Winds of Change

It’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve been trying to sort through a thing or twelve. In my last post, I made a grandiose vow that I would do some form of exercise every day last week. Out of the 7 days, I did some form of exercise for three of those days. *sigh* Yes, I know. Apparently, I had it in my mind that this blog was going to solve all of my food and lack of exercise issues, but alas, it’s deeper than that. 

However, I have been doing well food-wise. Jason and I haven’t eaten out nearly as much as we were, and I have been able to experiment and make some wonderful dishes that I will share with you. One of my favorites was a stuffed pepper dish that I made. I used free-range beef (we split a 1/4 of a cow with my in-laws every year), brown rice, tomato sauce (or tomato juice, if you’re in a pinch), onion and skim milk mozzarella cheese. I was supposed to add corn, but I forgot it. Anyhoo, these turned out FANTASTIC!! And they were filling enough that we didn’t need a side dish with them. Jason took a picture for me, and I didn’t know he was going to, so the picture isn’t “pretty”, but you get the idea.

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One of my resources for recipes is http://www.ultimatedanielfast.com/. LOVE this website. She has tons of recipes from appetizers and snacks to soups and stews. Great resource. Well, I made one of her recipes, and it was pretty good. I made a banana cream pie! Word of caution, though. If you’re going to be the only one eating it, you may want to find a smaller pie pan and half the recipe. It went to waste, because Jason didn’t dig it as much as I did. The crust was incredible, and it can be used (in my opinion) for a cheesecake or other pie. Here is the picture of my pie:

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Ain’t it purdy?? Here is the link to that one: http://www.ultimatedanielfast.com/celebrate-the-blogs-birthday-with-a-piece-of-pie/ Hers looks better than mine, but I felt it wasn’t bad for my first go! 

Another recipe I tried was fresh corn salad. I found this recipe in one of my Daniel Fast books. It says to use corn on the cob that you’ve cooked, which in this next picture, I did. But I’ve made it since then, and I used canned (that was all I had at the time). I think when I make it from now on, I’ll use the frozen, which is usually my veggie of choice for things like that. But that canned batch was just as outstanding as the fresh. I cut the recipe in half, so here’s what I did: 4 ears of corn (or two cans), 1/2 red onion chopped fine (or more or less depending on your taste), 2.5 tablespoons of cider vinegar, 2.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, pepper to taste (I don’t like to add salt to anything, because there is enough in it already). The recipe calls for fresh cilantro, but I didn’t put any, because I didn’t have it. I’m doing this recipe from memory, but I think that was it for ingredients. Mix it all together and voila! This picture is my first batch with the fresh corn. 

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Another great recipe I tried was strawberry jam. There are two ingredients in this amazing jam: Medjool dates and strawberries. That’s it! No sugar, no canning, no fuss no muss! I don’t have a picture for this one right now, but I’ll get one and post later. I also don’t have the recipe, but when I post the picture, I’ll add that, as well. I’ll get that later this evening. Dates are a wonder. I was really hesitant to even try to use them, because I thought it would be too complicated, but they are easy peasy! In our grocery store here (Hy-Vee), they are in the organic section. My only complaint about this amazing fruit is the cost. I bought a bag of them, and it was $23 and some change. They ain’t cheap! But they are oh so worth the price, as far as I’m concerned. They are so versatile, and they are EXTREMELY good for you! In fact, they are used in the crust of the afore mentioned pie. A lot of the recipes I’ve got lined up have dates in them; most are desserts. Which brings me to my next picture. 

A couple of nights ago, I made some cookies. Yes! Daniel fast friendly! The only thing I changed in the recipe was the raisins. I omitted the raisins and used dark chocolate chips instead, which are good for you. The ingredients to these can be found on my Pinterest page. I have pinned the recipe in my Daniel Fast Desserts folder. It’s the one that has bananas and oatmeal in the ingredients. I don’t think I would have liked these if I hadn’t used the dark chocolate chips. They don’t have the texture of a regular cookie, so don’t expect them to be crunchy. They are good, though! And they are great for energy, which I inadvertently found out last night. I had a couple of them (they are small) around 7:30 or 8, and they gave me so much energy, I couldn’t fall asleep! Lesson learned!

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I spoke with a dear friend whom I work with, and we were talking about exercise. I told her how I don’t, and she explained to me how she does. I’ve been really frustrated with that aspect about myself, as of late. She gave me two very good ideas. She said exercise is part of her life. Period. Every morning, she packs her gym bag, puts it in her car, leaves work at 5 and goes straight to the gym. She doesn’t even go home. She’s like me in that aspect. If I were to leave work, go home and change, I’d never leave the house. So, that being said, today, I have packed a bag of workout clothes. They are sitting under my desk. Before I leave here, I am going to change and head out to my favorite place to walk. I’m not even going home. I have to kick this laziness once and for all. Her second bit of advice is to set a goal. The goal that she and I have set is we are going to run a 5k together in October. That gives me plenty of time to train. In fact, she is a personal trainer, and the gym where she trains has a 10 week program with kickboxing and weight training. The next one starts toward the end of September, so I’m going to sign up for that, too. I know I will fall in love with exercising, but it’s the getting there that’s been so tough for me. But you know what? God’s grace is sufficient for me. And He has all the grace I need. All I gotta do is take it and receive it. I will never do this without Him, and I’m tired of trying (literally).

So there you have it. I will post again soon with more recipes, photos and workout updates. 

I just need to remember and say often: “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].” Philippians 4:13

“April, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world.” I John 4:4 (I like to personalize scriptures)

But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you, April, [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! II Corinthians 12:9

Feel free to post recipes that you have tried and like, too! I’m a recipe fanatic, so bring it on!

Be encouraged! You are blessed! God loves you just as much as He loves Jesus!

Your Sister in Christ,

April

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Exercise Restraint

Ok, so I’ve been thinking about and observing some things since my last post. One thing in particular that I’ve noticed is, the weight isn’t moving. But, neither am I. And therein lies the rub, as they say.

I’ve been eating very well throughout the day, but at night, not so much. Jason and I have been eating a lot of fast food (oh, that Wendy!), and, couple that with virtually no exercise, it’s a recipe for disaster, if you’ll pardon the pun. The Lord has really been emphasizing this to me in the last few days. Eating right is VITAL! Portion control is VITAL! But, from what I’ve truly and finally realized in these past several days is, exercise is the KEY! Not only does it benefit your body and mind, it accelerates your weight loss. I’m ashamed to admit this, but until recently, I’ve never really understood HOW important exercise is. My focus has (always) been on food. Gotta eat right! Gotta watch portions! Gotta eat right! Gotta watch portions! Well, like I said, God has been opening my eyes to the “that’s not enough” aspect of a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Don Colbert is a Christian doctor (He is Kenneth and Gloria Copeland’s doctor), and I’ve been following him for quite some time. His practice is based on Biblical principles. I’ve gotten his books “What Would Jesus Eat”, “What Would Jesus Eat Cookbook”, “The Rapid Waist Reduction Diet” and most recently, I’ve ordered “The Bible Cure for Memory Loss” and “The Seven Pillars of Health”. I haven’t gotten the latter two yet, but I’m excited to read them. I’ve also watched several episodes of Believer’s Voice of Victory where he was a guest on the show. Here is the link to all of those: http://www.kcm.org/bvov-media/archives?keys=Dr.%20Colbert&date_filter[value][date]=&tid=All I’ve learned so much in watching these episodes and reading his books, and I highly recommend signing up for his newsletter.

Anyway, the reason I brought up Dr. Colbert is, he said something that I had never heard or even considered. Think about a body of water. A lake or stream. There are currents moving that water, and that water looks beautiful and clean, right? Now think about a pond. No movement. What happens to that water? It becomes stagnant and riddled with fungus and things I don’t even want to think about! Same thing with OUR “body of water”. These precious vessels are made up of mostly water. If we don’t move, our bodies of water become stagnant. How interesting is that?? It really got me thinking, but even at that point, I still didn’t truly understand the concept of how important exercise is – until now. Not seeing the scale move and not feeling the clothes get baggy has really opened my eyes.

Which brings me to the reason for my post today. A couple of years ago, a friend of mine and I read a book called “Never Say Diet”: http://www.amazon.com/Never-Say-Diet-Decisions-Break/dp/0307444937/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407080972&sr=8-1&keywords=never+say+diet FANTASTIC book. Chantel Hobbs is the author, and you might see her posts on my Facebook page periodically. The basis for her book is how we need to exercise EVERY day – NO EXCUSES! I won’t give too much away in case you want to buy it, but basically, she had what she calls a brain change. She came to a point where she had had enough of being overweight. She hit her rock bottom, if you will. She said when she made up her mind to do something every day, things started to change for her. For example, one night, she got home really late. Maybe 10 o’clock or so. She hadn’t worked out that day, so she put on her shoes and walked around the block. She did SOMETHING.

And that, dear friends, is where I’ve got to be. I have to get to the place where nothing keeps me from doing some form of exercise every. single. day. Once I do (and by God’s grace, I will), nothing will stop me. Nothing will keep this weight from falling off and staying off. When I first started reading her book, I thought it was really strange that her focus was on the exercise. Don’t get me wrong, she was making better choices with food as well, but her main focus was movement. Well, (keep in mind, this was a couple of years ago) as I started to do what she suggested and exercise every day, the weight came off of me in a big way. Unfortunately, my time-frame to go from gung-ho to hum-ho is about 2 weeks. Needless to say, it ended there. But I did learn something: the reason I believe she focused on the exercise more than food is two-fold: The first is something we already know – exercise is the key to getting the weight off, and second, once you see that weight start to come off, it motivates you to want to eat right and eat well. Once your clothes become baggy, you won’t want anything to stop you from continuing. Unfortunately, I did stop, but that’s OK. I’m going to continue to keep my eyes in front, focused on Jesus.

So, here is what I feel God is wanting me to do: I need to set a goal. Not something huge, just a small goal to start. Not only that, I need to set my goal and post it. Once it’s out there for y’all to see, it will hold me more accountable to do it. If I say I’m going to do something, I don’t want to have to come back on here a week later and say I didn’t. My goal is to do some form of exercise EVERY day this week. Going on what I know, aerobic is important, but to really get that fat burning, I’ll need to do some muscle toning, too. I record a show called “Body Electric”, and I have something that my mom and I used to do years ago called Callanetics: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=callanetics&sprefix=callan%2Caps&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acallanetics

Please understand, I’m not saying y’all have to go out and buy these, I’m just showing you what I’ve got to give you some ideas. There are gazillions of muscle toning exercise videos on Youtube that are at your fingertips. In fact, I have several bookmarked. I’m also considering doing some Yoga in there, too.

Like I said, my goal is to do something every day this week. Dr. Colbert said it takes 30 days to make something a habit and 40 days to make it a lifestyle. Right now, I’m starting small. I need to get thru a week. Then another, then another. I also have a weight goal, but I don’t have a time-frame to get it done. I want to set my first weight loss goal at 10 pounds. Once that’s accomplished, I’ll set another. Remember, small steps are better than no steps! Exercise is accumulative. Something is better than nothing. Look at it this way: Pennies are only worth 1 cent, right? But they add up! When you get change from the store, more often than not, you get more pennies than any other coin. I guarantee, your penny jar fills up faster than any other coin jar you have! Same with exercise. Even if it’s going up and down stairs a couple of times, it’s still movement!

So there you have it! I pray you all have the best week of your life, and always remember: God is in love with you!

Your Sister In Christ,

April