Posts tagged ‘vegetarian’

August 6, 2013

Day 574: All Figured Out

I think I’m going to stop saying “I got it all figured out.”

I’m gonna even stop thinking it.

Because that always seems to backfire. And then I have to LEARN something that God wants to show me.

Okay, a bit of sarcasm about the “learning” thing there… I always LOVE that I had to learn something, AFTER I have “finished” the learning.

And, well, for the past seven months I have been doing a lot of learning.

A lot of learning, the hard way.

I’ve been learning that God is not a quick fix.
God is not a Weight Watchers plan.
He is not Jenny Craig.
He is not Atkins. South Beach. The Zone.
The Lord of the Universe is not Slim Fast.
Or Advocare. Or Plexus. Or Body by Vi.*
God is not even a Daniel Fast, biblical though it may be.

God is His own plan.
And God has His own plan.
And His plan is not made or designed or produced by us.
His plan was intricately woven in Heaven.
Thousands of years ago.

And as much as it hurts sometimes, His plan involves us going down painful roads. Roads of confusion. Roads of disappointment. Roads of trial.

So, that’s why I made that insta-whatever-you-call-it today. (And puh-lease ignore my typo in it… I swear I proofread that thing a zillion times and still missed it!) Because it is so very, very important to remember in those moments of pain, confusion, disappointment, and trial… it is so very important to remember that GOD IS WORKING OUT HIS PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE.

But he is.

So when you can’t button those “fat jeans”… pray that He would help you.
When the scale is ten pounds more than you hoped for… pray that He would heal you.
When your doctor tells you that you are now a type II diabetic… pray that He would guide you into health.

Because God WILL work out His plans for your life. It is not over. Stay by Him. His faithful love endures FOREVER.

Psalm 138 prayer…

Oh God, help me to see You as you work your plan for my life. Help me to know that your faithful love, God, that it endures forever. Please don’t abandon me, God, because you made me. I am yours. I pray that as soon as these words leave my lips that you will answer me and encourage me by giving me strength. I praise you now for your unfailing love and faithfulness. I give you thanks God with all that I am. Help me and guide me and love me. Oh God, love me. Amen.

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*By the way, not dissing those diets if they work for you… they were “quick fixes” for me, that’s why I listed them here.

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August 4, 2013

Day 572: The Change

I recently had a major “purging” session with my blog friend finneyfer on facebook.

And I can just tell you how great it is to have a blog friend? I’ve never met her in person, I just stumbled on her blog one day “on accident”, I don’t even necessarily follow the same diet plan as her (yet)… but she has been one of the biggest encouragements to me over these past months as I have struggled and struggled with my eating.

I was recently asking her to write a guest post for me about getting motivated/staying motivated and here are a few of our convos. I’m including this conversation because I feel like there are probably several people out there that are also STRUGGLING with this!

After asking her to write the post, I told her:

This post is SO MUCH for me as well… I’m genuinely struggling. My previous motivation of God, between you and me, has just petered out and I just. don’t. care. And I want to care. I know that I NEED to care. But I can’t seem to MAKE myself care. I have crossed over from “sometimes” wanting to indulge, back into an hour-by-hour struggle. Like, I can make it until about noon and then whatever resolve is GONE.

She replied…

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This was a BIG message to me. It started me back down the right path of thinking… away from the food issue and more towards getting my mind right! But at the time I told her:

Honestly, my “mental” is just… broken right now. But in ALL areas of my life. I don’t really want to parent. I don’t really want to read my Bible. I don’t really want to be a good wife. It’s all just… meh. TERRIBLE!?!?!?!

She then asked, If you think it won’t completely derail you, why can’t you take a break? Not necessarily from eating properly, but maybe from beating yourself up when you do make poor choices. And this was when answering her question brought me to my own answer.

Not sure… I mean, honestly, I’m hardly following anything of the sort right now. I’m not beating myself up per se, it’s just that I want so bad to be FREE again and I just feel entrapped again. It’s not even necessarily about weight or health. It’s about that freedom from food. I think a big part of it is just what you said… you made a life change. I made a year change and then it all sorta fell apart.

BAM.

Right there at the end. “You made a life change. I made a year change and then it all sorta fell apart.”

That was the problem. I realized it right then. I was still trying to fix this problem with a bandaid. A one-year bandaid. A five-year bandaid. But what it needs is a LIFETIME healing!

And that’s when I prayed:

Okay God. Let’s start over. Let’s go back to the beginning. A Daniel Fast. A little one. Four days. I’ll get some people to do it with me and I will open my heart to You to show me what to do.

And God is good.
He showed up.
In a little four-day Daniel Fast.
He showed up!

 

August 3, 2013

Four-Day Daniel Fast: Thank You

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I really want to say “Thank you” for the past four days.

Of course, to God. Okay, really, only to God… because through Him it’s all possible. Through Him I knew what a Daniel Fast was. Through Him, I was able to keep my focus and resist things that have been haunting me for months, for years, heck… for my entire life. Through Him I have been brought to a point of knowing that I needed to eat better, that I needed to take care of my body, that I needed to honor Him through EVERY part of my life.

But really, I also want to say thank you… to you guys. For doing the four-day fast with me.

You see, I needed to remember that it was possible… possible to resist. And I knew that two things needed to happen:

1) I needed to start small. Very small. A typical Daniel Fast is 21 days and I just knew that was not where I needed to start. Four days just seemed so feasible this time.

2) I needed some major accountability. That’s mainly why I asked you guys on my facebook and twitter to do one with me.

And when I said that I’d offer up menus and recipes… yeah, I really originally meant it for you guys, but it helped me A TON! Having a plan for every meal took all of the guessing game out of it. When I was knocking against those pangs of hunger, I didn’t have to think what I was going to eat – I already knew! And I was like, well, my friends said they were going to do it so I want to stick by it with them, so I went to the store to make sure I had supplies.

For the first time in months I have been able to eat “right” for four days in a row. Sugar and chocolate were again not temptations for me. I felt so… free. And I see why Daniel chose to not eat rich or eat meat for those three weeks while he prayed… he wanted to be free of the distractions. He knew too from when He was captured: he knew the power of food over the body. And he saw what it could do for a person when coupled with the guidance and power of God.

So, I am doing another four days… still praying to God, still eating wonderful food, still be blessed, and best of all…

still feeling free!

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Photo cred: Andrea Howey on instagram (she is the best instagram account to follow, by the way!)

July 31, 2013

Recipe: Mexican Baked Potato (Vegan)

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I actually sorta discovered this one on accident!

Typically, I eat vegetarian, but I use stuff like butter, sour cream, and shredded cheese on my baked potatoes…. cause, ya know… that’s how I’ve always done it. Well, since I’m on a four-day Daniel Fast right now, I couldn’t.  So I was planning on making a Mexican baked potato… and that’s what I did, but I made it extra good!

I used the leftovers from my Black Bean Soup from last night, threw some frozen corn in while I reheated it, poured it on the baked potato along with some southwestern style salsa and a sprinkling of salsa… and heck to the yeah, it was GOOD! No butter. No sour cream. No cheese.

Mexican (Vegan) Baked Potato

  • 1 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • kosher salt
  • 1russet baking potato, rinsed and poked with a fork
  • 1/2 cup of leftover Black Bean Soup
  • 1/4 cup of frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup southwestern style salsa
  • cilantro, to taste

Instructions

Before we get started here with this crazy easy recipe, I do need to point out that I’m sorta finicky about my baked potatoes. No microwave for me… and not because of the health reasons but because they are so. much. better. when they are really baked in the oven (or crock pot). So, that’s why I’m giving some slightly specific instructions for how to bake a baked potato!

  1. Lay out a sheet of aluminum foil, place the potato in the middle and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
  2. Wrap up and bake at 375° for 60-90 minutes. (Crock pot instructions at the bottom)
  3. Once baked to where you can simply “smush” down on the foil wrapped potato and it “caves” in, then it’s ready to embellish!
  4. Take the baked potato out of the foil and cut it up to your liking. I eat the skins and they are SO YUMMY when you prepare them with the salt and oil like we did above. (Shout out to my mom for teaching me that little trick!)
  5. Pour the corn into the the leftover black bean soup and heat for two to three minutes on high. Pour the mixture over the baked potato.
  6. Add the salsa and mix around with the beans.
  7. Top with cilantro, if desired (and, honestly, you should so desire to top with it… makes the dish so much better!)
  8. And eat your worry-free meal… no butter. no sour cream. no cheese. But SO DELICIOUS!

Baked Potatoes in the Crock Pot

I like to bake my potatoes in the crock pot a lot in the spring and summer when I don’t want to heat up the house the with oven but still want an oven-baked taste. It’s also nice to not have to worry about babysitting the oven… this way I can leave and pick up my kids or run to the store while my baked potato is a cookin away at home!

  1. Wash and poke the potato.
  2. Place it in the bottom of the crock pot and pour in 1/4 cup of water or vegetable broth.
  3. Drizzle oil over potato and sprinkle with kosher salt.
  4. Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours.

(You can cook more than one potato, just increase the time a bit)

July 30, 2013

Four Day Daniel Fast, Day 1

Daniel Fast Quote

So hopefully you’ve jumped on the ban wagon with us and started a four day Daniel Fast. Yesterday, I wrote a post with a four-day menu and some links to recipes to help you start. Also, I’m really active on facebook, twitter, and google+ with verses, funnies, and encouragements throughout this process. Plus, there are some others fasting this week that you could get encouragement and advice from if this is your first time.

Today I just wanted to go over a couple things about the fast… a couple of encouragements, if you will.

1) A Daniel Fast is about communicating with God. Sure, it’s also about super healthy foods, but really, you are eating with restrictions in order to clear your mind of this “distraction” of the world: food. By eating super healthy, you are feeding the body just what it needs while allowing your mind to revert away from the lure of chips, candy, cokes, breads, steaks and the like and refocusing that attention to God.

2) Because of number 1, I encourage you to not get swept away by all of the rules, or you’ll end up missing God because you are so focused on the food and on the rules about the food. Keep it simple: Is it a veggie? Is it a fruit? Is it a nut? Is it water? If it answers “yes” to any of those things, then eat it. If it answers “no”… then don’t. And spend the time you would spend worrying… spend it on prayer. spend it in reading the Word. spend it in service to Him.

Okay, and just a focus on spiritual side of the fast. I wanted to cover the “origins” of this fast…

Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar) had another vision. He understood that the vision concerned events certain to happen in the future—times of war and great hardship. When this vision came to me, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three whole weeks. All that time I had eaten no rich food. No meat or wine crossed my lips, and I used no fragrant lotions until those three weeks had passed. Daniel 10:1-3

You see, Daniel did this fast because he’d had a vision of the future that was horrible. So, he went into mourning and prayer. He didn’t eat rich food, meat, or drink wine… he also didn’t lotion up with his most recent Bath and Body Works selection. Ha! So, I think over the next four days, it would be good if you sorta came up with a theme of what to pray about with God.

It can be something you are mourning: a broken family relationship, a friend in difficult times, the state of our country, hunger in Africa, the human traffiking issue, your own sin or struggle with gluttony. Whatever it is… during those times of hunger or during that moment when you have to resist “rich food” with a bit of self-denial… use those times to pray to God about your issue.

Allow God to use hunger to break you down a little bit, so that He can build you up.

July 29, 2013

Four-Day Daniel Fast

four day daniel fast

I posted last week on twitter and facebook asking if anyone wanted to do a Daniel Fast with me this week… and then I said I’d post some menus. So sorry I’m just posting them!!! Like I said a while back on Day 524, I’ll start posting regularly this fall when both of my boys will be in school two days a week.

I am going to give you these menus though and maybe you can make it happen still! If you can’t go to the store tonight to make it happen, then maybe join us on Wednesday and go through Saturday or do a three-day fast. If you are still more curious about a Daniel Fast, here is a website that I used the first couple of times I did one. And danielplan.com is also a great resource if you click on Food and go to recipes! Now, I will say this: I think that there are different “levels” of Daniel Fasting.

– Daniel Fast: veggies, fruits, nuts, and water (I’m doing this one this week…. Oh, and I consider beans as veggies)
– Organic Daniel Fast: all of the above using organic produce
– Flexible Daniel Fast: all of the above and then add any or all of these items: breads, pastas, beans, rice, coffee, tea, cheese, eggs, fish (this is the one that I do usually)
– Specific Fast: if you are aware of your area of weakness (aka: addiction) then you can fast from only that, e.g. fast from sugar or fast from snackies like chips

But here is the menu I’m thinking of following. It is a doable menu that enables me to Daniel Fast and still feed my family. Now one note: I don’t worry about salad dressings or sauces… I just include them and don’t worry about their ingredients. It’s already a big sacrifice for me to cut out rice, pasta, bread, cheese, and fish that I’m getting the spiritual message here without leaving out the sauces. Plus, like I said, I can still feed my family this way!

Oh, and you might think the lunches are kinda sparse… I don’t eat a lot of lunch but I do have snacks at 10:00am and 3:00pm with my kids, so I don’t need to eat a huge lunch because of that.

Okay! Here goes!

Day One

  • Breakfast: fruit smoothie: take any fruit you want and blend it using water as the liquifier. I usually combine a handful of frozen blueberries, six or seven strawberries, a frozen banana that’s already been sliced, four or five inch frozen mango slices, and four or five inch frozen pineapple slices. I use a Ninja… and it makes a yummy smoothie. If you don’t have frozen, then just incorporate some ice!
  • Lunch: salad with carrots, celery, tomatoes, red bell pepper, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds and dressing
  • Dinner: Caribbean Black Beans , fruit bowl, side salad
    • you can have these with rice if you are choosing to do a fast that includes grains
    • If you have someone in your family that is not fasting with you, then you can throw in some ham at the end after you’ve pulled out the ham-less version for yourself

Day Two

  • Breakfast: oatmeal with strawberry bits or banana slices
  • Lunch: Mexican Baked Potato with chopped green onions, sauteed or roasted corn, cilantro, and salsa
  • Dinner: Vegetable Feta Foil Packet (minus the feta, of course) over mashed potatoes and a side salad
    • Serve with over baked chicken if you have a meat-eater with ya!

Day Three

Day Four

  • Breakfast: Just found these! Almond Butter Bites (it’s on the first page of the link)
  • Lunch: Veggie Lettuce Wrap: Large “sheets” of romaine with avocado, shredded carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, diced red bell pepper, sunflower seeds,
  • Dinner: Black Bean Soup (this is, by far, one of my favorite recipes of all time!) We don’t eat anything else with it, but I’m sure any side that would be good with enchiladas would be great with this too!

A few other notes:

  • Snacks: I enjoy carrots and hummus, CLEMENTINES!, grapes, cashews… pretty much any easily edible fruit or nuts are good with me! Just remember… this is not entirely about just WHAT foods you are eating but also about not eating past being full. Then that sorta defeats the purpose if we are gluttonizing on “godly” foods.
  • If you typically drink a lot of coffee in the mornings, I wouldn’t stop that for just these four days. Coming off of coffee can have some serious side-effects, that… coming from experience… only distract from the fast. I’d just do this fast with your coffee and then try to just get off of coffee entirely. I know, I know… but really, anything that can have such a negative effect on you when you “detox” from it… well, that’s just plain. not. good.
June 25, 2013

Recipe: Vegetarian Pioneer Woman Enchiladas With A Bonus Leftovers Recipe

I have never had the original Pioneer Woman Enchiladas, but DANNNNNNNNG this vegetarian version I made was uh.maz.ing. I won’t say that they were “easy” (which is one of my favorite qualifiers for a good recipe), but they weren’t super difficult either. I think if I made them a few more times and they were a bit more second hand then I could probably refer to them as “easy”.

But my husband, literally, complimented me on them after every. single. bite.

Sooooo, that means that they are a keeper!

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Vegetarian Pioneer Woman Enchiladas

  • 2 Tablespoons, divided and 1/2 cup Canola or Vegetable Oil, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Enchilada Or Red Sauce
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons and 1/2 cup Chopped Cilantro
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions (I used frozen)
  • 2 cans (4 Ounce) Diced Green Chilies
  • 14 whole Corn Tortillas
  • 3 cups Grated Colby Jack Cheese (or similar)
  • 1 cup Chopped Green Onions
  • 1 cup frozen corn

Instructions
(I’m gonna break my instructions up similarly to PW’s method cause it really does make it easier.)

The Sauce

  1. Over medium heat, add 1 Tablespoon of oil and flour and whisk together, cooking for one minute.
  2. Pour in the enchilada sauce, vegetable broth, 2 Tablespoons of cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer while you prep the beans and tortillas. (She suggested simmering for 30-45 minutes… I simmered mine for about twenty probably and it was still fine.)

The Bean Filling

  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil over medium heat, then saute the onions and add the black beans and green chiles for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.

The Tortillas

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°.
  2. While doing that (if you are up for a little multitasking), heat 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium heat.
  3. Set up a paper-towel-lined plate to the side.
  4. Using tongs, dip one corn tortilla at a time into the oil and allow to fry until soft. I flipped mine about twenty seconds each side. Then arrange on the paper towels.

The Assembly

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a baking pan and spread it around the bottom.
  2. Dip each tortilla into the enchilada sauce in the pan (see her link above for great pictures of this process) and lay flat.
  3. Spoon in a bit of bean mixture, a pinch of cheese, green onions, and corn in the center of each tortilla.
  4. Roll up and put it in the baking pan with the seam down until you have filled your pan or used up all your tortillas.
  5. Pour some of the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes (or until bubbly) and then sprinkle with cilantro and serve with sour cream.

Feed to yourself and someone else… invite someone over cause these suckers are goooooooooood. (Even though they look anything but good in this pic… I’m not a food photographer, so think of this more along the lines of “reality food tv”.)

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Oh yeah, and the… Super Bonus Leftovers Recipe! Well, I actually made this whole recipe in half because I didn’t realize until I started making it that I had not paid attention and I got a medium sized jar of enchilada sauce… and what are enchiladas if they are lacking in sauce. So, I ended up having some of the bean mixture and sauce left over. And so I threw it together with some rice and it was a great thing to make for the hubs for lunch today! But honestly, I think I’ll make it again when we are craving the flavors of this enchiladas dish but I’m not in the mood to hassle with the tortillas.

Vegetarian Pioneer Woman Enchiladas SUPER BONUS LEFTOVERS RECIPE

  • 1 cup (or however much you have) bean mixture from enchilada recipe
  • 1/4 cup enchilada sauce mixture from enchilada recipe
  • 1 cup of dry rice
  • Vegetable broth
  1. Cook the rice using vegetable broth (if you want, or you can just use water).
  2. Heat beans and enchilada sauce.
  3. When rice is ready, stir in beans and enchilada sauce.
  4. Devour.

And yeah… you can’t make rice and beans look “pretty” in a pic, like, ever. But… here they are. Yummy!

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May 24, 2013

Recipe: Ginger Tea In Crockpot

Ginger Tea In Crock Pot

Okay, okay so you might be saying “Uhhhh, that ginger looks a lot more like apples than ginger.” And you are right… well, sorta. Technically, I made Apple Ginger Tea but I just threw the apples in because my kids didn’t eat the other half of the Fuji apple I cut for them. It works with or without apple slices!

The main reason I wanted to make my ginger tea in the crockpot was because I kept having to babysit it on the stovetop, I had several boil-overs on accident, and I was losing all of the water because it kept reducing! So, I figured, give it a go in the crock pot! It keeps all the water in there, and I can even leave while it “cooks”. It worked out great! I’m trying to have a cup of ginger tea every day for a month to see if it helps with the inflammation in my hip.

Ginger Tea In The Crockpot

  • 4 cups/1 Liter water, heated to boiling
  • 2 “knobs” of ginger (see the pic below)
  • optional 1/2 Fuji apple, sliced with peels ON
  • optional 1-2 teaspoons honey, to taste
  • optional 1-2 teaspoons lime juice, to taste

Instructions

  1. While you work, heat water to boiling.
  2. Peel the ginger and then “peel-shred” it into the crock pot. (I just use the vegetable peeler and make thin slices of the ginger to get more bang for my buck.)
  3. Add in the apples if you want and then pour in the boiling water.
  4. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  5. Pour through a sieve (or, like me, just ladel it into your teavana tea maker to strain it) and then add in honey and lime juice.

Okay, since I could never figure out in recipes what a “knob” of ginger was supposed to be (is it just part of it or the whole thing?) I decided to take a picture of the ginger I used next to a quarter so that you could see exactly what I used. Use more for a stronger tea if you’d like!

Ginger Tea In Crock Pot

May 9, 2013

Recipe: Mexican Potato Casserole

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Gotta love those recipes that are born from “What am I going to cook for dinner tonight” and “Dang, I need to use up some of that 5 lb bag of potatoes” and “What do I have in the freezer???” And once again, this is a hubby-love recipe… as in hubby loved it. He ate a bit after us but he came and found me in the bathroom while I was bathing our boys and said “Oh my goodness. THIS is really good.”

And then he told me again after his second bowl.

And again after his third.

Yep. Score.

Mexican Potato Casserole

Ingredients

  • 5 or 6 medium sized yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can ROTEL
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken (or Cream of Potato or Celery if you are vegetarian)
  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained
  • 1 1/2 cup colby jack shredded cheese, divided
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 5-6 dashes Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce (or similar)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Steam the potatoes on the stovetop until “al dente”. (Can I use that term for potatoes?)
  3. Meanwhile, stir the cumin, garlic salt, and pepper sauce in with the beans and mix to combine.
  4. Mix together the corn, cream of chicken, rotel, beans, 1 1/4 cup of cheese.
  5. When the potatoes are ready, mix them in with the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Pour the mixture into a 9×13 dish and cook for 17-20 minutes.
  7. Let cool and enjoy!

April 28, 2013

Day 474: I Am On A Diet

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I’m gonna admit it.

I’m on a diet.

But I don’t want to be.

I want to be on a covenant.

Well, more accurately: I want to want to be on a covenant.

But I’m on a diet.

I decided to do a little Daniel Fast for a few weeks until my brother’s thirtieth birthday weekend. But really, I’m gonna be honest with ya. It was just cause I wanted to lose some more weight. It had nothing to do with God other than I picked a “diet” from the bible. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still think he’s telling me to “go back to the beginning” like I mentioned on Day 464: Out Of Options and I still think that eating a Daniel Fast-type-diet is the way to go for me… it’s just that I’m having some difficulty standing by it cause it was more about ME and so not about HIM.

If it were about Him, I’d like to think that I’d been relentless about not eating meat, about not eating bread, about eating fruit and veggies, about going to the grocery store to get some real food supplies, about cooking Daniel Fast meals.

But relentless, I have not been.

{I blame that little yoda moment right there on the fact that I’m writing at 4:40am.}

And I’m not here to beat myself up. I’m here to lay it out there. Cause I’m on a journey. And a journey has a lot of deviations from the path. I’m still heading in the right direction, but sometimes I get diverted off the highway. or I think I’m too worn out and I need a pit stop. or I’m just too. dern. tired. to go any further. So, now I realize how much I need His Power. His Spirit. His Life.

Realizing that again, gets me back on that highway. It gets me focusing on The Thing that matters again.

God. The Word. The Holy Spirit. The Forgiveness of Jesus Christ. The Calling to be a Blessing to the World.

Let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. Galatians 5:16

So, Holy Spirit… guide my life. I don’t want to do what my sinful nature craves. Guide my life. Guide me. Guide my mind. Guide my actions. Guide my thoughts, my hopes, my fears. Guide me to God.

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