Finding the Motivation to Stick With It

BLOG Graphic.pngThe alarm was beeping again, and again I was hitting the snooze. So many times this has happened in the last month, and even though I had the best of intentions in getting up earlier, getting my workout and quiet time in, even sneaking in some work when I’m uninterrupted, and yet I continued to oversleep. Something had to change, and it was me.

I was the one failing to actually get up.

I was the one choosing to stay up too late.

I was the one getting distracted from my vision.

I was the one choosing to give up and quit.

So, I decided to change.

Hear me on this, that doesn’t mean I have changed overnight. And it doesn’t mean that I no longer struggle. But, something my dear friend Jenn said stuck with me:

“Completely embrace the mindset of never quitting.”

QUOTE EXCERPT.pngWhen I heard her say that, something clicked for me. At some point in the not-so-distant past, I started quitting. I started giving up. So, I stopped. That’s NOT who God made me to be. I’m a winner and a conqueror, designed for a God-sized purpose and calling right now!

James offers such incredible wisdom on this endurance and faith-building process:

James 1:2-8

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

When you feel like quitting, when your head is already checked out and your body is giving up on you, remind yourself that you are a WINNER. You are a finisher. You will not quit, because this momentary trial has a greater purpose! This test of your faith in the Lord, in your own spirit, in your own body right now is producing endurance. Reach for that smooth, beautiful, polished and perfect result so that your strength will be made complete. 

What trial are you facing today?

Press on through the trial, and choose joy in the midst of the pressure and struggle!

Recipe: Pumpkin Puree

Simple Pumpkin Puree.pngPrint Recipe

Pumpkin Puree

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • Whole pumpkin (or 2 small whole pumpkins)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut the pumpkin in half, stem to base. If you have a large pumpkin like I did, you may want to cut the stem off and cut the base flat. This made it a little easier to cut in quarters for the next step.
  3. Remove seeds and pulp (get all the seeds, don’t worry about the stringy stuff-you’re going to blend/puree all of it, remember). Cover each half with foil, or if you are like me and were out of foil, cover with all the silpats you have! It worked just fine.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven, foil side up, 1 hour, or until tender.
  5. Peel the chunks of pumpkin (or scrape the flesh from the peel).

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  6. Puree in a blender, adding water as needed to blend well. I used the juices that pooled in the baking pans plus a little water.
  7. When finished, package in 1 cup amounts and store in sandwich-size freezer bags.

Powered by
Plan To Eat

 

Surviving the Holidays

The conversation with Mason began like this, “Thanksgiving is next week!” Mason stated with full confidence.

“WHAT? No, it’s not!” I replied. Then I thought for a second, and realized that maybe I had lost a few days between kids being sick and the intensity of election week.

“Check the calendar, babe. It’s next Thursday.” Yep, I was totally wrong. Just staying humble and keeping it human over here. 🙂

WOW! We are down to single digit weeks left in this year. Has it flown by for you? I know that it has for us. Maybe you have some regrets about this year. Maybe you had some changes you wanted to see in your health, or you really wanted to reach for that fitness goal and other things came up. Maybe you are like me and started a Bible study, but still aren’t halfway through it. YIKES!

Guess what? It’s not too late to see the results!

I know, you’re thinking there’s no way. It’s already the holiday season and it would be impossible for you to make any progress now. STOP RIGHT THERE!

That’s NOT TRUE!

What if I could help you? What if you couldn’t fail? Would you try?

Because I have a proven system, and last year at this exact time I lost 9lbs in 3 weeks. Yes, seriously! I practically lost a turkey in just 1 month and DURING the holidays. And I wasn’t perfect. It just required effort.

life-doesnt-give-us-perfect-conditions-change-anyway

It’s TIME to stop the cycle of gaining weight every holiday season, eating things you may not even want just because others are putting it in front of you, and sabotaging yourself. It’s TIME to start winning now, start moving forward toward your goals before the “New Year” even starts.

Surviving the Holidays.png

This opportunity to be a part of our Surviving the Holidays Group isn’t about being perfect. It’s not about depriving yourself of all of the goodness of the season. It’s not about sacrificing all of the things you love during Christmas. This Surviving the Holidays Group is about learning health from the heart first. It’s about taking time for your relationship with the Lord first daily, changing the way you think to be based in God’s truth, making your physical health with exercise and proper eating a priority on a regular basis, and seeing your purpose and calling as so valuable that you can’t help but fuel your body, your temple, with the best nutrients, so that you can be a vessel of hope and light during this holiday season.

So, do you need this in your life right now?

How would you feel if you were healthier, more fit, and spiritually full on December 31st?

Would you be happier? more joyful? more confident? more patient? thriving and ready for God to use you in the new year?

If so, then here’s all the details:

This is your invitation to join me on November 28th for our Surviving the Holidays Group.

FB EVENT COVER (1).png

Here’s what you get when you join!

  • Complete Health & Fitness Program with workouts and eating guide to be customized for you and your family
  • My best strategies for healthy holiday survival, including tips for when you are on the go, at parties, and just healthy recipe swaps you can make to keep you on course to reaching your goals
  • My teaching for how to plan your meals, grocery shop, how to adapt recipes and choose snacks
  • 30-Day Supply of my favorite whole-food shake (not just protein and not a weight-loss shake, but a powerhouse nutrient dense meal in a delicious shake)
  • 24/7 Access to our 30-Day Support Group with daily tips, check-ins, and even spiritual encouragement to help you survive the holiday season in a healthy way
  • Weekly Accountability Live Call-I will help you troubleshoot and reach your goals!
  • Meal Planning Live Call-I will help you figure out your meal plan, brainstorm what will work for you, and get you started with a real plan and food prep

Here’s what I expect when you join!

  • You will be matched to a Beachbody fitness program that meets your needs and will help move you toward your personal fitness goals. It’s my goal to help you find a workout you will enjoy doing and actually *want* to get out of bed to do!
  • You will be expected to commit to 30 days of Shakeology for this group. This is a nutrient dense meal (NOT a protein drink or weight loss shake). Using this will help you feel amazing thanks to the dense nutrients, probiotics, prebiotics, etc and will help boost your immune system during this icky season! Using it daily will also take the guess work out of your meal plan, give you some incredible natural energy, and it tastes great too. #WINWIN 😉
  • You will be required to have me as your Coach. Sign up to have me as your Coach by going here: CREATE A FREE ACCOUNT
  • You will check in daily to our Support Group. Be an active participant, and rock your own results.
  • You will track and measure your progress along the way. Don’t stress-we will teach you how! When you do this, you can enter your results, no matter how great or small, to win CASH PRIZES and GIFT CARDS!

Are you ready to see your transformation begin?

It’s time to go! Complete the application below and I will contact you within 24 hours to help you get started.

 *This group begins on November 28th and will go through December 31st.*

Please note-if you are already working with a Beachbody Coach, please do not join. If you do not have a Beachbody Coach, complete the application below.

Booklook Review: Play With Fire

240_360_book-1993-coverI’m totally a stalker. 😉 I heard of Bianca Olthoff’s work with A21 Campaign through her sister Jasmine Star. Jasmine is an incredibly gifted photographer whose work I have been stalking for close to a decade now. When I heard that Bianca was writing this book I did a little research to see if it looked like something I would want to read, and if it was a topic that my own readers would be interested in perusing. “Discovering fierce faith, unquenchable passion, and a life-giving God”, the book’s tagline, lit a spark in my gut as a read it. This very real, tangible faith and subsequent action is the kind of Christian life I seek to live, so here’s my take on “Play With Fire” by Bianca Juarez Olthoff.

Olthoff’s main message in Play With Fire is the truth that God doesn’t want you to wait until the perfect timing, scenario, until you are married, have the ideal job, until your skills are more developed, once you have more experience, or any other factor so that He can use you. He wants to use your life right now. Bianca writes a lot about fire, paralleling the mythical creature, the Phoenix, with her own experience of God’s work. She shares a lot of personal narrative, taking readers to the difficult moments and seasons, through the fire of tragedy and trial, and to the other side where she began to experience the redemption and clarity that can only be seen in the dying embers of life’s struggles.

Some hopeful themes BIanca Olthoff shares in this book are:

  • God’s ability to take the worst situations and turn them around for our good and His glory
  • The way out of the dark and discouraging “middle” of the fire is to keep moving forward.
  • God’s unique calling and purpose on each of our lives, which involves the promise of transformation
  • The incredibly personal and powerful nature of the Holy Spirit at work in each of our lives.

I personally enjoyed this read, and found it uplifting and positive. Bianca did a thorough job of weaving Scripture through her writing, connecting elements of truth to her own experience and the promises found in God’s Word. Her writing style felt very personal and intimate, like I was sitting across from her over a cup of tea listening to her share her story. Reading the book Play With Fire helped me regain a passion for my work and ministry, and lit a spark in my gut to pursue the work of transformation in my own life as well as helping others who are walking through that fire!

Play With Fire is a great book for women who want to be used by God, and who believe that they are made for more. If you are trying to figure out if or how God wants to use you, I highly recommend you pick up this book and read with an open heart.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com®<http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

Booklook Review: Uninvited

 

240_360_book-1988-coverKeeping all things real and transparent, I had a friend recommend this book to me before I selected it for review. She was still reading it, but spoke positively about what she had read, so that was all I needed to come grab Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst.

Rejected. Lonely. Worthless. Less than. Empty. These are all feelings that our enemy Satan desperately wants us to feel. And, I would venture to say that every one of us has felt in the past week. Maybe even the past hour if we are being honest. This is our reality-we are allowing the enemy to scream lies in our ear, programming us for rejection and stealing our purpose in life. We are left crippled, without courage, and with no vision. We are blinded to the power of Christ’s love in our hearts.

In Univited, Lysa dives into sharing about her incredibly personal experiences particularly with rejection. From family members to friends to the stranger at the gym. However, she does not stop with personal narrative, but shared biblical truth and practical how-to’s in handling the feelings brought to the surface when one faces rejection, shame, and the insecurity and vulnerability that plagues us all. She sheds light on the two fears that fuel our insecurities and reveals how a reader can end the cycle of perceived rejection, and shows the way to pray for ten days in order to bring a sense of stability and restore confidence in the midst of insecurity.

As a Biblical Counselor, I was very pleased with this book. Often these reads are full of experience and light scriptural platitudes leaving the reader feeling better in the moment, taking Scripture out of context, and not having any true solutions for what they are facing. Lysa TerKeurst took things to a new place of vulnerability tied to biblical truth applied. That is exactly where transformation happens, and that’s where I want to live. I feel confident to recommend this to any of my clients, friends, and community as a solid and biblically-based resource on the topic!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com®<http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

Taking a “Mindful Walk” in Faith

I have been doing this new yoga class for the past week, and on Sunday morning there was part of it that was a “mindful walk” to the front of the mat. I thought it was pretty silly, but I did it, just trying to focus on taking each step.
 
I didn’t think much more of it until I was at church speaking with a friend. We were sharing about our lives and this trust-walk God has us on. He is stretching us both in our faith journey, and it reminded me of that “mindful walk” I had just done hours earlier.
The scripture that flashed into my mind was Psalm 119:105,
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
As I shared this verse with my friend, we talked about the promise and truth that God grants us-He shares his truth and guidance with us like a small lamp. That lamp only shines so far onto the path ahead of us. We have to trust Him as we take steps along the path. Suddenly that mindful walk I had done in my early morning came rushing back to me and I knew what God was showing me. As I am following His word like a lamp to my feet and a light to my path, I am the one who has to be mindful of the steps I am taking. I have to choose to take the steps. Only I can lift my feet from the place they are planted, overcome my fears and doubts, and trust HIM as I take the next step!
psalm119-105teal

source-Well Nourished Nest

You may be like me, feeling stuck, struggling to trust, and perhaps you are doubting that God is even guiding you. He is, and you have to take the step before the lamp can light up the rest of your path.
For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

Recipe: “Superfood Side” Inspired Salad

We love to eat at Chick-fil-A, but I’m always struggling to fit in my green veggies when we go. I was thrilled when they debuted the “Superfood Side” which is basically a kale/broccoli salad. I knew that I could come up with something similar to enjoy at home, and this was our  result!

Print Recipephoto (1)

Super Food Side Inspired Salad

Source: Marla Stanley

Course: Salad

 Serves: 12

Ingredients

  • 8 cups Kale washed and chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups Broccoli Slaw
  • 12 cup sunflower seeds
  • 12 cup Cinnamon Roasted Walnuts
  • 12 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
  • 12 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 12 cup olive oil
  • 5-6 tablespoons pure maple syrup NOT table syrup-this needs to be real maple syrup; could also substitute raw honey
  • 14 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard

Directions

  1. Prepare kale by removing thick ribs and chopping thoroughly.
  2. In a medium jar or bowl, blend Apple Cider Vinegar, Olive Oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Put lid on and shake really well, until combined.
  3. Add a little dressing to kale and massage 3-5 minutes. Massage kale to release bitterness. You will notice the greens turn dark and more silky.
  4. Combine kale, broccoli florets, broccoli slaw, and mix well to incorporate, adding more dressing to coat the salad.
  5. Top salad with cranberries, sunflower seeds and walnuts.

Powered by
Plan To Eat

 For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

Booklook Review: Unashamed by Christine Caine

240_360_book-1940-cover

Shame can be paralyzing. We each have our triggers, and actions that happen in life or relationships, even the slightest of cues in a conversation that spark something inside of us that makes us want to run and hide. It drives us to hide, to run away, to retreat into our corners and closets and miss out on the opportunity to impact the world in the exact way God has designed, gifted, and skilled us to do so. Okay, soapbox away now. I really just wanted to see if this book would be helpful for me as I have begun to recognize my own struggle with shame.

Unashamed by Christine Caine

Christine Caine has written her new book, Unashamed, sharing her own experience being groomed and shaped by shame, and how she is moving to living a shame-free life. She tells her own story and many others from all walks of life, each voice so relatable to today’s woman. She challenges the reader to embrace a shame-free life, breaking the chains of shame and leaving behind the old ways Satan seeks to destroy. By learning to deal with the baggage and history of your past, you can embrace the fullness of your future and life with God.

I found this book incredibly interesting because as I mentioned above, I am digging through my own past, shaping, and upbringing in all aspects. Christine Caine’s direct and passionate approach helped me to clearly face some of the issues I was dealing with, and confront them with the truth of who I am in the Lord. She challenged me to think about shame from a Biblical place, recognizing my broken parts but not staying there. She wrote in a way that made me want to keep reading-it was very engaging, encouraging, and motivating. I found her message to be aligned with Scripture and Biblical truth principles. I would recommend this book to others, particularly women who may be struggling with feelings of shame, insecurity, worthlessness, defeat, and depression. I think that this book and its message would be excellent for group discussion or a book club!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com®<http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

Recipe: “Alice Springs Chicken”

We recently picked up some DELISH Zaycon Fresh Thick Cut Bacon, so in true style, we have been incorporating bacon into many recent meals. Here’s one that was a huge hit for everyone! 

Print Recipe

Knock-off Outback Steakhouse “Alice Springs Chicken”

Source: marlastanley.wordpress.com

Course: Main Course

Prep Time: 1 hr

Cook Time: 25 min

Total Time: 1 hr

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (Thick-slice them in half)
  • 13 cup Dijon mustard
  • 14 cup Honey
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon steak sauce
  • 12 teaspoon All Purpose Chicken Seasoning (I used a Chicken Rub from our local country store)
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
  • 6 slices bacon sliced in half

Directions

  1. Slice chicken breast in half and rub with a few teaspoons of seasoning. Set aside to marinate for up to 1 hour (at least 10 minutes).
  2. While the chicken is marinating cook bacon to your liking and drain. (We like to do this in the oven).
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Heat oil in pan on medium heat and sauté chicken breasts until slightly golden and cooked in through.
  5. Remove from pan and place in a 9 x 13 dish.
  6. Brush or spread chicken breast with honey mustard. Top with a layer of mushrooms and bacon slices (cut to fit as needed). Top with shredded cheese.
  7. Bake 15 minutes or until cheese melts.
  8. Top with parsley and serve!

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 527.2
Fat: 321 g
Cholesterol: 164.2 mg
Sodium: 749.6 mg
Sugar: 0.8 g
Carbohydrate: 2.8 g
Fiber: 0.2 g
Protein: 47.1 g

Powered by
Plan To Eat

For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

How to keep your purpose while losing weight

Have you ever felt like you lost yourself in something? It’s so easy to do, especially when you are experiencing significant change in life.

For example:

  • losing weight
  • pregnancy
  • adjusting to a new baby or family member
  • moving
  • job change

There are countless situations in life that can consume us and often spark one to actually place their identity in something other than the Lord. It happens so easily and it’s fundamental that we all learn to recognize when this happens.

Using weight loss as an example, when someone is losing weight or improving their health, it’s easy to identify with the loss of weight. However, YOU are not weight loss, right? You are YOU!

The change in your body is great, and something to celebrate as you make progress toward your goals, but don’t ever set your identity in something that changes, fades, or can disappear in an instant. God has a greater calling and purpose for you than to see numbers on a scale change!

losing weight is not your purpose.jpg

Personally, I have battled with this in all of my endeavors, from school and grades to seeing the scale change when losing weight. When my identity isn’t resting in the Lord it shows in my thoughts and behaviors. I’ll find myself short with my kids or irritated that my schedule isn’t on track for the day. You may notice that your day is made or broken by the numbers staring back at you on the scale, perhaps you have placed your identity in your weight loss. If you feel defeated by how your jeans fit today, you may need to stop and reset your thinking and identity placement in WHOSE you are, not what size you happen to be right now.

Just a quick reminder of who you are, and what your calling is…

I Peter 2:9

“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”

i peter 2-9.jpg

Find your worth, identity and purpose in Him and His calling for you!

For more recipes, nutrition tips and spiritual support join me here. If you need help with your physical or spiritual health and would like some accountability, reach out to me-I help people each month as they improve their health!

%d bloggers like this: