New Soul

I want a new soul – a soul that is more kind, more compassionate, and more obedient to God.  The opinion that others have of me pales compared to the opinion that God has of me.  I want to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant – enter into your rest.”

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?  – Matthew 16:26

What good is a new year, a new beginning, if we don’t have a change?  Consider that the change does not have to be physical.  Yes, that’s what we see in each other – but what about a change of soul?  I know you probably don’t think much about your soul…  that invisible part of you; but what if I told you it’s well worth taking some time this year to ask your Heavenly Father what He would like to see changed in you.  There’s always room for improvement – in all of us!

A new soul…  a heart and mind like that of Christ Jesus, our Lord!  What does that look like?  It looks like moving forward in truth and right living, at whatever pace you can.  It looks like doing your very best in the face of difficulties that could slow you down.

Since New Year’s Day I’ve read and heard so many people teaching us how to be successful either financially or in our appearance.  It’s amazing how often we see these articles or hear these advertisements – but we don’t see or hear anyone emphasizing the importance of maintaining a happy and healthy soul.  Is any amount of money worth losing your soul?  Can a person lose all the weight they need to lose and still have an unhealthy soul?  Of course!

There is not a job, profession, time not spent in prayer, time not spent reading your Bible – that is worth it!  There are a gazillion ways to be successful here on earth, but be careful – because some of those methods involve the exchange of your soul.  I know, you are rolling your eyes and calling me crazy – but I’m right.

I know this is really long…  but take some time and take a look at this:

Oh I really like this!  

There is one way to be successful as God’s child.  Read your Bible and pray.  Does that mean you can’t have the best of both worlds?  According to God’s Word, it’s nearly impossible for a RICH man to make it to Heaven.  It likens a camel going through the eye of a needle.  Have you ever seen a camel go through the eye of a needle?  Yeah…  neither have I.  

Once we dedicate our lives to the cause of Christ, our priorities change.  We are not interested in the same things as those who are only after earthly successes.  We want different outcomes in life.  That’s why Christians are sometimes said to live IN the world without being a part OF the world.

The soul may be the most quiet part of you, but it’s not good to ignore what your soul needs.  Your soul longs for Christ and His love, peace and merciful salvation.  Let His amazing grace be your goal in this new year!

I invite you to take a look at this sermon on Philippians 2 from Darick Jones.  I worked with his mom, Pam, for several years.  Darick makes some good points here and I know I plan to glean and grow – hope you will too.  🙂

http://www.fbcclearwater.org/sermons-2/

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SPINACH LOVERS MONTH

tl-october-is-spinach-lovers-monthpopeye-37117_1280Who remembers this fella???  Yep, it’s Popeye!!!  Remember what his super-food was???  Absolutely…  it was SPINACH!

Spinach is part of a healthy diet.  I’m finding new and different ways to use spinach, but my favorite recipe is creamed spinach.  I was tickled to find a copycat recipe for Boston Market’s creamed spinach.  It’s low-carb and delicious!

Low-Carb Creamed Spinach

Makes 8 servings

4g. carbs per serving

Ingredients:

2 Tbs. butter

1/2 c. chopped shallots

1 Tbs. minced garlic

1 1/2 c. half & half

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

8 oz. Havarti cheese

16 oz. fresh spinach

Instructions:

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots and garlic.  Cook until tender.  Pour half & half in and reduce to low heat.  Stir in salt, pepper, paprika and nutmeg.  Add in Havarti cheese and cook on low heat until it’s melted and combined throughout.  Once melted, add in the spinach and toss together until coated with cheese.

Serve warm.

This is a great side dish for steak or fish.  Some days I don’t want a great big meal and just fix this.  Spinach is packed with nutrients that keep us strong – just like Popeye!popeyeolive_bizarropanel-248x300spinach-dd-02enjoyspinach

Here are some other ways to enjoy spinach:

  • Spinach Smoothie.  It’s not as bad as it sounds.  There’s not much flavor to spinach so you can add in the nutrition boost without changing the taste.  Add a handful of spinach next time and see for yourself.  Making smoothies and juicing is not the best way to consume any fruit or vegetable for diabetics because when you make the food liquid, it increases the sugar content and decreases the amount of fiber you get.  Diabetics need less sugar and more fiber, so keep that in mind.
  • Spinach Wrap.  Place grilled chicken in a spinach leaf and dip it into ranch dressing.  It’s pretty good!
  • Omelets.  Add spinach, mushrooms, onion, and cheese to make a nutritious and delicious filling for omelets.  Sometimes I add some applewood smoked bacon…  it’s delish!
  • Spinach Salad.  Toss in some strawberries or mandarin oranges.  A few apple chunks would even work.
  • Stir-Fry Dishes.  Spinach, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and broccoli stir-fried in a little olive oil makes a good lunch or dinner.images-205Keep in mind that spinach is:
  • Low in calories
  • High in Vitamin A
  • High in magnesium
  • High in fiber
  • Good source of calcium
  • Good source of antioxidants
  • Helps with cancer prevention
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Is high in folate
  • Increases brain function
  • Is an anti-inflammatory
  • Promotes healthy vision
  • Increases circulation
  • Strengthens your immune system
  • Helps fight infection
  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Is high in flavonoids
  • Good source in vitamin E
  • Good source of beta carotene
  • Good source of zinc
  • Increases bone density

If you’re a diabetic with neuropathy like me, spinach can help your neuropathy because it increases circulation.  I eat a lot of spinach and have not gone beyond the needles and pins sensation in my feet.  Good nutrition really does matter.  🙂popeye-spinach-shirt

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (26)sweet-sleepI have a praise to share with you today.  From this day forward, I plan to get a good night’s sleep!  God knows not only what we are in need of (before we even ask), but He is also aware of the desires of our hearts!  In other words…  He definitely knows what we need, but how cool is it that He also knows what we want?

We make our plans and God laughs, so they say.  I had surfed the internet in an effort to educate myself about various furniture manufacturers and to learn about the quality of their products.  I knew I had a certain budget to consider, and found a few possibilities.

Yes, I prayed that God would give us wisdom and a sense of which way to go as we shopped.  I am also aware of the fact that God’s not going to drop things in front of us – we have to get some idea of what we’re going to look for.

This is what I knew yesterday.  I knew our old mattress was going to kill me.  By that, I mean that if I had to sleep on that rock much longer, my body would crumble and become useless.  A rock is soft compared to our mattress – not joking.  People make fun of me for being on facebook or writing a post for this blog at midnight or after (um…  it’s after midnight right now – lol) – but seriously, this recliner is a big soft cuddly teddy bear compared to the rock bed.

I also knew that we needed to buy a couple of new recliners – pretty soon.  We sold our 12-year-old Laz-y Boys at the garage sale – and got a whopping $15 for the pair of them.  So, we’re not exactly working with profit here.

Those are the facts that I knew yesterday.

God knows more than I do…  as usual.  I’m trusting HIM for guidance.

So…  we’re shopping here and there.  I wanted furniture made in the USA.  Call me crazy…  but I want to support American workers.  We found a chair we liked at Ashley’s here in Wichita.  They make their own stuff here in America – and I like that!  But – when we told them we’d like two of the chairs, they made us an offer we just couldn’t pass up.

They told us if we’d buy a mattress, they would throw those two chairs in (yep – both of them) for FREE.  We were skeptical at first, but when we did the math, it sounded like a good deal – and we decided to go for it.  Is God good, or WHAT?

We didn’t tell the sales person at Ashley’s that we needed a mattress and a good night’s sleep, but guess what?  GOD knew the truth!  He takes such good care of us.

God cares about our sleep quality and quantity.  He wants us to be healthy and for our immune systems to be strong.  How does that happen?  It happens when we take care of ourselves with proper nutrition, regular exercise, and enough good quality sleep.  I look forward to some sweet sleep!  🙂

 

 

BALANCE AWARENESS WEEK

TL 9-12 BALANCE AWARENESS WEEK

September 12-18 is BALANCE AWARENESS WEEK.  I want to invite you to make this little flamingo your profile photo on facebook and take a look at this pdf listing the top 10 facts about vestibular disorders.

https://vestibular.org/sites/default/files/page_files/Documents/Top%20Ten%20Facts%20about%20Vestibular%20Disorders.pdf

Also, please follow VEDA on facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/vestibulardisorders/

The fact that struck me most about vestibular disorders is that there is no cure for most of them.  You know, we take our balance for granted until we lose it.  Most of us just bounce out of bed in the morning without giving it much thought.  Some are not able to maintain their balance well enough to bounce out of bed.

The most commonly diagnosed vestibular disorders include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis, Ménière’s disease, secondary endolymphatic hydrops, and perilymph fistula. Vestibular disorders also include superior canal dehiscence, acoustic neuroma, ototoxicity, enlarged vestibular aqueduct syndrome, and mal de débarquement. Other problems related to vestibular dysfunction include vestibular migraine and complications from autoimmune disorders and allergies.

If you’ve ever had a head cold and your ears get plugged up a bit, sometimes it can cause you to lose your balance.  Aren’t we thankful that this condition will eventually pass?  I could not imagine having a disease that I knew would not go away.

I’m reminded of the perfection that awaits us in Heaven one day.

BODIES NEW AND STRONG

Today I hope you’ll take a moment to say a prayer for folks with these conditions.  A friend of mine has problems with balance because of an autoimmune disorder.  She takes about 40 medications a day and I think one of them is to help with the balance issue.  It seems that while each medication helps what it’s supposed to help, it also causes a side effect which in turn needs a medication to make that side effect better…  such a vicious cycle really.  We’ve talked and laughed about it several times, and she ends up saying, “You know, one of these days I’ll have a brand new body and won’t have to take a single pill.”

I agree…  these bodies are so fragile – and at times fickle.  Our new bodies will be perfect!  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (20)If I’m going to maintain this low-carb weight losing lifestyle…  I’ve GOT to get creative!  I thought about all the foods that used to call to me and cause me to go find them.  I say USED TO because I’m talking about FAST FOOD!!!  Cover the kids’ ears, because this could be shocking!

Got ’em covered?  Good.  Okay…  here’s what I want you to do.  Think about your favorite fast food.  Mine is the Market Fresh Turkey & Swiss Sandwich at Arby’s.  Now – what ingredients do I need to say NO to?  The bread…  I have to say NO to the bread.

As far as I can tell, the rest of that sandwich is amazing and legal.  Sliced turkey, sliced Swiss cheese, tomato, red onion and romaine lettuce.  Instead of a traditional salad dressing, I mix mayo and Dijon mustard together and put it in the salad bowl.

And here’s what it looks like:IMG_1502It’s a happy little low-carb lunch!  I didn’t use romaine lettuce because I already had iceberg.  I made this salad for a fraction of the price they charge for the sandwich at Arby’s – and I’ll have enough stuff to make this a few more times!  Yay me!  Success!

There are sub shops that will make any of their sandwiches into salads for you – but you have to ask because some of them don’t have that information posted.  Most restaurants will bend over backwards to make substitutions for you, but ask if the change will cost you extra.  Different places have different policies and it’s best to be on the safe side.  You don’t want to get a big surprise on your check at the end of the meal.emergency-309727_1280

In the KEEP MOVING department…  so far, so good.  I’m going to Planet Fitness 3 days a week and working on the treadmill for 15 minutes, the bike for 15 minutes, leg machines at 20-50 pounds, arm machines at 20-30 pounds and ab machines at 20 pounds – and those things kill me – just being honest.

I’ll never be a skinny person, but I’m doing the best I can.  There are some pretty awesome rewards for being consistent with diet and exercise.  I don’t know why I doubted that it applied to me, but…  surprise – it does!  I’m pretty happy and very pleased that my blood glucose levels and A1c are in normal range.  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (30)LC KEY LIME PIEThis has been such a fun journey with my friends!  Thanks to Deanna Stalnaker for sharing this recipe on facebook!  Even though we have shared great main dish and side dish recipes, what is life without a little dessert?  I was so tickled to see this because believe it or not, Key Lime Pie is my favorite – yeah, it really is!

Deanna said that even though the recipe calls for a 0.6 oz. package of sugar-free Jell-O, she uses the 0.3 oz. package.  So make a note of that.  😉

All people with healthy physical appetites have a sweet tooth somewhere in their heads.  – Macmillan’s Magazine, 1887

How about a low-carb strawberry cheesecake???  Yeah!  I’m on a roll.

I’m starting to like those pies with the ground pecan shells, aren’t you?

I’ve never before eaten a dessert, then tested and had my blood glucose be HAPPY!  I’m so excited about this…  I really am!

Pie…it fills the cracks of the heart. Go away, pain.  – Kevin James, Mall Cop

Did you see the movie, Mall Cop???  Kevin James cracks me up – and that’s a great movie!

So far I haven’t gone completely Atkins, but I think legal donuts sound really good!  I like “fair food” – and truth be told, that’s the real reason I go to our state fair every year.  :-/

So on those days when you don’t think you can live on low-carb and low-fat, know that you don’t have to.  There are alternatives to traditional high carbohydrate foods.  Aren’t we thankful for “the way of escape” recipes that keep blood glucose numbers happy?  I know I am!

Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.  – English proverb

What’s your favorite low-carb recipe?  Let me know in the comments below.  I believe we’re all here to help each other on this journey toward healthier blood glucose!  🙂

 

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (21)IMG_1323

There’s only one thing better than eating low-carbohydrate foods…  and that’s eating them on our antique dishes!  😉  We enjoy our autumn leaf pattern Jewel Tea dishes!

I’m learning what foods keep my blood sugar happy – YAY!  There’s a popular spot here in Kansas called THE BROOKVILLE HOTEL where they have just one meal on the menu, but folks come from miles around to enjoy their wonderful food!  They make everything the old-fashioned way with nothing “diet”.

I’ve tweaked the coleslaw recipe so that I can have it anytime I want.  Here is my low-carb version of this classic:

COLESLAW

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Whipping Cream
  • 2/3 cup Splenda (or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1 1/2 pounds shredded cabbage

Instructions:

Combine dressing ingredients and refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.

To serve mix with 1 1/2 pounds shredded or thinly sliced cabbage.

I never imagined I could eat a sandwich without bread, but I do because it makes my blood sugar happier.  Cheese is low or no carb and meat is completely legal.  In the days to come, as I learn more, I’ll share with you!

Up to this point, I know that I need to workout for an hour, 3 days a week and eat a very low carb diet.  On the days I don’t workout, I still stay as active as possible.  I usually take a brisk walk around my neighborhood for about a half hour.

http://www.brookvillehotel.com/

Brookville, Kansas was the original home of the hotel, but they were unable to stay there – so now they have a replica of the hotel built in Abilene, Kansas.  The food is still amazing, but it was sad to see them have to move from their original location.  The original old hotel was interesting to see.  Part of it was a bank – and we got to eat in the vault one time.

As you can see, the Brookville Hotel makes everything the old-fashioned way with real ingredients.  It’s yummy, but most of what they fix is high in carbohydrates.  Part of living a low-carb lifestyle means that you take the best foods on the menu and make them “legal” to eat.  I’m glad I could do that with the great coleslaw from the Brookville Hotel.  🙂