Summer review and a spicy comfort meal that will chase the sorrows away!

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Amazing how fast time flies. It seems as though I barely had time to catch my breath during summer break, and now… here come classes in less than two weeks. This summer has been full of many ups and downs. I started off with the release from my chiropractor and physical therapist to start aqua jogging and lifting weights. A dear friend of mine bought a gym membership for me for my birthday, so I was so excited to be able to get back into the gym and start rebuilding my health. Little did I know, that would quickly come to an end. You see, many of the exercises at my physical therapist gave me worsened my health situation. Due to overly tight abdominal/ psoas muscles along with IT band pain (brought on by the band exercise given by the PT) my health began to go down hill once again. Outside of work, and responsibilities, I spent a great portion of my time in bed icing, heating, and just trying to find some relief. After a while, that became my comfort zone. I found myself getting off work and looking forward to heading to bed to lose myself in binge watching episodes of various TV shows. Yeah… I get it… totally unhealthy!
In the midst of the trials, a childhood dream of mine began to come to life. I dear friend of mine invited me to an event that sent me into a series of working in a field that I’ve always dreamed of. For now, due to the status of the project, I’m not at liberty to discuss the details. I will say though that while working on this project, I came to life! I would come home and my body just felt like I could do more regardless of my back issues. It’s as if every cell in my body ignited with joy and with passion knowing that I was on a road toward what I was born and created to do! If there were anything I could ever have in this world as a career, I would choose this. “Despise not the days of small beginnings” right?
Annnywho, finally I got sick of the work and bead routine. I was missing time with my beautiful nephew and mom.. isolated in misery, focused on all the pain and reminiscing on shattered dreams when something stirred in me. After my mom expressed how she felt about my behavior, my eyes opened and I was determined to fight back! I started stretching, and doing everything I possibly could to help my body feel better. I started watching movies with my nephew, pushed myself out to enjoy some time at a local beach with my family regardless of the pain, went on a few short walks alone, and did my best to enjoy what I do have.

Things seemed to improve for only a moment when I hit yet ANOTHER BUMP! This landed me at the Chiropractor two days in a row… feeling like there was a huge screwdriver being shoved in my lower back, hobbling through each day and praying to God I would be able to walk the next day. As my mom drove me home after my most recent visit to the Chiro… I sat there, looking at the legs that once took me flying through trails, over hills and mountains and streets… that now….. have a hard time making it through a day’s work let alone a nice walk on a walking trail. In other words…. they were nearly failing me. At that point, I broke… I. just. broke…. “what can I do about this semester? I can’t bear to face another one in this amount of pain! What about my dreams? What about the things I’ve always wanted to do with my life? Why is it that it seems that every time I reach for something things seemed crumble between my fingers?” All these thoughts began to rush through my head. Then I declare it out loud, “I will run again! This is temporary! God has a good plan for my life! I refuse to back down! I’m not giving up!” So, with these declarations, I’ve decided to go from a certain chiropractic company that is just surface level treatment and not working for me to working with someone I worked with before, who knows my history, does more in depth work and who will hopefully help me get some answers.
As for my eating patterns, it’s been an up and down roller coaster with me. There are days when I meet my calorie requirements, days when I exceed them, and days when I fail miserably at coming close to what I need to sustain and live. The fact of the matter is that I thought that being weight restored would make everything better. That somehow my body would magically begin to agree with me and allow me to have more freedom. This wasn’t the case. As a result I’ve daily battled the internal desire to do what the world has done time and again to me… abuse me. The thing is, this is a battle I’m determined to win with the power of God. Others may have abused me but I am not a victim! Others may have hurt me but I will not fall prey to self-pity or temptation to self abuse!
Today, I’ll leave you with this. I don’t know what tomorrow holds. I know I have dreams of being an actor, traveling the world, of being able to provide not only for my family and for myself… but also give back to the world around me, to make a difference in the lives of those around me for the glory of God… however, I learned that I have to leave everything out before the Lord and let him direct my path. His will. Not mine. Below is a recipe for a delicious time meal that I adapted from one that was given to me through a friend at the following link:

20 min Thai basil beef

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Thai Basil Turkey

Ingredients
~ 1 pound of ground turkey
~ 2 shallots, diced
~ 2 red bell peppers diced
~ 4 cloves garlic, chopped (I forgot to put this in when I originally tried the recipe)
~ 1 jalapeño pepper
~ 1 Anaheim pepper
~ 1 package of shredded red cabbage
~ 1 tablespoon honey (I didn’t measure mine when I put it in and probably added more than this)
~ 1 lime, juice and zest
~ 1/2- 1 cup basil (I bought a mini basil tree from sprouts market)
~ 2 green onions, thinly sliced
~ sea salt to taste

Directions
Place the turkey and shallots in the pan to cook until almost thoroughly cooked through. Add the remaining veggies and basil, along with the lime juice and honey and simmer until veggies are tender and turkey is thoroughly cooked. The original recipe calls for soy sauce, tamari sauce, OR fish sauce. I’m allergic to soy and tamari, and didn’t have any fish sauce so I opted out of it all. Feel free to try using anyone of those options if you’d like. I served mine with brown rice. As a result, it was a wonderful meal after dealing with a serious day of pain! Perfect comfort food!

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Until next time… God bless and as always… keep pressing on!

 

why worry? Get creative!

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Matthew 6:25-26 NKJV

 

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

 

Over the past few weeks, with the visits to my God Dad at the hospital, care giving (my God mother’s mom), church, training, and racing, all while relying on others and public transportation to get to and from places… I had no time for real grocery shopping let alone energy for weekly food prep. While I WAS able to make a few healthy meals to take to the hospital and share, I was put into a position that blessed me with an opportunity to get creative with what was available to me. Normally, I like to plan my meals and make things ahead of time if I know I won’t be at home much. However, with being at the hospital 5-12 hours a day and running errands w my God mother… well…. there just was no time. So, eating at the hospital, getting treated to fabulous lunches at restaurants, and grabbing a quick bite from a local convenient store our grocery store became my options. Some might look at this as a disadvantage, however… for me…. it was a blessing in disguise! You see, in meal planning, it’s easy to get caught in a routine and a nutritional rut. You can end up eating a lot of the same things over and over which leaves the body needing other sorts of nutrients. Being that I try to avoid taking to many supplements to ensure I get my nourishment from my food… this can become a hazard. So, in the bitter-sweet time I spent at the hospital over the past six weeks, I learned how to truly trust God to provide the the nourishment I needed from places He saw fit! Thus, leading to the topic off this blog… why worry? Get creative! For the most part, my God mother, her mother and I either went out to a restaurant or ate at the hospital. So, I’ll start by sharing tips on eating healthy in a hospital! The tips shared here can also be used if out on a buisness trip or vacationing… Again… get creative!

1.) Vending machines usually carry nuts, yogurts, sandwiches, water, and electrolyte beverages… Stick with those, and you be on the right track!

2.) Cafeteria usually has some sort of veggies, fruits, eggs, healthy cereal, salad bar (@least, doctors medical had one), ext… be sure to ask the cooks if they have steamed veggies and lean meats, sick with those options along with tea and fruit juice and you’ll be good to go!

 

Now, on to restaurants…

Most restaurants (including McDonald’s) have healthy selections So…

1.) Scan over the menu to see if they have good, healthy sandwiches and/or salads.. Mabey even a small fruit salad or yogurt parfait.

2.) Instead of dressing for salad, ask for lemon slices and squeeze them over your greens

3.) Ask if they carry brown rice

4.) Ask for steamed veggies and meat (ie: fish) with no added sauces, salt, ext…

5.) Stick with juice, water, tea… ext

 

Convenient stores…

1.) Usually carry nuts, yogurts, trail mix, granola bars, milk, oatmeal, ect… grab carb + protein for a quick, healthy on the go snack or meal

2.) Again… Stick with fruit juice, tea, water, electrolyte beverages and you’re good to go!

 

Grocery store

1.) Grab a small box of lettuce, some pre-diced veggies, cottage cheese, flip top can of tuna, or a can of beans (I keep a can opener in my backpack), hard boiled eggs (trader joes sells bags of them), dried fruit, and some dry roasted nuts along with a plastic fork… grab a lemon and squeeze over the top…. you have a nice, protein loaded salad.

2.) Grab oatmeal, some milk, have some oatmeal for dinner (most hospitals and hotels have microwaves)

3.) Grab Canned tuna with a flip top, Greek yogurt and crackers of your choice. Mix the tuna with 1/4 individual serving container of yogurt (save the rest for a snack later in the day) and you have one of my favorites… tuna salad and crackers.

3.) Grab an odawalla bar and a yogurt for a quick.”pick me up”

4.) Grab canned veggies with flip tops to keep on you

5.) Believe it or not… baby food! This is an old body builder trick! Keep jars of lean meats and veggies in your car and/or bag in case meal time comes and you just can’t slip away.

6.) Eggs… if you have several people with you, you can grab a 1/2 doz box to share…. the hospital might actually be kind enough to place them in a fridge (until you finish your visit) I found out, you can actually make a microwaved (something that is last resort for me) scrambled egg by placing it in a cup and microwaving it for a min (make sure to check on it and stir every few seconds)

 

Now, onto working out… keep an extra pair of gym/ running shoes with you. You can take a 15min- hour long walk or jog just about anywhere. If your not in a safe area, walk around the hospital or hotel (some hotels have gyms)

2.) Take a few minutes to yourself and go into the restroom… lay hand towels on the floor, Do some pushups, ab work, ext .

 

Now last, but MOST IMPORTANT!!! Get your spirit fed!

1.) Hospitals have a chapel… go, get quiet… pray, read… 

2.) Meditate on the word while out and about… pray and talk to Him wherever you are. God is everywhere, don’t keep Him in the chapel box. Even if you need to go to the restroom and hide out for a moment. Do so!

3.) Most hospitals and hotels have bibles handy… Grab one up and, get your soul fed

4.) Be willing to reach out and minister to others. It’s one thing to feed your spirit, but quite another to help another find the right path. In doing so, I often find the Lord also reveals new insights to me.

 

With all this being said… I will leave you with this…. life is a journey often filled with unexpected turns. Go with the flow of the Spirit of God, ask Him how to keep a healthy, well balanced life style throughout all seasons… and just watch… you’ll truly begin to enjoy the ride! Be worry free, peaceful, and flexible, and God will do great things!