NATIONAL DAY OF GIVING #GivingTuesday

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In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  – Acts 20:35

All you have to do is watch television…  any channel – choose one, to see the faces and hear the voices of people in need.  Charities are taking to the airwaves like never before, keeping their cause near and dear to our thoughts and hearts.  These days it’s not just human beings, but animals too.  I love animals (and humans most of the time), but how do we know which charities are best to contribute to?

Charitable giving is what this day is all about.  On the heels of Thanksgiving, when we are thankful for our many blessings – and on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when we save a ton of money on things, the idea is to give back today.  That savings you realized, you could choose to bless someone, whether 2-legged or 4-legged, with the money you saved.

We all tend to support the causes that are closest to our hearts – and that’s only natural.  I support causes in my mother’s honor and ones that she would find important.  I can’t tell you what charities to support any more than you can tell me – but if you are in doubt about whether your dollars are being used wisely, I have a suggestion.  Pray about it.  I believe if we ask God what is best, He will guide us.

Also, click on this link:

https://www.charities.org/charities?gclid=Cj0KEQiAperBBRDfuMf72sr56fIBEiQAPFXszTdIkCQTJGxbaV3p1f3WjCcA6Q1oQNDcE96jHDn4D9MaAoLB8P8HAQ

This is a charity search engine that will let you know if an organization is legitimate.  A generous soul does not have to be a blind one – or a dumb one.  It’s sad to think there may be bogus charities out there, but they do exist.  People do desperate things to get money!

Maybe today you would rather take the opportunity to give on a more personal level.  Do you know someone who could use a visit, phone call or card?  Has God brought someone to mind that you need to tend to?  Before you get too busy – stop what you’re doing and make that visit, phone call or send that card!  God will bless you for making the effort.

What sort of gifts could you consider giving?

  • Does somebody need to be warm?  Give the gift of a coat, mittens or a scarf.
  • Does somebody need food in their pantry?  Give the gift of a fruit basket, box of nuts or a gift card for the local grocery store.
  • Does somebody need gas in their car to get to work?  Give the gift of a prepaid card for that.
  • Does somebody need to be heard?  Give the gift of a listening ear with a closed mouth.
  • Does somebody need help paying for medication?  Give the gift of support by going with them to the pharmacy and helping them pay for it.  Some medication is literally life-saving.
  • Does somebody need a hug?  Give the gift of a hug – at least 3 seconds.  I read somewhere that a hug has to be at least 3 seconds long to be effective.
  • Does somebody need God’s Word?  Give the gift of a new Bible – or even a gently used one.  At one time a local antique store in our city sold Bibles for a dollar.  They looked brand new.  That’s where I got award Bibles for Sunday School promotions.  Our local Dollar General has Precious Moments children’s Bibles for less than $10.
  • Does somebody need prayed for?  Well, isn’t that a silly question?  We ALL need prayers.  If we can’t afford anything monetarily, we can sure afford to send up some prayers for those who cross our path and those God lays on our heart to pray for.  And don’t forget to tell the person you’re praying for them.  It always encourages my spirit to know when someone lifts me up in prayer.

#GivingTuesday

Is it silly to pray for those people and animals in advertisements for charities?  No, I don’t think it’s silly.  Even though they don’t have a clue who I am, I know they have a need, and I know that God can meet that need.  So I pray for the 2-legged and the 4-legged ones who need help.  give

I can’t give money to every one of them, but my prayers are certainly with them.  I would add; however, that prayers are not tax-deductible.  Not yet.  🙂

 

 

 

NATIONAL NUT DAY

tl-10-22-national-nut-daya-circle-of-nutsfriendsI think we can agree that some friends are a bit on the nutty side…  and they do come in all shapes and sizes.  I think we also agree that it’s perfectly okay!  😉

The nuts we want to focus on are the edible kind…  of course.  Nuts are low or no carbohydrates, so are very healthy for diabetics.  They are chock full of nutrients and healthy fats.  My favorite nuts are cashews, and I eat a few handfuls every day.  Our little nuthouse here in Wichita, The Nifty Nuthouse, has such delicious cashews, but at $9.00 a pound, I have to pace myself for sure.

Once in a while I get a craving for Chinese food, and my favorite recipe is for, you guessed it…  Cashew Chicken.  Here’s my simple recipe:

CASHEW CHICKEN (Makes 5 servings – 10 carbs each)

INGREDIENTS:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp Teriyaki Sauce
1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1/4 cup Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp sesame seeds
3/4 cup cashew pieces
salt and pepper
INSTRUCTIONS:
Heat a large pan on medium heat and add the coconut oil.
Season your cubed chicken with a little salt and pepper…don’t over do it on the salt because the soy has enough salt in it.
Add the chicken to the pan and brown on both sides, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pan, and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain some of the grease off.
In the same pan, add the sesame oil and saute the garlic clove and ginger for 1 minute.
Stir in the Teriyaki, Oyster, Soy Sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar and red pepper flakes.
Once the sauce has come to a boil, add the chicken and stir to combine. Cook about another 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the chicken to a serving bowl and garnish with green onion and sesame seeds.
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So today, give that nutty friend in your circle a phone call or send a note…  and celebrate the edible kind with this wonderful recipe.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (17)With regular exercise and a low-carbohydrate diet, I’ve lost 15 pounds already!  Believe it or not, that’s the side effect of this new lifestyle.  The best news is that I’m off of nighttime insulin and my dose of Metformin has been cut in half!  My next appointment is in October, so by then I will know if this is a lifestyle I can sustain, or one that is unsustainable.  But I can honestly say I’ve had no problem saying no to pasta, bread, potatoes, rice or beans (except green beans).

Folks have asked me what specific foods I eat.  So today, I want to give you a list of “go-to” low-carb foods that will reduce your blood sugar, help you lose weight and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

I don’t know how you can eat fat and not raise your cholesterol…  I don’t know – but I’m sure glad you can!

  1. EGGS have no carbohydrates and are among the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet.  I make frittatas and omelets of all kinds.  Don’t get stuck in an “egg rut” because that rut will keep you from being successful.  Experiment with eggs and don’t be afraid to try new things.
  2. MEATS of all kinds have no carbohydrates.  How about a Spanish omelet?  Ah…  now you’re putting the puzzle together, right?  People used to feel guilty for eating a 3-egg omelet.  Don’t be afraid of eating too many eggs.  I can’t eat a 3-egg omelet in one sitting, to be honest, but I do make it and eat half of it, then the other half for lunch.  We also have a favorite restaurant that makes a New York omelet with Applewood Smoked Bacon and real Swiss Cheese!  Oh it tastes so good.  The only thing I have to do is pick cottage cheese for the side dish.  I can do that.
  3. FISH AND SEAFOOD has no carbohydrates and are actually packed with healthy oils.  I keep cans of tuna in my pantry all the time.  I know not everyone likes canned tuna, but I like to make tuna salad with some mayo and sweet relish (made with Splenda).  You can’t use regular sweet relish because it has sugar and carbs in it.
  4. VEGETABLES that are green and leafy qualify as legal, with the majority of the carbs in them consisting of fiber.  Fiber is a friend.  I like to fix a salad once in a while with either a spring mix or iceberg lettuce.  I top it with sliced black olives and shredded cheddar.  Even though there is a lot of fat in Ranch dressing, it is low in carbs – so I use it.  It’s my understanding that Blue Cheese dressing is also low in carbs, which makes sense because it is cheese.  One vegetable to avoid would be corn.  Another is peas.  Raw vegetables are more healthy than cooked and generally lower in carbs.
  5. CHEESE of all kinds is low-carb or no carb.  As I said, I’m not sure why foods like cheese can be eaten without raising bad cholesterol – and actually lowers it – but it can be and I’m so glad.  Since I don’t eat hamburgers on a bun anymore, I melt cheese over a hamburger patty and eat it that way.  I seriously do not miss bread at all.  I’ve eaten this way since April – and it’s the first time a diet has not felt like a sacrifice of any kind.
  6. FRUITS & BERRIES need to be restricted, but I was so very happy to learn that my favorite fruit, the apricot, is only 4 carbs per piece!  I nearly did the happy dance when I learned that.  Also, a 1/2 cup of strawberries is only 6 carbs.  Most fruits and fruit juices are double-digit carbs, but these two are perfectly fine to eat.  I also put a little Reddi-Whip on top – it doesn’t have any carbs either.  I allow myself a cup of low-sugar orange juice in the morning.  It’s still 12 carbs, but I’m careful the rest of the day.
  7. NUTS & SEEDS make a great snack.  They are filling and satisfying in-between meals.  Some say that almonds are better than the others, but I think any nut is pretty healthy.  I never thought I’d be eating macadamia nuts without the cookie and white chocolate…  but they are quite tasty by themselves.
  8. HEAVY CREAM & WHIPPED TOPPING is low carb.  It’s high in dairy fat, but it’s fine to use it in your coffee or in a recipe.  I like to put Reddi-Whip on my sugar-free Jell-O then mix it up.
  9. FATS & OILS are acceptable on a low-carb, real food-based diet.  You can use real butter, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil and even good ol’ fashioned lard.  I know, it’s not easy to believe that eating like this could lower cholesterol and cause weight loss!
  10. BEVERAGES that are legal include the basics – water, diet soda, coffee, tea, club soda.  Fruit juices are not low-carb even though there are some low-sugar fruit juices on the market.  Most of them are double-digit carbs.
  11. DARK CHOCOLATE with a 70-85% cocoa content is lower in sugar, therefore, lower in carbs.  I think anything more strong than 70% is bitter, so I don’t eat it.  Once in a while, a girl’s just gotta have a piece of dark chocolate!  This is also good information to have when considering a recipe with chocolate in it.

I hope this helps.  You’ll note that there are no cereals or grains on this list and there’s a good reason for that…  they are too high in carbohydrates!  The goal is to keep your blood glucose happy and a bowl of cereal or toast or a bagel won’t do that.  Yes, you have to tweak some things – and you may get a strange look from the waitress at your favorite restaurant the first time you order cottage cheese with your omelet, but do it anyway.  I’m not just saying this, but I never really cared for fried potatoes or hash browns with my eggs anyway.  They certainly were not worth losing my health over…  ya know?

I may be older…  but I’m still just as stubborn as ever and I’m sure not DONE yet.  God has helped me get this far and He’s not going to stop helping me now.  I’ve failed Him so many times, but He will never fail me!  Have a blessed day!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

Did you hear fireworks until after midnight last night?  We did!  So, you must forgive me because I’m writing in a fog and sleep-deprived state of mind – lol.

Speaking of sleep…  ah – yes – let’s speak of sleep!!!

I have some ideas about getting your zzz’s…  these tips came in handy for me and I hope they help you too!  🙂

  • Every day around 3pm when you begin to doze off at work, you obviously cannot take a nap (but dream of it – yes, you do) – eat an orange!  The citrus scent will perk you up, and the orange contains energy boosting “good” carbohydrates.
  • Whether you work or are retired, there are nights when your mind just won’t shut down!  It’s a frustrating feeling.  You walk around the house saying, “It’s time to sleep.  What is the matter with you?”  I’ve learned that I need to begin winding down about a half hour before I plan to go to bed.  Especially as I get older, I have to back up my words with actions in order to get my body to respond in a positive way.
  • These days I carve out time for an afternoon nap.  Yes, just like Kindergarten, I curl up on my little woven rug and say good-bye to the world for about an hour or so.  We make time for the things that matter most.  In my book – that is definitely replenishing sleep.
  • Is it rude for me to sleep on a trip while my husband is driving?  It doesn’t seem to bother him, so I don’t worry about it.  If I steal some rest during a trip that’s okay with me.
  • Instead of reaching for a nighttime sleep aid (which may be habit-forming), try eating a handful of nuts before you begin your routine and go to bed.  By the time you hit the sheets, you will probably be ready to sleep.

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for our bodies.  That’s when we replenish and revive.  Here’s to a good night’s sleep (and maybe even a nap tomorrow).  🙂

NATIONAL DATE NUT BREAD DAY

TL 12-22 NATIONAL DATE NUT BREAD DAY

 

12-22 WHEN YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES

From the title, you may think we’re going to talk about dating nutty people, but no – that’s not what this is about.  LOL!!!

It’s NATIONAL DATE NUT BREAD DAY!!!   Doesn’t quick bread sound like a good snack to bake up and take to work or give to a neighbor?  Baked goods are a wonderful last-minute gift to give.

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Here’s a great recipe for diabetics – it’s only 4 ingredients (one of them is coffee – yay), easy and inexpensive to make!

Here’s another recipe that looks very good:

Dates do have natural sugars, but are rich in dietary fiber, which prevents LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut.

I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.  – Harlan Miller

Nuts are also rich in fiber as well as healthy fats.  There are about 90 calories in a slice of Date Nut Bread, so it’s best to fight the temptation to eat the whole loaf in one day.

 For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas.  Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home.   – W.J. Ronald Tucker

May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.
– Author Unknown

I wonder if this recipe would be better if we used Splenda in place of sugar – but it also has shortening in it – so…  hmm.  So much for healthy alternatives.  We don’t use shortening in our family.  The finished bread sure does look good though.

Well, I hope you can find a recipe that you like in this collection.  You might want to try more than one of them.  Date Nut Bread is one of the favorites in our family not only because of the health benefits, but because it reminds us of Christmases past.  What is it about food and holidays?  I don’t know – but I sure do like it!  😀

When the Christmas Baby Cries:

If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill?  Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!

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Click on the link below to order your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx 

NATIONAL NUT DAY

TL 10-22 NATIONAL NUT DAY

10-22 GO NUTS

greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground.  – Author Unknown

You have my permission to GO NUTS today!  I plan to put some pecans in my oatmeal for breakfast.  For a snack I’ll eat a handful of walnuts and put just a few slivered almonds in my spinach salad for lunch.  I’ll make some cashew chicken for dinner tonight.  Wow, that should make me crazy nuts!

I think we all know that there are healthy fats and unhealthy fats.  Chocolate is an example of unhealthy fat, but nuts contain healthy fats and are fine to eat in moderation.

Hmm…  I definitely will try to eat more nuts!  If it would give me a body like hers – oh yeah!   The eating part isn’t the problem – it’s more the working out that I get hung up on – LOL!!!

This is the 4th annual National Nut Day.  It was started in the United Kingdom (do they eat nuts with their afternoon tea?) – This year’s theme is Putting Nuts Back on the Menu.  What is your favorite NUT recipe?  I mentioned chocolate earlier – and it may surprise you to know that even though I like chocolate and I like nuts – I do not like them together!  If I’m eating chocolate, it will be smooth truffles and Cherry Cordial Truffles are my favorite with Mint Truffles running a close second.

For a main dish, I like cashew chicken.  For dessert I would enjoy a small slice of carrot cake.  Here’s my recipe for Cashew Chicken:

The “seasoning mix” in Ramen Noodles has nitrates in it which causes me to get migraine headaches.  I always use a low-sodium chicken stock to avoid migraines.  I freeze the left-over chicken stock in an ice tray.  The chicken stock cubes freeze nicely and melt very quickly, so there’s no waste.

Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.  – Jim Davis

As for the carrot cake, since I’m diabetic I don’t make this often at all – just for special occasions:

I substitute SPLENDA for sugar.  Use the same amount.  The cake is not adversely affected by it.  Doesn’t she make it look easy?  It really is!  Give it a try to incorporate some NUTS into your meal plan today!  😉