More than Bread… Living on nourishment from Jesus.

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:1-4

I have been on this healthy journey now for a few months and I’ve been doing great. I’ve stuck to my diet, lost weight, and have seen my health improve. But during this process of improving my physical health the Lord has convicted me of one thing. I have been so careful about what I consume into my body. Only eating what is good for my body and leaving out the junk that can be harmful.

And though I know the Lord is pleased with my endeavor to improve this temple He has given me, I knew He longed for me to fed myself spiritual. I had been so careful about only giving my body the very best nourishment, but had lacked in given my soul the nourishment it longed for. Yes, the Lord does want me to take care of my body but He wants an intimate relationship with so much more. I can not do this journey on my own. I need the Lord’s strength on the days I’m weak or prone to given to fleshly desires. I need the wisdom from His word to make the right choices for mine and my families health.

Like I said I have been so careful to only consume wholesome foods, leaving out the things that are “junk.” And yep you guessed it. It was as if the Lord had said to me “you are so careful about what does into your stomach, what about what goes into your heart?” What kind of “junk” had I been consuming through TV, listening to gossip, or even Satan’s lies? I had been so careful to guard my health but had neglected my heart.

I feel my relationship with the Lord has improve tremendously and I am grateful for the Holy Spirits conviction. I ask for prayer from you that I do not get sidetracked again and preoccupied with things that are temporary.

Lord thank you for your Spirit that dwells in this temple even when I fail to give it the spiritual sustenance it needs.

Advertisements

Changing of the seasons

Cooler weather is finally here. At least for now anyways. I heard it is suppose to be back in the nineties next week. But for now I am sipping my pumpkin spice tea and enjoying the changing of the seasons.

I’m enjoying it for two reasons. One I’m sick and tired of this hot Texas summer and the cool breeze is so refreshing. But the other reason I am enjoying this change so much is because I feel like it is a physical change that is reflecting the spiritual season change I feel The Lord is bringing me through.

When I was a new christian and a “younger” women I would dread these seasons of change. The unknown would make me so fearful. Do you know what I’m talking about? That feeling of knowing The Lord is going to bring you through some sort of change, whether it be trial of some sort, a change of ministry or maybe a change at work or home. When I would feel that one of these changes we coming on I would panic. I am a planner and like to have everything lined out, and when something happens unexpectedly it throws me for a loop. I would feel completely out of control and would scramble to put the pieces in the place I thought they belonged. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that was exactly how I was suppose to feel. Completely out of control so that God could be in control. And now that I have finally learned that lesson it makes these seasons of change so much more enjoyable.

Don’t get me wrong. I still struggle with wanting control. And yes I do still feel some anxiety with the unknown. But I have learned to turn those over to God. And now I can look forward to the changes God will make, because after all His way is best. I can be excited about the seasons of change The Lord brings me through.

Ecclesiastes 3:1
​ To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven

Ecclesiastes chapter 3 talks about these seasons of change and how there is a time and purpose for everything. The Lord sees the bigger picture, He brings us through the seasons to refine us, to strengthen us, to draw us closer to him.

When you feel the winds change and the air getting cooler in your spiritual season do not fear the change. Trust the One who makes the seasons. Snuggle up with his presence, His Word and a warm cup of tea, and leave behind the fear of the changing of the seasons.

Update!

My family and I have been making health conscience decisions about what we eat for almost two months and we have seen a lot of improvements to our health. So what can eating organic whole foods for 2 months actually do for you?

Well for starters you will lose weight. I said in my first post that I was not eating this way to lose weight. This was not a “diet” for me. I made these changes to improve my health and my families. But I knew we would in turn lose weight from this though. So how much have I lost? After two months of eating a healthy diet I have lost 11 lbs, and I feel great! Unfortunately none of my clothes fit anymore ( anyone want to donate some clothes to me?), but I consider this a good problem to have. Others are noticing the weight loss and how I just look better. I am enjoying this, not because I am a vain person, but because others can see the outcome of a healthy lifestyle. Like I’ve said I am cooking whole foods for my husband and children also though they do not stick to a strict of diet that I am on. And guess what? My husband has lost 25lbs! That’s right 25lbs in 2 months. Normally I would be extremely jealous of his weight lose compared to mine, but I’m not. I’m genuinely happy for him.

Another change I have noticed is how great I feel. I would no way claim that I am cured from fibromyalgia. I still have my “bad days”. But I have so much more energy. And because I am able to do more during the day I am not having to deal with insomnia so much. By the time my head hits the pillow it’s not moving till my alarm goes off and that is a nice change. It is so refreshing to be able to feel like a normal person and actually have energy to get things done.

One more thing that I always knew I had a problem with and finally feel like I have concurred (with the help of The Lord) is the perception of food as a reward. I would always use food as a treat to myself after a hard days work or if I was feeling down. I felt I deserved to feel good with food. But now I’ve had to completely change the way I look at food. Food is a way to nourish my body, not a way to make me feel good. Once I began to look at food as a way of nourishment not pleasure then this lifestyle of healthy eating was easy. I honestly haven’t been tempted to eat anything sugary or fattening. I don’t need those things to make me feel good. I can find satisfaction in my God, my family, and the tasks The Lord has given me.

I have never regretting making these changes for us. I know that only good things will continue to come as a result. And I hope because of that I can inspire others to take a closer look at the food their eating and what it is doing to their bodies.

Eating organic is so expensive.

One of the reasons I have never gotten into the organic “fad” is because eating organic is so expensive. I thought we would never be able to afford it on our very limited budget. So i never even tried. I would walk right past the healthy sections of the store without a thought of ever purchasing any. But once I came to the realization that my eating habits had to change I knew the way I shopped for my food had to change also. 

We decided the best way to determine our new grocery budget would be for me to go buy what I needed and see just how much that would cost and how long the food I bought lasted. I have been shopping this way for about a month and a half now and what is the outcome? We have saved money! Yes, thats right I have been buying almost all organic food and we have saved money. 

How have I done this? Well first of all we have almost stopped eating out entirely. Because my diet is so limiting to what I can eat there are only a couple of restaurants that I can eat at anyway. Now I am really telling on myself now, but we were spending so much money eating out, just because of the convenience. In order not to fall into the same trap of eating out often I have to be prepared. I now try to have each meal planned out ahead of time. For the days I am working I have our dinner waiting in the crockpot when I get home.

Another way I have allowed us to save money is by making so many things myself. Some of the most expensive organic food is the packaged “easy food.” By easy food I mean things you can just throw in your kids lunch box or open up and hand them for breakfast while your running out the door. Things like granola bars. By making these things with organic ingredients I bought in bulk I have saved us so much money and I get the satisfaction of my family eating something I made myself.   

Here is a few tips when shopping for organics.

Have a plan, but be flexible. Have your meals planned out and have a list, but sometimes I’ll get to the store and can’t find an ingredient or it is way out of my price range so I have to improvise. 

Buy enough for your family, but don’t over do it. Don’t overload your shopping cart with lots of produce that will just go bad before your family has a chance to eat it. I try to do my main grocery shopping every 2 weeks, buying things that will last with only enough produce my family can eat in a few days. Then I will make trips to our farmers market to restock on produce between grocery shopping. 

Bargain shop. Sometimes I will go to 2 or 3 stores looking for the best deal. I now know which stores have better deals on produce and which ones to buy the dry goods at. This meant our shopping in the beginning would take almost a full day, but it is getting faster and faster each time. 

 

Hope these tips helped you in your journey of healthy living! 

Pantry Purge

One of the first things that I did in search of a healthy lifestyle was to rid our pantry of anything I felt unsafe to eat. So during this process of the “pantry purge” I eliminated a lot of the things my kids liked to eat. I don’t want my kids to think that eating healthy has to taste gross or that they can’t eat anything that they enjoy so I have tried to find ways to make healthier options of the foods they loved. 

 

On the top of the list of things we had to purge but that my children (and husband) enjoyed was Nutella, but I found this great recipe on Pinterest 

Homemade Nutella

photo

This recipe uses whole hazelnuts that you grind up in the food processor so it is not smooth like the nutella in the stores, but it still taste great. My kids loved it! 

Here is the link for the Homemade Nutella

photo copy

Crockpot Greek Yogurt

The next thing I saw on Pinterest I just had to try was a greek yogurt recipe for the crockpot. My family loves greek yogurt and it can get pretty pricey, especially organic, so I thought I’d give this recipe a whirl. I was able to find all organic ingredients for this greek yogurt. But let me just warn you of a few things… It took several hours for the milk to warm to the right temperature in the crockpot. Maybe my crockpot doesn’t heat well or maybe I need to turn the heat setting to high instead of low. Also the yogurt came out pretty runny for greek yogurt. I think next time I will add more powdered milk. But again my kids loved it. I only had one bowl since I am limiting my dairy, and as you can see this recipe made 5 large mason jars full.  

Here is the link to the Crockpot Greek Yogurt. 

 

During our former life of bad eating habits on Sunday mornings before church we would usually have donuts for breakfast. (Bad I know!) We obviously were not going to be able to keep with that tradition so I wanted to make a way for Sunday breakfast to be fun and different. So we are now eating muffins on Sundays. I know you are probably thinking “muffins! those aren’t much better than donuts!” But I have found some great healthy recipes for delicious muffins.  

The first is a recipe I got from Food Matters. This muffin is gluten, refined sugar, and dairy free. 

Healthy Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients: 

  • 2 1/2 cups almond meal 
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 2 tbsp honey 
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries  

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12 count muffin tin. In a mixing bowl add dry ingredients and stir to combine. Pour in coconut oil, eggs, honey and vanilla, mix well. Fold in blueberries. Distribute into muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy. 

unnamed 

 

One more muffin recipe that we have come to enjoy is this Banana Oat Greek Muffins. Hence the name it is not diary free. After eating these muffins my pickiest eater exclaimed “Mom you make the best muffins” score! I unfortunately did not get a picture of them, but do yourself a favor and check out the link. 

 

Hope you will try some of these recipes and they will help you to exchange out some of the processed junk you may have in your pantry for something much better for you. 

 

 

 

Just stop serving already!

One thing The Lord has taught me through this trial of fibromyalgia is to depend on him for everything. I need the Lord’s help daily for the strengthen to do even the simplest of things. A very dear friend pointed out to me recently that I have a problem with “doing”. Meaning I am always doing the Lords work trying to achive some favor with Him. I have always secretly known this but would never admit it and was shocked that someone else had noticed it. I have always felt this sense of duty to be everything for everyone. Especially at church. If anyone asked me to serve in any ministry I would almost always say yes. I felt it was expected of me. I would always rationalize this to myself and my husband by saying ” if I don’t do it who will”. I felt like I need to make up for everyone else’s lack of service. It would frustrate me so much to see people sitting in church, getting their fill of the word, and leaving every week without any thought to what they could do for The Lord’s work. I honestly felt it was my duty to fill in the gap for these people. 

This was until the pain of FB was too great. I tried to keep plugging along like nothing was wrong but after awhile I couldn’t fight it any longer. I had to step down from some of the ministries I was involved in. It just so happened that during this time I was reading ” Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World” by Johanna Weaver. By reading this book The Lord revealed to me the sin in my heart. And yes my sense of duty was a sin. How? Because I was so busy serving The Lord that I didn’t have time to build a relationship with Him. Also, I was “doing” to please men not God. Lastly, I was doing this all in my own strength. I honestly believe one of the reasons The Lord brought this pain into my life is so that I would be more dependent on Him and less on myself. This has caused me to completely reevaluate my life and my places of service. Where is it that The Lord would have me serve and where am I doing it all on my own? It took some serious time of prayer to get it all straightened out, but I had to begin with getting my relationship with The Lord right. 

 

I hope those of you reading are not hearing what I am not saying. Please don’t take from this that you should not be serving in your church. Or that I am justifying  those who are in church to get what they can and never give back. But I am more compassionate to those who may not be serving as much as I thought they should. Maybe they have a physical issue just like me and want to serve but can’t. Or maybe their ministry is behind the scenes, something I can’t see. And maybe you are reading this and you don’t have a place that you are serving. I urge you to pray and seek The Lord about where he would have you serve. I can’t number the blessings I have received from serving. 

 

The Lord has a place of service for all of us. It might not be where you or I expect. But have a right relationship with Him. Serve him through his power not your own and the blessings will rain down. 

Broccoli, carrots and spinach, oh my!

Now that I have changed the way I eat I am getting a lot of questions like ” So what do you actually eat?” ” How can you even do it?” 

Well let’s start with the first question… What am I eating? Well that’s simple, vegetables.  I have done quite a bit of research lately on what a person with Fibromyalgia should and shouldn’t eat. It mainly boils down to anything processed, loaded with refined sugar, wheat products, diary, caffeine. So what’s left? Like I said vegetables. It has been proven that if a person with FB goes on a strictly vegetarian diet the symptoms of FB will decrease. So I have cut out all sugar and processed foods and most diary. I eat vegetables for all 3 meals a day. Now don’t get me wrong I still eat meat. But I limit my protein to one meal a day and try to have 3 times more vegetables than protein. Why am I limiting my protein? Because proteins make you crave carbohydrates. The more protein you eat the more bread you crave and bread is a no no for people with FB. I already am going to have a hard enough time with bread cravings I don’t want to make it even worse. I am also trying to have at least half of the vegetables I am eating raw. You can have vegetables all day long, but if you are cooking them to death then there is no nutrience left in them and it was a complete waste of time.  So here is what an average daily menu for me looks like. I wake up and have a glass of water before I eat and drink anything. Then I have my coffee. Coffee is one thing I am not welling to give up. Even though caffeine is not good I only have one cup a day. And if you know me well enough no one wants to see me if I haven’t had my coffee. Why not decaf you ask? Because the chemical process used to decaf coffee is disgusting. I add a little bit of raw organic sugar and organic half and half or whipping cream to my coffee. For breakfast I have either a spinach omelet or a sweet potato, then for lunch a vegetable and quinoa salad, for supper I’ll usually have half a chicken breast with spinach salad and whatever vegetables I have to go with the meal.  My before bedtime snack has been a yummy bowl of watermelon. I looked forward to this all day long, since I have limited myself to only one fruit a day. No fruit isn’t bad for but it is still full of sugar and vegetables are much better. For in between meals I made this yummy hummus recipe I found here. I eat this with organic tortilla chips or raw veggies. And I might add almost everything I am eating now is organic. I never thought it was that big of deal, organic or not.  You’d be surprised. Just sit down and watch “Food Inc” to learn the difference. Fresh clean produce or produce laden with chemical pesticides that can do all sorts of things to your body. No thanks.  Now I do not expect everyone to adhere to a diet this strict. My kids and husband aren’t even eating the same diet I am. But I do encourage everyone to get more raw veggies in their diet and be informed about what they are eating. Turn your food around and look at the ingredient list. Is the first ingredient sugar or some chemical you can’t even pronounce? Then don’t eat it!  (FYI the  ingredients are listed in order from the largest amount in the product to smallest. So if sugar is listed first the food is mostly sugar. ) 

The next question is how can I do it? I’m not going to lie it hasn’t been easy. If you knew me before you would know I ate a lot of fast food and was literally addicted to Coca Cola. So to quit those things cold turkey took some severe motivation. But I had it. I was sick and in pain and wanting to live my life like a normal person. It’s only been a short time and I already feel better. I still have pain but I have so much more energy which is something people with FB never have. I can have all those fattening processed foods but I don’t want them. I am not doing this as a diet to lose weight. Even though I need to lose weight and I am sure I will from eating this way. But this is a lifestyle change I am doing to take better care of the body The Lord has given me. So I encourage you examine the food you are eating daily, the food you are feeding to your children. Is there any nutritional value to it. Is it full of chemicals that can be harmful to your body? Don’t take my word for it search scripture, ask The Lord for wisdom with the food choices you make. Remember He is dwelling in you…

Dwelling in You

1 Corinthians 3:16-17  “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God , him shall God destroy: for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 

 

I like junk food. I like chips, fast food, and most of all candy. I like candy more than the average child. The gummy, sour, sweet, chewy kind of candy. And I would eat it a lot along with all sorts of junk with no thought to how it was affecting my body. For the past several years I have had random pains in my right hip area. It hurt enough to be bothersome but not enough to see a doctor about. But gradually over time the pain got worse, a lot worse.  I couldn’t even stand for a few minutes without extreme pain. It was beginning to affect my life and the duties I need to fulfill daily, like taking care of my children. So I went to the doctor, who sent me for scans and referred my to specialist who sent me for more scans and referred me to different specialist. After countless appointments, numerous blood test, MRIs, CT scans, and physical therapy, all results came back normal all scans were clear. But I still had this intense pain. During an appointment with a rheumatologist she proceeded to tell me that I had fibromyalgia. She went on to tell me this doesn’t mean I am a hypochondriac (yeah right!) and prescribed me medication proven to help this syndrome. Well needless to say I did not believe her. Fibromyalgia! Thats not even a real thing, I even wrote a paper in my college health class saying so! I took the pills for a few weeks but quickly gave up on them and the whole fibromyalgia idea. It wasn’t until an appointment with a doctor whom I have known for along time and trusted came up with the same diagnosis that I began to warm up to the idea that maybe fibromyalgia is real and just maybe I actually have it. I began my own research of this “syndrome” and the more I looked into the symptoms the more I was convinced I did indeed have “FB” (that doesn’t stand for Facebook, ha ha) and a lot of strange health issues I had were all contributed to FB.

 

So now I was convinced I had this strange syndrome, what was I going to do about it. Most people with FB are on 2-3 prescriptions daily to help them deal with things like extreme fatigue, pain, and insomnia. But the more I thought about it that was not the future I wanted for myself. Several medications with all sorts of side effects everyday for the rest of my life. I am only 28 years old! There must be a better way. I began to pray to The Lord for wisdom to make the right decisions with my health. If medication was the right choice to make I was ok with that but I want to research all my options. After talking to women at church who struggled with the same illness and reading books from the library I began to examine the things I was doing to my body on a daily basis, is what I’m eating having an affect on the way I feel? Does the phrase “you are what you eat”  have some truth to it? If so then I’m just a hunk of junk! Maybe your reading this and thinking well duh! of course what you eat has an affect on your health, but maybe your like me and really never thought about it. I never thought that the McDonalds sandwich I was eating would have lasting affects on my health. It was like suddenly the light came on. We truly are what we eat.

 

So I began to search scripture. Does the word of God saying anything about what we should eat or not. Does it say anything about our food affecting our health? In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve were told they could eat anything in the garden except one tree ( we all know how that went), the Jews were restricted from eat pork, among other things, but what about today? How should we eat today? This is when the Lord brought to my mind the Scripture in 1 Corinthians 3 the Bible says in verse 16 that “know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” When we are saved our bodies become the home or better yet “temple” of the Holy Spirit. In verse 17 we are told not to defile the temple of God (our bodies). Now I have heard many sermons preached on this passage and every preacher I have heard applies this to drugs and alcohol, tattoos and piercings. But why does no one address the issue of food and health? Christians are some of the unhealthiest people I know. I do not feel like I am taking this verse out of context to apply it to our health and what we put into our “temples” in the form of food. Our bodies are a gift from God and he want us to treat them in the best way possible and of course that must mean eating the best food possible. The better we take care of our bodies the longer we will be here on this earth and the more time to fulfill our God-given purpose here. Are we as christians treating our bodies as a temple? You may not smoke or drink, but what types of toxins are you putting in your body through food? This is something that has just become a priority to me, a year ago, six months ago, or even 6 weeks ago I gave no thought to how the food I was eating was affecting my health and longevity. And then I thought about my kids, do I want them to have the same health issues I have? Do I want them to have a fighting chance at good health? Do I want to be here for them as long as I possible can? I want to be able to take my kids to the park without pain or stand at the stove to cook them a meal without having to stop to sit down. So if eating more fruits and vegetables and less fast food is what its going to take to make that happen then that is what I am going to do. So are we what we eat? I believe so. I am determined to treat my body like a temple that is fit for my Lord.