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 ­čś×). 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 ­čŹ×! 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 ­čŹ»
OR your favorite nut butter

A little sweetness in bitter times

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Happy Sunday y’all! I hope things of been going well for you since my last post. My world things have been a bit challenging to say the least, however in the midst of my trials I’m finding strength in Christ, along with a whole lot of food inspiration! Best of all, I’m learning the true value of human life and seeing what really matters in life is not whether or not we achieve some earthly goal or possession. What matters is how much we love.
Now, since my last post I’ve continued to press on in school despite a lot of the giants I’ve been facing. For anyone who knows what it’s like to deal with PTSD while going to school you know my pain. For those of you don’t, it’s incredibly trying. For someone with PTSD things that are stressful to normal person are 2 to 3 times more stressful for that person. When stress hits it’s almost like chaos completely overwhelms your mind and you can’t think straight. Sometimes I flashback to a Trumatic experience in childhood or life in the middle of the day while I’m doing something and it can cause a panic attack. I’ve had to learn to focus inward and find peace in Christ in order to maintain my sanity. While I’m in the process of healing from it… when it rears its ugly head it’s not fun.

Along with PTSD I also have been battling the same issues with my back and legs. I stand in class, then I take moments of brief sit down time. This is all in order to make sure that I don’t get a back flareup.
Continuously standing in one place for too long has put a lot of pressure on the muscles in my legs, which later has an effect when I try to go for a walk to relieve stress. The stress from classes, life and the sitting that I still have to do from time to time has caused my psoas and iliacus muscles to be overly tight. The help that I need isn’t covered by my insurance, so I do what I can to get by on a day to day basis.

 

Finally, the stress of classes, health, finances, worries about my troubled loved one (and not getting to see her this week for her birthday)… chaos at home and trying to study through it finally just took it’s toll. Last Thursday I was rushed to the ER after I collapsed due to heart pain and chest pressure.
Now, I know that has a believer I’m supposed to trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. I know that I need to find my peace in God. These things I try to do. Believe me, I do what I can to find my peace rest in him. What people need to realize is that sometimes no matter how strong someone is founded in Christ, life can become overwhelming. The enemy attacks whome he fears and he has definitely attacked my family and me. The thing is I refused to back down! I’m choosing to believe that God is working as always! Meanwhile, I’m off to another round of testing to find out if there’s a deeper issue. Since this is the second time within a year’s time that I’ve been admitted to the ER with heart problems, it’s time to take a closer look. And all honesty, my guess is that a lot of it has to do with my struggles with eating disorders over the years. Stress can do so much to you, but when you’re under weight it can kill you. While I’m currently just a few pounds from my weight goal given to me by my doctor… years of miss treating my body have taken it’s toll.

My point in saying all of this is to let you know that while people these days seem to focus on the damage that obesity can do to somebody, we also need to take a look at what being too thin can do to somebody. Eating disorders of any kind or not beautiful they. are. ugly., and this is the darkside of it. This doesn’t mean to go hackling at everybody who is super thin because some people are just naturally that way. However if you or someone that you know is struggling with malnourishment, any eating disorder of any kind whether it’s over or under eating… help them or get help for yourself ASAP! I can’t stress that enough! There are so many resources out there so many people who are ready and willing to help. For me, I found a lot of help through my support system which includes my mom and my God mom, my counselor, The ED community that communicates via social media, my church, my friends and so much more. There’s nothing to be ashamed of when you decide to step out and show love to yourself by taking care of you.
Thank In closing I just want to let you all know this whole thing has really help me see how precious and fragile life is. Every moment that I get to snuggle with my cat who seems to know when something’s wrong, that I get to hold my little nephew, hug my mom, go to church, see my friends, go to school, go to work… every breath I breathe is a blessing and it’s an opportunity to love. Whoever you are that’s reading this whether you are battling with an eating disorder or battling with bitterness, unforgiveness, or just need encouragement to press on… take a deep breath right now and thank God for that breath. Look in the mirror and tell yourself how incredibly awesome you are as a creation of God. Get out there and forgive, forget the drama, quit hating on each other and fighting over stupid junk and just love on each other. Embrace your mom, your dad, your friends, your loved ones who surround you. Just love!
As always I tried to leave you guys with a delicious recipe to enjoy until my next post…. so…

Sweet potato À la mode

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*Ingredients*
-1 medium sweet potato
-1 pint of maple vanilla arctic zero ice cream
-1/4 cup slivered dry roasted almonds
*Directions*
Preheat the oven to 350┬░ and bake your sweet potato for 45 minutes to a half hour or until you can poke a knife easily through to the center. Pull it out of the oven, cut down the middle, let the potato cool just a little bit, and scoop some arctic zero right into the center. Top it off with your slivered almonds and enjoy! I had a little bit of the pint left over after putting some in the middle of my potato, however I enjoyed the rest of it just because it’s too good not to indulge!

 

* Disclaimer (thank you Emily for reminding me of this): I am not a health professional, I’m training to be one. I do not have my license, so any advice I gave is merely on experience. In other words your health care provider is the best person to consult for any nutritional advice.

When Nothing Makes Sense, Eat Chocolate and Keep Going

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I remember the first time I heard of Murphy’s Law. I was working in San Diego at linens n’ things in the Carmel Mountain shopping center. Things just kept going wrong for this lady who came through my line and she said, “you know that’s just like Murphy’s Law for me anything that can go wrong will.” At the time I didn’t really think anything of it. As time went on, however, I began to see that it times in life I can be quite true. One thing goes wrong and it starts a domino effect of continuous drama and trauma. More recently I have tried to remain as positive as possible. The thing is, this week everything finally just took it’s toll. Situations with my trouble love one brought up all the motions and dramatic memories of witnessing her being abused. The guilt that festered deep inside me for not stepping in… only to find when I spoke to my counselor recently about it she assured me it really that was nothing I could do without having harm inflicted on me, and that I really needed to forgive myself. With more recent events that have happened with her, finding out that she’s turned to harsher drugs and is now homeless… my heart aches! Knowing that everything in me wants to help her, however when I’ve done that in the past it’s caused me to fall into a dangerously codependent relationship with her that’s completely unhealthy. That being said I’ve had to make very clear lines to only be willing to be there and help her should she truly be willing to get up and change. Now, I find that the way to show that I love her to continue to go to school so that I can eventually help people like her who really want to get their lives right and to pour as much love as I can into her little one that my mom has adopted. The process has been trying, to say the least. I found myself trying everything I can to self heal and get rid of this pain. From seeing a chiropractor, physical therapist, and even doing the exercises in the book that was recommended to me called “Pain Free” only to find myself in utter pain. ┬áWith the treatment that I need so close but just out of reach, I felt nearly hopeless at times. Knowing that there is a remedy, however my insurance doesn’t cover it has just been a portion of the battle. Here it is just the beginning of the semester, I’m not even halfway through I’m so close to just giving up. Praying every step of the way. I know God is working but it’s so hard to see through the storm. ┬áRight here right now I’m choosing ┬áto praise! On an up side… I’be been gaining weight, and still maintaining good grades in school. I was recently promoted at work, was given an opportunity to share my story on my dear friend’s blog, and have opened my new business called Messenger Gear in which I sell clothes and jewelry to help raise funds and awareness to stop human trafficking. All being said and done, amidst my suffering I’m still seeing God work in mighty ways. I may be in pain now, but this can’t last forever. I’ll leave you today with a link to miss Emily Swanson’s blog and podcast series, some reviews of my recent food adventures, and a peek at the clothing line!

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One of my favorite new food addictions has been dark chocolate! Theo makes thee best sea salt almond dark chocolate bars PLUS Trader Joe’s has hit my sweet tooth just right with their cacao nibs!!!

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Aloha bars? … yesss please!

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Froyo with almond slivers and smothered in Hershey sugar free chocolate… yeaaaas!!!!

Now, onto the link to miss Emily’s blog post! Be sure to check it out and subscribe to her new podcast series!

http://beautyinchristthebook.com/darkness-light-healing-podcast-2/

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Finally… Messenger Gear! You can catch this new line on instagram as @messenger_gear the first round of shirts and jewelry will be giving a portion of the proceeds to help an organization called “The Glass Slipper” in which rescues women from sex trafficking! Be sure to also like my page on facebook!

 

Thank y’all for dropping in and sharing my journey with me… until next time… keep pressing on!

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 ┬áteaspoon baking soda

– 2 tablespoons vanilla almond milk

– 2 1/2 tablespoons ┬áJustin’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. ┬áJust 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 ┬áand I found that most of them are quite ┬ásimilar. 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 ┬áfor 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?

Finals and Life

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Finals… yes another semester has passed and so much has happened! The storm has raged off and on with my health,finances, and life in general…between seeing various practitioners to try to get my hip/ back issues resolved and random cold symptoms popping up consistently, mom’s car having some recent issues, my nephew bringing home colds from nursery and day care, my mom’s health causing worry, jumping from class to class, appointment to appointment, and a recent performance in the Hilltop Community Church Singing Christmas tree… man…. I’m surprised I can even think straight! I can honestly say that while I’ve learned to maintain peace (for the most part) amidst all the craziness and chaos, there HAVE been times when I’ve honestly just wanted to throw the towel in, times when I’ve asked God why in the world my life has had to be such a crazy struggle and why it is that so many times it seems like I’m so close to a breakthrough only to see it ripped from my hands leaving me weeping like a little girl who just had her favorite toy ripped from her hands never to be seen again. Then, I’m reminded… John 10:10 clearly states that satan came to steal, kill and destroy, but GOD gives life in abundance! Whatever satan has done, God will use to turn around for His glory (Romans 8:28), AND He will restore DOUBLE what was taken from me (Zechariah 9:12).┬á Waiting for my breakthrough hasn’t been easy, however… what keeps me pressing on is the little boy I get to watch grow on a daily basis! Ughhh! What a little fit throwing, letter learning, laughing, newly talking, adorable, heaven sent treasure of a boy! Makes every moment that I’ve had to endure the struggle worht it!

So, what do I do while I’m waiting for my breakthrough? Well, I’ve allowed God to work on me! You see… I used to complain about not having a car of my own. Now, I ask God to show me how to use the time I have while waiting for rides. I also have learned to be grateful for those who have sacrificed their time to help me get to and from school, work, appointments and the like. Also… with all the craziness going on, I began to bully myself with food. I neglected proper nutrition, and while on a house sit, my God Mother took me for a day at her gym where she kind of pushed me to get on the scale (something I’d avoided for a loooong time)… and… @ 85lbs, I’m surprised that I was even able to walk let alone, focus on my work! The moment I returned to my house sit, I got right to work on standing up to yet another person who has bullied me my whole life… the biggest bully of all… ME! Instead of a couple peaces of fruit and some yogurt for breakfast and stuffing myself with veggies and minimal amounts of protein, I began to include oats, other grains, healthy fats, chicken, fish, ect… to my diet. Amazing how quickly I felt the difference! I’m believing this is the beginning of great healthful changes! Also , I began to embrace what was before me… my family and school work! With philosophy as one of my classes, my eyes were opened to how amazing God truly is! I was given new perspective of how Jesus truly called us to live and connect with Him simply by taking a look at how other religions connect to their gods. Then I realized… those days that I spent, locked in the apartment, unable to leave due to injury… those days are days I spent in the word, and building my relationship with God. Had I/ ventured into this season without that… I would have been lead astray by the lures of those other religions and their gods… truly, it’s in the desert that we learn to trust Jesus. He pulls things out of us that no longer need to be, things that are separating us from His incredible love, He molds us, chases us, builds us into strong, magnificent creatures we never though we could be. It’s here that I’ve learned that in my weakness, HE is made strong! Every moment that I’m on campus, at church, or anywhere else for that matter is a moment in which God is showing His incredible power!┬á Finally, it’s in the waiting that our patience and faith is truly tested… will you believe that God will do what He said He will even when it appears like your whole world is falling apart? Really… the choice is yours! I leave you now with that thought and a recipe for low fat, sugar free french toast muffins!

H

*Ingredients (muffins)*

~two pieces of Trader Joe’s Vegan sprouted grain bread

~2 egg whites

~1/4 cup almond milk

~1/2 tsp gluten free vanilla extract

~2 drops liquid stevia

*Ingredients (icing)*

~2/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt (I use Trader Joe’s brand)

~1/2 tsp gluten free vanilla extract

~5 packets trader joe’s or now foods better steviastevia

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***Directions: Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spray a muffin pan with nonstick olive oil baking spray. Cut bread into little squares. Mix all batter ingredients together and evenly coat bread pieces. Place pieces into muffin trays until biscuits are formed. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 min or until baked through. Pull out of oven and allow to cool. Mix icing ingredients and top to your liking!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and keep hope alive!