Blessings plus gluten free/ fat free breakfast banana bread!

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Hey there everyone! I’m a little late on posting, however it’s for a good reason. this past week went by the flash! Amidst the chaos of everything, God broke through with blessings in the middle of my storm! While I was battling issues with being cooped up in my apartment with little several days a week, still was not able to run, and in severe pain at times while still having to lift little guy along with the financial struggles… Wow! I kept pressing in… praying, getting in the Word. Wednesday came along and mom and I attended Bible study. As always, I was completely blessed! I shared one of my passions with the group by bringing some homemade, gluten free, fat free banana breakfast bread for everyone along with a veggie tray from mom and me. The fellowship, food… such a relief from lonely days at home! After study, little guy and I were given a special treat! Some friends of ours from Hilltop Community Church allowed us to hang out with them while my mom cleaned a house in the area. They surprised us with a trip to Fairy Land in Oakland!!! Little guy had such a blast! He ran around, looked at the animals and the fun sights. We even rode a kiddie train! What touched my heart the most is that these people had taken the time out of a busy day, full of moving and church responsibilities, despite their exhaustion, to show little guy what a real “mom and dad” set is like. Little guy stayed glued to my friends husband. I cried as I watched him hold his hands and run around so happy! Just what he needed, and God knew! We parted ways and went on to finish our weeks. I headed out to start a house sit, then… went to the chiropractor. Right away, he found the issue! Adjusted and back on track… I headed out the door with clear instructions from him and… he encouraged me to get back out there and run!!! So, I continue to do my balance work and.. Lord, willing will be racing again soon! Finally…. As I mentioned in a few previous posts, my mom’s car was having troubles. Well, some childhood friends of mine and family responded to a prayer request I posted on Facebook. These people have been there time and time again… they’ve given my mom and me so much help over the years that when they first responded… my mom and I felt guilty in accepting. However, they encouraged us to accept their help. They were going to be in town over the weekend, and wanted to meet up with us to give my mom a car!!! We set it up to meet after church service, however… the craziest thing happened! In the whirlwind of getting out of service, my mom see her phone on the back of her car and drove off! We hadn’t set an exact time or place to meet them, so… without it, we had no way to reach them! When we’d realized it was gone, we’d already gone to the grocery store and had to head back up to Hilltop. We retraced our steps and didn’t find it. Then… I told my mom to check the street. Just as we headed out towards the freeway, I spotted it! She got out to find it smashed and scattered all over the street! Right away, I offered her my old android so she could activate it with her number. Low and behold… while she was in the phone store working out the phone issue, I spotted one of the people who was giving us the car ! Totally divine appointment! We spent some time talking and catching up, then they gave us the car and we parted ways. What a blessing to see them! It’s been far too long! If only we’d been given more time to see them =/ hopefully we’ll get another opportunity.
so, here it is… the beginning of another week and God only knows what lies ahead. However, I’m choosing to thank For for each amazing blessing He’s surprised us with.! Man.. so much to post and my reason for telling y’all all of this? Well, to encourage you to face giants with courage! Know that whatever battle you face, it belongs to the Lord! Praise Him for every victory no matter how big or small. PLUS, in every storm, there’s always a blessing! Today, I’ll close with the recipe for the banana breakfast bread that I made for bible study! Have a blessed week!

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GLUTEN-FREE/ FAT FREE BANANA BREAKFAST BREAD
(Recipe is my personalized version of one I found at joyofbaking.com)

*Ingredients
-3/4 cup oat flour (I make mine by grinding rolled oats) in a coffee grinder
-3/4 cup brown rice flour
-3/4 cup brown sugar
-1&1/4 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp cinnamon (or nutmeg if you’re allergic to cinnamon)
-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
-2 egg whites
-1&1/4 cups over ripened, mashed banana

*Directions
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 8×10 baking pan with cooking spray. Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then slowly mix them together. Place them in pan, sprinkle a handful of rolled oats over the top and pop in the oven for 25-35 min or until a toothpick can be poked in center and pulled out clean. Let cool, cut into pieces and enjoy!

Cleanse and Refresh

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Happy Sunday! Hope y’all have had an amazing week! Since I last posted things haven’t changed much. I began to make progress (as far as running goes) and was actually able to run outside instead of back and forth in my apartment. However, Tuesday… I headed out and pain returned. Wednesday, same thing. My heart broke. I’ve been spending pretty much every day inside of my apartment like a shut-in being that I have no vehicle of my own, I take care of my loved one’s child that mom and I are fostering while my mom is at work, and I live in an area that is flooded with hills which is exactly what my Chiropractor wants me to avoid. Even while training, I had to find a flat place to run. So, when Wednesday came and I was in pain… I broke! Mom and I headed to Bible study and the emotions from everything we were facing piled up. The financial struggles, my having to stay inside a very small apartment for days on end, not wanting to go and bother my Chiropractor who has already gone above and beyond to help me.. not certain if I need to go and get a deeper look (MRI), but not having the medical coverage to do so, my God Grammy still in the rehabilitation home with no way for me to see her, my heart desiring to race yet uncertain if I’ll be able to again, fed up with being a burden on everyone else and wanting so badly to do something productive and be a blessing to others, my troubled loved one still off on the wrong path meanwhile… Mom and I taking care of her little guy (my heart breaks for him)…. with uncertainty on every side… I had no idea what I was walking into. In class, they handed scriptures to everyone to read aloud. Mine… just happened to be…Isaiah 58:11 NIV
“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” I wept!!! I wept so hard I had to have the class leader read it for me! Wow… hope sprang up again 🙂 The study was amazing! It brought even more hope along with prayer and fellowship! Much needs needed after spending so much time at home. When mom and I got home, I felt the Lord prompt me to do the one thing I hadn’t done since I moved out here and got clean… a cleanse! Now, as I spoke about in my last post… reflection and rebalance… well, that includes making sure I rebalance my diet starting with a cleanse to rid my body of the years of toxins that built up. How does one do that in a food stamp budget? The 99¢ store! Thankfully, they carry an amazing selection of fruits, veggies and even juice, so… cleansing is totally affordable! What a perfect time to do it. Unable to run… so, I cleansed for 3 days. This was trying… working with little guy while my mom was at work, him needing to eat every few hours.. yogurt, snacks, meanwhile, I’m chomping on cleansing fruits and veggies! Haha. However, it was so worth it! Now, here it is… heading into a new week… cleansed and facing the question that still hangs… Will I run and race again? As I sit here, watching “Seabiscuit” with my mom… the Lord keeps reminding me of that verse from Bible study… He will strengthen my frame… God is like that man who saw potential in that injured hourse that no one would give a chance… He sees potential in me, He sees potential in you! No matter what things look like for me, I’m choosing to believe that somehow, some way, He’ll heal me and release me to run and race once more. In the mean time… I’ll enjoy each moment of what’s been given to me! Today, I’ll close with a recipe for a cleansing fruit smoothie!

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*CLEANSING WATERMELON SMOOTHIE*

Ingredients
-1 &1/2 cups watermelon, cubed and frozen
-juice from one lime
-2 peppermint tea bags
steeped in 1&1/2 cups
water (4minutes), bags
pulled out, then tea chilled

Directions
Place all ingredients into a blender, blend, and enjoy! You MAY add 100% stevia extract. Avoid any crystallized forms of stevia.

Rebalance and Reflection

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A new week and not much to share! In recent posts I’d been struggling with injury and family struggles. I came to a point where I had to surrender my dreams of professionally racing and focus on getting before God, enjoying family, rebalancing, healing, and building ministry. Will I race again? Will I accomplish my dream… my heart so desperately wants to… in reality, I don’t know for sure what is going on in my body. My chiropractor has been incredibly helpful, yet .. right now I’m dealing with pain and I’m unsure as to how to proceed. Do I need to see a medical doctor and get x-rays or an MRI? If so… still waiting on medi-cal to go through. Still without employment, trying every day to look on the bright side and press forward. As depression tries to sneak in, at this time I’m choosing to look back, savor the victories and recoup from the constant training and depletion that comes with racing. How? Well… that’s what the focus of this post and next weeks post will be.
Since my last post, I’ve been focusing on regaining my balance and working on my core and base strength. That being said, the following is a “rebalancing” workout.

Rebalance
1.) Go to a gym, track or even use your living room.
2.) Make sure you have a set of weights. I use 5-7 lbs being that I train for races and need to be careful as to how much weight I use.
3.) Have a towel and plenty of water.
THE WORKOUT
-warm up with a nice, steady 5 min walk and some dynamic stretches. If you’re doing this at home, make sure you either have a treadmill or plenty of space to walk back and forth or around in circles. Whatever surface you’re in, needs to be flat, so this means no raising the incline on the treadmill.
– start by doing a light jog for 10 min
-3 sets of 15 dumbbell curls (5-7 lbs for ladies, more for men)
-3 sets of 15 overhead tricep extensions
-3 sets of 15 dumbbell row
-10 min jog
-3 sets of 15 body weight or 5lb loaded squats
-10wall sits (hold each for 10 sec)
-10 supermans
-10 bird dogs
-10 bridges (hold each for 10 sec)
-cool down with 5 min of walking or light jog. Make sure your stretch out.

No recipe for this week… next week I’ll be taking about recovering from race depletion. have a great weekend!

fruit pizza and a world of… uncertainty

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After taking a blog break, I’m back! So much has happened! Recovering from my most recent half marathon that I ran three weeks ago (Bear Creak) started out ok. I headed out the Monday afterward and felt a tight pull in my left side. I headed to the Chiropractor and found it was most likely linked to a VERY tight hamstring. So, I decided to take the following day off and any running I would do would have to be reduced to a light, gentle jog (as per my Chiropractor). I spent my mornings in quite time with the Lord, then did my jogs and headed home to care for little guy so my mom could go to work…. home all day. Meanwhile, my God Grammy was in the hospital and without a vehicle or bus/bart money, I was unable to see her. As Friday approached, my body began to feel a little off again. I decided to wait it out and see how I felt over the weekend. That Sunday eve, a traumatic event occurred that lead to mom and I taking a loved one to the ER. I ended up leaving my mom and the loved one so they could be transported to another hospital. 2 am, my body in pain again .. I drove my mom’s car (still running in the rough side) home. I woke early the next morning, called and tried to contact my mom to find she was asleep, and decided to try go for a jog. A few laps around my little parking lot loop and… a sharp tug! I headed up the hill, on verge of tears, tried to jog… TUG again!!! This time, more sharp. I could barely walk to my door properly. Immediately, I called to find out if my mom was awake. Once in contact with her, she gave me the ok to go to the Chiropractor but was to go strait to the hospital afterward being that we only had a small amount of gas and next to no money to buy more. At the Chiropractor’s office, as he was adjusting me, he said my body was in worse shape than he’d ever seen it… I broke… how was this possible? I was SO careful! The only lifting I’d done was putting little guy in his high chair and crib and giving him hugs! I was jogging lightly and stretching as instructed… then pressures from everything (God Grammy in the hospital, mom’s car acting up, being at home all day with a child I adore yet have had to constantly teach to be nice, dealing with his tantrums and biting; our lack of income, my lack of health insurance while waiting for medi-cal to go through, ect) set in and I tried to hold back tears, but they began to pour… my poor chiropractor spoke up, “what? Is it your back?” “No, it’s everything… I just want my life back! I want to be able to pick up my loved one without being afraid my back’s gonna fall apart; run, race, walk, sit, stand, lay down without pain; go to the store and be able to buy things without stress… I want my life back…” and the tears poured harder. “Well, I’m sorry, I can’t help you with that.” He said apologetically. “I’m sorry, I didn’t want to say anything. You’ve already done waaaay to much. I can’t thank you enough.” I thanked him and his staff and headed out of the office and off to the hospital. There, I gave my mom a care package from home and spent the eve. The following day, my loved one was released and mom and I were headed home to face more trials. No money for food or gas, we spent the rest of the week trying to make what we had last. Meanwhile, I was to refrain from training until the weekend, so I opted to do some walking (as per my Chiropractor) back and forth inside my apartment to keep my muscles from stiffening. On Thursday, somehow I ended up in pain so severe I was in bed in tears the majority of the day. I txt my two mentors, and asked them to pray for me in the battle I’d been fighting. I prayed and cried out. While texting one of my mentors I got really emotional… I wanted so badly to drive myself into a positive forward motion, but how? I felt like such an idiot for driving so hard and training for these events to be left laying in bed in pain, with nothing to show for all the strife. The dreams of running in the Olympics (yes… still a desire of mine) and running more ultramarathons to display the power of God through a transformed life and sharing my testimony in hopes of encouraging those lost and on a destructive path to change for the better seemed to be crumbling before my very eyes! My mind was racing… I could go back to school and become a nurse, but how? This is something I’d wanted to do for a while.. however, So many road blocks… The pain along with the raging seas around me… uhhh. Thankfully, the following day the pain subsided. I did a light jog back and forth in my apartment (yes, in my apartment, on the floor of my home) then spent the rest of the day feeling much better! Yet still feeling overwhelmed by my circumstances. I tried so hard to give them to the Lord, yet the heaviness remained. Saturday rolled around with an opportunity to visit God Grammy and thankfully, a good friend of mine was kind enough to take me out to see her and my God Mom. We hung out, outside the care center then went inside to finish our visit. After a quick break with my God Mom to run an errand, we returned and I went up to her and said… “hey! It’s Jamie!” The smile on her face was so big… my heart melted and wept at the same time. Such a bittersweet moment.The following day… another blessed opportunity to see her! So, I had a “mini church service” w my God family, ate lunch outside in the sun, and… my God Mom took me home. Both visits, the emotions were high .. I tried to contain them as best as I could. From seeing God Grammy the way she was to the battle at home and with my body… I felt like I’d cried out to God and spoken to each mountain time and time again only to get totally smacked down! Monday came and went. I came in contact with my cousin only to find my grandmother (my dad’s mother who I haven’t been able to contact since placing the restraining order on my dad) now has dementia. Noooo!!!! Tuesday came and went… I spent mornings trying to press into God, then jogging inside my apartment… the rest of those days were spent caring for little guy… today, well… I did my morning quite time and jogged around the apartment and headed off to do laundry and… the pain started up again! With a race I was hoping to run this weekend… Lord knows what will happen. All I know is… despite this pain and my current trials, somehow… I’ll press on! If the Lord wills it for me to race, He’ll provide a way to restore me to health. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to praise Him knowing that whatever comes of all if this will truly be for His glory. I’ll continue to love and obey, and I chose to continue to believe. No matter what the future holds I’ll believe in the radical promises of my most high king knowing that ask things work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His great purpose! Today, I’ll leave you with a recipe for fruit pizza! I saw an image online that sparked an inspiration, so… I got creative and decided to make one of my own! I hope you also get to try!

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*Fruit Pizza
Ingredients
-2inch thick slice of seedless watermelon (from center of melon)
-1/4 cup grapes sliced in halves
-1/4 cup sliced banana
-1/4 cup sliced pineapple
(Feel free to add anything else you choose! Be creative!)
Directions
-Place fruit pieces on to of the watermelon however you see fit, then cut into slices and serve! This is a great treat for a healthy desert or you can serve it at a potluck or gathering.

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