VEGAN BAKING DAY

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The awesome foods that do not raise blood glucose include:

☆ Eggs,
☆ avocado,
☆ Fatty nuts (walnuts pecans sunflower seeds almonds etc.),
☆ Dark green leafy veggies, i.e., “greens” ( mustard, kale, spinach, turnip greens), also lettuces
☆ Low carb crunchy veggies e.g., cucumber, celery, cabbage, bok choy, celery cabbage, green bell pepper,
☆ Any lean meat or
☆ fish,
☆ cheese (depending on the type this will give you protein & a smidge of fat or a whole bunch)
Greek yogurt, plain (be careful one cup will give you about 15 grams of carbohydrate and at least two to three servings in that 1 cup ),

and of course,
☆ herbs, spices etc… lots of flavor to our foods without adding tons and tons of carbohydrates or salts, provided you use straight season and not the seasoning salts {those are really just plain old table salt that’s been introduced do a minimum of herbs… you can make your own for far less money and far less salt}.

dessert-haiku

Just because you say VEGAN, it does not necessarily mean that you’re home free as far as baking goes.  Vegan can be low-carb, but it is not necessarily, so be careful.  This recipe does use a cup of all-purpose flour and a cup of non-dairy yogurt, but everything else looks “legal” for low-carbers.  Notice that is LOW CARB and not NO CARB.

Vegan Cherry Almond Coffee Cake

Makes 1, 9×13″ sheet cake

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup sugar-free cherry jam
1 ¼ cup slivered almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup vegan butter, softened
1 cup non-dairy yogurt
1 cup Splenda
4 ½ Tablespoons arrowroot or tapioca flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions:

1) Grease your baking dish

Preheat your oven to 350F (177C). Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with vegetable oil or cooking spray.

2) Prepare the cherry almond topping

In a medium bowl, mix together sugar-free cherry jam, almonds and set aside.

3) Whisk together the dry ingredients

In a large bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder and set aside.

4) Build the batter

In a large bowl, cream the soft Vegan Butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the non-dairy yogurt, then beat in the Splenda, followed by beating in the arrowroot or tapioca flour. Stir in the vanilla and almond extract. By hand, fold in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Spread half of the batter into the baking dish then top with half of the cherry almond topping. Spread the other half of the batter into the baking dish, followed by the other half of the cherry almond topping.

5) Bake the vegan coffee cake to perfection

Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Wait until cake is completely cooled if you’re going to remove it from the baking dish.

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So…  maybe we can have our cake and eat it too.  🙂

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NATIONAL GOOD NEIGHBOR DAY

tl-9-28-national-good-neighbor-day-2WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?  An earnest lawyer asks Jesus this question in Luke 10:29.  Basically, Jesus replied that our neighbor is not just the one who lives next door to us.  A neighbor is a fellow human being on this planet.  It’s anyone who shares the oxygen on earth.  Our Lord desires that we all be GOOD NEIGHBORS and show mutual respect, helping one another along the path.

hands-for-jesus

I’m certainly not suggesting that we lay the burdens of the world on our shoulders.  Nobody could handle that – it’s why we bear one another’s burdens by giving them all to the One who can shoulder and care for us, Christ Jesus.let-us-be-a-light

So how can we be a good neighbor?  Something as a monthly charitable contribution is being a good neighbor because you are helping someone less fortunate along the path.

Always remind people of their worth.  It hurts when it feels like you’re being forgotten.  That small gesture can mean a lot.  – Bobby Fulks

It means we’re not selfish and self-absorbed in our thinking, rather we consider the needs of others before our own needs.  Again, it does not mean that we do not take care of ourselves as we should.  We just share something as simple as a smile or hold a door open for someone.  It  doesn’t have to be a monetary donation.  Give creatively to your fellow-man.give-a-lift-when-needed

The denomination I was part of growing up had a place called THE GOOD NEIGHBOR CENTER.  It’s much like the Salvation Army.  They take donations and distribute clothing and other goods to the less fortunate.  Something as simple as donating to such a place is being a good neighbor to your fellow-man.plant-a-garden-of-love

Do you know someone who is struggling?  Say a prayer for them.  It doesn’t seem like you’re actually “doing much”, but it’s not what we can do for them that really matters.  We know we serve a God who gives exceedingly above anything that we can ask or think.  That’s powerful and when we take a moment to talk to the Father on behalf of another person, that’s putting feet to your faith for them.  When I hear someone say, “I just don’t know what else I can do.  I guess I’ll just pray”…  it makes me shudder because prayer really should be our first resource instead of our last resort.

someones-burning-bushIn this political season, it’s so easy to get caught up in the fight for right.  As Christians, we really need to be careful about becoming too angry because nothing is worth going against our beliefs, values and principles.  We don’t have all the answers about how to care for the truly needy among us while still keeping taxes lower and assuring we have plenty of jobs to go around here in America.  We don’t have answers about how our life-saving medications can become reasonably priced and more assessable for those who must have them.  There are so many unanswered questions.success-begins-with-youI don’t have answers.  I’ll let you in on a secret – those running for the office of President of the U.S. don’t have every answer either.  Here’s what I do know.  EVERYBODY is my neighbor – no exceptions.  In order for America to be the great nation it once was, we NEED to get back to basics.  We NEED prayer.  We NEED to ask the God of the universe, the One who made us, to make our paths straight.  It is only as we read our Bibles and pray on a regular basis that this country will be great again and we will all be the GOOD NEIGHBORS we should be!  🙂

 

NATIONAL FALL FOLIAGE WEEK

tl-9-27-thru-10-3-national-fall-foliage-weekI know the upcoming election is important – it’s a turning point for America.  Having said that, I will add that I’m sick and tired of the campaign speeches, debates and mud slinging on both sides.

When I read that this week is NATIONAL FALL FOLIAGE WEEK, my first thought was “Oh how lovely to sit and watch the amazing colors dancing instead of watching politics on television.”

Here are a few poems about this beautiful time of year:

one-single-leaf-is-left

a-crown-of-beauty

headin-into-the-seasona-soft-bed-of-leavesall-the-samefall-in-the-valleythrough-gods-eyesprayer-about-short-autumn-daysa-dessert-for-the-eyeshow-can-i-thank-youprayer-about-autumnautumn-in-my-backyardits-crunch-timemy-first-applepatchwork-prairiepath-of-peacethese-people-rockthis-spider-has-such-talent

Sit back and turn up the volume because here are some of the most beautiful videos I could find on the internet.  Today let’s relax with a cup of any hot beverage and enjoy God’s nature.

LUKE 9:26 on 9/26

tl-luke-9-26-on-9-26Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.  – Luke 9:26

If I had a nickel for every time I heard, “I believe in God, but I choose to keep my religion private and to myself”, I’d be so rich!  Yet – strangely enough, if I choose to share Christ with others, the target on my back gets shot at.  Oh, you haven’t noticed that target on my back?  Trust me – it’s there.

The most recent situation took place on facebook.  Most of my friends there are aware of my stance about faith.  I’m not ashamed to share it with anyone, and although I hope and pray it’s not annoying, I don’t apologize for my facebook posts or my blog posts.  I write Christian poetry – although I have written poems that are not particularly religious, I’m not going to apologize for writing what God has inspired me to write.

Apparently one of my friends didn’t get the memo.  This person ripped me a new halo about going overboard with my Christianity.  Well, long story short, it ended with unfriending and blocking.  Isn’t it sad when people can’t just let people post whatever they want on their own facebook wall?  Last time I checked, it was still a free country – so far.

It’s my belief that some encouragement is not a bad thing in our upside-down world.  Call me crazy, but a positive message of hope and love should be welcome on facebook.  Oh well…  I wonder who will be the next one to endure this person’s anti-religious rant?  I dunno – not my circus, not my monkeys.  That’s a Polish proverb – it means that it’s not my problem anymore.

I’ll just say it – nothing a human being says or does to me is going to change what I say or do.  When I’m being criticized, I know it’s really my Savior being criticized.  And by the way, this portion of Scripture has about 20 cross-references.  You know what that tells me?  It tells me that the Lord wants His children to share their faith along the way – it’s not to be held silently and hugged to yourself.  My favorite portion of Scripture on the subject is Romans 1:16.  Look it up – I’m too lazy to type it out.  😉

Oh alright – here’s a hint:  this happens to be my favorite song too.

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 🙂

 

BRIGHT PINK LIPSTICK DAY

tl-9-25-bright-pink-lipstick-day

I hope that today, as part of breast cancer awareness, you will wear bright pink lipstick.

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.  – Author Unknown

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shine-1279586_1280Audrey Hepburn said a famous line in the movie, “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”:

A girl cannot read without lipstick.  – Audrey Hepburn

I love that line – so much, that I tweaked it and told people in my church that I can’t sing without lipstick.  It’s amazing how many people thought I made that up.  Isn’t anyone else a fan of Audrey Hepburn?

im-lost-without-my-lipstick

I’m usually in a more coral or burgundy mood…  but today I will wear my BRIGHT PINK for my friends and family who have battled breast cancer and those who sadly, lost the battle.

Maybe today you will:

paris-1283704_1920Travel to Paris.

watercolor-1588805_1280Write the great American novel.

cute-15719_1920-1Listen to Buck Owens.  Quit laughing.  Seriously, stop.  Okay – listen to whatever you want.

adult-19012_1920Pick flowers from your garden.

girl-15599_1920Say a prayer or two (throw one in for me, okay?)

active-84646_1920active-19413_1920Exercise without shoes or socks.  Just don’t forget your lipstick.  😉

brush-15931_1920Dust the house.

dots-15833_1920Take a walk in the rain.

14459075_1817312888513173_186671214_nGo out for a girl’s night out…  OR

14479705_1737762243141689_5896206879461711538_nPut on pink to go out for lunch and a movie.  ❤

Whatever is on your schedule today, make sure you are wearing your bright pink lipstick!  Show your support for the American Cancer Society and please consider donating today.

https://secure.info-komen.org/site/Donation2?18332.donation=form1&df_id=18332&s_src=PGSEM&iq_id=86016108-VQ6-113872141681-VQ16-c

My cancer scare changed my life. I’m grateful for every new, healthy day I have. It has helped me prioritize my life.  – Olivia Newton-John

A diagnosis of cancer is a game changer.  Scary at first – but then the fear turns into fight and the attitude kicks in – with faith in God and determination to follow doctor’s instructions to the letter.  There’s a realization that human beings are indeed finite and frail.  These bodies we are given need to be cared for very carefully with proper nutrition and regular exercise and hydration.

A diagnosis of breast cancer is a teacher.  The lesson is one that will never be forgotten.  We learn that there may be some bad habits we need to let go of for the sake of our health.  As we make healthier choices, we then are able to face challenges that will help our quality of life.

Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.  – Emory Austin

Once health is restored, and with thanksgiving we run toward the next hurdle, knowing we can jump it with complete confidence in our God because He saw us through.  He’s been so faithful in our lives.  He will continue to be faithful because He loves us so very much.  🙂

 

 

 

 

ACTIVE AGING WEEK

tl-9-25-active-aging-weekOther people see the persona we present.  We are able to hide many things, including bad attitudes from others – but God knows everything, doesn’t He?dont-be-finished

That means He knows when I just want to stay in my jammies and write the day away.  When the pain in my head, joints or nerves is just too bad to try to exercise on gym day, I think it’s time to find a new way…

use-your-gifts

If you have sciatica, you will understand that when it kicks up, you don’t always want to go workout at the gym.  It feels like a red -hot poker is right beside your sciatic nerve.  I’m not always diggin’ on exercise.  When it’s particularly painful, as it is now – there is also substantial weakness in my leg.  I could be walking and my leg can just “give away” – it buckles!  Sometimes I wonder how much more fun this condition will be as I get older.  At 55 I can usually work through the pain and do a victory dance when I’m done.  Will I be able to do that at 65 or 75???  Well…  time will tell.

dont-quit

We’re all doing the best we can with these bodies God gave us.  Have you ever wondered if God gives you difficult days so you will slow down and be active in a different way?  Maybe active doesn’t always refer to physical activity.  Of course, it encompasses that…  but people who are not in physical condition to run marathons should not feel that they cannot be used of God.  That is certainly not true.

  • Active aging may include mental focus.  I read an article recently about a senior who lived alone.  A veteran, he lived with just one leg.  He wanted to make a difference in someone’s life and prayed that God would open the door of opportunity.  It didn’t take the Lord long to answer his prayer.  A young mother with a son in elementary school lived in the apartment upstairs.  They had just moved in.  The mother worked 3 jobs to make ends meet.  The man offered to have the son stay with him, and help him with homework until his mom got home.  He not only helped take care of the young boy, but learned all about the dreaded common core math.  Just what we all want to do, right?  I’m sure along with homework, the man told the boy some war stories and shared U.S. history with him.
  • Active aging may include sharing.  Whether you are able to share your time, talent or treasure, there are ways you can share.  The church I grew up in had VBS every summer.  Through the years, I knew that some of the teacher’s faces would be familiar and some would drop out after a year or two.  One senior woman was there every year – our church librarian.  Mrs. Little believed that books about the church, it’s beliefs, and God Himself were like bridges that young people could cross to gain wisdom that would reinforce other teaching.  She encouraged us to be curious.  I used to go into the library just to chat with her.  She always had such wonderful insight when it came to recommending books to read.  It was like she already knew what I needed to read before I walked in the door.  She would not have had to share her time, talent or treasure (as I think most of the books came from her own collection).  I believe being church librarian was her passion and she experienced fulfillment in the ministry.  As she got older, Mrs. Little was nearly blind.  She was not discouraged and had some help, but she did not quit.
  • Active aging may include helping.  While it’s important to emphasize that nobody should be giving money away on facebook or giving out their personal information to anyone else – EVER…  I do think there are legitimate ways to help that are relatively safe.  My friend never had children, but read an advertisement for a pregnancy crisis center.  She had some health issues such as asthma that made it difficult to exercise much, but she felt led to answer the charity’s plea for help.  It happens that she was one of their best counselors and the most patient.  She gave rock solid, sound advice to young women in crisis.
  • Active aging may include teaching.  Seniors know more than young people, and the youth are missing a wealth of information by ignoring what they have to teach them.  My friend was a pianist for a church and in a few gospel groups through the years.  As she got older, arthritis began to invade her joints, including the joints in her hands.  She knew it was a matter of time until she would be unable to serve effectively, but she still had the knowledge to teach children.  She said there is nothing more rewarding than to teach and see the “light bulb light up” in a child’s eyes when they understand what you’re trying to teach.  My friend, crippled with arthritis, could still teach.
  • Active aging may include praying.  Last on my list, but by no means the least!  Prayer warriors are the backbone of families, churches, communities and nations!  Never underestimate the value of a sincere prayer from a prayer warrior.  Never think that as a senior, it’s time to be put to pasture.  God hears each and every prayer you pray.  Even if you have bad knees and can’t kneel anymore…  God understands!  He made you, so surely He forgives when you don’t kneel anymore.  Prayer is humility toward our maker and He looks forward to hearing them.

If you think that Active Aging Week is just about lifting weights or riding a bike from one end of the city to the other…  think again.  These bodies are so fragile and frail…  and they don’t get stronger as time passes.  Please know that our Lord is aware of how the aging process works.  He is not surprised by it, and I don’t think most of us are either.  Just put your life and your body in His hands.  He will help you to make the best of aging.  I plan to be active as I age, don’t you?  🙂