Tuesday, August 14, 2012

God Even Uses Facebook

Social media is constantly being scrutinized for causing people to waist hours of time online. It's a way to live vicariously through others without having to ever leave the comfort of your own home.

God didn't intend for us to isolate ourselves. He wanted us to go out into the world and spread his word. I mean how are we to spread his word or his ministry if we never leave our home. Well, this is where I would like to throw in a little thing called Facebook.

Let me tell you a little story and you'll soon see where I'm going with this. I went to high school like many of you did and I went with a BUNCH of people (Our graduating class was something like 700+. See,, told ya it was a bunch!). Of course I didn't talk to many of them, as a matter of fact I probably only talked to like 1/16 of the entire class and to be really honest if we narrowed it down ... 20 people was more like it LOL. However, with the Facebook craze I have been able to connect with every one of those 20 people and many others.

Now I'm not going to tell you how I rekindled 100 friendships or how I found the love of my life on Facebook (If I did I'd have to go to hell for lying). But, I am going to tell you how seeing a lady about a Cow forever changed my life.

Yep, you heard right I said it, "I had to see a lady about a cow!" This wasn't some strange code language or anything but I was talking about asking about how I could purchase a COW!! You know the ones that go MOOOOOOO... ;-) Yes, for some of you that wasn't surprising, considering I was all 4 years in AG raising chickens and lambs. Others thought I once again fell off my rocker and were shocked and confused as to what I would do with a COW.

Long story short the Facebook post I had read from my sweet friend Dawn, was asking for people to please purchase cows that would be given to single mothers in Uganda. Well of course I was a bit curious and wanted to find out more so I traced her post back to the original poster which is now my dear friend Brandi. Thank goodness you can see friend posts (thanks makers of Facebook this is one time this feature was helpful!).

Needless to say I talked to Brandi about buying a cow. Well one cow led to a few and that lead to gifts will now lead me to raise money to go to Uganda and share in this wonderful experience!! Facebook posts like the one started by Brandi have bridged the gap between miles, mountains, oceans, and continents. Now you tell me that God doesn't use Facebook?!

So not only did Facebook connect me to people I wouldn't have been able to connect with, but it is the catalyst that is making me leave the comfort of my own home and surroundings to go to a place half way around the world. To see some ladies and their COWS :-) So God knew what he was doing all along even when he used Mark Zuckerberg to create Facebook ;-)

Brown Sugar - Breakfast Sausage Patties

I don't know about you but have you ever checked out the prices and the nutritional value of good breakfast sausage? When I'm not in the mood for smoothies I like a hardy breakfast so I can function and that often consists of eating a good breakfast sausage.

The prices on some of these breakfast sausages are outrageous. Not to mention the stuff that they put in them is enough to make anyone cringe. So the alternative is to find organic sausages and by this time you will have had a heart attack because seriously who can pay 6 - 8 dollars for 6 mini sausages?? Seriously, I mean come on talk about gouging one’s eyes out.
Well so I've been experiment for a while to come up with a good recipe that will make your mouth and pocket book happy!

  • 1 lb ground turkey, raw (the lower % of fat the better) Can also use vegan meat substitute
  • .5 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp cloves, ground
  • 1.0 x (6g)
  • 14/ tsp marjoram, dried
  • .5 tsp pepper, black
  • 1 tbsp crushed red peppers
  • 1 tsp sage, ground
  • .5 tsp garlic
  • .5 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp Sugars, brown
Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Next add the ground turkey and mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
Shape into 10 evenly rounded mini patties.
Spray skillet with Pam original spray.
Turn stove on medium (I do one notch below medium on my electric stove).
Cook until patties are lightly browned and done on the inside.
Makes 5 servings. 2 patties per serving
** Gluten Free, Dairy Free (can be adapted to be vegan and vegetarian)

Avocado Breakfast Smoothie

I'm not sure if it's only me but there are many mornings that I wake up and don't feel like eating. I get this feeling like it takes too much time, too much energy, and way too much thought that early in the morning.

This in reality is silly because if I don’t eat I end up sluggish, starved, and spending more time dying than anything else. So I've learned to make these my smoothie mornings.
Smoothies come in all shapes and sizes but a lot of the smoothies made are all what I call the typical "fad" smoothie. Like the latest diets they are all hype and no go. These smoothies may look good even taste good but won't do you much good. Below is an Avocado breakfast smoothie recipe loaded with good fats and fiber that will help you make it to lunch without being attacked by the hunger pains. And it's YUMMY too :-)
I know some of you are going really… Avocado? Well you won't be able to taste the avocado since the banana will mask any flavor and the avocado is what will give your smoothie its creaminess.
  •  1 avocado (ripe)
  • 1/2 banana (ripe) (frozen bananas work great this will eliminate the need for ice)
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 3 ice cubes (optional)
Place all items in mixer/blender and mix/blend until creamy!
** You can replace the vanilla soy with regular or any milk you prefer, keep in mind this will change it's nutritional content.

**gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian

Below are the nutrion facts as stated by nutriondata.com

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Apple Sauce - Creamy

Have a bit of a sweet tooth? Like Apple Pie? Why not try out my easy home made creamy apple sauce!

6 Whole Gala Apples
1 1/2 cups of Water
Cinnamon (optional and/or to taste)

Peel and core apples
Cut apples in slices an dput into sauce pan with water
Turn on medium heat and cook until tender and water is mostly gone (be careful not to let it stick).

Pour apples into blender and blend (I have a Ninja Master Prep Pro food & drink mixer which I LOVE!!)

Pour cup full into bowl and sprinkle cinnamon to taste

*If you have a really good blender blend your apples longer and it will turn into almost a gel like mixture this is very much like apple pie filling if you add the cinnamon on top! 

I use this for recipes to substitute sugar or oil).

***Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

What a Way to Ruin Me God

Ever had God ruin your day? Well he did mine but surprisingly enough in a good way.

I know that I'm a "sugar" junkie and who can blame me I can't eat anything else so why not overindulge in the one thing that I can right? So listen as I step on my pedestal.

“I know that eventually that will not be good for me, but right now it’s not hurting me!” “I will simply die if I don’t have sugar!” “God took all the other things away so why can’t I just have this one little thing? Is he trying to make me miserable?” “You won’t like me without sugar!” “I need sugar so I don’t kill people!” “I simply cannot live without sugar and there is no way that I can give it up!”

Cue mysterious inner voice ***”So what you are saying is that YOU are too addicted, too stubborn and not even willing to let God help you?! Well if so, chew on this for a while … “With man this is impossible but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).”***

Yeah, yeah, yeah, blah... blah... blah!! How many times have I heard that verse before *__*

I know that I had been overdoing it with my sugar intake and what did he want me to do. Go to him and be like.. "Um… So yeah God since I'm weak … AND seem to not have a spine without you… Can you help me with my sugar thing?" For those of you, who know me; know that the words weak and without spine are NOT in my dictionary.

Even with the inner voice telling me what I should do I wasn't ready to hear it just yet, so God used the voice he and I both know could make a difference. Yep! You guessed it; he pulled the best friend card (He’s forever doing that!). He knows she has a way of getting me to hear things that NO one can .. LOL. Anyhow, I HAD it all planned that I was going to visit her this summer we were gonna binge on sugar until we couldn’t see straight and life was going to be great. Imagine my complete disappointment when she called me right before and just happens to mention that her and hubby are doing a sugar challenge. I was like you are doing a what? This had to be Satan at his finest! Dang Devil always trying to mess up stuff because I just KNEW God wouldn’t RUIN my life like that. I was ready to fight!

Cue music and song from church by Jeff Johnson ***Ruin Me” and insert my best friend passionately and happily telling me how great she feels and that her and hubby were only having a “sweet” treat once a week. And that they had been praying for God to help them. And that God was carrying them through their own struggles/addictions. And how greatful she was that God ruined this selfish addiction. She told me much more but by this time the music in my head was ALL the way up *** Needless to say she made me realize that I had yet another strong hold in my life. Funny because I swear my pastor just mentioned something about strong holds. Ever notice how when you are doing something wrong or God is trying to really get your attention he gives you all of a sudden  signs, messages, and voices from everywhere?!

So what's the score in my game of life? God a gazillion – Me another loss

Needless to say I’ve been on a sugar challenge lately where I pretty much cut out any refined sugars and extra sugars not counting natural sugars in foods except for one day out of the week. I’ve asked God to help me with this and provide me with alternatives so that I don’t overdo it.

And go figure it’s not nearly as hard as I thought it would be I’ve found great things that satisfy my sweet tooth and truthfully I don’t miss it anywhere near as much as I thought I would. And I also have to say that I’ll gladly let God ruin me and my vacation any day! Oh BTW my vacation was AWESOME!!! ;-)

Need a no sugar added treat try my yummy creamy apple sauce under recipes!

Butternut Squash Soup

Want a yummy treat for a cold day or just drab and dreary day? I say drab and dreary only because we have more of those than we ever do cold days here in Texas.. LOL

I had been hunting a while for a good way to fix Butternut Squash and the recipe below was just what I needed to make good use of this vegetable. My son and his friends tried and instantly fell in love with it.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup diced carrot (about 1 (8-inch) large carrot)
1/2 cup diced celery (about 1 (11-inch) large stalk)
2/3 cup diced onion (about 1 medium onion)
4 cups cubed butternut squash (about 1 medium squash)
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 dried thyme
5 cups vegetable broth (I use H.E.B central markets broth or any other organic brand will work)
1/4 tsp Sea salt or to taste
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper, or to taste

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add carrot, celery and onion. Cook until vegetables have begun to soften and onion turns translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add butternut squash and thyme. Stir to combine with vegetables. Stir in chicken broth and season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree soup. Alternatively, let the soup cool slightly and carefully puree in batches in a traditional blender or hand blender.

* Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

God You Jerk...

Could you imagine getting mad at God and calling him that?

I bet by the title you are going what in the world! Uh oh!! This is gonna be a doozy. But really I just had an AH HA moment. Have you ever have those moments? I have them all too often. But, that’s a good thing because that means I’m constantly realizing something new. Sometimes I’m stoked about the realization and other times… Well, I give God the raised eyebrow look of … Really? (-__^)

I’m sometimes quick to make a decision and other times it takes me forever. I’ve noticed that most of my quick decisions come when I’m mad or upset. Well we all know that rash decisions aren’t always the best ones (trust me I know this from experience). I think we often tend to lash back when we hear something that is true but we are not ready or don’t want to hear it. We will make up excuses as to why we are mad, find reasons to justify our anger, and look for those who will support our anger. Very rarely can we deal with the facts and just the facts alone because as humans our personal viewpoints, emotions, and perceptions get in the way.

I know I’ve ended a friendship, relationship, and/or conversations many times because someone “ticked” me off and never thought back. Other than to reassure myself that they were a Jerk and didn’t deserve my breath much less my time I didn’t think or act like they existed from that point forward (harsh huh? You don’t even know the half of it). But, that’s how I felt. I don’t like it when people tell me something I don’t agree with, I don’t like being told I’m wrong, and I surely won’t put up with someone treating me in a way I don’t approve of. Notice I never said that what I wasn’t agreeing with wasn’t right, that I wasn’t wrong, and how I was treated was wrong. Here comes the AH HA moment.

As I’ve grown in my faith as a Christian I realized that God has told me many times that he didn’t agree with my choices, he tells me constantly I’m wrong, and treats me like no one ever has. So l guess according to my pervious ways of dealing with this means I need to call God a jerk, stop wasting my breath/time on him, and most definitely I can’t say that he exists. If I did do that I’m sure that I’d hear something similar to what my brother would say and it would be something like this… “Well now that was a real SWIFT move!” Could you imagine me or even you doing that to God.. Oh H… No!

My point exactly! But as Christians we do it all the time. God puts people in our lives that to tell us things he doesn’t like, things that are true, and to help point out the error in our choices. If we go against them we go against him. So in reality we are doing these things to him. Now I’m not saying we will always smile and be happy when we realize there are things we need to work on or change (quite frankly I hate being anything less than perfect at all times.. LOL). But, we can choose how we react, we can choose to forgive, and we can choose to not be stubborn/hardheaded (boy can I be those at times). And most of all we can chose not to have it our way and trust in God because his way ultimately is best. Not to mention he's always right and HE is the perfect one ;-)

So before you go and call the next person a Jerk because he or she thinks you are being a bit harsh, thinks that you could have been nicer, or simply suggests something you think is off the wall. Stop and really think about it. Is this something God might be asking YOU to change through them? Would you call God a Jerk if he was telling, suggesting, or making you see the same?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Stuffed Basil & Romano Chicken Breast

1 tbs Romano cheese shredded
5 fresh basil leaves chopped
1/2 green onion chopped with green
1 garlic clove chopped
3-4 cherry tomatoes chopped
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Split chicken breast in half (be sure to not slice all the way through)
Put garlic in first then layer basil leaves and Romano cheese.
Them put green onions and tomatoes to finish it off.
Put oil on pan and turn on low. Add stuffed chicken breast and cook with lid for 20 minutes or unroll chicken is done and all juices are gone.

Serves 1

This works great with some veggies and will have an awesome flavor!

My Life & Celiac

Imagine being told that if you continue to consume thing such as wheat, rye, oats, barley, bran, dairy, eggs, and corn there is a huge possibility that these will one day be the end of you. OUCH!!! Really did it have to be that drastic? Well for me it was. 5 consecutive years and a life time of medical issues and misdiagnosis (ranging from Lupus, Krones disease, IBS, Severe Inflammatory disorder, various cancers, etc.,) finally lead to the diagnosis of Celiac Disease and a dairy, egg, and corn allergy.
Now granted I did have cervical cancer which I’ve been rid of for the last 11 years… Whoop, Whoop!! But even after beating cancer, I still didn’t feel good. Ever since I could remember I was very sensitive to certain things and was labeled the “complicated” or “picky” one.

My skin was overly sensitive; my stomach ached for what seemed to be no reason at all always. And I could be fine one second and deathly sick the next without any explanation. It got to a point that those closest to me were used to it and just didn’t make a big deal about it anymore while those who weren’t often felt uncomfortable, embarrassed, or simply did not have the ability to deal with it.

Then after my son was born I started noticing him having some of the same issues. His were not so severe but he had a ton of stomach issues and too would be fine one second and doubled over in pain the next. We found out later that he was gluten intolerant. Although not full blown Celiac, eliminating wheat, rye, barley, and bran from his diet was life changing for him.

I’ve now been gluten free for 3 years and so has my son. I just recently was diagnosed with an additional dairy, egg, and corn allergy. So you can imagine I needed a day to pout a bit and stop giving God the "are you serious" look. However, I have to say that having this has truly been a blessing in disquise(I know you are probably thinking.. ok the lack of gluten and the other stuff has killed her brain cells).

But, seriously I've learned more about nutrition, cooking, and healthy eating over the last few years than anything. It's also greatly increased my love for cooking especially after trying some of the so called "gluten free" store brands.. eeeeeeeccccck!!! Some of that shouldn't be allowed to be sold. I've also had to learn to plan ahead and lots of patience. So God knew what he was doing ;-) Because he and I both know I needed to be schoold in both.. LOL

As a result I’ve never felt better and still can’t believe that FOOD is what can cause so much misery and pain. So, now I’m committed to learning and educating others out there through recipes, ramblings, and DIY tips & tricks.

For more information about Celiac Disease check out celiac.com

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

3 fruit smoothie or Ice cream pops

This 3 Fruit Smoothie makes for a great treat on a hot summer's day.

Yields aproximately 5 cups. 102 calories per cup
  • 2 large Bananas
  • 3 Orange Slices
  • 1 cup Pineapple Chunks (I use Doles 100% natural juices)
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk (I use silk)
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 ice cubes
Combine all ingredients and blend in a blender to desired consistency!


You can fill the smoothie mix into ice pop molds and freeze. Once frozen these make a super healthy treat for the young kiddos & teens (even adults will want to have their own).
I use Tovolo® Rocket Pop Molds. I found them at Michael's on clearance for $1.00!

Time saving tip:

If you have left over smoothie mix and are not planning to make freezer pops out of the remaining mix. Simply load up a few ice trays and freeze. After frozen go ahead and put frozen smoothie cubes into a freezer bag and store in the freezer until the next time you are ready for a smoothie. Now all you have to do is pop a few cubes into your blender and VIOLA!! Instant smoothie!!

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, Corn Free, and No added Sugars!