My week in gratitude:
Saturday: I will never stop being incredibly, like INCREDIBLY, grateful for First Step Experience and the role I get to play in this ministry. This was THE THING that taught me how to follow Jesus and how to move toward spiritual maturity. God blessed the socks off of me when he made a spot for me in this. It is a a commitment that occupies a lot of my otherwise free time, but there is absolutely nothing that fills me up like First Step does. I am so blessed to be on this team. SO BLESSED!
Sunday: I am thankful for books. I love books. I don’t even know how many open ones I have right now between print and Kindle. Sometimes I feel like I could actually survive on the sustenance of books. (Which would be easier if I could afford the glasses I need, but they’re a bit pricey!) Anyway, I came upon two new ones this weekend (via First Step, as a matter of fact) which are The Jesus Files by Doug Powell and Nelson’s Bible Handbook. I tweeted about these here and, if you’re lucky, they may still be in the bargain section at your local Lifeway. 🙂
Monday: Thankful for my daily morning smoothie! I love this tasty goodness! The recipe is down a few scrolls.
Tuesday: SUPER thankful for the skill-set and talents that I was given! I did a lot of updating here on the blog today and, dude…I am just thankful for my understanding of the inner workings of WordPress blogging, and thankful that I am a good writer, and thankful that every once in awhile I can make order out of chaos.
Wednesday: I am thankful for Girls of the Light, the fellowship/connection group I am in that is doing Beth Moore’s Children Of The Day study. I am thankful that even when our physical meetings are hard to make happen, we stay connected by sharing encouragement, prayer, and praises in our ongoing group Facebook message. This is a great gift.
Thursday: I am thankful for God’s unending faithfulness in healing me. There is a lot that goes into this – too much to share in this little quip – but my heart is deeply grateful for this today. I am having a very hard day, but I am thankful that I can trust in God to get me through this. He has pulled me through so many times before, and He will do it again.
Friday: I am thankful for my husband. I had a
slight major meltdown yesterday because I can’t handle all the stress anymore. I am overwhelmed and feel like I am literally not even capable of relaxation. (I do the things, you guys. I do the yoga and the baths and the prayers and, you know, the things they say we have to do. It doesn’t seem to help. Anxiety disorders suck.) One of the issues I brought up yesterday during my meltdown was the neverending sink full of dishes because, seriously, I just can’t. I don’t have room in my mind for this chore. But then my husband ended up staying up late to work on his Ironman project, and then he did all the dishes and ran the dishwasher and my Ninja was already totally clean when I woke up today. He saw a small thing that he could do that is a BIG THING in my crazy mind, and he did it. And I am thankful for him and his thoughtfulness to do this. He knows my Love Language is ‘Acts of Service’ and some days, he really knocks that shit out of the park.
This week I learned that I am what they call a “Highly Sensitive Person” but I have not yet determined what I need to do with this information. I also remembered how much I love the scent of lavender. When I was a hippie teenager, I wore this little woven hemp basket of lavender oil around my neck that I most likely picked-up in Venice Beach somewhere. Whenever I get a headache (so like, constantly, as I get stress/tension headaches and eyestrain headaches all the time) I think of how much I wish I still had it. I should go find one of those hippie stores and try to get another one…
But now…how about we get to WHAT’S GOOD, yes?? 🙂
The Kale Berry Smoothie (that I love with my whole heart)
AND HOW TO MAKE IT:
–Two big stalks of raw kale (the leafy part, about four modest handfuls)
–Glass full of frozen mixed berries (mine is a 16oz glass, and at least a triple mix of berries)
–About 3/4 of a banana
–One 6oz container of raspberry Greek yogurt
–Hefty sprinkling of ground flaxseed (at least 2tbsp, maybe a bit more)
–Roughly 4oz each of orange juice and water. (enough to suit your blender and consistency needs)
Put all ingredients in the blender (I do so in the order listed) and blend until smooth. Easy-peasy!
Notes::: I use a Ninja blender and it takes a good solid minute, maybe more, to blend all this into straw-friendly consistency. You can use unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead of OJ, but it gives it a creamy quality. I’m not a fan of creaminess in a fruit smoothie but you might be so…yeah. The banana tones down the tart/tangy of the berries a lot, but its good without it too. Too much banana without enough kale will make it too sweet. However, the actual flavor of the kale has been completely hidden by the berries no matter what other variables I’ve changed, and you could just as easily use fresh spinach leaves. You can throw in a scoop of protein powder as well, just choose a complimentary flavor. (Meaning, probably not chocolate for this one; vanilla or unflavored would be better.) Vanilla Greek yogurt also works but this version is “perfect-perfect” and I used raspberry here. The ground flaxseed is a nutrition add-in…really great to have but not required to make the whole thing work. 🙂 Enjoy!
Let me tell you the trick to green smoothies: Make sure to add enough liquid (water, milk/milk alternative, juice) and don’t get all OCD about measuring the stuff. Just eyeball it. Nobody has time for measuring cups and spoons when they’re trying to get out the door in the morning. Gather the most nutrient-dense ingredients, combine them, and enjoy the knowing that you’ve reached most, if not all, of your required fruit & veggie servings before 8am. Woot!
This is very, very good. It began today and all of the content is free to access during the 7 days of the conference. Each video talk will be freely available for 24 hours. You can also buy full/permanent access to all of the talks for just under $100 (unless the promotion has ended…if so, its about $200 I think).
Also note: These foods are good for your entire body, not just your heart. Please do make consumption a priority.
I have a note on this topic as well. I began intentionally working on my health and fitness in November of 2010. It has been a journey that I have taken step-by-arduous-step and I have this craziness figured out. This subject is something I personally experienced so I want to share and encourage others on this.
The article explains the findings of a study done by Harvard and Tufts in which participants went on a 6-month weightloss plan, either with behavioral guidance or without. It does not detail what that “guidance” was but I have an idea here.
There are two lists of foods in the article, one list titled “Forget This” and the other titled “Visualize This Instead” and several times the “forget” list actually made me gag. I think this is because, after all this time, I know exactly how my body will react to the things that I eat. It has become intuitive at this point, but that was not always so. It took time, trial and error, and the inclusion of nutritional powerhouse foods along with the exclusion of the ones that are total crap, in order to get to a place where I naturally gravitate toward clean eating. One of the opening statements of the article discusses how we do not give quality foods a fair chance in that we’ll decide after one or two tastes that they’re simply not palatable to us. Almost always, that’s just not the case. If it was, I would not be drinking kale-packed smoothies every morning, you guys. Kale is gross. But after enough effort, I found a way to prepare it that I love. (And that my kids also enjoy…major added bonus.)
One upon a time, I even loathed both salad and beans. (Don’t ask…I can’t remember why I had such issues.) But today, give me a big ass salad with grilled chicken and a tangy dressing, and I will get a little barbaric about it. And beans….helllllllooooooo chili. And soup. MmmMmmMmmm!!!
The point is that you have to actually eat the foods that should be eaten and avoid the ones that shouldn’t, to give your mouth and your body a fighting chance to like them. This is going to require you to try them in different forms until you find the method that does it for you.
So my thought is that the “guidance” these folks received was nutritional in nature, probably including resources and tools to help them gauge the value of each food they consume. I would guess that, even more likely, there were a couple cooking classes involved as well. And no doubt lots of journaling in order to determine what works and what doesn’t for each participant’s lifestyle and preferences.
If you do the same things – learn which foods to eat and how to prepare them, then actually eat them, and make note of how your tummy and tastebuds respond – you too will lose the unwanted pounds and get a strong handle on your health. Its simple, yes, but its not easy. You have to make the effort if you want the result. The “guidance” group was empowered and resourced to make the effort and they came out 20 pounds ahead of the “no guidance” group. All of this very same guidance is available to you. If you really don’t know where to look or who to ask, shoot me an email. I’m happy to help.
**steps off soapbox**
The wonders of this beautiful world! 🙂
Some ideas for Valentine’s Day fun from The Nest
I hope you have an awesome weekend, loves!
© Danielle Hewitt (of Loving A Fit Life) and DanielleHewitt.com (including LovingAFitLife.com) 2011 – 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Danielle Hewitt and DanielleHewitt.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.