Wow! It has been over a month since I posted anything. I would like to say that it is because I have been so busy but that really isn’t the case. I suppose I just needed a break. In May, I decided not to renew my nutrition counselor certification. It was a little pricey and since I dissolved my LLC back in January there really wasn’t a huge need to continue for another two years. I am still interested in helping people learn how to love a healthy lifestyle, but my work schedule didn’t allow the time I needed to build a successful business. This was not an easy decision, but with the saturation of the health and wellness market it really requires a full-time schedule to make money. I am thankful for every client I had over the last two years and seeing their success was so rewarding. I pray that the Lord opens the door again at some point. Until that time, I am still teaching Made to Crave at my church twice a year which is my passion. I have met some terrific women who love the Lord and have a desire to honor Him with their lifestyle choices. I look forward to my next class in the Fall! I know He is in control and will direct my paths to bring Him glory!
I came across this recipe on Facebook and it originated at Healthy Holistic Living. This was another case of “Hey, I have most of these ingredients on hand so let’s make it!” I have not actually made the recipe yet but I plan to do so this afternoon. It has been sitting on my counter for a week and every night I tell my husband that I am making them tomorrow. Today is tomorrow! 😉 Enjoy! Check out the main website for a great explanation of the ingredients.
Bake-free Chocolate Oat Cookies – yields three dozen
- 3 cups of quick-cooking oats
- ¾ cup of raw organic honey
- ⅔ cup of almond butter, optional
- ½ cup of coconut oil
- ⅓ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon of pink Himalayan pink salt
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine the honey, almond butter and coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Stir in the oats, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and pink salt until everything is fully incorporated and coated.
- Use a spoon or small ice cream scoop to drop mounds of your mixture on the parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Place your cookies in the freezer for at least 15 minutes so that they can set.
- Store your healthy cookies in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer (depending on how hard you would like your cookies to be,) and that’s it! That’s a pretty quick and easy recipe right?
Beautiful! Can’t wait to make these!
Spring rolls are one of my all-time favorite foods. I love them anytime of the year, even in the winter and fall. For lunch, dinner, or even as a light snack, they are always a welcome addition at my table. Especially as the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, spring rolls become the perfect meal. These Rainbow Spring Rolls with Sweet & Sour Sauce are delicious enough to suit the taste buds of meat eaters and vegetarians alike, and it’s very possible that even the kiddos might love them too!
As much as I love baked goods and delectable bites, my background in healthcare reminds me that balance is the key to a happy life. When I try to make a traditional recipe healthier, I like to spend a lot of time making sure that it actually still tastes good. If a fantastic tasting recipe is also healthy it becomes golden to me, something…
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I came across this verse this morning when putting together an email for my Made to Crave girls. We finished up our 12 week class last week. I am looking forward to the Fall when I can meet the next group of ladies the Lord brings to the class!
Every Christian woman longs and hopefully strives to be a “Proverbs 31” woman. The part of this verse that caught my attention was the second half, “and laughs without fear of the future.” Aside from our daily struggles with career, family and life, this world is growing more and more chaotic by the minute. As women of God we are called to “laugh without fear of the future?” That sounds like a tall order! The original translation in Hebrew is the word sachaq. It is a verb meaning “to make sport, to jest, to laugh mockingly.” It is hard to laugh or jest at the future when we are given a bad health diagnosis or we lose our job or our child is acting out in a manner we cannot control, but there it is. That elusive Proverbs 31 woman, she does just that!
Scripture is full of commands from the Lord not to have fear. The words “do not fear” appear 69 times throughout scripture; “do not be afraid” shows up over 60 as well! Are you seeing a pattern? So what does that mean to us? In her book The Power of a Praying Wife, Stormie Omartian says if our lives are in any way controlled by something other than the Holy Spirit, we must have deliverance from that. If we have a tormenting fear, we need the perfect love of God to set us free. I am paraphrasing since she was obviously referring to our husbands, but you get the gist.
We cannot have fear and have our eyes on the Lord at the same time. 2 Timothy 1:7 says “God has not given you a spirit of fear but of power and of love and a sound mind.” Since fear is not from the Lord that means it is of the devil. The devil wants to separate us from God and will use any and every method he can to do just that! When we are buried in the fear of the future, we cannot keep our eyes on the goodness of the Lord.
Let’s be women clothed with strength and dignity and laugh without fear of the future! God is in control!
Lord, I pray you would deliver us from all fear. Whenever we are controlled by fear, liberate us to know You in such depth that Your love perfects us and casts out all fear. Keep us from making decisions motivated by fear rather than being led by Your Spirit. Take away any fear that oppresses, alters, or limits our life. Help us to understand that freedom is found in Your presence. I pray that when we are set free, we will recognize it is You who liberated us and we will give you the glory. I know that when you set us free, we are free forever. Overflow us with your liberating love that brings wholeness. Help us to overcome all our fear so that we can be a support and encouragement to others in overcoming theirs. We know fear indicates a lack of faith in Your ability to take care of us. Strengthen our faith to believe that we have not received a spirit of bondage (Romans 8:15). Instead, we have received a Savior who loves us to wholeness.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
(Prayer adapted from The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian)
Over the last couple of weeks, my cooking bug is back. I can’t stop printing and saving recipes that I want to make in the very near future. Even more exciting is that I am creating my own! Monday night I made grass fed beef meatloaf and today I made a lovely apple, jicama, carrot salad. I did not photograph the meatloaf and the picture of the salad is just terrible. Please forgive me Normally, I share recipes on Friday but since I am cooking so much I figured I would have some new ones for you by then.
In past posts, I have mentioned SaladMaster and the fantastic tool I received for hosting a dinner party at my home. We ended up purchasing the cookware at another party because we loved it so much. The reason I mention this is because I used the SaladMaster machine to grate all my ingredients for the salad. A hand grater will work just fine, just watch your knuckles!
Apple, Carrot & Jicama Salad
- 1 medium apple (I prefer Fuji but any kind will do) shredded
- 2 organic carrots shredded
- 1 small jicama shredded
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tsp poppy seeds
Combine shredded lemon zest, apple, carrots and jicama in a medium bowl. Add lemon juice and mix well to coat the fruit. This will help keep the salad from browning and adds terrific flavor! Sprinkle the poppy seeds on last. Enjoy!
Check back tomorrow for the Grass Fed Beef Meatloaf recipe!
We all remember the movie Forrest Gump starring Tom Hanks as a lovable, simple man from Alabama. In the movie, Forrest befriends “Bubba” Blue while serving in the army. Bubba comes from a long line of shrimp boat captains. During one scene of the movie, Bubba rattles off a litany of all the things one can do with shrimp. It is a pretty funny scene and not unlike our versatile friend the shrimp, almonds offer a variety of culinary opportunities.
Check out this great info-graphic about almonds from Nuts.com! Nuts.com is a family-owned business that has been operating since 1929. Don’t be fooled by the name! While nuts are their specialty they also offer high quality flours, candy, baking goods and coffee and tea at comparable prices delivered right to your door. I am honored to be able to collaborate with them on this post.
As you can see, almonds are a high protein, low-carb, gluten-free food. They are also a great snack as they are filling and portable! You can read more about the health benefits of almonds here.
While I made the switch to almond butter and almond milk years ago, my favorite use for almonds these days is almond flour/meal in place of wheat flour. I love baking and this gives me a low-carb alternative while still enjoying my favorite treats! Here is a terrific almond pancake recipe from PopSugar.com. I made these one morning during the Sugar Detox and my husband was none the wiser; he loved them! Be sure to watch the heat as almond flour can burn faster than wheat flour. You will also notice the texture is crumbly versus fluffy but once you are used to the difference, you won’t go back!
Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Almond Pancakes
3 cups almond meal
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, light coconut milk, or milk
2 tablespoons extra-light olive oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, or butter, melted
- In a medium bowl, combine the almond meal, flaxseed, salt, and baking soda.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the milk and oil or butter and whisk thoroughly.
- Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Add more milk as necessary, one tablespoon at a time, to reach pancake-batter consistency.
- Lightly oil a skillet and heat over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto the skillet. Cook for three minutes, or until bubbles form and edges are cooked. Flip and cook for three minutes or until underside is lightly browned. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Serve with desired toppings.
Makes 14 four-inch pancakes. The following nutritional information is for one pancake made with unsweetened almond milk and coconut oil.
*I did not receive any type of compensation for this post.
I know some of you have had a rough Winter and are looking forward to some warmer weather! A friend posted photos of more snow up in the northeast this morning so I imagine they have a little longer to wait. Here in Florida, we are already in the high 80’s. Before you get too upset with me, remember that the upper 80’s in central Florida is a tad more unbearable than it is up north as we have that beloved humidity. Spring has definitely sprung here and we have a layer of yellow on everything to prove it! Not to mention the stuffy nose, sneezing and watery eyes 🙂 I digress…Spring is more than pollen and heat! It is also about making the switch to lighter fare to get ready for beach season. With that said, let me get to my recipe for today. This gem comes from our friends at SkinnyTaste.com.
I had some chicken thighs in the fridge that needed to be cooked, so this recipe was the perfect solution! I know some of you may balk at the thought of dark meat and I used to be right there with you. However, I found boneless skinless thighs at BJ’s from Harvestland. I love their products because they contain no hormones or antibiotics and they are reasonably priced. While the thigh meat is a little higher in fat than breast meat, it also has much more flavor and stays moist when cooking which makes it perfect for grilling!
A couple of notes regarding this dish:
- When choosing a balsamic vinegar, don’t skimp! We use one from Key West Olive Oil Company. It is aged 20 years and it is sweet and thick. We eat it alone on salad instead of dressing. The flavor is wonderful!
- My husband will not eat asparagus so I substituted brussel sprouts, portobello mushrooms and cauliflower. I also used mini-peppers because that was what I had on hand. Any veggies will do since you are roasting.
- The recipe tells you to keep the veggies and chicken separate. I cannot stress that enough! Also, make sure your chicken is dry, otherwise you will end up with steamed chicken instead of roasted. I recommend using two baking sheets; one for the chicken and one for the vegetables.
- We did not have any sides with this dish although it would be good with mashed potatoes or rice.
Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Vegetables
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 5 • Size: 2 thighs plus vegetables • Old Points: 8 pts • Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 347.1 • Fat: 17.0g • Protein: 31.1 g • Carb: 19.2 g • Fiber: 5.8 g
- 10 (20 oz) boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 20 medium asparagus, ends trimmed, cut in half
- 3 red bell peppers
- 1 cup carrots, sliced in half long way
- 2 red onions, chopped in large chunks
- 10 oz sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp fresh rosemary
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and sliced
- 2 tbsp oregano or thyme
- 4 leaves fresh sage, chopped
Preheat oven to 425°. Wash and dry the chicken well with a paper towel. Combine all the ingredients together and using your hands and arrange in a very large roasting pan. The vegetables should not touch the chicken or it will steam instead of roast. All ingredients should be spread out in a single layer. If necessary use two baking sheets or disposable tins to achieve this. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes.