Friday Recipe Roundup

HAPPY FRIDAY!! I hope that you have had an amazing week filled with victory. For me this week has felt a little long and there were moments where I felt more tempted to throw in the towel, but God kept giving me the strength and the grace I needed each day to be victorious. I read a quote this week by Lysa Terkeurst this week that perfectly fits what I’m talking about, “One good decision turns into two, turns into three, and eventually turns into victory!” So each choice I made this week, whether it was making healthy lunches at night, or prepping healthy snacks for the week, or going to the gym even when I didn’t feel like it, set me up to be victorious each day!

Ok, now onto the good stuffs. Without further ado…. here is this weeks {deliciously healthy} recipe round up.

Our first recipe is zucchini lasagna. I made this one when Steve and I had family over on Saturday, and it seemed to be a hit all the way around. It had a lot of flavor, and I really did not miss having noodles in it at all. Zucchini seems to just take on the flavor of whatever you pair it with. The recipe calls for ground beef but I used ground chicken because we are not fans of red meat. It was just an all around delicious dish and I would definitely make it again, especially when having company!

Skinnytaste-Zucchini-LasagnaOur next recipe is chicken sweet potato casserole. This one was very tasty, but next time I make it I will not cook the sweet potatoes as long as it calls to or I will cut larger pieces so that they don’t cook so quickly. I will also add more asparagus than what it calls for. Overall this was a tasty dish and I will definitely make it again. It has chicken, sweet potatoes, asparagus and turkey bacon, which was a delicious combination.

sweet-po-chicken-casseroleOn Wednesday I made turkey meatballs with quinoa pasta. I think a lot of the time people put bread crumbs in meatballs, but these are gluten free and used oats instead. They were a little dry because turkey meat is more lean and thus less juicy, but I thought they were still tasty! They were super easy to make and a low fat and low calorie option. If you decide to try using quinoa pasta, be warned! It sticks together. I put olive oil in the water, but it did not help. It was still tasty… just a little sticky. I also made a homemade marinara sauce but I don’t think I’d make it again. It wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t great so I’ll probably try another recipe in the near future.

turkey meatballsMy last recipe for this week is DESSERT and is probably my favorite thing all week. Listen people, chocolate is necessary for a happy life, and this chocolate peanut butter banana milkshake is HEAVEN COME TO EARTH. I aint even lyin. Just ask Steven, and the 15 people I text the recipe to last night. They call it a milkshake, but it has all good things in it. Bananas, natural peanut butter, cocoa powder, organic maple syrup, almond milk, vanilla extract, a little pit of salt and ice cubes. It tasted like I was cheating… but I totally wasn’t. HEAVEN! Just so you know, I would use more milk than the recipe calls for because it was a little thick. Also, don’t leave out freezing the bananas, it makes this treat creamy and smooth and delish. What I made was enough for two people to enjoy. Now stop reading right now and go make this delicious “treat”.

SONY DSCHaving delicious foods like these in my food arsenal makes a lifestyle change so much more manageable. You can eat healthy thing and still eat food that you enjoy. The two things aren’t exclusive. Go forth my friends, and be victorious in all your cooking and lifestyle changing endeavors! 🙂

 

* The above recipes are from:

Mind Over Munch

The Detoxinsta

Skinny Taste

Advertisements

The Voices in My Head

For as long as I can remember I have heard voices in my head. I don’t mean literal voices, but more like the voice of myself and the voice of the Holy Spirit. The first one has always had mean things to say. “You’re fat, look at that stomach, do you see that cellulite.” or “You are a terrible friend and a worse person. You say you love people, but you sure don’t act like it.” or “you are so loud and talkative. Nobody likes opinionated people, you should learn to keep your mouth closed.” I have told myself more terrible lies than I could begin to count. I have defined myself by the ever changing opinions of other people, and I have allowed my self esteem to rise and fall with the number reflected back to me on the scale. When I burn dinner, I am the worst cook. Never mind all the other delicious meals I’ve made. When I say something I shouldn’t I am so inconsiderate. Never mind all the other times I have put my concern for others above my own needs. The extent to which I beat myself up when I fail is not equal to the amount that I love and appreciate myself on a normal basis. Not anymore friends. I’m putting my foot down. The tides are turning. Slowly but surely the mean words I have told myself are being transformed by the truth telling of the Holy Spirit.

I mess up, but I am not a mess up. I wrote those words in my journal and I had to pause to think about what I had just written down. I mess up, but I am not a mess up. What I do does not define or give worth to who I am, the bible tells me so. I am a child of the living God, there is nothing I can do to earn or achieve that. It is a gift freely given and it is where my main identity is found. All the other parts of my life come from the understanding that I belong to Him.  When I really and truly believe this, then my worth and emotions won’t change based on the opinions of people, or the amount I weigh, or whether or not I feel accepted or rejected by people. And it’s happening. I’m beginning to see the change. I’m beginning to speak more kindly to myself. I’m beginning to see that I have intrinsic worth based on the unchanging and unwavering love of an unchanging and unwavering God. I am able to look in the mirror and think, “hey there my old friend, you know you’re doing ok. You have room to grow and change but you’re doing the best you can and that is enough.” I see arms that cook and clean and lift weights and boxes and do hard work. I see legs that carry me to important places. I see each part of my body that used to drive me so crazy and I can say that it is good. It doesn’t always do good, but it is good. Because the bible tells me so. Because God made man and woman in His image and He said that it was good.

Working out has given me a newer perspective about my whole body. I have seen what I am capable of doing, that even my out of shape body with lumps and bumps and cellulite can work hard and push itself. My arms and legs and abs, and even my brain, work together and they do hard things. When I’m done with a good work out I feel like I could take over the world and I look at my body and I am so thankful. For perhaps the first time in my life I am thankful for the body I have right now, not hoping and praying for the possible body I could have some day. And then I get home from the gym, and I’m amazed again. My body whips up dinner, and makes some hummus and some healthy cookies. It chops up lettuce for lunches for the next day and it wipes down the counters. First it worked hard at the gym and then it did it all over again at home. It is a gosh darn miracle worker every day. This body I have, this gift from the one who made me and loves me. I’m typing and thinking and am in awe because HOLY SMOKES! I actually mean all of this. I actually mean that I love this body of mine. And each day that I intentionally choose to love it a little more the mean voice gets quieter and the loving voice gets louder and freedom feels closer and closer.

Friends, our bodies and our minds are capable of so many amazing things. They are good and precious creations. We don’t have to be ashamed anymore. We can tell the mean voice to stick it where the sun don’t shine. Whether we are bigger or smaller, louder or quieter, introverted or extroverted, tall or short, brown eyes or blue eyes, freckled or freckle free, we are gosh darn walking and talking miracles. We make messes but we are not a mess up. We might not always do good, but ooh how the Father sees that we are good.

Go forth friends, sister, brother. Go forth and live and love with abandon in the miracle that is your life.

 

I've been waiting my whole life for this

*photo borrowed from Momastery‘s instagram

The Friday Recipe Roundup

I have always enjoyed cooking, but normally I don’t like to take chances because I’m not actually a skilled chef… I just like food! But once I started this health journey I decided it was time to try some new things. There are some cool healthier alternatives to foods that are normally not so great for you. So I thought i might be fun for me to share my cooking  and experimenting escapades on Fridays. Maybe you’ll feel inspired and try some yourself! Because here’s the thing… if I can do it you DEFINITELY can do it.

Last Saturday I attempted cauliflower pizza crust. I didn’t 100 % know what I was doing, but I got a food processor for Christmas so I thought I’d give it a shot. The crust was pretty good, but didn’t get as crispy as I would have hoped. Also I put too much cheese on it so thus the cheese overwhelmed the cauliflower. So I thought I’d try again with a different recipe. Wednesday I went round two with this recipe, and it was really good. The crust was much crispier and I put on like half the cheese from the first round. Also that recipe made two crusts so it was nice to have left overs to bring for lunches and such.

cauliflower-pizza-crustNext I made cauliflower tortillas for crock pot chicken tacos. I was intrigued and a little skeptical of this recipe because… well… I mean cauliflower as a tortilla? Sounds weird. But I thought I’d give this flour free option a go. AND THEY WERE AMAZING! Seriously, so so great. I will definitely be making these again. And you could probably also use them with Indian food or for a breakfast burrito, really the sky’s the limit. Here is the recipe. You can thank me later.

Cauliflower-Tortillas-More than cooking, I love baking. I have a kitchen aid mixer which makes baking a breeze. But since I’ve been staying away from sugar and flour and such, I haven’t really done any of that. UNTIL I found this amazing healthy cookie recipe on Pinterest. It’s just oats, applesauce, ground nutmeg, bananas, peanut butter, vanilla, cinnamon, ground cloves, and nuts and chocolate chips if you so desire them. These cookies are just divine. They definitely taste healthy, but they are still the perfect way to curb a craving for sweets. I’m going to make more tonight for company we’re having tomorrow… and I also just because I love them. healthy cookiesAnd the final recipe for the week is actually a smoothie! I have one every morning with fruit and three cups of spinach. I saw this recipe a while back from on the Facebook page for Incredible Smoothies. It’s a healthy chocolate smoothie with mango and blueberries in it. Here is the recipe. I halved the amount of mango and blueberries and put in half a frozen banana. It was so delicious and it felt like I was drinking desert for breakfast. Cocoa powder doesn’t have any sugar in it, and very limited fat and calories. I found a fair trade/organic cocoa powder at Fresh Market so I was one happy chic. I love smoothies in the morning because I put a lot of spinach in it and it makes me feel like I am super charging my day from the very beginning.

Healthy-Chocolate-Smoothie

That’s all for this week! I hope maybe you’ll give one of these recipes a try and be pleasantly surprised like I have been, that healthy eating doesn’t have to taste bad! In fact it can be fun and super delicious! May the healthy food force be with you! 🙂

 

**In order to properly give credit to the creators of these delicious recipes, I found them all at

http://www.incrediblesmoothies.com/

www.recipegirl.com/

http://www.jocooks.com/

and http://fancylauren.blogspot.com/

 

 

#healthyme2015

Last month I had a self esteem break down. I had steadily been gaining more and more weight since the summer, and the person I saw in the mirror looked more and more uncomfortable in her own skin. I was mad at myself for not having better self control, and frustrated that excess weight always seemed to be my cross to bear. I felt frumpy and unattractive and out of control of even my ability to monitor the food I put in my body. I was beginning to reach a breaking point, I could feel it coming. I sat in Whitney’s office (my counselor), and I just word vomited all my frustrations and sadness and pain. Whitney explained to me that there is a change cycle, which is basically the steps that one takes to change. The first step is pre-contemplation, and this is where there is no intention of changing behavior. Next is contemplation, and this is where we become aware that there is a problem, but we still aren’t committing to changing it. Next is preparation, where you are intent upon taking action and prepare to do so. Then there is the action step, where are you are actively changing your behaviors. Next is maintenance, where there is a sustained change in your behavior. And finally there is relapse, where you fall back into old patterns of behavior. Whitney asked me where I thought I was. I said contemplation. I was fully aware there was a problem, but I wasn’t confident that I was willing to give up what was required for change to happen.

That night I went home and downloaded a book by Lysa Terkeurst called “Made to Crave”. My friend Leigh had raved about it, and so I decided to give it a shot. Y’all, if you are a female, who struggles with food or your relationship with it, YOU NEED TO READ IT! Seriously, it rocked my world and woke me up. That night I moved to the preparation step. I decided that change needed to happen, and that Jesus would give me the strength and power I needed to make that happen. I decided that after Steve and I got home from our anniversary trip I would make some major changes.

Then we went to NY to visit our family for Christmas. My “in laws” are such fabulous and loving and kind people and I was really excited for our trip and to spend some time with some of my favorite people. I was trying to be more conscious of what I was eating… but it was Christmas. Diet and Christmas are enemies, don’t you know? So all of my in laws are rather trim and healthy, and on Christmas morning we were taking photos together and I looked at one of those photos and instantly felt filled with shame. Not because of my family, but because I just felt huge in comparison. My inner dialogue isn’t always very kind, sometimes I am very mean to myself. And that morning was one of those moments. I went into the room Steve and I were staying in to get changed, and Steven was there and I just broke down. “I am fat babe”. Of course he tried to comfort and assure me that I was not fat, and that I was planning on making changes soon, and that he loved me very much. But that moment was the breaking point that I knew was coming my way. I just knew that I knew that I couldn’t keep feeling the way I was feeling, so I decided that when we returned home from NY I was going to make the changes rather than wait until the after our vacation. It needed to happen. And I knew that I needed to understand that this wasn’t going to be a temporary diet, but instead, in a lot of ways a permanent change.

It’s been about 3 weeks and a half weeks since I started this health journey. I have cut out coffee, added sugar and most carbs. I recently added dark chocolate back in, but outside of that the only sugar I consume is what is found in fruit. I have also added 4 days of exercise at the gym, and it’s the strangest thing… I’m actually enjoying it. I’ve made cookies that are added sugar free, dairy free, egg free, oil free, and flour free… and they were actually quite delicious. I made cauliflower pizza crust… and then put too much sauce and cheese on it… but that’s besides the point! 😉 I am learning how to make changes in my life that are manageable the for long term, healthy, AND delicious. Honestly, I haven’t lost a ton of weight at this point in the game, and when I quit coffee and sugar I had such awful headaches and body aches that I felt like I had the flu. But now I feel so much better. I know that I am doing good things for my body and I think that is reflected in the energy levels I’ve been experiencing. I’ve literally never enjoyed the gym before in my life. But right now I actually have been looking forward to those days. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO I AM ANYMORE!

My goal for this journey is not to be consumed with changing my appearance and losing weight, but instead to honor the Lord by putting healthy food in my body, by exercising so I am in good shape, and to love myself more and better through the act of loving my body more and better. There are some days where it has been very difficult. Those days when I smell magic juice (coffee) brewing in the cubicle across from me, or when I smell delicious fresh baked cookies. But there was a part in Made to Crave that sticks with me, she talks about how the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to us to conquer and be victorious! Anytime I want to reach for a brownie over my carrot sticks I have to think “NO! The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to me to choose that carrot stick!” and it might sound silly to you, but for me it works!

So, I say all of the above to kind of share what’s been going on in my heart/mind/life, but also because I think I’m going to blog about this a little more often, because I doubt I’m the only person that struggles with weight and food. I’ll share the good and the bad and maybe some tasty recipes I discover!

Thanks for reading friends… and sorry this post was so long! But I hope maybe you’ve been able to relate to it in some ways. You are loved… repeat that over and over to yourself.

Love,

Sarah

 

I've been waiting my whole life for thisProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 preset