1.7.18 to 1.13.18

Week 2 of Me:

I’m learning to love pushing myself past my own expectations again. Boot camp at the gym was such a driving force before because I wanted to compete with whoever it was next to meet busting out push ups too. Having signed up for a Spartan Race again, maybe helping me want to push harder also. Only downside is my hand is bothering me again, makes push ups and burpees a little tough(er). I just do them on my fists instead of my palms though. Enough whining right, get onto the workout stuff!

Day 8: Total Body

One minute of Bosu burpees was good stuff! Basically you hold your Bosu ball through out the whole burpee process. Being in the plank with the Bosu ball worked the stabilizer muscles in my shoulders as I did the push up, soo good, and sooo needed! After this workout I also included some foam rolling to help loosed up my hip flexors and lower back. I’ll have to share a how to video on that soon.

Day 9: Chest & Back

I’m loving my TRX and Bosu time lately, only problem I’m starting to realize is that it’s hard to do the fly’s in my hallway. I ended up doing a Y shape instead of the traditional fly, still worked my targeted area, just a bit differently and other muscles also. I ended up having to play taxi so I ended up skipping the run, I’ll be including more running on next weeks schedule.

Day 10: Leg Day

Maybe all the burpees I’ve included is what has my hand acting up angry. After one round my legs were feeling this, I used weights when I did the sumo squat with the calf raise and my calves were finally sore.

Day 11: Core & Shoulders

My cardio of choice for today was to hop on the treadmill at 6.0 and run. I was out of breath! It’s funny the simplest movements, were actually the hardest ones today. My kids have been grossed out for days because of the sweat drops on my bench after doing the bunny hops. I have yet to wipe it down because if it keeps them off of it, I’d rather keep my equipment in good condition, wish I could say the same about my pull up bar. 😦

Day 12: Arm Day

After last weeks lack of soreness, I pushed hard this time. You may want to skip this routine if you’re no looking for bulk in your arms, or at least use lighter weights. When doing different movements that target the same initial area you are creating cross tears in your muscle and making them larger. That’s why when you see guys bulking up at the gym they are doing all different kinds of bicep curls to make big guns son! #SOsore

Day 13: Leg Day

Can you tell how this workout went down by the shade of my face?!? It may not have been a total leg workout but my legs were done, when I was done. I wish I’d have gotten some lunges in there. Overall though, it was good to get the extra cardio in with the run time. I ended up getting a little over two miles in on the treadmill.

Day 14: REST DAY!

It was such a nice day out. I highly recommend taking your workout outside whenever you can. The fresh air does a body good. Even better when you have good company. ❤

 

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7 Days of Me

Procrastinator is my middle name, disorganized is my second middle name…

Ever since I finished my first Spartan Race I wanted more from fitness, like to be able to help people with their fitness goals. Two years later I decided I wanted to be come a personal trainer. I did my research, there were so many online certifications that I wanted to make sure the one I had chosen was a good choice. I went to my old gym and asked what they like. Decided to go with NASM as my school of choice. Bought my fancy learning program and book and stayed dedicated for about two or three weeks before the summer arrived. I then slacked off and it was time for me to take my test. Well, I didn’t pass it and personal training sat on the back burner because I lacked the confidence, motivation, self direction to stick to a study schedule. Finally decided to start studying again and felt confident I would pass and paid for my test. Talk about a blow to my confidence, I failed by 1 point. Again I put it on the back burner. Until now…

I have come to realize that I am a hands on learner, trying to read from a textbook is BORING! Learning the muscle names, which ones are weak vs which ones are strong requires a visual for me. Names are not my strong point, why else do you think I’m super focused on brain health also. I am super thankful for YouTube! Part of my New Years resolution of 2017 was to get my certification done and hitting December 31st was a punch in the gut. It made me realize that no one is going to study for me, if I want to learn it, I need to do it!

Learn it, apply it!

This is my theme for the year. I’m being my own guinea pig and designing my own workout routines. The best part of doing this is I can give myself real feedback. I’ll know what is working or isn’t working for my goals. Only downside is that everyone’s goals aren’t the same. That just means I’ll need to study a bit more on those possible clients in the book (or YouTube.)

My proposed schedule.

  • Sunday- Total Body
  • Monday- Chest & Back
  • Tuesday- Leg Day
  • Wednesday- Core & Shoulders
  • Thursday- Arms
  • Friday- Leg Day
  • Saturday- Rest Day

Unofficial Day 1:

Um hello! I loved this workout! I got to use equipment that I haven’t busted out in a long time. Although I was aiming for a 20 minute sweat session and ended up with around 30 minutes. Doing the Bosu Skip Lunge showed me the importance of balance, my right leg was oddly less balanced than my left.

Day 2:

My back is definitely weak. I decided to stack Chest & Back day as more strength targeted for that reason. In hindsight I would probably change out the handstand holds to something a little more active. Also, when I decide to use the handstand hold again, I’d reduce hold times because that was pretty impossible for me to hold for 30 seconds the first time, let alone the 3rd as a beginner.

Day 3:

Somehow I did the math wrong on this and thought 1 round would be good. Realized at the 10 minute mark it needed to be doubled. I love circuit style workouts because you get a break after each move. One thing that could be improved was there was no time to transition to the next move.

Day 4:

Today’s workout was 22 Minute Hard Corps inspired. Mountain squats were on my mind and I couldn’t remember what they were called so I flipped through the videos to find them, and a few other moves too. That move looks so simple but it is tough!

Day 5:

Arms… my least favorite workout. I of course made sure to include burpees, Spartan Prep. Arms felt like jello!

I was fully expecting this workout to leave my arms sore but they weren’t, which tells me I should have used heavier weights with this style of workout.

Day 6:

Dead lifts, they are my jam! Cleans, not so much. Definitely something that needs work, form wise. The 30 seconds on and 10 seconds off was perfect for using the jump rope and resistance bands, made the transition much smoother. To make the burn more with the lunges, I might try not alternating legs, do left leg first round, right leg second, then alternate on the 3rd round next time.

Day 7:

Rest day, yay!!!

What I learned?

This is fun! It’s amazing what can be done when I put my mind to it. I’m excited to see how next week goes, and yes, I’ll be sharing that progress here too. I hope you enjoy the process as much as I am.

Be The Example

via Daily Prompt: Winsome

Every day we fight or struggle to fit in, we want to maintain an image of “cool” or “hip”. It’s hard to be the outsider, hard to be alone and even harder to be the one that people laugh at. As I venture down the road of self discovery and realizing the plans that God has in store for me, I grow more comfortable and worry less about those things.

We started this program at our church a few months ago called Winsome Witnessing, that’s what prompted me to join in on the daily prompt. Basically it’s about building a successful witnessing program in your church, whether it be by being welcoming to visitors, being a friendly neighbor or knocking on doors to meet new people. Just offering the support and love that people need, the kind of love that doesn’t require wearing the cool new gear to be apart of.

The Introvert Me

Two months ago, I was taken completely out of my element. It’s actually kind of funny, I believe being a waitress has prepared me for more in life than I give credit. At 15 years old (maybe younger than that even) I was the girl who was mean, because I was on the defense, being called dog eyes for years takes its toll on a girl. I wasn’t the one to reach out and make friends easily because being hurt is tough. It took a lot of courage at a couple years older, to walk up to a group of people at the front door of Shari’s, as a little hostess, to ask how many people were in their group and then seat them at their table that first time. Then evolving into a waitress who was able to sell enough pies to earn Christmas day off with my family.  Crazy to believe that was 17 years ago. I’m still that girl who struggles saying hello to people in a social setting, but you know what I’ve realized, when it comes to work, I can do anything. When I am working for God and “winsome witnessing,” it’s like I’ve got this courage I don’t have when I’m alone.

Back to 2 months ago, I was put in the position to go knocking on doors, not solely for religious purposes, but to survey our neighborhood. I was surprised by the ease I had in my heart, I wasn’t anxious, not even one bit. I was actually excited! We were out trying to find ways to help the neighbors, whether it be through cooking classes, quit smoking help, depression and anxiety recovery, etc.

Preparation is Key

In 2015, before my door to door adventure, I became a Beachbody Coach. Basically you share your health journey by being open and vulnerable, and you reach out to people to see if they need help changing their lives for the better also. That was hard for me, hard to open up and hard to reach out to people and try to sell them something, even if it was something I truly believe in. It prepared me to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. One thing I learned, is to Be The Example. If you aren’t practicing what you preach, why would anyone want to jump on your boat? And if you aren’t really enjoying yourself, or feeling your best, the same applies. I believe wholeheartedly that’s part of why I’m not one of the top selling waitresses at work anymore. I don’t desire to sell people baked potatoes loaded with butter, cheese, bacon, and sour cream. I don’t desire to sell people that perfect margarita and fuel the possible alcohol addiction of someone else. I don’t want to sell that 200+ calorie beverage that is going to help contribute to the weight gain of someone or likely another negative impact on their health. I don’t believe in the product, but that doesn’t mean I won’t make the dining experience the best that I can. I’m not going to say that I’ve become a top Coach, or that I am a perfect example, but striving to do better every day has given me a joy that is deeper and more meaningful than any of that. I hope that it beams out for others to see.

That’s where being winsome comes in, smiling, loving, sharing, caring, being honest, supportive, the listening ear, just being present can be all that someone needs. Striving to be our best can sometimes lead to neglecting others needs. That’s something I’ve learned to be better at as a Coach. The small things, sharing the struggles, the strengths, the journey, are all part of being winsome.

The definition of winsome is; attractive or appealing in appearance or character. And I think that living genuinely brings out that light. Trying to please others, instead of the innate Spirit within us, drags us down. I can personally testify to that 100 percent. ❤

Finding Balance

There was a lot of talk about finding personal joy and also not being selfish. Those things require balance, it is said that giving is the best gift. Which is true, helping someone and seeing the joy on their face is so rewarding. BUT as a mother, I know that sometimes we give so much and neglect ourselves. We have to find the balance of making sure that we are happy and healthy so that we can be able to do our best giving to our children, families, friends and even strangers. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to communicate it, don’t be afraid to take some time for yourself to reflect and find out what it is that you need for happiness. Deciding what character you want to put out to the world can help you decide that.

 

 

Rock Your Resolutions!

Yup, it’s that time again. Goal setting, new commitments, lifestyle changes. Hooray!!!Go big or go home right?!? Nope. Let me tell you why… (Unless you are that one in a million.)

Change is hard!

Change is even harder when you try to pile on 20 changes in one week. Think back to when you were a baby, okay so you probably don’t remember that far back, how about the last baby you spent time with? When they were learning to walk they didn’t just stand up and start running right? They held on to the table, steadied themselves and then let go. Then they decided it was time to take a step, maybe two, and then it progressed to three or four or more. While I would love to see you all successfully master your health goals right away, I know that small steps are more successful. Start at the bottom and continue to build up that foundation. The New Year, is just that, a YEAR, that means you’ve got 12 months to master those good habits. Let’s focus on mastering one thing at a time.

myspace babes

Speaking of babes #throwback (I had to hit up MySpace to find these goodies!)

Let’s talk goal setting, the what?

What is your goal? Lose weight? Give it a number. Be stronger? Give it something attainable, full push up, pull up, squat 100 pounds. Be healthier? Eat a veggie with every meal, cut out soda, exercise 3 times a week. See what I’m getting at here? If you’re wanting to be successful you need something to work towards, you need something that will give you a sense of completion or accomplishment. Saying you want to be healthier or lose weight leaves a lot of wiggle room. One more thing, let’s be realistic. Don’t be afraid to set a small goal to start, it will help you build up the confidence needed to push further and grow confidence in yourself.

The Why?

Why did you choose this goal? I want you to dig deep and decide what it is about this goal that makes you want to complete it. Why do you want to lose 15 lbs, did your doctor say it was necessary for your health? Are you unhappy in your skin? Do you want to be a healthy example for your kids? Only you can figure out your why and whether it is going to drive you to succeed. Write that why on a sticky note and put it on your refrigerator, put it on your bathroom mirror, remember it when you don’t want to do the things you know will make you meet the goal you set.

The When?

Now, give it a deadline. “I will lose 15 lbs by the end of March, I will master the pull up by June,” you get my drift? Having a deadline can help give you a sense of urgency, knowing I have to meet a goal by that date gives me a little extra drive. My focus is more intentional if I know there is an end date.

Now that you’ve got that deadline, break it down. To lose 15 pounds, I’ll need to lose 5 lbs a month. How am I going to do that? What has or hasn’t worked for you before? If it didn’t work, don’t do it again, if you’re needing some ideas on how to meet those specific goals, don’t be afraid to reach out. Want to quit your 5 soda a day habit, try breaking it down weekly. Week 1, I will cut back to 4 sodas a day, week 2 it will be only 3. Or spread it out a little longer. Quitting a bad habit can sometimes cause withdrawals and it may be painful to quit cold turkey. Don’t be afraid to try new things, remember if it seems too good to be true, chances are it is. There’s no magical pill for weight loss or getting rich quick for that matter. (No matter what the infomercials tell you.)

Baby Steps

I mentioned baby steps before, and I mean it. If you have lived on the couch and haven’t been to the gym since your high school gym class, haven’t had a vegetable since your mom made you eat one and drink coffee as your method of hydration, don’t try to make all those changes at once. Yes, some people can make those changes, with the power of God, I believe, but big changes are stressful. If you’re going to quote Philippians 4:13, I pray you are really relying on him to help you through it. Otherwise, one step at a time. I wouldn’t expect to go run a marathon with zero training, don’t expect to change over night either. The clock isn’t going to strike midnight tonight and you’ll be miraculously changed, I don’t know if I can emphasize enough, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Failure Happens

There will be bumps, just like that baby, you might fall after a few steps. That baby isn’t going to give up, and you shouldn’t either. I recommend reevaluating every month. What is working? What isn’t? Are you on schedule to meet your goal? If yes, awesome! If not, awesome! Keep your eye on the prize and remember that tomorrow is a new day. You can do anything you put your mind to, you just have to want it bad enough.

My Resolutions…

Last year, I made myself a pretty little vision board that had all sorts of goals on it for the year. I’ve realized that having so many goals made me lose focus of the bigger goals I had, I spread myself too thin. ↓↓↓ My theme for the year is “Learn it, Apply it.” I will be setting monthly goals and breaking them down by category. Health, Spiritual, Work, and Relationships.

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January Goals:

Health- Microbiome Bootcamp do over. DIY workout program, 6 days a week.

Spiritual- Read 2 chapters of the New Testament daily and daily devotions with the family.

Work- Get on a schedule! This will be a learning process as I will be working from home. Take certification test.

Relationships- Quality time with each of my family members, individually, once a week. Quality time with a friend once a month.

Let The Countdown Begin!

Congratulations on committing to your best year yet. ❤

 

 

Black Bean & Quinoa Burgers

My family loves burger night. Have you ever had the Morning Star Farms Roasted Garlic and Quinoa burger patties? Those are my favorite pre-made burgers. I try to avoid soy where I can because my body doesn’t seem to like it much. I’m so glad to have found a simple recipe to make my own soy free burger. I really enjoy trying new recipes and this was one, that I tweaked to make my own. So yummy!

You can do all sorts of toppings on your burgers, as you can see I went with guacamole. It’s funny, I’m not big on avocado, I know it’s good for me so I try to eat it regularly. The more I eat it, the less I dislike it. I think the guacamole pairs nicely because it’s got such a creamy flavor to go with the little bit of kick of the jalapeño and lime. As a vegan, it’s super important to get those healthy fats in there because they help keep you satiated, if you’ve ever had a salad for a meal you know what I’m talking about. Seems like a salad doesn’t stick around for long if it’s just straight up veggies. The healthy fats of nuts or avocado helps it hang out a while longer because it takes your stomache acid longer to break down your food, protein works the same way. Hence me trying harder to like the green wonder food!

Black Bean & Quinoa Burgers with a Zesty Jalapeño Sauce

Zesty Jalapeño Sauce:

  • ½ cup vegannaise, or try using a vegan sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juiced
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno (or more if you don’t mind spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Burger Patties:

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 green onions (white and green parts), finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 Flaxegg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp water)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons mild or medium salsa
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • Toasted whole wheat buns or tortilla

Zesty Jalapeño Sauce: In a small bowl combine vegannaise, lime juice, zest, jalapeno, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste; mix well. Refrigerate if not serving soon. Makes ½ cup.

Burgers: Measure ½ cup black beans and set aside. Place remaining black beans in processor and process until pureed. Add the green onions, red bell pepper, cilantro, quinoa, flaxegg, garlic, salsa, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste; process until well-combined. Remove to a medium bowl and stir in the reserved black beans. Taste and adjust seasonings. Form into 4 patties.

In a shallow bowl, mix together the cumin and cornmeal. Dredge the patties in the mixture. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet and saute the burgers, two at a time, until golden and slightly crispy. Repeat with remaining burgers using the last tablespoon of oil.

Tip: If you don’t like the bitter taste of quinoa, try rinsing it before cooking to help get rid of the earthy flavor.

Aztec Squash Soup

Troy decided to watch “What the Health?” again this weekend and it got me thinking about our diet. I was actually cooking while he was watching it but my ears were perked the whole time. I’ve been preparing vegan food in our house for almost 2 years now. The first year we ate a lot of the fake processed Tofurky meats, in an effort to replace what we’d removed. It was a good stepping stone for us. This last year has been a lot of trial and error, and some wins of course! The point is that we all have to start somewhere.

✨ The meals should be varied. The same dishes, prepared in the same way, should not appear on the table meal after meal and day after day. The meals are eaten with greater relish, and the system is better nourished, when the food is varied.✨ Ministry of Healing

I’ll be the first to admit that I could eat the same thing almost everyday and never tire. The hubs on the other hand, gets tired of something if he’s had it twice in two weeks. Because I have allowed myself to get into the “same stuff all the time” rut, and also slid into an “eat something sugary every day” habit at the same time, I decided it was time for a change.

Hello, Binder Full of Goodness!

I made up this binder way before I became vegan. I clipped recipes from the newspaper, restaurant magazines, recipes friends have shared, and even printed some off from the internet. After digging through and eliminating all the pot roasts, I mean how many recipes did I really need for that? I narrowed it down to the recipes I could make vegan, a big ol’ thank you to the experience I’ve gained in the last two years!

I wanted to share with you one of the recipes I tried this weekend. Too good not to share, I tweaked it a bit but wish I could give credit to whoever created the original!


Aztec Squash Soup

  • 1 ½ pounds Butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
  • 1 large sweet potato peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ¾ cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6 cups (or more) vegetable broth, divided ( I shared a picture of my favorite vegan broth below.)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced seeded serrano chile (or more if you like spicy)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Plain yogurt, avocado, guacamole (optional toppings)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray. Sprinkle cut halves of squash with salt and pepper. On one baking sheet arrange, cut side down, on prepared sheet. Roast squash until tender, about 1 ½ hours. At the same time, roast sweet potatoes on the other baking sheet until tender. Turn squash cut side up and cool. Scoop squash out into medium bowl. Place sweet potatoes into a separate bowl.
  2. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until pale golden, about 10 minutes. Mix in celery and garlic. Add 1 cup of broth. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add squash, 5 cups of broth, and cumin. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes to blend flavors.
  3. Working in batches, puree squash soup in blender until smooth. When finished pureeing all batches, return all soup to pot. Thin squash soup to desired consistency with more vegetable broth. Add sweet potatoes, black beans, corn, and red bell pepper, ¼ cup fresh cilantro, thyme, and Serrano chile. Cover soup and simmer 10 minutes. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish each with one of the optional toppings and sprig of cilantro.
  5. Enjoy!

Yum, Yum, Yum

I enjoyed this soup the first time, and as left overs the second time I ate it. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it when I take out the portion I froze for a later day too. Above I mentioned I’d share with you my favorite vegan broth, but I actually have two.  The one on the left is probably my most favorite but I wanted to share a tip that I got for the other one. I used McKay’s for today’s recipe but it also works out really well as a topping for popcorn with a little bit of nutritional yeast. So good! Please be sure to subscribe to get notified when I share new recipes!


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


I remember eating the pumpkin seeds after carving pumpkins every year as a kid.  When my kids were little, I had tried making them a few times with no success. I think the problem was that I kept using oil. After hunting through recipes, I finally found one that I enjoy. Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner I wanted to make pumpkin purée for pumpkin pie of course, as a bonus I get to have pumpkin seeds too. This recipe is so simple but you could make it more complex. Try using a seasoned salt or making the pumpkin seeds a sweet treat using a bit of sugar and cinnamon. 👌🏻

Hooray for pumpkin seeds and depression fighting tryptophan! 

INGREDIENTS:

  • Raw pumpkin seeds
  • Himalayan salt

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. 

2. Rinse pumpkin seeds in a colander. Lay them out on a paper towel to absorb some moisture. 

3. Spread seeds, in a single layer, onto a baking sheet. (You could place line the sheet with parchment paper to make for easier clean up.) Sprinkle evenly with Himalayan salt or seasonings of your choice.

4. Bake on middle rack uncovered for 35 minutes or until seeds are dry. Stir after 20 minutes.

5. Allow seeds to cool completely before storing in a container or they will become soft. I usually let them air dry for 24 hours before storing them. (If they make it that long!)

Seeds, Aren’t Just For The Birds.

One of my favorite things to do is watch the birds. My favorite is the hummingbird, with the blue jays coming in a close second. It’s just fascinating how fast those little hummingbirds can flap their wings. I love that I can hear them coming. Then there’s the silly jays. They crack me up because when I fill up the bird feeders in front of my house, they fling out the little seeds just so they can reach the sunflower seeds. You’d think I’d learn and buy a big bag of sunflower seeds for them! 🌻

This little guy flew right under me as I was trying to take photos of the flowers in my yard.

 

As I was eating my breakfast this morning, which included seeded bread I came to a realization, that’s why I decided to share about the importance of seeds in our diets.

There are plenty of seeds out there; hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds to name a few of my favorite. All three of those have plenty of benefits, that’s part of why I include them in my diet. Today my focus is going to be on flaxseeds.


Flaxseeds

There is a regular (brownish) flaxseed, I just decided to get the golden one because it looks pretty when I bake with it. Such fancy little seeds! They are sort of like little golden nuggets, if you consider the amount of health packed into them. Omega-3s, protein, tryptophan and fiber, to name a few. As a vegan and a fitnut, I consider my omegas and protein to be very important ingredients because I’m not getting those from animals. We all know that fiber is good for bowel health, so I won’t talk about that. The ingredient that is most fascinating to me is the tryptophan because it’s something I’ve recently learned about.

Depression is something I deal with seasonally and I got to go through a depression/anxiety recovery program earlier this year. I never realized how much our mental health is tied up with the foods we eat! Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps us make serotonin, which helps stabilize our moods. Tryptophan is in a number of different foods but these tiny seeds have one of the biggest bangs for your buck!

How Do You Prepare Them?

Back to the birds, they have tiny little beaks that break seeds down so they can eat them. If you’ve ever had a pet bird you know that they eat the inside and leave the shell, much like us with sunflower seeds at a baseball game or everywhere if you’re my oldest son!

Our bodies are not built to digest flaxseed left whole, just like corn, 🙈 they come out whole. That means all the awesome nutrition is wasted. (That was my realization this morning, most of the seeds on the seeded bread are wasted!) We of course don’t have beaks so we need to opt for the next best thing, blenders! Or, you can buy the seeds already ground up. I opt for whole because they are cheaper. I also buy mine in the bulk section and store them in my freezer until I’m ready to grind them up. They stay fresh that way, just like nuts. After I grind them up I’ll keep them in an air tight jar in the fridge for easy access. I use them in my diet every day, the family too.

All Ground Up, Now What?

There are quite a few ways to utilize the seeds. Throw them into a smoothie, toss it into a salad, sprinkle it on cereal. My FAVORITE way to use flaxseed is as an egg replacement in baked goods. Yes, eggs have omega-3s and protein BUT they also have cholesterol and no fiber, so I call the flax-egg winning!

Flax-Egg Recipe:

  • 1 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed
  • 3 Tbsp water

Mix and set aside to get “slimy” for a few minutes before using in your favorite baking recipe.

Now get out there and flax it up! 

Welcome, Welcome, Ever Welcome!

If you are here, you may be looking for tips on health. I’d like to share with you a little bit about myself and what being healthy means to me.

First things first, who am I??? My name is Darci, I’m a; mom, animal lover, Christian, lover of the great outdoors, home school teacher, personal trainer student, vegan, DIYer, gardener, pretty much a jack of all trades. I got into fitness about 3 years ago when I decided to sign up for a Spartan Race. Yes, I’m one of those crazies too. I signed up for that race to prove to myself how strong I am, and it worked, hello confidence boost! I couldn’t believe how great I felt accomplishing that goal of crossing the finish line. It inspired me to dig deeper and I realized how unhealthy so many aspects of my lifestyle were. One day at a time I continue to focus on learning more about living a healthier lifestyle and sharing the nuggets I learn.

My love for health and fitness has grown to include every aspect; exercise, nutrition, mental health, and spiritual health also. I hope that with each post I share, you may benefit from a little something to improve you health too!

❤ Darci

PS. I’d love to get a note {{ DarcisFitKick@gmail.com }} from you if you have any questions or are looking for one on one support.  Spartan

 

The Road Isn’t Always Smooth

Growing up I was raised in a church and was baptized at 8 years old. By the time I was 15 I had left the faith. After that I started dabbling with the pagan religion of Wicca, but I still felt empty and told myself I was an atheist. Technically I wasn’t, though; I still felt like maybe there was something more to the universe than dying and being eaten by worms. In July, I gave my heart to Jesus and I know it was the right decision. It may have taken me a while but I made it. And the realization I’ve made today, shows me that the journey started WAY before I had any idea it had begun.

Around the Year of 2010

My daughter Paige has always been such a caring, giving, and generous person. She was a preteen that year, and was of course getting into clothes and all things girly. To help pay for this desire for all the cool gear, we told her she needed to get a job. It just so happened that she was offered a job by her bus driver to help take care of her bunnies. It didn’t pay a lot, but she could ride the bus there, and it wasn’t too far from our house. Upon getting this job, she decided to donate money and sponsor a kid through Compassion. She was inspired to do this by her Aunt Colleen and cousins, Jess and Becca, who had been doing the same for years. Such a blessing to see my daughter give so selflessly and help another person.

Fast Forward to Easter of 2014

As a mom of a teenager, a preteen and my baby bear who was 8 at the time, I felt like I needed help getting better morals on board.  I remembered from my youth how important the 10 commandments were for helping to develop me, and decided to take my kids to church. What better day to go than Easter? It started out as a blessing; we loved the messages, and the songs. We even switched our radio station from the rock/metal station to the Christian music station. The kids and I had been going to a church for about a year when my husband found out that a guy he was playing racquetball with was a Pastor.

The Year 2015

My husband wasn’t attending church with us, but he ended up asking the Pastor a few questions about the Bible, like which version was the best one to study from. That turned into a Bible study, which turned into a weekly Bible study, which turned into us having Bible studies as a family. Slowly but surely we came around and realized that what we were reading in the Bible didn’t line up with the things we were learning at the church we were going to. It may have helped that we went to a marriage retreat with the other church and saw some behavior involving the pastor that didn’t seem to fit into the “would I do this in front of Jesus” category. We decided to start going to the new pastor’s church, and in September 2016, Troy was baptized. I wasn’t quite ready yet, even though I had initiated all this church stuff.

The Beginning of 2017

I made my mind up that I was mentally ready to start preparing for baptism. I even put it on my vision board. Then February hit. I lost one grandpa, then another, then a regular customer who I loved like a grandpa passed all within less than a month of each other. I’m so thankful I was participating in the Nedley’s Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program at the time. If I hadn’t I probably would have had a larger downward spiral. In all that struggle, it took all I had not to start drinking again. When I was headed to the last memorial service, all I saw along the way was signs for wineries, and it crossed my mind that I could have a drink and no one would know. Worst case scenario I could stay at my sister’s house…  I knew that one drink would turn into two, or three, or four. I knew that alcohol would not help in that situation; it’s a depressant, not a joy giver.

July 26, 2017

That’s the day I decided I was ready.

In all honesty, it took me until three days before my baptism to realize I was ready. To realize that even through the chaos and dysfunction of the world, and the doubt of my ability to be worthy of Jesus’ sacrifice, there was no better time than now to recommit my life.

What really made me realize that I am worthy, was the last study I had with our Pastor. I couldn’t think of anything I needed to repent for; I just felt unworthy. I felt like I still wanted to do some of the things that Jesus didn’t want me to do. I felt ashamed to still have those desires. Our Pastor shared with me the story of Judas. Even at the last supper when Judas had already planned to betray Jesus, even when Jesus knew Judas was going to betray Him, He washed his feet. He gave Himself to him in the most humble way. Jesus loved Judas even in his betrayal, and that showed me that Jesus loves me. He wants me to succeed and be closer to him, just like he wants you to be also. I knew I was ready after that. I knew that even if I wanted to drink alcohol, I wanted to be closer to Jesus more.

Looking Back

I can’t help but think that all those little steps were God’s way of coming back into my life. He meets us where we are and helps us grow to where He wants us to be. We just have to be open to what He is sending us. We have to be diligent in studying and remember that like Jesus served Judas, we should be removing self from the equation and serving each other. God is love, and that’s the answer.

Everyday from here on out…

I’m going to continue studying the Bible and continue praying because I know that it will only draw me closer to the Lord. And I want to encourage you to be on the lookout for the signs that He is putting out for you in an attempt to draw you closer too.

✨Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.✨ Matthew 11:29

If you’d like to have someone to study the Bible with I’d love to study it with you. They say the best way to learn is to teach, so even if I’m nervous and mix up my words or panic and turn red in the face, I want to spread the love I have learned about. ❤️

Fill out the form below if you’re interested in starting studies.