R and R with cheese cake!

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Hello all… I hope your Christmas and New Years were brilliant! Mine were… well, a lesson in finding enjoyment regardless of what life brings! You see, winter break brought me to yet another season of having to mainly stay inside, at home (still not be to run outside or walk up and down too many hills and praying for provision for a car) and watch my nephew ( daycare owner was out of town and childcare coverage changed for my mom). So, outside of work, church and few outings with friends, I’very spent the majority of my break inside, trying to make the most of things.

As Christmas neared, we got a tree, my mom nd nephew decorated it (with a little help from me), then a day or two later, a family member was alerted about a pear tradition that involved child sacrifices being tied to the whole Christmas tree thing and…. that family member quickly took down the tree. Out of respect, I took down the little one in my room. I tried not to let myself dwell on our lack of tree but couldn’t help feeling disappointed. Meanwhile, I counted my blessings… the Lord provided ways for me to get some gifts for my mom, nephew and a few other people, and I got to spend a quiet day with my family.  The following day I was blessed with the opportunity to sing at a dear friend’s wedding and enjoy and amazing meal with them at the reception.

Days passed, I stayed home with little guy while mom went to work. I found ways to do some exercises and balance work to help relieve  stress from being indoors all day. I also found fun projects for me and little dude to do. This time has been very challenging for me, with battleing the urges to malnourished myself, I’ve fought through prayer and dedication to make proper changes… some days have been better than others, but hey… progress is progress. I’m now up 15 lbs from where I was and feeling much better energy wise!

As the New Year came and went, I begain to dread my time at home with little guy and actually looked forward to it. Getting to know him more, the hugs in the morning, bible devotionals, getting creative with his meals and actually making something he will eat and want more of (picky little eater ) brings joy to my heart.

Now, as the beginning  of  a  new   semester draws near… I’m battleing yet another injury. My hamstring tightened do to wearing old shoes at work and possibly some strength training I’d done, leaving me with a bit of an irritation, that along with financial struggles… praise God that’s  all I can say. I choose to continue to look at the following:

1.) God has the victory

2.) My nephew and I are now best buds

3.) Still making progress in proper nourishment

4.) Drawing closer to God (take THAT satan)

5.) Getting some real r&r before classes start

In closing, I just want to say that… life is what you make it. I can dwell on the fact that my running and fitness dreams have been repeatedly stomped on OR, I can say… “You know what…. life is a struggle at times… I’m going to embrace this season and make the most of it! I choose to focus on the many other blessings I have and praise God for keeping me alive and restoring my sanity!” Now for the recipe!

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Upside-down  Ellis Quark Cheesecake

Filling
-1 container vanilla bean elliquark

-1/2 tsp knoxgelatine

-2 packets #nowfoodsstevia

Crust
-1/4 cup pumpkin joe’s os or oat flour

-1 tsp traderjoes rice krispies

-1 1/2 tbs banana
Directions
Mix gelatine, stevia, and Elli quark together and leave it in the container. Place it in the freezer for about 15-25 min. Mash up the crispies and joes o’s in a bag using a rolling pin. Mash up the banana in a small cup with a fork. Add the cerial to the banana , mix thoroughly and place onto a flattened foil cupcake liner and flatten out until about 1/4 inch from the edge. Place in a toaster oven to toast until edges are golden. Set crust aside to cool. Once cooled, use a butter knife or spatula to remove. Place over top of Elli Quark container and…. DA da daaaaa!!! Upsidedown pumpkin crust cheesecake!

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lemons become lemonade and citrus salads! ;)

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Take Hold of the Promise

Inside each one of us is a dream… a dream of being a success and an inspiration in a field that helps bring you to life. For many of us, that dream is planted in our hearts early on as a child. Then, as we grow old, we either lose sight of that dream because life and it’s trails have put a damper on it OR we chase it like it’s the last bus of the night. my dreams as a child were to become an actress and an Olympic athlete…. I can honestly say that I have gone through periods of time when I’ve chased those dreams like a hungry lion and times when I let life swallow those dreams whole! In the mix, I found a balance… Matthew 6:33 states that if we seek first the kingdom of God, HE will add all things unto you… so, I’m sure there are some of you thinking… “well, my goals are more along the lines of getting a promotion, losing weight, learning how to dress better, getting out of debt. How does this apply to me?” My answer is this… no matter how big or small a goal or dream is, it’s important to God because it’s important to you. He doesn’t want you to lose sight of you goal. However, HE will not put up with it becoming an idol in your life. Seeking Him first will help keep Him center stage, and through that, enable you to hear His voice so you can make the proper advances through doors He wants you to go through. Take each step with diligence being faithful with the little and you’ll soon be ruler over much! (Luke 16:10, Luke 19:17, Matthew 25:21) If you are weighed down by life’s trials, working in a job that keeps you dull and lifeless, unable to fully make the best of what God created you to be… Ask God to show you how to turn the mess into a message. Ask Him to show you how to change your perspective and to open doors for you to use the giftings you have to improve the company you work for or to open doors for you to move into a new position where you can either get a new job or start your own company that will have you useing you’re full potential. In a nutshell… like the old saying goes… “when life deals you lemons, make lemonade!” That being said, I’ll leave you with some tips on making simple adjustments to everyday eating habits and workout tips that fit into your everyday “busy” life so you can reach the small goals and move

onto something bigger! No matter what how big or small your goal is… keep your eye on the promiser (Jesus Christ) & He’ll show you how to get to those promises!

Simple adjustments to clean up your diet:

-switch from soda (including diet soda) and start drinking more water and fruit juice

You can even add sparkling water to juice =)

-switch from white bread to sprouted grain and whole wheat breads

-switch out your white rice for brown

-CONSUME MORE LEAN PROTIEN! Like chicken, turkey, lean fish, lean red meat,  ext

-keep packs of dried fruit and dry roasted or raw nuts in SINGLE SERVING packs (your can create you’re own mini snack packs from bulk nuts and dried fruit) keep these on you instead of candy bars.

-double up your servings of veggies at meals and cut your starches in half. -use olive oil instead of butter

-steamed and fresh veggies without butter and other unnecessary additives

-sea salt instead of regular table salt.

-Apple sauce or mashed bananas in baking recipes instead of butter

I’ve got a hole lot more of these tips, so… stay posted! Now, here are some tips to help you get your workout on no matter how busy you’re day might be:

– Park far away from the store when you go shopping. Do a quick walk or casual jog up to the store

-take your poor dog for a walk already! Lol

-while watching tv, get up during commercials, do a jog around the block, 10-20 push-ups, get your ab workout in, 25-100 jumping jacks, or jog in place

-while at your desk do some tricep dips, talk to your boss about getting a stand up desk (if you don’t already have one) and do calf raises, leg lifts, ect.

-on your lunch break, go for a walk or a run

-get a gym membership to a gym that is on your rout to work… 😉 this way it’s always calling your name

How to keep yourself clean and nice looking (guy or girl):

-ladies, keep a bag w the following somewhere of easy access for you

° dry shampoo (ready to use on the go)

° body wipes (keep you clean and fresh, always good to keep on you

° mini makeup kit

° portable blow drier and or straightener/ curling iron(you can even find battery operated ones

° extra hair ties and travel hair spray or gel

° extra clothes (gym clothes and shoes)

° water

° healthy snack

-guys

° dry shampoo (ready to use on the go)

° body wipes (keep you clean and fresh, always good to keep on you

° portable blow drier (you can even find battery operated ones)

° travel hair spray or gel

° extra clothes (gym clothes and shoes)

° water

° healthy snack

Now… onto this week’s recipe!

Citrus poached salmon salad and green tea, cherry lemonade!

Salad feeds 4

-2 to 3, 6 oz atlantic salmon steaks (depending on how much protien you are wanting)

-1/2 cup water

-1/2 cup oj

-juice from 1 lemon

-1 clove minced garlic

-sea salt

-pepper

-1bag washed spinach

-1/2 bag washed arugula

-1/2 finely sliced red onion

-1/2 bundle asparagus

-3/4 cup dried cranberries

-1/2 cup dry roasted, slivered almonds

-1 can drained mandarine oranges

1/2 cup orange muscat vinegar (trader joes)

Directions:

In a pan, bring water, oj, lemmon juice to a boil. Add salmon steaks, cover and bring to a simmer. Let poach for about 4-7 min then flip and cover. Let them poach for 5-8 min or until thoroughly poached. Drain and set asside and let cool until room temp, then set in fridge to chill for 1&1/2 -2 hours then flake and set aside. Preheat oven to 400°,Coat cookie sheet w olive oil cooking spray, rinse asparagus, spread out on a cookie sheet, sprinkle sea salt (to taste). Let roast for 10 min. Set asside until room temp and chill for 1& 1/2- 2 hrs. You can prep this while doing the salmon.

Next… toss the spinach, arugula, dried cranberries, mandarine oranges, almonds, salmon and vinegar together, salt and pepper to taste and SERVE! You can garnish with some sprigs of parsley, lemon and/or orange slices

Green Tea, Cherry lemmonade (serves 4)

-2cups water

-5 fresh lemmons, juiced and set aside

-2 cups 100%, unsweetened, cherry juice (trader joes)

-1/2 to 3/4 cup clover honey

-4 bags of sencha green tea or 4 scoops unsweetened matcha green tea powder

Directions

Bring water to boil. Let sit for 1-2 min before adding tea bags or powder (green tea is fragile and will burn if put into boiling water) if you used bags, let them steep for 3 min. Take bags out, add honey, mix well and let chill in fridge for 1 hr. Take out of fridge and add cherry juice and lemon juice add ice and serve. You can slide lemons and put them in the pitcher for looks and even add a few cherries… make it fun! Imageer for looks and even add a few cherries… make it fun!

Have a great week!