion chopped (we never use this much)

-1  16 oz. blk beans

-1  16 oz. kidney beans

-1   8 oz. can tomato sauce

-10 oz. package frozen corn

-2  14.5 oz. cans Rotel (we use mild)

-1 packet low sodium taco seasoning

-1 T cumin

-1 T chili powder

-24 oz. 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

-1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine beans, onion, corn, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder, and taco seasoning in slow cooker.  Place chicken on top and cover.  Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours.  Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred.  Return chicken to slow cookie and stir in.  Top with fresh cilantro.  ** Top with low-fat cheese and sour cream (extra calories) if you desire.

“Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”  Matthew 24:44

Reaching a Fever Pitch?

I’m in the dark about most things.  I’ll admit it up front, I don’t follow much music of the worldly realm anymore.  I mostly listen to contemporary Christian music.  I like filling my brain with things I don’t mind spitting out my mouth – so it makes sense that the lyrics should be glorifying to God.

My niece of 15 years is pretty special to me.  She was born the summer I got engaged to my husband, and I was smitten by her like any normal aunt with no children of their own.  She was the focus of my baby desires, and spoiling and the honorary flower girl in our wedding (she couldn’t walk yet!).  I moved away, and had children of my own – but I clearly remember what a special gift she was.  She’s grown into a beautiful young lady, and (here comes my family gush) is specifically musically gifted, making All-State choir as a freshman in high school.  Thanks to Facebook, I get to peer into my niece’s life and see what she’s up to and what captures her heart and soul.  (One might call that stalking?  But it’s family, and reminds me of my youth…  so, it’s ok).

Anyway – this summer is the first time I heard about an artist “Adele” – but I hadn’t listened to any of her music before.  My niece seemed to really like her, so I wondered what she was all about.  So again, thanks to social media – I heard the Grammys were on TV one night, so I decided to turn them on for about 10 minutes, and low and behold, the first thing I saw was Adele. [turns out that was the highlight of the show, and it went down hill after that – thankful for the power OFF button.  I was reminded why we haven’t seen the Grammys in years].

She sang a song called, “Rollin’ in the Deep”… and I was awe-struck.  The sound of this artist was amazing.  It was like an oldie, rock and roll with a modern twist – and her pipes were electric.  I decided to download her album that night, and begin listening to the lyrics of her music.


You could tell she had experienced a lot of heart ache, and pain… and at the same time – there was healing in much of her music.  It was almost like emotional therapy.

I love music that makes you feel, how it can transport you.

I’m guessing that is why she is so popular – because many people can relate to the lyrics she speaks of.  We have hurts, and stories… and reasons why we feel the way we do about things.  Hopefully we also have healing, and a peace of WHY we went through those things…  especially the struggles.

In the quirky way my mind works – and the way I pray and ponder as I exercise – I began to consider her lyrics in a new way while I was running one day… not about a person who had let me down, or broken my heart – but about the lies we believe from the enemy, and the addictions we face in food – or other health struggles.  Alcohol, overeating, drugs, smoking, cancer… you name it.

It could consume you if you focus on the negative. 

So don’t do that!

Whatever is poisoning your health… may trick your body into thinking “we could have had it all…” as it slowly kills you.

So I ask – what is your “fever pitch” to bring you out of the dark?  How mad do you have to be about making the same poor choices – to CHANGE and see things “crystal clear” for what they are?

God doesn’t say we can’t get angry – He says we shouldn’t SIN in our anger.  So if you’re going to get angry – have righteous anger and put it into something positive in changing yourself.   Attack the lies that food can represent in your life.  Enjoy the video and think about food and exercise when you hear her words – “you reap just what you sow…”  God wants you to be healthy for HIM, and He says so in His word.

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  Eph. 4:26-32


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