Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday Menu: Truth & Apple Pie 

"Hittin' Ya'll With Some Truths Real Quick"

Words have power. I'm sure we have all heard it a hundred times. It wasn't until my first round reading the book by Joyce Meyers, "Change Your Words Change Your Life" that I actually starting recognizing my apathy towards how powerful they really are. 
Specifically, the words I say about myself. It is easy to be cognizant of how we speak to, around, and with others but our internal dialogue about ourselves matters just as much. It felt like such a strange concept to start thinking about the conversations I have in my own head, especially those about my self image, character, and value. 

Long story short: I would highly recommend this book. Joyce encourages daily, out loud, affirmations of who we are based on biblical truths of our identity in Christ and God's promises to us. Throughout the book, she describes the changes she witnessed from repeating her list of "truths" twice each day. She shares this list, that she created, and allows it to be a guide for her readers to begin this habit. 
In all honesty, I have kinda stolen her list and use it as my own with some slight modifications. I usually try to remember to do this exercise daily (but have failed miserably for weeks months at a time). I love when God gives me that reminding nudge to remember and restore this habit. My typical "truth time" is done while blow drying my hair (yes, I say them to the mirror). I think it's important to actually verbalize, with sound, these truths to ourselves--- I have seen noticeable changes when I actively strive to keep up this habit. 

I encourage you to at least give it a shot for a week. Start today. Right now. It's Monday.
Who couldn't benefit from a little lifting of the spirit?

You can view the list here. Start with one or two today if you aren't comfortable with the entirety. Here are a few of my favorites: 

I love all people, and I am loved by all people.
I take good care of my body. I eat right, I look good, I feel good, and I weigh what God wants me to weigh.
I do all my work excellently and with great prudence – making the most of all of my time.
I am creative because the Holy Spirit lives in me.
I love to pray. I love to praise and worship God.
I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. I will speak forth the righteousness of God all the day long.
I am a doer of the Word. I meditate on the Word all the day long.
I am not passive about anything, but I deal with all things in my life immediately. 
I do not judge my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus after the flesh. I am a spiritual man and am judged by no one.
I am a responsible person. I enjoy responsibility, and I rise to every responsibility in Jesus.
I have compassion and understanding for all people.
I have a teachable spirit.
I do not think more highly of myself than I ought to in the flesh.
I do what I say I will do, and I get where I am going on time.
God opens my mouth, and no man can shut it. God shuts my mouth, and no man can open it.
The law of kindness is in my tongue. Gentleness is in my touch. Mercy and compassion is in my hearing.
As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he; therefore, all of my thoughts are positive.
I do not allow the devil to use my spirit as a garbage dump by meditating on negative things that he offers me.
I am slow to speak, quick to hear, and slow to anger.
I don’t speak negative things. 

The hardest part of this exercise is confessing these truths even when your heart may not feel like they're truthful--- but they are. These are truths God provides us with through His word. In the book, Joyce even includes the scripture references for each. My hope is that you feel encouraged with each truth you speak today and that you will be reminded of the power in your words :) 

I also wanted to include a recipe just because I like to do that. This was listed in an earlier post but I think it deserves a repeat. I've been so obsessed with it lately! 

Popsicle Apple Pie: 

1 Cinnamon Quest Bar microwaved into a dough then broiled as a crust 
1 HYPPO Granny's Apple Pie Pop (You can substitute any popsicle, any flavor) 
1 serving Vanilla Maple Arctic Zero (Any Ice-Cream will do) 
1/3 tbs Nuts & More White Chocolate Peanut Butter (Your PB boyfriend of choice will get the job done) 

I made some additional "trial" renditions with different flavors as a desert sampling for some of my friends this weekend. Our combinations were:

- Apple Pie (as above) 

- Double Chocolate Chunk Quest Bar with 'Bananas & Grace' Pop with So Delicious Chocolate and Vanilla Topping 

- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Quest Bar with 'Bananas & Grace' Pop with So Delicious Vanilla and Strawberry Topping 

Try some of these tonight! Let me know any additional flavors you come up with! And don't forget to hit yourself with some TRUTH this week. Happy Monday All :) 


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

It's Getting Hot in Herre...So take off... Cut Off All Your Hair

Moving and surviving the south Georgia summers warranted some lifestyle changes: to my wardrobe (hello! ONLY summer and fall attire), my energy bill (sooo many showers), and peace out long hair (short hair don't care).

I loved my recent loss of about 8 inches. My neck can now handle up-do's without being sore, I can walk across the street without pouring sweat, and I can make it through a workout without a 5 lb weight ponytail. However, even with this adjustment, my morning routine was shortened but not shortened quite enough (can I get an AMEN from the forever late girls). 

 After morning workouts, devotion, meal prep for the day, etc. I get behind so easily. Here are some of the best tips I've come up with to handle the "1 more minute please" blues.


I love them. I have so many. They make for a quick transition from workout to workplace (dry shampoo and perfume needed). I jump in the shower, pull back my headband and wet the sweaty hairline, apply dry shampoo once out, then switch out headbands. It's like a "spidey-suit" transition for your hair.

Headband looks from workouts, beach days, work, & even formal events- Options are ENDLESS 

Headbands+ Dry Shampoo+ Perfume = Post Workout Princess Hair 

Hint: Try headbands different ways to create different "styles" with the same accessory.  Place workout bands right under your hairline for a 'sporty' look. Try placing thin bands lightly over the crown of your head to create a 'princess' look for dressier occasions, or pull down to mid forehead for a 'bohemian' babe vibe.

Grab & Go Simple Breakfasts 

If i'm running late, my eggs+ protein+ veggie combo usually gets the cut. My favorite go-to protein sources are Turkey Jerky, Quest Bars, Muscle Combat Bars, or a Chicken Breast (already grilled from the beginning of the week and waiting in a Tupperware) + fruit.

Muscle Combat Bars 
- Best Flavors: Cinnamon Roll, White Chocolate Raspberry, and the NEW Birthday Cake. 
- Higher in carbs, not dairy free, but REALLY REALLY good 

Quest Bars
- Termed as the "fit girl" addiction 
- Best Flavors: Cookie Dough, Mint Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Raspberry, Cinnamon Roll 
- Best if heated up and eaten as a "dough" consistency or re-baked into cookies or crusts 
- Equal macros for protein & carbs 
- Does contain artificial sweeteners and a lot of fiber 
- Highly Additcting 

Beef & Turkey Perky Jerky 
-My FAVORITE go-to snack 
-REAL food and mostly organic ingredients
- I don't even like beef jerky very much but am addicted to this 
-Very high in protein and great protein:carb ratio 
- Tender, flavorful, easy snack option 
- Smells like jerky, people not eating it don't like this. They're just jealous. 

Outfit Remixes

There's a few strategies to keep the daily "what not to wear" routine to a minimum. I am a clothes hoarder and will legit "save" outfits for optimal wear and exposure time.  Repeating outfits is a fear I'm slowly trying to overcome-but making progress with the use of accessories (more blog posts to come on this).  Confession: I will always pick comfort over cute and sometimes it's shameful (I wear croc ballet flats everyday- Help Felicia!).

I start by trying to plan each days outfit while in the shower; if I don't get it narrowed down, I think about previous outfits and how I could change them up. Use a different necklace, add a headband to change the "style",  throw on my glasses, add a layer.. anything to make the "look" different enough that I stay stylish without reminding people of a failed sequel (Bring It On 2-style).

Dress: Wedding guest look- heels, pink earrings, elegant hair-do transitioned to cookout casual with flats, belt, ponytail
One Strap Shirt: Beach night blues with blue jean shorts, blue coral necklace, beachy-waves hair transitioned to date night with palooza pants, teal necklace, wedges, and glasses 
Left: New Years Eve Concert: boots for comfort, glam eye shadow for celebration, and party poof hair-do
Right: Bachelorette Party: wedges, one-side pony, Kate Spade clutch & (can't see) long pink earrings 

Options are vast and require a bit of creativity which makes fashion an art. I'm no artist but I love a good outfit transition. I wish I had more pictures of how each of these pieces above can and have also been incorporated into workplace wear. My goal is to get better at some outfit/accessorizing inspiration pics (bring on the selfies). Sometimes creepin' on other's looks leads to the most creative of my own. 

I hope these tips help you get to work in a more timely manner than I usually do. Either way: 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Shrimp Stories  

Every Thursday night, a group of us go a local coffee shop called Palm Coast to listen to live jazz music. We love watching our favorite band Tonic Blue, play on the outside patio. This weekly tradition draws about 10-20 us enjoying life together! 

I love a restaurant with fresh foods but also filling portions and tons of flavor; the dinner menu is ahhhhhh-maze-ing. Legit, if you are visiting St. Simons Island, GA, it's one of my top 5 restaurants ever!

My go-to is the Thai Chicken Wrap but as a salad... so I end up scratching the wrap & chicken. Meaning, I get a huge plate of spinach leaves, carrots, cucumbers, and sprouts. The best part: the dressing- a spicy peanut tinted Asian piece of heaven. 

After a few weeks of ordering this I started thinking... How good would this be with shrimp?

[Side Note- I have a shrimp obsession. I eat fresh shrimp like I'm paid to do it. It's a slight problem. Example: I may have gone through 7 pounds in 1 week.]

Eventually, I said to heck with it and decided to start bringing my shrimp in a Tupperware in my purse as my own [pocket book protein].

Result: mind.blownNow I'm obsessed with this self created Thai Tupperware salad. I get it literally every time, every week. The waiter knows me by name and order.

My objective here isn't to talk about my favorite dinner, but to share about my rhode to owning my own advice of "you be you" and how home-brought "shrimps" led me there.

I went through a phase where I was very self conscious of others opinions, especially regarding food. Of what I ate, how much I ate, if I finished what I ate, etc. (I have no idea why I thought people cared about those silly things- but I did.)

At first, I would only bring Tupperware when just Ben and I were eating. I eventually progressed to doing so if I was with just one to two 'select' friends that already knew I was crazy.

Surprisingly, the waiters didn't mind at all (they understood my meat allergy?) perfectly lol. 

But all our friends?... That's different. 
What if they say something? What if they think it's because I'm snobby or being a health freak again? 

It took a few weeks but finally I said, "just do it. Own it. Eat that salad, bring that shrimp."

So I did it. 

And....... no one cares.

I got a few looks but we all just laughed. Now, every week when I arrive I'm asked if I've got my shrimp? It's become a joke with us all and I love it. I'm accepted for who I am and I think it makes me weird but in a good different way-- like "Yep! that's Heather, and she brings pocket book shrimps." 

It's so possible to stay on track with healthy choices and stay social, happy, and full. 

Don't think I'm advocating bringing Tupperware into every meal you eat out; but if you want to be a part of social events and enjoy restaurants and time with friends- just do it. 

Make it work for you. You're able to do all of those and stay on track with your goals. A few of the girls that use my meal planning services plan their day around a glass of wine during these Thursday nights together. 

The moral of this story: sometimes it's ok to be that.girl. It's ok to bring your Tupperware to dinner. It's ok to enjoy your night and order that glass of bubbly. It's ok to eat a salad or a sandwich with fries; just be aware of how it works with your plan to reach your goals. Don't be so restrictive that you miss out on life's memories. 

It took me a while to get to a place where I was confident enough to own my choices, to make plans work for me not my meal plan, and to finally bring my shrimp. 

Make your memories and your meals your own. 

Shrimpy sal.YOU.tations

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

He > She 

1 Thessalonians 5:13-15 
 "Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out."

I'm going through the She Reads Truth "Bible in a Year" plan and came upon this passage. If you're also completing this plan you may not have read this passage this week.. I'm a little behind (currently on march 24 25 now). But progress is progress and I've been on a streak lately so maybe I'm more so on the track of "Bible in a Year plus 4 months". 

Regardless, I feel like maybe someone can relate to my thoughts on my struggle with being the kind of loving person God commands in this passage. 

Getting along with others is not easy for me. I feel like I am constantly picturing this girl in my head that I want to be in regards to my daily relationships. This is her: 

She is a pharmacist that loves most every customer. 
She is friendly, engaging, and genuine in her interactions. 
She is calm and patient and never gets angry with patients. 
She is humble. 
She laughs off the drama (I was told last week that I was a criminal and being taken to court over a prescription discrepancy--this is real life y'all). 
She leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. 
This list goes on. 

I just keep striving to be this girl and sometimes feel an almost daily reminder of how I've failed at that. Although, I am continually reminded of the beauty of God's grace; I still find myself asking, "God, why is it so hard for me to love like You LOVE."

But maybe perfection and being a complete picture of that "she" isn't want HE is wanting from me. 

 The journey might be the place God is bringing me to. I may never feel like the warm, encouraging friend all of the time but I can pick one friend each day to be an encourager to. I may not be the one to recognize everyone's individual needs but I can daily think of one need I could meet for someone else. I am not the most patient person, but I can try to remember those extra 3 seconds before talking with someone to say my mental prayer for patience. 

I will never be the "she's" I have created in my head. I will always be the she God has designed me to be. That she is real. 

She sins.
She gets angry quickly and argues with herself about why she's angry.
She's short tempered.
She doesn't always speak of and love herself or others as God commands. 
She eats treats from other peoples pantries.  

Yet, God's grace is enough for that "she" too. He can use her. He can allow her to make God-sized impacts through her small choices. He can turn one word of encouragement into an abounding confidence. He can amplify moments of patience into a calming peace. 

I think my point is that sometimes it's easy to get caught up in seeing a goal or a picture of who we want to be and becoming fixated on that "person". It's great for us to want to be a better version of ourselves but that takes time and steps and daily growth. Instead of being frustrated in the failure to be the perfect "she"- focus on the faith of God's love changing you one interaction at a time--> one step at a time, one person at a time, one encouraging word at a time. Don't underestimate how He can use you while on your rhode to becoming the "she" you strive to be. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Bites on a Budget + PB & J Awesome-ness 

Hands up if your grocery bill feels legitimately like a car payment...

I can not get over how much I've been spending at the grocery store to feed just 2 people. Especially since my husband is not even a picky eater (fruity pebbles and frozen pizzas, anyone?)... 

To avoid my 5-7 times a week mini grocery trips (ain't nobody got time for that); I'm trying to get better at planning my meals and grocery list a week at a time [and sticking to it!]. Economically, utilizng the same basic ingredients for a week's worth of meals cuts down on waste, forces us to expand our palette, and saves some of that cash money. The key is to change up preparation and add in some crazy combination to keep it exciting. In short, we're adopting a "Bites on a Budget" mentality. 

So, this week I planned my meals, made my lists, and made a solid attempt at holding strong. I may have still gone to the grocery store over three four times, but that was on account of desert  forgetfulness :)  Here's some highlights of the weeks eating adventures. 

After 2 weekends of vacation, last week's normalcy was a breath of fresh air. 
It also helps that this is "home":  

We live in such a beautiful place. 

Our pantry was on low supply this week-  per usual I just made crazy combinations to enjoy. 

Egg whites + Zucchini + Soy Cheese
Chicken + Strawberries + Unsweetened Coconut flakes 
Chia Seeds + Banana + Almond Milk + Unsweetened Coconut flakes 

Lunch Bowls: 
 Tofu Shirataki Angel Hair Noodles + Chipotle Veganaise + Chicken
Chicken + Moore's Teriyaki Asian Wing Sauce + Tofutti Sour Cream
Chicken + Nectarine + Balsamic Vinegar Glaze 
  *Sounds like a lot of chicken but the variety of sauces and preparation kept me from getting bored!

Peach Cobbler: 
Pan sautéed peaches with  Smart Balance spread, cinnamon, maple syrup, and light coconut milk 
Sprinkled with Quest Bar crumbles

"Mock" Blizzard: 
Lite Coconut Milk 
Cashew Milk 
Unsweetened Carob Powder 
Crazy Richards Powdered Peanut Butter 
1/3 scoop Quest Protein Powder-Vanilla 
Vanilla + Honey 
Blended in my ice-cream maker then topped with 9 crushed mini Oreos 

Popsicle Apple Pie: 
1 Cinnamon Quest Bar microwaved into a dough then broiled as a crust 
1 HYPPO  Granny's Apple Pie Pop 
1 serving Vanilla Maple Arctic Zero 
1/3 tbs Nuts & More White Chocolate Peanut Butter

But.... My favorite creation this week is definitely PB & J

I don't know why this childhood favorite is my new obsession but it is and I am not ashamed. 

Petite PB&J's 
2 Sara Lee Whole Wheat Thin Slices 
1/2 tbs Nuts & More White Chocolate PB 
35 grams homemade "jelly"
  - For a "healthier" option to jelly--> microwave frozen fruit (currently Market Pantry Antioxidant Blent of raspberries, blueberries, blackberries) then sprinkle with coconut palm sugar & toss in a little maple syrup for consistency 

Lightly spray each slice with coconut oil. Lather the jam on one piece, the PB on the other, and smash together! Place in waffle maker for 2 every crumb of this awesome snack. 
Macros per Sandwich (4f/21c/7p) 

Comment or message me for recipes on any of the above! 

On the menu for this week (which will be posted next week) is Meat-zza, Zucchini Lasagna, and homemade Movie Theatre Popcorn Treat Mix