September 22, 2015

On Mondays I Cook

Moving to a new country last year brought all sorts of changes into my life. Many of the things I expected like going from full time teacher to full time student, having my own home to renting an apartment with 4 other girls, driving an all wheel drive SUV to a car I am just happy even has wheels. 

One thing I wasn't quite anticipating was the change in food and not just the change in food but the effect the food would have on my body. For the past year the struggle has. been. real. 

On a daily basis I feel bloated, have stomach cramps, or just feel down right sick. I went to the doctor, had test run, and all I came out with was him saying "the preservatives in our foods are different from yours. It is probably a reaction to that." Well, thats great buddy, but I still feel like crap. 

So, I started doing research on what I could do to make myself feel better. I knew that it would be a change in my diet, but I was so miserable that even giving up ice cream didn't make me blink or second guess {y'all know that's huge for this mounded ice cream lovin' fool}. After doing research I decided to dive right in and go big or go home. I was Whole30-ing it up. I read the book "It Starts with Food" and was sold. The book was wonderful and the Whole 30 {a strict version of the Paleo diet} has made me healthier, more aware of what I put into my body, and grown my ability to say no to foods. Unfortunately though, the uncomfortable belly pain and bloating is still subsisting. So the journey continues. 

This post isn't a poor me post because some pretty awesome things have come out of this journey. One, I am making a conscious decision to educate myself on being a healthier and investing into my health. And two, I have gotten pretty good at creating and cooking some healthy yet delicious recipes. Living healthy is not all that hard or even that expensive {hello, college student} if you get creative...and use Pinterest.

I have Mondays off from classes and found out that one of the things that really refreshes me after a jam packed week is shopping for healthy foods and cooking yummy and delicious meals that give my body what it needs and my taste buds what they want.

This week I made chicken nuggets. As my food journey continues I have introduced a low FODMAPS diet to see if that will help alleviate some of the tummy issues. But when you taste these bad boys no one will claim you are eating bland, gross food. They were great! My housemates kept walking by as I was making them and stealing them off my plate. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. 

This recipe would also make some amazing coconut shrimp. I would just eliminate the pepper and season salt. 

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August 11, 2015

Drop Your Anchor!

Hey Pretty Lady,

Guess what? I have a surprise for you. Do you love surprises as much as I do? I hope so because this is a good one. It's a surprise guest post. 

Today's guest writer has been in my life for six years now and I adore her. I was her youth leader many moons away and the level of wisdom this post shows is far beyond her years. So I am going to do you a favor and stop rambling so you can soak up all the goodness and brilliance of this post. And be sure to comment and show my lovely Laura some love!
I am honored to have been asked to write for Amber’s blog, and I am so excited for you guys to read it! At first when Amber asked me about writing as a guest for her blog, I had no idea what I was going to write about even when she told me it could be about anything! She even suggested makeup or fashion. Which if you know me, (even just a little bit) this would have been a piece of cake! (Especially the makeup part!) ..But it didn’t take long for God to speak to me. It became very clear and evident on what He wanted me to write about. And if I’m being honest I knew it would require a lot time and effort . I gave so many excuses but I couldn’t get this topic out of my head! Part of me wanted to take the easy route, but I know there’s someone out there that needs to hear this. God really spoke to me over these past few weeks and I hope it speaks to you just as much as it has to me! xoxo “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”
An anchor has a very important role when it comes to a ship. The main purpose of an anchor is to keep the ship safe and secure when bad weather comes. It can also help control the ship and keep it in the location it was originally intended to be in. In Hebrews chapter 6, Paul talks about Jesus being the anchor of our soul.” In our lives there will be storms that come to blow us off our course or cast us against the rocks. It can get scary and unpredictable. Winds and waves of discouragement, doubt and spiritual attack by the enemy can rise and cause us to drift.

There will also be times where we begin to drift, but it’s so subtle that we hardly even notice the movement. Before you know it, you are in a completely different position or place. Somewhere you never wanted to be. You are far from where your anchor was originally established. You ask yourself questions like, “How did I end up here?” (I’ve been there myself.) If you allow Christ to become your anchor, you won’t be moved or shaken. Our anchor is the Rock unmovable. No matter the force of wind or how hard the waves crash. He will sustain you and you will find security in Him.
I encourage you to take hold of the anchor that is steadfast and secure. It will sustain in the worst of storms. Maybe you happen to be in a storm right now or there’s a visible storm on the horizon. I want you to remember that Christ will provide your steady anchor, if you will allow Him to. Focus your attention to a God who is our rock, not on the storm. “He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress. I shall not be moved.” Psalm 62:6
The quote I started out with comes from Hebrews 6:19. There are two qualities to this anchor of hope; firm and secure. He’s making it perfectly clear to us just how dependable this anchor is.
Think about this quote…

“In order to realize the worth of the anchor,
one needs to feel the stress of the storm.”

Our faith is put to the test during the storms of life. It’s easy to have big faith when everything is going your way. But what about when it’s not? Our faith is best demonstrated through our biggest and deepest trials in life.
When storms arise we must take ahold this anchor. No situation is too hard to handle. GOD IS OUR ANCHOR! What troubles can compare with that? When the storms arise it can become difficult to stay calm and keep courage. So here are some ways to keep calm when storms arise… DON’T DRIFT.
Many times when the wind and waves become too much to handle we give way to it and allow the current to take us. The waves beat you back and forth and you are led wherever they take you. We let go of our goals. We forget all the goodness God has brought us and where we are headed. We forget what we value most and.. we drift. DON’T THROW ANYTHING OVERBOARD On top of drifting we begin discarding things in our life. When we find ourselves in our deepest trials we are tempted to throw the things that are important to us overboard. We are under great levels of pressure and want to get rid of it all. We run out on our dreams. We give up on our relationships. We throw it all overboard.  
DON’T GIVE UP In extreme storms we may get to the point of desperation and we throw out our last little bit of hope we had in us overboard. May I remind you that hope is not a wishful thought but a confident expectancy and certainty! Have hope that what God has done in the past, He will certainly do in the future. Perhaps this is the situation you are in right now. You’ve come to the point where you’ve started to throw things overboard and reached a point of despair. You need to drop your anchor! The safest thing for you to do, no matter what situation you may be facing, is to drop your anchor! Put your trust and hope in our firm and secure God!
Maybe you can’t see God through this storm but, storms can NEVER hide us from God. He is right here with you. You may not see Him but He certainly sees you. “Never will I leave nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) This means that we will never have to face a storm by ourselves. He is the anchor you can fully trust in.

You are here on this earth for a significant purpose. He has a specific plan for you. A plan that only you can carry out. “You were born for such a time as this.” Esther 4:14 Storms are temporary. Some may result in a setback, but nothing can change God’s plan and destiny over your life. His plans go far beyond the storms you may face. Don’t focus more on your problems than your purpose. You may lose “cargo.” You may lose the ship, but you will make it. God’s promises will always come through.


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