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Posts tagged ‘The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast’

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.)

Fresh food, fresh rest, fresh me…

Soooo….

yesterday I had the first Saturday off from show business in I don’t know how long…I mean, the first Saturday off, from show business, in which I didn’t just get it off because I had something else scheduled…literally, OFF. Off. Off. OFF.

aaah.

How many would agree with me that sometimes when we have “off” times, we schedule them to the brim, and then we end up feeling far worse?  Well, for ONCE, I didn’t do that…but it took a personal struggle to get there…

Friday morning dawned with thoughts of “have-to’s and should-do’s and I-just-don’t-want-to’s”….I was pooped out and tired and just needed a break, and I needed it right now thank you very much!  I cannot wait until Saturday!  So, in my fleshly wisdom (I hope you are paying attention to my careful wording), I decided not to do anything but rest…sounds great, right?  No workout, no computer…and guess what else?  No devotional time….(this is when we cue the old-time detective show music…dum da dum dum…dum da dum dum DUM!!!! And in this case, perhaps that should be spelled D-U-M-B.)

Yep, as almost always happens, the days I choose to put off my devotional time, I end up making everything worse, only to go back and do my devotional later (haggard, tired, stressed and desperate) and find that it WAS PERFECT FOR THAT DAY!!!! 

Basically, my devotional on Friday told me to Rest in God (Psalm 62:5) and pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17)….guess who prayed herself through the rest of the day, headache and all?  As much as I possibly could, I kept turning my thoughts over to the Lord, and He got me through that day…I wonder what might have happened had I done that in the first place?  I imagine I would not have allowed certain things to stress me out, I would have chosen the right kind of rest, and the things that I HAD to do (like my job, which I usually love!) would not have been nearly so difficult…

So, here is where the story starts getting more refreshing…as I mentioned before, the next day was Saturday, my first Saturday off from a show in about a bajillion years…

In my flesh, I am a total type “A” person…make that, a total type “A” person with a guilt-prone nature, an accomplishment-guided mentality, and a people-pleasing habit…which means I was sorely tempted to make my day off into a gargantuan to-do list.

But I didn’t.

I got up and went to my devotional time.  I thought of things I might want to accomplish, and then I would bring my mind back to my devotions.  I would write down things and lists I might consider doing, and I would turn them over to God.  And when they came back, I continued to go to God and listen to HIS voice reminding me to consider what would bring me the MOST PEACE, MOST REST, MOST JOY…to not be afraid that I would get carried away, but be reminded that He was right there with me, even in the planning of a day off, and that if I would just commit to stillness with Him, it would all turn out…not to be afraid of the clock, or this list…and to choose the most important things…for I have the mind of Christ, and a life lived in the Spirit, gratifies the desires of the Spirit…and my Spirit just keeps saying, “rest”.

Romans 8:6 New International Version (NIV)

6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

Galatians 5:16 New International Version (NIV)

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Now, does that mean my personality was magically transformed, and there were no problems whatsoever in carrying out this floating-on-a-cloud mission?  Don’t make me snicker-snort, please.  (Or, do.  Laughter doeth the heart like good medicine…Proverbs)

Anyway.  There were moments when I looked at the clock and thought, “oh boy, I was hoping to be further along by now”…but there were also moments when I realized, “Hey!  I have gotten a few things done that bring me peace and a smile, and it is only such-and-such-o-clock, and I am not stressed out!” 

(Sidebar:  what did I get done?  Some laundry, some house straightenin’, some food preppin’, etc, etc…Here are a few pics of the food prep just for fun…it is sooo much easier to eat healthily if you have it ready for yourself…I cut up some fresh veggies {zucchini from our own garden!},

made some home-made hummus  –I have 3 or 4 different recipes I use.  They are all very similar: a mix of beans, nut paste/butter, healthy fat, seasonings, and lemon juice.  Yesterday I used the one from Kristen Feola’s “The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast”; you can try it here:

http://www.ultimatedanielfast.com/2010/01/want-snack-have-some-hummus.html

Yummy, beany, herby goodness!

Started soaking some almonds for almond milk, and started soaking some broccoli seeds for sprouting…which will be so rewarding later!)

In the end, I DID get a few things done that I needed/wanted to do, and THEN AS I PROMISED TO MYSELF, I got to take a rest. A real rest…I took myself off down to the swimmin’ hole (yes, I am using the vernacular I mean to use), utilized a spirit of self-discipline to take a vigorous walk nearby before grabbing my outdoor yoga mat, a towel, a good book, my water and larrabar, and heading to the creek for a nice little lay-around…

It was my kind of heaven.

I even met some folks with a wonderful campsite, who happen to have gone to school with one of my cast members…a few hours from here!  Fun, small world kind of moment!

I found a quiet spot, waded in the cool water for a moment, and then settled down to just.   be.   still.

Psalm 23 just kept coming to mind.  I was certainly resting beside still waters (they may have been flowing, but compared to the craziness of a show business/tourist town, and even just what goes on in my own head some days, believe me, they were beautifully quiet and still!)

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

 1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
 3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
   for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
   through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
   for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
   they comfort me.

 5 You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
   forever.

Eventually, I did need to return home to get ready for a social engagement (well, La-dee-da, right?) …a lovely house party that was designed as a benefit for a WONDERFUL organization:  Table Rock Freedom Center,  a non-denominational, faith-based recovery residential program for women.  I highly recommend visiting their page and offering your support! Click below to learn more:

http://trfreedom.com/wordpress/

It was to be a lovely evening with my hubby and various friends/acquaintances/new friends-in-the-making with great Cajun food and wonderful music!  Thank you, my darling friends and hosts who honored Table Rock Freedom Center this way, and for opening up your home to all of us–and inviting us, even!  And to the musicians, I already told ya’ how wonderful you were…thank you again for sharing your talents with us! 

(I won’t share the names just so folks can remain anonymous if they wish…)

Back home and an attempt to wind down with a good book in bed before a full Sunday of fun planned…more on that next post…(stay tuned!)

Cuz how many of you know the enemy likes to get ya’ riled on a Sunday?  Better rest up…and Rest in Him…and pray continually…

Praying for you all who have taken the time to read, and thank you!!!

Love,

Robyn

newsflash!  Having a local giveaway this week…Leave a comment below with the answer to this question, and you will be entered into a drawing for a yoga mat bag!  You choose the color (light green or maroon)…

Question:  What kind of beans are called for in the hummus recipe Robyn used today? (you can use any kind of white bean, but what kind does the actual recipe ask for?  –and guess what?  I used what I had on hand, which was different…but the question is fun!)

leave me a comment below, and your name will be entered into the drawing to be held on Friday, June 17th!  (local/Southwest Missourians only, please –I can hand deliver–,…unless you are willing to pay the shipping charges, or are coming near to visit, which is fine by me!)

My Amazon review of “The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast” by Kristen Feola…and some other stuff…=-)

The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast
Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Nourishing in every way! Heart, soul, mind, and body…=-),May 10, 2011
By
Happy Girl “Happy Girl”
This review is from: The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast (Paperback)

If I could describe this book in one word, it would be WONDERFUL. Meaning, full of Wonder(s)…miracles on the plate, in my mouth, in my mind, and in my heart…

Could one buy this book just for the 21 days of devotions inside and be pleased? Yes.

Could one buy this book just for the amazing, natural, unprocessed and tasty recipes inside and be pleased? Yes.

However, with both resources at your fingertips, why would you only utilize one portion?!?

I will not go into the long story of how this book came into my hands, but trust me, that was a miracle in itself. I literally heard about it on a Saturday and won it on a radio show the next Wednesday…having only found out about the radio show the night before…but again, I’ll save you the details. Just know that it was evidence to me that I was indeed supposed to do this.

I am already a pretty healthy eater. I am a professional singer/dancer and a Christ-centered yoga teacher who promotes the ideas of whole foods, juicing, raw food, small lists of ingredients on labels, etc…but I do live in this world and indulge in the “other stuff” from time to time.

With all of that activity, you might expect me to look like one of those fitness cover models, but I don’t…in fact, over the last few years, I have accumulated and kept that “last 10 pounds” so many are plagued with…

I wanted this book so that I could really HEAR what God was trying to say to me about not only my habits, but perhaps my Christ-centered yoga business, my family, or anyone else that maybe I was needing to pray for! I did know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I needed to tune in.

I heard the author on the radio show and was touched about her description of fasting as an outward activity just as much or more so than inward. It’s not just some diet you go on, and it’s not just something you do as a method hoping to get some miracle or revelation from God…It is something you do as an act of Devotion, perhaps in order to bless others through intercessory prayer, or to really draw closer to God in your dependence on Him through this time…and then, yes, I would say it is not unusual for some kind of “breakthrough” to happen in your life! But rest assured, it is the kind of breakthrough you need, not just what you want…but the funny thing is, I would bet just about anything to say that by the time you receive “it”, you realize how much it is EXACTLY what you need AND want…(Funny how a loving Father likes to do that…)

But back to the book!
The pictures are beautiful; the devotions are RIGHT ON. During my 21 days, I did not have a single bad recipe. There is an optional meal plan provided, but there are so many recipes included in the book that you can switch things out for other things that look more appealing to you. There are even recipes never used in the meal plan…and one thinks, wow! I can’t wait to use those later, too!

The book is divided very well. The first section explains the different kinds of fasting there are, what kind this is (Partial food fast), and why one goes on a fast.
SIDEBAR: You will not go hungry on this fast. There is more than enough food, and it is satisfying. You are only fasting from certain types of foods, not food altogether.

The Second section is called “Focus” and contains the daily devotions, as well as sidebar testimonies of the experiences other Daniel fasters have had. Kristen Feola obviously seeks the Lord in her own life, is a human being with typical daily challenges, and allows God to change her with each one…and in the process, He has used her pen and paper to not only share her journey but encourage others who are also traveling His path! 1 Corinthians 10:13 reminds us that no temptations, trials, daily problems will we come across that are not “common to man”…meaning we all go through it and can encourage each other!

The Third section contains the recipes and meal plan.
Let’s talk about the food, shall we? Yum. Yum. Yum.

I honestly made so much food in the first week that I was able to extend the leftovers through the following weeks to a certain degree by putting half in the freezer. I have a daily habit of making green smoothies, so that was one full meal I did not need to make, but honestly, there is plenty of food here!
My all time favorite? The Baked Oatmeal…who would have thought a baked oatmeal square sweetened only with the dry fruit within could be so scrumptious?! I literally had my last serving in the freezer for a week, because I was putting off the bittersweet feeling of it being my last serving! Ha! Like I couldn’t make more!

The Tuscan Soup is very good, as is the Black Bean Chili Bake. My husband loves both soup and chili far more than I do, so I shared (though I like them a lot!). He couldn’t stop raving! They are hearty, filling, and yummy.

Of the Savory dishes, I really, really, really, really, really, loved the Asparagus-Mushroom saute’!!! Again, so yum…I confess, I was kind of glad my hubby is not a fan of Asparagus so that I could be a little selfish…(that has to sound funny as I draw closer to God, huh…)

How could you not love something called Antipasto Pizza Pie! Nourishing, warm, satisfying.

The Mega Greek salad was such a great thing to have in the fridge and nosh on all week!!!

When I was beginning to miss “bread”, I made the Pineapple-Citrus muffins. They were awesome…I just ate my last one yesterday. I was admittedly “hoarding” it, again, silly fear of that “last one” feeling…and then I turn that over to God and say “Thank You for the great food and the opportunity to enjoy it again!” I did add a little salt to the muffins when I would eat them, as for my taste buds they seemed to need a little. (Not worried about that, as I have typically low blood pressure and my health care provider has given me the “all clear” on salt…)

Kristen Feola's beautiful picture of the Pineapple Citrus muffin

My last lil Pineapple Citrus muffin, having been in a ziploc bag in anticipation...

The smoothies are Scrumptious. Snickerdoodle smoothie and Strawberry-Banana smoothie are in the book, but I have also tried Feola’s plum-good smoothie and sweet spinach smoothie from her website, and they are amazing!  www.ultimatedanielfast.com

SIDEBAR: One of the reasons I wanted Feola’s book over others out there; she is soooo generous. Her website is chock full of these recipes! You can tell she is out there to help others, not just sell a book by holding out in the recipe department. The website also has her blog and lots of wonderful information…Go there, and be blessed by it! And then buy the book; you will be glad you did!

One day, I made the flatbread with cinnamon…it was so satisfying that I literally only ate that, while drinking some green juice I just made, for breakfast…and I was full and content! That is not like me. I typically want a “Capital B” breakfast…
Which leads me to the Nutty Fruit cereal. Again, total surprise at how full and satisfied I was. And also, soooo delicious.

I have just given my husband the grocery list of ingredients I need to make the Flatbread pizza tomorrow…I am very excited about that! I have been finished with the Daniel fast for over a week now, but I am still using the recipes..that is how good they are!

As for what I learned from God through this whole process, believe it or not, my “breakthrough” was a bunch of little things I had been hearing from Him all along, but not really plugging into…things that help me function in a more peaceful and productive manner (and it was like finally seeing the neon sign)…and prayers for very specific people.

And yes, I had some material breakthrough blessings as well! I am hoping to include my personal Daniel Fast notes and experiences on my blog in the next week or soooo…feel free to comment on my review if you would like to know where you can find that…=-)

One more thing, I do have to disagree with one reviewer: not all of the recipes are gluten-free, as some call for whole wheat flour. However, substitutions can be made…again, feel free to comment here if you would like suggestions on how.

Kristen Feola certainly has a heart for God and for His people, and I am so glad that she followed the call in her spirit to write the book and be used of God to help others. I do believe that God can and will speak to you through this book if you seek Him with your whole heart…He will be found; He promises!

To whomever is reading this review, I pray blessings and discernment about whether or not this book is for you…I can assure you, you will not regret its purchase! Allow yourself to hit the “re-set” button on your physical and spiritual life, and tune in to God and your body!

Have a blessed day!

—————————————————————————————-

So, I pasted those pix in here…obviously they are not on Amazon…and I was not allowed to type in the website there, either, but I can do it here!  yay!

And truly, today I did prep to make the Flatbread pizza tomorrow… I have the dough resting in the fridge, and my Spinach-Artichoke dip is ready to be spread on the crust tomorrow when the time comes (and bonus!  I won’t be using it all on the crust, so guess who gets to have some Spin-Art with her gluten-free rice crackers!  Yesssss!)

Here is my fresh out of the oven Spin-Art:

I will not post the recipe here, but I will encourage you again to go to the website to get it, and have a look around!  It is amazing!!!  Be blessed by it, say Robyn sent ya, and go buy the book!

http://www.ultimatedanielfast.com/2009/09/day-5-last-night-feast.html

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Also, a sidebar!!!  While I was prepping for the Spinach-Artichoke dip, I was using my garlic press from Pampered Chef.  I love that thing!  I was also using my Pampered Chef measuring cups AND my oil spritzer, which is hands-down my favorite of all P.C. products…I love that I can put a healthy cooking oil in it and spray it onto my cooking dishes.  MUCH healthier than those store-bought things with propellants, etc.  All of that to say, if you don’t have a Pampered Chef Consultant yet, and would like one, please consider my friend Kristin Cartwright.  She has NO idea I am writing this, but I will probably send her a link right after!

Her website is WWW.PAMPEREDCHEF.BIZ/KRISTIN2010

Be blessed, today, ever’body!  I have another blog in my head that has been ITCHING to come out since Monday, but it will just have to wait…soon!

(Been saying that to myself a lot lately, but you know what?  Between doing 6 shows a week, exercising 5 times a week, doing my devotions, making healthy food, spending time with my husband, running a small-but-growing yoga business, and scheduling quiet time…well, you just have to make room for balance, you know?)  1 Peter 5:7…casting my cares on Him, and He will take care of me…

And He will do the same for you!  Keep Looking Up!

I know, right?!?!?

My goodness…how is it that when one finally goes to bed on time, they wake up at 3am and cannot shut off the brain?!?  As I tossed and turned, and after getting up to heed the call of nature, I contemplated my choices: workout now, devotional now, finish credit card statement balance now, blog now, or lay here now?

Well, my mind eventually began thinking up phrases and sentences for the blog, so I thought, “alright!  here we go!”…been a long time comin’ and was on  my to-do list for the day anyway.

Which is how I find myself still here at 6:14 am just barely starting…but having immersed myself in the world of WordPress.  Sort of.

I have changed my blog’s appearance, I have attempted to link it up with Facebook and Twitter (thought I already had?), and spent an unheard of amount of time trying to figure out Gravatars…first of all, that word makes me think my pictures will all come out blueAnd why can’t I just have my picture show up in the sidebar already?  Why is there this funny symbol that one’s cursor must hover over to “sort of” see some pictures? Answers and help greatly appreciated.  I do believe God has better things for me to do at this moment than spend another unheard of amount of time deciphering Help topics…=-)  like, maybe catching up this blog!

aka, take a breath and let go...

And, breathe.

So, I have been promising various folks that I will be blogging about this or that for a few weeks now…so much to share about the wonders God is doing and has done in my life!

Psalm 105:5 (New International Version, ©2011)

5 Remember the wonders he has done,
   his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced

The crazy thing is, there is so much to tell, I may have to break it up into parts, or have a verrrrry long blog post.  I’ll let you know what I decide at the end…which by that time, you will already know.

And, I am thinking of going most recent to a month ago…which, since blogs appear with the most recently posted on top, means you may actually read them in order of occurrence!  Ha!  It is way too early for that Quantum Leap thinking…

And my alarm just went off, so it’s time to wake up. 😉

So, let’s start with NOW.

Right now I am trusting that even though this day has started incredibly backwards, God can anoint, protect, and turn it around!

Already I have been blessed by seeing my husband off to work and enjoying a healthy breakfast…the first important because I LOVE HIM SO, and the second, because I want to take care of this temple and glorify the Lord through it!

I am currently taking part in a “65 days to Reshaping It All” challenge.  To learn more, go here (not a hyplerlink, but there is one in the sidebar. Otherwise, please cut and paste…anyone want to tell me how to insert a hyperlink?):

http://reshapingitallwithcandace.blogspot.com/search/label/65%20Days%20to%20Reshaping%20It%20All

It is an online blog/community for those wishing to Reshape their lives spiritually and physically!  It is based on the book “Reshaping It All” by Candace Cameron Bure’ with Darlene Schacht.  I have written a review of the book on Amazon.com (again, not a hyperlink):

http://www.amazon.com/review/R3PNG5E9MWL37N/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1433669730&nodeID=&tag=&linkCode=

My reviewer name is Happy Girl.  Suffice it to say, it is a positive review. Please go check it out!

(I may post by itself afterwards, but I already have so many words with which to to inundate you!)

But Robyn, you teach Christ-centered yoga!  You sing and dance in a high energy show! You love healthy foods!  You talk about all of this good-for-us stuff!  Why would you need to do this challenge?

(a.k.a, I know, right?!?!)

Because God often uses my mess to give a message.

Through the next series of blogs, I hope to fill in whatever readers I may have (and I so appreciate you taking the time!) on how I have had just about every reason possible, be it nurture or nature, to have an eating disorder, to have obsessive-compulsive tendencies,  to lack peace in my spiritual and physical life…but I know the Truth, and the Truth has, is, and will, set me free!

John 8:36
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Have you ever had one of those times in your life when it seems all signs are pointing to the same direction?  When you have really sought God, and His answer is a “barrage” of resources that seem to just flow together?  (And believe me, in this world we are certainly exposed to sooo many resources all the time…the trick is leaning on Him for discernment as to which ones we focus our attention!)

Well, that has DEFINITELY been happening to me!

God has been using all kinds of things…He often speaks to me through music.  One of my favorite things when I go walking or jogging, is to set my I-pod to shuffle, and ask God to be my DJ…you would be ASTOUNDED by the incredibly accurate playlists He comes up with; both secular and Christian songs!  In fact, I am will be listing some of those soon!

God often speaks to me by “playing” a song over and over in my head until I stop to analyze why it keeps going…and it is usually a pretty obvious message…and even funny! (Sidebar: did you the know the week after Easter is Holy Hilarity week in Orthodox churches?  I just found this out!  God is the author of humor, and we can choose to laugh in honor of His pulling the ultimate trick on the Devil with the Risen Christ!  Awesome!  That is something to chortle about…=-))

And, lately, a lot of books.

How about “Made to Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst, “The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast” by Kristen Feola, “Raw Emotions” by Angela Stokes, and “I can make you thin”  by Paul McKenna (I know, what? There is good stuff there, I promise…don’t shy away!) ?  My plan is to discuss these in some form or fashion very soon…but for now, let’s just say they are most definitely linked with what I have been asking of God, and what He has been answering!

I did just finish a Daniel Fast, in fact, and have a blog of that to write…so stay tuned!  So much wonderful stuff to share and all of it leading to where I am right now!…and possibly what God may be trying to tell YOU…! (holla back, Kristen, I adore you and the book!  Can’t wait to share!)

So, yes, a history of body image issues (nurture and nature), family history of depression on one side and addiction on the other (thank the Lord for generational curses being broken in His Power), health issues (candida conditions, hormonal issues, injuries from my life as a high energy performer) have certainly distracted me and gotten me down from time to time…but God has always been there and will always be there…and the mountain of Emotional Eating is no longer mine.  What I have known to be true in my head for a long time in this issue is finally going to be true in my heart, in His timing and Strength!


So, let’s get down to the practical side of things…and doing the Reshaping It All challenge…I don’t know exactly what that will mean for me, yet, except that I do have a goal of blogging at least once a week about it.  I have a goal of consistency with my exercise, eating healthily AND having a treat once or twice a week, and most importantly, putting the first things first, meaning God and all that He is telling me to do!

What has He been telling me to do?  To get enough sleep.  To not only choose right foods, but TURN OFF THE TV when I am eating. To take 2 rest days a week from exercise (other than my show), and to choose exercises that I like (who doesn’t know that already?  and yet I have to be reminded), not what the world says is effective, because I will actually DO it.  (Romans 12:1-2, anybody?) To not only do the Love Dare on my husband, but Also On Myself (where appropriate)!

Because it all starts and ends with Love.  He is love.  He loves me.  Who am I not to love myself?  As is often said, can’t give away what I don’t have.

The ministering service He has given me, Vessels of Clay Yoga, LLC (Christ-centered yoga), depends on my ability to love…and funnily enough, I am able to love my students, but not myself.  I seek Him on their behalf and He fills me so full of Grace…but I have not received for me…so how could I be surprised if I do not seemingly walk in victory over my own issues?

1 Corinthians 13:1
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

I do not wish my thoughts and words towards myself to be a bunch of noise!  Where is the peace in that?  And my whole life and mission is all about love and peace!  My students see that, my friends see that, and I know it…I am ready to live it more often than I have…

Because you see, I DO live it…but I hear God calling me up higher…He doesn’t just want you or me to only have glimpses of the Joyful Life He came for us to have (John 10:10), He wants us to be free always!

There are gonna’ be down days…and luckily, we don’t have to live by how we feel.  I can also guarantee you that after a victory, the enemy is going to try to steal your joy.  Stick close to God, my friend.  This is where we have an opportunity to build up that Resistance Muscle…a phrase I am taking from Reshaping It all…

Oh yeah, the challenge!

Let’s quit babbling, shall we?  Yesterday was indeed a victorious day…the day before was one of moderation…Here is a cut-and-paste of yesterday’s tweets (had fun posting my healthy choices):

littleRobynRobyn Hurst
#reshapingitall have had marvy day of good food & movement; lists to follow! I praise You, oh Lord 4 your marvelous works in me & of me!

yoga this a.m., followed by performing in my show (#1 hits of the 60’s in Branson), & now to teach Christ-centered yoga!

Food: bfast: millet rice oatbran w/alm milk, chia seeds, hemp seeds. Snack:ezeke tortilla w/collards, chry tomatoes…#reshapingitall

Lnch:green smoothie w/green juice (made b4),rice prot pwdr,froz peaches, soaked dates, cinn, &lil greek yog!Yum sneaky veg. #reshapingitall

Pre~yoga teach din: homemade bean burg w/annie’s ketchup, salad of collard, almonds, onion, cranberries, flax oil n lemon vinegar. #

FINALLY, lil treat in form of java monster vanilla light. (needed to use micro in gas station & forgot fork, so…) love #reshapingitall!

Unloading yoga class stuff in rain=yucky, wet teacher, BUT also = @VeslsOfClayYoga is ready to kick it praise, worship, sweat n bliss style!

had a GRRREAAAAT time with my students tonight! Yummy yoga, powerful praise. Love you, Lord! Thank you for my portion!

Now, will I always post all those things?  Nope.  For me, that could become obsessive behavior.

What I want you to know is that the day BEFORE this one was a generally healthy eating day, but a rest day from exercise (except for my show); however,  after the show my hubby and I went out for an impromptu dinner of Sushi and Plum wine (one glass)…followed by Andy’s frozen custard.

Moderation in Action.

I chose NOT to condemn myself.  I actually had a peace about it.  And you can see how in following the Lord the next day, it went swimmingly!  Are there challenges?  Yes.  Before that dinner, we were supposed to have an appointment that the other party forgot.  Right now, I have been awake for 5.5 hours, and I have to leave for work in 4 hours.  Would like to work on Credit Card balancing, do some moving/exercising and take a nap, for heaven’s sake.  It’s going to take some strength just to make myself lie down…

Phillipians 4:13 tells me I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.  I am choosing to really believe and accept that this time.

I praise You, Lord, and I receive Your Word.  I mean it, I hear You!!!  And I am so humbled and blessed that you bother.  Thank You, Big Daddy.

With love,

your little Robyn



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