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

Dare To Dream With Maple Carrot Cake!

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I was reading this quote this morning in a devotional, and it really struck me how God has planted these tiny seeds of faith and passion in my heart for the ministry that I’ve mentioned before which is human trafficking. Through that passion He’s ignited a fire to help keep me pressing on!

Think about it. Is there anything that you’re so passionate about or you want to give a shot but you’re so afraid to step out and do it?

I found myself, in the past, pulling back because of the war that I face continuously on my life in order to proceed. The constant battle in my health which resulted in another issue this week, the days that I spent in bed in pain, the times of my family barely could make ends meet, the pressure at school, the pressures at work and the horrible things that I’ve experienced there (right down to a man coming through my line and touching himself inappropriately as I was cashiering), as I’ve said many times before there have been times that I felt like I was going to completely throw in the towel, however, it’s when I took that leap of faith and given my dreams all that I’ve got, praying my way all the way through it, that I’ve seen more passion and energy coming through me to accomplish things that I’ve never been able to accomplish before… all by the power of God!

So, today aside from the aspect of recovering from what has been a lifetime of off and on nutritional abuse (both under and over nourishment) aside from the stories of my current trials and struggles (because I mean you think about it who out there isn’t struggling?), aside from this journey that I called life that I’ve invited you along for the ride hoping that somehow my story will help you find peace in the hands of God and courage to press on… today I want to encourage you (despite the giants that face you) find your passion because as a famous quote says:

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Yes, that was probably the world’s longest run-on sentence! Thank the Lord for blogs that allow one to break free from being too picky about grammar and sentence structure!

Anywho, I’m not going to run around saying I’ve done anything great because I haven’t. All I’ve done is take a step faith trusting that God will lead my way. I can tell you I’ve been afraid most of the way through, in pain most of the way through, and struggling most of the way through. Yet, you see… it’s through those struggles, pain and trials that I’m continuing to learn and see that in my weakness, God is made strong!

That being said, I now leave you with a recipe for a carrot cake mug cake that I came up with for my mom’s birthday!

Maple Carrot Cake Mug Cake

Ingredients

– 2 1/2 tablespoons oat flour

– 2 tablespoons grated carrots

– 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice

– 1/3  teaspoon baking soda

– 2 tablespoons vanilla almond milk

– 2 1/2 tablespoons  Justin’s maple almond butter

-1 egg

– 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

Directions

mix ingredients. Place in mug and place mug in microwave for 1 to 2 minutes on high heat. Take it out of the microwave, drizzle it with a little make both syrup and serve.  I added a packet of wholesome foods Stevia to the mix for extra sweetness! Mom loved it , Little Dude loved it and I loved it!

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I hope y’all have a blessed weekend! If you get an opportunity to try out mug cake, please let me know what you think.  Just so you know I can’t take all the credit for this recipe because I went online and searched over several different recipes. One from land o Lakes as well as Yummily  and I found that most of them are quite  similar. I made minor adjustments and this was the outcome!

 

 

 

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?

Adventures in Wonderful World of Drama 125, Pilates ,swim , precalculus , Anatomy with cadavers and PB&J.

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Here it is the end of another semester! As my heading said…it was full of Adventures and the wonderful world of Drama 125, Pilates swim pre calculus and Anatomy with cadavers and PB&J! Wait! Did I just say cadavers and peanut butter and jelly? Yep! An odd combination, however that’s how Anatomy Labs went! All through the semester, my amazing professor served penut butter and jelly during lab AND had us study cadavers… Think about it… Wakes… Funerals…. Death seems to be comforted by food.
Now in my last post I told you all about some challenges I’ve faced with the trouble of one, our car breaking down, my grandmother’s passing, the details behind her passing, and yet another financial situation. As the semester went on from there , the stress increased. With the weight of classes , Financial struggles, troubles with my mom’s new car (yes I drive.. Details regarding my car situation are in long past posts) random issues flaring up in my body , the semester was truly one for my personal record books! By the time last Friday rolled around , I was preparing for my pre Calculus, anatomy, and Drama 125 exams and dealing with heart pains. This turned into a trip to the ER. Of course never a dull moment in my world. There I got on the scale and the reality set in… 96 lbs in the middle of the day! I had a pair of sweats on over a pair of athletic pants, PLUS my shoes and had just eaten…. Ummm yeah of course my heart was hurting! A chat with a doctor pulled the elephant out of the room for display! Apparently with all the running around I’ve been doing I wasn’t 100% making sure I was nourish myself. While I was trying to eat healthy the conclusion the doctor and I both came to is that I was either not getting enough calories in or I need to get my thyroid checked! So, I’ve decided to check both sides of the spectrum. However, there’s always a blessing in the storm. A dear friend of mine that I used to work for came out and asked how I was doing and offered to help. Mom and I had no idea what we’re going to do as far as getting clean clothes done or getting food for the next couple weeks, so like an angel he dropped by with some support! Thankfully, we were able to pay our bills and get food and laundry taken care of. I was then able to go into finals fueled and clean! I went into my precalc examn confident and ready and… Came out witht he same confindence. Then, went on to finish my Drama 125, Pilates and Anatomy examns over the next couple of days. When I finished my Anatomy exam, I looked back over the semester and all the fears I faced and the strange yet understandable combination of viewing dead people along with lunch being served (I took my own sprouted grain with almond butter), precalculus (I have severe math anxiety), and many more. By the end of my pilates exam… I was exausted and ready for break! However, was not looking forward to the possibility of being stuck in my apartment for another achool break. Thankfully, the day after classes ended, I recieved a call from my cousins ssying they wanted to meet up with me and help me get out to my grandmother’s memorial. Apparently, the family member that has a restraining order on them has moved back to Hawaii, so… I was safe to go! On the way up there, mom’s car started overheating… However… We still were able to meet up with them. What a blessing! I got to enjoy 3 days catching up with my beautiful family, celebrating the life of my grandmother, PLUS I got to kick off my birthday week by being treated to a tour of San Francisco! Every moment was bliss!  The freedom I craved for sooo long was finally mine. Yet this was only for a moment. When they dropped me back off at home… I was back to facing reality… Mom’s car needing work, struggling with finances again… And this morning… I went for a walk with my nephew to find …. The injury that put me in bed fall of 2014 and again last summer and has left me prisoner in my apartment time after time decided to flare up again leaving me in bed most of the day… Apparently the combination of stress from finals, sitting for hours at a time in class and running around like a kid yesterday (so worth it) took its toll on my body. Along with that comes the fact that I still don’t have access to the treatment I need… So, yet another giant I face. When it rains it pours right? However, I choose today to focus on the good things once more…

1. I have my family again and am no longer alianated
2. I really got to get to know my Aunty Denise who has such a beautiful soul!
3. I had one of the best days thay I,ve had in a long, long time and got to feel like a kid again!
4. Right now I’m given yet another opportunity to trust God… From prison to praise. I choose to praise in the prison of my current circumstaces.
5. I have time to focus more on my project for ministry. My pain for someone else’s healing… What a blessing!

Today, I’ll close with a recipe for nana ice cream that has made things a little sweeter for me these days! It tastes just like chocolate icecream without a hint of banana!

Chocolate Nana Icecream
(Serves 2)
*Ingredients*
-2 large, over ripe bananas
-1/4 cup nonfat lacrose free milk
-1tbs hershey cocoa
*directions*
Slice over ripe bananas into thin slices and place them into a freezer bag and freeze them for 2 hours or over night. Pull them out of the freezer, place into a blender or food processor with the milk and cocoa, blend until smooth and serve! You can also put it in the freezer to eat at a later time if need be.

I pray ya’ll are doing well and have the opportunity to try out this delicious treat!

Crossing the Jordan

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Back again after a looong pause! Hope ya’ll have had an amazing month! I, well… Have been in turbo mode! Praising all the way! From church to classes to homework and quizzes to rehearsals for “All In The Timing” to Doctor’s appointments, physical therapy appointments, and various counselor appointments all while praying for provision and working around bus schedules and asking friends for rides… all I can say is, the Lord told me to cross over, but He didn’t say it would be easy! In the midst of it all, there’s just been an amazing peace. While the pressures of school work, family, finances, a recent cold/flu bug that I just got over and rehabbing from this “irritation” as I like to call it have brought on all new levels of stress… the Lord has been with me every step of the way. I wake up every morning, praising God for another day, thanking Him for all He has done and continues to do. Also, I’ve learned to quit asking Him to deliver me from this mess and start asking Him to guide me through it. To give me strength to press on even at times when things have seemed to be almost unbearable. I’m learning to grow where I’ve been planted, and maaaannnn have I grown! Praise GOD! SO, I’ll close today with no recipe or workout, just a simple word of encouragement… whatever you’re facing… our GOD is MUCH bigger than anything we could every face! Trust in Him to lead and guide you and remember…

“Oh love the Lord all you saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart. All you who hope in the Lord.”

Psalm 31:23-24

Family trials and celebrations. Plus, something for the little ones!

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Last week, I left y’all hanging with a little suspense. 🙂 sorry about that! The tides began to rise as situations with my troubled family member rose which brought concerns about her precious little one… The details of this, I still need to keep in the unknown until God reviels His plan. All I will say is… My decision is this… All children deserve the best childhood that God could possibly give them. I am currently asking the Lord how I can go about doing my part to make that happen for little guy. In the mean time, I was preparing for my first double race day (am 10k and first USA track and field 5,000meter track event) in celebration of my recently departed God Dad’s birthday… The emotions of my family trials along with my worries for my God Mom, And… A trip once more to the doc. I pulled an Abraham. I told God, that since the first event was considered “treacherous” I would forfeit upon His request. So, I laid my 10k hopes on the altar on Thursday, and… Friday… I felt the Lord prompt me to do the 5k at the same event instead. So, Saturday… My running family and I headed out. The am course was the very last course that my God Dad had gone to last fall to support my God Mom… So, this was a perfect race to celebrate his memory.As we headed to the start line… Peace! We jetted off and up a 1.5 mile hill that was mostly climb, switch backs, roots, rocks, and at the top… An aid station. Then, again… I was a superhero… Flying fearlessly back down to cross the finish! Tears streamed down my face when I thanked the race director… What a blubbering baby! As the rest of the family finished their events, we quickly gathered around a cake and candle and sang happy birthday to my God Dad one last time. It saddens me now that I missed his last birthday… Never take for granted the ones you love. Soon after, my God Mom and I were headed to the track event. She ran 5 events and received Golds in each! WOW! I ran my first 5,000 meter and, well as always I will keep the outcome to myself. Before we left, I got to meet an elite Para Olympic athlete who showed me that determination… (plus a whole lotta faith) can move some serious mountains! After those events, we made a few stops and closed the day at Chevy’s (my God Dad’s birthday restaurant) to celebrate and… The opportunity to run ANOTHER event the next morning arose. We prayed about it, got the ok from God Grammy and…headed out to do the father’s day run in Pleasanton! What an amazing adventure!!! After, a trip to church and… A burger to celebrate with my God Family and my amazing mom  🙂 All I can say is… That phone call after my first two events on Sat, the one after the 10k on Sunday, the birthday celebration for my God Dad…the joining over a celebratory burger… These are moments that cannot be replaced.  Live, love, cherish those you hold dear and no matter what keep your faith! This week, since I mentioned the little one in my family, I’ll include a nice little treat that is of a healthier nature for your little ones… You may even want to try it yourself! 

Ingredients
-1 package low fat honey grahams
-1 container nonfat or low fat vanilla Greek yogurt
-1-2 sliced bananas (you can also add berries or sliced apples)

Directions
Get a square 2-3 inch deep baking sheet. Place a layer of graham crackers. Scoop about 1 cup of Greek yogurt and spread evenly over crackers, and place a layer of sliced bananas over the yogurt. Top with another graham cracker layer, then another 1cup layer of yogurt. Finish by topping with sliced bananas and your choice of berries, sliced apples… You can even add a little drizzle of Hershey chocolate syrup to make it more of a desert. This should serve about 4-5 kids.
So… In closing I will say this… Enjoy life, no matter what it brings. Embrace today and this very moment… Why? Because truly, that’s all we have. The future is in God’s hands and is up to Him to handle and unfold.

Restoration

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Jeremiah 31:3-4 NKJV

 

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! You shall again be adorned with your tambourines, And shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice.

 

There comes the time in life, when often times we feel that everything around us has crumbled, and that God has forgotten about us. However, God’s love is never failing. Do know that whatever your circumstances are, God sees you and love you as you are, He cares about you , and wants to restore you. you see, after my god dad passed….things were in a whirlwind. I was helping my god mom get the funeral together, practicing the music she wanted me to sing, training for up coming races and… still unsure of how in the world I was going to make ends meet. The funeral came.. it was a time of true remembrance of a wonderful man… my heart ached and yet was comforted by the blessed gathering of so many loved ones. The next day, my God Family and I ran a race… one member was actually running their first 5k with her precious baby girl!…where was the restoration aspect of this? At the finish line was the joy of getting together with my mom, sister, nephew, God Mom and family and enjoying one another’s company! Placing, reaching new folks, demolishing old prs mean nothing if you have no one to share our with! The day was full of pictures, laughter, and the joy of sharing success with those I love. You see, as I mentioned in previous posts… I didn’t have the best family life. I grew up around a very dysfunctional environment. The only real, SOLID person in my life was my mom. So, in this season, God has totally restored what the enemy ripped off! I have a great relationship with my mom, sister and nephew, a brother (who lives elsewhere) who I love, a relationship with my step siblings (even though my mom is no longer married to their dad) and… the blessing of my God Family with whom I’ve shared good, enjoyable, argument and stress free meals with, and have seen true, loving, faithful marriages that have stood the test of time! Wow! Do I really need to say more? So today, I’ll give you this… whatever heart ache you’ve experienced, whatever loss or family tragedy you’ve dealt with, cry out to God and ask Him to heal your heart and bandage up your wounds and He will (Psalm 147:3). If you feel abandoned by friends or family… ask Him to restore what was taken. He sets the lonely in families and restores double for our trouble. (Psalm 68:6 & Zechariah 9:12). In closing today, I will leave you with some tips on recovering from racing and a recipe for one of my favorite things to drink… smoothies!!!!!

 

-Race recovery

Recovery from a race starts the moment you cross the finish line. hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Grab WATER ASAP! Sports drinks are great, however, make SURE you get 8-12oz of water before you consume anything else. Muscles need hydration to properly recover! make sure you quickly walk around, find a place to stretch CAREFULLY, and make your way to the nearest refreshment station. somethings I love to go for at the refreshment stations are:

-bananas+peanut butter + 1/4-1/2bagel=Perfect combo of carbs, protein, and potassium. 

-fresh fruit

-fig newtons +peanut butter or nutella

-trail mix

I do try to stay away from eating a lot of junk like cookies and iceream UNLESS I have just finished a half or full marathon.

When I leave the race, I try to get some sort of red meat in (yes… I eat burgers, but I bring sprouted grain bread and order just the meat and veggies). Steak is a bit more pricy, however, it is packed with protein and nutrients that will help you rebuild your red blood cells. If you are vegan.. get some sort of vegetable protein and iron asap! The day after any event, I usually try to take it easy by rather doing a short jog or walk and, yes… even take the day off (I generally try to take one day off a week). REABALANCE… here’s a link to some exercises that can help improve balance and keep your hips, back, and and strong: http://www.active.com/fitness/articles/5-core-exercises-that-increase-stability-and-running-efficiency?page=2

Finally… the day after any event, protein is crucial! I like egg sandwiches, oatmeal with freak yogurt, fish, ext…Make sure to replenish yourself with lots of fluids as well! Again… taking the day off after a race can do wonders for your body… just make sure you don’t just lounge around… use the time to clean or, walk… keep your body moving so you don’t end up getting stiff. 

 

On to the recipe!

 

Recovery Delight Smoothie

-1 cup almond milk

-1/2 cup pure, no sugar added cranberry juice

-1/2 cup blue berries

-1/2 cup strawberries

-1 handful spinachleaves leaves

-1tbs flaxseed

-1to 2 schoops of your choice of protein powder

-1to2 tsp of sweetener of your choice (I prefer to keep in unsweetened)

 

Directions: put almond milk and cranberry juice into blender or vitamixer, turn on low mixing level, slowly add other ingredients, then, gradually being up to the highest mixing level and blend until desired consistency!