When Freedom Comes!

This has been a long time coming. I have been growing closer and closer to be able to write this post, and now, it is the time.

Many, if not most women struggle with ‘body image’ issues to a varying degree and for varying reasons, at sometime in their lives. This post is not to address those reasons, though I could and would be so willing to sit with you and help you discern some of them.

Nope. This is about Healing. Freedom. Wholeness. I have been incredibly blessed to be married to a man who has loved me and my body NO MATTER WHAT, over the years. With a belly that has been stretched to full capacity nine times. With breasts that have nourished nine babies for many months at a time. It hasn’t mattered, he has loved, accepted and adored ALL of me, no matter how much of me there was. Some women are not so fortunate. I am so sorry for that, it breaks my heart.

But even with all this lovin’, it wasn’t until now that I can say that I actually love and am so proud of my body. The cool thing, to me is, I am still a long way away from what my ‘goals’ are for my body. I always thought it would happen once I was at what I thought was my ‘ideal’. Funny, because the last time I was ‘skinny’, I still wasn’t happy with my body! I wanted more, because it was NOT about what my body looked like, it was what and how I felt about myself. It’s an inside job, ladies! If you think you will be ‘all better’ once you lose your weight, you might be deceived.


I no longer look in the mirror and hate what I see! I not only DON’T hate it, I actually am really enjoying what I see. I find myself, and please don’t think me strange, but I actually find myself feeling my muscles, or curves and actually LOVING it.


A picture from a few months ago, that before now, I would have never shown anyone. ;-)

I am frequently asking Brian to feel this or that, which he is happy to oblige.  When I used to look in the mirror while working out, I would divert my eyes. I would look, but not really look, if you know what I mean. Now I look with absolutely NO disgust, distaste or negative feelings. I think, ‘wow, I am looking good’! Or, I am able to focus in on some of my strengths. When I see what I perceive as ‘weaknesses’, I have no negative thoughts whatsoever!! It is just what it is and I am so okay with it. More than okay, confident, happy, and love it!

Folks, if you have ever struggled with this, if you still do, you know how incredibly HUGE this is, right? This has been my desire and goal and what I know would be ‘right’ thinking for years and years! It has most definitely been a journey, one with ups and downs and even getting lost at times.

I have spent years practicing ‘thanksgiving’ for this body, even when it was the last thing I was actually feeling. I knew it in my head, and I practiced til it was in my heart.

Standing in front of the mirror and chanting, ‘I love my body’, is NOT the answer. True acceptance and loving oneself has got to come from a place of recognizing and walking in the perfect love and acceptance that the Father has for us. It is so much more than chanting empty words. It is healing and deliverance and freedom, and that can only come from HIM! So incredibly thankful for this!! Praying for you to find healing, spirit, mind and body!! If you would like prayer or to share your heart, please always feel free to message me privately.



Staying ‘On Plan’

With a large family and always a reason for celebration, I totally understand how hard it can be to stay on plan and how many opportunities there are to go off plan.  The longer healthy eating has been a lifestyle, the easier and more natural it is just to continue on with and enjoy your way of eating.

Our family is full of ‘foodies’. We enjoy food and create some amazing things.  I don’t always have to cook some totally different meal for myself, often times I just tweak what I am making for them. Maybe I leave the beans out of my chili, or have an extra serving of vegetables instead of mashed potatoes. It does not need to be complicated!

Today we were celebrating a birthday with our homemade Focaccia, goat cheese, pesto, tomato and pink salt.  We cooked up some chicken for some protein. I had a ‘Greek Salad’ recipe I wanted to make, so today, that is what I had instead! I felt like I must be cheating or treating or something, it was so good!

“Staying On Track” Tip:

When everyone else is having something you love, make yourself a delicious recipe, full of bold flavors that will surely satisfy you.

If I was left eating sautéed chicken breast and a boring, everyday salad, I would have been fine, but may have been eating it at my very own pity party. No deprivation whatsoever with this meal!! I actually felt sorry for them, mine was amazing!!

Salad consisted of:

  • Chopped Romaine Lettuce
  • Grape Tomato
  • Sliced Onion
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Feta Cheese
  • Cucumbers
  • Goat Cheese with Pesto
  • Sautéed Chicken Breast
  • Crumbled Turkey Pepperoni ‘Chips’

Served with the most amazing dressing ever! You have GOT to make it. It is aptly named: Greek Dressing So Good You Could Drink It Straight. No joke, it is an appropriate name, trust me!!!

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tsps. garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 tsps. dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 tsps. dried basil
  • 2 tsps. pepper
  • 2 tsps. salt
  • 2 tsps. onion powder
  • 2 tsps. Dijon-style mustard
Mix together and shake well. Store at room temperature tightly covered.


Healthy Chocolate “Ganache”

Here is my ‘go-to’ healthy, low carb, dessert! I use this for ‘frosting’ on low carb little cakes. I fill little containers or cups to have a handy little something sweet and chocolate after a meal.

I am awful at recipes, as I make most things by taste, but you can get a ballpark idea of the amounts from the video. Just go by how YOU want it to taste. Enjoy!



Just Stay Off the Scale

If you know me at all, you know I despise the scale and what we let it do to us. I have long struggled with the number on the scale and have finally gotten victory over it . . . for the most part.

In this video I share a recent experience in the hope that YOU also see how ridiculous we are to allow it any power over us.  Ditching the scale is one of the biggest ‘soap boxes’ of mine. My offer holds, I will come and get your scale if you want. ;-)

Protein: What Proper Amounts Look Like

In this video I discuss various ways to get your optimal levels of protein in.  From my research, I believe that a safe and rough guideline for ‘most’ people is 40 grams of protein per meal, times three. (3) So, three meals at 40 grams each, minimum for ‘most’ people. These recommendations can vary, depending on goals and other factors, please simply see these as guidelines. Feel free to research for yourself. Never take mine or someone’s opinion as fact. I prefer to gather the information and make a prayerful decision about what is ideal for me, I suggest you do the same.

I wanted to make clear a few things from the video. When discussing ‘breakfast’, I mentioned how much bacon or sausage you would have to eat to equal your 40 grams if you were going to have three eggs and a breakfast meat.

You would need approx. 14 slices of bacon in addition to the eggs, and approx. 9 sausage links. I am sure you would agree this would be a tremendous amount of food to eat and because bacon and sausage are so high in fat, you would likely be eating extra calories and be TOO full to reach your optimal protein level. I still enjoy bacon and sausage, but along with leaner proteins, to not only keep the calories down, but to also not stuff my belly to overflowing!

Adding upwards of 3/4 cup of liquid egg whites to your three scrambled eggs would be a great way to hit proper protein levels for breakfast.

One thing I failed to mention or demonstrate is tuna or canned salmon are VERY good and inexpensive proteins. Very high in protein and very nutritious.

On protein powder, like I said, 100% Whey Isolate protein powder is a very good choice, one with 0-2 carbs per serving, no added ingredients. You can research the types of processing to help you decide what you are comfortable using.  You could also add a tablespoon or two of coconut oil to the protein shake to help fill you up longer if you find they don’t satiate you. They are easily digested and I find myself hungry before I would like, so I usually have a half shake with a meal lower in protein.


A shortcut to remember is that most meats and fish have ‘about’ 6-7 grams of protein per ounce. If you know you need about 40 grams, just take 6 grams times, say, 7 ounces and you have 42 grams! (my math is correct, right?)

Most cheeses are about 7 grams per ounce.

Remember, you do not have to eat just one protein source to reach your 40 grams. Just a few of many options.

1/2 cup cottage cheese (15 grams) and 4 oz. Ground beef patty (28 grams)

3 eggs (18 grams) and 4 oz. Ham (24 grams)

3 eggs(18 grams) and 3/4 cup egg whites ( 21 grams)

Use google or My Fitness Pal to find out the grams per ounce of your protein of choice to figure out how much you need to eat to nourish your lean body mass!!

For further study on optimal amounts of protein, please see the work and research of Dr. Layne Norton, Dr. Donald Layman, Dr. Stephen Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek.




Veggies For Breakfast? YES!

Fried or scrambled eggs can get boring, well, not for me, but maybe for some.

This would be an awesome and tasty alternative.


Veggies for breakfast? Oh, yeah, if you hide them well enough. Try as I might, I have a hard time eating vegetables for breakfast. Not so the case with this dish!  Over 40 grams of protein and four of your servings of vegetables for the day. Awesome way to start the day.  This would also be a great way to use your Roasted Vegetables that you have waiting for you in the fridge. Quick and easy.

I’ll have to share Brian’s version next time, it’s even better than mine. Shhh, don’t tell him.


Too Busy For Protein?

I hear it often, ‘I just don’t have time to cook up some protein for every meal’. I get it, I really do, but it is so much easier than you think.

One ‘fit food’ tip is to USE YOUR CROCKPOT.  So easy to fix it and forget, just a few minutes of prep and a few hours of unattended cooking and you have an amazing, moist and tender protein.

In this instance, Rotisserie Style Chicken.  I always cook two or three whole organic chickens. (keep in mind we have a large family) You should cook at least two. One for your meal that evening and one for your protein portions for the week.


As you can see, they are literally falling apart, they are so tender.


I had no problem breaking them apart into parts.


I served mine with a large salad with lots of my favorite store bought Ranch dressing that I made ‘healthier’ by ‘cutting’ it with Greek yogurt. Another ‘fit food’ tip. While store bought dressings usually have unhealthy fats, sometimes I need the convenience. They are usually super strong in taste, so I add up to equal amounts of Greek Yogurt to sort of help the nutrition level a bit.  The family had their chicken with mashed potato, gravy and a salad. Mashed potatoes are perfectly fine for growing children, but not always so figure-friendly for all mamas.


We purchase whole organic chickens from Costco for a pretty good price. Always do the best YOU can do in your food purchases and never let anyone condemn you for those choices.  If we could not afford the Costco chicken, there is NO shame in buying non-organic. We serve a big and powerful God. Do your best and leave the rest to Him.

Watch for whole chicken to be on sale. You can make the most incredible homemade stock from the bones! You will have dinner, several protein portions for the week and delicious stock! Now that’s stretching the dollar!

There is no excuse not to have protein prepared for your meals for the week. This is incredibly easy, you can do this!

You are SO worth it!


Good, Better, Best

One thing I find incredibly disheartening in the health community is the condemnation, judgment and superiority people heap on others for their food choices. I hope to never do that.

My encouragement is for you is to be informed and choose the best you can in the season you are in.

There was a time I made all my own yogurt, sour cream, crème fraiche, kombucha, sourdough bread, etc. Also, we only at grass-fed, locally raised beef and chicken, organic produce, grains and beans.

While that may seem ‘ideal’, if it becomes bondage or one relies on their ‘righteous’ choices instead of relying on God, food has become an idol.  There was a time in my life that I believe I was there, food and my ‘superior’ choices became an idol. It wasn’t until I became very ill and nothing I did with my food choices changed the situation, that I sensed perhaps there was more to health than just diet.

I still whole-heartedly believe in making wise choices with our food, but we must also balance it from a place of faith and trust in God.

I say it often. God knew exactly when I would be born. He knew exactly the amount of pesticides in the food, the amount of GMO products on the market, the poorly raised animals, etc. I do not think He is in the least bit surprised by the state of the world that I live in. Nor is He surprised by our financial situation.  If our health and well being depending entirely on the quality of food we have access to, well, I’m afraid we would be doomed. We must rely on Him.

So, for the busy mama who can barely make ends meet, do the best you can. Buy the best store bought sour cream you can. Just buy a brand like Daisy, that has one ingredient. But wait, if money is super tight this month and Spartan brand sour cream is on sale, BUY it!

To the woman who works and chases her kids to soccer practice, guess wha,t grabbing an already cooked rotisserie chicken from Costco is not going to be the undoing of your health or that of your family.

If you can afford organic, grass-fed, locally raised beef, by all means, feed it to your family. But do so from a heart of gratitude and knowing while it is awesome that you can do that, it is in HIM we live and move and have our being.

My point is, I am more concerned with you getting in the proper amounts of protein, fats and carbs, in their most natural state, than I am the quality of each and every food choice. I am not saying that you should put junk in your body, there is no good, better, best Doritios and Coke, sorry, not going to support you in that one. ;-)

Eat real food, as close to the way God made it as you can and with as few of ingredients as you can afford. No condemnation, No judgment. We are all growing and learning on this journey.

Disclaimer: I cannot support you in a diet filled with non-real food, aka junk food. Chips, pop, cookies, boxed macaroni and cheese, rice a roni, etc. These, my friends, are not ‘real food’. Let me help you move more towards a diet of real food, it really is easy.  And remember,

You are so worth it.


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