Power Balls

iphoneApril2013 783 These protein packed, nutritious treats will have your family begging for more! Need an energy boost? These are perfect for pre-workout, an afternoon pick-me-up or an on-the-go breakfast. So easy to make and NO BAKING! My kids help me make them and love eating them. Hope you like them as much as we do!

Power Balls

Blend in food processor until fine: (If you don’t have a processor, use a blender and then pour into a bowl before adding the rest, then mix with your hands)
2 cups organic rolled oats
2 cups unsweetened coconut
Then add:
1 cup ground flax
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I like Sun Warrior)
1 cup all natural almond butter
2 tsp real vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tb organic coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup honey, warmed
Blend to mix all, then add:
1/4 cup mini dark (70%) chocolate chips
1/4 cup cocoa nibs (optional)
Blend to combine.
With fingers, form into balls (about 1-1.5 inches). Roll in sesame seeds, cocoa powder or coconut. Set on parchment or wax paper on a cookie sheet. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Store in airtight container in fridge. Enjoy!
Guilt free!

If you have a food processor that you received for a wedding gift say…32 years ago or so…you might need to do a final mix with your hands in a bowl. No worries, just have fun.
power balls processorYou may use any natural nut butter, but I prefer almond.
power balls bowl
Sesame seeds are the best kept nutrition secret. They are an excellent source of copper and a good source of manganese, calcium, iron, phosphorus…okay, you get the picture. So, even though you may roll these jewels in
whatever you wish, I choose sesame seeds! This is the kids favorite part, well…besides licking the honey off the spatula ;).
power balls sesameWhen they are well coated, just pop them in the fridge to cool and set. Aren’t they pretty?! And SOOOO yummy!
iphoneApril2013 783Keep them in a sealed container in the fridge.
I think I’ll make some coffee while they cool. I know what I’m having for a snack!

Special thanks to Candace at www.sacredmommyhood.com for inviting me to taste one of these at her house one day and I just couldn’t forget about them!
I tweaked the original recipe to fit my family’s needs, but you can see it here.

So Abundant Life Can Be Yours,

Rhonda

 

 

 

 

 

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Got Muscle?

hand weightsYou might think I became a Nutrition and Wellness consultant because I am the epitome of self discipline and an expert on all things deemed healthy. NOT!!!

My desire to support those with weight-loss, nutrition and other health issues developed from my own struggles with sugar addiction, emotional eating, and wicked self talk (yes, I said wicked and we’ll get to that on a later post).

One of the greatest struggles for me on this health journey is exercise. Amazing how close that word is to exorcist, hee hee. I know I NEED to workout. I know how important building muscle is to strengthening my heart, to protect and strengthen my bones, to burn fat…so many things!  But you see, I am inherently lazy and exercise is just SO MUCH WORK! However, with a little determination and a lot of grace, I’ve managed to stay committed. So if I can, I know YOU can!

There is no need to join a gym, if that’s not your thing or not in the budget. There are plenty of activities we can do right from home.
I wanted to share some ideas that have helped me and might encourage you to  commit to an exercise program FOR LIFE!

       Set Short Term Goals

  •  You can never reach what you don’t aim for!
  •  A short term goal could be, “I’m going to walk 15 minutes of my lunch hour, Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week, and do 10 pushups every night”, or, “I’m going to ride my bike for 30 minutes Tuesday and Thursday after dinner”.
  • Make your goal specific. If you say “3 days this week”, it allows you to keep pushing the days back until you run out. (Oh how we have to outsmart ourselves, wink)
  • When you reach that goal, make sure you set another one.
  • Write your goals down and post them where you and others who can keep you accountable can see them.Set Long Term Goals

    • A long term goal could be,”By the end of this month, I will be able to walk 3 miles in 45 minutes”. Or,”In 8 weeks I’m going to run this 5K fun run”, AND THEN ACTUALLY SIGN UP FOR THAT RUN!! Invite friends to do it with you. Please read my friend Leah’s story about training for a 5K. (click here)
    • Again remember to reset and write down your new goals!
      run

              Have the Proper Equipment

  •  Make sure to have good shoes, proper clothing (especially if you are in extreme temperatures), a good water bottle, a bike helmet, a set of light hand weights to walk with or use with DVDs, a new bike, just kidding, but that WOULD be cool!

             Get an Accountability Partner

  • There has been so many times I would have opted out of my morning walk if I didn’t know my partner was waiting for me. Preferably try for a friend or neighbor, some of us might balk at having our spouse rebuke us. (big grin)

HAVE FUN!

  •  Exercise is work, but it really can be fun and  just think of the work it’s getting us out of! From Biblical times until as recent as the beginning of the twentieth century one didn’t need to exercise because they walked everywhere, scrubbed clothes, ground their wheat, plowed their fields, and of course much more. Today, most everyday duties that require strength and endurance, we now have modern appliances that do that work for us. I AM grateful for that, and would take a 30 minute workout over scrubbing on a washboard any day.
  • Jesus walked and that is my exercise preference, but do whatever works for you. If you enjoy bike riding, kayaking, hiking, swimming…do it!
  •  Great music, new workout clothes, fun friends, dance class, community runs…try to add things on a regular basis to keep you motivated.

              Helpful Tools

  • Apps – If you have a smart phone, there are an abundance of free and/or inexpensive apps that are great for motivating us and helping to keep track of our goals. A couple I like are:

Ease into 5K– This app helps you build up to a 3.1 mile run. It gives you prompts when to walk and run and slowly builds the distance and endurance you need. It incorporates your own music as well. Very handy!

Nike+ Running– This app allows you set goals and gives you mile marker prompts and cheers along the way. It tells you the time of each mile as you go so you can adjust your pace accordingly and improve daily.

  • DVD

It’s always helpful to have a backup workout planned if you normally workout outdoors or if your partner can’t make it. I love Jillian Michaels, 30 Day Shred. It doesn’t take a lot of space to execute, and is a TOTAL body (cardio, strength and ab) workout in 20 minutes! If you purchase the DVD it has 3 levels of workouts and is under $10. The level one workout is also on YouTube here which allows one to use a computer or iPad in a hotel, resort or anywhere it wouldn’t be convenient to pop in a DVD.

  •  Music

Music is a VERY helpful tool while exercising. Being able to use the time as a praise/worship time is uplifting and beneficial. I found this Christian Workout CD and love it! There are several available for download through iTunes.

  •  Armband

To make using apps and music effortless, I bought this arm band to hold my iPhone. It was under $3 and I can still operate all the functions of my phone while it’s on.

The time of day you exercise is not critical as long as you DO exercise. I have to exercise first thing in the morning, before I’m actually awake really, because I will have a million excuses why I CAN’T exercise if I wait.

Friends, YOU MUST schedule your workout time. It will not just happen. Very rarely do we have a spare 30 minutes in our day when we will say, “Oh I have nothing to do, I think I’ll exercise.”

These rebukes are helpful for many aspects of our health journey. We can apply them to exercise, meal planning and our time spent in God’s word. I know I’m usually the encouraging one, and rebukes aren’t my style. But goodness sake, sometimes we just gotta hear it!

Proverbs 6:9~ How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?

Proverbs 13:4~ A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

Proverbs 22:13~ A sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed in the public square!”  (Ha! I think I’ve actually used this one about the dogs in our neighborhood)

Happy muscle building (your heart and all the others)!!

So Abundant Life Can Be Yours,

Rhonda

 

Not Your Ordinary Pack

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A journey always requires preparation and a health journey is no different. If you’ve tried this path before, I’m going to remind you, once again, there is no need to prepare yourself for deprivation. In fact, many of us who are struggling with obesity (okay, yeah, I said the “O” word, I’m not much of a flatterer and though I truly am not trying to offend here, I believe truth is better than shine) deprive ourselves on a daily basis. I have heard numerous clients (and friends) confess that they don’t eat anything all day long! Hello?? They are busy! I get that.

However, our Creator is quite clever and incorporated a fail-safe mechanism into our bodies to protect us from famine. When we don’t eat all day, we are literally starving our brain and every process our body performs of needed energy and nutrients. Every.single.nutrient.
So, just like we are created to do, our bodies panic and slow down all basic functions (metabolism). And when we DO finally fuel up, it takes energy and nutrients for immediate needs and literally hoards the rest (which really means STORES IT AS FAT) preparing for another day of starvation. It’s pretty cool really, if we WERE actually starving!

We can fix this! It is so simple you just won’t believe it! We have been doing this simple thing for our babies and our pets for centuries, and now we’re going to do it for ourselves. We are going to pack a cooler. I’m not talking about a lunchbox, or an insulated snack bag, Friends, I’m talking about a cooler! Mine has a zipper top area for dry items like multigrain crackers and homemade granola bars, side nets for napkins, plastic ware, etc. and a front pocket for cleaner upper wipes (sounds better than wipies right?). The main compartment is big! And it has a hard removable liner that fills up easily with ice at hotels. I use freezer ice thingies usually, but when traveling that is a nice feature.cooler

If you leave your home every day, then every night you can be preparing your meals for the next day. You plan for work, meetings, church, dates, YOU CAN PLAN TO FUEL YOUR BODY PROPERLY, I just know you can!!

Now don’t go all glassy eyed on me. I’m not saying to pack spaghetti and meatballs, salad and French bread in there. But hard cooked eggs, berries, hummus, multigrain crackers, grape tomatoes, celery sticks, raw almonds, walnuts and cashews, yogurt, granola bars, left over steak slices…you get the picture. You know REAL food! Sure, if you want to make a great salad (not a boring one, we’ll talk about that later) then do it, but mainly make sure you have several small meals (a protein like egg, hummus, nuts, meat, cottage cheese or Greek yogurt paired with a healthy carb like apples, berries, crackers, celery, grapes, etc). We will be hitting this pairing stuff again so don’t worry if you’re starting to get overwhelmed.

Right now just get your cooler, a nice big water bottle and USE THEM. Fuel up lightly every 3 hours or so. Your body will soon realize it’s not going to starve anymore and gladly begin to give up its “stores”.

So Abundant Life Can Be Yours,
Rhonda

 

No Refuge In The Graveyard

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As we prepare for a lifelong health journey, one of the greatest challenges is overcoming our thoughts and habits that seem to immediately transport us to the diet graveyard. Once there, we begin telling ourselves what we can and can’t eat, start gnawing unconsciously on carrots, throw prepackaged low calorie meals in our shopping cart and resign ourselves to the doldrums of the next round of RE-losing; already our spirit is weeping.

Living on a health journey, what I promised to accompany you on, is much different than dying on a diet. This journey is not something you get on and off of like a wagon.

Just recently my family and I spent a few days in the Redwoods in Northern California. It was a brilliant example of the path we face on a health and wellness journey.

The path is somewhat narrow, but has ample room for company and to maneuver comfortably. There are towering, insurmountable obstacles all around. There are so many new things to learn and explore, it can be as interesting as we are willing to make it. There might be burned out trees along the path from a much needed cleansing of the forest floor to allow for new growth. There might be a fallen tree along the path that forces us to recalculate our route or gain strength to overcome it. The path is long, but not straight; we can only see a short section of the path, but when we look up, it’s clear that God planned the big picture and it’s all in His control.

If you have been preparing yourself for this journey, maybe you’ve tried every diet known to mankind, bought several gadgets promising a body that you were never meant to have, possibly sought out pills, shots, miracle shakes, workouts, you know, if you’re like me, please let me reassure you…
breathe, relax, we won’t be revisiting the diet graveyard.

We will be learning to live abundantly, the way Jesus intends.

So feel free to kick off those hiking boots for now. Starting with my next post we are going to stop surveying the landscape and begin enjoying being in the midst of it.
Until then, let this word wash over you.
Psalm 91:1-2
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my god, in whom I trust.”

So Abundant Life Can Be Yours,
Rhonda

I’m Hungry

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Have you ever noticed when you ask God to draw closer, He reminds you that He has not moved, but indeed you have? Recently, I decided to participate (with a couple girlfriends) in a Seven “fast”. The idea was based on Jen Hatmaker’s book Seven: an experimental mutiny against excess. So, each of us chose seven foods to live on for one month. I was hoping for and quoted to myself often, “More of Him, less of me” (a continuing theme of the book). I needed the reminder, believe me.

On day three of this “experiment”, I was emotionally raw. God knew the desire of my heart. He was drawing me, He was close. I was so hungry for more of Him, more of His presence. I needed Him.

The previous night’s incident was still fresh on my mind. I had discovered a foil covered plate with the last carmelita on it. What’s a carmelita, you say? It’s a carmelly, sugary, wonderful cookieish dessert thingie. Glancing from side to side, I quickly took a nibble and threw the rest of it right in the trash. Remember, I’m on a fast! It’s all good, not too much damage. I left the room quickly. No one saw. Whew. But…yes…15 minutes later, I entered the kitchen, noticing that all available witnesses were deep in conversation AND SNACKS, I dug the discarded temptation out of the trash and devoured it.

Yes, yes I did. Even knowing I would have to confess to my “Counsel” (the girlfriends) the next day in our daily check-in, I ate.one.lone.carmalita. I had done the right thing. I threw it away. I walked away. In only a moment the last nibble sweetly and bitterly eased its way into my failing flesh. All of my failures that I had been trying to hide from Him, and myself, came plummeting right onto my heart. In somewhat disbelief I made my way to the bedroom, crumpled to my knees and cried in my weakness. I prayed for everything I was lacking to be who He intended for me to be. I was no longer hungry for a treat. I was hungry still…but only for Him.

The next morning (day 3) I was listening to Keith Green as I was dressing. I had heard this song so many times before, but this time the words rung out so loud in my heart, like I had never heard them before.

How can you be so dead
When you’ve been so well fed?
Jesus rose from the grave
And you, you can’t even get out of bed
Oh, Jesus rose from the dead
Come on get out of your bed.
(Asleep in the Light, Keith Green)

I quickly turned to my husband and through the knot in my throat and the tears running down my face forced out, “Did you hear that, did you hear what he said?” In a broken voice he answered. He felt it too. God’s presence. I had grown lazy and complacent. I had slowly replaced my REAL time with Him with meaningless and frivolous activities (isn’t anything in comparison?). I am so grateful for a God and Savior that cares enough to meet us where we are, who puts our past as far as the East is from the West and who promises never to leave us! Thank you, Jesus!!Thank you that your mercies are new every morning!!

The word “health” carries many meanings depending on who you ask. In addition to eating great and nutritious food and taking good care of our bodies physically, I believe true health is divine; of or from God; extremely good.
It’s also remaining IN The Vine, John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

The health journey is a lifelong one. So lace up those favorite hiking shoes, not too tight now, I want you to be comfortable. You might get some blisters along the way. Or trip up. Or even get completely off track. Let me tell you, Friend, it will be worth it. I’ll be right at your side, not shaking my finger at you (remember the carmelita?). A journey is so much more fun when we have company; someone to help us back up when we have stumbled, brush us off and give us some Living Water.

So abundant life can be yours,
~Rhonda