THIS GOD!

     The GOD who made this sunset is the GOD I adore! Isn’t he grand? Isnt this moment incredible? Who else creates such amazing things? Who else can?

     The God who made this sunset knew it would last but a moment! He made it anyway. He realized people would see this beautiful scene and immediately forget. He knew others wouldn’t pay attention. He knew some would see the beauty and remember and others would see the beauty, savor it and realize from where it came. Best of all, he knew some would believe he made this sunset for them out of pure love and love him back in return.
    

        I, by the grace of God, am one of those people who believe he makes the sunset out of love for us. Furthermore,  I believe he, who holds the power of the sun in his hands, gives us power and grace to overcome all of our trials, adversities, and struggles and to do all he has called us to do each and every day. 

     Unfortunately,  I, being at times, like those not remembering the sun or even noticing it, behave in ways that don’t show my belief in GOD.  I act as if he isn’t there waiting and I don’t pay attention or heed him.  How foolish I am when I forget the majesty of the Lord as revealed in this sun and turn my own way when his power is readily available, more miraculous than this sun, and far surpassing any of my ways. How silly of  us of to trust in ourselves when this GOD is waiting to help and we only need ask. 

     This God is a God we can rely on. This GOD wants to help us. This God has a call on your and my life. This God is where to turn at all times. This God can always and in all ways be trusted. So lets not forget to turn to THIS GOD. After all, he reminds us of himself each day, in may ways, including by the setting of the sun!

 Stuck Places 

    

      I woke today feeling sad and heavy hearted.  I was also feeling stuck like this poor little guy above.  

     My mind reminded me of a conflict  I had the night before with my husband about his charger….a CHARGED UP conflict! The problem was simple but the communication was NOT!

     You know, one of those communication patterns, we all have, where what is meant is vasty different than what is said so the message is WAY, WAY different than intended.

     What he meant to say: “Im frustrated because my charger is missing but what he said was a whole lot more.

     What I meant to say: “I’m having a hard time following your story so please tell me what you need” but what I said was a whole lot more.

     With a redo we got there, but, boy  was there a lot in between about not feeling heard and validated and feeling mistreated and misunderstood. Yep, all from a charger.

     I know this may sound silly and it is, it truly is!  What isn’t silly; however, is how we communicate our needs.  Do we speak gently and consisely or do we speak harshly and defensively? Is there a sense of understanding or a tone of anger and condescension? Are we talking to resolve an issue or win a conflict? Do we leave the dialogue with a better understanding of ourselves and our partner or more confused than when we started?   Do we realize how to communicate effectively or are we doing the same old song and dance?  I believe this is what is meant by the admonition in Epbesians to “Speak the truth in love” in Ephesians 4.15.  Speaking our truth in loving ways can save us from a whole lot of stuck places!

     So what can we do about these stuck places? How do we make sure we are speaking the truth in love?   How do we get from a charged up place to a space of grace?  WE SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE!  That’s what! 

     So, we take a deep breathe, pray and try again.  We call it a do-over in our home and that’s exactly we did, a.do-over, and guess what, we got unstuck and, as God would have it, we found the charger too!

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***If you’d like to try something new in your marriage and start speaking your truth in love, give us a call today at Turning Leaf Wellness Center and one of our counselors will be glad to assist you. Why not call today? ***

(410 ) 360-4242 @ http://www.turning-leaf-wellness.com 

Cross Fit 6 Week Challenge

Say what? Yes, I can hardly believe it myself, however, I’m on my 3rd week of the 6 week cross fit challenge and I absolutely love it.

I have to be honest, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I joined the challenge. I just knew I was looking for something new to do for my health.

It all started with an innocent statement from my dear husband who was probably tired of hearing me struggle with my workouts and healthy eating. He simply said, “If your serious about working out, get a personal trainer.” You see, I was working out with dumb bells at home and had met a plateau.

I immediately dismissed his suggestion as I figured it would cost a lot and we recently both left corporate America to start our own business.

As GOD would have it, the very next day I saw an ad for crossfit for women, a 6 week challenge and the rest is history!

I had NO IDEA I would be weight lifting and even less of a clue that I would love it!

Plus, having coaches at every work out (forever, I might add) to insure safety and proper form really has me feeling safe.

Oh, and the Paleo diet. There are a lot of things to do to spice that up.

Some of which I will post soon but for now, here’s one that greatly helps!

Coconut and almond flour! The secret to carb cravings!!!!

Week 2 of 52- Apple Cinnamin Infused Water

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     So, week two is upon us! My change this week is to drink more water! I know, sounds boring, right? Well, not so fast. I’m not planning on drinking just ANY water, I’m drinking infused waters.

     Yes, we’ve ALL been told to drink more water. Yes, we know our bodies need water to survive; yet, not everyone knows how to spice up water nor how beneficial fruit and spice infused waters can be for your body.

     One of my favorite’s Chef created is Apple Cinnamin Infused Water and here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

1 gallon of water
1 pound of ice
1 stevia or trulia
1 green apple, medium
1/4 vanilla bean
1 stick of cinnamin

Procedure

Boil stevia, vanilla bean & cinnamin in 1 cup of water
Thinly slice apples.
Place all of the above in 1 gallon pitcher
Put one pound of ice on top (don’t skip as this step helps thee infusion)
Fill with water
Place in fridge overnight to insure flavor

ENJOY

I’ll blog about the benefits of fruit infused water along with another recipe later this week.

Meanwhile, bottoms up!

Diet Soda Controversy

  

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  So, we’re in the very first week of 52 weeks to a new you and here’s what’s happening so far:

     I have decided to forego diet soft drinks due to the controversy associated with them.  I say controversy because some health reports recommend diet soft drinks as opposed to regular ones to save calories and others demonize them saying they do many horrible things including:

Fill the body with artificial sweeteners and harmful chemicals

Cause bone and teeth loss over time

Bloat the belly.  Yes, you read right, bloat your belly since those chemicals clog it up and slow digestion

Create weight gain. Saw what, no way? Well, yes way. The artifical sweetener is sweeter than sugar promoting hunger instead of reducing it

     As you can see by this, not exhaustive list, of claimed problems with diet soft drinks, that the risk outweighs the benefits of a few missed calories so that’s why I chose to forego diet soda in week one.

     Will I ever have another soda? Probably when I’m out in a social setting occasionally but regularly, heck no.  Next time I’ll post what chef has decided to change in week one!

     Meanwhile, how’s your first week going so far? What have you decided to work on?  What change did you make this week towards your goals?  We’d love to hear from you in our comments section and cheer each other on.
    

52 WEEKS, NEW YOU! REALLY?

   

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  So, not many of you know my Chef husband and I both left corporate America over the past year.  (That’s us on the left with our children and granddaughter) We tired of the rat race even though it did pay each rat almost six figures to run.  I left my job first, June 7, 2015, to be exact, and my hubby left his seven months later on January 22, 2016.
     What were two income less fools to do?   So glad you asked! We had prayed about it for some time and were feeling drawn to expand my then small, private practice into a full fledged wellness center and that’s exactly what we have done.
     Who’d have thought a chef and a counselor would be working together, side by side, after all these years of marriage; yet,  that’s exactly what has happened. We’re just getting started. We both feel this is gonna be the ride of a lifetime.
     Hold on to your hats as we begin this journey together and see where God takes us. Oh, and remind us to hold onto our purse strings for a bit, we don’t have that rat race income anymore! Here’s to running our own race!
    
    

52 WEEKS TO A NEW YOU

    

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      52 weeks, 52 opportunities, 52 steps closer to your goals. This is the simplicity behind “52 Weeks to a New You”.  Before we begin; however, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

     Where would you like to be a year from now?
     How do you plan to get there? 
    What’s the biggest hurdle to your success? 
     Who can help you achieve your goals?

     While these and other questions may be difficult to answer, the challenge itself is pretty simple. Decide what your working on and then make one change weekly towards your goals.  It’s that simple!
     Chef and I decided to work on expanding and improving our wellness in all areas and to document our progress. We will continue to post what we discover along the way including new recipes, resources, and health tips of any kind: physical, emotional, psychological, social, relational, spiritual, etc., etc.   We will post our progress also!.  Meanwhile, here’s to being WELL because your health is your W-E-A-Lth!
  
     

The Journey Continues

      As our journey continues beyond the 30 day wellness challenge, it’s safe to say Chef and I have officially become health junkies. I wouldn’t say we’re fanatics (yet, hahaha), but we’re definitely junkies. 
     How do I know that, you ask? I’m not sure. Maybe it was the moment chef said he basically uses the outside of the grocery store now or when we decided to use zucchini for pizza crust or some other pivotal turning point.  Anyhow, it’s official. We’re health junkies.

     So, from one health junkie to another, here’s a couple recipes we tried and liked today.  See for yourself what you think….

Healthy Cherry Pie Smoothie

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7 ounces vanilla protein shake
1 cup cherries
1 T oats
1/2 T maple syrup
1 cup ice

Mix in blender and enjoy

Green Leaf Mixed Salad

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Green Leaf Mixed Salad Recipe

Green Leaf Lettuce
Zucchini
Cucumber
Vidala Onion
Mushrooms
Strawberries
Pears
Feta Cheese
Walnuts

Mix as much as you prefer of each item and serve with your favorite dressing (we chose Italian) amd protein (we chose crabcakes)

    

Zero Days, Way to Go!

     Chef and I have lots to celebrate. Not only have we lost almost 10 pounds each, we found new and healthier versions for many things loved, feel energized, and have learned so much!   Here’s a few notes to self:

1.  Just about everything we love to eat has a healthier, more nutritional version and also tastes sooooooo good

2.  It wasn’t what I’ve been eating that’s packed on the pounds as much as what I’ve been drinking… diet soda, flavored drinks, fancy cocktails, etc., that have tons of sugar in them.

3.  We’re only beginning our wellness journey with food and we’re not willing to stop!

4.  Trying to find alternative and healthy ways to cook our favorite meals is lots of fun and like a couples scavenger hunt.

5. Having each other for support has made the journey and the challenge fun and more successful.

6.  Wellness is a lifestyle, not a diet or monthly challenge.

7.  Weight comes off when your body is fueled well and sticks like glue when your body is clogged up with chemicals,  sugar, and other empty nutrients.

8.  We both agree our “why we do this” is for our grandchildren and a satisfying life in our golden years, which, by the way, are coming faster than we planned, LOL!

P.S.  To celebrate our progress (certainly not perfection) and the 4th of July here in the States, we made this tasty, divine, adorable, fruit infused, spa water.  Give it a try.

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Ingredients

Pitcher
6 pieces large watermelon slices
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries, sliced
3 cups ice
Fresh water

Procedure

Cut watermelon into star shapes using cookie cutter

Add blueberries and strawberries

Add ice to seep flavor from fruit

Top off with water

Refrigerate for 1 hour and serve

Enjoy

Home Stretch Strides

     With 5 days left on the 30 day wellness challenge, here’s the results. Drum roll please: Boom, Bang, Boom! 

      Chef has lost 9, unwanted pounds and I have lost 6.  How did this happen, you ask, in a few weeks? Simply by making lifestyle changes replacing foods we love with healthier ones.

     For example, instead of snacking on high calorie, low nutritional value potato chips, chef tweaked a recipe for Zucchini Chips

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     This satisfies the desire to crunch and the craving for salt without breaking the health bank.

     He also made Zucchini Parmesan Sticks as opposed to Cheesy Breads sticks. 

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      And, the coolest thing by far about the wellnesss challenge, it’s  PERMANENT. Diets, on the other hand, are TEMPORARY.

     Not that we’ve arrived! We’ve been unable to fully rise to challenge as we haven’t been able to eliminate soda from our day to day diet. BOOOOOOO!   Yet, the hunt is on for a homemade healthy alternative I hope to love and share with you!

     Meanwhile, here’s the Zucchini Chips recipe for your palettes pleasure while we hunt for homemade soda:

Zucchini Chips Recipe

Ingredients

1 large Zucchini
1/3 C Panko
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
1/4 t Black Pepper
1/4 t Sea Salt
1/8 t Old Bay
3 t Skim Milk

Procedure

Preheat oven 425
Cut zucchini in 1/8 inch slices
Mix panko, cheese, pepper, salt, old bay
Dip zucchini in milk, the dip in mix
Place on sheet tray in single layer
Bake on 425 for 15 minutes
Turn over, bake til golden brown
Remove to cool
Chips crisp as they cool

Enjoy and wish us luck on our hunt!