Spring break with purple sweet potato bread

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Spring break! Here it is, and boy is it beautiful outside! Living in the Bay Area is so incredible! There’s so much color and life in this area it’s unreal! For the first time since I started going to college I’ve had no major homework assignments to focus on or exams to study for, so I’ve tried to make the most of it by enjoying time with my family (eating my new favorite treat… enlightened ice cream bars) and baking.

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Just before spring break started I received two very special packages from a friend of mine in Colorado. Miss Emily sent me a doughnut mold and a jar of Georgia grinders pecan butter! With that, I got straight to work on coming up with new recipes! I haven’t completely mastered the one I’m going to post yet so I’ll save that for another post. However, today I’m going to share a recipe for something I came up with after enduring an emergency dental appointment. To make a long story short, after weeks of having a swollen face, I found out I had an abscess in my lower right jaw. When I went to have it investigated, they found that there was a piece of tooth root left behind from a previous extraction that caused a huge infection. It very well could’ve been connected to the heart problems I was having before. So, after the surgery to remove it, I ended up eating mush for the better part of a few days (still just getting back to eating solid food 😞). During that time I was determined to get my nutrients in. In an effort to do so I came up with a recipe for purple sweet potato bread!

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As for my body in the physical pain, I’ve talked about it so much on here I really just don’t see the point in bringing it up anymore. Y’all know my struggles… Spring break has had its own. Put it this way, once again I’m doing a lot of icing and heating and spending time at home, in pain. Psychologically and emotionally, it’s been wearing however I’m choosing to keep my chin up and praise God through this storm in my body. Well part of me wants to hope that I’ll run again, right now even working out seems impossible. For those of you pray, please pray for me because honestly I just don’t know what to do anymore. The best I can do is move forward, keep praising God no matter how painful this season is, focus on what’s in front of me, try to help others so I get the focus off of me, and bake till I can’t bake anymore! I’m going to cut this one short and leave you all with the recipe for purple sweet potato bread 🍞! I hope y’all have a wonderful spring. I hope to post soon with a new donut recipe!

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Purple sweet potato bread
-1 and 1/2 cup baked, then mashed purple sweet potato
-1 egg
-1 egg white
-1/2tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp almond extract
-1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Mix ingredients and bake 350° For 15- 20 min. Let cool and…
You may top with slivered almonds and a drizzle of honey 🍯
OR your favorite nut butter

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New Years with Turkey Soup!

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Well…. here it is, the New Year and… so much to be grateful for! Yes, me… the one who is scrapping cans and bottles together to buy food and gas is GRATEFUL. Why? I’m alive, I have family, friends, school, work… plus… I woke up this morning. I really have been fed up with stressing on little things. It seems every time my family and I have even begun to get ahead, we get knocked down. We see advancement in finances and health… then BAM… HIT! I got up this morning and was like, “you know what God… My life is not anything like what I wanted it to be. My body hurts, my spirit longs to walk, run, and race freely, my family and I are barely getting bye but You know what? Compared to others in poverty stricken countries… I’m filthy rich! So, I’m going to thank You for the MANY times you’ve shown up and sent provision, for the fact that I can worship You freely, and for the fact that I’m even breathing!” Then, this weight was lifted off of my shoulders! Why?

Matthew 6:19-21 – Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

In 2016, I kept focusing so much on what I didn’t have that I’d forgotten to stop and enjoy the many things I do have… I got so focused on “storing up riches” and trying to get financially stable that I’d forgotten that all of this is all temporary.

That being said, I want to just encourage you… whatever “resolutions” you may or may not have, keep a Christ perspective. Ask the Lord to show you what HE wants you to have as resolutions and to help work through you to build His kingdom for the benefit of others. For me, this means drawing closer to Him, asking Him to help me continue to build the vision He has instilled in my heart and to use my life for His glory.

This year, I was blessed with the honor of singing backup for the amazing Linda Jackson at our New Years Church service! That woman is absolutely incredible! What an honor to share the stage with such a beautiful legend.! I then wen home and enjoyed some sparkling cider with mom and nephew and… went to bed at 11:30… hahaha!!! Honestly, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Great fellowship and time with my loved ones… what more could I ask for?

Short post today, however… I’ll go ahead and leave you with some food victories and a recipe for some tasty turkey soup! I came up with my own recipe while trying out my new slow cooker that I got for Christmas (thanks Mommalou)!

Food victory… theo Dark Chocolate bar!!! This sucker is almost gone and has been such a delicious treat! Something I didn’t even allow myself to have when I was working out/ active and all I can say is… boy was I missing out!

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Sparkling cider… yes… this was a victory, because when you are restrictive, even things like sparkling apple cider can become huge phobias!!!

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Turkey Soup Recipe:

Ingredients

~1/2 turkey carcass

~4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

~1 cup chopped turkey

~4 chopped carrots

~5 stocks celery Chopped

~1/2 white onion

~1 clove garlic minced

~1/2 teaspoon bay seasoning

~1/2 teaspoon sea salt

~1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

~Rosemary to taste

~ Water to fill line

(Cook rice separately)

~1 cup brown rice

~1/3 cup broth

~1 and 2/3 cup water

Directions

Place carcass in slow cooker with vinegar and water to fill line. Set cooker on high for 3 hours, then place on low for 7 hours (overnight). Strain broth into an extra bowl  pulling all remaining turkey off the bones. Place bowl in the fridge over night. Pull bowl out and scoop off layer of fat from the top, place broth in slow cooker with seasonings, turkey, and veggies and set on high to cook for 2 hours. Then cook on low for 2 more hours or until veggies are tender. Meanwhile, place rice, broth and water into a pan to cook on the stove. Follow general rice cooking procedure for this.  Keep the soup and rice separate even in storage in the fridge, it will keep the rice from soaking up all of the broth in the soup. Put them together when you’re ready to consume!

What made this soup taste the best was that while making it, I did a bible study by Kevin Swanson (thank you miss Emily) with my mom. So, I was preparing fuel for our bodies while we fueled our spirits!

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I hope y’all have an amazing year! I’ll post as time and inspiration provides! God bless!

 

 

 

Winter Break and food victories

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Love… That’s a word that’s been on my heart this season. With the semester now at a close… So much to say… The trials I faced through the past few months were, at times frustrating and brought me nearly to a point of dropping classes all together. Yet’ one thing kept me pressing on… LOVE!
Let me be more specific for ya’ll. Since my last post, I found myself so crunched timewise between school, work, Choir, volunteer work at the church (halloween carnival) doctors/ Chiropractic appointments, ect. all while trying to manage the pain I’ve been in off and on and maintain a family life that doing anything outside of it was nearly impossible. I found myself completely staying away from any form of exercise (including ab work) simply because my body was hurting and I really have felt the need to heal. This was such a huge challenge for me! With pressures of classes, I found I needed an outlet and God provided one! I soon began to draw!
Without going into too much detail about draining trials I’ll say this… They included further blood testing to find out why my white blood cell count is still low, an injured pet that we ended up having to seek financial support for help to cover, a situation I needed to fix one my car, news about the horrific shape my troubled loved one is in and more… Between that and the war in my body…. I barely had the strength to press on through finals. However, there are always blessings in the storms of life! At the Halloween carnival, Alex Ramon’s assistant (Megan Doyle) hooked up the sweetest care package full of my favorite college snacks and drinks! Also, my modern day pen pal, Emily (who I hope to one day meet), sent a huge care package for my family and me full of food and clothing AND bible study materials! Plus… People at random from my church reached out to help. It’s incredible! Always, just when my family and I needed it!
Now… Here it is… Another break, and yes… The stress of school and struggles landed me in bed off and on  for the first few days. Knowing that there’s help out there, just praying for the miracle of provision to get it…. I continue to do what God has placed before me, taking one step at at time, trusting that He knows best! The love for my troubled loved one and for her little one that mom and I care for is truly helps me press on! With that, I’ll share some food victories with y’all. Also, before I go…

Food victories:

1.I got to try a new brand of cereal called Purely Pinole, which I TOTALLY love!

2. Oatmeal for lunch… and no… I didn’t work out during that time, so it was a BIG victory. It was a combination of Trader Joe’s gluten free oats and Rachel’s overnight oats (both the Purely Pinole and the Rachel’s were gifts from my dear pen pal Emily which were sent in a beautiful care package).

3. I started ditching my obsession with fat free yogurt for lowfat yogurt and kefir.

4. The Sunday before Christmas, I enjoyed fellowship at my God mothers’s church where they provided a meal of spanish rice, steamed veggies with EVOO, cod baked in EVOO, and salad… for me.. this was a big step out in social eating. Also, it was a BIG victory!

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In closing, I have a few questions for you…

What is your favorite part of Christmas?

What’s you favorite Christmas carol?

What do you do when it seems that nothing seems to go right in life?

Do you have any New Years resolutions?

Smoothie Time in the Rabbit Hole

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One of my favorite stories growing up is “Alice in Wonderland.” No, I’m not talking about the move… I’m talking about the book. The movie is adorable, but book… just really captures Alice’s adventures in such an incredibly descriptive way that the  the reader has so need for physical images, for the image comes clear inside of the mind without need of any visual assistance. This is definitely one of the few books I wouldn’t mind reading over and over again!

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(photo credit http://entertainmentdesigner.com/)

Right now, I feel like I’m Alice… falling down the rabbit hole! Why? Well, this white rabbit that I call my vision for career and ministry as dashed off before me and headed down his crazy rabbit hole, and of course like any dreamer who has a dream does… I went a chasin! Then…. chaos hit. Every time I’ve turned around there has been some sort of resistance! Any time I’ve made any progress in an area of life… things begin to happen to smack me down. My running and racing dreams… shattered before my eyes just as my PRs were improving, my acting dreams… well… I’ve just never really had the boldness to step forward to try to see if they could come true. This dream of building a non profit (for which I go to school for)…. welll… This semester, it’s taking every bit of energy I have, mentally, emotionally, and physically to press on. The pains in my body, trying to get proper treatment only to be put through a blitzkrieg of chaos and end up in pain again…. chaos at school, home, ect… I’m praying that somehow… God will help me through this mess!

I honestly have kept the severity of my health situation very quiet because… well, why tell my readers who really can’t help? Then, I realized that opening up could probably help ya’ll choose to press on through things you might be battling… so here goes!

For quite a while now, I’ve been battling issues that have made it hard to walk at times. I get up in the morning and HAVE to put on shoes or slippers before my feel hit the ground or else my hamstrings tighten up making it painful for me to walk. There are several imbalances that have lead to me struggling at times to sit, stand, walk, lay down, and even shower without pain and/ or discomfort. While I’ve sought out treatment, even with the funds raised through the before mentioned gofundme that a dear friend of mine set up…  I’ve only been able to start treatments, but not really finish or get to the core of the situation. I have to take extra care in bending down to get things, can’t pick my nephew up, can’t push a grocery cart, have not been able to workout to rebuild strength and balance and have to constantly be aware of how I stand and walk while doing anything. To top it off… I battle PTSD from the abuse and various forms of abused I’ve dealt with, losses I’ve faces, constant high pressure situations I’ve dealt with, health issues (including the injuries that I battle) that have at times… made it hard for me to just pick up and keep moving. Finally, I’m in the process of having the doctors run a series of tests to find out if I’m dealing with an autoimmune disorder or possibly cancer… all this at just the beginning of a new semester! So… down this rabbit hole I continue to fall! While I DID drop my Drama class in order to keep my focus on classes that are degree applicable…. Getting my head in the game has really been challenging for me.

Don’t get me wrong…. I’m not saying this to complain… I’m simply saying… I’m choosing to press on, despite how my body feels, despite the family drama that I face, and despite the fact that my mom and I are barely hanging on financially. Trusting that at the end of this seemingly endless rabbit whole.. past all the crazy encounters with the distracting characters that try to throw me off course… past the war with the queen of hearts… there’s a victory in the name of Jesus. Somehow, some way, I’ll make it through this. Seriously… handing everything to Christ at this moment in time and knowing that even if He calls me to walk away from classes… He’ll have another door opened for me. So, as the clock ticks and the last day to withdraw without receiving a “w” approaches… I pray, continue to study, and wait on the Lord!

As I wait, I choose to enjoy the great things that that Lord has provided like… movies with mom and Tye Tye (my little nephew and apple of my eye) with Frozen yogurt and popped corn

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smoothie bowls

and…. good ol Georgia grinders almond butter!

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PLUS… a huge victory… from 86lbs to just breaking 100lbs… hey… God is good! Please, spare me the “you can have some of mine” comments… Nothing personal, but that’s a trigger! All being said… I hope whatever giants you face, you find the strength and courage to face them head on! Until next time…

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” ~Ephesians 6:10~

Put on your armor and know that the battle belongs to the Lord!

and of course… here’s a recipe to get your mornings going!

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Fig Berry madness!

Ingredients

~1 cup frozen blueberries

~1/2 cup frozen blackberries

~ 1 scoop of superbeets powder

~1/2 – 2/3 cup water or almond milk

~ stevia (or sweetener of choice) to taste

~ 2 fresh figs cut into 4ths

directions

Place all ingredients into a blender, leaving the figs to the side. blend until smooth and top with the chopped figs. You can add protein powder if you like or eat some eggs or cottage cheese on the side… get creative!

 

Ya’ll get out there! Live, love, enjoy your life!