Simple Five Ingredient Smoothie

On my journey toward wellness, which includes 53 pounds weight loss, I have been having a smoothie for one of my meals for probably a year now. (You can read more about my weight loss journey here.) Now, before you tune me out, know that I am not very adventurous in the kitchen. I’m a pretty picky eater. I don’t want to add 57 ingredients to one dish (or one blender.) I find something I like and stick with it.

So if you are looking for a super fancy smoothie recipes, this is not the one for you!

I use a Ninja Blender that I got from Amazon years ago and love it. It is a great blender if you’re not quite ready to take the Vitamix leap. I also use the INDIVIDUAL cups you can get with this and only make enough smoothie for myself! We do make blenders full sometimes but most of my family likes different things in their smoothies so we do them individually.

The big debate in our home is MILK or OJ in the smoothie. I prefer the citrus flavor, but half of my family prefers the creamier milk version. You choose what you like best!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 banana
  • frozen berries (about 1/2 cup)
  • large handful spinach (add a little more each time until you get used to it)
  • plain greek yogurt (about 1/4 cup)
  • splash OJ (or milk, just enough liquid to make it the consistency you like!)

Toss it all in the blender and blend! Voila! Super easy. Usually I blend once in my individual cup, open the lid and stuff some more fruit and spinach in it to fill it up even more.

What is your favorite EASY and HEALTHY meal?? I would love some new ideas for dinner!

My Ninja Blender

If you want to see the blender I have, here is a picture & link along with the individual cups! So convenient!

Finding Freedom on my Wellness Journey

We recently celebrated Independence Day in our country. This has me thinking about freedom in every aspect of our lives.

Freedom in Christ.

Freedom to be who God made me to be.

Freedom from unhealthy emotions.

Freedom from the bondage of people pleasing.

Freedom from negative thinking patterns.

Freedom from sin.

Freedom in my wellness journey has been very different than I ever expected it to be. For that matter, I wasn’t *expecting* to find freedom here in this area of my life.

Today, I am experiencing freedom from all the prescription meds I was on. No more anti-depressants, sleep meds or anti-anxiety meds. Freedom from the terrible side effects I experienced for years. I have freedom from sleeplessness that leads to no energy and motivation. Freedom is being 53 pounds lighter and having energy to live the life God has given me. Freedom is learning to CHOOSE my attitude. Freedom is acknowledging my weakness and WORKING ON MYSELF.

Have I arrived at some magical, perfect life?

Good heavens, no. But I am learning. I am growing. I am changing. I am CHOOSING JOY. I am CHOOSING GRATITUDE. I am crying tears, a lot of tears…which feels like freedom because for so many years the meds took away my tears.

In June I attended the Young Living annual convention and was blown away by the speakers, the sessions, the products, the friendships and the inspiration my heart came home with.

I want this freedom for you.

The women in these pictures are my friends. My mom-boss-changing-the-world friends and we are doing this business together. One of the BEST surprises of my life is how much fun I am having.

Yes, there is so much personal growth that at times I’m not sure I’m strong enough for this…but you know what? That is exactly why God led me to this business. He is pruning me and making me into who He wants me to be. Using an essential oil business to do that?!!? Yes. Crazy town. I know. He truly does work in mysterious ways.

And the fact that I am finding WELLNESS along with it?!?! You guys. I could sob just thinking about it.

It all started with a friend giving me a little roller bottle of RC essential oil.

These oils have been a bridge to better health for me. The oils have helped me rid my home of toxins. The oils are helping me find natural ways to deal with anxiety. The supplements I’m using are helping me sleep and find energy again. The team I’m in is led by one of the best inspirational, motivational and godly mentors I have ever had. What a gift her friendship is to me. Oh and she’s a medical doctor. Learning about essential oils from someone who understand the chemistry of how they work!?!? AMAZING.

The business is helping me deal with the junk and insecurity that I’ve been carrying for oh, nearly 40 years or so. This business has given me work I am passionate about — helping YOU find wellness and getting to experience that with 433 families…and counting. This business is allowing me to pay off debt we have had for years. This business allowed my family of 5 to go on our first overseas mission trip all together. This business is paying for braces and homeschool classes. This business is helping me to bless others.

Planting Lavender

Bucket list. 

Who wants to join me on this FREEDOM journey?

It’s easy to get started. No membership fees. No monthly purchase requirement. Just buy your starter kit with my link and we will walk you through every step of using these amazing oils God has gifted us with!

Where are you FINDING FREEDOM in your life right now?

This time I’m not getting back in the car…

There have been 2 times in my life when anxiety has manifested itself physically in my body. (As opposed to the racing, obsessive thoughts that were my typical manifestation.)
 
The first time was nearly 13 years ago when I was walking into Walmart with 3 babies in tow. Just getting there had been monumental. I was on the verge of tears all the time. I was tired. I was hormonal. 3 babies in 3 years did quite the number on me. Just walking into the grocery store seemed impossible. What would I do if one (or heaven forbid 2) of them started crying? How would I fit groceries into the cart with 2 toddlers and a car seat carrier? What if I couldn’t make it through the store without crying?
 
In that moment I felt panic well up within me, in my chest, & I got back in the car and drove home. I couldn’t do it.
 
13 years later I’m here again but I’m not getting back in the car. I’m fighting. I’m learning to breathe. Literally & figuratively. And there are 3 main things helping me learn to breathe deeply in this season. Yes, lifestyle change is HUGE. What we put into our bodies and how we move our bodies will help with our mental health SO MUCH. But, for today, these the immediate things helping me…
 
1. God’s Word is a balm to my soul. I am once again falling in love with the comfort & peace He gives me when I sit in His presence. Oh, He is so good. Summer in the Psalms has been just what my heart needed. I have started a collection of verses that I am writing & putting in my phone for quick recall.
 
2. Breathing in essential oils in the moment of anxiety. For several moments. Y’all. The research is astounding for oils & emotions. Google it. Read pub med articles. Get high quality oils & start smelling them. Be weird. It’s worth it. (Go here to read more of my story with oils.) 
 
3. Wise, trusted mentors & friends. I happen to have several of these amazing people in my life. One is my actual counselor. Several other friends will meet with me when I need it or “meet me” on Marco Polo. They speak truth from God’s Word to me. They read pages to me from books to encourage me. They talk me off the ledge of bad decisions I want to make in the moment.  They share their own experiences from years past. They help me not feel crazy. ha!  We all need a few people like that in our lives, right!?? 
 
“For no matter where I am, even when I’m far from home, I will cry out to you… When I’m feeble & overwhelmed, guide me into your glory where I am safe & sheltered. Ps. 61:2.
P.S. I wrote this a few days ago and already I’m breathing easier…life is a journey, so many seasons. I pray that through it all I can give Him glory for all He is doing…in the good and the bad and IN THE WAITING! 

How I Am Learning to Renew My Mind

Sometimes I am tempted to believe that lie that I will never have healthy emotions or that I will always struggle in certain areas of life. The powerful truth that WE CAN CHANGE is something God has been working in my heart for about a year now. Romans 12:2 says that we can be TRANSFORMED by the RENEWING of our minds. But, I admit, I don’t always believe it. So, I keep doing those GOOD THINGS that I know are bringing me one step closer.

That renewing takes WORK. It takes being INTENTIONAL. Whatever your struggle is, whether it’s a relationship, your job, your emotions or a physical ailment, we must continually be renewing our minds with TRUTH.

I am also learning that our minds, bodies and souls are so closely tied together. Have you ever noticed that when you don’t sleep well your mood is affected? Have you noticed that when you eat certain foods you have more energy? Or less energy?

When we feel good we are more able to live out the callings on our lives – and SERVE the PEOPLE in our lives – with joy and confidence and energy.

Galatians 6:9 tells us to NOT GROW WEARY of doing good. Most of the time, quite honestly, we know the good things we need to be doing. But we are waiting to feel motivated.

Don’t wait to feel like doing the things you know you need to do. Get up and do the thing, friends!

How I Am Learning to Renew My Mind

I am asking God to help me re-direct my thoughts the MOMENT the lie pops into my head. This seems to be a huge hurdle for me. But I am getting quicker. I like to write verses down on cards and also use my phone with alarms to go off with verses too.  I am working on a list of TRUTHS that help me personally to combat the specific lies I face the most often. (In my next post I will share a list of Scriptures that are helping me personally.)

What you eat matters so much. I have noticed that when I eat a big plate of pancakes, I feel pretty yucky several hours later or the next day. Hmmmm. Not a coincidence! That doesn’t mean that all those carbs are bad for you, but that is one thing my body seems to do better without.

Move your body. Exercise – both cardio and strength training – are so very good for our mental health. When I get done exercising I have a boost of all those good hormones and I feel like I can conquer the world. So, when I went a few weeks without exercising, I noticed a big difference! Get out there and move! Even if it’s a slow start…walk around the block, whatever you need to do to get moving.

Read your Bible. But don’t stop at just reading it. Write a verse that reminds your heart of truth and carry it with you through your day. Pray it. Meditate on it. Fill your mind with truth. I encourage you to work on a list of verses that apply to your own life circumstances and truths that you need to remember.

Pray. Without ceasing. Even if all you can muster is whispering the Name of Jesus, do it. There is POWER in His Name and in turning our eyes to HIM. Tell Him your fears, your worries, your burdens. Let Him minister to your heart as only He can.

Use essential oils all day everyday. Consistency is KEY. Our sense of smell goes straight to the place in our brains where our emotions are stored. So, these tiny little molecules that are pure & high quality being working to help support healthy emotions. Unlike the toxic candles and cleaners and other things we may be breathing in, oils actually HELP our bodies to do what they were made to do. You can read more about essential oils and how they have helped me personally here. 

Find what motivates you and spend time DAILY doing that thing. For me that is reading books. For you it may be listening to podcasts or sermons. Personal growth is HUGE when it comes to renewing our minds. I read a few pages every morning and then when I have a chance during the day of good books that help me to re-focus. My very favorite books on mindset: 40 Days to a Joy Filled Life, The Happiness Dare, Battlefield of the Mind, and Victory Over Darkness.

Get good sleep. Sleep is so important. If you don’t know all the ways that a lack of sleep impacts your life, do a quick google search. After being on sleep meds for so many years, I now use a natural supplement called Immupro from Young Living to help me sleep. Waking up with energy has been a total miracle!!

Fill your body with supplements to boost all of your systems. You may have heard it said that “all disease starts in the gut…” — Hippocrates. If this is true, so many of our problems (including emotional problems) can be helped by using probiotics and taking care to put GOOD things into our bodies and not things that hurt the gut. I currently use the following supplements to support every system in my body: Ningxia Red, Omega 3, Immupro, Life 9 (our probiotic) and Multigreens.

Be careful what you fill your mind with. Choose your reading material wisely. Change the channel. Better yet, turn the TV off. Be intentional about what music you listen to. Turn on the praise music and TURN IT UP. Praise silences the enemy.

Count your blessings. Name them. Write them. Focus on them. When you are tempted with thoughts of self pity, make yourself start naming the blessings in your life. Gratitude can change a life.

Galatians 6:9 Pep Talk

Watch the video here if you’re reading this post in an email.

What if, for today…

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What if…what if today instead of seeing the flab on my arm I wish wasn’t there I saw the muscle that didn’t used to be there either? What if instead of seeing the stretch marks I’ve tried to rid my body of I saw the amazing ways God made my body to bring life into this world? What if instead of seeing the flab around the middle I saw the inches now gone?

What if I saw this same progress in other areas of my life instead of all the ways I’m still lacking? What if I saw the abundance of emotions as more healing than burying them deep within?

What if I saw this same good in others and cheered them on for how FAR THEY HAVE COME?! What if we saw each other as overcomers??!!

What if I stopped focusing on the shame and started focusing on the grace? What if I had eyes to see God in the hard and in the struggle? What if I more quickly noticed the growth instead of the thorns? .

What if…