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Smorgasbord

Definition of SMORGASBORD

1
: a luncheon or supper buffet offering a variety of foods and dishes (as hors d’oeuvres, hot and cold meats, smoked and pickled fish, cheeses, salads, and relishes)
2
: an often large heterogeneous mixture : mélange
(Thank you, Merriam-Webster online…)
Also:

Examples of SMORGASBORD

  1. <every day the director has to first deal with a smorgasbord of problems before he can begin filming>

Origin of SMORGASBORD

Swedish smörgåsbord, from smörgås open sandwich + bordtable

First Known Use: 1879
(again, credit here shall go to Merriam-Webster, here:
Why do I start with this crazy word of Scandinavian origin?  Well, growing up, when we had a lot of leftovers to eat, my Mom would tell us that it was Smorgasbord night…meaning time to eat all the leftovers in whatever conglomeration they come.  Sidenote:  it was my Dad’s favorite meal.  He loved eating leftovers.  When they were heated and put in front of him.  Ahem (Is this a male thing?  Because honestly, my sweetie will also be glad to eat leftovers once they are heated and on a plate smelling delicious, but in the fridge in a container, they do nothing for him.  Funny. Random.  Moving on.)
Welcome to your Smorgasbord blog!  I just thought I’d throw out a few things that made me smile this week.  That’s all. =-)
One:  If you follow my blog, you know that we did not have a totally traditional Thanksgiving, so we made the little bits of a traditional Thanksgiving meal throughout the season…and early this week, I just finished the homemade and healthy Hallelujah Acres version of Green Bean Casserole.  It was YUM.  What it leaves out is the Cream of Mushroom soup, but you would never know it! There are mushrooms in it for sure, and yes, even the French’s fried onions, as they have minimal ingredients.  Check out this much healthier version of an old fave on their site:
Two:  I have been reading “Sweet Deception” by Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. Kendra Degen Pearsall for awhile now; it is a non-fiction book that mainly concerns the origins and problems of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, nutrasweet, splenda, etc, but it also delves into issues of the FDA and Big Pharma.  It has taken me awhile to read, because admittedly, it’s a lot of information and does not always have me on the edge of my seat.  I am still really glad  that I read it, and I highly recommend it!  Last night, though, one quote from the book totally spoke to me, and I was not expecting it:
“My conscience is formed by the voice of Christ speaking internally to me.  That’s what the conscience is:  it’s the voice of God speaking to each and every one of us about what’s right and what’s wrong.  I knew what was right.  If I walked away from that, nobody else would have to do anything.  I’d be beating myself up because my conscience would condemn me.  So, yes, faith plays a part in everything that I do.  It’s not saying I’m a saint, because I’m not.  But I can’t separate who I am from my religious faith.  It’s all part of the same person.”
Dr. David Graham, the “whistle-blowing FDA physician who testified before the Senate, in the wake of the Vioxx catastrophe, about the critical flaws in the FDA” on whether or not his faith had to do with his decision to testify.
I ask you, does that speak to you, too?
Three:  Raw Veggie Cereal is my new favorite cold cereal.  I love cold cereal.  I do.  And let’s just say that even the healthiest ones out there are still super-processed, unless you know how to make Buckwheat Krispies, which I do, but they have a distinct flavor that I don’t really want to have every day.  (I also love hot cereals, but that is not the point right now. snicker snort.)
For me, veggies at breakfast usually come in the form of A) blended into a smoothie–which is not always what I am longing for in the cold winter months, B) used in sweet salad in combo with fruit and nuts, or C) sauteed lightly before adding some egg to the skillet–great in the winter, but I am more of a sweet than savory breakfast kind of girl.  (Frittatas are awesome at lunch and dinner, though!)
I happened upon this link recently and thought, well, that sounds intriguing…a bunch of veggies, some fruit, and some nuts all mixed together making a “raw” cereal?  And I wondered about the taste when I saw that broccoli and cauliflower were among the ingredients…but let me assure you— THIS STUFF IS YUMMY.  I mean, mainstream flavor yummy, not that-chick-drinks-green-smoothies-yummy…you know what I mean.  I would never have guessed by the taste that there were some usually (dare I say it?) pungent veggies in there!  But processed with apples, pecans, and carrots, topped with coconut flakes, almond milk and cinnamon, and this stuff has raw-nutrient-deliciousness-that-tastes-like-cereal all over it!!!  And no sweetener needed!  CRAZY.
So, go try ya’ some…I dare you.  It made about 3 heaping 1 cup servings, I found, and I topped each with 1 Tbsp coconut, a dash of cinnamon and just enough almond milk to make it look like a bowl of cereal.
Ps…the blog site is hosted by Candace Cameron Bure, but the author of that post is Janelle of Comfy in the Kitchen, if anyone else happens to follow those blogs…I found both of them through Darlene Schacht of The Time-Warp Wife blog (see side panel)…all have great blogs to follow!!!  In fact, here is a post from Darlene that I adored this week (it was timely, you know…):
(and ladies, so you know…it’s not tips on how to WIN…it’s tips on how to love…good stuff!!!)
Finally, (Four) I loved this quote from Oswald Chambers:
“Believe God is always the God you  know Him to be when you are nearest to Him.”
So wonderful.  I so needed that.  For when I am nearest to my Lord, I am the girl who twirls around in her backyard with happiness.  I feel safe.  I can talk freely with Him.  I feel approved.  Calm.  Joyous.  Giddy. Yes, all at the same time.  So, no matter how I am actually feeling in a real time moment, I can believe that God is still the same God with whom I feel those glorious emotions.  He is still looking at me the same way.  He is still protecting me the same way.  He is still loving me the same way.   That has not changed.  Whatever my circumstances, I can remember that and hold on to it!  And it certainly gets me through to the next moment…

Me, in St. Louis, Open to His Grace (with Pinocchio, of course!)

I want to end this post with one of my most favorite scriptures.  So fitting no matter what your journey this week or next has been or will be.  Random? Focused? Busy? Slow?  Guess what God says–
“My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Exodus 33:14
Hold on to Him, and don’t let go…He will guide you the entire way; He will see you through the journey.  He promised.
Much love to you all,
Robyn
Ps…what spoke to you this week?  What spoke to you from this post?  Feel free to leave a comment below!  (I will be off-the-grid for a little while, so-to-speak, but I will love checking them out when I re-enter techno world!)
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Sweeties and Sweets….

Nope, this blog post is not about Canadian candy that we call Smarties here in the U.S….

It is about 2 things in my life with which I need to set boundaries and be moderate in my intake…see the previous blog post for a bit of background here:

https://robynlooksup.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/moderation-balance-biblical/

First, Sweeties?  I am talking about our Sweethearts…or rather our lack of Sweethearts, or our dreams about our sweethearts, or what we wish they might do (ahem)…And for this, I am going to point you to a great post written by my good friend, Sundi Jo Graham, about romantic movies.  Please do continue reading at the bottom of her blog to find my comment and the thoughts that I could have written a blog about myself!

http://www.sundijo.com/eight-reasons-why-i-hate-romantic-movies/

As for “Sweets”?

Well, unless you have been living under a carb-free rock for the last, I don’t know, millennium, you know that too much sugar is bad for you.  For some, even too much natural sugar from fruit can be bad!  Again, moderation.  I am a sweets-lover.  So, it is amazing too me when something is actually too sweet for me…and I definitely have to talk to myself and say, “you don’t HAVE to have something sweet after every meal.”  Brushing my teeth usually helps. That being said, there is another point here about balance that could be made…both Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine tell us that we need to be balanced in our “tastes” at every meal, or we may actually become unbalanced.  So, when you keep yourselves from anything sweet all the time, it is normal and healthy to feel you need some…thank the Lord He made some good ones!  (And by the way, in those traditions mentioned, sweet doesn’t necessarily mean, sugary…sometimes it is another food, say for example, rice or oats that has a natural “sweet flavor” and balances out other tastes in the meal that be salty, pungent, bitter, what-have-you.  Also, I have heard it said that when one is craving sweets, they are lacking some “sweet” in their lives, so it is something to certainly to go to Our Father about and ask…and it may just be more time with Him that you are craving!)

ANYWAY.

It’s time for my awesome segue…

I love sharing healthy recipes with you, and since it is that time of year when sweets abound all around us, how about a sweet and healthy pie?

You may all be done with pie at this point, so feel free to skip away, but if you have another big holiday coming up and would like to serve something tasty that you can feel good about, maybe this is your option?

We did not have a “traditional” Thanksgiving this year…we went down to have lunch with my Grandmother in the nursing home, so we didn’t have to cook!  (Afterwards, we went to see the new Muppet movie.  It is Amazing, fyi.)  So, between my mom, hubby, and I, we are spreading out some of our “traditional” dishes through the holiday season, a little at a time.

I had seen a few recipes for “Raw Pumpkin Pie” this year, and after looking at them with sweet hubby, decided on one.  The funny thing is, we both like Pumpkin Pie, but it is not our favorite, so after getting a few of the ingredients (I had the rest already), I wondered, what I had been thinking?

Plus, we never got around to carving our pumpkin before Halloween (can we say totally busy and tired and out-of-balance?), so we had a perfectly good one ready to carve up for a pie…but it was HUGE!

And, I had just sent my BlendTech off to be repaired while it was under warranty (has been making an odd noise), so I was going to have to use my small food processor.

All of these little insights led me to only make HALF of this recipe and divide it between 4 little silicone tart pans to make my “Raw Pumpkin Pie Tartlets”.

Raw Pumpkin Pie (from Hallelujah Acres website)

http://www.hacres.com/recipes/cards/raw-pumpkin-pie

Submitted By: Jackie Graff – Sprout Raw Food

A sweet, tasty Holiday dessert with absolutely no baking involved!

(This is the full recipe; to do what I did, divide by half.  You will have a little extra filling, as well.)

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado, peeled and seeded
  • ½ cup raw honey
  • 4 dates soaked in 1 cup filtered water
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup raw macadamias soaked 8 hours and drained (I used raw almonds because it is what I had)
  • 4 cups raw pumpkin, peeled and seeded
  • 1 cup organic raisins
  • 1 tsp psyllium
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds, washed, soaked for 8 hours, drained and dehydrated for 6 – 8 hours (I did not do this; I used Cashew Creme instead)
  • **1 date nut crust variation from The Hallelujah Diet Book (as opposed to the crust actually listed with this recipe.  For me, the other was easier, and I have used it many times before.)

Directions

  1. Place macadamias  (almonds) along with dates and their soak water into blender (or food processor) and blend until smooth.
  2. Add avocado, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and pumpkin and blend until very smooth.
  3. Add psyllium and blend well. Let this mixture sit for 1-2 minutes and blend well again.
  4. Fold in raisins.
  5. Pour into piecrust and top with ½ cup of pumpkin seeds. (or cashew creme, as I did)

**Date and Nut crust Variation: As I was running low on almonds, but had plenty of almond flour, I combined 1 cup of almond flour with 1/2 cup of dates, and 1/4 to 1/2 tsp sea salt in my food processor with 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup honey until it gathered into a ball…I then separated it into 4 sections, pressing each into a little tartlet pan.  When the filling was ready, I scooped it into the pans and placed them into the fridge to chill while I made the Cashew Creme.

Nomi Shannon’s (The Raw Gourmet) Cashew Creme

DIRECTIONS

Soak cashews overnight. Drain. Put in blender with just enough water to allow blender to do its job. Add only enough water to make it smooth, then add dates one at a time, or agave syrup or maple syrup to sweeten, taste for sweetness. You want to achieve a fluffy whipped-cream type consistency. I like it best when vanilla is added too.

1 cup of cashews will make 1 1/2 or more cups of cashew crème. (I only used 1/2 cup of soaked cashews.)

–for more great raw dessert recipes by Nomi Shannon, go to:

http://rawgourmet.com/recipes#dessert

The verdict?  Yum!  Before I added the pumpkin, I noticed that the filling tasted a bit like Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal, if you have ever had THAT. And I love that flavor!  The pumpkin really didn’t change that, either.

Here is my precaution:  These little dudes are SWEET.  I mean, so super sweet!  Like, I only ate 1/3 of mine (one tartlet) the first night!  The next morning, I used part of the rest (of the same tartlet) as my sweetener in my oatmeal!  And then at lunch, I used the last bit as a sweetener/thickener in my green smoothie!  So, if you like sweets, you will enjoy this, but know that it might not be as hard as usual to exercise moderation…IF you are eating consciously, and not while watching TV or something else distracting…

Do  they taste like Pumpkin Pie?  A bit.  Really, they do!  The spices are spot-on…I think the sweetness threw me a little at first, but then, I think Pumpkin Pie itself is super sweet, so there ya go…

Whatever you decide, know that these are nutrient giving, life-in-your-cells enhancing treats…

Also, since we had soooo much pumpkin left, I chopped or grated the rest into fry shapes and noodle shapes to use as a fun vegetable all winter!  Let’s hear it for pumpkin fries and pasta, and being a good steward with what God has given us!  AND, Jon roasted the seeds.  Num.

Here’s to moderation…and moderation of your moderation, sometimes.  I pray you seek Our Lord for His Sweetness, in love and life, every part you can…

With a great big, non-pumpkin-innards-covered fingers hug (cuz my sweetie was my hero and scooped them out FOR ME!),

Robyn

A Special Treat sans Tricks this week!

Happy All Hallow’s Eve!

I pray that whatever you are doing, be it some kind of Trick or Treating at a mall, a church Halloween Festival, or (Gasp!) actually going around a neighborhood and knocking on doors (do people even DO that any more???), that you are safe and happy, and know how much God loves You!

I am not one for scary movies, so you can be assured that I will NOT be watching any of THOSE tonight…my personality is such that real life can set my adrenaline pumping enough to need recovery daily, so adding to that health mess via scary movies or roller coasters is not usually my first choice!  (Though, I admit to watching scary movies in my life and going to Haunted Houses, etc…and the resulting anxiousness is what causes me to usually avoid those things! My hubby does have a lovely memory of us in a haunted house – paid-for-attraction, not actual haunted house– while we were dating, in which I was so scared I had to repeatedly recite Psalm 23 to myself…He giggles about it to this day!)

We were Sally and Linus on the Halloween of that adventure...

As a kid, I DID go knocking door-to-door, or rather, my mom drove me to the houses of folks we knew and trusted (and some of their neighbors), to “Trick or Treat”.  Here’s the “funny” about that.  I was always nervous.  I am a performer who sings and dances in front of hundreds of people every week; indeed I have sung in front of over 10,000 people in a stadium before, but in my normal life, I am a bit shy.  I have overcome it in adulthood, learning to press on while “on the road” in group called Up With People, in which I stayed with a different family every 3 or 4 nights…no room for shyness there.

So, as a kid, little Robyn trudged up the sidewalk to the door, knocked, and waited anxiously, even though I knew nothing bad would happen, and my mom was right there in the car!  In reality, all that would result from those interactions was GOOD!  Praise for my costume and free treats..HELLO!?!!?  The worst case scenario might have been that no one was home…certainly nothing to be nervous about, since that meant less people interaction…

But isn’t that funny?  And isn’t it just like us sometimes, to worry or be anxious over the unknown, when all the time God is watching over us and knows the more-than-pleasant outcome He has planned? (Romans 8:28, 1 Peter 5:6-7, Psalm 32:8, , Jeremiah 29:11) He is metaphorically out there in the car behind us as our rear guard (Isaiah 52:12, Isaiah 58:8)!

And as for worry…I just did a tiny, not exhaustive search at http://www.BibleGateway.com on just the word “worry”…the Message Bible had 56 results and the NIV had 15…and a quick scan of them showed that all of the results on the first page included the words “do not” before every “worry”…not a surprise, I know.  A much more detailed analysis could be made, I am sure, but I think you get the point.

Let’s not forget, though, that we need to seek God to receive answers, to be guided, to be given wisdom.  He promises those responses, but in faith we must ask!  (James 4:1-3)

One thing has just now occurred to me: do I think God only answers my current request? No, I don’t.  If I have asked Him into my heart, and I have asked Him to guide me in all I do previously, to protect me, etc, etc, I don’t think there is a statute of limitations on that request.  However, I do think I need to be open and listening and looking for His answer!– or I might miss it!  And I think being specific in our requests is helpful for us, as well, not  only bringing us peace in that we have obeyed and asked, but in that we have then acted on our relationship to our Lord.

So, whatever you are doing tonight or for the rest of this week, know that you are loved, safe, and watched over…ask the Holy Spirit to show you the evidence.  Ask Jesus to sing over you and calm your nerves.  Ask your Father in heaven to guide your every decision by His Spirit…and He is faithful. He WILL.

Now, TREAT TIME!

I made this Raw Apple Pie a few weeks ago when hubby and I were going to go to a friend’s house for dinner. Unfortunately, we were both beginning to get the sniffles and not feeling as perky as usual, so we had to postpone…and keep the delectable treat all to ourselves!  How wonderful, though, to know that what is as tasty as dessert is actually a live food full of healing nutrients!!!  I tell you what, this one is scrumptious!  And we are definitely in the right season!!!

Apple Pie (page 324 of The Hallelujah Diet)

Recipe courtesy of Sprout Raw Food by Jackie Graff

Serves: 8

1 date-nut pie crust (see recipe below)

6 Golden Delicious or Fuji apples, peeled and cored (I used Gala, and I did not peel ALL of them, because I like the pretty color of the skin, and the fiber as well.  think I peeled 4 of the 6)

4 – 6 Medjool dates, soaked 1 hour and drained (or whatever dates you have, un-sugared, etc)

1 tsp. sea salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla powder (I did not have this, so I used vanilla extract. no problem.)

1 cup raisins

2 tsp. flax seed, ground fine

Prepare piecrust according to recipe and press into a pie plate.  Place one-third of the apples, plus salt, cinnamon, dates, and vanilla powder in food processor.  Process until mixture is almost the consistency of applesauce.

Continue adding apples, processing only until apples are chopped into small to medium-sized pieces.  Add raisins.  Stir in ground flax seeds and mix well and let this sit for 15 minutes (the raisins and flax seeds will soak up the juice from the apples).  Place apple mixture in pie crust.

NOTE:

May be topped with chopped walnuts. (I actually sprinkled flax meal and salt on top of mine, to absorb some of the excess moisture and bring out the sweetness… Next time I will probably only use 5 apples, as I had too much filling for the pie!—no worries, made a great oatmeal topping and/or snack! I recommend using a food processor over a blender; I had to add extra liquid to get the apples to blend at first…luckily, I had some cider in the fridge…)

Date Nut Crust (or “dough”…can be rolled into little balls and then rolled in coconut, or ground nuts, or carob powder and cinnamon for yummy treats!) pg. 323 of The Hallelujah Diet, Recipe courtesy of Everyday Wholesome Eating…in the Raw by Kim Wilson

1 cup pecans, 1 cup walnuts (or 2 cups almond flour, as I chose)

1 cup date, pitted

1/4 – 1/2 cup honey (to taste…or agave, or yacon syrup)

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. sea salt (to taste)

Grind pecans, walnuts, and dates in food processor until well-chopped and blended.  Add honey and continue to process until mixture forms a ball.  Be careful to not over-process.

Press into base and sides of pie pan before adding filing.  Reserve some of the “dough” to crumble on top of the finished pie.

—-

Also, about the same time that I made the pie, I was on week 7 or 8 of my Cto5K training…I had gotten to the point where I was jogging 25 to 26 1/2 minutes non-stop, and I was beginning to think I might need stay at that pace for a while so that I would have enough energy left to do the show!  However, as I mentioned before, hubby and I began dealing with sniffles, etc, and honestly are just now beginning to feel human again!  (I ended up with a ruptured eardrum, among other nuisances…) So, just today I started over on my Cto5K training to build up my stamina once more.  Feel free to read these previous posts to see how I make it pleasant and possible!!!

https://robynlooksup.wordpress.com/2011/08/20/family-yoga-couch-to-5k-and-a-give-a-way/

https://robynlooksup.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/green-recipes-little-tidbits-and-a-winner/

Keep running the race, or walking it, knowing there is a prize ahead…take breaks when you need to, knowing your Father has your back…and you can even lean back into His everlasting arms…

How do you rest?  Did you do anything fun to celebrate Halloween or another Harvest-time holiday?  Feel free to add your positive comment!

We have a Winner!….and some recipes!…and some inspiration!!!

First things first, WE HAVE A WINNER!!!

Believe it or not, the winner of this week’s give-a-way is…..

paula!!!

(again!!! I know…right?!? but more on that in a minute…)

Paula, you have your choice between those mists in the give-a-way; let me know which one, or you can smell each at the next class and decide! (and just fyi for anyone reading, I really do make out little name-slips each time, throw them in a baggie or box, shake em’ up, close my eyes, and draw…OR I have my hubby draw if he is here…it’s a little fun thing I get to do!)

NOW, since Paula DID recently win, I am going to extend the give-a-way for the other 3 entrants…if ya’ll read through today’s blog post and comment accordingly, I will hold another drawing for any of the three of you who comment…I will give you until Monday night (the 3rd) to respond…and then you can choose between the 3 mists that are left (after Paula’s choice). Cool?
*addendum (10/3/11): Paula chose the Eucalyptus Spray, so up for grabs are the Tea Tree, Jasmine, Vanilla, and Lavender. Hubby just helped me draw the extended give-a-way winner, and it is Amber! Congrats! I will get them to you to choose…

This is just a little post this week since it is sign-up time for Vessels of Clay Yoga and there is a lot going on…So, here are two of my favorite recipes right now.  One is really new to me, but I love it, and the other has come to me in the last few months, and the thought of it sends me straight to the fridge to get some greens!

Wheat-free, Yeast-free Irish Soda Bread

This recipe came to me from one of those Reader’s Digest Collections of stories books…yes, really.  I was reading one of Patrick Taylor’s “Irish Country Doctor” series books, and the traditional recipe for Irish Soda bread was included as a bonus. (I love how Reader’s Digest does that.)  Anyway, instead of regular wheat flour, I used a combination of Spelt and Rice Flour.  Note: this recipe is wheat-free, not gluten-free.  Spelt is a cousin of wheat that can often be tolerated by those of us with wheat sensitivities, but it is NOT gluten-free.  Just fyi.  I used a small portion of rice flour to lighten it up, as Spelt flour can result in heavier bread.  To make the traditional version, substitute whatever regular flour you like…but it might not be as healthy!!!!

Oh, and yumminess?  Total 10 out of 10 by me AND my hubby!

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cup Spelt flour, 1/4 Cup Rice flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 heaping tsp baking soda, 1 C Skim Milk with 1 Tbsp. Vinegar (instead of buttermilk…this is an easy sub if you don’t want to buy a carton of buttermilk.  Next time I will try using almond milk, to get away from the dairy. If using buttermilk, the recipe calls for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups.)

Now, I cooked this in my NuWave Oven Pro on level 10, but here are the actual instructions for your regular oven.

To Make:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease and flour a baking sheet and set aside.  Sift the flour, salt and baking soda together into a large mixing bowl.  Then add enough buttermilk to make a soft, but not sticky, dough.  Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board and shape it into a round cake about 1 1/2 inches thick.  Transfer to the baking sheet; then, using a sharp knife, score the top of the dough into 4-6 wedges.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Cool on the baking sheet, then separate the wedges.

If desired, the dough can be cut into wedges and cooked on a lightly buttered griddle over medium heat.  This is the more traditional method.  (I did the first option.)

Serves 4-6.

Like I said, it was super yummy.  This may be a regular at our household from now on!

Healthy Salad Dressing Recipe from VEGA (Brendan Brazier)

This recipe comes as courtesy of the Vega website, Brendan Brazier’s company.  If you are not familiar with him, he is the author of the Thrive Diet books, which are centered around how even triathlon athlete types like him can totally thrive on a plant-based diet! Google it; you will be glad you did.

So, this dressing recipe is so totally yummy, that just remembering I have some made up/in the fridge makes me WANT to go make a salad.  Yes, it’s that good.

Ingredients:

            4 Tablespoons Flax Oil of your choice (Vega recommends their own Vega Antioxidant Oil Blend; I used the flax oil I have on hand)

  • 2 Tablespoons agave nectar (or maple syrup, yakon syrup)
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To make:

Just thrown it together, shake it in a jar or whisk it, and enjoy!  Here is what else Vega says:

“Using your imagination, you can turn this base into a delicious spectrum of dressings you’ll love.”

Finally, this week we remembered we are Divinely Created Temples.  This week’s inspiration at Vessels of Clay Yoga:

1 Corinthians 3:16 (MSG)

 16-17You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple.

There is but one temple in the Universe…and that is the human body. Nothing is holier than that high form. We touch heaven when we lay our hand on the human body.”—Thomas Carlyle, British historian

——————————————————————————————

So, we have come to the weekend again…can I get a Hallelujah!  For my previous give-a-way entrants, let me know: do you have a favorite healthy salad dressing recipe to share?  Did you enjoy this week’s scripture and inspiration, or have any thoughts about it?  Would you actually try the soda bread recipe?  Share some thoughts, and we’ll have another tiny give-a-way…

As for everyone else, Have a great weekend, feel free to comment, and stay tuned for “What’s on My Bookshelf?” and another FUN give-a-way!!!

Fall: Real you, or real frayed, italian noses, and frazzles…

 What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? (Mark 8:36, The Message)

I am starting this blog post with a question from the Bible…what good WOULD it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real YOU?

When was the last time you tuned IN to the REAL YOU?  When was the last time you slowed down, stopped the noise– be it TV, technology, crazy spinning thoughts or what-have-you— and tuned in to yourself.  Your Spirit.  Your own soul as well as the Holy Spirit that chooses to live within you, if you have asked Him to…

What makes you beautiful?  What makes you handsome?  What makes your life glorious?  Are you experiencing that right now?  My guess is, for a lot of us this time of year, the answer might be…maybe?  sort of?  I am too busy too notice?

First, let’s get back to that first question–and I’d like to share a passage from a book I’ve read recently, Big Cherry Holler by Adriana Trigiani (it’s part of a series–Big Stone Gap–…lots of fun for Southerners and Italian Enthusiasts like me!).  She is discussing how Italians look, especially the women, and how it might not be our “traditional” concept of beauty (thanks for that, hollywood), but it IS beauty…real beauty…and why…

“I don’t know what makes the women so beautiful—you would never see any of them on a magazine cover in America—but they are striking.  Here (she is in Italy as she writes this) a strong nose is a source of pride.  Most of these noses wouldn’t last in America, with their length and their regal breaks in the bridge—they wouldn’t be appreciated.  Maybe these women are so attractive because they like themselves.  They accept what they are born with; even their flaws are a source of pride, the very thing that makes them distinctive and alluring.”

HELLOOO!  Why don’t we think like that more often?  I mean, as you read it, doesn’t it just RESONATE with you as TRUTH?!?

Or for the men: “The men are beyond handsome.  Even when they’re short (I guess height is an American thing), they have a strength that makes you believe they could take one of these Alpine boulders and roll it down the hill like a basketball.  They live in their skin like kings”…

You  know, it is said that Jesus was not a tall man.  Just fyi.

So, are you feeling like the real you lately?  Are you feeling beautiful or handsome, and is your life feeling glorious?  (and no, we don’t live by our feelings, I get that, and thank you to Joyce Meyer for reminding me…BUT!  Sometimes, our feelings give us clues to how closely we are tuned in to ourselves and our God…or not…)

Or are you feeling frazzled?  (I have a funny verse and story on that one, too, to share later…)

This time of year, everyone tends to feel a bit frazzled.  It is not just because school is starting, etc…it has to do with the change in season, even (which, guess Who created the seasons, remember?)!  In Ayurvedic medicine, this is a time when our more “thinky, anxious, nervous, airy, flighty, distracted, insomniac” selves may present themselves (those are some of the negative trademarks of a Vata Dosha imbalance–which may not mean a thing to you unless you know something about Ayurveda…no worries.  You can google it if you want to know more, or just know that I am illustrating enough of it for your purposes here, and you don’t have to know more than what I am writing to get it!).  If you have any nervous habits, they are likely a bit exacerbated right now…my cuticles have certainly been showing my personal nervous habit…Just as the leaves get a bit more dry and start falling off the trees, our skin gets drier, our thoughts get windier, and we get a bit off-balance….

So guess, what?  You are normal.  So, if any of this resonates with you, know that…and realize that you have been given a clue!  To combat these things, we need to make some time in our schedules for “slow down”.  Turn off the TV, or at least 15 minutes earlier than normal, have some warm milk (almond might be best if you are me) or hot tea, put on snuggly clothes, and just get quiet.  Be still and know…

Making My Tea

I subscibe to the Yoga Journal.  Recently, they offered the opportunity to their subscribers to participate in a free 7-day Fall Detox which helps to address these seasonal changes, etc…complete with recipes, asana (yoga pose) routines, health tips, lifestyle tips, lots of good stuff!  So, I thought, cool!  I began to gather ingredients and prepare…

Here is what I learned.  I don’t really have time for a someone else’s regimen.  It wasn’t a starvation detox, and I LOVE the kitchari, chutney, and tea that I made, but I found that the total life change required stressed me out more!  Plus, the daily e-mails for each days’ activities were coming, well, each day.  After I had already planned my day, ya know? Now, a lot of the tips they were handing out are things I already know about and do on a regular basis, so really, my life is a detox all the time…but some of the other things added in, well…became other things I would have to add in!  Slowing down can de-stress you….slowing down but adding back in A, B, C, and D because someone tells you to…not so much.

So, after spending a day of downloading, uploading, downloading, I realized, this is nuts right now.  I would rather have spent this quiet time with my Lord, or lying in a restorative pose and meditating.

I choose to slow down, period.  To tune in.  To incorporate bits and pieces into my life in ways that are not stressful, and to be grateful for wonderful new recipes and a large batch of kitchari for no-stress meal prep.

Vata-Pitta balancing kitchari

—SIDEBAR: on the line of no-stress meal prep, I made the raw pumpkin soup from my previous blogpost, using butternut squash as they suggested, and it is WONDERFUL!  Go try it!  When I have been in a hurry, I just threw it in a jar as a smoothie!—

So, again I ask you?  Are you tuned in?  Are you feeling like the real you?…or an exhausted, frazzled, lost version?  The Bible talks about their being different seasons, different times, and we are to turn (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)…maybe now is a good to time for you to turn…and tune-in…and slow down….and cover everything with a dash of cinnamon and Holy Ghost for warmth…

Let the Spirit within guide you from within, in the quiet…and you can be the real you again…who just so happens to look a lot like Him.

 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Amplified Bible (AMP)

17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom).

18And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.

——

Ps…just for fun for the weekend…when I was a little girl, and I was maybe doing or thinking about doing something I shouldn’t, my Mamma could be heard to say that if I didn’t turn from that whatever-it-was, that she would “wear me to a frazzle”.  That definitely scared me.  I knew she meant business.  In my mind’s eye, I pictured a “frazzle” as being a pair of eyeballs surrounded with fuzzy hair, and maybe just shoes peeking out underneath. Recently, I ran across this verse, and shared it with my Mom…we laughed out loud.  She had no idea how scriptural she had been:

A parent is worn to a frazzle by a stupid child…Proverbs 19:13 The Msg.

I imagine that when we act like stupid children, we wear ourSELVES to a frazzle….so be wise, darlings, and slow down a little…

Have a wonderful, tuned-in weekend, everybody!

love,

Robyn

(pps, lest you think my Mama beat me, let me assure you that I only received spankin’s, and they were rare (and she cried, usually).The mere THOUGHT of Mom being mad at me was discipline enough! I love her so!)

Yumminess can come in many forms….

Yumminess can come in many forms. Yes, it refers to flavor, but does that have to only apply to food and drink? I think not. Flavor is needed to spice up life in general! As Christians, we are called to BE Salt and even to season our conversations with it. (Matthew 5:12-14 {NIV and The Message both!}, Mark 9:50, Luke 14:34, Colossians 4:6), I have heard a few interpretations on that verse, some saying that Salt makes people thirsty, drawing others to Christ. Others have said Salt brings out the flavor–whether it brings out the flavor in the other person or the one who is Salty, both seem like a great result to me! It is your own personal flavor that makes you who you are, and Who God created you to be. There is also the thought that Salt–the good stuff, mind you, not the over-processed and laden-ed with chemicals kind– is made up of Trace Minerals that we need…so it is FOUNDATIONAL to life.

–and yes, I know we can over-do the salt thing as an actual flavoring.  If you are on a low sodium diet, there are lots of healthy alternatives that you have probably looked into already, including celery salt, salt subs made from potassium (I think?), as well as Dulse flakes, and Bragg’s Amino Acids, to name a few.

–We can possibly even over-do our own personal Flavor of salt and wear out our friends and family with our “me”-ness…so we do need to keep turning our focus to Jesus and asking Him to help us sense when our Flavor is overwhelming our loved ones…but I digress…(one of the many attributes of my own flavor that I need to watch!) And luckily, there is Grace…again, check out Colossians 4:6.  Love it.

So.  Back to Yumminess.

This week my brand of Yumminess to share will come in both physical and spiritual forms…tastes, peeps, loves, and tastes again…shall we?

This week was my anniversary week.  I have been married for 7 years to a wonderful, wonderful (can I say that again?) wonderful man!  I was asked if we have experienced the 7 year itch…I would say that if we did, it was EARLY in our marriage, when things were quite rocky at times…but by the Grace of God and His leading us to a few workshops as well as the commitment we have made, we are stronger than we have ever been, in every way, and I am so grateful.  We have chosen to realize that at times it may be yucky, and we can say, “hey.  It is getting yucky.  Since I am not leaving, and you are not leaving, we have to choose either to live yucky the rest of our lives, or to fix it and live not-yucky again…”  Guess what we have chosen?  So, my first yummy flavor is love, marriage, hard work, fun, and love again and always, with my sweet baboo….Thank You, darling man.

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Flavor #2:  Olive Oil…Devo Olive Oil, to be exact. And Vinegars.  I love ’em!  One day a couple of years ago (or just one?), I talked my hubby into going into a Devo Olive Oil store with me; they had samplings of many Oils and Vinegars.  My husband does NOT like to sample.  I could repeat that thirty times, that is how much he despises sampling.  Somehow, I convinced him (probably with the help of their descriptions and flavors) to sample, and away we went!  I cannot imagine how many he tried that day!  As he was embarking on a healthier lifestyle, he went in and bought a sampler pack a few weeks later, as well as a big bottle of Sicilian Lemon Balsamic, our favorite from the sampling day (do you know how much we love Italy and all things hinting of Italian?  Type “Italian” into the search window of this blog, and a few posts will come up…).

That was over a year ago…we are almost through with the sampler pack (by just a few drops, actually), but let me just say that we have been hoarding it a bit or it would have been gone in NO TIME! We finished the Lemon a few weeks ago…I finally let it go, as a wonderful friend of mine had gotten me some of the Blueberry Balsamic, and I felt free to move on…sigh.  Emotional attachment to food anyone? oops.  Thank You, Lord, for meaning more to me than food…but thank You also for yumminess!

Let me tell you something:  that Blueberry Balsamic?  amazing.  Like many of their fruit flavored balsamics, this stuff can go straight on a whole grain pancake with no other sweeteners needed, not to mention a salad!  In fact, I have been eating green salads for breakfast often since having that flavor in my kitchen!   A handful or two of greens, some pumpkin seeds or almonds, and 2 tsp of Blueberry Balsamic, and I am good to go! Sometimes I add a teaspoon of flax oil, just for added creamy buttery goodness and little bit of Omega-3…

Breakfast Salad of Spinach, Almonds, 2 tsps Devo Blueberry Balsamic, 1 tsp Flax oil, salt to taste

Another favorite of mine?  Using vinegar on popcorn.  Seriously!  I especially love using the Devo Honey Ginger White Balsamic mixed with a little EVOO (maybe a Devo flavor, or standard!) or some Flax Oil, and pour THAT over my popcorn!  So, so, so yummy, and you have cut out at least HALF the fat you normally used on your popcorn, if not more!  I dare you to try it.  A little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and so good.  I cannot stand dry popcorn, but I don’t want to load up on yucky fats, so this is how I Flavor my life in that regard…Thank you Devo for so many great products!

Popcorn with a Traditional Balsamic and EVOO; I am out of the Honey Ginger White, but I just ordered some more Sicilian Lemon AND the Natural Butter Olive oil to try with popcorn!

You can check out the Honey Ginger White Balsamic in the 9- or 16-pack samplers with a whole bunch of other amazing flavors…if I list them all, I will start drooling, so maybe you should just go browse the website…The other flavors I have mentioned come in 3 sizes of bottles, so you can choose what fits your lifestyle and budget best!  Plus if you go to the website and get on their mailing list, they often have links and promotions where by “liking” them on facebook, following on Twitter, etc, you can get discounts off the products!  What is not to like about that?!?  So, follow my instructions: Right-click the link below to open in new tab (you don’t want to totally navigate away from this blog, do you?), and check out all that is Amazing and Flavorful at Devo Oil!!!

http://www.devooliveoil.com/

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Amazing flavor in my life #3?  My darling yoga peeps.  Got some more pics for you of my sweeties and their accomplishments…keep in mind, though, what I am REALLY PROUD of them for is not just some new and challenging pose (some were even doing jumpbacks from crow to plank…and we all LOVE flower!) –which is worth the praise for sure!— but their ever increasing ability to chill out and relax at both the beginning and end of class.  So wonderful.  If you could only see how they lay back and rest in their Savior’s arms and let it go…It makes me so very happy for them.

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Final Flavor this week…We are getting closer to fall, y’all!  I know, I know, we still have this holiday weekend to get through and it looks like it may still be hot as blazes for awhile yet, but with school starting up again, I keep thinking about the smell of a number 2 pencil and the crackle of fall leaves!  So when I saw this recipe show up in my e-mail box, I just had to share it…and you can eat it cold OR warm (or hot, if you aren’t trying to preserve the “rawness”), so you can have it even when it is still 101 degrees outside…ahem.

This comes from the Hallelujah Acres website, of the Hallelujah Diet book, etc.  I highly recommend the book…it has wonderful Biblical principles, testimonies of better health through a change in diet and lifestyle, recipes, and more! Slight warning/note:  they do promote some of their own brand products within the book, which I do not think are always necessary…other than that, I really think they are a good company with a good foundation, and this book has a balanced approach to raw food-ism, which includes intake of cooked food!  Don’t be scared!

Raw Harvest Pumpkin Soup

Submitted By: Rhonda Malkmus

This raw soup rivals any chilled soup from the fanciest of restaurants! Try it for Thanksgiving… your guests will be impressed!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups raw pumpkin OR butternut squash (peeled and diced)
  • 2 ½ cups distilled water
  • 1 orange (peeled, quartered, and seeded)
  • 1 red bell pepper (quartered and seeded)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels (thawed)
  • 1 tsp raw unfiltered honey
  • ½ avocado (pitted)
  • ½ tsp Celtic or Himalayan salt (or to taste)
  • ¼-inch piece of ginger (peeled)
  • 1 garlic clove (optional)
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a Vita-Mix or other powerful blender and process until creamy.
  2. Divide into 4 soup bowls and garnish with raw pumpkin seeds and fresh thyme.

Organic ingredients are always recommended.

To print the recipe alone:

http://www.hacres.com/recipes/cards/raw-harvest-pumpkin-soup/print

So, I pray that you all have a wonderfully Flavorful weekend in every way!  How do YOU flavor your life?  comment below….

The entire breakfast: Sweet Spinach Salad, Sprouted Millet Porridge with Chopped Figs, and a little half-caf coffee with Almond Milk and Truvia

Things I love, that lift my spirit, Part 2 : Natural Peanut Butter Cups and the Italian picnic

Anyone who knows me knows that I know health is not just what you put in to your body, what you do with your body, or what and how you think….it is ALL of those things….!

So, while the title of this post may seem to be just food-oriented, I assure you, it’s not.

Also, I have been meaning to blog a bit about my experience with the Daniel Fast that I did back in April/May, using The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast by Kristen Feola as a devotional and guidebook (please read my review of the book here on my blog or at Amazon, under “happy girl”…there is also a link to her website on the right side of this blog).  Funnily enough, what I learned (or should I say, re-learned and confirmed) fits right in with all that I want to share today…

So, here’s the deal:  what did I learn during the Daniel Fast?  Well, I DIDN’T learn a whole new way of eating, as I pretty much eat that way already, most of the time (but I am sure that for others, it is QUITE a change from their normal fare, and I encourage you to give it a try!!!)…THOUGH, I did have some lovely reminders and re-connections with the natural taste of a few foods (whom I had been abusing with extra sweeteners, etc)…and I DID gain some new and wonderful recipes, for sure!!!

I DIDN’T learn that eating well takes planning, since I am fairly used to that, as well…but I DID learn to incorporate that planning time as a Form of My Worship of My Lord, by dedicating that time to Him and offering that sacrifice of time to Him and communing with Him in the process!

(Now I just need to remember to still choose that purpose daily—not just during a Daniel Fast—and not get caught up in the “getting through it” mentality…so easy to do…but so much more an “imitator of Christ” way of doing things to choose the joyous method, amen?  And gosh, I sure do feel happier!)

I also enjoyed (as always happens) the strength and power that come from starting my day with Him at the forefront, and how He gives me the ability to do what needs to be done!  (And, alternatively, experienced, as I do at times, the LACK of power and peace I feel when I do NOT spend time with Him first thing…)

Honestly, for me, The Word and time with my Lord is like the best kind of fuel!  The super-wonderful kind that doesn’t clog up my engine! (More on good, PHYSICAL fuel in just a bit…)

Truly, the MAIN thing I feel I learned (and re-learned and re-confirmed), are two practical things that God spoke to my heart “many moons” ago, and somewhere along the way, I let those good habits go…and whenever I do, it causes problems.

1. Not eating while watching TV (or being distracted in any way, if at all possible). If I don’t give my food focus, I may as well not have eaten at all…and, it can lead to the other issue, depending on the time of day…

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men…Colossians 3:23 (King James Bible)

2. Not eating late at night…when I do that, it’s like all systems go, no holds barred, “what is full?”…as if my stomach sensors are actually turned off.  And then, weird bits of  common sense pop into my head like, “well, you can’t go to sleep after you’ve eaten, or you’ll get acid reflux, so you better stay up longer”, but at that time, I am super-tired because of the hour and because my body is using up all the energy I might have had by eating 4 times as much food as I needed, so what do I do in response? 

Eat more to stay awake.  WHAT?!?!

And usually, these 2 unhealthy choices are made as a result of my NOT choosing to lead a balanced life; resting, savoring, enjoying, and turning anything worrisome over to God…

Did I lose a bunch of weight?  Nope.  Guess what?  I am a fairly fit person at a fairly fit weight already, and so don’t really need to lose “a lot of weight”, but if there is any excess, I fully believe it is there as a result of the above abuses…which, by the way, are of a very spiritual nature.  If I need to lose the little bit of extra, it will only come off as I let go of the spiritual weight…(and yes, I see your hands raised, and yes, I have read “Made to Crave” and yes, I LOVE IT!  So, you can see that these are not new concepts, and like the Word says, no temptation has overtaken you that is not common to (wo)man…so I am know I am not alone here!)

So for me, God used the Daniel fast as a way of reconnecting, with Him, with others, and with myself…I made a list of folks and issues I wanted to pray for specifically throughout the fast, as well as hearing from my Big Papa again about what I needed to focus on most (stillness, intention, not the food itself so much) for change to happen…I think it was Joyce Meyer who said once in a sermon, something about when hearing from God, if it has been awhile since God said anything to you on a particular subject, go back to the last thing He said….well, there ya’ go.

(And thank you again, Kristen, for writing a phenomenal book that is a phenomenal vehicle used of God for many people to have many different kinds of amazing breakthroughs!  May He continue blessing your work, my friend.)

“Intermezzo”

Something you may or may not know about me is that I lived in Italy for a little while over a decade ago, and from that time in my life, I learned in a truly experiential way what it is to SAVOR LIFE.  SAVOR EVERYTHING.  Take it slowly, breathe, chew slowly, sip, love big, laugh loudly, and when in doubt, or just because you can, USE YOUR HANDS IN A LARGE MOTION…=-)  In some ways, Italians are so big….big with their hands, big with their voices, big with their emotions and love, big with their families…but they are “small” in getting wrapped up in the to-do lists, the time-frame, the things that our American society deems most important…at least this was my experience in my family.

Now, I am not saying they are perfect or that there are not those who do NOT match that description.  But overall, that was my experience.  For them, it isn’t considered “procrastination” to realize that something can be put off until tomorrow if trying to get it done today interferes with love and life!  It’s not worth your health or loss of relationships to achieve, achieve, achieve at a cost of sacrificing them…

We have heard for years how the Mediterranean Diet is so healthy for the heart, among other things, and I would agree…but it is definitely NOT just about the food.  It’s the attitude towards everything in our lives, and upon what we place the most importance.

Since the release of both the book and movie, “Eat, Pray, Love”, many more people are now familiar with the Italian phrase Dolce Far Niente:  the sweetness of doing nothing.  It is SO TRUE.  Such an apt phrase to describe both something Italians hold dear, and quite frankly, something Our Lord calls us to do!  There are so many times in the Bible where we are called to just be still, to spend time with our God, to listen, to be quieted by His love…so many times in which we are told of Jesus separating himself from the multitudes or his disciples for a little quiet time…with Himself, and with His Father.  It’s not selfish, people.  It is necessary, it is rewarding, and it is part of our purpose.  I could go on, and on, and on about that subject…one of my favorites, and yes, something I find hard to do as well (typical Type A, right here).

So, let’s slow down and savor.  Let’s find some good fuel, both Spiritual and Physical.

Sunday "in Italia"

One of my favorite things to do with my family is to have picnics; outside or in.  A few Sundays ago there was a chance for thunderstorms, so our plans for a picnic by the “swimmin’ hole” were somewhat thwarted, but we prevailed!  (PLEASE forgive the non-eco-friendly plates!  I don’t know how they ended up in our cabinets, but as soon as they are gone, there will be no  more!!!  It is sooo unlike us!)

Our spread included homemade hummus, veggies, focaccia bread, parmesan cheese, prosciutto, grapes, and a little wine….we broke the bread into pieces onto the table just like my “Mama Guigi” does!  It’s my favorite.

Later that same day, I made a WONDERFUL TREAT:  all natural peanut butter cups!  Low sugar, non-refined sugar, and vegan.

The types of food we eat do matter.  Now, we don’t need to be so restrictive that we end up making food an idol or spending our entire lives yo-yo dieting, but these little temples do house the Holy Spirit, and let’s face it…when you eat better, you feel better.  I have heard numerous times that every 7 years, you have a whole new body (on the cellular level) than the one you had 7 years prior.  So, right now I am building the body I want in one year, 2 years, etc…and in 7 years, I can look back and know that every cell has changed from today!

And, I love sweets.  Or, I should say, I enjoy sweets a lot.  (I love my husband, I love my God, but I need to not “love” sweets…hee hee)  For me to not be a yo-yo dieter or get my self-worth from what I had on my plate today, I better just incorporate some whole-food-sweet-goodness into it…and if your body recognizes the whole food ingredients, it knows what to do with them!  (digest them)…as opposed to all the fake things out there, to which I envision my body saying, “I really don’t know what you expect me to do with this, little chic…so I think I will just leave it here on your thighs if ya don’t mind.”

I do mind.  So here is a better alternative that comes from Kelly Keogh of “The Sweet Truth” on the Veria channel. It is a show geared toward making/baking sugar-free/gluten-free foods in a mostly natural way (liquid stevia is not totally natural, but closer than aspartame or splenda, etc!)

You can find the recipe here:

http://www.veria.com/peanut-butter-cups.html

I made a few substitutions based on what I had on hand:

Instead of the “Stevia Plus Stevia”, I used Truvia (emptied the packets into my teaspoon measure).

Instead of the agave nectar, I used Yakon Syrup…even BETTER for you than agave nectar.  Low glycemic, and not as much (if any?) controversy over whether or not it has been cut with corn syrup like agave had.  However, it is expensive and hard to find, so do not fret over the use of agave, and use whatever brand your store has…unless you already have Yakon. =-)  I believe God honors our best efforts and protects us!

The rest of the ingredients were basically the same. (Ps, don’t forget, everything in moderation…these are a “sometime” food…be self-controlled and alert, knowing that your enemy is prowlin’ around trying to slip you up…but DO enjoy them on occasion, to the FULLEST!!!!! WITH FREEDOM!!!)

Ingredients for Natural, low-glycemic, dairy-free, vegetarian friendly Peanut Butter Cups

So, I followed the instructions for assembling the ‘cups.  I don’t have a mini muffin tray, so I was hoping the paper cups would hold anyway, and they did! This is before I poured the last bit of “chocolate” on top…

Once topped off, I placed them in the freezer for 15 minutes to harden (a good excuse to clean out my freezer, too!)

After freezer, 15 minutes

Ecco le qua! (Here it is!  It’s like saying, “voila!” or “Ta-dah!” in Italian…)

And of course, I had to eat some…

Yum!!!!  It made plenty, so I took some to friends, and still have a few in the freezer to savor one at a time…

Some more spiritual food to savor? the Word of God.  Here is a recent verse we used in the Vessels of Clay Yoga classes:

Acts 17:28 The Message

24-29 “The God who made the world and everything in it, this master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself.  He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him.  Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him.  he doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us.  he’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him!

And guess what?  It’s give-a-way time!  Leave a comment and be entered into this week’s give-a-way drawing, where the winner can choose between a yoga mat or a neckroll!  The drawing will be held next Friday or Saturday(July 8th or 9th…gotta’ leave room for life happening…and let’s be like the Italians and be a little more flexible, eh?)

Yoga mats in Buttercup Yellow and Dark Teal, Neckroll in Eggplant; which would you choose?

Allora, Buon Appetito, e Ti Vediamo! (So, enjoy the good food and see ya’ soon!  –loose translation, mine. (=:)

(ps…There will be some folks who are concerned about the saturated fats in Coconut Oil, but if you do the research, you will find that in fact, the way the fatty acids chain together is what makes them healthy or unhealthy, and coconut oil can actually be quite good for you!…in moderation, like everything else.)

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