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Home Made Fro Yo!

Seriously, I have a weakness for Frozen Yogurt! Its sooooo good, its bad.  And even though there are 100s of flavors, I always regret it if I don’t just get Tart.

The down side of tart from my favorite yogurt shop, is that each ounce has 7 grabs of sugar carbs.  So i was set on a mission to see if I could make my own, with a little lower carb count.

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To make this, take your favorite non fat Greek Yogurt (I use the Kirkland one from Costco with only 10 carbs per cup).  Fill an empty ice cube tray.  I find it best to fill each cube only half way full. This makes for smaller cubes which will be easier to blend later.  Let set for about an hour.  You want the cubes to be firm but not rock solid.

Once they are to that “firm” state, dump them in your blender with 2 Tbsp real maple syrup.  I also add in about 2 Tbsp water.  Blend until pureed.

Enjoy with your favorite toppings.

All in all, it breaks down to about 4 carbs per ounce (if you use the Kirkland Greek Yogurt). And it is significantly cheaper than $.37 an ounce.  And another good thing, I can eat this in my PJs if I really want to… although that hasn’t stopped me before from going out for yogurt… yes i did just admit that.

 

What foods have you had at restaurants that you’ve tried to make at home — either for healthier or cheaper versions?

 

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Vegetarian Breakfast Quiche

Tomorrow is our church’s New Years Breakfast.  I completely forgot about this until I got the reminder email, so I scrambled to find something to make.  Turned out to be a fantastic recipe.

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Vegetarian Breakfast Quiche

  • 1 tbsp butter + 1/2 tbsp
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed and diced
  • 1 large handful of greens, I used Power Greens, you can use kale, chard, spinach
  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 ounces of bree or cream cheese
  • 1 tsp ground garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt 1 tbsp butter in a cast iron skillet or large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Brown onions and sweet potatoes.  Stir occasionally.
  2. Chop up greens, when potatoes are golden brown fold into the pan.
  3. Butter a pie dish to keep quiche from sticking.  (You can also spray with cooking spray). Once greens are wilted add into the pie dish.
  4. In a blender, whip egg whites, eggs, cheese, garlic, pepper, salt and rosemary.  Once frothy, pour over vegetables.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  5. Enjoy!

 

P.S.  Since I’m trying to keep myself accountable here…. today was another great day. I’m really starting to feel amazing.  My energy has gone back up, I’m not hungry all the time and I’m sleeping better.  To be honest though, I am doing my Whole 30 challenge with a bit of modification.  I am eating dairy in moderation, and peanuts in moderation.  I haven’t found either of those to bother me in the past when I’ve eaten clean/paleo.

The Humbled Homemaker

Wow, I just read a post from The Humbled Homemaker. And wow, just wow.  I am so impressed with her honesty.  Please read it. It is worth it.  She talks about how sometimes, the wholesome, organic, fair trade foods we really want to afford, we just cant.  I want, pray and desire to be less judgmental and more graceful like her.  

So today was day two of my version of Whole 30.  It went well.  I actually ate on a regular basis.  I think the best part about doing this, it is going to force us to eat in more.  We liked to think that we didn’t eat out much… because there are so many that eat out more than us.  But honestly we ate out a lot. And it shows in our bank account.  Especially after reading Erin’s article, I really want to focus this month on reshaping not just how we eat, but how we spend our money (on what we eat and drink). 

Its so hard, just like Erin said. It comes down to pride.  I hold so pridefully how others perceive me.  Even thought I will say that I don’t. I do. I don’t want people to know that our household doesn’t make 6 figures as a teacher and a student. I guess because it can be embarrassing. But the funny thing is that I’m not embarrassed to share this with my friends.  But its with people I don’t know and probably never will that I am embarrassed by this.  Weird.  

Anyway, all that to say, although we are pretty cautious to not spend like we have that kind of gold in the bank, but I know we can always do better.  So I am adding that into my resolution this month.  January is my month to restart.

Tropical Chicken Salad

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I was feeling very tropical today.  Basically I was hoping for sunshine since it is so cold.  Hopefully this fun salad warms up inside with beautiful rays of sunshine!

Tropical Chicken Salad

  • 2 cooked chicken breasts
  • 1 ½ cups cubed pineapple
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1/3 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 orange
  • 4 cups of your greens of choice

 

  1. Diced the cooked chicken breast into ½ inch pieces.  Place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Over medium heat, brown the pineapple and onions with the butter until golden brown.  The sugar in the pineapple will help to caramelize the onions.  *For someone who is not an onion lover, this helps neutralize the sharp flavors of the onion. 
  3. Once the fruit is browned, toss with the chicken.  Add in the tarragon and mayonnaise. 
  4. To segment your orange, cut off both stem and flower ends so that they can sit flat on the cutting board.  Run your knife along the sides to cut off the peel and pith.  Next, you can either run your knife along the segment membranes to release the orange without membrane.  Or for something a bit easier, cut the orange flesh in half, and dice.  Because you have removed the pith, the membranes are barely noticeable. 
  5. Squeeze any additional juice from the peels you cut off.  Fold the oranges in with the chicken salad.  Serve over your favorite bed of greens, or in lettuce leaves. 

Day 1

Quick update,short because I’m exhausted, but I’m doing it because I said I would.  Someone has to hold me accountable.

Today went great in the sense that I ate great, whole foods.  But it went poorly in the sense that I didn’t eat much.  I had a great breakfast, but then after working out didn’t have time to eat, which is a big no no… and my body was functioning on caffeine and God’s grace. I was in a long meeting today for Ncompass.  (Big things happening here!!!) and then had a sparatic coffee date with a friend and her daughter, and then ran home before House Church.  Thank goodness for Lara Bars.  But I will plan better tomorrow.

Speaking of house church.  We had a great discussion tonight on “The Cost of Discipleship.”  We were asked, what does that cost look like? And we really had to prayerfully sit there in silences for a few minutes to come up with a good answer.  And yet, all of our answers were different.  For me, right now, it is dying to self.  Loosing my identity in ME, and finding it fresh and new again in my Savior.  Once I get to the other side of each situation, I know that my way is not the right way, but His way is, yet it is SO HARD TO SEE THAT on the one side of the fence.  Others said that its loosing your pride. Or loosing friends and family who disagree with you. Others said it was having a calling that might not be what society deems as worthy.  I love my house church, or missional community rather.  They are such a great group of honest, and dear people.  So thankful for them.

How would you describe “The Cost of Discipleship?”

p.s.  our team came home today from Haiti!  Praise Jesus for the amazing things they were able to accomplish.  Hopefully I’ll have a moment to type something out about that.  But in the mean time, enjoy this great photo of a memorial mural the kids painted for Jackson.  Image

Tell Me You’re Proud

Tell Me You’re Proud” is a blogger who has committed to living gluten free!  I love her honesty in this post! Take the time to read it.

New Year, Birthdays and Resolutions

Ok, I’m joining the ranks of fellow bloggers who are writing New Years posts.  I’ll even include some resolutions – although I wrote my 28 resolutions/goals before I turn 29 just a few days ago.

Let me just begin to say, that although my birthdays have been fun since I was born, today… well yesterday (they all seem to blur) took the cake for sure! Seriously, my birthday has to be one of the most fun birthdays in the world.  Its a holiday, but its a choice holiday.  What I mean by that is you get to choose who you spend it with.  Its not an obligatory “must be spent with family” like Christmas or Thanksgiving, nor is like Valentines where you need a sweetie, nor is it like Halloween where you have to dress up.  Yet it can be all of those things if you want. The only real requirement is that you stay up way past your bed time (which is cool at any age) and there are lovely beverages abounding if you’re old enough and into that.  My parents were so awesome this Christmas (when are they not) and said that instead of a physical gift they wanted to get Randy and I a memory.  So we threw out some ideas of what would be fun and wound up on a night at McMenamins Edgefield for NYE.

Shortly after a hot buttered rum, we learned about these new passports that the McMenamins are doing.  (if you’re not from around Oregon/Washington, McMenamins are a local company of restaurants, pubs, breweries, wineries, distilleries, hotels, spas, theaters, awesomeness).  So these passports prompt you to tour around the Edgefield facility (because its so big @ 70+ acres) to see the different bars and amenities to collect stamps. Then outside of edgefield you tour all the other McMenamins and search for photo clues, and other such things in a giant adult scavenger hunt.   Its such a grand idea not only for their business, but there is so much to see at these places, and I probably would have never taken as much time as I did to really absorb it all in.

So here is the cool part.  Once you collect stamps in a particular area you get a prize.  Then they have these things called “experiences.” They can be something like playing pool, doing a beer flight, or wine flight, or staying the night at one of the hotels or soaking in the soaking pool.  Once you collect four of those experience stamps, you get a twenty dollar gift card.  And you can collect up to 16 experiences!!!  $80 !!  Then once you’ve filled your passport, you get 3 nights at one of their hotels, happy hour prices for a year, and 2 concert tickets! Serious! No joke! I’m pumped.

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This was our room. They have unique murals, writings and hand painted boarders in all the bed rooms, bathrooms and hallways.

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This used to be an elderly home, then a poor farm and now its a hotel.  Many of the murals depict what Edgefield used to be.

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On of our clues on our passport scavenger hunt.

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Soaking pool

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Boiler room @KennedySchool McMenamins.  Once we left Edgefield, we totteled all over town collecting stamps and experiences.  Tasted whiskey, brandy, beer, and wound up at Kennedy School – an old elementary school in NE Portland.  This boiler room bar is amazing to look at! Pipes, furnaces and fixtures galore.

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This is my new favorite wine! Spicy, black pepper taste.
photo 3-18Whiskey tasting.

Ok so that was a lot of pictures.  As you can probably tell, it was an amazing two days filled with amazing memories, great food, and great drink.

Now lets get down to business – ok, I’ll keep it short and sweet.  This last year, I had really made an effort into exploring whole-eatting, clean eating, paleo eating.  I love it. It is for me.  I’ve made the life style change… kind of.  I keep getting pulled back toward things that aren’t necessarily bad in the short term, but they don’t help me get to where I want to be.

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a whole 30 challenge for a long time now and just never got around to it.  But I’d like to start.  Read more about here.

 I feel really really cliche wanting to do this at the start of the new year, but really there is no better time than the present, and everyone else is doing it, so hopefully there will be less pressure to not do it, and … big one… the holidays are over!

So my plan is, for January, I will be eating whole foods.  Real foods.  Lots of vegetables, good meats, healthy fats, nuts and loads of water.   Like I said, I eat like this 80% of the time.  But I have some goals I’d like to accomplish – more on that later, and it is that 20% that is keeping me back.  So for January, I plan to do this.  And in turn, you get to read all about it on my blog.  I want to post about my journey on this self-involved “challenge” on my blog so that people can read about it – be inspired. So that I have a reason to blog. And to hold myself accountable.  Join me if you want – read along with me – encourage me – tell me what you’ve done right/wrong if you’ve done whole 30 before – ect.

After two days like today, its going to be a bit rough go for the next few days.  At least I know what I’m doing… having done this for a while now – I’m just upping the aunty.

Sorry that wasn’t so short and sweet.  Thanks for sticking with it.

doing-the-w30-IG

Faith

I’m reading “Irresistible Revolution” by Shane Claiborne. Andee I know you *heart* him!
Anyway, he says something about faith that threw my mind for a tail spin and really makes be question myself and how the common term of “faith” is preached and used throughout the Western Church. Claiborne says in a nut shell that faith is “a complete trust, unquestioned loyalty and confident allegiance.” He begs the question “who are we loyal/faithful to.”
So often when I think of faith and hear others talk about it- it’s regarding faith that “God is in control” “God will provide” “God will protect” ect. And while I believe that those embody faith in a sense – more so belief. When by Claiborne and the dictionary’s standard, faith has more to do with me and my actions than it does Gods. Faith is loyalty to God whether he protects or provides. Faith and belief, one in the same? Or are they not?
Thoughts?

28 before 29

That time of year has come, as the clock quickly ticks toward the end of December, we are inching closer and closer to a new year.  And a new birthday! Hoo Ra!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this blog post.  A friend of mine writes a post each year before her birthday making a list of resolutions that she wants to do before her next birthday.  I love that idea.  Because the list expands with age, the tasks are simple.  Yet each task has its purpose.

And just before I sat down to write this list, I read another fantastic article.  Ground shifting in fact.  I started following Jen Wilkin just a few weeks ago and I can already tell I am going to like her.  Her article is also based on the idea of setting resolutions, but centering them toward creating character development and ultimately glorifying God through the process.  In a post just a few days prior, she lists 5 lies and 5 truths about female body image that is just a slap in the face when you really need it.

After reading these, I’ve decided that I still want to write my list of 28 before 29.  But I really want to make this year a year of intention.  One that will focus on reshaping the things that bring me down and encouraging the things that lift others up.

  1. Read more books  5 books.  They say the average person stops reading once they leave high school, but there is so much to learn from books.
  2. Read through the Old Testament.  In addition to 5 books, I want to fill my heart and mind with God’s story.  I’ve been reading the bible via The Message, and have been amazed at how much more I understand and can see in my head.
  3. Find a cookbook that I enjoy and make at least 3/4ths of the recipes.
  4. Love more.
  5. Listen deeper.
  6. Put my husband before myself.
  7. Write 5 e-Cookbooks
  8. To become a woman of prayer
  9. Host a women’s night of prayer.  (In the works for April 4&5)
  10. Intentionally plan 10 date nights.
  11. Explore at least 5 new coffee shops.
  12. Take a digital sabbath each week for at least 6 hours (this does not include sleeping)
  13. To spend more time with my parents.
  14. Write letters/cards.
  15. Send a post card when I travel.
  16. Focus on who I am in Christ, and who He is making me to be.
  17. Stop hating my body, and start counting it’s blessings
  18. Make a painting
  19. Sew a skirt
  20. Have 3 new friends over for dinner whom we haven’t shared a meal with before.
  21. Wash my car once a month.
  22. Buy a stranger coffee.
  23. Share a meal with a stranger.
  24. Start looking into a Masters Degree.
  25. Start looking into the adoption process.
  26. Attend a bible study
  27. Sing in the rain.
  28. Go to Haiti.

 

 

Busy-Busy

Do you ever have those moments, where people ask you the over-used question: “What have you been up to?”

In your head, you’re searching for a place to begin.  But you can’t find it, because if what you’re doing began somewhere, it would have had to stopped prior — or never existed.  So unless you want to hear about my birthday, circa 1985, I really have no idea where to start.  My life is so busy.

But to be honest, when it is not busy, I feel like I’ve lost myself in stillness. I don’t know what to do with quit. Rest can be bothersome.

Do any of you feel that way?

My husband is my complete opposite.  I think/know that is why we work so well together and (butt heads so much).  He loves to have down time, it refuels him.  I on the other hand, need to be the Energizer Bunny in order to keep my motor going.  For me, work and energy beget work and energy.

People ask me how I do it.  And although I don’t have a clear answer, I can point you in a direction.  But first off, I must mention something wise I’ve learned from my husband.  Not everyone is created to be busy-busy.  I’ve learned the hard way.  Not all are wired equally.  Randy needs down time to function, I need up time. And if either of us expect the other to act like them, then it just doesn’t work.  So the same can be said for yourself, looking at someone who is busy-busy.  Perhaps you just aren’t meant to be busy-busy.  Perhaps you aren’t wired that way.

But perhaps, by necessity, you need to be busy-busy for a season.

So here are my suggestions for making life a tad easier:

  • Pray.  Ask God for guidance, wisdom, breathe and patients.  Its crazy to think you’ll need patients, but you do. Because, frankly, you can’t do 100% of things right from the gate.  Pray that you will know how to priorities, and that He will bring help for you.  And trust that He will, lean into that.
  • use a calendar, always.  I depend on my iPhone calendar.  But if you don’t have Siri to set your appointments, buy a paper calendar for a dollar that fits into your purse.  Write everything in there, in pencil – incase plans change.
  • Leave a note pad by your bed.  Don’t waste the night thinking about something when you desperately need sleep.  Write it down and turn your brain off.
  • Leave dry-erase markers in the bathroom.  They work great on the mirror, and quickly wipe off with a towel or TP.
  • Create appointments in your iPhone/Droid/Paper Calendar for you to do things in the future.  This works great for simple things like: taking out meat to defrost, or getting groceries.  If it is something you need to remember to do in the future, write it down.  That way you can stop wasting brain space on it now.
  • Take advantage of those reminder features on your phone and computer.  Like I mentioned in the last bullet, if you can jot it down now, you wont have to continue to think about it.
  • Place sticky notes in strategic places.  For example, you can leave a grocery list on your steering wheel — since you’ll be in the car when you’re on your way to the store.
  • If you have a spouse/partner involved in your plan-making, use the invite feature on your phone’s calendar.  It sends them an email with the appointment.  Once they accept, it is loaded into their calendar.
  • Make TO DO lists for each area of your life.  Make check off boxes for each task.  Its fun to check things off.  Also, give yourself TO DO BY dates.  Prioritize.
  • Lastly, enlist help from friends.  You are not in this alone.

I’d love to hear your ideas on how you manage a busy life.  Share them in the comments.

 

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