27 November 2013

Happy Anniversary!

Four years.

Today, my husband and I have been married four years!

We have so much to be grateful for in this life we are building together.
Our God.
Our children.
Our relentless love for one another despite unruly circumstances life throws our way.
Our friendship :)
Our compassionate and generous friends.
Our family members, near and far.

So much more could be stated.
Simply put, I am the most blessed woman.

16 May 2013

A Paleo observation ...

It's no super-revelation.
But I feel it's a worthy note.

Paleo is simple.

There. I said it. It's just simple.
A little almond flour here. Coconut oil there. Sea salt and baking powder/soda.

I can pretty much put together a tasty entree or baked treat at any point if I have these items on hand, plus some fruit or meat. Btw, if you are shopping well, you have these things on hand :)


Just sayin'.

Example: Banana-Blueberry Muffins (courtesy Dr. Davis, "Wheatbelly")

2 c. almond flour
1/4 c. flaxseed, ground
1/4/c. honey/agave/your choice natural sweetener
1 t. baking powder/soda
1 ripe banana
2 eggs
1/2 fage/sr. cream or coconut/almond milk
1/4 oil, grapeseed, olive, coconut
1 c. blueberries

Preheat to 325-ish*. Combine eggs, sr. cream/milk, oil. Beat in mashed banana. Add in dry ingredients. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into greased or cupped muffin tin. Makes 12 muffins (spread evenly between). Bake for approx. 30 mins. Cool for 15mins before removing. Enjoy!!

04 May 2013

Feeling Reflective Today ...

Spring, I love thee. Even on a day like today when you are barely there.
Still, you are beautiful. Full of hope.

This has been my most recent RE-revelation: hope is simply and always there. Even in my days of great despair, it's the green buds against the flying snow. It's the cars and people that show up to a garage sale in 37* and mist for weather.

It is sitting with my sister, laughing and dreaming; remembering yet thinking forward. Eyes misty. Souls connected.

If only I will just be still, and acknowledge the healing of its' presence.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." - Romans 12:12

06 April 2013

Beautiful Things

Today, I choose to remember the truth this song beautifully portrays.

"Beautiful Things"

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

01 April 2013

Wheat-free April!

My husband and I are pretty passionate about health and fitness.

One of the things we study is food - it's impact on well-being and lifestyle. "Wheatbelly" by Dr. William Davis has been the topic of our most recent food discussions/learning.

He is almost through the book and then I'm going to tackle it, but in the spirit of practicing what we preach, we have decided that April will be a wheat-free month for us. Together, we are going to experiment with Dr. Davis' ideas about removing wheat from our diet and experience the impact/s directly.

Let's go!

23 March 2013

The Orange-Apricot Scones?! A.maz.ing. So light; mild sweetness; especially good slightly warm and with a fork :) Hubby-approved!

Today, I dove deeper into Elana Amsterdam's lovely cookbook, "The Gluten-Free, Almond Flour Cookbook". I made her Chocolate Cake and the Shrimp Fritters. Pictures posted here :)

Chocolate Cake with Marshmallow Frosting: definitely need to use a larger cake pan (it spilled over a bit during baking) but has super-delicious, light texture & flavor. The Marshmallow Frosting was fun to try as well. I made it with honey and egg whites - yes, only 2 ingredients! - although I would like to try it next time as the original recipe indicates: agave and egg whites.

Shrimp Fritters: a lovely change in palette - light and super-tasty on a leaf of romaine! We tried it with salsa and soy sauce on the side; both good - sweet chili sauce would also be nice :)

For inspiration or a link to the cookbook itself: www.elanaspantry.com


16 March 2013

The little things ...

My husband is the light of my life. He is so patient, with me and the world, and teaches me something every day.
He also likes to surprise me!

A few days ago he surprised me with a new cookbook - "The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook" by Elana Amsterdam. (If you haven't read her blog yet, definitely check it out: www.elanaspantry.com - by far, one of the best in gluten-free and Paleo out there!)

My first recipe will be made out of it today, in just a few minutes in fact: Orange-Apricot Scones.

Stay tuned for how much we love them ;) Yes, I'm an optimist.

21 February 2013

Today was a snow day.
So is tomorrow :)
We're working our way towards a foot apparently ...

The good thing about these days is that I get down-time. Down-time for me includes spring-cleaning/rearranging our master bedroom - yes, I actually get enjoyment out of this. Down-time also included my husband today! He had a snow day from work too so he graciously helped with the deep-clean; then we got out the Jeep and played in the snowy streets! So much fun to drive around [easily] - see the world as it comes to a near halt. So peaceful. We were able to help some who were stuck on slick streets or in big drifts. The world is both great and humbling in these moments.

Of course, food is a fun part of these days. I decided we would try to make our own tortillas for Shrimp Quesadillas. I borrowed the recipe from the Pork Avocado Enchiladas from a week or so back and voila! - one of our favorite foods is back in the house :) Of course, it's not entirely Paleo (that darn yummy cheese) but I'm pretty sure it'll become a once-a-week-er recipe around here. Life on the 80/20 keeps us cheery, for sure!

10 February 2013

Weekends ...

Kale Bacon Egg Pie.
Pork Avocado Enchiladas.
Stir-fried Shrimp in Olive Oil.
Paleo Pie Crust.

This is how I spend my weekends. You wanna come eat with us?!

So one of the tricks I've learned in making a family switch to Paleo-eating is planning/thinking/cooking/baking ahead. I like to spend my weekend days doing this; most of all, it helps keep my sanity throughout the week given a family that is ultra-busy with cheer, football, teaching Financial Peace University, leading community events with our church, and - oh yeah - Paul and I try to contribute to the GDP throughout :)

I wouldn't want it any other way tho; really. Life is a gift and we are making our way beautifully - mistakes and all.

Be encouraged this week, friends; one of my favorite encouragements is the Psalms/songs of the Bible. May you find it blesses you this week, too:

Psalm 4: 6b-7a
"Let your face smile on us, Lord. You have given me greater joy ..."

02 February 2013

Animals and Plants

Know what has excited me most the past two weeks?! Making my own mayonnaise ... thank you Melissa Joulwan! Paleo Chicken Nuggets ... Finding a Paleo Ranch Dressing recipe ... Paleo Zucchini Bread ... Catching the theme?! :) I'm seriously enjoying this food journey. I must give a shout out to the amazing recipe books, "Eat Like a Dinosaur" and "Well Fed". I've focused myself on these two books, just so I don't get overwhelmed in choosing recipes for my family. But, I'm excited about getting into http://paleomg.com/ - I ran across an amazing recipe there a couple weeks ago, Avocado Chicken Enchiladas. Haven't tried it yet but stayed tuned ... For now, I thought I would share my Feb menus. I spend an hour+, each month choosing recipes ahead of time in hopes of one, saving money and my sanity, and two, helping my kids love Paleo cooking with me :) Enjoy!

19 January 2013

Happy 2013! My motto this year is "Eat well. Run well. All is well." We are becoming a Paleo family and are functioning on the 80/20 concept currently; 80% Paleo, 20% other. I'm very proud of my husband and kids for jumping into this with me - I feel so strongly about our family's heath and wellness, and truly feel the Paleo lifestyle is one we all 'get' and agree we can live! If you're not too familiar with what it means to be a Paleo family, I would encourage you to start with www.paleoparents.com. This family is awesome but super low-key & practical as well :) My husband and I are in the beginning stages of getting our running legs back aka building the base in prep for an April 20th trail half-marathon. I'm excited, and have also realized how much ground I've lost since the marathon we ran in November 2010. But, I am determined. One of my spiritual encouragements comes from Hebrews 12:11. It says, "No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way." (NLT) It applies to every aspect of who I want to be as a person, friend, wife, and mother. I've come to accept that nothing I truly want of long-term value in life will happen without the encouragement of this verse. May you find spaces of peace in your life as well as you journey on your strongest life!