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!

 

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What I Ate Wednesday: A journey through my recovery and my 3000+ calorie days

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*disclaimer: I am not a healthcare professional yet. Therefore, anything that is stated in this blog is from personal experience and research that I’ve done. If you or someone you know is seeking out a recovery method, converse with your healthcare professional first. I am not your doctor.*

Hey y’all! I’m back again! Upon a couple of requests from Instagram and what not I am posting a WIAW (What I ate Wednesday)! As many of you know by now I have chosen to go with the Minnie Maud method for anorexia-athletica recovery. I gave a link to the guidelines for this recovery method in my last post. And this post I’m going to get a little more detailed about what I went through and what I’m currently going through in using the method.

Now, my journey through the Minnie Maud method started when I realized that I wasn’t all that serious about my recovery. I wanted to gain weight. I was gaining weight. However, I wasn’t free. I was still only eating between 1500 and 2000 cal a day. I was still very limited as to what I included my diet as well. My chiropractor kept reminding me of how small I was. It just kept grading on my nerves. Finally, I came across a picture on Instagram from @dropsifjules about her experience in using this method and why she would do it again. I quickly went to her post, read over it and read over the other materials that she had included in her blog relating to that topic. I then went on to do further research in regards to this method. I even continue to do so today! And really it all makes sense!

You see, in the Minnie Maud method, one who is recovering looks at their age range and where they are as far as their eating disorder is concerned. The MINIMUM intake requirement for someone in recovery is 2500 cal. For my age bracket between 2500 and 3000+. Say whatttt????? Yes, that’s right! 3000+ calories a day! PLUS, no working out! I know it sounds crazy and it’ll freak anyone with an eating disorder out! First off I will say that you need to gradually increase. Just jumping to 2500 cal after depriving yourself for years is not safe. It’s in fact, irresponsible. Gradually increase by 100 to 200 cal every few days.

So, I’m sure the question has arisen as to why one would need so many calories. So, I’m going to answer that. While taking physiology last fall, I learned that the body is a live organism that functions primarily on the nutrients that it is given. Each cell exchanges a certain amount of sodium and potassium which creates an imbalance inside the cell so that other nutrients can be exchanged and brought into the bloodstream for proper functioning of the body. When someone deprives them selves of nutrients those exchanges are not being done properly within the cell. This can cause damage not only to the cells, but to the muscles, and many organs of the body. In order to compensate your heart rate drops, hair falls out, you get cold, menstruation stops, etc. in order for your body to reserve what little energy it has to keep you alive. At one point your body will begin to eat itself and that’s when death begins to creep in. A good article to read it in relation to this is a life without anorexia. Your body needs all those calories in order to heal and restore everything that has been destroyed by the eating disorder. So, in order to properly recover one has to eat like an athlete in the peak of their performance! FYI for those of you who think they have to eat limited calories while in athletics… think again! The average Olympian intakes 3000+ calories a day in their peak. Why? Because they understand that they are constantly tearing muscles while training and they need those calories to help them repair and perform better! The same goes in and eating disorder! All that muscle, all those organs that have been destroyed due to lack of a proper nutrition, need every bit of nutrient that they can possibly get in! This means eating whole fat products like milk, olive oil, real ice cream, etc. refraining from taking any diuretics, using lemon water to purge, or even drinking vinegar as a purging option. This only prolongs the recovery period. The body will begin to react by swelling and holding onto things. This is one of the most uncomfortable pieces of recovery, however it’s necessary and worth it. Purpose for refraining from fitness is so that your body can heal without having to deal with the repairing of muscles that you’re tearing while working out. Once the body can finally trust you to continue to nourish it, it Will distribute the weight appropriately and settle into a weight that is proper for your body.That’s when fitness can begin.

This leads me into why I chose so late in my recovery to go with this method and stick with it. I was fed up. My muscles were hurting all the time. My body just wasn’t healing. My life was taken away and I wasn’t able to go for walks and do the things that I love without ending up in pain. I couldn’t figure out why until I started doing all this research. Here I was, not only healing from an injury, but healing from an eating disorder that nearly took my life. Restricting was only leading to further damage and prolonging my healing process. Once I begin to nourish myself I began to feel a difference in how my body felt! My energy levels went back up, my muscles began to feel better, and best of all… I was no longer isolated from the people I loved. There was a point where I had increased too quickly and suffered a bit. The side effects included exhaustion, depression, headaches. However, pushing through it was still worth it. What I learned from this is that there are still some foods that my body does and does not like and it’s OK to try to work around that so long as I’m not restricting and depleting myself. I now stick to a primarily gluten-free regime which has helped a lot of my headaches go away, I only stick to the exercises at my physical therapist has given me plus or minus a few walks here and there, and I’m learning to really enjoy food again. While my health care advisors have advised that I get into the pool and get ready to rebalance so I can run again, AND I feel that my body is ready to exercise… at this point, I’m choosing to go about gently re-introducing it.
I’ll be honest at the beginning of this program I’d gotten sick of food! It didn’t even taste good anymore! With the amount of calories I had to intake it was exhausting, tedious, and got to a point where it just wasn’t enjoyable. However, I’ve learned to balance it out and learn to live outside of focusing on what I’ve got to intake for the day. I learned to listen to my body and what I’m craving and that usually helps me enjoy what I eat. That all being said I’m going to include two days of eating. One is from when I was including pretty much everything whether or not it contain gluten. And one is from yesterday so you all can get an idea of what it takes to get those calories in. Remember that recovery is different for everyone, so this is just an example. You and a healthcare professional need to come to an agreement on what is best for you.

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Take note, I didn’t include the second rice crispy treat in this picture, and I also went back for another piece of pizza

***A day of eating 3000+ cal while including gluten:

May 10, 2017

Breakfast 6am:
blueberry bagel loaded with cream cheese, jelly, glass of milk, apple =700 cal

Snack (9am and 12pm):
1 mango and 1 pineapple Chobani 2% yogurt =330 cal

Lunch 12:30:
2 Trader Joe’s rice crispy treats and a Trader Joe’s turkey and spinach Swiss cheese wrap
= 630 cal

Snack Salad 4:30: salad with 2 serve kidney beans, one serving walnuts a box of raisins, mixture of veggies, double serving of mango chipotle bolthouse farms dressing= 630 cal

Dinner 6:45pm: 1 Tony’s Pizza = 500 cal

Dessert 8 pm: 4 squares of Lindt dark chocolate with pecan butter =375 cal

Total: 3,165 cal

***A day of eating 3000+ cal while limiting gluten
May 30,2017

Breakfast:
Gluten free pancakes, low-fat cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of honey glass of milk, apple ~ 520 cal

Snack:
Chobani simply 100, 2.5cups of mixed fruit ~302 cal

Lunch:
Two red bell peppers, 5 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s hummus, and a sunflower butter sandwich (extra sunflower butter) on Ezekiel bread ~655

Snack:
One head of Romain lettuce, two servings of baby carrots roasted, One cup of roasted broccoli, Red onion, x-large serving of Colby Jack cheese, two servings kidney beans, and two servings of cilantro avocado dressing. ~ 555cal

Dinner
1 & 1/8 cup sunny select beef-aroni (imitation Rice-A-Roni) One egg plus one egg white fried ~440

Dessert
2 cups breyers salted Carmel ice cream =600

Today’s total:
3072 calories

NOTE:  I do count vegetables as calories! However, lettuce I only count as half of its nutritional value .  For example, two large red bell peppers is equivalent to 80 cal.  Two servings of carrots is equivalent to 75 cal, etc, one head of romaine I count as only 50 cal  when and actuality it’s approximately 105 cal

now, before I leave you all I will say that to those of you who have been on this journey with me and have been of support, thank you! You will have no idea how much that means to me! Y’all have been part of why am alive today! To those of you who are viewing and are critical of my journey nothing personal but keep your criticism to yourself. You have no idea what someone goes through  when they’re battling and eating disorder. Therefore, comments like “here take some of my fat”  or shoving things in my face and acting like if I don’t eat them then I’m not recovering are not funny gestures. They are honestly rude and potentially triggering despite how the person doing those things might view them. I’m not in anyway trying to offend anybody, just speaking my heart and mind.  Recovery is a sensitive thing. When you’re insensitive to someone who is recovering, you’re just adding to the pressure.

In closing, I just want to let everyone know that June 2 is the worldwide eating disorder awareness day! It’s also my birthday !!!  So, I’m  praying about composing a special post for that day and possibly doing something to spread awareness! If anyone has any suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!

When fear foods become favorite foods; my journey to weight restoration.

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* disclaimer! I am not a healthcare professional. I would highly advise  seeking out a medical help before attempting any method of recovery.*

Summer break is here!  What an incredible semester it has been! Out of every semester I’ve had in college I will say that mentally and emotionally was one of the most challenging!  Just before midterms I found myself completely overwhelmed between the stress of classes, a promotion at work, and health issues … my body had had enough! For the entire semester, Outside of school and work,  I found myself in bed either sick or in pain.  It was honestly like being inside of a mental prison.

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Earlier in the semester I had battled another heart issue that sent me to the ER. I later found out that it was due to an infection caused by part of a tooth left in my head by a previous dentist along with what is known as refeeding syndrome.  Refeeding syndrome is when someone with an eating disorder begins to gain weight and introduces new foods into their system. The body reacts in shock and various things can occur that can be detrimental to someone’s health.  For me, my heart felt like it was going to explode. Literally, it felt like someone reaching from my back, grabbed my chest and squeezed my heart. However, that’s the price I pay for hurting my body through malnourishment.  As I mentioned in my last post I was dealing with a lot of muscular issues, and I finally had to stand up to myself. I took a professor’s advice and dropped a course that was incredibly stressful which postedponed my summer graduation (for my AA). thankfully I did that because had I stayed with it there’s no way I would’ve been able to keep up with classes. To be honest, by the end of the semester I was so done with looking at books that it was hard for me to focus on my assignments let alone remember half of what I read. Thankfully, by the hand of God I made it through!

Meanwhile, I began to get really, and I mean REALLY serious about my recovery. After doing some research  on the topic, I came across an Instagram picture posted by someone who is been a huge icon in the recovery community, Miss Julia Grigorian from dropsofjules.com  in the picture she stated that she was going to do a blog post about the method that she chose for recovery and why she would definitely do it again. I quickly went to the post, read it, scanned over some of the other posts that she talked about that method in, and did a Google search  to find more information on the pros and cons of using it.  That method was the Minni Maud method.  The details  of this method can be found at your eatopia  . Anywho,  I was praying and I didn’t know exactly how to approach this. Due to years of restriction, my body had developed sensitivities to various foods like wheat, soy, etc. however, the night that I decided that I was going to do this, my neighbor came over and asked my  mom if she would like a pizza for my nephew and her.  She gladly excepted and told him what toppings she wanted. He offered to buy me some as well. I kindly turned him down explaining that I had food sensitivities (excuses excuses).

That evening, I was scheduled to talk with my dear friend Emily about weight gain and the side effects on her podcast.  Inside, I wanted so badly to be free. Here I was trying to recover and setting example for those in the recovery community as well and I could not even get myself to eat a piece of pizza! I had eaten a salad and was going to eat something a little heavier afterwords for dinner. However, I was really craving that pizza!  I was craving it so bad, I could almost taste the pepperoni and sausage! Anxiety set in  and I began to text back-and-forth with Emily to prepare for the podcast. I told her that I was dealing with the food fear,  she asked if she could call me, and when we talked she was so kind and helped to calm my nerves.  We went into the podcast, and prayed afterwards. When we hung up the phone, I went straight in to see a pizza delivered at on my kitchen table! The first question I asked my mom was if I could have a piece and she smiled really big and said , “of course!”  That one piece turned into 2 1/2 pieces of pepperoni and sausage pizza. For dessert, chocolate cheesecake! There, begin my true entry into real recovery !

In the days following that I found myself eating  500-600+ cal breakfast two  300+ cal snacks, 500 to 600+ cal lunches,  and 500 to 600+ cal dinners allll followed by 350-400+  cal desserts!  Or some days that I eat 3000 cal, some days that I ate well over that, and some days I just slightly under.  I’ll be honest, the weight came on really fast along with depression, headaches, and exhaustion.  My body was not used to having all those things and was quickly trying to adjust. I found out later in researching that the exhaustion and headaches are due to the body trying to heal.  I could feel an internal burning, like a furnace had been turned up inside of me. I found out that it was also part of recovery because my body had to speed up my metabolism in order to be able to fully except all the calories that were being taken in!  Finally, after just two weeks of doing the method, I had finally reached the weight that my doctor wanted me to be at, even a few pounds more.   While I am now currently technically weight restored,  certain things still are not functioning and the way that they should  (my period is still MIA), so I’m trying my best to stick with it. I will be honest and say that I’ve had some days where I haven’t had the 2,500 -3,000 cal  that I should still be having until that takes place. However, I’m finding that I have a lot more freedom mentally that I’ve had in years! While don’t do any exercises outside of what my physical therapist has prescribed for me,  I still enjoy food that I wouldn’t even touch when I was exercising !  I have returned to eating gluten-free because I feel that’s what my body needs.  With that I’ve decided to keep eating pancakes, high calorie salads loaded with goodies,  dark chocolate, lots of popcorn, gluten-free cake, and much more.  Since I’ve gone back to that the headaches have seem to go away.   That being said, I want to continue with this until I know my body is ready to move on!

For any of you are reading this, if you’re seeking out a recovery method, I highly recommend this one. It does require that you refrain from all exercise. However, you have to remember that in exercise you’re tearing muscles and your body has to repair them. So, if you’re exercising when you’re trying to recover and have nothing to repair your muscle  with, then you’re defeating the purpose of exercise and ultimately destroying your body. Something you might want to think twice about. Again I’m not a healthcare professional yet, I am going to school for that, and I highly recommend that you speak with your doctor before attempting this.

Now,  before I go I’ll share something I’m currently struggling with. While I have reached a good weight, I desire to be able to work out again. My physical therapist and Chiropractor want me in the pool  to help me regain balance and strength. Also, the strength exercises at my physical therapist has given me have caused my body to hurt at times.  I’m currently facing a summer where I would very much like some freedom in my body and be able to swim and work out again. I face the following giants in the way:

1.)  muscular issues. There’s treatment that I need that my insurance does not cover.  I currently don’t have the finances to cover it.

2.)  I need access to a good pool with good amenities such as a hot tub and sauna so that before and after I do swim therapy, I can treat my muscles with kindness so they can heal properly. A gym membership like that is quite costly.

3.)  my mom and I both work, however we are facing some financial difficulties. It’s not always easy to purchase things that we need on a daily basis.

Being said, I’m requesting prayer that the Lord either supernaturally heals me with that he provides the things that I need to get the treatment and the access to the facilities for me to be able to get my balance and strength back. Also, prayer for provision for my family and me. Ultimately,  I believe that someday I’ll run again. Please pray  that if the Lord wills, that He will release me to do so!

Another struggle a face, is body image. My body has swelled because of recovery and a lot of my clothes don’t fit me properly.  Please pray that the Lord helps me endure this and make it through to full recovery!

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Before Minnie Maud (left) Thigh gap After Minni Maud (right) Thighs touch, pants don’t fit, but definitely worth it!

Now, off to another amazing vacation! This time it’s the longest vacation I’ve had from school! Lord willing, it will be full of amazing adventures !

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

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.  With 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.  Right here right now I’m choosing  to 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!

Love and my thoughts on the matter! Plus … chocolate swirl mug cake recipe!!!

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Back again and here it is the beginning of a new semester! I’ll be honest, I went into it feeling absolutely fried! Between physical pain, a serious battle with the cold flu thing that just does not seem to want to go away, financial struggles, family stuff, starting a new business, promotion at work, and the start of a whole new round of classes… It took me just about everything in me to take my first few steps on campus!

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(Photo from favim.com)

It’s almost like that senioritis that everybody talks about hit! Especially being that this is my final semester at the community college level. However, I asked the Lord to help me push through and here I am feeling hopeful yet a little skeptical at as to how to approach my studies… at any rate I thought I would talk about a subject that I haven’t really spent too much time on in this blog. Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner it seems suitable to me to talk a little bit about love.

Now, if anybody knows my story you know that my life has been full of a lot of heartbreak and I always seem to chase Mr. wrong instead of letting God bring Mr. right, and it seems that people I’m not interested in (not that I’m better than anyone, just not interested) are the ones to show an interest. I’ve also somehow attractive these weird stocker creepy guys or the ones that make the claim that they need someone to take care of them.

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(Photo credit Disney pictures)

Nothing personal gentleman but that’s not a way to view a lady I’m not here to take care of you. Relationships are a partnership. You take care of each other. Then there’s the good guys (cough caugh… a guy I crossed paths with recently 😍😍😍/ not sure if he’s a believer) that I would be interested in, who are faithful, God-fearing, and not to mention good looking that I come across and for one reason or another I’m terrified to even look at the wrong way!
Whhaaatttt????
Now, for a long time I’ve had the sense that I enjoy being alone. The fact of the matter is I really enjoy having my space and not having to worry about if someone’s going to be angry or upset if I don’t call them at a certain time or pick up my phone at a certain time or meet with them on a certain day. For me right now I have a lot of responsibilities as it is with church, school, work, Family, etc… that when I do get a moment alone I like to just isolate myself in my room and either listen to some music or just get some peace and quiet. Any guy that would get involved in my life would have to be believer in Christ, goal oriented and driven, understanding of the life that I lead and the physical pain that I battle off and on, open and willing to share with me his weaknesses and allow me to help if and when is I can, and understand that I’m not here to wipe his butt I’m here to be a partner in life. In other words, I’m not into having a relationship unless there’s a potential for marriage. Put it this way single, saved and celibate.
My message to anyone really bummed about spending Valentine’s Day alone, focus on the people and the things that you do have! I’ve literally spent the past 12 years without a valentine. I honestly only dated one guy in the past 10 years and that relationship only lasted a little over a month. I’ve been celibate for 10 years and I intend to keep it that way until married. For me, Valentine’s Day has been a day to focus on Jesus and what he’s done for me and all the people that I do have in my life: Mom, nephew, God mamma and her new hubby, close friends and church family. Truly that’s were true love does exist. I’m currently working on loving myself and letting my love for God and myself shine through to other people. I’m honestly a work in progress. As for love right now as in having a relationship with a man kind of love? Well, that’s entirely up to the Lord. It’s not that I’m not open it’s simply that I’m not open to anyone that God would not have for me. God is not going to talk me into: 1.) someone who does not love God. 2.) someone who will ask me to abandon the dreams and goals of God is placed in my heart. 3.) someone who is manipulative, or stalking 4.) someone who expects me to take care of them without being willing to do the same for me. 5.) someone that I’m not physically and emotionally attracted to (sorry but both components do you come into play) 6.) someone who expect me to make his life my soul priority. 7.) last but not least, someone who is going to take me away from my family. My family means the world to me and this includes my God family. Plain and simple.
In a nutshell, God doesn’t want me in another bad relationship. He wants me in a relationship that will shine forth in a way that will show a testimony of His redeeming love, goodness and grace
So now you know my stance on love. I hope this helps any of you out there who are dealing with loneliness. Remember that above all the best companion you can have is God and if you can’t stand to spend time with yourself, you really don’t have a good relationship with yourself therefore you are going to have a healthy relationship with others.

Nowwww onto a new recipe that I came up with! I have been a really hooked on mug cakes lately, and the following is a chocolate brownie swirl mug cake that either you can eat alone with some coffee on Valentine’s Day, or you can make two or three and enjoy it with your loved ones or over a candlelight dinner with that special someone! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentines Day Chocolate Swirl Mug Cake!!!

*Ingredients*

-2/3 cup mashed baked sweet potato or canned pumpkin
-2 egg whites
-1 tbs vanilla yogurt
– 3 tbs oat flour ( oats ground in a blender)
-1/8 tsp baking soda
– cinnamon to taste
-1 tbs coco powder
-5-6 packets stevia
– 1-2 tbs almond butter

*Directions*
Set almond butter aside to use as icing, then mix dry and wet ingredients separately, leaving The Coco out for last. Then mix the two sets of ingredients together once it’s there early mixed split it into two parts adding the Coco to one part. Greece and nicesize coffee mug with olive oil or cooking spray place one of the sets of ingredients into the cup and swirl the other set in so you’ll get that chocolate and orange swirl place it in the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes until it’s completely turn the cup upside down onto a plate and drizzle the almond butter on top. You can also sprinkle a packet of stevia over the top for added sweetness (hmmmmm)!

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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!