Monthly Archives: July 2010

When Life Gives You Thawed Blueberries…Make Cobbler!

Tonight, I got off work around 5 and headed to the gym to work out while Bryan finished up what he had to do at work. I actually like that we get to carpool and that our schedules work out that I still get to use the gym at work most days. Tonight, I knew I was going walking with Jan again, so I decided to do some strength and flexibility training while I had the opportunity. Truth is, I knew if I waited till after the walk, it wouldn’t get done.

So, I did my weights and some yoga and walked a mile on the treadmill while watching Food Network (my favorite pastime in the gym). 🙂 Then we came home. I mixed up a seasoning rub and pulled out the salmon to thaw (we cooked this after our walk and it was delicious!). Then Jan came and we headed on our walk. We did 3 miles together! It started out being a bit warm, but it slowly cooled down as we kept going. Meanwhile, Bryan took the opportunity to mow the lawn.

Well, when we got back to the house, the first thing Bryan told me was that the freezer breaker had tripped and everything in our big freezer in the shed was almost thawed. So, Jan and I quickly moved everything inside to the refrigerator/freezer, sadly tossing some things that weren’t as cool as others. Thanks for your help, Jan! Fortunately, we didn’t have to throw too much away. A lot of the stuff was still slightly frozen, so we caught it in time. While I was putting everything away inside, Bryan cleaned up the freezer (and a small portion of the floor in front of the freezer) for me. What a sweetheart!

One thing that doesn’t really thaw too well is blueberries. And I had two big bags of them out there. They were still chilled, so I decided to make lemons into lemonade…or shall we say, blueberries into blueberry cobbler! I used about 6 cups for the cobbler and patted dry the rest and placed them in the dehydrator. I’ve never dehydrated blueberries before, but they’re selling them in grocery stores next to the raisins and cranberries, so I figured it was worth a shot.

Life happens, and it’s better to throw out a $10 bag of chicken than to get some form of foodborne illness and incur lost wages and possible medical bills! I know it hurts, but when stuff like this happens, use my grandmother’s saying: “When in doubt, throw it out!” And when life gives you a bag of thawed blueberries, make blueberry cobbler!

Joy In My Morning

With words and music by Peter Gagnon, “Joy in My Morning” is based on James 1:17, Psalms 4:7 and 118:14, this song has been an encouragement to my heart. It’s published by Sovereign Grace Ministries. It’s on the “Come, Weary Saints” and can be purchased here. Or you can download the lyrics and guitar chords for free here or the lead sheet for free here.

Recently, one of my friends posted her facebook status as “new mercies and fresh dark roast coffee. I guess it must be morning.” Truly, the Lord’s mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is great, just as Lamentations 3 tells us. One of His many mercies to us each morning is joy! Enjoy this song as you meditate on His unchanging love and faithfulness providing joy for us.

Verse 1:

“When darkness falls, temptations call, and all around me seems undone,
You hear my pleas, supply my needs, and tell me of Your wondrous love.


“You are the joy in my morning,
You’re my song of praise,
Just like the new day dawning,
flooding my world with grace.

Verse 2:

“Though trials come and every one can take me further from Your truth,
You calm my fears, dry all my tears, and draw me closer, Lord, to You.


“You are the joy in my morning,
You’re my song of praise,
Just like the new day dawning,
flooding my world with grace.

Verse 3:

“In You there’s no shadow of turning, constant in all Your ways.
You’re growing my faith and I’m learning to lean on You all of my days.


“You are the joy in my morning,
You’re my song of praise,
Just like the new day dawning,
flooding my world with grace.”

Recipe: Tahini Candy Waffle Topper!

I did a post a little while ago about Tahini being useful for more than just making a good hummus. One of the suggestions that Whole Foods Blog gave was Tahini candy. They told you what to put in, but didn’t say how much, so I took a shot at it.

I used about 1/3 cup each of raisins, chopped dates, and chopped figs. Then I used probably close to 3/4 c. of Tahini (sesame seed paste). I put all of this in the blender (since my food chopper’s motor gave up the ghost). I would recommend a food processor, but I didn’t have one at the time, so I just put it in the blender. The WF blog said to roll it into balls and coat with either coconut or cocoa powder. Well, I thought I’d try throwing about 1/4 c. chopped dark chocolate into the mix instead of coating it. Then I tried to roll it and it was way too sticky, so I spread it out in a small pan, sprinkled it with coconut flakes, and let it chill overnight.

Tahini kind of smells like a nut butter yet it’s different than peanut butter, so when you’re thinking of what to do with this, think, “What would I do with peanut butter?” And go for it! The first day, I put a Tablespoon of it in my oatmeal, which was quite tasty. Today, I spread it on my Nature’s Path Organic waffles, and I think I’m in love! Delic! And oh, so good for you! Tahini is a good source for calcium and folate! Like any nut butter, it’s a little high in fat, so stick with a Tablespoon or two. Enjoy! I think I’ll try it on apple slices next!

II Peter 1: “Spiritual Vitamins and Minerals”

We’ve been studying II Peter in church over the past few weeks. This week, some of the verses we focused on were II Peter 1:3-9. And they got me thinking, so I thought I’d share.

“3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence” (NLT).

Wow! We have everything we need to live a godly life! God gave it to us, and the way to access it is by getting to know Jesus! How do we do this? Primarily through spending time with Him (Scripture reading, prayer) and with His people (fellowship, discipleship, corporate worship – specifically listening to the preaching and teaching of godly leaders).

“4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires” (NLT).

What are these promises? Freedom from sin when we repent and turn to Jesus, eternal life in Heaven with Him, glorious fellowship and union with Christ Himself, etc.

5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises” (NLT).

Don’t forget about the promises! And in response, take some effort in your Christian life! It’s not necessarily a walk in the park. The Christian life is often compared to a race or a journey. Neither one is entered lightly.

Verse 5 continued: “Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone” (NLT).

Sometimes this list is referred to as stepping stones of faith. That works too. I like to think of it in this way: supplements. We all know what they are and many of us take them. They’re typically vitamins and minerals that help us reach our adequate needs for vitality in our physical lives. So, even though faith in God is our substance, we’re told to fill in the gaps with things like moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, patient endurance, godliness, brotherly affection, and love (things that are daily requirements for the Christian). Here’s one way to look at it:

Essential “Spiritual Vitamins”:

  • Vitamin E: Excellence
  • Vitamin K: Knowledge
  • Vitamin C: Control
  • Vitamin A: Affection

Essential “Spiritual Minerals”:

  • Patience
  • Godliness
  • Love

(Note: 100% of daily requirements for all “spiritual vitamins and minerals” can only be found in God!)

8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins” (NLT).

Just like making sure we reach adequate nutritional values brings vitality to our physical life, so paying attention to our daily spiritual needs yields spiritual vitality. Conversely, as undernutrition yields physical problems (abnormalities, diseases, lack of mental acuteness, etc.), so lack of attention to spiritual needs brings spiritual problems (spiritual blindness and other “heart” problems, increased vulnerability to sin and Satan, etc.).

To download Pastor Brooks’ recent sermons (audio and/or sermon notes) on II Peter, check out the Sermon section of Heritage Bible Church’s website. Or visit the church’s blog.

More Resources from Contemporary Nutrition Book

I haven’t given any updates on this for a while, so here are some resources that you might like. I hope all the links work for you. I’m starting with Chapter 4. Chapters 1-3 are covered in a previous post in the Resources category.

Chapter 4 – Carbohydrates and

Chapter 5 – Lipids (aka, Fats),, and

Chapter 6 – Proteins for quizzes, flash cards, other activities, and weblinks.

Chapter 7 – Energy Balance and Weight Control or call 800-WIN-8098,,,,, and

Also, check the Journal of American Dietetic Association, the Journal of the American Medical Association, or The New England Journal of Medicine.

Chapter 8 – Vitamins,,,,, and

Chapter 9 – Water and Minerals (bottled water info),, or call 800-464-6700 (National Osteoporosis Foundation), and

Chapter 10 – Nutrition: Fitness and Sports and

Chapter 11 – Eating Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Other Conditions,,,

[Update as of April 3, 2013: the NIMH link has been updated to the following: Also, a group called Recovery Connection asked me to add a link to their site:]

Chapter 12 – Undernutrition Throughout the World

Chapter 13 – Safety of Food and Water,,, and

Chapter 14 – Pregnancy and Breastfeeding,,, and, and

Chapter 15 – Nutrition from Infancy Through Adolescence, (American Academy of Pediatrics), and

Chapter 16 – Nutrition During Adulthood,,,,,,,,, (Administration of Aging),,,,

Appendices:,,,,,,, et al.

Weekend Update and Monday’s Meal Plan

This weekend was actually a really good weekend. We got the house put back together, folded something like 7 loads of laundry and got that taken care of, and got to see several friends.

After Friday’s amazing lunch, I took home a big box of sushi. As I knew it wouldn’t last long and that I couldn’t eat it all, I called our dear friends Dave & Rachel over to help us finish it off. Bryan got back from his business trip in Georgia around 8, and we had a good time just talking and laughing. Thanks to Dave & Bryan for moving the piano to its rightful place in the living room. 🙂

Saturday, we got up and did our traditional Panera run. Then we headed over to help Paul & Tara pack up their house for their move to Colorado! Seems like all our friends are moving to Colorado! Maybe we’ll just have to move there too! 🙂 There were so many helpers with the move, that it only took us an hour and half to get everything squeezed into the moving truck. It was SO hot on Saturday! We were dripping sweat, so that totally counted as my exercise for the day.

We went home and crashed for the afternoon and watched BBC’s North & South (one of our favorites). Then we didn’t have other plans, so we asked our friends Rick & Jan what they were up to, and they headed over. Dave & Rachel also made it over again. The guys played video games and the girls just chatted and played a couple rounds of Rummikub. Bryan was so proud of me for taking a 1/2 day to get some real rest in. I chose NOT to paint the trim in the dining room until I’m done with school. 🙂

Sunday started with another trip to Panera, followed by Sunday School, lunch with our friends Phil & Heather and their adorable boy Jake, evening church, and a visit from Bryan’s best friend Joshua. They watched a movie while I went for a run. It was the first time in a while that it was cool enough to run outside. Don’t get me wrong, it was still hot, it was just late enough that there was a nice breeze. I made it two miles before it started getting too dark.

And today is Monday! Only 8 days left of school!! Yeah!! I have loved my classes, but I am ready for a break! Working full-time, fixing up a house, working out, and going to school and just too many balls for this juggler to handle. So, I have tests tomorrow and Wednesday and finals the Tuesday and Wednesday after that. Then I’ll take a week or so before I order the study materials from and get cracking on the certification!

Today is a school night, so I had to pack all three meals. I’m also trying something slightly different to try to finally lose these last few pounds in my stomach. I’m doing a modified food pyramid. Instead of 6 grains, I’m reducing it to 3 (making sure to eat whole grains and not to eat grains after 2PM). I’m taking those 3 extra servings and applying 1 to fruit, 1 to veggie, and 1 to protein. This gives me a goal of 3 grains, 3.5 c. veggies, 3 c. fruit, 3 c. milk, and 6.5 oz. of protein. I don’t believe in the no-carb diets, but I’m willing to try a low-carb one.

So, today, I started with a bowl of oatmeal with some “tahini candy” I made for Friday night. I used about a tablespoon in the oatmeal and it tasted pretty good. The tahini candy consisted of tahini, chopped dates, figs, raisins, a little dark chocolate, and some coconut; no added sugars, all natural! I made my oatmeal with milk, so that gave me a little extra nutrition. (2 grains, 1/2 oz. protein, 1 dairy, 1/2 serving of fruit)

I had a 1/2 c. blueberries and a handful of pecans for a snack. (1/2 serving of fruit, 1 serving of protein)

For lunch, I had 1 slice of homemade whole wheat pizza with tomatoes, onions, yellow peppers, banana peppers, chicken, and mozzarella. (1 grain, 1 dairy, 2 oz. protein, 1 veggie)

My afternoon snack will be a banana. (1 fruit)

And dinner is a nice big salad with romaine, yellow pepper, tomatoes, cranberries, almonds, and chicken breast. (2.5 veggies, 1/2 fruit, 3 protein).

After school, I’ll have a glass of kefirs and some strawberries. (1 milk, 1/2 fruit)

Then I have to read 3 chapters of Nutrition to prep for tomorrow’s test! Aah! Maybe I’ll try to read one on lunch break instead of going to the gym. I hate missing my gym time, but I only have a little over a week left. I’ll try to walk on my breaks today too; that will help balance it out.

Oriental Lunch with Coworker Friends!

Today for lunch, we went to a local Chinese restaurant with my friend Grace (who just completed her PhD at Clemson!! Congrats, Dr. Grace Li!!). There were a total of 5 ladies that went. Grace knows the owner, so she spoke with him and told him to bring us $5 worth of authentic cuisine to try. Now, this isn’t something that will happen often, if ever again, but it happened today! And I’m not revealing the restaurant name because I don’t want the workers harrassed with people expecting $5 meals.

Rice Noodles and Shrimp with Dumplings

We started with edamame and seaweed salad (two of my favorites)!

Then he brought out Almond Shrimp, which was long skewers of tempura shrimp over a bed of shredded lettuce, drizzled with a creamy citrus sauce and almonds. It was absolutely one of my favorite dishes I’ve ever had!

Then he brought out Beef Donburi and steamed rice. It’s basically like pot roast with green onions. It was also very tasty. At this point, I thought he was done. We were all fairly satisfied.

But then he brought out a plate of Rice Noodles with shrimp and green onions and some dumplings. The dumplings were so good! Then, he topped it all off with a gigantic plate of sushi rolls!!

Sushi Sampler

The center one was the Genji. I think it had crabsticks on the inside, and then the whole roll was dipped in tempura and fried, and then topped with small chunks of tuna.

The creamy orange colored one is the Crazy Girl. This was hands down the favorite at the table (and the first to go). It had fried shrimp on the inside and a spicy mayo crab salad on the top.

He also brought the Eel Cucumber roll. This was a first for me, but I actually did eat it and it was fine. Probably not something I’d order again, but at least I’m not scared of it anymore. It just tasted like seafood with cucumber and avacado. Maybe I’m crazy, but I just can’t hear the word ‘eel’ without thinking of the shrieking eels in The Princess Bride!

There was also the Rainbow Roll (three colors of raw fish on top), a Shrimp Tempura roll, a Tuna roll, and a California Roll. There was so much, we had to bring 3 boxes back to the office to share with coworkers! And I’m still going to get to have sushi for dinner tonight!

Yoga and Smoothies!

Me & Jan - forgive the sweaty faces - yoga is NOT for sissies!

Last night, I worked a little late because Bryan was out of town. Then my friend Jan came over and we did the Biggest Loser Fat Burning Yoga. I typed too much yesterday after painting all week, so my wrists were a little sore. Thus, I forego some of the plank poses. But I was able to do most of it.

Afterwards, we made smoothies with fresh pineapple, frozen bananas and strawberries, yogurt and a touch of milk. Delic! We sipped on those while we made steamed broccoli and cauliflower and a cheese sauce. Then we sat and talked for probably a good hour before she had to go home. Then I did my Nutrition Case Study, which was way faster than I expected, and watched a couple episodes of Covert Affairs (a new TV series Bryan thought I’d like). It was pretty good, but it’s all about FBI and CSI and murder and espionage…not something I should’ve watched on a night that Bryan was out of town. I don’t think I fell asleep till after 1:30! Thankfully, he’s back tonight.

@EarthFare #healthyis Contest

EarthFare is hosting a contest on Twitter. The winner receives a $100 gift card. And all you have to do is define what healthy means to you. The catch: do it in 140 characters or less, be an @EarthFare follower on Twitter, and respond by 5PM on Friday, July 23. Don’t forget to tag your entry with #healthyis. Full rules here.

My answer:

@EarthFare #healthyis
strong, sound & whole
body, mind & soul,
from proper rest, spirit refresh,
nutritious foods, water
& balanced exercise

Two Weeks Left…

Only two more weeks of classes at Greenville Tech! I have a Nutrition project due tomorrow night, a Nutrition Test on Tuesday, Final Anatomy Lab Exam on Wednesday, and then Final exams the Tues/Wed. after that! Whew! It’s been a busy summer! I’ve learned a ton and really enjoyed (am enjoying) the two classes I got to take from Tech.

After this summer, however, we’ve decided to study through ACEFitness (the certification board I’ve chosen to get my Personal Trainer Certification through). They will provide me with all the materials I need to study for the exam. It’s all online. Then when I’m ready to take the test (probably in 6 months), I just sign up for a slot at the closest testing center and see how I do!

I’m very thankful for the Anatomy & Nutrition classes I got to take this summer. I feel like they really helped get me back into studying and learning and pushing myself. I’m ready to move on though and not have EVERY evening taken up with school. Quite frankly, we need a break. If I weren’t working full-time, it would be different. But, alas, that is what God has for us right now.

And even though it’s been time-consuming and challenging, I’m thankful for the times that I’m pushed to go beyond status quo and break out of the box and just get the courage to go for my dreams and make the most out of the gifts and abilities God has given me. Every step of this journey is good – even if some of them are hard or uncomfortable or time-consuming. So, I choose to enjoy the journey, and I look forward to the next steps along the path.

Meanwhile, if the blog has fewer updates, you’ll understand why. I hope to blog more once these courses are over. Oh, and another reason why the blog’s had fewer posts recently is that we are painting and rearranging some things in our house. This past week we painted walls and trim in the Living Room, upstairs and downstairs hallways, and stairwell. Next up…paint the trim in the dining room to match everywhere else, and…new carpet!! I’ll post pictures when everything’s complete.